Posted on 31 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Hello and welcome to perhaps the most personal episode of Kaze Fui yet. This week we have the struggles of growing up, the reasons why we run and some great character details. Lets jump in!

Before I get into specifics, I want to talk about what Kaze Fui did this week that I simply loved. Kaze Fui is, quite successfully, spreading the love and attention of the characters. With such a large cast, it would be incredibly easy for some of them to fall by the wayside. For our characters to be nothing more than window dressing for our leads. But Kaze Fui manages to spend just enough time with them to make them all feel like their own people. It let’s them talk to each other, without our leads, giving them independence in the story. They resolve their own issue’s, like Shindo deciding he wants to run on his own. Kaze Fui even gives us consistent, if brief, glimpses into their private lives. Showing us their rooms or the different ways they sleep based on personality. Simply put, I love the characters portrayal.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

This episode marks an official appearance of Kohaku, and she is indeed brightens the screen and quickly becomes my favorite character out of this series. She’s both an interesting character in her own right (I love how she’s in merge between eccentric and act like an responsible adult), and she fits into the surrounding very well. For a show that has always been slow, she’s a necessary dynamite to blow things up a bit and drives the narrative as the series goes on. For instance, this week, because of her courage, Hitomi finally reveals to her club-mates that she comes from the future. While it’s an opportunity for the show to go all out emotionally, I don’t mind the understated way it addresses at all. Even the cast members don’t seem to be very taken aback by the reveal, which can gives of a bit strange. I really enjoy Kohaku’s little magic shown in this episode, as it feels magical, and what comes afterward, that everything blows up and everyone keeps reminding her of “don’t do anything that involve apologize letter” certainly give a smiles on my face.

There’s also some romantic potential here, chief among them Shou and Hitomi, while the other girl shows sign of one-sided crush to Shou. I’m not sure if it’s a good lake to fish since we know for certain how Hitomi is going to response. It’s pretty confirmed about the pair of glassed girl Kurumi and her underclassman Chigusa, and it’s interesting to note that Yuito shows some feeling towards Hitomi as he’s too shy to call her by her first name. While it’s P.A Works’s template that romance is bound to happen – which I’m not totally keen of – I will reserve my comment until I see how well they develop the romances at hands.

Many have noted the fact that Irozuku lacks punch. Indeed, apart from the fantastic moment at the end of episode 1, there’s little to no big payoff moments. Even in the “big moments” of this episode, namely when she reveals to her club members that she’s from the future & the magic train in the sky, are equally downplayed and mundane. Everything seems slow and understated, and to be fair Irozuku isn’t the best production when it comes to portrays subtle nuances, but it still maintains its own confident step forward. The issue with Hitomi for now is that she doesn’t has enough confident, or finding the true brilliance, in her magic. For Kohaku, she uses magic to bring smiles to people, so what will be the drive for Hitomi to fully embrace her magic?

Posted on 30 October 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Comedy, Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San

Ah, another week another short relaxing dip into Honda-San. This week we have mandatory employee training, cults and a step in the right direction. Lets jump in!

So luckily, it looks like Honda-San took my advice and stepped back on the educational bits. This week it focused on taking a basic facet of a service position and magnified aspects of it. Most people in a service position have probably been through something like this. A mandatory, extremely awkward and boring, training seminar. Honda-San took this seminar this week and exaggerated all the worst, or weirdest parts. The teachers became cult leaders, with their masks. The apathetic employee’s forced to be there became humerus caricatures, and the tasks at hand were executed with gumption. Personally I thought it all worked quite well. Honda-San truly is at its best using grounded absurdist humor, instead of educational humor.

As far as the actual jokes, they still came at a slower pace than I would have liked, but largely worked. It setup my expectations with the first terrible smile, which I have seen at these kind of events. But then completely surprised me with the ridiculousness of the pretty ladies actions. The damn “oo ee oo ee” sound murdered me. It came from nowhere and was just unique. Honda-San also nailed some of the visual humor this week, with the “perfect” employee as seen in the image above. I do think it spent a bit to much time actually explaining the seminar though. This is something most people can grasp immediately I imagine, I don’t think the viewer needs to hear it spelled out. Hopefully Honda-San continues to move in this direction though.

