Tuesday’s Top 5: Songs From Yuri on Ice

No surprise that between the Yuri on Ice rewatch and running various polls about the routines, music and characters on Twitter, that I decided I wanted to look at my Top 5 songs from the series. I will definitely be doing a Top 5 Yuri and Victor moment list once the rewatch is completed, though that may very well turn into a top 10 list the way I’m going because it seems like every encounter between them brings something to the table.

Wait, I wasn’t supposed to be fangirling about Yuri on Ice, I was supposed to be introducing this list. Okay, so these are my personal favourite songs from Yuri on Ice and it was very hard to narrow down because there were some truly fantastic music selections in this anime. However, I would absolutely love to know your picks so be sure to leave me a comment below.

By the way, I’m linking to YouTube so you can listen to the songs if you don’t know them.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Still Alive (no idea why I like this song given we only heard it the once in the background for a skater that wasn’t overly important, but something about it grabbed my attention).

Number 5: Yeah Yeah Yeah

Yuri on Ice Episode 10

It took me forever to figure out what the name of this song was, but I remember that I thought it was absolutely perfect when they used it in the anime. Now if you don’t know, this is the song playing when we finally get to see why Victor got it into his head that he should coach Yuri. Yuri had apparently gotten very drunk and challenged Plisetsky to a dance off and all of the skaters apparently documented the occasion on their phone (though a dance off was not the only thing going on in those pictures and where the poll came from is anyone’s guess). Still, the song is incredibly catchy and perfectly fits the sequence.

Number 4: Yuri on Ice

Yuri on Ice Episode 7 - Yuri on Ice

No surprise this song made the list. I’m probably more surprised it is only number 4, but there’s so many great songs in this anime I guess it isn’t that surprising. Still, this song was written to express Yuri’s relationship with skating and his career and it does indeed perfectly capture Yuri. It is a good thing this song is amazing because we hear it quite a number of times but each time it just draws you back in.

Number 3: Minami’s Boogie

Yuri on Ice Episode 5 - Minami

Okay, you have to love this one. Minami is such a great character considering his short screen time and this song perfectly captures his fun and energetic nature. It is very fun background music though it definitely makes you want to get up and move. Really fun song and it was coupled with a really fun routine. Really enjoyed this one.

Number 2: You Only Live Once

Yuri Only live once.jpg

I’ll confess, I’m an end credits skipper for almost all shows. If there’s something after the credits I’ll skip ahead and if there isn’t I’ll usually just cut the show when the credits roll. There are a few anime that manage to do something interesting in their end credits or change the music up sufficiently that I’ll stick around, but it is rare for me to like a song enough that I’ll watch the end credits every single time. Yuri on Ice and You Only Live Once succeeded right from the first episode. It is a perfect combination of the music feeling like it perfectly fits the shows and the characters and the visuals feeling like they perfectly complement the story and the characters. But just listing to this song by itself is pure joy. It really is the feeling of the show captured in one song and I love it.

Number 1: History Maker

Yuri On Ice Title

No points for picking that this was going to be my number one. I’ve made no pretence of the fact that from the very first time I heard this song I was hooked. I started Yuri on Ice expecting nothing, the opening scene was interesting enough but it was this song starting and the OP that hooked me and made this show something I would pay attention to. The rest of the first episode did a fine job reinforcing that impression, but it is amazing what a great OP will do for a show. Even now, whenever I’m feeling a little down, clicking through YouTube and finding History Maker is enough to make me smile. A friend of mine learned how to play it on the violin and played it for me one day and I was positively skipping for hours. This is a song that truly hit its mark for me and much like You Only Live Once, it perfectly captures the spirit of the show.

Okay, I’m now turning it over to you: what were your favourite songs from Yuri on Ice?


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That I’d Like To Rewrite

Now I would like to note that I don’t think I’d actually do a good job or rewriting the story, but there are anime that I really like to see go in a slightly different direction than what they did. It’s entirely my own personal choices and I’m sure there are viewers out there who like these anime exactly as they are. That said, I am not just picking anime that are terrible but rather anime that are pretty reasonable as they are but just thinking about what personally I would have liked to have seen changed. On recently completing a tag where I was asked what cross over I’d like to see, I started thinking about how I’d like to modify a few anime and so this list was born.

As always, I’d love for you to share your choices and reasons so please leave me a comment below.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Vampire Knight – A little less twilight and a little more of the politics of the vampire world and I probably would have really loved that anime.

Number 5: Chaika Coffin Princess

Chaika is an interesting anime to discuss because it is actually quite a fun watch. However, most of the fun comes from the characters themselves and individually scenarios and action sequences. The over-arching plot is a bit of a mess and is ultimately pretty rushed to a conclusion at the end of season 2. I’d love to see this story redone with the time and attention it needs to really build up the different Chaika’s and their mission as well as the conspiracy and ultimately I’d love to see some of the other factions and groups get more time to feel like real characters rather than simply obstacles to overcome. As much as Chaika is an anime I enjoy, I really think there is a potentially much better story that could be told with a bit of rewriting.

Number 4: Junjo Romantica

Romantica

Right, so I’m not going to pretend this particular anime is problem free. It is quite a popular title mostly because of the particular niche market it fits into and the absence of other titles that actually get DVD releases outside of Japan in the particularly genre, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues. A number of reviews I’ve read come from people who outright skip episodes focused on one of the three main couples due to those problems. For me the biggest issues come from episode 1 and how the relationship between Misaki and Usagi begins (which is to be honest a criminal act and while it isn’t that explicitly shown the fact that Misaki doesn’t immediately report Usagi leaves a fairly sour taste). And honestly, the power imbalance and the possessiveness shown between this couple right through to season three continues to be a bit of a problem for the show when it is trying to sell it as a true romance. I think though that if that first encounter wasn’t as confrontational and off-putting, the rest of it would be a lot easier to swallow so I’d love that first episode to get a rewrite. It would still be a problematic relationship, but it wouldn’t cross that particular line.

Number 3: Parasyte

Parasyte is one of those anime I really enjoy though for me the second half and then the ending feel very much like the show didn’t quite stick its landing. For all the excitement and tension early on in the show when the parasytes are mysterious and scary and Shinichi is dealing with coming to terms with sharing his body, the second half kind of loses a lot of its emotional tension and by the end when the show drops a save the environment message on the viewers lap it just doesn’t quite have the impact it could. I’d love to see this anime get rid of the super parasyte guy with four (?) parastyes in one body and actually just deal with the issue facing the world of humans being over taken. Rather than ending on a shounen style smack down it would be fantastic to actually just see the ongoing paranoia and fear as people aren’t sure what is going on. I’m not entirely sure how this would work as a show but I’d love to see it.

Number 2: Bleach

I love Bleach. I really do. It has a very special place in my heart when it comes to anime. But realistically I think you could tell the entire actual plot of Bleach in about fifty to sixty episodes if you cut out all the fluff, silliness, and unnecessarily long fight sequences. If we just wrote out the core story points and got rid of the extra characters, subplots, and random asides, we could have a much tighter, much more thrilling story and one that never felt bloated or weighed down. If anyone makes a Bleach abridged story, I’m totally in.

Number 1: Kado The Right Answer

Anyone who followed my reviews of this one will know how disappointed I was with the ending of this show. I really loved the set up and I was so into the story and then it decided to go for a standard fight sequence and a defeat the bad guy ending (with a time travelling daughter thrown in just for laughs I suppose). It was somewhat devastating to watching a show I’d really gotten excited for become something so standard and while it isn’t actually as bad as it sometimes feels, I’d love for this show to be rewritten with a different ending.

So those are the top 5 anime I’d like to rewrite (or see rewritten). What would be on your list and how would you change it?


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Characters Who Smoke

This post is a little earlier in the day than normal and that’s because in about 7 hours (give or take) Raistlin and I are going to reveal our super secret project we’ve been teasing about on Twitter. Be sure to check back later for the post.

There’s a definite distance created when watching anime. In real life I cannot stand the smell of smoke or cigarettes and yet there are some anime characters out there that just look perfectly right when they light up their smoke, pipe, or whatever else. So today I am counting down my favourite 5 characters who are smokers and I invite the readers as always to give a shout out to your favourite characters as well.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Jean Havoc (Full Metal Alchemist) and Toshio Ozaki (Shiki).

Number 5: Shinya Kougami (Psycho Pass)

Psycho Pass.jpg

It seems kind of odd for Kougami to only come in at number 5 and yet that is definitely the case. Mostly because his smoking always seemed like a crutch to show he’d become broken down after everything and it never really fit with his excessive exercise and drive to find the culprit. That said, like with most things Kogami did, he looked very good while doing it.

Number 4: Worick (Gangsta)

Worrick.png

Unlike Kogami, smoking really does fit with Worick’s character and lifestyle. It would actually be harder to imagine him not being a smoker. In the gritty world of Gangsta the cigarettes are pretty tame compared to the many other entertainments that could be found.

Number 3: Mikoto Suoh (K)

Suoh.gif

At least Mikoto will never have to worry about finding a light. The Red King again manages to make the cigarettes seem an extension of his character rather than something that is tacked on. It fits with his image and firey nature. It also makes a nice moment toward the end when he shares a smoke with the Blue King.

Number 2: Franken Stein (Soul Eater)

Franken Stein.gif

Could anyone else imagine this crazy character without his smokes? There’s something very careless about Stein and his overall appearance and temperament seem to lend themselves to living in the now. Though I have to wonder if smoking while dissecting a rare creature is particularly good practice.

Number 1: Yuuko (xxxHolic)

xxxHolic2

She’s such a classy and beautiful character and her elegant pipe just kind of finishes her image perfectly. Again, it is harder to imagine removing this aspect from the character as it really is a part of who she is. Besides, despite her outward appearance of being together and focused, when done with her work Yuuko is quite the whimsical individual who definitely lives for the pleasure of the moment.

There they are, my top 5 anime characters who smoke. Be sure to share your favourites in the comments below.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Vacation Spots

You know sometimes when you are watching an anime and you realise how much you would love to travel more and see more places and experience more things? I get that feeling a lot though regularly it isn’t for places that actually exist and most of the time I think if I ever actually went there  I would probably die. However, I’ve decided to put together my top 5 vacation spots picked from watching various anime. Here I go on my fantasy tour of 5 places from anime I’d love to visit.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Anywhere in Japan from almost any anime.

Number 5: Piffle World (Tsubasa Chronicles)

Tsubasa Chronicles

I know, it is a really silly name, but I loved this world when I was watching Tsubasa. While so many of the worlds they visited were pseudo medieval either westernised or Japanese, Piffle World was a futuristic city world with flying cars and it just looked like a lot of fun. It wasn’t so far removed from our own technological level that it was incomprehensible, but it felt a few generations ahead of us. What I really appreciated was that despite the sheer amount of industrialisation and traffic, somehow the air and sky were beautifully clear. It might be a fantasy but balancing technology without polluting the skies has a lot of appeal. Okay, Sakura may have helped sell this world a bit as she looked truly adorable.

Number 4: Aincrad (Sword Art Online)

Sword Art Online - Aincrad

Needless to say this is after Kirito defeated the game and released all the players and the game was rebuilt without the whole death trap aspect. Let’s be real, Aincrad is a beautiful world. Each level has its own look and feel so you can take your pick of scenery, there’s plenty of variety in the creatures to fight, and it is a fair world in that the rules are what they are (unless you have the power of love in which case go crazy). I would definitely love to visit this world (just got to keep checking that the log out button exists).

Number 3: Future Japan (The Irregular at Magic High School)

The Irregular at Magic Highschool

When looking at future versions of the world there are a lot of dystopian, after civilisation have ended type stories, and realistically Irregular fits right in with those, but I just love the way they’ve blended magic and technology in their vision of the future. It is like the best combination of sci-fi and fantasy to produce something that feels wholly unique and yet fits with what we know from those genres. As to the world itself, I’m not entirely sure it is safe, but just the thought of being able to try out some magic with technological aide is enough to make me at least want to visit.

Number 2: Kyoto (The Eccentric Family)

The Eccentric Family Season 1

Oh look, it is an actual real location coming it at number 2. And The Eccentric Family isn’t the only anime that has sold me on Kyoto. My first trip to Japan I got to Osaka but didn’t have time for Kyoto and I really regret that and my second trip I went north from Tokyo so didn’t get near Kyoto then either. If you’ve never seen the Eccentric Family, it is a wonderful blending of folklore with modernity in a way that just made me really intrigued to see the place it was set and while I imagine it won’t look all that much like the anime, I’m hoping that the anime has captured some of the feel of the real location.

Number 1: The Moon Kingdom (Sailor Moon)

Sailor Moon - The Moon Kingdom

Much like Aincrad, I am putting the explanation in here that I want to visit the Moon Kingdom prior to it being destroyed. It looks gorgeous. Admittedly I’m not so sure about the whole lack of atmosphere, change in gravity thing, but you know the anime didn’t worry about small details like that so I’m not sure I should be all that concerned either. Parties, gardens, fountains, great food, fireworks; these all feature heavily in flash backs of the Moon Kingdom prior to its destruction and it looks like a great time.

I’d love to know where you would like to take a vacation and which anime you saw it in so leave me a comment below.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Princesses

The Princess list turned out to be easier than the anime Prince list. That’s probably because there’s a lot of princesses out there who happily sit as bystanders and then there are the extreme warrior princess tropes that run around. Finding a princess who is an active participant in their story but not a juggernaut of violence is actually fairly challenging. Still, here are my top 5 picks for anime princesses who have that regal Princess air to them (at least at times) but also take an active role in their plot. Bonus points for great outfits and as always I’d love to know what my readers thing.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Teresa (Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love)

Number 5: Princess Hitei (Katanagatari)

hitei.jpg

As the antagonist for a lot of Katanagatari, Princess Hitei didn’t really get to do a lot (and in honesty I’m not entirely sure if she’s a real Princess), but her manipulations and schemes certainly directed a lot of the action within the series. More importantly, when her schemes all came crashing down around her, she proved herself adaptable which is a fairly vital survival trait and one she demonstrated beautifully. Not to mention, her look is crazy but distinct – like most characters from Katanagatari.

Number 4: Chaika (Chaika – Coffin Princess)

Chaika

Alright, I know she’s actually a clone of a Princess and only one of many, but Chaika is awesome. Her magic is a little inconsistent and takes forever to power up, but you have to admit when it works, it is pretty brilliant. And even knowing her whole life is being manipulated, Chaika still manages to find her purpose for moving forward. Kind of have to love her (and her hair clips – those are gorgeous).

Number 3: Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon)

Serenity.jpg

This girl has way too many titles and while the modern day Serena isn’t exactly instilling confidence in her leadership most days, her past life and future self certainly lend her some credibility that even if she isn’t there yet she will be one day. Besides, the girl has saved the world how many times? You have to cut her some slack if she wants to spend her afternoons playing video games when there is no world threatening evil afoot.

Number 2: Yona (Akatsuki no Yona)

yona2

While I still feel Shirayuki was the superior red headed character of these two, technically Shirayuki is not a Princess (marry Zen already), and so Yona takes the number 2 place on this list. I will admit, as much as Yona didn’t impress me when I first saw it, time and a rewatch has definitely made me appreciate her more and now that I’m two volumes into the manga I’m kind of hoping to learn even more about the Princess who lost everything in one night and yet refused to give in.

Number 1: Euphemia li Britannia (Code Geass)

Euphemia.png

Okay, her ending was pretty tragic for everyone involved, as it was supposed to be, but even before the event that made her infamous, Euphemia was a pretty special princess. Despite her lack of combat abilities compared to her siblings, she didn’t just sit on the sidelines. She worked her strengths and found other pathways such as diplomacy to achieve her ends and she almost succeeded at bringing about peace. I’m laying the blame for her untimely end entirely on Lelouch and I’m just saying we lost a very fine Princess.

That’s the end of another list but as always I’ll now turn it over to the comments and ask you who your favourite or top 5 anime Princesses are.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Princes

There’s something about growing up on a heavy dose of fairy tales and fantasy that leaves me with this ridiculous urge to still fantasise about the prince riding up on his noble steed and sweeping me off my feet, despite the fact that if common-sense hadn’t knocked that notion out of me, Shrek really should have. And yet, I can’t help but feel my heart do a little skip when we’re introduced to an anime prince who looks like they might be the hero I was holding out for.

With so many princes to choose from it was really hard to narrow down this list so I gave myself a few conditions. Firstly, they had to actually be a prince and not just called a prince (so no Prince of the school on this list). Secondly, no duplicates from the same show. Finally, these princes are in the order in which I personally would like them to come and save me from my mundane life. That said, I’d love to know which prince you’re holding out for.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Mare (DameXPrince Anime Caravan)

Number 5: Prince Endymion (Sailor Moon)

Endymion

While these days I’m not the biggest fan of Tuxedo Mask and even as a kid I thought he talked too much, there was something undeniably cool every time we got to see Prince Endymion. His costume for one was a thousand times better than the Tuxedo Mask persona and he had an actual sword rather than a rose and cane so actually looked combat ready. The real tragedy of course is the limited screen time this character got in the original series.

Number 4: Ling Yao (Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood)

Ling Yao.gif

Okay, questionable choices aside, Ling Yao is a character who is literally willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. And while at first it might seem like his goals are pretty self-serving, there’s a lot more at stake than it might at first appear. This guy is driven, talented, and willing to go as far as he needs to succeed. What’s not to like?

Number 3: Bruno Von Glanzreich (The Royal Tutor)

Tutor2

Of the four Princes in the Royal Tutor, Bruno was the one I consistently liked the most, though all of these princes went through some fairly decent character development throughout the course of the series. Bruno may have been awkward and indecisive at times, but deep down he always just wanted to succeed and he worked hard to achieve his goals. I love a hard working yet awkward prince.

Number 2: Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)

Lelouch.gif

Did I  just say I liked someone awkward? Apparently not, because I’m now jumping to a guy who is literally overflowing with self-confidence. Between you and me, Lelouch would drive me crazy in real life. I’d probably end up slapping his smug face mid-chess game and then work at demolishing him on the board (okay, I don’t like losing either). And yet, there is something undeniably appealing about someone who will take on an entire empire to settle a personal grudge and who ultimately plots his own death in order to save the world. It’s a weird appeal, but it is appealing.

Number 1: Zen Wisteria (Snow White With the Red Hair)

The prince that I think most of us envisioned as kids. The guy who will ride in to save the day but if he can see the situation is under control he’ll just wait patiently until you are done. Sorting most things through words and paperwork but able to draw a sword and go to town when needed, quite literally the fairy tale prince.

I had so much fun writing this list but I’m really looking forward to seeing which princes my readers like. Please let me know your favourite, or your top 5 anime princes in the comments. And next week I’m going to take on my favourite Princesses.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Studios

While I’ve counted down favourite anime from particularly studios before, I have never just done a list of my top 5 studios. That’s probably because as much as there are some studios that consistently produce enjoyable anime, they all miss the mark at some point, so it isn’t as though I watch everything by any particular studio. Still, there are certainly some studios that I’m more likely to give a go to their work than others even if it doesn’t seem like it will be something I’ll end up loving. As always I’d love to know your choices for the list so please share your favourite anime studios (and your favourite shows by them) in the comments below.

Please note, there will be no spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Toei Animation (Sailor Moon) and Madhouse (lots of great stuff but just as many shows that miss the mark for me so just seeing Madhouse attached to a project isn’t enough to get me really excited).

Number 5: J.C. Staff

There are so many great anime that have come from J.C. Staff, though I’ll admit a lot of these titles are ones I don’t mind but I’m not nuts over (with the exception of DanMachi which I am totally in love with). This studio is prolific  and the vast majority of their titles I end up at least trying even if I don’t end up super into them. What is great is that they cover such a huge range of genres and styles so unlike some studios their anime haven’t all kind of blended into being much the same.

Number 4: White Fox

Unlike J.C Staff, White Fox doesn’t have quite the anime catalogue behind them. But what they lack in quantity they certainly make up for in quality. There are some truly impressive titles out by this studio with personal favourites of mine pictured above plus Steins;Gate. I’ve also heard that they are the one’s bringing out Goblin Slayer later so I’m kind of excited about that. While not every anime on their line up has struck gold (Grimoire of Zero I’m looking right at you), I’m still at least tempted to check out a show with this studio’s name attached to it.

Number 3: P.A Works

While it’s kind of tempting to say that P.A Works lack variety in their small line up, there’s certainly some fun to be had going through their titles. While mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for high school settings and adolescent drama, there’s still plenty to enjoy. I think what I love most about the anime from P.A Works is that there’s a lot of work put into the aesthetics of the anime. Whether its the visuals or the music, everything kind of builds whatever tone the anime or that scene is trying to accomplish. While it might seem a little overwrought emotionally at times, I really enjoy the look and feel of these anime.

Number 2: Brain’s Base

They gave us Natsume Yuujinchou… Do I need to elaborate further as to why I love this studio?

Actually, I don’t think Brain’s Base gets enough discussion. We regularly here about Madhouse, A1, P.A Works, etc, but Brain’s Base is like this incredibly hard work quiet achiever that puts out anime that don’t reach everyone, but fans of each of their show’s are fiercely loyal fans. There’s something about the stories here that grab whoever the core audience is and makes them really feel something for the work. Again, not saying they are flawless (Endride anyone?), but I’ll certainly take the time to read about shows coming out from this studio and would go so far as to give most of them at least a go.

Number 1: Bones

There’s absolutely no way it was not going to be Bones. Sure, Bones has its less amazing moments, but between having created almost all of my favourite anime of all time, and consistently putting out titles that are just great fun and have great animation, I have to really love this studio. It also takes on a range of genres and nails them whether it is romance (Snow White With the Red Hair), comedy (Ouran High School Host Club), action (My Hero Academia), sci-fi (Darker Than Black), or even recreations of Shakespeare (Zetsuen no Tempest). So there is something for nearly everyone somewhere in their catalogue.

That’s it from me but I’d love to know your favourite studios and why so feel free to leave a comment below.


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime School Uniforms

I’m thinking most of you have never had the misfortune of going to a school in Queensland and wearing what are arguably some of the worst school uniforms in existence. Mostly because most schools go for cheap and affordable with easy substitutions and rather than actually looking in any way respectable, most uniforms end up looking like everyone just decided to throw the same black or maroon shorts on and a polo shirt and off they went (yes there are some schools, particularly private ones, that do in fact have decent uniforms, but they are not the majority). Which probably explains why I became fascinated by school uniforms in anime because they always look totally adorable and like something I would have loved to wear day in day out (maybe if I’d actually been asked to I’d feel differently).

So the end of this long preamble is that here is my list of top 5 anime school uniforms that I would personally have wanted to wear. With that said, I’d love to know which uniforms have caught your eye in anime.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Another

Number 5: Sword Art Online

SAO - Uniforms.jpg

Seriously, look at how cute those uniforms are. Firstly there’s the colour scheme with the fairly dark and plain colour with white accents and gold buttons and emblem. It is fantastic. Not too flashy, but quite flattering to most people. I also love the blue cross pattern on the collar giving it just that little bit extra and the red ties/bows just finish off the look. I know you can’t see it in the image, but Asuna pairs hers with white stockings and black shoes and to be honest looks fabulous. I would have loved this kind of uniform at school.

Number 4: My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia - Uniforms.jpg

Once again I like the reasonably plain grey colour with the green trims and gold buttons. It has the look of a uniform without being too plain and the colour is reasonably suitable for most people. The red tie again makes a nice contrast and I like that Uraraka gets to wear a tie as well and not a bow or ribbon as many female uniforms do. My Hero Academia looks pretty classy with this uniform, but we tend to spend more time watching the kids in their sports uniforms rather than this one.

Number 3: Code Geass

Code Geass - Uniforms.jpg

Okay, if I’m practical and brutally honest, I probably wouldn’t wear this uniform given the short skirt length for the girls, but still, look at how adorable that is. The yellow and green contrast really nicely, the belt gives it some great shaping, and all and all it just looks really adorable. The male uniform is definitely the nicer of the two, though that’s probably just my preference for both the colour and the fact that they are wearing long pants.

Number 2: Vampire Knight – Day Class

Vampire Knight - Uniforms.jpg

Super, super, super cute. While I didn’t love Vampire Knight as a show (certainly enjoyed it and enjoy making fun of it), the uniforms at Cross Academy are to die for (or at least the day class is). The super cute black blazer with white accents, the red bow, the knee socks, everything about this uniform is adorable and there are so many little details to it. A friend of mine cosplayed as Yuki at one point and ordered a costume and the sheer amount of detail on that uniform is just crazy. Absolutely love it and would love it to be a real uniform.

Number 1: Inu X Boku SS

Inu x Boku - Uniform.jpg

While I know for an absolute fact I could never wear this uniform, both because of the short skirt and because I just lack the shape to really pull it off, I totally fell in love with this look when watching the anime. I really relate to Ririchiyo’s character and this uniform is kind of superb. It’s like if there was a fantasy version of me going to a fantasy school, this would be the uniform I’d want that version of me to get to wear. The colour scheme, those shoes, the style, it is absolutely divine and I love it.

Okay, now that I’ve admitted I have no actual taste, what uniforms out there have you fallen in love with?


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Bookworms

As an avid bookworm myself I definitely appreciate seeing characters who read, who talk about books, and who generally respect stories and it is no surprise that some of my favourite characters ever are bookworms (though there are plenty of book reading characters who are neither here nor there really). Today I’m counting down my top 5 anime bookworms and why I enjoy them so much (though those who have been following the blog for awhile will already know who number one is sure to be).

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention: Sunako from Shiki and Makashima from Psycho Pass. Okay, I seriously want to add Makashima onto the list and I just can’t fit him so here’s a picture anyway.

Number 5: Jibril (No Game No Life)

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Jibril loves knowledge. As a member of the Flugel race she craves it and after defeating the King of Imanity in a game she claimed the library as her own. There’s something really special about a character who is powerful enough to have more or less anything and she picks the library and while her reaction to a tablet full of books from a world she didn’t know may have been a bit over the top, you have to appreciate the enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge.

Number 4: Kaneki Ken (Tokyo Ghoul)

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While I haven’t much liked much of Tokyo Ghoul since season one, it is undeniable that I quite liked Kaneki’s character way back when. The shy book loving boy who just wanted the pretty girl to notice him and discuss books with him was adorable and the tragedy that befell him suitably heart wrenching. If only they’d continued to evolve his character sensibly from that point I probably would still love Kaneki as a character. Still, any guy who thinks of a bookshop for a date is definitely going to get a spot on my list.

Number 3: Nagato Yuki (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

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The only member of the literature club who then is forcibly joined into the SOS brigade, Nagato is very seldom seen without a book. She even passes message to Kyon about meeting by lending him a book (a failed strategy when he at first just forgets to read the book and it isn’t until the second night he gets the message). Still, she’s persistent. It is hard to figure out whether Nagato actually enjoys reading or whether it is just a habit, but she’s one bookworm you do not want to mess with, or apparently try to verse at any kind of computer strategy game.

Number 2: Chito (Girls’ Last Tour)

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Chito’s genuine joy and love at finding a book and her genuine horror at Yuu’s callous destruction of a book, is something that really drew me to her character during Girls’ Last Tour’s run. There’s a lot to like about the quieter and more contemplative of the pair, and I definitely think that anyone who wants to save books even at the end of the world deserves to be mentioned on this list with love.

Number 1: Maka Albarn (Soul Eater)

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In fairness, I think Maka loves studying more than she actually likes books, and yet she’s a badass character who takes time to read, to learn, and to genuinely bury herself in words. Although, she isn’t above using a book as a weapon of mass destruction should the person near her annoy her enough. Honestly though, Maka and books are more or less inseparable in my mind and they are a part of what made her character so incredibly relatable and memorable to me all those years ago. I love Maka as a character and she well and truly deserves the number one spot on this list.

Maka Chop

So I’m dying to know who your favourite anime bookworm is. Be sure to let me know in the comments.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Female Anime Characters With Pink Hair

Last week I looked at my favourite male characters with pink hair and realised, tragically, there just aren’t that many that I’ve remembered. Totally opposite problem this week when I tried to narrow down my list of lovely anime ladies with pink hair. Ultimately I went with characters who I felt were striking in appearance (pink hair does tend to stand out) as well as characters who added something to the plot of their story. The list ended up being a bit interesting.

I’d love to know who you are including on your list so please share your choices in the comments below.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Emi Yusa (The Devil is a Part-timer) and Yuno Gasai (Future Diary).

Number 5: Kofuku Ebisu (Noragami)

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Kofuku may be a god of poverty and have a tendency to bankrupt men and tear rifts into the underworld leading to more phantoms being released, but you have to admit, as one of Yato’s few divine friends she’s certainly a lot of fun. She gets that sometimes you just have to go with things yet ultimately she’s ready to do what needs to be done. As a character who has offered advice, shelter, power, predictions, and full on muscle to the team when needed, Kofuku definitely earns a spot on this list.

Number 4: Amu Himamori (Shugo Chara)

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Amu is definitely one of my favourite pink haired characters of all time. The contradiction between her outer appearance and personality is one that causes her no end of confusion in this magical story that very much focuses on her finding out what she actually wants to be and who she is. With three different guardian characters all pulling her in different directions as well as her own heart, Amu is a very fun character to get to know and to watch grow up and learn to really harness all of her potential.

Number 3: Yuki Takeya (School-Live)

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And here is another spoiler warning just in case you missed the one earlier in the post.

Yuki is a fantastic character. When we are first introduced to her, she’s your basic school-girl air-head all happy to be with her friends and join in club activities. As you follow Yuki around in a typical day during the first episode, you note that not everything seems quite right, but it isn’t until the end of the episode you realise that Yuki is living in a zombie apocalypse and just hasn’t admitted it to herself yet. Yes, this adorable pink haired protagonist is firmly convinced everything in the world is fine and it is up to the rest of the club members to keep her from wandering outside of the barriers or getting herself killed. That would be interesting enough, but Yuki’s character has a beautiful arc as she comes to terms with what has happened and she is fantastic to watch. Definitely an anime to check out and Yuki’s character will leave a lasting impression.

Number 2: Megum Shimizu (Shiki)

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Megumi may not be the main character of her series, but she is the first victim we see on screen in this vampire horror story. Megumi, so desperate to escape village life, ultimately dies and comes back as a vampire and is pretty much asked to continue living a village life. While she at first has a great deal of fun tormenting those who used to be friends, as life sours for the vampires, Megumi starts looking seriously at escape. While she is never a fantastic character, Megumi gives us some excellent creepy moments and she is a character who is very true to what she wants at all times.

Number 1: Masami Iwasawa (Angel Beats)

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It is no secret that I have a deep love of Angel Beats, and a lot of that came about because of Iwasawa’s character. Prior to the episode that focused on Iwasawa I’d been enjoying Angel Beats and I’d loved the music and craziness of it, but when I first heard “My Song” and watched Iwasawa ‘accept’ things, I think that was the first time Angel Beats broke my heart and it was the moment I realised that this anime was something a bit special. While its blend of over the top action and comedy as well as melodrama may not sit well with most people, for me it was an emotional roller coaster that I never could get enough of. Iwasawa’s song and character moment remain one of my favourite anime moments ever.

That’s a wrap on pink hair. Leave me a comment telling me who is on your list, and next week we’ll count down anime with dark endings.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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