Posted on 16 January 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Goblin Slayer

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a good thing) this story could at least be something more closer to a fantasy adventure series. In truth Goblin Slayer is more a love letter to low level Dungeons and Dragons so for those who happen to have a nostalgia for such a thing, this series could have a big appeal. However for the average anime watcher I can say this, this show is called Goblin Slayer and you can bet that’s exactly what you are gonna get.

Goblin Slayer slays goblins. It’s what he does in the first episode and you can bet it’s what he does in the last. This is essentially a series where you watch the equivalent of goblin slaying Batman go about his business of killing as many goblins as humanly possible. For some watching him do this is enough and I admit that his single minded obsession can be a source of some pretty good comedy. However if you find that isn’t enough and are looking for this series to maybe provide something deeper in regards to world building or characterisation then you will be sorely disappointed. The Goblin Slayers party of adventures are staple D&D archetypes with little in the way of interesting traits of backstory. The worldbuilding pretty much borrows a lot of it’s lore from other more notable works and not much is really expanded upon besides the small detail of goblins being the worst despite being regarded as a minor pest by adventurers. There is quite of number of light novel tropes such as Goblin Slayer having a whole harem of girls after him despite never taking off his helmet and never talking about anything other than killing goblins.

This is essentially a anime with a limited appeal and a simple objective which can be entertaining but not something you would hold in high regard. White Fox did an excellent job in adapting it for the most part in how they toned down the less unsavory aspects but there are times where the animation for action scenes is on the unimpressive side. The plot doesn’t really move beyond killing Goblins and Goblin Slayer slowly warming up to other people. Some moments have fanservice that is just ridiculously inappropriate and unnecessary. But get past that and the rather grimdark first episode and you have a show that makes for a decent watch for some.

Posted on 2 January 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was never a dull moment. On the surface, it shares many of the studio’s (good) trademarks: an unconventional storytelling, bombastic action sequences and and eye for arresting visual. Yet its approach is completely different that the visual approach becomes a character of the show itself. On the next surface, GRIDMAN is a love letter to those tokusatsu shows, the Gridman franchise and even Transformers franchise that we see the sheer love from the staffs to all these homages. While you don’t need any of prior knowledge in order to follow this show, the ones who do know about these homages might enjoy the show more wholly. For my money, along with Revue Starlight, GRIDMAN is one of the best visual directed anime this year 2018 has to offer. A visual where not only it’s striking to look at, but also support its themes and laid out many small details about its world-building.

The main vibe GRIDMAN offers in the first few episodes lie in how offbeat everything happens on screen is. Character waking up with an amnesia; there are kaiju monsters standing motionless in the background. The school appears to be normal a day after its destruction. This offbeat sense could very well turn many viewers off, but not until later do we find out about the truth of this world and its characters that everything starts to fall into place and its visual choice starts to make a whole lot sense. If I have to point out another quality of GRIDMAN, that would be there’s a clear line between “minimalistic” and “going all out”.Usually, the battle scenes go is bathed with its bright color, dynamic CG sequences and epic feeling, but in its quieter moments (which usually happening ⅔ of the episode), it goes for saving-energy mode: minimal music, repetition shots, realistic dialogues, “camera” is in static mode. This is a bold choice since clearly dividing its segments like that would cause a tonal inconsistency or even not holding audience’s attention at all, but it’s a rewarding one because GRIDMAN creates a real sense of its mysterious world that feel wholly unique and unforgettable.

Some could argue that because of these clear dividend, GRIDMAN is a show of two halves: its mundane slice-of-life half through the point of view of Rikka, and its Gridman vs Kaiju monsters origins narrated by Yuuta. In fact, part of the claim is true. Looking back, GRIDMAN doesn’t seem to have a clear protagonist, as we were introduced to this world through Yuuta’s eyes, himself is a blank state, then all the emotional core is progressed through Rikka as she goes through her normal life and then the show leaves its climax arc to Akane, her God-like status and her existential crisis. Not all of these work well (Yuuta’s part is clearly GRIDMAN’s weakest part), but I’m surprised that this show brings another level of complexity to Rikka and while I’m a bit let down by the ending, the dream episode remains the best episode I’ve seen in 2018, and the single sequence of Akane jumping off the crane remains one of my favorite scene of the whole year.

