Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy Series Review – An Indulgent But Enjoyable Isekai

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy Series Review

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy is one of those rare anime that made me regret choosing not to watch it weekly. Already having a number of Summer 2021 isekai anime on my watch list I decided to wait and binge it once it was finished. Little did I know that despite fairly generic and ordinary beginnings, this anime would end up being significantly better than either Seirei Gensouki or Realist Hero and despite having a second season announced still managed to deliver a decent climax and enough of a resolution to the end of this first season.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

That said, simply being better than somewhat mediocre competition isn’t really a recommendation, so I’ll follow that up by pointing out that Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy was just kind of fun to watch. While the comedy remained largely situational with over-powered characters accidentally destroying things or extreme over-reactions to dialogue, and the journey the protagonist, Misumi, takes isn’t exactly breaking free of any of the usual isekai trappings, this is definitely an anime where the enjoyment is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Being consistent and competent work for Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy.

Where I found the opening episodes of other anime from the Summer 2021 season more intriguing (hence why I didn’t pick up Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy from the beginning), Tsukimichi managed to be consistent from its opening. While never exceptionally good, the goddess’ quick dismissal of Misumi and then his journey as he gathered demi-human followers and more or less just tries to find a new way to live in this world he has been cast into ends up creating an interesting setting for the cast and as the series progresses we see the relationships being formed between these characters.

Tsukimichi - Misumi, Mio and Tomoe go to town.

And it is the characters that will hold this fantasy story together. The plot is more or less Misumi journeying at first and trying to figure out the world he’s been dumped in. However, as more characters, and yes most of them are feisty female characters, join him he starts taking on responsibilities and they take on the role of adventurers and then merchants. While we really haven’t seen an overall game plan and the plot never really feels like it is speeding toward something, Misumi is always setting short term goals that keep events feeling like thy are moving along.

If I had to compare Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy to any of the other recent isekai stories, it would probably remind me most of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime in the sense that Misumi is working with demi-humans who are either hated or feared by humans, or discriminated against and slaughtered for seemingly little reason. He’s also building his own settlement and bringing together different races. That said, this anime feels like it is moving at a faster pace and feels a little less laid-back than Slime.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

Like so many other isekai stories though, our monstrous creatures don’t remain monstrous for too long. The dragon Misumi fights and then wins over ends up transforming into a blue haired girl. The giant spider who seems pretty ominous at first transforms into a black haired beauty. Even the Lich, introduced late in the series, ends up being a timid red-haired human guy. It seems like a waste to introduce a monster and then more or less revert them into a human character.

Admittedly, the rivalry between Tomoe and Mio (the spider and dragon) is pretty entertaining even if it is taken to ridiculous levels at times. Also, the passion with which they absorb Misumi’s memories of Earth (and particularly historical and fictional works) is nicely done.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

However as the cast expands, Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy seems to struggle to find a place for all of the characters. Emma, who is the first girl Misumi really meets, appears throughout the series but seems to serve little purpose at times. Even Tomoe and Mio are at times sent away from the action, probably because it is hard for any other character to shine when either of those two takes to the screen.

There’s also the problem of a lot of the antagonist of the story coming across as very one note. While the Goddess is clearly an issue for Misumi to eventually deal with, given she banished him from human civilisation just because she found him ugly, she’s barely in the story. Instead we get the usual isekai muscle heads with thieves, adventurers on the wrong side of things, and corrupt noble-men for our protagonist to deal with one way or another.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

At times you could almost be forgiven for forgetting about the Goddess as Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy seems content just to deal with immediate issues. Though then the final confrontation of this season would come as a bit of a surprise given the Goddess may not appear but she most definitely orchestrates Misumi’s involvement in it.

And can I just say, that is how you do a season final climatic battle. It may not end the overall story, and the main antagonist isn’t even really involved, but it was a very cool battle-sequence and a great way for the season to come to a close. It was also an amazing character moment for the protagonist and I liked that they do at least indicate some of the future fall out from it without stretching the series conclusion for too long.

Basically if you like magical fights and want an isekai that isn’t taking itself too seriously, Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy might just hit the spot for you. There’s some tense moments but they largely quickly get broken up by silliness and while there are some bloody and gory moments few of these are lingered on.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

Misumi ends up being a pleasant enough protagonist even if he ultimately does little to stand to from the horde of other isekai protagonists and the ensemble cast here actually has great chemistry.

Pretty much if you like the isekai genre, Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy is worth watching. While it isn’t unmissable it is certainly entertaining enough and with another season coming in the future there’s comfort in knowing that we’ll see these characters again.

Images from: Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy. Dir. S Ishihira. C2C. 2021

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Karandi James

Battle Game in 5 Seconds Series Review – Preposterous Excuse For a Super-Powered Smack-Down

Battle Game in 5 Seconds Series Review

When I initially wrote my watch or drop post for Battle Game in 5 Seconds after viewing the first three episodes, I certainly acknowledged that this anime wasn’t shooting to become a work of art or even break free of its own genre trappings. That said, I was vaguely optimistic about it delivering at least a decent amount of entertainment within those genre constraints.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

Alas, by mid-season it became clear that generic was the best Battle Game in 5 Seconds was going to aspire to and by the end of the season not only were the characters and plot disappointing but even the visuals (which weren’t ever amazing) seemed to take a decided dip in quality. Seriously, the final battle of this series is almost unwatchable and most of the characters look like they are barely moving.

