Summer 2018 Week 1

We’re starting the taste test for the season and so far I am extremely excited to be getting into some new shows. While I have no idea yet what I’m going to keep on my watch list or not, new seasons always come with new potential and just the thrill of knowing that something great might happen. That said, Summer so far is a little light on things I’m interested in trying. We’ll see how it goes once all the shows are out.

As always, I’d love to know what you have tried and what you’ve liked so far so be sure to leave me a comment below.

What I watched

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams (Episode 1)

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The heroine is called to a fantasy world (the Kingdom of Dreams) to awaken the princes and fight the evil dream eaters. It’s all very fairy tale like and the logic only works provided you just kind of nod and go with it, but if you happen to like that kind of thing it is decent. I guess I’ll see how it develops as there are some potentially interesting points.

Angels of Death (Episode 1)

Angel1eWaking up in a basement of a hospital without a memory is creepy enough without pleasant announcements telling you that the girl on the bottom floor is now going to be a sacrifice. This one has potential but outside of the setting has yet to really impress. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next couple of episodes.

Banana Fish (Episode 1 – Not Reviewed)

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While there is plenty of room for this to go wrong, the first episode introduced us to a fairly intriguing world and some interesting characters. While the overall plot is still a little unclear, I’m actually pretty excited about this one. Unfortunately, due to where it is streaming, I won’t be reviewing.

Cells at Work (Episode 1)

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Okay, this first episode is flat out adorable. There’s no other way to explain it. The characters are cute and so earnest in their work, and at no point does it ever feel to slow paced or too silly. I did not know that watching blood cells could be this fun, and hopefully this anime know how to keep going like this because more would definitely be appreciated.

GeGeGe no Kitaro (Episode 15)

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GeGeGe No Kitaro is pretty consistent at what it delivers and while it isn’t amazing, it isn’t bad, particularly if you happen to like episodic yokai stories. Admittedly, the last couple of episodes have been pretty ordinary, but there’s still some fun to be had here. Hopefully they continue to find ways to make this set up interesting.

Holmes of Kyoto (Episode 1)

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Holmes of Kyoto has had a pretty unspectacular start but if you are after something low-key and you happen to be into antiques, this might suit you. Then again, I’m still kind of hoping the promised mystery aspect of the show actually appears given episode 1 was kind of devoid of anything even vaguely mysterious.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord (Episode 1)

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I can’t help it. I like isekai stories. Even ones that start with a summoning gone wrong and two girls being enslaved by a fake demon lord. We’ll see if this one manages to do anything to distinguish it from the mass of other sub-par to average isekai stories out there, though so far it has managed to be at least average and there’s some potential for entertaining developments.

Island (Episode 2)

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Island might turn out be amazing or terrible and it will more or less be impossible to know until more is revealed. There’s all the usual ideas to set up a bit of a mystery but so far the execution has been relatively average. Also, the more cliche moments are very cringey. That said, it is intriguing and I’m kind of hopeful.

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (Episode 15 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi remains pretty average though episode 14 was half-consumed by recap and episode 15 gave us a scene change in order to repeat a story-line so these last two episodes weren’t great. Still, average is a pretty good description of this anime and it remains pleasant and watchable while not great.

Phantom in the Twilight (Episode 1)

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I’m definitely on the fence with this one. I really quite enjoy stories with a supernatural focus, but I’m not entirely sure either the protagonist or the premise is really going to work out here. I could be wrong as there is definitely potential in the concept here but I’m very much going to wait and see.

Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 13)

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Steins;Gate 0 continues to not exactly be what I would like and to be honest it is playing out much like I would expect of a prequel/spin-off series. I’m just not that invested in what is happening. That isn’t aided by the fairly flat dialogue and what seems to be an ongoing lack of a clear focus. It isn’t bad, but a lot of what I like about it is sheer nostalgia.

Episode of the Week

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I’m pretty sure the first episode of Cells at Work is not the best episode that aired last week, but it was definitely the most surprisingly fun. I really enjoyed watching these two characters at work and I am looking forward to what they do next.

Character of the Week

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So far Rachel from Angels of Death hasn’t seemed to be quite so clueless as other protagonists might be. She hasn’t denied reality or stubbornly insisted things will be fine. We’ll see if she manages to maintain this as things go on.

Dropped or On Hold

  • Hanebado (Episode 1)
  • Harukana Receive (Episode 1)
  • Planet With (Episode 1)
  • The Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar (Episode 1)
  • The Thousand Muskateers (Episode 1)

If you want to join in the conversation on Twitter be sure to follow along: Summer Anime 2018


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Final Thoughts

This is the end of the season. Okay, some shows aren’t done but that’s okay. With the majority having wrapped up, it is time for thoughts on final episodes before tomorrow we reveal the best and worst of the season (my picks and the results of the reader’s poll).

What I watched

Caligula (Finished)

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This show stumbled across the finish line and while it did in fact bring closure to its story, I can’t say that this was at any point a satisfying watch. From confused mess, to pretty ordinary, it just never did anything with the ideas it presented early on and the cast were never used in a way that made me care about them. Ultimately, I didn’t hate this, but I’m really glad it has wrapped up.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 11)

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While this week brings us a real fight for a change, it certainly doesn’t step up the quality of its story and at this point the character motivations are too pathetic to even take seriously as parody. It is all just a mess from people who wanted to cash in on something but had nothing to say.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 22 – Reviewed for patrons)

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The kids are coming to terms with abandonment but still struggling to live. Meanwhile, all Hiro cares about is Zero Two. Darling in the Franxx continues to introduce and abandon plot threads and with two episodes left it is unlikely that things will come together in any meaningful way.

Devils’ Line (Finished)Devil12a

Can I cheer that this one is over? It was never good, but what little this anime had going for it never developed into much of anything and the end result is an unremarkable anime that will swiftly be forgotten.

