In Case You Missed It 2019 #1

Voice of Fox Episode 12 Ji Hetian

Welcome to the first post round up of 2019. It is exciting to see how many bloggers have kicked off the new year with a plethora of great posts to read through. There’s a lot of round ups of 2018, final thoughts on the Autumn season, goals for 2019, and just some solid posts on display. As always, as much as I’d like to, I can’t get to everything so if you have a post or know of one that deserves some more attention, please feel free to give it a shout out in the comments below.

And remember to vote for your favourite anime of 2018. The poll is open until the 14th.

Posts from the Community

The Anime Glutton shares their top ten disappointing anime series of 2018. Now disappointing is always subjective because it means you expected something from the show in the first place, but I did find myself agreeing with quite a few of the picks on this list.

Banana Fish Episode 17 - Ash and Eiji.

Otaku She Wrote gives us a great break down of all the rainbows in Banana Fish. Now this was something they brought to my attention in their early episode reviews of the anime and it was something I ended up looking out for in the series. I really appreciate their attention to detail and this post was great for finding those moments you may have missed.

Mistress of Yaoi gave us a review of Banana Fish that looks at the story set up and the character growth. It avoids heavy spoilers though makes it clear that this one doesn’t end happily ever after, and is a great review to read if you are curious about what you might find in Banana Fish as it definitely addresses some of the themes that might trigger an audience. Worth checking out if you haven’t watched Banana Fish and are wondering if you would like it.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Sakuta

Watashi wa Bucho looks at how Bunny Girl Senpai used the supernatural to explore the everyday and some of the narrative benefits of this. A fun discussion post about an anime lots of people enjoyed last season, this one is worth checking out because it isn’t spoiler heavy for those who still haven’t taken the plunge and checked out the anime, but it may make you want to watch it.

Irina embraced the new year spirit by writing this post about being an awesome anime fan in 2019. For the very few people reading this post that don’t already follow Irina, you really should. She puts out some fantastic posts about anime and about the anime community and this one is really the kind and funny reminder we all need at the start of the year.

Bloom Reviews has a post about embracing predictability and looking at why spoilers aren’t really all that much of a problem with enjoying a narrative. It is a fun post and provides a perspective rarely discussed.

Marth gives us a quick review of Bloom Into You. If you want to know whether Bloom is worth trying or not but don’t want too much revealed, this is probably a great review to read given it covers the strengths of the series and its main weakness without going into too many reveals. A great post to read and a great anime to check out if you haven’t.

Pick of the Week

Floating Into Bliss has a video/transcript of a discussion about Bloom Into You and why it is the yuri anime the community needed. It is a really interesting discussion about the yuri genre in general as well as what Bloom Into You accomplished first as a manga and then in being adapted into anime. Well worth the watch/read.

Bloom Into You Episode 9 Yuu and Nanami

Karandi’s Posts

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ILLUSTRATION 2019
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What Were The Best Anime of Autumn 2018?

Dakaichi Episode 13 Takato

No doubt about it, Autumn 2018 gave me a lot of anime that I personally enjoyed. It also gave us a lot of anime that were technically pretty solid creations and between these two groups of anime that meant I ended up having a lot to watch and enjoy.

Even anime that weren’t particularly well made managed to be delightful to watch and while it won’t show up on my best of list anywhere, I’d still like to give a shout out to Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. As a fantasy with a vaguely historical setting, the story is kind of good (okay, cliche driven but what else is new). I’d really recommend giving it a look if you are into fantasy and want a non-isekai title for a change.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 Zhao and Yin

However, that isn’t getting on with the list.

I tried something different this season and actually ranked the anime I watched each week so that when I got to the end of the season I wasn’t just blown away by a shiny ending and forgot about all the other issues an anime had. The system isn’t entirely without flaws and there’s a few changes I’m going to make for next season. But it means that I really am looking at the whole season rather than the last three weeks when I pick my favourite.

Alright, let’s get into this. Like every season, I’ll go through my favourites first and then I will announce the reader’s choice. The poll for best of the year where the top 3 picks from each season will go head to head will open on the 1st and will run for two weeks closing on the 14th.

