Posted on 26 June 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hinamatsuri

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors of Hinamatsuri. We have seemingly stock characters at first, put them into some bizarre situations where they are out of their comfort zone, and observe how they react. As such, Hinamatsuri is at its best when it turns these absurd events into unpredictably directions; and when the show uses these absurd elements to flesh out the characters. It’s so succeed in giving hearts to the characters that, for me, it stops being a laugh-out-loud show somewhere in the middle and now in the end, I’m not quite certain if I still consider Hinamatsuri a comedy show.

But stop being an all-out comedy show isn’t a bad thing at all. One of Hinamatsuri’s best assets has always been a strong and memorable cast, especially from the younger ones. Hitomi and Anzu, in particular, make one hell of an impression. They embrace these two qualities I mentioned earlier, not only it’s hilarious to see how these girls behave when they’re thrown out of their elements, but also throughout those bizzare events our girls have matured right before our eyes. We have the always kind-hearted girl Hitomi finds herself making cocktails in an adult bar (and eventually come to love that job); to the bratty Anzu finds the meaning of responsibility and home in homeless group. Some segments just are down right heart-warming that they ring sad and sweet in equal measure. Even a proper drama show can hardly do that right, let’s alone a comedy one like this.

Other characters still manage to make an impact just from the little segments they’re in. The trick is that they all have different voices and add different energy to the show. It’s no coincidence that Hinamatsuri is fond of introducing new characters, even late in the game. Being said that, the central relationship between Nitta and Hina isn’t as well-developed as say, the developments of their side characters. At the end of the journey, when Nitta thinks about their journey so far, it just hits me that we haven’t really invested to them much. If we’re looking for a parental bond we’re set to be disappointed. If we’re seeking for a buddy bond, it was underwhelming too. Their relationship is some kind in the middle, where they can easily ditch each other but there’s still something that bring them back together.

In term of visual execution, feel does a pretty decent job of transferring the essence of the manga to this adaptation. The visual hits its mark whenever it embraces the quirky visual that only Hinamatsuri can do. I’m talking about whenever these girls doing their supernatural power, or when Hina just floating around in the air in the middle of a conversation. That brings me to another complaint. By design, this whole season is about these “gifted” girls accustomed themselves to the new, ordinary world. As a result, there’s simply not enough crazy, wild fights. This lack of truly over-the-top superpower hurts the show’s chance, as Hinamatsuri has a knack of bringing whimsical humor by their visual. Secondly, the lack of these supernatural power means that the show’s more content for traditional slice-of-life shenanigans, which in truth countless number of anime shows doing the same thing.

In term of segments, I noticed that the anime adaptation change the order from the manga, which I think work for the show’s benefit. We have more direct continuation from Anzu and Hitomi, for example, and so far I can see the love from the creators to make this show as memorable as possible. Only one plot thread I feel rather weak and uninteresting in general is the Nitta’s yakuza part, which rank amongst my least favorite segments. Hina has become more active in the second arc, despite my early criticism that she might not hold her own. This series, as entertaining, whimsical and surprisingly heartfelt as it might be, might never seen the day of life for another season. While personally I’m not over-excited about this show, it still remains a solid offering. The show that has its own voice and visual quirks. That alone make it a far better show than your average anime crop.

Posted on 25 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

And so it ends, but it feels much more like a beginning chapter for the next arc. feel studio opens up for the possibility of next season here, by bookending Mao’s 3-year-later arc. Although I love little Mao with her kungfu storyline, I still feel it’s devoid from the content of Hinamatsuri has established so far. She appears in only 2 segments, and they can easily fill it up with more content from the present day. The biggest reason to include her, I suppose, is because she will become an important figure in later arc, and despite all my “qualms” earlier, I love her presence and her talking to handmade dolls struck a sweet chord for me. With enough screen time she can become one of the favorite character, but is there a good chance of Hinamatsuri getting second season? Well, from what I gathered, the chance doesn’t look promising despite the critical reaction it has. I guess it’s more because Hinamatsuri doesn’t subject itself within one set-demographic, and it’s frankness regarding homeless people and pre-teen kids attending bars might hurt its chance a little. A total shame since Hinamatsuri deserves another season.

The first segment is a continuation of last week, and I originally thought it’d involve more Nitta and Hina. Turn out Hina is stranded in the middle of snowy wilderness with Hitomi and the two boys, and this segment serves as a character development for Hina as she opens up her secrets to her friends. Well, not at first since she never regards “getting lost in the snowy mountain” as a serious issues until she learns that there’s no food. I especially love how she only has one line, and it’s “feed me” (Mao understands this girl well). The other kids take this shocking news surprisingly well, and they prepare a make-believe sushi to recharge Hina’s energy. The whole sequence is warm (despite cold sushi) but I admit it doesn’t reach the impact I hope for. In fact, it’s often the case I have with Hinamatsuri, it’s unpredictable enough to hold my attention the whole way, but isn’t flat-out hilarious or make a strong impact to me.

After getting themselves rescued, Hina wakes up in a hospital to find Nitta there, and they have a quiet time together to further reflect their journey from the beginning. It’s not a subtle way, but it’s a fitting one for the final episode to have montages about their time together, and about other characters at this precise moment. But where’s Mao in the montage? I asked myself until we leap three years forward to see her not only doing well (being the famous pupil in the now-commercialize martial arts dojo. Not because of the skills she learned there I’m sure), but she still keeps a habit of talking to her Hina and Anzu dolls (despite we all know that she isn’t completely delusional). This fact that after all this time she still talks to them in her native language like a lonely kid talking their puppy got me personally. It may play for laugh but there’s a sad feeling buried underneath.

She meets Rocky, himself wanted to learn the “magic” power of Hina. Upon hearing about Hina, she decides to leave, but of course the dojo doesn’t want to lose their golden goose. I like the final test well enough, mostly because of the spinning machine is just way far-out when you think of the dojo martial arts. Mao easily defeats it, while pretends to use her martial art skills to fool others. While my earlier comment might suggest that I feel the whole Mao’s arc as a filler (it is), in truth I understand the reason for it being there. It’s a crime NOT to see her in anime version, considered this might be the only anime version we’re ever going to get. Overall, I enjoyed Hinamatsuri on a weekly dose. While it’s not the show I find myself thinking back a lot, it proves to be an enjoyable little show with its quirky cast, especially the younger ones and surprisingly heartfelt for a comedy show. Full review will come up soon.

Posted on 19 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major focus this week. After all, he’s still the poster boy, right? The fun begins when Daisuke, a dedicated journalist decides to make a realistic documentary program about Nitta – the yakuza who becomes some sort of urban legend now. Daisuke prepares everything, even his will, except for one thing: the expectation level. Nitta turns out to be a pretty nice dude, even nicer now that they film his daily activities. The guy finds himself in a bind, so he provokes Nitta and later stages the whole thing. Reality be damn, now he has the ultimate heartless devil yakuza that every love to hate.

This segment works in two deeper level apart from the sheer ridiculousness of the premise (come on, filming a yakuza’s daily activity? It’s like asking the magician to reveal his tricks). First, it serves a commentary to the extent of public manipulation the press/ the media can do to twist the truth for more attention-grabbing exaggerating details. Second lesson, just don’t judge people based on your impression. I particularly enjoy how Nitta’s bosses join in this little fraud. They must have so much fun observing how Nitta reacts.

The second segment plays out like any dad’s wildest dream when Anzu trades in Hina’s place for a few days and effectively reminds Nitta how much of a douchebag Hina is. Anzu is nearly perfect in every ways, helping him with housework, complements him and happily enjoys the time with him. Compared to the first time we know her when she’s basically a brat, it’s amazing to see how much she has grown, and Nitta seems to have the same opinion. So Nitta does what a sensible douchbag does (I swear Nitta and Hina deserve each other), spoils her to bring back her selfish self, except it backfires. I would’ve found this segment more hilarious if Nitta succeeds in his plan, in order to see the other side of Anzu. They have a great time together (especially digging the angel-Anzu and devil Hina metaphor), until he realises it’s time for her to go back her home. Which means ‘back to reality’, where Hina disappears in a school ski trip. With only one episode left for Hinamatsuri, I figure it this final event will have something to do with Mao (otherwise, why’s she there?) and it’s a school trip so my girl Hitomi will be there as well, yay! As a final note, not only Utako but now Hina gone in the final credit. I get the intention, but man somehow it creeps me out.

