Young Black Jack ~ Episode 1: The price of a life [First Impressions]

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I am very sad to say that I am unfamiliar with the late Osamu Tezuka’s original Blackjack manga. Having only heard about the series through an AMV at an anime convention a year or two ago. I honestly, wish I could share this amv with you for it was not just a work of editing beauty. It was more then enough to get you to drop everything you are doing and go watch Blackjack right now.
Sadly for me, I have yet to get a chance to do such. With that being said, Episode 1 of Young Blackjack was my first encounter with a real episode of the series. What did I think of it? How did it hold up? Let’s take a look.

During a chaotic age of riot and revolution, many jobs are suffering, including that of the medical field. With interns lining up on the streets, they need any help they can get in order to heal the people in need. This holds especially true when a bus and a train collide and also, a young boy who’s bike was on the train tracks comes in with two of his limbs severed from his body.
When the other doctors say there is nothing they can do to reattach the limbs and it’s either the kids limbs or his life. However, Hazuma Kuroo, or the man who will later be known as Blackjack says that he can do the surgery.

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with that being said, there is a price. In this case, the price is 5 million yen. A hefty price, but can you really give a value to the life of your son? Well, you could let your son live as a cripple for the rest of his life. The other doctors could do at least that much, however, this young doctor is offering you a miracle. So they agree to pay it and Hazuma gets to work.

The actual surgery scenes are well done, it’s not too bloody. Very classy,does a lot of interesting visual techniques. I’m not a doctor, so the accuracy of the surgery and the terms that are used in it are beyond me. With that being said, the visuals made it easy enough to follow and made sure that I did not lose interest. The surgery is a success.
Hazuma is understandably shaken by the entire process, it being his first surgery. I think, that’s what they say anyway, I’m not entirely convinced.

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Now remember when I said you can’t put a price on a miracle for your kid? Well apparently, you can. You can rip off the doctor who made it so your kid wouldn’t be a cripple for the rest of his life and only pay him five hundred thousand instead of five million. Okay, I get it, five million is a lot of money. I wouldn’t really want to have to pay it either.
That’s pretty low though, like, this guy performed what other doctors said was impossible and kept your kid from being a cripple for life. Yes, he’s just a student. No, he does not have a medical license. He saved your kids life and limbs! You can’t put a price on a miracle.

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Let’s wrap this post up with a few final thoughts on the animation and characters.

Animation: The animation in this show is gorgeous, that was the first thought I had as the episode began. The character designs of many of the side characters carry a very Tezuka feel to them. However, with that being said. I think that the main characters. Hazuma, Maiko, the doctor who’s E.R. that they used to operate in but I don’t believe they mentioned the name of feature a almost different style. You can still pin them as Tezuka’s works, but not as much as say someone like the boys father.
I think in my mind, since it’s the most famous of his works I will always think of this style as “The Astro Boy” style. That’s probably just me and it’s strange that I would make that association since I’ve never seen Astro Boy.

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Characters: The characters all seem rather interesting. Hazuma or Blackjack, has interested me since I’ve heard about him. It’s no secret to know that he performs without a license even in the later series. I don’t know if the reason he doesn’t have a license is explained in the original or if that’s what Young Blackjack is going to explain to us. I also don’t know anything about his patchwork.

Second off, there is Okamoto Maiko is a medical intern at the hospital, one of the few people not partaking in the protests. She seems nice an earnest young woman with a real interest in helping people. She sticks with Hazuma through the surgery when she’s under no real obligation to do so and was probably needed back at the hospital taking care of the multiple other victims. She was ready to reel Hazuma in if it began to look impossible.

Lastly, we have the unnamed doctor. Who is afraid of blood and gets high, he’s an interesting character to be sure. He helped them out by watching the boys vitals so he wouldn’t have to look at the blood. What’s his story? What kind of doctor is afraid of blood? How do Hazuma and him know each other? I have to say he’s probably the one I’m most interested in so far.

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I really enjoyed this first episode and I don’t think it will let up, the question here is if the series will adhere to more of a ‘patient of the week’ formula or hold a more cohesive plot. With the way the opening is looking and the story of the strike going on, it’s looking like there may be a more cohesive plot going on. I’m going to keep an eye on this series.
I think it has a lot of potential. Hopefully, I’ll be able to double back sometime and watch the original. Until then, I think i’ll be covering Young Blackjack.

~Midnight

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Episode 1 [First Impression]

Julis is best girl.

Impression

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk is the first of three light novel adaptations this season which have been advertised as ‘school battle harems’ – the other two are AntiMagic Academy and Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. If you want to be pedantic, you could technically include Shinmai Maou no Testament as well, but that’s more like a split-cour of something that aired last year. So anyway – how does one tell the three apart, I hear you cry? The answer is that AntiMagic is by far the best, and the rest are mediocre on a good day.

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I’m (mostly) joking.

