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

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

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

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

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

Charibo’s first Impressions:

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

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

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

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

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

Also dat blushing Natsume: 10/10

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Watching: You bet I will!

Covering: I’ll try a bit

Bungou Stray Dogs Season 2 Episode 1: The Dark Age (First Impression)

I certainly wasn’t expecting to get an episode all about Dazai’s past in the premiere of the second season. It was a little strange to be honest, because it had nothing to do with what we got in the last episode of the first season. It’s like we’ve started a new arc.

horriblesubs-bungou-stray-dogs-s2-13-1080p-mkv0004But upon further investigation, I found out that this whole episode was part of Dazai’s past in one of the novels, because apparently his past isn’t in the manga. I’m at a little of loss for words because it’s a little jarring that we got this. But! That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like this episode. On the contrary, I loved this episode. Bungou Stray Dogs is always best when it follows these more serious storylines. Even when almost the entire episode was talking, I was absorbed into the story because I really wanted to know what happened with Ango. Oda himself seems to me to be a very interesting character, such as him never actually killing anyone even when he’s capable of doing so. And seeing Dazai in his days with the mafia, he hasn’t changed too much but it’s a little strange to see him giving orders instead of getting them. Dazai was always a very mysterious character, and I’m very glad that we actually get to see how he was in the Port Mafia, and how close of a friendship he had with Oda and Ango. Maybe, we’ll also see why Dazai left.

Where is Ango, what happened to him, and is he really a traitor? And just what is this Mimic group? That’s all the questions I got as the case took a weird turn in the end when Oda found the safe in Ango’s home, as he was appointed to search for Ango. I’m curious of Oda’s character and why he stays as the mafia’s handyman. His ability is very cool, perfect for the kind of lifestyle he lives in.

horriblesubs-bungou-stray-dogs-s2-13-1080p-mkv0050I just ask myself why they started this season out with this? How many more episodes are we going to get of this? I’m going to guess at least one more, and then we’ll go back to the main story with the Agency, the Mafia, and Guild. But why start with this? Does Dazai’s backstory even matter when it comes to the Guild? Learning that Dazai’s past is never even explored in the manga makes me think that it possibly doesn’t. But then that just makes me wonder why they would include this, especially as the premiere? Does Ango, and Mimic, have anything to do with the main story? I’m a little confused, and a little concerned. With meeting an entirely new group of characters in the finale of last season with new danger brewing, I’m going to guess that there might be a lot of content. But with the anime covering Dazai’s past for who knows how many episodes, I don’t know if that’s going to be a good thing.

I don’t know if Dazai’s past has anything to do with the main story, but if it doesn’t, couldn’t they just have made this into an OVA? I’m questioning their decisions.

This was a great episode though. But I’m still concerned. I can’t even expect how this season is going to go now, but I’m still going to stick around for the ride. I just hope it doesn’t hit the ugly stumps the middle of the first season had.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku Episode 1: Welcome to a World of Dreams and Magic! (First Impression)

I said I wasn’t sure about this show because of the cutesy art style, but I should have learned by now that shows with a cutesy art style can be very deceiving, especially with the magical girl genre. The synopsis read like there would be a battle royale fight to the death that would happen. With the episode opening up with dead bodies and a pool of blood in the first minute, I knew that the synopsis wasn’t lying, and that this show would be just as dark as it made it sound it would. And I was hooked.

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Apparently, my aesthetic are shows where cute girls experience torture and despair in what seem to be lighthearted shows. Gakkou Gurashi, WIXOSS, Yuuki Yuuna, etc. Those seem to be my favorite. I’m not sure what that says about me, haha.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-01-1080p-mkv0017Seeing as how this is the first episode, of course it would start off cute and lighthearted. Our main character is a young eighth grader named Koyuki, and ever since she was a little girl, she loved magical girls and always wanted to become one in real life. She thinks all magical girls are righteous and pure beings that are there to help people and she always admired them. But she noticed that as she was growing up, girls her age were becoming less into magical girls and more into other things, while Koyuki didn’t. So, she kept her love for magical girls all to herself in secret. Even now, she’s playing a magical girl game on her phone, and it changes her life in an instant.

