Posted on 8 April 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Scum's Wish

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 to myself, “What’s the point of being too hard to the characters, those who have feeling and dreams just like any of us?” Then it hit me immediately. The movie is an unflinching look at the bad side of drugs and how it corrupts people. People like you and me. I finished Scum’s Wish feeling the exact same way. Scum’s Wish is an anti-romance series, a show that excels on portraying ugly aspects of romance relationship and the line of that love versus physical love. I don’t blame you if you feel emotionally-drained watching this series. It was supposed to be that way and for all the dark sides the show evokes, Scum’s Wish always give more thoughtful and honest treatments than most of other anime out there. The way the show handles the bright side of love though, couldn’t pull so much punch as it aimed for.

I do believe the title “Scum’s Wish” really give you an idea of what this show is about. The “Wish” part of the show is its exploration of unrequited love. This unrequited love trope appears everywhere in the show to the point it could be considered as a deconstruction. All these feelings so pure and strong it begins to be eaten over by desired; hatred and obsessions. In Scum’s Wish, everyone falls hopelessly in love with another person who don’t return their love, become blinded and damaged by that obsessive love and in the end, they had to leave that love to move on with their lives. “If it’s a special kind of pain, they’ll be able to become stronger”. Scum’s Wish argues that it’s a painful process to let go with the love of your life, but it’s a necessary step in order to grow up and become a fully-formed person.

But it’s the “Scum” part that gives makes this show provocative and controversial, for all the right reasons. Unable to let go of those one-sided loves, the characters of the show start to use physical means to get what they want. The show keeps progressing its confidence take on the line between physical desires and emotional desires, on how the characters keep using the former as the substitute for the latter, but end up being lonelier and more suffering. Also in Scum’s Wish, all characters really self-aware on the muddy situations they get themselves in, but charge forward anyways. They know what they do will fill them with regret and disgust, but they continue to do it for their own selfish gains, be it to escape from the frustration that they can’t be with the one they love, trying to get every little moment they could out of the loved one, or just use physical attraction as an approval of their power – hence Scum. Those moments where the characters struggling with themselves, most notably Hanabi’s young version loathes current Hanabi are one of the darkest, yet effective sequences of the show.

For a show that has little action and with a mundane high school settings, the visual presentation and the direction of the show are surprisingly very solid. I agree with most of its visual choices, ranging from the using of panel like in manga that represent both multiple perspectives and establish the space between our characters; the stylized key frames that make us feel like time has stopped in those moments; the text screens that represent more as a visualize of characters’ thoughts; the constant use of visual motifs like fallen rose pedals, characters facing the bright, more innocent selves that detailing the increasingly corruptions of the cast. The music; in particular, stands out in Scum’s Wish, as each segment has a different distinctive musical score that really help elevating the mood of each sequence.

The characters in the show are unfortunately a mixed-bag for me. We have really strong leads of Hanabi and Mugi who constantly have to deal with their personal issues, and the show successfully keeps peeling their skins for more nake, more vulnerable of themselves. With a show that aims more on pushing provocative themes than actual characters’ study, there are some characters of the cast are decidedly presented as one-dimensional from the start. Both Akane-sensei and Moca fall comfortably in their usual character’s stock, one is a bitchy bitch who love attention from men and jealousy from girls, the other is an elegant princess who dream for the prince to come. The show presents them as cliché in order to deconstruct how flawed their ways of thinking are. When they shrug off that extreme side of theirs, however, they become stronger and happier in the process. Moreover, I find Ecchan love towards Hanabi one of the most complex and appealing romance in this show. While the female cast if this show is consistently great (even with limited time on screen, Mugi’s senpai still come off as a painful and conflicted character. Strong character’s writing here), the male cast unfortunately doesn’t develop fully enough. Four-eyed sensei drags the show down and he feels more like a walking stick than a normal person; that guy Takuya is portrayed in mostly insensitive light that I feel he was more a trash bin with all the bad traits male inhibits; and Atsuya’s role in the show feel awkward and a bit forced towards pulling Ecchan out of her mess.

While the way this show handles its dark, twisted web of broken romances is effective and thought-provoking, the last third of the show it loses some of its impact as the show tries to resolve all of its relationships. With things are messy and complicated as they are, the ending feels a bit too clean and sometimes overreached. I can’t buy that love between Akane and Narumi for example, I feel like Hanabi and Ecchan can’t go back as friend, bot with that short time span and I feel the ending of Hanabi and Mugi, while appropriate, is underwhelmed. The best strength of Scum’s Wish is its ability to grab you and never let you go, but its impact is lessened greatly towards the end.

As a whole, Scum’s Wish is still a solid drama. Not so often in this medium we see a more realistic and dark aspect of love and romance like this one. The fact that I keep comparing this show to other movies really speak to this quality of Scum’s Wish: the show is structured and presented more like live-action TV show than an anime one (in fact, the live-action drama is currently streaming as we speak). For all of its devastating and depressing details, at its peak Scum’s Wish manages to pull many raw and naked emotional punch that many other shows don’t dare to address. Scum’s Wish is ultimately a painful and uncomfortable experience, but that what growing up is all about.

Posted on 31 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

So we end things up with the bookend of school festivals, huh? I think I get it, school festivals supposed to be fun, exciting and thrilling which is exactly opposite with how Hanabi feels. She feels lonely, but now as time slowly passes, when all the pains become somewhat endurable, she just wants to be left alone. Drifting in life so to speak. But that happy tones of those school festivals seem out of place to me, especially those comic exaggerated reactions don’t land well. Maybe in the manga form it works better because we can still have the silent moments of sobering, but in anime there are noise everywhere. The jump back and forth between festivals don’t really inform us much either. That got me thinking but I do feel that in this case, the best way to end the show could be flashforward few years into the future and show us how the characters are at that time. In Flowers of Evil, when the manga did the massive time-jump, it felt jarring at times, but afterward I found that last part the right treatment to examine the wound, the aftereffect of those obsessions bring to the main character. In Scum’s Wish, the characters are in the same circumstances: lost and adrift in life, time can indeed heal these pains but those wounds don’t heal overnight. It’s a progression; seeing how the past still affects them, but they still can move on with their lives would be rewarding enough. But I’m settled with this ending, not the best way to close up the story but it still pulls great emotional punch to our two mains.

It’s great to bump up each of the cast for the last time, and they’re all in a better, healthier stage right now. Moca embraces her dark self and becomes more beautiful, more attention-grabbing because of it. Remember the ugly duck transforms into a beautiful swan fairytale? Well, she was no ugly duck by any mean but this is a right metaphor for Moca: SHE TRANSFORMS. Ecchan; cuts loose her hair and still manages to be that hot, lets go of that dark past behind and moves on. The way she treats Hanabi was the same way Hanabi treated her back then, sincere and earnest as friends. Four-eyed teacher and Akane are all happy, of course, with the wedding around the corner. Hanabi had a moment to really accept that she can’t never be with Harumi and feel happy for him, and I love the brief moment of Akane being her usual self while picking on Hanabi. As it turns out, I’m pretty the same with Mugi, preferring Akane when she was a broken, lonely character than her current happy version.

At last, it’s time for Mugi and Hanabi relationship and overall I like this treatment. Back in my weekly coverage, I firmly believed that they couldn’t be great together because they don’t talk to each other about their problems, instead just keep those feeling bottled inside and release them in terms of sexual contact instead. Well, this last time they do just that, talk to each other about everything, no physical contact, and decide to part ways to grow on their owns and find their new true love. Well, this show’s main theme has always been about exploring unrequited romances, so I’m happy with this ending; although I do feel like they could’ve been better. As a final impression, Scum’s Wish is an emotionally charged and mature series that don’t afraid to go dark and disturbing to examine unflinchingly on what it means to love someone with all your hearts. I don’t mention it much in my weekly reviews but the direction for this show is rock solid, and I pretty much agree with most of their visual choices there. As for my personal feeling on Scum’s Wish, although the show managed to grasp me personally, I’m more respecting it as a well-written character study, rather than outright responding to it. I’m not that big romance and true love to begin with. Can’t say I’m “enjoying” the experience but I’m glad that I’m sticking with it, because it manages to pull many raw feelings that other series shy away from addressing. The pains won’t go away anytime soon for our Hanabi and Mugi, and I know at the end of this trip, they don’t learn much about what they want, but certain only of what they didn’t want. And that’s fine, it’s all part of growing up.

Posted on 25 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

It’s strange, for a show that almost certainly make viewers furious one way or another, be it totally love it or hate it; I remain indifferent for last couple of episode. The thing is, I can’t ship this Akane – Narumi relationship, because I’ve witnessed this kind of relationship in real life before and it just didn’t work out. Contrasting personalities can attract each other, sure, but they still have to share the same basic fundamental of mutual understanding. I’m sure Akane and that robotic sensei have different sets of value about commitment, and until they can sort out that gap, marriage proposal is out of question. Furthermore, to what extent should we love and accept a person the way they are? The only one-sided, unconditional love that work is the love of the parents towards their child (I love a line in Xavier Dolan’s movie“Mommy”, in which a Mom talks to her son- “The only thing that’s gonna happen… is I’ll love you more and more. And you’ll be the one loving me less and less, but… Life works that way.”). Love as a couple means you love and expect the other to love you and have a moral obligation to behave correctly towards each other as well. How will he react if Akane is going to stay true to herself and f* anything that moves? Accept it means he assists her to her own destruction but reject it means he doesn’t accept her they way she is.

Therefore, it’s important to know what Akane’s feel about this relationship, and I actually can see why Akane attracts to Harumi. For all her love life, she has been a man’s sexual desire. She’s in the centerstage, demand all the men’s attention and enjoying their possessiveness and their jealousy over her. For Akane, it’s the proof of her worthiness. But Harumi cares none of that so that order is thrown out of the window and she suddenly feels confused and wants his approval. His very perspective of love- he’s fine if she screws around because she likes it- eventually reaches to Akane, shattered all the gallery of previous relationships (great visual metaphor here, although I still don’t understand why the young Akame again?), and makes her feel connected. As I said above, I don’t think this love will last and marriage proposal is way too fast for this relationship.

