Granblue Fantasy Episode 12

Review:

All the way through this I just kept thinking it felt like the end of a season. It wasn’t giving us answers but it just felt like this was the final battle. Turns out episode 13 is an extra so that feeling wasn’t misplaced.

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So then I have to ask, what was the point? Yes, the journey continues and there are all these new characters with very cool fighting skills (meanwhile where were these guys during the last fight in this city) and all the old faces have returned but we’re no closer to the island of the astrals, Gran’s father, or knowing anything about Lyria. Though, Lyria did at least get a nice character point where she finally wants to know about herself. Still, 12 episodes of floating around, fighting the occasional primal beast, meeting people and the like; fun as it was, it really is kind of pointless.

Still, watch Gran win another fight? Okay.

Granblue Fantasy is available on Crunchyroll.


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My Hero Academia Season 2 Episode 25

Review:

What was that? Oh, that was my heart skipping a beat and me forgetting that I can actually breathe. We’re all good. Given this episode gave us a recap, reminding us how angry Bakugo is as a character all the time and a prep room confrontation between the two characters before we got to the fight and it was still all over before the 12 minutes mark, it has no business hitting me that hard. By the way, the next part contains major spoilers for the fight so go watch it first.

Are we sure that Bakugo isn’t secretly evil?

This fight was short but really, really intense. I think all the big shonen titles of the last twenty years could take a lesson from this. Stretching a fight over three, four, five episodes (half a season) does not make it more powerful. Getting the audience invested in the participants, having some emotional drive, and hitting hard and fast, that is going to knock the audience back in their chairs and have them wondering how many times they can watch it before the internet crashes.

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Bakugo is angry for most of this fight. Like, furious. Almost manic would probably be the best descriptor. He isn’t angry at Todoroki. I’m somehow doubting Bakugo has actually seen Todoroki as a person yet given I don’t think he’s used his name once. No, Bakugo is angry at himself and the situation. Once again, Midoriya has beaten him at his own self-imposed standard and that is killing him just a little bit inside. And outside. He isn’t given to keeping his feelings to himself.

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Todoroki on the other hand is emotionally torn in two. He wants to win and he knows he needs to use his left side. He is hearing Midoriya’s words from their fight and logically he understands their meaning and knows the truth of it. He actually does start bringing out his flames after Midoriya calls out from the stands, and then… Well then reality kicks in. A lifetime of trauma doesn’t just vanish because of one fight and a pep talk.

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Before Bakugo’s attack even reaches him, Todoroki has conceded defeat and his flames have gone out. It means Bakugo has convincingly won the tournament but it means his actual victory, showing that he is better than Midoriya, has been snatched from his grasp.

I was kind of glad when they knocked him out before declaring him the winner. He actually looks really peaceful when he’s unconscious.

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So, if all that happens in 12 minutes what happens for the rest of the episode?

We have an award ceremony where All Might shows once again he is a giant dork yet everyone loves him. Except maybe Bakugo. That kid does not know when to just let something go and I kind of love him for it. He might be a socially inept, explosively angry, bully at times but his genuine drive to always be the best is kind of admirable. A lot of characters say they want to be the best but they almost always succumb to being ‘nice’ or helping others. Bakugo isn’t hindered by the usual constraints put on protagonists because he isn’t the protagonist. This allows us to see the true personality of someone who strives to be better than other at any cost. Even if he wants to be a better hero which is kind of arguably a good thing.

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We also spend some time with Iida and his family in the hospital before we head back to the classroom and the students are told they have a couple of days off class. It’s the final scenes here where we see the reflection and regrouping process these characters go through that takes this episode from being cool action to actually being another excellent building block in this story.

While we see numerous characters I’m only focussing on these two. Todoroki visits his mother. He realises he has to overcome his block on his own and he’s finally ready to take that first step. Midoriya on the other hand has taken Rescue Girl’s words to heart and has finally realised his reckless actions cause others to worry. He is also finally ready to go to the next level and wants to take that first step.

