Egao no Daika First Impressions (1): Literally protecting that smile

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Joshua acts cool

Well, I’m happy to see that this series went for the dystopia-like setup I was hoping to see. It looks like the story revolves around two nations at war, a typical “empire vs. kingdom” setup. We’re only introduced to the kingdom in the first episode, ruled by the young princess Yuuki. Yuuki largely leads a peaceful life as the ruler, but there seems to be more to it. The first episode overall was pretty interesting, but I did have some issues with how the exposition for the world was handled.

Yuuki sticks the landing

The episode kind of gave me a bad first impression for the weirdest reasons. I know it’s nitpicking, but it was weird to see repeated angles of the same scene, such as when Yuuki is first introduced and when she stumbles on the way to the podium. I thought it was jarring and interrupted the flow of the scene, but maybe that’s just me. Also, I get that Yuuki is supposed to know little about the outside world, but I find it odd that the opening emphasizes her age.

Apparently, there's a new type of chrars

The episode also had the annoying flood of technobabble that you’d expect from a sci-fi show with a unique setting. While that itself isn’t a huge deal, I wasn’t a fan of how the information was finally relayed. We get some spiel about how chrars are some kind of special ore that is significant…for some reason. Additionally, the scene itself is two military officers talking, people who really should know this information already.

The children are happy...probably

With that out of the way, I do think that the series had its strong points. For example, I do like the mystery that is being built around Yuuki, a hidden truth that is being kept from her. When I first saw this scene, I remember thinking that the kids in the city had a dead look in their eyes for some reason. If you think about it in the context of lying to keep Yuuki happy, I think it’s more interesting, since the citizens could all be brainwashed or artificial.

Yuuki is pressed about her knowledge of the country

This scene also could have a dual meaning in the light of the overall ruse. At face value, it’s a subordinate checking the capabilities of her ruler. However, it could also be a sincere question, to make sure that the princess is still in the dark.

The mock battle happens in Tokyo

Given that the opening of the episode speaks of “distant planets”, where exactly are we? Calling out Tokyo by name suggests that this is really just Earth, but it’s hard to say. Perhaps, it’s just meant to be a metaphorical distance. Either way, I’m hoping this “simulation” was actually real, since the soldiers seemed to react so strongly when Yuuki started blowing up the environment.

Time to check out what's happening with the Empire

Based on the opening animation and the synopsis, it seems like we’re still missing half of the setup for this series. That aside, I definitely thought that the scene with the stuffed animal heavily suggested that Joshua was going to die.

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Boogiepop wa Warawanai First Impressions (1): That kind of resolved itself

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Keiji runs into a friend

I know the second episode is out, but I’m writing this post having not watched it yet. To kick off the new season, it looks like we’re going deep into mystery territory with this series. We’re not given too much of an introduction in the episode, but it does do a decent job of setting up the basic mystery of the show, which is whether Boogiepop is a force for good or evil. We see this through the eyes of Keiji Takeda, a normal student who is friends with Touka Miyashita, the girl Boogiepop is inhabiting.

Boogiepop tries to save the suffering man

With Boogiepop’s introduction, we get a clear indication that its on the side of humanity, as it seems to bemoan the suffering of someone whom the other bystanders ignored. From that interaction, I got the sense that we’re meant to immediately assume that Boogiepop is in some sense the “hero” of the series.

Boogiepop stands ominously behind Touka

However, quick scenes throughout the episode seem to indicate something more sinister. We see Touka, who is presumably still possessed by Boogiepop, in various locations looking strangely amused.

Discussing Boogiepop in class

When we first see mention of Boogiepop outside of the main pair, the girls seem convinced that Boogiepop is behind the disappearances at the school. Naturally, rumors are not meant to be taken too seriously, but the episode continues to call Boogiepop into question.

Dead girl hangs from wires

Finally, Boogiepop is shown standing before a dead girl, right before it confirms to Keiji that it has completed its mission at the school. The episode leaves off suggesting that Boogiepop might have killed the girl, even if it denies that fact. In that sense, I think the episode does a good job of setting up the mystery surrounding Boogiepop.

Boogiepop deals with the police

Now, let’s take a step back and talk about the flip side. It might have just been me, but a few of the scenes in the episode had some questionable animation. It tended to look like the scene was jerking around, as though it was dropping frames or something. The most noticeable example is in the scene where Boogiepop is confronted by police officers. Perhaps there’s some stylistic choice going on here, but I really didn’t get it.

Random girl is scared of being killed

Additionally, I think the episode relies a bit too much on the audience knowing the characters more than we really should. I give the episode credit for having characters interact with each other in a realistically familiar way, but it also means that many important names are mentioned only once. For example, I had to look back in the episode to confirm my assumption that Kamikishiro was the girl who walked with Keiji to school.

Nagi introduces herself

Overall, I thought the episode was decently intriguing. I’m at least curious enough to see where it goes. As I mentioned, the animation was a bit weird for me. However, I did like the background music, as it was sufficiently eerie without feeling overly generic.

As a final note, I think the introduction of Nagi at the end was interesting, since it seemed to heavily suggest a future relationship between her and Touka. However, the opening sequences make her look more like an ally than a future enemy.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru Review: Some consistent, relaxing romance

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Yuu is upset

I’ll be honest. I didn’t talk too much about this series as it was airing because it felt pretty low-key to me. It’s not a show that goes to great lengths to be flashy, despite the insane attention to visual details in the animation itself. However, it is a show that has a clear character dynamic that it executes well. The main character, Yuu Koito, is a girl searching to understand the feeling of love. She meets Toukko Nanami, who seems to share her plight, but Touko instead falls for Yuu and confess to her.

Yuu doesn't fall in love

A large part of why I thought the show was a pleasant viewing experience is the fact that it doesn’t shove its yuri component in my face. While it’s certainly a factor in Yuu and Touko’s relationship, there’s no constant reminder of how forbidden or taboo the love is (as you might see in a show like Citrus). While it’s probably true that the relationship between the two girls would cause uproar if it was made public, it wasn’t a constant source of drama driving events forward.

Yuu feels nothing

Yuu, as a character, was surprisingly relatable for me. While she shows the empathy of a kind person, she approaches her feelings with a sense of rationality that can hold her back. As the series progresses, we see her start to take more chances to learn more about herself and the love she’s trying to find.

Touko knows what she wants

On the other side, Touko isn’t such a simple character herself. While she gives off the initial appearance of the typical model student, we learn that there’s more to that personality as she opens up to Yuu. It becomes a bigger decision point for her, as she also tries to discover who she really is, rather who she believes she is.

The stage play won't be easy

Unfortunately, the story is forced to stop at a bit of a weird point, given its relatively slow pacing and the unfortunate consequence of being an adaptation. It’s sad to see so much time devoted to setting up the all-important student council stage play only to have series end before it can be resolved. It’s not really fair of me point it out, but it did leave me wanting more. Maybe I should just read the manga, right?

Don't say you hate things Yuu likes

I’d love to go more in detail about the visual appeal of the series, but I’m, as always, woefully underqualified to do so. I will say, though, that it doesn’t take too much training to notice how much effort goes into every scene. The show is pleasing to look at, keeps a mellow atmosphere without pushing the drama to unrealistic levels, and delivers interesting characters who feel oddly realistic.

Overall Score: 8/10

Goblin Slayer: Influence of adaptation on events in the light novel

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Is this a discussion?

Spoilers for Goblin Slayer

I know I said I’d do series reviews, but I couldn’t help myself with this topic. While I was on vacation for the winter holidays, I had a lot of time for reading light novels. With that extra time, I ended up reading the Goblin Slayer light novel up to the point where the anime ends. While it’s still uncertain whether we’re getting a second season, I did notice that the order of events in the light novel noticeably differed from what we saw in the anime. Obviously, this post will have spoilers about those events.

Goblin Slayer faces off against a goblin lord

The anime ended with the dramatic fight against goblin lord attacking Goblin Slayer’s home village. However, the light novel has this entire encounter in the first volume, before the group goes to the Water City and meets the Sword Maiden. This has an interesting consequence. As you may recall, there’s a specific scene in the Water City arc in which Priestess and Goblin Slayer wake up together in the same bed. At the time, I remember questioning why Priestess doesn’t bring up the fact that Goblin Slayer is not wearing his helmet, as it’s the first time we’ve seen that in the anime.

Goblin Slayer is revived by Priestess

In the light novel, this behavior makes sense, since Goblin Slayer reveals his face to her as a reward for defeating the goblin lord. So, Priestess has already seen his face by the time they sleep together. But that’s really just a minor gripe, as the anime explains this away by having Priestess say she didn’t see Goblin Slayer’s face clearly at the time.

High Elf sneaks

What’s more interesting is that the anime chooses to end on that fight in the first place. As opposed to the events of the Water City arc, the attack on the farm is personal, and it’s a battle Goblin Slayer acknowledges is impossible to win alone. As a result, the stakes for the fight become a lot higher, since it’s not just Goblin Slayer’s survival that’s in question. What better way to end a series?

Goblin Slayer is a weirdo

Additionally, the fight forces him to call upon the aid of every adventurer he has met up to that point despite his reputation as a largely unsociable guy. That means the fight is building upon the interactions we’ve seen throughout the entire series, making it a fitting conclusion. Sure, it’s probably just a result of the adaptation benefiting from hindsight. The fight serves pretty much the same purpose as the finale for the light novel, but it’s missing the time aspect, time to show how other adventurers see Goblin Slayer.

That's not a goblin

I think the events work either way, but I personally think it’s fun to see how the anime takes advantage of its season constraints to construct a slightly different, but ultimately appropriate, story experience. I’ve always been really bad at seeing the specific ways an anime adaptation builds upon its source material, and I think this might be a clear example to help me out. It’s something to think about, right?

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Review: School life is hard

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Rio definitely isn't suspicious

For the fall 2018 season, this series ended up being my favorite to watch. In Monogatari style, the series focuses on the main protagonist, Sakuta Azusagawa, as he helps various (female) characters with their personal struggles. These personal issues revolve around a unexplained “puberty syndrome”, a condition which seems to manifest psychological struggles into physical phenomena. His first encounter, as the title suggests, is with a girl named Mai Sakurajima, whom he meets in a library dressed in a bunny girl outfit.

Waving bunny girl

Most of what drew me to the series was the mildly supernatural aspect of the premise, as they took scientific(-ish) thought experiments and applied them to everyday problems. And in general, I’m a big fan of taking well-known concepts and looking at them from a different perspective.

The scientist in me definitely had issues with how the token scientist character, Rio Futaba, was often used to explain away each character’s puberty syndrome with wishy-washy quantum language that even made me, with my limited knowledge of physics, shiver. However, I could tell that this wasn’t meant to be integral to the story in any way. These explanations mostly seemed to exist to add flavor to the situation, so I don’t think it was particularly egregious.

Kaede's issues come from being bullied online

Although puberty syndrome does have a magical sense to it, the problems that cause it are always grounded in very real teenage concerns, such as feeling rejected by your classmates or being unable to live up to the example of your older sibling. As a result, the characters felt a lot more relatable and realistic. At the end of the day, the solution is to force each character to reach a state of acceptance rather than defeating an “enemy”.

Sakuta and Mai totally look like a couple

The supernatural aspect might have been the reason behind my initial interest, but the character interactions overall were what kept my attention as I kept watching. The way the characters acted tended to make sense, and I didn’t find myself questioning people for stupid moves as much as I would in a typical series.

The main pair, Sakuta and Mai, were particularly laudable in this regard, as they develop a relationship that always felt mature and mutually respectful. There’s a give and take in their relationship, rather than having one person consistently setting the pace. When they run into problems, they talk them out rather than kicking up a fuss.

Mai has a scoop

If I had to lodge a complaint about the series, I’d probably say that the pacing felt a bit awkward at times. It’s nice for a show to move quickly, and the story tended to make sense. However, I did sometimes get the sense that the show was blazing through a lot, especially with devoting only three episodes to each arc. Still, I didn’t think that this feeling impacted the show much at all (with the exception of the “ending”), so I don’t see it as too much of a problem. All in all, I’d recommend watching it.

Overall Score: 9/10

Happy New Year 2019: Blogging Resolutions

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Kohaku runs an experiment with Yuito and Hitomi

So, it’s a new year, and I wanted to try something different (as always). Since this is a time of resolutions, I figured I’d set some blogging-related resolutions for myself. I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about what I’m thinking (since I tend to keep to myself), and get some feedback about the direction I’m considering for the blog. And since this post will act as a record, I can refer back to it at the end of the year to see how I did. You know, for research purposes…

As always, let me know what you think. And if you’re feeling brave, feel free to share your own goals.

Yuu is upset

Write more full series reviews

I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record with this, but I’m planning to put more effort into writing reviews about entire series rather than just episodic reviews. Hopefully, the reviews I did on Zombieland Saga and Yuru Camp are steps in that direction. I think it will add more variety to my posts and help change the way I look at shows, since I tend to think more about specific events rather than overarching concepts.

I’ve gotten myself stuck into a bit of a mental spiral when it comes to full series reviews, and I’m trying to get past it. What inevitably happens is that a season ends, and I stop myself from writing reviews about the shows I covered, thinking that I’ll just be repeating what I wrote in episode posts. Then, I’ll feel bad about writing about series I didn’t cover, since I tend to have less to say about them.

I hope someone will listen

Dive into collaborations

I’ve been seeing more collaboration posts going around, and I’ve enjoyed reading many of them. I’ve always tended to avoid them because of an unspoken rule I have on the site to keep myself from copying concepts or content from other bloggers (and because my ideas tend to be rubbish). But collaboration is different and interesting, and I want to contribute if I can. Hopefully, I haven’t blocked myself off too much from others, so we’ll see what I can get done.

Juliet is surrounded

Write fewer posts

I don’t really have high hopes for this one, since I basically say this every year. Daily blog posts have always been a bit of a self-imposed goal for me, but I’ve always wanted to give myself more of a break if I could. I don’t know what form this will take, since I’ve been thinking on it for multiple years at this point. Maybe I can make myself skip the odd day every now and then.

Oops

Try to write longer posts

I’ve been taking a look at yearly stats for my blog, and I noticed that my average words per post in 2013 was 137 words per post. Since then, the average word count has gradually increased each year, reaching 353 words per posts in 2018. I’m a concise person by nature, but I also think that it helps to put more effort into explaining myself and how I reach my opinions. So, my goal is to keep the trend going, with the hope that I become easier to understand with it.

Yuru Camp Review: Casual camping for the soul

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Rin is sleepy

I know this series aired a few seasons back, but it’s probably one of my favorite shows of 2018. It’s honestly a difficult series to talk about, since it’s a slice of life series that I would call a “healing” series. That being said, I enjoyed a lot more than similar shows. The focus on camping alone adds a lot to the show, as it incorporates great shots of outdoor scenery as part of the package. It’s too bad that it came out at the same time as Sora Yoori mo Tooi Basho, as the two shows were both heavily vying for my attention.

Nadeshiko is sleepy

The premise of the show isn’t too complicated. The main character, Rin Shima, spends much of her free time camping in various scenic locations. On one such trip, she meets a transfer student, Nadeshiko Kagamihara, who readily joins her. As the series progresses, Rin starts to open herself up others who share her love of camping, while Nadeshiko learns more about the world of camping. It’s a fun give and take.

Shot of the background

I know Nadeshiko gets a lot of attention for her energetic personality. That being said, it might not be a surprise that I identify more with Rin in this series. I’m prone to solo travels by default, but I can be coaxed to join a group when the opportunity arises. Sometimes, the freedom to go at your own pace can be relaxing, you know?

Stuck in bed with the dog

I’m a huge fan of how cell phones, in particular, are used in this series. From the start, it gives Rin a casual nudge into the group by connecting her to the rest of the characters even when she’s off on her own. In addition to that aspect, the conversations between Ena and Rin in text messages introduce a level of comedy that I really liked.

Rin will turn the wood into rust

To be honest, the show captured my interest in the very first episode, and it was before Nadeshiko even showed up. Rin dramatically poses in front of the firewood, and the scene immediately cuts to a cute shot of her casually chopping into the wood. At that moment, I knew the comedic style of this series was pretty much exactly what I liked.

Overall Score: 8/10

Winter 2019 Previews

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Well, all of the shows I was regularly covering in the fall season have been completed, so I guess it’s about time to do some previews. Let’s get to it. Summary is at the bottom if you don’t want to sift through all of the individual series.

3D Kanojo to Boogiepop wa Warawanai
  • 3D Kanojo 2 – Given my reception for the first season, I’m not feeling overly enthused about watching the second season. I already know how it ends, anyway.
  • 5-Toubun no Hanayome – I never got around to reading the manga for this series, so I don’t know too much about it. I just saw the first chapter, and I assumed it would be Nisekoi all over again. With the anime airing next season, I might give it a shot if I’m not already watching too much.
  • Bang Dream 2nd Season – I didn’t watch the first season, but I started playing the mobile game. I don’t anything about the series, but I guess I’d watch this if I ever got around to watching the first season.
  • Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale – I might try it to see how chill it is, but I’m not too crazy about how it sounds.
  • Boogiepop wa Warawanai – Hmm, the premise sounds like it could be interesting. I don’t usually go for horror, so it might depend on how gruesome the “Angel of Death” ends up being. It looks like this might be a remake of an older show (that I haven’t watched), which should be fine as long as it’s not a sequel of some sort.
Circlet Princess to Doukyonin wa Hiza
  • Circlet Princess – My old friend, the humble video game adaptation. I’m still not sure what kind of game Circlet Bout is, so I might check this show out to see how it goes.
  • Date A Live III – Well, I never finished the second season, so this is probably a pass.
  • Dimension High School – I kind of like the idea of a crossover between a real life show and an animated show. At least, I’m curious enough to check it out.
  • Domestic na Kanojo – I was reading the manga for this series for a while before I got tired of it. I guess it tries to be more mature than similar romance stories, but the drama is too heavy for my liking. This might be Fuuka all over again.
  • Dororo – This synopsis sounds pretty interesting. It seems like a cool fantasy concept in a historical setting. Depending on how the story goes, it could be cool.
  • Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue – Hmm, the premise behind this series sounds a bit flimsy to me. I don’t doubt that watching the antics of a cat can make a show fun, but using the cat as inspiration for mystery novels seems sketchy. As much as I like mystery novels, I’m skeptical.
Egao no Daika to Kaguya-sama
  • Egao no Daika – This synopsis really doesn’t sound great at face value. However, I do get hints of a dystopia in the making, so I might try it out to see.
  • Endro – Sounds like a standard fantasy setup. I watched Merc Storia, which sounded somewhat similar, so I can see myself watching this.
  • Girly Air Force – Oh hey, the anthropomorphic fighter jets are here. I’m a little afraid that this will end up being like Sora to Umi no Aida from this season, but it sounds different enough to try.
  • Grimms Notes the Animation – Well, I was interested in the mobile game, so I might as well try watching this. I’m sure this can only end well, right?
  • Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen – I’m really looking forward to watching this series, since I’ve been reading the manga for a while. For the most part, it’s just a zany string of misinterpreted statements and over-the-top mental gymnastics. It tends to be funny, so I’m curious to see how it will get adapted. That being said, there isn’t all too much to talk about, so I probably won’t post about it.
Kakegurui xx to Mannaka no Rikkun
  • Kakegurui xx – Well, I liked the first season. I’ll probably watch it, but I can’t make any promises since this will likely be another Netflix experience. I usually try to limit how many Netflix shows I take in a given season.
  • Kemurikusa – Not much to go on, but I like sci-fi, I guess. I’m not familiar with the animation it’s based on, but it sounds like it could be cool.
  • Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – Honestly, I’m curious about this series. I like the concept of focusing around old school-ish airplanes.
  • Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka – Probably a pass, but I might go for it if I have time.
Meiji Tokyo Renka to Rinshi Ekoda-chan
  • Mob Psycho 100 II – Do I have to?
  • Pastel Memories – This seems like a weird concept, but I might give it a shot. It seems a bit overly convoluted, which does give me pause.
  • Piano no Mori 2 – I liked the first season and would like to see where it goes.
  • Revisions – I probably could use a mecha show for the next season. Let’s give it a go.
Star Twinkle Precure to Yakusoku no Neverland
  • Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari – I liked reading the manga for this series, so I’ll definitely be watching it. As fair warning, the show has a decent number of warm moments, but being Naofumi is largely suffering. I kind of like the concept of the rejected summoned hero in this isekai setup, which is why I read it, but it’s not going to be lighthearted.
  • Ueno-san wa Bukiyou – Sure, why not?
  • Virtual-san wa Miteiru – Oh, is the meme taking over?
  • W’z – Yeah, that doesn’t sound familiar at all. This premise seems a bit sketchy, but I might try it out to see what happens.
  • Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita – Might be good to pass the time.
  • Yakusoku no Neverland – I started reading the manga for this series, but I ended up dropping off. It has a nice post-apocalyptic setting and a grim atmosphere to it. I might end up watching the series to see if it goes better this time.

Summary

General thoughts – It seems like there’s a lot of continuations on this list. It’s nice to see that shows are getting continuations, but it does feel a bit restricting when I haven’t watched a lot of them before. Also, the list itself is a lot shorter than the previous season, so maybe I can just relax this season. I’m good with that.

Potentially covering – Dimension High School, Dororo, Kakegurui xx, Kemurikusa, Revisions

Definitely watching – Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai, Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai, Piano no Mori 2, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, Yakusoku no Neverland

Maybe watching – 5-Toubun no Hanayome, Bermuda Triangle, Boogiepop wa Warawanai, Circlet Princess, Doukyonin wa Hiza, Egao no Daika, Endro, Girly Air Force, Grimms Notes the Animation, Mob Psycho 100 II, Pastel Memories, Ueno-san wa Bukiyou, W’z, Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita

Information and images pulled from Anichart.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 13: Back to the future

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Yuito remembers a time when he drew alone

I think this ending was satisfying overall. It didn’t feel like it was trying to overreach, and it seemed to cover the missing pieces that I was hoping would be addressed. When I say it didn’t overreach, I mean that I was happy to see the story avoided going through unnecessary hoops to force a happy ending. The bittersweet ending worked out for me.

Yuito remembers his time with Hitomi

The episode opened with Yuito looking back on his days with Hitomi with a sense of longing. Honestly, part of me wondered whether this tone was meant to convince the audience that something went wrong in the time magic spell (even if it would have made no sense at all in the context of the show).

Hitomi learns to let go

All in all, I do like the idea of not getting in your own way, as Hitomi says. At least, that was my understanding of the ultimate theme of the show.

Hitomi remembers her time with Yuito

It was nice to see Hitomi sharing her final moments with Yuito before returning to the future. I like that the memories were shown in black and white as Hitomi goes through them. It could just be because the world was black and white at the time, but that’s a less meaningful interpretation in my eyes.

Kohaku realizes that Hitomi was casting the time magic

It is a bit of a bummer that Kohaku ends on a low after Hitomi leaves, as she realizes that Hitomi’s magic was what sent her back. I guess it makes sense that Kohaku wouldn’t be able to figure it out so quickly, but it definitely raises some questions for me about Kohaku’s relationship with her daughter. I wonder if she might have gotten too obsessed with her granddaughter, and forced her daughter to suffer as a result.

Kohaku knew about the past events before sending Hitomi back

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised to find out that Kohaku knew what would happen before sending Hitomi back. It does definitely call into question how time magic really works, but I could probably speculate forever about that.

Hitomi visits a grave

It was kind of sad that Hitomi didn’t get to reconnect with her older friends in the future, but this scene in particular has me interested. Given the immediate context, the quick assumption would be that Hitomi is visiting her mother’s grave. However, that doesn’t really make sense, since she wanted to go see her mother with Kohaku. In that case, I would think it’s most likely that this is actually Yuito’s grave, which explains why there isn’t a tearful reunion.

Hitomi joins the future Photography Club

As I said, it would have been nice to see more of the other characters, but this is a solid ending for Hitomi herself. Also, the bookstore owner is confirmed as Kohaku’s husband, maybe?

Final Score: 8/10

Looked great, and the show had the kind of subtlety that I tend to like. I think many of the side characters get heavily pushed aside, but I did like watching Hitomi’s progress as a character.

Double Decker! Doug and Kirill Final Episode (13): According to plan

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Kirill admits defeat

Something felt a bit off about this final episode, but it still had a lot of moments that I enjoyed. I think some of the resolutions in this episode, such as the dissolution of Esperanza, felt somewhat cheap to me. That being said, I do respect that the episode took most of the complaints I had last week about convenient plot devices and incorporated them into Doug’s plan.

The team tricks Cooper into overdosing on Anthem

Tricking Cooper with the fake antibody drug was a surprisingly funny development. I know it’s a bit cheesy to have everything go so perfectly according to Doug’s plan. But I did enjoy seeing the show say “duh, we can’t just make magical antibody drugs like that”.

Kirill becomes the commander in Cooper's place

I was totally expecting a bigger punchline to result from Kirill somehow becoming a military commander in Cooper’s place.

Everyone believes in Doug

I know that this series is supposed to be a parody of a cheesy hero flick, but I wasn’t a huge fan of seeing everyone talk about how great Doug was in this final scene. I think it would have been better to see something like that earlier in the series. I’m guessing it’s meant to set up Doug’s death fake-out later.

Kirill knows how to make an exit

It’s been pretty established at this point that this show is full of meta jokes, but I still laughed when Kirill said this as the opening theme was playing in the background.

Yuri's copy is created

The resurrection of Yuri felt like it had some weird implications, since it was supposedly the copy and not the original Yuri who made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s implied that Yuri would have done the same thing, but it’s still a weird gap to me. However, I do have to admit that this Yuri face is amazing.

He's the weakest of the 144 generals

You know, this is a strangely appropriate ending for this series.

Final Score: 7/10

Gets a bit weird when the show finally gets serious, but the more ridiculous moments of the show are entertaining to watch. Also, super meta jokes work for me.