PET episode 13 – Kissing Gourami

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Oh wow, I made it! This is not only my last Pet review but also my last episode review of the season. Over here at least! I know I may be alone on this, but I actually had a lot of fun! Yes, even with Pet…

So after a season of clumsy heavy handed melodrama and forced grimness how does it all end? I’ve been saying for a while now that Pet has been slowly getting better. Like it found it’s footing 5 episodes from the end or something. Of course it could still destroy absolutely any progress made with a horrible finale. A lot of way better shows failed to stick the landing.

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The last episode of Pet was surprisingly bitter sweet. I mean it wasn’t that surprising that it was bitter sweet but it was surprising just how much sweet was in there. Sure it wasn’t a happily ever after. I mean with the build up to this episode, that would have been pretty much impossible unless they reveal it was all a dream or something. But the show still managed to have some very sturdy redemption for a lot of the characters without retconing or destroying their characters. Even Tsukasa ended up having the best plausible ending.

Not only that but a lot of the episode was flashbacks, which is not unusual for this show, but these flashbacks were mostly happy. we got to see two rather touching and very different love stories. Sure we know that both end in tragedy but the episode decided to only concentrate on the happy moments. Which made the inevitable ending just that much more painful even if they didn’t show it. We know! Honestly, where was “this” show all season. This was an episode of a decent thriller. And that’s not what Pet has been. You got to stick to your brand dude!

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If anything I would say that Pet ended cautiously optimistic. Satoru found the inner strength to survive without Hiyashi and honour his memory. In a strange way, loosing his mentor, the most horrible thing that could happen to him, gave him a purpose. Hiroki is learning to stand on his own feet and live for himself, he has a long way to go but I’m hopeful he’ll make it.

Katsuragi managed to recapture the beloved family he has been missing all this time and maybe even a bit of himself, even if it was just for a few seconds. Lin finally found loving parents and Tsukasa got to start over in a way.

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I would never had imagined that all main characters would manage to make it out alive and relatively happy. The fact that Pet managed to do that without it seeming completely out of place is not something I would have thought this narrative capable of. I’m wondering why there was this progression late in the season. Maybe I just got used to it and it started to annoy me less. I’m sure that has a little to do with it….

Ok let’s bottom line it. You probably aren’t missing anything if you skip Pet the anime and I will not recommend it because there is way too much that just doesn’t work in this series. At the same time though, I really don’t regret watching it and I would have watched more. I can’t quite explain why. Something drew me in.

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If any of you made it to the end of Pet or to the end of my reviews, you are resilient and I’m impressed! Thank you so much for taking this questionable trip with me!

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

In/Spectre Episode 12 Review

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Irina 2020 4

Another week, another seasonal show down! As much as I enjoy doing these episode reviews, and I do! I’m looking forward to the little between season break. Whatever else I might have to say about In/Spectre, it did renew my love of both mysteries and Yokai. I hope there’s another show like it coming up next season. And that’s actually saying a lot.

This particular episode wrapped things up exactly as anyone would expect. Kuro and Kotoko defeated the Steel Lady in the manner we saw last week. Rikka backed off, erased the wiki and disappeared for now. Saki and Kuro put their past behind them and he explained that he still loves Rikka and she’s trying to create a god that would bring her back to normal.

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Then we finally got a few scenes of Kuro and Kotoko together. It was mostly relationship fanservice where we got to see that Kuro does in fact care for Kotoko a lot. It was very sweet. Anyone who was hoping for a bit of romance should be happy with this.

The season did a great job ending on a note that felt final and warped up all the immediate points nicely so that if it never continues, we still get a proper sense of closure and it feels like a complete story. But it also left enough questions unanswered and doors opened for a second season to easily get made without feeling redundant.

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As a series, I must say I don’t think I’ve seen anything with this much exposition since A Certain Magical Index. The adaptation from novel to anime was rather minimal and it sometimes felt like I was playing a visual novel with no choice options. That sounds a bit harsh. You should know that I love visual novels and I can certainly enjoy one with minimal interaction. And I think a lot of viewers can enjoy In/Spectre. I just don’t think the production really took full advantage of the potential of the medium. Or any advantage really.

Also, for me personally, I think In/Spectre was one of the shows that suffered the most from me experiencing it once a week instead of in a continuous flow. It made more repetitive episodes particularly annoying to sit through and broke my connection with the characters too much. This is one of the shows I tended to put off watching the most.

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Yest in spite of all this, I consistently enjoyed it. The worst I could say was that some episodes got a bit boring. But when it worked it was great and it made me smile more than once. For a random little show I had no expectations of, I think it did great. I would watch a second season. I would also get a Kotoko figure!

What did you guys think of In/Spectre. Would you watch a second season? Was it your favourite show of the winter? Do you want a cute Pokemon yokai to follow you around?

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Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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The Case Files of Jeweler Richard Episode 12

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Irina 20202

We are getting through these shows! As much as I know the pain of finishing an anime series and getting that weird anime withdrawal depression. (The firstest of first world problems). There is something satisfying about ticking off another anime series as completed. Anyone else know what I mean? Is that just me? It sounds like a me thing…

I’m not going to pretend otherwise, The Case Files of Jeweler Richard ended at episode 10. These last two episodes were completely useless. I mean they weren’t offensive or anything. Like I’m not angry I watched them. But the narrative arc of the characters and the dramatic arc of the plot was over two episodes ago. They should have set them before the events in London and added them earlier in the season.

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Ok so surprise surprise, this episode dealt with Seigi’s dad. Or rather, Seigi’s biological father which isn’t always the same thing. As has happened a few times this season, there are actually some pretty good moral quandaries laid out in the episode. Of Course the series doesn’t dive too deep into it but it does still throw out some questions for the audience to chew on.

Unlike past episodes however, this time the series takes a clear stance. Instead of presenting the situation fairly neutrally and making most characters a little wrong and a little right, it presents Seigi’s birth father as a complete louse with no redeemable qualities to speak of. I’m not sure I’ve ever called anyone a louse before. I like it. I’m going to start doing that more.


I’m sure they mentioned it before but it seems Seigi’s mom was abused by Seigi’s father (they might not have mentioned that part actually), and ended up leaving him and remarrying (that’s the part I think they mentioned). As such, Seigi was raised by his stepfather and real dad. The episode really really insisted on that point however, I’m a sucker for simple gestures of fatherhood so it didn’t bother me much. Also The Case files of Jeweler Richard is a telenovela so in fact it was subtle and understated by those standards!

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I’m hoping this picture confuses some of you but of course no one who hasn’t watched the episode will read this. But just humour me and think to yourself – whoa why is there a knife there! Is someone gonna get stabbed!?! Doesn’t that fit with the whole telenovela thing?

So yeah, Seigi finds out he had a true dad all along and everyone is happy and then he has a coming of age ceremony which confused the heck out of me cause I assumed he was a graduate student in his 20s. Did Jeffery drag a minor he was not acquainted across the world without permission from his parents or guardian?

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I did find out two things this episode. First Richard’s mentor’s name was Saul not Salvatore as I had decided. I actually knew it was Saul. Not sure why I renamed him. Second, Richard is actually super good at taking things in stride. I loved the scene where Seigi announced he was quitting and Richard just told him he was going to enjoy their last day together. It was a great response. I’m gonna use it next time someone quits.

Overall, The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is simply not a great show, but it’s not a bad show either. It’s a thing that exists. I enjoyed it at first because I have a particular appreciation for small, slow pastoral type series that 99% of people find boring then started to enjoy it the same way I enjoy bad movies. I often found it unintentionally hilarious and nothing about it annoyed me particularly.

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The visuals are, well they’re sort of dull as well. The art is a bit uneven and although the character designs and certain city scapes are quite pretty, backgrounds and mob characters are plain and undetailed. The voice acting is decent but the heavily accented English will probably get on the nerves of native English speakers or at least take them out of the moment. That is not a British gentleman speaking…

If there is one aspect of the series that I think does rise above the average, it’s the directing. ‘ore specifically the framing and camera angles. I talked about it in my gallery posts but the way the camera is placed is often very calculated and in tune with the emotional resonance of the scene. It’s really rather impressive even if it’s not very flashy.

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For me, the Case Files of Jeweler Richard was a completely average series. However, and I can’t explain this logically, I always looked forward to it and generally enjoyed it.

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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PET episode 12 – Like A Worm on A Hook

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If you had told me I would say something like this a month ago, or maybe a month and a half, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you told me I would end an episode of Pet saying I can’t wait to find out what happens next week, that I would have been openly frustrated that I can’t continue the story, I would have figured you had mistaken me for someone else. I can’t wait to find out what happens next week..

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Last week ended in another fairly tense cliffhanger that had Hiroki cornered by Satoru and Tsukasa. Ultimately, Tsukasa’s plan was to crush Satoru and escape with Hiroki but he had to do that somehow without letting Satoru get suspicious. Normally this wouldn’t be too difficult. Hiroki is usually more than happy to just follow Tsukasa’s lead but he’s been feeling rather suspicious about Tsukasa since finding out the truth and he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

If you haven’t been following along with the series, this probably makes zero sense to you. I’m afraid it’s not about to get any better.

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So Tsukasa’s first plan goes down the dran when Hiroki refuses to cooperate and now Hiroki is being held captive by the company and likely to get crushed if Tusukasa doesn’t come up with a plan B.

But there was also that little time bomb we discovered last episode. It seems a long time ago Hiyashi left a hidden message for Satoru and the young man has finally discovered it. Although this message is fairly old and predates any of the events of the series, there’s already enough info in their to make Satoru just a little suspicious of Tsukasa.

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You know, I always thought Satoru may be one of those unexpectedly wise characters. He certainly seems the most reasonable in the cast. But that’s because he’s had someone to take care of him, nurture and shelter him. Being sheltered is great but it can also be a drawback. And for Satoru, it might have proved fatal.

We don’t know though. We didn’t see the aftermath. I wouldn’t put it beyond this movie to pull a bait and switch. Heck, all of it could be happening inside someone’s mind. This is the type of series it is. sneaky.

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So sneaky in fact that at some point I got invested and I don’t know when it happened. I’m not sure why. I like the three main characters but not enough to justify this renewed interest. The story gained a lot of focus but it’s pretty late in the game. I will say again, if this was the show from the beginning, Pet would have been a much better series. I fear that for most people it’s too little too late. For me though, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 12 Review

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Irina 2020

Wow, that last episode sure sneaks up on you. I didn’t realize the season was over until I saw it was episode 12. And the ending did feel sort of like a finale. But the season generally flew by.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is one of those shows I feel like I don’t really need to review. Most people seem to be watching it already and honestly I don’t have anything interesting to say about it. It was a great little series. For me it was the sort of show I would absolutely have preferred to binge but otherwise I have no complaints.

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I guess it’s nice to have an example to point at when people say that anime can’t be done or can’t be enjoyable without fanservice. But I think I’ve only ever heard one person say that so it’s not like I was in desperate need for an example. And there are plenty of others to chose from.

In the end, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken was a show that overflowed with love for the medium of anime and of course that’s going to resonate with anime fans! The characters were all deeply endearing and very relatable. I would have loved to see them get developed a bit more but I understand that the focus was the anime they made rather than the girls themselves and it’s a choice I respect.

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Still I wouldn’t have minded a bit more closure to that soft rivalry between Eizouken and the student council. That story line just sort of petered off.

I’m not sure if there are any plans for a season 2 but I feel like they would easily find an audience should they have the material for it. I wouldn’t mind if they got a few new members too. That would allow them to make more elaborate anime.

As for this specific episode, it was mostly about the UFO anime they made so that’s what all my notes are on. My first note was that I really like the sad music and I thought it fit the dance scene quite well. It made it haunting. But the whole coexistence bit was pretty cloying so I am glad they changed it.

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I noticed that most of Eizouken’s productions have no dialogue. This is on practical considerations since adding voice acting is both expensive, time consuming and difficult, but it also means you have to tell stories entirely through the images. I love silent stories so I’m good with it. I even sort of wish they hadn’t told us the story line of the UFO anime in so much detail. It would have been interesting to see how each fan interprets it.

As for that new ending? I loved it. Surrender is a great compromise! What did you think of the new ending to the anime? What about the season finale of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken? Would you watch a season 2. Wait, let me show you a trick. I’m a bit psychic you see. Ok, from your energy I’m getting a vision that YES, you would watch a season 2!

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

In/Spectre Episode 11 Review

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Irina 2020 4

We are now at episode 11 of In/Spectre and you will never guess what happened. OK spoilers so go watch Kotoko and friends if you’re not caught up with episode 11 and I’ll be right here. You’re all good now? No fear of spoilers? I can lay it all out? Good! This week, Kotoko monologued in a car while Saki made a few comments and Kuro fought with Nanase getting killed in some gruesome ways. I know! Who would have seen that one comming?

Ok, so I’m being a smart arse. I once again didn’t in fact dislike this episode but I reiterate my stance that one of the most delightful aspects of In/Spectre is the chemistry between Kuro and Kotoko and to me, it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see it for the past month or so.

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Otherwise, the episode was pretty much a rinse repeat of the last two. Just like the last two, I’m going to say right now that I didn’t hate but I’m also going to spend the rest of the post nitpicking so it might not be obvious. I’ll try to go the compliment sandwich route… So let’s start with some nitpick bread.

A while ago, I read from a movie critic that I quite like, that there will never bee a good realistic movie about hackers. Because the act of hacking is interesting in concept, it’s quite exciting to learn about or read about, but it’s rather boring to watch. In essence it’s simply watching someone type with nothing much going on on the screen. The only way to properly adapt it to a visual medium such as movies, is to inject some magical realism and try to illustrate the act in some way. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done is is often disblief hindering. I have a similar comment to make about Kotoko’s creepy pasta creation. Not to mention that everything needs to be narrated in order for it to make sense to the audience so by the end of it all, I felt like I would have enjoyed it more as a Light Novel. These particular scenes, which are the bulk of the latest episodes, just seem unsuited for adaptation, to me.

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I do like a lot of elements of Kotoko’s 4th solution, and specifically the detail of the body double having a different face. The most salient bit of information about Nanase’s murder is that her face was bashed in beyond recognition or identification. It’s so important that the missing face is a prominent feature of the Steel Lady. Picking a solution that makes this gruesome detail a key factor is a great idea and makes it more likely to stick in people’s heads.

There seems to be a disconnect between my observation of how internet culture evolves and what these writer’s think. First the attention span that would be needed for people (let’s call them fans) to follow along 4 different permutations of the Nanase myth, the equivalent of hours of reading, without loosing interest seems really unlikely to me. And no third party has injected their own theories? No super popular fanfic with Lady Nanase kidnapping an innocent schoolgirl and ending up in a twisted love story? That doesn’t sound like the internet I know! From my observation, the quickest and easiest way to kill the Steel Lady myth would have been to come up with the next pasta. How about a handsome young man killer with a tutored soul. Young ladies are great for creating online fandoms! Heck, they could have just slightly modified Kuro’s story and there you go…

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On the other hand, going with the notion that a celebrity that supposed to be dead is actually still alive is a tested and true classic. People love to believe in some form of immortality and I bet a lot of fans would have latched on to any story that makes a young, beautiful idol alive and living a crazy twisted double life, rather than just sadly gone forever. As an aside, whether Nanase is alive or dead, Kotoko has just painted her as a cold blooded murderer, staining her memory forever. Stone cold!

I’m not sure how changing the ghost to a beautiful idol serial killer would make the monster disappear. Flesh and blood serial killers have been a staple of horror stories and creepy pastas just as much as ghosts have been. And this one is full of fanservice. I would have thought that Kotoko’s story would have made the Steel Lady even stronger or maybe created a second one with a face. That would have been funny.

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One thing I can’t deny, it’s that this episode obviously made me think about the story and what’s going on. That’s always a sign the there was something there. Did you guys like it?

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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The Case Files of Jeweler Richard Episode 11

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Irina 20202

Sorry guys, I’m afraid Karandi is still MIA for now. I know we all miss her so let’s send some good vibes her way. I wonder if she’s keeping up with The Case Files of Jeweler Richard. If not, I’ve got her covered!

As you may or may not know, the show decided to jump a couple of sharks a few episodes back and most people were not having it. Most people who aren’t me. I had a fantastic time with the nonsense of it all. But even I have to admit, the plans and schemes in this show are just so painfully convoluted it’s hard to defend.

And this week we got more of that!

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This week’s Case Files of Jeweler Richard was kind of tame and also non committal. Richard is back and he has taken over his old job as owner of l’Étranger. Seigi and Richards relationship seems to have reverted to amicable boss and employee. And it’s not like this episode is set before the events in London. Seigi recognizes a picture of the count’s mansion and he saw it for the first time last week. The show just did a reset on their relationship and is refusing to address it.

So Seigi accidentally helps out Richard’s childhood governess, by pure coincidence and in just a few seconds she gives up so many clues that she’s somehow related to Richard that even Seigi picks up on it. And he’s dense as a brick. I love Seigi.

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We soon find out that Richard has been looking for this woman all along but she refuses to see him, having harboured feelings of guilt over how they had parted when Richard was 9. We quickly learn that at that time Richard’s movie star mother had come back into the picture and was planning on reuniting with her family. Except Catherine (that’s his mom’s name) was never the motherly type and people around Richard were worried about his future.


As an aside, we never see Henry during these scenes. Is this because I said young Henry was the most attractive of the boys and now I’m being punished? You can’t blame me. The two others are babies…

Anyways, turns out that what had seemed like Chieko (I think that was the governess’ name) trying to steal a valuable necklace for her own gain was in fact a convoluted plot hatched by Catherine to avoid a reconciliation with her family and leave Richard where he could have the best childhood and education.

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I should say that at this point Richard is with his uncle because his parents are separated and his mother already has a reputation for being wilful and difficult. Why couldn’t she simply say she changed her mind about the reconciliation and leave without involving a complete stranger?… I don’t know… It makes no sense. Or just about the same amount of sense as the will did.

This episode was a bit boring to me. I didn’t dislike it I just didn’t have as much fun with it as the other ones. It does end on a cliffhanger of Seigi looking really angry at some dud who just walked up to him and claimed to be his dad. So more family drama next week… nonsense!

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 11 Review

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Irina 2020

OMG, I might get this episode review of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken out before the next episode airs! I know it doesn’t sound super impressive but it’s been a surprisingly rare accomplishment for me. You got to celebrate your successes where you find them!

And that’s fitting for a show like Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, as it is in so many ways a celebration. A joyful tribute to the art of anime and everything it has meant to fans.

This week’s Eizouken finds the girls trying to make headway on their newest and by far most ambitious project while the school council is still actively trying to hinder their progress. The spy movie inspired opening scene was tons of fun!

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I remember thinking in the moment “A show like this doesn’t really need an antagonist.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the vice president and I savour every moment she’s on the screen. But structurally, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, despite the confrontational title, is a show where conflict comes from challenges rather than obstacles. The characters are driven by passion and inner turmoil. Each of the three girls is developed enough to be able to push the plot forward without needing to be pitted against anyone. Classic rivalries or even fights are great in certain settings, it’s just not how Eizouken has been progressing so far.

I didn’t realize how relevant this random thought would become by the end of the episode. The episode progressed a lot throughout the week. The early confrontation with the student council turned into yet another scouting escapade to help Minori get the story down and then the school started interfering with profits which in turn threatened to invalidate all the deals Eizouken had made with various other clubs to get the project off the ground and that quickly segwayed into a flashback explaining how Midori and Kanamori’s friendship started.

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That’s a lot of stuff for just one episode. I mean look how long that run on sentence is! It only works because of the self propelled nature of the show. Events just sort of run into one another because you don’t need to build up a bunch on sides and perspectives every time. You can just let the story wander along.

How exactly does any of this relate to my early thoughts about rivals. Well, Midori has been struggling for weeks to come up with a complete scenario for their current project. Midori is really more of a world builder than anything else. Details like plot progression or character arcs aren’t always her forte. Good thing she has her friend Kanamori to keep her in line or she would probably never get anything done.

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Turns out, Kanamori has always been a driving force and a source of comfort for Midori. And I can believe it. It’s awesome to have someone in your life that can just straighten you out and ground you when you need it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to communicate.

No doubt, the influence of this precious friendship was at play when Midori’s epic battle saga turned into a tale of long lost figurative brothers finding each other once again. Of seeing thyself in thy enemy and so on. It was really quite sweet and honest an anime I would watch in its own right. And in the end, even this sci fi war epic, didn’t have an antagonist. Ah AH! See…I brought it back! Me and the show were in synch!

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But you know one thing that”s really great about antagonists? They allow you to have heroes! When the chips are down and push comes to shove, Tsubame and Midori go to Kanamori. Because even sick in bed (and she was surprisingly adorable when sick), Kanamori will know what to do. And she did, she made it all better instantly.

I really like the vice president of the student council. She’s a great foil to Kanamori and brings out different and interesting sides to that character. And Kanamori is my Eizouken hero!

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

PET episode 11 – Bait

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Pet is very slowly becoming the show I thought it was going to be in the first place. Unfortunately, the road to get there was way too long and arduous for me to recommend the series to anyone. But I am kind of glad for me. The lone viewer standing. At least I get to have some “fun” with this. Yes the quotations are supposed to be there.

Basically, last week Hiroki found out that Tsukasa crushed his own mentor and not knowing how to deal with this information, he simply ran away. There’s a lot of deep and not completely explained feeeeelings between the main characters of Pet. A lot of the action feels more instinctive than logical. For instance I can’t tell you what Hiroki’s plan was and I don’t think he had one. He was just overwhelmed by the situation and removed himself from it.

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This said, now that the plot has started to circle around Tsukasa, Hiroki and Satoru, it’s markedly more interesting and focused. Since the three of them are more or less evenly matched and all slightly unstable, there’s really no way to know how it will play out. And that’s fairly unusual. Usually the show at least plays favourite with a character so you have an idea who you are supposed to root for. In Pet, it’s all up for debate.

