Posted by SuperMario on 1 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

Flying witch again delivers strong material this week and I actually think this is their best episode so far. Mostly because the 2 parts are well connected this week, and our new character Inuka is so natural and fit in like a glove, in addition they have an absurd and whimsical story to boost. I have to highlight the chemistry between Inuka and Chinatsu here, as they are easily the best out of this already solid episode. The back and forth conversation between them in the fortune teller corner, for example, was so deadpan and consistent. Chinatsu constantly touches Inuka’s ears while Inuka was furious about Akane is another good touch. Inuka’s panic over Makoto’s name is so well-delivered that it gets me every time. And Makoto cure portion, oh my god, it’s so hilarious. Now I get the sense that Makoto might not become a great witch after all, but that is fine by me. Flying Witch is so full of little moments that you would miss it if you don’t notice well. Cases in point, I love the way the hamster (Al) shakes uncontrollably when the black cat comes near him (with his dry “meow” no less), or the shot keeps avoiding Inuka’s real face until the very end. Boy she was so my type too! On the site note, I’m not really sure what Akame is wearing, I guess it is a Vietnamese traditional dress (ao dai) (you can view it here, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/51/1d/87/511d8711fff800a9d326e99ab4dde94d.jpg), please correct me if I’m wrong.

Flying witch is a charming show but never really a funny show, its comedic is often whimsical rather than laugh out loud. But Flying witch has a knack for comedic timing and punch. In this episode, those were executed very well (from Inuka‘s “Akame” crying to Mako’s cure portion). The visual is as lovely as ever, from the blossom trees to the festival itself, and the music, all of them help to bring atmosphere to the show. Overall I’m overjoy with this episode. As long as Flying witch continue to tell those pleasant stories, with full of little details and some deadpan humors, I’m all in.

~SuperMario~

Posted by SuperMario on 30 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

We now back to the status quo on Mayoiga this week, as the group who left the village decided to come back, and the cliffhanger happened last week was never explained probably. I will say this upfront: this is not a good episode. We don’t learn much after it ends. We have even longer conversations between the cast compare to last few weeks, and even more ridiculous cliffhanger.

But we do learn a few more new things in this episode. Most interesting bit is that they perceive completely differently about the noise they heard (it could be a beast, a robot, giant wings, or a laughter). That could be a hint to the mystery. The lost village can be a place where we deal with our own problems, we see what we afraid to see. In other words, we reach to our darkness side. This could be an interesting aspect to explore but hell, Mayoiga sure doesn’t show us much of a clue here. This week spend too much time on the cast arguing with each other, and truthfully, I’m getting tired of them accusing each other episodes after episodes here, especially when they just repeating the same traits over and over again (I dare you to find a line in which Lovepon doesn’t scream “executed”). If the show indeed relies on those characters’ interactions for its mystery, then this can be redeemed, otherwise, I don’t see a reason why there are too much of this.

The other bit of information we gather is Lion’s ability to see the dead, or to be more exact, she has an ability to see people about to die. This is a good character moment for Lion and it’s not really come as a surprise, seeing her as the mysterious and quiet type from the beginning, but the reveal scene is still somewhat absurd. The cliffhanger at the end actually leaves me more annoyed than engaged, the characters just keep sprouting random names here, just like last week’s driver’s daughter, and I bet next week we learn a bit of who is this Tokimune again, only to be left forgotten for the rest of the show. Why the heck should I care then?

It looks like Masaki on the verge of revealing something to Mitsumune here. I hope they don’t take few more episodes until we get that bit of information. In fact, Mayoiga gives us very little information to work with. The worse thing is that if it keeps on dragging like that, people will start to lose interest in the mystery, if not already.

~SuperMario~

Posted by HelghastKillzone on 30 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

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There are no brakes on the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress train even when it goes for a pit stop to pick up some water and say a prayer for the dead. While my fellow writers firmly believe that Koutetsujou no Kabaneri will disintegrate into a trainwreck in terms of the story and characters, I boldly predicted that this will end up become the anime of the season for the many in the anime community and episode three absolutely does not disappoint in the least.

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For an episode dealing with the aftermath of fleeing a overrun station, it was jampacked with stunning moments like Ikoma blow up his zombified sister, Ayame-sama getting in some stabby brinkmanship, Mumei impaling a infected pregnant women with two swords and revealing the feeding necessity that all Kabaneri process. I did find that the prejudice of the Bushi guardsmen and the civilians to be tiring with all the finger pointing going around. Thankfully, Memui makes all the right moves in response to this hostility by never backing down from a fight and goading her agitators into a brawl instead of pointlessly pleading her case like Ikoma. By following up on a rigorous training regiment to make him a more effective shield consisting of beating the shit out of him over and over, there is something deeply refreshing about having a female anime character that stands out so drastically from all her cookie-cutter counterparts. With the revelation that is steeped with the likes of Valvrave’s own vampiric protagonists, perhaps the prevailing fear and prejudice against the Kabaneri isn’t baseless after all. It takes our misunderstood and underappreciated heroes and switches them into powerful beings burdened with a necessary evil. Mumei already relishes in this aspect and given Ikoma’s motivations and his history with the Kakane, he is going have a very bad time coming to grips with the dual nature of Kabaneri.