Doreiku The Animation (Finished)

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This one ended up being such a disappointment. It isn’t the worst ever but it is pretty pointless and half the characters serve no purpose at all. The continually building someone up to just throw them away as a threat and the characters constantly making stupid choices really hurts the enjoyment here.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 9)

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Well, this one apparently still has three episodes to go, though I’m suspecting if they didn’t stop to recap every four episodes they might be further along. That said, this is one of the shows I’ve had the most fun watching this season. I forgot how much I loved this franchise until these characters returned and now I just want to rewatch the old seasons yet again.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 13)

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I was left a little disappointed that this anime didn’t decide to deal with the humans finding out about yokai aspect that could have easily been expanded on from the two prior episodes. That said, it delivered a decent enough episode with a stand alone villain of the week.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 13 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi has been fairly consistent and yet that doesn’t actually make it great. It has been consistently ordinary. There are the occasional bright moments in an otherwise dull series about characters who have very little to distinguish them from one another. Even the food shots aren’t quite worth the effort. That said, there’s very little wrong with the show either other than being unremarkable.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Finished)

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And that’s a wrap. While this anime never particularly amazed, it also didn’t really do anything overly wrong. All and all, a mostly harmless reverse harem story though one with a basic premise that could have been great and mostly squandered it. Still, I didn’t mind following this show this season, even if in a stronger season I might have let this one go.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Finished)

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Not sure if the final episode was all it could be, but fairly happy with this one as a season. And ultimately it did resolve its story which is a lot more than I can say for many of the shows I’ve followed this season.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 12)

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Definitely some down time after the intensity of episode 11, and yet I feel there were some fairly decent moments and potential foreshadowing going on. I’m a little worried about the direction the story seems to be taking with the whole moving kids into the dorm thing, but I guess we’ll see how that works out soon enough.

Record of Grancrest War (Finished)

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This is the face the audience makes when realising they’ve watched 24 episodes to get to this ending. I can’t say I haven’t had some fun; mostly through making fun of the show, but somehow I feel I really wanted a decent fantasy from this and not just something that was fun to mock.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Finished)

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Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but it a fairly low key anime that was pretty consistent in its delivery this season. I ultimately really enjoyed the relaxing nature of watching this one and am really glad I stuck with it.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Finished)

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I feel this anime missed a lot of potentially great moments and that is a shame but it is how it is. This one doesn’t really attempt to end and even if it continues, I’m pretty sure I am done at this stage. My curiosity over the story has not been satisfied but my curiosity to annoyance ratio is starting to shift the wrong way as these last two episodes played out.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 12)

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If you didn’t remember this was a time travel show, this episode will certainly remind you as Steins;Gate launches an all out assault on a common time travel paradox. It’s entertaining enough to watch the set up but it will really depend on how they deal with it now they’ve constructed it as to whether or not this will be worth the effort.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Finished)

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And this romance comes to an end in a fitting if illogical fashion. This anime was a joy this season and one that I am really glad I stuck with as it was pretty consistent from start to finish. Not to mention, Teresa’s smile is definitely something worth watching.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Finished)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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It wasn’t exactly swamped with heavy competition this week, so Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love makes the cut because it actually got an emotional response and episodes 12 and 13 very effectively brought the story to a close.

Character of the Week

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Sui has been a solid and steady presence in Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori from the beginning and he’s a character I quite enjoyed watching despite his fairly ordinary existence. This final episode really made me appreciate his steady nature.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 11

And this is the second last post I will make for Spring 2018. Some shows are done, others are wrapping up, and a few have just hit the midway point. I’m going to be honest and admit that I ended up more than a little disappointed with some shows this season, and yet overall there’s still been some fun to be had this season. Still, I’m looking forward to the Summer season of anime and hopefully we’ll all find something fun to watch.

In the meantime, if you haven’t voted yet for your favourite and least favourite of the Spring season, please check out the poll here. Be sure to vote and share the link. You have until the end of June to vote and I’m looking forward to seeing what is chosen this season.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Finished)

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Oh how I wish this one had been better but it has finally limped its way to the end of its season and once I finish drafting my series review I will happily forget this ever existed. It isn’t actually that bad, but it really has little to recommend it.

Caligula (Episode 11)

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Is there some reason they can’t get people out of Mobius? That would be a good bit of information to know given the mention people don’t recover, but if they are just inside a program surely they can remove them from the program. Some explanation as to why they can’t might at least give us some reason to care whether frantic keyboard bashing is actually worth watching while Ritsu tries to restore the program. But all and all, this anime hasn’t given me much reason to care about the outcome so mostly I’m just waiting for it to finish.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 10)

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I think this anime may have really run out of content when the best they can offer is a half-hearted attempt at ageing the cast because old people in magical boy costumes is guaranteed to be funny even with poor writing (eye roll). Oh well. Almost done.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 21 – Reviewed for patrons)

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This show just gets more random and less likely to end well by the episode and to be honest I’m only finishing it because I’ve come this far. It isn’t the worst thing ever, but it isn’t exactly good either.

Devils’ Line (Episode 11)

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I feel like I should be happy that HiDive seems to think there’s only one more episode of this. I don’t think I can take much more of these characters or this plot. For a series I was looking forward to this season, this one has been kind of crushing disappointment from beginning to end, only it hasn’t ended yet.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 10)

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I’m guessing the sweeping ownership changes of slaves is supposed to be dramatic but this story just doesn’t have the polish to pull it off. Everything is just coming off as silly and random rather than being crafted in any way and there’s just no emotional payoff as character after character makes stupid choices and gets beaten down for it.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 8)

No episode this week.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 12)

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For a cute family show about yokai, this episode really demonstrates how you can stay fairly family friendly and yet still build excitement and tension into a story. The second part of the story of the Tanuki certainly delivers a thrilling end and also sets up some future plot developments. Really fun watching this week.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 12 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Some characters should never wink and Aoi definitely falls into that category. Otherwise, this continues as normal. Aoi makes good food, every yokai likes her food, and none of the yokai ever end up actually being all that bad despite endless build ups of characters perhaps not being good. Still, it remains a pleasant watch if fairly unexciting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 11)

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Cults aren’t as hard to destroy as they used to be and so we’ve got another final villain to face in this story as it continues to scramble to feel like it is more than an excuse for cute girl to hand around various guys and read books. While the overall experience is pleasant enough, I can’t say that this is a particularly good story.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 11)

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A fairly solid episode and I’m very much looking forward to the conclusion of this series. I’m just hoping it does conclude. Although, part of me wonders if there’s going to be one final twist or whether we’ve seen the last of the turns and we’re just riding this out to the end. Looking forward to it.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 11)

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I’d be lying if I said that this was anything less than thrilling. Admittedly, it isn’t exactly high brow entertainment as we watch two super humans slug it out with words and then fists, and yet there’s definitely a level of satisfaction that came from watching this. However, what works better is the direction it points to for the remainder of the season and that is potentially very thrilling.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 23)

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I love that this show can randomly throw giant monsters in and at this point I don’t even question it. Of course the mages had a frozen cyclops. It’s what everyone keeps in their storage room for when uninvited guests pop over. Anyway, the fight is on, I’m still betting on Theo dying but that might just be my own personal wish at this point.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 10)

