Posted on 9 July 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

Welcome to the Biba show where it all comes down to a cage match between steampunk megaman Ikoma and the Titan Kurokeburi version of Memui for the fate of Japan.


With Ikoma out of the picture, Biba’s revolution comes strolling into the Shogun’s capital with the ease of a hot knife going through butter. I was expecting a bit more resistance out of the Shogun’s amazing artistic main city but the brisk pace of Kabaneri demands that everything must explode and the story hurried along before getting too far into the details. As quickly as the top dogs of Shogun are introduced, they are discarded in favor of Biba and the antics of his Hunters. Even when it comes to glimpses of Biba’s past, which could have been fascinating, are much too brief to provide any meaning commentary or salvage Biba’s flaky backstory. Biba’s reveal as a Kabaneri is particularly guilty of that since it begs the question of how he went from a twelve-year-old general to a mad scientist.


Since I’ve already beaten the narrative horse to death, what about the main draw of having Ikoma come in and save the day while explosions go off everywhere? Sadly, the climax of the finale was fairly lackluster despite all the pretty colours and great animation that has been consistent throughout the series. The music was nice with 1coma and Aimer’s version of Through My Blood making their first appearance but it didn’t quite fit right with Ikoma powering up to Super Saiyan levels. His appeal as an engineer that could innovate out of any situation was ignored in favor of having him obtaining lazer powers that could flip over a freight train coming in at full speed. It had the spectacle but none of the foundation of the earlier episodes. It was only after that Biba was dead that Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress became instantly better with Memui throwing Ikoma into a improvised trampoline and shedding the taint of the last five weeks.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress ends up resetting its narrative back to episode six with the train speeding off into the sunset with the addition of the remnants of the Hunters. The Kabane still roam across the entire the country and our heroes are still on the move with their outlandish dreams of rice paddies fields and start fresh again without the downward spiral of his introduction unlike how Guilty Crown had to go through an entire 26 episode slog before being put out of its misery. Hopefully once Biba is disposed off, the shackles of his failed legacy can be disposed and focus on what made the series so great in the first place.


There is immense potential in continuing this new franchise from Studio WIT as I love the steampunk/historic Japanese mashup, the aggressive characters, action, music and visual style. For the first seven episodes, it was extremely entertaining and fun and it would have been an easy 9 or 9.5 score if it could keep up the momentum. Unfortunately, the story and character development didn’t live up to the hype and I left with a show that was one half utterly amazing and one half Guilty Crown. I would love to see more Koutetsujou no Kabaneri in the future but there is no doubt that this is the disappointment of the season for me.



Posted on 6 July 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

Never have I wished so much for a main character to die and not have it be out of spite. Todays episode shows us what Subaru will likely be fighting to prevent for the rest of the series and it is quite brutal. First let us have a moment of silence for the first Opening and ending. Poor souls never got much use in the end but well enough of that, the new opening hints at plenty of new developments and things to come. The song isn’t all that great but the visuals make up for it, particularly like the ending part with Subaru reaching out to a Emilia being engulfed in dark hands. Our main enemy this time around looks to be the witch cult and damn if they are not intimidating. They have a certain disturbing aura that just makes they unnerving and based on the strange way they showed up in front of Subaru, they don’t seem quite human. What makes the scene most interesting is that the hooded figures bowed to Subaru and left him alive despite killing an entire village. I was already certain of it but it’s clear than Subaru’s power and presence is tied to the Jealous witch and somehow these figures recognise that. Either way the sound work was top notch during this scene and throughout the anime now that I think about it. The unnerving choir notes are the most notable and well used as they do add a layer of mystical malevolence to the scene.

