Posted by psgels on 9 April 2010 with categories: Kaichou wa Maid-Sama



I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not to blog Kaichou wa Maid Sama. Basically, the big reason I hardly ever blog Shoujo romantic comedies is because the genre has evolved in such a way that it’s a bit impossible to really tell whether they’re going to be awesome or not, just based on its first episodes. Ten years ago it may have been different (I mean, one look at Kodocha and His and Her Circumstances would tell that they were going to be awesome), but nowadays, I find it very hard to determine whether a shoujo romantic comedy is going to be another Ouran or Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. Just take Itazura na Kiss, for another example: hilarious in its first few episodes, but completely falling apart after that.

But you know what, I decided to have faith in this series. It’s perhaps not the funniest series this season, but I like its sharpness. The drama is awkward to watch, but in a good way. This isn’t just a series about the romantic adventures of two random teenagers, but it’s also a bit of a battle between the sexes, and it also focuses a lot on freedom and its limits. It lacks subtlety in this department, but that’s one thing that made the drama and the parts in which Misaki forced down her biased opinion on all of the guys in the school. Even though I’ve often seen comments on how this series has nothing original, that kind of drama taken seriously is something I have yet to see in a shoujo series, and because of that I’m giving it a chance.

On top of that, I also have a lot of faith in the director, Hiroaki Sakurai. This guy has really shown that he can be hilarious, while also really good at drama (heck, he co-directed Kodocha and directed Les Miserables, for goodness’ sake). A lot is of course also going to depend on the manga, but this guy is going to be able to get its full potential out of it. And it really shows so far. The past two episodes have been well paced and calculated, with just a right combination between comedy, drama, chemistry and those awkward moments.
Rating: * (Good)

21 Responses

  1. Machi says:

    Funny you should mention old Shoujo’s especially Kare Kano, one of my favorites for the genre, and note a difference. I think one huge difference with Shoujo’s nowadays compared to before is how much clutter there is going on in the background of the heroine. So much in fact that its ridiculous, this applies both to good AND bad shoujo’s nowadays.

    They just want to try and pit the entire world against the heroines. So they generally have to be a) poor b) a man hater (due to dad walking out on family) c) family problems d) perfectionist e) socially awkward. Flaws like that on their own can make a great story if explored to their fullest but when you start combining two or three of those normal flaws together you get a melange that tends to fall flat (which is my gripe with most shoujo’s nowadays). At least with Kare Kano they could just explore to the fullest the idea of being a perfectionist and romance well precisely because the heroine wasn’t busy with a million other concerns, she had a normal family. Even worse I can understand WHY they attempt to dump the entire bag of problems on the heroine its to make her appear strong. That she can overcome them all, I mean cmon Misaki is not only a student council president but has to work part time too (you tell me how that isn’t difficult). It may make them appear strong but it also seems to lack confidence in the ability of the author to depict a ‘strong’ character.

    Along with shoujo’s nowadays such as Kaichou she has WAY too much on her plate, but what infuriates me is that rather than exploring the problems they tend to gloss the flaws (dumb it down or use it to pluck your heart string) as glaze to the romance. Or at times they tend to forget other aspects because there is so much going on, Misaki’s quite busy but there isn’t much effort to socialize or rather it doesn’t become a point of concern.

    Any case this post is more towards shoujo in general today rather than just Kaichou, and this post is more thanks to the topic than the series.

  2. Mentar says:

    Machi: Give the show some time. The gradual development of Misaki from the early caricature to a very well-rounded later is what I consider the strong selling-point of this show.

  3. Mentar says:

    Machi: Give the show some time. The gradual development of Misaki from the early caricature to a very well-rounded later is what I consider the strong selling-point of this show.

  4. Machi says:

    I was talking about shoujos nowadays, since Psgels mentioned it not about Kaichou (not really planning to watch it after reading up to chapter 43 its not something I’d revisit).

    Nowadays you just don’t have the normal formula of first love romance which generally defined shoujos, now its a melange of ALOT of things. The best I’ve seen pull it off would be Sainkoku but even then thats because it had quite good focus and stuck to it, namely Shurei as a woman in a patriarchal society (sure she was poor but the skills she gained and insight she had being poor was that of a woman, that she managed to bring all the way to office. It was her feminine side that shone.)

  5. mds says:

    why did you choose shoujos over seinen ecchis? Do you have something against shounen/seinen ecchis?
    Maid sama’s fine by the way,but i prefers B Gata cause it just screams hillarity..

