Posted on 28 June 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Little Witch Academia

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this series was one I was really looking forward to. So the question remains. Is Little Witch Academia a good series? Absolutely, out of the 25 episodes of it’s runtime I only didn’t enjoy one episode. This series was very fun and a worthwhile watch. However, is Little Witch Academia a great series? And therein lies the greatest problem with this series as a whole. For you see my friends, Little Witch Academia holds the potential for greatness and very closely skirts the line to becoming a truly great series. There are standout episodes which show a small glimmer of what this series could have really been. However instead the series plays it safe and sticks to a rather cartoonish format of episodic stories. It’s excellent character cast is unfortunately underutilised aside from some single episode stories and the main plot it develops within it’s second half more or less fizzles out into something more tame.

So to those watching it can be frustrating to see how this series opens up roads to great storytelling possibilities only to take the road of least resistance. Thus my greatest advice to any viewer is to not let yourself be fooled into thinking that this show will have a dynamic shift into a greater story arc. Throughout it’s run this is a simple story with simple objectives. Thus if you can come to accept that then you can enjoy what Little Witch Academia has to offer. Again, this really is a good show and has the kind of fun sensibility that very few anime can pull off. It’s a show that wouldn’t look out of place if put in a Saturday morning cartoon block and for those that woke up on mornings to tune into these kinds of shows as kids it will certainly hit that sentimental spot. If you aren’t part of that demographic then this may be a harder sell as I could see others get tired of the inconsequential episodic stories and a general lack of character development. Some characters get small changes but for the most part have simple characterisation. Akko in particular tends to have sporadic development as she tends to waver between growing as a person and then falling into her old ways.

Animation can have hiccups but is pretty stellar and charming throughout the board. You can really tell that a lot of heart went into this series production, even if it likely drove the animators to exhaustion. This show has it’s fair share of Sakuga sequences that show there is some real talent at Trigger. There are also references galore throughout the series from callouts to old cartoons(Hanna Barbara, Disney, Dexters lab) to previous trigger works and to even oddballs like 1984, Pawn Stars, Hellboy and Dinotopia. Keep a keen eye and you can spot dozens of callouts within the framework. OST is suitable but has some great versions of the main theme and a very good opening theme. Overall I do recommend this series. It isn’t what it could have been but what it is is hardly anything to scoff at. It’s one of the surprisingly few anime you can show to a young child without worry and maybe even blossom another fan of this medium. If you feel burned out by current anime and need something that’s a bit of a change of pace then LIttle Witch Academia is a fine recommendation indeed.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

I am glad that Trigger managed to pull through and bring a bombastic finale to this series. Admittedly there are some signs of cutting corners with some still frames that lingered for a little too long but otherwise this was a great episode to go out on. That said i do have my problems with the final villain being some random program of Croix’s going out of control and attempting to start a world war. Introducing a rogue element when the entire second half of the season has been building up Croix as the main villain is somewhat cheap. Now that it’s all over it really makes Croix to be a major idiot who had no idea what she was doing and why didn’t Chariot stop her before it escalated to this point again? Well I do like Akko insinuating that they are all the brand new nine witches as it does suggest that the original nine witches were also a ragtag group elevated to legendary status. Having the entire crew play a part in the final episode was also something I really appreciated as it’s nice to have them do something after being brutally ignored by the show for so long.

So our ending does at least leave some room for a sequel though it’s not a bad way to finish the series right here. Personally I would be on board for a sequel despite my discontent with how the series turned out. I still believe that this series has great potential and a second season could really begin to bank on that potential now that this Croix and Chariot business is out of the way. In particular I would really love more scenes like the end of this episode, with all the character interacting with each other. Quite honestly, that’s what this series needed more of. Still I did truly love seeing trigger crank up the insanity to 180 and make the finale explosively fun. Highlights being the combined Akko and Diana Shiny Arc, the return of the shooting star and frankly the entire end sequence. Magic turned out to be in the hearts of the masses after all which really makes me think that Croix is pretty poor Scientist to not try to look for safer magic alternatives. The reveal of a believing heart being magic is rather cliche and a deus ex machina but I am more than willing to give it a pass just on how they managed to run with it.

