Posted on 4 April 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

So this series ends, or to put it more appropriately is put on temporary hold. A second season has been announced to follow much to the surprise of no one. But this episode acts as a good climax to the first arc of the story along with the thematic end of Isabella’s character arc. Of course this also marks the end of Promised Neverlands best arc which makes the announcement of a second season to be met by myself with rather lukewarm yays. What is to come after this arc isn’t what i would call bad but it is a downgrade when the story loses an antagonist like Isabella and the tension that the farm brought. The kids are still in danger but that danger seems much further away when their circumstances have switched from certain death to potential death. It’s up for debate whether an anime adaption could improve these chapters but I think I will sign off here as I just have other things to get though.

Yes yes, I lied about Phil. It’s sort have been a meme that the manga community suspected him so much due to him constantly appearing in the background which lead to him being regarded as some secret mastermind. In reality he really was just another kid, a fairly clever kid but no more a mastermind but rather just situationally aware. I do at least like how things have resolved with Isabella with her final confrontation with the children not turning into a battle of brawn but her appealing one last time to their emotions. Isabella has always been a psychological opponent so it makes sense that her last moments were like a metaphor for children leaving the coup. With her last action to hide evidence of the kids escape and to go back to the children with her most certain death awaiting her. In her final moments with her hair down almost feels like the first time she was ever able to truly be herself around them. Couple this with the flashback and reveal that she was Ray’s biological mother as thanks to fetus memories Ray learned a song from Isabella while he was in the womb.

Okay, I still think the whole fetus memory plot point is remarkably dumb and it does seem like the main reason it went with that instead of a more logical reason is for this twist and this twist alone. I think something like a birthmark would have been better to showcase this twist however. Isabella is the character I cared most about during this whole show so it’s nice to see her get some development when she about to say farewell forever. It leads her to becoming someone whose more understandable in her actions even if it doesn’t negate her wrongdoings in her job. You can make arguments that she didn’t have a choice and that she did the best she could within the limits of what the world would allow. I would argue that she traded her humanity for survival and when you look at things in perspective was never truly happy with her circumstances. She was so preoccupied with staying alive that she forget the reason why she did so. Tragic but evil deeds done remain evil, she still threw children to the guillotine to ensure her own survival.

I am having a debate with myself over reviewing this series as it is by general policy that I forgo a review if a second season is announced. As I feel that a series should be judged by everything that it puts on the table rather than a teaser. Still if I was to give my thoughts on how I felt about this series it would be that it is well directed, animated and features a great soundtrack but the story is a bit of a one trick pony. I stated before that when it came to the manga I began to lose interest once I completed the first arc but here I began to lose interest much faster which my response to each new episode turned to indifference. Again I reiterate that the series itself isn’t bad but it is a story that depends heavily on not knowing what comes next. If you do know what comes next then you know all the misdirection and suddenly the show becomes a showcase of fakeouts. Take note that despite the bleak setting that only two people actually died during this series. Connie in episode one and Krone in episode eight.(And I suppose Norman if you consider that “death” to be legitimate) Not saying we needed to see a massacre here but I feel it betrays the intent of the majority of the tone when you show that the only ones in danger are those whom are disposable plotwise.

Of course as the writer of Higurashi and Umineko put it, stories can be enjoyed twice but the fault with Neverland is that it depends so heavily on that first time experience that upon rewatch there really isn’t much to see. The characters are fine but the story almost is a waiting game to the eventual escape and in watching this anime I came to see how one note that approach is. I honestly can say the only character I truly cared about was Isabella and would you look at that, she’s gone from the story forever. An argument can be made that a story doesn’t require rewatchability in order to be considered great and indeed there are plenty of mystery stories that make for fantastic first time reads but diminish upon rereads. But I think that for something to be regarded as a classic is a quality that make you want to see it again and again, even when you know how it ends. A quality which for all the advantages it has, Neverland lacks.

Posted on 25 March 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

Its safe to say that this series has been building up to this moment for a long time and it’s finally here. The escape has begun and for once Isabella has been put on the defensive. As far as this episode is concerned I feel it was pulled off excellently. Though I do feel that some choices were made that way solely for the sake of drama. The big thing here being that Ray revealed that he never intended to leave the house alive and fully intended to use his suicide by fire to distract Isabella long enough for the other kids to escape. His fatalistic notion seemly born more out of a sense of revenge rather than desire to end his own life though he does mention it as a sort of atonement for all the kids he sacrificed to get to this point. But alas this is not to be as it appears that Norman could really see through Ray’s intent to sacrifice himself and already gave Emma a note to ensure that this didn’t happen. But here’s where my particular gripe with this scene comes into play. For you see while this makes for a good twist, it also puts Emma’s actions into question as she reacted to Ray putting his plan forward as though she was hearing it or the first time. At no point during that conversation did Emma seem like she was ready to jump in as stop him. I must ask, if Emma intended to fake Rays suicide and had kids on standby ready to do so then why did she wait to the point where Ray drops a goddamn match?

In fiction I understand that some leeway must be made in order to accommodate the audience like villains vocalising their plans so that the audience can know of them. Here however it just seems ridiculously out of character that Emma would just stand back, let Ray douse himself in lighter fluid, light a match and drop a lit match before she interjected. Ray gave her plenty of time to do so so you cannot blame this on the usual concept of “Anime time” wherein the scene shown is not relative to the time it actually took place in. Ray laid out his intentions perfectly for a few minutes and not once,not once, did Emma speak up and let him know that she was ready for this. The only reason that could be given for Emma waiting that long is just to give the fake out to the audience and the dramatic flair of Emma catching the match at the last second. I feel that it would be better if Ray moved fast and did all this in a few seconds as we didn’t need him to spell out what he was planning as Norman does so within his letter. At least this scene would make more sense within the context of the story. Indeed this seems to be an ongoing flaw with this series as a whole, that being concessions made to include the audience by having character do illogical things within the context of the world they are in.

I also feel that this series has now demonstrated its unwillingness to kill off it’s main trio. Norman is still unconfirmed to be alive or dead but personally I believe him to be alive especially considering this latest fake out with Ray. These three have officially obtained plot armour so any dangerous situations they encounter won’t have me wondering for a second if they will make it out alive. The other kids of course are up for debate but as far as these three are concerned, I see them as unkillable until proven wrong. For a series that treats life and death as it’s main hook i can say that would be a big detriment to my enjoyment. Other than that I quite liked the music that played when Isabella had been outwitted, quite funky considering the soundtrack has been rather conservative so far. I didn’t really like Isabella going Krone for a bit just to let the audience know what she was thinking as it did seem very out of character for someone so reserved. Having Ray just be pure dumbfounded after the reveal of the true plan was rather comical and it is rather interesting looking back on previous episodes and even seeing signs that other kids were aware of their circumstances. Finally it appears the Chekhov gun to end all Chekhov’s guns has arrived as Phil’s master plan comes into full effect and the masterstoke of three dimensional chess planning of this little smiling demon child.

Posted on 17 March 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

I said it once, i said it twice, i likely said it more times than needed but that’s just how obvious that it’s become but these episodes truly are lacking content wise. I know this stance Has gonna tiresome for anyone taking the time to read this but it really does remain a problem for me who has to review each episode individually and find that I can fit an episode synopsis into a paragraph. When thinking about it I could fit it into a sentence. Kids decide that Norman will escape first and he attempts it only to find that there is an obstacle that they didn’t account for. The next episode being just Normans death(?) and the characters reaction to it. What am I really to say here?

Well I do like how Norman’s feelings are portrayed which getting water for Emma and just the pure terror and despair in his eyes but I did feel the scene went longer than it needed to. We didn’t need that long shot of Norman walking to the sink. That was just padding for time. As well as the long lingering shots when mom was checking her watch. I get the intent but it dragged longer than it needed to. So on to the rather odd explanation as to how Ray found out about the nature of the farm. I say many of us wouldn’t find it all the surprising if Ray found it out by himself just from investigating as he is the most meticulous of the group. Happy or not he is likely to begin to question the nature of the farm and it is fairly likely he would find out. Yet instead the reasoning they give for Ray finding out is due to him having memories from the time he was born. Yes, Ray can remember things from when he was barely a few months old, or even when he was a fetus. This is certainly one of the weirdest explanations they could have gone with. It’s also highly debatable if this is even possible considering that at the point of being born Ray’s facilities for retaining memory may not have even developed yet. Admittedly the children of the farms are super geniuses so genetic tampering may be in effect but it’s still rather odd if Ray could understand anything going on at the time and not dismiss it later as some childhood nightmare.

As for the episode focusing on Norman’s death, I admit this didn’t really affect me. I feel that being a manga reader has proven to be a detriment as many of the moments building tension or pushing for a emotional punchline tend to fall flat to me due to my knowledge of what is to happen. So having the characters all react hopelessly to Normans departure and Emma’s last ditch efforts to try and save Norman just didn’t really get a reaction out of me. I don’t feel that anything on screen was presented poorly but there is this overwhelming sense of just wanting it to get on with things. Of course there is the big question of what exactly happened with Norman as it wasn’t shown him getting killed. Hints are pointing heavily towards Norman not having died and instead being chosen for some other duty but really be it manga or otherwise I don’t have confirmation on that. If there is one thing I truly appreciate in this series it’s Isabella, I love the contrast between her utter ruthlessness in doing her job and an underlying current that she truly loves these kids.

Norman asking her whether she was truly happy and how much that question threw her off balance show that in this world humans like Isabella may have a disconnect in that they are so focused on staying alive that the notion of being happy is such an unknown concept. I never grow tired of Isabella while the main characters of the series I find myself growing increasingly disinterested in. Some efforts to develop them have been made such as the flashback to when Norman was sick but they just feel rather basic. I will give credit to the seemly flasefied depression that Emma and Ray displayed as it makes for a good ending hook to show they haven’t given up even when Isabella thinks she has won. But at this point I have grown tired of the planning and just want this escape plan to be carried out already.

Posted on 3 March 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

Yet again I am rather surprised at the slim amount of content in these episodes. It’s not to say that this episode was by any means bad, honestly it’s quite the opposite. This was one of the best episodes. However it’s strange when I consider that the entire first half of the episode was dedicated to just Krone dying. An entire ten minutes dedicated to Krone getting killed off. I do like the small flashes of her life which do give some insight into how sisters are trained up from Livestock to moms and contrasting it to the children eating dinner was delightfully morbid. But this show is certainly taking it’s time and I feel it’s somewhat becoming a detriment as it continues. Nonetheless the death of Krone was executed excellently though it does sort of undermine her presence throughout the series. Her death makes for a unexpected twist but with it that pretty much makes all her plotting and psycho faces really all fulite. Perhaps though, that was the point. It’s now clear from the start that Krone never had any control over her situation and that her being sent to the farm was a intended sacrifice from the start. Maybe due to her clear mental instability which makes her rather unsuited for the position as mother and when comparing her to the current mom, Isabella, she does seems like a bit player at best.

Man, Isabella really is something. Looking at her actions throughout the series I just have to marvel at the level of manipulative control she had. Truly it is honestly impressive just how insidiously focused and thorough in how she trapped these kids in a no win situation. So she found out the kids knew and knew who found out and that Ray was a double crosser. So she hires Krone and brings in a new boby, giving the impression that she’s doing something about the situation. However the real game was deeper and Krone was just a distraction to keep the kids occupied while she prepared. It worked, the kids where so preopuccied with the immediate threat (Krone) that they pushed the greater threat (Isabella) to the background. Even Krones machinations to overthrow her were to plan as she used it to keep the kids off her. Slowly waiting for the delivery date to be set. Then when the date is set and it’s too close for the kids to do anything about it, she makes her move. Krone gets the boot,(Or the guillotine in this case.) she treminates her deal with Ray and she catches Norman and Emma in the act. Then the final move in breaking Emma’s leg just crushed all the kids plans in one fell swoop. Emma, the most achelic of the trio is crippled, Norman can’t leave without her due to his feelings and he’s getting shipped out the very next day hereby eliminating the most logical of the group and Ray is no longer in the good graces of Isabella which eliminates his usefulness in information and his ability to mislead Isabella. Truly a checkmate so complete that you can’t help but applaud.

