Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime by Studio J.C.Staff

Another studio list. So far I’ve done fun titles by Bones and favourite works by P.A Works but today I turn my attention to J.C.Staff mostly because while they aren’t my favourite studio and I find their work a bit hit and miss, they’ve produced a fair number of solid titles in my anime collection at this point. I’m ranking these titles purely on the number of times I’ve rewatched them so I would love for you to share your favourite titles by J.C.Staff in the comments below and your reasons.

Please Note: There may be some spoilers for the anime below.

Honourable mentions this week go to Kaichou wa Maid Sama and Golden Time. I love both of these stories but they just haven’t had the same amount of rewatches as some of the other anime on the list.

Number 5: Bakuman

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The story of the two guys who think they are going to become famous mangaka and have an anime is actually really compelling. There are some issues that come up with how females are represented and the like, but mostly this is just a really interesting look at the industry as we follow the two main characters through a fairly gruelling journey. On paper this story shouldn’t work given how long we spend watching the characters brain storm and work in their studio. It should be boring, and yet it is fascinating and they give the entire thing a very shonen feel without going too far into the crazy and unbelievable. However, more than just being a story of trying to become the best, this is a story about the characters and they really sell the work as you become deeply fixated on whether they succeed or fail and their relationships with the other characters.

Number 4: A Certain Scientific Railgun

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The whole franchise with A Certain Magical Index seasons 1 and 2 and Railgun 1 and 2, really should hold this place together. I like these stories but they are riddled with problems so I tend to start a season and then get distracted and that stretches the watch time out. However, once I’m done I always remember the series fondly which is why I’ll rewatch it again in a few months time because I seem to forget about the pacing and character issues. That said, A Certain Scientific Railgun season 1 is my favourite so far and a lot of that comes down to the four main girls who manage to really charm without being overly cute and annoying.

Number 3: Heaven’s Memo Pad

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Apparently I’m yet to review this anime so I’ll definitely have to fix that. I love Heaven’s Memo Pad. That isn’t actually saying it is a good anime, but it just hits a certain spot when I’m in the right mood for it. Pretty much you know the feeling you used to get as a teenager where you want to just shut yourself away and right bad poetry for a day or two, that’s the mood you need to be in to truly appreciate Heaven’s Memo Pad. It is heavy dark melodrama that takes itself very seriously but it manages to bring about some really great character moments and force the audience to confront some fairly heavy issues. It is trying really hard to hit you with feels and when you aren’t in the right mood it just kind of comes off as trying too hard, but when you are in the right frame of mind it is kind of perfect. Be prepared for issues involving suicide, social isolation, betrayal, drug use, gang violence, and so on and so forth as well as an overly cutely designed detective at the centre of the story.

Number 2: Ghost Hunt

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Another anime I haven’t done a full series review of though I did review each of the cases individually soon after I started the blog. I love Ghost Hunt but I will admit the reason it does get rewatched so often is the episodic nature of the story. Each case only covers a handful of episodes so you can just pick a case to watch without watching the entire anime. Plus, the English dub works really well for most characters (John the apparent Australian priest is another story) so this is an anime I can watch when I’m really tired and don’t want to deal with subs or trying to pick up the Japanese. Its your basic introduce a mystery, send in the team and investigate, figure out the cause and solve kind of thing but the cases are quite diverse and they usually manage some genuinely tense moments along the way. I also really like the characters in the story, or at least I like watching them given I think most of them would be really annoying in real life.

Number 1: Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon

This is definitely a newer title for my collection but it is one I very quickly became addicted to. As in I watched it through, told my friend they had to watch it, and immediately binged the entire thing again over two or three days. It is a regular title for me to select when I need a pick me up. It is fun, energetic, has some awesome fight sequences, and it is really hard to feel bad about things when watching Bell run about so determined to reach his dreams. I absolutely love this silly little adventure story and will happily watch it over and over again, though I will point out it needs a second season. I’m also not even going to touch why the spin-off was an incredible waste of time.

Anyway, that’s my list this week. Feel free to tell me your favourite titles from J.C.Staff in the comments below.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Sebastian Moments in Black Butler

There’s no denying I really love season 1 of Black Butler, and a lot of that love comes from an overall love of the demonic butler, Sebastian. So my list this week focusses on my top 5 moments with the guy who makes everything look easy and he does it while being pretty easy on the eyes as well.

Please Note: There will be spoilers for season 1 Black Butler in the list below.

Honourable mention: Every encounter Sebastian has with a cat (seriously, who doesn’t love a guy who loves cats).

Number 5: Episode 24 – Sebastian fights Angela/Ashe

It is kind of an obvious moment given it is the final fight of the season and its demon butler vs angel butler. Still, this had the potential to be the usual kind of overpowered fire fight where the characters suddenly turn into coloured lights and mash about in the sky giving the audience almost no sense of the battle. Instead, we get a rare glimpse of Sebastian’s true demonic side and while the details of the fight are hidden, you almost feel it is better that way (Ashe certainly would agree).

Number 4: Episode 2 – The signature cutlery flingling

This became a fairly standard move by the butler, to the point where it was totally ripped off by wannabe demon butler  Claude in season 2, but this is the first time the audience sees this move and it is pretty awesome. Admittedly, I’m not entirely convinced of the credibility of using serving trays to stop bullets, nor am I convinced that forks and knives have the penetrating power shown in this sequence regardless of how hard they are tossed, but it is still Sebastian showing off his very classy self and to be honest, it looks amazing.

Number 3: Episode 20 – Angela tortures Sebastian

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After being ordered by Ciel not to take any action, Sebastian undergoes torture by the angel herself. It is an odd moment for the character because he is being true to his absolute loyalty to his master, and yet still acting in a way that is totally contrary  to his sense of self-preservation. What is great about this moment is that while Angela might be the one dishing out the torture, you can’t help but feel that Sebastian is the one winning in this scene.

Number 2: Episode 1 – Sebastian locks the guest in the oven

I absolutely adore the first episode of Black Butler. It starts out with darkness but quickly switches to fairly mundane and innocent acts of stupidity and basically makes you wonder where it is going. It becomes more and more sinister but it isn’t until the moment when Sebastian speaks to the guest in the oven that you really appreciate how dark this series will get at times. For all the stupid, goofball comedy moments, for all the ordinary investigations and politics and business, at the heart of this story is a pact with a demon and episode 1 makes that clear in one simple scene that ensures you never forget Sebastian’s real nature.

Number 1: Episodes 5 + 6 – Sebastian fights Grell

For all the times when Sebastian looks cool and unruffled by whatever problem that has recently been thrown toward his master, his fight with Grell was one of the few times it looked like he might lose his studied calm. Admittedly, he still had the upper hand for most of the fight, but he was forced to resort to a few cheap tricks and wasn’t overly impressed with the measures he had to take to follow Ciel’s orders. For Grell’s part, Grell is just an awesome character and this was really the audience’s introduction to Grell’s very entertaining presence. Definitely one of my favourite Black Butler moments ever, and my favourite moment with Sebastian.

Over to you – which Sebastian moment is your favourite?


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Priests

Very likely this list was inspired by the fact that I’m currently trying to watch Vatican Miracle Examiner, but today I’m looking at my top 5 favourite anime priests. When I say priest, I’m using a broad brush so I’m not overly concerned what sort of priest, or what religion, or even if they are actually ordained. If they dress and kind of act or are treated like a priest, I’m going with that. What put these characters on my top 5? They are a priest and I found them interesting and sometimes even useful to the story they were in. It isn’t an overly deep list this week.

Please Note – Probably a few minor spoilers this week.

Honourable Mentions: None this week.

Number 5: John Brown from Ghost Hunt

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It may be unfair to have John Brown at number 5 given of all the priests on the list, he’s actually the one who acts most like a priest. However, he’s held back by two things. The first is he wasn’t the protagonist of his story and was clearly strictly back up. There were almost no occasions where he was actually useful other than one or two minor exorcisms throughout the story. The second being his horrendous Australian accent in the dubbed version of Ghost Hunt. Certainly if you are looking for comedy, that accent is going to hit the mark but otherwise all it will do is make most Australians cringe.

Number 4: Shiro Fujimoto from Blue Exorcist

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Already I can hear people wondering why he isn’t higher up the list and the answer is simple: he’s dead after the introduction to the series. Yes, we get flash backs to him being awesome and to be honest, he’s probably the best character in Blue Exorcist, but none of that gets us past the fact that he’s already dead. The doting father and incredibly strong exorcist literally steals every scene he gets to appear in.

Number 3: Frau from 07 Ghost

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This guy’s a priest? You actually do know that about him but sometimes it is very hard to remember given his flamboyant ways as well as his taste in… literature. Yet, he does his job and still manages to look pretty cool while doing it which has earned him a solid third place on my list.

Number 2: Seishin from Shiki

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I really like Seishin’s character for a couple of reasons. The main one is that he provides a different perspective on the vampires and their invasion to his friend’s. Whereas the doctor chooses to rally people to fight the vampires, Seishin chooses to seek coexistence even when it clearly becomes impossible. It’s another valuable perspective that the story kind of needed particularly during the gory conclusion.

Number 1: Nicholas D Wolfwood from Trigun

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Seriously, what is not to like about this awesome character. He and Vash are perfect as a team and Wolfwood very clearly highlights the path Vash might have taken rather than the one he chooses. Wolfwood, you will be missed.

That’s all from me so I will ask you who your favourite anime priest is and why?


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters I’d Like To Be Able To Call If I Needed Help

You know how in Superman people call out for help and he hears them and then just zips to their side, particularly if they happen to be Lois Lane? Well, I was thinking if I had someone like that, who would it be? And then, being me, I started listing anime characters rather than actual people. So here’s the list I came up with of characters I’d like to have on call if I needed help. I’d love to know which character you would call so leave a comment below.

Please Note – There will probably be no spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week: Karma (from Assassination Classroom), Anna (from K) and Nyanko Sensei (from Natsume Yuujinchou).

Number 5: Maka from Soul Eater

Maka really should be higher up the list but the issue is that by herself Maka isn’t that strong (she’s not exactly weak but she really does need a partner to bring out her true potential). That said, she’s a hard worker, she’s book smart, she strategizes, she never gives up, and she’ll fight to protect her friends. That actually makes her pretty versatile in terms of what help she’d be able to give.

Number 4: Sebastian from Black Butler

I know, he definitely should be number 1 given there isn’t anything he can’t do. There are two reasons Sebastian got stuck at number 4 on this list. Firstly, he’s in a contract with Ciel which makes him unavailable so probably not going to answer my call anyway. Secondly, there’s the whole contract and having your soul eaten by a demon thing. Not that it wouldn’t be fun having Sebastian show up and save the day but that’s a pretty high price tag.

Number 3: Kirito from Sword Art Online

Not as capable as Sebastian, but still able to break the rules of a computer game through sheer will and determination, plus mighty handy with a sword (or two), Kirito definitely needs a spot on this list. Plus, he’s a gamer so after he helps me out we can chat for awhile and maybe get lost in our own gaming world. He’s another one that’s pretty good at strategizing but isn’t against using brute force to get the job done, plus we know Kirito prefers to play solo so not having his friends won’t really hold him back too much.

Number 2: Erza from Fairy Tail

At some point I actually have to get back and watch more of Fairy Tail. I started it and got a few arcs into it but then got distracted and never went back. Still, Erza is fantastic and given the range of weapons and armour she’s carrying around with her, not to mention her tough attitude and big heart, there’s probably not all that many situations Erza couldn’t help out in.

Number 1: Yato from Noragami

The guy is a god. Okay, a stray god without a shrine, but still a god. Plus, you only have to pay him 5 yen. That’s way cheaper than Sebastian’s asking price. Also, Yato would be great fun just to hang around with. Seriously, I want this god’s phone number and I’m putting it on speed dial so that when I need help I know it is going to come quickly.

So that’s my list of the top five characters I’d like to able to call for help. Who is in your top five?


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Excuses for Not Writing A Blog Post

It should be quite obvious that list is poking quite a bit of fun at myself on some of my lazier days. Still, I’m fairly certain that most of you will find an excuse on here that you can relate to. For me, I think I need to remember that mostly these are excuses and I need to just get on and write something sometimes. Okay, number 4 isn’t an excuse, it is actually a reason.

Please Note – No spoilers this week.

Honourable mentions go to my computer died and kidnapped by space aliens. Though I should probably mention the occasional need to sleep.

Number 5: I’m Tired.

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I mentioned this when I did my anniversary posts but writing tired tends to lead some very poorly written, poorly edited posts that seldom say anything useful (assuming you can figure out what I’m trying to say). However, I use being tired as an excuse not to write far too often because it is a convenient excuse. I can pat myself on the back for taking a break and resting for once and taking care of myself. While this might be number 5 on the list it is probably the excuse I use most often.

Number 4: I’m Working

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No I don’t play video games for a living, it was just the best picture I could find of Serena being productive. Anyway, this one isn’t actually so much an excuse as a reason. Tragically the blog is still a hobby and not a job so the actual job has to come first. Most weeks this isn’t a problem as I can schedule my time pretty well but every now and then things go a bit crazy at work and I end up there until I’m falling asleep at my desk and I’m definitely not writing a blog post when getting home from that.

Number 3: I Need To Watch More Anime Before I Can Write

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This is fairly legitimate in that I can’t write an episode review until I’ve watched the episode, however when I start using the excuse for features, top 5’s or series reviews I need to reconsider given I’ve watched more than enough anime to fill a million posts if I stop procrastinating and just start writing. I have determined though that I do need to watch a series fairly recently to review it properly so even if I’ve watched something before I tend to do a binge watch again before writing a review just to refresh my memory (and waste some time).

Number 2: Everything I Write Is Going To Suck Anyway

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This one can actually be pretty crippling. You know when you are reading through posts and just starting at the bottom and pressing the backspace and letting it take out the whole lot. You hate it so much that you don’t even want to highlight the lot and delete in one go, you want to see it destroyed letter by letter. Getting into this head space really hurts and it can take me a couple of days to bounce back sometimes though it isn’t just blog related. I find myself hesitating to say anything or make any kind of decision, convinced it will just be wrong anyway. This is where having a strict schedule helps. When you know you ‘have’ to have something done by a certain time. It means you can give yourself a day or two to try to pull yourself together and then you just have to bite the bullet and hit publish on whatever you have done. Usually it doesn’t suck as bad as you think.

Number 1: Someone Already Wrote About That And They Did It Better Than I Will

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Sometimes I wonder when I write a post on a topic I know has already been covered to death whether I’m actually adding anything at all of meaning to the discussion. I’ve kind of learned to put that thought to the side because it’s the internet. There are videos out there of cats riding vacuum cleaners. The odds of my ever coming out with a totally original idea that no one has ever expressed before are pretty low. Still, sometimes I think about what my post could do that might at least feel a bit fresh. And again, this can be incredibly crippling if you worry about it for too long.

So those are my top 5 excuses for not writing a blog post. What are yours?

 


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters Robbed By Plot

This is another My Hero Academia inspired list after a discussion with a few people on Twitter and this comment:

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Which got me thinking of all the times characters have lost out in anime because the plot demands they lose. There are a lot. Of course that is true of any narrative because sometimes you just have to let the protagonist win. Anyway, I made a short list of characters that I thought were genuinely robbed by the plot (robbed, mugged, gunned down and left to die, etc). I’d love to know who else you thinks needs to join the ‘they were robbed’ club so please share in the comments below.

Please Note – There will be major plot spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: This week my only honourable mention is going to every opponent in Katanagatari. Sorry guys, but each and every one of you was robbed of your chance of even getting an appearance in a second episode because the plot demanded you be met, challenged and defeated (okay, some of these guys did show up in episodes prior to their deaths and a few got flash backs after their deaths, but mostly they were all one episode wonders).

Number 5: JJ from Yuri on Ice

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You know, I don’t actually want JJ to have won because he was incredibly obnoxious (even though he wasn’t technically an antagonist). That said, I think the plot really did run him down just for the fun of it and it was kind of unnecessary. In the first skate of the grand prix, JJ choked. Horribly. Considering his overwhelming confidence and presence in every other competition and that this wasn’t his first major competition it just seemed really kind of cruel and I actually felt sorry for the guy by the end of it. More importantly, it wasn’t necessary for him to do so poorly. When you look at the scores Yuri and Yurio ended up with, even if JJ had been at his best, the result probably would have been the same. So pretty much the plot ran him over for no reason and that actually cheapened the Yuri’s victory because they haven’t beaten JJ at his best.

Number 4: Manato from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

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Yes, we need a tragic death to reinforce that fragile nature of life and to highlight the real human process of grief. Sorry Manato, the plot demands your death. No you don’t get to save anyone else spectacularly or have any kind of moment of self-sacrifice. You can just get shot in the back and die. This was a really affective moment by the plot and a great character moment for everyone else in the story, but Manato really did get robbed here. He was the best character the show had and in order to help everyone else reach that little bit higher, the plot threw him under the bus. It did it well, but that was a little mean.

Number 3: Linda from Golden Time

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Love triangles always suck because someone is going to lose. More importantly, normally if the person at the middle of the triangle would just make a choice we could all be spared the heartache. The reason Linda gets a place on this list out of the thousands of losing at love characters is because technically she didn’t lose. Banri of the past chose her. Continued to choose her. Unfortunately, Banri of the past only existed as a ghost because Banri of the future had lost his memory and was a whole new person who fell in love with Koko. Seriously, that has to suck for Linda. Worse, when past Banri shows up just long enough to get Linda’s hopes up again. Seriously, plot, we get it. Banri and Koko are going to be together. Now please stop rubbing salt into Linda’s wounds for half an episode.

Number 2: Uraraka from My Hero Academia

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Yep, the girl who inspired the list. She went into a fight that she knew she probably couldn’t win with a plan. A good plan. If she’d been the protagonist she most definitely would have turned the tide of the fight and won with that plan. Okay, she would have won with even half that plan given some plans protagonists have made work. Unfortunately, cute side-character who may or may not eventually become some sort of love interest for someone, does not have plot armor and when the plot is demanding a show down between two other characters and you face one of them earlier in the competition you know your luck is out. Poor Uraraka.

Number 1: Grimmjow from Bleach

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I know, every opponent Ichigo faces could end up on this list but most of them I wanted to see lose. With Grimmjow, part of me really wanted to see him win. He was one of the most entertaining opponents ever and he didn’t have some amazingly overpowered attack that couldn’t be defended against. He was just someone in love with fighting and getting stronger. Given Ichigo doesn’t win every fight and regularly has to have a take two or three against particularly strong opponents (they beat him nearly to death, someone drags him away so that he can heal, learn a new skill, go back and try again), I really wanted Grimmjow to be one of those opponents. I wanted him to beat Ichigo up and for there to be an ongoing rivalry between the two. Alas, it was not to be and Grimmjow became yet another casualty of plot.

That’s my list. I’d love to know who you’ve put on yours.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Sequels

I tend to run sequels down a lot (see Feature Discussing Sequels and Prequels), which is sometimes justified, but occasionally there are sequels, part 2’s, and follow ups that actually do add something to a series and are fairly enjoyable to watch. So I decided to think about all the good sequels out there for a top 5 list. This is my opinion and I’ve chosen sequels that I felt added something actually necessary to a story but were entertaining in their own right. I’d love to know what some of your favourite sequels are.

I did however disqualify long running shows without clear divisions between seasons (Bleach etc).

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: Sailor Moon (Third Season), Natsume Yuujinchou (not sure if this counts as long running without clear division so left it off the list, but every season is amazing), Full Metal Panic (Second Raid is fantastic), and Noragami (Second season was amazing, but where’s the third as this story still isn’t finished).

Number 5: Clannad After Story

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I’d be the first to say that Clannad wasn’t really my thing as an anime. It is a beautiful story and there are some really great elements to it, but it just isn’t my type of show. That said, I watched through all of it and even cried so it works well enough and for people who like the genre it is probably an even more moving experience. After Story is a perfect follow up to the original series. It narrows the focus to the main characters, though all the other characters are still there, and it legitimately adds to their characters. Not to mention, it finally reveals what was going on during some of the stranger moments in season one. As a sequel or follow up it does everything a show needs to and is perfectly entertaining on its own (though you’ll probably miss some of the character moments if you haven’t sat through season 1).

Number 4: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

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Follow up to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (or When They Cry, When the Cicadas Cry, or whatever other title you’d like to give it), this is a fantastic sequel. I actually watched this first, not knowing it was the second part, and while the first loop was a bit confusing due to me not having a clue who anyone was, I soon figured out what was going on and this is the part of this series that actually solves the mystery of who is behind the tragedy.  While the first season is fine, by itself it is unsatisfying. Lots of loops, lots of violence, there are clues and character moments, but it doesn’t end. Season 2 builds on all those clues and character moments and gives us a very dramatic final confrontation. It legitimately works by itself as a story and is highly entertaining (you know, if you are in to horror).

Number 3: Kimi ni Todoke

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Now this is more just an ongoing story. Season 1 has our main character, Sawako, slowly coming out of her shell and making friends. Yes, there’s a guy involved and there’s romantic insinuations, but the romantic aspect decidedly takes a back seat to building confidence and friendships. Having already established that in season 1, season 2 squarely turns the focus on Sawako’s ongoing relationship with Kazehaya and whether it is respect or love she feels. For someone who has only just learned about friendship, there’s a lot that can go wrong as she treads her way into romance and season 2 takes us through all the ups and downs until we finally get to the moment we’ve all been waiting for. An excellent follow up on a very cute romance.

Number 2: Snow White With the Red Hair

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Possibly this is a theme given how many relationship heavy shows have ended up on this list, but I really felt Shirayuki and Zen had more story to tell after season 1, and season 2 proved that right though not as I expected. Rather than focussing fully on their relationship, season 2 kind of scattered the focus giving lots of other relationships time to develop and be revealed. It was deeply satisfying seeing various characters have their moment, while an overall narrative involving Shirayuki’s kidnapping played out, but it did kind of leave the show with little time at the end to address the main question of Shirayuki and Zen. Which of course means we’re left with a sweet but not final ending and why is there no season 3? Still, this sequel does the job of advancing the characters and the plot logically and adding to what we know about them and the world, so it succeeds even if it still felt unfinished.

Number 1: Assassination Classroom

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Much like Kimi ni Todoke, season 1 of this focussed very much on building the characters up. They were learning skills, facing themselves, overcoming past difficulties, before they had the final test when the class was put in legitimate danger. Season 2 shifts the focus dramatically to the motive for the assassination and trying to find a way around it, dividing opinions and characters. While there’s definitely some filler in season 2, the sheer number of excellent character moments, before we get to the very final and necessary conclusion, makes this a sequel that was needed and it delivered on the promise way back in season 1. Thoroughly enjoyable watch though one could argue the end was dragged out just a little too long. Despite that, it was unforgettable.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: My Hero Academia Torunment Matches

So as I said last week, this post topic was suggested to me by Kendra Ressler as one of my patrons and I’m going to thank her for the very awesome topic to write about. If you’ve been following season 2 of My Hero Academia, you already know it has been running a tournament between its year 1 students as part of their sports festival and this has led to some incredible character match ups and intense fights. I’m going to say this is my absolute favourite tournament arc ever given I usually find them pretty dull. There is no possible way to describe the events in this tournament as dull.

Anyway, I’d love to know which were your favourite matches on the tournament so please leave your comments below.

Please Note – There will be My Hero Academia season 2 spoilers below so if you haven’t started watching it you may want to pass.

Honourable mentions this week:

  • Shiozaki vs Kaminari
  • Mina vs Aoyama
  • Yaoyorozu vs Tokoyami
  • Tetsutetsu vs Kirishima
  • Iida vs Shiozaki
  • Ashido vs Tokoyami
  • Kirishima vs Bakugo
  • Iida vs Todoroki
  • Bakugo vs Tokoyami
  • Any of the fights I may have forgotten.

Number 5: Mei vs Iida

If you read my episode review featuring this match, you will know I found this whole sequence pretty hysterical. Essentially Mei tricks Iida into helping her sell her support devices. Runs him around in circles while pointing out the various features and once she’s finished her sales pitch she calmly steps out of bounds. While I’m not a major fan of comedy, this was really well handled and is one of the more unique fights in this tournament.

Number 4: Midoriya vs Shino

This first fight of the tournament between Midoriya and the seemingly weaker general course student was intense, or at least as in tense as a fight can be where one character simply asks the other to step out of bounds and then waits for it to happen. Shino probably should have specified speed on that one. Despite that, this fight was excellent at making the point clear that just because you aren’t in the hero course does not mean that your quirk is useless or that you can’t be a hero. If Midoriya’s quirk had been anything else and he hadn’t been the protagonist, Shino would have won this particular fight.

Number 3: Izuku vs Todoroki

For a fight as amazing as this one to be number 3 just kind of goes to show what it was up against. Seriously, my post of this episode was incredibly hard to write because I was just kind of blown away by how intense things got. Keep in mind though, we’ve got broken bones a plenty in this episode, not to mention a near double wipe out explosion. Todoroki seriously let loose at the end there. Absolutely amazing to watch.

Number 2: Uraraka vs Bakugo

When Kendra first suggested this list I thought for sure this fight would be number 1. However, like my top females in shonen list, it appears that Uraraka is always destined to be number 2. That shouldn’t deceive you though. This is a fight you need to watch and rewatch and then watch it again. Going in to this match up I felt for sure Uraraka would make a brave showing and then be swept under the rug but instead she really brought the fight to Bakugo. What was even better is that by the end of the fight he respected her for her strength. Also, this episode brings up a lot of the issues with the world and format of the school so you can deconstruct that as well, or you can just enjoy a seriously amazing fight.

Number 1: Bakugo vs Todoroki

It might be a bit obvious to pick the final as my number 1 choice, but really, this was an absolutely amazing match up and one that deserves respect. Without stretching out the time, inserting random flashbacks to rapidly build a reason for the audience to care about the characters, unnecessary lengthy dialogue about motive or tactics, Bones delivered one fantastic fight sequence and they did it in less than ten minutes of screen time. This was a truly awesome clash between two characters that in season one were well and truly overshadowed by Midoriya but have now been given a bit of free reign to shine.

Alright, over to you. Which was your favourite match and why? Once again, thanks to Kendra for suggesting the list.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Males with Silver Hair

Here’s the list of my top 5 male anime characters with silver hair. I’m going to admit, this was a far harder list to put together than the female one. There are so many silver haired males out there that I wanted to include. Plus, splitting the one and two spot this week was all but impossible so I finally went with overall good looks which means I now feel really bad about number 2. Anyway, my primary criteria, other than having silver, white or gray hair, was that they are an interesting character that I enjoy watching. Still, this one was really difficult. I’d love to know who you would have included so please leave me a comment.

Also, next week I have a Top 5 list suggested by Kendra Ressler who is one of my patrons. As part of their reward tier they get to suggest three post topics in a year and this is their first one and it is focussed on My Hero Academia. I’m really looking forward to writing it and even though the post will come out after I’ve gone on break, I’m hoping everyone will enjoy it. Thanks to Kendra for the great suggestion.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions go to Undertaker (Black Butler), Tomoi (Kamisama Kiss) and Lag Seeing (Letter Bee).

Number 5: Hitsugaya from Bleach

 

 

It feels kind of wrong for Hitsugaya to be so low on this list given I absolutely love him as a character but when I thought about why I liked him, his hair doesn’t feature very high. his attitude, his sword, his eyes and his very cool ice power featured heavily, but his hair style and colour were more of a side note. Still, Hitsugaya is an amazing character so I’m glad he didn’t fall off the list altogether.

Number 4: Zero from Vampire Knight

 

 

As much as I do tend to mock Vampire Knight and its storyline, I have to admit Kiryuu Zero is a really fun character to watch. That’s probably slightly mean to say given most of what you are watching is his descent into depression as the vampire hunter transforms into a vampire and feels incredible guilt over sucking the blood of his crush but I just enjoy him as a character. As for his hair colour, other than providing a strong contrast with the other love interest, I really couldn’t imagine Zero with any other colour. He always seems a little washed out and detached from the world and his hair kind of helps give that impression.

Number 3: Weismann from K

 

 

This issue with Weismann is that we see so very little of him. Flashbacks are all well and good but given his body is snatched before the events of the first episode of K, we really don’t see much of him. That said, his silver hair, given he’s the silver king and all, is kind of important and I really enjoy his character (what little we see of it). Brilliant and detached with a slightly off-beat sense of humour, he remains an enigma even after he regains his memories and I absolutely love every moment of screen time he gets.