Posted on 12 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

Our favorite girls Hitomi and Anzu drive central plots this week, even at the cost of Hina and Mao (well, the latter doesn’t matter much, but why does she have such limited appearance?). I don’t have much of a complaint though, since stories involving Hitomi or Anzu are usually Hinamatsuri’s strongest. The humor of this first half, for example, is an extended gag of Hitomi is just too nice she can say no to others requests, and manages to be really good at all of them. It’s also a bit of social commentaries about people who hole themselves up with endless cycle of works that at the end of the day, they lose the drive that keep them going. I’m sure it’s an issue that not only relevant to Japan, but to the Western culture too. The moments where she just literally falls into sleep just after getting home with work uniform and the takeaway dinner sounds strangely relevant. In addition, the two skits this week also make fun of irresponsible adults who keep pushing the child into the dangerous path. Utako is especially (hilariously) wicked this week, forcing her underaged worker to sign a brand new apartment contract (with discounted price, but still). It’s hilarious to see the most sensible adults so far is Nitta, who feels taken a bit aback by Utako’s action. And Nitta being the nicest adult around is a pretty sad fact. I enjoy the numerous random jobs she’s taking, chief among them a mascot who gets punched by the Hero of Justice; and work in an office work and gets bullied by the senpai and all that. Poor girl. Consider that she doesn’t even work for money or even aim for anything higher. What is the point of all that?

One of the missed opportunity in that segment, however, is the questionable loli character design of Hitomi’s Mom, whom at first I thought was Hitomi’s sister. I suspect her childish appearance will become a central gag at some points, but the serious gap between her age and appearance just put me completely off. There’s a fight between her and Hitomi which started all this ruckus, and I like the way that she agrees to go along with all that, just to show you how adults’ mind can work in a mysterious way.

Anzu has a more heartwarming part. I’ll be upfront on this, Anzu’s material has always been stronger than any of those character-centric segment, because Hinamatsuri mixes the right balance between sad, grounded emotion with absurdist part (and cute little face). This last part, she learns a hard way of don’t relying on the gambling money, the money in which she doesn’t work to earn it. Having earned her allowance, it’s surprisingly sweet to see that she desires nothing for herself (wait, where’s the game?). She eventually decides to buy the neck massage machine for her foster parents, and Hitomi (wait, does she have some free time to spare now?) fills up the gap. It could’ve been a nice plan, until another irresponsible adult appears, Sabu, whom you might remember for ratting Nitta out last episode (can you read my tone here?). It could’ve been fine, too, if after winning the first bet, she’d just stop. That’s how the gambling work in general, make you win the first few times, let you sip the taste of greed before taken every penny away from you. Anzu learns that necessary lesson, and like Hitomi points out in the end, it’s her heart that matters the most as a gift. And while those coupons would cost almost nothing, I’m sure her foster parents will treasure it more than things that money can buy.

Posted on 4 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

It’s a bit late in the game now that Hinamatsuri introduces another set of new characters, and unlike these new additions we’ve seen the last few weeks, Mao looks to be a prominent character, at least on the same level with Anzu and Hitomi. Part of me afraid that she won’t have time to reach her full potential, consider the fact that we only have roughly 3 episodes left. The bigger remaining part of me welcomes her with all my heart, since Hinamatsuri is always at its best when they play around with the new characters. Nao is another excellent addition to this ensemble cast. She’s more composed and mature than both Anzu and Hina, and they way she can mimic their voices perfectly speaks well to her sensitive and her big heart. We’re heading to more tragicomedy territory here, one that isn’t in Anzu’s level, but Hinamatsuri again succeeds in making this segment hilarious and achingly sad at the same times. There’s obviously a reference to Cast Away (although I haven’t seen that movie so I can’t speak for how much relevant), and it’s whimsical in the way she asserts Hina and Anzu’s voices (especially Hina, where she only has one line, appropriately – “feed me”). But her vulnerability alone makes it a sad undertone. No human enjoy being lonely, and I’m quite surprised that she keeps her sane for that long before she snaps out of it. She’s on the quest to get into land now (which according to the map she’ll probably get to Thailand or China), and I guess it’s the time when we get back to the flashforward bit in the first episode.