  6. Sapphire says:

    YES! I have faith in it too. As a huge shoujo fan, this series definitely feels like it’s going somewhere (as opposed to Kimi ni Todoke, for instance). Regarding the fact that it might not have anything truly original, who cares? Why is that necessarily bad? Some clichés are clichés for a reason: they work. And the typical shoujo has a lot of good ones (OF COURSE there are exceptions, as in anything else).

    I think this particular series stands out because of the characters and the chemistry between them. The female lead already has a credible background and the male protagonist also looks like he has a story to tell. Also the comedy is funny, without being blatant enough to overshadow the drama’s potential (like in Full Metal Panic: I just couldn’t believe it when they tried to be serious).

    Anyway, this is just my first impression since I’ve only seen two episodes. But I’m glad you decided to pick it up ^^

  7. c160 says:

    Agree with most of what Machi said.After years of watching/reading shoujo anime/manga(and also their real life drama counterparts),the creators also have the habit to really pile up the main female character with lots of flaws but the male main character would usually only have one big flaw. .While the heroine’s probs would be solved/come to terms with by the early parts of the story,the hero’s problem would be too big and much more serious than the heroine’s and it would take the whole series to overcome.Its nothing major of course but really I just want to point it out. ^^

  8. asa says:

    I have to say I disagree with the first post here. I am glad to see the changes in the Shoujo genre over the years, especially in the female lead department. It almost seems to me that the female leads from ten years ago had nothing in their minds except getting married right after high school, whereas in today’s shoujo many girls seem more ambitious, strong, and independent.

    P.S.to Psgel: may i recommend to you Princess Arete, an anime film known in Japan as one of the most successful animated feminist works? It’s not perfect but you might like it.

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Asa: the shows I mentioned (Kodomo no Omocha and His and her Circumstances) had absolutely nothing of it. And interestingly, Itazura na Kiss’s lead, which aired two years ago, was exactly what you described.

    Oh, and I watched Princess Arete a number of years ago and loved it.

    Mds: it’s indeed not about which series is the funniest, as I agree that B Gata H Kei tops Maid-Sama in the comedy department. The reason I chose Maid sama is because underneath it seemed to have more potential. Its drama is more substantial than BH’s.

  10. temperus says:

    This show bugs the hell out of me, and not in a good way. I’m not at all sure why, except that I know I’m supposed to be laughing but I’m not (it’s a lot like Arakawa in that regard). I sincerely want to enjoy both shows, though, so I’ll keep watching.

    I do hope they tone down the whole “you’re supposed to like this girl right here” stuff, though. No matter how often they point out that she’s poor or that all guys are jerks, I still won’t have any sympathy for her.

  11. asa says:

    Itazura na Kiss the manga “began to be serialized and published in 1991” (wikipedia), so it’s not really a “today’s shoujo”.

    But on Kaichou wa Maid-sama, I stayed up last night until 5am to finish the on-going manga. It’s not great but it’s good. Some plot lines are really silly and the male lead pisses me off at times, but it’s still worth a read.

  12. Anon says:

    I just hope this doesn’t wind up being 12-13 episodes considering there is certainly enough content for ~24 assuming it’s paced well.

  13. Topspin says:

    Jeez, temperus.. it’s not like the show’s going to be on a pseudo-feminist bent forever. It’s so easy to tell what pisses you off :) I guess we’ll have to start watching these shows together so I don’t have to hear you getting upset in the next room all by yourself. Roommates.. 8-|

    Anyway, this show has some potential in spite of itself. It’s not pressing my funny-buttons, but I too would like to see a “goes somewhere” shoujo again. I think the promise of that will carry me through this series even if I roll my eyes a lot.

  14. Machi says:

    @asa: I agree that is a good change in direction but my issue is that it hasn’t been particularly handled that well, since precisely you have everything going against the heroine add to that the whole issue of first love and you have what makes a shoujo today. I don’t think Itazura na Kiss would be a good example considering that in the end its still all about marriage and trying to get the heroine married at the earlier half.

    Saiunkoku (a shoujo) I think would fit the bill best of a female series going past issues of love to care about career, precisely as it stuck to one direction and had time to develop. That direction being a woman in a patriarchal society, sure she was poor as well but poverty as a woman was what was emphasized and the skills Shuurei developed.

    Still in the department of trying to create a strong independent woman, career oriented etc, that I think falls more under josei than shoujo (or at least has been better handled in josei than shoujo). Great example of josei is Honey and Clover or Hotaru no Hikari (not one I liked but would fit the bill better).

  15. inkka says:

    I decided to entrust this show.

    I don’t know the story after this at all. and I decided to didn’t read manga of this. because I heard some people say that the anime staff will skip some of unimportant stuff to go at the main substance for make us didn’t go boring and make this series getting better.

    It’s very obvious that the character development in ep2 is more subtle, more funny and more interesting.At least our main heroine seem to accept the exist of those guys at school a little more.and Usui beginning to show that he will be the important role to make her changed.

    And this series is very knew how to handle genuine fanservice.It didn’t want to depend on panties.It didn’t want to force to make it happened.But… Misaki is very cute !! with maid costume, nekomimi, tsundere mode and her development .I love her !

  16. mambo says:

    don’t worry… battle of BH and Kaichou just like Kimi no Todoke and Kobato. Psgels watch Todoke first, regret, then watch Kobato for the rest :P

  17. Joojoobees says:

    “It lacks subtlety in this department, but that’s one thing that made the drama and the parts in which Misaki forced down her biased opinion on all of the guys in the school.”

    I agree the way that was handled lacked subtlety. Episode two seemed too preachy to me. If this were episode one, I might’ve dropped it immediately. Instead, like Psgels and several previous commenters, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

  18. Reltair says:

    I’m willing to bet that this series turns out good. It doesn’t have too much drama/comedy/awkward moments at once and spaces it out effectively.

  19. kyuzo says:

    hating the lead guy. what the hell was that “you’re my personal maid after all” crap? and she blushed over that? i hope there’s not much of that in the coming eps.

  20. Girmie says:

    What’s been annoying me about the anime is how much poorer they’ve made Misaki’s family in comparison to the manga: in the manga their house is a little rundown, but not so much that it stands out from the buildings around it, the gate doesn’t fall to bits, and her mother might not have the most stamina, but she doesn’t have a mysterious cough or need to do mail-order type jobs. I don’t get the need for this overemphasis.

  21. Hipployta says:

    I enjoy this manga so much…I had no idea it was got an anime *goes to download and enjoy the goodness*