But the really interesting thing is in how Isabella sees herself. He words to Emma and Norman but how she loves them really feel like her true feelings. Indeed in the first episode she hugged Connie’s drawing before taking her to the gate and her secret room looks to contain a toy of every child that was sent off to be eaten. Isabella loves these children and is dedicated to making their short life that the farm as the happiest they can be. I have no doubt that she sees herself as the good in these kids lives and her motivation seems so altruistic. But the contrast between that and her snapping Emma’s leg without hesitation to cooing her like a beloved child is want makes her so frightening. She sees what she does is the best that she can do in the situation but ultimately the job is a job which she will accomplish by any means necessary. Like Krone this woman is fundamentally broken but broken so completely that her sense of morality is skewed to psychotic affection. WIth an enemy like this, it’s a wonder that the kids thought they could escape at all. Really my complaints about them being so vocal with their plans seem pointless now. After all it didn’t matter how loud they talked about it, they were in the palm of Moms hand right from the beginning.

Posted on 26 February 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

I feel it’s often the case with a shounen series that episodes tend to have this point where when you examine a episode, you come to see that not a whole lot actually happened. I felt this as well with the second season of Attack on Titan where you would have episodes where it’s was hard to determine if any progress was made at all. In Neverlands case, if we look at episode 5 we can see that it mainly showed Ray admitting to being a traitor, explaining why he’s a traitor and then revealing himself to Emma. Followed by an ending hook of Don investigating Moms room. When you look at the episode time and what other series have accomplished with a single episode, what Neverland has done here seems rather minimal. It could be the case that the series needs to stretch itself out a bit in other for the finale to be the same as the ending of the first arc.

About Don and his reckless inspection of Moms room, I find Don’s actions to be rather hypocritical in context. The story seems content on pinning the blame of Emma and the others for dressing up the truth and not trusting Don and Gilda with it. However I feel the reasons they did so where quite logical and for Don to chastise them on matters of trust when he broke their trust within seconds to investigate Moms room and jeopardise the whole escape plan seems more than unreasonable. Yes they didn’t tell you the whole truth but the fact of the matter is that you proved exactly why you were untrustworthy when you put everyone in danger for your own personal agenda. Someone really should have called Don out on his blatant hypocrisy but sadly no one did. Not even Ray who really had every reason to, for his plan nearly went up in flames due to an impulsive idiot. Considering Dons reaction as well, it’s up for debate whether he has the emotional control to hide what he knows from mother. Hereby giving a another reason why the kids were in the right about not giving him the whole truth.

The alliance with Krone is a risky endeavor but she does make for a interesting information outlet on the state of the world with her even revealing that mothers of the farms are former farm kids themselves. It’s up in the air for now as to what the two notes say in regards to the info that Ray fed her and the message Mom passed on. Though I would guess based on reaction that the final message was some form of dismissal. Also as a final note it’s getting really absurd the degrees which these kids do not attempt to lower or hid their intent to escape. Lets escape in five days! shouts Don at the top of his voice. Honestly it’s not even all that surprising that Krone managed to find them out. She didn’t even need to use any kind of examination like she did when talking with Emma and Norman to find out the truth. Characters are too overtly loud about their motivations and intentions so that when they are figured out, it’s not so much a victory of intelligence but rather common sense.

Posted on 5 February 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

The focus of this week’s episode happened to mainly do with the identity of the traitor in the farm and how our main trio plans to deal with that. As such it was a bit of a slower episode and acted more as a planning session on when and how they tiro where going to escape. Letting two more kids in on the nature of the farm while still keeping the aspect that they are food a secret was a good move on Norman’s part but Ray’s reaction is somewhat justified as eventually these kids are going to find out the truth and what’s more, it looks like Sister Krone is looking to using that lie to her advantage.

