Frankenstein Family Episode 4

Minor correction from my review of episodes 1 and 2; it turns out Snow is actually an older brother rather than a sister. That doesn’t change a lot about the show, but I felt I should correct it.

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Episode 4 has the family returning to the lab as Tanisu has decided he needs the research on the medicine to help his sisters pass as human so they might be able to live normal lives. The sisters for the most part are just thrilled to get to return to the lab which clearly shows that for them being experimented on was not some horrendous trauma they were trying to escape from. It is interesting given normally this set up of kids being used for experiments has the kids trying to burn down the place of their transformation rather than eagerly returning to it and hoping to stay.

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I am curious as to what will be discovered in the lab but the journey there took the run time of this episode so I guess we’ll have to wait until the next episodes are released. I think the best thing about this show is how the family dynamic actually feels genuine despite the various modifications. The siblings really work well together to keep this show rolling along.

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Karandi James

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The Poll For Best and Worst Anime of Summer 2018 – Have Your Say

There are ten days to go for you to have your say in the reader poll. So far results have been mixed but we’re starting to see a top 3 choices emerge in both categories. Just a reminder that the top 3 shows will go into the poll for anime of the year at the end of the year up against the winners from best of Winter and Spring as well as the next season.

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Best of Summer 2018

This is not the technically most proficient show nor any other measurable criteria. This is simply the anime you enjoyed watching the most this summer. For whatever reason at all, which show did you most eagerly await the next episode of and which have you been happiest to watch week after week? You can have three picks so make them count.

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Worst of Summer 2018

Just a reminder, this is the worst show you actually watched, which means the show that gets the dubious honour of winning is still a show that you felt the need to finish even if it is somewhat lacking. Which anime did you start with high hopes (or maybe not) that ended up disappointing?

As always, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to vote and if you leave me a comment below letting me know what you picked and why that would be fantastic. But, as I mentioned above, the more the merrier, so please help me share the post so that the poll can be as reflective of the community as possible.

And look forward to the beginning of October when the poll results are announced.


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Karandi James

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Shingeki no Kyojin Original Soundtrack

Frankenstein Family Episode 3

Episode 3 of Frankenstein Family is quite logical in that we see Tanisu looking for help for his family and going back through his very limited contacts out in the world. It doesn’t exactly end happily, but the experience of watching him and his sister figure out their way around the city and meeting with someone and genuinely trying to explain their situation was kind of low-key entertainment.

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I would like to ask just how messed up is that tutor? She went from perfectly normal to fairly crazy in the blink of an eye and her reasoning was just silly. Okay, I could understand her not wanting to help Tanisu but why agree to meet him at all if that was all she was after?

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Anyway, this anime knows how to soften a moment. Immediately following this encounter and Tanisu’s brush with self-doubt and facing a near loss of faith in everyone, he runs into the girl from last episode and has a pretty adorable encounter. He probably didn’t even need his mind-reading sister to help him come to the conclusion that there are some decent people around.

This anime continues to be very laid back but entertaining enough to pass the time. It is still fairly forgettable, but for 15 minutes of actual episode it is doing enough.

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Karandi James

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Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

The Best and Worst Anime of Summer 2018 – Have Your Say

Just a reminder to vote for your best and worst anime of the season.

100WordAnime

Readers, you have chosen the best anime of Winter 2018 and the best anime of Spring 2018. You’ve also let everyone know what you felt the worst show of the Winter and Spring seasons were. Now it is time to once again stand up and be counted. From now until September 30 you can vote on the shows you feel are the best and worst of the Summer anime season.

The top three shows from the best of the season poll will go on to face off against other great titles from the year in my anime of the year poll whereas the worst shows will just kind of slink off into the sunset and be forgotten. As always, I ask that you vote only for shows you actually watched rather than a show you started and dropped or put on hold.

But as always, I am very much…

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Visualist x100!! – My Hero Academia Season Three: Episode Twenty-Three

The exam arc is done and now My Hero Academia has turned its attention toward Bakugo and Midoriya. How did this work out? Check out Kapodaco and my thoughts on the most recent episode.

The Visualist's Veranda

hero academia 3 forty-seven

Thankfully, the battle wasn’t stopped for a good majority of its course! What came out of the fight between Midoriya and Bakugo? What does it mean to the bigger picture and the show’s general quality? Karandi and I discuss and ponder out loud.

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The Best and Worst Anime of Summer 2018 – Have Your Say

Cells at Work Episode 10 Platelets

Readers, you have chosen the best anime of Winter 2018 and the best anime of Spring 2018. You’ve also let everyone know what you felt the worst show of the Winter and Spring seasons were. Now it is time to once again stand up and be counted. From now until September 30 you can vote on the shows you feel are the best and worst of the Summer anime season.

The top three shows from the best of the season poll will go on to face off against other great titles from the year in my anime of the year poll whereas the worst shows will just kind of slink off into the sunset and be forgotten. As always, I ask that you vote only for shows you actually watched rather than a show you started and dropped or put on hold.

But as always, I am very much looking forward to finding out what people enjoyed this season, and what really missed the mark for you. And as always, the more the merrier so if you can share the post, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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Best of Summer 2018

This is not the technically most proficient show nor any other measurable criteria. This is simply the anime you enjoyed watching the most this summer. For whatever reason at all, which show did you most eagerly await the next episode of and which have you been happiest to watch week after week? You can have three picks so make them count.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Worst of Summer 2018

Just a reminder, this is the worst show you actually watched, which means the show that gets the dubious honour of winning is still a show that you felt the need to finish even if it is somewhat lacking. Which anime did you start with high hopes (or maybe not) that ended up disappointing?

As always, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to vote and if you leave me a comment below letting me know what you picked and why that would be fantastic. But, as I mentioned above, the more the merrier, so please help me share the post so that the poll can be as reflective of the community as possible.

And look forward to the beginning of October when the poll results are announced.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know Question Drive


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Karandi James

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Kemono Friends

Black Butler: Book of Circus Series Review: Let’s Go To The Circus and Hang Out With Demons and Reapers

This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in June 2016 and can be found here.

Review:

I’ve previously reviewed Black Butler (loved it) and Black Butler 2 (be gone from my sight). However, I wrote my review of Book of Circus after watching Book of Circus on Crunchyroll and fell in love with Black Butler all over again, which may seem inconsistent as it does a few of the things that I berated Black Butler 2 for doing. Revisiting this post just reminded me that my opinion of this one really hasn’t changed.

Yes, there are unnecessary appearances by characters simply because they are part of the original series. And there’s some timeline inconsistencies in this story (mainly due to Book of Circus apparently following something from the source rather than carrying on from the anime adaptation). Kind of on the same level as between Firefly (TV series) and Serenity (movie) where some of the key events are changed to better further the current narrative. That said, the minor discrepancies aren’t enough to break the deal with this show and the unnecessary character cameos are less intrusive than they felt in Black Butler 2.

So why should you watch Book of Circus?

1. The opening theme is incredible. I loved the original Black Butler opening but Book of Circus perfectly matches the circus theme with the dark undertones of the story and creates something really special. And clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so given how many YouTube channels have a version of this opening up to watch.

2. We revisit Ciel and Sebastian’s relationship and the complexities in their master/butler, contractor/demon roles and Ciel’s character arc in this narrative is possibly the best of the lot. While I loved Ciel in the original series because he didn’t undergo overt transformation but reaffirmed his existing status, Ciel in this arc actually manages to develop and grow (and break apart at times) without derailing who Ciel is at his core. It’s fascinating to watch and it doesn’t feel like they’ve cheapened his character. Plus, Ciel is adorable in his circus clothes (this is a point I have to reiterate – Ciel is at his absolute cutest in this story).

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3. The support cast are great. My biggest issue with Black Butler 2 was the introduction of Alois and Claude, both of whom I despised. Book of Circus bring us a colourful cast of interesting and flawed characters to follow and get to know, even if the end is inevitable from the get-go.

These characters probably deserve a bit more time and attention than I gave them originally in my review. The majority of the employees at the circus were orphans and they are incredibly close. It makes it hard to Sebastian and Ciel to infiltrate because even after they become employed by the circus they aren’t part of that inner group. The relationship between the supporting characters is an absolute asset to this story and makes everything feel more real and dramatic than it might otherwise be.

We also revisit some of the other characters from Black Butler and each one is used to fairly solid affect, though it should definitely be noted that this is a story about the circus and Sebastian and Ciel. The other characters are there to help connect this story to other stories in the Black Butler universe but they are not the focus.

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4. It’s a well told story. By focusing on one investigation and the steps Ciel will take to solve it, there’s no feeling that this is simply being rushed along as another bump in Ciel’s journey. It feels like the events were given the time they needed without lingering overly long. While it would have been nice for a villain with just a little more motivation (or sanity) the lack of this doesn’t detract from enjoying the journey and having a satisfying resolution.

5. Seriously, it’s just fun. Visually it’s appealing, the music works, the characters come together well, and for any criticism I could give this series, I could dismiss it just as quick because I really enjoyed watching it. And that is why I watch anime.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this instalment of Black Butler, however it was fantastic to watch through and it remains one of my favourite parts of this franchise.


