Posted on 17 March 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

There are times when I judge anime series based on the number of screencaps I’m compelled to take per episode. This was one of those times. After closing the video and taking a look at my desktop, I was unsurprised to see it littered with mpv-shot files, all featuring distinct facial expressions, poses, and situations that were instantly memorable to me. The point I’m belaboring here is that this was a great episode of Kaguya-sama, even though it continued to explore a plot point from last week about which I wasn’t too jazzed. Though the consequences of the “sick in bed” plot were in focus for two of these three chapters, the show was packed with fun details and moments that had me smiling or laughing periodically throughout. Take the first segment, where Kaguya and Shirogane’s frustrations cause them to enter a gigantic argument over a piece of cake. Recognizing the need for de-escalation, Ishigami flees the room in search of Fujiwara, whose face (surrounded by sunflowers) balloons towards the camera like a scene transition from a retro American cartoon. The contrast between the heated fight in the council room and Fujiwara’s status as a comedic icon was too delicious not to play with, but the show pushed it even further than I expected with that silly logo. Kaguya and Shirogane’s rage marks popping like balloons was another neat touch, perhaps foreshadowing their anger evaporating once they took the other’s position into account.

The second chapter took a less conflict-driven, more thoughtful approach to the characters’ feud, with the president and vice president becoming advice seekers (rather than the advice givers they’ve been in past episodes). Kashiwagi and Ishigami give typically female and male answers to their inquirers’ questions, but also prompt Kaguya and Shirogane to think more deeply about the situation. Kaguya’s desire to have been touched is a tricky one to navigate (especially given her lack of sexual knowledge), but I think the show managed it with some grace, since her affection for the president is more than physical. What’s particularly interesting about the resolution of their fight is that Shirogane’s apology dovetails with the fulfillment of her wish, lending a sort of destined feeling to their romance. After Kaguya’s moment of reciprocity, the whole thing ends with an even playing field, but also the sense that some progress has been made between them. To me, this is the best way such a story could have possibly concluded, so bravo to the mangaka for providing a perfect blueprint for the anime. Also, Ishigami deserves a special mention for unconsciously (and hilariously) pouring all his frustration with women into his conversation with Shirogane. Their bro session nicely sets up a moment they share in the week’s final segment.

Free from the shackles of its sexless sleep session, Kaguya-sama revisits the idea of our characters taking a trip together, since summer vacation is quickly approaching. They quickly settle on a summer festival, which excites the fireworks-obsessed Kaguya in the episode’s cutest moment (pictured above). The layout of that scene was perfect, with the prospect of pyrotechnics proving so enticing to the VP that her enthusiasm forces even the bubbly Fujiwara out of the shot. Each character was used to great effect in this scene, with Ishigami acting as a unifying agent for the rest of the student council. Fujiwara temporarily adopts his role as the one to leave the room under the influence of some social trauma, but my inner theorist wonders whether this is just an excuse to get her out of the way for a bit. With the number of festival attendees down to three, perhaps some sort of romantic triangle will develop around a yukata-clad Kaguya? After an episode this good, I’m excited to see how the show’s summer vacation pans out, regardless of my ridiculous speculation. Kaguya’s in her right mind – all’s right with the world.

Posted on 10 March 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

I, uh, wasn’t crazy about this episode of Kaguya-sama. As the end of the decade approaches, I’ve been thinking about my favorite anime of the last ten years, and I was originally hopeful that Kaguya would be able to hang with rom-coms like Ore Monogatari and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun on that list. Unfortunately, the second half of the show (so far) hasn’t appealed to me like the first part did. My main gripe with this particular episode was that it pushed some of its characters outside their established behavioral boundaries. It never happened without justification, but some of the reasoning it provided felt inadequate, especially in the last of these three chapters. Since all three of them led into each other, with Kaguya’s sickness as the core focus, the whole package was kind of soured. Let me just skip to the third segment and explain what I mean here.

When Shirogane visits a sick-in-bed Kaguya, he discovers that she has transformed into a half-delirious infant (something he’d hoped to see during the Concentration game in part two). Her design is amended accordingly, with downturned eyes and two-tone irises, as opposed to the sharper, more colorful expression she typically wears. She’s on the floor, searching for fireworks in a mess of her own making, and has to be mothered back into bed by Hayasaka (who’s in disguise as a gaijin maid). Aoi Koga even does her best Konomi Kohara impression to give her character the same sense of innocence that Fujiwara carries. It’s actually Hayasaka who provides the explanation for Kaguya’s current state: since her mind is always working at full capacity, her ego is particularly vulnerable to her id during periods of illness. Yes, the show actually trots out Freud’s model of the psyche to explain a character’s sudden witlessness, but this isn’t immersion-breaking by itself. Kaguya-sama has been dropping psychological terms into its script since the beginning.

The real problem stems from the show’s attempt to have it both ways, with a sudden seriousness taking hold when Kaguya explains that she can only manipulate people to express her feelings. We get a clear look at the Shinomiya motto during this scene, which hangs ominously on the wall and instructs family members not to love or rely on anyone. This maxim can be glimpsed in the hallway leading to Kaguya’s room several times before her admission, so it’s nice that the show primed us for that moment, but given the infantilized version of her character on screen just minutes beforehand, the whole segment feels inappropriately sincere. Everything that follows (Kaguya’s dominant id pulling Shirogane into bed with her, then kicking him out when she wakes up in her right mind) feels like the usual anime rom-com bullshit. Kaguya’s past fantasy about the Shirogane family accepting her was a much funnier and less direct way of detailing her oppressive home life, for my money – everything to do with her sickness was all over the place.

Chapters one and two from this week didn’t hold much appeal for me, either. This writeup has already been negative enough, but for the sake of completion, I’ll say a few words about them. In the first segment, there was too much shouting for me. Fujiwara screaming about the kleptomaniac thunder god, Kaguya’s maniacal switching of the president’s phone battery (complete with off-tempo clock sounds for some reason), and Shirogane’s war cry as he pedaled his bike through the rain grated on my nerves before I ever got to the third chapter. It was too much intensity for too little payoff. As for the memory game in the middle, it was fine. Notably, we got to see Fujiwara at her most devious, utilizing multiple rigged decks of cards to win the honor of visiting a sick Kaguya. She’s played to win before (think back to the banned word game), but this was a new side of her that felt natural, especially given her sheepish reactions to being caught. Alright, I’m off my soapbox for this week.

