Meiji Tokyo Renka Series Review

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 2

Another reverse harem time travelling heroine story.

Reverse harem anime are becoming a fair staple of the seasonal line up with a handful of them coming out each year and the time-travelling heroine is starting to be a recurring theme. Meiji Tokyo Renka doesn’t bring a single new idea to the table as we have our standard heroine (meaning one with little personality outside of wanting to help all the guys she meets) getting transported back to the Meiji Era and each of the guys is more or less standard fair.

That doesn’t make this anime necessarily bad, and those who followed my conversations with Arthifis around this will know that we both kind of found it charming and fun, but if you are looking at the vast sea of anime, this one is certainly not a must watch or even one that needs to work its way to the top of your list anytime soon.

For me, I really liked the parts of this anime that dealt with Mei’s gift and the spirits she encountered. It had a kind of spirit of the week feel early on and some episodes threw in a bit of Ghost Whisperer flavour. These supernatural elements did help set Mei a little bit apart from previous heroines, gave the boys genuine problems they could not have overcome without Mei’s assistance, and were also just charming enough stories in their own right.

However, the bits in-between these charming ghost stories were largely filled with the usual kind of fluff of eating, encountering issues with the new time-period, or were tied up with Ougai Mori and Shunzou Hishida who were the two main male characters that Mei interacted with given she was living with them (yeah, we had the wonderful moment where Ougai just declared Mei his finace and they never really do clarify that).

None of these interludes are particularly bad. Some are amusing, some help us learn a bit more about one character or another. No the issue is mostly they are forgettable and even now only a few months later I’m struggling to remember even the names of the other characters or anything particularly noteworthy about the series.

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Visually it is largely unimpressive. Hardly a train wreck or an eye-sore but it just isn’t worth discussing. The opening song is suitable boppy and entertaining (actually almost addictively so) but the overall soundtrack is again, nothing special. That includes Mei’s song about electricity that she spontaneously breaks into during one of the episodes in the later part of the season.

I’m just warning you – it is pretty funny but also pretty tragic.

The ending is also largely unsatisfying given the final decisions made by Mei seem incredibly out of character and without purpose and the story doesn’t give any time to justify these.

Basically this anime functions and has potential. The characters are largely fun and cute and each of the events that occur along the way are fun enough, but as an overall package this one sits decidedly on the average side of things. While I don’t regret watching it I’m definitely looking back now and feeling that this series was just kind of filler in between other shows and while there was potential for Meiji Tokyo Renka it never really did much with it.

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Karandi James
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Friendly Talks With Arthifis – Meiji Tokyo Renka Episodes 5 – 9

Meiji Tokyo Renka post title

We’re back and this time Arthifis and I are discussing the mid-season of Meiji Tokyo Renka and we have been having a great time with this one. If you hop on over to the Anime Shelter you will find our thoughts on The Rising of the Shield Hero. Anyway, I’ll be in red and Arthifis will be in blue. Hopefully you enjoy our chat and if you’ve been following the show let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 5

Welcome Arthifis, it is good to see you again. Glad we’re back discussing this anime. It has been a little bit surprising. Have you enjoyed it so far?

Hey there Karandi! Likewise! 🙂 Yeah, I’ve been really enjoying it, probably Meiji Tokyo Renka will be the most underrated Anime of the season if this continues like this. What about you?

I’ve really been enjoying it, though probably because I went in with fairly low expectations given the genre. That said, I think the most underrated anime this season is probably My Roommate is a Cat. That has been consistently adorable. However, this one is certainly being overlooked by the larger community with very few reviews of it to be found each week. Which is a shame, because it is just kind of fun.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

Oh yeah! Completely forgot about My Roommate is a cat for a second. To be honest, the winter season this year is full of surprises! Hopefully, posts like these will bring awareness to how good Meiji Tokyo Renka is 😀

Well, last time we both seemed to be enjoying Mei as a character and I must say she’s continued to really grow on me over the mid-season. Though I have a few questions about her singing about electricity. How have you found her?

Are you kidding? XD The electricity is just the best… Im not sure how is that not a meme yet hahaha

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 6

Yeah, I can definitely see that being a meme or worse, an endless repeated loop on a YouTube video. I’m just going to close my eyes and pretend I didn’t see it.

hahaha yeah, the singing was not really that great, and the music was terrible. But, I think that was the idea. Bu well, I’m still enjoying Mei as a character and I think she is strong enough to lead Meiji Tokyo Renka.

