Blue Exorcist Episode 28

Review:

I shouldn’t be surprised that very little is happening at the moment in this show. Season 1 did the exact same thing. Big opening with lots of supernatural menace and action and then highschool playtime and teens figuring out who they are only occasionally broken up by action sequences.

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Its a weird choice for a show that most people would call an action. The problem is, Blue Exorcist doesn’t really do characters that can pull off emotional nuances so mostly we’re left with lame jokes and obvious emotional fumbling, meanwhile we know there’s this whole conspiracy and demons and amazing things we could be watching and instead we see Shiemi get comforted by being called a weed.

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Not mocking Shiemi too much. She’s my favourite character in this show but as I said the characters aren’t exactly amazing. All and all this is watchable to those who watched season 1 but hasn’t improved at all so won’t be winning any new fans.

Blue Exorcist is available on AnimeLab.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Pets and Mascot Characters

Tuesday's Top 5

Mostly pets and mascot characters are either superfluous to a show or just plain annoying (yes, Kinako from Twin Star Exorcists I am looking at you), however every now and then one of these characters actually does draw you along into the show, or help the plot along significantly, or just lightens the mood and makes you happy to see them. This is my list of my favourite pets and mascot characters.

Feel free to add yours in the comments or to comment on the most annoying pets and mascots (which will definitely be a future list though I’m not sure when).

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

Honourable mentions to Hawk (Seven Deadly Sins), Mokona (Tsubasa Chronicles), Maru (Kimi ni Todoke) and Fuzzy (The Morose Mononokean).

Number 5: Kuro from Ao no Exorcist

You have to admit for a demon cat, Kuro is pretty adorable. And useful in terms of a pet to own. He talks telepathically and can become big enough to ride into battle. Anyway, I’m glad Kuro stuck around for the remainder of the series. He plays an important role in helping the brothers reconnect with their ‘father’s’ memory and that also ultimately helps them get over some of their own relationship baggage.

Number 4: Kon from Bleach

 

There’s something about a modified soul stuck into the body of a plush lion that just really makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch the episode where Kon first appears in Bleach. Admittedly, after the first season, Kon’s role becomes very much comedic relief he initially plays a reasonable role in allowing Ichigo to transform into a Shinigami and to ensure people didn’t ask why Ichigo kept passing out all over the place. While Kon is at times borderline annoying, just when you would write him off he does something incredibly selfless or touching, or just manages to nail his comedic timing.

Number 3: Happy from Fairy Tail

 

I think it would be kind of mean to actually imply that Happy is a pet. He’s definitely a character in his own right and quite a cute one at that (sorry, who doesn’t find a flying cat adorable). Whether he is playing the comic relief, the heart of the group, a mode of transportation, or just chiming in with his usual ‘Aye’, Happy lives up to his name and is a great character.

Number 2: Timcanpy from D Gray Man

Whether we are talking Hallow or original, Timcanpy is a great character. Originally belonging to Cross Marion, Timcanpy was given to (left with) Allen Walker after Cross went missing. Timcanpy is silent (unlike every other character on the list) but still manages to convey a lot of personality. More importantly, he shows Allen genuine affection at almost every turn in the anime which is kind of needed given how dark and horrible most of the things are that happen to Allen.

Number 1: Nyanko Sensei from Natsume Yuujinchou

Much like Happy, I’m not sure we can actually call Nyanko a pet (or a mascot) but for a youkai transformed into a maneki-neko he is pretty adorable even as he is fat, self-centred and a little bit of an alcoholic. That said, he is amazingly funny and he does look out for Natsume when it really matters (though he frequently let’s lesser threats just run their course). There is of course the concern that one day he might try to eat Natsume for real, but the longer the show runs the less likely it seems. It really feels like Nyanko Sensei is getting just as much from hanging around with Natsume as Natsume is gaining. Okay, I also included an image of his true form. So this little cutie is my number 1 pet or mascot in an anime (and is hanging off my phone).

I did realise after writing this that three of my five top picks are cats. That’s probably saying something about me but I’m not going to think about it too deeply.

That’s my list. Who or what would you have included on yours?

Top 5 Tuesday: Nice Guys/Girls in Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

I know it’s weird but this is probably the hardest list I’ve tried to write so far. I was thinking how easy it would be to come up with the top 5 nice characters but then I started thinking what about… and the list just never ended. Finally I’ve whittled it down to my 5 favourite nice guys and girls.

My criteria for the final list was simple. They had to be nice and pivotal to the plot. The couldn’t be nice even while other characters walked over them (so they had to have some sort of backbone) but they mostly liked to get on with others. Also, they had to be in an anime where the main characteristic of the cast wasn’t nice. So Shirayuki and the like were ruled out pretty much instantly. See what you think and add any characters you’d like in the comments below.

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

Honourable mentions this week are going to a lot of characters because they got axed from the final list. Kazari Uiharu (A Certain Scientific Railgun), Sakakibara Kouichi (Another), Yuri Makita (Ao Haru Ride), Naoya Touhara (Astarotte no Omoucha), Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket), Chiho (The Devil is a Part Timer), and lastly Kukuri Yukizome (K).

Number 5: Shiemi Moriyama (Ao No Exorcist)

There’s not a lot to say about Shiemi. She’s an adorable character and she just wants to make friends with all the other exorcists. The reason she isn’t higher up the list is because she is a little bit of a doormat at times and it takes a lot for her to assert herself, though she does improve throughout the series. Fittingly, her summoned spirit thing allows her to grow plants that she mostly uses for healing purposes which more than once makes her invaluable to the team.

Number 4: Hak (Akatsuki no Yona)

This one was probably an odd choice because I’m thinking that most people don’t automatically use the adjective nice to describe Hak. However, my view is he is an incredibly nice character. He’s the older brother/friend who looks after Yona and she knows that he’ll have her back even when she blows up at him. More importantly, early on Hak respects Yona’s choice even when he is clearly in love with her (or maybe that’s just my view). He could have been a lot more intrusive but instead other than some gentle teasing, he kind of stays out of her way (until she needs some serious rescuing). I think he’s an incredibly nice character toward his friends and particularly Yona, but I’m guessing his enemies will not see that side of him.

Number 3: Mimiko Katsuragi (Black Blood Brothers)

Mimiko kind of gets dragged around a lot during Black Blood Brothers and she works really hard for Jiro and his brother to help them get to the Special Zone and to help them get established there. She’s an incredibly nice person, but she is definitely not a door mat. At every stage of the journey she puts forward her views and at times openly challenges Jiro and his opinions. She’s probably the most balanced character I’ve included on this list.

Number 2: Aberline (Black Butler)

In an anime where every character is more or less morally suspect, Aberline and his desire to make a safer London really does stand apart from the rest of the cast. Of course, his nicer nature made it inevitable that he would give us one of the more tragic moments of the series and the futility of his gesture just made it all the more heart-breaking. Aberline is a great character. He has his convictions and a desire born from his own life experience and yet he reaches out to Ciel as he sees that Ciel has definitely lost his way in all the corruption. Nice guy, tragic end.

Number 1: Jacuzzi Splot (Baccano)

A nice guy looking out for his friends in a world of gangsters? Jacuzzi had to be my number 1 pick (though it was hard even choosing him from amongst the cast of Baccano because a number of our ‘gangsters’ were deceptively nice). He is completely devoted to his friends and ensuring their safety, would love to avoid violence if at all possible, seems like a complete coward but definitely knows when it is time to stand up and be counted. And he doesn’t do that half way. Even the story behind his tattoo is completely adorable.

So, which nice characters have I missed? Who should be on the list?

 

 

 

Words of Wisdom – June Recap

My second month of blogging is now complete.

I want to thank those who have supported 100WordAnime over the last two months. It has really been great hearing about different anime and different views on anime. I hope that you are all still visiting at the end of my third month and I look forward to seeing what you post on your blogs in the coming month.

To start July I am re-sharing my favourite quotes from June.

By the way, if you have a favourite bit of anime wisdom you’d like to see, let me know. I will only be posting Words Of Wisdom on Wednesday’s from now on but will try to include 2 – 4 quotes each week.

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Words of Wisdom

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