100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams Episode 12: And Somehow This Resolved

Last week I said the only way this could be resolved in a way that would make sense would be the characters waking up from a dream. Well the characters didn’t wake up and this ending does not make sense other than the power of friendship, prayers and dreams. Now why on earth did I expect anything more?

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams

As the final episode rushes to a conclusion we kind of know that Setiq wants to bring Yuan back though why he believes stealing dreams is the way to achieve this, or why Kihel’s dream in particular would work, is never adequately explained. Nor is the butterfly guy ever anything more than a cackling annoyance who once it becomes clear Setiq’s plan is a bust simply starts breaking the place apart until the Princess’ prayer illuminates him out of existence.

Dream12c

Why Kihel isn’t put to sleep by Setiq’s attempt to steal his dream, or why the other townspeople just wake up at the end of the episode is all just kind of plot convenience and explained away by saying it was the prayer, but they’ve never explained how that works either so you might as well tell me it is because we ran out of episodes. And really that’s the problem underlying this entire series. We still don’t know anything about anything. Who the Princess was before she was summoned, what the dream eaters actually are, how any of their powers work, and why despite them reminding us this episode that the Princess is supposed to be waking up sleeping princes the only prince who was asleep was Avi in episode 1. Every other prince is just kind of emotionally stunted rather than sleeping.

Dream12d

Still, if you just want a ramble with a range of guys and the occasional confrontation that is solved through the power of love and prayer than there is a chance you’ll really enjoy this. It works for what it is but there’s so much more it could have been. It is at best sitting on average and most of the time slightly below in terms of story, characters, or anything else.

I will get to a full review of this anime soon but in the meantime I’d love to know your thoughts.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12: The Power of Harems?

A Demon Lord in one direction, a fallen army in the other, what will our heroes do? Apparently we’ll rely on the power of friendship and follow that up with a healthy dose of harem power.

By the way: Spoilers

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 12

This is probably one of those cases where I kind of understand why the story has ended this way. Being isekai and harem it really does make sense that our overpowered protagonist will deliver an amazing feat of magic but somehow the day will still be saved by some lip-service from the haremetts before Klem reverts back into her loli form and willingly accepts being enslaved by Diablo. We even get a moment to redeem Alicia and let’s throw the fallen Edelgard into the mix right at the end so that we can have the full range of fan-service this show has on offer all in one scene.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12

And it works. There’s no denying that the fight was kind of fun, the character relationships make sense, and Diablo not killing Alicia for putting everyone through all of that is more or less expected at this point. However, it kind of makes it hard to say that this anime ultimately distinguished itself from so many others in the genre. It had a real chance for a far more serious ending and one with far more dramatic consequences and yet has chosen the softer and more expected end.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12

Still, for those who enjoyed the plot, it is wrapped up nicely though plenty of room for sequels should they ever exist. For those who loved the fan-service the final sequence is definitely ensuring you don’t forget this show is full of it. So there’s enough going on here to make most viewers feel this show was worth the time.

Was this the most thrilling end ever? Probably not, but at the same time it did its job and overall I’m feeling pretty happy with watching this.

Now I have to get my thoughts together for a full review.

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Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in A Dungeon? Light Novel Volume 6 Review

Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon Volume 6

If I thought volume 5 was fun as it fleshed out characters and gave us a wonderful fight in the dungeon for Bell and his novice party, Volume 6 seems determined to really show us something special with a lot of plot points coming to a head.

Review:

It turns out that Bell isn’t just popular with the girls around him as this volume sees our young adventurer grab the unwanted attention of Apollo. However, unlike so many other characters, Apollo doesn’t seem happy just to look on and wait and he plays dirty to get what he wants. After a series of fairly interesting events a war game is declared between Hestia and Apollo and their families, only Hestia’s family still only consists of Bell so they are going to need to call in a lot of favours.

I really loved this book. Partly that was because this is the first book in the series where I hadn’t watched an anime adaptation of the events already so it was all pretty novel and interesting. But the other part of it is that this book just consolidates so much about the world. We don’t go dungeon crawling so much in this one as the focus is entirely on the politics of Orario and the way familias and gods interact.

It’s a fairly explosive confrontation with open battle in the streets at one point and various families moving together and gods and humans scheming for their own advantage. In the midst of this chaos we finally get a conclusion to Lilly’s time in the Soma family and we see very much how strongly Hestia feels about keeping her familia, such as it is, together.

Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon volume 6 chapter 5

There were some very nice touches along the way including the fact that Hestia and Loki do not get along. While your first thought when Bell was in trouble might have been that Aiz would come to his rescue, that is complete impossible given the situation. So while she gives him a fair spartan training session leading into the war game, Aiz is limited to spectator once the fight begins.

Instead Bell ends up with aid from a number of characters we’ve met along the way but in this they are really stepping up because the only way to help is to leave their own families and join with Hestia familia. It’s a big ask but we can see how much of an impact the Little Rookie has had on others as they come together.

By the time the war game rolls around you kind of suspect the outcome though there’s still a lot of wondering how Bell is going to pull it off. The results are fantastic to read to say the least.

Volume 6 was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed spending some time with Bell outside of the dungeon. Looking forward to the next stage of the journey for Hestia and her suddenly larger familia.


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The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Episode 11: Unstuck

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 11

After last week’s effort things looked grim for the Wolf Clan and that continues for a fair chunk of this episode of The Master of Ragnarok. Still, in the grand tradition of protagonists, Yuto is going to somehow turn this around.

Ragnarok11c

Sometimes I wonder about Felicia’s title of bodyguard given she mostly seems to exist to ask questions and give the occasional pep-talk. This week she did momentarily draw a sword in defence of her Patriarch but was pretty quickly shot down and taken out of the fight leaving Yuto to fend for himself. Fortunately, as he says, he hasn’t been slacking on his lessons because otherwise this would have been over pretty quickly.

Ragnarok11d

Still, this episode does show us that there was a bit more to the initial plan then met the eye with reinforcements joining the fight. Then with Yuto taking to the front lines and raising the morale of his troops (even if I question the logic of them standing with their back to the enemy and cheering for seemingly as long as they did) the fight was turned in the Wolf Clans favour. That by itself would have been reasonable for an episode but the Panther Clan is not willing to accept defeat (even if Lightning Clan boy does a runner – fairly sensibly after Rune has taken a slice out of him).

The Master of Ragnarok

I think more villains need to take a page out of the book of the Panther Clan’s book though. Killing the patriarch of the Wolf Clan means victory for them regardless of whatever else happens and with Sigyn’s magic that should have been plausible. It didn’t work out because protagonist plot armour is strong, but I at least admired the attitude.

But, the episode ends with a final twist and Yuto is sent back to his time, though he has left his smart phone with Felicia which I guess means he’ll be calling her next episode and who wants to bet on him being re-summoned?

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100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams Episode 11: Confusing Villain Motivations – Check

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams

I’m almost hoping that this series ends with the characters waking up and realising the whole thing was all just a dream because that’s about the only way this is going to make actual sense. Then again, I guess I wasn’t expecting all that much from a villain who sits around for 90% of the series doing nothing but watching because to be honest you have to really question how motivated they are to do anything at all.

Dream11a

Any compelling story line that may have existed as Kihel went to find Setiq to figure out what happened in the past and maybe save his kingdom more or less got shot in the foot when Setiq just decides its time, for reasons unknown, and essentially sends the road straight to our group of travellers bringing them to Kihel’s forgotten Kingdom. It isn’t exactly a satisfying or particularly interesting way for a quest destination to be reached given it just kind of happens with no real triggering event to justify it, but this is more or less par for the course in 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Switched Off Audiences.

Dream11b

With one episode to go, it is abundantly clear that the majority of characters we’ve met will get no further anything. Also clear that by the time this story wraps up Kihel’s plot and we figure out what is happening in Atlas, that will be it. The unnamed Princess is unlikely to suddenly get some kind of backstory or point and has essentially been a spectator and Avi is entirely superfluous to anything at this point in time given his Kingdom has never come into sight at all.

Dream11c

I’m actually interested in Setiq’s deal, I’m just not convinced that I’ll be overly impressed with how this anime chooses to execute it. It is all kind of a shame because the initial premise was actually kind of promising and mostly this show has meandered along and now we’re finally at the end but I don’t really feel like we’ve gotten anywhere. Oh well.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11: No More Games

When Alicia decides its time to drop the charade, she doesn’t go half-way about it. There’s very little subtlety to be found in any of the events in this episode of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord but with one episode to go I can’t say that is necessarily a bad thing.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Alicia

This episode has Saddler’s return, Alicia’s betrayal, a Fallen army marching on the city, a torture sequence and the real resurrection of the demon lord… That is kind of a lot to pack into an episode and yet all of these story elements have been building up nicely over the course of the season so none of them felt suddenly thrown in or unnecessary. The Biscuit Song potentially could have been cut down a few seconds of screen time, but everything else in this episode felt fairly purposeful, if a little blunt.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Klem

And that is probably the only criticism I have this week. Due to how much the episode was trying to cover everything was just kind of thrown at the audience and explicitly stated by the characters. Even Diablo’s momentary panic attack about how he could act like a Demon Lord and ask for help wasn’t as nuanced or interesting as previous scenes that have dealt with his internal personality freaking out. Though I did like the reaction of the guild.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Guild

But overall, this series has managed to maintain a fairly cohesive plot that’s had relatively good pacing and so as we draw closer to the conclusion, while I personally may have liked a little less fan service along the way, I can’t help but feel that this story has been a pretty enjoyable ride and as long as it doesn’t hurl itself off a cliff in the final episode, I’m going to remain pretty happy I watched this.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Saddler

Though, I kind of would have liked Saddler’s end to have taken significantly longer. That guy was a sadist and totally deserved a more painful ending. Still, at least we don’t have to listen to him declaring himself god anymore.

