Rewrite Episode 1: The World or Myself? [First Impression]

My body is ready.

Impression

Shake it now, baby now~

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I’m actually hyped. Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to this adaptation? If it’s wrong, then I don’t think I want to be right. I don’t know whether it’s because I came into this with absolutely zero expectations, or because I was able to pick up on all the subtle foreshadowing that you only come to understand after you play the entire visual novel, but I greatly enjoyed this hour-long first episode. Yes, even the fight between Kagari and Krivoy Rog, as surprising as that was to see. That giant thing doesn’t even appear in all but one of the routes, and given how upfront Tensho and 8bit were about this being an anime-original adaptation from start to finish, I can accept their decision to demonstrate Kagari’s offensive and defensive power in this way. It also served as a convenient method of introducing Pani and Gil, alongside the eerie closed space underneath the school that may or may not have something to do with Akane, so three birds with one stone I suppose.

Rewrite 1 Img094As you’re probably aware of by now, I did a series of posts covering the Rewrite visual novel exactly two years ago. And I repeatedly stressed during my coverage that an anime adaptation of Rewrite would be a terrible idea. I even made a separate post complaining about it when an adaptation was first announced last year. Who wouldn’t? Objectively, it is an extremely hard VN to adapt, let alone adapt well. So it’s with a bit of humble embarrassment that I admit to having liked this episode, although the fact that the adaptation as a whole faces a steep uphill climb has yet to change. It could all too easily go wrong at some point, and I can definitely see many people objecting to the scenes included in this episode alone. In fact, the general opinion on this adaptation will probably vary wildly – that will remain true regardless of whether you’ve read the VN or not, but especially so if that is the case. It’s perfectly watchable with no prior knowledge, but you understand a lot less as a result – for example, the likely reason Kotori was late for school, or odd things about Kotori’s mother and Kotarou’s physical abilities and his almost-unnaturally deep voice. And it’s not like the anime will go out of its way to eventually explain everything to you, because its aim from the very start was to adapt a sixth character route focusing on ‘that girl’ (which is very clearly Kagari, as much as I want her to be Nishikujou). It won’t tell the whole story because it was never intended to, in other words. By introducing enemies like Krivoy Rog without any warning, its target audience is very obviously fans of the VN. And for those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s supposed to be an introduction into hooking you into playing the VN, and suspiciously enough the airing of the anime coincides with the release of Rewrite+, which is a remastered version of the game with extra content.

Rewrite 1 Img023What I’ve also been very conscious of is the fact that my enjoyment of the episode mustn’t be equated with whether it had any objective quality or not. I was less impressed in that regard, especially in light of the terrible production values (complete with the dubious use of CG). It pulled itself together for several important scenes, but by and large the animation really wasn’t great. It can only be said to have done well within its self-imposed restraints, that is, in the context of its one-cour time limit and the absolutely liability that is 8bit. I’m not sure how many episodes a good adaptation of the common route plus a Kagari route would need, but I initially felt it all but signed its own death warrant when it was announced that it had merely 13 episodes to work with. I’m now a little more optimistic given that the slice-of-life facade has quickly been stripped away to reveal the true supernatural plot line lurking underneath, but I still want to proceed with caution. My envisaged plan for a full adaptation would have had no more than 5-6 episodes for each character route, so 13 for the common route and Kagari should be feasible. Hopefully.

So what is Rewrite about? To help with that, I recently found something fun that I thought I’d share – it’s a hilariously spoiler-tastic summary of the entire game that originated from certain unmentionable origins. It’s technically all correct, and as a result it spoils practically everything in the most spiteful way possible, such that if you read it you don’t even know you’ve been spoiled unless you understand exactly what you’re reading. My sides hurt from laughing by the time I got to the end. So don’t read this if you intend to play the game afterwards. If you don’t really care, go ahead and click. It’s 100% true.

Rewrite 1 Img048If you chose not to open that, all you can probably understand right now is that this story has Tennouji Kotarou as its main character, a sociable and physically gifted high school student who hangs out with his childhood friend Kotori, exchanges banter with his classmate Yoshino and is currently being haunted by a cute ghost girl who I’m going to tell you now is named Kagari, because there’s no point hiding it and I also wouldn’t know how to refer to her otherwise. Beyond that, the primary emotion must be confusion, right? And maybe a little surprise, since many works created by Key usually start off with a high concentration of slice-of-life before slowly having the supernatural aspects to the story gradually filter in. If you’re like me and have a love for all cute things, you must have also found Kagari extremely cute, which oddly I also did. I say oddly because I really don’t remember her being this adorable biting on Kotarou’s arm in the VN – although that might be because we only ever get these events from his perspective in the game and he was constantly scared out of his wits back then. The anime also increased the frequency of her appearances by quite a lot, including a cute anime-original one where Kotarou unwittingly gives her a can of Key-branded coffee (heh) which reminded me a lot of the ‘Three Cups of Coffee’ scene in Moon, which I really loved. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. As ever, there are small bits of foreshadowing you can pick up on – there is a specific reason Kagari always chooses his arm to bite on and not anywhere else on his body, for example.

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Rewrite 1 Img076For me, my primary emotion was nostalgia. I know it’s only been two years since I finished the VN (my memory is also slightly fuzzy as a result, so I may get things wrong on occasion) but it feels like it’s been forever. No matter how bad the animation quality was, I couldn’t help smiling and whistling along whenever a soundtrack I recognised came up – which was pretty much all of them. Soft Windflower and Daisy are both really good, and of course the TV version of Philosophyz got me all hyped up. It’s the first Key adaptation I’m getting to experience while not having previously been a secondary, and the feeling of recalling all the settings and great scenes (from the park in Kazamatsuri to the Martel Group HQ and the endless hallway in the school) is amazing. Hearing Kotarou speak is weird though, as all his lines were silent in the game except for during Terra, the ‘true’ route (sort of like what Refrain was to Little Busters and After Story was to Clannad). I liked how he tends to talk to himself a lot, or say things in his head even when around other people – many VN adaptations fail to include the many important monologues the main character makes, and this loss during transition is a major weakness that really dilutes many series. So constant narration by Kotarou is a good thing. A very good thing in particular for Rewrite, as it’s important to understand his motives, point of view and personality as the story progresses not least of all because he changes so dramatically as a person in different ways depending on the story route you choose to lead him down.

