Fruits Basket The Final Season Series Review – Bring Tissues and Someone To Hug

Fruits Basket The Final Season
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket The Final Season in 2021.

Fruits Basket The Final Season has brought Tohru’s emotional journey to a close.

For some of us, the journey to Fruits Basket The Final Season has been a long time coming. I don’t know when the manga became available for people to read but I do know that in the early 2000’s I stumbled upon a bright supernatural shoujo anime with a bit of comedy and fell in love with Tohru and the members of the zodiac and then the series ended and there was nothing more.

Fortunately, 2019 saw a reboot of Fruits Basket with the first season of three launching and telling the story again. There were changes between the original series and the reboot but the sentimental feelings remained the same and these characters made me fall in love with them all over again and want to give them all a hug.

While there were some aspects in the second season that felt a little weaker, such as the introduction of the student council that Yuki would work with, overall everything was needed because Fruits Basket The Final Season brings all the threads together, stirs the viewers emotions, and leaves us with a story that you really do have to experience.

Frutis Basket The Final Series Episode 4
See, even Hiro is crying.

As always, the strength of Fruits Basket The Final Season remains the characters and their emotional journeys. Whether we like these characters or not, we can empathise with them and what they are going through and the story guides us gently through their trauma, to the stirrings of finding hope, to finding a resolution and then looking toward a new future.

That it does this again and again and somehow manages to feel fresh each time and for each character is a real testament to how this story has built up its cast over the prior two seasons.

Whether we are watching the more innocent antics of Kisa and Hiro, the more passionate Hatsuharu and Isuzu, seeing the more malicious and darker relationship between Shigure, Kureno and Akito, the awkwardness of Yuki with Machi, or even focusing on the endlessly adorable Kyo and Tohru all of these characters stir an emotional response in the audience and have made us invested in their outcome.

Kyo and Tohru - Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 6
They are just too adorable.

However it isn’t just tears. Fruits Basket the Final Season will take you through the full range of emotions.

You will get angry, at Akito most definitely but even at some of the other characters. You will feel joy and smile like a fool. You will be concerned and curious and at times just feel drained. The emotions on screen are portrayed well and the visuals and music perfectly accompany them to move the viewer, but more than that, they feel earned.

None of these events have sprung up out of nowhere just to tug our heartstrings. They are the culmination of some fairly carefully crafted story work over three seasons of anime and I found Fruits Basket the Final Season was wildly successful.

Fruits Basket The Final Season
Finally, some answers.

The series was not just relying on the ‘feels’ to keep viewers invested. Clues about the nature of the ‘curse’ and how the Soma family came to be were dropping throughout Fruits Basket the Final Season and these both added to and slightly changed what we knew about the situation before leading us to the final reveals.

While the plot overall isn’t usually the driver of Fruits Basket, with the characters and their feelings taking front and centre, the curse has been the underlying problem throughout the whole series and is responsible for the distorted relationships and upbringings that have caused so much of the character trauma that we’ve witnessed. So for the ending to really feel satisfying, the curse needed to be addressed and I’m very happy with how this plays out.

They don’t move us away from character drama for an exposition dump. Rather the information comes through character interactions, choices, and one or two flash back sequences that tell us more about character relationships while moving the plot forward.

It’s highly effective and leaves you feeling like the journey really has come to a close.

Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 13
They finally made it.

If I was to offer a criticism of Fruits Basket The Final Season, it would be more a personal preference. As a weekly watcher of this anime, the final two episodes felt like they were dragging the epilogue of this story out. I know that on a rewatch, when you binge episodes 11 through to 13 together it will actually feel kind of beautiful, however the climax really is episode 11 and so the final forty minutes of episodes 12 and 13 are really wrapping up all the loose ends.

And I do mean all the loose ends.

While Fruits Basket hasn’t been weighed down by its large cast previously, seeing every single character’s epilogue and seeing all of them end up with a more-or-less happily-ever-after (or at least the potential to reach one in the future) definitely felt like overkill.

Admittedly, who would decide which characters to leave out? Fruits Basket the Final Season is the end and so we won’t see these characters again and every character has fans.

For me though, it was a little much and I’d have happily settled for a slightly shorter conclusion to this story.