GRIDMAN is also one of these shows where it embraces “show, don’t tell” school the the fullest. The visual style always give the sense of scale between the characters and how huge the kaiji monsters are. It features many distorted lenses, further informs us visually that the world these characters inhibit in are not necessary real. Most impressive of all, in my humble opinions, is how the show uses the distance between its characters to signify their chemistry. The best examples of this approach is Akane and Anti’s relationship, where you can see the clear distance, most of the time Akane is in higher position, looking down at Anti. In addition, My favorite one is in episode 3 that details Rikka and Shou’s getting sucked into their own misery. The visual framing, which frames these two looking different ways through mirror is the textbook example of how to inform character’s inner struggle purely through visual alone.

This show is also in love with putting as many details in its world-building, a bit obsessively like the way Wes Anderson usually spend to his worlds – mostly through the objects that surround the characters. While these details might not necessary relevant to the main plot, uncover these Easter eggs might prove rewarding and might open up to more interpretation this show aims to be. This is the show that the more you dig into it, the deeper the Rabbit hole goes, but damn I really do prefer if the show confirms some of its theory. The live-action sequence at the very end of show, for example, nicely sum up this show thematically, at the same time raising a hell lot of ambiguity to the table.

And for me, that is exactly the kind of anime I’m yearning for. It might not be perfect, it might be for an acquired taste (although I heard that it sells surprisingly well in Japan), it might not wrap up the best way it can, but it never afraid to take risk and ultimately it comes off as its own thing. I sure hold Akira Amemiya in high regard now.

Posted on 24 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

GRIDMAN closes off its story on a grand spectacular finale and as far as spectacular goes, it does its job nicely. Personally I’m more impressed with this show in its quiet moments so I enjoyed it more in its last 6,7 minutes. I don’t know how much relevant GRIDMAN the anime is in regard to its original live-action. I mean, what’s the deal with the kaiju girl Anoshiras II and what’s the true role of GridKnight, but taken as an individual piece this ending is both straight-forward and confusing in the same manners. The straight-forward part is how the climax goes all out with its action: we have Gridman in full form versus Alexis in full form, and we do have all these cheesy lines that I’m sure serve as a homage to its original “Here comes my special moves – Fixer Beam” “Nanii? How can you have such godsent power?” “The power of MORALITY to destroy the immorality”. It’s fun to hear these campy dialogues out loud, and it’s even more entertaining when they’re boasted by the stellar animation. While I admit that the battle never wowed me, I can sense the love from the staffs to every single details of this battles.

What slightly bugs me, however, is the narrative led up to the final showdown between Gridman and Alexis. First, the way Alexis “uses” Akane is pretty inconsistent and abrupted. Here, in a span of 10 minutes, Akane turns into a kaiju (her scream is awesome, though), gets rescued by Anti, and immediately gets swallowed again by Alexis. In terms of narrative progression, you can easily cut down the “Akane becoming kaiju” part and nothing (except for the kaiju design) is lost. The same goes for Anti where he desperately tries to save Akane (which I thought was wierd to begin with because it’s not Yuuta or Rikka, but the least of all people Anti who saves the princess) just so that moments later he gets stabbed by the villain and was thrown aside for the rest of the battle. Don’t get me wrong, I love Anti. He’s, after all, the only character who grows the most in this show, signified by his blue eye color at the end, but I can’t shake the feeling that his own narrative arc is a bit shaky and not totally well planned-out.

