Anime Characters Should Not Review Their Own Episode

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode Review Title Image

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 Review

While I’ll get to reviewing the episode in a moment, I just want to look at the opening act of this episode which addresses the fight between the Senator (only barely introduced a few episodes ago) and Eugoe (no longer brainwashed), Kirito and Alice. Mostly because there was a lot of build-up around a character only just introduced, a cliff-hanger as the fight got started, and then we spend the opening scene rewatching his power up. Only to essentially one shot kill him. Alice distracts his flame creation with little difficulty, Eugeo diverts attention from Kirito by half-heartedly attacking the administrator causing the senator to look away, and then Kirito light beams him to death. The end.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 Kirito

In the words of the Administrator herself, that was boring.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 Administrator

All that build up and a week’s wait and nothing. Barely even a whimper.

Then without any further discussion, the Senator’s body is flipped against a wall and promptly forgotten. Discarded as the bit character he was but he essentially served no purpose. None at all. Not even a cool fight sequence and diversion. Literally he just put the breaks on the story for a build up that never delivered.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 dead Senator

Following this the episode gets back into exposition and sermonising mode. They did at least draw parallels between whether the game world and reality are similar in asking whether humans live their lives in fear of being reset by some unknown creator, so points for thematic linking back to the original SAO. However, again, this is a lot of back and forth covering content we already knew. The only real take from this is that Eugeo now knows Kirito isn’t just someone from his world (which I’m left wondering why Kirito hadn’t told Eugeo this by this point, but whatever).

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22

However, the Administrator then decides to reveal her ultimate weapon that will replace the incredibly flawed system with the integrity knights. It is shiny and golden and really large. So cool. In a matter of seconds it impaled both Alice and Kirito and left them bleeding on the ground and Eugeo shaking in his boots.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 Alice is stabbed

Of course, after a spider vs sword golem moment that makes about as much sense as it sounds like it should, Eugeo stabs the special dagger into the floating platform and somehow that lets the Cardinal appear. In an instant Kirito and Alice are healed, we get some more exposition while the Administrator just kind of floats and gloats, and then the episode ends.

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SWORD ART ONLINE: HOLLOW REALIZATION [DELUXE EDITION]

This show makes me want to face palm so badly almost every week at this point.

Nothing is having any consequence at the moment. Eugeo brainwashed – fixed next episode. Senator guy is really powerful – killed in one shot within minutes. Kirito and Alice stabbed and bleeding – instantly healed including their clothes and bloodstains.

Meanwhile, the Administrator seems to just have whatever power they decide to give her which makes you wonder why she doesn’t just rewrite the world’s code to disappear the floor and send Eugeo, Kirito and Alice back to the bottom and ignore them. Why bother fighting at all? As to the Cardinal, who knows what she’s up to?

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 22 Cardinal

I’m almost all for letting the humans outside of Underworld hit the reset button at this point. It couldn’t make it any sillier.

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Karandi James
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This Story Is Getting A Little Grimm

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Grimms Notes Episode 9 Review

This week on Grimms Notes, Reina, Ex, Tao and Shane find themselves in a desert when Aladdin shows up to offer them some water. As you would expect, he also helps himself to Reina’s book and so they hunt him down so that Reina can deliver a suitable slap to the thief.

Grimms Notes Episode 9 Aladdin

Aladdin’s story is more or less what you would expect at this point given the way Grimms Notes has been unfolding. He found the magic lamp as his book of fate told him but then it was stolen from him and he was kicked out of the city. Determined to get things back on track they start crossing the desert but are soon attacked by villains and this is where something unexpected happens.

Grimms Notes Episode 9 Reina

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In the midst of battle, Aladdin steps in between a villain and a weakened Reina, and takes a lethal blow. With the main character dead you would think the story would be over and the story zone would collapse on the spot, but instead they point out that when they tune the world another person, similar enough, will just take his place. Wow, talk about disposable.

Grimms Notes Episode 9

The more I learn about story tellers and story zones, the more I think we should let Loki and the other chaos tellers just have their way. There seems little advantage to anyone in maintaining the status quo. Then again, there’s probably still something we haven’t heard yet about some kind of major consequence if we do in fact just let the bad guys win, but it makes it hard to get behind Reina’s tears as she tunes the world this episode. Part of me just wondered if perhaps things would be better if she didn’t.

Grimms Notes Episode 9 Loki

This series remains that little bit interesting, a lot confusing when it comes to what is driving the characters, and mostly I wonder how many episodes it has and whether we’ll get to an end point. Are the ‘villains’ making their move and if yes, why did it take them this long? What have they been waiting for? What move are they making? And do I actually want the ‘heroes’ to stop them?

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That Time The Show Ended And The Audience Wondered Why

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23 Review

Well this episode caught me off guard. MAL has had That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime listed as 25 episodes for most of its run time. The current arc, while beautiful closure on the whole Shizu story arc, has not been particularly compelling or season finale worthy. All and all, nothing really prepared me for the story bringing things to a close mid-way through episode 23 and then regaling me with montages, musical recaps, teary farewells and general padding for the remainder of the episode.

