Knight’s & Magic Episode 6: Can’t Make an Omelette Without Breaking an Egg

Review Episode 6:

Is it wrong that I got just a little bit of satisfaction from watching one of Ernesti’s experimental machines self-destruct? Though the reaction of the others was a little over the top. Ernesti is pushing technology in the world further than it has gone before and he’s doing it very quickly. Of course there are going to be a few mishaps along the way. Admittedly, he probably shouldn’t be the test pilot given everything will just stop if he actually manages to blow himself up.

Knights6b

The set up this week is basically he’s now been given ten months and the resources needed to design a new machine to take on the lab that is meant to be in charge of machine design in a match (though given how slow their progress is in technological growth one has to wonder what they do most of the time). That means we have a fair amount of time montaging over the steps in design with occasional dialogue and jokes to break it up and string the scenes together. As as stand alone, it isn’t great, but it takes us where we need to be at the end which is the confrontation.

Knights6c

You have to admit, Ernesti is really pushing his friends to think outside the box. While I don’t always approve of his attitude and I’m finding the ease with which he succeeds at most things a little obnoxious, I’m kind of curious as to just how far he’ll take innovation in this world and what we’ll end up with at the end.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Advertisements

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

bakuman.png

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

Railgun.jpg

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

Heaven.png

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

GHunt1

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.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Vatican Miracle Examiner Episode 6: Here We Go Again

Review:

This episode seems pretty much identical to the first episode of Vatican Miracle Examiner in that it is setting up what might be a pretty interesting mystery. Unfortunately, this show has a credibility issue at this point with how it might bring things together as this mystery progresses. On the other hand, at least Roberto is actually getting to take a more lead role at this point and doesn’t seem like excess baggage in this episode.

Vatican6b

Still, with a non-decomposing corpse of a possible prophet who is being investigated to see if he is a saint, some weird snake cult and a dead foreigner, and an FBI agent moving around, things are very likely to get messier before they get any better.

Vatican6c

I don’t mind mess given it is kind of necessary at the start of a mystery. My issue is that I know exactly where they went with the last messy mystery and I won’t be overly thrilled if we get a re-run here.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Bastion Game Review: Short and Sweet

About two weeks ago I put up my first impressions of this game. Now I’ve completed the story mode, what are my final thoughts on the game?

Review:

Because I’ve already done my basic impressions of the game, I’m going to put this in a straight plus/minus format. I will admit that even though I finished the story, that opened up other play modes and things that I have yet to try.

Plus +

The artwork and music are adorable in this game. They both work really well. It is visually interesting and while the music may get a little repetitive toward the end of the story campaign, it really suits the game itself and adds to a very immersive experience.

Minus –

All up, I completed the story campaign in just under 10 hours. That’s with my save disappearing midway along and having to restart as well as some random deaths due to being overly curious about what might happen if. Basically, I probably could have finished this several hours before I did if I’d actually just focussed on finishing the story. That’s kind of a problem given I’m not that good at games and I really should take awhile to finish them. While I feel I got my money’s worth out of this game, I bought it on sale and I don’t know that I’d feel as happy about the value for money if I’d paid full price.

Bastion2

Plus +

While the story is relatively linear, the end does give you a two choices which I assume changes the ending in some meaningful way (or at least gives you a different closing monologue). That’s kind of made me curious enough that I want to play through again just to make different choices and see what happens. It is a very minor thing and it would have been nice if earlier on you’d been given some choices. Still, it was kind of nice at the end to feel like you controlled how it played out.

Minus –

The final level firstly adds a hop mechanic making a whole section of the level a platformer. Yet the visuals and the controls don’t really allow for the kind of precision that would make platforming fun and given you hadn’t had to do this the entire rest of the game just felt like a way to stretch out the final level and add a level of irritation to the process. The second thing is that it then swaps out all of your weapon choices for the battering ram. While that is a very cool weapon, I’m left wondering why I spent all that time training and levelling up the rest of my equipment if they were just going to leave me with a new and random weapon right at the end.

Bastion4

Plus +

I’ll just say it, this is a fun game. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Other than a few random gimmicks in the last level, it doesn’t overly clutter itself with unnecessary mechanics. The story works and the narration, while not as great as I might have been lead to believe was certainly enjoyable to listen to. Basically, I play games for fun and this one managed to give me hours of fun (though also not as many hours as I would have liked).

Minus –

While at first it seems like the range of enemies is pretty good, they all have more or less the same attack patterns. This game ups difficulty by adding more enemies onto the screen but once you get the canon that just makes it amusing to see how many enemies you can simultaneously wipe out. Basically, the difficulty in this game isn’t very high and it doesn’t really do anything to make it more difficulty. Plus, the attack patterns are very repetitive so once you’ve chosen your favourite combination of gear you will slip in a fairly straight pattern of attack yourself.

