Posted on 31 December 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Thunderbolt Fantasy

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that make this show such an install success since it came out: the puppetry technique makes it an unique viewing experience amongst anime fandom; the larger the life characters whose characters are the central protagonist in their own stories; the camp value of cheesy lines and back-and-forth conversations; and the somewhat unpredictableness of the plot. It serves as an entertaining and engaging ride on its own right, but to be fair, it’s pale compare to the freshness of the first season.

In this second season, we have a whole new supporting cast aside from our hero Shang Bu Huan and Gui Niao the Enigmatic Gale. The cast includes Lang Wu Yao – the ginger singer with his talking pipa, the Princess of Cruelty Xie Yinglou, the Dirty Cop Xiao Kuang Juan and the amoral monk Di Kong. While Thunderbolt proves once again it more than has its chops when it comes to make these characters as stand out as possible, for this season it falls more into straightforward side.There’s a clear line between the good guys and the bad guys, which makes a lesser impact compare to the ambiguity of good/evil in the original series. Princess Cruelty, for example, has haer redemption arc that, while still good, is the most conventional arc Thunderbolt has done so far.

The main storyline is another straightforward aspect of this season. It has a clear set of goals and well planned-out (too well indeed) goals: Shang Bu Huan wanted to get rid of his Index of Swords, unfortunately the plan fails and the enemy gets a hold of two evil swords. One thing that this season does improve is that we get a chance to see more legendary swords and their dangerous powers. These two new swords, Seven Blashphemous Deaths and the Night of Mourning, have a distinct designs and formidable powers. The former especially has quite a character for her deadly charming voice and her femme fatale personality. My favorite addition, however, is the one-wing Dragon who spits fire and talks human language.  

Speaking of characters, I’m glad to say that all the main players this season fit into this universe like a T. They’re over the top, but not simple. They’re all too proud of themselves and they bounce off with each other extremely well. Normally it’s an one-on-one conversations where these different personas clash, and most of the time it’s a treat to watch. Di Kong and Lang Wu Xao serve to be an excellent cast on its own, the former on how he’s dangerous purely because he has no evil temptation, and the latter because of his strict sense of justice. The Dirty Cop’s character is your love-to-hate type and his corruption is a bit to extreme to leave any ambiguity, and it’s a shame his character is the least relevant to the main plotline.

The visual has gotten much more flashy too. Characters doing their own “remarks” while speaking, the special effect, namely the spitfire and the blood-gushing are still something to behold. Even the way these characters run have a quirk of its own, making Thunderbolt a product that never fail to be anything less than spectacular. I think we’re in good chance for the final season that closes everything here. Witty, refreshing, never take itself seriously and always have the right amount of campiness and flashiness, puppets are here to stay.

Posted on 18 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Boy, it sure feels great to see the biggest douchebag gets punched repeatedly to the face by his own dirty tricks. It also feels good when the femme fatale Seven Blashphemous Deaths Sword feels threatened towards Monk’s declaration of love. If there’s one thing that I still enjoy in Thunderbolt, it’s that the cast keeps redefining their roles. Who would’ve imagined that collected Monk can be this love obsessive and embrace the “Till death do us part” vow to heart? In term of general plot, I feel that this season is weaker than the first. While in the first season we have a band of misfits with a shared immediate goal, here we have many branches of characters who have different goals that don’t join together towards the climax. Dirty Cop basically just wants to screw around and gets his hands on more swords now. Our team wants to retrieve the Evil Swords, and the Fallen Monk just wants to dedicate his life to his wife Sword. The issue remains that the cast doesn’t really connect to each other in a big narrative sense. It’s until this late in the game that the Monk has some reason to fight against Shang Bu Huan, just because Femme Fatale Sword wants to buy some more time.

Moreover, while it’s still a joy to watch these larger than life characters behave on screen. This is the first time where I see the implausible characters behavior in Thunderbolt. So Dirty Cop fights our Ginger Singer and decides to turn the table by handing his evil sword to him, thus force him to take care of these manipulated soldiers. I could totally understand if Shang Bu Huan hesitates to harm these guys but with Lang Wu Yao? He’s the kind who will save his ass first rather than saving innocent people who get into his way. I still remember him warning Shang Bu Huan for not killing those puppets in early episodes so I just don’t get the change of heart here. Whichever the case, Shang Bu Huan appears right on time (almost too perfect timing if you ask me), and shoe Dirty Cop how he can handle orchestrating the whole puppet soldiers without any sweat. At the end, Enigmatic Gale Joins the gang on his own amusement. The back-and-forth bouncing off between him, our Hero, and the Singer is still campy and pretty hilarious.

On the other side of the battle, Fallen Monk and his wife find themselves in the Wasteland of Spirits. In another reversion of our expectation, it’s revealed that the Monk has never fallen for the magic charm of the Sword in the first place, but love it in his own will. It could’ve been greater if we witness the moment he met and acquired the Sword though. At the moment we just take it as what he told us. Then my MVP character appears, the indestructible dragon who raises up from the ground and gets killed by the Monk just as quick. Poor little dragon who always picks the wrong fight. Now, with the finale of the final showdown between our hero team and the Monk, with Dirty Cop will somehow chime in as well, I just hope for a bombastic and explosive climax.

Posted on 11 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

This week we see something that rarely happens: Gui Niao is in a fault mood. As it turns out, this little war between Enigmatic Gale and Dirty Cop is more about the Vape Wiz’s ego rather than the Glassed Boy. The usually collected-Gui Niao shows off a whole range of emotions this episode: from being a complete troller (his exaggerated reaction when he heard the “news” is priceless) to bewildered and finally frustrated with Dirty Cop’s decision. Everything goes according to Enigmatic Gale, but one thing that he hadn’t taken into account is that Dirty Cop has stooped so slow, he has no such “pride” whatsoever. Things go against his plan, his life is ruined but he shakes it off and moves on. Well, Gui Naio being a boy with huge ego, who enjoys crushing other boys’ huge ego, is taken a big backlash that he doesn’t want anything to do with Dirty Cop. Well, I must say while this turn of event is silly at best, it’s always welcomed to see the weak side of Gui Niao, the guy who live or die by humiliating other people.

It’s also very welcomed to see the ex-spear wielder now-swordsman Juan Can Yun from the first season back, now more responsible and all. Our Shang Bu Huan decides to leave the sword index to his old comrade, so that he can come back and fight against the evil sword, which for me is a very Shang Bu Huan thing to do. What cracks me up, however, is that the blonde one-eyed dude can hold the sword index… for a week. I mean, to walk into the hiding place, it already takes that amount of time. That aside, it provides a deadline for Shang Bu Huan to do his thing and come back to claim the sword index. Gotta say though, it still feels wrong the way Juan Can Yun wields a sword from his wife instead of his trademark spear.

Our Ginger Singer has an encounter with the Monk and his wife Sword, and I count it lucky when he can escape that fight without losing his life. He had a death flag all over when he decided to pursuit the villain alone, but I guess he’s too beloved to be killed off just like this. Apparently, he only appears in the side story, but because Gen Urobuchi loves his character so much he includes the bloke to this sequel. The way he fights based purely on his hearing proves to be a formidable thread for the Monk, but he himself is wise enough to deceive our Singer. At the moment, it feels like the last retreat before an all-out war, with pretty much everyone cools down or power up right now before the climax. This episode isn’t a game changer or anything, but it still maintains the endless fun of seeing these larger than life characters act and bounce off each other.

Posted on 4 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

This week, Thunderbolt takes a left turn to resolve side conflicts, or even new minor conflicts it thought of, mostly to boost up the status of our main cast. It’s still enjoyable, in an admittedly predictable way. We have a guy literally flirting with his sword, a yaoi love where a guy willing to put his life at stake to save his partner, and a backstab where we have this ridiculous line as a climax: “These are… swords!!!!!”. First off, I hope Enigmatic Gale scheme against Dirty Cop goes beyond this humiliation as it’s underwhelming at best. It’s true that it takes guts for him to trick the Dirty Cop in a factor that he was most confident in: his special glasses. It’s the scheme goes right in front of his eyes, but he’s too arrogant to realize the trick. Freak-out Dirty Cop is nice and all, but I hope this is only a warning from Gui Liao.

Lang Wu Yao, on the other hand, is on his way to the suicide mission. This must show how much he cares (in an unhealthy way, that is) for Shang Bu Huan since I don’t see the reason why they would just join forces to beat the enemy. Isn’t two head is always better than one? This leaves Shang Bu Huan the opportunity to sneak out to his other boyfriend, Gui Niao. The moment I see the man having enough time and pleasure to go fishing again with the glasses on no less, it gives me such joy.

Finally, Di Kong, under a new alias Lou Zhen Jie, basically goes through episode talking about how much devotion he is with his sword, and further demonstrates how he isn’t necessary a vessel under her power. I must say the subplot regarding these guys from the Sen Chin Fortress a bit unimportant, especially at this late in a game. But it does offer an interesting scenario: the holy swords wielded by these guys versus this massive evil sword. I’m a bit disappointed that Seven Blasphemous Deaths loses its cool the moments it sees its krypnotye – by her power it should be more excited the more powerful the opponent has. But the Fallen Monk proves once again he doesn’t need the power of the sword to triumph, as he destroys the holy swords by his bare hands. The only take out from this turn of event is that it isn’t the sword, but Di Kong himself, will prove to be the final threat for Shang Bu Huan and the gang. Hopefully, Enigmatic Gale finds someway to be relevant with this feud as well. He’s hardy connected to the main plot, given he himself hasn’t met Di Kong, nor the Evil Sword, onscreen at all.

Posted on 29 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

As soon as our Princess Cruelty has her redemption moments, I immediately realize this might be the last we see of her. This proves to be the case, well, this is Thunderbolt world we’re talking about – the strong survives and the weak dies, but I believe Thunderbolt gives her characters just about enough growth. She had gone through one hell of a challenge as the prideful evil Sword berates her and nearly uses her blood as a sacrifice (well, it’s another kind of physical and mental abuse if you think about it). While her short duel with Shang Bu Huan doesn’t really change anything – she knows the guy is much stronger than her – I enjoy the moments in many ways. First, unlike Thunderbolt’s other duels so far this sword fight is short and sweet. It takes just one move for Shang Bu Huan to defeat the Princess. Second, like what Shang Bu Huan comments, it’s rather impressive that Princess Cruelty can shake off the evil sword and fight in her own will. She mentions how using the powerful sword makes her realize how weak she is, but in truth the person who can realize their own limitation goes a long way. Thunderbolt has always addressed the quest of becoming invincible by the means of swords, and this Cruelty plot further demonstrates this quality to great extend. You’ve done well, Cruelty.

In the other side of the battle, admittedly with a much lower stake, Dirty Cop ‘asks’ Gui Niao (not very nicely) to make a deal with him of swapping “stolen goods” and sell them with high price. Well, this Dirty Cop sure is corrupted, but points for him for stripping down all the pretense. Still, his puppet’s teeth gonna give me nightmare, I swear. Gui Niao is playing along with his scheme for now, but I won’t be surprised if the man is waiting for a right opportunity to turn the table.

And finally, the evil Sword has a new sword-wielder. Can’t say I’m surprised with this new turn of events, but I’m sure with the guy as amoral as this Monk, his combination with the Seven Blasphemous Deaths makes him a formidable threat. His new design is certainly awesome and moreover, it’s interesting to see how the evil sword and him will play out. This guy is not the type who can be easily controlled for sure, so whatever the case he will this sword: as a tool, or as a soulmate, or as a master, it remains to be seen. But I’m sure hyped for how Shang Bu Huan and his partner can overcome this powerful beast. The lesson Shang Bu Huan needs to learn here, is to listen to your goddamn partner, dude. This Ginger Singer knows best.

