Posted by AidanAK47 on 10 February 2016 with categories: Manga Experiment

Platina End

The story tells of a human and an angel, and centers around Mirai Kakehashi, a boy who “does not seek out hope in order to live.”

From the creators of death note and Bakuman we have Platina end. You can certainly see parallels to death note straight away. A supernatural being gives power to a high school student which happens to operate under certain rules. It’s not quite the same however as this leads into a battle royale scenario between people with different powers. The powers have interesting uses, such as an arrow that makes someone fall in love with you for 33 days. This does come up short when compared to death note however, mainly in the protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist did have an interesting contrast to Light as he’s someone who desires a normal life when Light was bored with normal life but other than that he’s rather bland and boring. Even more so after a rather drastic change in motivation. The antagonist is a bit too silly and lacks the charisma of L.  One particular aspect I like is the angel who wishes for the protagonists happiness by any means necessary. So she’s often encouraging him to abuse his power for his own benefit and disregards morality entirely. This story has the potential to go somewhere quite interesting but I admit that right now it’s a bit of a poor man’s Death Note.

 

LIttLE 13

Only one chapter so far and not even a synopsis. This story involves a girl in a middle age era who disguises herself as a boy so she can work as a servant for a strange couple. While there she finds an odd man in a pig mask in the basement and befriends him. In exchange the man saves her from a terrible fate by essentially killing people who intended her harm. As it turns out this odd man possesses supernatural powers and claims to be a demon. It a bit soon to see where this story is going but I love the mature feel of it and the character of Jack looks to be an interesting one. The artstyle is brilliant as you can see from the cover above. What I am most interested in this story is how this odd person called jack interacts with our protagonist as he seems to have a highly abnormal morality.

 

Somali to Mori no Kami-sama

A golem discovers an abandoned child one day in the forest. Together the pair set out to find more humans while travelling across a strange fantasy world.

Two chapters so far. This is a very heartwarming tale as a forest golem helps a little girl get back together with humans in a world filled with monsters. The thing is that this world is very dangerous for a human as the monsters are all fairly interested in eating humans so the wood golem needs to prevent others from finding out she is human while searching for humans. The girl is fairly navie and innocent and what really sells the story is her interaction with the stoic wood golem. There is a sweet feeling when the normally overly logical golem let’s out his emotions and shows he cares for the little girl. The art is also fantastic, dealing with various imaginative character designs and environments. It has the potential to be a really great read.

 

Mahou Shoujo Suzune Magica

A middle-schooler who gallantly sleeps in, Suzune. Though she always goes about with a bright smile, there’s another side to her. That is, she’s a magical girl assassin. What will be the fate of the four magical girls she ambushes…?! The first chapter of the spinoff that asks about the existence of “magical girls,” and the goodness and evil residing within oneself!

This is hardly the first Madoka spinoff. Plenty have tried to make use of Madoka’s universe to present new stories but none have matched what Madoka put forward. In particular The innocent Malice’s story got so silly that it read like bad fanfiction. However here looks like it’s actually attempting to present something unique with the premise. Suzune is a magical girl whom has taken up the role of assassinating magical girls. For reasons that those of us who have seen the series can likely guess. The best way to explain the story is that it’s like Madoka Magica from Homura’s perspective. We have a group of magical girls whom Suzune has decided to systematically kill and them not understanding Suzunes motives. It’s a story that feels true to its source material in presentation and writing. Of course I am not saying it’s better but if you are itching for more Madoka this might help you scratch it.

