Top 5 Anime Valentine Episodes

Anime Valentine Episodes

Well it is Valentine’s Day so today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite Valentine episodes. This was actually harder than it sounded because while I know I have watched a million different anime versions of Valentine’s Day (seriously, this was not an exaggeration at all) I really struggled to remember which shows they were in. And that’s because they are all pretty much the same.

My list ended up being based on which episodes stuck with me (which will explain some of the weird choices). Feel free to add your favourite Valentine episode in the comments below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Number 5: Vampire Knight

Yuki in a memorable Valentine Episode feeding Zero chocolate.

While I’m not the biggest Vampire Knight fan (way too Twilight in anime form and I was too old when this came out to really appreciate the brooding teen romance element), I must admit the Valentine’s Day episode is memorable. Screaming fan girls, crowd control, Zero actually being kind of nice and getting punched for it, a couple of broken hearts and all and all it is a perfectly watchable Valentine episode.

Which is more than can be said for Yuki’s attempt at handmaking chocolate. Not entirely sure how you manage to mess that up but somehow she not only manages to make a disaster out of the kitchen but the single chocolate ball she creates is, if Zero’s reaction is anything to go by, unpalatable.

Number 4: Acchi Kocchi


Alright this is one of my weirder choices for best Valentine Episode and yet Acchi Kocchi definitely deserves the place on the list. It isn’t that anything particularly different happens in this episode. Its Valentine’s Day and Tsumiki wants to make chocolates for Io but he doesn’t like plain chocolates so she’s making mousse. That’s all pretty standard but the reason this episode sticks is because of Mayoi and her surprise chocolates.

Surprising because she claims she put frog meat in them after feeding them to the guys. Of course, she wouldn’t be Mayoi if she left it there. She follows this up with coating Tsumiki’s lips with chocolate flavoured lipstick and pushes her toward Io. Fortunately Io is a gentlemen (or at least smart enough not to put up with Mayoi’s rubbish) and manages to come out of the situation more or less unscathed though Tsumiki might have exploded. In short it is Valentine’s Day the way only Acchi Kocchi could do it.

Number 3: Fruits Basket 2001


This Valentine’s Episode is pretty straight forward in the original Fruits Basket anime. Tohru decides to make everybody chocolate however when she is about to give it to everyone Kyo, who is annoyed with Kagura, declares he hates chocolate. He is then guilt tripped into eating both Kagura’s and Tohru’s chocolate. It isn’t a profound episode but I really like Kyo as a character so I kind of enjoyed this moment.

With so many super sweet moments across its run having a Valentine Episode that still stands out is no easy feat so extra points to Fruits Basket for managing that and getting the mix of comedy and sweetness pretty spot on.

Number 2: Kimi Ni Todoke


Honestly, this should be number 1 on my list of favourite anime Valentine Episodes. The reason it isn’t is because Sawako doesn’t give him the chocolates. So frustrating (though not unusual for Kimi ni Todoke). She gives chocolates to everyone else but then questions the meaning behind the chocolates she wants to give Kazehaya and after hearing he won’t accept chocolates with real feelings she hesitates and loses her chance.

As much as I love this show, this episode is really frustrating. Certainly it is memorable and he does eventually get given the chocolates but Valentine’s Day is not a particularly happy one in this series.

Number 1: My Love Story

My Love.png

At first I thought this was going to go down the same path as Kimi ni Todoke but thank goodness Yamato from My Love Story is a lot tougher than Sawako. While the group date is pleasant it is her arrival at his house later with the most ridiculously over the top Valentine’s cake ever. It is adorable. And honestly, who doesn’t want that cake?

There they are, my top 5 Valentine’s episodes.

What anime Valentine Episode would you have chosen?

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Karandi James

Acchi Kocchi Series Review: Quirky Skit Format Anime With Just The Right Amount Of Weird

acchi kocchi1

Overview: In this anime, Tsumiki is in love with her friend Io, however confession is impossible for her. Instead she’ll go about her school life with her friends always hopelessly watching Io and waiting for a moment that has probably passed her by a million times. Yet her friends will ensure you never get bored because there is always something happening when this group get together.


I regularly point out that I’m not the biggest fan of comedy, I find slice of life routinely boring, and shows that focus on short skit formats where they set up and execute a punchline before moving on don’t do much for me. Well, this is the anime that can turn all of that over and can keep me watching despite checking every one of those boxes.


The story itself is pretty non-existent. You have your usual shy girl (usually depicted with cat characteristics) who has desperate crush on clueless guy (though how clueless he might be seems to be a matter of question and opinion given he very much seems to enjoy making her blush sometimes) and the usual gathering of friends who at times support and at other times hinder a potential relationship. The series covers about a year or so of their school life so we get the usual Valentine’s Day, White Day, snow fight, Christmas, etc episodes and while they all have their own weird little twist there’s nothing real of note in that particular line up. Unless you happen to think putting frog meat in chocolate for Valentine’s Day is noteworthy, in which case you and Mayoi are going to get on very well.


And that’s where this series works. It does set up everything exactly as you’d expect it to be, but the weird twists it puts on each little segment and its commitment to them just kind of work. They almost never push so far that it feels like they are just frantically clamouring for your attention (the bear costume episode might have been pushing it) but instead give each character a particular trait or tic that they play true in the moment and manage to execute with decent timing to make a truly enjoyable watching experience.


It does get a little repetitive at times and I will admit, I almost never binge this anime. This is a watch an episode while waiting for something to happen or while deciding what I actually want to do kind of show. It gives me a good laugh, I find the characters kind of adorable, and ultimately as long as the trope of girls spraying blood out of their nose every time Io says something ridiculously charming doesn’t make you want to bang your head against the wall, there is little to object to (okay, there’s a bit to object to but the show isn’t trying to make you take it seriously anyway so there’s no real point).


Io and Tsumiki are fantastic and definitely my favourite part of the show. Io has featured on a couple of my top 5 character lists previously and despite having fairly few lines when compared to other characters he makes his presence felt. Mayoi brings in a lot of energy and her mad scientist/inventor persona works well. Sakaki is a great support character to Io and also bounces well off of Mayoi. If there is any weak link in the main cast it would be Hime who as the shy girl character often feels like she’s just a substitute for Tsumiki and doesn’t add a lot more to the cast.

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There’s not a lot more to say. Watch this if you want to see how crazy students can make a game of tag while inside a school. Watch it if you have ever imagined having a truly epic snow ball fight. Just watch it if you want to see the single most impressive pen spinning ever to present itself in an anime. There are a lot of great individual moments in a show that as a whole isn’t that impressive and yet can be a great deal of fun.


As always, if you’ve seen the anime, I’d love to know your thoughts so please leave me a comment.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Slice of Life Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

Slice of Life isn’t exactly my favourite genre when it comes to anime. I find a lot of these stories fairly lacking in direction, slow paced, and just a little bit dull and yet every now and then I come across one that for some reason takes my fancy and then it becomes one of my favourite shows to binge on a sleepy afternoon. Now, when I started thinking about my top 5 favourite slice of life stories, I realised that over the years I’ve actually watched quite a few of these (and that isn’t counting the ones currently airing that I’m become quite attached to). To help narrow things down I kind of excluded those that are more romantic than slice of life or have a greater sense of direction with the plot. Unfortunately that took Natsume Yuujinchou out of the list but I’ll leave that as an hounourable mention.

As always, I’d love to know what would be on your list.

Please Note – There may be some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions to Natsume Yuujinchou, ReLIFE and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.

Number 5: Poco’s Udon World

No one is more surprised than me by how much I ended up enjoying this story. It is mostly directionless about a guy returning home after the death of his father and finding a kid in a pot when he goes to clean the house. Of course the kid is actually a tanuki but they end up having a father and child relationship while he tries to figure out what to do with his life.  It’s all very cute but never too cute and even though we’re really just watching their day to day there’s enough going on as they learn to live together and as they try to keep Poco’s secret that you never really get too bored. Not really sure about the Udon part of the title given while the place used to be an Udon shop that’s really a very minor point in this story.

Number 4: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I know, a lot of people wouldn’t class this as a slice of life, but really while it crosses into about ten genres essentially we are watching a group of high school kids go about their day to day lives. Their day to day lives are made somewhat more exciting by an array of weirdness summoned usually unintentionally by Haruhi, but that’s really all there is at the end of the day. They film a movie, wander about the town, meet in the club room, get challenged to play a computer game, do part time jobs, and all manner of fairly meaningless activity as life kind of marches on around them. Admittedly, this one definitely has a more fantasy and science fiction feeling which is why it is so low on the list despite this being one of my favourite anime.

Number 3: Acchi Kocchi

Another anime I really love but don’t really know why. At some point I should actually get around to reviewing this one given how many times characters from it end up on one of these lists. Another group of five friends (and occasionally extra classmates) doing not much. This one is definitely more comedy focused though with each episode usually split into two parts where the kids get up to something and then we get a punch line and move on. They make chocolate for Valentine’s Day, have a snowball fight, an extreme game of tag, sell cakes, and pretty much just go about their days while the audience watches on hopefully amused. This is one I enjoy because it is high energy but ultimately pretty pointless so you don’t really need to take anything too seriously. Something that becomes fairly immediately apparent once you listen to the opening theme.

Number 2: My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu

This one almost got ruled out because it does have a potential romance in it, but given the nature of the main character it never really goes anywhere. I really enjoy this story mostly because of the snarky nature of Hachiman and as the main narrator of the story he is pretty fantastic. It keeps what should be relatively dull viewing pretty entertaining. Again we have high school students going to school, meeting in a club room, spending a lot of time reading and drinking tea, occasionally getting involved to plan a festival or something, and yet this story always manages to feel like it is progressing towards something even if it doesn’t quite get there. It ends up being a highly entertaining watch provided you don’t mind a heavy dose of social commentary with your slice of life.

Number 1: March Comes in Like a Lion

For all that March Comes in Like a Lion is taking a fairly serious look at depression and social anxiety, at the end of the day this story really just follows the characters as they go through the motions of living. There’s no villain to overcome or boss waiting with an end game. There’s no real sense that we’re heading toward anything. The only real sense of movement you get in this story is how Rei is progressing as a character as he tries to interact with the world. For all that the pace is at times extremely slow this story manages to find ways to keep you interested. The visuals are fantastic as are some of the metaphors constructed to show us the characters’ emotional states. There’s also some generally good choices with music, symbolism, and timing of dialogue. It all just comes together in a way that makes viewing immensely satisfying. The first season was fantastic and while the second season has only just started it doesn’t seem to have lost any of the feeling of the first. We’ll see whether it holds up by season’s end though.

So that is my list of Top 5 slice of life anime. I’d love to know what is on yours. I’m betting someone is going to say Flying Witch.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


Tuesday’s Top 5: Character Quirks

Tuesday's Top 5

Okay, if you are looking for quirky characters, anime has you covered. However, there are some characters who just have one specific trait that in some ways ends up defining them. This is my list of favourite quirks that complement the other features of the character, fit into the narrative being told, and still manage to stand out and be remembered. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

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

Honourable mentions this week go to: Baldo from Black Butler for cooking with explosives, Fuko from Clannad for carving starfish, Isana Yashiro from K for his umbrella, Lita from Sailor Moon for her constant falling in love, and Himemiko from Kamisama Kiss for clacking her teeth together.

Number 5: Nice Holystone from Baccano

Despite her name, Nice is definitely an explosives junky which ultimately caused the disfiguring accident she had as a kid. Did that in any way curb her enthusiasm for things that go boom? Not remotely. When things get bad, Nice always has a supply of noisy helpers and a big smile on her face.

Number 4: Io Otonashi from Acchi Kocchi

In a show full of one trick and quirky characters it is amazing that I remember Io so vividly, sitting as his desk and spinning his pen. It’s probably just how impressive he is at spinning it that makes it stick but that image really defines his character for me.

Number 3: Saki Hanajima from Fruits Basket

I don’t know if this one is ever explained in the manga, but in the anime, Saki spends a lot of time reading people’s waves. She senses something odd about the Soma’s, knows when people are sad, and generally scares the living daylights out of anyone who is mean to Tohru. At times this is invaluable as Saki is a hard worker in the background ensuring that Tohru is able to enjoy her high school life.

Number 2: Gray Fullbuster from Fairy Tail

Once again, the show is full of quirky characters with a whole array of interesting character traits, but Gray and his stripping down to his underwear is what stuck with me. He was definitely one of my favourite characters and it makes perfect sense that an ice mage wouldn’t be worried about the cold. The fact that this is usually subconscious until someone points out to him that he’s stripped is just funny (as is the back story as to how he developed this trait). And yes, the joke is overplayed, but still funny.

Number 1: Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist

Edward takes being offended by comments about his height to a whole new level. To the point where he actually insults himself and his height far more than any other character in the show. It’s absurd and hilarious. It also adds a bit of reality to his character. He is just a kid and he’s having to face issues far above his emotional maturity and deal with the world of adults. Having a few of these very childish traits (he also hates milk) really just rounds out his character.

So what are some of your favourite character quirks?