Posted on 20 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Thunderbolt mixes things up nicely this week. This week, the overpowered Princess has a fair shot of killing off our Shang Bu Huan, but predictably leaves him so that he can suffer. As often the case, when you’re too powerful you tend to act arrogantly, and… stupid. Thunderbolt is one good set piece piling up to another right now, as it often pairs 2 members from the main cast and let them bouncing off each other. First, I’m glad to see how the Dirty Cop Xiao Kung Juan (which for now I’ll refer as Dirty Juan) manages to catch Gui Niao off-guard. The table has turned quickly on that side and for now, Gui Niao works under the command of Dirty Juan. I know Gui Niao will eventually finds the opening in a matter of time, but it’s nice to see a battle where sword isn’t directly involved in Thunderbolt. It’s certainly amusing to see that Dirty Cop loses himself for the ‘charms’ of Seven Blasphemous Deaths and kicks the pile of woods uncontrollably. Boy, the campy sense of fun is still going strong here.

Second, we have a meetup between our Hero and the nihilist monk Di Kong. He’s still pretty much a wildcard here since I still can’t put my finger on his role in the grand scheme. Will he become an ultimate villain? Will he join up with the good gand to repress the evil sword? Will he change at all? Everything is up in the air now and he remains as mysterious as ever. Shang Bu Huan seems to agree with me on this, as he’s still baffled on the Monk’s mindset. He shows no remorse on learning the fact that the girl he saved runs amok and kills everyone on sight. He even comments on how pointless he was as trying to save people just so that they were killed in the end. Shang Bu Huan remains too soft, as always, given he tries to reason with the guy, to no avail of course. I love the way how Shang Bu Huan already meets all kind of eccentric personalities, but his “are you for real?” expression is still refreshing and never gets old.

Third, we have a total unexpected match between Cruelty Princess Xie Yinglou (with a feminine-talking sword) and Red Hair Musician Lang Wu Yao (with a masculine-talking instrument). Damn, along with the real battle between Princess and Musician, it’s also a battle of wit between two talky instruments right there. It’s clear that Princess Cruelty has taken something much more than she bargained for, and now she’s slowly consumed by it. The dream sequence where she meets and destroys her boss, apart from some stunning background designs here, suggests how Seven Blasphemous Deaths keeps manipulating her deepest thoughts, even turns herself against her goal for living. In addition, it marks the first time Thunderbolt experiencing with its puppetry form visually, as it uses special negative color effect to illustrate Red Musician’s unique technique of fighting by hearing sense. He even has an edge towards Cruelty Princess until our Gui Niao and Dirty Cop poke their noses in (Really. What do you expect from the Enigmatic Gale but poling his nose where he doesn’t belong?). Thunderbolt is, to put it simply, unstoppable right now.

Posted on 15 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

My apologies that I missed a post last week, it’s not due to the lack of interest of Thunderbolt given the show is as exciting as ever, but more about my hectic life. These past two episodes have many game-changing events, and many Gui Niao’s wittiest lines and expressions to boost. The moment the Vapewiz puts his finger to his cheek I know the show loses none of its charms. In episode 6, the monk Di Kong becomes more prominent into this whole affair. As we predicted, the monk can prove to be an interesting villain, given how immoral he is. That is not to say he loves to wreak havoc or seeks out for fame and power like the villains in the first season. It’s that he has no sense of judgement and justice and has no value of human life (even his own), and that could prove very dangerous if he falls for the wrong cause, or simply, if he can’t find the right path to lead.

When he meets our team Shang Bu Huan and Lang Wu Yao who are in pursuit of Princess Cruelty (more on her later), he decides not to help out our guys. That sets off the evil-detector of Lang Wu Yao, and he’s in killing mode again – or as Gui Niao puts it, it’s hard to deal with a person who doesn’t talk. Well, he might be right to assume that Di Kong will be dangerous, but there’s no way he can just blast off and determined on destroying people like that. Later on, he “sweet-talks” our Princess Cruelty (more like completely destroy her ego but you know what I mean) into re-access her whole philosophy of life. Well played, dude.

Speaking of the female assassin, she’s vulnerable in every possible way. Beaten down by her enemy Shang Bu Huan, backstabbed and got sword-stolen from the corrupted cop, and now the monk mind-fucking her ego, she does what a loyal dog would do: bring the antique sword back to her Master. For a ruthless villain who only has a single mission of killing our hero, strangely I really feel for her struggles there. And that’s important that we feel sympathy for her because it justifies her action much later, which moves the plot in an interesting way: she’s drawing the Seven Blasphemous Deaths and ho boy, what a sword!! It enslaves the wielder and draws everyone’s desire once they look at it, and gain ultimate power with the blood it slays. While now, it proves to be the ultimate hazzard for our heroes, I still kind of feel bad for Scorpion girl. She won’t get out of this alive.

On the other side of the battle, that cheeky Gui Niao has his next target, the glassed cop. Curiously enough, that Dirty Cop has gained some valuable information about the Enigmatic Gale, which honestly make this game way more interesting now that they are on the same level. My biggest pleasure is to see Gui Niao fishes the information out of Shang Bu Huan, and honestly seeing their vibrant chemistry as they bounce back and forth it brings a warm feeling to me (and that fishing scene is pretty awesome too). This mind game between two unpredictable figures could prove to be as interesting as the devil Sword. Also special shout out for weapons that not only can talk, they make much more sense than the human counterparts. Thunderbolt is charging ahead in full gear now. There’s no stopping this puppet train now.

ps: why do people still hesitate on regarding Thunderbolt as anime?

Posted on 2 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now, things escalate pretty quickly. In a Thunderbolt Fantasy fashion, the moment Lang Wu Xiao gets a hand of the dragon’s horn and the formula, he double-crosses Gui Niao. But I can’t hate this guy, given his motive is purely because he cares for his partner Shang Bu Huan. The allied from the other side of the war is also bound to be broken very soon, as it’s clearly the Catching Fox is manipulating the Princess of Cruelty now. It’s one of the rare moments where we see Shang Bu Huan is vulnerable. It’s also one of the rare moments where we see the Princess of Cruelty having a conscience. The Monk’s words last episode clearly affects her and I would love to see her go through some sort of character arc. Now all that is just the beginning now that Shang Bu Huan has an antidote and is now “a hundred times more alive”.

But the absolute peak of this episode (and the whole season so far) is the battle of wits between our Gui Niao, Lang Wu Xiao and the one-wing dragon. It has everything that I want from Thunderbolt DNA, and then some: it has absurd dragon’s design, it has the sheer ridiculousness of the whole situation, it has campy quality, it has the grand visual spectacular and most of all, it has one of Gui Niao’s wittiest lines. Just imagine the ridiculousness of a giant fire-breathing dragon raises from below the ground (how on earth does he hide underground in the first place? To sleep? I think not), or that he’s powerful enough to speak human language (consider how there’s no human in the Wasteland of Spirits). This quality proves to be his fall from grace, as Gui Niao is an expert of deceiving everything by his words. It’s certainly charming as heck to see him politely asks the dragon for his horn (more than mocking based on his tone of speech), before runs like a maniac in a very quirky manner that only puppetry can produce, and finishes with a line: “doesn’t matter how nice you ask, anyone would be angry for that request”. Damn you, Gui Niao

Also only in a puppetry show that you can see a dragon throwing up flames that absurd. It mixes nicely between Thunderbolt’s trolly tone with how it takes itself seriously enough. If that isn’t eye-popping and ridiculous enough, we have the climax where Lang Wu Xiao has to sing (the fact the he admits his singing beyond hopeless make it way funnier, too) to attract the Dragon’s attention so that Gui Niao can set his favorite illusion trap. How the show transform for the usual two swordsmen fighting the monster into singing and talking while dodging wall of flame is nothing short of a stroke of genius. And don’t forget how Gui Niao isn’t in the least surprised when Lang Wu Xiao double-crosses him. Ridicule everyone has been his lifelong passion, so it’s only natural that he just gets used to people turning against him. I don’t care how Thunderbolt will go from here, as long as it maintains its quirky, campy nature like this dragon battle I’m more than happy to follow it everywhere.

Posted on 24 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

I’m glad to say that Thunderbolt Fantasy slowly goes back to its own charms, namely the witty banters between all the cast where they bounce off each other to reach a sort of agreement. This episode has two such cases. First, the villain side decides to team up together since they have the same goals: destroy Shang Bu Huan. Second, the allied side decides to cooperate because they also have the same objectives: to save Shang Bu Huan’s ass. The injured Shang Bu Huan is in the middle of all this and lurking behind the scene is the monk Di Kong and whatever his goal is. My suspect last week is proved wrong as Di Kong and the Princess of Cruelty don’t know each other, but there are two other takeaways from their meeting. First, Di Kong is far superior in terms of combating than the female assassin. He just decides not to. Second, what the hell happen to the Seven Blasphemous Deaths? I mean, is it still there? What if Di Kong is in possession of it? It’d be cool to see a guy who is adept of channeling toxic handles the ultimate toxicity sword. The more I think about it the more I feel he’s the only person who can control that evil sword.

My biggest enjoyment from this episode comes from the interaction between Xiao Kuang Juan and Cruelty-Hime. It’s the moment where their true personality is clearly presented. And in this case you can see how corrupted and how much of a bastard Xiao Kuang Juan is. Basically, his idea is that he wants to Sword Index returns to his hometown so that he can enjoy the luxury life he has. So teaming up with Cruelty-hime, they could potentially kill Shang Bu Huan and have a full control of the Sword Index. Regarding this ally, I’d say thay the assassin girl gets the shorter straw here. This guy is wise and I’m sure the moment Xie Yingluo has her hand on the Index, he’d double cross her to have it all by himself.

The not-as-bad side (Note: there’s no such thing as good side in thunderbolt Fantasy), on the other hand, is formed through the ever-curious Gui Niao and the reluctant Lang Wu Yao. I pretty enjoy the bits where he test the toxic (such refreshing method, mind you) and the way he comes up with the solution feels as effortless for him as walking on water (I love his train of logic here). So in order to get the antidote back to Shang Bu Huan, they need to retrieve the horn of the dragon, whom they happen to cross in the Wasteland of Spirits. It’s also hilarious to learn that the said dragon’s wing was chopped by Shang Bu Huan in a manner of us catching a fly. Gui Niao, being surprisingly honest in his intent, says that the reason he’s in is because he’s curious about Shang Bu Huan. He also tries to test the Lang Wu Yao, which the latter in turns test him back. Such bombastic energy and the newly formed allyship that you aren’t quite sure if you can trust the others are what essentially make Thunderbolt Fantasy such a fantastic show to watch. Thunderbolt Fantasy is officially back, in full force!!

Posted on 19 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now that’s more like it. Until you see the puppets’ blood-squirting and head-rolling you know that Thunderbolt Fantasy is back in full force. On a narrative side, this season has been more straightforward than the first. The hero’s and villain’s sides are pretty clear-cut so far, and with this episode the last member of the promotion art claims his first appearance. This dude Di Kong is a saint. Well, nearly since he’s a travelling monk who help cure the toxic for no gain, even putting himself in danger. He makes one hell of an impression, but my gut tells me that he’s the guy not to be taken lightly. There’s still one missing piece in the grand scheme so far, and that is Cruelty-hime boss, Kasei Meikou. He’s the guy who is so fearsome that Shang Bu Huan had to cross the Wasteland of Spirits in order to protect the swords index (okay, official term Sorcerous Scoll Index) from him (guess crossing the Wasteland of Spirits becomes trendy lately, huh?). Really, I believe this yin yang monk fits all the bill as the final boss for this whole affair.

At first, I took it that Princess Cruelty (I might stick to that name to avoid confusion) and the sneaky Xiao Kuang Juan are on the same team. This episode makes it clear that they are on different agenda and don’t necessary see each other as an ally. Well, they do have a same goal for now (kill our poor Shang Bu Huan) but their super-ego prevents them from seeing eye to eye to the matter. Thunderbolt Fantasy also makes damn sure to let us know how cruel this General is. He blames all his killing to the innocent villagers to Shang Bu Huan, the cruel thing is how he sees his actions as “justified”. That action even ticks our “always cool” Gui Niao off. But so far, it’s interesting to see how much of a wild card Gui Niao is. Unlike the people in this side who already acquainted to the legendary Lin Xue Ya, these villains from Xi You know next to nothing about him and thus, the more arrogant they act the more they become Gui Niao’s plaything. One thing to remember, always keep this guy amused. Who knows what on earth we would do if he gets bored.