Posted on 5 March 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

Kaguya-sama hit a low point for me last week, so I was hoping this episode would be more my speed, and that wish was granted with the adaptations of three fun chapters. One used the introduction of a new character to prey on Kaguya’s unmet desires, one was a narration-heavy dive into academic life at Shuchiin Academy, and one featured Ishigami in his best and most sympathetic role so far. The aforementioned “new character” is Shirogane’s little sister Kei, who made a previous appearance from the neck down, but only came into focus this week. Kaguya is fascinated by the traits she shares with the president, but I was mostly hypnotized by the ornate ribbon she wears in her hair. It’s a cute look, but its extravagance makes Kei feel like a calculating girl. That’s something she might sense about Kaguya, as well, given the nervousness she felt around her. Kaguya was certainly up to her usual scheming ways during this chapter, wondering how she might strike up a relationship with the younger girl to better approach her brother, but her thought process betrays a deeper motivation: Kaguya is “starving for familial love.” Though she has Hayasaka to confide in, I don’t think we’ve seen or learned anything about her parents. The scene she dreams up where the Shirogane family accepts her as one of their own is quite sad when you consider where that dream comes from.

The middle chapter was much sunnier in tone, despite the way it put our main characters through the academic wringer. A fair number of the recent stories involving both Kaguya and Shirogane have ended with one silently acknowledging their feelings for the other, but they were much more combative here. With exams coming up fast, they both lie through their teeth about their level of preparation for the tests, probably hoping to lure the other one into a false sense of security (as well as make their victory seem that much more impressive). Fujiwara has been the show’s wild card from the very first episode, but this segment was perhaps the clearest indicator of that status thus far. Kaguya and Shirogane’s deceptions have the slippery-voiced narrator calling them out left and right, but he can’t say a negative word about the pink-haired crowd favorite, whose smarts aren’t sufficient to spot her friends’ lies. It might have been nice to get an outside perspective on exam season from a couple side characters, but Fujiwara already provides a nice contrast to the two egomaniacs, neither of whom end up winning or losing with humility (not inwardly, at least).

Though the last chapter wasn’t my favorite, it provided some essential context-via-backstory for Ishigami, who was once a frequently-truant middle schooler. This lessened interaction with his peers probably set the stage for his current image as a gloomy geek, which not even a spot on the student council has managed to cure. The show pulls a neat trick by placing the events of this story during the lead-up to the exams that conclude the previous segment, allowing us to glimpse a more serious side of the students’ preparation. Ishigami isn’t lacking in wits, just motivation, and it’s Kaguya (of all people) who spurs him to avoid being held back a year by subpar test scores. His usual fear of her harshness gives way to appreciation, especially once she sticks up for him in a library scene that may be the launching point for something more in their relationship. Shirogane once thought of Kaguya as cold and unapproachable, so I don’t see any reason why Ishigami’s trepidation couldn’t give way to affection. Kaguya seems unlikely to set her sights anywhere other than the president, but a one-sided crush from the treasurer’s end looks a bit more likely after this episode.

Posted on 25 February 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

We’re back in love advice mode for the third time this week, with Kashiwagi’s still-nameless boyfriend asking Shirogane for advice on how to hold her hand. Kaguya-sama has mostly avoided the prudish territory in which a lot of high school romcoms drown themselves, so I was relieved when Fujiwara busted down the door and pointed out that holding hands isn’t really that big a deal. Apart from a neat conclusion, this was the oddest of the three advice segments so far, since the president spends so much of it trying to coerce Mr. Boyfriend into getting a part-time job. I feel like something was missing from this chapter – was Shirogane supposed to get a bonus or some other benefit for recruiting a classmate? I know he values hard work and everything, but he pressed the issue so far that I thought there might have been a small omission regarding his motivation. On the other hand, the preposterous hand-holding prerequisites he dreamed up (such as renting a cruiser at sunset to establish the proper mood) somehow endeared him to Kaguya even more, which was cute.

Part two was all Ishigami, who’s still scared to death of Kaguya, though it’s a terror of his own making this time. Gossiping about your female classmates’ cup sizes is poor form, especially in a room where both girls (one of whom you believe to hold a grudge against you) are known to congregate. Ishigami doesn’t seem like the type to learn a lesson from Fujiwara’s paper fan smackdown or Kaguya’s threats, though, since he’s preoccupied with jealousy toward the popular guys in the soccer and other athletic clubs. His proposal of a happiness tax is especially funny given his role as treasurer, but it’s also kind of sad, since he’d clearly love to be well-liked with a girl on his arm. Though he rails against the pretenders among Shuchiin Academy’s club programs, he’d probably be happier if he became one. Honestly, my favorite part of this chapter was learning which clubs Fujiwara and Kaguya were in – an episode that splits its time between those two groups could be a lot of fun, even if they have to recycle the idea that they’re in competition for a chunk of the proposed budget.

Looks like this week’s post will be fairly short, as I have little to say about the wiener chapter. The show explains the joke: in the course of researching the birds and the bees, Kaguya has entered the phase where such terms make her laugh uncontrollably, and many wiener-related outbursts follow. I’m not against sophomoric humor in the least, but with a concept like this, it either makes you laugh or it doesn’t, and I fell into the latter camp. The 80s new wave track that played midway through this bit was a direct rip-off of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” so that’s neat, I guess? This whole segment was a dud for me, but I’m happy to write it off and look forward to next week, instead.

Posted on 17 February 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

The treasurer of the student council, Ishigami Yuu, finally got a proper introduction this week. I’d say this episode was his time to shine, but it’s actually the opposite – he’s so preoccupied with Kaguya’s apparent hatred of him (as well as his own social faux pas) that it was actually his time to mope. His design screams “introverted nerd”: dark hair and eye color, long bangs covering one eye, and headphones around his neck, ready to block out the world at a moment’s notice. Throw in the running gag about wanting to ditch school due to Stockholm Syndrome or a desire to kill himself, and you have a totally ReLaTaBLe character with whom all the sad dorks out there can identify. I don’t want to come down too hard on the guy just after his introduction, but I do have an issue with the series’ decision to create a character with his function (that being his detection of Kaguya’s more cunning personality). Kaguya-sama already does a great job of balancing her two selves through the use of internal monologue, narration, and quieter moments alone or with Hayasaka, where we see Kaguya as she truly exists. She’s already a well-rounded character, about whom we get plenty of different perspectives through the president, secretary, and admiring student body. I don’t feel as though an additional set of eyes, particularly not one that interprets things in such an exaggerated fashion, adds much to the proceedings.