So all in all, Honda-San was better this week. It was still just a bit to much on the educational side, and the 2nd Skit of the episode might as well not of been there it was so short. But for a 9 minute a week short comedy sketch, I still think Honda-San is worth your time. Watch it on the bus, or during lunch or something for a quick chuckle, and I would say its time well spent.

Apologies for the shortness of the post here this week, but there really isn’t much to talk about with a comedy skit like this. I would rather be succinct and to the point than waste your time with a 1000 word essay. Hope you enjoy, and see you next week!

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

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly inspired by and modeled after Anime. Just like Avatar: The Last Airbender or the currently airing RWBY, let Castlevania stand as a testament that Anime can be produced beyond the borders of Japan. A damn good one at that.

Lets jump in, and beware of spoilers!

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Posted on 29 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Before discussing this week’s episode, I feel the need to mention the weekly voice drama (thanks a bunch for bringing it to my attention, Animosh) of GRIDMAN that provides more context and dare I say, more personality to the cast. As much as I like the current style of GRIDMAN, its strength is purely on the adept direction by Akira Amemiya and its solid visual craft where the dialogues are hardly relevant. As a result, by making these characters having an actual communication, it adds up a whole lot and helps explaining many of the loose threads in the anime. For example, listening to the audio drama, we learn that Rikka and Yuuta definitely had something going before the amnesia, that “ball game rally before summer” sounds like a perfect setting for a date if you ask me. These voice drama, along with the content of this week 4, also marks a shift in GRIDMAN’s perspective and now I come to suspect that Rikka is a crucial character that hold the emotional core in this anime. I mean, the voice drama of episode 4 (4.4) raises a red flag about Rikka’s life threat and based from what happened this week, I have very goods reason to believe that would be the case.

The main key to that plot thread lies in the relationship between Akane and Rikka. Granted, the main reason why Rikka approaches our girl in this episode is purely to confirm whether Yuuta is Gridman or not (and she fails miserably on that, but boy, did she try); but there’s hints about their already gone established friendship, and slowly Rikka comes to the realization that all the incidents happen around her. That might just be her hormone’s actin’ up (that everything revolves around her), but I come to suspect the core reason for Akane becoming a psychopath has something to do with her and Rikka. Talking about the Queen of Cruelty Akane (opps, lame references to another show I’m blogging), this week she decides to kills the V-bloggers boys because they keep pestering her (could it be a warming message for all the Youtubers out there?), and the way GRIDMAN displays her, by extreme dutch-angle shot, by her still acting nice but can’t hold back anymore when she’s alone, tells you pretty how unstable her feeling is. She isn’t merely killing people for fun, she kills them in the manner of farmers cropping up weeds.

As for our battle this week, things get even more crowded with the appearance of a new insectoid kaiju. This Kaiju succeeded on killing 3 of the boys, and on the verge of defeat our Gridman… until Anti interferes given he wanted to be the one who defeat Gridman. It’s interesting to note that Anti pretty much acts according to his principle, so he’s no longer an Akane’s puppet (the way Akane constantly throws her phone is amusing, too). On the other side of the battle, the Neon Genesis members, and Gridman himself, are freeze as soon as all of them entering the Junk (it’s overloaded – speaking about old machine, huh?). Their solution? Unplug the machine and load it up again (this sure brings back memories, but it’s also the fastest way to destroy your computer’s memory). Rikka’s quick decision sure brings a smile to my face. The Neon Genesis squad so far is a delight, they don’t harbor too much deep but they bounce off each other well, especially Samurai Calibur whose deadpan delivery goes well with the show’s emphasis on visual. I’m still down to see the other two members’ real power in the next few episodes.

