Autumn 2017 Week 9

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And we are closing in on the end of the season with some shows having only a handful of episodes left. Regardless of how things go, Autumn has been my favourite season overall. Even the lesser shows this season have been pretty entertaining if for no other reason than to tear them apart, but there’s certainly been a lot I’ve really enjoyed. They might not make it all the way to the end, but the week to week has been pretty fun.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the season so please share them in the comments below.

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Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 29)

It is probably getting repetitive of me to say, but this was another fantastic episode. We pulled away a little from directly dealing with Hina’s bullying, however that gave the episode a chance to focus on the ripple effects that situation is having on the other characters in the show and hwo it is changing their words and actions. This show has been amazing this season and is truly unmissable at the moment.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 8)

This was a great episode for Chise and Elias and really just gave me exactly what I wanted going in to this show. There’s not a lot to say other than the character relationships continue to develop, the show looks beautiful, the music is fantastic, and overall it is a fairly magical experience.

Land of the Lustrous (Episode 8)

Land of the Lustrous has continued to impress. While the distinct visuals are certainly what drew me in initially, now it is very much Phos’ character journey and transformation as well as the world itself that draws me back each week to this show. It shall be very interesting to see how this ultimately plays out.

Girls’ Last Tour (Episode 8)

Not much more to say about this. It has been consistent in tone, style and quality and has felt worth the watch so far. A nice and relaxing viewing experience to be found with two very charming characters facing the end of the world.

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Usually Entertaining

Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Episode 9)

My fear that this show would slump in the end was kind of alleviated this week with a strong second last episode and both of the main characters showing us just why we have put up with all these silly misunderstandings so far. I’m really hoping for a good final episode and this show has continued to be one of my favourite watches each week even with the little bit of a slump in the second half.

Just Because (Episode 7)

Indecisiveness should be one of the seven deadly sins. It is incredibly painful watching a character hesitate over and over again. I think wrongful action would be better than inaction in some of these situations because while they are inactive nothing will change at all. Not for the better or the worse. Anyway, this is a slice of life, high school romance thing that works quite well and as long as you don’t pay too much attention to the characters when they walk or run isn’t that bad looking.

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Okay, I Guess

Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart (Episode 2)

This is not my favourite genre and it isn’t exactly blowing me away, but it is hard to fault this show on any particular aspect. It isn’t overly ambitious and is cute and charming as it delivers its story. I can definitely see romance fans getting into this one.

Kino’s Journey (Episode 8)

Yep, Kino’s Journey has dropped. Another episode minus Kino and instead following Shizu who just isn’t interesting enough to be bothered with. It has been quite a number of episode since I was really entertained by this show. It isn’t bad by any means but it isn’t really doing much to make me feel that it matters whether I keep watching it or not.

Anime-Gataris (Episode 8)

The mid-season slump continues with this show. It isn’t broken but it hasn’t managed to be anywhere near as entertaining as its earlier episodes once it has had to try to build an actual plot. We’ll see what the season’s end brings us and whether this show can bounce back or whether it fizzled early on.

Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ (Episode 8)

This continues to go through the motions as we move closer to a climax. There were some positives from this episode but a lot of pretty standard and expected moments as well as some more filler and time wasting. There’s only so many times the main characters can escape the villains clutches before the villain starts looking way too pathetic to be taken seriously.

King’s Game (Episode 9)

Emotionally this show has me far more invested at this point in time given we’re fully focussed on the current game and aren’t guaranteed of what the outcome will be (even though it seems relatively obvious there is room for a twist). Not to mention, this show knows how to push just far enough on the gore and tragedy to get an emotional rise out of its audience without being too gross to watch (though that is a subjective measurement). Lacking in logic, this story won’t be for everyone, but fans of bad horror will be enjoying the ride at this point in the season.

UQ Holder (Episode 9)

And I’m still echoing concerns that this show is in no hurry to go anywhere devoting a lot of this episode’s run time to a random girls want to wash guy’s back at the baths sequence. There was some actual plot development this week, but you had to wait a long time to get there.

Black Clover (Episode 9)

“Ahhhh!”

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War (Episode 9)

So a tiger walks into a bar… and that’s it. No punch line or purpose. Much like this show so far. It has three episodes left and I just don’t know what it could do at this point to actually make me care.

Sengoku Night Blood (Episode 8)

Well, they’ve officially run out of people to abduct the heroine so I guess that counts as plot progress. This one is more about watching the pretty colours on the screen than the plot at this point.

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They Made This?

Dies Irae (Episode 7)

Can these guys please destroy the world already so that the show will end? Or at the very least can the ‘hero’ find someway to not seem totally useless just for one episode. That would be the best I can hope for from this show at the moment.

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Tried and Dropped

Evil or Live (Episode 4)

My Girlfriend is Shobitch (Episode 2)

TWOCAR (Episode 1)

Taisho Mebiusline Chicchaisan (Episode 1)

Love is Like A Cocktail (Episode 1)

Konohana Kitan (Episode 1)

A Sister’s All You Need (Episode 1)

Urahara (Episode 1)


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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 8: What Is Left Behind?

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Review:

This week we get three short stories in the episode where the girls first visit a grave yard of sorts and start thinking about what people have left behind. Yuuri, as usual, has some interesting insights which she then contradicts with her next breath, but she’s still amusing and thought provoking. I also like how the camera continues to be used (and the return of the statues) as the series progresses so even though there’s no real over-arching story here there does feel like forward progress as the girls gain knowledge, memories, and items.

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The second story gives us another rare brush with action and danger as the girls climb another tower. Again, this links back with the previous story climbing the tower including looking at the lift that was broken which is what forced them to try to drive up the spiral. This was a nice break from the usual sleepy nothing and once again showed why the girls make such a good team and the strengths they bring to the partnership.

Lastly, what to do at the end of the world after you explore and don’t really find anything? Try the random golden fluid you found in a bottle of course. I’d be a little more cautious about drinking random liquids, particularly ones that look and smell more like petrol than water, but the girls down quite a quantity of beer under the shining moon light for a very relaxed and cute ending.

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This show continues to be a fun and relaxing watch with just enough poignant moments that you can’t dismiss it as fluff but it seldom gets too serious for too long. Very good watch so far this season.


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Anime Quotes – Autumn 2017

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Yes, this is another fairly random post where I have collected my favourite quotes from this season (so far) in one place. I’d love it if you would share your favourite lines or quotes from the season in the comments.

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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 7: Two Types of People

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Review:

It is always a bit of a risk having such a small cast but Girls’ Last Tour has managed to craft two characters that despite their moe like appearances really give the audience plenty to like and to relate to throughout their travels. Their contrasting views on a number of things lend themselves to numerous discussions that border on philosophical but don’t become preachy because both girls fairly readily admit that they don’t really know what is right in the end.

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This week begins with a hunt for the ration factory that Ishii mentioned in the previous episode and it sees Chito facing her fear of heights once again. This gives Yuuri some very good moments as it isn’t often that she gets to be the voice of reason and the calm and collected one of the pair. We also see why this partnership remains in-tact because sometimes it is difficult to see what Yuuri brings to the party but scenes like this one remind us that Chito would pretty much curl up into a ball and never move without Yuuri’s reassuring and fairly strong presence.

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However it is the discussion about the arrows that really brings their personalities into sharp relief. Chito believes it would be easy if life had arrows pointing the way but Yuuri disagrees pointing out it would be boring and wouldn’t it be more fun to see if you could get there a different way. She points to a hole on the other side of the pipe and suggests it would be better to see if they could go that way instead. I found Chito’s question of who wouldn’t follow the arrows quite amusing because I could relate so well to it. I like clear pathways and processes and when I have a marked path I’m not going to stray off of it, so I’ve found myself asking the same question of people. Why wouldn’t you follow the arrows? Yuuri however simply points out she’s a person who wouldn’t follow the arrows. The show doesn’t cast judgement on either side so regardless of whether you like marked paths or prefer to find your own way (or even if you sit on the fence) there’s something in this scene for you to relate to and to contemplate.

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All of this is wrapped up by the cooking sequence where the girls essentially make biscuits and their contented expressions here kind of says it all. They still don’t know where they are going next and they have to first find their way back to their transport. They can’t stay here because the food is almost gone but they have managed to get some supplies. Still, for the time being there is food covered in sugar so these girls are pretty happy with life. Honestly, it is impossible to watch this show and not feel better about things.


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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 6: Look! There’s a Person/Plane

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Review:

The girls encounter another person in this episode, just when they need some help because their vehicle has broken down. Chito tries very hard to repair it but unfortunately she lacks the parts they need and Yuuri’s solution is less than helpful.

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And yet, you can’t help but feel that maybe she has a point. This is clearly something the writers wanted the audience to contemplate because hopelessness becomes the theme of a song Yuuri ends up singing throughout odd moments in the episode and we return to this idea of getting along with hopelessness after seeing the end of Ishii’s (the woman they met) story.

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But while the episode gives the audience something to consider, this anime hasn’t become about preaching a message. Merely providing food for thought and contemplation as the girls continue their journey to a destination they don’t yet know and probably won’t ever reach. The viewing therefore remains relaxing but thought provoking. While Ishii’s presence this week leant the story a bit more direction as they all worked toward a common goal for a large chunk of the episode the girls themselves continue just to deal with situations as they occur as they take the audience along with their exploration.


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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 5: Beauty in Simplicity

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Review:

Normally I would be the first to describe something like Girls’ Last Tour as dull. The plot does not exist other than two girls travelling around seemingly deserted world occasionally looking for food but mostly without any kind of direction. The two characters, while charming, aren’t anything particularly note worthy. Even the setting, post apocalyptic or abandoned world, doesn’t have anything really striking about it. This show should bore me to tears and yet the execution of this show has been so beautifully done that this world has come to life, these characters are truly engaging, and all in all, this has become a completely engrossing watch this season.

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I would never have believed that two girls sitting in a room imagining what it would be like to have a bed, a bookcase and a pantry could be that enthralling, but Chito and Yuuri pull it off. There’s something utterly compelling about the blend of optimism and emptiness that comes across in every exchange between the girls. They aren’t wallowing in their circumstances, but they aren’t deluded into thinking everything is just fine. It is a curious mix of harsh reality with an odd contentment that comes from accepting circumstances as they are and it is something I don’t feel I’ve come across before in an anime.

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The final segment of this episode had the girls sheltering from the rain and we once again get to see how young they are and how starved for anything resembling play and entertainment. Yuuri notices the sound of the rain on her helmet and soon the girls gather cans and other things to stack under rain drops. At first it is just noise but then they blend that sound seamlessly with the music for the closing credits and to be honest it was fantastic. And yes, I am aware  I just said that watching two young anime characters put tins under rain drops and listen to the sound was fantastic.

Girls’ Last Tour is not to my usual taste, it is slow and sleepy and I’ll probably never rewatch, but I am absolutely loving this viewing experience right now.


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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 4: Is This A God?

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Review:

The low key entertainment continues this episode with the girls continuing their journey to the bright building. As a diversion they have the camera they received last episode to play with and so they begin to look a little bit more like tourists.

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However, survival is never far from their minds as the consider the situation knowing that they can take pictures that will last forever but their food will only last another thirty days (7 if they leave Yuuri in charge of it). There’s a constant balancing act in this show as it really looks at survival in this very harsh world, but also humanizes the girls and makes them fairly cute at times as they act just like kids when it comes to the camera.

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Eventually they get to the temple and not so subtly discuss the notion of religion and the after life. While it works, it actually seems kind of like a let down after the build up to arriving at the bright building. The best moment in this sequence comes when Yuuri asks Chito if maybe she’s a god.

This continues to be a very fun watch. The slow pace kind of perfectly fits the emptiness of the world we are exploring with the girls and even when nothing is really happening the banter between the girls remains charming.


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Girls’ Last Tour Episodes 2 + 3: Can We Eat That?

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Review Episode 2:

I’m just going to start by saying Yuuri should be glad Chito doesn’t carry a gun because given Yuuri tossed her book on the fire… immediately after Chito had explained how important books were… Well, our character count could have dropped from two to one if this were a different kind of story.

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Outside of that, the sweetness of the characters continues to carry through very well even as we get a larger look at this world they are in. The levels intrigued me and I’m very curious as to what has happened and why there are no animals and even why these two are travelling alone. There’s no pressing need for these details given the story really is just these two girls getting by each day (escaping the cold, washing clothes, finding drinking water, etc) but this episode kind of makes me hopeful that we will learn little bits about the world as we go and that would be really lovely.

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All and all, another nice episode. This one is a little slow paced for me, but I’m still being fairly charmed by the characters so as long as Yuuri doesn’t set any more books on fire I should be right to keep this one on the watch list and enjoy.

Review Episode 3:

They found another person (and it looks like Chito isn’t over Yuuri burning her book yet, good for her). I wondered at first where they were going with this but it actually ended up being a really sweet encounter.

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The addition of someone new momentarily gave us a little more information about the world but wasn’t very character revealing as clearly Chito and Yuuri aren’t exactly going to open up to a stranger and share their life stories. Still, it gave us a new voice and ensured that the journey to the next level didn’t take as long as it might have.

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Despite being fairly confident they weren’t about to send the entire cast of this show to their deaths after a critical elevator failure, they still managed to add some nice tension in the later parts of this episode. Also, Yuuri actually send something fairly profound at the end lifting the man from depression.

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So while we are still don’t know why there are levels and who built them and what happened to the world, the trickle of information continues and the characters continue to make this barren land feel pretty warm. Really enjoying so far despite the fairly slow pace.


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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 1: Deceptively Charming

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Okay, I kind of decided to give HiDive a go given it has a couple of series from last season I want to watch and this season it picked up a few titles I wanted to try. Not sure if I’m keeping the subscription long term but we’ll see how it goes.

Overview:

Civilization is dead, but Chito and Yuuri are still alive. So they hop aboard their beloved Kettenkrad motorbike and aimlessly wander the ruins of the world they once knew. Day after hopeless day, they look for their next meal and fuel for their ride. But as long as the two are together, even an existence as bleak as theirs has a ray or two of sunshine in it, whether they’re sucking down their fill of soup or hunting for machine parts to tinker with. For two girls in a world full of nothing, the experiences, and feelings the two share give them something to live for.

– From MAL

Review:

I’m not big on slice of life, but slice of life post apocolyptic style had a certain appeal and so I’m kind of glad I got to check this out. The first episode, while bringing you face to face with the horror of civilisation being dead, is utterly and completely charming.

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This is kind of helped along by the two leads who are adorable and their interactions, while fairly sparse considering they are the only two characters we see, are fairly grounded and yet both sweet and revealing. At times the themes seem to hijack the dialogue with some heavy handed anti-war statements but all and all, this is a pretty solid first episode.

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I’m looking forward to watching a bit more with these characters.


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