Nijiiro Days – Episode 1 [First Impressions]

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Nikolita’s Thoughts

Rainbow Days, because their hair colours are like a rainbow, ne?

Nijiiro Days is, in a word, cute. This show is about four highschool guys who have a giant bromance with each other. One of them has a crush on a girl, and the other guys tease him and try to interfere in a well-intentioned manner.

I should also mention that I’m going into this show blind, ie I’ve never read the manga, and know nothing about the characters or any of the events which the manga covers. So Charibo and I have two differently perspectives on this first episode, and I think that’s really interesting. As you read this post, you’ll notice where we agree on things and where our opinions differ a little.

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There are articles floating around which say hair colour in anime is indicative of a character’s personality. For example, using our characters from Nijiiro Days, blond hair can mean the character is “someone special,” or that their personality is confident or charming. Hashiba seems to be the main character, and he strikes me as the “handsome Prince Charming” variety. Kind of like Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club: adorable, but a little naive and silly. Blue hair often represents wisdom, maturity, intuition, and these characters are often ones who teach or guide the other characters. Redheads seem to often be loud and stubborn, enthusiastic and opinionated. Lastly brunette characters are the “average joes” of the bunch. They are the “normal” characters, and can sometimes come off as boring or safe.

I mention this because all four of our guys in Nijiiro Days seem to fit into their corresponding hair colour category pretty accurately. I hope there will be some surprises along the way, because if there is no character growth then this show will be a little dull. Personally I have my eye on Keiichi – seriously, who drools when talking about someone being hurt or humiliated? o_O Something’s up with him. I’m also curious as to what Kobayakawa’s deal is, like why she’s lying down resting in the teacher’s office so much. Maybe it has something to do with why she’s always so expressionless?

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The boys have what I would call a typical group dynamic, in that everyone has a role to play. Hatsuba is the naive puppy, Naoe is the mature one, Matsunoga is the loud ladies man, and Katakura gives off “best buddy vibes.” I hope other love interests will be introduced later in the series, so Hatsuba is not the only one who has to suffer being teased.

I’m not as in love with this show as I thought I’d be, but I enjoyed the first episode enough that I will give it the three episode rule. I am a romantic at heart and a sucker for anything focusing on love and relationships, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this show has in store. (????)

Possibility of watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: High


Charibo’s Thoughts:

Well, that was a strange start

I read the manga so I could tell that something was missing at the beginning. They chose to start directly with the Nacchan and Anna meeting ? Well, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Because it began directly with Anna’s and Nacchan’s encounter on Christmas there is some unexplained stuff about the other characters’s personalities, especially Keichii. That’s a shame, I wonder how they’re going to explain everything later on. Furthermore, the part that they decided to get rid off was really funny and interesting. So, they skipped a lot of things and that’s too bad…

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I was very, very skeptical at the beginning. I really love Nijiiro Day and my mood while watching this was more ” U better not fuck this anime!”. Hopefully, it got better around the Karaoke scene. The characters made me laugh, that was cute, that was funny. That’s a relief, the gold comedy is still there.

I have nothing to reproach to the characters by the way, because eh, I love them all. Nacchan is freaking adorable with his “Otome mode”, Tsuyopon is a cool as ever, Matsun is Matsun and Keichii is … Yeah, I can’t really spoil, if you haven’t read the manga. But Keichii is my favorite ?????

And yes, I’m already waving the BEST GUY flag. Don’t hate me for that, but I’m in Keichii’s team for this one, right after him comes Nacchan.

Still, I have to…

I have to say it…

WHAT KIND OF OPENING IS THAT ?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME ?

??o?o?? ( ???

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There must be a misunderstanding somewhere. They must have switched the ending and the opening. I see no other explanations. And even so, the ending is cute but… Everything is a bit static for my taste. Yeah, that must be my main reproach to this anime: everything feels kind of static. The animation isn’t as great as I would have wanted it to be ?’o?o`?

The character faces are nice enough, but nnngggggnnn I don’t know… I’m disappointed. They could have done a lot, a lot better ?; o`?o’?

So will I cover Nijiiro Day ? Of course, I mean, that was the show I was the most excited about. Because Nijiiro Days is just so fun and refreshing there’s no way I would miss that. My disappointment is not going to stop me from watching this ??o?o??

Nijiiro Days, here I come ?o?o??