I actually wouldn’t have minded this anime never rising above being a generic survival kind of game. There’s certainly fun to be had with that particular genre. However given the story is incomplete, character motives feel shallow at best, and the central gimmick of only being able to use their battle abilities five seconds after the fight starts and they are released is cast aside for most of the second half of the series, there’s very little left to recommend even starting this anime when it is in such an over-crowded field.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

Battle Game in 5 Seconds feels like a good idea with no direction.

The basic set-up of Battle Game in 5 Seconds is actually pretty interesting. While Akira isn’t the most original protagonist, his obsession with games and winning means he doesn’t waste too much time whining when he’s whisked into the death matches and uses his head to fight. That could be interesting enough even if he was a bit on the bland side.

The use of the wrist bands to restrain their powers and only releasing them after 5 seconds meant that characters weren’t just able to go power crazy and were more or less forced to follow along with the games and that was enough to keep this feeling like it had its own identity.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

The early set-up with each character spending time in their room before being moved to the site of the next ‘game’ worked well enough even if it didn’t feel terribly original, and you could kind of buy that some secret organisation had built this facility, kidnapped all these people, performed some kind of experiment on them to give them powers, and you know the talking cat-girl who seemed to be in charge could have just been an anime quirk.

But the plot quickly veers away from this set-up. After the first few rounds and the introductions to a handful of characters, Akira, Yuuri and others move into this massive outdoor zone where three teams of players have more or less formed and are fighting each other. What makes it a bit odd is that the notion of Battle Game in 5 Seconds kind of falls away here with characters seemingly using their powers whenever they want.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

Throw in that any plausibility of this game and experiment goes out the window when you see how many characters are here and the size of the space they are in, plus there’s no longer any kind of controlled experiment going on here, this is just a power free-for-all, and it kind of means you just watch the second half as characters smack each other around, make plans, prove themselves smarter or tougher than other characters, and a series of events leads to a resolution of sorts but the overall plot is still completely unresolved.

Of course, Battle Game in 5 Seconds is listed as a supernatural anime and it is very clearly drawing influences from games and the super power genres so the lack of credibility of this scene change can be excused. However you end up with a very different type of story from Akira taking on the game makers and wanting to beat them at their own game to the usual kind of brawl between over-powered characters, most of which don’t get anywhere near long enough to really be established or sympathised with.

That and some of the powers are just plain ridiculous.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

I’d love to discuss the characters of Battle Game in 5 Seconds but outside of Akira and Yuuri, most of the others barely get an introduction and basically boil down to simple descriptions. The shy girl, the cocky guy, the sadistic murderer, etc. Naturally Akira and Yuuri, being the protagonists, team up with the leader who tries to protect the elderly and children who end up in the battle zone so I guess they are the ‘good’ guys whereas the other team are lead by those who extort and enslave other survivors (clearly they are evil and must be destroyed).

It’s all a bit simple and immature in how it is set up. Even the final fight of the series ends up being a bit of a fizzle. Despite having a huge range of interesting and unique powers inevitably the story comes down to two guys punching at each other.

Of course, if done well and with enough energy and bombast, Battle Game in 5 Seconds could have still been a highly entertaining romp despite all these short-comings and yet by about episode 5 I felt this one was dragging. It actually ended up being a chore to finish and my response to the cliff-hanger at the end setting up another season that I don’t believe will ever occur (or potentially a read the source nod) was more or less to roll my eyes and just be glad that I was done.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds

Basically I can’t recommend Battle Game in 5 Seconds.

It isn’t done well enough to actually be good. It isn’t high energy enough or over-the-top enough to fall into the so-bad-it-is-good category. None of the characters ultimately amounted to much and the plot is a bit of a tone shifting mess. Visually it deteriorates as the series continues and nothing else really stands out enough to recommend it.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts so if you watched Battle Game in 5 Seconds be sure to leave me a comment below.

Images from: Battle Game in 5 Seconds. Dir. N Arai. SynergySp and Vega Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

The Best Anime Moments From The Summer 2021 Anime Season

Best Anime Moments From The Summer 2021 Anime Season

There’s nothing more subjective than trying to decide which anime was the best or which character was the coolest. Every viewer will have their own thoughts on what was best from a season. However, this is my post and I am going to share the best anime moments I came across during the 2021 summer anime season.

As always, I’d love my readers to share their best moments from the season.

Karandi excited about the best anime moments from Summer 2021

What makes a best anime moment?

Given I haven’t watched a huge number of anime from the Summer 2021 season and still have a number to finish, I mostly picked the moments that stood out to me and left a lasting impact. Sometimes these were moments that made me laugh or I thought were pretty clever but each one of these moments fit within the context of their show and made me take notice.

