Posted on 28 June 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Little Witch Academia

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this series was one I was really looking forward to. So the question remains. Is Little Witch Academia a good series? Absolutely, out of the 25 episodes of it’s runtime I only didn’t enjoy one episode. This series was very fun and a worthwhile watch. However, is Little Witch Academia a great series? And therein lies the greatest problem with this series as a whole. For you see my friends, Little Witch Academia holds the potential for greatness and very closely skirts the line to becoming a truly great series. There are standout episodes which show a small glimmer of what this series could have really been. However instead the series plays it safe and sticks to a rather cartoonish format of episodic stories. It’s excellent character cast is unfortunately underutilised aside from some single episode stories and the main plot it develops within it’s second half more or less fizzles out into something more tame.

So to those watching it can be frustrating to see how this series opens up roads to great storytelling possibilities only to take the road of least resistance. Thus my greatest advice to any viewer is to not let yourself be fooled into thinking that this show will have a dynamic shift into a greater story arc. Throughout it’s run this is a simple story with simple objectives. Thus if you can come to accept that then you can enjoy what Little Witch Academia has to offer. Again, this really is a good show and has the kind of fun sensibility that very few anime can pull off. It’s a show that wouldn’t look out of place if put in a Saturday morning cartoon block and for those that woke up on mornings to tune into these kinds of shows as kids it will certainly hit that sentimental spot. If you aren’t part of that demographic then this may be a harder sell as I could see others get tired of the inconsequential episodic stories and a general lack of character development. Some characters get small changes but for the most part have simple characterisation. Akko in particular tends to have sporadic development as she tends to waver between growing as a person and then falling into her old ways.

Animation can have hiccups but is pretty stellar and charming throughout the board. You can really tell that a lot of heart went into this series production, even if it likely drove the animators to exhaustion. This show has it’s fair share of Sakuga sequences that show there is some real talent at Trigger. There are also references galore throughout the series from callouts to old cartoons(Hanna Barbara, Disney, Dexters lab) to previous trigger works and to even oddballs like 1984, Pawn Stars, Hellboy and Dinotopia. Keep a keen eye and you can spot dozens of callouts within the framework. OST is suitable but has some great versions of the main theme and a very good opening theme. Overall I do recommend this series. It isn’t what it could have been but what it is is hardly anything to scoff at. It’s one of the surprisingly few anime you can show to a young child without worry and maybe even blossom another fan of this medium. If you feel burned out by current anime and need something that’s a bit of a change of pace then LIttle Witch Academia is a fine recommendation indeed.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

I am glad that Trigger managed to pull through and bring a bombastic finale to this series. Admittedly there are some signs of cutting corners with some still frames that lingered for a little too long but otherwise this was a great episode to go out on. That said i do have my problems with the final villain being some random program of Croix’s going out of control and attempting to start a world war. Introducing a rogue element when the entire second half of the season has been building up Croix as the main villain is somewhat cheap. Now that it’s all over it really makes Croix to be a major idiot who had no idea what she was doing and why didn’t Chariot stop her before it escalated to this point again? Well I do like Akko insinuating that they are all the brand new nine witches as it does suggest that the original nine witches were also a ragtag group elevated to legendary status. Having the entire crew play a part in the final episode was also something I really appreciated as it’s nice to have them do something after being brutally ignored by the show for so long.

So our ending does at least leave some room for a sequel though it’s not a bad way to finish the series right here. Personally I would be on board for a sequel despite my discontent with how the series turned out. I still believe that this series has great potential and a second season could really begin to bank on that potential now that this Croix and Chariot business is out of the way. In particular I would really love more scenes like the end of this episode, with all the character interacting with each other. Quite honestly, that’s what this series needed more of. Still I did truly love seeing trigger crank up the insanity to 180 and make the finale explosively fun. Highlights being the combined Akko and Diana Shiny Arc, the return of the shooting star and frankly the entire end sequence. Magic turned out to be in the hearts of the masses after all which really makes me think that Croix is pretty poor Scientist to not try to look for safer magic alternatives. The reveal of a believing heart being magic is rather cliche and a deus ex machina but I am more than willing to give it a pass just on how they managed to run with it.

