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

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 12 Impressions

Killing Slimes for 300 Years Episode 12
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

It’s time for the witch to run a super-modern maid café in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

After the slight mis-fire that was episode 11 where the humour didn’t stick its landing for me and I found the whole set-up fairly inane, episode 12 brings out all the charm I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years has (which is quite a bit) and throws it across the screen on mass as the cast put together a café for a festival.

Now we could ask petty questions such as why is Azusa introducing maid café culture to a medieval fantasy world and why does no one find the entire thing surprising (though I guess the minstrel was into death metal so why not), however it would be pointless. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is basically a thinly veiled excuse to have cute super-powered girls do very little and look adorable and the café setting puts the strengths of this series on full display in a calming and fun conclusion that perfectly fits the series.

The twins were born to be the cute waitresses - image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
Did I need another adorable picture of Shalsha and Falfa? Of course I did.

Basically the core group learn that the local town is having their annual festival and are keen to be involved. Azusa has kept herself out of it for the last 300 years so hasn’t had any prior involvement. After about two seconds of thought she comes to the conclusion that they could do a one-day café in her house for the festival.

Naturally this means getting fitted for maid outfits. I’m just not sure why this was entirely necessary in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years given the girls’ usual attire is pretty adorable, but when you have so many cute girls I guess any excuse to put them in an outfit that you could later sell a figure or poster of is good enough. And, they really did look pretty cute.

Azusa amazed at the success of her cafe - Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
Doesn’t everything you do turn out to be a bit crazy?

Not content with dressing up the slime twins, dragon girls, a witch, an elf and the ghost girl (via magic), I’ve Been Killing Slimes brings back every single character we’ve encountered. Whether it is Beelzebub of the Demon King dropping in and taking over waitress duties, the Leviathan sisters moving into the kitchen and cooking up a storm, the other witch handing out product samples or the minstrel performing for the line of customers, every girl who has had a moment in this series appears in this final episode.

I guess they really didn’t want any fans to leave this episode feeling they missed out on seeing their favourite girl.

However with so many characters this episode didn’t really allow any of them any time to be anything but cute. Beelzebub lacked her usual biting edge, the demon king really did just seem like a hyperactive little sister, and the core cast all just kind of blends together in a blur of maid costumes and café service.

Beelzebub lays on the charm - Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
I mean, she’s a really cute demon maid.

It isn’t that this is bad. I mean, it is super laid-back and super relaxing and it all just kind of feels super-cute. Which means I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is playing very much to its strengths and the charm that really grabbed audiences back in the first few episodes.

I imagine binge watching I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level could more or less lull you into a sugar coma for how sweet it all ends up being and the few jokes that haven’t landed along the way are minor inconveniences. So for now, I’ll end with a picture of the main cast as they prepare for the cafe and I’ll get on with planning the series review.

The girls from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 11 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 11
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

Listening to Halkara was mistake one. Listening to Pecora was even worst. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years takes a decided downward turn.

There’s a moment in a lot of either horror movies or comedies where you can see a character is about to do something unbelievably stupid and you keep hoping that it is just a fake-out and they wouldn’t really be that dumb and then… well then they do it anyway. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level decides that episode 11 is the time to do just that.

Falfa, Shalsha and young Azusa in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.
Don’t look glum about it Azusa, this is mostly your fault.

The initial set-up is Halkara wanting to do some kind of massive mushroom barbeque with a ridiculous name and excessive enthusiasm for pure mushroom eating. Now we learned in episode 3 that Halkara thinks she’s an expert in mushrooms and yet is very prone to just stuffing up her identification or leaving out key pieces of information.

All of which leaves me wondering why on earth Azusa would trust her this week in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and mostly makes the end results, Azusa becoming a little girl, entirely her own fault.

Naturally the child-sized Azusa is actually pretty adorable. This anime has absolutely nailed drawing cute anime girls. Unfortunately, despite using child-size Azusa for a couple of obvious jokes we quickly move onto the solving the problem phase and that really doesn’t deliver much of a punch line. Basically, if they were going to do such an obvious set-up we needed a much better pay-off.

