Posted on 22 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

So here we have it, the best we are going to get from this series. We may get standout moments in the later parts of the story but I think this episode is as good as it gets. The adaption still isn’t what I would call good, and oddly enough the best parts of this episode was when they stopped being faithful to the source, but at least it was entertaining. We have a action focused episode as we have Shirou vs Wilhelm, Ren vs Kei and finally Ren fighting the glorious bastard himself, Reinhard. Now while I believe the animators did the best they could with this, sadly the animation couldn’t really keep up with everything on screen and ended up choppy and unrefined.

It’s things like this which make me wonder what it would be like if Ufotable was handling this adaption for if they were this episode would likely be an action masterpiece. Honestly this episode was absolutely insane and i for one really liked that. The premise of this show was already ridiculous so why not just turn everything up to 11 and run on the rule of cool? So how did that go? Well in this episode a human overturned a truck full of liquid nitrogen on top of a vampire and proceeded to run him over with a motorbike. Two teenagers engaged in a deadly sword fight while running on water. Our protagonist took on a giant golden skeleton that shoots laser beams and spawns WWII soldiers, fighter planes and tanks. So as I watched Ren blow up planes and rip apart tanks I suddenly wondered just how this show managed to suddenly kick so much ass.

Some claim that this messes up the power dynamic because they went too big, too fast. Hogwash, I say. DIes Irae doesn’t have any real consistency in it’s power levels anyway. Masada has too much of a tendency to rely of Deus Ex Machina that he often just throws power levels out the window. These fight scenes were toned down in the visual novel such as Shirou’s fight not taking place on a highway and the entirety of the fight against the skeleton. Really all that happened was that Reinhard showed up on the bridge, Ren suddenly attacked him out of terror and that caused Marie to break and get stabbed through the chest. If they didn’t skip over parts of the Kei and Ren fight and improved the animation then I would say the anime handled this scene better than the visual novel did.

So aside from the fight scenes we also got Shirou at the beginning breaking the fourth wall to tell us about are rather important part of this whole story as well as an important detail about his character. Shirou, much like some other characters in this story, suffers from a constant sense of Deja Vu. He constantly feels like he’s done things before and is simple following a predetermined path. This in turn fuels his dangerous recklessness as he seeks out more outrageous and dangerous activities to try and experience something that he never felt before. On top of that it seems he has a degree of immortality as no matter the situation it always ends up with him surviving. Put simply, Shirou is a insanely lucky guy and his battles have always been a highlight for me because he doesn’t have a annabelle like Ren and thus he needs to pull off some truly insane things to gain the upper hand in battle. Shirou is a bit like a Jojo’s protagonist without all the posing. Well I was pleasantly surprised this episode and it would be nice if this marked a turning point in this anime, where it might not make for a good adaption but it could very well end up being entertaining to watch regardless.

Posted on with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai. This a good week for us, as Chise becomes more independent, Elias hulks out and information comes to light about the Sorcerers dark plot. Lets jump in.

To start off, let’s talk about Chise. Compared to the first episode, she is like a different person now. She has confidence and a new found enjoyment of life. This comes through in most everything she does this episode. She studies under a tree, surrounded by fluffy magical creatures. She brews her own potions and does work without Elias looking over her shoulder. Chise even defends herself against spirits and humans with her own power and knowledge. Its nice to see her starting to stand on her own to feet and handle herself. Naturally fixing larger problems is beyond her, but she is clearly growing through the episodes. I can’t wait to see where she goes magic and ability wise, for when she stands next to Elias instead of behind him.