 

Shounen Shoujo (AKATSUKI Akira)

A boy sees all names and faces scribbled out, and later finds out that this is a lethal illness. But he is actually happy that it makes him special, because he hates surrounding world which lacks any individuality. But then he finds a girl who has the same condition. And now he needs to kill her in order to remain unique…

Two chapters so far and is from the author of the monogatari series and a artist by the name of Akatsuki Akira. Personally I am not a fan of Nisio Isin but I must admit that he’s got a interesting start with this one. It may be that due to the nature of manga that his usual style of blaring out pointless dialogue has been cut down to a minimum and I see it as a plus. What makes this story is just how messed up the the characters are. Our main protagonist is so desperate to be a unique flower that upon being told he is suffering from a new unknown disease his first reaction is pure joy. Neither him or the female protagonist talk like children but they are pretty interesting in their own messed up ways. However I dislike that the first chapter essentially gave away the ending of this particular story and well Nisio Isin stories always tended to leave me wanting. However I am interested to see how this goes despite knowing the ending.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 8 February 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

When it rains it pours and Boku dake isn’t pulling any punches. Hinazuki is gone and the only hint of her we see is what looks to be her dead body in front of her parents, one of whom is panicking. With this we have two possibilities. Either they happened upon Hinazuka’s dead body or her mother went too far with a beating and accidentally killed her. Her later actions seem to point to the latter as she throws out the gloves Hinazuki was knitting for Satou with a dark sneer. It seems that Satou’s efforts in the past didn’t bear much fruit, though it did delay Hinazuka’s death. He looks to be taking hope in that fact while I personally am more pessimistic about it.

We have our long awaited return to the future and Satou is right back where he started. Satou has escaped the police for now and tried to hide out at his manager’s place. It was pretty obvious what was going on when the camera showed a painting of the last supper. Though we have Airi show up to save him after with her saying Hinazukis favorite phrase. Her reasons for helping Satou are strange to say the least. I understand Japanese culture is different in these matters but it’s really hard to take something seriously when a man loses his job, wife and livelihood all over a misunderstanding about shoplifting a chocolate bar. I mean it’s pretty clear he didn’t do it as he’s a grown adult with a job, the very notion that he would need to shoplift a chocolate bar is absolutely ludicrous. But the smart route to this problem would be to write it off as a mistake, buy the bar and be on their merry way.

I am sorry Airi, you are great but you dad had plenty of ways he could have handled that better without sacrificing his pride. I truly pity the Japanese if something so rudimentary is enough to ruin your life. Strange back story aside, it’s nice to see Airi stand on Satou’s side. It was especially satisfying to seeing her Punch out the manager for trying to rat Satou out to the police yet again. This manager really has it out for him, maybe because he happens to have a crush on Airi or maybe because he has a connection to the killer. We briefly see him talking to a man whom the camera is very reluctant to show us his face. All we really know about this man is that he’s clearly in a position of power and obviously connected with the murder and serial kidnappings. There’s a big chance that more than one person is to blame for these incidents and whoever they are I wish they would stop killing off all the best female characters of the series.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 5 February 2016 with categories: Game Reviews

This is a game that you truly don’t know what to think of until you play it. It’s a strange blend of third person shooting and real time strategy which is set in a World War 2 style world. It’s a very odd game but perhaps what’s stranger is just how much fun I had with it. For this review I was playing the Steam version of Valkyria Chronicles and it is a very impressive port indeed. Performance may vary but on my laptop it ran beautifully and best of all, I was never on a loading screen longer than a second. I feel if the loading times were longer it would worsen the whole experience as they do come up often but this game played lightning fast and for a JRPG that’s a massive plus.

The plot follows the exploits of Welkin Gunther who is thrown into the war once the empire attack his home town in order to take control of a precious resource mined by the countries called Ragnite. Together with his sister and a local bakery girl, they join the Military and work to drive out the Empire from the country of Gallia. The story of this game is actually really good. It manages to touch on racism and concentration camps without getting too dark. As well as the old horrors of war and political underhandedness. In looking are the story and the beats it hits I would say that Valkyia Chronicles would boast a very strong story. Well at least it would…if the writing was not god awful. I pity the English dub actors, they really tried and considering what they were given I think they did a great job but some of these lines just make me shake my head. The dialogue has a large amount of heavy handed preaching and utter cheese. In a way I would say this style of writing is a bit too “anime” What do I mean? Well it’s rife with anime clichés and mannerisms. The characters are not natural, they tend to have over exaggerated characterizations and quirks.

Now you get to enlist a number of people to your squad though they are mostly given one note personalities and are absent from the main storyline. Instead the story focuses on a small group within your squad. Welkin, Alicia, Isara, Rosie and Largo. Welkin is the leader and is a guy obsessed with nature, often talking about bugs and flora. You would be forgiven if you took one look at Alicia’s design and figured her to be a tsundere. She does have the trademark ponytails after all and at first she looks to fit right into the mold. However Alicia isn’t a tsundere, I was pretty surprised to see her handle her emotions well. She’s logical and well grounded though her primary role in the story is to be a love interest. There is a small subplot with her and a powerful weapon but its brushed off quick. Isara is the blandest of the group, she has very little to her. I was worried when the story made it a point to specifically address that she was none blood related to Welkin but luckily the two have no romantic events. You can assume the love each platonic and that’s just fine by me. Overall she acts as a representative of the oppressed race of people known as “Darcsen” and as the squads tank mechanic. Rosie is a singer and her character arc is simple. To learn to not be a racist bigot. Rosie hates Darcsens and is especially hostile to Isara. This is due to an event in her past that really doesn’t make much sense. As she goes through the story it’s mainly about her warming up to Isara and coming to terms that Darcsens are no different from anyone else. If she had better reasoning for her racism I would find her tale quite poignant but it can come across far too heavy handed at times. Finally Largo is the father figure of the team who has some strange fascination with vegetables. Not much to say about him besides his history with the commanding officer.

What makes the story much more of a drag is the games insistence to ask you if you want to watch each and every cut-scene. Every time you watch a cut-scene you are brought back into a book menu, where is need to select the next cut-scene and play it. You do this for every cut-scene in the game. It’s really odd as there are cut-scenes that continue without prompted but the majority require you to constantly agree to watch a cut-scene. The effort required for this is minimal and it doesn’t take long to load up the cut-scenes but it is a pacing breaker. In regards to user interface, its primary through menus. There is no hub world or over world and you essentially handle plot progression and equipment through menus. Leveling is not done through fighting in battle. Instead you earn experience after a mission and you can choose to spend it to unlock orders or level up a class. Individuals units do not level up, instead you level up a class and anyone in that class gets a stat boost. Weapons work in a similar fashion, you buy upgrades for a class weapon and everyone is equipped with it. The upgrades start very liner and later branch off slightly to allow you to focus on a certain aspect like firepower or accuracy. It’s not all that much but it gives a small bit of customization. You can also equip weapons manually to your units but you likely will never need to. Your units also have things called potential which grant they special bonuses in certain circumstances. They act as small character traits as well and can help endear you to characters. Such as Jane the shocktooper who gets a attack bonus sometimes because she’s a Sadist. The bonuses don’t make too much of a difference but its a nice quirk, even if it can prove to be detrimental at times. As units can have troublesome potentials, like the humanitarian girl who will sometimes refuse to shoot people even if you order her to.

