Fall 2015 Anime Impression

We’re in the third (or second?) week of fall, at least according to the anime industry, and so I decided to watch eight new shows that I can maybe talk about and waste my time with. And since I’m the “I need to watch 3 episodes before dropping a show” type of person expect me to keep tabs on shows that I might not even like all too much for the next few weeks. For the most part though, this season’s looking pretty good so far.


Attack on Titan: Junior High

Chibi Attack on Titan because I don't know.

Chibi Attack on Titan because I don’t know.

  • What is it?
    • Attack on Titan: Junior High is an anime that’s existence perplexes me. It’s like Attack on Titan, but cuter.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Somehow this works.
    • It’s adorable and funny. Though it might not work for non-AoT fans.
      • There’s just too many in-jokes.
    • Fans should definitely give it a watch though.

Cliche: The Animation (I mean… AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon)

I betcha ten clams that this broad's going to be all over the main guy by the end of this one.

I betcha ten clams that this broad’s going to be all over the main guy by the end of this one.

  • What is it?
    • A waste of time.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I got up to make lunch and when I got back the show was doing exactly what I predicted it would be doing.
      • Nothing new.
    • There’s like this squad of underdog witch-hunters and they get the super elite cool girl to join their team who’s like the youngest person to become “Cliche Cool Title” in history. The super elite cool girl is super elite and cool, so elite and cool that she doesn’t think that she needs to be friends with the underdog team or something stupid like that.
      • Also, witches killed her family or something. Shocker.
    • The end of the episode showed them all kind of working together or something stupid like that.
    • The show just wasted my time.
    • Watch it if you need fap material or whatever. I don’t care.

Comet Lucifer

At least the cliche anime had decent pacing in it that kept me entertained...

At least the cliche anime had decent pacing in it that kept me entertained… “entertained.”

  • What is it?
    • A fantasy adventure with mecha elements.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Not much really happened in the first episode. The main character’s an adventurous but innocent kid (think Gon from Hunter X Hunter rather than Luffy from One Piece). His mom’s dead and he kind of wants to continue his mother’s research or something.
    • There were some other characters that were fine I guess, but I worry that they might just be the generic useless side characters that annoy me.
    • The main plot itself seems to involve an evil corporation that’s involved with the main kid’s mom’s research.
    • Comet Lucifer’s first episode reminded me of Zoids: Chaotic Centuries first episode. Both main characters have some sort of hover-board thing, they scour ruins/mines and their adventure began when a mysterious girl gives them the ability to pilot a mech/Zoid.
    • I said a lot about this, but it’s kind of boring. I’ll keep an eye on it though just in case it actually develops a plot.
      • Right now the cliche anime did a better job than this at making things “fun”.

One Punch Man

Tell that to the fanboys of Bleach and SAO. They love OP characters who are

Tell that to the fanboys of Bleach and SAO. They love OP characters who are “BEAST” or something stupid like that.

  • What is it?
    • An anime about a super hero that’s too powerful. And the struggles of being that awesome.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • The first half of the episode had some laughs, but it was kind of boring.
    • BUT. This is probably one of the most unique shows I’ve ever encountered in a while. It’s main character’s design is unique, his backstory is unique-ish and his inner struggle is interesting from a stroy perspective and a meta-anime commentary perspective.
    • Plenty of anime fans love super-powerful characters (think favorites like Ichigo from Bleach and Kirito from Sword Art Online) because they’re so BEAST! Or something stupid like that. And One-Punch Man looks at how boring overpowered characters can be… and the show’s thoughts on overpowered characters are similar to mine.
      • When a character can just defeat the bad guys with minimal effort then there’s no tension, no thrills, it’ll be no fun.
    • And though I didn’t like the first half of the episode too much, I still can’t wait for the next episode since the animation in the latter half of the episode was pretty sweet.

Osumatsu-san

I find the word

I find the word “sextuplets” hilarious.

  • What is it?
    • An old show that’s new.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • Osumatsu-san’s first episode is one of the best and funniest episodes I’ve ever seen in an anime. Being a very dated show, the cast rightfully worried that their humor and style may no longer work with today’s audiences… so they decided to turn themselves into BL style hunks.
      • It’s amazing.
    • But as the show itself mentioned… This is not how the regular show’ll be like. Again, another one to keep my eye on but not gonna recommend it just yet as a series.
    • Anime fans however should definitely go check out the first episode just for the lulz though. Even if they won’t touch the rest of the series.

Sakurako-San (Or… A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet.)

Already one of my favorites. I hope they don't fuck it up.

Already one of my favorites. I hope they don’t fuck it up.

  • What is it?
    • Probably a mystery anime.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • The first episode introduced us to Sakurako-san and her assistant, Boy A.
      • Sakurako-san is awesome and cool. Due to her obsession with death and skeletons, she possesses a great mind, eye and knowledge on possible causes of deaths, thus making her a pretty good homicide detective.
      • Her assistant is annoying though.

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

It's slow, but I found it engaging and interesting. Can't wait for more.

It’s slow, but I found it engaging and interesting. Can’t wait for more.

  • What is it?
    • I looked it up and apparently it’s a murder mystery.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I found the show to be intriguing.
      • I had no idea what was going to happen but I liked it.
      • It felt like I was reading a novel (it’s based on a novel).
    • It’s a slow show that requires the audience’s full attention.
    • The characters are interesting, but nothing has “WOWed” me just yet.
    • Again, gonna keep my eye on it. Too hard to judge this one right now.
      • It does, however, feel like a show with mature sensibilities and respects it’s source material and itself. Which I like.
        • When I say “mature sensibilities” I mean that it seems like a show that isn’t just made to sell body-pillows. It has a story that it wants to tell and that’s pretty much the main reason it was made.

Utawarerumono: The False Faces

Fine. I'm a big fan of cat girls.

Fine. I’m a big fan of cat girls.

  • What is it?
    • An anime about a young human man trapped in a mountain village filled with neko people.
  • I wrote stuff down.
    • I’m still kind of interested, but the first episode was just kind of boring.
    • I learn about the characters, sort of, but not much happens.
    • The main dude looked like he was dressed in hospital patient clothes at the beginning of the episode, so I’m hoping that this whole thing isn’t a “guy in a coma” anime… I mean it could be and it could still be good, but I’m still hoping that it’s not “a guy in a coma” anime.
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My Top Ten Favorite Anime (Sort Of).

Everyone’s got a a list of their favorite shows and what’s on the list is always different for everyone because we’re all different people with differing opinions. But since I’m awesome, my opinion is fact and everything in this list is pure gold and if you disagree with that then… Okay. I hope you liked the list anyway!

Not everything in this list is an anime that I’d describe as a masterpiece per say. They’re all just shows that I really like for multitudes of reasons, but with that, let’s just get to it already starting with!

10) Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma (2015)

Food Wars is a cooking manga/anime (that I’ve reviewed.)

NSFW foodgasms inbound.

NSFW foodgasms inbound.

Here’s a tip for all you Food Wars fans out there—go read the manga. The anime’s just as good, but go read the manga because woof… the anime ended too soon and left out one of my favorite tournament arcs ever and one of my favorite scenes/speeches from a manga (Ch.102). For those who aren’t familiar with the show: Food Wars is a hilarious and strangely epic cooking anime that revolves around Yukihira Soma as he battles (cooking battles) his way to the top of Totsuki Culinary Academy, the best damned cooking academy in all of Japan. Seriously, if you want a good laugh and great thrills, go watch Food Wars… Just make sure that you have food in the house because you’ll get hungry.

9) One Piece

A grand adventure in an even grander world seen through the eyes of a small, but larger than life pirate crew.

800 chapters in and we're still probably only half way there.

800 chapters in and we’re still probably only half way there.

Okay so everyone knows what One Piece is about and some people might have groaned seeing a member of the Holy Shounen Trinity in a Top Ten anime list. But while my taste in anime have developed and I’ve fallen out of love with the rest of the trinity, One Piece remains to this day as one of my favorite shows to watch—okay maybe not favorite show to watch because as big a fan as I am, I’m not ignorant to the fact that it drags on way too long with it’s flashbacks. But I do love it all the same because at its core, One Piece is a really fun show featuring a cast of fun and awesome characters.

8) Kimi Ni Todoke/Ore Monogatari!!

One features a girl that looks like the creepy chick from The Ring while the other features a gorilla, I mean a boy… who looks like a gorilla—both shows are about two misunderstood teenagers who simply want to be accepted.

Kimi Ni Todoke has some annoying bits regarding misunderstandings, but I still find it to be very endearing.

Kimi Ni Todoke has some annoying bits regarding misunderstandings, but I still find it to be very endearing.

When I think of romance anime, I laugh. I laugh because when I think of romance anime I think of harems and ecchi anime—two things about anime that I despise. I’m not a prude by any means, but I like subtlety. I’m the type of guy who cringes at most girls that twerk and I prefer seeing women in fall fashion to no clothes or summer clothes. I’m also the type of guy who believes in the idea of love, or at least likes to, because even I’m not dumb enough to know that it’s all just a lie…

Screw moe anime, Ore Monogatari is the epitome of cuteness!

Screw moe anime, Ore Monogatari is the epitome of cuteness!

But lie or not, two anime that never fails to put a smile on my face are Kimi Ni Todoke and Ore Monogatari!! Yes, these two shows are only here because of how cute they can be… and because of how much joy they both give me. I’m a fairly pessimistic person, but even I feel fuzzy inside watching these shows. Are they the best ever? No, but I love them regardless. They both feature outcast teens that just want to be accepted and find true love, and though the idea of love in both is highly idealized and innocent, I love it all the same.

If you want to know more about Ore Monogatari then you’re in luck! I already reviewed it here!

7) Mekakucity Actors

A show about something

Someone please explain this to me!

I really don’t get why this is here either.

Look I’m not going to lie, Mekakucity Actors is in this list because I’m looking for someone to try and explain to me why I love it so much because even I don’t know why I love it. Like seriously… Mekakucity Actors is a fine show, but it’s not even an 8/10 in my book. And yet for some reason… I really love it. All I know is that it features an ensemble cast of teens with special powers and a plot… I guess. I also know that it’s an anime based on a series of Vocaloid songs and somehow, it made me not want to punch my computer screen in the face.

6) Death Parade

A show about life. (And another show that I’ve reviewed!)

Boom boom boom! Dancing through the skies!

Boom boom boom! Dancing through the skies!

Death Parade is an original anime by Studio Madhouse and it’s probably my favorite anime of 2015. The basic concept of Death Parade is simple, two people enter a bar, they’re forced to play a game, an Arbiter watches the proceedings of the game and based on how the players reacted while playing said game, the Arbiter will then decide which of the pair would be sent to the void and which one would be sent for reincarnation. Again, simple concept, but like any good show, there’s so much more to Death Parade. Because despite being a show featuring dead people, it is a show about life itself as well as the experiences people have living it, may they be good or bad.

5) Hajime no Ippo

An anime featuring a bullied youth that learns the true meaning of strength through boxing.

Packs a PUNCH... Get it? No? Okay then... v ~ v

Packs a PUNCH… Get it? No? Okay then… v ~ v

I don’t enjoy boxing, or sports—actually I watch a little soccer here and there, but for the most part I don’t care for any of it. And yet… One of my favorite animes of all time is a boxing anime. But saying that Hajime No Ippo is JUST a boxing anime is like saying that Moby Dick is just a story about trying to kill a white whale. There’s more to both these stories than just their surface plot, and though Hajime No Ippo doesn’t go as deep as Moby Dick does in a thematic way, Hajime No Ippo does do a pretty impressive job of telling a riveting, pulse pounding and inspiring drama about an underdog who makes it big as a boxer. And yes, I consider Hajime No Ippo as a drama more than I consider it a fighting or sport anime, because though there is fighting and sportsmanship involved but at it’s core, Hajime no Ippo’s really all about the main character Ippo Makunochi and his rise to glory and greatness.

4) Gatchaman: Crowds/Insight

An anime about clashing ideals regarding the evolution of humanity as a society.

IN THE NAME OF LOVE! GATCHAMEN! ASSEMBLE!

IN THE NAME OF LOVE! GATCHAMEN! ASSEMBLE!

I’ve never seen the Gatchaman of old, but from what I’ve gathered, (and please correct me if I’m wrong) the original Gatchaman was a fairly simplistic hero anime where a group of Power Rangers esque individuals get together to fight aliens who threaten to destroy the Earth. The Gatchamen of Crowds and Insight however are vastly different. Rather than have a black and white narrative, the newest reincarnation of Gatchaman focuses more on opposing ideologies. In both Crowds and Insight, there was never a clear villain (maybe more so Insight than Crowds), for the most part, the enemies that the Gatchamen are going up against are well meaning, but dangerous individuals or groups who just want to see the world be a better place. And it’s exactly because of this that I’m putting Gatchaman in my list—it’s an anime that not only has fun and interesting characters, but it also takes time to look at society and even criticize it in a non-pretentious manner.

3) Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

A show about sacrifice, brotherhood and a bunch of other really awesome shit.

Remember October 3rd.

Remember October 3rd.

Action, comedy and drama—FMA: Brotherhood has it all. I never really liked the original anime, I thought it was fine, but was severely flawed. Brotherhood on the other hand is hands down just a masterpiece of awesome. It has a well-written narrative, great characters and some of the best fight scenes in anime. Go check it out if you haven’t seen it yet what the hell are you doing with your life?!

2) OreGairu (My TEEN RomCom SNAFU!)

An anime about a loner who sees himself above his peers as he treks through the icy road to true maturity.

Chin up kid, you'll get there one day.

Chin up kid, you’ll get there one day.

My Teenage Rom-Com SNAFU! is a show with a fanbase that irritates the heck out of me… Sort of. I just don’t like how every time I go into comments sections of episodes or discussion boards I seem to always find people who are constantly obsessing about the protagonist Hachiman’s harem. I don’t like that because it’s not what the show is about and it goes against everything that Hachiman stands for. It’s just not genuine. But I get it, talking about pairings and harems is fun—sure, I’m not going to take that away from anyone.

But it’s not why I love SNAFU and it’s not why I watch the show. To me, SNAFU is more than just about romances or harems. It’s not about how cool it is to be a loner, because even the show itself depicts Hachiman as being in the wrong even though his methods work. SNAFU is Hikigaya Hachiman’s coming of age story. I know that the synopsis says otherwise, but ignore that because trust me, this show really is something special.

Similar to how I have Kimi Ni Todoke and Ore Monogatari in this list for mostly emotional reasons, part of why SNAFU’s on this list is because of how much I can relate to Hachiman’s struggles with life. It’s rare for any work of fiction (and non-fiction) to ever affect me this show has, which is why I have so much respect and adoration for it—because not only does it make me feel all weird inside, it’s also a very well-written show filled with great characters and both hilarious and dramatic scenes and conversations.

1) Gintama

An anime that made me cry way too much, especially since it’s primarily a comedy show about a feudal Japan that has been taken over and modernized by aliens.

Nobody with naturally wavy hair can be that bad.

Nobody with naturally wavy hair can be that bad.

