Posted by Armitage on 24 June 2019 with categories: About, Random Posts

Target acquired, lock, engage. Joining my brothers in arms, it’s your girl, Armitage! :D

Hey, everyone!! After days of brawling and bloodshed, I have finally emerged as a joint victor of the Battle Royale for the coveted position of ‘New Blogger’. I am grateful to the brave fallen and look forward to making acquaintance with the living, here at Star-Crossed Fleet.

I am in my final year at Uni but I have decided to instead follow my passion for stories. I will be pursuing my dream to be a novelist, you see. Ever since I was a little child, I have loved fictional characters and the incredible lives they lead. And anime was one of the first mediums to make me feel that way. Hence, I have decided to give blogging a shot.

Some of my favorites include: Hunter x Hunter 2011, Honey & Clover, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and 3-gatsu no Lion. I look forward to talking about seasonal anime and more with you all and vow to fight to death, defending my shit taste over yours! :P

Thanks for having me!! <3

 

Posted by amun on 24 June 2019 with categories: About, Random Posts

Hello! Call me Amun – good to meet ya!

The kind bloggers of this site have graciously allowed me to join their ranks. A bit about me – I’m a 30 year old Happa who is gainfully employed as a programmer/manager/pointy haired boss/whatever (you’re here for anime, not a resume).  As discord embarrassingly revealed to the other writers, I currently play League of Legends, though I was sufficiently addicted to WoW in the past (afl lock, yessir).

My anime instincts tend to wander towards shonen, with good characterization and world building as musts.  I’ve been watching anime now for about 15 years (I tend to be anime only with resorting to manga when there is no hope for future seasons *sniff*).   The show that got me hooked was Hikaru no Go, and I haven’t looked back since.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s a small banner for some of my top personal picks.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy my thoughts and if not…flame me until I get better!  (+1 for everyone who can name all anime shown in the banner…+2 if you caught the previous pun).

Let’s watch some anime together!

Posted by SuperWooper on 10 June 2019 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Wooper: The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and the anime just keeps on coming. It’s time for our quarterly season preview, which we’ve trimmed down so it can look its best for the summer. Unlike previous editions, we won’t be examining every new show in this post. Instead, we’ve picked the 16 most promising and/or popular shows to preview (though there’s a bit of fodder near the start), and kept the rest confined to the poll down below. We’re still planning to give our thoughts on every summer series during First Impressions week, but when it comes to the season preview, we want to highlight the good stuff – or at least the stuff that won’t make you wonder why you’re an anime fan.

Most seasons have just a few great titles concentrated at the top, and this one is unlikely to be an exception. What’s interesting about this particular summer, though, is that the three most anticipated non-sequels are all action or adventure series. Two of them are big shounen properties, which our authors tend to have mixed opinions on, but these appear to have some serious promise. Will this be the miracle season where we all agree on what’s top tier, or will a handful of underdogs steal the spotlight once July gets underway? We’ll find out in a few weeks, but for now, let’s run down what might be worth your watch this summer.

Which series are you interested in for the 2019 Summer Season?
60 votes · 240 answers
Vote

 

Kengan Ashura

Studio: Larx Entertainment
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series composer: Makoto Uezu
Source: Web Manga

Mario: Another Netflix original offering and this show looks and tastes like Baki from last year, with the trailer focusing solely on their fights. Moreover, it’s an entirely CG show that sadly doesn’t look that polished. While all these are enough for me to discard this show, there’s one saving grace from the show that holds me back. The key here is the director Seiji Kishi, who directed popular hits like Angel Beats, Assassination Classroom, and MY TYPE OF SHOWS such as Humanity Has Declined, Tsuki ga Kirei and Asobi Asobase. That being said, apart from Assassination Classroom, this is the first anime where he ventures over to shounen action-centric material, and the fact that this is his first full CG project doesn’t spark much confidence. I don’t know. I grow mixed on the Netflix model when it comes to how they handle their original anime. It’s true that they have larger budgets and allow more creative freedom, but for me they aim for more mainstream tastes. Stuff like Baki, this one or Ultraman last season aim for specific fanbases, and their more flashy titles: Carole & Tuesday, Little Witch Academia, Violet Evergarden are products of famed directors/studios producing something weaker than their true talents. Maybe just like last season’s work by Kenji Kamiyama (Ultraman), this one will come and go with a weak splash before vanishing altogether.