But then, it comes to the “afterneath” section and while most of normal shows would retreat back to the new status quo, GRIDMAN manages to do something interesting here. We have a few-minute but feel like half-an-hour long sequence (hey, I’m not complaining) of only Rikka and Akane in a room together, further showcase how GRIDMAN is at its most comfortable when it strives for minimalism. Here, in a near-empty room, Akane has her redemption and Rikka has one of the best moments of the whole episode, as she gives the card holder gift to Akane, and wish that they could always be together, at the same time tells Akane not to let that wish come true. After all, Akane needs to move on from this cyber world, and the characters created by her will stay behind and have lives of their own. It’s a neat ending, but the decision to only let Rikka says goodbye to Akane sure leaves a lot of ambiguity here, which I will get to it later.

In a surprising move (which for me is a touch of “genius”, until I learn that it’s inspired by EVA’s ending), we have a live-action closure, a girl that looks awfully like Rikka that literally wakes up after the long sleep. The searing score was the one that played softly back from the beginning of the first episode. The ending will leave a lot of speculation of what is real and what not for sure, but ultimately I don’t think it matters that much. The main narrative is clear: Akane has her redemption arc and moves on, while Gridman and the Squads return to their hyper world and Rikka, real Yuuta and Shou stay back and live on.

As a whole, while I was a bit letdown to its final stretch, I’m still impressed with how much love and attention this show has for their world-building (it has a Wes-Anderson level of details here – the kind where it relies on the rich range of surrounding objects to defy the characters) and how it translates its themes by its visual craft – it’s one of the best visual directed show, along with Revue Starlight, that I’ve seen this year. Plot-wise, looking back I’m rather curious on how this show has many faux-protagonists to the point where you can’t really say whose narrative we are supposed to follow (it’s not necessary a bad thing), we start with Yuuta as we see the world through his eyes and his amnesia, but then in the middle Rikka demands us with her emotional tones and manage to sell them successfully as a normal girl trying to go through her life, then in the final arc it’s Akane takes the central stage. Not all of these transitions work, but it never fails to be anything less than intriguing, and that is a big compliment come from me.

P/s: pure speculation: it’s no fun to not give my own take on what happened at the end, right? Here’s my own two cents: the girl who wakes up at the end is Akane (we have her *real life* uniform, the card holder and the broken Iphone, and the name Akane in the picture). But why does she look awfully like Rikka? Is Rikka the part of herself she doesn’t wish to acknowledge? That might be the case but then again, the ED hints to the fact that Rikka might be real after all. Visually, the silhouettes has Akane’s mannerism, but is there anything more than meets the eyes?

Posted on 17 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

I have a sense that GRIDMAN regresses considerably since its magnificent episode 9. Well, major events are still happening. Last week, Anti transformed into GridKinight and this week, it’s revealed that Yuuta is indeed Gridman, hence the reason the boy doesn’t remember anything before waking up is simply because he has no memory to speak of. But here where I see GRIDMAN falters. It brings up a lot more questions and I’m not so sure if they can address them all in just one final episode. Moreover, the main narrative core, which is about Akane, is stalled for the last two episodes. As a result, we ended up seeing her wandering aimlessly in her own makeshift town, stabbing someone and then wandering aimlessly again. Maybe it’s just me who expected more than this but we still haven’t gotten into Akane’s backstory, if there was one, at all. Nor do we have a good idea of what Alexis wants behind all this or exactly what Anti were in related to Akane. For Akane, we only have a vague sense that she had some trouble in her real life that she escapes to this world and makes it any conceivable way she wants. For Alexis, if his objective was to destroy Gridman, then it makes little sense to summon all those kaiju monsters again. I have to note that the reason for Anti assuming the GridKnight role is because of those kaijus. Without them, he has no reason to fight. Lastly, it’s unclear why Anti was so dependent on Akane. From my point, we (and Anti himself) know that he isn’t the kaiju created by Akane, and I feel that Anti becoming GridKnight is incredibly forced. He can become anything. A kaiju with heart. Anything. So why GridKnight in particular?