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Three episodes in, there are a multitude of questions that remain unanswered like where the big storyline of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is heading and the nature of the Kabane. There are glimpses of the bigger picture with Mumei’s overall objective of reaching the Shogun’s main stronghold and the Kabane research facilities but the immediate needs of the Hayajiro with its ongoing concerns of food, water, repairs and survival will probably take precedent for the next little while. If the episode four previews are anything to go by, there will be plenty of gory action before this train pulls into the next station.

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Out of every single anime show that is airing this season, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has the all the best action, animation, music as well as being the single show that I look forward to the most watching each week. I can’t tell you whether or not it’s going to turn into a flaming mess but it is certainly going to be one pretty wild ride before it concludes.

~HelghastKillzone~

Posted by SuperMario on 29 April 2016 with categories: Bungou Stray Dogs, Currently Watching:

Bungou Stray Dogs sure never get tired to showcase more new characters every week, and judging from the OP I’m certain that there are more to come. This week there are 3 more new faces and each of them is over the top in their own ways, but that turns out to be for good reason. I feel the pacing in this episode is very unstable, it was too slow at first (mostly because of the dialogues and the overused flashbacks), and then way too fast in the climax scene (we just got introduced with the villains, and then they proceeded to have a big fight with the Agency, who we didn’t have enough time to care about to begin with), but that turns out to be for good reason as well. See, because there is a twist: The Agency are all overpower human being who can easily take down the raids like a piece of cake. The twist works and for once I liked the way they built things up for that climax.

Atsushi, however, has been in an “I’m a burden to everyone” mode for 4 weeks in a row. I don’t see the point the series keep making that Atsushi truly belongs to the Agency. We already know that at the end of the first episode. Here we are now, in its 4th episode, still stuck with that same note (Atsushi cried because he felt he is in the right place). We need to move on man! I will keep this aside for now, but if in the next episodes we still see Atsushi being insecure or that orphanage’s flashbacks again, it will truly drag the show down. I would love for our main character to grow but he will need to be more substantial in order for us to care for him. Being in the same mode will not help of course.

Now this is clear that Bungou Stray Dogs going to be an action comedy show (forget about the supernatural stuffs, they feel more like an action ability anyway) and that lays many problems within Bungou Stray Dogs: the comedy is not funny at all, the action is nice but is few and far between, the transition between comedy and action is awkward and unfortunately slows the show down. The main issue with the comedy, as I mentioned in previous weeks, is because of the repetition as they do nothing to flesh out the characters. Even good joke will get pale if it was told too many times. I hope the show can learn this lesson. It might not be an issue when the main storyline kick in but boys it sure takes its time. I would say Bungou Stray Dogs is at its best when the show focuses on action, with a bit of comedy on top.

In addition, I’m not quite fond with the real-life writers references as well. Sure it’s nice to catch some humors and personality traits based on their real-life counterparts, but the way I see it, it adds nothing to the story and the series could have been the same without all those literary references. In other words, there is no reason for it to be there (except perhaps for being STYLISH). On the last note, I originally thought Yosano would become a compelling character but the healing scene totally killed it for me. Well done Bungou Stray Dogs!!

~SuperMario~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 28 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

I am starting to get a little worried about Joker Game. After a very strong start it’s gone down in quality once it revealed it’s episodic format. This episode marks the lowest point of the series so far though I still don’t think of it as bad. Rather than focus on a member of the D-agency, this episode instead is about a newly appointed officer who is tasked by a superior to track down a spy in the military police. I do prefer this over focusing on the spy members as in the last episode they have proven to be far too overpowered to be interesting. Here we have a vulnerable man chasing after a dangerous suspect but sadly this story turns out to be far less interesting when things come to light. In truth this episode was basically a retread of the second episode in that it turns out the superior officer was completely corrupt and staged an attack to keep his illegal dealings from coming to light but the execution was far worse. This episode plays out like a mystery but never gives the audience a chance to figure out what is going on. The mystery itself is dull and not a lot actually happens. Our red nosed protagonist is given the job, sees a bombing, talks to a reporter who gives him a photo and then follows a man into a hidden casio where he spots his superior. However despite not doing much of anything, red nose is able to perfectly deduce absolutely everything that occurred and recount it back to his superior. As red nose goes on about how his superior became corrupt and began stealing opium from the evidence lockers I sat there wondering just how he could possibly know that. The episode never showed him paying a visit to the evidence locker or how he figured out that the man who was killed was actually investigating the superior. Did he learn it though the files the murdered man left behind? In that case why would the superior give him those files in the first place? There’s just a whole lot of answers coming straight out of nowhere and I think that if the show took the time to actively present clues instead of having our protagonist just lay it out for us would have made for a more engaging plot.

