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

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 5

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

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

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

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 6

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

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 Winter Anime Half-Time

Run With The Wind Episode 14 Fireworks

With a lot of shows very strongly into their mid-season and some of the shine coming off those that started strongly and some of the weaker shows rallying and finding their feet, I decided it was probably time to take a look at the shows on my watch list this season and see how they were going. Unlike some seasons during 2018, there’s nothing on my watch list I actually actively dislike, which means even the anime vying for the bottom rung of my watch list are actually relatively decent shows even if they aren’t to my personal tastes.

That isn’t to say I’ve got nothing but golden shows on my list. In as much as there’s not a lot I really dislike, there’s not a lot that is making me sit up and take notice. Most shows this season I could watch or not and while I’m having fun part of me feels that as a viewer I was spoiled for choice last season with so many really great anime.

Right now I am following 15 anime and I’m going to count them down from the weakest on my watch list to the anime that might make it to the top for the end of the season. For each anime I’m going to give a brief impression so far and then my prediction for the rest of the season. These are all just my opinions and some of these anime are only 4 or so episodes in, so I’d love to know your take on the Winter Anime so far.

If you don’t want to read the whole post I’m going to try linking to the individual titles so you can check out the ones you are interested in. Hopefully it works.

Number 15: Grimms Notes

There’s not much to say about this one. It isn’t a particularly good anime and the narrative so far has been told out of order for no reason that I can figure out other than to be annoying. The characters are pretty shallow and so far the exploration of the premise has been woefully underdeveloped.

Grimms Notes Episode 2 Ex

I know, I said that I wasn’t watching anything really bad. And Grimms Notes isn’t. Watching it is kind of just numbing really. What kept it in my line-up at all is the fact that there is a potentially interesting premise at the core of this anime and if they get around to exploring it and the characters develop a bit and their motives are made clear, this has the potential to be really interesting. At the moment it isn’t, but it also isn’t unwatchable, so for now it can sit at the bottom of my watch list.

Prediction: This probably won’t improve and I’ll ask at the end of the season why I didn’t drop it.ďťż

Number 14: Endro

This one was recommended to me by Cactus Matt. I’d actually passed on the first episode based on the art work and the basic write up as it didn’t seem like it was something I’d enjoy. In honesty, it isn’t really my kind of thing, but there are enough interesting points that I don’t dislike watching it, and I actually feel like it is getting more interesting as it progresses.

Endro Episode 2 Leader

The main cast here are actually reasonably fun to spend time with when they are doing something (I’ll pass on anymore pyjama parties though) and the quests they go on are amusing enough. The fantasy elements are kind of fun and the comedy isn’t too eye-roll worthy. All and all, this one is actually just kind of pleasant but for me fairly forgettable.

Prediction: Either this will continue to be pleasant enough but  unremarkable or we may take a downward turn if they up the  comedy and slice of life aspects but minimise the adventuring. I  guess we’ll see.

Number 13: Boogiepop wa Warawanai

Frankly, Boogiepop wa Warawanai is a mess of frustrating narrative and bland visuals. But from a core concept point of view this one is something I should enjoy. Which is probably what makes it so frustrating is you can actually see a really interesting story bubbling underneath dull conversations and forgettable characters.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 2

I’d really like to like this one more but at the moment I’m watching more out of hope for improvement than any expectation of it. Then again, even if it doesn’t improve noticeably, it is an interesting idea and one that I’m not going to regret watching (at least I hope not).

Prediction: I’ll be an optimist and hope this one makes my top ten by the end of the season because it just got that little bit better and utilised its strengths.

Number 12: Kaguya-Sama Love is War

This one, I’m not loving the concept of. It is a beautifully produced anime, visually impressive, with a great score, but I’m just not feeling it. It doesn’t help that I’m not a comedy fan in the first place and that I find the central conceit of this anime ridiculous, nor does it help that so far most of the schemes have either been predictable or ludicrous.

Kaguya Sama Episode 2 Shinomiya

Still, this one is actually getting a little better as it goes (something readers of the source have been insisting would happen since the start) and there’s a possibility of continued improvement. My main hope would be that the two main characters actually start to feel like characters and not caricatures and that would increase my enjoyment of this a lot more or less instantly.

Prediction: Again, I’ll be optimistic and hope that this one continues slowly getting better and maybe it will end up in the top ten by the end of the season.

Number 11: Meiji Tokyo Renka

Meiji Tokyo Renka has actually been rather surprising so far. I honestly expected something like Sengoku Night Blood or Libra of Nil Admirari neither or which was particularly noteworthy but both were watchable. However, Meiji Tokyo Renka has so far managed to make Mei, the protagonist, relatively interesting for a harem protagonist and I’m liking that they seem to be doing something with the premise.

Certainly this anime has its share of generic harem tropes and it isn’t exactly jumping to the top of my list, but I’m certainly actually enjoying watching it so far and it has the potential to get better as the season progresses.

Prediction: I think this one will sit right about here on the list. Even if it uses all its narrative potential the central premise here isn’t as interesting as some others and the overall production isn’t amazing. That said, I think it will stay entertaining.

