Friday Fun: Spring 2017 Previews

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This is totally fun, right? Summary at the bottom for the lazy.

  • Boku no Hero Academia S2 – Did I cover the first season? No? Phew…that makes my life easier.
  • Gin no Guardian – You know, I was actually about to say this could be interesting, but then I found out this is another one of those Chinese web manga adaptations…and I’ve been conditioned to run like the wind from those.
  • Shingeki no Kyojin S2 – Fine…but I already read ahead in the manga, so I’m not holding back.
  • Tsugumomo – Can I not?
  • Love Kome: We Love Rice – …I like rice.
  • Sakurada Reset – Yeah, this sounds like the kind of show I would normally watch. Let’s see what happens. I’m totally not getting baited by the mystery tag.
  • Sakura Quest – Cute girls doing cute things, I presume? Why not? I haven’t watched a PA Works show in a while.
  • Busou Shoujo Machiavellism – That’s a pretty big word…maybe I should actually watch this.
  • Clockwork Planet – Yup, moving on.
  • Kabukibu – Not too sure about this one, but I might watch it just because it’s CLAMP.
  • Seikai Suru Kado – It’s either this one or the Machiavellism one, I think. This honestly looks more promising, to be fair.
  • Nobunaga no Shinobi S2 – No idea how this series got a second season, but I’m committed at this point.
  • ID-0 – This looks pretty sketchy, but I’m forced to check out the mecha shows at this point.
  • Kenka Banchou Otome – Nah…this sounds suspiciously like a reverse harem.
  • Room Mate – Are you serious?
  • Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata S2 – Oh right. I never finished the first season of this show. Guess that makes things easy.
  • Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka? Gaiden: Sword Oratoria – I’m considering this just because the title alone would make my blog cry. I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of the original series, but this is a spinoff, so it can’t be too bad, right?
  • Atom: The Beginning – Not sure about this one. On the one hand, it hits most of my triggers, but I know nothing about Astro Boy.
  • Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – Another maybe. Maybe I can make up for not watching Re:Zero?
  • Granblue Fantasy the Animation – Nah…
  • Eromanga-sensei – Well, I read the manga, so I guess I have to watch?
  • Alice to Zouroku – Mystery series and mention of physics in the synopsis? If only it weren’t “ignoring the laws of physics”. I don’t know if I can take it. I might watch it for the fake science, though?
  • Re:Creators – I was going to veto this show, but it looks like Hiroyuki Sawano is doing the soundtrack. Let’s do it.
  • Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records – Probably a pass on this one.
  • Renai Boukun – I read the manga for this one and couldn’t really get past the introduction. But I guess if you like a yandere character, go for it?
  • Frame Arms Girl – I’m assuming this is a short, in which case sure, I can watch it.
  • Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? – My poor keyboard…
  • Fukumenkei Noise – Another maybe…baited by music.
  • Tsuki ga Kirei – Sure, I could use a romance in the next season. Let’s do it.
  • Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine – I dunno…these historical series have been a bit hit-or-miss.

Summary

General thoughts – I picked a lot of safer shows in this winter season, but it looks like I can go a bit more hardcore in the spring. Shingeki no Kyojin is likely going to be my only sequel and I’ve read the manga for a much smaller number of these shows. Looking forward to discovering new stuff. Let’s see how it goes.

Probably covered – Shingeki no Kyojin S2, Clockwork Planet

Very likely to watch and might be covered – Sakurada Reset, Busou Shoujo Machiavellism, Seikai Suru Kado, ID-0, Re:Creators

Might be watched, but probably won’t be covered – Boku no Hero Academia S2, Sakura Quest, Danmachi Sword Oratoria, Atom: The Beginning, Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho, Eromanga-sensei, Re:Creators, Tsuki ga Kirei

Credits

Chart created by Zana at neregate.com
The following websites were used as sources of information to create the chart:
Anime News Network
Moon Phase
My Anime List

Little Witch Academia Episode 11: Story!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This episode makes me happy because it makes me think I can finally stop complaining about this show. The episode finally introduced the underlying plot of this series, which I guess ultimately boils down to unlocking the seven seals (with the twist being that Akko doesn’t realize she’s doing this). The episode also kinda showcases how far Akko has come along since the start of the series, and while I that’s okay, I still think that other characters deserve some attention too.

So based on what we saw in this episode, I’m thinking that magic used to be a big deal until some people took the spells too far, prompting the Nine Witches to seal away the world-changing magic and force the decline of magic so it could never happen again. That doesn’t explain why the professors in Luna Nova don’t know what’s happening, though. Unless that happened a long time ago or it was done in secret from even the magic community. We’ll see how this goes, but hopefully it’s all uphill from here.

This was actually kinda impressive for Akko. Still, it looked like Akko was directing the recreation of the statue, so I would hesitate to call it “restoration”.

That reminds me. Does this school have a system for “years” or “grades” or is everyone conveniently the same age? Or maybe they just start at different times?

Appropriate response.

What do you mean “also”? Wait…are you saying that Shiny Chariot is currently a professor?

Me too…

So mysterious…what will Diana learn? Honestly, I’m mostly distracted by the fact that there’s a star-shaped impression in the moon in this scene.

Okay, now you have my attention. This is either the reason that magic is declining or the way to bring it back. The big question here is…why did they seal it?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a quest. Now we just have to release the seven seals and the Chosen can revive the goddess.

Well, the card did say “apparitions”.

I was with you for a second, but now I’m convinced this is a trap.

Yeesh…finally Akko rejects the shortcut and walks her own path.

Phew, these flashes were way too fast. Still, I’m assuming these are hints at the tragedy that befell magic? Or maybe they’re supposed to represent the future? That’s what the portal was meant to show, after all.

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka Episode 11: And now for my evil plan

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

A surprisingly tame episode given the buildup in the last episode. I guess this episode was mostly laying the cards out on the table for the bad guys? It was pretty interesting overall, but I’m not sure I fully understood everything. Next week should be a blast, right?

What a lovely place…

(Is he gone? This is totally suspicious, isn’t it?)

I smell brainwash…

Trying to figure this line out. This guy tells Jean that Furawau’s resources were going to Dowa before the current political system, which implies that this isn’t happening now. However, he continues on by saying that Furawau is having their resources taken from them, which seems counter to his original point. This flashback seems to exist to contradict the statements that the Furawau representatives made about wanting to support Dowa, so it sounds like the resources are still going to Dowa and it might be reason for discontent? Maybe this is just an incorrect understanding of the original point.

Aww come on…you can’t just do that to Nino! The poor guy wasn’t even in the last episode!

This has been my general impression of Jean throughout this entire series, so I quite like this line.

Now that I think about it, have they ever explained the cigarette thing yet? Not the fact that they were used as a message for supporting Jean, but why he’s allowed to have them. If he didn’t know he’s royalty, it’s not because of his status, right?

They’re friends now!

We’ve been kinda going along with everything up to now, so Warbler acts as a really interesting element to this entire discussion by questioning the coup that everyone thinks is not only likely but beneficial. It’s obvious that he won’t be able to convince anyone because of deeply entrenched ideas, but he does a good job of sowing dissent in the audience.

Yeesh…the relationship between these two characters is still the most interesting thing so far.

Got your own plan in motion, Jean?

Gasp!

This makes sense given what we’ve seen in this episode, but it relies on the assumption that Lilium can control Jean. How does he have the confidence for that? Just because Jean seems so willing to go along?

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 11: Mephisto needs some popcorn

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

While Yukio’s fight this week was a bit strange, Rin’s initial battle against the Impure King with his powers unlocked was pretty cool, even if he was mostly on the defensive. For all of that buildup, the fight against the Impure King ended without too much fanfare. I was honestly expecting more out of that fight. I also wasn’t expecting the fight to be over in this episode. I wonder how they’re going to end this season. The preview makes it look like we’ll get some sort of quiet epilogue episode.

Dude, you had one job.

Apparently, this bad guy is impeded by both fire and water. Make up your mind, buddy.

There’s a point where you overdo the “mysterious observer” role and I think Mephisto passed it long ago.

Just die already, man. I know I’m asking too much, but come on…

This might not necessarily be an incorrect translation, but it was very confusing for me. It sounds like Ucchusma is offering to help Rin in the future, but it looks more like an offer in the present based on the events that follow. Not that I have a problem with Ucchusma working with Rin to fight the Impure King…it’s just that I thought the way the offer sounded was weird.

Going straight from “you just need to work on your confidence” to “you need to bathe the entire mountain in your flames without hurting anyone” seems a bit much, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain, this is happening. Giant Nee turned out to be a bit of a letdown.

Aww, they’re friends now. Remember when they needed to rescue Suguro’s dad? Because I didn’t until right about now.

On the bright side, none of Rin’s friends were there to yell at him. But still, this is power of friendship and really makes me wonder why those lines are only just now helping him with his confidence issue.

Hey, Mephisto. This whole “maniacal laughter” thing you’re doing. Not helping.

Classic Rin.

Aaaaaand classic Yukio.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 23: Feels pretty bad

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I will admit that this episode kept the focus a lot more than other recent episodes, but as such, the overall judgment of the episode probably hinges on how you felt about one or two key factors. I’m mostly neutral, I’d say.

I can’t really do a comparison for Dezel’s death, but my overall impression of the anime version is that Dezel dropped so many hints in this episode that I was going “get it over with” by the end of it all. The scene overall was also a bit confusing. The main thing I can’t explain is why no one else in the party helped out when he jumped in with Rose. Everyone is saying things like “I’ll help you out”, but when the fight starts, no one moves. I know that Dezel said they should conserve their strength to fight the Lord of Calamity, but they seemed to be protesting that. Not sure what happened there.

I think the big sticking point in this episode for me was Sorey. This episode reminded me of something that I hadn’t been thinking about for a while now. Sorey started this entire journey because he wanted humans and seraphim to coexist. How exactly has he made progress towards that goal in this series? And more to the point, think about Dezel’s final moments a little bit. It seems to me like Sorey pretty much killed him. He was going to fight off the dragons with Siegfried, but because Sorey forced him to give up the gun and instead aim to purify the dragons, he was forced to use a different style of attack. Really turning out to be a great hero, Sorey.

You’re talking to the Lord of Calamity about honor? Not really a strong moment for you, Sorey.

Dezel, you have one heck of a death wish. I really can’t tell how you’re going to turn out at this rate. Also, obsession with Rose aside, is the world’s malevolence really concentrated here? Isn’t that a bit too convenient? I’ll grant you that it’s probably the only way to end the series with the remaining two episodes, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Oh hey, Grimoire. Was she in Zestiria? Because I remember her from Berseria. In fact, I’m curious whether this entire town is a Berseria cameo or just events from Zestiria.

I don’t particularly mind this one. It makes sense that Velvet is chronicled in history as a villain, the source of calamity, but Sorey seems to separate himself by asking whether the person who forced her down that path is also somewhat responsible.

I can’t help making the Red vs. Blue reference here…”hey, ever wonder why we’re here?” is so appropriate here.

Rose is not amused.

I thought I was done with this question…make it stop.

I understand that Sorey never intended to use the army (that’s why he didn’t recruit heavily or whatever), but this scene is still a bit silly.

Really asking for it, aren’t you Dezel?

Can’t disagree there.

Hmm, I legitimately thought they were going to keep Dezel alive in this story…until the start of this epiosde, of course. I guess they just wanted to give him a different story. Hard to judge on this one since I don’t know the full context of the game version.

Aww man…these skits used to be cool.

Rewrite Episode 23: The killing machine

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

The series still feels like missing information, but it seems to be building to an interesting end. I’m not sure if we’ll see some kind of explanation in the final episode to clear things up, but I’m not sure I can stand behind this new version of Kotarou. He had a lot of moments that seemed smart in this episode and a lot of other moments in the episode that just felt lucky.

I guess the pink one is not for sale.

Interesting that Kagari seems to be listening to what Koutarou said about not killing the monsters despite being upset with him. He’s also killing the summoners, so the attention is being drawn to her anyway.

I love it when a plan comes togeth- oh crap, it failed.

I’ve heard it mentioned before that Guardian was set up better in the visual novel as having their own issues which make them an equally questionable organization to Gaia. However, there’s no similar background in the anime, so this looks like Kotarou mercilessly killing a guy just because he’s a threat to Kagari. Who knows? Maybe he’s just that desperate to save Kagari.

Oh…I guess that guy’s dead now. Moving on?

This just got really Interstellar for some reason. Also, am I supposed to get the sense that Kagari is broken right now? She’s supposed to be a personification of Earth, right? Why would she advocate leaving Earth behind? Or maybe this is her subtle way of saying “get out of my house, humans”.

This explains a lot.

Also, another cameo, I presume?

There’s a different angle that shows the full stack of hands in a second, but from this angle, it looks like Kotarou is having a private comrade moment with his loli heroines while the other two are doing something else above them. Also, Shizuru’s hand is larger than Lucia’s…for some reason.

Hmm…is Kotarou purposely throwing away his connections because he’s planning to sacrifice himself for Kagari or did his Rewrites in this episode cause him to lose a bit of his humanity? Hard to say with this scene, but poor Kotori, I guess.

This is kind of a mediocre battle scene…

Aww…I guess Esaka is just dead now?

Anime Review: 3-gatsu no Lion

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I want to try to be better about reviewing the series I don’t cover in a season (since I watch so many), and this series happens to be the first one to finish that I haven’t really written about previously. Glad there’s a second season announced for this series. I’m definitely looking forward to it!

The story follows Rei Kiriyama, a shogi player who qualified as a professional in middle school, which is a rare accomplishment that earns him the attention of the shogi world. Unable to deal with the pressure, Rei isolates himself from the people around him, leaving his foster family to live on his own supported by his shogi career. The story pretty much starts with a lot of introduction for Rei and some of the major characters, such that the shogi aspect of the show is sometimes not even in an episode.

But it does eventually reach a point where Rei’s interactions with the professional shogi scene are brought into focus. And I’m not sure how many share this opinion, but I personally think the shogi parts of the show are the best parts. Even though the series doesn’t have the same tone, it brings me back to when I was watching Hikaru no Go. I also didn’t personally find the technical aspect of the shogi conversations to be overbearing.

The characters in this show are probably my favorite part. I found Rei to be very relatable, and I sympathized specifically with his inability to define his own passions in life. I know at around that age, I was having similar troubles figuring out what I really wanted to do and feeling the pressures of other people pushing me in certain directions that I didn’t necessarily know if I liked. And I would hazard a guess that most people have felt a similar feeling of being lost in the world, unsure of where to head. But aside from Rei, I thought pretty much every character was memorable. They each have their own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, and I never got the sense that any particular character was useless. I think the only exception for me was the cats…really couldn’t stand those two.

Music is always a big selling point for me and this series really delivers on it. The first pair of themes are both done by Bump of Chicken, a band I’ve really liked since playing Tales of the Abyss. I’m less of a fan of the second opening song, but I really like the second ending song as well. But even if you ignore the themes, the soundtrack for this series is also incredible. It’s hard to describes, but the songs gave me a sense of longing as I listen that really fit the show.

Overall Score: 9/10

Youjo Senki Episode 10: Victory!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Alright, time for one last battle, right? Given that most of the magic battles so far have involved Tanya running into an entire unit by herself, it’ll be interesting to see her fight against someone of equal strength. Looking forward to that. I’m still wondering how this series will end, though. It looks like it’s building to an actual ending with the defeat of Anson (or whatever his name is) securing the victory for the Empire. But the general lack of Being X cameos so far makes me wonder if there should be more to an ending for this show than that. Plus, there are rumors of a second season…

Wait, they have magic camouflage? Use that more!

I’m assuming this scene is meant to convey the fact that this guy trusts that Tanya will succeed and bring the war to an end, ignoring the concerns of everyone else at the table. I’m still not good with these “big wig” meetings.

Wow…they won that with relatively little fanfare. Fair enough.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that B was the communications headquarters and C was an ammo depot, but Tanya’s site was an abandoned facility. Way to contribute to the team, Tanya.

So now what? Now that the Empire has destroyed the Republic headquarters, I’m assuming this battle at Rhine is to mop up the remaining forces.

Spoken like someone who’s asking to die.

Nah…just a coincidence of an explosion.

Well, when you put on the map like that, it seems so simple!

I don’t actually mind this one. The visual aid helps and unlike the previous one, it comes with a decent explanation.

Celebrating in a show like this? That’s not allowed!

Holy crap…the Empire has flamethrowers too? Talk about focusing tech first, am I right?

No, not that guy! He had a conscience! Or something…

Also, this guy clearly had the jump on the main characters and he takes out some random guy on the right flank. He knows who the boss is, doesn’t he?

Okay, maybe Grantz is fine. They wouldn’t kill him after showing us this, right?

Friday Fun: Checking under the hood

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I was heavily considering writing a post about recent events in anime news and whatnot, but these posts are supposed to be fun, right? Instead, I want to talk about the tech behind my site. Admittedly, this is a topic for which I really don’t have a good gauge on what people think, so let me know if I’m boring you with the details. Really, I want to know! And if you want my opinion on anything related to websites, please don’t hesitate to ask. If there’s any way I can help, I want do so.

As I say in my About page, this blog is built using a framework called Django, which is a framework that uses Python as a programming language. If you’re interested, my source code is available here. The main reason I chose to use this framework instead of the more popular language PHP is that I wanted to spend my time learning a language that I could use outside of the context of web development. At the time, I wasn’t fully sure I was going to get too far in web development, so you could say I was hedging my bets. This actually came in handy later on as I’ve built a few scripts in Python to help me import data from WordPress into this blog (like old posts or comments).

The hardware of my blog is hosted on OVH, a suggestion I took from a friend who knows a lot more about web development than I do. If you’re curious about the actual specs of the machine, it’s VPS SSD 1 on this page. As a word of warning, this kind of server is really barebones, so I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re new to this. My previous server was hosted on JustHost, which has scripts for installing WordPress or other website systems as well as a web interface for interacting with the server. The reason I changed over was that I no longer needed the scripts and the OVH server was much cheaper. To give raw numbers, the hosting cost of JustHost was about $15/month, which amounts to around $180/year. By comparison, the OVH VPS is $3.50/month, or $42/year.

Which brings me back to WordPress. Despite having created this website, I still think that WordPress is a great discovery platform, which is why I continue to copy my posts on a free WordPress site. Part of the reason I bring this is up is that it ties into my “general updates” on the blog. WordPress has an API available for developers and I’ve been looking into it as my next big update for the site. I’m not sure what is available to me in the API yet, but my hope is that I’ll be able to synchronize comments between my site and the WordPress site, which would allow readers to comment on this site by logging into their WordPress account. Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Hope this was fun.

Little Witch Academia Episode 10: Not the bees!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Honestly, I thought I’d be put off by the love spell concept of this episode, but it wasn’t bad overall. I admit that the bee was going a little bit overboard with the stings, but I think the interactions between the characters in this episode were generally solid. Andrew gets a decent introduction despite being arguably a side character and surprisingly Lotte gets a bit of extra character too in her interaction with Frank. Still, you have to admit that Andrew’s kind of an overused character type.

About a minute of this episode has gone by and I’m still stuck staring at this ice cream cone. That top scoop looks like it’s floating on nothing right now.

Really not being coy about the Cinderella reference, huh? More importantly, I understand that this is the only important shop in this series, but are there really no clothing stores in this area?

The shopkeeper mentions a Snow White set as well, but we’ll pretend like we didn’t hear that. It’s probably not important.

Cool, now I can pitch my squirrel army idea.

This is some excellent logic. Treat me like a guest because I’m here now! It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t invited!

Sucy releases this bee in the middle of a crowded room and it flies directly to Andrew…because the plot demands it!

Also, a bee normally uses its stinger as a defense mechanism…but whatever, magic bees. *grumble grumble*

Why does that matter at this point?

Yeah, but why, though? Because you can’t control them? Because they cause harm to the world with their practice?

Really thinking highly of yourself, huh Andrew? Also, this guy gets more characterization than most of the girls at the academy…go figure.

Come on, Akko…he hasn’t been drooling over you in this entire conversation.

You expect me to believe that in a room full of rich people who probably never go outdoors, no one freaks out that there’s a bee loose in the room?

Haha okay that was pretty funny.

Well this is a nice moment.