Fruits Basket the Final Season Episode 2
Yep, Shigure is a bit of a downer this season.

Ultimately though it is a petty complaint. Fruits Basket The Final Season is beautiful.

The animation, the use of colour, the characters… It is a real joy to watch. Everything really just fits the purpose for really moving the audience to the right emotional tone.

Likewise, the use of sound continues to really complement the story. That said, I will put one more criticism out there: I really didn’t like the OP. Most Fruits Basket openings I have really enjoyed but this one I tried three times and then just skipped it.

Fruits Basket The Final Season Episode 1

However, for anyone who has watched Fruits Basket at all, Fruits Basket The Final Season is a must watch. Bring the tissues along and ensure you have someone or something to hug because you are going to need it (particularly if you try to binge watch).

This is a really beautiful anime with a beautiful story with characters I am sorely going to miss (at least until I rewatch it).

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.


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Karandi James


Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 13 Impressions – The Long Epilogue of a Narrative Continued

Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 13 Review
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

Fruits Basket delivers yet more epilogue.

It seems such a petty complaint when I consider the dizzying emotional heights this final season of Fruits Basket has delivered, but realistically after episode 11, both 12 and 13 have felt kind of anti-climatic. Part of me almost wishes they’d just made episode 11 a forty-minute special and truncated the content of these final two episodes. Because waiting a week in between each one to just get more wrap up feels a little… well lame.

Binge watchers will have a definite advantage here because to be blunt, they can ride the emotional high from episode 11 and be swept through these final two episodes and left with that final happy smile of joy at a sickly sweet conclusion in which everyone gets a happily ever after. For seasonal viewers, Fruits Basket’s ending lacks any kind of meat and two weeks is a long time to trail out an ending of saccharine sweet smiles.

But Tohru and Kyo - Image from Fruits Basket the Final Season
Not that they aren’t still adorable.

And you know, it doesn’t undermine my overall love of this anime. Three seasons of Fruits Basket and it has told a beautiful story and part of me is really happy that the characters are working toward their happy ending and we’re seeing what happens next. However as an episode to review my impressions of I’m left with the unmistakable feeling that pretty much nothing happened other than the slow demonstration that all the characters are moving on and making sure we know they got to happily ever after.

That doesn’t leave you with a lot to say and the few moments of comedy offered up by Hanajima really don’t give much to discuss either.

Hanajima really enjoys messing with Kyo.

Though, this episode does make a point of touching base with all the key characters and couples and we see their reactions to Tohru leaving (with Kyo). There’s lots of sighs and wistfully staring off into a future and then there’s the plans they make for themselves.

Probably the one that made me happiest was seeing Hatori making plans to travel. He’s lived a longer time in the clutches of the family and had never really rebelled against it. Unlike Ayame and Shigure he stayed in the main estate and did what he was asked to do so seeing him planning to go somewhere and maybe have his own life for a change was actually a pretty touching moment in amongst a lot of similarly played out sequences in this episode.

While the future for many of the kids is ambiguous, they make it clear they are all moving on with their lives and relationships.

Oh, they are being super cute - Fruits Basket Final Season.

I will get to the full season review of Fruits Basket: The Final Season soon but really I think I need to binge watch the whole season. While week to week was fine, the emotional roller coaster makes it difficult to really be objective as a whole. I do know that Fruits Basket really did do something special and this final season has been a brilliant conclusion, even if the final episodes have felt like they are dragging just a little bit.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.


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Karandi James


Mars Red Episode 13 – The Curtain Falls on Our Historical Vampires

Mars Red Episode 13 Review
Karandi Great Idea Transparent

Hi Irina. We’ve finally reached the end of the season and I’m a little sad about it. As much as Mars Red has its rough edges and flaws it has been an interesting watch each week and I’ve always looked forward to the next episode even if the last one wasn’t amazing. Plus I’ve enjoyed covering it with you because you bring a different perspective to each episode. Alas, it is now complete.

Irina 2020

I’m one of those people that’s really quick to forgive flaws when an anime gives me a little something to hold on to and I’ve been enjoying Mars Red for a while now. It definitely had a low point in the middle there but we’ve all had bad days, right?