We can’t pass this episode without mentioning the big event of this week: the reveal that Yuuta is indeed Gridman. That’s the whole reason why he can’t wake up until the Neon Genesis Squad figures out that they need to fix the old junk. It makes a whole lot sense regarding how Yuuta doesn’t have any prior memory and how they need to fuse in order for Gridman to work, but it also opens up for more questions I’m not sure if the show’s equipped enough to deal with. First, what about Yuuta and Rikka’s previous encounter? GRIDMAN has been hinted bit by bit that the meeting is kinda important for both him and Rikka, but now I don’t know what to make of it. Second, what about Yuuta’s real body now? I guess this doesn’t matter much, he’s a NPC anyway. Finally, what to make of this revealing? Is the fact that Yuuta is indeed Gridman change anything on this chessboard? I have no clue to be honest but I suppose the show will tackle that question in the final episode.

This week’s audio drama we have a mundane but much-needed conversations between Shou and Rikka. The reason I said “much-needed” is because on screen, I’m more strucked on how they can’t communicate their own thoughts to each other. Back in episode 3 we had a brilliant segment (which is still one of my favorite moments of the show) of them sucked into their own personal space. We have a glimpse of that again when these two are in hospital beds, waiting for Yuuta to wake up, as each of them is lost to their own thoughts. Rikka has a lot on her minds, mostly regarding Akane, but I rather enjoy how Shou addressing his own crisis of a best-friend trope: that he doesn’t really contribute to any of the fights. He succeeds on performing a role of a character who has no more role except sitting there helplessly.

Finally, my hope for Akane’s flashback might not turn out to be true, regarding how Alexis, in his ultimate decision, turns Akane into a kaiju too. While there are much more kaiju battles in the last two weeks compared to what we previously got, I don’t really see the weight of these battles. The reason for that is because Akane’s pretty much absent-minded, so even more than before we know how the results are gonna turn out. I must say, I’m a bit disappointed that GRIDMAN didn’t deliver in this final stretch, but there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about the final showdown next week.

Posted on 10 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

After a crucial episode last week where GRIDMAN reached its highest bar to date, it’s understandable that everything that follows it would be a letdown. Nothing in this new episode can beat the moment Akane jumped off the crane last week in terms of sketching her depression. This episode is where the entire cast goes through some sort of existential crisis. Yuuta, Rikka and Shou are processing the thoughts that they might be some sort of non-playable characters, being created and programmed to in the service of Akane. The Neon Genesis Squad is also going through their own Gridman’s identity – are they Gridman themselves or just parts of it. Anti goes through crisis regarding his kaiju origin and finally, Akane for her very purpose of creating this world in the first place. Akane receives the most damage as it stands, but it doesn’t help us that the episode doesn’t get into her own point of view, as a result we’re more like observer from outside looking in. Nor does we gain any more characteraction from Yuuta, Shou and especially Rikka this week.

So, let’s start with the end of this episode, where we have a surprised cliffhanger: Akane takes the matter into her own hands. Yuuta gets stabbed, but I don’t think that’s the end of him, considering he might not be a real person to begin with. His backstory has always been fishy, and his life starts after the amnesia. Although we learn that he had some history with Rikka before his mind went blank, for Yuuta himself and for us, the audience, it might as well just be the memories planted by Akane. Although it’s now fair to say that Akane is the goddess of this world, there are still many elements that go beyond her knowledge, namely the existence of Gridman. Whether it’s Alexis who brings Gridman to this world, or possibly the wise kaiju girl who did it, still remain a mystery. By having her confronting Gridman head on, we might know then the reason behind all that, and even the long-awaited Akane’s backstory that has been hinted throughout the show’s run.