Something that has come up before but I feel the need to bring up again as it’s starting to become a problem is the show don’t tell principle of the series. Normally this should be something that anime strives to do as many don’t make use of the visual medium in other to aid the storytelling, instead just opting to translate manga to anime wholesale. However here we once again have the problem where characters could really benefit from inner monologues. Krones abrashed shouting of her plans along with one of the kids shouting about how Mom totally isn’t selling them off and now how the series goes out of its way to make the supposed traitor look even more guilty. One moment I find baffling is that before going to sister Krone in order to tell her that she wouldn’t work with her, this girl gives Emma a look of disdain upon leaving the bedroom.

Now at the time that look suggested she was a traitor but it’s later revealed that she isn’t a traitor and has decided to trust Emma. However if that is the case, why that look? There is no reason as to why she would look at Emma like that and the look honestly just feels like a narrative ploy to fool the watcher, not a logical thing within the story itself. Again like Krone it is like a extra action put in place for the viewers benefit, almost as if the characters were aware of the audience and took extra action to include them. It’s an immersion breaker for sure and one I hope is solved in later episodes as right now it’s Neverlands major failing.The viewer needs to make lots of concessions in order to believe in the story being shown and it’s getting to the point that suspension of disbelief is getting pushed too far.

Our ending hook this week was Norman pointing out Ray as the traitor as it appears his rope ruse that he told Ray about wasn’t there to catch out the two kids, it was there to catch out Ray. From the looks of things Norman has suspected Ray and I find it rather interesting that he came to Emma to ask a obtuse question as to how to deal with him. From the looks of things, Norman uses Emma as his moral compass and I wonder whether there is true emotion behind that smile of his. Considering how Norman is going by Emmas feelings rather than his own mindset and how Emma made it clear that she wants to save everyone, even the traitor then I would think that Norman is going to try and convince Ray to his side. But with a traitor in the plan that would mean that whatever these kids cook up will always have someone who can rat them out.

Posted on 26 January 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

Things are heating up as Neverland continues to up the stakes for our characters episode by episode. This particular episode had a focus on the new caretaker, Krone. Krone makes for an interesting juxtaposition from Mama as she seems much less interested in the more subtle management of Mama’s style and more focused on pure brute force. Caretakers may look like motherly figures which makes Ray’s wordless suggestion of killing Mama seem like one of the best options despite moral quandaries as Mama generally controls through psychological means. However Krone shows that even if the caretakers look like that, they most certainly are no slouches. Put simply, Krone is an absolute tank of a woman which she displays in full force. Emma makes the wise suggestion of training the kids to escape through a game of tag but Krone uses this opportunity to prove that she can catch all of them, all by herself if need be. Seeing her smash open trees and sprint after these kids like some kind of Victorian maid terminator shows well just how high a wall the kids have to scale.

I do appreciate this shows adherence to the show don’t tell rule however this episode was one of the first times that came back to bite them. The anime goes to extra lengths to not show us a single characters inner monologue and while showing through animation is a good stance, there are things which do require more of a inner approach. The biggest misstep here is Krones monologue over how she sees this as an opportunity to overthrow Mama and become the new Mama of the farm. There isn’t anything wrong with this concept in general as it shows that Krone isn’t a complete ally to Mama and having her declare this to a doll she delusional thinks of as her child shows a degree of mental instability in her character. The problem is that Krone is shouting her declaration to betray Mama, at the top of her lungs and with ridiculously theatrical vigor. The kids are also guilty of this lack of situational awareness as they discuss their plans often at dangerous locations or even within sight of their enemies. It’s a wonder that Norman seems to believe that they are being in any way inconspicuous. Not to mention Emma speaking out loud about the transmitters in front of another kid who has no idea of the farm which goes against her character.

