Posted on 27 July 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews

Upon hearing that Castlevania would be getting an animated TV series my first reaction was that of unpleasant surprise. Part of the reason was because of the video games infamous history with adapting their stories to other mediums but my main reason was that being familiar with the Castlevania games, I knew the story was by far the weakest aspect. I have played a number of Castlevania titles though my main experience is with the so called “Igavania” titles which helped birth the Metroidvania genre. Let me say that story was not the reason I came to love the franchise, as a matter of fact the story rather went beyond “Dracula has revived, go kill him again.” However against all odds this series has managed to pull a rather enjoyable story out of the bare bones that was present in the game it was based on, Castlevania 3. I believe the main reason behind this story turning out to be a good video game adaption has to do with the writer being a famous comic writer by the name of Warren Ellis. Not being much of a comic fan I have only read a couple of his works like Planetary, Transmetropolitan and Crecy but based on those I can tell he has skill.

The story of this series isn’t anything to gush over but does serve well in using the little story in the games and fleshing it out to a better degree. It reminds me a lot of old anime ova’s from the 80s with its high level of violence and gore while sticking to a simplistic but enjoyable story. Make no mistake this animation isn’t for children with swearing and corpses abound. I admit that with the large amount of anime I watch it is rather refreshing to experience something that doesn’t have the usual Japanese tropes. Our main character Trevor Belmont is the one to get the most screentime in this short hour and a half season and he certainly makes for a fun main character. Starting your introduction with a drunken brawl is certainly a plus in my book and he is a good mix of playful and skilled without delving into overpowered territory. Other characters didn’t quite get as much screen time to really get a grasp on their characters but they were believable enough to get invested in.

The main cast only really assembled in the final minutes of the last episode. The villains on the other hand were on the weak side with the demons being sidelined by the church who really get treated as ignorant and greedy as all hell. Not saying it’s an inaccurate depiction but they do come off as rather one dimensional when any priest is automatically a murdering scummy psychopath. I hope that with this there role in the story is more or less finished with the end of the season as the first episode does nicely make Dracula’s motives much more compelling. He sadly didn’t get much of a role in this season but clearly the story wanted to focus on a minor villain first before taking on the main one. Our main villain for this season happens to be a bishop and I can pretty much sum him up as the same character as Frollo from Disney’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Religious, insane and so mistakenly sickeningly self righteous that he makes you want bash his head in with a sledgehammer.

This “Season” is only four episodes long and feels more like a hour and a half pilot episode. If I had to guess I would say that these four episodes were to gauge interest in the series due to the negative view of video game adaptions and considering just how quickly a second season of eight episodes was greenlit it looks like the response was quite positive indeed. In the continuation of the series I hope they keep up this level of quality but I also hope that they have much more monster variety as the enemies were primarily variants of demon creatures. Part of what makes Castlevania great is the huge cast of enemies from monster movie and myth. You didn’t just fight demons in Castlevania but ghosts, goblins, fishmen, werewolves and a whole host of monsters including Death himself. It would be a massive shame for the series to not capitalise on that and instead keep the monsters as dull demon creatures.

Animation for the most part is excellent with some occasional stumbles but excelling when it needs to. Music overall was fine but I do wish for a rendition of the iconic Bloody Tears or Vampire Killer songs. For fans of the games there is details sure to make you smile such as platforming on clock gears which I am sure any Castlevania fan is familiar with. However this doesn’t require knowledge of the games to be enjoyed either as the story very much stands on it’s own. Overall I would consider this to be one of the strongest Video Game adaptions to date though that may not be high praise considering it’s competition. If you happen to be burned out on anime or just looking for a nice change of pace then I do recommend checking this show out as it’s short and sweet.

Posted on 15 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Mahoujin Guru Guru

Short Synopsis: A JRPG hero and mage sets off to defeat the demon king

From what I see it seems that those familiar with the original show that this opening episode was a bit fast and not as funny. However even if it was funny, to me anime comedy rarely works. There are exceptions of course. For one I think that the ongoing manga “Grand Blue” or “Kaguya wants to be confessed to” would be a hilarious anime. This however seems like the comedy is well…dad jokes. For example when the girl receives money and then tries to equip it like armour. Alright the JRPG visual aesthetic is neat and I do find it charming. However I was stone faced throughout this episode, not even a smile. The isekai genre has abused the standard dragon quest setup to the degree that it’s no longer novel. Personally I think something like Konosuba has surpassed what this is trying to achieve. However it does have it’s enjoyable points and could be a good watch for some.

Potential: 30%

Mario: Colour me surprise. This is the one title that I nearly skipped since it’s a reboot of what appeared to be an adventurous children show. Well, at heart it is but Guru Guru also provides a non-stop slapstick fun from start to finish. There are rapid fire jokes that come at us like corns popping, and the humor is on silly and irrelevant side, so you know… lowbrow humor. But most of the time the jokes land well because they embrace their goofiness to heart, making the show an absurd endless fun. Not only the silly banters, but the animation also converts to reflect the humor: at time 8-bit, then like cut-out animation… and they’re actually creative and on-point. And I can’t deny I’m thoroughly entertained watching this and in one moment I laughed out hard. Can’t believe it before checking it out but it might be one of my favorite comedy show of this year. I won’t blog it but I am sure follow them to see what hijinks the two leads gonna end up with.

Potential: 40%

 

Hajimete no Gal

Short Synopsis: A guy begs a girl to be his girlfriend and surprisingly succeeds

Ah yes that’s right. We haven’t had our fanservice harem yet in this season. Boy, we nearly went through a anime season without gravity defying tits, panty shots and flat chest jokes. Now this may be a shock to some but despite media commonly depicting this, men actually don’t think about sex 24/7. Hell even when reminiscing over my teenage years I don’t think I put that much thought into it. Not saying I never did but if you were going to spend every waking moment considering how much you want to copulate then anyone would get bored of it. So when I see these strange creatures who consider getting laid their lives ambition I can’t help but think that they might be disappointed if they ever managed to do it. It’s just sex lads. Anyway we have another one of those strange abominations of a girl whose breast size doesn’t correlate with the rest of her body making her look like some weird beanie baby. Plus fanservice galore as our protagonist keeps imaging how he’s gonna cross the final line before he’s even entered the race. Sorry to break it to you protag but you are in a harem so that means you are damned to be cockblocked for eternity. Lastly any time this guys friends were on screen made me want to quit the episode then and there. So if you want anime that’s not quite but almost porn then this has you covered.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Gosh, I stepped into someone’s wet dream yet again, but this one is even more mean-spirited. At least Smartphone doesn’t offend anyone, this on stoops so low begging on the ground that I can’t help but feel appalling and disgusting. First off, that main guy is pure one-dimensional pervert with the only goal in mind is to bang. It’s already low bar but he manages to make it into cringeworthy level when begging the girl so that he could see her panties. Creepy as fuck. Second, high school girls who have boobs that defy gravity have no personality and somehow all fall for that pervert. And guess what, he gets away with it because… girls are hormonal creatures too. All that and I haven’t mentioned the awfulness of his wet fantasies, panty shots, hair-raising voice over. The show wants to make our hearts feel dokidoki with its fanservice, but painful is what I get instead.

Potential: 0%

 

Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e

Short Synopsis: New students get a nasty discoverly when they find out that the high class school they entered has a totalitarian rules.

Got to say that with the pacing sped up and time outside of the mains head to minimum that this series benefits greatly. In truth the actually story only came out in the last few minutes but I much prefer this to the light novels which spent half the first volume building up to this point. Got to say that watching it is a much better experience as it looks like this will be less the false ideal high school life presented in anime and more along the lines of Snafu’s cynical overlook. Our protagonist certainly shares Hachiman’s outlook of interpersonal relationships and I find his rather deadpan voice and exterior to be rather refreshing when compared to mister average blush on command. I actually enjoyed this more than thought I would and perhaps this could turn into something interesting after all. Not expecting a masterpiece but maybe like SukaSuka it could prove to be an intriguing watch. Might even blog it if the second episode continues to engage me.

Potential: 60%

Mario: Youkoso is a show that has strong, interesting premise but dang it’s way too slow to get into that. Doesn’t need a whole episode for setting up to be honest and I suspect it’s the next episode that they reveal their true nature. I certainly feel a SNAFU vibe around this cast, most notably our main guy, like Hachiman, is an observant social outcast and the other girls so far fall neatly into SNAFU’s counterparts, but the similarity isn’t too jarring to write them off. The argument on the bus, while address boldly to the overall theme of “equality” – whether or not unequally action need to be made to assist those who are already disadvantaged – but sadly they overplay that scene so it comes off as forced development. Judging by this episode alone, it comes as just merely passable, but it does have potential and I guess when the plot kicks in, we will have a real treat from this one. People who unconvinced by this first episode need to check out the second one because the real meat will be there.