Bastion5

Overall, this was a fun game experience and as I said, on finishing and watching the credits through, I have unlocked some other stuff which I’ll have to get in and try, but I’m pretty happy with this steam sale purchase.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Chronos Ruler Episode 6: I Hate You / I Love You

Review:

This show continues to have an intriguing premise and some interesting developments but is so busy burying it all under poor execution, terrible characterisation and dialogue, as well as some really cheap jokes to actually deliver on what might otherwise be a fairly promising show. You walk away from each episode wanting to have enjoyed it and wanting to know more about the story but having face palmed so many times you have to wonder why you still are watching it.

Chronos6a

Having kind of resolved the whole joining Chronos thing and now being given random titles that I do not see any reason or need for at this point in the series, Victo has managed to read some of his old notes and they are going to the place where he had his last mission before losing his time. I’m all kinds of confused because Kiri is clearly older than 12, so why doesn’t he know whether Mina is his mother or not? Or why didn’t he know about Victo working for Chronos? And yes, given he isn’t yet 18 it makes sense that he was really young when whatever happened to Victo happened, but he has to know something.

Chronos6c

Meanwhile the is she or isn’t she question of Mina remains. To be honest, I really hope she isn’t because Victo is annoying enough, a Victo and Mina combo for the remainder of the series would just be annoyance overload.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Episode 6: Learn to Take The Win

Review Episode 6:

So far I’ve enjoyed the fight sequences in this series and not a lot else and then along comes episode 6 where we have no fighting going on as the swords have returned to the citadel to have their wounds treated and deal with their issues after the last mission. Despite being reassured that history hadn’t changed they are all brooding on things during this episode which actually makes you wonder what the advantage is of having living swords fighting in the first place if they are as prone to emotional damage as a standard person.

Touken6c

We also get to meet members of the first unit who are apparently about to set out on a mission for next week. I wonder if that means we won’t see any of the characters that I still haven’t really connected with or whether the second unit will end up getting involved.

The other thing we see this episode are more of the little fox things but to be honest their role could kind of be filled by a smartphone so I haven’t really paid attention to them as characters.

Touken6a

All and all, these guys really should pick a fight with someone, anyone, just to keep this from getting too dull.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

My Hero Academia Episodes 31 + 32: Ideas Really Are Bullet Proof

Review Episode 31:

I”m going to have to write a feature for later in the week on this one because there’s a lot coming through in this episode. It’s called “The Aftermath of Hero Killer Stain” and that’s exactly what it gives us. There’s no simple he went to jail the end scenario here. What he did, what he stood for, how he was captured, all of it has taken on a life of its own fuelled primarily through main stream and social media and now it’s almost become a movement in its own right and that is going to be pretty hard to stop.

Hero31

The easier part of this episode deals with the three boys, Midoriya, Iida and Todoroki, as they recover from their fight and also get a lecture about actually following the rules and realise there are consequences. Some of these are direct in that they won’t be recognised for their efforts because they’d also have to be punished so they are just going to pretend Endeavor took down Stain (isn’t that culture exactly what Stain was fighting against). Some are less direct as their mentors are facing pay cuts and other penalties for not properly supervising them. Iida is also now facing the possibility of long term damage to his arm due to injuries sustained, though they had a very shōnen way of dealing with that trauma so he’s kind of taking it on as a reminder of what a hero should be (that issue also needs its own post but I’ll probably never get around to writing it).

Hero31c

But it isn’t all doom and gloom. We get an impossibly cute phone moment between Uraraka and Midoriya which will leave you smiling forever even as everything else in this story seems to be taking a turn for the darker. Gran Torino telling All Might he needs to come clean with Midoriya certainly got my attention. Unfortunately, it looks like next week is going to plunge us into some silliness and side stories as we see how the rest of the kids did on their internships. I hate to say it but I have zero interest right now and would really like the main plot to progress.

Review Episode 32:

I was kind of right about the zero interest. The story presented here was actually a really good story but because it had nothing to do with the actual plot I just couldn’t stay invested in it. First we bounced around and checked in on most of the other students of note and their internships. And can I point out, that the only female hero who has interns that we see is not doing anything vaguely heroic. It would have been nice for at least one actual female hero to be doing something heroic (though at least some of the female students are).

Hero32a

However the majority of this episode is spent with Tsuyu and her internship.

Hero32b

As I said, it is a pretty good stand alone story of a student learning the daily grind of a hero before getting a call to action. It has everything it needs, but what it really does is breaks the flow of the story that I actually want to see. I get the impression if I owned this series on DVD, this would be one of the perpetually skipped episodes that I’d come back to at the end to watch as a stand alone.