And I was most just left wondering, ‘is that it?’.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

I get that this has been more slice of life than shounen or even straight fantasy. There’s no real big bad to have a fight against or compelling goal that Rimuru’s been working toward since the beginning. In that sense, closing off Shizu’s last regret of not helping the kids is actually a really logical end point to the season.

But if that’s the case why wasn’t this a more emotional or interesting arc. The kids are barely sketched in characters that we literally just met and have no connection to. The journey to get a spirit to bond with them had no danger or even interesting moments. It was just kind of montaged over and then they were there. Likewise the actual moment of bonding the kids with the spirits, while we got a pretty light show and some potential future consequences, wasn’t exactly a riveting moment.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

And for all that Slime has been slice of life-ish for the majority of its run time it has managed emotive moments such as Shizu’s brief character moment and even Vesta falling from grace as the king called him on his schemes. These moments happened to relatively unknown characters with brief appearances and yet they had impact. Slime has also managed good action and drama at times. Yet none of this was brought to the fore in an arc that essentially ends a two cour series.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

We apparently have an extra coming at us next and I’ll watch that before getting around to reviewing this as a whole series but my honest opinion right now is one of being just a little bit underwhelmed by what Slime ultimately delivered.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME – RIMURU’S HEAT FLUCTUATION TOLERANCE SKILL LIGHT DRY HOODIE BLACK (L SIZE)
	THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME - RIMURU'S HEAT FLUCTUATION TOLERANCE SKILL LIGHT DRY HOODIE BLACK (L SIZE)

The Power of Friendship Strikes Back

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode Review Title Image

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 21 Review

I’m in two minds about this fight between Kirito and Eugeo. On the one hand, I’ve been wanting to see these two go head to head for a fair while in Sword Art Online Alicization. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like either one ultimately took the fight all that seriously. More importantly, that was some fast acting brain washing and just as quickly removed with a few words about friendship.

Alicization Episode 21 Eugeo and Kirito

I actually kind of get that the original brainwashing job wasn’t exactly first class, which explains why she was trying to redo the whole process now that she had more time, but still… it all seems like an unnecessary step. Plenty of characters get brainwashed and go to the darkside (look at Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon), but having it last not even a whole episode kind of makes it seem like a relatively shallow point. Like they thought it would be cool to see Kirito and Eugeo fight but had no ongoing narrative purpose for putting the two against each other and so rapidly backtracked.

Alicization Episode 21 Eugeo

Even then, it could have worked out except that Kirito didn’t overwhelm Eugeo with some amazing swordplay or even pull out any crazy or cool moves. Alice didn’t even fight. She was just bystanding. Nope, Kirito just spouted a whole bunch of names of people who haven’t been in the show for ages as if they are somewhat relevant or important and Eugeo turned Kirito and Alice into ice before going off to face the administrator alone.

It wasn’t exactly a satisfying outcome.

Alicization Episode 21 Eugeo, Alice and Kirito

Now of course we’ve got the three of them together facing off against the senate guy in the jester costume. Can I hope that giant flame monster thing he summoned means we’re going to maybe get a cool fight next week or is that asking a little too much at this point?

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Karandi James
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SWORD ART ONLINE: HOLLOW REALIZATION [DELUXE EDITION]
SWORD ART ONLINE: HOLLOW REALIZATION [DELUXE EDITION]

The Princess, The Hero, and Everyone Else

Endro - Post Title Image

Endro Episode 7 Review

When the Princess decides she wants to get to know the Hero’s companions, the audience is given an episode divided into three distinct segments each one having the Princess tail one of the companions for a day as they go about their business. While this could have been mind-numbingly dull, the Princess brings enough enthusiasm for both the companions and the history of previous companions to previous heroes to keep the episode bopping cutely along.

Endro Episode 7

I do feel that this episode missed an opportunity to expand on each of the three characters. With Seiran, Mather, and Fai each pretty much playing true to form, while it was cute and fun it didn’t add much to what we already knew about the characters. No hidden layers or unexpected elements here, just what you see is what you get.

Endro Episode 7

Again, that isn’t really a problem because the episode is light and frothy fun with the usual adorable antics at school, looking for Cartado or Fai’s eating contest. However, the tight focus on each one of these characters at various points provided space for them to be a little more fleshed out and I feel it is a bit of a pity that it wasn’t taken.

Endro Episode 7

Mao was also pretty absent from this episode but I feel that was deliberate given the focus really was on the Hero’s supporting characters. So while nothing overly special, this was enjoyable enough.

Endro Episode 8 Review

Episode 8 continues the focus on Princess Rona but this time she enlists Mao’s help to see the Hero in action. After spending time with the Hero and her friends day to day, Rona decides she wants to see the Hero facing a threat and unwilling to wait for one, she fabricates one.

Endro Episode 8 Rona and Mao

The end result is that the Hero’s party storms that ‘castle’ and takes on a range of threats, some less threatening than others before facing off against the Demon Lord while the Princess is trapped in a cage. Only, don’t expect a fight to the death, given the overall tone of this show, we end up getting a lesson about friendship and heroics before we all call it a day.