This said, they do seem to be setting up Tsukasa as the big bad. This episode he is seemingly sacrificing Hiroki for his own ends and has made it clear that he won’t hesitate to crush his beloved pet if needed. But then again, it’s not like Tsukasa knows any other form of love. His childhood is by far the most tragic of them all. More importantly, Tsukasa is the character that stands in stark opposition to the shadowy “company”, which is the closest thing we have to a main antagonist. And he is the character we spend the most time with. As twisted as it may seem, the narrative has set him up as the protagonist.

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Right now we’re in an interesting place where we don,t actually know where anyone’s loyalty lies and what their end game is. Tsukasa has seemingly betrayed Hiroki by setting him up to take the fall for Hayashi’s murder, and therefore become the object of Satoru’s wrath. But we do know he still wants to somehow get revenge on Satoru and keep Hiroki safe and by his side as possible.

Satoru did go into a blind rage seeing what happened to his mentor and seemed fairly convinced by the set up Tsukasa had created. However, a very brief scene between him and Mei hinted that he may have additional information from Hayashi. Up until now Satoru and Hiroki were pretty good friends after all.

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Then there’s Hiroki himself. Lost and confused he probably doesn’t know what his next move is so how could we. But he’s strong and much smarter than he gets credit for so I wouldn’t count him out.

We now have three thugs playing a game of psychological cat and mouse. Although some of the heavy handed imagery remains it’s mostly background noise. The meat of the story has moved from the trauma and gross situations to the tension of a fight which is likely to end up with no winners.

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

In/Spectre Episode 10 Review

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Irina 2020 4

You guys are going to have to bear with me a little bit longer. We’re all sending Karandi happy vibes and hope she gets well soon. I’m also playing catch up on my end so I might get closer to that 100 word mark in the upcoming reviews. Let’s see what we can do!

Last week I speculated that the following episodes of In/Spectre could turn out to be more or less repeats. That is, Kotoko has 4 stories to spin and she’s essentially doing so by speed writing creepy pasta in a parked car with Saki while Kuro fights Nanase.

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That’s all episode 9 was (there was a lot more talking than fighting), and Kotoko only managed to get through a single story so I wondered if we were just going to rinse repeat for the rest of the season.

And I still wonder that. This week really was more of the same, except that Kotoko managed to get through 2 stories…sort of. I’ll get back to it. Although I did like this week’s episode, I also sort of wandered away from the tv to get a snack without even really thinking about it. It became background noise at some point even though I wasn’t doing anything else. The characters and core premise are interesting and enjoyable enough to keep me coming back for more, and I would not hesitate to recommend In/Spectre to someone but I found the last two episodes less captivating and I think I know why.

First I think the universe of In/Spectre itself is far more interesting than the creepy pastas Kotoko is coming up with so I would rather they do an investigation or something. Second the episode really are getting repetitive. But mostly, for me at least. I think this specific format is wasting one of the series’ greatest strengths.

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What I mean is that in practice, Kuro is simply a background element. We cut to him a few times throughout the episodes to inject some movement as the other characters are completely stationary but they are really just transition scenes and he has no lines. Saki is staring at the scene and occasionally asks questions to drive the exposition just a bit more naturally but honestly it would make very little difference if she wasn’t there.

Kotoko for her part is sitting in the back seat and narrating her “solutions”. Sometimes we get a visual representation of her in the web but it’s a fairly flat visual without much variation or creativity so really what we’re meant to care about id the monologue. And that’s my issue, it’s a monologue. As in, it’s not a dialogue.

To me, one of the things In/Spectre does particularly well is creating chemistry between the characters. Particularly Kuro and Kotoko. As lovely as Kotoko is, and she is bestest girl, don’t get me wrong, she’s way more fun when she has someone else to play off of. I just miss the banter.

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Towards the end of the episode we did get something a bit different in the form of Rikka coming in to dispute Kotoko’s solutions. I get what they were going for here. A clash of titans. Two masterminds outwitting each other for an audience to marvel at their genius. The problem I have with this is that all of Kotoko’s stories immediately fall apart under scrutiny. The show itself admits this. So having someone poke holes at the theories really isn’t all that impressive or anything. It’s just sort of, well duh…

However, like I said, I didn’t dislike the episode so much as it didn’t grab my attention. It was a pleasant enough and I guess I could call it filler. I am still looking forward to the next episode but I am starting to get a touch impatient for the ladies to get out of that car already…

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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