Tuesday’s Top 5: Blog Posts in 2017

As the year draws to a close I figured it was time for a little bit of reflection so my count down this week isn’t one of anime characters or shows but rather the 5 posts that caught my reader’s attention over the year (working purely on views and not on engagement or actual quality of the post – that would be a very different list). There were some surprises here when I looked at the views on some posts. For convenience sake I have grouped posts on a similar topic together otherwise this list would have become pretty boring fairly quickly with the number 1 collection of posts actually including the four most viewed posts on my blog this year for reasons I still don’t quite understand.

Anyway, usually I’d ask you what you would include on your list but this topic doesn’t lend itself to that so instead I’ll ask you to let me know what your favourite post on my blog was this year.

Despite the weird line up here, I take comfort in knowing that my review of Yuri on Ice episode 1 is still the most viewed episode post I’ve ever written on this blog.

Please Note: No spoilers this week.

Hourable mention goes to the Top 5 Anime I’d Like to See Rebooted.

Number 5: Sword Oratoria Episode 1

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I’m a little mystified as to why this post got so many views comparatively to other episode posts. The only thing I can think of is that DanMachi had a lot of fans and people wanted to know if this spin-off was any good or they wanted to lament with others about the fact that it wasn’t. I know I only reviewed 5 episodes before I dropped it so I’ll never get to do a series review, but Sword Oratoria is a regular search term that sends people to my blog so I guess this post will continue to get views.

Number 4: Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 5

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This one I get even less than Sword Oratoria. It isn’t the first episode of the series and basically all this post does is complain about my internet connection and then retells why this show isn’t my genre. It is a dreadful post and yet one of my most viewed. That’s a little concerning to be honest.

Number 3: Assassination Classroom Episode 43

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With this one it makes sense that reviews of the show got views but I’m not sure why this particular episode has so many more views than the other ones. It is right before the final sequence so I guess last post you can read before major spoilers, but I’m still not entirely sure about the reason so many people have viewed this post over others in the series.

Number 2: March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 19

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This one is a short but sweet recount of an episode I enjoyed, though again, not sure why this post in the series has more views than others. I think understanding the reason why for some of these might help me understand my readers a bit better but at least this post is about the episode it is supposed to be reviewing and it is a very cool show (plus that cat is adorable). To put it another way, this single episode post has 200 more views than the review of season 1 of March Comes in Like a Lion and nearly as many more views than the next best viewed post of this series. Why? I have no idea.

Number 1: Killing Stalking (all posts)

killing1For something I checked out on a whim after seeing a plethora of tweets about the series and reviewed up to chapter (I think) 19, this continues to be a crazily popular draw. Almost every day someone finds my blog by searching for Killing Stalking and I can’t help but feel they will probably end up disappointed given it isn’t exactly my usual material. But every single post on Killing Stalking has made its way fairly high up the list of most viewed posts this year. The top 4 are chapter 3, chapter 1, chapter 4 and chapter 8 and they have more views than any of my other posts. Chapter 3 actually have more views than my first episode review of Yuri on Ice.

It is kind of interesting to look back at what you’ve done and what you wouldn’t do if given another chance. That review of that episode of Interviews with Monster Girls is truly terrible and really should just be deleted. All things considered though, 2017 has been another fun year on the blog and my first full year blogging given I started during 2016.

Wishing everyone a great New Year and looking forward to reading some great posts in 2018.


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Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 10

Review:

This is my last episode review of this series. I just can’t keep watching it. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the show I just find myself incredibly bored by it. The premise and characters were interesting enough but if they don’t end up doing anything with that than I have to start wondering what the point is. Episode 10 wasn’t particularly bad, it was much the same as every other really, but I could not bring myself to care about any of the events transpiring and so called it on this series.

Interviews with Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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Interviews With Monster Girls Episode 9

Review:

This story continues to have small moments that I really enjoy sandwiched inbetween random, silly, or pointless moments that do little to engage. The opening sequences with Sakae rolling around on the floor with her teddy-bear goes into the latter category being both silly and ultimately unnecessary to the story that unfolds after. Still, the interaction between Sakae and Takahashi this week was quite entertaining because it actually felt sincere.

