Friendly Talks With Arthifis – Meiji Tokyo Renka Episodes 5 – 9

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

We’re back and this time Arthifis and I are discussing the mid-season of Meiji Tokyo Renka and we have been having a great time with this one. If you hop on over to the Anime Shelter you will find our thoughts on The Rising of the Shield Hero. Anyway, I’ll be in red and Arthifis will be in blue. Hopefully you enjoy our chat and if you’ve been following the show let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 5

Welcome Arthifis, it is good to see you again. Glad we’re back discussing this anime. It has been a little bit surprising. Have you enjoyed it so far?

Hey there Karandi! Likewise! 🙂 Yeah, I’ve been really enjoying it, probably Meiji Tokyo Renka will be the most underrated Anime of the season if this continues like this. What about you?

I’ve really been enjoying it, though probably because I went in with fairly low expectations given the genre. That said, I think the most underrated anime this season is probably My Roommate is a Cat. That has been consistently adorable. However, this one is certainly being overlooked by the larger community with very few reviews of it to be found each week. Which is a shame, because it is just kind of fun.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

Oh yeah! Completely forgot about My Roommate is a cat for a second. To be honest, the winter season this year is full of surprises! Hopefully, posts like these will bring awareness to how good Meiji Tokyo Renka is 😀

Well, last time we both seemed to be enjoying Mei as a character and I must say she’s continued to really grow on me over the mid-season. Though I have a few questions about her singing about electricity. How have you found her?

Are you kidding? XD The electricity is just the best… Im not sure how is that not a meme yet hahaha

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 6

Yeah, I can definitely see that being a meme or worse, an endless repeated loop on a YouTube video. I’m just going to close my eyes and pretend I didn’t see it.

hahaha yeah, the singing was not really that great, and the music was terrible. But, I think that was the idea. Bu well, I’m still enjoying Mei as a character and I think she is strong enough to lead Meiji Tokyo Renka.

She is interesting, funny and kind, so she has been a very good character to follow. However, I do have some small problem with her which is how oblivious can she get. I mean, I know she is a teenager from the future, but how does she not know what is a Geisha or a Geisha house? That just seems quite a reach to me… But, more than that, she is more than ok. How about you?

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I think I like her because she seems a bit more active in directing events than other similar protagonists who feel like they get dragged along. Sure she got sent to the past without really being involved but since then she’s made plenty of decisions and seems to have a clear idea of what she wants to do. I really like seeing the guys getting dragged in her wake sometimes and find her just a lot of fun.

You are right about her being just a little on the dense side though. She’ll know about some author or novel but then not know something blindingly obvious. It is a little hit and miss sometimes. Also she’s incredibly oblivious about how Ougai feels about her which seems insane given how open he’s been about declaring her his finace.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Yeah, you are right about making her own decisions! In fact, one thing I wanted to comment is how she is always defying the guys around her and will do what she thinks best. She will turn down any guy (who is not Ougai) and even when it comes to Ougai, she will do what she things instead of just following his lead. It makes me remember Ouran High School main character a little bit.

Regarding she being oblivious towards Ougai, well she ends up to understand when he is completely faceforward with her in the geisha house. But, it is true that when it comes to any other guy, she is completely naive and does not get that everyone is getting in love with her. Though I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised how Mei started liking Ougai and will not budge from that feeling, which just makes it feel like more of a romance than a reverse harem.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

I have to agree. It is nice to see her clearly make a choice with her feelings and so early in the series. You would think given he likes her and she’s infatuated with him they could just get together, but clearly we’re going to have to deal with his issues in the next couple of episodes before that can happen. Still, it kind of puts all the other guys on the shelf which is probably a good thing given I think I remember like two of their names without looking them up at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, they are all fun enough characters. I just can’t really remember them after their time on screen. I think Shunsou (probably spelt that totally wrong) is about the only one who has left much of an impression and that’s only because they use the excuse of looking for his cat to get into almost every other situation.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I get you! Is not that the characters are not interesting or funny, it’s just that they only appear here and there, making it difficult to remember the name! >.< But, they all did make an impression on me, good or bad 😛

When it comes to Shunsou, well he is always there, he may even appear more times than Ougai at this point, so it makes sense that we remember is name hahaha

On that note, who is your least favourite character so far?

