Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor Episode 4

Review:

And Glenn is back to being a bit scummy as he essentially places bets on his classes performance in the magical competition. This underlying idea kind of smashes any of his kindness or reasoned decision making in setting up the students and preparing them, and he does do some good work building the students up and getting them to acknowledge their own strengths. But knowing underneath that he’s just trying to get some extra cash kind of kills it for him as a character moment.

Akashic4b

The episode was still kind of fun because we’re moving through events at a very good pace. Rumia gets a bit more development with the royal mother who abandoned her dropping by for the competition and there’s some set up for something happening next episode though fairly ambiguous as to what that something might be. All and all, since episode 1, this show has definitely improved and continues to build on that, if only they didn’t keep giving me reasons to hate Glenn.

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor is available on Crunchyroll.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Advertisements

Grimoire of Zero Episode 3

Review:

Grimoire of Zero remains pretty bland. I didn’t mind the episode this week and the problem of the week that the main duo dealt with, but the overall story and world still feels pretty much like it hasn’t gone anywhere after the info-dumping first episode.

Zero3b

While we get a glimpse of some of the reasons why normal humans might not like the beastfallen so much, the two characters in particular that we meet are both so ridiculously over the top in their poor behaviour and it hardly seems like it would be the typical behaviour given the beast fallen are clearly not totally hated in the town. It is all kind of inconsistent (as is the comment that the mercenary knows the girls aren’t witches but later on they clearly say that only a witch could tell). Still, this is watchable even if I’m not terribly into it.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

WorldEnd Episode 2

Review:

As a single episode, this particular one is not impressive. Then again, episode 1, while highly entertaining and beautiful, didn’t really give us any details of the girls or what they were doing. Episode 2 fills in those gaps, but the end result is a lot of exposition and slightly flat dialogue. Despite that, episode 2 manages to find its moments of charm particularly early on as Willem works to win the girls over as most of the children are outright avoiding him to start with.

WorldEnd2

The way it builds up to Willem understanding that the girls aren’t ‘normal’ (by whatever means he uses to judge) works well and while the dialogue isn’t great, it does the job and we more or less get the situation the girls are in by the end of the episode. With the exception of the final sequence where Chtholly basically has an orgasm after receiving a massage from Willem, they are keeping the overtly fanservice moments minimised considering the set up and the cast.

Despite this episode being weaker, i’m still quite hopeful for the story as this world gets more fleshed out.

WorldEnd (SukaSuka) is available on Crunchyroll.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor Episode 3

Review:

This week I have to say this show was genuinely fun to watch. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t without issues, but it just kept things moving along nicely with three different confrontations for Glenn and three different solutions.

Akashic3

I’m going to be honest, it isn’t much of a secret society if Glenn can identify them from the tattoo they wear. I’ve always wondered why, if you were a secret society, you would have such a give-a-way. Also while it might be nice that Sistene is no longer being quite so obnoxious, and the whole life and death situation she finds herself in certainly warrants her getting on with Glenn a little better, she becomes really clingy really quickly.

Still fun to be had even if part of me was kind of hoping Glenn would take a more serious injury.

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor is available on Crunchyroll.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

The Eccentric Family Season 2 Episode 2

Review:

It’s weird in that this episode felt incredibly slow paced at times and yet when thinking back it covered a lot of content. We had the non-duel between the tengu, where¬† Akadama was only spared falling completely to the ground because Yasaburo caught him. Nidaime’s only conclusion, other than general contempt for Akadama, was that Tanuki’s really are foolish and you can’t really argue with that after watching most of season 1.

Eccentric2

Then Yashirou visits Yasaburo carrying Kaisei with him and we get a discussion about the cancelled engagement. This is before Yasaburo is sent to talk to a guy who has apparently set up a ramen shop somewhere he isn’t supposed to. It was nice seeing Yasaburon put on the back foot in this situation but all of these events have occurred in the first part of the episode.

Eccentric2c

The second part sees Yasaburo encounter the guy again at a dinner with the professor from last season (the one who likes Tanuki) and some artist, and then Yasaburo does some digging around about the new guy’s past. You would think Yasaburo was concerned about a new power in town, but to be honest he’s never that concerned about anything. He’s just ticked because he came off second best at tricking someone and that hurts his pride as a tanuki (he has a weird sense of pride but it is definitely there).

Anyway, I still love The Eccentric Family and this season is doing a great job of setting up a whole bunch of plot threads again and hopefully they can all come together as they did in season 1. My biggest issue with this episode was that it felt like things were moving slowly and yet they threw a lot at us to try and process.

The Eccentric Family is available on Crunchyroll.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Grimoire of Zero Episode 2

Review:

Grimoire of Zero on paper probably looks like a really great anime. All of the ingredients are there. You’ve got witches, humans and beastfallen all with their own agendas, prejudices, and ignorances in various states of conflict, you have a paired up witch and beastfallen on what amounts to a magical fetch quest, and you have sufficient obstacles to create some interesting action sequences on their travels. So why and I finding it so dull to watch?

Zero2c

Part of the issue comes from not particularly caring about any of the characters yet and episode 2 did little to make me care any more about them. Other than the mercenary stating he hates witches, repeatedly, and then at the end apologising half-heartedly for it, we learn nothing about him in this episode. Zero can’t decide if she wants to be mysterious, wise, passive or smug and just kind of pulls on whichever personality suits the moment. New witch boy, who I cannot remember the name (sorry, alias) of is an angry ignorant witch but deep down he’s a good person.

Other than not caring about this group, last week they set up a quest to find the grimoire and this week yellow haired boy tells them, oh yeah, that’s in our hideout. Okay, that was easy. I assume getting it back won’t be easy but really, way to shortcut a quest.

And did we seriously need an arrow to the knee joke here?

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Spiritpact Series Review

Overview:

After living a fairly nothing life Keika dies quite unceremoniously when he’s hit by a truck. However that isn’t the end as Tanmoku shows up and asks Keika to become his spirit shadow. After a series of narratively convenient events a contract is made and the two are joined but there’s still a whole lot of mystery going on.

I reviewed Spiritpact week to week so if you are interested in my individual episode thoughts please click here.

Review:

spiritpact7b

Let’s get this part of the review out of the way. The first episode of this is a nearly unwatchable mess. It has the hallmarks of an absolute train wreck and the only reason I didn’t chuck this show then and there and actually am now able to review the series is because of my slight intrigue about this whole spirit shadow thing. In fact, this series along with Hand Shakers is kind of the reason my ‘They Made This’ category now exists in my weekly overview. However, I’m a sucker for ghost stories so despite thinking very little of it I moved on to episode two.

Episode two isn’t much better, but…

You knew there had to be a ‘but’ coming.

…what this show does incredibly well is each episode reveals something. Not much and at first it isn’t overly coherent (or it is just a massive information dump with little context) but it does reveal something. And even though there are points in pretty much every episode where you could pause the screen and just ask ‘Why am I watching this?’ the answer is pretty clear. Despite everything wrong with this show from a production and writing point of view it is telling a really compelling story (it just isn’t doing it well).

spiritpact2d

And then you get to the second half of the series (this ended up only being 10 episodes so second half isn’t that far in). The biggest problems from early in the show are finally starting to sort themselves and you are getting less of the poor comedy and more of the straight up drama. By episode 9 you don’t know when it happened but you are completely caught up with these characters and the story and episode 10 delivers a satisfying conclusion.

Spiritpact10

Does any of the emotional investment make this a better show?

Not really. It is a travesty at times. The comedy is truly hideous (and unhelped because it is accompanied by truly hideous visuals). Transitions between scenes are awkward. Characters come and go from the series around our protagonists but sometimes they’ve had so little to do early of consequence later when they return you don’t even know who they are. One character doesn’t appear early on, nor are they mentioned, but they play a fairly critical role in the second half. You spend a lot of the first three episodes asking ‘what?’ and you spend some of the time in the middle of the series wondering if they just forgot what was meant to happen next.

spiritpact3c

I still had a great deal of fun watching this. Early on it was just to see if this could be my worst of the season. The premise was interesting enough that I’d be entertained and it would give me something to talk about. By the end I was genuinely waiting the week out just to get the next episode to find out what happened to the characters next.

spiritpact7

Keika is probably the character success story of the 2017 winter season really. I hated him in episode 1. I genuinely wanted his soul to disappear. By the end I was nearly in tears when his soul was in danger. I do not know why I started liking his character or caring about his fate but I know that somewhere along the line he became someone I genuinely wanted to see survive and find some happiness.

spiritpact5

Despite that, I won’t recommend this. If the premise intrigues you, check it out and stick it out (it’s only ten episodes). You’ll probably wind up enjoying it even if you want to howl with frustration early on. If the premise isn’t really your thing and you’ve got a watch list that continues to grow forever, the fact that it ends well probably isn’t enough incentive to sit through this.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Sword Oratoria Episode 1

Overview:

A spin-off of DanMachi (It is Wrong to Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon), Sword Oratoria focusses on Ais and the Loki Familia.