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This show is at its best when it focusses on Takahashi learning more about the demis and their lives and they begin to feel accepted and like they have a place where they can be themselves.

Then of course we go back to the three girls and things kind of become progressively more silly until the episode ends.

Interviews with Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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Winter 2017 Week 8

Week 8 and things are heating up in some shows as we close in on the end of the season. I’m genuinely going to be sad to see March Comes in Like a Lion come to an end. I really enjoy waking up on Sunday to a new episode of it. ACCA I’m looking forward to the resolution of. I’ll miss this show but I’m happy they don’t seem to be unnecessarily stringing out the content and it feels like it is coming to a resolution. The other shows this season I’m reasonably indifferent to at this point in terms of whether they end or continue. It’s kind of sad but true.

Over on patreon, patrons will find my highlight of the week and my lesser top 5 list for the week. Remember also, I’m posting my responses to the genre challenge I made over the next week. For everyone else you can find my screen cap of the week and my reviews of season 2 Super Lovers over on patreon.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on the shows this season so please leave a comment below.

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Must Watch

  • ACCA (Episode 8)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 19)

As ACCA starts pulling everything together it is moving from being interesting and compelling to being something really great. Even an episode that was pretty much entirely backstory felt meaningful and it felt like it appeared exactly when it needed to. I’m really loving watching this show. The reason I’ve moved it above March is because there’s more balance. March I’m really loving for the characters and visuals but there really isn’t much in the way of plot. ACCA has taken a bit longer to draw us into the characters but everything is coming together with this show now.

March Comes in Like a Lion really gave us a strong episode this week. In terms of story it was very quiet but the characters and visuals did everything they needed to. This show continues to be quietly impressive.

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Usually Entertaining

  • Chain Chronicle (Episode 8)
  • Spiritpact (Episode 8)
  • Tales of Zestiria the X Season 2 (Episode 8)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Episode 44)

Chain Chronicle continues to be fairly standard but fairly entertaining fantasy. I could be super critical of a whole bunch of things but really it is accomplishing what it is setting out to do and it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is.

Spiritpact has jumped up this list again. Mostly because if you were to ask me which episode I was most looking forward to the next part of, it easily beats all the sequel series this season has rolled out. There’s definitely still issues with the show in terms of production but the characters and story get better each episode and I’m genuinely caught up in the events at the moment, unlike the other shows where I feel like I’m waiting for them to stop stuffing around and do something.

Tales of Zestiria finally gave us an actually fun episode and remembered there was supposed to actually be a villain somewhere to fight. Amazing how much better things get when there is a point to them. Anyway, let’s hope we can now end the season strongly but really there’s no saving the poor start to this season and the rewatch value up to this point is nil.

Iron Blooded Orphans gives us more foreshadowing of a very bad ending looming over most of the characters. Seriously, is anyone going to be alive at the end of this?

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Okay, I Guess

  • Blue Exorcist (Episode 34)
  • elDLIVE (Episode 8)
  • Super Lovers (Episode 7)
  • Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 8)

Blue Exorcist has fallen to just being okay because this season has just not delivered. We finally get into a fight and it isn’t the fast paced fun adventure of season 1 but another talky choppy mess of scenes where nothing is given the attention it deserves and the enemy is all but forgotten in most of the exchanges.

elDLIVE remains… odd? Strange? Occasionally really good with moments of eye-rolling idiocy mixed in? It’s hard to know given from one section to the next of a single episode I can be having a great time to being annoyed with this show. The second half this week was excellent and then they all enrolled in school at the end. Seriously? We’re going there?

Super Lovers is being reviewed on my Patreon site (available to everyone).

Interviews with Monster Girls just continues to do its thing. I’m neither particularly interested or particularly annoyed with this at this point.

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They Made This

  • Hand Shakers (Episode 8)

There’s really nothing left to say about this anime at this point. It hasn’t got better or worse (though my tolerance for some of its nonsense is getting lower).

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Tried and Dropped

  • Akiba’s Trip (Episode 6)
  • Fuuka (Episode 5)
  • Trickster (Episode 13)
  • Gabriel DropOut (Episode 1)
  • Masamune-Kun’s Revenge (Episode 1)
  • Schoolgirl Strikers (Episode 1)
  • Seiren (Episode 1)
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil (Episode 1)
  • Chaos;Child (Episode 1 – five minutes in)

Week 8 has drawn to a close. Has you opinion changed about any of the shows so far this season?


