Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 4

Review:

I have to wonder at this point how long the boys are going to just allow themselves to be dragged around. No matter how cute Kae is after losing weight (an issue in and of itself), the fact that these boys will apparently put up with anything in order to stay around her is getting just a little bit old. That said, this episode probably brought out the first real sense of a friendship forming between the group of boys and with Kae. That was probably the best thing about the episode. The introduction of the obvious girl who they think is a guy worked well enough but hasn’t added anything other than a yuri element, which I guess might broaden the appeal of the show but overall it wasn’t a particularly interesting development.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Advertisements

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS Episode 4

Review:

Hanna is fast becoming one of my favourite characters even though at times her stilted speech pattern seems really affected and a little bit silly. Her inclusion in the story kind of balances out the tragic friendship tale brewing between Chi and Suzuko.

On that note, this week we met the Bookmaker and he is one creepy character. The fact that he isn’t a Selector and therefore not tied into the game against his will just makes him even more loathsome as he seemingly gets off on the desperation of others and while he doesn’t promise them an easy match he certainly implies that a Selector has hope when they do not. Plus, his threat to Hanna and Suzuko may have been a joke but they can’t ignore the fact that it is possible he’ll work to block them from finding matches on their own which given the time limit on their coins would be a real issue.

wixoss4b

As the episode title suggested this week, Chi and Suzuko reunite but it is all a little bit too late. Chi is quite clearly  a little bit broken after the emotional damage she took in episode 2.

All and all, this is a great episode and progresses the plot nicely (if by nicely you read that the writers are working very hard at stomping on any glimmers of hope a character may find). Thoroughly enjoyable though no actual information is given about what the end game might be. This is all character focussed and the game of WIXOSS remains as inscrutable as ever.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS is available on Crunchyroll.

In Case You Missed It

Finally got to the end of the biggest week I’m going to have for a long time. No more real world commitments outside of work for awhile. They are tiring. Anyway, this week I didn’t get around to as many blogs as I would have liked but here are some posts I came across when I did have some time. As always, feel free to add links to great posts below.

Lethargic Ramblings weighed in on the subs vs dubs argument in a post called There’s Nothing Wrong with English Dubs. It’s an interesting read as it looks at personal preference while deconstructing the arguments against dubs.

Mr Flawfinder on Standing on My Neck writes a fairly interesting piece asking When Have Visual Novel Anime Ever Been Good?. I will put a language warning on this post, but it is an interesting read and constructs an interesting argument.

WeeaboOtaku shares a review of 91 Days. They give us a nice look at some of the positives and negatives of the series.

Hyper Reviews Anime has a great write up about Izetta and its strengths and some of the weaknesses that this series has had with its writing so far. It is a thoughtful reflection on the story so far and well worth having a read of.

Morgoth from Otakuness has an interesting review of the first three episodes of Flip Flappers. I liked how much thought they had given this series and its initial premise and delivery. Well worth checking out.

Atelier Emily has a post about Yuri on Ice and the use of social media. They’ve been paying a lot more attention to the end credits than I have and this post is an interesting look at the characters that’s a bit different from the thousands of other Yuri on Ice posts floating around. If you would like to further your obsession, check it out.

Another Yuri on Ice post but this one from Takuto’s Anime Cafe that looks at the difference between Eros and Agape and by default looks at the differences between the two Yuri’s.

CSRadical on Radical Rants has done a character spotlight on Ikta Solork. I really enjoyed watching Alderamin on the Sky last season and Ikta was probably the main draw so this is an interesting revisit on a character I found intriguing.

NEETaku shares a rant on The State of Anime where they raise some legitimate points about some of the trends in anime. It’s a great read and will probably make you smile even while you think about the industry and where it is going.

Lastly, Arria Cross from Fujinsei discusses “The Correct Way to Write Anime/Manga Reviews?” and as always gives us a very amusing read.

That’s it from me this week but I’m always open to suggestions.

Flip Flappers Episode 4

Review:

They really are pushing the Alice in Wonderland theme at times and the inclusion of a tea drinking scene and the design of Papika’s ‘house’ just kind of reinforced that this episode. Of course, they are also pushing all and any symbolism to do with illusion and the idea of two things being one. At least the symbolism and themes are consistent as the story is all over the place and the pace doesn’t know whether it is going full speed or just chilling by the side of the road. This episode hit us hard with the clich√© of two characters being asked to live together before the opening theme had even played but then managed to breathe some life into the trope when we see Papika’s house and then the girls go on a bit of a trip (and for once not into Pure Illusion although we’ll clearly be heading there next episode). I’ve decided now that I’m definitely wanting to know where this show is going. Other than the still images we get of the school and other students from time to time as transitions, it’s pretty and vibrant and while the story is still fairly ambiguous there’s enough cohesion to enjoy going for a ride with these characters.

That said, I’m really hoping Yayaka (or whatever her name is) has a better goal than world domination.

Flip Flappers is available on AnimeLab.

Girlish Number Episode 1

Overview:

Chitose Karasuma wants to be a successful voice actress (or at the very least wants to be popular) and after getting only minor roles suddenly gets offered a main part.

Review:

This is one of those oddly self-aware stories that come up from time to time where we critique an idea by showing everything that could possibly be wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong with that as a set up for a show but it has been done. My issue with this is that Karasuma is desperate to be in the industry so while she’s judging the events and characters during the first episode she’s nowhere near as critical or as scathing as she might be if she was content to remain on the outside of this very odd little world of voice acting. That said, it’s certainly interesting and with a firm grounding in reality and a lot of cynicism this show is standing apart from most the others I’m following at the moment. That said, I’ll probably do periodice catch-ups rather than week to week reviews with this one.

Girlish Number is available on AnimeLab.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 4

Review:

Part two of Natsume dealing with Matoba was great but as always when Matoba gets involved we get a lot of questions without answers and I wonder just what was in the letter. Both Natori and Matoba know and Natsume is in the dark as always and given the overall theme this season of finding out about Natsume’s grandmother, I’m super curious if there is some connection. That said, even the episode itself acknowledged the similarities between this situation and a previous season’s episode and it almost felt as if dealing with the yokai was merely an excuse to bring these characters together. Plus, how foolish are the rest of the exorcists. They seem to exist only to make ridiculous exclamations and to get in the way. Not complaining overall, mind you, because it was as interesting a watch as ever and I’m glad Matoba was only wearing the suit for a meeting because it just doesn’t suit his character. But, I just felt that they could have pushed this storyline a bit further. Looking forward to the next episode.

 

Autumn 2016 Week 4

Week 4 and hasn’t this been fun? And look, Bungo Stray Dogs gave us a series final 4 weeks in. Not really, but it felt that way while watching it. Anyway, some shows have delivered and others have simply spat out another episode, but here are my thoughts on what I’m watching.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

tumblr_m6if6m8d431rz8x2qo1_500

I Must Keep Watching

  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 3)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 4)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 16)
  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 4)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 4)

March Comes In continued to deliver an interesting experience though now that we’ve gotten used to the visuals and we’ve met the core group of characters there wasn’t really anything new presented this week. As I’m not the biggest slice of life fan, even though this still has excellent quality, there is a good chance of me getting bored with it if the next couple of episodes don’t deliver a bit more meat.

While Natsume Yuujinchou Go is every bit as amazing as I wanted it to be objectively the two part episode didn’t deliver quite enough meat and overall this season it is still feeling like it is setting things up. This means most of the individual stories (because it is usually pretty episodic in nature) have felt incomplete as they all seem to be laying groundwork for something else. That’s kind of a new feel for the show as previous seasons have made the individual stories more or less independent with only a few overall connections. This isn’t a bad thing by any means but it is an adjustment to make while watching.

Bungo Stray Dogs… I hope you are not peaking early and I hope that the time jump next week doesn’t mean everything we’ve been watching is just going to get swept away. First four episodes this season were amazing. Really worried about what comes next.

Yuri on Ice really impressed me with episode 4. From an event point of view not a lot happened because we were prepping for future events. We can compare this to Izetta’s episode 4 which was doing much the same thing only Yuri on Ice did it in a much more fluid and entertaining fashion while making us love the characters more.

Izetta: The Lasst Witch gave us a fairly ordinary episode but it did finally provide some much needed explanation about how magic is going to work or not in this story and a lot of this was set up for future events. That said, next week will need to do some serious work or this one is going to drop to just on my radar rather than a must watch.

akagami2b-2b062b-2

Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 16)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 28)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 3)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 4)

Days delivered a significantly more interesting episode this week with some real tension within the team and between teams. That and Tsukamoto has finally developed something resembling a style for playing soccer. Maybe this can recover from the mid-season low and return to a must watch.

Iron Blooded Orphans has not changed. It’s just doing what it does. This week was all fight sequence and that’s okay but it isn’t going to improve my opinion of the series and it was done well enough to not damage my opinion.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS didn’t pack quite the punch this week but did reveal the end (or what it means to disappear) to Suzuko. Overall, this series has been entertaining but without knowing the end game or being particularly invested in the card matches themselves, it isn’t going to become a must watch.

I’ve moved Flip Flappers up this week. While the story is still a little lacking in cohesion and explanations, I’ve decided there’s enough substance and enough consistency thematically in this show to make it worth the gamble and besides it’s really pretty and kind of fun to watch. If it actually manages to nail an ending I may move this up to a must watch but from an episode point of view its still a bit lacking.

hyouka-13-houtarou-alone-bored-happy-content

Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 4)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 3)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 4)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 4)

Trickster isn’t getting any better. It isn’t getting worse either but it is giving me no reason to care about the events. Its kind of the pleasant diversion for when you aren’t really in the mood to do anything. It isn’t bad by any means but neither is it particularly interesting and even leaving us in a cliff hanger situation didn’t really make me overly excited for next week.

Kiss Him, Not Me is about at generic as it comes while putting a reverse harem front and centre with a female who isn’t interested in any of the guys but won’t just tell them to go away. That said, I doubt I’ll drop it but neither am I particularly entertained by it.

Bloodivores continues to make what seems like it would be exciting on paper feel like a drag to watch. That said, it isn’t getting any worse and it is actually developing some plot points.

Nazotokine continues to stumble along. It is kind of just doing exactly what it started doing so you can’t really complain but it isn’t exactly compelling viewing and even the 7 minute run time is beginning to feel like a drag.

nyanko1

Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1)
  • Cheating Craft (Ep 3)

Haven’t made any progress with Girlish Number this week but will catch up sooner or later. Or maybe not. We’ll see what happens.

3356735_1378638347097-59res_413_300

Dropped

  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Okay, for some shows we are a third of the way in and I’m not certain that any of them are really not showing us sufficient progress for that. That said, it looks like a number of shows this Autumn are running for 23 – 25 episodes, which will make deciding what to watch next season all the harder.

What grabbed you this week?