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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for having me!! <3

 

Posted on with categories: About, Random Posts

Hello! Call me Amun – good to meet ya!

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

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

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

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

Let’s watch some anime together!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 18 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome to another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we finally meet the rest of our leading group, find a new Demon and deal with some… odd tonal issues. Lets dive in!

Starting off, Zenitsu. I have to say, whatever Yaiba is planning with him, so far I am not impressed. The man was just so incredibly… annoying. Right off the bat I am not the favorite of this cowardly archetype. Yet Yaiba did what it does and dialed him up to 11. With the entire first half just being his whiny voice ad-nauseam. Simply put, Zenitsu was way over-done at the start of the episode. Really putting me off him. It’s sad to, because there are definite hints to more around his character. With Zenitsu splitting the food Tanjiro gave him, or actually fulfilling his role as a Demon Slayer when he could run at any time. Yaiba makes it clear there is more to him. Yet because of the opening 11 minutes, both his character and the episode as a whole, suffer.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fruits Basket (2019)

Fruits Basket gets a bit better this week, though not by a wide margin. This week is a return of Momiji, the most childish character we’ve seen so far in this show (until we learn that he’ll reach high school next year). The White Valentine approaches, and he wants to bring Tohru to the onsen as a thank-you gift. Fruits Basket so far has been, for me, formulaic. Not in a way that it repeats its structure, but more in a way that it uses established tropes for its main events (or is it the one who invited all these tropes? It’s hard to tell but one thing I can say for sure is that it feels dated nonetheless). So a hot-spring/ beach episode would be right in its money. As a whole, I don’t mind this episode as it still provides some solid moments, but I still have that feeling of Fruits Basket padding its material too thin. At this point the trio’s dynamics are pretty much in the balance now, and unless something significant can throw off the balance, they don’t progress as much as they hope to. Drama, after all, is an essential part of character development.

It’s Momiji’s involvement that gives this episode a change of fresh air. While he isn’t the character that I’m particularly fond of (at this moment we just see the childish side of him), his narration regarding the grim story that his class read, remains the best moments of the episode. As per Fruits Basket tradition, one of its strengths is the way it can draw out the emotional tale based on its flashback or story-within-a-story like this one. The content is certainly grim and dark, but it’s the way Momiji reflects on that story that we have a glimpse of his deeper feeling here. It’s not a totally convincing storytelling though, as it OBVIOUSLY allures Yuki and Kyou to Tohru’s current selfless act, but by its own it’s a perfectly fine story that would fit nicely to any Andersen’s sad fairytale classic.

The other nice moment that we don’t see very often, is when Yuki getting loose and laughs at Tohru’s clumsiness. As he remarks “I have never laughed like this even to my parents”, we could see the way his tight upbringing has a profound effect on him, and how with Tohru he becomes much more relaxing and just being himself. That comes with a cost, though, when you think about it, that he will become more emotional dependant on Tohru, and who knows what would happen to him if Tohru’s going away for good. There’s a romance in the air as well as Yuki making a really romantic gesture (that makes our Tohru blushing) before faking it as a joke. Go all the way, dude!

There’s another newcomer to this cast. The frail innkeeper, in a typical Fruits Basket character stock, is a mixture of two extremes. Frail and vulnerable at one moment, aggressive and violent when it comes to Kyou (many characters in Fruits Basket seem to be overtly aggressive towards Kyou alone, huh?). She’s actually a mother of an original Zodiac member, Ritchan the Monkey. I’d say that we will have a proper introduction of this Ritchan pretty soon, probably in the next episode, and I hope that he will be a worthy addition to this ensemble cast.

 

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Sarazanmai

The body count keeps rising up in the final stretch of Sarazanmai. With this episode we get to the end of Reo and Mabu’s pair, and it’s certainly a bittersweet experience. As it turns out, we eventually learn that Mabu sacrifices his “desire” to Reo in order to physically stays behind him. So it’s Reo who upsets by Mabu’s change and ruins their relationship. Their star-crossed love certainly touches on many Sarazanmai’s core themes, those being the desire to connect with the one they love but even to their best interest, they’re still failed to reach it. Well, there’s this evil Otter who asserted himself as “desire” and “take whatever form others desire the most” that always want to mess with others, but Mabu’s final confession to Reo, knowing the outcome, that is emotional powerful and closes their relationship in a bitter end. For Sarazanmai, although the term “connection” is shouted by all the characters, Sarazanmai’s philosophy isn’t simply about the ability to connect (although there are plenty of these – take Haruki and his younger brother, for example), but it’s also about the love vs desire, the feeling of love vs physical temptation – and more than our trio, Mabu & Reo relationship is a perfect illustration of that theme.

With the cops’ relationship, while they fully love each other, evil Otter is the one who exploits their desire from each other. What Otter believe is that love and desire can never be in conjunction with each other, and that the desire is some form of sin (to extract love or desire – if you hit “desire”, you’ll turn into kappa zombie). With that I can understand the condition he gave to Mabu: if Mabu wants to stay with Reo, he has to give up love. Sarazanmai further explores that central theme by having the Evil Otter in the form of Reo going on top of Mabu. It’s all the fitting (and bittersweet) that when Mabu decides to embrace his true feelings with Reo, his heart explodes. Although now in retrospect, I would love to know more about the Cops (who we learn used to be kappa themselves), especially in the first half we barely know about them, the show did wrap their tragic story in an emotional note.

At the same time, we get the reveal where that Dark Kappi in cage is our Kappi split in half. While I don’t mind this flow of information, the manner in which Sarazanmai displays, info-dumping us with details we can’t figure out by ourselves, is a tad bit disappointment. I have never been fully invested by the Kappa vs Otter war, and now I have come to believe the show has the same opinions because they are hardly relevant in this final stretch. Otter turns out to be a manifestation of each character’s desire, but where exactly does he born and how many of them?

In a way, I still think that the 1-cour structure fits Sarazanmai’s story neatly, as the show resolves the Mabu-Reo conflict one episode before the finale, which means that the last episode is when the spotlight again squarely focus on our main trio. And what a series of twists and turns in the final moments when Toi shows up to demand the Golden Dish, when Kazuki in on his verge of reviving Enta. The after-credit scene immediately resolves this conflict, but at a price of Toi being exploited by Evil Otter. Toi is broken at the moment, which serves as a perfect victim for Otter. Only 1 episode left, Sarazanmai is on its way for an ultimate roller-coaster ride.

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Featured Posts

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

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

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

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

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

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

Dororo – 23 [The Story of the Demons]

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

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

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

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 11 [Tsuzumi Mansion]

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

Fruits Basket (2019) – 11 [A Really Wonderful Hot Spring]

Fruits Basket gets a bit better this week, though not by a wide margin. This week is a return of Momiji, the most childish character we’ve seen so far in this show (until we learn that he’ll reach high school next year). The White Valentine approaches, and he wants to bring Tohru to the onsen […]

Sarazanmai – 10 [I Want to Connect, but I Can’t]

The body count keeps rising up in the final stretch of Sarazanmai. With this episode we get to the end of Reo and Mabu’s pair, and it’s certainly a bittersweet experience. As it turns out, we eventually learn that Mabu sacrifices his “desire” to Reo in order to physically stays behind him. So it’s Reo […]

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“Do the gravity bounce?” Once again it’s GGK’s performance becomes my favorite of this week, and Angela’s style still is too mainstream for my taste. With the pacing of this episode I am more certain that this Brightest Mars competition is gonna take up the first half of the series. Things don’t look good for […]

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