It’s Here: Thoughts on Anime 2018 Book Launch!

There’s a definite sense of excitement when I see so many of my posts from last year coming together into a single form.

For the second year in a row I’ve compiled an ebook with the content from my blog though this time I’m selling direct via PayPal. You have your choice of PDF, EPUB or MOBI formats and you will receive your copy via email after payment. Patrons, if you haven’t already got your copy, go to this post on Patreon and it should allow you to download the version you want – if it doesn’t work let me know ASAP and I will email you a copy.

Thoughts on Anime 2018 ebook

Thoughts on Anime 2018 ebook

Collection of reviews, features, and top 5’s from the blog in 2018 including reviews completed for patrons only. Available in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF forms. No images.

A$6.00

Buying the ebook helps support the work I do on 100 Word Anime and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to grow the blog and produce content people would like to read. Though I would like to take this moment to ask that you consider becoming a patron.

Now before we get too much further I do need to do a major shout out to all of my wonderful patrons and to those who have donated to 100 Word Anime during 2018. In particular I’d like to give a special thank you to:

So, what’s in the book?

Well, almost all my Top 5’s from 2018, including my best of 2018 Top 5 lists that technically haven’t finished coming out on my blog just yet with my top 5 males and top 5 anime of the year still to be published.

Almost all of my Features are included.

Now if you are wondering why some Top 5’s and some Features have been left out part of that is because the book was starting to clock up a massive word count, and the other part is that occasionally I write a feature directly related to something happening during a particular week and it really isn’t relevant to anyone a month later. Also, a handful of my Top 5’s last year were on horror movies rather than anime so they thematically didn’t fit.

As for series reviews:

  1. Cells at Work (Summer)
  2. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Winter)
  3. March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Winter)
  4. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (Autumn)
  5. Dakaichi (Autumn)
  6. DamePri Anime Caravan (Winter)
  7. Goblin Slayer (Autumn)
  8. How Not To Summon a Demon Lord (Summer)
  9. How to Keep a Mummy (Winter)
  10. Lostorage Conflated Wixoss (Spring)
  11. Phantom in the Twilight (Summer)
  12. ReLIFE Final Arc (Winter)
  13. Rokuhoudou Yostuiro Biyori (Spring)
  14. School Babysitters (Winter)
  15. Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San (Autumn)
  16. Space Battleship Tiramisu (Spring)
  17. Spiritpact – Bond of the Underworld (Winter)
  18. Steins;Gate 0 (Summer)
  19. Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Spring)
  20. The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Winter)
  21. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary (Autumn)
  22. 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams (Summer)
  23. 3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Spring)
  24. A.I.C.O Incarnate (Winter)
  25. Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion (Summer)
  26. B the Beginning (Winter)
  27. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Spring)
  28. Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Spring)
  29. Darling in the Franxx (Spring)
  30. Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Winter)
  31. Devilman Crybaby (Winter)
  32. Doreiku (Spring)
  33. Jingai-San no Yome (Autumn)
  34. Junji Ito Collection (Winter)
  35. Kokkoku (Winter)
  36. Libra of Nil Admirari (Spring)
  37. Record of Grancrest War (Spring)
  38. Release the Spyce (Autumn)
  39. Sanrio Boys (Winter)
  40. Caligula (Spring)
  41. Devils’ Line (Spring)
  42. The Master of Ragnarok (Summer)
  43. Tokyo Ghoul RE (Spring)

Well, there’s just a few series reviews. Also episode reviews are included in the appendices for a large number of shows covered last year and all patron only episode reviews are included. Plus, episode reviews of Dakaichi and Goblin Slayer that I never published on the blog because I was reviewing after every four episodes with Arthifis so I just wrote up my episode thoughts for the book.