Thankfully, when it comes to Shang Bu Huan, Gui Niao’s definitely interested. As for our main hero, he barely makes it with the toxic from Princess Cruelty. The other running thread involves her and her temptation to use the sword Seven Blasphemous Deaths. It has such a strong aura that it tempts her to use it several time. Apart from “it has mind-control effect” and “it’s one of the most badass sword) we still know next to nothing about it. Which is good since now I am hyped. Now that our two leads Gui Niao and Shang Bu Huan finally meet (to the dismay of the latter), things would get more snappy soon. In truth, I kinda miss the characters bouncing-off each other that made the first season a gem to watch, but I hope that now that Thunderbolt Fantasy finishes setting up the new characters and the main conflict, it’ll delve more for characters’ interaction and killer one-liners.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh wait...Uchi no Musume isn't an isekai...the genre has become so big that almost any time I take a glance at a fantasy tag I jump to the assumption its isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I know you played YU-NO and I'm aware of your problems with it, is it actually possible for any adaptation of it to work, to be salvageable?
Kaiser-Eoghan
That is the officiaal English translated volume that currently goes beyond the currently available English scans.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I was wrrong totsukunai's 6th volume is actually out now .
Kaiser-Eoghan
*series with the daughter isekai
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, isekai genre, attempting to trick me into watching the genre with the daughter isekai thing, I won't fall for your scheme...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Interesting typo there, spelling Beastars as Bearstars, the typo still makes it sound animal related.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I want my Gunka no Balthazar anime and I want it now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Reminder that the new volume of totsukuni is out in April. So far its an ova adaptation we're getting but Magus bride also started out getting an ova and thats from the same magazine.
AidanAK47
Re:Zero season 2 baby. It's about goddamn time.
Amagi
Without thinking much Shiori Experience, Dedededestruction and Atelier of Witch Hat are the only running manga series I really like without annoucement. There are more, but not that many.
Amagi
I can barely think of manga I like and read that didn't get announcements yet. Years ago people still had these lists of fake anime annoucements of manga everybody wanted to see animated, now it's reality.
SuperMario
and Bearstars announced for this Fall 2019. Cool
Amagi
@Kaiser: Man I hadn't heard about the Totsukunai no Shoujo adaption yet that's awesome. Really love Mori too, these series could be fantastical if they get a good ost.
Animosh
And Cells at Work is getting a second season too apparently. So many announcements in the last few days.
Animosh
Oh, nice! It has its problems, but it's definitely one of the better isekai out there. Glad it's getting a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more interested in somali to mori getting an adaptation aswell as totsukunai no shoujo though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those who happened to enjoy it Re: zero is getting more ovas and a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know often young male characters get female voice actors in Japanese, but i tend to veer more toward male voice actors for male characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I'd say going back the old adv dub was probably very dated. Though Spencer really got the patheticness of Shinji right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: MUH Windee Lee MUH Spike Spencer, MUH old dub.
Anonymous3576667
So Evangelion (probably Netflix's biggest anime this year) is rolling out June 21. New English dub, all 26 episodes and the films (sans the Rebirth ones) all at once.
Amagi
From time to time there are Index-verse antagonists I am kinda interested in but in the end I am never willing to watch 50+ episodes or so to get to the point where said interesting characters may appear. I just don't care about the protags of these series.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Some things never die. Sonic, Fast and Furious, James Bond, Godzilla, Mario, Pokemon, etc. The only way these things truly die, is lost of interest, less sales, eventual ceasement of talking about these things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet another Index anime announced, this franchise refuses to go away.
Vonter
In regards to Shield Hero, I still find it enjoyable, but like with the Slime Isekai, my issue is how it becomes a one-man show. I do wonder if they'll delve into Raphtalia's backstory in this season.
Vonter
That's the issue with genres, sometimes a story can turn into a comedy, a harem, an action shounen, a mystery thriller, a surreal fantasy, or a slice of life. It has to shift to keep some degree of uniqueness. Most series stick to a trope in the end.
Vonter
@Amagi - Most anime and manga fall after the premise alone, especially the gender bender genre (yeah it's a thing (*^.^*)). The thing is that after that point you either stick to an established formula or you have to turn your story into something else, the adventure, the romance, the wacky comedy, because that's what will stick.
Animosh
True that. Maybe Re:Zero is an exception, since Subaru seems to keep his supporting role (as the weakling with infinite lives)? Although it has plenty of tired tropes of its own, of course.
Amagi
@Animosh: That's the problem with almost all isekai. They usually try baiting people with some new premise, be it MC being a slime, weakling, support role, old or whatever only to ignore it a few episodes or arcs later and turn into the same run-of-the-mill like the other isekai.
Animosh
It's a shame Shield Hero seems to have largely abandoned its premise of making the shield hero a purely defense-oriented hero who can only play a "supporting" role. If he can single-handedly take down (mini-)bosses, in spite of his low level and the fact that he can't use any weapons, simply because he's, you know, angry, then ... he's really no different from the other heroes, just more broken.
Animosh
Thunderbolt Fantasy will get a new movie / OVA / whatever centered on Lang (the bard) and his past. It'll take place in Shang's old country (Xi-You), so we should see what it's like for the first time. Anyway, if it's as good as the one focusing on the Screaming Phoenix Killer it should be fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the idea of dlc was something that annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do remember getting a kick out of playing old N64 multiplayers, lol bunch of then 13 year olds not knowing how to play goldeneye multiplayer properly or stealthily , so it basically turns into a Hong kong style shootout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"We're in the middle of a battle! You have to stay logged in"
"GODDAMMIT I need to eat I can't stay!, Godammit nature calls"
Kaiser-Eoghan
When my friends got into MMOs and online shooters, I simply didn't have the time commitment or patience for the prior in particular.
Amagi
A person will only play one or two of such endless games, people won't start new ones just because they pop up everywhere, but nobody seems to get this.
Amagi
The problem is that everyone is only looking at how much money the few big ones make and think they can imitate it when the whole thing is actually just a bubble, just as with gacha games.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I actually enjoyed classical coops but yeah, MMO not really. Especially not when it feels like a game was created for single player and they shoved the MMO stuff in or when a game gets less story heavy and less content to make room for the lootershooter/pvp/whatever MMO stuff.
Amagi
I am doing this too right now. Will probably marathon a few shows I skipped so far in case that they're good till the end. More into playing right now
Kaiser-Eoghan
You might say I was keen on the idea of being in the same room as someone after I defeated them in a fighting game =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
*going on
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its far more easy to remember whats going in that way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the habit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I've gotten into he habit of only watching a few shows each season, then later on catching up with others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Back in my gaming days my idea of a multiplayer was with a group of friends in a room, but it all shifted into massive online multiplayer mmos and fps games.
Amagi
Sadly, the OPM PV looks weak, I will miss the great animations of MP100.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Have to admit that I like Mob more than I feared, it's the show I enjoy the most right now. Otherwise I'd go with your ranking, maybe with an added Neverland.
Amagi
Man I hate how every game has to become more and more multiplayer'ish just let me play games as loner again.
Amagi
I already dropped it during episode 1. Considering that the manga has ~120+ chapters I guess it's another eternal status quo thing too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Wooper: I read a couple of volumes of the manga, its hit or miss and eventually gets repetitive, it could be often funny in certain parts but I'm bored of it now. I saw some bits of the anime and didn't laugh.
SuperWooper
>not watching Kaguya-sama
I seriously hope you guys don't do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose now that its near the end of this season I should rank what I've been watching: 1. Run with the wind 2. Boogiepop 3. dororo 4. go-toubon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And there thats the other thing, out of it so long there's a massive buildup of games , increasingly difficult to catch up and get back into.
Vonter
At the moment I'm playing Guacamelee 2. Which I had my doubts since the first game got a bit frustrating do to the backtracking. This one gives me a Super Paper Mario vibe in the villains departament.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 I'm not even mad anymore, but still disappointed Western Games can't give closure to their over 10 million dollar games. I think you can have a self contained story and maybe tease the story is open to more adventures or something.
Vonter
I suppose if I'm curious for the story I'll watch an edited Let's Play.
Vonter
Yeah, I agree, it does feel like indie developers and Nintendo make the games I like. I don't know maybe I'm just getting old to catch up with the recent trends most ambitious projects tend to follow. Also how most of these games take a lot of time to get going and I don't have that much free time to spare waiting for the game to let me play it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I got into watching letsplays for a while some years back, it was a decent way to re-live an old game without playing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whoring out sequels is pretty much the bane of most things, just continually dilutes the original and in some cases can even ruin the original for you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I can still remember that very moment when I first played a 3D game and how unreal that felt .
Kaiser-Eoghan
And there isn't time to give to absolutely every medium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I think I've been so long out of the habit of gaming that I've gotten used to and familiar with not being part of that scene , to where I kind of simply just don't pick up a controller anymore.
AidanAK47
Not to mention that they are gonna milk it to death. They already got about 5 sequels planned and put in a thing showing how they could milk it. To me GOW 2018 is an incomplete game, a part 1 of a needlessly long franchise. Whereas the old games had stories which felt complete.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I would say it's more that despite the fantastical settings both Hoizon and GOW 2018 make use of tired sandbox game mechanics. GOW especially annoyed me as I feel they stripped out everything that made those games there own things and replaced them with game mechanics stolen from other games. GOW lost it's very essence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Futaro
Kaiser-Eoghan
Fuataro is best girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I just read that the new Orphan anime is a prequel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Back when I played/watched people play videogames, it was moreso Jrpgs and old Nintendo and sega genesis games.
Vonter
IMO making something more complicated than it should ends making something less enjoyable to play.
Vonter
Why not just watch a Let's Play. I suppose is an overreaction, but I felt very mixed how God of War 2018 was a good Father and Son story, but really annoying to play. Constant walking and climbing sequences, combat that I think it's less involved than the ones from the other games, and constant looting that lost it's charm by the 30th chest.
Vonter
I don't know why but I've been feeling that I'm enjoying more playing on the Switch than the PS4. While I enjoyed RE2 and will likely replay it, other high tech games like God of War, Horizon and the like don't do much for me. Most of this realistic games have very slow starts, make the playstation fans sound like it's struggling, and if the best part of these games is the dialogue and cinematics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Genuinely a very good sign when a 20 minute episode feels much shorter than it is and its rewarding to see an anime series possess such a degree of confidence in its direction.
Lenlo
Just finished it. Seriously, Kaze Fui has nailed this segment of episodes. Just homerun after homerun. Its ridiculous. I love it. Kurahara tapping into the freakin speed force
Animosh
Now only Haiji is left. When there were five episodes remaining I was wondering whether there'd be enough content to fill them all, now I'm wondering how the show is going resolve everything in one episode. But the show has barely made any missteps so far, so I'm sure it'll nail the ending too.
Animosh
Kurahara's segment was also good. He's fallen in love with running, and now that he's pursuing running for its own sake he runs faster than ever. It also helps that he's crazy talented, of course.
Lenlo
I want to be excited for OPM 2... but JC Staff