Hero32c

Looking forward to the next episode.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

In Case You Missed It

Another week down and I have another list of awesome blog posts written by some great bloggers to share. As always feel free to add a link to an anime related blog you think needs some attention in the comments below.

darker5

D Talks Anime shares their favourite scenes from Shiki. This post is fantastic because D doesn’t ust list the scenes, they dissect them and why they work so well within the narrative and stand out in a show full of creepy encounters and horrific moments. Well worth checking out if you’ve watched Shiki or if you haven’t but are considering it (just be aware of spoilers).

Bran New Day Anime has a great write up of episode 31 of My Hero Academia. If you haven’t yet checked out the episode or even if you did but just want to reminisce, this is worth checking out.

Gabriel Galindez shares their 5 best anime theme songs from the 90’s. It’s a bit of a nostalgia trip and has some great themes mentioned so if you’ve got the time, go have a listen and a read.

Atelier Emily has an interesting post coming to the defense of the creatures in Made In Abyss. It’s a show I can’t watch at the moment but I’m enjoying many of the discussions around it and this post really caught my eye this week with its focus on design and details.

Wherever I Look has an excellent write up on episode 5 of Princess Principal. They recount an event and then provide their commentary and thoughts and this format makes for an enjoyable read and reflection on the episode. If you haven’t checked out this blog before, they do some excellent episode discussions so hop over and give it a read.

Keiko’s Anime Blog has a review of The Royal Tutor so if you missed it last season and are considering a watch, this is a great read. I recently reviewed this series as well, and I’ve enjoyed reading the different posts out there about it and Keiko’s post is a nice overview with their thoughts on the show.

Wretched and Divine shares their top 10 anime openings. If you like lists and you like anime openings, this is probably a great post for you so if you missed it, go check it out and reminisce about all those awesome songs.

Another top 10 anime opening list came from Let’s Talk Anime.  Going to admit, I loved this list because there were so many opening songs I genuinely loved on it.

I Drink and Watch Anime has a review of Witchcraft Works. As I am in the midst of writing my own review I found it rather odd that I finally found someone else who had even watched the show let alone reviewed it, and I really enjoyed reading their thoughts about it.

Lita Kino from Anime Corner has some great advice for bloggers who are a bit stuck on their topic and also links to somefantastic articles by other bloggers who are sharing their tips and ideas for getting out of a slump. This is definitely a post for every blogger to check out.

Pick of the Week

The Lily Garden has an excellent post about Kakeguri and how it fails to engage the viewer. This is not a rant or a ramble but a really well constructed argument that does draw on the work and observations of other bloggers as well as their own insight into the series and their experience watching it. All written in an easy to follow and engaging manner. In others words, truly excellent post and if you didn’t get a chance to read it you should definitely check it out.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

18if Episode 6: Recapturing the Dream

Review:

For all that this show has been set mainly in the dream world, other than zany colour schemes and character designs, little has given the impression that this is a dream and not just some off-beat fantasy. Episode 6 corrects that with an ending sequence that throws you straight into a dream like feeling and recaptures that sense of infinite possibilities that exist when you are on the edge of waking up from a dream.

18if6b

The story this week follows a girl who is bullied and so attempts suicide. We assume she then falls unconscious with Sleeping Beauty Syndrome but as we never see her real world body again she could have actually died and we wouldn’t know. Anyway, she is determined to curse those who allowed her to be bullied and much like the witch from episode 2, her curses are starting to have a real world influence.

18if6a

Initially Haruto is disinclined to involve himself assuming that the bullies are more or less getting what they deserve but for reasons never explained he goes along with cat guy to convince the girl. All of this is much the same as every other episode and then they convince her and the world gets all shiny and happy save for the attack from space.

18if6d

Yep. We go there. The aliens are attacking. Then we get a dialogue straight out of a dream as Haruto tells her it is fine because they’ll just fend it off in their giant robot. The matter of fact way he says it, the acceptance of the statement, the sudden transition into a cheesy mecha anime, it all just screams dream sequence and it is a lot of fun.

While this episode gets us no closer to any answers about anything, it showcases just what they can do with these episodes to make them enjoyable and interesting on their own. Episode 6 is definitely my favourite so far in this series.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Summer 2017 Week 6

Technically this would be halfway through the season and I really feel like I’m scrambling to keep up. There’s a number of shows that I was watching to not review but I’m so far behind at this point there’s almost no chance I’ll finish them with the end of the season. Anyway, while there’s not a lot making me dance with joy this season, there’s some fairly reasonable shows just to relax and watch without a lot of stress. I may end up with quite a few titles on my buy list at the end of the season for when they get a DVD release because there’s a lot of the kinds of shows that I just kind of enjoy binge watching on the weekend.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the shows of the season so please leave me a comment below.

yuri10d

Must Watch

My Hero Academia (Episode 30)

Loving this. No other way to put it. This show continues to demonstrate control over pacing and characters and knows when to kick the action into high gear. It just works. While it may not be the most inventive story ever, I’m really caught up with Midoriya and his classmates as they work toward becoming heroes.