When I first started watching Gintama I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I liked the protagonist Sakata Gintoki, but I couldn’t figure out what the show was going to be all about. There were hints of Gintoki’s past and how it might come back to form an overall and overarching plot, but fifteen episodes in and still there was nothing. For the most part, Gintama seemed to be just a comedy anime (a really funny and heartfelt comedy anime) but story or not, I was still in for the ride because like I said, I enjoyed the comedy bits a lot!

There were more hints of a plot thrown in there and I was satisfied just having a good time laughing at the almost self-contained comedy episodes. I loved the smaller dramatic episodes too and grew to really love the whole cast. But what really got me were episodes 58 to 61—that’s when everything changed. Not permanently. But it cemented Gintama as a series that would forever be in my list of favorite anime.

Episodes 58 to 61 were when the Benizakura Arc happened, Gintama’s first serious arc. Every Gintama fan knows what it was like to first to fill the thrills and chill of seeing our goofball favorite characters be put in a high stakes and life or death situation where they need to go up against a villain that better suited a more serious anime. The Benizakura arc still had plenty of comedy to it, but for the most part, it was the story arc that laid the foundation for what’s to come—it established the villain, the main story and a better look at Gintoki’s past. I mean we’ve always known that Gintoki was a badass, but it was his fight scenes in the Benizakura arc that showed just how awesome he could be.

I can’t really explain why I love Gintama so much, but I know that despite having hundreds of episodes I’d still recommend it to people. I know that that’s a commitment and I know that the payoff may not come until fifty episodes in, but my God, does it PAY OFF. And even after the Benizakura arc the show does return to form and remains a comedy for a dozen episodes before tackling another serious arc—but I’m okay with that. Others might not be, but I swear, you must give this show a chance. You owe it to yourself as an anime fan to watch Gintama because not only is it a hilarious parody comedy anime, but it’s also an exciting and touching story about a man who refuses to be broken by the world and how desperately he needs to pay his rent.

Rokka no Yuusha (Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers) Episode 12 Review

“Only Five Hundred Thousand~”

Finale

Oh just five hundred thousand? Well okay then.

Oh just five hundred thousand? Well okay then.

There are two ways you can do a finale—end with a bang, or leave your audience craving for more. Rokka no Yuusha clearly went for the latter in this one. And I don’t mind it at all. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, I’m assuming that you’re already accustomed to the penultimate episode being the BIG ONE.

For the none fans out there, in Game of Thrones, the second to last episode is often the one episode where a lot of things go down: epic battles, grand revelations, major character deaths, stuff like that. The very final episode would often have the previously mentioned elements, but often, the BANG in the penultimate episode is still where it’s. In GoT, the finale is mostly reserved for cliffhangers that would want viewers speculating for months and months until the new season comes out.

Rokka does something very similar to this. The penultimate episode was when Adlet and Fremy had to work together as they attempt to fight off Goldof, Nashetania and Maura all at the same time, and it’s the big episode that helped clear Adlet as not being the Fake Brave. The finale on the other hand wrapped up the season’s main story and teased at what’s yet to come.

Katsura Kotaro--I mean this talking fiend guy's still coming guys.

Katsura Kotaro–I mean this talking fiend guy’s still coming guys.

Was it satisfying? Yes, I’d like to think so. If not, then please read on ahead and let me try and convince you otherwise.

The Culprit Is You!

Yeah you!

Yeah you!

It was Nashetania. I thought that maybe it was Mora, but she’s still very much a contender for Fake Brave in my eyes seeing as now we’re back to square one with Rolonia’s sudden appearance. But before we move on to the new Brave, let’s talk about our murderous bunny princess.

When I first saw Rokka no Yuusha, the male part of me went like, “DAMN!” I thought to myself, that if this show didn’t have any special about it, I at least hope that the next time I go to a con, I’d run into a Nashetania cosplayer (a female one of course). And it’s not just looks that made me like Nashetania. In the first few episodes I enjoyed her playful, albeit naïve behavior—but looking back (and yes I actually did), there was one part in episode two where Nashetania tells Adlet about how when she was a child, her father tried to have her be killed.

I buy it. She was betrayed by her people, the same way the fiends betrayed Fremy.

I buy it. She was betrayed by her people, the same way the fiends betrayed Fremy.

In episode two, Nashetania tells Adlet about the Civil War in her home country of Piena. During this conversation, Nashetania tells Adlet about how her father blamed her for the Civil War and had ordered her execution. Nashetania spent quite some time away from home until she became the Saint of Swords—it’d be stupid for anyone to think that a person betrayed by her own family (kind of like Fremy in a way), would just easily forgive them and forget the fact that they tried to kill her.

It makes sense that Nashetania is the Fake Brave. I mean she does have a logical motivation as to why she would want peace (and also one of the fiend leaders probably came to her when she was on the run and corrupted her).

“All I dreamed of was of a night when I could sleep without fear of death. If I could give that to the entire world, it wouldn’t bother me how often I sleep on the hard ground!

“All I dreamed of was of a night when I could sleep without fear of death. If I could give that to the entire world, it wouldn’t bother me how often I sleep on the hard ground!”

So if you didn’t buy Nashetania being the Fake Brave, there’s my (and the show’s) reasoning. Moving on.

Adlet x Fremy

Fremy, you're so cute.

Fremy, you’re so cute.

They kissed!

I don’t really have much to say about this, because I’ve talked about it before. Like Nashetania being the Fake Brave, I buy this shipping (not wholly), but regardless I support it. They have chemistry and some bantering exchanges, and based on the scenes where both of them would jump in to shield the other’s life, I buy that they really love each other.

There’s a progression to it and it doesn’t feel forced.

Jelly with a side of salt.

Jelly with a side of salt.

The Saint of Bloods

Now… I want to talk about Rolonia…

Are you a cow or an elephant?

Are you a cow or an elephant?

She’s been quite possibly the most hated character in the show and she hasn’t even been in it for a good fifteen minutes!

What are the things people don’t like about her?

  • People don’t like her design.
  • People think that she’s a new love interest.
  • People think that it’s dumb that they’re back to the 7th Brave thing.

Design 

Seriously are you a cow or an elephant?!

Seriously are you a cow or an elephant?!

A lot of people didn’t like Rolonia’s looks because of her armor and costume and second, they don’t like her because she’s fat.

First off, who cares? Second, didn’t we just spend a season with a cute little bunny girl waifu with a nice ass… who turned out to be a psychotic murderer? Why judge Rolonia so harshly because of how she looked? I’m not gonna lie, her armor was kind of weird and unappealing to me (and so is Hans’ raggedy appearance), but while I loved Nashetania’s look she was the character I ended up hating the most and Hans became the Brave I loved the most besides Adlet.

Give Rolonia a chance and don’t judge her solely by how she looks—She’s the SAINT OF BLOOD. Who knows what she’s capable of!

Love Interest 

She’s not. End of discussion.

Rolonia's not getting in the way of Adlet x Fremy guys!

Rolonia’s not getting in the way of Adlet x Fremy guys!

But no, really, people seem to be all upset that she’s going to get in the way of Adlet and Fremy. Look, I love Adlet and Fremy together, but I don’t think that Adlet’s going to start having a harem anytime soon. Why? Because first off, we’ve already realized that this show isn’t as dumb and generic as we all probably thought. And second, she knows Adlet.

If you join a new group of people and you see your friend there—and you see that he’s injured, wouldn’t you want to stick with your friend first then later start talking with the other people in the group? And also, what’s wrong with trying to help someone and being nice to them especially if your power lets you heal others? I’ve been to numerous boards seeing this paranoia that maybe Rolonia will get in the way of Adlet x Fremy, but my question is why? She wanted to talk to someone she hasn’t seen in a while and she was trying to be nice.

What? Are the people thinking that Rolonia is a new love interest also the type of people who think that when a girl is talking to them or being nice to them that means that they want to be more than just friends? I don’t know.

What I do know is that Fremy is not very trusting of people and it’s no surprise that she’s acting the way she did in the closing minutes of the finale, and really, that was obviously done in a comedic fashion. A little light-heartedness is good for a show that was pretty much all about paranoia and killing each other.

The New 7th Brave! 

Well they were six just a while ago...

Well they were six just a while ago…

Okay I’m not going to defend this one that much, because I agree, it might be a bit of the same shtick all over again. But I would like to remind anyone reading this to think about the fact that so far, Rokka no Yuusha has done a great job at breaking story clichés—first there was the mystery and second making the first girl we meet be the villainous one.

I don’t know if we’re going to have a second season, I hope we do, but I’m not going to judge the show, because the last time I did that, I was proven wrong. And my God… I am so happy that I was dead wrong about Rokka, because this show is without a doubt my favorite of the season.

LOL look at Goldof.

LOL look at Goldof.

VERDICT 

Seriously, don’t be upset about the new Brave, have faith. The show has wowed us all before by not being what we initially thought it was going to be and it ended with a cliffhanger. For the people who didn’t like the rather action-light finale, then I’m sorry—books, movies and anime do these kinds of things all the time. Unless the show is about to end, then there’s not going to be a grand and epic finale. When a show is still going to continue, it’ll leave you with a cliffhanger, hoping that it’d entice you to tune in for the next season.

Score: 9/10 Excellent!

  • PROS
    • Adlet x Fremy
    • The Reveal
    • Rolonia
    • Overall strong finale.
  • CONS
    • Rolonia (I know that I defended her, but I can’t quite give this episode a perfect score because her appearance did bum me out a bit).
Hey Mora, I still got my eye on you.

Hey Mora, I still got my eye on you.

Rokka no Yuusha (Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers) Episode 10 Review

THAT’S THE POWER OF LOVE!

Adlet x Fremy

I don’t ship. I might joke about gay or lesbian pairings every now and then, but as a personal rule I don’t do it, not because I have a thing against shippers mind you. To me, shippers are no different from plot theorists who speculate on what might happen next or who’s going to be the Straw Hat crew’s newest crew member, which is something that I consider myself as. For the most part when I see a potential romance in anime or any kind of show or movie, I just hope that the characters’ relationship doesn’t feel awkward or forced.

Romantic relationships in any story, much like any other story element should never come from out of nowhere. And although I see where Fremy’s attraction for Adlet might have come from, I’m not entirely sure when and where The Strongest Man in the World fell for our half-fiend sniper. Maybe it is love at first sight like mentioned in the show and maybe it was something else, but I can’t help but think—who cares?

Adlet Mayer speaks from the heart.

Adlet Mayer speaks from the heart.

I like it and I’m not going to be a nitpicky jackass that’s going to pointlessly complain about this because I like both of these characters. They’re both well written and they do have a weird kind of chemistry. And most importantly, there were two powerful scenes showing Adlet’s love for Fremy—the first was when it was just the two of them talking and next was when Adlet surrendered to Mora just to make sure that they don’t pin things on Fremy after they’ve done with Adlet. And Fremy switching over to Adlet’s side was great and I bought it. Everything here worked, I don’t care if I felt like Adlet’s love for Fremy came out of nowhere. It all made sense to me and I enjoyed the scene when she finally sided with Adlet—which is ultimately the point of watching anime for me.

Fremy Speeddraw doesn't believe Adlet Mayer.

Fremy Speeddraw doesn’t believe Adlet Mayer.

Mora Chester You Lying Bitch

Seriously Mora, you’re fucked now. You’re the Fake. I knew there was something fishy with how you kept telling everyone to just kill Adlet on sight. You lied about Adlet hurting Hans and now you’ve been found out…

Hans Humpty has you figured out.

Hans Humpty has you figured out.

But that said, just like how I love Adlet’s fight with Hans and later with Chamo, I loved how his fight with Mora was like. For all intents and purposes, Mora Chester is the Superman of the Braves. She’s super powerful and if she hits Adlet even once, I have a feeling that that’ll be the end of him. It’s these seeming impossible fights in Rokka no Yuusha that I love so much.

I think Chamo was lying when she said she was the most powerful Brave.

I think Chamo was lying when she said she was the most powerful Brave.

Nashetania Goes Insane

Nashetania has always been interesting to me. She was a subtle character that hid a lot behind her flirtatious and happy-go-lucky attitude. In a different anime, Nashetania would either be the super pure and super positive girl that wants everyone to get along! Or, again in a different anime, Nashetania would have been a bimbo slut who uses her flirtatiousness for laughs… But no, in Rokka she’s a subtle and tamed combination of both. And I love this about her because she’s more believable to me this way, and the more believable a person is the more I tend to like them (not that over-the-top funny characters aren’t likeable, in a purely technical and story-telling eye, this is what I prefer).

In episode 10, Nashetania loses her shit after hearing the lie Mora the Fake Brave told her. I get that she feels betrayed since she thinks that Adlet is the Fake, but there seems to be more than just that happening in that girl’s crazy little head. Whatever it is, I want to know. And that’s another thing I love about this show, they have cliffhangers, but the cliffhangers genuinely makes me crave for more in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve been cheated.

Nashetania loses her mind.

Nashetania loses her mind.

Verdict

Despite the fact that a ton of things happened in this week’s episode of Rokka no Yuusha, I can’t help but write a shorter review in comparison to previous writings. I don’t know why. But let me be clear… this was a damned good episode. I feel like a perfect 10 episode should be one that leaves me thoroughly satisfied and not questioning anything about what I just saw. I love this show and this episode was great, but I do feel like Adlet’s infatuation kind of came out of nowhere.

Score: 9.5/10

  • Pros
    • Adlet x Fremy
    • Adlet vs. Fremy
    • Adlet vs. Mora
    • Mora’s lie and Nashetania going crazy.
  • Cons
    • Just the whole love thing… which I feel like I should judge more but screw it. It was a damn good episode.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru ZOKU! (My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!) Half-series Impressions.

Opinions provided are based on the first season of the series (13 out of 13 episodes) and what’s come out of the second season as of May 9, 2015 (6 episodes out of 13). Also… For some reason I wrote this with the ‘voice’ of a suicidal anime fan. And it’s also SPOILER FREE!


Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru ZOKU! Or Oregairu Zoku. Or SNAFU TOO! Or however the fuck you want to call it is the second season to no one’s favorite anime of 2013: Yahari Ore no whatever.

Poster of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Zoku! (Or My Teenage Love Comedy SNAFU TOO!) Characters featured are (left to right) Isshiki Iroha, Yukinoshita Yukino, Hikigaya Hachiman and Yuigahama Yui.

Poster of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Zoku! (Or My Teenage Love Comedy SNAFU TOO!) Characters featured are (left to right) Isshiki Iroha, Yukinoshita Yukino, Hikigaya Hachiman and Yuigahama Yui.

Actually, I love this series. And many other people do so as well. I did however notice that while I was lurking through forums and comment sections that there are tons of naysayers out there who find the “pseudo-intellectual” philosophies of the show to be annoying and is “just the writer trying too hard to seem smart”. At first I was like, “Yeah I guess…” but then I realized that people on the Internet just don’t like it when you put effort into making something not mediocre.

The Cynical Loner Protagonist: Hikigaya Hachiman.

The Cynical Loner Protagonist: Hikigaya Hachiman.

And in my eyes, SNAFU and SNAFU TOO! are way beyond mediocre. The series as a whole is amazing. And it tells the story of Hikigaya Hachiman—a second year high school student and cynical loner, who as one character in the show describes as being a Monster of Reason and/or Monster of Self-Consciousness. Both of which perfectly describes Hachiman. He can come off as cold sometimes, but everything bad that he does is done so with good intentions, even if he and his methods are incredibly misguided and self-destructive.

He’s not the typical shy and innocent protagonist of a male centered romance anime by a long shot. Actually, one might argue that he doesn’t even belong in a romance anime for he has no intentions of being with anyone. Not because he doesn’t think any of the girls in the show are suitable for him, Hachiman’s just the type of person who’s overly cautious. He doesn’t want to ever get his hopes up nor does he ever desire anything. That way, Hachiman will never get his feelings hurt.

Yugihama Yui, Hachiman's classmate and fellow club member. She's bubbly and kind of a ditz.

Yuigihama Yui, Hachiman’s classmate and fellow club member. She’s bubbly and kind of a ditz.

And because of this, I feel like the SNAFU series has been mislabeled as a romance. The series is more about Hachiman and his life rather than some romantic plot. Which is why I get irritated whenever I see people on forums posting shit like, “OMG this girl’s now apart of 8man’s HAREM! SUGOI!” or “KYA! 8man is so baller, he’s got all the ladies and dudes on him now.”

Yukinoshita Yukino, Hachiman's schoolmate and fellow club member. Compared to Yui, she's much colder and calculating.

Yukinoshita Yukino, Hachiman’s schoolmate and fellow club member. Compared to Yui, she’s much colder and calculating.

If you’re one of these people… I just have one thing to say—SHUT THE FUCK UP and throw your fucking harem shit out of here. This show’s better than that. It’s not about who likes whom and who wants to sleep with who. SNAFU is more about the struggle of a young man in pain. It’s not about some cheesy high school love story or some generic anime harem where all the ladies want the protagonist’s dick—it’s about Hikigaya Hachiman’s inner struggles!

And because of that, I really love and enjoy this show. The first season has thirteen episodes and came out in 2013. The new season is still ongoing and I’ve seen six episodes so far—and from what I’ve seen, this show didn’t just delight and impress me even further, not just because I enjoy the ongoing story arc, but also because it cemented what it’s really about: Hikigaya Hachiman.

I reviewed the first series in video form not long ago and in it I talked about how I didn’t like how the first season didn’t have an ending—but I guess I was wrong. The new season picked up where the first one left off, with Hachiman being hated by a majority of the people around him and slowly tearing apart what little bonds he has left. And I actually like that. And I hope that this season would help people finally realize that SNAFU is more than just about some dumb romance.

Isshiki Iroha:  A new character introduced this season.  She's kind of a sly bitch.

Isshiki Iroha: A new character introduced this season. She’s kind of a sly bitch.

And to the people who don’t like the “pseudo-intellectual” philosophies of the show… Well… The show itself kind of agrees with you. It’s aware that Hachiman’s philosophies are actually shit most of the time. He may be the one solving most of the series’ conflicts, but the writer of the series acknowledges that fact that Hachiman isn’t perfect, and that Hachiman is wrong with his way of thinking. He punishes his own character for thinking the way he does and shows that being a recluse, as Hachiman has been in the first season, will only result in his own destruction and misery.

GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!

GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!

Again, this show is amazing. If you haven’t seen the first season go look it up. It should be on Crunchyroll. If you have seen the first season and for some reason haven’t been watching—go to do that, or at least make sure to binge watch it when all the episodes are out. Which I kind of wish I could do because waiting on fan-subs to be done is a fucking pain—and yeah, I’m watching this with fan-subs, because fucking Crunchyroll’s subs are delayed as heck!

Other than that, awesome series. Go watch it.

… Oh and yeah… the art style changed because SNAFU is now being produced by Studio Fee, not Brain Base as it was back in the first season.

You... You're like the devil... I like that.

You… You’re like the devil… I like that.

Death Parade Series Review

Here’s a written version of my spoiler-free review if you prefer to read!


Intro 

Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, etc.)

Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, etc.)

Do you all remember when Old Man Miyazaki went off on the anime industry? Actually, I’m pretty sure he does that all the time.

But I remember one interview where he said something like, “The anime industry is filled with a bunch of sad creepy virgins who don’t spend any time watching people. Because they’re people who hate people and love anime way too much. Your body pillow is never going to come to life you nerd! Commit seppuku!”

That’s probably a rough translation, but I’ve always agreed with that sentiment.

And while watching the anime Death Parade, I was reminded greatly of Old Man Miyazaki and this quote.

Death Parade (2015) Studio Madhouse. 12 Episodes.

Death Parade (2015) Studio Madhouse. 12 Episodes.


Death Parade

Death Parade is an original concept by the anime studio Madhouse.

And it’s without a doubt one of the best shows that I’ve seen in a real long time. Death Parade doesn’t have flashy battles or a grand and epic quest for the protagonists to conquer, but it is teeming with humanity and emotionality. Despite having the word death in the title, it’s pretty much a show about life and the point of it.

Takashi and Machiko, the guests of episode 1.

Takashi and Machiko, the guests of episode 1.

Decim, an arbiter who judges the souls of the recently deceased.

Decim, an arbiter who judges the souls of the recently deceased.

Now the plot to Death Parade is simple. The protagonist, Decim, is an arbiter who judges the souls of the dead. Every episode a pair of souls wonders into the bar known as the Quindecim, where Decim acts as a bartender. And upon arrival, Decim threatens and tricks the pair of souls into playing a game against one another with little to no explanation as to why. He doesn’t even bother to tell them that they’re dead already.

And I guess it also doesn’t help that his visitors don’t remember certain aspects of their life, nor do they remember the moment of their deaths.

Decim uses a device that derails games.

Decim uses a device that orchestrates accidents during the games to bring out the darkness in the players.

While playing games against one another, truths about the visitors begin to unravel and the dark nature of man surfaces. Often the visitors would remember things on their own as they play—which would then cause them to reveal their true natures, but sometimes Decim would secretly intervene and cause more friction than necessary, making the visitors act in an unsavory manner.

The point of the games is simple. When people die, they’re either sent to the void where their souls would disappear into nothingness or they’re sent to a place for reincarnation.

There are other things happening in the show as well. There are other arbiters, and other characters that make the show more colorful. Decim’s assistant Chiyuki for instance would continuously question Decim—and in turn make him question himself and his methods. And that’s pretty much where the main arc of the series is at.

While the Death Parade provides viewers plenty of emotional scenes and stories between the pair of souls Decim is judging. There are also mysteries and questions that the show would throw onto the viewers over the course of the series—like who’s Chiyuki really, what’s Nona planning and why does that old man have a flower on his chin? But the ultimate question is left to Decim: What is humanity? And does it mean to be human and what does it mean to live?

Chiyuki, Decim's human assistant.

Chiyuki, Decim’s human assistant.

The show’s answer to that question may not be the most original, but the execution on how Decim reaches his conclusion, his interactions with Chiyuki, the interactions and stories of the visiting souls as well as the side stories with Nona and the other arbiters all make this show worth the watch.

Death Parade is tagged on myanimelist.com under the Mystery, Game and Psychological genres.

It definitely has mysteries in it.

And it definitely has plenty of games in it.

But most importantly, the psychological aspects of this show are what make it amazing. Death Parade really delves deep into the whole spectrum of human emotion and existence in terms of its story, but the show as a whole does so as well.

I know that I might be talking about heavy stuff like the meaning of life and what not, but this show knows when and how to be light.

The cast of Death Parade top to bottom. 1st Column: Decim, Chiyuki and Ginti. 2nd Column: Clavis, Nona, Oculus.

The cast of Death Parade top to bottom. 1st Column: Decim, Chiyuki and Ginti. 2nd Column: Clavis, Nona, Oculus.

Death Parade is not devoid of comedy and not every judgment and soul that Decim judges has a malicious air to them. Because just as life’s not always bleak and dreary, the show also knows when to take a break and celebrate all that is good and light about life—while still acknowledging the bitter sad poetry of it.

The art and overall presentation of Death Parade is great as well. I really liked Decim and all the other characters’ designs on the show, even the dead people who are just everyday average humans are given a lot of personality in their designs. The music of the Death Parade stood out impressively as well; it has a nice blend of mysterious, eerie, tense and charming to it.

And speaking of music, Death Parade’s opening really contends for my all time favorite anime opening. There’s so much fun and excitement going on in it that I would often find myself replaying the opening multiple times before actually watching an episode. It’s a great opening for the show, even if it may come of as a little deceptive.

48721Also before I forget, besides the 12 episodes of the series there’s also a side story—a 30-minute movie short that the whole idea of Death Parade was based off from called Death Billiards. It’s not necessary to the plot, but it’s great—and might help you determine whether or not you should watch Death Parade!


Verdict

And I do recommend people watch this show. If you love anime that touches upon all the life and psychological stuff I mentioned, watch this show. If you prefer anime that has excessive amounts of boobs and flashy action in it, watch this show anyway. It doesn’t have what you’re looking for in terms of boob and action content, but I don’t think it would hurt to watch something human once in a while. Also if you’re a fucking normal, watch this show. I understand that anime is not for everyone, but I think that Death Parade warrants a watch anyway—if you don’t like to read subtitles, there’s an English Dub coming out this year (or is probably already released) that you can check out.

Maybe not everyone’s going to get what I took from this show, but as someone who puts importance to narrative it more than satisfied me. And as someone who’s always asking things about life it more than satisfied me.

I really love this show.

And as the credits rolled at the last episode of the show I couldn’t help but smile and grin in satisfaction. I always feel like anime rarely have conclusions, as whole series would often end too early because of how close they are to using up all the original material that they’re basing the show on.

So props to Madhouse for coming up with something new and something on their own—and double props for making something that ought to show Old Man Miyazaki that there are people in the anime industry with a shred of humanity.

People whom like people—well maybe not people who like people, but at least this show was written by people who knew how to be human.

That certainly provides a breath of fresh air.