She is interesting, funny and kind, so she has been a very good character to follow. However, I do have some small problem with her which is how oblivious can she get. I mean, I know she is a teenager from the future, but how does she not know what is a Geisha or a Geisha house? That just seems quite a reach to me… But, more than that, she is more than ok. How about you?

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I think I like her because she seems a bit more active in directing events than other similar protagonists who feel like they get dragged along. Sure she got sent to the past without really being involved but since then she’s made plenty of decisions and seems to have a clear idea of what she wants to do. I really like seeing the guys getting dragged in her wake sometimes and find her just a lot of fun.

You are right about her being just a little on the dense side though. She’ll know about some author or novel but then not know something blindingly obvious. It is a little hit and miss sometimes. Also she’s incredibly oblivious about how Ougai feels about her which seems insane given how open he’s been about declaring her his finace.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Yeah, you are right about making her own decisions! In fact, one thing I wanted to comment is how she is always defying the guys around her and will do what she thinks best. She will turn down any guy (who is not Ougai) and even when it comes to Ougai, she will do what she things instead of just following his lead. It makes me remember Ouran High School main character a little bit.

Regarding she being oblivious towards Ougai, well she ends up to understand when he is completely faceforward with her in the geisha house. But, it is true that when it comes to any other guy, she is completely naive and does not get that everyone is getting in love with her. Though I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised how Mei started liking Ougai and will not budge from that feeling, which just makes it feel like more of a romance than a reverse harem.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 8

I have to agree. It is nice to see her clearly make a choice with her feelings and so early in the series. You would think given he likes her and she’s infatuated with him they could just get together, but clearly we’re going to have to deal with his issues in the next couple of episodes before that can happen. Still, it kind of puts all the other guys on the shelf which is probably a good thing given I think I remember like two of their names without looking them up at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, they are all fun enough characters. I just can’t really remember them after their time on screen. I think Shunsou (probably spelt that totally wrong) is about the only one who has left much of an impression and that’s only because they use the excuse of looking for his cat to get into almost every other situation.

Meiji Tokyo Renka

I get you! Is not that the characters are not interesting or funny, it’s just that they only appear here and there, making it difficult to remember the name! >.< But, they all did make an impression on me, good or bad 😛

When it comes to Shunsou, well he is always there, he may even appear more times than Ougai at this point, so it makes sense that we remember is name hahaha

On that note, who is your least favourite character so far?

That’s a difficult question 😛 I’ll put Ougai aside just because, well it would be unfair to the others haha. (let me just search the name really quick) Well my favourite is a tie between Kyouka Izumi and Orojirou Kawakami (geisha version) XP What about you?

My favourite is probably Kyouka (if we put Ougai to the side). But I think my least favourite has to go to Fujita. He seemed like he would be a really interesting character, though a little bit intense. And then episode 8 happened and we got a tiny bit of his story and he was just kind of nothing. I kind of feel like his character didn’t go anywhere.

Yeah, Fujita is also my least favourite… Though the guy who is always speaking English can also be pretty annoying…

But well, what about the story? One of the things you commented in the last time was that you were afraid that the story would just throw Mei’s capabilities through the window at some point and just go for a generic reverse harem… What do you think now?

I am actually pretty impressed how they’ve managed to keep Mei’s abilities as part of the story and used it quite a number of times as the central focus (even more so than the guys). I also really like that they haven’t forgotten about the time travel aspect and I definitely want to ask your opinion about episode 9 in a moment, but one thing at a time.

The episode with the spirit in the lake was fantastic and I really loved how Mei ended up intervening in that story and saving the day, even if she then needed saving from drowning (Ougai comes in handy occasionally). But pretty much all the stories with the spirits or ghosts in them have been entertaining. I wonder if she’ll ever find the cat though.

Yeah, I also feel they did a good job. It’s true that we have an “arc” where she spends 3 days inside that geisha house being hit every second to learn etiquette, but those episodes were so funny that I don’t mind at all xD

When it comes to the episode of the lake, I’m with you! To be honest, when it comes to ghosts she moves and reacts a little bit like Natsume 🙂 Even against everyone’s advice she will always try to defend the spirit in some sort of way.

I also have to say that it was a pretty interesting ride. Since Kyouka also has the power to see ghosts, a character from his writing was able to come out of the story and become a spirit… It’s actually a pretty interesting idea, but I would hate to be in Kyouka’s shoes… I mean, everytime you want to write you need to make sure you don’t create something too violent xD

But, what did you want to ask from episode 9?

Charlie? What do you make of him? I mean he sends Mei back to the past and then tells her he can send her back at the next full moon. And now she says she doesn’t want to go and he’s like ‘no problem’. Do you think he’s up to something or do you think he genuinely just wants her to stay where she’s happy?

I also felt that scene a little off. In fact I just thought to myself, really? That easy huh?

Well, to be honest, I believe she will have to go back in the full moon. If you remember Charlie was not really happy when he heard the news. He seemed just concerned and wished that she had said something sooner, so I’m pretty sure she won’t be able to stay in the Meiji Era that easy.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 9

I don’t think that Charlie is plotting anything though, Meiji Tokyo Renka just does not seem an Anime to go to that route. If it went, it would be a very unexpected turn to me xD What about you, what do you make of this Charlie?

Honestly, I think he’s up to something. I don’t think it was an accident he sent her back in the first place, as much as he ‘acted’ surprised. I think he genuinely wanted her to do something in the Meiji era and I’m not so sure if he wants her to stay. Then again, maybe I’m just starved of a decent anime villain at the moment and looking for villainous characters where none exist. I mean, other than Fujita, there’s no antagonist in this story at all and it is more just Mei dealing with various situations.

Not that lacking a villain is a bad thing. The story is really fun without it. But I just keep thinking Charlie must be up to something. So I was kind of hoping that maybe he’d reveal his true colours in the final few episodes. Though, we do have Ougai’s story to deal with so maybe there’s no time left for a surprise bad guy.

Is there anything else you want to discuss from these episodes?

Yeah, I think this last few episodes will be about Ougai and that female ghost… But, I get what you are saying! But, after watching The Rising of The Shield Hero, it’s more than ok to not have annoying characters who want makes me want to push the screen xD

But, anyways, I do believe you may be right. It seems not, but the electricity song you were talking earlier made the course of the past to change. Everyone only got on-board after her song, so maybe if she was not there we would have a future Japan lighless? We will never know! (Though I do have to say that was one of the most random Anime episodes I’ve seen in awhile)

So, yeah, my last question would be, what do you think about Mei having such impact in huge events of the past? I know that the show is not that deep, but she is changing the course of the Japanese history at this point!

I kind of felt it was reasonably expected given she seemed to recognise all the guys she was meeting (I assume they are reasonably famous in Japan and I haven’t looked them up yet but I’m sure when I do they’ll be very important). So I kind of figured her presence was there to either witness changes to history or be the cause of it.

Then again, I’m not expecting the anime to really get into the ramifications of that change. As you said, it just isn’t that deep.

Though, I agree, that was a really random episode. What was with the camel?

I laughed so hard in that part hahaha But then, one moment to another everything is completely fine because of Charlie’s magic lolol What the hell, it was really strange!

Well, considering this was kind of a random pick for covering this season, I’ve really had a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends. Are we ready to head over to the shelter to tackle the other title on our review list?

That makes 2 of us! I’m also really interested in watching what is going to happen next, at this point I’m not sure if it’s gonna be a “and they lived happily ever after” kind of thing, so I’m intigued! 🙂

Yeah, let’s go eheh! Time to tackle The Rising of The Shield Hero!

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DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA – YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)
DANCE IN THE LIGHT (MEIJI TOKYO RENKA - YUMIHARI NO SERENADE THEME SONG)

Erased Series Review: Weak Mystery, Great Character Drama

Erased Title Image

This is part of a series of re-posts of older reviews on 100 Word Anime. The original review came out in August 2016 and can be found here.

I first watched Erased when it aired and it was an anime everyone was talking about. Being apart of the conversation was fantastic particularly as it was a bit of a mystery so we all got to sit around on social media speculating about where it was going. That said, there was a lot of hype going on at the time and there was also a wave of enthusiasm around it. 

Going to be honest, I loved this anime then and I still really like it now. But it was an anime that benefited from going in cold, having to wait each week and being able to mull over what you’d learned and where it might be going and to engage in those conversations, and it also just benefited from the community behind it. In the absence of those things, Erased ends up being good enough, and still tells a fairly good story with interesting characters, but a lot of the ‘magic’ is kind of gone. The live action series is fairly solid as well though if you’d like to try the story again but a little bit differently (apparently it follows the manga closer or something like that).

Live Action - Erased

Though, it is a mystery anime which makes any kind of review hard. Particularly a re-visited review. There’s only so much you can say without giving the game away, particularly in a mystery like this one where it already seems pretty easy to figure out where things are going. Ultimately, mystery is a poor label to give this one. While technically the main character is playing ‘Whodunit’ the audience can figure it out far too easily and while the reveal is still very worth the price of admission, if that was all there was to Erased it would be a fairly easy to dismiss.

Erased

The plot however works well. The tie-in of the mystery with Satoru’s ability of revival is well managed and while they don’t explain the phenomenon, it almost doesn’t need to be. It is established that he can and does jump back in time and they use it appropriately as a vehicle to keep the story moving. Any explanation would have been pretty silly anyway so passing on that and just letting it go was actually the better option. And it does allow for a compelling story with a villain returning after a considerable length of time and seeing adult and child Satoru attempt to overcome his schemes with limited knowledge and at first few allies.

I’m not changing this next paragraph because I stand by it entirely from the original review.

“With Erased, it is the characters who sell the show. And even then you couldn’t point to anyone character and say that character is amazing. A lot of people liked Satoru’s mum but I found her one of the least interesting characters because she really didn’t seem like a realistic mother and was more a plot device that existed only to Satoru the advice he needed when he needed it, cause him distress with her death in the original timeline, and filled in any parts of the plot that you really couldn’t expect a child to succeed at overcoming. The friends Satoru has as a child are also a little off and at times serve no purpose. The first potential child victim is interesting but not overly believable as a character. However all of these characters complement each other perfectly and create a show that has a lot of heart and at times emotional depth. Even if they don’t shut up and like to endlessly articulate things that really don’t need to be said.”

Erased

Erased is a fun story. It isn’t an edge of your seat thriller but it will get you caught up in the mystery even after you figure it out and the characters will warm your heart. The OP is amazing so be sure to listen to it, and some of the visuals are really beautiful. Ultimately, Erased is an anime where lots of small details and moments add up to something that feels great to watch even though there are some issues with pacing, the ability to believe the plot, and the overall mystery falls a little short. Still, two years on I would still firmly recommend this anime for those who have never seen it.

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Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Yona [w/ DVD, Limited Pressing]
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Steins;Gate 0 Series Review: Here We Go Again, Again

Right from episode one of Steins;Gate 0 I kind of sat on the fence about whether or not I was on board with this most recent addition to the Steins;Gate anime world. Overall it was an up and down experience but now we come to the final review and I have to figure out exactly how I feel about this show.

Review:

Steins;Gate 0 takes on the task of exploring an alternative time-line, one in which Mayuri lets Okabe stop trying to save Kurisu and as such we see an Okabe Rintaro we have never seen before. This is an Okabe who has given up his delusions, his manic laughter, and even the white lab coat because he’s just a student suffering from some severe depression with a huge fear that something will happen to destroy the peace he sacrificed so much to achieve. But things are never that easy (that was easy) and soon Okabe is going to be plunged back into conspiracies and time travel intrigues whether he wants to be or not.

We also have the involvement of America and Russia, the need to stop World War 3, and an AI based on Kurisu who may or may not be a real character but ultimately is fairy unexplored compared with what they could have done.

Steins3d

I will admit, the idea of seeing Okabe as a more ‘normal’ person and seeing him dealing with the fallout of failure is an interesting concept. The problem is how this impacts on the overall tone of the show. It isn’t just Okabe who lacks energy and charisma. The entire cast takes a hit and the beloved chemistry and rapid fire dialogue that permeated the original Steins;Gate anime is gone for the vast majority of 0’s run-time. This could have worked if they’d spurred Okabe into action earlier after giving us a taste of this alternative version of him but it went on for so long and even after he’d been given every reason to get back to time travel he continued to dig in his heels and refuse. While this is believable as a human to not want to change a hard made decision, it doesn’t make for overly compelling viewing.

That said, it isn’t as though this season is devoid of good moments. We get some fantastic moments between Mayuri and Okabe. Mayuri was a fairly underused character in the original as she ended up more of a plot device than anything else and in Steins;Gate 0 she becomes the driving force for a lot of the action. She fully understands that it is her fault Okabe has essentially lost sight of who he was and while she isn’t planning on abandoning him anytime soon, she very much wants to bring Hououin Kyouma back to life and she’s happy to break time and space to do it.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 17 - Mayuri

We also get a great episode where Okabe for whatever reason ends up in an alternative time line where Kurisu is still alive and essentially she gives him a pep talk before sending him back. This was one of the few moments in the first half of the show where we see the rapid fire dialogue and chemistry that is sorely missing from so much of this anime. Not to mention it is Kurisu and Okabe together again in a way that just makes you realise how lacking Amadeus, the AI based on Kurisu, is as a substitute.

I’ll also say that from episode 20 to 23 we get a fairly solid run to a conclusion and these episodes are actually very entertaining. Part of me almost wishes they’d done this series in 12 episodes and condensed everything before episode 20 into 8 episodes and then maybe it wouldn’t have felt so bloated and it could have been a tight series keeping us on our toes. It is very rare for me to wish less episodes on an anime but I really feel content-wise this anime just didn’t have enough for its run time.

Steins11a

And that brings us to some of the real issues I was having, other than just not enjoying the characters very much this time around. The question of should we or shouldn’t we mess with time lacks weight here because we’ve already had it explored. We get that Okabe is scarred but his arguments for not building and using the machine are weak and ultimately we know he’s going to have to. With this central premise more or less dead in the water, there are other avenues the anime could explore but ultimately not a lot came of them.

For instance, episode 12 spends a great deal of time constructing a bootstrap paradox. One of the characters from the future (travelled with Suzuha) is singing a song that she heard from someone and they try to track down the song’s origins. We go around in circles before realising that Okabe taught it to the others but he heard it from the girl when she’d travelled back in time and so the question remained where did the song come from. It was an entire episode to set up a paradox that ultimately served zero purpose. And while it still could have been fun given time travel shows inherently do have paradoxes in them and this one seemed to plunge us into it just for the fun of it, ultimately it just felt like more clutter and distraction from where we knew the story would have to go.

Steins2c

The AI is perhaps the part that suffers the worst from this. There are so many ideas and questions that could have been explored with Amadeus. And while the anime certainly walks around the edges of whether or not the AI is a person given it has the same thoughts and memories as a person, very little is done with this. Nor do they open up obvious questions such as how this will change people if we could in fact copy our thoughts and memories into a program. Or what it could be used for. Or even the ethics of erasing it. While we get an emotional sequence where all the characters kind of say goodbye, the anime isn’t really interested in asking whether or not this could be considered murder if we could consider the AI a character. I’d have loved for them to do more with this.

There are also a whole bunch of characters who ultimately just don’t serve much purpose here and lots of red-herrings just because.

Steins;Gate Episode 22 - Daru and Miho

Steins;Gate 0 did introduce us to Maho though and while at first I wasn’t really sold on her character she actually did a good job integrating with the core cast by the end. At the very least she served a fairly valuable plot point and her interactions with Daru and Okabe were pretty good by the end.

And while we’re on that point, Daru certainly came out of Steins;Gate 0 leaving a better impression than the original. So in terms of fleshing out Daru and Mayuri, this spin off really succeeded.

Steins23d

Ultimately that is what will determine your overall enjoyment of this show. If just seeing more of these characters is enough and those few glimpses of development are sufficient to make you happy, here are 23 episodes for you to sink your teeth into. However, in terms of giving a great story, Steins;Gate 0 relies to much on nostalgia for these characters and it stretches things out and has too much that feels like filler to really be something amazing. I’m not unhappy that I watched this but it isn’t exactly blowing me away.

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Steins Gate 0 Soundtrack

The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Series Review: Inept Isekai Harem Story

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 10

I wasn’t planning on watching this show this season but with an incredibly small watch list and some small number of factors introduced early on in the show that might have developed into something interesting, I ended up sticking with The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar. I probably regret that decision now but let’s get into the review.

Review:

There has been a very low bar set for isekai stories, particularly isekai harem stories. And that bar for the most part works in the genres favour because people expecting some deep and intellectual story don’t bother at all and those who are just wanting something to casually watch and maybe be entertaining are happy enough to jump on board and hand wave the occasional clunky bit of exposition, slight character breaking moments and definitely dismiss plot armour as just a staple of the genre. That isn’t to say there aren’t some great isekai stories out there and that harem stories can’t be well told, but the majority of the genre should definitely be taken into account.

Yet, even by those dangerously low standards, I would find it incredibly hard to recommend The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser or Einherjar. The sheer number of things this anime does to shoot itself in the foot along the way is nearly mind-boggling and that is before you get to a final episode that just left me shaking my head and wondering why on earth I’d just given the show three months of my life in episodic reviews. This story of boy from the modern world travelling with smartphone to the past and somehow becoming the biggest thing ever is hardly original but that wouldn’t be a problem if it managed to be competent.

Ragnarok6e

That isn’t to say there is nothing good about the show. I did in fact watch it every week for three months so there was clearly something about the anime that caught my eye and kept my attention even as  I dropped the likes of Holmes of Kyoto. So we’ll start with some positives before I tear this less-than-middling story apart.

One thing  I did enjoy initially about this anime is that it didn’t start the story with Yuuto arriving in the past/other world (it is very unclear if he is on Earth even though he thinks he is – the people with seemingly magic powers kind of makes it hard to swallow). The story begins after he’s already been in the past for a number of years and has already risen to the head of the Wolf Clan. This by itself made the story stand out from so many others in this genre because we didn’t get the standard five to ten minutes of his everyday life before the confusion of landing in another world and befriending the cute girl. Nope, he was already there and established with the many cute girls by his side. The novelty of that, and the fact that it allowed this story to get straight into the fights between clans, gave it a little bit of a lift.

Ragnarok3b

I also liked that despite Yuuto being a complete push over to pretty much every female character, he did insist on the no marriage thing because he had someone he loved waiting for him in the present. He stood by this right until the end and I kind of respected that because at least we didn’t have another harem protagonist who couldn’t make a choice. He’d made his choice but just couldn’t really act on it because she wasn’t in the same time/world as him and all he could do was talk to her on the phone.

Finally, I actually liked that Yuuto did draw on real tactics (researched on his smartphone of course) and used these in the various battles he fought. I also liked that he seemed to be making a genuine effort to lead his clan into a more economically stable position. These ideas if properly fleshed out could have more than carried the show as maybe something of a mix between the likes of Lord Marksman and Vanadis and Maoyu. Tragically these were decidedly tagged on ideas that kind of got thrown at the audience one minute and promptly forgotten the next.  On that note, go watch either Lord Marksman or Maoyu instead, either one is far superior to anything you’ll find here and you’ll even get a decent amount of good looking anime girls wearing skimpy outfits in Lord Marksman if that is what floats your boat.

Master of Ragnarok Episode 5

However, these positives are not enough to offset a lot of the issues this anime has. The first I’ve already touched on and that is that the anime introduces ideas but does nothing with them or at least doesn’t give them enough time to develop. We don’t know why Yuuto went to the past (other than magic mirror and summoning) and we don’t know how his smartphone manages to work (I can’t even get internet access in my backyard so I’d love to know how his phone actually works across time and space). They introduce economic reforms, agriculture reforms, new technologies and none of these are given any real weight other than isn’t Yuuto awesome. We have an episode that for some reason focuses on school bullying but is resolved with shockingly little care for the lingering impacts of bullying. And finally we have an ongoing war with some conspiracies by the church and ultimately this goes absolutely nowhere. You won’t ever see the guy who originally gets the Lightning Clan to attack the Wolf Clan ever again. No one will mention it and nothing will be resolved.

So if they aren’t developing any of this what are they doing in this anime? Poorly animated fight sequences would be one answer. While I won’t say they are dreadful, they aren’t exactly impressive. Then on the other side of that we spend a lot of time with the girls in bathtubs, hot springs, and generally just trying to get as close to Yuuto as possible. Keep in mind the girls are quite aggressive in their affections and it is set up on a number of occasions where it seems clear that Yuuto has been assaulted off-screen by his harem on mass despite his protests. It isn’t exactly comfortable viewing if you try and insert any kind of moral reality into the viewing experience (then again that probably isn’t the best mindset to watch any harem with, but I can’t help but think how unforgivable such a scene would be if a male harem pounced on a protesting female – and what makes it unpalatable for me at least was somehow this was supposed to be amusing).

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 6

Also, the sheer lack of explanations about the runes and powers some of the characters have is frustrating. It is like the world we’re in is never fleshed out and we still don’t understand it even as the season ends. There are more questions then answers but the desire to ever see more of this is pretty minimal (so if they were aiming for a sequel please just say no).

However, the worst is the final episode where mid-episode they seem to legitimately just toss their own plot to the side and meander on with some rubbish before throwing a parade celebrating Yuuto. There is legitimately no explanation for what happened to the armies and the whole conflict that was going on. Just throw a parade, have a kind of wedding and hope no one notices that all the conflict that had been set up just kind of vanished for no good reason. This was a truly frustrating way for the show to end.

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I very rarely insist that my opinion is correct about a show and normally I believe that there is an audience somewhere who will appreciate what an anime has to offer, but in this case I’m simply going to tell you that this one is not worth your time even if you are mad keen on harem stories in isekai settings. There are simply so many anime that do similar things but so much better that there is no reason to watch this one.

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Steins;Gate 0 Episode 23: The End and The Beginning

One final attempt at sending Mayuri and Suzuha into the past to change everything (or rather get Okabe back into trying to save Kurisu which the audience already knows happens so I’m not entirely sure if there was any point to this or not) and then we have a few loose ends to tie up but otherwise we’re done. Okay, there’s still an OVA to go so I guess there’s more to this story but I think for me, I’m done.

Steins23a

If I’m brutally honest, the few points I got out of this spin-off probably could have been covered in about six episodes rather than 23, however it has been kind of fun rejoining these characters. I’ll save further thoughts on this for the whole series review and focus more on episode 23, an episode that brings things together and links us back to where we needed to be for Okabe to make the choice he needs to make.

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Seeing the roof-top scene, yet again, even with the slightly modified role for Kagari, wasn’t exactly thrilling but at least we finally get some closure on this scene. The phone call from Mayuri to Mayuri was probably the stand out moment of the episode and did exactly what it needed to and then watching Suzuha and Mayuri accept their fate was one of those moments that made me remember how good Steins;Gate could be.

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That said, this episode was much like this series has been. A series of good ideas and great moments surrounded by moments that we perhaps could have done without and ideas that aren’t fully realised. It works in the moment but on thinking back there just isn’t enough here.

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Steins;Gate 0 Episode 22: Farewell Amadeus

Steins;Gate Episode 22 - Daru and Miho

Okabe may have returned to the past after 3000 time leaps with new found determination but that doesn’t mean the obstacles he was facing have gotten any smaller. Episode 22 of Steins;Gate 0 has some serious brainstorming taking place before the characters face an incredibly tough choice.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 22 Okabe Rintaro

Not a lot physically happens this episode. There are no mad dashes through time or characters running frantically from here to there. Yet, the episode is stronger because of it. After the marathon 3000 leaps back in time, Okabe is forced to stop and contemplate his next move and the decision the characters arrive at isn’t an easy one. Rather than rushing this process, the anime chooses to slow things down with Okabe taking a night stroll with Amadeus before making a decision with the morning. A decision that has to be made because time leaping further just isn’t possible.

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However, despite the strong focus on Okabe and his issues with the decision, it is ultimately Maho who is forced to pull the trigger via Daru and you can see it breaks her heart. While less screen time is given to her farewell and contemplation, Maho really steals the thunder at the end of this episode with an emotionally wrenching sequence that actually hurt to watch. For a character I hadn’t really connected with during Steins;Gate 0, I have to say I had no complaints about how this moment played out as it really brought maximum emotional impact to the scene.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 22

And with this episode we’re one final episode from seeing how this all ends and how Okabe Rintaro figures out how to keep both Kurisu and Mayuri alive. I’m just hoping we don’t have to watch them both die one more time before we get there.

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