Durarara x2 Ten ~ Episode 24 [The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai] [Final]

For a final episode of a season, this episode was a little subdue. However, with that being said that’s because it’s setting us up for the beautiful thing that will be arc three of season 2! The chess board is set with all the players getting ready. The Yellow scarves going against the Dollars, the Dollars against the Yellow Scarves. There’s a war brewing in Ikebukuro and at it’s center, two best friends ready to take each other down.
There’s also Anri, who while not directly involved has stakes in this as well with Saika….oh my god Saika. If I had to point out ONE plot point in this show that drives me up a wall it’s trying to figure out who’s controlled by Saika and who isn’t.

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On that note, which Saika? Anri’s? The chick working with Izaya, the one under the control of the secretary lady who worked under the organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai. Who we have now confirmed is not one person, but in fact multiple people under one name. Most of which Izaya had taken out this episode. Speaking of being taken out…

WHAT IS IT WITH THIS SEASON AND TAKING OUT MY DARLING IZAYA IN THE FINALE’S!? What did he ever do to…..well there’s that, and that….okay so he did a lot of things to a lot of people to deserve this. I think my real problem here is that he’s been taken down twice by someone who doesn’t deserve it. If it was Shizuo or Masaomi or even Verona. I could kind of get behind it.
The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai has no business taking him out when there is a list of people who deserve it more.

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The most interesting scene of the episode by far though is the ending, as Celty returns home to the apartment that her and Shinra share. She finds an odd assortment of people there. Shingen, his wife, Walker, Togusa, Namie and others….wait, how did Namie get there? Safe and sound none the less? What’s going on here? This isn’t the first odd assortment of people meeting this season but…
I don’t get this one. There is little rhyme or reason too it. I’m sure it will be explained in the next cour but for now. I’m just left here wondering to myself “What?”

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In particular, even beyond Namie I am curious about Walker and Togusa. As two people who were out on the war path, why would they show up here? Walker was attacked by Izumii and narrowly avoided a full out fight. He mentioned going somewhere to hide, like a base or something…but why Shinra’s house? Well once again, I’m sure it’s something that will be explored more next cour.
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Final impression

Well, more like a end of this cour impression. It won’t be a true final impression until the whole thing is over. With that being said, x2 Ten had a lot of things going for it but in the end it was all build up for the final cour that will be coming out in January next year. It was the people and events boiling too the point that the war of Ikebukuro is ready to break out.

It’s sad to say but honestly, I don’t have a lot to say here. Until the season is actually over, what is there too say? I am concerned about the sanity of Mikado. I’m always upset when something happens to Izaya. I would like Shizuo to not be under arrest anymore, in particular under obviously false charges. It was an interesting ride but it will be even better when it comes to it’s conclusion next cour.

What’s going to happen?! Is war going to break out? Is celty’s head going to awaken? Will we finally get a handle on all of these different Saika’s!? Seriously, there are at least three that I know of right now and probably more. It’s driving me crazy. Oh well…That’s it for now!

~Midnight

Denpa Kyoushi Episode 24 [Final Lesson] [Final Impression]

Well, here we are. One more episode of Denpa Kyoushi. After two seasons worth of this show, some good episodes, some bad, we’re finally here. One more episode and we’re done. So for those of you who stuck around with me to the bitter end, what do you say we do this one more time and wrap this up for good? All right, here we go, for the last time.

So the episode starts up with the students all worried as they haven’t seen Kagami for a while. They get suspicious when Options tells them that she’s handling it and to leave it alone. The gang tries to follow her in a taxi, but she loses them when she pulls into that super secret tunnel.

Damn it, now i have the
Damn it, now i have the “secret tunnel” song from avatar stuck in my head

Meanwhile we cut back to the little girl who apparently locked herself in the top secret building because she heard that she would have to go back to school and leave the research place and she didn’t want to.

Kagami breaks into the place but actually joins her in her defiance.

See, this is why I like you Kagami
See, this is why I like you Kagami

However, the girl (Reiko) soon realizes that she can make her own amusement by going to school and goes with Options. It’s at this point that Kagami finally realizes what it is he truly wishes to do and wants his job back as a teacher, but with some conditions. Conditions which Options gladly accepts.

We cut forward to the next day when all the students have standardized tests but they all seem to do extremely well. It turns out that Kagami made a custom App for every student that gave the questions and answers he thought each teacher would put on the test. Because of this the standardized tests became effectively useless.

He did this so students could stop worrying about keeping their GPAs up and focus on what in life it is that THEY want to do and study forging their own future.

Now that's an awesome teacher
Now that’s an awesome teacher

With this, the series ends.

This episode was a nice wrap up. It kinda had the ending I thought it had, but it had a cool twist with the test app which was nice. I didn’t even think about that which was neat.

The first half of the episode with the lesson seemed a little rushed and forced, but it all worked out in the end as the epilogue was satisfying enough as well….the manga’s still going so they can’t really SUPER end it so they kind of had to leave it a little open ended.

The good thing about this character was that he has developed throughout the series, but also never betrayed himself and stayed the same guy for all these years which is nice and not as common as you’d might think.

Why couldn't this guy have taught MY high school?
Why couldn’t this guy have taught MY high school?

All in all, a nice ending to the series.

Episode 7/10

So now we get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s review each segment.

Head: When I first heard of the plot for this show, I fell in love with the concept and wanted to see it. An otaku teacher who only does things he wants to do. That’s great. Right off the bat i’m sucked in. And I have to say, they really didn’t disappoint on that front. The show delivered on that premise and never strayed from it. He took the opposite route most characters in other animes would take.