(more…)

Posted on 21 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

Let me start this post by saying that this is indeed a fun episode of Kino. Once again the mantle of protagonist is taken from the duo and instead it’s Kino’s Master who leads this episode. Though the story is told by Kino as she approaches the country that is in the story. It is rather nice to see Kino’s master being a serious badass and we at least get a grasp on the kind of person who trained Kino to be as skilled as she is. I particular liked the Sepia tone used for the scenes that take place in the past, making them seem like an old time action movie. It is a nice funny little episode which could have acted as a nice breather from the series more darker stories. However here is where my own personal gripes come into this because while I enjoy this episode, it also has me rather dissatisfied and somewhat irritated. Again I will repeat that this is by no means a bad episode of anime but, quite frankly, this isn’t what I watch Kino for. I have mentioned before that the story selection for this anime was influenced by a poll run on fans favorite country and in that I felt that people tended to choose the stories which happen to make Kino be more active and cool as opposed to the stories which had great depth. I also notice another thread as well with this season and that is that out of all the stories so far, they have all had happy endings. Strange though it may be, I generally prefer Kino when it’s more dark and depressing rather than upbeat and optimistic. For example, my favorite episode from the previous series happened to be the second episode with the story about the three rabbits. It was dark, depressing but damn did it have an impact on me.

Thinking back over the old series I generally did prefer the darker episodes and this season may be feeling lacking because it is missing that particular darkness. Everyone picked the upbeat stories, the exciting stories over the more poignant and melancholic stories. Even the opening seems to display this with a poppy cheery theme that seems to not quite fit my image of Kino. We have the light side of Kino and we appear to be missing the darkness. There are of course episodes that still have parts of it but I think we are missing half of what makes Kino, Kino. That is why this bugs me, for as far as we know this series will only be one cour. It may very well be the last anime Kino will ever get for it was a miracle to get even this. So isn’t it such a shame to have episodes wasted on such simple stories like this? A story about people being badass isn’t a rarity in anime and I just tend to hold Kino at a higher standard.

Well I spent too much time discussing this and not much about the episode itself. Though there really isn’t that much to this. A country run by a corrupt police force attempts to frame masters companion with drug possession in order to steal money and get manual labor out of him. Master in turn ends up taking over the clock tower police station and holding a standoff against the police for three days until they literally have to pay her to leave. The only thing of interest to me was the aftermath with Kino revisiting the country to find that her master and companion have been hailed as heroes who were petitioned by the people to root out corruption in the police. Of course the flowery tale appears to have been made up by the police to save face from the fact that two random strangers had the entire police force on their last legs. Likely the reason for corruption getting rooted out in the government was due to greater public scrutiny after that colossal failure and a reform to gain public trust. The way that they avoided persecution by effectively glorifying the incident tends to mirror that of a person who dresses up his failures as secret successes in order to avoid admitting his own folly. As pointed out by Kino at the end when she mentioned about all the old men of the country happening to use canes due to her master shooting their legs during the incident. It’s a nice funny little tale but we are now past the halfway point so they better announce a second cour or make these last episodes something truly special indeed.

Posted on 19 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

After one of the most plot-heavy episode last week, Girls’ Last Tour goes back to its minimalist root this time, with only the girls and two interior settings. This could be Girls’ Last Tour’s simplest episode, with the plot can be summed up as those girls go to the ration production facility, at first slightly get lost in the labyrinth of pipes until they find the clear path with arrow signs and once they reach the facility, they bake their own ration using the left ingredients from the place. That’s it. But by all mean, this is another solid episode of Girls’ Last Tour. This show truly can’t do no wrong in my eyes. This episode also furthers demonstrate the strengths of the voice acting of both Inori Minase (Chi-chan) and Yurika Kubo (Yuu) (they also sing the OP and ED, both gorgeous by the way). As it goes without saying they have to carry the show by their own voices – being the only voices in the show – and they do it magnificently. Chi-chan and Yuu have incredible chemistry together with their natural banters and well-timed comedy.

What also interesting is how different in the way they approach life that they somehow complement each other and bring out the best from each other. In this episode, Chi-chan feels comfortable with the idea of arrow signs “What kind of person would ignore signs that would help them get to their destination?”, but that very idea makes the trip boring in Yuu’s eyes. Or their banters about the need to eat food, Chi-chan feels it’d be much better if human doesn’t have to eat, in which Yuu responds that isn’t living at all. Once again, we see the ruthless Yuu who turns on the potato grinder machine while Chi-chan is still on the conveyor belt, TWICE (and whose idea was it that the red button is on, while the green one is off?? No wonder that world is extinct now). Look at Yuu’s face who has no sign of remorse at all, makes me really wonder how Chi-chan can survive living with Yuu for so long. All jokes aside, both the girls have grown a lot on me. And those happy moments in the end where the girls make their own ration from what they learnt baking bread before further display little joys those girls have in this ruined world.