This may sound negative so far but let me get to the meat of this game, the gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles has a phenomenal battle system called BLiTZ (short for Battle of Live Tactical Zones) that strangely reminds me of a old great game boy advance game called Advance Wars. You are given a top down perspective of the battlefield, seen enemies and your units. When you select a unit you are brought down to a third person perspective were you are given a meter to show how far you can move and a chance to shoot/heal. Despite how it looks, this isn’t a third person shooter. You may move and aim but whether your shots hit or not and how much damage they deal is dependent on stats you are given five classes. Scout, Shock troopers, snipers, lancers and engineers along with two tanks you get. Scouts can cover the most distance and are the most versatile units. But can be taken down quickly if faced with stronger units. Shocktoopers are the main assault force, lacking the movement of scouts but making up with firepower and defense. Snipers start off unreliable but with upgraded accuracy they can be one of the most useful units in the game. The have limited ammo but can kill anything besides tanks with a well placed headshot. Lancers are primarily anti-tank units, practically essential for a balanced team. The engineer is the weak link of the bunch but can be really useful for restocking both the sniper and lancers ammo and when paired up with a tank they can make it unstoppable. There isn’t a single useless class and the mechanics behind them make for some great strategic play. While moving on your turn, enemy units can shoot at you which can prove to be troublesome. However you can make use of this too and it prevents units like scouts from just walking headfirst up to people and shooting them in the face. I remember being surrounded by all sides with tanks and just saying “screw it” and rolling my tank straight into the enemy base and using volleys to blast every enemy solider out of it. And then sending in my scout to take out the last unit and capture the base, winning the mission. I remember moving my favorite sniper on to a hill, hiding in the grass and proceeding to pick off every solider in the field with a series of satisfying head shots as the computer proceeds completely unaware of my god of death on the hill. It’s moments like this that make Valkyria a fantastic game.

The graphics engine makes use of a style which gives the game a drawn look with the border of the screen being in sketch form and the center giving a watercolour aesthetic. It can be quite fantastic at times especially when you walk into smoke and everything suddenly looks like it was sketched on a page. Though the environments don’t quite show off what it can do as many of the environments are rather bland. It’s the cut-scenes that really benefit from this style. The graphics are not really impressive and the funny thing is that there is remastered version coming to ps4 that really doesn’t look too much different. Music is suitable though not too memorable. Valkyria Chronicles is a game I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did. It’s about 25 hours long and I was practically addicted to it. I had some truly great fun playing this game and I am most interested in the sequels. Sega, bring those games to steam so you can shut up and take my money.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 3 February 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

Well it seems like I have to eat my words as Yakumo is quite the ladies man. Which is odd when he clearly doesn’t have any interest in interacting with women. Yakumo has a fruitful love life despite his apathy towards love in general. Yakumo and Sukeroku’s relationship has certainly gotten more easygoing as the two work off each other like the odd couple. Yakumo is the more sensible of the two but it seems that his perfectionist tendencies are working against him. Rakugo is a fairly improvisational art and Yakumo performs it too perfectly. In what I can see, Yakumo’s Rakugo doesn’t feel natural, you can see his “acting” in it. Compared to how he will preform in the future, it’s a lot stiffer and too precise.

Ultimately Yakumo just needs to loosen up and find his way of Rakugo. Perhaps a stepping stone to that is this geisha girl whom has taken a large interest in Yakumo. This same girl looks to catch Sukeroku’s attention as well so the predictable outcome would be a love triangle. I believe that Shouwa Genroku is not the kind of show to take the easy route like that when it comes to storytelling and such a development would be rather futile when we could already guess as to who the victor is. I am fairly certain this woman is the mother of the girl from the first episode, and she clearly stated that she was Yotarous daughter. Of course perhaps this relationship is more complicated than one would think? Perhaps this girl was not actually Sukeroku daughter? Or to be truly outlandish, perhaps they were both her mother’s lovers?

As an episode, things were a bit slow as a majority of the time was devoted to Sukeroku’s Rakugo. I really respect the shows insistence to rarely visually represent the story the characters are telling. They allow Rakugo to be show how it’s meant to be shown, with only the performer’s voice and mannerisms to go off. It must be quite the challenge for the voice actors and animators, having so much dependant on subtle movements and mannerisms. The rest of the episode was devoted to the geisha girl coming on to Yakumo. It’s debatable whether she is doing this out of her own interest or if the Rakugo master put her up to it in order to help Yakumo’s Rakugo grow. Regardless I believe there is some genuine attraction she has for him, mainly in seeing her blush and openly state how different he was from other men. It’s amusing in how the she likes him because he doesn’t look at her with desire but that in turn makes her desire him. This could be a matter of wanting what you can’t get or genuine love but whatever it is will likely throw a wrench into Yakumo and Sukeroku’s Rakugo.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 3 February 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

