My Hero Academia Season 2 Series Review: Shining the Light on Heroes and Villains

Overview:

There’s no denying that season 1 of this show made me sit up and take notice when I picked it up mid-season after reading many positive reviews. The second season continues Midoriya’s journey (as well as the rest of the students’ journies) to becoming a hero.

Earlier I covered some of the ideas in this series in Friday’s Feature: Not a Character, an Idea.

Review:

With the exception of Bleach (which even I’ll admit isn’t all that great when you break down the story) I’ve never been much for straight shonen action shows. I can’t stand the shouting, the long drawn out fight, the pointless arcs where a villain is built up to be beaten down, the random hero power ups, and all the other silliness that tends to infect those kinds of shows. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good action story, I just prefer something a little less aimed at teenage males. Surprisingly, My Hero Academia kind of has all of the qualities of a shonen story that usually annoy me and yet, much like Bleach before it, instead of turning me away it kind of manages to draw me in a little bit more with every ridiculous fight sequence.

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The first season was utterly charming and just plain fun to watch, and season 2, despite launching into firstly a tournament arc, and then a training/power up sequence, before going into an exam sequence (all of which should have killed any fun or momentum for me) managed to not alone maintain that sense of fun, it also fleshed out a very real and meaningful dialogue around the nature of heroes and villains. All of this while characters continued to grow and develop and come to a greater understanding of themselves.

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Now, there is nothing new to be found in My Hero Academia. We have seen each of these characters before and asking the question of what makes a hero is pretty much story-telling from cave-man days. So it isn’t the novel content that is keeping me fixated. It is all about the delivery.

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This world and these characters are bright and larger than life. Their actions, their ideals, their emotions, everything is heightened unapologetically and then dropped into a world is becoming more and more real with every point we learn about it. While we don’t have Quirks in the real world (or at least not that I’ve noticed), there is something extremely relatable about this social media, popularity focused society that has taken a noble calling (being a hero) and made it a vocation. One that is highly sought due to monetary rewards and social recognition. All of this makes for a very grand and highly energetic narrative even when not a lot is actually happening with the main characters. I’m pretty sure these students could make catching a bus entertaining at this point.

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Part of this is because of the sheer number of characters and their diverse personalities. While some of the less important classmates are still pretty one-note, a lot of these characters have had their moment in the spot light and have started to become far more interesting as the series has progressed. My Hero Academia is very big on giving characters clear motivations for their behaviours and attitudes and ensuring the audience understands these. That way, when a character begins to change or grow, or even just acts out of character, it is immediately apparent and the impact is even greater because we’ve understood why that trait was significant in the first place.

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It also helps that the characters are just fun to spend time with. Even Bakugo, the overly angry and shouty one, is always great fun on the screen. If he could learn to focus some of that rage he could be a truly awesome asset in the future, though at the moment he’s more of comic relief and occasional bringer of tension to an otherwise fairly happy group of kids.

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This season saw Todoroki and Uraraka both gain ground as characters. Each had a number of moments to shine throughout the series and learned from their own actions and the actions of others to progress toward their goals. Seeing the these two characters finding their way and seeing how that changed their relationships with other characters in the story, felt very rewarding. Both kind of gained ground in terms of being my favourite characters from this show by mid-season.

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However, the real spot-light this season needs to go on All Might and Midoriya’s relationship. If growth along a journey was the theme for the season, Midoriya truly personified this as he fought hard to gain control of his ability and also really considered why he wanted to become a hero. Early in the season he loses a fight in the tournament to Todoroki, not necessarily because he couldn’t win (although arguably at the time he couldn’t) but because he needed to help Todoroki. Midoriya chose a tournament loss to ensure a greater victory, helping a friend. And that more or less defined who he was. But, there are greater dangers coming and All Might is trying to prepare Midoriya for those. We see the greatest change in Midoriya, spurred on by Bakugo, when he actually strikes All Might during the exam. Season 1 Midoriya couldn’t have even tried to strike All Might. This transition from idolising All Might, to working to surpass him as a symbol of justice, is just another step on the road for Midoriya though for the audience, there’s the added tension of kind of suspecting All Might’s time is more limited than Midoriya knows. All Might is definitely holding back from telling Midoriya everything so that is one puzzle piece we’ll all be waiting for in the next season.

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Turning our attention to the villains, we see the Hero Killer rise up during this season and his impact on both the narrative and the characters is enormous. Even other villains are launched into renewed vigour because of the Hero Killer’s actions. For me, this part of the season was by far the strongest and most interesting. Mostly because the rest of the season focused on the growth of the future heroes but didn’t really give them a real world challenge to face. Though, the final episode this season leaves little doubt as to where the story is going.

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To begin bringing things to a close, I wasn’t overly thrilled with the openings this season. They worked and they definitely grew on me after several episodes, but initially I was kind of underwhelmed by them. Also, some of the fights in both the tournament and the exam arcs just felt like they were there for the sake of completion rather than for adding anything into the story. But these are minor complaints when considering the season as a whole.

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Season 2 gave me more of what I loved about season 1, and continued to grow both the world and characters in an  immensely satisfying manner. While I would have liked a little bit more from the narrative as we seem to be moving very slowly forward, this is a minor nit-pick to what is a fun series to get into.

I’d love to know your thoughts on My Hero Academia so be sure to leave me a comment below.


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The Best of Summer 2017

Okay, we have made it to the announcement for the best of Summer 2017. Starting with my favourites of the season and then the reader’s poll results. With over 100 votes again, and a few more than Spring, I am hoping that the poll is becoming more reflective of the feelings of the community, however nearly 50% of the votes were split between three titles. Read on and all will be revealed.

My Favourite Show

My Hero Academia has sat at the top of my list each and every week and looking back over the season, I don’t see any reason to change it. If Princess Principal had wrapped up its story, it may have pushed past My Hero Academia, but without a full conclusion, it just couldn’t beat the ongoing story of the high school wannabe super heroes.

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I’ve really enjoyed this show over the last two seasons and I’m glad there’s been an announcement of a season 3. It isn’t the most amazing anime ever, but it is good fun and I could certainly stand more shows that I just enjoy watching because they are fun.

My Favourite Character

Uraraka from My Hero Academia. She’s adorable but really got to shine at times during the second season of My Hero Academia.

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Admittedly though, she did not have a lot of competition this season as a number of shows saw me struggling to even remember character names because I was that disinterested in remembering them.

My Favourite Story

This is actually really tricky because honestly the stories this season were… bland (well, quite a few were broken but I was trying not to be too critical). Princess Principal left itself wide open for a sequel as did My Hero Academia. Gamers and Fastest Finger First weren’t overly concerned with telling a story. A lot of the other shows the story was just complete rubbish when you broke it down (at least the ones I was watching). So… Okay, I’m going to give this one to Sagrada Reset.

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I absolutely loved the way this story brought everything together in the end. The presentation of the story might be questionable, but the narrative itself is pretty amazing once you get to the end of it and realise how cohesive they manage to make it.

My Favourite Opening Theme

Very easy choice. Princess Principal was by far the best theme of the season for me (though I kind of liked 18if as well but for a very different reason).

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The opening of Princess Principal just captured the feeling of the show beautifully and I loved the visuals that went with it. I really enjoyed listening to and watching the opening theme each week.

My Favourite Visuals

Relatively easy choice this season. As fun and colourful as My Hero Academia is, it is pretty standard from a visual point of view. Most of the shows I watched this season were a bit hit and miss. Knight’s & Magic had pretty fights and not a lot else, same as Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu. Ultimately, my favourite overall visuals had to be from 18if.

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That was also hit and miss from a quality point of view but each week was interesting to see what style we were going to get.