Princess Principal (Episode 4)

I’m not sure if Princess Principal is going to stay a must watch, but the first four episodes have impressed. Sure, there’s a bit playing on the cute girls as spies, but there’s also some really interesting writing and some unexpected character depth. Plus the whole steampunk, alternative history thing is actually working quite well for it. All and all, I’m just really enjoying the story so far.

days11

Usually Entertaining

Gamers (Episode 4)

I can’t help it, this show is just a bundle of fun to watch. It plays on clichés and stereotypes but so far hasn’t managed to just be insulting and lazy in its delivery. The music has remained top-notch and the characters are definitely pulling their weight. While not a must watch show (at least not yet) there’s a great deal to like about this show so far.

In Another World With My Smartphone (Episode 4)

This is actually becoming genuine fun to watch. I’m not watching it and tolerating the comedy, I’m actually enjoying the jokes even if they are a little tired and overused in places. The characters are strictly filling their assigned tropes, the story has almost zero depth, and while it looks good enough there’s nothing exceptional about the visuals here. Yet, this show is good fun. It isn’t asking you to take it seriously and it knows very well that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Exorcist18

Okay, I Guess

18if (Episode 5)

I was a little optimistic on this one. It isn’t bad but it is becoming repetitive and without further revelations, the story is pretty pointless as Haruto saves the witch of the week. There’s certainly potential for this show to pick up toward the end, but at the moment, okay is the best descriptor for it and what it is delivering. It is interesting in its own way but without any kind of clear direction or any kind of answer, there isn’t much more to say about it. Visually it remains one of the more interesting anime of the season.

Knight’s & Magic (Episode 5)

This show continues to remain entertaining in places, fairly relaxing to watch, but it isn’t really asking me to care too much about what is going on or really seeming to build on its foundations. It’s still fun enough and I’m interested enough, but it isn’t particularly amazing.

Fastest Finger First (Episode 5)

This seems to finally be trying to push the characters rather than the quizzes, and it worked fairly well. Admittedly, the characters still aren’t the most interesting thing in the show, but at least they seem to have something resembling a personality. Hopefully this show can maintain some consistency over the season. The quizzes however remain the highlight for me.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Episode 5)

Right, so the story and characters are going nowhere, but the fight sequences remain impressive. Watch for cool sword play and some awesome music, ignore everything else and this is pretty tolerable so far. It is attempting to elicit some kind of emotional response from its audience, but so far it is missing the mark.

Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight (Episode 4)

And this continues its episodic trudge along so if you’ve watched so far, there’s nothing either particularly good or bad about this week (unless watching old people be mistreated upsets you in which case, pass).

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Episode 5)

This show would be better if you kept the set up the same but changed the protagonist out for someone with a personality and then switched the writers out for ones that had some sense of how to build drama or any kind of emotion. It remains a very pretty show and one full of characters I want to like, but is pretty bland all around.

Clean Freak Aoyama Kun (Episode 5)

I’m still sticking with this one, which for me and a comedy show is pretty unusual. I must admit, I’m still actually having some fun with it. Though, at 5 episodes in its beginning to tire me as jokes that were kind of tolerable are being reused just that little bit too often and I still don’t really have any concern for any of the characters.

Tattoo6

They Made This

Sagrada Reset (Episode 18)

Sagrada Reset is definitely attempting a late in the season come back. Nothing is going to make this an anime I would recommend to someone given it is incredibly awkward to watch at times with some very stilted characters, and yet, it would be fantastic if those of us who did watch it got to feel some sense of satisfaction as we close in on the end.

Vatican Miracle Examiner (Episode 5)

I wonder if the whole mystery was written out before they started making this. I guess it would have to be. So that means, someone read that script and that resolution and thought it seemed like a good idea and still decided to make this into an anime. It isn’t a total train wreck, but neither is it particularly good or worth watching. Episode 5 fills in some details about Lauren and is a little bit better to watch, but that’s probably because they aren’t on a case.

Chronos Ruler (Episode 5)

Looks like I was right in moving this one down into this category. The writing of this show is appalling as is the characterisation and pacing. Basically it has a kind of decent concept underneath all that and it might get to a point but I’m pretty much expecting this to just meander about and squander any potential it has before sputtering to a fairly flat conclusion.

gangsta6

Tried and Dropped

Restaurant to Another World (Episode 1)

Centaur’s Life (Episode 1)

Convenience Store Boyfriends (Episode 1)

Saiyuki Reload Blast (Episode 1)

Battle Girl High School (Episode 1)

Hina Logic (Episode 1)

Tsuredure Children (Episode 1)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Episode 1)

Aho Girl (Episode 1)

The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor (Episode 1)

Halfway point of the season: which shows do you think are going to be the stand out of the season?


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar