Leadale no Daichi nite, In the Land of Leadale, or World of Leadale (choose your preferred title) is the pretty standard story or girl wakes up inside video game. We do have the context here of girl being on life-support before a power-outage somehow cut her free from her body but this first episode does little to make you care about her situation before she woke up inside the game so I’m just going to put that to the side for now.
The real question of course is whether or not Leadale no Daichi nite is worth watching this Winter 2022 anime season.
But you know, even going in with low expectations wasn’t really enough to really sell me on this first episode.
From the somewhat obnoxious sounding OP ‘Happy Encount’ right through to the lacklustre ED there really wasn’t anything in this first episode that in any way made me curious about the story or the main character.
The opening scene, pre-OP has the city going dark, presumably the black-out that cuts off her life support but it lasts seconds and we’re given no context for what caused it or the impact that will have on anyone because we’ve met no characters yet so by the time the OP has ended you’d be forgiven for forgetting the scene even happened. After the OP we get a standard anime girl wakes up sequence followed by her eating an enormous number of bowls of food.
A joke or character point they clearly thought was interesting enough to repeat mere minutes later when we skipped the whole day until dinner.
Visually there’s nothing particularly striking here. The main character design is nice enough but so far every other character is your standard mob fantasy design and none of them have really stood out.
As for the world-building, so far this world feels narrow and limited and very much empty of new ideas or even just good building on standard fantasy tropes. It isn’t that there’s anything wrong with this perfectly serviceable representation of a fantasy RPG setting, its just that we’ve seen more than enough of these now and there’s nothing in Leadale no Daichi nite’s portrayal that is going to leave a lasting impression. At least not from this first episode.
I’ll admit, Cayna, our protagonist elf, is a nice enough character and she is at least asking questions about the world which I guess will eventually lead to something resembling a story but she’s not particularly interesting. Her reactions are the usual over-the-top anime girl gasps or shock and/or embarrassment and there’s really nothing in this first episode that makes her compelling to watch.
Largely that would come down to knowing nothing about her prior to this situation and having no clarity about what this character wants.
Leadale no Daichi nite might well be setting up a more slice of life story rather than an adventure/fantasy one in which case this one has been poorly tagged. But if it is supposed to be an adventure or fantasy than this first episode is clearly lacking as it gives us no clarity about our lead character or what sort or adventure the story has in store for us.
By the time our main character one shot kicked a horned bear to death on the way home from her fully stocked tower I was more or less already checked out of this title. It just didn’t grab me and while I might pick it up in a few episodes if other reviewers indicate that it finds some direction for now I’m pretty happy to let Leadale no Daichi nite slide by because honestly there’s just not enough going on here.
But that’s just my thoughts on the episode and as always I welcome my readers to share their impressions so if you gave Leadale no Daichi nite a go what did you think?
Images from: Leadale no Daichi nite. Dir. Y Yanase. Maho Film. 2022
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Is it just me or is Mars Red kind of trying to stretch things out now? While it has always had a deliberate, some might say languid, pace the current plot developments really feel like they’ve been stalled. Maybe it is a case of Mars Red wanting to turn what might be ten episodes of material into thirteen. Maybe they just can’t figure out pacing. Or maybe I’m just less interested in the story now that the cards are all on the table. I’m not so sure.
Anyway, how are you Irina?
My week was fine. I’m trying to make sure I remember the episode correctly as it seemed well-paced to me. It’s the rising action of the final act right after the inciting element. In one episode we got most of the characters back together, established the current situation in a lot of detail and set it up for a final confrontation leaving Meada as a wild card who could either save the day last minute or turn into an ultimate antagonist.
If they stick to classical narrative structure, which Mars Red largely has so far, I would expect the next episode to concentrate on Defrott’s fate and future. As the oldest vampire of the show and somewhat detached from the direct action, he personifies that side of the story so his fate is going to be crucial to the moral and messaging of the show. I hope they don’t skip it.
This week we get Kurusu reunited with Suwa and Tackeuchi, which is great fun once they are together, but I’m kind of going to pick at the way they got back together. A rumour sending Kurusu back to base and then the obviously fake recording before a contrived confrontation and all in the space of a single episode just felt like a forced conflict to stretch this out.
If they’d really wanted to build a misunderstanding between the team in Mars Red, and given that angle time and attention, it would have felt still contrived but at least like a meaningful insert into the narrative. Instead, it really does feel like they had this episode to fill and wanted to know how to make very little stretch to twenty minutes. Or am I being harsh?
I thought it was absolutely fine. A little odd but completely in line with everything in the show so far and much less contrived than the first episodes, which I also liked. I also don’t think it was filler. You could argue that about the last episode and the hospital stay or even the investigation at the very beginning but this feels like it’s directly relevant to the main plot and also developing the character arcs. I can see someone not liking it, I’m actually pretty surprised people liked Mars Red at all to be honest, but personally I didn’t find this particular episode irrelevant.
And then we have Defrot who has previously been enigmatic and then turned out to be kind of a nice kind of kid (for what I assume is an ancient vampire). Now he’s just kind of holed up in a room and seems defeated but I’m kind of lost as to what caused this character transition. I feel like I missed something.
Well, we missed what happened with Meada. I figure that’s the point of the series. Maeda’s journey. Defrott represents the past and regret, Kurusu represents the future and potential and Maeda represents humanity and now he’s at a crossroads. Whatever happened with Defrott might have been pivotal. I think we’ll find out next week. I could be wrong.
We do get to see Nakajima going back to the military and he’s pointing out how great his vampire units have been before asking them if they are now going to fund him. It makes me wonder just how much his grip on reality has slipped. He can see the crisis they are currently in but nothing else seems to matter to him except his tunnel vision for making this vampire army.
When they turn him down, and actually suggest using his units as engineers to help with the rebuilding, you can see his frustration (despite that actually being a pretty good suggestion) and ultimately I think Nakajima is about to do something even stupider than he’s currently already acted.
To me Nakajima has always been the weak point of the story and I honestly think he’s unnecessary. They could simply have had unknown government forces develop the vampire units in their back using the research and data the team provided and it would have been the exact same but without the shaky motivations.
For my money, they could have all been developing the units together and something went terribly wrong. But that brings in a whole new thematic that would have changed the story on a more fundamental level.
About the only mystery left in Mars Red is what Glen’s motive is. Or is he just the kind of vampire that likes to cause chaos for the sake of it? He’s the only character left with any kind of ambiguity about him and he’s clearly still got plots afloat that we don’t really know about. Though this episode did tease the return of Maeda and it will be curious to see how he’s changed since his transformation.
For me, Mars Red kind of peaked mid-season and while it isn’t bad right now, it is decidedly less engaging than it was. Curious to see if the end can pick up.
As usual we have opposite opinions. For me the mid-season was a low. As soon as they started building Nakajima as the antagonist I was dubious and I still think it’s the worst part of Mars Red.
Right now, I do like seeing how Kurusu is force to confront et reevaluate his own morals as they clash with Suwa’s pragmatism born out of decades of extra experience, Takeuchi’s joyful nihilism and what I expect to be Meada’s wrath and grief. I enjoy character driven stories so this works for me regardless of the actual events.
Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
I just finished up writing my To Your Eternity post and I figured why not start the outline for Mars Red as well to help out Karandi a bit. I’m glad I wrote one post before getting to this one, my feelings for this week’s Mars Red actually managed to change in that span of time. Weird! Any opening words, K?
Honestly, I’ve had a bad week spent trying to shake off another round of migraines. It took longer than I would like but finally Saturday morning I’ve started to pull back together. Basically, I went into Mars Red having not watched anime in days and feeling half asleep and yet I actually was really drawn into this episode. By the end I was very awake and wanting to do another viewing because I’m certain my addled brain missed some of the finer points.
Originally, I wasn’t crazy about this episode. I liked the execution of it but I also really like the idea of keeping the characters and motivations in Mars Red sort of ambiguous. It gives it a certain charm which I think is in line with the story and structure of the season. That’s why I thought that an episode like this one, that goes back to clearly explain everyone’s relationships and lay down the missing foundations was taking something away from the show.
But now, I’ve changed my mind.
I think there’s still an argument to be made for keeping some of the mystery but there were a lot of elements I enjoyed about the episode. For instance, I liked that Misaki was such a horrible actress the first time she did the monologue and so much better by the end. They put in an improvement the audience can actually see without being told and that’s pretty rare. Especially in acting where a lot of it depends on the beholder.
Mars Red really worked on Misaki’s character.
Misaki had such a fantastic character arc in just one episode. So many characters get an entire season and don’t feel as rounded out or as though they’ve made any progress. I think Mars Red has still kept a lot of its cards hidden but I liked that they’ve given us another piece, firming up the nature of Maeda’s relationship with Misaki and also giving the blonde vampire (Deffrot) more of a presence within the story. I also kind of liked that they’ve attempted to link in reporter girl with the unit a bit more, though that particular plot line didn’t get anywhere near as much attention.
I also like that Deffrot turned out to be such a likeable little guy. I don’t know if Draco Malfoy has forever ruined rich looking little blond boys for me but I was certain he would be the Big Bad by the end. This was unexpected but pleasant.
I also thought that we were setting up the vampires as essentially two camps. Good, sane vampires that protect people and bad evil vampires that hurt people. Having a sympathetic vampire that has his own agenda adds a bit of complexity to it.
We also have a more established timeline. Aoi’s line about the flappers loving it would put the story somewhere around the 1920s which fits. Then again I’m not sure if Japan had any flappers.
I looked it up. They did. They were called Moga apparently short for “Modern Girls” and were a mouvement in Japan right after the first world war, so same era. Nice! Mars Red taught me something. I found some pictures on Wikipedia. They looked cool AF!
The interactions between Deffrot and Misaki were brilliant and made both characters all the more endearing (which given they’d both been kind of enigma’s prior to now was great).
I also appreciated the story being given a little more context and shape rather than just a series of ambiguous events that might be heading somewhere. It feels more certain that this narrative has a clear structure and I’m a little more confident that the conclusion will hopefully stick the landing.
I also really liked the fact that Misaki and Maeda hadn’t ever met in life. First of all I think that falling deeply in love with someone through their letters is super romantic. And actually romantic, unlike a lot of romance tropes. Second, the tragedy of meeting for the first time after her death and his becoming a vampire hunter of sorts, is just the right sort of tragic. Very Salomé!
The theatrical nature of their relationship very much fits with everything else in this story. This whole episode I was struck by how each scene seemed staged and once again everything kind of had its place and the characters seemed like they were performing. Even in the final sequence where Deffrot appears before Maeda. It all comes across as being very much a theatrical performance which continues to give this one a bit of a different feel to other anime.
There is however one thing I really did not like this week and I doubt any amount of time will change that. The music. Especially in the last act. When all the tragedies happen the music swells into this overbearing dramatic dirge that drowned out most scenes. It really ruined it for me.
I’ll be honest, I had the sound turned way down this week because of my head so the music didn’t bother me that much. What I do remember of it seemed to mostly fit with the feeling that this is a stage show and the music swelling for a climax makes sense in that instance. Then again, I do plan to watch this episode again later so maybe I’ll notice it more.
In general though, another pretty good episode. Any final thoughts?
Honestly, I kind of feel bad that the others in the vampire unit seemed to try so hard to convince Maeda to remain human last week, and we had that gloriously dramatic ‘sacrifice’ occur but then this week we see right from the start that Maeda’s still likely to die in the rubble and then at the end Deffrot appears and it seems inevitable what will happen next. It almost makes episode 6, which was so well done, feel like it didn’t matter in the end. Then again, maybe given the number of tragic literary works they’ve referenced, it was inevitable that such a sacrifice would have proven futile.
Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
Hey Irina, you know how we both said the political stuff was a little less interesting compared to the vampire unit last week… I think I’m changing my mind after episode 5. I was not expecting obsessive grey-haired guy to go this far off the rails this early in the series but I kind of like it. Certainly I’m now wondering just how far things will go wrong from this point forward and what Maeda’s plan is going to be to somehow fix this (I’m assuming Maeda is going to try). Anyway, I quite enjoyed the turn of events here, but how did you find the episode?