Best anime moment from Realist Hero

Screenshot 1642

It is weird to say that How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom delivered any of the best anime moments of the season, however I will give credit where it is due. The scene in episode 10 where the battleship approaches the castle over land was a gloriously executed scene.

Of course it is incredibly orchestrated with the full moon behind the silhouette of the vessel but with the pounding sound of hooves from the beasts dragging the ship forward and the slow but deliberate approach to war, this scene just works and was by far the best moment Realist Hero offered in its 13 episode run.

Naturally it helps that this scene was the culmination of a range of plans by Souma and really marked a turning point in the battle that drove us towards the season’s end. Visually and from a narrative point of view this was a great moment in an otherwise pretty mediocre series.

Best anime moment from Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

The Honour Student at Magic High School actually had a number of great moments but finding those that weren’t already in The Irregular at Magic High School was actually a bit harder (given most of the truly awesome moments were scenes we had seen before in the original series). That said, there are two moments I’d like to highlight as being stand out moments from the series.

The first comes from episode 4 where Eimi organises Honoka and Shizuku into a group of girl detectives to track down the guy who had been following Tatsuya. It was a bit of a silly moment but it certainly gave this spin-off a bit of life of its own and honestly I’d have happily watched more of these three getting into mischief for a whole season without any of the rest of the story.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 - Eimi, Shizuku and Honoka

That Eimi is also responsible for my second choice for best anime moment from Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei really just highlights how great a supporting character she is and emphasises why we need more of her. While I very vaguely remembered her from the original series it was just a little bit vague. However, by the time I saw her face off against Shiori in Pillar Break and watched her give it her all, I was utterly blown away.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 9

This was a really dramatic moment from a character that was fairly underutilised. The reckless energy she threw into this fight and realising her own strength and desire not to give up was truly inspiring. That both competitors fought to collapse demonstrated their resolve. Yet Eimi falls with a smile and her Yippee-Ki-Yay victory which really just makes you love her all the more.

It was a beautiful competition moment and only Eimi could have pulled it off.

Best anime moment from My Next Life as a Villainess

Sometimes a best anime moment is just one that makes you smile.

That is certainly true in my choice of best anime moment from My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X as I’m not choosing any of the dramatic rescues or even that kiss.. Nope, I’m giving this to a solid Catarina moment as she realises yes she’s been kidnapped but mostly that means she can eat snacks and lay in bed all day.

Catarina kidnapped? My Next Life as a Villainess

If only her brother’s kidnapping had been as chill. Seriously, it isn’t often that a silly moment like this would be a memorable anime moment, but it absolutely fit with Bakarina’s character and as an early season moment it more or less reminded me why we all love Catarina despite the fact that she’s a bit of a space cadet.

Best anime moment from The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace

Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi - Ysley

Episode 5 of The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace gives us what might seem like a standard brains vs brawn battle as the demon Piscalet seemingly has the physically weak but quite ingenious Ysley trapped in a room and cut off from his friends.

Ysley not only turns the tide of this battle seemingly effortlessly, he also reveals a pretty ruthless and cut-throat nature hiding beneath his those glasses and pleasant smile. Its one of those moments where you expected the tables would be turned but you didn’t quite realise the full extent of it and you can only watch in awe or in a little bit of concern as he takes it beyond just winning the battle.

Either way, Ysley moved from being a character playing second fiddle to Hayato’s seeming protagonist status to being a driving force in the story in the space of one battle and remained as a leading character ever since. Definitely a best anime moment for the season.

Best anime moment from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2

All of the moments above were pretty cool, but none of them made me feel as good or smile as much as the one delivered by That Time I Got Reincarnated as a slime Season 2 Part 2. While it is just a silly visual gag and reference, the timing was perfect and this scene from the penultimate episode of Tensura 2 just made my whole week.

Slime S2 Ep47 5

Seriously, having a manga obsessed dragon using a kamehameha attack was kind of the perfect inclusion for this series and definitely reminded me of how fun this series can be when it hits its stride. That the rest of the season was a little ho-hum was almost forgiven by this single scene just absolutely nailing it.

So what are your choices for best anime moment?

I’ve still got a whole bunch of anime from this season to finish watching so I’d love to know what some of your choices were for best anime moments this season.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Night Head 2041 Worth Watching?

Night Head 2041 - Worth watching?
Night Head 2041 - very matrix

There’s a lot of tags attached to Night Head 2041 that made this one I was curious to watch, but the CGI visuals were definitely putting me off starting. Still, unlike the romance and apparently comedy driven Duke of Death where everything just ended up looking creepy, here with the darker aesthetic and more action focused visuals, it isn’t quite the distraction. So is Night Head 2041 worth watching?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Night Head 2041

First Impressions of Night Head 2041

So is this like The Matrix crossed with V for Vendetta with just a whole bunch of anime weird thrown in?

Night Head 2041 visually takes some getting used to as the CGI characters all have that slightly to smooth movement and slightly rubbery appearance when they speak that is slowly becoming more and more common but otherwise these first three episodes set up a dystopian future with excessive government control, kids with psychic powers on the run and lots of gunfire.

