Random Impressions Summer 2018 (Week 6): Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, Shichisei no Subaru

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

Time for some random. I haven’t talked about these shows in a while.

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi Episode 20

I haven’t really talked too much about this series because it has maintained a general status of being “okay”. The emotional stories don’t really hit particularly hard, but they’re not particularly bad. The series itself just kind of goes through a bunch of character stories. In all, I think my opinion of this series has been mired by poor expectations.

I don’t get the sense of what Aoi contributes to the hidden realm other than being someone who can cook food from the apparent realm. This series is effectively a tale of the problems you can solve with cooking. And like I’ve said, it’s not really a bad thing…just not what I was looking for.

Well, I guess they’re making progress.

The one part I thought was weird was that the second half of the series has seemed like a kind of “reset” on Aoi. I think the series plays to its strengths by introducing a new set of characters for Aoi to befriend, but it feels a bit too much like a repeat.

Shichisei no Subaru Episode 5

I’ve generally avoided talking about this series too often because I haven’t really been enjoying it. I can understand that the characters have drifted apart from losing Asahi, but it’s still not fun watching them act like jerks throughout the entire series.

You know, three guilds banded together to kidnap Asahi, and I still have no idea why. They keep talking about her Sense, but that can’t be the only reason, right? It’s not like she has to use it for their benefit if they “obtain” her. I feel like this could have been set up better. I want to know why Asahi randomly became a MacGuffin.

So, does the game want Subaru to get back together or something? Maybe I made the mistake of stopping one episode before the explanation or something…

Random First Impressions: Asobi Asobase and Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro

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

Today seems like a good day for quick impressions. I’ve been following these series from the beginning, so I should probably mention them.

Asobi Asobase Episodes 1-3

I didn’t really know what to expect from a gag show about playing those random games to pass the time, but this series has been pretty entertaining so far. The exaggerated reactions are fun, and I think the series has been doing a good job so far of avoiding overly repetitive jokes. I don’t always feel like I get all of the jokes, but there are some great ones that I enjoyed. Also, I think the puppet sequences after the credits are amazing.

The first episode sets up a lot of recurring ideas that could easily have been beaten to the ground. The foreign-looking Olivia is forced to act like an expert in English, but the misunderstanding is quickly corrected in a later episode. The “main” character, Kasumi, is introduced as someone who is traumatized from losing games against her sister, but even that trauma isn’t brought up often. This way, the jokes don’t feel as stale.

From the first episode, this joke with the ham was probably my favorite. It seemed like a pretty minor joke, but I found Hanako’s commitment to borrowing some of Olivia’s lunch hilarious.

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro Episode 1-3

Following up Asobi Asobase is another comedy show about a girl who plays games. This series is one I was familiar with from reading the manga, but I eventually got a bit tired of it. I like how the series ties in video game references for its jokes, but I think the style of humor isn’t quite as appealing to me. Maybe it’s the part about forcing the main character into embarrassing situations.

Still, I find this series more entertaining than a show like High Score Girl because I actually can understand the gaming references. The second episode also has a pretty funny sequence about playing games online that has definitely never happened to me. I think the main thing that bothers me is that Chio is surprisingly proficient to the point where I have trouble believing it.

Last Period: Owarinaki Rasen no Monogatari First Impressions (1-4): Surprisingly hilarious

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

Once again, I bring you a completely different series in this season. I put off watching this series for a while, but I’m actually having a lot of fun watching it now that I’ve finally caught up. It’s a comedy series set in a pretty standard fantasy world, and the show doesn’t take itself seriously at all. It constantly breaks the fourth wall and pokes fun at common gacha game tropes, which is really appealing to me. Apparently, the series is based on a mobile game, and I’m really curious whether the game uses the same comedic style. Maybe the series is just making fun of the game.

The basic setup revolves around three adventuring “Periods” (plus one Meme Girl), who travel around defeating “Spirals” to raise money for their guild. Each episode has a fairly repetitive in that the main characters are given a quest to travel to a cookie cutter town with a cookie cutter mayor asking for help defeating spirals.

Each episode also revolves around an encounter with Wiseman, a group of periods who attempt to steal the main characters’ quests. Honestly, the members of Wiseman have become my favorite characters in the series, and they really make me wonder why they aren’t the main characters.

The series even goes as far as blatantly sticking Higurashi characters in episode 3, which corresponded with a collaboration that was done in the game. The references in this episode were insane, and I had to look a lot of them up. The scene between Rika and Choco was also excessively cute.

The series kinda fell flat in episode 4 for me, though. The trope that main characters are never good with money is pretty boring, so much of the episode felt like a foregone conclusion. Still, the episode did a pretty good job of promoting Wiseman.

Quick Impressions: Wotaku ni Koi na Muzukashii Episode 3

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

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m ignoring this show, so I’m doing some quick impressions. This series is another one I’m familiar with ahead of time. I read the manga for this series and really enjoyed it. My thoughts on the anime are largely the same. Hirotaka and Narumi are a great couple and I really enjoy watching them interact.

Hirotaka’s progressive jealousy in this scene was hilarious. I would have expected him to get annoyed at how fake she seemed, but this reaction is great for showing that he actually does care.

Ahh, people like Naru…this is so relatable. Too many things in this show are relatable.

I want to say I agree, but part of me doesn’t. I don’t buy physical manga as much as I used to…

Hirotaka’s story of meeting Narumi was pretty cute, and it fit into the episode well. I also like how you can see the figurines on the bookshelf in this scene. They’re turned around, which gets pointed out later.

Spring 2018 Grab Bag Week 1: Hinamatsuri, SAO Alternative, Devils’ Line

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

Spring season’s in full swing, so I want to go over multiple shows today. This section lives!

Hinamatsuri First Impressions (Episode 1)

I had a lot of fun watching this episode. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but the opening sequence certainly didn’t scream “comedy show”. That being said, I thought the episode was pretty funny and I liked where it was going. As for the opening sequence, I was pretty impressed. Despite the blurred attacks and the fact that this series isn’t really an action show, the fight choreography looked really good.

The interactions between the two main characters were fun. I’m curious to see where they go with Nitta. The episode kinda paints him as the “good guy” gangster, but I’d find it more interesting if he isn’t just a nice person (as he seems to be).

I did think it was a little weird that Hina grew attached to Nitta for not treating her as she was treated by other adults. Nitta did technically try to abuse her power for his own gain, after all. But I guess the distinction is that he was more asking her for a favor rather than seeing her as a tool. That seemed to be implied, so I’m fine going along with it.

Sword Art Online Alternative – Gun Gale Online First Impressions (Episode 1)

I don’t have all too much to say about this series. I was surprised that the episode went straight into the action without really introducing much, but I guess it can borrow a lot of setup from the original Sword Art Online. That being said, I didn’t particularly mind it. The episode was pretty entertaining overall. It had the feel of watching a live stream of a game.

The only weird part (for me) was when Karen went god mode in the end. It kinda makes the strategy seem less important when she can take on entire teams by herself.

Devils’ Line First Impressions (Episode 1)

Well, they can’t all be winners. I was curious about the premise of this series, but this first episode really didn’t appeal to me. All of the fights felt like they had excessive shaky cam in them and the major scenes in the episode seemed fairly drawn-out and boring. The opening scene also felt way longer than it should have been for how little it seemed to contribute.

This episode really did a good job of making me not care about this guy. He got way too much background for an opening episode, so it was pretty much a given that the story would get rid of him quickly.

How exactly does this work? How do you identify this guy based on his semen? Did you have a DNA sample already? This line feels like typical “forensic magic”. You could at least put a little effort into it.

Gasp! He was the protagonist all along!

Death Parade Episode 9: That was fun, right?

[HorribleSubs] Death Parade - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.14_[2015.03.07_08.08.41]

Huh…so the two were linked after all. This pair brings up an interesting question. I would think that many people would be sympathetic towards the boy, caught up in his emotions and acting extremely as a result. There’s this sense of “we can’t control ourselves, so we can’t fully be blamed”. However, on the other side, a psychopath legitimately can’t feel the same empathy that most humans do. In that sense, I don’t necessarily disagree with arbiters’ stance of judging by actions. We don’t condemn someone with psychopathy that controls it and conforms to society.

But back to the show. I’m curious why it seemed like Decim felt physical pain throughout that final conversation. This isn’t going to be the standard cheesy development where he’s learning to have feelings and they’re causing him pain that he’s not used to feeling, right? Is there even going to be a judgment next week? The preview seems to indicate that a lot of soul-searching will be happening.

Death Parade Episode 5: New characters and new questions

[HorribleSubs] Death Parade - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.11_[2015.02.07_10.53.24]

So they finally decided to give us some of the rules of the game. It looks like the pairing of people that arrive at the bar is done by some mysterious bureau (presumably controlled by God), so I can probably stop trying to force logic on the rules of how they arrive. I think the more interesting comment of this week’s episode was made by the older arbiter playing pool again Nona (the one about his being closest to God). Is that the final goal for all arbiters? They have to be doing this all for a reason, right?

[HorribleSubs] Death Parade - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.30_[2015.02.07_11.09.03]

The woman (has she been named yet?) that hangs around Decim also poses an interesting case. We finally find out that she’s a human who appeared in the bar without forgetting her death, which apparently invalidates the game. But that raises its own questions…for example, what happened to the person that appeared with her? Theoretically, if she had remembered her death, she would have mentioned that and the other person would realize the same thing.

So what happened to the other person? Also, they mentioned erasing her memories again…why didn’t they just throw her back into the system after that was done? Maybe to be judged by a different arbiter or something. Is the focus switching to Ginti next week? It looks like we’ll see how the different arbiters have their own styles or something. I’ve been curious about that too. I also wonder if certain pairs are given to certain arbiters for their specific personalities.

Tales of Xillia and Gaming Things

Konachan.com - 119381 blonde_hair jude_mathis milla_maxwell pocky red_eyes tales_of_xillia

So Tales of Xillia was localized to English not so long ago and I just finished the game last night. I’m too lazy for a “formal review”, so this is my substitute (plus it’s not technically anime, though I consider JRPG to be close). Basic background: the game follows Jude Mathis, a med student who is pulled into the fate of Milla Maxwell, the self-proclaimed Lord of Spirits who is on a mission to destroy a human weapon beneath Jude’s med school. They throw a wrench in with this game by allowing you to choose Milla or Jude as main character to get slightly differing stories.

I personally played Jude’s story. Based on what I’ve read online, you get a different perspective of character development, so it doesn’t really change my opinion. I really didn’t enjoy the ending of the game…and I hear it’s the same for each story. It’s not really a satisfying ending and it feels rushed. This game took me four afternoons and two whole weekend days to finish, so take that into perspective. And having played Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, and Tales of Graces, not much is new story-wise here. No real surprises. Though to be fair, Jude and Milla are not as insufferable as protagonists like Lloyd Irving and Luke fon Fabre.

Konachan.com - 116106 alvin ekoo jude_mathis milla_maxwell tales_of_xillia

The gameplay uses a system similar to the CC system in Tales of Graces, where your combos are limited by a certain number. Unlike the CC system though, your moves still cost TP and everything consistently costs 1 CC (or AC as it is called in Xillia). Honestly, I think that when you get the hang of everything, it’s a lot simpler of a system to keep track of than Tales of Graces. Also, the shops in the game are all synchronized, which is nice. You can trade materials or gald in to increase each shop’s level, unlocking more items. I thought it made the game super easy, though (I played on Moderate). You tend to run kinda low on gald too.

So yeah…this game doesn’t rank too high for me against other Tales games (except Symphonia 2 because that game was a joke). It’s not really cringeworthy, though, so it’s probably fine for people new to the franchise or people who are casual fans of the franchise (like me). Anyway, I made a poll for the game I play next. It should be in the sidebar. Maybe you want me to scope the game out for you or you know the game and just want my personal take on it…whatever the reason, vote for that game.