How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21 – Marriage For Political/Monetary Gain

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom visually was very unimpressive this week largely because the entire episode was characters standing around talking in the throne room or talking through a mirror together. The only scene that really broke this up was when Souma told a story about two gods running opposing nations and then the animation was minimal and definitely more storybook style rather than impressive to match the framing device of it being a story.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

All things considered, you’d be forgiven for just kind of tuning out as this episode more or less re-established the arrangements more or less decided last week, confirmed everyone was on the same page, and then had Souma chat it out with Maria from the Empire so that she didn’t get the wrong idea and decide he’d broke the Humankind Declaration for which he isn’t even a signatory.

About the only real takeaway from episode 21 of how a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is that Souma has finally accepted he is king, not an interim, and he’s not going to take his reforms slowly anymore.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom has more talking heads than anything else.

One thing I mentioned in my review of the previous episode was that Juna would have cause for complaint if Souma agreed to marry Roroa while she was still on hold. And yet, her only comment this week was that she wouldn’t go against any decision Souma made.



That isn’t good. That isn’t helpful. Souma doesn’t need a harem of ‘yes girls’ surrounding him telling him how brilliant he is. He needs decent, solid advisors who have their eye on the safety and security of the kingdom.

In that respect, Roroa outclassed Liscia, Juna and Aisha this week as she’s the only character with a future plan at all that involves doing anything other than just nodding as Souma talks and standing beside him looking like a window decoration rather than a character. Honestly, Souma should call them on this because for a Realist Hero who wanted to surround himself with the brightest and best and those with talent, he seems to now be surrounded by a bunch who can barely contribute a nod to the conversation. This is hardly a riveting supporting cast.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

Honestly I have little else to say about this episode. It was a lot of talking and things are all agreed between the main players. I guess we now just wait and see who the new problem is and all things considered it seems like the church state is going to be the new antagonist. It will be interesting to see if they manage to do this well or not.

Also, I’m not convinced the entire population of Amidonia is fine with being annexed into their traditional enemy’s kingdom. Sure, those in Van who have been under Elfrieden rule would mostly be fine with it and others would see it as an improvement over their circumstances with Julius in the lead. But a Realist Hero would be aware that there must be pockets of discontent. But that issue and what they will do about it isn’t really addressed this week.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

I can’t say this second season of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is disappointing because realistically it is pretty much exactly like season one. There’s some interesting ideas but the actual episodes are bogged down in static conversations and the characterisation isn’t great. It would have been nice to see this anime improve on season one but at the very least it has been about the same quality and hasn’t gotten worse.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022


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Karandi James


Top 5 Girls In DanMachi

Tuesday's Top 5

I finally decided the girls in DanMachi really did deserve there own post.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you probably already know that I have a silly fondness for Bell from Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon. Whether it is from the first season of the anime or the light novels, I find his nice guy, hard working, character who knows when to really step things up in a fight quite delightful. But even with Bell being an adorable central character even I have to admit it is the girls in DanMachi that really do steal the show.

It is kind of impossible for me to just pick them from their appearance in the anime so some of these became more fleshed out in the light novels than the series. Still, I will avoid directly mentioning spoilers of any events beyond the first anime series.

Also, special shout-out to Welf. He’s an awesome character and kind of deserves to go on the list but I did decide to look at the girls of DanMachi today. Maybe I’ll do a list of my favourite male characters in the series at some point and I can assure you, Welf will be number one (provided I rule Bell out).

welf

Give a shout out to your favourite girls in DanMachi in the comments.

Number 5: Eina

Eina Tulle - DanMachi

I feel a little bad making Eina number 5 on the list. She’s an awesome character that we meet early on. She works for the guild and supports Bell and is largely responsible for him not winding up dead fairly early in his dungeon crawling career. She cautions him, warns him of potential dangers, makes him memorise the layout and types of monsters he’ll be facing and helps him choose the correct equipment for the level he’s heading to.