Favourite Story – Voice of Fox

While this might seem random, it actually makes perfect sense in my head. There are so many anime I love this season but I love the characters, the emotions they make me feel, the visuals… for one of the first seasons ever plot has taken an extreme back seat. The few anime where it is the potential plot keeping me invested are running into next season so not even sure where the plot is actually going to go. Voice of Fox tells a simple but solid story about Hu Li struggling to make it as a singer, becoming someone else’s ghost singer and the ensuing scandal when it is revealed. While we still haven’t seen the conclusion yet, I’m really looking forward to it. Voice of Fox may not be a masterpiece by any one’s standards, but its been great fun and for a short anime it has really managed to tell a solid story and I think it definitely deserves some recognition.

Voice of Fox Episode 8 Hu Li on phone

Favourite Visuals – Bloom Into You

There was never any doubt with this one. The direction of this has been brilliant and the use of colour has been amazing. Bloom Into You is one of those anime I really appreciate for how well it is being put together even if it isn’t really my kind of story. I’m actually surprised by how much I’ve ended up getting drawn into it, and part of that is the characters have really been fleshed out to feel real, but a lot of the appeal of this one comes from how it has been visually presented and while I was pretty disdainful in episode one when I said it was ‘very pink’ I’ve come to really love how much thought has gone in to each and every scene.

Bloom Into You Episode 9 Yuu and Nanami

Favourite Opening – Bunny Girl Senpai

Alright, I’m still not the biggest fan of the animation for this opening, but in terms of distinctive and memorable openings, Bunny Girl Senpai has to win. When I was looking at this category, the first few bars of the song just started playing in my head and drowned out any other opening from the season I tried to think of. Except Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San. That opening was distinct, and amusing. Worth checking out. Anyway, if you are one of the few people who hasn’t already checked out Bunny Girl Senpai please do or at least listen to this opening.

Favourite Character – Takato

I couldn’t help it. Alright, no denying Dakaichi as an anime has its issues but also no denying that I’ve seriously enjoyed Takato this season. Part of it is definitely shallow and the fact that he is a very good looking, non-teenage, male anime character, but a lot of it comes down to how interesting his character is and how much I enjoy seeing him in different situations and how he handles it. Okay, I could write all day about Takato, or I could explode the rest of the post with Takato screen caps, but I think I’ll just leave it here by pointing out Takato has been awesome and I’m going to miss seeing him each week.

Favourite Anime of Autumn 2018

Right, so this one I kind of know the answer to but I’m going to go back to my ranking system that I tried this season and take you through the whole list. Each anime I watched got ranked each week and I averaged these ranks for a final score. It was interesting and watching something like Release the Spyce go from ranked tenth on the list to third was kind of bizarre but it does make me think about the shows that have really grown in strength and those that lost momentum as the season progressed.

Scores were based on enjoyment and technical merit and so balancing shows each week where I liked an episode but it had some rough edges compared to a story that was a bit slower but was really well done made for some interesting internal debates.

  • Conception = 1.25
  • Jingai-San no Yome = 2.33
  • Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San = 4.09
  • Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary = 4.77
  • A Certain Magical Index (dropped) = 4.91
  • Release the Spyce 5.33
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime = 6.54
  • Sword Art Online Alicization = 9.42
  • Goblin Slayer = 9.82
  • Dakaichi = 10.69
  • Run With The Wind = 10.64
  • Voice of Fox = 11.00
  • Tsurune = 12.70
  • Banana Fish = 12.91
  • Bloom Into You = 14.58
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai = 15.69

There’s some interesting results. For instance, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has really grown on me and I’m personally enjoying it more than SAO right now. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary is another title I personally enjoyed though in terms of quality it is probably in the right place on the list.

However, my favourite for the season, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai did manage to come out on top even though Bloom Into You did have a number of weeks where it took the top spot. Rascal was full of great dialogue and characters and while the ending may have been a little weak it was definitely a title I looked forward to each and every week.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 3

The Reader’s Choice

For the first time this year, the reader’s choice and my choices line up really well and the best of the season as voted by my readers isn’t something I dropped or didn’t watch. Yay. Okay, no further delay. This vote was the most decisive of the year with a clear victor determined fairly early on.