Not watched this week. Will do a catch up next week.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 12)

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Other than realising that Subaru was a bit weird even as a kid, this episode served little purpose and the ‘humour’ falls very flat as it is mostly a rehash of older jokes that have probably outstayed their welcome. So unless you really like watching Subaru get disgusted by dirty cockpits, there probably isn’t a lot to enjoy here.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 11)

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This felt like a definite mid-season point with a lot of plot points coming together and the episode ending on a mini-resolution. I kind of enjoyed this episode but as a whole this season has continued to be pretty ordinary. It just lacks the spark that the original had that made it unmissable. This one, if I stopped watching it I probably wouldn’t mind, though I don’t dislike watching it either.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 11)

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Tada’s going to pull a lot of weird faces over the course of this episode. Weirder still because usually he doesn’t emote all that much. This is kind of a great follow up to the events so far and I look forward to the final part of this series. While it hasn’t been amazing, it has been reasonably consistent and quite entertaining.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Finished – Not Reviewed)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

Episode of the Week

Hero49a
Maybe it is the obvious, but it would have taken something very special to be the episode of My Hero Academia this week. To be perfectly honest, given how many anime episodes I watch a week, any episode that makes me that emotional has to have done something right.

Character of the Week

Hero49i
I know he was character of the week last week, but he definitely earned two weeks’ worth of recognition over the last couple of episodes. All Might, you’ve gone from being a needed mentor character to a character I genuinely love.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 10

Another round of anime watching and this week really did show us what some shows were made of, even if the answer is not very much. Still, it wasn’t a total bust as there were some definite stand out moments.

On that note, if you haven’t voted yet for your favourite and least favourite of the Spring season, please check out the poll here. Be sure to vote and share the link. You have until the end of June to vote and I’m looking forward to seeing what is chosen this season.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 11)

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With one episode left to go I’m guessing we’re either going for an incomplete finish or a trite ending where everything just kind of works out. Either way, this anime went from reasonably interesting to generic melodrama and is now just a slightly below average teen drama with increasingly obvious issues with its visuals. Oh well, I guess we’ll see how things play out next week.

Caligula (Episode 10)

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Two weeks in a row with characters declaring reality is shit. My, we have a theme. And yet, I can’t help but think this show has kind of missed the point with no actual weight put behind that statement. It is more a declaration for the sake of having one. The anime itself remains pretty pointless with characters who are mostly meaningless.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

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I hope you like non-endings, because that is all this one is going to offer. After 22 episodes we know only a tiny bit more than when we started and mostly this feels like it hasn’t quite moved on from the 90’s when you could get away with burning half your run-time with filler before stringing people on for a next season. Just a touch disappointed with how this ended up.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 9)

No new episode this week.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 20 – Reviewed for patrons)

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Well, I guess I can stop making fun of Record of Grancrest War for exposition dumps substituting for plot structure as Darling in the Franxx seems to be vying for least comprehensible plot structure held together by thin lines of dialogue. So odd that two shows have taken this approach in one season and yet, here we are going into climaxes that make zero sense when you back up to the beginning and look at what the characters set out to achieve way back when the shows began.

Devils’ Line (Episode 10)

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Another episode where the focus was nowhere to be found but some interesting ideas do exist. It makes for a luke-warm viewing experience but not one I want to walk away from given I do find some of it intriguing even as the delivery continues to miss the mark.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 9)

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As if the cast of this anime wasn’t already large enough and lacking in development, they throw yet more characters at us with only the shallowest of motivations, despite the flash backs desperately trying to establish some emotional reason we should care about this current development. Really, it is a mess, and it isn’t going to resolve well.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 8)

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An explosive show down this week for Full Metal Panic and one that showcases exactly why Sousuke is such a great character. Hitting just the right emotional notes, this episode brings the show to a second high since the first four episodes, and we’re very much ready now to go into the final episodes of the season.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 11)

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While I’m still not sure what value there was in kidnapping Mana, it did fulfil all the villainous cliches this episode decided to pull out. That isn’t a negative mind you. This anime has thrived on delivering fairly classic stories and tropes so the over the top Bond style villains kind of work here. Quite a nice episode really.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 11 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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So yeah, stuff happens and Aoi cooks food. That makes everything better apparently. This anime continues to be watchable but not in anyway memorable or particularly interesting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 10)

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Blasphemy might be a bit harsh, but still there is something a bit odd about using words in books to curse people. And this is something I wish this anime would explore more but instead it wants to deal with all the pretty boys’ emotional hang-ups that are all pretty standard and dull. What it leaves us with is a fairly average viewing experience.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 10)

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I felt this was kind of the slowest episode yet. This whole season Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS has been driving us continuously toward a confrontation that has explosive ramifications, and yet this episode really felt like they were just delaying that final show-down. Honestly, I think I would prefer the final show-down to be drawn out rather than having these non-fights play out.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 10)

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The clash of giants as All For One and One For All go head to head in what is probably going to be a city destroying fight (either that or All Might is about to meet his maker and either way I’m super hyped for the next episode). It took a bit, but season 3 of My Hero Academia is definitely showing us the strengths of this franchise now and it isn’t letting up now that it has gotten going.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 22)

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There’s little more to say about this anime at this particular point and time except that even as we count down the final few episodes it continues to try to pack in ridiculous amounts of plot and the end result is just a narrative mess where character motives are unexplored, factions seem to serve no purpose, and none of the powers exhibited by anything are ever adequately explained. But hey, final battle incoming.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 10)

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I have to agree that Rokuhoudou is a beautiful cafe. One thing watching this anime has done is made me want a cafe like that where I could go. Watching each episode, when it focuses on serving within the cafe, is a completely relaxing experience and one that is extremely pleasant. There’s not much to say about the characters and the narrative, but this show has nailed its atmosphere.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 11)

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I might just be over this, but the last two episodes have taken a serious nose dive in terms of enjoyment. Fortunately there are only two left so I will make it to the end, but my mostly pleasant viewing experience is starting to become more of a tiresome one.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 10)

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Seems like things are about to get messy in this anime as the end of this episode reveals what might be the catalyst for future drama. That said, this episode itself didn’t do all that much, so lets hope the future payoff is worth it.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 10)

Tada10b

Tada destroyed his own title this week because whether he’s admitted it or not, he’s totally in love with Teresa. The date was adorable and really did set up the end point which we could all see coming a mile away and yet it was still very affective when it finally landed. Well played.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 11 – Not Reviewed)

The thing I liked most about season 1 of Tokyo Ghoul was I liked Kaneki as a character. Not so much because Kaneki is a good character, but because he was beautifully broken throughout the course of the season. Haise/Kaneki is not an interesting character. He has not done or said one interesting thing in this entire season. When we couple that with a plot that makes no sense given I haven’t read the manga and I have no idea where half of these characters even came from, basically I’m just watching a boring character, surrounded by cheap imitation boring characters, fighting for reasons that remain pretty unclear other than every single person and ghoul in this show is actually a psycho. Kind of glad I let this one go for a few weeks before catching up on all the episodes in one go because week to week this would be truly impossible to watch.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

FMP8i
I know Full Metal Panic has taken it a few times, but anything would be hard-pressed to beat episode 8 this week. Hitting the right emotional notes and turning the action right up, this episode knew exactly what it was doing every step of the way.