The second segment focuses on the yakuza part and introduces another character, but this time this new Nitta’s yakuza brother is weak, compare to all the new players we’ve seen so far. In fact, he’s my least favorite character in this universe, and it doesn’t help that I don’t care much about Nitta and this whole new yakuza boss affair. I can, however, point out two of my favorite moments on that segment. The first being Hina’s insensitive comment that leads the old man into (brief) coma. And the second is the striking image of Nitta waking up and finding himself holed up in a concrete box, which reminds me a great deal of Baccano. But the main plot doesn’t carry much weight or have anything specific to say except that Nitta is 100% behind uniting the yakuza group (which in itself doesn’t really mean much). For my take, I believe this story can be more hilarious if Hina involved in rescuing Nitta, or if Nitta just has it enough and make the scene. But nope, it went the most conventional way which also means it falls flat for me.

In the last segment, we shift back the focus on Hina and Nitta as Hina plans to make a “surprise party” for Nitta. Being Hina, the surprise party also means there is no “surprise”, nor “party” at all. While I enjoy most of what happened, this feels like a repeated version of Hina messing up we’ve experienced before. The funniest moments are undoubtedly when Nitta sees the whole “celebration”, which looks more like a mogue; and Hina rising up from the “coffin”, with her lame t-shirt and equally lame greeting. It doesn’t surprise Nitta that much though (more like nothing surprises him anymore), and his stoned-face reaction captures well the awkwardness of this surprise party.

Posted on 28 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

The core dynamic of Nitta and Hina again is put into test this week, this time with more pressing matters. There’s a woman from Hina’s world comes to bring her back home, except – you know – she’s also scared shitless about Hina’s power. That’s the first thing that makes this new addition, named Kei, different from someone in her role. Kei’s more than willing to take shortcuts to her duty, and poor Anzu has to keep her from running away many times. Kei has a checklist to track Hina’s development in which she expects Hina to trip anytime soon. That blue hair girl passes all the test with flying colors and I especially like the way Kei and Anzu tested her by buying the puppy and disguise it as a homeless dog. Hilarious as it always is, but when Hinamatsuri wants to, it can ring the emotion so true. It might be a bit obvious the way the show wants to show us how Hina has grown while living with Nitta, but it mostly gets away with it by framing that change from Kei’s astounded eyes.

When learning about her going back to her world, she not in the least refuses. Grown girl accepts the consequences after all. The more important thing is how to break it to Nitta. Hina tries, and fails, in various methods to get Nitta noticed (most notably her “byebye” T-shirt, and when she’s frustrated she rolls and float freely in the air, creating a nice and weird visual quirk. Nitta takes the news calmly, he takes her to eat her favorite ikura bowl for the last time and says it when it’s time for their separation, that while she’s a pain in the ass, he enjoyed the time they spent together. That might be why the last laugh doesn’t really win me over because it kinda destroys my goodwill towards Nitta. But to be fair, Nitta has always been an ass himself, so they pretty deserve each other’s company.

In between that crisis, we have a side story of a new Hina’s classmate, Mami, who walks the fine line between a complete fool and an adorable fool. What worse than showing your true power to the bad people? It’s showing your true power to the eight-grader syndrome kid who believe they’re the centre of the universe (in fact they’re closely to grade 8th here). Hilarity ensues when Mami decides to confront Hina upfront (and freaked out to the point of lying on the ground). Hinamatsuri is in total control of the tones here, building up her satisfaction and her desire to brag about her “superpower” just about right, while never overplays her humiliation. Having the crowd total in their straight faces works much better than them laughing and ridiculing the poor girl (especially love both Aizawa and Hitomi’s tense expressions there). There’s so much good laugh in this second part and never at once the show belittles Mami’s hijinks. Well, turn out the parts about those middle-schoolers are amongst my favorite parts of the show. With such a diverse cast with strong and funny characters who always found themselves in absurdist situations, Hinamatsuri retains its touch this week.

