Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime School Uniforms

Tuesday's Top 5

I’m thinking most of you have never had the misfortune of going to a school in Queensland and wearing what are arguably some of the worst school uniforms in existence. Mostly because most schools go for cheap and affordable with easy substitutions and rather than actually looking in any way respectable, most uniforms end up looking like everyone just decided to throw the same black or maroon shorts on and a polo shirt and off they went (yes there are some schools, particularly private ones, that do in fact have decent uniforms, but they are not the majority). Which probably explains why I became fascinated by school uniforms in anime because they always look totally adorable and like something I would have loved to wear day in day out (maybe if I’d actually been asked to I’d feel differently).

So the end of this long preamble is that here is my list of top 5 anime school uniforms that I would personally have wanted to wear. With that said, I’d love to know which uniforms have caught your eye in anime.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Another

Number 5: Sword Art Online

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Seriously, look at how cute those uniforms are. Firstly there’s the colour scheme with the fairly dark and plain colour with white accents and gold buttons and emblem. It is fantastic. Not too flashy, but quite flattering to most people. I also love the blue cross pattern on the collar giving it just that little bit extra and the red ties/bows just finish off the look. I know you can’t see it in the image, but Asuna pairs hers with white stockings and black shoes and to be honest looks fabulous. I would have loved this kind of uniform at school.

Number 4: My Hero Academia

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Once again I like the reasonably plain grey colour with the green trims and gold buttons. It has the look of a uniform without being too plain and the colour is reasonably suitable for most people. The red tie again makes a nice contrast and I like that Uraraka gets to wear a tie as well and not a bow or ribbon as many female uniforms do. My Hero Academia looks pretty classy with this uniform, but we tend to spend more time watching the kids in their sports uniforms rather than this one.

Number 3: Code Geass

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Okay, if I’m practical and brutally honest, I probably wouldn’t wear this uniform given the short skirt length for the girls, but still, look at how adorable that is. The yellow and green contrast really nicely, the belt gives it some great shaping, and all and all it just looks really adorable. The male uniform is definitely the nicer of the two, though that’s probably just my preference for both the colour and the fact that they are wearing long pants.

Number 2: Vampire Knight – Day Class

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Super, super, super cute. While I didn’t love Vampire Knight as a show (certainly enjoyed it and enjoy making fun of it), the uniforms at Cross Academy are to die for (or at least the day class is). The super cute black blazer with white accents, the red bow, the knee socks, everything about this uniform is adorable and there are so many little details to it. A friend of mine cosplayed as Yuki at one point and ordered a costume and the sheer amount of detail on that uniform is just crazy. Absolutely love it and would love it to be a real uniform.

Number 1: Inu X Boku SS

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While I know for an absolute fact I could never wear this uniform, both because of the short skirt and because I just lack the shape to really pull it off, I totally fell in love with this look when watching the anime. I really relate to Ririchiyo’s character and this uniform is kind of superb. It’s like if there was a fantasy version of me going to a fantasy school, this would be the uniform I’d want that version of me to get to wear. The colour scheme, those shoes, the style, it is absolutely divine and I love it.

Okay, now that I’ve admitted I have no actual taste, what uniforms out there have you fallen in love with?


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Karandi James

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Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King Episode 3: Here Comes the Exposition Dump

After refusing explanations for two straight episodes we get to the end of a fight sequence and new random character will take them to a church to find out what is going on. Enter jargon, unconfirmed motive, and yet more poor characterisation.

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Can I just ask who named the things in this show? We’ve got a heroic lineage and agents of chaos. I wonder who we are supposed to think are in the right. Then again, the heroic lineage characters are all pretty clueless and are now being directed by a church that essentially has admitted it plans on destroying the world in forty years (because that will create a new world of hope of course) so I’m kind of left with no one in this story that I actually want to succeed. There’s still a thin hope that the protagonists will strike out on their own denying both the church and the chaos guys, but from listening to the various exposition dumps it seems like everything that has happened is pretty irreversible so we may as well just accept Tokyo is done.

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All and all, the plot of this show is either a mess or incredibly simple (I guess we’ll see which way it goes) and the characters haven’t done a thing to distinguish themselves as anything other than cardboard cut outs that might have one defining trait  (report guy likes to make comments about journalism and truth, Chihiro likes to get lost in his own head and freak out). It isn’t good by any means but it might just be bad enough to be kind of entertaining provided you aren’t picky about things. That said, I’m fairly certainly this is not going to be a show I’ll be talking much about.

