Satsuriku no Tenshi First Impressions (1): That’s a lot of blood

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As far as premieres go, this episode wasn’t too bad. The setup is interesting so far. The main characters seem to be stuck in some sort of murder facility, and they’re likely trying to escape. I’m definitely curious to see where the mystery goes. That being said, I had a lot of trouble with the sounds in the episode. It seemed to use a lot of stereotypical horror sounds, like random string crescendoes and whatnot.

While I’m a bit worried about Rachel being overly helpless as a protagonist, I do really like how she was introduced. The bird death is weird, but it was a great way to give Rachel an excuse to show how messed up she actually is. Wouldn’t it be funny if she’s actually the strongest one in the facility, but she forced herself to believe she was helpless? That’s an unlikely development, though.

Give me a break, dude.

This “doctor” guy is quickly busted, but I like how the episode makes him immediately suspicious with this scene. He wipes the blood away from Rachel’s face without making a comment. Why would a doctor be okay with blood on a patient? It’s a nice touch.

It’s pretty clear where the episode is going from this point, but the gradual progression into Danny’s madness is pretty nice.

I’m definitely curious about this scene. Rachel mentions going to a hospital because she had seen “dead people”, so it’s perfectly reasonable for those people to be her dead parents. It’s weird that Danny knew that, but it would fit with Rachel’s own story. And if Rachel was the one who killed her parents or “fixed” their corpses, then it would explain why she’s here. I really want to know now…

Good reaction.

The main piece that doesn’t add up for me is the way the doctor seemed to know about Rachel from the “outside world”. Was he just making stuff up? Or had they really met before? The opening scene has me really curious. Did Rachel project her “doctor” on to Danny? It’s also possible that it was a genuine memory, but the context was left out to be misleading.

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Shichisei no Subaru First Impressions (1): Very familiar

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I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, but this show seems like it’s pretty blatantly similar to Ano Hana. The heroine Asahi even resembles Menma somewhat, or at least she seems to have a similar positive personality. But yeah, the story has the same concept of the group of friends torn apart by a death in the group. Now, there’s just a game involved.

The episode itself really didn’t leave me with a great first impression. The fight scenes looked really low quality and the game really didn’t make sense. That being said, I’ll be really impressed if there’s a point to all of the similarity to other series, but that’s a bit of a blind hope.

These people are really asking for something bad to happen, huh?

How does an ability like seeing the future make sense in a video game? Make up a magical trait called “Sense” and wave the explanations away. So much fun…

Okay, this is just lazy.

They keep stating this aspect of the game without really giving any details, which makes it sound more and more like a cheap gimmick that the show is using to give the series tension rather than a thought-out game mechanic. Why would anyone even play this game? There’s only so far a sense of challenge can carry a game.

The ending animation seems to suggest that there’s some kind of dark force in this game, which makes me wonder if this series is also just a repackaged .hack, where the main characters are forced to restore the corrupted system only because a friend is stuck in it.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 13: Happy party time

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Wow, this week’s episode was another light episode that got dark really quickly. I should stop being surprised by this. This week’s episode seems like it’s the start of something really interesting, but I didn’t really like the convenience of it. The timing of the Mozart truck and the fact that Braun goes straight to brainwashing both felt like they shouldn’t have been so easy. Still, I’m curious to see where this goes.

Oh right…the banana. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t get that the first time. Also, did anyone else have a hard time watching Kagari act like a child?

I honestly like that Rintarou becomes suspicious of how targeted the memories Kagari regained were. Maybe he’s been watching enough anime to know where this is going.

It’s kind of funny that Suzuha wanted to make amends in this episode of being suspicious of memories that she correctly suspected to be fake.

If it turns out that this truck triggered some sort of “return to base” command in Kagari, I’m going to be annoyed. Maybe if any Mozart song triggered it, that would be okay, but that would be some sloppy brainwashing. Not that I’m an expert at brainwashing or anything. That would be ridiculous!

This reveal was really well done. It felt truly chilling to see. But if Kagari is truly returning to base, will she come here? That could be cool…

Spring 2018 Overview

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Another season has passed. Well, sort of. There are still a few stragglers, and a surprising number of shows are carrying into the next season. I considered splitting this post into three parts, but it felt too much like I was cheating for extra posts. Let’s do this!

What I Liked

  • Golden Kamuy – This series was certainly a nice surprise. It starts out with a fairly grim premise. The main characters are trying to find a hidden treasure by tracking down a bunch of escaped criminals with pieces of a map tattooed on their bodies. But the show mixes in so many funny moments that it tends to balance out. The series also felt like an entertaining look into an indigenous tribe of people I didn’t even know existed. Not that that’s saying much…
  • Last Period – The surprises pile on further with this series. I totally expected this series to be a pretty generic comedy series, but it was actually a blast to watch. The show especially appealed to me since I’ve played a few mobile games. The show constantly rips on mobile games in really funny ways. And somehow, this series managed to have my favorite fight scene in the season (Mao’s fight was close).
  • Hinamatsuri – While Golden Kamuy aired more on the side of the serious and Last Period was more “meta”, this series really went for the ridiculous instead. The show handled itself well, with some surprisingly heartfelt scenes mixed in among the comedy.
  • Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii – This is kind of unfair because I was heavily looking forward to this series, and the adaptation had to mess up really badly to screw that up. I like this show mostly for its characters. They represent somewhat separate aspects of otaku fandom, but they come together for their common interest.
  • Piano no Mori – I still need to get around to watching the movie version of this series, but this adaptation did a good job of holding my interest. It had a weird supernatural aspect that didn’t sit well with me in the beginning, but the story quickly pushes past that and moves into a look at the world of competitive piano.
  • Steins;Gate 0 – This series is another one I was looking forward to watching. It was slow at first, but I think it has been picking up more rapidly than the original. The mystery seems interesting so far, but there’s still plenty of story left to cover.
  • Boku no Hero Academia S3 – I don’t really have anything new to say.

Middle Area

  • Comic Girls – This adaptation ended up being more entertaining than I expected after reading the manga. Maybe it was the Kaos noises.
  • Juushinki Pandora – This series was pretty decent as a mecha series. The fights were interesting, and I like the setting both for its post-apocalyptic concept and its Chinese-inspired culture. The “science” gets a bit ridiculous, but the rest of the show is alright.
  • Persona 5 – I had a lot more fun watching this adaptation than I expected I would. However, I do acknowledge that this series seems like it would be a lot better for people who have already played the game. It was entertaining for me, but I think it’s a pretty weak adaptation overall, since it doesn’t do as much for the people who aren’t familiar with the game.
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – This story turned being better than I expected. The series seemed more focused on the actual game mechanics than the original, so it had a different kind of appeal that worked for me. I think it stood well on its own without considering the original series.
  • Gundam Build Divers – The general theme of online community felt a bit overplayed, but this series wasn’t too bad. It’s a bit childish for my liking, so it ended up being just okay.
  • Shokugeki no Souma S3 Part 2 – Honestly, I liked this season mostly for the backstory we got for Jouichirou. His story is probably my favorite from when I read the manga.
  • Isekai Izakaya – Not bad for a wannabe Isekai Shokudou.
  • Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai – This series started out pretty well. The character relationships were pretty good, and the episodes had an interesting way of anchoring around a concept. I just wasn’t a big fan of the ending, which brought down my general opinion of the series.

Special short mention: Fumikiri Jikan – Even though the episodes are 3 minutes long, they’re pretty funny. They’re a nice look at the idle thoughts of people forced to wait at a railroad crossing near other people. It’s certainly a familiar experience.

Meh

  • Darling in the Franxx – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the series in the first half, and the second half really hasn’t helped. It’s still possible that the series nails the ending, but I don’t have high hopes.
  • Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru – I was really disappointed with how this series approached its setting. It introduced a sci-fi take on magic only to sweep it aside. The mechanisms of the magic and the effects the magic has on the world are never really explored. Instead, we get a poorly introduced world, and we’re immediately thrown into a political struggle between the main ruling entities of that world. And the ending was really strange…the main antagonist of the arc just dies off-screen.
  • Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi – This series was a bit unfortunate. It’s not really that bad…I just found it boring. It doesn’t seem to do anything particularly noteworthy.
  • Grancrest Senki – This really isn’t too different from last season. The series started to get more interesting when it moved towards battles between larger armies, but the pacing of the story always seemed like an overwhelming negative. Most characters weren’t ever really explored, which resulted in many boring death scenes. The “twist” at the end also wasn’t set up well.
  • 3D Kanojo – You know…I didn’t remember disliking the manga so much, but watching the anime was really a struggle. I got the sense that Tsutsui was more of a jerk than most normal romance protagonists.
  • Caligula – This series started off promising, with a Persona-like premise and an interesting psychological take. But much of the series felt like a waste of time, and the ending was ultimately unsatisfying. There’s something to be said about the focus on social behaviors and redemption, but they didn’t really appeal to me.

Dropped

  • Devils Line – I was watching a lot in this season, and I wasn’t particularly convinced by the first episode.
  • Dorei-ku – I wanted to give this series a shot because the premise seemed interesting, but the show just felt like it was making less and less sense as it went on. So, I just gave up…
  • Tokyo Ghoul;re – I fell behind on this series and didn’t really have the motivation to catch up again.

My Favorite Theme Songs of Spring 2018

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I didn’t really have strong feelings for the winter season this year, but I liked a lot more songs in the spring season. So, let’s do another music post!

As I’ve done in previous posts, I will avoid using the same show in both opening and ending categories. The song that appears in the list will be the one I like more, but I’ll still have the other song with the notable mentions.

Openings

Persona 5 the Animation – “BREAK IN TO BREAK OUT” by Lyn

This was an easy choice. I loved every song by Lyn in the Persona 5 game soundtrack, and the opening and ending songs for the anime don’t disappoint. It was hard to choose between the opening and ending, but I think the opening edges it out because the actual animation behind the song looks better. I’m so glad that it was changed from the opening animation used in the first few episodes.

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi – “Tomoshibi no Manimani” by Nao Touyama

Music-wise, this song may be my favorite opening in this season. I always enjoy listening to songs with a folk style, and this song uses it well. It’s a nice, flowing song with a great rhythm behind it. The series itself hasn’t really been much, but I still like the song.

Juushinki Pandora – “Sirius” by BUMP OF CHICKEN

Did anyone else watch this show? I really like BUMP OF CHICKEN and was happy to see them doing both the opening and ending songs in this series. It might not be the best series, but the song’s pretty solid.

Notable Mentions – Golden Kamuy, Piano no Mori, Steins;Gate 0, Gundam Build Divers

Endings

Golden Kamuy – “Hibana” by THE SIXTH LIE

I know it’s probably blasphemous not to pick the opening by MAN WITH A MISSION. It was really close between the two, but I like the intro to this song way too much. It makes the ending of each episode feel like it’s continuing on into something else. For that, I give this song the slight edge. The song itself is pretty good as a rock song on its own.

Last Period – “Wiseman no Theme” by Wiseman (the VAs, at least)

I know this song is pretty silly, but I love how goofy and catchy it is. The brief pause before the characters say “Wiseman” is always my favorite part. The heavy autotune is kind of annoying, but the rest of the song is enough to make up for them in my opinion.

Notable Mentions – Juushinki Pandora, Steins;Gate 0

Island First Impressions (1): This show really lives up to its title

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Starting off the new season with something…okay. As far as visual novel adaptations go, I suppose this episode wasn’t the worst I could have expected. Once you get past the opening scenes, it sets up a mystery that seems intriguing so far.

From what we have so far, the main character, who is supposedly named Setsuna, washes up on the island of Urashima. The island seems normal at first, but we quickly find out that most of the inhabitants are highly xenophobic. Setsuna himself is an amnesiac time traveler sent to save a girl and kill someone he doesn’t remember.

Sigh…

The time travel aspect of this series is immediately interesting, but I definitely have my reservations. From what we’ve seen so far, it almost seems like the series is bent on setting up a paradox or two.

The first vision that we see seems to set up a bootstrap paradox, wherein Setsuna attempts to kiss the sleeping Karen simply because he saw it in the vision. So, where did the idea to kiss her come from? That being said, it’s still possible that the vision is referring to some other future event, so it’s hard to say for sure.

Rinne’s parallel amnesia seems pretty interesting too. Since Setsuna’s a time traveler, it’s also technically possible that he’s involved in that past incident somehow.

The vision about killing Setsuna is the one that has me the most curious. I would speculate that this is suggesting some kind of loop. Maybe Setsuna is being sent to the past to kill himself, and he continues the loop when he takes the name Setsuna again. But that’s a pretty wild guess at this point.

I’m not sure about this scene with the shrine maiden. Maybe it’s explained in a better way in the VN, but I’m not sure I get why she attacked Setsuna. Am I not supposed to understand yet?

Gasp! They’re linked! I mean…sure.

Darling in the FranXX Episode 23: That’s a death flag, right?

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I feel a little disappointed after finally getting the big space battle. What happened with the VRIM? They seemed so static in this fight despite having the overwhelming numbers advantage. Anyway, I’m curious to see whether this series pulls out the happy ending. It’s been a crazy ride.

Wait, did they just casually reveal why Hiro failed to pilot a Franxx with every pistil until Zero Two? That’s a little underwhelming. Also, I didn’t sign up for this kind of show.

I still don’t fully get how Nana and Hachi fit into this story. They seem necessary in that they’re the “new adults”, but I still don’t get the sense that I understand each of them as individuals.

I’m not sure how many people have watched the Gundam 00 movie, but this part really reminded me of scenes from that movie. In particular, I’m referring to the Alpha’s sacrifice and the way the other characters open a hole for Hiro to reach Zero Two.

This again?

This behavior seems bad for the baby. Just saying…

Sure, why not? I guess this form is supposed to look like Zero Two’s in a wedding dress and the final scene is her walking down the aisle?

Something about the fact that Hiro and Zero Two are just leaving everyone else behind feels really strange. Maybe the other characters will get a chance to contribute in the final episode, but I don’t see how that would work.

Also, when did Hiro and Zero Two figure out what the portal was?

Wait, they’re bringing a bomb through a portal to the alien homeworld? Now this is Pacific Rim.

Summer 2018 Previews

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Alright, it’s preview time. The new season is upon us, and I’ve decided to try something new. So instead of scrolling through a giant image with the upcoming shows, I’ve split the shows up into sections. As always, the summary is at the bottom if you want the quick version.

  • Aguu: Tensai Ningyou – This is kind of a weird premise, but I guess it could be okay. I’m at least a little curious to see where this “gift of genius talent” idea goes. I hope it’s not a simplistic case of
  • Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki – I’ve been liking historical shows more and more in recent seasons, what with Golden Kamuy and Shoukoku no Altair. Why not? Let’s give it a go.
  • Asobi Asobase – This show looks like it might be going for something like Nichijou, with the school girls going for crazy gags. It could be interesting, but I’m always wary with comedy. I might try it.
  • Back Street Girls – I’ve avoided the manga for this series for a while, but I’ve heard good things about it. I might give it a shot, but I’m not making any promises.
  • BANANA FISH – Uhh…no.
  • Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – I’ve read the manga for this series and it’s pretty good for comedy. I don’t really get as excited as other manga fans seem to get, but I’ll probably watch to see how it gets adapted.

Honestly, I feel like skipping basically everything in this screenshot. I’ve covered FLCL Alternative in a previous season, and most of the others are sequels to shows I haven’t watched.
* Grand Blue – This series is another manga that I’ve seen around a lot but haven’t read. I might watch it for a chill show, but I’m not making any promises.

  • Hanebado – I like badminton, but do I have to?
  • Happy Sugar Life – Sure, why not? I actually haven’t read the manga for this series because I haven’t been in the mood for reading horror series recently. But anime plays by different rules, right? I’ve been curious for a while why this cute-looking show is supposed to be so horrific.
  • Harukana Receive – Really unlikely. Probably a pass.
  • Hataraku Saibou – Well, I took immunology in college, so I might be committed to checking this series out.
  • High Score Girl – I’ve read the manga for this series, and I’m not that excited for the adaptation. I think the series will play heavily on nostalgia for old games, and I just didn’t have that same nostalgia. Plus, the art style of the manga didn’t appeal to me, and I still find it really weird that the main heroine doesn’t speak. I’m ready to be judged as a lesser video game fan.
  • Hyakuren no Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria – Sure, why not? A fantasy light novel adaptation sounds like something I’d watch.

  • Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu – I read the manga for this series and I will be watching the adaptation. I’m going to get so judged for this…
  • Island – Another season, another VN adaptation. Have mercy on me.
  • Jashin-chan Dropkick – I’ve never really been into monster girls, but I could give it a shot.
  • Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes – Am I getting baited by mystery tags again?
  • Lord of Vermillion: Guren no Ou – Another maybe. Supernatural powers are sometimes okay?

  • Muhyo to Rouji no Mahoritsu Soudan Jimusho – Consider me intrigued. Applying some form of law to the magical world? Sounds like my kind of show.
  • Overlord III – I thought the last season was fun, so why not?
  • Phantom in the Twilight – We’ll see. My instincts are telling me to flee from the reverse harem.
  • Planet With – I’m tempted to watch this series since it’s an original mecha series, but the style looks a bit childish. It’s on the edge, though, so I might end up trying it out.

  • Satsuriku no Tenshi – This premise looks like it could be interesting.
  • Shichisei no Subaru – Who am I kidding? I’m probably going to check this series out.
  • Shingeki no Kyojin S3 – Sigh…I’ve done the first two seasons. Am I committed at this point?

  • Sunoharasou no Kanrinin-san – Is this the fluff show of the season?
  • Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger – I’m not super excited about the vampires vs. werewolves premise, but I might try it out.
  • Tsukumogami Kashimasu – This series doesn’t look particularly exciting, but I can sometimes get behind folk story-ish type stories. Could be worth a shot.
  • Yume Oukoku to Nemureru 100 Nin no Ouji-sama – Meh, this show doesn’t look particularly interesting.
  • Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san – I read a bit of the manga for this series, but I couldn’t really get into it. I might check it out, but I’m not really sure.

Summary

General thoughts – This season looks like a decent mix at first glance. It’s pretty light on sci-fi, but it looks like there’s some mystery and psychological stuff in its place. Seems like fun?

Potentially covering – Island, Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes, Muhyo to Rouji no Mahoritsu Soudan Jimusho, Satsuriku no Tenshi, Shingeki no Kyojin S3

Definitely watching – Hyakuren no Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria, Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu, Overlord III, Shichisei no Subaru

Maybe watching – Aguu: Tensai Ningyou, Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki, Happy Sugar Life, Hataraku Saibou, Jashin-chan Dropkick, Lord of Vermillion, Sunoharasou no Kanrinin-san, Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger, Tsukumogami Kashimasu

Information and image pulled from Anichart.

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai Final Episode (13): Some clever joke about rainbows

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While I feel like the resolution of this episode was “correct”, the cynic within me doesn’t feel quite satisfied with how this episode played out. Most of the “surprises” were actually set up pretty well, so it has nothing to do with that. I can’t come up with a great way to summarize, so I’ll just take the grievances individually. Maybe it’s just the general sense that the episode was trying hard to make it seem like the happy ending was impossible when it was the only one that fit the tone of the show.

This isn’t really a huge deal, but I did get the sense that they were going a little nuts with the “deep quotes” in this episode.

This point feels a bit overdone with Mitsuyoshi comparing his current situation with the tragedy in his childhood. It almost feels like he’s relearning something he should have realized in the previous episode. Also, the whole thing with Mitsuyoshi running after the invitation felt longer than it needed to be. Really building up the tension, huh?

Honestly, having Charles call off the wedding at the last minute felt fine. He generally gave me the impression that he was someone who cared for Teresa but felt pained watching her interact with Mitsuyoshi. It’s big of him to take one for her, but it’s not a huge shock. It honestly felt like one of the few clean ways we could get this ending to work, but I could never really say for sure because it was so hard to gauge the political ramifications of cancelling the wedding. The series never makes it clear.

We did it?

Where? But back on topic, I thought for sure that at least Pin-senpai and Hina would get their shot together. Oh well…

Misdirection aside, this ending feels awkward to me. Sure, Mitsuyoshi and Teresa have fought to be together, but I feel like it’s a shame that they’re the only ones who truly get an ending in this episode. Charles and Alec seem to have a moment in the end, but they feel even less deserving of that. It would cheapen the gesture Charles made if he quickly shifted his affection toward Alec.

Final Score: 6/10 This show ended up being pretty straightforward. It was cute in a lot of places, but I don’t think it did anything particularly special. I don’t really see myself remembering it down the line.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 12: The most important song ever

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This week’s episode was the longest goose chase to set up a bootstrap paradox that I’ve ever seen. That’s almost impressive. Taking a look back, it seems like an incredibly excessive amount of time to spend focusing on a random song, but I had fun watching. I think the bootstrap paradox is an interesting thing to think about in time travel, because it shows the weakness of many common assumptions about time travel.

Hmm, should I be suspicious of these “extra checkups”? I agree that it seems weird that Rintarou was immediately discharged.

The loop keeps going. Without going too heavy into the bootstrap paradox, I’ll just note that Steins;Gate happens to handle the paradox well because time travel involves moving across world lines, rather than rewinding the clock in the current timeline. As such, the source of the song can simply be the other timeline.

It’s happening? Honestly, I was expecting Yuki’s “mystery appointment” to be another totally obvious job as the motorcycle helmet lady, so it was well played as a bait.

This scene with Rintarou’s mother was hilarious. Mad psychologist hype.

This line from Mayuri might be my favorite moment in the episode. I really liked the comparison between regaining Kagari’s literal memories and the more figurative memories that Mayuri misses of the “old days” with Rintarou.

So, does this mean Kagari has her memories back, or does she just recognize Mayuri now?

Wait, so seeing Kagari get abducted by whoever was tracking her was the reason Rintarou became the paranoid mad scientist? That’s…actually pretty cool.