Fruits Basket Episode 21: Fear the waves

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Saki welcomes you to her house

I was looking forward to seeing Saki’s turn in the spotlight, and it didn’t disappoint. I liked that this episode framed her story from the perspective of an adversarial character. I appreciate how this series uses its side characters, and it’s a good character moment for Saki as well. As with Arisa, though, I look forward to seeing more of Saki’s story in the future.

Motoko plans her attack

This episode has a cool theme of empathy, posing the question of love as a burden. Good intentions are easy to hide behind, but they can often act as a deceptive form of stress if you’re not careful. Just as a general comment, I’ve been liking the themes that recent episodes in this series have been posing.

Megumi introduces himself

I also thought it was great that this theme is introduced through the eyes of Saki’s brother, Megumi. The two siblings are an awesome pair, and they seem to work together well. There’s nothing wrong with adding more characters, right?

Megumi lectures the group

I liked watching this lecture in disguise. For me, it almost seems like it’s pointing a finger at the common trope of “trying to protect” someone you love, so I think it’s interesting that Megumi calls it a potential burden. He’s also correct to point out that Motoko and her goons have effectively claimed rights over Yuki because of their unrequited feelings of affection.

Saki feels lonely

Despite the lesson, I still do feel sorry for Saki after seeing this episode. She probably feels a sense of responsibility to support Tohru after her mother’s death, so it’s easy to see why it would be hard for her to watch Tohru disappear into the Souma family. After all, the recent episodes have been practically swarming Tohru with the family’s members.

Motoko feels cursed

This curse plays out like an intense form of psychological warfare, and I think it’s awesome.

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Marth’s 5 Favorite Shows Covered On This Blog

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Searching for Bahamut

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time writing blog posts about anime, it’s that I have weird tastes. I’ve always felt like writing stuff on this blog has pushed me to watch a wide breadth of shows. When you start a new season, you can only guess at how you’ll react to each of the shows, so it’s almost like a lottery.

For better or for worse, you choose the shows that you’re going to watch, and if you’re like me, you stick with them. So to make things interesting, I’ll be talking about 5 shows that I really enjoyed that have been covered on this blog. It’s interesting for me to wonder if I would have even watched these shows if not for this blog. And to make it a bit harder on myself, I won’t be choosing anything too recent.

This will be easy

5. Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

Oh, the joys of humble beginnings. This series tells the story of Yune, a Japanese girl is brought to Paris by a travelling French man named Oscar. She brought to stay with Claude, an ironworker living in a small market in the city who initially rejects her. Together, the two learn more about each other while exploring a historical Paris.

I wasn’t a huge fan of slice of life shows back in the day, so my perception of the show when it was airing probably wasn’t too great. But looking back, it has that perfect combination of fluff, a historical setting, and the general theme of culture shock, which are all fun for me.

It's confirmed

4. Hyouka

I’ve always had a fondness for this series (which probably came through when I re-watched and reviewed it). The story follows Houtarou Oreki, a lazy student who lives by an “energy conserving” motto. He’s forced to join the Classics Club by his sister and meets Eru Chitanda, a curious girl who perpetually drags Houtarou on her investigations. I’ve always seen the series as a surprisingly chill set of mysteries, which I think is fun to watch. Not everything has to be about murders and intrigue, right?

3. Chihayafuru

Does this count as my sports series for the list? To be honest, it might be one of the earlier shoujo series that I watched. The series covers the Japanese game of karuta, a card game that involves quickly swiping at a card based on a poem being read aloud. The main character, Chihaya Ayase, discovers the game through a childhood friend, and she carries that passion when he moves away. The story follows her as she attempts to enter the world of competitive karuta as a high schooler. While it’s a game I would never really play myself, I thought the series approaches in a cool way with some likable characters to keep things fun.

Accelerator wonders what the sisters are doing

2. Psycho Pass

Well, it can’t all be fun and games, right? This series might be the most well-known one on the list, and it was definitely one that I enjoyed as it aired. For those that don’t know, the series takes place in a futuristic world where artificial intelligence is used to judge criminals based on their mental state. The main character, Akane Tsunemori, is a new recruit in the police force who learns about this system and its deceptive limitations. I think that the series covers an interesting sci-fi topic well, so it was pretty much right in my wheelhouse.

1. Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)

Hoo boy, how did I make it through such a long series? I think I skipped episodes here and there, but this is probably the longest series I’ve covered on this blog. And to be fair, I think it was well worth it. The series follows Mutta Nanba, a salaryman with a passion for space. When his brother achieves his childhood dream of going to the Moon, Mutta is inspired to pursue his own dream of reaching Mars and applies to become an astronaut. I really enjoyed this series for its portrayal of a competitive sibling rivalry. I also how it says that it’s never too late to work towards your goals.

Kanata no Astra Episode 8: Astronaut friend

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Kanata revives the hibernating woman

Well, I feel like that comment I made about the situation resolving itself quickly is becoming strangely relevant. That being said, this episode was still a lot of fun. The introduction of Polina as the adult in the group might add a new dynamic to the group. The series also seems to be toying with the idea of time dilation in a cool way. It could very well end up as a red herring, which is why I think it adds to the mystery well.

Polina wishes to return home

I’m sure this was mentioned briefly in the first episode somewhere, but I’m guessing the main characters don’t come from Earth. I’m really curious to see where this goes…

Kanata admits the crew's current situation

It was a tough scene, but I liked seeing Polina overreact to her rescue. She concludes that she would only be awakened if a rescue party had arrived, and Kanata basically dashes that hope. In fact, Polina’s full of interesting assumptions. She also assumes that the crew is taking her back to Earth, after all.

Zack beats himself up a bit

I liked how Zack was characterized in this episode. He’s generally stoic, but he feels personally responsible for crashing the ship. Any other member of the crew would probably had a much harder time as a pilot, but Zack takes his shortcomings seriously. In addition to that, his scenes with Quitterie in this episode are awesome. That marriage proposal is probably the greatest thing ever.

Polina reacts to the year

Curse you! Don’t give me hope for a time travel mechanic! But in all honesty, this wasn’t a hard one to guess. Polina acted like she was one of the pioneers of space travel, so it’s impossible to believe that she was only in stasis for 12 years. The main characters live in a world where interstellar travel is commonplace.

Quitterie finds something weird

And to add one last wrinkle into the episode, it looks like Quitterie and Funi are exact clones. Given the earlier comment about cloning with Luca’s father and the strained relationships the characters have with their parents, I feel like I have to conclude that this doesn’t just extend to Quitterie and Funi. Zack also mentioned something about memory transfer, so I really want to see this play out.

Vinland Saga Episode 7: Storm the fort

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Sweyn must withdraw

Thorfinn really seems to be having trouble making progress. Anyway, it looks like this week’s episode is bringing the war back into the story. The action in this series is cool so far, so it’s nice to see more of it. This week’s episode features a random time skip, so I’m starting to wonder how long we’ll continue to watch Thorfinn follow these pirates around.

Askeladd joins the Franks

I thought it was funny to see the pirates joining with the invading Franks in order to get some treasure. That aspect of their roaming allegiances is interesting to see. I’m not sure I even remember hearing which country the defending army belonged to. I feel like I’m just watching the pirates do their thing.

Thorfinn invades alone

Thorfinn’s constant solo missions make me question him as a character, to be honest. I know he’s the protagonist and all, but he seems to push the limits of his plot armor. I don’t mind that Askeladd thinks of him as a sacrificial lamb who has a chance of improving the battle outcome, but there’s a limit to how effective he can be. I think it’s been fine so far, but I do wonder how far it will go.

The pirates charge

This scene was a fun one. It’s probably too obscure of a reference, but it reminds me of a unit from Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, which is just a bunch of dudes that carry a ship and throw it on enemies. I’m sure this is based on a real historical strategy, but I certainly don’t know what it is.

Thorfinn slices an enemy

Thorfinn’s battle sequence had some questionable moments where the camera zooms out weirdly, but I still thought it was nice. I liked seeing the return of the first-person view of the attacks. I also like that we’ve only seen that style with Thors and Thorfinn so far. You could maybe call it a family trait.

Thorfinn challenges Askeladd again

Given how dead Thorfinn’s eyes looked in this episode, I really want him to get his fight with Askeladd. I think it would be great if he wins the duel, and it finally gives him the breathing room to look at what he’s become. Then, he starts on some sort of journey to discover who he is without his vendetta.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 7: Murder on a train

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Waver is joined by the tech guy

It looks like we’re locked in to this story for a while. Looking back, I probably should have noticed that the full title for this series mentions Rail Zeppelin. This sketchy train for trafficking Mystic Eyes certainly explains why the series has spent so much time on them so far. I’ll be curious to see how Waver fares in a longer mystery story. He tends to solve things immediately, so I wonder how things will change up over six episodes.

Olga-Marie introduces herself

Most of this episode was spent introducing characters, so there’s not too much to comment on so far. It certainly seems like we’ll have plenty of suspects for this mystery. It’s also kind of hilarious that Olga-Marie is a familiar face despite the fact that I know very little about her character. Thanks for that, Fate/Grand Order.

Shishigou gets a request

It also looks like there will be a bit of a parallel story in this arc involving hidden support from Shishigou. I think it would be cool if this brought in the other side characters as well. Flat and Svin really didn’t get much more than an episode to do stuff in this series so far.

Olga-Marie proposes a deal

I’m admittedly not very versed with auctions, but I’m not sure how Olga-Marie’s recruitment of Waver helps her. Isn’t adding another bidder just a way to increase the final price? I suppose it’s a magic auction, so the rules could be anything.

Karabo sees Gray's past

So, this train has a set of Mystic Eyes to see the past and another set to see the future. I wonder if that’s supposed to be important or something. Karabo has certainly been suspicious throughout the episode. His dramatic entrance makes me think he’s just a distraction, but he was definitely listening in when Waver reads the letter from whoever stole Iskandar’s mantle.

Waver finds a body

Honestly, Trisha’s mysterious personality made me wonder if she’s the ultimate mastermind in this story. I suppose it’s still possible since her head was missing. However, it could just as easily mean that it was taken because of her Mystic Eyes.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 17: Finding glory

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Ertegun makes some good decisions

This week’s episode was an interesting turn for Ertegun, but I felt like it was generally lacking in subtlety. I don’t mind that Carole and Tuesday take a back seat in the series either, since the character stories that are being shown have been fun. It looks like the girls are steadily making progress, so I don’t think it’s detracting too much from them. I did kind of wish that Ertegun would support the girls after his incident, but I guess it’s too much to ask.

Ertegun loses everything

I liked the idea of having Ertegun lose everything. I think it would be great if his character makes a larger shift as a result. I also thought it was funny that the episode blatantly shows him with a shirt that says “who am I” while he’s struggling. But I think the episode overreaches by shining a giant spotlight on that shirt and mirroring it with a news headline.

Tuesday worries for Carole

It’s nice of Tuesday to worry about Carole, but I’m a bit skeptical about this scene. It’s not hard to make the connection between Valerie and Carole based on Valerie’s proposed policies, so I’m not a fan of seeing the show point a finger at it. I guess I don’t really get what this scene adds.

Spencer leaves

It’s kind of cool to see Spencer ditching his mother, though. He seemed to be making a concerted effort to stay, but no one was listening to him.

Ertegun psyches himself up

There’s something intriguing about watching Ertegun inevitably pull himself out of his slump. His recovery is basically an extended inner monologue, which usually isn’t too effective. I’m not sure what that says about him, though.

The stalker takes out Aaron

To be honest, Aaron was a little creepy, so I’m not too upset to see him go. I’m curious about what Tao says in an earlier scene regarding Aaron’s programming ability. It’s probably meant to partially exonerate him by mentioning that he doesn’t have the skills to do what the stalker does. But that certainly doesn’t look great for Tao.

Tao refuses to give up Angela

In contrast to other parts, I think Tao’s relationship with Ertegun is handled pretty well in this episode. Tao initially reacts to the article about Ertegun’s bankruptcy, which sets up their inevitable conversation. Ertegun’s pitch for the song was also a funny scene.

Fruits Basket Episode 20: Helping out some more

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The anime is a problem itself

We’re really getting a lot of one-offs lately. As with most episodes, Tohru is here to solve all problems with yet another zodiac character from the Souma family. Hiro wasn’t the most pleasant character to add to the cast, but I found his blunt criticism funny in some cases. If anything, this episode works to further highlight the messed up personality of Akito.

Tohru figures some stuff out

Tohru’s still cute in this episode, but I do think it’s interesting that Hiro calls her out for her personality in their interactions. While she eventually wins him over, I’m curious to see if the show does anything with Tohru as the story progresses. At a certain point, you have to admit that she’s nice to a fault.

Tohru gives Hiro a penalty

Well, that’s one way to figure out a zodiac animal. How many are we at now?

Hiro tries to ignore Kisa

I’m not sure how I feel about including Akito in Hiro’s backstory. It gives Hiro a powerful impression of courage, but I almost think that his regret for being unable to help Kisa is enough. That being said, Akito’s a real piece of work if two zodiac characters aren’t even allowed to have a relationship. Yeesh…

Hiro questions Tohru

I think it’s funny that Hiro approaches Tohru with a sense of curiosity. It’s more that he can’t believe that everyone else has built a healthy relationship with her. I am curious to see how things go, though. Hatori mentions in this episode that the cursed Soumas have terrible luck with love, so I wonder how Tohru will play into that. I think it would be cool if Tohru’s personal growth inspires the rest of the characters, rather than just using her raw personality.

Tohru wonders what Hiro will become

I guess I’m mostly reacting to the sense of finality that’s been in recent episodes. It almost seems like many of these character arcs are quickly being resolved. So, I think I’d like to see something more come out of these stories.

5 Random Time Travel Theories

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These fools can't comprehend

Someone has really got to stop me from talking about time travel all of the time. It’s such a fun topic, so I can never help myself. Either way, I didn’t want to go for a standard “top 5” with time travel shows, since I’ve probably done a variation of that in the past. Instead, I’m going to try something different and talk about five different time travel concepts and the shows that propose them.

Tejina can do it

5. Everything already happened – Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

I couldn’t come up with the greatest name for this theory, but it’s essentially the idea where a time traveler has no real control over the events in the past. Because the future relies on events that the time traveler orchestrates, any variation would end up being a paradox. In many senses, the ending is already decided. It seems like a weird idea for reality, but it’s perfect for a story.

In Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, the main character, Hitomi, is sent back to the past by her grandmother, where she ends up meeting her grandmother’s younger self. As a result, Hitomi’s grandmother, Kohaku, is inspired to research time magic to make sure her future self can successfully spend Hitomi to the past. This is an example of the Bootstrap Paradox. Still, the story itself is a lot of fun, and it goes in surprising directions despite how rigid its time travel premise is.

Latina ruins another one

4. Shared movement of time – Time Travel Shoujo

I can’t come up with a good way to label this concept. Basically, I’m talking about shows that feature a future time stream and a present day time stream side-by-side. Somehow, time seems to move at the same rate despite the fact that one of those time streams has already happened. I think the best

3. The infinite loop – Buddy Complex

Sometimes, the time traveler is completely helpless to change a course of events, and must constantly go back to . I won’t go into too much detail since it’s kind of a spoiler, but Buddy Complex is a good example of this. You always think that your extensive knowledge of the future can only be helpful in the past, but maybe you’re just engaging in an act of futility.

Hana wins the color debate

2. Just destroy the world – Sakurada Reset

Time travel always seems like such a surgical endeavor. By making small changes in the past, you can try and achieve a much more favorable future. Well, Sakurada Reset takes a slightly different approach. When the character Misora uses her ability, she completely destroys the world and rebuilds it in an earlier state. The physics of it makes no sense, but it’s pretty darn effective for avoiding a paradox.

1. Traversing the multiverse – Steins;Gate

I’ve said this many times, but this tends to be my favorite time travel theory. Treat the various timelines as alternate universes, and the time traveler is just a visitor in a foreign land. It gets past the paradox problems in other time travel proposals because you’re not directly affecting your own past. You’re messing with an alternate universe’s future.

I think Steins;Gate captures this concept better than any other show or movie I’ve seen. Rather than trying to fix his world, Rintarou is attempting to find the timeline with the best outcome, firmly acknowledging that all of the other tragedies he has seen will still exist.

Kanata no Astra Episode 7: Suddenly marooned

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Charce is asked to explain his situation

Well, Charce seems to have wormed himself out of the situation from last week’s episode, but the crisis is only escalating. This series is getting a lot more intriguing, even if I think the drama feels more heavy-handed than I’d like. I like to see the mystery in this series building. I also appreciate that the adventure is starting to get harder. The lighthearted air to the series wasn’t bad, but it’s not really what I signed up for.

Charce tells his story

I believe Charce’s story to an extent, but I still find him suspicious. That being said, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s thinking that the Seira in his story is Aries, right? I feel like their names are evidence enough. I guess part of me is hoping there’s something more to that story, since my current suspicions would mean a fairly standard amnesia route.

The Astra crashes

Things sure did go from bad to worse in a hurry. Part of me feels like it might have been too fast, but what can you do? Honestly, I’m surprised that Zack gives up so quickly. The group goes from casually flying through the sky to resigning themselves to life on the planet without much effort. I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s hard for me to believe them?

Zack mentions the hibernation device

I actually don’t mind that Zack brings up the hibernation device at this specific moment. I get that the story is bringing up a plot device right as it’s about to become relevant, but I think it works well with the reveal of an identical ship. And I think this scene doubles as a character scene for Quitterie as well. She was the selfish character in the beginning, but she refuses to die alone when given the opportunity.

The team finds another ship

In contrast, we’re about to meet the person who made the decision that Quitterie wouldn’t, so I’m curious to see how that goes. I was honestly expecting the girl who came out of the hibernation pod to look like Quitterie to make things even more interesting, but I guess that’s not where this story is going. I do think it would be cool if the people on this other ship went through the exact same journey as the main characters. It might explain why they were able to find the route through the planets back to their home. Maybe it’s intentional.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 6: Adding too many toppings

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Luvia strikes an ojou-sama pose

Well, I don’t have too much to say about this episode. It’s largely a side story, focusing on Gray, Luvia, and Reines. I think it’s entertaining enough, but it largely felt like down time. It’s interesting to see more of Luvia, I suppose. I didn’t expect her to be a major character. The episode seems to end by setting up a larger story, so I’m curious to see where the series goes from here.

Gray is put into outfits

It’s a minor point, but I really question how this story is structured. The episode starts out with the girls in the middle of their crisis, and then goes back to tell the story of how they got there. I feel like this technique is generally intended to make you wonder a bit, but I didn’t get that sense while I was watching. I guess I question how much is really gained by doing it.

Gray and Luvia deal with Reines

That being said, I did enjoy watching Reines, Gray, and Luvia interact with each other. Luvia and Reines seem to have fairly similar personalities, so they clash well. Meanwhile, Gray feels like she’s stuck between them despite arguably being the strongest of the three.

Gray tries to figure out the situation

It’s also kind of nice to see Gray attempt to think like Waver in the situation. She doesn’t get all the way to the answer, but I think that makes sense. The mystery becomes more of a collaborative effort.

Trim learns some sketchy stuff

Trim’s outburst in this episode was surprisingly hilarious. I wasn’t expecting her to be anything more than background noise. It’s probably more hilarious than Luvia’s sudden wrestling moves, which are funny in their own way.

The mystery is solved

I do like that the reasoning behind the incident is addressed in the end. It’s a bit of a shaky conclusion, but I like that it fits with Gray’s initial deduction. I’m just not sure how I feel about a security system deeming the three girls as treasures that shouldn’t leave the store. I mean, it’s Luvia’s store, right? Why doesn’t this happen to her more often?