Number 10: Sword Art Online Alicization

I’m a little disappointed that this one is placing so low but realistically after a lot of set up in the first arc, this second arc has been trying to bury us under exposition and honestly the plot doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere very quickly and I’m not entirely sure I like a Kirito who sermonises more than hits things with his sword. All and all, Alicization isn’t really working for me.

Sword Art Online Episode 15 Alicization Kirito

There are certainly still moments of cool to be found in this series and that is what has kept it in the top ten (even if it is scraping the bottom). However we’ve come a long way from the Aincrad Arc and at this point I’m really convinced Aincrad was where Sword Art Online should have begun and ended. I really enjoy that story and while I like these characters, they’ve been suffering from increasing diminished returns ever since. Except Asuna who shone in the Mother Rosaria arc but she’s all but vanished from sight at this point.

Prediction: Disappointment? I think this will slide further down the list before it gets better. I’ll happily be wrong though.

Number 9: My Roommate is a Cat

I do not believe I went in to this one with any expectations but for a slice of life story about a socially awkward author adopting a cat because he’s inspired to write a story despite no knowing how to look after a cat, this one is pretty adorable. The central gimmick of the cat getting to narrate the events of the episode from its perspective at the end each week works well enough and while this one isn’t exactly amazing, I’ve kind of found my relaxation viewing each week.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru

Alright, a lot of the draw for me is actually the author, Subaru. For some people they just find him rude and off-putting in the first couple of episodes but I actually kind of related to him fairly quickly and kind of saw his point when he was annoyed at his editor for dragging him out to a noisy place to talk when there really wasn’t any need to do so.

Prediction: This one is cute and relaxing but that’s about all so I’m doubting this will move any higher up the list unless something else seriously falls apart. That said, I’m not expecting this to really move down the list either as it has been pretty consistent so far.

Number 8: The Morose Mononokean

Season one of The Morose Mononokean was kind of happy nothingness. I like yokai stories so I enjoyed it well enough but it wasn’t overly remarkable. Still there were a lot of potential plot points left unexplored and it has been an absolute delight seeing them being explored and expanded upon so far in season two. It is everything I could have hoped for from a follow up to this series.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 4

I also think it looks a bit better this season though that might just be the distance between season one and two talking. Either way, so far season two of this has done an excellent job at looking at the characters and the lore of the underworld and I’m really curious to learn more about how everything works. Plus, more fuzzy.

Prediction: I wouldn’t have picked this one as a potential season favourite prior to watching it – more casual nothingness. However, if things continue to develop the way they are… This one has a lot of potential to rise up this list.

Number 7: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has been up and down for me since the beginning. I wasn’t a huge fan of it but it slowly won me over and built on its strengths. The mid-season point, so the start of Winter 2019, was actually really solid. But we’ve since had a lot of talking and meetings and its been awhile since anything really exciting has happened.

Realistically, this one isn’t going to be topping my must watches any time soon, but on balance it has remained pretty fun to watch and given the absolute lack of stakes or tension it is pretty relaxing to tune into each week. That said, it is also hard to really care about where it is going.

Prediction: This will hover around here for the remainder of the season and whether or not it manages another emotional highlight, like Shizu’s death or the defeat of the orc lord, may determine whether it goes up a few spots before the end.

Number 6: Domestic Girlfriend

Really wasn’t expecting this one to place so high on the list and yes it is full of teen melodrama, enough to rival any soap opera, and no it isn’t overly logical and it does rely heavily on coincidence. What it does right though is make me actually care about the central trio (or at least two out of three) and want them to find some way to be happy at the end of all of this.

It kind of helped this along that it was nowhere near as trashy as the title and promo images made it look which automatically made me more favourable toward it (low expectations always help a show along). That and some of the characters have actually made some good decisions in amongst the melodrama that have surprised me. All and all, hardly a perfect anime but one that I’m kind of hooked on this season.

Prediction: One of two things will happen. Either this show will manage a beautiful emotional ending or it will completely implode. I’d love the former but I suspect the latter.

Number 5: The Price of Smiles

Of all the anime titles this season, this is the one I’m probably the least sure about. The first episode was interesting enough but relatively unimpressive. Since then, it has managed to really make me care about the characters despite the limited screen time some have had, and I’m interested in the conflict, but the anime as a whole is still a little bit rocky.

The Price of Smiles Episode 3 Stella

I think this one has a lot of potential but it all depends on where they take the story and if they actually get around to doing anything with the questions they are raising. Also, whether or not these characters actually learn anything at all from their experiences. It’s really hard to tell at this point if this anime has the strength of writing to get this right or not.

Prediction: I’d like to be hopeful but I suspect we may just have a show that kills off its characters toward the end in order to make for a tragic ‘war is bad’ kind of message rather than any actual narrative depth.

Number 4: The Rising of the Shield Hero

Well, this one certainly made a contentious start to the season. For me The Rising of the Shield Hero has done exactly what I expected having read the light novels. It isn’t great but it isn’t bad and so far the adaptation has it all the notes it has needed to even if it isn’t exactly the same as the source – though given how many versions the story has gone through all ready it would next be the question of which one.

Where Shield Hero is succeeding for me and why it is so high on my list is that it seems to have made Naofumi’s character a little more tolerable even in the early stages of the story, while still making him flawed enough that a redemption story is needed. Plus, Raphtalia is just kind of awesome. I’m having a lot of fun watching this one and looking forward to more.

Prediction: Not sure how much material they will cover in 25 episodes or whether we’ll end on a good resting point, but I do know that the novels meander a bit so this one may very well sink a little on this list despite generally thinking I’ll enjoy it.

Number 3: Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

I suspect already that this one is not going to last in the top 5 by the end, however I’m leaving it here for now for the simple reason that I’m glad an anime that is deciding to put teenage girls through trauma is then actually interested in examining how trauma affects people. Some of the things anime characters go through and just kind of shrug off with no lingering impact is kind of insane so dealing with the real ongoing trauma as Asuka tries to integrate into a normal life, was actually kind of great.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka - New battlefield

Though a single concept within a story can’t keep it as a must watch unless it does something else. Visually, this one is a bit hit and miss but there are some beautiful sequences. The characters have so far been the strength of the show but the villains are a little weakly developed at this point. There’s a lot that might be amazing about this and a lot that could go wrong so we’ll see where it ends up at the end of the season.

Prediction: I don’t think this will stay in the top 5 but I do think I’ll be glad I gave it a watch this season.

Number 2: The Promised Neverland

Such a promising, suspenseful and beautifully directed start to the Promised Neverland. While I will admit we’ve gradually been winding back the praise on this one, it was still a first episode well worth watching because so few anime manage that much characterisation, world building and intrigue in twenty minutes. Plus, the directions of this series has so far been really interesting though even that aspect seems to be winding down.

The Promised Neverland Episode 3 The Kids Train

I’m definitely with this one for the season and in terms of genre it is doing a great job of keeping my interest. Now that the anime is far enough ahead I’ve read the first volume of the manga and my interest is even more piqued by the potential for this plot. Still, there’s been some shaky characterisation in the last couple of episodes and that gorgeous direction seems to be giving way to more pedestrian approaches. It will be interesting to see if this one can hold its nerve to the end.

Prediction: This one may not stay quite so high on my list but it would have to make a serious downward turn to leave my top 5. Very much recommend trying this one.

Number 1: Run With The Wind

I do not think I ever believed that a sports anime (other than Yuri On Ice) would be topping my watch list and yet Run With The Wind has managed to build from strength to strength over its season. I doubt it is going to derail now and it has been exception at building up the cast of characters despite the large number of them. Add in great sound design and some interesting visual choices and we have a very solid anime.

Run With The Wind Episode 12 Kakeru

I like that this anime doesn’t seem willing to bite off more than it can chew. It knows what it is and it isn’t trying to be anything more than that. But it is working hard to deliver the story of these boys coming together as a team in an interesting manner and so far it has largely succeeded (though Kakeru’s back story dragged on a little too long). I’m very much caught up in this story at this point and hopefully it will nail the ending.

Prediction: This may not finish number one but it will definitely be up the top of my list. Consistent delivery of quality character work and competent narrative makes this an easy recommend.

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

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 3Meiji Renka Episode

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air con? I’m there.

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

Alert! Time Travelling Heroine Surrounded By Pretty Boys!

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 1 Review

I feel like we’ve seen this all before. Meet a girl in the modern world, contrive some reason, or no reason, and suddenly poof she’s in a historical setting with a vaguely supernatural twist. Okay, I’m getting a distinct Sengoku Night Blood kind of vibe from this one and that isn’t necessarily a favourable comparison.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 1 Mei

However, rather than comparing it to another show that has a similar premise and is also based on a game, let’s look at the first episode of Meiji Tokyo Renka.

We meet Mei, our heroine, in the modern world and quickly establish she’s a loner because she can see ghosts and as a kid she didn’t realise other people couldn’t and she got a reputation as a weirdo. It is a generic enough back story but surprisingly quickly established and the heroine seems to actually have a reasonably positive outlook despite her loner status.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 1 Magician

Soon she meets a magician who puts her in a box and poof she’s transported into the past. This is where the anime kind of lost me a bit (though I’ll admit I wasn’t really buying in even from the start). Straight away she meets two of the pretty boys from the opening and we establish that her memory is a little messed up. While she remembers things like her headphones and names of certain historical figures, she needed to be told her own name by what I assume was the fox spirit.

What little personality heroine may have had quickly evaporates into the usual look at everything a bit blankly and answer yes to a lot of stuff. Oh right, I forgot our heroine likes roast beef. Does that count as a personality trait?

Maiji Tokyo Renka Episode 1 Mei

I didn’t actually hate this one, but past experience with this set up has convinced me not to have particularly high hopes. I’ll keep watching because even when these sorts of stories play out exactly as expected they are watchable but again, I don’t have much in the way of an expectation that this will be anything more than brightly coloured filler.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Three great ways you can support 100 Word Anime:

Patreon2

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Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA – YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA - YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)