Posted on 31 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by SuperMario, World Animation

Welcome to the last part of our Chinese animated guide. This part will cover Chinese traditional art style, for me personally this is the most enjoyable group. The first thing you might notice in these shows are they were in different format ratio, lean more towards the Academy ratio format. I always find their traditional art style more compelling, but somewhat conservative approach (since for long decades the Chinese insist to use this style over and over again). Luckily, these restricts have been loosen up in recent years without locking into any particular one style. As a result we have those shows below as a more relaxed and more updated version of their traditional style. Here are again the 6 shows in no particular order:

Romance of Three Kingdoms (三国演)

romance of 3 kingdoms

This is a 2009 Chinese adaptation, so not to be confused with the various anime versions. Based on the popular work “Romance of Three Kingdoms” (which people regards its influence in East Asia literature is like that of Shakespeare in English literature). What we have in this episode are the three legendary warriors Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu become brothers and they fight together. I love the traditional character designs, and they provided solid enough animated scenes. But I can’t get pass the fact that a girl who was pushed down a cliff, not only she’s not die, but seems unharmed and she then proceeds to play musical after that. Weird. She must had been on crack I think! Besides that, I always meant to read the actual book, but its length (800,000 words) always put me off. This series so far is solid enough for me to follow it through.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

Watching Flying witch really feel like listening to a classical music, where the long running time flies by and we actually feel it more than try to understand it. This week we continue what was left off last week, with Makoto, Chinatsu, Kei meeting the owners of the café shop and their regular customers. This is Flying witch in their most confidence. The pacing, the music, the character and background designs are very consistent and complement each other, with many little details that further shows how much the creators care about this world. I always prefer the magical realism part of the show than the everyday rural life part, and this episode is choke full of the former, with for the first time introducing a whole range of new characters, all of them are interesting I should say. Anzu and her mother add another solid charm to the cast. Anzu is my new favorite characters, with her hair styled like Shinobu, she seems more self-serious than the rest of the cast. The mother has a more easy, laidback type and she was more amused, not disturbed by the Makoto’s misunderstanding. And then we meet the new customers, each of them are as different from each other as it can be, ranging from a pair of ladybugs, The veil of darkness and the fox. Each of them are part of nature, which each of them contributes different things to the nature, and to the witch’s life. Little details are again too many but blink-and-you-miss-it moments, like the fact that this coffee shop even showcase jewelry, or what do you think the Veil of Darkness will drink in the shop? Yes, coffee and reading book of course. Or the fox would drink milk along with his usual food: winter cherry.

The second small part followed Akame as she tries to test out her new invention, for the shake of having fun no less. I had my suspicion weeks ago about a bay that featured in the OP, which really look like China – Vietnam landscape. This week we got an answer, that the place is Ha Long bay in Vietnam, non-subtlety (well, Akame kinds of scream it to our face this time), that confirmed my mention on her wearing the Vietnamese traditional dress (which, again, little details that you might have missed). Overall this is a stand out Flying witch episode, we are into their 8th episode and it has never failed to be consistent and atmospheric. I just hope I can meet these new characters again, in any place other than this coffee shop.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Now the trick to enjoy Mayoiga is to expect the unexpected. Anything could happen, and probably will. The series has successfully tweaked our noses weeks after weeks, then if Mayoiga stops being ridiculous and becomes conventional, I would be very disappointed. The fun is again on par this week and we have one of the most bizarre flashback of the show (which already a high bar), together with ridiculous monsters and crazy character’s interactions. In other words, AWESOME.

Let’s get to the ridiculous part of this episode, shall we?  The biggest revelation this week is of course, Hayato’s past. Prior to this episode, Hayato seems to be one of our most sane person on this colorful group, except for some motherly attitude towards Mitsumune, he might be the one who keeps our insane cast a balance. Well, maybe not. He turns out to be as insane as Lovepon’s level, wanting to keep Mitsumune as his pet. I believe his very existence in the series so he could murmur this speech: “I realized that I need a puppet of my own”. It makes sense. Hayato behaviors and his past fits like a glove to what Mayoiga has been established so far. And Hayato got an extra point for his trauma past (the over-control of the parents is totally different from his fear (his grandma’s picture, which was another victim from their parents), I’d be damn if he could ever resolve his own issues. But the crowning achievement for me is Valkana with his line: “I managed to escape because it was kinda surprisingly low”. The delivering is just pitch-perfect and deadpan, especially from the serious guy Valkana.