I’m glad the show doesn’t tackle this, instead just hints very slightly this episode; but at one time I thought they made Harumi lose his glasses so that he sees Akane reminds him again of his lost mother. Because if it is then I really question if Harumi really love/care/know Akane enough to live with her for the rest of his life. Akane herself doesn’t sure if it works out either, but the mere fact that she wanted to change is good enough. Also, credit where credit is due, although you know I believe he’s the worst-written character out of this show, I need to praise Takuya’s appearance in this episode (yep, he was in this episode, sobbing when he found out that Akane was cheating on him), because seeing the brief moments of him hurting by that love, I can feel the way his pure love is broken and a glimpse on how he becomes the way he is now. That is a sensitive storytelling.

Akane accepting Harumi also means the rejection for our boy Mugi. For the first time since forever, they have a date but it’s just purely a date, you know, no love hotel. Akane enjoys herself and then firmly rejects Mugi. When you think about it, it’s actually very thoughtful of her (I guess because she actually cares for Mugi) that she cuts that relationship clear and clean so Mugi can be able to move on. Like a protagonist in 500 Days of Summer (gosh, what’s with all the movies’ references today Mario!!!), he learned that people can actually change, but it’s always someone other than him; he has no real influence on her decision. Now, it’s important that he remembers this so that he can grow after this pain. “If it’s a special kind of pain, they’ll be able to become stronger”. Indeed. If there’s a central message to all of our tainted love threads, it’s that line. Now, it’s only Hanabi and Mugi left on stage for the finale (it feels so long without Hanabi), the real question is if they mature enough now to actually be together? I don’t really mind how the result might turn out, but I do think they deserve some happiness after all the troubles they have been through.

Posted on 19 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

This week the main spotlight is heading back to our beloved Akane and two of her relationships preys, Mugi and Narumi. Although I really like the way the show addresses each of those tainted relationships until finally we’d get to the bare bone of Mugi and Hanabi’s core relationship, this episode for me is just so-so in the way they handle the situations regarding Akame. It’s a bit of a shame because Akame is the most interesting character to talk about. This week, she takes us back to her first sexual experience and notifies us how she becomes the way she is now. But guess what? All of these details we already know about her. She’s enjoying sexual desires from men and jealousy from girls are nothing new. Even the visual trick the shows use concerning Akame doesn’t really give much sense. I can understand when Hanabi (or even Moca) faces off her younger self because she has lose the innocent part of herself in a process by her dark thoughts, but with Akame, she’s basically the same person as her younger self. She’s born that way so for what purpose of putting the two versions face to face in that labyrinth of roses entail? I do think this visual trick has turned into a gimmick this time.

But still, even in her flashback, she realizes that she keeps pushing on that way because it’s the only way she know how. You can’t fault a scorpion for stinging others, it’s just in its nature. She receives all the love from men and give nothing back, doesn’t love anyone but herself. But both Mugi and Narumi end up being the kind of relationships that she never encounter before, thus might be unequipped to deal with. With Mugi, he knows about her true self but he’s the only one to want to really go beyond sex and push forward his love. As of now, Mugi is controlled totally by Akame, even when replying her he has to think first to not upset Akame because he scares that he’d be hated by Akame. And although Akame clearly doesn’t love Mugi, his genuine actions still surprise her because from I understand, nobody have ever approached her that way. Others, they want sex, they have it, end of story. Mugi, he wants to engage in more serious relationship despite knowing he is no match for her. It’s nice to see a bit of development from Mugi, instead of running away like he used to, he actually tries to pursuit his crush for once.

Furthermore, because she’s always at the top of her seducing game, she can never get the reason why Narumi doesn’t feel attracted sexually to her. They had sex on their first date, but afterwards they date like normal couples without love hotel involved and that frustrated Akame (normally in real life when a guy does that it means that he is insecure about his sex performance, but well we’re talking about Saint Four-Eyes sensei here) . She feels like she’s pursuing him and doesn’t let him go; which maybe that’s right after all. Someone like her, who bathed herself into the lust of men and the hatred of girls, need someone who clearly in the other side of her world as Narumi. Someone loves her for her inside, not for her body. Well, that’s a theoretical talk anyways because I still pretty much in doubt if Narumi really loves Akame from the inside or not. First, he’s clearly knows nothing about her, and just learn about her bitchy side like seconds before still holding on to her. Second, the show really doesn’t help us at all to show what the heck this guy is thinking inside his head except that he falls in love with Akame for her long hair that reminded him of his mother in a first place. Meaning that he might fall for her for some goddamn unreal affection. Lastly, he talks like, 3 lines when he grabs her back and those are vague and pretentious as it gets and somehow Akane falls for it. Well, I think his role is good this week but overall he’s still very weak as a character. In fact, the show doesn’t write male characters really well, except for Mugi all the others are really under-written and serve as an obvious plot exposition: just look at that guy Takuya this week. Saying all the stupid, obvious details in a bitchy voice with a lousy attitude while standing with other girl, then running away like a 6 year-old kid? Excuse me but only terrible writing has that kind of laughable characters.

And for a show that consistently pull off many raw emotions week after week, this week is surprisingly light in heart-wrenching moments. My reaction to this episode is rather lukewarm. The show is still pretty solid and progresses strongly so far, but I’m a bit afraid that after we get this far, the end result just can’t pack the emotional punch it has built up for an entire season.

Posted on 11 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

Wah, a clean cut breakup of a messy relationship, somethings I didn’t expect Scum’s Wish could ever address, let alone pulled it off. At this point, the show starts to untie its knots, one at a time (actually this episode does that with 2 relationships. Killing 2 birds in one stone as they say). Following the rejection last week from her crush Narumi, and that Mugi never showed up to the meeting place like he promised (is there any feeling that worse than being rejected? Hell yeah, it’s the feeling of being cheated on), so it’s very natural of Hanabi to escape from her terrible emotional state for a little trip with Ecchan alone, except they AREN’T alone. Ecchan’s cousin Atsuya shows up out of nowhere to keep an eye on Ecchan, which of course pissed Ecchan off. She wants to take this opportunity to make Hanabi her and her alone.

The most interesting aspect of this relationship is the yuri sex how both of them feeling guilty about using the other party for their own benefits, which in a way they’re both right. Ecchan loves Hanabi but understands deep down that the girl doesn’t love her back, so she uses every means necessary to grasp as much as she could. Hanabi, on the other hand, feels that she’s using her best friend to escape from her own pains, using someone’s love and attention for her gains. Both of them know it won’t end well. Both of them don’t want it to end though because they still need each other. Their first days on the trip, especially their night spent together and the next day’s shopping together, are their relationship in its most flourish. We could see all the brightest aspects of their bonding: honestly clinging to each other without being afraid of others, sharing physical intimacy together (which, on a serious note I think it’s important for every love relationship), and most of all having fun together (Hanabi even noticed it’s one of the rare times she sees Ecchan enjoying herself).

But all *good* things come to an end, naturally. Atsuya is the man of reason both for Ecchan and for Hanabi (no, still think his role is way too forceful). He questions Hanabi on what she truly feels about Ecchan, in which she hesitates to answer. That is the core issues of why this relationship will never work out: Hanabi still sees Ecchan as a dear friend, and Ecchan clearly doesn’t want to be back as friend again with her. There’s a line you mustn’t cross as friends because once you did, it’s extremely hard to revert back and it’s all pain in the process. Ecchan now ascertains that Hanabi would never love her back, so she decides to make one hell of a decision: to cut Hanabi loose by herself. The show handles their biggest emotional standoff with steady execution, splitting it up into two emotionally-heavy back-to-back sequences: Ecchan letting Hanabi go in a house and they letting their emotions all out in the rain. Hanabi tells her exactly how she feels (which is important, the cast of Scum’s Wish have a great sense of self-awareness but never be able to say it aloud) and wish that they could become friends again, be it as long as it takes. That’s hardly ideal for Ecchan, but she settles for it because it’s the most optimistic outcome they could ever reached.

While I did say that Scum’s Wish handled those two sequences quite emotionally honest and effectively, judging those sequences as a whole, it doesn’t work out well. The abrupted transition between two scenes is jarring, and because they don’t carry the same pace (quiet from the first to outburst from the second), it takes you right out of the scene. Moreover, from what I understand about those characters and the messy situations they’re currently in, the end of this relationship still seems very easy for me. Yup, they know they’re in a destructive relationship already, but with this kind of relationship, it would take a huge catalyst in order to break them off. This trip just isn’t big enough to actually change their current status, and as I said earlier Atsuya is very awkward in this whole situation, making not only Hanabi and Ecchan, but us feeling awkward as well. Ecchan told him she might try trusting him, but remember he’s also an one-side dreamy lover who just wish to obtain the love that he can’t possibly have? I honestly don’t know how to feel about this guy and I have my doubts that the creator knows exactly how to feel about him either.

Lastly, Moca surprisingly steals her scene in a little time she got this episode. Putting off her princess persona that she had always carried, we see Moca literally woofing down the bread (and her expression is awesome) and be much more expressive and honest than her past self. She meets Hanabi again but this time, it’s Moca who brushes the other girl off and walks confidently ahead. After all, she’s the least involved in this mess, hence she’s the quickest to actually learn her lesson and move on. Moca, unlike Atsuya, is a well-written character for this show. Now, as Hanabi’s love thread is over, it’s time for us to move on to the other love affair next week, starting with the teacher home visit – without the parents of course, what show do you think we get in for?

Posted on 4 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

Leave it up to Scum’s Wish to break some more taboos about love. I’m not gonna beat around the bush here, this episode was magnificent, the way it grabs you in closely and never lets go. I felt emotionally wasted after the episode ended, but for good reasons. We finally have some major developments in the main plot- the premise that was promised in the beginning by our main characters, not tangled by any supporting, third love this time. Mugi confessed to Akane, and Hanabi confessed to Narumi – pretty straightforward. But things won’t end here, mind you, it’s spinning out of control just as messy as everything came before it. Scum’s Wish understands that making characters miserable all the time don’t produce massive impact. After all, if we’re keep going down to the bottom, the only way when we reach there is up. Instead, they give us some moments of genuine feelings between Hanabi and Mugi, before crushing our hope down to pieces. Dang it, Mugi has to f*ck it all up! The fireworks finally appear (for those of you who don’t aware, her name Hanabi literally means fireworks) to signal the storm about to come so I know we’re about to have a thunderous final act of the show.