That’s a difficult question 😛 I’ll put Ougai aside just because, well it would be unfair to the others haha. (let me just search the name really quick) Well my favourite is a tie between Kyouka Izumi and Orojirou Kawakami (geisha version) XP What about you?

My favourite is probably Kyouka (if we put Ougai to the side). But I think my least favourite has to go to Fujita. He seemed like he would be a really interesting character, though a little bit intense. And then episode 8 happened and we got a tiny bit of his story and he was just kind of nothing. I kind of feel like his character didn’t go anywhere.

Yeah, Fujita is also my least favourite… Though the guy who is always speaking English can also be pretty annoying…

But well, what about the story? One of the things you commented in the last time was that you were afraid that the story would just throw Mei’s capabilities through the window at some point and just go for a generic reverse harem… What do you think now?

I am actually pretty impressed how they’ve managed to keep Mei’s abilities as part of the story and used it quite a number of times as the central focus (even more so than the guys). I also really like that they haven’t forgotten about the time travel aspect and I definitely want to ask your opinion about episode 9 in a moment, but one thing at a time.

The episode with the spirit in the lake was fantastic and I really loved how Mei ended up intervening in that story and saving the day, even if she then needed saving from drowning (Ougai comes in handy occasionally). But pretty much all the stories with the spirits or ghosts in them have been entertaining. I wonder if she’ll ever find the cat though.

Yeah, I also feel they did a good job. It’s true that we have an “arc” where she spends 3 days inside that geisha house being hit every second to learn etiquette, but those episodes were so funny that I don’t mind at all xD

When it comes to the episode of the lake, I’m with you! To be honest, when it comes to ghosts she moves and reacts a little bit like Natsume 🙂 Even against everyone’s advice she will always try to defend the spirit in some sort of way.

I also have to say that it was a pretty interesting ride. Since Kyouka also has the power to see ghosts, a character from his writing was able to come out of the story and become a spirit… It’s actually a pretty interesting idea, but I would hate to be in Kyouka’s shoes… I mean, everytime you want to write you need to make sure you don’t create something too violent xD

But, what did you want to ask from episode 9?

Charlie? What do you make of him? I mean he sends Mei back to the past and then tells her he can send her back at the next full moon. And now she says she doesn’t want to go and he’s like ‘no problem’. Do you think he’s up to something or do you think he genuinely just wants her to stay where she’s happy?

I also felt that scene a little off. In fact I just thought to myself, really? That easy huh?

Well, to be honest, I believe she will have to go back in the full moon. If you remember Charlie was not really happy when he heard the news. He seemed just concerned and wished that she had said something sooner, so I’m pretty sure she won’t be able to stay in the Meiji Era that easy.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 9

I don’t think that Charlie is plotting anything though, Meiji Tokyo Renka just does not seem an Anime to go to that route. If it went, it would be a very unexpected turn to me xD What about you, what do you make of this Charlie?

Honestly, I think he’s up to something. I don’t think it was an accident he sent her back in the first place, as much as he ‘acted’ surprised. I think he genuinely wanted her to do something in the Meiji era and I’m not so sure if he wants her to stay. Then again, maybe I’m just starved of a decent anime villain at the moment and looking for villainous characters where none exist. I mean, other than Fujita, there’s no antagonist in this story at all and it is more just Mei dealing with various situations.

Not that lacking a villain is a bad thing. The story is really fun without it. But I just keep thinking Charlie must be up to something. So I was kind of hoping that maybe he’d reveal his true colours in the final few episodes. Though, we do have Ougai’s story to deal with so maybe there’s no time left for a surprise bad guy.

Is there anything else you want to discuss from these episodes?