So after the spat with Emilia, Subaru isn’t in the best mood, nor has he come to his senses. I like that he isn’t following the typical pattern of locking himself away from people and curling up in a ball moaning “Woe is me”. He is actively going out of his way to break out of his funk but the problem is that his answer for doing so really isn’t the right one. Subaru as he is right now isn’t particularly likeable but there’s a difference between being unlikable because of poor writing or unsympathetic protagonists, and being unlikable because the protagonist is heading down a path the audience knows won’t do him any good. No one is supposed to agree with Subaru here because it’s clear that his motivations are wrong. It’s funny because if we take only take Subaru’s dialogue without context then in a regular light novel it would be the path to victory. Snapping out of your depression because there only something you can do and brashly running to a battle. In another story Subaru would be celebrated and encouraged. However Re:Zero is not that kind of light novel and it’s clear that Subaru’s problem runs a whole lot deeper. I have sympathy for him, for throughout all of this it’s easy to forget that Subaru is just a teenager and that he has gone through events that would leave a lesser man mentally crippled for life. I say he has more right to go off the rails than a certain Eva unit pilot, that’s for sure.

Subaru is busy convincing himself that only he can help Emilia, that he is the only person on her side and that she needs him. This is very dangerous thinking and I think Subaru needs to come to terms with his limitations. He needs to see Emilia for who she is and stop making her his end all for all problems and if he wants to get out of this he needs to recognise that he needs help from others to do it. Rem is likely the best person to show him that and by god I don’t know how she hasn’t nabbed the main heroine spot yet because in my book she’s earned it more than Emilia. She sticks with him even when she sees he’s making mistakes and even stops him from getting himself killed as she goes to the mansion alone. However that action could cost her as I doubt Subaru’s mental state will allow himself to trust her after being tricked like that. Crusch and Wilhelm seem to hold some sort of respect for Subaru and are actively trying to help him come to terms with things. With Wilhelm it’s easy to see, as he recognises that Subaru has indeed faced death before based on his eyes. Crusch is a bit more of a mystery, maybe she’s a romantic at heart or maybe she sees something in Subaru. Or maybe she’s tired of seeing him depressed, who knows. She does hold a firm set of principles so it could be just a matter of wanting him to look forward and prove himself. But she certainly accidently planted a dark incentive in Subaru’s mind. After all there is something only he can do and he might be thinking of using it as his get out of jail free card. Regardless of intention, I hope Subaru does make use of return by death because Rem just died. I certainly am not in favor is staying in the dead end were the best heroine is dead. After a weak start episode and a flustrating episode this is now when this arc has kicked into gear and I am certainly excited for it. The stakes are higher, the circumstances difficult and enemy unsettling. Subaru’s suffering is of a higher degree but my wait till Sunday will be arduous indeed.


Posted on 2 July 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Flying witch

Flying witch gives us double doses of last episodes and I’m very happy with the way the show concludes within these last two episodes. All members of the cast were presented, and scenes involving the Flying Whale and Earthfish are the show’s most magical moments. This show has always been very consistency in its tone and atmosphere, but I would never expect that a show like this would have a nice closure sequence, and Flying witch actually pulls it off.

I would say the first segment of episode is Flying witch as its most magical and most awe-aspiring. It’s a treat to see Anzu appears in a whole episode, and the show wasted no time to highlight another side of her outside of the café setting. Turns out she’s a would be archaeologist and she’s super knowledgeable. I love how Chinatsu keeps asking everyone the most random questions she could think of, and surprisingly Anzu handles them very well. Her speech on the different between pancake and hotcake is whimsical and just plain nice to here. Talking about whimsical, I love Anzu’s close relationship with Kenny the white cat, and that the cat had been studied anthropology as a hobby. What an understated comedy here. All the cast delivers a very easy-going and laid back chemistry here. In terms of visual, the part where the cast goes to see flying whale, and ends up anticipates it in a completely opposite direction (talking about Makoto’s lack of sense of direction), to the part where they are on top of the whale- the visual are bright and just full of wonder, exactly like how it feels to get into the car and drive and just enjoy the scenery. At last, the show always has a solid punchline and this episode is another great entry, as it turns out the letter Anzu’s mom send to Akame is the bill that she has yet to paid.

In the last episode we follow Makoto as she goes out to the fabric store to buy stuffs for her robe, and on her way she happens to encounter many of our cast. This is Flying witch at its most mundane, but this is no mean a bad one. Instead following her stumbles around, deciding on which colors to take, and finally made a full robe all by herself is rewarding enough. The chemistry between each character with each other again is natural and laid back, and I really like the way the show portrays the chemistry between Akame and Makoto, as well as Kei and Chinatsu. They’re siblings and their personalities are so different, but they understand each other and I can feel the warm feeling they have for each other. The Earthfish in the last segment is a joy to watch, and actually if you pay more attention, those earthfishes have been foreshadowing in the first half of this episode. Well, the way those fishes just like to have fun, drinking alcohols, got drunk and flashing around are for me the most enjoyable moments in Flying witch, this and a sense of closure feeling as Makoto looks back to her stay, and as we know that this is the end of this amazing show, make the whole last segment a bittersweet experience.

Well, not that I’m complaining since the show had always been a joy to watch. I stand for what I said in the first episode that this is one of the best slice of life series we have in quite a long time. There will be anime shows come and go every seasons. There will be of course more shows that offer more thrilling and colorful characters than Flying witch, but nothing can beat Flying witch for what it does best. In Flying witch’s world, growing plant, eating hotcakes and wandering around might be the best ways to spend your day.


Posted on 28 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

When I heard about this arc being hard to watch I readied myself for a number of things. I was prepared to see Subaru die gruesomely, to see him tortured and broken. However while I was ready to see him get destroyed by others; I didn’t expect him to be the architect of his own destruction. This was truly a painful episode to watch with Subaru attempting the brute force his way through story developments like a typical shounen protagonist and it just failing miserably. It wasn’t elegant, nor was it impressive and Subaru came off as outright pathetic in his attempts to make himself seem like a big deal. This is by far Subaru’s lowest point in the series and the visuals certainly show it. The manga tried to give him dignity in that there he was at least given some acknowledgement and looked decent even when getting beaten. Not in the anime, here he looked seedy, graceless and desperate.

Which leads me to rethink something I said in the last episode review of this series, namely that I was worried about Rem becoming irrelevant to the story. Perhaps I was worried about the wrong person and in truth the one whose rapidly becoming irrelevant is Subaru himself and he’s all too aware of it. After the closure of the mansion arc Subaru is in a a brand new run where he has no real idea of how anything will turn out. His usefulness has dropped to zero and his existence in Emilia’s life is no longer necessary. For when you think about it, he has no real reason to be at the King’s selection nor any real reason to be in Emilia’s life. The spotlight is moving away from him and I think Subaru has noticed. That’s what makes this episode a little easier to watch for me, for I see it as Subaru desperately kicking and screaming so that he doesn’t end up left behind.

I will admit that seeing Subaru going through all this is not a pleasant experience and while I appreciate the subversion of the shounen tropes, it’s still somewhat flustrating to see Subaru act like this. What makes this somewhat more frustrating is that Subaru is basically making the moves the viewer likely would. I know if I heard someone start berating the girl I liked by racist assumptions I would call him out on it regardless of where I was. Same goes for Julius as he questioned Subaru’s declaration of being Emilia’s Knight, I too would try to shout him down. Upon being challenged to a duel I would relish any opportunity to hit him. But here Subaru is making all the moves the audience wants but is experiencing the consequences of taking such actions. By declaring himself a knight he publical embarrassed Emilia in front of everyone and by fighting Julius he showed everyone just how much of his words was pure empty talk. I really like that when looking at it from Julius’s perspective all his actions seem logical. Most often to make the hero look better they have his opponent act illogical and unreasonable but here Julius was the more level headed one. He tried to make Subaru see just how he was making Emilia feel and even his challenge was him giving Subaru a chance to show his worth; while preventing him from getting murdered in a back alley for insulting the knights by making him an example. Obviously he isn’t right in every regard, I am fairly certain he got some enjoyment out of beating Subaru to a pulp and his philosophy of might makes right is just wrong. However he isn’t just some one dimensional caricature for Subaru to beat down and show everyone how great and right he is.

On the matter of the king’s selection I find it amusing that none of the candidates is aiming to simply be a good ruler and many are going for a radical and dangerous change. We have Priscilla who basically promises a complete dictatorship. Crusch wishes to rid ties to the dragon and let the people rule the nation which seems like a pretty big deal. Anastasia admitted that she is only after the crown to satisfy her own greed. Felt after being pushed into running as ruler due to Roms interference, declares that she was get rid of the social class hierarchy. Emilia in contrast seems to be the most reasonable one and promises to give equality to all people. Basically each participant has pretty much declared that they are going to do whatever the hell they want when they get the crown so I wonder just how this is planned to be settled.

The defining aspect of this episode is the scene after all of Subaru’s embarrassments where he and Emilia finally have a talk. The talk bordered on the overly melodramatic but hit some big points. Namely that Subaru has placed Emilia on a pedestal so high that he can’t even see her for what she is anymore. Emilia cannot understand just why he holds her so highly and Subaru can’t explain because of the curse. Leaving him rambling like a madman to Emilia about events that just didn’t happen to her. After Subaru lets out his most selfish true feelings; Emilia declares that they go their separate ways leaving Subaru alone. This is probably the most human Emilia has been in the series and he comments such as “I had high hopes for you” cut deeper than a knife. This is a massive turning point in the series but one that has me worried. This is big in regards to Subaru in that once he arrived in this world he made Emilia his center and focused all his efforts for her.

Now he’s lost that and the time has come for him to find a new objective but there lies a problem in this. If Subaru dies then possibly all this will be undone and even though while watching this episode I desperately wanted someone to kill Subaru just to undo the utter cringeworthy displays he put in, I do not want his confrontation with Emilia to be undone. If I am asked about whether this episode was a good or bad episode I say my decisive factor is what comes after this. This could be a great example of Shounen deconstruction if it remains this way and a great cornerstone of Subaru’s development as must pick up the broken relationship pieces caused by his mistakes. But if all this gets swept under the rug and Subaru gets to replay for the perfect end then this episode will leave a particularly bad taste in my mouth.


Posted on 26 June 2016 with categories: Bungou Stray Dogs, Currently Watching:

And we get to the end of Bungou Stray Dogs, but this last episode doesn’t offer any conclusive ending, instead feel more like a set up episode for the next season. This last episode functions like a typically Bungou Stray Dogs’ episode; there are many good things to say about it, mainly the technical triumphs and the great character designs, but the writing and the new characters are mixed bags.

Let’s get to the good side first. As far as action show goes, Bungou Stray Dogs is at its top form this week. There are new set of enemies introduced, promising a three ways battle between the Armed Detective Agency, the Port Mafia and the Guild (the North American organization of the gifted) in a second season. Thus the main set piece this week happens in the imaginary closed space of Lucy (resembled of L.M Montgomery – the author of Anne of Green Gables) named Anne’s Chamber. I have mentioned that the show always had a very good grip on creating a memorable set pieces that really feel like it breathes by itself, this time in particular the close spaced is just wonderful. It’s so stylish and awe-aspiring, while at the same time dreamy and creepy. The fighting sequence is exciting, with the cat-and-mouse chase that are thrilling from start to finish. Atsushi again proved himself this week that he is capable of fighting for himself, and I can forgive him for wanting to run away calling for help because that’s just who he was. Thankfully he got pulled back by the physician, who soon revealed to be the Port Mafia’s boss. He is one of the more interesting character out of this show, both very mysterious and smart and tricky, and he’s just like Dagai who seems to be one step ahead of everyone else.

The other new characters presented this week, however, are just bland. I’m a bit disappointed that Fitzgerald turns out to be over the top archetypical American villain, the one who thinks money can buy everything and proud himself for that. I originally think he’s one of the tough one to beat but judge from the facts that he’s super one-dimensional, and he got killed off rather easily in the end, all that made me wonder what’s exactly his role in the show. Lucy is also a very one-note character, who appears mostly as a mad, sick little girl who just want to have fun. A bit about her insecurity among the Guild is a nice little touch but other time she functions like a typical villain. Dagai again back to the office and seems like nothing happen further emphasized my complains on the inconsistency of the show.

Looking ahead, I honestly have no idea how they could handle the mega-battles between the Armed Detective Agency, Port Mafia and the Guild. There seems to be a lot more Guild members with more unique skills to fight against next season, but it seems to me that Mori (the Port Mafia leader) is the ultimate boss. I’m a bit keen to check out the second cour just to see how they handle all that, but I’m not sure about covering its second cour, since I don’t think the show will get any better than what it is now.


Posted on 24 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Joker Game

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on board. However the sad thing about entertainment is that even if you try something new, if you don’t succeed it amounts nothing more than a show which had a good idea and a lesson for others to not brand out from their tired concepts. In that regard I truly lament such anime but unlike them I don’t think Joker Game will remain as a lesson for others, for to do so it would have to be memorable. An idea with such promise, a tale about a team of Japanese spies sent out to gather info in the time right before World War II broke out. You could spin quite a tale with that setting but sadly Joker Game settles for a much more simplistic level.

The first problem with the show is it’s episodic format and it truly limits the plot when each episode’s story needs to be resolved in a short time frame. Each episode has a brand new cast and a brand new setting. This essentially prevents the viewer from becoming attached as there is rarely anything consistent to latch on to. But most importantly in episodic shows the show is often held up by the characters and their interactions. However Joker Games protagonists are completely interchangeable with little in defining characteristics. No matter the episode the main character plays the role of the super spy who never fails and in that regard is mainly a plot device. When looking over the story, Joker Game is style over substance and merely a spy power fantasy. The writing lacks the nuance to weave a compelling narrative around international espionage and often resorts to contrived or trite developments in order to make the protagonist look as good as possible. The villains in each episode range from the over the top evil to inconsequential, often any threat they pose is completely undermined by episodes end. The writer holds his protagonists in too high a regard which ultimately makes this a show about the triumphs of several Gary Sue’s and how much better they are than other people. It don’t take long for this aspect to wear on you and through the episodes the victories of the D-agency spies become less compelling and more boringly anticipated.

Through while the writing can reach unrealistically silly levels as the D-agents display skill bordering on the supernatural, you can still find some interest here. The show never truly drops to a level of becoming bad and to some they can come to enjoy the exploits of the spies and their missions. I found three or four episodes to have above average value and the show remains consistently watchable. However it never truly excels and in episodes can become quite boring as you wait for the inevitable cop out win of D-agency. The episodic structure continues right up to the end where the show simply stops instead of ends. The art and animation remain consistently good and the soundtrack is rather catchy and nostalgic of Noir fiction. Joker Game is a show that lacks the high points to be recommended and the low points to be outright hated, it’s middle of the ground which made the score of this series rather appropriate. Joker Game is a series destined to be lost to the ravages of time, soon to be forgotten.


Posted on 23 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri


After the Horobi’s laser light show and having Biba-sama completely dominate the narrative with his super cool looking henchmen, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is back on track although it’s on different rails for here on out.

Imprisoned by the Hunters and being caught in the middle of the impending final conflict between the Shogun and Biba, the crew of the Koutetsujou manages to recapture some of the things that I loved about the series up until the end of episode seven. Having the Ikoma and his crew come up with a plan to overcome the odds while jabbing at each other with their character interactions  and break out of imprisonment is exactly what is needed to bring this show back into focus. The music was an improvement over the unsettling soundtrack of the last two episodes although it didn’t reach the highs that had been set earlier by Sawano. The only thing that couldn’t be helped but be mediocre is main target of Biba-sama as an over-dramatic bore that drag downs Kabaneri’s second half.


Biba-sama’s backstory is certainly brimming with potential as he was casted out as a pawn between two political factions that had different views on how to deal with the Kabane. Being twelve years old and in charge of a military campaign draws a lot of parallels with Arslan Senki which could have garnered some sympathy for this dashingly handsome villain in his tale of being betrayed and slowly dismantled by the Kabane. However, the few scenes that featured the young Biba-sama only highlights the problems with the twelve episode format of Kabaneri as his villainy have a far greater emotional impact if the show could have spend just ten minutes on fleshing out his initial campaign against the Kabane instead just a few moments.