Then after our protagonist of the week points out his superiors illegal dealings and suggests that he get himself court martialed, the superior goes full comic book villain and calls in a soldier to kill him. Now really mister red nose, just what answer did you expect him to give you? “Oh yeah, damn you caught me. Don’t worry, I will go and hand myself in now. Good work.” You basically repeated the same thing Sakuma did except for making sure to have a plan to protect yourself should things go south. I sighed as the superior started gloating and shouting about how totally corrupt and evil he was with a psycho smile and manic laughter. One would think he would restrain himself in case there were actual policemen in the police station who could ever so easily hear him declare that he was selling opium and staged a terrorist bombing. The dumbest thing of all was that thanks to him mouthing off about killing the transvestite boy in the bombing, the soldier that he called in to shoot red nose instead shot him. As it turns out he was in love with the transvestite boy. Which leaves me to wonder just what was the point of all this. The episode seems to suggest that this was all the plan of one of the agents to get rid of the corrupt superior but all that agent did was hand red nose a photo and lead him into the hidden casino. If you are suggesting that he managed to predict how all this was going to happen before it went down then I call bullshit on that. I don’t care if you are some super spy or batman, nothing so dependent on luck and human factors can ever go exactly as planned. Even if it was all just as planned then I am certain you could have thought of a less risky plan. After all why did you even bother getting red nose involved? He didn’t do anything at all and you could have just informed the soldier that he killed his lover and there you go. Problem solved. I rag on this more than I expected but the presentation is still bugging me greatly. The dialogue, the framing, the storytelling….it all seems to assume that you can’t put two and two together and figure out things yourself. Everything is shoved right in your face with little restraint. For a veteran viewer such as myself I find it extremely patronizing like being given a jigsaw puzzle and then the giver assembling the puzzle for me because they thought I wouldn’t be able to figure out how a jigsaw works. One last thing, why did everyone have creepy smiles in the first scene? That was just weird.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 27 April 2016 with categories: Game Reviews

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that due to the decision to make the anime a one cour length it essentially cut down the story into its bare necessities. The anime of Danganronpa is essentially the barest cliff notes of the game and most importantly removes its greatest aspect. For you see when this anime was announced people compared it to the likes of battle royale. Speaking purely mechanically it’s gameplay is actually very similar to Phoenix Wright. But at it’s core is a murder mystery. Hence why watching the anime first is a bad idea as it spoils the answers to the mystery before giving you any chance to speculate. Lucky for myself I played the first DanganRonpa before the anime aired and found it to be an excellent game. It’s sequel to me however is a much better title.

The story begins with our protagonist about to attend Hope academy which is a school dedicated to the best of the best. However upon entering the academy he falls unconscious and finds himself and fifteen other students stuck on an Island with some strange stuffed bunny telling them that to get off the island they all need to get along. Despite how odd it is everyone decides that they might as well enjoy their time on the island. Naturally this peace doesn’t last long as Monokuma appears and once again forces the class to play in a killing game where the person who manages to kill someone and get away with it in a class trial can then leave the Island. The plot is quite similar to it’s predecessor but has a more interesting set of eccentric characters and a deeper mystery regarding the island. With Monomi, Monokuma now has the yang to oppose his Yin as Monomi encourages the group to work together while Monokuma tries to turn them against one another. Though both mascots annoy the hell out the characters. Monokuma is the same as he was before, balancing his silly humor with a level of undertoned malice. I originally wasn’t too fond of his english voice but as I played the game I found it fit quite well. Monomi has an attitude if trying to be cute that gets on the characters nerves and often she’s being put down or reduced to tears despite her optimistic efforts to get people to not fall for Monokuma’s provoking. However both of them are clearly hiding the truth from the students for different reasons. As for the students themselves, at first they seem like one dimensional characters defined by their “Ultimate” talent but the game does allow them to develop though it’s mechanics and how the story turns out.

This game is truly a game to be played by those who have experienced the first though it can be played with no knowledge of the first game. But this is meant to be played after playing the first game as their are plenty of things here which reference the first game. But what I love about this is how this game makes use of your assumptions gained from the first game and uses them to trick you into a certain line of thought. Basically there are point in this story which makes you think it’s rethreading on the story of the first game only to laugh in your face and toss it aside. This is pretty clever writing that knows how to get you thinking in a certain way but I have some pride in that I managed to figure out a good deal of the mysteries it presents. But I never managed to nail everything down. Something usually escaped my notice. The characters this time around I would argue are stronger than the first in that there isn’t someone here I could consider background decoration. The first game had a couple of characters who just were rather bland or had nothing really to contribute to the game. Out of a cast of sixteen characters, everyone here has their interesting points and are a worthy addition to the story. I would say the weakest would be the Ultimate team manager and the mechanic but even they have a part to play. What I think is a true mark of genius though is in how one of these characters is used as a kind of secondary antagonist. I originally didn’t think much of them at first but once they showed their worth they proved to be one of the best characters in the game. I especially love the comparison between them and a character from the first game. You have the choice between Japanese and english voices but l say you can’t lose out either way. I played the english dub and frankly it’s perfect. Some truly outstanding performances, especially when a character goes completely insane.(They are rather insane from the start due to their own eccentricities but when they go insane, they really go full throttle insane.) The soundtrack is very good though tracks are reused from the first game and new versions would have been appreciated. The graphics are strange in that I don’t think DanganRonpa is trying to be visually impressive but rather just trying to have style. For most of the game the world looks like a diorama with cardboard figurines. It’s strange but it doesn’t work well. Either way you aren’t here to see pretty graphics and there are some rather clever effects applied sometimes. Their is a keyboard and mouse support but it is awkward for the menus with still require you to use keys instead of a mouse to navigate it. It works decently and the mouse gives some nice precision but recommend using a controller over it for an optimal experience.

The mechanics of the game truly are very similar to Phoenix Wright. there are six chapters and each chapter takes place in three stages; a free time stage, an investigation stage and a trial stage. The free time stage is a period before the murder which is mainly setting up the murder and seeing how everyone is handling the situation. You can walk around the Island and talk to certain characters to get to know them better. Though time passes as you talk to a character and as you grow closer you get things called “Hope Fragments”. Getting all the hope fragments in your first playthrough is impossible as it requires you to know who is going to get murdered so you can get all their hope fragments before they are taken out of the game. But you do unlock a Island mode that allows you to collect them at your leisure upon completing the game. You also unlock a DanganRonpa IF novel written by Ryohgo Narita. This system is similar to Persona’s social links system but it doesn’t really grant any benefits besides some extra character development and the ability to purchase skills to use in the trials. The skills are rather superficial though and you can get through the trials without them easily. The investigation stage is just that, a murder happens and you must look around for clues. This mainly involves clicking on areas to find evidence and asking characters about the murder. The game pretty much makes it impossible to miss evidence as it suggests you look around again if you happen to have not clicked on something. You cannot proceed to the trial stage until you have gathered all the evidence. The trial stage is where things get really heated up as it acts as a series of mini-games which make use of the evidence you have gathered. The key to it is to find contradictions in what people are saying by using the right evidence that disproves their statement. For example, if the autopsy report states the victim was stabbed and then during the court trial a person claims the victim was shot, you can use the autopsy report to disprove their claim. This is exactly as Phoenix wright worked but their is some differences. In Phoenix wright you could go through a person’s statement at your leisure but in DanganRonpa you are placed in a rail shooter styled game where characters words appear on screen as they say them and you must load your chosen evidence into a gun and fire the words at a highlighted statement to contradict it. This is odd but a satisfying way of landing a hit as you manage to push the trial forward. However sometimes it can be difficult to distern just what piece of evidence the game wants you to put forward even if you have figured out how the murder happened. At times knowing what statements to counter and what evidence to use can be a matter of trial and error.This isn’t the only mini-game in the trial however and this is where I find DanganRonpa falls short. The main mini-game remains the same as the original but the others have been changed for what seems to me just for the sake of differentiation. Most of the games are a nice change of pace but one of them is an absolute chore to get through. That is Hangmans Gambit. This is a minigame that requires you to put together a word like hangman but the process of doing so is slow, needlessly complicated and just a drag to play. I failed the game on my first attempt simply because I didn’t understand how it worked despite it being explained to me. I figured it out on my second try but it didn’t make the game any less tedious as it basically involved you waiting for the game to put the letter you need on screen. You can speed it up by pressing the skip button but the fact is that this is not fun. It’s far more flustrating when you know what word you have to spell out but must wait ever so slowly as you put down the word letter by letter. This minigame outstays it’s welcome and i was tired of it by the end of the first trial.

There is no real way to die as when all your health depletes you get a game over screen before being allowed to retry from the point you died. The only penalty is to a score that only grants you a grade and monocoins. Monocoins can be used to purchase presents which help in the free time period of the game. There are two ways to get presents, one is to buy them from the supermarket and the other is to use a kind of random draw machine at the beach. The beach machine is the much better option as you can continue to put in one coin at a time and get the majority of the presents through random chance. So monocoins quickly become useless but despite their being no penalty for death I am glad it is this way. For the class trails are long affairs that can take up to an hour and a half. If you were sent back to the beginning after every game over it would get very old fast. Besides, I see DanganRonpa more as a visual novel than a genuine game.(You can argue that visual novels are indeed also genuine games but I find the level of interaction to be far too insubstantial to justify the game title. Much in the same way I don’t consider walking simulators games. I likely annoyed some people with that statement but frankly in my book if the gameplay itself is merely a secondary optional priority to the game developer then you aren’t trying to make a game.) The aspect I really love about this game is that you can piece together who committed the murder and how they did it just by looking at the evidence gathered from the investigation stage. I made it a point before each trial to have a long think over who I thought was the murderer and the method they committed it so that I would have a better idea how to use it to break contradictions as well as see just how right my speculation was. The first trial was a real stand out moment as I walked into that thinking I had figured out everything. I breezed through the first rounds and it all looked to be point towards the conclusion I saw coming. And just when I reveled in my own brilliance the game took my deduction and turned it right on it’s head. Almost as if the game knew exactly what I was thinking and threw me off with a red herring. Ultimately while I managed to figure out a number of the details of the murder, I got the murderer completely wrong. I wasn’t even mad, I was impressed and knew this game would really test my deductive capability. It’s rare for me to experience a story such as this as it truly is a story that can only be experienced twice. Once blind and a second time breaking it down. Such is the sad fate of the murder mystery as a large amount of it’s appeal is lost upon revealing the machinations behind the tale. The wacky characters and style are great side dishes of this tale but if you play DanganRonpa then you have got to play it like a detective.

