Amazing Stranger Review Episode 12

The Perfectly Silly Conclusion To A Silly Story

Amazing Stranger Episode 12

Okay, there was a point to showing us how the anime ended last week and they did actually use that to bring us a fairly interesting conclusion to the story of the moving figurines. It wasn’t amazing and like everything else in this anime the touching moments are buried under generic comedy and then all the other figurine girls come in and all of them declare their love for Bouida undermining any of the emotion of the moment, but at least it did bring us to an ending.

Bouida uses his knowledge of the anime timeline and characters to enter Nona’s anime in pursuit of her and then essentially writes a fan-fiction conclusion where Nona lives and they both get a happily ever after. How they achieve that is still a little illogical given the nano-bots still go out of control and try to eat her but then just kind of stop. Guessing it was a power of love thing but there was definitely a lack of logic backing this one.

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As for the overall narrative, there’s still not a whole lot of reason why Bouida’s friend was making moving figurines other than he did and Bouida still has the whole pack of them living in his house. Really, business continues as usual, as is the standard case in this kind of comedy story because upsetting the status quo will permanently end the situation.

Did we really need another one?

While Amazing Stranger never actually got all that good, it was certainly a lot better than it could have been, and while that isn’t a glowing recommendation if you are after something short and silly, this one might work for you.

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Karandi James
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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 12

An Adorable End For An Adorable Show

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 12

A cute and delightful end to a cute and delightful show. Senryuu Shoujo remains an adorable entertainment this season in the most calm and relaxing manner and episode 12 showcased the best of what it had to offer with a flashback of Nanako and Eiji’s meeting. Most definitely too adorable.

His delusions are adorable.

While we certainly don’t see these characters end up together with a confession, seeing how hard Nanako fell for Eiji on first meeting was an equally powerful emotional note to end the series on. Seeing Eiji find his love of Senryu and work to express himself despite being judged by his external appearance was also pretty good. Not so sure about his hippo/cherry blossom poem though. It didn’t quite hit the mark the way he seemed to think so.

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While it is a shame the rest of the cast outside of Nanako’s family don’t make an appearance in this final episode, episode 11 gave them a reasonably solid show casing so it was nice to see Senryuu Shoujo narrow in on the main two for its final outing.

I’m genuinely going to miss this little ray of happiness from my weekly line up and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants something cute and short to pass an afternoon.

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Karandi James
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Amazing Stranger Review Episode 11

Empty Revelations

Amazing Stranger Episode 11

Oh look, we get to see how Nona’s anime ends.

And… I’m not sure what we’re supposed to get out of this episode. We watch the episode where Nona meets the Nona from another dimension and the two play a bunch of games before they pretty much accept mutual destruction and then Bouida gets all upset that none of the figurine girls are crying at this.

Was this supposed to be touching?

Skip ahead and we have Bouida’s friend explaining his plot, though the why is still a total mystery. Then it is revealed that Bouida and Nona have gone out and that Nona isn’t planning on coming back.

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This was all just kind of empty really and I can’t help but feel like this anime really doesn’t know what it is trying to do. The plot, such as it is, keeps getting tossed in more or less as a by-the-way and inbetween plot points little to nothing seemed to happen this week. Even what passes for comedy in this anime failed to appear and absolutely no fanservice to speak of.

Really, I don’t know what the point of this was and I guess I’ll just wait until this one ends to see if we find a point or if this truly was wasted viewing time.

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Karandi James
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Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 11

Fireworks and Festivals

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 11

They are very keen on this summer theme and this week we are hitting the festival with a firework display in Senryuu Shoujo. I do have to wonder if these last few episodes haven’t just been Haruhi Suzumiya’s endless eight spread out over more episodes and not repeated. Either that or it feels like the happy days of Higurashi before the slaughter. Or literally any high school anime that has a summer vacation where they all hang out together.

None of that is actually criticism of what Senryuu Shoujo has been doing. More just acknowledging that we aren’t getting anything new. If you are after mind-blowing and original, look elsewhere. Here is the comfortable standard for high school club anime and it is doing it with a reasonable amount of care. Again, not redefining what a summer sequence is or blowing the audience away with any kind of exceptional standard, it is just like an old pair of slippers. They fit and they are warm and comfortable, and that’s all they need to do.

This time we have ditched a lot of the support characters to simply focus on the core of Eiji and Nanako with the third wheel of the club president at the festival. We’ll get a fairly standard montage of festival activities before the real ‘drama’ begins.

This is perhaps the first time the anime has really acknowledged that Nanako not speaking is actually a problem. While she’s waiting for Eiji and the president, some classmates find her and drag her off to see the fireworks with them. Unable, or unwilling, to speak, Nanako gets dragged away. In that situation, stopping to write a poem to express herself is a little difficult, and more importantly she doesn’t actually really try to resist the other girls. She simply goes along.

However, we do get a very pretty reunion, a firework display, and the usual saccharine conclusion to the episode that we’ve come to expect from this series. The one sour note is Eiji’s fierce denial that Nanako and he are together because with one episode to go that kind of shatters any hope that we might get them officially together before the end of the season.

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Karandi James
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Top 5 Short Anime from Irina

Tuesday's Top 5

When you have the attention span of a drunken gerbil. What a weird way of stating it. Can gerbils even get drunk? I’m gonna look it up. Back. I don’t know the answer but do you guys think I should get a gerbil? They’re really cute. Not as cute as baby porcupines OR baby sloths. Man those things are the cutest.

baby sloth
bam! cute attack!

What was I saying? Oh yeah… paying attention for an entire season of anime is really tough. You have to sit there for tens of minutes at the time and read stuff (or listen). It’s o.k once in a while but there’s no way you can keep it up always. And for those times when you’re not up to the task, there are short programs. In fact, here are five that I liked:

kitaro yokai diary
there’s a lot of surprisingly epic scenes

5) Kitaro Yokai Diary

Admittedly I don’t have that much to say about this show. I really like Yokai and this was a light-hearted comedy adventure (with a little bit of harem thrown in) full of cute yokai. It had some Natsume elements and some Interviews with Monster Girl elements, both of which are excellent things.

Sure it doesn’t come close to either of those shows but if you want to kill a few minutes and L me the general mood of mister girls or Yokai, then it’s a decent option.

I keep forgetting how expensive this show looks

4) Space Battleship Tiramisu

The elusive science fiction comedy is one of my favourite genres and I don’t exactly get to enjoy it often. Sure Tiramisu was often very childish and low brow but it gave me something I simply couldn’t find elsewhere. Not to mention that it could also be surprisingly earnest. I did laugh at some of those jokes and I’m not even embarrassed about it…much?

Space Battleship Tiramisu also looks surprisingly good for a short series with highly detailed character models and fluid animation. It’s one of the best productions I’ve seen in the short program category.

not even close to the weirdest thing in this show

3) Space Patrol Luluco

Few anime studios have the same emotional impact on fans as Gainax//Trigger, and Luluco is a surreal, science fictionny romp through the studio’s history and works. I did not enough about this history at the time I watched Space Patrol Luluco to truly appreciate the nuances and Easter eggs it contained.

As this is a highly referential series, I know a lot went over my head and I plan to go back and rewatch it armed with my new knowledge. When I watched the fantastic Gurrenn Lagann, scenes from Luluco kept coming back to me and made so much more sense. And since each episode is only 5 minutes long, rewatching it shouldn’t take much effort at all!

understand husband
been there

2) I can’t understand what my husband is saying

I think the great majority of shorts tend to be comedies. The format works a bit like a stand-up act. You tell a joke or a funny little anecdote, deliver the punchline and move onto something else. That’s pretty much how I can’t understand what my husband is saying is arranged, only with a surprisingly sweet love story intertwined.

Like most stand up acts some of the material is a bit questionable and will not land with all audiences but the series has heart. You never get the impression that it’s mean spirited when it pokes fun at some of the less respectful sides of Otaku culture.

I skipped a few of the episodes as some running gags were really not my cup of tea but I know many fans who love this show. So if you’re looking for a short romantic series, this may be the one for you.

Special Mention The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

I don’t know how this show aired originally but when I saw it, they were short skirts bundled together in roughly half-hour episodes so not technically a short program. Nevertheless, the vignette structure of the narrative means you can watch roughly 5 minutes of anime and move onto something else without feeling like you’ve left things unfinished… So although it may not be a short in definition, it remains one in spirit.

the screencaps are both misleading and perfect

1) Orenchi no furo Jijou

I don’t care that this short is super weird with lots of BL overtones. I don’t care that the plot is nonsensical and the narrative fairly threadbare. Fact is, I enjoyed the heck out of this little show and I can’t explain why. I’m assuming *magic*.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if you would like Orenchi no Furo Jijo. It’s one of these shows that’s really difficult to compare to anything else. It’s even hard to simply describe. But no matter the risk to my credibility, I will never stop recommending it. Cause it’s magic.

And at 3 minutes per episode what do you have to lose?

I want to redo my kitchen like this

Also 1) Time of Eve

With each episode clocking in at 15 minutes, Time of Eve is on the longer side of shorts. Not sure if there’s a cutoff to qualify. But since the entire series is only 6 episodes I think it’s perfectly reasonable. It’s roughly the equivalent of 3 regular episodes so if you ascribe to the 3 episode rule, you’d be done before you even have to decide whether you want to watch it or not.

Whether Time of Eve is an actual short program or not, it is a thoughtful and at times stirring work of speculative fiction in the style of the golden age science fiction masters. A tight nest of moral dilemmas and an examination of human nature against a backdrop of near future technology. I loved this anime.

If I recommend Oorenchi to everyone because I’m not sure who would enjoy it, I recommend Time of Eve to everyone because I think a lot of people would.

There you go 5..I’m 7ish short animes you can binge through in a day or take in one little bite at the time whenever the mood strikes you. Do you have any short program recommendations?

Hinata is short…

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Senryuu Shoujo Review Episode 10

Ghosts and Fireflies

Senryuu Shoujo Episode 10

We’re sticking with the summer vacation theme this week but here we hit the super cute button as the characters make a plan to go to watch real fireflies. Of course the club president isn’t happy just to let it rest with that and makes alternate plans that involve scaring Nanako and Eiji by creating a ghost tunnel. It is the usual summer break silliness from school characters in a slice of life and yet there’s something just kind of adorable about this episode that makes it work and feel memorable.

Part of this is the great chemistry in the cast. Despite each character being a walking gimmick they each bring something cute to the table and together the group dynamics are just kind of perfect. Art girl continues to be a personal favourite (and I promise I will remember her name by the end of the series, though we are running out of episodes) and the fortune teller girl adds enough cynicis to the mix to take the edge off of the sickly sweet.

However, the real highlight of the episode, as is the case most episodes, is the relationship between Eiji and Nanako. The two are very sweet together and whether it is Nanako admiring the bug Eiji caught, their genuine delight at the plan to look for fireflies, or Eiji’s efforts to protect Nanako in the tunnel, they are just too cute to watch.

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I’m really hoping these two become an officially acknowledged couple by the end of the season because it wouldn’t make a lot of sense not to acknowledge what has become very clear from watching these two. They have a genuine mutual like of one another and they are both sweet people. Now if only they would act on it.

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Karandi James
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Amazing Stranger Review Episodes 9 + 10

Nona’s Jealousy Fights Back

Amazing Stranger Episode 9

In this episode of Amazing Stranger, Nona’s character takes a turn for the even more pathetic. It starts out innocently enough with Nona dreaming of Bouida growing old and then dying. Understandably, for a robot girl that is pretty rough, however she then persists in lying to Bouida about ongoing dreams in order to go on more dates with him.

I definitely find the moments of this anime that focus on Nona’s jealousy, the least interesting. While this episode wasn’t so much jealousy as just a general selfishness (originally born out of fear) it still brought out the pathetic side of Nona’s character. With the other two girls reduced to commentary for most of the episode there wasn’t really much to celebrate here.

However, there was some amusement to be found in the manner in which Bouida attempted to cheer up Nona as he took her to an amusement park, an arcade, shopping for a model of her space ship and then star gazing. Each activity is so cliché in its own way and yet kind of perfect for the story here.

For once though there seemed to be no gratuitous fan-service, unless Nona grovelling for forgiveness when her lie is revealed counts as fan-service. Which is odd because this episode doesn’t seem to advance the overall plot of what the point of the characters coming to life is or seem to be for those looking for those fan-service moments. It just leaves me wondering if we were just supposed to find this episode charming in its own right but then it doesn’t do anywhere near enough to reach that point.

Oh well, I’m not exactly looking for this anime to be amazing. Amazing Stranger remains watchable enough even if there isn’t a lot more to it than that.

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Amazing Stranger Episode 10

Did I say that the fan-service was reduced? Silly me. Episode 9 clearly just stored it all up for a hot springs moment in episode 10 of Amazing Stranger. Then again, despite where they could have taken this, much as with previous fan service servings, Amazing Stranger keeps things relatively tame.

The girls get into discussing a few bits and pieces when it comes out that Nona doesn’t remember how her anime ends. Apparently that’s going to be important toward the end but in the meantime we have a tank girl from some mobile game show up who tries to capture Nona. Shadow Nona appears and the fight is on.

Nice costume.

There’s a minor moment where we jump away from the fighting at the hot springs to see Bouida’s friend tracking down the source of the living figurines but the episode pays little to no attention to this aspect so instead let’s focus on Shadow Nona’s emotional situation where she feels jealous of the other girls and of Nona.

Ultimately Bouida asks Nona to watch the final episode of her anime with him and the episode ends. It isn’t great but it isn’t bad either and we did progress the plot, such as it is.

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Karandi James
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