I kind of feel the ending may have had more impact if they’d cut about three episodes worth of content out of the mid-season. It does a beautiful job bringing things back to the beginning and yet it feels like we took such a long time to get to here. Definitely feel this is an anime that would have benefited from being maybe 8 episodes long because then it would have felt like a tighter narrative. Then again, I’m also impatient and I know it. 

Maeda does not take script advice - Mars Red

Actually, considering that a lot of the midseason dragged as far as I’m concerned and also had plot points that didn’t go anywhere, I have to agree. Mars Red is the type of series that doesn’t need to tie up everything or go into detailed explanations. In fact I think it benefits from being a little aloof and up for interpretation. An 8 or 10 episode season instead of 13 would have tightened up the narrative and focused it a bit. And they probably would have ended up cutting a lot of the elements that annoyed us…or at least me. 

Good script doctoring, K!

Irina and Karandi fix Mars Red… Maybe not. It isn’t exactly broken.



On the bright side, we finally got to see Maeda’s story. It’s taken a long time to get there though I couldn’t help but feel like some of it didn’t fit with what we had seen earlier. For instance he was commanding the vampire unit before Kurusu and Yamaguchi arrived and that wasn’t how I remembered it (though my memory could be faulty). There were a few other bits and pieces that didn’t quite click with what I thought I remembered so I’m wondering if it will make sense on rewatch or if they were actually retconning his past.

That said, I did like that we saw his interactions (at least in his head) with Misaki. It really did help Mars Red feel like it had come full circle and added a lot more weight to the end of this fight.

Maeda and Misaki - Image from Mars Red

I thought it was an absolutely brilliant way to bookend the story. Flashbacks to events we haven’t seen establishing the main character in the last episode, in the middle of a fight no less. It’s pretty daring as far as narrative structure goes and I was there for it. 

Moreover, it was blending memories with obvious fantasies and possible dreams to create this surreal and yet tender sort of sequence. I think I learned more about Maeda from the scenes that were fantasies than from the ones that were memories and I have never liked the guy more. That’s pretty effective storytelling. 

Misakir and Maeda - Mars Red

In terms of Kurusu, I wasn’t right but I wasn’t wrong. They didn’t kill him off but they more or less kept him apart from Aoi in the end. So a bittersweet conclusion indeed. Interesting to note also he was one of the few characters who didn’t appear in the after-credits sequence where we got to see where most of the vampire characters who survived ended up.

See, K is a realist and I’m a 4 year old. I was going to be all giddy about the fact that I got my Disney ending. OK, so they didn’t manage to save Maeda but he got to rest besides the one he loves. It was cute. As for Kurusu and Aoi…I think they make for a really bad couple. I’m sorry but their personalities just don’t work together for me. I thought them leaving on good terms and both healthy was the super happy ending.

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Not to mention that I’m terminally optimistic. So in my head Aoi stays friends with both Kurusu and Deffrot and they visit throughout the years. They make friends with her husband and kid. Maybe they have friends for generations of the family. Meanwhile Kurusu finds satisfaction in the afterlife and helps hundreds along the way. When they find the cure he settles down with his own family. It’s a beautiful afterlife!

Kurusu and Aoi - not necessarily getting a happily ever after. Image from Mars Red.

Wow, I love how you’ve crafted an entire epilogue out of only a few potential cues in the anime but it does get you the disney ending. 

However, before final thoughts, I do want to ask what was going on with the sun in this episode? I mean, Maeda burns up in the sunlight from the sunrise and then Kurusu is standing right where he died but it is in shade before he moves toward the approaching vampire units and now the area is back in sunlight. 

Part of me wondered if Maeda didn’t actually see the sunrise but died from the sword being stabbed through his heart and the sunrise was just metaphoric but that whole sequence was just a bit confusing. What did you think, Irina?

Was it the sword or the sun that killed him? Image from Mars Red.

I think the movement of the sun was symbolic of the passage of time and the evolution of the characters. That split second of seeing his mentor die lasted hours, maybe weeks for Kurusu. You know how time freezes then speeds up like crazy when you’re going through these really dramatic moments in life?

They definitely didn’t just ignore physics for the sake of moving the plot along and getting a few cinematic shots in. 

Alright, final thoughts… Mars Red was an interesting watch. I liked the vampire lore here and the concepts. I liked the theatrical tone and for the most part the methodical pacing. That said, it is an anime that would benefit from another round of edits and to be honest I’m still not entirely convinced that all of the characters served any practical purpose. It really does feel like it over-reached a bit and that the story would have been better if kept a little more streamlined.

I really liked this final episode. I said last episode was my favourite but I was wrong. It’s this one. So it’s tainting my view of the entire series in a positive way. I came out of it thinking, what a fun little show!

Kurusu agrees - watch.
Image from Mars Red.

If I try to be objective, ⅓ to almost half was a bit of a mess and worse, boring. I wouldn’t blame viewers for abandoning it then, especially if they weren’t that fond of the unique style it was attempting. The pacing was all over the place and it seemed at times like Mars Red couldn’t decide on what it actually wanted to be, changing up the narrative style and mood in a way that did the whole a disservice.

But it did try for something a bit less conventional and when it succeeded it was interesting. I think it had a strong start and a great ending with a lousy middle. Does it make it worth the watch? I’m not sure. It was for me though!

I’m with you. I thought it was worth the watch even with the flaws. But I guess we’ll ask the readers: Your final thoughts?

Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

karandi avatar no background

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 12 Impressions

Killing Slimes for 300 Years Episode 12
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
https://otakuauthor.com/

It’s time for the witch to run a super-modern maid café in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

After the slight mis-fire that was episode 11 where the humour didn’t stick its landing for me and I found the whole set-up fairly inane, episode 12 brings out all the charm I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years has (which is quite a bit) and throws it across the screen on mass as the cast put together a café for a festival.

Now we could ask petty questions such as why is Azusa introducing maid café culture to a medieval fantasy world and why does no one find the entire thing surprising (though I guess the minstrel was into death metal so why not), however it would be pointless. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is basically a thinly veiled excuse to have cute super-powered girls do very little and look adorable and the café setting puts the strengths of this series on full display in a calming and fun conclusion that perfectly fits the series.

The twins were born to be the cute waitresses - image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
Did I need another adorable picture of Shalsha and Falfa? Of course I did.

Basically the core group learn that the local town is having their annual festival and are keen to be involved. Azusa has kept herself out of it for the last 300 years so hasn’t had any prior involvement. After about two seconds of thought she comes to the conclusion that they could do a one-day café in her house for the festival.

Naturally this means getting fitted for maid outfits. I’m just not sure why this was entirely necessary in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years given the girls’ usual attire is pretty adorable, but when you have so many cute girls I guess any excuse to put them in an outfit that you could later sell a figure or poster of is good enough. And, they really did look pretty cute.

Azusa amazed at the success of her cafe - Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
Doesn’t everything you do turn out to be a bit crazy?

Not content with dressing up the slime twins, dragon girls, a witch, an elf and the ghost girl (via magic), I’ve Been Killing Slimes brings back every single character we’ve encountered. Whether it is Beelzebub of the Demon King dropping in and taking over waitress duties, the Leviathan sisters moving into the kitchen and cooking up a storm, the other witch handing out product samples or the minstrel performing for the line of customers, every girl who has had a moment in this series appears in this final episode.

I guess they really didn’t want any fans to leave this episode feeling they missed out on seeing their favourite girl.

However with so many characters this episode didn’t really allow any of them any time to be anything but cute. Beelzebub lacked her usual biting edge, the demon king really did just seem like a hyperactive little sister, and the core cast all just kind of blends together in a blur of maid costumes and café service.

Beelzebub lays on the charm - Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
I mean, she’s a really cute demon maid.

It isn’t that this is bad. I mean, it is super laid-back and super relaxing and it all just kind of feels super-cute. Which means I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is playing very much to its strengths and the charm that really grabbed audiences back in the first few episodes.

I imagine binge watching I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level could more or less lull you into a sugar coma for how sweet it all ends up being and the few jokes that haven’t landed along the way are minor inconveniences. So for now, I’ll end with a picture of the main cast as they prepare for the cafe and I’ll get on with planning the series review.

The girls from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.


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Karandi James


Fruits Basket: The Final Season Episode 12 Impressions – The Long Epilogue of a Narrative

Fruits Basket Episode 12
Crow's World of Anime has sponsored reviews of Fruits Basket Final Season in 2021.

A strange calm is settling over the cast of Fruits Basket.

It was kind of inevitable that whatever came after the emotional heights of episode 11 was going to be a bit of a let down. Admittedly, Fruits Basket made a solid attempt at tugging the heart strings this week but this is definitely the start of a long epilogue that won’t conclude until one more episode.

That might be an incredibly cold thing to say about an episode that deals with the final bonds breaking in the zodiac, Akito finally realising an apology is owed but unable to give it, and finally seeing Kyoko’s final moments and words, but Fruits Basket has reached such incredible heights that honestly while this episode provided satisfying continuations and revelations, emotionally I was pretty calm this week.

Kyo and Ayami - Fruits Basket Final Season Episode 12
Okay, my reaction was a lot better than Kyo’s was.

In case it sounds like I didn’t like the episode, I’d like to say that isn’t true. Episode 12 of this final season of Fruits Basket is every bit as well crafted and cohesive as the rest of the narrative has been.

For me this is just a case where binge watchers have the advantage. They can come straight from the emotional high of last week to getting their denouement and it would be almost cleansing from an emotional point of view. However for those with a week to mull over the previous episode and have distance from those emotions, this ends up being more a Lord of the Rings style epilogue where sure it gives us more information about what is coming next for the characters but it isn’t strictly speaking needed to feel satisfied.

It was nice that Fruits Basket did allow Yuki his moment in episode 12. While the focus has been on Kyo for a fair while now, it is important to remember that Yuki has been in this story since the beginning and his journey is every bit as important.

Yuki and Machi
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
Yuki distracted from Machi.

While a lot of viewers seem to really like Machi and appreciate her as a character, for me Machi has always felt like a late addition that hasn’t quite earned my emotional attachment and so while I was thrilled for Yuki in this sequence as the two were adorkably sweet together, Machi is more just a necessity for Yuki’s ending rather than feeling like a character I’m particularly concerned about.

Likewise, Akito’s appearance this week and reconnection with the other zodiac members (now that they are freed) and then with Shigure, does nicely help to close up any potential loose ends and continues Akito’s redemption arc even if actual redemption is a long way away. However given this path had already been set in the previous episode of Fruits Basket seeing it play out was more just kind of a nice addition rather than a must watch moment, even if I absolutely loved that outfit.

Akito tries a new look.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
A different look for Akito.

The real emotional power of the episode comes from seeing Kyoko’s final moments from a different perspective. While this is framed around Kyo’s decision about the future and Honda’s desire for him to forgive himself, Kyoko has been a powerful character throughout the whole narrative despite being dead when it really started. Giving her these final moments actually felt like a weighty addition to the story and not just another loose end to be tied.

With one final episode to go it will be interesting to see what note Fruits Basket will leave us on. Will it do a time-skip to reveal the characters further on or will we simply get to the graduation of the main group and have them go their own way? Are there any surprises left in store or is it just waiting it out as this story that has kept me enthralled through three seasons draws to a close?

The gods and zodiac animals bid farewell.
Image from Fruits Basket Final Season.
The banquet is over.

What I do know is that regardless of what the final episode brings, this is one series I would firmly recommend. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll do both at the same time. Fruits Basket will leave you emotionally wrecked while giving you confidence and hope. The characters will charm you and annoy you and end up feeling like family. At the end of the day, I’m going to miss this show once the final curtain falls.

Images used for review from: Fruits Basket: The Final Season. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.


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Karandi James


Mars Red Episode 12 – From Glen to Glen

Mars Red ep12

Hello Everyone, I hope you’re all doing great! K, I hope you’re good as well!  You know, for a second there I thought this was the last episode and they were just going to finish it like that. And I didn’t hate it. I’m glad we’re going to see the resolution but I think it…

Mars Red Episode 12 – From Glen to Glen

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Karandi James


Watch or Drop? Is Full Dive Worth Watching?