Yeah, I think this last few episodes will be about Ougai and that female ghost… But, I get what you are saying! But, after watching The Rising of The Shield Hero, it’s more than ok to not have annoying characters who want makes me want to push the screen xD

But, anyways, I do believe you may be right. It seems not, but the electricity song you were talking earlier made the course of the past to change. Everyone only got on-board after her song, so maybe if she was not there we would have a future Japan lighless? We will never know! (Though I do have to say that was one of the most random Anime episodes I’ve seen in awhile)

So, yeah, my last question would be, what do you think about Mei having such impact in huge events of the past? I know that the show is not that deep, but she is changing the course of the Japanese history at this point!

I kind of felt it was reasonably expected given she seemed to recognise all the guys she was meeting (I assume they are reasonably famous in Japan and I haven’t looked them up yet but I’m sure when I do they’ll be very important). So I kind of figured her presence was there to either witness changes to history or be the cause of it.

Then again, I’m not expecting the anime to really get into the ramifications of that change. As you said, it just isn’t that deep.

Though, I agree, that was a really random episode. What was with the camel?

I laughed so hard in that part hahaha But then, one moment to another everything is completely fine because of Charlie’s magic lolol What the hell, it was really strange!

Well, considering this was kind of a random pick for covering this season, I’ve really had a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends. Are we ready to head over to the shelter to tackle the other title on our review list?

That makes 2 of us! I’m also really interested in watching what is going to happen next, at this point I’m not sure if it’s gonna be a “and they lived happily ever after” kind of thing, so I’m intigued! 🙂

Yeah, let’s go eheh! Time to tackle The Rising of The Shield Hero!

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DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA – YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA - YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)

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

Arifureta Volume 4 Cover

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

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

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

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

Arifureta Volume 4 Shea gets a new collar

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

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

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

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

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

Turns out I was right and wrong.

Arifureta Volume 4 Hajime and Kaori

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

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

Arifureta Volume 4 - Kaori and Shizuku watch Hajime

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

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

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In Case You Missed It 2019 #6

Welcome back to another week and as normal I’ve found some really interesting posts from the community. There’s a few game related posts this week and I’m not really sure why, but there just seemed to be a lot of interesting content around some new releases that caught my eye. Anyway, hopefully you find something fun to read in the list below. And if you want my overall thoughts on the Winter 2019 Anime season so far check out my half-time thoughts.

Posts from the Community

Season 1 Episode 1 gives their first impressions of Grimms Notes and looks at how a narrative posing a question but not answering it in a satisfying way can leave the viewer feeling just a little disappointed. If you are curious about Grimms Notes this is probably an excellent first post to read as it looks for positives in the series but addresses the flaws in how the series is executing its ideas within the first episode.

Crow and Irina discuss The Promised Neverland Episode 4 and if you haven’t watched it pass on this discussion because it is going to reveal… well, everything from the episode and it is worth watching cold provided you haven’t already heard it all on Twitter. The back and forth between these two as they look at each scene is really fun to read so if you are following the Promised Neverland and you missed this post, go check it out.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Ray

Ryder from The Kitten Who Eats Ramen has a review of a Visual Novel called Red Embrace. BL and Vampires, and it look s kind of interesting. I’ll admit, I’m not hugely into Visual Novels but I have played the odd one or two and I enjoy reading reviews of new games because occasionally I’ll look for a new one to play and this one definitely grabbed my interest from this review. Might be a post worth checking out if you are also looking for something new and you don’t mind BL Vampire stories.

Lynn Sheridan has a review of Goblin Slayer. I love their review format as it breaks things down into nice, manageable chunks of what was liked, what wasn’t, which characters work, which need more screen time, etc. It’s an easy reading experience and gets the point across. Anyway, if you want to read a review of Goblin Slayer this one is well worth reading.

Goblin Slayer - High Elf Archer

Nintendo Soup shared a video of Piranha Plant in a parody anime opening featuring a range of characters from Super Mario Smash Bros Ultimate. They didn’t make the video but I am very glad they shared it because I did not know my life was missing that until I watched it. If you want a minute and a half of pure fun check it out.