Episode 4 also spends a healthy amount of time developing the high school romantic saga that involves a group date, a stalking and many more. Most prominent of all is the pair Yuuta and Rikka, as the last few episodes we see more of their chemistry from Rikka’s point of view, so it comes as a bit abrupt that in this episode we see Yuuta already fallen head over heels over Rikka (well, abrupt to me anyways). Yuuta still remains the most boring character out of this cast, but it’s fun and a bit cute to see how both him and Rikka are too dense to make any progress. Like how Max points out, it’s painful to see them trying to talk to each other. The offbeat tone still works wonder here. I very much enjoy the snarky comment from Yukka’s friends Namiko and Hass “who speaks like that these days?”, or Akane’s squid train pass card, which might or might not be relevant in the future. There’s still a lot to admire about GRIDMAN, even to the non-fan of its TOkusatsu homage and Gridman franchise like myself.

Posted on 27 October 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Another week, another episode of Banana Fish. This time we have a quality escape, an expected murder and some odd comedy. Let’s dive in!

This week Banana Fish managed to, just barely straddle a very fine line. Being an escape attempt, Banana Fish had to make it both difficult, yet possible. I felt that Banana Fish straddled that line rather well. The security came off as competent, with good coverage, yet sabotaged from the inside by Dino. The fact that Ash and Co were routinely found and chased/captured really made the chase much more engaging than the guards also just barely missing them. Combine that with things like the infrared cameras giving Ash away and shutting down the elevator, and Banana Fish accomplished a good escape sequence. My only gripe is that, at parts, the felt out of place. I will get into more specifics on this later on, as quiet a few of the jokes worked and none were bad. It was just a matter of timing to me.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

We are at the start of a new arc and thankfully Mai hasn’t been tossed aside like a used napkin with events from the previously arc leading to her and the main pretty much establishing a relationship. I say pretty much cause they agreed to go out twice so really it’s just a matter of our main making sure they arc ends with them officially going out. Sadly the topic of this arc being Laplace’s Demon, sadly the story has taken one of the most boring and routine routes of representing it. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a time loop. What could have been a decently original premise is unfortunately ruined by the fact that time loops have become rather common in current anime with me being able to name about five anime with time loops off the top of my head. (Sunday without god, Steins;Gate, Re;Zero, Haruhi and that magical girl anime you all know about.) It’s sad that with all the inventive ways they could have used the concept that this just feels uninspired as well as just not that interesting. The subject this time is that the girl that got her ass kicked somehow resets the day any time this boy confesses to her due to some thing with her friend liking the same guy.

Funny enough the time loop is broken effortlessly much to Sakutos despair as the loop ended in the worst possible way for him so he was counting on redoing it. The bad news is that the girl is pushing Sakuto to pretend to be her boyfriend to fend off the other guy and Sakuto doesn’t really have a choice because otherwise they could get stuck in another time loop. It’s particularly aggravating to have something get in the way of Sakuto and Mai when both are making good progress and here’s this girl barging in trying to steal the main heroine role. The saving grace here is that the character interactions are really fun and I don’t know what changed but the banter works a lot better than the previous arc. I also like that one of the girls I previously thought would be a future harem member for Sakuto actually is in love with Sakuto’s best friend. So I say his friend should just dump the obnoxious girl from the first episode and get together with kinky science girl.

The plot arc is a weak one but i admit to really warming up to the characters with Sakuto proving to still be a pretty fantastic lead. But props to Mai as well when she had a typical misunderstanding moment with walking in on Sakuto at the worst possible moment yet at episodes end she walks straight to his house to get an explanation of the situation. I was thinking there was going to be a long painful stretch with Mai acting cold to him over that so I greatly appreciate the girl cutting though the rom com nonsense and just getting to the heart of the matter.

Posted on 26 October 2018 with categories: Planetes, Throwback Thursday

Hello one and all and welcome to another week of Throwback Thursday, with Planetes! This week I am trying something a bit new, running 2 episodes instead of 1, to try and cover more ground. Let me know what you think, and lets jump in!