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Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Light Novel Review – I Dare You To Call the Protagonist Overpowered

Arifureta Volume 1 Cover

This one a novel I picked up off a recommendation from the Book Depository when there happened to be a sale and I had 10% off. I hadn’t heard of the title or read anything about it. As a result, it ended up fairly low in my read pile and I passed over it a number of times before I finally decided one day to start it over a long weekend. Well, a day and some eye strain later I’d devoured it, but was it actually any good?

Review:

Look, if you have an issue with isekai stories, stories where the weak guy suddenly becomes an unstoppable killing machine, or stories that insist on making the vampire girl look like a pre-teen and finding any excuse for her not to be wearing clothes, right now you already know that this book isn’t going to work for you. This book definitely ticks off pretty much any trope you want to throw at the isekai genre and it does it with a smug sense of ‘look what I did’. Yet that is what probably works in the book’s best interest. It doesn’t try to hide its genre or shy away from it. It isn’t ashamed to be exactly what it was trying to be and as a result this is a story full of excitement, danger, slightly uncomfortable moments when turning a page and finding a fairly unclothed vampire girl staring at me, and generally a lot of fun.

So what is Arifureta about?

Essentially Hajime is your standard protagonist for these kinds of stories. He’s an otaku who likes to sleep during class and doesn’t have many friends. Then his entire class get summoned into a fantasy world where they are tasked with saving it. And they all have powers, only Hajime’s is considered pretty lame and useless and he ends up being beaten up by some of his own classmates.

So far, so standard, and only some fairly decent writing managed to get me into this story. It isn’t exceptional, but considering some of quality of writing in some of the light novels I’ve read in the last year, it is perfectly readable and occasionally there’s some very nice description thrown in amongst what seems to be a fairly hefty exposition dump setting up the scenario.

Despite that, the story manages to draw you in as the students deal with some fairly real challenges with suddenly gaining power but having no training or actual skills and dealing with a world most of them thought only existed in stories or games. There’s a lot going on with the political situation of the world and plenty of what is happening in these pages is set up that could potentially be very interesting further down the line though remains fairly underused in this volume.

Page 106 is where it all just decides its had enough of the play nice with the class where the biggest issues involve avoiding being bullied. Hajime is literally tossed under a bus by one of his own classmates in a misguided fit of jealousy while the teens are training in a dungeon and the next thing he knows he’s sent plummeting to the very bottom level far below where anyone even realised the dungeon reached. It’s a pretty tragic event and one that isn’t over.

See the next 250 or so pages deal very much with Hajime climbing his way back out of the dungeon. There are impossibly tough monsters around every corner and our protagonist is not getting off unscathed. I may have warned you earlier about the nudity, but here’s a warning about the violence. In a very early monster encounter Hajime has his arm torn off and eaten. No joke and no get out of jail free card for the kiddo. He’s just traumatised and it takes him a fair while to do anything after that event. However, it is a magic based world so at least he doesn’t die and he does find the mean to begin rebuilding himself into the nastiest thing to ever crawl out of a dungeon.

Arifureta Volume 1b

And that’s where this book does distinguish itself quite well. Other than the occasional flashes to what the rest of the class are up to, we spend the rest of this adventure watching Hajime fight for his life and develop the tools he’s going to need to become a seriously overpowered hero. In the process he’s going to lose most of what made him human. Some things are ripped from him (like his arm) but others are things he willingly discards in a quest to become something that can survive in this world.

In that, his meeting with Yue becomes pivotal because it was possible Hajime would become something totally unrecognisable and relatable but the vampire girl manages to reawaken some of the humanity inside of him. The dynamic between the pair might be awkward at times but it was most definitely an essential development in this journey.

Overall, there’s a lot of fun to be had in this adventure and it clearly isn’t done with volume 1. There’s ridiculous amounts of world and lore still to explore and the characters have clear goals to continue to work towards. While this is hardly the best thing ever written it was incredibly bingeable and I most definitely added the next book to my wish list as soon as I finished this one.


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The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Episode 10: Whoops

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 10

Someone possibly should have warned Yuuto that it is dangerous to underestimate your opponents. Particularly when one is an overpowered idiot and the other has an intense grudge against you.