Many ridiculous unresolved plot lines appear throughout this episode like a spider-web. The tunnel scenario ended with the Driver again being the most childish and stubborn man of the series by doing exactly what others say not to do. He himself was vanished afterward but it seems like no one care at this point. The Lion group contains of Lion, Maimai and Nanko tried to investigate the tunnel (which ridiculous method, putting Maimai into the tunnel to see if she still sees the monsters) and get interrupted by Jack, who then was interrupted by an unknown man, presumably Masaki’s uncle. If all of that doesn’t make any sense, then I do this series justice.  I have to say the monsters appear to be more like a mascot characters this week, they not actually scary and they at least don’t mean any harm. Maybe they are just like a device for characters to look through their darkness, then perhaps they will get back to the real world? That a sense I get from Mitsumune waking up at the end of the episode, but we will soon know the answer next week. At this rate if next week we find out that Nanko and Koharun (the only two left who still act like normal human being) turn out to be insane, I wouldn’t be surprise at all.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

This week I happened to see the result of delaying the release of Re:Zero on a certain message board. It was pure pandemonium as there were those too lazy to google demanding the next episode, trolls trying to convince people the episode was delayed to next week with fake screenshots of twitter posts, haters and generally a cluster of utter idiocy that the internet can only provide. All this chaos over tennis delaying the episode. Guess I can say Re:Zero essentially is the most popular series of the season. Considering with popularity comes a cancerous fan base that fills me with unease, even the best of games or shows can be devalued by the overly loud fan base placing it on a pedestal. I worry because I actually really like this show and that delay killed me just as much as anyone else. Through this show still has it’s flaws it still manages to give me the giddy feeling every time an episode comes out. One of the flaws I consider is that I found it a bit odd when Subaru started listing out the children’s dreams to motivate Rem to help him. I get why he was doing it but it came out of nowhere. It is also made a bit awkward when he had to give another speech yet again to convince her to let him look for the last kid in the forest. Having two motivational speeches right by one another is a bit disconcerting. Subaru’s meta-isms can still be annoying at times and the characters do need a little bit more development.

The culprit behind the death of Subaru in the first run has been determined. And it’s….the dog with the shifty eyes! Well when you put it like that it sounds rather silly but taking into account the foreshadowing….well it’s still quite silly. My guess is the dog is the familiar of a mage(Like Puck is to Emilia.) likely related to the organisation who tried to steal Emilia’s emblem. Considering the focus on killing off Subaru this could be a result of the grudge Elsa has againest Subaru for messing up her plans. I don’t think this is an independent incident considering the timing and the way one kid was removed from the group specifically to lure Subaru out alone. Even the little girl Subaru rescues is the one who lead him to the curse puppy in the first place. Perhaps the girl is the perpetrator? I didn’t see a bite on her for one thing. This happens to be the only time Roswell left the Mansion, by flight which does suggest he’s quite a badass, and I have a firm suspicion that he was made to leave the mansion on purpose. The timing of the attack on the kids and him leaving was far too coincidental. My guess is that the shaman found out that Subaru forced Betrix to dispel the curse and resorted to measures to lure Subaru to the forest. Taking Roswell out of the equation so he couldn’t turn the tide against the Ma-beasts. Still Rem managed to put up one hell of a fight and she’s quite the berserker. Seems she’s an Oni which the subtitles have translated as demon but Oni fits better considering. I get the feeling that the tale Subaru told of the red and blue Oni has more relevance to them than previously suspected. Perhaps Ram made a deal to turn human in order to get closer to humans and it backfired on her maybe?

