Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan Episode 1: Hakone-chan Arrives! (First Impression)

Well this was a surprise. I thought this was going to be a full-length show but it turns out this show is actually a short. Three minutes and thirty seconds, three minutes if you take out the catchy opening. So you can expect this review to be just like the show and like Hakone-chan…short.

Okay, so we have this boy named Tohya who has a well in his backyard. He lives in a town that has the best hot springs and the well in his backyard is said to have a spirit that watches over all the hot springs. Tohya’s chores with that well include cleaning up around it, and making offerings and wishes. Right after sweeping up, he goes over to the shrine in the well and makes a wish wanting to get closer to a girl named Haruna. He uses a steamed bun as an offering but accidentally drops it in the water and out comes our spirit, Hakone-chan. Later said by Haruna the spirit is supposed to be beautiful and have a nice body. But really Hakone

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is a kid. She’s a little kid spirit who barely reaches Tohya’s hip.

So after she pops out of the well she eats the steamed bun and makes fun of Tohya saying he’ll never find a woman if he’s always so fussy and that’s why he used a wish for that type of stuff. She loved the steam bun so much that she said if Tohya gives her more she’ll promise to keep his wish a secret. It’s then that he realizes that this little girl is actually the hot springs spirit. So he takes her to get more steam buns until they run into Haruna. Saying Haruna is pretty, Hakone “helps” Tohya with his crush and ends up pushing him from the stairs at Haruna, they both fall down on top of each other and YOU GUESSED IT, he lands on her boobs and she smacks him even though she clearly saw he was pushed by her. One cliche in anime that I fucking despise. And it ends there.

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I hate this

[HorribleSubs] Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan - 01 [1080p].mkv0007Okay so I was extremely confused when watching this because I saw the time said 3:30 and then checked and found out that this show is indeed a short. Oh, okay then. Well, not much happened. Hakone mentioned that she looks the way she does is because she was in a deep slumber for a long time and that she does live up to what everyone says about her (being pretty, nice body, etc.) The synopsis of the show did say that she’d need Tohya’s help to get her powers back. That’s what got me interested in checking this show, and it looks like that’s what it’s going to be doing. But the thing is that it’s a short, also a comedy short to be specific. So we sort of have a plot, but I’m just really worried that we’re not going to get far in it because they’re going to focus more on the comedy. I’m worried the comedy will be the main thing and the “plot” will hardly get moving. From the opening we’re going to be seeing more characters so their introductions are going to take up and episode and this show is only going to have 13 episodes. So…yeah.

So far we got three characters. Tohya is the main guy who probably is going to be the butt of the jokes and be a total pushover by Hakone. We have Haruna who…is probably going to get caught up in all the shenanigans too. And then who the show is about, Hakone-chan. I didn’t mind her when she asked for more of those steamed buns but she lost a lot of points for me already when she pushed Tohya on top of Haruna and the boob thing happened, I fucking hate that I really hate that. So what the hell. She’s pretty arrogant too, but I don’t hate her. I’m just indifferent. The OP was catchy and cute, and the animation is okay.

I guess there really is no harm in covering this show. It’ll only take a few minutes of my time and I am a little curious which direction this show will take. The comedy route or the actual plot route and where they do the best they can to go deep in the plot in three minutes. Though it’s 90% going to be the comedy route because if you actually wanted to go deep with the plot in this show, you would have made it a regular-length episode. I just hope it’ll be a good comedy at least, one that’ll make me chuckle and smile just for a little bit.

Possibility of watching: Yeah I suppose.

Possibility of blogging: Sure, why not.

Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Ep 01 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

It took about three series, but finally… it feels like the Gundam that made me fall in love with the franchise in the first place is making a comeback. This premiere was incredibly fast-paced, solid and had a convincing introduction.
First off, our main characters are no strangers to the battlefield. They grew up as child soldiers who work through harsh labor while on stand-by. The main cast who are identified as the Third Group have such a fine dynamic, and just within this episode, they were able to establish their bonds and how much the value and care for each other. They all share a sentimental dream of going to the place they truly belong, and it’s that sentimental value that instantly makes this show way more promising than the last few previous successors. For a while now, the Gundam has been quite a hit or miss for me, so that’s why this series and this premiere makes me so excited. This type of storyline is right down my alley.