 

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou

Studio: Asread, White Fox
Director: Kinji Yoshimoto
Series composer: Shoichi Sato
Source: Light Novel

Wooper: I managed to sprint through a few chapters of the Arifureta manga before I had to bail out. It’s based on a light novel, but assuming the manga’s story and characters are the same, the author must have been playing isekai bingo when he conceptualized the series. The MC is an Average Gamer who somehow attracts the attention of the school idol, and is therefore hated by all the handsome, athletic bros in his class. One day, when their bullying gets particularly vicious, he wishes they’d all get transported to a parallel world – and that’s exactly what happens. Video game logic sets in pretty quickly, everybody starts dungeon crawling, and eventually the nice guy protagonist is betrayed by one of his classmates and loses an arm. Last year’s Shield Hero was insulting enough; I don’t need to read any further to recognize this as one of its clones. Really, the only reason I previewed this was to look back and say “I told you so” when its defenders get to the penultimate episode and realize it was a waste of time. Not even White Fox, who usually do good work with fantasy series, can save this premise. In summary, if you’re thinking about watching this, don’t.

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Posted by SuperMario on 25 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fruits Basket (2019)

More than any other episode, this week is where Fruits Basket embraces its two opposing spectrums the clearest: it’s reverse-harem hijinks of highschool life and romance and its dark drama about the Zodiac members. By that light, we can be able to see this adaptation’s quality by this episode alone. For example, this 2019 is at its low point when it comes to comedy. With this kind of over-the-top humor the visual presentation (and editing) have to be snappy enough, Fruits Basket the 2019 instead relies static shots. The 2001 version benefits neatly from Akitaro Daichi’s direction (disclaimer: this writer hasn’t actually watched the original Fruits Basket, but he watched Fruits Basket’s cousin Kamisama Hajimemashita directed by the same director), and this current adaptation just doesn’t have the comedic chops to pull off. The result is that all the hijinks of new Zodiac members joining school, and the Student Council members, fall right flat on the floor.

The drama bit works much better in comparison, though. This week we have a proper introduction of Akito, the head of the Souma family and the antagonist of this show if it ever has one. The most interesting bit isn’t the fact that he meets Tohru face-to-face (in which the show smartly underplays it), but his power towards Yuki that makes Yuki trembling with fear. As we learn from the flashback, he had been mentally abused Yuki to the point of submission, and that he always considers Yuki to be his. There’s some nice conflicts for sure that would be a seed for Fruits Basket overarching act, between the dark, toxic force from Akito and the bright, attentive side from Tohru. In fact, Fruits Basket’s writing strength has always been exploring the gap between what on the surface (mostly the Zodiac’s characters), and their hidden feelings and personality behind that mask.

That is to say I expect a hidden, more vulnerable side of this Akito guy as well. It’s obvious from this week that he brings fears, as well as hatred, to many members of the Zodiac, but he too is suffered greatly. For Tohru, she might be simple and forward, but her determination contrasts nicely to the dark force of Akito. Hence, the best moment of this episode is when Tohru instinctively pushes Akito away from Yuki, because she knows that Akito is hurting Yuki. It’s a nice clash between two extremes, and I can’t wait to see more of this conflict. Just remember Fruits Basket, tone down the over-the-top comedy.

Posted by SuperMario on 25 June 2019 with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets “kidnapped” by her Mother 3) all the subplots about finding the letter bomber, like come on, we all know from day 1 it was Cybelle. Add to the disappointment, I was expecting Ertergun commenting on Carole & Tuesday performance, which I initially thought will be a decisive factor for the duo’s win. Turns out we just have a brief glance at his comment, not about the performance itself, but about the professional attitude. Alrightttt. Is it just me who isn’t sold about Catherine’s argument when she decides the winner? The song’s lyrics seems to be about Tuesday’s own situation, but hey it doesn’t really connect to the “nervousness” theme that Catherine was talking about; and if she meant by the nervousness from their performance, then I’d argue that they would just accept all the performers with stage-fright as “perfectly captures the nervousness” themselves.

I might sound harsh on this, but it’s also true that Carole & Tuesday has failed to give a proper resolve to many conflicts it raised. The worst aspect is that this injury seems to be one-off, given Tuesday can be able to perform in the upcoming week. One factor I do enjoy in the episode, is that Angela immediately suspects Mama and her manager as the ones behind the scene. Well, the latter feels a bit half-baked but I was enjoying the bit when she confronts her Mama and it turns out that they were referring to different things. It serves as a vessel for Angela to rethink about the people supporting her, especially about the hapless young manager. At the same time, there’s some neat point of representing Cybelle thread as it’s a waking call for Tuesday that she needs to voice her opinions more, and that relationships in general can take a dark turn at any time. But the manner Carole & Tuesday depicts is somewhat underwhelming. It’s too quickly for one thing that doesn’t seem to leave a lasting impact, and it’s clumsy for the other as the show gives some obvious red-herrings before that.

Finally, we have some moments where Carole & Tuesday alone to reflect these things together. The show would benefit much better if they can cut down all these unnecessary subplots in order for the duo’s tender moments like this. Tuesday gives some sad reflection about the place she called home, but again all these quiet moments are sabotaged by the obvious kidnap that is meant to raise the stakes again. Carole & Tuesday writing has always been generic and too accessible, but with this episode it goes a step lower by forcing the plot instead of properly developing it. As a result, it often feels like the titular characters get swept away by random events and they have no real personality at all.

Posted by SuperMario on 25 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sarazanmai

I must admit that days after watching this finale I still can’t wrap my head around all the events happened in this episode. Sarazanmai ends in a happy tone, something I didn’t expect from Ikuhara to be honest. On the most surface level, it’s a rescue mission from Kazuki and Enta to bring Toi back. Toi has lost all the hope after the death of his brother, and with the influence of Otter, ha’s about to erase his own existence from this life. This finale saves much of its budget in the first half (hey, I have no complain. It’s an artistic choice) by recycling all the events happened before with Toi’s slowly spirited away. Before this finale, I was thinking Sarazanmai would delve into physical desire vs love conflict, but turns out it’s more about existential crisis, about the desire to live in order to make connection, knowing that it will hurt. That might sound abstract but hey, even the Otter mutters that he is a concept (I have a good laugh here because it could apply to all of Ikuhara’s works). This time we have a musical number playing in full, prince Keppi resolves his own issues by literally embracing his dark self, Reo and Mabu come back like a light, and the trio taking shirikodama out of butt for the last time.

If we split this finale in half, there are some interesting parallels interplay between these two. Just as the first half concerns with flashbacks, the latter half brings us to its flash-forwards about possible futures of the trio. These flashforward images aren’t the happy ending though, as we see either they have to face the harsh truth (Toi is in the youth detention for his actions), the disappointment (Enta still can’t express his love) and the pain as well (Kazuki breaks his leg that caused him not to play football again). Keppi sums it nicely with “Hope and despair are both one with life.” Also metaphorically, the two halves have the motifs of these boys diving down the water. The early half is when they face the circle of connection, and the second half is when Toi jumps off the bridge and meets the others there. Well, I said “metaphorical” because it otherwise makes no literal sense to me why Toi jumps.

As a whole, even with me as a hard Ikuhara fan, Sarazaimai’s events sure are hard to pin down and make sense of it all. I enjoy the ending well enough as I think it does wrap up the story nicely, and for me Sarazanmai is a tad bit better than Ikuhara’s previous YuriKuma. I will give this show a rewatch once the year ends to see if the story holds up by then, and this is a kind of show that requires multiple viewings (and reading, too), but as far as this first watch goes I’d safely say that Sarazanmai once again proves Ikuhara as one of the most original anime directors in our lifetime. Full review will come shortly.

Posted by Lenlo on 23 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have a good deal off issues with the episode, but they are all related to 2 characters in particular. Everything though was just awesome. From Zenitu’s whole lightning sequence to the rotating rooms and 3D environments. Could you tell it was CGI and that Tanjiro wasn’t really hitting the walls as cleanly as 2D animation? Yes. Was it still fantastic to see him roll around the screen with the changing environment? Seeing this well lit set spin around, all on model, as the camera sweeps through following our lead? You know it! Pessimists would point out every little thing, or whine about Ufotable’s overreliance on filters. Me? I am just gonna enjoy some well directed action scenes as Ufotable constantly tries something new in every shot. Sadly, this episode wasn’t all perfect animation fun.

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Posted by Lenlo on 21 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in.

Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and narratively. From the crazy colors and sequences, to crazy metaphorical representation for ideas/situations. In particular I loved the fiery explosion of Lain when she was just done with everything. Now, I started the episode having only the faintest idea what was going on. One could argue I ended the episode not much better, but personally, I at least feel more informed. Some of it no doubt went over my head. However I think Lain did a very good job of getting the core of the episode across. The specifics of rumors, acknowledging your true self and anonymity on the internet were clearly shown. Both through visuals and dialogue. To show this, let’s move on to the actual story and take a look at some of these moments.

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Posted by Lenlo on 20 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, One Punch Man S2

Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in!

Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by Aoki look pretty slick. This man is carrying OPM on his back at this point it seems. As he is responsible for basically every well animated shot of the season. From Tank Top Master to pretty much every Garou shot, Aoki is our guy. He seemingly has fun with it all as well. The thick black lines, fun angle and dynamic camera make it much more of a treat than anything else seen in this episode. Just look at other cuts of the fight to see that for yourself, or Darkshines… shininess? Neither were particularly great, but for this series, they were on the upper end. I just hope that the 2 big finale fights coming up soon are given the same treatment.

Once again a short post, as OPM really speaks for itself I feel. Outside of Garou, there isn’t much to like. Saitama’s segments with King were fine, if blandly delivered. It’s a bit sad when a video game fight has better animation than some of your legitimate ones to. Darkshine also just came off a bit weird, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for being concerned about his design. He is made to be a caricature, every S-Class hero is. From the Samurai all the way to Genos. I don’t believe ONE intended to be offensive, and rather just wanted to portray the japanese stereotype for a black man. Regardless, having followed this manga for awhile, it doesn’t bother me much. All of the S-Class heroes get some development later on, but not in this season. Hell, maybe not in any season with how this one is shaping up.

Suffice to say, while the episode was decent, the series as a whole is still woefully disappointing in almost every department. Maybe Aoki can save the ending. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Posted by Lenlo on 18 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump in.

Starting off, I was iffy on the production this week at first. Some of the opening scenes were… off, like Hyakki’s horse just panning down the screen. But as the episode went on this became less and less of an issue. With Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru just dominating the screen. This is everything I wanted from their final showdown. Sure, the road was long and meandering to get here, but visually it was a treat spanning 4 different scenes. From the fields, to the riverbanks, up to the castle to the current finale. I loved it all. Sure, the other side scenes weren’t fantastic from a production standpoint, but they had a lot of story value. Acting as a sort of break between sections of the fight, so we don’t get tired of swords clashing over and over. Simply put, Dororo looked great this week, the story striking to as well.

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Posted by SuperWooper on 17 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mix

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall season. I’m very glad for the extension, as the show has settled nicely into its high school phase, and is dedicating entire episodes to character work before kicking off the baseball season. Fans who got into this series for the home runs and double plays might be disappointed with its simple, conversational style, but I find every scene to be rewarding, both taken on their own and viewed as groundwork for the future.

Take Haruka’s character, for instance. After breaking out of love interest hell last week, we learn plenty more about her in the follow-up: her folks are living apart, she’s still in contact with her mom (who slips in and out of their apartment before Goro comes home), and she feels blessed to have two parents who follow their dreams. The scene where she and her dad discuss the surprise visit is funny, as Haruka repeats her mother’s claim that she could only write comedies while living with Goro. Then there was his attempt at subtly asking whether Mom left any money behind – another in a long series of jokes about his mooching ways. But it wasn’t all laughs, either. The scene also played host to a touching daddy/daughter moment, as Haruka affirms that she’s proud of her single dad for doing what he loves. On top of that, it’s worth noting that she turns away from him and back to preparing dinner before “I feel blessed” passes her lips. Though the music is placid and the mood sincere, you can read that she still struggles with her family situation, which I’d bet my bottom dollar will resurface in the future.

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Featured Posts

Fruits Basket (2019) – 12 [You Look Like You’re Having Fun]

More than any other episode, this week is where Fruits Basket embraces its two opposing spectrums the clearest: it’s reverse-harem hijinks of highschool life and romance and its dark drama about the Zodiac members. By that light, we can be able to see this adaptation’s quality by this episode alone. For example, this 2019 is […]

Carole & Tuesday – 11 [With or Without You]

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets […]

Sarazanmai – 11 [I Want to Connect, so Sarazanmai]

I must admit that days after watching this finale I still can’t wrap my head around all the events happened in this episode. Sarazanmai ends in a happy tone, something I didn’t expect from Ikuhara to be honest. On the most surface level, it’s a rescue mission from Kazuki and Enta to bring Toi back. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 12 [The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps]

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in! Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and […]

One Punch Man Season 2 – 10 [The Encirciling Net of Justice]

https://www.sakugabooru.com/data/2c523ad11331508ce3e674f68b79ccf2.mp4 Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in! Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by […]

Dororo – 23 [The Story of the Demons]

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

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Welcome to another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we finally meet the rest of our leading group, find a new Demon and deal with some… odd tonal issues. Lets dive in! Starting off, Zenitsu. I have to say, whatever Yaiba is planning with him, so far I am not impressed. The man was […]

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