Posted on 24 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

Sakura Quest offers a pretty much Sakura Quest-esque this week, and I come to believe that this is a strong mini-arc to close-up the first half of its run. For the Tourism Board, the Manoyama Founding Festival will become their most ambitious project in term of scope they have encountered so far. Moreover, documenting the girls and their efforts for the festival sound like a pretty good idea too, as it’s more a less a time for our girls to look back and see how they have grown, and do a bit of meta for their own show. After spending the first half completing character arcs for everyone, it’s only natural that the Manoyama town has a central focus in this arc. Then Sakura Quest adds little twist at the end with the inclusion of super popular band Plotemaios (who had a hit song in a soda commercial no less) and a character focus on the Queen Yoshino. My primary complain about Sakura Quest has been lifted as well in this arc, as there’s clearly a continuity to the main story. We see almost all the supporting characters from different arcs (the woodcarvers, the chef, the producer, the Community Club, even Nao appearing in the commercial), we see our girls have passed their own crisis as well. Seriously, the strong continuity like this event, with some winks to previous arcs and side characters, is all I could ask for.

For this arc, Sakura Quest really goes all out for their biggest tourism impact. The Founding Festival is already their biggest event of the year, and then we have a popular Moving Mountains reality show that of course will bring good publicity for the town, and then the Festival itself turns into the music night of sort when that rising unpronounceable band decides to show up. For a brief moment there, I was sure the band would bail out in the end, since this could be a real disaster because the whole plan somehow turns itself to rely heavily on the presence of band. But the preview next week makes it clear that they come, so I guess the main conflict would be the band overwhelming the Tourism’s Board efforts. When you think about it, it kinda sounds like a disaster too. Yoshino and the girls personally go such great length to ask for the town’s support for their trivia questions, to their point of begging for more fund and volunteer (by the way, I really love Chitose’s decision to use a reserve fund to help out. She’s always reasonable). This concert will overwhelm their efforts and all their efforts plus fund will come to naught. The tourists will come and go without much impression to the town, because they come to the town for music. I am intrigued to see how Yoshino address and resolve this issue.

At the same time, there is a documentation about our girls and their efforts to market the town. All of the girls, save Mari, are too self-conscious on the whole filming and I have a good laugh or two when they act so out of characters: Shiori wearing that fashionable glass, old man Kadota keeps saying “chupa” all the times and uses every opportunity to jump on the screen with exclaim, Sanae using big, technical words and my Ririko wearing mask at the meeting and Sandal-san, well he just being himself- Costner style. When the girls ease up in front of camera though, it’s time for the director Amamiya – himself a Manoyama native – to ask them about their motivations and what they think about the Queen. The answers are too varied that Amamiya has a hard time on how to frame Yoshino and he flat out declares that Yoshino’s bland. Well, she’s anything but bland, I assure you. Her heart is devoted for reviving this small town and if you can’t see it, it’s your loss dear Mister Director. He seems to fire up at the idea of raising more attention to this town as well and so far he’s taking a good lead. I also feel they better don’t use the information bit that Yoshino was a little Princess (the 100,000th visitor no less – exactly how could they count that?) for to impress the Director. It’s like a miracle story, yes, but she still hasn’t earned her Queen title yet, as far as the public’s eyes concern. Here’s hoping Yoshino will wipe out the band and get people acknowledged her efforts for this little town.

Posted on 16 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

Well, apart from Ririko suddenly can sing confidently, and sings really well on top of that, this episode ends in high note. In fact, that statement really sum up this week of Sakura Quest as a whole. Messy, a bit all over the place with too many elements, but they have very strong ending that tied up everything together. This matchmaking arc in its entire, is a decent addition to Sakura Quest, with the singing Ririko moment as a highlight. I do appreciate how relevant Rirkio’s own problems with the matchmaking events and the Dragon tale in that extend, for they’re all about the outsiders, but adding other out of place elements like faux, goofy horror; the show’s sudden focus to Sandal and even the bouldering activity make Sakura Quest feels unfocus at times. And the final punch, to give this town a reputation of the eloped town, seriously makes me frown. Rirkio’s issues ain’t that much to begin with but in that regard, I’m perfectly fine with how Sakura Quest handled her situation.

Ririko’s personal issue has always been an outsider of her own village, and she relates very well to the Dragon tales – where the Manoyama dance is supposed to scare the dragon away (that might be the reason why she couldn’t smile when she danced when she was young, and this legend sounds very familiar to the legend in Sora No Oto). The revealing about the absence of her parents further deepens that theme of outsiders: her Mother came from other town, she met her father here in Manoyama and they got marriage, but she couldn’t get used to life here and left. Chitose from then has an uneasy feeling when it comes to tourists and outsiders. Ririko finds out another (true) interpretation of this legendary Manoyama dragon: the villagers want to be friend with the dragon, so they dance to lure her in but scare her away instead, and she ends up die alone in the cave. That dance is still there, but like how the story loses its original meaning as generations go by, the original song has been lost. Magically (because why else Sandal could just appear like ghost and sing that very song the moments the girls mentioned it. Deux Ex Machina!!!), Sandal mentions that this song was passed through generations overseas, and he is one-eighth of Manoyama (appearance can be deceptive huh?). Thus come a beautiful song at the end that tied up her arc, the dragon tale and give the matchmaker girls a moment to remember.

While the main plot is going somewhat satisfying, faux, goofy horror Sakura Quest tries to pull off is just way too silly to be taken seriously. All the visual motifs, the sound effects, all come to nothing because there isn’t any suspense to begin with, nor it need to be. The twist is hilarious but there is a leap of logic everywhere (like, he was all wet, covered in mud that night, but the other day he’s way too clean. Also, how did he get into the restaurant without anyone noticed?). And then that police guy just comes as rude when he flat out prevents poor Ririko a chance to speak (this is HARRASTMENT). Sandal takes most of a spotlight this episode, and although I would say that sudden shift of focus to him is a bit too jarring for me, him as a pure outsider, enjoying the town with all his heart is a nice touch that connected with the theme so well, and I can see him gain a lot more fan after this episode. Well, I’m off to enjoy this magnificent “lullaby” again. Give it up to “Dragon’s Song” by our truly Ririko.