Anti sure is busy this week, and I’d say that it’s kind if abrupted the way he switches side from Gridman’s eternal enemy to GridKnight, Gridman’s sidekick. He has another encounter with Akane, where Akane finally acknowledges him, not as a kaiju, but a living thing with beating heart because “kaiju can read people’s heart”; so it’s up to him to find his own purpose. And yes he did by fighting against Gridman at first, then fighting to protect Gridman, all in the span of 10 minutes. The kaiju battles, in keeping with GRIDMAN’s tradition, are colorful, well-animated, short and sweet. The first one, the half-formed murk of clay, represents Akane’s half-hearted attempt since she’s in no mind to create kaiju anymore; but the second one is the manifestation of Akane’s heart: powerful, unpredictably and proves to be Gridman’s greatest threat, until Anti – argubly the only one who understands Akane the best, beats her. Not that she gives any of these much thought, anyway.

Still, there are some little moments that I greatly enjoyed throughout the episode. One of those is how whimsical it is that the gang decides to go to Akane’s house to confront her, and literally walks to the house next door (kudos to Amagi who picked it up as early as episode 2); or these side characters that were based on Amemiya’s previous web novel. We lost a bit of Rikka’s charm lately, unfortunately (those moments regarding Rikka going through her normal life remain my favorite parts of GRIDMAN), and I hope the show close off on a high note. One thing for sure, GRIDMAN can still manage to surprise us, and I believe it still has some cards close to its chest to pull that feat off.

Posted on 7 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Goblin Slayer

We reach the end of the water town arc and Goblin Slayer killed some goblins. I am not sure what else I expected. I must say that animation wise for a series heavily focused on action, the action itself is rather static. Sadly some of the more impactful panels of the manga were cut from the adaption and I find that whenever Goblin Slayer kicks into gear, the action itself is rather flaccid. Take note that this is mainly whenever the Goblin Slayer himself starts fighting as when other characters fight the action is fine. The conclusion to the final fight is rather simple with Goblin Slayer causing a cave in and using the gateway mirror as a shield to protect them. I felt that he could have at least killed the champion orc just for finality sake as this does feel like a bit of an anticlimax to the whole arc with what could be considered the main villain getting killed offscreen.

So that last conversation between Goblin Slayer and Sword maiden was a confusing one and likely an explanation is needed as even I had trouble following it. The basic rundown is this, the demon lord sect, the one that was previously shown being defeated by the hero in a previous episode, set up a mirror under water town which would transport goblins under the town. The only killed some women in the town to gain the attention of the Sword Maiden. Now if it was known that the women in the town were killed by the demon Lord sect then that would mean that Sword maiden would be forced to go into the sewers to confront the goblins and due to Sword Maidens PSTD she was absolutely terrified of goblins. So Sword maiden blamed the killings in town on Goblins, hoping this would push the army into mobilizing against them. Unfortunately the army deemed that goblins were not worth dealing with which left Sword maiden in a bad position. She set her familiar(The alligator) down in the sewers to prevent adventures from stumbling into the place and stop Goblins from advancing further. Then she heard of Goblin Slayer and set about hiring him to take care of the goblins for her.

This whole conversation was certainly misleading as on hearing it myself I was mistaking it for Sword Maiden placing the mirror down in the sewers in order to show people the threat of Goblins? When in reality it was just Sword Maiden admitting to lying about the demon sect just so she would avoid facing goblins. This would be a first where I say that White Fox messed up in regards to conveying the situation. But I will say that Sword maidens fear and desperation were portrayed a lot better her than in the bedroom where she finds solace in the Goblin Slayer promising to always be there to hunt goblins, even in her nightmares. Well we are reaching the final arc of the series and to give an early verdict on it, it’s fine. I appreciate White Fox’s efforts to tone down the rape aspect but frankly the story itself is just a bit too simple for my liking. There is only so long I can watch a man kill goblins.

