Show By Rock!! # Episode 1: Melody -Schlehit Melodie- (First Impression)

Holy crap…

I am absolutely…blown away from the episode’s explosive intro. I legitimately wrote that first sentence without noticing the puns I made, but haha. But no, really those first three minutes was probably the coolest three minutes I’ve ever seen and I rewatched that scene about 100 times. Hoping that I would see them, the anime answered my prayers: BUDVIRGINLOGIC made it into the anime, and they’re the baddies. Not too surprised that they are since they really have the evil look. I’m not sure what story they had in the game since I never looked it up, but seeing their role here should be fun to see.

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Also, seeing BUDVIRGINLOGIC perform with the show’s usual animation and not in the Miumon forms was a pleasure to watch because it looked good. BONES is definitely capable of making all the bands perform like this and not in their chibi Miumon forms, but I guess to make it look like the game, they perform as Miumon. They’re still small and cute as ever in their 50000 frames per second performances.

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0004We got the plot before we even needed to think about it. As usual, the plot isn’t extraordinary. It’s the usual villain wanting to control the entire universe thing like we’ve seen before. But cliche plots like that don’t bother me too much if the execution is on point. Also, seeing Dagger making a comeback just made things more interesting if you ask me, so I’m very excited. The opening scene with all the ships, the Queen of Darkness voiced by the Queen of Seiyuus, Miyuki Sawashiro (*swoon*)…was great. It was all just so cool. When this series wants to get dark, it can. Just seeing Midi City engulfed in explosions and ruin was something I definitely didn’t think I would see. BUDVIRGINLOGIC singing when all this destruction is happening was badass, everyone’s Melodisians becoming tainted, just everything going wrong. Seeing the outcome before seeing how things came to be that way just drew me in immediately, so good on BONES for doing that. Also, the song was fantastic.

But what we saw was the future. In the present time, we see everyone in BRR. Typical hijinks and fun times ensue. After the events of the first season, Criticrista is now part of BRR. This’ll be interesting to see, seeing what kind of rivalry Criticrista and Plasmagica had in the first season. But that just means that Banded Rocking Records acquired a very popular band, so that’ll give the label a bigger name than before. And we can already see that as BRR is holding a concert for their bands.

We see as Plasmagica is about to perform, Criticrista notice that the girls look a little sad that Cyan isn’t with them anymore. It broke my heart every time Retoree would look back at the photo they took at the beach, while even saying “Cyan, I miss you…” Aww, Retoree. ;_; It really was a strange sight to see only three instead of the four. I was wondering what kind of song they were going to sing with just them, but before they could put on their show, everything went dark, and that’s when conflict started.

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0047I do have to say that I did feel like things were a tiny bit rushed. Though one complaint I had last season was that it took awhile for the plot to kick in. This time, the plot is kicking in right away! Ninjinriot makes their appearance, going back in time from the destruction of Sound Planet to help Plasmagica and tell the others of BRR what happens in the future, and to get their help. Seeing as how BUDVIRGINLOGIC appeared with Dagger, they agree immediately. They have to do whatever they can to stop the Queen of Darkness and save everyone in the universe. And save the music! I didn’t expect to see Ninjinriot, I regret not playing their songs as much when I had the game on my phone. They seem like a very cool bunch and I would like it if they could perform at least one song. Either way, it looks like we’re going to be seeing them a lot, so that makes me glad.

But hey, what about Cyan? The biggest worry I had when coming into this season was how Cyan was going to be included again. The first season had ended so well, I didn’t think Cyan needed to come back again. For what reason would she need to come back for? Well, we know now!

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0055Cyan was the one that took down Dagger. With him back, and the Queen of Darkness, it’s no surprise that they would need her help again. It was so cute to see her in glasses again. It sounded like things were going well with her school band, but she was troubled that she agreed to write the song for their concert in the cultural festival because she hasn’t come up with anything. This scene was quite nice, as the girls of Plasmagica sang while looking at their matching guitar picks from last season’s finale. But of course, things aren’t peaceful for long, as Cyan looks up into the sky to see a “shooting star” coming down at her. When in fact, it was Kamui, the mecha ninja from Ninjinriot taking her to…of course, Midi City.

This episode immediately pulled me in just from that amazing beginning scene. As usual, the show looked good, and it sounded good. The ED theme actually isn’t my favorite of Plasmagica compared to Have a nice MUSIC and Do Re Mi Fa Party, but it was cute. Again, when the show animates them as Miumon, watching this in 1080p, it just looks really good. A little too good because it’s kind of scary that they literally look like nendoroids I could pull out of the screen. BONES back at it again with the bomb animation. My favorite of the music was of course Schlehit Melodie. I always loved BUDVIRGINLOGIC’s music, which is why I wanted them in the anime. Like I said, I would like to see Ninjinriot perform a song, but I would also love to hear ARCAREAFACT perform too because I wanted them in the anime too, and bam here they are. They have great music too, and I wonder what role they’re going to have in the anime.

