Posted on 29 September 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Sports, Mix

After going into extra innings against Toushuu, Meisei’s tournament life ends in anticlimactic fashion. In Adachi’s world of baseball, luck giveth often, but taketh away at critical moments. Touma’s arm failing was bound to happen – Coach Goro predicted it from miles away – but the circumstance of it was a heartbreaker. Meisei was fortunate to have advanced so far in the tournament, relying largely on the talents of their stepbrother battery and preying upon opponent’s mistakes and injuries. It makes sense that they’d bow out at this stage, but we’re still left wanting more, both on the baseball diamond and off. Conventional wisdom says that anime series are just extravagant advertisements for their source materials, but those “to be continued” endings sting every time.

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Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Action, Kimetsu no Yaiba, Reviews by Lenlo

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent success stories of that being My Hero Academia and Black Clover. However, with this season, I think Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba can stand toe to toe with its contemporaries and stand proud. As the series, written by Koyoharu Gotouge and adapted by Ufotable, has broken into the scene en force. Even managing to break into the mainstream on social media like Twitter with some episodes, really showing how far anime can reach today. So the question then becomes, what does Kimetsu no Yaiba do right? What does it do wrong?

Without further ado, let’s dive right in and see if we can’t answer those questions.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Also this review contains minor spoilers. Carry on.)

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, DanMachi

DanMachi2 is the kid in class who everyone knows is smarter than their grades reflect.  If only they would get it together and take things seriously.  In the finale of this mess of a second season, DanMachi finally rouses itself and delivers an episode worth watching.
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Posted on with categories: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome to the finale of Kimetsu no Yaiba, one with just as many ups and downs as the series itself. As this week we wrap up some plots, start some others and prepare for a newly announced movie sequel! No time to waste, let’s dive in.

As I said, this was an odd week in that it basically acted as setup for the newly announced movie. I can see some people being annoyed with that, but all things considered, it should be expected. It’s not like anything would be any different without the movie, Yaiba would just setup for the 2nd season. All things considered, I actually think Yaiba found a good spot to leave off on. With our leads literally leaving off for another adventure. The sad thing is just that Yaiba was sort of a mixed bag. With the opening bit with Muzan working very well, while some of the latter parts with Kanao not so much. Regardless of how well they worked though, I think Yaiba wrapped up a lot of plot points while giving us some much needed answers. More details after the break, for those avoiding spoilers.

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Posted on 28 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

This is a difficult week for Dr.STONE, with what it has to follow up. Everything from production to the story just couldn’t seem to meet the same highs. As we start the Grand Bout, progress the cure-all and Kinro learns a thing or two about science. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, I hate to do it, but the production this week was… not great. Dr.STONE made it very clear this week that it wasn’t an action series. Oh the jokes and such were fine, there was plenty of well done comedy. I actually forgot about some of the memes like Salt Bae that were originally incorporated into the manga. However beyond that, the combat wasn’t great and sort of abandoned what made Dr.STONE fun. The detailed style just doesn’t fit the fast pacing required for this style of combat. Instead relying on a bunch of still frames, or simple repeated motions. It’s a shame, because we saw that Dr.STONE can get good fight animation. Gen’s assault looked pretty good for the short moment it was. But similar to Tsukasa’s scenes, these just don’t fit well with the shows style. Working better as still frames in a manga.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:
Summer is ending. Depending where you are in the world, the leaves may be turning, days may be getting shorter, and we bid adieu to many new friends we made this season (I’ll miss you Momo Chiyoda!).

To help pass the time before the fall season starts fresh, us esteemed writers have brought you a perfect playlist to help transition from the summer doldrums to fall’s great (sequel) expectations.

And – since we’re writers – we explain why we like these tunes, then let you have listen. Enjoy!

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Posted on 27 September 2019 with categories: Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

As one arc ends, another begins with Mononoke. As this week we pick up on what may be the best start to an arc yet.  A perfect mix of sudden horror, mystery and art. As our Medicine Seller this week takes part on an odd incense game, uncovers a murder and hunts down a spirit. Lets dive in!

Starting off as always, this week Mononoke did some interesting things with its visuals. From the opening shot, there is a strong emphasis on color, or a lack thereof. With everything being bleached, diluted until it’s almost grayscaled. The only exception to this seeming to be when someone is feeling a strong emotion. We saw this from the opening scene, as the backgrounds are dark, but the blood is a bright orange. Tangent for a moment, that opening transition with the blood was fantastic by the way. Setting up what the shapes mean by having the man slam against the walls. Then progressively swapping between them faster and faster, then fading out the background. Leaving just a man’s silhouette running in place. This is possibly the strongest Mononoke has been yet, visually. Running right out the gate with this style.

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Posted on 26 September 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Saga of Tanya the Evil

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a magical World War One/Two, realistic military environment and a villainous main character. Aside from character title cards and a couple of very brief flashbacks, the movie expect you are familiar with its television series as it goes straight back into its worldwide war.   (more…)

Posted on 24 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

I want to say this is a more philosophical week for Vinland Saga. As we spend half of it bantering about religion, the foolishness of war and what it does to a person. Yet Thorkell moving like a meat-blender across the screen sort of takes away from the statement. So instead, how about we just dive right in like we always do? With production.

This week had some nice scenes going for it, with even the CGI seeing a bit of an improvement. Of course the environments stayed top notch, but specifically I want to talk about how the characters interacted with it. The small things, like the soldiers stomping on the leaves, Thorkell blowing one or them falling around him during his talk. It’s small things sure, but they are things that help the great backgrounds feel like more than just window dressing. Going back to the CGI for a minute, while it wasn’t perfect, there was an improvement for the large battle. Some of it was hidden with clever smoke, fire and camera angles. But if that is what they need to do, then I don’t mind much. I think the opening shots of the big battle looked fine. Still, you can see all this with your own eyes. Onto the meat.

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Posted on 23 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fire Force

Unlike other shows I’m watching, Fire Force seems to be hitting stride right at the end of the season. I still argue this show is best in episodes like this one – minimal fight scenes, which they struggle with, and limited catgirl.
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Fire Force – 16 [We are Family]

This episode of Fire Force…was all over the place.  I can’t decide if the show loses points for being so absurd or gains them back for being self-aware.  At any rate, we have some back stabbing, some donkey riding, and … Shinra, you’re killing me here.

Psycho-Pass 3 – 03 [Herakles and the Sirens]

It’s a slower episode this week for Psycho-Pass 3 but there is so much to unpack when it comes to details of the characters and how it relates to the latest case of the candidates for the governorship of Tokyo. There are family connections, hidden pasts and plot threads that point to something far bigger.

Hoshiai no Sora – 04/05

Let’s have a round of applause for Maki the Genius, everyone. In a tennis club full of clashing personalities, only he was incisive enough to see that hotheads and shy boys shouldn’t be paired together. Imagine everyone’s surprise when he put compatible players on the same doubles teams and they immediately started to work in […]

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 1 [Angel Attack] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the next series of Throwback Thursday, Neon Genesis Evangelion! Apologies for the late start, I sorta lost track of time this week. Won’t happen again though, because after this I am excited to keep going. Because if nothing else, I know it’s going to look good. Let’s dive in! Starting off, we […]

Beastars – 04/05

Episode 4 is kind of a testing game for Legosi’s own nature, but from a new angle they haven’t approached before. Instead of testing his relations towards the herbivores, Beastars introduces Bill the Tiger, another carnivore who is the exact opposite with Legosi. Bill embraces his own nature and is proud of it. He’s macho, […]

Chihayafuru S3 – 04/05

Raise your hand if you thought it would be Chihaya vs. Taichi in the finals of this tournament. Okay, manga readers, you can put your hands down. The odds were against them; a former queen, a sadistic Class A beast, and a Meijin hopeful stood between our heroes and the finals of the Yoshino tournament. […]

Vinland Saga – 17 [Servant]

I’m a bit split on Vinland Saga this week to be honest. On one hand, the story continues to be top notch and one of my favorite of the year. On the other hand, the production was a mix of iffy and pretty good. Either way, let’s dive in. Starting off, the aforementioned production. There […]

Psycho-Pass 3 – 02 [Teumessian Sacrifices]

I guess that if you want an anime to illustrate how the economic crash of 2008 transpired, Psycho-Pass has definitely has you covered here. It’s actually cleverly written into the current case and really shows the limitations of the Sybil System where committing white-collar crime can go undetected and has the potential to be more […]

My Hero Academia S4 – 3 [Boy Meets…]

What?!  “I thought MHA was delayed this week”, you say.  Well fear not!  We have last week’s MHA review to hold you over (never mind that I was going to do a double header and rugby messed up my plan).

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Mononoke Anime Review – 75/100

I have reviewed a lot of odd shows recently. From Paranoia Agent to Serial Experiments Lain, they each had their own… je ne sais quoi, their own unique flavor. Keeping with that trend is Mononoke, a sort of Horror Anthology reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt or a Stephen King short stories collection. Though where […]

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

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Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100

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 […]

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