Top 5 Anime Characters With Wings

Tuesday's Top 5

There are plenty of anime characters out there with wings and for whatever reason they always look pretty adorable. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much The Rising of the Shield Hero and Filo just reminded me how much I enjoy anime characters that have wings, but I decided that counting down my top 5 anime characters with wings seemed like a great idea. How did I rank these characters? Mostly on how much I like their look with wings. It isn’t exactly deep or objective. That said, I’d love to know who your picks would be so feel free to leave me a comment below sharing your favourite winged anime character.

Honourable Mentions:

This week I’d like to mention Filo from The Rising of the Shield Hero because in her human form with her two little wings she is just too cute. But, I’m also throwing it over to Ryuk from Death Note because he is just very cool and those wings of his are scary looking.

Number 5: Holy Bell from Ah My Goddess

When Belldandy calls upon Holy Bell the viewer is treated to a really spectacular visual. This is one of the reasons that I absolutely loved Ah My Goddess despite the fairly silly plot at times and the fact that it ended up very formulaic as they repeated more or less the same drama over and over again. Still, seeing Belldandy and Holy Bell do their thing is well and truly worth it.

Number 4: Jibril from No Game No Life

She loves books and she has beautiful wings? Wow, if Jibril wasn’t quite so crazy she’d almost be the perfect character. Seriously though, she makes an impression when she spreads those wings and descends. I absolutely loved her entrance and wished we saw more of her using her wings in the anime.

Number 3: Kurama from Kamisama Kiss

A cloud of smoke, the playing of his own theme song, and Kurama knows how to make an entrance. As a tengu who has descended the mountain to attend a human school and be a singer, he’s got some really gorgeous wings that he knows how to take advantage of.

Number 2: Tachibana from Angel Beats

This one is a bit of a cheat because despite being called an angel, Tachibana doesn’t have wings, until she uses a computer program to make some. They are nearly entirely cosmetic allowing her more to slow a descent than fly and she only really uses them once, but they are just so gorgeous. I really couldn’t leave this one off the list.

Number 1: Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura

I will admit, I totally had a crush on Yue when I was younger and seeing him with his wings was always a joy. It definitely made me squeal happily inside just having him turn up on screen and that was something that continued even with the return of Clear Card. More Yue please and let’s see more of those wings.

There’s my list for the week and as I said, I’d love to know your favourite anime characters with wings so please give them a shout out in the comments.

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Karandi James
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NO GAME NO LIFE 1/7 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SHIRO TUCK UP VER.
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In Case You Missed It 2019 #9

Another week and you will have noticed that I did slow down the posting this week to two a day. Given the current in real life situation I’m going to continue on this slower schedule for at least another week as it is giving me some time to regroup. That said, I’ve continued to have a great time finding some really cool posts out there and as always if you would like me to give a shout out to a post send me a link via my contact or DM me on Twitter and I’ll check it out.

Posts from the Community

Irina and Crow continue their coverage of The Promised Neverland with a discussion on Episode 7. It is a bit spoiler heavy if you haven’t watched the episode yet but for those watching the anime it is a fun post dissecting what we saw and speculating about where it might be going. Well worth reading for those watching the anime.

But in case that’s not enough of The Promised Neverland (and what is really enough), Lynn Sheridan has a great write up on Episode 8. Again, spoiler warning, but episode 8 was fantastic and there are some pretty solid review posts coming out about it.

Dominic over on Little Anime Blog has a review of Land of the Lustrous that is very nicely written. This one is light on spoilers and more describes the experience rather than specific events so if you are curious about whether Land of the Lustrous might be something you should watch this is a review for you to check out.

Anime Motivation (a site I’ve somehow never found before but am glad I stumbled upon last week) had a great post giving us 11 Educational Anime or at least 11 anime that can give you a new perspective even if they don’t necessarily teach something specifically. It was a really fun list to read and I found a few other articles on the site I’m going to have to go and read at some point. Anyway, if you missed this post, be sure to go and check it out as it is definitely fun reading.

Blogging Almost has an interesting discussion about the hook of Darker Than Black. This post does discuss the overall downturn of the series as season 2 gets underway but mostly it is about how the first episode draws you into the characters and the world. And by the way, if you haven’t watched Darker Than Black, you probably should.

Wooderon shares some thoughts on That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and how Rimuru essentially being in easy mode makes for a less than compelling narrative. While some people will disagree, this is something that has been bothering me about the show for a fair while as there never does seem to be any tension or concern in any scenario making the anime feel a little lacking, despite being reasonable fun. Anyway, if you aren’t violently opposed to the idea of criticism of Slime this is an interesting post.

Xenodude has started covering School Live so if you’ve seen episode one and curious to see how someone who didn’t know what the twist was takes it, this post is a fun read. For those who’ve never seen it, unless you want to know the twist it is probably best to watch the episode first before checking out the post.

I kind of have to thank Irina for this one as she highlighted the blog in her blog discovery post, but I came across this post by Dirk about escapism in No Game No Life and it was such a fun read. It looks at the first episode and premise of No Game No Life and how it connects with an audience who may in fact be looking for an escape themselves. Really enjoyable read and well worth checking out.

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

Then because I was now following this blog, I had the pleasure of reading a comparison of the protagonists from One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 and while I haven’t finished even season one of Mob and One Punch Man was great for a once watch but I’m kind of done with it, I really enjoyed this post. It is nicely detailed, nicely written, and it is just interesting seeing how the author created characters who have superficial similarities but some fairly strong core differences.

Pick of the Week

Irina has to have it this week with her post of Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann. Now Yoko is an awesome character and Irina’s post here does a great job of capturing the reasons why, describing particularly a scene toward the end of Gurren that really just showcases everything amazing about Yoko. Of course, if you haven’t seen the anime, there are spoilers here, but for everyone who has seen the anime, this is a post well worth reading so be sure to hop on over if you missed it last week.

And as much as I loved Irina’s post on Yoko, I do have to throw this one in as a pick of the week. The Nerdy Girl News shares some valuable tips on how to gain followers and get traffic for your anime blog. Be sure to read it as it is well worth the time and really helpful in explaining what they have done and how it has worked.

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No Game No Life Series Review: It’s Not Just a Game

This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in June 2016 and can be found here.

This review was initially written in a style I very quickly dumped and that was separating out the characters, plot and setting under heading and discussing them in isolation. While I haven’t really changed my view on this anime, I have restructured the review quite significantly.

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This is a series I’d rewatched even before my first review and I noted that while the show remained ridiculously fun, the flaws of the series become far more glaringly obvious when the pretty shining colours and wow factor are less distracting and you already know the outcome of the games (though you kind of new the outcome in the first place it was more how they were going to pull it off).

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It is worth noting that realism is not what this anime was going for. All of the characters are complete and over-the-top parodies of human beings (even though the vast majority aren’t human). And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does make it hard to feel sympathy, empathy, or anything else for the characters. This problem was actually made worse when I finally got around to reading the first light novel hoping it would perhaps shed some light on some of the character’s back stories (note, it doesn’t at least not in volume 1).

And just when you think Sora and Shiro aren’t so bad afterall, Shiro’s outright lack of human emotion will punch you in the gut or Sora will follow up a truly brilliant dialogue with a panty joke or something equally jarring from the flow of the show.

That said, there is something amazing about these characters. My personal favourite is Izuna, who unfortunately doesn’t come along until close to the end but is actually the character I found the most sympathetic.

Jibril has some shining moments (anyone who values libraries and knowledge automatically gets some brownie points) and her adaptability is something to behold. But, those moments are contrasted with their attempts at using Jibril for comedic purposes that mostly fall flat. She was at her funniest when recalling the previous wars when she apparently single-handedly wiped out many elves. That was some pretty dark humour being thrown around in that scene, though that’s fairly consistent within No Game No Life. A lot of what you will be amused by within the context of the anime is actually quite dark and problematic when taken out of that context.

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The plot here is really where some people will start to drift away. They tell us early on that Blank  will NEVER lose. Seriously, they weren’t joking. Doesn’t matter what the situation or odds, these two are going to find a way to win. Whether you find the incessant rationalisation and explanations for how they managed to win charming and amusing or just pretentious will really determine how much you enjoy the story here.

More importantly, it kind of cuts off just as it’s getting interesting. They are progressing toward their stated goal but still have a long journey ahead of them and that’s it. Game over. Or, anime over. Perhaps we’ll eventually get a follow up, but for now, we’re left with Blank ready to start on their journey to challenge Tet (the god of Disboard) and yet we don’t get to see that journey.

There isn’t really anything resembling a subplot in this. There are supporting characters and something about a potential rebellion in Elven Garde but mostly this just serves as more fodder for explanations about how Sora manipulated the situation to win. What back story there is revolves around the previous King who lost a lot of Imanity’s (Humanity’s) territory to the War Beasts, and again, it isn’t a subplot so much as another piece of a long and convoluted explanation of victory.

However, where the characters might be questionable in how they are presented and the plot will only work provided you enjoy watching how they win rather than feeling any tension about whether they will win, the visuals are distinct, to say the least. Even on a rewatch, Disboard reamined beautiful.

disboard.png

Okay, the colour palette is a little on the insane scale but it is supposed to be a fantasy world ruled by a god who thinks games are the best way to solve conflicts so we can probably let that go.

The music works but is reasonably forgettable and the voice acting is neither particularly good or bad. Shiro’s voice annoys me because it feels like everything she says has been put through a filter and is just that little bit too high and whisper like. Maybe this was supposed to make her sound cute but it drove me crazy by the end of the series. Fortunately, Shiro doesn’t talk anywhere near as often as Sora.

There’s fanservice here. Lots of it. Bathroom sequences and female characters losing their clothes for some fairly flimsy plot points. While bathroom scenes aren’t by themselves a problem their lack of purpose in this case is. It seems at times the entire plot just screeches to a halt while they chatter about random things while covered in suds. Could they at least talk strategy while showering? And seeing Sora using his phone to try to get photos of Stephanie in the bathroom is just all kinds of creepy.

Despite all the problems this series has that keep it from being a must watch, I like the set up and enjoy the games that are played. I like that the characters aren’t just proclaimed to be smart but they actually are planning ahead and have a vision of what they are trying to accomplish. The value of knowledge in this anime is expressed over and over again and that is something to be celebrated. That and the whole thing is so over the top and fun. While it won’t be for everyone, you can do a lot worse than No Game No Life.

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Karandi James
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NO GAME NO LIFE – SHIRO 120CM BIG TOWEL
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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Bookworms

Tuesday's Top 5

As an avid bookworm myself I definitely appreciate seeing characters who read, who talk about books, and who generally respect stories and it is no surprise that some of my favourite characters ever are bookworms (though there are plenty of book reading characters who are neither here nor there really). Today I’m counting down my top 5 anime bookworms and why I enjoy them so much (though those who have been following the blog for awhile will already know who number one is sure to be).

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Sunako from Shiki and Makashima from Psycho Pass. Okay, I seriously want to add Makashima onto the list and I just can’t fit him so here’s a picture anyway.

Number 5: Jibril (No Game No Life)

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Jibril loves knowledge. As a member of the Flugel race she craves it and after defeating the King of Imanity in a game she claimed the library as her own. There’s something really special about a character who is powerful enough to have more or less anything and she picks the library and while her reaction to a tablet full of books from a world she didn’t know may have been a bit over the top, you have to appreciate the enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge.

Number 4: Kaneki Ken (Tokyo Ghoul)

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While I haven’t much liked much of Tokyo Ghoul since season one, it is undeniable that I quite liked Kaneki’s character way back when. The shy book loving boy who just wanted the pretty girl to notice him and discuss books with him was adorable and the tragedy that befell him suitably heart wrenching. If only they’d continued to evolve his character sensibly from that point I probably would still love Kaneki as a character. Still, any guy who thinks of a bookshop for a date is definitely going to get a spot on my list.

Number 3: Nagato Yuki (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

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The only member of the literature club who then is forcibly joined into the SOS brigade, Nagato is very seldom seen without a book. She even passes message to Kyon about meeting by lending him a book (a failed strategy when he at first just forgets to read the book and it isn’t until the second night he gets the message). Still, she’s persistent. It is hard to figure out whether Nagato actually enjoys reading or whether it is just a habit, but she’s one bookworm you do not want to mess with, or apparently try to verse at any kind of computer strategy game.

Number 2: Chito (Girls’ Last Tour)

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Chito’s genuine joy and love at finding a book and her genuine horror at Yuu’s callous destruction of a book, is something that really drew me to her character during Girls’ Last Tour’s run. There’s a lot to like about the quieter and more contemplative of the pair, and I definitely think that anyone who wants to save books even at the end of the world deserves to be mentioned on this list with love.

Number 1: Maka Albarn (Soul Eater)

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In fairness, I think Maka loves studying more than she actually likes books, and yet she’s a badass character who takes time to read, to learn, and to genuinely bury herself in words. Although, she isn’t above using a book as a weapon of mass destruction should the person near her annoy her enough. Honestly though, Maka and books are more or less inseparable in my mind and they are a part of what made her character so incredibly relatable and memorable to me all those years ago. I love Maka as a character and she well and truly deserves the number one spot on this list.

Maka Chop

So I’m dying to know who your favourite anime bookworm is. Be sure to let me know in the comments.


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Karandi James

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Friday’s Feature: The Power of Clichés, Archetypes, and Being Predictable

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 1 - Diablo

We all know about anime clichés, archetypes and tropes and we’ve all kind of come to accept that there are certain characters and events that we’re going to run into again and again. However, for some people, the existence of clichés and archetype characters who don’t break the mould are enough for them to scorn a show and turn away from it. They label it unoriginal or boring and might claim it offers nothing. And yet there are a lot of good reasons for stories not to go off script or venture into new waters.

That isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be nice occasionally for things to be changed up a bit or presented in a new way, nor is it excusing the lazy use of clichés for laughs in exchange for actually writing a story or considering the purpose of the characters but it does mean that just because something is entirely cliché does not mean it is bad just because it is. I think we need to consider the context and the execution (as well as which cliché it is because there are some clichés that individuals will accept more readily than others) before making up our minds.

It is kind of timely to visit this topic with so many new shows starting for the season. It is inevitable that first episodes will be riddled with clichés. And for those who consider that a death sentence on a story that is something you will have to accept.

Why?

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First episodes need to get their point across, set up what their tone is going to be, introduce characters and give the audience some impression of who they are, as well as do some basic world-building. And they need to grab the audience’s attention so there are going to be some bells and whistles thrown in. All of this in some twenty minutes. It is a lot to ask and while some shows put off some of these attributes for later episodes and choose to either focus on world building, tone, or characters rather than all of them in one episode, with the short attention span of viewers these days that’s a pretty risky move. That’s where clichés and archetypes come in.

Archetypes are recognisable and memorable. They also cut through a lot of explanations because people already know what is on offer. In a first episode a female character might come across as the ‘manic pixie girl’ and a male character might be ‘generic self-insert isekai protagonist’ but it instantly establishes where this character is starting and the tone the audience can expect. Depending on which character archetypes we have on display the audience can begin making predictions about the kind of narrative path we’re about to walk and what is on offer. They may have seen it before, but they haven’t seen this version, so as long as the quality of how things are being executed is there, or there is some reason to believe that things are going to get shaken up in future episodes, there’s no reason to dismiss something just because it seems like it might be similar to about a thousand other stories.

Cliche events and actions such as first meetings, finding a secret power, some sort of misunderstanding, and so on serve much the same purpose in these first episodes. They may not be terribly original but as long as they are presented with integrity, that isn’t a huge problem. The issue isn’t from the archetypes and clichés themselves, the issue comes from the lazy way these are sometimes rolled out.

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If we take a look at the current anime season on offer we might look at something like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord and begin with the take down criticism of it being horrendously unoriginal, derivative, and the same as about a million other stories. And certainly it isn’t exactly ground breaking as we’ve seen a player trapped in his in game character that is some sort of demon in Overlord, we’ve seen transported to another world about a million times, and a world based on a game fairly recently in Death March to a Parallel World Rhapsody. We’ve certainly seen ordinary socially awkward guy instantly surrounded by bunch of girls of various types who for whatever reason all end up in love with him (more times than I can count).

The set up is incredibly generic, and then the events in the first episode are incredibly cliche. We have more fan-service moments then I’d care to recount right at the moment, an obnoxious jerk who wants to teach the protagonist a lesson and consequently gets beaten down, and the cute girl who eats a lot. Then the main character who is so incredibly recognisable as a gamer with no social skills or ability to talk to other people without assuming some sort of in game role (No Game No Life and about a million others).

All of this might be enough reason for some anime viewers to pass on this show entirely and I’ve certainly seen a fair number of reviewers who have thrown all isekai offerings this season into a basket and if that basket had been more than just metaphorical they’d have set it on fire (much the same to how I feel about idol anime really). However, not all isekai anime are created equal and while episode 1 of How Not To Summon A Demon Lord certainly didn’t blow my socks off, it did a decent job of setting up a potential story of interest with characters that have most definitely started out as cookie cutter archetypes that we’ve seen before but they all have growth potential.

This is where it gets tricky. The anime now has a short window of time to convert viewers like me from ‘maybe’ into definitely following the show. While generic cliches and archetypes work well enough in first episodes to establish ideas, if the show doesn’t demonstrate a willingness to do anything more than walk the well tread path of other stories, or worse, it has established the characters and then it leaves them exactly where they are, then the show becomes utterly deserving of the criticism of being unoriginal, derivative and not worth the time. But a first episode isn’t enough to make that judgement.

Though episode 2’s opening act with Diablo waking up with his hands on the boobs of both of his female companions probably indicates where this show sees character development.

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While comparing first episodes I’m really looking at How Not To Summon a Demon Lord or The Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar to add to this season’s watch list (but not both because even I draw the line on isekai at some point). At the moment How Not To Summon a Demon Lord is slightly edging out The Master of Ragnarok for the simple reason that I had more fun with the first episode and the potential story set up looks like it will have a better pay off. Also, cool explosion (sorry, deep down I’m six years old and I know it) and the reference was cool even though I never watched the anime being referenced (memes do wonders for filling in context sometimes). The Master of Ragnarok didn’t get an immediate skip though because despite the overly harem qualities, the overt sex jokes, and every other poor generic idea this genre likes to throw at us, it does have the slight intrigue of not being another world but potential the past earth and the protagonist isn’t just arriving, he’s already there and established. It gives it just enough points of interest to earn a second episode consideration despite all the flaws with the first episode.

Regardless of which isekai I end up watching, the point that clichés and archetypes aren’t all bad can be made pretty clearly through an anime that also aired recently, Cells at Work. Outside of the concept that the characters are all anthropomorphic cells doing jobs within the body, there’s really nothing particularly original about the first episode. While AE3803 might be a truly adorable red blood cell, she’s your stereotypical naive and shy girl on her first day at work. She’s confused, she gets lost, after a chance encounter with a guy who saves her she literally clings on to him as he shows her around before he saves her again. If we took out the fact that they are blood cells, it is pretty much the script of any romantic comedy anywhere or even an action flick (actually, take out first day on the job and we’ve more or less got Temple of Doom working here).

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Yet most viewers would agree that Cells at Work presents itself in such a way that it feels original, fresh and entertaining. The change in setting and the clever way that is integrated into plot and character development allows them to execute a fairly ordinary and familiar story in a way that people appreciated and enjoyed. Something isekai stories might start doing if every ‘other world’ wasn’t generic fantasy land type B (why are no other worlds ever technologically advanced or just completely different from anything we’re familiar with – pseudo-medieval settings have been done to death, move on).

As a reviewer, I’m not above calling something cliche or generic, but at the same time, that isn’t reason enough for me to condemn a story and stop watching. As a fantasy/horror/action/sci-fi fan (in movies) I am well used to seeing very familiar characters and plots time and time again. What I want isn’t something that reinvents the wheel or revolutionises story telling; what I want is a quality story with a purpose and passion behind it that lends integrity to the work. Though that also might be asking too much sometimes and maybe I should just stick to wanting to be entertained for twenty minutes because that is something I’m more likely to achieve.

Alright, over to the readers. What do you think about the use of generic plots, tropes, cliches and archetypes and what do you think about the start of the Summer anime season? Be sure to leave me a comment letting me know.


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Karandi James

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No Game No Life Volume 1 Light Novel Review

Overview:

I really enjoyed the anime of No Game No Life so while I’ve been trying to avoid too many books of anime I watched (Grimgar being the notable exception), I decided I wouldn’t mind trying this series to see if I could find out what happens next given the anime just leaves us hanging. So what is this book about? Sora and Shiro are brother and sister who play games under the name ‘blank’ and they never lose. However, they are summoned by a boy calling himself god into an alternate world where war is forbidden and all conflicts are determined via games.

Review:

I’ll apologise in advance because this review is relying heavily on comparisons to the anime series and it also contains spoilers.

As I said in the overview, I really kind of enjoyed the anime of this series. It has its over the top fan-service moments and the main characters are protected by the absolute plot armour that is ‘blank never loses’, but the fantastic build ups in each game, the sheer craziness of some of the set ups and just the overall feel of the show kind of carried us through the less than stellar story moments. So what happens when you read the same events?

Honestly, not much. If I was brutally honest, I was kind of bored while reading this. Possibly if I hadn’t seen the anime and hadn’t known exactly what to expect from the plot it might have had a bit more impact, but the writing here is pretty straight forward with an over-reliance on dialogue at times and it never managed to wow factor that accompanied so many of the scenes in the anime. And stripped of its colourful dressings, fantastic music and just the sheer strength of the voice acting, this story is not exactly compelling. And while it might be mean to compare it to the anime, even forgetting how it presented the situations, the bottom line was I didn’t have a lot of fun reading this.

No Game1

The ever problematic Stephanie in the series comes off even worse in the book. There’s no dismissing the way her character is treated or pushing it aside. Reading the scenes actually made me a little uncomfortable. Particularly when Sora and Shiro were essentially playing dress up with her. And while it is not any worse than what is presented in the anime, there’s something a little more disturbing about reading a description of someone being treated in such a manner. That might be a really biased view on my part but I was not a fan.

This volume takes us through Sora and Shiro’s set up as brother and sister and unbeatable gaming duo, their summoning into the world of Disboard, finding their way to the last kingdom of Imanity and then game their way to becoming the new King of the country before declaring war on the rest of the world. There are a few changes from how some of these events play out in the anime, but basically the story is much the same. And it is a decent enough set up into a series of fantastical gaming matches against the other races, and yet I don’t really feel compelled to read any further. Watching the series, I really wanted to know what they would do next, but here I’m kind of happy to leave Sora and Shiro go about their next steps all on their own.

One thing I did notice specifically with the writing, and it was quite a distraction, was a heavy reliance on dashes. Dashes used at the start of paragraphs, and usually they seemed to indicate the narrator was directly addressing the reader, are scattered liberally through the entire book. The end result is a tone and flow that doesn’t really feel consistent and continues to knock the reader out of the immersion they are probably seeking. It keeps the reader at arm’s length from the characters and makes it difficult for us to really care what is about to happen. The dialogue also relies heavily on the use of ellipses and while I get that they are trying to show us that these characters are awkward in social situations, again it just disrupts the flow of reading when used with such abundance.

Anyway, between distracting punctuation, characters that are not exactly likeable and an absence of distractions from some of their more negative moments, and a story line that does what it needs to but not a lot more, there just doesn’t seem to be any reason to continue with this series. Other than the whole anime not finishing thing and leaving us hanging. Even then, there are many other series that didn’t get a second season that might be more interesting to read and so I’ll probably continue to seek those out.

I was definitely disappointed by this one as I was looking forward to it. That said, it isn’t unreadable. It didn’t work for me and I definitely preferred viewing the anime, but this series is quite popular so clearly other people find something to enjoy in them. Feel free to share your views in the comments below if you’ve read the series.

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If you’re interested in reading No Game No Life Volume 1 it is available on the Book Depository.

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Karandi James
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Tuesday’s Top 5: Isekai Stories

Tuesday's Top 5

Every season we seem to be getting more and more isekai anime. As I continue to explore a range of light novels with the theme of being trapped in another world and pick up these new anime series, it means that this top 5 list is going to be moving around for awhile. Here is the most recent update for the end of 2018 (which was an excellent year for isekai anime giving us some of the best and worst examples the genre has to offer).

I’m almost certain Re:Zero and Overlord will get a plethora of shout outs in the comments but please feel free to share your favourite isekai anime below and what you like about them.

Please Note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions in this list go to GATE and Drifters.

Also The Familiar of Zero which was formally number 5 on the list has moved to an honourable mention.

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Number 5: No Game No Life

No game No life

Formally number 4 on the list, No Game No Life has managed to hang in there but honestly I think this one will eventually drop off the list as rewatching it has made me realise there just isn’t enough going on here (though it is pretty). There’s a massive amount of fan service moments going on in it, but the setting for this one is really interesting. A world where there is no war and literally everything is decided by the outcome of games seems really fascinating, particularly when the participants of the games set and agree to the rules so it isn’t as though you have to be good at one particular game. Shiro and Sora are siblings who play as Blank online in the real world when they get invited to play another game and end up being transported to Disboard. While some people find the predictability of the victor a bit of a let down, I really enjoyed this anime and my only real complaint is the anime ends just as the story seems to really get going.

Number 4: The Devil is a Part Timer

thedevilisaparttimer01

Another one that has slid on the list. This one is kind of the reverse situation to so many other isekai stories. Instead of some normal everyman from earth finding themselves in a magic world, here a hero and a devil find themselves stuck on Earth where magic is pretty hard to come by. While they do find various ways in the end to travel home, for some reason, they never seem to go and Maou finds more and more reasons to stay. This one is funny and if you ever believed that corporate culture was evil you will probably find the devil’s aspirations to take over the world by working his way up the food chain at a knock off McDonald’s hilarious. Again, the story feels unfinished, but it is a fairly entertaining ride.

Number 3: How Not To Summon A Demonlord

DemonLord11g

Overpowered main character trapped in a world based on a game he was really good at? Yep. How Not To Summon A Demonlord is embracing the cliches and doing a fine job of showing us why the genre works and is just great fun. Admittedly, you do need a fairly high tolerance for fan service with this one and if females being enslaved  is going to be a trigger just pass. However this one has a lot of heart, some good laughs, and some very over the top magic and fights. It really is just fun watching with a great cast of characters who will really grow on you over the course of the season.

Number 2: Sword Art Online

SAO7

Yeah, Sword Art Online isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This one is also a bit different from others on this list in that it is a game world and not some sort of magic world the characters are in, and they voluntarily entered it even if they didn’t know they couldn’t leave, and by the end of the first arc they aren’t trapped anymore, but I love this show. I’m putting it here. It is great fun and Kirito is awesome. If you like boss fights, some random questing and levelling, and seeing characters getting on with ‘life’ when removed from the real world, this show is great fun.

Number 1: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Grimgar

It is no surprise when I decided to dip my toes into the pool of Light Novels that I started with Grimgar. I loved this anime so much and fell in love with the world and the characters and desperately wanted more. Now that I’m reading the light novels I really want to know why there is no second season of this anime. Certainly it is a much slower pace and not as comedy heavy as some on this list, but I think that is for the better in this case as it provides a darker view of normal guy being transported to a world where he’s suddenly expected to know how to fight and survive. Well worth watching but you may need some tissues mid-season. One major difference in this story is the anime never confirms where the characters came from before they woke up in Grimgar so we know nothing of who they were before they encounter this world.

So that is my list of top 5 isekai anime. Please add your own favourites in the comments below because I would love to know what is on your list.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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