Hopefully the contents page works in all formats so you should be able to easily navigate between sections and reviews are arranged alphabetically by season. Obviously if you have any issues with the ebook or the format, please contact me and I’ll send you another copy or a different version. This is my first attempt at doing this alone so it may not have worked out perfectly. However, I’m fairly confident I’ve got it.

But, if $6 is seeming a little too much for a year’s content (actually I get it, we’re all working on a budget), I have a slimmer version of the book available.

Short Thoughts on Anime 2018

Short Thoughts on Anime 2018 ebook

Smaller selection of features, top 5's and reviews from 2018 on the blog. Available in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF forms. No images.

A$3.00

For the price of a ko-fi you can get the short version of the ebook. The only episode reviews included in the short version are for anime series that were reviewed exclusively for patrons or did not appear on my blog at all. A number of series reviews were removed as were a handful of top 5’s and features.

Basically instead of 220,000+ words that you get in the whole ebook, you only get 130,000+ words. It still makes for a pretty good read if I do say so myself, but it is definitely the trim version.

This is a one-off way of supporting 100 Word Anime throughout 2019. I’d really love to see this blog grow and I am continuing to work on producing content for people to enjoy. Consider lending a hand and getting a compilation of the 2018 content.

By the way, if you can’t make up your mind, or can’t right now but think you might want to buy the book later, it is available in the bookshop which you can access via the sidebar.

Karandi's Bookshop Feature Image

Thanks again and happy reading.

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Karandi James
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Why Emma’s Lack of Compromise Is Both Foolish and Brilliant

The Promised Neverland post title image

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 Review

After one of the best premiere episodes I’ve seen in a long time, episode 2 of The Promised Neverland had a lot to live up to, and while I can’t say it 100% did, it was still a very solid episode that has definitely moved the plot and characters along nicely while still managing to ooze atmosphere and tension. The majority of the episode focuses on Norman and Emma considering how they are going to escape as Mother gives a few indications that she’s got her eye on them and messes with their heads a little, before Ray joins the two in their plans. It doesn’t sound all that exciting but much like with episode 1 it is all about the execution. (Some spoilers below.)

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 Mother finds a kid.

However, this is where I did pick a few faults this week. Where episode one had the consistent clock motif throughout the episode, and that is still present in episode 2, a lot of the visual effects this week seem a little disjointed or don’t seem to quite hit the mark. Notably early in the episode where Emma is sitting up in her bed and we seem to be looking at her from the clock’s perspective and the scene sways back and forth like a pendulum. It is kind of clear they are trying to show us how unsettled she is and how unstable things are and yet mostly I just felt queasy and like the scene went on too long. It didn’t pack enough emotional impact for the time it took.

The second effect that I had to look at a couple of times and still didn’t really click with was when Mother and the other children walk past Norman and Emma back into the house and they are trailed by after images. I’m not entirely sure what tone this was supposed to hit but it was another moment where it didn’t draw me into the scene but rather pushed me out of the moment and had me puzzling why they went with that effect rather than following the characters and the scene.

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 - Norman and Emma

Though, with the exception of those sequences, I really liked how this episode was put together. Again we have some very interesting angles used on the characters to show their emotions and relative power, there’s a lot of thought put into the music and sound, and mostly the pacing works exceptionally well at making you feel uncomfortable and waiting for the next moment and then lingers just that little bit longer before moving on.

For me, Emma was the real champion of this episode. Not so much because I like her as a character. She’s pretty generic in terms of the big sister character who wants to be cheerful and protect her family. I like her more because of what she has done for the plot.

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 - Norman and Emma

Because of Emma and her shock and inability to just act like nothing happened, Mother seems suspicious of Emma and Norman. This is the first factor that escalates tension in this episode and ensures we are very carefully watching Mother all throughout the episode to see if she actually knows or is just suspicious. If Norman alone had been the one to find out about Conny, there’d be nothing happening in a lot of these scenes because he’s beautifully playing the role of someone who has no knowledge.