This is undoubtedly an unpopular train of thought, as Aidan mentioned in the comments of a previous review that Ishigami is /ourguy/ among the manga’s fanbase. I can understand why that is, but if he’s going to contribute to the show, I’d rather it be on his own terms. For example, in the final chapter from this week’s episode, he’s struck with embarrassment after Fujiwara calls him creepy for a remark about her new conditioner, and he excuses himself from school. If his arc will involve battling his depression and social awkwardness to become a new or improved version of himself, that’s cool. This is a rom-com, so I assume the story will eventually nudge him in the direction of a female character, which could be the catalyst for that change. As long as his screen time isn’t dominated by a fear of the vice president, I’m down to see where he’ll go in the future (apart from “home” midway through every segment).

All of that aside, my favorite story from this episode was probably the Fujiwara-led barrage of psychological tests. These things usually function as a way for lazy writers to let their characters speak directly to the audience, but in a series built around deception, they were just another opportunity for comedy. I think this is the second time Shirogane has defaulted to being a siscon to avoid his crush on Kaguya being detected, and while he escapes for the price of the girls’ scorn, Kaguya gets overwhelmed upon realizing the meaning of the flower test. The shot of the dump truck backing up and gently covering her in a pile of petals was the best of the week, for my money. It was nicely stretched to allow us to anticipate the moment when they would fall, and to feel Kaguya’s shock at their intended symbolism. This show continues to be very well-timed, with another case coming near the end of the third chapter, where Shirogane frantically pedals away from Kaguya after failing to compliment her nails. Just as he and his bike are about to disappear from sight over a hill, he freezes in midair for a moment, emphasizing the hunched position he uses to flee the scene. It adds to the comedy of the moment, but also the light pathos of being too afraid to compliment the girl you like. Good storyboarding is likely responsible for these small successes, so kudos are in order for whoever has handled that task so far. We’ve arrived at the midpoint of Kaguya-sama’s 12 episode run, so I hope this level of attention is maintained during the show’s back half.

Posted on 12 February 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

This was the first episode of Kaguya-sama that did anything less than thrill me, probably because it retread so much ground that previous episodes had already covered. The laugh-out-loud moments and generally heartwarming atmosphere were still present, but they weren’t as fresh as in previous outings. We went back to the ‘three chapters’ format this week, but after spending the last couple episodes branching out from Shuchiin Academy, all three of these new stories took place on campus. They all closely echoed previous chapters, as well, especially Kaguya’s love advice segment (which is a direct follow-up to Shirogane’s bluff-fest from several weeks ago). I’ve written before that Kaguya-sama’s power lies in its reliability, but after watching the series’ formula undergo these slight tweaks, it’s a small disappointment to receive an installment that doesn’t mix things up in the least. The show is still my biggest hope for the winter 2019 season, however – its positivity and sense of fun are undeniable.

Though the episode felt too familiar, it did surprise me in one way, and that was in its choice of the next student to seek romantic advice. Episode 2 pointed us in the direction of Kashiwagi’s friend, whose obvious consternation pointed to her crush on the (still nameless) male inquirer. Instead, it was Kashiwagi herself who came to Kaguya with feelings of ambivalence, which the inexperienced Kaguya is ill-equipped to handle. She does a better job of it than Shirogane, but it’s actually Fujiwara who saves the day, deerstalker cap and pipe in hand. After expressing a desire to be involved in love talk during last week’s banned word game, she simply barges into the room upon hearing what the other girls are talking about, and inadvertently causes Kaguya to realize her feelings for the president a little more clearly. Though she often foils Kaguya’s romantic schemes by accident (as seen during the umbrella segment in this episode), here she helps her friend to equate jealousy with attraction. Coupled with her bizarre “resist society” advice to Kashiwagi, her previous lack of involvement in others’ love lives was probably a blessing, but things seem to work out for everyone in this segment. Well, everyone except Kashiwagi’s friend, who is still lurking tearfully in the background at the very end. Hopefully her distress doesn’t become a running gag.

Fujiwara’s curiosity about others’ romantic situations extends briefly into the volleyball chapter, when she suspects that Shirogane’s athletic training is to impress a girl. This was probably my least favorite of the three stories this week, because it didn’t take us anywhere new. We already knew that the president is a hard worker and a bit of a klutz (though perhaps not on this level), so devising a plot where he works hard to compensate for his lack of hand-eye coordination feels too safe. Fujiwara’s ponytail look and bandaged bow near the end were cute, but her trainee’s eventual success wasn’t much of a payoff for me. Better was the traditional game of wits surrounding the umbrellas, where Kaguya proved once again that her preparation is second to none. Even putting aside her aborted victory over Shirogane, she claimed a win against every girl in school who had designs for summer vacation involving the president. Though Kaguya inwardly claims not to care about sharing an umbrella with Shirogane so much as everyone witnessing them sharing an umbrella, she does get swept up in their resulting closeness when all is said and done. I say it every week, but that contrast between her rational and emotional minds is my favorite thing about both her character and the show. Even when it falls back on familiar material, Kaguya-sama has a weapon that can always put a smile on my face.

Posted on 6 February 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

Kaguya-sama isn’t the sort of show that would suddenly depart from a tried and true formula, especially not after attracting so many eyes in just one month thanks to whip-smart direction and a memetic ED. Nevertheless, this was a week of firsts for the anime. We got four short stories in this episode instead of the usual three, stepped outside the student council room for the largest portion of an episode yet, met some French transfer students, and received some wonderful eye-catches to bridge the gaps between each chapter. I remember seeing those little transitions last week, as well, but these were on another level, featuring a couple of dynamic poses from Fujiwara (her demonic cat impression made the biggest splash for me), who I assume is the fan favorite at this point. I’m personal to Kaguya, whose dual traits of perfectionism and ignorance create some very cute conflicts, but in a series like this one, everyone is a winner.

The first two segments this week were classic “mental gymnastics in the student council room” routines, revolving around cat ears and the banned word game, respectively. The performance that most impressed me here was that of Makoto Furukawa, Shirogane’s seiyuu, who really let loose this week in order to flesh out the president’s attraction to (and slight feelings of inferiority toward) Kaguya. We’ve gotten hints of the latter in the past, especially where her finances are concerned, but her cute cosplay and flawless French stunned him this week, and Furukawa’s yelps and prolonged cries gave us a good look past the veneer his character usually keeps up. This dorkier version of the president is one we’ve known about since he bluffed his way through a romantic advice session (despite having no experience of his own), so it feels natural to see him act a little nuttier here. On the other hand, the wordiness of his resolution to throw the banned word game to Fujiwara was a bit thick – but of course, that’s the scriptwriter’s decision, not Furukawa’s. And hey, it was still a nice gesture for him to make, even if it failed spectacularly. I do appreciate that the show’s three main players have genuine affection for one another, rather than mean-spiritedness (as would be in the case in a lot of other comedies).

Kaguya’s obsession with her cell phone was undoubtedly my favorite chapter this week, though I do have one knock against it, and that’s the reuse of 3D council room assets in the creation of Kaguya’s room. Her desk and bookshelves looked eerily similar to the ones we already see every week, and provided a sizable distraction to an otherwise charming story. That aside, though, seeing the calculating vice president dissolve into a bundle of nerves over a simple phone conversation was precious. I’m glad Kaguya has a “girl talk” sort of friend in Hayasaka (the pressure of being an heir to such a large legacy might otherwise be crushing), but I’m equally glad that Hayasaka likes to push her buttons, since that teasing exposes a side of Kaguya that she ordinarily keeps locked up. The thought of a president/secretary relationship is enough to briefly fluster her charge, but Hayasaka’s flawless poker face makes her such a wild card that I wouldn’t be surprised if she went after Shirogane herself (if only to spur Kaguya into action). Whatever the series’ romantic blueprints may be, I’m hoping she’s involved somehow – her character is too fun and too valuable not to be included.

Posted on 28 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

Kaguya-sama continues to pleasantly surprise me with each episode. Just as its two main characters attempt to trick one another into confessing their love, the series pulled the wool over our eyes this week by aborting its usual intro midway and getting straight to the good stuff. Its playfulness and experimentation reminds me of SHAFT’s older romcoms, and since that’s where director Shinichi Omata got his start in the industry, the feeling makes sense. More than his work on series like Arakawa or Denpa Onna, though, it’s his masterful adaptation of Rakugo Shinjuu (under the name Mamoru Hatakeyama) that makes me believe Kaguya-sama might have a future in the pantheon of great anime comedies. Omata’s method of bringing rakugo performances to life bears some similarity to the way he heightens the hormonal delusions of Kaguya and Shirogane – after all, they’re essentially performers in a grand farce, with the student council room as their stage. The two series share a scriptwriter in Yasuhiro Nakanishi, as well, so they likely forged a strong working relationship several years ago, and it’s paying off a second time in 2019. If you ever want to predict which anime will be great before the start of a new season, it’s the key staff members that are most important, as this show’s success can attest.

The playfulness I mentioned earlier wasn’t limited to the fast-forwarded introduction. It can be found all over the three chapters adapted in this episode, especially the first, where Kaguya’s lack of sexual awareness causes all three council members to be plagued by self-doubt. The highlight of this segment was her roundabout plot to make the president confess, first by imagining his panic at never having been kissed, then assuming his thought process would lead him straight into her arms to rectify the situation. Anime’s prude take on romance can be frustrating at times, but Kaguya’s sheltered upbringing and Shirogane’s nervous bluffs just make things funnier for me. Fujiwara has to explain the mechanics of sex to her friend in the end, but her embarrassment doesn’t function as an excuse for anyone to be mean-spirited. Rather than tearing down its characters, Kaguya-sama is dedicated to building them up via small details, like the slow social evolution the vice president has undergone since joining the student council. Though Shirogane’s observation of this change serves as a simple catalyst for a game of 10 Questions (complete with an old western theme), it’s his understanding of her screwy personality that ultimately enables him to win. Even though they’re constantly trying to one-up each other, it does feel like they’re slowly learning more about one another.

That sense of impending closeness is given a boost by the conclusion to this week’s final chapter, where Kaguya gets to ride on the back of Shirogane’s bike (a big romantic flag in Japan) as he pedals furiously to beat the tardy bell. In the show’s most heartwarming turn of events so far, this event is only made possible by Kaguya’s accompaniment of a frightened young girl to meet her friend before school. Her original plan was to ambush the president on his normal morning route (which she naturally has memorized), but by taking the time to assist a crying child, she abandons that opportunity in order to help her fellow man. As a viewer, I was really satisfied that Shirogane’s lateness allowed her to meet him unexpectedly, as though she were being rewarded for her good deed. I also really liked the backgrounds during this scene, which nicely mimicked the style of the council room; though I doubt too much CG was involved for this chapter, the sterile layout of the city and slightly inky linework made it look consistent with the show’s normal one-room environment.

Speaking of CG, I’d get my head bitten off if I didn’t mention this week’s new ending theme, which starred Fujiwara doing a super cute dance that I suspect involved some extra computer assistance. Actually, my head might be in danger for bringing it up in the first place, since I didn’t seem to enjoy it quite as much as the rest of the Internet. Though it perfectly captures Fujiwara’s fun-loving personality (as well as her good-naturedness in releasing the cicada at the very end), I felt the uncanny valley creeping up on me as her eyes didn’t quite follow her head during her more elaborate movements. It’s a fine ED that contributes to the show in a meaningful way, so it’s good that so many people are raving about it, but I can’t count myself among them. Rip me a new one in the comments if you must!

Posted on 20 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution!

Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my favorite new anime so far by a landslide. Even this episode’s repetition of last week’s establishing narration (before and after the OP) didn’t bring me down. The show leans into its “Geniuses’ War of Love and Brains” premise so heavily, after all, that reminders of their financial and academic superiority only heighten the comedy of their social ineptitude. Despite using bits of recycled animation during these introductions, this episode did move the opening venue from one of Shuchiin Academy’s many hallways to its auditorium, so I hope these changes in setting continue from week to week. It might be nice to omit these scenes altogether once we have a better sense of the characters and setting, but right now they’re important for establishing just how revered (and how gossiped about) Kaguya and Shirogane are by the student body they govern.