Character of the Week

Hero48a
And could it have been anyone other than All Might? Plunging into the battle against All For One despite knowing his weakness, All Might shines in this episode – kind of hoping this isn’t his last hurrah.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 9

This week was a mix of highs and lows with some shows giving us superb episodes and other really falling from average to barely watchable. It’s a real mixed bag and I guess that is what makes it fun. Later today I will open the polls for best and worst anime of Spring 2018, so be sure to look out for them and vote and share. Remember, top 3 anime for the season will go in the poll at the end of the year for anime of the year.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the season so be sure to leave me a comment below and share what you liked this week and what left you disappointed.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 10)

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Guy rejects girl by confessing to another? Classy. And more or less all I expect from this anime at this point. Gone is anything that made it seem a little different or interesting and now it has simply become another not so great romance anime.

Caligula (Episode 9)

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I really shouldn’t have added this to my review list after Spiritpact ended. Wow, this has been tedious. It isn’t even bad, it just is so messy as a narrative with such poor characterisation it isn’t even interesting to pick at. Each episode is just another exercise in waiting for the next round of exposition that might tell us where the characters are walking next.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 21)

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I wonder if Sakura’s mother’s key will end up being significant? Not that it got a lot of attention in this episode, but that’s probably because after being incredibly slow for a large chunk of the early half of the season, this episode felt like it packed half a season’s worth of content in. And it doesn’t seem like next week will slow down the pace as it rushes to try to end the series.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 9)

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This anime continues to be pretty lame, even the this franchise’s standards. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this episode, on the back of so many weak episodes, it isn’t enough to re-engage viewers who by this point should be pretty switched off.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 19 – Reviewed for patrons)

No episode this week.

Devils’ Line (Episode 9)

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Devils’ Line continues along its path doing its thing and mostly failing to pass any kind of logical test in terms of narrative. The fairly poor visuals continue to be a theme as well. There are some interesting concepts underpinning this anime, but execution has left it pretty much a miss.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 8)

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As usual, this anime doesn’t make much sense when even the tiniest bit of logic is applied to the situation and the characters remain either pretty dumb or just horrible. Of all the anime I’m watching this season, this is the one that I probably wish I’d dropped back after its first episode as it has just been an ongoing disappointment.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 7)

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Sousuke continues to try to get to Amalgam so that he can find Kaname. Meanwhile they are trying to kill him and he’s outnumbered and outgunned. This series has just kept hitting the right notes episode after episode this season and I’m hoping it continues because I am loving this.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 10)

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A perfectly pleasant episode strangely devoid of the title character and yet still pretty fun. There isn’t too much to go wrong when the story sticks with some fairly classic elements and finds a way to work more modern problems into the lives of ghosts.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 10 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Things continue to be pretty ordinary in this anime as the characters go about their lives. It continues to be pretty to look at and the story works but it also continues to not be all that exciting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 9)

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The more of the plot that gets revealed here, the weaker the story becomes. Watch it for girl meets cute guys in period drama rather than its story because it isn’t going so great.That, and the show seems to want to be taken seriously in its darker moments, but can’t commit to anything more than hospitalising its cast.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 9)

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This anime knows exactly how to pace itself and as we draw into the final third of the season, it has hit the perfect tone to make me excited for the climax. It also feels like they are going to have enough time to properly deal with what they need to so I’m kind of hopeful of a satisfying end to the season. We’ll see what happens though but I’m cautiously optimistic.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 9)

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While somewhat less impressive than the past two episodes, this was a fairly solid continuation of the plot and we certainly got to see some action. Plus, Midoriya being back to muttering was just so classic and cute.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 21)

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I’m… There’s just no words at this point for the mess that is Record of Grancrest War. And yet despite being a terrible story with terrible characters and terrible pacing, other than the frustration all of that causes, there’s still something a little appealing about the entire mess. It’s all just kind of tragic.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 9)

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This was a pretty decent episode if you are watching this for the calming and relaxing feeling that it usually constructs. There’s not a lot of substance, but there doesn’t really need to be when you walk away feeling like you’ve just had a nice warm bath.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 10)

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In space there is nothing to distract from the fact that this episode didn’t really accomplish very much, not even a few cheap laughs. While hardly a terminally poor episode, it was very much the second low point of the season and I’m kind of hoping next week returns to the form of the past few weeks.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 9)

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Steins;Gate 0 continues to progress and while this episode didn’t quite hit the emotional highs of episode 8, overall, the series continues to build to what will hopefully be an interesting conclusion somewhere down the line.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 9)

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We entered anime cliche land yet again when Tada gets wet from the rain after lending Teresa his umbrella and ends up catching a flu. Still, with this show, even cliches are done well and the more egregious ones are masterfully avoided providing an experience that feels both familiar and yet authentic.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 8 – Not Reviewed)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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How am I enjoying it? I’m loving it. This is probably my favourite season of WIXOSS as it has just been entertaining from start to finish. Looking forward to what comes next.

Character of the Week

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Look at him. It’s Syaoran rocking butterfly wings. This single moment made my heart soar and made me incredibly glad I’ve watched Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card this season.

 

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 8

I actually struggled this week picking an episode of the week. The reason was simple; the only show I wanted to give it to was My Hero Academia and it was my pick last week. Even for anime I really am enjoying this season, week 8 has delivered some pretty poor episodes. A large number are among the worst their particular series has offered to date. Hopefully next week things pick up.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 9)

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More teen drama unfolds with a cast that started interesting but are now all the least interesting form of their original character. It isn’t bad, but it is a long way from being compelling viewing at this point.