Posted on 9 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

New week, new arc. Let’s see all the ingredients we have for this arc: Ririko (finally!), matchmaking tour (really? haha), Manoyama’s dance and the dragon’s furious. Quite a crazy combination if you ask me but I’m totally fine with the food they cooked up from these ingredients. Unlike Shiori, I mean, totally opposite issues from Shiori, Ririko spends most of her childhood thinking she stand out in a bad way. She’s just different, which admittedly excites no one but me. We never actually heard her parents mentioned and judging that she’s living with her grandma now my guess is that they left town when she was young. Now all that doesn’t mean she’s a great character, at least not yet. Her archetype has been done to death before and her detachment voice isn’t what I called the best representation of a quiet, shy girl. In this episode, she has a bit of a crisis when watching the other girls doing the traditional Manoyama dance, something she could’ve involved. It’s perfectly fine that she doesn’t wish to dance, but watching her best friends doing that make her feel even more isolated, like something is wrong with her because she doesn’t enjoy dancing like the rest (it isn’t). As it happens, when the other girls aren’t around, Ririko feels cut off, lurking into background, doesn’t engage in any conversation; might as well questioning her whole involvement with the project.

Now, the crazy project Sakura Quest come up with is a matchmaking tour. Despite there are only 3 girls travelling to Manoyama for in a quest of love (and they’re all close friends to boost), the lonely single guys in the town all getting heat up for this opportunity. Many cheesy lines and flirting are ensured but Sakura Quest gets away with it because they know full well how ridiculously those flirting are. Our girls, in preparation for showing tourist girls the town, come up with far too many over the top plans; but I have to say the initial plan is well thought-out. A sake brewery and fireflies, a night at old-style house and BBQ and watching Manoyama dance – I would totally go with that initiery. New characters, most notably the three matchmaking girls and the policeman are provided just about enough chemistry. Manoyama’s local dance, likewise, adds a lot of charms to the settings and the sequence where the girls dance around is easily the highlight of this episode

But I’m a bit worried for next week’s episode based from the last few minutes of this episode, when the plot suddenly goes for goofy faux-horror about the awaken of DRAGON. Actually it kinds of makes sense when they merging this legendary town story with Ririko’s own fascination for occult, but including this subplot also means that they can overwhelm Ririko’s own development, which I do not recommend.  My experience with Sakura Quest’s mini arcs have always been “1 good episode plus 1 bad episode” package so I really hope the next episode gonna break that pattern.

Posted on 2 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

So our cooking mini-arc has concluded and I was pretty much… indifferent to it by the end. It started strong last week but seems to run out of steam quickly this episode. For many developments the show squeezes in this week, only the somen contest festival part works out well. The romance part turns out to be quite…dumb, and Yoshino going overboard feel more awkward than funny. To make it even worse, many Sakura Quest’s stronger elements: the solid chemistry between the core cast and the adult wisdom are all absent this week, making this episode a mere passable one, but nothing special to write home about.

After the event last week, Shiori comes up with a plan to make amend with the Merchant Board: a somen contest to choose the signature somen dish for Manoyama. It’s a pretty neat idea for me, albeit the sequence in the restaurant where every local gone nuts about somen feel oversold and incredibly forced. Obaba has a great characterization this week. Yes, she’s harsh and blunt on what she says, but she’s reasonable. As long as your plan makes sense she will be happy to go along with it. It might be the first time in years that the two Boards work on something together and thankfully the festival receives enough enthusiasm from the town’s supports. Shiori has some solid time this week as she tries to come up with a new dish that featured both somen and kombu, two of the town’s favorite material. In the end, her dish isn’t chosen for the best prize, but the warm reception from the villagers towards her dish “Happy Somen” and the acknowledgement from everyone towards her contribution are good enough. But “Minister of Mediation”? haha, I really have no response for that off the wall title, but seeing how she bring the two Boards, as well as the two unlikely lovebirds together, I believe the title has its merit.

Yoshino, during the preparation of the festival, goes completely other way. She and Kadota meet Doku (the local mechanic), to do something ”bold” for the festival, hence the idea of flowing VR somen (that actually run manually by Deku) coming up. It’s silly, and although I feel it has a bit of its charm, seeing Yoshino trying just too hard without any result doesn’t impact to the whole story much. Actually, here’s my one question: Who’s in the committee that decide which somen food’s a winner? Obviously the girls aren’t in there, nor does the Tourist Board or Merchant Board. Then who? On what criteria they choose the food exactly? This WAS what they need to develop, instead of spending some time for this Yoshino’s silly plot line.

But it’s the romance between Kumano and Shiori’s sister that suffer the hardest. That’s coming from me who actually enjoy the running gags of everyone surprised that Kumano has an interest for Sayuri instead of Shiori, but boy, this whole plotline is just bad. First, Kumano and Sayuri share no chemistry whatsoever. When they meet again and talk to each other, it sounds even less intimate than two normal friends. They all mention that they were too shy to talk to each other back in college, but from their little flashback it wasn’t the case at all: sharing the love for French Toast and waited for each other until night alone in train station? It doesn’t add up at all. And then the reason that they couldn’t meet each other? Because Sayuri took the wrong date from previous year’s calendar? Forgive me if I’m being so blunt, but how is that even possible? They had a firm idea to meet each other on the Sunday after graduation on that station; so after graduation, they just have to show up on THE SUNDAY, the wrong date got nothing to do with it. If it meant to be cute, it doesn’t, it’s just dumb. This arc unfortunately isn’t Sakura Quest’s best hours. Well, at least now this cooking arc is over and I’m looking forward to what the hell they come up with for the Tourism Board next time, and by the pattern it might be the time for my favorite girl Ririko to shine. Bring it on, girls.

Posted on 26 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

This was a solid episode from Sakura Quest. This week is the first of the two-parter (probably) about the Queen and her team making a special dish for Manoyama town that could attract tourists. Now I see the formula the show’s currently employing: the first three episodes focus on Yoshino and her coming to term with the rural village, and gathering the main cast. Episode 4 and 5 concentrate on woodcarving industry and fleshing out Sanae, the last two episodes they shift the focus to assisting movie crew and give a necessarily development to Maki. This new episode will be all about cooking, taste testing and developing the core member that I’m most worried about: Shiori. Turn out both the food-making part and the Shiori part were all excellent. At the end of this episode, Sakura Quest merges those two storylines together as Shiori takes charge as the leader of that food project, with some clearly identified obstacles to overcome. So why do I have to namelist all the previous episodes, you ask? Well, knowing its patterns help me to suspense my disbelief so I can enjoy the ride better. As of now, this format doesn’t bother me too much anymore. While it’s sitcom-y, meaning after the arc is done we gonna reset back to status quo for another new story, which kind of defeat the development of previous arc; giving the show different scenarios to work with make that world feels rich, like every corner of the town Manoyama has lives on its own. For example, the lake the girls fishing (by bare hands) or the farm at the beginning of this episode feel entirely vivid and lifelike, which of course add to the charms of this little town.

