Watch or Drop? Is Sonny Boy Worth Watching?

Sonny Boy - Watch of Drop?
Sonny Boy - Nagara

Welcome to Sonny Boy the story of 36 teens who happen to be in their school when it drifts into another dimension. Or something like that. What are my initial thoughts?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Sonny Boy - talking to the cat

First Impressions of Sonny Boy

I will admit, I’m terribly confused by the title of this one. Sonny Boy? What is it in reference to? Not that it matters given anime has a distinct lack of care sometimes if the title means anything or nothing. Anyway, I think I’m going to take Jack’s approach and just put the name to one side for now and maybe it will all make sense when I get to the end of the anime.

That said, I wasn’t exactly going in with no information. I’ve been reading reviews and episode impressions of Sonny Boy since the start of the season and finally decided it was time to dive in. Though a number of reviewers had mentioned this had a Lord of the Flies feeling that isn’t really the impression I’m getting, though there’s definitely some comparable points.

Anyway, the first three episodes each present a different situation the kids are dealing with as well as the ongoing exploration to find out what is going on and whether they can get home. These episodes also show case an array of powers the kids have as well as introducing the ideas of rules that apply in each space.

So what works and what doesn’t so far in Sonny Boy?

Sonny Boy Series Positives:

If nothing else, the first three episodes of Sonny Boy are intriguing and promise a potentially interesting reveal for a later time. What caused the school to start drifting and did the kids in fact have their powers before they crossed into a different dimension? This is yet to really be confirmed. I’m just hoping this isn’t like Lost which really felt like the plot was the only thing lost by the mid-way point.

Actually I’m kind of getting a The One’s Within vibe from this story so far though I am hoping the payoff is a little better than that one was.

Sonny Boy - Rules

The first three episodes of Sonny Boy have also each focused on one particular dilemma allowing us time to get to know a bit about the characters as they confront it. I suspect that the majority of the class will always remain a bit of a mystery, but by the end of the third episode the main players in the story have all had time to leave an impression.

Equally, each of the stories has followed naturally on from the previous one. At the end of episode one Nagara and Nozomi fall from the school and end up in an ocean. Episode two sees the characters adapting to the rules of the island and then episode 3 moves between both settings as Mizuho and Nagara try to figure out why some class mates are being frozen.

Visually, Sonny Boy works very well but I am finding the characters a little on the creepy side. Movements are very fluid and at times their smiles and expressions just kind of rub me the wrong way. That’s not a negative (which is why it is in the positive list) because the animation is very fluidly done and the settings have all been stunning. It does just take a bit to get used to.


Sonny Boy Series Negatives:

I think if anything is really going to put someone off this anime it will be the characters. Sonny Boy has introduced a lot of personalities but very few of them are likeable and far too many of the characters are really just blending into the background at the moment (to the point where I probably wouldn’t be able to identify they were even in the anime if shown a picture).

Equally, there’s no one yet who I’ve really connected with as a main character or someone I really want to see succeed here. While unlikable characters have their place, it has made it hard to really be too concerned about the plight of these students. Nozomi has had one or two great moments but she’s too chaotic to really be someone you can rally behind. Mizuho is righteous to a fault and as a result is angry at the world. Nagara is so passive he’s really hard to back. And Asakaze is pretty much a jerk. Forget the student council members. They are all awful.

Sonny Boy - The sun rises

That said, they all have potential and as they endure the various events and trials and we learn more about them, there’s certainly time for them to grow on me or to be changed by the events in the plot for the better. Certainly, they aren’t unlikeable enough to be a reason not to watch the story.

And honestly, that’s all I have for negatives so far. These first three episodes were pretty engaging.


Karandi Excited Transparent

So yes, I will be watching Sonny Boy when it concludes (or maybe do a few short viewings throughout the season). I’m very curious as to where it will go and it feels a bit different from the other shows I’m watching this season.

I’m in. How about you? Are you watching Sonny Boy?