Magical Girl Raising Project is like any other fantasy/RPG-like game. It’s just a simple phone game where you create an avatar and fight monsters and get items. But there are strange “advertisements” and rumors to the game. The main one being that there’s a 1 in 10000 chance for a user to become a real magical girl. Koyuki’s friends on the bus think it a scam but Koyuki as usual seems slightly hopeful, but doesn’t seem to believe it as well. Other strange things going on related to magical girls are actual sightings of them throughout the city. But people write them off as fake as all the images are blurry.

It comes as no surprise that later on Koyuki is chosen to become a magical girl. The game mascot, Fav, which seems to be a love-child of Monokuma and Kyubey, says he’s studied Koyuki and decided that she has everything to be a magical girl. She hesitantly accepts and transforms into her game avatar.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-01-1080p-mkv0034In this anime, magical girls are less like superheroes and maybe more like vigilantes, depending how you use the word. These girls aren’t here to fight against aliens, evil monsters, or magical creatures. They’re doing things you’d imagine any new superhero would do, like helping elderly women cross the road, getting cats out of trees, finding someone’s lost house keys, small things like that. I don’t think I’ve seen magical girls like this so this was a nice change for me. Koyuki is doing what she’s always dreamed of, and that’s helping people, but as a magical girl! But this time she doesn’t have to try so hard to hide herself from the public because Fav explains to her that even if she meets with someone, they will lose all memory of her, and if someone tries taking a picture of her, that said picture will always come out blurry, like we saw before. So these girls have free reign over the city and can run around as much as they want. It really is a dream come true!

We also learn more things about this magical girl community. Through her Magical Phone, Koyuki, or Snow White (her magical girl name), can enter a chatroom and speak with the 15 other magical girls. Everyone was very excited to meet her, and the ones that were actually there introduced themselves and made Koyuki feel warm and welcomed. We also learn more about the work of these magical girls when La Pucelle invited Koyuki out to train her.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-01-1080p-mkv0062What a surprise it was that La Pucelle actually turned out to be Koyuki’s male friend, Sou-chan! I didn’t expect it at all, so really we have a magical boy amongst us. Funny though, because his avatar has the biggest boobs and the most make up on. But that just goes to show you, always follow your dreams! Good for you, Sou-chan. It makes me wonder if there are more males among the group but I’m going to doubt that for now, as one of Koyuki’s friends become a magical girl is significant. We learn from Sou-chan (La Pucelle) that each magical girl works in their own district, and La Pucelle works in the district right next to Koyuki’s. Some of the magical girls can team up if they want, but it’s basically a rule that the magical girl assigned to that certain district is the only one that can work there, but visiting is just fine, and that’s when La Pucelle and Snow White pair up. There’s a bit of a system to all of this, but everything is so organized and all the other magical girls are so polite, friendly, and cooperative that it looks like that there hasn’t been any problems. They all seem to get along so well with each other, which is going to make it more painful when they’re forced to kill each other.

In the after-credits scene, Fav makes the announcement that there are too many magical girls in the area and that he needs to cut it down to 8. And that right there, is the sign that things are going to start becoming ugly.

I’ve seen people complain that they were disappointed with the premiere because it was lighthearted. And to them I say, um…duh? It’s the first episode. They can’t start killing each other until we know the main character and the story. We’re barely getting situated into this world, but it looks like things are going to move quickly. This episode was like any first episode of an anime. We’ve established the plot, we know all about these magical girls now, we know what kind of person Koyuki is. So now we can finally move on to the rest. As a first episode, I thought this one did its job well. I like what they’ve done with magical girls in this. Of course magical girls can be seen as superheroes, as they transform and protect humanity from the big bad, but in this case, these girls are doing little things. I don’t know, I just really like that!

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-01-1080p-mkv0044The art style isn’t really my cup of tea, but still, the show so far looks great. One thing I have to comment on are the character designs. Each girl has a drastically different design as opposed to the similar outfits magical girls usually wear with each other. I thought Koyuki’s Snow White to be absolutely precious and cute, I’m a weak person when it comes to flowery designs. As for the others, it’s a hit or miss. La Pucelle and the violin girl I enjoy, but some of the others just look ridiculous. It’s nice that their designs really tell you just what kind of person they are, though. So in that regard, it’s a plus.

Now, as for the cliffhanger. If the number of magical girls was really becoming too much, why did Fav recruit Koyuki? I’m sure because of the districts, Fav wants to cut the number down because having 16 girls in one city may be a bit much. Fav said only 8 magical girls need to go, but in the opening scene, there was only one person standing while all the other girls lay slaughtered. I wonder just how bad things are going to go.

I’m intrigued. Very intrigued. And this may be a stupid decision on my part, since I’ve already signed up for a lot of shows this season, but I feel like I can’t pass this up. Maybe I might sacrifice other shows, but I really want to stick by this one. I don’t think they’re going to take long to get into the blood and death.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed

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

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

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

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[First Impressions]:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watching: Hell yes.

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

Show By Rock!! # Episode 1: Melody -Schlehit Melodie- (First Impression)

Holy crap…

I am absolutely…blown away from the episode’s explosive intro. I legitimately wrote that first sentence without noticing the puns I made, but haha. But no, really those first three minutes was probably the coolest three minutes I’ve ever seen and I rewatched that scene about 100 times. Hoping that I would see them, the anime answered my prayers: BUDVIRGINLOGIC made it into the anime, and they’re the baddies. Not too surprised that they are since they really have the evil look. I’m not sure what story they had in the game since I never looked it up, but seeing their role here should be fun to see.

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Also, seeing BUDVIRGINLOGIC perform with the show’s usual animation and not in the Miumon forms was a pleasure to watch because it looked good. BONES is definitely capable of making all the bands perform like this and not in their chibi Miumon forms, but I guess to make it look like the game, they perform as Miumon. They’re still small and cute as ever in their 50000 frames per second performances.

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0004We got the plot before we even needed to think about it. As usual, the plot isn’t extraordinary. It’s the usual villain wanting to control the entire universe thing like we’ve seen before. But cliche plots like that don’t bother me too much if the execution is on point. Also, seeing Dagger making a comeback just made things more interesting if you ask me, so I’m very excited. The opening scene with all the ships, the Queen of Darkness voiced by the Queen of Seiyuus, Miyuki Sawashiro (*swoon*)…was great. It was all just so cool. When this series wants to get dark, it can. Just seeing Midi City engulfed in explosions and ruin was something I definitely didn’t think I would see. BUDVIRGINLOGIC singing when all this destruction is happening was badass, everyone’s Melodisians becoming tainted, just everything going wrong. Seeing the outcome before seeing how things came to be that way just drew me in immediately, so good on BONES for doing that. Also, the song was fantastic.

But what we saw was the future. In the present time, we see everyone in BRR. Typical hijinks and fun times ensue. After the events of the first season, Criticrista is now part of BRR. This’ll be interesting to see, seeing what kind of rivalry Criticrista and Plasmagica had in the first season. But that just means that Banded Rocking Records acquired a very popular band, so that’ll give the label a bigger name than before. And we can already see that as BRR is holding a concert for their bands.

We see as Plasmagica is about to perform, Criticrista notice that the girls look a little sad that Cyan isn’t with them anymore. It broke my heart every time Retoree would look back at the photo they took at the beach, while even saying “Cyan, I miss you…” Aww, Retoree. ;_; It really was a strange sight to see only three instead of the four. I was wondering what kind of song they were going to sing with just them, but before they could put on their show, everything went dark, and that’s when conflict started.

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0047I do have to say that I did feel like things were a tiny bit rushed. Though one complaint I had last season was that it took awhile for the plot to kick in. This time, the plot is kicking in right away! Ninjinriot makes their appearance, going back in time from the destruction of Sound Planet to help Plasmagica and tell the others of BRR what happens in the future, and to get their help. Seeing as how BUDVIRGINLOGIC appeared with Dagger, they agree immediately. They have to do whatever they can to stop the Queen of Darkness and save everyone in the universe. And save the music! I didn’t expect to see Ninjinriot, I regret not playing their songs as much when I had the game on my phone. They seem like a very cool bunch and I would like it if they could perform at least one song. Either way, it looks like we’re going to be seeing them a lot, so that makes me glad.

But hey, what about Cyan? The biggest worry I had when coming into this season was how Cyan was going to be included again. The first season had ended so well, I didn’t think Cyan needed to come back again. For what reason would she need to come back for? Well, we know now!

horriblesubs-show-by-rock-s2-01-1080p-mkv0055Cyan was the one that took down Dagger. With him back, and the Queen of Darkness, it’s no surprise that they would need her help again. It was so cute to see her in glasses again. It sounded like things were going well with her school band, but she was troubled that she agreed to write the song for their concert in the cultural festival because she hasn’t come up with anything. This scene was quite nice, as the girls of Plasmagica sang while looking at their matching guitar picks from last season’s finale. But of course, things aren’t peaceful for long, as Cyan looks up into the sky to see a “shooting star” coming down at her. When in fact, it was Kamui, the mecha ninja from Ninjinriot taking her to…of course, Midi City.

This episode immediately pulled me in just from that amazing beginning scene. As usual, the show looked good, and it sounded good. The ED theme actually isn’t my favorite of Plasmagica compared to Have a nice MUSIC and Do Re Mi Fa Party, but it was cute. Again, when the show animates them as Miumon, watching this in 1080p, it just looks really good. A little too good because it’s kind of scary that they literally look like nendoroids I could pull out of the screen. BONES back at it again with the bomb animation. My favorite of the music was of course Schlehit Melodie. I always loved BUDVIRGINLOGIC’s music, which is why I wanted them in the anime. Like I said, I would like to see Ninjinriot perform a song, but I would also love to hear ARCAREAFACT perform too because I wanted them in the anime too, and bam here they are. They have great music too, and I wonder what role they’re going to have in the anime.

Albeit this episode was a bit rushed with so many things going on, I greatly enjoyed this episode. I just…really love Show By Rock. I never thought I would love this series so much but I really do. I love it. I’m happy.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: GUARANTEED!!

Magic-kyun! Renaissance – Episode 1 [Brilliantly Blooming Renaissance] [First Impressions]

Nikolita’s First Impression

A romantic reverse harem set in a world where the arts become magic? Oh god, this is going to be my guilty pleasure of the season, I can tell already. *squee*

Our protagonist is Kohana Aigasaki, the daughter of artista prodigy Sakura Aigasaki, who is famous around the Hoshinomori School of Magical Arts but passed away when Kohana was a child. Kohana has worked very hard to be accepted into Hoshinomori, but she’s hiding a secret: while she’s worked hard to succeed in her mother’s chosen art, flower-arranging (ikebana), she cannot yet produce her own sparkles.

As Kohana arrives on campus, through her exploration we are introduced to each of the six bishounen who will be her love interests throughout the series. vlcsnap-00018There’s a red-haired young man who plays the cello beautifully, and a silver-haired guy who dresses and paints in monochrome and has a pet hedgehog.

Elsewhere on campus Kohana sees an orange-haired guy sculpting a cheetah and has sparkles which smell like vanilla. Around the corner she sees a ladies man named Angelo who shows off his dancing skills for his adoring fangirls, and whose sparkles manifest as wings on his back. Last but not least she comes across Aoi Suminomiya as he demonstrates his calligraphy artista for passing students.

Last but certainly not least is Ichijoji Teika, a gifted singer who is also the school’s unofficial “king.” It’s rumored that he can sing any song after hearing it only once. He’s obviously talented but comes off as very cold and aloof, naturally. Gotta have that romantic tension.

We also get introduced to Kohana’s new roommate, Juri Chikamatsu, and this girl is fantastic. She’s outgoing and friendly, and I have a feeling she’ll be my favourite character.

After meeting all the characters, the rest of the episode is split into two main scenes. In the first, Kohana tries to make sparkles while practicing her ikebana and fails, until she bumps into Ichijoji again. After he tries to motivate her with some strong words, she gives him a small bouquet of flowers. Both of them touching the flowers at once causes sparkles to emerge from the flowers, and Kohana is over the moon with her achievement.

vlcsnap-00040The second scene takes place in a classroom the next day. It’s revealed that Kohana is Sakura Aigasaki’s daughter, and for some reason this angers Ichijoji. He proclaims that Kohana is now his enemy, but the poor girl doesn’t understand why. After the credits Ichijoji talks on the phone to his brother, who tells him that he must become the Artista Prince.

All in all I adored this first episode and I’m super excited for next week. I love all the music themes and the animation is AMAZING – the CG sparkles blend perfectly with the 2D animation, and omg it’s just so gorgeous! *0*

A common side effect of reverse harems is that they are somewhat predictable, and Magic-kyun! Renaissance looks to be no exception. Based on the opening sequence and how the first episode went, I can take a wild guess as to who the main ship is going to be, but I’d love it if a twist proves me wrong. I basically expect this show to be like Dance With Devils, except with actual romance. I have high expectations so I hope I don’t get let down!

Side note: If you’re thinking of playing a drinking game for this first episode where you take a shot every time Kohana says “kira kira” (sparkles), don’t. You’ll give yourself alcohol poisoning. Maybe refrain from playing said drinking game throughout the whole series, just in case.

Possibility of Watching: Oh hell yes
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans S2 Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Gundam is back in action, and this season starts off with highlighting the ripple effects of Tekkan’s success. Since Fareed had exposed the corruption of Gjallarhorn, the ‘police’ of the world has lost it’s grip and instability is on the rise. With instability comes war, and as result of Tekkadan’s success with being a military group primarily made up of child soldiers (otherwise known as Human Debris), the interest in the potential of such had involuntarily contributed to a dramatic increase of child soldiers in certain areas. But it’s not just the children who has eyes on time, the development and use of Mobile Suits are on the rise once again after being recognized for military value. Many are working to restore and upgrade the ones from the Great War.

On the flip side, Tekkadan is now official military advisor and even has an Earth Branch. Kudelia partnered with Teiwaz to establish Admoss Company, responsible for mining, processing and shipped half-metal of Arbrau colonies. She has already created an orphanage on Tekkadan’s Sakura Farm and realize Mars’ economic and independents.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0006With a new season comes along with new recruits. We didn’t see a whole lot of them, but there are three who are likely to become more active in the future. However the one I am keeping my eye on is Hush Middy who I just hope won’t cause too much trouble and be a pain in the ass like some other character in a other Gundam series. (Take a guess who I am referring to!). He doesn’t seem to have too much respect for his superiors at Tekkadan, even called Mika an industrial waste.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0018The new recruits are fresh blood who never experienced what the founding members of Tekkadan had to go through before they had set themselves free. The Alaya-Vijnana System doesn’t scare them, but pipes their interests as they watch the veterans performing mock drills, awed by the power the system provides. In fact they go as far as describing the process as a ‘little surgery’, ignorant to just how dangerous and painful it is, and fail to get a clue why their boss (Orga) won’t let them have it. Shino and Eugene were quick to jump on them to clarify the ones who were performing do not use the system and that they never willingly had the surgery. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t look like the new recruits get it. They also fail to understand the behavior and actions of many of Tekkadan’s original members, such as why they are so willingly to go into the battle of Mobile Suits with merely Mobile Workers. For the original members, this is a regular routine for them, they had to do this everyday to survive. But these new recruits, they clearly come from a society where they didn’t have to fight to to live another day.

gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0010As for our veteran friends, it seems as if everyone but Kudelia has grown. Of the entire main cast, Kudelia is the only one who looks far more mature. Perhaps it has to do with her outfit and hairstyle, I am not entire sure. She bears a more experienced and wise expression on her face, and has become sharper in catching suspicious behavior of those who may create trouble later on. She was quick to catch on that the owner of Terra Liberionis (who looked like trouble from the get go) had too much information and wanted to use her spotlight to gain some exposure on his failing company. Surely enough she was right as Terra Liberionis hired the Dawn Horizon Corps, (infamous pirates that even Teiwaz has trouble dealing with) to stir up trouble.

Mika remains partially disabled, but similarly to Ein, he is able to fully function with his body while inside and using Gundam Barbados. As for Mika’s lifespan, that remains up in the air as we don’t know if any new discoveries or development have been made to help address that.

Orga is playing the role as the boss for Tekkadan, and that means sucking up to paperwork. He has shown he is ready to send them back into the dangerous route as what they are doing right now isn’t enough. He shown concern of what Biscuit would have thought of such idea, but will press forward with the plan anyways.

And then we have Fareed. The guy who tells his assistant he has no friends. (Geez, no shit Sherlock, you killed them off!)
gundam-tekketsu-s2-ep-1-img-0014Although Gjallarhorn’s reputation is unfavorable right now, and don’t have the power they used to have, they still exist. Fareed sits at the table among the others, many new faces of those we have not seen before, along with the man who leads them Lord Rustal. Fareed sure had the nerve to go on about how he is aware of his past’s burdens, and being responsible for exposing the corruption in Mars’ Branch. He now wants his Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Join Fleet to enter Mars’ Affairs to be granted permission to intervene within Mars territory. And one thing that was made clear, Fareed does not like Lord Rustal, and vice versa. In fact Lord Rusta knows exactly what he is trying to do, but is up to the challenge (or rather I think he considers it as a game). With whatever Fareed is trying to do, I can’t imagine it’s going to do Tekkadan any favors.

With that I am psyched to begin the new season! What will the story and struggle be this time? The Opening shows a new masked buddy entering the field, I wonder who that will be?

Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed
PS: This came out a bit later than I wanted to, sorry about that!
Was sick yesterday. 🙁

ViVid Strike! Episode 1 [First Impression]

Thou shalt not be afraid, I am with you.

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Impression

strike-1-img006I want to start off by saying that watching this definitely wasn’t on my plans for today. It wasn’t even on my plans for yesterday! I’ve actually been struggling to catch up with the remainder of the last season, let alone contend with a whole new one. So I hadn’t even taken a good look at the airing schedule for the season until literally just now, where I learned that there was a disgustingly disproportionate number of shows that were to air on Saturdays. I then saw that ViVid Strike was out, and my next thought was that there was no way that this would be subbed any time soon. The original ViVid indicates just as much, right? Because obviously it wouldn’t be given a second glance by the modern oversized distribution machine that is Crunchyroll (ft. Funimation) as they most likely think it would be underappreciated by the majority of its patrons, despite the fact that it’s technically (loosely, maybe even formerly) supposed to be about magical girls and lolis. Which should be right in the strike zone for lots of people, right? At least, it is for me anyway. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was subbed almost instantly after airing. Good thing I won’t have much to do on Saturdays this season.

strike-1-img003Anyway. I’m quite excited about this. More than I thought I would be, actually. It did feel pretty unsettling until about halfway through the episode, because I don’t think I fully appreciated exactly what the implications of a Nanoha without Nanoha would be. Even calling it that is slightly wrong. It’s more like a ViVid without Nanoha, the result being that it’s more ViVid-like than ViVid itself ever was. I hope that makes sense – anyone expecting the traditional magical combat featured in the original season, A’s and StrikerS is going to get even less of that than what they got in ViVid. Strike Arts is the new black now, and they’ve probably already done us a favour by having mana-infused punches and kicks added to the mix. As I mentioned in another post’s comment not too long ago, I think it’s really odd that they’re attempting to re-ignite interest in the franchise through straying away from an aspect that so heavily defined it and contributed to its success. Not that there’s anything wrong with ViVid, but you have to remember that that originated as a spin-off manga. ViVid Strike is therefore a spin-off of a spin-off. Or is it better to describe it as being set in an alternate universe? I’m not sure whether the events of the ViVid manga are reconcilable with the events of this original anime, but I like the idea watching a spin-off of a spin-off of a spin-off, as Nanoha was of course born from Triangle Heart all those years ago.

What exactly was unsettling, I hear you ask? I’m not too sure myself. Part of it was the setting, I guess – I wasn’t confident that we were still on Mid-Childa at first, with biker gangs and impoverished areas and shipping yards definitely not being sights I expected to see in such an advanced magical and technological society. Then there’s Fuuka herself, who I keep overlapping with Nanoha’s image in my head because their hairstyle and hair colour are somewhat similar even though they’re not very much alike at all, in either personality or combat style. And there’s also that feeling of having missed a huge chunk of the story, because ViVid left us hanging halfway through the Inter-Middle, and Strike is clearly set after the end of that tournament. My memory of events is even fuzzier than it was during ViVid, but I’m pretty sure there was no Nakajima Gym during the Inter-Middle.

At the same time, there are lots of good things. Seven Arcs returning is a definite blessing, you can’t call yourself a Nanoha fan if you think A-1 does a better job with Nanoha than Seven Arcs. I also really, really dig Nove’s new hairstyle. Now that she’s grown out her hair she can make people think she’s a harmless, kind onee-san even though she’s anything but. And Einhart also seems more mature and collected than she was before. For some reason Harunyan also has a waifu named Yumina, which makes me wonder what’s happened to poor Vivio.

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strike-1-img010I do like Fuuka, and I think that’s important. The biggest challenge this anime faces is to make its viewers like Fuuka, because Nanoha was a very well-liked protagonist – and switching to Vivio for ViVid wasn’t the end of the world because (i) Nanoha was still a character; (ii) Vivio is related to Nanoha and isn’t unlike her in personality; and (iii) Vivio was a character from StrikerS. Filling that protagonist role with someone completely different is a pretty bold move, all things considered. It’s going to take some getting used to her either way, but I’ve accepted her and that’s going to go a long way in terms of how much I’ll enjoy this. I’m sure part of it is the Minase Inori effect. Once again she displays her surprising versatility, and it’s good to hear her Carol voice reappearing at times, just like when she played Rem. It was Carol who made me her fan after all, not Chino.

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strike-1-img005I’m not so sure about Rinne, on the other hand. She’s super cute, for one. She’s also more my type than Fuuka ever will be. But Fuuka makes your blood boil, you know? Kaiser Arts was also always the cooler one. Being Fuuka is suffering, and that’s why she’d be by far the better protagonist. It’s sort like how Hibiki gets me pumped up every time even though I’m more of a DMJii person. I have no idea whether Rinne will be the Fate-chan to Fuuka’s Nanoha, but I’m sure she’s a good girl at heart. One thing I’m confused about is how she’s ranked #1 by the DSAA despite Einhart being the current world champion, and despite her having lost to Vivio. Maybe rankings aren’t determined by single wins or losses? Or even single tournaments? And what happened to Sieg? Either way, Rinne is now the ideal befriending target, except here people are befriended via fists instead of oversized laser beams. I’m just waiting for Fuuka to do a Touma and punch Rinne in the face while telling her that she’s not living her life correctly.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: High

Cheer Danshi!! Episode 11&12: [Final Impressions]

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Episode 11:

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h48m04s378In this week’s episode, moar sister drama. Haru initially wondered if his sister felt bad because he quit Judo and although he was trying to talk to her, she seemed to avoid him and any kind of discussion. Hopefully, things get better near the end of the episode, when Haru goes cheer on his sister at her Judo match. She then, manages to win and thus ends her losing streak. She also understands cheerleading might be what is best for Haru and that by doing so, he’s not abandoning her or anything.

However, if our young lad got the good ending with his sister, we can’t say the same for his “love interest”, you know, the girl who appeared twice in the show to say random things? Yup, this girl. Initially I labelled her as Haru’s love interest because it seemed that those two were bound to end with each other in the most cliche way possible but I was wrong. Oh boi, I was wrong. Cheer Danshi!! actually trolled me hard on this one. Indeed, that girl is already taken since she’s Ton’s girlfriend… Too bad Haru, no girlfriend for ya, but it’s okay, you still have Kazu.

Everyone feels down and has problems with their own family, which they will hopefully solve during next episode. So this episode wasn’t particularly great, I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. The sister drama feels a bit forced to me so I did not really care about its resolution. However, it looks like they’ve finally decided to give character development to every side character during this episode. Too bad it’s a bit late since there’s only one episode left.

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Episode 12:

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h50m54s441This is the last episode, thus, the boyz are doing their last rehearsal before the nationals. The coach has the clever idea to make them read everyone’s notebook, which is extremely embarrassing and kind of a irruption in someone’s private life but Heh… I guess she can do anything she wants as long as she has the “Coach” label right? Anyway, exchanging notebooks and discovering each other little secret somehow helped them to understand each other better and a long succession of characters saying things like ” thx to [insert name of a dude here]’s notebook, I understand myself better”, follows. It’s especially strange for Grumpy-kun case who, by looking at Sho’s notebook full of Squirrel stickers, understood that everyone can do cheerleading for different reasons. Wow, that squirrel must really have some sort of psychic powers..

At the Nationals, everyone is a bit tense but that’s fine, they deal with the pressure pretty well. However, the one who doesn’t manage to hold his feelings back is Chen. Surprisingly enough the directors decided to give him more than two lines of dialogue this episode and the young fellow actually steps up for Sho and defends him by confronting Domoto and Hair-Band-kun.

Then, we finally get our long awaited cheerleading sequence which was nice, but not amazing. I guess it’s a pretty cool way to end the season than to insert the credits and some parts where each boy self reflects on his experience and everything but it kind of broke the rhythm of the cheer sequence. So I wasn’t very amazed nor excited by this last part and dear lord I was looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool, but I was hoping for better, more dynamic, cheering dances.

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Final Impressions:

To be perfectly honest, I think Cheer Danshi is average. It’s not the modern masterpiece I’ve been waiting for, but it’s not the personification of a rectal cleansing. I first learned about Cheer Danshi!! thanks to some gifs made about the first PV. Those gifs were sowing the colorful and dynamic cheerleading sequences and everyone got hyped about the show because of those. In that sense I think it didn’t serve the show well since after the first episode, people realized Cheer Danshii!! was more a slice of life type of anime rather than your classic sport show like Daiya no Ace or Slam Dunk. But if you can pass over this little disappointing news and continue to watch the show, is it enjoyable or, to be more direct, good?

Well, yeaaaaah… I guess.

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h49m08s032Let’s get right into it by stating the obvious, the animation isn’t good. It’s not consistent, the faces of the characters change every time, their movements are sloppy and even if they put some extra- budget into the cheerleading sequences, you can see it’s still not really good. There, I said it. However, the sound is better, there’s some obvious reuse of certain tracks but considering the fact that Cheer Danshi!!’s production budget must not be very high, I’ll pass on this one.
What I liked the most about the show was the characters and their interactions with each other. If there’s one thing Cheer Danshi!! does right, it’s that. Their cheerleading team is believable, you can see there’s obvious connections between the members, that they like each other or not. The show spends a lot of time introducing and developing what I call “character drama” which is drama inherent to the characters and which almost sole purpose is to develop them. Which is what we got with Grumpy-kun being Grumpy, Sho does not want to do stunts, Kazu’s grandmother is ill, Haru’s sister is mad and so on. It’s in that sense that I qualify Cheer Danshi!! a Slice of Life than a sport one. Sport being only a pretext to put guyz together in a group and obverse what happens.

vlcsnap-2016-09-30-20h50m21s569However, there’s too many members, and not enough time to develop them. While the show makes character development it priority, it fails to pay attention to the whole cast. Obviously more time is spent on the original members of the team but it leaves less room for the other characters, whose presence was already a bit erased by the main characters’ importance. More than that, not even every “main character” or at least ” original member” were given enough time to shine. Ton, Megane-kun and the two county boys, weren’t developed at all and we did not learn much things about their past. The show preferred to focus on Grumpy-kun for example, which wasn’t an original member of the team but who is, let me say it, Best Boi.

Finally, I’d like to mention that I adored the comedy in this show. They were a few twists (like that girl being Ton’s girlfriend) that surprised me and overall, I laughed quite a few times. So good poitn for the comedy. Although I still don’t understand how the brocoli joke works…

So overall, Cheer Danshi!! is flawed, it’s nothing near perfect, but it’s a pleasant show with some attaching characters but that’s it and I don’t think Cheer Danshi!! ever strove to be something else than that. If you’re looking for a show like Cheer Danshi!!, with a certain lack of quality animation, cute boys, and an apparent theme (cheerleading for Cheer Danshi!!) that is actually not the main focus of the show, I’d recommend Shounen Hollywood. Where it’s almost the same thing, although Shounen Hollywood involves boys wanting to become Idols. Beware, it’s not like Uta no Prince sama, it’s wayyy more realistic, so realistic that it’s a bit cringy. BUT HEH, who doesn’t like a little bit of cringe every once in a while?

91 Days Episode 12 [ Just Live – Final Impression ]

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