This is the second time that Ikoma is being casted off the train and it doesn’t look like it he’s going to get back on anytime soon. A brainwashed Memui booting him off and his most certainly dead bro of Takumi are the two biggest shockers of the episode. I’m not too fond of using the mind-altering drug trope as it strip a character of its agency and reduces them to a plot device, but at least Memui put up a decent fight before getting the needle treatment and the green stone is obviously the trigger to snap herself back.

While Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress isn’t a trainwreck, especially when compared to the other flaming dumpster fires of this season, it could have been much better. Episode ten did much to slow the but the final forty minutes has it work cut out to keep it from descending further into the mediocrity that is Biba-sama.


Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the finale of Joker game, and this was it. I was truly shocked. Nothing in this episode felt final or conclusive, not even an after credits scene or a simple affirmation that yes, this was indeed the end. In some ways it’s fitting, as Joker Game is a series without an impact so to bow out before anyone notices you are gone is somewhat poetic. However i must wonder why this particular story was chosen as the finale. When compared to other episodes of the series it is a much somber and simple affair. A spy is killed under the watch of a D-agency spy and he must investigate just what happened. Naturally he finds out what happened easily and decides he is unfit to be a D-agency spy. For he actually has human traits worth caring about.

It is rather funny that this was the first Spy to make me somewhat care about him and at least showed some level of humanity. Yet when the episode ends they get rid of him because he is far too human to be a part of the team. It really is a testament to the utter lack of defining traits these boring supermen have that they see any some shred of personality as a weakness. This is the author pretty much saying that because this man was lead astray by his memories of a girl in his past that he was no longer “cool” enough to be a part of the big boys club. Also got to love the casual sexsm of Yuuki stating that the reason the D-agency doesn’t have women is because they are far too temperamental and in less control of their emotions. Considering the time period it’s not all that surprising for Yuuki to think this but considering how much of a super spy he is, I would have thought he was too smart to believe such rubbish

Frankly I don’t have much to say about this. I have long beaten the problems of this show to death and seeing as it just repeated those problems it’s just left me reiterating points like a broken record. There’s really nothing here, a man dies, the spy finds out why he dies from offscreen info and decides he’s not fit to be a spy anymore because he feels love. Only real point of note is when the man of the episode got bent out of shape when the D-agents were reporting to hm. Yuuki pretty much gave him full authority on the mission which is likely because he knew what happened and figured he would let the man be in control of his last mission. With an episodic series like this you could have chosen any episode to be the finale and there are certainly better episodes to end on. Ultimately I think I will have a hard time recalling this series in a year’s time, in fact I still don’t even know anyone’s name. Besides Yuuki. Maybe because he was the only real consistent character in the series.


Posted on 21 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

This looks to be the weakest episode of Re:Zero to date which does seem to be a trend when it comes to the arcs of the series. When looking over these twelve episodes I have come to find that the weakest episodes of the series are the first episode of an arc which does make sense when you think about it. Subaru’s first runs are often fairly uneventful and it does highlight a weakness of the series in that Subaru really doesn’t have much of an objective. When an Arc truly kicks off Subaru is suddenly given an objective to break the loop and survive beyond it but when he succeeds his motivation returns to protecting or wooing Emilia. For the style of story Re:Zero is telling it requires groundwork to be laid down before the plot can begin in earnest so the story must be carried by it’s comedy and antics which are clearly not its strongest suits. It also doesn’t help that upon introduction Re:Zeros characters do feel very stereotypical, evidenced by a number of characters introduced in this episode whom are trope heavy in regards to first impressions. That said my first impressions of the characters of the second arc was much the same and Re:Zero managed to make them much more interesting as the arc continued.