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Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 8

Review:

Really this episode is broken into three distinct set ups and none of them are particularly good or interesting but they aren’t particularly bad either. We have the Succubus and the Snow Woman bonding over gag manga (though snow girl doesn’t want to admit she likes it) and then the Succubus shares a story of when she was in middle school, which probably isn’t the kind of story a teacher should tell a story but it was funny. We have Hikari being bad at studying which they split into smaller segments throughout the episode and is pretty predictable. Then we have the competition to see which arm tastes better which in honesty was pretty pointless and the final joke where the girls gang up on Takahashi was pretty obvious. All and all, I could stop watching this and not care but it’s fairly far along in the season so I’ll probably stick it out at this point.

Interviews with Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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Winter 2017 Week 7

From following Twitter, it definitely seems there’s a lot of mid-season dropping going on with people getting half-way through a show that kind of looked like it had potential but then failing to deliver. Even people who don’t normally drop mid-season are finding themselves making the choice to let something go. That said, there’s a lot of praise out there for some shows and most people have found something to celebrate from the Winter Anime season. For me, that’s ACCA and March Comes in Like a Lion. While these shows may not be my favourites ever with neither falling into a genre that I would normally claim to love, they are most definitely holding my interest and delivering some fairly solid storytelling.

Over on patreon, patrons will find my highlight of the week and my lesser top 5 list for the week. Everyone else can access reviews of the Scum’s Wish manga and Super Lovers season 2 episode reviews so be sure to check them out.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on the shows this season so please leave a comment below.

yuri10d

Must Watch

  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 18)
  • ACCA (Episode 7)

Episode 18 of March Comes in Like a Lion wasn’t that great for me with some of its visuals, but the series as a whole remains pretty solid and, to be honest, I’m in love with the character journey at this point.

ACCA episode 7 continues to surprise, this time seemingly going for the straight forward approach. Refreshing after so much intrigue and while it feels like things have come together there’s still a lot of nagging questions.

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Usually Entertaining

  • Chain Chronicle (Episode 7)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Episode 43)
  • Blue Exorcist (Episode 33)
  • Tales of Zestiria the X Season 2 (Episode 7)
  • Spiritpact (Episode 7)

While I’m not going to call Chain Chronicle a must watch, it is definitely my favourite popcorn entertainment watch of the season. While ACCA and March make me think and listen to the dialogue a second time and flick through scenes looking for visual cues I may have missed, Chain Chronicle is just fun to sit back and watch unfold in all its typical fantasy tropes. No, I won’t make an argument that this is an amazing story, but it is exactly what I want most Sunday’s when I’m trying to switch off.

Any hope of Orphans reigniting some of season 1’s flair for a strong finish is pretty much killed at this point. Yes, we’ll probably get a great final battle but really, that was all that Fareed’s plan had to it? You would think after keeping us in the dark this long it would be a reveal of actual value.

Blue Exorcist now has us all in the middle of a fight and yet we still are having to endure lengthy conversations and dialogue that goes around in circles. Admittedly, there was definitely a sense of urgency this week which has been lacking so far, but this still feels like they are stretching a little material a very long way.

Tales of Zestiria is being put on notice that if it doesn’t start bringing something more to the table then I am going to drop this down to just okay. Season 2 has continually not been as entertaining as season 1, and this is definitely starting to kill a lot of my desire to continue with this story (and seriously, it’s a fantasy with dragons, I should love this and yet it just hasn’t been delivering anything this season of note).

Spiritpact thickens the plot and maybe Keika won’t be so useless after this episode (though I won’t hold my breath on that). This one is the surprisingly improved show of the season given the incredibly rough start it had.

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Okay, I Guess

  • elDLIVE (Episode 7)
  • Super Lovers (Episode 7)
  • Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 7)

elDLIVE gives us some great lines this week and a few really good moments. Then it kind of dissolves into a friends forever and hope wins kind of thing. That said, this show does keep building on what it has so if it gets enough episodes could definitely end up being something.