The second half of the episode where Subaru and Rem venture into the forest to rescue the kids was some truly tense and excellent sequence. For this part of the show had something not a lot of anime have. That is genuine stakes for the viewer and characters. In many a series it tries to fool you that characters can die. However in many cases that is simply an illusion and the viewer knows the characters are not in any true danger. Because they are the heroes and the heroes can’t die until the story concludes. Of course some characters can die on special occasions but it a fairly rare occurrence. However in Re:Zero, Subaru and anyone can die at any given moment. Sure that only means that Subaru returns to the starting point but the show has made it a point to give Subaru’s deaths gravitas. For Subaru this means a horrible death and resetting to the beginning. This loss is also felt by the viewer because all the development and efforts Subaru made to get closer to people disappear. When watching this episode I was fairly certain Subaru was going to die, but I didn’t want him to die. For if he dies that means the Rem and Ram who softened up to him die with him. I will never see the result of the promise he made to Rem or how she will see him after this event. I never knew for certain if Subaru would die this time or live and watching the last few minutes had me on the edge of my seat as the show gave me false death flags and raised my hopes as Subaru escaped near death. That’s what I call damn fine entertainment. I do applaud the animators and direction during these scenes. While there are still shortcuts being taken, the music and direction more than make up for it. In particular that piano piece that played during Rem’s transformation was downright perfect and while I truly don’t have linguistic knowledge to give the japanese acting a fair assessment, I can really feel some strong emotion in the performance.Maybe I have been spoiled by the likes of One Punch Man and Fate but I am more sensitive to shortcuts in animation when regarding fight scenes. However what fight scenes that are there are quite excellent. Overall White fox has kept a high level of animation consistency throughout the series and I hope they keep it up.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kiznaiver

In my last post I assumed that this episode would be about Tenga as the episodes title seems to suggest but it turned out to be more an episode about Agata than anything else. It basically confirmed my previous assumptions about Agata and Noriko being involved with the previous Kiznaiver project when they were children and the episode ends, at a rather inconvenient time, when Agata realises who Noriko is and regains his memories. The end of the episode was certainly the best part for me as it was done marvelously but I do feel bad for Chidori as she’s outright ignored while confessing. I am not sure what triggered Agata’s flashback to the past and cause him to start running to Noriko. The last scene was a little unclear on just how he got to her. It seems to suggest that he ran from the front door to the courtyard and pushed Noriko out of the way of a falling statue.. As for the reason why he ran to Noriko, I like to believe that he and her are still connected to each other because of the last Kiznaiver experiment. But there may be more meaning behind what Noriko said at the end about Agata being inside herself. Chances are it’s simply her mentioning that they knew each other in the past as she theorised in the first episode about wanting to see yourself in others. However to go off the rails a bit, what if she was saying that when the Kiznaiver project ended, her and Agata’s personalities somehow got switched? It would be rather interesting if the reason Agata changed was because he had his traits switched with Noriko and in turn Noriko inherited his. After all, Noriko despite her appearance is very confident and brash whereas Agata became more shy and reserved. Seeing Agata in the past this could suggest that his consciousness may have swapped with Noriko’s. It’s unlikely but I would find it quite fascinating if that was the case.

It’s truly a fourth wall breaker when characters within the show start shipping characters together. For the most part the pairings are as you would expect except for one. To some this may not be as much of a surprise but to me I found it was something that came out of nowhere. Namely that Niko has feelings for Tenga. Now when I heard this I assumed this was just the project managers making a mistake but the rest of the episode seems to suggest the same thing. As far as I can tell, there have only been three signs that indicated this development. One, when Tenga groped her in the first episode. Two, when Niko was pouting over Tenga lavishing attention on Chidori. And three, when he patted her on the head in the last episode. Other than that this seems as out of the blue as that romance between Hulk and Black Widow that nobody should have wanted.(I see absolutely no reason why people thought they would be interested in each other in the first place.) I see more evidence to suggest that Niko likes Maki rather than Tenga. I don’t really like what this brings as we now have a long line of crushes which might lead to unnecessary drama later on. Niko likes Tenga, Tenga likes Chidori, Chidori likes Agata, Agata likes Noriko and nobodies with who they want to be with. Before I felt like this whole thing could work out as Noriko and Agata seems pretty mutual and Chidori’s feelings for Agata feel more like the remnants of a crush rather than genuine love. Things could have easily been resolved in a nice little bow but now we have a third wheel to the party. Oh Niko, if Chidori’s love is doomed to set sail, yours is doomed before it can even be built. If Niko manages to get together with Tenga then by all means I will be very surprised but as far as I am concerned I say the only thing that awaits her is a jealous hissy fit and a forever alone. I certainly don’t want that to happen to her but really it’s the usual fate for these types. What makes me not in favor of this development is that it sucks the fun out of Niko and then she could fall to the fate of many a comedic character that falls in love. They get too serious and stop being fun.

