On Character Transformation and Loss in Anime


To change yourself is to lose yourself and yet, transformation is an entirely necessary part of living. Everyday we grow and learn and experience and the world changes around us. We all experience transformation and loss in one way or another. Those who stay the same get left behind.

It isn’t really a wonder that so many stories focus on the notion of transformation, growth and change. Because we live, we are constantly in a state of flux and the one lesson everyone learns growing up is that sometimes changes are hard.

This idea is really at the core of Land of the Lustrous, which has Phos’ transformation both physically and as a character at the centre of its narrative. And it made me want to look at examples of characters who have undergone transformation and looking at what they’ve lost in the process of their changes.

Transformation and Loss in Shugo Chara


Starting with the more superficial physical transformations found in magical girl stories, I thought about using Sailor Moon as an example, but then I realised a far more literal example existed within Shugo Chara. This boppy little series features Amu, a girl who doesn’t believe her inner character matches her perceived external character and so wishes to become more true to herself. Imagine her surprise when she finds and then hatches three guardian characters who literally transform her into a different kind of character.

For Amu, the initial experience is one of humiliation. As Ran, the cheerleader, does a chara change with her at school leading to Amu confessing to the Prince of the school during assembly and being publicly rejected, Amu flees the scene. She rejects that this could be part of her character and doesn’t want anything to do with the eggs and their annoying inhabitants.

Transformation and Loss - Amu transforms for the first time

And yet, with Ikuto shows up to steal them from her, she risks her own life to claim them back, surpassing her own limit and performing a full character transformation allowing her to survive the fall and the launching herself into the air to experience a freedom she never knew existed.

Basically Amu’s transformation forced her to give up something and that was the image she’d been projecting of herself at the school. It hurt and was painful (and being a pre-teen girl she assumed humiliation was on par with the end of the world) and yet she came out the other side newly transformed and stronger. However, her transformation being externally imposed is temporary, whereas the fear of facing the kids at school is longer lasting.

It isn’t until much later in the series where Amu accepts that the Guardian Characters are a part of herself and a part she longed for and begins to accept those elements of her personality.

Transformation and Loss in My Hero Academia


Still looking at heroes of a sort, I thought touching on Midoriya from My Hero Academia might be in order. Now Amu was wishing for a transformation and her wish brought it about, however in Midoriya’s case he could have wished forever and it wouldn’t have changed his reality. He was born without a quirk and was not going to get one. T

his in itself had a massive transformative effect on Midoriya as he grew strong in so many other ways. Bullied and heckled by others at school, while Midoirya certainly developed some ‘quirky’ behaviours such as mumbling to himself and generally being a little bit shy at putting himself forward, he continued to think and learn about heroes and their powers and strategies. He didn’t allow his quirkless nature stop him from moving forward even if his dream seemed well out of reach and unobtainable.

This in itself could have been a fascinating story about the child who worshipped a hero and then had to come to terms with never reaching the dream to which they aspired. We see it in Midoriya’s face as a child when he realises once and for all that he will never get a power. That is a crushing moment and could have been the defining moment of his life is he’d allowed it to be and not reforged himself.


But that isn’t the end of transformation for Midoriya. He meets All Might, his hero, and at first learns the harsh reality that sometimes heroes that we worship aren’t exactly the flawless visions we have of them. Yet, he is not discouraged. Inspired anew by the experience, despite how it turned out, Midoriya then rushes into same Bakugou when he sees him in trouble.

All Might, having found what he was looking for, wants then to pass his power to Midoriya but understands Midroiya’s body can’t handle it. This is somewhat different from most kid get super power stories in that in this case it isn’t just ‘have some power’ but the kid is asked to work first. To build up their body and to prepare to receive teh power. Fortunately the sequence is mostly a training montage but we see the lengths to which Midoriya will push his body in pursuit of a dream that he should have put aside quite some time ago but hadn’t.

Then he gets the power.


Dream achieved, right? Well no, because then we would have no more story. As Phos will attest, just gaining power isn’t enough. You need to know how to use it and your body needs to understand how best to use it, its limitations, and more importantly, how much you can use without breaking yourself. That last one is particularly a problem for Midoriya. Despite the training he did in preparation, there really isn’t a way to prepare a normal boy’s body to safely contain all of that power.

Time and again we see Midoriya break under the weight of his own power. Each time he learns a little more and gains a little more control, but the process has been painful and not without longterm repercussions.

Along the way, Midoriya has lost the dream of one day being a superhero. Instead, he lives the reality of training to make that dream his own and despite disillusionment at some of the institutions, he continues to strive to make the dream real knowing full well what it has cost him and what it will continue to cost him as he transforms himself into the vision he has of an ideal hero.

Transformation and Loss in Land of the Lustrous


Lastly we move to Phos and the reason for this post from Land of the Lustrous. As the youngest and weakest of the gems, she was ridiculed, left out, given no purpose and she desired change. Yet, unlike Midoriya, Phos had no real drive to begin that change herself (sorry, using her for ease of writing, I know Phos is technically genderless). For Phos had accepted the reality of her situation and that was that she was weak and incapable. Wanting more was one thing, but actually trying to change anything was too hard or too much.

Yet, the motive for change was still there and we see that in her small act of rebellion when she enters the sea. It ends badly for Phos and yet it is the catalyst for change (both figuratively and literally). Her legs destroyed and replaced by a different material, she gains power, and yet it still isn’t enough as she learns in her first real battle. The fact that a small physical change has occurred isn’t enough yet to give her what she needs.

That longing to continue the transformation is exposed by the ice floes which leads to the loss of her arms the the inclusion of gold and platinum in her make up.  While the loss of her legs was unfortunate, the loss of her arms is devastating. Her memories are irrevocably lost as is a part of Phos’ personality. This change is clear almost immediately, but becomes far more prevalent after we see the loss of Antarcticite. Phos becomes almost unrecognisable as both the physical and emotional transformation have taken her so far from where she started.


For Phos, gaining strength is the literal surrender of who she is and the material she is made from. Her body now an amalgamation of materials is far stronger than it was, but how much of Phos remains? That is a question that needs to be answered in the next couple of episodes because it has become clear even Phos realises what she has lost is never going to be recovered.

It is hardly a definitive post about character transformation but it is a good starting place for considering what it means to be transformed and to grow. What are some of your favourite character transformations from anime?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Up Close with Diamond


Now I know a lot of people haven’t watched the Land of the Lustrous anime, but you seriously should. The animation alone makes it worth the effort but when you throw in the cast of truly amazing characters who have so many layers to get to know it just becomes a real gem to watch. And Diamond is a very easy character to like as they are one of the few gems who supports Phos from the very beginning despite their weaknesses. Yet that kindness was born from Diamond’s own sense of inadequacy and as we learn more about them, the fact that they go out of their way to assist Phos becomes far easier to understand.


I will only be talking about the anime in this post as I haven’t actually read the books yet but they are in my wish list for future reading because if we never get another season of the anime I definitely want to know what happens next in this story.


Diamond is not an outsider like Phos is. They’re well loved by the other gems, cherished in point of fact, and yet Diamond feels hollow and empty. They push themselves to become stronger and better so that they can stand side by side with Bort and so that they won’t be compared. Despite all of that, Diamond shatters easily and is frequently pushed to the sides or out of the picture during battle. They’re understandably frustrated with how they are perceived by those around them.

Affiliate Link – Book
Land Of The Lustrous 1

Which is probably why Diamond can emphasise with Phos in a way that the other gems can’t. While Diamond is accepted within the group, Phos, a young and fragile gem, is seen as worthless and is the subject of mockery, ultimately given a job nobody else wants. It is all too easy to see that Diamond can understand the feeling of being useless and good for nothing.


What really stands out is that Diamond’s story is not one of a character who sits around feeling sorry for themselves. Diamond encourages Phos at every turn early in the show and also continues to work hard to learn new skills and techniques that might help them be useful. Even once Phos returns in a transformed state and Bort decides to partner with them, Diamond accepts it for what it is and doesn’t allow themselves to resent Phos.


All of that would make Diamond a great supporting character, and a really cute and shiny one as well, but then we throw in the sequence where their home comes under attack. Diamond, cornered and hiding, is forced to take action alone and their sheer nerves during the sequence are incredibly impressive.


While Phos might steal the show in terms of character transformations, it is worth remembering that while Diamond doesn’t necessarily change, they accept Phos’ change with grace and continues to support them. Diamond never gives up and continues to try to do what they can do, and even when feeling sorry for themselves they doesn’t lash out at others. Diamond is a great character to get to know and part of a great cast of characters who all have their own stories to share.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That Use CGI

Tuesday's Top 5

It probably isn’t news that a lot of people don’t like CGI in their anime. And given some of the efforts at using it,  that’s actually pretty understandable. At some point I’m going to have to look at those anime that end up just being an eye-sore, but that isn’t today’s list. Today I have 5 anime where the CGI actually worked reasonably well (though not always perfectly). As always, I would love to know what some of your favourites are so be sure to leave me a comment below.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mention: Ajin.

Number 5: Blame


I wasn’t the biggest fan of this Netflix movie feeling it was more like an introduction to a much larger story, but I did enjoy the visuals for the most part. There were some great effects with the weapons and the movement of the characters in action sequences was very fluid and fun to watch. Admittedly, like a lot of anime that uses CGI, the characters when they were just talking looked a bit odd, but otherwise I really kind of enjoyed this.

Number 4: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Final Fantasy.jpg

So, there are definitely some odd moments in the animation in this movie, but I never did get over how beautiful the main character’s hair was. I’d never seen an animation that detailed before or that fluid in its movement. While the story might not have blown me away, the visuals in this film actually did and while comparatively there are much better examples today, I have a soft spot for this film.

Number 3: Kado: The Right Answer


Another case where the story fell over, quite badly toward the end, and the characters themselves are kind of creepy to watch move at times. This one earns a spot for its backgrounds and for the design of the cube itself. While at times it may have looked like someone shoved the characters inside a kaleidoscope, I couldn’t help but love the backgrounds of so many scenes in this. Visually it was striking and while again, the character movement wasn’t great, there wasn’t a lot of it anyway.

Number 2: Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan.gif

This one is the opposite of Kado. The backgrounds here seem for the most part to be more traditional and the CG seems to be used for the character movement, particularly during fights. The end result is actually kind of exhilarating to watch and kind of beautiful (until the characters get eaten and we end up with blood splatter). Still, Attack on Titan kind of shows us a good compromise between traditional animation and CGI techniques.

Number 1: Land of the Lustrous


Definitely the anime that inspired this list and got me thinking about anime using CGI. I loved the look of this anime and the characters. Certainly, it isn’t a look I want everything to adopt, but the way the animation style and character designs suited the story here was kind of perfect. And that’s really what needs to be considered. Is the CGI really enhancing the story or distracting from it. In cases like Land of the Lustrous, I can’t imagine those characters or some of those fight sequences ever really working without it. Truly beautiful and well worth trying the anime if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

So what anime CGI have you enjoyed?

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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3 Days, 3 Quotes: Day 1 – Sometimes A Little Is A Lot


I want to thank Moyatorium for tagging me on this because I really do enjoy quotes. That said, I’m going to keep these posts pretty short and I’m also going to break the consecutive day rule. I have however, decided to choose quotes from the Autumn 2017 anime season for my 3 days.


  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day, can be a super short post).
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day.



I had to include this quote from Land of the Lustrous because it just struck such a chord with me how often people resolve to change, try a little and get discouraged. Phos perfectly demonstrates this sense of failure even as they try to figure out what to do next.

