Posted on 17 September 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

Well, no surprises here. Chio-chan flips back to its usual self. Chio-chan has always been a minimalist-set show, with mundane set up in which only a handful of characters carry the gag. It rings especially true this week, as Chio’s antic makes up the first half and Manana’s wild imagination drives the second. As per usual with the show, it has some amusing little moments but it can’t help but drag out a fair bit, plus the fact that the punching lines are underwhelming in both segments.

The first bit can totally be summed up as Chio-chan has a late-game night. I must say I pretty enjoy Chio’s game persona. The fact that she would betray her comrades for the cash is totally in character. And her supreme instinct when it comes to… get away from her mom is certainly funny and relatable (I swear I used to be very good at that, so do all of us I believe). She gets so excited that she can’t get back to sleep again, and that waking up at 4am thinking that she was late certainly doesn’t help. So now our Chio has two options: sleep again and risk being late at school; or game away and feeling like shit in the morning. With our Chio, the answer is obvious, but she makes sure to have an insurance: calling Manana up to wake her up and hide her face in a bag so that no one can find out it’s her. While the whole thing goes pleasantly enough, it lacks the necessary punchline to make this segment memorable.

In the second half, Chio and Manana rehearse on what Asobi Asobase did few weeks ago: sniffing at each other’s armpit to find out if they smell. The saving grace in this segment is how Manana goes from pity to blaming Chio for many completely unrelated failures in her life. We witness how that train of thought goes (well, her thought-process makes sense to me) and how she reacts “crazily” to the eyes of people who can’t follow her thoughts. So she brings Yuki in, as a “Death Scythe Hosokawa” who brings the cold truth (more like a splash of water) to the victim. She did, not to Chio’s “Wild Game” odor (as soon we learn that it’s because of the dog) but to the truth about the boy Manana has a crush on: he just likes pretty girls. With only one episode, I just hope Chio-chan goes all out for once.

Posted on 11 September 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

We seem to have a routine of one below-average Chio-chan’s episode, follow up by one above-average as of late. This week is amongst Chio-chan’s better ones as it fleshes out two side characters with great effect. As you might remember, Momo wasn’t that memorable when she first appeared. Her uptight attitude is a nice foil for our Chio and Manana, but taken as an individual, her character is damn plain. Adding her having a weak spot for sweet, however, is awesome. Seeing her just go loose and dandy while eating sweets make this segment sooo worth it. Appropriately Chio and Manana step back out of spotlight for Momo’s wild and adorable reactions (“I’m in Hokkaidoooo”). It also helps that her obsession towards Gotou-sensei allows her to do something out of character: going to the sweet shop to get the taste of why students eating candy. This segment also benefits from its escalation to hyper-Momo doing an acceptance speech for mixing candy ingredient into soda. It’s a good gag through and through

The second segment also benefits from giving the side cast some more texture than first appeared. I should’ve seen this coming that Chiharu is Andou’s imouto (I mean… with hair colors and stuffs) and extra point for her contrasting appearance (she wears rich-girl school uniform) with her personality (disappointed that her brother comes clean… or in her own words: “uncool”). That set up quickly escalates to Chio admits that it was her who changed Andou (in a hilarious but believable way). Kudos for Andou and Chio’s combined silliness that things can’t go like planned. And Mamana late arrival gives the whole situation an interesting mix. The only issue I take with this segment is… why boob groping, Chio-chan? Sigh

Speaking of how Chio-chan trying new things, the epilogue comes out as a nice surprise for its change of pace. Completely void of any dialogue, with watercolor simple designs, it still manages to tell a quirky, lovely tale of Andou and the cat. Chio-chan accomplishes what it does best this week: fleshing out side-characters and building up this simple premise to a right degree. Here’s hoping next week Chio-chan will break its own routine.

Posted on 3 September 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

So… the sequence which I’m waiting the most from the PV made its to the screen this week, and it underlines both the strengths and the weaknesses I found in Chio-chan so far. The sequence in question is Chio pole dances by herself. On a dark side, since that arresting dance sequence was basically the first thing I watched in Chio-chan, I expected it more outrageously over the top. Imagine how awesome Chio-chan would have been if it embraces its wild nature more. I mean, I would love to see Chio actually has to do real pole dancing in some pub. As it stands, this version we have in Chio-chan is a slice-of-life show with Chio – a slightly more eccentric and acrobatic than normal girl. Both two fragments this week are mundane in its concept, which occasionally elevated by some amusing gags and rock-solid chemistry from Chio and Manana. Chio-chan might turn out NOT that special than I’d love to be, but as a slice-of-life comedy with mild situation-based gags it does its jobs nicely.