DanganRonpa is a tale featuring the utterly ridiculous with the macabre, all the while telling a series of murder mysteries. It always manages to keep the more fantasy elements of the setting and characters from interfering in the logic of the murders. It’s tongue in cheek approach and self aware nature allow the reader to accept the more silly aspects while still managing to hit hard when time comes to toss aside humor and make things serious. It’s a tale that can only be experienced once but that one time is going to be a memorable one. There is a new anime for DanganRonpa coming soon which is labeled “DanganRonpa 3: The end of Hopes Peak Acadamy”. This is not to be confused with “New DanganRonpa V3: Everyone’s New Semester of Killing” which is the third title in the series and will feature a brand new story with new characters. The anime DanganRonpa 3 will feature a original story which is not an adaption of any work and happens to be under the supervision of the writer of the game series. My hope is that this time as the story can be made for the timeframe that it will not end up a misfire like the previous animated series and showcase this series true strengths. Though with Seiji Kishi in the director’s seat once again that might be an impossibility. Still this anime is planned to cap off any loose threads from the previous two games to allow the new game to start off with a new slate and I am curious to see the world outside of the death games. It also has a bizarre airing plan where it plans to air two episodes at once every week with the two being about separate stories. One a prequel to DanganRonpa 2 and the other a sequel. Truthfully this anime adaptation will likely leave me in despair but if it’s one thing this franchise has taught me, it’s that there’s always hope.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 26 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

Despite nearly dying our protagonist wakes up out of the loop and now in the mansion of a strange clown like fellow with twin maids. The mansion looks to be Emilia’s home and we not look to be in a new time loop as evidenced by the last scene where it appears that Subaru was unknowingly killed in his sleep. This time it looks like Subaru has a number of days to work with and the cast has changed to a number of new strange characters. Todays episode was the first run through of the cycle so naturally it was just Subaru getting along and through the days. He made considerable progress in romancing Emilia but much like his first encounter that info is wiped from her memory. This might cause a disconnect with Subaru who might act overly familiar with her and scare her off. Here I must bring up the weakest aspect of the show and one I found a bit grating through this episode. The comedy is pretty weak. I smiled as Subaru referenced Evangelion as he woke up and even he picked up on the Tsukihime reference by asking the maids about them having opposing talents. Lam and Rem are clearly inspired by the twin maids of Tsukihime, Hisui and Kohaku. Though it seems they differ in that one maid can handle all manner of household chores while the other seems to have some other hidden talent. If these two are as inspired as I believe then that talent is likely very dangerous. Getting back to the comedy, while some references are smile worthy, other moments of Subaru pointing out anime tropes in the show is a little obnoxious. The other jokes are slapstick in nature and don’t really match the otherwise serious subject matter. It could be that our author is attempting to pull the contrast seen in shows like Gakkou Gurashi and mix lighthearted fun in order to highlight the dark nature of the other side. In this case it really doesn’t work as Subaru’s mannerisms and confidence are a little otherworldly. He doesn’t seem to have any concern regarding his old world and is a little too upbeat and friendly for a self proclaimed Hikikomori. I expect this part of the show to phase out though as it’s hard to keep a sense of humor when you are undergoing psychological/physical torture. Well unless you are Deadpool; in that case your sense of humour triples.

So what did we learn and why did Subaru die at the end of the week? Well we found out that the king and his closest successors have been wiped out by an epidemic which means there is a power struggle for the throne. Emilia looks to be a contender to the throne thanks to the emblem that was stolen in the first arc and this likely means that Felt is also a candidate for selection. So Emilia is in a precarious position that would likely mean that her caretaker would be cautious of anyone approaching her. This may be a reason for him to kill Subaru in his sleep but frankly mister count clown is so suspicious that it makes me doubt he’s the real killer. Even as he discussed Subaru with the pink haired maid it seemed as though they were discounting him as a possible spy. My guess is there is a third party involved here who took out Subaru. But perhaps Clownface and the maid changed their minds once seeing Subaru trying to woo Emilia. There is also a twin tailed loli witch whom resides in a library that should only be accessed by those who she lets in but it seems Subaru has the strange talent to find and enter it of his own accord. The loli is also voiced by a Japanese voice actor even I can recognise. Sadly that voice actor is mainly using their Shirai Kuroko voice for this one and I truly hate that character to hell and back. When hearing that familiar tone; memories of that irritation as I listened to that voice yell “ONEE-SAMA” and it makes me want to hit something until it breaks into dust. Aside from that their isn’t much to her character so far though she does play off Subaru well. That is the thing, Subaru has gotten most of the development so far and he has made it a point to openly declare these people as common anime stereotypes. But as I said before, just because you point out the cliche does not excuse still using the cliche. I would like these characters to gain traits outside of their current personalities so that we can differentiate them from the dozens of alternatives that exist within the medium. Next episode is likely the true start to this arcs conflict and I wonder what Subaru is dealing with this time.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by AidanAK47 on 26 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kiznaiver