As a final note I would like to take my hat off to Asenshi subs for succeeding where Netflix’s failed. As anyone who has kept up with this series likely knows, Netflix has licensed the series and in a truly boneheaded move has not simulcast it as it airs. The only legal means of keeping up with the series is to wait till the 30th of June where you will only get 13 out of the 25 not aired episodes at once. Considering the delay on release I would better see these things dubbed. If Netflix is to be a major player in anime simulcasting then they really need to sort out a model that benefits online internet discussion. I do not deny the benefits of binge watching shows but there are those of us that like following the discussions that aside from weekly watching. Having the series at once really kills any mid series theorising and makes it that you can only talk about the show as a whole rather than individual episodes. I believe it really killed the momentum that this series could have had. So I wholeheartedly give my thanks to Asenshi subs to allow me to experience this show as it airs and not to mention their top notch sub work. Truly they went the extra mile to give this show the quality it deserves. So much so that I think official subs will end up inferior to their fantastic work. Honestly guys, you did the anime community one hell of a favor. Thanks for that.

Posted on 20 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Hmmm….mixed feelings. There are parts I like about this episode but then there is this underwhelming feeling over how things have turned out. In general I like that the epicly named world reconstruction magic turned out to be just a stick that performs party tricks. Thinking about it it’s likely the decline of magic is due to people just not having much faith in it anymore. So the real means of bringing magic back to the world is just what Chariot was doing, showing the world just how great it is. I like that sentiment, there are no quick fixes in the world. Instead worldwide problems are solved with effort and perseverance. Plus seeing Croix utterly devastated about how she pretty much started a war to get a hold of a stick that blows bubbles is delicious karmic retribution. But what was with that battle at the start of the this episode. I was honestly confused to see Chariot pull out a lightsaber of all things and start doing shadow clone jutsu. I was under the impression that magic in this universe required some kind of activation word.

However we have spent half a season building up Croix and the grand triskelion for this moment. Thus with one episode the main concerns of the plot that sacrificed the rest of the casts screentime has more or less been resolved in about five minutes. Akko forgives chariot, gains the last word, Croix is defeated and all is sunny in LWA land. Well besides the demonic nuke going somewhere but we will get to that. The conclusion to this whole affair is just to neat and clean. In particular I find Croix’s change of heart to be too little too late for the story has already gone to lengths to convince us that she’s a irredeemable bitch. She had a moment or two of showing compassion for Chariot but it really isn’t enough to cancel out her evil power trip at the beginning of the episode. I mean she’s surprised that the giant evil as all hell robot started going berserk? You even called the thing the Noir rod so it’s just really stupid that you didn’t realise that you might be on the wrong track. Perhaps she was working with the ends justify the means logic and hoping the grand reconstruction magic would erase all her own wrongdoings. But she’s not the only one at fault here, after all Chariot could have tried to stop this at any time. Yet never did. Are we sure she’s not somewhat evil here?

I can’t be the only annoyed that the entire cast of characters made it to the grand Triskelion and did absolutely nothing. I mean they did so much more when getting the scorers stone from Fafner and speaking of which, what happened to that Dragon? I thought he was going to play a big role but he ended up a one episode deal. Come on Trigger, we could have had the gang fend off the dark dragon while Akko charges up an attack! Sure they don’t have magic at the moment but they could just as easily explain that away by having Croix turn on their routers or magic being in the air or something. We got one episode left so I hope they don’t spend it being a peanut gallery. I did like the conversation between Chariot and Akko as it was a good way to get the last word. Felt a little rushed but I am willing to give a pass on that. So we got one more episode to go and a missile to stop which make this the last time Trigger can really go all out with this show. Some are debating that one of the things mentioned in the book Lotte reads(About Belle tossing aside a nuke) is going to turn out prophetic. I would love to see Trigger go over the top but based on previous experience with this show it’s likely not going to get that insane. But I am more than willing to bet that Shooting Star is going to be in the final episode. That Chekhov’s gun has been ready since episode 3.

Posted on 14 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

As we near the end of this show I have come to realise that this story has the habit of building up my expectations only to let me down. There have been several points where it felt like this show was going to great heights, only for it to crash back down. Last episode I praised the twist of the true nature of Chariots shows and how this changed Ursula’s character as a whole. This episode meanwhile goes to great lengths to remove any moral complexity that the previous revelation hinted at. Did Chariot resort to abusing the dreams of her fans in desperation to open the grand triskelion? Is there more to Croix than than being a evil villain? Is Croix merely repeating Chariots previous mistake? The answer is no, nope and nah. What really happened was that Chariot had no idea about the consequences of dream magic and Croix is just a irredeemable bitch. That’s a relief, we almost had some character depth there. Really this just feels like the most dull answer and I really am tired of these heroes who are made out to have commited some great crime only for it to turn out to be something completely out of their control.

But out of the revelations in this episode, the one that really killed it was the explanation behind why Chariot lost her powers and the mark on the moon. Now when you have something like a scar on the moon you often assume that it was created in some epic battle to the death. It’s the moon after all and with how throughout this series Chariot has been presented as some major badass in the know about ancient secrets and I thought that the moon scar would be part of one of her great exploits. I even heard tell of people making theories that Chariot was gathering dream power to fight off Anti-spirals in space. Now as ludicrous(And frankly, amazing) that sounds, it at least is a far more interesting explanation than we got here. As it turns out, Chariot wasn’t a badass but instead a entertainer. The moon scar was the result of her desperately trying to entertain a crowd with impressive magic. So the scar on the moon and the cause of her loss of powers was in fact, a misfired magic trick. Sure that’s unexpected but in the way that you would buy a new game console and find out it’s just a hollow case with nothing inside kind of unexpected. There are dozens of explanations that could have been better than this and by all account this is a really mundane development to come from trigger of all people.

Well it’s not all bad. I rather like how Akko was cheered up though I really think Diana should have had a bit more of a reaction to Ursula explaining that she was the cause of her losing her magic briefly. I also thought that her revealing herself as a Chariot fan would have more impact as well. Actually thinking about it the whole jealousy over Akko being closer to Chariot really didn’t turn out to be much, did it? Still at least they are not going to milk Akko’s depression for a couple of episodes and having her friends come to collect her was quite heartwarming. I thought that was going to be a pretty big deal in the first episodes of the series. I like that the gang is getting all together for the finale and I at least hope that’s going to be an explosive finish.

Posted on 8 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Might I add that the animation of these two episodes was quite spectacular. The second episode in particular had a level of fluid motion when Akko fought against Croix that it makes me wish technology could move to a point that such movement could be achieved in anime without putting animators on deathwatch. One thing I found in these episodes is that Lotte and Sucy look to be close to fading into the background much like the enchanted Parade crew as they don’t play much of role in Akko’s quest to gather the words. Indeed Akko, Ursula and Croix seem to be in the main spotlight with perhaps Diana playing a small part. Really I believe that Little Witch Academia isn’t making full use of the cast of characters it has built up and there are episodes which could have greatly benefited from other characters taking a more active role.

It is not often that I am blindsided by a twist in a story. That may sound like bragging but in all my years of watching media I have come to get a general idea of how things play out. Of course I cannot predict with 100% accuracy what can come to pass in a show but I have gotten to a point of not being very surprised by it. Even if I don’t pick up on foreshadowing, with my regular trips to check out opinions on reddit often point out things that I miss. So having the real reason behind Chariots magic shows be something of a much sinister nature really was something I never considered. In truth I was hoping that Chariots reveal to Akko would be more…for lack of a better word…epic but this reveal does make the whole story make a lot more sense. Suddenly Urusala’s reluctance to reveal herself, her care for Akko and her drive to awaken the words are given a deeper context within the narrative. One thing that really is effected by this is Chariots show in the very first episode where the intervention of the Croix like creature may have been Croix herself attempting to prevent Chariot from stealing the magic of the audience. I honestly never saw this coming and the only thing I managed to guess was that Chariot really was responsible for the mark on the moon.

We at least know the full details of Croix’s plan now, that being to rile people up into a frenzy in order to gather their emotions to open her own grand triskelion. Essentially in part repeating the mistake that Chariot made in drawing magic out of people. Though in this case to a more negative degree. It’s clear that Croix doesn’t quite know what she’s messing with and i say any magic that glows blood red and is taken from negative emotions is not going to be some world saving solution. She’s clearly fueled by envy over not being chosen as well as her own pride so I am certain her little experiment is going to backfire on her, hard. But there are small signs that despite how antagonist she is being to Chariot that she still does care about her. When she managed to knock Ursula off her broom she actually panicked and tried to save her from falling. Her anger seems directed at Claimh Solas and Woodward rather that Chariot. So I think she might not even up this series final boss after all. Andrew also gets a moment or two here with him encouraging Akko for once and perhaps he might be the one to knock her out of her current funk. Or Diana might be a better option in that regard.