Full Dive Watch or Drop
Full Dive - How many people would actually want a game to reproduce pain?
Why would anyone want a game that does that, Full dive?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
The best friend and childhood friend - yet neither want to explain why he can't leave the city (at least not properly). 
Full Dive gets off to a rocky start.
And why can’t the friends simply explain their reasoning to Hiro? Communicate.

First Impressions of Full Dive:

Right off the bat the premise was always going to be a problem. That someone made a game that would reproduce real life, including pain, just strikes me as a terrible marketing decision and I’m sure two seconds of research would have convinced those who bank-rolled the game Kiwame Quest that it was a stupid idea.

More importantly, assuming the game did get made and assuming our protagonist was ‘tricked’ into purchasing the game, why would he log in again after the first experience. Full Dive seems to have wanted an excuse to put their protagonist through the wringer and they weren’t too picky about how they got to the point where they could torture the main character in episode 3.

Sure, they are overly exaggerating the reactions of characters and every character’s personality is way over the top in an attempt to play it as comedy, but realistically we’ve seen a teenager boy get beaten up for asking questions, accidentally kill someone, get pursued by guards, betrayed by another player, led in chains through the street and stoned before being haunted by a ghost and chained to a table and almost had his leg cut off.

Not entirely sure I’m getting the humour of it all.

That said, I also didn’t stop watching prior to the end of the first three episodes of Full Dive so there’s something about it.



Full Dive Series Positives:

I’m actually struggling a little here.

So far we have awful characters who have either endured awful things or done awful things playing an awful game where so far only bad things have happened.

It doesn’t even really look that great.

Full Dive - Hiro's sister lets him know how she's feeling about his hobby.
Ah, a supportive little sister.

On the other hand, an anime doesn’t need to be sunshine and rainbows to be enjoyable. I’m just not entirely sure what the appeal is here. Part of me wants to know what it will take before Hiro genuinely doesn’t log back into the game again. The end of episode 3 of Full Dive has him declaring he’s over the game, but that seems unlikely given where we are in the story.

The other part of me wants to see if these negative experiences ultimately lead to something worthwhile. Let’s be real, even before Hiroshi started playing the game his life wasn’t exactly going great. While I don’t need a happy ending, it would be kind of nice to see that through overcoming his current tribulations maybe he finds something better.

Or maybe Full Dive really is just about making the character as miserable as possible. I guess I won’t know if I don’t keep watching.

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Full Dive Series Negatives:

I kind of feel perhaps the biggest negative for me so far is that Full Dive: The Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG is Even Shittier Than Real Life! is labelled as a comedy and while I can kind of see some exaggeration for comedic effect, I’m not exactly seeing this as funny.

That’s naturally a subjective point of view but without this actually landing in the funny category, mostly it is just depressing and a little bit morbid. Then again, others who have reviewed Full Dive found it delivered on laughs so maybe this will work for you.

Full Dive - Really knows how to make you pay for your mistakes.
It isn’t like he did it on purpose. I doubt he could have done it on purpose.

That said, I am kind of curious still about where they will take the premise. It is nice to see a character in a video game who doesn’t get instantly stronger and isn’t automatically recognised as a hero. In an over-saturated genre of being trapped in a video game, Full Dive has taken the path of Bofuri in that the character isn’t technically trapped, but then has dialled up the difficulty to Aincrad SAO levels if it had an insane mode that also made pain a thing.

Still, what it might be isn’t what it has done and in three episodes this one has been visually dull, the voice acting consists of a lot of shouting and whining, and so far I haven’t found a single character that I actually sympathise with, care about, or really want to spend time with.

I think I like the idea of Full Dive far more than I am liking the anime.

Verdict?

Karandi Shrug Transparent
Maybe

I actually don’t know just yet if I am going to finish Full Dive or not. I probably will because it made me curious and that’s perhaps my greatest weakness. That said, after trying three episodes, I wouldn’t exactly be telling anyone else they should be checking this one out. There’s plenty of anime out there with similar ideas that have been done better.

Maybe Full Dive will change my mind before the end but I’m not that optimistic.

Images from: Full Dive. Dir. K Miura. ENGI. 2021.


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Karandi James


I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 11 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 11
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
https://otakuauthor.com/

Listening to Halkara was mistake one. Listening to Pecora was even worst. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years takes a decided downward turn.

