Behind Every Great Anime Protagonist Is A Great Supporting Cast

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Previously I’ve looked at reasons why being a villain would suck and I’ve certainly looked at various characters on my blog and why they shine, but with the exception of Natsume (see the supporter battle Irina and I worked on), I seldom discuss the supporting cast and their importance in making or breaking a series. Which is something I decided I needed to change because the more I think about it the more I come to realise that great characters don’t occur in isolation.

For every character I’ve connected with or instantly fell in love with and wanted more of, surrounding them is usually a plethora of well written, developed and interesting characters. Each one holding up their end of the story and playing the role they need to play in a way that allows the protagonist to shine.

Obi from Snow White With The Red Hair
Obi is a fantastic supporting cast member in Snow White With The Red Hair. See my top 5 favourite moments with him.

However, this also highlights my general problem with harem anime (whether standard harem, reverse harem, or not a harem but using more or less the same tropes). That is, generally (not always), while there might be good characters in the anime, they aren’t working to complement each other.

Not every supporting cast is made up of a harem in anime… just a lot of them.

The focus is on each of the girls (or guys) standing out from the others with a distinct visual and personality. Their job is to carve out their own niche audience and fan group rather than support a main character or even the cast as a whole. As a direct result, the supporting characters pull attention away from what frequently turns out to be a fairly dull protagonist and because of the shared screen time none of the supporting characters ever really feels fully realised (again, generalising).

Going through some of my favourite characters, or characters I am drawn to, I can see time and again, that a lot of what makes them so amazing comes from those surrounding them.


March Comes in Like a Lion (I promise this isn’t another love letter) has Rei at its centre with the Kawamoto sisters as almost dueteragonists. Particularly in the second season where Akari becomes a major focus for a large arc. All four of these characters are fantastically written and interesting characters and honestly I’d probably happily watch them just stay inside the Kawamoto house and interact at this point.


But, that wasn’t what drew me to the show and to Rei early on before the deep connections were formed and I learned more about these characters. Whether it was Nikaido as a self-proclaimed best friend, Shimada as a mentor character, Kyoko and Goto as potential antagonists, the members of the Science/Shogi club… every single character we encounter (even the one episode rival shogi players) felt like a fully realised character that helped to flesh out the world.

More importantly they gave Rei a wide range of people to respond to and react to bringing out more of Rei’s personality and pain and allowing the audience to feel that he was also a fully realised character rather than just a one note ‘tragic young shogi player’.

Yuri on Ice Episode 6
Yuri and Victor

On a lighter note, Victor and Yuri from Yuri on Ice are amazing. No question I loved watching the two of them interact and grow closer together. I would happily watch more of just the two of them. But again, that wasn’t the immediate draw. What draws you in to Yuri on Ice are all the small touches throughout, including every supporting cast member we meet feeling like they have their own story to tell and just being fun.

Yuri on Ice Episode 7 - Yuri's family - The supporting cast members

Whether it is Yurio running from his fan club, JJ and his over-bearing confidence, Yuri’s family and their support, all of the characters bring something to the mix that helps to elevate the whole shoe and provide a context for Yuri and Victor’s relationship to grow within.


However, even something like Noragami, where I genuinely love Yato, it is again the support cast that manage to bring out his full charm. Hiyori and Yuki stand with him and each brings something relatable and interesting to the story, but the other gods, the regalia, Hiyori’s friends, those who call Yato, even the phantoms, each of them add something to the story and while we may not get a huge amount of time with them, or back story, they are a delight to meet and interact with.

Noragami - supporting cast

Where Noragami manages to go even further is in the portrayal of Nora who remains for most of season one an incredibly enigmatic figure but one who is sufficiently built up that when she takes a more active role in season two it doesn’t feel like she’s come from nowhere. It feels like a natural extension of where her story had been heading from the beginning and it is largely through her interactions with Yato that more of Yato’s past can be revealed to the audience.

My Hero Academia Support Cast

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it in terms of whether a great support cast can make or break a show and a protagonist. Look at My Hero Academia. I like Midoriya, I really do, but he isn’t a particularly memorable character on his own. It is the zany cast that surrounds him early on that fills the anime with so much energy and enthusiasm and allows Midoriya the chance to grow into his role as both protagonist and hero. There’s almost as much fan art around plenty of his classmates as there is of him (and of some characters I’d bet there’s even more).

When creating something it is important to remember that while the protagonist will probably be the character people remember, a great protagonist on their own doesn’t normally carry the story alone (unless they are Tom Hanks in Cast Away in which case I still give the award for best supporting cast member to the Volleyball). It is the support cast that create the space and opportunities for the protagonist to be who they need to be and draw out the best of the main character.

Cast Away - Tom Hanks and Wilson

So remember, behind every great protagonist is a great supporting cast. Or a really emotive volleyball.

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

Finding Joy and Inspiration In Watching Anime Characters Succeed


I will admit I am not the biggest fan of every story ending happily ever after with every protagonist succeeding. Yet, there are times when you definitely just need to find joy and inspiration and watching anime characters succeed against all odds is kind of an awesome way to do this.

There are moments in life when you definitely feel down. I originally wrote this post when I just felt like everything around me was falling apart and I didn’t really know how to hold things together. The stress was overwhelming and I felt sick each morning when I woke up. Then as the day wore on I’d realise more and more what sort of a hole I was in emotionally and I’d feel worse until by the end of the day I was just over it. I realised I needed to pick myself up and it wasn’t the first time, wouldn’t be the last.

So naturally I turned to Yuri on Ice.

Watching anime characters succeed - Yuri doesn't win the gold but he certainly achieves a lot and can just make you smile

Watching anime characters succeed can light a fire in you.

There are so many bloggers out there who talk about how anime has saved them or given them the strength they’ve needed at a certain time in their life. Realistically, any story can have this impact if it is the right story delivered at the right time and the right way. However, for those of us who call ourselves anime fans, there’s something very special about anime and the way we connect with it and the characters. We know they aren’t real (or at least most of us do). We understand these are drawn or computer generated characters. And yet the emotions we feel while watching them are very real.


I don’t think I’m alone when I say that watching Yuri on Ice is an experience in and of itself. Each time Yuri falls down he picks himself back up whether personally or professionally. The reciprocated respect between Yuri and Victor that ultimately becomes a truly beautiful love is amazing to watch and the scene where they exchange rings is absolutely fantastic.


Yet none of that beats the high of seeing Yuri performing his routine, to his chosen music, at the end of the series and finally delivery an awe inspiring performance. While the relationship between the characters is great, the whole cast is interesting, and the music great to listen to, for me the biggest high watching this anime through again is in seeing Yuri’s moment of triumph.


In a way that none of the screaming shounen protagonists have ever been able to do, Yuri’s performance inspires me, lifts me up, and makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time. Watching the anime characters succeed in Yuri on Ice, achieving personal bests, or even just getting back up after failing a jump, it makes me want to try things and not give up.


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Live a Live – RPG Game

And for a brief moment, I might even crazily think I can accomplish anything and everything I set my mind to. About a minute after that my more cynical and rational mind kicks in and tells me not to get too ambitious but focus on the things I can in fact accomplish with just a bit of effort.


I followed this up with a round of Snow White with the Red Hair. Let’s be honest, Shirayuki is inspirational from episode 1. She never once lets a single thing set her back for too long. She gracefully rises to each challenge she is faced with and continues to look forward on her path. There’s never bitterness or complaints or looking for an easy path. There’s no faltering just because she’s tired. Shirayuki is the kind of character that might really annoy you if you were really feeling down, but after being raised up and inspired by Yuri, Shirayuki gives you a practical approach to walking the path you choose.


And finally, mostly for a laugh, I ended this anime recovery session by watching a single episode of Attack on Titan season 2. The one where Eren first actually kills a titan while in human form. Eren is not my favourite character and yet there’s a definite thrill and joy in seeing him momentarily celebrate this seemingly minor achievement during a battle. On a more serious note though, it does remind us to take time to celebrate the little things. Otherwise, we might get eaten by a titan before we have the chance to celebrate anything.


So while I’m still feeling very tired and behind and like life might just be piling too many things on my shoulders just at the moment, I’m no longer seeing this as a negative. Yuri, Shirayuki and Eren all gave me a reason to look forward, to embrace the challenge, to celebrate small successes, and to remember that I can choose to continue to wallow or I can choose to try to make my situation better. I may not always succeed at what I set my mind to, but I can certainly make some progress with effort.

Once again I find myself very thankful I am an anime fan.

Yuri + Victor3

So I’ll leave you with the question of which anime characters have ever inspired you?

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

Top 5: Use of Phones in Anime

Top 5 Use of Phones in Anime

We’ve all seen anime characters using their phones. Whether they are flip phones or the more recently prolific smart phones, characters do love their phones. My list today looks at 5 interesting ways characters use of phones in anime (okay, four interesting uses and one use that just worked well with the story).

These are the uses that stood out to me and felt like they were fairly integral to the story. Please feel free to add your favourite use of phones in anime in the comments below.

Top 5 Use of Phones In Anime

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mention to Haganai for having two characters who both owned phones being completely unable to use them.

Number 5: Yuri on Ice

This is the one that I said wasn’t all that interesting but worked well with the story. All the way through Yuri on Ice the characters used their phones to update where they were, take and post pictures and video and generally stay in contact. It was nice to see these characters simply using phones as part of their everyday rather than having them as a gimmick or an add on.

Plus, the camera rolls and videos stored on the characters phones were used for a fairly significant plot reveal toward the end of the series which would have seemed really lame if we hadn’t seen the characters using their phones all the way along.

Number 4: Mirai Nikki

Yes, future diary. I still don’t know why anyone would keep a diary on their phone but it is the basis for this anime that sets up a death match between diary users and each diary is given a power based on whatever the person was using the diary for. Our main character was recording everything that happened around him but not a thing about himself so his diary shows him the future for everything around him. Good thing his stalker/girlfriend was recording everything about him.

Number 3: Steins;Gate

Who wants to send a text message and change the past? Well, hopefully no-one after seeing the mess it got these characters into. It probably would have been better if they’d had a clue how they’d managed to accomplish building a time machine that could send text messages but even then they probably would have still gotten into the mess by changing world-lines and then having to essentially undo every single change.

Number 2: Noragami

Alright, the phone aspect isn’t very big in this one but I like that a god has been reduced to spraying his number all over town and that he can teleport to the person who has called him. During the first season at least this was one of the many ways this story was made to feel modern. The second season kind of loses a bit of this and that is probably to the show’s detriment.

Number 1: Eden of the East

It absolutely had to be. Phones given to a group of selected individuals with a large amount of money on it and charged with saving the country. What could possibly go wrong? I think it is the operator on the other end who is more extraordinary given pretty much any request can be answered provided they still have enough money.

If it wasn’t for the deadly consequences of participation this would very much be the best phone on this list to have. Aside from the Selecao’s phones though the other characters use their phones to connect and interact. Removing the phones, Eden of the East does not work as a story.

Top 5 Use of Phones in Anime

And that’s my list this week. What do you think about phones in anime?

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

Top 5 Sports Anime That Maybe Almost Convinced Me To Play A Sport

Tuesday's Top 5

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you will know I’m just not into sport. I actually don’t mind occasionally playing one sport or another but find watching sport fairly tedious, and for the longest time avoided sports anime like the plague. It was right up there with the ecchi tag for me not going near it (and I’ve softened my stance on that one as well over the years).

Today I’m looking at the 5 sports anime that while watching I at least entertained the idea of maybe playing the sport on offer. Usually common sense prevailed and I didn’t actually go forth and sport however given my recent joining of a volleyball comp I have to question how much anime influences my life choices.

What sports anime maybe convinced you to try a sport?

This is my personal list but I’d love to know what sports anime you have watched that might have maybe made you want to play the sport.

Number 5: Prince of Stride

Prince of Stride

You know, try as it might, Run With the Wind never made me feel like I wanted to put on some shoes and go for a run. Partly because that’s a good way to get bitten by a dog (happens fairly regularly to those who do run in my town) and partly because it just doesn’t look all that fun. However, Prince of Stride with its weird mix of relay team/sprinting/parkour actually looked really fun.

Two reasons why I didn’t act on this one. Firstly, it is a made up sport. Secondly, I have no athletic ability or agility so it would mostly be kind of tragic if I tried. Still, the anime makes it look like a great team sport.

Number 4: Cheer Danshi

cheer5 5

Seriously, an anime about male cheerleaders didn’t seem like an overly appealing proposition to begin with and yet the enthusiasm they ended up with was pretty infectious. Sure there’s a lot of hard work involved but the team come together and really look like they are enjoying. Plus, technically I’ve been a part of cheer leading teams previously and always kind of enjoyed them (the low key kind of cheerleaders who do not go flying through the air).

Number 3: Tsurune

Tsurune Episode 13 Minato lines up his shot.

It is amazing how they managed to make Kyudo seem so appealing and meditative in this anime. I really doubt I’d have the patience or will power to actually go through with it, but watching the anime and seeing each of the characters improve and find their calm focus was lovely. The magical sparkly leaves that flew whenever they made a good shot also kind of helped with the appeal of this one.

Number 2: Yuri on Ice

Yuri on Ice Episode 6

Now if this was just a list of favourite anime that had sport in them, Yuri on Ice would most definitely be number one. However, it is not. It is a list of sports anime that made me want to try the sport. I actually don’t mind ice skating when I’m somewhere that has a rink but I’m incredibly uncoordinated so figure skating is a little out of my league. Still, Yuri on Ice made me wish that maybe I’d gone into skating as a kid because it just seemed magical the way they glide over the ice.

Number 1: Haikyuu

Sports anime

Yep, the anime that inspired the list due to silly choices on my part. I will admit, that while I am terrible at playing Volleyball, I actually have a very sound grasp on the rules and how the game works because of watching Haikyuu. That doesn’t actually help the ball get over the net mind you but at least I know what went wrong and why it didn’t.

On the other hand, it is hard not to be inspired by these characters. They are so passionate and dedicated to the game and throw themselves at it with enthusiasm. Definitely an inspiring anime.

And that’s my list this week but be sure to let me know what anime made you think that maybe you could play a sport.

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

Top 5 Moments in Anime That Left Me Breathless

Top 5 Moments in Anime That Left Me Breathless

There are some moments in movies, TV shows, movies and books where the only appropriate reaction is to sit stunned. Either amazed by the beauty, audacity, shock factor, or sheer amazingness of what you’ve just witnessed/read. These are my top 5 moments in anime that have left me breathless and stuck with me long after the anime has ended.

What are your top 5 moments in anime?

Definitely a spoiler warning in effect from this point onward.

No. 5 – Ichigo’s first Bankai (Bleach)

A top 5 moment in anime - Ichigo goes Bankai

While there are any number of truly epic moments throughout Bleach’s 366 episode run that could have qualified for this list (particularly as I watched Bleach when my access to anime was pretty limited and so scenes that others might find pretty ordinary seemed truly amazing and stuck with me) Ichigo’s first time using his bankai against Rukia’s brother Byakuya was a truly show-stopping one.

Prior to this point, Ichigo’s sword was really big and not much else. Even his special move was really just making a really large swipe at something which left some very cool impressions on convenient rocky mountains but compared to the plethora of interesting swords in the show, his left very little impression.

Therefore, Ichigo managing to unlock a new form for his sword after some gruelling and very truncated training in order to achieve the feat in time to save Rukia, is one of those moments that really just made sure I was glued to the screen as the battle played out.

No. 4 – The Colossal Titan Appears (Attack on Titan)

Another anime where any number of scenes and sequences could have made the list. Attack on Titan played on shock factor and delivered a number of truly gruelling and cruel moments for the cast of characters as well as some very cool moments such as literally every time Levi actually gets to fight. And yet, none of them ever topped the scene in the first episode where the Colossal Titan appears.

This is just such a well paced sequence where we know what is coming and yet the sheer immensity of the threat and helplessness of the characters just brings everything to a halt. It wasn’t just the characters whose lives were inevitably changed by the events here. Viewers were also left staring in awe and a little fear as this menacing figure appeared over the walls.

Its one of those moments in anime where even if you saw the promotional images before hand and kind of knew what was coming, it was still pretty amazing to see unfold.

No. 3 – Yuri and Victor Kiss (Yuri on Ice)

Yuri on Ice Episode 7 - The Kiss
Best Moments in Anime

Okay, I’m more surprised this one didn’t end up higher up the list.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time or if you were on Twitter during 2016, you will know that this moment didn’t just leave some viewers breathless it literally blew up online. Whether it was the argument about whether it was a kiss or not or just people happy to see their ship sail, episode 7 of Yuri on Ice was a game-changer and one of those extraordinary moments in anime that you never quite forgot.

While it is easy for an epic fight sequence to be a spectacle and grab your attention, there’s something special about a character moment, a personal celebration, that manages the same feat. As much as watching Yuri perform his routine and execute an amazing move toward the end of his performance was spectacular, the moments that follow are far more meaningful and will stick with the viewer long after the season comes to a close.

No. 2 Roy Destroys Envy (Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood)

Again, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is full of epic battles and emotional moments that more or less take your breath away. However, Roy’s cold and ruthless revenge against Envy still stands as one of the best moments in anime I’ve ever witnessed.

It isn’t just that Roy is saving Hawkeye in this sequence. Nor is it simply that his use of fire is a visual spectacle to behold. Even knowing that Envy is the character that was responsible for the death of Maes Hughes isn’t the reason this scene remains one of the best anime moments ever.

No, what sells this scene is Roy himself. Usually playing a bit of a fool or a competent leader, depending on the requirement of the moment, in this scene we see Roy as the devastated friend face to face with that friend’s killer. If looks could kill, the look in Roy’s eyes as he faces of against Envy would have been enough before he ever used alchemy.

While I’m not big on an eye for an eye, there’s something just utterly compelling about this scene and it may very well have been my number one pick if I’d written this list back when I first started the blog.

No. 1 – Your Turn (My Hero Academia)

While I’ve made no secret of the fact that I kind of grew weary of My Hero Academia and am now taking a break from the newer seasons, there was definitely a moment in season 3 of the superhero tale that truly grabbed my attention. And it was the moment All Might publicly passed the torch to Midoriya, even if the public didn’t quite know to whom All Might’s gesture was directed.

Again, it is odd that it wasn’t the epic battle that lead to this moment as All Might was battered and eventually unable to hold onto his hero form. It is the character moment where he has made his choice and Midoriya’s (and the audience’s) understanding of what this really means.

As far as moments in anime go, this one is one that can truly be appreciated even by non-anime fans. It isn’t a visual spectacle or a colourful explosions across the screen. Instead it is a deeply personal moment playing out on a very public stage and one that has far reaching consequences for the society in the story and the characters at the heart of it.

Top 5 Moments in Anime That Left Me Breathless

These were my top 5 moments in anime that left me breathless but I’d love to know which moments in anime you would have picked. Be sure to leave me a comment below.

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

A Decade of Anime 2016

Anime of the Decade

In May of 2016 I decided it was time to start a blog. I’d been watching seasonal anime for awhile and tried various forums and discussion boards to try to get a sense of community and a conversation around what I was watching without much success and took the plunge starting my blog a few weeks into the Spring anime season.

Turns out 2016 was my favourite year of the last decade for anime with some massive titles coming out that still dominate my favourite anime of all time lists. With so many amazing titles to choose from Ajin and Bungo Stray Dogs tragically didn’t make the final cut but both were worth noting within the year. As always, I’d love to know what your favourite anime from the year were so be sure to leave a comment below.

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year. I totally cheat in this list. That’s okay. I made the rules.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

Best anime 2016 edition.

Winter 451625886 1577945280422


Erased Title Image

A mystery drama with a time travel element? Sign me up. While there are plenty of holes to be found in Erased if you look too closely at the plot and the ending of the anime is a little lacking (the live action series on Netflix is less fun to watch but has a more solid conclusion), Erased was one of those anime that I just fell in love with. I liked the premise and found Satoru to be an interesting character in his hopelessness as an adult and his earnest efforts when returned to his younger self to try to change the future. It also gave us a great anime mum for a change and that’s something to celebrate.

Having rewatched this series numerous times and introduced several people to anime through it, the mystery/time travel hook has worked on a number of my friends, Erased is an anime that was well worth watching and is well worth holding onto as the decade ends. If you missed it be sure to give it a go.

Spring 1821512031 1577945325489

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

Do I actually need to justify this one? Though in fairness, I didn’t start watching at the beginning of the season. I wasn’t interested in another super hero story. A few rave reviews of the first episodes later from other bloggers and I picked the series up about five episodes in and binged the lot. I was hooked.

While my recent, less enthused coverage of season four might not show it, My Hero Academia was an anime that blew me away and drew me right in. The colours, the characters, the energy, and some actual depth to the structure of the super-hero society all worked together to make My Hero Academia a phenomenon that definitely left its mark on the decade and kind of defined the later years of the decade in terms of mainstream anime.

Whichever way, if you are one of the few anime viewers out there who has never tried My Hero Academia because of the hype around it, I strong recommend seasons 1 and 2. They are just solid entertainment and well worth the watch. Season 3 delivers some excellent moments as well but has a few more rough edges and I will admit at season 4 I’m starting to fall out of love with the franchise, but that will not change how amazing season one and two were.

Summer 623397914 1577945307757

The Morose Mononokean


From one of the most popular, main stream titles to this obscure and low key school, supernatural story, The Morose Mononokean. The story of a boy who picks up what he thinks is a bag and it turns out to be a yokai and then ends up having to work for the Master of the Mononokean in order to pay for his assistance.

Turns out the master is also his classmate so it all works out fairly well. Honestly, this first season isn’t much on its own, though the recent addition of the second season had me revisiting where the story began and to be honest, this is one title that I’ve grown more fond of with time. Certainly it isn’t in the league of some of the others on this list but it is my list of favourite anime from the decade and so here we are.

If you are after your basic help the yokai of the week story with a bickering odd-couple at the centre and an interesting take on human and yokai relationships then you could certainly do worse than The Morose Mononokean. Okay, it doesn’t rise quite to the heights of Natsume Yuujinchou, but so few things do.

Fall 1533177906 1577945346333

March Comes in Like a Lion


I’ve probably already mentioned a million times on my blog how much March Comes in Like a Lion (or Sangatsu no Lion) means to me. I utterly fell in love with the visuals, the characters, and following Rei’s ongoing struggles as he tries to pull himself out of depression and find what he wants in life, and whether that actually is being a pro-shogi player. There’s so much heart in this series and just a stunning understanding of human emotion that only gets better in season 2 even though season 1 was already a phenomenon in its own right.

There is no way I could have made a list looking back at the anime of last decade and not included March Comes in Like a Lion. However, another anime came out in Fall 2016 that has to be mentioned because it was the anime that got me hooked on ani-twitter. Watching and following along with other viewers and spending the next week while waiting for the next episode looking at the speculation, the art works, and just getting swept along was a truly amazing experience.

Yuri on Ice

best anime 2016

Yeah. Yuri on Ice came out in 2016 as well. Where March Comes in Like a Lion was a slow, contemplative title that slowly mined the emotional depths of its characters, Yuri on Ice was an explosion of personality and music that swept viewers along for the ride. Certainly there are criticisms that can be made about it, but for those who watched it the season it aired, the viewing itself became part of the experience and was part of the online anime community.

This wasn’t another shounen title making the mainstream, this was an anime about male ice-skaters, their growth and their relationship. It was definitely a different kind of experience.

This is another one of those anime that I’ve gotten non-anime fans to watch. They start that first episode with Victor’s lonely figure skating and Yuri’s narration and a few hours later the story is done and I’m being asked what other titles they could try. Of course, there’s nothing quite like Yuri on Ice.

Anime of the Decade

And that brings 2016 to a close. It was the only year in the whole decade I needed to cheat with my one anime per season rule, but I definitely had to include both of those titles. Be sure to let me know your favourite anime from 2016 and join us again tomorrow to look at 2017.

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

Check out my favourite anime from each year over the last decade:

My Pirate Crew


So Lyn Sheridan kicked off this tag and it seems like it could be great fun. You know, other than the fact that I get boat and every-other-mode-of-transport sick I think being a pirate could be great fun. Is there a job for pirates who walk? Anyway, huge thank-you for the tag and let’s see who I’m including in my crew.

The Rules

  1. Display the My Pirate Crew logo and add ‘My Pirate Crew’ as a tag.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  3. Link back to the original post here (so I can compare your crews to mine).
  4. Select seven anime characters and give them a position on the crew. These are the positions you can to fill. Warrior, sniper, chef, doctor, scientist, navigator, strategist, mechanic, entertainer.
  5. Nominate 5-10 bloggers.
  6. Set sail and rule the seas!

The Crew

Let’s start out with a navigator because I’m going to get hopelessly lost. This may be a weird choice but I’m picking Homura from Madoka Magica. I’m not entirely certain about her map reading ability or even navigation but that’s kind of pointless. She can just go back and fix it if we make a mistake so I’m thinking this is the perfect choice for a navigator.

Homura Akemi Madoka Magica

Next, we’re going to need a chef because food is really important to maintaining morale, and you know, just because food is really good. I’m actually cheating here and I’m going to bring all four of the guys from Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori because food, dessert, tea and coffee are all super important.


The mechanic is perhaps the easiest position to fill. Winry from Full Metal Alchemist. Seriously, why wouldn’t you pick her? If Kaylee from Firefly were an anime character I’d have picked her but she’s about the only person I’d pick over Winry.

Winry Rockbell Full Metal Alchemist

Right, so warrior, because I probably need someone who can fight in this crew if I’m actually putting together a pirate crew. There are many incredibly strong fighters in anime but then I had to think about who I’d actually like to spend time with in close quarters and I ended up deciding Hei from Darker Than Black. He doesn’t talk all that much but he’s pretty proficient and I’m certain that electricity and water couldn’t possibly be a terrible mix.


Strategist is again and easy one to pick. Admittedly, she didn’t do so well out of her strategist in Katanagatari but things worked out for everyone else so I’m definitely picking the self-proclaimed strategist Togame. While I’m not entirely sure that her motives and mine will align, I’m certain that she’ll lead us to some interesting pursuits.

Katanagatari - Strategist Togame

For the doctor, much like my navigator, I’m not so worried about them getting it right. I’m picking Orihime from Bleach and she can just reject the damage and reverse it back to before it was. It’s a neat trick and works on all injuries. Not so sure whether its effective on things like catching a cold but I’m thinking given she’ll bring you back from being pretty much dead she’s definitely worth having around.

Bleach Orihime

Finally, entertainer, because everyone needs entertainment. I’m definitely hiring the duo of Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice (and please don’t point out the lack of reality of having an ice-skating rink on a pirate boat). You know what, we’re going there and if worst comes to worst they can just get drunk and have a dance off.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

And that would be my highly dysfunctional crew. I’m sure we’d have fun. Or sink. Either way.

The Nominees

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A Special Friday’s Feature: Adventures at Supanova – Brisbane 2018

Supanova Brisbane - Cyberman from Dr Who

Hi all and welcome to a very special edition of Friday’s Feature as I share a bit about my weekend when I travelled to Brisbane for Supanova. For those who don’t know, Supanova kind of covers a bit of everything. Comics and gaming seem to be a large part of the focus, but there’s a lot of sci-fi, a bit of horror and quite a bit of anime thrown in just for fun. Previously I’d been lucky enough to travel to Melbourne for the event but that was a number of years ago and so I was super-excited when I managed to save up some cash, organise some time off work, and get to the convention this year.

Despite how it looks at opening, there was plenty of room and the lines were never too long.

Now, it does start on the Friday afternoon, but with travel I was only able to go on Saturday and Sunday, but I still found heaps to do and way too many things I wanted to buy. However let’s start at the beginning. Over four days (counting the Monday and the Friday travel time), I drove over 19 hours, spent nearly 5 hours on trains, and walked over 30,000 steps.

And I wonder why I was tired this week.

Supanova Brisbane 2018 - Dean Cain

I also met some incredibly cool people, picked up some amazing merchandise, got to hear Dean Cain answer questions about whether or not there were ever any accidents involving his Superman suit and Bonnie Wright talk about what it was like to kiss Harry Potter so I’m feeling pretty happy with my weekend. I am a little bit disappointed that the panel with Julie Benz didn’t go ahead, but it did mean I had plenty of time to listen to the guys who rent out Darlek’s and a Tardis for charity and have operated a Darlek on the set of Dr Who, so again, not a lot to be disappointed about when so many things were so much fun.

And yes, I did dress up for the occasion (at least on the Saturday). I went as a gender-bent version of my very favourite anime ice-skater, Yuri Katsuki. For patrons, there’s a little surprise over on Patreon to check out.

Andrew Law - Figment and Flame Artbook

Now, I spent a huge amount of time in the artists alley because some of the art work there was amazing (as were some of the key chains, dog collars, self-published books, and insect themed jewellery). Still, my favourite stand ended up belonging to an artist by the name of Andrew Law (and here is his website which links to pretty much everything else). I absolutely loved his art work. Lots of fairies and dragons and fantasy based work. Some was coloured, a lot just ink, and I’m going to be honest, it was beautiful. I ended up buying his art book and I will admit I couldn’t really stop looking at it on my way home. I really just enjoyed talking with him and looking at his work. A lot of the other stalls were more interested in just giving you their spiel or pitch or would more or less ignore you until you directly asked them a question, but he was really nice. If you get the chance, check out some of his work because some of it is absolutely stunning.

Outside of that, I did buy quite a few fan arts of Nyanko Sensei, the characters from Land of the Lustrous, and a poster from Yuri on Ice. The Sword Art Online posters came as part of a show-bag I picked up because, Sword Art Online (couldn’t help it).

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve already seen my gorgeous new Nyanko Sensei plush (oh my goodness I love it so much).

And finally, my prize from the convention, I splurged a tiny little bit and bought myself a petite character box of the Black Moon Clan from Sailor Moon including Wicked Lady. I have tons of Sailor Moon themed merchandise, but almost nothing from the villains side and I absolutely love the villains from season 2, so this was a really fantastic pick up and one I’m glad I found.

So yes, an awesome weekend and I would absolutely love to do it again, though I’m not sure when that will happen. I’d love to say I’ll go next year but it was quite hard to fit it in this year so it may have to wait another year or so before I manage to work it in again.

On a final note, I got a few odds and ends (mostly fan posters and the like) that I’m going to save up and put together for a bit of a give-away next year when my blog turns three (I’ll hopefully add to the small collection I have now to put together a couple of decent prizes).

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Celebrating Megane Day

franken stein

The amazing Mel has organised a small celebration for Megane Day which happens to be today. I’m going to admit, I love characters who wear glasses and so I was happy to take the excuse to revisit some of these amazing characters.

Previously I’ve given my top 5 list of male characters who wear glasses and the female list. And I stand by both lists of super cute glasses wearing characters.

That said, these lists were written in October 2016 and right after that my new glasses wearing love came along and he is super adorable.

Seriously, my only complaint is that he doesn’t wear his glasses often enough. Yep, Yuri Katsuki can go straight to the top of my favourite characters who wear glasses.

And of course in second place, from the same season of anime we were given Rei Kiriyama.

Way too much glasses cuteness in one season, and it totally made my top 5 list dated almost as soon as it was written. That said, I’m glad Mel organised today for us to celebrate because it gave me a chance to share the love.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Kamina Gurren Lagann

Yuri on Ice Guide To Episode 8

yuri on ice title

This episode opens a bit differently from normal as we don’t have an initial narration. Instead we hear the sound of a plane, we get some text that tells us we’re in Moscow and then we hear squeals as Yakov and Yuri Plistesky’s group are walking together. It’s a nice touch and a good lead in to getting some narration from Yuri Plistesky. Despite his fairly lengthy appearances in episodes 2 and 3, we really don’t know much about him nor have we heard his view on things. So the transition here is nice as is getting to see Yuri with his family.

Also nice to see how Yuri Plistesky goes from being a much softer more human character when talking with his grandfather about food and then instantly becomes irked when he hears that Victor has arrived in the country. Sometimes it is hard to remember that Yuri Plistesky is still just a teenager and moments like this really help to make sense of some of his more over the top moments.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

I’m not going to spend a huge amount of time on them, but here we meet quite a lot of the other skaters at the hotel. After transitioning from Yuri Plisetsky arguing with Victor we run into Yuri Katsuki standing in front of the elevator where he is joined by Seung-gil Lee (and I’m just going to point out that if anyone ever wants to make a spin-off anime about Seung-gil I’m 100% for that).

Yuri takes the moment to once again show off his social anxiety and mentally notes there is no one in this round that he’s really friendly with making it a very different atmosphere. We then have the elevator door open and are introduced to Mickey and Sala (siblings who have their own dramas that play out as a minor plot point) and Emil.

Sala, probably sick of Mickey and Emil’s bickering and possessiveness makes a minor pass at Seung-gil and he turns her down flat before attempting to exit the scene. The storm this causes allows Yuri to sneak off to a different elevator and leave the scene.

You could view all of this as filler but at the same time we’re about to watch these characters compete against Yuri so it is kind of nice that we see a little of their personalities as they arrive in Russia and prepare for the competition. Much like with Minami earlier in the series, despite only appearing for a couple of episodes, each of these characters leaves a mark in the narrative and on the viewers.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

Of course, Yuri’s plan to avoid drama backfires as Yuri Plisetsky also gets on the same elevator and after a moment of strained and awkward attempted small talk from Yuri, Plisetsky essentially declares war once again. The contrast between the two characters is nicely managed here though unlike in earlier sequences neither is looking down at the other and they are standing side by side. It shows the growth they’ve both had as characters, despite Plisetsky’s sour expression.

It also shows that the real rivalry between them is still for Victor’s attention even though Victor has made it pretty clear where he is interested.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

Emil, Mickey and Seung-gil all skate in the first half and there’s a bit of build up around Mickey and Sala’s relationship and Mickey’s codependency, but I’m not going to focus a lot on that here. Finally we see Yuri preparing to skate and then we cut to Yuri Plisetsky who gets the news that his grandfather won’t make it to watch him skate. Now, all the way through the series Plisetsky’s seemed like the kind who isn’t very sentimental and other than his fixation on Victor doesn’t seem to hold onto emotional connections.

And yet, the look on his face and the tone of voice when he realises his grandfather won’t be there speaks volumes and given what we’ve seen on the show so far, it is clear this is going to have an impact on his performance just when he has the chance to face Yuri again.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 Yuri Plisetsky

After the eye-catch we get a sequence at the hotsprings in Japan where we see the super cute Makkachin eyeing off some plastic wrapped offerings and you just know this isn’t going to end well. I remember the first time I watched this episode and how worried this sequence made me. Even knowing where it goes, I still feel a little sad for Makkachin as he watches the food so closely with that adorable look on his face.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 Makkachin

But now it is time for Yuri to skate and once again we get a Victor and Yuri sequence to remember on the edge of the rink before beginning. It has been building up since episode 1 when Yuri asked Yuuko to watch him and every time since when he has been more aggressive in asking for Victor’s attention. Episode 1 he asks ‘please watch’ of Yuuko and that is the same request he makes of Victor in Episode 3. By episode 6 he tells Victor to ‘Never take your eyes off me’.

However, episode 8 takes this to a very new level of aggression and possessiveness. Possibly spurred on by the crowd cheering Victor’s name and feeling left out, Yuri forcibly pulls Victor toward him and commands his full attention as he states the performance has already begun.

The sequence demonstrates where they are in their relationship as well as the uncertainty that Yuri is clearly still feeling about whether Victor is going to stay with him if he doesn’t make the final. There’s a lot of pressure riding on Yuri for his performance but he knows what he wants here. Even as he skates away we hear him thinking how embarrassing the scene was and yet he admits he’s trying to push back at the crowd and make his own stand.

For someone who never had any confidence in himself, he finally wants something enough to overcome that fear and try to grab it and hold onto it.

Yuri Katsuki follows this with a fairly brilliant performance of Eros. However, as the fourth time we’ve seen this routine, we cut away a lot to the judges, Victor’s reactions, and to Yuri Plisetsky’s preparations for his own skate. There’s a sense of melancholy surrounding Plisetsky and we see him mostly from behind and looking fairly isolated as he prepares and watches the final moments of Katsuki’s routine.

However, in typical Plisetsky fashion, he speaks with hostility when he Yuri Katsuki comes off the ice. Still, it is clear the young skater is putting up a tough front here and while he’s trying hard a lot of the usual impact is lacking from both his words and expression.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 Yuri Plisetsky

I think one of the things that gets overlooked about Yuri on Ice is that it isn’t just the people like watching Victor and Yuri. What really works for both of these characters is that they are genuinely nice people. They both have flaws and rough edges, they clash and have issues, but overall they are really the kind of people you would want in your life. This is evident when they see Yuri Plisetsky take the ice and they note that he’s found his agape and are both overjoyed.

Yuri Katsuki is competing against Plisetsky and yet he is still happy to see his competitor has improved and has come a long way. This is just such a great part of the show and a lot of the reason it remains a joy to watch because it doesn’t let itself get bogged down in hostile rivalries that are actually destructive. Whether this is realistic is another story, but it is certainly a lot of the fun of watching.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 Yuri and Victor

The final skater to take the ice in the short program after both Yuri’s is JJ. JJ is a character we’ve seen a couple of times in news updates but until now we hadn’t actually met him at a competition. If Yuri Katsuki is someone who is overwhelmed by anxiety and a lack of confidence, JJ is his complete opposite. He is oozing confidence both in the lead up to taking the ice and as he prepares to skate. I find it interesting that both Yuri and JJ have songs named after themselves, JJ for the short program and Yuri for the free skate.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 JJ takes the ice for Theme of King JJ

Everything about JJ’s performance is big. His personality come across through his music that he created that tells his story. He inspires the audience to clap and sing along and he’s working the crowd at every moment. For the first time we see JJ take the ice he leaves a large impression as a character who styles himself as larger than life.

As much as you could call him arrogant, it isn’t as though he hasn’t worked to get there, and he isn’t actually antagonistic to the other characters. Still, JJ is the kind of personality I find hardest to deal with in real life and as a result he’s a character I find it difficult to feel anything for other than a hope that he doesn’t get in Yuri’s way. Still, he creates a fairly solid contrast in personality to a lot of the other characters and ultimately he’s a necessary personality in the final mix so he works well in the story.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

For the most part, Yuri on Ice has avoided last minute cliff-hangers so it when this one came up while it did feel like a slightly cheap way of building some drama, it isn’t as though the event wasn’t foreshadowed earlier. At the end of the episode Yuri gets a call regarding Makkachin and he’s at the vet. This leads to Yuri telling Victor to return to Japan meaning Yuri is going to be on his own for the free skate. And I love this moment as Yuri desperately wants Victor with him but remembers his own pain at losing a pet when he wasn’t there and so tells Victor to leave. He does it without any strings attached and out of concern for Victor.

Yuri on Ice Ep 8o.JPG

While Victor does ask Yakov to take care of him, I think we all knew this wasn’t a great situation and wondered how it would impact on Yuri’s next performance. Not to mention, don’t hurt the dog. I’ll leave you with the final screen before the credits.

Yuri on Ice Ep 8p

My original episode review: Yuri On Ice Episode 8

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Karandi James