Jingai-San No Yome Anime Series Review

The Happy Marriage Should Be Just The Beginning

There isn’t a lot to say about this short anime from Autumn 2018. With just three minutes each episode and over a minute of that being the theme song played at the end of each episode (with only episode 12 actually continuing the episode during the credits) there just wasn’t much substance to Jingai-San no Yome.

Jingai San No Yome Episode 6

I’m not even really sure why I watched this each week. Part of me was drawn in by the premise because the idea of a normal high school student being told that they are now married to a monster and they have to move in with them seems kind of interesting. However, the fundamentals of how this works or why it happens are never actually touched upon or explored (that would probably require them to get off their happy floaty cloud and actually deal with reality for a moment).

And Jingai-San is definitely not interested in touching base with reality.

There’s no real problem with a romantic fantasy and all, but even if we just accept the premise at face value and never question it, the relationship itself just kind of happens. The protagonist, Hinowa, more or less liked the monster’s (Kanenogi) fluffiness and from almost episode one we see him regularly blush and hug Kanenogi but any actual basis for a relationship is never explored. They do get a few sweet moments together where they look out for one another during sickness, or cheer the other on at the sports carnival, but there’s never any real grounds for their relationship other than it simply exists.

Rather than doing anything to develop the premise, the story instead has Hinowa encounter other students who also have monster partners and then they all hang out. They talk at school, they walk home together, they spend time with their partners, and that is all there is to this anime.

You could argue that at three minutes an episode there wasn’t much else they could do, and given this is apparently based on a 4-koma manga (essentially 4 panel), it would be kind of a mistake to expect depth. However, I think after twelve episodes we needed a little bit more other than a blushing Hinowa to carry the anime.

Visually this one is quite soft looking, though the character designs are a little odd. The two toned hair thing is just a bit bizarre and I’m not sure why they’ve done it. Otherwise, the characters are distinct enough, the monster designs are suitably cute but monster looking, and the backgrounds are pretty simple but work well enough.

Jingai San No Yome Episode 8

Now, given almost half the run time is the closing song, it is a good thing that it is a high energy song that is just kind of fun to bop along to, but you have to wonder if the time would have been better served on actually writing a plot.

Realistically at 3 minutes an episode you can watch this whole series in under forty minutes, though I suspect binge watching it may cause your brain to liquefy under the gooey-sugary-sweetness of the protagonist, but it actually is entertaining enough for the time commitment. However, as I said on Twitter, more than once, I just don’t know what the point of this anime is. Maybe there is no point other than being a cute little diversion. However, that makes it very hard to actually recommend.

Ultimately, this isn’t bad, but there just isn’t much substance here.

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Karandi James
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Happy Life Spectacle [Regular Edition]
Happy Life Spectacle [Regular Edition]

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Bye Bye Conception! And At Last It’s Done!

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 12 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.

There’s very little left to say about this anime that I haven’t already said, but if I was hoping for an ending that would somehow make it seem worth while then I would have been left fairly disappointed. Though, let’s throw in a positive, they did at least conclude the whole labyrinth thing with the impurities. The fact that the conclusion makes no sense, logical or otherwise, is more or less par for the course and I guess if you watched 12 episodes of this you can hardly be surprised.

Conception Episode 12 Itsuki

I think what really sets this one apart from other bad anime that end badly, is that this one doesn’t even commit to its terrible ending. After giving us an illogical and fairly pointless final fight, all of the characters who we just waved good-bye to show up again and they all jump through the portal to earth. Because that makes sense. Then cut to the credits where we see all the Star Maidens living happily working in their jobs on earth without any issue whatsoever. Sure.

Conception Episode 12 Itsuki fights the impurities

Of course that is only the end point of stupidity. Firstly we have Itsuki deciding he isn’t going to sacrifice himself. Then the King asking the Star Maidens to perform the ritual to sacrifice him. Then the maidens deciding not to. Then some random fight sequence where various declarations of wanting to help each other somehow power things up so the star children fuse into robots, and then Itsuki joins them, Alfie is killed, Alfie’s oddball star-child joins them as a weapon and that’s the end only the star children are apparently now being used to seal the impurity.