Images from: Sonny Boy. Dir. S Natsume. Madouse. 2021

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Karandi James

Alderamin on the Sky: From Beginning To End – A Journey of Discovering The Difference Between Lazy and Efficient

Alderamin on the Sky

Alderamin on the Sky (or Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin) is a military fantasy anime that mostly works. The lack of ending is a bit of a problem as is the overall pacing, but if you like Ikta’s approach to life you’ll have a lot of fun along the way with a fun enough cast and some interesting ideas.

What is it about?

A lazy boy (who is also an outrageous flirt) is going to take some exam for the army (because a friend of his has asked him to) but while on route their boat starts sinking and they are forced to bail. Naturally they rescue a princess and then end up behind enemy lines. Though really that’s only how the story starts and we’ll move through more than one military campaign during this series.

While I have written a full series review below you will find my thoughts on each episode of the series.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 1

Not what I was expecting. I very nearly just skipped right past this series thinking I was sick of the every guy joining the army and being amazing and all the girls flocked to him.

While there is definitely a bit of that, Alderamin on the Sky distinguishes itself in two ways.

One, they aren’t currently sitting in a military school and doing training games that may or may not take on a serious tone later.

Two, the main character actually seems to have a bit of a personality and child-hood friend girl doesn’t seem either the overbearing sister type or the pathetic wimp.

Whether I enjoyed this first episode so much because it defied my expectations or because it was good I’m not sure. Looking forward to the next episode.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 2

Alderamin Episode 2

Really loving Alderamin so far. It’s been awhile since a pure fantasy (other than Snow White) has really caught my attention. And Endride (which was my last attempt at this genre) was truly, unwatchably dreadful and I gave it away by episode 4.

Mostly I am finding the protagonist interesting. Yeah, he’s got a dark past and it’s damaged him so the standard orphan with chip on shoulder cliché is well in effect but he isn’t grating on my nerves and I genuinely want to see how he will deal with the situation he’s now been thrust into.

Possibly this will lose momentum once the introductions are over and done with, but I’m really hoping for something good here. The first two episodes definitely impressed.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 3


Okay, they went to officers school and part of me rolled my eyes thinking that they just couldn’t resist shoving our characters into a school setting and I expected this episode of Alderamin to go downhill from there.

And yes, there is the usual bullying scenes and our eccentric (lazy) protagonist sticks out like a sore thumb, but then we transition into a training exercise and it feels like a real combat situation (rather than two characters having a duel for the sake of it).I also like that none of our main group seem to be the hotheaded type that rise to needless provocation. That type of character tends to bore me to tears.

Also, Solork’s command issues linked to past indiscretions is a nice touch as it adds some weight to the playboy persona he occasionally adopts but we haven’t really seen any direct evidence of in the series. I continued to enjoy this series and was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it continues to be even while it doesn’t feel particularly new.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 4


Yatori is really impressive.

With Solork  being so much smarter than anybody else (which makes you wonder how anyone has won a battle prior to Solork showing up) I was really worried that all of his companions would exist just to be pushed around by him and to show off how smart he was.

Yatori in this episode of Alderamin shows that she is capable of seeing through his strategies (even if her rigid adherence to the chain of command prevents her from doing much about them) and that she can act on her own. We already knew she was physically impressive but this episode showcases that aspect as well.

I’m really enjoying this series and I’m glad that Yatori has had a bit of a moment in this episode. The softer aspect of her personality that came through at the end was nice as well. She really is starting to feel like a character rather than an accessory.

But, can they do something about the Princess? Her character at the moment serves little purpose other than to create a sense of drama.

Oh, and I almost forgot to point out that they won the war game. Seriously though, that one was never in doubt.


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Alderamin on the Sky Episode 5


I kind of know I’m into a show when they deliver a whole episode of flashback and I still love it.

Alderamin timed this perfectly. Just when they’ve shown how well Yatori and Ikta work together we go back to where it all started for them. It’s a cute and charming episode and the wolf siege has just the right amount of drama to be affective. That said, because the entire episode is essentially a flash back the plot this week kind of crawled to a halt.

Overall, great character development, still a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy, and I really can’t wait until the next episode.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 6

While from a plot point of view this episode of Alderamin seems weaker (just another obvious set-up for Ikta to show off his amazing brain), the characters and the writing of this anime continue to make for a pleasant viewing experience.