Also, the escape plan that Emma and Norman are cooking up involves saving everyone. All of the children. As Ray points out when he is included in the conversation, that’s stupid. It is nearly impossible and even if they all escape how will they survive afterwards. And honestly, Emma, Norman and Ray believably could escape in a couple of days after snooping around some. But then, where would the excitement be?

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 - Norman, Ray and Emma

No, Emma puts her foot down hard and insists everyone is going to escape. She won’t sacrifice anyone. And Norman sides with Emma because despite being super-logical, he likes Emma and he’s 12. Emma’s decision and her lack of consideration for any compromise, turns what is already a steep task into one that might be insurmountable.

For other shows wanting to raise emotional and narrative stakes, take notes from The Promised Neverland. You don’t have to randomly and gruesomely kill off your cast to make things seem more dangerous. Yes, this anime did kill a character in episode one to establish the overall stakes, but without a single drop of blood being shed, episode 2 managed to build on that drama and craft a compelling path for the story to take. I am very much looking forward to where this story goes from here.

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Karandi James
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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1
The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1

If I Sit On It, It’s Mine – So Says The Cat

My Roommate is a Cat Post Title

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Review

Anyone who has owned a cat will get a good laugh out of this episode if nothing else. From the opening sequence of Subaru finding the cat asleep on his laptop to later being scared when he opens a box to find the cat asleep inside, these are wholly relatable moments for the audience to enjoy. I’ll admit though, my cat and I have come to an arrangement when it comes to keyboards and now she has accepted sitting beside the keyboard and just periodically swiping at my fingers if I’m not paying her enough attention. Negotiations with cats are always ended in favour of the cat even when the human thinks they’ve won.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cat on Keyboard

Realistically, there’s not a lot going on in this anime. It is very slice of life, author living with cat, and honestly other than the appeal of seeing my own cat’s antics on screen, there’s not a huge amount to cling to in terms of plot. Even though I quite like Subaru, I found his ‘misunderstanding’ at the pet shop a little bit on the painful side and while the rest of the episode rolled along smoothly, it seems every time the cat is absent from the screen things hit a bit of a rocky patch.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Subaru at Pet Shop

As with last week, the final part of the episode flipped the perspective and we got the cat’s point of view on the events of the episode. Again, I’m not sure this adds a lot, but it is cute so we’ll just go with it.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cute Moment

While I’m not going to say this is a particularly good anime, if you like cats, don’t mind things just being cute for the sake of it, and can put up with something where about half the jokes don’t quite land, you’ll probably enjoy this. I’m enjoying it and it isn’t a genre I normally like. The love of cats goes a long way here.

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Karandi James
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NENDOROID DOLL: MAD HATTER
NENDOROID DOLL: MAD HATTER

Clearing the Air With The Help of Friends

Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

Run With The Wind Episode 13 Review

The episode begins with a punch but not the one we expect after last week. Instead, we see Kakeru punching his high school coach. Then, after the OP, we return to the present where Kakeru’s punch is brought up short by his teammates.

It is a powerful start to what is a fairly well directed episode even if the overall subject matter ends up being less impressive. I’m going to be honest, Kakeru’s drama has dragged on so long and ends up being able to be boiled down to angry teenage boy acted impulsively after not doing anything about regulating his emotions over a long period and then had to deal with consequences that came down across the whole track team. For people who were directly involved I guess it would be a big issue but as an audience member at this stage I’m kind of indifferent to Kakeru’s issues and mostly just wanted him to get over them so we could get on with the rest of the characters who’ve proven to be delightful.

Run With The Wind Episode 13 Kakeru's old team.

That said, despite the story itself not being all that great, the cuts back and forth between Kakeru’s high school days and his present moments training with the team build up a sense of a climatic reveal regardless of how you feel about the reveal. The use of static over the flash backs, with more interference and noise the closer we get to the punch, is highly effective at conveying Kakeru’s mental state.

Run With The Wind Episode 13 Kakeru's catalyst.