So the Board of Tourism comes up with new strategy to attract more tourists: making a home-made signature dish. I know this plan hits my own sweet spot more than anything but the idea of making local food is a sound idea for me. One of the issue of this plan though, is that none of the main casts, save Shiori, have any idea about cooking. I love the way they come up with their own “creations”, which reflect so well with their respective personalities: Sanae with her love for fast-food ramen- chicken wings hybrid, Maki’s quantity-over-quality Mega Tempura Sandwich, Yoshino with all mixed ingredients that already sound like a bad idea, and Ririko with her green “witch” soup (the bug she brought earlier squeezed out green cream as well. Could it be…). I also love her grandma super calm reaction after tasting that soup (a big disaster) and her even calmer suggestion to eat takeaway food. It also helps that when the girls being themselves without any development, they still bounce off each other very well. Ririko’s snarky comments hit a lot of target here, so does Maki and Sanae teasing (and then team up) to each other. Their absurd outfits at the beginning is a feat to watch as well, especially Maki and her Bruce Lee’s uniform with David Carradine’s famous hat.

Back to the main plot, only Shiori has any idea of making “eatable” food, but also like her personality, her foods taste great, yet so plain that fail to impress anyone. In addition, only Shiori who came to know and appreciate the local ingredients, which makes sense when you want to promote a local food. The rest of the group want to appoint her as the head of the cooking campaign, but she hesitates with that idea since it comes so much of a burden to her. Sakura Quest pretty much answers my concerns regarding developing Shiori character, as this episode challenges her supporting, never-want-to-be-in-spotlight personality and makes it her ultimate catalyst to overcome. Then Sakura Quest raises the stake even further by providing the conflict between the Tourism Board and the Merchant Board. Yoshino forgets to inform the Merchant Board about their food day, which happens to overlap with the Merchant’s Summer Festival. Later, when all members from Tourism Board come over to apologize, Grandma Oribe also points out, quite rightly, that Kadota has been selling out. While she hated his Chupakabura manju, she can deal with it because he still used the local products, but the “deluxe version” is created from some other company, thus defeat its very purpose of promoting local foods. Kadota clearly cares about gaining more tourists for the town, but he ultimately uses more aggressive methods, which caused a stir with the local people. This conflict is well thought-out so I’m interested to see what Shiori will come up with next week.

The episode also spends a huge amount of its time for Shiori’s own family and introduces two new characters, Shiori’s older sister Sayuri and the bear chef Kumano and the two have some romantic tension with each other. The parents and grandparents of her are all adorable people and have a very warm chemistry together. The way the grandparents introduces non-subtlety their single granddaughters to any young man they like as “We have two here. You can pick one” is sooo my grandparent way of obvious hook-up lines that it’s endearing and scary at the same time. Later on, when Shiori’s dad take her for a little walk, his wisdom “Everyone’s life changes eventually” again hit hard here. Shiori is the type of person who doesn’t want anything to change, because she’s happy with everything right now. But things won’t stay the same as time progresses, so the lesson here she needs to learn is that changes aren’t that scary and they eventually come as she moves on to the next stage of her life. Even without the progress of the tourism plan and the core cast’s developments (in which this episode happens to excel in both departments), random wisdom like this, heart-warming and meaningful that cut right through my heart, is a healthy dose of insight that I clearly need right now.

Posted on 19 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

This week in Sakura Quest, we have core members lashing out at each other, and some more nice interactions between other members – which in fairness is all I could hope for. You know a cast is well developed when you can pick any two main characters and they still have their unique chemistry together. This week is a second half of a double episode about filming production and as far as “second half of double episode” entails, it does its job magnificently. Not only Sakura Quest manages to detail the activities of assisting the shootings from the girls and make it fun, they also flesh out the core casts. Maki’s material in particular is one of the strongest development they’ve succeed so far. What I’m not confident about is the larger narrative, which I guess we have to see how it will turn out next week.

Turn out the main reason for Shiori’s hesitation at the idea of burning that old house is because she spent her childhood memories in that house. She’s used to play around a lot as a kid with the owner of the house, now seeing that place is about to burnt down make her feel nostalgic. That flashback swells me up with emotions with the remains of forgotten memories: several marks of her height charts as a kid, the once-cozy house now empty and worn out. I always have a soft spot for ruins and empty houses (you can feel those places are immune from the passage of time) so I’m totally on Shiori side in this matter. That argument between Yoshino and Shiori is great, and I would love it if the show can continue pushing characters arguing with each other. No fight no glory as they say. Yoshino makes a jerky move by pointing out that Shiori was selfish- reluctant to burn this house but “don’t say a thing” when the crew mentioning other houses. Well, let see how Yoshino REACTS if this was the house she grew up with for Peter sake. I feel that sacrificing your own feeling in service of the shooting is way too easy for the filming crew. First, they don’t aware how difficult it is for the locals to follow their demands (even emotionally) and second, that house wasn’t originally planned to burn down to begin with. Maybe no one like to ask for more trouble, given that the relatives already give it a go but if I were Shiori then they can burn that house down over my dead body.

Maki is given a motivation push over what she wants with her acting job. While last week was all about her self-doubts towards her career, this week is Maki’s journey to find the love for acting all over again; all through tutoring a complete amateur about acting, find the passionate young versions in every corner of the town, and realize that she has the supports from others over pursuing what she loved, even if the supports are often subtle and low-key. I particularly love the sequences of her remembering her childhood, with lovely insert music and very great visual that highlighting the sad truth between her now and her passionate young self before. Again, her whisper ”It’s got to be something you like, or you won’t get far, kid” hits a bit too close to home. I appreciate the mature theme of Sakura Quest here, about the very real struggles that now, as someone who also in his 20s, have to deal with. Maki soon picks up her spirit, playing double for Moe in an overdramatic burning house scene (which was a crap decision by the movie crew for me, burning the house for just one take in such dangerous scene? There’s a high chance that she fails and what’s ever going to happen if that is the case? Burn another house down?), but she succeeds beautiful and moreover she enjoys herself to act again.

This episode also deepens the chemistry of our cast, especially between Maki and Ririko, my two favorite characters. What Maki says to Ririko ta calm her nervousness is great, but their easy atmosphere when they talk to each other about their old school and The Snow White’s tradition plays are what really sold me on their relationships. Not only give the core cast some internal conflicts to work with like in Yoshino and Shiori’s case, Sakura Quest also give the cast an opportunity to improve each other by using one character’s strength to help out the others. Ririko also has another cute scene when she was slowly moving sideways with her hands covering her butt. You have to see it for yourself but it was a solid joke for me (didn’t I mention I like the humor of this show?).

While last week I was a little frustrated with the direction of this show, Sakura Quest, at its core, still pull many moving and honest treatments to young adult’s insecurities and struggles with their life, something that anime medium don’t tend to do too well. If there is a movie on top of my head that resembles this show in terms of tone and the theme about the insecureness of twenty-something characters, it has to be Garden State. Moreover, while the plot does feel force at times (the crew guy talking to Shiori about Yoshino’s request is incredibly forced for example), it’s those quiet moments that help carry the emotional weight. Scenes like Maki seeing her childhood as I mentioned above, Yoshino glances over Shiori during the burning house shooting, or Shiori quietly watching the ashes, speaks more volume than any word can convey. Sakura has its charms and I will stick with it for a while longer, at least until the end of this season.

Posted on 11 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

This episode of Sakura Quest… Did I just miss an episode or two in between? Remind me again when exactly did all those movie productions come from? The show just drops its woodcarving storyline to this film production storyline and that switch is jarring. Now Sakura Quest heads into one of direction that I’m quite nervous about: a sitcom anime – a type that don’t need much continuity. On top of that I can’t say I’m fond with this film production scenario. I don’t get the idea of the movie they’re making either: A slice of life story set in Manoyama (see self-reference here) that… have a blue-faced zombie outbreak? How’s that supposed to be a slice of life then? Okay, now to what we have this week, we have our girls run along with the film crew, trying to find good locations, calling up extras and finding old houses to blow up. It’s good to see the functions of small film productions in action, and the old man Kadota and oba-san Chitose provide many good laughs on screen (the comedy in this show remains very good). I love Kadota’s commitment to the role he played, and just by few scenes both Chitose and the tsun café girl Erika’s unpredictable reactions really tell us the person they are (oh, and Ririko’s cute little victory). Lovely character works all around. The director is a bit of a douchebag though, I can see him piss a lot of local people off by the next episode.

Out of all the main girls, it’s Shiori that I’m initially worried the most. For other girls, I can see how they develop their potential conflicts. Yoshino with her adaptation to the rural village, and her quest to gain more tourists for the town will serve as the main driving force for the story. For Sanae, we already had her being insecure about running away, and the potential love-triangle with the wood-carvers. For Maki, it’s her job insecurity and her conflict with papa. Ririko will have to deal with the difficult oba-chan and maybe her love for video-recording. But as for Shiori, there’s not much to develop. She’s a stable character with a stable job and a stable family, and so far, she serves mainly as the supporting voice for Yoshino and the girls. Prior to this episode, the only development angle I could imagine for Shiori is her closeness to Ririko, which whenever Ririko has an issue, she’d be the closest to help out her friend – But that, as well, is a supporting role. Thanks Sakura Quest for given her something to work with this episode without distracting the main storyline. It’s obvious that she feels connected to the abandoned, worn-out house and for now, my guess is that she was close with the person who used to live in that house. Her close friend maybe. Whatever the case, it’s good to see that she takes a main stage once in a while, and I really hope that Sakura Quest gives her something of an arc to develop her further in later events.

But the main beef in this episode is all about developing Maki. Aside from Ririko, Maki is my favorite girl and this episode both flesh out her current situation with her family, as well with her acting career. When she remarks that “Loving (the job) is also exactly what makes it so hard” and “Your twenties are a special time, and I wasted them”; I feel the sensations. Her underclasswomen appeared as a main female lead just puts the salt in that open wound, made she feel frustrated. But Maki, remember that Moe’s getting more acting roles ain’t because of eating cicadas, and besides, cicada isn’t that bad (take my word for it). Sanae seems to knock some sense out of Maki and all eyes now are looking for her to take the acting part. I know she’d be exceptional there. These concerns about adult-insecurities are really relatable and grounded and those character’s moments are what raise this show above the bar of your average anime.

But I finished this episode feeling unsatisfied. While, like I said, the characters’ works and the comedy are the show’s greatest strengths; the main storyline feel abrupted, unbalanced that feel more like a wasted opportunity. This episode, judging as a whole, is a solid episode, but that is precisely why I have a feeling that the series will be just sitcom-y like this from now on. At this moment, my interest in continuing cover this show has dropped dramatically; I will give this show another episode to see if it can redeem itself. Sakura Quest is not bad per se. I just feel underwhelmed by the potential it could’ve had and the actual presentation right now. Otherwise, with 2 other shows that I find myself more invested in, I would just pick one and cover instead.

Posted on 5 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

And with this episode the main overarching plot starts to form, or so it seems (there’s still a big possibility that the town dismisses the whole idea but by the end it seems less and less likely). The main project these girls come up with this time is about making a palace full of sculptures that inspired by Sagrada Família, itself famously known for its still-under construction for over hundred years. Now, I had actually lived in Barcelona for almost 2 years; so I know one or two things about Sagrada Família. Many people, like the cast of Sakura Quest, admire it as the representation of multi-generation body of works, as a symbol of passing the torch and live on the spirits for generations. The thing is, the cathedral was never meant to be that way. They were simply out of fund. Yes, the death of Gaudi hurt the project too but it hadn’t finished for over hundred years because it couldn’t. We’re talking about the cathedral here which have both the approvals from the religious crowd as well as the artistic crowd, yet somehow the constructions have always been delayed and funded by private funds. Now flip back to Sakura Quest, do I think that ambitious project will see the light of day? Nope. The Sagrada Família is made out of the desire to make it the ultimate cathedral, the Sakura Pond Familia is made to attract people to the small town. Already a wrong approach, and that doesn’t take funding (how someone wants to put heaps of money for this) or the sheer implementation into consideration.

But that, I guess, is exciting in its own way just to see how the cast manages to deal with those issues. For this episode we see them making their own efforts to actually go out there and study about the woodcarving art: Yoshino goes to various houses to have a look at the mantra, Shiori and Ririko study about the history of the art in their hometown, Maki gets her hand on making one, and Sanea… well, she just wanders off alone but those are positive signs for fleshing out our characters; which is a clear step up from last week’s episode. I like the way there was no tension from the group when Sanae bailed out, because come on, we all know she will be back sooner or later. So the show frames her action as a necessary step back to know what she really wants. The decision to build a palace from Yoshino comes rather out of the blue but well, she’s a fool so it should be expected, and I mean it in a positive light. I’m not so sure how to feel about Sandal-chan character, he’s given a more active role in this episode and the sequence where he gets busted by the police was hitchhiking a police car certainly among my favorite moments this week. However, I still feel the guy’s so out of place with this Manoyama town and I have a feeling the show creates him as a vehicle for Vinay Murthy’s first voice acting, he’s himself an American actor (MASQUERADE). Seriously, I love the humors in Sakura Quest, they have a keen sense of comedic timing, witty dialogues and slapstick situations that bring joy and heart to the story.

At the same time, the other half of the episode focuses on Sanae and her little crisis, as she realized she has been half-hearted about the project. She has a brief talk with the woodcarver Tatsuo while staying alone in front of train station that inspired him to create a lovely wooden shoe. As much as my hesitation to the Sakura Pond Familia project, making wood-carved products to promote the industry is actually a very neat idea. It’s true that every industry needs to adapt as time changes, for wood-carving, it’s starting as Buddha statue, to the house’s plate, to the mantra… making wood-carves products and furniture seem like a natural progression for me. Yoshino gives Sanae a great view about Sanea’s issues: although it’s true that everyone, everything can be replaced, it’s each individual’s personal touch that distinct one person to another, and therefore everyone will always have different results. I also find Sanae’s idea of building the palace next to train station a solid idea, as from my own experience (especially towards Japan), the train station is where it gets the most crowded, insanely crowded. Hmm, I hope there won’t be a love triangle between Tatsuo and Kazuki and that IT girl because it’d be a one-way fight anyways since Kazuki cares for nothing but carving little piece of wood and Sanae is clearly drawn to that tsundere guy. At long last, the girls end the episode with their first taste of success, even if it’s only a modest one. But things look brightly ahead, now that the girls and the villagers are looking at the same direction for the big project (I guess exoskeletion suit will come very handy), and THAT is what really matters.

Posted on 27 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

Hmm, I don’t really like the direction Sakura Quest is going for. To be more precise, this episode brings up some questionable variables that I don’t think blended well with the show. The actual story for this week though, is still enjoyable and grounded enough to overcome those concerns. At least for now. This week the Queen and co take up a new approach of boosting tourism: promoting woodcarving industry that is indeed a traditional government-protected industry in Manoyama, albeit many earlier attempts of gaining tourist flows using woodcarving industry have been failed. This time brings the same unsuccessful outcomes, as expected, mainly because of the girl’s lack of knowledge to the town, and to the art of woodcarving itself. How can they expect to successfully draw people in if they don’t really know about what they’re promoting? The plot is going to get worse for Yoshino and her friends before they can learn from those mistakes and get better. So this episode is functional enough at its core, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

The first issue is its weird addition of modern technology in this otherwise mundane and down-to-earth world. The girls meet the oddball local mechanic who is your typical silly inventor-type that usually brings more trouble than success, or both at the same time (think about “Doc” in Back to the Future). In this episode, his inventions come a bit too handy that they would be right at home at Phineas and Ferb’s daily summer break: an iron box that transforms into a jukebox, the mechanic suits that help farmers carry their loads easier. I get the point of merging the traditional woodcarving and the modern technology (old and new) from the outsiders with the assistance from the locals (in and out); but if the show meant to be a grounded, realistic portrayal of tourism job in rural town then those weird robotic arms and suits throw that realism out of a window. It’s so out of place and weird that for once I’m not on board with their plan and agree to that grumpy woodcarver and Mama merchant instead (come on, Buddha vending machine is BLASPHEME!!!)

The second flaw of this current approach lies in the main cast themselves. Take their spiritual predecessor, Shirobako, for example. The main cast in Shirabako have different jobs within the anime industry and even in different stages of their careers; they each have to deal with their own problems because each of them have different issues in their lives. Sakura Quest groups them together too early, so that all of them now work for the same goals, share the same house, eat the same food and that don’t work well in their favor. I have fun following them for the first 3 weeks because each of them still has different interesting traits, but their personalities start to blur in this episode. Give me more drama, tear the group apart so they have to overcome their issues by themselves is for me a much more appropriate approach (but seeing that we have 20+ episodes in our hands here, I don’t worry much about not having enough time to develop them). This episode sadly doesn’t work well character-wise.

Furthermore, I have a mixed feeling towards hinting at the romance of Sanae and the new guy woodcarver. Romance isn’t bad by all means but Sakura Quest is about mature people and their tourism jobs, so I hope the romance will only serve as a character’s development for Sanae and not taking too much concentration. The new guy nails it when he mentioned about the insecurity of Sanae: running away to the small town because she feels replaceable, like her existence isn’t that important to the busy Tokyo life. I had that experience myself sometimes so this might cut a little too close for myself. Overall, this week is a slightly misstep episode as the core material is still running strong here, but this episode is bogged down by some unconvincing details. These issues won’t deal any permanent damage, but Sakura Quest needs to work harder than this to become a real sleeper hit.

Posted on 22 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

“The one who can change the town is the young fool outsider”
Which kind of makes sense, since the outsider’s perspective will give a fresh take to improve the town. That makes our Queen Yoshino the perfect candidate, but as the interview goes on, she learns the truth: she hardly knows anything about the town, except from perhaps its scenery and expired manjus. So her first step as Manoyama’s Queen is to find what the locals like (to no result) and what makes the town unique. Here Yoshino learns the main conflict between Tourism board and the Merchants Group, the UMA boom resulted in Kadota-sensei switched from homemade carrot Kabura-kun to the silly Kabura-chupa mascots. As we knew last week, the Kabura-chupa has nothing to do with the Mexican mythical creatures and does seem to cause more mixed response from the local and neither attracting much tourist attention. After the hilarious runs from both our girls and the Tourism board to achieve the mascots’ heads, the final parade where Yoshino decides to ditch both the town’s previous mascots (making Kadota-sensei appear in a mix of Chupa with Carrot head, but that mainly for practical reason) and her promotion speech is a touching, if not a bit too honest for her own good (now I have an idea why she failed 32 interviews). She decides to spend her time as a Queen to pick a mascots that could stand the test of time. And now our real Quest finally begins.