Ragnarok10d

The first half of this episode pretty much picks up with Yuuto finding the Mitsuki look alike who turns out to be the divine emperor or whatever. About the only useful thing that comes out of this (save for the new year’s banquet that more or less ends with the girls all getting drunk, naked, and then attacking Yuuto off screen) is that she points out that Felicia couldn’t have been the one to summon Yuuto to the past because she doesn’t have enough magic. I don’t know what I was supposed to be getting out of that exchange, but I kind of decided that meant that Mitsuki is maybe this divine emperor reborn and maybe his own girlfriend is actually responsible for sending him back there. That would at least be an interesting twist.

Skipping that, we get to the second half where Yuuto is informed the Lightning Clan are attack again. He sets his strategy and off he goes, but in the nature of over-confident protagonists he’s overlooked a few things. By the end of this episode he has broken the first attack by the Lightning Clan but at least one of his strongest fighters has gone off the edge of a cliff, Rune is in a dire situation, and there’s the Panther clan marching in with an army of 10,000. It isn’t exactly a good position for Yuuto to be in.

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 10

Then of course the episode ends and now we’ll have to wait until next week to figure out whether or not Yuuto has yet another clever ploy to deal with this or whether he really has been caught off guard this time.

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100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams Episode 10: The Cat and Kihel

The Cheshire Cat continues to run away from Avi, Kihel and Navi while dragging his ‘Alice’ along (not that she’s Alice but whatever). In the process, Avi and Navi get held up by some talking trees due to an inability to make anyone laugh so Kihel goes ahead which just further cements the idea that he’s going to be about the only character getting any actual story here. For 100 Sleeping Princes, this show has so far only had one sleeping prince and seems only interested in telling one story.

Dream10a

I’m going to skip to the end of the episode, because it is about the only part of any significance. The black butterfly guy gives Kihel a push and so Kihel borrows the time watch to recover his lost memories. It isn’t entirely successful but we get enough of it (as do the Princess and Avi) that the direction for the final pretty much set in stone. We kind of know what happened between Setiq and Kihel though we still don’t know why or what happened to Kihel after that and before he met up with the Princess and Avi.

Dream10c

The rest of this episode is mostly just the cat taking Alice various places and dialogues between characters that really fail to be engaging. We get another fight against some dream eaters but they seem less a threat than ever and more just a distractor or a reason for Kihel to be facing black butterfly guy alone.

Dream10d

Pretty much motives for the main cast remain murky or unexplored. The other princes encountered in this particular story were uninspired and served little to no purpose. The resolution of the stolen watch was at best bland. So all and all this anime that started out as an okay fairy tale romp has mostly just become a chore. Now I still actually want to know what is going on with Kihel so I will finish it up but there’s not a lot of fun to be had at the moment with this show.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 10: How Many Enemies Does Diablo Want?

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 10

This is an episode that gives us both some incredibly uncomfortable fan-service moments and some truly adorable but equally fan-service moments. That and a reasonably decent but cut short fight sequence. So what is going on with episode 10?

Just a warning that one of the images this week is quite fan-service oriented.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 10

So we’ve met Galford, the local Lord, who pushed Diablo in a fight. We’ve also met Saddler who had a lot of build up to be taken out fairly unspectacularly but was always going to come back and the end of this episode guarantees it. We also now have the strongest fallen that Diablo is going to let just leave for reasons. Really, for such a great game player Diablo is forgetting something really fundamental. Every time you don’t completely defeat an enemy, you are just letting them come back stronger (seriously, play Final Fantasy X for awhile and realise how obnoxious Seymour is by the third time you have to fight him).

However, that’s kind of background stuff as this episode primarily involves the resurrection of the demon lord from inside of Rem, the anti-climatic conclusion of that resurrection and the addition of a new loli style character into the harem, and then a fight before yet another fan-service style sequence involving Shera and the new Demon Lord dubbed Klem rubbing themselves against Diablo. Given this story has been developing for some time, this episode does it justice by not rushing through this and giving it a whole episode. That and Klem’s sudden love of biscuits and no desire for killing mortals was pretty hilarious.

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That said, this episode tread on some dangerously uncomfortable ground with the resurrection sequence. It isn’t as though the audience doesn’t know that they are watching this kind of show, but episode 10 pushes things further than ever before with a sequence involving Rem and Diablo that certainly had me debating whether or not this was where I bid the show farewell. It has skirted along the edge of my tolerance for these sorts of scenes for most the season and this was definitely a step too far. Ultimately I decided to keep watching the show, but if I ever did rewatch it, I’d most definitely skip that sequence because that was just not comfortable to watch at all for me.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord

So as always, this show does a lot of things right even as it does have some fairly full on fan service and episode 10 is going to push that to a whole new level. For the most part though, if you’ve gotten to episode 10 and you make it through that sequence, then this is a fairly enjoyable episode.

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