This episode starts with a groan as we meet a new member of the cast, that being Theodor’s sister who on first sight hugs with with the ever so traditional “Onii-chan!” The sister does bring some good developments to the table, namely the machination the Stasi has in store for her, but I really wish the didn’t resort to an old caricature. We even have some back story for Theodor which pretty much only confirms that yes, Lise is Theodor’s step sister and non blood related so she’s perfectly fine for being pushed into the boy’s harem. I understand that harems are essentially series tradition for Muv Luv (The first entry of the series was a pure by the numbers harem after all) but Schwarzesmarken at least has kept that particular element at bay and I would like it to stay that way. The last thing a do or die setting like this needs is harem hijinks. As far as Lise’s standing as a spy she certainly is suspicious. She clearly seems to be feigning amnesia over the period she spent with the Stasi and doesn’t seem too pleased with Therdors approval of Irisdina. Her reaction is a bit too serious to write off as simple jealousy. There’s also that rather delayed response from her when Katia was about to get ambushed by BETA. I am willing to bet that she was weighing her option of letting Katia die to BETA assault. Whatever the Stasi has planned it seems to be working as Therdor looks reluctant to entertain the possibility of Lise being a spy. He may say otherwise to Katia but that felt like he was just putting her at ease.

So with a new member added to the cast this looks like a good time for the team to have some R&R and use the new character to flesh out the other members of the squad. At least that would be the wise move but sadly the plot disagrees and sends them out to a major offense against the BETA. It really seems like there could be plenty of things to expand upon before jumping into a major plot arc. Such as Katia’s awkward position of no longer acting as a replacement for Theodors sister. A large amount of Theodors dedication to protecting Katia was due to her resemblance to his sister and now that his actual sister has shown up it puts Katia in a more perilous state as when push comes to shove he will save his sister before saving her. Plus the whole complicated feelings humbug with dear Therdor senpai not noticing her anymore. However that is written off quickly and now we are in a big offensive quite literally straight out of nowhere. A combined effort by the UN and countries of the world to prevent BETA from crossing too far west from Europe. Our big issue here is when Gretel starts giving out unreasonable orders due to a desire to distinguish the east German task force in order to win political favor. However no one seems to hold them in high regard as artillery is fired without regarding them being in the line of fire and at episode’s end it looks like even the west Germans despise them. A little hypocritical considering that east Germany is the one thing keeping the BETA at bay but with the Stasi and whatnot, they are hardly beyond reproach. All of this has the potential to be quite interesting but the fatal flaw remains. We the audience lack emotional attachment to the characters. Why is Gretal looking for political favor? Why is anyone here fighting at all? Why did Irisdina tell a racist joke before going into battle? And most importantly of all, why should we even care if these people live or die?

Posted by AidanAK47 on 3 February 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

There certainly is a layer of dread from this episodes beginning as we see happy events unfold. Things are looking up, history is changing, Kayo is finally getting out of an abusive relationship with her mother and finding happiness. But much like Satou is feeling, there is a unease at these developments. Things are going too perfectly, it’s all working out a little too well. But most importantly, Satou is getting the feeling that he may indeed be retreading his old steps. Despite Kayo not minding, Satou clings to her more often. Walking with her to school, practically dogging her every step. Because much like Satou, we feel the exact same uncertainty. The death flags are getting tripped and we are all waiting for the wham moment. Then just when you think it might be alright, Kayo disappears and never returns.

Its lucky that Satou happens to have a great mom. Sachiko may have just become a fan favourite with this episode as she happened to defuse Kayos mother with relative ease. She’s cool and caring in a motherly way which is a big turnaround from her first appearance, where you could easily mistake her for a deadbeat parent. But much like the cruelty of this episode we have the knowledge that in the future she is fated to be stabbed to death in Satou’s apartment. Why must we build an attachment to characters destined to die? The strength of this series rains but this episode may be the start of things feeling a little bit rushed. While not necessarily detrimental, this episode felt fast at points.

Yuki’s soundtrack also happens to be distracting me at some points as well as there are tracks which are a far too overpowering and melodramatic for the visuals. It was rather aggravating to hear a loud violin as Satou ran home after believing everything was set right. A moment like that calls for something more subdued, not an orchestral symphony like he defeated the demon king. But that aside the mystery deepens as Satou seems to have effected the day that Kayo was abducted, in other words something Satou did caused the murderer to change his mind. Or our murderer may have powers similar to that of Satou’s. On the night we have a montage of all the adult characters, Kayos mother in particular suspiciously not being at home. I am still hedging my bets on the teacher but this mystery may have more layers to it that I first thought.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 1 February 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

From the looks of things this series will be focusing primarily on the past of Yakumo as the stylish opening seems to place emphasis on the characters of the flashback. Rakugo is surprisingly abset this week as World War II causes Yakumo to be left behind as his Teacher and Sukeroku go out to entertain soldiers. To Yakumo this is a repeat of his past as others leave him behind once again and his frustrating position of being able to do nothing about it. However in their absence it has caused a greater love for Rakugo to grow in Yakumo’s heart. In essence since being striped of his postion to perform Rakugo, it made Yakumo realize just how important it was to him once he no longer had to perform it. This is something I have found with an interest. When you are forced into something, chances are that you will not enjoy it. However if you pick it up by your own initiative then you come to love it. This is Yakumo’s true awakening into the art, when he comes into his own as a performer. And with Sukeroku hefty absence from the art, I believe he and Yakumo are on a much more even playing field this time around.

From what I can see, due to the authors previous experience being mainly related to boys love manga, people are insinuating that Yakumo’s and Sukeroku’s relationship could potentially move to become romantic. I personally am not a fan of this assessment, not out of aversion but rather because I feel it undermines the nature of Yakumo’s and Sukeroku’s rivalry. Their connection is one of trust and respect, something much deeper than simple sexual attraction. These two are brothers in a love for Rakugo and to insinuate that that love is dotted with hints of potential lust just feels disrespectful to the dedication of the characters. It would be akin to saying my love of anime is very slightly influenced by a desire for 2D female women and that’s just downright insulting. That said I do find that Yakumo is rather disinterested when it comes to his romantic encounters. Particularly when he reacted far more emotionally to his Teacher and Sukeroku’s leaving him behind than he did for his girlfriend tearfully breaking up with him. Should it turn out that Yakumo is homosexual, it could lead to some interesting story developments. However this is a story about Rakugo and I would prefer for it to not deviate too far from the premise.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 30 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

Schwarzesmarken remains a strange specimen of an anime, while still not excelling it is clear it has the potential to. So why is it not a great anime? Well it’s beating the same point as my last post but I do think characterisation is key here. In this episode we had two characters introduced whose main purpose was to be disposed of. In practice this tactic is a very cheap one and only works as a cheap development device or a lazy emotional manipulation tactic. That said when I felt more for a disposable soldiers death than I did for the rest of the cast then something is amiss. Katia and Theodor have gone through important developments in this episodes which could help give the characters more likeable traits but the developments are far too sudden. Theodor has opened up and admired that he wants to protect Katia to make up for failing to save his sister but this has come well, pretty much straight out of nowhere. From our perspective Theodor has only known Katia for a few days and whatever time he did spend with her, she was aggravating him to no end. Katia’s revealation is equally sudden, though in her case a little more believable. It’s logical that one would lose optimism when seeing the threat first hand and it is something that she really needs as a character. Hippy logic won’t save anyone as even if east and west Germany did join hands to battle the threat of BETA, the situation would be equally as dire.

