In Case You Missed It 2019 #11

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

The season continues to tick along but we are now at the closing end of Winter 2019. As such, the best of the season poll has been opened and I look forward to seeing what my readers pick for the best of the season. However, if you’ve already voted or you aren’t watching seasonal anime, as normal I’ve collected some great posts from the community for the week to share and I hope you find something you’d like to read.

If you come across a post you’d like to give a shout out to, please send me a message here on the blog or DM me on Twitter.

Posts from the Community

David Alessio shares his thoughts about Cells at Work and how it works from a narrative and character point of view. This isn’t so much a review as it is a look at the parts that make up the story and an evaluation about whether they work or not, and it is fun to read. Not to mention, its about Cells at Work. Be sure to check this post out if you missed it.

Cells at Work Episode 12 - Platelet

Pokeninja shares their thoughts on a kickstarter game, Chromatose and encourages people to support the project. If you want to know more about it, and it does look interesting, and are interested in the kickstarter, this post is well worth the read through and contains links to find out more.

Standing on my Neck has their series review of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime out. I’m waiting to see if the ‘extra’ episodes add anything before drafting mine, but to be honest, this review kind of sums up a lot of my feelings about Slime. While I had fun enough watching it, thinking back I am left wondering ‘what was the point’ quite a lot. While huge Slime fans may not appreciate this take, I found it an interesting read.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20

Shojo Ramblings has a review of the Dramatical Murder anime. If you want a detailed overview of what to expect if you decide to check out the anime this review is definitely for you as it explains the nature of the content without giving away plot spoilers. Well worth the read.

Lita Kino discusses their love of Gundam as part of mecha March and it is a great post full of love for the franchise. I always enjoy reading a post that is so passionate and full of love and this one will be great fun to read for any anime fan even if Gundam isn’t your thing.

For those wanting some cosplay photo-shoot tips, Shania from Quotable Creations shares some tips for when Mother Nature is not your friend and some good ideas for in-house photos. This was a fun post to read and there are some great ideas for those looking to try out some cosplay.

Lesley has a great list of top 5 anime red-heads. I love characters with red hair and there are so many great ones out there to choose from. if you want to read a fun list and enjoy some great red-headed characters, check out this post.

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Pick of the Week

Amelia from A Girl and Her Anime had a great post about Sailor Moon and what she learned as a twenty-two year old watching the Sailor Soldiers in action for the first time. It was a great nostalgia trip for me and just a fun post for any Sailor Moon fan. Definitely one worth checking out. This one definitely got my pick of the week.

Sailor Moon

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Why Do Anime Heroes Get The Most Boring Powers?

Friday's Feature

In case it doesn’t become immediately apparent, this discussion is mostly me musing on something that has bothered me in a handful of shows that I’m now generalising across anime. It is not actually intended to be an overly serious post but honestly, I’ve been wondering this for awhile and of all things it was Endro that brought me back to musing about the powers given to a hero in anime.

Endro! Episode 1

For those who aren’t watching the pastel painted moe fest that is Endro, it is the story of a girl who wants to be a hero and defeat a demon lord, only she kind of already did but stuffed it up sending the demon lord back to the past and now the demon lord is her teacher as she learns to be a hero. of course she has a team of friends along for the ride and a Princess who has fallen in love with her, but mostly it is just a lot of fun and silliness.

Now, as one of the symbols that Julia Charldetto is in fact the hero she comes across the ‘hero’s sword’ and draws it out. In fitting with the colour scheme of the anime it is pink. And it sparkles. But basically we have a hero who swings a sword and whacks things.

Endro Episode 2 Seiran

Meanwhile, we have Seiran in her squad who is an elven priest and when all else fails can actually put her glasses on and is a crack shot with a bow. Then we have Fai who is more hand to hand and likes pummelling things and jumping a lot. Lastly we have Mather with her obsession with Cartado and an array of interesting magic to bring to the fight. All of these characters have really cool abilities and yet the hero in their story has a pink, shiny sword.

Endro Episode 4 Finding Shells

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Now I’m not dismissing swords. Swords can be super cool. Just look at Hitsugaya in Bleach with Hyourinmaru and how cool that sword can be with weather controlling effects and ice dragons. Seriously, that is a cool sword. As is Rukia’s zanpakuto and dozens of other blades in Bleach.