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Final Impression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Final Score: 7/10

Dance With Devils – Episode 1 [Depravity and the Forbidden Quadrille] [First Impression]

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If I had to pick one word to describe Dance With Devils, it would be “excessive” – but in the best possible way. Shiko Academy looks like a billionaire designed a mansion with no expense spared, its uniforms are extremely formal (and for the girls, frilly), and even one of the songs is a little over-the-top. Yet this show feels like a giant chocolate bar; you know you probably shouldn’t eat it because it’s not good for you, but you do anyways and hot damn it is just so delicious.

In Dance With Devils we meet Ritsuka Tachibana, a second year student who attends a luxurious high school where the girls all dress like crimson French maids. She lives alone with her mother while her older brother Lindo is overseas in London, and we see that her mother Maria believes in the protective power of pendants and symbols. Naturally this comes into play when Ritsuka arrives at school and finds she’s been summoned by the Student Council President Rem Kaginuki to the third library, where the whole council breaks out into boisterous song and Rem attempts to steal her soul.

After she has what appears to be an otherwise typical day at school, she returns home to find her home being ransacked by a crew dressed in black and her mother lying injured on the floor. They are searching for an unnamed item, later revealed to be a magical item called a grimoire. Ritsuka flees but when the police arrive, there is no damage and Ritsuka’s mother Maria is gone. She calls her brother, who advises her to stay with a friend and to keep her pendant on. Ooo, someone’s keeping secrets!

Ritsuka heads to Azuna’s house, but after being ambushed the crew in black from earlier and then saved by Rem, she ends up at her blonde white knight’s house. (Poor Azuna. -_- ) Rem offers to call the police for her but is a rude jerkface about it. Once he leaves the room, a small, puntable dog mysteriously appears.

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You don’t even have to hear the audio to know that it’s a yippy dog.

Because Dance With Devils is a reverse-harem, I imagine the show will follow the path of each male character being a different “type” or “flavour,” much like Ouran High School Host Club. I can already guess which pairing will be the main ship in the series, but I hope that said ship might have a few detours before it arrives at its final destination. ?(?????)? *cue my hopeful dancing* We weren’t formally introduced to any of the guys aside from Rem in this first episode, so I’m looking forward to the next episode where I hope we will get the remaining introductions.

I came upon this show thinking it might be similar to Vampire Knight, given that they both deal with supernatural creatures, or even Diabolik Lovers (SHUDDER), but was happily surprised to see that it was different enough from both of those shows for me to enjoy and appreciate it for what it is. I have never watched (let alone reviewed) a musical anime before, but I was glad to see the insert songs are sparse enough that they don’t overwhelm the show. There is a good balance between musical interludes and actual content.

In terms of where the plot might end up going, between Ritsuka’s insert song and both the opening and ending themes, I have the feeling that this show might be about finding a bride for Ritsuka, and that this mystical grimoire will herald the usual “Find this item or the world ends! cliche.” Or maybe she’s some secret love child and pairing with a demon using the grimoire will save both worlds or something. As I said, as long as it’s not similar to Vampire Knight or Diabolik Lovers, and as long as the cheese-factor doesn’t get to be too much, I’ll be happy. *fingers crossed*

An interesting tidbit that I suspect might come into play is that after Ritsuka specifically mentioned to Rem that her grandfather was deceased, it will be revealed that he’s not actually dead. I’m thinking this because we can see an older gentleman sitting in the shadows in the opening sequence, and during the ending song we can see an older man lying in bed in front of Lindo. Both men don’t look a lot like the picture of her grandfather seen at the beginning of the episode, but then again we can’t see much of either man in either shot. We’ll just say I have lots of speculations and guesses right now.

As for the music and graphics, both are pretty sharp. I’m not yet a huge fan of the opening and ending themes, but the insert songs are catchy and they serve their purpose of introducing us to the main characters. Lastly, while I’m not familiar with many of Brains Base’s works, the animation for Dance With Devils is high quality and I have no complaints.

So will I be watching? This show is definitely going to be my guilty pleasure this season. More reverse harems please!

Possibility of watching: High
Possibility of blogging: High

Charibo Impressions :

YEEES !! This is AMAZING ????? I LOVE IT !

This show, this show… First, with the opening sequence I thought: ” Oh ok, nice song creepy sect members “. And then when Ritsuka starts to randomly sings in the street about being a normal High school girl I thought “Meh, this is reaallly confusing, is it the opening or… ? ” .But then, when the student council presentation song began, I lost my breath for a second. This is so bad but yet so funny. The lyrics of this song are soo dumb but this song is definitely catchy. All the glasses broken, the roses and the animals allusions are so kitch but yet so great ! Should I feel bad about loving the songs of this show so much ? oh well oh well, maybe, maybe not, Who knows ? ? o?ol

As you may have already guessed, I am a huge fan of musical shows. I love the way how everybody can just start singing at any moment without any reasons about almost everything. I want to watch the show just for the songs ??o?o??

Actually, I’m relieved that this show didn’t turn out to be a Diabolik Lovers undesired child. Because, yes, Dance with Devils is actually produced by the same guy who gave the world the magnificent and precious treasure that Diabolik Lovers is. So, shall we talk about plot now? Like Nikolita said the plot is a bit predictable but oh well, I’m ready to keep on watching and to not be picky if the show doesn’t serve me a story about a girl who is the reincarnation of a dead mother with shit magical powers (the ones who suffered pain and tasted pure evil will understand my reference). In my opinion what really saves this show is the music. It adds a certain touch to it which helps me to not take this show literally. And in this way, it’s enjoyable.

Another good point for this show : the fact that Ristuka is actually a nice heroine. She talks back to Rem in the student council fancy library and when she saw her house being damaged and her mother being attacked by the bad guys she goes to the police and warns her brother. It might sounds a bit strange because those are basic and simple actions that everybody can do but for a basic Reverse Harem Anime heroine that’s a lot.

Also, I made my own Dance with Devils Shipping charts according to the first episode. The relationship between the protagonists may evolve as the show goes on but I ‘m pretty sure my chart is accurate as hell. Please feel free to tell me which couple you like the most ? ???l

Dance with devils Shipping Chart

Possibility of watching : I’ll keep an eye on this one for sure

Possibility of blogging : Yup ??o?o??

Kowabon – Episode 1 [First Impression]

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Disclaimer: While I have been to Japan and studied Japanese in high school many years ago, my language skills are very, very basic. Like, I could probably handle talking to a kindergardener. Kowabon has not yet been picked up (and thus is not subtitled), so I am reviewing the raws. Thankfully the dialogue appears to (so far) be not too difficult, and I was able to roughly follow along in this first episode, but I did not fully understand everything being said. If I am summarizing something incorrectly, please feel free to correct me in the comments (I just ask that you be gentle).

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Here’s what anyone should know about me regarding anything in the horror genre: I’m a total chickenshit. I’ve seen movies like Jeepers Creepers, The Ring and The Grudge, and hated them all; having my pants scared off me is just not something I find entertaining.

The second thing you should know is I’m a sucker for good graphics, or at least interesting animation. This is where Kowabon comes in.

Kowabon is a series of Japanese horror shorts, and each episode is 3 minutes long. This show has been created using a technique called “rotoscoping,” which is when animators trace over every single frame of live-action footage. I saw the preview for Kowabon before the beginning of the fall season and thought it had the potential to be really interesting, depending on how the animators handled the rotoscoping.

This first episode depicts a video chat between two female friends, “fuumin” and “haru2sachi,” who look to be of about high school age. They have some technical issues with their connection but establish that yes, despite some apparent issues, the video chat is working. “haru2sachi” then starts showing off some of her recent clothing purchases, and as her friend looks on, the computer screen starts to go flicker and the picture goes wonky again. When it clears “fuumin” can see a shadowy figure standing at the back of the room. “fuumin” asks her friend who that is standing behind her; “haru2sachi” insists there is no one with her and tells her friend to stop joking. However when issues with the video connection persist, in addition to “fuumin” insisting that she can hear loud thumping noises, “haru2sachi” leaves the room to see if her mother is home. And while she is gone, something falls from the ceiling, then stands and turns to face “fuumin”…. [cue the Psycho shower stabbing soundeffects] Moments later “haru2sachi” returns, calling for her friend, but there is no longer anyone to talk to.

I was pretty satisfied with this episode. Because it is from the horror genre and I am a scaredy-cat, I’m glad that it was just three minutes long. I really like how the rotoscoping turned out; it is a simple style of animation, and yet with how everything was coloured and shaded, it still looked “real.” The music did a satisfactory job of setting the mood and keeping me in suspense, so that’s a big positive for me. I also enjoyed watching some of the live-action footage and behind-the-scene moments that aired at the end when the credits were rolling.

I will be giving this series a three episode grace period, during which I will see if I can overcome my anti-horror tendencies to continue blogging the show. So far, I am impressed with what I have seen and am looking forward to the next episode.

Possibility of watching: Moderate (as long as I am reviewing the show)
Possibility of blogging: Moderate

Stay tuned for MidnightDevont’s first impression!

K: Return of Kings – Episode 1 [Knave] [First Impression]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second season of K, titled Return of Kings. I recently watched the first season of K without realizing (at the time) that a second season was forthcoming, so I figured why not take a look?

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5 seconds in and I’m already enjoying the episode. Here’s one of the CliffsNotes of how I appreciate anime: if the music is awesome, I’m willing to overlook other flaws. And this first episode is no exception. Pretty graphics + an awesome instrumental score in the opening = a decent way to start a show in my book.

Straight out of the gate we’re treated to a flashback between the Red and Blue clans. How do we know it’s a flashback? [Spoiler Alert] The Third Red King, Mikoto Suoh, and fellow Red clansman Tatara Totsuka are still alive. The two clans clash, and while it’s a little redundant to anyone who’s seen the first season or the movie K: Missing Kings, it serves its purpose of establishing an ongoing rivalry between the two clans. So me, I sat back and enjoyed the animation and the techno music. (???????)?

Speaking of which, the animation is very pretty, and included some CGI during the scenes with the helicopter and the sexy car. The two blend together well and the CGI doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb or anything. The different clan colours also feature prominently in their fight scenes, so when the Blue and Red clans fight for example, we’re treated to light shows with lots of blues, reds, pinks and purples. Very pretty ~

Fast-forwarding to present day, we see an unnamed blonde boy known only as a “J-Rank” speak to someone on a cellphone atop a tall building and activate Mission 2086. Down on the street, Neko & Kuroh are walking along when a cyclist tosses a green parrot plushie into Neko’s arms. She puzzles over it for a few moments before it explodes.

The next several scenes establish that the Green clan (whose members are known as JUNGLE, the same as how the Red clan is HOMRA, and the Blue clan is Sceptre 4) has been targeting not only Kuroh & Neko, but both the Red and Blue clans as well. Their goal seems to be to provoke the two clans into fighting with each other so that JUNGLE can be the dominant clan (at least in the short-term), as far as I can tell thus far.

In the final scene we see the blonde boy talking to Nagare, the Green King, discussing how they will continue to attempt to lure out the Silver King, and how the Blue King is “running out of time.” Above him, as the sun sets, said Silver King drops out of his airship in the sky towards the city below.

My thoughts:

I’m split on this one. I really liked the first season, and while I tried to remain interested in this first episode, I found myself feeling a tad weary at points.

I think my favourite thing overall about this episode was the music, honestly. The music and the graphics caught my attention immediately, and because I love shiny things and a solid beat, they kept me watching throughout the episode. I’m also curious to find out more about the Blue King’s health issues, or whatever it is that’s limiting his lifespan, and I hope that it will become a major plotpoint (because as much as I love fight scenes with pretty animation, they do get old pretty quick). On a side note, the 8bit animation created by JUNGLE was a neat retro touch.

In the column of things I mark down in red pen, there are lots of fight scenes. When used to move the plot foward (such as the scene in the mall near the end of the episode), they’re fine, but some of the smaller ones feel repetitive. Yes we know Yata and Fushimi used to both be in HOMRA until Fushimi defected to Sceptre 4, and yes we know that they supposedly hate each other (well, for those of us who’ve seen the first season anyways). I don’t need to see them constantly getting into minor skirmishes just to keep me reminded of that fact. I don’t need to see Sceptre 4 go through their little recitation of their names every time they draw their swords in combat either; that will get old very fast.

Also on this list, I am a little disappointed to add that “select characters” as an item (so far). For in addition to Yata being a whiny, hotheaded skateboarding brat, and Fushimi being an asshat, I am not happy with how Seri Awashima’s character has been developed in this new season. (She’s hard to miss, since the show only has what, 3 female characters in the main cast?) I do not remember her being a bouncy piece of ass in season 1, and as much as I want to like her, it’s really hard when she’s busting out of her clothes (literally). Every time she moves her chest has a mind of its own, and I’m just really tired of women in shounen shows being a walking-talking silicone doll. If I wanted to watch jiggling boobs I’d rewatch Golden Boy. Maybe her personality will develop more as the series progresses. Please GoHands?

1-100016Someone must’ve given her baby oil for her birthday.

Lastly, while an instrumental track both opened and ended this episode, there was no “official” opening or ending theme. I am looking forward to seeing what was selected in the next, as a good song is always a welcome addition to my iTunes.

Because I am on the fence about this episode, I will give the series three episodes to prove itself. I can sometimes be a bit of a snob when watching anime, so I am trying to keep my mind a little more open when watching shows that don’t fit into my usual interests. Next episode I have my fingers crossed for more awesome music and some character development.

Possibility of watching: High
Possibility of blogging: Moderate