Also I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui when I get off work. Sounds like it was good
Animosh
Yeah, King's segment was better than expected. Pretty relatable. His issues did come a bit out of nowhere though. His segment could have been even better if there had been some hints that he has been struggling with this earlier. It's also a bit strange that there wasn't any development with his job hunt, since that what basically his defining trait throughout the series.
Anonymous3563660
The developments from the first cour are absolutely paying off big time and it's amazing to see how far this cast has come since the first episode. And now it's time for Haiji's segment next episode. I can't take waiting another week for this!
Anonymous3563660
Well. Bravo Kaze ga. That was an amazing display that Kakeru showed. I loved his segment. King's backstory really hit me close to home as someone who recently graduated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now on Boogiepop phantom episode 16....a discount Godzilla!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I liked Densetsu no yusha even though no one did and Record of Lodoss war, always wished there had been more of both.
Animosh
Yeah, that trailer ... does not look promising.
Anonymous3563292
Just as MP100 s2 takes its bow, there's going to be a lot of people expecting OPM to be as amazing as that or s1. Oh boy.
Anonymous3563292
A reminder to temper your expectations for OPM s2.
Anonymous3563001
After a messy start, that Prince of Smiles show has largely settled for okay. Not terrible, not amazing, but largely above-average and rather forgettable. I'd compare it to that Record of Grancrest War show from last year.
Anonymous3563001
This apparently isn't like that other Doga Kobo show where the pedo bait was persistent throughout.
Anonymous3563001
So uh, has anyone tried to go back to Wataten and see if the pedo bait has subsided since the first episode? Because it seems like it has for the time being.
Animosh
@Anon: no, I mean a continuation of the main story. I read about it on the anime subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/b26yj1/shaft_producer_mitsutoshi_kubota_confirming_that/
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Mob Psycho, but the series does have some iffy stills. Thats not an issue though, because this is an animated medium. Its meant to be viewed in motion and holy shit, does it look good in motion
AidanAK47
However my main issue at the moment is the feeling of them dragging things out for the sake of having that be the finale. Right now episodes just don't have much content and I feel it's too dragged out for it's own good.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nervous isn't really the word I would use. As far as adaption is concerned I feel the series has done quite well for the most part with the only big misstep being the shows reluctance to have any inner monologue whatsoever which has lead to questionable choices to alternatively present information that was usually spoken in mind. I say the end of the arc will be done well.
Anonymous3560732
@Aidan As a manga reader, are you nervous about how they'll adapt the end of the arc in Neverland?
Anonymous3560839
mob psycho was amazeballs this week. It's the show that just keeps on giving. On a side note, I've seen some comments floating around about how the show has terrible still shots and I'm going to dispel that erroneous assessment in this week's discussion
SuperWooper
Search bar is in the upper right hand corner, in case you're still searching.
Anonymous3560732
@Animosh You referring to that Madoka mobile game tie-in?
Anonymous3560739
That’s not the search bar
Anonymous3560739
Mob psycho
Kaiser-Eoghan
They decided to adapt mushoku tensei apparently. I might aswell see what all the fuss about it is as being one of the "better" isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't imagine how the polar bear isekai or vending machine one would handle the harem aspect.
Animosh
As for Slime getting another season, I personally don't mind. It's obviously not a masterpiece, but I don't watch isekai for enlightenment. If they can offer me some relaxation after a day's work, that's enough for me.
Animosh
Some nice announcements in the past few days: Oregairu is getting a third (and final) season, and Madoka is rumored to get a sequel too (maybe focusing on Sayaka?).
Anonymous3560293
Cross Ange is not trash tho, way better than those others
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm wiser nowto certain types of story telling, making an overly long show that keeps throwing endless gotchas at you, eventually you get tired of the show trying to play with you instead of actually moving things forward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I've enjoyed many a trashy show/film in my time, but guilty crown, cross ange and Valvrave I couldn't finish, there are certain cases where the brain begins hurting/aching.
Anonymous3560221
While different in settings and genres, they obviously have Okouchi's writing full of shock value and swerves.
Anonymous3560221
Guilty Crown and Valvrave are like his most explicit attempts to recreate Geass, and look how those two fared. Kabaneri also falls into the same traps as those too.
Anonymous3560221
But even he ends up letting his worst tendencies slip in with examples like Princess Principal, particularly the last episode.
Anonymous3560221
Which ironic that the best shows that he's written are the ones that are not trying to recreate those Geass days like Lupin the 3rd Part V or that Devilman Netflix show.
Anonymous3560221
It's amusing to see that Okouchi's worst enemy is essentially himself. Trying to recreate that Code Geass magic with ass pulls, shocking swerves, and shock value without realizing that it's never as shocking the second time around. And that has basically ruined almost every work he's attached to.
Amagi
I always find it funny how almost everyone agrees that it was Biba who ruined Kabaneri. I liked that show so much before he appeared, damn. Will watch the movie but my hype is killed and I fear the movie will just be about another random human antagonist instead of the actual Kabaneri problem.
Anonymous3558784
mongatari
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo@Wooper: At least we have the Tanya movie to look forward to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Even though I know its going for something fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh COME on Japan, just give me by communist isekai mecha show so we can be lovers again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Biba fucker ruined the show and it stopped allowing me to enjoy Kabeneri as a shitty ova throwback.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Couldn't even make good on a stupid re-incarnation premise on the ones you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or better yet, find some old proto-isekai and adapt it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"Could be worse" I suppose I win by default by bringing up Parallel paradise and ruining everyones fun by reminding them of its existence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my brother in laws reason for liking trashy isekai is because he sees them as an anime equivalent to exploitation films, I should just tell him to watch old ovas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we're doing the re-incarnation thing, just give me a full please save my earth adaptation or bokura no kiseki or that other re-incarnation thing done by Spirals artist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not an isekai, but a LN adaptation, Index keeps popping up again every so often, I fell out of the series a long time ago and got exhausted with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the same way about konosuba, I wish I found it funny but I don't because I know it is going for that "fun" thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think, especially with a second season, I'd eventually get fed up with it aswell and that it would get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother (and probably my brother in law too) seem to enjoy Reincarnated as a slime as a casuals show and find it funny. I saw clips of the dub, the voice actors sounded like they were having fun and I think some people found the slime/dragon interactions at the start amusing. I'm just left thinking that the show is something my younger self might have gone for but I'm indifferent to it now.
AidanAK47
Or the vending machine isekai
AidanAK47
Or the polar bear isekai
AidanAK47
It could be the hot spring isekai
AidanAK47
Well guys it could be worse.
Lenlo
I sense a disturbance in the medium. I fear for the future.
SuperWooper
That's fantastic news, as series set in the real world give me diarrhea. I assume that the majority of Japanese otaku suffer from the same issue, given the number of isekai manga and LNs that are slowly polluting my favorite art form. :^)
Anonymous3556601
As expected, that Slime isekai show has been renewed for a second season.
SuperWooper
@Anon3540676: Hey!
Anonymous3542644
And despite all of these recent announcements lately, IG still hasn't announced a release date and release model for DNT s2 yet beyond theatrical screenings. =(
Anonymous3542320
https://youtu.be/cxjXEIDbBxAInterestingly, seems like Banana Fish (technically not BL) did well enough for Noitamina to consider having an adaptation an actual BL manga on their block.
Anonymous3542320
I would really love to see that Kabaneri film get things back on track after the second half nearly derailed it (pun intended).
Anonymous3542320
Huh, well that didn't take too long for a release date regarding Psycho-Pass 3. It's slated for October.
Meanwhile, Beastars is going to be Netflix-exclusive, and interestingly, the Kabaneri film is going to air simultaneously on Netflix and Amazon alongside a limited theatrical release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Did you ever read beast complex? I haven't done so yet, it seems like like the beastars authors prototype for it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hadn't known that, thanks. Also, I read the most recent 20 or so chapters Amatsuki, all has finally been revealed.
Amagi
Q's (Dorohedoro) new series started, Dai Dark. It's basically Dorohedoro in space (therefore, I am completely fine with it).
Lenlo
This adaptation of Dororo is adding a lot of new content to its story in its adaptation. It's taking what was a much more one-dimensional story in my opinion, and giving it layers.

And yeah, Run with the Wind was great. Sure Kurahara has been the most emotional, he is the lead, but I think everyone in the cast has done a decent job
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although while I did enjoy last week, I didn't think it captured the impact the manga had.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dororo upped the ante this week to its benefit. This episode also showed how the series can succeed even with the protagonist having a minimized screentime. I don't remember Taromaro going up against a demon in the manga, this is an advantage of this adaptation adding stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...because there will be that sense of saying goodbye.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: And thinking it over, I've been beginning to get the feeling that this will be one of those took me on a journey shows, one of those shows where I felt I really spent alot of time with everyone in it and after it ends/in the last episode, it'll get me feeling something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: While so far in the series I thi7nk the stuff around Kakeru has been the most emotionally rewarding, the middle of this episode crept up on me , the tension of the race itself was never interrupted by the flashbacks and they were well stitched into the narrative.
Lenlo
Just watched it. I love this show so much. How is a show about running so damn good
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Featured Posts

Paranoia Agent – 9 [Etc.] – Throwback Thursday

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Kemurikusa – 11

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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 9-10

Another two weeks have passed, and Summer Season is coming in sight. It’s the time where most shows get busy as they reach their final arc. Mob Psycho 100 ventures into its shounen roots,  Run with the Wind does extremely well in its last leg, literally, and Kemurikusa girls part way emotionally. Let’s see how these 4 shows below perform in […]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 22 [Embrace Your Loneliness]

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Kemurikusa – 08/09/10

Welp, I don’t think I have taken that long break before since I started blogging. My life has been busier than usual lately and I also feel a little bit burnt out from blogging lately. Writing can be a pain sometimes. Hopefully this is just a temporary slump because I’m not intending to stop blogging […]

Dororo – 11 [The Story of Banmon, Part 1]

Lets skip the preamble this week and just dive in to Dororo! On this episode our plucky pair explore Daigo’s city, fight some fox spirits and get in a bit of a pickle. Lets go! Startin off, Dororo had some interesting visuals and colors this week. With the Fox Spirits and the Crazy Woman sticking […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 11 [Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~]

Hello and welcome once more to the Mob Psycho 100 blog, where I gush about Mob Psycho 100! This week see’s an old villains return, multiple defeats and more of Mob’s growth. Lets dive in! Now, at this point I feel like a broken record when talking about Mob Psycho’s animation. But the fact is, […]

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