With that, the whole class is fired up and ready to get stronger and with the villains briefly being shown plus the condition Iida’s brother is in, it is clear it won’t take long before the students are going to be thrown back in the deep end.

Seriously brilliant episode of a show that has really delivered this arc well.

My Hero Academia is available on Crunchyroll.


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Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 11

Review:

There were so many moments in this episode where I just had to stop the episode and ask what on earth they were doing. Admittedly, the first half of this second season seemed like it had finally taken the hint and was working to develop the world and characters as well as lead us toward some answers. It was really, really enjoyable and nicely done. This second half however has devolved into more or less the mess that the second half of season one fell into. Events occurring and then more events (with some shouting in between).

There’s only one episode left of this second season. At this point there is zero chance of anything happening to allow this to end well (or logically, sensibly, or satisfyingly) and that is a real shame. Unfortunately, they will always choose cool over substance in this plot and as a direct result we have a mess.

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When did Attack on Titan start doing panels? I’m thinking back through all the previous episodes and when this style might have been used and I’m drawing an absolute blank. Why in the second last episode of the second season would you suddenly decide to do this? A more appropriate time to try this would have been back when Reiner pulled Eren aside to reveal he was a titan. A reveal of that magnitude would have deserved an artistically different choice and wouldn’t have felt as out of place as this moment did.

Then we have Mikasa revealing what we already knew. Her sole reason for existing in this anime and in this world is to save Eren. While I wouldn’t mind her wanting to save Eren while accomplishing other goals, her absolute single minded focus makes her an incredibly dull character. She doesn’t talk much, but she wastes what few words she has this episode on threats and lines you would expect a b grade villain to utter. Her absolute dismissal of the situation for the other characters also pretty much shuts down any possibility that we might find out their actual motives because you know, we still don’t know where they are going or why they are wanting Eren or Christa other than vaguely knowing they are going ‘home’ and that Christa knows something about the walls (not sure what), and Eren might be something but that point hasn’t been explained and yet:

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Where did that come from? And why does everyone just buy that? Since when was Eren being held up as humanities only hope? So frustrated right now.

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But hey, looks cool. Okay, some people will really enjoy this because we’re back to fast paced action for most of the second half of the episode and it is a cool fight (even if a lot of what is going on makes very little sense and once again a lot of the ‘extras’ get mowed down without drawing a weapon – aren’t these guys trained).  The titan throwing at the end was particularly cool to look at. But cool does not make for a good storyline and to be honest, the parts of the story I’m wanting to see kind of get buried here.

One more to go. I’d cross my fingers and hope for a worthwhile conclusion but I’d really hate to end up disappointed so at this stage I’ll just kind of hope for a really cool fight and maybe I’ll get that.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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My Hero Academia Episode 23

Review (again, spoilers this week if you didn’t watch yet):

I’m not certain which battle was more impressive during this episode. The physical battle between Midoriya and Todoroki was visually amazing and absolutely intense. We had ice being blasted into a million pieces and strong gusts of wind and that was even before Todoroki caved on his not using his left side in combat stance.

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But as impressive as that was, it couldn’t have one-upped Uraraka and Bakuro’s efforts just for lasting longer and taking a more physical toll on both contestants. Certainly the audience was feeling the effect of some of those attacks. And it was the first time the teachers nearly intervened before the fight was over so they clearly felt both students were pushing themselves just a little too far for a tournament fight.

Yet, the fight that was more impressive was the one Midoriya declared when he decided to shatter Todoroki’s view of himself and his power. Having clearly told Endeavor last week that Todoroki wasn’t Endeavor, this week Midoriya makes a very similar declaration to Todoroki pointing out that his power is his own and not using it when everyone else is giving their all is not the kind of action a hero would take.

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With Todoroki declaring clearly he wanted to be a hero and reconnecting with the child who had genuinely wanted to be a hero, he wins the fight (or at least the match) but I can’t help feeling that this is also Midoriya’s victory.

Besides, even if Midoriya had made it to the next round, his body was kind of done after this match. So, no Midoriya/Bakugo fight for a final which leaves me wondering how this whole tournament arc will come to a close and I must admit at this point I’m really kind of excited to see what is next.

