Tesla Note Episode 8 – Who Is Surprised Botan has Mummy/Daddy Issues?

Tesla Note Episode 8

Yeah, I know I said I was going to stop discussing Tesla Note’s appearance because it was pretty clear from episode one that this was CGI and ugly CGI at that.

And I would hold true to that except that episode 8 isn’t just ugly but at times the animation is notably janky. The scene early in the episode where Botan gets up and walks to pray at her mother’s shrine is actually fairly nauseating to watch as the animation chops and jumps and the swinging camera angles don’t help in the slightest. This is perhaps Tesla Note at its ugliest yet and I’m hoping it isn’t a sign of production issues behind the scenes as this anime cannot afford to drop its quality any lower.

Tesla Note Episode 8

Tesla Note: I’ll only be a spy if that means no one ever dying.

There’s something inherently flawed about Tesla Note anyway. As much as the concept of spies charging around the world looking for technology left behind by the genius Tesla could be kind of fun, they are going out of their way to make it really quite lame.

Tesla Note Episode 8

Botan is a character they sold us on having been raised to be a spy and yet so far she’s proven to be overly emotional and sentimental at best even if she does have some pretty cool skills. This could all be justified through her age and lack of experience but this week she actually quits the team because last week the guy who had brainwashed her and stolen the shards died.



It’s all just a bit hard to swallow given her upbringing. Naturally the story tries to justify it by giving her the motive of becoming a spy to save people but the reality should have been clear from the beginning. Sometimes people are going to get hurt and or killed in this game.

They then compound the silliness by having Botan return to her home in the mountains to think about it for a bit and proceed to spend the entire episode on her issues with a mother who died in childbirth (and probably didn’t love her) and a father she assumes hates her even though she’s never met him.

Tesla Note Episode 8

Tragic childhoods, disinterested parents, lack of love, all of these things are pretty standard for main characters in stories and frequently stand in for any actual real characterisation. Its a quick and easy ‘oh they have depth’ short-cut that’s been overused and unless it is done particularly well is no longer very interesting. Let’s be real, Tesla Note never had the narrative chops to do it well and this ham-fisted effort is almost a mockery of the trope.

Actually, when we get to the near end of the episode and Ryuunosuke admits his childhood tragedy and then Kuruma gets all mad because his biggest tragedy is his father giving him a name that is easily mocked, it really does just mock the trope and make most of the episode feel pretty pointless. Tesla Note is a little too good at making its own drama feel trite.

Tesla Note Episode 8

Also, what’s with the puzzle box hidden inside a house with instructions to open it that can only be decoded by using a particular pot-holder? I mean, who does that?

And what if the house had burned down in the meantime?

Anyway, with the discovery of a puzzle box and a second diary, Botan’s mummy issues are all happily resolved and she’s back to being the motivated spy however we do have to drop one more bombshell. The missing father is… Well, pretty sure you can figure it out and it isn’t as though it will actually matter given very little in this series does.

Tesla Note Episode 8

Actually the one thing that actually got my attention this week was a side plot regarding how the evil group infiltrated the CIA ship in the first place and the potential that Oliver is actually a double-agent. I suspect that they’ll find out that’s a red-herring though it would be kind of interesting if he was actually a double-agent. Let’s hope they pursue that plot line because that actually was interesting.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Karandi James


Tesla Note Episode 7 – A Pointless Three Way Battle

Tesla Note Episode 7 Review

What little drama Tesla Note episode 6 had going with the injured Kuruma and the potential of betrayal by the CIA more or less evaporates this week as Kuruma points out he never needed surgery as the bullet apparently just grazed him and the third party, A Small House (or whatever they want to call themselves) turned out to be pretty lame all around. Here we have a pointless three way battle for shards that takes a whole episode.

Tesla Note Episode 7

Can Tesla Note let characters make sensible decisions for a change?

So many questions came out of this episode. For instance, why are the two members for A Small House even still on the boat? A question I asked last week. They could have left without talking to the other spies. But instead they do a whole introduction sequence, including explaining what their Spanish name is, which apparently is hilarious to the Japanese team because it sounds like the Japanese phrase “I’m hungry”.

But would spies really stand around naming their organisations, introducing themselves to others, and even correcting the pronunciation of a name when they had already claimed their prize? It seems unlikely.

Tesla Note Episode 7

Of course, Tesla Note had already kind of pushed the unlikely card with Kuruma announcing he’d only been grazed by the bullet. Botan was there and would have known if the injury was serious or a graze. I mean they are probably playing the distraught card, but she is a trained spy and there’s no way she freaked out that much and lost so much composure over a graze. And if the story wants me to believe she did then it is asking me to just accept that Botan is emotionally unsuited for her job.


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Meanwhile, what do the two CIA agents even do this episode? Sure we get this lovely repeated joke of both the CIA computer guy and the Japanese computer guy reaching the same conclusions after frantically typing gibberish into their devices which apparently allows them to analyse whatever the script says they need to even if there is no obvious connection between their device and what they are analysing.

Tesla Note Episode 7

Ultimately though, blonde CIA guy fights some robots and then his own boss who he avoided fighting last week. Then they give chase on a lifeboat but other than providing Botan a stepping stone they never get near the final battle. Their existence in this episode was pointless, which given it was their base the whole fight has gone down on seems fairly lame.

Back to Botan and Tesla Note manages to have her track the ones with the shards using a secret scent but then she lets them go because she has to stop the boat crashing into land. Why she can’t just let the rest of her team actually do something and stick to her goal doesn’t seem to be answered. Though given the rest of them were standing around confused because the controls were broken maybe Botan is right not to trust them.

Tesla Note Episode 7

Just one thing after another and after another, this episode of Tesla Note just feels like filler as the end result doesn’t really change from the end of last episode. Though one character might have died. Maybe. I’m still a little doubtful about that.

Even if he did die, it seems a pointless death knowing that if he’d not hung around for the group intro-session maybe he wouldn’t have had to go through that in the first place.

So all around, episode 7 of Tesla Note didn’t really impress. There’s nothing awful about it, its just that it doesn’t feel meaningful. It is more action for the sake of it and you are left wondering how much more interesting this could have been if any of these characters made sensible decisions.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 6 – For Spies and Agents These Guys Sure Let Their Emotions Get The Better Of Them

Tesla note Episode 6 Review

Tesla Note episode 6 replays the shot that takes out Kuruma at the end of episode 5 and then has a weird Mary Poppins style umbrella sequence that feels like maybe it belongs in an Inspector Gadget episode. Actually, let’s be honest, Tesla Note’s biggest problem is we have world-wide espionage with characters and plot who wouldn’t be out of place in a morning cartoon but it isn’t cute or fluffy enough to be a kid’s story and it isn’t solid or interesting enough to actually be for older viewers.

Leaving aside last week’s awful villain motive, this week has Botan literally fall apart as she deals with the fall out of Kuruma’s injury. She’s just screaming and uselessly holding him on the roof until the CIA guys get there and call in a helicopter.

Tesla Note Episode 6

Still not entirely sure how helicopter trip out to the ocean to get medical attention on a boat actually got accepted as a plan by the Japanese team… I mean, Botan wasn’t thinking at all so she definitely would have said yes, but there’s two other members of her team who aren’t new, aren’t teenagers, and probably should have some kind of standard procedure that doesn’t involve accepting help from an enemy organisation on their home turf.

Tesla Note could be a how not to spy manual.

As Botan continues to be miserable and lash out at her teammates we see a very brief scene of Kuruma’s medical procedure but then the rest of the episode of Tesla Note becomes another group (apparently A Small House) manipulating people on the boat for their own evil ends… Wow, I wish it was actually as interesting as it might have seemed on paper.

Tesla Note Episode 6

Anyway, I kind of found it weird when they were arriving on the boat that the glasses wearing CIA guy gave them like a full run-down of the ship’s specs including mentioning that all the crew use glasses to share video. It seemed like a weird fact to drop on people who were worried about a comrade bleeding to death. Obviously it was Tesla Note’s version of foreshadowing and at the very least this fact does become relevant but it all seems really unnecessary.

Like the fact that the CIA has a whole boat of medical staff all linked together with glasses and every single crew member seems to be wearing them and using the video feed exactly when the enemy decides to use this feature against them.



Outside of this, let’s look at the enemy Tesla Note delivers this week.