Hitsugaya - Bleach

But, do you know who has a less than cool sword? Ichigo Kurosaki. The hero of Bleach. His sword is really big. About the only time it kind of looked cool was when Hollow Ichigo was swinging it around by the wrap and attempting to pummel Ichigo with it. Actually, Ichigo vs Hollow Ichigo is just a fantastic fight to watch in general and Hollow Ichigo provides some great entertainment throughout the course of Bleach.

Even when Ichigo steps up to the next level, his sword actually becomes less impressive and realistically, while he gets really fast and agile, and hits things even harder and faster, Ichigo’s power is the least interesting one to watch in Bleach (okay I take that back, there are worse powers in Bleach but when looking just at the main group of shinigami and Ichigo’s human friends, his power is just not that interesting by comparison).

Hollow Ichigo - Bleach

Though, even if we move away from sword wielding heroes to a magical girl like Sailor Moon, what we see is a hero surrounded by characters with cool elemental powers that are showy and flashy, fairly versatile and interesting, and yet in season one she throws her head band and occasionally heals things. Even when she uses the Silver Imperium Crystal, other than a light show the power itself is not that interesting to watch. It might be the strongest force in the universe but that by itself doesn’t make it all that fascinating to watch as the bright pink light engulfs her enemy and thus ends the climax.

As the seasons continue, Sailor Moon upgrades from her Crescent Moon Wand to the Moon Sceptre and if nothing else she continues to get the absolute best accessories compared to the other scouts. The Moon Spiral Heart Attack is perhaps the longest one to get going of her general attacks and is so overblown in both the set up and execution that you almost have to laugh (actually, I was more worried Serena was going to trip over her own hair while doing the activation sequence) and yet realistically for all the increases in power Sailor Moon’s attacks remain much the same. She’s very much a one punch and they are dead kind of hero and once she lets off her attack in most cases the battle is done. While the other scouts might be less effective in battle, at least there are some interesting possibilities for outcomes when they attack.

Kirito kind of bucked this trend in Sword Art Online (at least in Aincrad). While his sword style was a bit weird to begin with, it was always fun to watch. This only got better when he demonstrated his dual wield ability which was unique in the game making his ability actually one of the more interesting in the story.

However, Sword Art Online decided to kick its own hero when they introduced magic in Fairy Dance, and Alicization has taken the Bleach approach where swords aren’t always swords. Suddenly, Kirito isn’t looking all that crash-hot even in his own series, though he is still one hero who kind of breaks this trend of having the most boring power going.

Actually, there are plenty of cases where the hero does have a cool power or hidden ability. The problem is, with a lot of these powers they are so OP that they kind of instantly end fights once they get going or can’t be used because of the general scale of destruction. So even when a hero has a very cool ability, its use outside of final battles is pretty minimal meaning we’re watching a hero fight at less than full capacity in a lot of fights and it doesn’t always make for engrossing viewing, particularly when you know that they can pull out another power if things get really tough.

For instance, Bell in Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon has a very cool attack. Admittedly, I like Bell’s fighting style anyway where he relies on speed and his fairly small knife, moving around his enemy and wearing them down rather than just smacking them really hard once. Bell’s fight against the Minotaur is still one of my favourite fights ever and for all that there are stronger warriors in DanMachi, Bell is actually just great to watch in action.

But, his Argonaut Skill is definitely an overpowered skill, tempered by the long time it takes to activate. In order for Bell to get a decent strike in with it, he requires a lengthy interval in which his companions are likely to get splattered if they aren’t careful. While the results of this attack are fairly spectacular, it essentially boils a fight down to the flies buzzing around an enemy and distracting it long enough for Bell to get a decent fly-swat and one punch end the battle.

Is there a solution to this? I mean, we want our heroes to win their fights and having a fairly unstoppable attack more or less guarantees it. Though, such a large scale attack usually ends up looking much the same as every other large scale attack. The personality and distinction of an ability is washed away by the effects given to promote the size and scale of the attack.