Favourite Screen Capture

I haven’t had this category before but I just had to share this one. It is going to be my favourite for awhile.

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I quite like it visually but the quote is kind of priceless and I really want that on a book mark.

Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Summer 2017

Here it is:

Best of Summer

For the second season in a row, My Hero Academia snuck in a win. It was losing to Made in Abyss for a lot of the voting period and Princess Principal was a close third for most of the vote. However, in the home stretch, My Hero Academia bounced into the lead position. I’m glad it won this time given the season is now finished. I really had a lot of fun with this one and from some of the posts I’ve read on other blogs it is pretty clear that a lot of people have enjoyed following Midoriya’s journey.

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That is officially the end of the Summer 2017 anime season for me though most of the full series reviews are still to be posted. As always I’d love to know your favourites so please leave a comment below. Also, later today the worst of Summer post will come out so be sure to check it out.


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Summer 2017 Final Thoughts

This is my final week on Summer anime and I’ll be getting around to series reviews very soon with Sagrada Reset coming out next week (it was the first one finished so only fair really). I still have my best and worst of the season posts to come out and on that note remember that the poll will close tomorrow so if you haven’t voted hop on over and have your say. Links for the best and worst anime of the Summer 2017 season. Write in votes are allowed so if I missed your show, please feel free to add it (the write in votes are almost winning for worst anime of the season so your vote will count).

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the shows of the season so please leave me a comment below.

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Must Watch

My Hero Academia (Finished)

A great way to keep us all waiting for the next season. The thing is, this would be a terrible way to end a season except that we already got an announcement for the follow up so not too concerned that they left us hanging. This was great fun this season and I’m looking forward to more of it.

Princess Principal (Finished)

Alright, with an inconclusive ending this might not be a must watch for everyone, but comparatively for this season, this has been such a fun show to watch. Ange and Princess remain the highlight of the series right to the end and they do at least end the current mission/plot so while there are plenty of loose ends we aren’t left completely in the dark.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Finished)

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Okay, I Guess

Gamers (Finished)

This final episode was actually highly amusing just to listen to. Visually it was pretty dull. I guess those who enjoy the game DLC debate will have fun listening to some of the arguments whereas anyone else will just wonder why they even made this final episode.

In Another World With My Smartphone (Finished)

Okay, this show actually fully embraced the harem cliché and somehow it just works. There were definitely some questionable episodes along the way but all and all, I’m kind of hoping that was actually sequel bait and the end because I wouldn’t mind some more of this. It is stupid, and incredibly lame at times, and every character is a trope pulled from many other anime, but this show is still fun and manages to do something with all those clichés.

Fastest Finger First (Finished)

This finished the tournament nicely but left us with a lot of questions about the characters and the team and where they will go next. As we are unlikely to get any more of this series, that’s kind of a shame. This was a fun watch but has almost no rewatch value.

18if (Finished)

My final impression of this was always going to depend on how they wrapped up the plot and to be honest the close was pretty lacking. Admittedly, we do talk Eve into not destroying the world, but there’s so much still unexplained and Haruto just kind of goes with Eve/Lily and that’s kind of it. Really wanted more from the end of this.

Vatican Miracle Examiner (Finished)

For a show that has quite a few low points and bits of silliness in what should be a fairly serious story, it actually became one of those rare anime that finished on a significantly higher note than the earlier episodes would have you believe. Thoroughly enjoyed episode 12 and now I just need to write my overall review.

Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight (Not finished – But I Am)

Since it was pointed out that the show was rerunning old material, and that then made me think I should just go rewatch the former seasons given I don’t really remember them, I’m out from this show. I’m still going to review though because I watched the new material.

Clean Freak Aoyama Kun (Finished)

Well, this show ended more or less how it started which was okay but nothing particularly exceptional. I am pleasantly surprised I made it through a whole season of this, but there were some funny moments along the way. Okay, there was also a lot of stupidity and one or two groan inducing episodes, but overall, still better than anticipated.