While she clearly does have a crush on the Little Rookie, she remains professional and Bell views her more as a big sister character. Still, she’s essential to the story and her interactions with Bell are always interesting and that makes her one of the best girls in DanMachi.

Number 4: Freya

Freya - one of the girls in DanMachi
She also has an interesting grip on fashion.

Honestly, Freya should be higher on the list but her appearance in the anime so far has been really limited. Still, even before reading on, Freya was a character who intrigued me. Her few appearances were short but they had a big impact and it isn’t completely off-base to say that she’s really helping to shape Bell into the hero that he’s starting to become.

While she chooses to mostly manipulate from behind the scenes her actions were getting more bold in the series and she’s certainly continued to have a presence in the books. I would definitely love to see more of Freya.

Number 3: Ryu

ryu

Ryu is such a great character. She works with Syr at the bar that Bell regularly goes to and for the most part is just a fairly cold waitress. However her knowledge of the dungeon reveals a far more colourful past as does her level of observation and quick reflexes. By the time we see Ryu enter the dungeon it is a foregone conclusion that she’s going to be strong and she does not disappoint.



Number 2: Hestia

hestia1

How could I do a list of awesome female characters from Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon without mentioning Hestia. The bright and exuberant goddess who works incredibly hard to support her small but important familia. Bell and Hestia are a fantastic duo and while they might both be looked down upon in the beginning, they aren’t going to back down as they fight for what they want to achieve.

Number 1: Lily

lily

Lily is just a great character and a much needed one. While Hestia is at times observant, she’s also pretty flighty and being a god doesn’t give things the same weight a human might. Bell himself is pretty naive and overly trusting, so having someone like Lily by his side is essential.

That said, Bell met Lily when she was the one trying to take him for a ride and it was only through his stubborn kindness that she ultimately decided to actually team up with him. I loved Lily’s character arc and her role within the familia is absolutely imperative to their ongoing survival and financial security. She’s a lot of fun and exactly the kind of character Bell needed to have his back when entering the dungeon.

Well, that’s my list today but I’d love to know your favourite female characters in DanMachi. I know I didn’t include Ais. As much as she is vital to Bell’s growth and as a goal for him to achieve, I really find her a fairly dull character, but feel free to tell me why she’s amazing if you like her.


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Karandi James


Is Destroying the World Actually A Decent Motive?

Current Feature 2

Destroying the world, eh?

Villains, and particularly badly written villains, are a dime a dozen. They crop up as a main plot point, part of a sub-plot, or just as a minor diversionary secondary character all over the place. And quite often they seem motivated simply to take down the protagonist. Why they want to do this is largely explained away by some slight or basic jealousy but doesn’t really hold up to a lot of scrutiny about the excessive nature of their actions.

Then we have the type of villain that just wants to destroy the world.

I wonder what it is about destroying the world that villains find so appealing?

When I first discovered anime, Sailor Moon in particular, the fact that Beryl wanted to rule the Earth didn’t seem at all problematic. As you get older though, you realise that when Beryl states she wants to rule the earth, she actually means she wants to suck the energy out of everyone on Earth and there won’t be anything left, pretty much what happened to the Moon Kingdom and we all know what a dead rock the moon looks like these days.

Super Beyl - destroying the world is her goal, only she actually wants to rule it so how does that work?

So what exactly was Beryl hoping to get out of all of this even if she succeeded? You could argue that Beryl wasn’t exactly in control of her own actions and was being used, but what did that higher power get out of any of this? Sure they absorb a lot of energy and then have huge amounts of power but the power isn’t a means to an end. Gaining that power is the end. What do they do then when there is no one left to absorb power from and they don’t even have any henchmen left because they killed them all off too? What’s left?

And then the next four seasons of Sailor Moon gave us increasingly hostile villains with motives that made even less sense.



I get that from a narrative point of view having Sailor Moon defending the earth from destruction gives the hero a great motive and makes the overall stakes quite high. However the villain seems to get little out of the deal even if they succeed. While one or two of the villains legitimately had a grudge with the planet and genuinely wanted to take it down, the majority seemed to just want power to rule but in the process they were going to destroy the very thing they wanted to take over.