Mel always has a good eye for collecting anime boys and once again this year they’ve presented their harem for 2018. There are some excellent choices on the list and some interesting ones but if you want to know about the boys from last year this is the post to check out. Also links to their 2017 list in case you are curious. Also from Mel is a great review of The Ancient Magus’ Bride so be sure to check that one out as well.

Shania from Quotable Creations has a quick run down on the timeline of the Kingdom Hearts games leading to Kingdom Hearts 3. It doesn’t go into too much depth but it does give you the quick overview of the main events and characters and if you were looking to reminisce about the franchise it is a nice place to start.

Pick of the Week

And still on Kingdom Hearts, Lethargic Ramblings shares their thoughts on Kingdom Hearts 3 and how it has concluded a story spanning more than a decade. There are some spoilers for the game here (and that warning is at the beginning of the post) but the love for the game is very clear in this post and I loved reading it. One well worth checking out if you enjoy feeling excited about a story.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Promo Image

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Friendly Talks With Arthifis – Meiji Tokyo Renka Episodes 1 – 4

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

Arthifis and I are joining forces once again this season to bring you coverage of two anime. We’ll catch up after four episodes and share our thoughts. Here on 100 Word Anime we’ll be discussing Meiji Tokyo Renka and over on The Shelter we will be getting into The Rising of the Shield Hero. Hopefully you will join us on our journey and share your thoughts on both of these shows as the season unfolds.

I’ll be the one in red and Arthifis will be blue and bold. Hope you enjoy.

Hey Arthifis, welcome back. It is great to be working with you again this season and covering another two anime with you. How are you today?

Hey there Karandi! I have to say the same to you! I’m thrilled to do this with you again this season! Especially, because I think we were able to pick 2 strong Anime shows in this season! One who is more popular and other a little more underrated, but both have surprised in a very nice way! 😀 I’m good thanks! 🙂 Trying to have my head over water with all the Anime shows I still have to cover haha what about you?

Well, I kind of came down sick which doesn’t surprise me given things have gotten super busy in the real world and next week is looking to be a killer. However, that just means there is more reason to watch anime because I’m not exactly wanting to go out and about.

Ooooh! Sorry to hear that! I can understand you very well! Life has been pretty crazy in the past few weeks, but I’ve managed not to get ill… At least for now! Hope you get better soon!

You are definitely right in that we picked two strong anime. I wasn’t actually expecting all that much from Meiji Tokyo Renka but so far it has actually managed to be pretty decent and seems to be getting better. I do enjoy being pleasantly surprised by anime.

Yeah, completely! I had the same idea as you, that basically, the twist the Anime had was going to be thrown away for the reverse harem factor. However, it has not been the case so far. The anime has been pretty interesting and funny so far.

Where do you want to start? I do have a lot to say about this one, so it’s better that you take the lead and conduct this conversation, if not I think I’ll just start speaking in circles haha

Now I feel like I’m standing in front an orchestra and counting down, but okay. I think we should probably look at the premise first. As you said, it seemed at first like we were just getting another time travel gimmick that would quickly get forgotten or sidelined for the harem side of the story, but they actually seem committed to their premise. It is a pleasant change after Sengoku Night Blood last year kind of did a similar thing but then didn’t do anything with it. So far, Meiji Tokyo Renka seems like it is actually taking the fact that Mei has travelled through time seriously, and the fact that she can see spirits fairly seriously. I’m really liking it. How about you?

Well, I can’t say anything about Sengoku Night Blood because I haven’t watched it! But, when it comes to Meiji Tokyo Renka, I’m with you! In fact, it’s very nice to see that both harems of the season have been very interesting Anime to watch, this one and Gotoubun no Hanayome.

There are a lot of things that makes me enjoying Mei so much, so I’ll try to cut it down! First, how Mei is a very fun and sweet character to follow. She’s so freaking clumsy and not lady like at all… It’s actually nice to see that she is like that when she does not feel that she is going to be ridiculed or something like that by being herself. In episode 1 for example, we see a way more gloomy Mei.

Then, I also loved the “Ghost Whisper” kind of episode! It completely focused in the premise of the show which is Mei being able to see ghosts! It was nice to see her using her power to help someone. Clearly, that will make her more confident of herself.

