Yuri!!! On Ice Episode 1: [The Grand Prix Final of Tears][First Impressions]

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vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h33m17s039Aaaaah! It’s there! The show I was the more hyped about! When I first saw the trailer I thought “oh boi, this one looks awesome, better shotgun it“. And I don’t regret my choice! So let’s find out if Yuri!!! On Ice is worth all the hype that surrounds it.

What happens during this episode remains fairly simple and is some really basic expository stuff. Yuuri, our young hero does figure skating but is kind of losing every championship in participates in. Therefore he decides to stop doing competitions, takes a break and goes back to the familial Onsen for the first time in five years. After meeting with his family and relatives again, he goes to an Ice ring and stakes in front on his childhood friend, a girl whom he might have feelings for before. So Yuuri reproduces the choreography of his idol Victor Nikiforov, the really hot champion of everything. Without telling Yuuri, the kids of that girl post the video on youtube and it’s a hit, everyone sees it, even Victor who decides to go to Japan in order to train Yuuri, since he probably sees potential in this kiddo. So from now on, they’ll live together and there’s some high changes, the other Yuri (the angry one) will show up and the three of them will train together.

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Charibo’s first Impressions:

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h33m40s095OH MAMA THIS OPENING! It reminds me a bit of the Subete ga F ni Naru The Perfect Insider opening. Just a succession of dance moves but still, there’s something fascinating about it. The use of the instagram feed in the ending is quite inventive too. The songs used in the OP and ED are both really good but the OP one is the best. At least for me.

The animation is stellar, I think we can all agree on this one. I don’t really know how to describe the backgrounds but they look like a mix between traditional art and digital at the same time. AND THE FACES OF THE CHARACTERS! AAAHN! THEY ARE LOVELY! I mean his show is something else, everything in it is beautiful. At least for the moment, we’ll see if the same care and budget will be put in every episodes.

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h32m36s744The comedy is on point, the introduction of those chibi characters surprised me a bit. For the moment, all side characters, expect Victor and Yuri are used as comic reliefs but they remain attaching so I’m hoping their role will evolve later on.

Everything in this episode was very dynamic, which is why the figure skating performance at the middle of the episode had such an impact on me. After witnessing more than 12 minutes of characters constantly talking quickly, moving a lot and almost screaming, that figure skating scene was relaxing. I know nothing about Figure Skating in general so I can’t judge the quality of the performance but I do like to watch some performances, especially during the winter Olympics. Anyway, I liked it, that’s what matters. I do hope there’ll be a lot of those performances, but I fear once again, the show will take a more “Slice of Life” approach than a “Sports” one. A bit like Cheer Danshi!! and Free! for example. Now that I think of it, they all contain exclamations marks in their title… Coincidence? I think not.

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h40m52s031Yuuri is quite and in interesting character, he has a lot of contradictory feelings and sometimes does some stupid things without any reasons but heh, that’s what I call being normal. Especially the scene in the toilets when he called his family and lied to them in order to reassure them while trying to comfort himself at the same time. Without any success because even if you try, you can’t really fool yourself. I also liked the fact Yuri is a huge fanboy. Copying Victor’s skating moves, buying the same pet as his and naming it Victor, watching all his shows with stars in his eyes and having posters of him everywhere in his room. I can’t wait to see Victor and Yuuri interacting more, I bet there’s going to be a loooot of blushing, especially if Victor continues to do his little wink and smile… Yeah…
Speaking of Victor, sweet mother hell of bananas, he’s hot. It’s like everything about him is perfect, his looks, the way he treats his fans, his Figure skating performances and even his abs and butt… That’s why I’d like to see the guy in the private sphere, see his weaknesses and maybe the deconstruction of the myth.

So overall: Interesting main character, nice supporting cast, Gold Opening and Ending, amazing animation, what could go wrong?

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h41m43s158Well, let’s talk about Victor’s butt. Although I do appreciate butts once in a while, I’m a bit concerned about the nature of this show’s content. I’m almost sure there’ll be more “sexy” scenes like that. I don’t deal very well with Ecchi type of shows, I do enjoy fan service a bit but I grow quickly bored of it and I’m even pissed off if it’s used too often. So yeah, I’m a bit worried Yuri!!! on Ice will rely a bit too much on fan service. That’ll be a shame if they did, they have figure skating, no need for fan service when you are a show about such a cool sports!
Furthermore based on what I saw from the preview, Victor looks like the flirty type. And that’s fine by me, however, if the anime chose to go full “Shounen Ai” way, I want the show to assume it and develop a possible romance between the characters. Not just putting random awkward situations as a bait to attract a certain audience. In other words, if it’s gay, make it gayer.

Finally,+1 for having nipples Victor, that is a rare quality that not every bishounen has nowadays, props to you Vicky.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 1: [Unchanging Form][First Impressions]

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I’m quite a new addition to the Natsume fanbase so I did not have to wait for very long to get this fifth season. Indeed, it’s when I finished Natsume Yuujinchou Shi that the announcement for season five was made. So I did not wait very long but it did seem like five years to me. So of course I’m extremely happy to get the show back! It’s the perfect series to enjoy with a cup of tea, in your bed, under a huge pile of warm blankets, and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

At the beginning of the episode, Natsume whises to learn more about his grandmother Reiko. In town he sees a woman he knew when he was a kid and even if talking to her brings back some painful memories he decides to go and ask her if she knows something about his familly. We can clearly see that Natsume is still deeply affected by his childhood trauma but now, instead of keeping everything to himself hevlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h46m57s425 accepts to open his heart and to talk about his problems.

This episode also offered us anothershort story about yokais. This time, some sort of pot monster comes to Natsume, mistaking him for Reiko and asks him to return the thing he stole. After asking a few nice yokais, Natsume learns Reiko supposedly stole a doll from that yokai. Although Natsume and Nyan Goro don’t really believe Reiko would have stolen anything without a good reason, they go look after the doll. When the pot monster runs away in order to steal his treasure, Natsume is grabbed by a bigger yokai that somehow allows him to see his memories of Reiko. In that sort of flash back, Reiko mentions she met a guy who is nice with her, so I guess it’s probably the father of one of Natsume’s parent.
Finally, Natsume with the help of Touko and Nyan Goro manage to repair the doll and the pot monster is happy.

What made me laugh a bit was when Natsume talked about his treasures, he was envisioning,the Yuujinchou, his foster family and Tanuma. Yup, not his friends, not that girl whom I forgot the name but who can feel the yokais’ presence, nope, Tanuma, the one and only. I’d like to shout “AHN GAY!” but I’ve decided that for this series, I’ll behave myself. I have all the opportunities to make this kind of jokes with Gakuen Handsome. sans-titre-3

Charibo’s first Impressions:

vlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h42m25s791Wow, what a great first episode. It wasn’t great because it surprised me and ended on a giant cliffhanger that leaves you excited for the next episode but it was exactly what I’ve been hoping for. I wanted to get my Natsume Yuujinchou back, true to itself, without adding some unnecessary drama or other features.
I’m also super happy to see Natsume again <3. You can throw rocks at me for saying that but Natsume is clearly the nicest animu guy ever. If I had to pick one guy to be my "husbando" ( I really hate that term), that would be him, he's so realistically perfect that it hurts. He's such a nice guy that I couldn't dream of a nicest personality, and yes, I prefer the nice guy over all your tsunderes, kuudere and other guys with some issues. ALL HAIL NICE GUYS!

The opening and ending are both really nice songs, they are quite relaxing so it fits the show perfectly. The opening in particular reused the same elements than all the previous ones, Natsume riding on Nyan Goro’s back, a shot putting Reiko and Natsume back to back, the nice yokais doing nice youkai things and finally Natsume’s friends putting on a nice and welcoming face. As for the sound, I recognized some tracks of the mythic tracks of the show that were used in this episode.

vlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h42m20s663I would really like the show to take the “trying to discover more things about my past” route. I’d like to know more about Reiko but also about Natsume’s parents and I have the feeling that by doing this search, Natsume will probably continue to heal his own wounds. So that’s a win-win situation. Also, maybe by knowing his grandmother better, he will manage to differentiate himself from her. Since everyone, both yokais and humans do not make any difference between him and his grandmother, maybe knowing her past will help him do so.

The last frame of the opening shows the Yuujinchou, which is a bit dirty, being left off on a table as Natsume goes to meet with his friends. It can indicates that in this season we will witness the beginning of the end of Natsume’s job. Now, he has his friends so he doesn’t really need the book of friends anymore. We’ll see, we’ll see…

There’s a lot of elements that make me believe the show wanted to give an impression of continuity, to serve the fans the same old recipe that everyone loves without changing anything. It’s like the long break did not affect the show and that nothing as changed. It’s even funnier when you know the title of the episode is [Unchanging form]. Natsume Yuujinchou has truly returned, unchanged but still as good as ever.

Also dat blushing Natsume: 10/10

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Watching: You bet I will!

Covering: I’ll try a bit

Gakuen Handsome Episode 1: Welcome to Baramon High School [First Impressions]

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-08h12m50s016The hero of our wonderful story of love and youth is Yoshiki Maeda, but because I’ve decided so, I will call him Protag-kun . The first episode retraces the first day of Protag-kun, as he is transferred to an elite private boy school named Baramon. I’m not going to teach you anything, as you probably know, in the name of the school you can find the word Bara, which means Rose but also refers to the gay genre in Japanese literature. Don’t be surprised, such subtle allusions are a common thing in Gakuen Handsome, so catch the jaw you just dropped and let’s continue on with the story of Protag-kun’s new high school life.

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-08h13m03s386Protag-kun meets with his homeroom teacher, forget all your so called White hair Bishounens cause here comes Teruhiko Saionji, the sexy outlaw teacher who is going to revolutionize your world. He’s clearly the flirting type and kind of makes a move on Protag-kun, gently caressing his chin and introducing him as his fiance to the rest of the class. People can call that sexual harassment, pedophilia and not professional at all, I’d say it was awesome, because there’s nothing better than forbidden love, ya know. Then our glorious hero meets with his childhood friend, Saotome Takuya and goes home with him. On their way they meet with Protag-kun’s little sister who reads to many BL manga since already ships him with his childhood friend. Finally, as Protag-kun and his sister are walking home, a mysterious man appears. Who is he? What secrets does he hide? Find out more in the ext episode!

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[First Impressions]:

Let’s start with the obvious: The animation is amazing. Rarely have I had the chance to witness such perfection. To me it’s the accomplishment of more than 40 years of improvement in terms of animation. It’s like everything before Gakuen Handsome was only a draft, destined to create this masterpiece. The colors are bright, the animation is super fluid, it’s like the characters are not even in 2D anymore, I can almost feel their presence right beside me… Especially Saionji, I could almost feel the soft sense of his breath on my neck when he was close to Protag-kun.

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-08h18m30s462Gakuen Handsome made a risky bet with his purified art style. By getting rid of all the unnecessary things such as shading, backgrounds, eyes for the main protagonist, Gakuen Handsome clearly wants us to focus more on the characters and their development rather than on superficial things like “the gorgeous animation”. I cannot do anything else than applause this risky choice and congratulate the show for choosing a simplistic approach in appearance, but which hides some bold choices. Gakuen Handsome is clearly a pamphlet against the dictatorship of modern animation and the wrongly instated “universal good taste” AND I CAN ONLY APPLAUSE THAT! THANK YOU GAKUEN HANDSOME FOR SAYING WHAT NEEDED TO BE SAID! Oh yeah, also it denounces racism, homophobia, the society of consummation and love.

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-08h17m08s920Anyway, moving on with the characters. Of course, they are like the animation, amazing. Saionji is clearly a mysterious character with some deep past. I bet he had some troubles with justice before and like Joe Yabuki, underwent drastic changes in jail. Changes that made this guy another man. So if he’s a sexual offender it’s not his fault, it’s clearly the system’s fault, which also makes Gakuen Handsome a denunciation of the penal system. I know it’s a lot, but seeing Gakuen Handsome is a lot to digest.

Now for Saotome Takuya. He clearly suffers from a Mood disorder since he’s always happy and I bet this happiness hide some much more deeper secrets. I cannot imagine how sad he must have been when Protag-kun left the town… and now meeting him again, it’s like a dream. It’s destiny. I bet this guy is going to be more deep than Shinji Ikari, whom I can already remove from my favorite boiz list, to put this dude in the first place he truly deserves.

vlcsnap-2016-10-04-08h17m00s948Finally, let’s speak of the main character who, without any doubt is going to be the most developed one in the whole bunch. He’s a dick, he’s a compulsive liar and I don’t trust him. You know how you can tell if someone can be trusted by looking at his eyes? Well this dude doesn’t have any. Coincidence? I think not. He clearly removed them in order to stay undercover… that’s why I don’t trust him. Furthermore, see how he ignores his little sister and focuses on his own problems? Hum-Hum, not cool Protag-kun. If I had to bet on how this guy is going to evolve, I think he’ll go full School Days Makoto. That’ll be fun to watch.
There’ll be more guys to come in the next couple of episodes but I’m sure they are all going to be equally interesting and of course, really deep.

If I could already put a grade for this episode it would be 11/10, I haven’t really watched many shows this season but I don’t even want to anymore, Gakuen Handsome is going to top them in every aspect.

Jokes aside, I’m really hoping this anime will continue to be funny and won’t try too hard to be a “so bad that it is good “show.

Watching: Hell yes.

Covering: Depends. I hope there’ll be enough content for me to make jokes about, or even to analyze…But I kind of doubt it.

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?

D. Gray-man Hallow Episode 12&13: [Final Impressions]

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Episode 12 : My home

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h36m34s830Tikki and Allen are running away from the Order and Apocyphos. Tikki says what Allen knows too much but probably did not want to hear. In the apparent Manichean division Allen is not part of one’s group. He’s not black but isn’t white either. He doesn’t belong with the Noah, nor with the Order but now is the time to make a choice.

Meanwhile at the Order, everyone is afraid, The third exorcist are attacking, so there’s some little fights everywhere. I say “fights” but it’s just the characters screaming their attacks and not really fighting, which is a shame. But oh well, it is nice to see everyone fighting a bit, since you know, they did not do much this season. Oh yeah! Also, Road disappeared…

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h36m47s953Lenalee continues to defend Allen, she is probably the only person that still believes in him. Even if her brother asks her to go after the 14th she refuses, understanding that Allen trying to save both exorcists and Akuma doesn’t make him an enemy. When she finally meets with him, Allen says he’ll stay an exorcist no matter what, because it’s his home and he feels great there. But right after saying that, he parts way with Lenalee and leaves her alone as she tries to make him stay.

The fight scenes with those color backgrounds trying to give some dynamic to the scenes surprised me quite a bit, since they’ve never been utilized in D.gray-man before and not even in this season. It gave a really shounen’ish touch to this episode and I felt like I was watching some good old Nekketsu rather than D.gray-man. However, I do appreciate some visual choices for some parts, especially with Apocryphos which were really interesting. The way Apocryphos was presented and every choice concerning his presence, were quite judicious. Finally, the scene were Allen leaves Lenalee gave me little chills… because I love Allen too and don’t want him to go.

Episode 13: Walker

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h34m18s667We take a little peek at Allen’s past right after he transformed the one he loved into a Akuma and got “infected ” it. Cross Marian acts like Allen’s life doesn’t matter and is only helping him because he is the host of the 14th and that his goal is to protect the host to prepare Neah’s return. It’s during that time Allen was given the last name Walker, name that was previously Mana’s one. After that flashback, we see Allen returning returning to that place after he ran away from the order, using the Ark gate for the last time.
In the meantime, The Noah haven’t really manage to find anything about the 14th by torturing Lavi and Bookman. But we learn that one of the Noah has put some sort of parasite into Chaozi’s body, allowing them to watch the Order’s action form the inside.

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h38m34s2693 months have past since Allen’s disappearance, while the opinions about Allen’s true goal are diverging inside the order, Lenalee hasn’t lost her faith in Allen and even blames herself for not making him stay. Kanda is also back at the Order, activates Mugen, shows how cool he is and announces he’s ready to go look after Allen, since the latter helped him and Alma.

Meanwhile, Allen is going bananas, being chased by Akumas while having to fight in order to not lose his conscience to the 14th. What keeps him up a bit is seeing Marian and Mana , telling him to stand up and walk on his own path. To not follow anyone’s lead anymore and especially not the 14th’s one and to create his own destiny.

Final Impressions:

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h37m32s238Aaah I can’t believe D.Gray-man is over! I did not want it to end but sadly there wasn’t much more source material to adapt. I’m satisfied with the moment the anime chose to end at. The last scene where Allen decides to stand up for himself, to in a way, honor Mana’s last name, was quite an powerful moment and great way to end the season. Seeing Allen walking, determined, gives the impression that things will continue and that more is to come. So the final was fine, not spectacular but it was cool enough for me.

Now what about the rest of the series you might ask? Well, same as the ending, it was fine. I had really, really, and let me say it once again, really high hopes for D.Gray-man Hallow. I screamed when I saw the announcement and was hyped all long until I saw the first episode. Yeah, that was a bit disappointing but I tried to hold back a bit, and stay optimistic. After a few episodes I got the feeling that D.gray man was finally back. Sure the animation isn’t stellar and breathtaking, but at least the anime stayed true to the manga. Indeed, I have no particular complaints regarding the story. I love D.gray man’s story and seeing that they weren’t butchering one of my favorite manga definitely put me in a more lenient position towards the anime.

vlcsnap-2016-09-29-18h34m40s131But yes, the animation wasn’t particularly good, actually, I think it’s even below the standards of what can be done nowadays, but heh, what can we do about it? Nothing, and complaining about it won’t make the animation quality better so I chose to ignore that aspect a bit and to try to enjoy the anime, which is what I did.
The sound however was a different case. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was non existent. They were some cool tracks sometimes but overall it wasn’t spectacular at all.

So overall, I did enjoy the anime but mostly because I’m attached to the manga a lot. If I did not have this past with the manga and was just discovering the story with the anime, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it a lot less. Since the animation is not terrible, the sound is average, the only thing that saves the show is the story. Although sometimes rushed, the story was consistent enough to provide 13 episodes with each time a lot of content. As for the characters, well, I love them all, even the Noah who are complete dicks, I just can’t help but to sympathize a bit with them, or at least, to be interested in learning more about them.

Now I’m just sad we’ll have to wait I don’t know how many years to get another season…. Oh well, we still have the manga bit sigh… it’s going to take a loooong time before the rest of the “Searching for Allen” Arc gets animated.
I see you in 2050 then!

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 11&12: [Final Impressions]

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Episode 11: The War

vlcsnap-2016-09-27-08h39m16s434The whole crew goes to the battlefield. Alisha’s plan is to stop the two enemy armies to clash and thus, to avoid war. On their way they meet with a girl named Ian, who is as useless as unbearable, she wants to hold the hand of the shepherd, only seeing the Shepherd in Sorey, and not the human being that is behind the function. I guess it follows the idea that now, Sorey might be overwhelmed by his duty, the burden of the Shepherd becoming to heavy for one person to carry.

Everyone worries about Sorey and wonder how he will be able to handle this conflict. Mikleo also feels Sorey’s duty as a shepherd is starting to become a very heavy burden and tries to ease his mind by reminding him of the good old times in Elysia. He also offers him to go exploring ruins again with him, after all this shit is over.

Now that war has finally begun, malevolence everywhere. Therefore Sorey tries desperately to stop them but ends up being affected by the malevolence. He manages to purify everyone in the battlefield but sadly the war isn’t over and there’s still some fights all around the place. Then, Sorey and the Seraphs see a human hellion who Lailah calls the lord of calamity.

vlcsnap-2016-09-27-08h40m49s575In the meantime, Alisha tries to discuss the situation with the general but he refuses to stop war (as expected) and tries to capture her. With Rose they fight against the soldiers, but Alisha refuses to kill anyone and gets stab. They are about to get killed but are saved by some magical wind, work of a wind Seraph. OHOHOHO Finally I want to say, too bad there’s only one episode left heh.

So this episode had nice visuals during the war scenes, the battle scene was clearly my favorite one in this episode. The succession of bloody images in close ups and transitions with that distortion effect, made the scene quite oppressing and depressing at the same time. However, The downside of the episode is clearly the animation which although, remains great was sometimes a bit inconsistent. It also looked like they sometimes used some 3D images since it’s cheaper during some sequences, without any warning so it caught me off guard. It’s like the whole budget of the episode went in the battle scene or for the final episode, and if so, I cannot blame them about it.

Ep 12: The Lord of Calamity

vlcsnap-2016-09-26-22h12m21s033Sorey decides to go and confront the Lord of Calamity, of course he’s too strong and rekts Sorey. But why is the Lord of Calamity evil you may ask? Well, for the moment, we don’t really know, he did not talk much. He had only one argument, which was: “Men are the source of malevolence so purifying them is useless, you can’t save them, so better kill everyone”. Whereas Sorey responds, with: “No I will save them., cuz this ain’t the way things work, I will save everyone”. Basically the bad guy’s only line of dialogue was : “ooooou feel the malevolence, oouh, I’m very evil and bad, ooouu” and then he goes away. That’s it, yup, nothing else, that was almost just a cameo… Like Fox guy, the foxy fox that attacked the Seraph village in the first episodes… he came to say one line he went away, a bit useless if you ask me.

Rose comes to get Sorey cuz Alisha is supposedly dying. They have a little talk telling each other that they are happy they’ve met. And then, they do a squire contract because… I-I-I don’t know… they want to be together? Maybe they should explain how a human can become the Shepherd quire? Also I thought Alisha was hurt and about to die? How is she miraculously cured? Also, why did the war stopped? A messenger came to say something and the war suddenly stopped? Why? I don’t know, maybe they’ve explained it, but I forgot, it doesn’t seem clear to me…

vlcsnap-2016-09-26-22h12m14s814But anyway so now she can see the Seraphs… I don’t know what else being Sorey’s squire brings her but heh… Everything seems fine until the General who wanted to kill Alisha and who is now a hellion, comes and wants to kill her again. So Sorey goes all yandere mode cuz this dude is not going to touch his grill. He’s about to lose it but magically manages to purify the general because… I don’t know, let’s say he came back to his senses hearing his friends’ voices, at least that’s how it works in YU-GI-OH!

vlcsnap-2016-09-26-22h13m59s045Rose asks Sorey to come to Rolance with her and he accepts, so now they’re heading to Rolance with Dezel, whose name hasn’t been pronounced even once if I’m not mistaken… that is some good character introduction… He just appeared last episode, did some magical things, enough for us to understand that he is Rose’s personal stalker. Other than that… Nothing… cool.

I don’t really know how I feel about this episode, the whole second part of the episode felt a bit pointless to me, and to be completely honest, the first part too. To me, the show could have ended when Sorey and his cool gang encountered the Lord of Calamity. They also could have killed Alisha, giving Sorey more reasons to become tainted by malevolence. But nope, they chose the easy way and ended on a generic ” OUR ADVENTURES CONTINUE IN SEASON 2!”. They just saw a war, thought on a battlefield, just witnessed Sorey becoming bananas but no one is worried? I’m not saying they aren’t concerned by that and maybe they’ll show how the war affected them in the second season, but that was a clumsy way to end this season.

Final Impression :

Tales of Zestiria the X was along, with D.Gray-man my most anticipated show for the Summer 2016 seasons. I am by no means a Tales of fan since the only opus I know is Tales of Zestiria. So coming to this show, I was just hoping to witness a pleasing adaptation of a game that I quite liked.

Starting by the positives, the show is beautiful, in every aspect. The animation is stellar and the soundtrack is like honey to my ears. The little fight scenes we got were nicely choreographed and thrilling. The characters are attaching and I find their character design appealing. As for the story, I especially liked how the show focused more on Sorey and on his dilemma as a Shepherd during the last episodes.

vlcsnap-2016-09-26-22h13m15s133However, like mentioned earlier, I had some problems with the last couple of episodes, that went a bit crazy. It’s like Zestiria has no real plot and is just a succession of scenes, about different things happening in this fucked up world, giving almost the impression of an episodic type of show. Of course the thing about the bad guy not being brought up earlier is also present in the game but I do believe it is a flaw. Not every game can be well adapted on screen but hopefully Tales of Zestiria the X isn’t a bad anime. At least not as bad as Ace Attorney, oh boi, this one was horrible.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah! The true villain of the show is introduced in the last episode and we only heard his name once. Furthermore, Sorey’s goal to make humans and Seraph live together was abandoned during the most part of the show and only brought in the final episode to give Sorey some determination. Finally, the war drama was back again just before the end, and it wasn’t enough for me to get involved in the war and to clearly see and understand the points the anime was trying to made. And it’s the same thing for that “final battle” between the Lord of Calamity and Sorey. Because everyone basically forgot about the Lord of Calamatiy, nobody was expecting him to be on this field, thus, there was no tension, I wasn’t thrilled nor excited about this fight, nor was I waiting for it. So not only I was disappointed but I also did not give many fucks about it.

As for the characters, like I expected, I liked them all, but only because I already knew them from the game. The only characters that I felt had a real connection in the anime were Sorey and Mikleo, and maybe Sorey and Alisha. The rest of the cast was a bit bland and even their interactions did not make me believe those guys were “friends” or even getting along. Which is a shame, since in a team, chemistry between all the members is important. Even Rose and Alisha, did not seem close to me, or at least, I just couldn’t believe that they could be such good friends in such a short time, and after what happened between them.

vlcsnap-2016-09-26-22h12m51s675Also, I did not get much Mikleo during the last couple of episodes… I’m disappointed… I’m really disappointed, where’s my Meebo? Nah, I’m joking, however I’m quite angry Dezel did not get any proper introduction, he just appears and that’s it. It’s like the show assumes you already know who he is. Of course, not everyone knows who he is, since not everyone played the game. The fact the show is produced by Ufotable gives it enough hype and fame for non game players to be interested in it. Therefore, you have to explain things. And that’s another problem of Tozx. Little things were truly explained. Sorry to bring that up again but the Amartization thing? They’ve never explained what it was. It’s just Sorey merging with the Seraphs because… he can?

So overall Tales of Zestiria the X remained a bit generic and was flawed with his pacing, plot and sub plots getting out of hand. However, the animation, sound and characters did save the show for me. It was a pleasure to listening to those beautiful soundtracks and watch the show in 1080P. As for the characters, I just can’t help but to like them, especially Mikleo. So of course I came to this show knowing I would be biased but heh, as much as I’d like to be objectivity’s spokesman, we are influenced by our personal experiences and in my case, by the game. Since I already knew the cast and was attached to it, I had no problem getting in the story and loving the shepherd crew.

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TOZX is by no means a bad show.
To me it is just a bit clumsy and like it or not, a bit generic.
The idea to make Sorey becoming more and more tainted by Malevolence is a really good one, so I sincerely hope they will develop this in the second Season.

Ozmafia!! [Scarlet Route]

scarletSooooo Scarlet

The first thing that came to my mind: “Bloody hell, this sharp looking fellow looks like my waifu Kanato from Diabolik Lovers”.
True, but yet, both have pretty different personalities.
All jokes asides, Scarlet’s personality is wayyy better than Kanato’s.
But I guess this statement depends on what you’re into…

When they first met, Fuka mistakes Scarlet for a girl. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve seen too many traps in my life that I can spot them pretty easily but Scarlet clearly looks like a guy to me. I mean Fuka did not think once that Sou was a girl so why Scarlet? Plus, I’m sorry Fuka but this is clearly not the voice of a grill but anyway, even Kyrie plays along and doesn’t correct Fuka when she refers to Scarlet as “she”. Yes, Kyrie hasn’t changed at all, he’s still a lil’ shit.

Scarlet 1During the first part of his route, Scarlet tells you not to come near him since you’re from rival families. He is a bit tired of the fighting and wishes for things to settle down even if doesn’t really know how.
Fuka eventually learns that he is a man, which kind of offense him a bit. He asks her why did she think he was a girl since he thinks he looks like a guy. She replies: “When I look at you, I just see a girl”. DAAAAAAAAAMN That must hurt, that must really hurt. She also adds ” You’re even girlier than me”. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with Fuka, she doesn’t have a single bit of tact. WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT TO A GUY? Well, I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to social skills but still, I know the basics.
BUT I’TS NOT OVER! Scarlet admits that he is insecure about this stuff and the fact he doesn’t look like a man is worrying him. AND WHAT DOES FUKA REPLIES? “But you’re a perfect girl”… Oh wow, well played Fuka.
If somebody tells you that he feels insecure about something, you either try to reassure him or you avoid the subject, you don’t confirm their worries by telling them what they obviously don’t want and don’t need to hear, especially when it’s not true.

That’s it despise her. I dislike her more than I dislike Tomato Tuna, which is something.

Scar 2So, how does Scarlet reacts to Fuka being offensive as hell? He’s calm, he tells her to stop calling him cute and is more sad than pissed off. He’s the chill master! Props to him for being so calm and collected while dealing with this chick. Furthermore, Scarlet is also insecure about his height, he worries about the fact that he might never grow up. Fuka doesn’t really reassure him again ad tells “but you’re so cuuuuuute, I’m jealous of you”.. Yeaaaaah.. We should make a drinking game where you drink every time Fuka is being offensive.

Anyway, even if Fuka continues to be a total asshole, Scarlet starts to care and worry about her. When she gets into a fight involving the Grimm family, he asks her multiples times if she’s okay and even make medicine for her. SO LOVELY! Because yes, Scarlet is adorable. At some point he gives Fuka and flower but feels bad for killing it. He hates violence so doesn’t use his gun, always tries to find a compromise to solve conflicts rather than using violence. I might have a thing for nice guys actually… I used to think that bad boys were cool but heh… guess I changed my mind.

However, like stated earlier, Scarlet is pretty insecure about himself, he is obsessed with change, wants to grow taller, to be more manly and is worried that people will treat him as a kid and think he’s boring and too normal. I’m really sensible to this kind of “insecurity” problem so yeah, I empathize a lot with him, life’s hard bro.

Scar 3One time when they go outside of town to have a walk, Fuka trips and goes down the hill. He protects her but hurts his leg by doing so. Since walking back to town is going to take too much time they decide establish a camp. Nothing remarkable happens, Scarlet gets a bit friendzonned but heh, we are talking about a girl who mistook him for a girl, I doubt she’ll realize he has feelings for her.

The next day, both of them are attacked by the wolf gang, Scarlet sacrifices himself to help Fuka escape. Fuka asks Caramia and Kyrie to save Scarlet but they first refuse, then Caramia says okay, but she’ll have to join the OZ family. What a douche! He’s like: “you’re too close to him, people are thinking you’re going to join family grim and not our family so, join now and we’ll save him. But then you won’t see him anymore.” So yeah, they save him but Fuka joins the Oz family.

Then, when she meets with Scarlet on a Sunday she completely ignores the shit out of him. Axel being here, doesn’t really understand why she’s acting so cruelly. He again explains her that because it’s Sunday, they are allowed to talk to each other, ignoring him is just cruel and useless. She has no reasons at all to ignore him like that. She says that she knows she is cruel with him but since they are in rival families they shouldn’t have any contact. Humm… So yeah… Fuka is the type of girl that apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “compromise”. It’s everything of nothing at all. But by doing that she’s just hurting herself and Scarlet. Oh well, I’m not the best one to give advice on how you should be living your life and make clever choices but still, that looks like a pretty dumb decision to me.

Scar 4But anyway, Fuka keeps on doing everything she can to avoid him but one night, when she’s out in a casino with Kyrie, she meets with Scarlet who apparently has been doing all he could to speak with her. But she doesn’t want to listen to him and runs away. He chases after her and catches then. He has been wondering why she’s been avoiding him all this time. He thinks he has done something bad or hurt her feelings. THAT’S WHY INSTEAD OF AVOIDING HIM YOU SHOULD JUST HAVE TOLD HIM! Grrrr, I’m mad at her… I hate when people suffer because of useless things like that.

Scarlet blames himself for this. He thinks it’s his fault if Fuka joined the family OZ since she did it to save him. Well, we can play this who’s fault is it game all night, if Scarlet got captured in the first place it was because Fuka can’t fucking walk and fell off the climb. See, I’m pretty good at that game.
In the end, instead of being mad at her, he begs her to stop avoiding him. Wow, just wow. He says that he’ll be happy just talking to her a little. If that’s not pure love, then I don’t know what it is, Scarlet is too pure for this world. Also, going through Scarlet’s subs events and reading what he thought of the situation melt my heart. He has such genuine feelings and gets all happy just talking to Fuka that I’m going to puke rainbows.

Ending 1

Scar 5

One day Fuka meets with Hamelin who seems quite familiar with Scarlet. Later she learns that he is a criminal who recently returned to town Scar 6although he was exiled. Apparently he was the previous Don of the Grim Family who hated guns and violence but changed for some unexplained reasons. Hamelin asks Scarlet if he wants to stay in the family or if he prefers to leave. Scarlet then decides to leave in order to stop Hamelin from being a psychotic douche.
He asks the Oz to take him in their family, which is not an easy task apparently since you have to cut off the skin where the family mark is and put the brand of your new family above. Lovely isn’t it? But according to Scarlet, his mark is special so it will keep on reappearing all the time. So he’s ready to keep on slicing his skin off at any time. DUDE that’s pretty hardcore.

Anyway he joins the family and they fight against Hamelin, they win, the grim family is disbanded and everyone is happy. He confesses to Fuka but falls asleep before he could hear her answer… Who does that? Who falls asleep like that? Especially when you’re in a stressful moment? I’m actually quite impressed by that skill.
Anyway, everyone is happy and now Scarlet becomes the mom of the family scolding everyone and cooking for his children.

Ending 2

Scar 8

In the ending 2 Scarlet can’t resolve himself to betray Hamelin so decides to follow Hamelin’s orders. They start a fight with Oz family. Hamelin orders Scarlet to shoot Fuka, he hesitates but is determined to protect his family, his memories and believes that by doing that he’ll be able to live happily with Hamelin like before. However, Hamelin somehow makes Scarlet shoot him instead and is about to die in a scene so filled with dialogues like ” Why are you always so unreasonable, reckless and making fun of me?”,” Why are you making me suffer?”,”You’re doing it on purpose right?”… and such cute exchanges between Scarlet and Hamelin. Then, Scarlet becomes the new Don of the Grim family while Hamelin is put in Jail. Fuka and Scarlet both don’t really declare they love to each other but keep on seeing each other regularly only for business. I guess that makes then good friends?

Scar 7OF COURSE I PREFER ENDING 1. What’s up with this game giving rather sad endings to the best characters anyway? The second ending isn’t a bad one though, it’s a bit sad, but maybe more realistic. Plus, the situation isn’t craved in rock, their relationship might evolve later on, so all hope isn’t lost.

I like Scarlet. He’s cute, attentive, a blushing Tsundere which is a plus. I don’t really care about the fact that he is a shota. I have nothing against shotas anyway so yeah, that doesn’t really bother me. I’m really wondering how old is scarlet actually. Nothing is told about his age and it is mentioned that Hamelin’s flute can control animals and children but Scarlet is fine so does this mean that he’s not a kid? With a sub even you learn that Scarlet was present when the family were created, so Fuka calls him a grand-pa, which means that he isn’t that young after all. I don’t know if this information is really important, but it could avoid a lot of people[myself included] troubles with the justice, so that’s always a good thing.

Scarlet’s route was refreshing, especially since I played it after Kyrie. Like I thought, I prefer the “nice guy” type to the teasing one, it’s too much trouble.

Shit Ranking of the routes:

1 Sou Scarlet and him are pretty close tho
2 Scarlet I’d just wish for more romance, give me romance
3 Kyrie If only Caramia’s route was better
4 Caramia It was like the 2016 Eurovison contest = Boring
5 Brothel Still not into S&M sorry.

Coming next on Ozmafia!!: I don’t really know actually… Either Axel or Robin Hood, I’m still hesitating.

Cheer Danshi!! Episode 1: [The Curtain Rises][First Impressions]

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Cheerleading?
Boys?
Cute guys doing sports?
Sign me the hell in.

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h51m17s086Meet Haru, a really supportive brother, cheering for his sister during her Judo match. Haru is in the judo club himself and is born into a family of Judo specialists so he has to live up to their expectations. However, he doesn’t seem to enjoy this sport as much as he should. He thinks he will never be as cool as his sister and furthermore, he is wondering if he got into the his University Judo club not because of his talent but because he is the son of the Banjou Dojo, his family dojo. He is quite shy with strangers and seems to be better at supporting than playing.
We learn that Haru hurt his shoulder not so long ago and thus he can’t really do Judo for a little while. I guess this injury was the occasion for him to rethink a part of his life and to determine if he really cared about Judo or not. He also admits he planned to use this injury as an excuse to quit. Of course, the real reason isn’t because he hurt himself but mainly because he has no real affinity with this sport.

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h44m14s889Things change when his childhood friend Kazu and also member of that damn Judo Club decides to quit. He explains that wanted to quit at the same as Haru since like him, he doesn’t really care about Judo. Furthermore, he was in the club because Haru was in it. Since they’ve been together all their life I guess he wants to support his friend and help him to find his way. That’s one of the reason why he decided to create the cheerleading Club. The other reason is because his dead parents were related to that sport. His mom was a cheerleader and his father the coach of her cheerleading team. So maybe by trying out his parents’ passion he’s hoping to know them better. Since his parents died when he was young and the only family he has left is his ill grandmother he must feel a bit lost and need some sort compensation?

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h54m40s671So yeah, now Kazu tries to convince Haru to be a part of his “male only” Cheerleading club and at the same time, to recruit the first members. That’s where crazy Megane-kun appears, motivated as hell to join because he basically wants to experience something new and unusual.
In order to convince Haru who is still reluctant to join, they go see a match, where a team of cheerleaders are practicing. Haru is impressed but like I thought, he’s afraid of heights, that’s why even if he’d like to, he’s afraid to join since he’ll have to jump in the air and shit. He lacks the opportunity to tell his friend and Megane-kun, mostly because the latter speaks all the time and is super pumped for this. At the practice session they also meet with a random a dude from the cheerleading team who clearly has no chill and who’s like “Listen losers, you can’t be a cheerleader just like that! You need to practice and shit, you’ll never be able to make it cuz you suck. And only guys in the team? Dude, that’s so gay, and I know what I’m talking about”. Thanks random dude for this helpful intervention, because you’ve been super relevant your name will be changed to Hairband-kun.
Haru gets pissed off by Hairband-kun’s bullshit and end up agreeing to join his friend’s Cheerleading Team. From now on, their objective is to train and to recruit more members!

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This guy is a blessing

Charibo’s First Impressions

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h45m32s133As expected, the series is heading more towards the “slice of life” genre than actual sports which is fine by me. Everything in this episode reminds me of Shounen Hollywood, a series who focused more on the actual “slice of life” aspect rather than on the idol genre even if labelled under it. Many people thought it was cringe worthy, I say it was worth of my time. In my opinion it gave a fresh new look on the idol industry and I think we need more shows like that, to demystify things, like Idols.

But back to business, I found this episode quite relaxing and somehow cute. Like I said to me this series is going to focus more on character development and friendship between dudes than on actual sports. However, I find the tiny bits of cheer leading we saw in that episode really pleasing. Also, since this episode introduced Hairband-kun, the dick from another Cheerleading team, maybe we’ll get some competition between the two teams. At least, I hope so.

I liked the alchemy between the two main protagonists, you can tell they are really good friends and there’s nothing too gay between them… If I can phrase it like that. There’s nothing that makes me want to ship them as a couple let’s say. The rest of the characters seems promising too, I’m already in love with that guy who has no fashion sense, I think we have a lot of things in common. I also saw some guy with an afro, a chubby guy and another one with a star tattoo so I’m looking forward to meet all of them.

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h56m00s042The Opening is good and my favorite moments are of course the cheerleading parts with all those bright colors, sparkles and specials effects that I fail to describe. I really, really love those parts, same in the actual episode when some Cheerleading occurs. The moments when the color palet changes and when actual cheerleading happens are fantastic.

The OST was surprisingly good as well. Man, I did not expected that, I want more now! As for the animation is a bit off sometimes but nothing too horrible overall. I like the Art style and character design though. It has a little realistic touch to it which is an asset in my opinion.

vlcsnap-2016-07-05-17h43m06s729The comedy is a bit odd but it strangely works on me, maybe because I have a terrible sense of humor… The comedy in the episode almost only relied on Megane-kun being weird by doing weird things and Haru being slightly pissed off while blushing at the same time. I already love both of them.

Judging by the nice Shower scene we got, I guess there is going to be some fan service for girls but heh! WHO CARES?! Just a little bit of fan service is fine sometimes.
Nice back muscles Haru by the way… I see that Judo wasn’t totally useless after all… ahaha…

Overall this was a decent first episode. I think this is going to be a nice little relaxing series, I’m not expecting anything more to be totally honest. With low expectations you have less chances to be disappointed right? That’s what Kabaneri told me last season.

Watching? Yup
Covering? Yes again

D. Gray-man Hallow Episode 1: [The Fourteenth][First Impressions]

I’ve been waiting for this day.
I’ve really been waiting for too long
BUT THE DAY FINALLY CAME!
D GRAY MAN IS BACK!

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The one fainting is me, when I remember Allen and how beautiful he is.

The episode opens with the battle of chapter 169 I believe, after a little flashback scene with Timcampy. It’s the occasion for everyone to meet again with the Black Order’s exorcists on a mission and to witness how much they’ve changed since last time. Of course the most noticeable change is Link who grew up to be a beautiful bishounen without anyone noticing. For the unlucky souls who forgot, this is Link before:

Howard_Link

I don’t know about you but either way, Link is selling me dreams. Different kinds of dreams I’ll admit but still (and I’m not even talking about that booty shot of him in the Opening, bless our souls)

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY:

MA BOY LAVIII

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AND ALLEEEEEEN

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MY SOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!
I guess my icon speaks for itself, I love Allen, with all my heart.
If you ever talk shit about him, I’ll find you and things will ensue.
I’m dead serious.

Anyway, sorry for Caps lock, it’s the hype talking, I’ll try to contain myself… I’m super happy to see all of them but mostly Allen and Lavi, whom presence should be enjoyed as much as we can since he’s not getting much screen time lately.
Also… Lavi is hot, he’s really is hot… I mean he was hot since the beginning, but… yeah… fiiiiiou, I don’t know about you but those summer nights are going to get a lot warmer than I expected… and that won’t be the global warming’s fault this time. I swear, this dude is the incarnation of sin, a beautiful one though… really beautiful…

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-21h46m15s980*AHEM* It was quite a bloody battle If you ask me. I don’t recall seing guts and blood in the previous anime. Oh well, I like blood so that’s not a issue for me. So after they’ve won the battle against the Akumas and secured the Innocence, the focus jumps back in time. We now see our exorcist gang discovering for the first time the new Head quarters of the Black Order after its destruction by the last Akuma attack. So yeah, they actually decided to adapt those chapters in a strange order and thus they made some little changes in this episode. Overall it works pretty fine so I won’t complain.

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-22h10m53s074They also added a nice little recap summing up the basic plot of the series. I say “basic plot” because for those who thought D.Gray-Man was still “Allen, along with his fellow Exorcists must put a stop to the Millennium Earl’s ultimate plot that could lead to the destruction of the world and all who live on it.” I’m sorry to disappoint you but it’s not that easy anymore. I don’t think I even understand what D.Gray-Man is about now… I just know I like it… very much.

Right after, it’s the entrance of Lveille who’s doing a great job at being a dick, as usual. He restrains Allen with those weird little magic spell papers and hop, we don’t really have time to waste, let’s meet with Cross Marian. The latter basically explains that the fourteenth, who betrayed the Noah clan years ago, was Mana’s brother who was also Allen’s adoptive father. Oh yeah and Allen is hosting the Fourteenth’s personality. So inside his body, he basically has the soul of his uncle? It’s complicated? AHAHAHA, this is just getting started.

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-22h25m16s039The Flashback of Allen and Mana was so cute. It’s funny to see that Allen was so different back then but yet still adorable as hell.
What makes me soooo sad, hearing Cross’s explanation, is the fact that Allen doesn’t know if Mana liked him for who he was or because he was the Fourteenth’s host, and of course now, there’s no way to know… And also the fact that despite that, Allen decided to believe in Mana… AAAAAAAAAAAAH ALLLLEEEN WHY ARE YOU SUFFERING SO MUCH?! WHY IS EVERYONE SUFFERING?! WE NEED TO PROTECT ALLEN! WE ACTUALLY NEED TO PROTECT ALL OF THEM!

Hey you know what? It’s only episode 1 and I already feel the pain, which means it’s good…
It’s good, give me more pain.
I’m used to it now.

Because the Fourteenth’s goal was to kill the Millenium Earl, Lvielle thinks of using Allen to achieve the same end. Since their goals are similar, why not using that kid as a tool? Great idea right? Oh Lviell, I hate you, but I love hating you at the same time. After Douchy Lvielle being a douche, and Cross Marian being kind of an asshole, the episode ends with a cliffhanger on Cross’s death. I guess it was expected, that’s a nice way to end the episode in my opinion.

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Charibo’s First Impression:

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-22h03m17s699D. Gray-man was one of the first works that got me into mango reading with Full Metal Alchemist and Death Note, and consequently one of the reasons of my fall into the animu trashdom. I remember reading it when I was twelve and worshiping it like it was the best mango ever created and it still is. I tried to get my two brothers into the D.Gray-man hell, one of them liked it, the other one isn’t my brother anymore. Yo, I even changed my icon to embrace Allen’s glory, that’s how dedicated I am!
All this to say that when the announcement of Hallow came, my inner fangirl woke up from 6 years of sleep and now I’m freaking ready for this! I want this to be good. But is it really? Is this long awaited adaptation going to live up to our expectations? We had a quite a long time to fantasize about it, so are our dreams going to be crushed or will we slowly fall with delight into the pain and despair that D.Gray-man brings?

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-22h02m22s466The visuals of the Opening sequence are good, I like the song too but together… Heh… I think I need time to get used to it. But my favorite Noah dork Wisely is as beautiful as ever in it so I’ll let it slide. On the other hand the ending is a perfect win for me. I swear I almost cried when I saw the pictures with Kanda and Alma… Freaking hell, this is going to be painful….

The Seiyuus are fine, Lenalee’s voice is maybe a bit too high pitched but I think I can get used to it. As for the background music I don’t really know, I haven’t noticed any memorable tracks so I’m waiting to hear more. GIVE ME SOME AMAZING SOUNDTRACK ANIMU! I’m waiting.

vlcsnap-2016-07-04-22h44m43s682As for the Art style… HEH… umm… Yeah, I don’t really like it… There’s no way the anime art style could live up to the Hoshino sensei’s drawings but yeah… I think I still prefer the old anime art style, here everything is a bit too colorful for the dark and gloomy universe that D. Gray-Man is supposed to be. But I give them the benefit of the doubt tho, maybe things will get more dark as the pain is increasing. But Lenalee was wayyyy more prettier in the older version… Just sayin’ (and she’s not the only one).
However, I’m sorry but to me, the animation is pretty bad… The faces in the background are a weird, the characters in movement are meh. The funny faces of Allen, which I absolutely love in the manga, are okay I guess, it could have been a lot better though. So yeah, the Art is a bit sloppy and that’s such a shame!

Now, one of my main worries, aside from the Art style is the pacing. From what I saw on the PV and Opening I guess they are going to stop after the Alma Arc, which is quite a shame since I wanted to see the next Arc with Neah adapted. But eh, I prefer them to focus on a little amount of episodes and to give us some good stuff rather than rushing tings. And even so, I’m a bit pessimistic on that one too. 13 episodes seems a bit… too short? Good luck fitting Cross’s disappearance, Timothy’s encounter and the Alma Arc in 13 episodes. I doubt they are going to manage to fit everything without rushing it… Oh well, we’ll see.

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So overall it was a nice first episode, my only disappointment is the animation and art style. I think I kind of expected it, when I saw the first trailers I had some doubts about the animation quality and I was quite right. I guess I was hoping a miracle and sadly it did not happen. So let’s pray for the drawings to get better. However, because it’s the first episode, the hype is too strong and I’m too excited to be pessimistic. For the moment I’m just happy D.Gray-Man is back. So let’s keep the bad things aside for a little while and let’s enjoy the greatness that D.Gray-man is.

Possibility of Watching: You bet I am!
Possibility of Blogging: My body is ready

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 0: [Prologue-The Age of Chaos][First Impressions]

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Yes! I was really waiting for this one.

vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h16m33s188The episode begins with Princess Alisha exploring some antic ruins and discovering some painted roks linked to the legend of the Shepherd. She mentions the Celestia record, a book where all those tales are compiled. It’s quite a shame they don’t explain the legend in further details but I have strong hopes they’ll do it later.
While there’s some sort of festival going on in the main city, Lady Lake, some people are concerned by the apparition of strange phenomenons all around the land. Especially a threatening dark cloud which doesn’t seem to disappear with time. So the Princess sends one of her guards, Clem, to investigate, but two weeks later she’s still not back.

vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h15m00s977On their way to somewhere, Alisha and her gang get attacked by some bandits and after an epic fight one of the bandits transforms into some sort of Fox vampire… I’ll call him Fox guy for the moment.

Because Clem still hasn’t come back and nobody knows what the heck is going on with the land, they decide to go look for her. On their way to find her, they discover that the land is ravaged and everything seems dead. There’s also a kid, but I doubt she will be relevant to the story, and kids are lame anyway.
So they finally find Clem but there’s a big tornado so they have to run, leaving the professor dude inside the cave he went down. Speaking of the professor guy, he finds finds some sort of Blue water which turns into black smoke inside that cave. In the meantime Clem explains that if the world is starting to be really shit it’s because the balance between forces of nature is disrupted, so that’s not very cool. Plus, there’s also a dragon who’s now awake and the tornado keeps getting stronger and stronger, eventually taking the life of Alisha’s soldiers. In other words, thing sucks.

vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h31m07s657Then a Dark Loli appears for no real reason and the Fox guy too. Fox guy wants to fight Dark Loli because he’s crazy so they fight. Meanwhile Clem dies and Alisha doesn’t understand what’s going on in front of her ( Like me).

Now that all of her friends are probably dead, Alisha is a bit lost and walks in an abandoned village, I presume. There, she meets with that irrelevant kid who dies because of the tornado. Heh, I told you, kids are useless. Finally the Dragon appears and the END.

Well, that was confusing… A lot of things happened but still, this episode felt too short. I want more!

Charibo’s first Impressions:

I am biased

vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h05m16s526Tales of Zestiria is the only opus of the Tales Franchise that I know. Because I had nothing better to do last year, I watched some let’s plays of the game so I kind of already know the story. Now, I know a lot of the Tales Franchise’s fans don’t really like Zestiria for various reasons but that’s not my case. Mainly because: I don’t know the other games and I haven’t watched their adaptations so yeah…. Tales of Zestria is the only one I know.
I’ve also seen the 40 minutes OVA, Tales of Zestiria: Doushi no Yoake (which I recommend) and I’m even reading the mango Tales of Zestiria: Michibiki no Toki , well only 4 chapters have been released but yeah… I read them. That’s how familiar I am with the Zestria and knowing my memory, I’ve probably already forgot what happened at the end of Zestiria… At least I won’t be able to spoil anyone now.

Now as for the episode in itself, it was… unexpected? I certainly did not think they would focus the action on Alisha. Well, that’s a good choice I think, I don’t recall Alisha getting much screen time in the games so if they can correct that in the anime that’s good.
To me, this episode was a bit messy and rushed. We got a bit too much infos in the first ten minutes and the second part of the episode left me: What the hell is happening? But I guess they wanted to introduce most of the background story in that prologue episode before starting the main story line. But that two week jump at the beginning without any warning? Uh, not sure I like that. You want what else I did not like?

No Mikleo

Where’s my Mikleo?

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Hey yo, I signed up for this because of Mikleo.
WHERE’S MY MAN?!

Nah, I’m joking, or not… As you might have noticed I’m slightly obsessed with Mikleo, simply because he’s one of my favorite characters ever. Yeah, I know… I’m he worst. But anyway, I guess it makes sense not to show him nor Sorey since this episode is supposed to be the Prologue. So I guess next week they’ll show us the meeting between Alisha and the main guys. Are they going to redo the OVA then? Show some different scenes? I hope they will.

vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h08m08s707The Opening is nice. I like FLOW, well at least, I like their openings. Everybody keeps on talking about Colors but I’ll stay true to Kibou no Uta. But anyway, I still think the Japanese Opening of the Game is better, even if honestly it’s not really surprising, the OP for the Game is just… see for yourself: ????

But yeah, the Opening is fine enough. While listening to it I thought: Hey! Is that some cornemuse in the background? Did FLOW thought: “Hey! It’s a story about a shepherd, let’s put some cornemuse, that’s the instruments shepherds are using when they are guarding sheep right?”.

Now, the music in this episode was A+++, everything that I like, I’m a sucker for epic soundtracks so of course I was delighted with the music choice here.
As expected the Art is breathtaking, it’s just… wow… The little fight scene between Alisha and the bandits was epic and the Storm chase too, Ufotable really outdid themselves on this one. I wonder how much they spent on this episode …vlcsnap-2016-07-03-17h07m38s475

I’m a bit worried about that Berseria Crossover though. The Opening sequence showed us Velvet, the main character of Berseria so I really hope it’s not going to be a pure “marketing anime” only here to sell the upcoming game. Please make this character relevant to the story.
The pacing is another of my worries, based on what I’ve heard it’s going to be a 2 cours show with a second season in Winter. Maybe they are going to put the Berseria crossover in the second season while the first one will adapt the Zestria’s story? Or maybe they are going with a complete different story? I don’t know, I’m a bit lost but I sure want to see how things are going to turn out.

I might too pessimistic for a first episode but I’m really hoping this anime will turn how to be good and if not, at least decent. But to me, it looks like Ufotable is trying to correct some of the game’s flaws so heh, I want to be optimistic on this one. Overall this was a fine first episode, nothing too remarquable but no major flaws that needed to be pointed out. It definitely left me more enthusiastic than I originally was.

Also give me more Mikleo
More Mikleoooooooooo

Probability of Watching: Of course.
Probability of Blogging: I want to see how this is going to turn out.