One thing of note that I find particularly true to life is the way the villagers are indifferent about what they want to make the town better. They’re just a bunch of locals who born and live within the town to the point they don’t really question about the town’s condition anymore. Usually in other series that take place in a small rural area, they tend to feature many local custom (like welcoming the sunshine in Love Live Sunshine), and the local’s unabashed love for their town. Not here. The old people in the town don’t want anything to change; while the young ones pretty think it’s a dead town anyways, why bother trying. Manoyama feels really like some random small town we might come across. It’s not like they don’t love their town, but more of they are born here, taking a job that passed through generations and taking the town for granted. Whatever going to happen, they’d still live there, so why bother on the change at all? I’m kinda curious to see how the girls can fire up those people in coming events.

Finally, I’m glad that Sakura Quest is a more adult-oriented show that don’t feature high school settings with juvenile humor, because the humor in this show is deadpan and much more attuned to my own taste. Lines like “just the cold indifference of time’s unending march” both sound true, but with a more sarcasm tone. Also I really enjoy the various costumes that the main cast’s wearing. There is a great attention that focus on these costumes here as oppose to say, high school uniforms. As it announced, the show will be 26 episode long and so far Sakura Quest more than earned its spot in my watching list.

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
The LWA finale didn't do much for me sadly. Croi's roles as a main antagonist is just not good. And I feel like in the end I don't know much about Suzy or Lotte. I think the worse episode for me was the one right after the twist about why Akko can't perform magic, because it's as Aidan said
KT
Thus Little Witch Academia comes to an end. I will miss it. Despite the mistake IMHO of the Croix Arc, this was a good series, and the last episode went back to the very elements that made me love it at the start. It was a happy series, and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling in some hard times. I thank it for it. It could had been exceptional, but I guess they wanted to try something more.Ah well.
AidanAK47
Really glad they used that Scarborough fair song one last time before the finale. I really love that song.
Anonymous1215349
SukaSuka's finale was beautiful, a great way to end a great anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I guess the big question I have is, do the character interactions coupled with what assume will be some kind of tragedy element work together well enough to make the viewer care and invest in the characters?
AidanAK47
So that's the end of SukaSuka. Better than I thought it would be. Honestly didn't give it enough of a chance in my preview. As far as light novel adaptions go it's above average. Though it does still suffer from it's cliches. Nothing outstanding but a worthwhile watch nontheless.
Anonymous1214845
Have you seen Shonen Jump is making an international manga contest? https://medibang.com/jumpplus/entry/
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you know it when you see it. At first I didn't believe they jumped the shark, but based on the events after that twist, yep it has settled for something much cheaper imo.
Lenlo
For Bahamut, im still enjoying it and we have another cour to go. I think it, and the first Bahamut, are good shows. For Kado, im only on ep 4 so im very curious what shark gets jumped
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think given the pace I'll watch 1-2 or 2-3 episodes of re creators instead of once a week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end Bahamut suffered the same fate as the first one, I could never call it a bad show, I just never ended up feeling it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given my thoughts on tsuki ga kirei before on here but I'll add by saying that I never expected it and uchouten 2 (despite the weak wrap up I liked the lead up) to be my favourite of the season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
About five years ago or so could have seen myself really having been in the mood for LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't as impressed with Uchoutens finale as Mario was,I found myself more annoyed by how clumsily done it all was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me kado jumped the shark with its latest direction and Aidans review along with flicking through this weeks episode kind of confirms I'm done with the show. A show I was initially unsure of but thought might become something.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Yeah....at least LWA's finale was pretty good and I think there's a possibility of a second season. With the Criox/Chariot plot line out of the way I say they could really bank on it's potential. Even if they don't, this series was still quite enjoyable.
Anonymous1211365
Man I couldn't agree more with Aidan about LWA and Kado. I still like and enjoy Kado but damn it could have been so much more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ntr trap appears to be a non-seinen/shounen yuri manga given its publication magazine.
Vonter
Not all people work as fast, but that's what companies expect nowadays. Which is why CGI is preferred over practical effects. Or even why anime has used more 3D that painted backgrounds, cars or other props that take time and work to be drawn.
Vonter
No. I get deadlines are tough. Companies and customers want everything made as fast as humanly possible, yet reality is that making things good takes time and money. I wouldn't be surprised that's why Berserk comes out every 6 months, the art is too detailed and the story is slow paced. Yet the anime was planned to be made in a year or two so it's evident either way, crunch is expected.
Lenlo
I think you misunderstood what he meant when he said the industry was a mess. Mangaka routinely work themselves into a hospital because of the demanding schedule
Vonter
Then there's the franchise appeal. Which inherently gains something because of persistence, awareness and name. It is hard when great visual effort is mainly put in things that are guaranteed to be a hit, because original stuff tend to make mistakes to find their own identity. Which in itself makes them very risky affairs.
Vonter
It's also a heavy flaw of the internet, having mainly binary opinions of good or bad. Which makes it hard to tell if you'll like something in the 7s like Nier or Alien 3 (might not be a 7 but opinions make it sound like it is). Divisive products that may or not may suit one's tastes.
Vonter
Personally I think the issue has become what suits your tastes, what are you willing to give a chance and what hits beyond the medium it is presented.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 "Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess". - I mean, movies, games, and other entertainment have the same issue, since everyone has a big slice of the pie, yet there are like a million things competing for one's attention.
SuperMario
On that note, apart from the 3 shows I'n currently covering (Eccentric Family, Tsuki ga Kirei and ID-0), I will give a full review on Grimoire of Zero, a show that I feel rather difficult to pinpoint exactly on its quality.
SuperMario
Can't believe we approaching the final week of this current season. Gonna be a busy week of blogging with the usual weekly posts plus the final impressions.
SuperMario
@Anon1206174: I agree with you on both counts. And Sakura Quest has never been bad, but it could have been deeper and less messy. If you plan to watch ID-0 (I suggest you do), don't get your expectation too high because it works much better when you expect nothing of it. Like each episode I was genuinely surprised how good ID-0 actually is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember one of Aidan's visual novel posts where he said theres potentially hundreds of VNs un-translated and LNs too, makes me wonder just how much un-translated manga we are missing out on.
Anonymous1206174
The ID-o posts sound pretty interesting, I am really thinking of dropping Sakura and watching this instead. Really loved the beginnign of Sakura and that abandoned town atmosphere it had, but I am not feeling it anymore. The recent episode about Shiori was great again though..
Kaiser-Eoghan
*looking
Then again he's an extremely forgetable person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Godammit, looing back over my comments I meant to say Souta not Setsuna, I suck at remembering non-English names.
Anonymous1205999
Meh - I really like this season but I already have my first cases of 'good-show-disappointing-ending/second half'
Anonymous1206022
KT Here:RE:Creators , we need to know more about the rules for Altair to see if that works. It might, and it might not. With what they know they have a good plan. But I was thinking why not just do a Super Smash Bros type game with the characters? I am sure that would generate enough stuff in order to lock her.
SuperMario
On Re:Creators, I find a better solution instead of going all cross-media like the show suggests. Someone could just make some fan-fiction on Altair that purposely show her weakness (like get busted when expose to the sun, or the magic word that render her skills useless). Less efforts, more effective
SuperMario
Man, I agree wholeheartedly with what KT said here: mass media actually sells, so it keeps the industry to a more stable position; then the art-house/more adult oriented anime can have some freedom to do what they like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its more that I have to read it all at the same time as expecting action to come , it might change my mind if I watched it in English.
Anonymous1205580
KT here: I accept the mass media because it raises the funds for the less mainstream stuff I like. That is how I make my peace.

On RE:Creators. I get what you guys say. But for some reason I do not find the exposition heavy in this series. Every person has his own limit I guess
Alonaria
@Kaiser: Yep, that sounds about right, lol. I take my Sheldon in concentrated doses. I might give the Young Sheldon spin off an episode or two because it's highly exaggerated but still somewhat relatable to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel big bang theory is a show for people who know nothing about nerds/nerd culture to find funny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then theres this thing about Sheldon being some kind of autism spectrum thing , which is kind of annoying to hear when I am on the spectrum myself and never really found the character all that amusing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably not the strongest reason to go off a show but, it was people around me going on and on about big bang theory that eventually put me off it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol is it any surprise Miura and the hunter x hunter guy take so many breaks =P
Alonaria
*Sheldon
Alonaria
I pick and choose Big Bang episodes that I enjoy. Shelden in the ball pit never ceases to amuse me. Still, it's definitely overrated haha.
Lenlo
IT Crowd > Modern Big Bang. Early Big Bang was good.

And yes, the work conditions in the Manga Industry are terrible. Oda, One Piece Mangaka, works stupid hours. He requests his assistances be "Willing to die for One Piece" because of the amount of work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And hell yeah"! someone else thats hates on big bang theory.
IT crowd > big bang.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more safer
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yet now here I am at same time, I think it might be kind of a shame that I can't see the value and fun anymore in some less safer offerings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thinking I might go insane if I looked up comments defending the visuals in occultic; nine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hate to say it but sometimes opinions, mainstream ones are actually wrong. Its a fact that superhero films have bad action scenes and cinematography and Hardboiled, a chinese action film is better filmed in terms of choreography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As dickish as this is to say, I really do recoil when ssomeone says something like the Notebook or fifty shades is the best film of all time/their favourite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See theres also factoring in the people whos favourite film or anime of all is the most recent they finished.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember mentioning recently that I was re-watching the twilight zone, the response I got was "I thought that you were talking about twilight"
Kaiser-Eoghan
See thats whats so great about being able to talk about more niche stuff online, theres an easier to find common ground.
AidanAK47
In general when it comes to mass popular opinion it's the tried and true safe stuff that ends up selling. The highest selling Mario games are the New Super Mario ones. The same generic Light novel and harems keep selling. There are plenty of examples but majority opinion tends to gravitate to the safe and familiar.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, most (offline) people (and or teenagers)who aren't really all that interested in film or don't look into it that much will turn out for things like fifty shades, transformers or twilight, thats why those are popular. Most people aren't going to watch something made more than a few years ago or subtitled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh...lol fuck thats a blunder...yes I meant Re:creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But by all means, people are fully entitled to like what they like. But there is a reason why so much rubbish gets popular.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Re:Creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As someone who would actually consider themselves creative and interested in things being imaginative I really do hate the whole anti-creativity /anti-art, anti-intelligence movement and way of thinking that allows un-deservedly popular things like what Aidan mentioned to fester.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes Re:zero's poor pacing and leaden dialogue is becoming too dominant and there should be more action, its good Setsuna opened up, but I still don't particularly like him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine the magazines/editors probably consider themselves the writers sometimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty sure I only read nisekoi because I was keeping up with conversations about it, then dropped it before the Chitoge doublie showed up, just stopped reading.
AidanAK47
On the matter of Re:Creators, I feel the same as the Anon said. I find the exposition to just drone on far too much.
AidanAK47
On the matter of the manga industry being shit...it is. Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess. Work conditions are utterly abhorrent and it's even worse that most series live or die based on a magazine popularity poll.
Because just because something is popular, does not mean it is quality. Example: Transformers, Twilight, Fifty shades, Sword Art Online, Big Bang theory
AidanAK47
@Anon, Still not getting your logic here. I mean if I have a problem with it after trying it then why am I not allowed to complain about it? Anyway it is only popular for the pandering. Even those who like Nisekoi admit that it's a mediocre harem and they mainly enjoy the waifu wars on the internet.
SuperMario
and now we will resort to illegal streaming sites for this one. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem", this f*cking true
SuperMario
Huh? Welcome to the Ballroom Anime Gets Amazon Prime-Only Streaming Inside and Outside Japan. Now that just unbearable
SuperMario
Don't know about this new Re:Creators episode since I haven't watched it, but I don't really mind Meteora. Her dialogues scream "exposition" but she still fits well to the story. The fights are good, I agree, but why didn't they go all the way with the world's collapse last episode?
Anonymous1202407
Whether Nisekoi is pandering or not, it is not enough proof for you to suggest that manga industry is shit. If u want good mainstream then its not that hard to find. Also for every success like Nisekoi which u claim to be pandering, there are dozen like it that failed to be popular. Why? Because it clearly is popular for a reason other than just simple pandering.
SuperMario
Ha, Ping Pong. I need that kind of show again in my life.
Lenlo
Also, Ping Pong is amazing.
Lenlo
Theres a difference between pandering to a large audience, and an anime/manga with a quality story that everyone ends up liking. Ive always found moe shows and things like Nisekoi to be the former.
Anonymous1202407
If you have a problem with it after trying it just dont read it. Its that simple. Also what a surprise that a show like nisekoi that appeals to a large demographic is popular. U want the mangaka to apologize it's not some art house story like Ping Pong?
Lenlo
Meteora is pretty hit or miss with her dialogue imo. Sometimes its great, othertimes its not. I can say though I enjoy most of the fights.
Anonymous1202113
I really want to like Re:Creators. To be honest though, I'm getting tired of the dialogue. It has its high points, but it sometimes just seems to drone on and on, especially with all of Meteora's "hypotheses."
KT
Both Bahamut and RE:Creators had great episodes. But I was indeed mentally screaming Super Smash Bros at RE:Creators. You will get the point when you watch the episode.
AidanAK47
Taken on it's own, Nisekoi is harmless. But it is undeniably proof that you need not be creative or innovative to succeed in the industry. In fact declaring creative bankruptcy could turn more fruitful than genuine effort.
AidanAK47
And I said how can you decide you don't like something if you haven't read it?
Of course you are likely mean that if you don't like something then give up on reading it further which of course does not mean that someone cannot complain about it regardless.
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
AidanAK47
For reference the two I read were Cutie Mutie and Rec. Be warned, the first one goes to a rather uncomfortable level.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Read two manga. One started lighthearted and then went to really dark territory. The other one looks like it's about a really dark subject but turned out to be something more lighthearted.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Alright. Tested it now so it such be fixed. Try again.
Masky
@Aidan: Huh? What you read that turned dark/didn't turn dark? .-.
SuperMario
"too many answers selected for question 1! only 3 answers allowed!"
SuperMario
@Aidan: I still have the same issues. Weird
AidanAK47
@Mario, Wasn't my intent. Try it now and you should be able to pick as many as you want.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm not allowed to vote more than 3 votes. Is it your intention Aidan?
AidanAK47
Well that was weird. I read something that looked innocent but turned out to be really dark. Then something that looked really dark only to become innocent.
Masky
Yeah, nothing that interests me I see :D Like my strongest reaction to season preview was "Someone made isekai with smartphone? Really? REALLY? Thats best idea you had"
Masky
Ah Knighs and Magic, found that manga. It was boring enough for me to forget its name. Also besides being boring, I kinda find MC unlikeable since their only personality is that they like mechas and were a programmer before renicarnating as short bishie kid
Masky
Woo, time to vote stuff
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that movie In this Corner just getting more and more acclaimed huh? Thou I think it'a a type of movie that if you have high expectation for it you will likely be disappointed. It works best as a sleeper hit
SuperMario
As for cute monster girls, most of the time I don't find them cute at all. I know I'm being racist, but...
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm guilty with that cute girls genre, as i enjoyed K-On tremedously for example. Or If I have more time I'd follow Hinako Note this season ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
They don't always adapt all that well or work as well outside of manga format, especially 4-komas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*three
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only two of any interest were hidamari sketch, azumanga daioh and yuru yuri and that was largely down to being in the mood for them a few years ago.
Lenlo
@Mario: Personally, I have 0 interest in this Monster girls doing cute things subgenre, just like I have very little interest in the cute girls doing cute things major genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As it turns out I DID read in this corner of the world. I'll also be seeing it next thursday.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: at this moment I'm very skeptical with the whole Monster girls doing cute girl subgenre, so I'm approachig Centaur with a caution. Of course, it all depends on how I feel after the first episode
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Happy End isn't as bleak aa his other works. But it's certainly Hanake's films, as it explores many of his favorite themes: the voyeurist of camera in his Benny's video, the detachment to the world and the underlying violence. Not his best thou but it's still very good
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'd be up for watching jigoku shojo, its been a long time since I watched the original two seasons and this one won't be as long, so it won't get as repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I voted centaur no nanami on the poll, think Mario could cover it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How did did you get on with Happy end? I heard its like a mix of his best works. Is it as dark and depressing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have vague memories of in the corner of the worlds manga, unless I'm mixing it up with something else.
SuperMario
Some news, Lu Over the Wall won the best prize at this year's Annecy (the 1st anime won the award since 1995's Pom Poko), with In the Corner of the World took the Jury Prize. Quite a good showing for anime this year.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Hello.
SuperMario
Really, still no vote for Kakegurui?? I thought it would take the top poll for sure
SuperMario
That 18if, even the poster doesn't make much sense, but it looks dazzling ^^
Lenlo
go-go licensed products!
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Featured Posts

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

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 […]

Little Witch Academia – 25[Tree of Leaves]

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Seikaisuru Kado – 11[Wanoraru]

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Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 12 [The Red String of Fate]

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Tsuki ga Kirei again manages something I thought was difficult to achieve: it surpasses itself once more time. I was afraid that after the Kawagoe festival, there isn’t much left drama for the lovebirds now that Takumi and Chinatsu are all out of the picture; turn out that not only this episode enhances their relationship […]

ID-0 – 11 [Innocent Orbit]

I must say, despite my current worry from the direction ID-0 is heading towards the climax, we have another solid episode in our hands. Here’s one of the thing ID-0 continues to prove itself to be quite adept of: their pacing never drags. All the events progress gradually, and there aren’t many unnecessary scenes, if […]

Sakura Quest – 12 [The Dawn Guild]

Sakura Quest offers a pretty much Sakura Quest-esque this week, and I come to believe that this is a strong mini-arc to close-up the first half of its run. For the Tourism Board, the Manoyama Founding Festival will become their most ambitious project in term of scope they have encountered so far. Moreover, documenting the […]

Seikaisuru Kado – 10[Towanosakiwa]

So despite my aggravation with how the last episode ended, this episode starts of strong with how the universe was created and the anisotropic beings watching over it. The whole sequence was great and beautifully alien. That half of the episode explaining how Saraka ended up on end was actually very strong and despite the […]

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 11 [The Blood of the Tengu, the Blood of the Fool]

The Eccentric Family again takes some solid steps to its final showdown. But let me address this first because I’m sure no one really see it coming. Soun comes back to life. A fake-out death? Seriously? Using fake-out death ALWAYS comes with a price, which is all the emotional investment we had for the death […]

Latest Reviews

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

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 […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review – 90/100

When you have watched a large amount of anime you can come to assume that you have learned a lot about Japanese culture. Though I think it’s testament to how limited it is to view Japan through anime when you come to realize that despite watching so much, you have never heard of Rakugo. Rakugo […]

Youjo Senki Saga of Tanya the Evil Review – 80/100

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) Review – 83/100

Imagine my utmost amazement when a show that I wasn’t that confident on taking in the beginning turned out to be one of the most solid offering this season had to offer. ACCA is the most recent anime adaptation from mangaka Natsume Omo, which despite isn’t a household name, many of her works (6 titles […]

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Winter 2017) Review – 62/100

Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]