It is an understatement to say the pace of the episode was almost overwhelming due to the amount of information and how the trigger to set off the series of events to follow happened instantaneously. Not for once second, within this episode was there lacking intensity. Even when Kudelia was talking with her mother, the mood’s grim intensity remained overhead simply because we already know she is a target, and the moment she brought up how she was surprised her father was suddenly supporting her, raised a lot of flags. We knew just from the opening of the episode, this was going to get ugly real fast.

Right off the bat we learn the conflict is taking place on Mars. It involves a major movement striving for Mars’ independence, and Gjallarhorn, however wants none of that.
Now If I understood correctly, Gjallarhorn are the ones who are reigning control over Mars, but the only thing I presently need clarification on is, whether or not Earth Sphere and Gjallarhorn are part of the same fraction. Right now it sounds like they are due to the fact we have heard the Earth Sphere’s economy depends on Mars. So if Mars were to become independent, then the Earth Sphere will lose out on their economic resources. This would explain further why they absolutely want to suppress and dismantle this movement in any way they can, and the first step would be to assassinate Kudelia Aina Bernstein, who is considered as the leader of the movement. It certainly doesn’t help how her father had already sold out. Had she not handpicked the Third Group to be her escorts, her fate may have been very different.

Kudelia is perceived as a threat due to her family’s deep involvement/connections with Earth. In fact, that’s exactly where she was planning to go, to be an advocate for Mars. For her journey, she made the decision to handpick the Third Group to be her escorts. Her purpose for doing was so she could have the opportunity to get know them more and hope to gain understanding of their struggles and share their pain. You know right then and there with that mindset Kudelia is indeed naive and innocent. It was highlighted when she was trying to establish an equal relationship with her escorts. It was her naivety and her word choice that back-fired when she had requested to exchange a handshake with Mikazuki in order to “be on equal terms”. She was stung quite bad when Mikazuki called her out on her reasoning to make it so they are on equal terms. With that slap in the face, I am fairly certain she realized realized he was right. It is too bad because we know she had good intentions behind the gesture, but her reasoning spoiled it.

Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans Ep 1 Img 0038Within this episode, we are introduced to many characters, making it difficult to remember all of their names spitting out like rapid-fire, at least our two most important characters (other than Kudelia) were able stand-out in their own way. What made me instantly fall in love with our main cast is how they are no strangers to the battlefield. They are a band of brothers who grew up as child soldiers who work through harsh labor while on stand-by. The Third Group have such a fine dynamic (especially Orega and Mikazuki), and just within this episode, they were able to establish their bonds and how much the value and care for each other. They all share a sentimental dream of going to the place they truly belong, and it’s that sentimental value that instantly makes this show way more promising than the last few previous successors. It is also encouraging to have a relatively quiet character Mikazuki who is shown to be humane.

Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans Ep 1 Img 0033Orega is awesome, I am already a huge fan of his. He is a total badass, willingly to defy orders to protect his squad, and is such an awesome leader. I was actually quite worried about him being killed, but thankfully Mikazuki showed up with the Gundam in epic fashion. And speaking of which, it appears our Third Group squad are the ones who built the Gundam we see them take into battle today. I actually love that because this isn’t about some genius who designed and built it. This is clearly something this group has done altogether, and it embodies their hopes and dreams for a better future.

Overall yes, I am really impressed with this first episode. I haven’t even touched up on the character designs and animation quality- both top notch, and it truly speaks for itself. We have characters who grew up in a gritty and abusive environment, they are resilient, they have no armor, they have these injections in their backs to ‘hook’ them up to the mobile suits they use, and I really look forward to getting to know the rest of the squad (especially Biscuit). The oppositions is also very interesting, has their share of crazy characters, but also some interesting ones where I am very curious to see where they will go. We had one pilot who was disgusted at the commander who was leading the mission to assassinate Kudelia for causing unnecessary causalities, a trainee who (is very handsome by the way) appears to be very new and inexperienced to the battlefield. I am eager to find out what type of character he will become, a part of me hope he becomes more of a friend than foe because of reasons. Final Verdict: I hope this series will be good and all I can hope it that it will deliver!

PS: Have I told you how much I LOVE this Gundam Mobile Suit design, hands down, definitely my favorite to date!

Possibility of Blogging: Moderate (Looking for partner for Joint-Coverage due to Health Condition)
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed

One Punch Man Episode 1 (First Impression)

I’ve…been waiting for this to come out for a long time. The minute after I read the announcement that this manga would finally get an anime adaptation, I knew that I just had to grab it for myself. And that’s exactly what I did. A few weeks ago an early screening was shown and somehow someone had uploaded it on the internet and subbed it. I had only watched the first four minutes of it when I decided that I would just stop and wait until the official episode would air, because the team would probably tweak with the animation a bit or something. So I thought it was better to just watch the finished product, though the only difference I saw was the adding in of the OP after Saitama killed Vaccine Man. So for some people, they’ve seen it already. For others like me, we barely watched it now. And man that was worth the wait.

[HorribleSubs] One-Punch Man - 01 [1080p].mkv0038Now…being the strongest in the world, what are you supposed to do next? How are you supposed to feel? I mean when you’re so overpowered, you don’t have to worry about your safety as you can take down any kind of opponent. Here we have Saitama. He’s just a hero for fun as it was always something he wanted to be when growing up. He wanted to be a powerful hero where he could take any foe down with just one punch. He decided to become this hero as a hobby after multiple rejections from workplaces and during with his encounter with Crablante, who used to be human but turned into Crablante after eating a lot of crab. Yup. Saitama protected a boy with…with…a balls chin, okay holy shit I totally forgot about the kid with the balls chin in the manga and I almost spit out my coffee when they showed him. I’m sorry but…

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LOOK AT HIM I ALMOST DIED FROM LAUGHING.

Ah…anyway, Crablante was looking for this kid because while he was sleeping in the park this kid drew nipples on him with a permanent marker and he’s so pissed that he wants to kill the kid because he kills anyone who makes fun of him. Saitama protects the kid and in this moment he decides to become a hero and he kills Crablante. Three years later, Saitama is bald and dead inside. Now with usual shonen anime or just anime in general, we have a character who starts off barely able to protect themselves. Then things happen where they need to power up however they can, and later they become so overpowered and can defeat anyone in their path. But what then? What happens after that? Saitama trained for three years and now he’s powerful enough to just punch their enemy once and defeat them, like he always dreamed of. But that’s the thing. One punch, and it’s over. The fight hardly lasts a minute. Giant monster ravaging the city? Swoop in, punch, then leave. It’s not even a real fight. Before, Saitama really enjoyed all of this but then when realizing that he’s too strong, well…there’s no excitement. The poor guy is just too strong! There’s no tension, no excitement, no fear, no fun. Nothing. And it sucks. That’s why he walks around with this dead look on his face.

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And that’s what’s brilliant and what I loved the most about the manga. He’s too strong and it sucks. This manga took the overpowered trope and turned it around, making the main character already too overpowered in the beginning and showing that having so much power isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. Especially since Saitama is only doing this hero thing as a hobby, that just makes it all the worse for him. What is he supposed to do now with all this power? Yeah he can take down the monsters and aliens, but he’s not having fun.

Later on in the episode he took down a giant, who used to be a regular human. But he was obsessed with becoming strong, and his older brother who was a scientist created a steroid that turned him into the monster he became. Saitama lands on the giant’s shoulder, while the older brother was on the other, and when the older brother told his younger brother to squash the man on his shoulder….the younger brother squashed the wrong shoulder, and accidentally killed his brother. Oh my god. And Saitama had this stupid smile on his face that had me reeling. And sure enough, he was able to defeat the giant, but accidentally destroyed the city he was supposed to protect from being destroyed. WHOOPS!

Next we get a scene where Saitama gets attacked by the Subterraneans and enters an epic fight against these things before they would destroy humanity. And for once, Saitama was having fun. These things were actually putting up quite a fight for him and he was enjoying himself. And when he was about to fight the Subterranean King…his alarm clock woke him up. BECAUSE IT WAS ALL A DREAM. This poor guy really wants a good fight. When he wakes up, he hears the voices of the Subtarraneans saying they’re going to take over Earth and when he leaves his room, he finds the King but it’s a scrawny thing and he kills it and is about to fight the others but they surrender and leave immediately. And that’s where the episode ends.

[HorribleSubs] One-Punch Man - 01 [1080p].mkv0014For the one year I’ve been on this blog, this is the only show so far where I’ve actually read its source material. So I’m going to avoid talking about the manga and what things they changed and all of that, but for this episode they followed it extremely closely and it was the perfect setup to the rest of the show and Saitama’s character. The one thing I was really excited for when waiting for the episode to air was just how the animation was going to be. Originally the One Punch Man manga was actually a web comic from someone named ONE, and…no offense but their drawings were really bad. But then it was picked up by Yusuke Murata, who left the story as is and did the art from the beginning and WOW JUST LOOK AT IT. It’s extremely detailed, it’s just fantastic. The fight scenes were what I was excited for the most as there’s a lot of fighting and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s incredible. MADHOUSE took all the money they had and put it into this, and I really hope that the rest of the show looks just as perfect as it did this episode because then I will be a happy woman. The music was rock music throughout which I expected.

The OP. Wow. Fantastic. It sounded perfect for a hero theme and that ONE PUUUUUUUNCH in the beginning sealed it for me. Though my critique would be that it showed too much Saitama punching monsters and not enough of the other characters. The ED though was surprisingly beautiful. That I thought it could have fit another anime and not this one. It was a little unexpected, but it was pretty. As for characters, right now we only got Saitama and the villains he defeated. We’ll get introduced to other characters soon and trust me, they’re great. Like…

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There he is

The cyborg bae…

Genos gets introduced next week! And I can’t wait. I do wonder how many episodes this is going to have because the best battles are later on in the manga, so I hope this anime gets at least 24/25 episodes. Please…And of course, I’ll be covering the rest of this show as I used my shotgun on it. Until next week!

Owarimonogatari Episode 1: Ougi Formula [First Impression]

Anime is saved.

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Kizumonogatari

KIZU CONFIRMED, IS THIS REAL LIFE?

For some reason, I think they’re doing a Peter Jackson and splitting the single Kizumonogatari novel into three movies, but that’s not even important at this point – what’s important is that it’s here, and that it’s finally happening. I didn’t even think I’d get to see it within the next ten years or so! It was a relic, just like the Hunter x Hunter manga! It was more alive as a meme than anything else! It might as well have not even existed, like Index III, Spice and Wolf III and everything else affected by the Half-Life curse! I don’t care that it’s not going to be available in any form in the West for months at least, given that the first movie is in Japanese theatres on January 8th 2016 – it’s finally a thing, and after so long I’m happy with that. Anime is saved, guys. I feel like the karmic price for finally getting Kizu was the death of Manglobe, but OH WELL.

Ougi Formula

I feel really reluctant labelling this a ‘first impression’, because it really isn’t – the never-ending adaptation of Monogatari has been around for over half a decade now, and this is more like a continuation of the TV anime after a two-year break. And even within those two years, we had movie-style adaptations of Hanamonogatari (which I didn’t cover) and Tsukimonogatari (which I did cover). Suruga Devil was about this time last year, and Yotsugi Doll was at around Christmas, if memory serves me correctly.

So initially, I was going to start this off by calling the one-hour Ougi Formula arc a promo for Kizu, and after actually watching it I’m divided – it kind of is, because this is also an arc that deals with Araragi’s past, and at the same time it isn’t, because it was way too interesting to be simple fodder material. It did take a while to get going, though – I was only fully hooked when Ougi suggested that the locked room’s existence and the way it was acting was due to Araragi himself. All that stuff about Euler and mathematics at the start made me groan a bit, but it was standard Araragi exposition in the end. A lot of this was standard for Monogatari, really – it’s just that this standard is already really high. SHAFT were the same as usual, too. In that flashback scene, the only animated characters were Oikura and Araragi – and everyone else was just their name in kanji!

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sasuga shaft

Owari 1 Img004As I said above, I found it a misnomer that this was called Ougi Formula – because if anything, I’m even more confused about Ougi than I was before. I’ve always found her creepy, even before she became the fault of practically everything ever in the story – and I’m going to call her a ‘she’, by the way. I think she became a ‘he’ to someone in a past arc, it might have been Kanbaru or Sengoku, but I’m really not sure. I don’t know why she was depicted as the god when Araragi talked about the possibility of a god existing, but what I do know is that there’s no way in hell she’s actually related to Oshino. I know she knows a lot about him, but she seems to know a lot about everything and everyone – by the end of this arc I felt like Araragi was telling his story for our benefit more than for hers, because she sounded like she already knew it all. And this was supposed to be their first meeting. Araragi even told her he thought that she was the one who locked him in there – there’s no way she didn’t already know about everything. I could easily see her as someone (or something) who lies without technically telling a lie, or who deceives people to trap them. She doesn’t even have pupils in her eyes!

