Brave 10 Episode 1

Overview:

I found this on Crunchyroll after asking for a random episode of something and decided to give it a go. I had heard the name before but otherwise knew nothing about it so here is what the Crunchyoll write up told me:

Before the Warring States era came to a close, legend has it that Yukimura Sanada has been gathering ten warriors known as Sanada’s Brave 10, who have the power to change history.

Going to be honest, that’s not a lot to go on. But here I go.

Review:

I don’t like damsels in distress, I’m not a fan of guys who call a girl a b*tch within a day of meeting them, and I’m really not a fan of historical anime full of ninjas… wait why did I start this again?

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But for a random show and after rejecting the first five options that came up (mostly short format comedy), this actually didn’t look too bad and the opening sequence kind of reminded me of Katanagatari which I quite enjoyed even if it was more for the oddball main character than for anything else.

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Still, there was some great humour in this first episode, in amongst the insults and standard guy meets girl being pursued by ninjas (and of course she eats a ridiculous amount of food) and guy ends up having to protect the girl even though he’d really rather kill her. I’m actually going to give a shout out to the sound track for this as well. The sound effects as well as the music may be a little overdone in places but they certainly add some energy to what might otherwise be a stock standard first episode.

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These two are going to be best friends. You can tell.

I’ve had worst first impressions of shows and at 12 episodes this one seems worth checking out so here we go.

Brave 10 is available on Crunchyroll.


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30 Day Anime Challenge: Day 2

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Day 2 and they are already hitting the hard to answer questions. An anime I’m ashamed I enjoyed? Generally speaking I don’t feel ashamed about anything I watch but I guess there are probably two anime that I’ve kind of flinched when someone has come in and I’ve been watching them. This is different from the anime just happening to be on the one bathroom sequence in the whole series and someone walks in because that’s just to be expected at this point.

The first would be Junjou Romantica. I actually really love that anime and it is probably the reason I originally looked into AnimeLab because Crunchyroll doesn’t play this in Australia but AnimeLab had the third season. Really glad about that anyway because AnimeLab has since aired lots of shows that either weren’t on Crunchyroll in Australia, Crunchyroll didn’t get them, or they are on Crunchyroll but it turns out AnimeLab streams better for me. That doesn’t change the fact that the first episode of Junjou Romantica really should have been enough for me to hit the stop button and walk away. It is confronting and if someone told me that the two characters met this way and then ended up in a relationship as the salepitch for a show I’d probably not even consider watching. Why I watched beyond episode 1 I don’t remember but I do know I’m kind of hooked on the show now but it is one I’ve never even tried to suggest to someone in real life that they should watch.

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The other anime that I’ve probably hidden away in my collection and don’t really mention is Tenchi Muyo: War On Geminar. I actually had no idea what I was getting into when I started this but given the first episode doesn’t really hide its obsession with putting girls in ridiculous outfits and over-sexualising everything I can’t say I didn’t know what I was getting into. Despite that, and the really boring protagonist, and the story that kind of doesn’t make sense, and everything else that is wrong with the show, I still really enjoyed watching it. There are so many moments where you just want to cover your face and ask why and yet the show is fun.

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At some point I’ll have to review both of these series but so far I’ve kind of avoided that. I get the feeling when I review them the negative points will seem to outweigh the positive (and that’s probably very true from any objective point of view). However, I really did enjoy both series even if I still won’t watch them with anyone. And just so we’re clear, it isn’t that both of these anime have sex as a focus. It is more the way the relationships are portrayed and some really uncomfortable, line crossing moments that both series have that make them ones that are a bit harder to talk about.

Over to you and which anime are you ashamed you enjoyed?


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The Royal Tutor Episode 12

Review:

I’m pretty happy with how this has resolved and feel a nice sense of completion here. Certainly there’s more story to be told but I’m really pretty happy here and now and don’t have much desire to watch on should there ever be a sequel. That’s mostly because the issue of the Royal Tutor is finalised and the other issues were never of all that much importance but rather served as the backdrop to what turned out to be a pretty reasonable series (though more on that when I get around to a whole series review of this show).

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This final episode shows us the culmination of the Prince’s growth and how when they combine their powers they can save the world… oh wait, that wasn’t right. By combining their individual strengths and working cooperatively they can convince a bunch of Lords to choose their candidate to be the royal tutor?

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As much as I enjoyed this, I wasn’t overly impressed with their impassioned speeches this episode. I kind of felt that after two days preparation they’d have had something a bit more polished prepared rather than just storm the council and spout platitudes, but its a minor nitpick in what has been a pretty enjoyable ride.

Full series review coming soonish.

The Royal Tutor is available on Crunchyroll.


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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 49 + 50

Review Episode 49:

I have to admit, Killua had a point with this imagery. Two Hisoka’s is terrifying just to imagine.

Hunter49

What makes less sense is that Killua himself then spends the rest of the episode underestimating the opponent and the end result is pretty much as expected. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is why Killua and Gon aren’t already dead. Though I also have to wonder what the troupe members are doing just kind of loitering in their hide out. It seems like that would get dull. Or do they just arrange themselves on the rubble to make an impact when someone walks in? Anyway, as that episode just kind of left us hanging, onto the next.

Review Episode 50:

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As usual, angry Gon is not someone I’d like to face. While it never lasts long, when he’s burning bright he’s pretty intense. Still, not enough to escape from the whole troupe so probably just as well it ended up just being one member they had to escape from. I did like that this episode saw Killua lose his cool for once.

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He’s usually so composed that you forget how young he is. His flipping out at being overwhelmed and outmatched was pretty fun to watch but I’m glad Gon managed to snap him out of it. Looking forward to them meeting up with Kurapika.


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30 Day Anime Challenge: Day 1

30-day-anime-challenge

Day 1 of the 30 Day Anime Challenge. I’m kind of excited and kind of worried at the same time. The issue of course will be my cheating horrendously when I get to questions I don’t want to answer or don’t have an answer for but pretty much I’m going to make myself actually answer even if I give multiple answers.

Now, I’m leaving these posts for while I’m away so I am going to have answered all of the questions prior to this post actually coming out. That said, this has turned out to be more challenging than expected. I post everyday anyway and I thought this would just be a nice way to have topics for while I was not watching current anime but it turns out that when someone else picks the topic it is harder to write the post.

But onto Day 1 of the challenge. Now the easy answer for an anime I want to watch would be everything. I want to at least try every anime and I know that isn’t possible. Of course I’d have the same answer for books, movies, TV shows, any kind of story. I want to at least try it even if I don’t get very far just for the sake of saying I did try and for uncovering some of those hidden gems that I might otherwise never know about. But I’m not cheating this early in the challenge.

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Really, my answer at the moment would probably be Scum’s Wish or The King’s Avatar given neither have come out where I can watch them yet. Still, my watch list was crazy long at the start of this year so I actually tossed the list and started over just listing anime that were recommended to me this year and the list is already crazy long again. The thing is, I seldom get to anime on the watch list because there’s always something new coming out or something I just kind of stumble upon and end up watching. So the list really does just keep getting longer and longer.

So, my answer to this would change on any given day, but I’d love to know what anime you want to watch.


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The Silver Guardian Series Review

Overview:

The synopsis on Crunchyroll tells me this is the story of Suigin saving Riku Rei. It kind of starts that way from about episode 2 to episode 4 or 5. After that I’m not so sure even the writers knew what this show was actually about. I reviewed this show weekly so if you are interested in my episode thoughts click here.

Review:

While I will admit this show is not as toxic as something along the lines of Hand Shakers, it must be said that this is probably my second biggest regret for the year that I didn’t just drop it at episode 1. Part of me kept hoping this would turn into something like Spiritpact and build on its strengths recovering from a poor first episode, and while the first half of the series certainly showed promise, the second half just kind of gave up caring.

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But rather than just hit out with poor comparisons and the like, I should probably review the show itself. The problem is, I don’t have much to say because everything is still kind of in introductory mode even though we’re 12 episodes in. A season 2 is apparently on the cards (why I do not know) but it isn’t until next year and by them I’m pretty sure nobody is going to remember this even came out.

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Keeping it simple then, let’s look at characters. Suigin is the main character and he is generic, nice protagonist model C with a side dish of poor student / obsessed gamer just in case we didn’t think he had any distinguishing traits. Oh, and he wears a red scarf. This seems significant in episode 1 and in the opening but never after that.

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Riku Rei starts out looking like she might be a character. The opening narration is done by her in episode 1. She’s the kidnap victim that sends Suigin racing around trying to save her (for about half an episode before we just get into random game play situations). Her father developed the game that she’s apparently trapped in after his murder. It kind of seems like she should have some personality but nope.

Everyone else is pretty much forgettable including the one note villains who don’t have anywhere near enough presence to be considered memorable or interesting.

The story itself is simple enough but for some reason the show doesn’t want to focus on the story. Suigin, go save Riku Rei. This isn’t that hard a concept to get. Why are you raiding that tomb? Why are you out of the game at all given she’s inside it? Why haven’t you actually finished the tutorial yet? Oh, and why are we watching some random players randomly playing? How do they relate? The second half of this show is maddeningly frustrating in how it wants to stretch out its wafer-thin plot as far as it possibly can even if that means smashing the wafer to pieces and scattering the dust from here until wherever the end of the series actually is.

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Visually, it works. The music is pretty cool at times. individual fights are kind of interesting. But as a whole this is one to skip. Short episodes or not (13 minutes), we all have better things to do than wait for this show to find its own plot.


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Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor Episode 12

Review:

This show kind of gave its best and worst in this final episode. It reminded us of the ridiculous outfits and ways it has treated its female cast even while making us laugh as Re=L threatens to take down Leos.

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It gave us a truly absurd wedding dress and what did they do to Sistine’s hair?

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We also had a villain whose motives were poorly explained and who seemed fairly mentally unbalanced which has become something of a trend for this series.

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That said, we also got a really cool magic fight and Glenn got some of his slightly cooler moments fairly reminiscent of the episode where he first started actually teaching magic and not being a complete waste of space.

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All and all, this episode concludes the whole Sistine marriage to Leos thing (which was kind of concluded before the episode only, who knew) and they at least remember that the Akashic Records are in the title of the show, but otherwise we’re still none the wiser about most of the other aspects of the world or storyline. While I didn’t hate this, I wasn’t exactly sitting on the edge of my seat either.

I’ll complete a full series review of this shortly.

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor is available on Crunchyroll.


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Friday’s Feature: Just an Update This Week

While I originally said during my anniversary I was taking two weeks off from seasonal anime reviewing in July, it turns out that due to a whole bunch of things lining up in the real world, I’m actually going to take off closer to a month, but only from seasonal reviews. The blog is going to continue having daily content and I am still going to be online (though a little less often than normal) to reply to comments and to visit everyone’s blog. Mostly. Okay, next week I’ll probably seem like I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth for a bit.

Pretty much I just can’t rely on having access to streaming services during this period of time so rather than sometimes having reviews and sometimes not, I’m just going to pause the shows I’m watching and not pick up anything new, and catch up on everything current once I’m back to my normal routine which will be July 22nd. Basically, I have quite a bit of travel ahead of me. Some personal stuff, some work stuff, some preplanned holiday stuff, and it all just kind of ended up happening at the same time.

Feature posts and top 5’s will continue as normal. I’ve also got some episode reviews of shows that were either recommended to me or came up randomly when I asked for a random episode on Crunchyroll. Series reviews will come out on Wednesday and Saturday. However my Sunday posts where I do a round up of the current season that I’ve been watching will not be out and I won’t be doing the In Case You Missed it posts on Monday. These will both resume after July 22nd.

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That’s pretty much it for this update. Hopefully you all enjoy the content I’ve got planned over the next couple of weeks and I look forward to resuming reviews of seasonal anime on my return. And if you want to know other plans for the blog you can check out my more detailed update on my patreon site.

See you soon.


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Natsume Yuujinchou Season 6 Episode 11

Review – Some spoilers:

Can we get a season 7 announcement, please?

NatsumeS6E11

This episode resumes the hunt for the study and as usual Natsume’s keen eyes and a deeper understanding of yokai and those who can clearly see yokai find the necessary clues that eventually lead the group to the study door. That said, Natori does have a moment of doubt about whether he should hear what Natsume has to say regarding the Book of Friends later in the episode.

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So as much as Natori continues to play the understanding guy they are leaving his character and his relationship to Natsume ambiguous right to the end. I find it fascinating how this show didn’t resolve this point but still made this feel satisfying. We did take another step in this relationship with Natsume ultimately explaining the situation with Reiko to Natori and we heard Natori’s response. First the one he said clearly to Natsume:

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And then the one he made sure Natsume didn’t hear:

It isn’t exactly a declaration that Natori is going to try to take the book or destroy it, but it kind of indicates Natori isn’t just going to say, ‘cool, you’re grandmother left you a really dangerous book’. It will be interesting to see how this progresses, assuming of course we get more of this show.

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The other point that has to be mentioned is that for the first time a yokai has suggested knowing a male relative of Natsume. We kind of knew he had to have family other than Reiko and his dead parents but they’ve never been mentioned. And as Natsume wonders later, what connection did a former relative of his have with the exorcists? It is obvious that Nanase of the Matoba clan had some sort of relationship with Reiko other than the one childhood encounter we’ve seen, but is Natsume more closely tied to the exorcists than he realises?

So this season is done and I’m really happy with how it has gone but will do a full review soon. That said, this is a show I always want more of.


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The Laughing Salesman Episode 12

Review:

While I’ve enjoyed this anime this season, I’m kind of glad this was the final episode because while its been enjoyable enough it was starting to become a little repetitious. It would have been nice to see the mould get broken once or twice but I’ll save further discussion of that for a whole series review.

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The first victim this week is someone who likes to play the victim after a chat room incident but given just a little bit of power became a first class bully. He didn’t even need much of a push from Moguro. I did like the representations of the avatars sitting around chatting though.

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The second victim needed a much harder sell initially but was just as rotten really. Both stories ended appropriately and Moguro went laughing onto a plane and away, somewhere.

Once again, neither character this week elicited much sympathy and there’s kind of a casual satisfaction in watching and waiting for the fall.  Anyway, I will post a full series review of this shortly.

The Laughing Salesman is available on Crunchyroll.


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