We have gone over the halfway point of the season and what concerns me is that I still don’t really know what Kiznaiver is striving for. Certainly things have happened over the past 8 episodes but if feels disjointed and unorganised. When looking it over I fail to see a connecting narrative, instead a series a events with no defined goal or purpose. For example, we had an entire episode devoted to Hazama and yet after that he has had no real purpose within the narrative. It’s possible they might start using him for something like here to rile up the Kiznaivers but I fail to see the purpose of devoting an episode to him joining when he could have just been in the group from the start. The only thing that seems to have dominant narrative purpose is romance which I think is a poor use of the setup. The sharing pain aspect hasn’t had much of a definitive purpose besides giving them a reason to interact with one another. While I do not consider the past episodes bad it does feel rather directionless. I think if this continues I will look back on the series and find that it didn’t really feel like anything happened.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on 27 May 2016 with categories: Bungou Stray Dogs, Currently Watching:

I have to say more than anything this is Bungou Stray Dogs’ special episode, in a sense that in one hand, the show produces one of its most brilliance ever, but on the other hand, there are still many shortcomings along with the greatness, producing an episode that mostly entertainment but uneven. The introduction of the two main antagonists; for example, highlights this unbalance. Kyouka the silent girl might be one of the most interesting character we have for a while, mainly because it has something to do with her not being over the top (compared to other characters of this series of course). Her motives and actions are both mysterious and grounded. Her lines admittedly feel very unnatural, but there is a hint of sadness behind those words. Motojirou the bomber terrorist, on the other side of the spectrum, is just loud and plain. He’s always in the destroy/talking nonsense mode so it’s hard to remember fondly of him. It might come as a cliché but for an action show there must be someone who crazy about bombs huh?

Now let’s get to the great parts of the show. The first thing that stands out in this episode is the music. The music of the show has always been very consistent, but this week it takes a step further. In a bombing sequence, the score goes to unsettling and nausea territories, which actually very fitting to the chaos and the nausea of the crowd. The visual, especially in the action scenes, are pretty amazing to watch. Furthermore, this show has always put extra effort to create a feel for its settings, and this week’s train setting surely doesn’t disappointed. It has a very distinctive feel and a lot of personality. The writing this week takes a rather new approach as well. They don’t go for their usual crime investigating, there is no usual gags about suicide attempts and there is even no interaction between Dagai and Atsushi. All that actually helps to make the story much leaner this week. For once I like the way Atsushi acts this week as he really stands up for himself and fight, and comes out of his own to try saving a girl. This is a kind of development I like to see from him, so I expect more of that in the future episodes.

But not all of this episode is in rose color though. The story runs so fast that more often than not it feels forced, the way our main leads were in the train when all of this incidents happened. Even many of innocent people had to die to “prove the point”. Bungou Stray Dogs, you have to care more about people, they don’t just die for the shake of dying ya get it? Our character this week, Dr. Yosano, comes out as a mixed bag too. When she’s not being creepy by telling how she enjoys “curing” people, she possesses a more attentive side (like when she checks out Atsushi’s leg), but sadly she’s over the top most of the time. Her gift “Thou Shalt Not Die” was revealed to heal a person, but with a condition that the wounds have to be lethal, which comes to a rather illogical part, where she healed herself after a ton of bombs were dropped on her. The way I see it her body would explored well before she has a chance to use her ability. The bomber terrorist as mentioned earlier come off as very one dimensional. In all, I’d say I’m happy with the direction the show heading for now, hopefully it can overcome its shortcoming, especially in its character-writing, because when they do it right, we have a bunch of really solid character’s development.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Game Reviews, Reviews by AidanAK47

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the box art. With the internet you can at least get an idea for what you are in for. Lucid9 is one of the few I pick up out of curiosity, partly due to the few steam reviews present were very positive and the fact that it’s a free game. I knew nothing regarding what it was about and my only previous contact with it is a vague recollection on a Fuwanovel blog post. So I thought that it’s been awhile since I played a genuine visual novel and I was itching for something different. This is the first part called inciting Incident of a series of visual novels planned however despite that the story in this is more or less conclusive despite a pretty big cliffhanger for a sequel. At least the mystery for this game is solved with just a few hints of behind the scenes manipulation to be addressed in later chapters. Besides the pretty big turn of events at the stories end you could leave off this one content. Provided you stop before the last scene. But anyway enough baiting, lets us move on to the review.

For the unintroduced, Lucid9 is a visual novel and no, that is not the same thing as an eroge or dating sim. An eroge is like a visual novel but features a stronger focus on pornography. Often you can tell the difference between the two by the game’s title or synopsis. While visual novels do feature hentai content, it’s much lesser than an eroges content. In many new titles it’s getting phased out completely. A dating sim is more of a game where the objective is to raise girls affection for you and improve stats which are normally not present in visual novels. The best way to describe a visual novel is that it is like a choose your own adventure book. You go through a story and are presented choices which can lead the story on a different path. Most of the time the paths are decided by which girl in the narrative you show most interest in and the route you take often has them as the main heroine. Today’s visual novel is an exception to that as their is only one route and the choices you make don’t have much of an impact on the overall narrative. I will also point out that this visual novel doesn’t have any hentai within it’s narrative. The story involves a series of disappearances that are happening at an high class academy which are the work of a serial killer. Our protagonist is a cynical snark mouthed student who attends the school and manages to get caught up in the case. He’s recruited by a private investigator as an assistant and the case begins to affect those around him. Slowly he finds that he has a growing talent for investigation and detective work. Admittedly the murderers aren’t put on full focus here as the story mainly is concerned with the development of the main character and how this helps him get over his own issues to finally put effort into doing something with his life. For a free VN I was surprised at the quality of writing, this author really excels at writing back and forth dialogue though it can make the characters too quipy at times. The story is really carried by the interactions between characters and it does manage to keep things interesting.
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Posted on 26 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this was in fact another spy from another spy agency. The wind agency who have a motto completely opposite of that of the D-agency. We now have an arch enemies for our team, whom are willing to go to any length to accomplish a mission. be it using blackmail or murder. So to put it simply, wind agencies spies act more like actual damn spies. I did think that for once it looked like D-agencies spies were being spies for once only to have the rug pulled under me and have him to be revealed to be an evil spy. This sure makes the D-agency a massive bunch of hypocrites in the first episode when they laughed off  Sakuma’s honor code in the first episode. I guess we are supposed to cheer for the D-agency for being morally upright spies and boo the evil wind agency spies who resort to any means necessary to get the job done. It’s all black and white, even though by nature a spies job is morally grey the writer resorts to this simple clash of good and evil with no middle ground.

The story this week is simple. The spy needs to find evidence to implicate a British diplomat is involved with the military and passing on information. However he hasn’t made any communication whatsoever and it’s looking that he’s in the clear. The spy of the week decides to blackmail the butler into drugging the guards and letting him in to investigate the safe. After investigating we see another example of Joker games immensely poor writing as he somehow figures out that the man has been sending out messages through a hollowed out umbrella his wife takes with her when going out. All because of a relatively normal comment about asking her to take the umbrella he bought her with her. This isn’t the stop of the silliness as when the man and his wife come down to investigate at the moment they turn the door handle our spy somehow stuff the documents back in the safe, replaces the painting and gets outside the house. Um…somehow.It really wasn’t made clear just how he managed to get outside. It just shown him in the house one minute and then bam! He Houdini’s outside. All while checking the umbrella on the way I suppose. If Joker Game expects me to take it seriously then it really needs to stop pulling stuff like this. Spies are not Batman and only Batman could pull off such a feat without question. Speaking of which another thing was brought up this episode which is equally ridiculously. Namely that the spies of D-agency were trained for only a year. Due to my habit of skipping openings after seeing them once I happened to forget that detail but now having seen the superhuman level of the D-agents I must point out just how absurd that is.