Posted on 21 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

At this halfway mark, I want point out that the comedy of Hinamatsuri isn’t as sharp as the first few episodes (except for the segment including Hitomi’s classmates). There’s still absurdist sense of humor, sure, but it doesn’t make me laugh out lout or even make me chuckle. That is to say I come to enjoy the show’s drama much greater. This first short segment about Anzu, for example, hits all the right notes that you just can’t help but want to hug her. Anzu’s first day of work is… full of hearts and wonders, for the lack of better world. Here’s a girl who started from the very bottom of the society, now that her living condition is better (her own room, her own bed), she still appreciates what she had learnt from Yassan and the homeless people. The way she’s still used to her old habits (stunned over the cash till, taking a cold shower, cleaning up the used chopsticks) play mostly for gag, but it hides a sense of sadness under it. One thing for sure is that her first day in the restaurant is a whole lotta fun, and her life is going up from now on.

At least I’m glad that Hina becomes much more active this week. In the second segment, triggered by Nitta’s remark “find a way to make it fun”, she nominates herself to run for student council president, which only two things in mind: improve the lunch meal and more time to nap. Then somehow the lawyer of the big yakuza organization involved and what I find the most “genius” is the way he connects Hina’s two dot-points draft into a sensible and logical argument. Of course after a good meal, everyone would want to sleep, right? Hitomi’s reactions speak volume here, so does Hina’s clueless speech that include stage directions to her speech like they’re the most natural things in the world. This segment is where the static Hina works best for me, her stoned face and mono-tone need to contrast with something as bombastic and out of left field as this. Otherwise, our poster girl can only be suited for mascot.

The dynamic between Nitta and Hina come back in full force in the last section, and I actually quite like the way the direction it went this time. Nitta, for the first time, shares something personal to Hina. Hina and Hitomi take that hint and want to talk Utako into having a date with Nitta. Of course, Hina will have to screw it up in front of Utako since she has absolutely no sense to “taking the hint”, but somehow the date still happens with some unexpected twists. First, Hina breaks her ankle because Nitta’s swinging (Hinamatsuri comes close to screwball comedy here), and second, Utako rejects Nitta out right. It should be a punchline here, but for me this one the punch doesn’t land well, because it drags so much with all the montages of their date with an obvious result. It could work much better if the show includes their conversations instead of this. At least now that Nitta truly regards Hina as his family, so Mother or not, hand puppet or otherwise, it’s all good for now.

Posted on 13 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

This week in Anzumatsuri Hinamatsuri, the show proves once again that it does have something up its sleeves. Rarely a show does the drama effectively to the point of winning me some (manly) tears, let alone a comedy show in nature like this, but Hinamatsuri more than earned it with a nice emotional story for Anzu. Keeping up with its tradition, this episode spends the first half on Nitta and Anzu and the second half on one of our golden girls. The expansion of the cast for me steps up to be one of Hinamatsuri’s strong point. Usually, this show introduces the supporting quirky cast that they manage to stand out through their colourful characteristics; and watching them bouncing off with our mains is always a pleasure. This week, Nitta brings Hina home to meet his mother and that quirky little sister (who loves to drink) and we witness how Hina failing miserably with her little act and how Nitta covers up the truth by tall tales upon tall tales. Here’s when I admit the comedy isn’t as sharp as it has always been, mostly because Nitta’s mother and sister believe him almost too quickly. But what it lacks in humor, it makes up by showing us that Hina tries (fails but damn, she tries) and reaffirm the central chemistry between Hina and Nitta. He might lie that Hina is his real daughter, but now he sees her as one, and it’s certainly important.

The real winner, however, comes from the second part of Anzu saying farewell to the homeless gang. It’s not that unexpected, and the old men accept their fate as it comes. But it’s sad (and a bit hurt) that Anzu is the only one who doesn’t take this issue lightly. She was all about to go all out to protect their homeland, to what she feels as her true home and family. It’s compelling since the emotions she gone through are relatable. She sheds her tears when she realizes it’s not worth it (or more, the old geezers don’t think it’s worth it) to keep this base. Moreover, it stings when she knows that they won’t be together ever again. All the people she’s grown fond with, all the people who teach her all these small things. And then, when she has a delicious meal she can’t help but thinks of the others, and wonders if she deserves such nice meal. It’s empathy that she has learned the long way from the people who seemingly has nothing to share, yet it’s the care and the love they share that reach her and will stay inside her. The two new caretakers do a good job of pointing these things out for Anzu. That is, frankly, quite a touching and satisfying message Hinamatsuri manages to pull off here.

It helps that the show nails it in keeping these emotions intact, visually. There are many strong framings that fuse immensely with the emotional weight of the story. I have two scenes that come to mind. First, the image of Anzu in her tent gathering up her items, a hammer, an empty can, a stuff bear and a string, with her back facing towards us. It’s as lonely as it can get. The second, Anzu’s wide awake early morning, and just realizes that she now doesn’t have to pick up cans anymore. It rings hollowly true at depicting a person coping with their new strange environment that – although I suspect we don’t get more of this anymore – I can hardly have any complaints with this segment whatsoever. The past episodes have shown us that Hinamatsuri is great at comedy, this one reminds us that they have a knack at moving us to tears as well.

Posted on 9 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

At this point, I’m done delving on what the main thread of Hinamatsuri is. What appeared at first as the buddy/parental relationship between a yakuza and a psychic girl has evolved into something else, with Hitomi and Anzu slowly taking a central stage. This episode 5 in particular, they follow up on what I feel their weakest sketch (the plot A) with their most hilarious segment I’ve seen this year, bar none. The main reasons why the plot A doesn’t work for me mostly because it confirms many issues that I felt last week: Anzu and Hitomi keep overshadow Hina, there’s little wacky Hinamatsuri-signature sense, and Nitta and Hina relationship rubs me the wrong way for the first time (money can’t buy everything, mate). There are still two main takeaways from this first half, however. First, it has a sad undertone that the main reason Anzu does all this is because she wants to buy a video game to play with Hina and second, Hitomi and Hina help the blonde kid in their own ways, both end up with some mishaps that turn their plans upside down) or in Hina’s case, she makes one up as she goes). That’s the “friendship” that Anzu always looks for but hasn’t realized yet, and the rewards end up being not the money they earned but the efforts they spend to help her.

But my dissatisfaction for the first half is quickly replaced the magnificent of this little investigations from Hitomi’s friends. I suspect the main ingredients for its success are the expanded cast, with each of the new character more than light up the screen and I don’t remember falling for a new character (Aizawa) as quickly as this 10 minutes. She has her manipulating side, and God she’s clearly enjoying messing with Hitomi just to see her “adorable” reactions. The animation does a good job to animate Hitomi’s excessive movements here (is it just me who think that there’s some yuri affection from Aizawa to Hitomi? If so, I’d welcome it). She skeds the fine line between enjoying manipulating her and care for her own good at the same time. Likewise, the two boys walk the fine line between innocent-as-kid (the way they imagine the affair, with the caption: I can’t fantasize anymore or they still behave like kids playing detective) and their affection to Hitomi. Hina plays her role well here is a clueless mascot who most of the time doesn’t get what is going on. This is the situation-based comedy as its most inspiring as the misunderstandings just keep building up slowly and Hitomi behaves just like a wet cat get herself caught in the kitchen’s corner – she’s an adorable kitty, I swear. Look, I don’t even care anymore if this show slowly becomes Hitomimatsuri but I still hope there’s more supernatural wackiness along the way.

Posted on 29 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

Contrary to what I predicted last week, turns out there is a continuation to the “cliff-hanger” last week, and more importantly, it serves as a catalyst for Hinamatsuri this week’s first half. This is a second week in a row that the show involves little-to-no crazy superpower hijinks, which I’m not sure if it works for the show’s benefits. I always consider these ridiculous power Hina and Ainzu possess one of Hinamatsuri’s distinctive personality, thus without those the show feels more like your typical odd-couple slice of life comedy show. I’m quite glad that Hina and Nitta pair gets a main focus in this first half. Hina gets kicked out of the house by Nitta, it’s a kind of natural progression considering how much of a sloth and mindlessness Hina is. Too useless that she immediately spends her amount of money on food, then stays with Anzu but does nothing but eats food and reads manga. Anzu delivers what might be one of the best line of anime this season: “That girl’s not even fit to be homeless”. She learns the rope of surviving though, when she teams up with the street band and performs “tricks”. The band becomes extremely popular much to Nitta’s surprise.

As for Nitta part, unexpectedly receives harsh reaction from his group through his bad choice of phrasing (I love that comedy bit where some strangers stand up against him the most), even being banned from Utako’s bar until he makes up with Hina in one of the episode’s most hilarious sequence where Utako throws salt right after he left – an act of cleansing all the evil’s spirits. I particular love the way Hinamatsuri animates Utako clumsy actions – he finds himself worrying about her despite claiming that he doesn’t care about her well-being one bit. This part is supposed to be a break so that both Nitta and Hina can see the importance of the other in their lives, but I’ll be honest to say that it doesn’t grab me much because it has been done to death before. In the end though, what worries me the most is the way after going through many hardships of being homeless, Hina doesn’t change much except that now she knows for sure that wants to be with Nitta. In terms of character’s development, this blue-hair girl is still pretty much a brat. Consider how her two friends grow right before our eyes through their dire situations, I’m a bit concerned that if Hina doesn’t grow soon she might be the least interesting character out of this pack.

Speaking of Hina’s two friends, the second half spends on Anzu and my girl Hitomi encounter for the first time. What I like the most about them is how despite being very contrasted in terms of personality (one timid, one self-centred, ends up at vastly different outcomes (one has money more than she could imagine, the other only makes few bucks a day), in an essence they have been going through the same thing: that they learn something out of their usual personality and they come to do their jobs with pride. There’s a hint of pride in Anzu’s statement of being homeless, there’s a great montage about Hitomi not only being good at bartender, but also excels on customer’s service – provides the kind of atmosphere that Nitta’s boss, her own homeroom teacher and even Utako herself can be their honest self and not worry about their real life. At heart that’s exactly what Hitomi’s doing here. Hitomi even manages to half-blackmail one staff so that Anzu can have those bags of cans, a glaring example of how she adapts real fast. Anzu goes a long way too, bringing her new “friend” home and offering her install-noodle as a repayment, something she learns by heart through her homeless gang. We shall see how they grow as friends but I suspect that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think starlight can be too abrupt though at times and could focus longer on certain things, then again it is only 12 episodes.
Niello
I wish I can edit those grammar mistakes...well whatever.
Niello
From that point on, the show is more of a family drama with problem sparked from supernatural shounen shenanigans, and this is where the show really shines. It turns into one of those story where it constantly change your perspective of the characters as you know more about them.
Niello
The interesting bit is how the first couple episodes give you the impression that it would be a more episodic story with enemy of the week. However, after the initial set up and they went to Hong Kong, it has been focus on one single arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I suppose there will always be a show I missed or didn't notice on the seasonalcharts.
Niello
That's coming from someone who hate the premise. I went in thinking it would be absolute shit. It's still not great, but I'm impress that it has something that still make it worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I don't think I know what that is.
Niello
Aguu really surprised me this season. It has tons of flaws, but of all things I didn't expect to see great character developments and dynamics. It's definitely appreciable for how the characters were handled feel different from most anime. The twists are well done as well. It didn't go in the direction I initially expected it to at all. Over all, I think it's actually worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it her name, Hikari, i think it means light.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*like it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked it when a show surprises me like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Mahiru probably had the most backstory to her. Glad you agreed on how they handled the rivalry between Tendou and Claudine (aka Croissant-chan)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I noticed that and I think it could have been followed up on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really do love that shot though, it really shows and symbolizes and goes with "how she's lost everything". Actually I liked how the symbolism in this show was clearer at times than expected.
SuperMario
My best girl is Banana. Try to protect all the girls by rewinding the time, Madoka-style? Count me in
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Hikari is best girl, flat is justice never forget *hides*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hope we see more of that shot from episode 11, the one on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for covering the show. Probably wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i've never heard of the prequel manga. It's still about Karen and Hikari, I suppose?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Theres a prequel manga for shoujo kageki, I haven't read it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Odd hearing French spoken in an anime series too, I wonder how accurate it is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to the ending this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thought the animation could have been a bit better! The English dub is okayish to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised how endeared I ended up getting into this show.
Even though I liked the central relationship I wish it had more screentime, but I liked what I got and the expanded focus on the other girls was something I enjoyed aswell so I don’t mind so much.
I do want a bit more followup on that “betrayal” moment though, but Mario as you say, this show does hit its emotional moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
different enough as not to become stale, the ones that come to mind best for me was the doubles duel and particularly that really goofy one in episode 6.
Eventually even though the show can be a bit vague/meandering, the character interactions had more point than I thought and they grew on me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a second go through and now that I’ve caught up with it, the standout for me are definitely all the weird stuff with the stage battles and Giraffe guy, regarding the duels, even though the format of this show is repetitive, the duels themselves feel that they are
Kaiser-Eoghan
I initially put off watching shoujo kageki starlight, mostly down to feeling it was one of those “wait and see” shows, based on the first two episodes. I also at first thought the character interactions were meandering and asinine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
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.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 12 [Step Forward Already!]

The angriest show of this season has come to the continuation of the final match between Nagisa and Ayano and overall it does a decent job. It has something to do with this episode is amongst Hanebado’s most traditional sport narrative, so it focuses more on the action, and tones down the excessive melodrama. On […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 11 [We Are]

It makes sense that after 10 episodes of dueling and auditioning, this week takes time to focus on the central pair Karen and Hikari. As soon as she “betrays” Karen in the cliffhanger last week, it soon reveals that the reason she does it is to not steal anyone’s else brilliance (especially Karen’s), even at […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 12 [Just One Masterful Method/ Yuki-chan Bares It All]

As appropriate with Chio’s below-average personality, Chio-chan ends not with a bang but with two entertaining-but-unremarkable sketches. Many if the side-cast don’t make the cut in this finale (I kinda miss Andou and Momo), but we have Yuki at her most brilliant and Chio at her own worst enemy. Also, the way Chio-chan handles its […]

Banana Fish – 12 [To Have and Have Not]

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in! So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 22 [Rinascimento of Projection -Project Amadeus-]

This week Steins;Gate 0, once again, brutally reminded me of the potential it started with ~5 months ago and subsequently wasted. We have lab-member shenanigans, emotional heart-to-hearts and overdramatic time travel sequences. Let’s dive in! So in general, Steins;Gate 0 worked this episode. It really did. The emotions were on point and there was a […]

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

After the break last week (due to the Hokkaido earthquake), we are back with this final match between Ayano and Nagisa. While I can’t say I care too much about this match, Hanebado begins in a solid note. Having our two main characters flashback to their previous match, each questions the exact same concern: “what […]

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

Forgive me for not covering this last week but believe me when I say it wasn’t due to lack of interest. Planet With still remains a show that just tops itself with every episode. Though I don’t have much to say about episode ten other than it being another episode which could have acted as […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 10 [The Show Must Go On]

The narrative beat of Revue Starlight has reached its new tempo with the end of the audition. All the things that Revue Starlight has been building up to begin to payoff this week. I must say though, it comes out a bit too predictable this week. We have the last stage audition with literally the […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 11 [Chio in the Middle of the Night/ Apocri!]

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 […]

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Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

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Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

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Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]

Legends of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These Anime Review – 80/100

This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated […]

Hinamatsuri (2018 Spring) Review – 79/100

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]