Actually when the action kicks off it looks pretty good it is more the slower scenes of characters talking that are a little hindered by the visuals. Plus, whoever designed the aesthetics of this show really loves the look of LEDs given literally everything comes complete with glowing lights attached in this show (why would your enforcers glow like that when trying to infiltrate a base).

Anyway, logical gaps aside, the first three episodes were watchable though not overly engrossing.

That said, episode 3 really steps up the violence with some suicide and some genuine blood splatter so if that’s a trigger for you this probably isn’t your anime.

Night Head 2041 Series Positives:

Probably the biggest positive for Night Head 2041 is that it ticks all the boxes for the kind of story I’m happy to indulge even when it turns out to not be very good. Given I own a DVD copy of Ultraviolet it should be clear that when it comes to futuristic worlds with corrupt and overly powerful governments and people with superpowers I’m not all that picky as long as the action keeps going and the characters are even mildly engaging.

That so far this anime has managed to also tick off my sense of curiosity by presenting a weird time-gap for the two psychic brothers who had thought only 15 years had passed but find out they’ve been gone longer and a whole war has happened in the interim, is more or less a guarantee that whether this was any good or not I was going to watch.

However, the one clear positive for Night Head 2041 so far is that it gets pacing for this type of story. While there has been exposition this has mostly been done during transition scenes, outside of the info-dump at the start. Otherwise we kind of learn things as the characters do on the fly and so far we’ve had enough information so that we know what is happening in the moment but there’s a lot of unanswered questions to keep us going.

In the meantime, there’s been a lot of shooting, running around, people getting thrown against walls using psychic powers and generally a visual feast even if it doesn’t always make a huge amount of sense.

Night Head 2041

Night Head Series Negatives:

I suspect, that much like the previous Night Head anime that I had literally completely forgotten about prior to reading the synopsis for this one, that even if I finish this story, I won’t remember much of Night Head 2041 once it is done. It is decidedly pop-corn viewing and doesn’t really stick with you after the episode has ended. Which is a bit of a shame because it feels like it wants to have a grander narrative or social commentary but it really isn’t up to the task.

Likewise, so far none of the characters have left all that much impression outside of all being a bit broody. I mean, that can’t actually be the defining character trait of a whole cast, and yet it kind of is.

Also, I suspect they are attempting to connect the brothers in the military with the brothers on the run, somehow, and I suspect this story is biting off more than it can chew. However they do it will probably feel a bit lame and tacked on and honestly none of these characters feel complete enough to need that convoluted a back-story.

Night Head 2041

I guess time will tell on that note.

Still, it would be nice if there was a little more logic behind the actions here. The banning of all works of imagination seems quite impossible to enforce in practical terms and given how openly some people seem to be displaying contraband material (one character just sitting in a diner reading a manga), it doesn’t seem overly effective. The banning of psychics and belief in gods makes more sense and seems easier to define and enforce, but even then, good luck in practical terms given how attached to religion human beings kind of are.

However, if we suspend disbelief and buy into the premise, so far these first three episodes have more or less worked though I am curious about where they are going with this.


Karandi Excited Transparent

As I said before, while this one may not end up being good, it ticks all the right boxes that I’m certainly going to give it a try. I’m curious enough to know where they are going and even if the plot falls over entirely there’s a good amount of popcorn worthy action in this story so far so a binge watch seems to be in order.

Let me know what you think of Night Head 2041 in the comments below.

Images from: Night Head 2041 Dir. T Hirakawa. Shirogumi. 2021

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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is The Duke of Death and His Maid Worth Watching?

The Duke of Death and His Maid - Watch or Drop?
The Duke of Death and His Maid

A change away from isekai, death matches and sequel series, The Duke of Death and His Maid was an anime I was quite curious about given I do enjoy a good supernatural romance and rom-coms are usually quite enjoyable. So how did I find Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
The Duke of Death and His Maid - Alice

First Impressions of The Duke of Death and His Maid

The Duke of Death and His Maid makes a definite first impression, though whether you like it or not will entirely depend upon your personal tastes. See, this is a CGI anime and the characters have a weird rubbery/plastic kind of look and their movements are quite odd (just watch the OP where the two main characters sing to one another and look like two goldfish gasping for air after you tossed them out of the bowl).

It isn’t a deal breaker on its own (hardly in the same realm as Hand Shakers), but I suspect some viewers will be quite put off. I do find it odd though how textured and lovely the backgrounds and settings are while the characters look like they’ve been pasted over the top.

Anyway, once you get over the visuals, the characters and story seem to swing between super adorable and sweet and so incredibly lame and cliché and sometimes do it in the space of half-a-conversation. I’d be ready to quit watching in one scene and the next I’d be totally hooked back in.

The basic and tragic tale of the boy cursed by a witch to kill any living thing he touches is a pretty effective premise and focusing in on the relationship between the boy and his maid really personalises this.

So let’s look a bit more closely at what works and what doesn’t in The Duke of Death and His Maid.

The Duke of Death and His Maid Series Positives:

Part of me wonders why they aren’t playing this as a more serious romantic drama rather than a rom-com given the tragic nature of the cursed duke living with his maid. When the two are allowed to be real people, The Duke of Death and His Maid shines and you are completely drawn into this narrative.