Asterisk 1 Img017If nothing else, Asterisk will be a decent adaptation purely because of the sheer amount of money that’s been thrown at this project – the rich bastards at Aniplex are backing A-1 Pictures, who are in charge of production. And it’s not like A-1 was a budget studio to begin with. So for an (admittedly) generic-sounding ‘school battle harem’ like this, the production values that went into this were pretty amazing – the animation, for example, was very, very good. I really loved the hexagons they used to highlight whenever a supernatural power was invoked, and clearly a lot of work was put into the OP. A lot of advertising was done in the run-up to today as well – the end of the episode even directs you to their website for some additional content. The cherry on top is that this, like AntiMagic, will be a two-cour adaptation, possibly split-cour. Why is this a good thing? Many light novel adaptations are one-cour only, and are basically made to sell the source material. Success is measured by whether they can get the novel sales to go up – if they do, then they’ve achieved their objective of drawing attention to the series and there’s no point making a second season. If they don’t, then it must have sold pretty shit as an anime, too, so there’s no point making a second season.

From the perspective of a Western fan (il)legally streaming or downloading Chinese cartoons, this means that we never end up getting to the point where the series is even worth watching – because many entries to the ‘school battle harem’ genre start out really crap at first. A great example is Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, a light novel series which got exponentially more interesting as it went along, starting with Volume 4. The anime last year was one-cour, and covered up to Volume 3. The anime-only fans who made it to the end (if there even were any) must have been blue-balled quite magnificently.

Asterisk 1 Img051Asterisk will not have this problem, because for some strange reason it’s been blessed with a large amount of both time and money. It’s not even that good! I mean, it’s okay, but it’s nothing so special to the point that it deserved all that promo material and a cool-sounding English name like ‘The Asterisk War’. But I’ve heard rumours that this adaptation will go up to Volume 8, which is beyond what’s even been translated into English – if not, it’ll definitely get to Volumes 5-6 at least, which means the entire tournament will be animated. A subtle proof of that is how they’ve focused a lot on that handkerchief belonging to Julis and how she’s clearly got a motive for entering the Festa she’s keeping quiet about – those are both anime-only changes, and are supposed to be irrelevant until about Volume 6. It’s the same with Amagiri Haruka, with that opening fight sequence being something I’m not familiar with at all.

Asterisk 1 Img011If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a light novel reader. And as a light novel reader, I thought this first episode was fairly well-done – although I had lots of voices in my head from how I thought the characters would sound like, and it’s now weird because I got a lot of them wrong. Touyama Nao was an odd choice (at first) for Claudia, for example, and Ayato both looks and sounds more like a pansy than I thought he would. But hey, at least it’s not Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, right? Kakuma Ai was wonderful as Julis, though. I do think Julis is best girl, which is strange because I never usually go for the legal wife. I don’t know why, I just think she’s really cute. And I didn’t feel much from the other girls. She is a tsundere, yes, but it’s neither unbearable nor her only trait. She even thanked Ayato graciously before trying to kill him! In a beautifully animated battle scene!

I really like these sorts of settings – where a world-changing event brings about a futuristic environment, and the very structure of society ends up being altered. A new power heads this new society, for example – the Integrated Enterprise Foundation, a conglomerate which is clearly doing some shady stuff if it’s corrupting the records of schoolgirls who used to attend Asterisk. Of course, it’s called Asterisk because there it’s an ‘Academy City’ (just like in Index, except smaller and less developed story-wise) with six schools: Seidoukan, Allekant, Garrardworth, Le Wolfe, Queen Vale and Jie Long. As the OP might have already suggested, those schools are not there just for show – this series is basically a massive tournament arc after all, so all of them become relevant and we get to know characters from schools that are not just Seidoukan.

An issue with both the futuristic setting and the large number of schools is that there’s a lot of exposition needed to bring meaning to things – it’s not Mahouka level or anything, but there’s quite a bit – I thought it was clever for them to have Claudia give a short presentation to both us and Ayato to explain how everything in the world works. It was confusing for them to skip straight into mentioning ‘Ogre Lux’ though, because they didn’t mention what a normal Lux was – it’s basically an energy weapon. An Ogre Lux uses a special type of Mana Dite to power it, an ‘Ulm Mana Dite’. In turn, a Mana Dite is a type of ore that fell to the Earth when the ‘Invertia’ happened – which is the big world-changing event that prompted the creation of people with special powers, the ‘Genestella’. A lot of the names I was familiar with were changed, actually – the terms in the novels included both how the terms were written (in kanji) and pronounced, but they used the former whilst the anime used the latter (e.g. ‘Genestella’ was actually ‘Starpulse Generation’). Others are just bad translations (e.g. ‘Petalblaze Witch’ for Julis became ‘Witch of the Resplendent Flames’) and some are debatable, like ‘Queen Veil’ vs ‘Queen Vale’, and ‘Jie Long’ (unaltered name) vs ‘World Dragon’ (literal translation).

