Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 10

Ghosts and Fireflies

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 10

We’re sticking with the summer vacation theme this week but here we hit the super cute button as the characters make a plan to go to watch real fireflies. Of course the club president isn’t happy just to let it rest with that and makes alternate plans that involve scaring Nanako and Eiji by creating a ghost tunnel. It is the usual summer break silliness from school characters in a slice of life and yet there’s something just kind of adorable about this episode that makes it work and feel memorable.

Part of this is the great chemistry in the cast. Despite each character being a walking gimmick they each bring something cute to the table and together the group dynamics are just kind of perfect. Art girl continues to be a personal favourite (and I promise I will remember her name by the end of the series, though we are running out of episodes) and the fortune teller girl adds enough cynicis to the mix to take the edge off of the sickly sweet.

However, the real highlight of the episode, as is the case most episodes, is the relationship between Eiji and Nanako. The two are very sweet together and whether it is Nanako admiring the bug Eiji caught, their genuine delight at the plan to look for fireflies, or Eiji’s efforts to protect Nanako in the tunnel, they are just too cute to watch.

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I’m really hoping these two become an officially acknowledged couple by the end of the season because it wouldn’t make a lot of sense not to acknowledge what has become very clear from watching these two. They have a genuine mutual like of one another and they are both sweet people. Now if only they would act on it.

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RobiHachi Review Episode 9

Stealing Childhood Memories

RobiHachi Episode 9

Revisionist history, flash backs and forced memory retrieval… okay, this episode got more interesting than I originally expected. Instead of our usual opening we had a story about the first moon landing and alien contact, though this was an interesting portrayal of those events. Then Robi and Hachi land on an industrial planet where Robi’s ship apparently came from so they can get repairs.

What follows is that Robi learns quite a bit about his family, or seems to actually bother to think about them and realises a few things, and then he goes to the anime fan club that exists on the planet for the anime his grandfather apparently directed. Which seems fine until the crazy fans realise that Robi actually has seen the lost episode and they decide to forcibly extract it from his memory. That comes with a handful of side-effects but no problem.

As usual, this episode doesn’t take itself particularly seriously and despite the shady dealings going on it is difficult to imagine any real danger to anyone. The pursuit of a missing anime episode is a suitably ridiculous goal and the lengths the characters are going to suitably exaggerated. All and all it just kind of works even while it is pretty ridiculous.

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Also as usual, now that Robi and Hachi have visited the world they are blasting off on the next leg of their journey. I wonder if they will ever reach their destination or if Robi will ever actually pay off his debt? Though, honestly that would most definitely be the end of the adventure if it happened. I did start wondering what happened to Hachi’s storyline though. The characters that were pursuing him vanished and have been completely forgotten but I wonder if they’ll turn up before the end.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 9

Eiji’s Day Out

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 9

Instead of following Nanako, this week we follow Eiji as he goes about a typical day while on Summer vacation in Senryuu Shoujo. Admittedly, I don’t think most of us start a typical day by dropping our phone in ramen and then run into literally everyone we know while wasting time in town before being invited back to our ‘not’ girlfriend’s place, but really this seems pretty typical for these characters.

This is actually Nanako’s father’s thoughts and not Eiji’s.

Honestly, there isn’t a lot to say about this episode as we simply encounter Eiji’s ‘big-sis’ character, the fortune teller, the club president and then the art girl in succession. Each encounter is cute enough but not particularly note-worthy as it simply reinforces their standard characteristics. Then Eiji runs into Nanako.

The highlight of this anime continues to be the adorable nature of any sequence between Eiji and Nanako and even if this encounter ended up being emotionally overblown when Nanako’s father met Eiji, it couldn’t take away from how cute the two are. The conversation between Eiji and Nanako’s mother was also cute, but now we know Nanako has just always communicated through poem and we still don’t know why.

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This was very much easy viewing but didn’t really bring anything new to the table for Senryuu Shoujo.

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RobiHachi Review Episodes 7 + 8

Amusement Parks and Robot Wars

RobiHachi episode 7 - The amusement park

RobiHachi Episode 7

Imagine a planet filled with bright, cute, lovely, happy things that obnoxiously shoved themselves into your face and then they banned any form of complaint speech? That sounds like my idea of a horrible place to spend time and clearly Robi agrees with me even if Hachi ends up skipping with joy. Yep, our characters land on a world that is more or less an amusement park full of singing and dancing flower people, rides, popcorn, and even a parade.

Oh no.