So this episode was an introduction to our new seventh Kiznaiver who looks to be a roguish shut in with a pendent for self harm. Adding a masochist to a group that shares pain is certainly a dilemma but I wonder just how they plan to make use of him in the plot. Considering that pain is now split seven way between them it’s possible he is unsatisfied with his share of the pain. My previous assumption of him being greed seems off the mark though I still think he has a secret relating to it. The characters even commented on him potentially being a conman who hurts himself to claim insurance payments. This would make sense as Noriko’s labels of new seven sins seem to only refer to the characters on a superficial level where as there secrets are more closely related to the true seven sins. I must call out the start of the episode which immediately deflated the cliffhanger of the previous episode. I found it rather distasteful to be fair as it felt like a cheap cop out. It’s sort of like that episode of Humanity has declined with has a manga creator end each chapter with a twist for the purpose of heightening excitement for the next chapter. This isn’t bad in itself as if done well it can be an effective method of storytelling. But when done poorly it can mess with your storyline as you attempt to end episodes on higher and higher cliffhangers. But then there’s this dishonest method here where you have a character make a revelation just to brush it off as a joke. I am certain that she was in fact telling the truth and just played as a joke to cover her bases though the circumstances are likely not as cold as she makes it out to be. The purpose may be to foreshadow Makis circumstances but there are plenty of ways to do that without teasing a potential conflict between her and the others.

We do learn a number of things about the Kiznaiver system in this episode such as when someone feels pain the others are informed of who it was by a holographic number displayed on their scar. Also while sudden pain is shared, residual pain is not. The end of the project looks to be the end of summer vacation and there’s likely more missions in store for the group. Lastly based on Noriko’s wording at the end of the episode this is not the first time the Kiznaver project has taken place which really gets me curious about the opening scene. My current guess is that Agatha has taken part in the Kiznaver project before and that is the reason for his sensory deprivation of pain. Actually considering his lack of emotions as well it’s possible the previous subjects shared more than pain but emotions as well. The mystery has certainly a lot of interesting aspects to it but Kiznaver is showing some issues. Namely the story is being held up by it’s highly likeable cast and their interactions as the plot is moving at a snail’s pace. We still don’t have a clear idea on just what this show will focus on and looking at these past episodes not a lot has actually happened. FIrst episode had the cast made in Kiznavers, second episode had them introduce themselves and third episode had them chase down the last member. I am not saying these episodes were not enjoyable but now that the plot has started I worry it will devolve into slice of life antics with the shared pain being more of a gimmick. Or Okada will go full Okada and have the cast throw over the top hissy fits about first world problems. What makes this show work is the parts which are distinctly trigger and in the coming episodes I would prefer to have more trigger madness over bland SOL.

~AidanAK47~

Posted by SuperMario on 25 April 2016 with categories: Kaleidoscope, Spring 2016 Kaleidoscope

This is the latter part of my guide, which consists of 6 (and a half) more shows:

Bungou Stray Dogs

Bungou Stray Dogs

The Verdict: The show picks up itself beautifully in its 3rd episode. Now the main story kicks in we have a reason to care for those characters, just as long as they don’t spend time for those characters’ chit chat nonsense. The visual is one of the strongest of the season though, while the action scenes where they happen, are thrilling and exciting. I have a strong hope that it will get better from now on.

Keep Following: Yes. Not because I’m covering it, but because I see this one have a lot of potential to be memorable.

Recommended: I’ll say give the third episode a try and if you like it, then yes.

12-sai

12-sai

The Verdict: This is sadly the most underseen titles on my list and I certainly can see why. But the show actually portrays quite sensitively and dare I say, maturely on what it means to be 12-years old, to find who they really are, to have a first crush, and to grow up. This is a shoujo adaptation so it means the growing process will lean more towards romance and friendship, but it’s not often we have a show that treats young kids as they are here. This is a nice little gem.

Keep Following: At least for now, yes. I will give it 3 more episodes.

Recommended: If this post by any mean a recommendation (it is), I would urge you to give it a watch. At least its 1st episode, because simple the show deserved more attention than it currently had.

Kuromukuro

Kuromukuro

The Verdict: Also known as “that Netflix anime”, this story about a samurai who wakes up few hundred years later, and finds the world starts to become a battlefield as well. I actually enjoyed the first half’s slice of life section before it all turns into battle here. Having a huge fight between two sides of which we have no idea of is not a great strategy. The main protagonist has a unique quirk and by the end of third episode, has grown into a likeable character, but very few information has been explained about the attacking side, and the main girl is just plain. The fight, by the way, is good to look at, but I don’t see it as a standout, either.

Keep Following: No. This is an easy skip.

Recommended: No. The story is still not enough for us to care, and if you want a truly epic action show, look no further than:

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

The Verdict: Just 2 episodes were aired so far (because of the earthquake), but it’s seems Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is the show that most likely becomes a big hit. The animation and background art are stunning. The production as a whole is awesome. The pacing keeps you on edge all the time and even the character designs are gorgeous. But don’t expect a subtle moment because mostly they keep putting everything into MAX. The story and the character development, on the other hand, are shaky and not consistent. But this is to be expected from an action show so I have no complain.