Also, you get any wish you desire if you win the Festa! I guess there really are a lot of similarities between this and Blade Dance. It was a fun first episode though. As for blogging, I’d rather do this instead of Rakudai (they’re on the same day, so picking one over the other is something that has to happen) partly because I know about it and want to see it succeed more, and partly because this just seems like the better show. After trying them both out, that certainly seems to be the case.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: High

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry Episode 1 [First Impression]

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Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou Episode 1 [First Impressions]

All right, i’m going to first start off by saying this. No, I am not a fan of Attack on Titan. I think it’s Meh at best, and boring at its worst. However, I HAVE seen most of the first season. So I am stepping into this series with a knowledge of the series it’s based off of, but also an indifference to the source material. I actually believe this is the perfect place to be in for a show like this. Knowledge of it, but going in basically unbiased. That being said, does the show stand on its own merits? Well, I’ll let you know.

So the series opens up with Eren waking up for his first day of Junior high, basically stating that the original series was a really long dream.

Actually...it being a dream WOULD make a lot of sense.

Actually…it being a dream WOULD make a lot of sense.

We see the mother and father are just fine in the living room as the kids are leaving for school (also, AOT is playing in the background as an easter egg)

don't worry. mom's fine

don’t worry. mom’s fine

After that we get our opening theme song which is a cute little parody of the original one.

Following the theme song, Eren runs into a bunch of people (quite literally). First he runs into the blonde chick and makes her drop her breakfast. A brown haired girl gets very jealous of this because she totally has the Yuri hots for her.

Yes i'm sure there's a reason why this is funny but I don't know who these two are and I REALLY don't care so please don't tell me.

Yes i’m sure there’s a reason why this is funny but I don’t know who these two are and I REALLY don’t care so please don’t tell me.

He then runs into Potato girl who actually has a watermelon this time that he breaks and can’t pay her back so he gives her a sticker.

Yeah, don't you hate it when the watermelon you take to school breaks?

Yeah, don’t you hate it when the watermelon you take to school breaks?

He THEN runs into Jean who he basically ignores.

haha. Aww...poor Jean

haha. Aww…poor Jean

In this version, Mikasa’s crush is more obvious and tries to accidentally run into Eren so she can do the romantic meetup thing, but it fails miserably as the bald guy gets in the way.

They all make it to school however since they’re late they end up going the wrong way towards the titan class instead of the human classes.

Don't worry guys. I suck with 50/50 choices too

Don’t worry guys. I suck with 50/50 choices too

Arriving at their supposed classroom they can tell something is very wrong as the items such as erasers and protractors are huge and fall a lot on Eren.

Yeah...Eren's kind of the punching bag in this show.

Yeah…Eren’s kind of the punching bag in this show.

They escape only to be greeted by the janitor who’s actually that guy who saved Eren and Mikasa in the original first episode.

Hey, janitor's get a nice pension. no joke.

Hey, janitor’s get a nice pension. no joke.

The next scene is a parody of the introductions where they make fun of the introductions of the original way they did it. Jean says Eren probably had no friends in elementary school, potato girl is eating a giant riceball, and the brown haired girl (Ymir) is one step away from fisting the blonde haired girl (Christa ha! See, I told you i’d get the names) in the middle of class.

Seriously, get out the lube bro.

Seriously, get out the lube bro.

They then tell the kids to bring their lunches to a meeting with the headmaster. Who..of course…is the Colossal Titan. He opens the gate so the other titans can get through and they, you guessed

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spit the people out and eat their lunches.

Okay… i have to say, when I saw this, I had to pause the video because I actually burst out laughing. I’m sorry. That’s fucking hilarious.

Yes..Thomas makes it through the episode unscathed (except for them taking his lunch)

So yes. It turns out the reason that Eren hates the titans so much…is because the Colossal titan was responsible for him losing something precious…his cheeseburger lunch. That….that’s amazing.

Eren tries to jump and reach the titan…but…then the show realizes just how unable that jump would actually be to make.

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ah laws of physics. ye be a harsh mistress

And that’s where the episode ends.

All right. I’m going to say it…this show is absolutely goddamn hilarious. I don’t think that there was 30 seconds that went by in this show that I wasn’t at least smiling if not laughing. This is one of those shows that they ASSUME you’ve seen the source material, but if you have, this show is absolutely hysterical.

So now all of you don’t kill me for saying this. From what I’ve seen, and that’s only episode 1, I think this series is far better than the original Attack on Titan. I enjoyed this far more. It was more energetic, more fun, and just more pleasant to watch overall. I know that’s not the point of the original series, but fuck it. I don’t care. I watch series to enjoy myself. That being said, let’s go onto the scoring.

Head: A parody series of Attack on Titan in Junior high where the Titans eat the human kids’ lunches. That’s..that’s just a hilarious premise in itself. This series is PERFECT for a chibified version. It takes itself WAY to seriously and it pokes fun at itself in a story setup that, in my opinion, is brilliant.

They’re bringing in all the characters in a unique and cute way that really lends itself to this setup and I don’t feel anyone is shoehorned in and they all have their place.

Seriously. How could this guy be anything BUT your homeroom teacher?

Seriously. How could this guy be anything BUT your homeroom teacher?

The plot moves at a nice pace and leaves you wanting more without overusing jokes or overstaying its welcome. At 17 minutes the episodes are just short enough to be enjoyable, but don’t get stale.

8.5/10

Eye: I really dig what they did with the animation here. Everything’s been utterly chibafied, but they’re all still completely recognizable. The look of everything is crisp, clean, and to an extent, adorable. The voice acting’s as good as ever, but you can tell this time around the Japanese Seiyuu’s are REALLY having a fun time with this. Mikasa’s blank expression is hilarious, the anime style chibi anime jokes they go with hit home, and everything just looks and sounds fabulous.

(snickers) goddamn it Mikasa

(snickers) goddamn it Mikasa

Eye: 9

Heart:
Okay. This…Here’s the thing. When I watch these shows, 9 out of 10 times, I am sitting and watching these shows with either a straight face, screaming at the screen, or with a grimace of slight dissatisfaction. This is the first time I can actually say that I smiled or laughed the entire way through. That is so exceedingly rare for me, you all don’t understand. I was actually HAPPY when I was watching this.

The characters were a perfect overblown version of their original selves, the jokes were genuinely funny, and I actually had a good time and didn’t feel like smothering myself to death in the nearest pillow due to the depressing nature of the episode and the plot actually MOVED. I enjoyed how the characters acted, I enjoyed their interaction with each other, and it makes me want to see MORE of what they’re going to do.

Heart 9.5/10

Overall Score: 9/10

I know this may seem high, but as of right now, I absolutely adore this show. This show, in my opinion, is FAR above the original. For not liking the original that much, this show really brought a lot to the table for me. I can’t get over how much I immensely enjoyed this show. It reminded me that even the people who make these beige depressing gore fests also have a sense of humor and can make fun, enjoyable stuff when they want to. And that makes me happy.

Watching: Every Single Week it’s on

Blogging: I Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way

I will leave you with this tidbit.

If you have seen Attack on Titan, or even if you just know the basic premise. Watch this show. It will put a smile on your face.

-Hideki

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

Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama Episode 1 [Unleash The Diabetes] [First Impression]

Well, it looks like i’m back for another season. God help us all. And what better series to start out with than a series that is like if Hamtaro and Sugar a Tiny Snow Fairy had an illegitimate child which forcibly opened your mouth and poured sugar down your throat? Why, I can’t think of anything better! And here’s an added twist. I didn’t want you guys to have to wait until somebody decided to fansub this show, so yes. That’s right, I tackled this show not only about insane levels in cuteness, I tackled it with no subtitles in the Japanese raw. My Japanese is between basic and barely passable in conversation, but I think I managed to get the gist. If I got something wrong, oh well. That being said, let’s do this.

So the series starts out with this girl named Kokoro (by the way, this is a joke as ‘Kokoro’ also means ‘Heart’ in Japanese. So yeah… there’s going to be a lot about friendship and love in this show) in school with her friends who are in elementary school and they’re doing an art project. They comment on how Kokoro really likes using her green colored pencil and she tells them how the pencils mean a lot to her because they’re from her dead grandmother.

Damn it grandmothers! Why can't you stay alive in these shows?!
Damn it grandmothers! Why can’t you stay alive in these shows?!

She sees her pencil glow but no one else seems to have seen in. Ignoring it, she heads home and then to school. While at school an egg pops out of the pencil and turns into one of the cutest damn things since Jigglypuff. It’s a squishy little thing that runs around and accidentally knocks the hands off a clock as Kokoro returns home.

Look at how cute it is! ....LOOK AT IT!!!
Look at how cute it is! ….LOOK AT IT!!!

We learn that it a god named Lucktama and it symbolizes, you guessed it, tacos. No wait, luck. Yeah that thing. Kokoro notices him and he explains this to her. It can also perform magic, however, since it’s based on luck, it can either go very well, or terribly as we see it able to create a hair dryer, however the next time he tries it nearly burns her.

Trollolololol
Trollolololol

Okay, this is where I get a tiny bit fuzzy, but I think I got the general idea. So Luckytama wants her to sign a contract of secrets so she won’t tell anyone about his existence. Not only that, but she has to take care of him and build him a house before midnight or he’ll disappear. The problem is, she’s terrible at building houses, which is ironic, because her father is an architect. (Yeah, I’ve come to accept that the only time the 1 or no parent rule is broken in anime is if the kids are in elementary school)

Why do I look more like your older brother than your dad? No, seriously, until she said
Why do I look more like your older brother than your dad? No, seriously, until she said “Oto-san” I thought this was her brother.