On looking at these developments I can see how these characters could come to these conclusions but it feels as though we are missing a huge part of the process and given just the beginning and conclusion. I have a beef with how it was shown as well, with both Katia and Theodor both speaking of their feelings as if they were speaking to an invisible psychiatrist. It’s a problem not only here but even present in the original trilogy of visual novels as Shirogane Takeru(The protagonist of Muv Luv) was also fond of spelling out his new found revealations to people. Though in that case they managed to find a way of it helping with character development by making one of the characters Takeru’s “Noble Confidant”. Speaking of which, the Visual Novels made it a point to introduce and flesh out the characters first long before the plot even started. It was a tactic that is both a strength and weakness of the series as a whole. That may sound contradictory but let me pit it this way, it added a heavy layer of tedium for anyone beginning the series in exchange for a deeper emotional connection later down the line. That may be an aspect that can’t quite translate to anime which makes me question whether a animated adaption would be a good idea. After all so far both Muv Luv adaptions have been rather lacklustre and the reason for that could be an element you can’t experience outside of a visual novel format. That said its more likely due to poor adaption in those cases as I do hear that the anime isn’t doing the Schwarzesmarken light novels justice so far.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 27 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

When it comes to matters of time travel, it’s always a wonder to consider just what rules it follows. Time travel, much like alternate realities is one of the biggest can of worms to open when writing a story. Mainly because it demands the viewer keeps in mind a series of characters,settings and event which may not even take place in order in a timeline. The level of complexity jumps as you attempt to define time travel so in many ways it can be best to never try to explain it. Plenty of stories have used time travel and washed over the rules of it with ease. Groundhog day and Dr who both tend to use Time travel as a plot device rather than a focus and Boku dake ga Inai Machi looks to do the same. Time travel is not the focus of this story. The focus is the mystery regarding Satou’s childhood. But this episode brings up an interesting dilemma, namely the level influence Satou has over the past. As Satoru unintentionally repeats the past by letting someone else win the ice skating race it brings up the potential possibly that we are operating under Twelve Monkeys rules. Namely that you can attempt to change the past but in turn cause things to turn out exactly the same. In other words no matter how Satoru effects the past, it will not affect the outcome. A sad thought as he’s currently making a fairly miserable girl in a bad situation quite happy and it could be possible that she’s doomed to be killed.

This episode was a fairly emotional one with a fairly dark reveal of the level of abuse Kayo receives from her mother. I would like to call her mother’s character unrealistic and a exaggeration…I would, but frankly it’s likely there are these types of people in the world. I generally dislike characters who seem one dimensionally evil for the sake of tragedy but in this case I can’t deny her being effective. The difference between this and the likes of tragic family situation portrayed in Divine Gate is that Kayo mother is fairly believable. Kayo isn’t in the best situation and this episode does get you on her side. When she’s accused of stealing lunch money by a classmate, I am certain all of us would have reacted just like Satoru. Seeing him shout was still quite satisfying. But it wasn’t just sad feelings this episode as Satou takes her to see a “Christmas tree” and well to see her genuinely smile truly can warm even the coldest of hearts. That scene was directed marvellously and if this anime can keep this up then it truly could become something special. So on the matter of the murderer, all signs so far point to Satou’s teacher. The teacher is certainly suspicious and the end scene highlights this though I am hoping he’s a red herring as he’s a bit too obvious. It’s the look in his eyes that really tip me off, those eyes certainly hold something sinister. He holds a little too much interest in helping Satou and I wonder why he waited so long before interfering with that girl’s attempt to frame Kayo. However what really interests me is his connection to Satoru’s friend, Kenya. Whose also rather on the strange side of being unusually helpful to Satoru. Admittedly I am just shooting blind here as the series has not quite given us a large range of suspects and I hope that it doesn’t make the same mistake as Subete and make the villain too obvious for the start.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 22 January 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:

So we enter a flashback on how the master became the man he is as well as how he met Hatsuda. It’s interesting to see the man who always seemed to be in control be a person of much more vulnerable status. As a child we see the aspects that he will ebody in the future but he’s also a lot more unguarded with his emotions. In a way it’s like he’s trying to be the man he is in the future but isn’t quite mature enough to succeed. It’s interesting to see the stone pillar of Rakugo was once a man with insecurities much like his current apprentice as well as the man that likely spurred him to take an apprentice in the future. The camaraderie between the two is palatable, in their rivalry that shows no real malice as Hatsuda wishes for Yakumo to succeed as much as he does. One is committed to the art of Rakugo and the other is doing it merely out of necessity. It many ways these two are polar opposites but see eye to eye when it comes to Rakugo. They don’t laugh at each other’s failures or glare at the others success. It just pushes them to do better.