As a final note I would like to take my hat off to Asenshi subs for succeeding where Netflix’s failed. As anyone who has kept up with this series likely knows, Netflix has licensed the series and in a truly boneheaded move has not simulcast it as it airs. The only legal means of keeping up with the series is to wait till the 30th of June where you will only get 13 out of the 25 not aired episodes at once. Considering the delay on release I would better see these things dubbed. If Netflix is to be a major player in anime simulcasting then they really need to sort out a model that benefits online internet discussion. I do not deny the benefits of binge watching shows but there are those of us that like following the discussions that aside from weekly watching. Having the series at once really kills any mid series theorising and makes it that you can only talk about the show as a whole rather than individual episodes. I believe it really killed the momentum that this series could have had. So I wholeheartedly give my thanks to Asenshi subs to allow me to experience this show as it airs and not to mention their top notch sub work. Truly they went the extra mile to give this show the quality it deserves. So much so that I think official subs will end up inferior to their fantastic work. Honestly guys, you did the anime community one hell of a favor. Thanks for that.

Posted on 20 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Hmmm….mixed feelings. There are parts I like about this episode but then there is this underwhelming feeling over how things have turned out. In general I like that the epicly named world reconstruction magic turned out to be just a stick that performs party tricks. Thinking about it it’s likely the decline of magic is due to people just not having much faith in it anymore. So the real means of bringing magic back to the world is just what Chariot was doing, showing the world just how great it is. I like that sentiment, there are no quick fixes in the world. Instead worldwide problems are solved with effort and perseverance. Plus seeing Croix utterly devastated about how she pretty much started a war to get a hold of a stick that blows bubbles is delicious karmic retribution. But what was with that battle at the start of the this episode. I was honestly confused to see Chariot pull out a lightsaber of all things and start doing shadow clone jutsu. I was under the impression that magic in this universe required some kind of activation word.

However we have spent half a season building up Croix and the grand triskelion for this moment. Thus with one episode the main concerns of the plot that sacrificed the rest of the casts screentime has more or less been resolved in about five minutes. Akko forgives chariot, gains the last word, Croix is defeated and all is sunny in LWA land. Well besides the demonic nuke going somewhere but we will get to that. The conclusion to this whole affair is just to neat and clean. In particular I find Croix’s change of heart to be too little too late for the story has already gone to lengths to convince us that she’s a irredeemable bitch. She had a moment or two of showing compassion for Chariot but it really isn’t enough to cancel out her evil power trip at the beginning of the episode. I mean she’s surprised that the giant evil as all hell robot started going berserk? You even called the thing the Noir rod so it’s just really stupid that you didn’t realise that you might be on the wrong track. Perhaps she was working with the ends justify the means logic and hoping the grand reconstruction magic would erase all her own wrongdoings. But she’s not the only one at fault here, after all Chariot could have tried to stop this at any time. Yet never did. Are we sure she’s not somewhat evil here?

I can’t be the only annoyed that the entire cast of characters made it to the grand Triskelion and did absolutely nothing. I mean they did so much more when getting the scorers stone from Fafner and speaking of which, what happened to that Dragon? I thought he was going to play a big role but he ended up a one episode deal. Come on Trigger, we could have had the gang fend off the dark dragon while Akko charges up an attack! Sure they don’t have magic at the moment but they could just as easily explain that away by having Croix turn on their routers or magic being in the air or something. We got one episode left so I hope they don’t spend it being a peanut gallery. I did like the conversation between Chariot and Akko as it was a good way to get the last word. Felt a little rushed but I am willing to give a pass on that. So we got one more episode to go and a missile to stop which make this the last time Trigger can really go all out with this show. Some are debating that one of the things mentioned in the book Lotte reads(About Belle tossing aside a nuke) is going to turn out prophetic. I would love to see Trigger go over the top but based on previous experience with this show it’s likely not going to get that insane. But I am more than willing to bet that Shooting Star is going to be in the final episode. That Chekhov’s gun has been ready since episode 3.

Posted on 14 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

As we near the end of this show I have come to realise that this story has the habit of building up my expectations only to let me down. There have been several points where it felt like this show was going to great heights, only for it to crash back down. Last episode I praised the twist of the true nature of Chariots shows and how this changed Ursula’s character as a whole. This episode meanwhile goes to great lengths to remove any moral complexity that the previous revelation hinted at. Did Chariot resort to abusing the dreams of her fans in desperation to open the grand triskelion? Is there more to Croix than than being a evil villain? Is Croix merely repeating Chariots previous mistake? The answer is no, nope and nah. What really happened was that Chariot had no idea about the consequences of dream magic and Croix is just a irredeemable bitch. That’s a relief, we almost had some character depth there. Really this just feels like the most dull answer and I really am tired of these heroes who are made out to have commited some great crime only for it to turn out to be something completely out of their control.