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Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 2: Whatever It Takes

Attack on Titan - Season 3 - Episode 2 - Levi

This episode is breathtaking to watch for a number of reasons, though I’m still left wondering if this is the direction I ever wanted this show to go when I recall what was fun about season 1.

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Attack on Titan picks up this week exactly where it left off with Levi being confronted by Kenny (who I guess we’ll get more back story on at some point but they are pretty heavy handed already with making it clear Kenny knew Levi when he was kid) and the ensuing fight. Now, this is a fantastic fight sequence. It throws you right back to the very beginning when you saw the ODM Gear in action for the first time and this is one fast paced chase sequence with aerial combat thrown in. It also knows when to take a pause and a breath, like when Levi got cornered in the bar. It’s just a well thought out sequence that gets the audience excited, show-cases the animation that this anime is known for, and also gives us a clear new enemy and problem for our group of main characters to deal with.

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Does that warrant 11 minutes of an episode? Maybe not, but I will admit I didn’t really care the episode was half over and all that had happened was the end of a fight left over from last week. It was fun to watch and seeing Levi in action was thrilling (even if realistically there’s at least six occasions where he should be dead because people just don’t move like that).

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There’s also some attempt at dealing with the emotions of the kids as they come to terms with having to fight people. They trained to fight titans. Some of them even mocked combat training against humans back in season one because they didn’t see a point when they would be fighting titans. Now the Scouts are the clear target of the Military Police and this puts them on the back foot because they aren’t used to dealing with human enemies. Armin and Jean provide a wondrous look into the turmoil they are all feeling while Levi actually provides a voice of reason rather than comfort.

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A disappointment on the character front would be Mikasa. As usual, other than her obsession with Eren, she has very little to do in this episode. While she does provide some comfort to Armin after the dust has settled, Levi was forced to hold her back to prevent her from throwing herself after Eren despite losing any chance of victory.

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Of course, there’s no way to talk about this episode without looking at the torture that occurs. Levi and Hange torture the enemy for information. They don’t just threaten it, they don’t play act like they will torture, there’s no hidden element here. They just straight up torture to get what they want. And while they might not be thrilled about it, there’s little hesitation in their actions. It definitely feeds in to the question about who the real monsters are in this show, which at least thematically came about in season one, but at the same time might be a bridge too far for some of the more squeamish viewers. There’s a big difference between watching characters fight and get eaten by monsters and watching humans torture other humans.

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Then I just have my own mixed feelings about this as a direction for Attack on Titan. While this might indeed be interesting and the intrigue of heirs and politics could certainly make this season watchable, I kind of wonder where the monster slaying, screaming in defiance characters went and why it all needed to get this complicated.

Still, if this episode is a taste of things to come, there’s certainly going to be some fun to be found in watching Attack on Titan this season.

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Karandi James

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Devils’ Line Series Review: Get Ready For Dark – And I Am Talking About The Colour Palette Not The Story

An anime that started with a fairly poor first episode and pretty much never got any better, Devils’ Line was one of my bigger disappointments to come out of the Spring 2018 season.

Review:

I would really like to start this review with an overview of the story, but unfortunately, I’m not sure there really is one. There’s a few different ideas, but none of them ever develop or end up being resolved. And that’s part of the problem with Devils’ Line as a whole, though it certainly isn’t the only issue sucking the life out of this series.

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Firstly we have Taira Tsukasa, who is one of those super pure girls who has never fallen in love. Then her friend from school tries to attack her and it turns out he’s a vampire and she’s rescued by another vampire who turns out to work for the police hunting down devils (and don’t ask why vampires are called devils in this story, they just are). All of that seems fine but then Tsukasa is apparently in love with the rescue vampire, Anzai, and the two of them are in a relationship.

If you are wondering what happened in between the rescue and the falling in love, other than Anzai forcibly sticking his tongue down Tsukasa’s throat, I’m going to say not much. The story just expects that audience to believe these two are now in love.

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Seriously in love. Like they’ll throw themselves into life-threatening danger on more than one occasion for the other person. Even though vampires and humans can’t actually be involved in a relationship and there is government discussion around a law to allow humans and vampires to have sex only is supervised by a doctor (what?).

I’ll get to the other plot lines that trail about in this mess in a minute, but I want to take a moment to look at Tsukasa’s character, because she is perhaps the stupidest thing about this entire series, and there are some stupid things happening in this series.

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The girl meets a guy once who after saving her, by injuring her mind you, gets so out of control because she’s bleeding that he forces himself on her, shoving his tongue into her mouth, and has to sedate himself to calm down. She’s then just totally fixated on him. Letting him into her house, chasing him around the city and into danger… A sniper takes a shot at him while he is in her house and she gets cut by broken glass leaving a permanent scar on her face, and the only comment she makes regarding that several episodes later is that it hurts less than not being with Anzai. I actually can’t recall a single decision or comment that came out of Tsukasa’s mouth that wasn’t either asinine or stupid, and as she’s a character a lot of the action is built around her presence really hinders the story.

Though probably not as much as the fact that everyone seems to fall in love with her. her vampire friend who initially attacked her. Anzai as the saviour. Her lecturer at school who attempts to rape her. The girl is a dishrag and there is nothing about her that is interesting and yet every single person she meets seems to like her and either want to have sex with her or protect her, or both.

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But as much fun as the vampire/human relationship issues are, and they do permeate the entire story, even at fairly odd moments when you would think the cast would have better things to do than worry about whether Anzai and Tsukasa can sleep together, the story also seems to want to explore how vampires (devils) fit into modern society and how the general public responds to them. We get mass protests, terrorist groups, calls for segregation, and it all seems like this should go somewhere. There’s even a vast conspiracy within the organisation Anzai works for where there are double agents all pressing their own agenda.

This could have been a fairly gripping story really. And yet it plays out in the background with only a few episodes where it is the focus. Then we get to the end of the season and this story line just kind of stops. We don’t know what legislation actually gets passed or what happens to the conspirators or anything else. The story just turns its focus back to Anzai and Tsukasa’s relationship.

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There’s also some subplot about the institution where Anzai grew up and his parents. An escapee vampire from their joins the group midway through the series. Nothing ever eventuates from this plot point.

While I was harsh to Tsukasa earlier, I should probably point out that there isn’t a single decently developed character in the entire series. Not one character is actually interesting or well explored. At the end of the season you would be hard pressed to remember more than a handful of names and when you think about why some of the characters existed at all you will draw a blank. They contribute nothing overall to a story that goes nowhere.

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Then we have the visuals. Right from episode one it was pretty clear that this anime was not exactly a gorgeous feast for the eyes. Murky imagery, poor contrasts in the colours, and some really bad choices with animation to make the vampires seem fast (animation choices that seemed to disappear a few episodes in) all worked to make this series a pretty ugly thing to watch.

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This isn’t the worst thing ever but what really hurts is that we could have had a decent relationship between Anzai and Tsukasa and an exploration of the trouble they had in building an inter-species relationship. Or we could have had a compelling police drama where there were conspiracies to marginalise devils in society. The issue is, this show couldn’t handle doing both and the end result is an unsatisfying mess.

What did you think of Devils’ Line?

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Karandi James

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Cells at Work Episode 4: Everyone Has Their Own Job

This anime is definitely aiming to educate about the body but we’re also getting a heavy dose of moralising in there as well with the poor picked on cell getting her moment to shine later in the episode. Still, it is hard to argue that this wasn’t entertaining.

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I find Cells at Work a bit of an oddity, a fun oddity mind you, but the structure of the episodes, the copious explanations, and even the not so subtle don’t talk behind other people’s back message that comes through in episode 4, all speak of this show being directed at children. And then we have the White Blood Cell cutting himself free of a germ in a spray of blood in a scene that is right up there with when Eren got swallowed by a titan in Attack on Titan lost his arm. Okay, it’s a bit more cartoon like but it is still pretty intense for something that for the most part seems aimed at a younger audience.

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Although, while I’m thinking about my childhood, the initial view of the parasite this week kind of reminded me of a scene straight out of the Never Ending Story and that did scare me as a child so maybe this is just the right kind of balance to provide a fairly fun yet emotional journey.

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That said, I don’t think food-poisoning has ever been so much fun and I really had a great time watching the cells dash about and try to overcome the enemy. I’m not so sure about the umbrella guy who seemed to only exist to spout bad poetry, but overall the episode was great fun. Looking forward to the next offering from this one.

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Karandi James

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Angels of Death Episode 4: This Is The End

That minor nagging voice from last week telling me this might get better has now been dragged out and beaten to death by common sense. Angels of Death is boring which is the most irredeemable thing something made for entertainment can ever be.

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I love psychological horror. I love bad horror. Cheesy dialogue. Cliche set ups. Standard horror settings. Angels of Death has all the ingredients to engage me as a viewer regardless of whether it did it well or in a terrible King’s Game kind of way. And yet since about midway through the first episode I’ve been kind of bored and just waiting and hoping that somehow this would improve.

Episode 4 is no exception and I’m pretty sure I knew four minutes in that I wasn’t continuing beyond this episode. Yet another floor boss is introduced and we get the usual tongue licking the lips to show she’s unbalanced (though later we’ll also get the mismatched eye thing too) and then maniacal ear-grating laughter. This by itself isn’t the end of a show but lets look at every character other than Rachel so far.

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We meet Zack in episode one and he kills bird and laughs maniacally. Great, he’s crazy, better run. We meet the Doctor who pins Rachel down and throws his head back and laughs crazily before getting skewered on Zack’s scythe. We then meet Eddie. Now in Eddie’s defence, he was more of a giggler than a laugher but the point remains that other than giggling and ranting about his love for Rachel from the shadows, we once again have an extremely shallow characterisation that somehow is supposed to be thrilling.

Maybe I’m just missing something but all I feel while watching Rachel stare blankly at walls before commenting that there is something there or nothing is bored. All I feel when I see Zack getting electrocuted in a chair he idiotically sat on is exasperated. And all I feel when the show ends on a cliffhanger with Rachel potentially about to be done in by poison gas is weary.

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For me, watching anime is fun and engaging. In that sense, I think I’d rather go back and watch Record of Grancrest War than even one more episode of this (not that I intend to do that).

However, next week I’ve decided to finally start a formal rewatch of Yuri on Ice, as opposed to just binge watching it whenever I’m feeling a bit down, and I’m going to review the episodes again, hopefully a little more objectively than I did the first time (though honestly, given Yuri and Victor are smiling at me from the wall next to my computer, I somehow doubt it). Anyway, if you want to join me, I’ll be covering episodes 1 and 2 next week instead of watching anymore of Angels of Death.

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Karandi James

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In Case You Missed It

This week has been super busy but really fun. I want to thank Negative Primes once again for being July’s guest post writer, and hopefully someone will be interested in visiting my blog in August (let me know via Twitter DM if you would like to). I also had my OWLS post this week and of course it was week 3 of the Summer Anime season which means some tough decisions to be made.

Hopefully everyone else had a productive and fun week. Below are some of the great posts I came across during the week. There were definitely other great posts that I haven’t linked to so if you’d like to give a shout out to a post feel free.

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Kawaii Paper Pandas reviews Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. I haven’t seen the film and I don’t have any ability to see it at this point but I enjoyed reading this review, though it did kind of make me feel that this probably isn’t a movie I’m going to get super into it. For those contemplating watching it, this is a great post to check out.

Satired of Anime delivers some great made up anime news on a regular basis and this offering this week was hilarious (and yet I actually wish it was true). Not going to actually give you the name of the post because these posts are short and they are more fun just to read. If you watch a lot of anime though you should definitely appreciate the content on their blog.

And Irina does it again touching on one of my favourite anime this week with Another as she looks at the role of Reiko. Admittedly, if you are worried in the slightest about spoilers for this anime, do not read this post. However, for those who have watched Another, or those who don’t care about spoilers, it’s a great read so go check it out.

Takuto’s Anime Cafe has a great entry as part of the OWLS tour on mentors and focuses on Heine from the Royal Tutor. It’s a touching post that looks at some of the more serious and important character moments in a show that was kind of fun to watch and Heine is a fantastic character so I loved this post giving him and his influence some attention.

Remy Fool asks how their readers feel about honorifics in translations. This is another one of those contentious conversations, though not as bad as subs or dubs. If you want to join in the conversation hop on over, read the post and the comments and add your views.

Modus Veritas has a review of Yuri on Ice. Okay, I love all things Yuri on Ice related, but this post is actually a fairly level review that looks calmly at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the series (so less fan-girling and more actual reviewing going on). If you wanted a Yuri on Ice post without all the hyperbole, this one is probably going to be a great read.

The Baron Heist has a write up on Perfect Blue. And yes, despite the reputation of this title, I still haven’t ever watched it, though I kind of feel like I have given how much analysis there is about it. That said, this is another look at this film and what it does. The post is clearly laid out, easy to read, and once again reminded me that I should at some point actually watch this.

Pick of the Week

Jon Spencer has a fairly satirical advice post on How To Properly Review GGO. Now he does put some disclaimers and explanations at the end for those who haven’t quite picked up on the tone of the post, but I absolutely loved reading this (mostly because I could see that most of the points he was making have shown up in some of the most read and viewed reviews of GGO). If you want a bit of a laugh, whether you liked GGO, like SAO, or dislike both, this is a fun post to read. It certainly made my Thursday better.

My Stuff

And that was my week, in case you missed it.


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Karandi James

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