Next, it’s the music, but I’ll let that one for later.

Last, but not the least, I love how Mei does not seem actually interested in most of the handsome guys the show presented… I mean, she doesn’t even remember to meet that handsome actor which all girls seem to be in love with! She was way more interesting in the meat haha

What about you? What are the main points you like the most about the Anime?

I definitely like Mei. Episode one I was worried we were getting another token blank slate protagonist to be shoved about by the guys and the plot and she did kind of seem that way. The whole amnesia thing was kind of a red flag for me because mostly that just seems to serve as a plot excuse to make the central female character completely passive as things happen around her and to her.

Fortunately, Mei didn’t stay in this blank slate mode very long. Despite missing some of her memories she seems very much her own person and while she does get dragged around from time to time, she’s making her own choices. I really liked when she met the guy in episode 2 (the magician whose name I cannot remember) and he pretty much told her she could get home again once the next full moon came so she might as well enjoy herself. I thought it was great how she took on that advice and decided to embrace her ability to see ghosts, something she had never been able to do.

I also really like her fixation on food, to the point where she doesn’t remember the guy at the party because she was focused on the plate of meat he was holding. In that way she kind of reminds me of Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club. Yes she’s surrounded by all these apparently attractive guys but she’s just not interested.

That said, I’m curious about Ougai and the whole fiancee thing because he sometimes seems like he’s kidding and other times like he’s dead serious and while I get how it benefits Mei I haven’t figured out why it benefits him yet. Any ideas?

Hmmm… Well, I had the same feeling as you, until episode 4. After episode 4, where we see that everyone is trying to make him marry a girl from a noble family (something that is pretty normal for the Meiji Era), I think what he benefits from all of that, is that, this way he can say that he is already taken and doesn’t have to concede to his family pressure.

However, I believe that when he announced Mei as his fiancee in the first episode, the solely purpose was to protect her from the ghost hunter (I can’t remember his name). Basically, she was going to get killed in that moment if Ougai didn’t use his status and power to save her.

We’re both doing well with remembering the guy’s names. Honestly, I’ve been writing up episode reviews of this for my patrons and yet I still end up having to search for the names. And it isn’t that the characters aren’t memorable, I remember who they are and what they did, but their names just go straight out of my head.

Hahaha well, I think that’s what happens when you have around 10 guys introduced to you right in the first episode! It’s just way too many names to get right from the bat! It’s like when you start a new job and in the first day your boss presents to everyone in your team… After 5 minutes you just can’t remember anyone’s name xD

On the other hand, the other thing I like is how many nods they are giving to the era. It isn’t like they just gave the cast a wardrobe change and said, hey we’re in the Meiji era. The entertainment, the social circles, the cost of items, everything seems to be trying to create a believable time period for the audience and the sense that Mei isn’t where she belongs. While I’m not into history enough to know how historically accurate it is, I actually feel like this anime is making an effort to produce at least the feeling of an era.

Regarding the era… Thanks for bringing that up, it was something that I wanted to discuss. I’m loving that we are getting a lot of Meiji Era references. Being in the background, or actually how Mei ends up facing different ways of doing things! I mean, I love that for her to understand the price of things it has to be by knowing how many beef bowls she could buy with said money!

But, more than that, I love that things that are completely normal and everyone knows in Japan at the present, when Mei shows those skills in the Meiji Era, she seems to be a very intelligent person. Like knowing Shakespeare or knowing how to properly eat with a fork and a knife (something that of course, in Japan was only for the high class). I also loved how she just created a mop to help the maid in doing her job easily and faster haha It just made me think how different things are today versus 150 years ago…

Okay, so you wanted to talk about the music as well?

Tokyo 3Meiji Renka Episode

Yeah! Well, I just wanted to say that I love most of it haha I could live without the more cheesy soundtracks when we are seeing more “romantic” scenes, but all the rest is actually pretty good. In fact, the intro song may be one of the best of the season! Do you like it?

