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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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 29 + 30

Review Episode 29:

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“This is a shady, highly frowned upon method” that Wing is about to use anyway to power up Killua and Gon and ensure they get back to floor 200 before midnight. Well, one of the consistent themes of this story is that Gon kind of gets through things so I guess this was to be expected. Still, doesn’t look like his first fight is going well. Might all be worth it just for that view from his room, because that looked amazing.

Review Episode 30:

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Gon’s first fight in the 200’s went about as well as expected. Is it wrong that I enjoy his occasional defeats? They happen so rarely that it actually seems novel watching Gon get smacked down a little. Anyway, Wing pretty much tells him that if he breaks his promise again he won’t train him anymore so now he’s got to wait for his injury to recover before he can continue and Killua decides to wait for him. So we jump to Kurapika who is discovering that passing the exam and ‘passing the exam’ are two entirely separate things, so I guess he’s about to power up as well.

I did have to completely agree with Killua’s assessment of Gon in this episode though. Gon likes the rush. He gets caught in the moment and genuinely enjoys fighting. It’s kind of great that he brings youthful enthusiasm to the arena rather than blind hatred or rage but you have to wonder how far he can get with that mindset.


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The Silver Guardian Episode 2

Review:

The first episode of this was a mess, but episode 2 is decidedly coherent and functional. We’re clearly back before most of the events in episode 1 and we’re watching Suigin and Rei meet via an online game.

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The issue is, that’s it. No actual indication of how we are going to get from this point to where we saw the characters last episode. It’s all very mundane. Suigin doing his job, getting mistaken for a pervert, eavesdropping on private conversations, and freaking out when he finds the game he’s playing is going to be discontinued. Of course, mundane is probably better than complete mess so maybe this is a step forward. Probably the only thing keeping this off the drop list right now is the short episode length. If the episode was 20 minutes, I’d probably not make it through.

The Silver Guardian is available on Crunchyroll.


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Iron Blooded Orphans Episode 49

Review:

Orga’s death hits Tekkadan hard but Mikazuki actually takes some initiative, even if he is just using Orga’s words to rally the others followed by the blunt threat of violence. I’m not sure if this counts as development or not but it is more proactive than we have seen Mikazuki before.

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Spoilers below.

Someone finally killed McGillis. Seriously, that needed to happen episodes ago. He was a pathetic character and once his grand plan was revealed to be pretty much nothing his existence had become pretty superfluous. His death was fortunately not particularly grandiose nor did it have much impact on any of the events still in motion which is kind of the inconsequential death he deserved at that point.

Anyway, pretty much the guys from Tekkadan that we still actually know the names of are out buying time while everyone else hopefully escapes. Given Hush has already died and the others are well out-numbered I’m wondering what the final count will be next episode and whether or not the others will actually escape or if all of this is all for nothing.

Iron Blooded Orphans is available on AnimeLab.


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The Silver Guardian Episode 1

Overview:

Crunchyroll’s synopsis says that Suigin is a pro-level gamer (though little evidence given in episode 1) who meets some girl and they get sucked into a game. Again, no real confirmation of this storyline in episode 1.

Review:

We’re flashing back as the start of the episode has the girl (Riku Rei) monologuing about some mysterious guy who is out there fighting for them. Then of course we go to some fantasy world where an impossible number of skeleton things have surrounded some monument that has said guy standing on top of it.

Two things came to mind here. If the protagonist isn’t taking the threat seriously, why should the audience? Also, when the guy runs down one side to fight the horde, why don’t the ones just standing around run up the other side and claim the treasure?

Anyway, we then jump back to a year ago where the guy meets the girl in a contrived near drowning experience (good thing I have no emotional attachment to anything in this show and they didn’t to make us care that someone might drown).

All and all, this episode sets up a few ideas, looks a little intriguing, but the execution is dreadful and the fight sequences are a joke.

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That said, because I’m a sucker for punishment I’m giving this a second episode before I’ll walk away. If it actually attempts to give some cohesion to the plot I’ll probably end up sticking with this even though there is almost no chance this will end well.

The Silver Guardian is available on Crunchyroll.


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Attack On Titan Season 2 Episode 1

Overview:

I think everyone knows the story but in case you have somehow managed to avoid it, humanity is living in fear behind three walls and in season 1 the titans broke through one of the walls and chaos ensued. Then they found out some people can turn into titans and now they are super paranoid about spies. Season 2 picks up right after the final fight of season 1 so watch season 1 first if you haven’t.

Review:

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Everyone in this show continues to yell or be super dramatic or completely defeatist. And while we get that humanity is on the brink of extinction and tension is high, it is very hard at times to want to see the human race saved when watching this show. Actually, the best moments come when they are losing horribly to the titans. That said, if this had come out immediately on the heels of season 1, it would have fared better. It is interesting and a good continuation of where the story was, but this episode doesn’t have a lot of bang in it so if they were hoping to recapture that sense of wow that hit us with season 1 it kind of failed.

The second half of the episode delivers a good fight and a really interesting encounter with a new kind of titan (with predictable results but if you are in the show for the gore you’ll be happy) but again, it didn’t have quite the same impact of that first titan peering over the wall. Speaking of, and I know I made this criticism about My Hero Academia as well, what is with the opening theme? I remember how blown away I was by the music in season 1 and how hyped just hearing it could make me. This one… I’m not even sure the visuals go with it.

Anyway, I enjoyed this episode and it is entertaining enough (though a lot of the main characters had very little to do this episode). The show crippled itself with the long delay and I’m thinking they better build this quickly if they don’t want people to be over it, but if you actually enjoyed the story of season 1, this nicely picks up from where we left off.

Attack on Titan is available on AnimeLab.


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Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas Episode 11

Review:

This is all pretty stock standard final battle material now. Characters who have been at odds or set up as opposites face each other and there are a lot of extras getting knocked off (not that it matters given the black king seems to be able to auto generate soldiers at will). It isn’t exactly exciting but it isn’t entirely dull either. Juliana actually stole the best part of this episode with her duel with Burkhardt (and thank goodness someone finally dealt with him – he has felt like an unnecessary character ever since Yuri turned to the dark side). Of course the episode ends with Yuri and Aram facing off. Pretty much, if you’ve watched until now this is a necessary episode to continue things along to fighting the king, but the episode itself wasn’t anything special.

Chain Chronicle is available on Crunchyroll.


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Hand Shakers Episode 8

Review:

In a show where they can waste ten minutes on exposition that explains nothing, I probably should not be surprised by this episode. Essentially we meet an idol mid-fight as she takes out two opponents and maybe the dance would be cute except for the incredibly creepy animation making it nearly unwatchable. So, complete waste of an introduction to a character that has no personality beyond continuously quoting various notable people without any real reason to be doing so.

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The only noteworthy thing in the entire episode is Tazuna didn’t win the fight. Technically he didn’t lose because otherwise Koyori might be dead (I stress the might be because I’m not trusting anything they’ve told us at this point). But he certainly wasn’t victorious. However, twenty minutes to lose a fight and not learn anything or gain any insight is kind of lame.

Hand Shakers is available on Crunchyroll.


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Blue Exorcist Episode 26

Overview:

Second season of Blue Exorcist. Rin and his twin brother were raised by a priest who was then killed by Satan. Turns out Satan is their father and Rin has inherited his power. Now he’s training as an exorcist.

Review:

This first episode of season 2 continues pretty much straight on from the first season and the movie so if you haven’t watched them, do that first. That said, even if you haven’t, they kind of catch you up on enough that you might be able to pick the story up here. We’re straight into action with the exorcists having trouble with a thief and Yukio is called in. Rin, of course, tags along and we get some fun brother bonding (read a lot of angst as both of them feel inadequate compared to the other – a problem which¬† they could solve by occasionally having an actual conversation).

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Anyway, if you liked season 1 this feels more or less the same. Loud characters, action set pieces, and a whole bunch of pseudo-religious nonsense flying about the place. I’m not the biggest fan of the show but don’t dislike it so I’m happy enough to hop on board for a season 2.

Blue Exorcist is available on AnimeLab.