For the first segment, the main joke lies in how bland Chio looks without the glass (“it’s like your entire personality is on the glass” Nicely put, Manana), so Manana and Master Kushitori has a chance to out multiple crazy wigs onto Chio. Apart from multiple references that range from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure to GTO to Gabriel Dropout, I find its most amusing when she resembling Marilyn Monroe (and nice callback to that hairstyle in the second half). As Chio innocently thinks her image has improved (it’s not. To the frustration of Manana and Master), she pole-dances at a freaking shrine flawlessly with that Showa-era wig. Despite as I said earlier I felt a bit underwhelming as I wanted her to do it for real in a club, this sequence is still the episode’s high point because A) everything about her appearance doesn’t match at all with the pole-dance. She does it at a shrine. She has traditional outdated hairstyles AND she wears a freaking school uniforms. Just the thought of her doing it like that brings a smile on my face and B) she manages to do it effortlessly (I tried it one time and it’s insanely difficult). It’s the more amazing when later on we learn that she picks up naturally after watching it on her games repeatedly. She a natural acrobatic girl for sure.

Although as silly as the premise sounds, I pretty much enjoy all Andou’s wayyy too on-the-nose plan to get Chio’s attention. The jokes boost up nicely when we get all those in the point of view of Manana, whose head isn’t as thick as our Chio, and whose taste is “normal” enough so that she can see something absurdly wrong (or put it better, niche appeal) in Aidou’s plan. Her dream sequence is absolutely the segment’s best gag. Imagine Chio in her convertible car with that outrageous wig and annoying accent is so much fun to ignore. In addition, the way Manana tries to sabotage that not neccesarily because of Chio’s wellbeing (Chio’s quite happy in the dream, the one who is miserable is Manana), but from her “jealousy”. It also helps that Aidou does all that with a straight face, and Chio’s fascinating reactions are on point. He seems to have a good grasp of what Chio likes (boys who smoke, for example), but one thing he does wrong is Chio’s love for BL. It closes up with some of the best closing pun of Chio-chan in awhile, that both Manana and Aidou’s underlying behave like some yuri/yaoi characters (well, our girls did kiss before, right? RIGHT?)

To sum it up, what is the moral of this story this week? Be extremely be careful when you make an homage. It’s a double-edged sword.

Posted on 27 August 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

At the very first moment of this episode, we have a glaring fanservice shot of Chio changing clothes and I thought to myself: “Chio-chan just can’t stop itself from having so much fun”. But it later reveals THAT is what this first segment is about. Yuki’s wearing her “revealing” track suit to school, concerning both our Chio and Manana. This week is a return to form for Chio-chan: these segments are laid out just about enough, both Chio and Manana have heaps of material to shine, and in the end the show tries something new with the little story involving Momo. It’s a welcome return of Yuki, who reveals another side of her this week to the surprise of both Chio and Manana. She wears a short tracksuit to school and she doesn’t care. She notices people glaring of her but to her it’s just like when she’s running in the big stadium. She’s fine with all the attention but it’s shattering for our girls who don’t prepare mentally for such a showcase.

So how the two girls “cope” with that? In different ways but jus so themselves. Look at how Chio decides to blend in: she wears her tennis suit so that her friend Yuki don’t stand out with her suit, but her “below-average” mindset means that she rather prefers to hide behind Yuki. I mean, it’s just a very Chio way to do. Manana, being herself, does things as indirectly as possible. She takes Yuki to the nearby supermarket so that Yuki can finally get it. The plan backfires quickly. She then teases her best friend by tempting Yuki to run, leaving behind Chio and her standout tennis suit. Even if the main joke of this segment to be: what does people react when see a girl wearing tracksuit to school, Chio-chan makes it exciting and never runs out of its welcome.

