And Now… The Results of the Worst of Spring Reader’s Poll Are Here!

If you missed it, the best of the Spring 2018 season reader poll results can be found here.

For those who are new to my end of season awards, I’ll just remind you that worst of the season is a slightly misleading term given I ask people to vote for a show they didn’t drop but was the worst thing they actually watched. That means there are plenty of anime out there that never get voted for that are significantly worse because people have simply dropped them without completing them.

First up, my choices for worst of the season.

Worst Story – Tokyo Ghoul: Re

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It seemed mean to give it to Record of Grancrest War considering it already won this ‘honour’ at the end of the Winter season, and Tokyo Ghoul Re has it coming. No explanations, no attempt to link the previous anime season to this, and just abandoning the anime fans to muddle their way through was a really poor move. Worse, even when you look up all the things you need to look up, we essentially spend 12 episodes gaining very little ground and it is hard to see much point to most of this. There’s the ongoing issue of Haise finding his memories but that’s about three episodes worth of content stretched out and then there’s a bunch of stuff with side characters I was never made to care about. Basically, this one was a bit of a mess but if you just want some ghoul fight sequences, it might deliver that for you.

Worst Visuals – Devils’ Line

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There was never any question on this category. Devils’ Line is ugly to watch whether it is the weird filter they put over scenes, the terrible effect used to make the vampires seem faster or whatever, or just the drab looking everything, it is hideous. While I appreciate not every vampire needs to be an Adonis existing only to draw the female eye, this show is just bad to look at.

Worst Opening – My Hero Academia Season 3

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Yes, I hear your complaints and yet I’m standing by this choice. After some truly thrilling OP’s, My Hero Academia has delivered one that neither gets me fired up, nor visually interests me, outside of the final image of Midoriya standing with All Might. Basically I’ve taken to skipping the OP and am hoping for a mid-season change.

Worst Character – The Cast of Caligula

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This was probably a cheap call, and yet I knew my least favourite characters existed in this series and yet when looking at each one I can barely remember their names let alone distinguish one from the other in terms of which was a more poorly introduced, fleshed out or developed character. This cast is way oversized and not one of the characters pictured above does a single thing of consequence in the entire series (watch it, remove each of these characters, note how that makes no difference to the plot at all). So yeah, it is an entire cast but this is my choice for worst character this season (they even beat some of the choices I had from Grancrest).

And now…

Worst Anime of the Spring 2018 Season – Doreiku The Animation

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I was really torn on this one. Caligula was a great contender for worst of the season as was Devils’ Line. But ultimately both of those had some redeeming qualities hiding deeply beneath layers of poor choices whereas Doreiku is just a concept thrown out there and then used by someone who doesn’t have a clue what to do with it. The first episode presents what could be a rich world of exploration about human desire and morality and ultimately the story barely manages to remain coherent and certainly doesn’t explore anything. It routinely shows us that the characters are horrible but that isn’t really exploration so much as just piling more mud onto what is already a mess. So despite having what arguably could have been one of the more interesting concepts this season, Doreiku has managed to be the anime I really wish I hadn’t stuck with.

Finally, Reader’s Choice

There was some tight competition for worst anime of the season that people actually watched and we ended up with a tie for third place. See the results for yourself.

Worst of Spring 2018.JPG

And so, with 9 votes, Darling in the Franxx won worst anime that people actually watched this season. I think the show’s popularity worked against it here because as bad as some of the other shows were, more people were watching Franxx. Still, you have to admit it became quite a mess as the series progressed.

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Devils’ Line therefore took a comfortable second place as worst anime closely followed by SAOA: GGO and Doreiku the animation in third place.

It seems like it has been a long season but now we are about to move into the Summer Anime season and begin it all again. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for some amazing stories, and for those anime that disappoint us, there’s always the chance to vote for it in the worst of Summer poll.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Final Thoughts

This is the end of the season. Okay, some shows aren’t done but that’s okay. With the majority having wrapped up, it is time for thoughts on final episodes before tomorrow we reveal the best and worst of the season (my picks and the results of the reader’s poll).

What I watched

Caligula (Finished)

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This show stumbled across the finish line and while it did in fact bring closure to its story, I can’t say that this was at any point a satisfying watch. From confused mess, to pretty ordinary, it just never did anything with the ideas it presented early on and the cast were never used in a way that made me care about them. Ultimately, I didn’t hate this, but I’m really glad it has wrapped up.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 11)

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While this week brings us a real fight for a change, it certainly doesn’t step up the quality of its story and at this point the character motivations are too pathetic to even take seriously as parody. It is all just a mess from people who wanted to cash in on something but had nothing to say.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 22 – Reviewed for patrons)

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The kids are coming to terms with abandonment but still struggling to live. Meanwhile, all Hiro cares about is Zero Two. Darling in the Franxx continues to introduce and abandon plot threads and with two episodes left it is unlikely that things will come together in any meaningful way.

Devils’ Line (Finished)Devil12a

Can I cheer that this one is over? It was never good, but what little this anime had going for it never developed into much of anything and the end result is an unremarkable anime that will swiftly be forgotten.

Doreiku The Animation (Finished)

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This one ended up being such a disappointment. It isn’t the worst ever but it is pretty pointless and half the characters serve no purpose at all. The continually building someone up to just throw them away as a threat and the characters constantly making stupid choices really hurts the enjoyment here.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 9)

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Well, this one apparently still has three episodes to go, though I’m suspecting if they didn’t stop to recap every four episodes they might be further along. That said, this is one of the shows I’ve had the most fun watching this season. I forgot how much I loved this franchise until these characters returned and now I just want to rewatch the old seasons yet again.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 13)

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I was left a little disappointed that this anime didn’t decide to deal with the humans finding out about yokai aspect that could have easily been expanded on from the two prior episodes. That said, it delivered a decent enough episode with a stand alone villain of the week.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 13 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi has been fairly consistent and yet that doesn’t actually make it great. It has been consistently ordinary. There are the occasional bright moments in an otherwise dull series about characters who have very little to distinguish them from one another. Even the food shots aren’t quite worth the effort. That said, there’s very little wrong with the show either other than being unremarkable.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Finished)

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And that’s a wrap. While this anime never particularly amazed, it also didn’t really do anything overly wrong. All and all, a mostly harmless reverse harem story though one with a basic premise that could have been great and mostly squandered it. Still, I didn’t mind following this show this season, even if in a stronger season I might have let this one go.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Finished)

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Not sure if the final episode was all it could be, but fairly happy with this one as a season. And ultimately it did resolve its story which is a lot more than I can say for many of the shows I’ve followed this season.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 12)

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Definitely some down time after the intensity of episode 11, and yet I feel there were some fairly decent moments and potential foreshadowing going on. I’m a little worried about the direction the story seems to be taking with the whole moving kids into the dorm thing, but I guess we’ll see how that works out soon enough.

Record of Grancrest War (Finished)

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This is the face the audience makes when realising they’ve watched 24 episodes to get to this ending. I can’t say I haven’t had some fun; mostly through making fun of the show, but somehow I feel I really wanted a decent fantasy from this and not just something that was fun to mock.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Finished)

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Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but it a fairly low key anime that was pretty consistent in its delivery this season. I ultimately really enjoyed the relaxing nature of watching this one and am really glad I stuck with it.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Finished)

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I feel this anime missed a lot of potentially great moments and that is a shame but it is how it is. This one doesn’t really attempt to end and even if it continues, I’m pretty sure I am done at this stage. My curiosity over the story has not been satisfied but my curiosity to annoyance ratio is starting to shift the wrong way as these last two episodes played out.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 12)

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If you didn’t remember this was a time travel show, this episode will certainly remind you as Steins;Gate launches an all out assault on a common time travel paradox. It’s entertaining enough to watch the set up but it will really depend on how they deal with it now they’ve constructed it as to whether or not this will be worth the effort.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Finished)

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And this romance comes to an end in a fitting if illogical fashion. This anime was a joy this season and one that I am really glad I stuck with as it was pretty consistent from start to finish. Not to mention, Teresa’s smile is definitely something worth watching.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Finished)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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It wasn’t exactly swamped with heavy competition this week, so Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love makes the cut because it actually got an emotional response and episodes 12 and 13 very effectively brought the story to a close.

Character of the Week

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Sui has been a solid and steady presence in Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori from the beginning and he’s a character I quite enjoyed watching despite his fairly ordinary existence. This final episode really made me appreciate his steady nature.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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The Best and Worst Anime of Spring 2018 – Have Your Say (last chance)

This is the last chance to get your vote in for the best and worst of the season. Be sure to get your final votes in and to share with others. The more the merrier.

You can choose up to three series in both the best of and worst of the season polls.

So be sure to vote for the best of the season and then share the post.

Remember, this is not for technical best animation or any other objective measure. It is just the show (or shows) you liked the most and had the most fun watching this season. So choose up to three and vote away and then remember to share.

Over to the worst of the season.

As always, this is an anime you actually watched this season but really should have dropped. The story is either completely broken, the characters are flat, or the animation has suffered critical failure. This is not just an anime you watched part of an episode of and disliked the subject matter. While the poll will always be subjective, this is the worst anime you watched.

Thanks for taking the time to vote. Please share the poll via social media because the more people who vote, the more reflective of the community the results will be.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Reasons The Anime of Spring 2018 Have Been a Bit Disappointing

I normally try and keep the top 5 posts pretty upbeat, but I can’t deny I’m a little disappointed with the last season of anime. No, it isn’t a sign that modern anime are dreadful or that seasonal watching is the problem. It is just that there were a lot of anime that just didn’t live up to their potential or deliver. As the season comes to an end, I’m reflecting on reasons why I was so disappointed this season.