We have a number of returning characters from the first arc and quite a number of new ones. Two standouts are Priscilla and her very dark souls design inspired bodyguard called Al. Priscilla is cocky and seems to believe that everything in the world works out in her favor. Whether this is just a misconception on her part or something with some degree if truth is still up in the air but if it’s the latter she should prove to be quite interesting. Al I find interesting mostly due to his design which does feel like a reference to Dark Souls. Many have made jokes claims about comparing Re:Zero to Dark Souls because of his very narrative nature being similar to the Dark Souls mechanics of repeatable facing death until you get the tools and knowledge needed to progress. I have heard that he should prove to be quite an interesting character and some information was present in a manga scene the anime skipped which boosted his significance greatly. Though I will refrain from revealing it as it is very likely going to be show in a later episode. The butler at the beginning whom Subaru spoke with was also intriguing as he was able to recognise that Subaru has gone through life or death situations, though this perhaps him overestimating Subarus worth as Subaru didn’t actually live through those situations. Felt is back and much as expected is a candidate for the throne or Dragon priestess as they refer to it. The reveal was fairly predictable as Felt kept getting mentioned as the episode continued.

Rem has certainly warmed up to Subaru but I must admit that I am worried that she might be a victim of a little thing I refer to as “Light novel heroine” syndrome. This is when a particular girl has the story focus on them for a specific arc or volume of a light novel to the degree of a main heroine. However once the arc is completed and the girls problems are solved then she is tossed to the sidelines to which she will be damned just be a rare pointless camo now and then. By far the biggest victim of this syndrome is Index of the Certain Magical Index series, whom despite the series being named after her, is only relevant to the plot in about 2 of the 24 light novels and likely still is irrelevant even in the new series of light novels. So far Rem is tagging along but I do hope that he plays a more significant role besides just an unimportant side character. The manga of the series at least showed her being more proactive than here as a scene was omitted when Rem comes to save Subaru from the bandits in the alley. It’s understandable why it was omitted but still rather a pity as it truly was a great moment for her. Either way even when put on the sidelines she still manages to steal the show…or perhaps that’s my own bias speaking. I am actually starting to wonder why Emilia was made the main heroine. Well there are special IF chapters which detail what would happen if Subaru got together with Rem so those could be used as a simulation of Rem being the main heroine.

Subaru got admittedly annoying here as while I know his mannerisms are a front to hide his insecurities, he can still get a bit overbearing. I also think he is misunderstanding his role here. This is a rather interesting  concept as Subaru actively has to force inself to get involved in important events. Normally a protagonist is automatically included in any important matters to the plot but due to Emilia’s objections, Subaru is finding himself getting pushed away from the royal selection which is no doubt involved with the next incident. We have a clash of white knight complexes here as Subaru is forcing himself to get into more dangerous situations for Emilia’s sake while Emilia is trying to keep him uninvolved in order to protect him. This is the first real crack in their relationship as the two clash when it comes to their objectives. However Subaru doesn’t quite get that he is not the person who saves the day but as was pointed out at the start of the episode, he is the one who sets things in place for the hero to save the day. But Emilia doesn’t quite get that having Subaru around is a valuable thing as the more he knows the better prepared he is if things go wrong. I do think it’s rather odd though for Subaru to be so intent to involve himself even when it clearly hurts Emilia to do so.


Posted on 19 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Mayoiga pretty much wraps up its story this week and for the series that focus much about anti-climaxes and inconsistency, this ending neatly conclude all of its main loose end. In the final twist of Mayoiga, it turns out that Koharun is God’s daughter (now I understand the inclusion of him in Mayoiga) and all she does was to prevent a Nanaki from fading so she could take her father’s Nanaki back. Sounds vague, right? But this is Mayoiga we talking about so I have no complain. The thing I notice in this last episode was the main confrontations this week: from Mistsumune and Hayato, Koharun and her father, to Masaki and Reiji; are not at all feel ridiculous but are quite emotionally effective. This result for me not come from the writing, but comes from the director who knows how to make a shot that bring out the most effective drama.