Caligula (Episode 8)

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This has gone from potentially interesting concept with so-so execution to just plain bad. Poor characterisation, poor pacing, and just generally boring storytelling has left me watching this wondering what exactly the point might be and ultimately not really caring to find the answer.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 20)

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May they still be arguing over who’s lunches look better in thirty years time. These two are so adorable. And that’s pretty much my review of the episode and the season. It is Cardcaptor and pretty much the highlight of this season has been seeing these two kids together. There’s not a lot wrong with the anime other than being pretty unexciting, so these character moments are what are keeping it afloat.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 8)

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Nothing new to see here as this show steps us back through its rinse and repeat formula. The only real recommendation for this episode is it you enjoy people who are negative about summer events.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 19 – Reviewed for patrons)

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I’m just so frustrated with this one at this point. I’ll finish it only because I’ve stuck around this long, but realistically, this episode is the point where I’ve officially cut any investment in what happens. I don’t care. Blow them all up at this point. Your story makes no sense.

Devils’ Line (Episode 8)

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This anime is also frustrating me but at least this one didn’t really promise much from the beginning. It makes the kind of maddening stupidity of an episode like this one so much easier to take.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 7)

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There’s little left to say. Still no real payout for watching this far. The characters are all still horrible. Thematically the show has done very little. While there’s still a tiny potential for this anime to ultimately get to a point, I’m not exactly hopeful at this stage.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 6)

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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory is really continuing to hit the right spots as we now follow Sousuke on his quest to get to Kaname. There’s a far more serious tone at play here then there was back in season 2, and yet there are still moments of humour to be found. All and all, this one is a pretty solid watch provided you’ve watched the previous seasons.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 9)

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For the first week this season I’m going to have to say that GeGeGe no Kitaro missed the mark. This episode was pretty flat and not all that entertaining. While the series as a whole remains pretty charming so far, episodic stories do have the small problem of crumbling some weeks when things just don’t work out.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 9 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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As much as  I want to enjoy this anime it remains pleasant but fairly unremarkable. The biggest complaint is that nothing seems to have any weight or depth. Visually it is pretty enough, the music is fine, the characters lack a bit of depth but work. It just doesn’t have much impact.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 8)

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I really wish this anime were better. It isn’t terrible but it just isn’t very good because it won’t commit to being the darker story it really kind of needs to be to pull off some of these sequences. The end result is a something that isn’t quite satisfying even though it isn’t inherently broken.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 8)

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Another solid episode by WIXOSS linking personal trauma to a larger narrative and doing it with style. There isn’t any down time because even when it seems like we’ve taken a break from the main storyline, there’s a lot of information and incidental reveals being thrown around and while it isn’t clear how it all comes together yet it is certainly starting to outline a fairly interesting picture.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 8)

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This seriously deserves episode of the week again, but I kind of made a promise to myself I wouldn’t give it to the same show in consecutive weeks. Keep in mind though, the episode was awesome, there’s so much going on, and it was amazing. Go watch it.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 20)

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The power of love finally overcomes all and only 19 episodes after they were supposed to get married, Marrine and Alexis have finally gotten together and are prepared to take the plunge. Let’s forget all the needless death and violence in-between caused by Marrine being stubborn for no real reason. This anime continues to be kind of frustrating to watch as we turn sharply into what might be the final act.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 8)

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Overall, I like this series. However, episode 8 is one that even if I rewatch this series later, I intend to skip. It more or less annoyed me from start to finish and adds nothing to the greater narrative so I’m just going to forget about it at this point.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 9)

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This anime continues to surprise by actually having a plot that is continuing along despite the jokes and short run time. While there’s some definitely questionable logic at times, there’s certainly amusement to be had and the novelty factor (I don’t watch a huge amount of short form anime) is keeping this one working for me.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 8)

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Steins;Gate 0 actually did kind of impress me this week and then I realised that’s because it wasn’t focusing on any of the plot points from this series but really reliving the plot points from the original series. Still, it was a stand out episode and one I really enjoyed.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 8)

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Despite the image, there isn’t much of a conflict here. Tada isn’t exactly fighting to keep Teresa and Charles is pretty willing to let Teresa have her gap year before she comes home to fulfil her obligations. Which is kind of a shame because these two actually clashing would have been kind of amusing. That said, this anime remains fairly relaxed viewing with a nice cast of characters who all just kind of hang out together.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 8 – Not Reviewed)

All found this anime remains something I’d be pretty happy to walk away from. It isn’t bad, I’m just finding it impossible to get interested in it given how much of the story and character development seems to have been just left out of the anime.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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The emotion was very real this week with Steins;Gate 0 and while it might be riding high on nostalgia feels, it was certainly affective.

Character of the Week

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I promise that Sousuke won’t get character of the week every week, but this week he was fantastic. And while I don’t think threatening to assault a police chief is particularly praise worthy, the guy in question totally would have had it coming if Sousuke had followed through.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 7

This week has brought us some highs and lows and as always, a lot of anime to watch. While some anime seem destined to plummet, others have brought us smiles and tears this week (okay, no literal tears). Here’s my weekly round up and as always, I’d love to know your thoughts.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 8)

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Nothing like a camping trip to make us realise that there aren’t any interesting characters left in this show. What little they had to distinguish them from the standard high school romance cast has been ironed out and now we have pretty bland teens going through a fairly blandly written script full of tropes we’ve seen delivered better elsewhere.

Caligula (Episode 6)

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This one has replaced Spiritpact in the review schedule, though it hasn’t exactly been amazing and seems like a poor substitute really. But I am continuing to watch this one because there is potential in its concept and while that theory has burned me so many times, every now and then an anime will get it right and then it is a really glorious thing indeed. Let’s see what this one does and hope it doesn’t crash and burn.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 19)

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While super cute, this episode of Cardcaptor didn’t accomplish much else except for one minor plot set-up. There’s been a lot of wait and see moments in this reignited series and episode 19 is almost entirely down time. Still, the few points they do drop are significant so unfortunately it isn’t something that can just be skipped entirely.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 7)

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Seriously underperforming this season, Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss isn’t really adding anything new to this parody franchise. Basically if you have nothing knew to offer viewers, or even nothing interesting, then why bother.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 18 – Reviewed for patrons)

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I’m getting to the point where I’m not going to ask for logic from this anime. Darling in the Franxx continues to be a fairly frustrating watch because there is so much great about it and yet it just can’t seem to get its story together. Great characters, great concepts, great visuals, not so great story. It still has a few episodes to tie things together but I’m not convinced it will succeed.

Devils’ Line (Episode 7)

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After six episodes, Devils’ Line seems like it has finally found itself a plot and a reasonable one at that. Even the characters managed to not be too stupid this week. While this is hardly a must watch by any means, the verdict after episode seven is that this has become kind of decent and has a fair chance at finishing that way. Of course, it could always take another nose dive.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 6)

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Proving once again the a cool concept that has potential does not equal a good story, Doreiku continues to squander what potential it may have had and instead of an interesting character study on human nature we’re subjected to lame scenarios and games played by fairly bland people attempting to be dark. It’s all a bit disappointing.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 5)

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Sousuke’s making new friends and is as always the life of the party. Well, at the very least he’s still a decent enough knight in shining armour provided your goals align with his. I wasn’t entirely sold on the cast this week, but Sousuke was pretty solid and I want to know what his plan is. He does have a plan, right?

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 8)

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Another monster of the week and another victory by Kitaro. The fact that it is following a pretty straight forward pattern doesn’t make this anime any less fun to watch as Kitaro delivers light, yokai themed entertainment yet again. Really enjoying this even while acknowledging this is definitely pulp kind of entertainment.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 8 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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This anime hasn’t been improving, but it hasn’t gotten any worse. We’ve still got reasonable characters walking through a reasonable plot. It isn’t great but it isn’t painful. The visuals and the OP are pretty great but the rest is kind of average. Its a shame but it is what it is.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 7)

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This continues to have an interesting idea behind it with pretty average to not so great execution. The story is jumping all over the place and there’s way too many characters leading to segments that exist just to remind us who someone is before revealing the next plot point. There’s just too many things running around the outside of what is actually a fairly interesting premise.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 7)

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I’m really enjoying how this season has so far moved the characters from the first two seasons and the characters from season three and is setting the two groups up. What is less enjoyable are the antagonists this time around. Kind of hoping for some work on these sooner rather than later because at the moment they are a weak link in the story.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 7)

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A fairly solid episode creating quite a bit of chaos for the hero society and setting up a fairly decent conflict for the season. My biggest complaint about this third season is how long it has taken to get going but now that it is going, it seems to be full steam ahead, so very little to complain about at this point.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 19)

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Record of Grancrest War is consistent at least in its illogical plot assertions, throwing off one character to show us another we have no clue about, and fights that seem dramatic but usually lack weight and context. Just assume everyone wants to kill everyone because their can only be one survivor. All the talking in between is just noise and amounts to very little.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 7)

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Ice-cream and curry feature this week in a the food anime that’s just sickly sweet and relaxing. This show can make your mouth water even while it lulls you into a deeply relaxed state.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 8)

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Well, if I learned nothing else, I learned not to scratch a robot by making a poor left turn. This episode is light on answers to questions that felt like they should have been addressed, but it certainly leaves us with more questions and an overall wondering about whether this is truly going somewhere or whether we’re just lurching from sequence to sequence.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 7)

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Steins;Gate 0 kicks things up a notch this week. It hasn’t yet really engaged me but it certainly got me curious this week about a few things. And with the beginning and end of the episode feeling quite fast paced and only the middle dragging, it was a lot more fun to watch this week.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 7)

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Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love has remained consistently above average. It isn’t great but it gets enough right that the fairly average story feels stronger than it is. This week focused on the younger sister character and for once I didn’t dislike an anime little sister episode as it gave her a real voice and outlet for her unrequited love.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 7 – Not Reviewed)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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How could this not be my episode of the week? My Hero Academia is back and it has me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what is next.

Character of the Week

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Mitsuru and Kokoro can share it this week from Darling in the Franxx. Kokoro was a character I highly underrated during the first half of the series and yet she’s proven to be one of the more dynamic and interesting cast members of any anime this season.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 6

This week things were a bit more back to normal. I’m still behind with Caligula, but I’ve caught up with Tokyo Ghoul:Re, and more or less decided I’m only finishing it because I enjoyed the first season and not because of anything it is doing. With Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory doing a recap four episodes in, having dropped SAO Alternative, and feeling Steins;Gate 0 is relying too much on me caring about the characters because I do rather than giving me any kind of reason to care about this story, it hasn’t been a great season for sequels and spin-offs. Fortunately there has still been plenty to keep me watching this season and while not all of it is good, I’m certainly having fun.

This week I’d love to know your favourite character of the season so far so leave me a comment below.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 7)

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And Real Girl becomes pretty dull as it feels like they don’t really have anything unique to offer. The characters have both toned down to pretty standard romance fare with little to distinguish them and the conflicts in the anime are quickly dealt with and swept under the rug. As a result, this is pretty ordinary viewing (I’d suggest even a little dull).

Caligula (Episode 4 – On Hold)

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 17)

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We get closer to a reveal, though at this point the audience is pretty clued in and it is only that the characters remain in the dark. Cardcaptor Sakura has maintained a fairly consistent quality and while I haven’t been as super into it as I would have liked, if this had come out just after the original Cardcaptor when I was a bit younger, I’d have loved every minute of it.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 6)

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Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss hasn’t improved over the last couple of episodes as they’ve stuck strictly to the formula rolling out routine and almost timed beats to these episodes. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some fun in listening to the boys’ musings, it just means that any kind of plot development is just going to have to wait because they are stretching around 4 episodes worth of content into a whole season once again.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 16 – Reviewed for patrons)

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The children are left to their own devices in the garden with the mysterious caretakers having vanished and so they go fishing and learn to cook. That seems somewhat anti-climatic but it all seems to be setting up some big reveal that they are dragging out as long as humanly possible. I really don’t like the pacing of this anime and yet I really do want to know where they ultimately go with it.

Devils’ Line (Episode 6)

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A second week in a row where plot seems to be developing and the main characters are only mildly stupid in their interactions and decision making. If Devils’ Line keeps this up it might even achieve the status of ‘average’ rather than ‘pretty bad’ by the end of the season.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 5)

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And this week it seems clear that the anime plans to just free-fall dive until it bottoms out. Which is a shame because conceptually there were some interesting ideas presented, but five episodes in we’ve done nothing of interest with them. This one has ended up being kind of less amusing King’s Game for me this season and I will admit I’m enjoying watching it even as I’ll also admit there’s practically nothing to recommend about the show.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 4)

No episode this week.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 7)

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As I said last week, this anime knows what it is doing with episodic tales and the straight take on a ghost story this week was a nice shake up and a fairly punchy little story. Really enjoyed it and the different approach each week makes this show better than just the monster of the week label might make it sound like.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 7 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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The eatery isn’t going so great, surprise, given a lack of planning and advertising. That said, Aoi isn’t put off. And viewers probably won’t be either. While this isn’t overly thrilling, it is pleasant enough to look at and the characters are kind of fun in a very low key manner. It works but won’t really be remembered and isn’t exactly exciting viewing.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 6)

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Very much a mid-season episode offering little of overall value to the grand plot and focusing almost exclusively on an individual character’s back ground. While this isn’t a problem, it also isn’t overly noteworthy and feels a lot like marking time.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 6)

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Things are still going pretty badly for our main characters and the odds seem insurmountably against them. And that’s Wixoss for you. I’m still really enjoying this and it seems like we’re about to round the corner as the set up is pretty much played out and it is time to see how they get through this.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 6)

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Yay! My Hero Academia is back to full steam ahead and this episode was fantastic. Finally I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next and I just genuinely enjoyed every minute of episode 6. Fingers crossed the season continues like this now that it’s gotten over its warm-up.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 18)

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Who has Theo become? His actions this week are so far apart from where he started this anime in terms of his moral stance and yet superficially it looks like he hasn’t changed at all. This anime continues to deliver an interesting and yet confusing narrative and while it isn’t good, it certainly continues to make me think.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 6)

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For a flash-back/origin episode, this one worked well enough. Not a lot of excitement but a relaxing story that confirms much of what we’d thought about the setting and cements our understanding of two of the characters though doesn’t offer a lot new. For a calming watch it was definitely workable.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 7)

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Episode 7 was a bit of a mixed bag. The story continued but at the same time it wasn’t a particularly satisfying watch. Hopefully the plot developments lead us to something interesting next week.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

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Perfect ending to a show that has continued to defy the low expectations set by season 1. Season two of this was fantastic and I’m so glad I picked it up, even if I was worried when I started it. A full review will be out soon.

Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 6)

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Yeah, this one probably isn’t ever going to hold the same place in my heart that the original Steins;Gate series managed. It just hasn’t managed to make its own mark and I’ve realised that every moment of interest or enjoyment I’ve gotten from this series has come from a feeling connected to the first. While I intend to finish it, I’m not exactly jumping with joy about this one.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 6)

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The sweetness continues and there’s really not a lot new to say about this anime. My biggest issue is that we seem to be skipping over the falling in love stage to the we’re in love but not admitting it stage. It’s a fairly minor concern in an anime that actually remains consistently better than average but not amazing.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 7 – Not Reviewed)

I probably won’t be reviewing episodes of this but I did catch up on the anime this week. Basically I don’t know who half the cast are or why they are important and none of the fights have the punch or look as interesting as what season one offered. While it is a fun turn off brain and watch chaos kind of thing, with limited care about the characters and story because they don’t seem to want anime viewers to be able to follow it anyway, this one is pretty much just a watch because it exists kind of thing.

Episode of the Week

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What’s better than a hopeless battle between two factions? Adding a third faction and hinting at interference from the church. Things are definitely heating up in Grancrest even if they make as little sense as ever.

Character of the Week

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This one gets shared between Tanmoku and Keika from Spiritpact in the final episode. These two are adorable and I’m really happy with how their relationship grew this season.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Friday’s Feature: Finding Joy and Inspiration In Watching Anime Characters Succeed

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been feeling pretty down recently. After work travel followed by travel for a wedding and then straight back to work even though I had a fairly bad cold, I’ve been feeling really tired and run-down and finding it hard to really get any motivation to do much of anything. For awhile I kind of embraced this down feeling and watched anime that normally I wouldn’t give a moment to, I didn’t get around to drafting much for the blog, and I kind of just kept my head above water at work. The problem with that is that it isn’t a long term solution for anything other than eventually drowning and so I had to pick myself up one way or another.

And so naturally I turned to Yuri on Ice.

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There are so many bloggers out there who talk about how anime has saved them or given them the strength they’ve needed at a certain time in their life. Realistically, any story can have this impact if it is the right story delivered at the right time and the right way. However, for those of us who call ourselves anime fans, there’s something very special about anime and the way we connect with it and the characters. We know they aren’t real (or at least most of us do). We understand these are drawn or computer generated characters. And yet the emotions we feel while watching them are very real.

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I don’t think I’m alone when I say that watching Yuri on Ice is an experience in and of itself. Each time Yuri falls down he picks himself back up whether personally or professionally. The reciprocated respect between Yuri and Victor that ultimately becomes a truly beautiful love is amazing to watch and the scene where they exchange rings is absolutely fantastic.

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Yet none of that beats the high of seeing Yuri performing his routine, to his chosen music, at the end of the series and finally delivery an awe inspiring performance. While the relationship between the characters is great, the whole cast is interesting, and the music great to listen to, for me the biggest high watching this anime through again is in seeing Yuri’s moment of triumph.

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In a way that none of the screaming shounen protagonists have ever been able to do, Yuri’s performance inspires me, lifts me up, and makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time. It makes me want to try things and not give up and for a brief moment I might even crazily think I can accomplish anything and everything I set my mind to. About a minute after that my more cynical and rational mind kicks in and tells me not to get too ambitious but focus on the things I can in fact accomplish with just a bit of effort.

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I followed this up with a round of Snow White with the Red Hair. Let’s be honest, Shirayuki is inspirational from episode 1. She never once lets a single thing set her back for too long. She gracefully rises to each challenge she is faced with and continues to look forward on her path. There’s never bitterness or complaints or looking for an easy path. There’s no faltering just because she’s tired. Shirayuki is the kind of character that might really annoy you if you were really feeling down, but after being raised up and inspired by Yuri, Shirayuki gives you a practical approach to walking the path you choose.

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And finally, mostly for a laugh, I ended this anime recovery session by watching a single episode of Attack on Titan season 2. The one where Eren first actually kills a titan while in human form. Eren is not my favourite character and yet there’s a definite thrill and joy in seeing him momentarily celebrate this seemingly minor achievement during a battle. On a more serious note though, it does remind us to take time to celebrate the little things. Otherwise, we might get eaten by a titan before we have the chance to celebrate anything.

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So while I’m still feeling very tired and behind and like life might just be piling too many things on my shoulders just at the moment, I’m no longer seeing this as a negative. Yuri, Shirayuki and Eren all gave me a reason to look forward, to embrace the challenge, to celebrate small successes, and to remember that I can choose to continue to wallow or I can choose to try to make my situation better. I may not always succeed at what I set my mind to, but I can certainly make some progress with effort.

Once again I find myself very thankful I am an anime fan.

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So I’ll leave you with the question of which anime characters have ever inspired you? And this will probably lead into a top 5 list very soon about inspiring anime characters.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 5

There’s some double reviews this week and a lot of playing catch up after my week of travel but mostly I’ve managed. I’m quite surprised that of all the returning series Full Metal Panic and WIXOSS are the two I’m most caught up in and that My Hero Academia is still a little bit lacking. For the new shows, I’m enjoying the couple of rom-coms I’ve picked up and GeGeGe No Kitaro has just been kind of adorable.

How is spring for you so far? What anime are you really excited about this season?

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 6)

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Teen melodrama continues with some lessons learned and a heavy reliance on coincidence and miscommunication to keep fuelling the plot. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there is definitely a slight clumsiness about how this one is put together and its showing. While I’m still kind of enjoying these characters, there’s more and more elements to this anime that just aren’t impressing.

Caligula (Episode 4 – Not reviewed)

This anime really wants to be edgy and maybe thought provoking but mostly it is just kind of lurching from sequence to sequence with some poor exposition to try to string together a more complicated plot than what seems to actually be the case. Throw in a whole bunch of terminology that seems to exist just for the sake of it and mostly this anime is just kind of something I watch between other episodes but am not really getting into.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 17)

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We get closer to a reveal, though at this point the audience is pretty clued in and it is only that the characters remain in the dark. Cardcaptor Sakura has maintained a fairly consistent quality and while I haven’t been as super into it as I would have liked, if this had come out just after the original Cardcaptor when I was a bit younger, I’d have loved every minute of it.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 5)

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Right, so two episodes of this anime reviewed this week as catch up and they have me hoping I never fall behind again given watching one episode of this anime is amusing enough, but two is just stretching the friendship and had me watching the time until it was over. There’s only so much of the same joke I can take before I want to run in the opposite direction and by the end of episode 5 I nearly hit my limit.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 16 – Reviewed for patrons)

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The children are left to their own devices in the garden with the mysterious caretakers having vanished and so they go fishing and learn to cook. That seems somewhat anti-climatic but it all seems to be setting up some big reveal that they are dragging out as long as humanly possible. I really don’t like the pacing of this anime and yet I really do want to know where they ultimately go with it.

Devils’ Line (Episode 5)

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Devils’ Line decided to actually settle itself this week and didn’t do anything too stupid with either its characters or setting (though that’s only in comparison to earlier plot developments). As a result, I kind of enjoyed watching this week even if overall the anime isn’t objectively very good.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 4)

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Yep, this anime develops plot by drawing random cards out of a hat. And the reveal of the all-mighty slave master is… A white haired boy with red eyes, because why not. This is again a case of I’m watching it more just to see how far it plans to take its own absurdities before maybe it recovers or bottoms out.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 4)

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Everything hit the fan this week as the crisis at the school was finally resolved in a way that leaves no doubt in my mind that this season intends to keep things fairly dramatic. Season 2 of FMP was also pretty full on with the drama and I’m really appreciating this returning series continuing that rather than focusing on the more comedic elements. Truly impressive episode.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 6)

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GeGeGe no Kitaro is doing episodic stories right. We’ve got an interesting core cast but not every one of them appears every episode so the mix keeps changing. We also get a different monster each week with a slightly different motive and personality which gives each conflict a different flavour. They also keep moving the settings around. So while there’s a fair amount of formula at play here, it hasn’t yet devolved into rinse and repeat story telling and hopefully it won’t.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 6 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Still a fairly slow burn, this anime is entertaining enough and yet really isn’t in a hurry to get anywhere. Six episodes in and we’ve only just opened the eatery. Though the progress toward opening the restaurant is nowhere near as slow as the meandering way this story crafts character relationships. Now while it is pleasant to watch it makes it hard for me to really love it when I feel like the whole thing is just kind of ponderous.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 5)

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As much as this anime isn’t amazing, it has been pretty consistent so far. And while consistently average isn’t exactly a great recommendation, it does make for a reasonably enjoyable viewing experience when you aren’t worried about the show taking a nose dive every five minutes.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 5)

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I am continuing to enjoy this anime as it sets about making every character in the show pretty miserable. Well, except the villains who seem to be having a blast as they cackle their way through Selector battles. Still, there are definitely some basic world building questions that are going to need addressing if this series is going to stick its landing. Love for these characters and their dramas can only go so far without a plot to hold things together.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 5)

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My Hero Academia is definitely taking its time getting going but there’s a lot of promise in the set-up this week (and a few cool fighting and character moments). It is odd that Midoriya actually feels like the weak link right at the moment because normally I love his character, but right now I’d like the focus on pretty much anyone but him because there are so many things that could become very cool if the show would just focus on them.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 17)

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The ride continues with Grancrest delivering another logically flawed story with heavy exposition to skate over the worst plot holes and generally just keeps charging forward hoping we won’t notice all the gaps and cracks in this production if they just keep moving. It isn’t working but at least it is entertaining in its own way.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 5)

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Kind of a downward turn at episode 5. The show is still pleasant but I’m just not sure about what happened during the second half of episode 5. If they can get back to keeping things simple, or possibly the story they started introducing in episode 3, that would be great.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 6)

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After being fairly certain this one was heading for a drop after episode 4, episodes 5 and 6 really surprised me by how solid they were and how they re-engaged me with this anime. I don’t know if it is going to be a lasting revival of interest, but episode 6 certainly suggested some real potential for this series to become more than just short space skits.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Episode 11)

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With one episode to go, this second season has been a fantastic follow up to a first season that had quite a number of issues. It is as though everything that worked with season one was kept and improved upon and the elements that really didn’t work have been cut loose. While that means there’s some continuity issues in terms of tone and style, I think ultimately the show has been better because of it. Looking forward to the conclusion of this one.

Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 5)

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They are definitely pushing coincidence and interconnections in this anime, though it makes sense given the nature of the show. I’ll admit, I’m feeling more into this anime now then when it first started. I’m still not totally loving it, but I’m finding more and more that I do like about it as it progresses so hopefully that is a good sign.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 5)

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Teresa has an absolutely fantastic smile and I love how many times she gets to show it. This anime remains pleasant and charming, though isn’t doing anything more than that. The cast work great together, there’s plenty of good details included, and the story itself remains fairly low key but sweet.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 4 – Currently on hold)

Episode of the Week

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Really weird that a comedy short would be my episode of the week, but I really appreciated the twist and the sudden appearance of a potentially ongoing plot.

Character of the Week

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How could I not pick Sousuke from Full Metal Panic after this week? He’s come so far as a character since season 1 and it was fantastic to see him in action even if his efforts will not be rewarded this early in the season.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz