Autumn 2017 Week 6

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As we reach the half-way point for a lot of shows (though a number of these will continue on for a second cour) I am still loving this season. It could just be that I found the Summer season fairly weak and this season looks good by comparison, but I actually kind of feel like there are some really excellent shows out at the moment. Even some of the slower stories like Just Because and Girls’ Last Tour have been really fun to watch so far. We’ll see how these shows go as they entre the second half of the season but I’m really hopeful.

Okay, half-way through the season and what do you think will end up being the best anime for Autumn?

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Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 26)

Oh wow. This week delivered the best episode yet of a show I was already deeply in love with. My only concern is that I cannot think another episode will top that and it is a little early in the season to peak. Absolutely amazing how this show continues to deftly deal with human emotions. It just kind of gets it and it speaks to me and I am totally in love.

Land of the Lustrous (Episode 5)

Another, oh wow. This show continues to build on its world and characters and continues to visually impress. Phos gets that little bit better each week as a character (I was worried in episode 1 I would never really like Phos much) and now I genuinely love Phos as a character and can’t wait to see what happens next and how they will deal with it.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 5)

I don’t know that I expected this show to get that dark. By my usual standards it was pretty tame to be honest, but the contrast from the romping with baby dragons to being in a shed with a mass cat murderer before the love of his life kind of turns into a puddle was pretty affective. The show remains ridiculously pretty to look at which is also why the gorier moments of this episode were so striking. I’m still enjoying this show but I’m interested to see where it goes and whether this is a one off or whether we’re actually going to see both the lighter and darker moments throughout this series.

Girls’ Last Tour (Episode 5)

Five episodes in and this show, while incredibly lacking in anything resembling a plot, has just managed to keep me fully engaged episode after episode and wanting more of the adorable cast. I’m really interested in the world that is being explored and I love the mix of emotions the girls and their interactions can capture. Hopefully this show continues along these lines because so far it has been great.

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Usually Entertaining

Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Episode 6)

Another good bit of progress as Morioka goes on her dates. For someone who hasn’t been out for awhile, two nights in a row would have had to have been draining and yet she’s right back on the computer. Still, so many relatable moments this week. This show continues to charm.

Kino’s Journey (Episode 5)

Kino’s Journey continues its downward slide. As much as I enjoyed the first couple of episodes, since then it is almost as though the show has already run out of things to say. Or maybe it is just on hold until we get to the next big moment. Either way, the last two episodes haven’t done much for me and while on balance the positives still well outweight the negatives, this show needs to do something soon or my interest is seriously going to be stolen away by all the other shows that I’ve enjoyed this season.

Just Because (Episode 5)

How do you deal with the fall out of rejection? These kids don’t know and that’s what makes it a true pleasure to watch. Each character is lost in their own drama but trying to maintain and all and all it is great to watch. Looking forward to what their next steps might be.

Anime-Gataris (Episode 5)

Just saying to Anime-Gataris but if this episode is a sign of things to come, it will probably be sliding down this list really quickly in the next few weeks. The fun and energy I came to enjoy from this show seemed conspicuously absent this week and without anything to really replace it and no overall plot in sight, this episode was far less enjoyable. Still, every show can have a mis-fire so I’ll leave this here for now.

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Okay, I Guess

Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ (Episode 5)

This one consistently seems to develop episode to episode. We learn more about the characters and the protagonist continues to actually be fleshed out and hasn’t remained a complete blank slate. That doesn’t mean this show is amazing as it is pretty much going by the numbers, but it is doing what it needs to and is doing it consistently well enough. Not a bad watch by any means.

King’s Game (Episode 6)

To be honest, if this goes one more episode like this (or if they insist that this is some sort of virus causing mass hypnosis leading to the body killing itself) I am so putting this in the ‘They Made This’ category next week. Yeah, the story has gotten that bad. Fans of truly terrible trash horror will still be having fun but pretty much no one else. The fact that I’ll still choose this show over others this season concerns me a little bit, but I kind of knew I had a soft spot for bad horror.

Black Clover (Episode 6)

This was definitely a mixed bag of an episode with many good moments and many cringe worthy moments. Still, the story continues along and Asta keeps moving forward to on we go to the next episode.

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War (Episode 6)

If you want to see the next characters get knocked off, then this episode works. If you actually want a story that doesn’t seem convinced that it is cleverer than it is, this show probably isn’t for you. Oh well. The animation remains fantastic in this and some of the fights were pretty cool to watch so while I’m not getting behind the story or the characters, this remains fairly watchable.

Sengoku Night Blood (Episode 6)

I did say last week that this would drop down the list if it didn’t pick up and, well, it didn’t pick up. If anything it got even more dull and fairly pointless. I’ll give it another episode or two but then I’m probably looking at dropping this. The show isn’t broken, just nothing happening that interests me.

UQ Holder (Episode 6)

Still working and actually managing to be kind of sweet in parts this last episode. Unfortunately, my best recommendation for this show is it never gets as bad as its premise and tone suggests it could be. So most of my enjoyment is from seeing it manage to toe the line between entertaining and annoying.

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They Made This?

Dies Irae (Episode 4)

No change here as I am still hopelessly confused. Despite not really getting what is going on, the show remains oddly compelling and I do kind of hope it finds its way to making sense. But at the moment, this is just messy and doesn’t look like it intends to clean things up any time soon.

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Tried and Dropped

Evil or Live (Episode 4)

My Girlfriend is Shobitch (Episode 2)

TWOCAR (Episode 1)

Taisho Mebiusline Chicchaisan (Episode 1)

Love is Like A Cocktail (Episode 1)

Konohana Kitan (Episode 1)

A Sister’s All You Need (Episode 1)

Urahara (Episode 1)


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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 6: That Was A Long 20 Minutes

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Review:

This episode felt so incredibly long.

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We start with them wondering what has happened to the girl and we end with them finding out she’s with another warlord. In between, we mostly follow Yuzuki around as she lets her leg heal and manages to heal another guy’s emotional wounds. Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly interested.

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This show hasn’t been all that good and this episode was really dull. If we get another episode or two like this I’ll probably pull the plug on this series even this late in the season.


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Autumn 2017 Week 5

autumn 2017

This continues to be a fantastic season for me in finding anime that I have really taken a shine to. The shows aren’t perfect and how many of them will stand a rewatch test after the fact (or even manage to end well) still remains to be seen, but so far I have genuinely loved the Autumn season. Looking forward to what all these shows do next. Except, of course, Evil or Live which I dropped this week.

Let me know your favourites and the ones you have dropped in the comments below.

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Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 25)

This show is not in any danger of losing the top spot here. There are very few shows that hit me the way March Comes in Like a Lion consistently does. It just has the perfect emotional resonance for me to be completely absorbed in the story. The pace is slow, there’s a lot of shogi chat, some of the slice of life moments may not feel overly purposeful, but the driving emotions come through so beautifully clearly and the contrast between the moments of hope and despair hit hard. Completely in love with this.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 4)

That was fantastic. This episode gave me everything I was wanting from this series in that the relationship between Chise and Elias is further explored (or made a bit murkier), we learn more about the complexities of the magical world and they continue to expand on the difference between mages and sorcerers and hopefully that will continue, we also get an interesting plot in this episode with the Kingdom of Cats and to corrupted soul that needs to be cleansed. Absolutely no complaints from this week’s episode.

Land of the Lustrous (Episode 4)

Another superb and beautiful episode that gives us a little more knowledge about the world and helps Phos grow just a little bit more. I really wonder what will happen next week given they left us on a cliff-hanger but this episode was solidly done and truly mesmerizing to watch.

Kino’s Journey (Episode 4)

Falling a little bit in the list this week, Kino’s Journey remains interesting, but I wasn’t quite as impressed with episode 4. Possibly this was the because the focus wasn’t on Kino and the stand in protagonist for the week, while a nice side character, just didn’t seem as interesting.

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Usually Entertaining

Girls’ Last Tour (Episode 4)

Episode 4 doesn’t do much but it doesn’t really need to. The girls are kind of charm personified and while they are just going through the motions of survival they are doing it with a firmly grounded optimism (which is kind of better than an over the top and fake kind of optimism). Really cute show and really enjoying it despite how laid back it is.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie (Episode 5)

Fairly solid episode this week advancing the characters and the story and still being relatable and charming. While this show does have its flaws and the characters aren’t exactly deep, it really is adorable to watch and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.

Anime-Gataris (Episode 4)

Anime-Gataris shouldn’t take moving below MMO Junkie personally. It is just that as we hit episode 4, MMO Junkie has continued to build on its strengths while this one kind of plateaued this week. It was still good fun and highly entertaining but the cracks in the story are starting to show and they are going to have to start filling some of them in soon or work harder at distracting me from seeing them.

Just Because (Episode 4)

Episode four was a fantastic follow up and almost seemed to be a mini-climax to some of the plot points developed throughout the first three episodes. Yet I remain very interested in this show. Mostly because the question of what these characters will do now that one’s confessed and one’s been shot down before he ever got to is one that really interests me. For the most part this show is fairly solid but there are definitely scenes where the visuals aren’t quite up to scratch and the general slow pace is a little bit of a problem for me, but I’m really enjoying it overall.

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Okay, I Guess

King’s Game (Episode 5)

Okay, as badly as this one is written, it is still topping this list. I’m enjoying watching it even though you could probably pick it entirely to pieces if you think about any of it for even a minute. Still, it is unashamed about being melodramatic teen horror and while it isn’t exactly going to challenge any of the classics, it is entertaining enough for the season.

Sengoku Night Blood (Episode 5)

This one might just drop a bit in the list if it doesn’t pick up soon. It is still a pretty chill viewing experience but a few things are starting to become a little annoying about it. That, and for all the frantic energy of some characters in this episode, I am not certain anything was really accomplished other than a lot of still frames with guys grunting of shouting over the top of them.

Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ (Episode 4)

Cardia continues to get better as a character and while I had some issues with the logic of this episode, the quick pace and just the general tone was really entertaining. It isn’t going to hold up if you think about it, but if you just want to sit back and kind of enjoy something kind of historical and kind of romantic, with just a little bit of action, this may fit that spot for you.

Black Clover (Episode 5)

Black Clover is kind of finding its way. It is definitely taking its time but I think there were only two moments in this episode where I actually found Asta annoying and the rest of the time he was surprisingly okay. We also finally seem to be moving things forward and introducing characters who might actually be interesting so fingers crossed for future episodes.

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War (Episode 5)

Another boring character mumbling plots and observations to himself as we get some background on the Sheep. Meanwhile, the fight set-up last week happened but wasn’t resolved, and realistically we are no closer to actually knowing what any of the characters want. It is kind of shame because actually seeing Monkey and Rabbit fight could be pretty cool if they were actually going to show us that instead of giving us a few lines of dialogue, one strike and dodge, and then cut away to someone else.

UQ Holder (Episode 5)

This isn’t really moving anywhere on this list. It is watchable and the show works. I can imagine that some people will have fun with it. For me it is just too generic in its story and the balance between comedy and action isn’t quite fitting. There isn’t a single character I particularly like nor am I particularly curious about anything in the story so realistically there’s little appeal drawing me back to the show. But it isn’t broken and there is some silly fun to be had. The fights aren’t too bad and there’s a decent amount of carnage given none of the characters ever die so they just put them through hell.

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They Made This?

Dies Irae (Episode 3)

Nope. This show hasn’t improved. It is just finding new ways to confuse me. There’s still a very small hope that maybe all of this will eventually make sense and I will move this back out of the ‘They Made This’ category at that point. But for now, this is an incoherent ramble of ideas and gore.

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Tried and Dropped

Evil or Live (Episode 4)

Well it went from They Made This with me wondering who the audience was for this show, to not even caring. Episode 4 did nothing to further any of the points I was kind of interested in and really emphasised the points I hated about the show. So this one is now officially dropped from my line up this season.

My Girlfriend is Shobitch (Episode 2)

TWOCAR (Episode 1)

Taisho Mebiusline Chicchaisan (Episode 1)

Love is Like A Cocktail (Episode 1)

Konohana Kitan (Episode 1)

A Sister’s All You Need (Episode 1)

Urahara (Episode 1)


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Karandi James.

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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 5: Why Have Vampires and Werewolves If You Don’t Do Anything With Them?

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Review:

As much as I still enjoyed this episode as a very laid back kind of historical-harem thing there were definitely some issues this week. The most pressing being why even bother with the premise of alternate reality with vampires and werewolves involved in the warring states if other than pointy or furry ears you don’t do anything with that concept? Seriously, after five episodes we’ve had one vampire bite and a few leering at blood but essentially this is a non-story element. It almost only seems to exist because someone pointed out in a planning meeting that there was nothing original about the show and so someone said… “Vampires.”

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The other issue that is kind of killing my enjoyment is that narration is starting to become reminiscent of Knights’ & Magic in that the narrator tells us who is fighting in the battle and who is allied with who and then at the end of the episode tells us how the battle was resolved. If the story was so weak that we didn’t know who had become allies (which to be honest it was) then this line or two of narration doesn’t make the following fight any clearer as to who is fighting and why. And then it is like they realised the episode was coming to an end and they hadn’t wrapped things up so the narrator does a voice over and fight done.

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To be honest, neither of these really stop this from being light entertainment but they do stop it from actually being good. We’ll see where they decide to go next and whether this can rise above being fairly forgettable fluff.


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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 4: Heroine Gets a Fever,There’s An Original Development

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Review:

I didn’t actually dislike this episode, but I think it highlights the fact that this show is unashamed of what it is and it isn’t trying to reach beyond that. Every move and every singe character is at this point predictable. Even the two characters who act like they hate each other but actually they are good friends just feel so much like they’ve been lifted from the thousands of other shows they’ve already been in.

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The little furball (don’t remember its name) tells Yuzuki that there’s a clue in another territory so off they go to said territory. An excuse to first douse the lead in a storm and give her a fever so she can wake up with the ‘where am I’ sequence so popularised by heroines suffering a personality deficit and secondly so we can introduce another castle full of good looking werewolves.

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Occasionally this show remembers it actually does have a larger plot, but they’d really rather provide excuses for the animated boys to stare out at the audience in a way that I guess might make someone’s heart-throb.

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Still, there’s fun to be had with this bit of fluff even if it isn’t going to take a prize for being deep or meaningful. I certainly have no intention to drop the show.


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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 3: Sake, Herbs, Bees and an Attack

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Review:

If the goal here is to walk through a loosely based on actual history historical setting where the cast have been replaced by pretty boy vampires and werewolves than this episode accomplishes its goal wonderfully. If there was an intention of actually helping us learn anything about these characters (other than the name of the person they are supposed to be) or to progress some sort of plot than this episode comes up short.

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That isn’t to say this isn’t still kind of fun. The vampire group meet with the werewolf group and drink sake before a contrived fetch quest sends the girl into the woods to look for herbs where she conveniently and for no apparent purpose steps on a bee hive. Seriously, they do nothing with that other than scene transition. Why even include it?

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We do however see that every single guy is going to fall for the girl regardless of her seeming lack of personality. So yes, plenty to criticise, but this still works from a switch your brain off and enjoy the pretty visuals kind of  perspective and there is still the possibility of the plot going somewhere as they do have a few scenes that indicate more is going on than drinking and flirting.


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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 2: My Teenage Self Would Have Loved This

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Review:

I really think that if this had come out (and I’d had the means to watch it) when I was fourteen or fifteen, I’d have been in love with it. However, as I am not a teenager (and haven’t been for well over a decade) and I’ve watched a lot of anime at this point, I know that this is not particularly good. They still haven’t bothered to explain anything about the characters to the audience so either you just accept that it doesn’t matter who they are and just define them by whatever bizarre outfit they are wearing, or you dredge up every memory of these names from every other anime and try to piece it together and even then, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.

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The female heroine is starting to get a tiny bit of personality rather than blank slate, but mostly it is just the usual ‘I’d like to be helpful’ personality that so many harem leads fall into and of course her acts of kindness charm every single guy she talks to. Be prepared for blushing warriors left and right as she ‘helps’ them out (and that sounded more suggestive than intended given nothing is actually happening).

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Despite the obvious and fairly relevant criticisms of this show’s set up, characters and plot, I’m still having fun watching it. Okay, it is definitely appealing to that inner teenager inside rather than the adult I supposedly am, and I definitely will not argue that this is actually quality viewing (the series so far has a two star rating on Crunchyroll and I’ve never seen a functional show score so low on there given most things are at least three stars even if they are hopelessly broken), but I’m kind of happy to just switch my brain off and admire the pretty shiny spectacle playing out.

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Yeah, the dialogue is also an issue but I’m going to ignore that for a bit.


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Sengoku Night Blood Episode 1: Diabolik Lovers Meets the Warring States?

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Overview:

One day, Yuzuki is enveloped by a mysterious light suddenly emanating from her cell phone and finds herself in an unfamiliar place. The scenery spread out before her almost resembles Sengoku period Japan– But this is another world known as “Shinga” where non-human creatures such as vampires and werewolves reside. Long ago, the various tribes of Shinga lived together peacefully under the protection of the Himemiko who possessed special blood. However, one day the Himemiko suddenly vanished. With the protection of the Himemiko gone, the world has fallen into a period of strife.

– from Crunchyroll

Review:

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Okay, objectively I know that other than the appearance of this, which is very, very pretty, the story itself hasn’t done much yet and they’ve introduced way too many characters in a first episode for any of them to have more than a one defining trait personality at this point. If you ever wondered if the warring states era would be made better by subbing in pretty boy vampires and werewolves than this might be the answer for that curiosity but otherwise this first episode doesn’t give us much else.

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Except perhaps an uncomfortable moment where the heroine of the story (and so far only female character in existence) has a cut on her neck that the main vampire guy forcibly licks despite her protests. Hey, at least he didn’t actually bite her and the animated saliva was only a little bit icky. Honestly, why do that?  Though, we don’t really know anything about her yet given she’s just kind of staring blankly at stuff after being teleported to a different world and dumped on the edge of a battle (she really needs a refund on her phone plan after that effort).

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But despite my nit-picking, I’m going to admit I was pretty hooked during the run time. Admittedly, if you don’t know much about the conflict (as in you haven’t watched 6000 other anime set in the same time period) you may get totally lost as they just kind of throw a whole bunch of names at you, but this episode moved along fairly briskly and I’m not entirely opposed to watching pretty-boy samurai vampires for a season. As long as they lay-off the non-consensual neck licking.


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