Potential: 40%

 

Gamers!

Short Synopsis: A boy is invited to a gaming club by the most popular girl in school.

Points to the MC for going against the grain and turning her down. It is rather nice when you see things moving in a predictable pattern only for it to get turned on it’s head. However I have read on in this story and found that the gaming aspect just gets overshadowed by romance nonsense. Really weird to see the show throw out spoilers like nothing but it was rather clever. This first episode was decent and had some good comedic moments. however I really dislike how gaming is portrayed here. Why are they treating it like playing games for fun is weird? Like the MC is special because he just wants to enjoy video games? I am a heavy gamer myself and I never really felt the need to master a online shooter or fighting games. I just find the idea of devoting myself to just one game to be dull. Variety is the spice of life and I would rather be good at many games than the master of one. There are those of us that value single player experiences over online competitive ones. Anyway my point is that videogames are my domain and I don’t like a story half assing it with its representation. Lastly, the main character got tired after only two hours of gaming? Filthy casual.

Potential: 10%

Mario: Gamers runs like your typical school club anime: we have main character get dragged into one specific school club, he’s being a “perfect one”, get introduced into the most attractive part of said club, and make friends with eccentric club-mates in the process; you know, all that dandy. Except this one builds those up for some twist – he rejects the club, not once, but twice. It does feel like he decided not to join in is how the show’s messing with us, but get into his reason and you see the moment of truth. They are both game maniacs, but they approach games differently and that main guy feels like he doesn’t belong to the competitiveness gameplay by the club. It happens all the time in other sports or media as people who share the same love for some medium doesn’t mean that they approach them the same. Apart from that, I like the way the show gives some witty foreshadowing texts and the animation sometimes resembles that of game to hide its constraint budget. Still, the romance or whatever isn’t that good and the main concept of gaming doesn’t really catch me. Could be interesting to see how it goes from here but I admit this isn’t my cup of tea.

Potential: 20%

Posted on 14 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Chronos Rulers

Short Synopsis: Two people fight demons which prey on those who wish to undo mistakes or turn back time

This is a show with a very interesting concept and up until the introduction of the main character it was decent enough. Though that girl’s tragic past with her brother was dramatically uncut by the stupid way in which he died. It’s bad enough for her to run across the street without looking, even worse for her to run across halfway and turn around on the goddamn road. I don’t know brother, maybe you should have let the truck hit her. After all it seems like natural selection to me. But I was willing to overlook that to an extent. But then the main came along with some truly awful comedy. The comedy kept going and my goodwill began to vanish. The we have an action scene where the characters stop fighting and basically spout exposition to the girl. Got to say it was nice of mister monster to wait patiently for them to finish filling her in on the details. Funny enough this girl isn’t even a main character so I don’t see why they should give her a runthrough of who they are and what they do. Other than that we got some pretty standard shounen action. I reiterate that the premise is indeed quite interesting and the reveal at the end does make for some interesting story material. But with execution like this I am afraid it’s just won’t turn out well.

Potential: 0%

Mario: I will let this out first, Chronos Rulers has some pretty neat ideas. After all, the time travel motif, the grief over losing someone dear, and the slight twist right at the end have their merits. But the actual execution place the series among the worst thing I’ve watched for this season. This one is the first one of this season so far that started with a battle out of nowhere that we have no idea who fighting who for whatever reason (I thank anime God for this sudden drop this season). The production is cheaply made with many still images and uninspiring designs. The characters are one-dimensional and loud and I’ve seen those characters many times before. And come on, the girl loses her brother from one of the most silly, cliche and forced way possible (they don’t show it but I bet the brother died in one piece, but imagine when a truck comes at you at full speed like that, you’d end up in pieces with blood and guts everywhere, but I’ll spare you that graphic details). A cliche plot, lazy writing and poor execution anime. Avoid it at all cost.

Potential: 0%

 

Tenshi no 3P!

Short Synopsis: A hikikomori meets up with three ten year old girls who want his help to stage a concert.

To be fair the last line of this episode appears to be some sort translation double meaning or something in which the girl means “If you help us, I can let you touch my guitar” but considering how it’s supposed to be misinterpreted this shows clearly where this show is going. Who wants loli fanservice? Not me, that’s for goddamn certain. So three loli’s that live in an orphanage which just so happens to have a secret room with rare instruments which they just so happened to learn how to play without any outside help? These ten year olds don’t act like ten year olds and the entire premise is pretty dumb. They want to hold a concert to get people to come to a church hall? Seems rather counterproductive and I am fairly certain there are easier way to accomplish this. Our hikikomori friend also seems to somehow have a harem with three loli’s and two other girls who are interested in him. Oh and a little sister because of course he bloody has one. I at least liked the aspect with the Hikikomori working with audio software but the minute those three loli’s stepped into the show is where it all came crashing down. This show is trash.

Potential: 0%

Mario: “If you help us, I can let you touch me a little”, says the primary school girl to the main lead. So that’s how you played your cards huh? And with that single line all my little interest of following it has vanished. Not that what come before has been bright, mind you. This show asks us to suspend our disbelief too glaringly that I have a hard time buying any of its premise. I can’t look over the fact that those girls are primary students who happened to be really good at playing music, and happened to “inherit” the original, famous instruments. I can’t look over the fact that the main guy happened to be a shut in who for some reasons staying alone despite being a minor, and happened to be really into composing music (well, actually the last part was fine). No, no, no. Worse, while I consider the first part fairly alright, when the girls come in the picture, the show collapses. The girls add cute humors that bring the show down. In the end, this show fails to leave any impact on me whatsoever.

Potential: 0%

 

Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni

Short Synopsis: A boy is sent to another world by god with a fully functional smartphone

How to win at life, get accidentally smited by god. So unfortunately despite the completely utterly ridiculous premise this show takes it far too seriously. But the big problem here is that right off the bat our main character is far too overpowered. On top of god giving him a working smartphone with all the knowledge of the internet at his fingertips, he also throws in physical super strength and large aptitude for all magic elements. So right now there is absolutely nothing that could pose even the smallest threat to our protagonist and all the women love him cause he can make ice cream and is super special awesome despite having no personality at all. Really…what is even the point in watching further? Comedy seems to be the main thing this show wants to carry itself on but it’s all really weak. For one there are these awkward scene transitions which I suppose are for comedic effect but just are jarring and sudden. This is a dull boring show that will likely be forgotten by seasons end. Truly why is the translator of Dies Irae officially translating the light novels of this garbage? What a waste of talent.

Potential: 0%

Mario: My, my, I entered someone’s wet dream again. This show is as bad as its title suggests. You would think from that absurd title that this show is a parody of isekai genre but no, it plays the genre completely straight. The main guy has done absolutely nothing but gains immensely popularity by girls, God and other people alike; has absolutely zero difficulty to adapt in that new life; has smartphone so he can checks news from his world, and already way too overpowered despite doing nothing to achieve it. Lazy writing. Now I feel I was way to harsh from the above two shows because this one is so bad it deserves to stay under the ground, alone. I know at the end he will save the world and girls will surround him like bees surround waps or like girls surround ice-cream (their jokes. Not mine). Watch this show if you have to do a PhD degree with a thesis of “The Common Tropes of Isekai genre in Anime” because this one is chock-full of those, or if you’re bored and want to piss on some shows to make you feel better (which I don’t recommend either), otherwise this show is a waste of your time.

Potential: 0%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Princess Principal

Short Synopsis: A group of little girl spies help a man defect from his country.

To put it in purely objective terms, this was a relatively strong episode. The premise is absurd but it’s clear you really shouldn’t think that much about it. After all our protagonists announce themselves as spies but I think they have gravely misunderstood what it is that a spy actually does. Point is that being a spy is not getting into massive gunfights and taking down enemy camps That’s more a small army squad. Point is that if you are discovered then you failed as a spy, avoiding detection is kinda the whole point. So this was a good first episode and I really liked the final moment with the female lead and her lies. This is also the first time I didn’t recognise Kajiura’s music immediately and I like that it’s different from her usual repertoire. However when watching this I feel something in my bones. I felt the exact same thing when I watched Kabanaris first episode. Somehow I know this is going to go wrong, I know this will drop drastically in quality. I don’t know how or when but I am certain it’s going to happen. Maybe it the fact that I see elements of the writer’s previous works here like the mysterious magical disease. But I call it now that when the series ends people will not be looking fondly on it. By all means I could be wrong and maybe Kajiura and the studio can stop the writer before he gets stupid. So I say for now you can give this a shot as the steampunk not spy spies antics could be fun.