Whether this is when we see the duke alone in the garden or the touching scene where the two dance in the moonlight without actual physical contact, or even the duke composing Alice a ballad and playing it for her on the piano, it is ridiculously sweet and just makes me want to hug both of these characters and wish them happiness (which considering visually they creep me out is saying something).

The Duke of Death and His Maid - under the moonlight

Equally, the music has so far been gorgeous. This includes character songs within the anime, the duke playing the piano, or even the upbeat OP (again, ignore the visuals and just listen to the two voice actors singing). The sound is so incredibly on-point and engaging that regardless of how anything else turns out, The Duke of Death and His Maid will be my pick for best soundtrack this season.

And finally, I love how beautiful the backgrounds are. There’s been a number of night scenes and all of them have been truly beautiful, but even just seeing the duke in his library with the rich texture behind him is glorious. There was one screen cap I tried to get but didn’t (and wasn’t going to go back to it) that was just a shot of the duke’s feet. His shoes weren’t that interesting but I loved the textures in the background of that shot.

So there’s a lot of positives here.


The Duke of Death and His Maid Series Negatives:

Rom-Com shouldn’t mean girl with big boobs continually thrusts them in face of male protagonist. Alice and the duke have a real connection and Alice’s antics make so little sense and seemingly come out of nowhere, often totally derailing what otherwise might be a sweet moment between the pair. That she’ll die if he accidentally moves forward even an inch sometimes just adds a whole other level to why this really isn’t funny because I just keep imagining how devastated he’ll be if he accidentally kills her.

The Duke of Death and His Maid

It doesn’t help that her breasts are the ridiculously shiny kind with the ugly red splotches and the CGI makes the movement of them absolutely unappealing. This isn’t good fan-service. Nor is it good fan-service where she just randomly flashes her fish-nets at the duke.

The justification The Duke of Death and His Maid makes for these intrusive and fairly unfunny moments is that Alice likes his reactions, but she gets just as much reaction from licking an ice-cream or taking a bite from his cookie and then telling him it is an indirect kill so it is largely unnecessary.

Also, the other characters have so far been of the not great variety. The excellent butler Rob, who keeps putting out his back, apparently has such poor eye-sight he can’t tell the young duke and a stray cat apart and the duke’s sister who comes to visit is most definitely a one-note kind of character. There’s potential for these characters to be fleshed out later but given the overall tone and the focus on the central duo it seems unlikely they’ll rise about being one trick ponies.


Karandi Shrug Transparent

The Duke of Death and His Maid has some real charm in places and I admit I mostly like the main pair and the romance between them. I just wish that not so much screen time was taken up by ugly shots of Alice thrusting her over-sized chest about.

I’ll probably finish this because there’s some seriously cute moments in these first three episodes but my expectations are fairly ordinary because it will be anyone’s guess as to whether this anime focuses in on the parts that work or whether it doubles down on the poor fan-service that rely on visuals that aren’t up to the task.

Let me know what you think of The Duke of Death and his Maid in the comments below.

Images from: The Duke of Death and His Maid. Dir. Y Yamakawa. J.C. Staff. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Battle Game in 5 Seconds Worth Watching?

Battle Game in 5 Seconds - Watch or Drop?
Battle Game in 5 Seconds - Mion

Here we have Battle Game in 5 Seconds which is pretty much as it sounds. Characters have been kidnapped, given super powers and are now being matched off against one another for purposes as yet unknown. But, is it worth watching?

Read the full review for Battle Game in 5 Seconds.

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Battle Game in 5 Seconds - Fight

First Impressions of Battle Game in 5 Seconds

Battle Game in 5 Seconds has the unfortunate timing of coming out when I’m kind of over tournaments and death matches and the MAL synopsis more or less seems to indicate that this is what that is Darwin’s Game ended up being particularly disappointing and there’s been a range of other similar anime that haven’t really left much of an impression. So I really went into this one with low expectations.

Which probably helped because it isn’t great and even these first three episodes are loaded with tropes and clichés, and yet I will admit I was kind of drawn into these first three episodes. There’s the usual problems associated with this sort of story and I was getting serious BTOOOM vibes from the second episode where episode 3 had me more thinking High Rise Invasion so originality isn’t high on this series’ hit list. Also, the cat girl as the spokesperson (organiser?) of all of this I was getting a flash back to the llama headed guy in The One’s Within.

But none of that made me quit watching before episode 3. So now I just need to figure out if I’m going to continue watching Battle Game in 5 Seconds or not.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds Series Positives:

It’s kind of hard to really go through series positives with an anime that aligns so closely with so many others. Mostly because I objectively know these sorts of stories are pretty bad and trashy relying on shock, gore, at times nudity, and often tie themselves into convoluted narrative knots that can never actually be sensibly resolved.

