Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Episodes 2 + 3: Remaining One Step Behind

Review Episode 2:

As I said when reviewing episode 1, I’m just not feeling this. It isn’t actually bad, but the characters aren’t really clicking for me and I’m still pretty disconnected from the events. Despite the show spending five minutes having the characters sitting around introducing themselves I couldn’t actually commit any of their names to memory and mostly I’ve got the ‘loud and annoying one’, ‘the sullen one’, ‘the spear guy’, ‘the new guy’, and ‘the most boring guy so obviously he’s going to be the leader type guy’.

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Basically they are getting all worked up about time potentially being changed and maybe a war starting, but I just don’t care and am not invested in this conflict. It doesn’t help that they themselves seem to only care in as much as they’ve been told to do something about it. They don’t seem personally invested in the conflict. Oh well, next episode.

Review Episode 3:

Great, we’ve got the loud guy and the boring guy butting heads Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars style while the others looks on and do nothing. And still the only thing they care about is serving their master so they lack any actual agency of their own which keeps the audience at arms length from the events.

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There were some actually quite pretty scenes this week and less times when the characters felt like they were obviously popping out of the scenery and the fight sequences remain impressive. I’m neither particularly liking nor disliking this show at the moment. I kind of want to like it but I’m just not there yet.

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It would probably be nice also to know what the villains intend to get out of all of this as that might make the conflict something I can actually care about.


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My Hero Academia Episodes 27 + 28: Time For a Power Up

Review Episode 27:

No surprise that most of this episode focusses on Midoriya’s meeting with Gran Torino and learning a little bit more about his power. The other kids get a look in as we see the start of their internships and they realise reality is quite different from their dreams. That said, I have to wonder why Gran Torino just had to be the cliché mentor character. Small, acts crazy, and gives obscure advice rather than actually clearly explaining a process. I get there is some joy in seeing Midoriya figure it out for himself, but surely that is time that could have been spent on something better.

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Compared to some of the episodes that have come before it, this one is neither particularly good or bad, but it does progress the story and the new opening is kind of interesting (I’ll see if it grows on me after a few more episodes).

Review Episode 28:

Please tell me that they aren’t really going to kill Iida. It seems a little dark but crazier things have happened I guess.

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Anyway, Midoriya continues training and he’s on a train to Tokyo when a villain and a hero crash into the side of the train leading to Gran Torino launching himself into the fight. Midoriya is still on the train though so I wonder if he’s going to jump into the fray or watch from the sidelines.

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The other kids are mostly being tortured by their mentors, in the usual way that interns are tortured as their ideals are crushed and ground into dust by the reality of the day to day job.

Overall, this was a pretty intense episode by the end and while I’m not sure what the villains are up to with this attack as it just seems like unplanned chaos, the hero killer has been pretty entertaining and seeing Midoriya figure out his quirk a little bit more has been great. I love how they are leaving it fully open for him to continue evolving so we can’t really criticise later power ups as a plot cheat.


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In Case You Missed It

First week back into work and things have gotten hectic, but I am still making time for watching anime and finding some great posts to read. Below I’m sharing some of my favourites from the week. As always feel free to leave a link in the comments below to a post you feel deserves some extra attention.

Shameless self-promotion: As you all know I started a patreon site for my blog and am looking for patrons to support the expansion of 100 Word Anime. Thanks to those followers who have chosen to support the blog. End shameless self-promotion.

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Jon Spencer Reviews has an incredibly helpful post about the VRV service Crunchyroll has been promoting. Having given it a go they’ve listed the good and the bad as well as their overall experience with the service. If you are considering trying it definitely a post to check out.

I Drink and Watch Anime has a great review of Pandora Hearts. I really loved that anime, but it has its issues and this post kind of highlights the excellent and the bad and does it in an amusing way. Plus, the proposed drinking game for viewing could be kind of fun…

Mechanical Anime Reviews has a great post about heroes and their motivations. Be sure to check it out if you missed it last week as it covers quite a range of heroes and looks at their overall goals.

