Being Fearless And Taking on a Colossal Challenge

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Ignoring the hyperbole in the title, blogging is a hard gig with a million things to do and any change becomes a massive challenge. With WordPress trialling their new editor, a new mountain has appeared. And while at the moment you have the option to just ignore it, looming ominously in the distance, ultimately the only way to know whether it is actually going to be that much of a problem is to actually get in there and give it a go. So that’s what I’ve done for nearly two weeks and while I know they are still working on features and things, these are my current thoughts on it. With the thoughts of others scattered throughout via Twitter – thanks to those who shared their experiences.

Now, this post isn’t actually about tearing apart WordPress or the idea behind the new editor. Basically because, the idea is kind of cool in giving bloggers more control over layout and how the post looks and being able to integrate different kinds of media within the post. That is, as I said, kind of cool. The execution however is a leaving a little bit to be desired, however with one or two exceptions, at this point I’ve managed to work around most of my major issues and the more I use the new editor the faster it gets to put posts together. 

Dakaichi Episode 7 Takato and Junta
Me hoping to get on the good side of whoever is in control of the fate of post editing.

That said, I must admit, I’m in the minority of bloggers I know in that the majority of my posts are drafted and edited pretty much entirely in the editor. I do copy content out and save it as a word file after the fact, but essentially all my drafts begin their life inside WordPress (unless it is a collaboration in which case the start over on Google docs for the most part. And that leads me to the number one issue I have with this new editor.

Hitting enter when writing text automatically starts a new block.

And you might think, so what? Start a new block. See the problem with that comes when you want to format or edit your text before going back and adding images and the like. Because you can currently only format one block at a time. So the more blocks it adds, the more you need to individually format.

Then again, you also can save blocks as reusable, and once you’ve formatted it once you can instantly insert that block into a new post saving a huge amount of time.  So, for something like my signature, that I apply at the end of almost every post, spending the time playing around with it, and editing it in html to actually insert line breaks rather than having multiple different blocks and being able to insert images into it, is actually worth the time because I only needed to do it once and then give the block a sensible name in my reusable block list and now it is a simple matter of ‘add block’, search for name, insert and it is done. 

2 Block editing is a no go right now.

Just so you know, being fairly average at computers (I can use them but I’m not into coding or the like) my previous method of having a consistent signature across posts was to edit in html view after I created a signature, copy the code from that into a word document and then paste in the html view every time I started a new post. That kind of required me to have the word doc where I’d saved the signature open and accessible while in the wordpress editor and to be honest while that worked well enough, it wasn’t exactly a neat solution. 

I personally see the saving reusable block thing as a huge advantage, though that comes with a couple of minor points:

  • Editing the block and saving will apparently update the block everywhere it is used. Now, on paper that sounds great. If I want to add a link into my signature, it would now automatically update across multiple posts rather than having to go and change them manually, or shrug and just assume that any post before such a date will have the old signature. Or my episode links will now  automatically add to all the posts that I’ve added that block to so, again theoretically, if I added the block at the start of the season and to every post after, editing the block by adding the latest link, all episode reviews would have a link to all other episode reviews. Which is kind of cool… provided it works and I don’t accidentally do something to destroy the block across every post.

  • However, if I’ve saved a block purely for the formatting, I need to remember to convert back to a regular block before I start editing and not to save it as a reusable block after I’ve edited. So for the headings I’m currently trialling at the top of episode reviews, because adding colour to a heading was pain in the neck, I saved one as a reusable block, insert it at the top of a new post, convert it, and then change the series name to whatever I’m reviewing. It saves me formatting time but I keep freaking out that I’m potentially altering other posts in the process and then have to check to make sure they are still as they were.

  • Also, it isn’t clear yet how many reusable blocks can be saved or whether I’ll actually remember what name I’ve given half of them so some might never get used again and just be sitting in some kind of data storage limbo.

Moving away from reusable blocks, the single content type allowed in most blocks is really quite frustrating. So before I added a list in but there was a bit of a lead in to the list. The sentence introducing the list is in one block and the list is in another. Incidentally, because the introduction is a paragraph, I can change the text colour and add background colour to that block if I like, but I can’t in the list post (unless I manage to edit the code just right and don’t get an error message which is a fairly common occurrence because not all html code is acceptable in wordpress so sometimes even knowing the code isn’t enough to edit the block without encountering an error).

Skull Face Bookseller Honda San Episode 7
You do your research, find out how to code something, enter the code beautifully and then get told that your editor doesn’t accept half of it. At least I’m learning something.