Speaking of the student body, this episode introduced several of its less glamorous members, marking a departure from the premiere’s tight focus on its three main characters. The third and final segment of this episode brings a nameless advice-seeker into the council room in search of romantic wisdom from the class president. The only problem? Shirogane is hardly the Casanova everyone envisions him to be, never having been on a date in his life. This chapter is great for a bunch of reasons, chief among them being Aoi Koga’s performance as an eavesdropping Kaguya. Her exasperated and disbelieving reactions to both boys’ stupidity are so good that I’m sure even the staunchest manga purists were pleased. What interested me even more than this segment’s technical merits, though, was the potential it created for the series to further populate its cast of characters. Thanks to our nameless inquirer, we now know that his crush is a girl named Kashiwagi, that they’ve begun dating (despite Shirogane’s spectacularly bad advice), and that her three friends are likely to recur. One of them is singled out in a pre-ED card as “the next person seeking advice,” and given her distraught expression, it’s likely that she had a thing for her friend’s new man. If I had to guess, she’ll probably ask Kaguya for help in next week’s episode, where her romantic ignorance will be measured against the president’s.

This kind of situational repetition is working in Kaguya-sama’s favor so far (the show, not the character), creating a pattern that’s fun to confirm, rather than tiresome to watch. Take this episode’s first chapter, for example, where Shirogane purchases a new smartphone in the hopes that Kaguya will ask for his contact info. He’s quite self-satisfied with his decision, but a flashback reveals that Kaguya had planted a number of her family’s employees on the street to subconsciously entice him to upgrade his phone. This echoes her manipulations from last week, where she secretly delivered movie tickets to Fujiwara as a prize in a fake contest, all in the hopes that she’d give them to Shirogane so he could ask her out. Seeing it confirmed once again that Kaguya’s approach to love involves espionage and deceit charms me to no end, but the president’s tactic of gaining her interest with a profile photo of himself as a child is just as brilliant. These two are a perfect match for one another, given their shared pride and intelligence, which makes it fun to watch them butt heads, even while a part of you is pulling for them to be together. I’m still in the earliest stage of my Kaguya-sama fandom, but whatever route the series ultimately takes, I can’t imagine being unhappy with the outcome.