A year ladies and gents. A year to turn ordinary human beings into perfect people who know everything about every and the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes with the power of precognition. In a year a single man managed to teach a number of people the kind of skills that would require several year college course just to learn one of these subjects. This guy should give up the spy business and just go into teaching kindergartners. After a year those kids would have the knowledge of a college professor. Perhaps I should have seen the danger signs of the writing sooner. The presentation remains insultingly simple as the man comments about him not letting his guard down and very obviously shifts his eyes to look at the safe hidden behind a painting. A stranger tries to spy on the man by standing outside looking in through the gateway because that’s how you can learn information. By being completely obvious. Meanwhile super spy uses his magic eagle vision to spot that the man doesn’t have a tan on his head from across the garden on the second floor. Thus he must be a military policeman as that requires a hat for the job. And not say a construction worker, firefighter or postman. Maybe the guy fell asleep while tanning with a towel on his forehead? Quite honestly I am just losing all interest having made it this far into the series. This should be a turning point for the show as we now have a main antagonist but the only thing I am concerned about is whether I will be able to tell whose on which side.

~AidanAK47~

Posted on 24 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week we had Chinatsu and Akame and the witch’s apprentice scenario, this week we have a newly formed relationship: Chito the cat and Nao. My little concern last week about the lack of supporting characters was fulfilled in this episode. Not only the cat and Nao form a very distinctive relationship by amusing setup (Nao teased Chito-san for gaining weight so the cat just jumped on her and stayed there (oh girlssss), but also the way they behave is very in-character, and more amazingly the shows just shows that by their small moments. In fact, the cast staying in characters are really consistent throughout this episode and further demonstrate the strengths of Flying witch. Like the way Chinatsu gets excited every time she encounters something new (“so cute”), or Kei being afraid of ghost or Chinatsu doesn’t like eating herb because “children can’t eat herb”, or Makoto being really self-aware of her bad direction sense. We already learned all of that before so it really feels like we know them, we understand the way they behave this time. This week first half we follow the cast as they go to the countryside to do herb picking. Again Flying witch shows us that while this show is not big on laugh, it has a really strong timing and always provides solid punch. Like the way Kei seems so serious announcing the 4 rules of herb-picking, only to mention the bear and that he forgot the bell at home. The bear joke is really solid as well. So apparently there is indeed a bear, but Nao’s shout from her scare of frog keeping the bear away, haha.

The next part involving the cast cook the herbs they picked, and truthfully this is the only weak part of this episode, simply because we had this kind of scenario before. I will always say that repetitive is this show’s worst aspect so I hope the show tries not to rely on that. But thankfully this part goes quickly and we have the most adorable moments of the show for a while. The café part is the magical realism part of the show (the other part by the way was witch learn everyday rural life) to gives us a sense of wonder and it uses most of its strengths here. The secret coffee shop itself makes a strong impression, with its distinguishing art design that somehow feel both warm and welcoming. But then this was topped by the reveal that the waitress was indeed a ghost, all that with her invisible movements and her stick notes. For once Makoto’s spell/charm was put into effective use here, and the charm reveals the waitress’s true appearance makes it as one of the best moments of the show. The waitress’s shyness, then clumsiness when she realized that the cast can see her are GOLD. The whole sequence really highlights what Flying witch does best, I really hope the show keeps going into that direction.

