Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Series Review

Their Fight Isn’t To Save The World – Just Their Corner Of It

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary was one of those odd titles that comes out each season where I haven’t heard of it, haven’t seen any promotional materials, and just kind of go in blind. A fantasy-action, according to MAL at least, it seemed like it could be quite fun. And I was pleasantly surprised to find a fantasy that wasn’t isekai and instead had a faintly historical setting though the inclusion of mechas and ultimately flying armour kind of threw any basis in reality right out the window.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 6 Cheng

Now, I am going to end up recommending this title, mostly because very few people watched it while it was airing and I feel it really got overlooked in a strong season. However, that recommendation comes with a caution. The animation goes from average to terrible and remains that way through most of the run time. So if you are someone who expects modern anime to have high quality or at least reasonably consistent animation, I’d suggest not even trying this one because you are not going to enjoy it. For those that don’t mind the slightly shoddy visuals, there’s a pretty decent story to be found here.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

The setting works very well in Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. The Taibai Empire is expanding and wants to conquer the world and does so by brutalising the inhabitants of small villages. It is more or less the expansion of China though don’t expect historical accuracy here. Yin and Ning are two sisters whose lives are destroyed when their village is attacked. Yin is waiting outside the village at the time and escapes mostly unscathed but Ning loses both arms (in what becomes an ongoing trend in this story – seriously, how many sets of arms does she go through?).

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 6 Yin and Ning

With this backdrop we follow Yin and Ning as they join up with the rebels fighting the empire. However, their scenes are interspersed with Zhao (Yin and Ning’s childhood friend) and Cheng, the Empress. We see both sides of this conflict and the personal dramas of these four young people all propelled into a war they didn’t start but are now just kind of destined to get caught up in. It borders on melodramatic at times, but each of the characters is interesting in their own way.

Yin and Ning, despite being close as sisters, are changed by the events in different ways. Yin just wants to keep her sister safe and out of the war but Ning is far more violent and wanting revenge for Zhao’s ‘death’ as well as the loss of her arms. It is probably telling that Ning’s fate isn’t exactly wonderful given her motivation rides from one hatred to the next. Yin on the other-hand suffers ongoing heartache as she tries and fails to keep the war away from her life.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

Zhao’s transition to serving the empire seems really odd at first but ultimately his character begins to make sense as he consistently chooses the path of least resistance. He’s someone who just wants to get a little ahead in the world and find a small piece of strength for himself. But it is his wavering between his various allegiances that ends up costing him.

Lastly, we have Cheng who is torn between being a very young girl who lost her father and being the Empress of a vastly expanded nation. I really liked that Cheng got treated as a human throughout all of this rather than just being the face of the enemy. Her relationship with Zhao is complicated and interesting to watch unfold even if you know early on there is no way it will end well.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

With a cast that all hold their own ground and a setting rich with potential, it is almost a shame that the animation wasn’t up to the challenge. We have sword fights, magic, burning villages, explosive death machines, and impossibly awkward mechas. The story choosing to focus in on the young cast members caught up in events makes things feel more personal and allows there to be some resolution within the thirteen episodes but a lot of the plot is implied or occurs off-screen with plenty more to happen after the end of the final episode, should there ever be a continuation.

As I said at the start, I do recommend this one for people looking for a fantasy or action story though it isn’t without its problems. Still, despite it not being that great, it was a little different and certainly interesting enough week to week.

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What Were The Worst Anime of Autumn 2018?


I’m going to say, this is the last Worst Of the season list I’m going to do. While I do like looking at the other side of the coin, I made my blog to celebrate anime and I kind of feel this particular vote and round up doesn’t really contribute to that all that much. Still, it is fun sometimes to look at the mis-fires of the season so perhaps I’ll just need to figure out a different way to go about it.

In the meantime, here are my picks for worst of the season and at the end you will see the results of the poll and the reader’s choice. The rule is really simple, I have to have watched the anime without dropping it to declare it the worst. I don’t make judgements about shows I don’t finish.