Why we needed a sit down with the whole team to ‘confess’ everything is something I’ll never quite understand but the team’s reactions are predictable and suitably amusing. It does feel though like the end of this episode has brought a breath of fresh air with this whole Kakeru’s mysterious past finally being out there and so I’m very much looking forward to next week. Particularly when the preview at the end of this episode shows we are going to get some more time with Prince.

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Karandi James
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Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack
Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Series Review

Their Fight Isn’t To Save The World – Just Their Corner Of It

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary was one of those odd titles that comes out each season where I haven’t heard of it, haven’t seen any promotional materials, and just kind of go in blind. A fantasy-action, according to MAL at least, it seemed like it could be quite fun. And I was pleasantly surprised to find a fantasy that wasn’t isekai and instead had a faintly historical setting though the inclusion of mechas and ultimately flying armour kind of threw any basis in reality right out the window.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 6 Cheng

Now, I am going to end up recommending this title, mostly because very few people watched it while it was airing and I feel it really got overlooked in a strong season. However, that recommendation comes with a caution. The animation goes from average to terrible and remains that way through most of the run time. So if you are someone who expects modern anime to have high quality or at least reasonably consistent animation, I’d suggest not even trying this one because you are not going to enjoy it. For those that don’t mind the slightly shoddy visuals, there’s a pretty decent story to be found here.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

The setting works very well in Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. The Taibai Empire is expanding and wants to conquer the world and does so by brutalising the inhabitants of small villages. It is more or less the expansion of China though don’t expect historical accuracy here. Yin and Ning are two sisters whose lives are destroyed when their village is attacked. Yin is waiting outside the village at the time and escapes mostly unscathed but Ning loses both arms (in what becomes an ongoing trend in this story – seriously, how many sets of arms does she go through?).

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 6 Yin and Ning

With this backdrop we follow Yin and Ning as they join up with the rebels fighting the empire. However, their scenes are interspersed with Zhao (Yin and Ning’s childhood friend) and Cheng, the Empress. We see both sides of this conflict and the personal dramas of these four young people all propelled into a war they didn’t start but are now just kind of destined to get caught up in. It borders on melodramatic at times, but each of the characters is interesting in their own way.

Yin and Ning, despite being close as sisters, are changed by the events in different ways. Yin just wants to keep her sister safe and out of the war but Ning is far more violent and wanting revenge for Zhao’s ‘death’ as well as the loss of her arms. It is probably telling that Ning’s fate isn’t exactly wonderful given her motivation rides from one hatred to the next. Yin on the other-hand suffers ongoing heartache as she tries and fails to keep the war away from her life.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

Zhao’s transition to serving the empire seems really odd at first but ultimately his character begins to make sense as he consistently chooses the path of least resistance. He’s someone who just wants to get a little ahead in the world and find a small piece of strength for himself. But it is his wavering between his various allegiances that ends up costing him.

Lastly, we have Cheng who is torn between being a very young girl who lost her father and being the Empress of a vastly expanded nation. I really liked that Cheng got treated as a human throughout all of this rather than just being the face of the enemy. Her relationship with Zhao is complicated and interesting to watch unfold even if you know early on there is no way it will end well.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

With a cast that all hold their own ground and a setting rich with potential, it is almost a shame that the animation wasn’t up to the challenge. We have sword fights, magic, burning villages, explosive death machines, and impossibly awkward mechas. The story choosing to focus in on the young cast members caught up in events makes things feel more personal and allows there to be some resolution within the thirteen episodes but a lot of the plot is implied or occurs off-screen with plenty more to happen after the end of the final episode, should there ever be a continuation.

As I said at the start, I do recommend this one for people looking for a fantasy or action story though it isn’t without its problems. Still, despite it not being that great, it was a little different and certainly interesting enough week to week.

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Karandi James
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DIABOLIK LOVERS OFFICIAL VISUAL FAN BOOK
DIABOLIK LOVERS OFFICIAL VISUAL FAN BOOK

The Winter Anime Watch List

Endro! Episode 1

Here we go again. This season has already gotten off to an interesting start and while there aren’t as many anime that I’m thinking will become amazing there’s certainly a wide variety and quite a few that will potentially be very entertaining this season. My watch list is fairly diverse this season and there’s a few on there that I’m a little hesitant about and may end up dropping and swapping out but for now here is the schedule for the blog. Anyway, this schedule will kick in from next Monday.

The Rising of the Shield Hero and Meiji Tokyo Renka are not on the list because Arthifis and I will be sharing our thoughts on those together at episode 4.

The Rising of the Shield Hero: Naofumi, "Whatever".

Monday

Domestic Girlfriend Episode 1 Natsuo

Tuesday

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 - Hanae hiding behind Rippou.

Wednesday

Grimms Notes: Robin Hood finds a gun.

Thursday

That Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime Episode 14 Rimuru

Friday

The Price of Smiles Episode 2 - Yuuki

Saturday

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cat on Keyboard

Sunday

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 14 Kirito and Eugeo

Episode reviews with stars next to them (*) are ones I’m not certain about whether they’ll stay on the watch list for a season. We’ll see how they go.

I’d like to remind my patrons that they can still nominate the anime they want reviewed for patrons only this season. Once that is selected future episode posts will be password protected for patrons only. And if you would like to support the blog in 2019 please consider becoming a patron.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the line up this season. I’ve got comedy, isekai, drama (and melodrama), there’s cute girls, there’s magical girls, and a slice of life featuring a cat. One thing this season is not going to be is repetitive as I get through this watch list each week.

I’d love to know what you are watching this season and hopefully you will join me as we follow some of these show’s this season.

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Karandi James
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The Accidental Creation of A Slime Nation

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 Review

Rimuru is remaining very much a character that plot just happens to. He died because the plot killed him off and was reborn for the same reason. He stumbled across Veldora in the cave by chance and equally became the leader of the goblins by a series of events mostly outside of his control. Same with the ogres. And now the Lizardmen and Orcs have decided to leave him in charge of the whole forest alliance supported by the Dryad and before Rimuru knows it the Dwarf King shows up and acknowledges the alliances as an actual nation.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as  a Slime Episode 15 - Dwarf King

At no point does Rimuru have any real plan for where this is going (outside of getting his bath constructed because that’s apparently a really high priority). And while Rimuru does make decisions, for instance he could have ignored the goblins when they asked for help against the direwolves, in terms of being the protagonist his choices are always kind of driven by circumstance.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Rimuru becomes a chancellor

What it means is that this bouncy blue blob, while amusing to be sure, seems very passive in a story that seems to be revolving around him. Certainly Rimuru gets some great moments, and watching him getting flustered as more and more titles and responsibility get thrust upon him, is entertaining, but Rimuru isn’t really driving this story. In point of fact, the plot isn’t really pushing forward at all. It progresses and there’s certainly indicators of future conflicts, but the story seems content to wallow in the everyday moments broken up by action only by necessity.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Bad guy

Episode 15 of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is an excellent example of what this story seems to want to do. We see the town being constructed and encounters between characters. While there is a fight in this episode it is short and more good-natured than hostile and afterwards everybody eats.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Orcs

For me this means while I am enjoying That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime but it isn’t going to be a story I hold up as a favourite and these characters are never going to leave all that much of an impression on me. From week to week I don’t really think about this show outside of watching it and even when things end on a bit of a cliff-hanger I’m not overly concerned. Still, for relaxing and entertaining, That Time I Got Reincarnated as Slime is certainly hitting the mark and it is just kind of a fun way to pass the time.

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Karandi James
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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME – RIMURU CHANGING MUG CUP
THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME - RIMURU CHANGING MUG CUP