~SuperMario~

Posted on with categories: Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a little bit of a pity as the opening and ending for this show are pretty good. I am fond of the way they made the opening loop as how it starts and ends is the same. This week acts as a calm before the storm and manages to address what is a normal flaw regarding anime stories in general. For you see often in a anime when a character’s trauma is brought up and addressed, that’s the end of it. Sure the protagonist may angst over a new problem but when they break out everything tends to go their way and it’s just doesn’t bother them anymore. The character breaks out of his angst and faces adversity with no problem. Re:Zero looked to be continuing this trend with Subaru regaining his will to fight and jumping off a cliff. The beginning half certainly makes it feel like Subaru has gotten over it but then we notice that Subaru is a bit too upbeat. His meta humor goes up to rather annoying levels and he is clearly exerting himself. For you see while anime may state otherwise, healing from trauma is a gradual process and you don’t suddenly feel all better because someone gives you a pep talk. Subaru here tried way too hard and everyone noticed that. With Ram and Rem it made him all the more suspicious. WIth Emilia it made her worried. It’s clear that Subaru is still traumatised by his previous repeats as evidenced when Puck casts a shadow spell over him, which blocks his sight and sound. The level of panic Subaru exhibits truly shows that he isn’t over anything as the state is very similar of his nightmares. So Emilia laid him down on her lap and got him to let it all out which leads to a pretty powerful scene. This is one of those things I find interesting about Emilia, in that while Subaru seeks a romantic relationship with her, her relationship with him almost seems motherly. One could debate that her level of affection for him is a little strange considering how long they have known each other and I do sort of agree with that. Though what I mention later here could be a result of that.

We learn quite a bit about magic this time around and that Subaru’s affinity is with shadow magic. Does that mean he’s going to end up a badass necromancer in the future, um…no. Shadow magic looks to be a unimpressive kind and Subaru looks to have no real talent in controlling it. I approve this development as what makes Subaru’s tale compelling is that he is a normal human. If he suddenly gains superpowers that would make him less relatable and his struggles less compelling. There’s also more detail on the Jealous witch and I find myself most intrigued by it. More and more it looks to be the Jealous witch who gave Subaru his power and brought him to the land. So it goes that there were seven witches who represented the seven sins. However the Witch who represented envy devoured the powers of the others and drained half the world of magic. Some have said that the translation of “Jealous Witch” is an incorrect one as due to her status of representing a sin it would be better to refer to her as the witch of envy. Personally though I prefer calling her the Jealous witch as it just sounds better to me. Besides Jealousy is often associated with envy so it’s not entirely incorrect. Beatrix lays down some interesting lines. The witch of envy desires love, she cannot understand human language and even all the dragons and heroes of the world couldn’t destroy her. This leads me to make a theory, one which Subaru briefly alludes to. For a moment Subaru considers that Emilia is the Jealous witch due to the info that the Jealous witches body is that of a half elf with white hair. This explains why Emilia is so concerned about her race when she reveals it to Subaru and Subaru writes off her introducing herself as Satella in the first run to make her seem suitable to the throne to those thinking she’s aiming for it. I however have another theory. I believe that Emilia is the jealous witch, however I think she isn’t actually aware of it herself.

The way the Jealous witch is talked about makes her seem like a spirit or some kind of ghostly creature and it’s possible the reason why she couldn’t be killed was simply because she can’t really die. For anytime a body is destroyed she would move to a new host. My guess is that Subaru was brought here to protect her from harm and most importantly, love her. As that’s what she desires most of all. For Emilia this doesn’t look to be something she’s doing on purpose and I believe the witch is working subconsciously to achieve this. Hence why Emilia is so attached to Subaru and seems at times to know what he’s going though, even on a vague level. Subaru made a big mistake this episode which could dig his grave later when he goes to replace a vase despite no one telling him where the spare vases were. He wrote this off as Ram telling him about it but I say they found it mighty suspicious. Roswell makes a curious comment to Ram about stopping her sister from acting out which suggested that Subaru’s death in the second run may have been her acting on her own instead of on orders. Though she seems to have lightened up to him after seeing him on Emilia’s lap. Both sister got rather playful with him at the end of the episode so this time around I think his death isn’t going to be by their hands. Instead it looks like the mysterious shaman is the one who’s going to kill him this time. Who that is is still up in the air but Subaru looks to have homed in on the cause being in the village due to Beatrix’s comment about a curse needing physical contact. But could this be the turn that Subaru manages to break out of the cycle? Honestly, I doubt it. If you happen to be itching for more Re:zero like myself, I recommend checking out the Break time specials. They are a pretty fun side dish to the main story that happens to include some material that didn’t make the original cut.

~AidanAK47~

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