Keep Following: Yes. I admit this show is not my cup of tea. But even me sometimes want to watch a pure action show where my heart races and my fist bumps.

Recommended: Yes. THE-MOST-ENTERTAINING-SHOW-THERE-IS this season.

Kiznaiver

Kiznaiver

The Verdict: While I said earlier that I think Joker Game is the show I’m most certain to solid, Kiznaiver is the show that have a potential to become a standout show of the season, since this show is the most creative show (at least for me) of this season. There’s a lot to like here, when forced the characters to be honest to themselves and confess their secrets to each other, there’s a sense of real emotional bonds and we, the audience feel it as well. While the “missions” are sometimes feel forced and ridiculous, the emotional strengths overcome most of it. The style here in Kiznaiver is excellent and unique (kudos to Trigger), the characters are great so far. Well I do hope that the second half of the shows can deliver the strengths that Kiznaiver had been established so far

Keep Following: Yes! Yes! Yes!

Recommended: Yes. As I said, the most inventive show of this season.

Flying witch

Flying witch

The Verdict: Flying witch has all the elements good slice-of-life shows have. The pacing is slow but steady the cast is endearing, the atmosphere is inviting. To mix some of the magic ingredients on top, and you have a show that both celebrate the everyday life and the magical life, making it a consistent magical realism show. The background and music both complement the atmosphere without being too stand out.

Keep Following: Yeah! The execution is strong enough that I don’t mind if story is about nothing.

Recommended: This is for me the most consistent of all shows. This is a nice contrast to Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress as well. (while Kabaneri tends to go bigger and bigger, this shows really like to show little details and very light on story). I’d recommend watching this after Kabaneri to balance it out)

Uchuu Patrol Luluco

Uchuu Patrol Luluco

The Verdict: This is the only short series (hence a half) that I watched and I absolutely adored it. Trigger has a very unique style, and this series would go as wild and as wacky as ever. The short running time also mean that it won’t wear out its welcome. This runs for 4 episodes (20 minutes so far) and I loved every moment of it

Keep Following: Yes. Too good to turn down

Recommended: Yes. Common guys! This just take like 5 minutes of your time every week. I would say this is a more unique looking anime of this season.

This concludes pretty much my guide. After the first 3 weeks I would say Joker Game, Kiznaiver and Flying witch are the top tiers (which we all covered here). I hope they remains consistent throughout the rest of the season. Okay, time to watch this new week’s episodes for me and I hope you guys enjoy my reviews here. Care to tell us which shows you are enjoying or is there any note-worthy shows that we’ve missed? Tell us more in the comments.

~SuperMario~

Posted by SuperMario on 25 April 2016 with categories: Kaleidoscope, Spring 2016 Kaleidoscope

A quarter of the Spring season have passed, and it’s time for our 3-episode round up reviews. Usually by that time the shows have established all their ingredients and now start to kick off to their premises. The 3-week rule is a good barometer to determine whether the series can turn out to be good or not. The main purpose of this post, as a result, is to make it as a guide for you readers, now we have a better idea about those shows. My experience with anime would say sometimes it’s not the case at all (like recently Everything Becomes F started of strong and then ended completely ridiculous), but most the time this proved to be a good exercise. Even the wicked Puella Magi Madoka Magica shows its true color in its 3rd episode,

This season so far are quite solid in terms of amount of good shows, and a range of variety as well, though no shows is truly stand above the rest. we have good action/mecha shows (Kabaneri of Iron Fortress, Kuromukuro), comedy/slice-of-life shows (KumaMiko, Flying witch), shounen (Diamonds Are Unbreakable, My Hero Academia) and many usual light novel adaptation and cute girls doing cute things shows. The most impressive thing here, as I mentioned in earlier post, is the great showing of 12 year old-characters girls. Usually those girls in anime was treated more like a supporting character with no depth at all, so this is a great sign and I hope there’ll be more like this in the future.

So without further ado, here is the list of the first batch that I have watched so far in the airing order, along with my impressions on how they doing so far, LET RUN THEM DOWN!

Mayoiga

 Mayoiga

The Verdict: One of the strength in Mari Okada’s scripts is her ability to write characters that are so different from each other. They have a distinctive feature, gestures, personality that it’s a joy to see them playing off against each other. Mayoiga put it up to the MAX by introducing 30 of them, and quite frankly, having interesting traits’ characters and promising premise ain’t enough to have a good show. The story, judging from mystery aspects, is way too slow. After 3 episodes, all we get are 1) Those people arrived to the Lost village. 2) 2 of them have disappeared and 3) A body has been found floating on a river. And they are all 5 seconds before the end of each episode. The rest of the time Mayoiga stumbles around with many ideas and not that good execution.

Keep Following: Since I’m covering this one, that’s a Yes

Recommended: Sadly, no. It’s still the more ambitious show of the season so it’s still interesting just to see how it all plays out. Will it be great? I don’t think so.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

The Verdict: For me, My Hero Academia mostly succeed on what it sets out to be: what it means to be a hero. While shows like One Punch Man shows the other side of the spectrum: what it means to fight and save people (being in hero association is a mean to achieve this), My Hero Academia looks up on being a hero, and how it inspires others to be like him. In that sense this is more like an idol/ sports shows than its shounen origin. Anyways, the reason this shows works so far is because its heart is on the right place, it feels the pain and struggles our protagonist Izuku has, at the same time still bright and optimistic to suggest that it you really strive for it, your wish will come true.

Keep Following: Sorry but No, My Hero Academia sadly just isn’t my type of show. Being an idol/hero who inspires others is not my interest. Considering we have quite many fine shows to watch here, I will leave it aside for now.

Recommended: By all mean, yes. While the third episode slows the shows a bit, I’d consider it the calm before the storm. Next week when we reach the test, there will be much more fun to see.

KumaMiko

KumaMiko

The Verdict: Here come a sleeper hit of the season. I enjoyed the first episode of KumaMiko, but I could never anticipate that the next episodes would be that solid. They are more focus than the first one and the communication between the two leads, in particular; is very nice to watch; they bounce off each other well and the comic timing is mostly consistent. I loved the humor of the show, from its pop culture reference (most notably Uniqlo), its sometimes crude humors, to its irrelevant randomness (like when Natsu recalled when Machi got tranced when she was young, I laughed my heart out), it just all clicked.

Keep Following: Yes. This is a better comedy show than most this season, and completely took me by surprise by how consistent it is. I originally thought this is a nice little show to watch between other big shows, but now I actively look forward to watch it.

Recommended: I would say Yes, but with reservation. Humors depends on each people and some of the jokes might be too left-field for some.

Re:Zero- Starting Life in Another World

Re:Zero

The Verdict: After 3 episodes (oh, actually it’s 4), we have a nice closure to the first part of the series. The cast, due to the repeating, have to deal with the same day in different situations. That way it gives different perspective to the characters, which is a plus for me. The story is just engaging enough to make use of the hook. The cast so far is pleasurable as well, albeit not that deep yet.

Keep Following: I’m really in between whether I would continue watching it or not. Everything so far just fall right in the middle: the story is decent is enough, the cast just decent enough, the hook is decent enough… that nothing really stands out. I will give it another episode to decide.

Recommended: It would turn out to be a solid show, so if you are in favors for the first few episodes here, then YES.

Joker Game

Joker Games

The Verdict: The third episode so far the weakest of the bunch, and it seems like the show will continue in that direction, that means each episode a new spy guy takes a spotlight. Each episode is very solid and I really hope those spies can show much of their humane side, while still follow the instinct of the spy. Joker Game is still one of the most solid show of this season.

Keep Following: Certainly. If you ask me right now which shows I’m most certain to become solid. It’s this show.

Recommended: A big YES

Twin Stars Exorcists

Twin Star Exorcist

The Verdict: Twin Star Exorcist manage both to embrace many of the cliché of the genre (the boy with potential talent, his tragic past, the girl literally falls into his arms, that girl ends up living on the same house with him, they fated to become together, other girl who liked him, too many to even list them all here), while at the same time being very entertaining and hits all the right notes. I have an easy watch every time, which indicates that it has good pacing and the lead actually have great chemistry.

Keep Following: No. Spending 3 episodes is quite enough. I don’t see anything truly stands out from the show.

Recommended: Although this is an entertaining piece, I would say NO since there is many more entertaining or simply better shows out there.

~SuperMario~

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  • wicked
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 12:04 AM)
    @kaiser Kokoro connect has the benefits of characters having relatable problems. Kids not really understanding their teenage feelings is a relatable thing. Kiznaiver characters have anime problems, like I feel no pain, or I’m cartoonishly obnoxious, which is not a problem as plot devices, but tenuous as a trait to connect the audience
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 10:41 PM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, like I said, the ending actually justify everything come before and that ranks really high on my book
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 10:39 PM)
    @mamamoo:On Kiznaiver, yeah I like the characters well enough,, they have a good chmestry altogether and those small moments are great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 07:24 PM)
    @mamamoo, On matter of the plot, yeah its not really hitting a sweet spot. But I find the characters really likable.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 06:05 PM)
    I like the idea behind Kokoro connect perhaps more than the whole show.
    I think I mainly watched it for Heartseed and Iori.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 05:43 PM)
    Oh I didn’t even think of kokoro connect…and yeah I remember that being actually really interesting and enjoyable
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Mario: Had a look at El Clan/the clan, decent, solid undemanding thriller, liked it for what it was, had its moments and the ending surprised me a bit too.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 05:39 PM)
    Who was it that mentioned Kokoro connect (a show I actually kind of enjoyed parts of) alongside Kiznaiver or am I remembering things wrong?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 05:38 PM)
    @Aidan: ….but yet no cartoon/animated adaptations of the Grant Morrison Batman run/Morrison’s Arkham Asylum.
    Some fans don’t like killing joke because it gives origin to the joker and takes the mystery away from him. I disagree with those people.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, May 2. 2016 04:47 PM)
    kiznaiver is honestly terrible I don’t know what people are seeing in it?? And people watching it for the visuals alone are equally baffling because they’re not impressive to me at all. I think I’m not gonna bother with the 4th ep. These characters are so unlikeable and the plot really isn’t as interesting as they’re trying to make it.

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