Truly amazing episode following on from a very strong episode. I’m going to be honest, the preview tried really hard but I just don’t know how the next episode is going to stand up after these last two.

My Hero Academia is available on Crunchyroll.


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My Hero Academia Episode 22

Review:

When I finished watching episode 22 I kind of had to take a minute just to sit and process. That doesn’t happen often as usually I get to the end of an episode and either flick to what’s next on my watch list or just start jotting notes about the episode. With the exception of ACCA and Kado which both have a similar effect due to having to try to piece things together with the plot, the last action anime that gave me an episode that had me so still at the end was Assassination Classroom after THAT episode. It took me a fair while to get over that.

What this means is, I’m not touching this episode in 100 words. So let’s get into it.

A few spoilers below if you haven’t watched the episode.

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Episode 22 is very creatively titled Bakugo vs Uraraka. Then again, My Hero Academia isn’t exactly known for imaginative episode titles, nor does it need to be, and at the very least it can’t be accused of false advertising. What we got this episode was Bakugo vs Uraraka. This shouldn’t have been an exciting episode. The victor was almost absolutely guaranteed because of character arcs and plot necessity if not just common sense about which one had the more combat ready quirk. And yet, I think a lot of us went into the episode expecting some sort of showing from Uraraka which meant we couldn’t just dismiss the very smallest chance that she might actually win (or at the very least land a hit). Yeah, people who read the manga probably missed out on some of that pre-episode anticipation which would definitely change how they related to the pacing and delivery of this fight but that’s true of any anime or movie where you’ve read the source material compared to someone watching it blind.

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I’m going to be honest, the fact that Bakugo even remembered Uraraka’s quirk kind of surprised me. Given he’s been shown to be totally negligent in paying any attention to his classmates I was thrown for a moment and then I realised why he would know her quirk. She’s spent the entire first season and most of this one hanging around Midoriya. Given after the fight, Bakugo confronts Midoriya about him being the one planning Uraraka’s strategy (something Midoriya is quick to correct) it seems like that is the reason Bakugo knows anything about her. I like that character consistency for Bakugo. If he’d just suddenly pulled some random information about a classmate out of thin air when he doesn’t even remember most of their names it would have really broken the plausibility of his personality. I also liked that even though he remembers what she looks like and her quirk, he doesn’t remember her name, or at least he doesn’t acknowledge it at the start of the fight.

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And then Uraraka pulled off a nice opening move. It didn’t land her a blow but it was an impressive feint against an overwhelmingly strong opponent and part of me kind of thought, ‘oh, she tried but now it’s over’. I expected the fight to end fairly abruptly after this point, Uraraka to feel sad and Iida and Midoriya to cheer her up before we moved in to the next round of the tournament. This is where this episode when from being interesting enough with a good character moment for Bakugo to highly impressive. It’s no secret I do not like tournament arcs and battles that seem to have no point given there is no real consequence of losing. Yet both of these characters have so much desire to win for reasons beyond just wanting to be the very best. My Hero Academia does a very good job this week of making you want both these characters to not lose this fight and yet you don’t really want either to win either.

What that means is you are an emotional mess as you watch what is a fairly visually interesting fight play out. The combat itself isn’t spectacular. There are better fight sequences out there. Its the combination of decent enough visuals and pacing with those very complicated emotions of wanting to cheer for a character and just enough clever twists to keep things from getting too predictable even while they aren’t exactly pulling the rug out from under you and turning this into a case of ‘look what secret move I was hiding’.