Humble Ace has an interesting post about the best ending to an anime. Keep in mind there are some heavy spoilers for the shows talked about (they are discussing the ends) but given how many anime end poorly it was an interesting read.

From Silver Screen Write Up we have a review of the Ghost in the Shell movie. If you are still considering whether to watch it or not, this is a nicely written review that highlights both the positives and weaknesses of the film and is worth checking out.

On Animehound there’s a post by Phoenix about Otonashi from Angel Beats. As I loved this anime and I really liked Otonashi’s character, I enjoyed this post that looks at the different types of strengths and positive qualities Otonashi possessed throughout the series.

Reverie of a Star had an interesting post about WorldEnd and the romantic aspects of the story. Its interesting because while most posts have reviewed it stirctly as a fantasy that happens to have an odd romance in it, this post looks at the story as a romance first and foremost. Worth checking out if you haven’t had your fill of WorldEnd yet.

Zero Drama Anime has a short write up about episode 3 of 18if that points out some of the things the show is doing right. From what I’ve read, this show seems to have been a bit of a hit and miss for some viewers but I’ve quite enjoyed it so far. If you were thinking about checking out the show, maybe check out this post.

Aldael’s Attic shares their thoughts on Aoi Bangaku. I’d completely forgotten about this one (and I hadn’t finished it because I got distracted) so the reminder that this exists and that I should probably go and finish it at some point, was greatly appreciated. It isn’t exactly a well discussed anime.

Mel in Anime Land shares their top 10 males with grey or silver hair. It’s an awesome list of characters with some great reasons so be sure to check it out.

Pick of the Week

Otaku Lounge has a highly entertaining (and informative) post about Hand Shakers and a discussion about whether it is really as bad as people have been saying. Their discussion about the visuals alone is worth checking out but this is a great post to read.


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Karandi James.

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Chronos Ruler Episodes 2 + 3: Why Is Kiri Trying to Save Victo?

Review Episode 2:

This episode gives us a lot of information but a lot of it could be considered disinformation so I’m kind of waiting for the next episode to confirm anything that we’ve been told. That said, Victo is a seriously annoying character. He may have had his time eaten and regressed but I cannot believe Kiri hasn’t actually tried taking his head off with his sword yet.

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Outside of Kiri and Victo, we have a gambling town where everyone is desperate and a giant white horologue shows up and eats quite a lot of people’s time before Kiri and Victo give it a fight. Then a random girl shows up insisting she’s Victo’s wife and she essentially manipulates everything from that point forward. Not sure if Victo is just playing along for the fun of it and he’s actually aware of her less than honourable intentions, or maybe she actually is telling at least partially the truth. All I know for sure is that she’s a more annoying character than Victo (and what is with that outfit) and the two of them ganging up on Kiri was just kind of mean. I desperately wanted Kiri to push them out of the train.

Review Episode 3:

Well, that went well.

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I’m not really sure what the organisation was hoping to achieve but they kind of failed miserably at everything which more or less explains why they aren’t winning the war against the horologues. That and you have idiots who say stuff like this:

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Despite the poor comedy, terrible pacing, and generally bad writing, I found myself kind of enjoying this episode. Victo actually sort of took this seriously and ceased to be annoying for half an episode and then we may or may not have met the god of time. That could be kind of cool. Also, turns out that while Mina might work for the idiotic organisation, her enthusiasm for Victo was genuine.

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So, despite my misgivings that this is just going to end up being another waste of my time, I’m plunging on with this story and kind of hoping that Victo grows up (both literally and figuratively) and that maybe Kiri lightens up just a little.


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18if Episodes 2 + 3: Good Witch, Bad Witch, Whichever…

Review Episode 2:

This episode is kind of an interesting follow up to episode 1. In episode 1, you didn’t know who the people were the witch was playing with or whether there were any real world consequences. Essentially she was just playing house in dream land and there wasn’t really any need on the part of the audience to get invested. This episode makes it clear that at least this witch is having a very real impact on the real world.

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Note, avoid if you are squeamish about death, dismemberment or blood. As none of these put me off in the slightest, I found the story interesting as I found the show’s very heavy handed attempt at establishing moral ambiguity for the central character. It works, but we don’t know enough about him (and is he actually permanently in the dream world or not) to really care about his colourful moral choices and the way he chooses to resolve the crisis.

I liked this. It isn’t great viewing but it kind of fits for popcorn viewing. Hopefully episode 3 can be equally interesting.

Review Episode 3:

This changes things up a bit (most notably the colour scheme) as we enter the dream of a girl who becomes a witch (which seems like it should be a big deal but apparently isn’t in this case) and then Haruto gets his heart broken (though how serious he was in the first place is still undetermined).

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First episode played with split screens and eye jarring colour schemes, the second episode dove us straight into a red and black toned world of gore, and the third takes us to a washed out world of a sick girl before transitioning to a more vibrant colour scheme. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

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It would be lovely to know though why only girls become witches in the dream world, why Haruto is wandering around in dream land, who Lily actually is, and whether there was some overall plot here or if we really are just drifting from dream to dream so Haruto can save all the lonely girls from their nightmares.


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Summer 2017 Week 4

No, you didn’t miss anything, but this is my first overview of the season. I must admit, I’m not terribly impressed with the offerings so far this season. Then again, I’ve been fairly spoiled for choice in Winter and Spring so I guess eventually I had to hit a slow season. Below  are my current thoughts on what I’ve watched (keeping in mind I’m a little behind on quite a number of shows). I have worked out a bit of a review schedule so click here if you’d like to know my plans for reviews this season so far, keeping in mind they are still very flexible while I try the first handful of episodes of some of these shows.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the season so far so please leave a comment below.

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Must Watch

My Hero Academia (Episode 26)

I know, I’m behind on this one at the moment, but it is still a must watch. Hopefully I will catch up soon.

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Usually Entertaining

Princess Principal (Episode 1)

Well, I finally found a show that was kind of enthralling from the start. Hopefully this show can maintain this tone and feeling because that was a really enjoyable first episode. A little surprising, given the title, but a very welcome addition to this season’s line up.

In Another World With My Smartphone (Episode 1)

This one I’m tentative on because while I enjoyed the first episode it is really playing on a lot of clichés and has that kind of self-aware vibe that usually ends up descending into jokes of the ‘aren’t we clever’ variety that just kind of annoy me after a while. That said, I really did enjoy the first episode and kind of hope this remains pleasant viewing.

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Okay, I Guess

Gamers (Episode 1)

I’m loving the sound track for this anime as it reminds you of every old school video game in existence, but I’m not totally sold on the characters yet. Basically, I’m on the fence. School anime about clubs don’t really appeal and while I like video games, stories about video games don’t tend to go particularly well. Yet, this first episode was interesting. Hoping this one wins me over.

Vatican Miracle Examiner (Episode 1)

While sticklers for accuracy may find this a bit frustrating, and certainly those squeamish about blood need to give it a miss if the first episode is anything to go by, this one struck me as different enough at least for a first episode to stick with it for a time. I don’t think it is going to end up being amazing, but there could be some good drama to be found here if the show finds its feet.

Fastest Finger First (Episode 1)

This was surprisingly enjoyable as a first episode. I’m not expecting much given the stock standard everything about the story but I like quizzes and so that aspect was kind of fun. The show does have potential to help develop some of the characters but even if it doesn’t, this is fairly watchable.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Episode 1)

Being a sucker for stories about Japanese ghosts this one kind of gets a pass just because of the subject matter. The first episode was ridiculously generic though so I guess I’ll wait and see once we meet some other characters and the story gets going. Still, looks quite pretty and like it could be a bit of fun.

Classroom of the Elite (Episode 1)

I won’t be reviewing this week to week but I am going to follow the show for the season and I’ll write a series review once it is done (or I might pick this one up for episode reviews when I inevitably start dropping other shows). Basically, I’m not really comfortable with the set up of this show, but it could be kind of interesting so I’m going to keep watching and see how it goes.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Episode 1)

This was certainly the prettiest first episode I watched, but I was kind of disconnected from the characters and events. It was all just kind of happening on the screen and I didn’t really care or feel compelled to learn more. That said, I’m sticking with this one for a little bit longer to see where it goes because it really does look good and like it could be fun.

Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight (Episode 1)

I haven’t been the biggest fan of this franchise and have a tendency to skip episodes because while I like the idea of the show, I find watching it a little dull. Still, decided to give this installment a go and the first episode was actually not bad.

18if (Episode 1)

I’m kind of terribly confused by this so far (not aided by watching the first episode with a fever), but I was still kind of intrigued. Usually that means the show isn’t very good and I’m stretching for something that isn’t there, but honestly, I think I could enjoy the story here and the theme song is pretty cool.

Netsuzou Trap (Episode 1)

While I won’t be writing episode reviews of this one, I am going to follow the show for the season and I’ll write a series review once it is done. The first episode felt a little bit rushed and seemed to be pushing shock factor over story or characters but hopefully it will flesh out some of its cast in the following episodes.

Knight’s & Magic (Episode 1)

This one I’m allowing myself to be a bit hopeful about. The heavy exposition in episode 1 is hopefully not a sign of things to come but was simply a rush to get the story moving and hopefully they are ready to do that now. That said, this could go either way and  end up pretty dreadful or pretty okay, though it might just sit at middling for the season.

Chronos Ruler (Episode 1)

Alright, episode 1 plays out like poorly written fan fiction and the visuals are all over the place from flash to dreadful sometimes within the same scene, but the basic notion is kind of interesting so I’ll give this one another episode to try to impress.

Clean Freak Aoyama Kun (Episode 1)

This was watchable and some bits were enjoyable. Honestly, I’d be very surprised if this stays on my list of shows that I’m watching. It seems distinctly one note and repetitious at the moment and it will all depend on whether they can expand beyond reiterations of the same joke.

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They Made This

Sagrada Reset (Episode 14)

This isn’t changing at this point. Lots of intrigue, poor delivery, no answers. Just keep stringing me along and eventually it will end. Hopefully it will end with some kind of explanation about the town but I’ll just be happy to see it end.

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Tried and Dropped

The majority of these aren’t necessarily bad, they just don’t particularly appeal to me. Okay, there’s a few that are pretty terrible in the mix, but others are kind of sweet.

Restaurant to Another World (Episode 1)

Centaur’s Life (Episode 1)

Convenience Store Boyfriends (Episode 1)

Saiyuki Reload Blast (Episode 1)

Battle Girl High School (Episode 1)

Hina Logic (Episode 1)

Tsuredure Children (Episode 1)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Episode 1)

Aho Girl (Episode 1)

The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor (Episode 1)

I know I’m late into this season so let me know what you’ve loved so far.


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Gamers Episode 1: Loners Going to Lone

Overview:

“Would you like to be with me… in the Gamers Club?” Amano Keita is a perfectly mediocre loner with no particular distinguishing features other than his love for games. One day, his school’s prettiest girl and Gamer Club President Tendo Karen suddenly calls out to him.

– From Crunchyroll.

Review:

There’s this thing I really hate about stories where they make out that being alone is the single worst thing that can happen to a person and the loner is almost always ‘cured’ when someone or something reaches out to them and helps them see themselves in a new light and gives them some confidence. While some people are alone and desperately want someone to reach out to them, there are genuinely people who are happy with their life being pretty spartan in terms of interactions with other people. So where does Gamers come into this? As a first episode it was going directly down the path of so many other stories, and then Amano turned the pretty blonde down.

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Admittedly, I don’t think his rejection is actually going to stick given its kind of clear he is going to join the club, but it was so nice for him to assert that he was happy playing games on his terms. It means, when he inevitably does join the club, this show doesn’t have to be about transforming him as some sort of charity case. More importantly, it gives his character time to figure out whether he really wants to join and why rather than being dragged into it by the pushy blonde which is the set up of so many other stories.

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I’m really sitting on the fence with this story. I’m not really into high school anime about clubs but I do love the sound track so far (gaming sound effects are releasing strong nostalgia vibes) and there have been enough moments of genuine amusement to make this seem like a promising pick up for the season. Still, this one is a wait and see.


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