How Anime Episode Reviews Capture The Moment and Promote Conversation

How Anime Episode Reviews Capture The Moment and Promote Conversation

Since beginning my blog in 2016 I’ve tried out a range of content and have written anime series reviews, anime lists, anime articles, and anime episode reviews. In any given week the bulk of my blog’s content will be episode reviews with the occasional article, list or full series review thrown in.

There’s definitely a practical reason behind that arrangement with anime episode reviews taking less time to write than an article or even a list (though that said, it still takes time when you take into account planning the main points of discussion, trying to make it flow, editing, formatting, etc). But there’s a far better reason why I continue to write anime episode reviews despite individual episode reviews getting less views than a full series review or one of my other post types.

Anime episode reviews - still take time to write and edit even if they are a quicker form of content.

Basically it comes down to the reason why I started my blog in the first place. I wanted to talk to people about the anime I was watching. Sure I enjoy diving into issues with more depth in an article or listing my favourites in a particular category and looking back at a whole series definitely gives a different perspective than each twenty minute segment, but after I watch an episode I want to interact with people about it.

I enjoy reading the episode reviews of others, sometimes even of anime I’m not watching, because I like seeing the progression of their thoughts week to week on how a series is unfolding. If I’m also watching the series I enjoy speculating about where a particular plot of character point is going to go. It can get very interesting when someone has had a very strong emotional response to an incident in an episode that you barely noticed or when someone has seen events entirely differently.

The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
Did you like Erika? Some reviewers did while others were not so convinced.

Anime Episode Reviews are conversation starters and give fans the opportunity to connect.

However, recently I’ve been seeing a few negative comments on twitter and even a couple of videos on YouTube that are very firmly against anime episode reviews or reactions and those who create them. One tweet (and I couldn’t find it again to link) more or less said that they hated episode reviews because of spoilers and they wished people would just wait until the end of the series because they’d then have more to say.

And, in fairness, anime episode reviews inherently will not be spoiler free. A person is dissecting twenty minutes of viewing so they are probably going to discuss the key events and characters moments and how they effected them. Certainly watching or reading an episode review prior to the episode will almost definitely change how you view the episode and may ‘spoil’ the experience.

Cells at Work Episode 12 - Platelet
Caution: Spoilers ahead.

Also in fairness to the video I linked to, some episode reviewers really don’t put effort in (though the same could be said of some people who review a whole anime series when they haven’t watched the entire thing or even people who do analysis videos who claim they’ll explain the ending or motivation for a character and basically just retell the plot contributing nothing to the conversation).

And the video does make a fair point about the poor quality of some of those episode review videos out there as well as the problem when searches can’t differentiate between episode reviews and series reviews as it does make it difficult to find the content you are actually looking for. However, it really doesn’t take into account the plethora of anime episode reviewers out there who actually put some thought and effort into their content.

But, what neither of these criticisms (lack of effort or spoilers) really addresses is the overall point of this type of content.

A single anime episode review isn’t necessarily attempting a deep dive analysis. While some reviewers may get into a production aspect or might break down a character moment in more depth, most people would save that kind of content for a separate article.

Instead, the single anime episode review is really just trying to capture the moment the episode was watched and emotional response to it. Its the equivalent of turning to the person next to you in the cinema after watching a movie and breaking down your favourite moment or asking what the writer was on when he thought characters might be able to outrun the sun-rising.

Karandi Shrug Transparent

Generally there will also be some discussion about how the episode connects to what has come before it and possibly some speculation about what the episode is setting up. However the key goal will usually be that gut reaction in the moment. Which is very different to reviewing a series where you are trying to step back and look more broadly across three months of viewing and usually requires a full series rewatch if you are going to do it well.

And that idea of capturing and sharing a moment is one that those of us living in a world of instagram and social media are very familiar with. Bite sized media is sometimes what we are after. It isn’t the only thing we want to consume, but it has a place and can be fun and engage us and may spark a conversation or a share and then yes, we’ll move on because there’s other episodes airing and there’s other things to talk about.

My Dress Up Darling Episode 2
For less than a day Kitagawa filled my twitter stream after episode 2 of My Dress Up Darling aired. Then it vanished again until the next episode aired.

Its kind of daunting thinking about creating content that really is designed to be consumed and forgotten but that really is where anime episode reviews stand. They are really only relevant close to the time of airing and may be rediscovered if someone has found the series later and wants to see how others reacted to it.

Now some anime episode reviewers may look at the disposable nature of their reviews and think that given their short life span they don’t necessarily need to spend time and effort on them. But that isn’t everyone and what you’ll find fairly quickly if you regularly read or watch episode reviews is that there are some reviewers you are drawn to and others that you kind of glance at and move on from.

Certainly I’ve come across blog posts where you get a wall of text in all caps ranting about something that happened in the episode without providing any context or really giving any kind of lead in or conclusion to the thoughts. I don’t tend to return to those blogs.


Likewise I come across people who really do invite you to join the conversation about the episode sharing their thoughts, random questions that they considered, some interesting moments through screen caps, and they make you want to hit up their blog more or less as soon as you’ve watched the episode just to see what they thought of it.

For me writing an anime episode review is an important part of the viewing process. As is searching for other views on blogs and on twitter and occasionally watching a video that someone has made about it. It’s part of being an anime fan. I get that for others they would rather just wait until the season ends to put together a more formal review but then they’ve missed all those conversational moments along the way.

I like episode reviews and have found them a great way to engage with other anime fans. It isn’t the only type of content I create but it is a type of content that I am happy to make and enjoy reading or viewing. But I’m just one person.

So I’ll open the discussion to my readers. What do you think about anime episode reviews? Do you read them? Do you create them? What purpose do you believe they serve?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

What Is Wrong With Platinum End? Can It Get Better Before the End?

What is wrong with Platinum End?

Six episodes in, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by Platinum End. And I’m probably not alone in that sentiment. But it does leave me wondering just what went wrong with Platinum End to the point that it has left me feeling so deflated. Particularly when I step back from my disappointment and realise what I’m watching isn’t a complete dumpster fire or train-wreck, it just isn’t very good.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Viewer expectations.

Putting Platinum End into context is really important. If another anime came out telling this story with Mirai wanting to die and then becoming a candidate to become god, while it would probably be mediocre at best, it wouldn’t be getting the vitriol on YouTube that Platinum End has been subjected to which further builds up the online sense that Platinum End is the worst anime ever (which it really isn’t, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it).

So why is Platinum End contextually doomed to face this kind of criticism?

What's wrong with Platinum End?

Because of who created the manga. You can’t have an anime coming out, based on a manga by the same writers who gave the world Death Note and Bakuman and not have high audience expectations. When you rank anime on MAL by popularity, Death Note is in the no. 1 position. Even though it only has a review score of 8.63.

Rightly or wrongly, people had expectations about Platinum End. The pre-release hype with character designs and promotional videos also helped to build up these expectations and honestly they set themselves up for some viewers at least to be disappointed regardless of whether what was offered with Platinum End was actually good or not.

Equally, Death Note and Bakuman flourished in a time when accessing anime was significantly harder for those of us not in Japan and so the competition for our views and likes was significantly lower.

I absolutely love Death Note and it was one of the anime that drew me back into being a huge anime fan as an adult and had me actively seeking more anime online. Then I found Bakuman and despite some general dislike at the gender norms and the somewhat silly decision by the protagonist not to talk to a girl until ‘X’ happened, I really enjoyed that series.

That said, I did have some reservations going into Platinum End. The idea that it was more of a battle royale storyline certainly made me wonder if this would click for me because a lot haven’t (though some are quite fun). But, the teaser PV and the creator, they both had me lined up to give this one a watch. Whether I wanted to or not, I was going to end up comparing Platinum End to the other works by the creator and unfortunately, Platinum End doesn’t favourably measure up.

What's wrong with Platinum End?

Sure, you could probably argue that the plot line isn’t any worse than Death Note, and if I wasn’t looking at it through the lens of familiar nostalgia I might even agree, but to be honest, I’ve watched Death Note that many times at this point and have loved it every-time, whether it makes sense or not isn’t even a point to discuss now. Platinum End however can’t get viewed through nostalgia goggles. I’d never even heard of it until the anime started getting hyped. My only emotional connection to it is what I’m feeling each week as the episode ends and unfortunately for it, it isn’t good.

Perhaps then the easiest answer to the question, “what went wrong with Platinum End?”, is that it didn’t come out twenty years ago and audiences are far more judgemental, have far too many other options now, and the moment where this could have ridden the wave of good will from prior works has passed. Much like a certain Avatar sequel that may eventually arrive in cinemas but I don’t think anyone will care. The moment has passed.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Characters

Platinum End Episode 5
What's wrong with Platinum End

Of course, you can’t actually just blame everything on context and viewer expectations. If the anime were solid enough, regardless of an initial let-down it would have recovered from that. instead, each week reviews get more negative and viewers seem less charitable in their estimates of where this story is going.

So what went wrong with Platinum End?

I found it interesting that Irina (from I Drink and Watch Anime), in her episode 6 review of Platinum End asks the question: “What does Saki do?” And you know what? I couldn’t answer that.

Seriously. Saki’s listed as a main character on MAL. Since entering the story she shot Mirai with a red arrow and since then has accompanied him to the stadium and they keep meeting in her room but has she done anything? Other than knowing Mirai has a crush on her, I actually can’t tell you a single thing about her character other than clearly she had something go wrong for her in the past, hence why she’s a god candidate, and she doesn’t speak much in the ‘meetings’ they have letting the angels and Mirai speak and more recently Mukaidou.

Platinum End Episode 3
What's wrong with platinum end?

Maybe her character will do something moving forward, but so far she’s more or less, again as Irina put it, about as useful as a lamp in the background. She’s just eating up screen but contributing nothing.

If it was just Saki, I wouldn’t actually have too much of an issue with the characters of Platinum End. Being familiar with both Death Note and Bakuman, I knew not to expect much from female characters. While there are one or two exceptions, female characters get very short changed by the creator so rather than getting into that rant I’ll actually look at the overall issue of characters in Platinum End.

Basically they are either dull and uninteresting, given too little time to make any meaningful impression, or just bonkers. So far the best character has been Nasse, a superior angel and the one who selected Mirai, but even Nasse has gone from suggesting some highly morally questionable things (leaving us wondering about god and angels and their morality) to more or less Mirai’s cheer-squad. The one slightly interesting character hasn’t done anything particularly interesting leaving us with little to focus on other than the plot.

Platinum End Episode 5
What's wrong with Platinum End?

The battle royale set-up doesn’t help either as it makes you wary of caring about newly introduced characters as they are likely to die. A point made clear when three God candidates were introduced and killed in the space of two episodes. While this isn’t actually a problem unique to Platinum End it contributes to the overall feeling that something is wrong with Platinum End.

It also should be noted that every character in this story seems to have two emotional settings which leap between stoic and uninterested to explosively emotive. There’s pretty much nothing in-between which makes them a little hard to connect with.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Plot

And that leaves me with the plot of Platinum End. What has gone wrong with Platinum End’s plot?

Is it that six episodes in I’m still kind of vague about protagonist Mirai’s motives? Given he’s gone from wanting to die, to wanting to find happiness, to suddenly being staunchly against death and murder for no real reason other than the plot demands it.

What's Wrong with Platinum End?

That the ‘villain’ Metropoliman creates obvious schemes but they seem ludicrous when broken down. He built up his reputation as a hero and then destroyed in an instant with the stadium debacle. And that only netted him three of the twelve competitors. So now, no reputation and still a whole bunch of potential rivals that you can’t identify. His next plan involving blowing up a tower was even more bonkers and seemed even less likely to actually achieve anything.

When we see said character in his day to day talking with a friend, his motives are kind of explained but they don’t provide any justification for his actions so far. If anything, they make him look kind of pathetic and it makes it hard to take his scheming seriously.

Though I guess the real problem is that Mirai still doesn’t have any skin in the game. Left to his own devices, Mirai would have nothing to do with the battle royale or the other god candidates, and so the plot keeps having to come up with contrivances to force him to take action.

What's wrong with Platinum End

This really does contribute to the many things wrong with Platinum End.

It is clear that the story is constantly having to fight its own character to get things moving in the direction it wants only that direction isn’t clear to the audience and to be honest I think we’d all be happier if the plot left Mirai alone. Its definitely a case where a square peg is constantly getting forced into a round hole but rather than give up and find a square hole we’re just going to find a bigger hammer to bash it with until it goes where we want it to.

Anyway, six episodes in and the plot of Platinum End can only be described as serviceable. Sure we have set up that there are candidates with wings and arrows and there’s a time limit in which a candidate can be chosen (though no indication of what happens if the time limit is exceeded), and we’ve had a few poorly devised traps that have been overly dramatized in order to make us feel a sense that something is happening.

The plot is most definitely a reason people think there’s something wrong with Platinum End.

Platinum End

Because really, what has happened? A few people we didn’t know or care about died. Meanwhile our protagonist went to the stadium, watched, and left without taking action. Has now watched a second trap literally explode and has not actually done anything. This might be taking a passive protagonist far too far. He could literally be replaced by a floating camera and we’d have much the same sequence of events without all the angst as he struggles with whether he should take action at the stadium.

Can Platinum End salvage its ending?

You know what, there are apparently 24 episodes in this series. If it was only 12 episodes, I’d say it was past the point of no return. Even with 24 episodes, I think the most Platinum End can hope for is to leave those who’ve stuck with it feeling a little bit smug that they didn’t drop it and that’s only if from this point forward the characters get some fleshing out and the plot starts feeling like it is actually driving somewhere.

Am I going to drop Platinum End?

Not yet. As much as I don’t love it and can pick it to pieces, it actually is pretty average in terms of stories. And for a battle royale story it is on par with something like Battle Game in 5 Seconds and I watched all of that. I didn’t love it, but it was watchable.

As is Platinum End.

Platinum End Episode 4

Sure, it couldn’t live up to the hype and it hasn’t met the expectations of those of us who loved earlier works by its creator. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of worse anime out there. Right now I’d place Deep Insanity below Platinum End in terms of anime I’m not enjoying and it is definitely better than the train wreck that was The Promised Neverland Season 2 which is my new benchmark of terrible for anime that haven’t met expectations.

There’s plenty that seems to have gone wrong with Platinum End but there has been the occasional interesting moment and the set-up is there so there’s potential. But, I won’t be too surprised if I let this one go at the end of the Fall 2021 season rather than watching on for a second cour.

Over to you, how have you found Platinum End?

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Why Is It People Ask Me To Justify Watching Anime?


A random question I asked back when I first started the blog:

Why do you watch anime?

I often wonder why this question ever even gets asked and why people felt you needed to justify watching anime. Its like walking up to someone standing on a football field in their uniform and carrying the ball and asking why they play football. Clearly they get something from it. Even if you don’t get what that thing is. And yet this question comes up over and over again.

Maeda doesn't need you to justify watching anime.

Why do you watch that?

You watch anime? How come?

Why would you watch that?

Go on, justify watching anime. Then justify watching anything else.

It occurred to me that the majority of the askers have no idea that anime is not a genre in and of itself and they really haven’t been exposed to much beyond the biggest of anime titles. Now, instead of sighing when asked this, I see it as an opportunity to educate. I ask the asker what their favourite movie/TV show/book is and then I list at least three anime titles that I feel they might probably find enjoyable. Sometimes I even convince them to give one of them ago. A much more satisfying exchange.

But how do others deal with this question?

Turning to everybody’s favourite corporate friend I decided to see what the internet had to say:

google search why do you watch anime
lots of people trying to justify watching anime

Good to know that anime beat out tv, movies and  Game of Thrones and that somehow people feel more need to justify watching anime then anything else on TV (or maybe that’s just google knowing me and what I search for). And of course the inevitable posts that come up when you run this search are ‘ten reasons you should be watching anime’ and various forums and discussion boards where people have asked this question.

Interestingly, when you change the search to why do you watch football, about midway down the first page you get news articles explaining what happens to your body and your brain when you watch sport. I can assure you, no news articles came up when trying to figure out why people watched anime. I’m assuming that’s because more people watch sport, but it is interesting that there aren’t any fan blogs in the first searches of this one giving ten reasons your should start watching football. It is kind of just assumed that the majority of people already do.

Fruits Basket Final Ep6 2

Reddit of course weighed in:

reddit 2

I’m going to be honest, back when I first published this post in 2016, I did try to get involved in discussions on Reddit but I more or less decided it was pointless. People just kind of throw their opinion out there but there’s no back and forth or exchange and the majority of threads seem to end up falling into the same patterns and comments as every other one so it just never really engaged me. I honestly don’t even remember what my sign in is anymore.

86 Ep3 3

Lastly, after dodging a large range of shots of girls in vaguely compromising positions, I came across this image that I think sums up a lot of the frustration anime lovers have when confronted with someone who still thinks Pokemon defines the medium.


It isn’t as though I actually get annoyed at people who think anime is for kids. Particularly if they’ve only been exposed to anime on free-to-air TV in Australia. However, it does get annoying when you explain about other types of anime to someone and they still stubbornly cling to the idea cartoons are for kids, even when many western animations are no longer all necessarily for children.

My question this week: Either why you like anime or how you deal with this question when asked it, or why you think people still ask this question?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

In Anime, Some Nice Protagonists Manage To Be Surprisingly Interesting


This week I’d like to examine the nice protagonist making a distinction between a protagonist whose main descriptor is being nice to those that are simply self-insert protagonists so common in the vast majority of harem comedies. No, the nice protagonist has the defining trait of being nice, but still has additional personality traits (underneath being nice all the time). They also are usually so nice that it would actually be impossible to self-insert into them because literally no-one is actually that nice (okay, gross exaggeration but why not).

Just like overpowered or complete jerk protagonists, nice protagonists cop their fair share of criticism. They’re boring, they’re unrealistic, they’re just allowing themselves to be walked all over, and –  probably the most fatal trait for a protagonist –  they’re completely forgettable.


For instance: Bell from Is It Wrong To Try and Pick Up Girl’s in a Dungeon? is a nice protagonist. He’s also adventurous, impatient, ambitious, a little bit lecherous, and a lot insecure. So being nice isn’t his only personality trait. But when you talk to people about this show they discuss Hestia, the fight scenes, the weapons, occasionally Loki, but they don’t mention Bell. Or if they do, they call him the Main Character because half the time they don’t remember his name.

Bell definitely suffers from Nice Protagonist forgettability at times.

Is Bell really a nice protagonist or is he cool?
Bell needs his own appreciation club and I nominate myself for president.

And it seems a bit harsh to not even remember Bell’s name. He has some incredible character development both in literal skills and in his focus and goals. He also gives us one of the most dramatic fight sequences I think I’ve ever watched and one where I genuinely cared if this nice character was actually going to make it through the fight. So much so in 2021 I gave this fight its very own article.


The common saying of nice guys finish last seems to apply here. Get anyone to list their favourite protagonists and the vast majority of them will not be nice guys. Instead we’ll see the bad-boy, the laid back and cunning hero, the shouting self-righteous types, as well as the hard-as-nails standard hero model. So why is it we don’t like nice protagonists?

And I already know people will argue, but we don’t dislike them. And that’s true to. That’s why they exist at all. Because they don’t cause people to dislike them. But, in the absence of a truly great story or supporting cast the nice protagonist will just slip off your radar without a second thought.

Which all of course raises the question of what is it about human nature that ‘nice’ is seen as such a dull descriptor of a person? I was watching a rom-com recently (not anime amazingly) where the girl had the choice of two guys and she was describing them to a friend. Mid-way through one description the friend made snorted and then said that she’d literally just fallen asleep. Why? Because the guy was nice. Apparently that’s a death sentence in a rom-com because at the end of the film the girl ended up with the other guy.

So, my question is: Who is your favourite ‘Nice’ protagonist?

Let’s give all the nice guys (and girls) a shout out.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

This Is The Anime You HAD To Watch

Watch Feature

Regardless of the anime you’ve seen, there’s always something you’ve missed that someone else feels is pivotal to being an anime fan – or they just really want to share the love.

I’ve been an anime fan for a fair while now and watched a lot of anime – like a lot of it. Yet when meeting another fan there is one comment that seems to come up again and again when discussion the shows we’ve watched: “You HAVE to watch …” Seriously, I should get a dollar for every anime I was told was the “anime you had to watch” and I’d be a very happy anime fan.

Naturally I asked my Twitter followers what anime they had been told was THE ANIME you HAD to watch and the responses were by and large the expected ones:

Sometimes this is definitely in the spirit of someone who just passionately wants to share a love for an anime with a fellow fan and sometimes they just want someone else they can talk to about the anime. Other-times however it can be delivered in the tone of someone who seems to feel a smug certainty that someone who didn’t even complete the first arc of Naruto can’t possibly call themselves an anime fan.

The first of these types can actually open up a great friendship and depending on the anime being recommended might lead to some really interesting conversations about a shared love. The second of these types is the kind that new-comers to the hobby might find a little off-putting and like there’s some secret club that you get to join once you’ve watched whatever anime they deem to be the seminal works within anime.

Yeah, I just don’t get it.

Naturally you will meet a whole bunch of people in-between these two extremes and both types can actually be pretty great people. The Naruto example above wasn’t just thrown out there. It was a specific case where someone I knew IRL genuinely believed Naruto was the pinnacle of anime and while other works could be fun and all, any true anime fan would watch Naruto. They weren’t actually obnoxious about it, however any anime conversation would quickly have a Naruto reference thrown in which generally speaking would sail clean over my head.

Irina – This is the anime you had to watch – your thoughts?

Irina 2020 4

Although I rarely talk about it, I actually really like Naruto. A lot!

I’m just cutting in here out of the blue. It’s Irina, hi everyone. When Karandi first came up with this idea, I thought it was wonderful. Most anime fans will get unsolicited recommendations at some point but when you have an anime blog, you get them all the time. It can be a bit exhausting, especially when you feel like you should consider all these recommendations, they were given with earnestness after all. So how do you deal with it?

Rather than be annoyed by this, I countered with Bleach references. I don’t actually think Bleach is a high point for anime, but I know I have a lot of fun watching it, and I also know that referencing Bleach would usually hijack the conversation back away from Naruto. Incidentally, I still haven’t watched Naruto nor do I have any real intentions to.

Oh you really should ;P

Over a number of years I had a lot of fun conversing with this person and we talked about a lot of other new release anime and some of the older works that they have seen.

On the other hand I’ve had encounters with fans who at first recommend an anime to me politely, and then seem to hound me over and over again about whether I’d watched it or not (regardless of the fact that I had already pointed out to them I was overcommitted on my watch list already at the time) to the point that I just didn’t want to hear it again and at one point deliberately crossed the anime off my watch list just because I was sick of hearing about it (it got added back on but definitely a case where even being well-meaning isn’t exactly great).

What’s your experience been like, Irina?

Ash Lynx - Banana Fish
What do you mean you still haven’t watched it?

I am open about my preferences and dislikes in anime and I find that people who have different tastes will often try to convince me to change mine. More specifically, I have many times said that I tend to not enjoy traditional romance stories and yet I get romance anime suggested to me all the time. More than once I have already watched and reviewed poorly. I’ll be honest, I sort of gave up explaining my preferences and now just give a vague noncommittal answer.

Even though most people intellectually understand that disliking an anime isn’t the same as calling it bad, I think there’s still a lot of folks that have emotional attachments to particular anime that make it difficult for them to accept someone could dislike it. Especially someone who they otherwise agree with on shows. And they don’t always take in the other person’s tastes into account.

As anime fans we do get quite attached to our anime.

It isn’t as though I don’t also use the phrase, “you should watch…” or even, “you need to see…”. It almost comes naturally when discussing shows and realising someone hasn’t seen something you hold dear or think might be something the other person will enjoy.

After starting the blog Haikyuu was the anime that came up all the time as one I needed to see (that and Cowboy Bebop). When I finally bit the bullet and decided to watch the volleyball themed anime – and let us all remember we have Yuri on Ice to thank for thawing my natural aversion to sports anime – I really enjoyed it. All those comments and reminders from people about Haikyuu seemed validated and I was excited to share my thoughts on it as I watched.

Haikyuu - Hinata and Kageyama
Significantly better than expected – there’s some real emotion in this volleyball story.

Bebop on the other hand is one that so many times people insisted I NEEDED to have seen that it became an anime I unconsciously avoided even when I had the opportunity to watch it. 2020 was finally the year that I got on board and watched Spike and friends poorly hunt bounties across space. I haven’t yet written my review of the series but I did order the blu-ray so that probably tells you the verdict.

Even within seasonal viewing, within a few weeks of an anime making a splash there are people who ‘encourage’ you to jump on board the latest hype train, because sometimes it isn’t just all hype. My Hero Academia was one such an anime for me. The first season of it I didn’t start when it aired and it was five episodes in before the clamouring voices on social media and blog posts singing its praises got me curious enough to dive into it. Again, I’m pretty glad about that.

That isn’t to say there hasn’t been anime people have insisted on that have fallen flat for me. Generally I don’t remember them after the fact because they don’t leave much of an impression.


This is an interesting post for Karandi and I to share. We both watch a lot of anime and we talk about it together. We also generally have very different tastes. Almost opposite. A few notable exceptions of course (cough Natsume cough).

I love comedies, and Sports! anime and a certain sarcasm to my series. I have little to no patience for drama, romance and like my fantasy on the urban side. 

As such, over the years, I think we both developed a vague sense for what the other person would like but neither of us ever really ventured into aggressively recommending anything to the other. Because that would likely not work out. It’s an odd position to be in. On the one hand if I come across a weird anime that I absolutely fall in love with, of course my instinct is to tell Karandi to watch it, and watch it now! I want her to experience the same joy I did after all. That’s what friends are for. But on the other hand, I don’t want her to be saddled with the chore of trying to get through a show that does nothing for her. 

Given - big hugs for Haruki
Where our interests overlap.

But I think one thing that helps us, is that we don’t feel too uncomfortable with admitting we aren’t enjoying something the other is. Because recommendations can feel like impositions and come with all sorts of unspoken expectations, sometimes you just feel bad telling someone you didn’t enjoy their pick. And it’s no fun hearing it either. But I’m always ok hearing it from Karandi since we’ve already established we just like different things. We’re complimentary that way! 🙂

And then there’s people like Dawnstorm who regularly makes me discover my new favourite series and at this point I will blindly trust their recommendation on anything.

This is very true. And even series we like, we frequently like for different reasons or have different favourite moments. Black Butler would be one such series where Irina and I both like the series but for me season one is true brilliance and season 2 was a bit of a train wreck which of course ended up with Irina and I doing a two part debate on the merits of season 2 (where she tries to convince me that somehow it is the better series). In one particular exchange Irina actually tried to argue Ciel was a bit of a flat character, a point which I wholly disagree with and yet this is an argument where both of us basically just accept we’re coming at it from two different places. 

Black Butler Season 2 - Alois attacks Ciel.
Alois? Really?

That said, because we’ve kind of worked out each other’s preferences and where our interests overlap, I mostly know when something I’m watching is going to be something Irina would like, and she very much has my tastes figured out so I can usually trust a recommendation from her to be at least on paper something that’s going to catch my interest.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your hobby and your favourite anime. That’s why most of us chose to be bloggers, to share our love of anime with everyone else and to find people who want to talk with us about our favourite characters and shows. Those who know what it is like to cry when a character falls or to cheer when they overcome challenges. Recommending shows, using language like ‘have to’ and ‘need’ is a part of being a fan.

However, there are probably a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are you pushing an anime because you genuinely think the person you are speaking to will like it (based on other anime or shows they’ve watched) or are you pushing it because you like it?
  • How many times have you already pushed your preference? Are you starting to be a bit of a broken record?
  • Have you accepted any of their anime recommendations?

Alright, time to share your experience. When was a time someone recommended an anime to you and you loved it? When was a time someone recommended an anime and you ended up wondering what on earth they were thinking? And finally, when was a time you recommended an anime to someone else and they took you up on it? How did that work out?

Images in this article from:

  • Naruto: Shippuden. Dir. H Yamashita. Studio Pierrot. 2007 – 2017.
  • Banana Fish. Dir. H. Utsumi. MAPPA. 2018.
  • Haikyuu. Dir. S. Mitsunaka. Production. I. G. 2014.
  • Given. Dir. H. Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2019.
  • Black Butler 2. Dir. H. Ogura. A-1 Pictures. 2010.

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

karandi avatar no background

Is Season 2 Of The Promised Neverland Weaker Than Its Predecessor?

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Discussion

Episode 6 has finally aired and now I’m taking a look at how the second season has measured up to season 1.

There will be no real surprise for my regular readers when I say I really enjoyed season 1 of The Promised Neverland. I found the tension and pacing nicely done even if there was an over reliance on cliff-hangers, found some of the direction to be interesting and added to the overall atmosphere, and the tight narrative arc of the kids realising the situation they were in and then struggling to overcome the obstacles and escape to just be really satisfying to watch. I finished my season 1 review of The Promised Neverland with the statement that I highly recommended it.

So as we pass the halfway mark of season 2, am I feeling the same way?

Not so much.

The Promised Neverland Episode 9 Ray and Emma

Now I want to be clear that my issues with season 2 do not stem from the variation from the source material. Hunting around online it seems like a lot of people are finding the adaptation a little on the lacking side. However, I deliberately did not read past where season 1 ended so for me whether the anime follows the events in the manga isn’t the most important thing.

What I am more concerned about is that visually The Promised Neverland seems to have lost its identity and so far season 2 hasn’t really had much in the way of focus to drive the plot forward and with that overall the series has lost any sense of tension. Throw in a time-skip and multiple setting changes and it is generally hard to say that at this point I’m particularly invested in anything that is happening despite being interested and genuinely wanting to learn more about the demon world and to see how the kids ultimately either save (or don’t save) the other kids on the farm.

And that’s a weird position to be in. To be interested but not invested.

When I started really thinking about it, I realised that almost all of my interest, is left over from the season one finale when the kids took their first steps out of Grace Field and into an unknown world. There was a real sense of mystery and excitement with a little trepidation because if children were being farmed it really didn’t bode well for what would be beyond the wall.

While the first couple of episodes of season 2 seemed to be wanting to fulfil that sense of curiosity as the kids traversed the forest being pursued by demons, we quickly moved on. First by meeting a pair of intelligent demons who didn’t seem to want to eat them, then to the promised shelter left by the plot device ‘Minerva’.

This is before being chased out of the shelter and back to the forest where one of the monsters conveniently attacked the pursuers but not the pursued, before we had several months skipped over and the kids are now living in a run-down temple, before we drop the presumed dead Norman back into the plot for episode 6 – which suffered generally from having almost no animation.

Characters stood or sat around chatting and the camera angles bounced around but it couldn’t disguise the fact that most of the characters barely moved throughout the entire episode.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 3

When we compare this with season ones generally narrow story line of Emma, Ray and Norman observing their surroundings, identifying the obstacles, and training and recruiting the kids to help in their plans, season 2 has so far felt incredibly unfocused. In season one, I found the arrival and subsequent disruption caused by Sister Krone to be largely unnecessary, other than it showed that even the humans who worked for the demons weren’t exactly getting a smooth run.

Outside of that it felt like every line of dialogue, every interaction, every weird close up from the camera seemed to have some kind of purpose and fed into the narrative.

Season 2 of The Promised Neverland has some great scenes. The kids training to hunt, their first night in the shelter, even Emma’s interaction with the blind demon in the temple were nicely put together sequences. However there’s no thread holding it all together other than the kids are trying to survive and may eventually get back to save the other kids.


And perhaps it is deliberate. Where season one used darker colours (when the kids weren’t outside playing) and strange POV’s to create a near claustrophobic setting at times as the kid’s world closed in around them, season two seems to be opening things up creating many choices and possibilities but leaving the kids adrift. They’ve accomplished what was thought to be impossible but now they aren’t sure what their next steps are. Perhaps all this aimless wandering is designed to help the audience feel how lost the characters are.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 3

Does a different tone and feeling, the story moving into a new space and the kids not as certain of their path, make this second season of The Promised Neverland weaker?

Honestly, each viewer is going to decide for themselves. For me, I know that if this wasn’t a second season of an anime I was already attached to, season 2 has been decidedly on the average side. Whether or not it ends up being worth it will depend on what the second half of the season intends to do now that Norman is back in the mix. However, as so much of what I loved about season one seems to be missing in season 2, and even Emma (one of my favourite characters from 2019) seems a little lacklustre in this season, my view is that The Promised Neverland season 2 has so far been a significantly weaker entry than season 1.

Karandi Sad Transparent
Okay, I’m not really crying about it, but it has still been a little disappointing.

It isn’t yet at the point where the story cannot recover and find its feet. I mean, I went through a similar situation with Attack on Titan where the first half of season one was this amazing roller-coaster ride that I just loved and then the second half and most of season 2 really left me feeling pretty meh about the entire franchise before season 3 hooked me back in.

Still, I am curious as to how my readers feel about season 2 of The Promised Neverland. I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment.

Images used for review from:

  • The Promised Neverland Season 2. Dir. M Kanbe. Cloverworks. 2021.
  • The Promised Neverland Season 1. Dir. M. Kanbe. Cloverworks. 2019

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Quadra-collab Fails to Form a Band: Reviews Given (movie)” – pt 4 (Final)

Given Collab

Regular readers will know that I was a huge fan of the Given anime and once I found out about the movie I was super excited. And then Irina went and made it even better by suggesting this collaboration between Scott, Shoujo, Irina and myself after we viewed the movie. Hopefully you have already seen the first three parts of this collab but if not be sure to check them all out:

Meanwhile, here is the final part of the discussion with Scott 🚀, Irina🍸, Shoujo🌸 and Karandi🍣.

Given Movie 8
This movie really does take the characters and the audience on an incredible emotional journey despite the short run time.

S🚀: I enjoyed this film quite a bit because of how much of a ride it was. I mentioned listening to Nana music afterwards on Twitter because this made me feel like I was watching Nana again. All of that was because of how messy the relationships were, how everything was made by characters making the wrong choices, and how wrong and yet right relationships felt.

It kind of stunned me in a good way. I think that Haruki and Kaji meeting up with each other felt a bit rushed in some ways, but it feels natural too. Just a lot of good writing I think. Very natural sort of character drama. I do think that adding maybe 30 minutes to put in some breathing room with Mafuyu and Ueno dating would have helped to make it feel complete, but this was good.

It is a sequel movie, so it only makes sense to have the context from other sources to know more. If I would be a new viewer, I think it would work to get the viewer interested in watching the series. I wouldn’t mind more sequels too. More of this softness, please? Thank you. 

SJ🌸 : I didn’t mind the pace of the movie; I agree that it added something that all their emotions were so breakneck, so jarring. Still, an hour-long movie wasn’t enough to scratch my Given itch, and I agree that if one were to go into the movie without having seen the series, one wouldn’t have the experience necessary to form as deep of a connection to the events as they would having watched events prior. I, like Scott, would have liked to see the movie be longer. I think that something closer to feature length (75 to 210 minutes) would have given the adaptation more room to explore without taking away from the jarring twists and turns.

Personally, I felt so much anger—so much indignation and sorrow and frustration. Without getting into spoilers, I can’t say much, but I can say that events that occur earlier in the movie colour my viewing experience for the rest of the film, leaving me conflicted at every turn as I watch Haruki and Kaji’s relationship unfold. A second season taking place after the events of the movie is greatly needed. Given (haha, oops) the amount of content available, I think we actually have a pretty good chance of seeing these characters on screen again. Given is nothing if not good at evoking emotion. I would like more of that, whether that’s in the form of movies/OVAs or a series. (But series, please!)

Given Movie 10
So much pain here for all of the characters.

I🍸: Even with all this criticism, at the end of the day, it was great seeing Given again. It made me happy and reminded me just how much I loved the series. I might actually rewatch it. And if they ever announce another season, I will be watching it as it airs!

SJ🌸 : Me, too!! I sure hope that our wishes come to fruition!

S🚀: Nod, nod!

I🍸: Random thoughts – the orchestral piece at the beginning was gorgeous. Just amazing. Also, I think the character designs may have gotten a subtle boost. Maybe it was just me projecting my happiness.

K🍣: The music was brilliant. 

I’m not sure if the character designs got any better but I know that one of the most heartbreaking moments had nothing to do with the emotional story being told and everything to do with me being devastated that one of the characters underwent a hairstyle change mid-movie. I totally get what was driving him at that point but it still nearly made me cry.

Given Movie 7
This expression kind of shows my horror at Haruki’s decision to cut his hair

S🚀: I think it looked about the same honestly because Lerche isn’t that much of a power house studio, but their style and direction is always good. They still hid the hands when everyone played music instruments and there was some obvious cg with Mafuyu, but the writing was still great and the music was on point so it all worked in the end. 

SJ🌸 : I actually really like the art of both the movie and the series. There was a bit of a distracting CG work I noticed here or there, but overall, I was very impressed! Further, Karandi, I KNOW!!! THE HAIRCUT. I was… so angry on his behalf.

K🍣: On the other-hand Shoujo, they do this all the time to female characters who are undergoing a transition or dealing with something. I guess it is a nice symbolic ending of one thing and the start of something else. That said, poor hair.

I🍸: Just so you know, in the manga there’s a flashback where Haruki decides that until he starts dating Kaji, he will let his hair grow out. As such, the long hair represented his one sided attachment and devotion to Kaji and him cutting it off was a visual way to tell the audience that he was ready to move on from Kaji specifically. Which was absolutely necessary if they were to ever have a healthy relationship. 

Given Movie 11
You’re breaking my heart, Haruki.

I also like Haruki better with his long hair. He’s my phone’s lock screen.

SJ🌸 : I love the symbolism! Yes, he cut his hair when he was originally growing it for Kaji, and yes, it represents an end to his pining (in a great, visual way), but his poor heart!!

S🚀: I wasn’t expecting haircut discourse, but I am kind of inbetween. He looked great with it, but I think his hair being cut is also pretty attractive. It gives him such a different edge that I kind of like. I am apparently the outsider though. 

And so the collaboration ends. A huge thanks to Shoujo, Scott and Irina for this as watching a movie by yourself can be a great experience, but watching a movie and then being able to discuss it with people who were also very attached to these characters and anticipating it and how we felt about it just made it an overall wonderful experience.

I will post an individual review of the movie later and may even do a rewatch first, but for now that’s our thoughts on the Given Movie. And seriously, if you didn’t check out the other 3 parts of this discussion, I totally recommend you do as it was great fun to write and we’d all love to know your thoughts on the movie.

Images used for review from: Given (movie). Dir. H. Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2020.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

A Discussion on the Censorship of Fire Force


Karandi: It’s time for Irina and I to get into a discussion on the Censorship of Fire Force and then to turn it over to our readers.

Laughing Rini

By now I think pretty much everyone who follows anime is aware of the tragedy at Kyoto Animation and its effects on anime as an industry. Of course those effects are still going to be felt for years to come and we do not yet have a proper idea of the extent of the impact but one small and immediate result was that Fire Force suddenly became way more topical and political than it had bargained for.

Very soon after news broke out, it was announced that the show would go on hiatus as they tried to figure out how to handle the situation. In the end, they skipped a week in the scheduled airing as they adjusted the third episode out of respect and sensitivity for the events. This was a move that has been widely seen as reasonable and commendable but still generated some backlash.

I read about it here. In short, episode 3 had been censored and fans are grappling with the implications. Today I would like to talk about it a little with Karandi. These are complex issues that benefit for diverse points of view and opinions.

I will be using Fire Force for exemplary purposes here but there is a greater conversation on the place, use and value of censorship in media to be had that goes way beyond this particular case. We may wander into details that don’t directly apply. But I’m still going to give you a few details on the Fire Force situation for context.

First you should know that the story has already been altered in adaptation from Manga to anime. The manga is a lot more disturbing when it comes to graphic carnage. Secondly, the changes made to episode 3 were fairly minor. An extra explosion scene had been removed in the flashback sequence as it was too eerily similar, the other explosion scene had the colours dimmed (you can see it pretty clearly in the screencap gallery) and a frame of walking burning corpses was removed from the end credits (although you can still see it in episodes 1 and 2 if you really need to).

see, it’s dimmed

Overall, I don’t think these changes are likely to make that big of a difference on the narrative flow or theme of the show. Nevertheless, some fans are outraged, saying they should just scrap the show if they are going to censor it as a matter of principle.

And I don’t know where to stand….

I mean on a purely pragmatic basis I enjoy Fire Force a lot so clearly I don’t want it to stop airing but I do understand the idea of it setting a precedent for censorship being acceptable. But is it?

Is there any place for censorship in anime?

By default, I tend to err on the side of free information – my dystopia of choice would be Brave New World, rather than 1984! This said, there are no countries in the world right now where complete freedom of speech exists. And I see that many places in Europe as well as my neighbours to the south are in fact audibly thinking of restricting freedom of information (as has been done on the internet recently). So the modern trend is definitely pro censorship.

Moreover, there might be situations where it’s warranted. Like suppressing the spread of dangerous misinformation, maybe trying to curve the propagation of hate speech or the encouragement of violence and crime. All of these seem like they would be good ideas. It’s just that once you start, when do you stop?


This one is really tricky. Like you, I err on the side of free information and particularly when it comes to arts and literature, I am very against censorship. I feel that provided content is properly described and tagged then it is a matter for the consumer to decide whether or not something is likely to be harmful and to make sensible decisions. However, then we have to ask whether what is happening with Fire Force is censorship?

Certainly a lot of people online are crying out against it, but it isn’t like someone stood over the production company with a big stick and made them change their vision of the story (although, who knows what happened behind the scenes and maybe someone along the food chain did make some noise – we’ll never know).

But assuming the group making the anime made the choice, all on their own, out of some inner feeling of empathy and sensitivity (or out of the self-interest of at least appearing to have those traits) decided to change elements of their own artistic endeavour, is that actually censorship, or is that the artists’ choice? Reflecting their current reality they altered their view of what they wanted to create? Who are we to argue that this isn’t what they now want to present in the form that they have chosen?

Of course, I remember after September 11 how suddenly a lot of movies were photo-shopping out a particular set of towers and nobody cried censorship. They saw it as a reasonably tactful move given the current sentiment of their potential audience. So with this it is really going to come down to what people define as censorship and whether the decision was an internal one or one externally imposed upon the production company.

Censorship of Fire Force

That is a good point. Although it brings up the questions of what exactly constitutes censorship.

For example, moderating could be seen as a form of censorship. I have not actively deleted comments on my blog but I have asked people not to use certain slurs or harass other commentators on my blog. The spam filter has also occasionally caught some pretty disturbing messages which I did not actively reinstate. You could consider those acts of censorship. What about you Karandi, do you moderate your comments?

I don’t have comment moderation on, and of all the comments on my blog I’ve probably only deleted about four – all were legitimate spam links that for whatever reason hadn’t been picked up by the spam filter. Given I left the comment that essentially attacked my view on an issue as ‘PC Bull****’ right where it was on one of my posts, I feel that I largely stand by my position of inviting people to share their thoughts whether I agree with them or not. That said, if I ever get really explicit comments I’ll either edit them or have to make the decision about whether the person is sharing a legitimate opinion or just being a troll.

As to messages in the spam filter, I tend to only reinstate those by known followers. The rest I allow spam to simply dispose of as it will.

There’s also this line between censoring and editing. By definition censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or “inconvenient”. ( if you have an anime or manga with a suddenly very disturbing scene and your editor (or director) opts to remove it because they feel it would unbalance the tone of the series or overshadow the greater narrative arc for instance. Would that be censorship?

And this is where it gets tricky. Because it depends who makes the decision to remove it and for what reason. Editors are there to help authors get their works ready for an audience so they might very well ask for the removal of certain material. I think where it becomes censorship is where the original author or artist refused to alter the material as someone has suggested and then the material is altered anyway without the consent of the artist.

But it becomes trickier when you look at what control people have. So if we were talking about a movie, the original writer or director might very well walk away but the changes might be made and the film still released in an altered form.

art is altered at so many points

Karandi, have you ever lived anywhere with strictly controlled art and media?

Fortunately no. And honestly I’d rather not. 

I have, in many places. It makes for generally boring art with occasional flashes of absolute brilliance. Trying to outsmart the censors can force artists to create masterpieces they may not have otherwise. This isn’t a pro censorship screed, it’s just a random observation. And an appreciation of smart art.

So where did we end up on Fire Force and whether it was censorship or a rare corporate display of tact?

Long story short, I still don’t know exactly where I stand on censorship in general. I tend to take it more as a case by case scenario. However, if the creative team of Fire Force chose to edit a few scenes out of respect. I personally wouldn’t even consider that censorship and I fully respect their choice. If it sets a precedent, I believe it’s one of empathy and I’m o.k. with that. How about you Karandi?

It isn’t bothering me. I don’t think they’ve altered the overall story significantly (or at least from what I’ve read about the changes made given I haven’t read the source) and given the circumstances it would make sense for the creators to want to show empathy (either because they have it or at least don’t want to be accused of not having it). Again, if we later find out that it was network or distributor that put demands upon the creators, then that’s another discussion. So as you said, case by case depending on intent and purpose? That’s really vague, though.

I was kind of hoping to get through an anime season without a huge controversy for the sake of it. 

Even if someone really believes that the changes to Fire Force count as censorship, I feel that there hasn’t really been a measured discussion around it. I’ve seen a lot of angry comments and declarations that it was ruined and might as well just be cancelled if it is going to be changed, but not a lot of genuine discussions about why it was changed and whether those changes actually make the final product worse or just a little bit different (which it would be anyway being adapted into anime).

And this is why these topics work better as conversations than essays, in my opinion. Unfortunately, (this time) Karandi and I are in fact quite similarly minded on the topic. Although we both believe that censorship is better kept at a minimum, we are not so ideologically opposed to it as to blindly renounce it. As for the specific case of Fire  Force, the reported changes seem rather inconsequential to the narrative and justified under the circumstances.

But it’s more interesting when you get a few more opinions in the mix. And there certainly are many ways to approach the topic. So please, give us your opinion on the Censorship of Fire Force, the more the merrier. No wrong answers! 

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

karandi avatar no background

Scott and Karandi Discuss Attack on Titan Part 2


Welcome to part two of the collaboration between Scott and myself as we discuss Attack on Titan and its latest developments as well as ask those pressing questions that have been on our minds. I had a lot of fun with this particular collaboration and it was a long time coming because Scott and I have had a number of scheduling conflicts. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we work together because this was a really fun conversation. That said, let’s get into the second part and if you missed part one, be sure to hop on over to Scott’s blog and check it out.

Watch out, there are spoilers below if you are not up to episode 5 of Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two.

Mind blown.

So, I wanted to ask you what your thoughts were on the Beast Titan. Mostly because I’m utterly confused by that character.

That’s a good question. I guess he’s related to Eren somehow? Maybe? Not knowing about him is kind of frustrating. I’m even confused on whether or not he knows about baseball because he’s been using pitching throws to chuck a bunch of rocks.


Yeah, the baseball references were a bit… let’s just call them odd. They absolutely didn’t fit with the rest of the world given we’ve been given no indication baseball, or team sports of any kind, are a thing. But I’m even confused as to his motive. He showed up all big and bad and then just disappeared for huge chunks of time only to conveniently show up at times when it is really inconvenient for the scouts. I just feel like if his objective was simply to destroy the humans he probably could have accomplished it a fair while ago without all the games.


A Titan sports anime would be kind of entertaining though. But in general, I definitely agree. There is something more to his interactions then just eliminating humanity. I don’t mind be left in the dark when it comes to some things and all his actions are guided in some way, but I wish Attack on Titan at least gave him more than flashbacks that only last a minute or two that let us in on him. The only thing that comes to my mind is that Attack on Titan is leaving us in the dark for a reason. I hope it’s a good reason.


Me too. Attack on Titan has this tendency to drag things out a very long time before getting to a reveal though so I’m not expecting answers any time soon. But there is one question I need answered by the end of this season. And that is of course, what is in Eren’s basement?!

OMG, yes. The question that has been there ever since the second half of season one. Eren’s dad was hopefully up to something interesting and extravagant for making us wait so long. Probably not though. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a combination of a mad scientist lab and carry some important historical documents about this world. What do you think, Karandi?

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 8
Wouldn’t we all like to know why.

I think that would be nice. I keep having this horrible feeling that after dragging it out this long they’ll get there and find the house completely collapsed in on the basement or it all burnt up in the most recent explosion/fire in the town. That would be so cruel to the viewer and so typical of Attack on Titan.  The other option is that it is something completely game changing only I have no idea what that would be. Maybe a new syringe that gives Eren’s titan the ability to disintegrate other titans with a look? I’m mostly joking about that.

It’s still possible though. Definitely would be the longest and most aggravating shonen power up I’ve ever seen to achieve if that was the case. Whatever it is, I definitely feel like it would hopefully change everything that we know so far even more. Didn’t even think about it all being ruined until you brought that up for some reason or another, even though that is an obvious thing that could happen.

I know this is the wrong side of the wall but the damage on the other side was worse. These houses do not look like they are going to be standing much longer.

Maybe I just have too negative an outlook on life at this point. Then again, I have sat through three seasons of Attack on Titan and I can’t think of one time when everything actually went their way without some casualty.

Completely fair. Definitely not the kind of show you watch casually or when you need something uplifting. Still, I find it so captivating for some reason. Dang, it’s been such a long road.

Agreed. Season one grabbed me with its first episode and while I found a lot of the second half of season one and a lot of season two meandering, there’s something compelling about the story here and the world they are in. Then season three started building on all of that and now I’m completely hooked again with this second part. What’s really true is that none of the last couple of episodes could have happened without all of that previous stuff as even though it wasn’t as fantastic to watch there’s really nothing at this point that we could discard and have the impact we’ve been getting. This one is definitely one where we have to take a long view of it and episodic reviewing doesn’t really fit with the story and yet we’re all trying to do it anyway.


I’ve been generally more positive with Attack on Titan’s second season then some people, because it had enough good character moments to make it at least passable as a watch, but I agree. Throughout most of season three so far, it’s been mostly hit after hit with. While still having issues like the Beast Titan being there for some reason, everything else has very worth it. I really like how the ending of this part of season three has been focusing on the Scouts training because it really fits with everything that has happened this season and is a big reminder of what the humble beginnings were like.

Anything else you want to discuss before we wrap this up?

Not much comes to mind for me, how about you?

Super important question: who do you think would win a fight between Mikasa and Levi?

Somewhat biased opinion, but I am leaning towards Mikasa a little bit because she’s  younger and probably has more energy to spare when it comes to combat. A little bit of that younger and plucky vs experienced and veteran sort of thing.

You don’t think Levi’s experience would give him an edge?

Oh dang, you got me. Still, I know that combat is somewhat about the same with swinging from at each other and attacking with swords, but maybe Mikasa could come up with some attack that Levi wouldn’t expect. Of course, then again this me thinking on the fly here about this. Gah.

Attack on Titan Episode 7 - Mikasa

Not that it matters. Unless Levi kidnaps Eren in which case I’d put money on Mikasa winning the fight. Don’t stand between her and Eren under any circumstances.

Agreed, Not even Levi could withstand that rage.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 3

But I think we’re done. I’m so glad we finally managed to organise this and I had a lot of fun even if we’re still both stuck waiting for the next few episodes to find out what actually happens. Want to bet all our guesses turn out wrong?

You know what, I would take that bet. This show can throw some curveballs at us (hopefully not from a beast titan), so I expect that is what is going to happen. I’m glad we finally got around to doing this.

Guess now we’ll wait and see what Attack on Titan throws at us next.


But hey, Attack on Titan has just been great to watch this season and if you want to join in speculating about what will happen throw Scott or myself a comment or a question. I’m just going to ask you keep them spoiler free for those of us who haven’t read the source.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Friendly Talks With Arthifis – Meiji Tokyo Renka Episodes 5 – 9

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

We’re back and this time Arthifis and I are discussing the mid-season of Meiji Tokyo Renka and we have been having a great time with this one. If you hop on over to the Anime Shelter you will find our thoughts on The Rising of the Shield Hero. Anyway, I’ll be in red and Arthifis will be in blue. Hopefully you enjoy our chat and if you’ve been following the show let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 5

Welcome Arthifis, it is good to see you again. Glad we’re back discussing this anime. It has been a little bit surprising. Have you enjoyed it so far?

Hey there Karandi! Likewise! 🙂 Yeah, I’ve been really enjoying it, probably Meiji Tokyo Renka will be the most underrated Anime of the season if this continues like this. What about you?

I’ve really been enjoying it, though probably because I went in with fairly low expectations given the genre. That said, I think the most underrated anime this season is probably My Roommate is a Cat. That has been consistently adorable. However, this one is certainly being overlooked by the larger community with very few reviews of it to be found each week. Which is a shame, because it is just kind of fun.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

Oh yeah! Completely forgot about My Roommate is a cat for a second. To be honest, the winter season this year is full of surprises! Hopefully, posts like these will bring awareness to how good Meiji Tokyo Renka is 😀

Well, last time we both seemed to be enjoying Mei as a character and I must say she’s continued to really grow on me over the mid-season. Though I have a few questions about her singing about electricity. How have you found her?

Are you kidding? XD The electricity is just the best… Im not sure how is that not a meme yet hahaha

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 6

Yeah, I can definitely see that being a meme or worse, an endless repeated loop on a YouTube video. I’m just going to close my eyes and pretend I didn’t see it.

hahaha yeah, the singing was not really that great, and the music was terrible. But, I think that was the idea. Bu well, I’m still enjoying Mei as a character and I think she is strong enough to lead Meiji Tokyo Renka.

She is interesting, funny and kind, so she has been a very good character to follow. However, I do have some small problem with her which is how oblivious can she get. I mean, I know she is a teenager from the future, but how does she not know what is a Geisha or a Geisha house? That just seems quite a reach to me… But, more than that, she is more than ok. How about you?

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I think I like her because she seems a bit more active in directing events than other similar protagonists who feel like they get dragged along. Sure she got sent to the past without really being involved but since then she’s made plenty of decisions and seems to have a clear idea of what she wants to do. I really like seeing the guys getting dragged in her wake sometimes and find her just a lot of fun.

You are right about her being just a little on the dense side though. She’ll know about some author or novel but then not know something blindingly obvious. It is a little hit and miss sometimes. Also she’s incredibly oblivious about how Ougai feels about her which seems insane given how open he’s been about declaring her his finace.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Yeah, you are right about making her own decisions! In fact, one thing I wanted to comment is how she is always defying the guys around her and will do what she thinks best. She will turn down any guy (who is not Ougai) and even when it comes to Ougai, she will do what she things instead of just following his lead. It makes me remember Ouran High School main character a little bit.

Regarding she being oblivious towards Ougai, well she ends up to understand when he is completely faceforward with her in the geisha house. But, it is true that when it comes to any other guy, she is completely naive and does not get that everyone is getting in love with her. Though I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised how Mei started liking Ougai and will not budge from that feeling, which just makes it feel like more of a romance than a reverse harem.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

I have to agree. It is nice to see her clearly make a choice with her feelings and so early in the series. You would think given he likes her and she’s infatuated with him they could just get together, but clearly we’re going to have to deal with his issues in the next couple of episodes before that can happen. Still, it kind of puts all the other guys on the shelf which is probably a good thing given I think I remember like two of their names without looking them up at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, they are all fun enough characters. I just can’t really remember them after their time on screen. I think Shunsou (probably spelt that totally wrong) is about the only one who has left much of an impression and that’s only because they use the excuse of looking for his cat to get into almost every other situation.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I get you! Is not that the characters are not interesting or funny, it’s just that they only appear here and there, making it difficult to remember the name! >.< But, they all did make an impression on me, good or bad 😛

When it comes to Shunsou, well he is always there, he may even appear more times than Ougai at this point, so it makes sense that we remember is name hahaha

On that note, who is your least favourite character so far?

That’s a difficult question 😛 I’ll put Ougai aside just because, well it would be unfair to the others haha. (let me just search the name really quick) Well my favourite is a tie between Kyouka Izumi and Orojirou Kawakami (geisha version) XP What about you?

My favourite is probably Kyouka (if we put Ougai to the side). But I think my least favourite has to go to Fujita. He seemed like he would be a really interesting character, though a little bit intense. And then episode 8 happened and we got a tiny bit of his story and he was just kind of nothing. I kind of feel like his character didn’t go anywhere.

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Yeah, Fujita is also my least favourite… Though the guy who is always speaking English can also be pretty annoying…

But well, what about the story? One of the things you commented in the last time was that you were afraid that the story would just throw Mei’s capabilities through the window at some point and just go for a generic reverse harem… What do you think now?

I am actually pretty impressed how they’ve managed to keep Mei’s abilities as part of the story and used it quite a number of times as the central focus (even more so than the guys). I also really like that they haven’t forgotten about the time travel aspect and I definitely want to ask your opinion about episode 9 in a moment, but one thing at a time.


The episode with the spirit in the lake was fantastic and I really loved how Mei ended up intervening in that story and saving the day, even if she then needed saving from drowning (Ougai comes in handy occasionally). But pretty much all the stories with the spirits or ghosts in them have been entertaining. I wonder if she’ll ever find the cat though.

Yeah, I also feel they did a good job. It’s true that we have an “arc” where she spends 3 days inside that geisha house being hit every second to learn etiquette, but those episodes were so funny that I don’t mind at all xD

When it comes to the episode of the lake, I’m with you! To be honest, when it comes to ghosts she moves and reacts a little bit like Natsume 🙂 Even against everyone’s advice she will always try to defend the spirit in some sort of way.

I also have to say that it was a pretty interesting ride. Since Kyouka also has the power to see ghosts, a character from his writing was able to come out of the story and become a spirit… It’s actually a pretty interesting idea, but I would hate to be in Kyouka’s shoes… I mean, everytime you want to write you need to make sure you don’t create something too violent xD


But, what did you want to ask from episode 9?

Charlie? What do you make of him? I mean he sends Mei back to the past and then tells her he can send her back at the next full moon. And now she says she doesn’t want to go and he’s like ‘no problem’. Do you think he’s up to something or do you think he genuinely just wants her to stay where she’s happy?

I also felt that scene a little off. In fact I just thought to myself, really? That easy huh?

Well, to be honest, I believe she will have to go back in the full moon. If you remember Charlie was not really happy when he heard the news. He seemed just concerned and wished that she had said something sooner, so I’m pretty sure she won’t be able to stay in the Meiji Era that easy.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 9

I don’t think that Charlie is plotting anything though, Meiji Tokyo Renka just does not seem an Anime to go to that route. If it went, it would be a very unexpected turn to me xD What about you, what do you make of this Charlie?

Honestly, I think he’s up to something. I don’t think it was an accident he sent her back in the first place, as much as he ‘acted’ surprised. I think he genuinely wanted her to do something in the Meiji era and I’m not so sure if he wants her to stay. Then again, maybe I’m just starved of a decent anime villain at the moment and looking for villainous characters where none exist. I mean, other than Fujita, there’s no antagonist in this story at all and it is more just Mei dealing with various situations.

Not that lacking a villain is a bad thing. The story is really fun without it. But I just keep thinking Charlie must be up to something. So I was kind of hoping that maybe he’d reveal his true colours in the final few episodes. Though, we do have Ougai’s story to deal with so maybe there’s no time left for a surprise bad guy.

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Is there anything else you want to discuss from these episodes?

Yeah, I think this last few episodes will be about Ougai and that female ghost… But, I get what you are saying! But, after watching The Rising of The Shield Hero, it’s more than ok to not have annoying characters who want makes me want to push the screen xD

But, anyways, I do believe you may be right. It seems not, but the electricity song you were talking earlier made the course of the past to change. Everyone only got on-board after her song, so maybe if she was not there we would have a future Japan lighless? We will never know! (Though I do have to say that was one of the most random Anime episodes I’ve seen in awhile)

So, yeah, my last question would be, what do you think about Mei having such impact in huge events of the past? I know that the show is not that deep, but she is changing the course of the Japanese history at this point!

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I kind of felt it was reasonably expected given she seemed to recognise all the guys she was meeting (I assume they are reasonably famous in Japan and I haven’t looked them up yet but I’m sure when I do they’ll be very important). So I kind of figured her presence was there to either witness changes to history or be the cause of it.

Then again, I’m not expecting the anime to really get into the ramifications of that change. As you said, it just isn’t that deep.

Though, I agree, that was a really random episode. What was with the camel?

I laughed so hard in that part hahaha But then, one moment to another everything is completely fine because of Charlie’s magic lolol What the hell, it was really strange!


Well, considering this was kind of a random pick for covering this season, I’ve really had a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends. Are we ready to head over to the shelter to tackle the other title on our review list?

That makes 2 of us! I’m also really interested in watching what is going to happen next, at this point I’m not sure if it’s gonna be a “and they lived happily ever after” kind of thing, so I’m intigued! 🙂

Yeah, let’s go eheh! Time to tackle The Rising of The Shield Hero!

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