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@K-off: I thought of a combined post, but my OCD wouldn't allow a skip in the episodic order of the reviews.
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Usually when you go camping in Yellowstone or Yosemite the tourist industry kills those places, like I'd be on a rowboat and see cars, cabins, and people from a long ways offshore. The Adirondacks are nice because their building codes mandate construction to be hidden behind trees.
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@Aidan @K-off @Mario either one of y'all has any post near completion? I'm almost done with Berserk 08 and as previously mentioned, really prefer not to put two reviews up back to back. I think the length of them is already a hassle for some to get thru, let alone two right after eachother. I think it hurts the viewership, but if nothing's on hand then I'll guess I'll just finish up and post mine.
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@Kaiser: I was actually camping near a mountain, but aren't all mountains somewhat holy? That could be my bias tho, since I was raised on the Alborz mountain range, and for me there is something therapeutic about the mountain air.
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Basically bam went up the Holy mountain .
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Everything been cool here? Hehe ... looks like I conveniently missed all the hard parts.
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@Mario: thx m8. I wish I could just make it down to Rio on a whim, but then again, I took a much-needed vacation, so I ain't complaining.
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Welcome back Bam, I was already convinced that you went to Rio for screwing around. Lol
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Also I apologize for the absence. I was gone somewhere without reliable internet access, and looking back I should've gave a notification.
Either way, I'm back now, and will be jumping on getting those Berserk reviews out as soon as possible.
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Man looky here with the renovations; I like it.
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@Kaiser: and what is that sh!te you're talking about?
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<— fixed
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Ive been a reader since 2005
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Haha, this'll be fun lol
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.....that feeling when you keep going on about a show or film but fail to give all the details...and someone goes out and buys it not knowing the full extent of the mad shit their in for...s--t lol
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any reader from 2005 here....
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@Mario: This guy seems interesting: https://letterboxd.com/director/tsai-ming-liang/
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@Mario: Hmm, not familiar with him.
I really really loved in the mood for love, alot, it emotionally effected me. I even watched it three times.
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Don't know if you know the Vietnamese-French Tran Anh Hung. His works are stunning too. If you want to check out East-Asian cinema don't forget to check him out.
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@Kaiser: Yeah, but Park Chan Wood changed the ending, so the author insisted that the Handmaiden is more "inspired" than "based". The third chapter is the weakest part for me
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@Mario: Of interest, The handmaiden was based on some British book/tv show.
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I need to completely re-evaluate/get into more Chinese cinema.
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Doesn't look like I've seen anything by Hong-sang-so.
My favourite Korean actor is song-kang-ho.
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Theres an anime convention over here in Dublin in three months. Although I haven't been to one in years.
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I'm heading to anime convention today. Normally I don't really care about those conventions but I figure I'd come this year to see the taste of it. The only hassle is it's 3-hour drive, which gonna be a pain when I drive back after a long day being there.
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Bong Joon-ho, on the other hand,is incredible at writing. His scripts are often layered, sharp and best of all fuses many tones/ genres into one coherent whole. The best thing about this Korean New Wave directors is they all have very distinctive voices. But my favorite director isn't the ones that you list. That would be Hong Sang Soo. I just love his simplicity style so much.
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@Kaiser: Park Chan Wood is a master of visual. Whenever I come to his movies I expected to be blown-away by his visual. He can write compelling characters (he loves his characters) as well but his screenplays in general are weak. You can watch his lesser effort "I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay" and see many things that made him good/bad. That's the movie I feel he made without the care of the critic
afgm
.
afgm
@koff: Yeah I can help. But midterms/finals are coming up so I can't dedicate to much time.
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I always felt Bong-jong and Chang-dong , kim-di-duk and Kim-jee-woon were better than Park-chan-wook. Oldboy did have that one hell of an ending, so did lady vengeance but I feel that those are the bits people tend to remember and the rest was good but not great.
Topgavin
For anyone that doesn't regularly browse /r/anime, Godzilla is apparently getting an anime adaption by Polygon Pictures with Urobuchi involved. Should be good.
K-Off
Well, I climbed to rank 52 in Overwatch with Tracer alone. Looking forward to season 2 already, but I do wish Blizzard had somehow implemented a single-player storyline since the lore in Blizzard titles is always so vast. Kind of surprised they didn't make one with Overwatch.
K-Off
@Kaiser Watch Train to Busan if you can. Me neither, I can't dig too deep into Korean films due to the language barrier. Sure would be convenient to have Vincent recommending films again.
K-Off
@afgm Hey, are you still interested in helping out with the site? At this point I'm looking over the site's code & doing some rewriting - if you think you can help, let me know.
K-Off
@Mario I hadn't watched Old Boy for 6 years when I got to I Saw the Devil and it was out of mind for me, so you may be right.
SuperMario
@K-Off: maybe it was just me but I was underwhelmed by I Saw the Devil. The point it trying to match was similar to OldBoy, and Oldboy's execution was way better (OldBoy's one of my favorite movie). Yes, the soundtracks of OldBoy, Lady Vengeance are exceptional. I still listen to The Last Waltz after all those years...
K-Off
The soundtrack in a lot of these Korean films are top notch as well, Lady Vengeance and I Saw the Devil in particular.
K-Off
@Mario Speaking of which, Korean psychological thrillers are hands down some of the best in the last 10-20 years. I Saw the Devil, Lady Vengeance, Old Boy, list goes on.
SuperMario
@Aidan: It just comes to me that we're already half way of this season... Time sure flies
SuperMario
@Kaiser: so please finish up Inside Mari. The last chapter had been out. I need someone to talk about that goddamn manga anw