Conception Episode 12 Star Children

Like what? Which part of any of that made sense and how was it better for 13 children to get left behind to seal the impurity rather than one Itsuki. My eyes very nearly rolled clean out of my head trying to watch this one. Okay, I’m going to have to review the whole series of this and I’m going to have to figure out how to be nice (or at least not rant) but in the meantime, I’d suggest avoiding this one.

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Karandi James
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CONCEPTION II: CHILDREN OF THE SEVEN STARS
CONCEPTION II: CHILDREN OF THE SEVEN STARS

Tis The Season To Be Jolly And Wear Weird Hats

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode Review Title Image

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San Episode 12 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.

Well, we already knew Honda-san didn’t deal well with customers and Christmas is always an interesting time for those who work in retail. It seems fitting that this final episode deals with Christmas and potential New Year sales given when the episode aired and it does just bring an air of finality to what has been essentially an episodic affair. After the lame episode 11 I was worried that this anime was dead in the water but it managed to return to its strengths and deliver an amusing enough final episode.

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-San Episode 12 Honda in Christmas Hat

Still, the humour is all of the to-be-expected kind at this point. Honda asked to wear a Christmas hat and the horror of potentially being banished to the children’s section to wrap books. It is all over the top silliness that anyone who has ever worked retail can relate to despite the exaggeration these are all situations people will have experienced.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San Episode 12 - Define Christmas

The final story really does bring things nicely to a close with Honda working the night-shift and helping to close the store. It is a simple device and yet the store closing feels like a solid ending to a series that really didn’t have an ongoing narrative.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San Episode 12 Honda

While I haven’t been thrilled by this one it has entertained enough this season and some moments have been pretty funny. I’ll get to a full series review soon.

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Karandi James
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BATTLEFIELD V [DELUXE EDITION]
BATTLEFIELD V [DELUXE EDITION]

12 Days of Anime Characters – Lin Xinming

12 Days of Anime Title Image

Onto day 8 of the 12 Days of Anime. While on Day 7 we looked back at  Shizue from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, today we turn our attention to the hitman with a sense of style, Lin from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens - Episode 5 - Lin

Lin is one of those characters that you just come to love fairly instantly. The series never really addresses why he cross dresses, he just does, and it just becomes part of his character, like his frugal nature and distrust of others. I will admit though, that Lin is only as interesting and likeable a character as he is because of the connection he forms with Banba in the first episode. And what a greeting. 

Hakata Tonktsu Ramens Episode 1 Lin

Considering the situation Lin finds himself in he is a remarkable together character. He’s trying to save money to free his sister, he sends money to his mother, and all he has to do to earn that money is kill people for a boss he hates. However, when the boss refused to pay him because of a double booking, Lin decides it might be time to find new employment leading to a chain reaction of events and reveals (including that all his efforts to support his family up to now have more or less been for nothing). 

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 9 Lin

The thing about Lin is that he’s a character you can sympathise with but not really relate to. You haven’t been sold as a child, trained as an assassin and then worked as a hitman trying to support a family from back home that turns out isn’t being assisted by you in the slightest. So there’s no relating to the character, but you can be sympathetic to his plight and more importantly, he never comes across as pathetic. Lin’s a fighter through and through and has a great sense of humour considering the situation.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 12 Lin

However, it is Lin and Banba together that make a truly compelling viewing experience. Where Lin is cold and distant, Banba is very much in your face and intrusive. Lin is cut off from others whereas Banba has an entire support network. Where Lin is frugal and careful with his money, Banba is loose and fairly carefree. The two make a good odd-couple pairing and their contrasts work well. 

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 7 Lin and Banba

The only regret here is that we don’t have any word of a second season so we’ll just be left with the 12 episodes we have. And on that note it is probably time I gave the series another watch through.

