Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Episode 3: Yakisoba and Co-op Heroes

Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Episode 3

Once again, Space Battleship Tiramisu proves itself baffling in the way it handles plot. It is almost as if it can’t handle having a plot or a direction for too long and after an episode or even half an episode it literally jettisons whatever thought process was being followed to throw something random in before the characters just seem to forget what was happening before (not entirely but enough that any tension that might ever have been constructed is instantly eroded). And thus it is that Isuzu holding the father hostage lasts until some random delivery guy shows up, proves he can also operate the Neo Durandel and Isuzu decides he’s had enough and runs away.

Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Episode 3

But it doesn’t make any sense. Isuzu was the only one who seemed to have a weapon or a team in place so he should have been able to either take the new machine or destroy it even if he couldn’t use it. And yet he just abandoned his plan and ran laving his enemies and their new shiny weapon perfectly in-tact. While I’m not asking for much in the way of logic from a show that featured a talking pubic hair in season one I’d at least like the characters to occasionally at least act in their own best interest.

Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Episode 3

Then, instead of looking at the massive security breach that has seemingly just occurred, Subaru and his father get on with testing the Neo Durandel and apparently some universe sense is awakening in Subaru. Let’s be real, the guy is just hopeless and yet somehow manages to occasionally win in space. But I did appreciate the use of yakisoba preparation as a means of testing deft handling of the Durandel and the image of Subaru drifting around surrounded by floating noodles was kind of amusing.

Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Episode 3

As always, this anime remains watchable enough with the occasional spark of really solid narrative and humour and then there’s everything else. Fortunately with short episodes that everything else doesn’t overstay its welcome.

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 3: Submissive Wolves and Buff Goblins

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 3 - Goblin

You know, if I’d seen this a long time ago I’d probably be totally in love with it. But as it is, I just can’t help but feeling like just making the main character a little bluer and bouncier than the standard isekai protagonist isn’t quite enough of a distinguishing point. From a plot point of view it still feels like we’re very much in an introductory phase as our protagonist still knows very little about the world, something which isn’t aided by the fact that he doesn’t ask sensible questions. When asked if he was sure he should be giving everyone a name all at once he simply said he didn’t see a problem. Why wouldn’t you ask why the other guy was concerned? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 3

None of that is saying this show isn’t fun enough. My issue is it is very middle of the road. Some of the humour sticks and some of the action is kind of cool, okay the swift end to the leader of the dire wolves was very cool, but there’s a lot of very forgettable scenes as well and at the end of three episodes if I had to sum up this story it would be ‘bouncy blue slime thing eats stuff and makes friends with monsters’ which admittedly doesn’t sound too bad but also isn’t making me desperate to see what happen next.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 3

Partially this is because there’s still no real indication that the story is going anywhere and while it is fine to focus on character exploration rather than having some urgent mission from the get go, I’d probably need to care more about the character for that kind of thing to work. As it is, I’m not overly concerned about Rimuru and now that the goblins and dire-wolves are teamed up, evolved and commanded to play nice with other species, I’m not overly concerned for their well-being either.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 3

So while yes this will be pleasant enough viewing, unless the story takes a sudden turn after we get through the introductions I’m really not thinking that this one is going to end up in my top picks for the season. It is watchable, it isn’t doing anything overly wrong, last season I’d have been thrilled to watch it given how little there was on my watch list, but this season it is getting overshadowed quite a bit by other shows I’m more interested in.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime With Blood and Gore

Yes, we have more Halloween list fun this week as I count down my five favourite anime that have a lot of blood and/or gore. Now I had to think long and hard about my pre-requisite for something ending up on this list because just most amount of gross out moments didn’t seem like a great criteria. So instead I decided to go with anime that use blood and gore the best as part of the narrative rather than for the shock factor. That said, it is my list so I’d love to know what you would include on yours.

Please note, there will be spoilers below. And while it should go without saying given the list title, a lot of the images will be disturbing if you do not like blood and gore. 

Honourable mentions: Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan, both provide blood and gore aplenty but it always feels more sensationalist than necessary.

Number 5: Higurashi

Higurashi

Cute kids who turn into psychos and kill their friends, in sometimes truly horrifying ways. This anime really does push the boundaries with a young cast that are subjected to torture, dismemberment, and generally just misery and death. Despite the young age of the cast it doesn’t really hold back on showing the deaths seemingly relishing in each and every failed attempt to break free from the time loop. This one definitely earns a spot on the list even if it isn’t quite as graphic as some of the others.