Owari 1 Img005In the end, all that happened was that two characters talked to each other in a classroom for one hour. And yet, it was one of the best episodes I’ve seen all week. I did find the existence of this arc odd, though, because I’m not sure how important this is to Araragi’s development as a character – I’ve always believed that things began for him in Kizu, when he first met Shinobu. It’s interesting to know that his personality went through a change before he entered third-year, but when he met Hanekawa it changed again – so surely that initial change can’t have mattered all that much? I also can’t see this as an arc for Ougi, because we’ve learnt pretty much nothing new about Ougi – it’s like how Mayoi Jiangshi wasn’t actually about Mayoi, and how Shinobu Time wasn’t actually about Shinobu. Or how Hitagi End should really have been Kaiki End. If I had to find a purpose in this arc, it would be that it introduces Oikura and gives her some background – because after all, the next arc is Sodachi Riddle.

Owari 1 Img010I like twintails, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I like Oikura. At the moment I’m fairly neutral towards her – though I feel a bit of pity as well, given that she was so unfairly denounced by her classmates and teacher. I do hope she doesn’t end up being a tsundere, and just feels hate and nothing else for Araragi – we already have a self-aware tsundere in Gahara-san, and it’d be a breath of fresh air if there’s a cast member who is outright antagonistic towards him. To me, it was obvious the entire time that Oikura couldn’t possibly have been the culprit – because as both Ougi and Araragi said, it wouldn’t make sense for her to take the time to gather everyone and say something like ‘no-one can leave until we find out who the culprit is’. In fact, if I had to pick the most suspicious person, it would be the guy who got full marks – we know Araragi wouldn’t do something like that, but from an objective point of view, he is clearly the shadiest one despite not having attended the study group. Senjougahara nearly got full marks too, and didn’t attend the study group, but that’s just because Senjougahara is perfect. I next thought that the culprit could have been someone not in the study group, who collaborated with someone who was, in order to raise everyone’s marks – Ougi said that there would be no benefit in the score deviation being lower, but I could believe that some (who didn’t care about class in general) would do that so that all their friends would do well.

Owari 1 Img006I felt like I was watching an episode of Rokka no Yuusha at one point – it was basically an hour of talking heads, and I was trying to solve the mystery as the episode was playing. Ougi did break the fourth wall and question ‘the reader’ to try to solve the mystery, but I don’t think it was intended to be something truly solvable by the average audience in such a short period of time. I thought it was Gahara-san, by the way, which would then explain why she was always alone at school – but of course, she didn’t attend the study group, and on further thought there’s no way she’d go to all the effort to do something as random as that. It was very clever to insert the line ‘all the seats were filled’ – and of course, Araragi spent the entire assembly standing, with Oikura never having told him to take his seat precisely because it was already filled by Tetsujo. I think this is where it helps to have the entire class be lines of kanji instead of people – if they were people, it would have been much more obvious that someone was in Araragi’s seat, because he’s supposed to be in this class as well.

I think they also did the ‘majority rule’ theme really well – it’s not that they never figured out the culprit and could never go home, it’s that they just assigned someone to be one in their frustration. It’s like how, if everyone in the entire world except you is insane, it might be more apt to call you the insane one instead. During the acid trip ‘argument’ scene, I was actually wondering whether I’d be finding out the hard way whether I’d suffer a seizure as a result of flashing lights – I’ve never tried by exposing myself before. I think being headache-inducing was intentional, as if to highlight the tension and drama the class were going through at that point – and to imagine, it was the teacher’s fault all along. All this was her fault. She destroyed Oikura’s life to make her career go smoother. Which is already bad enough, but she’s a teacher – doing that is the exact opposite of what she was employed to do! And it’s not that she just sat there, she put her hand up for Oikura too! What a slimy bitch!

I’m looking forward to seeing Oikura next week. I can’t remember the last time a character was introduced, given that we’ve just been through a second cycle of all the main girls with Monogatari: Second Season. I guess the latest new character would be Ougi, but she’s less of a character and more of a… whatever the hell she is. That would make the last proper characters Yozuru and Yotsugi, and they appeared all the way back in Nisemonogatari. So yeah. I hope twintails will be fun.

Possibility of Watching: Forever
Possibility of Blogging: Forever

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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.

Asterisk 1 Img007

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

vlcsnap-2015-10-03-21h21m36s615vlcsnap-2015-10-03-21h21m59s588

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.

vlcsnap-2015-10-03-21h23m58s160

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?

1-100002

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