There is a media and text block that allows you to have media on either the left or right side and then text beside it which I have found useful for my weekly summary posts but even then there isn’t much flexibility in layout. You can’t wrap the text around the image or video, merely place it in two columns side by side.

While I’m at it, I’ll throw in the part where I can’t centre justify my text anymore. Left, right or centre but no more centre justify and that seems like a fairly elementary thing to fix.

Run With The Wind Episode 7 Kakeru
Yes,  there’s no getting around it, the new scheduler makes me want to punch something.

Let’s get a few more negatives out of the way. The scheduler. I hate the new scheduler so much right now. I’m learning to get on with it, but the basic loss of being able to see when my other posts are scheduled while scheduling a new post is really horrendous. That and we are back to scheduling posts in whatever time zone WordPress has set rather than local. This was what it used to be like even using the old editor, but then they changed it to local time.

However, it meant that during my first week at least, posts that had been scheduled using the old editor were still scheduled in local time and in the new editor I had to do time conversion to schedule them appropriately (4 am my time Saturday morning is  6pm Friday in WordPress schedule time incidentally) and for awhile it was really making me want to scream in frustration because I’d be scrolling through the scheduled posts and checking my written schedule (yes, I’m old school and still record in an actual notebook) and my posts wouldn’t be in the right order. Such an unnecessary frustration.

What will annoy me more is when they just randomly change it back to local time as they have done once before but they don’t bother to send out a notification of such a significant change that will have a huge impact on those who schedule posts.

Voice of Fox Episode 5
Clear communication would sort so many of these kinds of issues.

And then one more minor gripe, the gallery. I can no longer make a slide show with images or preview what the gallery will look like or decide to have my images appear in random order and just a lot of functionality of posting multiple images is gone. I’m kind of hoping these features are coming but again, it seems like something simple to include so not sure why these features have gone AWOL.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6
Taking the good with the bad.

That said, I’m kind of feeling there’s a lot of positives. Inserting tweets, video embeds, the survey short code, has never been easier. Once I decide how I want my standard posts to look and set the reusable blocks I need, creating a post should actually be a fairly quick process. The media library is much better than it was and adding alt text and descriptions to images has never been easier. I haven’t reverted to the classic editor because I really haven’t felt a need to do so and  I do believe that once I get my head around this new one, there are many things that will be faster and even in just a week (scheduling multiple posts a day), I know that some things have gotten faster.

Still, it is one thing to know that something has potential to be good and another to see that a post of yours has just gone out with all your words mangled because it was one you copied and pasted from an outside source into the editor and then foolishly assumed that the way it previewed would be the way it would post (silly writer).

Tsurune Episode 5 Minato and Onogi
Yep, guess where you’re about to end up.

And when struggling to find the block type you need because you aren’t sure what it is called, wanting to move an image and being unable to, just wanting to be able to apply a change to the font or format of multiple text boxes simultaneously and realising you absolutely cannot… new things are hard. They are frustrating. And particularly when they have a massive impact on the time it is taking to prepare a post (already a fairly onerous task), and sometimes you don’t end up with the result you want, the challenge can seem insurmountable.

The good thing is, that when the challenge is too hard at the moment you can switch back to the classic editor if you have to. And if you are copying and pasting text from other sources the majority of the time, I’d actually recommend it – that text blending thing where it removes spaces randomly is really irritating. The other thing is that there is a huge community out there and so far asking questions on twitter about the editor has brought many to the surface willing to offer advice, or at least relate to the same issue and how they worked around it. I also managed to have a fairly decent help chat through WordPress when trying to help someone else who was having an issue.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 7
Let others help you.

On that note, I did turn the question of what is good and bad about the new editor over to twitter and I’ve tried to share some of the responses throughout the post if you want to check out the issues others have encountered. But, if you’ve tried the new editor, leave a comment of your experiences below and help others learn from what has worked for you and what hasn’t.¬†

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Karandi James
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MY HERO ACADEMIA – 2018 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
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You Have To Step Back To See What’s Really There

Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

Run With The Wind Episode 9 Review

As much as I hate to admit it, Haiji has a point. Kakeru really can’t see what the point of running is anymore, other than getting a great time and winning, and while I kind of get where Kakeru is coming from, given they are in a competition, I really do get where Haiji is coming from. Besides, Kakeru targeting Prince was a low blow. It isn’t as though Prince didn’t know he wasn’t good at running.

Run With The Wind Episode 9

Kakeru being benched this week on Run With The Wind created a chance for the audience to observe the others from a distance as well. While at first most were reluctant to join Haiji in his dream, and many were coerced, the five who competed this week gave it all they had and those who were on the side were moved by their effort and a desire to cheer them on. All and all, the power of the ‘team’ coming together even if none of the runners were successful this time around at getting an official time.

Run With The Wind Episode 9 - Running

Of course, Run With The Wind wasn’t really content just to give us a ‘go team’ kind of message and working at bringing Kakeru back in with the others, despite him being a massive jerk last week and at the start of the episode. Instead we layer in signs that Haiji isn’t as ‘recovered’ as he’d like people to believe and that escalates as the episode continues. Given we still don’t know what actually happened, I’m curious as to what is going on, but the eventual collapse of the team leader was a suitably dramatic end point for the episode.

Run With The Wind Episode 9 Prince

Where this anime shines is that none of the characters feel neglected at this point. It is quite the feat given the sheer number of characters. And while I don’t necessarily like all of them, they are all feeling very authentic and the group as a whole is becoming more and more interesting to watch.

A Story of Fan-service, Parodies, and Star Children, Oh My

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 8 Review

This anime has never hidden what it is and I don’t really think it needed to. Right from the beginning the dubious nature of Itsuki’s quest to woo the Star Maidens over in order to make Star Children through a love ritual is as in your face as it can be and despite it not actually involving sex it is about as borderline as it can be. Throw in Mana’s character who is a non-stop parade of lewd sex jokes and references and essentially this anime was very up-front about what its focus was going to be.

Conception Episode 8 Itsuki and Sue

Still, in earlier episodes I felt there were some elements that were curious enough or interesting enough to warrant sticking around and further investigation. The overall presentation wasn’t great, some characters annoyed, and Mana was simply toxic, but the basic idea of being summoned to another world to rid it of impurities through a ritual and then fighting through different levels in a labyrinth had potential. To put it simply the balance of things that made me curious vs those things that made me roll my eyes was good enough that I stuck around. In a show like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord that ultimately paid off. Master of Ragnarok on the other hand was a failure.

So where does Conception fit in?

Well, it is hard to say given it isn’t finished yet and potentially, it could still do something with the ideas it laid out early on but has yet to really capitalise on. In fact, maybe episode 8 is just the low point before the thunderous final and I’ll look back at this post and realise that this was a by-product of weekly watching and personal prejudices against reality TV shows and that a thin parody over the top of the format didn’t make this episode any more watchable. 

Conception Episode 8 The Bachelor

Note: Just playing out the tropes of something isn’t necessarily parody. Small exaggeration of those tropes doesn’t make it necessarily parody either. It kind of just makes it an emulation of the original and if you aren’t fond of the original, unless the parody is actually highlighting a specific issue or idea, basically you are stuck with something else you don’t like.

But basically, this episode brings the worst of Conception to the forefront, while ignoring most of what makes it occasionally interesting and curious. Itsuki particularly has what is left of his character butchered through the attempt to fit him into the mould of the protagonist of an episode of The Bachelor and I was one finger snap away from terminating the viewing then and there.

As it was, I did skip forward at multiple points in the episode, which is something I almost never do on something I haven’t watched through once. Second watches sometimes have sections where I will skip forward if there is a particular scene or moment I’d rather not endure a second time. But first watches are usually safe from this kind of treatment with the understanding that if I dislike something enough to want to skip forward it is probably time to let it go.

Conception Episode 8 Itsuki and Sue

And then, just as I was more or less determined to end the viewing on this and maybe pick one of the shows I put on hold back up, they get back to the idea of the labyrinth and give just the tiniest faint hope they might address it. Not to mention, I’ve watched 8 episodes of this and I kind of want to get to the end and do a season final review. There definitely comes a point in the season where dropping something feels like a defeat and that the time will be completely wasted if you don’t get to the end.

That said, I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to the next episode. I just kind of want this one to be done.

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Karandi James
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Natsume’s Book of Friends Volume 5 Manga Review: Friends Past and Present

Volume 5 of Natsume’s Book of Friends gives us a wide variety of characters and stories and really does look at the influence of the past on the present. We also meet Taki in a double chapter story that is as superb to read as it was to watch.

It feels like a lot of this volume is quite a bit darker than normal as each of the stories has a real risk to the characters and a real sense of tragedy hanging over it. While each is resolved in its own way, it feels like now that we’ve been introduced to the world of yokai and begun to understand its dangers, they are now expanding on the perils Natsume faces. Still, it isn’t all doom and gloom (not that it would be a problem if it was as I quite liked the darker anime episodes so I really enjoyed reading this volume) as we have another special story included in this volume that focuses on Tanuma and Natsume.