The episodes shining moment was in showing just how bad Rakugo can go, all the more surprising when it was performed by the professional we know from last episode. This really shows just why Yakumo got so angry at Yotarou for falling asleep during his Rakugo as in the past his Rakugo was criticised for being boring. It’s possible that in that moment Yotarou reminded him of one of the worst performances of his career and that certainly would make one furious enough to abandon a apprentice. The Rakugo itself was a rather painful watch as you could see the desperation in Yakumo’s movements and voice, committed to telling a joke that no one was finding funny. As it continued you could really feel him rushing just so he could leave the stage. Then Hatsuda came in and blew away the atmosphere with pure enthusiasm. In Rakugo it seems that the way you tell the story is often more important than the story itself as it requires the teller to infuse a part of his personality into it.

Speaking of personality, the soundtrack certainly has it. I heard a mix of somber pieces and some catchy jazz style pieces at comedy moments. It’s a soundtrack that can be rather emotional yet still can pick itself pick to be silly and stylish. I say the jazz styled pieces are more to my liking as tugging the heartstrings with piano or violin melodies is an easy accomplishment and often used as the standard. But trumpets and spanish guitars are a sweet sound to the ears and are giving flashbacks to Baccanos Hard Bop/funky jazz ost. Despite the cultural relevance not really matching, Rakugo and jazz just seems like a good match as both do have a very loose style in their respective fields. After all Rakugo is very much like a comedian telling a story but seems a lot more personal and improvisational. So in a way it is natural that a music style like Jazz could fit it.

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  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:55 AM)
    it’d actually be a shame for them to make it into I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, or worst
  • wicked
    (Wednesday, Feb 10. 2016 08:54 AM)
    @Aidan, Yeah that guy tries really hard to make it more than just fanservice though. I have a weird respect for people that can play ridiculous concepts straight.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 08:31 PM)
    Alright, if I can just catch up with Gundam orphans then I can finally post this summery.
    Also RWBY has gotten quite good lately.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @wicked, that’s the surprising thing. I still think the reason its getting a anime adaption is simply because of the premise and I bet the anime is going to play up the fanservice. It is pretty standard sports manga despite how utterly ridiculous the sport is.I mean that exam which featured girls swinging their asses in figure 8s…and not one person pointed out how strange it was.
  • wicked
    (Tuesday, Feb 9. 2016 06:31 AM)
    @Aidan Gotta hand it to Keijo though, it takes that fighting with tits and ass thing crazy serious.
    It’s straight up a friendship, effort, victory shounen fighting manga otherwise
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Feb 8. 2016 01:45 PM)
    Keijo is getting an anime adaption huh…well its a manga about girls pushing each other off floating platforms using just their ass and boobs. Of course it’s getting an anime adaption.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Feb 8. 2016 01:41 PM)
    @CloudedAnime, Normally I am not too keen on others using this Shoutbox to push their blogs but I will allow it this time. (Pretty certain that compliment was insincere and being pasted everywhere else you are pushing that blog. The joys of self promotion…)
    Just ease off on the exclamation marks there and keep at it.
  • CloudedAnime
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 06:54 AM)
    Love this place! Come check out my blog too at Clouded Anime! Follow me on Twitter too for updates! https://cloudedanime.wordpress.com/
  • wicked
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 05:49 AM)
    @kaiser though those were published in japanese magazine, they were full on mangas
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 7. 2016 05:33 AM)
    @Prince, I Responded.

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