I also like the coup! I still think those budget meetings leading up to it could have been a bit more exciting but I appreciate the foreshadowing. This said, I’m a bit fuzzy on the details. I understand that the Colonel wanted to have a national vampire force and had been working towards it and sinking resources in it for years and now that the government wants to shut down the program he sort of snapped. Or simply forcefully disagreed.
And I get that the government thinks that hiring a foreign vampire force would just be way more effective.
But why did grey haired guy want to create the force in the first place? On a whim? Is he a passionate patriot that thinks a national force is the only way to ensure the future? Is he making a private army? Should I be happy, sad or scared by this turn of events? And why did the government think a foreign force would be better. Has grey been hiding his results. Is a foreign force better and they’re about to get whipped out?
I do think fuzzy works for this show though so it’s not a bad thing but it just makes me not quite sure how to interpret events.
“Simply forcefully disagreed” – this may be my new favourite description.
I kind of liked that this week we introduced this group of haughty vampires who come across as potentially being the next big bad and then within the same episode more or less discard them with their demise coming from underhanded methods and their actual deaths occurring off-screen. While it might have been fun to see what those two female vampires would have gotten up to if they’d been set loose on the town, I think ultimately it was good that the focus remains on the characters we’ve already met going forward. It could have gotten very messy otherwise.
The blonde haired vampires is turning out to be some sort of major antagonist. I’m intrigued (more on that in a bit).
Mars Red struggles with its villains.
Though speaking of characters and screen-time, Maeda was a little scarce this week. Admittedly he was in hospital and then apparently ‘went missing’. I’m very curious as to what his intentions are going forward. He seemed to be onboard with the grey-haired guy’s plan prior to this episode but it definitely seems now like he had his own agenda in coming into the unit. So I’m not sure what his goal is now but I guess we’ll find out soon.
Thinking about Maeda though, the one scene that did seem a little out of place this week was his visiting the play-house and accusing the boy of being a vampire. I kind of already thought he knew that so it was a bit of a surprise to me. More than that, then that scene didn’t really seem to go anywhere. It just kind of cut away and I’m not sure what the point was. Any ideas?
Before I get into the plot, I watch Mars Red of Funimation. That’s where it airs here. And this week, there was no Japanese track for some reason. Setting the language to Japanese as I normally do still had only the English voice overs and oh boy. I think most of the cast is decent. I slightly prefer the JP cast but they do a good job in English.
However, you were not kidding about that reporter girl. I could hardly pay any attention to what was going on the entire hospital scene. Why is she a valley girl from the 90s? What’s going on??? Who’s choice was this? It’s so out of place it’s almost surreal!
And then blonde baddie has an accent. What type of accent? I dunno. Brita-germ-italian maybe? It really sounds like one of your school buddies putting on a fake accent at a party for laughs.
I’m sorry, it sounds mean. They are probably talented and lovely actors but the choices being made here are just baffling! I’m not sure if it’s the director or the actors but I’m perplexed.
Was Maeda in love with that first vampire lady? And if so did he know her before or was he just touched by her tragic plight and beauty? As for the playhouse, I wouldn’t go so far as to call the scene out of place. It seemed to be a scene that stems from a series of events we have not seen but I kind of liked it.
I continue to really like the look of this show. Yes, it is very dark and the animation isn’t that impressive but it is consistent and the visuals really suit the tone of the story being told. I also love the focus on hands again this week with the vampire girl cupping the boy’s face kind of mirroring the gestures of the vampire girl back in episode one.
There’s not much more that I want to say about this episode as it feels very much like a transitional point and I’m not quite sure what we are transitioning too yet. I do know that people who have kept watching Mars Red will be intrigued but it probably won’t be enough to gain back those who bailed early on. Either way, I’m definitely wanting to see what they all get up to next.
This episode raised a bunch of questions in a good way. Mars Red is moving along at a good pace and it always leaves me wanting to find out what happens next!
Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
Hello one and all. Have you been following Mars Red? I’m hearing nothing but praise for it from our fellow bloggers, but the ratings are rather less impressive for the time being. My theory is that it’s a bit too odd for the general public. I could be wrong, after all everyone says they like odd. What do you think, Karandi?
Well it isn’t super-powered teens pommeling each other and so far we have no declarations of defeating evil, finding love, or overcoming obstacles through the power-of-friendship so it kind of makes sense it isn’t a ratings winner. That said, it is also a slower narrative with a relatively dreary colour palette and limited action. There’s a real attention to detail but it isn’t exactly aiming to be crowd pleasing.
Incidentally, this week I’ll be bold and red and Irina will be in blue.
This week we had a bit more in way of establishing the characters and building the universe up.
Personally, I quite love the strange juxtaposition of having a super strong vampire who also happens to be a rather meek good-natured guy. We don’t see the meek good natured character archetype much in fiction in general. In many ways, they don’t make for the most memorable character type. But when you contrast that with the supernatural nature, there’s potential for something really special there.
What I’m saying is that having Kurusu glumly declare that he just can’t seem to fall asleep while sitting up in his coffin in what seems like a catacomb was just a fantastic scene. And without score or exaggerated production to punch up the joke, it made it even more surreal and fun!
So far Kurusu is my favourite character here. The other vampire characters have all talked up his strength as a vampire but as you said, he’s just a meek kind of guy and also a kind of sweet character. That said, he isn’t a complete doormat apologising for every little thing. Too many characters similar to him would go so far the other way that they really ceased to feel like a real character.
I wondered where they were going when we first saw the coffin and I like the understated way they left his line without any further emphasis. They leave it to the audience to think about the absurdity of a vampire unable to sleep during the day in his coffin. I imagine it would be incredibly boring having to stay in a light proof box while being unable to sleep. At least when I can’t sleep I can get up and go do something.
I am getting to really like Kurusu. And humanizing the rest of the vampire squad is a good move as well. Especially Yamagami. I found the scenes with his wife genuinely touching. Even Takeuchi’s crazy infection story was fun. Even at this early stage, I’m getting distinct personalities from each of them that are informed and consistent with their backgrounds and experiences. Good job on the character establishment there!
Takeuchi is just good fun in general. I think if he was the protagonist of a story on his own he’d be hard to take but with the vampire squad the strength is definitely in the ensemble. Each character contributes something to the balance and it definitely works and leaves me wanting to see more interactions between these guys.