The second segment recalls the first episode’s shenanigan for all the right reasons. It does enough to not become a gimmick though. It starts innocently enough: Chio’s babbling about her games to an uninterested Manana before her game-mode takes a better of her again (Chio’s hyper for sure). Crawling up towards narrow alley is fun enough, we then have the reappearance of that bald guy (in a pretty much same situation) who still somehow misses Chio in a split second. Having Manana in this segment is an improvement from the first episode, when she just had it with Chio and storms through the roof to catch Chio. As it stands, there are many ways to reach a rooftop, and both Manana and Chio’s journey to that place prove to be entertaining and warm at the same time. “The rare item of friendship” indeed.

Lastly, we get to see the reasons why Momo doesn’t have any friend and why she joins the school committee in the first place. While she wasn’t that remarkable the first time we saw her, this little segment does a good job to give her a personality and presents her point of view. That poor girl has all the good intentions, she just need someone who listen to her. Chio-chan walks a right path this week. Segments play out just at the right length and there’s some genuine moments here. Like Chio, I feel like I’ve collected something rare watching it. Hopefully they keep it up for the remaining half of its run.

Posted on 20 August 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

This episode of Chio-chan sure brings back my memory. I was one of those stupid boys who played that zapping butt game (among other stupid games, like stick a pen where my friends would sit) and let me tell ya, it hurts like hell. To the point whenever I listen to this song I would remember that dreadful game. That is to say that I understand completely the life-or-death stake these girls find themselves to. In a more serious note, I feel like the last couple weeks Chio-chan loses its steam as keeping things amusing. I don’t mind the mundane nature of Chio’s misadventures (although I watched the PV of Chio-chan back the other day, it did advertise for a more wide ride. #falseadvertising), but if they want to keep the segment long (as in 10 minutes), Chio’s issue needs to escalate to something completely out-there. That juggling butt out from the public bathroom did the job, this first segment doesn’t.

It’s sad because it starts out strong: Chio goes to her usual store looking for her game’s magazine, instead she’s hooked to the BL magazine and decides to buy it out. OMG that BL segment was so hilarious, I like both the ridiculous lines those characters say, and Chio’s reaction to it (#yaoifortherun). Encountering Aidou-san as a store clerk is a solid gag, but Chio-chan doesn’t properly build up from that and unfortunate drags out towards the end. To be fair, I find the gags where she tries to hide the “suggestive image” and accidently makes it even more erotic funny, but the resolve leaves a lot to be desire. First, playing Aidou as a straight man deflates the comedic tone it was building up – because if he acts normal like everyone else then what’s the fun behind catching Chio busted? I imagine it would be much more hilarious if Chio just runs for her life and cause Aidou to leave the store unguarded. The resolve is just… uneventful.

I could say the same for the second segment as I also feel the gag drags out for too long. That blonde girl (I don’t believe we know her name) who despite coming from a rich school still use that butt-zapping game as A DUEL? Poor Manana who gets zapped twice instead of Chio. This whole duel plays like a juvenile segments out of shows like Squid Girl or Mitsubishi Colors than it does in a Chio-chan episode, but the appearance of Madoka again ruins the show. If I have to point out a single character that could ruin the whole show it would be her, since she leaves bad taste to the mouth all the time. Whatever the reason why the blonde girl has such a grudge for Chio and Manana, we will eventually learn afterward. The last segment for me stands out for what these previous two lack, it’s short, sweet and to the point. It lets the big gag unfolds and finishes before things get pale. It’s one of the few moments where Chio and Manana share some empathy to other character (with a romantic, touching subplot to boost), and the old woman turns out to be an old cranky woman who is both addicted to game, foul-mouth and tech-savvy enough to pour cold shower on our naive Chio and Manana. Life is not what you expect indeed.

Posted on 13 August 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

Chio-chan… well… doesn’t go well this week. Not necessary because of the reappearance of crash fanservice gags – which for now I pretty much roll with, but because it’s a replication of Chio-chan’s previous (and better) segments. It adds up with the fact that both segments this week feel longer than they needed be. Take the first half, the Kabaddi captain reappears, training herself in a nearby park to “revenge”. There are some amusing bits here and there: Madoka realizes her ultimate technique is just basically embrace her own desire to the next level, the story of her homeless sensei is so off-putting and dark it’s actually clever the way Chio-chan sold this, the constant betrayals of both Chio and Manana are certainly a joy to watch. But then again this part A is pretty much about the joy of grabbing butts, so yeah it’s pretty much for an “acquired” taste.

Although I said that I’m okay to put the issues aside, I still don’t like Madoka much as a character. Unlike Andou who we see him in various out-there situations, with Madoka we pretty much associate her with kabaddi and her yuri urge. The way Chio-chan portrays the latter, however, leaves much to be desired. Drooling; the long, intimating tongue, the white eyes with no iris – this “oni” approach threatens to overwhelm her as a character. As for the story, it drags out for way too long. We don’t need all the flashbacks because we don’t need a reminder of a character who just appeared once before. Condensing the exchanges between Madoka, Manana and her sensei, for example, would benefit this segment better. Finally, I love to see Hosokawa back in action but her scene is just so minimal and she’s vastly underused by now.

The latter half plays like a variation of the premiere episode, where our Chio stuck in game-mode, thus bring all the troubles upon herself. The bit where we get into the first person shoot-them-up POV is particularly well-done. I find that scene most amusing where she’d scan the “hallway”, but completely misses the Mother and Son right behind her (they boy seems to be impressed). As for the latter part, again it drags out a bit too long. Chio and Manana come to the point where their chemistry become too solid that they can carry the segment themselves, but the show has been relied too much on these two. Their meanie to each other hints for the fact that they understand one another all too well, and the way the ended up working together (together with Mananacchio dance) means that they can really watch other’s back when the situation calls for it. This is not a bad Chio-chan episode, it just feels all familiar, and for a comedy show, “familiar” ain’t good enough. Shake things up a bit by adding new characters would benefit Chio-chan much, much better.

Posted on 6 August 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

You know, watching Chio-chan I have feeling just like watching a brilliant kid playing around. It’s consistently funny from start to finish; it’s very, very relatable, but sometimes you can’t help but feel a bit nervous when the show resorts to fan-service tendency. To be fair, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having some fan-services in a show. Many shows depend entirely on the low-brow humors, but we all know Chio-chan can be just as hilarious without relying on those fanservices. Chio-chan this week has plenty of panty-shots, and toilet humor – or put it better, all the humors happening in the toilet, but I could argue that the show has some context behind it so somehow it gets away with it. We starts off with our Chio having the need to find a nearby toilet (oh so relatable), and things escalate from here as she goes to the men’s toilet and is unable to get out. It’s the basic formula to ensue hilarity.

First off, everything involving Chio’s decisions work well for me. The way she would do anything but walking out of the front door is just so consistent with her never-embarrass-herself policy. The overly complicated but somehow-it-works plan that runs like a domino effect is so absurdist in concept it’s actually funny to see if it works out. Her tactic involves distracting the cat with the toilet ball she uses, that in turns distracting the two school girl then as a consequences distracting the businessmen for looking at girls’ panties. There’s an awful lot of coincidences requirements here but I don’t mind one bit of that. Yep, I was talking about fanservice earlier and here we have juggling ass out from the toilet window, and goddamnit why the animation is so smooth and addictive? Heck, this might be one of the rare time that I can’t help but keep staring at that butt. I also love the exaggerated sound effect of the person who used the toilet next to her, and cute little George. Well, this segment is a winner for me.

The second segment, however, not that much. Mostly because of the new addition, Momo, who doesn’t really stand out except for playing straight against Chio and Manana’s antics. As she witnesses the duo keeps being awful to each other without remorse, she can’t turn her eyes away anymore and declares those two are bad influences to each other. While the setup is dime a dozen and in truth I think Chio and Manana’s dynamic doesn’t need this kind of reassurance, it produces what might be two of my favorite moments this week. The first of them is a total crash and embarrassing Mananacchio dance which basically how 5 year old kids would do when they imitate cats (cats appear to be the MVP here) and second, one of this sharpest line: “when people find out the relationship between teacher and student, all the blames will go to the teacher, so just try your best”.Goddamn Manana, listen to her advice and heads certainly will roll. Chio-chan and her way to school still have plenty fun to offer.

Posted on 30 July 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

Like Hinamatsuri last season, I wouldn’t have expected that Chio-chan having an “arc” for their side-characters; the “supporting casts start to grow whereas the lead stays the same” bit. This is the third week in a row we encounter Andou, each time he’s in different position (not to mention that Chio is the very core behind his life-changing events). What I like most about his character is how in these three appearances, we see him get sucked in three very different scenarios. While the first two display him as a badass gangster, this episode shows a more vulnerable side of him. I mean, trying to act cool as soon as he sees Chio? Boy, he’s like a teenager. Despite knowing the truth about Chio faking her badass persona, he grows even more fond to the girl. Is there, as Manana suspects, a romance going on between this former biker and Chio? I suspect Chio-chan will flirt with the idea in upcoming events.