That said, I do find this kind of story fun, when done in a fun way. So while you could pick at the problematic content presented in these first three episodes, particularly in Yuuri’s first match up against the perverted middle-aged guy and be perfectly justified in pointing out that this is not a positive representation for teenage girls, I’m pretty sure Battle Game in 5 Seconds doesn’t care because it isn’t trying to be a message. It’s trying, and so far succeeding, at just being a ridiculous excuse for a bunch of weirdoes to be forced to fight one another with ridiculous and over-the-top powers.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds - Akira

Sure it would be lovely if one of the female characters is in a match where they aren’t objectified or use sexual appeal to overcome an opponent but I’m thinking Battle Game in 5 Seconds knows that even if they had brilliant female characters they probably aren’t appealing to the audience who would take note of that. Rather than getting bogged down in trying to sell a message to an audience that isn’t watching the show anyway, this story really is just delivering what it wants to do.

Equally, it’s managed to keep things moving along. About the slowest moment in the story came in episode 2 where we had an extended flashback of Yuuri prior to her arrival where-ever they are and her crappy home-life. It just dragged on and on and particular lines and images were repeated more than once. All in an effort to establish her character and personality but really could have been done faster.

But honestly, that’s the only dragging moment I’ve noticed as we go from meeting Akira to seeing him be ‘killed’ to waking up and being told he’s now part of this research. We then have a couple of rounds of one-on-one battles before episode 3 sets up a ‘team’ battle that then turns out not to really be a team competition at all. And basically you don’t really notice the time passing because everything is just paced well so it flows from one event to the next without feeling slow or rushed.

Visually it is also a cut above the likes of Darwin’s Game or The One’s Within (at least so far) and I’m kind of hoping it doesn’t drop in quality as the season progresses.


Battle Game in 5 Seconds Series Negatives:

There’s plenty to critique if you aren’t a fan of what this anime is selling. Don’t like over the top and stylised violence with blood splatter? You will be out before the end of Akira’s first fight back before he even knew what was going on.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds - Blood splatter

Not liking a girl being put in the matches wearing a very skimpy outfit because that just happened to be what she was wearing when taken there? This one isn’t going to be for you. A middle aged guy stripping off his shorts while fighting a teenage girl? Yeah, you should pass.

It really depends on whether or not any of these staples of dark titles that try to be edgy (though most end up pretty funny) like to roll out. That isn’t necessarily a negative because some people will be relatively fine with all of the above (in a story at least) but it is worth noting that this anime won’t appeal to everyone.

Battle Game in 5 Seconds also currently has a problem with Akira as kind of the central focus. He works but he has such a generic and bland appearance remembering him is difficult and his personality is more thoughtful and considered as he weighs up options and plans strategy. It is effective within the story but makes him a less than dynamic main character. Hopefully the rest of the cast can keep picking up the scenes because Akira alone is not that compelling.


Karandi Excited Transparent

Battle Game in 5 Seconds fits a particular niche of story that I either like watching when done well or at least like to watch for a laugh when it goes horribly wrong so realistically now that I’ve started I’m definitely continuing.

On the bright side, this one has been far more compelling in its opening episodes than a lot of the other similar anime I mentioned so I might hope a little bit that this is one I end up enjoying just because it is enjoyable and not because it goes laughably wrong.

What did you think of Battle Game in 5 Seconds?

Images from: Battle Game in 5 Seconds. Dir. N Arai. SynergySP & Vega Entertainment. 2021

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Sonny Boy Worth Watching?

Sonny Boy - Watch of Drop?
Sonny Boy - Nagara

Welcome to Sonny Boy the story of 36 teens who happen to be in their school when it drifts into another dimension. Or something like that. What are my initial thoughts?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Sonny Boy - talking to the cat

First Impressions of Sonny Boy

I will admit, I’m terribly confused by the title of this one. Sonny Boy? What is it in reference to? Not that it matters given anime has a distinct lack of care sometimes if the title means anything or nothing. Anyway, I think I’m going to take Jack’s approach and just put the name to one side for now and maybe it will all make sense when I get to the end of the anime.

That said, I wasn’t exactly going in with no information. I’ve been reading reviews and episode impressions of Sonny Boy since the start of the season and finally decided it was time to dive in. Though a number of reviewers had mentioned this had a Lord of the Flies feeling that isn’t really the impression I’m getting, though there’s definitely some comparable points.

Anyway, the first three episodes each present a different situation the kids are dealing with as well as the ongoing exploration to find out what is going on and whether they can get home. These episodes also show case an array of powers the kids have as well as introducing the ideas of rules that apply in each space.

So what works and what doesn’t so far in Sonny Boy?

Sonny Boy Series Positives:

If nothing else, the first three episodes of Sonny Boy are intriguing and promise a potentially interesting reveal for a later time. What caused the school to start drifting and did the kids in fact have their powers before they crossed into a different dimension? This is yet to really be confirmed. I’m just hoping this isn’t like Lost which really felt like the plot was the only thing lost by the mid-way point.

Actually I’m kind of getting a The One’s Within vibe from this story so far though I am hoping the payoff is a little better than that one was.

Sonny Boy - Rules

The first three episodes of Sonny Boy have also each focused on one particular dilemma allowing us time to get to know a bit about the characters as they confront it. I suspect that the majority of the class will always remain a bit of a mystery, but by the end of the third episode the main players in the story have all had time to leave an impression.