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They Made This

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Finished)

Well, at least they realised the only good thing in this show was how visually interesting the fights were, because you are going to be watching half an episode of fights once the show gets over its token attempt to give the characters some resolution. It is pretty and all, but given there’s no real purpose it all just becomes an exercise in seeing how many slow motion shots of good looking guys wielding swords they can throw at us in a ten minute period.

Knight’s & Magic (Finished)

Can I say thank-you now that this is over. This is my single greatest disappointment this season as I really wanted to like this show. It just never did manage to get itself together.

Chronos Ruler (Finished)

After a not-my-true-form second last episode we get a trust-your-friends plan as well as a that-should-have-killed-him-but-it-doesn’t-because-reasons moment for a final episode. As I get to the end of this show I think I was well justified in asking why was this even made.

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Tried and Dropped

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Episode 13)

Restaurant to Another World (Episode 1)

Centaur’s Life (Episode 1)

Convenience Store Boyfriends (Episode 1)

Saiyuki Reload Blast (Episode 1)

Battle Girl High School (Episode 1)

Hina Logic (Episode 1)

Tsuredure Children (Episode 1)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Episode 1)

Aho Girl (Episode 1)

The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor (Episode 1)


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My Hero Academia Episode 38: Setting The Stage

Review:

It is odd where I don’t mind a final episode that so clearly is nothing but set up for future engagements, but with a future series already announced and knowing it is very likely to actually be delivered I found myself pretty hooked by this story. So far, the visible leader of the villains has been individually unimpressive and his taking steps this week to find some conviction really does up the tension a notch in the series.

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Midoriya’s face after he realises he may have just insulted someone who can disintigrate him.

Once again this story questions the idea of heroes, villains, morals and justice and it does it in a fairly non-preachy manner that seems to just make this universe far richer and more believable. However, the episode itself doesn’t really deliver anything. It is a transition with the students finishing their first semester at UA (all of this and we’re only one semester along) and preparing for the training camp. But with the villain recruitment underway by the end of the episode it certainly suggests big things are coming.

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season of My Hero Academia and I’ll be doing a full review soon.


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My Hero Academia Episode 37: Those Two Have Got To Work On Their Issues

Review:

I know they put Midoriya and Bakugo together because their communication was dreadful, but that just seemed needlessly unfair. Midoriya was trying, kind of, to work with Bakugo and he is an absolute jerk. I still can’t believe we’re actually supposed to see him as a future hero and not a villain. Though in a world where Endeavor is technically a hero (the number 2 hero) even though he’s also a jerk I guess we’ll just have to accept that hostility and violence are apparently not disqualifying characteristics.

This fight was as explosive as you would suspect with Bakugo in the mix, but I think All Might was the surprise this episode. He really plays the role of a villain well (even if he did provide multiple openings for the students – it wouldn’t really be a test if they couldn’t have done anything). He’s actually pretty scary when you realise that once he doesn’t care whether the city gets destroyed his power is even more dangerous.

And in the midst of getting crushed, Bakugo and Midoriya kind of come to an understanding even if they still don’t like each other and still can’t really work as a team.

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Still, I will exhibit no surprise is Bakugo ever becomes evil. Might be a little judgemental, but the kid is dangerous.

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Overall, a pretty good conclusion to the exam but nothing overly unexpected except perhaps how good All Might is at being a fake villain. Then of course we got the preview for the next episode and it seems we’ll end the season with the return of the villains so something to look forward to.


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Summer 2017 Week 12

Okay, some shows are done and others are close to drawing to a close and I’m now having to seriously think about my plans for the Autumn season. Here’s my list but there will be one more to draw the season to a close. Remember polling for the best and worst anime of the Summer 2017 season is on so if you’d like to vote, jump on over. The polls will close on the 2 of October with results announced soon after. Write in votes are allowed so if I missed your show, please feel free to add it.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the shows of the season so please leave me a comment below.

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Must Watch

My Hero Academia (Episode 36)

While this second last episode was a little bit on the flat side, nothing is really going to squish my enjoyment of this second season overall. Still very much looking forward to the last episode of the season and really I just have to wonder whether they are going for the ridiculous kids take down All Might finish or whether All Might will gently crush them in order for them to learn some valuable lesson. Guess I’ll find out next week. Or hey, maybe the test will get called off for some contrived reason. Whichever way they go, I’m almost certain I’ll have fun with it.

Princess Principal (Episode 11)

The story of Ange and the Princess remains fantastic. The rest of the story, probably belongs in the next category down. It is usually entertaining but not unmissable. So, a little bit torn as we seem to head toward the end.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Finished)

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Okay, I Guess

18if (Episode 11)

Way too much recap even as the story tries to steer us toward the conclusion. Seriously tiresome episode even as it gave us information we needed so you can’t even skip it.

Gamers (Episode 10)

This show is definitely going to finish the season in the just okay zone. There have been some highly entertaining moments within the show, but overall, it just isn’t the kind of thing I intend to rewatch or recommend to others. But hey, if you are into love pentagons, this one is really working hard to put as many miscommunications in as possible.

In Another World With My Smartphone (Episode 11)

Honestly, this episode was entertaining but if you are over jokes about breasts or panties, this is not going to work for you at all because the majority of the content this week is definitely focused in that direction. There are enough other things going on that I didn’t do an extremely late season drop on this, but it is hardly the cleverest of developments.

Fastest Finger First (Episode 11)

Back to the annoying character, but somehow this episode wasn’t as annoying as their last appearance. Possibly because the quiz seemed to remain the main focus and most of the other characters have kind of stopped over-reacting to that character. It makes their intrusions less intruding.

Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight (Episode 10)

Another pretty ordinary episode. And now I know that these episodes are in fact repeats so I’m ending my viewing of the series and just going to review the first half of the series that was new material. Apparently Hell Girl is more forgettable than even I believed.

Clean Freak Aoyama Kun (Finished)

Well, this show ended more or less how it started which was okay but nothing particularly exceptional. I am pleasantly surprised I made it through a whole season of this, but there were some funny moments along the way. Okay, there was also a lot of stupidity and one or two groan inducing episodes, but overall, still better than anticipated.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Episode 12)

They managed a slightly more serious tone for most of this episode, but it really is too late to make me care. The issue with the teacher came back to the usual theme of humans being pretty terrible without the help of monster possession, and other anime may pull this story line off beautifully, but here, due to a lack of general care for the characters, it just comes off as preachy and pointless.

Vatican Miracle Examiner (Episode 11)

Not sure where to next given they kind of wrapped up their mystery last week, but I guess we’ll see where it goes.

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They Made This

Knight’s & Magic (Episode 12)

I’m going to be honest, so many things in this show have annoyed me that now I’m actively annoyed by more or less anything it does. This week even the sound effects were bugging me and they are pretty harmless. Some of the fight sequence were interesting, but they were pretty repetitive, and nothing is going to fix the story or the characters at this point.

Chronos Ruler (Episode 11)

Fight, fight, fight. Admittedly, this show has been worse than this, so I’m still not actually disliking the last couple of episodes. But, it all would have been so much more dramatic if earlier episodes had given me a reason to care about this current confrontation.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Episode 12)

Certainly this show is having a good go at trying to up the ante in the final two episodes but just throwing more of the enemy at us while not fixing any of the plot or character issues really isn’t the way to make a grand ending. Basically I’m just glad that there’s only one more episode.

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Tried and Dropped

Restaurant to Another World (Episode 1)

Centaur’s Life (Episode 1)

Convenience Store Boyfriends (Episode 1)

Saiyuki Reload Blast (Episode 1)

Battle Girl High School (Episode 1)

Hina Logic (Episode 1)

Tsuredure Children (Episode 1)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Episode 1)

Aho Girl (Episode 1)

The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor (Episode 1)


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Friday’s Feature: Do You Like To Look In The Mirror?

When reading reviews a comment that is regularly mentioned is how relatable a certain character or situation is and why that makes something more or less interesting. I find this an intriguing comment mostly because the bulk of my viewing growing up was strictly fantasy and science fiction and while you can relate well to the human elements of those shows and some of the characters, the fun of those genres is that they can take you outside of what you know and make you see things in new ways. However, as I got older and really started looking at what made stories work, I realised that even within fantasy and science fiction, the stories I was drawn to were the ones where the struggles the characters went through felt real. And what made those conflicts and problems real was that I could usually see a parallel to something in my own life or the real world. It was kind of at that point where I started expanding outward from fantasy and sci-fi, as well as copious amounts of horror, and started finding other stories to lose myself in though I never lost my love for fantasy.

Anyway, the reason I’m thinking about this at the moment is I recently tried to review the first season of Kuroko’s Basketball and what I realised was I didn’t actually like the show. I watched the entire series (25 episodes) in less than a week while working 55+ hours and doing episodic views and reviews of currently airing anime, and I came to the conclusion I didn’t particularly like the show, though I didn’t dislike it either to be honest. So why couldn’t I stop watching it?

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Kuroko.

He is an incredibly boring character when you just kind of describe him. He barely talks, he has no presence for either the other characters or even the audience (even when he is seemingly supposed to be the centre of attention) and his overall character journey isn’t that interesting in this first season. He didn’t like the way the other members of his middle school team played basketball so now he’d like to beat them. Well, that’s profound. So again, why couldn’t I stop watching?

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Because of the relatability. I really related with Kuroko right from episode 1, and not because of basketball because I really did not care about that part of the story. Without the gross exaggeration, Kuroko is someone who is easily overlooked. The guy in the room that even when people know he should be there, they just forget about him. It isn’t that he lacks talent, or that he is getting picked on, or anything like that, he’s just an existence like air. And that is something I could relate to.

At school I was the person who the teacher would ask someone else in the room if they knew where I was, when I was sitting in the classroom. I’m the person who can stand at a service counter forever and will have to wait while everyone around me gets served, sometimes even people standing behind me, and then the service person will start cleaning up behind the counter because they genuinely don’t see me standing there (something which my real life friends find hilarious for some reason).

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However, what made Kuroko easy to relate to wasn’t just that he was invisible. It was that he wasn’t bitter about that aspect of his life, he wasn’t hiding because he was being bullied, he wasn’t on some quest to be noticed or not to be noticed… it was just part of who he was. There are so few characters like that and it was such a novel experience seeing a character that just owned that attribute. That isn’t to say he doesn’t make his presence felt when needed, but again, that makes him relatable. While I might have a presence like air by default, you can’t get through life like that. You have to make people see you sometimes.

So one character, with one relatable trait, was enough to draw me into a show that I don’t actually dislike but it isn’t exactly blowing me away and it made me realise just how powerful this idea is. People are drawn to characters they relate to. They don’t need to be exact mirror images, but when they have that one trait or one thing that the viewer connects with on a personal level, they grab the interest of that viewer in a way that all the brilliant plots in the world probably wouldn’t.

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Which made me wonder about the number one show on my current viewing list, My Hero Academia. What is the draw for that show? Its fun, high energy, great fight sequences, but ultimately it is the characters that I’ve fallen in love with. And when you look at each of the characters what you realise is that they all have some trait or characteristic that you can relate to. Even if it isn’t a trait you have, it is one you recognise in someone near you. Those characters are incredibly interesting but more than that, you can relate to the struggles they are individually going through even as they are on this fantastical journey to become a superhero.

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Earlier in the year one of my favourite shows was March Comes in Like a Lion. I connected very strongly with Rei as he progressed through the story. As a character I wanted to see him succeed but I could understand him when he failed and when he felt he needed to give up. I cheered when he pushed forward, even if it was only a small step, and I cried for him when things got hard. There were so many moments in my own life where I felt Rei’s struggles related and so many people I know who have gone through depression or similar situations that I could relate Rei’s story too. It felt real and I loved every moment of Rei during its run and I’m really looking forward to its return.

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer characters you can relate to?


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My Hero Academia Episode 36: And So They Fought

Review:

If this wasn’t the second last episode of the season, you would swear it was a filler episode. We get the match ups of most of the characters we don’t really care about (Uraraka is the exception here but her match is over and done in almost an instant). While there’s certainly merit to seeing some of these classmates in a fight, and some of the teachers that previously had been been in the background, there’s no plot progression and the main characters are sidelined quite literally, taking the role of commentators rather than participants.

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That isn’t to say the episode wasn’t fun or that there weren’t some cool moments to be found here. However, from a strictly plot point of view this episode gives us very little. Nother is really revealed about the characters that couldn’t have been surmised prior and none of this is leading to anything except Midoriya and Bakugou’s fight against All Might which of course doesn’t start until the final minute of the episode (almost as if the writers were worried we would suddenly stop watching without that bit of a cliff-hanger).

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All and all, as part of the overall feeling of My Hero Academia, this episode works, but it is hardly one of the better showings we’ve had from this second season and I think most of the tournament episodes earlier in the season were stronger than this.


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Summer 2017 Week 11

Another week of anime watching and as we approach the end of the season for most shows I start thinking about all the shows out this season I didn’t watch. Not the ones that I dropped or the ones I can’t access, but the ones I just never got around to trying or tried an episode and put on hold but never got back to. I’m kind of hoping that when I get some time in the near future that I can check some of these out before the new season kicks into gear. But for now I have my current list for Summer 2017 and there hasn’t been a lot of movement. Things are pretty well settled into their spots at the moment and I have to wonder if any of the endings will be dramatic enough or bad enough to shift things. Gamers is of course the exception having dropped back out of usually entertaining due to a fairly lackluster episode and plot development.

On that note, I have opened polling for the best and worst anime of the Summer 2017 season so if you’d like to vote, jump on over. The polls will close on the 2 of October with results announced soon after. Write in votes are allowed so if I missed your show, please feel free to add it.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the shows of the season so please leave me a comment below.

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Must Watch

My Hero Academia (Episode 35)

The exam is in full swing and the students are facing their weaknesses. It is amazing how cliché that sounds when writing it and yet how fun it was to watch because it is the characters we’ve learned to love over 35 episodes and because this show continues to remember that primarily it is meant to be entertaining us so even the emotional moments are high energy and full steam ahead.

Princess Principal (Episode 10)

Here we go. After two episodes of a fairly nice character episodes we return to a legitimate mission and they really step up the drama this episode. Truly a great watch and hopefully a sign that we can expect good things as this season draws to an end.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Finished)

Okay, the final episode of this show wasn’t great when thought about objectively, but it did provide some closure on the characters finally and very much gave us the sense that we’d come full circle with the three characters coming back together only each one has changed so much by going through the events of the past two years. I’ll get around to a full review of this show soonish, but I know I can’t easily recommend it given some of its more interesting choices. Still, it has ended up in the usually entertaining because I found it oddly satisfying.

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Okay, I Guess

18if (Episode 10)

After the incredibly disappointing episode last week (ep 9), episode 10 pulls out all the stops to remind us what this show actually does well and gives us some hope that this show might even resolve before it ends. So let us count ep 9 as an anomaly and hope for a good end.

In Another World With My Smartphone (Episode 10)

Beach episode. After episode 9 which I didn’t much like, a follow up beach episode was just a little bit painful. Hoping this show can turn it around given up until the last few episodes this was actually surprisingly fun.

Gamers (Episode 9)

While I still quite like this show, recent episodes have taken a noticeable drop in quality in writing and appearance. It is like now that the audience is hooked into all this teen drama they aren’t even really trying and are just keeping the balls up in the air long enough to get to the end of the season.

Fastest Finger First (Episode 10)

This week’s quiz was really fun, though they kind of disappeared the annoying character or at least sent them to the sidelines for a bit. It kind of looks like they’ll come back next episode so we’ll see how this goes then. Still, some fun questions and another quiz format to play with this week.

Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight (Episode 9)

Well, we hit a slow episode and one that was kind of lacking in satisfaction. Still, Fourth Twilight has so far been mostly positive given I’m only luke warm on the series in the first place, so an episode or two like this isn’t really a problem.

Clean Freak Aoyama Kun (Episode 11)

Oh wow, I hated this show this week. Amazingly that wasn’t enough to drop it below any of the shows currently under it, which says a lot about their quality, but I really didn’t like watching this episode. I’m really hoping to not have to endure a similar episode next week.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Episode 11)

We end on a cliff hanger which is probably the only reason I’ll start the next episode. This show has been consistently disappointing in everything it has done and this final story was actually shaping up well and then mid-episode it was like the writers got bored trying to actually build up tension and just threw ideas around until they’d filled up the requisite time. Then they attempted to get back into the more serious mystery but by then any tension was gone.

Vatican Miracle Examiner (Episode 9)

Another mystery begins and we’ll see how this one plays out. This show seems to have settled after that initial mystery where it just went a little bit crazy and hopefully this new mystery resolves well.

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They Made This

Knight’s & Magic (Episode 11)

Yep, I was right to drop this one down here. The narrative issues continue as does the absence of characterisation. This one is strictly for people who like watching robots go boom while a cute looking boy cackles gleefully.

Chronos Ruler (Episode 10)

This could potentially get interesting, or it could just be another in a long line of ideas that should be interesting but just gets lost in the mess of writing that this show has delivered so far. Still, I definitely started to think that maybe, just maybe, this show might pull off a reasonable end of season.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Episode 11)

This was at least a good attempt at building some drama. So there is the possibility that this could at least end on a high note even if the overall narrative is still pretty nebulous as they haven’t bothered to deal with it, instead focussing on the personified swords working out their issues.

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Tried and Dropped

Restaurant to Another World (Episode 1)

Centaur’s Life (Episode 1)

Convenience Store Boyfriends (Episode 1)

Saiyuki Reload Blast (Episode 1)

Battle Girl High School (Episode 1)

Hina Logic (Episode 1)

Tsuredure Children (Episode 1)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Episode 1)

Aho Girl (Episode 1)

The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor (Episode 1)


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Karandi James.

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My Hero Academia Episode 35: Aizawa’s Always A Teacher

Review:

There’s a lot of terrible teachers out in the anime universe, fortunately for Todoroki and Yaoyorozu, Aizawa isn’t one of them. Even when he’s hunting them down, he still takes the time to reflect on their progress as students and to give them the push they need to overcome their own difficulties. As much as he likes to play the tough guy, when it comes to his students, he is always a teacher.

Still this episode sees us go through three different tests and after the inglorious defeat of the two muscle heads in round one it seems like most pairs have at least discussed possible plans.

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The teachers aren’t going all out but they aren’t playing overly nice either so it is kind of nice to see the students rise to the challenge.

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Still, this episode hits you with the emotional high of Yaoyorozu finally getting to do something other than fret or worry about her own inadequacies. It has been a long time coming but she’s finally joined the many other awesome female characters in this show that get to stand on their own two feet and be counted. And seeing Todoroki follow her lead and learn from his own mistakes was also pretty cool.

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Now we just have to hope that some of our other favourite characters don’t bomb out next week. This show continues to be a bundle of fun as even the most mundane of events (a school exam) comes to life when these characters take the stage.


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If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

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Karandi James.

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