But out of the revelations in this episode, the one that really killed it was the explanation behind why Chariot lost her powers and the mark on the moon. Now when you have something like a scar on the moon you often assume that it was created in some epic battle to the death. It’s the moon after all and with how throughout this series Chariot has been presented as some major badass in the know about ancient secrets and I thought that the moon scar would be part of one of her great exploits. I even heard tell of people making theories that Chariot was gathering dream power to fight off Anti-spirals in space. Now as ludicrous(And frankly, amazing) that sounds, it at least is a far more interesting explanation than we got here. As it turns out, Chariot wasn’t a badass but instead a entertainer. The moon scar was the result of her desperately trying to entertain a crowd with impressive magic. So the scar on the moon and the cause of her loss of powers was in fact, a misfired magic trick. Sure that’s unexpected but in the way that you would buy a new game console and find out it’s just a hollow case with nothing inside kind of unexpected. There are dozens of explanations that could have been better than this and by all account this is a really mundane development to come from trigger of all people.

Well it’s not all bad. I rather like how Akko was cheered up though I really think Diana should have had a bit more of a reaction to Ursula explaining that she was the cause of her losing her magic briefly. I also thought that her revealing herself as a Chariot fan would have more impact as well. Actually thinking about it the whole jealousy over Akko being closer to Chariot really didn’t turn out to be much, did it? Still at least they are not going to milk Akko’s depression for a couple of episodes and having her friends come to collect her was quite heartwarming. I thought that was going to be a pretty big deal in the first episodes of the series. I like that the gang is getting all together for the finale and I at least hope that’s going to be an explosive finish.

Posted on 8 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Might I add that the animation of these two episodes was quite spectacular. The second episode in particular had a level of fluid motion when Akko fought against Croix that it makes me wish technology could move to a point that such movement could be achieved in anime without putting animators on deathwatch. One thing I found in these episodes is that Lotte and Sucy look to be close to fading into the background much like the enchanted Parade crew as they don’t play much of role in Akko’s quest to gather the words. Indeed Akko, Ursula and Croix seem to be in the main spotlight with perhaps Diana playing a small part. Really I believe that Little Witch Academia isn’t making full use of the cast of characters it has built up and there are episodes which could have greatly benefited from other characters taking a more active role.

It is not often that I am blindsided by a twist in a story. That may sound like bragging but in all my years of watching media I have come to get a general idea of how things play out. Of course I cannot predict with 100% accuracy what can come to pass in a show but I have gotten to a point of not being very surprised by it. Even if I don’t pick up on foreshadowing, with my regular trips to check out opinions on reddit often point out things that I miss. So having the real reason behind Chariots magic shows be something of a much sinister nature really was something I never considered. In truth I was hoping that Chariots reveal to Akko would be more…for lack of a better word…epic but this reveal does make the whole story make a lot more sense. Suddenly Urusala’s reluctance to reveal herself, her care for Akko and her drive to awaken the words are given a deeper context within the narrative. One thing that really is effected by this is Chariots show in the very first episode where the intervention of the Croix like creature may have been Croix herself attempting to prevent Chariot from stealing the magic of the audience. I honestly never saw this coming and the only thing I managed to guess was that Chariot really was responsible for the mark on the moon.

We at least know the full details of Croix’s plan now, that being to rile people up into a frenzy in order to gather their emotions to open her own grand triskelion. Essentially in part repeating the mistake that Chariot made in drawing magic out of people. Though in this case to a more negative degree. It’s clear that Croix doesn’t quite know what she’s messing with and i say any magic that glows blood red and is taken from negative emotions is not going to be some world saving solution. She’s clearly fueled by envy over not being chosen as well as her own pride so I am certain her little experiment is going to backfire on her, hard. But there are small signs that despite how antagonist she is being to Chariot that she still does care about her. When she managed to knock Ursula off her broom she actually panicked and tried to save her from falling. Her anger seems directed at Claimh Solas and Woodward rather that Chariot. So I think she might not even up this series final boss after all. Andrew also gets a moment or two here with him encouraging Akko for once and perhaps he might be the one to knock her out of her current funk. Or Diana might be a better option in that regard.

Posted on 24 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

This episode has really nailed home for me just how defanging Diana has been a bad choice. In the OVA episodes Diana was bratty and stuck up but at least then she had character. In the TV series she’s more or less a mary sue through and through which is sadly a much more boring characteristic. When comparing how the two clash in both continuities it felt more animated in the OVA’s whereas Diana’s talks here are more exasperated. When you have a high energy character like Akko then I think the best foil is someone who is equally as outspoken. Compare the bickering at the end of this episode to that of the bickering at the end of the first OVA and I think you might see what I am getting at. It is good that we have awakened another word and only have two left for Akko to unlock the seal. The key to this one seems to be Akko relating Diana’s efforts to keep the history of the cavendish family from dying out to the pursuit of her own dream.

As predicted the evil Aunt tries to interfere with Diana taking the ritual and in all honestly I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to anyone. Both Akko and Edward are shocked to hear this as is the maid but when you get down to it then if her Aunt didn’t do something then that would be surprising. Did they really think she was just going to sit back and let Diana take the head position from her? With Diana being as perfect as she is I just don’t get how she couldn’t see this coming. Animation was up to the usual trigger standard with the broom sequence being quite excellent.

In the end the status quo wins. Diana gets to back to school and Daryl looks to have had a change of heart. Besides unlocking a word this little adventure hasn’t changed the norm. Maybe Diana and Akko will be closer after this? Chances are that’s not going to be the case. We did get to learn a little more about Diana with this episode. Things like her temporarily losing her magic when she was a child. This is likely the point she became a fan of Shiny Chariot. There is also her history lesson on the Cavendish family acting as war medics during wars which is rather fascinating. I wonder if witches took part in the fighting as well? Based on what they are capable of they would be formable weapons in a war.

It is rather odd to have this kind of seriousness when most of the violence in the series is treated with cartoon logic. Well we have five episodes of little Witch Academia left and it’s only now that Netflix announces that they plan to release the first cour on their service on June 30. Likely dubbed as they have with other anime releases. I must say that if Netflix will continue with licensing anime then they need to rethink how they release it. The binge format has its good points but when it comes to online discussion then it kills any talk about individual episodes. People accuse this of killing the momentum of Relife and Little Witch Academia which I would be inclined to agree. I think Netflix should consider a simudub strategy much like Funimation. It is great to see more companies jump into licensing anime but with the methods Amazon strike and Netflix are making use of it’s proving to make things more difficult for those who don’t wish to obtain anime on the high seas. Regardless I am looking forward to giving this show a rewatch dubbed when it does come out next month.

Posted on 17 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It’s time for the Diana episode and it’s a two parter no less. This episode was mainly a setup to the next one but we did learn a couple of things here. One is that Diana is indeed a former Chariot fan as she possesses the one card that Akko doesn’t have. I honestly think that card is going to end up getting shown to Akko at some point though I don’t think it has a word of Arcturus on it. If anything the tapestry that was shown in the beginning and was one of the items her aunt tried to pawn off appears to have the word that Akko is looking for. Other thing revealed is that Diana is not as well off as she first appeared to be with her family assets getting sold off by her Aunt. Makes me think that Akko is deeply regretting that Aristocrat remark she made during the fairy strike. Speaking of Diana’s aunt, I like to think that she is a character who absorbed the original bitch tendencies of Diana’s OVA self. Still I admit she’s a pretty weak villain character to introduce at this stage. I don’t disagree with her assessment on charity not being the best way to keep yourself afloat but her solution is full of holes. It’s an odd thing to outright dismiss the legacy of her family when her very well being depends on her selling off the heirlooms that the legacy gathered.

Another thing of note is a prediction that Diana made earlier in the series. She previously predicted using magic that Akko would leave the school however with her dropping out from school to take on the duties of the family head it appears that prediction was actually meant for her. Her position when compared to Akko is interesting as her mother also tasked her with bringing magic back to the world. I feel that that was a missed opportunity in this series up to this point to display how she came to accept Akko  as the one to gather the words. Diana has been a bit too mary sue for my liking so to actually see some internal conflict would have been nice rather than just have her jump straight to the resolution. After all Akko is the one to fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Akko is the one chosen by the Shiny Rod, Akko is the one being tutored by her childhood hero…Akko has essentially inherited the position that Diana originally aimed for and quite frankly she is inferior in all aspects to Diana herself. Shouldn’t there be some frustration? Envy? She has shown to be dissatisfied with how Akko is doing things and the occasional wayward look but I think her arc should have been something much more than this. Back on episode two I originally thought that would be so.

