Sunday, 22 October 2017

First Impressions: Fall 2017

We are well into October and yet the weather thinks we are still in the dead of summer. Still new anime has started to air and here are my first impressions...

But first!

Ground rules


1. I will TRY to give every show on Crunchyroll a chance but that doesn't mean i am obligated to watch a full episode. If i stop early i will give a time stamp and reason for stopping. I will not be looking at shows on Netflix or Amazon's anime Strike because the former won't simulcast and the latter Is just too much of a pain and expense to set up.

2. No shows that are under 20 minutes in length, i don't like waiting a whole week for a 3 min gag. there are some exceptions but it's rare.

3. No shows with Brother, Sister, Father or Mother in the title... too often it goes into incest... which i really do not like.

4. If the show is a second season of a show i didn't watch before I'm not going to talk about it here.

5. No card game shows, i may give them a chance but they really aren't my thing.

6. All opinions are my own and based solely on what i have seen. I tend to go into these shows completely blind. If i don't enjoy the show after 1 episode or even quit out of an episode early I'm not saying the show is bad... just that i didn't enjoy it.


Returning Shows.


Elegant Yokai Apartment

Ok I'll admit this show took like... 3/4 of last season to figure out what it's about... but i still enjoy it. not as good as another show with yokai that i miss terribly but I'm still having fun with it.

Mr. Osomatsu

so about a year and a half ago i watched this show and just fell in love... it's so stupid and i should hate it but it's really funny. Still i never heard anyone talking about it so i figured it didn't do well.
Then i went to japan in May... these Sextuplets were EVERYWHERE. Apparently it's one of the highest grossing shows all time in japan. And honestly I'm not surprised because again the show is so funny. It took quite a long time to get another season but I'm looking forward to this.
and for those wondering my fav matsus are Choromatsu (i mean hiroshi kamiya) and Ichimatsu (whom i identify with far more then i am comfortable admitting)... the others are great but when the story focuses on these two i just get so happy.

Blood Blockade battlefront & Beyond

....
i mean i did watch season one.... i should probably give this one episode...
even though i didn't like the first season...
It's so hard to believe this is the same creator as Trigun... trigun had heart and charm and interest and this.... really doesn't.
And now it doesn't even have bump of chicken...
Yeah sorry this is a pass for me... i can't do another 12 episodes of this show.

March come in like a Lion

YAY! I'm so happy this show is back.
This show is as visually stunning and heartfelt as the first season and i really look forward to more.

New Shows!


THE IDOLM@STER Side M

The hit game but with male idols instead of female ones?
look i haven't really been able to get into idol anime cause... honestly the whole Idol thing kinda creeps me out. at first i thought it was just cute and innocent and people were having fun but yeah.. i think the culture around it really gives me the creeps.
This show seems to be addressing some of the less desirable aspects of Idol culture BUT... it also seems to have a lot of info from the Original IdolM@ster anime which i haven't seen so yeah lots is just going over my head.
I will give it props for relying more on drawing the guys dancing over freak CG models (they are used but not as much as a sow like Love Live season 1 used em)
Still probably not going to watch but who knows, we will see.

Black Clover

Crunchyroll is pushing this show hard... so lets see if it's any good or if it's just typical desaturated shonen crap.
I want to enjoy this... but wow Asta has the most annoying voice ever. it's cause he's constantly shout growling and ugh... just stop... please i am hoping this is a good show and you are giving me a headache.
So the plot. In this world magic is everything and everyone can use it.
Well almost everyone.
Yuno and Asta were orphaned in front of a church, 15 years pass and one is a magical genius while the other one can't even seem to use it. However when Grimoires are being passed out it's expected something will awaken inside. Only no one could have predicted this outcome.
Other then Asta's shouting it's an interesting enough concept that I'm willing to give a few more episodes till i make up my mind... honestly not the strongest first episode... maybe if what happens at the end happened at the midway point it would be a different story? still I'm curious.... i just hope there isn't a tournament arc.