Whether you liked the season or not, I’d love to know your thoughts on the anime from Spring 2018 so be sure to leave me a comment below.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Number 5: Sequels and Spin-offs That Just Didn’t Land

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Whether it was the debacle that was the continuation of Tokyo Ghoul (reverting to the story in the manga without providing explanation for anime viewers) or the disappointment of SAO Alternative: GGO where viewers were asked to watch a pink bunny girl play a game without much in the way of stakes and were expected to care, the Spring 2018 season has definitely had its share of mis-fires with sequels and spin-offs. Even if we look at the ending of Cardcaptors, most people are expressing a general sense that it just didn’t manage to live up to its predecessors and My Hero Academia took a fair while to get going (though fortunately it has now gotten going and it has certainly stepped up).

Number 4: Scattered Viewership

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Normally with seasonal viewing there’s the couple of shows that everyone is watching. Spring 2018 hasn’t had one of those unifying shows that has ignited the entire community. Instead we have small groups of people proclaiming a love for Megalo Box while older mecha fans have been rejoicing over the return of Full Metal Panic, some people praising SAO Alternative: GGO for not being SAO and a few who have gone for one romance or another. But there’s been no single show that has gotten everyone really excited. With so many big titles out that would seem really odd and yet nothing has really captured the masses this season.

Number 3: Controversy and Fan Idiocy

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While I like to avoid the fandoms are toxic debates, some of the stories going around this season really do emphasise that sometimes people just go too far. Death threats to writers and voice actors just should not be a thing. I know I don’t want someone coming into my workplace and threatening my life just because they disagree with how I go about doing my job, or spamming my email or twitter feed for the same. And then of course we have the issue of post plagiarism sweeping the blogosphere with quite a number of bloggers impacted. The last few months have not been great for community spirit and like it or not, it does impact on the enjoyment of the medium when the community is very much focused on some of these more negative aspects.

Number 2: Recaps, Fillers and Gaps

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How many shows this season have done recap episodes or fillers? And how many have skipped airing one week or another due to some event of the like? It has made following shows more challenging than normal as episodes are delayed or skip a week, or worse they put out a recap episode four episodes in as if the entire community suffers from short term memory loss. While I get production delays happen and that sometimes schedules do go awry with broadcasting, the Spring 2018 season feels like it has just been one interruption to the schedule after another making it even harder to get into some of the shows on offer.

Number 1: Broken Narratives

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Whether it is Record of Grancrest War, Darling in the Franxx, or even the abomination that is Devils’ Line, there are so many anime this season that just make no sense in terms of how they have structured and delivered their story. Maybe they are trying to avoid the label of generic but we’ve got time skips, random characters dropping in and out, reveals that make no sense, themes that get built up and then abandoned, and all and all its just a mess. This hardly makes for a satisfying viewing experience. There’s a reason narrative structure is almost identical in every culture, and that’s because people figured out a long time ago how to deliver a story in a way that made it interesting. A lot of these shows need to go back to basics and just figure out what they wanted to be because honestly Spring 2018 has definitely been a bit of a miss in terms of delivering anything resembling a compelling story line.

So those are my reasons for feeling a bit disappointed. I’d love to know if you were disappointed with the season and why, or whether you ended up loving the season and why. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Also you can vote for your favourite and least favourite anime of the season below.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 11

And this is the second last post I will make for Spring 2018. Some shows are done, others are wrapping up, and a few have just hit the midway point. I’m going to be honest and admit that I ended up more than a little disappointed with some shows this season, and yet overall there’s still been some fun to be had this season. Still, I’m looking forward to the Summer season of anime and hopefully we’ll all find something fun to watch.

In the meantime, if you haven’t voted yet for your favourite and least favourite of the Spring season, please check out the poll here. Be sure to vote and share the link. You have until the end of June to vote and I’m looking forward to seeing what is chosen this season.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Finished)

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Oh how I wish this one had been better but it has finally limped its way to the end of its season and once I finish drafting my series review I will happily forget this ever existed. It isn’t actually that bad, but it really has little to recommend it.

Caligula (Episode 11)

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Is there some reason they can’t get people out of Mobius? That would be a good bit of information to know given the mention people don’t recover, but if they are just inside a program surely they can remove them from the program. Some explanation as to why they can’t might at least give us some reason to care whether frantic keyboard bashing is actually worth watching while Ritsu tries to restore the program. But all and all, this anime hasn’t given me much reason to care about the outcome so mostly I’m just waiting for it to finish.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 10)

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I think this anime may have really run out of content when the best they can offer is a half-hearted attempt at ageing the cast because old people in magical boy costumes is guaranteed to be funny even with poor writing (eye roll). Oh well. Almost done.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 21 – Reviewed for patrons)

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This show just gets more random and less likely to end well by the episode and to be honest I’m only finishing it because I’ve come this far. It isn’t the worst thing ever, but it isn’t exactly good either.

Devils’ Line (Episode 11)

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I feel like I should be happy that HiDive seems to think there’s only one more episode of this. I don’t think I can take much more of these characters or this plot. For a series I was looking forward to this season, this one has been kind of crushing disappointment from beginning to end, only it hasn’t ended yet.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 10)

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I’m guessing the sweeping ownership changes of slaves is supposed to be dramatic but this story just doesn’t have the polish to pull it off. Everything is just coming off as silly and random rather than being crafted in any way and there’s just no emotional payoff as character after character makes stupid choices and gets beaten down for it.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 8)

No episode this week.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 12)

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For a cute family show about yokai, this episode really demonstrates how you can stay fairly family friendly and yet still build excitement and tension into a story. The second part of the story of the Tanuki certainly delivers a thrilling end and also sets up some future plot developments. Really fun watching this week.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 12 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Some characters should never wink and Aoi definitely falls into that category. Otherwise, this continues as normal. Aoi makes good food, every yokai likes her food, and none of the yokai ever end up actually being all that bad despite endless build ups of characters perhaps not being good. Still, it remains a pleasant watch if fairly unexciting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 11)

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Cults aren’t as hard to destroy as they used to be and so we’ve got another final villain to face in this story as it continues to scramble to feel like it is more than an excuse for cute girl to hand around various guys and read books. While the overall experience is pleasant enough, I can’t say that this is a particularly good story.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 11)

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A fairly solid episode and I’m very much looking forward to the conclusion of this series. I’m just hoping it does conclude. Although, part of me wonders if there’s going to be one final twist or whether we’ve seen the last of the turns and we’re just riding this out to the end. Looking forward to it.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 11)

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I’d be lying if I said that this was anything less than thrilling. Admittedly, it isn’t exactly high brow entertainment as we watch two super humans slug it out with words and then fists, and yet there’s definitely a level of satisfaction that came from watching this. However, what works better is the direction it points to for the remainder of the season and that is potentially very thrilling.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 23)

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I love that this show can randomly throw giant monsters in and at this point I don’t even question it. Of course the mages had a frozen cyclops. It’s what everyone keeps in their storage room for when uninvited guests pop over. Anyway, the fight is on, I’m still betting on Theo dying but that might just be my own personal wish at this point.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 10)

Not watched this week. Will do a catch up next week.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 12)

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Other than realising that Subaru was a bit weird even as a kid, this episode served little purpose and the ‘humour’ falls very flat as it is mostly a rehash of older jokes that have probably outstayed their welcome. So unless you really like watching Subaru get disgusted by dirty cockpits, there probably isn’t a lot to enjoy here.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 11)

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This felt like a definite mid-season point with a lot of plot points coming together and the episode ending on a mini-resolution. I kind of enjoyed this episode but as a whole this season has continued to be pretty ordinary. It just lacks the spark that the original had that made it unmissable. This one, if I stopped watching it I probably wouldn’t mind, though I don’t dislike watching it either.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 11)

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Tada’s going to pull a lot of weird faces over the course of this episode. Weirder still because usually he doesn’t emote all that much. This is kind of a great follow up to the events so far and I look forward to the final part of this series. While it hasn’t been amazing, it has been reasonably consistent and quite entertaining.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Finished – Not Reviewed)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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Maybe it is the obvious, but it would have taken something very special to be the episode of My Hero Academia this week. To be perfectly honest, given how many anime episodes I watch a week, any episode that makes me that emotional has to have done something right.

Character of the Week

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I know he was character of the week last week, but he definitely earned two weeks’ worth of recognition over the last couple of episodes. All Might, you’ve gone from being a needed mentor character to a character I genuinely love.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 10

Another round of anime watching and this week really did show us what some shows were made of, even if the answer is not very much. Still, it wasn’t a total bust as there were some definite stand out moments.

On that note, if you haven’t voted yet for your favourite and least favourite of the Spring season, please check out the poll here. Be sure to vote and share the link. You have until the end of June to vote and I’m looking forward to seeing what is chosen this season.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 11)

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With one episode left to go I’m guessing we’re either going for an incomplete finish or a trite ending where everything just kind of works out. Either way, this anime went from reasonably interesting to generic melodrama and is now just a slightly below average teen drama with increasingly obvious issues with its visuals. Oh well, I guess we’ll see how things play out next week.

Caligula (Episode 10)

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Two weeks in a row with characters declaring reality is shit. My, we have a theme. And yet, I can’t help but think this show has kind of missed the point with no actual weight put behind that statement. It is more a declaration for the sake of having one. The anime itself remains pretty pointless with characters who are mostly meaningless.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Finished)

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I hope you like non-endings, because that is all this one is going to offer. After 22 episodes we know only a tiny bit more than when we started and mostly this feels like it hasn’t quite moved on from the 90’s when you could get away with burning half your run-time with filler before stringing people on for a next season. Just a touch disappointed with how this ended up.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 9)

No new episode this week.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 20 – Reviewed for patrons)

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Well, I guess I can stop making fun of Record of Grancrest War for exposition dumps substituting for plot structure as Darling in the Franxx seems to be vying for least comprehensible plot structure held together by thin lines of dialogue. So odd that two shows have taken this approach in one season and yet, here we are going into climaxes that make zero sense when you back up to the beginning and look at what the characters set out to achieve way back when the shows began.

Devils’ Line (Episode 10)

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Another episode where the focus was nowhere to be found but some interesting ideas do exist. It makes for a luke-warm viewing experience but not one I want to walk away from given I do find some of it intriguing even as the delivery continues to miss the mark.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 9)

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As if the cast of this anime wasn’t already large enough and lacking in development, they throw yet more characters at us with only the shallowest of motivations, despite the flash backs desperately trying to establish some emotional reason we should care about this current development. Really, it is a mess, and it isn’t going to resolve well.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 8)

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An explosive show down this week for Full Metal Panic and one that showcases exactly why Sousuke is such a great character. Hitting just the right emotional notes, this episode brings the show to a second high since the first four episodes, and we’re very much ready now to go into the final episodes of the season.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 11)

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While I’m still not sure what value there was in kidnapping Mana, it did fulfil all the villainous cliches this episode decided to pull out. That isn’t a negative mind you. This anime has thrived on delivering fairly classic stories and tropes so the over the top Bond style villains kind of work here. Quite a nice episode really.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 11 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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So yeah, stuff happens and Aoi cooks food. That makes everything better apparently. This anime continues to be watchable but not in anyway memorable or particularly interesting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 10)

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Blasphemy might be a bit harsh, but still there is something a bit odd about using words in books to curse people. And this is something I wish this anime would explore more but instead it wants to deal with all the pretty boys’ emotional hang-ups that are all pretty standard and dull. What it leaves us with is a fairly average viewing experience.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 10)

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I felt this was kind of the slowest episode yet. This whole season Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS has been driving us continuously toward a confrontation that has explosive ramifications, and yet this episode really felt like they were just delaying that final show-down. Honestly, I think I would prefer the final show-down to be drawn out rather than having these non-fights play out.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 10)

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The clash of giants as All For One and One For All go head to head in what is probably going to be a city destroying fight (either that or All Might is about to meet his maker and either way I’m super hyped for the next episode). It took a bit, but season 3 of My Hero Academia is definitely showing us the strengths of this franchise now and it isn’t letting up now that it has gotten going.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 22)

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There’s little more to say about this anime at this particular point and time except that even as we count down the final few episodes it continues to try to pack in ridiculous amounts of plot and the end result is just a narrative mess where character motives are unexplored, factions seem to serve no purpose, and none of the powers exhibited by anything are ever adequately explained. But hey, final battle incoming.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 10)

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I have to agree that Rokuhoudou is a beautiful cafe. One thing watching this anime has done is made me want a cafe like that where I could go. Watching each episode, when it focuses on serving within the cafe, is a completely relaxing experience and one that is extremely pleasant. There’s not much to say about the characters and the narrative, but this show has nailed its atmosphere.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 11)

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I might just be over this, but the last two episodes have taken a serious nose dive in terms of enjoyment. Fortunately there are only two left so I will make it to the end, but my mostly pleasant viewing experience is starting to become more of a tiresome one.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 10)

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Seems like things are about to get messy in this anime as the end of this episode reveals what might be the catalyst for future drama. That said, this episode itself didn’t do all that much, so lets hope the future payoff is worth it.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 10)

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Tada destroyed his own title this week because whether he’s admitted it or not, he’s totally in love with Teresa. The date was adorable and really did set up the end point which we could all see coming a mile away and yet it was still very affective when it finally landed. Well played.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 11 – Not Reviewed)

The thing I liked most about season 1 of Tokyo Ghoul was I liked Kaneki as a character. Not so much because Kaneki is a good character, but because he was beautifully broken throughout the course of the season. Haise/Kaneki is not an interesting character. He has not done or said one interesting thing in this entire season. When we couple that with a plot that makes no sense given I haven’t read the manga and I have no idea where half of these characters even came from, basically I’m just watching a boring character, surrounded by cheap imitation boring characters, fighting for reasons that remain pretty unclear other than every single person and ghoul in this show is actually a psycho. Kind of glad I let this one go for a few weeks before catching up on all the episodes in one go because week to week this would be truly impossible to watch.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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I know Full Metal Panic has taken it a few times, but anything would be hard-pressed to beat episode 8 this week. Hitting the right emotional notes and turning the action right up, this episode knew exactly what it was doing every step of the way.

Character of the Week

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And could it have been anyone other than All Might? Plunging into the battle against All For One despite knowing his weakness, All Might shines in this episode – kind of hoping this isn’t his last hurrah.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

The Best and Worst Anime of Spring 2018 – Have Your Say

It’s that time of the anime season again when we’re all more or less sure what we liked from the season and what we regret not dropping from our lists. From now until the 30th of June you can vote for your favourite, and least favourite, anime of the season.

You can choose up to three series in both the best of and worst of the season polls.

Remember, the three best shows (as voted by the readers) from each season will be used at the end of the year in the vote for best of the year. They’ll go up against the best of the Winter Season (A Place Further Than the Universe, March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2, and The Ancient Magus’ Bride) as voted by the readers, as well as whatever wins for best of Summer and Autumn later this year.

So be sure to vote for the best of the season and then share the post.

Remember, this is not for technical best animation or any other objective measure. It is just the show (or shows) you liked the most and had the most fun watching this season. So choose up to three and vote away and then remember to share.

Over to the worst of the season.

As always, this is an anime you actually watched this season but really should have dropped. The story is either completely broken, the characters are flat, or the animation has suffered critical failure. This is not just an anime you watched part of an episode of and disliked the subject matter. While the poll will always be subjective, this is the worst anime you watched.

Thanks for taking the time to vote. Please share the poll via social media because the more people who vote, the more reflective of the community the results will be.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2                   Thoughts on Anime               74iz

 

 

The Best and Worst Anime of Spring 2018 – Have Your Say

It’s that time of the anime season again when we’re all more or less sure what we liked from the season and what we regret not dropping from our lists. From now until the 30th of June you can vote for your favourite, and least favourite, anime of the season.

You can choose up to three series in both the best of and worst of the season polls.

Remember, the three best shows (as voted by the readers) from each season will be used at the end of the year in the vote for best of the year. They’ll go up against the best of the Winter Season (A Place Further Than the Universe, March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2, and The Ancient Magus’ Bride) as voted by the readers, as well as whatever wins for best of Summer and Autumn later this year.

So be sure to vote for the best of the season and then share the post.

Remember, this is not for technical best animation or any other objective measure. It is just the show (or shows) you liked the most and had the most fun watching this season. So choose up to three and vote away and then remember to share.

Over to the worst of the season.

As always, this is an anime you actually watched this season but really should have dropped. The story is either completely broken, the characters are flat, or the animation has suffered critical failure. This is not just an anime you watched part of an episode of and disliked the subject matter. While the poll will always be subjective, this is the worst anime you watched.

Thanks for taking the time to vote. Please share the poll via social media because the more people who vote, the more reflective of the community the results will be.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2                   Thoughts on Anime               74iz

 

 

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 9

This week was a mix of highs and lows with some shows giving us superb episodes and other really falling from average to barely watchable. It’s a real mixed bag and I guess that is what makes it fun. Later today I will open the polls for best and worst anime of Spring 2018, so be sure to look out for them and vote and share. Remember, top 3 anime for the season will go in the poll at the end of the year for anime of the year.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the season so be sure to leave me a comment below and share what you liked this week and what left you disappointed.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 10)

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Guy rejects girl by confessing to another? Classy. And more or less all I expect from this anime at this point. Gone is anything that made it seem a little different or interesting and now it has simply become another not so great romance anime.

Caligula (Episode 9)

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I really shouldn’t have added this to my review list after Spiritpact ended. Wow, this has been tedious. It isn’t even bad, it just is so messy as a narrative with such poor characterisation it isn’t even interesting to pick at. Each episode is just another exercise in waiting for the next round of exposition that might tell us where the characters are walking next.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 21)

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I wonder if Sakura’s mother’s key will end up being significant? Not that it got a lot of attention in this episode, but that’s probably because after being incredibly slow for a large chunk of the early half of the season, this episode felt like it packed half a season’s worth of content in. And it doesn’t seem like next week will slow down the pace as it rushes to try to end the series.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 9)

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This anime continues to be pretty lame, even the this franchise’s standards. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this episode, on the back of so many weak episodes, it isn’t enough to re-engage viewers who by this point should be pretty switched off.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 19 – Reviewed for patrons)

No episode this week.

Devils’ Line (Episode 9)

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Devils’ Line continues along its path doing its thing and mostly failing to pass any kind of logical test in terms of narrative. The fairly poor visuals continue to be a theme as well. There are some interesting concepts underpinning this anime, but execution has left it pretty much a miss.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 8)

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As usual, this anime doesn’t make much sense when even the tiniest bit of logic is applied to the situation and the characters remain either pretty dumb or just horrible. Of all the anime I’m watching this season, this is the one that I probably wish I’d dropped back after its first episode as it has just been an ongoing disappointment.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 7)

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Sousuke continues to try to get to Amalgam so that he can find Kaname. Meanwhile they are trying to kill him and he’s outnumbered and outgunned. This series has just kept hitting the right notes episode after episode this season and I’m hoping it continues because I am loving this.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 10)

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A perfectly pleasant episode strangely devoid of the title character and yet still pretty fun. There isn’t too much to go wrong when the story sticks with some fairly classic elements and finds a way to work more modern problems into the lives of ghosts.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 10 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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Things continue to be pretty ordinary in this anime as the characters go about their lives. It continues to be pretty to look at and the story works but it also continues to not be all that exciting.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 9)

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The more of the plot that gets revealed here, the weaker the story becomes. Watch it for girl meets cute guys in period drama rather than its story because it isn’t going so great.That, and the show seems to want to be taken seriously in its darker moments, but can’t commit to anything more than hospitalising its cast.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 9)

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This anime knows exactly how to pace itself and as we draw into the final third of the season, it has hit the perfect tone to make me excited for the climax. It also feels like they are going to have enough time to properly deal with what they need to so I’m kind of hopeful of a satisfying end to the season. We’ll see what happens though but I’m cautiously optimistic.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 9)

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While somewhat less impressive than the past two episodes, this was a fairly solid continuation of the plot and we certainly got to see some action. Plus, Midoriya being back to muttering was just so classic and cute.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 21)

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I’m… There’s just no words at this point for the mess that is Record of Grancrest War. And yet despite being a terrible story with terrible characters and terrible pacing, other than the frustration all of that causes, there’s still something a little appealing about the entire mess. It’s all just kind of tragic.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 9)

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This was a pretty decent episode if you are watching this for the calming and relaxing feeling that it usually constructs. There’s not a lot of substance, but there doesn’t really need to be when you walk away feeling like you’ve just had a nice warm bath.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 10)

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In space there is nothing to distract from the fact that this episode didn’t really accomplish very much, not even a few cheap laughs. While hardly a terminally poor episode, it was very much the second low point of the season and I’m kind of hoping next week returns to the form of the past few weeks.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 9)

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Steins;Gate 0 continues to progress and while this episode didn’t quite hit the emotional highs of episode 8, overall, the series continues to build to what will hopefully be an interesting conclusion somewhere down the line.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 9)

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We entered anime cliche land yet again when Tada gets wet from the rain after lending Teresa his umbrella and ends up catching a flu. Still, with this show, even cliches are done well and the more egregious ones are masterfully avoided providing an experience that feels both familiar and yet authentic.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 8 – Not Reviewed)

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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How am I enjoying it? I’m loving it. This is probably my favourite season of WIXOSS as it has just been entertaining from start to finish. Looking forward to what comes next.

Character of the Week

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Look at him. It’s Syaoran rocking butterfly wings. This single moment made my heart soar and made me incredibly glad I’ve watched Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card this season.

 

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz

 

Anime for the Season: Spring 2018 Week 8

I actually struggled this week picking an episode of the week. The reason was simple; the only show I wanted to give it to was My Hero Academia and it was my pick last week. Even for anime I really am enjoying this season, week 8 has delivered some pretty poor episodes. A large number are among the worst their particular series has offered to date. Hopefully next week things pick up.

What I watched

3D Kanojo: Real Girl (Episode 9)

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More teen drama unfolds with a cast that started interesting but are now all the least interesting form of their original character. It isn’t bad, but it is a long way from being compelling viewing at this point.

Caligula (Episode 8)

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This has gone from potentially interesting concept with so-so execution to just plain bad. Poor characterisation, poor pacing, and just generally boring storytelling has left me watching this wondering what exactly the point might be and ultimately not really caring to find the answer.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 20)

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May they still be arguing over who’s lunches look better in thirty years time. These two are so adorable. And that’s pretty much my review of the episode and the season. It is Cardcaptor and pretty much the highlight of this season has been seeing these two kids together. There’s not a lot wrong with the anime other than being pretty unexciting, so these character moments are what are keeping it afloat.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss (Episode 8)

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Nothing new to see here as this show steps us back through its rinse and repeat formula. The only real recommendation for this episode is it you enjoy people who are negative about summer events.

Darling in the Franxx (Episode 19 – Reviewed for patrons)

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I’m just so frustrated with this one at this point. I’ll finish it only because I’ve stuck around this long, but realistically, this episode is the point where I’ve officially cut any investment in what happens. I don’t care. Blow them all up at this point. Your story makes no sense.

Devils’ Line (Episode 8)

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This anime is also frustrating me but at least this one didn’t really promise much from the beginning. It makes the kind of maddening stupidity of an episode like this one so much easier to take.

Doreiku The Animation (Episode 7)

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There’s little left to say. Still no real payout for watching this far. The characters are all still horrible. Thematically the show has done very little. While there’s still a tiny potential for this anime to ultimately get to a point, I’m not exactly hopeful at this stage.

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory (Episode 6)

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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory is really continuing to hit the right spots as we now follow Sousuke on his quest to get to Kaname. There’s a far more serious tone at play here then there was back in season 2, and yet there are still moments of humour to be found. All and all, this one is a pretty solid watch provided you’ve watched the previous seasons.

GeGeGe No Kitaro (Episode 9)

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For the first week this season I’m going to have to say that GeGeGe no Kitaro missed the mark. This episode was pretty flat and not all that entertaining. While the series as a whole remains pretty charming so far, episodic stories do have the small problem of crumbling some weeks when things just don’t work out.

Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi (Episode 9 – Reviewed for Patrons)

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As much as  I want to enjoy this anime it remains pleasant but fairly unremarkable. The biggest complaint is that nothing seems to have any weight or depth. Visually it is pretty enough, the music is fine, the characters lack a bit of depth but work. It just doesn’t have much impact.

Libra of Nil Admirari (Episode 8)

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I really wish this anime were better. It isn’t terrible but it just isn’t very good because it won’t commit to being the darker story it really kind of needs to be to pull off some of these sequences. The end result is a something that isn’t quite satisfying even though it isn’t inherently broken.

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (Episode 8)

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Another solid episode by WIXOSS linking personal trauma to a larger narrative and doing it with style. There isn’t any down time because even when it seems like we’ve taken a break from the main storyline, there’s a lot of information and incidental reveals being thrown around and while it isn’t clear how it all comes together yet it is certainly starting to outline a fairly interesting picture.

My Hero Academia Season 3 (Episode 8)

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This seriously deserves episode of the week again, but I kind of made a promise to myself I wouldn’t give it to the same show in consecutive weeks. Keep in mind though, the episode was awesome, there’s so much going on, and it was amazing. Go watch it.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 20)

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The power of love finally overcomes all and only 19 episodes after they were supposed to get married, Marrine and Alexis have finally gotten together and are prepared to take the plunge. Let’s forget all the needless death and violence in-between caused by Marrine being stubborn for no real reason. This anime continues to be kind of frustrating to watch as we turn sharply into what might be the final act.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (Episode 8)

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Overall, I like this series. However, episode 8 is one that even if I rewatch this series later, I intend to skip. It more or less annoyed me from start to finish and adds nothing to the greater narrative so I’m just going to forget about it at this point.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (Episode 9)

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This anime continues to surprise by actually having a plot that is continuing along despite the jokes and short run time. While there’s some definitely questionable logic at times, there’s certainly amusement to be had and the novelty factor (I don’t watch a huge amount of short form anime) is keeping this one working for me.

 Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 8)

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Steins;Gate 0 actually did kind of impress me this week and then I realised that’s because it wasn’t focusing on any of the plot points from this series but really reliving the plot points from the original series. Still, it was a stand out episode and one I really enjoyed.

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love (Episode 8)

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Despite the image, there isn’t much of a conflict here. Tada isn’t exactly fighting to keep Teresa and Charles is pretty willing to let Teresa have her gap year before she comes home to fulfil her obligations. Which is kind of a shame because these two actually clashing would have been kind of amusing. That said, this anime remains fairly relaxed viewing with a nice cast of characters who all just kind of hang out together.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Episode 8 – Not Reviewed)

All found this anime remains something I’d be pretty happy to walk away from. It isn’t bad, I’m just finding it impossible to get interested in it given how much of the story and character development seems to have been just left out of the anime.

Spiritpact: Bond of the Underworld (Finished)

Episode of the Week

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The emotion was very real this week with Steins;Gate 0 and while it might be riding high on nostalgia feels, it was certainly affective.

Character of the Week

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I promise that Sousuke won’t get character of the week every week, but this week he was fantastic. And while I don’t think threatening to assault a police chief is particularly praise worthy, the guy in question totally would have had it coming if Sousuke had followed through.

Dropped

  • Butlers X Battlers (Episode 1)
  • Comic Girls (Episode 1)
  • Crossing Time (Episode 1)
  • Dances with the Dragons (Episode 2)
  • Golden Kamuy (Episode 1)
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch (Episode 1)
  • Hinamatsuri (Episode 1)
  • Love To Lie Angle (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Ore (Episode 1)
  • Magical Girl Site (Episode 2)
  • MEGALOBOX (Episode 1)
  • My Sweet Tyrant (Episode 1)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Episode 4)
  • You Don’t Know Gunma Yet (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

Patreon2          Thoughts on Anime            74iz