Halkara's own idiocy makes her laugh.
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Halkara is at least amused.

Also, we’ve gone a long way from Azusa just wanting to relax in her next life now. Her dislike of working too hard and taking breaks seems to have faded out of her personality and now we’re just kind of in generic fantasy land with generic fantasy anime girls.

And honestly it is a little disappointing because one of the strengths of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Our My Level early on was that Azusa’s reincarnation mattered. That her past life seriously exerted influence on her current existence. Watching this episode as a stand-alone, you’d be forgiven for not even realising it was her second life, that is how little it matters.

The girls tired from their journey up the world tree.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Did they get worn out by their own premise?

But back to this episode, the solution, provided by the annoying demon-king Pecora, can apparently be found at the top of a world tree which is now some kind of weird tourist attraction but still kind of dangerous and exhausting. It doesn’t make any sense and makes even less when you realised they could have flown straight to the top and that they didn’t need to go anyway because the medicine could be found elsewhere.

As I said, way too little pay-off to justify the set-up here.

Pecora is a pain.
I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Please don’t.

Basically, this episode of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is watchable. Each character gets a tiny moment in it and they resolve the ‘problem’ for the week by the end. I just didn’t really find anything more to say about it.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

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

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 13 Impressions: Let Us End With a Song From The Heart

Vivy Episode 13
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.

We’ve reached the end of Vivy’s remarkable journey through time.

Starting a new anime is always a bit of a gamble. Whether there is a source for the story and whether it is finished doesn’t really determine whether the anime will end well as sometimes anime endings are either non-existent, rushed, or just take a huge deviation from any real logic. Original anime are even more of a risk with the stories more often than not collapsing in on their own premise before we reach the end. So how was this final episode of Vivy?

Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song episode 13 demonstrated to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the team behind this anime always knew what they were doing. The resolution is so clear and everything is brought together incredibly neatly (perhaps too neatly). Nothing felt like it was rushed or crammed in just so that we could get to an end because the season was over.

What will Vivy do? 
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
‘Now’ is a good question given she’s been here ‘now’ before and it didn’t end well.

At the end of episode 12, Vivy had just been sent back in time to the start of the rebellion. Right from her awakening this time we see the small changes she’s making as the guy who previously got squished by the incredibly polite homicidal vehicle is now pulled to safety. That said, the question remains as to whether Vivy can do what she needs to do this time in order to actually change the outcome.


What follows is what was perhaps the best choices for providing closure that could have been made.

The story splits with Elizabeth, TOAK and Matsumoto storming the tower as they did last time, though in episode 13 they are armed with Vivy’s knowledge of what happened the first time. Vivy on the other-hand makes her slow way (and why she’s not in any hurry is probably the only questionable part here) to the main stage in Nia Land. It is taking us back full circle to her roots where she sang on the small stage, dreaming of being on the main stage.

Vivy is singing her memories.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eyes Song 2021.
Prepare for the flashback.

Not content with just just giving us a location and a reminder of her initial goal, Vivy also finally answers the question of what it means to put her heart into something. While viewers may not agree with the answer she has found it is more important that after nearly 100 years of searching, she has found her answer.

She steps out onto the main stage with absolute resolve and then Vivy sings her original song crafted from the memories she has made over her extraordinary life.

Vivy singing her heart out.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Sing it, Vivy.

What follows is more a montage accompanied by the song. We see the attack on the tower interspersed with Vivy’s memories. Every key scene or character from the prior 12 episodes will make an appearance and while normally I’d count this as a distraction from a final conflict or a last ditch attempt to make me care about a character, here it felt perfectly fitting.

Vivy’s song is made of her memories and her answer that was found through all these experiences. She sings in order to fulfil her initial purpose of making people happy and it is one of the most fulfilling finales I have watched in a long time.

Of course there’s a few moments where you feel the writers really just wanted to have their cake and eat it too. The satellites are already falling and shutting down the system won’t stop that but somehow Matsumoto now manages to essentially collide with one of them and blow it up mid-air in order to save Nia Land from getting vaporised. It’s a little bit much.

Meanwhile, Vivy, having fulfilled her purpose also shuts down as she is connected to the archive and in a logical story that would be her curtain closing. However, in a story about heart and emotions, we get one final scene of her before the end and honestly despite it making no sense at all it made me smile.

Seriously, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song nailed its ending. I can’t wait to write my full review.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 10 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 10
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years decided they needed yet another anime girl and an excuse for lots of singing. Episode 10 is the result.

Episode 9 seemed to exist for fans of fighting anime, meanwhile episode 10 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years decided to go for an idol kind of theme with some death metal thrown in just for fun. Because, Slime 300 loves to subvert expectations and a bunny-eared minstrel who attempts scream metal until they pass out has got to be hilarious.

The newest girl on the block for I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
You go girl.

Surprisingly, despite not finding that set-up particularly funny or the introduction of Kuku particularly endearing, I did find myself quite enjoying this episode of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years. Sure, the plot of helping Kuku find a new sound and write some lyrics was essentially a flimsy excuse for each of the girls to get a very brief musical number but its the kind of silliness that is actually kind of enjoyable about this anime.

It also didn’t hurt that Shalsha and Falfa’s song was too adorable for words. I mean, you couldn’t listen to a whole album of just that kind of thing, but as a short interlude in an episode with two cute characters, the lyrics about scary praying mantises and hopping grasshoppers actually kind of worked.

Shalsha and Falfa know their stuff in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Super cute.

Actually, I was enjoying I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years sufficiently well that I was somewhat surprised when the half-way point came around. I thought the episode must surely be done and while normally that would be a sign of an episode that was dragging its feet, here it just felt like we’d already crammed so much in with introducing Kuku and her problem, all of the girls performing and so on.

Flatorte showing off her skills in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
And who knew Flatorte would turn out to be useful this week?

Anyway, the second half sees best girl Beelzebub turn up and amazingly enough there’s about to be a festival in the demon city. Kuku gets a performance invite and the rest of the girls get to go try some food and have some fun before the concert begins.

It is silliness amplified as we never see any other performers, Kuku’s performance seems to have an entire band and back-up vocalists on board but she’s standing alone on stage, and realistically everything is just coming together too neatly, but anyone worried about those sorts of details wouldn’t be at episode 10 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

Kuku's performance - I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
Kuku, you got this.

What matters here is that the performance was worth waiting for and was one of those too cheesy for words moments that work so beautifully as endings to 80’s movies. Forget the logic behind it and just feel it and you’ll end up smiling while the corners of your eyes tear up.

Of course, they couldn’t just end on the high note of the concert and we belabour the ending and the overall point of saying thank-you before Flatorte goes out of her way to undermine all the goodwill she earned earlier in the episode. They try and play it off as another cheesy mentor/student moment but to be honest we really could have done without it and I would have left the episode feeling better about Flatorte as a character.

So all and all another episode from I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level that is an entertaining enough affair, gave me a few smiles, a few feels, and left me feeling warm and fuzzy. I think that’s all I can really ask of it.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

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

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 12 Impressions: Fears For The Collapse of Humanity?

Vivy Episode 12
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.

Fair warning – Huge spoilers for this episode of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song below.

There was a point during episode 12 of Vivy where my brain kind of clicked that somehow we were going to have to have yet another do-over. The first time they tried to change the future didn’t work because the Archive simply kept correcting their course but now they know who the actual enemy is and more than that, they’ve told Vivy how to beat them.

As the human extras were rapidly cut down and failure after failure plagued the mission, it became clear we were either in for an ending of mass-extermination that cautioned us against AI or this story was about to use a known plot device, time travel to give Vivy one final chance. And it was pretty clear from the pro-human-AI cooperation messaging in these final episodes which way it was going to lean.

This is not the first time I've had Lylat Wars comparisons in my head while watching Vivy.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Seems like too much effort.

So episode 12 has Vivy back inside the Archive and finding out why all the crazed robots are singing the song she composed. This is where Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song pulled one of those scenes that is an absolute pet-peeve of mine. Mid-conversation they just cut the sound and we see the character mouth something. Later on we’ll find out what but it is a lousy technique for building tension and it is way overused in anime.

Outside of that mood-killing moment though the rest of this episode hits pretty much all the right notes. Doctor Matsumoto doesn’t participate in the raid, probably just as well, but the rest of the TOAK guys, Vivy and Elizabeth charge over to the tower and begin their attempt at shutting things down. Of course there’s a really big clock counting down just to make it seem like they are fighting against time.

Big clocks are always scary.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song.
Oh no, only 3 seconds left. What now?

There’s a lot of action strewn through this sequence as they fight against basic security robots and make their way up the tower. In true Vivy fashion the animation is a little messy and chaotic but it all adds to the overall feel of the scene and the movement remains very fluid.

As we lose more of the human members of the team and Elizabeth and Vivy take to the central column, the visuals get even messier and the screen is at time a riot of colour and light but it all fits with the visual aesthetic we’ve seen before in this show so you either appreciate it or find it an eye-sore.

Don't just steal the gun. Steal the whole arm and then shoot him with his own gun.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Still, this fight sequence was pretty intense.

I love that the struggle for these characters was real. They were desperately trying to achieve their goal and the sense of failure that landed on Vivy as the counter finished and the first of the satellites fell really had emotional weight, even if by that point it was kind of clear this isn’t where things would stand.

Vivy works really well here as a proxy for the audience. We’ve watched 100 years of time pass by now and seeing the satellites falling and realising that the project has utterly failed, and failed because of Vivy (a single person or AI having a single hesitation) the sense of despair is very real.

Then again, one has to wonder if the Archive is also having second thoughts given they’ve given Vivy a way to stop their version of the future coming to fruition.

The explosions begin.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song.
Goodbye city.

Finally though there’s nothing left to do. Matsumoto and Vivy simply acknowledge their failures. Which is when Doctor Matsumoto contacts them. He’s back at the computer where Vivy saved his life and where the whole story started and he’s got one last chance to send her data back to where the rebellion began. It isn’t much and it still might not be enough but it does get Vivy back on her feet.

It isn’t a foregone conclusion that we’ll get a happy ending and even if Vivy stops the satellites, she’s only going back to the point the rebellion started so thousands if not hundreds of thousands of humans will still die. But, I think in some ways that is even better.

The future is in your hands.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
No pressure.

Vivy’s never been perfect. As a singing robot she struggled to understand her mission of singing from the heart. She’s constantly failed to execute her missions as instructed and ultimately lost her ability to sing altogether. None of this has ever made her give up and she’s saved people along the way even if not everyone.

Perhaps that’s how it was always meant to be, but I guess we’ll find out in episode 13.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 9 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 9
Lynn Sheridan has sponsored reviews of I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

The case of the transformed slime spirit in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.

After episode 8 felt more like a disjointed series of vignettes that had been loosely connected, episode 9 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years returned to providing us a central problem for the episode and then had the cast walk us through the events leading to its resolution.

Basically Falfa, the slime spirit, transforms from a little girl into an actual slime while sleeping and can’t change back. Thus begins a walking quest from one slime to another in an effort to find a way to restore her.

Beelzebub has an interesting examination method.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
I’m not sure this is how you examine a patient.

One thing remains true and that is that there are definitely too many characters in the core cast of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years now. Once again we leave the majority of the baggage (cast) behind and only Azusa, Laika, Shalza and Beelzebub head to the first stop on the quest which is pretty much just back to the demon castle to find an intelligent slime.

The thing is, these smaller groups work and usually have pretty good chemistry so the trip is pretty relaxing to watch even as the obvious gags of Beelzebub getting lost while guiding them and the slime eating the bread crumb trail eat up screen time.

It was kind of weird though that Azusa literally spent 300 years killing slimes and yet never encountered a form outside of blue monster. Now we see an intelligent slime, a magician slime, before we end up in a fighting tournament looking for a fighting slime.

Smiling Beelzebub is golden.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.

Also, despite the cool concept of having slimes that have specialised abilities and appearances, none of the three characters really get any kind of screen time or feel like they have any purpose other than being the next NPC on a fairly generic fantasy quest from a forgettable RPG. Even fighter slime who is arguably the final hurdle just kind of happens and then we’re done.

I’m not going to nit-pick too much because it did lead to the long awaited rematch of Azusa and Beelzebub given their fight, many episodes ago, ended when Beelzebub flew into Azusa’s barrier which she’d more or less forgotten about.

Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
Why do I not think that likely?

Anyway, the main conflict, Falfa being a slime, ends up getting solved off screen and almost becomes a forgotten issue as the fight between Azusa and Beelzebub heats up. While it ends up being resolved more or less as easily as everything else, at least these are two characters I genuinely enjoy watching and this was kind of a fun moment for I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.

I’d really like to see a rematch between these two because it kind of feels like Beelzebub could be even stronger. I also wonder how a match between the two would play out without the rules of the fighting tournament. Beelzebub is a demon and a strong one and Azusa is an awesomely overpowered witch. A real smack-down between them should be spectacular though I somehow doubt we’ll get it.

Episode 9 kind of feels like one of the earlier episodes of this anime. It’s just kind of fun, nicely paced so you don’t get bored, and nothing really has impact but you aren’t expecting it to either. The fight was entertaining enough and there are enough moments that make you smile along the way.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

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

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 11 Impressions of The Devastating AI War

Vivy Episode 11
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.

Vivy’s long journey to prevent a war has ended in failure. Does she give up?

The comparison of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song and Terminator is more or less inevitable at this point. As it turns out is the war between AI’s and humans as despite 100 years of effort the war began at exactly the same time and more or less went through exactly the same progress as in the original timeline. The only difference is that the humans who had been working on the Singularity Project now know they already did that and it failed.

But you know, just because we’ve seen this kind of conflict before (Westworld) and with time travel (Terminator) doesn’t mean that Vivy doesn’t have something to offer us as see the war unfold before her. Even if Vivy isn’t a human protagonist, her reaction to this war, knowing she failed to stop it, makes her seem very human.

The kid is going to get it in a minute.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Trust me kid, you don’t want it.

For me, there’s little doubt at this point that nothing Matsumoto and Vivy could have done would have changed this outcome. It seems like the event itself is one of Doctor Who’s fixed points in time. What may change is the outcome of the war now that Vivy and Matsumoto have joined up with Matsumoto’s creator and the remnants of TOAK.

I’m really not surprised that they brought a connection back to the young terrorist that Vivy protected all those years before on her very first mission. The granddaughter trying to bring a moderate tone to TOAK and looking for ways for AI and humans to coexist fits within the narrative even if it makes little practical sense.

This is once again a situation where an anime simply acknowledging something makes little sense doesn’t make it any better. If the granddaughter wanted to walk that path she didn’t need to be inside a terrorist group and giving us a throw away explanation didn’t really help. It’s a minor point in an otherwise well done episode but it was perhaps the moment that took me out of the narrative for an instant.

Yui Kakitani
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021
Of course you are because everything has to come full circle in this story.

Basically, everything seems pretty much lost here with the AI wiping out all humans. Things get worse when the AI Archive announces it is dropping a satellite and essentially dooms the few humans left in the region because if they tried to evacuate they’d be killed by robots and if they stay where they are they’ll be destroyed once the satellite crashes.

But, by being so extreme and also by announcing their intention, the AI have essentially given Vivy a clue as to how to stop things. It is one of those moments that needed to happen so the story could continue but also made the AI overall seem less unstoppable.

Vivy taking care of the robots.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021
I love how these Robots all explode – why are they filled with materials that explode now?

The Archive isn’t a human villain that needs to be seen as smart. There’s no reason to announce its plans. We already know the AI can receive message without broadcasting them so it seems really suspicious that we’ve had this large scale announcement to humans and AI’s. I wonder if this is deliberate (as in is the AI trying to scare humans out of hiding) or is it just a weak plot point to keep us driving forward?

Regardless of whether that question gets answered next episode, Vivy has really done a great job in building up this final conflict. Given we’ve been heading toward it since episode one, seeing it unfold now and seeing the characters react to events is giving a great sense that this story has held itself together. Now we just need to see the characters somehow overcome all of this.

Vivy Episode 11 5
Human on human violence never helps.

Or maybe not. Maybe humans don’t win? Is there any winning? If they shut down the AI I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t work anymore for these humans. Coexistence sounds good but the only robots not on a rampage are those that haven’t updated. And of course, Vivy herself for reasons yet to be explained.

I’m pretty sure Vivy can stick its landing at this point which means I can comfortably wait for the final two episodes to bring this all to a close. Please don’t let me be wrong on that point.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 10 Impressions of an Amazing Character Journey

Vivy Episode 10
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.

Losing Diva has meant Vivy has lost her purpose. Now what?

It is going to be really hard to discuss this episode of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song without wanting to discuss the sequence that occurs after the end credits. So I’m just going to say that while it feels like we’ve been waiting for something along those lines to occur, it was still a great way to end the episode, leave us wanting more, but not feeling like a cheap cliff-hanger.

It did leave plenty of room for discussion but honestly if you don’t want any spoilers you’d be better off just watching the show yourself and staying out of discussion boards and avoiding anything on YouTube to do with Vivy at this point.

Vivy - The singularity project is all I have.
Image from Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
What happens when you lose your mission?

So avoiding discussion of the ending, this episode is very much Vivy focused. Diva has well and truly left in that touching farewell sequence we watched at the end of episode 9 and now we are left with Vivy in a museum awaiting Matsumoto so that she can continue her work on the Singularity Project.

Why is she so keen?

Becuase she can no longer sing and that means her mission to make people through singing is officially dead in the water leaving Vivy at a loss.

Where this could have been quite the slow and dull episode with Vivy sitting in her case and moping at the museum, instead Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song demonstrated its strength in developing this character throughout the series. Sure she is moping to a point but she continues to interact with those visiting the museum and when left alone she’s hard to at work internally trying to find a new path.

Vivy composes.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Matsumoto might tell her it is the long way around but at least Vivy’s trying to move forward.

In this Matsumoto’s presence is interesting. He appears after 5 years only to tell Vivy that there will be no more missions for the singularity project. It makes sense given so much has changed and he couldn’t possibly know the future anymore however it seems strange he waited 5 years before telling her this.

It only begins to make sense when you realise Matsumoto is in his own way fulfilling his promise to Diva. He’s trying to force Vivy to find her own answer rather than waiting for another mission that isn’t coming.

Though it does raise another question of why Matsumoto is even still functioning if his purpose of fulfilling the project is complete. Maybe he also has doubts about the outcome of their changes? It is a curious thought.

Matsumoto eye's Vivy.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Songe 2021.
Matsumoto isn’t exactly nice.

However, the other element that holds this episode together as we traverse nearly twenty years, is in Osamu. Originally visiting Diva in the museum as part of a school trip, this young boy continues to come back and visit Vivy at intervals throughout the episode, aging to show the passage of time.

It is no surprise that it is through her interactions with Osamu and his family, tragedy, and birth, that Vivy finds the connection she needs. While we still don’t know if she can sing or not, she’s finally made progress after hitting a wall for so incredibly long.

All and all, this is a lovely bit of interaction between humans and AI’s and a beautiful throw back to the girl in episode one who also believed in Diva.

When we finally learn Osamu’s real connection with the overall story it isn’t overly surprising. It is more an ‘oh’ moment as everything kind of clicks into place for Vivy. Sure there are story holes if you go looking for them but there’s a real effort at cohesion and as we move toward the finale they really have made a genuine effort to connect us back to the events of episode one.

So ten episodes along, three to go, and Vivy still hasn’t really had a major misstep even if there have been a few moments that have been less than amazing. After seeing that after credits scene I am very keen to jump into the next episode.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 8 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 8
Lynn Sheridan sponsored reviews for I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed out My Level anime.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years goes in search of (boars / verbal abuse / fake witches / fame).

To say that episode 8 of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Our My Level felt a little disjointed and more like a rambling series of vaguely connected vignettes than a single episode wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

Sure we have the cookie rivalry between the dragons very thinly holding the plot together as it starts the episode and then returns during the resolution, but basically our characters move through a series of quests and objectives this week and each set piece kind of feels like its own thing before we move to the next.

Cookie contest.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
This is more or less what I expected when they added the blue dragon to the group.

One thing that seems clear, is even the writers know that the group is now so large that the dynamic don’t work when all the characters are together. So instead we have small groups breaking off with the dragons, ghost girl and Azusa going on the boar quest, red dragon and Azusa heading to the town in the west and then north, before we catch up with small groups of characters at the market at the end.

This adds to the overall disjointed feel of the story because characters just kind of come and go and at times there seems little purpose (like when the demons just randomly show up while the characters are boar hunting and then we’re suddenly having a meat picnic).

Though, all things considered, it works in the sense that we’re just kind of following along with these characters. While I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is an isekai, it is also a slice of life and it very much has opposed giving Azusa any kind of overall goal. This sense of drifting through her day to day as she kind of just moves from one thing to the next fits that perfectly.

What fits less is that we’ve kind of lost the sense of calm nothingness that was kind of permeating the earlier episodes because we move from sequence to sequence here and it always feels like we’re pushing forward but not getting anywhere. I’m not entirely sure they’ve nailed either slice of life of adventure comedy in the execution here.

Azusa, Laika and Rosalie go boar hunting.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
The boars never stood a chance.

Anyway, after the dragon cookie fiasco and then the boar fighting and subsequent food binge, Azusa hears about a fake highland witch and decides to investigate. I’m not sure why she cares if someone else wants to call themselves the witch of the highlands, but apparently she does, and she sends her family out in all directions to search, conveniently leaving her with Laika and the original duo of this story head off to the west.

Somehow this results in them needing to verbally abuse some patrons at a bar in order to be told the witch is actually in the north and they are off again. I’m guessing someone thought the bar sequence was funny but for me it just felt very much like a square peg hammered into a round hole with brute force. It just didn’t fit and looked out of place in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.

Azusa dishes out some disrespect.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
How do any of the patrons end up with booze if the waitresses never actually deliver it?

Finally we catch up with the witch, realise yes she’s been using a fake name but she’s actually pretty talented, help her out and everything is cool. About the only unexpected part of the resolution is that she doesn’t end up moving in with Azusa as she’s got her own thing going and by the end has a thriving business selling pills.

I’m not sure if we were supposed to get attached to the girl or not but honestly she was in the episode for such a brief period and her character was so all over-the-place it was kind of difficult to care about this segment of the story even though it ended up being the final mission of the episode.

New witch character.
Image from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.
I suspect she’d get on well with the elf-girl.

All and all, this episode of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years was perfectly watchable. The boar killing and picnic was probably the high point as it was kind of just silly fun. The bar sequence felt out of place and didn’t land for me and while the fake witch segment worked it didn’t exactly stand out and the character wasn’t given enough time to feel consequential. So pretty average episode in an average anime.

Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

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Karandi James