Posted on 24 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

This episode has really nailed home for me just how defanging Diana has been a bad choice. In the OVA episodes Diana was bratty and stuck up but at least then she had character. In the TV series she’s more or less a mary sue through and through which is sadly a much more boring characteristic. When comparing how the two clash in both continuities it felt more animated in the OVA’s whereas Diana’s talks here are more exasperated. When you have a high energy character like Akko then I think the best foil is someone who is equally as outspoken. Compare the bickering at the end of this episode to that of the bickering at the end of the first OVA and I think you might see what I am getting at. It is good that we have awakened another word and only have two left for Akko to unlock the seal. The key to this one seems to be Akko relating Diana’s efforts to keep the history of the cavendish family from dying out to the pursuit of her own dream.

As predicted the evil Aunt tries to interfere with Diana taking the ritual and in all honestly I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to anyone. Both Akko and Edward are shocked to hear this as is the maid but when you get down to it then if her Aunt didn’t do something then that would be surprising. Did they really think she was just going to sit back and let Diana take the head position from her? With Diana being as perfect as she is I just don’t get how she couldn’t see this coming. Animation was up to the usual trigger standard with the broom sequence being quite excellent.

In the end the status quo wins. Diana gets to back to school and Daryl looks to have had a change of heart. Besides unlocking a word this little adventure hasn’t changed the norm. Maybe Diana and Akko will be closer after this? Chances are that’s not going to be the case. We did get to learn a little more about Diana with this episode. Things like her temporarily losing her magic when she was a child. This is likely the point she became a fan of Shiny Chariot. There is also her history lesson on the Cavendish family acting as war medics during wars which is rather fascinating. I wonder if witches took part in the fighting as well? Based on what they are capable of they would be formable weapons in a war.

It is rather odd to have this kind of seriousness when most of the violence in the series is treated with cartoon logic. Well we have five episodes of little Witch Academia left and it’s only now that Netflix announces that they plan to release the first cour on their service on June 30. Likely dubbed as they have with other anime releases. I must say that if Netflix will continue with licensing anime then they need to rethink how they release it. The binge format has its good points but when it comes to online discussion then it kills any talk about individual episodes. People accuse this of killing the momentum of Relife and Little Witch Academia which I would be inclined to agree. I think Netflix should consider a simudub strategy much like Funimation. It is great to see more companies jump into licensing anime but with the methods Amazon strike and Netflix are making use of it’s proving to make things more difficult for those who don’t wish to obtain anime on the high seas. Regardless I am looking forward to giving this show a rewatch dubbed when it does come out next month.

Posted on 17 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It’s time for the Diana episode and it’s a two parter no less. This episode was mainly a setup to the next one but we did learn a couple of things here. One is that Diana is indeed a former Chariot fan as she possesses the one card that Akko doesn’t have. I honestly think that card is going to end up getting shown to Akko at some point though I don’t think it has a word of Arcturus on it. If anything the tapestry that was shown in the beginning and was one of the items her aunt tried to pawn off appears to have the word that Akko is looking for. Other thing revealed is that Diana is not as well off as she first appeared to be with her family assets getting sold off by her Aunt. Makes me think that Akko is deeply regretting that Aristocrat remark she made during the fairy strike. Speaking of Diana’s aunt, I like to think that she is a character who absorbed the original bitch tendencies of Diana’s OVA self. Still I admit she’s a pretty weak villain character to introduce at this stage. I don’t disagree with her assessment on charity not being the best way to keep yourself afloat but her solution is full of holes. It’s an odd thing to outright dismiss the legacy of her family when her very well being depends on her selling off the heirlooms that the legacy gathered.

Another thing of note is a prediction that Diana made earlier in the series. She previously predicted using magic that Akko would leave the school however with her dropping out from school to take on the duties of the family head it appears that prediction was actually meant for her. Her position when compared to Akko is interesting as her mother also tasked her with bringing magic back to the world. I feel that that was a missed opportunity in this series up to this point to display how she came to accept Akko  as the one to gather the words. Diana has been a bit too mary sue for my liking so to actually see some internal conflict would have been nice rather than just have her jump straight to the resolution. After all Akko is the one to fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Akko is the one chosen by the Shiny Rod, Akko is the one being tutored by her childhood hero…Akko has essentially inherited the position that Diana originally aimed for and quite frankly she is inferior in all aspects to Diana herself. Shouldn’t there be some frustration? Envy? She has shown to be dissatisfied with how Akko is doing things and the occasional wayward look but I think her arc should have been something much more than this. Back on episode two I originally thought that would be so.

Based on the opening and the parallels between Akko and Diana to Ursula and Croix then i would say she’s bound to play a big role in the finale of this series. So perhaps these episodes are to build the relationship between the two so that they can clash/work together for whatever Croix is planning. It was nice to see Diana not put up with her Aunt mocking Akko and Andrew certainly seems to be willing to help Akko out whenever he can. Or maybe he just felt like annoying Diana. Either way the problem her is Diana’s aunt and she’s clearly doing to do something to stop Diana from inheriting the position of family head. Perhaps she’s not quite as evil as she appears and they may somehow give her a change of heart. But seeing as her familiar is a snake and her first introduction involved her having glowing red eyes and slipping into the darkness then I think her defeat is not going to be through words. The question is whether Diana will return to Luna Nova through some condition where she can continue her education while being family head? Or will she no longer be a part of the school from this point forward as she previously intended?

Posted on 11 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Did you know that the animation team that worked on this previously worked on Gurren Lagann? Of course you did but I say anyone clueless would have caught onto it just by this episode alone. So Constanze finally gets her time to shine and she’s just as lovable as I remember. Akko was a little annoying at the beginning of this episode with her constant screwups but that went away when she actually started helping Constanze instead of just pulling a Dexter and Dede routine. Seeing Constanze warm up to her was nice and the Gainax mecha anime references at the end of the episode really made it. We got Evangelion, Gunbuster, Gurren Lagann and even Akko doing the classic Gainax pose. The wild hunt itself seems to be a callout to eSports but I don’t think we got an explanation on why it takes place besides entertainment. There were a number of noticeable still frames this week so I wonder if that was to account for the mecha action scene or are things getting a bit tight at Studio trigger? Just how they can bring the bring guns for the rest of the season. All and all, I got my Constanze episode so I am pretty happy with that.

Still questioning just why Ursula continues to do absolutely nothing about Croix but at least this episode she went to call her out on her wrong doing. From what can be gathered from their talk, it seems her goal in these random experiments is to collect emotion. In this case she stirred up trouble to collect emotion from the crowd. Her endgame isn’t clear but from the sound of it this isn’t going to be good. I admit some of my old frustration with this series has come back as once again the plot looks to be at a standstill. I am having fun, no doubt. But I notice that not much has actually been accomplished these past two episodes besides giving Amanda and Constanze some spotlight. The two certainly deserve their moment to shine however when I notice that this episode could essentially be removed from the series and nothing would be affected, I can’t help but feel a little miffed. Not to mention that it’s more than a little late to start developing these characters, not to mention pointless if they aren’t going to be more than background decoration. This has always been the aspect of saturday morning cartoons that I never quite liked. An adventure happens but the characters in question end up in the same place they were when the episode began, all experiences and lessons learnt sent to the void. Little Witch Academia isn’t quite guilty of that as I think from now one Constanze will be considerably warmer towards Akko though all things considered this is likely the most screentime she’s going to get. Perhaps that machine broom she built for Akko might come into play later though I still think the shooting star that’s soaring around the world is going to come back in some fashion. Likely during the finale.

A thought has occurred to me while watching this season. I originally thought that this will be the one and only season of Little Witch Academia. Triggers Original works after all aren’t known for leaving room for sequels. However Little Witch Academia was their first work and it is possible they may wish to make more than a single season for this series, though that is admittedly unlikely. The one thing about this is that I thought this series would end with a conclusive, decisive ending but if they do plan to continue Akko’s adventures that won’t be the case. Sure the trouble with Croix will be resolved but there may be quite a few loose ends left behind. The thought of this leaves me with mixed feelings as another season would certainly be welcome but I do also prefer a realised end over a “To be continued.” Next week looks to be a Diana episode so we will finally see just what that comment in the last episode was about. Considering that the latest word of Arturus has to do with tradition I think helping Diana will lead to unlocking the word.

Posted on 5 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It took seventeen episodes but we are finally doing something with the enchanted parade crew. Plot-wise I don’t think we got anywhere seeing as there turned out to be no word in the academy and this seems more about Croix performing some kind of experiment. As to what she hoped to accomplish is anyone’s guess. Regardless it is nice to see Amanda get her own episode seeing as she hasn’t played an active part since the dragon episode. So Amanda and Akko infiltrate a boys school in order to find the holy grail and i have to admit to being a little disappointed that there was no Fate/Stay night reference. Well at least the episode title looks to be a reference to Monty Python so I will settle for that.

I do like that the villain of this particular story turned out to not be completely scum. I have often seen anime with antagonists like him who never show any sense of shame or regret. But after being saved by Amanda he owned up to the whole thing being his fault and I like that. Even the greatest pricks have some sense to know when they have taken things too far and rather than go the route of having him remain a complete one dimensional asshole, they actually gave him a little bit of redemption. However I do still think it doesn’t excuse his earlier acts as even if it was played up for laughs, he was trying to torture and kill Amanda beforehand.

Otherwise Trigger is really being standout with the fight animation so I thank the studio for what is likely sleepless nights of tiresome overwork. They still seem to be pushing a romantic angle between Akko and Andrew as they contrast her drive to go for her dreams over his resignation to taking the job his family is grooming him for. Ursula mentioned that the next word has to due with tradition and it was briefly mentioned that Diana’s family has run into some sort of trouble. I have a feeling that these two things are inadvertently linked. Though I think that won’t be getting screentime yet. Instead if my information is correct, another member of the enchanted parade group is getting her time to shine.

Posted on 26 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

One of the weaker episodes of the show but still enjoyable. This week sees us visiting Lottes parents and Akko unlocking another of the words of Arcturus after sloving a disease outbreak. Thus getting closer to the grand triskelion and now learned the meaning of pathence. Except she didn’t learn the meaning of pathence. This episode was strange in that it clearly was geared towards teaching Akko the meaning of pathence. Much of the episode showed off Akko’s lack of pathence causing trouble and I was waiting for the “Ah Ha!” moment of realisation where she would demonstrate her new understanding of the word. However that didn’t actually happen as when Akko had her “Ah Ha!” moment when stiring the potion and then proceeded to stir it slower till Shiny rod finished the job for her. It feels like Akko only learned the meaning of the word when the Shiny rod just said “Close enough” and gave her a freebie. Which makes me wonder if the activation of these words just means you have to guess the meaning of them and not nessarily grow or learn from them.

This makes me question Akko’s character growth thoughout the series as there have been times that it felt like she made massive leaps in her character arc only to regress back in the next episode. It’s hard to really cheer on a chearacter when they don’t learn from thier mistakes and Akko was certainly testing me this episode. The whole ordeal with the Yeti was humorous enough until you realise that Akko’s friends were quite literally dying the whole time she was critising the Yeti. Speaking of which, despite the stakes being high the atmosfere of the episode was really too light hearted to get accross the actual agency of the problem. The ridiclous conditions for the desease, the comedic gathering of ingredients and a general lack of concern from both Akko and Sucy made the entire situation just feel like another day at the office. I did like the moment with her begining to doubt herself when walking through the snow but it was a small moment that was quickly brushed aside.

As for Criox, who knows what she’s up to. She’s discovered that the emotion of anger can draw out the most energy from magic but to me that’s just asking for trouble. Much like in Doom 2016 they thought that the prefect solution to an energy crisis would be to draw energy from Hell. It’s just a matter of when everything goes to hell if the source of your power is based around dark matter. My big question is why is Ursula just letting Criox do as she pleases and not warned Akko about her? She clearly sees the threat she poses and yet isn’t really trying to do anything to get in her way. Theres also the matter of the governer who has yet to do anything despite foreshadowing shutting down the witch academy. Seems he was shoved off stage rather fast and the same can be said of Amanda and friends. Despite having a spot on the opening I am rather surpised how under utilised they are. I was under the impression that after the second OVA that the three would be a regular part of Akko’s entourage but that appears to not have happened. Shame as their presense could have really brightened up the interactions in this episode. Sucy and Lotte are good but both are too quiet to really bounce off Akko. Even having just Amanda there would have been good for drilling in the point that Akko needs patence as she could have been another example of lacking it. I have lots of complaints but that is out of a geniune love for this series and a wish for it to excel. I wonder if anyone on the trigger team happens to notice these kinds of complaints as the Yeti getting trolled online certainly seemed like a metaphore for just such a thing.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

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Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

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