Posted on 3 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Before this episode, I was thinking that it must take a full bag of magic to make me care about Akane, being an irredeemable bitch as she is. Episode 9 did just that, and then some, in its own fashion no less. It’s by the strength of its visual storytelling that show us how desperate she wants our characters to like her, and how ultimately let-down when she fails to do it. With a show that is so strong about its visual identity, a bus full of passengers suddenly feels off. What is a better way of displaying Akane hitting rock bottom (and her God-like power) than this single sequence? I can’t remember the last time I see the image and sound of the train crossing line symbols each dream segment? Heck, this episode is on its way to be my favorite GRIDMAN’s episode so far, and that says a lot. Not only it flirts around with dream/reality boundary that is one of my jam, it also deepens Akane’s narrative in most unexpected way.

The most genius part for me happens right in the beginning, when Yuuta wakes up and finds Akane in Rikka’s home. It’s a rehearse to the premiere with Akane now is in place of Rikka, and acts in a total Akane-way. That sequence is more screwing with us audience than it does with a confused Yuuta, since we have a knowledge that this happened before. The same things happen the same with Shou and Rikka, as they meet Akane in their separate dreams and can’t get out of such dreams. It’s masterful of GRIDMAN to start all the dream sequences in Yuuta, Shou and Rikka’s point of views, respectively, before pulls out to reveal that they are tangled in Akane’s manipulation. As for their dreams, it’s interesting to note that, while with Shou and Rikka, Akane choses the moments when she is alone with them in the “real timeline” – or put it better, the timeline where we has been following – with Yuuta, it’s the beginning where Yuuta wakes up from his amnesia, with the knowledge that normally Akane can’t possibly know. This detail further confirms that 1) Akane is indeed the goddess of the world we have been following, and that like our Hero team comes to suspect, that world might be entirely Akane’s dream to escape the real world and 2) unlike his friends Shou and Rikka, Yuuta might no be a real person. He has no memory before the event to begin with, which makes him a boy without a past.

But it’s interesting that as hard as she wants her followers to wordship her, the three comes to their sense because they reject this ideal world. “It’s all too good to be true”, Shou said that at one point. Yuuta looks at his reflection over the tomb he and Akane visit, which the kanji characters form into his tear, Rikka push stop button when she wants to get out of the dream – the moments speak more powerful than any conventional mean, and fittingly they cut to Akane’s pride the deepest. The more desperation she tries, the harder they pull out. The harder the pull out, the bigger blow she receives. I also enjoy Gridman’s reflections towards every single reflective things out main cast see. Those sequences, where Akane standing on top of the giant crane, above everyone but ultimately alone, best summarize her own struggles towards creating the perfect world, and fails to convert the people that she cares the most.

While the main plot of kaiju vs Gridman takes a backseat this week, they still offer plenty of fresh take on that formula. It’s the first time that this kaiju works in more… deceptive way. The kaiju puts Yuuta, Shou and Rikka to sleep and keep them hostage in their own dreams. What makes it all the more dangerous is that it can be seen, but can’t be touched by this realm of reality. It’s the first time where the Squad forms a version of themselves without the main host, Gridman, and it further reveals that Anti is more than just a regular kaiju. Now that I think about it, Anti might not be Akane’s creation and he’s more along the same line with the kaiju girl that Yuuta met in previous episodes. The animation, in addition, really bring the characters to light. It’s one of the rare time where both the animation and character design (especially Rikka) are looser than normal, hence the movement is much more expressive. From what I heard, this episode is storyboarded by Kai Ikarash, a newbie but the quality certainly has my attention. There’s just too many alternative routes GRIDMAN can take at this moment, and I mean it in the best possible way since for while some time that I feel this intriguing about a show at this stage: both revealing just about enough thematic depth, at the same time as vague and open as ever for more surprises on the horizon.

Posted on 29 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Goblin Slayer

I know my coverage of this series has been quite sporadic(My coverage of anything this season has been rather lacking in general) and I can say that is in part due to my current work which has me less inclined to blog as I work enough as it is. But another part of not covering this all too well is also due to the simple fact that there really isn’t much to comment on here. Goblin Slayer the anime has lived up to it’s name of being about slaying goblins. But well, that’s it. The characters are pretty base though their interactions can be amusing and the plot mainly seems to be of GS slowly learning to warm up to people and his posse of adventurers going into dungeons to kill Goblins. That can be enough for people but for me I just find myself lacking interest for this is what this show is and this is what the show will be in the future. I just don’t see anything changing with the premise being what it is. As such while it is watchable, I don’t hold any strong feelings towards this series. not hate or love or much interest. I can stick it on, watch it for twenty minutes and leave without it having much of an impact. It’s popcorn really, something to have to pass the time but not having any real opinions or feeling towards.

For those who watched the crunchyroll broadcast you may be wondering just why episode 7 ended on a minute of a half of a birds eye starting at the screen. As it turns out that was supposed to be a credits roll but someone messed up at crunchyroll and had it blank with the normal ending tacked on. On this note, who here believed Goblin Slayer was dead? What? No one? Yeah, me neither. It’s not much of a cliffhanger to have the main character seemly die when he has plot armour considering that the show itself is named after him. I will admit that if he did die this would be a hell of a way to go out, going berserker on a goblin champion and scaring goblins so much that they all run terrified from him. The situation itself was certainly a lowest point for the party with high elf nearly raped, priestess getting a chuck ripped out of her and the guys…actually thinking of it Lizard and dwarf got off rather light in this engagement.

In episode 8 we see how Goblin slayer survived the encounter and it was one of those eye rolling moments that show Goblin Slayer’s light novel origins. He was revived with healing magic that basically required him to sleep sharing a bed with priestess and Sword Maiden. Sword Maiden was needed to cast the spell and Priestess was needed due to the spell requiring a virgin which Sword maiden wasn’t due to having been raped by goblins. My short time googling can’t confirm whether there is an actual D&D spell like this but honestly I found the whole scene just asininely pandering. Oh boy isn’t it cool that Goblin Slayer slept with two hot chicks in a bed last night? And now Sword Maiden is talking suggestively to him with nipples that could cut diamond. It was either cold as ice in that room or Goblin Slayer just emits an invisible aphrodisiac that it renders any woman weak in the knees. Overall i just found it distracting how Sword Maiden talks of being raped by monsters and her voice and the camera angles seem to be suggesting that I should be very turned on by this despite the content talking of how traumatised Sword Maiden is.

I do like that the treat of the goblins is mainly due to how much they distress Sword maiden who can fight demon lords and dragons no problem but is so deeply traumatized with her experience with goblins that she cannot relax knowing they are so close by. But it’s rather hard to take her seriously when while she is explaining it she rolls her hands down her chest causing her massive assets to jiggle. It’s a bit like watching a woman talk about her suicidal tendencies while pole dancing. Only other things I can mention is that it is rather novel for this show to have a beholder and refer to it as “The beast that must not be named” for that monster was one of the few that Wizards of the coast(D&D owners) copyrighted. And word is that they are pretty hard on enforcing that copyright so Goblin Slayer had to skirt around its name in other to not be sued. Also due to the shifting around of material a small plot hole has opened up but I suppose White Fox will skirt around that as well.

Posted on 28 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Is it just me or Akane’s face is too pink this week?

GRIDMAN doesn’t break its formula this week. Structure-wise, it’s another first-half minimalist building up and second-half grand battle between kaiju of the week and Gridman. It’s up the stage for sure, this kaiju is promised to be the strongest one yet, and it’s the first time where Gridman manages to get all the boost-up items at once. But by all means I still enjoy GRIDMAN greatly. After all, repetition is the game here. These last episodes it has been opened itself up a lot to reveal many crucial points. This week, it’s a reveal from Akane that Rikka is created in a way the she can’t possibly hate Akane, by her kaiju no less. Well, I take all Akane egotistical view with a grain of salt, but it begs a question on how real everything is. If Rikka – the only cast member who acts like real human – is fake, then what about Yuuta (who has amnesia) or Shou in general?

Gotta say I really enjoy the way GRIDMAN counts down the cultural fest. It builds up a sense of anticipation, although with the main cast it has little to do with the fest itself. Akane challenges the Gridman’s team head-on by announcing her plan of kaiju’s attack on the day, in which our team responses by attacking first instead.By doing so, the students are forced to evacuate before Akane does the real damage. It’s still hilarious to see the scale-down Gridman against the giant monster nearly double his size and the real battle is GRIDMAN’s most over-the-top set pieces so far this season. There has been an ongoing claims over GRIDMAN’s blatant plagiarism from its inspiration but I don’t buy it. One of GRIDMAN’s aim is to pay homage to its source, from Gridman franchise to NGE so it doesn’t surprise me if the show uses many of its inspiration’s iconic scenes.

Meanwhile, Anti shows up at the gang’s hang out looking for Rikka. While he missed her this time, it bounds for a development between them since it marks the first time where Anti looks for someone else other than Akane, and that he doesn’t join the battle to kill Gridman. Is it a change of heart of a temporary retreat? I suppose it’s a latter but I won’t be surprised if Rikka can change him. Now that Akane is lost for an x time, and that we reach to the point where both Akane’s kaiju and Gridman are in their best form, I guess it’s time where they end this Gridman vs kaiju stage and reach to the next stage with a new final boss.

Posted on 19 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

The last two episodes GRIDMAN has cleared up many things and handily suggests the road it will ultimately take for its last half. First, it’s the reveal that the world our characters live in is belong to Akane’s, as she can destroys, and rebuilds again as she likes. Second, it’s a strong hint that she might not be the last boss of this war, that she’s being manipulated by Alexis, the alien. Like I has discussed over the past few weeks, I reckon the main emotional conflict is going to be between Akane and Rikka. While their past is still a mystery (which now I’m leaning to the theory that they used to get along but fallen out as they grow up), the two things (more appropriately, two people) that tie them together are Yuuta and Anti. We know for a fact that Rikka and Yuuta had a history before he got amnesia (that ball game rally – in fact, this week in audio drama we learn that it has something to do with a headband). This week, we’re leaning to the other side here with Yuuta and Akane. Take it as pure fanservice or not, the sequence where Akane doing in Yuuta’s bedroom is full of sexual tension.

While Yuuta’s friends have a hard time to believe his story (thanks to the poor way he puts it, he even doubts himself), he has much better success when confronting with Akane. The bit where she comes to the restaurant where their friend got ‘murdered’ by her without any remorse really speak clearly enough about her character. She thinks of herself as a Goddess, thus she can’t stand where things go against her way (Gridman) or when something going on beyond her knowledge (Anti). It’s a sneaky scheme Alexis prepares here. As he puts it: the more hatred the person has the more powerful the kaiju is. Anti sure hates Gridman more than Akane, and now when she realizes her place as a Goddess is challenged, she’ll be more determined.

It’s Anti who goes through a lot of action this week. He comes to school and confronts Yuuta before stealing all the breads. Soon he’s inspired to create a kaiju to kill Gridman, and failed. I can’t help but feel sorry for him the awful way Akane treats him, which plays as a huge contrast to how Rikka treats him in previous episode. The parallels are there: Akane consistently gets close to Yuuta, but he’s more attracted to Rikka. Akane treats Anti like pure dirt, while Rikka cares for him a whole lot. Whether or not Anti can develop his character (he’a still a kaiju after all) and where his loyalty lie will prove to be significant for the next few episodes. At the same time, we learn that there is another upside-down city up in the sky. For now, I suspect it as “the end of the world”, but we will know more about its significance soon enough, I hope. For now though, enjoy all these lingering shots (this episode has 3 of those, each of them lasts for good 10 seconds) that might or might not be relevant in the future.

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