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Karandi James
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Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Red Rum / Murder Inc Card Case
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Red Rum / Murder Inc Card Case

Bored At The Bookstore? Just Add Monsters

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode Review Title Image

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda San Episode 11 Review

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-San takes its viewers to an alternate setting this week for the first story where we see them selling books to yokai. Honestly, other than pushing the scenario to the extreme with one of them losing an arm to an angry customer, nothing seemed all that different to their normal day to day.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda San Episode 11

All of this made me wonder why we were bothering, and then I realised this anime doesn’t really have anything left to say. From the start it has just been about the day-to-day of working in a book shop and the different scenarios faced by the workers as they do their jobs and interact with customers, and what became fairly obvious by the sequence in the yokai world was that any point that was to be made through this has already been made.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda San Episode 11

That lack of new material became even more apparent in the second story where we did return to the normal book shop but we see Honda getting abused on the phone by an irate customer and then meeting a calming and healing customer who loves books and thanks him. Again, there’s no new material here and nothing more to be said.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda San Episode 11

With one episode left to go I’m actually glad this one has come to the end of its run as I’m fairly certain I don’t have much investment left in it. That said, in small bits and pieces this show has been fun, it is just that I’m not sure it ever had enough to carry a full anime season even as a short anime.

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Karandi James
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Chara Cover Note Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san 01 SD Chara Chiribame Design
Chara Cover Note Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san 01 SD Chara Chiribame Design

100 Ways To Remove an Obnoxious Character

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 10 Review

On watching Conception this week I was initially reasonably happy because for the first time in awhile the focus seemed to be on Itsuki beating the labyrinth and the fight sequence, while clearly not on par with an action focused anime, was entertaining enough. Itsuki would be a terrible action protagonist but in the role of high schooler thrown into life or death situation he works well enough as he stumbles about with the Star Children and tries to protect them from harm even while he isn’t some kind of juggernaut of destruction.

Conception Episode 10 The Star Children

However, any enjoyment I may have derived from this episode quickly evaporated as we moved into the second half where we focused on finding the thirteenth Star Maiden. Alfie has been hanging around since nearly the beginning and the reveal makes sense, and as Mana points out in a fourth wall breaking moment it was perfectly set up by the OP, however a little of Alfie is a good thing. This focus on her just kind of puts her character in the worst possible light and by the end I just didn’t care whether she and Itsuki ended up together.

Conception Episode 10 Alfie

More of a problem though is my increasing rancour toward Mana. From the beginning Mana has irritated me but their presence in Conception becomes more irksome with every episode. Even with Alfie not exactly being a stellar heroine, Mana’s intrusive ranting outside the window made what was already a tiresome scene significantly worse.

Conception Episode 10 Alfie and Mana

Which leads to the post title as I started wondering just how many ways the writers could use to remove Mana from the picture (they won’t, and it is clear next week is going to focus on the obnoxious vermin, but I can dream). I’ve suggested several times Mana needs a close encounter with a paper shredder, but maybe it is time to get more inventive. Regardless, I can now say with absolute certainty that Mana is topping my most obnoxious character ever list (forget just this year) taking out even Excalibur from Soul Eater.

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Karandi James
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Play Asia Exclusive
Play Asia Exclusive

Were You Considering a Job In A Bookstore?

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode Review Title Image

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode 10 Review

Skull Face Book Seller Honda-San continues to do what it does. Honda starts off in a conversation about what makes someone suitable to work in a book store. We get to hear Honda’s perspective as well as numerous other workers. Like always, this is a remove the filter look at a job that is often romanticised by book lovers but ultimately requires a lot of work, organisation and stacking of things. They play it for humour and as normal it works well enough but that’s about all.

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode 10

Interspersed is some shelf envy as the less organised characters marvel over someone able to actually keep their shelves, drawers and stock in order. Honestly, this seems like it would be an essential trait for all the employees but apparently some struggle with it. This joke didn’t quite hit the mark for me, because to be honest I just couldn’t see why they couldn’t just organise their stock, but I’m guessing other people will relate better and find the humour in it.

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode 10

Lastly, we switch to the panic of characters potentially facing a section change. This leads to some remarkable observations about various manga publishers and if you’ve been playing spot the reference then you’ve just hit the jackpot with this section. I certainly enjoyed this part more than the rest of this episode.

Skull Face Book Seller Honda San Episode 10

As normal though, Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San functionally works, is occasionally funny, and is fortunately short enough that even when it kind of flails about helplessly it is easy enough to watch. Still, this one remains strictly average in more or less every regard.

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Karandi James
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Chara Cover Note Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san 01 SD Chara Chiribame Design
Chara Cover Note Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san 01 SD Chara Chiribame Design