Endro Episode 8

While I didn’t find this episode quite as charming as the previous one, I do enjoy seeing Princess Rona becoming more of a character and less of a trope. She’s probably the character outside of Mao getting the most actual development in this story and while she’s a little bit over the top she’s quite fun.

If you’ve been enjoying Endro so far, this episode continues to be cute enough, a little bit of fantasy and action, a little bit of comedy, and a lot of friendship and pastel colours.

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ENDRO!: JUULIA CHARLDETTO
ENDRO!: JUULIA CHARLDETTO

That Time We Found A Fairy Who Is A Demon Lord?

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22 Review

There’s not a huge amount to say about this one given it kind of just progressed the current plot of Rimuru trying to save Shizu’s students by travelling to a cave to see the spirit queen so that they can summon spirits to help the kids. It is all pretty ordinary as we enter the cave and easily avoid a few traps before getting taunted by a fairy who turns out to be a demon lord who knows Milim.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

There is a very brief fight sequence where the fairy summons a golem (based on the one that blew up in the dwarf kingdom) to fight Rimuru but it really isn’t so much a fight as a one sided slaughter and is hardly worth the mention. Ranga gets a couple of lines and gets to flap his tail and the kids altogether have about as much personality as half a character so there’s just not a lot to write about.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

Now that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. The current plot line is progressed, there’s a number of links back to previous characters and events so there’s some decent world building and character cohesion here, and all and all it isn’t as though the episode is boring. There’s just nothing that really stands out about it or that individually is particularly interesting.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

I am curious as to this whole summoning or creating spirit thing that comes up during this episode so I’m kind of looking forward to finding out what that means next episode.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME CHARA DOT RUBBER STRAP (SET OF 8 PIECES)
	THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME CHARA DOT RUBBER STRAP (SET OF 8 PIECES)

Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest Volume 4 Light Novel Review

Arifureta Volume 4 Cover

Complete a quest, rescue a child, save the hero, and win the girls!

Okay, volume 3 and I of this particular series parted on a fairly rough note. They’d introduced a character I pretty much despised and she was eating a lot of page time with comments I found neither interesting nor funny. I felt perhaps that this would be the end of my acquaintance with these characters and that we would go our separate ways after this volume.

Let me assure you, I’m not parting ways with this series.

The annoying character is most definitely still there, though with so much else happening in this volume Tio’s presence feels muted or diluted at least. But, everything is happening in this volume.

Arifureta Volume 4 Shea gets a new collar

There are two fairly major stories that happen in this volume and then they are book-ended by information that is pretty crucial to the ongoing narrative. It makes for a very satisfying read in a series where drama introduced within a volume resolves but the greater story it is apart of continues fairly seamlessly. This is my favourite kind of series to read where I feel like I was given a wonderful conclusion yet am desperate to read more to find out what the next thing for the characters is.

The first part of the story feels less consequential though it does introduce us to another character (yet another girl) that is going to have a fair impact on Hajime. After volume 3 reunited Hajime with his teacher, he’s definitely started thawing though that isn’t a huge improvement given he still treats most everyone outside of his harem as his enemy. No, they give Hajime a child to protect and while that could have gotten very inappropriate and a little uncomfortable given Hajime’s relationships with the other girls in his life, they actually make this one a fairly wholesome guardian and daughter relationship and the impact of having someone vulnerable and impressionable to protect pushes Hajime’s personality yet further toward the Hajime we met back in volume 1.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want that Hajime back. However the extreme personality make-over took Hajime to a place where he’s almost impossible to connect with so these small steps back to humanity are actually really appreciated and keep each step of the journey feeling fresh. Hajime isn’t wavering in his plans to defeat the gods and get himself back home and he’s still willing to trample whoever he needs to get there. But he is now carrying quite a few others with him.

While this was the shorter section of the book, it was nicely done. There were some battles and some city-wide destruction, and then Hajime moved on.

Which brings us to the second stage of the book. Finally Hajime is going to come face to face with the hero’s party and the other students. When first requested to go and rescue them, I really figured he’d walk away. Despite meeting Aiko in the last book and thawing a bit, and despite the influence of the child he was looking after, I honestly didn’t see Hajime as having captured enough of who he was to care about his former classmates.

Turns out I was right and wrong.

Arifureta Volume 4 Hajime and Kaori

It wasn’t the class he went to save but rather Kaori, the one person in the class who had been nice to him.

This is perhaps the first volume since the first that has devoted any time to fleshing out the students and their personalities and interactions. It is also the first time we find out why Kaori was so distraught when Hajime ‘died’ back in volume 1, you know, other than seeing a classmate fall into an abyss.

Arifureta Volume 4 - Kaori and Shizuku watch Hajime

It is a lovely bit of character development and they managed to simultaneously work in some world building because the students encountered a demon who ended up being way stronger than anticipated and surrounded by incredibly powerful monsters. We finally get a bit of a look at the threat the students were summoned to defeat.

All and all there’s little to complain about in this volume as it seems to keep powering from one event to the next and each part feels meaningful. There’s some excellent character moments from a huge number of the cast, and the ending will leave you wanting the next volume ASAP.

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Karandi James
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