As usual, it is enjoyable to see Hachi take everything new in his stride. Whether he actually likes what is happening or whether he simply likes the novelty of something new to experience is still undetermined, but he throws himself into each experience with reckless abandon and the end result is usually entertaining. When contrasting Hachi’s you only live once attitude with Robi’s more jaded view, and the robot’s absolute frustration and you get an amusing situation where the characters bounce off each other nicely.

Hachi - Enjoying the amusement park - RobiHachi

They do take a moment to dive into a bit of Hachi’s past but like with most of the characterisation in this anime, it is a shallow dive. Mostly we see him playing alone and looking pretty miserable. It is kind of fun to see him so lost and alone when separated from Robi and how genuinely happy he is when Robi decides to just enjoy the parade with him.

Of course, we do need the silly chase sequence of the episode and Yang shows up during the parade chasing the two up to the castle. It is all just silliness and par for the course but again, fun enough. As is the robot letting off some steam once they get off the planet as he realises that he can complain again.

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RobiHachi Episode 8

From the amusement park to a planet run by mecha who enslave and look down on humans. RobiHachi continues to take us from planet to planet exploring the weird and wonderful (or bizarre and terrifying) features of the galaxy.

Robi and Hachi dancing in towels - RobiHachi

After facing discrimination in their human forms, Robi and Hachi board their transforming robot in order to get a delicious meal of clams. As usually happens, one thing leads to another and they end up recruited by a robot king to fight in a robot war, inspire the human slaves into a rebellion, before running away with an advanced payment to boot.

Throw Yang into the mix, riding a robot version of his own head and still trying to find Robi before he joins in the rebellion, and you have a colourful and entertaining episode of silliness to enjoy. While it seems at first like we might be getting a heavy handed anti-discrimination message, the story mostly reinforces that Robi learned practically nothing from the entire experience, and maybe that’s a message in itself.

The fights are incredibly over the top this week and the visuals are quite interesting particularly during the war. Otherwise, this is another average episode of an anime that remains entertaining but not great.

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My Roommate is a Cat Series Review

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cute Moment

It Has A Cat In It – Recommendation Enough?

When My Roommate is a Cat, or Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue (what a mouthful) premiered, reactions were clearly split. The first episode by its very nature turned part of the audience away which is kind of a shame given this story ends up being one with a lot of heart and a dramatic climax that feels earned.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru and Subaru

My trepidation going into My Roommate is a Cat was the slice of life label on it. I’m not the biggest fan. Couple that with the bright yet bland promotional image of all the happy smiling characters and the jumping cat and basically I thought I was going in to something that was going to bore me to tears before I’d just stop watching and walk away. However, the thing that was annoying a lot of first episode viewers was actually the thing that caught my attention and dragged me into the story.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

And that was Subaru.

As a central character I kind of understand why a lot of viewers didn’t like him and even why a few outright hated him. Another anime character with dead parents. Starting with a funeral sequence to garner sympathy for a character we don’t know or have any reason to care for. And then there was his general attitude. He was rude to his editor and really to everyone in the first episode. So yes, I get why a lot of viewers didn’t like him.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 1 Subaru
Blunt – but given the circumstances potentially justified.

I didn’t like him either. But I understood him and felt a bit of a connection. Subaru is socially awkward and anxious. He doesn’t like interacting with others and when forced out of his comfort zone his defences are up. That comes across as rudeness but is really a self-defence. I actually blamed the editor in the first episode more than Subaru. When he should know his writer well enough to know that meeting him in a public place was just going to set him on edge. For me the sequence established Subaru’s character beautifully and the underlying issue he was going to need to face and so while I agree that Subaru wasn’t a nice character, I was intrigued from episode one.

Then there was the cat.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cat on Keyboard
My cat would love to do this but knows the keyboard is an absolute no-go zone.

While Subaru may have been the repellent for a lot of potential viewers, the as yet unnamed stray cat was the lure. Adorable and standing in for every cat everywhere in mannerisms, the eventually named Haru stole the show.

Interestingly enough, when Haru was rude or cagey or defensive people found it adorable and yet Haru and Subaru are literally two of a kind. That’s why the two form such a strong bond as they both grow over the course of the series.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru

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However, most slice of life anime know these days that you do in fact need some kind of gimmick to keep people watching and clearly My Roommate is a Cat isn’t relying on the cute girl factor, although Nana is kind of cute. No, the gimmick in My Roommate is a Cat is that each episode tells the events twice. Once from the human point of view and then from the view of the cat. Mostly the cat view is a brief few minutes at the end of the episode but some episodes give more time to Haru’s perspective particularly toward the end of the season.

Yes, Haru isn’t just a plot device to inspire Subaru’s character growth. Haru is a fully fledged character in her own right going through her own healing character arc alongside Subaru. While I’ll admit that some of the cat sections added little in some episodes, they were always cute, and at times they did offer some interesting insight and certainly allowed Haru the growth she deserved within the story.

There’s little more to say about the plot given each episode is just another day for the man and the cat who are now sharing a house. Various events occur, the characters react, learn something and we move on. It is slice of life and it does that well providing some very calm and occasionally amusing viewing.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8

What sets this one apart from so many slice of life anime though is that it did offer a climax that I felt was emotionally rewarding. I’m not going into detail here, but it brings the story of Subaru and dealing with the loss of his parents as well as moving forward to a satisfying conclusion and really consolidates the relationship that has grown between Subaru and Haru throughout the series. I couldn’t have asked for more from the final couple of episodes and just loved it.

Visually it works well enough. I’m not really into the colour scheme being used and it is all just a little bit bland really, but given the subject matter and tone the visuals work well enough for that. The animation for Haru is perfect and I’m sure if you are a cat lover you will see your own cat in her at various points, but there’s a lot of sitting and talking in this anime and a lot of very still sequences with little movement so while the animation works it isn’t exactly awe inspiring.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Subaru and Haru

However, I do have to mention the OP. Unknown World is an incredibly infectious song and I found myself happily bobbing along to it most weeks and occasionally even replaying it just because it made me smile. I also really enjoyed the imagery used during the opening as it fit the tone of the show perfectly even if it wasn’t the most exciting ever. I definitely recommend giving the OP a listen to even if you have no interest in My Roommate is a Cat.

Still, for cat lovers this is a must watch. For people who enjoy slice of life anime, this one works well enough. If you are looking for a character who is slowly opening himself up to new experiences and working through issues of social awkwardness and anxiety, there’s plenty to enjoy here. While My Roommate is a Cat is a far from perfect anime, it was a delightful intrusion into the season and ended up being one I looked forward to each week.

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Karandi James
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RobiHachi Review Episode 6

Eels in Space

Episode 6

We’re continuing our space tourism trip and this time Robi and Hachi find themselves on a planet that’s about to have an eel festival. However, for the first time Yang and the others chasing Robi for his debt will actually be on the planet at the same time. Expect lots of food made from eel parts, various tourist activities and ultimately that Robi and Hachi are going to run away.

Hachi continues to be good value in this show as he embraces more or less whatever comes his way. Whether it is being chased by a giant eel, trying eel jelly, or taking a bath with an electric eel, it is very hard to bring him down. While episode 6 of RobiHachi chooses not to get into his choice not to access his money it remains a persistent plot point as Robi ends up entering an eel race in order to earn money for the next leg of the journey. Still, it will be interesting when the story finally does decide to deal with that issue.

On the other hand, Robi remains as straightforward as ever with his obsession with girls and having a good time and absolutely no plan for the future. As he’s chased by the debt collector he repeatedly says he will settle up on his return to earth but nothing he’s done in this series indicates he has any actual plan for accomplishing this. Just one hopeless dream that will probably fail as miserably as all of his past get-rich-quick schemes which are the reason he’s landed himself in this mess in the first place.

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Still, while the plot of this anime is pretty sparse, the overall episode remained entertaining with us jumping from one event to the next and enough of the jokes landing to keep it feeling light. It is all over the top and silly but the bright colours, fun back ground music, and entertaining characters are keeping this one floating along relatively well even if it isn’t doing anything particularly amazing.

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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 7

Cute Umbrella Sharing Moment

Episode 7

We are back to super cute this week with Senryuu Shoujo as we get a standard girl wants to share umbrella with guy plot. Fortunately the story begins and ends with this set-up and the middle section is a fairly cute mission to build a rabbit hutch.

Nanako with frizzy hair - Senryuu Shoujo.

This episode does make me wonder why Nanako and Eiji aren’t already together. It is quite clear that they are both into one another and Nanako’s adorable concerns about her hair going frizzy in the rain is highly entertaining as is her slight lie and manipulation in order to get to share an umbrella with the endlessly clueless Eiji.

Eiji chasing rabbits - Senryuu Shoujo

Where I’m less thrilled is in the club president manipulating the situation by lying to Nanako about the legend and through the announcement of the escaped bunnies. While her intentions might be fine it all just seems a little too contrived.

Nanako and the girls - Senryuu Shoujo

That said, watching this motley group of characters – the delinquent, the girl who communicates only through poems, the girl who hides herself with her drawings, and the psychic – try to repair the rabbit hutch was utterly adorable and honestly I think I’d happy watch that combination of characters take on almost any task.

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This anime is very average but in terms of being cute and light viewing it succeeds admirable and the half-length episodes are just right.

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