There’s a moment in a lot of either horror movies or comedies where you can see a character is about to do something unbelievably stupid and you keep hoping that it is just a fake-out and they wouldn’t really be that dumb and then… well then they do it anyway. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level decides that episode 11 is the time to do just that.

Falfa, Shalsha and young Azusa in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
Don’t look glum about it Azusa, this is mostly your fault.

The initial set-up is Halkara wanting to do some kind of massive mushroom barbeque with a ridiculous name and excessive enthusiasm for pure mushroom eating. Now we learned in episode 3 that Halkara thinks she’s an expert in mushrooms and yet is very prone to just stuffing up her identification or leaving out key pieces of information.

All of which leaves me wondering why on earth Azusa would trust her this week in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and mostly makes the end results, Azusa becoming a little girl, entirely her own fault.

Naturally the child-sized Azusa is actually pretty adorable. This anime has absolutely nailed drawing cute anime girls. Unfortunately, despite using child-size Azusa for a couple of obvious jokes we quickly move onto the solving the problem phase and that really doesn’t deliver much of a punch line. Basically, if they were going to do such an obvious set-up we needed a much better pay-off.

Halkara's own idiocy makes her laugh.
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Halkara is at least amused.

Also, we’ve gone a long way from Azusa just wanting to relax in her next life now. Her dislike of working too hard and taking breaks seems to have faded out of her personality and now we’re just kind of in generic fantasy land with generic fantasy anime girls.

And honestly it is a little disappointing because one of the strengths of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Our My Level early on was that Azusa’s reincarnation mattered. That her past life seriously exerted influence on her current existence. Watching this episode as a stand-alone, you’d be forgiven for not even realising it was her second life, that is how little it matters.

The girls tired from their journey up the world tree.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Did they get worn out by their own premise?

But back to this episode, the solution, provided by the annoying demon-king Pecora, can apparently be found at the top of a world tree which is now some kind of weird tourist attraction but still kind of dangerous and exhausting. It doesn’t make any sense and makes even less when you realised they could have flown straight to the top and that they didn’t need to go anyway because the medicine could be found elsewhere.

As I said, way too little pay-off to justify the set-up here.

Pecora is a pain.
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Please don’t.

Basically, this episode of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is watchable. Each character gets a tiny moment in it and they resolve the ‘problem’ for the week by the end. I just didn’t really find anything more to say about it.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.


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Karandi James


Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 13 Impressions: Let Us End With a Song From The Heart

Vivy Episode 13
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

We’ve reached the end of Vivy’s remarkable journey through time.

Starting a new anime is always a bit of a gamble. Whether there is a source for the story and whether it is finished doesn’t really determine whether the anime will end well as sometimes anime endings are either non-existent, rushed, or just take a huge deviation from any real logic. Original anime are even more of a risk with the stories more often than not collapsing in on their own premise before we reach the end. So how was this final episode of Vivy?

Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song episode 13 demonstrated to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the team behind this anime always knew what they were doing. The resolution is so clear and everything is brought together incredibly neatly (perhaps too neatly). Nothing felt like it was rushed or crammed in just so that we could get to an end because the season was over.

What will Vivy do? 
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
‘Now’ is a good question given she’s been here ‘now’ before and it didn’t end well.

At the end of episode 12, Vivy had just been sent back in time to the start of the rebellion. Right from her awakening this time we see the small changes she’s making as the guy who previously got squished by the incredibly polite homicidal vehicle is now pulled to safety. That said, the question remains as to whether Vivy can do what she needs to do this time in order to actually change the outcome.

Spoilers.

What follows is what was perhaps the best choices for providing closure that could have been made.

The story splits with Elizabeth, TOAK and Matsumoto storming the tower as they did last time, though in episode 13 they are armed with Vivy’s knowledge of what happened the first time. Vivy on the other-hand makes her slow way (and why she’s not in any hurry is probably the only questionable part here) to the main stage in Nia Land. It is taking us back full circle to her roots where she sang on the small stage, dreaming of being on the main stage.

Vivy is singing her memories.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eyes Song 2021.
Prepare for the flashback.

Not content with just just giving us a location and a reminder of her initial goal, Vivy also finally answers the question of what it means to put her heart into something. While viewers may not agree with the answer she has found it is more important that after nearly 100 years of searching, she has found her answer.

She steps out onto the main stage with absolute resolve and then Vivy sings her original song crafted from the memories she has made over her extraordinary life.

Vivy singing her heart out.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Sing it, Vivy.

What follows is more a montage accompanied by the song. We see the attack on the tower interspersed with Vivy’s memories. Every key scene or character from the prior 12 episodes will make an appearance and while normally I’d count this as a distraction from a final conflict or a last ditch attempt to make me care about a character, here it felt perfectly fitting.

Vivy’s song is made of her memories and her answer that was found through all these experiences. She sings in order to fulfil her initial purpose of making people happy and it is one of the most fulfilling finales I have watched in a long time.

Of course there’s a few moments where you feel the writers really just wanted to have their cake and eat it too. The satellites are already falling and shutting down the system won’t stop that but somehow Matsumoto now manages to essentially collide with one of them and blow it up mid-air in order to save Nia Land from getting vaporised. It’s a little bit much.

Meanwhile, Vivy, having fulfilled her purpose also shuts down as she is connected to the archive and in a logical story that would be her curtain closing. However, in a story about heart and emotions, we get one final scene of her before the end and honestly despite it making no sense at all it made me smile.

Seriously, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song nailed its ending. I can’t wait to write my full review.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Karandi James


I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 10 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 10
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
https://otakuauthor.com/

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years decided they needed yet another anime girl and an excuse for lots of singing. Episode 10 is the result.

Episode 9 seemed to exist for fans of fighting anime, meanwhile episode 10 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years decided to go for an idol kind of theme with some death metal thrown in just for fun. Because, Slime 300 loves to subvert expectations and a bunny-eared minstrel who attempts scream metal until they pass out has got to be hilarious.

The newest girl on the block for I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
You go girl.

Surprisingly, despite not finding that set-up particularly funny or the introduction of Kuku particularly endearing, I did find myself quite enjoying this episode of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years. Sure, the plot of helping Kuku find a new sound and write some lyrics was essentially a flimsy excuse for each of the girls to get a very brief musical number but its the kind of silliness that is actually kind of enjoyable about this anime.

It also didn’t hurt that Shalsha and Falfa’s song was too adorable for words. I mean, you couldn’t listen to a whole album of just that kind of thing, but as a short interlude in an episode with two cute characters, the lyrics about scary praying mantises and hopping grasshoppers actually kind of worked.

Shalsha and Falfa know their stuff in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Super cute.

Actually, I was enjoying I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years sufficiently well that I was somewhat surprised when the half-way point came around. I thought the episode must surely be done and while normally that would be a sign of an episode that was dragging its feet, here it just felt like we’d already crammed so much in with introducing Kuku and her problem, all of the girls performing and so on.

Flatorte showing off her skills in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
And who knew Flatorte would turn out to be useful this week?

Anyway, the second half sees best girl Beelzebub turn up and amazingly enough there’s about to be a festival in the demon city. Kuku gets a performance invite and the rest of the girls get to go try some food and have some fun before the concert begins.

It is silliness amplified as we never see any other performers, Kuku’s performance seems to have an entire band and back-up vocalists on board but she’s standing alone on stage, and realistically everything is just coming together too neatly, but anyone worried about those sorts of details wouldn’t be at episode 10 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

Kuku's performance - I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
Kuku, you got this.

What matters here is that the performance was worth waiting for and was one of those too cheesy for words moments that work so beautifully as endings to 80’s movies. Forget the logic behind it and just feel it and you’ll end up smiling while the corners of your eyes tear up.

Of course, they couldn’t just end on the high note of the concert and we belabour the ending and the overall point of saying thank-you before Flatorte goes out of her way to undermine all the goodwill she earned earlier in the episode. They try and play it off as another cheesy mentor/student moment but to be honest we really could have done without it and I would have left the episode feeling better about Flatorte as a character.

So all and all another episode from I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level that is an entertaining enough affair, gave me a few smiles, a few feels, and left me feeling warm and fuzzy. I think that’s all I can really ask of it.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.


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Karandi James