Moving on from Sailor Moon, there are a lot of anime villains out there that seem to want to destroy the world. From the ridiculous Planetary Gears in Captain Earth:

captain-earth-2

These guys again didn’t really have much of a plan and it turns out it wasn’t even their plan. They were also just tools being used by another higher power that also wanted to destroy the world for reasons that were even less clear. Then again, the fact that they were called ‘gears’ probably should have made it clear that they weren’t the mastermind in the story.

What is even more tragic about Captain Earth is how often the villain’s got incredibly close to succeeding at their plan. All life on earth could have been snuffed in an instant because some teenagers didn’t pilot a robot good enough or worse… the inter-agency fighting could have prevented them from even launching a defence and we would have been killed by bureaucracy. That would have had a definite message as a story but I doubt we’d find that a satisfying conclusion.

However we also have the equally ridiculous student council in Cute High Earth Defense Club:

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“The earth will fall to ruin.” You mean the earth you are currently standing on? I mean, I guess they thought they’d get to go live wherever the weird hedgehog guy came from so at least there was the potential for another place to go, but still… was there nothing on the planet that they liked? Seriously, I’d keep the planet around for chocolate even if nothing else could convince me not to destroy it. And there’s a lot of other things worth saving. Love if we are going with the Fifth Element solution. Anime, for those of you who like me are obsessed with it.

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To the slightly more serious attempts at actually ruling the earth and becoming a god found in Death Note:

Light.jpg

At least Light wasn’t trying to blow anything up. He was just purging all the people who lived in a way he disagreed with. The rationale makes a lot more sense even if he is still a psychotic murderer in the end.

I wonder if they actually know how much effort it would take to rule the world? Or if they have thought through what will happen once they destroy the planet they are standing on?

It’s very hard to take villains with such a grandiose vision seriously because it just seems so improbable. Far scarier are the villains with clear and concrete plans that you can actually see happening. Villains who are cold and calculating and absolutely rational are terrifying and can add far more tension to a plot than that maniacal “I’m going to destroy the world” declaration followed by the obligatory villains’ laugh.

Then again, frequently villains don’t exist in plots to add tension or fear. They are regularly just there to make the protagonist act. For that purpose their motive could be anything and it wouldn’t matter as long as our protagonist objected strongly enough to try to stop them. Wouldn’t that bruise the ego of most villains.

“Sorry, you only exist as a catalyst for someone else’s actions. Your plans will never come to fruition and any success you experience will be fleeting.”

Of course, all of this only applies in stories that have a binary opposition of hero and villain and they are clearly defined in terms of black and white. There are plenty of stories out there that don’t have a clear villain or hero.

My question this week: If you were a supervillain, what would your end goal be? Or, what do you think of the goals of some of anime’s best known supervillains?


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Karandi James


How To Keep a Mummy Episode 7: Barking Mummies and Dream Eating Baku

mummy7e

Last week I commented that the growing cast of How to Keep a Mummy were so cute together. This week adds what I believe to be the final little creature, throws the dog in and actually gives us a photo op moment. Kind of perfect.

How to Keep a Mummy

How To Keep a Mummy embraces its cuteness.

I love it when a show knows exactly what its selling point is and doesn’t try to pretend it is something it isn’t. This show is cute and they deliver cute. They deliver it pretty well in most episodes, and they know when a particular moment of cute is worth revisiting (another round of barking Mii nearly did me in from cuteness overload).



Mummy7c

This episode of How To Keep a Mummy brings Daichi into the mix. He’s in the same grade as Sora and we have seen him around the school before, but this episode looks at how he is isolated due to his violent sleepwalking and horrible nightmares.

Of course, Sora being Sora decides to get involved and eventually we have the four humans and the four monsters all playing nice at the end. It isn’t particularly deep, but it doesn’t really need to be. This episode was just great fun.

Images from: How To Keep a Mummy. Dir. Kaori. 8Bit. 2018


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Karandi James


That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Series Review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in the cave

Ready for the slime of your life?

Here we are with another isekai anime and this one just comes out in the title and says its about That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (you know, because that happens a lot).

Another normal, ordinary, totally average guy who is killed by a totally normal knife wielding running man before being reincarnated as an over-powered blue slime in a world resembling a standard generic fantasy setting where he will begin building an empire and have plenty of adoring subjects because he is awesome.

slime23a

So, if you don’t like isekai or over-powered protagonists it is probably time to duck out of this one. Because, this anime is utterly unashamed of what it is and while we have the gimmick of the protagonist being a slime, there isn’t a lot that really distinguishes it in terms of plot or setting.

That Time I Got Reicarnated as a Slime knows what it is and doesn’t really try to go beyond that.

Where That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime does manage to distinguish itself from similar isekai adventures is that the protagonist seems utterly without a goal for the majority of the story. Sorry, I’ll correct that. He has goals but mostly they revolve around making his life easier, and usually making life easier for those who follow him.

There’s no grand plan of fighting some powerful evil, trying to return home, or really anything else. Just short term goals that get accomplished in bite sized arcs as this essentially slice of life, empire building story kind of rolls itself out.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Rimuru

As such there is never any real sense of urgency or that there are any real stakes in anything that happens. I kind of found this very off putting and frequently found it hard to invest a great deal emotionally in this show.

While I never overly disliked it, I think if Slime had suddenly had production issues and been delayed a month, I may not have even noticed. It just kind of existed and while I was watching it I usually had a casual good time with an occasional smile, the occasional enjoyment of a particularly good dialogue exchange, and very rarely an interesting fight, but mostly it just kind of passed by.

For people who prefer their stories low-key and don’t mind watching characters just kind of drift and do what they do (so people who don’t really mind slice of life in general), Slime probably offers a rare fantasy opportunity that isn’t all about slaying a demon lord or achieving some grand goal. In a sense it reminds me, vaguely, of something like Restaurant to Another Universe in that you have what appears to be a standard fantasy setting without any of the epic plot trappings that usually accompany it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

In a sense, if Slime had chosen to simply occupy the space of a slice of life in a fantasy setting, I probably wouldn’t have watched it at all because I already know such a premise doesn’t really interest me. However, Slime does at times have hints of a larger narrative and certain arcs seemed to push that forward.

In those moments I found a genuine enjoyment rather than a casual like of the show. Shizue’s arc in the first cour was the true highlight, hitting some fairly decent emotional notes, filling in our knowledge of the world, and progressing the idea of a villain Rimuru may have to face at some point. All and all, it was pretty solid. There are other arcs, or bits of information within some of the other arcs that also build on an overall narrative idea, but they are scattered and hardly a focal point.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6

With that it entirely comes down to your viewing preferences and whether you need a driving narrative as to whether this anime will grab your interest.

However, if the basic premise and set up is what you are looking for, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime offers a fairly beautifully presented quality viewing experience. In almost all episodes the visual and animation quality is maintained with none of the mid-season or late season mistakes, glitches, and just rushed efforts that other anime sometimes face.

Rimuru is as charmingly depicted in episode 23 as episode 1 (though early in the series there’s a weird CG visual used occasionally for Rimuru that just seems out of place with the rest of the visuals of the series – quite possibly deliberate but I felt it was weird).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 1

One thing I did find bizarre was that the anime would introduce monster characters who would have quite strikingly non-human appearances and then after Rimuru gave them a name they would ‘evolve’ and have a more human appearance. I mentioned this in one of my episode reviews, but it felt like an utter waste to take such distinct looking characters and morph them into generic fantasy boy/girl with vague monster appendages.

It felt like a loss for what could have made this anime visually far more memorable than it ends up being, even if it is a pretty anime that is easy on the eyes.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

From a sound point of view everything works. Character voices serve their purpose and Rimuru’s voice acting is perhaps the character’s most charming point. He’s easy to listen to, fairly emotive, and the contrast between his inner and outer tone at times is spot on and nails the humour of a situation. Other characters are either good enough or quite interesting, and the background music and sounds do their job but don’t stand out as overly memorable.

Overall though it is the characters that I find to be the weakest element of this anime. Not because they are not good characters. Individually, each character is perfectly fine and they even play well off one another. The problem is that other than Rimuru, no character really sticks around long enough to have much impact. Even characters who stay in the story, after their introduction and brief moment in the spot-light, get shunted to the background where they occasionally fill screen space or make a comment, but kind of cease to develop as actual characters.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Lizardmen

For me, in the absence of a driving plot, I really needed more from the characters and their personal journeys. I needed something to make me want to invest emotionally in this anime, and tragically the characters just couldn’t fill the void.

Admittedly, the characters are largely quirky and cute but when the vast majority of names are forgotten before the series has even been a week completed, and you genuinely don’t know what even half of them are trying to do or accomplish and you generally have no sense that any of the characters are motivated to do anything beyond serve Rimuru, it really makes it hard to care about what happens to any of them and Rimuru is so over-powered (and if he wasn’t, Milim sure is), that it is hard to visualise harm coming to any of them.



Again, it comes down to whether or not you care about any kind of tension or emotional stakes in your story or whether you just want to chill. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime would be a very good anime to just chill to.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Gobta

Before I wrap up, I do want to discuss the episode count. At 25 episodes, this anime took six months to air. That’s a long time investment for episodic watching and I will admit, I was weary of it by the end. It didn’t help that the final arc, despite tying in fairly beautifully with Shizue’s arc from the first half of the season, was undeniably one of the weaker stories delivered.

However, what makes it worse is the anime actually finishes at episode 23 and then we have two extra episodes. Episode 24 actually is better than anything the second half of Slime gave us and just made me wonder why we hadn’t seen more like that. That probably isn’t what you want your bonus material to do. 24.5 is just padding. Poorly executed recap. A poor excuse of filler to pad out a 25 episode count that was unneeded.

Getting onto recommendations, it isn’t as though this was a bad anime. There are huge numbers of fans, massive amounts of merchandise available, and realistically there’s nothing inherently broken about the story. While it doesn’t suit my viewing preferences, it functionally works and at times even I found it very entertaining and at its worst I just found it kind of empty but watchable. So for some this will be highly entertaining.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 fanservice

My honest opinion with this one is that there are better isekai anime out there with better journeys and characters. Then again, I prefer something that has clear direction and characters that grow and learn so perhaps Slime and I were never meant to be. Still, I wouldn’t actually tell you to avoid this one. It can be good fun and is nicely made. Give it a try, by the end of episode 3 you should have a rough idea of whether this works for you, and maybe you’ll find a show to fall in love with.

However, I’d love to know your thoughts on That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (the anime) so please share in the comments below. And you can check out my thoughts on season 2 here.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8Bit. 2018.


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Karandi James


How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20 – Incompetence Finds Its Victim This Week

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom bounces viewers back to the war in Amidonia (or the fall-out from the war) after rapidly wrapping up the whole mad-scientist plot. I mean, we start still in the lab and dealing with the whole dragon bone theft issue but after seeing a weird curiosity, that mostly just made me think of mecha godzilla, Realist Hero more or less dumps that line of plot progress and instead we see the mess Julius has wrought since claiming back Amidonia.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

You wouldn’t think one incompetent leader could get into so much trouble so quickly but between destroying infrastructure improvements built by Elfrieden, cracking down on individuality on things such as the colour of houses, and then brutally putting down a rebellion after people had starved to death, Julius couldn’t really have done a worse job. It’s unfortunate that his father had alienated or fired anyone competent in his government leaving Julius with opportunists and morons to advise him.

Not like he would have listened to good advice anyway.

Realist Hero has already clearly established that Julius, much like his father, as a strong belief that he is in the right and that he can bully or beat down anyone who disagrees with his view of how the world should be and how he should rule. Unlike his father, Julius has neither the force of personality or the standing army to pull this one off.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom seems to be expanding Kingdom into Empire.

Seeing Julius brought down might have been amusing if Realist Hero didn’t actually have real consequences in place. While seeing someone do a poor job and pay the price for it, having to flee his own country, could be satisfying, in the meantime the people of Amidonia are starving and in fear for their lives. Not only is their own army putting down those who dare complain, the country was being invaded from the south.



What I did wonder was why Julius didn’t get the Empire to help him again? Or why didn’t Souma ask the Empire whether they supported Elfrieden annexing the neighbouring kingdom (at their request, of course)? As much as it seems a logical conclusion, if the Empire doesn’t support it then they’ll just end up where they were before.

Then again, all these invasions and talks of refugees flooding across the border struck a little too close to home this week and events in the real world are significantly more dramatic than anything this anime is managing to coble together in a fictional setting.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

Though, throughout all of this, Souma and Hakuya both note that while Julius’ failure was within predictions, the speed and coordination of all the failings seemed a little contrived. It was nice to see at the end that clearly there was a helping hand within Amidonia pushing events in this direction. Otherwise it really would have felt like things just too easily fell Souma’s way in Realist Hero.

And of course that brings us to the end of the episode where Souma inadvertently acquires yet another candidate for his harem. Politically it makes sense. That said, if Souma agrees to that proposal before tidying things up with Juna I suspect there’s going to be a fall out somewhere along the lines.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

Anyway, I could continue to point out Julius’ failings but I think that point has been well and truly established already in Realist Hero. It was interesting that when deciding what to do, Souma went through the advantages and disadvantages of expanding and taking control of Amidonia. I loved that he mentioned they would lose the reparation payments they had just secured. It actually does make it feel more realistic when that kind of materialism is definitely considered as a factor even in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

I guess we’ll see in the next episode how all of this plays out.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022


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Karandi James


Sabikui Bisco Episode 9 – Does Anyone Have a Cure For Heart Break?

Sabikui Bisco Episode 9 Review
https://www.crowsworldofanime.com/

So many anime should watch episode 8 and 9 of Sabikui Bisco to really understand how to capitalise emotionally on a cliff-hanger ending. Seriously, I thought episode 8 left us at a heart-wrenching moment and my greatest fear was that this week we would literally just see the characters walk away from it within the first few minutes of the episode.

Instead, episode 9 begins with shattered characters and words that are clearly foreshadowing disaster and then things escalate and just don’t stop until the dramatic conclusion of the episode (which I am going to try hard not to spoil because that really should be watched). I’m just left wondering what Sabikui Bisco does for the next three episodes and whether it can ever be as emotionally devastating as it was this week.

Sabikui Bisco Episode 9

Although, it probably doesn’t need to be. What it really needs to do is address what all of this actually changes in the world or whether it was all for nothing.

Sabikui Bisco was far more committed to its plot than I gave it credit for earlier in the season.

In order to avoid too many spoilers I am afraid this particular episode review is going to end up being a little bit all over the place as I focus on less prominent details than the conclusion.

For instance, I haven’t really talked about Jabi much in any of my episode reviews of Sabikui Bisco so far. Yet this mentor character from Bisco has played a key role at multiple junctures in the story, despite spending most of the series injured or captured. And you have to admit, this old man has some spunk.

Sabikui Bisco Episode 9

I mean, Jabi is the one who raised Bisco so we had to know this guy was a bit on the reckless side. He also clearly has a big heart. Throughout the course of the series, his own safety has never been his priority concern. Instead, he’s always looked out for the others, whether it be Bisco or even Pawoo when she was captured.

It makes me wonder why Kurokawa ever thought threatening Jabi’s life, or even his fingers, would somehow convince him to surrender. This old man was never going to fold over something like that.

But now I’m wondering how Jabi is going to react next week to the final of episode 9… Okay, not going there.

Sabikui Bisco Episode 9

Honestly, there’s little more you could ask from Sabikui Bisco at this point. It has been a zany adventure and buddy quest with this whole dystopian thing going underneath it and this episode just brought all those elements together so well. It is always nice when you are watching an anime or a story and realise that everything actually does work together and clearly there was a plan from the start when the writer put this story together.

About the only real visual criticism I could make of episode 9 is that it is pretty much the same colour from beginning to end and it is quite a bleak and dull looking episode compared to previous ones. Then again, given events, the colour palette more or less suits the episode perfectly.

Sabikui Bisco Episode 9 Review

Can the next episode be out already?

This is perhaps the biggest problem with seasonal viewing in that there’s so much I want to say but at the same time don’t want to say until people have a chance to watch this episode on their own.

Anyway, Sabikui Bisco has gone from being a curiosity and kind of interesting to being something I am highly emotionally invested in and that is definitely a good thing given how many other anime this season kind of lost me at the mid-way point.

Images from: Sabikui Bisco. Dir. A Ikariya. OZ. 2022


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Top 5 Very Cool Anime Knights

Tuesday's Top 5

There’s something that I find very appealing about anime knights in stories as anime naturally gives them its very own special twist. I’m still surprised by the frequency of knights within anime stories but given how much I tend to enjoy them I guess I’ll just not let that worry me.

There is no real criteria for this list other than I think the character is cool and they are in some form or another a knight. With that said, I would love to know your favourite anime knights so let me know in the comments.

Got a favourite anime knight? Give them a shout out in the comments.

Number 5: Female Knight – Maoyu

Female Knight

Female Knight is a slightly odd choice given she’s from an anime almost no-one has really watched and given, like all the other characters, her job is her name, it is hard to really say what stands out about her. However, I really enjoyed Female Knight as a character as she was strong physically but when able she was emotionally open. However, those moments were few and far between and by and large she carried herself in a manner that she felt necessary within her role. Really, a very tough lady.

Number 4: Suzaku Kururugi – Code Geass

Suzaku - Anime Knight

This one probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. The son of a Japanese politician he ended up joining the military to further some ideal and then, after the appearance or Zero and the disturbances he brought to the empire, Suzaku rose through the ranks ultimately becoming a knight. While I think Suzaku might be a little too idealistic for his own good, and certainly lacking in some practicality, I cannot deny that he has got some moves. He most definitely was not someone to be taken lightly even before Lelouche used his geass on him.

Number 3: Bozes – GATE

Bozes

Bozes starts out as a little too cliche as the angry female knight who hits first and asks questions way too late to be of any help. Fortunately, Bozes gets to accompany the Princess to earth where she falls in love with Japan’s great works of literature (okay BL) and also their food and clothes. While her skills as a knight don’t come close to most of the characters on this list, Bozes is definitely one of the more entertaining knights I’ve encountered in anime.



Number 2: Roland – Lord Marksman and Vanadis

Roland

I absolutely had to put Roland on this list. Of all the knights here he is the one who most truly represented what the legends say a knight should be. He served his king and his country and served them well. Unfortunately, his honour and trusting nature was used against him and he met his end in a fairly horrific manner, but with his death he bolstered Tigre’s cause and proved who was just. Still, that seems a steep price to pay.

Number 1: Ikta Solork – Alderamin On The Sky

alderamin9

And now we have the least knight like character on the list (even included Bozes). Ikta Solork is lazy, crude, and not even vaguely interested in war. That said, he’s also bright, innovative and adaptable and these traits see him survive multiple battles that should have seen him and his friends wiped out.

Whether he wants it or not, he’s getting moved up in the chain of command and it would be fantastic if we ever got another series of this to find out what he did next (and whatever it is I’m sure he did it under protest after trying to get out of it and then he solved it in the fastest manner possible so he could get back to sleeping).

Which anime knights would you have included on the list?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Congratulations! Crunchyroll and Funimation Finally Merge, But Is This Good News?

Crunchyroll and Funimation Merger

Well first Anime Lab became Funimation and now Crunchyroll and Funimation are merging with ‘most of’ the Funimation library to move on to Crunchyroll. Where does that leave anime viewers with so many questions and so many articles and hot-takes on this situation?

I mean, we could take the more positive view of the situation. So many anime bloggers have to try to keep up multiple subscription services in order to be able to do decent seasonal coverage. One less player means one less subscription so we could simply say ‘yay!’ and call it a day.

However that would be a little bit simplistic.

Crunchyroll and Funimation merge – but what does that mean?

I guess one of the first questions I had when I first heard the news and starting seeing tweets and blog posts about this (all of which I saw before either Crunchryoll or Funimation sent me, a subscriber to both services, an email notification this was happening) was “when is Crunchyroll and Funimation merging?”.

And then I found from next season. So basically stop even looking at what service the Spring 2022 anime are airing on. They are either going to be on Crunchyroll, may show up on Netflix, or I’m not getting access. You have to admit that simplifies things a lot.

Spy x Family

Though it also makes me wonder what happens to the remaining value of my Funimation subscription and the information out there isn’t exactly clear about how that actually works. Now sure, for Funimation only subscribers they can take advantages of the 60 day free trial for Crunchyroll being offered. Now this doesn’t apply to me nor do any of the FAQs they’ve provided so I’ve contacted Funimation asking them where that leaves the remainder of my subscription and I will wait and see what answer I get.

Why worry about a merger between Crunchyroll and Funimation?

Now I’m not actually saying the merger is bad. However, with HiDive not really being all the competitive, Netflix and Amazon barely dipping their toes into seasonal anime other than a few exclusives, this really does just leave Crunchyroll to bring anime to viewers in countries like Australia. And while I appreciate how much more anime is available to me now than ever before, I definitely have some concerns.

Sabikui Bisco Episode 7

My biggest one would be on the issue of Censorship. Less streaming services means if Crunchyroll decides an anime goes against their ethos as a company and won’t stream it, that more or less leaves viewers with no real legal options to view it. And while there may be a good reason not to stream an anime, anyone watching the way of the world and cancel culture should be concerned that one company will get to decide which anime get a chance to be seen.

But, I’d rather not get too much into a concern that has yet to occur when I have some fairly grounded concerns about the Crunchyroll and Funimation merger.

Any long time subscriber to Crunchyroll knows there are issues with their platform. Particularly when large numbers of viewers try and access it simultaneously. Just look at premieres of shows like Attack on Titan when it takes Crunchryoll down and you get that obnoxious screen cap telling you the team of Shinobi are working on it (you know, rather than anyone with technical know-how).

Not to mention the Crunchyroll app just doesn’t work on at least half the devices I’ve ever tried to access it on.

Add into that their search engine is dreadful so finding an anime that isn’t airing right now is kind of like winning the lottery.

While that might sound like I am anti-Crunchyroll, I’m really not. They provide a fantastic anime library. So great that I was writing a post about my favourite anime on Crunchyroll when this announcement came out and kind of made that post utterly pointless. That said, there are issues and with more users and more content those issues are probably going to become more pronounced.

And now we’ve also got this whole Crunchyroll Beta thing which I’m not sure improves on anything but it looks nicer so lets go with that.

So is Crunchyroll and Funimation merging a good thing?

The optimist in me would like to believe that this merger will be good for anime viewers. Less subscriptions for more anime seems like a nice and tidy win. Honestly only time will tell if any of the concerns people have had about this actually amount to anything. The problem however is that by then it will be too late and there will only be one anime service that really provides much anime legally to viewers around the world.

Clearly this is a wait and see situation but I’d love to know what my readers think so if you have any thoughts on the Crunchyroll and Funimation merger be sure to leave a comment below.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James