Review:

For a show that is supposed to focus on Ais, she’s remarkably passive to absent in this first episode with far more time being given to introducing a young magic user who freezes at the sight of monsters (useful). And because of the kind of show it is of course she’s making puppy dog eyes at Ais.

Sword1

That said, it wasn’t a bad episode. After an initial narration where we zoom around the city and see some familiar faces we find ourselves on level 50 of the dungeon with the party from the Loki Familia. We get a reintroduction to the members because even though we’ve met most of them before they weren’t the main characters in DanMachi. Then we get a pretty cool fight against some acid spewing caterpillar thing. Before we start returning to the surface and we get our first direct cross over with the previous series and we see how the minotaur ended up attacking Bell.

Sword1c

My issue with this is that Ais was a pretty boring character back in DanMachi (she served her purpose well enough as a potential love interest and a goal to work towards in terms of strength for Bell) but her personality was pretty much non-existent. When I first heard she was going to be the focus in this I had some real concerns about whether she could carry a show and this episode has done nothing to lay those concerns to rest. The things I liked this episode were throw backs to DanMachi and reminders of how fun that show was. Just being back in the dungeon was fun, the ridiculous monsters and the fighting styles, even seeing Bell again was fun. Ais, not so much.

All and all, I have no intention of dropping this. Even is Ais doesn’t manage to develop a personality, there are plenty of other enjoyable characters and its a dungeon crawling fantasy in a world I already love so we’ll continue on.

Sword Oratoria is available on AnimeLab.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor Episode 2

Review:

This episode was trying really hard to try to give Glenn some redeeming characteristics though given episode 1 and given the title it is kind of hard to take it seriously. Plus, regardless of any dark back story, personal trauma, or occasional moment of caring, Glenn is still a jerk. However…

Akashic2

What episode 2 did do well that episode 1 failed to do at all was get me intrigued about the magic of this world and how it works. As well as that, it gave me some reason to believe that there might be a plot buried underneath the bad jokes and obvious exploitation of teenage girls. I still might have made the decision to drop this except for this scene:

Manipulating the spell through manipulation of grammar… loved everything about this moment. I’d love to know more about how this works in practice and hopefully this wasn’t a one off explanation that they are going to rely on for Glenn seemingly breaking rules later on.

So, Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor, I guess I don’t get to drop you just yet because now I want to know more. Oh yeah, Rumia got kidnapped and it turns out Glenn can prevent spells activating in a limited range. Minor point compared to learning about magic grammar.

Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor is available on Crunchyroll.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Grimoire of Zero Episode 1

Overview:

A mercenary who is half-beast meets a witch who calls herself Zero. The two strike a deal where the mercenary must protect the witch while she searches for a book that might destroy the world and once that’s done she’ll turn him back into a human.

Review:

Grimoire1b

This show has ideas and this episode sets up a fairly basic premise of fetch the book and turn the beast back into a human and it all looks like it could be quite good. Unfortunately, at no point during episode 1 did I feel like I needed to care about any of these characters or the events.

Grimoire1c

Possibly it was the info-dump opening that just kind of tuned me out, or maybe the overly cutesy design for the titular witch, but while I watched the events play out and it all makes perfect sense so far and it feels like it should be interesting, it really wasn’t.

Actually, I had two points that didn’t make sense. First, the guy was born half-beast so why do they keep saying ‘turn back’ into human? Wouldn’t it simply be to transform him into fully human? The other one is the witch states twice that her magic allows her to cast without invocation or circle but she sure is spending a lot of time chanting for someone who doesn’t need an invocation. I’m hoping that’s a translation error because otherwise it makes no sense.

I’m going to watch a couple more episodes of this because I do enjoy fantasy, but episode 1 has done little to really appeal.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar