Friendly Talks With Arthifis – Meiji Tokyo Renka Episodes 1 – 4

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

Arthifis and I are joining forces once again this season to bring you coverage of two anime. We’ll catch up after four episodes and share our thoughts. Here on 100 Word Anime we’ll be discussing Meiji Tokyo Renka and over on The Shelter we will be getting into The Rising of the Shield Hero. Hopefully you will join us on our journey and share your thoughts on both of these shows as the season unfolds.

I’ll be the one in red and Arthifis will be blue and bold. Hope you enjoy.

Hey Arthifis, welcome back. It is great to be working with you again this season and covering another two anime with you. How are you today?

Hey there Karandi! I have to say the same to you! I’m thrilled to do this with you again this season! Especially, because I think we were able to pick 2 strong Anime shows in this season! One who is more popular and other a little more underrated, but both have surprised in a very nice way! 😀 I’m good thanks! 🙂 Trying to have my head over water with all the Anime shows I still have to cover haha what about you?

Well, I kind of came down sick which doesn’t surprise me given things have gotten super busy in the real world and next week is looking to be a killer. However, that just means there is more reason to watch anime because I’m not exactly wanting to go out and about.

Ooooh! Sorry to hear that! I can understand you very well! Life has been pretty crazy in the past few weeks, but I’ve managed not to get ill… At least for now! Hope you get better soon!

You are definitely right in that we picked two strong anime. I wasn’t actually expecting all that much from Meiji Tokyo Renka but so far it has actually managed to be pretty decent and seems to be getting better. I do enjoy being pleasantly surprised by anime.

Yeah, completely! I had the same idea as you, that basically, the twist the Anime had was going to be thrown away for the reverse harem factor. However, it has not been the case so far. The anime has been pretty interesting and funny so far.

Where do you want to start? I do have a lot to say about this one, so it’s better that you take the lead and conduct this conversation, if not I think I’ll just start speaking in circles haha

Now I feel like I’m standing in front an orchestra and counting down, but okay. I think we should probably look at the premise first. As you said, it seemed at first like we were just getting another time travel gimmick that would quickly get forgotten or sidelined for the harem side of the story, but they actually seem committed to their premise. It is a pleasant change after Sengoku Night Blood last year kind of did a similar thing but then didn’t do anything with it. So far, Meiji Tokyo Renka seems like it is actually taking the fact that Mei has travelled through time seriously, and the fact that she can see spirits fairly seriously. I’m really liking it. How about you?

Well, I can’t say anything about Sengoku Night Blood because I haven’t watched it! But, when it comes to Meiji Tokyo Renka, I’m with you! In fact, it’s very nice to see that both harems of the season have been very interesting Anime to watch, this one and Gotoubun no Hanayome.

There are a lot of things that makes me enjoying Mei so much, so I’ll try to cut it down! First, how Mei is a very fun and sweet character to follow. She’s so freaking clumsy and not lady like at all… It’s actually nice to see that she is like that when she does not feel that she is going to be ridiculed or something like that by being herself. In episode 1 for example, we see a way more gloomy Mei.

Then, I also loved the “Ghost Whisper” kind of episode! It completely focused in the premise of the show which is Mei being able to see ghosts! It was nice to see her using her power to help someone. Clearly, that will make her more confident of herself.

Next, it’s the music, but I’ll let that one for later.

Last, but not the least, I love how Mei does not seem actually interested in most of the handsome guys the show presented… I mean, she doesn’t even remember to meet that handsome actor which all girls seem to be in love with! She was way more interesting in the meat haha

What about you? What are the main points you like the most about the Anime?

I definitely like Mei. Episode one I was worried we were getting another token blank slate protagonist to be shoved about by the guys and the plot and she did kind of seem that way. The whole amnesia thing was kind of a red flag for me because mostly that just seems to serve as a plot excuse to make the central female character completely passive as things happen around her and to her.

Fortunately, Mei didn’t stay in this blank slate mode very long. Despite missing some of her memories she seems very much her own person and while she does get dragged around from time to time, she’s making her own choices. I really liked when she met the guy in episode 2 (the magician whose name I cannot remember) and he pretty much told her she could get home again once the next full moon came so she might as well enjoy herself. I thought it was great how she took on that advice and decided to embrace her ability to see ghosts, something she had never been able to do.

I also really like her fixation on food, to the point where she doesn’t remember the guy at the party because she was focused on the plate of meat he was holding. In that way she kind of reminds me of Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club. Yes she’s surrounded by all these apparently attractive guys but she’s just not interested.

That said, I’m curious about Ougai and the whole fiancee thing because he sometimes seems like he’s kidding and other times like he’s dead serious and while I get how it benefits Mei I haven’t figured out why it benefits him yet. Any ideas?

Hmmm… Well, I had the same feeling as you, until episode 4. After episode 4, where we see that everyone is trying to make him marry a girl from a noble family (something that is pretty normal for the Meiji Era), I think what he benefits from all of that, is that, this way he can say that he is already taken and doesn’t have to concede to his family pressure.

However, I believe that when he announced Mei as his fiancee in the first episode, the solely purpose was to protect her from the ghost hunter (I can’t remember his name). Basically, she was going to get killed in that moment if Ougai didn’t use his status and power to save her.

We’re both doing well with remembering the guy’s names. Honestly, I’ve been writing up episode reviews of this for my patrons and yet I still end up having to search for the names. And it isn’t that the characters aren’t memorable, I remember who they are and what they did, but their names just go straight out of my head.

Hahaha well, I think that’s what happens when you have around 10 guys introduced to you right in the first episode! It’s just way too many names to get right from the bat! It’s like when you start a new job and in the first day your boss presents to everyone in your team… After 5 minutes you just can’t remember anyone’s name xD

On the other hand, the other thing I like is how many nods they are giving to the era. It isn’t like they just gave the cast a wardrobe change and said, hey we’re in the Meiji era. The entertainment, the social circles, the cost of items, everything seems to be trying to create a believable time period for the audience and the sense that Mei isn’t where she belongs. While I’m not into history enough to know how historically accurate it is, I actually feel like this anime is making an effort to produce at least the feeling of an era.

Regarding the era… Thanks for bringing that up, it was something that I wanted to discuss. I’m loving that we are getting a lot of Meiji Era references. Being in the background, or actually how Mei ends up facing different ways of doing things! I mean, I love that for her to understand the price of things it has to be by knowing how many beef bowls she could buy with said money!

But, more than that, I love that things that are completely normal and everyone knows in Japan at the present, when Mei shows those skills in the Meiji Era, she seems to be a very intelligent person. Like knowing Shakespeare or knowing how to properly eat with a fork and a knife (something that of course, in Japan was only for the high class). I also loved how she just created a mop to help the maid in doing her job easily and faster haha It just made me think how different things are today versus 150 years ago…

Okay, so you wanted to talk about the music as well?

Tokyo 3Meiji Renka Episode

Yeah! Well, I just wanted to say that I love most of it haha I could live without the more cheesy soundtracks when we are seeing more “romantic” scenes, but all the rest is actually pretty good. In fact, the intro song may be one of the best of the season! Do you like it?

I don’t dislike it, but it hasn’t really stood out to me all that much. In fact, most of the music here as felt pretty standard for this type of show. It isn’t bad but I’m not paying that much attention to it. Though you are right about the cheesy music in those moonlit scenes with whichever guy Mei happens to currently be near. It is all a little much but also quite expected.

Really? Oh I love the jazz-ish music of the intro!

Well, on my side I just have one thing I want to discuss, which is basically the only thing bad that I have to say about this Anime which is about the Animation movement and the eyes design.

When it comes to the animation movement I just feel there are way too many static frames. I know that it’s something you are used to see on these kind of Anime, but, I mean… For 2019, it’s way too much!

The eyes thing, is about the shadow they use when a certain character is not the focus of the scene. I believe it’s just a way to make it faster to be drawn. I mean, it’s easier (and cheaper) to do just a shadow than a pair of eyes… However, how it is done, it just feels the characters are plotting something evil all the time haha

I get what you mean about the static frames. It does make screen capping a lot easier but it kind of gives away the whole based on a game kind of thing. And as you said, it is pretty standard for this type of show to use it, but it does seem excessive. Which is a shame because the art is gorgeous in a lot of these scenes but they barely feel animated at times.

The eye thing hasn’t really bothered me but now that you’ve pointed it out I guess I’ll see if I notice it more in the next episode.

As for negatives, probably my biggest one so far is that I’m not seeing much of a central plot just yet. Sure she’s gone back in time and lot’s of stuff has happened and I guess her finding her way home could be the whole story, but it would be nice to think there was a little bit more to the plot then that.

I don’t really agree with you in the plot 😛 I think that the plot is going to be about Mei, more than finding her way home, finding herself and be able to become content with the thing of seeing spirits. It’s sort of a come of age if you want…

Though it’s not even half as good as Natsume, I believe Mei will end up meeting every single guy, work her magic, make those guys fall for her (it is a reverse harem after all), but in the end, with meeting all these guys who are able to see spirits, guys who WANT to see spirits, or even just being there to protect her like Ougai it will make her to be a happier person and, more importantly, more confident of herself.

Yes, they kind of seem to be setting up a Voyage and Return story, similar to Alice in Wonderland and the journey Mei goes on will probably change her. Is it wrong that I’d like a little more than just a character journey though? I have nothing against a good self-discovery story but it would be nice if in the process there was some ongoing story for them to work with. And I know that is kind of contrary given I do love shows like Natsume that kind of pride themselves on being very character centric over the plot.

Either way, this one has so far been pretty pleasant to watch so even if I don’t get a central plot to work with, I’ll be pretty happy watching Mei continue to grow. It just won’t be quite as memorable for me. Anything else you would like to add?

Hmmm, I can see your point of view! Well, maybe we will be able to see a nice romantic relationship happening along the way? I’m not sure how… Unless she ends up wanting to stay in the Meiji Era or one of the guys end up going to the present with her? But, being the source a game, I’m pretty sure that the game is for you to build the relationships with the guys xD

I don’t really have much to add! I’m also really liking the Anime and it’s been pretty pleasant so far. In fact, I believe this is going to be probably one of the most underrated Anime shows of the Winter Season!

This one isn’t going to rank overly high in terms of my favourites of the season. It isn’t strong enough on the production side and it isn’t a genre I’m overly fond of. That said, I haven’t got much to say about it that is negative and mostly I’ve been enjoying each episode for what it is. So this one is joining My Roommate is a Cat in my list of anime just to kind of chill out to this season and enjoy for what it is.

It was great having you Arthifis, though I guess we better get over to the Shelter and discuss Shield Hero.

Thank you for having me here once again Karandi! Yeah, let’s go the shelter so we can protect ourselves from the cold… Though where you live it’s actually summer at the moment lolol… Well, it’s a shelter, it protects from the cold AND the heat! (It has air conditioner xD)

Air con? I’m there.

Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA – YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA - YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)

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