As for the world building, they seem to be hinting at a large scale political/military intrigue. In a way, it reminded me of the larger scale story in Fullmetal Alchemist. I did like it there and generally enjoy these types of stories but I do wonder what they will be able to build in only 13 episodes.
Especially when they are laying down groundwork for so many other things. The personal stories of each of the members. Maeda’s seemingly failing health. The journalist that keeps popping up and I’m guessing is setting up a potential leak to the public. The mysterious Suwa and of course evil little prince vampire.
Unless they drop most of those threads, I really don’t see how everything will get tied up in one season. And when you consider that one of the most attractive aspects of Mars Red is the unrushed and uncompromised pace.
I kind of hope that they don’t get too ambitious in the single season and even though we’re getting some rich world building they find a central problem to really narrow in on for the plot. Otherwise, as you said, we’re never going to get anything resembling a satisfying conclusion. There’s just too much going on here.
On the other hand, I really didn’t enjoy the political/military meeting here. Part of that was because I got distracted by that one guy’s moustache… what was that thing?… and the other part was because I get that they were helping us to emphasise with Maeda’s frustrations but it did seem to drag on a little too long (and that’s the first time in three episodes I felt Mars Red wasn’t being deliberate but dragging).
Oh and speaking of attractive, Karadi have you had a chance to see the manga versions of these characters yet? Not asking for any particular reason or anything…
I hadn’t even looked until you said that and then of course I had to google it. Well worth the time spent. I have loved some of the attention to detail in the anime but the characters and backgrounds in the manga images that come up when searching are fantastic.
Overall, I’m still very excited for this anime going forward and to be honest, I think it is my favourite of the shows I’m watching at the moment, but this episode has definitely made some the potential issues going forward more apparent. There was a lot of talk this episode that ultimately didn’t dive toward something within the episode and the pace felt off at times. Also, a lot of the longer shots of the characters had a distinct lack of finesse in the art.
That said, this deserves more than its current MAL score.
Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
Hi everyone, Irina and I decided to collaborate on a couple of shows this season and the first one to air an episode was Mars Red. Irina will be in bold for the review.
Set in the Taisho era of Japan, one we’ve visited in a number of previous anime occasions, Mars Red sets up an alternate version of reality where vampires are real and so the Japanese government is creating a unit in the army to take down vampiric forces. Though if you are expecting a brawl and a bloodbath you aren’t going to find it in this quieter, more contemplative first episode. While this wasn’t what I expected going in, I found myself drawn into the narrative, particularly through Maeda’s character, and by the time the end credits rolled I was already looking forward to the next episode.
How did you find this premiere, Irina?
You know if I had to sum it up in one word, I found this episode very Theatrical. In many ways, this looked like something that could have been shown live on a stage and that’s quite the achievement for an anime. Everything from the presentation, to the pacing to the voice acting had this deliberate quality that I associate with theater.
Of course Maeda’s monologue which served both as a metaphorical narrator and a sort of Greek chorus also added to the impression.
I will admit, at the end of the episode I actually looked up who the director was for this series (and not just to do the series credit for my post) but because I wanted to know if I’d watched anything else they’d worked on. I really enjoyed the way we’d be drawn in close to characters, the slightly odd movements of their head or feet, before the perspective would shift out and we’d see the scene at large. I liked that in the episode climax where what could have been a fairly over-wrought character moment occurred, this anime just let the moment pass simply and quietly and then moved on, leaving the audience to consider, or not, the choice that character made. Basically, I thought the episode was really well put together.
Well??? Don’t leave us in suspense! Who was the director? Has he done anything we’ve seen?
Weirdly enough, no. MAL has the director listed as Kouhei Hatano and looking at his credits he’s done storyboard work on a few anime I’ve watched (C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, Dance in the Vampire Bund) and he’s been an episode director and assistant director on a bunch of stuff including Tsuritama, but I was expecting to see a somewhat longer listing of credits.
I have to say the last thing I was expecting when I saw a vampire themed sci-fi anime was to be watching a terse and somewhat dour political drama. And I’m not angry about it. There is a little something that is keeping me cautious. Maybe a touch of pretense that makes me fear the series has aspirations beyond its means. But I am definitely intrigued. I’m curious if this serious and precise tone will be kept up for the rest of the series.
I agree, there is definitely the concern that maybe this one has got some aspiration and it may or may not achieve them. But I’m definitely curious to see if it can or even if it just decides to go a different way.
Difficult to tell where Mars Red is heading.
There seems to be a less is more mentality to a lot of this episode. Other than one character, most of the human characters are fairly quiet and seem to use words relatively economically. This means the audience isn’t being spoon-fed massive info-dumps of information through unnatural conversations, but rather we get small pieces of info scattered in amongst other interactions and between that and the visuals we start to put together a picture of this setting, these characters, and start to draw conclusions about where the story might go. Whether any of our current thoughts turn out to be right or whether this anime takes us in a wholly unpredictable direction is yet to be seen.
They are sticking to classic vampire lore. Vampires are people who have been turned and bite people on their necks. They can’t go in the sunlight or else they burn up. The whole spiel. The great advantage to not changing up lore to make it more unique or something, is that you can cut out a lot of exposition.
Like I know exactly what the vampires in this universe are and just from the buildings, cars and uniforms I have a pretty good idea of the era and type of people we are dealing with. I don’t know all the details and there was a lot left to discover but I wasn’t confused or having a hard time following what was happening either.
This first episode definitely wasn’t what I expected and yet I’m actually kind of glad. Given the era and the idea of vampire fighting we could have ended up with a story that more or less ended up looking and feeling like Sirius the Jaeger (set in 1930 and spending a lot of time in Japan). Right from episode one, Mars Red seems to have established its own identity and I look forward to what it will do.
I’m still very curious to see how that science fiction element will fit into this whole thing. For the moment all we’ve seen is the supernatural aspect so I’m wondering if we’re going to get some retro spaceships or something along those lines. I hope so!
MAL isn’t listing this one as a sci-fi so genuinely not sure on that one.
Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
It’s finally getting a reboot, but has it delivered on fan expectations?
Another remake of a classic and like previous ones (the
Sailor Moon reboot and the Cardcaptor continuation), I cannot help but be
excited while at the same time feeling a little wary about what the results
might be this time around. I’m pleased to say that episode one retains all the
charm of the original anime series, with superior character designs and
animation in general, and it even toned down the silliness of the fan club. So,
you could say so far so good.
In point of fact, it is a gorgeous first episode. Very
screen capable as it introduces the core cast and establishes their base line
relationships. The music and sound should also be applauded as being very
affective and overall this is a first episode that manages to deliver for
anyone who is already a fan of the franchise and has been wanting to see the
What it perhaps doesn’t do so well is have any real hook for
those new to the story. The happy girl down on her luck is a trope seen many
times (even before the original Fruits Basket anime) and Honda Tohru here works
well enough but isn’t charming enough on her own to be a selling point within
this first episode, nor pitiable enough to invoke any kind of empathy. Instead
she’s very much just being set up in her role which those who know the story
will anticipate her growth and development but those who don’t will simply see
a fairly standard and maybe not-so-interesting lead character.
Likewise the mystery of the Soma’s is established here and
I’m very keen to see this version of the anime as the original really dropped
the ball here (leaving me with a read the manga conclusion which I certainly
did but I’d love to see the story actually play out in anime). But again, I’m
not certain this first episode really does justice to where this story will go.
Is a beautiful but by-the-numbers opening necessarily a bad
Not really. It was a wonderfully pleasant introduction to
the series and the conclusion with the ‘reveal’ for the handful of people who
didn’t know all works quite well. However, most of my excitement here is still
coming from my general anticipation of what is coming rather than what was
delivered in episode one. Everything here works but it isn’t anything
Here’s hoping this adaptation grows into the charming and emotional experience this story could easily become and at this stage I’m still very optimistic. I did however take a lot of screen caps because it is really good looking.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Would you like to read more about Fruits Basket’s feels?
Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.
Arthifis and I are back with the next part of our collaboration. We’re five episodes in to Dakaichi and a lot has happened (or at least we had plenty to say about what has been happening) so we recently had a fantastic conversation about the show and how it is going. If you missed our first impressions chat, be sure to check it out and remember we’ll be talking about Goblin Slayer over on Arthifis’ place so if you haven’t seen that post be sure to go and give it a read. For now though, let’s get into it.
Hey Arthifis! How are you this week?
Hey there Karandi! I’m really good to be honest! 🙂 I’m cooking some secret project which is making me watch a lot of Anime… And I’m having a LOT of fun to be honest ahah what about you?
If I’m honest, I’m not in a great space at the moment but that’s just because I’ve been super busy with work and I can see the next few weeks are going to spiral out of control (to the point where I’m looking at maybe having to suspend some posts on my blog in a couple of weeks just to take a breather). Still, it isn’t all bad news. I’m off to a convention next weekend (great timing, I know). I’m really curious about this project of yours though. You’ve hinted at it a few times.
That’s a bummer to hear! 🙁 I actually understand you though… My work has been getting busier and busier and I’m actually struggling a lot to be able to balance Blog with work… Well, in fact I just stopped writing on the blog for the time being completely. But, well… That convention seems to be a lot of fun! So hopefully it will be something good eheh 🙂 Eheh yeah I know, I want to surprise everyone, but at the same time I’m so proud and having so much fun that is being difficult to actually have my mouth completely shut about it xD
Okay, so we’re starting off with Dakaichi today. And we’ve both watched up to episode 5. I’m curious as to what you think of the show so far.
Well, I have to say that I discovered in episode 5 that I have fallen in love with the characters and their romance without even realizing it 😀 But, if that’s ok with you I would like to comment on episode 5 more at the end of the post because I don’t really want to lose all the commentary about the love I have from the series until episode 4. What about you?
Yes, episode 5 does need its own kind of section because it goes in a bit of a different direction then the first 4. Still, I’m with you in falling in love with the characters and their romance. Or at least Takato. Junta still doesn’t do a lot for me, but in his defence he doesn’t get a lot of screen time and we’re almost exclusively seeing Takato’s perspective for the majority of the episodes.
Yeah, that’s true. Actually I would like to watch the same story with Junta’s perspective… Nevertheless, I do have to say that Junta is growing more and more inside of me. It’s true that he still doesn’t seem to be able to stay his hmmm… instrument (?) under his trousers. However, we can see that he is in fact in love with Takato and he cares for him deeply. Something I actually liked to watch was how Takato start falling for him… Although maybe I could pass the cheesy momentos where Takato gets teary eyes without really having a reason for it.
My real issue comes from Junta though. As you said, it is clear he really loves him, which is fantastic and what makes so many of the feel good moments of this show stick. But it is also what makes this kind of creepy at times because Junta really pushes the line on consent in a lot of scenes. And the excuse, that they are in love, doesn’t make that sit any better. Admittedly, Junta does stick just on the side of the line that is kind of okay in a story at least, but putting this into a real world sort of situation, I’d tell Takato as a friend to ditch him.
Yeah, I can understand your perspective. However, at my point of view I think Junta just pushes Takato’s boundaries. It’s true that he is pushing himself a little too much. However, contrary to what tropes we normally deal with, here Takato does want to have the sexual relationship, he just doesn’t seem to be completely comfortable with it. For example, the bus scene. Tanako starts saying no, but it’s not because he does not want it, it’s because he is scared of being caught. However, ends up going with it… I’m not sure if that makes any sense?
It makes sense, and it is one of the reasons why I enjoyed reading the story. Takato isn’t against the relationship and while some sequences look very much like Junta is being forceful, Takato very much goes along with a lot of it, and not just goes along, but encourages in his own way. And as you said, comparing it to the tropes and outright non-consensual situations this genre normally throws at us, Dakaichi is at least with this main couple attempting to tone it down in the anime and even reading it after the first couple of encounters a similar toning down happened.
Outside of the relationship though, I’m really enjoying seeing Takato doing his job and part of me kind of wishes we had more sequences where he was on set or doing photoshoots and the like. What about you?
That’s actually what I was going to pick next ahah Something that bothers me a little is how Takato’s personality changes completely when he is working and when he is with Junta. I can understand why they decided to go that route (the guy who always seems to be the best ending up being the “uke” in the relationship. However, I think I would prefer to see Tanako more in his own self way that the teary kind of guy because he is going to have sex. It does not make much sense to me.
So, yeah! I agree with you. I would like to see more of this dominant Tanako since it’s his true personality. Moreover, due to both personalities in this relationship it just does not make sense to me to have a top and a bottom. At my point of view, if this kind of relationship happened they would both be more fluid in bed, meaning they would change sides since both seem to have pretty dominant personalities but also love to be embraced and “dominated” by others. What do you think?
I kind of see Takato a bit differently. I think his personality that he has on set is the cultivated ‘fake’ personality he’s had to construct after a lifetime of working in show business. He’s calculated that appearance and attitude to maximise his chances of success at work, but it isn’t really him. I do enjoy seeing that persona, but it really is just another character he’s playing (which is probably why he’s such a good actor). I kind of feel he has decided to throw aside the persona when he’s alone with Junta and while I do think he possibly becomes a little too sappy, it is kind of nice that he can just kind of let his guard down because it must be exhausting to wear that mask all day.
I can understand your point of view. However, when I was talking about the personality was more about his line of thought, instead of the way he presents to others. His way of thinking is normally in the same page wherever he is (since nobody can actually read his thoughts). And from those kind of thoughts I see someone who is calculist and likes to dominate things. But, yes it’s true that he lets himself go when with Junta.
In fact, I think that persona is what makes Junta to seem to push himself so much because Takato’s persona just can’t accept to be with other guy, I mean it would mean problems in his acting career, right?
You’re right in that Takato’s inner monologue really doesn’t change between when he’s at work and when he’s with Junta. That’s an interesting pick up and one I’ll need to consider.
I don’t have much else to say about the first four episodes, other than I really enjoyed them. Is there anything else you want to discuss before we turn our attention to episode 5?
Let me see… *picks notes*…. Nope, I think we covered everything! Since we are going into episode 5, let me start with this question. What do you think about Takato’s character evolution in episode 5? Isn’t a little strange someone who knows the game, is over-cautious and knows that guy is basically a snake to just let his guard down?
Yeah, I have a big issue with Takato’s character in this episode. The start is great where we see how he’s more or less completely accepted his relationship with Junta (loved the scene where he accepted Junta’s key-card), but then as you said, he lets his guard down. Now, I guess you could argue that Takato has gotten blind drunk and done something stupid before (episode 1) except that in that case he’d just lost his title of Most Huggable/Sexy Guy or whatever and then ended up the supporting actor to the guy who took his title. It kind of made sense that he’d go on a bender. Here, it really doesn’t make sense and I know that they just wanted to set up that final scene, but it really did seem totally out of character for Takato. What did you think?
Exactly the same thing as you. In this episode Takato came out as this naive and “weak” character which we already know he isn’t. It’s true that he can’t handle his drink. However, to be honest, first, I just can’t Takato giving help to an actor he doesn’t like so easily. Second, it’s hard for me to believe that he would just go and get drunk near someone who he knows that is one of those actors that play rough and dirty.
As you, I think they just needed some kind of event to get to that final scene. At this point the romance is completely settled and they had to add some kind of problem into it so there is story to continue. However, I hated the execution. I don’t what was the worst, if the character changing completely, or if it seems that they are building a rape scene to start next episode….
We were definitely diving into uncomfortable territory at the end there (not unexpected but I was kind of hoping they’d tone it down given they toned down episode 1 a lot). But yeah, Takato’s character really suffered in this set up and it is unfortunate given I’ve really been enjoying how he’s come across and during most of episode 5 I just wanted to call him an idiot.
That said, I get why he gave the guy advice. They are going to be on stage together and if the lead doesn’t pull his weight and the show goes down in flames that is going to reflect on Takato’s career as well. Self-interest is always a fine enough motivator even if the guy is a complete jerk. One good thing about Ayagi (sorry, checking notes on that name), is that I really appreciate Junta as Takato’s partner after meeting him. Ayagi is just scum.
That’s a way to take out something positive of this episode ahah I hope… I mean, I REALLY hope that in the beginning of the next episode Takato just pushes him away and that’s the end of it. Yes, it will bring problems since Junta will see that hickey and think he was cheated on. But, to be honest, isn’t just cliché?
I think I would probably prefer to see them just acting like a couple more than that… Work, for example, could become an issue or something like that… Or, maybe I just love these guys together so much that I don’t want to see any kind of attacks against their love ahah
Yeah, they definitely hitting the cliches and tropes this episode. I think overall, I’m still really enjoying watching this show and I really would like to see Junta and Takato get a happily ever after, but there’s no getting around the fact that episode 5 is a little bit a problem and it will all come down to how they continue it in episode 6 as to whether it is a serious red flag or just a momentary mis-step for the show.
Yeah, I agree with you. I once read somewhere something like this: It is completely ok to use coincidences and things that are just there to make a character to enter in some distress. However, it is not ok to do the same thing to take them out of that distress. So, we will see! I hope that in the next episode we will see Takato punching Ayagi’s face! I know that he won’t press any kind of charges because he is an actor in Japan and he’s afraid of losing his career and things like that. However, I do hope that Ayagi is not able to do anything to Tanaka when he seems to be passed out from drunkenness… I mean, that’s just… cheap porn story –’
So, I really hope they are able to come back and make me love the series right away in this next episode!
I think that about wraps this chat up then, unless you have any final points you’d like to raise.
Nope, I think this is all eheh it was nice chatting with you 🙂
Thanks Arthifis for joining me on this one. I really enjoyed the chance to discuss Dakaichi and the characters and I think that I have a lot more to think about with Takato’s character now. Looking forward to when we come together again in a few weeks and hopefully we both don’t rage quit the show at episode 6.
For now though, I think we need to go over to your blog to discuss Goblin Slayer.
Thank you for having me and I couldn’t agree more! I was really looking forward for this talk since I had so much in my chest I wanted to share about Dakaichi with you, so these are always a lot of fun eheh
Well, I won’t rage quit! The most it can happen is that it will go to my Horrible Anime quest pile ahahah I look forward for our next talk in few weeks! ^^ And yes, time to come to my place and discuss a little bit about Goblin Slayer eheh
Thanks to everyone who joined us for this conversation. We’d both love to know what you think of Dakaichi so far so be sure to leave us a comment, and remember to check out our chat about Goblin Slayer over on Arthifis’ blog.
For those who missed the announcement for this collaboration, Arthifis and I are working together this season to have periodic chats about two anime. Over at Arthifis’ place we’ll be covering Goblin Slayer and you should definitely check out that post once you are done here because we had a lot of fun discussing that first episode as well. In about four weeks we’ll be back with an update on how we feel both series are going so hopefully you’ll join us again later in the season. For now, join us as we meander through our thoughts on episode 1 of Dakaichi (or Dakaretai Otoko 1-ni Odosarete Imasu), the events, the characters, their necks, and the music.
Hey Arthifis! It is great to have you on my blog today to discuss Dakaichi – I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year (to only be referred to as Dakaichi from now on).
Hello Karandi! Thanks for having! I’m so freaking excited to start this conversation going! I just have to say that I’m surprised with this one 😀 And, finally, just only one word to refer to the Anime show ahah uff!
So, I have to ask because you went in without knowing much about this one, what are your thoughts? You mentioned being surprised. Surprised good or another WTF kind of moment?
This time it was a good surprise ahah I went into Dakaishi with the idea that I enter any kind of Shounen-Ai anime. That it would be all kind of tropes, that someone would just be basically raped and transformed into gay person, that there would be distinctively a top and a bottom (talking about relationship top and bottom, not sexual) and all those tropes that we all already know. The only one being out was the age gap, because they clearly look adults xD.
Yes, I think I’d be out of this one if they were meant to be high schoolers. While I’m not naive enough to believe high school students don’t engage in actual sexual relationships, I really wouldn’t be comfortable watching that so the age of the characters is actually something I really appreciate.
Yeah… I know what you mean. I’m ok with love stories with high schoolers. However, I know that this one is going to be very sex heavy, so I think I wouldn’t be very comfortable watching.
The fun thing about this episode though is that more or less until the middle of the episode I was still on the dark about some of the tropes. Then I saw “the getting drunk” scene and I though, ok this is going to follow the same tropes, and then it got a pleasant turn and… I don’t know what to think anymore ahah.
What about you, do you think this is following the visual novel / manga (can’t remember which one right now) good?
I read the manga online a long time ago and while I was excited for an adaptation because I really like Takato’s character, specific details escape me. One thing they definitely changed though is the getting drunk scene because the manga took that a lot further and dove into the no-consent trope we see in so many of these types of stories.
I think the anime made a really smart decision by having Junta show a tiny bit more restraint and that gave us the fairly pleasant moment at the end of the episode where he actually asked permission. Okay, I had a really great time at the end of the episode and really loved that scene.
Thank god the Anime changed that scene then!!! It would just kill the show for the season for me…. You did? Why is that?
I just really liked the way they framed the scene with Junta down on his knee looking up at Takato… Okay, I’m hopeless and I fell head over heels in love with this couple and I want them to be together forever. I take it that the scene didn’t have the same impact on you?
Oh, no! It DID! Probably should have added a smile in the last phrase ahah I was just curious to know what were your reasons! I’m a sucker for romance, you know? What other way could be for me to be binge watching season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy if not for that? Ahahah.
However, we are already talking about the end before even speaking about the beginning xD So, let me just pull as back for a bit if you are ok with it xP.
That’s probably a good idea. Though like with most romances we get our pretty standard character introductions and initial interactions and as you said it isn’t until that mid-point with the drinking scene where things really kick off. However, I would love to know your thoughts on the OP?
Yes, maybe that’s true… And probably these are just the most bland and cliche characters from Shounen-Ai. However, since I don’t get to watch many shounen-ai/Yaoi anime shows I really liked these characters xD.
*browses anime-planet to remember the name of the guys* – DONE!
Ok, let me start with Takato. In the beginning we get this hyper mega self righteous and obnoxious character which seems to think is the best in everything. But, contrary to most Yaoi shows I’ve seen (and dropped right away) it does not take much time until we are shown that he was able to get there through hard work since an early age. Yes, he is cocky and thinks he’s the best, but, at the same time we can clearly see that he does have some small indications that he also suffers from lack of confidence. Which from there creates, from the bat, a complex character who thinks that he is in the top of the world, but, at the same time, needs his levels of popularity to actually feel confidence… Am I making sense to you? xD.
Yes, that makes perfect sense (and just so you know, when you called Takato bland earlier I nearly declared war then and there). I really love his character because he’s got this front that just oozes control and confidence all wrapped around this mass of raging insecurity. The very fact that he needs the affirmation of keeping the ‘most huggable man’ title is hilarious when you consider all of his other achievements and yet it means so much to him. He’s really interesting and I love his internal monologues during the first episode where he’s trying to figure out what Junta is actually after because he assumes that everyone spends as much time over thinking things as he does and he assumes Junta has some kind of angle.
That said, I’m not so fond of Junta. I just see him as very much someone to play opposite Takato. What about you?
Hmmm… That’s actual a nice point you said there! Yes, it’s true… Junta is just the opposite of Takato and it can be seen as the easy way to go for a romance. But, you know what, from my irl experience, I really think that opposites attract! You just need to spend a day with my boyfriend and I to see that. And, to be honest, for me it’s not a really bad thing. It just means those 2 people complete each other.
So (And remember I don’t know nothing about what is going to happen), I think Junta will still need some time further to shine. From what I’ve seen from this episode, I feel that Junta will be the person that will Takato to grow and become a happier person. Maybe it will fall out more bland because the story seems to be told in Takato’s perspective, but I just fell in love with Junto… I mean, after there was a permission involved, of course xD.
But, well… To be honest, I’m more into the Tatako side while my boyfriend is more into the Junta side… So, of course I would love Junta ahah.
For me, I like Takato because he is someone who thinks things through and where they are going. He isn’t always a nice person and assumes other people are equally as self-interested. But he is a thinker and a planner. I really appreciate that character trait. Junta, as Takato points out, is someone who reacts to the situation and the scene and just plays on his feelings. That drives me crazy being around people like that because I can’t predict where something is going. So, I think my personal bias is getting in the way of any appreciation of Junta. Though he did look adorable asking for permission.
That and I noticed you dodged my question about the OP earlier.
Ups sorry, not so much dodged, but more got carried away ahah Well, I can definitely understand that… And know that you put it in that words… I think I’m probably Junta and Takato is my boyfriend xD Although, I overthink a lot nevertheless and he is a more happy person than me xP But, well we are not characters of a Shounen-ai, so of course we are going a little bit more complex ahah.
That said, since this OTP feels a bit like home and my relationship I would say that I loved it of course xD.
Ok… Nevermind… I read that wrong, you are asking me about the opening LOLOL Hmm… Give me a sec to check (I always pass those on because of spoilers and I forgot to watch it >.<).
I’m going to be honest, I hope you don’t start a war *gulp* I really liked the music, but the visuals just seemed generic to me xD What about you?
I don’t think I remember the visuals all that much (oh yeah, the guys were crossing the street at one point). I wasn’t paying that much attention, mostly because I had a major ASMR response to the start of the song in general. It just sent tingles up and down my spine and got me really hyped for the episode. However, that will probably wear thin after the first few times listening to it so I’m not entirely sure how I’ll feel about it after the whisper power wears off.
Then again, the ED just made me smile. It was just so boppy and silly and the dancing were all just there.
Yeah, I completely agree with you! I liked both musics, and that is saying a lot because I normally don’t like op and ed songs that much (I know, kill me now xD).
On another note, I would like to ask you if you think they went too far with this episode when it comes to story. I mean, of course you already know what is going to happen, but still…
I know this is something that we are seeing more and more. With so many Anime shows coming out nowadays you need to grab people attention from episode 1. However, I feel that it would be better for the Anime (looking into an all episodes kind of thing) for them to postpone the first sex scene a little bit. We can also see this in Bloom Into You. I think I would prefer a little more back and forward between the characters, have some time to start loving them and THEN have the confession thing. This way, I just can’t help it that the rest of the show will be a game of dog and cat and turning on and off relationship, which for 12/13 episodes may stop being interesting to watch. What do you think?
Normally I’d fully agree. I’m not that big on needing to show the sex for a relationship to be a relationship in a story anyway and I’m more concerned with how the characters interact than how far they get in terms of getting physical. However, going in to something like this, it kind of is the kind of story where it doesn’t get going until these characters have entered this kind of physical relationship. And, no spoilers, but you’ve got a seasoned actor and an up and coming star engaging in a same-sex relationship when one suffers from massive insecurity and the other feels he has something to prove. I’m sure they’ll find ample conflicts to keep us entertained for at least the next 12 episodes (or let’s at least hope so).
Still, it is an interesting point that more and more anime seem to be diving into more physical aspects of relationships earlier in seasons (Citrus was another example that came immediately to mind). I mean, I get we’re all a little tired of the impossible blushy couple that don’t even hold hands until episode 26 or later but I’m not sure every romance needs to dive in full speed ahead either.
In this case I was talking about in a more general way, not only sex related Anime. At least for now Bloom Into You does not seem to go portray sex scenes… But, we never know xD
However, I think you are right! I think that it will take some time until they find some kind of balance. I do know that the Romance type of Anime I loved the most had the characters to enter into a romance more or less in the middle of the season and then continuing the story from there 🙂
But, yes, please… Between episode 26 to episode 1, I prefer the later. I don’t really have the patience for the back and forward and miscommunication formula nowadays xD
But, well, that topic can be a good theme for another post since it would take a lot to write about xD
Any other thoughts on the episode before we bring this to a close?
YES! I’m sorry, but I have to bring those necks! I mean, I know this is personal opinion, but why the hell did they thought doing neck shadows like that a good way to go!!! I mean, the animation overall is good, but those necks… Damn those necks really take a lot of it! What do you think about that particular aspect?
They are really hideous. My personal theory is that they are designed to stop too many fans falling love with the otherwise fairly attractive main characters. I have no other theory as to why they would do that. It is bad. Just bad.
Going to be honest, it will take some time for me to be able to accept them and not think about it while watching the series… It’s a bummer though! But, well, that’s the last thing I wanted to talk about xD.
Well, I had a great time discussing the episode. This is not my normal kind of anime because we don’t get this kind of anime released on a mainstream service all that often so I usually don’t get to see these until well after they have been released, so I’m actually really glad to be reviewing it with someone because it is helping me to think through my thoughts on the episode. I hope you enjoy episode two. I’m just going to give you one word – honey.
Me too! It was a lot of fun! I also don’t really discuss this type of Anime shows. Just because I would always be bias due to the tropes presented in the most of them, and for that, I already have one rant about it on my blog and one rant is more than enough xD.
It also brings a completely different light discussing it with you. As you said, it helps me to think through what I thought about the Anime, but also see things that I hadn’t seen for myself which is awesome!
Thank you! I’m really intrigued to see how they are going to come up after this episode so I’m probably going to watch it today XD I need to see if I catch up with all the episodes that have been coming out this week lolol.
Can’t wait to get back together with you in the near future to continue discussing the evolution of the show eheh
I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks.
Thanks for joining us and if you would like to add to the conversation be sure to leave us a comment below and if you haven’t yet, be sure to go and check out the Goblin Slayer post over on Arthifis’ blog.
I have certain expectations for a slice of life anime and Rokuhoudou is kind of crushing all of them as it delivers some fairly compelling, if very laid back, viewing. Your thoughts?
This may very well end up being my surprise hit of the season the way it is going. While the blissful relaxation is continued, this episode really pushes the drama that has been kind of building underneath the beautiful food and cups of tea. The group are approached to take part in an event at a department store but right from the beginning it is clear that the guy who recruited them is up to something, though it doesn’t seem to be blatantly malicious. More like a cat playing with a toy before discarding it.
The end result is some light drama in amongst some very great food shots and a general feeling of ease. I’m not bored while watching because in amongst the serving good food we have a building drama that seems to be furthering the traditional versus corporate argument that comes out in a lot of anime but it is all nicely balanced with no aspect really taking over other than the characters themselves.
I still don’t recommend watching this anime while hungry.
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