Albeit this episode was a bit rushed with so many things going on, I greatly enjoyed this episode. I just…really love Show By Rock. I never thought I would love this series so much but I really do. I love it. I’m happy.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

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Magic-kyun! Renaissance – Episode 1 [Brilliantly Blooming Renaissance] [First Impressions]

Nikolita’s First Impression

A romantic reverse harem set in a world where the arts become magic? Oh god, this is going to be my guilty pleasure of the season, I can tell already. *squee*

Our protagonist is Kohana Aigasaki, the daughter of artista prodigy Sakura Aigasaki, who is famous around the Hoshinomori School of Magical Arts but passed away when Kohana was a child. Kohana has worked very hard to be accepted into Hoshinomori, but she’s hiding a secret: while she’s worked hard to succeed in her mother’s chosen art, flower-arranging (ikebana), she cannot yet produce her own sparkles.

As Kohana arrives on campus, through her exploration we are introduced to each of the six bishounen who will be her love interests throughout the series. vlcsnap-00018There’s a red-haired young man who plays the cello beautifully, and a silver-haired guy who dresses and paints in monochrome and has a pet hedgehog.

Elsewhere on campus Kohana sees an orange-haired guy sculpting a cheetah and has sparkles which smell like vanilla. Around the corner she sees a ladies man named Angelo who shows off his dancing skills for his adoring fangirls, and whose sparkles manifest as wings on his back. Last but not least she comes across Aoi Suminomiya as he demonstrates his calligraphy artista for passing students.

Last but certainly not least is Ichijoji Teika, a gifted singer who is also the school’s unofficial “king.” It’s rumored that he can sing any song after hearing it only once. He’s obviously talented but comes off as very cold and aloof, naturally. Gotta have that romantic tension.

We also get introduced to Kohana’s new roommate, Juri Chikamatsu, and this girl is fantastic. She’s outgoing and friendly, and I have a feeling she’ll be my favourite character.

After meeting all the characters, the rest of the episode is split into two main scenes. In the first, Kohana tries to make sparkles while practicing her ikebana and fails, until she bumps into Ichijoji again. After he tries to motivate her with some strong words, she gives him a small bouquet of flowers. Both of them touching the flowers at once causes sparkles to emerge from the flowers, and Kohana is over the moon with her achievement.

vlcsnap-00040The second scene takes place in a classroom the next day. It’s revealed that Kohana is Sakura Aigasaki’s daughter, and for some reason this angers Ichijoji. He proclaims that Kohana is now his enemy, but the poor girl doesn’t understand why. After the credits Ichijoji talks on the phone to his brother, who tells him that he must become the Artista Prince.

All in all I adored this first episode and I’m super excited for next week. I love all the music themes and the animation is AMAZING – the CG sparkles blend perfectly with the 2D animation, and omg it’s just so gorgeous! *0*

A common side effect of reverse harems is that they are somewhat predictable, and Magic-kyun! Renaissance looks to be no exception. Based on the opening sequence and how the first episode went, I can take a wild guess as to who the main ship is going to be, but I’d love it if a twist proves me wrong. I basically expect this show to be like Dance With Devils, except with actual romance. I have high expectations so I hope I don’t get let down!

Side note: If you’re thinking of playing a drinking game for this first episode where you take a shot every time Kohana says “kira kira” (sparkles), don’t. You’ll give yourself alcohol poisoning. Maybe refrain from playing said drinking game throughout the whole series, just in case.

Possibility of Watching: Oh hell yes
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans S2 Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Gundam is back in action, and this season starts off with highlighting the ripple effects of Tekkan’s success. Since Fareed had exposed the corruption of Gjallarhorn, the ‘police’ of the world has lost it’s grip and instability is on the rise. With instability comes war, and as result of Tekkadan’s success with being a military group primarily made up of child soldiers (otherwise known as Human Debris), the interest in the potential of such had involuntarily contributed to a dramatic increase of child soldiers in certain areas. But it’s not just the children who has eyes on time, the development and use of Mobile Suits are on the rise once again after being recognized for military value. Many are working to restore and upgrade the ones from the Great War.

On the flip side, Tekkadan is now official military advisor and even has an Earth Branch. Kudelia partnered with Teiwaz to establish Admoss Company, responsible for mining, processing and shipped half-metal of Arbrau colonies. She has already created an orphanage on Tekkadan’s Sakura Farm and realize Mars’ economic and independents.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0006With a new season comes along with new recruits. We didn’t see a whole lot of them, but there are three who are likely to become more active in the future. However the one I am keeping my eye on is Hush Middy who I just hope won’t cause too much trouble and be a pain in the ass like some other character in a other Gundam series. (Take a guess who I am referring to!). He doesn’t seem to have too much respect for his superiors at Tekkadan, even called Mika an industrial waste.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0018The new recruits are fresh blood who never experienced what the founding members of Tekkadan had to go through before they had set themselves free. The Alaya-Vijnana System doesn’t scare them, but pipes their interests as they watch the veterans performing mock drills, awed by the power the system provides. In fact they go as far as describing the process as a ‘little surgery’, ignorant to just how dangerous and painful it is, and fail to get a clue why their boss (Orga) won’t let them have it. Shino and Eugene were quick to jump on them to clarify the ones who were performing do not use the system and that they never willingly had the surgery. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t look like the new recruits get it. They also fail to understand the behavior and actions of many of Tekkadan’s original members, such as why they are so willingly to go into the battle of Mobile Suits with merely Mobile Workers. For the original members, this is a regular routine for them, they had to do this everyday to survive. But these new recruits, they clearly come from a society where they didn’t have to fight to to live another day.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0010As for our veteran friends, it seems as if everyone but Kudelia has grown. Of the entire main cast, Kudelia is the only one who looks far more mature. Perhaps it has to do with her outfit and hairstyle, I am not entire sure. She bears a more experienced and wise expression on her face, and has become sharper in catching suspicious behavior of those who may create trouble later on. She was quick to catch on that the owner of Terra Liberionis (who looked like trouble from the get go) had too much information and wanted to use her spotlight to gain some exposure on his failing company. Surely enough she was right as Terra Liberionis hired the Dawn Horizon Corps, (infamous pirates that even Teiwaz has trouble dealing with) to stir up trouble.

Mika remains partially disabled, but similarly to Ein, he is able to fully function with his body while inside and using Gundam Barbados. As for Mika’s lifespan, that remains up in the air as we don’t know if any new discoveries or development have been made to help address that.

Orga is playing the role as the boss for Tekkadan, and that means sucking up to paperwork. He has shown he is ready to send them back into the dangerous route as what they are doing right now isn’t enough. He shown concern of what Biscuit would have thought of such idea, but will press forward with the plan anyways.

And then we have Fareed. The guy who tells his assistant he has no friends. (Geez, no shit Sherlock, you killed them off!)
gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0014Although Gjallarhorn’s reputation is unfavorable right now, and don’t have the power they used to have, they still exist. Fareed sits at the table among the others, many new faces of those we have not seen before, along with the man who leads them Lord Rustal. Fareed sure had the nerve to go on about how he is aware of his past’s burdens, and being responsible for exposing the corruption in Mars’ Branch. He now wants his Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Join Fleet to enter Mars’ Affairs to be granted permission to intervene within Mars territory. And one thing that was made clear, Fareed does not like Lord Rustal, and vice versa. In fact Lord Rusta knows exactly what he is trying to do, but is up to the challenge (or rather I think he considers it as a game). With whatever Fareed is trying to do, I can’t imagine it’s going to do Tekkadan any favors.

With that I am psyched to begin the new season! What will the story and struggle be this time? The Opening shows a new masked buddy entering the field, I wonder who that will be?

Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed
PS: This came out a bit later than I wanted to, sorry about that!
Was sick yesterday. 🙁

ViVid Strike! Episode 1 [First Impression]

Thou shalt not be afraid, I am with you.

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Impression

strike-1-img006I want to start off by saying that watching this definitely wasn’t on my plans for today. It wasn’t even on my plans for yesterday! I’ve actually been struggling to catch up with the remainder of the last season, let alone contend with a whole new one. So I hadn’t even taken a good look at the airing schedule for the season until literally just now, where I learned that there was a disgustingly disproportionate number of shows that were to air on Saturdays. I then saw that ViVid Strike was out, and my next thought was that there was no way that this would be subbed any time soon. The original ViVid indicates just as much, right? Because obviously it wouldn’t be given a second glance by the modern oversized distribution machine that is Crunchyroll (ft. Funimation) as they most likely think it would be underappreciated by the majority of its patrons, despite the fact that it’s technically (loosely, maybe even formerly) supposed to be about magical girls and lolis. Which should be right in the strike zone for lots of people, right? At least, it is for me anyway. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was subbed almost instantly after airing. Good thing I won’t have much to do on Saturdays this season.

strike-1-img003Anyway. I’m quite excited about this. More than I thought I would be, actually. It did feel pretty unsettling until about halfway through the episode, because I don’t think I fully appreciated exactly what the implications of a Nanoha without Nanoha would be. Even calling it that is slightly wrong. It’s more like a ViVid without Nanoha, the result being that it’s more ViVid-like than ViVid itself ever was. I hope that makes sense – anyone expecting the traditional magical combat featured in the original season, A’s and StrikerS is going to get even less of that than what they got in ViVid. Strike Arts is the new black now, and they’ve probably already done us a favour by having mana-infused punches and kicks added to the mix. As I mentioned in another post’s comment not too long ago, I think it’s really odd that they’re attempting to re-ignite interest in the franchise through straying away from an aspect that so heavily defined it and contributed to its success. Not that there’s anything wrong with ViVid, but you have to remember that that originated as a spin-off manga. ViVid Strike is therefore a spin-off of a spin-off. Or is it better to describe it as being set in an alternate universe? I’m not sure whether the events of the ViVid manga are reconcilable with the events of this original anime, but I like the idea watching a spin-off of a spin-off of a spin-off, as Nanoha was of course born from Triangle Heart all those years ago.

What exactly was unsettling, I hear you ask? I’m not too sure myself. Part of it was the setting, I guess – I wasn’t confident that we were still on Mid-Childa at first, with biker gangs and impoverished areas and shipping yards definitely not being sights I expected to see in such an advanced magical and technological society. Then there’s Fuuka herself, who I keep overlapping with Nanoha’s image in my head because their hairstyle and hair colour are somewhat similar even though they’re not very much alike at all, in either personality or combat style. And there’s also that feeling of having missed a huge chunk of the story, because ViVid left us hanging halfway through the Inter-Middle, and Strike is clearly set after the end of that tournament. My memory of events is even fuzzier than it was during ViVid, but I’m pretty sure there was no Nakajima Gym during the Inter-Middle.

At the same time, there are lots of good things. Seven Arcs returning is a definite blessing, you can’t call yourself a Nanoha fan if you think A-1 does a better job with Nanoha than Seven Arcs. I also really, really dig Nove’s new hairstyle. Now that she’s grown out her hair she can make people think she’s a harmless, kind onee-san even though she’s anything but. And Einhart also seems more mature and collected than she was before. For some reason Harunyan also has a waifu named Yumina, which makes me wonder what’s happened to poor Vivio.

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strike-1-img010I do like Fuuka, and I think that’s important. The biggest challenge this anime faces is to make its viewers like Fuuka, because Nanoha was a very well-liked protagonist – and switching to Vivio for ViVid wasn’t the end of the world because (i) Nanoha was still a character; (ii) Vivio is related to Nanoha and isn’t unlike her in personality; and (iii) Vivio was a character from StrikerS. Filling that protagonist role with someone completely different is a pretty bold move, all things considered. It’s going to take some getting used to her either way, but I’ve accepted her and that’s going to go a long way in terms of how much I’ll enjoy this. I’m sure part of it is the Minase Inori effect. Once again she displays her surprising versatility, and it’s good to hear her Carol voice reappearing at times, just like when she played Rem. It was Carol who made me her fan after all, not Chino.

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strike-1-img005I’m not so sure about Rinne, on the other hand. She’s super cute, for one. She’s also more my type than Fuuka ever will be. But Fuuka makes your blood boil, you know? Kaiser Arts was also always the cooler one. Being Fuuka is suffering, and that’s why she’d be by far the better protagonist. It’s sort like how Hibiki gets me pumped up every time even though I’m more of a DMJii person. I have no idea whether Rinne will be the Fate-chan to Fuuka’s Nanoha, but I’m sure she’s a good girl at heart. One thing I’m confused about is how she’s ranked #1 by the DSAA despite Einhart being the current world champion, and despite her having lost to Vivio. Maybe rankings aren’t determined by single wins or losses? Or even single tournaments? And what happened to Sieg? Either way, Rinne is now the ideal befriending target, except here people are befriended via fists instead of oversized laser beams. I’m just waiting for Fuuka to do a Touma and punch Rinne in the face while telling her that she’s not living her life correctly.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
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Cheer Danshi!! Episode 11&12: [Final Impressions]

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Episode 11:

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h48m04s378In this week’s episode, moar sister drama. Haru initially wondered if his sister felt bad because he quit Judo and although he was trying to talk to her, she seemed to avoid him and any kind of discussion. Hopefully, things get better near the end of the episode, when Haru goes cheer on his sister at her Judo match. She then, manages to win and thus ends her losing streak. She also understands cheerleading might be what is best for Haru and that by doing so, he’s not abandoning her or anything.

However, if our young lad got the good ending with his sister, we can’t say the same for his “love interest”, you know, the girl who appeared twice in the show to say random things? Yup, this girl. Initially I labelled her as Haru’s love interest because it seemed that those two were bound to end with each other in the most cliche way possible but I was wrong. Oh boi, I was wrong. Cheer Danshi!! actually trolled me hard on this one. Indeed, that girl is already taken since she’s Ton’s girlfriend… Too bad Haru, no girlfriend for ya, but it’s okay, you still have Kazu.

Everyone feels down and has problems with their own family, which they will hopefully solve during next episode. So this episode wasn’t particularly great, I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. The sister drama feels a bit forced to me so I did not really care about its resolution. However, it looks like they’ve finally decided to give character development to every side character during this episode. Too bad it’s a bit late since there’s only one episode left.

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Episode 12:

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h50m54s441This is the last episode, thus, the boyz are doing their last rehearsal before the nationals. The coach has the clever idea to make them read everyone’s notebook, which is extremely embarrassing and kind of a irruption in someone’s private life but Heh… I guess she can do anything she wants as long as she has the “Coach” label right? Anyway, exchanging notebooks and discovering each other little secret somehow helped them to understand each other better and a long succession of characters saying things like ” thx to [insert name of a dude here]’s notebook, I understand myself better”, follows. It’s especially strange for Grumpy-kun case who, by looking at Sho’s notebook full of Squirrel stickers, understood that everyone can do cheerleading for different reasons. Wow, that squirrel must really have some sort of psychic powers..

At the Nationals, everyone is a bit tense but that’s fine, they deal with the pressure pretty well. However, the one who doesn’t manage to hold his feelings back is Chen. Surprisingly enough the directors decided to give him more than two lines of dialogue this episode and the young fellow actually steps up for Sho and defends him by confronting Domoto and Hair-Band-kun.

Then, we finally get our long awaited cheerleading sequence which was nice, but not amazing. I guess it’s a pretty cool way to end the season than to insert the credits and some parts where each boy self reflects on his experience and everything but it kind of broke the rhythm of the cheer sequence. So I wasn’t very amazed nor excited by this last part and dear lord I was looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool, but I was hoping for better, more dynamic, cheering dances.

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Final Impressions:

To be perfectly honest, I think Cheer Danshi is average. It’s not the modern masterpiece I’ve been waiting for, but it’s not the personification of a rectal cleansing. I first learned about Cheer Danshi!! thanks to some gifs made about the first PV. Those gifs were sowing the colorful and dynamic cheerleading sequences and everyone got hyped about the show because of those. In that sense I think it didn’t serve the show well since after the first episode, people realized Cheer Danshii!! was more a slice of life type of anime rather than your classic sport show like Daiya no Ace or Slam Dunk. But if you can pass over this little disappointing news and continue to watch the show, is it enjoyable or, to be more direct, good?

Well, yeaaaaah… I guess.

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h49m08s032Let’s get right into it by stating the obvious, the animation isn’t good. It’s not consistent, the faces of the characters change every time, their movements are sloppy and even if they put some extra- budget into the cheerleading sequences, you can see it’s still not really good. There, I said it. However, the sound is better, there’s some obvious reuse of certain tracks but considering the fact that Cheer Danshi!!’s production budget must not be very high, I’ll pass on this one.
What I liked the most about the show was the characters and their interactions with each other. If there’s one thing Cheer Danshi!! does right, it’s that. Their cheerleading team is believable, you can see there’s obvious connections between the members, that they like each other or not. The show spends a lot of time introducing and developing what I call “character drama” which is drama inherent to the characters and which almost sole purpose is to develop them. Which is what we got with Grumpy-kun being Grumpy, Sho does not want to do stunts, Kazu’s grandmother is ill, Haru’s sister is mad and so on. It’s in that sense that I qualify Cheer Danshi!! a Slice of Life than a sport one. Sport being only a pretext to put guyz together in a group and obverse what happens.

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h50m21s569However, there’s too many members, and not enough time to develop them. While the show makes character development it priority, it fails to pay attention to the whole cast. Obviously more time is spent on the original members of the team but it leaves less room for the other characters, whose presence was already a bit erased by the main characters’ importance. More than that, not even every “main character” or at least ” original member” were given enough time to shine. Ton, Megane-kun and the two county boys, weren’t developed at all and we did not learn much things about their past. The show preferred to focus on Grumpy-kun for example, which wasn’t an original member of the team but who is, let me say it, Best Boi.

Finally, I’d like to mention that I adored the comedy in this show. They were a few twists (like that girl being Ton’s girlfriend) that surprised me and overall, I laughed quite a few times. So good poitn for the comedy. Although I still don’t understand how the brocoli joke works…

So overall, Cheer Danshi!! is flawed, it’s nothing near perfect, but it’s a pleasant show with some attaching characters but that’s it and I don’t think Cheer Danshi!! ever strove to be something else than that. If you’re looking for a show like Cheer Danshi!!, with a certain lack of quality animation, cute boys, and an apparent theme (cheerleading for Cheer Danshi!!) that is actually not the main focus of the show, I’d recommend Shounen Hollywood. Where it’s almost the same thing, although Shounen Hollywood involves boys wanting to become Idols. Beware, it’s not like Uta no Prince sama, it’s wayyy more realistic, so realistic that it’s a bit cringy. BUT HEH, who doesn’t like a little bit of cringe every once in a while?

91 Days Episode 12 [ Just Live – Final Impression ]

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Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love Legend Star Ep 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Okay, I am going to be brutally honest here. Since the train wreck of Season 3, I have fell off the Utapri love train and went into this premiere with not only extremely low expectations, but very little patience. So when episode started off with every single member from STARISH, Quartet Night and HEAVENS (a total of eighteen characters) saying Nanami Haruka’s name, eighteen freaking times, it is an understatement to say I wanted to walk away right then and there. That’s right, I am not kidding you: you read right: THEY DID THIS 18 TIMES. As soon as I realized what was happening, as if clicking mute was not going to be fast enough for me, I just ripped off my headphones. I was not even two minutes into the episodes, and my patience had already flew out the window. And then I thought myself, “Wow I am actually not looking forward to this. Maybe I should skip this entirely?” I am not exaggerating. The premiere of Season 4 was excruciating for me to watch. I honestly don’t think I have it in me to actually cover this season. I mean, it really does not help that there is no visual preview because that is really the only form of hope it can give me in order for things to look up, and honestly I don’t think they will. Frankly I think this season and for the rest of the series (I mean I wouldn’t put it past them to milk out a 5th season) it would be much better if I don’t cover this at all, and just not watch it. I would probably take glimpses at it to find out if anything good comes out of it to give me a reason to resume watching this season for curiosity sake.

utapri-legend-star-ep-1-img-0008And this puts me in a tough position because my instinct (which is usually right 99% of the time) tells me drop it, drop it immediately. But then there’s another part of me who recognizes this episode was crappy not only because as per usual, the first episode of Utapri is usually a waste of time. Either it’s ten minutes of stupid re-introductions of characters we already know, or in this case this season: Listen to eighteen characters each say the heroine’s name and then have have each group abduct Haruka in a car in attempt to woo her to compose a legendary song for them all while singing some songs, OH- and cue to Season 3 reference, every single character basically confessing to her. So unless you really like that stuff, the repetition gets annoying real fast.

utapri-legend-star-ep-1-img-0002Oh and if you thought that was not enough, we then learn the results from the performances we had seen in the finale of Season 3. You ready? The results were as followed: HEAVENS were disqualified by default due to failing to submit their entry on time. That is only natural right? You bet it is. This leaves the competition between STARISH and Quartet Night, and ultimately Quartet Night came out victorious.

But no. NO no no no no no.
They couldn’t have that.
No, they just could not have that.
You know what happens? Because of the god damn fans in the audience complaining about HEAVENS’ disqualification, Quartet Night DECLINES the opportunity.

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YOU @#!()*#@!() IDIOTS

!@#()!@*#!@*&#!@*#&@!#

I lost my mind when they did that. I really did. I don’t give a flying @*#!* about the fans. HEAVENS failed to abide the rules and Quartet Night, because of their god damn ego of wanting to compete at the highest caliber, they walk straight into HEAVEN’S plan, who knew that despite the fact they were not able to enter, by crashing the competition and STARISH wannabes, they would be able to force a rematch. I don’t even care they are doing this for the sake of plot- I immensely dislike this because now we are in store of entire repetition of Season Three, only this time, it looks like instead of Quartet Night characters being featured, it might be the bloody Heavens characters taking up the precious screen time. And dear lord, I hope I am wrong about that.

I would have LOVED to see STARISH have to overcome this kind of defeat, I WOULD HAVE LOVED IT. IT COULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING, GREAT FOR THEIR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, BECAUSE THEY NEED TO SUFFER DEFEAT IN A MAJOR COMPETITION LIKE THIS IN ORDER TO BECOME EVEN BETTER. And you know what, this could’ve offered an opportunity to really focus on competing against HEAVENS’ who specifically revamped their group into a seven man group, specifically to cater and attempt to steal STARISH’s fans.

*HUFFS*

utapri-legend-star-ep-1-img-0015The only positive thing I got out of this episode, was the fact Haruka has acknowledged how far she has come and it feels like she is trying to figure out where she goes from here. More than anything, I would love to see Haruka undergo some character development has she has been reduced to a very passive background character role in the recent seasons. I think this is particularly important because Haruka honestly has not changed that much, so it is difficult to highlight her growth as a character. Without it, Haruka ends up becoming quite a bland heroine, which is really the last thing any of us would like her to be (especially when we know how lovable she can be).

As for romance, let’s be real here. If you are here for romance, get rid of the expectation. The last thing you need is to have another reason to be frustrated and disappointed in this series. If they actually move forward with romance, then the fandom will have a field-day and those who left the series will then have a reason to actually start watching this again.

Final Verdict: I will watch next weeks’ episode and see what comes out of it but for now, the three strikes I spoke out in the Fall 2016 Preview have been used up all in just one episode. It will take a god damn good episode next week to convince me to cover Episode 2 and see what comes out of Episode 3, but for now, it is extremely unlikely I will be touching this season at all.

Possibility of Blogging: LowMiracles will need to happen in Episode 2 to convince me otherwise.
Possibility of Watching: Low Will watch at the first three episodes to see if it’s even worth my time, if not, I’m out.

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin – Episode 13 [In a Twilight Empire] [Final Impression]

Ikta has one last chance to defend against the Aldera army, and he comes up with a genius-yet-also-slightly-desperate plan. However it will only be him, Nanaku and Yatori participating, with Haroma and some of her platoon accompanying them as their medics; Matthew is to remain behind and guard the camp for two more days, retreating only if necessary.

Night falls, and Ikta’s troops have laid their trap in a section of narrow path, the same one the enemy is using. There is no way around the trap, forcing Jean and the Aldera army soldiers to take their chances. Jean decides to proceed despite smelling oil on the straw, but it’s in this flaw of thinking that Ikta succeeds in vlcsnap-00007deploying his trap. Once Jean’s men are in far enough, the smell of oil lessens and Jean realizes his mistake. At that moment Ikta and his troops burst out from under the straw with their light spirits on full and attack in full force.

A battle ensues between the two sides, with Yatori’s platoon coming from the rear to join the fighting in order to ensure that Jean’s platoon can’t flee. After several minutes one of the soldiers from Ikta’s troop raises a flag signaling they’re opening to negotiating, but Jean doesn’t immediately call for a ceasefire. Not long after, Ikta loses his sword when an enemy soldier knocks it from his grip, and he is a split second away from losing his life when Jean finally gives the order to cease combat.

Jean probably ends up wishing Ikta had been killed however, because Ikta’s blunt in his terms of negotiating. Ikta absolutely will not surrender, and instead wants the Aldera army to withdraw to back behind the forest, which will give the Katjvarna army enough time to finish their retreat. Jean refuses, convinced that his men will kill Ikta’s if they’re forced to continue fighting.

Ikta slyly points out that Jean only thinks that his platoon will be the winners if Jean himself lives, and he makes his point by having his light sprite Kus shine a strong beam at Jean’s heart. Ikta says that he has his best shooter, one from the Remeon family (Torway), is hiding and ready to shoot Jean as soon as the negotiating flag is dropped. Jean knows Ikta is most likely bluffing but part of him feels that he can’t ignore the 10% chance that Ikta is not bluffing. Jean gives the order for his men to retreat, and we see that Ikta was indeed bluffing all along.

As Jean’s men retreat behind a fire barrier, Jean asks Ikta why he’s fighting to protect the Katyvarna Empire. After all, Jean believes in Kioka’s beliefs and ideals and is fighting to make them real, and he assumes that Ikta would be doing the same for Katyvarna. Ikta however bluntly states that he’s not fighting to protect his country but the people within them. Ikta says that heroes like Jean will eventually be used up and thrown away as soon as they are no longer useful. Ikta leaves a furious Jean with some parting words: “All heroes die of overwork.”

Back at the safe location where Princess Chamille had retreated to earlier in the season, Ikta’s platoon arrives at last. Princess Chamille is relieved that Torway and the others have arrived safely, and she is so excited to see Ikta that she knocks him over with a hug. He gently points out to her that she needs to speak to the other soldiers too, because they made just as mvlcsnap-00023any sacrifices and fought just as hard. Embarrassed over her mistake, Princess Chamille speaks to all the troops and thanks them for their efforts, promising that they will be rewarded.

One month later a trial is held where Lt. General Safida is accused of oppressing the Sinnack, which cost soliders their lives, and that attack invited an enemy invasion from the Aldera army. As a result he’s found to be the highest class of war criminal, resulting in a demotion, the stripping of all his military decorations… and executed. Justice at last for all the Sinnack who died.

Later that night, Princess Chamille summons Ikta to the throne room. She asks him point blank what he thinks of the Katyvarna Empire and Ikta tells her his brutally honest opinion, which Princess Chamille agrees with. She makes a request for Ikta to rise to the top of the Katyvarna military, and when Ikta asks why, Princess Chamille says she wants him to lose a war. She feels that losing to Kioka at the right time will invite in Kioka’s culture, economics and philosophies, and that the pressures from these outside influences could be used to force the Katyvarna Empire to change from the inside out.

However after the credits, there’s a short scene where Ikta tells Yatori that his father was a hero who also died from overwork. He tried to do everything that was asked of him, and lost his life in the process. Ikta’s inner monologue reveals that he doesn’t agree with Princess Chamille’s plan, and that if he were to try to follow it he’d run into conflict from others who support him. He tells Yatori that he won’t allow her to be caught up in the collapse of the country, should it choose to fall, and reminds her that he came to take her from her homeland for a reason. Yatori reassures him that she’ll never forget.

My thoughts: Fantastic final episode! I was hoping we’d get a little more revelation about the relationship between Yatori and Ikta, but the final quarter of the episode made up for that deficiency. I’m glad that the scene with Ikta and Princess Chamille made it into the final episode, for it was definitely worth the wait. I didn’t see a twist like that coming!

I’m also Lt. General Safida got what was coming to him. What a stupid- *mumblegrumble*

I really, really hope there is a second season in the future because I would love to blog it if I had the chance.

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Final Impression

Story: While I’m not usually super into anything to do with the military, I enjoyed Alderamin enough that I was able to just suck it up and deal. I could find no major flaws with the story that I can think of at this moment.

Characters: One of the biggest strengths of this show is, in my personal opinion, its characters. I feel that Torway and Ikta experienced the most character growth, but the main cast had enough variety that there wasn’t really anyone I disliked watching. Even Haroma and Matthew, two of the more secondary characters from the main cast, had roles which highlighted their value: Haroma was a medic and thus had to be with the main platoon for healing purposes, and Matthew was put into situations where he could demonstrate his family’s military talent. Matthew was also a good example of comedic relief throughout the vlcsnap-00044series, along with Ikta.

And Ikta, wow. What an incredible main character. I’ve never seen an MC quite like him. He’s blunt, has been sexually active, is comfortable talking about “taboo” topics, and is gifted with exceptional ways of thinking and an overabundance of military talent. Yes ladies he really is all that and a bag of chips.

Music & Animation: 5 gold stars, A++, the whole nine yards. I actually started watching this series based SOLELY on its gorgeous animation, and man it did not let me down. I love it when chances pay off! Madhouse did an amazing job with the animation and the music they chose, and I’ll definitely be looking for the soundtrack to add to my music library.

As for the music, I loved everything. Everything! Especially the opening and ending themes. Nothing to complain about here.

Overall Thoughts: An outstanding anime from start to finish. If you’re looking for a new title with stellar characters, invigorating music and pretty animation, then this might be the series for you. ^_^v The only complaint I have is that I was hoping we’d get more romance between Ikta and Yatori, but it’s not enough to lower my score and honestly if there ends up being a second season, maybe we’ll get some smooches at that point in time. I’m thinking of reading the manga in the meantime, and see how it compares to the show.

Final Score: 10/10

Shuumatsu no Izetta Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Now this is the type of series that is right up my alley. Historical, Action, and Magic all in one, I love these type of stories. This premiere only made me fall in love with it even more, which only justifies the excitement and great anticipation I have for this series.

Shuumatsu no Izetta is set in World War II, when the Germania Empire is looking to expand and occupy more territory. Our heroine is a badass tomboy Princess Fine of Eylstadt, a tiny country that has been struggling to find allies and assistance to fend off the Germania Invasion. Unfortunately by the end of the episode, the Germania forces have successfully breached its defenses. To make matters worse, they had also successfully captured Princess Fine, who lost two dear bodyguards during her mission to speak with Britianna’s ambassador. Luckily for Fine however, fate had something else in mind, as Fine not only once, but twice been placed in the same spot as Germania’s top secret weapon, which was none other than her childhood friend, The White Witch, Izetta.

shuumatsu-no-izetta-img-0013I love Fine for her courage, strength and intelligence. She was extremely careful about revealing her family’s health, indicating it’s likely that her father is indeed bedridden. She has also taken it upon herself to meet Britannia’s Ambassador to try and persuade them to form an alliance, with her ace up her sleeve of accepting Prince Henry’s offer for marriage (one she had previously declined). Fine was willing to sacrifice her position as Eylstadt’s next leader for the sake of her country, but unfortunately for her- she didn’t even get the chance to do so as just after she made the offer, it was cast out the window once they received the news it was already too late for Eylstadt. It was tough luck for her to have been captured by the Germania forces due to their exceptional spy network, I am not sure what happened to Britianna’s ambassador, though while the soldiers ensured he was innocent, I wouldn’t put it pass me if they potentially had killed him off as well. I guess we will have to wait and find out in the future.

The overall execution of the episode was well done, but the only thing that threw me off was the opera song playing over the utter destruction of Eylstadt’s defending forces. Maybe that’s exactly what the song was about, but I know nothing about opera and unfortunately I can’t stand the sound of it either. So it’s probably just my personal distaste.

I am curious to see which direction the story will go. As we have heard, they were flying close the Eylstadt’s border, so it seems likely that Fine may return to her country and with Izetta’s help, they will fight back. Eylstadt’s is also supposedly famous for its manufacturers of precision machinery. This is likely the reason why they were able to keep the Germania forces at bay for as long as they did.

shuumatsu-no-izetta-img-0009However the biggest concern here is how did the Germania forces capture Izetta. We know now that the Emperor is a believer in Eylstadt’s legend of Weiss Hexe, so surely intended to use Izetta as an ultimate weapon. And furthermore, supposedly Izetta is the last witch. It was hinted in her flashbacks when Fine had defended her there must have been a witch hunt which resulted wiping out the witch’s population, when in fact it appears Izetta is supposed to be a good witch.

Anyhow I am absolutely looking forward to what this series has in store for us! So count me in, I hope it will be a good one!

Possibility of Covering: Guaranteed