One thing about Chio-chan that I don’t expect when I saw the PV though, that it’s much more slice of life and mundane than flat out over-the-top hijinks. These events that Chio face on her commute to school are something we could experience ourselves (well, if you walk to school that is). The whole delivering newspaper affair, for example, is something you might do if you sure is amusing. The jokes about people making a big fuss out of delivering papers late hit home for me. In particular, “I already knew that on TV news”. I find the part where Chio ninja-jumping up the stair a bit over the top, but overall it’s a fun ride from start to finish. The most important thing is that Chio’s enthusiasm once again changes Andou’s mind about keeping up with the job. It might be simple like what she said: even if the job isn’t for you, if you’re really into it you might find a joy for the job.

Another strength of Chio-chan is the dynamic of Chio and Manana, which they have a natural forth-and-back that these exchanges themselves can carry the show along. Their banters about “what they want to do once in their life” are just so relatable and progress so naturally (regarding Chio’s: well, smoking don’t make you look cool but returning the litter sure is). You can see right off the bat these girls act their age with their social awkwardness, as well as their bratty attitude. Another “man of the moment” is the teacher/ security guard, who is sharp at one moment and oblivious the next. It’s a good characteraction from him, as he stands out in a good way. As a whole, Chio-chan’s adventures on her way to school is not as crazy as I thought it would be, but it’s hella more relatable. Chio-chan might think she’s an below-average girl, but she’s one of the more vivid portrayal of high school girl I’ve seen in awhile. I’m happy to follow he aroundr, hopefully the cast will expand more in later weeks. As the last note, Hey girls, is there any other method of greeting tour friends that don’t involve one rolling down the ground in public?

Posted on 23 July 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

I have a feeling that Chio-chan is trying to test me. “You said you like me, huh? This is the real me, see if you can take it”. Well, I think what happened in the second half is bound to happen anytime. After all, we had the OP that pretty much setting up for this. Bouncing boobs, some panty shots, it’s written by a hentai artist himself (I “researched” his hentai works and apparently this guy has a thing for loli). You know which scene I’m talking about right? Yep, it’s the scene where Madoka, the kabaddi’s captain, gropes on another girl and refuses to let her hand off. The groping as playing for laugh is a NO NO in any situation, same sex or not, yet part of me still think Chio-chan gets away with it. Now, I’m torn, because I find it hilarious from start to finish. It’s unexpected the way things turn out and that is precisely why this show brings so much fresh air. Kabaddi…Kabaddi…Kabbadi

Take the first segment for example, it’s a continuation of Bloody Butterfly affair last week, now Chio just comes across Andou who is visibly shaken by his encounter with Chio, and tells the rest of his gang how fearsome she was. Now, normally comedy show would milk the misunderstanding aspect, like having Chio bluffs her way out again in a spectacular level. Here we have Chio telling Andou the truth about the incident. The whole joke here is the way Andou and the gang repeat that lame name “bloody butterfly” in a straight face numerous times, and it takes a toll towards Chio’s below-average philosophy. The confession, in turns, both impresses and shames the reformed yakuza even more. And he can’t go back to his words anymore, so he actually keeps the game going by going over the top. I didn’t expect that Andou would become a regular cast member, but now he shares such a nice chemistry with Chio and I can’t wait to see how their relationship will eventually turns out.

I swear the whole thing revolving around Kabaddi is just flat-out hilarious. Chio might regards herself as below-average, but this segment in particular suggests that it might not be the case. If she tries hard enough she can be amazing. I don’t know about you but now I’m sure interested in Kabaddi now. But what I found interesting is the way the issue escalate in seemingly random fashion. At first, we have Chio performs some random assassin moves she learns in her games (haha, this girl!), then it quickly turns into she’s hyper and just doing some random moves while chanting Kabaddi (obviously have no idea about the sports), then the ACTUAL kabaddi captain shows up and forces them to play tag kabaddi with her and Yuki. There’s just loads of Jojo references here, and the way Chio corporates this game into her gaming mode is priceless. Chio’s OP as heck, but to a degree that just make the game more awesome. I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to regard Madoka’s character. It’s meant to be the way to turn her character upside down, that despite she always says she loves the sports, the true reason comes from the more perverted side of her. Sure, I have no qualms with yuri tone, and I found the way Chio did all that was refreshing. But groping….

