Random Lists: 5 Favorite Episodic Mysteries

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

Inga looks up

Hopefully, this post isn’t too weird. Many mystery shows stretch out a larger mystery across multiple episodes or split the series into longer arcs. These would be shows like Death Note or Erased/Boku dake ga Inai Machi. It’s a great way to build intrigue and tension across an entire series. I definitely enjoy watching shows like this, but I often find myself with more of an affinity towards the shorter, bite-sized mysteries.

I grew up reading Sherlock Holmes, so I have a soft spot for shows that follow that same pattern.. Watching a complicated mystery unfold is great, but I think there’s something to be said about a show that gives you the satisfaction of an answer promptly. In honor of that, here’s a list of 5 shows shorter mystery segments that I enjoyed watching.

Sakurako doesn't like being woken up

5. Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru

Centering on the titular Sakurako Kujou, this series follows an eccentric bone expert who solves cases with her expertise. We see the story through her plucky assistant, Shoutarou Tatewaki. I think part of what drew my interest in this series was how active Shoutarou’s role in it is. He’s often seen pushing the story forward or examining his own cases. It was a fun series overall.

4. UN-GO

Boy does this series make me feel old. Taking place in a dystopian future, the series follows the disgraced detective, Shinjuurou Yuuki, as he solves mysteries to regain his reputation. Joining him is Inga, a mysterious boy who often aids him by forcing his suspects to answer one question truthfully. I liked the dynamic between the main characters in this series, especially given that the mysteries tend to focus around Shinjuurou figuring out the right question to ask.

Dalian is not amused

3. Hyouka

I’ve talked this show to death, so I won’t spend too much time here. Most shows in this genre focus on more traditional crimes, full of death and betrayal. I’ve always thought that this series was refreshing for looking at much more mundane mysteries, unveiling the wonder and stories behind everyday life.

2. Dantalian no Shoka

This might be a hard series to sell. The story follows Hugh Anthony Disward, a man who inherits the estate of his recently deceased grandfather. In the manor, he finds a strange girl named Dalian, who maintains the titular library. Contained within that library is a collection of Phantom Books, magical books with a variety of powers. Together with Dalian, Hugh seeks to recover the books that have made it out into the world, solving the mysteries surrounding their new owners.

Victorique is bored

1. Gosick

Kazuya Kujou is a Japanese student transferring into a fancy boarding school in Europe, who is shunned by his classmates for his foreign appearance. While exploring the school’s massive library, he meets a mysterious girl named Victorique on the top floor. Together, the two solve mysteries, largely relying on Victorique’s “fountain of wisdom”.

This series arguably doesn’t belong here because of how the story shifts at about the halfway point. However, the first half of the series fits the bill quite well. It’s probably the most endearing series on this list, and I really liked Victorique as a character.

Random Lists: 5 Favorite Slice of Life Shows

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

Mii-kun is ready for the cold

When I started blogging, I always had trouble understanding people who only reviewed slice of life shows. To be fair, that part of me hasn’t changed much. Writing about slice of life is still hard, but watching the shows has become a lot easier. Sometimes, the day-to-day can get rough, so it’s fun to relax with something calming.

5. Miira no Kaikata

Admittedly, I have my problems with this series, but darn it if it doesn’t have the cutest mummy in existence. The series follows Sora Kashiwagi, a fairly typical student who constantly receives supernatural gifts from his wandering father. One day, his father sends him a mummy, but it turns out to be a tiny one with no ill intent. I know that there are other supernatural creatures in this series, but I could honestly watch Mii-kun all day.

I am disappointed in this god

4. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

Did I say “calming”? Sometimes, I’m much more interested in watching a couple of travelers wander around the lifeless remains of a post-war Earth. Also called Girls’ Last Tour, this series follows Chito and Yuuri, two girls who live in such a world. We watch as the girls learn about the people who came before them and struggle to survive in a wasteland of limited resources.

3. Yuru Camp

I’m not the most outdoorsy person in the world, but I have a soft spot for this series. It follows a group of girls who just enjoy camping, split between the Outdoors Club and the expert solo camper, Rin Shiima. While I’ve certainly no stranger to camping, I’m definitely not as passionate about it. Instead, I really relate to Rin’s wanderlust and desire to explore new places. I love the interactions in this series, and I absolutely can’t wait for season 2.

Rei wonders about fun

2. 3-Gatsu no Lion

Part of me feels like this series is too serious to count, but the other part of me is promptly insisting that there’s no way I can have a slice of life list without it. Focusing on a teenage shogi pro named Rei Kiriyama, this series is a surprising ball of warmth despite the drama that can be involved in its story. I don’t even know the first thing about shogi, but I often find myself forgetting that it’s actually important to the story.

1. Aria

Well, this is an older one. I found myself watching this series recently, and I loved it. Set in a futuristic Mars, the series focuses on life in the city of Neo Venezia, a replica of Earth’s Venice. The main character, Akari Mizunashi, is an undine, one of the tour guides carrying visitors around on gondolas. It’s a longer series, but I found myself captivated by the stories it tells and the general sense of wonder. It’s a series that I probably should have watched much sooner.

Marth’s 5 Favorite Shows Covered On This Blog

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

Searching for Bahamut

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

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

This will be easy

5. Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

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

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

It's confirmed

4. Hyouka

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

3. Chihayafuru

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

Accelerator wonders what the sisters are doing

2. Psycho Pass

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

1. Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)

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

5 Random Time Travel Theories

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

These fools can't comprehend

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

Tejina can do it

5. Everything already happened – Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

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

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

Latina ruins another one

4. Shared movement of time – Time Travel Shoujo

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

3. The infinite loop – Buddy Complex

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

Hana wins the color debate

2. Just destroy the world – Sakurada Reset

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

1. Traversing the multiverse – Steins;Gate

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

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

Random Lists: 5 Favorite Cooking Shows

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

Is this relevant?

It feels odd for me to say, but I do think I’m the type of person who gravitates towards cooking shows in anime. I don’t think I’m the best cook in the world, but I do like to try out new recipes. I also have a clear preference for Asian cuisine. I can’t imagine where that comes from.

I say this mostly because my sister has told me in the past that she doesn’t have as much of an interest for food in anime because it doesn’t look appetizing. So, I feel like my interest has to come from somewhere entirely different. But that’s mostly a tangent. The real point of this post is to go over some of my favorite cooking shows, so let’s get to that.

Rin finishes the food

5. Isekai Izakaya Nobu

I feel like it’s unfair to put this show together with Isekai Shokudou because they’re so similar. However, I will say that this series gives the audience a lot more of the cooking aspect than its counterpart. Small segments at the end of some episodes go over home-cooked versions of the featured dish for the episode, giving viewers something to try themselves. It’s also a fun show if you want to watch people freak out about beer. Otherwise, the dishes featured in this show are fairly typical for Japanese bar food.

4. Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan

I’ve always found myself on the fence with the Fate series, but I can confidently say that I loved this show. Set in a more peaceful version of the Grail War, this series brings together all of the familiar faces from the story you know and portrays them instead as a series of acquaintances who collectively enjoy Shirou Emiya’s cooking. The show also makes it pretty clear when to start taking notes, because a very distinction song starts playing whenever the cooking intensifies.

Patron is surprised to find raw fish on the menu

3. Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi*

I’ve already written a review for this series, so I won’t rehash it too much. Like many of the other shows on this list, this series explores food in the context of a different world. This time, the inhabitants are many of the yokai from Japanese folklore. Unlike other shows from the list, this series has more of a story progression to it, with the main character Aoi effectively saving the world with her cooking. It’s a bit dramatic for my taste, but the series as a whole is fun. The dishes featured in this show tend to be more on the fancy side, though.

2. Isekai Shokudou (Restaurant to Another World)

This is another show that I’ve reviewed. I clearly have a type. I enjoyed this series for putting together the intriguing setting of a fantasy world together with a humble restaurant. It puts forward a truly diverse range of personalities, which gives itself an excuse to feature a similarly diverse range of dishes. Also, it adds in some Western influence to the dishes to make them a lot more interesting.

Saber enjoys the water

1. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning)

This show feels like it really does it all. A cooking show isn’t where I would expect to find a story about a widower attempting to raise his daughter alone or a lovesick high school girl trying to make sense of her feelings. I enjoyed watching the characters grow as a makeshift family through a simple love for cooking.

On top of that, the series had the perfect pretense to explore a vast array of recipes while simultaneously keeping them simple. Because the main character, Kyouhei Inuzuka, was learning how to cook from the ground up, the recipes needed to be understandable for him. And Tsumugi gave the series range by just being a child who requested dishes based on pure whim.

Honorable Mention: Uchimusume (I’d love to count it, but it’s still airing)

Marth’s 5 Favorite Soundtracks

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

Asking for praise

I don’t have the greatest musical background in the world, but I’ve always appreciated the way that a song can contribute to an anime. It’s easy to forget, but music can often elevate a scene long after its runtime. The right song can form an emotional connection between the viewer and the scene itself, such that the song itself is enough to evoke the same emotions as the entire scene.

This is a long-winded introduction, but it gets at why I value soundtracks so much in anime. I’m almost always listening to music in my daily life, and it’s partly because it can have this kind of effect. So with that all said and done, let’s talk a bit about the soundtracks that I still listen to today.

Violet understands

3-gatsu no Lion

It’s hard to pin down a soundtrack that I would consider to be my favorite, but I think this one would probably be it. It’s true that the tracks have a somber tone to them, but there’s a sense of longing in it that I think encapsulates the series well. Combine that with the evocative and memorable imagery you’d expect from a Shaft production, and it’s no small task for any song to bring me right back into the show.

Violet Evergarden

Strangely enough, I never took note of this soundtrack until after the series had finished airing. But when I listen to it, it’s so easy to bring myself back to the big emotional moments from the show. I love how orchestral and almost whimsical the soundtrack sounds, and I really like that several tracks include typewriter sound effects that would have easily gone unnoticed in the actual series. This soundtrack tends to be my go-to when I need something listen to at work.

Yuusha is shocked

Gundam Build Fighters

With many of my other picks for this list, I think it’s pretty clear that my musical preferences can be pretty narrow. This soundtrack is here to shake that up a bit. Unlike the smooth, flowing songs I tend to choose, this soundtrack is a lot more active, fitting for the action focus in the series itself. I enjoy listening to the songs in this soundtrack for their diversity and energy.

xxxHOLiC

I don’t always listen to the entire soundtrack for this series, which is why it’s lower on the list, but the tracks that I do listen to are among my all-time favorite songs. In particular, “Deja View” and “Zashiki Warashi” are two songs that I always enjoying hearing.

Anne reads something safe

Kanon

This is not to say that I have a problem with other Key adaptation soundtracks. For some reason, this soundtrack always hits me the hardest, despite how long ago I watched the series. Is it just because it was the show I watched first? It’s difficult to say. I once went through a long plane ride listening only to the songs in this soundtrack, so I suppose I have a lot of history with it as well.

Honorable Mention: Aria, Houseki no Kuni, Made in Abyss

Top Opening Songs of Spring Season 2012

Alright, so this is basically a list of what I feel are the top 5 songs from this season’s lineup. Purely my opinion…you don’t have to agree, just throwing it out there. Musical taste is a tricky thing. I’ve done the best I can to explain why I like the songs, but sometimes it’s just not that easy. Not sure how long these links will last…sure they’ll all eventually be taken down. I’m looking at these songs purely for music…there’s no influence from the actual video of the opening. Let me know if you want me to try more posts like this.

 

5. “dots and lines” by You Hitoto feat. Mummy-D from Zetman

First off, we have the Zetman opening. If you look at it, the song seems very off for the type of show Zetman is. You’d expect something more heavy. But as for the song itself, I liked it a lot. The tune is very catchy and none of the voices sound bad. It’s very consistent and it does a good job of moving itself forward.

 

4. “Feel So Moon” by Unicorn from Uchuu Kyoudai/Space Brothers

Another song where I kinda have to ignore what’s going on in the animation…random rainbows are random. But the song itself sounds really cool. It has a really good rhythm despite how light it is. If I had to point out a problem, though, I’d have to say that the ending sounded a bit weird to me. It sounds like the song is ascending towards some sort of big finish, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. But the intro to the song is amazing…

 

3. “Tsurezure Monochrome” by Fujifabric from Tsuritama

I don’t know what instrument is playing that tune in the background, but I love it. The guitar and the drums add to it very nicely too. The singer also doesn’t try to push himself too far, even though the song sounds like there are parts where he could. I’m not completely sure if this is the official opening theme for the show because they showed scenes from the episode in the background, but I’d be happy if it was.

 

2. “Chase the world” by May’n from Accel World

Probably one of the closest songs you’ll get to Jrock in this season. No matter what I think of the show, this song still sounds great (wait…I feel like I’ve said this before with a Sunrise show). It’s very fast-paced, and May’n does the vocals well. The song brings the music strong from the very beginning and keeps it up. The whole song feels like it blazes by in an instant, but it’s a normal-length song.

 

1. “To the Beginning” by Kalafina from Fate/Zero

Was it ever even a question? Kalafina, drawing the talents of the wonderful composer Yuki Kajiura, never fails to impress me. The whole song seems to…flow. Not sure how to put it. The intro sounds great and the song builds up so nicely. The violin is definitely a nice touch too. I dunno why people think that oath sign was so much better…I’d have a hard time choosing.

 

Honorable Mention:

“Borderland” by Mami Kawada from Jormungand

“CHOIR JAIL” by Konomi Suzuki from Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

“Now or Never” by Nano from Phi Brain Season 2

 

Next up, we have some openings that didn’t quite make it on the list, but were pretty close. They deserve to be singled out from the ones I didn’t like:

Sakamichi no Apollon

Sankarea

 

Finally, we have the songs that just didn’t make the list. These are here for the simple reason that I want you to know which songs I was listening to when I made these decisions (no particular order):

Natsuiro Kiseki

Acchi Kocchi

Shining Hearts

Upotte

Hiiro no Kakera

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka of the Dead

Saki Achiga-Hen

Medaka Box