Every few episodes was its own little arc which as i’ve said in the past some really worked and some didn’t. (yes i’m still mad about the crazy long Koutaro arc) for the most part the arcs were short enough that you didn’t get tired of it, but it kept you interested to see what was going on and the new characters you would meet. For having a premise that delivered and kept the spirit, I give this show a

7/10

Eye: I have to say, I really did adore this art style. Things were Chibi, but also had a real world feel to them. The girls were cute, the main character looked cool as his design was nice, and with the exception of the sister’s VA, all the other Japanese voice actors were pretty damn good. I’m not sure what happened with the sister but…she…wasn’t very good and she got grating.

damn it sis why does your voice sound like ass!? and why does kagami have red hair and you have striking blonde? and where are your parents?
damn it sis why does your voice sound like ass!? and why does kagami have red hair and you have striking blonde? and where are your parents?

Eye: 7/10

Heart

Okay, this is where the show gets dichotomous (ah there goes me using my fancy five dollar words). The episode either felt really squishy and great or it was annoying and stupid. However usually it was the former and not the latter which was nice. Most of the characters I felt for. However, that became the problem, as, as the cast grew, they had to keep moving back to them or…in some cases completely forget about them. It was obvious that nearly every single girl in the show wanted Kagami’s dick. And I mean like…..all of them, but it didn’t delve into any sort of romance. I mean…that’s good in a way, but it was almost kind of weird to see him having no romantic urges towards well….anyone. It’s almost like watching Tenchi Muyo except with LESS sexual tension coming from him. If that’s even possible.

I have never seen less sexual tension in a hug in my LIFE
I have never seen less sexual tension in a hug in my LIFE

(laughs) all right. I did this in Monster Musume, so just for you guys, I will do my “Who deserves to be with the main character the most?” countdown. All right but just the top 5 or i’ll be here all day.

5. Idol Chick: I don’t know..I just think they’re cute together and I think they would make an adorable couple. Come on, an idol and an otaku. That’s fantastic.

4. Manga chick: What’s to say? They’re both anime fans and if you put those two minds together you could seriously take over the anime world. Plus he could give her more things to put in her manga (wink)

3. Money chick: Okay yeah, it’s a bit obvious, but she was definitely the most straight forward of all the girls and seeing how much she loved Kagami really was adorable and I would not mind seeing them as a couple as it would be adorable.

2. Potatoes: I don’t know what it is, but i really love her. I think she’s a great character and was really the first person other than face punch (who…kind of got lost in the lurch when he switched schools…yeah what was the point of that again?) that he helped out. She really loved him from that starting point and she has been one of his biggest advocates ever since.

okay…1..

ding ding! we have a winner!
ding ding! we have a winner!

1. Anime voice: God…damn it I just think Anime voice and Kagami would be the best couple. I could just imagine these two being married. I don’t know why but when I think of the canon pairing in my head…I think of these two. I don’t know why, I just do.

Oh yeah, the heart rating.

7/10

Total Score: Even

7/10

That being said, this was a fun show and I would not mind watching a slew of these episodes again (not every one obviously) If they made more, yeah, i’d watch it, and i’d definitely blog about it.

Final verdict? Yeah. Give it a watch. For all of those of you made it through with me, thanks for sticking by me and i’ll see you next time.

-Hideki

Denpa Kyoushi Episode 24 [Final Lesson] [Final Impression]
Tagged on: anime Denpa Kyoushi Hideki summer 2015

Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 46: C

“Begin the annihilation.”

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Impression

I feel like this is the second coming of the Anteiku raid, which is a bit weird because we should still be mirroring the Tsukiyama arc – there hasn’t been any extensive torture of a main character yet, either (as pitiable as Kanae is, he’s way less important than, say, Haise). Aside from the CCG swooping down upon the Tsukiyama mansion in huge flocks, Mirumo is clearly doing a Yoshimura in taking responsibility as the head of the family. On top of that, he’s trying to protect the ‘successor’ to his family, the next generation who will carry on his will – this is Master Shuu for the current operation, and it was Touka and Hinami back during the Anteiku raid. A caretaker, Matsumae has been appointed, and her counterpart is Yomo. Like Koma and Irimi, the various employees and subsidiary heads of the Tsukiyama group feel indebted to Mirumo, and are willing to put their lives on the line to allow Tsukiyama to escape. In addition, Eto is also getting involved. If there’s one difference, it’s that Tsukiyama was about to play the role of Kaneki and return to assist his father – but Matsumae has talked him out of it. In fact, I think he clearly remembers what happened to Kaneki as a result of his decision, and knows that he shouldn’t be making the same mistake.

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The problem now, however, is that the CCG are not allowing him to run away. I think it’s really saying something, the way they all acted this chapter – they want to exterminate them all. Even when Tsukiyama tries to peacefully escape, they’re chasing him down with all the manpower they have. Washuu thinks its more fun that way. And some of them are outright angry that Rose aren’t getting violent – that they’re not struggling, which would give them an excuse to pull out their quinques and start slaughtering ghouls. It’s yet another example of the blurry morality in Tokyo Ghoul, and how it’s never been a simple issue of black and white. It’s not like the Tsukiyama group are Aogiri or anything – they still kill humans, yes, but they’re people too. Not enough of the CCG have that in mind – with Ui the ghoul hater at the helm, Promotion-kun who wants to beat Takeomi on the front lines, and Hairu who will do her best to be praised by Arima leading the extermination, things are looking pretty bad for poor Master Shuu.

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Of course, the tragic irony of the last page’s top panel is that Haise is angry at ‘Tsukiyama’, and yet has no idea that the very same guy he’s trying to hunt down used to be one of his most reliable allies – and is the ghoul he’s been meeting in the park to secretly ask about Kaneki. If there are other doves watching, Haise will have to fight – but if not, I think he’ll probably let him go. Tsukiyama is not a ghoul who’s done anything wrong in particular, at least in the past few years. Imagine if they find out he’s Gourmet, though. Freaking Arima will be sent to calmato him for good.

Charlotte ~ Episode 13 [Well, I didn’t need my heart anyway][Final]

If the last episode, had been a whole anime. I would of watched it in a heart beat. If the entire series had been Yu slowly loosing his sanity as he plundered the abilities from everyone around the world, I would of loved it. If it was his reputation as the one eyed Reaper built up over time and we discovered everyone trying to kill him, painting him as the bad guy and then flash backing to the events of earlier in the series showing that he had a noble cause all along? That would of been amazing!

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Alas that was only the last episode, is that to say that the rest of the series was bad? No, not by a long shot. I’m just saying the concept for the last episode would of made an amazing anime! On that note, let’s discuss the last episode of Charlotte in detail. So the episode starts with Yu going on his journey to plunder every last ability in the world.
Which slowly drives him insane, with thousands upon thousands of powers and voices in is head. This is why I am adamant in my belief that this episode could of made it’s own series or at least a mini-cour with the rest of the series around it. He gains a reputation as ‘The one eyed reaper’ by all the other ability users and gains a huge bounty. The guy who almost kills him at the end says that with that money, he could play around for life.

I think it's a cool nickname Yu, don't blush
I think it’s a cool nickname Yu, don’t blush

As he loses his sanity, he also loses his memory. He can’t remember what he’s doing this for, whining at one point that he’s tired and someone else should take over. Why was it him? Why had this burden fallen on him? At this point, he’s working off base instinct. The only thing keeping him from losing it completely is the little thing of flash cards that Nao gave him before leaving.
That’s his anchor to his sanity, an emotional connection to someone that he doesn’t know. A promise that he can barely remember making.

At the end of the episode, he gets saved from being killed by Shunsuke at the moment he is going to be killed by the bounty hunter. So wait, with Yu’s cell phone being broken earlier in the episode, nobody left with the ability to track ability users, and Yu not even remembering his brother so much less the idea that he could of contacted him to tell him what country he was in…How did Shunsuke find him?
I mean, it’s not like I wanted Yu to die. I was nearly crying and I was REALLY happy when Shunsuke came down in the helicopter to pick him up. My question here is, how!?
There is NO explanation for this other then Dues ex Machina.

more like
more like “Dues ex Shunsuke”….that was bad.

Setting that aside for now, we then cut to Yu waking up with Nao at his bedside. Of course, he can’t remember her, which hurts her but she’s glad when he mentions that the only thing that kept him going all the time he was gone was the thing of flash cards. No matter how ripped up, or beaten or dirty they were. They were the one thing that he couldn’t get rid of.
When he was ready to give up and become a God with all the power he had, it was the thing that drove him on the right path again. It’s alright though, with Nao’s tendency to record everything, she can show Yu memories from the past and create a new future with him. Overall we’re left with a happy, if not a little bitter sweet ending.

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_________________________________________
Final Impressions

At the beginning of the season I was caught between two shows to cover. Either Charlotte or Ranpo Kittan and in the end, I settled on Charlotte. Why? Because in the first episode I saw a lot of promise for this series. In particular in Yu, he was not exactly like the main character that you would expect in a series like this. I suppose, what I was expecting from the main character was some Chuuninbyou nut job like the guy from the other student council with superheroes show I covered.

I ended up with the love child of Lelouch and Light Yagami for a main character instead.

Charlotte was interesting for sure, entertaining and fun. Is it a good show though? Well yes and no, it’s got a lot of good things going for it but It also feels a little bit rushed or contrived at points. Certain elements should of been given more time to be explored, some aspects should of been talked about more. In the end, it comes down to the fact that this anime was 13 episodes long and it couldn’t completely tell the story it wanted too in that amount of time.

If it had brought in the time travel story sooner, or he terrorist, or the scientist or had the terrorist and the scientist working together. If Yu’s sociopath tendencies had reared their ugly heads more often. There was so much keeping this anime from being the anime that it COULD of been. I would of liked to see more with time travel, causality, if they saved Ayumi but had to pay an even higher cost. Something along the lines of a Steins;Gate arc.

Not to say that the loss of Pooh was a light one. I am exceptionally glad that Yu did not decide to heal his eye so he could time leap to save him. I am very glad that they dealt with at least the finality of one death in this series. Even if it was one of the more minor characters, even if it negated the point of Yu having to come to terms with the death of his sister.
How would the original timelines Nao of handled Yu’s memory loss. That’s something I’d be sort of interested to know.

I think another big problem is the huge tonal shift the series goes through in it’s short run time. You go from a supernatural show about High School students keeping others like them safe from experimentation. To the last episode reading like something from a sci-fi thriller, akin to Darker than Black! Sure, you know that there are high stakes at the beginning from the moment that you’re introduced to Nao’s brother.
It’s nothing like watching a man slowly lose his sanity as he travels across the world stealing abilities from people and becoming public enemy number one!

If I had to say anything about Charlotte is that I wish it was longer. It had a lot of really good ideas, it was always entertaining. I loved the atmosphere and the characters, I loved the dynamic that the entire student council had. Wait a second, I never got a Takajo arc!? Was he really that happy!? He didn’t have any sort of dark past or anything!?
I feel jipped!

So let’s see, an overall rating for Charlotte is hard. It’s not a bad anime, by any stretch of the imagination and I would recommend it for sure. I just feel like it could of been more, with that being said….I think a 7.5/10 is in order. It’s beautiful, entertaining, moving, with great characters that you come to love…but it’s not the anime it could be. Which is sad…which is sad.

~Midnight

Baby Steps Episodes 24-25 [FINAL]

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We’ve come a pretty long way.

vlcsnap-2015-09-27-22h30m04s862Here we are, 50 episodes in, and the journey’s over. Only Baby Steps has the guts to conclude the series with a loss from our dear protagonist, but manage to pull off an emotionally satisfying end regardless. Yes, we will probably never get any more Baby Steps (as a manga fan, I’m upset but what can you do), but I’m more than happy with where the anime decided to end.

Anyways, on to episodes 24 and 25. I’ll keep this part short so I can gush about the series as a whole a little bit more and what makes it kind of special to me. They were focused on the 3-set match between Ei-chan and Nabae, who has been established across the entire 2 seasons as the One that needs to be beat…or is it? Throughout the match (like many others that came before it) we see Ei-chan struggling to even keep his serve after his zone from episodes 22 and 23 wear off and he suddenly becomes aware of the deficit he needs to make up for. He begins to go ‘reckless’ – as Nabae puts it, but Ei-chan is better than that, and proves why he grows as fast as he does. He takes risks. A lot of them, almost always at the cost of sacrificing a few points for making mistakes along the way. But he isn’t ‘trying his luck’ more so than constantly evolving and re-inventing his own styles of play, refining his strengths along the way. Unlike Nabae, during times of crisis, Ei-chan actually behaves differently. He refuses to go for the route that minimizes risks (which he obviously pays for given the result of the game), aware that he does in fact, have absolutely nothing to lose by going all out, and doing the absolute best he can.

vlcsnap-2015-09-27-22h32m48s159And pay for it, Ei-chan does. This is where the motto of the series shines through again – don’t just look at what’s directly in front of you, but look further ahead, at the big picture, and make small steps forward. If there’s one thing Baby Steps is, it’s truth in advertising. Ei-chan may not have won that final match, but it was of course a satisfying conclusion to his journey (in the anime, anyway) with him realizing how far he’s come in such a short period of time, and how much further he has to go. With him, it’s all about catching up, and that’s not at all difficult given how he’s more than willing to keep going and playing tennis. Yukichi tells him after the match that ‘given one more year, he’ll definitely surpass Nabae’, and there’s obvious truth in that statement.

vlcsnap-2015-09-27-22h58m21s649So what were my thoughts on this understated, realistic (conservative, even) depiction of tennis in anime?

I do still prefer the manga (one of the classics in the genre, up there with Slam Dunk, REAL, anything by Adachi Mitsuru and Ballroom e Youkoso for me as the greatest sports manga there is) – understandable since it’s just one of those stories that get better over time and the manga is over 30 volumes long as of now, but the anime does its job at capturing the appeal of the manga.

In fact, I’d argue that that’s all it is, and it leads me to kind of question the point of the anime being anything OTHER THAN an extended commercial for the manga. I personally believe that anime adaptations need to go beyond capturing the appeal of the manga, they need to do something within its new medium that elevates the original work and gives the anime value. The main problems with the adaptations are obvious – lacklustre animation for majority of its run (although seaosn 2 does look better than season 1, and the animation team ramps the quality up for important scenes accordingly) and music that’s, well, simply put, elevator music. As an adaptation, its serviceable, and could stand to be better.

vlcsnap-2015-09-27-23h02m24s861Good thing Baby Steps has excellent source material. And I mean EXCELLENT source material. As a tennis player myself, I was immediately drawn in to how realistically portrayed the sport was, all down to the minute technical details. They weren’t just there for show either; the work understands the tactical, analytical nature of the sport and this plays out with its characters, in particular of course with our protagonist Ei-chan. In fact, the sport is inseparable from Ei-chan. He has incredible humility (not just modesty) and respect for the sport and the people that play on the courts. He never half-asses anything, even the harsher, blander parts of the sport that definitely isn’t as interesting. In fact, he starts his journey with pure repetition of the basics. That’s not to say he’s mechanistic in his play though – Ei-chan’s play is tactical, but also alive, and very much human.

vlcsnap-2015-09-27-22h41m17s534Unlike other sports anime that seem to focus entirely on emotions running the show (looking at you Ace of Diamond & Haikyuu!!), Baby Steps strikes an ambitious balance between the mind and the heart. In fact, the entire second half of this second season has been focusing on Ei-chan trying to consciously will his subconscious into playing into his most optimal state – the ‘zone’. It sounds almost contradictory, but it works because this is just the kind of person Ei-chan is. He plays with all his mind, but also all his heart. He goes forward, looking straight while dealing with immense pressure, and also bears the full brunt of things when a game doesn’t go his way. He accepts these emotions as an integral part of him (and thus his play), attempts to understand it, and integrate it into his play.

Ei-chan is just a great protagonist, even outside of the court. He inspires the people around him, in fact, it forces them to take good looks at themselves, and think about how much further they have to and can go. This isn’t a one-way street of course, and Ei-chan in turn grows from every single one of his encounters (literally learning from them with his notes) – with special mention to his fantastic relationship with Natsu. I’ve said this a hundred times, but they’re a rare couple in anime that’s completely convincing, and a true power couple in that they really do complement each other perfectly. Ei-chan’s also interesting in that he’s just so conscientious, refreshingly honest and straightforward, yet also faces real problems and responsibilities. How he deals with reconciling his dream of playing professional tennis with his parents’ concerns (without ever blowing his parents’ off!) just shows how he almost overthinks things. He respects and considers the wishes of the people that support him from behind, and also make it a push force for him on the court.

So yes, Baby Steps 2 has been an extremely inspirational story about progress, about passion and about utmost respect for sports. Its story more than packs a punch, even at the hands of a bare bones adaptation. My advice: read the manga!

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Baby Steps Episodes 24-25 [FINAL]
Tagged on: anime 2015 baby steps 2 episode 24 baby steps 2 episode 25 baby steps final impressions SUMMER ANIME 2015

Wakako-Zake Episodes 11 + 12 [Final Impressions]

And so I realized, that I hadn’t done the final reviews for this series. However, I guess it’s more due to the fact that when it all boils down to it, this isn’t really so much a series as it is a bunch of commercials for Japanese food dishes. Still, I have a job to do, and that job is finish these reviews. So let’s finish our commercial reviews. One more time. And by that i mean review two at once. one more time…

So episode eleven is about Wakako ordering grilled fish. She orders Sake with it and comments about how there’s so much of it and how it’s so cheap.

She flashbacks to times when she went to restaurants with her coworkers and how the food got eaten too fast and how she was embarrassed to eat it a certain way.

Right here. Definition of
Right here. Definition of “First World Problems”

She eats a whole bunch with her sake and is amazed how much is left even after all of that. And..that’s kind of the episode.

The final episode, episode 12 is about her eating Ginkgo nuts.

She comments about how the place she’s at has them break open their own nuts.

I'm sure there's a gross sexual pun somewhere in there
I’m sure there’s a gross sexual pun somewhere in there

She talks about how the nuts are salty and…..(facepalms) goddamn it.

Okay, let me try again. She talks about how the nuts are warm and……………(gets up from computer and walks away for a minute)

YOU'RE NOT HELPING!
YOU’RE NOT HELPING!

Okay, I think I’ve got this. She then explains how sometimes it doesn’t work out and you end up busting a nut and…..fuck it. i’m done.

End recap.

But I do have to mention one more thing. It’s time for……….SHIRT ENGRISH!

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Ah yes, the great English phrase that is…Haven…4 we met… oh yeah. all the time. You know, I just said that last week.

Anyway, let’s get onto the review segment

So yeah, the first episode had a lot less going on than the second one. The second one at least had nut puns. The first one kind of just talks about how she likes eating fish and how she’s glad she doesn’t have to share. The second one is about nuts. There’s really not much to say. The second one felt more like something may have actually happened, but I could have fever dreamed that.

Haha..that guy has a nut on his face...GODDAMN IT!
Haha..that guy has a nut on his face…GODDAMN IT!

Episode 11: 5/10
Episode 12: 6.5/10

Okay, so let’s get to the final review of the “series”

Head: There….really is no plot to speak of. A girl goes out and eats different food. I mean…there’s really not a plot. When 1/4 of the episode is opening theme song there isn’t exactly much…room..for…STUFF to happen. There’s no overarching plot there’s no real character development, she kind of just…..eats stuff. That’s the plot. So for the first time ever i’m just going to give this series an N/A for one of the three review parts

Head: NA/10

There is no plot! Only Zuul!
There is no plot! Only Zuul!

Eye: Okay, while the main character was a little light on the character design (seeing how they don’t give her realistic eyes or even a nose) it was a cute stylistic choice and they did at least make the food look appetizing. So there’s that. There definitely was a calm serene feel through most of the series as if nothing was going to go wrong and just to sit back and relax and enjoy the soothing minute and a half ride you were in for. At the very least when I watched this show the music, visuals, and Voice acting let me know what I was in for. There were no surprises which could be both bad and good.

Eye 6.5/10

Where is your nose? WHO TOOK IT FROM YOU?!
Where is your nose? WHO TOOK IT FROM YOU?!

Heart:

Well….there’s not much to say. Wakako sure does enjoy her food. The only thing I got from Wakako was she seemed very timid and not very outgoing and the only time she could really be herself was when she talked about food. It’s almost kind of sad in a way as It almost seems that this is her escape from a world she really can’t be a part of. Of course, I may be looking far too deeply into this 2 minute episode show about food, but that’s how I feel. Overall though..it did its job. Not…quite sure what that WAS but yeah….

Heart 5/10

Overall Score

5.5/10

Would I watch this show again? Nah. Probably not. Would I review it again if I could go back in time? Hell no. There’s literally NOTHING to talk about. But…it was a fun experimental show, which for the first time left me realizing how impossible it was to review something. Which is an anomaly in itself. So….there’s that.

Well, i’m finally done. I…I think i’m going to take a break from shorts for a while. This show burned me out, at least for this season. I hope those of you either agreed with me or saw my points, or just enjoyed my rants overall. See you next time, but not in this show. Thank god.

-Hideki

See you space food commercial
See you space food commercial

Gatchaman Crowds Insight Episode 12: Insight (Final Impression)

“Sometimes you have to risk your own life in order to protect the things we hold dear.”

[HorribleSubs] Gatchaman Crowds Insight - 12 [1080p].mkv0054Most of what this episode did was go over what I had figured out; Hajime used Berg’s shape shift ability, turned into Gel, blah blah. But man, it was awful seeing Hajime scream out in pain, bleeding, and speaking through breaths. It sucked. There was a possibility that the plan would never work and Hajime knew that but they all went with it anyway, though they argued for a long time. Tsubasa was the one that was most against it and during the battle she even wanted them to stop, with Hajime wanting them to continue. While explaining all this to the people watching the show, some of the Kuu-sama were disappearing. In the end of her story, they asked the people what they wanted to do with Gel. This was something Hajime wanted because she believed the people would actually think it through. So on the show Sugayama asked what the people wanted to do with Gelsadra: A) Let him stay on Earth, B) Make him leave the Earth, or C) Let the Gatchaman decide. But this time this mobile voting would be different. This time the people would have a month to carefully think about what they wanted. It’s not a decision they can make hastily like all the other times they had votes. The point was to make them think for themselves.

During this time, Hajime is still unconcious with Utsusu healing her gradually. A month passes by and the people decide to let Gel stay on Earth, and people continued on with their lives. Things move on peacefully. Some Kuu-sama are still around but they don’t pose any harm and people play with them through CROWDS. And in the end, after who knows how long she was in her comatose state, Hajime finally wakes up. And acts like nothing happens, just like our normal Hajime-ssu! A very happy and expected ending.

And finally our story comes to a close.

[HorribleSubs] Gatchaman Crowds Insight - 12 [1080p].mkv0068This season of Gatchaman Crowds hardly feels any different from the first one. Of course, the first season had a lot of action in it and the team were fighting against a big evil that was on the brink of destroying the whole world. Well, the same happens this season except it’s not just one big bad that threatens to destroy humanity. It’s everyone. The point of this season was to show just how powerful people’s opinions can be. How trying to fit in the status quo can be damaging. Just because someone doesn’t share the same thoughts as you can lead to some dangerous things to happen. Gatchaman has always taken the more psychological approach with its show and it really did that with this season by making the action take a backseat. The point of this season was to show these things. It’s really important for people to really think of themselves and take time to think over something. Because someone can seem like a nice person doesn’t mean that they are. Don’t follow the crowd all the time. Just think for YOURSELF. YOU’RE AN INDIVIDUAL. You think things in a more rational manner when not influenced by other people. Basically that was the message this season. Gel, not even Rizumu, were the true villains of this season.

That said, I felt like Rizumu’s character was lacking because of this. He was in jail most of the time. I know he was the set up for what we got, but it just made his character a little disappointing. He wasn’t pointless, but I just wish he could have done more. His character probably would have been better if he really were the main villain, but instead he was just the foil to Rui. AND SPEAKING OF RUI…I felt like his character was lacking too. I felt like he wasn’t really part of the Gatcha team. He fought hard to voice out his views then later gave up and succumbed to the Kuu-sama aura of comfort. So that was disappointing too.

But I felt most of the characters were left on the side because most of the time this season focused on Tsubasa and Gel. I felt like Gel was a little one note, but Tsubasa did get her character development. She frustrated me but she learned from her mistakes in the end and that is what counts. So good for you Tsubasa. I just wish we could have had more Sugane, OD, and Utsusu. We learned a lot about Utsusu and I really love her so to just see her get about 15 minutes of screentime for the ENTIRE season is so sad. Basically the same with the others. So that’s always something that this series bothers me with.

Without the action the show could become a little stale what with all the talking. But I still liked what this season did and I had fun watching it. 7/10 for you, Gatcha. A 10/10 for you, Hajime. Because that selflessness of yours is something I admire. You rock.

[HorribleSubs] Gatchaman Crowds Insight - 12 [1080p].mkv0014
I restrained myself from gushing about Hajime in this final post, y’all should be grateful.

‘Rewrite’ Gets a TV Anime

And all the reasons why it shouldn’t have.

Rewrite PV Img002

PV

[embedded content]

(All the animation in this PV comes from an old, animated PV created by White Fox way back when the visual novel first came out)

Synopsis

Rewrite is set in the fictional city Kazamatsuri where treeplanting and afforestation have caused the city to become overgrown with trees and flowers in much the same way that other cities are filled by buildings. However, while most of the city appears to be rural, there are many traditional city elements as well. While set in a modern setting, the city also gives off a strange sense of nostalgia.

Tennouji Kotarou lives here. He’s a high school student who has the ability to rewrite his own body; he can become stronger and faster at any time he chooses. He investigates supernatural mysteries with five girls from his school.

(Source: VNDB)

What?

Rewrite (2011) is a visual novel produced by Key, the studio responsible for visual novel-turned-anime hits such as Air, Kanon and Clannad. Rewrite is one of their most recent works – all they’ve produced since then is a VN adaptation of Angel Beats (2015), which isn’t a new IP, Charlotte (2015) which ended today, and the yet-unreleased kinetic novel Harmonia (2015). According to Wikipedia, its genres include action, fantasy, romance and tragedy, which is about right but should really also include school and a tiny smudge of slice-of-life. Around this time last year, I did a series of posts covering the visual novel. It was lots of fun, and Rewrite is probably my favourite visual novel to date. So I care about this anime adaptation, a lot.

Unlike most of what Key produces, Maeda Jun has nothing to do with Rewrite. Its various routes were instead written by Tanaka Romeo (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita), Ryukishi07 (Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni) and Tonokawa Yuuto (Little Busters!) who all contributed to different degrees.

Who?

The anime adaptation of Rewrite will be produced by 8-bit, and directed by Tensho (Kiniro Mosaic, Grisaia no Kajitsu). The script will be written by Tanaka Romeo and Kai from Visual Arts (Clannad).

Why?

I don’t know, money? With this, all of Key’s main visual novels will have had an adaptation. I’m sure Harmonia will get one too, a few years after it’s released.

When?

If I had to guess, I’d go for Winter 2016 or Spring 2016. I don’t see it being dragged out for any longer than that, given that it’s being announced now.

How?

This is the main problem. It’s the reason this post even exists in the first place – for me to vent my frustrations and speculate on exactly how the hell they’re going to pull this off. During my coverage of the visual novel, I distinctly remember saying (more than once) that Rewrite should never get an anime adaptation. I stand by those words. Even now, I really don’t think this is a good idea. If it turns out that this is all a joke, my response would be to sigh with relief and carry on with my life.

Rewrite has multiple routes – there’s the common route, which is the beginning of the story, then there are five character routes for the heroines Kotori, Chihaya, Lucia, Shizuru and Akane. After that there’s Moon, which is best described as a stand-alone acid trip, and Terra, which serves as the ‘true’ route tying up all loose ends and explaining everything. It’s like what After Story was to Clannad, or what Refrain was to Little Busters.

So there are many routes. That’s not the problem, though. The problem is that none of these routes can be depicted in a linear format – in any way, shape or form. This is because of several reasons. First, the romance aspect makes it impossible for them to continue the anime after one route is over, because that would mean the main character Kotarou is five-timing at the very least. Second, even if all the romance is cut out (which would mean character development is butchered into a gory mess, because the girls develop precisely because of their romantic interaction with Kotarou) it cannot be a linear anime, because the issues of all the heroines are not separate from that of the plot. Take Clannad for example – after the Fuuko route was done, Tomoya could return to school and the story could begin to focus on Kotomi’s issues.

Rewrite can’t do that, because a wider plot exists – and each heroine is developed in a way that’s parallel to the plot. So by the time a character route is over, the plot is over too – and along the way, the world itself will have changed and become a different place. In Lucia’s route, Person A might be Kotarou’s most reliable ally – but in Chihaya’s they may be his worst enemy. He can’t simply go back to school and begin the next route, it just doesn’t work like that.

Rewrite PV Img004

But the most important reason is this: Kotarou himself undergoes irreversible changes throughout each route. His mentality itself becomes that of a different person – even the way he chooses to rewrite his physique is different depending on who he falls in love with. His page on MAL says just as much:

“As the story progresses and gets more serious, Kotarou undergoes great changes. Depending on which heroine he decides to follow, he becomes a whole different person with a different goal and a different mindset.”

So if Kotarou embraces a certain way of thinking and certain values during one route, this may be completely incompatible with how he’s supposed to act in another route – in one he may decide he’s okay with killing others for the greater good, but in another he may be completely against taking human life. It would be impossible to retcon Kotarou #1 and Kotarou #2 into being one, linear Kotarou the anime can work with, because by that point they’re not the same person any longer.

Rewrite PV Img006So, what’s supposed to be done? For one, 8-bit could just ignore all those issues and go ahead with a linear adaptation anyway, which would not only be a bullshit solution but would also be tantamount to ignoring the fundamental themes and values of Rewrite. It would also make Moon and Terra both pointless and impossible to adapt, for reasons which would be very spoiler-heavy. In fact, that’s another problem – it’s freaking 8-bit. And not only that, it’s 8-bit with Tensho at the helm, who ruined the first anime season of Grisaia by compressing routes that were tens of hours long into a single episode or two. The mere thought of my precious Rewrite being brutally murdered like that is absolutely terrifying. If it turns out that this is getting a one-cour adaptation, it’s guaranteed to be a trainwreck. It’s basically over before it even begins.

Rewrite PV Img005What I would like to see is this: a total of at least 36 episodes, plus an hour-long OVA. Ideally, we get the full Clannad treatment and it ends up being 48 episodes, but that’s less likely. If that’s the case, the first season would be two-cours, covering the common route, Kotori’s, Chihaya’s and Lucia’s. Then we’d get Moon as an OVA, and the second season would be Shizuru’s, Akane’s and Terra. All routes should be in an omnibus format – which is to say, after one route ends, the story starts from scratch again and plays out with Kotarou going for a different girl. This isn’t new at all – it was done very successfully with the Amagami series, and beyond romance series a perfect example is horror mystery Higurashi, whose writer Ryukishi07 wrote Lucia’s route in Rewrite. I’ve seen someone online propose the idea that they go for one route, then a section of Moon, another route, another section of Moon, a third route and so on – this is actually a really nice idea. It’s very ambitious, and why it even works is a huge spoiler, but it does – it’d make for a really interesting watch if this were to actually happen.

Rewrite is a very difficult project to adapt – it has a huge scale, and is very complicated. This is why any studio wanting to do an anime is basically asking to get burned. When I think ‘Rewrite anime’, I think P.A. Works or Kyoto Animation – maybe even just the former, given that supernatural is more up their alley compared to the sort of stuff KyoAni has been doing these days. So it being 8-bit already makes me uneasy. I’m not surprised Tanaka Romeo is writing the script of the anime, because he’s best suited to it as the one who wrote most of the visual novel in the first place. Beyond how it’s actually being adapted, there are issues like character designs and all the other usual roadblocks. If it’s a success, it’ll be nothing short of amazing. It’s just that it becomes that much easier to fuck up.

Shokugeki no Soma Episode 24 [Final Impression]

Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking anime.

Shokugeki 24 Img008

Impression

Shokugeki 24 Img004After hyping up their confrontation for practically the entire second half, it’s only right that the finale ends with Soma facing off against Hayama – and with the both of them making enough of their dish for the other to try, it seems more like a direct competition than anything in the Autumn Election so far. As usual, their dishes are lauded by gourmet experts who are supposedly jaded and cynical – one thing I noticed (and it’s not only a thing this week, but something in general that was particularly the case here) was that a lot of the praise seemed to be directed towards the use of certain ingredients, or the quality of those ingredients. So those who have the most money would, all other things being equal, have the greatest advantage – like Nikumi and her A5 beef. Of course, it’s not only down to that – I suppose the way spices or other ingredients are used is of major importance too, with Hayama knowing that without the mellow effect of yogurt, holy basil alone would ruin the dish with how strong its flavour was. And Nikumi lost to Soma and his supermarket meat, after all.

I wonder if Soma feels like he lost? I guess he does, he told Megumi just as much by mentioning the single point difference between him and Hayama. If it was a Shokugeki, he may have won as Nikumi said – but it’s not, and it doesn’t change the fact that he lost by the particular rules they played by. I myself was worried that the judges would be too hung up over comparing Soma’s dish to Hayama’s, given that they both used fragrance bombs, were judged consecutively, and seemed to be having a small showdown on their own anyway. But yeah, can we appreciate that Hayama technically lost to Alice and her abstract work of art, given that she got 95 and Hayama only ended up with 94? Alice is therefore, quite literally, best girl.

Overall Thoughts

Shokugeki 24 Img003Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking anime. That’s what it was advertised as, at least – along with the ecchi and shounen genres, both of which were fairly accurate. In the end, it was basically a shounen battle manga dressed up with a cooking theme – and it worked! With an ever-present danger of being unceremoniously kicked out en-masse from a demonic school and the fierce competition, it’s managed to end up with something really entertaining – especially when a lot of people would have thought of Koufuku Graffiti when the phrase ‘cooking anime’ came to mind at the start of last season when it first aired. It has dragged on a bit at times, especially these last few episodes – but there was simply no choice but to fill up the entire episode with food descriptions, given that there were just too many characters to get through. Props to the authors for having such imagination with food, though – everyone in the show seems to be imbued with an amazingly diverse general knowledge on food, but the authors are people who actually know all this stuff in real life!

As for a second season… it’s possible, as they’re only about halfway through the existing manga material (which is on fire at the moment, you should definitely read ahead if you enjoyed the anime) but they don’t seem to be too interested in continuing. A main tournament clearly exists, and those who are acutely aware of things will have realized a discrepancy the anime never addressed – that 4th place in A Block was a two-way tie between Ibusaki and Marui. I mean, it’s not a travesty on the level of Prisma Illya Herz, but if you know what happens next it becomes clear why this indicates a lack of interest in a second season. It’s almost as if you’re being nudged towards reading the manga to find out more, because that’s exactly what you’ll have to do if you want to find out who gets through.

Shokugeki 24 Img002

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma?Illya 2wei Herz! Episode 10 [Final Impression]

Who the fuck thought this was a good idea?

Impression

I’m incredibly disappointed.

Herz 10 Img021

And I’m disappointed because I love the Prisma Illya manga. In a single episode, and through Herz in general, Silver Link have maimed the future of this adaptation. I’m not saying it has to be faithful to the point it reproduces every last panel in the manga, because that would be unrealistic – changes have to be made. But after so many seasons, it should be an accurate representation of what it really should be. That is, a fantasy magical girl series which evolves into an established spin-off and gets progressively darker. If you create entire swathes of filler episodes that shouldn’t exist, if you fuck up the second half of the final episode so badly that it’s beyond recognition, then that’s not a proper adaptation at all.

Herz 10 Img020Now, it would be a different situation entirely if they aimed to end the adaptation here – if they decided not to go onto 3rei!, as the manga is still on-going. If that were the case, then I would fully accept this episode – it’s nice to have a happy ending, where Illya saves Miyu and they all go back to their peaceful lives. But they ARE going to animate 3rei!. And this is not how the 2wei! manga is supposed to end at all – there is no happy ending, and things are supposed to escalate even further. It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler to just say that Miyu does not grab her hand in the manga. If you want, you can read the last chapter of 2wei! here, starting from the page with Quintet Fire – if you do, you’ll be able to grasp just how massive a difference there is between the proper ending and the one made by Silver Link. Also, isn’t the manga artwork great?

Herz 10 Img016In fact, it’s odd even from an anime-only standpoint. In this episode, Gilgamesh pulls out Ea and uses Enuma Elish at full power – an anti-world Noble Phantasm. In Fate/Zero, when he used it against Rider, it completely tore apart his Reality Marble. In the Mirror World a few episodes ago, simply swinging the sword caused the Mirror World to break down – which is why he’s even in the real world in the first place. Gil didn’t even do anything at any particular power level back then – he just waved it around, and the fabric of space-time was torn apart. Now, in this finale he stated that Illya was someone worth using his ‘full might’ on. He states that Ea will rend creation itself and incite the hell of genesis. And we believe him, right? Because that’s what Ea does. It’s supposed to do that. It would be odd if it didn’t. We know that it has the power to tear apart dimensions – and coincidentally enough, we know that a certain parallel world exists in this story.

So even if you’re an anime-only viewer, you expect something to happen when he uses Ea at 100%, or at least what feels like 100% to him in his half-incarnated form – instead, what happens? Illya accepts Miyu and her big secret by saying, ‘okay, cool’, which creates a massive plot hole in terms of their character development for 3rei!. Gil completely vanishes for some strange, unexplained reason, and there are now trees where he once was, with no other effect at all. It doesn’t add up from what we know about Gilgamesh and his power, and that’s because it shouldn’t add up – something happened in the manga that the adaptation cut out completely. What about his Class Card? They made it look like they just forgot it even existed.

And I can guess why. After all, how can they continue the slice-of-life filler episodes if there’s the after-effects of a dimension-tearing anti-world weapon just sitting in the sky? If they end the story happily like this, they can spend the first half of the 3rei! anime next year doing exactly what they did this year with Herz – sticking in a bunch of filler for a month or so before retconning in the two girls who appeared at the end, one of which can Install the eighth Archer card everyone was trying so hard to win (she’s the better of the two, by the way). I actually thought the second half of the episode was just a dream Illya was having before she woke up to reality – that’s how bad I thought the changes were.

So this is what I mean by the very future of this anime being compromised – the 3rei! anime won’t be what it should be. The day we get to see this scene animated (heavy, heavy spoilers, beware) is, sadly, very far away.

Overall Thoughts

Spoiler: 3REI SPOILERS Show>

If I’m asked to evaluate Herz as a whole, and from a holistic viewpoint… I can’t say it was very consistent overall. And this is me trying to be nice to it. To put it another way, its existence was a mistake. What I wanted was Episodes 6, 7, 8 and 9. What it felt like I got was Episodes 1-5 and 10. And I’m saying this as someone who likes lolis, you know? I’m not a loli hater or anything, it’s not like I had to suffer through the slice-of-life episodes – in fact, quite the opposite. As a loli fan, I loved them. But from an objective viewpoint, they should not have existed. The first two seasons of Prisma Illya had slice-of-life too – but it was all in proportion with the actual plot, which gets more exciting exponentially as it goes on. If you experience 3rei! you basically have the same reaction of indescribable hype every chapter. So even if the adaptation eventually pulls through, a huge amount of momentum will be lost. If this was sex, this episode would have been the equivalent of kissing and lots of foreplay – you know, getting into the mood. And right when they’re about to do it, the guy says, ‘sorry, I can’t get it up, goodbye’ and leaves.

I’m terrified for next season’s AntiMagic Academy now, because that’s also being done by Silver Link and has a really dark story at risk of being butchered by extra fanservice. I’m also scared for 3rei!, especially since this has gotten more serious than just delaying the plot with filler – the plot has diverged now. It’s supposed to be what Heaven’s Feel was to Fate/stay – a lot more despair, with wider context given to the story. Now it’s looking more like it’ll be just like Tsukihime the anime.

tl;dr you had one job, silver link