Posted on 8 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think it was mainly a action episode and in regards to that I regret complaining about Apocryphas animation. Because Dies Iraes animation shows just how low animation can go for action scenes. There was some novelty in the episode where Ren took on Reinhard but it looks like they blew all their effort on that one scene. After that fight scenes were just lifeless and I find my eyes glaze over as characters talk confidently to each about things I can’t really care about anymore. I rather liked the giant gold skeleton before but they are a anime only addition that the author decided to add for rather odd reason. I don’t see how he thought it was a good idea to invent a brand new power for the anime that would require even more animation for a already stretched to breaking point anime. Also creating some brand new level that exists somewhere between your previously established level is just rather poor writing considering it makes your previous infodump about levels flawed.

So I will mainly talk about episode eleven here as this was actually a part of the story I remember thinking would be great animated. When reading the visual Novel this part was pretty excellent and does a good job of establishing just how brutal and broken Sherbeir is. Not to mention that SHirou ripping his way out of Rusalka’s body was pretty awesome. Yet these events are shown here and somehow are drained of all the impact they had in the VN. Part of this is missing context but mainly this shows just how much presentation can affect a scene. But lets recap, Shirou after getting eaten by Rusalka manages to rip his way out of her while stealing some of her power. It’s worth noting that Ellie came along as well and her soul resides within Shirou. So Rusalka, a character who is obsessed with gaining immortality is dying on the church floor, scared out of her mind. When Schreiber shows up she attempts to get him to help her by saying she loves him. Mainly because Schreiber is completely insane and she thought that by becoming his loved one, he would then go out of his way to save her despite being indifferent at first. She has some special magic circle that can heal her if she is just placed within it. Thing is that she largely underestimated just how insane Schreiber is. For you see Schreiber is really excited over being able to kill for revenge for a loved one and the big problem is that Rusalka recovered from her injury, he couldn’t avenge her death. So Schreiber carries half of her to the battlefield claiming he will avenge her by killing Shirou, all the while ignoring her pleas for him to help her. Cause Rusalka has to die in order for Schreiber to avenge her, duh. At least that’s his logic. It really established just how messed up this kid really is and boy his history sure is something. I would say it is grimdark to the degree of being ridiculous.

Willhelm has an equally messed up childhood as you may have noticed by the appearance of his Sister/Mother. And yes, his sister is his mother. Basically he’s the product of incest between his father and sister. Obviously consent was not part of the equation and this is indeed the reason why WIllhelm killed his family. But one thing about Wilhelm that’s interesting is the matter Mercurious mentioned, that each person has a kind of curse attached to them. Indeed the characters of Dies Irae all have some curse when it comes to Fate. Kasumi is forever destined to be kept out of Shirou and Rens matters no matter how much she wants to be involved. Willhelm will always have the thing he wants most be taken by someone else. Lisa trying to save children by killing more children. Ren will constantly be pushed away from a normal life, despite his desire to be nothing but normal. As well as Shirou constantly seeking to break his deja vu, only to reaffirm it with all his efforts. Every character of Dies Irae is cursed by fate and in Dies Irae, fate has a face. Though how much of a role he will play is still up for debate.

Posted on 14 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode its contents. I will leave Rens dream for another time and instead let me lay out Lisa’s backstory so that the events of this episode start making some kind of sense. Put simply, Lisa isn’t like the other members of the Obsidian round table who primarily specialize in offense. Instead Lisa’s role in the group was running a special kind of orphanage, one dedicated towards human experimentation. The goal was the creation of a Ubermensch, otherwise known as a superhuman being, so the children in this orphanage were genetically altered to gain psychic powers and trained in them. Thing is that such genetic alteration didn’t come at a cost as the children all died at young ages which Lisa deeply regrets. However she continued her horrific experimentation because at the end goal she could wish all the dead children back to life.

All these experiments where to ensure that when it came time for Lisa to give birth that all the factors would be optimal and she would birth the child that would power Reinhard’s giant gold death castle. She succeeded in birthing that child but managed to have twins, one the genetic abomination that grew fast into adulthood and one completely normal child unaffected by the experimentation. Lisa ultimately decided to hide the existence of the normal child and sent them away while sacrificing the altered child to Reinhard. The normal child grew up in Japan, got married and had Kasumi while Lisa took care of her other granddaughter Rea. Thus due to circumstances both Kasumi and Rea are suitable to be sacrificed to bring Reinhard down to the world. Lisa wants to sacrifice Rea and get her wish so she can bring back all the children she has killed to get to this point while Kristof wants to sacrifice Kasumi in order to save Rea’s life. There is also a number of underlying motivations here like Lisa being terrified of Reinhard which causes her to shun both Johan and Rea due to them reminding her of the man she slept with. Likewise Kristof currently inhabits the body of Reinhard and he in turn wants to prove whether his love for Rea is genuine or some paternal instinct of the body he inhabits.

We also have Kei admitting that she’s doing all this to bring back her loved ones while Rin points out the simple truth that if bringing back someone was that easy then they wouldn’t be truly precious in the first place. Kei is also Shana now can goes all flaming hair red eyes and i must admit that my attention span is slowly drifting away. Kei can basically be considered a protagonist due to her different roles in the Visual Novel and as I mentioned before, the protagonists of this story are not very interesting. Even looking at the above paragraph I wrote goes to show just how complex and nuanced the villain’s motivation is when compared to Kei’s shortsighted and childish desire. Even Marie here just goes and points out the obvious detail that ever since Reinhard stab his big spear into her, shes started feeling feelings she never felt before. Is it bad that she got something good from an evil persons actions?

Afraid I don’t really care all that much because I don’t really understand how getting stabbed gave her emotions in the first place. I admit that this post has more or less been an explanation of the episode itself rather than a review of it but truth be told I don’t particularly have any real thoughts on the episode. Partly out of apathy and partly cause the Dies Irae kickstarter has once again screwed up and left me feeling rather irritated with the company that made it. I can’t say my impression with Light as a company is a positive one considering how rather slapdash this adaptation is and the handling of the Visual novel kickstarter. Well I suppose I got to read this story, even if getting it was harder than it needed to be and this anime did at least get some people to check out the source so it at least accomplished something. Well next episode we get get to see the first of the big three enter the scene with Balalaika impersonator Elenore.

Posted on 7 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

Netflix has funded thirty anime which will air in 2018 and this has brought concerns over whether Anime as a whole could be westernised in order to cater to an overseas demographic. I find the chances of this unlikely and the more likely result is a more diverse lineup of anime for both Japanese and overseas demographics. However if Anime was westernised then that could lead to the removal of excessive unnecessary fanservice in shows as they would not longer need to pander towards Otaku in an effort to gain more Blu-Ray sales. So why is it that I am starting off this post on the latest episode of Dies Irae with this information? Well one because this is another one of those nothing happened episodes(Which I need to think up a term for) wherein the plot barely moved forward and not a whole lot was present in this episode. The other reason however is because to fill up screen time during a long exposition scene, it was decided to show Marie stripling off and trying on different clothes. So I will state that if this mythical westernation of Anime were to happen, this is one aspect of anime I certainly wouldn’t miss. Of course my enemy isn’t so much the idea of fanservice but rather lazy fanservice. When fanservice is part of a series appeal then it is understandable why it’s present but what annoys me is when a series attempts to have its cake and eat it too and throws in fanservice without considering its effect on the story. It’s akin to having a benny hill sequence in Lord of the Rings, immersion breaking.

So let’s round up what happened in this episode. Kasumi was taken by Shirou and Ellie for her own protection, Ren calls them up and gets information on the Swastika’s locations, Ren and Marie visit School to find all the students mind controlled and Shirou and Eilie face off against Rusalka only to get devoured anticlimactically. We had two rather intrusive fanservice scenes in this episode, the first with Marie trying on clothes while Ren was two feet away from her and Rusalka making out with some guys before she goes and murders everyone in the room. I admit the second scene isn’t exactly out of character for Rusalka as she does tend to get around. IN fact at this point she’s pretty much slept with half the guys at Ren’s school. Still I always felt that Rusalka generally didn’t do this while on the job so to speak and i also originally thought that she couldn’t transform between her younger and older self. After all I thought the whole point of her downgrading herself into a lolita was to make her live longer as she is nearing the end of her lifespan. The fight scene wasn’t much to speak off, just Shirou and Ellie firing bullets while Rusalka shrugs them all off. If this was the last we saw of them then this would certainly be a disappointing end to the interesting characters of the protagonist side.

Regarding Marie i find her new personality to be immensely annoying. I wasn’t quite fond of it in the visual novel but in animated form I am forced to see just how incredibly pandering her character really is. This is likely the kind of person that otaku believe to be the perfect girlfriend…in theory. After all, she’s caring, cute and love you? Surely you don’t need her to be anything else. But of course this is in theory as in reality girls like Marie would be very boring and in the worst case scenario, annoying. Sort of like a child who grew out of the phase where everyone found them cute but still tries to act cute for attention, only for it to be very aggravating. Maybe if I could get invested in her love with Ren I might find her more interesting but the fact of the matter is that their relationship is shallow as a puddle. I don’t even understand at what point Marie fell for Ren as she’s only known him for a few days and there wasn’t really any point I could see her growing remotely interesting in him. Does this girl know anything about him at all? Of course I may be jumping the gun here as they haven’t confirmed that she’s in love with him but frankly it’s inevitable. With Shirou and Ellie, i get why these two are together, as they just work on the same wavelength but an easy girlfriend character like Marie, no matter how pretty she may be, just seems so…dull.

Posted on 2 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

After the episode we had last time, it’s only fitting that this episode is more down to earth. Don’t want to burn out the staff animating action scenes like that every week. So this week we have our protagonist and antagonist sitting at a table to have a little chat. In that regard it’s nice to get to know Reinhard and his general demeanour of arrogance. But unlike Gilgamesh, he doesn’t belittle his opponents. Frankly Reinhard wants Ren to put up a fight, to push him to use his full power so that he can feel alive. For Reinhard is suffering from the same thing that Shirou is suffering from, a constant sense of deja vu.(Or foreknowledge if you prefer. People get huffy about them not being the same but the general rundown is people feeling like they have been through something before and thus it feels trivial and routine.) It’s amusing to see Reinhard have the complete upper hand and yet just give back Marie after Ren declares he will kill him. From this talk we learn a few things. That Reinhard is looking to remodel the world into something fulfilling to concur and he requires eight swastika’s to be released around the city. A city which was apparently constructed for the sole purpose of being sacrificed to Reinhard. And that Mercurius is the being who gave Reinhard the power and drive to do all of this.

Now to address the line likely to have raised a few eyebrows which is where Rea asks Ren to either rape her or kill her. So first off you cannot ask someone to rape you, because asking them to do it is giving consent and it’s not rape if you consent to it. If he was assaulting you against your will, then it’s rape. Basically you are asking him to sleep with you, not rape you. Secondly, this out of nowhere request actually has some logic behind it, flimsy though it may be. Basically in order for Reinhard’s plans to succeed, Rea needs to be alive and a virgin. Though the second aspect, unknown to Rea, isn’t really needed. Now i will need to go on a tangent here to explain this scene better but let me begin by stating that it is a common misconception among the anime community to consider Visual Novels, eroge and Dating sims to be different words for the same thing. This is not the case as Dating Sims are more stat focused games about dating girls. Eroge stands for erotic game and pretty much stands for any game featuring erotic content. Visual novels can sometimes fall into this category though the level of erotic content varies between games. For example, DangonRonpa qualifies as a visual Novel but it isn’t a eroge. Whereas Huniepop qualifies as a dating sim and a eroge but not a visual novel. It can get murky due to the terms vagueness but the terms are not mutually exclusive. Now where Dies Irae comes into this is that the game is technically an Eroge but primarily a Visual Novel. But the only reason it can be considered a Eroge is because sex scenes were crowbarred into the story because of a strange obligation in the VN industry.

This is something somewhat influenced by Fate/Stay Night which originally wasn’t going to have erotic content but Type Moon thought that the game wouldn’t sell unless it had erotic content. It was a huge success and thus from that point forward all visual novels crowbarred sex scenes into their narratives. You can always tell when these scenes come in because they are jarring and sudden. Often bringing with it a serious downgrade in writing quality. So with this we finally get to Rea’s abrupt “Bang me or kill me” request. Here’s the thing, this part featured a sex scene, or at least I assume as I played the all ages version of Dies Irae.(Some of you may call blasphemy on that but hey, I ain’t waiting months for a adult patch to come out. Besides I don’t even care about sex scenes and truly didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything) As such the script demands sex, so sex must happen. Logic or proper timing be damned. And it is these things that makes it awkward to recommend visual novels to others. Well line aside i felt the whole heart to heart here was falling a bit flat, with Rea and Ren relating their similar feeling that they somehow both knew that this event would happen, and lament the loss of their ordinary life. It’s just…I don’t really care about these two. I have said it before but I find the protagonist side of this story to be quite underwhelming. As a last note, Marie is back and after getting stabbed in the chest she had upgraded her emotional range from innocent puppy to moeblob waifu. Sigh…such a pity that a lackluster character should have such an appealing design.

Posted on 22 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

So here we have it, the best we are going to get from this series. We may get standout moments in the later parts of the story but I think this episode is as good as it gets. The adaption still isn’t what I would call good, and oddly enough the best parts of this episode was when they stopped being faithful to the source, but at least it was entertaining. We have a action focused episode as we have Shirou vs Wilhelm, Ren vs Kei and finally Ren fighting the glorious bastard himself, Reinhard. Now while I believe the animators did the best they could with this, sadly the animation couldn’t really keep up with everything on screen and ended up choppy and unrefined.

It’s things like this which make me wonder what it would be like if Ufotable was handling this adaption for if they were this episode would likely be an action masterpiece. Honestly this episode was absolutely insane and i for one really liked that. The premise of this show was already ridiculous so why not just turn everything up to 11 and run on the rule of cool? So how did that go? Well in this episode a human overturned a truck full of liquid nitrogen on top of a vampire and proceeded to run him over with a motorbike. Two teenagers engaged in a deadly sword fight while running on water. Our protagonist took on a giant golden skeleton that shoots laser beams and spawns WWII soldiers, fighter planes and tanks. So as I watched Ren blow up planes and rip apart tanks I suddenly wondered just how this show managed to suddenly kick so much ass.

Some claim that this messes up the power dynamic because they went too big, too fast. Hogwash, I say. DIes Irae doesn’t have any real consistency in it’s power levels anyway. Masada has too much of a tendency to rely of Deus Ex Machina that he often just throws power levels out the window. These fight scenes were toned down in the visual novel such as Shirou’s fight not taking place on a highway and the entirety of the fight against the skeleton. Really all that happened was that Reinhard showed up on the bridge, Ren suddenly attacked him out of terror and that caused Marie to break and get stabbed through the chest. If they didn’t skip over parts of the Kei and Ren fight and improved the animation then I would say the anime handled this scene better than the visual novel did.

So aside from the fight scenes we also got Shirou at the beginning breaking the fourth wall to tell us about are rather important part of this whole story as well as an important detail about his character. Shirou, much like some other characters in this story, suffers from a constant sense of Deja Vu. He constantly feels like he’s done things before and is simple following a predetermined path. This in turn fuels his dangerous recklessness as he seeks out more outrageous and dangerous activities to try and experience something that he never felt before. On top of that it seems he has a degree of immortality as no matter the situation it always ends up with him surviving. Put simply, Shirou is a insanely lucky guy and his battles have always been a highlight for me because he doesn’t have a annabelle like Ren and thus he needs to pull off some truly insane things to gain the upper hand in battle. Shirou is a bit like a Jojo’s protagonist without all the posing. Well I was pleasantly surprised this episode and it would be nice if this marked a turning point in this anime, where it might not make for a good adaption but it could very well end up being entertaining to watch regardless.

Posted on 17 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

Forgive my tardiness in not covering Dies Irae last week. I had a few things going on and a serious lack of motivation. I am certain all two of you(Might be an overexpression of the number) that read these Dies Irae reviews were deeply disappointed. We have two episodes this week, one which was rather mediocre and the other which was actually surprising entertaining. It might be due to the previous episode being about action as Ren faces one of the members of the Obsidian round table and naturally the animation quality cannot match the quality needed to make this fight entertaining. We did at least get some exposition on the kind of magic this series will be using. Namely it being former execution and torture devices that killed so many people as to gain supernatural power from absorbing their souls. The more people you kill, the more powerful you become.

So in that regard Ren is ata serious disadvantage as the members of the table have been killing for quite a long time while he only recently acquired his Ahnenerbe, aka magical execution device. The Ahnenerbe has four levels of power and I will go by the Visual Novel names rather than the wrong crunchyroll definitions. Assiah is the first and it basically is a level to confirm that someone has one. In Ren’s case it means he can cut things by willing it, which would be very useful but trust me when I say this level is rarely used. Yetzirah is forming the Ahnenerbe into a useable weapon, as Ren did against spinne when he summoned up those red blades. Briah is the third and it’s basically a ripoff Reality marble complete with ripoff unlimited bladeworks chants. And the final level which we shall just pass over for now.

The fifth episode was surprisingly good as i said before, though it certainly starts bad with the oldest anime cliche in the book. Waking up with random beautiful girl in your bed is something I remember from harems of yore though I am certain if I looked there’s a few light novel adaptions still using it. Though I do like the past of Marie, the spiritual manifestation of the guillotine, or ghost of one of its victims. A girl who was born under a guillotine, freaked out her parents and everyone around her with her one man sing a long while unintentional chopping off the head of anyone who touched her. Certainly a mysterious girl but the biggest question i have is how did two parents with dark hair give birth to a bright blonde baby? Either the misses was getting around or whatever power she gained decided to bleach her hair.

I can’t say her personality is much to speak of though considering she pretty much doesn’t have one unless you count puppy dog level affection. She does gain more of a personality later but while I do find her design appealing, I never really saw her as much of a strong character. Who I do find to be strong characters are the two introduced in this episode, Shirou and Ellie. Otherwise what I would call the characters that should have been the protagonists. These two are barrels of fun though right now they are more on the serious side due to wanting to get involved with Ren’s fight. The coming episode could help redeem this somewhat seeing as we have passed much of the slow start and gotten into the real story. But this is a story of style over substance and things really aren’t going to get better if we can’t up the style.

Posted on 1 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

I believe we can safely declare this anime a trainwreck of an adaption. Truly proof that having an anime for animes sake isn’t going to turn out well, nor that following source material alone makes an classic. This anime was crowdfunded by the fans to get an animated version of Dies Irae. Well they got it. However they didn’t think that with such a meager sum that they would get a good Dies Irae anime. Thus we have an anime that makes no real effort to include the anime only watcher while proving to be an inferior experience for the source fan. Much like how Tsukihime fans declare that the Tsukihime adaption of 2003 “does not exist”, it looks that the adaption of Dies Irae is on track to be denied of its existence as well. The sad thing for me is that this was more or less expected, I would have been very surprised if they managed to pull off an adaption of the Visual Novel. Especially when said visual novel depends of the writer’s prose to enhance the events of the story. Masada Takashi’s writing can be overbearing and heavily chunni-tasic but it nonetheless gave the story character. Dies Irae on a surface level is very much a style over substance story and if you can’t sell the style of the narrative then it truly all falls flat on it’s face.

So if you are an anime only watcher who just so happens to want to continue with this(Not sure what you would) then allow me to clue you in on just what the hell is going on. For the anime took the liberty of cutting out the scenes at the beginning of this episode which would have cleared things up. Why Kasumi killing people? Because Ren subconsciously made her a surrogate to the power he received from the Guillotine. And by subconsciously I mean he was manipulated by the vice commander of the Nazi’s to give her power so he would be pulled into this death game the Nazi’s are setting up. What the hell is a that swastika thing the priest was going on about? The nazi’s need to open these seals which have been placed around the city in order to summon their leader into the city. Swastika’s are unsealed either when a member of the nazi squad dies at the place or the seal is fed a certain number of human souls. Take note that in this world souls are essentially magical power. The more souls you absorb the more powerful you become, hence why they show the members of the Nazi group as a giant pile of red skulls sometimes.

So now Ren has taken his power back from Kasumi and now he’s in this game for real. The game is that he needs to kill all the members of the Obsidian round table before they can unseal all the swastika’s and summon their leader. Who will proceed to burn the world to hell should he ever descend. The opening scene of this anime pretty much spoiled how this will turn out for Ren but I suppose it was a given that the big bad would have to be fought. I really have to marvel at just how little this anime cares to clue it’s audience into what is even happening. We had several jarring scenes transitions such as the quick change from Kasumi and Ren to Mercurius and Marie or how abruptly they montage though the point which was to show Kasumi and Ren bonding right before everything goes south. To show how immensely Kasumi hates how Ren and Shirou keep her out of the loop and how she wishes she could at least help them with their problems instead of constantly getting pushed to the side. It’s part of her inherent destined tragic fate, one which each character in this story has. Kasumi is destined to forever be the bystander, to be oblivious and unable to help her dearest friends in their most dire time of need. That said, it doesn’t excuse her character being so dreadfully boring.

Posted on 26 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

On the list of top ten worst ways to start an anime episode, I think that panty shots is quite high. Well if it means anything I at least appreciate that Ren didn’t flush up and start stammering, instead acting relatively normal about it. Unlike Kasumi who well reacted in the usual manner of resorting to kicking his teeth in. Like Ren said, you can’t blame the guy if you are the one that put it in his line of sight. So for all one or two of you that are actually still keeping up with this series I say this is the episode you drop. I can’t blame you honestly as this adaption is truly making me question whether the visual novel itself was all that great. It is truly a mark of a bad adaption if it causes you to think lesser of the source. I do remember the beginning of DIes Irae being slow but for visual novels this is usually par for the course. Think of any visual novel adaption and you will likely find it’s beginning to be rather slow paced. Believe it or not this is actually moving at a faster pace than the visual novel and for that I am glad. Truth be told i didn’t really start getting interested in DIes until after this little serial killer arc was done.

Fight animation is better than it was in episode zero but in comparison to fight animation we get today it’s quite lacking indeed. I do recall someone remarking that this anime reminds them of early 2000’s animation and not in a good way. Indeed that is the impression I get as well but part of what is contributing to that is Dies Irae’s obvious inspiration. The visual novel came out a couple years after Fate and many were still chasing Fate/Stay Night’s success and you can certainly see that. Though to be fair the plot actually mirrors another Type Moon work by the name of Tsukihime. The persist in this episode is obviously Kirei inspired and the general serial killer plotline is much like that of Tsukihimes beginning plotline, which also insinuated that the main protagonist may be unconsciously a serial killer.

It’s a pity that the anime skipped over the dialogues between Mercurius and Reinhart as those two really could supervillain monologue. Though the translators might have serious trouble when they start talking. They already appear to be having trouble as terms are mistranslated. For one they are called Lisa, Riza. Calling Valeria the priest of the grail instead of the Golden Vessel. But the biggest mistranslation here is calling the obsidian round table, the black round table. I hear that fans offered to give a terms guide to the translators at crunchyroll to help them stay consistent with the visual novel translation but seems they didn’t take that offer. I mean I can understand a level of apathy with this series but this is a matter of professionalism. If you are going to do the job then do it right. What could make this more of a problem is if the Simuldub of this series(Yes, Funimation is doing one.) goes off the Crunchyroll translations rather than the proper terms. Again though, I did understand if that level of consideration isn’t applied as the series itself isn’t going to do any real justice to it. Still I would like to be surprised and see this series improve as the true story begins.

Posted on 18 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be the best to judge this series quality? This is clearly an adaptation made for the fans, considering that it was a crowdfunded adaption to begin with and as while i cannot consider myself a fan per say, I have read the original visual novel. As an anime this won’t be anything special but for someone just looking to see DIes Irae animated as a visual novel fan i think someone needs to step into evaluate this. Though truth be told upon hearing this will have an 18 episode run I find my feet getting cold. We shall see how this all turns out.

This is truly the first episode of the series and where the story truly starts as the previous 00 episode was a side story about how the villains came to be. The previous episode has cause quite a number of problems in that it makes for a poor introduction to the story and the animation is bound to scare off any potential watchers. But on top of all that, there may have been people who planned to keep up with this series solely because “At least it isn’t some edgy harem crap with teenagers in highschool.” and along comes this episode to introduce a harem, teenagers and high school. Indeed…I don’t think many people will be keeping up with this series. I might as well point out that the school has about as much significance as the school in Fate/Stay Night. Basically as the story continues it just becomes less and less featured until it’s not even relevant. I will also say this episode is an improvement over the last episode but sadly still in mediocre levels. Animation and storytelling has improved but now it has to deal with the thing that more or less all anime adaptions have to deal with, a slow start.

In visual novels it’s a rare thing for stories to start straight away. You may get a flash forward to future events but more often than not you will spend some slice of life segments with the characters first before the story gets going. The purpose of this is to form an attachment to the characters to that when the story gets down to business things hit a lot harder. It’s the kind of emotional investment that can make visual novels far more powerful experiences than anime but as well it’s very much a double edged sword. For if you don’t find these characters interesting then these parts make a story feel slow. Enter Kasumi, who makes this episode so much harder to watch. I never really liked this girl despite understanding the need for her role. It’s not that I have a prejudice against childhood friend genki girls but in terms of those kasumi is certainly the most annoying type. Loud, obnoxious and trying way too hard coupled with the fact that she’s supposed to be annoying. But intentional annoying is still annoying.. She’s certainly the thing that makes the start of Dies Irae harder to get through than it needs to be.

Time for some story context. If you are wondering just what in the hell the Nazi’s were talking about at the end of this episode, don’t worry because that’s normal. For the first while of this story these people are going to be talking with their own little code. Lets just give the cliff notes and say they are Nazi’s and they are coming to this town to kill a lot of people for some reason. Now despite the last episode putting a lot of time into adapting a side story, it did a poor job of adapting the actual prologue in the VN. If you want to check it out then here. But again for the cliff notes it’s a introduction to the villains and has a speech from Reinard about how this world is trapped in a loop with the same events playing over and over again. And while it is fate for Germany to lose the war, they can still have victory at a point far into the future if they hand over their souls. And there was much rejoicing. As for why our main protagonist and his friend Shirou were beating each other up on a rooftop, Shirou suggested that they should fight each other to the death for shits and giggles. This may sound strange to you but believe me, for Shirou this is well within character. Well I am gonna see how long I can stay on this train as I am surprised by just how much I had to write here. Let’s keep going and see what happens.

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Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: She's a coin toss with me .
AidanAK47
Made some changes. Try joining again.
SuperWooper
The Discord button works for me, Anon. I'll bring it up with Aidan to see if there's anything we can do on our end.
KTravlos
Ok LOGH episodes 10 and 11 were quite good, and it hit me harder than the original on how much talent the alliance lost at Armistar. That said episode 10 at the end showed a major problem with rendition which is long filling shots (in this case the imperial fleets taking flight).
Anonymous2254364
The Discord "Join Server" button leads me to an "Invite Invalid" page, and from there to: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001556852
SuperMario
I'm thinking of catching Maquia in theater as well. I'm not too hot on Mari Okada but every anime releases in global cinema should be a cause for celebration
Kaiser-Eoghan
Part of me is considering seeing Maquia , anime films don't get shown over here often, I feel I should support the cinema releases.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That was essentially my concern, that the writers would muck up Yuri's decision and create some hole in the story. Though they definitely need to commit to killing him off now.
Lenlo
I had a suspicion it would happen Amagi. I figured it would be a question of Yuri's character which way he went, even if I suspected this would be his choice
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad light novels would make for good fire and burning material =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think it was you who was keeping up with the new cardcaptor sakura? or may that was bokusenou? I fell behind in it.
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Featured Posts

Megalo Box – 12 [Leap Over the Edge of Death]

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it. Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

Welcome to Steins;Gate 0, this week with the most “final” middle of a series episode ever. We have drama, we have guns, we even have probable time skips! Lets jump in. This was an overall solid episode. It tried to wrap up, or tie together, a lot of plot threads and resolve character arcs before […]

Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

Welcome to Bates hotel!! Alright, make no mistake, this is the funniest episode of Golden Kamuy we will ever have. Still dark, have very little to do with the main plot, but it’s spooky fun. Even trashy fun with all the dick jokes. This is Golden Kamuy at its loosest shape. Which is not a […]

Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week […]

Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major […]

Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be […]

Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 10 [Pandora of Provable Existence -Forbidden Cubicle-]

Welcome one and all to another week of Steins;Gate 0! This week we have fluffy, lovable dates, awkward fan service and terrible revelations. Lets jump in! So overall this week felt mostly like a filler episode. I understand that some of the contents were necessary for relationship building and such. That it was a sort […]

Golden Kamuy – 10 [Fellow Traveler]

New episode, new season, new plan, new scenery and possible new set of enemy too. Considered Golden Kamuy’s track record, I won’t be surprised if the new face Kiroranke, at the risk of Asirpa slaps me on my face for saying so. He’s in the interesting position in all this, both an ex-7th Unit Hokkaido, […]

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Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

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