Anyway, as I said at the start, this wasn’t an overly serious post. I’ve just been thinking through anime heroes and wondering why more of them don’t have unique or interesting powers and why so many end up with giant swords. I’d love to know your take on anime heroes and whether they have interesting powers or not so leave a comment below.

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Top 5 Magical Girl Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

Welcome to another top 5 list for Tuesday and this week I am counting down my favourite magical girl anime, mostly inspired by how much I’ve been enjoying Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (while not perfect, it has been quite fun as a darker magical girl series). I’m not convinced I haven’t already done this but if I did I can’t find it so let’s all just go with this is the first time I’ve put this into a top 5 list. Now magical girl anime and I have a real nostalgia thing going on as some of these were the shows that got me into anime and they really stuck with me. While there are some more recent entries in the list, the nostalgia is strong with this one.

With that in mind, I’d love to know what magical girl anime are your favourites and why. Is it something a bit older that reminds you of your childhood or are you into some of the more recent entries into the genre. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Honourable Mentions: Kamichama Karin

This one is a bit of a weird one, but for whatever reason I kind of got stuck on it a few years ago and I’ve binge watched it a couple of times since. While it doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other entries on this list, it is a fairly functional magical girl show and it is very easy to get caught up in it and lose track of time.

Number 5: Is This A Zombie

It feels weird to give the number 5 spot to a comedy anime about a male zombie character who manages to acquire the power of a magical girl and then undergoes a transformation into a cute pink dress complete with chainsaw. I do love that as his power level rises the frilliness and flowery add-ons on the dress get even more over the top. It is a great jab at some of the impractical magical girl costumes out there. Whichever way, when I think about magical girls, there is literally no way to not think about Ayumu so that is why he got the number 5 spot on the list even though technically he’s a zombie who is borrowing magical girl powers.

Number 4: Madoka Magica

The only ‘dark’ magical girl story that made it onto my list. What can I say? As much as I love horror and dark stories, when I got to watch a magical girl story I kind of go wanting something a little bit more sparkly. Madoka Magica managed to balance its darker subject matter with some really great magical girls, cool powers, and spectacular fight sequences in a way that while it was dark and serious, it still felt like a magical girl story and not a horror that just happened to feature magical girls right before they got slaughtered. I really did enjoy Madoka Magica and it is another anime I regularly binge watch.

Number 3: Cardcaptor Sakura

Despite the heavily edited version of this that I saw originally, complete with a truly terrible English OP, I really did get caught by the plot of Cardcaptor Sakura so when I was older and I could access a translated but less edited version of it, I jumped at the chance to watch this anime again. Syaoran and Sakura are beautiful in the leading roles and I just love how cute and happy this anime is. While Sakura doesn’t include some magical girl tropes, no spinning costume transformations, Sakura actually has to change clothes if she wants to wear one of her friends’ hand-made costumes, it very much captures the spirit of Magical Girl anime and is an excellent started anime if you have kids you want to introduce to something without worrying too much about some of the anime tropes out there.

Number 2: Shugo Chara

Another super adorable, super pink Magical Girl anime. This one grabbed me because of Amu. She’s got such a mismatch between her inner and outer personality and I love how she struggles with figuring out who she is, particularly when she has so many guardian characters with each one presenting a different aspect of who she might be. While the overall plot of this one is a bit harder to take seriously, there are some really excellent character arcs for a lot of the cast and it ends up being a story well worth the effort of investing your time into.

Number 1: Sailor Moon

Did you expect anything else to top this list? I mentioned at the start that this was a nostalgia fuelled list in the first place and Sailor Moon is the starting place for me and anime so of course it was always going to be number 1. Serena and the Sailor Scouts are characters I grew up loving and I don’t think anything is going to change that anytime soon. While Sailor Moon villains might border on the idiotic or ridiculous, the core cast remain full of heart and life and if you want cute costumes and pretty sparkles, Sailor Moon has you covered. Also, some darker moments and real danger which certainly pushed beyond what a lot of ‘girls’ TV shows were doing when it came out.

So that is my list of my favourite magical girl shows. I’d love to know yours.

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Karandi James
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FIGUARTS ZERO CHOUETTE BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON: SAILOR MOON -MOON CRYSTAL POWER, MAKE UP-
FIGUARTS ZERO CHOUETTE BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON: SAILOR MOON -MOON CRYSTAL POWER, MAKE UP-

What Does It Really Mean To Me To Love Anime?