Let’s start with the newest taboo this show tries to tackle on, relative member’s crush. Now mind you, it’s debatable when it comes to perception on cousin love relationship, even today around the world people still arguing if cousin marriage is legally acceptable or not. I know in Japan this is not uncommon for cousin to love each other, though it’s becoming less and less prevalent now. From where I come from, in contrast, that same topic is strictly perceived as a taboo for example. But let’s move on now since I know that topic isn’t what you come here for. Well, introducing Atsuya- Ecchan’s cousin, that late in a game doesn’t really bode well with me, because I think the show is offering Ecchan a safe way out and a bit unnecessary conflicts on his yet-another unrequired one-side crush. We’re all know that Ecchan tried everything she can to take all she can take from Hanabi physically and emotionally; so that guy is a voice of reason, the guy who would step back and say to Ecchan “You’re trying too hard”. That’s good, mind you, it’s mean some more character development for Ecchan, and I truly think Atsuya inclusion here helps Ecchan to realize the stopping point on her own relationship to Hanabi. From the preview next week we have Hanabi and Ecchan in some random country house so (smirk) prepare for some yuri show time next week. Oh and that Ecchan’s hat!

It’s Mugi and Hanabi who actually share some intimate moments together, and for the first time since they started forming contracts, they acknowledge that they see  each other as themselves, not as a substitute for other lover. It’s a major development if you ask me. Before, their relationship was strictly business, consoled each other by way too much touching in other to hide away the pain; but now, they start to have feeling for each other, Hanabi starts to feel and enjoy the warm when they hug. Those are one of the warmest, most hopeful moments in Scum’s Wish and really, hoping for them can get through all the batshit in order to become a normal couple might be our greatest rewards. But I’m telling ya, don’t get your hope up, not because of the mess Mugi had done (I’ll get to that later), but as I keep saying for awhile now, I don’t think they can become a healthy normal couple. What they lack is sharing, especially in regards to their problems. I get that each of them have to face all these personal issues for themselves for their own maturity; but they are unable to share their problems to each other and just kinda let it pass. No. That will never work as a couple.

And Hanabi is the only unfortunate soul to get a short straw here. Both being rejected by her crush, and her partner-in-crime falling into pitfall created by Akame. Hanabi confession is as conventional as it gets, but it’s touching because she can finally let it all out, resulted in her outburst. And that four-eye teacher handles the situation surprisingly well, always stays calm and respects her every words. Kudos the show for handling the sequence with great framing and near-perfect pacing. The other confession though, is as unconventional and (again) taboo-breaking as it could get. Although Mugi is the one who ask her out and confess his love, it’s very clear that Akame is the commander in charge here. Mugi claimed that he knows everything bad about her, determines to change her but he couldn’t help but fall for those sweet words anyways. We actually did see some genuine facial expressions from Akame (or was it not? She’s the liar-master after all), but it’s bad. It’s bad because he has her way too easy, thus he will eventually become one of her prey, never get out of her spider-web. He can never have her by himself, and our Hanabi will always be alone. Forever alone. And our hearts again will be crushed along with her.

p/s: after watching this episode, I had to put on the ED of Flowers of Evil to calm my mind and arrange my feelings. Does that make me a broken deviant who like being tortured and manipulated? So be it.

Posted on 25 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

Let see, this week we have a full Moca’s episode. Her role up till now admittedly has been a little insignificant, mostly because her princess, childish persona don’t go to well with the dark themes of love in Scum’s Wish. Thankfully, this episode gives her character justice and yes, she does support the overall theme very nicely. While it’s still unclear right now that it’s the end or just the beginning of her act, I believe she serves her purpose so I don’t really recommend if she’s trying to push her love through Mugi (but if one thing I’m sure about Scum’s Wish, it’s that they WILL push forward anyway). Really, her role would just make less impact the more they force her love in so the trick here that you should learn, Scum’s Wish, is to make one sharp clean slit rather than several dull cuts.

“Apparently, if you go to sleep holding hands, you’ll both have a same dream”

Alright, the loss of innocence.I’ve been waiting long for this opportunity to address it because Moca is a perfect candidate. She acts like a princess, having “elegant mood”, eat Western-style foods (because the other characters actually don’t), and dreaming of the prince of her life. She’s a girl who stay inside her little perfect dream because it’s the safest and the most beautiful world. Looking at her roles in a big narrative, she contrasts very well with Akane, who embodied all the darkness and bitchiness of woman’s nature (I wonder how it feel like if the two talking to each other with their true personalities). The show has a great touch to further express that theme through the movie Mugi and her watching: The Little Mermaid, whose story details one big theme about shattered romance, with all the dreams dissolve into foam. Here what makes her character different than her archetype, she awares that Mugi never desire her. Going out with him is for her sake and she intends to enjoy the most out of it so she always has the “perfect moment’ in her dream, and then leaves it at that- the sweet little moments that she will cherish for life. Of course, things don’t go according to plan because she feels the desire to touch him, to kiss him. That desire will forever shatters her fairytale version of love, but for Moca in particular I think this is for the better.

“And then, the prince’s kiss shatters the dream, and the princess wakes from her dream, finding herself alone in the darkness”

Thank God that Moca isn’t just an one-note character, as she has her dark, spoiled side and she awares of it. One distinctive thing about Scum’s Wish is that almost every character awares of their own dark feelings (except for a certain guy with glasses), they have their own reflections. She knows Mugi having a girlfriend and with her “dignity”, she should stop and has a more genuine relationship with Mugi. But she decides to charge over, hugging him and kissing him. That sequence of her real self fighting with her innocent self further highlights on how she abandons her innocent in pursuit of lust. As soon as Moca kisses Mugi, she’s no longer a “pure” princess, and now she understands the breakdown of the real romance relationship. At least, Moca had broken the shell of her egg so that she can be more mature and more honest to her love. She might find herself alone in the darkness, but at least now she knows what she doesn’t want to be.

“I want you to think I’m worth something”

Meanwhile, Hanabi tries unsuccessfully to hook Takuya up, but that guy who basically act based by his hormone so why give him so much effort? Hanabi wants attention, and desperately hooks into one so she can feel her worth. That’s painfully honest, pathetic and sad at the same time. From how I see it she doesn’t really love her true self, so insecure about her worthiness that she needs a desire/conformation from the others. Well, at least she and Mugi decided to confess their hopeless love in order to move on and possibly start dating for real again. I don’t see their relationship going to be genuine at all but at least now they have a courage to do what they had been avoided from day 1, so there’s a tiny little ray of light at the end of this dark tunnel.

“I’m going straight to hell”

Yes, totally. You bastard.

Posted on 18 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

If there is one thing that I really respect about Scum’s Wish, it’s that they commit themselves all the way to that tangled web of broken desires and love, instead of chicken out half-way. As a result this show gets much harder to swallow, but leaves you a big emotional impact. This week in particular we follow Hanabi and her descending to hell AKA her path of becoming another bitchy bitch, trying to beat Akame in her own games. If there was ever a doubt that Hanabi wasn’t a “scumbag”, she sure is becoming one now. In this show, characters do realize a lot of things, they all aware that they’re straying in the wrong side of the road but keep pushing forward anyways until everything broken apart.

“I will pretend with you as much as you want. Then you can fall for a fake version of me”

There she goes. Heartbroken after hearing that Narumi-sensei had slept with Akame, Hanabi wants the attention the boys have for Akame, so she determines to use any mean necessary to beat Akame. Everyone knows that Akane is hardly a role-model; she’s a fake. All her worthiness comes directly from the desires of those followers so as long as she isn’t desired anymore; she’s a done deal. Hanabi herself knows that it’s a pathetic decision, but when all the people she have connection with got stolen away by Akame, I can totally see her urge. Starting with Mugi when she decides to take his attention back by suggesting that they should date for real. She then meets Takuya, in this show served as a pawn for both Akame and now Hanabi – Akame’s prey who Hanabi personally connected to the least- in order for Hanabi to test out her own game. The result of course is as painful and pathetic as it gets. There is no real love involved, even no genuine moments together, it’s just plain body heat. All Hanabi does is to fake herself to please Takuya, and this guy isn’t either sensitive or care enough to realize. It’s the win-win game anyways. Takuya gets some comforts behind Akame, Hanabi learns and masters her game. They all basically get what they want.

“Every time I’m touched, I realize that I’m so empty inside”

But by pushing herself for physical means to lure the guys, she simultaneously has to lock her inside up in order to not falling apart. It’s not that Hanabi doesn’t aware she is attractive. I wouldn’t call her character attractive to be completely frank, she just knows how to use her body to seduce boys. It’s pathetic. The attractiveness, after all, should come from the inside and Hanabi’s inside is confused and empty. Feeling sick, feeling unworthy. Feeling empty. Feeling like scum. She’s experiencing a lot right now but expect things to get worse later on, when she uses her fake charms to seduce both Mugi and Narumi. The true question now is when she reaches the breaking point of feeling explode, how would she react then? The child version of Hanabi both present in the best and worst part of this episode. On one hand, I enjoyed the sequence of her conscience fighting with her current dark self tremendously. The visual styles really capture the dark mood of her battling with her head, and look how ironic that is when the child version of her that is more mature and critical, calling her current self “brat”. On the other hand, the flashback of her and Narumi again feels awkward. Here goes daddy issues again and Narumi seriously drags everything down with him.   

“I love you enough that I can live with that”

That’s when the idea of “accepting your love ones exactly the way they are” becomes problematic. And yes I’m talking about both Ecchan and Moca in this context. Ecchan becomes more and more dangerous, a crucial factor to manipulate Hanabi to her corruption and she enjoys it. As much as Hanabi desperate to hook up with any guy connected to Akame, she’s still sensible enough to cut-off Ecchan, because she just couldn’t see Ecchan as lover. But that red-hair girl knows all about it and content to be just that: a substitution. She loves Hanabi for both her good and bad sides so she has no problem to exploit Hanabi’s dark side so that she can embrace her even more. That girl is getting even more tricky when she even informs Mugi about Hanabi just to wreck that couple apart (and intend to leave another hickey soon, sly girl!). At the same instance, Moca and Mugi finally have a date so 1) it’s gonna be Mugi descending to hell next week and 2) I will have a chance to discuss my personal favorite theme “the loss of innocence” next week. Will it be embracing the person as they are, even their darkest side, a wise solution? Normally I’m in a camp that say yes but it’s clear that the show proves me the other side of the coin here.