Chapter 16: Ageless Feelings

Perhaps the weakest of the stories in volume 5, chapter 16 still delivers a fairly compelling read when Natsume goes on a study trip with his friends and meets an old woman looking for a childhood friend and then a mermaid. The reason this story doesn’t quite hit home is because it is the old woman’s tragedy that we’re seeing unfold here and Natsume is more or less a bystander.

Then again, Natsume never stays a bystander for long and certainly he takes an active role in resolving the conflict. Still, as much as the ending is kind of nice, it is also fairly tragic that the woman has carried a feeling of guilt for so long and that the mermaid has harboured her ill will for so long. While it definitely reflects human nature, the situation is just kind of sad no matter how you look at it.

Chapters 17 & 18: Do Not Call

And now Natsume is going to meet Taki. She’s a fantastic character in the anime and her introductory story is one where both she and Natsume go through some very real danger. I was pleased to see this one in the manga and surprised by how affective some of the scenes were. The start of chapter 18 in particular when Natsume has been captured by the yokai was so much starker and seemingly darker here in the manga in the black and white than the anime managed.

Natsume5c

Taki’s link to the past is her grandfather and the knowledge he left her, incomplete though it was. In fact, it was her grandfather’s magic circle design that got Taki in trouble with a really nasty yokai and ultimately dragged Natsume into the conflict. Yet, Taki really loved her grandfather and she cherishes her connection with him despite all the bad things that it might lead to.

We also see Natsume and Taki forge a fairly solid friendship in a short time period. They both have connections to the yokai world through their grandparents and facing this kind of danger just naturally got them closer together. What I love though is that it isn’t a romantic relationship but very much one of mutual respect and friendship. Taki is such a great character and this story that brings her into the Natsume world is a fantastic read.

Chapter 19: Temporary House

But the great characters just keep coming. After introducing Taki to us, we get a story that focuses very much on Reiko and her past actions and the troubles they bring to Natsume in the present. After being spotted by a yokai and followed home, Natsume learns that this yokai had been in the house before when Shigure was a boy but somehow all the misfortunes had stopped after a mysterious girl had visited the house.

Natsume5d

Natsume’s relationship with Reiko has remained ambiguous. On the one hand, she is the one who could see the same things Natsume sees and it is her book that Natsume now owns and is trying to return the names from. She is also a distorted reflection of him as she became isolated from both humans and yokai because of her gift.

We see this distortion again when Natsume uses the same spell he sees Reiko using in the past to chase away the yokai causing immense damage to the room. Where Reiko ran away and never returned to the house, Natsume apologises and is welcomed as a part of the household. It is a touching story and one I really loved reading as it really did help to see Reiko a bit more clearly.

Special Episode 4

Natsume5b

Only one special in this volume, which is fine given how satisfying the other stories were. This one focuses on Tanuma inviting Natsume over to his house. We’ve seen this scene in the anime where Tanuma wants to show the shadow fish to Natsume and we realise Natsume can in fact see the real fish and not just their shadows. Still, much like Taki, Tanuma is a great character and a solid friend to Natsume and seeing these small steps as they build their friendship is fantastic.

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The Fallout From A Fox’s Shattered Reputation

Voice of Fox Episode Review Title

Voice of Fox Episode 7 Review

Last week saw the dramatic conclusion of Hu Li’s career as a ghost singer when his presence was revealed live on TV. This week, idol fans do what they do best in this sort of media (and unfortunately occasionally in real life), they went a little crazy. Threatening to beat him up, stalking him on social media, and generally being as unpleasant as humanly possible, Hu Li is driven into a corner thick and fast.

Voice of Fox Episode 7

And does the company who hired him do anything resembling damage control? Yep. They fire him, charge him for damages, fire the actual performer too (and I’m guessing he’s the board of director’s son or something from that exchange), and pretty much hang them out to dry. But that’s cool. They have a plan. Hu Li will be desperate for money so he’ll come back and write music for them again.

Voice of Fox Episode 7

Of course, that’s assuming he doesn’t take a header off the roof and as we return to where the series began you seriously wonder if he will or not. What I liked was that he wasn’t feeling excessively sorry for himself. It was more he felt like he was causing trouble for those around him, including his friend Chuyun, and he had run out of options to improve the situation. So while it might be accused of melodrama, Voice of Fox feels like its built up to this moment sufficiently to carry the scene.

Voice of Fox Episode 7

And then, because it isn’t the end just yet, Sky sends Hu Li another message (why Hu Li keeps talking to Sky or paying him any attention is beyond me at this point). Of course, this is where the episode ends leaving us wanting the next part of the story as they intended and I don’t really know that this is needed at this juncture. I’m hooked. I don’t need these to be continued baited endings to keep me coming back.