Not that it would matter as Mama confirms to Krone that she knows full well about them and if anything that revelation should not even be a surprise. This woman has been playing 4D chess for a long time and considering how big of a mistake krone sees this as, it’s worth betting that Mama is in no way treating this matter as some small threat. With the reveal of the transmitters location comes the problem of how to destroy them without alerting Mama which ultimately seems to be only able to be done at the time of escape. But the biggest problem to the group is the reveal of a traitor who is reporting to mom. This traitor is an interesting prospect for do they know the true nature of the farm? Are they perhaps unaware of their very status as a traitor and just manipulated by Mama unknowingly? The visuals seem to hint heavily at glasses girl being the traitor but she may be a bit too obvious. But the final shot of Emma truly goes to show just how much the knowledge of someone selling them out is devastating her. Her goal is to save everyone but the idea that part of that everyone could very well be working against her is a dark prospect indeed. Out of the main trio she is the one who hangs on to idealistic notions but this may be the thing that forces her to break away from her moral righteousness. She was the only one of the tiro caught be Krone thanks to her need to protect the others and everyone seems to be pointing to her forsaking her morality for the sake of survival. As a last note, that scene with a kid getting hit in the face with a ball was both unnecessary and hilarious.

Posted on 20 January 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Yakusoku no Neverland

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as this episode does have a scene which would be heartwarming in other circumstances but turns malevolent once put in context of the new narrative. Such as when a child becomes lost in the woods and Mama goes to search for her, returning with her safely in tow to all the kids welcoming her back. If nothing was revealed last episode this would be a sweet moment but as Norman points out, the action showed deliberate to everyone who knows the truth that Mama can track any of the kids down thanks to tracking devices on them. Though it’s a wonder that even after learning this Emma and Norman don’t seem too concerned over traveling to the wall of the garden often where Mama could look at her watch and figure out what they are up to any moment. But this is under the impression that Mama doesn’t already know which by all accounts doesn’t seem to be the case.

I truly must appreciate just how magnificent an antagonist Mama is for this series and how her particular brand of villainy is a rarity. Mama does not rule through physical force, nor through fear or other typical methods. The endgoal for her is keeping these kids happy in the playpen till it’s time for the slaughter and with that she doesn’t need bars or chains in order to do so. For this woman knows these kids, she is their mother after all for better or worse. That’s what makes her so terrifying. It is a safe bet that the minute she held that bunny at the gate that she knew exactly who left it there. And now her moves all seem calculated to ensure that whatever Emma and Norman plan is sure to fail. That one scene of Mother staring directly at Emma during her one moment of mourning for Connie felt like the first peak past the fake smile to the woman who manipulated and controlled these kids till the moment she lead them to their deaths with them none the wiser. Even the small movement of placing her hand on her neck which could be interpreted as a caring motion or Mama measuring her pulse for signs. Her last move of the episode almost seemed to be generated to crush the kids newfound determination to save all the children as Mama introduces a infant to make matters harder along with a brand new caretaker. If we have an award for best anime antagonist of the year then Mama is going to be a strong contender.

The direction of this series remains excellent as I particularly like the nightmare sequence of the beginning along with the show of Emma afterwards being watched from a swinging pendulum. Though there were these odd shots where the screen would blur and a characters face would be superimposed on screen. I get this was to somewhat emphasize their emotions and facial expression at that moment but the change I find somewhat disconcerting. This episode also has our three main characters truly get together in the mission and I rather like the aspect of freudian theming here with Emma being ID, Ray being Ego and Norman acting as Superego. Otherwise meaning that Emma is the emotional center, Ray is the rational thinker and Norman is the negotiator who generally guides or decides. It makes their approaches to the situation different from each other and how they see things. The mind games are now beginning and it’s looking hopeful that Promised Neverland can keep up the presentation to make this a tense claustrophobic experience. I am just hoping that new black character with the design similar to racist stereotypes doesn’t generate some stupid controversy which will probably make the show more popular but gives me a headache to deal with.

Star Crossed Anime Blog

13 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Dr. STONE – 15/16 [The Culmination of Two Million Years/A Tale for the Ages]

This week of Dr.STONE is a double feature, courtesy of my inability to write! Here we cover the conclusion of the Grand Bout, finish the Cure-All and then dive into the history of Ishigami village. So without further ado, since we have a lot to cover this week, let’s dive in. Starting off, first an […]

Beastars – 02

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

Hoshiai no Sora – 02

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

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

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

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

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

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

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

Vinland Saga – 14 [The Light of Dawn]

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Reviews

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]