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh wait...Uchi no Musume isn't an isekai...the genre has become so big that almost any time I take a glance at a fantasy tag I jump to the assumption its isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I know you played YU-NO and I'm aware of your problems with it, is it actually possible for any adaptation of it to work, to be salvageable?
Kaiser-Eoghan
That is the officiaal English translated volume that currently goes beyond the currently available English scans.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I was wrrong totsukunai's 6th volume is actually out now .
Kaiser-Eoghan
*series with the daughter isekai
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, isekai genre, attempting to trick me into watching the genre with the daughter isekai thing, I won't fall for your scheme...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Interesting typo there, spelling Beastars as Bearstars, the typo still makes it sound animal related.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I want my Gunka no Balthazar anime and I want it now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Reminder that the new volume of totsukuni is out in April. So far its an ova adaptation we're getting but Magus bride also started out getting an ova and thats from the same magazine.
AidanAK47
Re:Zero season 2 baby. It's about goddamn time.
Amagi
Without thinking much Shiori Experience, Dedededestruction and Atelier of Witch Hat are the only running manga series I really like without annoucement. There are more, but not that many.
Amagi
I can barely think of manga I like and read that didn't get announcements yet. Years ago people still had these lists of fake anime annoucements of manga everybody wanted to see animated, now it's reality.
SuperMario
and Bearstars announced for this Fall 2019. Cool
Amagi
@Kaiser: Man I hadn't heard about the Totsukunai no Shoujo adaption yet that's awesome. Really love Mori too, these series could be fantastical if they get a good ost.
Animosh
And Cells at Work is getting a second season too apparently. So many announcements in the last few days.
Animosh
Oh, nice! It has its problems, but it's definitely one of the better isekai out there. Glad it's getting a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more interested in somali to mori getting an adaptation aswell as totsukunai no shoujo though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those who happened to enjoy it Re: zero is getting more ovas and a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know often young male characters get female voice actors in Japanese, but i tend to veer more toward male voice actors for male characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I'd say going back the old adv dub was probably very dated. Though Spencer really got the patheticness of Shinji right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: MUH Windee Lee MUH Spike Spencer, MUH old dub.
Anonymous3576667
So Evangelion (probably Netflix's biggest anime this year) is rolling out June 21. New English dub, all 26 episodes and the films (sans the Rebirth ones) all at once.
Amagi
From time to time there are Index-verse antagonists I am kinda interested in but in the end I am never willing to watch 50+ episodes or so to get to the point where said interesting characters may appear. I just don't care about the protags of these series.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Some things never die. Sonic, Fast and Furious, James Bond, Godzilla, Mario, Pokemon, etc. The only way these things truly die, is lost of interest, less sales, eventual ceasement of talking about these things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet another Index anime announced, this franchise refuses to go away.
Vonter
In regards to Shield Hero, I still find it enjoyable, but like with the Slime Isekai, my issue is how it becomes a one-man show. I do wonder if they'll delve into Raphtalia's backstory in this season.
Vonter
That's the issue with genres, sometimes a story can turn into a comedy, a harem, an action shounen, a mystery thriller, a surreal fantasy, or a slice of life. It has to shift to keep some degree of uniqueness. Most series stick to a trope in the end.
Vonter
@Amagi - Most anime and manga fall after the premise alone, especially the gender bender genre (yeah it's a thing (*^.^*)). The thing is that after that point you either stick to an established formula or you have to turn your story into something else, the adventure, the romance, the wacky comedy, because that's what will stick.
Animosh
True that. Maybe Re:Zero is an exception, since Subaru seems to keep his supporting role (as the weakling with infinite lives)? Although it has plenty of tired tropes of its own, of course.
Amagi
@Animosh: That's the problem with almost all isekai. They usually try baiting people with some new premise, be it MC being a slime, weakling, support role, old or whatever only to ignore it a few episodes or arcs later and turn into the same run-of-the-mill like the other isekai.
Animosh
It's a shame Shield Hero seems to have largely abandoned its premise of making the shield hero a purely defense-oriented hero who can only play a "supporting" role. If he can single-handedly take down (mini-)bosses, in spite of his low level and the fact that he can't use any weapons, simply because he's, you know, angry, then ... he's really no different from the other heroes, just more broken.
Animosh
Thunderbolt Fantasy will get a new movie / OVA / whatever centered on Lang (the bard) and his past. It'll take place in Shang's old country (Xi-You), so we should see what it's like for the first time. Anyway, if it's as good as the one focusing on the Screaming Phoenix Killer it should be fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the idea of dlc was something that annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do remember getting a kick out of playing old N64 multiplayers, lol bunch of then 13 year olds not knowing how to play goldeneye multiplayer properly or stealthily , so it basically turns into a Hong kong style shootout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"We're in the middle of a battle! You have to stay logged in"
"GODDAMMIT I need to eat I can't stay!, Godammit nature calls"
Kaiser-Eoghan
When my friends got into MMOs and online shooters, I simply didn't have the time commitment or patience for the prior in particular.
Amagi
A person will only play one or two of such endless games, people won't start new ones just because they pop up everywhere, but nobody seems to get this.
Amagi
The problem is that everyone is only looking at how much money the few big ones make and think they can imitate it when the whole thing is actually just a bubble, just as with gacha games.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I actually enjoyed classical coops but yeah, MMO not really. Especially not when it feels like a game was created for single player and they shoved the MMO stuff in or when a game gets less story heavy and less content to make room for the lootershooter/pvp/whatever MMO stuff.
Amagi
I am doing this too right now. Will probably marathon a few shows I skipped so far in case that they're good till the end. More into playing right now
Kaiser-Eoghan
You might say I was keen on the idea of being in the same room as someone after I defeated them in a fighting game =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
*going on
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its far more easy to remember whats going in that way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the habit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I've gotten into he habit of only watching a few shows each season, then later on catching up with others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Back in my gaming days my idea of a multiplayer was with a group of friends in a room, but it all shifted into massive online multiplayer mmos and fps games.
Amagi
Sadly, the OPM PV looks weak, I will miss the great animations of MP100.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Have to admit that I like Mob more than I feared, it's the show I enjoy the most right now. Otherwise I'd go with your ranking, maybe with an added Neverland.
Amagi
Man I hate how every game has to become more and more multiplayer'ish just let me play games as loner again.
Amagi
I already dropped it during episode 1. Considering that the manga has ~120+ chapters I guess it's another eternal status quo thing too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Wooper: I read a couple of volumes of the manga, its hit or miss and eventually gets repetitive, it could be often funny in certain parts but I'm bored of it now. I saw some bits of the anime and didn't laugh.
SuperWooper
>not watching Kaguya-sama
I seriously hope you guys don't do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose now that its near the end of this season I should rank what I've been watching: 1. Run with the wind 2. Boogiepop 3. dororo 4. go-toubon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And there thats the other thing, out of it so long there's a massive buildup of games , increasingly difficult to catch up and get back into.
Vonter
At the moment I'm playing Guacamelee 2. Which I had my doubts since the first game got a bit frustrating do to the backtracking. This one gives me a Super Paper Mario vibe in the villains departament.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 I'm not even mad anymore, but still disappointed Western Games can't give closure to their over 10 million dollar games. I think you can have a self contained story and maybe tease the story is open to more adventures or something.
Vonter
I suppose if I'm curious for the story I'll watch an edited Let's Play.
Vonter
Yeah, I agree, it does feel like indie developers and Nintendo make the games I like. I don't know maybe I'm just getting old to catch up with the recent trends most ambitious projects tend to follow. Also how most of these games take a lot of time to get going and I don't have that much free time to spare waiting for the game to let me play it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I got into watching letsplays for a while some years back, it was a decent way to re-live an old game without playing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whoring out sequels is pretty much the bane of most things, just continually dilutes the original and in some cases can even ruin the original for you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I can still remember that very moment when I first played a 3D game and how unreal that felt .
Kaiser-Eoghan
And there isn't time to give to absolutely every medium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I think I've been so long out of the habit of gaming that I've gotten used to and familiar with not being part of that scene , to where I kind of simply just don't pick up a controller anymore.
AidanAK47
Not to mention that they are gonna milk it to death. They already got about 5 sequels planned and put in a thing showing how they could milk it. To me GOW 2018 is an incomplete game, a part 1 of a needlessly long franchise. Whereas the old games had stories which felt complete.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I would say it's more that despite the fantastical settings both Hoizon and GOW 2018 make use of tired sandbox game mechanics. GOW especially annoyed me as I feel they stripped out everything that made those games there own things and replaced them with game mechanics stolen from other games. GOW lost it's very essence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Futaro
Kaiser-Eoghan
Fuataro is best girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I just read that the new Orphan anime is a prequel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Back when I played/watched people play videogames, it was moreso Jrpgs and old Nintendo and sega genesis games.
Vonter
IMO making something more complicated than it should ends making something less enjoyable to play.
Vonter
Why not just watch a Let's Play. I suppose is an overreaction, but I felt very mixed how God of War 2018 was a good Father and Son story, but really annoying to play. Constant walking and climbing sequences, combat that I think it's less involved than the ones from the other games, and constant looting that lost it's charm by the 30th chest.
Vonter
I don't know why but I've been feeling that I'm enjoying more playing on the Switch than the PS4. While I enjoyed RE2 and will likely replay it, other high tech games like God of War, Horizon and the like don't do much for me. Most of this realistic games have very slow starts, make the playstation fans sound like it's struggling, and if the best part of these games is the dialogue and cinematics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Genuinely a very good sign when a 20 minute episode feels much shorter than it is and its rewarding to see an anime series possess such a degree of confidence in its direction.
Lenlo
Just finished it. Seriously, Kaze Fui has nailed this segment of episodes. Just homerun after homerun. Its ridiculous. I love it. Kurahara tapping into the freakin speed force
Animosh
Now only Haiji is left. When there were five episodes remaining I was wondering whether there'd be enough content to fill them all, now I'm wondering how the show is going resolve everything in one episode. But the show has barely made any missteps so far, so I'm sure it'll nail the ending too.
Animosh
Kurahara's segment was also good. He's fallen in love with running, and now that he's pursuing running for its own sake he runs faster than ever. It also helps that he's crazy talented, of course.
Lenlo
I want to be excited for OPM 2... but JC Staff

Also I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui when I get off work. Sounds like it was good
Animosh
Yeah, King's segment was better than expected. Pretty relatable. His issues did come a bit out of nowhere though. His segment could have been even better if there had been some hints that he has been struggling with this earlier. It's also a bit strange that there wasn't any development with his job hunt, since that what basically his defining trait throughout the series.
Anonymous3563660
The developments from the first cour are absolutely paying off big time and it's amazing to see how far this cast has come since the first episode. And now it's time for Haiji's segment next episode. I can't take waiting another week for this!
Anonymous3563660
Well. Bravo Kaze ga. That was an amazing display that Kakeru showed. I loved his segment. King's backstory really hit me close to home as someone who recently graduated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now on Boogiepop phantom episode 16....a discount Godzilla!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I liked Densetsu no yusha even though no one did and Record of Lodoss war, always wished there had been more of both.
Animosh
Yeah, that trailer ... does not look promising.
Anonymous3563292
Just as MP100 s2 takes its bow, there's going to be a lot of people expecting OPM to be as amazing as that or s1. Oh boy.
Anonymous3563292
A reminder to temper your expectations for OPM s2.
Anonymous3563001
After a messy start, that Prince of Smiles show has largely settled for okay. Not terrible, not amazing, but largely above-average and rather forgettable. I'd compare it to that Record of Grancrest War show from last year.
Anonymous3563001
This apparently isn't like that other Doga Kobo show where the pedo bait was persistent throughout.
Anonymous3563001
So uh, has anyone tried to go back to Wataten and see if the pedo bait has subsided since the first episode? Because it seems like it has for the time being.
Animosh
@Anon: no, I mean a continuation of the main story. I read about it on the anime subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/b26yj1/shaft_producer_mitsutoshi_kubota_confirming_that/
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Mob Psycho, but the series does have some iffy stills. Thats not an issue though, because this is an animated medium. Its meant to be viewed in motion and holy shit, does it look good in motion
AidanAK47
However my main issue at the moment is the feeling of them dragging things out for the sake of having that be the finale. Right now episodes just don't have much content and I feel it's too dragged out for it's own good.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nervous isn't really the word I would use. As far as adaption is concerned I feel the series has done quite well for the most part with the only big misstep being the shows reluctance to have any inner monologue whatsoever which has lead to questionable choices to alternatively present information that was usually spoken in mind. I say the end of the arc will be done well.
Anonymous3560732
@Aidan As a manga reader, are you nervous about how they'll adapt the end of the arc in Neverland?
Anonymous3560839
mob psycho was amazeballs this week. It's the show that just keeps on giving. On a side note, I've seen some comments floating around about how the show has terrible still shots and I'm going to dispel that erroneous assessment in this week's discussion
SuperWooper
Search bar is in the upper right hand corner, in case you're still searching.
Anonymous3560732
@Animosh You referring to that Madoka mobile game tie-in?
Anonymous3560739
That’s not the search bar
Anonymous3560739
Mob psycho
Kaiser-Eoghan
They decided to adapt mushoku tensei apparently. I might aswell see what all the fuss about it is as being one of the "better" isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't imagine how the polar bear isekai or vending machine one would handle the harem aspect.
Animosh
As for Slime getting another season, I personally don't mind. It's obviously not a masterpiece, but I don't watch isekai for enlightenment. If they can offer me some relaxation after a day's work, that's enough for me.
Animosh
Some nice announcements in the past few days: Oregairu is getting a third (and final) season, and Madoka is rumored to get a sequel too (maybe focusing on Sayaka?).
Anonymous3560293
Cross Ange is not trash tho, way better than those others
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm wiser nowto certain types of story telling, making an overly long show that keeps throwing endless gotchas at you, eventually you get tired of the show trying to play with you instead of actually moving things forward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I've enjoyed many a trashy show/film in my time, but guilty crown, cross ange and Valvrave I couldn't finish, there are certain cases where the brain begins hurting/aching.
Anonymous3560221
While different in settings and genres, they obviously have Okouchi's writing full of shock value and swerves.
Anonymous3560221
Guilty Crown and Valvrave are like his most explicit attempts to recreate Geass, and look how those two fared. Kabaneri also falls into the same traps as those too.
Anonymous3560221
But even he ends up letting his worst tendencies slip in with examples like Princess Principal, particularly the last episode.
Anonymous3560221
Which ironic that the best shows that he's written are the ones that are not trying to recreate those Geass days like Lupin the 3rd Part V or that Devilman Netflix show.
Anonymous3560221
It's amusing to see that Okouchi's worst enemy is essentially himself. Trying to recreate that Code Geass magic with ass pulls, shocking swerves, and shock value without realizing that it's never as shocking the second time around. And that has basically ruined almost every work he's attached to.
Amagi
I always find it funny how almost everyone agrees that it was Biba who ruined Kabaneri. I liked that show so much before he appeared, damn. Will watch the movie but my hype is killed and I fear the movie will just be about another random human antagonist instead of the actual Kabaneri problem.
Anonymous3558784
mongatari
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo@Wooper: At least we have the Tanya movie to look forward to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Even though I know its going for something fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh COME on Japan, just give me by communist isekai mecha show so we can be lovers again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Biba fucker ruined the show and it stopped allowing me to enjoy Kabeneri as a shitty ova throwback.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Couldn't even make good on a stupid re-incarnation premise on the ones you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or better yet, find some old proto-isekai and adapt it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"Could be worse" I suppose I win by default by bringing up Parallel paradise and ruining everyones fun by reminding them of its existence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my brother in laws reason for liking trashy isekai is because he sees them as an anime equivalent to exploitation films, I should just tell him to watch old ovas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we're doing the re-incarnation thing, just give me a full please save my earth adaptation or bokura no kiseki or that other re-incarnation thing done by Spirals artist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not an isekai, but a LN adaptation, Index keeps popping up again every so often, I fell out of the series a long time ago and got exhausted with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the same way about konosuba, I wish I found it funny but I don't because I know it is going for that "fun" thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think, especially with a second season, I'd eventually get fed up with it aswell and that it would get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother (and probably my brother in law too) seem to enjoy Reincarnated as a slime as a casuals show and find it funny. I saw clips of the dub, the voice actors sounded like they were having fun and I think some people found the slime/dragon interactions at the start amusing. I'm just left thinking that the show is something my younger self might have gone for but I'm indifferent to it now.
AidanAK47
Or the vending machine isekai
AidanAK47
Or the polar bear isekai
AidanAK47
It could be the hot spring isekai
AidanAK47
Well guys it could be worse.
Lenlo
I sense a disturbance in the medium. I fear for the future.
SuperWooper
That's fantastic news, as series set in the real world give me diarrhea. I assume that the majority of Japanese otaku suffer from the same issue, given the number of isekai manga and LNs that are slowly polluting my favorite art form. :^)
Anonymous3556601
As expected, that Slime isekai show has been renewed for a second season.
SuperWooper
@Anon3540676: Hey!
Anonymous3542644
And despite all of these recent announcements lately, IG still hasn't announced a release date and release model for DNT s2 yet beyond theatrical screenings. =(
Anonymous3542320
https://youtu.be/cxjXEIDbBxAInterestingly, seems like Banana Fish (technically not BL) did well enough for Noitamina to consider having an adaptation an actual BL manga on their block.
Anonymous3542320
I would really love to see that Kabaneri film get things back on track after the second half nearly derailed it (pun intended).
Anonymous3542320
Huh, well that didn't take too long for a release date regarding Psycho-Pass 3. It's slated for October.
Meanwhile, Beastars is going to be Netflix-exclusive, and interestingly, the Kabaneri film is going to air simultaneously on Netflix and Amazon alongside a limited theatrical release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Did you ever read beast complex? I haven't done so yet, it seems like like the beastars authors prototype for it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hadn't known that, thanks. Also, I read the most recent 20 or so chapters Amatsuki, all has finally been revealed.
Amagi
Q's (Dorohedoro) new series started, Dai Dark. It's basically Dorohedoro in space (therefore, I am completely fine with it).
Lenlo
This adaptation of Dororo is adding a lot of new content to its story in its adaptation. It's taking what was a much more one-dimensional story in my opinion, and giving it layers.

And yeah, Run with the Wind was great. Sure Kurahara has been the most emotional, he is the lead, but I think everyone in the cast has done a decent job
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although while I did enjoy last week, I didn't think it captured the impact the manga had.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dororo upped the ante this week to its benefit. This episode also showed how the series can succeed even with the protagonist having a minimized screentime. I don't remember Taromaro going up against a demon in the manga, this is an advantage of this adaptation adding stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...because there will be that sense of saying goodbye.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: And thinking it over, I've been beginning to get the feeling that this will be one of those took me on a journey shows, one of those shows where I felt I really spent alot of time with everyone in it and after it ends/in the last episode, it'll get me feeling something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: While so far in the series I thi7nk the stuff around Kakeru has been the most emotionally rewarding, the middle of this episode crept up on me , the tension of the race itself was never interrupted by the flashbacks and they were well stitched into the narrative.
Lenlo
Just watched it. I love this show so much. How is a show about running so damn good
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Featured Posts

Paranoia Agent – 9 [Etc.] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, and welcome to a very… odd episode of Paranoia Agent. Which, knowing this show, is saying something. This week we tackle public gossip, the inconsistencies that come with it and if there is any truth to it. Lets go! Starting off, let’s talk about the execution. Normally here, I talk about animation and […]

Kemurikusa – 11

At long last, we have an entire episode in flashback and explains much of its Kemurikusa’s rich settings. Even at the risk of over-informed us with details, all the information we learn this week is both unexpected, and makes total sense. Before we get into the details, (AND WHAT A MAJOR REVEAL), I feel the […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 9-10

Another two weeks have passed, and Summer Season is coming in sight. It’s the time where most shows get busy as they reach their final arc. Mob Psycho 100 ventures into its shounen roots,  Run with the Wind does extremely well in its last leg, literally, and Kemurikusa girls part way emotionally. Let’s see how these 4 shows below perform in […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 09/10 [The Vagabond Leader/ The Aggressive Bombers]

Welp, Kotobuki is getting really good. Normally this is the time where shows reach its final overarching arc, and sometimes it loses a bit of it magic because of that (like what I currently have with Gotobun), but with its tongue-in-cheek manner and its main storyline that is totally unexpected but weirdly fit to the […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 15/16 [Overdrive: The King of Distortion 2/3]

The nightmare never seems to end. During episode 15, we have three separate segments of characters stuck in their own dreams: Makoto’s mother, Sakiko and Kentarou. Play into Boogiepop’s strength, these characters have their own drama and each of their story explores different aspect of this phenomenal, all related to the King of Distortion himself. […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 22 [Embrace Your Loneliness]

Hello all and welcome to the penultimate episode of Kaze Fui! This week we see King’s struggle, Kurahara takes off and Sakaki becomes a little less hate-able. Lets take off running, we have a lot to cover! In terms of animation and production, Kaze Fui surprised me this week. I didn’t think that, after Yuki […]

Kemurikusa – 08/09/10

Welp, I don’t think I have taken that long break before since I started blogging. My life has been busier than usual lately and I also feel a little bit burnt out from blogging lately. Writing can be a pain sometimes. Hopefully this is just a temporary slump because I’m not intending to stop blogging […]

Dororo – 11 [The Story of Banmon, Part 1]

Lets skip the preamble this week and just dive in to Dororo! On this episode our plucky pair explore Daigo’s city, fight some fox spirits and get in a bit of a pickle. Lets go! Startin off, Dororo had some interesting visuals and colors this week. With the Fox Spirits and the Crazy Woman sticking […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 11 [Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~]

Hello and welcome once more to the Mob Psycho 100 blog, where I gush about Mob Psycho 100! This week see’s an old villains return, multiple defeats and more of Mob’s growth. Lets dive in! Now, at this point I feel like a broken record when talking about Mob Psycho’s animation. But the fact is, […]

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A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

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Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

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Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

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SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

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In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]