Still, this one remains one of my surprise hits for the season and while it may not be able to go toe  to toe with some more notable titles, it remains fairly impressive for what it is.

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Karandi James
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Erased Series Review: Weak Mystery, Great Character Drama

Erased Title Image

This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in August 2016 and can be found here.

I first watched Erased when it aired and it was an anime everyone was talking about. Being apart of the conversation was fantastic particularly as it was a bit of a mystery so we all got to sit around on social media speculating about where it was going. That said, there was a lot of hype going on at the time and there was also a wave of enthusiasm around it. 

Going to be honest, I loved this anime then and I still really like it now. But it was an anime that benefited from going in cold, having to wait each week and being able to mull over what you’d learned and where it might be going and to engage in those conversations, and it also just benefited from the community behind it. In the absence of those things, Erased ends up being good enough, and still tells a fairly good story with interesting characters, but a lot of the ‘magic’ is kind of gone. The live action series is fairly solid as well though if you’d like to try the story again but a little bit differently (apparently it follows the manga closer or something like that).

Live Action - Erased

Though, it is a mystery anime which makes any kind of review hard. Particularly a re-visited review. There’s only so much you can say without giving the game away, particularly in a mystery like this one where it already seems pretty easy to figure out where things are going. Ultimately, mystery is a poor label to give this one. While technically the main character is playing ‘Whodunit’ the audience can figure it out far too easily and while the reveal is still very worth the price of admission, if that was all there was to Erased it would be a fairly easy to dismiss.

Erased

The plot however works well. The tie-in of the mystery with Satoru’s ability of revival is well managed and while they don’t explain the phenomenon, it almost doesn’t need to be. It is established that he can and does jump back in time and they use it appropriately as a vehicle to keep the story moving. Any explanation would have been pretty silly anyway so passing on that and just letting it go was actually the better option. And it does allow for a compelling story with a villain returning after a considerable length of time and seeing adult and child Satoru attempt to overcome his schemes with limited knowledge and at first few allies.

I’m not changing this next paragraph because I stand by it entirely from the original review.

“With Erased, it is the characters who sell the show. And even then you couldn‚Äôt point to anyone character and say that character is amazing. A lot of people liked Satoru‚Äôs mum but I found her one of the least interesting characters because she really didn‚Äôt seem like a realistic mother and was more a plot device that existed only to Satoru the advice he needed when he needed it, cause him distress with her death in the original timeline, and filled in any parts of the plot that you really couldn‚Äôt expect a child to succeed at overcoming. The friends Satoru has as a child are also a little off and at times serve no purpose. The first potential child victim is interesting but not overly believable as a character. However all of these characters complement each other perfectly and create a show that has a lot of heart and at times emotional depth. Even if they don‚Äôt shut up and like to endlessly articulate things that really don‚Äôt need to be said.”

Erased

Erased is a fun story. It isn’t an edge of your seat thriller but it will get you caught up in the mystery even after you figure it out and the characters will warm your heart. The OP is amazing so be sure to listen to it, and some of the visuals are really beautiful. Ultimately, Erased is an anime where lots of small details and moments add up to something that feels great to watch even though there are some issues with pacing, the ability to believe the plot, and the overall mystery falls a little short. Still, two years on I would still firmly recommend this anime for those who have never seen it.

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Karandi James
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Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Yona [w/ DVD, Limited Pressing]
Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Yona [w/ DVD, Limited Pressing]

Friendly Talks with Arthifis: Dakaichi Late Season Thoughts

Dakaichi Episode 7 On Set

Hey everyone and welcome to Arthifis’ and my late season thoughts on Dakaichi. I can’t believe we’re already three quarters through the season and soon we’ll be doing our final thoughts on the season. That’s kind of exciting and I will admit I have absolutely loved this collaboration with Arthifis this season (and if you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to check out Arthifis’ Ultimate Guide to the season).

Admittedly, both of us suffered from time zone issues this time around with Arthifis needing some coffee to help him wake up and me needing some pepsi to keep me awake as our marathon effort at discussing both Goblin Slayer and Dakaichi stretched on. The problem was, we both had so much to say about both shows and I think we probably could have kept going except that I needed some sleep and I’m sure Arthifis needed to do something else with his Saturday besides chat with me.

Anyway, if you haven’t already been and read it, please check out Arthifis’ site where our thoughts on Goblin Slayer will be posted and with that let’s get into Dakaichi. Today we’re covering up to episode 8.


Dakaichi Episode 5 Takato and Junta

Welcome Arthifis. I’m really glad we’re back again and discussing Dakaichi. I’m going to be honest, the last few episodes have made it clear that my memory of this one is patchy at best because other than Junta’s episode, a lot of the events in the last few episodes have come as a surprise to me and I realised that yeah, I don’t remember much of anything else from the source. So, we’re almost on a level playing field when it comes to this one at the moment.

On that note, how have the last few episodes been for you?

ahah I know the feeling of not remembering anything at all from something I read/watched.

Well‚Ķ There is way too much happening on these episodes and a lot of things that I want to touch and ask your opinion xD So,maybe I‚Äôm gonna start with the conclusion of (browsing the name of the guy)…Is it Kiyotaka? I‚Äôm having a blank lol No, it‚Äôs not! It‚Äôs Ayagi.

Ok, let me just rephrase that, then… So, maybe I’m gonna start with the conclusion of Ayagi’s situation, what do you think?

Dakaichi Episode 6 Ayagi and Junta

I actually kind of liked how that concluded in the end mostly because Ayagi’s existence makes Junta look less creepy by default and also because the attention very much turned to Takato and the fact that he actually does kind of like Junta. It’s been hard to tell whether Takato is into the relationship or not previously, but after his encounter with Ayagi it really does make it clear that Junta isn’t forcing anything (or at least not too much) and Takato has made a clear choice.

That said, Ayagi is a really horrible person,but a necessary character. Or at least that’s how I saw it. (Is Kiyotaka the younger guy?) How did you find the conclusion to the Ayagi/Takato situation?

Nope, the younger character is Narumiya… I actually can’t find who Kiyotaka is LOL There is no pictures in MAL besides Junta and Takato and on Anime-Planet he doesn’t even appear on the character list LOLOL So, let’s just let him be for now ahah

Well, I understand what you are saying, but I don’t agree, to be honest. I found most part unnecessary. In fact, if we look up close, Ayagi was ready to force himself and rape Takato if Junta had not phoned. For me, it’s just not ok. Yes, Ayagi sleeps with everyone who he feels that he has to so he can climb in the ladder, that’s not ethic, but completely fine by me. However, from there, to actually rape someone who is passed out because how drunk they are it’s just… Not ok in my book. I mean, I don’t mind seeing media where that situation is used in a way of bringing awareness where the victim passes through hell and etc. I think the bad stuff also has to appear on the big (and small) screen. However, in this case, the situation is brushed off very easily.

I do think you are right when it comes to Junta though. When I was watching the episode I felt that Junta was stalking a little too much (the scene where Junta seems to be following Takato and knows where he is and what he is doing). However, after watching I put myself in his shoes and… If my boyfriend was close to being rape like Takato I would probably be even madder than Junta and would actually destroy the guy’s pretty face right away. Moreover, if I was in some kind of a world where that situation couldn’t be discussed or brought to the authorities and my boyfriend had to forcefully work that guy nevertheless, I would go and keep a close eye to what was happening.

However, at the end, I didn’t like how things were brushed off. Right away we can see that Ayagi is not such a bad guy after all. Meaning, he would not go to bed with someone if they are in a relationship. Besides, he actually goes in a quest in trying to make amends for what he has done to other girls. A little bit because of Junta’s blackmail, but also because of liking Takato and wanting to conquer his love. So, it just doesn’t make much sense…

What about Junta’s episode? Did you like it?

Dakaichi Episode 6 Takato

Before that, I think the depiction of rape and consent is a huge issue in any kind of Yaoi/BL story. The way it is portrayed,the consequences of it, the impact it has on people’s lives, it is very seldom explored in any meaningful way and is regularly used as a gateway into a same sex relationship which is just appalling. However, what that does mean, is that going into this story, I kind of expected it to be a lot worse. I was fully prepared for Junta to force Takato in episode 1 and for them to then try and build a relationship out of it (much like they did in Junjou Romantica Рand that is still kind of creepy that they end up in the relationship they do).

So, by the time we get to this scene with Ayagi almost but not raping Takato, it isn‚Äôt so much that I think they did a good job of how they present the issue, because to be perfectly frank, they didn‚Äôt. Mostly because of all the reasons you‚Äôve already identified. But, in my head I‚Äôm rationalising with the ‚Äėit could have been worse‚Äô argument. Which isn‚Äôt a great justification and for people who identify with this kind of event, won‚Äôt help that once again the issue of rape is being trivialised by this particular kind of story. Still, it is why it didn‚Äôt bother me so much while watching. I was genuinely expecting this series to be worse than it is in terms of how that issue was presented.

Does that make sense?

