Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV – Episode 1 [Before the Storm] [First Impression]

vlcsnap-00001
On Wednesday March 15, 2016, an event titled “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV” was held in Hollywood, California. Attendees were treated to not one, two, or even five, but fourteen revelations related to the upcoming video game Final Fantasy XV. One of those announcements was the launch of a new five-episode anime titled Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.

So here we are! I’m so ecstatic that I get to cover this. The last time we had an anime adaption or tie in of a Final Fantasy game was (from what I remember) Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an OVA released in 2005 as part of the collector’s editions of FF: Advent Children in Japan and North America.

~*~

Flames crackle in the night air as a child, Noctis, slowly opens his eyes. He’s lying in a pool of blood, barely conscious. Towering above him and the body lying next to him is a murderous looking serpentine creature, its six arms each holding a long blade. It prepares to attack Noctis but is thwarted by a group of men with swords of their own. A man I’m assuming to be Noctis’ father summons blades out of thin air, and hurls them at the creature.

vlcsnap-00004Noctis awakens briefly sometime later on. He’s clean and wearing different clothes, and we see someone hold his hand in theirs. (I’m still assuming this is his father.) Noctis is unable to stay awake and passes out again.

In the present day, Noctis awakens in the backseat of a car. He and his friends are on a trip to the city of Caem, but first they have to stop for food and gas.

At the little roadside diner, they order food and discuss what their next plans are. Ignis and Gladiolus bicker over Noctis’ picky eating habits, and this behaviour seems to continue throughout the rest of the episode. They’re all friends, but at the same time Noctis is royalty so the others are there to protect him and look out for him as well. It’s like having a friend and a babysitter all rolled into one.

Their plans get slightly derailed, however, when they hear a radio broadcast at the diner. The Kingdom of Lucis is now in anarchy after the death of their royal family, so the Empire has established a temporary government to help squash any anarchists. As they’re listening to the broadcast, an Empire ship flies by overhead, and drops some troops not too far away. Noctis and his friends take that as their cue to leave. As they drive away from the diner, Noctis’ inner monologue informs the viewer that the kingdoms of Lucis and Niflheim were at war for a long time, until Lucis lost. Now their royal family is dead, and the Imperial Army has overtaken Lucis’ Crown City.

Later that night, the guys stop to have something to eat and camp out. They muse about how much longer they’ll be able to take it easy like they are, because eventually they’re going to have to come out of hiding to reclaim their home. Prompto keeps taking pictures of everyone, and it’s revealed that their roadtrip had started out as a trip to Noctis’ and Lunafreya’s wedding, but then everything happened at the Crown City so their plans had to be altered.

The sun is barely over the horizon when the four guys begin driving again. It’s not long before they run into more Imperial troops, who have set up a roadblock. Noctis and the others can’t drive around it, so they are forced to fight. vlcsnap-00019

The fight scene serves as, in my opinion, a slice of what the combat in Final Fantasy XV will be like. The guys have the ability to materialize and dematerialize both themselves and their weapons at will, and this ability also allows them to switch their weapons in the middle of combat too. It’s a nice spin on the usual hack and slash in many RPG games, but really it just looks so fucking cool! O(???)O And that battle theme music ~!

The guys are winning the fight until more troops and a large metal crate are dropped from the sky. The door to the crate opens and out slithers a serpentine creature. Noctis confirms for his friends that yes, this is the creature that had once nearly killed him. Noctis launches himself at the creature with a battle cry, and the episode fades to black.

My thoughts: HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS! I’m so excited for Final Fantasy XV, and this anime just makes me even more eager to play it. I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan for nearly 20 years, ever since the release of FFVII in North America, and I haven’t been this excited to play a FF game in a long time. This anime short is just icing on the delicious cake.

What did I like about this episode? Pretty much everything. The animation and music are top notch, and the music in particular just feels like Final Fantasy. I don’t know how to describe it. Like putting on a favourite piece of clothing after not wearing it for a long time? I will definitely be tracking down this series’ soundtrack, if the music played during the credits is any indication of the OST’s quality. However there was no opening theme; I’ll have to wait until next week to see whether or not this will be the norm.

As for our main quartet, the guys play off each other nicely, and it’s easy to see they are all very devoted to both each other and their cause. Ignis is clearly the brains, Prompto is the joker, and Gladio is the muscle. Guess that makes Noctis the cool, quiet one.

The downside to being a fan of such a long-running series is that sometimes I can’t help but make comparisons to previous games in the franchise, even without doing it consciously. For example, Prompto reminds me of Zell from FFVIII, and Noctis looks similar to Zack Fair from FF: Crisis Core. But that of course is not something I can hold against Brotherhood, and I don’t. I wish each episode was a little longer (episode one clocks in at a little over 10 minutes), but I love Final Fantasy so that’s just me being a tad greedy. ^^;;

I’m so excited to see what the next four episodes hold! ?(*’?`*)?

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: F-yeah!

Uchuu Patrol Luluco – Episode 1 [First Impression]

vlcsnap-00001

Uchuu Patrol Luluco (Space Patrol Luluco) is a quick little short about a young thirteen year old girl named Luluco living with her father, who works for their city’s Space Patrol (like a police force). In their city of Ogikubo, aliens and humans can live together, resulting in a city that is full of very unusual, out of this world things, nevermind what that implies about its inhabitants. Luluco hates Ogikubo, trying instead to be very “normal” in a city where things are very unusual. In her eyes, the less attention drawn to her the better.

On this particular morning, Luluco is getting to eat breakfast with her father, something which is not the norm because he works a lot and isn’t home much.
However he accidently eats a space capsule he “confiscated” from work, and is turned into a giant iceberg. Luluco freaks out and rushes him to the Space Patrol office where he works, where she is greeted by his alien boss Over Justice. vlcsnap-00010

Over Justice offers Luluco a deal: in exchange for defrosting her father and returning him to normal, she will go undercover for the Space Patrol at her middle school. Why? The Space Patrol can’t interfere in an environment where there are kids, by the sound of it, so they have no authority at her school. She’d be a temporary space worker fighting “mysterious space crime.” It is not shown whether she agrees to this deal or not.