Number 4: Elfen Lied

Elfen1

I almost just made this an honourable mention given a lot of the blood and flying body parts could definitely be seen as just an attempt to shock the audience. Still, the story does rely heavily on human fear of the unknown and of fear of the monster, and Lucy delivers both as she walks her way through a mass of armed guards leaving nothing but blood in her wake. After the opening the blood keeps coming but it is certainly diminished after the anime has set its scene.

Number 3: Another

Another

While more about atmosphere and creepiness than blood, there’s something even more shocking about the moments of pure gore this anime delivers because of the slow build to them. Very few people forget the umbrella on the stair case incident and the teacher suicide in the classroom is a truly unsettling and disturbing visual that isn’t leaving me any time soon. As these deaths are the result of the curse the class is under the violence and shocking nature of these events are actually kind of necessary because otherwise the kids wouldn’t be half so desperate to undo the curse.

Number 2: Devilman Crybaby

Devilman

Want a break from simply dripping and splashing blood around the screen? Devilman Crybaby delivers true body horror with some truly violent and gory sequences that will leave you feeling fairly unsettled. As much as I didn’t really get into the story or characters of Devilman Crybaby, I have to admit that if you are after a genuine round of body horror with a lot of gore thrown in, this anime is going to deliver provided you don’t also mind a lot of sexualised content mixed in with that.

Number 1: Pupa

pupa2

This one wins again (as it previously in 2016 on anime I recommended for Halloween). This is one graphic and disturbing short anime that will definitely get under your skin as a younger sister, infected with a virus, will feed by eating the flesh of her still living older brother (also infected but fast healing). This is blood, gore and a whole lot of shudder inducing imagery and definitely not for the faint hearted. Also, not for anyone who wants a conclusion because you’ll be left wanting.

And there we have it, my top 5 list of anime that use blood and/or gore. As always, feel free to share your list in the comments below.


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Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San Episode 2: Too Many Books In The Book Store

Skull-face bookseller Honda-San Episode 2

This week the focus is on introducing the rest of the cast and they do this by having endless deliveries of stock to be sold prior to a holiday period. For those who enjoy the idea of watching staff running around trying to stock book-shelves it works quite well however there isn’t a lot else going on. The over-reactions of the characters certainly help carry this sequence but as it lasts for the majority of the episode you have to wonder if they weren’t driving the only real ‘joke’ into the ground.

Honda2a

That said, this anime is also informative about the different genres and about the other materials that sometimes come out with books as well as release dates so there is a little bit of insight buried under the absurd masks each of the characters is wearing (and no, I refuse to ask why).

Honda2c

Despite that, this episode is pleasant enough eleven minutes, though it does bring back fears of perhaps being crushed to death under a pile of books at some point (a legitimate fear that people who own too many books genuinely have). This remains watchable though not exceptional and I’m thinking that’s probably where we’re going to remain for the rest of the season.

Honda2d

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Episode 1: Just Your Everyday Book Store


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Bloom Into You Episode 2: First Impressions Wilting – Excerpt

One of the things I really loved about the first episode of Bloom Into You is that Yuu didn’t instantly fall in love with her senpai even after being confessed to. They’ve established Koito Yuu as someone who doesn’t know what it means to fall in love and hasn’t felt that emotion before. What I found interesting this week is that the follow up doesn’t discard that aspect to instantly move to Yuu falling in love (which I assume will eventually happen)…

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Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12: And Now We Wait Until Next Year

Attack on Titan Season Three Episode 12 - Erwin and Levi

Well, once I found out this season was going to be split in two, any hope for an actual resolution of any sort this time around when out the window so I guess I’m not actually disappointed. And despite last week being a bit of a snooze fest and this week just plunging us into a cliff-hanger with a during end-credits tease, season three has still become my favourite Attack on Titan season yet, though I’ll get more into that when I do a whole season (half-season?) review.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Hange

This week we get the higher ups talking some more and recapping things for us so that we know where we’re going next and why. Other than the over use of brown in this scene it works well enough and at least we’re clearly set on a course of action for now. That’s probably the best thing they did. Even with the gap between now and April next year when part 2 is supposed to come out, this episode gives us a clear direction which is something the end of season one and two lacked.

Attack on Titan Season Three Episode 12 - Eerwin

We get an interesting scene between Erwin and Levi that might have more significance and people who have read the manga probably know what that is but for me I’ll just file that under interesting and wait until the show chooses to maybe get back to it.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Sasha

However, it was the second part of the episode that really got things going as we saw Sasha at her food craziest yet before Jean and Eren get into a ridiculous fight. It was kind of nice to see a little life in Eren even if he very nearly reverted into shouting idiot Eren. I think they played this nicely with him trying to have a bit of energy but inside he’s still kind of broken. Plus, we then got a Mikasa, Armin and Eren moment that was kind of adorable and brought us back to where these three started (as the OP has been all season) and it was just kind of nice to see this again even if it felt like tragic death flags were being raised all around (or maybe that’s just me because I’m used to this show doing that to us).

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 12 - Jean and Eren

So yes, this episode works and as a mid-season point it is pretty solid. As the last episode we’re going to see this year I just have to shake my head and remind myself it is Attack on Titan. This isn’t the worst thing they’ve ever done to viewers.

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Angolmois: Record Of Mongol Invasion Series Review: The Ugly Side of War

To be honest, I’m not super into realistic historical settings or period drama style anime so when I first started Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion, I wasn’t really expecting much. Still there’s definitely something about those first episodes that grab your attention and even though the show has its flaws, I’m still pretty happy with the watch through.

Review:

For people who watch a lot of seasonal anime there’s definitely a small problem of becoming a little fatigued with seeing similar set ups and plots play out over and over again. Particularly when you follow some genres more than others you definitely start to notice a saminess to your viewing so it isn’t surprising that when something comes along that gets your attention that isn’t something from your normal genre, there’s a novelty factor that comes from watching it that makes it pretty pleasant.

Angolmois Episode 10

And for me, that’s kind of how it was with Angolmois. Definitely not my usual kind of thing because I’m not a huge fan of period pieces, I don’t really like Samurai stories, and based on real events in history does little to really engage me. However, this anime was different enough and my watch list small enough this Summer that I decided to strap in and go for it. I don’t regret that choice but I’m kind of left on the fence about whether I really enjoyed it or whether it really was just the novelty of it that made it stand out (and for people who watch a lot of historical/samurai stories it is probably missing the novelty factor).

Ultimately, I think Angolmois is fine. There are some great moments along the way and some not so food moments. There’s some interesting characters that we learn little to nothing about. The plot is kept pretty straight forward with the Mongols invading the island and the local Japanese people trying to survive while not wanting to leave their land and the exiles who end up tasked with helping them (not that the exiles have all that much choice given leaving the island isn’t exactly an option for most of the anime).

Mongol6c

However, fine isn’t exactly a huge recommendation and to be honest, in a busier season I probably wouldn’t bother with this one. There are just too many strikes against it so that even those moments that were really fun and engaging end up mostly forgotten by the end.

Of course, the biggest hurdle with this one is the filter over every single scene. I’m thinking they are trying to make it look historical or something, but mostly it just serves as a distraction in the early episodes and more than that, it is hideous. Character faces end up blotchy, and when we get a panning shot and the filter doesn’t move it actually made me feel a little queasy during early episodes. Admittedly, by the time you get to the second half of the season, your eyes have finally just accepted it and mostly filter out the filter but occasionally a scene will bring it back into jarring focus reminding you just how ugly this anime really is.

Mongol3c

It doesn’t help that the majority of the characters are pretty ugly to look at as well even without the filter. Now I’m not saying that every anime character needs to be a pretty boy or whatever, but this cast is a motley collection of generally unattractive character designs and while it is likely a deliberate choice given the tone of the show, that doesn’t make it any more pleasant to look at.

Okay, I’m going to move away from the cosmetics and actually look at the characters now. Despite actually kind of enjoying the early episodes, other that Teruhi and Jinzaburou, and later Kano, none of the character names stuck. It took forever just to distinguish the different exiles as individual people and not just the ‘exiles’ and then we have the Japanese from the island and multiple Mongol armies all with characters that are thrown at us. It is overcrowded and impossible to learn anything of real note about anyone which is probably where the show stumbles hardest. It is really difficult to care about their amazing climactic battle where they linger on a death and you have to do a double take just to remind yourself whether you knew who that character was, and then you certainly don’t care.

Mongol4e

So realistically this show either needed more episodes so we could spend actual time with these characters and get to know them, or it just needed to narrow its focus right down onto the characters who mattered. Not choosing either option means we get a very superficial look at way too many characters, most of whom will die before the final credits roll.

Like most historical anime, the characters all have their honour and rules that they live by. They regularly spout platitudes about their honour or life or whatever before doing something either stupid or brave or whatever. But again, knowing so little about the character makes these moments feel very tagged on and given we know so little about them we can’t figure out how this particular choice feeds into a greater character because it just isn’t there.

Mongol11a

The Magistrate suffered horribly because he clearly had a code and clearly made some choices because of it, but we never had the time to learn enough about him to really understand what was driving him. By the time he died he just seemed like a silly man holding onto a handful of a sand as the wind tried to blow it away. The traitor from the exiles as well never had enough time for us to really understand why he made the choices he made and his character ended up feeling fairly shallow and inconsistent because of it and made his betrayal have very little impact emotionally even if it did drive the plot to its inevitable conclusion.

I really did look forward to this show most weeks and it isn’t as though it is a train wreck. It just comes up short in too many ways for me to really recommend it. Still, if you want a break from isekai, harem, high school, or the other standard anime types, this one might be a breath of fresh air… assuming of course slaughter and war work for you.

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Release the Spyce Episode 2: Preparation Is Key

Release the Spyce - Episode 2 - Momo

There are a few moments in this second episode that caused me to raise an eyebrow. The explanation that the word ‘spy’ might come from ‘spice’ which is complete and utter rubbish no matter how you look at it and the show throwing out there that it is just one theory doesn’t make blatantly wrong information any easier to swallow. Then there was the ‘no honey’ symbolising a life devoid of sweetness password that really just felt they were laying things on really thick.

Release the Spyce - Episode 2 - Momo and Mei

However, outside of those couple of moments where I was left shaking my head, the second episode of Release the Spyce is actually fairly fun. Okay, the OP is headache inducing and I won’t be watching it again this season (way too many bright flashes), but otherwise I’m done complaining and want to talk about some of the positives.

Momo, who last week was a really wishy-washy and kind of dull potential protagonist, really stepped up this week. She makes the decision to become a spy and she works really hard to achieve that end. That said, she hasn’t had a complete personality transplant, it is more she’s got something she’s determined to do and so she is moulding herself in the direction she needs to go to achieve it. Stretching the training and test period over a couple of months rather than the usual week or ten days characters have in these sorts of shows really works in the episode’s favour as it allows Momo’s transformation to feel a bit more real (even if it is still fairly quick).

Release the Spyce - Episode 2 - Momo and Yuki

I also really just liked the range of training she was subjected to. This wasn’t just physical training but also involved detecting deception, avoiding attack, being able to get close to others, it really felt like they intend to do a range of spy like activities though so far we’ve only really seen them infiltrate and fight. Hopefully these skills get used in later episodes because that could be really cool.

We don’t learn a lot more about the other characters, but the group dynamic is really nice in this episode and I’m looking forward to spending more time with these girls as the series progresses. We also get another couple of scenes with the potential villains who are of course plotting so I guess now that Momo is all trained up we’re going to have some sort of conflict to deal with.

Release the Spyce - Episode 2 - Mome and Mei

This show isn’t amazing, but it is so far pretty entertaining and hopefully it continues to be fun.

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Goblin Slayer First Impressions | Friendly Talks with Karandi

If you haven’t already checked it out, Arthifis and I discuss Goblin slayer over on Arthifis’ blog. It was great fun to write so hopefully you enjoy reading it.

Arthifis' Place

Hello everyone and welcome to our place! 😀

Here it is, the very first post of my collab with the awesome Karandi! 😀 As you already know this will be a conversation type of post, where we are talking about our Goblin Slayer First Impressions.

At her side, we talked about Dakaichi, so don’t forget to check that one out! 😀

Without further ado, here it is! The blue font is my side, while the purple one is Karandi 🙂


– Goblin Slayer First Impressions –

Goblin Slayer First Impressions

Hello There Karandi! 😀 How are you feeling today?

Pretty good. I’ve mostly been trying to get through first episodes of all the anime that came out during the week that I skipped. You?

I’m good too! 🙂 In fact, I’ve been doing the same as you! Let’s say this collab just wake a monster inside me I didn’t know and now I want…

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