I don’t dislike it, but it hasn’t really stood out to me all that much. In fact, most of the music here as felt pretty standard for this type of show. It isn’t bad but I’m not paying that much attention to it. Though you are right about the cheesy music in those moonlit scenes with whichever guy Mei happens to currently be near. It is all a little much but also quite expected.

Really? Oh I love the jazz-ish music of the intro!

Well, on my side I just have one thing I want to discuss, which is basically the only thing bad that I have to say about this Anime which is about the Animation movement and the eyes design.

When it comes to the animation movement I just feel there are way too many static frames. I know that it’s something you are used to see on these kind of Anime, but, I mean… For 2019, it’s way too much!

The eyes thing, is about the shadow they use when a certain character is not the focus of the scene. I believe it’s just a way to make it faster to be drawn. I mean, it’s easier (and cheaper) to do just a shadow than a pair of eyes… However, how it is done, it just feels the characters are plotting something evil all the time haha

I get what you mean about the static frames. It does make screen capping a lot easier but it kind of gives away the whole based on a game kind of thing. And as you said, it is pretty standard for this type of show to use it, but it does seem excessive. Which is a shame because the art is gorgeous in a lot of these scenes but they barely feel animated at times.

The eye thing hasn’t really bothered me but now that you’ve pointed it out I guess I’ll see if I notice it more in the next episode.

As for negatives, probably my biggest one so far is that I’m not seeing much of a central plot just yet. Sure she’s gone back in time and lot’s of stuff has happened and I guess her finding her way home could be the whole story, but it would be nice to think there was a little bit more to the plot then that.

I don’t really agree with you in the plot 😛 I think that the plot is going to be about Mei, more than finding her way home, finding herself and be able to become content with the thing of seeing spirits. It’s sort of a come of age if you want…

Though it’s not even half as good as Natsume, I believe Mei will end up meeting every single guy, work her magic, make those guys fall for her (it is a reverse harem after all), but in the end, with meeting all these guys who are able to see spirits, guys who WANT to see spirits, or even just being there to protect her like Ougai it will make her to be a happier person and, more importantly, more confident of herself.

Yes, they kind of seem to be setting up a Voyage and Return story, similar to Alice in Wonderland and the journey Mei goes on will probably change her. Is it wrong that I’d like a little more than just a character journey though? I have nothing against a good self-discovery story but it would be nice if in the process there was some ongoing story for them to work with. And I know that is kind of contrary given I do love shows like Natsume that kind of pride themselves on being very character centric over the plot.

Either way, this one has so far been pretty pleasant to watch so even if I don’t get a central plot to work with, I’ll be pretty happy watching Mei continue to grow. It just won’t be quite as memorable for me. Anything else you would like to add?

Hmmm, I can see your point of view! Well, maybe we will be able to see a nice romantic relationship happening along the way? I’m not sure how… Unless she ends up wanting to stay in the Meiji Era or one of the guys end up going to the present with her? But, being the source a game, I’m pretty sure that the game is for you to build the relationships with the guys xD

I don’t really have much to add! I’m also really liking the Anime and it’s been pretty pleasant so far. In fact, I believe this is going to be probably one of the most underrated Anime shows of the Winter Season!

This one isn’t going to rank overly high in terms of my favourites of the season. It isn’t strong enough on the production side and it isn’t a genre I’m overly fond of. That said, I haven’t got much to say about it that is negative and mostly I’ve been enjoying each episode for what it is. So this one is joining My Roommate is a Cat in my list of anime just to kind of chill out to this season and enjoy for what it is.

It was great having you Arthifis, though I guess we better get over to the Shelter and discuss Shield Hero.

Thank you for having me here once again Karandi! Yeah, let’s go the shelter so we can protect ourselves from the cold… Though where you live it’s actually summer at the moment lolol… Well, it’s a shelter, it protects from the cold AND the heat! (It has air conditioner xD)

Air con? I’m there.

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Karandi James
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DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA – YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA - YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)

Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest Volume 3 Light Novel Review

Arifureta Volume 3 Cover

Another volume and another girl and if I thought Shea the Bunny Girl was annoying, wait until we meet this one.

You know, I’m going to take back every mean thing I said about Shea in volume 2. Yes, she felt like an unnecessary additional character who existed just to create a harem, but at least she had a clear goal of her own and while she might sulk a bit she mostly worked hard. All of those traits are clearly on display in volume 3 and despite the clear harem established with Yue, Shea and Hajime, they’ve actually managed to make the dynamic between the trio work. And yet, in the process of making me actually accept the previous additional member to the harem, volume 3 throws yet another girl into the mix. This time its a dragon.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Hajime and Yue

But backing off that point a bit, because criticising a harem fantasy for having a harem in it is kind of on the pointless side, volume 3 is a really exciting read. Hajime racing to rescue someone from a mountain that has rumours of monsters and in the process running across his teacher and a handful of his classmates. This is the first reunion since Hajime fell and his incredibly different appearance and mannerism become a key plot point for really the first time since volume 1.

In volume 2, despite encountering many characters, none of them knew Hajime or had any frame of reference. So his hostile, Yue and me against the world, attitude was just seen as his default. But running into the teacher who knew the Hajime before his life was pushed to the breaking point brings a new and fairly exciting character development that I really hope gets followed up on.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Hajime meets Aiko.

We’ve got some great action sequences in this book with Hajime’s ability to make weapons and vehicles based off his memory of one’s on earth adding a bit of a different flavour to battles in what would otherwise be fairly traditional fantasy settings. Pulling a Gatling gun on a dragon is certainly a novelty. Throw in some solid magical efforts and the team work between Hajime, Shea and Yue and all and all it makes for a very satisfying read that continues the story, injects some excitement, and sets up future plot developments.

I’d continue to sing the book’s praises except for Tio. And I’d love to detail just why Tio is so horrible but unfortunately that would step majorly into spoilers so I’ll keep in general.

You know, I get that sometimes characters are annoying on purpose and when even the other characters in the story can’t stand them I assume it is supposed to be on purpose. However, there are almost no words to explain how annoying she is. Fortunately you only have to really put up with her in the latter stages of the book, but literally everything she says made me want to stop reading. She’s like the most intrusive fan-service character ever invented.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Tio

I walked away from this volume thinking how one character managed to sour the entire experience. Because outside of her, I really had fun with this story, but I had to think really hard about that because her presence becomes such an issue. If I hadn’t had the next volume already I may have thought twice about continuing on.

I will admit though, that your tolerance of her antics may vary and if a girl asking to have her butt violated doesn’t completely turn your stomach then you might have a great deal more fun here in general.

So on that note, while I still really see a lot of potential in this overall narrative and I really like the majority of the characters, there’s definitely a sticking point at volume 3 so I can’t completely recommend it.

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Karandi James
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Conception Anime Series Review

Unrestrained Power Fantasy Involving 1 Guy, 12 Girls, and 1 Tanuki

Every season there is that one anime that I know I’m not going to like, that it isn’t my genre or there’s an annoying character or idea, and yet there’s something about it that manages to catch my attention and I’m unable to just walk away. After watching 12 episodes of this, I’m convinced that I need to learn to drop shows early on even if there is that small carrot of potential. Conception was that title in the Autumn 2018 season

Conception Episode 3

I’ll admit, I watched this through to the end when other shows were dropped along the way. So it isn’t unwatchable. But that is more because of the sheer weirdness of some of what happens. And I’m not just talking about the premise of Itsuki having to make children with 12 maidens and that changing to 13 before the end in order to save a fantasy world.

Conception Episode 2

Conception does a couple of things right. Things that make viewing a poorly scripted, comedy that relies heavily on innuendo and smut jokes to carry episode, something that still seems to hint at being better than it actually is.

One thing it manages is pacing. Just when the comedy elements or the dating the star maiden parts became a little too much, this anime would dangle the story about the labyrinth and fighting the impurities in front of the viewer. By cycling through the different aspects of the show and making sure they never stayed absent too long, no matter what drew a viewer to the anime, just when they got to a point where they might drop it that part of the story would come back.

Conception Episode 10 The Star Children

The other thing that saved this anime from a complete drop is that despite the premise and the incredibly borderline visuals, Itsuki technically doesn’t actually have sex (on screen) with the maidens (maybe Mana, not sure). It is probably just as well given the age of some of these characters and just how weird that would be for all the maidens to happily get along, but the anime does everything but actual sex and it sure implies intimacy so for some people there will still be more than enough reason to walk away.

However, these minor positives can’t overcome the overwhelming negatives that this series is carrying with it.

Because there are 12/13 girls to be seduced and only 12 episodes, we barely get to meet some of these girls that Itsuki seems to woo some of them in an instant. The few that get a whole episode devoted to them are interesting enough but they essentially get seduced, go through the ‘ritual’, produce a child and then they more or less get forgotten outside of group shots.

Conception Episode 3

There’s a lot of fourth wall breaking ‘comedy’. Some of it is kind of amusing but most of it is the eye-roll worthy kind of humour where the writing seems to think it is more clever than it is. The episode that more or less spoofed ‘The Bachelor’ really was the low point for me though if the humour hits than it might work better for you.

Conception Episode 8 The Bachelor

Itsuki himself is about as bland a protagonist as any isekai power fantasy protagonist. Though, he seems even more dense at times. His acceptance of his role, or Mana’s advice, and the way he just plays whatever role is currently assigned means his own personality is pretty much absent for the vast majority of the series. He’s very clearly a blank-slate waiting for self-insert.

Conception Episode 7 Mana

But, the worst part of this anime goes straight to Mana as a character. Wow, I don’t know how many times I wished death on her during my episode reviews. She most definitely gets the title for the single worst character and most annoying creature of the entirety of 2018.

All and all, I really regret not dropping this. It wasn’t really a genre I am fond of and the small elements that could have been interesting just didn’t get enough time or development to really deliver. While I won’t say this is the worst anime ever, and it isn’t even my worst anime of 2018, it is an anime that you would have to be a very specific audience to enjoy and for everyone else you’d be better off steering clear.

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Karandi James
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CONCEPTION ORE NO KODOMO WO UNDEKURE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
CONCEPTION ORE NO KODOMO WO UNDEKURE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Bye Bye Conception! And At Last It’s Done!

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 12 Review

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say. Voting closes on the 29th of December.

There’s very little left to say about this anime that I haven’t already said, but if I was hoping for an ending that would somehow make it seem worth while then I would have been left fairly disappointed. Though, let’s throw in a positive, they did at least conclude the whole labyrinth thing with the impurities. The fact that the conclusion makes no sense, logical or otherwise, is more or less par for the course and I guess if you watched 12 episodes of this you can hardly be surprised.

Conception Episode 12 Itsuki

I think what really sets this one apart from other bad anime that end badly, is that this one doesn’t even commit to its terrible ending. After giving us an illogical and fairly pointless final fight, all of the characters who we just waved good-bye to show up again and they all jump through the portal to earth. Because that makes sense. Then cut to the credits where we see all the Star Maidens living happily working in their jobs on earth without any issue whatsoever. Sure.

Conception Episode 12 Itsuki fights the impurities

Of course that is only the end point of stupidity. Firstly we have Itsuki deciding he isn’t going to sacrifice himself. Then the King asking the Star Maidens to perform the ritual to sacrifice him. Then the maidens deciding not to. Then some random fight sequence where various declarations of wanting to help each other somehow power things up so the star children fuse into robots, and then Itsuki joins them, Alfie is killed, Alfie’s oddball star-child joins them as a weapon and that’s the end only the star children are apparently now being used to seal the impurity.

Conception Episode 12 Star Children

Like what? Which part of any of that made sense and how was it better for 13 children to get left behind to seal the impurity rather than one Itsuki. My eyes very nearly rolled clean out of my head trying to watch this one. Okay, I’m going to have to review the whole series of this and I’m going to have to figure out how to be nice (or at least not rant) but in the meantime, I’d suggest avoiding this one.

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Karandi James
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CONCEPTION II: CHILDREN OF THE SEVEN STARS
CONCEPTION II: CHILDREN OF THE SEVEN STARS