Still, if you read my best of Autumn 2018 post you would have seen my rankings for the season already and know what my least favourite anime was.

Worst Story – Jingai San No Yome

Alright, I’ve watched all of this short anime and other than the premise I still don’t know what the story is with this one. It probably doesn’t actually have one and is meant to be a slice of life or something, but nothing is ever explained and things don’t really go anywhere. What was I expecting from three minutes a week? Probably about this, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is the most pointless thing I watched in Autumn in terms of story.

Jingai San No Yome Episode 6

Worst Visuals – Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary

Okay, I like Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary, but there is no denying it is ugly to watch and the animation is just this side of terrible, when it isn’t actually throwing hideous CG at us. Fights suffer particularly and given we’re watching a show about a war between the empire and rebels, the fight scenes kind of need to be solid. There’s not a lot more to say about this one other than wishing it had been given more attention and more of a budget because the story was actually pretty interesting.


Worst Opening – Release the Spyce

Don’t get upset with this one. This is my personal list and honestly when an opening is so flashy with its visuals I actually have to walk away from the screen or turn down the lid of my laptop until it is done to avoid a serious headache each and every week, I don’t care how good the song is. This one is an eyesore (quite literally) and well and truly became the thing I hated most this season (even more so than a certain show that took out my worst of the season). Honestly, this opening was nearly grounds for dropping at the mid-season but I was kind of curious about where the show would go. Knowing now where it goes, I wish I’d just dropped it.

Release the Spyce title

Worst Character – Mana

Considering I threatened this character with a paper shredder fairly early in the season, and I may have suggested using a nail gun on her (though I may also have sensibly edited that out of my rant review), I’m pretty sure I hate this character. The rest of Conception is at times slightly amusing, a little bit interesting, largely bizarre and unfocused despite setting up a potentially interesting plot, but Mana manages to make each and every scene a pain to watch. Forget worst character of the season, Mana may be the character I hate the most out of any character ever (and that includes Excalibur from Soul Eater who used to be the single most irritating character I could think of).

Conception Episode 11 Mana

Worst Anime of Autumn 2018 – Conception

Yes, no doubt about this one. Conception was the worst anime I watched this season. Part of that is because it isn’t exactly a genre I’m a big fan of. And it relies on fourth wall breaking comedy, which I’m not a big fan of. And it has the single most annoying character I can think of as a major character who is with the protagonist in almost every single scene. But, I did watch this show from beginning to end. Even when I decided A Certain Magical Index was boring me too much to continue, I kept this one on the list. So while it was the worst anime I watched, I think for people more into this genre, while it still doesn’t exactly stand out as particularly good, there’s probably a lot more entertainment to be found in it.

Conception Episode 9 Itsuki mad at Mana

Reader’s Choice

This one also had a clear ‘victor’ this season with one anime title being both fairly well watched and being riddled with problems. Yes, that was Conception.

Worst of

The rest of the votes were kind of scattered, though part of the problem is that I ask people to have actually watched the show they vote for and most people are sensible enough to drop anime that aren’t very good (I really should learn that skill at some point – I drop boring anime but not bad ones).

However, that wraps up the final ‘worst of’ anime post for the blog, but just remember the best of the year poll will open on the 1st of January and you will have two weeks to vote. The top three choices from the best of polls each season will be available to vote for and I’m looking forward to seeing what wins best of the year.

Previous poll results:

What Were The Best Anime of Autumn 2018?

Dakaichi Episode 13 Takato

No doubt about it, Autumn 2018 gave me a lot of anime that I personally enjoyed. It also gave us a lot of anime that were technically pretty solid creations and between these two groups of anime that meant I ended up having a lot to watch and enjoy.

Even anime that weren’t particularly well made managed to be delightful to watch and while it won’t show up on my best of list anywhere, I’d still like to give a shout out to Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. As a fantasy with a vaguely historical setting, the story is kind of good (okay, cliche driven but what else is new). I’d really recommend giving it a look if you are into fantasy and want a non-isekai title for a change.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 Zhao and Yin

However, that isn’t getting on with the list.

I tried something different this season and actually ranked the anime I watched each week so that when I got to the end of the season I wasn’t just blown away by a shiny ending and forgot about all the other issues an anime had. The system isn’t entirely without flaws and there’s a few changes I’m going to make for next season. But it means that I really am looking at the whole season rather than the last three weeks when I pick my favourite.

Alright, let’s get into this. Like every season, I’ll go through my favourites first and then I will announce the reader’s choice. The poll for best of the year where the top 3 picks from each season will go head to head will open on the 1st and will run for two weeks closing on the 14th.

Favourite Story – Voice of Fox

While this might seem random, it actually makes perfect sense in my head. There are so many anime I love this season but I love the characters, the emotions they make me feel, the visuals… for one of the first seasons ever plot has taken an extreme back seat. The few anime where it is the potential plot keeping me invested are running into next season so not even sure where the plot is actually going to go. Voice of Fox tells a simple but solid story about Hu Li struggling to make it as a singer, becoming someone else’s ghost singer and the ensuing scandal when it is revealed. While we still haven’t seen the conclusion yet, I’m really looking forward to it. Voice of Fox may not be a masterpiece by any one’s standards, but its been great fun and for a short anime it has really managed to tell a solid story and I think it definitely deserves some recognition.

Voice of Fox Episode 8 Hu Li on phone

Favourite Visuals – Bloom Into You

There was never any doubt with this one. The direction of this has been brilliant and the use of colour has been amazing. Bloom Into You is one of those anime I really appreciate for how well it is being put together even if it isn’t really my kind of story. I’m actually surprised by how much I’ve ended up getting drawn into it, and part of that is the characters have really been fleshed out to feel real, but a lot of the appeal of this one comes from how it has been visually presented and while I was pretty disdainful in episode one when I said it was ‘very pink’ I’ve come to really love how much thought has gone in to each and every scene.

Bloom Into You Episode 9 Yuu and Nanami

Favourite Opening – Bunny Girl Senpai

Alright, I’m still not the biggest fan of the animation for this opening, but in terms of distinctive and memorable openings, Bunny Girl Senpai has to win. When I was looking at this category, the first few bars of the song just started playing in my head and drowned out any other opening from the season I tried to think of. Except Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San. That opening was distinct, and amusing. Worth checking out. Anyway, if you are one of the few people who hasn’t already checked out Bunny Girl Senpai please do or at least listen to this opening.


Favourite Character – Takato

I couldn’t help it. Alright, no denying Dakaichi as an anime has its issues but also no denying that I’ve seriously enjoyed Takato this season. Part of it is definitely shallow and the fact that he is a very good looking, non-teenage, male anime character, but a lot of it comes down to how interesting his character is and how much I enjoy seeing him in different situations and how he handles it. Okay, I could write all day about Takato, or I could explode the rest of the post with Takato screen caps, but I think I’ll just leave it here by pointing out Takato has been awesome and I’m going to miss seeing him each week.


Favourite Anime of Autumn 2018

Right, so this one I kind of know the answer to but I’m going to go back to my ranking system that I tried this season and take you through the whole list. Each anime I watched got ranked each week and I averaged these ranks for a final score. It was interesting and watching something like Release the Spyce go from ranked tenth on the list to third was kind of bizarre but it does make me think about the shows that have really grown in strength and those that lost momentum as the season progressed.

Scores were based on enjoyment and technical merit and so balancing shows each week where I liked an episode but it had some rough edges compared to a story that was a bit slower but was really well done made for some interesting internal debates.

  • Conception = 1.25
  • Jingai-San no Yome = 2.33
  • Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San = 4.09
  • Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary = 4.77
  • A Certain Magical Index (dropped) = 4.91
  • Release the Spyce 5.33
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime = 6.54
  • Sword Art Online Alicization = 9.42
  • Goblin Slayer = 9.82
  • Dakaichi = 10.69
  • Run With The Wind = 10.64
  • Voice of Fox = 11.00
  • Tsurune = 12.70
  • Banana Fish = 12.91
  • Bloom Into You = 14.58
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai = 15.69

There’s some interesting results. For instance, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has really grown on me and I’m personally enjoying it more than SAO right now. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary is another title I personally enjoyed though in terms of quality it is probably in the right place on the list.

However, my favourite for the season, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai did manage to come out on top even though Bloom Into You did have a number of weeks where it took the top spot. Rascal was full of great dialogue and characters and while the ending may have been a little weak it was definitely a title I looked forward to each and every week.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 3

The Reader’s Choice

For the first time this year, the reader’s choice and my choices line up really well and the best of the season as voted by my readers isn’t something I dropped or didn’t watch. Yay. Okay, no further delay. This vote was the most decisive of the year with a clear victor determined fairly early on.

You guessed it, Bunny Girl Senpai.

Best of
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta and Tomoe

However, Banana Fish and Bloom Into You as the runners up will still go into the poll for best of the year. I was interested to see how well Run With The Wind went in this poll. If it maintains the same quality in the second half it might very well win the poll next season (though I guess that depends on what else comes out).

However, that is it from this poll so now I’m turning it over to you. What did you vote for? What were your favourites this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Previous poll results:

The Small Victory and Loss Within a Greater Battle

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode Review Title Image

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 13 Review

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say. Voting closes on the 29th of December.

This week we got the conclusion to Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary but really there was never much chance of the overall story being resolved. There was just too much going on in the world and so this final episode, much like the series, chose instead to focus on a battle that will decide the next steps for each of these characters.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 13

The Yin, Ning and Zhao issue is effectively brought to a close by the events in this episode. And while Zhao remains a conflicted character who can’t really seem to pick a side, he does at least take action rather than waiting for power to be bestowed upon him. He pays a high price but he does manage to contribute in some small way to the survival of Yin, Ning and Cheng.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 13 Zhao

Yin and Ning’s sisterly conflict is also kind of resolved though all things considered it just kind of feels like they are back to where they started at the beginning of the series. Possibly there was more of a resolution here but it just felt like we’d come full circle with Ning in even worse shape and Yin with yet more baggage to carry emotionally. While it might seem callous, it really felt like one of these two needed to be sacrificed for the story to make sense and while they kind of manage to make this work, it doesn’t have a lot of impact as you are kind of just left rolling your eyes as Yin refuses to leave Ning and Zhao and then they pull a power of love last minute save (though again, Ning and Zhao have already taken quite heavy losses throughout this fight).

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 13 Cheng

However, it is Cheng, in her very limited screen time, who gains the most this episode. While Zhao is wishing for her happiness, Cheng has kind of adopted a very fatalistic attitude refusing to leave the palace despite the danger. She survives unscathed physically but her attitude during the credits and the ongoing expansion of the empire makes it clear that she’s been emotionally scarred and she has no one left around her to soften her attitude. While Cheng was the leader of the empire through this series, it was hard to see her as the big bad, but if this ever got a second season that is almost sure to change.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 13 Zhao and Ning

It is hard to say if anything was actually accomplished by these events other than a big explosion and some personal dramas, but I will admit this season has been relatively fun to watch. I’ll get to a full season review of it soon, but despite the fairly dodgy animation, this was a fun historical/fantasy story to get lost in this season.

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Everybody Hurts Sometimes; Even If You Want To Forget

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode Review Title Image

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 12 Review

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary has been a fun journey this season, provided the terrible animation didn’t send you running in the opposite direction early on. But now all the pieces are in place and we just have to watch how it all unfolds. I’m kind of torn as to whether I think they will kill off any of the main cast. This anime hasn’t really avoided killing people off but despite everything the main cast is still pretty much in-tact as we turn into our final episode.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 12 Cheng

Though, perhaps I should make that physically in-tact. And even that isn’t really right given Yin is now one yet another pair of prosthetic arms after multiple instances of losing her arms throughout the series.

Zhao is pretty much a hollow shell at this point having been unable to protect Yin. He’s going through the motions of serving the empire but he can’t really have his heart in that with Ning on the rebel’s side and being unable to save Yin. But he also can’t abandon Cheng (the Empress) so he’s just completely shutting down at this point.


Yin was already broken by the water torture – and her incredibly horrible life.

Ning is still naively clinging to the potential hope that maybe, just maybe, she can save Yin and Zhao and put her family back together and get a happily ever after. Ning is either the best optimist ever or completely deluded and I guess it depends how tragically next week goes as to which way her character will end up being judged.

And Cheng, well her aunt finally attempted to overthrow her and while that went poorly it did open up a memory Cheng had suppressed and it may very well be the straw that finally drives Cheng right over the edge she’s been walking along for weeks.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 12 Juan

So, cheery episode with a potential disaster looming ahead for next week. Still, despite everything, this one has remained a relatively entertaining watch.

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Give In To Your Hate – Embrace The Darkness

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode Review Title Image

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 11 Review

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary has been heading for a tragic end for awhile and right now it is kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The Empress is in a state of emotional turmoil after sentencing Ning to water torture last week (and Ning has fully gone off the deep end after experiencing said water torture). All this has done is emboldened the Empress’ enemies and they are now moving far more openly against her.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 11 the Empress

Meanwhile, Zhao has thrown himself fully into his work. Last week though I made the comment that he was doing nothing about Ning and apparently that is untrue. He’s been sending petitions to the Empress to receive her pardon. Petitions the Empress hasn’t been reading. Way to be a great friend and all. Still, there’s a massive construct to complete before the series end because if it doesn’t even get finished it will be the sub-plot that’s gone nowhere and I’d have to wonder what the point was.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 11 Zhao

Also meanwhile, Yin has finally accepted joining the rebel family and now has more brothers and sisters. She’s still totally brooding about Ning though. Good thing this anime isn’t in to making us wait as Ning returns, insane and powered up, ready to fight her sister to the death.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 11 Ning fights Yin

At this point the battle between the rebels and the empire is almost superfluous to the central characters’ personal dramas. One thing is for sure, Ning has definitely misplaced all of her anger onto her sister and it doesn’t look like she’s coming back from that any time soon.

Great Heights and Great Falls: It All Comes With Ambition

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode Review Title Image

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episodes 8 – 10 Review

Zhao’s character has been a curiosity from the beginning given despite being enslaved he ultimately chose to pursue power within the empire after it was offered to him. His lack of understanding of Yin’s disgust with the idea of serving an empire that wiped out their village was odd to say the least. See, I’d get his character if he knew the empire was evil but had decided that it was worth siding with them for the opportunity to have power. But instead, he’d kind of convinced himself that those getting wiped out deserved it because they were weak and the empire was right all along. It was a little bit odd.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 8 Zhao and Ning

However, despite the Empress’ favour, or perhaps because of it, Zhao wasn’t in the secure position he thought he’d established and these episodes bring that to the front loud and clear. As those plotting around the Empress seek to bring her down, it is only natural that Zhao’s weakness be exposed and Ning, who in episode 7 essentially ditched her sister for the chance to be with Zhao, became the lynch-pin that brought all of Zhao’s ambitions and prior achievements tumbling down.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 9 Cheng

To say that there are some uncomfortable moments in these episodes would be a bit of an understatement, and for once I’m not talking about the cringe worthy CG animation during fight sequences (though there is plenty of that as well). Seeing Cheng enraged that her toy has others he cares about and taking that anger out on Ning, who is without her arms and chained, is pretty horrific. As is Zhao’s decision after he’s been demoted four ranks and ordered to build his ultimate death machine to just suck it up and get on with it. Not one even vague thought that maybe he should use those secret passages Cheng showed off to him to maybe try and rescue Ning. It never even crosses his mind.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 10 Cheng punished Ning

However, the moment that really hits is the water torture. Not only do we get some horrible insight into what is going on in Ning’s mind while the drops of water continue to flow but we also see that Cheng is nearly self-destructing after inflicting the punishment. At least she didn’t delegate the task, which she was well within her rights to, but the previously composed child-ruler is clearly coming unhinged now. None of the three characters have come out of this scheme unscathed and Cheng’s enemies are delighted and becoming more open in their preparations to perhaps take her out.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 10 Ning

All of this is interspersed with cuts to the rebels, who for once weren’t the more interesting story. Instead we get some pretty ordinary action sequences and even after they unveil their new magic armour, it actually just makes the next fight sequence dull to watch. Yin is still a mopey character and while I kind of get her role in all of this, she wasn’t fun to watch and the absence of Ning really hurt her scenes as she no longer has anyone to bounce off of.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 8 Rebels

Still, with three episodes to go there’s quite a lot that can happen and my only real wish is that Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary does come to an end properly because leaving this story hanging will kind of hurt. I’ve really enjoyed the plot and the intrigues even if the animation and visuals haven’t quite been up to the same level of ambition.

Autumn 2018 Week 8


Another week in paradise… well not really but we can all hope and dream. And even if I’m not then at least I am nearing the end of an anime season that has been thoroughly enjoyable. The quality entertainment available this season has been amazing and I am genuinely enjoying the ride. Though, we are now perhaps only four weeks off the end of some of these ending so next week I will be launching the poll for best and worst of the season and letting that run through until the majority of the shows finish airing. Of course, immediately after that we need to get into best of the year and that is going to be a tough choice in 2018.

As always, I would love know your thoughts on the anime this season and even what you think might be in the running for anime of the year. Be sure to leave a comment below.

A Certain Magical Index Season 3

A Certain Magical Index Season 3 Episode 8

Episode 8

This one is apparently 26 episodes, like the previous seasons, but right now I’m seriously thinking of bailing at the mid-season if enough new shows start that I’m interested in. It seems the magic has left A Certain Magical Index, or I’ve moved on from it. Either way, I’m just going through the motions watching it at this point. It doesn’t help that the anime itself gives me so little reason to care.

Banana Fish

Banana Fish Episode 21 Ash and Eiji

Episode 20 – Not Reviewed

Seems we now have an entire mercenary troop hunting Ash and the others down. In the streets of the city… Okay, plausibility was never a big part of this show and I love how they balance real character drama with ridiculously overblown plot points, but this one was perhaps a stretch too far.

Bloom Into You

Bloom Into You Episode 8 Yuu

Episode 8

While I was a little less enamoured with episode 8 than I have been of previous episodes, it was more that this episode seemed to be setting up future events. And if past experience with this anime is anything to go by, the payoff will be worth it if I can just be patient. In the meantime we had some excellent writing and character work to pay attention to in this week’s episode. Patrons can access the post using the link, password on Patreon.


Conception Episode 8 Sue

Episode 8

Yep, the cringe factor continued in episode 8. Actually it got worse as the show mimicked an episode from The Bachelor and literally set my teeth on edge. This was borderline unwatchable for me, though I am told through fairly trusted sources on Twitter that it was actually amusing. Clearly I missed that because I found this episode to be the most painful yet.



Episode 8 – Will be reviewed with Arthifis

Alright, episode 8 was pretty much filler, and not good filler. Hopefully episode 9 picks this one back up because I’ve quite enjoyed the season up until now. If you missed it, Arthifis and I had quite the conversation about the progress Dakaichi has made so remember to go and check out the post if you haven’t seen it yet.

Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer Episode 8 Goblin Slayer and Priestess

Episode 8- Will be reviewed with Arthifis

As Goblin Slayer and Priestess recover from their injuries and have equipment repaired, the rest of the team search the sewers so they are ready for their next encounter with goblins. While we do end the episode with a bang, this one is more about seeing the characters and how they deal with a defeat before prepping for a second round. Good fun and we’re getting more insight into Goblin Slayer as a character.

Jingai-San No Yome

Jingai San No Yomu Episode 9 Flu Scene

Episode 9- Not Reviewed

I may have finally solved part of the question of why this exists this week. Honestly, three minutes is the longest a flu sequence should last. By using the short run time, this anime is actually able to get away with these cliche vignettes because they don’t out stay their welcome. Now the story as a whole is going nowhere, but at least this was kind of cute.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Sakuta

Episode 9

Futaba’s mystery is solved relatively simply, but perhaps simple is good. Certainly the episode is and we continue to get some excellent character performances from a cast that just keeps getting stronger. Also, the preview for the next episode looks fantastic so I’m looking forward to it.

Release the Spyce

Release the Spyce Episode 8

Episode 8

Well, at least this felt like a spy adventure this week. It wasn’t a particularly good one because it felt overly rushed and nothing really had time to have any emotional impact, but at least we had the girls infiltrating somewhere and getting into fights. There were also some cool gadgets. This one remains better sounding than it is and while it remains watchable it is very much average.

Run With The Wind

Run With The Wind Episode 9

Episode 9

Kakeru’s being a jerk to Prince, Haiji is playing mother hen, another character is not eating enough, and the next track meet is fast approaching. All and all, you could say things aren’t going well, or you might think this is just the mess before they all come together. That said, drama is the name of the game this week and there is a lot of it.

Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San

Skull face Book Seller Honda San Episode 8

Episode 8

Average remains a fairly good descriptor of Skull Face Bookseller Honda San. This week we return firmly to the goings on in the book shop and dealing with a range of customer types. Still, there’s little to remember once the episode is done so while these are fun enough short moments there’s nothing that really sticks out.

Sword Art Online Alicization

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 8 Kirito

Episode 8

Episode 8 of Sword Art Online Alicization did an excellent job of reminding me exactly why I love SAO. And I know that some people found the moment Kirito ‘believed’ in himself eye-roll worthy, however I felt it took the story right back to its roots and what it originally tried to capture in Aincrad. Really enjoyed the episode this week.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in the cave

Episode 9

Another good enough and fun enough episode but still just keeping me on the edge of really enjoying it. I find this to be a fun casual watch but there just isn’t enough of really anything to draw me in. The emotional moments with Shizu were great but then they immediately diffuse them. Same with the threat we meet this week. Dangerous for about five minutes and then we’re going to dinner together.


Tsurune Episode 6 Masaki

Episode 6

Another great episode in building on these characters and slowly having the story naturally unfold. It isn’t quite languid enough to be slice of life, nor is it all that dramatic at this stage. Tsurune is finding its own place as a sports anime by telling the story it wants to tell its own way and the result is so far a relaxing and interesting affair. I suspect we may be in for some tension next week but even if we aren’t, I’m enjoying the pace and tone of this.

Voice of Fox

Voice of Fox Episode 7

Episode 7

Well, if we thought things had hit rock bottom last week, watching the fallout this week was pretty painful. If you can think of anyway to kick Hu Li emotionally this episode did it. What’s worse is that the damage is radiating outward from him hurting the few friends he has and his family (though clearly things were strained their from the beginning).

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 - The Rebels Meeting

Episode 7 – Not watched this week

I didn’t get around to this one this week, so I’ll either do a catch up or just be a bit behind for the rest of the season. I haven’t dropped it though.

Episode of the Week

Tsurune Episode 6 Opposition
It is hard not to enjoy Tsurune as it brings some quiet time to an otherwise hectic week. I really like the focus on character and there’s enough going on in preparations for the tournament to keep it from getting dull.

Character of the Week

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 8 Kirito
I don’t try to hide the fact that I really enjoy Kirito as a character and I felt this week he was very Kirito (if that makes any sense). I really enjoyed watching him in Sword Art Online Alicization this week and I hope to see more of him like this.

Dropped or On Hold

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Release the Spyce B2 Tapestry
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The Sword, The Confession, and the Betrayal

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode Review Title Image

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episodes 6 + 7 Review

I’m almost glad for these two episodes. Mostly, because as Ning says to Yin during episode 6, she’s more or less tired of hearing the same argument over and over.

Now Zhao makes no sense as a character. Okay, superficially he does but his whole desire for power from the people who destroyed his home doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Nor does his expecting that Yin is just going to go with him. And if he honestly thinks being friends with the Empress will keep him alive and in power he clearly hasn’t been paying all that much attention given quite clearly people fall out of power as quickly as they gain it.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 Zhao and Yin

But I’m getting this all out of order. The group of rebels Yin and Ning have hooked up with formally invite them to rebel and of course Ning is ready to go and Yin is a wet-blanket. This leads to a touching sisterly moment where Ning finally admits she lied to Yin about Zhao wanting to see her at the dance but Ning keeps to herself the whole part where apparently Yin is some reincarnated soul with a destiny – what can we say, sisters?

Almost immediately after this, they are rafting down a river to join up with some other rebels when Zhao’s squad of really creepy contraptions attacks them. The trio are reunited, end up taking a swim, and Yin and Zhao kind of have a heart to heart while in their undergarments sitting by a fire with Ning knocked out and recovering.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 Yin, Ning and Zhao

This is of course after we’ve seen Zhao making happy plans with the empress to build a grave for these two and the villagers for most of the two episodes. Now he’s insisting Yin come back with him because he has power and for some weird reason he doesn’t understand why she might object. Ning on the other hand, knows exactly what she’s always wanted and when Yin doesn’t take Zhao’s hand, Yin is right there and ready to go.

It is almost as if Yin cursed herself when she hugged Ning in episode 6 and said they would be together forever. She should just be happy it wasn’t actually a death flag she raised.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 6 Yin and Ning

Anyway, Xuan Yuan remains an interesting watch though it is riddled with issues. I can’t actually imagine this having a happy ending so I’m preparing to watch all the characters die tragically. If anyone ends up surviving that would just be a happy surprise at this point.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 5: Attack of the Poor Animation

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 5

Right from episode 1 this anime came across as rough. There was some pretty bad CG and more than a few off model character moments. After that though things kind of settled, until this episode (that isn’t saying there aren’t some poorer moments in the episodes in between but they weren’t noteworthy). Episode 5 on the other hand manages to look incredibly rushed.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 5

It is most prominent when shifting between close ups of characters that look mostly fine, save perhaps a misshapen neck, slightly unfocused eyes or just a general wrongness, to far shots where eyes might disappear altogether and the character looks very much like a placeholder rather than a finished product. It’s actively distracting in this episode and that’s before we even look at the fighting animation which is, in the most generous description of it, terrible.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 5

And all of this is quite the shame because the plot here is rolling along nicely. The concern Yin has as Ning is apparently slipping further into bloodlust and revenge is quite touching. The rebels are pretty cliche but interesting enough and the concept of the fights are pretty cool even if the execution is questionable. Not to mention, this week we saw Zhao reunited with the sisters even if neither side actually knew it and we got to see more of how the Empress feels about Zhao in general. This is a fairly interesting story and with slightly more competence behind its production it could have actually been great.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 5
Part of me wonders if she’s putting on a show for her attendant or if this is how she really sees Zhao.

The end result is I’m sticking with this one and I’m enjoying it for what it is but I can’t say I really recommend it. There’s too many areas where it just under-performs. Still, for what it is there are things to enjoy and hopefully it will bring things together nicely by the end (though past experience probably suggests otherwise).