So,back to first question. Can I take the show for what it is? Alright, I give in, for now. Just don’t go overboard with it, Chio-chan.

Posted on 17 July 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

The misadventures of Chio-chan on her way to school continues with some extra flavour. As of now, Chio-chan splits its segments neatly in two halves, the first deals with Chio encounters the absurd events on her way to school, and the latter details her relationship with her friends. One highlights the adventure spirits of this title, the other provides more heart and depth. I don’t mind at all with this formula, since it’s done right so far, but I figure Chio-chan will eventually mix things up a bit in future episodes. The key that ties both segment together, is Chio herself. So far, she’s super relatable character, both due to her commitment to do her best not to stand out, but always find herself standing out in more ways than one, and due to her social anxiety that makes her both charming and real. The best weapon is her monologue, helped by her wild imagination (I say games help her much in that department), and it’s fun to see her stream of thought runs in free form and how she eventually makes her head-stretching decision. Being said that, the bit that I have mixed feeling about is Chio-chan’s OP, which play up the fan-service I normally avoid: jiggling boobs for one, long tongue for another, even nudist!!?

In the first segment, our Chio finds herself in a bind, quite literally, between herself, the blonde yakuza dude (he’s voiced by the seiyuu who voiced Nitta last season. Coincidence? I think not), his motorbike and a random bald salaryman. This is the motorbiker with an unzip pant in the OP (he zipped this time, I checked), but from the bike alone you can pretty tell that… he’s a delightfully weird dude. Pink motorcycle? And that weird seat? The situation where that salaryman and Chio have to walk quietly on the side is both hilarious and relatable, but there’s one nippick regarding that. Chio-chan gave an accurate explanation of the exhaust pipe, but it leaves more than a mark and a scream out of it. I’ve experienced it before and I’m pretty sure kids growing up in a motorbike culture experienced at least one in their lives. It’s second-degree burn for Christ sake so having Chio acts like nothing happened with her leg afterward is a huge slip of reality.

If I would point out a theme for this segment, it’s that these characters carry the persona that don’t match their appearances. That “salaryman” turns out just a guy who is about to interview for part-time job (haha), and Chio, especially, embraces her “Bloody Butterfly” persona so effectively she fools the blonde biker. That persona might be a fake, but her reasons are strangely convincing (it has to do with the games she plays, but well…). While yes, it’s hilarious all the way to see how she manages to change the yakuza’s mind and STILL manages to stand out in front of her peers despite trying best to be “a normal high school girl”, I feel that the way she does it isn’t that convincing. Like, does she knock the guy out of consciousness by that swing? It might be a part of the absurdist but I’d love for a more crazy version than this.

The second half though is where Chio-chan totally grabs me again. If there’s a variation of supporting characters that I enjoy, it’s a normal girl who use her meanie acts as a mean to justify her own frustration AKA a true brat (last season we have Mami from Hinamatsuri, this season we have the entire cast in Asobe Asobase). Manana fits this bill like a glove. The mutual understanding between her and Chio (that they consider each other a trash, yet they deserve each other) is surprisingly solid. And throughout this episode we can see how (small-minded) devilish this girl can become to step up her social ladder. We see her spreading rumors behind people’s back, we see her snipping around spying on people, we see her telling lies to get other’s approval… this is delicious, I tell ya. Especially when her own efforts to get close to Hosokawa fallen into pieces when it turns out the guy she was just bad-mouthing is Hosokawa’s running buddy, and a president if some company to boost. Right then, she feels the distance between her and Hosokawa just like the distance she leaves Chio behind.

My favorite part of the whole episode, however, is when Chio and Manana spy on Hosokawa in hope for witnessing something lewd, but it backfires and they find themselves near-kiss each other instead (or is it officially their first kiss? They denied so, though). Both their reactions are pitch perfect (Manana ‘s blush, slowly touches her lip – Chio: snap out of that yuri-tone, Manana). It’s those off kilter moments like this that makes following Chio and her friends around such an amusing watch. They are equally mean, in addition, to point out that the guy’s a fake in front of Hosokawa. But it doesn’t matter, since the love for running is there. Based on the OP I would say that Hosokawa will have something more than her “perfect girl” status later on. Being both absurd and grounded, Chio-chan so far is going strong.

