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KYM Anime General

Last posted Sep 07, 2022 at 05:25AM EDT. Added Sep 20, 2013 at 07:46PM EDT
1765 posts from 156 users

This thread may be just about dead, hell this whole site sure feels that way, but I’m not, yet. Still pulling through, and through a miracle I’ve taken the time to do a little something special. Perhaps that’s not the word, more so, ridiculous. Dig in if you even remotely care what I have to say, because this is going to be a long trip. Plenty of scenic views along the way, I promise.

It’s a little late, or rather, an entire damn full cour late… but a new season means a whole lot of shows to see and to review. This was meant to be posted 3 months ago when the first wave of episodes came out, but then I got busy and caught up with real life, and it just kept expanding in text and images, but now, it’s here, it’s finally here.

Doing a things a bit differently than last time, I moved the previous season’s comments to the top, and I’ve decided to scrap that silly color coded rating system, because it’s not better than a number grade that I hate so much. The best way to convey how I feel about shows is through writeups, not a line or two slapped alongside a number or color. Of course, that’s how I do things, how everyone else rate and review their viewings are just as valid. And also, I’ve included a segment on other shows I’ve been watching and want to bring up.

I’m still not exactly sure how I’m going to do these writeups, and if I’m even going to keep doing them, I’m still experimenting with format, and I have an idea for a blog… but anyways, who cares about that, on with the thoughts.

All screenshots should be in at least 720p, if not 1080p. Nine times out of ten the subtitles should be removed, otherwise I forgot to disable them or kept them on for context. Each shot is resized for formatting purposes, but they should be in the highest quality I can obtain, at least with vlc’s screencap feature. If I’m honest, this whole writeup is an excuse to showcase my screencapping addiction.

Summer Season Thoughts and Reflections


I can’t tell if I subconsciously turn my brain off when I watch this show or I’m genuinely confused and bored and baffled that I force myself to keep going out of obligation to finish.

There’s a lot of issues I have, and it trails on and on. I’m not invested in the main character, I don’t follow the storyline or internal logic, and can’t stand most of the creations. In particular, I think it was a mistake to bring the dating-sim girl as a Creation. Each and every one of her scenes felt goofy and gratuitous, and her Creator made me so uncomfortable. Their jokes added nothing to the viewing experience, instead it took away from any tension or drama or key story development.

Even this manipulating sadist girl got on my nerves, with her scenes in particular being frustrating and pandering.

Altair isn’t bad, but I don’t exactly follow her motivations, her ambiguity, her smug face, and her over-the-top spiteful persona. What she comes off as is a villain, plain and simple. These days I ask for more, but the bare minimum face value isn’t a shut off either.

Other characters like this brainless knight also take away from my enjoyment. Not every scene she’s in makes me upset, it’s just that when the story moves along, the actual problems and entanglements that turn into conflicts are so… uninteresting and pedantic for me.

Early on during the first cour I was pleasantly surprised to see the magical girl blow up half a city block. I foolishly thought that maybe this would be a real show with actual consequences. But never again did I feel any weight to the action happening on screen. I have no sense of danger of the world breaking. I think it has to do with the presentation, as it never got serious and it probably never had that intention in the first place. Aldnoah at least had a sense that the Vers Martians could deal destruction onto Earth. Here, it felt like a pretty excuse to bring a bunch of light novel tropes into a duel of the titans scenario.

I have a silly theory that any show Hiroyuki Sawano composes for won’t work with me. His music is nothing but great, alleviating action scenes and fueling my heartbeat to racing speed. Problem is, the genre of shows he’s involved in, action, adventure, fantasy, scifi, I think I’ve grown out of this appeal. Never has it been the first genre I go for anyways, but when it’s done right it can be so memorable. I’d name something like Gundam Thunderbolt or Unicorn as a concrete example, a fantastic showcase of polished animation, acting, writing, synergy, and emotional investment. When too many anime tropes are thrown in my face, I’ll shy away. There needs to be a balance, and I look out for worldbuilding, story consistency, and more mature characters. These are not mature characters:

I’ll just say it. I hate this second cour. All this pandering, all this repetitive, meaningless action. Sometimes I wake up from this fever dream of wasted time killing and reassess what I’ve been doing for the past year of my life and contemplate-

Wait holy shit did you say female voice actress? Wait hold up who voices this guy again? WAIT when was Sora Amamiya in re:creators and how did I miss this? WAIT YOU MEAN WE GET TO ACTUALLY SEE TEN-CHAN IN ANIME FORM AND-

Oh my god. They did it. They actually did it. They inserted goddess Ten-chan into the anime. Sora Amamiya is voicing dudes now. Sora Amamiya is an anime character now. This show is great. aots. No, AOTY.

Ey holy shit, I just realized this show reunited Sora Amamiya and Inori Minase from Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. And I kind of hate that movie, well the ending at least. At least that film employed the excellent singing voices of the two aforementioned seiyuus, Re-Creators decides to utilize such talent for… a bishonen and a deadpan. Oh how I hate and love this.

My brain physically hurts trying to picture Sora Amamiya voicing Kanoya. Like, I can just barely hear her voice, and there’s definitely a noticeable connotation and edge to her voice, but like, it sounds so fundamentally different from all her other roles, and it’s driving me crazy.

Now that any credibility from my critical standing has been stripped away, let’s get serious again. I will concede that I wouldn’t mind watching the actual shows of Blitz, Mirokuji, and maybe Kanoya. I find them slightly interesting, perhaps even a little more than the main show itself.

The show can be fun at times, especially when it handles the principal of the creations’ conflicts with their new world. Blitz in particular had a decent arc, and Mirokuji’s scenes were somewhat fun, especially if Kanoya was involved.

Unfortunately, my issue just lies in how many times this show has frustrated me. I find the pacing to be way too inconsistent and pandering. When it takes time to explain the world’s physics and inner logic, I just didn’t follow it or it was presented in such dry, bland, or dialogue heavy scenes, that left the viewer without anything engaging to chew on. The setup for the action felt convoluted and just dragged out, with so many founded on misunderstandings that just frustrate and alienate the audience. When it actually did get to the action, I felt it was just as uninteresting, as in I don’t care for who comes out alive and why they’re even fighting. The resolutions to these are either so sudden and jarring or so contrived and out of nowhere.

For example, despite many people liking this, the whole “social media reaction to Selesia’s new armor design allows her to level up mid-combat into a power suit” felt so baffling, abrupt, artificial, and forced that I did not follow through.

If Re-Creators is an excuse to bring light novel characters together into a colosseum match scenario, then I don’t like the methods to get from point A to point B, and I don’t like the actual action of point A or point B.

I can’t say there’s much going on here that makes me feel my time is being used up effectively. It barely passes the threshold of entertainment for me, and as pitiful as my standards may be, Re-Creators just isn’t that interesting, engaging, or worthwhile for me.

Princess Principal

Goodness I love this show. This is bit of a rarity, because normally I don’t care for the cute-girls-doing-cute-action type of show. Don’t get me wrong, you send a slice of moe cake my way and I’ll eat it, and sometimes I’ll even enjoy it, but it’s not the first thing I pull up when I collapse into my sheltered bed as soon as I get home from an exhausting day of, sitting in a classroom.

At least that’s what I tell myself. I like cute girls, cute girls are nice, whatdya want me to say. I’m only being honest. What I expect from those kinds of shows are flashy action and one-dimensional characters, fun and entertaining, but lacking substance and impact.

And so here I am with this show about London leaping loli spy girls murdering royalist loyalists with gravity manipulating steampunk gear. Okay okay I’ll get to the point. I’m thoroughly impressed by how well this was handled. The main characters may be cute schoolgirls, and I understand how that’s a turnoff for many, but the show embraces it and is uses it to an exceptionally crafted advantage. They’re put in roles that the average spy couldn’t fit into, and each girl has their own speciality and quirk that contributes to a well-oiled spy team moe machine. Would I like to see a more mature show in the same setting with pipe-smoking mustache-wielding grizzled Englishmen? Yeah that’d be great, but strangely this anime presentation works.

Let’s talk about the characters then, and in turn the voice performance. A brief rundown, starting with the titular princess over here who has her own set of ambitions and desires. A figure that’s willing to take risks and to do drastic things, that initiative to take action in the front lines is refreshingly more engaging than princesses from other stories. Akira Sekine brought out her inner pain but composed demeanour expertly, and this delivery is very cunning and convincing.

The sort of central main girl, Ange, is quite a character, sometimes she’s cold, deceptive, unpredictable, sometimes she’s considerate, human, and vulnerable. She’s constantly a step ahead of the game, and that’s exemplified with the exceptional voice performance of Ayaka Imamura, who goes from stoney deadpan to country bumpkin to caring childhood friend effortlessly.

I took Beatrice for the standard chipmunk squeaking loli, but she has her own traits and powers of sorts that I found more than welcoming, specially catered for the steampunk scenario. Her voice is also like ridiculously cute, great work from Akari Kageyama.

Chise is the oddball quirky foreigner, in fact, a ninja, that’s employed by these English spies, and I was very much surprised to see Nozomi Furuki here. What’s Miwa from Barakamon doing in London as a ninja loli?

Lastly, Dorothy. Beautiful, confident, big-busted Dorothy. Yes I love her, from her wild driving to her seductive tendencies to her swaggering drinking and smoking. Oh, and she’s not a loli. You Taichi, remind me to pick up Love Lab again someday.

I bring up these ladies because there’s genuine personality and depth to each of them. I’d consider all five to be round characters, from their dynamic and evolving team synergy to their own backstories and motivations.

There’s a healthy balance of typical cute girl interactions, during their school-day activities or their clubroom banter, and actual spywork, which at times may be a bit too simplistic in resolution, but still is engaging and interesting, thanks to excellent presentation.

Setting is not something every television anime nails properly, a studio or writer may envision a world but not all fully flesh it out and keep the physics and rules cohesive and consistent. Princess Principal is not the case, nothing short of being wonderfully crafted and fully realized.

Imagine a sort of steampunk Victorian alternate-history, this is a world of underhand political movements, murderous rivalry, splintered ideology, powerful European nations playing chess, and creaking clockwork industry. There’s plenty of research put in for an authentic English setting, with occasional nods towards international players like Meiji Japan or the Russian Bear.

Steampunk gear, while not completely immersed into the everyday world, mostly centers around cavorite, a gravity-manipulating contained elemental energy… force. It’s a reference to H.G. Wells, and one that goes wild on the gravity notion. You’ll see colossal airships, coal-burning trains, a few body modifications, and typical flashy bronze-gilded steampunk costumes, but mostly it’s very European and very turn of the century. It’s more so a scenic backdrop rather than an role gear in the intricate story, but it’s present and contributing. I would have liked to seen more, but I understand how character development is the main priority here. You’ll also see 19th century rifles and pistols, sharply dressed soldiers, uniformed redcoats, and plenty of tea sippers and cigars smokers.

We explore both dressed up aristocracy and toiling humblefolk, and it’s that nice blend of power and everyday life that sells a rich and convincing world. It’s not entirely unique, but it is inspired, detailed, and gorgeous, and makes me want more.

The anime really makes use of this setting, to give an example and in turn a spoiler, take note of episode 6’s ending scene. A singing Beatrice is joined by a chorus from pub patrons, her song picked up from Dorothy’s father, as we watch his body enter the very chasms he dreamed of escaping.

We’re reminded of the stark reality of manipulative industrial England, while just being convinced of humanity’s ability to showcase value and redemption. This show may have tea breaks here and there, but it’s still very real and very cruel. Poor, poor Dorothy, episode 6 really hit me, I’m a sucker for these bittersweet moments, maybe a bit too bitter this time.

While the world is gorgeous to gaze at and the characters stylized and pretty, I have a few notes on the presentation of the animation itself. In a show of this nature, having dynamic sequences and fluid, kinetic movement is very important. I’m not necessarily asking for Studio Bones level of choreography, but I’m also not asking for factory dished “flashy lights and over-designed action figures slamming into each other”. Basically I want something that shows a certain creativity and skill from the animators. Princess Principal pulls it off many times, with an ambitious and bold direction.

That’s to say, this is not always a well executed hit, at times it drops and falters. Occasionally we can witness rushed facial work, unsteady anatomy, disproportioned design. CG is here, but I can safely say it’s spread out evenly so that it’s not jarring at key moments. The first episode was ridiculously beautiful and polished, which unfortunately did not translate to the rest of the show, with episode 5 suffering particularly painfully.

Nonetheless, the show still wowed me several times, especially episode 8. Too put it more simply, there are flashes of inspiration across a decent and unique artstyle and animation direction.

For the most part, it never reached that shine of episode 1, I’m a bit more forgiving of these things like inconsistent animation or cg because most of the time it works and it isn’t a bother. As long as I’m not drawn out of my immersion every episode, I’m happy. Did I mention I took some 97 screenshots from this show alone?

Music plays a lovely ambient supporting role here that further enhances the deep atmosphere of steampunk London. It’s light and low, creeping and mysterious, old-age European instrumental and piano with flashes of twentieth century ballroom, jazz, and percussion. Ah, did I mention Yuki Kajiura? Then it has to be good.

I’ll mention it again since I love it, absolutely killer OP, probably my favorite this season despite it’s Engrish. An energetic, soulful, rapid fire blood pumping mix of rock and jazz. The ED is very cute and playful, a music box performance of trinketry, chimes, and lovely relaxed vocals from the main cast. I’m always a sucker for theme music that employs the voice talent of the show, so bonus points here.

Ah, also being a show about spies, there’s the traces of mystery and puzzle-solving here and there that I very much appreciate. Not overly intellectual or subtle, but there are nice hints for the keen eye. If you pay close attention, then the resolutions for each problem make good use of previously introduced exposition, offhand dialogue, or knowledge of the world. Just a hint of Sherlock to garnish the cake.

Makes each episode refreshing, while also worthwhile to rewatch multiple times. And that’s what I think makes for a solid and memorable viewing experience, one that is good enough to garner another viewing.

Please don’t overlook this one just because it has loli moe girls. It’s quite a fun ride that has memorable and vivid scenery along the way.

Ballroom E Youkoso

Oh Production IG… you’ve stabbed me in the heart in the worst possible way. I adore this manga, simply adore it, and now that it’s on the big screen, beautiful, detailed, IG animation, what can I say about the show? It hurts me to no end to say, disappointed.

If you’re expecting something like Yuri On Ice, well, be prepared for a lot of static shots. This is about dancing, yet there is hardly any dynamic movement. It’s so, dull. Dance sequences last for only a couple seconds, taken over by long awkward frozen frames. These dances pass by in seconds when they were chapters of pure joy in the manga. Look, I think they did a fantastic job nailing the art, the characters are all gorgeous, and palette nice and welcoming. But that’s only half of the story. If you read the manga, you’ll be swept away by how vivid and fluid the actual dancing is. Why then, does a manga with still images communicate and command dance with far more power and elegance than actual moving animation?

It’s a great disappointment, because everything else just about nails it for me. Can I talk about Mako? I love Mako. Mako is a gem. I took like a hundred screenshots or more for Mako. God bless Mako.

The second cour, they are introducing a fan favorite character, the feisty and spirited Chinatsu. She’s a great counter to Fujita, but I won’t say too much. I hope to see something out of the second cour, but honestly, I’d rather have one cour that covers the Mako arc, jam packed with stunning art and dance sequences, than two arcs with lacking animation.

What’s painful is that precisely because everything except the dancing is nailed so well, I can’t endorse the show. The dancing and energy is what sold me with the manga, such jaw dropping pages that made for a fast-paced and addicting read. Flashy dancing is exactly what makes the manga great, and flashy dancing is exactly what the anime lacks. I hope you folks take to reading the manga, it’s honestly one of my favorites.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Somewhere half-way through this viewing it dawned on me, Touken Ranbu isn’t really that interesting. I must clarify, the attracting points about TR for me is the beautiful character designs. Some might call it a mess of fantasy and over-the-top Japanese armor, but it has a charm that was really alleviated by so many great pixiv artists. As someone who spends a lot of time on that site for inspiration, I’ve seen some ridiculously good fanart for this little mobile game.

But yeah, the story itself of TR isn’t as intricate as the character design. Historical Revisionists, while somewhat interesting, is kind of brought down when the enemy forces are comprised of shadow monsters. This doesn’t really feel, weighted, I guess. It’s like in Star Wars, if it’s clones vs droids, does anything really care if they’re perishing? You know what would have been cool? If the enemy were embodiments of traditional Japanese mythology, so giant youkai and oni. But I guess that doesn’t work into the history revision narrative. Still, shadow monsters don’t feel right to me. It lacks the same consequence and human suffering of actual people facing each other. Yet human suffering and death is a major “theme”, as the swords themselves are “immortal”, they try to preserve history and life and feel constantly conflicted.

Touken Ranbu may not be terribly interesting, but it is certainly entertaining. I appreciate how it explores historical settings, as a sucker for the Sengoku Jidai and the Bakumatsu, this was very entertaining to travel back in time. Though I will always prefer an actual period piece than a fantasy one. If you know your Japanese history, this’ll be a treat.

Let’s take a moment to talk about music. Aside from an excellent op and a solid, ed, I think the true masterpiece is the soundtrack, which without fail always complements the stunning sabre duels. It’s bold and orchestral, with booming drumlines, brilliant strings, and heartfelt woodwind composition. I’m especially fond of the main leitmotif that sweeps in at decisive moments, swirling up the atmosphere up a notch. It’s a fully immersive and frankly beautiful experience, that almost matches the grandiose music of the Nobunaga’s Ambition franchise. I highly recommend checking that out, the recent Sphere of Influence ost is simply phenomenal, though keep in mind, I haven’t had the ability to sample and enjoy the Touken Ranbu pieces by themselves. Nevertheless it is pure excellence, one of my favorite osts in recent viewing, and I’d love to get my hands on the tracks.

The fighting sequences are very flashy with swift sparks of color, wild camera pans and sweeps and jolts, and constant movement and kinetic action. When it works, it actually gets me hyped up, and that pure energy and animation is so enjoyable. Of course, this isn’t my favorite genre, nor is it the aesthetic that pertains to me, but it’s done very well here.

Sure I could ask for a better setting with more emotional weight and consequence behind the actual fight scenes, but that’s out of the control of ufotable or Touken Ranbu’s universe, as the aim to deliver something different. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m happy with what is presented. I’m simply daydreaming about my ideal action anime.

I love a lot of the characters. A little split on who’s my favorite, but if I had to decide, it’d probably be Mutsunokami, as I’ve always loved the fanart of him on pixiv, and actually seeing him interact with his comrades with his bumbly laid back personality was a joy. And plus, I love his Tosa-ben accent. His episode with Sakamoto Ryoma was really nice too.

Ufotable did a splendid job with the lightwork, and a gorgeous choice of color palette. There are many wallpaper worthy moments, and it’s exactly what I think fits for Touken Ranbu and the Japanese setting.

It’s a perfect level of color palette, saturation, and contrast.

It’s beautiful to gaze at, they even make food like delicious.

If I don’t worry about story or the goofy parts or the occasional quirky dialogue too much, it’s a solid solid watch. It’s fun, so check it out if game adaptations are your thing, or if alluring fight scenes with attractive characters captivate you. Very satisfying to have some gorgeous and handsome characters actually engage in worthy action. Sure, the story doesn’t require much intellect or thought, but I had a blast here thanks to ufotable.

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits

I don’t know why I watched this. I don’t know why I marathoned this. This is the most B-Grade show I’ve watched in awhile. This show is neither good nor bad. I don’t know who this was made for, because there’s next to no meaning or artistic ambition going here and a lot of one-dimensional moe sugar that is far from healthy. It is decidedly the seasonal fluff and padding that I tend to avoid. Yet for some odd reason, I occasionally sheepishly approach that dark, backstreet alley, and decide to just indulge in some random meaningless shenanigans. I didn’t really get anything out of this show, but I don’t exactly regret watching it either. Don’t be like me, there are more worthwhile and artistic shows out there. Um, I’m not going to do this again.

How did this show have more quality action than Ballroom E Youkoso

Tsurezure Children

Once in a blue moon, I pick up a show that I instantly fall in love with. Tsurezure Children, it’s dorky, it’s hilarious, it pulls on my heartstrings. It had me shipping pairs minutes after they were introduced. It made me seeth at the fumbles and indecision and failed communication. It filled me with fuzzy delight when first love is realized or a confession is returned.

I find anime shorts can be either a bullseye hit or a complete miss. I am quite happy to find this falls in the latter category. What is truly exceptional is how this show makes excellent use of its brief 12 minute runs. No moment is wasted when every second is filled with attack and response, affection and disbelief, struggle and fulfillment. Love isn’t easy, and love doesn’t have to be serious. Goofballs make goofy couples, but it’s that awkwardness that makes it so satisfying when the quirky dolts actually make progress.

Allow me to mention the voice talent involved in this, because it’s packed with some of the industry’s finest as well as new up and coming ones, and I can tell they’re all into their roles here.

Daisuke Ono is a silky smooth senpai, Ayane Sakura is a fangless delinquent, Kana Hanazawa is a teasing seductive succubi, Kaito Ishikawa is a pure-hearted fluffball, and I think this is my favorite Inori Minase role with her playing a shy-emotionless-oblivious-loveless-sugary deadpan loner. That’s just the characters in the first half. And there are so many great new VAs for just as eccentric and goofy characters. I love them all and I love every relationship.

Generally I encourage friends and viewers to choose subtitles over dubs, though I ultimately leave it at that; at the end of the day people should choose what they are comfortable with. However in this case, I really want to hammer in the excellent voice acting in the original Japanese version. The seiyuu are expressive and spirited, they nail each character with seemingly no effort, as if they were naturally made for each role. Seeing a dub optional was available, I decided to check it out, and woe to my ears, I had the unfortunate displeasure of hearing voices that honestly sounded dull, vague, and heartless. I don’t think they understood the characters, nor did I feel any ardent energy. Sometimes they would completely change a character’s personality, which is something you desperately need to avoid with shorts and limited character screen time. This entire show revolves around quirky personalities, and I think the Japanese cast brings those to life.

I have a thousand things to say about Inori Minase being perfect as Takano, or Kana Hanazawa’s absolute amazing rendition of Minagawa, but I’ll just leave it at me begging you all to watch this excellent show in Japanese, subbed. Btw, I also recommend checking out the Harunatsu subtitle version, support the fansubbing community!

This wasn’t just a show that I anticipated every Tuesday, but one that I found I was watching over and over again throughout the week, little humorous clips that don’t get old.

Boku No Hero Academia

Again, I don’t have a lot to say about this, but I’ll try. There’s not much here that I have strong feelings for, it gets its job done and that’s fine. I like the mc, he’s actually intelligent and changes as a person as the show moves on. The focus arcs saw less screen time for my preferred characters, so that’s one thing. This show was most interesting for me when I could marathon it and two seasons were out. Now that it airs on a weekly basis, that interest wanes.

Now what got my attention was that amazarashi is doing an OP with a song that isn’t soul-crushing! Love their music though, legendary song he did for Nier.. I also recommend his Kyomu Byou album, and Yuuhi Shinkou Higashizumu isn’t bad. Recently amazarashi has been my go to group to shake off mild depression and anxiety, alongside some old miku albums… but I digress. I have a lot on my mind about music, and god forbid I dump it here on my already pages-full writeup for anime.

I’m putting Boku No Hero on hold and waiting for it to finish, that way I can marathon it on a lazy weekend. In other words, I don’t love the show enough to make me feel compelled to visit it every week. And that’s most shows with me. I will certainly come back.

Sakura Quest

Let me preface this by saying: I’ve rewritten my thoughts on Sakura Quest maybe three times. The first two were rather critical, and one had a giant tangent about my passions for PA Works, the origins of how I got captivated by anime, and a love affair of Japanese filmmaking. Parts of these have been haphazardly thrown in and edited around what you are just about to read, but it’s not extensively cohesive or structured. It was long, it was personal, and it was too much for a seasonal impressions post. I have pages worth of notes and a lot of observations made from each episode and brief scenes, so I plan to revisit this show in depth and formalize those thoughts, perhaps after I’ve settled in and found my intended language. What’s here now is a rough, haphazard attempt at me trying to combine those three versions into one unit. Nine pages became thirteen which became twenty. I just want to get this over with, it’s the longest section of this whole giant writeup. Do forgive me.

Sakura Quest is the third installment in PA Works’ more mature “working series”, following the widely acclaimed Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako. I would be inclined to say these are much more closer to PA Work’s identity, their artistic aesthetic is here, it’s an original television anime, the messages have a bit more purpose and substance than for pure entertainment purposes, and a level of detail and attention has been put into the presentation and general animation. Of course, these stories vary in tone and setting, as well as the team behind them with different writers and directors.

Point is, I consider Sakura Quest to be PA Works’ flagship show for this year, the project that has the most effort and dedication put into the production in order to showcase and represent the studio’s best. To understand Sakura Quest, I think it’s important to at least lay out a framework for the aforementioned “working” shows, Hanasaku Iroha, and Shirobako, well loved and remembered productions which I one day hope to revisit and explore in depth.

Hanasaku Iroha is very much a Mari Okada work, it’s bittersweet, it’s melodramatic, it’s beautiful. There’s a certain flair to the whole show that sings of crying, laughing, and longing. Hanairo trails into heartfelt love, family duty, complicated friendship, and personal identity. The ABC’s of Blossoming, and it truly is a painted tale of growing up and improving.

Shirobako takes a different course, examining the hectic brutal conditions of the anime industry, peering into every little aspect of it and the people behind them. These are adults, these are people committed to their work, and these are slaves that toil and suffocate at the endless dread of deadlines, ratings, schedules, and perfecting craft. Fulfilling work and finding purpose and passion, Shirobako is grounded, real, and rewarding.

Sakura Quest faces a new form of very real and very daunting walls. When society stagnates, when the boisterous activity and liveliness of community fades, when the young and able flock to the city, when the economy isn’t anywhere near the boom years of the past, when the population birth rate is declining, what is there to save, how can you save it, and do you even want to preserve it? These are the questions Sakura Quest, and in extension really, Japan, poses to the hardworking young adults that are thrown into the world of careers and labor. It’s a story that’s been tackled countless times before, but isn’t always handled properly.

Last edited Dec 21, 2017 at 09:18PM EST

Now there is a lot to cover, a ridiculous amount with the two cours Sakura Quest has delivered for us to examine. In order to note the shortcomings of this show, as well as its redeeming qualities, certain arcs and episodes have to be taken into close consideration, and how it works towards the show as a whole. Unfortunately, the bulk of my analysis lies in the second cour of the series, as that was when I decided to start documenting my thoughts and complaints with each episode. This, in effect, means the following writeup is cluttered and lacking organization, but I will try my best to keep it cohesive and comprehendible. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the show, I should cover a few things first.

To understand the kind of show we have and how it analyzes work life, we have to understand the characters. Characters are absolutely pivotal in really just about any work, and to keep me interested in a story about revitalizing ruralside Japan in a forgotten town called Manoyama, you really have to have strong leads.

So for starters, I have to say I absolutely love Shiori. She’s not only stunningly beautiful, but her own motivations and methods of responding to problems is so admirable and positive. She envelops the best traits that I myself am lacking, with an always hopeful yet accepting view of the world. She is patient, she is polite, and she is supportive.

Just look at her, literally wife material.

From her early episodes as a soft and inviting personality, to her endgame resolute attachment to her values, there is next to nothing I dislike about her.

On a very different spectrum, I see parts of myself in Ririko. A shy, stoic, melancholic, awkward loner with interests no one seems to understand and share.

But when she is around friends, especially those that gently push her along and encourage her, that reminds me of fond memories of caring and enduring companions. I also have a thing for quite, isolated, deadpans.

Maki initially left little impression on me. I understood her issues and I share some pains and regrets of never achieving dreams and career choices, but her character didn’t strike me as particularly likable, or unlikable. Her handywoman and jack-of-all-trades role felt like a gimmick to me, nothing really worth remembering and only becoming relevant in critical moments that call for a convenient resolution. It wasn’t until I started to notice her change in attitude and supporting role in the group that I grew to deeply admire her. Sometimes the people that have experienced the worst pains give the best advice. The five are lucky to have such a strong and considerate friend with them.

Yoshino for me was a solid center role. She reminded me a lot of Miyamori from Shirobako, a short-haired, capable, hard working young adult who pushes herself and also experiences difficulties and regret. Her pains and struggles are very real and very relatable, but she never let’s herself get too caught up and self-destructive. Unlike an anxiety driven writer like me.

Sanae was perhaps the weakest character of the five. None of her character arcs and personal development felt as impactful as the others. I wasn’t especially fond of Maki or Ririko’s growth and stories either, acting and cryptids simply don’t engage me. I just don’t have much to say about Sanae, I find myself without much to write about her, a somewhat unmemorable character compared to the rest… I feel bad saying this, because I was rooting for her early on.

These characters jump along and laugh together for the duration of twenty-five episodes, and it’s an endearing and believable group. They share their pains and regrets, dreams and hopes, and we experience an ambitious but light-hearted journey through the lens of these young working women. When I compare it to previous PA Works shows, I’d probably say it’s closest to Shirobako. Although in the latter, the five girls knew each other personally from high school, the dynamic and synergy is very similar. Here, the age range is wider, but they are all at a mature and adult age to be beyond the naivety of schoolgirls.

Well, for the most part. What’s important is that these girls do help communicate the stressful but still fun worklife they have undertaken, and they pick up a lot of the shortcomings of the show. They might have been the best part of the show, as unfortunately the story fluctuates beteween engaging to frustrating.

Now, to get into specifics, from where I left off from the first cour in the last season’s overview. Although I had a fair share of faults with the first half, I thought I’d give the rest of the episodes a chance to air before I could make a final conclusion. Much to my dismay, the already unsteady train derails into a path of oddities.

The second cour begins with episode 14, which I found to be an excellent breathing point to break away from the heavy workload of the first cour, and to explore the individual lives of each character’s own daily pursuits, outside of work. It was refreshing and interesting, to see them engage with people other than with each other. It only makes sense that everyone has family and friends unrelated to where you live and where you work. Also, Yoshino’s imouto, she’s wonderful.

Other than that, there are also great moments of dialogue exchange, with commentary on the fulfillment and value of work, social interaction, and communal contribution. In the end, these are working adults, so it’s quite natural to hear them have adult conversations. That is something to appreciate.

Unfortunately, for the next 6 episodes or so, we ride through two bumpy arcs that I didn’t enjoy at all. First is the Warabiya storyline, which is about a small village beside the town center, where rural really becomes rural. The elders and farmers that live in this Warabiya Village basically are left out of the progress the Manoyama, and this arc is about the conflict that arises and how it’s important to still pay attention to these folks on the outskirts of the region. It’s… messy. There’s this professor that is delaying the “Quest” to find the artifacts that are supposed to revive the town festival, but somehow he’s doing it so that girls actually pay attention to Warabiya and explore its problems. It comes off as pandering and convenient, the way I see it.

The main issue is about the local bus that won’t run through Warabiya anymore, and so the senior citizens are severely at an inconvenience without anyway to get into town. The solution isn’t anymore palatable, basically all the seniors somehow learn to use the internet, smartphones, tablets, computers, to upload and stream their activity and call attention to themselves. It’s just goofy and not at all interesting, especially with the goofy characters in Warabiya itself.

On this little arc, one problem I’ll briefly mention is the use of death. Shortly after the Warabiya conflict is resolved, the professor, who started this whole ordeal passes away. So this character came and went in a mere handful of episodes. When there is loss of life in a story, I want that to have impact for the characters, leaving an impression and weight that remains a burden. Death has to be treated in a solemn and meaningful manner, unfortunately the professor’s value and use is limited to a brief revival effort, growth for Sanae, and resolution to one piece of the adventurer's puzzle. None of these really become critically important for the rest of the episodes, it felt important for the episodes that mattered and were discarded after. This is my personal opinion, and narratively it makes sense to move from point a to b. However, I do desire truthful lamenting rather than a few minutes of dedication. Life doesn’t work like acts in a play, humans have long memories and it takes time to adjust to things. In Sakura Quest, there’s so much going on and so many problems to solve, that the serious gets muddled with the pointless and goofy, that the points that do matter and are meaningful lose potency and impact.

The other arc is centered around, as I recall, Maki and her conflict with her passions and family. She gets into an argument and reconciliation with her dad, which is all due to her struggles with quitting college to pursue a failed acting career. It’s much more straightforward and not terribly pandering, but it’s still goofy and feels convenient. There’s this thing about staging a play and restructuring an abandoned middle school into a little community gathering/museum spot thing, I’m not terribly sure what was accomplished, since I didn’t really follow how any of this benefitted the town. During the silly little play that is hosted in the middle school, there’s this little quip that’s thrown in to make fun of Manoyama’s issues, and I suppose is reflective of Japan in general.

And there’s the thing, it’s like each episode is sprinkled with this dark, resigned humor that everyone realizes rural life is fading away. It’s this nagging sensation that is never fully resolved, and perhaps it’s out of the control of the five main cast to finish. We’re constantly reminded and physically shown how rural life is stagnant and without opportunity, when compared to the cities. And while compelling commentary is made upon this here and there, like in episode 14, there’s still a lot left to be desired.

I did enjoy the little family moments with Maki and it helped me to better understand and sympathize for her. Probably one of the better focus arcs for a specific character, but in the grand scheme of things, not terribly decisive. It borders between sweet and sentimental and quirky and silly.

Just when I was starting to feel dragged on by the Warabiya Village arc, episode 21 brought up some very interesting and important points. The conflict between old and young, revitalization and stagnation, keeping something alive or quietly letting it die. The eerie, melancholic reality of seeing shops closed down and shopping streets empty. Sakura Quest makes an excellent point on this matter.

Some people are simply comfortable. There’s no reason to continue fighting, there’s no reason to be lively and passionate. There’s nothing wrong with quietly settling down and watching the days pass by. No one’s living in awful poverty, no one’s looking for grand business adventures, that’s the simplicity and nature of country life. It’s convenient to walk into a supermarket or conbini, where items and groceries are congregated in one location, neat and orderly.

I’m going to touch upon location for a second. Looking at some other inaka anime, Barakamon is set in boisterous welcoming southern Kyushu, Poco’s Udon World is off in quiet easygoing Shikoku, and Sakura Quest is found in doddery monotonous northern Chubu. I want to say Toyama Prefecture, or maybe close to Niigata or Nagano’s borders? Basing this off of name drops and local scenery. Anyways. Like any good rural story, you develop a sense of what the local community is like, what kinds of people live there, and how the general atmosphere and livelihood feels. This point will become relative in just a moment.

Shopping streets are one of those charming and old fashioned aspects of Japanese society. Tamako Market illustrated this perfectly. A tight-knit neighborhood and community, where the folks profit off of each other, both through business and through social company. Everyone knows your name as you stroll along the stalls and shops. It’s very welcoming and very “old-world”.

Going on a shopping trip means you can have a chat with the vendors that remember your orders and preferences by heart, share some news and gossip while getting fresh vegetables or fish catered just the way you and the shopkeeper have arranged it. If anyone cares to continue looking into this aspect of Japanese life I find fascinating, then I highly recommend Begin Japanology’s documentary episode on the matter, as well as a segment from Lunch On.

But I digress. You know, I honestly wish Sakura Quest had taken the time to explore the shopping street in the earlier episodes and first cour. It felt largely ignored, in fact, I wish we’d just see more of the actual village and residents. I’d love to see the actual shops and trades the townsfolk have. In the first couple of episodes we do get to see the carpenters, and sure we get glimpses of the sweets shop and the bookkeeper, but I don’t feel it’s enough. I don’t feel that the town was fleshed out enough and fully realized.

It’s important to set up a sense of community, location, and relativity. Handa passes the cat-lover’s house to get to the general goods store, Ohana and Minchi go down steps and wide open streets to arrive at a tiny train station. In Sakura Quest, we drive around? Sure there are recognizable locations, like the sweets shop and the inventor’s garage, but we bounce about and drive through constant shutter-closed buildings and still farmlands, I find this hardly memorable.

See, going back to Tamako Market, I could probably walk down and navigate the stores from memory. I recall that the fishmonger's are some of the first to greet you by the entrance, the butcher and her croquettes are right by the corner, and how the florist is just beside the tofu maker. Tamako Market, and Love Story, take the time to let characters walk around and interact with their setting in a way that feels natural and memorable. They engage and feel at home, it feels lived in and familiarized with a daily routine, while in Sakura Quest everything always feels new and foreign, as if the queen still hasn’t fully settled down yet and become one with the community. It’s as if both Yoshino and the viewer are finding and refinding paths and places.

Maybe that’s intentional. It’s a recurring theme that Yoshino still considers herself an outsider. I do like how she wonders maybe she’s being too pushy and how her efforts are bothering the locals rather than actually helping the town. So it’s a mix for me. I wished the show would have more of these careful considerations and grounded interactions, rather than some adventure to find lost artifacts, cater Spanish cryptid enthusiasts, and bring internet to wacky farmers. Though, the title is Sakura Quest, and the second arc does embrace itself on a quest/adventure to find the totems and artifacts.

As we stroll through the final episodes and festival arc, it really is a shame there is a very noticeable dip in animation quality. We’re treated to so many wonderful nuggets of reality and wisdom, especially with the presence of the rebellious Erika (holy crap Tomoya Kurosawa voices this miserable whiny sack of-), but through this the facial work and polish starts to show signs of rushing and disfigurement. This is prevalent in PA Works, at times the characters look so stunningly pretty and handsome, other times even my favorite character designs begin to deform into uneven eyes, exaggerated chins, distorted noses, stiff movements, and jelly anatomy. It troubles me as I enjoy these closing chapters, the nudging feeling that production and planning faltered and overall reception to this show will remain lukewarm.

Animation does go right back up to it’s polished and attractive state by episode 23 though. It’s her that just as it seems to be leading us into an ambiguous but optimistic ending, we’re shoehorned in a government plot about absorbing Manoyama into a neighboring city. This happens all the time in Japan, where smaller cities join together to form a new, larger one. I do not think this should have been shoved in here this late. It’s such a big deal that is underplayed because of how the pacing and issues have ran for the past season and a half. PA Works, YOU HAD 2 COURS TO SPACE IT OUT. Urgh.

Also, despite Yoshino being an outsider, we don’t really touch upon how she visited the village in the past. It’s a minor detail I thought would have meaning later on. Wish things balanced out more. Even the wood crafting studio has hardly a role in the second cour.

A big problem I have is the introduction of shopkeepers late into the series, while earlier ones are essentially irrelevant come late game. I don’t know the business men and women in the Board of Merchants, I don’t know who does what and why they are doing it, all I recall are the recurring characters like the confectionary owner or bookshop keeper, but understand that this hardly represents Manoyama.

What is Manoyama known for? Its wood carving? Its festival? Its sweets? Its natural beauty and culture? I can’t pin it down, I can’t describe Manoyama, the people that live here, the way the town operates and they way people feel. It all makes it so that the drama has less depth and coating.

There’s these issues I encountered over and over again regarding conflict resolutions. For example, the little side story arc about Erika, sure, it was funny how we see both the physical and psychological aspects of growing up and becoming an adult, but the whole wisdom tooth ordeal felt a bit too convenient for me.

Erika runs away since she hates the town, but she also has her wisdom tooth causing her pain and she wants to avoid confronting her mother… I don’t know it happens so fast and ends just as quickly… but at least it got us to see more of the shopping street which I’ve been desperately pleading for, as the girls pick up some medicine from one of the shop owners.

And just as rapid as the teeth issue got introduced and resolved… we run through a silly and overly dramatized missing child search.

Gosh, this family just can’t catch a break, and this mother really needs to watch over her children more, I mean, business is slow, what are you doing, cooking curry 24/7? Sorry, that was tasteless of me… But I am kind of frustrated with these nonsensical and underdeveloped mini-melodramas. I’m just not invested, especially when there are bigger issues to tackle.

Another example of convenient, convoluted writing, is right down to episode 24, when the merger is becoming a looming issue,( mind you, this merger was introduced at the last minute of episode 23, so talk about forced in drama) Sandal-san, or the Romanian gaijin guy, brings up how he knows the mayor of where his grandparents came from or something to that effect, and that maybe Manoyama and some Romanian city can become sister cities, giving them leverage against the merger, and that the Romanian mayor happens to be in Japan…

And it’s just so unexpected and convoluted and last minute, I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity the show still manages to dish out this late into its run.

Going back to little nuggets of wisdom, here’s my main issue with this show. The tone isn’t forlorn and reality driven. Ultimately it’s optimistic, sometimes goofy, sometimes comedic, and only sometimes graced with pure unadulterated bitter truth. I’m the kind of person that rushes to the real world drama, not the light hearted shenanigans and entertainment. I like things that stir me up and make me feel human sympathy and passion, even the subtlest and quiet of ways.

So going in wanting these aspects, finding a few, but experiencing something else, of course left me disappointed. Not entirely scornful, but somewhat lacking. And it boils down to my personal taste, so there, that’s it. I expect too much from something that never catered to me in the first place. Ah well, it’s still an appealing package.

This is a show on conflictions, from it’s tone to its character designs to its color palette to it’s presentation to it’s writing to it’s story development. We have moe girls, perverted slimely old men, hardened professors, and derisively cynical old ladies. Really throws me off.

This second cour has been… interesting. Unfortunately I don’t love it. Whilst Shirobako did a complete transformation with bolder ambitions and storytelling, Sakura Quest is a bit more low-key and goofy. Not that goofy is bad, but I wasn’t really feeling the PA Works take on wildness this time around, see Tari Tari super sentai scenes or Hanasaku Iroha filming arc. I love PA Works for the moments of magic they produce, I want to feel forlorn sentiment or fall in love again, and these feelings of intensity are in respect to the aforementioned two shows, which I believe to be the studio’s best. Even their best have moments of baffling filler, but at their core they have deeply profound or moving messages that made me so fond of anime when I first began to come into it.

So what does Sakura Quest deliver? Well, like much of Japanese revitalization efforts which the series is centered around, I feel it’s half-baked and gimmicky. I’m reminded of things like pre-craft-beer-boom local sake, mascot characters, or small idol groups (ha, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits). These things are fun when you experience them, but afterwards, at the end of the day, is it really fulfilling? Memorable? I watch anime to find the moments that move me, if a show/film gets me to cry uncontrollable tears, to laugh hysterically, to feel nostalgia for something that hasn’t even aged yet, then it’s done it’s job wonderfully. I better shut up before I digress into a passion filled eulogy about the wonders of Japanese media.

Going back and trying to refresh myself on the show, I’m a bit dismayed. I’m inclined to say that this show was just too awkward a mess to have been memorable for me. I see so much wasted potential, and a lot of dull, pandering, or pointless episodes and story arcs that made me think “this is stupid”. There’s this montage in episode 7 where Maki is reliving her old childhood dreams of becoming an actor, and it’s actually pretty beautiful. But in the very next five minutes she’s running into a burning building that’s so over the top and ridiculous that I almost feel embarrassed for who wrote the script. And then the next scene we’re treated to Shiori sadly gazing at the rubble of this burned down house, as it used to belong to a kindly old lady Shiori befriended that’s now passed, and just, the mood and tone shifts in a matter of 8 minutes is so wild and jarring. It’s indicative of what the show is as a whole.

Sakura Quest is still a comfy show that has its moments of profound melancholy and bittersweet optimism. I admit I enjoy some of the little jokes and light hearted atmosphere. I do like the interactions and bustle of the five main girls. I do think the show is solid throughout and has little time wasted doing meaningless shenanigans. There are a lot of shenanigans yes, but at least it has some level of impact to the story that is part of the revitalization effort. I think the old Inaka-Life story was tackled well here, but it’s no Barakamon levels of awe-inspiring, nostalgic, close-knit bliss. What I’m saying is it’s not breathtaking like I hope it would be, but I hold PA Works shows to a lofty high. I want a Glasslip that doesn’t fumble on characters and story. I need a Hanasaku Iroha that makes my heart melt when I hear nano.RIPE’s bittersweet singing. I yearn for a Tari Tari that’s even more depressingly beautiful and beautifully depressing. PA Works, I love you guys, but come on, I dread another broken soulless Haruchika production or a forgettable toneless Kuromukuro. I want you guys to wow me again like when I first stumbled into anime, I want you to wreck my heartstrings and fill me with brilliant sunset-like nostalgia. Oh dear, here I go again…

I still have a lot to say about Sakura Quest, about minor nitpicks and episodic details, little nuggets in animation, character design, relationships, and other story developments, however I’ll cut the analysis here and wrap up my feelings for this show. I like Sakura Quest. It comes off as refreshing, homely, and numbingly real when it reaches its strongpoints. There’s the trademark PA Works goofiness, perhaps sprinkled too heavily a dose this time, but I still find worth through it all. Maybe I’ll visit this series again, I plan on doing an in-depth writeup episode to episode for every PA Works show sometime in the distant future. Ah, also check out Nii-sama fansubs. Much better than HorribleSubs, I mean CrunchyRoll. Well, Sakura Quest, thanks for the laughs and memories, another solid show that I felt could have been more but nonetheless worthy of my time and a comfortable experience.

Other Shows I’ve Been Watching
(which does not include my tenth rewatch marathon of Haikyuu)


This was first released as 12-minute ONAs, and I picked it up after hearing good things from a certain YouTube reviewer/hobo. I was very pleased with the 26 sweet little episodes. For a relationship story, I was delighted by it’s somewhat unorthodox approach while remaining mellow and light. It’s a refreshing idea with nice development and a healthy cast.

Not only is it great that the relationship sets off early on, but it actually grows and changes colors. The girl is a ditzy and mildly insane stalker, but she’s actually caring and a fitting match for the good-natured but also inferiority-complex driven boy.

They have supporting friends that tag along to add different layers of sweetness, and the animation is consistent and pleasant. It’s what I want in a story about love, the partners get together but actually get something out of it.

On the vein of shorts and romance, Ai Kakuma voices both Kuriharas in Momokuri and Tsurezure Children, two super sweet characters.

So I don’t have a terrible lot to write about this fun quirky show. I think it’s one of those shows that’d be real fun to relax and lay back alongside a friend and have a drink, taking in the mutual warm and comfy romance. It’s love comedy done right, with good love and good comedy.

Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note

This is a children's show which is a bit of an oddity for me and I don’t know why I decided to pick it up. For a short, it kills an hour or so, but I don’t think it’s worth most, if anyone’s time. For a story, I didn’t expect 11 year olds to stop a knife assault, bankrupt an unethical meat processing company, stop black market activity and poisoning, and tackle the yakuza. Let me assure you, it’s a lot less interesting than what I just wrote. The main girl is cute but doesn’t do anything, the boys lack depth due to the short airtime, the visuals are acceptable, and everything else is fairly flat. It’s a kid’s show, what do you expect? Tells you a lot about the excellent and sophisticated taste of your dear essayist here.

Tamayura Hitotose

Oh gosh I finally finished season one. I picked this up back in February, and I was not doing well mentally wise during the winter and spring period, school, people, responsibilities and upsets I won’t get into. Not feeling up for anything too demanding, I guess I kind of just relaxed my already low standards and went with it. So, Tamayura describes itself as a “healing story”, and this show truly is a very very mellow take on the iyashikei genre. One of my favorite genres, I found Tamayura to be… different. This is a slow burn. Incredibly slow. It’s very relaxed and low maintenance. I don’t have anything against this, but because it’s so at ease, it’s not exactly memorable, and I strive for things that leave an impact on me. Normally I have a tolerance for slow burns, because the payoffs are usually worth it. Did Tamayura end up simmering down into something of worth? That’s a hard question to answer.

Tamayura starts off comfy, and never really gets off course. And you go in knowing that. This isn’t a show about raw heartbreak or intense passion, it’s meant to surround you with a warm blanket. I love melodramas, but sometimes I need something mellow and modest. Overcoming the loss of a father, the story progresses on dealing with a distant, lost happiness, supported by friends and a passion for photography that nudges the show along. There aren’t complex stories here with matters of problem solving and engaging thought. I guess that’s why I can’t find reason to love this, because I enjoy something that’s a bit more involving for the audience. Despite my statement of looking for something low-key, I at least want something to attach myself to. Okay look, what Tamayura presents is pleasant feelings, and I can’t find fault for any of it.

I first watched the ovas, and while not thoroughly impressed, found it decent and soothing to warrant me to commit to the anime. While it took a darn long while, I can say this was not a bad experience. Yes, my brain did turn on autopilot at times, and yes, there were moments that I felt were dragging. It’s not something that I can look back on and yearn to go through again, but here’s the thing, Tamayura achieved a sense of nostalgia for me.

It’s rather odd. This is the chūgoku region of Japan, quiet atmosphere, oceanic views, plenty of sizzling okonomiyaki. It’s the countryside with traditional architecture and plenty of greenery. It feels rustic but not suffocating or stagnant. It’s almost dreamlike in consistency, and I’m having trouble describing this, but the way the soothing music flows, the lingering sadness of losing a caring parent, the subdued colors, the bright and willing characters that you can count on.

This kind of makes me emotional, a nagging pain that sinks below my heart, a gentle warmth enveloping around me, a longing fondness for another sunny day. It may be frustrating to read all this obvious and convoluted writing, but I’m trying to communicate that the show works, it captured some closed off region inside me. It’s a little reminiscent of Natsume Yuujinchou, maybe that’s what I get when I watch slightly older anime, who knows.

I think this is both my problem and somehow my keenness for this show. You have to endure through a lot of meandering slice-of-life stillness to find a payoff that doesn’t hit you so much as nudges you. I think because you have to stand through this everlasting fog of easiness, it loses its effect at times, while still reminding you that it’s helping patch your shattered holes when you momentarily snap out of your dreaming. What can I conclude about Tamayura? It’s a little like the opposite of melancholy, a pensive state of quiet contentment, lacking intensity and potency.

Somehow, Tamayura delivers a subdued and comforting warmth of nostalgia, one that makes me want to cling onto this fleeting sense of discovery, awe, and longing, like a memory that fades the moment it is called upon.

The thing about Tamayura is that there is considerable thought and effort put into the animation and design where it counts, but it’s that old school, late 2000’s/early 2000’s style that I’m not a terrible fan of. Where the backgrounds lack detail, depth, and layers. I think I’ve been spoiled, as a relatively younger viewer who picked up anime around 2013, I’ve been able to experience a period of crisp and high-tier animation. It’s very much personal, and I don’t dislike how Tamayura looks, just that it feels a little “flat”. Tamayura feels like the first couple of seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou, I bring it up again, but I do believe that both are far from unpretty, just they are old-fashioned pastel like simplicity.

Hold up, I think I kind of love this show. Even though I know I didn’t when I was watching it. Hmm, rereading all this, I’m kind of confusing myself. I wrote the bulk of this segment on a 4 am weekday, and I kind of want to leave it as is, so I hope I got my points across. I apologize for the frustrating and convoluted language, but this uncaffeinated post-midnight writeup is more genuine than I could otherwise dish out if I was sober.

Fall Season First Impressions

Black Clover

This doesn’t seem to be anything special, or at least strike anything for me. A standard fantasy, magic, shounen anime. It’s pretty cheesy and predictable, with a ridiculous dosage of exposition dialogue. The story itself could have some potential, but I don’t have high hopes. It’s been a while though since I’ve watched something with Nobunaga Shimazaki in anything, so yay I guess. No yay for everything else.

Now if Nobunaga Shimazaki is in Black Clover… that means Hayamin can’t be far off…

Code Realize – Sousei no Himegami

Oh boy beautiful Saori Hayami as another lead role! Doing the ED too! And surprise, the show sucks… Alright, it’s not awful, but it’s just so bland. Average animation and an artstyle that looks like a bloated mixture of steampunk and jrpg gone wrong. I mean, look at this, it’s hideous.

The most interesting thing about the show is Cardia’s poison that melts people’s skin off and kills them, but otherwise my attention dozed off. She’s kinda cute though.

Last edited Dec 21, 2017 at 09:36PM EST

Just Because!

I was looking forward to this, as a sucker for high school dramas, and a television original no less. The premise immediately caught my eye when I was browsing anichart some months back, and took note before forgetting about it. Then, when I first saw the trailer, well, the washed out palette and character designs didn’t speak to me, and I was a bit let down. I was initially disappointed, even let down by how it was presented, but boy was I wrong when I actually watched the first episode.

This show is very, very pretty, and I found myself pausing and taking screenshots. This is almost a compulsive habit of mine, thanks to PA Works and KyoAni. The nightlife is ambient quiet, the autumn day cold and rich.

Frames are a little rough on the edges, but I’m really digging the “hand drawn” pencil kind of feel. Like a mixture of sketchbook colored pencil doodles and quick, precise, brushwork painting. Which is nice, contrary to what I said about washed out palettes above, I really am a fan of low saturation, faded aesthetics. It feels nostalgic and low key, while still appearing detailed and thoughtful. It even vaguely reminds me of my high school doodling, when I was experimenting with my own artstyles and character anatomy. It’s modest, and that contributes a lot to the atmosphere and tone.

Really digging how this show is directed, the unassuming dialogue and the tension yet resolution of graduating high school, it feels so natural and down to earth. I think the premise is great, in a timeframe when a major chapter of your life is wrapping up, moving to a new high school as the semester draws to an end, it’s strangely lonely and accepting to the natural progression of life and time. I’m getting Hibike vibes damn it! Gosh, as a high school senior, I just want to get this over with, I have no fondness for the school I attend or the classmates I see.

The music is not bad either, quite a delight of playful and light melodies with strings, flutes, and keyboard. My kind of background soundtrack.

Aw snap he’s even drinking ito-en hojicha. This product placement is not something I’ll complain about, because it’s believable and because ito-en is a guilty pleasure of mine. Their bottled drinks at least, bagged tea, not so much.

We’re in beautiful and busy Kanagawa prefecture, with the famous Shonan suspended monorails. Neighboring Tokyo, there’s a lot to do in this area, but it’s also a bit calmer and less dense than the big city.

Ah, right, can I just say, hideous seifuku. Low saturation purple and green? Sweaters and blazers? White and pine green lines? Goodness.

The cast is composed almost entirely of newcomers and up-and coming seiyuus. That means the voicework here is that much more natural and unrefined, just perfect for a drama with this kind of tone and message.

The mood, style, and directing vaguely reminds me of Tsuki ga Kirei and Tari Tari, both wonderful shows I hold closely, and I hope this show resonates just as profoundly as those two did. And if you’ll hear me out, I’m also getting some very slight Kokoro Connect vibes here, which is bringing back memories of my early days exploring anime. I entered all this with high school dramas, so this is a very pleasant experience, now that my own high school life is coming to a close. It’s an odd sentiment, but I don’t have much else going on in my life.

It’s funny, Tsuki ga Kirei had was in the last year of Middle School, and Tari Tari was in the last year of High School. These soft and mellow themes of growing up and taking last chances, it’s rather beautiful, and Just Because! is capturing it just as artfully as those two aforementioned gems. And a final bonus, Tari Tari and Just Because! share a setting, Kanagawa! We even get to see elegant Enoshima!

By the end of the episode, I had a wicked, satisfied smile across my face. This melancholic show is perfect for me. That subtle transition and hint towards a romance story, oof, I’m hooked, I’m in. End of high school, last chance for expressing love and companionship, aghh, I am so ready. This is the perfect Fall and perhaps even Winter anime, where I live, the season and temperature is absolutely ideal for this kind of show, and I’m nothing but immersed. Looking forward to next week!

small edit: I’m going to briefly mention the op and ed, which were not part of the first episode airing. First, the OP, which after a few listens I have fallen for. The animation is a little rough, again, but it’s still very dynamic and ambitious. The second to last cut is particularly nice, as basic as it is. Good effort put in by a newer studio I’m unfamiliar with. The catchy song also compliments this, and the two mediums work nicely together.

As for the ED, it’s just as strong, if not better than the OP. While the opening is spirited and youthful, the ending is subdued and melancholic, with nice touches of lighting effects. The aesthetics I’m feeling from this is outstanding. To explain this, one of my favorite scenes in the world is a solitary girl staring out a bus window, see Kotonoha no Niwa or Shout It Out’s Seishun No Subete. Bonus points for nighttime scenery. It’s hazy, it’s almost nostalgic, and it’s just a mundane but tangible and relatable sensation that is captured perfectly here in animation. Everyone knows this picture, because everyone has sat in a bus or car or train and stared at the window, not focusing on anything in particular, whether it’s the passing scenery or your own thoughts, it’s a quiet and relatable moment.

That’s what I look for, that’s what I ask for from anime. All I need is something that conveys a deep sense of human emotion and sentiment. It’s a beautiful feeling that’s hard to describe, perhaps I said it better on my Tamayura analysis. Or worse. What I’m trying to explain is that I’m chasing these subtle yet meaningful connotations and feelings. Everything is different, but right here, Just Because has painted something very beautiful. Anyways, I love the ED piece, and it’s my favorite this season. It’s sad, it’s forlorn, it’s a cold winter day with warm city lights, and it just speaks volumes that assure me this’ll be an anime I will enjoy and remember.

Mahoutsukai no Yome

Wow, this is nice. I like it. There’s very solid artstyle and a good setup for the world. Absolutely fantastic OP too, might be my second favorite looking back. Can’t believe I’m only a month older than the singer. She has a lot of talent and a gorgeous voice. there’s more animation in this op than entirety of ballroom

I really want to hug Chise, poor girl. Just look at her, she seems so drained and lost, and now she’s given purpose and life. Reminds me a lot about Natsume Yuujinchou. I’m a sucker for these stories, and it’s only complimented by the beautiful fantasy elements and stellar visuals.

Damn, I knew I recognized Chise’s gloomy sad voice… it’s Atsumi Tanezaki, aka best girl Yoroizuka from Hibike! I love her voice, as in, really really really love her voice. Gosh is there anything more lovable than shy monotone introverted colorfully haired girls. So innocent and pure, kyaaa. Ahahaha… haha… heh… hm. I’m sorry.

Huzzah! Authentic British fare and not “yoshoku” like omurice or naporitan! Though I question the pairing of fish and chips, casserole, biscuits, tea, sandwiches, and meatloaf… that’s a lot of starch and a lot of heavy hearty oils and protein. Guess you need all that to get so tall.

The actual first episode is a little predictable and straightforward, but I’m not going to complain too much considering the exceptional presentation and setup. The chibi moments, while cute, isn’t necessary and kind of detracts from the tone, if just for a moment. If it gets worth, I can find myself getting really annoyed though. Otherwise, the show is very classy without being overly regal and in your face, and I appreciate that. A smooth voiced groom, a red-haired fair maid with emerald eyes…..

Oh no, that reminds me, I still haven’t finished Shirayukihime. I only have three episodes left, yet it’s perpetually sitting untouched. Everytime I try to sit down to watch and complete it, I get distracted and forget. And I adore that show… what’s wrong with me.

Kino no Tabi

Why are there talking motorcycles? This is an interesting world, and I love the country we meet where murder is perfectly legal. Despite the polite and easygoing front of the people living in it, there’s that ever constant reminder that anyone you meet on the street can kill you and nobody would bat an eye. Shotgun sitting beside the groceries, a pistol in a purse, large portion sizes for hotcakes, and no one gives a damn! Wonder what this is based off of.

A bit too much cg for my liking, which is a shame because the rest of the show looks very solid. Nice vibrant colors and polish. A good start to an exploration story.

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryoko

Moving right along to another exploration show, this time we’re in a bleak and destroyed world with the last of humanity, two clueless girls. Very cute Inori Minase role, she does deadpans so well. As they wander across the empty, war torn, metal wasteland, we get some hints of a devastating war and perhaps an emotional loss for Chito.

While the show has some potential, I don’t know, its backdrop is just so darn stark, I don’t think this is the kind of show that I mentally need right now. Now I understand that a message this story is trying to deliver is that despite your desolate wastelands, you can still find meaning and happiness through the little things in life, especially alongside a companion.

There was a time when I was really, really into the post-apoc or nuclear winter aesthetic, and this captures that perfectly, but now, I need something a bit more directly positive and uplifting. I’ll save this for a snowed in day. Nice Kettenkrad though.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau

Color me impressed, this was rather good. It’s so bright and pretty, aesthetically a joy to look at. The artstyle and linework is so graceful and delicate, I fell immediately in love with this Lykos, I mean, look at her! What a stunning character design.

When she softly spoke her first lines, kyaaa, so soft and emotionless, Manaka Iwami is a newcomer, and so far I quite like what she’s done. Also, for Chakuro, I knew his voice sounded really familiar, turns out it was Natsuki Hanae, been a decent while since I last watched a show that included him. Nobunaga Shimazaki is here to, say yay.

A sand filled world, where 90% of the population aboard the wandering whale perish by age 30. Despite the easygoing attitude and atmosphere of the world so far, I can’t help but feel a slight degree of tension and uneasiness. I mean, good lord, this girl straight up tried to impale our main character, and he doesn’t seem worried at all! Which is to say, we get thrown into this world fast, it takes no wasted time to get the story moving along. This world seems to be one of calamity and survival, and I certainly am interested for more. A lot happened in one episode, and it’s almost jarring for me but very much appreciated, as there’s no dull exposition dump or history narration.

Didn’t really think I’d enjoy so many shows this season! Nice one, JC Staff, I normally don’t like their productions, but this has been rather pleasant. Plus, it’s labeled under “sci-fi”, “mystery”, “fantasy”, “drama”, and “shoujo”, what a delicious medley!

Blend S

It’s A-1 Pictures. Pass.

Imouto sae Ireba Ii.

Get this out of my face. Dumb jokes. Cartoonish characters. Traps. Imouto obsession. I’m reminded why I’m so disgusted by so many anime these days. Don’t expect anything more than seasonal fluff. I only got halfway through the episode to snap a worthwhile screencap, but gave up at this and forgot about it.

This is just another Silver Link show, more padding for their lineup of unmemorable light novel adaptations. What is ChouCho doing an OP here for? Tanaka-kun S2 when.

Konohana Kiten

Kemonomimi… neko… kitsune… yeah this show is pretty moe. Consistently moe with decent comedic timing. Aggressively moe, with a cast of dere girls. This Ai Kakuma role is also very cute, and she doesn’t even say a word until the 18:24 mark.

This is probably the most raw moe show I’ve watched in awhile. Like, it’s entirely dedicated to perfecting cuteness. It’s the definition of moeshit. It’s seasonal padding… but it’s cute fluff. If you go in looking for moe things, you come out with moe feelings. It’s all just cute girls. Not complaining, this was indeed very cute. And I like cute things. More moe please.

Houseki no Kuni

Okay, I have to do a disclaimer. This right here, is not a first impressions. Since I’ve let 3/4th a season pass, I’ve been able to watch the currently aired episodes of Houseki, as well as read through the entire manga. Going back and reading my initial impressions, I was unhappy with what I wrote, the language and writing conveyed was simply put, silly and not reflective of my opinions towards the show now. I understand an initial impressions really should be that, the first episode thoughts before going into the rest of the show. But understand, I wholeheartedly believe Houseki no Kuni is worthy of something much more in depth and analytical than an initial thoughts segment. Up until now, most of my writing has had some humorous or at the very least a casual/easygoing tone. Here, I would like to be genuine, to air some of my thoughts, and to get a little personal, as this is a work that has struck me in a deeply profound and fundamental way that requires a certain amount of effort to express in words. Like Sakura Quest, this was written throughout the course of many nights, aimlessly jotting down notes about whatever I was feeling at a certain time. Thus, these are going to be disconnected, incomplete, vague, and confusing. But it is a hint towards what I have to say about Houseki. I have much more to say, but I don’t think here is the place to write an entire new fifty pages here. Sample what I have for now, and decide for your own if it makes any sense or meaning for you. No screencaps, just words. If that’s too much of a chore/eyestrain for you, then tl;dr this is the most profound, beautiful, and memorable anime/manga I’ve taken in all year.

What excites me so much about anime or manga in general is that there’s always something new being made, being thought up, being put into brilliant animation and storytelling. Some people simply have a remarkable sense of creativity and vision, maybe an emotion or moral that needs telling, and they manage to convey all these thoughts into tangible and consumable mediums. I find that deeply human and deeply astounding, that one mind can conjure up a special, strange, and fleeting idea, put it into a form that is understandable, consumable, and tangible for others, and share and translate such thoughts so that another person can discover and feel the same stirring state of consciousness.

I’m not a person that actively pursues the unconventional. I appreciate art, like any other person, in my own special way, and that’s usually in a subdued, calming, and comforting manner. I like things that are straightforward, simple, and clean. The aesthetics of the world I am entranced by are pale and grey, low in saturation and lacking ambition or boldness. I want to be moved in a spiritual, personal, emotional way, like a soft wind sweeping away dandelion seeds. I don’t like the unsettling, the grotesque, or the violent. I want to be in a sense of ease and balance, while still being able to comprehend and distinguish melancholy and true tranquility.

I like beautiful things, and I define beautiful things as I appreciate art, simple and calming, natural and orderly.

Reading Houseki no Kuni strikes something just above the heart. Each chapter is a contemplation on the mysteries of identity, humanity, life, and existence. I would not consider this to be a terribly philosophical manga, and while there are plenty of Buddhist imagery, which is in itself an own study and interpretation, I feel Houseki is rather subtle and purposefully enigmatic with its symbolism and lessons.

Strangely, I feel lost, lonely, sad, cold, and confused. In every sense of the word, the manga is unsettling. Not unsettling in the way horror or psychological genres convey fear and disorder, but rather unsettling in the sense that you never truly know what to expect, and it’s the reality that your own life is built on lies, deception, and the failure of factors out of your control that leaves you in a state of desire and isolation. Houseki is absurd, but it is brought about in a slow, quiet, and dim manner, without rushing any worldly knowledge to the reader or viewer.

Initially, picking up early chapters and watching the first episodes, I was not expecting to find a world so aspiring and dysphoric. I assumed that this was a fantasy world simply with a peculiar set of given rules that we just had to expect and to not think too hard over. But then chapter by chapter, the histories of this odd earth are revealed, and the more hints we are given the more addictive it is to unravel the endless mystery of Houseki’s world.

In all honest truth, this may be one of the best, most profound, and certainly memorable pieces of fiction and entertainment that I have consumed in a long time. There are many anime I enjoy, but there are few things I have experienced that have resonated me in such a meaningful way that I would say it defines or impacts who I am as a person, at least in terms of personality and intake of media. With this context, I have never been invested in anything like this, and so I can only describe it as special and refreshing.

At face value, what I see are attractive feminine characters with colorful hair and sad eyes. But looking further, actually studying the intricately woven story and meaning of Houseki, I find something completely different and deeply insightful.

Now I love the seinen aesthetic, in fact I’m getting some Natsume Ono vibes here. The cold, bare, simple linework, with piercing, knowing eyes. It’s a very beautiful, stark, rough simplicity.

I get chills just looking at the art, both from Ishikawa and Ono. Both of their work involve mature , sophisticated themes and ideas, at times too intimidating or subtle. But I adore it, and if anything, it may be my second or third favorite aesthetic style that I pursue on a deeply personal level. I just don’t like the average shounen. I enjoy shoujo but it can get tiring easily. Josei and seinen are genres that don’t always communicate with me, but when it does hit, it can become addictive.

There are some odd manga out there, and some outright disturbing. Horror, shock, and various nsfw genres are things I avoid. It makes me sick and uncomfortable, and it will never be something I can swallow. Similarly, I haven’t stuck to arthouse or supernatural or psychological concepts like most of my friends seem to thrive in. I’m referring to pieces of art and imagination that involve high intelligence, creativity, absurdity, unorthodox ways at communicating ideas. These typically require a high level of focus, attention, and thinking, where answers aren’t laid out in front of you and probably won’t ever be given. It’s very much left to the viewer to experience and appreciate the feelings they get out of more intense and peculiar works. I’m the kind of person that likes simple things, where things are basic, minimalistic, and displaying raw emotion and humanity. Which is to say, I understand and acknowledge the genres of what I was just lamenting on above. Heavier or wilder themes stir me in a way that I don’t actively chase. I can understand the merit of Kill la Kill, Lain, Oyasumi Punpun, Beserk, Texhnolyze, etc. But those are things I usually stay away from, because in my day to day life I seek something comforting or entertaining when I sit down. Thus, there are a plethora of popular and widely renowned shows that I haven’t not had the opportunity to experience, mainly because it is just not my aesthetic. I don’t want to feel an existential crisis when reading a manga or watching a show. I’m not asking for “cute” or “moe”, it’s just most of the times my mindset isn’t wired to fully take in the high degrees of creativity at display in various manga and anime. I like feeling emotional and inspired, from melancholic to melodramatic.

Houseki no Kuni, and the author’s other works, Mushi to Uta and 25-ji no Vacances, two short compilations of short stories, somehow strike me differently. My response to these brief yet highly provocative narratives is not my usual response. It’s a little like how I felt after Nier Automata’s chapters ended. Puzzled, small, and fragile. It’s unsettling and almost gives me a headache, but it’s not something I dislike. It pulls me into a lens that forces me into a new worldview, where things are neither pretty nor corrupt. It’s does not deal in absolutes or grand ideas. While still thought provoking, I don’t feel suffocated or beaten down.

I mentioned that this is my second favorite aesthetic. That somewhat counters how I just elaborated on my shyness for the absurd or unsettling. So while it is true that I don’t like “weird”, I readily accept “creative”. I’m looking for something that is somewhat challenging, while not forcing me into a corner. Josei and Seinen do that for me, it’s engaging and mature and does not hold your hand, but it does not leave you in the dark to be drowned by your own wild fears and imagination.

I think existentialism, both as a term and as a school of thought, gets tossed around and misunderstood a lot. The junior year of high school I did a final centered around existentialism, so I spent a lot of time in a library, reading up on Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger, etc. At this point I’m still not entirely sure I understood existentialism, and I probably won’t ever grasp it. Philosophy is like that, the way everyone has different interpretations. I bring up existentialism because in a way, Houseki reminds me a lot about that. The messages on how you must find your own meaning, through experience and suffering and learning and being. Reality is confusing, is absurd, is so intimidating and hopelessly baffling that when you encounter it face to face, you are left with more questions than answers.

Houseki is nowhere near as intense and weighty as, say, Sartre is with Being and Nothingness. I feel a strange mix of things when I read about existentialism. To put it into a short list, this would include confusion, dread, loneliness, insignificant. The very word “existentialism” has an odd connotation. The feelings I get when I’m reminded of this concept is suffocating and numbing, dry and staid. Perhaps that’s due to sitting in a library all day. But I associate and evaluate so many things with the feelings and connotations I obtain. That is how I assess anime and art. I value the things that make me feel a special, certain, peculiar way. Houseki No Kuni makes me feel something completely alien yet deeply enchanting. I think about the pleasant nights I spent reading the manga. On a bamboo mat, huddled under several blankets, long past midnight, I’d stare awestruck at a dim monitor while sampling my new pair of Final Audio E2000s, listening album after album of my favorite bands. AM4:29 and 夏の影, these are the songs that made me feel light and tiny, floating like noctiluca. None of this should make any sense to you. This is what Houseki no Kuni, the cold black and white pages of the manga, the messages of Haruko Ichikawa, these are the sensations I feel and mull over.

Well, that’s it then, I suppose. 77 pages. 18142 words. 105088 characters. Over 800 screenshots. Five months of anime. Hours of Miku and Nujabes ingrained into my ears. Countless more of writing, editing, and screencapping. For what? At most, I expect, like, two people to read this in its entirety, and it’s not like I realistically expect anymore to care. I guess I just wanted to finish what I started. A whole lot of garbage watched, but the occasional gem peering through.

Hope this was worth reading, if my writing didn’t annoy you out of it. If you guys notice any typos or confusing sentences, please, provide feedback, and I’ll ask a mod like muffin or rm to edit it for me. I’m just a guy with a lot of time on my hands, and I spend that time watching anime. I suppose I enjoy writing, or at least putting my cluttered thoughts into words. It’s a project I invest in as a pastime, and if I’m honest it’s really just a giant excuse to showcase my 1080p screenshots. I’m sure this isn’t even the optimal quality available, but I just can’t go back to streams anymore. Regardless of these little nuggets of background information, I would like to say this.

I’m sorry Twenty-One, for never showing you that birthday drawing and then avoiding you because I was afraid of confrontation and I’m weak and stupid for that. Hope you can forgive me >_< Anyways, shoutouts to

  • Muffin for being a bro and a hoe
  • Doeoeod for playing me Yohane’s sweet sweet tunes to help me fall asleep
  • Triangle for calling the cops on me after I revealed my various hentai fetishes
  • SweetAndDelcious for being amai and umai
  • RandomMan for letting me spam his inbox
  • Egla for being an inspiration for us all
  • Zenosia for being cutie

Then, that’s that. ‘Til next time!

Last edited Dec 21, 2017 at 09:47PM EST

Whoa the thread is revived.

Been watching much less than before. Cardcaptor Sakura is coming back this season, but I haven't watch the old one so I'll need to pass this one up. Overlord came back too. There are some other stuff I'm too lazy to mention, but I think I'll be watching a lot less seasonal shows, and try to watch older shows instead.


It’s A-1 Pictures. Pass.

Maybe you're just meming, and I know A-1 doesn't have the best of reputations, but really? It's not as if A-1 hasn't done good stuff. Their stuff varies in quality because they hire freelancers instead of having a strong in-house staff. I would never pass up on something solely based on studio.


The thread may be "revived" but literally everyone else has ignored my post. Honestly I'm a bit upset, but what do you expect when you're on a memesite.

I'm partly jesting, partly serious. Jesting because it's a meme. Serious because I've rarely ever enjoyed any A1 productions. They've made good shows like Tsuritama, but that's clearly not what's being presented here with Blend-S. There are better shows to watch than Blend-S, which is for all intents and purposes, not my cup of coffee. I wish you'd have taken more out of my writeup than a one-line joke about A1.

Nah, don't worry I did read some of your write-up or whatever I cared enough about because it's a big damn wall of text, and I don't think I can contribute much more than you already have. I'm terrible at making my own writeup, let alone critique or comment on someone else with good insight.

Still good job. I think most people are a bit intimidated by the amount of content they had to sift through from your multi-post writeup. I know I was.

Edit: I'll just add a bit more

I thought your comments of Princess Principal's world-building was interesting, and I love the choice of screenshots to show both great backgrounds and the way it builds its world.

There was a lot to try to go through the Sakura Quest writeup. I don't think I can add much more insightful comments.

Last edited Jan 07, 2018 at 03:52PM EST

I know this is kind of talking about anime culture, but.

Something I'm kind of glad of is that nowadays cgi in anijme is more or less flawless. I know you can still notice it if you look super closely, but even three years ago cgi in anime was janky as all hell.

Apparently maid cafes are starting to pick up in the USA.

A little funny thing I saw is Japan's reaction to Bleach's live action trailer was the top comment was "FUCKKKKK!"

YourHigherBrainFunctions wrote:

I know this is kind of talking about anime culture, but.

Something I'm kind of glad of is that nowadays cgi in anijme is more or less flawless. I know you can still notice it if you look super closely, but even three years ago cgi in anime was janky as all hell.

Apparently maid cafes are starting to pick up in the USA.

A little funny thing I saw is Japan's reaction to Bleach's live action trailer was the top comment was "FUCKKKKK!"

Nah, CGI has improved but it can still be very janky, it just depends on studio and the talent they pull. I still find it easy to tell CGI in anime, than say CGI in American animation. What I do find interesting is the difference between the CGI that is mainly used in American animated film vs CGI in anime. But that is a topic I'm not too familiar with tbh.

How popular are maid cafes in US, anyway? Probably won't go to one anyway, I heard it's really an unremarkable experience. Maybe just once for the hell of it.

@The Sniper
The thing about maid cafes is the amount of attention you get depends on how much you're spending. The idiots that complain about maid cafes are the idiots that spend $5 and expect a song and dance. If you want a experience like you see where they go "meow! Nyaah hao!" you're going to have to spend like $60. I would suggest going with friends so you can split the bill; if you spend like $500 between you and your friends you're going to have the time of your lives.

Last time I went to one I went with twenty people and cause we spent so much everyone had a amazing time. If you're going there just for a hamburger it's not really worth it.

I'm not sure how popular they are too be honest. I ran into one in the big city I live near by, it's kind of obvious why they have it there cause it's near a manga shop and the convention center. All I can say is they're slowly catching on,

Last edited Feb 27, 2018 at 03:22PM EST

Again this is talking about anime culture and not directly one anime in particular. With how Michael Jordan, Kim Kardashian and multiple other actors, musicians, football players and other famous people admit to liking anime "mainstream" USA culture is finally realizing that anime IS mainstream in the way that in the early 2000's "mainstream" culture in the USA finally realized that video games were mainstream despite fucking everyone playing them for decades.

For those of you too young to get what I'm getting at, in the early 2000's there was a point at which mainstream USA culture finally metaphorically realized that video games were a part of mainstream culture despite how many people were already into video games for decades. I remember in the 90's despite how popular video games were and how fucking everyone was playing them there were constant dumbasses everywhere that were constantly claiming "oh that's just for dorky nerds."

This part is heavily personal opinion, but with how what can be thought of cultural gatekeepers have effectively realized that yes anime is mainstream you'll find manga and new anime shows (not stuff like naruto, but rather if then was now you'd find stuff like JJBA Diamond is Unbreakable) on shelves in walmart or such.

So Killing Bites started off weak, but god damn it's finishing off strong. I'm not going to spoil anything but it pretty much is Bloody Roar the anime. I'm legit depressed now how the company that was making the game went out of business; that would have made a great game.

Apparently Kaiju Girls is getting a actual anime.

Tanya is getting a movie

Yay more psycho loli!

Frame Arms Girl is getting a second season. Season 1 was delightfully good.

Uma Musume airs tomorrow

Imagine Love Live + Kemono Friends + High School setting.

Last edited Mar 30, 2018 at 09:38PM EDT

Okay that was actually pretty enjoyable. You might like it if you like cute, non-serious silly anime.

Her mom cheering her on as a kid:

Nobody's written a review/summary for the 2018 Winter season yet, so I'll start with a brief one.

Who would have thought the dude who destroyed the KanColle anime actually wrote a good script?
And who would have thought we still see QUALITY of Musashi Gundoh's level in 2018?

That's not a great way to end the Heisei era, Japan.

This is more about the industry as a whole, but the manga industry is moving towards romcoms rather than action. Of the total manga published last year half were romcoms. It kinds of makes sense, with how there's less kids in Japan it's obvious shonen would be in decline.

Most popular anime this year:

Geez, why did I have to go and start watching Kemono Friends? Because it's really cute, you learn something each episode (believe it or not) and while the animation can be awkward and stilted at times, it's incredibly endearing and easy to get into. To be honest, I didn't expect to get anything out of this show, but it has proven otherwise. I adore the characters!
I know that the series won't be continuing, that's why I kinda feel let down now. Shouldn't have started watching it, now I know it's just going to be a disappointment when I get to the final episode, dammit ;_;
(yes, I know I'm quite late to the party)

Hinamatsuri finished airing. Surprisingly hard to feel anything when they adapted material that does manage to make you feel something.

It has a cool concept. A man of the high-class Yakuza life meets the life of a spoiled paranormal esper kid coming out of nowhere, and the world and people around them that get roped in as a result. It's decent.

Though the impact of that story is severely crippled here in comparison to the manga. I feel more disappointed and empty than anything. It was an okay experience being there during its run but now, I have no reason to come back to it.

I did appreciate the jump into the anime. The VAs are fine, music is just background music and the animation is good at times. The art is some places is better than the manga, but what really does string is that there is so much missed opportunities regarding everything story and character.

What blows is that the most important chapters that developed characters, had all the merit to be episodes on their own were skipped. The comedy of the story was mostly following the events of the strange pairing, individual moments that culminate across the chapters and how their relationships develop over long periods of time. The anime follows the story to the half-way mark sure, but the journey is not there. 20 of 45 chapters by the time the anime caught up to the half-way mark were adapted. A lot of potentially great scenes and buildup, dust in the wind. Some of the most impactful, hilarious or feelsy moments are met half-way as a result.

The best chapters, the best side stories are overlooked. The best overall moments I believe that could've been adapted, and be spectacular, never to be.

I was excited for this one thing for quite some while, and I don't often take the time to engage myself with anime. The medium is extremely hit or miss for me, but in the end, this show is the one I feel absolutely nothing for. It's not soulless, it has humor, has heart, but it's not "there" as I would've expected from the exemplary manga. I don't even know if I feel I wasted my time either.

The afterglow is just a decently directed anime and nothing else. I guess it's what's to expect from adaptations that sort of appear out of nowhere.

Last edited Jun 24, 2018 at 02:44AM EDT

Surprised that there is not a single mention of Megalo Box on an anime general thread.

Anyway, it's about this underground boxer who wants to make it big in the boxing scene. It takes place in a future where boxers fight with cybernetic implants called "Gear," but the protagonist, named Joe, chooses not to use "Gear" and decides to fight with nothing but pure muscle. This is as far as I can go without spoilers.

I don't know if you guys are into an anime with a premise built around boxing, but you should seriously check it out. It's that awesome. There's even a KYM article on it, but it received very little attention, which I found to be disappointing.

Also, this:

Last edited Jul 31, 2018 at 01:29AM EDT

Y'know, of all the shit Crunchyroll gets: downgrading video quality, using a flash web player instead of HTML5 in their website, the whole deal with Funaimation/VRV, etc. If there's one reason why I still bother having a paid subscription is their interest in making dubs in foreign languages (besides english of course). Just recently they announced a Latin Spanish (and Portugese BR) dub for Maid Dragon, Re:Zero, Mob Psycho 100 and Youjo Senki.

I'm a pleb for preferring dubs over subs? Probably, but being honest I miss the feel to watch chinese cartoons where the characters are speaking words I can get and understand.

Will CR make a great work with these shows? I dunno, but I hope they do a better work than Netflix that's for sure.

Will have more dubbed shows? Only time will tell…One of my pipe dreams is watch Boku no Hero Academia, Megalo Box (which I haven't watched yet), Sakura Card Captor (both the old series and new one), March comes like a lion and Berserk 2017 many other shows in Latin Spanish dub, but like we used to say in my ranch: "se vale soñar".

Last edited Aug 02, 2018 at 03:45AM EDT

Just a small question to our community, but is there any talk at all about a second season of Kemono Friends being possible? Yes, I know what happened to the former director and the anime series, and I agree, it's such a shame that such a beloved series has been destroyed by Japanese EA, but maybe I simply haven't been searching thoroughly enough and something got past me by chance (the last real news I've read about was in December 2017). Maybe you guys know something more? Also, while we're at it, is there any possibility to play the original Kemono Friends on mobile? I know the producers pulled the product off the store, but maybe someone has archived it in some way?
I'd be glad if there was someone who could give me an answer, I just want to know what's happening. Thank you, based KYM! <3

elmashojaldra wrote:

Y'know, of all the shit Crunchyroll gets: downgrading video quality, using a flash web player instead of HTML5 in their website, the whole deal with Funaimation/VRV, etc. If there's one reason why I still bother having a paid subscription is their interest in making dubs in foreign languages (besides english of course). Just recently they announced a Latin Spanish (and Portugese BR) dub for Maid Dragon, Re:Zero, Mob Psycho 100 and Youjo Senki.

I'm a pleb for preferring dubs over subs? Probably, but being honest I miss the feel to watch chinese cartoons where the characters are speaking words I can get and understand.

Will CR make a great work with these shows? I dunno, but I hope they do a better work than Netflix that's for sure.

Will have more dubbed shows? Only time will tell…One of my pipe dreams is watch Boku no Hero Academia, Megalo Box (which I haven't watched yet), Sakura Card Captor (both the old series and new one), March comes like a lion and Berserk 2017 many other shows in Latin Spanish dub, but like we used to say in my ranch: "se vale soñar".

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