Super Lovers is being reviewed on my Patreon site (available to everyone).

Interviews with Monster Girls remains watchable and that is the highest level of recommendation this show can get off of me at this point. Even if it has a brilliant finish it is just too flat, too lame, or too dull too often that the few sparks of creative or interesting cannot compensate for it.

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They Made This

  • Hand Shakers (Episode 7)

Hand Shakers is really wanting to cement its position as worst anime of the year early on and its succeeding admirably. While a lot of people took one look at the visuals of this show and declared it dead in the water, those of us who have continued have found a whole slew of things completely dreadful about this show. Every single thing that could have been interesting or helped lift this show has been squandered and all we have at this point a selection of screenshots showing the many and creative ways we can jam the word mesh into a sentence. Still not dropping it but only sticking to it because I am stubborn.

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Tried and Dropped

  • Akiba’s Trip (Episode 6)
  • Fuuka (Episode 5)
  • Trickster (Episode 13)
  • Gabriel DropOut (Episode 1)
  • Masamune-Kun’s Revenge (Episode 1)
  • Schoolgirl Strikers (Episode 1)
  • Seiren (Episode 1)
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil (Episode 1)
  • Chaos;Child (Episode 1 – five minutes in)

Week 7 over. So far, what has surprised you this season?


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Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 7

Review:

There were some good moments and some information about how society is adjusting to demis in this episode. Sprinkled in amongst some incredibly lame or dull moments. Is it really necessary for Hikari to be unable to provide a simple description of a person? Is it actually necessary for Sakie to deliver this self-aware gem that just fell completely flat in the conversation given there was really no reason for it:

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Was there any reason for the younger detective at all and his wall jumping attack? These things distracted and added nothing.

Also, the ending of this episode might be seen as sweet by some but I just found it slightly gag worthy. Yes, you two smoking men can protect all the female demis with your good intentions just because you are male. No way could they possibly sort out their own issues without you. Okay, I’m projecting my own issues into my interpretation but I just found this whole scene distasteful.

That said, let’s end on a positive. I absolutely loved Sakie’s reaction when she tried to rationalise her own feelings. They kind of nailed the execution by providing an external monologue of exactly what happens in your head when you try to rationalise something as irrational as romance.

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So, this episode didn’t do much to sell me on the show but it didn’t make me drop it so on we go to next week.

Interviews with Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 6

Review:

If you ever want to see twins, one a vampire and one not, engage in petty squabbles over the use of the fridge and who at the ice-cream then episode 6 of Interviews with Monster Girls is for you. While the dialogue keeps the first three-quarters of this episode feeling like it is moving, ultimately, other than a glimpse at Hikari’s home life very little is gained. The final quarter seems determined to touch base with the other characters as if to remind us they exist but again little is gained from it. This show is definitely falling into the slice of life category where I guess if you enjoy watching the girls in their daily goings on and the monster gimmick is enough to hold your interest this show works. While I liked this episode more than last week I just keep feeling a little underwhelmed by it.

Interviews with Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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Winter 2017 Week 5

Another week down and we’re closing in on the half-way point of the season and my real question is how many of these shows will I stick it out until they reach the end. Akiba’s Trip and I have gone our separate ways and Interviews with Monster Girls is quickly closing in on the limit of my tolerance for high school nothingness. That said, March Comes in Like a Lion and ACCA continue to impress and there’s enough other stories to enjoy even if they aren’t particularly good. elDLIVe and Spiritpact however seem to finally be finding their feet.

Over on patreon, patrons will find my highlight of the week and my lesser top 5 list for the week. Everyone else can access reviews of the Scum’s Wish manga and Super Lovers season 2 episode reviews so be sure to check them out.

As always feel free to share your thoughts on this season in the comments below.

yuri10d

Must Watch

  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 16)
  • ACCA (Episode 5)

Just when I think ACCA might knock March from the top spot, March Comes in Like a Lion finally allows Rei to move that little bit further forward. For a few moments this episode he actually acts like a teenage boy. If I was just looking at this episode, it isn’t anything amazing, but given the whole series and the journey this character has been on, this week was a delight.

Jean from ACCA is fast becoming my favourite character for the season. I absolutely love how he manages to remain aloof and yet still seems to be in some way involves in what is going on. Actually I’m just loving the show, but I really shouldn’t watch it before eating because the characters eat and talk about food a lot and that leaves me really hungry.

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Usually Entertaining

  • Chain Chronicle (Episode 5)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Episode 41)
  • Tales of Zestiria the X Season 2 (Episode 5)
  • Blue Exorcist (Episode 31)
  • Spiritpact (Episode 5)

Chain Chronicle continues just to be solid fantasy story telling and now that we’re far enough into the story that the characters are starting to feel more like characters rather than card board cutouts the enjoyment is increasing. There still isn’t anything amazing about this, but it is great entertainment for fantasy fans.

Iron Blooded Orphans is definitely starting to take things to the next level as the body count rises and the possible repercussions get more intense. Given a large part of this second season has been playing politics it is great to see the characters return to what they know best, even if that isn’t an ideal solution it is more entertaining.

With so many shows stepping it up this week, Tales of Zestiria didn’t really deliver. Admittedly the events are fairly necessary but they aren’t interesting to watch. This season is still going okay (it’s lacking any kind of drive forward as we just seem to be wandering and picking up minor objectives as we go) but this week’s installment felt more like time filler than purposeful story telling.

Blue Exorcist finally had something happen but our main characters are still just sitting around reading a letter. Honestly, this season could be a lesson in how not to tell an interesting story and given the content, that is some feat that they’ve managed to make it feel laborious and boring to get to this point. There’s the promise of improvement now that the cards are essentially on the table but this season is definitely failing to impress so far.

Spiritpact finds itself here now. Individual parts of episodes are still pretty rubbish but the series overall is usually entertaining and episode 5 kind of gave this some much needed life. I’m never going to say this is a brilliant anime, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t let episode 1 make me walk away at this point.

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Okay, I Guess

  • elDLIVE (Episode 5)
  • Super Lovers (Episode 4)
  • Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 5)

elDLIVE definitely seems to be moving in a better direction now and this week was actually very entertaining. Hopefully this continues as this series could be quite good.

While there was nothing wrong with Interviews with Monster Girls this week it is becoming increasingly clear this isn’t my kind of anime. There isn’t enough comedy elements to break up the fact that we’re mostly just watching a science teacher give amateur counselling to teenage girls who all somehow develop a crush on him. Monster elements or not, this is kind of dull for me to watch.

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They Made This

  • Hand Shakers (Episode 5)

We may or may not have met ‘god’ but this series still has more ideas than substance and hasn’t figured out that five to ten minute long conversations that reveal nothing are not entertaining. Overall, this one is definitley going to be a series I finish but will wonder forever why.

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Tried and Dropped

  • Akiba’s Trip (Episode 6)
  • Fuuka (Episode 5)
  • Trickster (Episode 13)
  • Gabriel DropOut (Episode 1)
  • Masamune-Kun’s Revenge (Episode 1)
  • Schoolgirl Strikers (Episode 1)
  • Seiren (Episode 1)
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil (Episode 1)
  • Chaos;Child (Episode 1 – five minutes in)

Points to Akiba’s Trip for lasting one extra episode than Fuuka but I’m done. I can’t watch anymore of this. The humour from episode 1 hasn’t found its way back into any of the following episodes and the set-ups are getting more and more trite. We’re done. On the other hand, I can’t even be bothered to write what went wrong with this one. It’s just not good. My review this week is my last.

Week 5 and which character do you want to see more of this season?


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Interviews With Monster Girls Episode 5

Review:

This perfectly pleasant and adorable series may very soon be the next one I drop. I’m seriously dying of boredom while watching and it wasn’t just that it took over 4 hours for to actually see the whole episode due to severe and repeated internet failure (though that certainly didn’t help the viewing experience).

This episode Takahashi is helping snow girl through her troubles. It is sweet and the friendship between the girls is heart warming and seriously these characters don’t do anything but sit around talking and develop crushes on the teacher. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it just isn’t my type of show so I’ll probably give this one more episode to see if anything else is going to come to the surface and then I’ll decide whether I’m sticking it out to seasons end or letting it go.

Interviews With Monster Girls is available on Crunchyroll.


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