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I always consider the Korean New Wave started back in 2000, and really peaked in 2003 (OldBoy, Memories of Murders, Spring Summer..., A Tale of 2 Sisters). Before 2000? The only director I can think of was Im Kwon-Taek
AidanAK47
About nearly finished Fata Morgana but I might have to finish doom first because that thing is eating a huge chunk of my SSD drive.
AidanAK47
Back up to date...at least for now. I have to go to a wedding so It's likely I will fall behind again. Got to admit that I haven't had much of an opinion on the latest episodes. Might be just mentally drained personally.
SuperMario
@K-off: I totally agree with you. 28 Days Later is a gem. Though I'm not really into zombie genre as a whole, I'm more into psychological stuffs more.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Reminding me I need to catch up on boku mari no naka.
Kaiser Eoghan
Although the trailer for train to busan does catch my interest.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've gotten more than enough out of Korean films, I can enjoy them but I probably don't sing the same high praises for them as most bar some exceptions.
Seeing Lee-chang-dongs stuff I'm actually kind of interested in finding some more low key korean films.
Kaiser Eoghan
Very likely a view shared by my indie loving friend and I, but Battery and Wyrmwood were jokey takes on the zombie genre I thought were enjoyable.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Likely my preference for British comedy that makes me laugh more at Shaun of the dead more. Although Hot fuzz is the better Simon Pegg film in my opinion.
In terms of Korean films, I've been wondering, what are the pre-90s ones like. Lee-chang-dong started the Korean new wave in 1997.
K-Off
I'm still waiting for a good horror-zombie film, nothing has met my expectations after 28 Days Later (and techinically REC), which admittedly is a high bar.
K-Off
@Mario I am watching Seoul Station next week, that was just me recapping TtB after I watched it a few days ago. It's definitely more of a thriller, it has good "wtf" moments but nothing I'd call horror.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I thought you were going to watch Seoul Station? So I gather that Train of Busan is more thriller than horror? Just thinking of Zombieland already puts a smile on my face. That one and Shaun of the Dead are so goddamn hilarious.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will review them in the future. atm I'm in watching/ reading mode so I'll push back all the world movie/ full show reviews for a while
K-Off
@Mario My impression of Train to Busan was that although it wasn't anything ground breaking, it had a great cast of characters and an entertaining gimmick that managed to stay exhilarating. I haven't seen a zombie film this well structured since Zombieland, even though they're completely opposite in tone.
AidanAK47
They are all yours if you want to do them.
SuperMario
Reading Inside Mary makes me want to watch Flowers of Evil again. If I remember correctly psgels never actually had a full review on this one, and Ping Pong.
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Width wise it's exactly the same as the old chat box. Though it's possible the old one had smaller font.
VyseLegendaire
This chat box is too narrow I think, only see a couple messages.
AidanAK47
@Anon18138, Yeah but I don't see that writer making something that truly represents the games. There may be a possibility of it being a good movie but that movie won't be Pokemon.
Anonymous18138
@AidanAK47 It'll have the writer of Gravity Falls. Though I don't have a high standard in regards to the 3D mascot and live-action style of movies.
SuperMario
They originally planned to male a live-action remake of Seoul Station, as the producer saw a footage of the animation and really loved it; but Yeon Sang-Ho (the director) insisted that if he was about to make a live-action film, he's go for a sequel instead. Hence Train of Busan.
SuperMario
@K-off: I missed my chance to watch Train to Busan but I heard nothing but rave from it. People who watched it really loved it. Damn, you make me jealous man, since I want to watch Seoul Station and review it here. Come watch it and tell me what you think; my bet is you'll enjoy it.
K-Off
@Mario Have you watched Train to Busan? I'm planning to watch its animated prequel Seoul Station next week. Animation looks shabby as hell but I can always expect a good story from the koreans.
AidanAK47
So the live action Pokemon movie will feature detective pikachu. Clearly a necessary inclusion.
SuperMario
I'm reading Inside Mary now and it's quite a gem despite its ridiculous premise. There's a lot of raw emotions. I love raw emotions. As expected from the same guy who wrote Flowers of Evil.
AidanAK47
Yep, when she sends the images let me know. It may have been a while ago but I am a qualified graphic designer so even I can lend a hand to the banner design.
AidanAK47
Ugh...a new version of wordpress is ready to be updated to. I have a bad feeling updating to the latest version could potentially break things.
K-Off
Alright, I've got Friend onbaord with a commission for our new banner. She says she'll send us sketches so we can decide if it's something we want.
AidanAK47
Considering how much trouble this plugin has given us, i am not up for adding another one. Only thing the subscriber account thing needs is me to tick and box and get rid of that password promt.
K-Off
@Aidan You can set that up if you'd like, though another idea would be to set up buddypress and link it to there. But it's yet again another plugin.
Total users: 30

Featured Posts

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Mob Psycho 100 – 07

The fall of Ritsu is rapid, perhaps too rapid as the pacing of this series has sped up. Before it wasn’t really apparent that the anime was skipping material to get to the good content but here you can really tell that a significant amount of time has been removed which showed Ritsu’s more gradual […]

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91 Days – 07

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This week our band heads up to the evil mountain and needless to say they possess absolutely no teamwork spirit whatsoever. It’s as you would expect from a group of seven egocentric members. Our main character Shang Bu Shuan repeatedly gets teased by their comrades, as he finds himself fighting the enemies alone without the […]

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Berserk(2016) – 07 [The Black Witch]

I apologize for this very late review, but due to circumstances I didn’t have the means of watching the episode, and hence the week-long delay. I’ll try to at least leave a notification in case of such issues in the future, but otherwise will try to keep the posts steady. So let’s get right to […]

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Mob Psycho 100 – 06

It a beginning of a dark path for Ritsu as his own inadequacies are pushing him in a direction that won’t end well for him. Part of the problem is the student council president whom is called Shinji. He happens to remind me of another Shinji in another series who had an equally punchable face […]

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The House in Fata Morgana Video Game Review – 83/100

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Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that […]

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The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

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My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

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