Friday's Feature Banner Image

Now, there are probably as many answers to the question of what it means to love anime as there are people who claim to love it. Like most passions and hobbies, it is something that is deeply personal and becomes an integral part of the individual. So while we can share an appreciation of a love of anime, our reason for loving it and how we got there is likely one only we will ever understand.

For those who have read my blog a while you will know my love of anime began with Sailor Moon, though I guess that is technically not correct for two reasons. The first being that I’d seen Astro Boy and probably quite a few other anime prior to Sailor Moon but I hadn’t known what they were. And watching Sailor Moon didn’t make me fall in love with anime. It made me fall in love with Sailor Moon and stories with great female characters.

Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Chibi Moon and the Scouts

Given the access to anime at the time was limited, other than Card Captor, that love didn’t really go anywhere in terms of anime even when I knew that Sailor Moon was in fact from Japan, and then got to Australia via American translation. See, my next steps after Sailor Moon were actually Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Stories that pushed imagination, had great characters and really good narrative arcs (even if the overall plots, now that I’m looking back particularly at Charmed, were a little questionable in quality).

Of course, I also just had a general obsession with stories and was busily devouring libraries of novels as well as pretty much every movie that hit the cinemas at the time. Even as a teenager, I had a healthy respect for even poorly told stories because even a poorly written story could reveal something, could entertain, could teach me a lesson about how stories and characters could and should function, and generally inspired me.

Conception Episode 12 Itsuki
Alright, my love of even poorly told stories didn’t extend to this. Conception was just bad.

I still remember watching Chronicles of Riddick when it came out and I was at university. My friend and I went in to a fairly empty session (even emptier by half-way through the movie) and set up in the middle with sugar filled drinks and chocolate. I don’t think either one of us had laughed that hard in a long time as the clumsy narration threw exposition at us and actors attempted to deliver nonsensical lines as if they were golden. Fantastic fun and a movie I bought on DVD because nothing works quite so well as a pick-me-up as seeing something fail as spectacularly as that movie does (seriously, they outrun a sunrise at one point).

However, it was around that time or just after it, that a certain someone, who knew I loved Sailor Moon and a few other anime that I’d managed to come across, suggested we watch Evangelion together. They just happened to have it on disc (how I do not know). There was also a Death Note watch somewhere around then or just after. I never can remember which of them I saw first but they both left an impact.

Evangelion - Shinji

You know, there are moments in your life when you just know everything is about to change. As I watched episode after episode of Shinji and the tragedy unfolding for the characters, even as I hoped they would win the day and realised that wasn’t where the story was heading, I think a switch somewhere inside of me was flicked on.

And then YouTube began.

And I suddenly had an avenue to access all of these amazing stories that I’d never seen before, heard about, or even dreamed existed.

Bleach - Gin vs Hitsugaya
If you weren’t watching anime when YouTube first started, you have no idea how frustrating watching fan-subbed shows in ten minute increments was. Like seriously, you rarely found the whole episode subbed by the same group so names and terms and things would change mid-episode, parts would be missing, mislabelled, whatever. And buffering. Wow, I remember waiting for the video to load enough to bother hitting play. Be thankful for better internet and video streaming sites.

It would be nearly 2010 before I would say I was an anime fan. Prior to that I would have claimed to be a fan of specific titles. Sailor Moon, Evangelion, Bleach, Darker Than Black and so on. At the time I was still watching as many live action TV shows as animated ones but the balance was definitely shifting.

For me, anime satisfies my love of stories all by itself. Whether I’m chasing romance or horror or action or drama or anything else, I know that there’s an anime for the mood I’m in and for the story I want to live through for a few hours. While I won’t give up reading books or watching movies, and every now and then I’ll get into a TV series that isn’t anime, for the most part, I don’t need to venture far from anime to feel that sense that I have found what I am looking for.

Each new season is an adventure and trying out shows, whether they work out or not, is a delight. Each first episode is full of surprises and each show brings me new characters to meet (whether I end up liking them is another story).

For me, loving anime isn’t something I decided to do. And it isn’t something that I hide. It also doesn’t come at the exclusion of other things that I also love. But I know my life would be a great deal emptier without it. I know that I am really happy to have come across anime like Snow White With The Red Hair, to have spent time with the characters of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, to have risen to great heights with the shoutiest of shounen protagonists, and to have been steeped in misery and pain with the edgiest stories that just want to push the limits.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash - Mana

While I did indeed celebrate Valentine’s Day this year (as I have for many years), I felt this was a good time to reflect on what it means to me to love anime. To know that anime has a place in my life and my heart and that I really treasure the people I have met through anime and my blog.

Now that the official Valentine’s Day is over, celebrate your love of anime. Share your story of what loving anime means to you.

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Karandi James
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DEATH NOTE COMPLETE SERIES [THE OMEGA EDITION]
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In Case You Missed It

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

Another week and another round of excellent blog posts from around the internet. Hopefully you’ll find something great to read in the list below and remember, if you have a post or read one this week that you’d like to give a shout out to, just let me know in the comments below or you can always send things my way via twitter.

Just so you know, from now until just after New Year’s I’m winding down blog activities. Part of this is to give me time to finish a video review for patrons, participate in the 12 Days of Anime, and prepare my ebook for January 20, and part of it is just wanting to have a bit more time for family and friends. I’ll still be doing my episode reviews and Top 5’s (most of my top 5’s for December are already written) but whole series reviews are on hold until the new year as are light novel/manga reviews. I’ve already halted Inquiring Minds posts until the new year and I’ll probably only release features every second week during December.

Thanks for everyone’s support during 2018, and I look forward to getting back into everything in January.

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say.

One Punch Man

Posts From Around the Blogiverse

This Thing Is Neat had a really interesting post about pacing in shoujo stories, using Kimi ni Todoke as an example that I felt was a great read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kimi ni Todoke and hold it up as one of my favourite romance anime ever, but to say that it is slow moving would be a drastic understatement. For an interesting discussion about the pace of these stories, be sure to check out this post.

Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime put out a conversation starter around whether anime fandom is ready for mainstream attention. The post was an interesting read with some fairly interesting points raised about other media that have gone through a similar transformation and then they tagged a couple of other bloggers to see if we’d share our take on the idea. And I will admit, I’ve been mulling it over ever since so probably will put a post together on this one. Whichever way, it is an interesting conversation to have and I’d love to know what people think about this one.

Cactus Matt gives us a top ten OP list for 2018 with a bit of a difference giving out awards for ten top OP’s in various categories before deciding on the best of the year. Very fun to read through and if you don’t know some of the fantastic openings he’s selected he’s embedded the video for you to watch. Great post and great fun to read.

Lynn Sheridan  shares his thoughts on Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai episodes 5 – 8. I was waiting for this to see if he continued to enjoy the anime or not and I was really happy reading this post to see that they were still enjoying it. If you are one of the very few people not already following Bunny Girl Senpai, check out this post to see why it is something you should be diving into.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Sakuta and mai

Ya Boy Jack also takes on Bunny Girl Senpai looking at what the show gets right about being a teenager. This makes for an interesting read and really looks at adolescent syndrome and the insecurities the characters are bringing to life. A great read about a great anime and well worth the read.

Gracie on Anime Trending News has a really interesting piece about Banana Fish and how it is a triumph in terms of the portrayal of LGBTQ stories. It focuses a lot on the usual tropes found in BL and yaoi stories, and how Banana Fish isn’t a story about boys in love, but rather a story where two boys are in love. I really enjoyed reading this and was glad it popped up on my Twitter feed this week. 

Banana Fish Episode 20 Ash and Eiji

Geek and Gear discuss episode 10 of Run With The Wind and both the positives and negatives of the episode. It’s a fun piece that covers what the episode was about and what it got right and really looks at the impact of Haiji on the team and Kakeru. Well worth checking out if you’ve caught the episode. Spoilers though if you haven’t already watched it.

Reasons to Anime gives us 6 reasons to, well not watch an anime but read the manga, the Cardcaptor Sakura Manga to be precise. Given this one is already on my wish list to check out the manga for, eventually, I really enjoyed their reasons. Great post to check out.

Pick of the Week

Geek Gals has a really interesting post on Sailor Neptune and looks in detail at her role in the original anime and in the manga as well as her relationship with Saturn. For Sailor Moon fans this is a great read and one well worth the time. Be sure to check it out and get your Sailor Moon fix for the week.

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GAINAX: GROUNDWORK OF EVANGELION 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE
GAINAX: GROUNDWORK OF EVANGELION 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE

Friday’s Feature: The Reincarnation Dilemma

I’ve been wondering for awhile why so many trapped in another world stories have been using reincarnation as a vehicle for travelling between our world and another. The far easier option is just to throw the protagonist through a portal, summon them, cross over or whatever else is needed to get them there and then close the door behind them. Reincarnation creates a myriad of plot issues that a lot of the time just don’t need to be in the story at all and are seldom addressed in any kind of satisfying manner. So what are some of the problems I have with reincarnation as a story and are there any anime that get it right?

In Another World With my Smartphone - Touya

It Just Isn’t Necessary

Ernesti from Knight’s and Magicis a great example of a character who did not need to be reincarnated. He literally could have just been a born genius from the world he was on given the only bearing his past life had on the one we watched was that he was good at programming, and apparently designing robots. Both of these skills could easily have been acquired by a genius in the world he grew up in, and in point of fact given they offer an antagonist later on who isn’t quite at Ernesti’s level of over-powered brilliance but is still pretty good at developing mechs you have to wonder why they bothered.

Knight's & Magic - Ernesti

Now I mentioned this in my review of the anime, but adding the reincarnation aspect does nothing for this story. All it does is eat up precious minutes of air time showing us a former life that will have no importance on the overall plot and isn’t necessary.

Ernesti brings no external knowledge of the world he is entering into the world. As he has been reborn in a new body none of his physical abilities have gone with him. He has no contact with anyone or anything from his former world where knowing who he was previously might aid the story. There is literally not reason for him to be a reincarnation and it is pretty easy to forget that this is the premise of the story.

And while I’m kind of bashing Knight’s And Magic, it isn’t the only story guilty of this.

Now if we look at something like Sailor Moon or Kyou Kara Maou, while the reincarnation is from their former life/world and into the modern one, the fact that the characters are reincarnated has an impact on every part of the plot. Neither one of these stories would be able to exist except for the fact that the main characters were reborn. Their former lives are completely intertwined with the events they are facing in their present life and the power they use is tied in with it as well.

Kyou Kara Maou.jpg

Even In Another World With My Smartphone at least made use of his learned ability to use the phone and the fact that he chose to carry the phone with him into his next life. Then again, In Another World With My Smartphone created a whole other issue.

Have They Actually Been Reborn?

By its very nature, reincarnation requires you to be born again with the same soul in a different body. And that creates some interesting juxtapositions if you choose to reincarnate particular souls in bodies that just don’t match them, though this aspect of reincarnation is seldom explored. Nor is the influence of the body on the soul, though a light novel I’m reading at the moment, So I’m a Spider, So What seems to be getting into this issue by exploring the impact of having a male soul reborn inside a female and human souls being reborn inside of monsters so I’m kind of enjoying that aspect of it.

In Another World With My Smartphone

In Another World With My Smartphone just skips the whole rebirth thing. God just sends Touya to the other world, fully clothed and still fifteen years old, with all memories and learned knowledge in tact but with all his abilities boosted. I’m actually fine with this concept given it means we don’t have to watch the tedious growing up process or see his confusion with his soul memories and body memories colliding (assuming they bother to address that issue) but it kind of shoots the premise of being reborn or reincarnated in the foot. They might as well have just said he would be sent to or transported to the other world given there really wasn’t a reincarnation process here.

Does Entering a Game Count as Rebirth?

Now this one gets tricky because we’ve had a lot of characters transported into worlds based on game mechanics with levelling up and the like. The question is, have they really been reborn or is their soul simply trapped inside the game character. And if they can’t leave and the world operates as a world does it matter that it uses game mechanics at all?

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord  - Diablo

So what?