She tries a few times to make the house but fails miserably. Until finally, she’s able to design a house and works up until midnight to finish the house. However, It looks like they’re out of time, but it turns out they’re not as Luckytama messed up putting the hands back on the clock and they actually have 15 minutes left. She finishes it, and he gets to stay. She then signs the contract and the episode ends with them hinting at another egg thing being born next episode.

Hintity hintity buy our toys
Hintity hintity buy our toys

Well what can I possibly say? This show is adorable. I mean, that’s really the main thing that needs to be said here. However, I will say this. It’s actually BETTER than I thought it was going to be. I’ll say this, at least in episode one, it’s better than a bunch of other crap I’ve reviewed on this show. Here is a list of shows that have been worse than this show. Ushinawareta, Vanadis, Saenai no Heroine, Triage X, Punch Line, And i’m sure there’s others.

But now, let’s go on to the actual parts of the review.

Head: This show…it has a cute premise. Like I said, it’s like Hamtaro, but one thing that always pissed me off about Hamtaro was that the girl couldn’t talk to them. I do like that they remedied that here. Let’s be honest though, the show’s not going to have a plot as dark as Attack on Titan, or as full of twists as Monster, or as funny as Comic Party, that’s not what this show is, and it’s not what it’s trying to be. It’s a show for little kids to sell a toy line. However, I WILL say this. I have seen far FAR worse premises and executions for such an idea than with this show.

7/10

Eye: This is one of the places the show really shines. The animation is simply put, absolutely adorable. Of course, it HAS to be, to get the kids attention. Still, I will say, the character designs ARE adorable. And…I kind of want to buy a plush of one of these. DAMN YOU EFFECTIVE MARKETING! (shakes fist in the general direction of Japan) The voice acting is cute, the sets are bright and cheerful, and the show in general is very pleasing to the eye. No complaints except for my poor pancreas.

the....the cat has a heart ...on its face...oh lord what have I done?
the….the cat has a heart …on its face…oh lord what have I gotten myself into?

9/10

Heart: (haha, get it? Because it’s Kokoro, like the main character’s name?)
So I guess what this show all boils down to is, does this formula work? Do I feel for these characters or do I not give a single shit about their first world plights? And…to be perfectly honest….I do. This show…for all intents and purposes shouldn’t really work. It’s a marketing tool used to sell toys to children and…interestingly enough, it works. I like the characters, they actually HAVE personalities, albeit the girls is still being developed, however, i’m not digging the whole, “She has a crush on a guy in school” thing as that’s been done 40,000 ways to death. Hopefully it won’t be that big of a deal. Other than that…the characters work and I actually like them. I know, shocker right? Oh well. I can’t help it, i like cute stuff. Sue me

Why is this show so cute?! WHYY IS IT SOO CUTTEE?!?
Why is this show so cute?! WHY IS IT SO CUTE?!?

7/10

Total Score 7.6

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how the show ended up getting an initial score this high, however, sometimes you just need an adorable show to make you smile. it’s fun, it’s harmless, and it’s very very cute.

So the big question. Am I reviewing this? Welp, I’m losing Tribe Cool Crew as my feel good series, and Gate is on hiatus until next season. So…you know what? Yeah. Even if I have to review the raws, I will. I’m on board. For better or worse guys, you got me on board for another season, and god help you, it’s with a show about Egg underwear gods being adorable. May god help us all.

Watching: …Yes.
Blogging: Yes…Shame? What’s That?

-Hideki

Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama Episode 1 [Unleash The Diabetes] [First Impression]
Tagged on: anime Fall 2015 Hideki Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama

Lance N’ Masques Episode 1 [First Impression]

This anime was a mistake.

Impression

Lance 1 Img018I will have trouble getting along with Lance N’ Masques. As a lolicon, I felt obligated to try it out – but ironically, it was as a lolicon that I first had an issue with it (note that this implies I had other issues too, which is exactly the case). I know this might be hard to believe, but even I have a line I’m unwilling to cross – and if I, of all people, am saying that some of these characters look far too young, then you know it’s really, really bad. I mean, Makio looks like she’s still in kindergarten! Is she really going to be a love interest? I think part of it is the fault of Studio Gokumi, because the light novel art looks fine – she’s still depicted as young, but not to the point where it feels really uncomfortable to watch her bring back random teenage boys to her house and sleep in the same bed with them overnight. I think the last time I felt like this was with Ro-Kyu-Bu, a show about lolis playing basketball with a male high school student as their manager. Studio Gokumi seem to have halved each character’s age and animated them in a really mediocre way – after having seen some of the LN art, I actually felt incredibly sorry for its fans. These are from the light novels:

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Lance-N'-Masques

And this, in contrast, is promo material for the anime:

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Makio was a major victim:

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oh my god why

It was more of the same with the short action scene we had, with Knight Lancer against the random bad guys in suits. I laughed when they first showed the men in black, by the way – that’s some QUALITY animation right there.

top kek

top kek

And that’s not even the main problem I have with this. It’s Hanabusa Yotaro. I don’t think I can stand a whole season of listening to this guy literally white knight his way to the hearts of girls all over the world – well, some of them just call him a pervert and run off. I don’t blame them. I found it slightly funny that they decided to lampshade this particular character trait of his by calling it a ‘White Knight Syndrome’ and saying he can’t help but act like one, but only slightly. I mean, he says lines like this:

“Are you hurt, my lady? When I heard your piercing scream, I felt as though my chest would burst. Why couldn’t I be by your side? Why did I allow those hoodlums near you? Please, accept this fool’s apologies. As a knight, I swear to protect you for all eternity.”

Lance 1 Img010And remember, this is a random schoolgirl whom he happened to pass by. I want to curl up into a ball and die from the off-the-charts levels of cringe this guy generates whenever he opens his mouth. If it was more of a comedic thing, like a satire of the chivalry that knights are supposed to exhibit, then I think I’d be okay with it. But no, Yotaro is deadly serious. Makio is, for some reason, enamoured with Knight Lancer – I’m just hoping that being Knight Lancer is suffering, too, and so we’ll get to see something interesting in the near future. Oh, another thing – Makio has no idea that Yotaro is Knight Lancer! I could have understood her bringing Yotaro back home with her if she knew he’d saved her, but from her perspective he’s just a guy she found lying on the grass! And he didn’t even ask to stay over or anything, she just made him do it out of nowhere! I basically reacted just like the maid during that scene, and just like Yotaro too, to an extent – ‘Are you serious, is this girl for real?’

Lance 1 Img011I think I had higher expectations of this than I should have – which is in part the fault of the anime for withholding so much info, and in part my fault because I thought I would like it. If Yotaro wasn’t ultra-chuuni and Makio was a little older (but still a loli, mind you) then I think I’d have liked this a bit more. And it would have been nice if Studio Gokumi had a budget greater than $5. Also, when the talking white horse appeared, I had to seriously resist the urge to just drop it right there – I had a fleeting thought that this might be a daytime anime for kids, but then I realized that this is supposed to have come from a light novel. I was unimpressed when the horse then turned into a loli (albeit a more age-appropriate loli, I admit). I still think it’s the kind of show where there’s no blood, though – although in this case it might be because it’s cheaper if they don’t bother with blood.

I don’t think this is worth my time to blog, frankly speaking. Ayachi sang the ED though, that was pretty great. If you’re a light novel reader, tell me if there’s anything good plot-wise to look forward to – I’ll continue watching this for a couple more episodes, partly to confirm my impressions and partly because there’s nothing else I’m interested in on Thursdays other than Subete ga F ni Naru. This has been an unimpressive start to Fall 2015.

Possibility of Watching: Low
Possibility of Blogging: Low

Overlord ~ Episode 13 [We adventure on] [Final impressions]

I have not seen a battle go quiet so according to plan since I saw the first half of Death Note. With that being said, Ains planned out his battle with Shelltear perfectly. He also made a point of showing that not just he, but the guild as a whole, would never be taken down. He switches from weapon to weapon of his old comrades. Using the power of the guild to bring her down.
Along with this, we get the commentary of the NPC’s who are watching the fight. Talking about who’s weapons they are, what they do, what tactical advantage he’s given himself by choosing that weapon.

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In the end, it’s a spell that takes her down. The brainwashed Shelltear Bloodfallen is taken down. Good thing that the guild has MORE then enough gold to resurrect her!
Though she is brought back, her memories are pretty fuzzy and she can’t give them any clues on who used the world class item on her. All of the rest of the guardians give her a pretty hard time, but Ains is quick to assure her that it isn’t her fault. Also, it seems as if the resurrection went alright, except for the fact that her glorious breast seem to be missing.

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Also, her thinking that she’s going to get laid and the resulting look on Albedo’s face? Gold!

As the opening music sparks up in the background, we’re welcomed to a barrage of things going on at the meanwhile. Things going on with the Theocracy, what’s going on with Sebas as he acts as bait. That guy from the cave that Shelltear scared off meeting up with Gazef in that stormy town that Sebas is in. We see Ains as an adamantite level adventurer, being told that there are no requests of his level at the adventurers guild.

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As the music from the opening ends, we move into the ending. That’s it, that’s the end. Phew, um, well I think I’ll have to cover my thoughts here entirely in the Final impressions. As for this episode though? It’s good, not sure if it’s end of the season good…but it’s good. Now let’s double back and get down to our final impressions why don’t we!?
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Final Impressions

The only thing keeping Overlord from being the best show of the season is there is no promise of a season two. With the series ending on a ‘There’s still much to do’ with the promise of an enemy that can actually stand up against them. Someone who can use world level items. I want to see more! With Light novels being hard to obtain in the states, it’s up to another anime adaptation for us to see what comes next.

This show has a lot good about it. The characters are fun and interesting, yes, the main character is OP and you almost never feel like he’s in any real danger. I don’t really think that’s a downside though. Yes, it would of been nice to see someone outside the guild give Ains a hard time. It might of been fun to see him struggle, but it didn’t need it.
It managed to be entertaining without leading us on to think our main character might lose. Actually, that’s something in anime that bothers me to no end. When you know a main character is going to win, but it makes it seem like they aren’t. That’s just….obnoxious really. Either actually have them lose or let them be so overpowered that we are never worried like with Momonga!

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Overlord is really what i’ve been looking for in one of these ‘stuck in a video game’ anime. Since honestly, I don’t think he’s really in the game anymore. That being said, how did it happen? What happened to his body in the real world? Is he in a coma? In that case, is this a dream? Is it real? Was his guild from the game movedd to a fantasy world?
That once again brings me to, what happened to his body? This is why this show needs a season 2 so badly, it leaves so many questions. Who was it that did that to Shelltear. While the ending scenes lead us to believe it was someone involved with the Theocracy.

Who’s that powerful though?! It’s been said multiple times throughout the series so far that spells past level 7 are damn near impossible for a normal human. Much less world class items and magic. On the note of this not being another run of the mill, ‘stuck in a video game’ anime. I like that it has even sort of inverted many of the tropes.
Such as instead of having an attractive highly desired main character. We have a skeleton, with two girls who STILL want to be ‘boned’ by him. So it still carries on the harem aspect of most of these shows in an inverted sort of way.

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The ideas behind this show. The loss of friends, the making of new ones, moving through hard times and well….a huge lesson in power-gaming. On that note, it’s not so far-fetched. We all know that guy, that guy who spent a ton of money on a game to become powerful or has poured in a rediculous amount of hours. You hear about them all the time on MMO’s so the best part is. He’s not special, he’s not a beta-tester or even someone who is that GOOD at the game. Just someone who put in a lot of time and money. it’s all just so interesting, it’s not like he’s even really trying to get back home. So much as find something of the people he knew before, and as he sees the NPC’s as reflections of his old guild mates in this last episode. I think he’s slowly finding what he’s looking for, if not in the way he wanted too.

The only thing we can do from here is hope that a season 2 will be Greenlit soon, so we can continue to watch the adventures of Ains Ooal Gown and maybe solve some of the mysteries that the first season left us with.

Um, so I guess it would be time to rank the series but that’s so hard without knowing if it will continue or not. Based off what we have?

9/10, 10/10 if we get a promise of more!

~Midnight

Sore ga Seiyuu Episode 13: Assessment (Final Impression)

“I want to be a seiyuu people remember and keep working for a long time.”

After a successful concert, the girls go back to their daily lives. But an important moment arrives for Futaba: her assessment. At first Futaba thought that’d she’d be fine as she thought that since the previous year she’s grown. But it’s not for her to decide whether she’s grown or not, it’ll be the people at the assessment. Basically at the assessment she’ll be asked questions like an interview. Also the people there already know about her roles so they’ll look at that too. Later in the episode Futaba’s confidence started to falter but as usual she got advice.

[HorribleSubs] Sore ga Seiyuu! - 13 [1080p].mkv0090Just what kind of seiyuu did she want to be? Is what they asked her. You need to have a lot of confidence in yourself in this type of career. If Futaba had broken down in that room, she would have said goodbye to her seiyuu job. Other than Earphones, Futaba hasn’t really had any notable roles. She’s been doing minor things here and there so her resume isn’t totally impressive. The work that she has now could also reflect her jobs in the future. But Futaba still wants to continue being a seiyuu no matter what, even if she’s old. Luckily, Futaba “passed” the assessment. Passed as in she wasn’t fired from the agency, but she also wasn’t made an associate member. Instead she was deferred, meaning that she was given a one year grace period. She was given one more chance, so for the next year she’s going to really have to work hard or else she really will get fired. But if all things go well for her she’ll be able to stay.Even if it’s not a concrete “yes”, Futaba is still elated. So good for her.

As for Rin, she takes her entrance exam and passes. For Ichigo, she landed a job to voice a gross strawberry mascot. The girls are getting jobs, all looks nice UNTIL THE END. The three of them leave the studio together like they did in the beginning and Kaibara all of a sudden pops out and tells the three of them that he planned something HUGE. The girls freak out but we don’t see what it was. And that’s the end.

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Wow what a tease. That’s the perfect set up for a second season, whatever Kaibara came up with even though I’m tired of him. The show comes to a close, so what did I think of it?

I really liked it. I’m not sure if there are many anime about the voice acting industry so it was nice to see one. Even though we had three main girls we had more focus on Futaba because of the harsh policy of her agency. I do think that Futaba has grown, maybe just a little. Her confidence wavers here and there, but I do think that she’s a matured maybe a little from the first episode. Just a little bit. I enjoyed watching the girls and I’m glad we had episodes dedicated to them, even though, again, most of them were for Futaba.

[HorribleSubs] Sore ga Seiyuu! - 13 [1080p].mkv0012What this show was trying to do was show the audience what the voice acting industry is like. It mixed comedy and a serious side to show the ups and downs. It also brought us special voice actor guests almost every week. Their roles were to provide advice and for us to learn a little bit about themselves too. What struggles they faced with and how they feel about their jobs, about dark times they’ve had, and so on. It was pretty interesting to see. As for how in depth this show went when trying to teach about voice acting, I think it did it’s job. It really did jump around though which I wasn’t too crazy about. We went from auditions, to actually voicing an episode, to suddenly a web radio show, to units, concerts, events, commercials, foreign movies, audiobooks, and video games. It really covered a lot of things in a short amount of time! Of course there were some things that didn’t really need more detail but I would have liked to learn a little more about some voice acting areas. With the web radio show we saw how Earphones really struggled and I was excited to see them improve little by little, but it suddenly jumped to them finishing their show so we never got to see that growth. The stuff that we learned was fascinating enough but I do wish that we did get to see more. I’ve avoided comparing to Shirobako as they’re shows about the same and different things, but what I liked what Shirobako did is that they focused on a myriad of characters each with a different role when creating an anime (animator, director, voice actor, etc.) The cast was a little too big, but by focusing on them we really got a good view on the anime-making industry. With Sore ga Seiyuu we really only focused on Futaba, Rin, and Ichigo with also a random in-depth episode on Konno. And out of the three of them, I’m saying this again, we focused on Futaba a lot. But I think having a smaller cast is a little better in this case as voice acting is a little more solo than an anime team so we got a better feel of the characters.

This show could lack at times but I still had fun watching and learning. I really cared about the characters and I’m glad things went well for them. It’d be nice if this got another season, but we’ll just have to wait and see. 8/10!

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Durarara x2 Ten ~ Episode 24 [The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai] [Final]

For a final episode of a season, this episode was a little subdue. However, with that being said that’s because it’s setting us up for the beautiful thing that will be arc three of season 2! The chess board is set with all the players getting ready. The Yellow scarves going against the Dollars, the Dollars against the Yellow Scarves. There’s a war brewing in Ikebukuro and at it’s center, two best friends ready to take each other down.
There’s also Anri, who while not directly involved has stakes in this as well with Saika….oh my god Saika. If I had to point out ONE plot point in this show that drives me up a wall it’s trying to figure out who’s controlled by Saika and who isn’t.

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On that note, which Saika? Anri’s? The chick working with Izaya, the one under the control of the secretary lady who worked under the organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai. Who we have now confirmed is not one person, but in fact multiple people under one name. Most of which Izaya had taken out this episode. Speaking of being taken out…

WHAT IS IT WITH THIS SEASON AND TAKING OUT MY DARLING IZAYA IN THE FINALE’S!? What did he ever do to…..well there’s that, and that….okay so he did a lot of things to a lot of people to deserve this. I think my real problem here is that he’s been taken down twice by someone who doesn’t deserve it. If it was Shizuo or Masaomi or even Verona. I could kind of get behind it.
The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai has no business taking him out when there is a list of people who deserve it more.

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The most interesting scene of the episode by far though is the ending, as Celty returns home to the apartment that her and Shinra share. She finds an odd assortment of people there. Shingen, his wife, Walker, Togusa, Namie and others….wait, how did Namie get there? Safe and sound none the less? What’s going on here? This isn’t the first odd assortment of people meeting this season but…
I don’t get this one. There is little rhyme or reason too it. I’m sure it will be explained in the next cour but for now. I’m just left here wondering to myself “What?”

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In particular, even beyond Namie I am curious about Walker and Togusa. As two people who were out on the war path, why would they show up here? Walker was attacked by Izumii and narrowly avoided a full out fight. He mentioned going somewhere to hide, like a base or something…but why Shinra’s house? Well once again, I’m sure it’s something that will be explored more next cour.
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Final impression

Well, more like a end of this cour impression. It won’t be a true final impression until the whole thing is over. With that being said, x2 Ten had a lot of things going for it but in the end it was all build up for the final cour that will be coming out in January next year. It was the people and events boiling too the point that the war of Ikebukuro is ready to break out.

It’s sad to say but honestly, I don’t have a lot to say here. Until the season is actually over, what is there too say? I am concerned about the sanity of Mikado. I’m always upset when something happens to Izaya. I would like Shizuo to not be under arrest anymore, in particular under obviously false charges. It was an interesting ride but it will be even better when it comes to it’s conclusion next cour.

What’s going to happen?! Is war going to break out? Is celty’s head going to awaken? Will we finally get a handle on all of these different Saika’s!? Seriously, there are at least three that I know of right now and probably more. It’s driving me crazy. Oh well…That’s it for now!

~Midnight