Number 2: Allen Walker from D Gray Man

 

 

I know. I can’t believe Allen isn’t number 1 on this list either. Much like Zero, Allen is a pretty tragic character to watch and I can’t get enough of it. He’s one of my favourite characters of all time. Want a strong and loyal character who will literally fight to the death and even beyond for what he believes to be right but isn’t exactly a saint? Then Allen will entertain you for hours (and hours and hours given the run time of the show now). Though I definitely have a preference for his character design in the original series rather than Hallow (too colourful in Hallow).

Number 1: Victor from Yuri on Ice

 

 

I did warn you at the beginning I split 1 and 2 by overall looks and as much as I love Allen as a character, Victor is pretty impressively charming. I think it was the fact that for once there was an anime character who was actually in his late twenties that was being treated as desirable by pretty much everyone rather than as an old man (typical of high school anime) that really got me focussed on his character. Then, of course, there’s his talent, charisma, and developing relationship with Yuri, and all and all I really did fall in love with his character during Yuri on Ice – even if I know that in reality his personality would drive me completely crazy.

So there is my list of silver haired anime males. Who would you include on yours?


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Females with Silver Hair

Okay, I’ve already covered blonde, red and blue hair so today I am tackling silver hair (though I won’t argue if you want to tell me some of these characters have white or gray hair). Next week I’ll share me list of the guys with silver hair and I had a lot more fun with that list but there are still some great female anime characters with silver hair to be found. My final decision this week came down to characters that had silver hair that I found to be kind of adorable on a character I found to be interesting. As such it is entirely subjective and I’d love to know who you would have included on your list.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions to Villetta Nu (Code Geass) and Eucliwood (Is This a Zombie).

Number 5: Anju from Karin, Chibi Vampire

Anju1.jpg

Anju is arguably the most interesting character from Karin despite how little she talks. A great deal of the plot is pushed forward by her small moments of interference or her suggestions to other characters. She sits in the background a lot but she is very motivated and driven. What I like the most about her is that despite the fact that she is very attached to her sister, she isn’t trying to hold her sister back but is really trying to push Karin into a life of her own. It is refreshing to see a sister complex that results in actually helping the object of your affection rather than trying to control them. All and all, I really liked Anju as a character and episodes that had more of an Anju focus were very enjoyable.

Number 4: Togame from Katanagatari

Togame is a fascinating character and her journey throughout Katanagatari with Shichika is adorable. Her hair plays a fairly critical role in the development of their relationship early on and later in the series gets cut, so not only is her hair beautiful but it also has a purpose in the plot (though I will admit it is probably more white than silver).

Number 3: Sylvette Suede from Letter Bee

I haven’t got around to a review of this show yet but it is adorable from start to finish and Sylvette is one of my favourite characters. She’s the sister of a missing letter carrier and has a strikingly similar appearance and colouring. Throughout the show she develops a close relationship with the main character as he goes on his journey. She’s wheelchair bound and her cooking is fairly toxic but she’s most definitely the most resilient character in the show and the one who regardless of circumstances knows that they have to keep moving forward in whatever way they can. Utterly adorable character and the heart of the show for a lot of the characters.

Number 2: Kanade from Angel Beats

Kanade is just adorable. Even when Angel Beats first started and she was set up as the antagonist, I loved her character from the opening as she played the piano. As the story developed, we found out she was just kind of dreadful at communicating and she was actually trying to help everyone move on. She’s just such a sweet character and I really wanted her to be happy at the end of the series, which is why I always end up in tears pre-final credits and then smiling like an idiot post-final credits.

Number 1: Yin from Darker Than Black

So what beats Kanade? An emotionless doll who actually has more agency than it first appears, apparently. Yin is undoubtably my favourite character on this list. While early in the series, she really is just a doll, as the story progresses you see more and more often the small things she does because she wishes to and the way she builds her relationship with Hei. She’s a crucial part of the team and the only reason Hei managed to succeed at anything, so really should get the title of most valuable player for Darker Than Black. Plus, she’s just beautiful.

Alright, that’s my list of silver hair female characters. Who would you have included on yours?


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