There’s one point that I notice while comparing the manga version with the anime last week, and again it’s more apparent during the first half of this episode, it is the feeling of hopelessness is more visible in the manga version. In the manga, that hopelessness feeling plays as a centre tone whenever the girls place themselves in this dead, vast world; whereas the anime adaptation use that feeling of hopelessness as a backdrop to produce a calming, healing experience. It comes as no wonder when I learn that many of the mangaka’s arts are quite depressing in nature, makes me really question how she going to finish this show off. As of now, one version doesn’t necessary better than the other. I enjoy both versions of Girls’ Last Tour to be honest and it’s one of the rare case where the anime production really understand about the strength of the source and strengthen many aspects that makes this show stand out in the first place. Girls’ Last Tour is as consistent as ever.

Posted on with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Inuyashiki

This week Inuyashiki fulfills last weeks predictions in a rather unexpected way. Strap in for some suicide, mass murder and the tail-spin of everyone’s favorite sociopath. Lets jump in!

Rather than being a parallel between our two heroes like usual, this episode is focused almost entirely on Hiro. To me, this episode hits loosely on the 5 stages of grief, thought I admit its not a perfect fit. It starts off with Hiro in denial, not recognizing or refusing to acknowledge what is happening. He just sits in a room of the girl who confessed to him, doing nothing. Most likely just watching TV. We see him consider killing the girl and her grandmother, yet remember he swore last episode to stop killing people right before the police found him. I believe he was still hoping things could return to normal if he could only fix it somehow. Then however, his mother comes back into the picture, denouncing him to the media.

(more…)

Posted on 17 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Juuni Taisen

For a character who officially dead before Juuni Taisen started (and thus, render him “useless” to win the tournament), Snake is surprisingly one of the most fearsome warrior of the race so far. He assisted Rabbit to kill Boar in the first episode, he cornered Rat to every holes Rat could hide, he KILLED Horse, his head helped Rabbit to finish Monkey and now his limbs alone are strangling both Bull and Tiger into their suffocation. Like how Rat mentioned last week, he feels more alive and battle-ready than many of other warriors in the race, especially his brother Dragon who still does nothing except flying and observing the race from the sky. We also have a glimpse of the dynamic between Snake and Dragon and I like that their relationship is still pretty vague, a combination of both partner in crime, sibling rivalry, familial bond but at the same time not really either of these. For those who wonder about the weird sibling bond between Snake and Dragon, especially in Western culture where dragon is a fire-breathing creature with aggressive connotations, dragons in Asian culture are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. Moreover, their close relationship with snake dates back to ancient times so there’s some truth behind the Tsumita clan who claim that the Warriors of Dragon and Snake have always been pair for generations (but if they put it that way, both Dragon and Snake have to know they will have to kill off each other beforehand, right?)

We have some fragment flashbacks about the twins, mostly about their heists and their nomination ceremony for the Zodiac Wars. Between those two, Dragon is a calmer, more collected and Snake is the more aggressive warrior. Dragon owns the sky as he flies through the field, whereas Snake has a special ability to feel and connect the Earth. Dragon uses what I assumed an ice thrower, whereas Snake used flamethrower. Putting together, they make quite a dangerous pair precisely because they are two-headed monster whose abilities complement one another. But like I said, I like how their relationship is neither of these expected tropes. At first, they show no remorse when they heard the news that one of them will have to die in the Zodiac War, for them it’s more like a part of a deal they all have to follow. They do compete with one another, but they question it immediately “Since when it becomes a competition?”. They tell each other “a fool”, but they clearly enjoy their times together. They can survive on their owns, but always enjoy the company of the other and watch each other’s back. Their ability is “killing for money” but from what I see money isn’t really all they look for. I enjoy it when the siblings keep redefining who they are and aren’t, but there certainly is a big risk that Dragon especially can come off as bland with no real personality. Hopefully the next episode Juuni Taisen will do a justice to his arc because so far he contributes absolutely nothing to the race.

Elsewhere, Rabbit is disappointed because he can’t resurrect Horse, for whatever reason. I suspect it has to do with the heat/burn because it’s the very same method that Bull decided to use against Snake’s arms. As expected, Tiger has a real grudge against Bull and they agree to settle for a battle once they getting out of the current mess they are in now. Which of course will come after Dragon and Rabbit’s episodes, and by then we will learn why Tiger hold such hatred towards poor Bull (love quarrel? I’d love that). Even more so with the Dragon character, I have a feeling Juuni Taisen knows where it’s heading and still have enough tactful tricks to surprise us, but it’s better be rewarding because the ride so far has been slow, and surprisingly safe and uninspiring. Knowing Nisio I believe he can come up with a solid ending, but it won’t be an excuse to make the middle section this mild and boring.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

Forgive my tardiness in not covering Dies Irae last week. I had a few things going on and a serious lack of motivation. I am certain all two of you(Might be an overexpression of the number) that read these Dies Irae reviews were deeply disappointed. We have two episodes this week, one which was rather mediocre and the other which was actually surprising entertaining. It might be due to the previous episode being about action as Ren faces one of the members of the Obsidian round table and naturally the animation quality cannot match the quality needed to make this fight entertaining. We did at least get some exposition on the kind of magic this series will be using. Namely it being former execution and torture devices that killed so many people as to gain supernatural power from absorbing their souls. The more people you kill, the more powerful you become.

So in that regard Ren is ata serious disadvantage as the members of the table have been killing for quite a long time while he only recently acquired his Ahnenerbe, aka magical execution device. The Ahnenerbe has four levels of power and I will go by the Visual Novel names rather than the wrong crunchyroll definitions. Assiah is the first and it basically is a level to confirm that someone has one. In Ren’s case it means he can cut things by willing it, which would be very useful but trust me when I say this level is rarely used. Yetzirah is forming the Ahnenerbe into a useable weapon, as Ren did against spinne when he summoned up those red blades. Briah is the third and it’s basically a ripoff Reality marble complete with ripoff unlimited bladeworks chants. And the final level which we shall just pass over for now.

The fifth episode was surprisingly good as i said before, though it certainly starts bad with the oldest anime cliche in the book. Waking up with random beautiful girl in your bed is something I remember from harems of yore though I am certain if I looked there’s a few light novel adaptions still using it. Though I do like the past of Marie, the spiritual manifestation of the guillotine, or ghost of one of its victims. A girl who was born under a guillotine, freaked out her parents and everyone around her with her one man sing a long while unintentional chopping off the head of anyone who touched her. Certainly a mysterious girl but the biggest question i have is how did two parents with dark hair give birth to a bright blonde baby? Either the misses was getting around or whatever power she gained decided to bleach her hair.

I can’t say her personality is much to speak of though considering she pretty much doesn’t have one unless you count puppy dog level affection. She does gain more of a personality later but while I do find her design appealing, I never really saw her as much of a strong character. Who I do find to be strong characters are the two introduced in this episode, Shirou and Ellie. Otherwise what I would call the characters that should have been the protagonists. These two are barrels of fun though right now they are more on the serious side due to wanting to get involved with Ren’s fight. The coming episode could help redeem this somewhat seeing as we have passed much of the slow start and gotten into the real story. But this is a story of style over substance and things really aren’t going to get better if we can’t up the style.

Posted on 15 November 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

This episode of 3-gatsu felt like a companion piece to the heart-wrenching drama of the previous week. In fact, the “Feelings” chapter from this installment, where Rei asks Hayashida-sensei for advice, was a direct continuation of the same chapter from last time. Until this point, I felt that the series had approached the subject of bullying very naturally, without lecturing or feeling like an after-school special. There was a bit of preachiness to Hayashida’s dialogue this week, though it would have been tough to avoid that sensation, based on the straightness with which Rei asks for “anti-bullying measures.” Listening to the teacher’s speech on the difficulties of dealing with bullying, one gets the sense that this chapter was a sort of soapbox moment for Umino-sensei. Given the overall strength of this arc so far, though, I’m willing to handwave its less subtle bits. Plus, I admire anyone who integrates the social issues they care about into their art, especially when the end product is actually good.

There were two elements of Rei and Hayashida-sensei’s conversation that made it a success on a level apart from “bullying is a tough nut to crack.” The first was the humor, which came as a relief for me, since Shaft’s brand of comedy doesn’t always find its way to my funny bone. I credit a lot of the laughs to the keyboard track that starts around 1:40, and again at 7:30. Combine its playful Wurlitzer melody with some goofy voice acting and inventive visual gags (Hayashida turning into a wooden statue springs to mind), and you can generate a lighthearted tone that balances the chapter’s heavier moments. The second, more significant element was the show’s flirtation with the Rei/Hinata pairing, as seen through Hayashida-sensei’s eyes. In my last 3-gatsu post, I mentioned that the two characters are quite suited for one another, but that was in regards to their temperaments and personal histories. The three year difference between Rei and Hina makes it difficult to think of them as romantic partners, and Honey and Clover was famous for its couple-related curveballs, so I don’t want to make any serious predictions at this stage. Hayashida is certainly convinced that Rei has a crush, though, if his disappearance into the rushing river of adolescence is anything to go by.

I appreciate that “Confession” continued to explore the effects of Hinata’s bullying on other members of the Kawamoto family. Akari carries one of the heaviest burdens in the 3-gatsu universe, having acted as a mother to her sisters since the age of 17, and for this to be added to her plate must be nearly unbearable. She feels even worse after comparing her own defensive, questioning response to Someji’s reassuring one, which isn’t an observation that a lot of other series would make. Poor Akari – she declares herself “no good” because of her failure to comfort her baby sister, but she’s the most traditionally “good” character the show has to offer. Thankfully, Rei draws an inspired parallel between Hina’s courage and the values with which Akari raised her, and gives her a much happier reason to cry. Even though Rei made such a bold commitment to Hinata last week, I think he actually demonstrated more growth here by attending to this subtler form of grief. Finding the perfect words like he did in this episode proves that Rei is on a path of real transformation, and I plan to accompany him until he reaches its end.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

We near the finale and Apocrypha gears up to bring things to a close, even if that setup is essentially mentioning that the battle is coming to an end over and over again. it’s more than a little strange to see this episode start up and it is though the entire three episode arc of dealing with Jack the Ripper never even happened. I actually think you could skip over those episodes entirely and starting this episode nothing would really feel amiss. It feels rushed at just how this series is pushing towards a finale, with only Sisgou and Mordred proving to be the most natural on screen. This episode had a focus on Fiore giving up on her right to lead the house on the basis that she is simply not cut out for the life of a mage. She has plenty of magic talent as stated by Chiron but is too kind to take on the normally dark aspects of a mage lifestyle. Bit of a stretch as you don’t need to disregard life in order to be a mage and she certainly gave up rather fast seeing as her whole reason for entering the war was to allow her to walk and be a mage without giving up on one. I like the narrative arc of having Caules become the leader of the Yggdmillennia but I certainly feel like this development isn’t as smooth as they wanted it to be. Plus they really played down just how intense transferring a magic crest is. It normally requires surgery.

I have heard word that Fate/Apocrypha was an attempt by the writer Yuichiro Higashide to top Fate/Zero. It’s up for debate on how true this is as the wiki states that Kinoko Nasu planned and wrote a majority of the story elements for the characters and plot. That said there is a certain air around this series of wanting to emulate Zero, especially in the light novels. The Assassin of black duo are very reminiscent of the castor duo in Zero. Having the story focus on multiple master and servant pairs instead of basing it around one. A general dark tone and having a presist of the church be a main villain. Admittedly these are abstract vague comparisons and could very well be brushed off but I even felt that out of all the fate works that Apocrypha was the closest to being a Fate/Zero 2. That said it overexerted itself due to having a writer who really can’t match up to the scale of the narrative he wants to tell. Apocrypha has good ideas and good characters(Aside from you know who) and I would very much attribute those to Nasu as that has always been his forte. Gen was the master of exposition, pacing and focus, elements which Apocrypha is very much missing. Fate/Zero is a tight story with nary a unnessary moment. Apocrypha on the other hand has had several episodes which could be removed from the story entirely. Now this isn’t to say that Urobuchi Gen is a perfect write, believe me that he has his own writing issues, but I do want to point out just how much of a perfect match Gen and Nasu were. Higashide is not Gen and as such cannot take Nasu’s good ideas and make a good patchwork. So should Gen and Nasu just write all future Fate works from now on? Well that does sound interesting but other writers have proven they can work their own magic on it. Ryohyo Narita’s Fate/ Strange Fake has quite a number of fans after all.

I have become significantly less fond of astolfo as of late. Part of that might be because of him helping to ship Sieg and Joan in this episode but I admit that a large part of his character is just the gimmick of him being a trap. I liked him in the novel for being the comic relief much in the same way as Alexander did in Fate/Zero. But he’s just not provided anything besides trap jokes but perhaps much like Joan, his problem is in that he just has a cardboard plank to work off of. Again, so many of Apocrypha’s problems connect back to Sieg. It’s a pity that Mordred and Sisgou are not in the spotlight more as this episode was at least made more interesting by Mordred being to wonder just what makes a good king. Rather amusing that despite wanting to usurp the title from Arturia, that her idea of a good king is very much the same as hers. The every same idea that got so chastised by Alexander in Zero. Despite her professed hate, she still holds a high degree of respect and admiration for her father. Something that Sisgou sees easily…sigh…why is it that these two were shafted into the side character slot? I do believe this series was significantly better when we were under the impression that they were to be the main characters. So the last battle draws near and Apocrypha is looking to be a decent but sadly disappointing entry into the Fate animated universe. Pity we had so many Fate adaptations this year and a majority of them disappointed. Grand Order’s Ova was rather bad, though I must admit the Mobile app itself has me absolutely addicted.(Saving my quartz for you, my darling Scathach) Fate/Apocrypha disappointed. Fate/Prisma Illya’s movie, despite adapting the best part of the manga, has dropped the ball on animation quality.(Though the movie seems to be still pretty decent) Heaven’s Feel at least looks like it delivered for you goddamn lucky Americains. And I have no real expectations for the Fate/Extra adaption happening next season due to the source material being nothing special. The year of Fate has sadly not turned out well but maybe now Nasu can get off hs lazy ass and write something for a change.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

I would say there were plenty new watchers fooled into thinking this was Kino’s origin story and I admit to having the thought that the remake may be creating a new origin for her. But alas this is an episode focused on someone else entirely. Still I consider it a strong episode even if it got a bit too forced with the portrayal of the caravans people. I can forgive that as it’s not the first time that Kino has sacrificed characterisation in order to tell a story. In fact many a time in the old series did people turn into exposition puppets solely there to push the parable of the week. Kino in essence isn’t really about the characters but rather the underlying themes and questions brought up with the story being told. In terms of that we got a lot of meat here. The situation is that a girl is sold as a slave to a caravan in order to cover the expenses the country owes. However it appears the girl isn’t a very useful slave. Those the adults treat her badly due to feeling they got scammed and the children treat her even worse. However we have an odd situation where the slave girl is from a religious country that preaches in believing in the good in others and not hating other people. Thus her beliefs are put to the test by her horrible owners and the fact that she was sold off.