Equally, each of the stories has followed naturally on from the previous one. At the end of episode one Nagara and Nozomi fall from the school and end up in an ocean. Episode two sees the characters adapting to the rules of the island and then episode 3 moves between both settings as Mizuho and Nagara try to figure out why some class mates are being frozen.

Visually, Sonny Boy works very well but I am finding the characters a little on the creepy side. Movements are very fluid and at times their smiles and expressions just kind of rub me the wrong way. That’s not a negative (which is why it is in the positive list) because the animation is very fluidly done and the settings have all been stunning. It does just take a bit to get used to.


Sonny Boy Series Negatives:

I think if anything is really going to put someone off this anime it will be the characters. Sonny Boy has introduced a lot of personalities but very few of them are likeable and far too many of the characters are really just blending into the background at the moment (to the point where I probably wouldn’t be able to identify they were even in the anime if shown a picture).

Equally, there’s no one yet who I’ve really connected with as a main character or someone I really want to see succeed here. While unlikable characters have their place, it has made it hard to really be too concerned about the plight of these students. Nozomi has had one or two great moments but she’s too chaotic to really be someone you can rally behind. Mizuho is righteous to a fault and as a result is angry at the world. Nagara is so passive he’s really hard to back. And Asakaze is pretty much a jerk. Forget the student council members. They are all awful.

Sonny Boy - The sun rises

That said, they all have potential and as they endure the various events and trials and we learn more about them, there’s certainly time for them to grow on me or to be changed by the events in the plot for the better. Certainly, they aren’t unlikeable enough to be a reason not to watch the story.

And honestly, that’s all I have for negatives so far. These first three episodes were pretty engaging.


Karandi Excited Transparent

So yes, I will be watching Sonny Boy when it concludes (or maybe do a few short viewings throughout the season). I’m very curious as to where it will go and it feels a bit different from the other shows I’m watching this season.

I’m in. How about you? Are you watching Sonny Boy?

Images from: Sonny Boy. Dir. S Natsume. Madouse. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy Worth Watching?

Tsukimichi - watch or drop
Tsukimichi - main character Makoto Misumi

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Tsukimichi - Giant spider anyone?

First Impressions of Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy

Honestly, I was intrigued by the promotional image of Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy (or Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu) with the protagonist aiming a flaming arrow toward the audience, a busty samurai girl, the dark magic user and then the two glowing figures in the back. I also just loved the way the title was written but that’s one of the weird things I tend to notice about anime sometimes and doesn’t really indicate whether the story will be any good.

And MAL did have this Tsukimichi tagged as a comedy which usually makes me think twice.

With the Summer 2021 season already putting in a plethora of isekai titles and my already being committed to My Next Life as a Villainess, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Seirei Gensouki and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, I wasn’t entirely sure whether I needed another fantasy, isekai in my life.

Yet I still dove into this one as soon as there were 3 episodes to try.

While the humour for the comedy seems to be either of the overly-exaggerated or overly obvious type, the first three episodes of Tsukimichi were actually pretty charming and they seem to be doing a decent enough job of set-up even if there was nothing particularly remarkable about them.

There’s also been a nice mix of character introductions, attempts at humour, some actual world building and action sequences so far so again, while nothing is really standing out there’s little to really complain about.

Except perhaps that protagonist Makoto Misumi is a trained archer and he does at one or two points create a magical arrow but doesn’t use this ability anywhere near often enough. Though that is probably just me and my ongoing obsession with anime archers.

Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy Series Positives:

Honestly, if you like isekai stories and don’t mind if they aren’t taking themselves overly seriously, you could do worse than these opening episodes of Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy.

Each of the characters we’ve been introduced to so far has left enough of an impression so even if Makoto is really rocking standard isekai protagonist mode the god and goddess he met during his transition to the isekai world both made their personalities felt and the dragon girl and spider girl have so far proved a decent enough combination.

Tsukimichi - Misumi, Mio and Tomoe go to town.

The world building is pretty standard fantasy fare but I did like the fact that because the Goddess rejected Misumi based on his face we never really found out what the threat was that she was summoning heroes to beat. The usual exposition that explains what is happening in the world and what the threat is was entirely skipped over and instead Misumi is more or less just dealing with whatever comes his way.

Also, while Tsukimichi isn’t exactly a thrill ride to watch, nothing seems to be dragging as we swiftly move from summoning, to meeting characters, into a conflict, before we do some world building and then back into conflict and it all just kind of flows along nicely with no particularly sequence outstaying its welcome (at least not so far).


Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy Series Negatives:

About the only absolute negative for Tsukimichi in the first three episodes is kind of the feeling of deja-vu that rolls over the viewer. Admittedly, I watch tons of isekai stories and one of the pitfalls is that they do all start looking a little similar after awhile, but Tsukimichi is really struggling to find its own identity right at the moment and yet it also feels like it might if given a little longer.