So far, my favorite aspect of Planetes is its singular focus each week. Instead of marginally moving forward some greater plot every episode, Planetes has a singular theme each episode. The themes for these two weeks were clearly Mortality/Death and Privilege, financial privilege at least. Naturally, I am gonna talk about these episodes in order so don’t worry, we will get to both. Planetes also continues it’s trend fantastic visual representation of space. This time we got liquids! Little balls of soda floating in the air, waiting to be picked. I love fluid dynamics, it’s always visually interesting, and space just makes it more so. For an example of how good looking water can affect a series, just go watch Garden of Words. I swear Makoto Shinkai has a fetish for it. That done, onto specifics!

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Posted on 25 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Welcome one and all to Week 4 of Kaze Fui! This week we get some backstory, loads of friendship, and hints to old problems. Lets jump in!

In general, I once again enjoyed Kaze Fui. It manages a nice balance between the high emotions of Kurahara’s struggles and the light hearted interactions of the other dorm mates. In fact, I am quite happy with how much attention Kaze Fui is putting on the rest of the dorm cast. Seeing Akane with his friends, acting sociable and not just as a shut in, or Yuki and Masa eating lunch together helps reinforce them as people with their own lives away from Kurahara. It also makes them feel more important as characters, so their presence and opinions actually matter overall, instead of just how they affect our lead. Really, every episode that goes by I fall more and more in love with this cast of goofy college students. And I have no idea how Kaze Fui is making that happen.

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Posted on 24 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

I’m glad to say that Thunderbolt Fantasy slowly goes back to its own charms, namely the witty banters between all the cast where they bounce off each other to reach a sort of agreement. This episode has two such cases. First, the villain side decides to team up together since they have the same goals: destroy Shang Bu Huan. Second, the allied side decides to cooperate because they also have the same objectives: to save Shang Bu Huan’s ass. The injured Shang Bu Huan is in the middle of all this and lurking behind the scene is the monk Di Kong and whatever his goal is. My suspect last week is proved wrong as Di Kong and the Princess of Cruelty don’t know each other, but there are two other takeaways from their meeting. First, Di Kong is far superior in terms of combating than the female assassin. He just decides not to. Second, what the hell happen to the Seven Blasphemous Deaths? I mean, is it still there? What if Di Kong is in possession of it? It’d be cool to see a guy who is adept of channeling toxic handles the ultimate toxicity sword. The more I think about it the more I feel he’s the only person who can control that evil sword.

My biggest enjoyment from this episode comes from the interaction between Xiao Kuang Juan and Cruelty-Hime. It’s the moment where their true personality is clearly presented. And in this case you can see how corrupted and how much of a bastard Xiao Kuang Juan is. Basically, his idea is that he wants to Sword Index returns to his hometown so that he can enjoy the luxury life he has. So teaming up with Cruelty-hime, they could potentially kill Shang Bu Huan and have a full control of the Sword Index. Regarding this ally, I’d say thay the assassin girl gets the shorter straw here. This guy is wise and I’m sure the moment Xie Yingluo has her hand on the Index, he’d double cross her to have it all by himself.

The not-as-bad side (Note: there’s no such thing as good side in thunderbolt Fantasy), on the other hand, is formed through the ever-curious Gui Niao and the reluctant Lang Wu Yao. I pretty enjoy the bits where he test the toxic (such refreshing method, mind you) and the way he comes up with the solution feels as effortless for him as walking on water (I love his train of logic here). So in order to get the antidote back to Shang Bu Huan, they need to retrieve the horn of the dragon, whom they happen to cross in the Wasteland of Spirits. It’s also hilarious to learn that the said dragon’s wing was chopped by Shang Bu Huan in a manner of us catching a fly. Gui Niao, being surprisingly honest in his intent, says that the reason he’s in is because he’s curious about Shang Bu Huan. He also tries to test the Lang Wu Yao, which the latter in turns test him back. Such bombastic energy and the newly formed allyship that you aren’t quite sure if you can trust the others are what essentially make Thunderbolt Fantasy such a fantastic show to watch. Thunderbolt Fantasy is officially back, in full force!!

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