Rewrite 1 Img014Who else was really surprised that they actually started with Moon?! For those who don’t know, the anime started off with a scene from the Moon route, a very confusing acid trip ‘prelude’ to the true route Terra. I still don’t fully understand it even today, but I sure as hell could recognise it at a glance. Starting and returning to various sections of Moon was, I think, generally accepted to be the best way of handling a multi-route adaptation of the VN, but I never imagined they’d actually do it! And it was such a faithful adaptation too, with so many lines like ‘my body feels extremely light’ or ‘the deserted city stimulates my boyish sense of adventure’ that I remember. And the hill of daisies! And Kagari’s incomprehensible speech! I won’t say any more as so much of the route is a massive spoiler if you know exactly what you’re looking at, but it would be really, really wonderful if they showed a little bit of Moon at the start of each episode – a bit like how the broken robot in Clannad made repeated appearances despite not seemingly being related to the story until the very end. In fact, the entire opening montage was totally unexpected, as well as being very spoiler-heavy. The cut of Shizuru in particular in a white summer dress leaning back on a certain tree rekindled all sorts of feels. That was one of the best scenes in the entire game.

Rewrite 1 Img101I think the general approach to this first premiere was to introduce all the main heroines and several important side characters while setting up a backdrop for the supernatural plot of the show that will later properly reveal itself. If you’d progressed an equivalent amount in the VN, getting up to the point where Kotarou meets Akane, the story would have still appeared as a normal school slice-of-life comedy – so it looks like Romeo and Tensho are aiming to accelerate things a bit to retain interest and progress with the plot. I really love Akane by the way. Kagari is cute, and Kotori is super soft and cuddly, but if you’ve read my VN coverage you’ll know that I gave my heart to Akane a long time ago. I almost felt like I could die happy when she gave an even sexier rendition of the ‘welcome gypsy’ line than she did in the game. I don’t know whether they re-dub lines for adaptations in general – they probably do, some scenes must have to be rearranged or otherwise edited. But that’s great for me, I get to hear more of Akane-sama’s wonderful sexy voice. I’m hopeful that someone at 8bit really likes her too, since the key frame for the occult club room is actually drawn in surprisingly good detail. It was one of the most beautifully-drawn scenes of the episode. Whether or not she had anything to do with Kotarou’s accidental adventure in the closed space they kind of left up to our imagination, although Akane most likely just wanted to fuck with him, really. She’s harmless, I promise. Kind of.

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Rewrite 1 Img073Other highlights included a surprise appearance by Chibimoth (the ‘mammoth’), every single Yoshino scene, every single Kotori scene, the famous bicycle scene with Chihaya and a proper design for Inoue at last! A strange roaring dinosaur and Kotarou getting his limbs torn off by Kagari while wearing a suit was also really unexpected for them to include in the very first episode, although if nothing else all this late-game material gives me a bit of comfort that 8bit won’t be ignoring Moon and Terra. Actually, it’s kind of impossible to, given that their aim is to create a Kagari route after all. What really, really pleased me was the emphasis they gave to what I’ve taken to calling the question – the ‘Key’ question (see what I did there) that every single route in the game revolves around:

You have power, and are discontent with this world. Tell me, do you wish to change this world? Or do you wish to change yourself?

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Whether Kotarou chooses himself, the world or refuses to choose will essentially decide the character route he eventually goes down in the game. So this is absolutely vital. It’s a major ideological decision that will influence Kotarou’s personality and actions in the episodes to come, and if there’s anything you’re going to take away from reading this post as an anime-only viewer I want to stress that this is really important. Which one would you go for? It’s actually a great bit of directing to have Tensho deliberately not reveal the choice Kotarou ended up picking. It’s almost as if, unlike with Grisaia, he actually played the game this time before making an anime out of it! Or did so much of the episode go right because of Romeo’s influence? He’s the script writer for the adaptation, after all.

I should probably stop now, this post is getting far too long. I might have just gotten myself lost in the nostalgia, but despite having protested quite vocally at the existence of a Rewrite anime I think this could actually work. It could be much better, I’m not going to deny that – the best case scenario would be a full-length adaptation of every single route, because Rewrite deserves nothing less. And the animation is objectively shit. But other than that, for a so-called anime-only Kagari route, I really do think they pulled off the first episode surprisingly well. I’m obviously going to blog this (as this is a sixth character route it feels to me more like finishing something I started a few years ago) but I’ll be doing so with a much more optimistic outlook than I had before. Maybe, just maybe, the glass is now half-full instead of half-empty.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

Days Episode 1: [Quick Look]

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AAAAAAHHH SPOOOORTS ANIME! Despite the fact that I generally know nothing about the sports in question, I almost always enjoy watching them. So DAYS ? Football? IS IT GOOD? Let’s find out. vlcsnap-2016-07-02-22h27m50s953

After a short sequence where we see what’s probably going to be the end match of the season, the show introduces the two main characters on their first day of school. We have clumsy good for nothing little guy who blushes all the time and Cool attitude, laid back dude. The first one is called Tsukushi Tsukamoto and the blond guy Jin Kazama.

Because Kazama’s soccer team is short by one member he decides to recruit Tsukamoto. Why you may ask? Because … Heh… Hummm… He looks like a trustworthy person? Anyway, Kazama invites the Tsukamoto to play an vlcsnap-2016-07-02-22h31m27s011indoor soccer match and even gives him a pair of brand new shoes to play… While it looked like a really fishy behavior to me, Tsukamoto was pleased by it and happy to have a friend. However; even if he was pumped as hell to play some god damn soccer with his new friends, he sucks at it. He really sucks. He seems to suffer from the same curse as me, whenever I enter a sports field, the ball is instantly attracted to me (Probably cuz I’m fabulous) and ends up smashing my head, knocking me away. That’s the same with this dude. Well, after a certain time you learn how to doge the ball but when you want to play soccer, that’s a bit more problematic.
But I have to give him this, Tsukamoto doesn’t want to give up and tries his best during the first half of the match. Also, even after hurting his feet he still wants to continue playing, he also smashes his head against a wall trying to catch the ball and avoid the enemy team to goal by again, taking the ball on his face. Finally he saves the day and goals using his head again.
vlcsnap-2016-07-02-22h33m36s437In the end they win the match and everyone is happy. But the most important thing to my eyes was Tsukamoto’s concern for his team mates. After the match is over he is relieved to hear that Kazama and everyone had fun. He thought that because he sucked at playing, he would have been a burden for the team. Of course it wasn’t the case but this thought touched Kazama and I guess now he sees potential in Tsukamoto. Furthermore, Tsukamoto also had fun playing and now he wants to get into the soccer club even if the training are apparently hard. So him and Kazama go to the club and as expected, they have to do some hard training. What they are about to experience is my definition of hell:

Running exercices

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This was literally my reaction when I heard they had to do those running exercises. God, I hate this. Hey! I only hated one sport thing in High school and that was those dumb running exercises and maybe ping pong… But it’s because I suck at ping pong but ping pong sucks too. I hate ping pong.

vlcsnap-2016-07-02-22h41m46s675As expected Tsukamoto still sucks but doesn’t give up. However, the captain Mizuki asks him to go home cuz he clearly sucks too much. As Kazama mentioned later, that was kind of expected since he’s pretty new to all this. He doesn’t have the physical strength to be at the high school level although when it comes to mental strength, he’s above everyone. That’s what Kazama realizes when he learns that Tsukamoto wanted to finish the running exercices before going home. That’s plain crazy if you ask me, staying up late to run?! ewwww…

So yes, he was running all this time to get better, to improve, to make his boyfriend Kazama happy. The latter is impressed by Tsukamoto’s determination and decides that he’s going to help him being a part of the team.

Charibo’s First Impression:

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I don’t really like Football

Don’t get me wrong, I know the rules, I watched Captain Tsubasa when I was a kid but that’s it. My passion for soccer/football stops here. To give you a idea of my involvement with everything linked to soccer: currently, while I’m writing this, Germany and Italy are playing against each other in the Euro 2016. But yo, I don’t give a flying fuck about the match, I much rather watch an animu about it right? At least it only lasts for 25 minutes.

So yeah, Football isn’t my passion at all but you know what? It might change soon. This first episode was a pleasant surprise. Sure we did not get much “game play” and the match was rather short and not very technical but the spirit was there.

vlcsnap-2016-07-02-22h29m31s920I’ll admit, this show surprised me with its humor, I did not think I would find this series this funny.
I was also a bit worried about the main character since he looked like the typical whiny guy who is a bit of a looser but he’s factually fine. His courage and devotion to a sport he never played before touched me. He sucks but wants to get better. His way of thinking might sound simple but he’s actually making sense: he had fun playing soccer so why stopping now? He might have discovered himself a new passion and that’s awesome. KEEP GOING SON! I’LL SUPPORT YOU. If we can avoid some useless drama like ” I’m not good enough, I can’t do it” and stuff, I’ll be happy.

The players don’t seem to have any super powers or amazing abilities, there’s some awesome moves but as long as it’s still humanly possible that’s fine by me. That’s actually better if they don’t go full Prince of Tennis style.
The music and the Art are not bad but not memorable either. The Visuals of the Opening are a bit odd with the music but I like that feeling of friendship and mutual support between manly men.

Speaking of manly men, my main question is:

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Why are they blushing while looking at each other?

It bothered me a bit so I went and looked at the tags on MAL to see if this show was a Shounen Ai or something. It’svlcsnap-2016-07-03-00h53m10s892 not, not even the manga. So yeah, I guess it’s normal to look embarrassed when you’re holding another dude in your harms, I don’t know… I’ve never hold a guy after playing football. Maybe because I don’t play football… Also I’m not a guy in the first place… Hum..

Well it doesn’t really bothers me if they are blushing while looking at each other, they could even become lovers I wouldn’t give a flying fuck. Although that could be quite interesting to witness and quite new in sports anime.

So overall it was a nice start. This episode was refreshing and I had loads of fun watching this, I definitively want to see more and discover the rest of the team. I don’t like football but

Probability of watching: Yup, definitely

Probability of blogging: Neh, as much as the first episode was entertaining, I can’t see myself blogging about it every week. But I’ll probably do an overall review of it once the show is over.

Berserk (2016) – Episode 1 [The Branded Swordsman] [First Impression]

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If you’ve never read the manga, seen the original 1997 TV series, or watched the trio of Berserk movies, here are a couple of things you should know before starting to watch Berserk (2016).

First some backstory. In events covered in the original TV series, and summarized in the trio of Golden Age Arc films, Guts was a swordsman who was originally part of a group of mercenaries called the Band of the Hawk. His closest comrades were a silver-haired man named Griffith and a young woman named Casca. Guts fought alongside them and the rest of the Hawks for three years before departing on his own, causing Griffith to become slightly unstable at the loss of his best friend. After seducing the king’s teenage daughter and being busted for it, Griffith ended up thrown in jail, where he was tortured beyond belief and psychologically broken.