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Karandi James

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Frankenstein Family Episodes 1 + 2

It is amazing what timing can do for a show. If Frankenstein Family had aired back at the start of the season I’d have probably passed after episode 1, particularly as only 15 minutes of the run time is actually episode and the rest is voice actresses doing whatever they are doing (it isn’t overly compelling whatever it is). Yet at this stage of a slow season, this isn’t a terrible beginning for an anime and I find myself curious about what it might do. That and it isn’t as bad as some of the stuff I’m still actually watching so comparatively its a winner.

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The story involves a family of five siblings who were raised in a lab by their mad-scientist parents. The four sisters were experimented on and each has an interesting modification. There’s the mind reader, the plant girl, the dog girl, and the spider girl. The boy, Tanisu claims he’s the only normal one that wasn’t experimented on and that he’s a genius however evidence in the flash back in episode 2 suggests he was also being experimented on so I guess we’ll see where they go with that story line or whether it is just a red-herring.

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Anyway, their parents have been arrested and for some reason they are now living alone. They weren’t really clear on the specifics and I’m assuming the kids aren’t being supported by child services or an equivalent all things considered so I’m curious what they will do when they inevitably run out of money. That’s assuming of course they don’t get themselves into trouble before then given none of the girls have a clue how to live in the ‘normal’ world.

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Honestly, this is pretty standard in the way it delivers its story but the family dynamic is kind of cute and there’s enough potential in the set up for me to want to know a bit more about what is really going on with the family and why the lab burnt down and the parents got arrested so I’ll hopefully watch some more of this.


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Karandi James

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Friday’s Feature: Why We Need To Stop Mocking Stories For Trying

It’s become a fairly common criticism of a number of shows. It’s trying too hard to be…It’s just trying to be edgy…It’s trying too hard to be deep…And this week we added the question of whether or not Banana Fish was trying too hard to be shocking.

As I read these sorts of comments and questions, I just have to wonder if we’d all prefer writers didn’t try. If they all just settled into a generic status quo where you never stick your neck out, never take your plot too seriously due to fear of someone accusing you of trying too hard, and where every character has that knowing and self-deprecating personality so that they could never be accused of trying too hard.

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Honestly that doesn’t sound like such a fantastic alternative and even while I might agree that some shows miss their mark for what they were attempting to achieve or came across to ham-fisted in conveying their emotional angst rather than providing a nuanced watching experience, I still find the comment ‘trying too hard’ to be fairly meaningless. Of course they were trying. They may not have succeeded but you can see what they were aiming for. And that is where more useful criticism can come into the equation. Why haven’t their efforts hit the mark? Why aren’t you moved emotionally but rather being critical? Was it all too far removed from reality or was it more that they hadn’t developed the characters sufficiently for you to care about their overwrought experience?

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So do we address the question of whether or not Banana Fish is trying too hard to be shocking? Not really. What we need to ask instead is does Banana Fish succeed in being shocking or has repeated rape attempts, violence, and torture of characters we’re still only just getting to know (because the plot hasn’t slowed down for even a moment) diminished the impact of the shocks? Opinions will vary on that and that’s just fine but saying the show is trying too hard to be shocking doesn’t help. Quite clearly it is trying to shock. Whether it is succeeding is the question of the day.

Your Lie in April

Likewise, do we address the question of whether Your Lie in April is trying too hard to hit audiences’ in the feels? Again, that is exactly the purpose of the writing, the narrative, and everything else in the show. Of course it is trying to make audiences feel. So let’s ask instead, does it succeed? Given the huge fan base (and my own personal experience in tears toward the end) I would suggest for the most part, yes. Then again, there will still be viewers who are either more cynical or just don’t connect with these particular characters would say no. And there we can have a discussion about what does and doesn’t work. When we just accused the show of trying too hard didn’t further the discussion in the slightest.

You mean they tried to do something?

Shocking Truth

We could also look at the regular criticisms of shows like Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul as trying too hard to be dark, edgy or whatever else the buzz word of the week might be. Now, those two descriptors in and of themselves (dark and edgy) have been used to the point of almost meaninglessness and again you have to ask whether or not it is succeeding at making something that is dark in its themes that is still enjoyable for you to watch or whether the need to repeatedly throw blood and violence at the screen is something that detracts from the viewing or not. And again, answers will vary and these are ideas that can be shared and discussed with evidence and reasons.

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I don’t mind shows that try. I want them to. I want them to aspire to achieve great things and to tell their story with conviction. I want the writers and directors to have a vision, commit to it, and bring it to life. I want people to try so hard to produce something and then I want them to try some more. The end results may not hit the mark. They may have more ambition than talent. Their aspirations may rise far above their budget.

But you know what?

If they stop trying we’re going to have a lot more bland stories out there as no one is game to take a risk or to try to be anything.


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Karandi James

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