Note: I’m using Chio when I refer to the character and Chio-chan when I refer to the show. Hope you can recognize the distinction.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
Animosh
Happy Sugar Life was pretty intense again. It's not subtle, but it's certainly effective. For me, anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*gamer
You could see that he probably enjoyed online games and knew his stuff, wheras it seemed in sword art the writer felt liking he was shitting on everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not much of a game and I know it was a fantasy show, but I guess log horizon is isekai, but in that one from what I saw, I thought the writer seemed to be making more of an effort.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But given how lazy isekai tends toward, while yes a scifi world would be a nice change up, the inherent genre laziness would probably holdback on properly building that world.
Anonymous2771364
Why Isekai are limited to the fantasy worlds? What about one with a creative retro futuristic setting (like Jetsons, John Carter or Flash Gordon). Maybe a western setting. Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan. Anything at this point will be genius if done right.
Anonymous2771364
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Didn't watch Gate but it wasn't kind of like that? Adapting an alien fantasy world to the real world?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a total tangent. Imagine an isekai that dealt with immigration issues ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Ash says a line in the manga at some point that he stopped counting the amount of times he was raped.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose I minor issue I have, is that Yut-lungs design feels somewhat out of place.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could say that there's fujoshi baiting in some of Ash/Eijis interactions, perhaps even n the recent episode. Very obvious, but I'm not complaining ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually glad that the series restrains from being too graphic regarding Goldzine's pedophilia actually , it could have been worse.
Animosh
Its previous attempts at character development (Ash's ridiculously tragic past, Golzine's pedophilia, Arthur's desire to get back at Ash) were a hit and miss at best, and often just had the effect of making the characters more black and white rather than more complex. But I don't know what was skipped, so who knows, maybe it would have made the characters better!
Animosh
And more generally, although most characters are a lot of fun to watch, they're not very deep. Ash and Eiji are both very tropish, and the villains aren't particularly interesting either (with the exception of Yut Lung, though he's rather clichéd too of course). So I'm not sure seeing them interact more would work in the show's favor.
Animosh
@Kaiser: thanks for the explanation! Not sure if I'd want to see more dialogue though personally. I like the Ash/Eiji moments and all, but they can also be a bit ... cheesy? Now I feel like there's a good balance between the various plot threads, but more emphasis on their blossoming love/friendship could easily have made it obnoxious for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know most probably didn't care about these, but I really get nostalgic over stuff like Rune soldier, Lodoss war. I also liked Denyuden and wished it had gotten another season. I never finished the utawerumono sequel, but it had nice character interactions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also kind of looking forward to Goblin slayer a bit because its a fantasy that isn't an isekai .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But not so much dicking around that it gets boring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know what I was thinking about there lately, with the saturation of so many isekai, part of me has a longing for a non-isekai fantasy, but some really REALLY cosy thing about a bunch of friends re-uniting/getting together, most of its banter and SOMETIMES they get into story shit.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Angel Eyes as an OVA would be amazing. Its the only part of Banana Fish I have actually read, to avoid spoilers.
Lenlo
@Mario, I think thats just a translation thing. Japanese language is a lot more formal than English so they have to choose. Go for precise translations, or modify it to attempt to fit it better.

As for how they did it, I assume they poisoned his Secretary with the drug. They have Senators and such in on it afterall
Lenlo
If the gang war is done right, I think I will enjoy this next arc. I really liked that last ending scene on the train and if thats how this war is going to play out, lots of subtle street violence to avoid the cops, then I am all for it
Lenlo
Im quite happy with Banana Fish personally. I do think Ash is a bit to proficient at everything, like I think I mentioned in one post how I dont like him being a computer whiz and all that.
SuperMario
Then we have many of half-baked subplots. For example, "to think you'd kill the next presidential candidate". No one talks like that. How did papa Dino plan to do it again? Sometimes I don't feel the clear pasage of time in Banana fish. Like in the prison arc, you'd see Max switch in and out between Ash's cell without much explain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I remember the last time I actually cried.
SuperMario
And have a sensitive side at heart. I love this kid but sometimes the show just reminds me time and again how implausible his character trait, and many actions, are
SuperMario
@anon: I'm not too enthusiasm on Banana Fish as a whole. While I must say I still enjoy the ride every week, the main offender for me is how they glamor Ash so much. This kid has been through some serious shit, again and again, and again, yet he has immerse talent of basically everything (gun skill, acrobatic skill as we saw last episode, elegant enough to tell the wine brand with just sniffing...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like this upcoming arc too much because it felt like just a street thugs vs street thugs thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I hope they do the Angel eyes side story as an ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'll never spoiler this show, but if the final arc is done properly and the anime elevates it, its going to really impact.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will be very very angry if they change the ending to suit/pander modern audiences.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One thing the anime is avoiding is the anti-communist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh by the way, Dino is in with alot of people, including the French foreign legion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Nearly went too close to haphazard exploitation route than cool exploitation route.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Previous episode had some animation/art issues, Abraham and Arthur are a bit cartoony, while the mansion episodes and the one where Ash meets his dad, the drama, while tense and interesting very almost skirted with being overboard.
Anonymous2765784
Hope the trend continues
Anonymous2765784
But seriously just loving the anime; most of my favorite anime are old, but recently some quality stuff has popped up like this, Rakugo, (Mushishi half counts)
Anonymous2765784
Yeah, I think I can tell that it's almost as if we're switching arcs now, so it's going to take a while to build back to that extreme heightened tension of the past few episodes.
Anonymous2765784
Also, what are some criticisms you guys have about Banana Fish anime so far? Just curious to see what other people think. I'm just enjoying the ride, whether it's speeding through a burning mansion or cruising around a 9 million condo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say it a second time round, the bits before this is where the manga peaked for a while, then it took me a few volumes to get back into.
Anonymous2765784
I'm actually also interested on what's left on Banana FIsh's cutting board. As an anime-only, it feels like the pacing can be a bit fast recently, but overall it seems fine. In fact, I felt this episode slowed down a bit as we transition between arcs and giving us a chance to breathe.
Lenlo
And I understand not having words for Steins;Gate 0. I have to write it every week.
Lenlo
Shh, im gonna watch it soon
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually this episode was slow compared to previous ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, for episode 11 of Banana fish, I enjoyed this, specifically I liked seeing Dinoget kind of btfo'd near episodes end. But the highlight for me, is the Eiji/Ash interactions, i like these because they add a human aspect to the show, humanize Ash and flesh out the twos relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a scene in the manga where Ash crossdressed. But honestly what I mean is, the manga felt alot talkier with its dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I don't have words for steins; gate 0 anymore. Too hard to say anything else now, run out of them. =<
Animosh
What kind of stuff does the anime generally leave out? Slice of life scenes? Scenes with minor characters? World-building? Something else?
Animosh
Not sure what was skipped, but as an anime-only I thought it was another good episode. Some sweet character moments, some nice set-up for the conflicts with Arthur and Golzino ... I didn't really feel like anything major was missing.
Lenlo
Ah, did it suffer this week? Shame. Looking forward to watching it though
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think banana fishes sped up pacing is definitely starting to show, but as much as I like the manga, it is the kind of thing that needs to be cutdown for the sake of better flow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall watching Raxephon as a teenager, but it never really went anywhere from what I saw.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bokurano which I enjoyed for its nihilism, had a second half that didn't live up to the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did years years later eventually come round a bit on Evangelion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gasaraki I also remember watching, which was ambitious but flawed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nadesico worked for me, probably because I watched it over 20 years ago and it was a pisstake on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding mecha, outside of Gundam and one or two mazinger things, I can't say I feel as strongly about other stuff in the genre. No interest in watching darling in the frannx , aldonoah zero, regret watching and enjoying code geass years ago. Never got the appeal of gurren lagann and didn't finish eureka 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And with mizukami satoshi in mind, I've never read spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to be specific, I don't hate planet with by any means.
Lenlo
As is, atleast something actually happens every episode. The pacing is a bit fast, but it all still feels good
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

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Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

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Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

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Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 10 [Shinozuka-san, Sugar Content, and the Press Conference/ Thousand Spring/ Andou and George]

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Banana Fish – 10 [Babylon Revisited]

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