Sure the CIA are shady, but I can’t take blonde guy seriously as he explains traps left for the Japanese team in their room that include leaving them insufficient ice-cream to share. Plus he declares he won’t fight a woman, in response to fighting his own boss, but I really doubt he intends to ever seriously harm Botan. Steal from her yes, but not injure her.

Tesla Note Episode 6

Then we have A Small House. Who have infiltrated this boat in disguise but on first opportunity more or less strip it off and reveal their real faces, and in one case, their name to the enemy. Wouldn’t they be smarter to leave them guessing who was messing with them and took the shard?

Likewise, they first use their shard to mess with Botan and send her in to her team to go a bit nuts and to take the shard. Surely it would have been better to tell her to be sneaky (given she’s trained at infiltration) because then she could have just handed them the shard the next time she went to the bathroom.

And if you want the shard and have it, what is the point of hanging around as the various people fight one another?

Tesla Note Episode 6

Maybe we’ll get some kind of explanation from A Small House in the next episode of Tesla Note. Here however, the only joy is really to be found in the way Botan get’s brought back to her senses. That was actually kind of funny.

I’ve been pretty supporting of Tesla Note up until this episode because rough edges and all there’s a potentially decent story here, but time and again this anime just kind of misses the mark. While I still don’t think it is as bad as it score might indicate on MAL, it definitely isn’t something I’m going to recommend to others.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 5 – The Pursuit of the Divine (and Terrible Villain Motives)

Tesla Note Episode 5 Review

I’m not even going to discuss the visuals of Tesla Note anymore (at least until the final review). It’s ugly. Moving on.

Episode 5 of Tesla Note picks up right from episode 4 in the mafia mansion with the second-in-command going lightning happy as he declares himself a god. I’m not entirely sure that anyone is taking him really seriously even though he’s deflecting bullets because even as Botan leads his target out of the mansion she stops to confirm she was right about his motive all along.

Tesla Note Episode 5

And his motive is pretty lame considering the chaos he is causing and the fact that he feels he was given a divine power. Surely those with divine power should be doing more than just sticking it to their boss. Anyway, apparently he’s discontent because the gangster he’s idolised has become a business man and isn’t in to breaking arms anymore. It’s a little pathetic and honestly even if he killed everyone with the shard I’m still not sure what he would do next because he really doesn’t seem to have any kind of plan other than kiss his boss.

Tesla Note has really struggled with creating credible threats for our team to face off against.

Actually, the biggest threat in this episode is the CIA agents who are also still after the shard and aren’t against under-handed methods to get what they want. They talk down to the Japanese team and have even bugged them. In the usual we-know-but-you-don’t-know hijinks the Japanese team uses that against the CIA but honestly these two teams would probably accomplish a lot together and instead they do keep interfering with each other which is probably why the gangster had gotten away in the first place after the mansion.

Tesla Note Episode 5

For the Japanese team, or the amateur spies, you have to wonder at times if that is actually a pretty accurate description. Given Botan gets close enough to the perpetrator for him to stun her using a stun gun and then kidnaps her. That seems like a pretty rookie mistake. Follow that up with Kuruma chasing the car on foot which is just kind of silly. Tesla Note sometimes makes Botan and the team seem really competent and in the next breath they feel like they are just falling all over themselves.



Then again, the villain ties Botan up, engages in small talk with her even when it is clear she’s fishing for information and even feeds her sliced apple. It all seemed a bit weird. Particularly since Botan’s attempts to get him to talk were so incredible obvious.

Tesla Note Episode 5

However, by the end of this episode of Tesla Note, we’ve had a full on show-down on the top of a tower under construction involving a team of spies, two CIA agents, and a lightning wielding mad-man and it is hard to say that it disappointed.

Sure there’s some usual spy ridiculousness with characters wearing watches that apparently keep lightning away from them and that usual sequence where a sniper is set up to take a shot but then someone else jumps into the path of the bullet. But there’s also some great lightning strikes and some fun with moving around metal pipes and hurling them at people (and just how did the shard wielding villain miss when they are on top of a tower with limited dodging options).

Tesla Note Episode 5

The show-down is just kind of fun. All of our characters bring their best to the party and we wrap up the case of this particular shard by the end of episode 5.

Then of course Tesla Note has to give us a final cliff-hanging moment to lead us into episode 6. I’m not all that worried for the safety of these characters at this point given it seems they’ll always get a last minute save so I’m not really that concerned that I have to wait a week to find out what happens next. Still, as Tesla Note continues its story I do find there’s enough to appreciate here from the spy antics even if there’s quite a few things lacking in this anime.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 4 – The Mafia Eat Lightning

Tesla Note Episode 4 Review

You know, Tesla Note deserves more than its 3.79 score on MAL (as at the time of drafting this post). That isn’t to say Tesla Note is by any means good but all things considered it is coherent enough and interesting enough to at least warrant a 5 or 6. Sure it is a visual disaster but I’m coming to expect that each season as more and more anime go for heavy use of CGI and to be honest all the characters look creepy as.

Episode 4 picks up where episode 3 ended with a lightning bolt frying a guy in a car and the shadowy villains holding out the Tesla shard nicely so that the audience get a good look at its number. Yes, Tesla Note is returning us to spy-thriller mode this week and our little group of spies are heading to Chicago which of course means there’s a mafia war going on because why else would they go to Chicago (I apologise to everyone who lives in Chicago for that statement).

Tesla Note Episode 4

Tesla Note continues to charge forward though it is unclear if it knows where it is going.

On arrival in Chicago, our group decide the best course of action is to conspicuously sit in a diner across from the church where one of the mafia leaders is going to be and wait for him. It ends about as well as expected with the rival group shooting up the church and the spies getting targeted by pretty much everyone.

Tesla Note episode 4

However, don’t sweat the small details. Tesla Note really just wants to let Botan have an excuse to cut loose and she’s about to get it. After determining that now that they are under attack anything she does is self-defense, she charges into the fray with Kuruma ineffectually following behind her. For all that he’s the more experience on the team I’ve yet to actually see what he contributes other than occasionally stopping a pick-pocket.

Botan of course can outrun bullets fired by the mafia (either that or these guys all learned to shoot by watching storm troopers in Star Wars).

Tesla Note Episode 4

Things of course go very wrong and Botan probably should have been squished as the church starts coming down but the blonde guy who has been showing up periodically and interfering finally reveals himself…

As CIA.

I find it weird that in the midst of all these made up secret outfits and groups that the American guys are CIA. More than that, the entire exchange with the two CIA agents is weird because the blonde guy starts out with the usual confidence we’ve come to expect from the snippets of him only to have the rug pulled out from under him by his own partner agreeing that what he is saying makes no sense.

Tesla Note Episode 4

Sure it is an amusing bit I’m just not sure what it is doing here. It really did bring the pace of the episode to a screeching halt and felt more like an exchange one would expect in an episode of Gilmore Girls.

Of course, they do point out that Botan and team aren’t particularly effective (let’s look at their track record of recovering exactly zero shards). Though, was the dying Tesla really just calling every random organisation to his death bed to tell them to recover the shards? Was this all just some prank the dying guy was playing on the world’s powerful?

Then we all get moving again courtesy of both teams receiving the same intel on where the mafia war had moved to and we get a final showdown (kind of). The story doesn’t really resolve here as we’re kind of left hanging for next week.

Tesla Note episode 4

Honestly, Tesla Note isn’t very good but it also isn’t unwatchable and if the visuals had been better this one would be pretty average for the season. I do kind of like the spy antics even if they don’t always make sense and I’m pretty curious as to what is going to happen with all these shards once they find them (if they find them). So, for me, while Tesla Note isn’t going to win any prizes this season I’m going to keep watching for a bit more.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 3 – Understanding Dialects and Bullying the Bullies

Tesla Note Episode 3

You know that weird feeling you get when a serious drama television show suddenly throws in a musical episode? Or for whatever reason the comedy story suddenly decides to be serious? Tesla Note kind of gave me that feeling this week as we veered from spy caper into girl trying to defend other girl from bullies at school, and she just happens to be a spy.

Tesla Note Episode 3

Episode 3 of Tesla Note leaves me puzzling as to what sort of anime this really wants to be.

This episode begins with the team unpacking the failure of the mission in episode 2. There’s a brief spiel by Botan’s grandfather and then they more or less declare that the shard must have been stolen by One Small house (or A Small House or something like that), an organisation once mentioned to Botan’s grandfather by the dying Tesla himself, but they know nothing about the organisation at all including whether it exists.

Tesla Note Episode 3

All of this of course leaves me wondering just what proof they have that this group was responsible, other than they have no other leads. I mean it is convenient. I have no idea who stole this thing so I’m going to blame the super secret group that may not even exist. Then I don’t have to look for any further evidence.

It’s a little weird.


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Equally, Tesla Note seems to realise that here’s a major issue with their basic premise here and so we quickly skate over that and straight into the team living together where we suddenly learn that Kuruma and Ryuunosuke can’t stand each other and don’t talk outside of missions. It seems like a weird time to learnt this. Even weirder when you get to the end of the episode and realise the cause of this silliness that serves no practical purpose.

I mean, I guess it links Botan’s school drama to the relationship dynamic of the spy team through the shared confusion over different dialects and expressions but still…

Speaking of Botan’s school drama…

Tesla Note Episode 3

What every spy saving the world needs to do is finish high school. I mean priorities. The Tesla Shards could throw the world into chaos and Botan already has a profession before her but why let that get in the way of Japanese school uniforms and bullying tropes.

At least Botan herself wasn’t the one bullied but she quickly notices that a girl with an accent is getting extorted by others at her school and while she doesn’t speak up about it or draw attention to herself at school, our spy decides she needs to change things and so works on recruiting Kuruma and Ryuunosuke to assist in brining down the bully.

Which she does by taking incriminating photos of both the girl and her college aged boyfriend after breaking into their hotel room? I feel Botan is losing some of the moral high ground here.

It doesn’t help that Botan is so flustered after the boy’s towel slips that she almost gets beaten down by the civilian until Kuruma comes to her rescue. Tesla Note is struggling with Botan’s character wanting her to be strong and capable in some scenes but much like her freezing last week, she really does falter at odd moments and it just makes her character feel a little wishy-washy.

Tesla Note Episode 3

Anyway, it isn’t until after the resolution of the bullying, and the rift between the team members, and all the other bits and pieces that we actually get any thing to do with the shards. We see shard number five being used for nefarious purposes so I hope that means next episode we’re back to actual spy stuff.

Visually, it isn’t getting any easier to watch Tesla Note but at least it isn’t getting worse. But as always I’d love to know your thoughts on the episode so if you are still watching this anime be sure to let me know what you thought of the bullying case.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 2 – Spy vs Spy In A Hunt For Fantastic Crystals

Tesla Note Episode 2 Review

Part of me is a little saddened that Tesla Note is as horrifically animated as it is. There’s a scene here in episode 2 where a boy is running away from our two young spies and there’s no tension in the scene because you are too distracted by the hilarity of the movement to really stay in the moment. There’s also a scene where the camera does a slow pan around our protagonist as she prepares to dive off a hill onto a moving train and if this were a video game sequence from the late 90’s it would be gorgeous but for an anime it is just… well not exactly visually up to standard.

Tesla Note Episode 2

Even for someone like me who usually just ignores poor animation provided the story is good enough, Tesla Note continues to dance on the limits of my tolerance. Honestly, I hate looking at it. And yet, underneath all of that we’re actually building a fun little action/spy story and so far I’m interested enough in the whole Tesla Shard thing that I want to keep watching.

What Tesla Note misses in visuals it makes up for in decent enough plotting.

Tesla Note Episode 2

Episode 1 introduced us to the idea that at least one of the Tesla Shards could move objects through space. We had a train being dropped into a street as well as other vehicles suddenly appearing where they weren’t supposed to. Outside of the carnage caused on landing, those inside the vehicles were killed (somewhat horrifically) so stopping this seemed like a good plan.

We pick up in episode 2 with a mission briefing. Turns out Botan’s grandfather is a big-wig in the spy organisation, which makes sense, and he drops some exposition on us about an experiment with a battleship before they more or less conclude they really have to get this shard.



Fortunately their one clue, a boy spotted in images at all the scenes, turns out to be the lead they need. Happens a lot in these kinds of stories.

They also conclude, seemingly randomly, that the common denominator in the transported vehicles was that they were a certain distance from the shard and were travelling at 160km when they were effected.

We also realise they aren’t the only secret agents keeping an eye on the boy and his father.

Tesla Note Episode 2

You would think retrieving a shard from a boy and his drunken father would be pretty easy, however Botan doesn’t want to steal it. More than that, the family are being threatened by debt collectors, because apparently we needed some family drama in this plot. Botan and Kuruma organise to buy the shard, turn up with the money, only to discover the boy has run off with the shard because he wants to show it to his mother’s grave.

This injects a bit of artificial tension into Tesla Note as the boy is planning on riding an express train which will exceed the 160km speed and that will most definitely lead to the boy’s (and everyone else on board the train’s) death.

Tesla Note Episode 2

To cut it all short we get an action set-piece where Kuruma and the father deal with the debt collectors while Botan deals with the train situation. There’s a bit of character work with Botan as she starts to freeze before her jump but a few words from Kuruma and she’s back to being all business. After the dramatic ‘rescue’ there’s one more reveal before the episode ends.

For a spy story Tesla Note has all the right ingredients and just enough action to keep things interesting. The chemistry between Kuruma and Botan is slowly improving even if I’m not really sold on either one of them individually. I’m still not sure what Kyouhei’s role is and Ryuunosuke continues just to be devoid of personality but provides the information the spies need to do their jobs.

Honestly though, I am enjoying the plot. I just wish it looked better.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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Tesla Note Episode 1 – Potentially Interesting Story Burdened By Repulsive CG

Tesla episode 1

Here’s one of those moments where I just wish that somewhere along the line a different decision had been made. In Tesla Note’s case, let’s not make it CG and give this story half a chance of gaining the following it really should have. Because to be honest, the characters here are creepier than the flapping goldfish models from the Duke of Death and the overall animation is just hideous to watch.

Tesla Note Episode 1

Throw in a character who has the same fashion sense as characters from as a character from Hamatora and honestly you have a visual mess of an anime which for a lot of viewers will be an instant deal breaker. I’m not surprised by the low score this one has already picked up on MAL.

Is it worth sticking around for Tesla Note?

If I ignore the visual disaster that is Tesla Note, I’m actually going to say that this anime series has quite a bit of potential. The basic set-up for the story is quite intriguing and I was getting a similar vibe to something like Warehouse 13 crossed with James Bond. Of course, ignoring the visual disaster is a little easier said than done.


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In this first episode we are introduced to Botan who is a descendent of ninjas and has been trained by her grandfather to save the world. She’s recruited for Mission T and told she’s going to save the world and then she meets her partner, Kuruma.

Tesla Note Episode 1

I’m really hoping Kuruma gets some serious character growth because this episode he comes off as really obnoxious. While I get he didn’t appreciate being partnered with a high school girl he more or less demonstrates a complete lack of ability in this episode and leaves you wondering why he’s even been recruited when it more or less seems like Botan could take care of most of this on her own.

Tesla Note Episode 1

That said, there’s the possibility of these two personalities actually blending nicely once they find their rhythm and Tesla Note seems to be working toward building up a team dynamic rather than letting this be a one man (or one woman) show.

Botan so far has proven entertaining enough. I loved that when she was using her binoculars she was focusing in on various clothes and foods rather than using them for any real secret spy stuff, but when it came to the mission she was all business. Her giddy response to being recruited contrasts nicely with the real effort and focus she puts in to the job. I also loved her sass in taking Kuruma down a few pegs on more than one occasion.

Tesla Note Episode 1

The rest of the team so far consists of Kyouhei, who seems to be the leader but no clue what his role in the team is, and Ryuunosuke, who is all about data and analysis.

As for what they are up against, this first episode gives us trains, cars and trucks getting warped from one place to another, causing massive damage on impact and killing pretty much everyone inside, potentially because of something known as a Shard of Tesla. Basically, collect all the shards and stop whoever is using them to cause mayhem.

Honestly, as ugly as Tesla Note has so far been I really like the story being set up here and this is definitely a plot I’m interested in seeing explored. Whether you can get past the CG or not is entirely up to each viewer and whether Tesla Note actually delivers on the potential of this plot will remain to be seen but I’m actually kind of hopeful. That doesn’t mean my hopes won’t be dashed but I’m definitely going to see where this one goes.

Images from: Tesla Note. Dir. M Fukuda. Gambit. 2021


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The Friend Of My Enemy Is… Maybe A Useful Information Source

The Promised Neverland post title image

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Review

These kids are going to have a serious problem ever trusting anything anyone says if they actually live long enough to grow up. Ray admits he’s been lying and spying for many a year but it was in order to ensure Emma and Norman’s survival. Whether that’s true or just a great line he came up with on the spot is hard to figure out. Then again Norman has proven already he is well and capable of lying when the occasion calls for it.

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Ray Laughing

With Ray laying down an ultimatum in exchange for helping with the escape if might seem like Norman is just going to have to give in. However, where would the fun be if we believed it would be that easy. More importantly, Emma isn’t likely to allow things to go as either Ray or Norman are planning.

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Norman

I do have to mention that Ray’s facial expressions were a little over the top, almost Sister Krone level silly during some of this exchange. For an anime that usually does a superb job on atmosphere I found this a little off putting as it made it harder to take the conversation seriously.

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Ray
Not sure what this facial expression is supposed to convey but it made me laugh.

Still, with that reveal and conversation out of the way it is now time for Don and Gilda to show off why bringing more kids into the fold was a bad idea. While Emma, Ray and Norman are all relatively restrained in their actions as they all fully understand the stakes, Gilda is quite obviously timid by nature though managed to pull through last week. The bigger issue is Don who the whole way through the series has been portrayed as impulsive and not a deep thinker. It sets the scene for some disastrous decision making though whether things will end badly of whether we are getting another false alarm I guess we’ll find out next week.

The Promised Neverland Episode 5 Emma

A little of the shine of this series is wearing off as it progresses but I’m still really enjoying it. Given the progress I finally read the first volume of the manga and absolutely loved it. It filled in a few details that were skipped over by the anime and I’ll have to write a review of it soon. Regardless of how the anime goes I’ll probably end up reading the manga because it was great fun.

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The Promised Neverland, Vol. 2
The Promised Neverland, Vol. 2

The Best Way To Catch A Liar…

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The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Review

There’s a definite sense of menace in some of the scenes from The Promised Neverland this week. Isabella confronting Krone is an icy exchange made even more chilling by the incredibly calm way Isabella speaks. Ray and Norman’s exchanges get increasingly more volatile as the episode progresses and nearly come to a head after Norman lies to Gilda and Don about the fate of poor Conny. However, they save the real bombshell for the final moments of the episode and in case you’ve managed to avoid being spoiled already I’ll leave that right there.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Mother and Sister Krone

Treachery is a real theme with Krone setting out not just to betray Isabella but to thoroughly take her down. The only real problem is that Krone is so transparent that Isabella’s seen straight through her and Krone’s only real piece in the game cuts her free during the episode. It makes you wonder whether Krone will manage to be a wild card that Norman can’t predict given she’s the only one likely to act erratically in this three way stand off.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Don

Meanwhile, Emma lies to Gilda and Don, and she does so before Norman does. While I understand that human trafficking is probably an easier story to swallow than demons eating children it still must have hurt her to deceive them. Even more so when asked point blank about Conny and Norman ended up leaving that answer ambiguous rather than clearly stating what the audience has known from the end of episode one.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Ray

However, while there are plots bubbling away here and the interactions between the characters become even more driven leading us toward the inevitable escape attempt, I can’t help but feel like some of the tension was gone in this episode and that the atmosphere wasn’t laying as thickly. It took a second viewing to really figure out why and it is the stark absence of interesting shot types this week. Gone are the clocks that dominated episode one (though we do still get the occasional clock sequence as they check a watch or similar), and a lot of the interesting camera angle and other direction choices that have really set a tone of unease were absent this week. There’s some great character blocking to be sure, but while that establishes personalities it isn’t driving the atmosphere of the story.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Ray, Emma and Norman

Ultimately it is a mild complaint about an anime that continues to be entertaining and leaves me wanting more, but if this diminished development of atmosphere continues The Promised Neverland is going to have to be carried by just its cast and the events in each episode. While these are good enough, it isn’t going to make this a must watch so I’m hopeful we see this aspect of it stepping back up next week.

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THE PROMISED NEVERLAND PLUSH: LITTLE BERNIE
	THE PROMISED NEVERLAND PLUSH: LITTLE BERNIE