Dakaichi Episode 6 Junta and Takato

Yes, it does. And I remember when we first did this, you talked about that scene. The truth is, since they didn’t go that route in episode 1, I was expecting that they would not do it this time around.I was trying to find a scene where Takato could be at fault by leading Ayagi. However, that would not make sense to his character. So.. I think they could goat the route of Ayagi just trying to kiss him or something like that. It would piss off Junta nevertheless and it would be easier to digest.

However, I have to say that this scene, yet again, showed how Takato’s character is a little all over the place. I mean,one day he is this strong male character who doesn’t let anyone to play games with him, in the next he just seems someone who needs a strong man to defend him from everything… Oh, well… I understand, it’s the uke and seme formula that everyone wants to watch.

However, I do have to say, that they could just make Takato behave in a different way while near Junta (it would make a lot of sense) and still give the uke and seme formula without making me feel that Takato’s character is always changing with really no reason at all.

Sorry, just started another topic before even talking about Junta‚Äôs episode ūüėõ It‚Äôs just, this Anime is kind of a hate-love for me‚Ķ I just love the relationship and both characters, but then I hate the flaws that the Anime has in my opinion xD

So do you want to finish discussing Takato and then tackle Junta’s episode? Because I could talk all day about Takato.

Ahaha! Yeah sure! ūüėÄ I mean, I think I gave my opinion for these episodes, so go ahead eheh

Alright, I’m with you in that Takato’s character changes a lot but for me I find every change fairly relevant to what is happening at the time. When he’s in front of others or at work he has his professional face and personality. When he’s initially dealing with people he’s fairly stand-offish and tactical. Junta’s just forced his way through Takato’s barriers so he almost has no reason to put up a front anymore because Junta’s already seen him at his worst so he can just kind of let himself go.

However, after the incident with Ayagi, we see an actual vulnerable Takato. I loved the sequence after he woke up and he ended up wrapping himself in the curtain. As much as the anime isn’t dealing with the issues anywhere near as seriously as it needs to, it did give us a really good moment right there with Takato feeling lost, bewildered, doubting himself and then that moment of panic about how Junta was going to take it. Also, after being attacked, or allowing himself to be taken to bed by someone, it kind of made sense that Takato continued to feel a little out of sorts and vulnerable during the remainder of the episode before he got his feet back under him again.

I really enjoy these small changes in his character. Admittedly, they aren’t as nuanced as they should be to really pull it off and so he does come across as someone who kind of changes too much, but thinking about each scene I can kind of see where he’s coming from. That and because it was established that so much of his exterior is facade in the first place, it makes sense that he readily changes to suit the occasion. Then again,I really like Takato as a character so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Onto Junta now? Or did you have something to add?

Dakaichi Episode 6 Junta
I can kind of see where Junta is coming from here.

Yeah, let me just comment in what you said xD(We should just do a post about Takato and call it a day ahah)

I’m with you, I really am. I compeltely understand having two different personalities when it comes to work. Especially when you work at the show biz. I also completely understand how Takato is way more vulnerable when he’s with Junta. In fact, Takato never had that kind of support, so it’s just natural that he wants to be himself and let his barriers go when he’s with Junta.

However, in this case, we see a weak Takato in front of Ayagi… I mean, this could be because Takato is slowly becoming more himself even when at work… However, it just felt a little too convenient so we could have that scene.

Nevertheless, I think Takato‚Äôs experience after that night is very well executed. In this case, I don’t‚Äôt think Takato would ever think that he was about to be raped. In his mind, he just asked himself if he had drunk too much, had sex with the guy and completely forget about it (without anyone forcing anyone). Only the viewers know what Ayagi was trying to do. And Junta, who gets it right away.

So, yeah, I think Takato is a great character which is becoming more and more complex ūüôā

Well, let’s start on Junta’s episode? XD

Dakaichi Episode 7 - Junta

Junta it is. And I will admit episode 7 did a lot to make me start actually caring about Junta as more than just the other guy in the relationship. I do remember part of his story from reading it, but it was really nice to see his character and motives getting fleshed out. I actually really found it cute how he slowly started noticing Takato and what he was doing on the set until Takato kind of dominated all of his attention. And then he overhears Takato having a bit of a tantrum and you see the light bulb go off in his head and you know he’s hooked. It was adorable and for once I didn’t find Junta just the extra in the relationship but actually a character worth noting for who he was.

You?

Dakaichi Episode 7 Takato and Junta

See? I told you Junta was awesome! ūüėÄ

Now, for real… I’m completely with you! I wasn’t expecting for this episode. I didn’t really thought they would give an episode where we can hear Junta’s brain side. I loved to see how he fell in love by Takato and how things developed for him. In fact, it makes way more sense that first episode now xD

However, of course, I have to say that trying to steal a kiss while Takato is in bed ill, was a little too much ahah Again,Takato had the luck of someone entering the scene at the right time so he didn’t get advantage off.

Buuuuuut, I understand Junta’s feelings. When I was a teenager, in parties and things like that I would sleep in the same bed as my best friend who I was terribly in love… I’m not gonna say that I was never tempted to do something like that (of course I never did, because there are boundaries and things like that). But, I understand the feeling of loving someone so much and not being both ways. It messes with your head >.<

Now… I want to address last episode… Episode8… What did you think about this… Well filler episode? XD

Dakaichi Episode 8 Ayagi and Junta

Can we just call it trash and move on? Or do we actually need to discuss it? Because honestly, if we just cut out about a minute of Ayagi attempting to be a better person and the last five minutes where the two are photographed by the reporter (and maybe a small little slice where that other guy seems to notice their relationship)  then the rest of this can just kind of get tossed in the bin.

I don’t really mind filler but beach filler is lazy at best. Breaking the episode into seemingly mindless vignettes of the characters doing whatever was actually pretty tedious and every time they cut between sequences it just made me check the time to see if the episode was nearly done.

How about you?

Dakaichi Episode 8 Junta

AHAHAHAH! I did the exact same thing when the cut between sequences happened. Damn! Those were a LOT, and I mean a LOT of cuts!!!! I think if you take it all of them the episode would be 5 minutes less.

I don’t really know what happened, but I felt the same way as you… Everything felt lazy as hell. Not only the scenes, but even the animation, the backgrounds… Everything seemed rushed. Character design was always changing and there were scenes where Takato didn’t even seemed himself LOL Also, character design just felt soooo off-place versus the background… Damn, it was a mess!

Oh, and also! I mean, we are in a filler episode and we didn’t got much fanservice. Which… Well, I don’t mind, but really makes you ask what the point of the episode all along…

However… there were so many scenes I laughed…I hate myself… And I loved Takato’s character on this one! XD I loved how he was all bumped on playing volleyball because Ayagi told him that he probably was bad at it xD

I don’t know… It’s true, the episode is trash…But I ended up hating and loving it at the same time! I think if they had put a little more time in creating this one that I would had just had fun from the beginning to the end ahahah So, let’s call it a guilty pleasure of mine xD

Dakaichi Episode 8 Takato and Junta

I actually think you raised a good point about the lack of fan-service. Now it is odd for me to say that they should have more fan-service or more sexually explicit content in anything, but honestly, that probably would have improved this episode. And wow… I’m never ever writing that sentence again.

Anyway, the theory I came up with in my head was that they are aiming to end the series at a particular point and they needed to stretch the run time and so we have off-model volleyball playing with a lot of stills and panning.

I should probably admit that despite this being my low point for this series, it is still getting ranked in my weekly rankings that I’m keeping at about the mid-range level so I can’t have hated it that much.

Alright, anything more to discuss or are we wrapping things up?

Ahahah xD See‚Ķ I don‚Äôt know, there was just something in that episode that shines and makes the episode fun ūüėõ

But, yes, agree with your theory. I also think that they are more into creating the perfect finale, which means, they decided to take less time on working in episode 8 and just get more time to work in the final 4.

And… Well, never say never XD We never know whatt he future may bring.

Nevertheless, I don’t really have much to add.Just wanna say that I’m pretty excited with what it’s coming there! Having the couple being exposed in the media is going to be an interesting ride to watch.If they do this correctly, the relationship will come out way stronger and we will get that cheesy ending moment where they will both say to each other:

“Even if lose my career, what I want is to be with…” – proceed to kiss in a bed

And that‚Äôs it from my end ūüôā Can‚Äôt wait to watch the rest of it and comment with you our final thoughts ^^

I’m also really looking forward to the end of this one. Not because I don’t like it, but because I really want that moment where they either end up together or choose their career (and I honestly can’t remember how it goes so I’ll be really surprised either way). But I have loved this journey they are on with their relationship. For all the problems this series has, it is still fantastic to see these two getting together and seeing how that is changing them as we go.

Thanks so much for joining me for this one and I really am excited for our next post where we do our final impressions.

Thank you for having me ūüôā And I‚Äôm pretty excited too eheh


Okay, that was a really long chat but we both had a great time and hopefully you enjoyed joining us for it. Of course both Arthifis and I would love to know your thoughts on Dakaichi so leave us a comment below and remember to check out our thoughts on Goblin Slayer over on Arthis’ Place. If you missed our previous talks the links are below.

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