JINO TAISEN: ZODIAC WAR

This is a battle royal animal where all the killers have a zodiac animal attached to them.
It's got really fluid animation... but it seems like more of a hyper violent gore fest. All the combatants swallow poison and it will kill them in a day, if the retrieve all the zodiac gems then they win and get to make one wish.
This kind of show has never been my cup of tea cause more often then not all the participants are terrible.
So i'll pass.

SENGOKU NIGHT BLOOD

Idea factory? so... I'm guessing cell phone game or Otome title--- *first male characters show up* otome... for sure
Oh and it's a nobunaga story to boot.. as well as being warped to another world.
i mean... I know Otome titles can be full of cliches but this is like it's trying to get them all at once... it's kinda impressive.
Anyways i hate to admit it but I'm a sucker for these pretty reverse harems... even though it ends up hurting me in the end more often then not I'm sure... uh... *looks up name* . . . uh... female protagonist (i shit you not that's the best they could do) will be... full of interesting character or something....
 ...
ok yeah probably not... she's barely even giving a shit that she's in another world.
but hey, a supernatural boy (yeah i forgot to mention that they are werewolves and vampires right?) where there is a decent amount of blood and violence in what is essentially a dating sim for girls? yeah sure lets give this another episode.

Love is Like a Cocktail

It's a 3 min gag show about alcohol.
Though I will say when someone says "I'm not good with alcohol" and you say drink up... yeah that's a really shitty thing to do.
granted alcohol culture in japan is different then here... i still wish people would respect boundaries.
but yeah pass.

KONOHANA KITAN

Do you want to see cute girls work at an Ryokan? Was Hanasaku Iroha lacking in animal ears? then this show may be for you. Also ugh the whole "i can bath myself" sexual harassment thing is so old and can we not? Overall the show is cute but it is a bit too much for me to stomach. I prefer a show like Hanasaku Iroha where there was a bit of weight to why she was at the inn. this is just too cute for me.

URAHARA

uhhhhh
um...
Ok so.... harajuku.... and uh... aliens and... um...
maybe this is all just a fever dream? I mean every season has at least one show like this but yeah... it's uh..... very unique.
Oddly it seems to fall into the cute girls doing nothing trope as well as possibly magical girls? but yeah this just isn't my cup of tea but if you like batshit crazy give it a try.


TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION

More idol anime.
Corrention - More CG idol anime... the cg looks better then I've seen but still.... yeah it's not good. At least they are using the models in order to utilize the freedom the camera has?
Hell when they are far away it looks good just... no close ups please.
for being idols that seem to be gaining popularity they seem to have a ton of free time.
This is a... docomo ad? i mean... anything is possible with anime but you would think Docomo wouldn't need it...
It's literally like "oh look how perfect we are but we are troubled by pressure here's a song... now ad time... song... oh man shower montage.
like at least the other idol story had a plot... at least more then "we are pretty but troubled"
oh wait no... we find out why they are troubled and they all make peace with it... so yeah... no plot.
the music is good but yeah... I prefer a bit more plot.

King's Game

At first i thought it was a battle royal type situation but instead it's more like it's title implies.
If you've seen Persona 4's anime you've see a kings game, people draw straws, one person is the king and they tell two other numbers to do something, the two holding those numbers then have to do the thing. Though in this case it's more like some absolute being that always gets to be king... and if you don't do the thing in question you are killed.
to what end or what the reward is for surviving the game hasn't been made clear.
Also (this could just be fore the start of the game) the orders seem innocent but probably difficult for a high school student to do.
I have a feeling this show is a neat concept that will have a lacklustre or non-existent conclusion. I may watch more but it's really gory so if you have a weak stomach stay away.


Recovery of an MMO Junkie

normally I'd be dreading a show like this... but the title of the episode has me intrigued. Also the intro song is really good. The ending is also really good... anyways synopsis time!
After dropping out of Cor-porate life Morioka Morito declares herself an Elite Neet and stays at home playing an MMO since the last one she was on closed it's servers.
After creating a male character in game she's off to do quests and... well she's terrible at it, constantly dying.
Eventually an adorable white mage takes pity oh the poor swordsman and the two become fast friends.
Of course all the characters are in decently close proximity to eat other but since none of them are like their characters they never seem to figure it out. It's a fairly cute show and i look forward to giving it a few more epiosdes... i hope it continues to charm and well... hopefully it doesn't pull a gamers and lose it's plot 6 episodes in.
Yeah I'm still not thrilled about that.

Dies Irae

The main art on the poster looks like a show i already watched an episode of a few seasons ago....
Coincidence but yeah it just looks so familiar.
Ok... well this is easily one of the worst shows i have seen in a while.
being all over the place with no real plot is problem enough... but you know this piece of shit couldn't stop there.
No it had to go be set in 39.... from the perspective of a certain group that is making a lot of noise lately.  it seems like it'll just be this episode that focuses on them but yeah that is a shit first impression to make. I mean none of the characters on the poster showed up so who knows... but yeah not sticking around to find out.
So yeah... in short i hope this show completely fails... I'm sad Junichi Suwabe is connected with it but yeah will not be watching.


Kino's Journey

I mean technically this should be in returning? anyways it's going here cause it's been like at least a decade (probably more) since i saw the older anime.... and i remember loving it (even if a certain episode destroyed me.
Still i am REALLY looking forward to this show.
And it doesn't disappoint.
Kino is a traveller, he spends three days in each new place... no more no less.
it's a hard life but he can stop at any time... for now him and his talking motorcycle travel.
the show is episodic and absolutely stunning and i can't wait for more.


Anime-Gataris

Ever have something you watched as a child stick with you though you can't remember what it is? well that is the starting point of this show. after talking about this anime she can't remember to a friend the blond hair princesstype girl takes an interest in her as a fellow anime fan... too bad the main girl barely knows anything about anime. Still together they work to set up the anime club...
but also talking cat and mind control beret? I think if this was just a show about an anime club it could be good but this extra magical/supernatural layer seems.... unnecessary?
Oh boy second episode goes full on Haruhi Suzumiya... similar music and everything.
but anyways based on first episode there isn't enough there... luckily the second episode is out so maybe that'll make it more interesting.


BLEND-S

What do you do when you are looking for work but you happen to have a really nasty look in your eye? work at a Cafe that has you playing a sadistic character if course.
So yeah it's a comedy show like working except it's in a Cafe and they are playing these characters for the customers. I think it'll be a fun time.


Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~

I actually know this is based off an Otome game... I'm surprised how many of these we are getting in a season... most of the time we are lucky to get even one.
Well she has a name so that is immediately an improvement over most otome adaptations.
Cardia lives alone in a mansion due to the fact everything she touches with bare skin disintegrates thanks to a poison of some kind. The British Army have come to steal her away but Gentleman Arsene Lupin steals her from them. Now she'll live in a mansion with all these pretty boys as the gentleman theif tries to steal her heart.
It's got a nice steam punk feel to it and again... a otome game where the characters aren't just blank slates... they have base names and personalities are so much better in my opinion.
The art is odd in some places... oddly saturated in shadows and things like that but hey I'm a sucker for reverse harems so I'll be giving this a shot.

TWOCAR

It's Moe racing... like... that seems to be it based on the way the show opens.
I'm sure there are other characters (at least at this point i have no clue who the mains are) but this is just not for me at all.

A Sister's all you need.

I know my rule, i just was thinking "maybe my rule is unfair"
so i clicked this.... and the first thing you see is a guy fantasizing about a littler sister waking him up in the morning, sitting on top of him naked.
Now it's obviously a dream sequence (or i should say i hope it's a dream sequence cause i immediately closed the episode) but seriously this is why no shows with sister in the title.
seriously japan get your shit together and bury this awful trope.

EVIL OR LIVE

Internet bad... so is this show... it's just trying so hard to be artsy and yeah this is a quick pass..

The Ancient Magus' Bride

I actually saw the first three episodes in theatre and have known i was going to enjoy this show for a while. Stunning to look at, interesting concept i am so curious to see where it goes. We follow a young girl who is being trained by one of the last remaining magus... he plans to make her his bride. but first we need to learn more about the magical world... so yeah this could possibly be my fav of the season... we will see.

and that is it, this is a season with a lot of stuff to enjoy.


So it looks like I'll be watching

Elegant Yokai Apartment
Mr. Osomatsu 2
The Ancient Magus' Bride
Black clover (tentative)
King's Game (tentative)
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Kino's Journey
Blend-S
Code: Realize
March Comes in like a Lion

More then I've gotten in the past few seasons so looking forward to it.
what shows are you looking forward to?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Danganronpa V3 (spoiler free)

So... uh... this will be short.

I have always enjoyed the Danganronpa series. Personally I like Spike Chunsofts other series "Zero Escape" a bit more but the style and themes of the Danganronpa series was always interesting.

It's been a long journey over these 7 years.
some games.... a spinoff (that I admittedly never played) and even an anime that you need to watch in the most convoluted order (coming from someone who like the original airing order of Haruhi Suzimiya) and now we have arrive at Danganronpa V3
It's everything you've come to know and love from the other games.... plus even more.
and after finally beating it I think I only have a few things to say.

This game is really good, if you liked the other games you'll probably like this one.

If you wanna get into this series then start from Game 1, trust me it's worth it (though I honestly don't think the spinoff is 100% necessary)

And last but not least.

F*ck Danganronpa

Thursday, 28 September 2017

GAMERS!

When the first episode of this show aired i dreaded watching it. Looking like typical male harem nerds are actually cool despite their simple design bullshit design.
Still there are reasons I try to give every show at least a chance... because sometimes I am surprised with how good they are.
This is one of those surprises. This shows is far better then a show called "Gamers" has any right to be.

We follow Keita, a gamer in a store buying the latest harem game full of blond characters. Suddenly the most popular girl in his school (who is also blond) speaks to him. It's like a dream but poor awkward Keita just can't handle talking to a girl without falling into fanboying.
Still the girl doens't seem to mind and in fact invited him to a club she set up just for gamers.
Hilarity ensues.

This 6 episode season is full of gaming references interspersed with rom com goodness that never feels like it's over staying it's welcome and then ending is a perfect release from all that build up.
Whats that you say? It's a 12 episode season?
...
Look can't you let me dream.

Ok I have some explaining to do.
The first 6 episodes of this show are great. Perfect balance and as I mentioned before a great conclusion that easily could (read as: should have been) the ending.
While there is one story element that was added after episode six that I did like it goes nowhere and really adds nothing.
Also past episode we lose the balance between gaming goodness and Rom com funtime... it becomes all rom "com" all the time...
except the final episode which is just 24 minutes of Meta-bitching
I mean it's bitching I agree with but seriously framing it over such pathetic pandering fanservicy bullshit..... let's just say for a season finale it was weak.

The music is good, the characters (up to episode 6) are good and the story is sweet with a dash of nerdyness.
Just.... stop halfway through... the other episodes aren't bad but episode 6 is really the best part of the whole damn show and I think had it been saved till episode 12 I would be a little kinder to this series.

Granted.... I wouldn't be surprised if this got another season... I just don't know where they can go with it from here... the main story has been told (it was done by the halfway point of this season for crying out loud)

However no need to take my word for it
You can watch it all over on Crunchyroll! 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

New Game!!

When New game! released a while back i enjoyed the first episode but put it on hold cause i didn't think i'd enjoy that much moe week to week.
Then i forgot about it..... by the time i decided to give it a chance it was already 10 episodes into season 2.... so this will be able both seasons.

As always i'll mention my bias, I can't stand when shows use the cuteness of characters as their only plot/character development.... so i was worried this show was like that...
Luckily it isn't.

New Game follows Aoba who is fresh out of highschool and joining a game department as an artist. It follows her successes and failures as she tries to fulfill her dream of being a character designer.

The first season focuses on her learning a new medium while season two deals more with finding her place in the company. As an artist and because of my own job this really resonated with me.

At first i was worried that the comedy bits that were played for laughs rarely had any consequences (best example i can think of is this bit with a receipt where they get the wrong type for petty cash purposes but it doesn't matter cause the person was using personal money anyways... it serves nothing to the plot and it just supposed to be funny) but as the show went on and you see them fail, or realize that their success means others fail it became very human and i like that.

The fanservice was always unnecessary and i think the show would be better if it was cut entirely but for the most part it was never the focus... the focus was on creating something from beginning to end. The music is also annoyingly catchy but these cuter shows always tend to have that issue.

I hope there is another season but i wont be surprised if that isn't the case (though they do have a perfect set up for it) for now i'll just enjoy what we got.

You can watch both season of New Game over on crunchryroll

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4)

Spoiler Free ramble time!

First off, as always it's time to explain my bias towards this series.
I adore Falcom titles, I may love some more then others but I always give them a chance.
In the case of Ys despite a rocky start (read as: do not play Ys 1&2 on DS) I quickly fell in love with the series and every time a game was localised I would get it as soon as possible.

Because I know how much i love this series I know i may be more forgiving if it has flaws. So keep that in mind... this is me rambling about how much i love this game... if it's not your cup of tea that is fine but this title will forevermore have a special place in my heart.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana takes place sometime between Ys 5 (Sand of Kefin/not localised yet) and Ys 6 (ark of napishtim). Adol is off to Greek for another adventure when his ship is attacked and everyone ends up shipwrecked on the mythical island of Seiren which no one has ever escaped alive.

Most people would be disheartened by this bleak situation, most people aren't Adol Cristin.
Together with the other castaways Adol used his cartography skills to map the Island and hopefully find a way to escape.

However almost every time Adol has a dream it's about this girl from the past named Dana. What part will she play in his destiny as they travel this island untouched by time.

Before this game I would waffle on which one is my favourite. Depending on the day you I would say 3... or 4... or maybe 7.... although origins is good too. I don't need to waffle anymore.

This is my favourite.
The controls are perfect, the play styles are interesting and varied enough that everyone should find a character that clicks with them.
Flash moves and guards have the right feel to them. Bosses are a lot of fun even if some are really hard (I'll touch on this later)
and there are many varied modes of play..... assuming you are playing the PS4 version.

See as of late Falcom has been doing this thing were they release on a less powerful system (almost always the vita) and then later do a ps4 version with more content.

In Tokyo Xanadu's case that seems like just a little more story and a few more playable characters.

However in Ys VIII..... I can't even imagine this game without the content that the ps4 version adds in.

So there are (at random times) Interception battles where you have to rush back to the village to protect it from monsters.... honestly i dislike this mode but still it helps spice things up.
However in the PS4 version you also have suppression battles where you have to light torches, destroy nests and bosses in order to stop an area from being destroyed.
Also exclusive to the PS4 version are Night dungeons. You essentially go to certain areas at night and have different monsters and challenges.... and stealth seems to be a bit more of a focus (i mean i still ran through killing everything but i like EXP)

So ok two new modes... no big deal right?

Well not exactly.
This is a game with two main characters... Dana plays far more like classic Adol, no party and no changing types......
unless you have the PS4 version and then it gets a little crazy how much they added.
Faries, new forms for Dana (which makes her feel similar to how Adol plays in Ark of Napishtim), an entire Dungeon, New characters and stories.... damn near everything except the main story goals is PS4 exclusive and considering that explains everything about Dana's story i really can't imagine the game without those things.

There's also a post game dungeon that isn't in the ps4 version. Falcom really went all out.... so if i haven't been clear you really want to play the PS4 game if possible cause there is so much more to do.

But yeah I love this game, I don't tend to worry about platinum trophies but I'm over 80% there so why not? It is my fav of the series (I don't see myself changing my mind on this because it just did so much i really enjoyed and the story was really enjoyable)
I love how alive the world feels... I buy that there was an ancient civilization here and that bits of their influence are still all around. I buy that this isn't the first shipwreck that the island has seen and i buy that Dinosaurs can roam around like they own the place.

any flaws?
Yes... a big one actually
So the Blacksmiths name is Kathleen... when you listen in Japanese she says it very clearly (the clearest I've ever heard my name spoken in Japanese actually)
NISA localised this to Cathrine (which i know when you look at Katakana yeah i see what it happened)
I understand why, i get it.... but I'm still calling her Kathleen and no one can change my mind on this (probably being stubborn since it's.... you know... my name... and I'm a big fan and really happy it's in my fav game)

Other then that the game is really good.
Will it be my number one of the year? *looks at Trails in the sky the 3rd, Tokyo Xanadu and any other Falcom titles that may release soon* well we will see.... but it'll definitely be up there. fighting for that number one spot.

NOW I'm going to treat myself by looking through the artbook and maybe drawing some art for it.

See you on the next adventure. (enjoy some old art of little Adol)

Monday, 18 September 2017

Restaurant to Another World

Every seventh day a restaurant to another world opens up. This show is about the patrons who visit that restaurant.

I really enjoyed this show, sure it has little to no overarching plot. but the stories in each episode are interesting enough to make it all worth while. Plus the food is lovingly animated and it's always fun to see them put so much effort into the detail.
Before my trip i may have thought the reactions were over the top but honestly... I get it.

Unfortunately due to the simple concept of the show there isn't much to tell so i'll just say if you want to watch something very relaxing then it's the perfect show to unwind.

Just don't watch on an empty stomach.

You can watch it all on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/restaurant-to-another-world

Sunday, 27 August 2017

In This Corner of the World

Doing a little catching up on these, sorry that this isn't right after having seen the film.

In This corner of the world takes place in Hiroshima and Kure between 1933-1945.

I shouldn't need to say much more then that... we pretty much all know what happens in those time stamps in that place... however this film isn't really about that.

We follow Suzu from being an airheaded child who enjoys drawing and the occasional sweet to being an airheaded adult.  She ends up marrying a gentleman in the next town over and despite not being what is considered traditional wife material she does her best even though as the war drags on the rations get smaller.

Now i can't really talk about this film without spoilers... even though it's not really a spoiler since it's history... either way i'm just going to be frank about everything. If you want my opinion and nothing more then i enjoyed it, it's a cute bubbly film with some truly depressing undertones.

Possibly my favourite aspect of this film is the animation, the best word i can think to describe it is bubbly and happy.
These people are living their day to day life and dealing with a situation that for the most part is out of their control. Showing how they deal with Air raids the first time versus the tenth time is interesting. seeing how they made do with little to no supplies is interesting. seeing how these characters change from children without a care to adults dealing with a constant war is interesting. The whole theme of the film is no matter what life goes on.

However in the theater there was this constant feeling of dread as we go closer and closer to August 1945.
So when it happens... and the tone of the film only changes minorly... that's when i was personally thrown a bit off.
It treats the fact that the main character has pretty much lost all her family as a somber note but even just compared to something that happens earlier in the film it's not nearly as sad.
It shows her friend whom we know are dying of radiation poisoning as just a throw away line.
and then the last thing is does is both a complete 180 in tone that is like whiplash followed immediately by another 180 so we just go back to the happy bubbly stuff.

Now... I really did enjoy this film, but I certainly wasn't expecting a happy romp.

But in the end this isn't about the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's about life going on and as far as that goes it is a really well made film.

I know it's still playing in theaters around me, I also know in the showing i saw there were only 8 people.... and 5 of us were a group of friends so... yeah maybe go support anime in cinema if you have the ability.

But yeah I enjoyed it even if it was not what I expected.