Potential: 45%

Mario: Here come my own most anticipated show of this season. Does it really deliver and sell me on its ridiculous premise? Well yes and no. I can still see some issues here and there, but overall this premiere has become one of my personal favorite first impression so far. For the negative side, the most glaring issue is that sometimes, it embraces its premise wholeheartedly and takes itself too seriously. I have a lifelong history with heavy-handedness so this might be a make or break point for me. Second issue is that sometimes the setting and plot just go too silly. You know, spies don’t spell out that they’re spies, ever. Having a princess working as a spy to blend in with other students is a pretty stupid idea, since everyone would recognize her face immediately. On the plus side though, I am at least intrigued with this setting: I like the spy concept, I like steampunk technology, I like the five girls so far and at least I don’t mind putting them into an (unnecessary) high school setting. Function as a standalone episode, the pacing is just about right, both establishing the stakes of their mission, and they make a decent job of giving a deeper side from the main girl. I won’t lie, she shoots him while repeatedly says no, hit me hard.  Lies and double-crossing are the main backbone of this show, I even suspect one of the main girls might be a double agent here. Whatever the case, yeah you bet I’m gonna follow it to the end.

Potential: 75%

 

Centaur no Nayami

Short Synopsis: The slice of life adventures of various demihuman friends

It’s nice to see that the lesser tier studio didn’t drag down the quality of the series. Still it happens to be a genre that puts me to sleep on lazy days. There is an intriguing history and setting for this show but it’s clear that this won’t be some societal exploration on the themes of demi human coexistence. Nope just the daily life of a centaur and other friends. Though the first scene did remind me that I saw a lot of yuri in my reading of the manga. Might not be a straight couple in this thing at all(Aside from parents). Odd but hey, whatever floats people’s boats. This is definitely for slice of life fans or those with a weakness for monster girls.

Potential: 55%

Mario: I like the idea that this show has no real beginning, with all the relationship have already been established so we can cut down an unnecessary introduction. I’m also digging the way it billed itself as a slice of life, but it starts quite literally with a kiss, between 2 girls no less, but as far as I see there’s no yuri undertones here, which I greatly appreciate. I also like (see, I find many positive things in this series, it’s just my type of show) how they jabbed at our own racial issues caused just by the skin-difference, because they obviously have a much more glaring racial issues here. The three main leads are from different background so there will be a lot to explore in that regard and production-wise it does a decent job. Centaur is a solid entry in cute monster girl doing cute things show, but can barely break out from it, thus people who don’t interest in slice of life might watch it with caution.

Potential: 60%

 

Hitorijime My Hero

Short Synopsis: A kid tries to break away from the wrong crowd after meeting a infamous delinquent.

Boys will love boys as some may say and here we have the fujoshi show of the season. As I am completely out of the main demographic I am afraid I can’t really give this fair judgement but from the aspects that can be viewed from a mostly objective standpoint it seems serviceable. Can’t really say I find the characters interesting and the only thing that had an impact was those two annoying girls who were forcing a kid to ask if hotty mc transfer student had a girlfriend. Ask him yourself you annoying troglodytes and don’t act like this kid is obligated to do what you want. So basically being someone with no interest whatsoever in this genre I can say at least the first episode was watchable.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Already a boy love series, this show has to do a heavy lifting in order to appeal more than its target viewers, unfortunately I don’t see anything worth coming back to after this first episode. I’m not al dismissal guy though, as one thing I do appreciate from boy love’s stories is sometimes they tell a really solid romance story here. But not in this case. This episode build a foundation of 2 love stories, one of them is contrived to the bare bone (in what universe the guy who goes out beating up gangsters can become a math teacher?) and the other is clumsy at best. I don’t have much else to say because I don’t feel I gain much after watching this first episode. After all, I still honest don’t know if the main guy believing in hero or not, nor do I give a damn.

Potential: 10%

Posted on 13 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoukoku no Altair

Short Synopsis: A newly appointed general attempts to foil a plot that could start a war.

I am still a bit skeptical of this as I fear it may run into the same problem Arslan Senki ran into. Basically an interesting setting and premise but no interesting characters to carry it. Our main protagonist here is certainly a step up but I do feel he isn’t really all that interesting besides his fascination of using eagles to attack. Only other character that really stood out was the main heroine and she at least has a bold personality to contrast the main’s general stoic nature. The turkish setting is certainly a breath of fresh air and high historical fantasy is a very rare thing in anime as of late. So far it’s proving promising but we are going to need more distint characters to keep things interesting.

Potential: 75%

Mario: Altair is overall impressive. (Faux) historical fantasy war has been on the rise lately (see Tanya), and they managed to do everything right here. The main character was developed just about enough to make him stand out, and I’m interested to see how he deals with the great war when the plot thickens (even with sacrifice of him sleeping on the roof when some girl obviously tries to hit on him. oops). The Turkish empire settings were handled thoughtfully, and this first season provides enough base characters that will sure make a big impact to the story later on. I admit that having the assassins saying the name of the mastermind was really a convenient plot progress, and they include his flashback during the scene feel a bit abrupted, but everything else was right on mark. This show holds lots of potential here and I’m eager to check out how the story progresses from this.

Potential: 80%

 

18if

Short Synopsis: A boy wakes up in a dream world and faces a giant witch.

I do really like the opening and the setting is great as I love it going crazy with the dream aspect. However it’s clear that the idea is a bit too ambitious for the animation studio as there animation and visuals are not the best. The protagonist’s general level headed nature due to it all being a dream is a neat aspect but it does remove any sense of danger when he barely reacts to getting his arm chopped off. The end of the episode has me worried that this could get too preachy as we have our protagonist essentially lecturing the enemy to death. Still it’s an imaginative concept and I wonder just how crazy they will get with it. If I was to make a bet then I would put it on this ending up rather disappointing as the developments of this episode’s plot were on the weak side. What makes this show stand out is it’s visual design and so far it’s storytelling is just passable. I say the first episode is worth a try and it’s up to you if it’s something you want to continue.

Potential: 55%

Mario: And here, we encounter the strange duck of the season. If you don’t know what to make upon watching its promotion video, chances that this premiere won’t change your mind. The story, as it happens in a dream world, makes so little sense. Honestly I’m fine with overloaded symbolism and non-plot plot as long as it sticks to the narrative, and here is where the show comes off a bit short-handed. The actual story behind the witch, isn’t good enough as a thoughtful case for us to invest to. By that I mean that story itself isn’t half bad, but the way they tell it is. I could’ve invested with the Witch tragic story more if I have more time to know her as a person, and here is where this show misses its mark. In fact, that’s my main complaint with 18if right now: visually inventive but if it doesn’t back up by meaningful story or strong emotional impact, it will end up being a gimmick. The art designs, on the other spectrum, is great. That, and the off-kilter characters where they speak like they’re in a bad dream (they are), further detail the foundation of dream logic. In short, I’m digging the premise about exploration of dreams in 18if, but the actual presentation still leaves a lot to be desired.

Potential: 70%

 

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits

Short Synopsis: Small town girls set up a tonkasatsu show to appease a girl’s little sister.

This certainly feels like it’s chasing the shadow of Love Live but I found this episode rather enjoyable. Two montages were a bit much and I find the character designs and personalities a bit bland for my taste but the story of this episode was rather heartwarming. I personally never really liked tonkasatsu shows as I just find them a bit too cheesy for my liking. I found myself inwardly cringing during the performances in this episode. So far I say it’s a decent watch though I would be wary of this some becoming too slice of life for it’s own good. Visuals and animation are decent so I say this is a good inbetween show for those looking for something light.

Potential:35%

Mario: To my own surprise, Action Heroine isn’t half bad, it’s a bit harmless but thoroughly enjoyable one. They take a much more mundane approach here. There is indeed an actual Action Heroine that drink fruit-juice to boost energy, but this story is squarely about those inspired by her popular to create their own play,to entertain those kids no less. It’s the low-key, the amateurish approach, and the main’s determination to provide her little sister a good time that made this show sincerely. The main problem, then, is that all that I’ve said above wasn’t even this show’s main plot; so this sincere vibe could just be an one off case. The main plot, then, will be how those girls work together to promote their little hometown by becoming their own action heroines. Sound similar huh? Expect the cuter, lesser, and more high-school-oriented version of Sakura Quest then. The animation is nothing stand out and the art style is simple, but they tell their story with charms and care and that is good enough for me

Potential: 30%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Ballroom e Youkoso

Short Synopsis: A boy begins to take lessons at a ballroom dancing studio.

While not a bad adaption, I personally prefer how this was handled in the manga. The anime skips over the same details but it’s the small details that make all the difference. Such as the bashful blush when the protagonist was praising his mentors dance video. Nonetheless this is still more interesting than you would think it would be. I am not keen on the length of the characters necks at times and the animation is clearly avoiding showing too much dancing as we got plenty in this series can can’t afford to go all out in the training stages. But it’s still a fun show about a topic I didn’t think I would be interested in. However this series manages to make ballroom dancing quite engaging and intriguing. Unlike our previous quiz show it’s not heavy on the sports tropes and with two cours we should at least get decently far into the story. If this manages to capture the spirit of the manga then it will certainly be a show to keep an eye on during this season. Highly recommend checking this one out.

Potential: 85%

Mario: It has been a week since the start of the new season, but this weekend is where all the goods start to deliver. We kick things off with this highly participated Ballroom e Youkoso and for the most part the show provides a solid introduction to the well-received manga. I read the first two chapters after watching the anime to see how faithful the anime adapts its source, found out that while they do cut some unnecessary part, I enjoy the manga source a little better. The main lead isn’t that memorable in the anime and for a show about ballroom dancing, there isn’t any actual dancing animation in this premiere – I’m perfectly fine with the latter issue, as this first episode is all about introduce the main guy (and us) to the world of ballroom dancing and it did a magnificent job. I still can’t fathom the fact he was dancing all night (what caring parents) but overall, it’s well-paced, with good chemistry between the cast. Unlike Dive!! which I have an issue with amateur trying to reach the top, this show understands and makes a point of how much hard-work and pain the professionals have been through to achieve what they dream for. So far this show receives a solid execution and I suspect Ballroom will be one of the most reliable entertaining show of this season.

Potential: 80%

 

Made in Abyss

Short Synopsis: A girl that lives in a town surrounding an abyss discovers a robot boy.

And the winner of best first episode of the 2017 summer season goes to…Made in Abyss! For someone who didn’t quite get into the manga it’s quite a surprise to see how much of a different animation can make. We got Ghibli vibes here and the animation and visuals are beautiful. Music too is excellent and if this can keep it up then it really could be one hell of a show. Of course it’s only the first episode and as well executed as it is there have been plenty of anime which have started with just as much promise and failed to deliver. That said there appears to be confidence in the source material coming from those that read it and the studio looks to be giving it love. I plan on picking this one up to blog so I will be following all the way to see how it turns out. I say this only once every season and here I say it again. If you plan on watching only one anime this season, then watch this.

Potential: 90%

Mario: Made in Abyss is hands down the most exciting title in this Summer season so far. The best thing about this show lies in its gorgeous, detailed and well-realized art backgrounds, which already the abyss, and the lead’s city feel vivid and welcoming. Despite the childish look, the story aims for more serious tone along its way. Like, the robot boy who despite his robot design, talk and think like a human (he still regarded himself as one), which could imply that someone turn him from a child into a robot, not for good reason. The world-building is so rich, and the way the show just lays down those details through the normal adventure-through-the abyss day and not shove all the details to our face further tell us how much confidence they have for the show. The animation is consistently great and the soundtracks are a delight. I could go on forever but let just conclude that the show has a very strong foundation: confident tones, engaging characters, lustful background and a story that has a lot of potential, both in deepen its theme and engage the viewers; backed up by the creativeness of both the source material and the top-notch production. My favorite pet for this season.

Potential: 90%

 

Vatican Kiseki Chousakan

Short Synopsis: Two investigative priests are sent to a school to verify a miracle of god.

The setup here is full of potential and I really dig it. All throughout this episode it looked to set up a great mystery and establish the setting and characters. There is just one big problem. The pacing just just far too fast. I don’t know why but the speed of things happening on screen was far too fast and soon characters had barely enough time to say their lines before the story moved on. As a result things moved too fast for any of it to sink in. It was a bit like watching a show on fast forward. There isn’t any time to put emotional weight to anything so it all passes by with me relatively detached and apathetic. On the other hand I felt that parts of this show were far too overdramatic for what is a relatively serious topic. So far it has potential but how good it turns out will depend on whether they can slow down the pacing.

Potential: 60%

Mario: It has been a while since we encounter the thriller/ mystery case-of-a-week, here all the cases are related to Christianity which already sound like a rare treat. Most of the time it succeeds on what it promises. The case rooted deep within Christian context, although of course they fire it up a notch, which bordering on taking itself too seriously. Two minor things that really bother me, first is the pacing which sometimes feel too abrupt, and second is the characters themselves as never at once I feel that I can relate to those people. I don’t know if later development would focus on the lead’s mental breakdown or not but there is a sign that one of them is very very unstable, he’s seriously more uncanny than those who suspected of blasphemy here. Aside from those, it’s a pleasure that we are treated to the topic that underexplored in this anime industry, and the case so far is so intrigued and the productions are mostly on par that I don’t find this one has any problem to reach wider audience out there.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 12 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dive!!

Short Synopsis: A boy’s local diving club is given a chance to aim for the Olympics.

This series has a very…happy vibe. Not sure how to put it but something about the dialogue has an artificial positivity to it. Still I appreciate the effort to have a story here as opposed to just having 13 episodes of manservice. Though the manservice is here, have no doubt about that. In fact I am not normally one to normally point this out but the protagonists interest in his senpai seems to border on homosexual here. Thing is I don’t quite know if it’s intentional or not. I mean they spend time showing his complete disinterest in his girlfriend and being bothered that his senpai found out about his girlfriend. The signals here make it seem to be going in that direction. If so i say go for it and don’t try to back out by dressing it up as camaraderie. Also I am not fond of the way they add a water effect to the character’s skin. Makes it look like the protagonists are made out of water and it’s off putting. I can’t say I have much interest in this as don’t really care about diving and the story so far just doesn’t really catch me.

Potential: 30%

Mario: One thing that really irks me about this series is how they set a very unrealistic and over the top goal here. Aim for Tokyo Olympics? Gosh. Remember those guys train in a local club? I mean, the whole prospect isn’t entirely impossible; but as a fellow who studied sports in uni, I can’t let it slide easily. High-performance sport is something they have to work hard, sweat, tears and blood to gain it, not some opportunity that open to them, thus I feel that the show so far is way too easy on its characters; although I’ll wait until next week to hear what the female coach has to propose. Other than that, although I’m fairly alright with the whole diving sports treatment, the main guy’s idol is wayyyy too perfect to feel like a normal human. The animation for those divings is overall solid, but characters as a whole still leave a lot to be desired. Not the best show for this noitaminA slot, but well it’s passable.

Potential: 40%

 

Saiyuuki Reload Blast

Short Synopsis:  A group of men travel across the country fighting demons.

I don’t know what it is but this is also an anime with a source from a bygone era. In this case it’s a sequel to a series that originally aired in 2004 which in turn was a sequel to a show that aired in 2003 which in turn was a sequel to an anime which aired in 2000. Can’t really say why it seemed to deserve a fourth sequel now as there was nothing in this episode that really sold me on it. In fact if this is the fourth sequel to the series it must be rather disheartening to see the characters be such one note stereotypes. Normally when your anime reaches the one hundred episode mark it’s time to get the endgame started but this seems no closer to a conclusion than from where it started. Now I am a fan of seeing demons get shot in that face, I play doom after all. But this just seems to have nothing really to offer. It’s clear the story is going nowhere and the plot is already rather dated. I don’t think many will be willing to check this one out seeing as you need to get through 3 prequels first.

Potential: 10%

 

Mario: Inspired obviously from Journey to the West with updated, throw-up overdesigned “cool” characters, who fight demons with “cool” weapons and mutters ridiculously “cool” lines. Yeah so right in the beginning the quartet doesn’t impress me at all. And it’s going to be a hard sell for me since the series is about their journey quest to fight demons so I have to care about those four. Furthermore, the actions feel so disorienting, I don’t get all the quick panning shots and blood splattering to the camera at all. As far as this first story goes it’s functional but it also leaves a lot to be desired. All the side characters are one-note for once, and I have a problem with how they treat the poor insane woman (not in term how they physically treat her, but more about her roles in this story since they’re all over the place). Make no mistake, this an action-packed road trip style-over substance one, so if you’re a fan of action, or you like the endless banters from those four then by all mean keep watching it. I will go back to my usual slice of life fix.

Potential: 10%

 

Konbini Kareshi

Short Synopsis: Young love around a convenience store.

Man, I suddenly have an inexplicable craving to get on a plane to Japan and shop in a Japanese convenience store…is likely what the creators of this anime want you to think. Pretty blatant product placement here but that aside this unfortunately is one of those anime that is completely outside my interests. The more anime mirrors reality then the less I want to watch it. Speaking purely objectively I don’t think there’s anything I would consider bad though the character designs seem on the bland side. Particularly the male character designs as they have the stereotypical tall long necked bishi look. As for personality I can’t say I find anyone here particularly unique or likeable. On top of that this feels like a shoujo romance story with all the “will they won’t they” and generally unwillingness to commit. From my standpoint it feels like a very dull show but once again this isn’t my kind of show.

Potential: 20%

Mario:  This show ends up being a mixed bag for me. On one hand, it has many elements that I greatly enjoy, but then other factors just actively push me away from the show. Since what this show loves to do most is to pair up, I will pair its pros and cons to strengthen my point. First, the character designs are attractive all around, but they are just way too perfect, moreover look much older than their age that most of the time I have an impression that I was looking at some fake models than actual characters. The music has some memorable moments, but other aural parts like dialogues feel unnatural. I find myself mildly care to the main’s romance, but when there’s going to be 4 or 5 pairs like that (revolving around a convenience store no less) my mind just stop caring. And, one thing that I love the most from this series; when two characters have a conversation but they don’t show the characters conversing, they show montages of their activities instead – great visual storytelling that focus on small, observant details, but then it all goes to waste since the show cares much more about romance and hooking up than developing their characters. Frankly, if the character designs are more “humble” I would give it another chance, but since they already look like supermodels AKA THE PERFECT HUMAN SPECIES that most of the time stare blankly and smile creepily, I believe I’ve reached my limits.

Potential: 40%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Nana Maru San Batsu

Short Synopsis: A boy is scouted to join his school’s quiz club.

At this point I think the anime sports formula could work for practically everything. Though what makes it work here is that competitive quizzing is actually an interesting topic. I previously thought that all you needed to succeed in a quiz was a high knowledge base but it seems that being able to predict the questions is something of a higher priority. The quiz aspects of this episode made good entertainment but as for everything else it was rather typical. We really didn’t need that recurring panty joke. Overall the subject material could make it a decent watchable show though it does have the same problem every sports anime does. The fact that we are only going to get barely stated by the time the ending comes around to throw in a life goes on ending that’s never to be continued. So it could be fun while it lasts.

Potential: 40%

 

Mario: Man, whatever this show tries to sell me, it sure has succeeded. Function like a sport series, they have to sell the unique appealing of fast-buzz quiz and now I WANT MORE. Not only you need to know the answer, you have to predict the question and respond it before anyone else. So the stake is there, and I’m digging how the show depicts even a millisecond could make a difference. Apart from the quiz itself, everything else is just below par. Most cringe-worthy is that panty recurring jokes. No reason to be there, no reason to be repeated at all. The animation is quite limited and the character designs are simple, too simple. The plot does hint that they will play in some sort of competition and honestly I’m looking forward for it. Could be a good in-between watch between big shows.

Potential: 30%

 

Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou

Short Synopsis: A student moves into an apartment which is filled with Youkai.

As a adaption of a novel that started in 2003 it’s no wonder that this series feels a bit old fashioned.  To some that might be a benefit that it harkens back to the days of old anime but it does feel a little dated. Having read further on in the manga adaption I can say that I found the story more engaging in that format. Something here feels rather lifeless and it lacks the story weight of the manga adaption, though I have yet to read the original novels. I am hoping that in later episodes it could do something to remedy that as I do think that the source story was actually rather interesting. Though the comedy was rather flat in both adaptations. For those that like shows like Natsume or crave a more classic style of anime storytelling this could your thing.

Potential: 40%

 

Mario: I think I get the main appeal of Youkai Apartment; it’s a throwback anime that reminisce the older style anime with simple character designs and even simpler plot; like how this show reminds me a great deal of Maison Ikkoku with a supernatural youkai twist on top, but compare this show with that giant classic would do it a disservice. So apart from that, how do I feel about this premiere? Well, mixed. The premise has some potential here as I can see the main guy learn and become acquainted to the Youkai monsters in his everyday life, and an ongoing romance with the girl (for how there happened to be a girl his age that attractive live under the same roof with him, I just… shake my head). But other factors fall flat: Comedy falls flat. Horror/ thriller falls flat. The friendship between him and his best friend falls flat. I don’t really hate what I saw here but it doesn’t have any lasting impact for me at all, sadly.

Potential: 20%

 

Tsurezure Children

Short Synopsis: A series of shorts about various romantic couples.

Tsurezure Children likely broke a world record here as the first episode has not one, not two but four successful confessions of love in one 12 minute episode. Boy is that satisfying to watch. This is pretty great as the shorts are quick enough to not overstay their welcome. There is a good mixture of romance and comedy with the romance being delightfully fluffy while the comedy is witty. Personal favorite of this episode was the student council president and the delinquent girl. Harem protagonists, take notes for this guy is a master alpha. I don’t often recommend short series but in this case if you happen to need some healing after a long day then this would be perfect for you.

Potential: 80%

Mario: Can’t believe the first real hit of this season for me is a romance short anime takes place in high school with 4-koma format; but it is and it makes me feel glad that I give every show a chance for this first impressions. The first episode hits right off the mark with 4 confessions from different pairs and they manage to make all of them compelling. And funny. And heartfelt. Witty dialogues everywhere but they manage to make them much deeper than their apparent traits. Usually the biggest problem with 4-koma adaptation in general is the skits doesn’t connect to one another, yet in Tsurezure Children this is its biggest strength. Furthermore, this show isn’t your typical sweet romance either, it isn’t afraid to get weird or extreme and boy do I love its guts. As far as short series go this one has my highest recommendation.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 11 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Knight’s & Magic

Short Synopsis: A programer dies and is reincarnated into another world with robots and magic.

Wow this is a pretty terrible adaption. I mean I don’t really care because I wasn’t fond of the source material in the first place but they really are not approaching this in the right way. This episode burned through 9 manga chapters and about half the novel at my estimate and it really hurts the story. The side characters had some development in the novel and manga but here they are pure side dressing to make the main character look good. But yeah, consider this the playbook of every Isekai cliche you can think of. Might be fine for some but stories like this lose their appeal quick once the protagonist becomes an unbeatable god that no villain can possible even threaten. Thus a story where a self insert character steamrolls over enemies while having every woman in the vicinity fall madly in love with them is just weak power fantasy. Pass on this.

Potential: 0%

 

Mario: Well, Knight’s & Magic is much more functional than I initially give credits too, as the pacing maintains its beat and there could be a decent story out of this. But it has many issues too, the main character, beside his enthusiasm for Silhouette Knight (a mecha robot), has very very bland personality. It embraces all its isekai cliché so far, like how he took advantage of knowledge from his previous life to make a magic gun. The characters are nothing stand out, but we aren’t for characters, we’re here for some (magic) action and as far as that goes, it does a decent job. This show will have nothing deep to say but it will give you some reasonably entertaining action, although I suspect the plot will get dull later on.

Potential: 30%

 

Koi to Uso

Short Synopsis: A boy decides to confess to his crush before the government assigns him a marriage partner.

I get that the theme of this show is to point out the artificiality and lovelessness of having an authority figure decide who you will spend the rest of your life with. After all doesn’t a marriage of convenience pale in comparison with true love? Oh I get it alright. It’s just that I have a hard time siding with our doomed lovers here. For one these two just sat on their feelings for over ten years until it was too late. And another, they feel in love because the boy lent her half his eraser in kindergarten. That’s all it took huh? Oh and wow you both kept the eraser because it was such a precious memory and…I’m sorry. I am having a hard time buying this as true love here. Well this show is a good bit trite and contrived as the writing tries to make the situation as tragic as possible. The protagonists phone glitches out and somehow shows his crush as his arranged marriage partner(Um…somehow.) Right then the government lackeys show up to hand him the form for his real marriage partner. Delivering it to the park…wait how did they know he was there? Also why go out of their way to send two people to deliver an envelope? At the stroke of midnight? Yes, I figure we aren’t supposed to think about it too much. Oh tragic love, torn apart by the evils of society and our protagonist chained to a women he does not love. Forever to never follow his heart…up until she lends him a pen or something and then everything will be fine and dandy.

Potential: 20%

 

Mario: Forbidden fruits are always the sweetest huh? I’m glad that I watched Tsurezure Children before this because we have another confession episode here, albeit drags longer and with overblown melodrama tone. The plot feels really contrived and forced when you get down to it: the guy confesses his crush the day before his 16th birthday, which also a day he will have a government’s assigned partner. Wait for 5 hours for a girl, until the minute he decided to leave, she appears. The girl happens to love him all along, and of course fate can’t allow them to be together. When the time comes that they have to separate, tears awaited. The main guy isn’t interesting at all, make me question how any girl would fall for him, let alone this attractive one. This show’s central theme is right on your face: a love triangle between true love and lust/physical/ whatever, but I do enjoy my time here. The triangle will become more apparent as the next episode will feature the other girl, so I’m still sold to watch the next one to check her character out. Scum’s Wish probably is the king about melodrama dark triangle love and while I don’t think Koi to Uso can reach that level, fans of romance will have something to shout at here in this series.

Potential: 30%

 

Isekai Shokudou

Short Synopsis: A restaurant in our modern world serves meals to beings from a fantasy land.

It’s an alright watch. I appreciate the animes efforts to give this anime more of a story as the original source material was basically people ending up at the restaurant and being amazed over the food. Judging from the second episode preview however it looks like thats whats coming in later episodes. It is a better take on Isekai than most but I really wish the other worlds wasn’t so uninspired and stereotypical. I do appreciate that this show didn’t going for the so called “Foodgasm” much like other food porn shows like Shokugeki no Soma. But story wise I don’t see it offering more than it already has. A fantasy outlander comes in for a meal, gasps over how good it is and thus thinks it’s some mythical meal of outstanding quality. When really it’s just an ordinary restaurant in our world. Where can it really go from here? Still the characters are likable and the first episode was entertaining enough to keep my attention for twenty five minutes. Plus the girl with the goat horns is rather adorable. At the moment this is a good inbetween show to pass the time. Though how it fairs from this point will determine just how memorable this will be.

Potential: 60%

Mario: This is so nerve-wrecking… you know, the suspenseful feeling in Master Chief or My Kitchen Rules when the judge tastes the food and contemplates – the foods that we never have a chance to taste to begin with – thus why should we care. There’s so much foods in this show that it borders on the level of your regular cooking show. The fantasy mix is another catch, so far it’s a miss and hit as they never really explore the people from other worlds’ origins, save for the main girl. On the other hand, I absolutely love the designs of the two leads and the restaurant. They’re so attractive that I can’t get my damn eyes off. The girl’s backstory though, told in a flashback fashion, isn’t great to be honest. Just a few lines of explanatory would be sufficient enough but they decide to drag them out. One more questionable factor I noticed while watching this show is despite (or maybe because of) its premise, there are a fan-service undertone here: the customers’ “satisfied” face, the girl taking showers… They’re not blatant so I can let it pass for now. Lastly, the chemistry between the leads are quite good so far. So in the end we have a show with solid main components: (great) food-porn, likable cast that have good chemistry together, and a hint of fantasy on top. Not all of them work well together but it’s good enough for me.

Potential: 50%

Posted on 8 July 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kakegurui

Short Synopsis: A girl transfers to a school where students engage in high stakes gambling.

This series has one of the worst cases of unnecessary school setting that i have ever seen. By all accounts it makes no sense whatsoever for a school to approve itself turning into a gambling den as soon as classes are over or that anyone would tolerate kids gambling real money and getting reduced to a slave. It’s honestly funny that when a gamble is declared they pretty much transform the room to match. Still this isn’t supposed to make any real sense and the ridiculous nature is part of the overall fun. The death note director was perfect for this show really, he can bump even the most mundane actions right up to 11. I must ask though, why is there so much fanservice in the opening and ending? I may be mistaken but I don’t remember the manga being all that fanservice heavy. Well anyway if you happen to like shows with mind games then this is most certainly your jam. However I will say that what you see here is the only thing you are going to get for the rest of it’s run. That could be fine for some but let me say not to expect much else from this show. This is the only trick it’s got so it’s lucky that it’s a damn good trick.

Potential: 75%

 

Mario: “Ridiculous” is a word of the day. Kakegurui embraces its premise of gambling wholeheartedly that I don’t think you’d have hard time figuring out if this series is your thing or not. To add more dark effects to the topic of gambling and how characters lose themselves for the game: creepy smiles, red eyes, deranged faces are all featured frequently here, coupling with cheating, game manipulating and slavery and you have quite a no-hold-bar, cynical beast of anime about the thrilling of gambling – play with the devil as they say. I did notice there are more still frames than necessary so I hope the animation quality won’t drop too jarring on coming episodes. Characters here are decidedly love it or hate it so don’t expect any real development from the cast save maybe the love interest between the two leads. We’re here for gambling and whatever bets and games they come up with so if you find those intriguing then it’s your thing. I certainly expected more than “Rock-scissor-paper” variations but as an introduction it did its job. Take it or leave it Kakegurui sure leaves its mark boldly.

Potential: 60%

 

Hina Logi – From Luck & Logic

Short Synopsis:  The daily cute adventures of magical girls in school

You know maybe I should make a special test like the bechdel test wherein if a anime throws it’s female characters in a hot spring in the first episode when it doesn’t have a hot spring setting that it will automatically be terrible. Off the top of my head I can’t think of shows that could be the exception. So I am still wondering why this exists, for I don’t remember luck & logic being smash success but apparently now it’s magical girls doing cute things and stuff. Oh joy. Full disclosure, I did start skimming through the episode when I found my attention span ebbing away. I don’t normally do that but it was getting late and I will be damned if i lose shut eye over this show. So what I could summarize of the appeal of this show is yuri undertones, girls talking about stuff I really couldn’t care less about and some girl with plant powers trying to assault one of the main heroines. I admit that maybe I should have given this a fairer shot but let’s be blunt, it doesn’t deserve it.

Potential: 0%

 

Mario:  Well, Hina Logi is a magical girl slash cute girl doing cute things anime, so right off the bat you know what you’re getting into. The show details the everyday school day of those girls before graduating into a magical girl, and there’s some hints that they will have to fight off monsters at the end of the season. Although based on its cheering tone I’d think the monsters are your typical bad guy, no grey moral here. Other thing I did notice from those kinds of shows is where all the male gone? Even that mascot is a female for Peter sake. I like the design of the academy though, and I think they know it as well as they show the academy multiple times from different views. Girls are your typical character stocks here so there’s nothing to write home about. I believe if you skip this one you won’t miss out much.

Potential: 0%

 

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Short Synopsis: Time traveling samurai in the edo period try to stop monsters from altering history

Why would you invent a story with time travel and then restrict to just one time period? What a waste. So this story feels familiar as I certainly remember an anime about a bunch of samurai protecting time. Though this is more likely the original story based on the quality. My first impression of it was correct. It’s pretty but not much in terms of substance. I thought we might get something interesting when one of our two leads starts lecturing his partner on how they cannot alter historic events. However that is really undercut when literally minutes later they save a child and brush it off easily. I also wonder why no one in the past is questioning the giant weird fox thing that’s following our main characters. Also on that front why are they using swords instead of guns? I originally thought it was due to some prohibited law or something up until another character arrives with a gun. So I just don’t get why they are making their job more difficult. Action scenes are great, frankly the production is more than this series deserves. Character though are very bland and the cast feels like Bishi bait. Overall it’s a fairly watchable piece but the story lacks anything to truly grip the viewer.

Potential: 40%

 

Mario: The animation here is seriously great, you can’t go wrong with ufotable huh. Story-wise, I must compare this show to Touken Ranbu: Hamanaru few seasons back to see how this one works while the other didn’t. Hanamaru starts off with introducing most of the main cast (about dozen of them) before picking some for the battle; as a result we don’t remember most of them and the light tone doesn’t mesh well at all with the battle in latter half. Here in Katsugeki it’s the opposite, we focus on 2 guys with various missions before other swordmen showing up. Doing it this way allow us to know more about these 2 main characters (although the moping guy is a dead weight), their chemistry and the difficult level their jobs are. Honestly I prefer it this way, and this show also back up by some truly outstanding animation and mostly great character designs. They say it’s a shame that ufotable choose this project rather than Fate franchise but maybe doing it this way we gonna have 2 solid shows in our hands. Definitely recommended.

