The Best of Autumn 2017

And the Autumn Season has come to a close bringing an end to the 2017 year in anime. While the poll for best of the year will get going tomorrow, for now it is time to reflect on the final anime season that 2017 had to offer. Starting with my picks, we’ll then look at the results of the reader poll. This was incredibly close this time with three titles changing back and forth with barely a vote in it for the entire duration of the poll.

My Favourite Show

Well, if you’ve followed my weekly season overviews you know season 2 of March Comes in Like a Lion has been on top every single week. However, it isn’t finished yet so it isn’t taking this out (though it so should by a million miles as I’m completely obsessed with it at this point). Yes, I rewatched season one and all episodes of season 2 that were out over the Christmas break and no I didn’t get around to watching Full Metal Panic for a review so, whoops.

With that one ruled out though, what took it’s place?

It came down to Land of the Lustrous and Girls’ Last Tour. I loved both shows but considering the final episodes and which one gave me a greater sense of completion and I have to give favourite show of the Autumn 2017 season to Girls’ Last Tour.

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My Favourite Character

This was super, super tough as there were so many great characters this season. It finally came down to two and I have to give it to Phos from Land of the Lustrous. I didn’t much like Phos when I first met them but over the course of the series and following along with Phos’ transformation as a character, they really captured me. However, other great characters from Autumn included Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion, Chito from Girls’ Last Tour, Morioka from MMO Junkie (okay, I just loved her), and Ena from Just Because.

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My Favourite Story

My favourite story was absolutely Land of the Lustrous, but for that whole slightly unfinished feeling. I still think it was the best story of the season. March and GLT are both more slice of life and drama driven than story driven. That said, I personally loved King’s Game because it is a completely terrible story delivered in a fairly terrible way. So, personal enjoyment fairly high but quality pretty low on that one.

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My Favourite Opening Theme

So many great ones this season. I mean I loved the King’s Game opening as it fit the trashy feel of the show, Juni Taisen was amazing with Rapture (my favourite thing about the show), MMO Junkie was just upbeat fun as was Girls’ Last Tour. However, my favourite for the season needs to go to March Comes in Like a Lion. I loved how the opening theme really captured the progress Rei has made in his journey over the course of the first season and where he is now. And, once again it beautifully matched the visuals to the lyrics and tone. Still, this one was incredibly close this season.

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My Favourite Visuals

No competition at all here. As much as March remained on point with its visuals (and is glorious as always) Land of the Lustrous was truly exceptional at showing us all what CG could do when handled well and not making our eyes bleed.

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Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Autumn 2017

Here it is:

Best of Autumn

Yep, the Ancient Magus’ Bride stole it in the last couple of days thought early on it looked like Girls’ Last Tour would take the lead before March Comes in Like a Lion managed to pull ahead. For so much of the vote these anime were within one vote of each other and the lead swapped a number of times.

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That of course brings us to the end of the best of Autumn 2017. Get ready to vote for best of the year with the top 3 titles from each season going head to head and that poll should be open tomorrow.

As always, I’d love to know what you thought about the season so please share your thoughts on the poll and any of the other shows in the comments below.


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The Worst of Autumn 2017

Something different this season, I’m starting with the worst so that the best can follow. I will admit, this season the poll had the most votes for worst anime of the season and there was a clear winner fairly early on. So, first I’ll share my picks for worst of the season (keeping in mind these are the shows I watched and not the ones I dropped) and then I’ll share the result of the reader’s poll. Be sure to check back later for the best of Autumn.

My Least Favourite Show

Despite a number of shows managing to disappoint or not live up to their potential this season (and yes there were a lot of amazing shows too but that means very few ended up in the middle either being fantastic or meh, dull or just painful), a clear winner for my least favourite show still emerged. Yes, it was the show I should have dropped after that train wreck of a prologue and I certainly shouldn’t have continued beyond episode 3 and yet I’m just not very good at knowing when to admit defeat. You guessed it, Dies Irae. A horrible mess of a show that never got any better and after watching a prologue and 11 episodes I’m still not really sure if there is any point other than crazy characters with super powers being crazy.

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My Least Favourite Character

This is actually kind of hard because there were a lot of very bland characters out there this season. I’d nominate most of the cast of Juni Taisen but none of them hung around long enough for me to really care enough about to say they were my least favourite character. And Asta (Black Clover), as much as he would win for most annoying voice of the season, hasn’t actually done enough of anything for me to care about him either. So, sorry to say but the character who I liked the least even though he is kind of important to the story was Koiwai from Recovery of an MMO Junkie. If I knew him in real life I would genuinely despise this guy. Regardless of his intentions, his actions are at times highly questionable and he has way too much fun stirring up Sakurai.

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My Least Favourite Story

Unquestionably Juni Taisen. I think what makes this worst is the advertising that insists on twists and turns in a plot that is utterly devoid of anything resembling a twist (unless a lack of twist is a twist these days). And really, where is the story. They fight, they die, we still don’t know what impact that had and we never had any reason to care about them. The few interesting elements of this show can’t save a plot that marches through the process of knocking off its cast without bothering to give us a reason why or making us care.

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My Least Favourite Opening Theme

Sengoku Night Blood, oddly enough. It isn’t that it is terrible but it is just painfully generic and unremarkable in any sense of the word. I guess it matches most of what the show delivers but to be honest this was the opening I skipped the most during Autumn.

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My Least Favourite Visuals

I have to give it to King’s Game. As much as I quite liked this story, the terrible depiction of deaths (heads getting screwed off, bleeding, severed limbs etc) just come off as incredibly laughable when they aren’t completely lame. While the rest of the show is just kind of average, for a horror that takes pride in knocking off its cast with alarming regularity they never really did manage to make even one death look in any way cool, interesting, or even just impressively real. For instance, in the image below, the guy is bleeding from the neck and his head is about to fall off. While censorship could be blamed a little, even that isn’t enough to account for how poor some of the visuals are in this anime.

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Reader’s Choice – Worst Anime of Autumn 2017

Well, here it is. I’m going to be honest in that I was hoping that Dies Irae would take over the lead but I guess I always knew what the majority of people would vote for. Thanks to everyone who participated in the vote this time round.

Worst of Autumn

Yes, King’s Game had an early lead and never really relinquished it. Clearly, bad horror left a bad taste in many viewers mouths.

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That’s it for the worst of Autumn 2017. Be sure to check back later for the best of Autumn post and remember the best of the year poll will open tomorrow with results to go out next week. As always, I would love to know your final thoughts on the season, so what did you vote for and which shows do you think deserved the title worst of the season?


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The Worst of Summer 2017

And now we’ve reached the Worst of Summer for 2017. Earlier today the post for Best of Summer 2017 came out so be sure to check it out if you missed it. In the meantime, below are my least favourite shows and moments followed by the results of the reader’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment below about your least favourite show of the season.

My Least Favourite Show

This one is actually nearly a tie. Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, Chronos Ruler and Knight’s & Magic have all very clearly managed to annoy me this season but which is the least of these three?

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Yep, Chronos Ruler managed to be my least favourite show for the season. The charactes are shallow and basically pointless, the plot goes nowhere in the entire season as not one thing the characters set out to achieve is actually achieved, we know nothing about the villains, and they essentially gain nothing and learn nothing. Oh, we do get a power of friendship kind of ending but even then a minute later the character who kind of learned that lesson is his usual obnoxious self, so no progress.

My Least Favourite Character

So many choices this season. I think I’m settling on Ernesti though. Early in the season, Ernesti was actually kind of okay in Knight’s & Magic with infectious enthusiasm. That was because he was starting his journey and was a young kid with big dreams.

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Then we skip over time, a lot of it. Ernesti is getting older, more experienced, and he’s still a giggling maniac. Amazingly a trait charming in a novice isn’t as charming in someone after they’ve already made good progress. More importantly, the more power Ernesti got, the more obnoxious he became. In the end, I really did want someone to shoot him out of the sky.

My Least Favourite Story

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life without question. I’ll never get to review it because I’ve now done a mid-season drop, but it was the worst of all the stories I watched this season and that’s in a season where I sat through Chronos Ruler and Knight’s & Magic.

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The issue isn’t that there are some heavy slice of life elements. Natsume Yuujinchou has heavy slice of life elements and still manages a satisfying overall narrative. The issue is that the characters are too stupid for words and do stupid things. One minute the character is worried about people finding out about the supernatural, the next minute he openly uses magic at school. One minute he’s trying to defend his teacher, the next he’s just writing him off. A friend randomly picks a fight with a group of bikers while taking a walk because, reasons? None of the conflicts make sense because they are usually just randomly dropped in when the writers got too bored with having characters react to food. It was painful to watch and I’m happier and happier about my decision to drop.

My Least Favourite Opening Theme

This one has to go to Knight’s & Magic. The song is actually not that bad and the visuals are okay, but neither are particularly good. What makes this the choice for worst of the season is the break in the music for the characters to shout dialogue from the upcoming episode. That is jarring.

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While other shows have done this before to some effect, in this show that I was already sruggling with, seeing upcoming dialogue and scenes from the episode was just one more irritation that the show did not need to throw my way.

My Least Favourite Visuals

So many choices this season and yet I think for most consistently ugly to look I’d have to go with Vatican Miracle Examiner. It is just so dull to look at most of the time. The colour scheme could be forgiven if there were something else interesting, but really, it is just black and gray dullness for most of the viewing time.

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I get they were going for mysterious and the like but mostly this just ended up being unbelievably hard to distinguish anything in a lot of the scenes as characters blended into backgrounds.

Reader’s Choice – Worst Anime of Summer 2017

This vote was very strange this time around with write in votes for Netsuzou Trap very nearly catching up with the lead choices. In the end Knight’s & Magic and Gamers came neck and neck for worst of the season. Still hardly conclusive and the vote here is so scattered I think the main conclusion we can draw is that there was a lot of ho-hum shows this season.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in the vote this time round.

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Summer 2017 is done and we are officially into the Autumn season. If you missed it, be sure to check out the best of post that came out earlier today and please leave your choices for worst of the season in the comments below.


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The Best of Summer 2017

Okay, we have made it to the announcement for the best of Summer 2017. Starting with my favourites of the season and then the reader’s poll results. With over 100 votes again, and a few more than Spring, I am hoping that the poll is becoming more reflective of the feelings of the community, however nearly 50% of the votes were split between three titles. Read on and all will be revealed.

My Favourite Show

My Hero Academia has sat at the top of my list each and every week and looking back over the season, I don’t see any reason to change it. If Princess Principal had wrapped up its story, it may have pushed past My Hero Academia, but without a full conclusion, it just couldn’t beat the ongoing story of the high school wannabe super heroes.

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I’ve really enjoyed this show over the last two seasons and I’m glad there’s been an announcement of a season 3. It isn’t the most amazing anime ever, but it is good fun and I could certainly stand more shows that I just enjoy watching because they are fun.

My Favourite Character

Uraraka from My Hero Academia. She’s adorable but really got to shine at times during the second season of My Hero Academia.

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Admittedly though, she did not have a lot of competition this season as a number of shows saw me struggling to even remember character names because I was that disinterested in remembering them.

My Favourite Story

This is actually really tricky because honestly the stories this season were… bland (well, quite a few were broken but I was trying not to be too critical). Princess Principal left itself wide open for a sequel as did My Hero Academia. Gamers and Fastest Finger First weren’t overly concerned with telling a story. A lot of the other shows the story was just complete rubbish when you broke it down (at least the ones I was watching). So… Okay, I’m going to give this one to Sagrada Reset.

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I absolutely loved the way this story brought everything together in the end. The presentation of the story might be questionable, but the narrative itself is pretty amazing once you get to the end of it and realise how cohesive they manage to make it.

My Favourite Opening Theme

Very easy choice. Princess Principal was by far the best theme of the season for me (though I kind of liked 18if as well but for a very different reason).

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The opening of Princess Principal just captured the feeling of the show beautifully and I loved the visuals that went with it. I really enjoyed listening to and watching the opening theme each week.

My Favourite Visuals

Relatively easy choice this season. As fun and colourful as My Hero Academia is, it is pretty standard from a visual point of view. Most of the shows I watched this season were a bit hit and miss. Knight’s & Magic had pretty fights and not a lot else, same as Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu. Ultimately, my favourite overall visuals had to be from 18if.

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That was also hit and miss from a quality point of view but each week was interesting to see what style we were going to get.

Favourite Screen Capture

I haven’t had this category before but I just had to share this one. It is going to be my favourite for awhile.

