K: Return of Kings – Episode 13 [Kings] [Final Impression]

We’re finally here! The very last episode of K: Return of Kings has arrived. I am both saddened and a little relieved to have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

Shiro and Neko are racing through JUNGLE’S underground base, trying to reach Nagare and the Dresden Slates before it is too late. And go figure, Neko was actually of use in this episode, although I could have done without the panty shots arising from her cat-like movements during her quick rumble with the JUNGLE peons. vlcsnap-00008

Several floors above, Kuroh and Yukari face off for the last time. Both guys are fighting for their kings, but who will be the victor? Kuroh, naturally. ^_~ But he lets Yukari live. Boooo

Meanwhile HOMRA gets ready to put their master attack plan into action, and Seri keeps a close eye on Reisi in case she needs to kill him before his Sword of Damocles falls.

I think the biggest surprise of the episode was that we actually DO finally find out Neko’s backstory: she is a survivor of the Kagutsu Incident 14 years prior, and while Nagare received King powers as a result, Miyabi Ameno became a Strain. In exchange, Nagare became a reanimated corpse and Miyabi had to manipulate her own memory to live as a cat. I’m assuming her new Strain powers are what gave her the ability to actually transform as a cat too, not just live as one.

Nagare, Neko and Shiro exchange some heated words before they launch into battle. HOMRA aids Shiro by using their firepower to blast a hole through all of the underground floors, clearing a path for Reisi’s — no, Shiro’s Damocles Down! Concentrating such devastating powers squarely at the Slates was apparently Shiro’s plan. Sacrifice himself in exchange for eliminating Nagare and all of their King powers.

In the end, Shiro’s plan goes off as planned. The gush of power resulting from the collision between the Slates and Shiro’s Sword of Damocles blasts upwards towards the sky and heals Reisi, preventing his impending Damocles Down. This was a bit of a letdown because I wanted to see if Seri would really have to kill him, and that he lives is a little disappointing because it essentially renders both Goki and Seri near-useless this season. Seri manages to sneak in a punch to Reisi’s perfect face, and I’ll admit to cheering for her, just a little. vlcsnap-00039

However, Shiro (Adolf K. Weismann) has used up all of his power, and now that Kings are no more, he fades away, returning the body of Yashiro Isana to its original soul. Yukari and Sukuna are left alive, and they leave to go who knows where.

The episode ends with everything returning to normal – almost. Neko is now a student at the highschool on School Island, Kuroh is either a student or still the housekeeper, and an aged up Shiro sits around the table in his dorm room eating with his two former clansmen.

My thoughts: I was really glad to see Neko’s background revealed, because I said previously that I didn’t think us viewers were going to find out by the end of the show. I also liked that Mikoto’s spirit made a brief appearance in order to support/aid Anna when she launched her clan’s attack on JUNGLE’s underground lair. It was a sweet moment.+

As mentioned earlier in this review, I was a little disappointed that Seri and Neko really didn’t have to do much throughout the series, aside from some fighting. The same applies to Goki Zenjo. Suspense was built up surrounding whether one of them would have to kill Reisi, and then that just fizzed away to nothing in the final minutes. Way to be anti-climactic GoHands. -_-

But was anyone else a little creeped out by an older Shiro sitting at the table with two high-school aged students? After the Silver King’s spirit left Shiro’s adolescent body, he (the real Shiro) is shown to not recognize Neko or Kuroh. After the timeskip post-credits, Shiro is referred to as the school’s new teacher, “Mr. German”, and he clearly looks much older than they are. I’m assuming that since he is now a teacher at the school, they’re are making new memories with him… but I still find it odd is all. o_o It was a weird ending.



Final Impression

From start to finish, Return of Kings is a very pretty anime full of good tunes and lots of action. I wasn’t a huge K fan going into this season (having only recently watched the first season on Netflix), and I’m still not a huge fan now that the season is over. However, there were some things which I definitely enjoyed about this show. k-return-of-kings-thumb-1

Story: This show has its share of action, but the story itself is pretty basic. Return of Kings is all about JUNGLE’s rapid rise to power, and the other clans teaming up to take the Green Clan down. Full stop, end of story. While we learned more about the Kagutsu Incident, and how Nagare and Neko’s backstory tied into it, other things were glossed over. Goki Zenjo’s supposed role to kill Reisi comes to mind, as well as Reisi’s forthcoming demise.

I did however appreciate certain “conflicts” which arose throughout the show, such as whether humans could be trusted with supernatural powers versus humans using their new powers to cause chaos and suffering. I do enjoy a good debate. Neko and Nagare have one of these discussion in the final episode, with Nagare saying that he and Neko had everything both given to and taken from them by the Slates, and that they should have the power of the Slates to protect themselves. Neko vehemently denies this, saying that she doesn’t need powers, only good food and someone to eat it with.

Characters: I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the characters, for one reason or another. I found many to be simply whiny, boring or annoying. Yata and Fushimi, for example, were brats in the beginning of the season but more or less redeemed themselves by the final episode. Neko was just a nuisance, though I know she was probably meant to be a comedic relief. I did like most of the Kings, and Anna coming into her powers as the new Red King was pretty neat. I also really loved the scene near the end of the season where Yata and Fushimi began to mend their friendship, and if there is a third season I hope that they are able to figure their friendship out. Or maybe that will be covered in future manga, who knows.

I of course have to take a moment (or a minute) and mention the large amounts of unwarranted and unwanted fanservice in Return of Kings. While Seri and Neko both had scenes where they shone in battle, more often than not close-ups of their body were simply used as an excuse to highlight their breasts and/or genital area. Seri was also shown in many unrealistic “rubber” poses which only served to highlight how ridiculous the fanservice was. There was enough fanservice in this show that it made me like the show a lot less, I’ll put it that way. :/ Yes they have huge breasts, I get it. Yes their clothes are way too tight/short, I get it. I don’t need it shoved in my face every episode, or every other episode at that. At least not without some of the guys wearing less in exchange. K-Return-Of-Kings

Music & Animation: Top notch. While the music was starting to get a little repetitive as I neared the end of the season, the tracks still got me movin’ and groovin’. (…Now I feel old.) I would certainly consider buying the OST if I can find it online. The animation, rubber fanservice aside, was fantastic. In particular the animation team’s use of colour during some of the wider shots made this show really stand out, and the amount of detail in some of the segue shots (ie outside of HOMRA’s bar, downtown) had absurd amounts of detail. While the use of colour was starting to become overdone by the time we passed the season’s halfway mark, it was thankfully toned down near the end of the series. As pretty as all of the colours were, there is such a thing as too much.

Overall Thoughts: K: Return of Kings is a neat show, with a straightforward plot and awesome music and graphics. Negatives like irritating characters and too much fanservice are what lowered my final score, otherwise I would have graded it higher. I would not recommend this show to regular anime viewers; however if you’ve seen K, I recommend watching Return of Kings, if only to find out what happens to all the characters. Also, thank you show giving me one two three new OTPs! (????)?*:???


Final Score: 7/10

High School Star Musical ~ Final Thoughts

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Midnight’s thoughts

I guess what’s most important in looking back at this series is taking a look at what my first impression of it was. Now, I’m quoting myself here “The summery doesn’t do much for me, however the pv does. Seeing the animation and the characters and the [gay undertones]. I think I’ll be checking this one out, yo know…for the comedy.”
From there, I can pretty much say it satisfied all of my expectations for the series. It was pretty enough, if not a little wonky from time to time. The characters, for the most part were generally enjoyable. A few of them got on my nerves. [looking at you, Akatsuki. You too Hiragi!]
However, for the most part. Everyone else was pretty enjoyable and I really came to like them.

As for those gay undertones, WELL, I wasn’t wrong! I mean, aside from Hoshitani’s completely obvious love of Ootori. There was that Nayuki and Hoshitani scene. Was that a canon confession? Did he mean it as friendship? We’ll never know, but I’m going to believe it was genuine and thus a fairly large step having a canonly gay confession in a non Shonen-ai series.
Well, it’s alright. Too be fair, I’d been saying Nayuki wasn’t exactly straight since he was riding around on Dolphins singing about his friendship with Hoshitani in the early series.

The songs were pretty nice, only three really stick out in my mind and will probably hold a permanent place in my mp3 player and in my heart. Which are, in reverse order three to 1.

3. Kao councils song – This song was a good way to ease us into what the rest of the show would be like, it was catchy. established the series ‘bad guys’ in a most epic way. This was the first song in the show to really get my blood pumping.

2. Ending song/Seishun Countdown – I’d loved the ending since I first heard it, so when it began playing as they performed in the final episode. I was practically bouncing in front of my computer with glee. It’s catchy, and fun to listen too. As it’s sung by the main characters of the show. It’s a testament to their vocal talent….but not as much as my number one song.

1. Ayanagi Showtime[Team Ootori’s version] – I don’t know what to tell you, from the minute this song came on I was entirely obsessed with it. I kept watching it over and over, I found a copy of the full version and began listening to it. I think I had the song stuck on repeat for at least a day. This was the song in this anime that completely stole my heart.
However, it has to be the Team Ootori version. The tempo, the voices, the beat, the heart. None of it is there in the Team Hiragi version. Which is unfortunate, because it’s not that the people they got to sing for Team Hiragi aren’t talented….it’s that, the team Ootori version was created to be more ‘exciting’ more ‘wild.’ because that’s the kind of group they were.

High School Star musical managed to be everything I expected, and maybe a little more. Because it often didn’t fall into cliche’s that I expected it too. Such as everyone moping when Ootori left. The ending felt a little rushed, but for a series I had fairly low expectations for outside of some juicy shipping bait. It wasn’t bad.

I’ll give Starmyu a 9/10.

Now back to you Charibo!
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Yo Yo Yo It’s Charibo

It’s time for my final thoughts on High School Star Musical

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When I first heard of this show in the fall anime preview I knew this was going to be my thing. I’m a sucker for musical shows and well, I do enjoy good looking anime boys. However I was kind of worried this show was going to be a Shounen Ai, but hopefully it wasn’t. Well, obviously they are all gay undertones but this was more funny than romantic, so I’d like to call them Homodachis or “gay friendly”. They like to take baths together and they enjoy practicing and sweating with their bros but of course: No homo.

Story: Not amazing but enjoyable. I didn’t have so many expectations for the story so I wasn’t disappointed. But I was quite annoyed during the last episodes with all the problems around Otoori’s departure. I felt like all this stuff could have been avoid if Akaatsuki wasn’t such a Dick. So yeah, I pretty much stayed for the songs and because they were always amazing. I doubt the fact that this show is going to get a second season but if I’m wrong, I’ll be there watching it.

Characters: All the cast is nice expect Akaatsuki who is a complete douchebag. I’d like to give the “Best guy” trophy to Kakeru Tengenji because he has an amazing voice, red hair, a cute cat and a Tsundere with a lot of blushing personality. So yeah Kakeru : Best guy. But, special Mention to Nayuki for being too pure for this world and for selling me dreams during the episode 11 with his love confession. Thanks Nayuki, UR awesome bruh

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Just look at him

Songs: The first songs were really funny with some random insertions. Special Mention to Nayuki’s song (again Nayuki I love you bro) that made my heart melt while making me laugh at the same time. Also, I’d like to give the “Random” trophy to Team Hiragi for their performance at the Hiragi’s mansion. The way they come out of nowhere was one of the best moments, special mention to Shu’s friend for dancing on a rooftop. But overall I did enjoyed pretty much all the songs. Also, I’m glad Akaatsuki didn’t get a song. Wow, I really hate him…

Here’s my subjective Top 3 of the songs:

Rank Title Interpreters Why
1 Ayanagi Showtime Team Otoori Simply the best, I was in love with this song the minute Nayuki started singing. This is amazing. I still “try” to sing it in my shower, without success.

? ?SUSUME TOOKU HARUKA TOOKU!? ?

Don’t throw rocks at me, I don’t know japanese but this is what I hear

2 World of Flowers Kakeru Tengenji Catchy as hell and the Art is amazing. For me it was the best character song. What ? You’re saying that I’m biased because I like Kakeru ? Pfff SO WHAT ?
3 Star of Star Team Hiragi I love the Team Hiragi. The lyrics, their way of dancing is really funny and the way this song was inserted was one of the best moments of the show

Score: I’ll give this sow an 8,5/10 because it was too funny. My only regret is the animation quality which was kind of bad sometimes, especially with the characters not in the first plan. They had what I like to call ” crazy resting faces” when they face features go crazy all with one eye bigger than an other and other stuff like that?

Hum?

Like my drawing you’re saying ?

Yes exactly, see you get it

However, I do give this show a big round of applause for not choosing the easy path and not animating the dancing parts with 3D characters. Thank you STARMYU, thank you.

Ushio and Tora Episode 26 [If You Do The Right Thing, You Die]

So great. We’re back to the two parter. And this time we get to resolve the “Scientists are Assholes” story line. So last time we left our heroes, the scientists had just used the DNA from Hakumen No Mono that was on the spear and had just accidentally made a version of him that started killing everyone. Good job science.

Good job science

Hooray for science!

So how does it resolve? Well how do you THINK it resolves? Let’s just do this.

The episode starts up with the scientists wanting to run away, but bitch mcgee is like “Wait! No! We have to help Bal-chan! You know, that guy I met five minutes ago!” She then gives an impassioned speech about friendship and the female scientist changes her heart and decides to stay and help while the other two run away.

Remember this now folks

Remember this now folks

Now that Ushio and Tora are teamed up, they go after the piece of Hakumen No Mono. However, Bitch face is telling them to make sure not to destroy it, because they have to save Bal-chan.

Also at this time, poison gas is now leaking into the lab. So you know, that’s always good. The female scientist has a plan to stop Hakumen for a moment so they can free Bal-chan. Her reward for this is getting a grievous wound.

Man. you try to do ONE NICE THING.

Man. you try to do ONE NICE THING.

Through the power of her device, they do manage to trap it just long enough to free Bal-chan.

After this is done, Ushio and Tora manage to destroy the piece of Hakumen no Mono. Unfortunately it starts to do a Majin Buu and reform itself. The scientist figures the best way to get rid of it once and for all is to blow up the research facility. Bitch tries to get her to leave, but her wound is fatal and decides to go down with the ship.

My spine really really hurts right now

My spine really really hurts right now

Bal-chan is still unconscious, and Bitch and Ushio succumb the poison as well, so Tora has to carry them all out…Then the place explodes.

They’re all sad that the scientist lady died, but they’re going to use this research to further the defeat of the real Hakumen No Mono. Soon life goes back to normal. The end.

This episode….was part 2 of a pointless one. The only thing we learned from this is something we already knew. Hakumen No Mono is a badass. Also that science can’t defeat magic. (even though Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures already taught us that)

Magic must defeat magic!

Magic must defeat magic!

The biggest problem I have with this episode is that I really don’t see any sort of need for it. I’m not sure what exactly we learned from all this. It feels like filler, it acts like filler, but I don’t know if it is filler. It might be what you call “canonical filler”. Either way, I was not looking forward to this episode, as you could probably tell. I’m not sad that this little two parter is over. The only NEW lesson I learned is, if you’re an asshole and run away, you get to live, but if you do the right thing, you die. Good…moral?

Hooray! We did NOTHING redeemable and we get to live!

Hooray! We did NOTHING redeemable and we get to live!

There’s not a whole lot for me to say about this episode. I had a very strong feeling about what was going to happen in it, and I was right. I felt bad for the scientist lady, and that’s really the only emotion that was evoked from me in this episode.

All in all…meh?

Episode 4/10

-Hideki

p.s. Oh. I feel as if I need to have an addendum here. Apparently this is actually the last episode this season, as in, they’re taking a break….I did not know this. Still, that doesn’t really change everything that’s going on. I think this was a very lame episode to pause on, and since they’re doing this NOW, it’s actually giving me a bit of a lower view of the show in general. So in this case, since it’s not really the end, I’ll give a short, halfway feeling of this show.

Head: Plot was great until they started with teh Hakumen No Mono stuff. Once they did that the show got really off track and tried to be more meaningful then it is. Because of this, all of the episodes later on felt like filler in a holding pattern until we got to the final battle with Hakumen. (aka, the creation of the spear, the story of Hakumen, the scientists trying to stop Hakumen, the woman trying to fool the boy to help take away the spear) Everything is linked to this, but it doesn’t forward the story. So yeah. downhill right now. 5/10

Eye: The art didn’t get worse. The voice acting stayed just as good….not really much to say here. The visual and audio quality are some of the only things that stayed consistent. So…yeah. 7/10

Heart: Like I said, I liked what they were doing in the beginning, but I don’t like that they’re trying to use bitch more and act like she’s cool. She’s not. I think the whole “We need to save everyone!” mentality is neat…but he tends to fail at doing that a lot. So it’s kind of odd. I don’t know, this whole second season left me with a very….odd feeling. meh. 5/10

Total score 5.66

So….yeah. Not exactly excited to finish this when it picks up again. but…I guess I should finish what I started? (Shrugs)

Young Black Jack ~ Episode 12 [Final Episode]

This episode was, good? Yes, the episode itself was good. However, as the ‘final episode’ it sort of failed? If it had of come earlier in the series it would of been amazing and probably stood out as one of my favorite episodes. However, it’s placement in the series is the episodes downfall.
Which is really unfortunate because it’s emotionally charged, it made you feel for a character you only knew for a short amount of time and really made you feel for Hazama.

The basic plot of the episode comes down to revolution and the story of the very first person that Hazama stitched up. A well meaning girl who wanted to help change her country for the better but got messed up in something she couldn’t handle. She’s a sweet girl, who gave Hazama a necklace the first time he helped patch her up as payment.
I am REALLY REALLY REALLY PISSED THEY KILLED HER OFF. I was thinking like, halfway through the episode I was thinking ‘if she dies, I’m going to be really mad.’ and then they did.

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I get what they were doing, showing the corruption of the world. They were also making a point about not being able to save everyone. He did everything he could to patch her up in that tiny cabin. Only to have her go out and be shot by the police. An innocent, well sort of innocent girl.
Wrapped up in bandages. Unable to fight anyone, who only wandered outside to try to stop the fighting. Ends up being the only casualty.

Even with how angry I am they killed her though, I can’t be angry because of the humanity it brought out in Hazama. As he was holding her in his arms as she died, assuring her that he would keep patching her up. Forever and ever, and how she smiled and said that next time she’d pay him back properly.

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I really liked the ending in which the narrator said that he would one say get rid of the name Hazama Kuuro and come to call himself ‘Black Jack’ I really like that whole, the narrator was the main character from the future thing. If they had of put that ending, on the previous episode? It would of made for an amazing ending!

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Overall review

I loved Young Black Jack, I think it worked on a lot of levels. What it liked most of all though was that it seemed very well thought out and well researched. The parts of the series that took place in Vietnam, didn’t feel like they were written by someone who was looking back from current times.
The race riots, and the episodes that took place there. I was worried half to death about those episodes, however, they were treated with care. It seemed like the team involved with making this show was trying it’s absolute best to respect Tezuka’s work.
From the way they handled those subjects, to the treatment of his other characters such as the characters from Dororo that appeared in the three part series before the end.

With that being noted, the animation was also fairly consistently nice. Something that I rather enjoyed was despite the fact that this show was a medical drama, there was never a lot of blood and gore. The scenes were always very tasteful, of course, it is a medical drama. There was some blood and every once and a while a shot of something inside the human body like a vain.
It was never gross, it was never over the top. Which was enjoyable.

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Now onto characters. The main selling point of the series is Hazama, as the character the show was there to show us the story of how he became the character known as ‘Black Jack’. Hazama was a very enjoyable character with a lot you could connect with him with. He wanted to help save people and wasn’t much for all of the red tape and corruption that stopped people from getting the help they needed.
I think it was actually said best in the last episode. He is a little rough around the edges, but he’s got a very good heart. I’ve never seen Black Jack, I’ve made that very clear in reviewing. However, I think it’s that discretion of him that has made Black Jack such a timeless and famous character.

Then there is Maiko. She’s just cute, she plays a nice parallel to Hazama throughout the series. While he was a student, she was an intern. Someone who was allowed to do the things that Hazama did. She wasn’t as naturally talented as him, but she never got mad at him for being as good as he was either. She was curious yes, but never jealous or angry. If anything, she was a good support system for him in everything he went through.

Lastly, there is Yabu. Who we never heard from again after the Civil War arc. However, I loved seeing him in the series. If you look at him in the opening and in episode 1. The doctor who is afraid of blood, goes on to be a stunning war doctor. He was someone that Hazama inspired. Instead of playing the parallel to Hazama, he played the part of someone who wanted to improve himself and did so through seeing Hazama’s work.
Hazama aside, he is the character in this series that saw the most character growth from his first appearance to his last.

Overall, I can’t speak as someone who has seen the original series. However, from the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen the original series. Young Black Jack is most definitely worth the watch. With a solid 9.5/10, the point 5 is for not nailing the landing as well as it could of….Now excuse me while I go watch the actual series. Crunchyroll, here I come!

~Midnight

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan Episodes 12+13 (Final Impression)

Idk why I watched this show.

Overall Thoughts

Ok I’m not even going to bother doing separate reviews for each episode when I can just easily sum them both up in just one paragraph. Really there’s never anything I can really talk about with this show. I was trying to make my reviews longer in the beginning by rambling about crap related to the episode but I couldn’t do that anymore because I just didn’t care lol.

Episode 12, Goura steals Miya’s secret power box. Hakone fights back as she sees Miya as a friend rather than a rival, then Miya sees her as the same. Short fight ensues, they get the box back, then they run off to the shrine. Episode 13, they reach the shrine. Hakone and Miya turn older as they gained powers from the shrine. Goura and Ashinoko arrive. Hakone’s all like “Hey man quit it. Your hot spring’s gonna be shit if you use stolen power.” Goura has a change of heart but Ashinoko doesn’t. She doesn’t know how to use her power and goes berserk, Hakone gets in the way and fights back, and for some reason after a big water attack she shoots up into the air and into the water and then she does missing for awhile and everyone is heartbroken. Some time passes (idk how long), Tohya accidentally drops a steamed bun into the shrine and poof! out comes Hakone like nothing happened. Everyone is happy, they all get along, the end.

Alright that’s enough of that. So this show…reading the synopsis it’s alright. Not super original, but it could have been fun. And then it turns out it’s a short. Only 3 minutes. Damn, well that’s a red flag. And yet I kept watching because, why not, it’s only 3 minutes of my time, no biggie. But I really don’t get why I even went on to review this show. I guess because it’s short. But I’m just going to say this right now, you can skip this it’s not worth it.

Plot – The plot of this show was a hot springs goddess, Hakone, trying to regain her powers after having been in a slumber for a long time. Tohya, the guy who summons her by accident, is the one who helps her. Well, he doesn’t. And does Hakone get her powers back? Not really. Not permanently. She regained her true womanly form occasionally, one reason because she gained attention from the people or something, and the other reason because she was at the shrine. But those were the only ways she could get her true form again. She still remained a kid goddess, even though she’s pretty old. Oh, also that “death” in the end? Stupid. It all happened so fast, I felt nothing, and of course she wasn’t going to disappear forever. Everything was going to wrap up with all the characters being happy and shit, anyone could have seen that coming. There was no real conflict in this show, they were just mini stories, and most of them didn’t even have to do with the plot so there was no progress. Nothing. Also the comedy was boring. I got a couple tiny giggles in the beginning but then the episodes just stopped being funny.

Characters – There’s a small group of characters, but most of them are just really on the side. Obviously Hakone took the spotlight all the time. Tohya and the others were just…there. There was no character development, everyone stayed the same and they were boring. Nothing. Also, bad idea to introduce characters near the end.

Animation – This shit looks like it came out 10 years ago.

Audio – I don’t remember shit.

Final: 3/10

Idk what else to say honestly. There’s only so much you can do with a short. And really I don’t know why I expected more. This show could have been better if it had better animation and actually had full-length episodes. But since it’s a short…well…there you go. No conflict and most of the time no plot, forgettable characters, ugly animation, idk the music, comedy wasn’t good, this show in general was a major miss. It’s pretty bad, but it’s not the type of bad where I’m just screaming at my computer, it’s the type of bad…well, I’m just not in a fury. It’s just…whatever, you know? Whatever. I’ll just forget about this show because nothing stood out. I guess I’m not in a fury because this show only took 3 minutes from my weeks, so no big deal. I just watched it to be entertained even for a little bit. Well, I was only entertained for a little bit. But yeah, that’s Hakone-chan, don’t watch it. Ok bye.

Dance with Devils ~ Final Thoughts

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Well hello there

Welcome to Nikolita’s and Charibo’s final thoughts about Dance with Devils

This post will be full of spoilers, so if you’re still wondering if you should watch the show, go ahead and come back later because there’s a few twits that are worth seeing without having them spoiled beforehand

Charibo’s Final thoughts

I started watching this for the boys and stayed for the songs

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I saw “Reverse Harem” and thought “lots of good looking guys” but also “annoying main heroine”. I read the summary and saw who was directing this show and I thought this was going to be a Diabolik Lovers’s spin off and boy, I was wrong. This show is definitely the pleasant surprise of the season for me. I almost couldn’t believe it. I had to go back and watch some episodes of “Diabolik Lovers: More blood” as a wake up call, to see if I wasn’t dreaming or anything… I wasn’t. And yes I did watch some episodes of the new Diabolik Lover season… I don’t know why… I guess it’s the same kind of thing than when you taste something that awful that you have to take another bite because you can’t believe how awful it was.

Story: The story is kind of basic but with a few surprises along the way like Azuna’s death or Ritsuka being the Devil king’s daughter. Also, the last episode did surprised me with the blood spreading all over like they wanted to paint the room in red. Seriously, WTF ? When I first saw the blood spreading in this episode I was looking all around me to find someone that could have agreed with me and shared my stupefaction but I was alone. Like always.

I don’t particularly care about Vampires, Devils or other Kinky stuff as long as the story is coherent and not boring. So yeah, the story isn’t amazing but it’s interesting enough to make you stay and let’s not forget that this show started with an handicap: it’s a Reverse Harem.

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Characters: I knew from the first episode that I wasn’t going to find a new member to my personal Harem in this show. All the boy cast is quite good looking but their personalities are kind of meh. I guess my favorite is Rindo, because he’s he nicest and the hottest (must be the power of Red hair again) but his incestuous love for his sister is really turning me off. I might also like him because he has kind of the same role as the childhood friend, and I’m always rooting for the childhood friend. That would have been so much better if he was just his childhood friend… And not his cousin because honestly I don’t think this brings anything good to the story.

But for the rest of the cast: Rem is actually quite boring, Mage is a douchebag, Loewen is just useless and irritating (and zoophilia isn’t my thing by the way), Shiki is funny but too creepy/yandere-ish for me and I couldn’t care less about Senor Urie. So yeah, the boys cast is kinda “Meh, you could have done better”. Well, I shouldn’t complain that much given the fact that they are Devils and therefore they’re not supposed to be nice… At least they aren’t like the Diabolik lover cast.

Gosh I need to stop talking about this show, this is going to become a bad habit.

As for Ritsuka she is a decent Heroine and given the fact that she’s a reverse Harem anime heroine, a rather good one. I’d never wanted to slap her so that’s a good thing. She’s quite reactive and understands everything really quickly. She’s forgiving towards Azuna and she accepts what’s happening to her without crying rivers and running away from the problems. Also, she says “No” to the Devils when they try to seduce her. But still in y opinion, the trophy for the best girl in the show goes to Azuna the best friend ever, I shall miss you.

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Expect from Ritsuka, Rem and Rindo there is almost no character development. The bad guys are introduced at the end of this anime and they don’t last long. The other members of the Hot guys crew don’t really have any evolution. Well, they do have they own episode but that’s it. Since the anime choose to focus on the Rindo-Ritsuka-Rem love triangle I guess it makes sense. But still, it’s almost like nothing has changed. In the last episode, after Lord Nesta’s death Urie, Shiki and Mage are saying that oh well, they’ll wait until there’s another girl like Ritsuka to seduce her. So they’ve basically learnt nothing from all this shit.

Songs: I think the main reason why I like this show is the songs and I was waiting every episode for the “song time”. I was so impatient that after seeing the first episode I went on youtube to listen to all the character’s songs. Yeah, I’m the type of kid that goes searching for the Christmas presents in the whole house but who is still enjoying the gifts way too much when he receive them. I think my less favorite song must be the ball dance song, with the flowers and rainbows, because it was just boring and not funny at all… I don’t know why they’ve done that by the way… Anyway, Rem’s and Rindo’s seiyuus were amazing. I can’t believe Rem’s seiyuu is also doing Yamaguchi in Haikyuu, the voices are sooo different . Eh… Wait a minute..He’s also doing Wakatake from Tantei Team KZ. Wut?! Gosh… Seiyuus are amazing.

I made another Ranking Chart with this time my Top 5 of the songs. Of course, it’s purely subjective

Rank Episode Title of the song Interpreters Why

1

Depravity and the Forbidden Quadrille Labyrinth of Depravity All the Devils It’s when I realized it was actually a Musical Show. We don’t know the characters yet but they are all hot so Hype
2 Jitterbug of Doubts and Secret Destinare Rem THE BLUE PRINCE OF DANCING FLAMES THEME SONG! Do I really need to explain why this song is amazing ?
3 Bolero of Solitude and Melancholy Exorcist Only for You Rindo Because even if Rindo should consult to solve his incestuous thoughts he’s still hot as hell and can actually sing
4 Ending Mademoiselle Pentacle All the boys What ? No it’s not cheating. Don’t deny it! It’s catchy as hell, I’ve never skipped it
5 Opera Ball of Endings and Beginnings Dance With Destinies Rem, Ritsuka Rindo Because I cried, and this conclude the series well enough in my opinion

Final Score : 8/10 I had fun watching this, most of the song were catchy and the Heroine wasn’t annoying. If this show gets another season I’ll watch it for sure. I’m a sucker for musical things and good looking boys…

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Nikolita’s Final Thoughts

“Not too terrible overall!”

As Charibo said, Dance With Devils is a reverse harem. However unlike Charibo, I’m a sucker for reverse harems, particularly when it’s a female lead who’s surrounded by lovely men. ^_~ What can I say, I like eye candy. And reverse harems can be awesome shows, when they are done a certain way. (Read: not strictly following the List of Standard Anime Cliches.) Did Dance With Devils succeed in that regard? Well, it’s definitely not the worst reverse harem I’ve ever seen, I’ll give it that.

Story: I think one of my favourite things about this show was that events happened and secrets were revealed which I wasn’t expecting. For example, Ritsuka being Lord Maksis’ daughter? I totally didn’t see that revelation coming. Twists like these caught me off guard, and they are what help elevate the show above other shows in this genre and make Dance With Devils stand out. I also appreciated that the supernatural elements weren’t just limited to devils; no, devils and vampires got thrown into the mix too. The more supernatural the better, mwhaha!

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My biggest concern before the beginning of the season was that this show would play out a lot like Vampire Knight did, and I’m really happy that it wasn’t much like Vampire Knight at all. (I haven’t seen Diabolik Lovers aside from a couple of short clips, so I can’t speak on a comparison between those two shows.) Held against similar shows in the supernatural genre, Dance With Devils was superior with not only its story (in my personal opinion), but also with some of its characters, which I will get to in a moment.

I’m honestly torn between saying the plot was basic and it wasn’t, because I honestly think it was a fair mix of both. That being said, with only twelve episodes the story really can’t be too complicated, unless a second season is a guarantee. (Speaking of which, what happened to the days when one season of anime was somewhere between 22-26 episodes long?? What is this recent twelve or thirteen episodes per season BS?)

Characters: The basic structure of a reverse harem are that regardless of whether the main character is male or female, the opposite gender characters surrounding the main character are of different “flavours” or “varieties.” With guys, there is often a macho/jock character, a jerk, a handsome Prince Charming, a best friend, or a flirt (among others). With girls, there’s usually a pretty princess, an athlete, a nerd, or a quiet girl, and so on. You get the idea. (This is also why I heap praise on good reverse harems when I find them, because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of using cliches and tropes to make a show fit in with what’s proven to be popular. I don’t like it when this happens, but I get why it does. But I digress.)

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So, Dance With Devils was pretty basic in terms of its male characters. Rem was the Prince Charming, Urie was the flirt, Mage was the jock, and Shiki was… I dunno. The sexy-BDSM-character-who-was-meant-to-be-thrilling-but-was-really-just-creepy? All of the devils, including Rem, were pretty one-dimensional and static, which unfortunately was somewhat expected due to there only being twelve episodes.

As for Ritsuka, she’s one of the better heroines I’ve seen in any anime in quite awhile. She speaks up and stands up for herself and those she cares about, she fights back, and perhaps most importantly she pushes back against things she doesn’t consent to. She takes no shit from the devils, and in a genre where the female lead is often portrayed as being helpless or easily won over by a good looking body on a pair of legs, this is a refreshing change. Her decision in the final episode was also a pleasant surprise, showing she is capable of making her own decisions independent from what others around her might be offering her.

With regards to character development, I’m going to play the devil’s advocate and point out that even thought I know I bitched about it in at least one of my reviews, twelve episodes doesn’t leave a lot of time for character development for anyone aside from the main character and maybe one or two love interests. In this show, I think Ritsuka showed the most character development, with Rem coming in a distant second.

The time restrictions also meant that the relationships in this show really just boiled down to one main love triangle: Ritsuka-Rem-Lindo. And it was obvious, both from the opening theme and the show itself as it progressed that that was where the focus was going to be. The concept behind a reverse harem is that the main character has all of these other romantic options to choose from, whether it be the jock or the flirt or the nerd, but having only twelve episodes in this season meant that all the devils (except for Rem) really just got only one episode with Ritsuka and that was it. (Even Rem’s “relationship” with Ritsuka struck me as a complete sham. He showed little interest in her but still claimed to love her, and she went from screaming that she hated him to somehow caring about him in less than half a dozen episodes.) The lack of time ultimately meant that the declarations of love which were revealed near the end of the season came off (at least to me) as cheap and worthless, because there had been no time to develop the feelings which should be behind those words.

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I’m also still psyched that this show had a best friend character who didn’t just fade into the background after the first couple of episodes. We actually got to see Azuna play a role in the series, and she even had a couple of secrets of her own.

My favourite bishounen was Lindo, as I’m sure some of you were able to easily guess. He’s good looking (oh man, those eyes ~<3) , and character-wise I think he'd be a good match for Ritsuka... if only they weren't, you know, cousins. Damn incest getting in the way of my OTP. ;~;

Music: While the songs were one of the reasons why I started watching Dance With Devils (because prior to this show I had never seen a musical anime), they were not the reason I kept watching (that point goes to characters and their relationships, as usual). There were some tracks which were really on the mark and enjoyable to watch, while others seemed a little misplaced. Long lyrics also sometimes made the songs awkward, and the lyrics in other character’s songs were occasionally borderline inappropriate (I’m looking at you Shiki!). However when certain seiyuus were paired up together in song, such as Lindo’s and Rem’s, the results could be pretty awesome. One of my favourite songs was when all of the characters sung together in episode eleven. They just harmonized so well! *0*

Overall Thoughts: This show quickly turned out to be my guilty pleasure of the season. While certain things were a little bland and predictable, like our devil boys and some plot components, many other things kept me guessing and coming back for more. The music was all in all pretty enjoyable to listen to, and I actually liked it when there was only one or two songs per episode, because I felt that then the music didn’t take time away from the plot. If there is a second season of the anime down the road, I will definitely watch it and will hopefully be able to blog it too!

Final Score: 8/10

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Noragami Aragoto Ep 13 [FINAL]

Final Impression

After last week’s episode, I decided to erase any expectation I had for BONES to follow the manga material properly. And unsurprisingly, they continued to do their own thing by mixing and mashing their anime-original content with the original material of the Conjurer Arc. Regardless of having rid of my expectations, I was still frustrated with their decisions. This episode had a whole lot of flashbacks, and the changes they made just so Yato would be the one to witness Ebisu’s death, to make it so the burden he carries of being unable to protect Ebisu even heavier did not appeal to me. Perhaps it is because I consider it unnecessary to have to make Yato suffer even more than he already is to begin with. It also sadden me that they cut out some of the really cute scenes between Yato and Ebisu, and instead, tweaked to have little moments. Noragami Aragoto Ep 13 Img 0001But regardless of their mix and match tactics, BONES did technically wrap up the arc properly. From Yato taking Ebisu to the Olive Tavern, to releasing Hiiro in order to move on and pursue his dream to become a God who will bring happiness… BONES were at the very least able to make sure they kept and stayed true as much as they could to some of the most important parts of the original material. One could say they didn’t by having Yukine invited with Yato to witness him release Hiiro, but technically speaking Yukine and Hiyori were originally both there- just uninvited and eavesdropping in the shadows.

The one critique I have for the finale is: Noragami Aragoto Ep 13 Img 0021During the first half of the episode, I felt they had failed to convey what was the most important thing Yato wanted to do due to the heavier atmosphere BONES had created. The second half more or less gotten back on track with having Yato release Hiiro, symbolizing him letting go of his past to pursue his dream and to protect his present relationships.

And this is precisely what makes this arc so valuable and will remain to be one of my many favourites. This is the arc where Yato finds the courage within him to start letting go of his past, and pursue his dream to become a God that will bring happiness. In fact, I found it interesting when Ebisu brought up how it Gods must have an instinct of what they are meant to do. However following thoughts I wanted to share may contain some spoilers, so for those who have not read Noragami Volume 12, proceed with caution or skip.

Noragami Aragoto Ep 13 Img 0030Last but not least, I can now talk about Trash Dad! Yes, they revealed Fujisaki is in fact Trash Dad, so if you were wondering why everyone was so livid about seeing Fujisaki kiss Hiyori, well now you have a reason to! Trash Dad deliberately been working to ensure Hiyori would come to forget Yato and Yukine’s existence altogether. He considers her (and Yukine) a threat, and nuisance who has too strong of an influence on Yato. With Yato having released Hiiro, Trash Dad isn’t going to stay quiet about that. Hiiro had also shared how Trash Dad did in fact play a role in nudging the Heavens to kill Ebisu, and had Ebisu go to the underworld to fetch the Locution Brush in his place, knowing he would be in deep trouble if he were to have been caught. So basically Ebisu was his scapegoat, and he wanted Yato to “protect” Ebisu so he could return to the surface with the brush and then retrieve it once he was killed off. And that’s exactly what happened. The brush is now in Trash Dad’s hands, and he is already having too much fun with it. By fun, I mean being trash.

Final Verdict:

I would be lying if I said Noragami Aragoto wasn’t a good season, in fact- BONES did a really good job. Although they had a couple of slip-ups and episode twelve was more or less considered a train-wreck to some who are people who read the manga beforehand, that shouldn’t take away how good of a job they did with Bishamon’s Arc and the better moments of the Conjurer Arc. The animation quality of the combat scenes were fun to watch as always, the soundtrack was epic if not more as the first (which makes it a real shame how they actually had to cancel the release of Noragami Aragoto Original Soundtrack due to Islamic sound samples). It particularly enjoyed how BONES made it so Hiyori and Yukine and Hiiro even were more true to their characters. In fact, most noticeably, BONES wasn’t afraid to embrace the darker elements of Noragami this season. Back during the first season, I called out on how they softened the tone of the story too much, which as result affected characters like Nora/Hiiro. Perhaps my favourite episode was one of the most brutal ones, Episode 2: Suzuha’s Death, simply because the execution was impeccable. In the manga, Ebisu’s death naturally tops it, but because BONES just dragged on that fight for far too long and switched it up too much, I couldn’t feel sad when it finally happened, (though they did pull my heartstrings today when they finally showed us Ebisu’s last words, this time in Yato’s arms of how he doesn’t want to die).

With how they wrapped up this season, they made room and kept it open for an opportunity to adapt a third season. Noragami Aragoto Ep 13 Img 0031There is no better season finale cliffhanger than revealing the big bad villain, trash dad’s identity. I would certainly be happy to see them adapt a third season, there are some amazing material to work with. I know a lot of fans would love to see a certain arc animated- and I would too, but I would REALLY like it if BONES were to follow that said arc faithfully because I would hate them to cave too much into the Yatori Fanservice when there are already plenty of beautiful original interactions to begin with. But from here on out, the story gets a lot more complicated, so it makes me wonder if BONES would need to adjust their production plans. It becomes more difficult to adapt due to how many things start happening. I see a risk of a lot of material being cut so they can focus on the more important ones, so it will be interesting to see how they proceed if they decide to produce a third season.

Overall Score: 8/10

Story/Plot: 8/10 – For most part, stayed faithful to the original story-line, and embraced the darker tone of the series.
Characters: 8/10 – Characters being adapted more faithfully, and by doing so, permitting beautiful character development.
Animation Quality: 8.5/10 – This season been fairly solid all around. The actions scenes were fantastic to watch.
Original Soundtrack: 7/10 – The only reason why I am grading this a seven is because it is more or less the same as the first season, lacking new standout tracks.

Dance With Devils Episode 12: [Final Episode] [Opera Ball of Endings and Beginnings]

? ? My one and only love, my dear, dear devil ? ?

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All good things must come to an end

But like Gandalf said to Pippin:

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take”

So don’t cry because there’s some chances that there will be a second season

What ?

You’re telling me that this quote has nothing to do with the show and that I just wanted to brag and to look intelligent by quoting famous movies ?

PFFFF AHAHA

That’s so not me

*ahem*

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

The battle continues in Lord Nesta’s Castle. They are all using their special abilities: Rem is throwing fireballs (Gosh, now I have the Pitbull song stuck in my head: I’m a Fire ball tutututututu tututu), Mage is using red electricity, Rindo is scratching the enemies away, Urie has explosive flower petals and the dog guy summons shadow dogs.. I guess… I don’t really understand his power… I also don’t understand the importance of this character in this season…. OH WELL.

Ritsuka hits Lord Nesta with a chandelier and tries to escape but Lord Jerk reach her and hit her … What a douchebag. I hate him and his pink hair. Lord Nesta wants to drink Ritsuka Blood because … I don’t know. So the Dog guy calls his shadow dogs and they eat Nesta’s Shadow. Ritsuka tries to run away again followed by Lord Jerk but this time he is stopped by Rem’s fireball. Ritsuka gets into Rindo’s arms, then goes into Rem’s arms while Rindo is fighting with Lord Jerk. Rems takes the advantage of the opportunity to tell Ritsuka that he’ll protect her and that he also has something to tell her when everything is over. Ahahaa I’ve played so many Otome games and seen to many animes, you can’t trick me, I already know what he wants to tell her, we all do.

Lord Jerk is looking down on Rindo because he’s a dhampir and not a real vampire. But he forgot something: that Rindo is also and exorcist and this is what is causing his fall. While fighting, Rindo sets a trap that stone lord Jerk. Then Rindo scratches him really badly and he falls off the tower right on a statue’s sword. Well, he’s not really lucky because he falls on the only statue in the whole castle. I’ll say it’s Karma bitch. But the way, Lord Jerk had totally the hots for Lord Nesta… that was kind of creepy but eh… tastes and colors…

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So Lord Jerk dies and nobody cares about his death not even Lord Nesta so they go back to fighting. I’ll pass on the fact that they used the same battles images twice but I’m still mad about it.

Lord Nesta tries to control Rindo, saying that he loved his mother Martha and that he wants the grimoire to be happy with them, as a familly. That guy is full of shit and lies. I don’t know which one comes first… Maybe shit lies ? The hypnosis seems to work on Rindo and he walks towards his father. But at the last moment he dives his hand right into Lord Nesta’s chest to pierce his heart.

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I don’t know about Blood physics but I’m not sure Blood is supposed to spread like that

They all think rindo killed him but apparently not because a dhampir can’t kill him… Yeah… I’d like you to show me the book of rules for that matter, I’m not sure that’s how it works…

Let’s see…

“How to kill a Dick Vampire for dummies”

So they say that you have to pierce the heart of the douchebag and he will die. Well Rindo tried but that didn’t work. I sincerely doubt that has anything to do with the fact that he’s a dhampir… So I think it’s because

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Well fuck you too Rem. That was MY time to shine

Tsss

I’m sure he read the book before me, having nothing to do all day in his big library …

Freaking upper class guys…

Lord Nesta, who is still alive use Growl and they are all projected against the walls. Rems protect Ritsuka by placing her in front of him so that she’s not smashed against the wall.

Then, because every good evil guy starts telling his life before killing his victims, Lord Nesta starts his bullshit monologue. I’ll spare you the details but basically he wants to be the king of the world. No, not like Leonardo on the boat… King of the world like “Agrrr Agrr I’m bad”. See the difference ?

Because she can’t do anything to stop Lord Nesta boring monologue Ritsuka remembers all the bad stuff that happened to her because she’s the grimoire and decides that enough is enough she’s tired of seeing people being hurt but all the magical stuff and that she’s going to choose her own destiny. So we don’t really know how but she manages to activate the grimoire’s powers and begins to shine like a vampire from Twilight. Well that’s what the others can see because from her point of view, she’s in a strange place with blue sky and clouds…(there’s a similar one in the opening). Also, she saws Lord Nesta’s heart symbolized by a black flower which she stabs with a knife that she found on the ground. Yeah, that’s pretty convenient isn’t it ?

“Shut Up Charibo, it’s magic”

Ooh I see, so if it’s magic… what can I say ?

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When she wakes up from her weird hallucination she’s stabbing a stone statue which also begins to bleed, really badly, like a freaking river, Niagara Falls… Eh I thought I signed up for Dance With Devils, not for Higurashi!

Lord Nesta is defeated and Ritsuka is finally safe. Apparently she no longer posses the grimoire’s powers because the devils can’t smell the scent of it in her any more. So they all go ” Lololol we’ll just have to wait 600 years to start acting like creeps with a girl again”. Aaaah Devils…

Now that everything is over it’s time for Rem’s confession near a lake with a romantic light. He confesses his love to Ritsuka and also shows her the two little crowns from the school ball to accentuate the destiny argument. He knows how to sell himself that for sure ?; o`?o’?

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Wait

I thought Ritsuka threw the queen crown in the little pool in the episode 10

That means Rem had to go and get it

But how did he know the crown was there ?

I guess he enjoys taking midnight baths in the School’s basin…

Ritsuka says she loves him too and they embrace each other while everybody is looking at them…

Ladies and Gentlemans I’d like to present you the face of unconditional one sided love

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Arf, he’s making my heart melt

Rem offers Ritsuka to live with him, thing that is possible only because she has devil Blood. And here we go for the longest song of the show. It really felt like a musical song this time, by musical I mean like a Broadway musical, where they sing everything… But DAMN, the feels during this song…

The”Love triangle” ends with Rindo saying that he will keep on protecting her and love her forever, knowing that her feelings will never be the same as his.

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NONONONONONO NO RINDO

YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD GUY! GO FIND A CUTE GIRLFRIEND AND BE HAPPY!!

NOOO !!!!

I WANT SOMEONE TO BUILD RINDO A STATUE FOR BEING SUCH A NICE GUY ALL ALONG.
WHAT NOBODY WANTS TO ?

FINE:

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BAM RINDO’S STATUE!

The photoshop level here is really strong

So Ritsuka has to choose between living as an human with her mother and her hot brother or with the GOD DAMN PRINCE OF BLUE FLAMMES HOTTER THAN A MICROWAVE REM!

And she chooses:

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Human ?

WAIT NO

NONONONONONONONO

IF YOU CAN’T BE WITH YOUR BROTHER (because yeah that’s fucking incest, that’s sad but that’s how it is) AT LEAST BE WITH REM

I MEAN

YOU LOVE EACH OTHER

AAAAH !!!

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME ?!!

giphyjop

WHY CAN’T THEY BE HAPPY ?!!!

THIS ISN’T AN HAPPY ENDING AT ALL !!!

GOSH AND THE SONG, IT’S MAKING ME CRY EVEN MORE

STOP IT!

Please…

So yeah, at the end, Ristuka leaves happy with her brother and her mother who somehow survived the vampires and she’s heading to school like Yolo nothing happens, but sill wearing the King’s crown as a pendant.

FUCK THIS!

I’m sad ?’o?o`?

The last scene of the show is the Dog guy opening a door and talking to a book. Apparently, Lord Maskis, the Devil King and Ritsuka’s father is the book, closed with the strange horologic mechanism that was announced the middle of the episode. So yeah, we might get a season 2, and maybe this time, the dog guy will have a real reason to be part of the show ?; o`?o’?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Rindo

Stay tuned for our Final Impressions of the show in the ‘Final Thoughts” post from both Niko and I ?o?o??

AntiMagic Academy “The 35th Test Platoon” Episode 12 [Final Impression]

I hope this director never works in anime again.

Impression

What a fucking joke.

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This is ridiculous. See, Kana is just as unsatisfied as I am. I knew nothing good could possibly come out of an anime-original ending, but this ended up being far worse than I expected. My main problem is that half the content in this finale was wrong. Objectively, that is. I don’t mean Shirou-wrong, I mean ‘it was not correct’. It directly contradicts the setting established both in previous episodes and in the novels – it’s like this director was a fucking speed reader of the source he was being paid to animate. What’s that, you say? It’s an original ending, so Silver Link can do what they want? Well, no. Not if they completely ruin the consistency within the story. And some of the problems were so glaringly obvious, you’d have to be cutting your nails while watching the episode to miss the fact that they didn’t make sense. Let me give you some examples.

AntiMagic 13 Img008Haunted fought Ouka this episode. Vlad shoots stakes, and it has the capability to unravel magic sequences – any and all creations of magic, basically. Haunted even says that himself. So how the fuck was he deflecting the stakes with Belladone Garden? He also claims that Valhalla is a harbinger of chaos, when that’s not what they want at all. Their goal as an organization is to oppose Inquisition and Ootori Sougetsu. No other consensus exists between the factions in Valhalla – despair is what Haunted wants himself. The worst offender of the Haunted vs Ouka fight was probably how they showed practically none of the actual fighting. All that happens is that the scene cuts to a large shot of the moon, and all we can hear are sound effects of the fighting going on while we stare at a still frame. Fucking faggots.

AntiMagic 13 Img014Next, we have the scene with Takeru and Lapis. I liked this scene up until the eye-catch, and by that I mean it was faithful to the source material up until the eye-catch. ‘Wake up. It’s time for the god-hunt’ was the best thing in the whole episode. What I absolutely hated was how they make various references to the God Hunter fusion being a dangerous process with an ill-advised outcome, then pretend that none of that ever existed because they ran out of airing time. Lapis was not lying, okay? She asks Takeru to give her ‘everything he has’, and to ‘abandon his own humanity’. She meant that. She then ‘seizes the soul of the puppet, Kusanagi Takeru’, and starts fusing it with her own soul. Takeru himself says goodbye to his friends while he can – ‘while he’s still himself’, he says. Haunted laughs at him for having his soul eaten by his own Relic Eater. All of this implies that Takeru and Lapis are now one fused entity, a God Hunter.

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But then the last scene completely fucking ignores this! Takeru saves Kiseki, then for some reason he’s perfectly fine again! You can’t go back from fusion! His hair and skin even starts turning azure to match Lapis – what about all that? He looked totally normal at the end there! How can he just cancel God Hunter with no side-effects? It’s been reduced to a convenient power-up! And can his helmet even break? Isn’t his armour supposed to be fused with his skin at this point? In the novels, he does manage to leave God Hunter form but only because he realizes he doesn’t want to kill Kiseki in the end, and rejects Lapis completely. Lapis is completely heartbroken by this, by the way, and Takeru spends most of the next volume trying to win her back.

AntiMagic 13 Img028This brings me to my next point: Kiseki and Hyakki Yakou. What the fuck was that supposed to be? Why did Hyakki disappear all of a sudden? What happened to it being in a frenzy and needing all its overflowing parts to be killed? Kiseki wants to die. She isn’t supposed to argue with Hyakki at all, because she is Hyakki at this point. She doesn’t have the mental strength to go against it any more, and her true desire is still to die. The really heretical part was when Takeru just casually walked right inside the mass of flesh. He can’t do that! Wasn’t it the case that anything it touches becomes a part of Kiseki? They’ve said that so many times, he can’t just dive inside and pull her out! Did this director skim read the novels then make up his own shitty fanfiction?

I don’t need to be a light novel reader to realize that the events of this final episode were totally inconsistent with everything. Let’s face it, Silver Link didn’t even try. I bet the employees who did Rakudai were all away from the office drinking to celebrate their success, and the remaining key animators took their spite out on this episode. What about Kanaria and Orochi? Why even introduce those two characters if Haunted was supposed to be the final boss? In fact, why did they retreat? They fucking want Kiseki! They planned to take her while she was sleeping! Surely swooping in to take her after Hyakki Yakou calmed down would be the best time to do so? Let me tell you, as succinctly as I can, what should have happened.

TMG_v05_004Kiseki does go berserk, except because of Kyouya severely injuring Takeru and not Haunted. And the 35th Platoon do engage with Hyakki Yakou. Takeru then enters God Hunter form, and decides to end it all by killing Kiseki with his own hands. That scene where he abandons the platoon was supposed to be a lot more emotional, because he does actually leave them at the end of the volume. He’s not supposed to just join them again at the end. Once he reaches Hyakki Yakou, which is afraid of the otherworldly power that God Hunter form has, he fights Kana, who has come to snap him out of God Hunter form by force. Kana is also a user of Soumatou and Double-Edged style, but she easily loses to Takeru. Takeru embraces Kiseki and prepares to kill her, before realizing that he actually doesn’t want to. Even if that’s what Kiseki wants (and she wants that very much) he won’t kill her because he himself doesn’t want her to die. So he breaks the promise, rejects Lapis, and doesn’t fatally harm Kiseki. Orochi arrives, and Takeru is shocked to see that his former master is now one of the Valhalla leaders. Mari, Hayato and Sougetsu also turn up, and Orochi decides to strike a deal with Inquisition: he’ll take Takeru and Mari, and Sougetsu gets to keep Kiseki for now. After a time-skip, Kana wakes Takeru up in Valhalla, and reveals that Valhalla have constructed a massive hidden city full of witches where they can all live without fearing for their lives. The volume ends with the words ‘Welcome to Magic Academy’.

TMG_v05_349

Overall Thoughts

And so, Silver Link ruins Christmas. I had so much hope for this, and I genuinely think the source novels are exciting. Yet, all that remains now is just despair. You win, Haunted.

AntiMagic 13 Img004

What a waste of a great setting. And what a waste of great VAs, too. For a simple school battle harem, its VA line-up is honestly incredible – and it benefits from having many great male voices too, which is really rare in these series. Hosoya Yoshimasa was already amazing for Takeru. Yusa Koji (Haunted) and Tsuda Kenjirou (Kurogane Hayato) are both very well-established. Then you have the really big guns, like Koyama Rikiya (Orochi), Miki Shinichiro (Sougetsu) and Nakata Jouji (Vlad). All three are top-tier, having voiced many, many roles – even if you don’t recognize their names, you’ve definitely seen something they’ve been in, for sure. The female voices aren’t any worse, too: Itou Kanae (Mari), Nomizu Iori (Lapis) and Shiraishi Ryoko (Ikaruga) are all well-known. They even brought in freaking Ohara Sayaka just to voice Mephisto for two episodes! And Anzai Chika (Kiseki) is a serious up-and-comer who’ll do very well in the future, as is Ueda Reina (Ouka). It’s an all-star cast… yet the anime itself jobbed so fucking hard.

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As for the novels, if you’re in the process of reading them you may have noticed that the fan translator has taken them all off his site. A DCMA has apparently been issued to the French translation of the series, and so he’s pre-empted any potential red tape on his site by taking down his English translations. I’m not going to talk about his decision in length, as ultimately it’s his choice – but you can find PDF and EPUB downloads of all the novels floating around the internet (if you hadn’t saved them already). If you can’t, I may be able to help you out, but do try first as I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be linking people to things that shouldn’t exist.

I’m so glad this is over, honestly. I hope your Christmas was not too badly dampened by this waste of an episode. It won’t get a second season because it’s been one of the worst sellers this season, and I’m happy it won’t. Now nothing else can be ruined. It was basically a repeat of the Prisma Illya nightmare last season, and I’m a hopeful fool for thinking Silver Link got any better in its decision-making right after producing that embarrassment. I hope Silver Link go into administration, and I hope this director never works in anime again.

Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 58: Playfully Faint

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