Tsukimichi - Chased by humans

I particularly found the scene where the dragon girl and spider girl insisted that Misumi give them a name very much felt like I was back watching the early episodes of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and Misumi’s basic instruction that the various races don’t fight each other in his village that’s forming did little to break away from that impression.

While all of the characters work here and the combination is actually pretty solid, all of them feel like they could have been borrowed straight out of other isekai titles.

Tsukimichi will hopefully overcome this as it more firmly establishes its own story and world building but the opening act had little that really stood out. Of course if it is walking over familiar paths it is at least doing so competently so how much of a negative a lack of ordinality is will depend on individual viewers.


Karandi Excited Transparent

Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy is not going to be a super high-priority for me but I’ll probably enjoy it quite enough when it is finished and being able to binge the rest of this story.

My expectations aren’t high but I expect it will continue to be an enjoyable enough isekai story and all things considered it has so far been fun enough.

I’d love to know your thoughts on these opening episodes so if you’ve tried Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy be sure to leave me a comment below.

Images from: Tsukimichi – Moonlit Fantasy. Dir. S Ishihira. C2C. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 4

This week Crow, Irina and Karandi discuss the fourth episode of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X on Irina’s blog. Be sure to check it out and leave us a comment.

Villaness X ep4

Welcome one and all to our weekly discussion on My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X! In episode 4, we once again caught up to Catarina as she deals with the potentially very dangerous situation of having been kidnapped as part of a grand nefarious plan. Will her unending natural…

My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 4

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Scarlet Nexus Worth Watching?

Watch or Drop Scarlet
Scarlet Nexus
Kill a monster, get pretty petals.

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Scarlet Nexus and split screen action
I don’t know what the masks do other than make it hard to know which character is which.

First Impressions of Scarlet Nexus:

I didn’t go into Scarlet Nexus with particularly high hopes.

Another anime about an enemy referred to only as ‘others’ attacking cities and teams of super-powered soldiers, lots of which are teens, fighting them off just seemed like it was going to get lost in the crowd and the messy visuals used to promote Scarlet Nexus did nothing to change my mind on that.

That the source for the anime was a game also didn’t do much to inspire confidence.

And so I watched the first three episodes and ultimately this isn’t the worst introduction I’ve ever watched to a story but it also didn’t do a huge amount to win me over.

Scarlet Nexus is kind of hovering kind of perfectly on average with no particular elements being dreadful but not a lot to really celebrate about this anime either.

Scarlet Nexus Series Positives:

I think so far I’ve appreciated that Scarlet Nexus hasn’t been in over-explanation mode. Despite Yuito and Nagi just finally entering the Other Suppression Force (OSF) we really don’t get a lot of exposition and so far only one joint training session between to platoons which seemed more about getting Kasane some additional screen time as she seems to be a main character.

While this does mean there are some things about the world and the powers and the rest that still haven’t really been explained, I can’t imagine the plot would make any more sense even if they were. Do I really care why some people have more magic power than others? I just need to know that Yuito apparently didn’t have much.

Scarlet Nexus - Reasons to just wait.

Now could this become a problem later in the series if nothing ever gets explained? Absolutely. But for now I was kind of happy that the story just kind of flowed right along.

Equally, while a few different characters are introduced, they did a good enough job of conveying their personalities through actions in the first three episodes that you have a sense of who they are. While it would be nice to see them fleshed out a bit more beyond these initial impressions, so far all of the characters kind of work and seem to have enough of their own personality to stand out.


Scarlet Nexus Series Negatives:

Not so much a negative but visually this anime is hard to take seriously. Not just because the animation is kind of so-so but more because the ‘others’ largely look like overgrown pot-plants with legs and it is really hard to take a threat seriously when it looks that ridiculous. Larger enemies look even sillier and unwieldy and it is hard to imagine any government actually having to take this threat seriously.

Scarlet Nexus - This is just not scary.

Equally, while it is a positive they haven’t lectured at us and thrown so much jargon at you that you can’t even think straight, Scarlet Nexus has yet to explain why regular weapons wouldn’t solve the problem. Particularly when canons seemed to be used to bring down about 80% of the enemies at one point. So wouldn’t a soldier with a gun work as well as a psychic teen using a garbage bin?

We are lacking in context as in I don’t think it is clear when or where this is meant to be set or how we got to this situation. Not sure when the ‘others’ started showing up and why they became such a threat. Sure we might learn along the way but at this stage we just have to accept they are there.

Possibly the other negative is we’ve gone from joining the military to uncovering a vast conspiracy and being about to die in the space of three episodes. It might be nice if Scarlet Nexus slowed down a little and gave its own story a bit of room to breathe so that the audience could feel more like they knew where they were rather than feeling a little dragged along.


Karandi Excited Transparent

I don’t actually think Scarlet Nexus will end up being particularly good. But nor do I think it will be dreadful and Yuito and Kasane weren’t terrible characters so I’m kind of curious as to what ends up happening to them. There’s definite potential for this to fall apart but I think it is far more likely to end up being pretty unremarkable but watchable.

Then gain, it just might surprise me and turn out to be great. Guess I’ll find out at the end of the season.

Images from: Scarlet Nexus. Dir. H Nishimura. Sunrise. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James