Lastly, it got me thinking so I figure I will address it here, about the emotional response we get from this show. Normally, why would you watch shows that produce negative feelings to you? What’s the quality those shows have that frankly are quite addictive than normal, harmless, feel-good shows out there? I understand shows like “Now and Then, Here and There” or “Grave of the Fireflies” depressing nature because the audience have a chance to get emotional connect to the characters before the shows broke us apart with a hardship of nature (tragedy). Then you have those exploitation medium in which their main purpose is to rape your mind and make you feel disgusting and sick. For example, think of alleged “snuff” film from Japanese movies in the 80s, early 90s (don’t mean to knock them off, as I think they still have their merits). And then we have the ones like Scum’s Wish or Flowers of Evil that fall into the middle of those two (provocative). Here in Scum’s Wish we aren’t really supposed to root for the characters (unlike the first one), as they are pretty unrelatable from the first minute and make more and more extreme behaviors later on. It’s more about we project ourselves to the situations that make us engaging and gripping along with the characters. Everyone has to go through teenage phase, all of us have to go through the uncertainty of self-worth, lust, “true love” at some points in your life so your own experience will reflect greatly to those kinds of shows. I know for sure that If I were in the shoes of Kasuga in Flowers of Evil, I would have turned out just like him, and that feeling cuts me deeply. So my point is this, don’t think of this show as an entertainment piece, think of it as an experience you could’ve gotten, and I think your thoughts on this show would differ greatly. But then again who would want to watch shows that just make you feel depressing?

p/s: I normally just keep my blogging here in this sites as strictly anime-related, but since I’m a movie-buff at heart, I might as well recommend you readers to films that shared the same theme as this series. If you enjoy Scum’s Wish then by any mean check this one out: Breaking the Waves (1996). This movie won the Palme D’or back in ‘96 about a wife that after her husband was bedridden and asked her to have sex with other guys to heal him spiritually, thus come her journey to become a nympho by the public’s eyes and a martyr in her husband’s eyes. I know it sounds devastating to say the least but well, I hope… you “enjoy” it if you check it out.

Posted on 13 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

Boy, they actually did it; they actually went that far. And here I thought after introducing the cast and their dark love, they’d tone down on the “physical” aspect and focus more on the “emotional” part. Guess I’m already underestimated Scum’s Wish because they go all the way to this explicit sexual desires without hitting the brake. In this show, emotional pain IS physical pain, for rarely I see in other shows character cries when they’re having sex. All the characters keep holding their emotions inside that they need other for physical release. Sex here is more akin to pain than pleasure since those characters keep using it as a mean to escape their desolation.

“Did you know we’re never done it when you’ve wanted to before?

I’m glad that Mugi isn’t a clueless sad sack (unlike certain someone) who actually knows the true nature of Akame, but despite knowing all this he falls into her trap anyways. This revelation does add new layer to his crush with Akame, as deep down he knows -like Hanabi’s crush on sensei- that it would never work out as normal, healthy relationship. So in order to escape his hormonal needs he turns into his senpai Mei instead (and there I said last week we won’t see her again, ouch). It only makse sense that after Hanabi having an affair last week, now it’s Mugi’s turn to show us how much of a dickhead he is. For a really limited screen time, Mei is surprisingly vivid and sensitive. She understands his deal, and her comment above really signals us what kind of relationship they had before, and where Mugi stands right now. Remember Mugi reflected on her last week that she was incredibly lonely? Now he’s pretty much on that same boat. The affair here isn’t out of love, or even out of desires to be honest, but it was out of running away from current pain. Mei knows that full well so she fullfils what he needs, even when herself hurt so much she sheds her tears. Seriously she becomes my favourite characters out of this series (partly due to her limited appearance since it makes her pain more bearable compared to the rest of the cast).This section does Mugi’s current situation justice, both sheds new light to his hopeless crush on Akane, and further underlines his loneliness by jumping to physical means to escape his frustration.

“The number one thing I desire. Something that will break the mundane routine of everyday life. Freedom”

Akane is becoming a character that everyone love to hate. I actually feel for her character, I really do. Not by her fake charm of course but by her absolute boredom with the strictness of her surrounding. For her, time is a restraint, the way it dictates human to follow through their everyday life. Last week we learn that her bitchy act is the form of her enjoyment from attracting sexual attention from men and causing miserable for women, in this week we also learn that it comes from her thrust for breaking free out of her “boring” life. That’s actually something that I can relate to. And I’m pretty much on the same page with her regarding Narumi. He’s boring, and he currently drags the show down. I guess it’s all set-up for now so his arc begins now as all the sexual desires begin playing a part in their relationship and how he deals with the situation once he realizes Akame’s true color. But for now he’s terribly plain, he’s terribly uninspiring. It’s a bit whimsical to think that the whole situation changes by the mere slip of the tongue, but that also shows us how he truly cares for Hanabi as a true brother. And all Akame’s effort of enduring the guy just so that she can whisper that thunderous message to Hanabi’s ears.

“I hate pain, but it feels so good”

Here comes the strongest section of this episode. As much as Mugi and Hanabi all gone through the same problems, they can’t be able to express their mindset to each other, instead they use physical contacts as a mean to share their feelings. The excitement they have were a mixture of the pain when they know they being cheated by the other, the shame that they’re cheating and even the arousal feeling of being cheated. They’re all negative feelings, but they are strong and irresistible. That emotional pain, however, soon progresses into physical pain in the form of virginal Hanabi. They can’t go all the way because they don’t love each other,. They could if they forced themselves to, but then what is the point of forcing oneself to love someone? I had originally hoped that they could have a genuine relationship later on, but this kind of relationship won’t have a happy ending, ever. I’m digging the smart visual choice of this section as well. Not sure how the manga portrait the dark thoughts of Mugi towards Hanabi but the show really highlights that gritty thoughts by the use of split screens of Hanabi’s face.
The visual execution in the first sequence, on the other hand, is my least favorite part as “he brings the color to my world” is as obvious as the nose on your face. For the episode as heavy and explicit as this one, I understand if some viewers thinking it was too much. In that sense this week is a good barometer for viewers to see if they should continue to watch this show or not. I’m positive that the whole love affairs will get much darker, more explicit and much more disturbing later on. If you still decide to stick with it I hope you have a stomach to handle what come next.

Posted on 5 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

This was a sublime episode from start to finish. By showing these tales of love through fragments from many characters’ point of view, it adds more layers, as well as more perspectives to this webs of broken desires. Normally this approach of focusing of fragments mean that the story can become disjoined; but not here. Every small stories in this episode matter and it keeps sinking us to its muddy swamp. And yes, the music in this show is incredible; if you listen closely there’s a distinctive theme for its stories and it really helps to elevate the mood for each segment; like how you could feel a seedy sense in Akane-sensei story, or a false mood of sweet, dream-like quality in Narumi-sensei part. Again I’ll discuss each of the theme in last week’s format, as I see it as the most appropriate format to squeeze out most of what this show tries to convey.

“Being desired by men. There’s no greater feeling than that”

Turn out that our sweet Akane-sensei isn’t sweet at all, but a manipulative bitch. That might sound negative but in truth this is a kind of character that works really well in this story. She isn’t your typical bitch after all, as she’s the most observant one out of all characters in this story. She is the only one who sees through many intertwined love nets and really the only one who can sees through Hanabi. Using her attractiveness as a weapon isn’t something utterly terrible, but what is remarkable about her character is how she’s playing up her attractiveness mainly for wrecking other girls, for them to feel the pain of seeing the one they love taken away by her. She said she doesn’t aim for superiority but all I can see is superiority plays a significant role here, since all she wants is attention from men and the hurtfulness from girls. I love the way she recognizes that Hanabi is pretty much on the same side as her, by neglecting the one sided love of other (Moca). The true Akane is anything but pretty, but now at least she’s real. What impressed me the most is the way the show underlines her sexiness and her thrust of physical consumption; not through big boobs, sexy clothes or suggestive behaviors, but merely by her sweating. Hooray for solid characters writing here.

“I decided to believe it was fate”

The next segment was told from the point of view of Narumi-sensei, on how he was attracted to Akane and thus become her unfortunate prey to play with. This story is slight and the least impactful compared to other segments, but I still found it interesting because out of anything, the first impression he had towards Akane was directly tied to his memories of his long-lost mother. It furthers detailing his long searching for a feminine figure all his life, and really that was a false picture that he incidentally subjects Akane to be and that was the reason why he’s blind be this affection. In the end, things that too good to be true are more likely deceptive in nature so I really hope he’s sensitive enough to figure out the true Akame on his own (would be really disappointed if he can’t).

“I want you to be filled with me”

Last but not least we have a development to Ecchan and Hanabi relationship as they sunk deeper to love confusion. There’s always a distinctive border between friend and lover and now they crossed that line, each for their own selfish reasons. Hanabi both needs Ecchan as a way to escape her own heartbroken from Narumi (which I can totally feel for her), and because she still needs and loves Ecchan as a friend. Ecchan likewise knows all this, but she’s determined to use every opportunity to have Hanabi all by herself. What they both know but too afraid to acknowledge is that once they crossed that line, they can never be back to “just friends” again. That image of little Hanabi disgusted with her current self sums that sense up pretty nicely and for me the best moments out of this already excellent episode. Scum’s Wish stands on a very firm ground here, as the story keeps maintaining its confidence take on the line between physical desires and emotional desires, on how the characters keep using the former as the substitute for the latter (the first and the last segment directly tied to this), but end up being more lonely and suffering. I know a lot of viewers have been turned off by its depressing nature but all I can say is guys, you might miss out one of the more thought-provoking look on relationship here.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]