You guessed it, Bunny Girl Senpai.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta and Tomoe

However, Banana Fish and Bloom Into You as the runners up will still go into the poll for best of the year. I was interested to see how well Run With The Wind went in this poll. If it maintains the same quality in the second half it might very well win the poll next season (though I guess that depends on what else comes out).

However, that is it from this poll so now I’m turning it over to you. What did you vote for? What were your favourites this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Awakening From A Dream, And Life Goes On

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Review

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say. Voting closes on the 29th of December.

Part of me is a little disappointed with this final episode, and the other part is happy that this anime ended more or less as it started. The tight focus on the characters and their experiences as well as the need to face situations as they are rather than how we’d like them to be carried right through to the end.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Shoko

However, this arc feels to be one of the least resolved of the series and given this is where it has ended I can’t help but feel a little bit like this wasn’t the solid ending it could be. Future movie announcements or not, it would have been nice for this final episode to have given us a solid resting place. Then again, in terms of character progress it kind of did.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Kaede

Kaede is awake with her old memories (though missing the two years she’s just lived) and wanting to go back to school and even meet her old friend. Sakuta met up with Shoko again who helped him deal with Kaede’s return. He also finally managed a date with Mai on her birthday. It’s a lot of progress and we leave these characters in a place where they haven’t got to the end of the journey but they are very much moving forward and it is hard to argue that we could have got a more satisfying conclusion.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Sakuta

Actually if I was going to criticise anything, other than the running animation which still isn’t great, it would be Sakuta early in this episode. While his heart-break and confusion were understandable their depiction wasn’t exactly subtle or nuanced and to be honest as he ran wailing it almost became laughable to the point where it jolted me right out of the moment. By the mid-way point of the episode it had managed to draw me back into the drama of the situation but this was perhaps the first time I really struggled to stay with an episode and the emotions it was trying to convey.

However, these are fairly petty complaints of what is an awesome series. I’m looking forward to writing a full series review of this one.

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SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI
SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI

A Journey Forward Equals The You Now Being Abandoned

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Review

Bunny Girl Senpai continues to impress as Kaede, who should be a stereotypical and fairly bland little-sister-character, continues to show that she is anything but. Over the last few episodes they’ve built her up beautifully and as Sakuta explains to Mai and Nodoka what happened with Kaede and his family it is really sad. But instead of dwelling on that, we see Sakuta continue to support Kaede and we watch her flourish under his attention and her own determination until… well let’s just say the end of the episode is absolutely a cliff-hanger designed to force you to watch the final (as if we weren’t already going to).

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede and Sakuta

Though, it is at least a cliff-hanger done right with real stakes built up over time and the situation being as complicated as it is and the emotional mine-field that it is, it is unlikely to be wrapped up in the first couple of minutes of the next episode. I’m actually invested in finding out how this situation resolves and I think they are going to struggle to bring it together in a single episode, but Bunny Girl Senpai has been full of pleasant narrative surprises so far so I have absolute confidence it will succeed.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede

Mai once again is a little bit sidelined and her work is a convenient excuse to send her away. However, unlike other stories where sending a character away means everyone just kind of forgets their existence, here Sakuta’s father asks him to introduce Mai in the future and we know that Sakuta will call Mai if needed. She is gone but not forgotten.

However, Sakuta and Kaede are more than enough to carry the majority of this episode. The dynamic between the siblings has always been interesting and here we see them at their finest. The trip to the zoo is glorious and fantastic to watch and seeing Kaede that enthused and bubbly just brings a smile to your face.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede School

I do also like that they aren’t over-simplifying Kaede’s fear of going to school. Their repeated attempts to walk there, the meeting with the guidance officer before even trying to go, Kaede wanting mentally to go but her body being unable to take the steps, it all just adds to the grounding of this series in reality even as it uses supernatural elements to exaggerate the drama of being a teenager.

Another incredibly solid episode and the only criticism I’ll give this one is that I have to wait a week to see how it ends.

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SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI
SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI

Bunny Girl Is Simple, It’s Complicated, It’s Like Life

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Review

There was an almost moment when I thought that maybe this is the episode where I wasn’t in love with Rascal Does Not Dream With Bunny Girl Senpai. And I will admit, even stepping back, this episode feels a bit rougher, less polished, and a little bit less together than previous entries. The two episode arcs of the mid-season haven’t felt quite as fleshed out despite dealing with some fairly heavy issues, and this most recent one dealing with Nodoka and Mai definitely feels either stretched too long without doing much, or conversely too short without long enough to delve into some of the issues mentioned and ultimately glanced past.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10
You can tell instantly it isn’t Mai, brilliant right?

However, as I said in the post title, things here are both simple and complicated, just like life. And it all gets a little bit messy and while the situation of the body swap, or appearance change, or whatever it was is resolved, their emotional drama doesn’t just vaporise the instant they come to terms with their situation. So while from a narrative point of view this was a lot less satisfying than some of the earlier arcs, from an emotional point of view, there’s a lot going on here that should be celebrated.

Not to mention, this episode of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai gave me one of my loudest laugh out loud moments this season when  Mai smacked Sakuta. Now, there have been plenty of moments in this series where slapping Sakuta was probably justified. Here though, Sakuta is literally the innocent bystander. Her reason for taking her anger at Nodoka out on him? She literally cannot slap herself because Mai, or at least Nodoka in Mai’s body, has a job the next day and can’t show up looking like she’s been slapped.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Sakuta got slapped

Normally I find the girl-slaps-guy (either innocent guy or even guy who accidentally fell prey to the usual anime tropes and ended up walking into the bathroom or whatever) kind of tired and problematic for a number of reasons and it seldom comes across as funny. Occasionally it ends up a little bit satisfying when the character getting slapped deserves it, but mostly I’m left wondering why include it at all. 

That wasn’t the case here as it just hit the perfect note at the perfect moment and I genuinely couldn’t keep myself from laughing, to the point where I had to pause the episode because I couldn’t read the subs. Yes, I am aware my sense of humour is a little odd sometimes and that it is inconsistent in when it finds things funny.

Bunny Girl Senpa- Kaede proves while she's best sister

The other moment I really loved about this episode was Kaede presenting herself in her uniform to Sakuta. While this didn’t get a lot of play during the episode, they seem to be setting the scene for Kaede and Sakuta to deal with their family situation, something that has been mentioned but ignored for the duration so far. This set up going on in the background of the Mai and Nodoka story was pure gold and honestly it took a bit away from the main plot line of the episode because I was more interested in learning more about that.

Still, any episode that can make me actually appreciate an idol performance like this, is worth noting just for that.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Mai in idol performance

But in case it feels like I’m implying the Mai and Nodoka plot line wasn’t worth the time, I think I should reiterate, that Bunny Girl Senpai knows how to write a scene. Nodoka might be in Mai’s body but her argument with Sakuta when he tries to leave early and ends with Nodoka telling him to go die was perfect. Despite being in Mai’s body and looking like Mai, that dialogue was definitely not Mai. It looked bizarre coming from a character that looked like Mai. 

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Nodoka tells Sakuta to die.

All the way through the episode, even when the girls were talking, whether they were in their own appearance or not, the dialogue was distinct enough to carry the characters and make you believe that they had in fact switch places. So Bunny Girl Senpai hasn’t lost its touch, and now it’s just a matter of three more episodes. If it can land those, this will definitely be up there in the runnings for my favourite anime of the year.

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RASCAL DOES NOT DREAM OF BUNNY GIRL SENPAI 1/4 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: MAI SAKURAJIMA BUNNY VER.
RASCAL DOES NOT DREAM OF BUNNY GIRL SENPAI 1/4 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: MAI SAKURAJIMA BUNNY VER.

Autumn 2018 Week 8

Another week in paradise… well not really but we can all hope and dream. And even if I’m not then at least I am nearing the end of an anime season that has been thoroughly enjoyable. The quality entertainment available this season has been amazing and I am genuinely enjoying the ride. Though, we are now perhaps only four weeks off the end of some of these ending so next week I will be launching the poll for best and worst of the season and letting that run through until the majority of the shows finish airing. Of course, immediately after that we need to get into best of the year and that is going to be a tough choice in 2018.

As always, I would love know your thoughts on the anime this season and even what you think might be in the running for anime of the year. Be sure to leave a comment below.