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I quite like it visually but the quote is kind of priceless and I really want that on a book mark.

Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Summer 2017

Here it is:

Best of Summer

For the second season in a row, My Hero Academia snuck in a win. It was losing to Made in Abyss for a lot of the voting period and Princess Principal was a close third for most of the vote. However, in the home stretch, My Hero Academia bounced into the lead position. I’m glad it won this time given the season is now finished. I really had a lot of fun with this one and from some of the posts I’ve read on other blogs it is pretty clear that a lot of people have enjoyed following Midoriya’s journey.

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That is officially the end of the Summer 2017 anime season for me though most of the full series reviews are still to be posted. As always I’d love to know your favourites so please leave a comment below. Also, later today the worst of Summer post will come out so be sure to check it out.


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18if Episode 13: We Came, We Saw, We Drank Tea and Ate Cake

Review – With Spoilers:

While I’ve enjoyed 18if all the way along, what this show really needed to lift it to something I would actually enjoy rewatching was a strong conclusion that really brought all those weird elements together. While they certainly brought back all the characters this episode, what we didn’t get was anything particularly satisfying about this conclusion.

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The revelation that Lily is Eve even though Lily wants Haruto to kill Eve (kill turning out later in the episode to mean sully her purity, as in kiss her, which doesn’t happen either mind you so seems like an incredibly pointless part of the narrative) was pretty obvious when you sat and thought about it and again, does it matter? They don’t do anything with this idea of Lily representing Eve before and Eve being who she was after so is it necessary at all?

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On the other hand, Eve has the incredibly clichéd motivation of being annoyed at god and clearly that means you should hate men and destroy the world. I really find this kind of motive for a bad guy dull. And even the writers must have realised how petty Eve was being given they appeased her by throwing a tea party. Not even joking. The witches all come back and eat cake and drink tea and that more or less stops Eve from destroying the world.

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And then we finally get to Haruto, the one character the audience have had a chance to actually connect with. We know he’s in hospital in a coma and then… Then he decides to go with Eve through some door to someplace humans can’t go but says he’ll come back. Cut to scene in hospital where essentially he flat lines. No more from Haruto.  I’m not entirely convinced that this is in anyway a satisfying way to wrap up this show. Basically, I’m still glad I watched it because it has been visually interesting each week and some of the dreams have been quite fun, but the overall narrative has falled pretty flat in the end.

I’ll do a full review soon.


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My Hero Academia Episode 38: Setting The Stage

Review:

It is odd where I don’t mind a final episode that so clearly is nothing but set up for future engagements, but with a future series already announced and knowing it is very likely to actually be delivered I found myself pretty hooked by this story. So far, the visible leader of the villains has been individually unimpressive and his taking steps this week to find some conviction really does up the tension a notch in the series.

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Midoriya’s face after he realises he may have just insulted someone who can disintigrate him.

Once again this story questions the idea of heroes, villains, morals and justice and it does it in a fairly non-preachy manner that seems to just make this universe far richer and more believable. However, the episode itself doesn’t really deliver anything. It is a transition with the students finishing their first semester at UA (all of this and we’re only one semester along) and preparing for the training camp. But with the villain recruitment underway by the end of the episode it certainly suggests big things are coming.

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season of My Hero Academia and I’ll be doing a full review soon.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 13: At Last The End

Review:

As the final episode comes around I wonder if this show has accomplished anything? Victo/Victor (subtitles changed mid-series) still hasn’t got his time back and in point of fact now knows it should be impossible to ever do so and yet apparently feels it could still happen. Kiri is still trailing after his useless amnesiac of a father and enduring the absurdity of being put down for not being able to eat pasta through his nose. The only real change is they now have Mina and Blaze also tagging along, whenever the writers remember they should be relevant.

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This wasn’t a satisfying final fight. Last week the horologue revealed his true form and this week unleashed a barrage of attacks that really should have just annihilated the team. However, Victo then decides he can work with the others and trust them in order to achieve victory and for some reason this also means he doesn’t die when he very clearly should have.

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Honestly, this was no worse than any other episode in this show but all and all the writing and characters have been terrible and literally the only reason I’ve stuck with it was I was kind of interested in the time manipulation element. Too bad they never did anything with that. Will write a final review soon.


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Gamers Episode 12: Interesting Choices

Review:

One thing Gamers has been consistent about is going in a different direction to what I have expected to the point where I stopped trying to make predictions for this show many episodes ago. This final episode is no exception.

The introduction sequence where we are reunited with the other guy Tendou recruited into the gaming club, who we pretty much haven’t seen since the first couple of episodes, narrates his own back story. Why this is suddenly needed, I’m not sure, but as usual with this show it managed to be just silly enough to make me smile. We then get our usual opening before we get back to our usual group of 5 casual gamers going to a hot spring for a gaming meet because… reasons?

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However, here is where you could pretty much turn the visuals off and just listen to the dialogue, or read the subs, as the visuals more or less add nothing for the remainder of the episode. The dialogue however is like listening to a heated debate on the radio and is at times quite entertaining as Aguri challenges the gaming fanatics on the cost of their games and on having to buy DLC.

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There’s one scene where the three girls end up in the hot spring, because anime, and while they are having a fairly serious conversation about what sort of DLC they prefer in games the visuals just show various suggestive shots of the girls in the water. Really adding absolutely nothing to anything and quite boring given other the occasional slow pan these shots may as well be still images and do not relate to the conversation you are trying to follow. I’m not anti-fan service but I had to wonder why this was included.

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So this final episode added nothing to the resolution of the various characters relationship issues although it did confirm that the two couples were still couples and hadn’t disintegrated from all the misunderstandings earlier in the series. And other than the intro where we got some back ground on one member of the gaming club, the gaming club made no appearance. Essentially, this was a group of gamers discussing gaming and defending their positions. That’s all it was. For me it worked and I left this series with a smile, but really if someone were to say this episode was pointless I wouldn’t have much leg to stand on to argue against that view point.

Full series review coming soon.


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In Another World With My Smartphone Episode 12: They Actually Did It

Review:

Wow. I did not see that ending coming even when last week seemed like this show was actually going to address the harem issue (where so few shows ever just admit that there is a harem even when it is obvious). Taking it straight and just having the girls outright ask Touya to make them all his wife is a refreshing change from the usual outcome where the protagonist remains oblivious or really only has one girl they are interested in leaving the others hanging without resolution.

Touya though is still a slow protagonist cliché and of course asks the girls for time to think about it and ends up consulting the god who sent him into this world in the first place. I hadn’t really realised that the Gate power technically made that possible, but that of course raises the question of whether Touya can gate back to the real world or not… But even if he did would he then be stuck because magic doesn’t work in our world? That’s a whole other line of thinking so moving on.

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That god passes Touya on to the god of love who points out she’s responsible for setting up clichés (so there’s our lame excuse for the show having Touya walking in on the girls in the bath earlier in the season). It is kind of amusing because as always the show delivers this absurdity as if it is the most natural thing in the world and then moves on. I like the way this show just sets up its jokes, delivers them with conviction and then continues on playing it straight. It’s a refreshing change from self-aware shows that feel the need to celebrate their own cleverness.

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At the end of this episode Touya makes his decision (though still asks the girls to wait until they are all older which to be honest is also kind of nice). I do like that the group outside who discuss Touya and point out that it has been predicted he’s going to end up with 9 wives. Poor Touya, he can barely handle the four girls he is now engaged to.

They then give us so post credit sequel bait so it would be nice to know if this will ever continue on. As much as this show is a stupid comedy full of clichés and tropes that we’ve seen a million times before, it just clicked for me so I’d kind of like some more of it even if I’m not exactly going to highly recommend it. I will get around to a full series review of this at some point.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 13: This May Be The End

Review:

Not of the anime, because tragically that has more to come so it kind of looks like it is just going to continue into the next season (I can’t actually find an episode count anywhere though). However, I am pretty sure this will be my last post on this. Hopefully. If I have any sense at all I will drop this for real.

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I just want to know why every character who meets Inaba thinks anything of him? Seriously, what are they seeing that the audience isn’t? They all sit around and give him advice and pep talks. That is literally their entire interaction with this kid and yet they all speak so incredibly highly of him. Yet, everything he has done and his internal dialogues just make him look and sound like an idiot.

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I hate this main character, I hate that all the other characters seem to think he’s amazing, and I hate that nothing ever seems to happen in this show. Okay, I think I just made my mind up and I’ll be dropping this.


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