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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Furry anthropomorphic animals animals are in fashion now thanks to the onslaught of countless isekai settings, but Beastars is here to offer something fresh and different. Indeed, there are many elements from Beastars that we can feel optimistic about. The manga source is penned by Paru Itagaki, which recent news reveals to be the daughter […]

Hoshiai no Sora – 02

Hoshiai no Sora picks up where Mix left off in terms of character-driven sports dramas. Between those two and Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru at the start of the year, we’ve had a strong representative for the genre at all points during 2019. Though it’s just two episodes old, Hoshiai has the potential to be the […]

Mononoke – 11 [Goblin Cat, Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to the penultimate week of Mononoke! Apologies for the lateness of this, life is busy busy right now, much like Mononoke itself. As this week we dive into the mystery at hand, our suspects start to talk and the series gets… weird. Let’s dive in! Starting off, what do I mean […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 13-16

This really wasn’t the best way for me to pop back into blogging for a while if I am to be frank. It’s not hard to shake off the rust but to walk into the middle of a series I watched a year ago which has a cast and political landscape to dwarf a star […]

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

Welcome back to Beni town!  After a two week break, Fire Force has awkwardly picked back up with its penultimate episode (for the first cour).  Missed Shinra and the gang?  Unfortunately, there’s some Catgirl this week, but aside from that, we have another solid effort all around.  Let’s get into it!

Vinland Saga – 14 [The Light of Dawn]

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s […]

Mononoke – 10 [Goblin Cat, Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, apologies for the delay, and welcome to the final arc of Mononoke! This is perhaps the most unique one yet. As we skip forward to a modern era, set the entire thing in a single location, and have ourselves a murder mystery. So, lets dive in! Right off the bat, as always, I […]

Vinland Saga – 12/13 [The Land on the Far Bank/Child of a Hero]

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go! […]

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