Luluco makes it to school on time that morning, but is dismayed to find that she has midterms. As she’s sitting in class, an alarm goes off on her head. No that’s not a typo. One of her classmates is cheating on the exam, and before she can do anything, her Space Patrol Suit transforms her a la magical girl-style into an officer, complete with a bubble helmet. As her teacher and classmates ogle her new look, her suit morphs her body into a gun and fires at the offending classmate as he tries to flee the room.

My thoughts: I initially thought that this show looked a lot like Dead Leaves, what with this style of exaggerated animation, but upon seeing that Trigger was the studio producing this show, I can see that it’s also very reminiscent of their other show Kill la Kill.

This show’s style of humor is not really my thing; it reminds me a lot of Family Guy, where jokes are sometimes beaten into the ground before the show will move on. Plus wtf was with the purple-haired lady patting her hands all over Luluco’s body? Was it some sneaky magical suit implantation…? And I’m probably reading too much into it, but I wasn’t thrilled with having the barrel of the gun stemming from between her legs either. :/

I… am not sure what to think of this show yet. It’s trying to be cute, and in some regards it succeeds, but I really don’t like how spazzy and over-the-top it is. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with it, but will give it the usual three episodes because I want to see how the introduction of Alpha Omega Nova is handled.

Possibility of Watching: Low (if not blogging)
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut – Episode 12 [The Young Girl’s Cherished Desire] [Final Impression]

vlcsnap-00001

Going into this episode, I was curious to see how everything was going to be wrapped up, or whether it could even be done at all. Could all of the plot threads be tied off, and all my remaining questions answered? Well, the answer is kind of. Some things I found were left unknown, but given the way this episode ended I’m thinking they’re leaving it open for another season.

So the Giant Warrior from the Fifth Ruin, piloted by El Fajula with Hayes, is still headed towards the Royal Capitol. In the skies above, Lux is slicing through the insurgent Drag-Rides like a fist through styrofoam as he makes his way closer to Ragreed. The purple-haired psychopath manages to slice off an arm of Lux’s Drag-Ride, revealing it was only masquerading as Bahamut. Ragreed is furious as he streaks after Lux, who by now has summoned the real Bahamut, and Ragreed is promptly sliced to pieces by our Weakest Hero.

vlcsnap-00005Lux goes to rescue Lisha, and he is just in the nick of time as her captors are around to forcibly strip her in order to see her tattoo. Lisha is grateful but feels horrible about what happened at the All Dragon Battle, and Lux coaxes her out of her pity party for one by saying he needs her help. Of course she agrees to help him.

Back up in the sky, the duo tag team an attack on the Giant Warrior, and with the help of Krulcifer and Philuffy they are able to knock it over and freeze it to the ground. With the massive creature temporarily subdued, Lux asks Philuffy and Krulcifer to take care of the rebel soldiers in the city while he and Lisha fight Hayes. Saniya threatens the nobles in the castle, but Celes takes her out. Lisha and Lux agree that Lisha will distract Hayes while Lux tries to find a way into the Giant Warrior so he can disable it for good.

Well he doesn’t find a hidden entrance, but rather instead he finds Yoruka. They try to reason with each other, but neither backs off and they are forced to fight on the skin of the Giant Warrior. Lux gets Yoruka emotional by talking about her little brother, and uses that momentary lapse in concentration to defeat her in battle. There is a brief flash of what her little brother looked like, so I can cross off my theory from the last episode about Yoruka being related to Hayes.

While their battleground of choice was beautiful and aptly fitting (the red higanbana flowers are sometimes known as the “flower of death”), their conversation during this scene reveals that Lux destroyed the old Arcadia Empire because he’d wanted to help change the country, and destroying it alone was the best way he could think of. Well it’s simple, but effective. Not a whole lot of mystery there.

Lux reunites with Lisha in time for them to watch the Giant Warrior start to launch a massive energy attack which would annihilate the city. At the last moment however, the stone giant shuts down; inside, Yoruka has sliced the magical sphere powering the Giant Warrior in half. Guess whose loyalties have flipped again? Now all who’s left to deal with is Hayes.

Hayes, who is rather crazed by this point and is starting to channel his inner Dilandau, launches an attack at Lisha which overpowers her Drag-Ride and leaves vlcsnap-00025her falling out of the sky. Lux quickly dispatches Hayes with a superpowered Reload on Fire, knocking him into the head of the Giant Warrior with a massive explosion. Lux swoops down in time to catch Lisha and carry her to safety.

Flash forward to the last night of the National Foundation Festival, and Lisha is making her announcements. She reveals that Lux has accepted her offer to be his Knight, and she asks the people to judge them based on their actions from that point onward, not what happened to the kingdom in the past.

After her speech, Lux and Lisha share a quiet moment inside the castle. Lux spots his older brother Fugil, who flashes his younger brother a maniacal grin before leaving quietly. Lux chooses to say nothing about this sighting to Lisha. Then Lisha says that because Lux is now her knight, they have to “deepen their friendship”, which means that his entire fanclub naturally takes this moment to show up to tease Lux about how they want him to be theirs. Even Airi has decided to join Lux’s personal harem. *gag* They get Lux more and more riled up until he has another freakout. Some things never change!

~*~

My thoughts: Well, we’re finally done. I can’t say that I’m happy about this, but neither am I sad. This was the first ecchi other than Golden Boy which I’ve watched from start to finish, so I tried to keep my expectations somewhat reigned in. I knew going into it that there was going to be nudity and sexual stuff, so I couldn’t whine too much about that. How did the rest of the show stack up in my book?

Story: I feel like the first six episodes were pretty light on plot, while most of the action was packed into the latter half of the series. While this isn’t a huge deal, it did feel like the last 2-3 episodes had so much crammed into them that things were inevitably left out. Then again, if a second season is planned, that might also be why some details were omitted from this season. So I guess overall I had some issues with the pacing, but the story itself still drew me in.

Characters: I’m on the fence with this one. Anyone who’s read these reviews knows that I can’t stand Lisha, but I liked or tolerated the rest of the cast. I even came to like Philuffy, despite her slightly vapid personality. I think my favourite character was Lux, with Krulcifer in a close second.

vlcsnap-00007I was a little confused with why the opening animation shows Lux and Lisha as being relatively close, but during the show they never really ignited that magical spark. I was relieved that he didn’t start fawning all over her in this last episode, because that would be really out of the blue and (in my opinion) out of character for him. Since I’m unfamiliar with harems, is it somewhat common for the main character to not pick a definitive romantic interest by the end of the season?

Music & Animation: The animation was overall pretty quality, but there were moments when it got a little derpy. Faces would look a little odd from a zoomed out shot, or proportions weren’t quite right. And I wasn’t a huge fan of the character designs, although I realize that makes me a bit of a hypocrite because the main reason for this dislike was their noses, and yet I’m a huge fan of the Escaflowne TV series… ^^;; It grew on me by the end of the season, but it’s still not my favourite look.

The music was alright. The show itself had some decent themes, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the opening and ending songs (“Hiryuu no Kishi” by TRUE and “Lime Tree” by nano.Ripe, respectively). I’m thinking of hunting down some of the tracks played during the battle scenes, as those were scored nicely.

Overall Thoughts: I didn’t enjoy this as much as Akagami no Shirayukihime 2, but Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut wasn’t a horrible show either, especially for an ecchi. In between the nudity and the action, there was some romance and lots of comedy. I’m interested to see if there’s a second season, because while I probably won’t blog it, I would consider watching it.

Final Score: 7.5/10

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2 – Episode 12 [My Story, My Path] [Final Impression]

vlcsnap-00001

*sniff* We’re finally at the end of the season, and I am going to miss this show more than anything else I’ve watched these last few months. Well there’s no point in delaying it, so here goes.

Daylight streams through the tall glass windows as Prince Izana and Zen discuss the impending arrival of a messenger from Tanbarun. Prince Izana’s cryptic comments hint that he knows more about the messenger than he’s letting on, but Zen just lets it slide.

Over in the castle greenhouse, Obi thwarts someone attempting to sneak in. It’s Mihaya, who tagged along with the messenger from Tanbarun so he could come visit Shirayuki. Not long after, Shirayuki gets all dressed up to attend an official meeting with both Prince Izana and Zen. There she meets the mysterious Tanbarun messenger – Sakaki! He presents her with a beautiful golden necklace and a scroll pronouncing her new title “Friend of the Crown.”

vlcsnap-00016Prince Izana decides to be an asshole about it all though, laughing at how “strange” Shirayuki’s title was, and actually said right in front of her that he’d considered her a nobody in the past. That being said, he also correctly points out that Shirayuki has never clarified in words what she wanted from Zen. After Prince Izana leaves, Zen tries to cheer her up and says she doesn’t have to rush to say anything yet.

Later that day, Sakaki finds Shirayuki to give her a personal letter from Prince Raj. Sakaki admits that he still thinks of a potential romantic match for Prince Raj, even though Raj has not quite reached that point by himself. After she goes to bed, Shirayuki reads Prince Raj’s letter. He lets her know that he gave her the title so she can use it as a shield in case she never needs it.

However reading the letter stirs some emotions and thoughts in Shirayuki’s mind, leaving her unable to sleep. She wanders outside on the grounds, where Obi finds her, and they leave for the herb garden together. They make small talk until Obi finally just asks her what happened. Hearing Prince Izana’s words and then reading Prince Raj’s letter have left her somewhat confused about what to think, or what she should do next. Obi says that she should talk to Zen first, and he leaves to go get his master.

True to his word, Obi flags down Zen who goes running to Shirayuki’s side. She apologizes for not saying anything to him since their confrontation with Prince Izana the day before, but reassures him that everything she told him previously was still true. She asks him if she’s allowed to think that she loves him and wants to be by his side someday. Zen is overwhelmed by her words and embraces her, then pulls her hair aside and kisses her neck, and then they share a kiss.

Zen scoops up Shirayuki and takes her to the castle rooftop, where there is a little pond and some beautiful flowers. On the way he’s spotted by Kiki, Mitsuhide vlcsnap-00030and Obi, but they leave the two lovebirds alone, reassured that they’ll show up for breakfast.

Alone on the rooftop, Zen tells Shirayuki that yes, she can think about the two of them getting married and being together. It’s always been ok with him. And he promises to one day be able to tell her that he feels the same, in his own words.

Afterwards, Zen reports to his older brother and tells him that he will see Sakaki off. He has a staring contest with Prince Izana, who remarks after Zen leaves that that was the first time Zen had never broken eye contact with him.

As Sakaki and Mihaya are leaving, Shirayuki gives Sakaki a letter to take back to Prince Raj. Sakaki teases her that he will still try to talk Shirayuki into being with Raj, and Mihaya jokes that he’ll adopt her into his family if she decides she ever wants the rank of a noble.

After the credits role, there’s a brief scene with Zen, Shirayuki, Obi, Kiki and Mitsuhide. They part ways to do their own work, and Shirayuki runs into Chief Garak, her assistant and Ryu. Shirayuki and Ryu leave together for the dispensary. As they walk in silence, Shirayuki thinks to herself that she wants to be able to draw her own path, and she wants her story to be painted with the color of fate.

My thoughts: This was a fulfilling ending to what has been a fantastic season. I’m thrilled that season two was so much more than what the first season was. More of what, you ask? More shoujo, more romance, more fluffyness, more sparkles, more laughs. Just more. And I loved every minute of it.

Story: There were only 12 episodes, the new short standard for an anime series it seems, so there was really only time to have a couple of main story arcs. Some of it was a little cliched, like Shirayuki needing to be rescued by Zen, but as was mentioned in the comments the Claw of the Sea arc was from earlier in the manga when the author was still trying to find her groove, so I’m willing to cut the show some slack. Plus Prince Raj got a lot of character development and the Zen x Shirayuki ship got a really touching scene at the end of that storyline, so it balances out. I also was glad that we got to see more of Shirayuki’s backstory covered, since Prince Zen’s was included in the first season.

Characters: I love everyone! No really, I do. I don’t think there are any characters I actively dislike. (Which is more than I can say for some of the other shows I covered this season.) And there was a lot of character development which is always a plus. I feel like season one of Akagami no Shirayukihime was the setup to get viewers acquainted with the settings and characters, and then this season was when things actually started to happen. The Zen x Shirayuki ship started to sail, we learned more about Kiki and Mitsuhide’s relationship, and we also got a peek at some of the hidden feelings that Prince Raj & Obi have for Shirayuki, even if they’ll go unrequited. Plus, you know, all of the plot. *waves hand nonchalantly* vlcsnap-00040

And this show is funny! Prince Raj and Obi are usually the comedic relief (hello, anyone else like the quip from Obi about Mitsuhide trying to have a secret tryst
with Zen??), but even minor characters like Prince Raj’s kid siblings proved they could be funny too. Nevermind the hilarious facial expressions during certain scenes. *big thumbs up*

Music and Animation: This was where Akagami no Shirayukihime 2 really shone in my eyes. The animation is GORGEOUS, and this is coming from a self-proclaimed graphics whore. It’s easy to see that a lot of time and effort went into making this show look good. The second half of the series had a lot of sparkles during the Zen x Shirayuki scenes, but meh it’s a super fluffy shoujo so I guess it can be somewhat expected. *shrugs*

I will probably pick up the soundtrack for this series at some point if I can. I adore both the opening and ending themes, sung by Saori Hayami and Eyelis respectively, and the music scored throughout the series was nothing but complimentary to each respective scene.

Tl;dr – I suck at writing summaries, but this is an incredible show, and if you like fluffy sweet shoujos I recommend you give it a watch! I’m really sad to see it end, but I’m super excited to finally be able to go devour the manga.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows

vlcsnap-00004

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows (She and Her Cat: Everything Flows) is a 4 episode short about a young woman in college who lives with her black cat as she searches for a new job. The short is narrated from the cat Daru’s point of view, and each episode is about 7 minutes long excluding the opening and ending songs. The opening theme is “Garasu no Hitomi” by Masumi Ito, and the ending theme is “Sonata” by Clammbon.

I had a feeling going into this series that it was going to hit me in the feels, and I was not wrong. I’m no longer in university, but I live alone right now with two cats, the older of the two being a senior. Watching this show reminded me of how precious each day with her is, because she will be 14 this year and won’t live forever.

Other themes in Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko include family, independence, mental health, and the struggles of trying to adult in a world that can sometimes be pretty harsh.

Episode 1 (She and Her Apartment)

We’re introduced to the main unnamed character, whom I’m just going to call “Kanojo” (since she’s technically referred to by this in the series title, as it’s the third person word for “her/she”) and her cat Daru. Kanojo and Daru have been living with Kanojo’s friend Tomoka in an apartment, but Tomoka is moving out. This means vlcsnap-00015Kanojo will most likely have to move to a new place, because rentals in Japan can be very expensive and she won’t be able to afford her current place on her own.

Word gets back to Kanojo’s mother, who tries to talk her daughter into moving home so she can save money, but Kanojo refuses. There’s mention of an arrangement between Kanojo and her mother; it sounds like Kanojo was allowed to move out on the condition she had a roommate while she was in school. Meanwhile Kanojo is trying to find a new job, but she gets passed over so she tries to expand her net a little. In the end she gets dressed and goes to work and school like she always does, still trying to do her best despite opposition from the world around her.

In my personal opinion, what makes this show stand out to me is that it’s narrated from Daru’s point of view. If LIDENFILMS had chosen to have Kanojo be the star, this would be just another slice of life show. With Daru as the show’s narrator, this means that because Daru is an indoor cat, aside from flashbacks the show is limited to what happens within his little world – the apartment. This will take on more meaning after the next episode.

There’s something comforting about Daru’s love for his owner. It makes me wonder if this is how our pets see us. Is this how my cats see me? Oh, my heart.

Episode 2 (She and Her Sky)

This episode is largely a flashback. Kanojo and Daru are in the living room of Kanojo’s apartment, looking at the beautiful sky together. Kanojo reminisces for Daru about how they first met.

Daru was a kitten when he was given to Kanojo by her mother as a pet. The impression I got was that Kanojo’s parents separated, or her father is not in the picture to some capacity, so Kanojo has to be home alone after school because her mother is working. However Kanojo notices that her mother spends more time with the cat than she does, and she gets a little jealous. Kanojo continues to reject Daru, saying she’d rather be alone. vlcsnap-00006

One day while her mother is out, Kanojo puts little Daru in a box and takes him to the nearby river, where she leaves him under the bridge. Young Daru is naive
to her plan, but it’s clear to the viewer what Kanojo’s intentions are. Kanojo doesn’t get far though, because as two teenage boys pass her on the path and spot Daru, she has a change of heart and goes back for him. I’m not ashamed to admit that this scene really got to me.

Later in the evening as the sun is setting, Kanojo is quietly sitting on the swings with Daru in her lap when suddenly a random little girl appears. She comments on how cute and soft Daru is, and Kanojo learns through mimicking the girl’s behaviour that yes he really is. This also marks the first honest interaction we see between Daru and Kanojo. The girl turns out to be from a class across the hall at school, and Daru inadvertently helps Kanojo make a new friend.

The flashback ends, and Kanojo and Daru share a meal together in the present. Daru observes that they each live in their own time, but the times when their lives intersect are more precious to him than anything.

Tissues became pretty much a prerequisite for me by this point, because the end of this episode was also when I started getting a sneaking suspicion about how this show was going to end… o(?_?)o

Episode 3 (She and the Look in Her Eyes)

The episode opens with Kanojo on the phone with someone. She comments to the person on the other end of the line that she wants to continue being a part-timer, although it’s not clear whether this is referring to her job or post-secondary studies.

Daru observes that the days are getting longer, and he’s sleeping longer and more deeply. During one particular nap he has a flashback to his mother and siblings, and it’s implied that they were killed by a large bird. Daru remarks on his age, saying that he remembers distant memories more clearly now for some reason, and that his body doesn’t move like it used to.

We get another flashback to a young Kanojo, perhaps when she is in her late teens. Her mother is opposed to Kanojo moving out, but Kanojo wants her mother to vlcsnap-00005focus on her own life instead of always putting her daughter first. Kanojo is correct in pointing out that when her mother says things like she just wants Kanojo to be happy, or she’s waiting for Kanojo to do get a job before she remarries, it unfairly puts responsibilities and burdens on Kanojo’s shoulders and that’s not right.

Back in the present, Daru notices that Kanojo comes home later these days, but he’s not sure how long she’s been doing that for. While she’s away, he simply lies on her bed and waits for her. When she comes home, she smells like another town, someplace unfamiliar, but the show never specifies where she goes.

There’s another flashback, this time to when Kanojo finally moves out with Daru to live with Tomoka. Kanojo’s mother tries to impart some loving maternal wisdom to her daughter, but Kanojo is a little annoyed and brushes it off.

Back in the present, Kanojo is overwhelmed. Her mother leaves a voicemail asking why Kanojo never comes home to visit. Tomoka leaves a message lamenting that Kanojo won’t be able to make it to her wedding, but wants to schedule the after-party on a day when Kanojo will be able to attend. Kanojo is drowning in what she perceives as her inability to move forward, while she feels like others are [progressing in their lives without her. How do they do it? How do they make it look so easy? Daru feels her pain instinctively, but is unable to help her anymore; she will have to learn how to deal with this herself.

I thought the shot at the very end with Daru was very fitting. In the past when Daru was younger, while he couldn’t physically help Kanojo with her problems, he could lie near her or rub up against her and she would be comforted by his presence. However now that he’s getting older and can’t leap up onto the bed or the windowsill by himself anymore, he can’t comfort her the way that he used to. To me this is a metaphor for getting older: as we all become adults, sometimes we have to leave behind the things that comforted us when we were younger. (Oh and if you hear a cracking sound as you read this, it’s the sound of my heart starting to break. I definitely knew what was coming by this point.)

Episode 4 (She and Her Story)

Daru is up in the middle of the night, trying to get at something but is unable to reach it. Kanojo is curled up in her blanket like a cocoon on her bed, oblivious to Daru and the world around her.

At her mother’s house, a phone call wakes her up. She starts to talk to Kanojo but the line suddenly goes dead. In a panic she rushes over to Kanojo’s apartment and starts banging on the door. When Kanojo opens the door in a haze, her mother hugs her in immense relief.

Inside the two sit down for some tea. Her mother explains why she was so worried, and Kanojo theorizes that Daru must have somehow made it up to the little vlcsnap-00004side table where the phone sits and dialed her mother’s number. The two women agree it must have been Daru because he missed Kanojo’s mother, and they share a laugh. It’s revealed that Kanojo’s mother did indeed remarry, but Kanojo still won’t call him “Dad.” Which is kind of bullshit in my opinion, since Kanojo wanted her mother to remarry and be happy, but now that she has Kanojo won’t acknowledge the man as part of their family. :/

As mother and daughter laugh together, Daru remembers one of the moments when a young Kanojo and her mother laughed together. He relaxes, reassured that they’re doing better now. As Kanojo’s mother gets ready to leave, Daru falls asleep into his “longest, deepest sleep yet”; it is implied that Daru dies in Kanojo’s arms without ever waking again.

Daru muses on the similarity of clacking train tracks and the sound of a beating heart. We see flashes of Tomoka with her husband, and Kanojo’s mother, before panning out to a shot of Earth in space. Back in her apartment, Kanojo lies on her bed, her eyes puffy from crying. She feels Daru walk up by her head, but when she sits up suddenly there is nothing there. Kanojo is sad, but she smiles knowing that Daru is still with her in spirit.

“In the room where she and I lived, though my time and hers no longer exist together, the world still moves and we still travel upon it. So one day, I know we’ll once again…”

There’s a timeskip, flashing forward to one year in the future. Kanojo’s hair has grown out, and Daru’s picture has been added to her picture board. She’s talking to Tomoka on the phone while she gets ready for her new job. The two friends talk about Daru, and Tomoka says she’s glad Kanojo is feeling better. The girls decide to make plans to celebrate, since they’ve been putting it off for a long time.

After the ending theme song, we’re treated to a bonus scene. Near the river, possibly under the same bridge that Kanojo once tried to leave Daru, there is a little white cat sitting in a cardboard box out in the rain. Many people stop to look at him, but no one takes him home. The cat is narrating again, but in a voice that is not quite Daru’s. Yet from the way he speaks, it’s pretty clear that this new white kitty is Daru reincarnated. Kanojo looks into his box, and this cat recognizes her scent. With a smile, Kanojo picks him up and takes him home.

“Beneath a soft curtain of rain, I was thinking of a long journey I would never be able to remember. At the end of a long, long journey, I ended up here. I forgot a lot of things, but there’s one thing I faintly remember: Her scent. Earth turned quietly on its axis, and in the midst of this big world, she and I quietly lost body heat together. Just as our heat and our breaths flow across this planet, she and I flowed across the planet, and ended up here so we could meet once again. That was the day she took me home. And that’s why I’m her cat.”

vlcsnap-00001

Final Thoughts:

[cue my gross and ugly sobbing]

Ugh, I don’t know why I do this to myself. I knew this was probably going to be something deep and somber, one way or another, and I was right. I love me the psychological shows with some depth to them, but I didn’t think I’d be watching something that hit quite so close to home. I literally haven’t been able to get through the fourth episode without crying, regardless of whether I’m watching or writing about it. (?_?)

What has been sticking with me upon finishing Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko is Daru’s comment about his life intersecting with Kanojo’s and how those moments are precious to him. My two cats have always been indoor-only, and since I work and have a social life I am away from home for a period of time most days out of the week. I usually assume they are happy and content, but now I’ve been trying to look at life from their angle, namely their interactions with me. As their (pet) parent, how do they see me? Are they as happy to see me as Daru is to see Kanojo? Do they feel like they’ve had a fulfilling life? It’s definitely food for thought.

Anyways, on to the anime. For a short I was really impressed with Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko. As of this writing it’s scored at a little over 7.5 on MAL, but I would give it a higher rating.

vlcsnap-00003Story: Because it’s only four episodes long, it’s hard to fit much of a plot into this show, but Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko manages to pull it off by focusing on Daru’s relationship with Kanojo, Kanojo’s relationship with her mother, and Kanojo’s interactions with the world around her. These three things flow together smoothly, tying one in with the other so that they are hard to distinguish from each other.

As someone who’s left the post-secondary world and is now adulting by holding down a job and paying rent like Kanojo, I also appreciated that Kanojo’s employment struggles were included in this show. Her inability to find a new job also does not overshadow the story, instead only contributing to tensions between mother and daughter in the first episode, and Kanojo’s mental health issues in the last two.

Characters: Daru, Kanojo and her mother are the three main characters in this show. I liked how the use of flashbacks fleshed out both more of Kanojo’s backstory, and more of the conflicts she had had with her mother in the past. The latter is important for showing how those difficulties contributed to their current relationship. The struggles between Kanojo and her mother regarding Kanojo’s growing independence were something I can definitely relate to and can sympathize with.

In particular I feel like Daru being Kanojo’s childhood kitty helped him serve as something as a bridge between mother and daughter. Their relationship has its issues, but Daru has the ability to inspire nostalgia, make them laugh, and help bring the two closer together. And while I was admittedly dreading Daru’s death, I thought it was very touching and appropriate that he passed away in Kanojo’s arms, secure in his feelings that she would continue to mend her relationship with her mother.

Music and Animation: The anime has a very clean feel, but the graphics are still quite beautiful and detailed. The scenic shots in particular have a watercolor feel to them, especially with the shots of lush blue skies or fiery orange sunsets. *0*

Speaking as a pet parent of two cats, Daru’s movements and behaviours as a cat are very realistic. Not for a moment did he do anything that seemed out of character for a cat, and the quality of animation never suffered.

The opening and ending themes were alright, very simple with a country, almost folksy feel. The opening theme, “Garasu no Hitomi”, is a short instrumental track – something unique among anime. Offhand, the only other show I can think of with an instrumental opening theme song is Haibane no Renmei. The fourth episode differs in that the opening theme is not included, and the ending theme is moved up slightly in order to make room for the ending scene with the white cat.

Overall Thoughts: Despite the fact that this show was the reason why I went through half a box of tissues in a couple of days, I think it’s a quality show. The music and animation are simple yet consistent, and serve to enhance Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko‘s atmosphere. My current situation and being a pet parent to two cats helped me relate to this series, but those are not the sole reasons why I enjoyed this anime.

For while this may appear to be a simple show about a young woman and her cat, it has connected with me on a deeper philosophical level, giving me cause to reexamine my life with my cats and ponder the circle of life. I know that sounds kinda cheesy, but it’s still true. Maybe we will meet again in this lifetime or another, in another form, another body. What a comforting thought, to be able to recognize a loved one or a beloved pet despite wearing a coat of another color. Is that not something to cherish above all else?

Final Score: 9.5/10

[Author’s Note: This show is cited as being part of the Spring 2016 lineup, but aired during March 2016 during the Winter 2016 season.]

[Manga Mondays] Vampire Knight

VK Vol 1Title: Vampire Knight
Author: Matsuri Hino (Story & Art)
Genres: Shoujo, School Life, Romance, Supernatural, Tragedy, Drama
Published: 2004 – 2013 (Complete)
Volumes: 19
Japanese Publisher: LaLa (original run); Hakusensha (tankobon format)
English Publisher: Shoujo Beat (original run); Viz Media (tankobon format)
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (Amazon / Indigo / Barnes & Noble)


[Note: This post contains mild spoilers]


I remember coming across the Vampire Knight anime after it had just been released, before the series became super popular in the West. I wasn’t a huge fan of anything to do with vampires (and continue to have little interest in them to this day), but it was a new show so I decided to give it a try.

Vampire Knight is about a highschool girl named Yuuki Cross. She attends Cross Academy, where her adopted father Kaien is the school’s headmaster. She attends classes during the day, but helps patrol the school grounds during the night as a school guardian alongside her classmate Zero Kiryuu. Yuuki and Zero have been friends since Zero was brought to live with her and her father several years prior to the start of the story; it is later revealed he was bitten by a pureblood vampire during an attack which killed his entire family, and is himself a vampire.

However, Cross Academy has a big secret. While students who attend classes during the day are known as members of the Day Class, the Night Class students are sequestered in a separate dormitory because they are… dun dun dun… vampires! Aside from their late afternoon walk from their dorm to the main campus for their classes (where, as members of the school’s Disciplinary Committee, Zero and Yuuki have to physically keep the rest of their classmates at bay), the Night Class students are never seen mingling with the rest of the student body. The Night Class students are all also extraordinarily beautiful, simultaneously fueling the Day Class’ overexuberant reactions and fulfilling this manga’s bishounen & bishoujo quota. vampire_knight_yuki_by_manga_love86d62cgbw

As the story progresses, it becomes evident that much information is being kept from Yuuki. The recurring dream she has where a young Kaname saves her from a rabid vampire, the story behind Zero’s transformation into a vampire, Yuuki’s family history, and even a big secret about Yuuki herself – these things are all eventually brought into the light (pun intended), where Yuuki must confront them and decide if these challenges will change who she is.

Vampire Knight started as a manga, and later two seasons of anime, two drama CDs and three light novels were created. An official fanbook titled “Vampire Knight Fanbook: Cross”, an artbook, and a Japanese dating sim game called “Vampire Knight DS” have also been released. If you decide to watch the anime, please note that it has an alternate ending as the show was created while the manga was still ongoing.

I was initially drawn to this manga because of the characters. Yuuki is the spunky, occasionally clueless lead, while Zero and Kaname are her romantic interests. Zero appears to be cold and distant, but he has secrets of his own, secrets he can’t bring himself to share with Yuuki. Kaname is the main object of Yuuki’s affections, and he appears to reciprocate her feelings. But when his ties to Yuuki are revealed, will their relationship change… or become something greater?

The relationships between these three are what kept me reading on, even after the plot started to drag and I felt like events were getting repetitive. However I feel like I should point out that my decline in interest is not necessarily reflective of the series itself, as I already mentioned that vampires are not supremely interesting to me. I did eventually end up dropping the series around two-thirds of the way through, but made sure to read the ending of the manga once it became available. Yeah I know, slightly hypocritical of me, but hey after so many years I wanted to know how it ended. What can I say? *shrug*

The artwork of this series is pretty stellar, with most if not all of the characters having the large, sparkly eyes characteristic of a true blue shoujo manga. Vampires and other supernatural creatures often evoke feelings of sexuality, eroticism and mysteriousness, and if you peruse the art from this series you can see that Hino-san definitely channeled some of those characteristics into her work.

The love triangle between Yuuki, Zero and Kaname is what kept drawing me back into the series, although in later years I became more critical of the relationship between Yuuki and Kaname. (The series’ ending somewhat negates much of this criticism, but the dynamics of their relationship earlier in the series was often frustrating to read.) The final nail in the coffin for me (woo, I’m just rolling out the vampire puns today!) was the repetitive and sometimes boring plot. I feel like this series could have been a lot shorter than it was, and in exchange been much more memorable.

My Score: 7.5/10
Do I Recommend This Title?: If you are a fan of vampires and want to read what all the fuss is about, then yes. If you’re like me and you can give or take when it comes to supernatural series about vampires, then I feel like you could skip this manga and not miss too much.

Artbook_cover_poster 2

[Manga Mondays] Usagi Drop

bunny drop vol 1

Title: Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)
Author: Yumi Unita (Story & Art)
Genres: Josei, Slice of Life, Comedy-Drama
Published: 2005 – 2011 (magazine); 2010 – 2014 (manga) [Complete]
Volumes: 10
Japanese Publisher: Feel Good magazine (original run); Shodensha (tankoubon format)
English Publisher: Yen Press
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (Amazon / Indigo / Barnes & Noble)

This week I wanted to introduce Usagi Drop. It is another series from my shortlist of all-time favourite manga.

Usagi Drop is like nothing else I have read before. It centers around a single thirty year old bachelor named Daikichi, whose grandfather one day passes away. At the wake Daikichi meets Rin, a five year old girl who is apparently his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter. When the rest of his family shuns Rin out of shame and embarrassment, Daikichi gets pissed off and steps up to take care of Rin. The series explores his sudden transition from a workaholic bachelor to a single father. Along the way Daikichi learns how to balance childcare and daycare, gets parenting tips from his coworkers, finds Rin’s birth mother, and deal with the changes in his relationship with Rin as they both get older. Initially Usagi Drop is very much a child-centered series, with many of the plots revolving around topics like fatherhood and issues at school. In later volumes, the series becomes more about changes in friendships and relationships, and life beyond high school.

There have been both an anime and a live-action film created based off the manga, but while I can’t speak for the live-action film because I haven’t seen it, the anime primarily differs from the manga in that the anime only covers up to volume four.

Why is this? Well, the manga is part of the josei genre for a reason, let me put it that way. If you’ve read a wide variety of manga, or seen anime from many different genres, you may have noticed that certain trends or topics are not considered as taboo in Japan as they are in the West. (Anyone else remember the teacher from Card Captor Sakura who was in a relationship with Sakura’s friend Rika in the manga?! (????)????? ) And from volume five onwards, starting when Rin is a fifteen year old high school student, certain events happen towards the end of the series which not all readers may be comfortable with. usagi-drop-1315014

Indeed if one reads the Amazon reviews for the last 2-3 volumes of the manga, they will see that many readers are turned off of the chain of events which sum up the final three volumes of the manga. I personally do not mind this plot twist; in fact it can be debated that my second-favourite series, Saiunkoku Monogatari, has a similar situation with two of its characters. But to each their own, right?

So if readers choose to read Usagi Drop, because of the way the series is structured they have the option of stopping partway through the series without feeling like they’re missing much of the content. One can either read the first few volumes of Usagi Drop and enjoy the tales of child!Rin and Daikichi (as the anime portrays), or they can read the series through to its end.

The art style of the manga is rather simplistic, but I think that gives the series a certain amount of charm. It’s easy to read and it can make some things like facial expressions and body movements rather comical. The flip side is that this style can sometimes appear a little rough or hurried.

Between the art and the story arcs themselves, I found myself really caring about the characters and what happened to them, which is a mark of a really good series in my book. Above all else, to me this series is about family and people finding their way to one another through unconventional means.

My Score: 9/10
Do I Recommend This Title?: Yes, though I’d recommend it to readers who consider themselves open-minded or able to deal with more mature content, just to be on the safe side. I will say that prior to reading this series, I hadn’t bought actual physical copies of a manga in a long time, and I enjoyed Usagi Drop enough that it made me brave buying something from Amazon for the first time. It’s just that good. Overall it’s a cute series, and the parent-child relationship between Daikichi and Rin will warm your heart.

[Manga Mondays] The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe


RST 1Title:
Senobi no Housoku (The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe)
Author: Puku Okuyama (Story and Art)
Genres: Shounen-Ai, Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy, School Life
Published: 2010
Volumes: 1 (oneshot)
Japanese Publisher: Craft magazine (Taiyo Tosho)
English Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (online only)

I had another title I was planning on covering for my first Manga Monday post, but then this adorable manga came at me out of the blue and knocked me into a sugar drift of sweetness, so surprise!

While I used to own a volume of shounen-ai manga (though I couldn’t read it due to my subpar comprehension of Japanese), I’d never really sat down and *read* anything categorized as shounen-ai from start to finish. Then the other day I came across The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe rather randomly, and after seeing how cute the characters looked I decided to give the manga a try. I’m glad I did, because I was definitely not disappointed!

The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe starts with high school sophomore student Kosuke being run over by a tall guy on a bicycle on his way to school. When Kosuke arrives at his classroom, it turns out the guy who crashed into him is the new student in class. Raku Kunugiya is a brunette, good looking, and very popular with the girls, leaving Kosuke initially slightly jealous because he is the polar opposite of Raku (blond, and not a girl magnet unless they’re giggling over how small-animal-cute he looks). To make their differences even more apparent, Kosuke clocks in at 4’11”, and Raku is a full foot taller than him. In addition to Kosuke’s small size, due to the way the last part of his name is written, Kosuke acquires the nickname Ham-chan. This is why there are numerous hamster references throughout the story and they’re all so cute. ?~(????)

However Raku has a secret, one which Kosuke quickly picks up on. Raku asks Kosuke to keep it to himself, and the latter agrees. The two guys quickly become friends, but as the school year passes they find themselves starting to notice the other more often as they grow closer together. Hijinks and comedic scenes help give them the occasional nudge forward, and what’s this about a rival trying to help move their relationship along??

I think what sold me the most about this title is that it’s so well-done and believable, something I look for when I’m reading/watching a romance series that revolves around relationships. Raku and Kosuke begin as friends, but their progression to something more is gradual, until at the very end- well, you’re just going to have to read it to see how the very sweet finale plays out, and what the actual rule for standing on tiptoe is.

I did also appreciate that nothing about their relationship felt forced, something which I feel is all too common in many romance series. Even though it feels like (to me personally) that one of the two male leads has a firmer grasp on their feelings than the other, both Kosuke and Raku are tentative in the progression of their friendship, very hesitant to say or do anything that might hurt or push the other away. It leaves the reader with the impression that both characters genuinely care for each other.

Another plus is that the artwork is easy on the eyes, and I love the little details which are penciled into the background. It’s a very “casual” style, but it suits the story perfectly.

My only criticism for this title is that it’s not longer. Seriously, why is this only a oneshot?! *cries*


My Score:
10/10
Do I Recommend This Title?: Hell yes! It’s a great manga on its own, and I think it also serves as a good introduction to shounen-ai for those who haven’t read much/anything from the genre before.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2 – Episode 1 [The Red That Spins Fate] [First Impression]

Why do I adore this show? Well it’s a shoujo, a romance, the female lead’s a decent character, and the main couple are just so damn cute together. Bring on season 2 of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime!

Before saying anything, I want to point out how damn pretty the opening and ending themes are. The animation of the actual show is decent, but the opening and ending sequences stand out to me as some pretty awesome animation. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for anything shiny? Ooo look, squirrel! vlcsnap-00020

Last year I followed Berry’s reviews of the first season of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime while simultaneously watching it, and like Berry I had some reservations about the show. For example, Zen & Shirayuki make a sweet couple, but as Berry pointed out Zen acted on his feelings pretty quickly, making their relationship feel a little rushed and one-sided. Also Shirayuki was always singled out for her red hair, and I’m concerned that this second season is going to continue to harp on that point. Yes we know she has red hair, get over it.

Right off the bat, there’s an emphasis on Shirayuki’s work as a herbalist and how much she is learning. Fantastic! I hope that continues throughout the rest of the season. As Shirayuki zips around the castle, life appears to be continuing on normally for everyone else. Zen is busy with his paperwork, Chief Garak is busy with her work, and Obi is still wandering around idly.

But beneath the surface, trouble is brewing. In the first moments of this episode, we see Mihaya (the guy who kidnapped Shirayuki in the first season) approach the castle. He reveals via interrogation later in the episode that a young man named Kazuki is searching for Shirayuki for some yet-to-be-revealed reason, and is most likely en route to the castle already based on information Mihaya told him. Meanwhile Zen’s older brother, Prince Izana, receives a missive from Prince Raj in Tanbarun inviting Shirayuki to a ball. Prince Izana summons Shirayuki to discuss the invitation, and Zen tags along to their meeting. Zen makes it pretty clear he still distrusts Prince Raj, and insists that Mitsuhide accompany Shirayuki. The lovebirds will be separated for one week.

Obviously it’s pretty suspicious that these two events are coinciding with each other. Someone is searching for Shirayuki, while she’s being summoned away from the safety of Clarines? I wouldn’t be surprised if Izana is conspiring with Prince Raj to get Shirayuki to leave the castle and Zen’s side. Or maybe he’s plotting with this mysterious Kazuki? Let the conspiracy theories fly! I get the impression that Zen still doesn’t trust his older brother, but that’s ok Zen, I don’t either! >_>vlcsnap-00023

So how did this rank as a first episode? Pretty good in my opinion. We get a re-introduction to all the characters and their daily lives, and fans of Zen & Shirayuki got a cute scene to squee over. No lying, I was one of them too. I know Shirayuki still has to sort out her feelings for Zen, but until she does, it’s cute to see her blush every time he gives her a meaningful look, or as we saw in this episode kiss her hand. I have my fingers crossed that this pairing will work out. (Please oh please!)

I hope we will have more character development, and that this show won’t fall back onto very old and worn out tactics like Shirayuki being targeted for her red hair. I also want to see other character relationships developed further, like Obi and Shirayuki’s friendship, and the master-apprentice relationship between Shirayuki and Ryu.

Stay tuned for episode two next week!

Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: High

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut – Episode 1 [The Crimson War Princess] [First Impression]

This show is described by My Anime List as being of the supernatural, fantasy and romance genres, among others, and also… an ecchi. So! If you’re reading this, please know that unlike K: Return of Kings, I will not whine and gripe every time I see boobs, panties, or conveniently obscured genitals. This is an ecchi after all!

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut (Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle) opens with a flashback. 5 years ago, the cruel empire of Arcadia was overthrown by a rebellion. One Drag-Knight, nicknamed The Black Hero, lead the country into a new future. Now the new empire, Atismata, is putting all of its energy into training Drag-Knights so that they will never be overtaken by other countries.

vlcsnap-00006Our main character, Lux Arcadia, happens upon the Royal Knight Academy by accident. While chasing a cat which had stolen a girl’s purse, he falls through the ceiling and lands on top of a naked blonde girl named Lisesharte (or Lisha, as her classmates call her). He shoves his foot in his mouth by saying something stupid; then the Academy shoves him in their jail. Lux carries two swords, indicating he is a Drag-Knight. After he is taken to speak to The Academy’s headmaster, she informs him that male Drag-Knights are rather rare and she wants him to work at their school.

However this decision pisses Lisesharte off. Lux was the one who fell on top of her while she was bathing, no? The headmaster agrees that Lisesharte should get to pick Lux’s punishment, so the blonde challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. However, apparently Lux has the reputation of being “The Weakest Undefeated”, so maybe there’s more to him than meets the eye…? The princess of the new kingdom versus a former prince of the old kingdom – Round 1, FIGHT!

vlcsnap-00019For a mecha anime, which I usually avoid like the plague (aside from a handful of exceptions), I enjoyed this show much more than I thought I would. I went into it expecting fanservice, and I wasn’t disappointed. There was the gratuitous bathing scene less than 5 minutes in, and some skimpy outfits and all that jazz. Fanservice aside, both Lux and Lisesharte have secrets in their backstories, and I’m intrigued enough to keep watching.

The animation is pretty good by my standards, aside from a couple of questionable shots, and I have no objections to the music used either. The opening theme is fun and upbeat, but there was no closing theme so I am looking forward to hearing it for the first time next week. Thus, the eye and ear candy gets a thumbs up from me.

As for the characters, while Lisesharte annoys me a little, we only got introduced to a few characters in depth so I feel like it’s too early to critique anyone too much. Lux is a little stereotyped as the naive male lead, but it leads to really entertaining dialogue falling out of his mouth so I’m overlooking it for now. I thought it was interesting that his sister attends the Royal Knight Academy; I wonder if that will become important later on in the season.

All in all, yay for a new surprise favourite show of the season! (????)?*:??? This will be one of only a couple of ecchi I have ever seen, and I hope it will not be a major disappointment.

Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: High