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At this moment I kind of despised this section of the audience. Even though I didn’t know what the actual twist was, it was obvious that Bakugo wasn’t playing with Uraraka. He was genuinely trying to beat her within the limitations of the tournament because he couldn’t just blow her away without risking seriously harming her which would get him removed from the tournament. The blasts he was using were intended to knock her out of bounds and she was just really persistent. I felt that the audience were devaluing Uraraka’s fairly heroic efforts. Describing her as a poor girl was so belittling to how hard she’d been fighting. As an added bonus, it belittled Bakugo as well for assuming he wasn’t giving his all to the fight. Fortunately, Eraserhead put them in their place really quickly and then I realised how well this episode had manipulated me. I was supposed to despise them and it was supposed to make me feel that both students were getting the raw end of this. Emotional manipulation like this usually makes me roll my eyes but in this case I just got swept away with it. And, this idea came back after the fight giving Bakugo yet another very cool moment in this episode when another character mentioned they couldn’t have gone all out against a frail girl.

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I couldn’t believe it. Actual character development for Bakugo. He actually acknowledged another student in the class besides Midoriya. I’d love for this tournament to be over right now because I would love to see if in future classes if Bakugo actually does start paying more attention to some of his class mates. That would be an amazing outcome for him and might even lead to the development of a personality besides explosively angry all the time.

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Right, so I just smashed the thousand words on a single episode of a shonen tournament fight so I’m going to wrap this up by pointing out that Todoroki’s father, Endeavor, is definitely a new candidate for the anime father of the year awards. This guy deserves his own post, and an on call therapist, but I’m wrapping up my episode review there by saying this episode was awesome, go watch it if you haven’t.

My Hero Academia is available on Crunchyroll.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Fight Sequences

I thought this list would be pretty easy but then I ended up with a short list so long I couldn’t even begin to figure out where to go from there so I’ve narrowed the field. This is my choice of top 5 fight sequences that involve a blade of some description. So magic fights, gun fights, hand to hand fights, and random other weapons are being ruled out before this list even begins (though if one person in the fight is using a blade, I’ve kept it in the running even if the opponent isn’t). I’ll have to go back and do a list of fights that involve some of those at some point but that’s not today. Pretty much what I am looking for in a fight sequence is that it looks good, is entertaining, and serves some purpose in the overall story.

As always, I’d love to know what you would include on your list so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to Angel Beats (Yurippe vs Tenshi) and Attack on Titan (pretty much any time Levi is actually fighting).

Number 5: Higurashi (Rena vs Keiichi)

For an anime about school children, Higuarshi regularly get’s quite dark. However, there aren’t all that many direct fights as the characters are more prone to acts of torture, drugging opponents, setting traps, and generally go about things in a less direct but still fairly lethal manner. That’s kind of what makes the fight between Rena and Keiichi on the rooftop of the school extraordinary. It is one of the few stand up fights of the series and is an excellent way for the first season to draw to a close. Now I’ll be the first to admit, Higurashi is not a good anime to look at. Characters are off model a lot and the animation is awkward at times. That didn’t interfere with this fight being very cool to watch as it really brought out the characters, addressed some of the ongoing questions about what was going on, and it certainly had high stakes given the situation they were in. All and all, this fight was a great mid-way point in Higurashi’s ongoing story and one I thoroughly enjoy watching.

Number 4: Sword Art Online (Kirito vs The Gleam Eyes)

As much as people like to criticise SAO, I really enjoy it and one of the fights I never get enough of is Kirito vs The Gleam Eyes. Partly its the impossible situation the characters are in. Neither Asuna nor Kirito were looking for a boss fight and it was only because the other group of morons trudged into a boss room unprepared that they get involved at all. partly its because we finally see Kirito use the dual welding skill and the sword that he had made. But a lot of the reason I like this fight is it is just fun and dramatic to watch. Okay, we know Kirito is going to win the fight from the beginning, but that does not take away from the way this sequence builds excitement and tension. Although, from a visual point of view they really do get a bit excessive with the light show at times and I’m guessing if you look at fights for actual technique this one probably won’t do much for you. Mind you, a lot of the credit has to go to the music in this scene. They really nailed it.

Number 3: Soul Eater (Maka vs Jack the Ripper)

The very first episode of Soul Eater delivers one of the best fight sequences I had ever watched (when I first saw the episode). It was the reason I fell in love with the series and Maka as a character. She’s cool, confident, and she is rocking that scythe. Anyway, if you’ve never seen this particular fight, you should check it out (it is literally all over YouTube or you know, watch the anime). Though I still love this fight, Soul Eater is full of interesting battles between characters, and some fairly interesting weapons, and really ends up being visually fascinating to watch.