A Certain Magical Index Season 3

A Certain Magical Index Season 3 Episode 8

Episode 8

This one is apparently 26 episodes, like the previous seasons, but right now I’m seriously thinking of bailing at the mid-season if enough new shows start that I’m interested in. It seems the magic has left A Certain Magical Index, or I’ve moved on from it. Either way, I’m just going through the motions watching it at this point. It doesn’t help that the anime itself gives me so little reason to care.

Banana Fish

Banana Fish Episode 21 Ash and Eiji

Episode 20 – Not Reviewed


Seems we now have an entire mercenary troop hunting Ash and the others down. In the streets of the city… Okay, plausibility was never a big part of this show and I love how they balance real character drama with ridiculously overblown plot points, but this one was perhaps a stretch too far.

Bloom Into You

Bloom Into You Episode 8 Yuu

Episode 8

While I was a little less enamoured with episode 8 than I have been of previous episodes, it was more that this episode seemed to be setting up future events. And if past experience with this anime is anything to go by, the payoff will be worth it if I can just be patient. In the meantime we had some excellent writing and character work to pay attention to in this week’s episode. Patrons can access the post using the link, password on Patreon.

Conception

Conception Episode 8 Sue

Episode 8

Yep, the cringe factor continued in episode 8. Actually it got worse as the show mimicked an episode from The Bachelor and literally set my teeth on edge. This was borderline unwatchable for me, though I am told through fairly trusted sources on Twitter that it was actually amusing. Clearly I missed that because I found this episode to be the most painful yet.

Dakaichi

Episode 8 – Will be reviewed with Arthifis

Alright, episode 8 was pretty much filler, and not good filler. Hopefully episode 9 picks this one back up because I’ve quite enjoyed the season up until now. If you missed it, Arthifis and I had quite the conversation about the progress Dakaichi has made so remember to go and check out the post if you haven’t seen it yet.

Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer Episode 8 Goblin Slayer and Priestess

Episode 8- Will be reviewed with Arthifis

As Goblin Slayer and Priestess recover from their injuries and have equipment repaired, the rest of the team search the sewers so they are ready for their next encounter with goblins. While we do end the episode with a bang, this one is more about seeing the characters and how they deal with a defeat before prepping for a second round. Good fun and we’re getting more insight into Goblin Slayer as a character.

Jingai-San No Yome

Jingai San No Yomu Episode 9 Flu Scene

Episode 9- Not Reviewed

I may have finally solved part of the question of why this exists this week. Honestly, three minutes is the longest a flu sequence should last. By using the short run time, this anime is actually able to get away with these cliche vignettes because they don’t out stay their welcome. Now the story as a whole is going nowhere, but at least this was kind of cute.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Sakuta

Episode 9

Futaba’s mystery is solved relatively simply, but perhaps simple is good. Certainly the episode is and we continue to get some excellent character performances from a cast that just keeps getting stronger. Also, the preview for the next episode looks fantastic so I’m looking forward to it.

Release the Spyce

Release the Spyce Episode 8

Episode 8

Well, at least this felt like a spy adventure this week. It wasn’t a particularly good one because it felt overly rushed and nothing really had time to have any emotional impact, but at least we had the girls infiltrating somewhere and getting into fights. There were also some cool gadgets. This one remains better sounding than it is and while it remains watchable it is very much average.

Run With The Wind

Run With The Wind Episode 9

Episode 9

Kakeru’s being a jerk to Prince, Haiji is playing mother hen, another character is not eating enough, and the next track meet is fast approaching. All and all, you could say things aren’t going well, or you might think this is just the mess before they all come together. That said, drama is the name of the game this week and there is a lot of it.

Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San

Skull face Book Seller Honda San Episode 8

Episode 8

Average remains a fairly good descriptor of Skull Face Bookseller Honda San. This week we return firmly to the goings on in the book shop and dealing with a range of customer types. Still, there’s little to remember once the episode is done so while these are fun enough short moments there’s nothing that really sticks out.

Sword Art Online Alicization

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 8 Kirito

Episode 8

Episode 8 of Sword Art Online Alicization did an excellent job of reminding me exactly why I love SAO. And I know that some people found the moment Kirito ‘believed’ in himself eye-roll worthy, however I felt it took the story right back to its roots and what it originally tried to capture in Aincrad. Really enjoyed the episode this week.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in the cave

Episode 9

Another good enough and fun enough episode but still just keeping me on the edge of really enjoying it. I find this to be a fun casual watch but there just isn’t enough of really anything to draw me in. The emotional moments with Shizu were great but then they immediately diffuse them. Same with the threat we meet this week. Dangerous for about five minutes and then we’re going to dinner together.

Tsurune

Tsurune Episode 6 Masaki

Episode 6

Another great episode in building on these characters and slowly having the story naturally unfold. It isn’t quite languid enough to be slice of life, nor is it all that dramatic at this stage. Tsurune is finding its own place as a sports anime by telling the story it wants to tell its own way and the result is so far a relaxing and interesting affair. I suspect we may be in for some tension next week but even if we aren’t, I’m enjoying the pace and tone of this.

Voice of Fox

Voice of Fox Episode 7

Episode 7

Well, if we thought things had hit rock bottom last week, watching the fallout this week was pretty painful. If you can think of anyway to kick Hu Li emotionally this episode did it. What’s worse is that the damage is radiating outward from him hurting the few friends he has and his family (though clearly things were strained their from the beginning).

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 - The Rebels Meeting

Episode 7 – Not watched this week

I didn’t get around to this one this week, so I’ll either do a catch up or just be a bit behind for the rest of the season. I haven’t dropped it though.

Episode of the Week

Tsurune Episode 6 Opposition
It is hard not to enjoy Tsurune as it brings some quiet time to an otherwise hectic week. I really like the focus on character and there’s enough going on in preparations for the tournament to keep it from getting dull.

Character of the Week

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 8 Kirito
I don’t try to hide the fact that I really enjoy Kirito as a character and I felt this week he was very Kirito (if that makes any sense). I really enjoyed watching him in Sword Art Online Alicization this week and I hope to see more of him like this.

Dropped or On Hold

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Release the Spyce B2 Tapestry
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Bunny Girl Isn’t About Getting What You Want

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Review

Time and time again I think about how great Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has been. The characters are solidly constructed and while they are most definitely character types they are each treated respectfully, the interactions and dialogue between them are golden, and the overall story never allows itself to get bogged down for too long as we move smoothly from one arc to the next. However, for an anime that at its core seems to be about Sakuta saving all these girls from themselves I really appreciate that so far the solution hasn’t been in caving in to their every request and providing them what they wanted on a silver platter.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Futaba and Sakuta

Whether it was Mai, Tomoe, or now Futaba; they’ve all wanted something fairly ill-defined but as they reached for it they found themselves getting more than a little bit burned. And, while Sakuta might be a catalyst, the girls aren’t completely passive in waiting for him to solve their problems. Mai had to come to terms with what she really wanted and ultimately returned to show business. Tomoe had to let go of Sakuta and accept that ultimately he was with Mai, and she also had to stop worrying so much about what others would think of her and act in accordance with her feelings. Futaba had to accept herself and ultimately ask to be rejoined with herself in this episode. It makes each case feel distinct in that the girls have their own problems and they each face them in their own way, but ultimately they are all just trying to do the best they can.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Futaba

Futaba is an excellent point though, because she returned to herself even knowing that she still wouldn’t get the guy and that realistically nothing had changed. She just had to learn to face it and stop hating herself. But while the focus was on Futaba and Sakuta this week, I was pleasantly surprised to see Kunimi get a bit of a look in because I’d been hoping that this ‘friend’ would actually get some more screen time. I was a little miffed when he declared he was going to make up with his girlfriend, mostly because so far she’s come across as a horrible person, but it all kind of fits with the story so far in that the girls aren’t getting a kiss from the handsome prince and getting a fairy-tale ending. They are facing the harsh and gritty reality that their particular phenomenon allowed them to avoid momentarily.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Sakuta and mai

Before finishing up this week I do want to mention that Mai and Sakuta remain beautiful together and every scene they are in is golden. That said, the agency asking them not to see each other is just kind of depressing because it kind of indicates we’re going to have less of those moments for awhile.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Fireworks

However, week after week this anime delivers compelling characters, builds a great story, and leaves me feeling satisfied. While this current phenomenon was probably the least explored, part of that probably comes due to centring on Futaba who is usually the one to hypothesise a way out of the situation and she was too close to this one to assume the usual role. Really looking forward to next week.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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