Based on the opening and the parallels between Akko and Diana to Ursula and Croix then i would say she’s bound to play a big role in the finale of this series. So perhaps these episodes are to build the relationship between the two so that they can clash/work together for whatever Croix is planning. It was nice to see Diana not put up with her Aunt mocking Akko and Andrew certainly seems to be willing to help Akko out whenever he can. Or maybe he just felt like annoying Diana. Either way the problem her is Diana’s aunt and she’s clearly doing to do something to stop Diana from inheriting the position of family head. Perhaps she’s not quite as evil as she appears and they may somehow give her a change of heart. But seeing as her familiar is a snake and her first introduction involved her having glowing red eyes and slipping into the darkness then I think her defeat is not going to be through words. The question is whether Diana will return to Luna Nova through some condition where she can continue her education while being family head? Or will she no longer be a part of the school from this point forward as she previously intended?

Posted on 11 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Did you know that the animation team that worked on this previously worked on Gurren Lagann? Of course you did but I say anyone clueless would have caught onto it just by this episode alone. So Constanze finally gets her time to shine and she’s just as lovable as I remember. Akko was a little annoying at the beginning of this episode with her constant screwups but that went away when she actually started helping Constanze instead of just pulling a Dexter and Dede routine. Seeing Constanze warm up to her was nice and the Gainax mecha anime references at the end of the episode really made it. We got Evangelion, Gunbuster, Gurren Lagann and even Akko doing the classic Gainax pose. The wild hunt itself seems to be a callout to eSports but I don’t think we got an explanation on why it takes place besides entertainment. There were a number of noticeable still frames this week so I wonder if that was to account for the mecha action scene or are things getting a bit tight at Studio trigger? Just how they can bring the bring guns for the rest of the season. All and all, I got my Constanze episode so I am pretty happy with that.

Still questioning just why Ursula continues to do absolutely nothing about Croix but at least this episode she went to call her out on her wrong doing. From what can be gathered from their talk, it seems her goal in these random experiments is to collect emotion. In this case she stirred up trouble to collect emotion from the crowd. Her endgame isn’t clear but from the sound of it this isn’t going to be good. I admit some of my old frustration with this series has come back as once again the plot looks to be at a standstill. I am having fun, no doubt. But I notice that not much has actually been accomplished these past two episodes besides giving Amanda and Constanze some spotlight. The two certainly deserve their moment to shine however when I notice that this episode could essentially be removed from the series and nothing would be affected, I can’t help but feel a little miffed. Not to mention that it’s more than a little late to start developing these characters, not to mention pointless if they aren’t going to be more than background decoration. This has always been the aspect of saturday morning cartoons that I never quite liked. An adventure happens but the characters in question end up in the same place they were when the episode began, all experiences and lessons learnt sent to the void. Little Witch Academia isn’t quite guilty of that as I think from now one Constanze will be considerably warmer towards Akko though all things considered this is likely the most screentime she’s going to get. Perhaps that machine broom she built for Akko might come into play later though I still think the shooting star that’s soaring around the world is going to come back in some fashion. Likely during the finale.

A thought has occurred to me while watching this season. I originally thought that this will be the one and only season of Little Witch Academia. Triggers Original works after all aren’t known for leaving room for sequels. However Little Witch Academia was their first work and it is possible they may wish to make more than a single season for this series, though that is admittedly unlikely. The one thing about this is that I thought this series would end with a conclusive, decisive ending but if they do plan to continue Akko’s adventures that won’t be the case. Sure the trouble with Croix will be resolved but there may be quite a few loose ends left behind. The thought of this leaves me with mixed feelings as another season would certainly be welcome but I do also prefer a realised end over a “To be continued.” Next week looks to be a Diana episode so we will finally see just what that comment in the last episode was about. Considering that the latest word of Arturus has to do with tradition I think helping Diana will lead to unlocking the word.

Posted on 5 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It took seventeen episodes but we are finally doing something with the enchanted parade crew. Plot-wise I don’t think we got anywhere seeing as there turned out to be no word in the academy and this seems more about Croix performing some kind of experiment. As to what she hoped to accomplish is anyone’s guess. Regardless it is nice to see Amanda get her own episode seeing as she hasn’t played an active part since the dragon episode. So Amanda and Akko infiltrate a boys school in order to find the holy grail and i have to admit to being a little disappointed that there was no Fate/Stay night reference. Well at least the episode title looks to be a reference to Monty Python so I will settle for that.

I do like that the villain of this particular story turned out to not be completely scum. I have often seen anime with antagonists like him who never show any sense of shame or regret. But after being saved by Amanda he owned up to the whole thing being his fault and I like that. Even the greatest pricks have some sense to know when they have taken things too far and rather than go the route of having him remain a complete one dimensional asshole, they actually gave him a little bit of redemption. However I do still think it doesn’t excuse his earlier acts as even if it was played up for laughs, he was trying to torture and kill Amanda beforehand.

Otherwise Trigger is really being standout with the fight animation so I thank the studio for what is likely sleepless nights of tiresome overwork. They still seem to be pushing a romantic angle between Akko and Andrew as they contrast her drive to go for her dreams over his resignation to taking the job his family is grooming him for. Ursula mentioned that the next word has to due with tradition and it was briefly mentioned that Diana’s family has run into some sort of trouble. I have a feeling that these two things are inadvertently linked. Though I think that won’t be getting screentime yet. Instead if my information is correct, another member of the enchanted parade group is getting her time to shine.

Posted on 26 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

One of the weaker episodes of the show but still enjoyable. This week sees us visiting Lottes parents and Akko unlocking another of the words of Arcturus after sloving a disease outbreak. Thus getting closer to the grand triskelion and now learned the meaning of pathence. Except she didn’t learn the meaning of pathence. This episode was strange in that it clearly was geared towards teaching Akko the meaning of pathence. Much of the episode showed off Akko’s lack of pathence causing trouble and I was waiting for the “Ah Ha!” moment of realisation where she would demonstrate her new understanding of the word. However that didn’t actually happen as when Akko had her “Ah Ha!” moment when stiring the potion and then proceeded to stir it slower till Shiny rod finished the job for her. It feels like Akko only learned the meaning of the word when the Shiny rod just said “Close enough” and gave her a freebie. Which makes me wonder if the activation of these words just means you have to guess the meaning of them and not nessarily grow or learn from them.

This makes me question Akko’s character growth thoughout the series as there have been times that it felt like she made massive leaps in her character arc only to regress back in the next episode. It’s hard to really cheer on a chearacter when they don’t learn from thier mistakes and Akko was certainly testing me this episode. The whole ordeal with the Yeti was humorous enough until you realise that Akko’s friends were quite literally dying the whole time she was critising the Yeti. Speaking of which, despite the stakes being high the atmosfere of the episode was really too light hearted to get accross the actual agency of the problem. The ridiclous conditions for the desease, the comedic gathering of ingredients and a general lack of concern from both Akko and Sucy made the entire situation just feel like another day at the office. I did like the moment with her begining to doubt herself when walking through the snow but it was a small moment that was quickly brushed aside.

As for Criox, who knows what she’s up to. She’s discovered that the emotion of anger can draw out the most energy from magic but to me that’s just asking for trouble. Much like in Doom 2016 they thought that the prefect solution to an energy crisis would be to draw energy from Hell. It’s just a matter of when everything goes to hell if the source of your power is based around dark matter. My big question is why is Ursula just letting Criox do as she pleases and not warned Akko about her? She clearly sees the threat she poses and yet isn’t really trying to do anything to get in her way. Theres also the matter of the governer who has yet to do anything despite foreshadowing shutting down the witch academy. Seems he was shoved off stage rather fast and the same can be said of Amanda and friends. Despite having a spot on the opening I am rather surpised how under utilised they are. I was under the impression that after the second OVA that the three would be a regular part of Akko’s entourage but that appears to not have happened. Shame as their presense could have really brightened up the interactions in this episode. Sucy and Lotte are good but both are too quiet to really bounce off Akko. Even having just Amanda there would have been good for drilling in the point that Akko needs patence as she could have been another example of lacking it. I have lots of complaints but that is out of a geniune love for this series and a wish for it to excel. I wonder if anyone on the trigger team happens to notice these kinds of complaints as the Yeti getting trolled online certainly seemed like a metaphore for just such a thing.

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 3 [One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~]

Another week, another episode of Mob Psycho, though this week is a little different. Last time was all action and comedy. This time, Mob Psycho takes a more somber, character driven tone, and I love it. So that said, let’s dive in! Like I said, this week Mob Psycho was much more subdued than previous […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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