Number 2: Bleach (Gin vs Hitsugaya)

Alright, you kind of had to know Bleach was showing up on this list sooner or later, and here it is. The reason for this fight over most of the others is that even though both Captains use their swords there are no bankai going on here, no over the top silly powers, just a nice simple fight between two characters, that may or may not end up involving bystanders, Gin really does fight dirty. Part of me loves this fight because Hitsugaya really has lost his cool entirely and part of me loves this fight because even though Hitsugaya has the upper hand most of the way through the fight, because he doesn’t consider that Gin will use underhanded methods, he still technically loses. It is great fun to watch and in a show filled with epic, ongoing and long winded fights, this one is short, brutal, and fairly effective (even if not quite as spectacular as some of the others).

Number 1: DanMachi (Bell vs the Minotaur)

Given the series starts with Bell getting cornered by a Minotaur, the turning point for the story and Bell as a character is when he finally is forced to take on a Minotaur single handedly in order to buy time for others to escape. Eventually other adventurers show up but by that stage Bell is pretty committed to taking the thing down by himself and what follows is one of the best fight sequences I’ve ever seen. Tiny dagger and character against very large and strong minotaur, it literally takes everything Bell has got (speed, magic, endurance, as well as a lot of tenacity) to win the fight and it is so worth it. It is one of those moments you can’t look away from. For all the silliness that DanMachi has littered through it, it is the moments like this one that really make the show shine. This sequence is cool to watch, it has a lot of memorable moments, there’s some real tension and fear for the protagonist’s safety (though you know he’ll live there’s definitely the question of how injured they’ll let him get), and the pace is fantastic. All and all, this is a fight that I love rewatching.

So that is my top 5 fights (using blades of some description). What would you have put on your list? Looking forward to your responses.


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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 35 + 36

Review Episode 35:

What was that? This episode just had so much packed into it that it was like you couldn’t stop to catch your breath. They learn the last stage of their whole training thing and its revealed that Wing was actually also giving Gon the last stage of his Hunter’s exam, so congratulations this time you pass for real (unless there’s some other secret hidden test that they just haven’t told us about yet). Still, all of that rapidly takes a back seat to the Gon vs Hisoka fight coming up.

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Seriously, creepy.

Anyway, the fight starts and while the end of it is going to be tragic (I’m already flinching at the thought of the next episode), we got one of those rare perfect moments in anime. Gon finally landed a clean punch on Hisoka’s face and it was as satisfying as you would expect it to be.

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Still, time to start running Gon. Very, very fast, I’d suggest.

Review Episode 36:

Okay, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Hisoka actually used some self-restraint for once. That was nice of him, for a sadist.

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However, Gon did still get beaten quite soundly and the only reason he was still standing at the end was because the ref was calling points quickly and Hisoka was still kind of playing.

The take-away from this is that two episodes ago I said I was more or less over the arena. We then have a really fantastic fight between two characters that’s been brewing for awhile, Gon finally getting to return Hisoka’s number plate, and even though he lost he’s now happy to go home and show off his Hunter’s Licence so great fight and story progression and we’re leaving the arena. Awesome progress for two episodes.


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Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas Series Review

Overview:

The Black King has stolen half of the chain chronicle (which apparently documents everything that happens in the world) and now he’s using it to engulf the world in darkness. The heroes have already tried to defeat him and failed, but have they given up hope? I reviewed Chain Chronicle week to week so if you want thoughts on the individual episodes click here.

Review:

Before getting into this there’s a couple of things I’m going to make clear. I am a major old-school fantasy fan. I have read pretty much every sword and sorcery style fantasy book I could get my hands on growing up and read out entire fantasy sections of school and public libraries. My appetite for these kinds of stories is voracious and I’m not too picky about quality as long as it isn’t boring. Therefore, when I say that this story is lacking in originality but still really fun, you should probably understand that it really only applies if you are equally fixated on good vs evil, hack and slash with swords, with some magical explosions and the occasional dragon thrown in.

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When this came out in Winter I was really happy because it has been a long time since we’ve gotten an anime that is so unapologetically classic fantasy. It wasn’t trying to give us a subversive hero, add in unnecessary self-aware comedy, give the villains complex backgrounds and having people make morally grey decisions. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but they aren’t classic fantasy and while they can make for stories that feel a bit different, I still just like my fantasy pretty straight forward. There’s something comforting about the familiarity of light vs darkness and the good guys will be down but not out for three quarters of the story before they rally for the final conflict. So I’m not going to spend much time discussing the plot but rather the characters and the execution.

The issues that emerge from these sorts of stories though usually concern lazy writing. Because the story is so familiar and the characters are such well-worn archetypes, writers end up taking short cuts and you kind of feel like you are reading a plot synopsis or a description of a movie rather than being immersed in a story. The other issue that comes along is that the writers themselves are aware that everything they are writing is derivative and so they don’t give anything the extra attention or oomph it needs to make it stand out.

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So does Chain Chronicle have these issues?

Yes and no.

The villains do suffer incredibly from poor writing and limited screen time. They are either mindless summoned puppets who can get cut down in droves and just respawn (so zero care factor from the audience) or they are so beyond cliché in their dialogue it is impossible to take them even vaguely seriously as a threat. Plus, there’s the lingering question of even if they succeed in dying the world black, what then? Is there some sort of grand plan beyond make everything black?

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Realistically this is my biggest complaint of this series as a whole is the lack of real motive or care put into these villains (that and what is with that female villain’s armour). Also, we see not one but two of the ‘heroes’ of the story get turned into demons through their own inner doubts and losing to their inner darkness.

Yuri, as the main hero, has a whole group of friends continuously rallying behind him and trying to bring him back. His character and back story get quite a lot of exploration to understand why he gave in to the darkness and to really hammer the point that anyone can fall. Also giving the whole love, bonds, and friendship theme a boost in the final episode.

Burkhardt on the other hand turns evil and mostly people spend the rest of the series shouting at him and then the Princess cuts him down declaring that she would take on responsibility for him. Um, Princess, wouldn’t it be better to believe in him and try to get him back like Yuri’s group are doing for him? Aren’t you kind of writing off your own subordinate fairly cheaply? And why is Yuri so much better? Then again, Burkhardt’s character is portrayed as a proud narcissist before he turns, we get no back story, and no development. And it turns out he has no friends so clearly he doesn’t fit with the theme of bonds and friendship and so must get unceremoniously crushed.

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It’s fairly contradictory the way these two characters are treated and while I get that we probably don’t have time to explore the back story of every character, why introduce Burkhardt at all and why have him go evil if you aren’t doing anything with that. Or even if they tried to turn him back and his inner self resisted and continued to give in to darkness forcing them to kill him it would have made more sense because it would have shown the moral choice of being evil despite having someone reach out for you.

So yeah, the villains were not great.

In terms of all of the other characters, the biggest issue is the sheer number of them. This story wants to be an epic. It really does with the scale of the threat and the number of alliances and people caught up in the battle. But with 12 episodes instead of grandiose and epic what we end up with is a shallow view of a much deeper world and we don’t really have time to deal with the ins and outs of most the characters.

That said, some of them were really fun. By the half-way point I kind of loved Aram. He was such a cliché character getting picked up by the heroes in a random village and then apparently being excellent at fighting before he learns about hope and bonds and ends up all but being the main hero of the story. Plus, he picked up Furball who was adorable, and then transformed into a dragon (needed a new name, seriously who calls a dragon Furball). Aram was awesome and yes he gave in to the shout your ideals loudly at anyone who disagrees philosophy that so many young, male anime protagonists fall into but due to the sheer number of other characters the effect of this was somewhat diluted making that aspect of his personality tolerable.

The other character I really enjoyed and wished we’d learnt more about was Shuza. He was such an antagonistic character throughout most of the series and I really wish the show had spent a bit more time on him so that we could really appreciate the moral ambiguity he really represented. Everything else in the story was incredibly divided into darkness and light but he managed to be technically on the side of light but had some pretty dark views and really the ending gives us no clue about what now. In my own head I’m seeing him take his army and sweeping across the continent taking advantage of the fact that all the other armies have been significantly weakened. But we don’t actually know what he is doing other than still leading the army because pretty much no time is devoted to him after the battle.

There were other characters that I either liked or didn’t but essentially if you can think of a character who usually appears in these kinds of stories, they are likely to show up somewhere along the way, even if only for a little bit and even if their actions seem pretty inconsequential.

There also some really cool settings and locations, though at times you’ll get sick of them being on yet another road. Also, don’t pay too much attention to travel time. Apparently armies can fast travel (not really but realistically they must have for all of those armies from all of those different locations to be able to arrive in that location at that time). Time and distance mean very little in this story and you kind of just have to go with it.

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All and all, as I said at the start I had a lot of fun watching this. There’s definitely issues and at times common sense has to be dismissed just to get through a certain plot point, and I really wish that they’d either trimmed down the scale of the conflict or given this another 12 episodes to actually flesh out the world in a way that made it feel a bit more real, but entertaining nonetheless. I’d really only recommend this to major fantasy fans who are wanting something just to casually watch where they don’t have to think too much and they aren’t wanting anything unexpected. Otherwise, there’s probably better stories out there to spend your time on.

Still, fun.


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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 34 + 35

Review Episode 34:

Why is it when Killua says not to worry, I start to worry? Still, the events this episode were not unexpected and I kind of wondered why coercion to fight hadn’t come up earlier. Essentially, Gon’s 2 months of non-training have come to an end and now he and Killua are apparently determined to set speed records for learning everything because amazingly enough being the protagonist means you just can. While I appreciate we aren’t stuck here for months in training it’s a little ridiculous. Though, Killua’s solution in the end was somewhat more peaceful than I expected.

Review Episode 35:

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Okay, peaceful may not have been the best way to describe Killua’s solution. It was, however, effective. From that little game Gon and Killua now each have three wins and Hisoka has finally told Gon that he can pick the time for their fight. I’m not sure if that’s actually an achievement or not.

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And given some of the things happening in this arena in all the fights why on earth is the commentator bothering to say something is unbelievable at this point?

The only real negative here is the fights are getting a little samey and I’m kind of hoping we move away from the arena soon because as cute as Gon and Killua are I’m not a big fan of arena matches in any anime.


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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 31 + 32

Review Episode 31:

I’m definitely a fairly petty person because watching Hisoka get knocked around a bit this episode was kind of fun. What made this better was he didn’t suddenly become incompetent or lose his composure. They merely pitted him against someone who’s power was a bit unusual. Still, I really pity his opponent next episode because it looks like Hisoka is done with this fight.

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I’m glad they finally tried to give some reasoning for Gon’s ridiculously quick regeneration given how fast he’s recovered from every injury. I’m not sure I totally buy it, but at least it means down time after getting hurt is minimised. Still, my main question this episode is what happen with Kurapika?

Review Episode 32:

Okay, I strongly disagree with the title of this episode. This was not a surprising win. It’s more or less exactly what I expected (the outcome not the how, because if anyone predicted that convoluted series of moves from Hisoka please tell me the numbers of the lotto).

Anyway, I really loved this episode. My key descriptor of Hisoka so far has been creepy (and I stand by that) but this gave an additional couple of descriptors to him. He’s flexible, adaptable and fairly unshakable. The combination of those attributes is frankly terrifying so I have no idea how Gon is ever going to hit him in the face (forget beating this monster). Then of course we have the reveal at the end of the episode which I’m not really sure what to do with just yet so I’m putting it in a mental basket for later sorting. But I loved this episode because it was surprising, tense, fun, and managed to help us understand a character who has been pretty much an enigma just a tiny bit better (though I somehow doubt we’ve see anything close to all that Hisoka has to show us yet). Still creepy though.


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