The funny aspect of this story is that while the slave girl does speak that she would never hate them and mention her beliefs, the look in her eyes does not suggest that this is what she truly believes. Instead it feels like the beliefs that she was indoctrinated with. She believes such because it was what she was taught to believe and despite that the beliefs themselves are not inherently wrong(Though naive) there’s something wrong in how she has ingrained them into herself. The big test comes when she realises that the herbs thrown into the soap were poisonous and attempts to warn the group. There is so much beautiful irony in this episode. One of the members of the caravan mentions that the girl is someone abandoned by luck but inadvertently by episode’s end she is the luckiest girl there. Indeed it was as if god himself turned events to her advantage. Her attempt at suicide was stopped by a coincidental bullying from one of the children. Fog stopped Kino from reaching the camp in time as she could have warned the group about the poisonous herbs. Though if Kino saw how they treated the slave girl, I wonder if she would have sat back and let them accidently kill themselves. The fact that the only member of the caravan to survive was someone who sympathised enough with her to free her shackles. Not to mention the beautiful line of him mentioning that his grandfather said that he shouldn’t be a picky eater and he inadvertently survived because he was a picky eater. The motorrad in the truck that could teach her how to drive and not to mention give her the perfect advice to combat her suicidal mindset.. Yes, everything worked out in this girl’s favor and that begs the question of whether her belief that the founder somehow knew things would work out for her was indeed true or if this was all plain coincidence.

Now when it comes to the girls abuse I actually thought the majority of this episode handled it well with it being rather low key instead of pushing it too hard. The point that really makes it forced is right before the caravan dies and the son of the caravan leader makes the suggestion that his father sell him the slave girl just for the express purpose of him proving himself a man by killing her. Yes this is quite forced, especially with it coming just right before they die to show that they are far beyond redemption. The funny thing is here that I can somewhat understand this kids reasoning. Judging by what Kino has to deal with, traveling is a dangerous job and isn’t one that allows for high moral ground. Even Kino isn’t against killing someone if the need comes. So I can understand just why this kid feels that it’s important for him to be able to kill. The logic fails here however in just how he is going to go about it. Killing someone who’s out to kill you is far different from killing and torturing a girl who can’t fight back. Of course it’s up for debate on whether this kid is truly capable of it as I can certainly see him talking a big game and losing his nerve once he gets to the act. I feel like this scene would have worked better if the father was in favor of the idea while other members of the caravan felt conflicted. Like the boy’s mother not being too keen on the idea of her son torturing a girl, regardless of who it is. If there was a failure in this episode it would be the adult’s reaction to the boys proposition. I don’t care how evil people are, suggesting this crap over a dinner table wouldn’t get unanimous acceptance.

That aside this was a very good episode that showed this shows strength over others. This episode could be a commentary about religion and how the ideals it teaches are hollow if you haven’t any resolve or real investment in them. It could be a message about abusive relationships and how the abused tries to see the best in their abusers despite all evidence to the contrary. The while altruism is an admirable virtue, it’s truly important to accept that you are only human and as such do not need to uphold a perfect ideal to be a good person. Or even a anti-suicide message for after all, you are inevitably going to die someday. So if you want to die then just live and it will happen eventually. Or quite simply, a moral that things may be at their darkest at times but the future always holds the potential for happiness. Not an easy episode to watch but I do love the food for thought. Keep it coming Kino.

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

DanMachi2 – 5 [The Hearthfire Mansion (Home)]

DanMachi, you have me scratching my head. It takes you less than 20 minutes of air time to wrap up a 4 episode built, fortune changing battle – and then you spend the next 20 discussing Hestia’s Homebuilding. And what’s more – it was a very enjoyable Fixer-Upper-At-Your-Enemy’s-Expense episode. Just…a bit puzzling pace. Let’s take […]

Fire Force – 5 [The Battle Begins]

For the second episode in a row, Fire Force has quietly impressed me. Obviously the episode of the week would have to go to Yaiba (see Lenlo’s excellent post on it!), but Fire Force turned in an admirable performance. With the mess of Episode 3 still looming, I was quite happy to see an episode […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]