The change of location was nice and the interactions between characters, new and old, were entertaining and the episode passed swiftly. At some point they are really going to need to explain why all these guys have spirit helpers with them because that aspect has been woefully under-explained and at times we forget the spirits exist at all until the plot calls upon them to act.

This continues to be one of the strongest series this season.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 7


Alderamin continues to be better than it probably should be. Last week they lay the foundations for a new conflict, this week we see the first stages of that conflict and next week we’ll probably see our core characters resolve the conflict or at least make steps to resolve it. It really shouldn’t be as interesting as it is but I’m totally hooked.

Every episode passes quickly and I just love watching the interactions between the characters. It would be lovely if not every official in the Empire was actually a jerk, but clearly we’re not going to have that wish fulfilled, but otherwise there are some really interesting supporting characters appearing in this anime.

Also, this anime is getting my vote for quote of the week: “Common sense arguments only work on people who have common sense.” Truer words were never spoken.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 8


Continuing the battle in the mountains things take a turn for the worse this episode due to the inept command and lack of preparation for a battle that by all appearances the commanders instigated but weren’t ready for. While this helps to endear us further to the core group and to really feel for the plight of the soldiers, it also feels like something is lacking.

The entire military cannot be made of idiots, regardless of Ikta’s personal views. The obvious trap set up early on in this episode takes some of the emotional punch out of the final scene but Alderamin continues to be a very solid show.


Alderamin on the Sky Episode 9


It feels now like this battle is getting stretched out for the sake of it. While there are some very cool moments in the battle and Ikta has a few moments of self-reflection, overall nothing really progresses.

The military are still trampling through the mountains, blindly trying to fight an enemy that knows the terrain and is really, really ticked off. One character who raised a death flag during an early conversation somehow managed to avoid it whereas another character walked straight into his death trap. Unfortunately, I didn’t care enough about either of those characters to be really affected by it.

Alderamin is still my surprise favourite for the season (in terms of new shows), but this episode was so-so.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 10


After last week’s rather ordinary episode, this one seemed to go out of its way to hit us hard with some of the best things about Alderamin.

First we re-established why Ikta and Yatori are actually still the heroes of the story even though they are officers in an army that pretty much sucks. We then get a very humanizing moment for Ikta that works quite effectively as he apologies to someone (for something he didn’t do) and bears the consequences (which will be permanent).

What I liked most about this moment was his explanation afterwards where he points out he didn’t have time to win with words. Seeing him forced into unfavourable action really helps make his character believable when so many times he seems to breeze through situations unscathed.

The core group all renew their resolve and have a bit of a pep-talk before we’re back to business (I wonder if they’ll bring the Princess back or if she’s just stuck narrating for the rest of the battle). We’ve also established a new enemy and this one seems like it will be a challenge to fight. They may have taken binary opposition a bit too far in the strategist from the opposing army but it looks like we are in for an entertaining battle.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 11


After setting up a conflict between two geniuses last week, this episode really just had the two of them testing the other out. As a result, we had a skirmish with some loss of lives but nothing really decisive. Everything really feels like it is just waiting for the real show to begin.

With that said, I’d like to criticise the main theme of the second half this week, where Ikta’s second in command and Matthew both came to the realisation that people are going to die in the rear guard action. I really hate this in stories about the military where people in the military suddenly realise they might die. It always leaves me thinking ‘what did you think was going to happen when people stood and shot at each other?’.

That said, it looks like we have 2 episodes to go and I’m fairly curious as to how this will actually end.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 12


With one episode to go there weren’t any surprises this week but that didn’t stop this episode from being dramatic and engaging. It was excellent to see Ikta and Yattori’s relationship continue to be a pertinent motivator even amongst the crisis.

It was also great to see Torway not just be involved in the battle but actually making some decisions about how to deal with a situation on his own (with only a little prompting). Possibly the weakest aspect of the episode was Ikta’s inability to figure out what the enemy was up to (given some of the insights he’s had previously it just seemed plot convenience for him to get stumped now).

That said, I’m really looking forward to the last two days of this retreat to see how they handle things.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 13


Ikta finally woke up and figured out a plan to get around the unsleeping guy and that was nearly anti-climatic in the end. Not because turning the tables mid-battle with words alone (after a show of force) isn’t impressive, but the fact that it happened mid-episode followed by a stilted and awkward conversation between the two (with a wonderful barrier of fire separating them) just kind of made it all seem kind of blah.

The rest follows Ikta and the Princess reuniting and her very odd request that makes a really bizarre amount of sense given the context.

“You will lose the war in the right way.”

That said, now I do want this show to continue because while watching these characters and this conflict I’ve kind of become invested in where things will go and while it is tied up enough that we could leave it here, I’d really like to see more. But, all things considered, it seems unlikely that another season will come along.

Images from: Alderamin on the Sky. Dir. T. Ichimura. Madhouse. 2021

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Karandi James

Afterlost Anime Series Review

Afterlost Series Review

Please, Be Lost

Afterlost, or Shometsu Toshi, had an intriguing premise, came from Madhouse so had a credible studio behind it, and was an anime I was quite looking forward to when the Spring 2019 season started. While some viewers saw the writing on the wall in episode one, I kind of found the opening episode intriguing as they threw us straight into the action with a chase scene through the city and a desperate goal of reaching the centre of some mysterious disaster.

However, just one episode later and that plot will screech to a halt and Afterlost then spent the majority of its run time introducing additional characters and complexities to a mystery that it just didn’t need and ultimately didn’t add anything, before it finally returned to its own main point in the final few episodes.

Needless to say, it was not a satisfying watch.

Actually, it was barely watchable by the mid-way point and the ending doesn’t do anywhere near enough to salvage it.

The truth hurts.

Where the first episode intrigued me with its relatively simple set-up of courier gets hired to take girl to centre of former catastrophe, lots of people chasing her, the story didn’t have a lot more to offer. The villains, such as they were, did have a motive for their actions, but by and large it felt like they took an unnecessarily convoluted path to achieve it and in the grand tradition of villains being villains, they seemed to do each other in more than the ‘heroes’ ever took action.

Afterlost - I'm lost.

Along the way we meet a whole lot of people including a guy who makes a living as a magician, learn about the fate of an idol group that disappeared during the ‘lost’ event and others however none of them have any bearing on the main story by the time we learn what has been going on so largely they are filler, and none of it is interesting enough to be good filler.

The one character whose story we learn that is both interesting and relevant is Yuki’s (the blue haired girl) father. However that comes at episode 9 and I’m just not sure a gap of eight episodes between set up and interesting development is what one could consider worthwhile viewing.

Yep, Afterlost is lost.

The problems don’t end at just the plot being overly bloated and poorly paced. None of the characters ever really make the leap to feeling like a real person or being someone that felt like you could have a connection with them. Yuki spends most of the series in a bewildered state, going through multiple emotional shocks. Takuya, our courier, is always cool and calm, except when he isn’t, but never feels like an actually real person.

Geek and the other supporting cast members all seem to have their one trait and that is more of less all there is is to them so by the time they start dying or just become irrelevant to the main plot there’s little reason to care. For instance, if we removed Geek, other than Takuya needing someone else to fix his bike, and no one caring about the missing idol group, practically nothing would have changed.


When we throw in how Yuki’s brother, Souma, is used by the plot to establish that the villains really do suck and to drive just one more bit of emotional trauma into Yuki, ultimately you realise that Afterlost is an anime that has ideas but no real grasp on how to execute them. It is weird to say that a story that deals with experimentation on children with special powers manages to make that one of the least interesting plot points and yet Afterlost manages it. Which also makes the backstory about Takuya’s time working as a detective and infiltrating an orphanage more or less pointless and dull.


Which means we should probably actually address the ‘powers’ being thrown around in this story.


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Like… no. So Yuki can sort of glow and she at times summons Akira, who was some kind of bodyguard who died or disappeared during the lost, to defend her and he has like a lot of guns. Only when he gets hurt it seems like Yuki does as well so not sure if he is protecting her or not.