But also true to Mayoiga, the amount of ridiculous and (un)intentionally hilarious moments are still all over the place. Lovepon again proves that she’s one of the most consistent character in the show, with her remark “We’re going to be executed” while being chased by Hayato’s Nanaki. I also enjoy the way Dahara keeps betraying himself, telling people that he’ll stay one moment, then completely change to go back like nothing happen. Or the fact that Yotsun appeared in God’s house at the end credit, where previously he was stuck in the bus in the Lost Village, but then, Who Cares? Or many out of nowhere but equally hilarious punchlines “so her dark past was a boy” / “Guess I‘ll call off the engagement when I get back to reality” – “So you coming back?”/ “Koharun is a villain” that really explain why Mayoiga is one of a kind anime series out there. I also love the fact that after going through all kinds of Nanaki troubles, personal conflicts, all the cast reflect were people having the same painful experiences, so we might be not that unlucky to begin with. I’m still amazed with the train of thought this group has. Moreover, the decision to split, majority of them leave, some of them stay, was natural for me but seems so random as well.

So in the end, as far as the last episode goes, I’m happy to say that Mayoiga succeed. The episode tied up all the narrative loose end here, while still maintaining its own silly beat. All the things that shouldn’t work in other anime: namely the over the top characters, awkward conversations, silly themes and most of all ridiculous situations; all worked here. I won’t go as far as saying the whole thing is a success, because damn sometimes I still can’t put my finger on whether all the silly incidents are intentional or not; but it is really a feast to witness a series that offer something so different than the rest of your typical anime out there.



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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:04 AM)
    @Badesh: which one? Cuz I played thru both the Dreamcast and the PS2 version. The Dreamcast one was a stand-alone story, but it was both a good one written by Miura, and it was set between Vol22 and Vol23, so it didn’t interfere with the manga’s story. The PS2 one was almost a chapter-by-chapter adaptation of the Holy Demon War section, and it featured the de-facto Berserk theme ‘Sign’ by Hirasawa himself:
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:50 AM)
    They did the same thing to promote the video game! Srsly?
    Besides, i really enjoy the new series as a long time fan.. can’t exactly point out why. I like the action and for every shitty shot, we get an awesome one.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:49 AM)
    Also Caska’s back to being brown. So I guess some things are getting fixed as we go on.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:40 AM)
    That’s why is disheartening to see that the post-credit scene of ep03 was ignored by so many, specially considering the quality of the animation and the importance it had to the plot and course of the show.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:39 AM)
    Now I’m not going to deny the toxicity of some of the so-called “hardcore” fanbase- the Skullknight community is a testament to that. I’ve seen too many people claim that they’re done with the series, only yo come back every week and nag about the same redundant points over and over again. The show has had much more traditional animation than I’ve originally anticipated.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:27 AM)
    The music is a great example of that. The 97 series created a surreal somber atmosphere, with a lot of that piggybacking on Susumu Hirasawa’s weird soundtrack. Look at the new series intro- that is as tone-deaf as it can get. I much rather preferred a black screen with a red Berserk logo over this shonenesque song. Caska’s rape as an eyecatch? yeah, they are seriously mislead as to the significance of that scene.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:24 AM)
    Now I’m a big Berserk fan, anyone here can attest to that, and I’m glad to have some Berserk, in whatever form we can get. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to overlook the deficiencies. I still stand by my point, which is that the new series doesn’t primarily suffer from the animation, as I think a lot can be achieved in the format as evidence by the last two episodes, but the main point of contention is the overall tone which doesn’t fit Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:20 AM)
    And Berserk is panned for the CG, not only because of the unconventionality, but also since it isn’t particularly strong CGI neither. Sidonia was well-received, and that uses CG a lot more than Berserk. Since the manga has extraordinary line work, people want to see the same level of detail. The 97 series also works against the New one, since although it had minimal budget, it still had much superior cohesion.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:17 AM)
    But that aside, FoE actually garnered some decent publicity. It’s also not really CGI, but a weird type of rotoscoping, which has been used for a long time. The show was alright. It started strong, had a lot of slack in the middle, and ended on a stronger note.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:15 AM)
    @afgm: Flower of Evil, it’s better to call it that since aside from me personally preferring English names when speaking English, the title itself is a reference to Charles Baudelaire poem, and we don’t say the French name Les Fleurs du mal, so why use the Japanese?

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