Nominations (obligation free):

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Land of the Lustrous Series Review: Beautiful But Not Without Flaws



Land of the Lustrous kind of took me by surprise during the Autumn 2017 season as its CG animation made it stand out from the crowd but for once in a truly beautiful manner. The story follows Phos, the youngest of a group of living gem stones who are hunted by Lunarians who wish to break them up and take them back to the moon. Phos, being incredibly weak, has no job or purpose though over the course of the season will undergo a startling transformation.


Previously I discussed Phos’ transformation as a character and the cost in a feature post because while watching this is the part that consistently stood out to. Phos wasn’t just bitten by some radioactive spider and then getting a training montage and poof, superhero material here we are. Instead, Phos’ personal growth and transformation are characterised by the extreme loss of identity and the pain that self-awareness can bring as well as the understanding that just getting stronger doesn’t mean things will work out okay. It is a powerful idea and one that is delivered in a glistening package.


Land of the Lustrous was one of my favourite shows of the Autumn season because it felt unique. Part of that is because of the visuals and animation. These characters won’t be confused with characters from any other show (at this point) and the world they are in is truly vibrantly alive. However, I’m not enough of a sucker for pretty visuals that just looking sparkly and pretty would be enough to really capture my interest for the season. Phos was also a major draw as a character who started out semi-annoying but by mid-season had become one of my personal favourite characters of all time. But what really sells this show for me is that despite this really being Phos’ story, hers is only one story that is ongoing in this world and though we only see glimpses of the other stories when Phos’ journey intersects with the other characters, it all creates a sense that this world we are seeing is genuine and complex (even if a lot of the characters seem quite simple at a glance).


However, that leads logically to the show’s greatest weakness and that is that 12 episodes barely scratch the surface of anything. The only real narrative arc that we’ve seen is Phos seeking and finding a purpose and while that was glorious it leaves the audience with so many unanswered questions about the gems and the Lunarians and the weird snail things that appear for about two episodes and then cease to have any presence in the story. Basically, this show is crying out for more. More time to develop these ideas and this world. More time for the story and characters to evolve and find their way. Just more of everything.


And there’s a lot that this show has in it that you are going to want more of. The ridiculously cute moments between the pairs of gems or when they were chasing the 108 puppy things around are just adorable. While this might seem vapid in the context of the rest of the story it shows you how normalised the gems are to the events unfolding around them. They live a very, very long time and their lives have been fairly much stagnant. They throw themselves into these small moments of joy in a way that you would expect of a six year old to go from tears to full smiles in the space of handing them a chocolate anything (yeah, don’t let me baby-sit your kids, it will end with chocolate for sure – and tears but that).


Then there’s the action sequences. Episode 10 in particular showed an extended fight sequence that crossed multiple locations and just found the perfect mixture of nail-biting tension and fantastic movement and fighting. But all the fights, as brief as some are, managed to impress visually and ramp up the tension of their episodes. Also, unlike so many other shows, our main characters are never guaranteed victory or protected by plot armour. Loss and failure loom large as themes and pave a lot the way for Phos’ transformation so you can never tell the outcome of a battle before it begins.


The supporting cast are fantastic if slightly under-utilised and at this stage quite a number are still fairly background with little known about them. However, while the focus has definitely been Phos, other characters such as Bort, Dia and Cinnabar have all been given some decent depth as characters and Alex, Rutile and Sensei were starting to get a bit more of a look toward the end of the series.


While the opening theme probably won’t be one you are going to bop along to, it fits the show really well and like everything else it is gorgeous to look at. The music and sound within the episodes is something really well integrated into the story and the ideas it seems to be trying to convey. There’s some heavy religious undertones at times and the sound direction (particularly when the Lunarians are on screen) most definitely reflects that. But even just the sounds of the world are beautifully portrayed and help to bring the setting to life.


Basically I loved watching this. My only real issue is that it ends without resolving everything but it didn’t leave me howling in frustration either as it did bring Phos’ journey to a reasonable resting place. Please let there be another season of this and in the meantime I would definitely recommend giving this one a go when you can if you didn’t watch it while it was airing.

Episode Reviews:

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Tuesday’s Top 5: Visually Interesting Anime in 2017

Tuesday's Top 5

The final top 5 of 2017 list and this week I am focusing on those shows that I just found interesting to look at for whatever reason. Maybe they were pretty or set somewhere interesting, or maybe they were just plain bizarre, but they are shows that when I think about them I remember the visuals as keenly as I remember the story or characters. I’d love to know which shows you found visually interesting in 2017.

Please Note – Some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week goes to The Laughing Salesman.

Number 5: KADO The Right Answer

There’s certainly room to argue that the mix of 2D and 3D as well as copious  amounts of CGI didn’t really go so great in KADO. I found it very interesting to watch but found the characters and their movements to be at times really unnerving. That said, the visualisation of the inside of KADO and some of the devices was really impressive. All and all, with an interesting story and characters, the visuals still managed to be a large part of what defined KADO as a show and it is something people remember after the viewing.

Number 4: ACCA

ACCA first caught my attention because of its character designs and colour scheme which aren’t exactly pretty but certainly are eye catching and at least feel a bit different from the norm. However, what earns ACCA its place on this list is that each of the districts Jean visits have quite distinct visual feel about them. As Jean travels around from episode to episode, the scenery is never dull and the world constructed in ACCA is one that becomes quite interesting and a lot of that is because of the way each setting is visually presented (though attention to small details in each of these settings also helped). Whichever way, while ACCA may not visually appeal to all, it was certainly distinct.

Number 3: Land of the Lustrous

This show is stunning and beautiful and captivating and pretty much any other adjective I can throw at it. While I’m not a big fan of CG Land of the Lustrous manages to use the style to create its own alien feel that fits perfectly with the story and characters being portrayed. This is a case where the visuals have been masterfully thought out to bring out the best of the story and it really should be celebrated. While I really don’t want every show to adopt this style, Land of the Lustrous shows us what possibilities are out there as we increasingly blend old and new technologies in animation.

Number 2: March Comes in Like a Lion (first and second season)

This one may not be as pretty as Land of the Lustrous, but the visuals get my attention for the simple reason that they do a lot of the heavy lifting in conveying the story and the emotional tone of the episode. Normally visuals are an after thought for me as a reviewer but in March Comes in Like a Lion it is the powerful visuals that need to be discussed more often than not because very little of the story is explicitly said but rather it is visualised through symbolism on the screen. How the show manages to continue to perfectly convey each moment is truly wondrous and the impact of these visuals is quite clear given how emotionally invested I’ve become in this show and these characters.

Number 1: 18if

For a show that ultimately isn’t very impressive as a story, the visuals are what will really stick. Each episode is a new dream and has a new art style and this makes for a fairly fascinating experience as you never really know what to expect from the next episode until it is upon you. Some styles are better than others, but overall, 18if remained a visual feast even when the narrative didn’t really hold up its end of the deal. As a result, it is the anime I found the most visually interesting throughout 2017 even if I didn’t think much of the anime as a whole by the time it was done.

Which shows in 2017 caught your eye?

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Female Characters in 2017

Tuesday's Top 5

Here is is. My top 5 female characters of 2017. These girls have personality, purpose, they entertain and I get where they are coming from. As such, it is a highly personal list and I understand that everyone is going to have their own opinion on this one. So please, feel free to share your top 5 female character list from 2017 in the comments below and check back next week for the top 5 male characters list.

Please Note – Some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to: Benten from the Eccentric Family season 2 (didn’t get as much of a showing as season 1) and Sasha from Attack on Titan (potato girl is awesome).

Number 5: Chito from Girls’ Last Tour

It seems a little mean to give this to Chito and not Yuuri, but of the two girls in Girls’ Last Tour, Chito was the one who I really connected with. Her love of books and recording what she had seen, her desire to take the safe approach and follow the marked path where possible, even her freezing when confronted with something unexpected or dangerous all just kind of clicked for me. It was a joy watching Chito each week and as one of only two characters that consistently appear in a show, she certainly held up her end as a draw card for the series.

Number 4: Morioka from Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Maybe it is because female characters in their thirties who are obsessed with gaming and suffer social anxiety are hard to come by, but there was something charming and very relatable about Morioka from episode 1. I particularly liked that she wasn’t actually inept but was a capable worker but she was juts worn down from trying to deal with everything. Watching her find her way back into the world through her encounters with Lily/Sakurai was truly enjoyable and she is a character I will hopefully remember whem someone asks me for an anime that doesn’t feature high school students.

Number 3: Ange from Princess Principal

The lying visitor from the Black Lizard Planet who works as a spy certainly earned her place on this list. Giving us a solid action sequence in the first episode and providing excellent character work through the majority of the season, Ange is a delight to watch as you slowly see what is underneath that tough and emotionless facade of hers. Much like Chito from earlier in the list, Ange is supported by a great co-lead in the Princess and even the other members of the team. Still, if you want to see someone who is committed to their goals, Ange is definitely going to show you how far you need to go sometimes.

Number 2: Phos from Land of the Lustrous

I really wondered about whether I could put Phos on this list given technically they aren’t female, but given I split my best character list male/female it was put Phos here or leave such a great character out and that didn’t sit well with me. Phos is awesome. Spunky and sarcastic early on, though weak and quick to give in, they are an interesting character to get to know. And that’s before they undergo an incredible transfomation throughout the series. Phos’ character journey is one of the best I’ve seen and if you haven’t watched Land of the Lustrous it is so worth the time just for Phos.

Number 1: A tie between Uraraka from My Hero Academia and Hina from March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2.

Wow, Uraraka finally topped a list. She keeps coming up number 2 on so many lists despite being an amazing character so I’m really glad that when I made my final decision she got to be number 1. Why is Uraraka the best female character from 2017? Because she is going through a character transformation (only not one as literal as Phos’). She’s acknowledged her weakness and her reliance on Midoriya that she’d developed in season 1 and actively works to overcome this and other perceived weaknesses in season 2. She makes her plan for facing Bakugou by herself, chooses an internship that will help her to develop and takes on every challenge that comes her way while still having words of support for those around her. Uraraka is an awesome character and one who continues to grow stronger even while she doesn’t lose sight of the person she wants to be. And, if you don’t think she’s awesome, just go and watch her fight Bakugou again. Seriously, she’s awesome.

However, Uraraka will have to share the spotlight with Hina from March Comes in Like a Lion. While Hina was cute and supportive in season 1, season 2 has seen her go through a fantastic arc and to echo Rei, Hina has become my hero. Asta might be screaming that not giving up is his talent in Black Clover but Hina lives this keeping forward on a path that isn’t easy but she isn’t going to back down. Part of me hopes reality doesn’t crush her in the end, because her actions are inspirational.

That’s my list done but please share yours in the comments below.

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Karandi James.


The Best of Autumn 2017


And the Autumn Season has come to a close bringing an end to the 2017 year in anime. While the poll for best of the year will get going tomorrow, for now it is time to reflect on the final anime season that 2017 had to offer. Starting with my picks, we’ll then look at the results of the reader poll. This was incredibly close this time with three titles changing back and forth with barely a vote in it for the entire duration of the poll.

My Favourite Show

Well, if you’ve followed my weekly season overviews you know season 2 of March Comes in Like a Lion has been on top every single week. However, it isn’t finished yet so it isn’t taking this out (though it so should by a million miles as I’m completely obsessed with it at this point). Yes, I rewatched season one and all episodes of season 2 that were out over the Christmas break and no I didn’t get around to watching Full Metal Panic for a review so, whoops.

With that one ruled out though, what took it’s place?

It came down to Land of the Lustrous and Girls’ Last Tour. I loved both shows but considering the final episodes and which one gave me a greater sense of completion and I have to give favourite show of the Autumn 2017 season to Girls’ Last Tour.


My Favourite Character

This was super, super tough as there were so many great characters this season. It finally came down to two and I have to give it to Phos from Land of the Lustrous. I didn’t much like Phos when I first met them but over the course of the series and following along with Phos’ transformation as a character, they really captured me. However, other great characters from Autumn included Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion, Chito from Girls’ Last Tour, Morioka from MMO Junkie (okay, I just loved her), and Ena from Just Because.


My Favourite Story

My favourite story was absolutely Land of the Lustrous, but for that whole slightly unfinished feeling. I still think it was the best story of the season. March and GLT are both more slice of life and drama driven than story driven. That said, I personally loved King’s Game because it is a completely terrible story delivered in a fairly terrible way. So, personal enjoyment fairly high but quality pretty low on that one.


My Favourite Opening Theme

So many great ones this season. I mean I loved the King’s Game opening as it fit the trashy feel of the show, Juni Taisen was amazing with Rapture (my favourite thing about the show), MMO Junkie was just upbeat fun as was Girls’ Last Tour. However, my favourite for the season needs to go to March Comes in Like a Lion. I loved how the opening theme really captured the progress Rei has made in his journey over the course of the first season and where he is now. And, once again it beautifully matched the visuals to the lyrics and tone. Still, this one was incredibly close this season.


My Favourite Visuals

No competition at all here. As much as March remained on point with its visuals (and is glorious as always) Land of the Lustrous was truly exceptional at showing us all what CG could do when handled well and not making our eyes bleed.


Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Autumn 2017

Here it is:

Best of Autumn

Yep, the Ancient Magus’ Bride stole it in the last couple of days thought early on it looked like Girls’ Last Tour would take the lead before March Comes in Like a Lion managed to pull ahead. For so much of the vote these anime were within one vote of each other and the lead swapped a number of times.

Featured Image -- 39888

That of course brings us to the end of the best of Autumn 2017. Get ready to vote for best of the year with the top 3 titles from each season going head to head and that poll should be open tomorrow.

As always, I’d love to know what you thought about the season so please share your thoughts on the poll and any of the other shows in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


Land of the Lustrous Episode 12: Phos’ Resolve



While this isn’t a perfect ending by any means with time wasted on the introduced character who ultimately contributes little to this season (though probably serves some greater purpose later) and overall no actual answers to the greater mysteries of this series, I couldn’t help but feel satisfied by how this show came back to where it began. Phos has found her purpose and mission, which was what she was seeking. Her self-reflection that she was jealous of the younger her just highlights the destructive process through which she found this purpose but she has found it and that was a lovely note to end on. And it wasn’t just Phos. Many of the gems are seeking a new path or direction where before their world was characterised by stagnation. There’s a sense of movement and purpose that was missing early in the series.


The other thing that was satisfying was Phos remembered and kind-of delivered on her promise to Cinnabar. While this isn’t the perfect solution, it does offer a small bit of real hope to a character who before was grasping to the false hope the very naive Phos threw her way. Again, this plot is far from resolved but it does bring us to a good rest point.


Without a second season, this anime is most definitely unfinished, though it doesn’t leave me feeling bitter about the lack of resolution having seemingly tried to bring some things to a rest even while setting up a conflict for the future. I’ll do a full review of this series soon.

Also, a reminder that the reader’s poll for best and worst anime of the season will close at the end of this week. If you haven’t voted click here.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


Land of the Lustrous Episode 11: I Hate To Say Anti-Climatic But…



I am a big fan of this show and have thoroughly enjoyed the watch thus far, but episode 11 delivers one thing I find really frustrating. Episode 10 was beautifully tense and dramatic building up to a wonderful climax leaving us with a cliff-hanger. Episode 11 resolves and diffuses any tension from that in about two minutes. It just feels kind of cheap in the end and in most shows I wouldn’t even bother to comment on it, but I’ve come to expect more from Land of the Lustrous.


However, it isn’t all doom and gloom with the plot being progressed nicely as Phos realises everyone knows Sensei has a secret and she determines that she isn’t content to just let it be. It will be interesting to see what this decision leads to in the final episode of the season.


Which is why part of me is concerned about the awakening of a new character because I do wonder just how much we’ll be left hanging at the end of this series.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.