One year later Guts returned and he, alongside Casca and the rest of the Band of the Hawk, rescued Griffith from jail. However in his pitiful state Griffith activated the red Behelit necklace around his neck, which triggered an Eclipse and summoned a quartet of evil supernatural beings called the God Hand. The God Hand convinced Griffith to join their ranks; all he had to do was sacrifice his former comrades. Which he did, and a horrific gory slaughter ensued.

vlcsnap-00014Guts and Casca managed to survive, but they were permanently branded with marks which summoned powerful and dangerous spirits to them at night. Casca, as a result of being violated by Griffith (who was reborn as the God Hand Femto during the Eclipse ceremony) became mute and an amnesiac. Guts himself was left scarred and missing both an eye and half an arm. After the Eclipse Guts left Casca in the care of an old man named Godo, and a younger man named Rickert (one of the other Eclipse survivors) while he traveled alone, searching for the God Hand and Griffith so he could get his revenge. This is where this season begins, several years after Guts began his solo journey.

The second thing you should know is that this series is extremely violent and gory. Case in point: the opening shot of this first episode is of a lake of blood, with crows picking at the innards of all the rotting corpses lying dismembered in said blood. Furthermore if you’ve decided to watch the original TV series/movies, be forewarned there is rape along with some graphic sex. I will add [trigger warning] in my reviews as I feel it might be warranted, but be aware before watching that this anime is basically violence personified. >>;

Also, for once I actually have read the manga before reviewing a show, so I will try to take care to not accidentally post spoilers from later in the series.

Alright, onto the actual review!

As the first episode unfolds, a little elf sprite is being harassed by a group of men. And by “harassed” I mean he’s nailed to the wall by a length of rope while a man throws knives at him. We see a ginger youth struggling to keep up with all the demands for food and ale from these men he’s traveling with. When the kid eventually pushes back against his companions who are picking on the elf, he’s beaten up.

This is when Guts lumbers into the tavern. He quickly defeats the thugs, saving both the elf and the kid, then pays for some rations and leaves. Later that night the elf catches up with Guts while he’s eating a rabbit he killed and introduces himself as Puck. Guts is less than thrilled that this chatty little sprite appears to want to be friends, and his rudeness is what eventually causes Puck to leave.

Elsewhere in the forest, we see that the unnamed kid from the tavern has managed to escape. He’s looking for Guts, but he’s gotten himself lost.

Later that night it starts to rain, and a traveling wagon stops next to Guts to offer him a ride. They’re a monk named Adolph and his young daughter Collette; once Guts reluctantly accepts their offer of help, he sees that Puck is traveling with them too. After Guts falls asleep, he has a nightmare about the events of the Eclipse and all of the horrors he saw, and he awakens only to immediately kill an incubus which was feeding on the terror spawning from his nightmare.vlcsnap-00033

Their group is forced to stop when Guts says other evil creatures are on their way. Guts arms himself and stands outside the wagon, waiting patiently. He is not quick enough however to prevent Collette’s death, nor her father’s a short while later after her corpse reanimates and kills Adolph. Guts is so shocked that Collete’s corpse manages to land a blow to his abdomen, but he instinctively reacts by slashing her body in half with his massive sword. He resumes killing the skeletons surrounding them, but after their bones have been scattered, his brief rest is interrupted by a hellish tree monster which has already eaten the bandits who had been chasing him since the events at the tavern earlier.

Guts is imprisoned by the tree creature, but as he sees the monster about to eat the top half of Collette’s body, he enters the beginning stage of his “berserk mode” and is able to fight back and kill the creature.

After the battles, Puck expresses remorse for what happened to Collette and Adolph, but Guts coldly says that it was their own fault for being weak and traveling with him. And this is his mindset throughout the series: essentially only the strong survive, and if the weak are not strong enough to protect themselves, then they will die and that’s all there is to it. Guts would not be able to survive if he worried about every weak person who crossed his path and died, so this is how he rationalizes his actions and their deaths.

As he leaves Puck behind him, Guts can hear the voices of the God Hand in his head. The brand on his neck is their tie to him, after all. Guts launches a shot from his mechanical arm into the air and their voices disperse. Guts walks away, with Puck trailing behind him.

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My thoughts: I am SO EXCITED that I’m getting to cover this show. I’m a late fan to the series, but despite all the blood and violence it remains one of my favourites. Why? I don’t watch for the battles, but for the characters and the events which happen in between all the fighting essentially, and some of the philosophies behind Berserk too. It’s been a few years since the last Golden Age Arc movie came out (2013 in Japan), and I’m glad we have some new material that will be animating storylines from the manga which were never covered in the original series. (The manga is 300+ chapters too, which leaves lots of room for future seasons too~ )

I was thrilled to learn that Susumu Hirasawa, one of the composers from the 1997 TV series and the movie trilogy, would be contributing an insert song to this new series. The battle themes and music strike me as classic Berserk, but with a new amped up rock vibe added. This is not necessarily a bad thing; rather it merely reminds me that it has been almost 20 years since the original Berserk anime aired and so some things are bound to have changed. That being said, I love both the opening and ending themes (“Inferno” by 9mm Parabellum Bullet and “Meimoku no Kanata” by Nagi Yanagi, respectively), and Hirasawa-san’s “Hai Yo” is pretty fantastic too.

The voice-acting is spot on in my book, with the primary voice cast from the Golden Age Arc films returning for this new series to reprise their roles.

vlcsnap-00025My only complaint about this new series is the style of animation being used. While I’m not going to attempt to guess the style, it reminds me of the CG used for the Golden Age Arc films, and I struggled with it even back then. The difference between the films’ animation and Berserk (2016) is that the latter looks like a “hand drawn” effect was added overtop the CG animation. This style works better for some scenes than others (ie closeups versus battles). Also, I personally feel that this newer CG style makes the battle scenes a little more difficult to track all of the movements and action going on. However it’s not the worst that I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure this animation style will grow on me in time (especially since this show will be two cours!! *excited dance*).

What I think I’m most pleased with so far is the portrayal of Guts. This is a man who’s lost his best friend, his lover and the extended family he surrounded himself with for years, not to mention that he was left physically, psychologically and emotionally scarred by the events of the Eclipse as well. As weird as it might sound, I’m really psyched to see how the cold looks and savage fury on his face convey this madness inside him when he fights.

Next episode it looks like we’ll be introduced to at least one of several unnamed characters from this episode, namely the blonde military woman from the opening seconds of this first episode. Who are her companions, and what do they want with Guts?

In honor of this new Berserk series, and because I am a new fan of Hirasawa-san’s music, each week I will end my review with a link to one of his songs, or some music from Berserk. This week I’m choosing “Forces”, the insert song from the original 1997 anime which was played during the preview of the next episode. It’s also my all-time favourite Berserk track. Enjoy! [Lyrics]

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

As someone who has liked Utapri *glares at the train-wreck of Season 3*, B-Project was something I was eagerly looking forward to in hopes to fill the void that Utapri S3 has left behind. B-Project certainly has its differences and similarities to Utapri when it comes down to the format and its premiere. In fact I was incredibly relieved they didn’t waste the episode’s time with long pointless introductions and more or less cut straight to the chase. However very early one I realized their dialogue and characters were not clicking with me. The dialogue at times felt as it was coated in too much sugar and other times they were just losing me because like Tsubasa, I had no idea what they were talking about until they explained it.

B-Project Ep 1 Img 0001B-Project is divided into three units. They are Kitakore (Tomohisa and Ryuji as a duo), THRIVE (Yuta (peppy/pink), Kento (player/blue), Goshi (hot-headed/black), trio unit) and MooNs (Hikaru (green), Tatsuhiro (purple), Mikado (glasses), Momotaro (red- he also has two eye colors), Kazuna (orange, identified as their leader but really isn’t), make up the five man unit. Of all the characters, the ones who stood out to me the most were Tomohisa, Ryuji, Goshi.

B-Project Ep 1 Img 0018Our heroine Tsubasa was scouted and assigned to serve as B-Project’s A&R by President of Gandara Music. It was perplexing to me how she was chosen for the job despite the fact she has virtually no experience or musical knowledge (she formerly worked at a CD Store). Her first assignment was to work with the Kitakore Unit where they were struggled with identifying a problem with the song they kept running into. It wasn’t until the middle/end of the episode, based on how she identified the problem was a dissonance. It leads me to assume she was hired because the president recognized she has an ear for music. With this she is able to hear and identify sounds in ways others cannot. This would further explain why she felt something was off with their demo version of their song they were playing in the car.

B-Project Ep 1 Img 0019However while my first impression of Tsubasa’s character was how she was adorable and charming (especially with how she was so overwhelmed by how dazzling the boys were and how she pictures the problem), over the course of the episode she started to feel a bit bland to me. But it wouldn’t be fair to say she was the only thing that started to feel bland- as the minutes passed, the episode started to feel dull well. It certainly didn’t help (though the circumstances were more or less justified to do so) to have to hear the song over, and over and over again. While the final edition of the song was good, at that point unfortunately I was already kind of sick of it and was ready to move on. Oh and not to mention the weird sparkles, they really didn’t need to use it.

It definitely feels as though this show will be referencing to many musical terms which some of us may not know what they mean. Just in this premiere alone made me feel just as lost as Tsubasa was, but thankfully they plugged in some quick explanations behind them. I would expect of them to continue to do that over the course of the show, especially since it will be a major part of Tsubasa’s growth as their A&R/Manager.

B-Project Ep 1 Img 0009Although I have found the premiere of B-Project to be a bit lackluster to my taste, I liked it. I am not sure how the show will play out, but as of right now it appears Tsubasa will be assigned to different units from time to time and every now and then we might see them group up again to perform. Currently the conflict they are facing are gaining momentum and experience to protect themselves from being cut from opportunities in favor for another more famous artist from the same agency. My best guess is this story will heavily revolve around getting B-Project group established. As for the animation quality, I was thrilled to see the dancing was not done in CGI, but I think most of us can agree is did look bit awkward and slow. Other than that the characters designs are nice.

Also in the post-credits, Tomohisa gave Tsubasa a peck on the check while she dozed off in the car (Ryuji’s reaction was priceless). That being said, I know romance was not included in the show’s genre, but I am curious if they might tease us a bit with it (please don’t unless you’re going to do it, my heart can’t handle it).B-Project Ep 1 Img 0026

Possibility of Blogging: ModerateI will give this show three to five episodes (I assume the first three will feature each unit) to see if they can draw me in more.
Possibility of Watching: High

Love Live! Sunshine!! Episode 1: I Want to Shine! (First Impression)

Here we go, more wives for people to choose from. I already call dibs on Yoshiko/Yohane.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 01 [1080p].mkv0021

She’s so silly. I guess I’m drawn to the idols with personas. *blows kiss* Also, her deep voice makes me tingly.

I’m going to admit, I was worried going into this show. I’m so biased towards Muse and I’m trying to change that about myself. When I first saw the PV for Sunshine, I noticed that there were a lot of similarities to School Idol Project. Orange-haired protagonist wants to start a school idol club but has trouble finding members, and the mean student council president keeps rejecting the idea. Also, the characters seem a little similar to Muse. The only difference is that the school doesn’t need any saving. The reason for wanting to start the school idol club is different.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 01 [1080p].mkv0052Here we’re introduced to Chika Takami. A happy-go-lucky normal girl. She’s always wanted to be special and make something of herself but she’s never found anything to pursue. She’s always been living life normally. It wasn’t until one say she was down in Akiba with You that she met a maid handing out flyers, and when the papers were blown away Chika went after them. One paper was blown especially far, and she followed it and stumbled upon a giant screen. The screen showed Muse’s performance of START DASH, and that damn song always makes me cry. :’) Out of all their songs, it’s their first one. Anyway, after that, she was hooked and ever since then she wanted to become a school idol. She listened to all of Muse’s songs and memorized them and watched all of their performances, so she immediately got into school idols. The rest of the episode is Chika trying to recruit people into the club, but of course she’s met with difficulties. I at least appreciate that we don’t have the same plot from School Idol Project, because I was worried about that. But Chika simply wants to create a school idol group because she wants to. She finally has something she aspires to be. I loved her little talk with Riko on the beach. That even when the girls of Muse look normal, they’re still something. So that means even when she’s normal, she can become something too.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 01 [1080p].mkv0018We got introduced to all of the soon-to-be Aquors girls too, but they were all scenes we saw in the PV. You is Chika’s best friend from childhood, and while she’s already in the swim team, she signed herself up for the school idol club because it’s Chika (kinda like Umi). We meet Hanamaru and Ruby, who’s so damn shy that she screams like she’s being murdered whenever someone touches her. Yohane, who fell out of a tree. Mari, the rich bitch who rode to her mansion in her private helicopter. Kanan, who seems to have known Chika and You for awhile. She’s been taking a break from school because her father’s hurt, and for whatever reason she had a weird reaction when Chika mentioned her school idol club. Riko, who Chika met earlier on the beach when she tried jumping into the water in April. She composes music and plays piano (hmm, that sounds familiar). Also, she transferred from Otonokizaka, so that’s important! And lastly, Dia the school council president who looks like a mean bitch but she actually has a dorky side. It was revealed that someone had tried starting a school idol club before but Dia rejected it. Her family owns a fishing business and she doesn’t like “silly” things like school idols at the school, which is why she keeps rejecting the idea. Nothing too deep, basically she’s just boring.

And of course, they’re all going to join later. Even when Dia disapproves, and Riko rejected Chika in the end, we all know that they’re going to join anyway. Which is a little boring. Like with School Idol Project, I was watching each episode thinking “When the hell is Eli and Nozomi going to join?!” I hope they don’t take too long here too. Like I said, I saw some similarities, most of them coming from the characters. Chika is the new Honoka. She’s happy, excited, and her voice is so damn loud. So I already know I won’t like her. Riko looks like the next Maki, but cuter and more likeable. Dia is the Eli, but we see her dorkier side immediately. Yohane is basically Nico and I love that. I guess Ruby is Hanayo? I don’t want to compare them to Muse, but I just see it that way. Characters, I already picked my fave, but I can’t say anything about them right now since we only really focused on mostly Chika, so I need to see more. Riko seems so cute though.

The episode started off like any other first episode, good but nothing too special. We’re just getting started, we won’t see anything too spectacular until later. I know things are going to go well for Chika and we’ll get Aquors later, I just hope the journey to the idol group won’t be slow, which is one problem I had with School Idol Project.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 01 [1080p].mkv0070With all idol anime, we get our generic idol music. We got the opening song, of course, then we got a small performance from the second years. Was the music good? Mmm…well let me start with the opening. Their outfits were cute. Visually, I liked it. The visuals in general in the show were great, I feel like the CGI has improved. As for the song, I’m not sure. As well as the second year performance. It was cute, but it didn’t slap me in the face with me shouting “I love it!”. Honestly, I don’t even remember how both of the songs go. Hand in Hand was more catchier though, so out of both songs, I prefer that one. Since I’m going to hear the opening song each week, my mind will probably change later on. I might need to just hear it more and it’ll grow on me. Actually, that’s how I’ve felt for Aquors’ songs. They’re good, but they don’t catch me. Sometimes I need to listen to them more for me to like them. That’s not exactly a good thing so I hope that changes. That hasn’t been the case with all of their songs, though.

Sunshine!! got a good start, I’m excited to see more of it. I was never following the manga or the drama CDs because to me, the anime counts. I didn’t really know anything about the girls before this, so I hope these girls can really separate themselves from Muse plot-wise and character-wise. Let’s hope for the best for these girls.

Possibility of watching: Of course

Possibility of blogging: This is all mine.

[HorribleSubs] Love Live! Sunshine!! - 01 [1080p].mkv0051

T_T

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Episode 12: [Koutetsujou][Final Impressions]

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Usually I like to make a little joke before starting my reviews, as a little intro or something, but considering the fact that the sole existence of this anime is a joke I’ll pass this time.

Sans titre

So this episode starts with Biba’s voice saying some philosophical bullshit about fear and cowardice. Usually I’d be like “OMG SO TRUE” and throw a couple of references to develop the thought but today, I don’t want to. First of all because what Biba is saying doesn’t really make any sense and looks more like something entirely made up to sound deep and meaningful. Secondly Biba is the last person on earth who could tell us “fear brings war”. No, what brings war, is your upper class ass committing mass murder for no reason at all, and even if it might be deep, I doubt it’s meaningful.

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h18m14s315So Mumei is in that Smoke colony thing, the pleb is getting eaten alive by the zombies and Ikomeh accompanied by Boris are kicking some zombie asses. Apparently Ikomeh is not in a good shape and might loses his humanity so Boris promises to kill him if that ever happens. You know what Boris? You should kill him now. Then you take Ayame, Sukari and Yukina back on the train and leave. Please end my suffering quickly, it’s only been 4 minutes and I’m tired.

Then, Ayame manages to persuade some pleb that they aren’t the bad guys by saying something like “We must erase our doubtful minds and hearts”. That’s sweet… and it works… Ok… I guess the pleb is so impressionable that they believe everything.

Mumei is under acid and sees things, like some red butterflies (cuz it’s the color of blood duh ) and people saying that she is a bad, bad girl. In the meantime Ikoma arrives at the capital and he is not very happy so he fights while shouting like a dying cow. Oh yeah and apparently he now has some telekinesis powers and stops a train from smashing him. He rekts the blond soldier whom backstory and intentions will remain unknown.

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h19m02s205Finally the fight between Biba and Ikoma happens but is interrupted most of the time by some unsupportable sequences of Mumei fighting with her inner demons and stuff. Ikomeh is about to kill Biba but stops right before cuz he can’t see anymore. So now it’s Biba who is going to kill Ikoma but no! Because Mumei drops the blue rock which she was holding all the time in the water, it reveals the position of Biba to Ikoma…. Uh… Is Ikoma a Dolphin or something? Does he have Daredevil’s powers? Can he really spot the position of an enemy just by sound waves? Also something isn’t working with the localization of the characters. Mumei in that smoke colony thing is clearly far way from the river so I doubt she would have been able to release the rock at that particular place.
But anyway, Ikoma gives the white blood to Mumei, she’s cured yeah! But Ikoma is almost dead. And Biba isn’t dead cuz he was a Kabaneri. Yeah, that’s not very surprising. You know what is not surprising either? Mumei killing Biba while making some speech about love friendship and feelings.

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h22m15s776During that time Ayame, Sukari and the rest of the crew plans a way to get out of this mess. They plan on following Biba’s route to escape and are helped by the cute blue hair soldier. Hey yo I told you that cute blue soldier was going to be on the good guys’ side at the end. He has too many potential fan girls to be a bad guy.
Then Ayame calls Boris and Mumei, they take Ikoma’s dead body on the train and they leave the station while everyone is happy. Mumei throws Ikoma like he’s some potato sack, She’s like “TADAIMA BITCHES” and Boris blushes a bit while seeing Ayame. By the way, Boris blushing is a blessing, that was the best part of the episode.

Ikoma wakes up thanks to the power of love and friendship or because according to Mumei, Biba gave him some white blood. I don’t know. I lack the motivation to go back and check, it doesn’t really make sense either… Oh well… So everyone is happy, expect the remaining people in the station who are probably going to die eaten by the zombies aha. That’s such an happy ending. Also everyone forgot Takumi’s death, and Sukari only got 2 lines this episodes, that’s not such a good ending if you ask me.

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Charibo Final Impression:

All good things must come to an end
Same with Koutsoujou no Kabaneri
Expect it wasn’t good.

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h19m51s067Story: What story? Is there even a plot behind this? Everything in Koutetsujou no Kabaneri has been done before, you’ve seen it again and again in a lot of different animus that in the end are hard to tear appart. I feel like the anime is divided in two parts. The first part ( Episodes 1-7) was supposed to introduce us to the world, the characters, their goals and issues while the second part (Episodes 8-12) was again, supposed to bring us some substance with some actual plot and a bad guy. Sadly, both parts fail to do what they intended to.
What do we learn during the first part? Ikoma and Mumei are some Kabaneris, there’s some sort of zombie apocalypse. The train goes from stations to stations, Mumei has issues and Ikoma’s sister is dead. DONE
Part 2: Biba is a dick, Mumei is still having issues, Ikoma is useless…. the shogun is a dick too?

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h24m15s535Okay, that’s not really fair from me to sum up things like this but in the end, is there really something else in Koutetsujou that I haven’t mentioned? No matter how hard I try, I fail to see some interesting plot devices in this show. I guess the first part of the show was okay, but then it turned into a story full of Deus ex machina where things happen just because and full of big giant middle fingers to the people who tried to seek logic in this anime.
The biggest one being: the white and black blood which honestly looked like something the writers pulled out of their asses at the last minute to wrap everything quickly. Where does this Blood come from? How do they know it’s working? Is this a cure? No need to search for any answers, I doubt the writers even know themselves.
Strangely enough, the structure of the show made me think of some good old Hollywood movie. “The hero is a normal guy, he obtains some sort of power, meets the girl, bad guy arrives, sidekick dies, hero thinks he’s shit, finally he decides to fight for what he believes in, Hero kills the bad guy and saves the gurl, Happy ending”.
It’s nothing original, there’s nothing left for me to analyze, it is just meant to be watch without thinking twice. As you might know I do enjoy bloody/dark shows but in the end, I had he impression that the show was relying too much on the shock/bloody aspect to keep its audience. Let’s face it, Biba’s attack on the shogunate could have been bloodless, but no, we needed to see people being eaten alive because… well, if we don’t see it what’s left for us? At this point, showing some blood is just fanservice to my eyes.

vlcsnap-2016-07-01-12h20m59s337Characters: Well… heh… Every character falls into its respective archetype. Biba is the mean bad guy who’s just bad for the sole purpose of being bad. The anime tried to give him some sad backstory but failed again, how are we supposed to care for this dude if we met him one episode ago? His backstory in itself doesn’t really make more sense and knowing it just confirmed my fears: Biba is a bad guy just because.
As for Ikoma is the hero who wants to save everyone and Mumei is the lady who needs to be saved. Of course both are gifted with a plot armor stronger than my love for coffee, and oh boy I love coffee. The rest of the cast is really forgettable since they weren’t developed at all. Special mention to Takumi who died, but whose death wasn’t really useful either. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem like Takumi’s death affected the characters in any way. I think my favorite character was that dude with a wig who spoke half Japanese and half English, he was fun.

Sound and Art: Overall it was great, the soundtrack was awesome and I was able to appreciate it even during the last episodes where my exasperation rate had reached some high peaks. The Art was the only steampunk thing about the show but it was still nice to look at.

Final Score:
3,5/10Sans titreSans titre

Do I recommend it?
Depends on your tastes, if you like Brainless action sure go ahead. If not, don’t watch it.

If I’ve learnt something from Koutetsujou is the fact that even if I try, I can’t bring myself enjoy those brainless action anime that much. So, I should avoid them in the future, joking about how bad a show is can be amusing but sometimes it drives my vital energy away.
Thanks to all of you who have been following my reviews, I hope you enjoyed the ride. There’s probably going to be a second season to the show, but I doubt I will be the one reviewing it.

RELife Episode 1 [Quick Look]

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Assassination Classroom Season 2 Episode 25: Epilogue (Final Impression)

“We learned so many different kinds of life from him in one year. And even now…they live on inside us.”

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 25 [1080p].mkv0016

This episode served as an epilogue so I’m just going to quickly go over what happened and just include my final impression together because they’ll be quick little thoughts.

But wow we’re finally at the end. Makes me emotional…as always. This episode didn’t make me as sad as the one before. I was more happy because this was a happy episode, but there were still little tears.

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 25 [1080p].mkv0010As expected, this episode served to show us just what happened after the situation with Koro-sensei. The students give Karasuma and Irina their thanks, and they all graduate with the main campus. Nagisa is surprised to see both of his parents there, together. Since they’re divorced and all. His father tells him that in the beginning of the year, Koro-sensei had actually paid him a visit and told him that Nagisa wanted to be called by his first name and not by his last related to his family issues. Seeing as how Koro-sensei had helped Nagisa, they decided that they would give their relationship another chance. Which made Nagisa happy. Even after his death, Koro-sensei still affected their lives. And knowing my emotional ass, I started tearing up.

Except after that the gross press busted into the school to question them about Koro-sensei, not caring about their feelings at all. And right after their graduation too. These people are just awful, they’re kids!!! Karasuma held them back, but luckily Asano and his squad led the students to the bus Karasuma had prepared for them. That was nice of them.

So after that, we learned the things that happened. The school got bad attention after the Koro-sensei thing. The E-Class was taken away as it was extreme. The principal went under fire for his actions with the way he ran the school so he was fired. But he had a visit from his first students, so he was happy. The students really did get the bounty. They each got their own share for education and for living expenses in the future, but they also used to the money to donate to some places, like the preschool, and then they gave the rest to the Ministry of Defense for all their hard work. Karasuma got promoted to an agent!

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 25 [1080p].mkv0043And then 7 years pass. We see the students now as college students or in the workforce, doing whatever they’re doing. Some of the students like Kayano meet up at the abandoned E-Class building and they clean it up. They actually bought the mountain so they’re maintaining the school, for both Koro-sensei and Aguri. Then we learn how the students are doing in their lives. Kayano is back in acting and she’s great. Sugino is an ace college baseball player. Itona went to work in his family’s company after high school, as well as the other guys in his group. Terasaka is an intern. Karma’s kicking ass with politics. Hazama looks like a librarian. Kanzaki works with the elderly. Okuda and Takebayashi are working together being amazing and discovering blood cells. Each of them are doing what they do best in, they each have taken their own path and they all look happy. Also I’m really happy too because

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 25 [1080p].mkv0037

THEY GOT MARRIED!!! <333333333

And they’re still ridiculous and cute together. I would have liked to have seen them kiss at least once, but…well fine, okay. At least they’re married. Not a fan of Karasuma’s hair, but whatever. So so happy about this.

And of course, Nagisa is a teacher…in training. And unfortunately he’s working in a rough looking school. But right when one of the students threatens to kill him, that triggers that assassin in him and he frightens all the students. As he walks to his podium, there’s a shadow of Koro-sensei around him. He’s the next Koro-sensei! I’m sure he’ll do well.

Berry’s Final Impression

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 25 [1080p].mkv0032I had my worries about Assassination Classroom from the very start. The story worried me. There’s this monster we didn’t know anything about that would kill everyone on Earth that these random kids had to kill somehow before the deadline. Seeing as how Koro-sensei was basically impossible to kill, I saw a repetition of: assassination attempt, failure, assassination attempt, will it work?, nope another failure. Some comedy hijinks. Also the fact that the kids loved Koro-sensei. I saw that the formula would get old and boring if they didn’t do anything different. It was a good change of pace when they brought in outside villains because we would shift focus for awhile, and these changes would let us see how the students had grown. We also got episodes related to the segregation and injustice of the school. There were a lot of good things but there were still things bugging me in the back of my mind with this series, and they still did when I first started the second season. But they were completely answered and satisfied and I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve said this before, but I really appreciated the relationship Koro-sensei and the students had. He made them love themselves, their flaws as well. He made them muster up some courage and strength within themselves. He taught them to fight back, like the school system. He made their lives so much better, and it just touches my heart.

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom S2 - 16 [1080p].mkv0015The first season was set as getting to know the students. The second season was spent to know more about Koro-sensei. We also got character development for other characters as well, and that was appreciated, even though I know that some chapters for some of the students were cut out to finish the anime in this season. But I’m highly satisfied by everything about Koro-sensei himself, his backstory and everything. Like I said before, his backstory was a little cliche but I still liked it. Some surprises, like who Kayano really was, I still think it was a little too sudden, but that doesn’t mean I did not enjoy it. I just felt like sometimes the mood and some plot points would happen too abruptly. I’m still not over the space thing either. >:/

But what else can I say about this show that I didn’t in my 24 other reviews? Like I said, I had my worries about this show but this season was simply amazing. The story really took a turn for the better and I think that was it’s success, as I felt last season I still had no idea where it was going to go. It was intense, it had me sitting at the edge of my seat, it had beautiful moments, it had fun moments, happy moments, and sad moments. The show did best when it finally got the meat of the plot, which of course was nearing the end of the deadline. What I loved the most was how important Koro-sensei was to the students, I can’t get enough of it. I really felt how close their relationship was this season than with the first one.

I feel like Assassination Classroom is special because of that. Teacher-student relationships aren’t touched upon much in media, so I felt like this was unique. Really, the entire plot was unique. It kept me interested with the whole assassination shtick. Some negatives: the repetition, comedy wasn’t funny all the time and got in the way, some episodes were a little boring, and sometimes plot points would appear out of nowhere. Positives: the plot really got moving, more character development, satisfactory ending.

9/10, almost perfect. I recommend that people who didn’t finish the first season keep watching because it only gets better. This is a special little series and it surprised me with how well it did. I’m gonna miss it.