Potential: 50%

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
It says something in a year of great videogames when I can really recommend a Sonic game. Sonic Mania is a good platformer, with great control, charming visuals, great music and level design that feels more readable than the last games I've played in this series.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Pres and delinquent girl is my favourite but I still hope the Kuudere couple shows up. This week was hilarious with the little sister trying to get back at her brother's girlfriend only for the girlfriend to know it was her immediately and start screwing around.
SuperMario
Mine is Takurou - Chizuru (the red hair boy and orange hair girl in this week's last segment. Maybe because I have a penchant for weird girl :/
SuperMario
Tsurezure Children... makes my heart melted again. Those who still watch it, who are your favorite couples?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and I will give you a review on... new spiderman movie or whatever. My friend drags me to watch it with her tonight, and I haven't watched any spiderman installment since the one in 2007. Well, whatever...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will review Hirune-hime tomorrow night hopefully. Also I have seen all his ghost in the shell work, Moribito and Eden of the east but never Cyborg 009 .
Kaiser-Eoghan
This was a long time ago however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember my dads car got its window smashed then stolen, twice =<
K-Off
@Kaiser Insurance by itself won't hold you back at all, but getting a new car certainly will. The down payment alone will set you back a couple grand and you likely won't pay off the car for about 2-4 years.
K-Off
@Aidan Jeez, my condolences. @Kaiser Auto insurance covers most accidents and the rates won't go up so long as it's not your fault and you have evidence to prove it (like a dashcam).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Financially will it particularly hold you back on things like rent, etcetera?
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, that is one of the big reasons I haven't learned to drive, fear of that kind of thing happening, actually I think that might put me off driving if it happened to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The car incident is an obvious assassination attempt and conspiracy . Easily avoidable by investing in transport by Dragon .
AidanAK47
@K-Off, Lightly hit the side of a Van coming out of T junction. Left light smashed,front bumper and bonnet damaged. Gotta pay for that and the vans side door.
K-Off
@Aidan Ouch. What happened to it?
AidanAK47
Yep. Crimson red. Maybe I was tempting fate.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you should blame your car because it's new and shiny it's more accident prone than others. Did you mention your car is red??
AidanAK47
Man isn't it great having a new car. It's also great when you crash your new car and now have to pay hefty repair fees. Fantastic. No injuries or anything but it's going to be a pain to repair.
SuperMario
Princess Principal write-up will have to wait this time tomorrow guys. Sorry for those who wait but nothing can stand a chance against my madness for Monogatari now
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have a bunch of old anime vhs tapes in my attic yes, would take forever to list though.
movies4life
What to say about "one punch man" ?
movies4life
You have still VHS tapes as well in your anime collection ? (me 40)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to believe I've been at this anime/manga thing since I was 11 and am now in my 30s.
SuperMario
@Boukensha: for this site specifically most of us are like you. On and off with anime; burnt out, move on with life and back again... this why I believe the readers who read this site are slightly older than your average anime audience there.
OldManBoukensha
I think I'll call myself OldManBoukensha. Hope the name sticks (this is the anonyperson)
OldManBoukensha
Thanks for the recommendations @SuperMario and @Kaiser-Eoghan san! Sometimes feels surreal how time has flown, started watching anime and discovered psgels in uni... fast forward 12 years and I hit 30 this year. lots of great memories, eagerly waiting for blog posts for favourite animes like mushishi, seirei no moribito, FMA. ah good times. Thank you for taking the baton and keeping it lively :)
SuperMario
... and it's never too late to set up your permanent username now :)
SuperMario
@Anon1329673: if you had to pick up 1 show this season, then yes Made in Abyss. I'd also recommend Princess Principal as well. For slice of life office, Shirobako? There's a show running this season from the creators of Shirobako, not neccessary set in an office place but they are about adult working as well; the name is Sakura Quest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Hataraki man perhaps?
Anonymous1329673
whenever I visit here I wish I had picked a permanent username. been reading psgels since 2005 :)
Anonymous1329673
and do you know of any slice of life office life anime to recommend? I loved fune wo amu from last season. melancholic yet intimate, bittersweet anime
Anonymous1329673
Hey guys, what's the best show running this season? Seems to me Made in Abyss ? If I had to pick up one show, which one would you recommend?
K-Off
@Mario That's the most common method of getting compromised nowadays, even a lot of youtubers got their channels hacked because of vulnerabilities with the phone carriers.
Lenlo
So naturally, Reflection and Ranbu will be delayed tomorrow because of a move. Last for abit. I promise. Hectic time :P
SuperMario
alright, 18if down. Now's the time that I've been looking for this season. Go watch Owari nowwww
AidanAK47
Yep, the author laid out how he wanted it to end before he died. Can't say how the new guy did as the English translation of the novels has not caught up that far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: These were presumably written from notes left behind by the author? Is there a disconnect in quality between the non-original author novels and the ones he wrote?
AidanAK47
Also the Familiar of Zero novels are better than the anime. Now, not shakespeare but the anime did not really adapt them well. The novels took the plot a little more seriously while the anime went full slapstick with it.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I was talking about the novels, not the anime. Someone jumped in to write the last two novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course things have changed, its been so many years since I saw the initial seasons, I couldn't tell if I'd still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Didn't really work in familiar of zeros case though , third and fourth seasons were a decline.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A famous example was Itazura na kiss, author died from having stuff collapse on her , anime finished the story.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Likely not now that the author is dead. There are some occasions where people jump in to complete the work like Familer of Zero but in most cases it is just left unfinished.
AidanAK47
@Movies, Watched about ten episodes and then just never got back to it. I thought it was alright.
@Amagi, Indeed. Hopefully they won't be around that much.
Amagi
Apocrypha is pretty good when the MCs aren't around
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Movies: Yes, stopped after he got the powerup and then the manga went on a long hiatus, I liked the art though, the anime was tedious though, filler-y and censored.
movies4life
You guys remember d.Gray-man ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
...I think one of the two working on highschool of the deads manga died/
SuperMario
@anon1327403: funny that you mentioned Highschool of the Dead because I'm planning to watch that one real soon. But to answer your question, as far as I am aware of, no, there isn't any announcement regarding the new adaptation.
Anonymous1327403
Does anyone know if High School of the Dead will ever be picked up by another person
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm still watching stuff though, just finished the Cobra ovas last night, fun camp in the flash gordon/Barbarella vein, though it misses the soundtrack from the old 80s version.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love a good Bond type spy thingnow and then but I'd LOVE to see a more serious anime take on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If kakegurui is enjoyable in the same way a trash-exploitation film is I could see myself watching .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Count me in for those who weren't happy with the progress of abyss' manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again my gaming days are long long in the past for the most part. The humour in gamers would just turn me off now, I've lost interested in most anime comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was aware of ANN being down, for the most part I really only skimmed their articles. I wish sega would just put Sonic down, its been on decline for so long.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: have fun with whatever you doing in the next 10 days mates. And if you have time, sample Princess Principal as well
KTravlos
I will be off the net the next 10 days, so sorry if I do not answer any replies etc. Have a good time all! See you later.
KTravlos
took the hiatus of my shows as a chance to sample the current season. Saw first episodes of Kakeguiri, Abyss, and Altair. Kakeguiri and Abyss really did have great first episodes, that grab you. Altair was a bit too old-fashioned, but I will probably continue watching it. Kakeguiri had excellent OP and ED, while Abyss had in general great music. And yeah, you guys were not kidding about beauty
SuperMario
And I still enjoy Gamers thoroughly. Not sure if it can keep up with the misunderstanding mess about relationships from the main cast but so far the show is hilarious
KTravlos
so now I know about why ANN did not work. @Holystockings yes, again I should detest it for many things it has, but they pulled it off and I like it.
Holystockings
I'll be honest here. I would have never guessed that Kakegurui would have been this good.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 This year there have been a lot of good games. Too many to play seriously. I do wonder how deliberations would be since more than scores or genres I don't feel a all out winner, more than different games excelling at different things.
Lenlo
So finally finished Kado, and I have to say I am not a fan of the shark jump.
Lenlo
Really? Had no idea about the news network site
AidanAK47
Also too many games coming this month. SubaHibi, Sonic Mania and Ys Seven. Not to mention cold steel now out. I still need to get blood orange complete and in comes a small, medium and two extra large time sinks.
AidanAK47
And in other news Voltorn season three is out but only seven episodes long. With another fourth season coming in October which is 6 episodes long. I wonder why Netflix are spilting up seasons like this?
AidanAK47
So, not sure if anyone has heard this or not but the Anime News Network site has been hacked. Hence why you can no longer access it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: blancanieves was modern silent take on snow white, a different spin on the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fun fact, Mitchum appears in a cameo in the cape fear remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ha, I wouldn't mind seeing a gag in a comedy manga series where they did a silent throwback episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The expressionist visuals of some of those silent films appeal to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My only issue with maddin is that he is hard to marathon, that style as unique and funny as it is only works in small doses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
La Antenna was another good example of modern silent filmaking. Annnnd, this one is SUPER obscure/rare: http://hawkmenblues.blogspot.ie/2013/11/yumemiru-yoni-nemuritai-kaizo-hayashi.html
SuperMario
It's like this: The Artist gets the "look" of silent film, but Guy Maddin's works get the "feel" of it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember Mitchum was in an underated remake of the big sleep...
...though you could really tell even just from listening to him speak he was a pothead.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree with you that Guy Maddin's works are more of a representative of neo-silent than the Artist (the Artist is just so... wide-appealing for my taste. It tries to please everyone). I always feel that Maddin is born in a wrong era. Had he born in the silent era he'd definately be a legend.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't blame the audience from the 50s who didn't get the film. I didn't quite get it the first time either but the film just keep growing on me. I remembet Robert Mitchum in his noir detective role as well, most notably his role in Out of the Past. The lead girl in that movie has a very typical femme fatale look as well, which mean she's gorgeous
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've been looking into Guy Maddin's work, its occasionally funny in an absurdist way and alot of the appeal comes from how strange his films are, while I think that film the artist was a good take on silent films, Maddins tributes to silent film are far more successful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: People weren't ready for night of the hunter in the 50s, one of those baffling situations that it flopped when originally released, frustratingly that director never got to work again. For me I think that was one of Robert Mitchum's best roles, along with his one in Cape fear.
SuperMario
Ahhh, clumsy finger. Whatever...
SuperMario
*Diary kf the Country Priest of course
SuperMario
Should get into Diry of the Countey Priest soon, but consider it's Bresson's movie I have no doubt it'll be hard to swallow. Also the priest in The Night of the Hunter
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =) All priest films quiver before the might of Diary of the country priest, Nazerin and Winter light.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: in the same vein with Spotlight, right? 2016 wasn't a good year for priest in movies it seems
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, that guy also directed El Club, I liked that one, seriously grim story about exiled priests.
SuperMario
@movies4life: Gin no Guardian is a bif meh for me.
SuperMario
I watched No at the time of its release. Good watch although I don't remember much of it now. Not only they have the same actors as Neruda, those films are directed from the same director. This fude also directed Jackie last year that star Nayalie Portman as the First Lady
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Movies: The other Chinese anime attempts aren't any better I hear.
movies4life
Watch in a day the whole season of Gin no Guardian. Is have so much potential in story and animation but somehow something missing. maybe is just for growing up Kids
AidanAK47
@Anon, Like SAO season 2 then. Myself and a friend tried to watch that for the sole reason of taking the piss out of it. Ended up not finishing it because there wasn't anything to take the piss out of because barely anything happened each episode and it was so boring that we couldn't take it anymore.
KTravlos
I have seen "The Secret in their Eyes". A good film. I do recommend "Neruda", and the film "No" which as some of the same actors.
Anonymous1324414
People thought they were 'ironically' watching a bad movie until they realized the movie's so bad it can't even be enjoyed on an ironic level.
AidanAK47
I am not surprised that the Emoji movie is bad. But I am quite astonished that people seem to be surprised that it's bad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, I would hate that, having to put up with a kid in cinemas, having to see , having to financially benefit some anti-art film like that.
movies4life
and i watch Emoji with my daughter....I fall asleep
Kaiser-Eoghan
Secret in the eyes remake was pretty much pointless.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anon-The virgin witch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am entirely too old to place any care or importance on whether I sleep with someone or not/ever.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am entirely too far behind to catch up on monogatari.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy the surrealism that is present in some Latin filmaking. As for secret in their eyes, its got that great stadium scene and twist later on, though some of the exchanges between actors/characters seemed awkward, overall while I liked it, it felt like an extended tv episode.
SuperMario
I'm also looking forwards to listen to their new OPs. Mnogatari's soundtrack is the only anime soundtrack that I bought a physical CD. Still listen to all those songs quite frequently
SuperMario
Since it is confirmed that there'll be 7 episodes, I think it'll be: Mayoi Hell (2 episodes), Hitagi Rendezvous (2), Ougi Dark (3)
SuperMario
So Owarimonogatari will air in 2 days. I honestly don''t know how I should review it (by episode? by each arc? by day? Rating or not?) but dang I'm gonna review it.
SuperMario
You can try another Latin American film, The Secret in Their Eyes (not the REMAKE one). There was a 10 minutes unbroken (CGI) shot that follow the leads in the football stadium to look for their suspect. Quite impressive
SuperMario
@KTravlos: I missed my chance to watch Neruda when it was screening in my local cinema; but I've heard good things about the film. People said it's an unconventional but effective biopic film. The more I watch Latin American cinema, the more I feel the unique charm from the area that I don't feel anywhere else.
Masky
Still, weird manga because its kind of increasingly obvious that the people behind Nana are the bad guys .-. They are just overly sinister.
Masky
So skipped third chapter and just read fourth chapter of Talentless Nana. Ok, seems like it might have more of hook now? Villain protagonist vs hero antagonist?(who also can't be killed off first because they are immortal, so she would need to figure out how to deal with him first)
KTravlos
@Anon. Nobody cares mate.

@SuperMario. Hey I watched Neruda last week. It was interesting. Have you seen it?
AidanAK47
@Anon, Well we can all make up imaginary sexploits, it's not really something worth bragging about. Perhaps fanfiction would be a better outlet?
Anonymous1323777
I enjoy posting on obscure anime blog chat boxes about my sexploits. ᕕ( ⏒ ロ ⏒ )ᕗ
movies4life
Just watch Ajin both seasons and not sure ...good or just ok
Anonymous1323481
Just watch Ajin both seasons and not sure ...good or just ok
Vonter
I'm also as of now noticing this Isekai trend. And to be honest the most disappointing aspect for me, is how formulaic the worlds are. This is also a complain in RPGs. But I don't get how like 7 or more of this, feels like the setting could be the same world. I don't know, I just think there should be ways to make each feel more unique.
Vonter
I went to Chicago and bought a Switch and lots of manga. I was happy with my choices. Murcielago is a violent buddy cop. Delicious Dungeon is a creative take on a dungeon crawler setting and funny. The 7th garden is a well composed manga, if anything a good example for sequential art reference. I also read several chapters of Mushoku Tensei, which is Isekai but heck it did made me care.
AidanAK47
It's like the difference between reading Konosuba and watching Konosuba. I read the novels up to date and while it's fine it's like reading the script to a comedy skit. It's not nearly as entertaining as seeing it in action. The animation and actors just added so much more to it.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I actually agree with you on that. I read the manga before watching the anime and couldn't really get into it. However I felt that things would change when seeing it animated and indeed it did. Currently I would place the anime adaption above it's source material.
Anonymous1321546
3000 Leagues in Search of Mother
Puran
@Anon, thank you for the update on your sex life.

In other news, I read the manga for Made in Abyss and I didn't really like it...? Felt kinda boring and soulless? While the anime seemed to have some sort of magic and wonder. It kinda spoiled my enjoyment of the Anime. I think I'll drop it for a while and marathon it later to let the bad taste from my mouth subside.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's virgin talk.
Anonymous1320940
my girlfriend is coming back home and I am so looking forward to getting my cock sucked again. Sex starved since Wednesday
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Genuinely missed Tsugumi when her character got the axe.
AidanAK47
Getting the made in abyss post up tonight but it looks like the other two are going to have to wait. Kakegurui's sixth episode will be airing this week and Fate's episode won't be subbed until friday. I will see if I can get secondhand subs to do a writeup but I would prefer to watch it with UTW subs.
K-Off
The spin-offs are actually a good read because it's essentially similar to the opening few chapters of the main story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah seoul station, that director (or at least the animator) has done some other animated films that I've yet to get round to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Maybe a sequel or more spinoffs planned? I've not read any of the spinoff come to think of it.
K-Off
The film was interesting, but I remember I watched it after Train to Busan and its animated prequel so I found it lacking in comparison.
K-Off
I'll just say that the manga does not end climatically nor in any interesting way. It ends up focusing on a new set of characters near the end (what kind of writer thinks that's a good idea?) and rushes the MC's story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The film adaptation of I am a hero is better than it has any right to be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*sci-fi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Everything after the sci-twist started going downhill. I haven't read the final chapter yet.
K-Off
@Kaiser Did you catch up on I am a Hero? Just finished it and...I feel like the series seriously fizzled out halfway through. I'd like to talk about the ending if you have.
Anonymous1318603
That is the best Anime site I can find.it let me not register.
Lenlo
Apologies, The Reflection for this week should be up tomorrow. Rather busy is all because I have a 4 month long project presentation tomorrow.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I think there may be about three of them in my county. I tried a Hybrid but it just didn't do anything for me. If it was out yet and if I was rich I would buy a Faraday FFzero1.
K-Off
@Aidan Right, forgot about that. I guess it really would be a problem out in the sticks, that's what hybrids are for I suppose. I don't know about urban areas in Ireland, but in NYC and LA electric charging stations are everywhere.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm having fun with it now; don't spoil it man :)
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I wanted to buy an electric car originally but was talked out of it because we don't have gas stations with chargers for one.
@Supermario, Ho boy. I often joke about fan-service series being porn but that show quite literally is porn. The story isn't deep either as it's omnibus format so the story resets every four episodes or so.
SuperMario
I am in the mood today so I finally checking out that controversial Yosuga no Sora - to see if it has any deeper, more intimate message or it's just a harem setting for soft-incest-porn that despise everyone. Wish me luck guys
K-Off
Yeah, that's a shame. But I think it's bound to happen, now that shot put got one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I would find it quite difficult to find a storyline that made mathematics enjoyable. Not a numbers guy, more on the arty side.
Anonymous1312485
I don't think I know anything Japanese young people hate more than math.
K-Off
On a tangent, reading Suugaku Girl got me thinking about why mathematics hasn't managed to slip onto the shonen hype train. Imagine all the possibilities for over dramatization.
K-Off
@Aidan Awesome. I have a 2016 Nissan Sentra myself. Maybe in eight years I'll be rich enough to get an electric car.
K-Off
Got my car back, the only pain was the 2 hours wasted at the DMV and the money I spent getting it back. $230 for towing+overnight storage fees, $100 for an impound release fee from the NYPD, totalling to $330.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: for an anthology film, Wild Tales is very consistent in tones and theme, mostly because thises tales are directed and written by the same guy (although if you put it that way it's not techically an anyhology film). I'm sure you'll enjoy the movie Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've 20,000 something in the bank, I should travel. Haven't left Ireland since 2013. I want to go to Prague.
Total users: 34

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