 I think starting That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime made me really think about how reincarnation works in stories. The first episode spends a lot of time in our world (comparatively) setting up a character that the episode then promptly kills and has him reborn. What I wanted to know was would any of the story later on be changed if we simply start with him waking up in his new body, realising he’s no longer human and moving on. Is seeing his self-intro as an ordinary guy going to make this any more engaging to watch?

And it isn’t just reincarnation. There are a lot of premises out there that get used to lead us into stories and then seem to serve no purpose. While I get that archetypes and cliches allow us to cut over a lot of fluffing about, I really do feel that narratives need to put more effort in sometimes and really use their premise. Otherwise, they just have me wondering, what’s the point?

Sailor Moon
This remains my favourite example of reincarnation in anime.

However, I’d love to know what you think of reincarnation in anime. What are some of the best examples? What are some of the worst?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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FATE/GRAND ORDER: SABER/ALTRIA PENDRAGON

Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Vacation Spots

Tuesday's Top 5

You know sometimes when you are watching an anime and you realise how much you would love to travel more and see more places and experience more things? I get that feeling a lot though regularly it isn’t for places that actually exist and most of the time I think if I ever actually went there  I would probably die. However, I’ve decided to put together my top 5 vacation spots picked from watching various anime. Here I go on my fantasy tour of 5 places from anime I’d love to visit.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Anywhere in Japan from almost any anime.

Number 5: Piffle World (Tsubasa Chronicles)

Tsubasa Chronicles

I know, it is a really silly name, but I loved this world when I was watching Tsubasa. While so many of the worlds they visited were pseudo medieval either westernised or Japanese, Piffle World was a futuristic city world with flying cars and it just looked like a lot of fun. It wasn’t so far removed from our own technological level that it was incomprehensible, but it felt a few generations ahead of us. What I really appreciated was that despite the sheer amount of industrialisation and traffic, somehow the air and sky were beautifully clear. It might be a fantasy but balancing technology without polluting the skies has a lot of appeal. Okay, Sakura may have helped sell this world a bit as she looked truly adorable.

Number 4: Aincrad (Sword Art Online)

Sword Art Online - Aincrad

Needless to say this is after Kirito defeated the game and released all the players and the game was rebuilt without the whole death trap aspect. Let’s be real, Aincrad is a beautiful world. Each level has its own look and feel so you can take your pick of scenery, there’s plenty of variety in the creatures to fight, and it is a fair world in that the rules are what they are (unless you have the power of love in which case go crazy). I would definitely love to visit this world (just got to keep checking that the log out button exists).

Number 3: Future Japan (The Irregular at Magic High School)

The Irregular at Magic Highschool

When looking at future versions of the world there are a lot of dystopian, after civilisation have ended type stories, and realistically Irregular fits right in with those, but I just love the way they’ve blended magic and technology in their vision of the future. It is like the best combination of sci-fi and fantasy to produce something that feels wholly unique and yet fits with what we know from those genres. As to the world itself, I’m not entirely sure it is safe, but just the thought of being able to try out some magic with technological aide is enough to make me at least want to visit.

Number 2: Kyoto (The Eccentric Family)

The Eccentric Family Season 1

Oh look, it is an actual real location coming it at number 2. And The Eccentric Family isn’t the only anime that has sold me on Kyoto. My first trip to Japan I got to Osaka but didn’t have time for Kyoto and I really regret that and my second trip I went north from Tokyo so didn’t get near Kyoto then either. If you’ve never seen the Eccentric Family, it is a wonderful blending of folklore with modernity in a way that just made me really intrigued to see the place it was set and while I imagine it won’t look all that much like the anime, I’m hoping that the anime has captured some of the feel of the real location.

Number 1: The Moon Kingdom (Sailor Moon)

Sailor Moon - The Moon Kingdom

Much like Aincrad, I am putting the explanation in here that I want to visit the Moon Kingdom prior to it being destroyed. It looks gorgeous. Admittedly I’m not so sure about the whole lack of atmosphere, change in gravity thing, but you know the anime didn’t worry about small details like that so I’m not sure I should be all that concerned either. Parties, gardens, fountains, great food, fireworks; these all feature heavily in flash backs of the Moon Kingdom prior to its destruction and it looks like a great time.

I’d love to know where you would like to take a vacation and which anime you saw it in so leave me a comment below.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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