Other times there are explosions or objects moving around but it is difficult to know exactly what her power, her brother’s power, or any of the characters that use powers do. It isn’t just that they aren’t explained. I’d actually happily take an anime that just shows us how power works rather than explaining it in minutia anyway. The difficulty here is that it seems inconsistent, or not that spectacular.

The end result is some characters glow pretty colours and stuff happens. Not always the same stuff. Also, toward the climax expect lots of stuff to happen and most of it won’t make sense or seem to have any purpose but it looks weird and so must be cool.

Yep, still don’t know what or why this is happening.

Ultimately, the character designs are nice, if you watched the first episode, skipped to like episode nine while reading a basic outline of the main events prior to that (it won’t take long) and then finished the series the story would make more sense. Courier takes girl to centre of Lost. Stuff happens. Which is a much better story than courier starts taking girl to centre, decides to not do that right now and they go a bunch of other places and do stuff and meet people who do stuff, and then they go to centre and stuff happens.


For me there ended up being little that was really appealing about this anime. The fact that I finished it was more out of stubbornness than any enjoyment by the mid-point. So no, I do not recommend it. And given it actually only has a 5.53 score on MAL, I’m clearly not alone in that regard. Still, there are some viewers who enjoyed it and I guess if you find the characters a little bit interesting then there is more to enjoy. I just wish it hadn’t wasted so much time and had actually just focused in on its core story rather than filling time with pointless characters and plot threads that went nowhere.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 12


Definitely no bread crumbs at the end of the bread crumb trail.


Shoumetsu Toshi Episode 12

Okay, they never really had a clue what caused any of this or what was actually going on. It all came down to will power, friendship, and an individual choice with no context given as to why any of those things mattered or would have any impact on reality. Afterlost is a meandering mess of a tale right until the end, but they didn’t forget that Yuki wanted green curtains so I’m glad they got the important details right (sarcasm).

That will fix everything.

There’s really little positive to say about this final episode other than it is a final episode. One way or another the character that has been playing the role of the villain did not succeed at finishing Lost and saving all the people from his universe. Still not sure how that happened or why but I think there was something involving a magic bullet… Doesn’t matter. Not even slightly.

Don’t even ask me what is happening here. I just don’t know.

We did get one sequence of what life would have been like if Lost had never happened. For a brief horrifying moment, I thought Yuki might actually choose to undo it all which would make it even worse than pointless. Like one of those ‘it was all a dream’ endings. Nothing worse. Fortunately Yuki decided against that. I’m not entirely sure what she chose given she never actually articulated it but the world just kind of kept on going.


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I am going to do a full review of this anime but it won’t be for a few weeks so I’ll save you the anticipation. Just pass.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 11


The Slow Descent Into A Climax


Shoumetsu Toshi Episode 11

Right, so we’re finally entering Lost. That doesn’t mean we won’t waste half an episode right off the bat showing what all the minor characters are up to, even those we don’t remember. These guys are breaking into a server room so Geek can do some hacking thing in order to communicate with those who enter Lost. These other guys are doing something. These ones blew up some cars. Honestly, if I remembered any of their names it would make this easier but most of these characters have had literally no development and barely any screen time.


Even the girl who has been working with the villains who seemed all big and bad earlier in just kind of gets dropped. We get a few moments of flashback to realise she really doesn’t like the bad guys, she’s just helping them so that she can get revenge (like that ever works), then she pulls a gun on the big bad and next time we see her she’s bleeding on the ground. Not even worth shooting on screen.


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Lost itself turned out to be disappointing as it is mostly like they dove under water and then we wasted the next half the episode with various scenes we’ve already seen with minor variations as Lost attacked Yuki and Takuya’s memories. It wasn’t overly satisfying to watch given they’ve never really done much to make any of these moments matter in the first place let alone on replay.


All and all, it feels like an attempt to delay so that the confrontation with the big bad can happen next episode and we can end on a cliff-hanger. Honestly, Afterlost had some great ideas but no clue about execution.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 10


Dragging Things Out


Afterlost Episode 10

Here we go setting up for the final stretch of the story. And it really is a stretch as Afterlost drags out he characters having their final preparations before heading into the Lost. Given we started this anime with Yuki and Takuya heading to the Lost the fact that we’ve gone around in a circle to come back here while making little ground in between is a little disappointing.

Sorry, you just jinxed it. You are not getting that DVD back.

Likewise the fact that this episode just launches us straight back into the story from the end of episode 8 as if the flashback episode in between didn’t happen. The very first scene has Yuki still on the ground where Souma died and regularly makes a point of showing his broken necklace that Yuki ends up integrating into her own, but no one actually makes mention of the fact that he died (other than one casual reference from the antagonist). It is like the writers realise how insignificant he really was and that no one actually cares so they’ve just moved on.


Speaking of the writers, whoever they may be, I get the distinct impression they are the only ones taking Afterlost seriously. With episode titles such as ‘fate’ and ‘decision’ it is like the weight of the world is in every single one and yet the episodes continue to be a lot of meandering around very little. Sure there’s a mystery here but it isn’t all that compelling.

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However, no matter how poorly developed, every character of kind of note needs to be seen this episode and their current state of mind after the previous events have played out revealed. So we see plenty of regret and sadness and frustration while Yuki broods in her bedroom and Takuya lies about the scooter needing more maintenance to delay the final push forward. Giving the antogonist’s time to prepare to get in their way again and to stretch what little story remains to the final episode even if it isn’t partiuclalry interesting.


But that’s okay. Eat a tomato. Afterlost seems to think they are delicious.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 9


Prepare for the Flashback


Afterlost Episode 9

Goodness, an episode that is entirely a flashback and yet one that finally tells us who and what is responsible for the Lost event occurring. Only nine episodes in? How nice of Afterlost to finally decide to tell us.


The problem with the reveal here is that it isn’t confirming what we knew or building on clues or ideas, it just throws an entirely new idea at us and yes it makes sense but it isn’t exactly a satisfying reveal because there’s no ‘ah ha’ moment where all the little bits and pieces click into place. What’s even worse is that the anime leaves us with a whole bunch more questions because even though this explains the main antagonist’s goals there are all these other characters doing things that make no sense and there’s no real connection between them and this reveal.


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Still, we go back to before Yuki was born and see her father rising up in his research, through various means, and the truth and plots behind it all. We also see him grow fond of the woman who would become Yuki and Souma’s mother. I’d say we see him fall in love but it really doesn’t seem like there’s enough emotion going on for that.


I enjoyed watching this episode but, like with most episodes of Afterlost, feel like it is mostly lost potential and it just doesn’t do enough to tip it into the arena of actually being good.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episode 8


Little Brother Goes Boom?


Afterlost Episode 8

On the surface, episode 8 of Afterlost actually seems like a step forward. The characters are in a perpetual state of movement as all the main players finally push forward with a plan to reveal the machinations of the evil chemical company and the episode ends with a spectacularly close call to a second Lost event occurring. But then you think back and realise not one new bit of information came to light, with the exception of the fact that the only reason Souma didn’t blow up earlier was because his sister was hanging around him.


I’ll give Afterlost credit for that. It managed to keep things feeling like we were getting closer to something big and while on the surface it looks like we got it, really this just consolidates what we already knew. The conspiracy is vast and even with the public being let in on the information, with confessions from key players, with everything needed to end the farce, in walks in the commissioner and lets those who are apparently responsible walk. More than that, bows his head to them and apologises for the inconvenience.


They are however going to need to offer some real information soon. Like why Souma started turning into a monster just because his power was unstable and why that may have triggered a second Lost, and what actually happened when Yuki got there. Also, how was Akira back this week grabbing Yuki when she, once again, got thrown off the scooter? And why does Takuya keep riding that thing around without a helmet given the sheer number of times in the last 8 episodes he’s been tossed off of it?


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On the brighter side, I did enjoy this episode more. It didn’t leave me looking at the clock and seeing when the episode would end. I had a sense of satisfaction and forward momentum even if the reflection afterwards made me realise we hadn’t really gotten anywhere.

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Karandi James

Afterlost Review Episodes 6 + 7


Frustrating to say the least.


Episode 6

In episode 6 Afterlost tries really hard to build a solid emotional climax with the older brother being one of the ghost things and being used by Souma before being ordered to kill his younger brother. Of course the power of love prevails, the artefact controlling him erased and then we get a touching brother flashback before older brother disappears.


The problem is that Afterlost hasn’t really earned this emotional moment it is aiming for. In fact, not even close. Souma isn’t much of an antagonist and we don’t really know how or why the artefacts work or the impact on the Tama-shi ghost things of being called or used. The younger brother, the magician, we barely met, and the few glimpses of back-story weren’t enough to build any kind of connection with either of these characters. Likewise the rest of the crew that were for some reason still involved.

This guy is fighting, though I’m not sure it matters.

With the main pair being more or less sidelined during this particular fight there’s no connection for the audience with the events. We still don’t know how this plays into the larger story or even if it does and honestly, watching Yuki crying and screaming as Akira is skewered by icicles just left me unmoved and mostly impatient for them to end this fairly pointless encounter on the roof and actually get around to something resembling plot at some point.


This anime is apparently 12 episodes long and we’ve now burned through half of them but it barely feels like we are at the end of a second episode in terms of things we actually know. Fair enough if the characters are interesting or compelling in their own way but I couldn’t honestly say that I even remember all the character’s names having to look them back up each week just to review the show. Other than that, my knowledge of each one would fit in a very short dot-point list and it wouldn’t be overly interesting reading.


So with no clear plot connection and no character connection, episode 6 of Afterlost rings hollow. The story of two brothers torn apart by the lost, more signs of conspiracy given someone clearly sent the older brother into the path of the disaster, and mysterious power boosting artefacts aren’t enough to make this compelling viewing and that is definitely a problem.

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Episode 7

Takuya, the magician guy, and some random detective that we met a couple of episodes ago are now visiting an academy looking for clues to connect to the agency. This is all so far removed at this point from the original get Yuki into Lost to find her father that I’m struggling to care at this point about the intrigues and conspiracies. I’m sure it is all very clever but they’ve given me no reason to believe it is important.


Part of the issue is the agency is still completely without any kind of stated goal or intent. We’ve seen a few faces of the agency, and even those who might be in charge, but there’s no actual motive which makes them difficult to really feel anything for or about. There isn’t even an implied motive other than ‘science’ which is really becoming a lame excuse for  people to act irrationally in the pursuit of some kind of knowledge in a Frankenstein/Prometheus cautionary tale kind of way.


Sorry, that rant was probably directed at a number of other movies and shows I’ve watched where the actions of characters have been equally inscrutable and then the plot has summed it up as a desire for some knowledge as if that makes all the craziness in any way logical.

Why it particularly rankles here is we’re moving at a snail’s pace to nowhere. At the least, Takuya does mention to Yuki at the end that there’s something he wants to do before taking her to Lost, but that’s the first time he’s even mentioned trying to get back to Lost with her in episodes. Why he suddenly feels the need to apologies for putting off something he’s been putting off for a fair while is not addressed.


Much like with the idol group earlier, we meet a group of people who were caught in Lost who are trapped in some kind of memory. Just like the idol group, while this does give us some more information about the agency and the conspiracy, it just doesn’t feel like it needed a whole episode and I couldn’t really connect or care about the characters we only just met when we already knew they wouldn’t be hanging around.

Afterlost continues to be a frustrating watch as I do actually want to know what happened but the story is taking the slowest and least interesting path to get to that revelation.

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

Is The New Season of One Punch Man Disappointing?

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The Spring Anime season is upon us and over and over again I’ve been seeing blog posts discussing how this season is a slow season or a poor season in terms of anime. I don’t necessarily disagree but at the same time I’m actually having fun with the season even if a lot of what I’m watching is decidedly average. However, there’s one title in particular that I’ve seen being hammered because it is a ‘disappointment’ and it made me wonder whether or not One Punch Man Season 2 is actually disappointing?


Though, realistically, the answer is pretty evident. The vocal fans of the original season are disappointed. Whether the second season is objectively any worse than the first season is potentially something to be discussed, but the palpable feeling of being let down by a lacklustre second season is wide spread. Even the MAL score supports this with season one scoring 8.87 and season two coming it at 7.90 and likely to fall as more and more episodes come out and more people check out the second season.

As for my personal satisfaction levels, I’m enjoying season two of One Punch Man well enough. Then again, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original season. While I loved the music, found it on a first watch through amusing enough, and enjoyed some of the social observations it offered, there was little rewatch value and even by the end of season one it felt like the punch-line had worn a little thin.

Therefore, I wasn’t one of the fans hotly anticipating a season two. I was more the person who was wondering just why a second season was even needed.


The key to no disappointment is no expectations.

While that might seem like a simplistic view it really has had a strong impact on my viewing of One Punch Man so far this season.

However, taking my personal expectations out of the equation, what is better and what is worse about One Punch Man season two? Or what are people saying is better or worse and are the criticisms warranted?


Right from the news that One Punch Man was changing studios, from Madhouse to J.C. Staff there was criticism and concern. Admittedly, an anime changing studios isn’t the end of the world but the two studios are known for such vastly different types of stories that it seemed like an odd fit and the question of whether J.C. Staff could deliver what fans were demanding was opened before the first trailer even dropped.

When you couple that trepidation with promotional videos that do nothing to address the concerns, showing neither the bombastic animation or musical score that characterised the first season, and providing little else in place of it, the concerns and outright derision for an anime that hadn’t even aired yet got a lot louder.

Throw in an OP that in no way lives up to the original and you have a recipe for disaster before a single minute of actual episode has even played. It is probably telling that actually finding a YouTube version of the new opening is actually kind of hard and then I realised I didn’t want to listen to it anyway. The OP of season 1 however is perfect in every way. From the dramatic visual of Saitama punching the screen to that initial “One Punch!”, it hits the perfect note for hyping you up for the series and the show you are about to watch. The new OP lacks impact in more or less every way. Whether it is visuals or sound it is a poor second at best and for an anime that is largely loved for those elements not spending the time to get them right is certainly a clear way to upset the fan-base.

Then we have the anime itself. Still just focusing on the visuals, we get tweets such as this one that remind us clearly how much better the animation was in season 1.

For a sensationalistic anime that built itself on its aesthetics, those explosive scenes where the sakuga took over and nearly took on a life of their own were key and 8 episodes in to season 2 we’ve nothing that even comes close.

Is the animation in One Punch Man season 2 bad?


No. It is perfectly adequate. And adequate would be fine if we’d never seen season one. Alas, this isn’t a matter of comparing apples and oranges. We aren’t comparing the biggest work of the season to some small project. We’re comparing the first part of the story with the second and the second has been found wanting.

And let’s not even discuss the actual soundtrack within the episodes. See, watching the scene in that tweet, outside of how good it looks is how well the sound contributes to the impact of the scene. This aspect has largely been ignored by season two and while again the sound direction is adequate it also isn’t in any way memorable or noteworthy.

In fact, the only element I’d possibly argue that One Punch Man Season Two is maybe at least on par with season one is the narrative itself and the occasional moments of comedy.


Now, if you read my blog regularly you already know I’m not a big fan of comedy, but I liked the sense of humour in One Punch Man. The repetition of the same central joke got a little tiring but Saitama’s laconic nature and blunt replies as well as the gap between his superhero prowess and his lifestyle was amusing.

Season two actually continues the humour pretty well and I really liked the introduction of King and listening to Metal Bat plan to kill the next person who returned a sushi plate to the train was pretty funny. And Saitama’s entry into the martial arts tournament has had plenty of comedic moments thrown in.


Additionally, the story feels like it has more direction this season with a building threat rather than just seeing Saitama go about his daily business before a large threat comes to the city seemingly out of nowhere.

Is a slightly more plot driven season enough to overcome the disappointments that season two has brought?

Most viewers would apparently say no if the online chatter is to be believed. It isn’t as though they were watching One Punch Man for the plot.

However, I’ll throw this one over to the readers and ask you: “Has season two of One Punch Man been disappointing?”

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