My Adoration of Expression Coupled with Anime

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Over the years, phrases such as “It’s too bland,” “It’s dull,” “It’s safe,” and “It’s formulaic” have been ingrained into the wordy musings of this blog. While I can’t speak for everyone, I can only assume that when I say these things, people think I mean they’re boring, bland, or formulaic in a general sense, when in reality, they’re all those things largely due to a single driving factor: expression (or sometimes referred to as “heart”). Now, something as vaguely termed as “expression” is a bit tricky to pin down in an objective sense, so as a small, yet effective example, simply look at the cute gif I have posted above of my favorite vampire waifu: Shinobu, from the Monogatari series. Notice the blended array of colors which supplants it out of its immediate reality, the emphasis on her allure being planted right on her face, and the almost cutesy representation of her original design that creates a distinct mood. This is what I like to call “expression,” something that exaggerates, defies, or simply heightens the norms of character exuberance and/or personality—which bleeds into other aspects of a creative work.

While this post is looking at anime, other art forms such as video games, manga, and films all work within a similar field, where expression can become a make-or-break factor in terms of my enjoyment towards it. Take a recently-crowned favorite manga of mine, Miman Renai, and the infinite amount of gush I wrote concerning its artistic chaos. Despite a simple story with inherently semi-problematic reasoning and characters who only briefly cross into territory that accentuates their complexity, the manner of expression and artistic freedom made me adore it to near-maximum levels. Silly faces, absurd observations, Egoraptor levels of emotional and physical overexaggeration, and an earnest atmosphere that coddled it all in a coherent space without (completely) destroying the confines of reality. This is by far the greatest spectacle of Miman Renai as an art form and a golden example of my love for “expression” in visual media.

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Taking into account my favorite anime, most of them have some form of expression to them, with the most vibrant of the bunch being Katanagatari (from the author of the Monogatari series, which isn’t shocking). Its entire aesthetic is bright and varied, with quirky character designs and a world with blown-up color. Best of all, its characters are hilariously one-dimensional, but in a way that screams parody rather than conforming to what sells.

However, my other favorites being Dennou CoilOokami to KoushinryouToradora!, and Shinsekai yori, someone reading my thoughts thus far wouldn’t be able to see what makes them so rife with expression in the way I’ve explained it to mean. And they would be right, because these other examples aren’t anywhere close to the absurdist levels of Katanagatari, but this is all surface-level stuff. These series’ expression is within the manner of their character progression and insight, such that they change gradually throughout the course of the series while still retaining the better parts of their core personality. Admittedly, Ookami to Koushinryou does not have a lot of what makes typical expression so infatuating, as it has a higher degree of focusing on an aloof narrative structure that simply embodies the relationship between its lead characters and THE POWER OF ECONOMY!!!

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Dennou Coil and Shinsekai yori, on the other hand, have another form of expression that aids in the development of both characters and narrative: artistic expression. Essentially, these series have “a point” they’re trying to make, or trying to envelop the viewer into a grandiose tale that one can empathize with and gather insight on various circumstances (i.e. loss of loved ones in Dennou Coil; social hierarchy in Shinsekai yori). The way the story is presented also plays a vital part in its retention of intrigue, which each series does splendidly enough to draw attention initially and reap rewards by the end; childlike adventure in a sci-fi setting with Dennou Coil, and the dangers of repeating the past in a fantasy setting full of telekinetic kids and anthropomorphic mole rats in Shinsekai yori. These stories with meaning are something that makes them intriguing to watch analytically as well as simply for pleasure. It also makes them more memorable for their inherent quirks as those without them. It’s part of the reason I gave mother! a good score despite not caring for it, and gave Mayoiga an average score despite its glaring technical flaws.

Yet not all is fine in dandy in the world of youthful naivety and cheeky children. Shounen anime are among the most exuberantly emotional anime on the planet, with episode after episode of monologues and screaming dialogue full of gusto and usually a lot of angst. This, in terms of what I’ve said, could qualify for an example of expression, and I would agree; however, with almost everything in life, execution is the name of the game. It is not expression alone that is what makes itself alluring, but the way it is the presented, the way it inflates itself with value, and the way it distinguishes itself from the crowd (or other ways that mean more to others than myself). Boku no Hero Academia is a great example of expression used in a very similar way to many other Shounen titles, but creates more meaning through focusing on characters by putting them in eventful situations and giving the viewer a reason to not treat them as background filler. The execution is not distinguishable at all, yet it works through tinkering—giving weight to one’s actions, and having that result in true character development. Because let’s face it, Boku no Hero Academia’s story is not nearly as captivating as its characters. Here, it works, while in other series where the focus is more driven towards narrative, it likely won’t work as well. Context is important, as one should be able to identify what a particular series is trying to do and why its type of expression works as well as it does.

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Which brings me to the obligatory “Trash all harem and trend-baiting series” section of the piece. Series such as Rosario + VampireNo Game No LifeBlend S, and Urara Meirochou all have a common fatal flaw: there’s no point to them. They indulge in what’s popular at the time for the sake of indulging in what’s popular at the time, putting no effort into any real stakes of human interest or conflict. While all are vibrant in their color palette, it doesn’t mean much when the execution is so derivative and void of impact. This isn’t to say these shows are (altogether) bad or that they can’t be entertaining to viewers (Lord knows No Game No Life is), but that they lack that sort of “oomph” (another word that mirrors “expression”) that keeps me interested long-term or invested in what’s happening onscreen. Their level of expression is fairly low in my eyes, which makes me immediately shy away from them if not for my allure to their easy-on-the-eyes design. And this applies to any anime that may or may not catch my interest in upcoming seasons. There’s a reason why I only watch two or three anime a season: the rest don’t scream, “Oh, yeah. That’ll be expressive and not super cliché.”

When it comes to anime, titles such as Ping Pong The AnimationKuuchuu Buranko, and Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita are going to be infinitely more interesting to me than Free!Hajimete no Gal, or Monster (Sorry, fans). Their uniqueness, expressiveness, and potential for meaningful content are what draws me in more than simple fan service or a super-realistic plot full of normal characters. Again, this isn’t to say the latter series can’t work, but it doesn’t do much for me personally. I am, or at least I am developing into, someone who enjoys a blend of “objective” solidity and artsy-fartsy development or imagery. URAHARA was a series I had high hopes for due to the artsy-fartsy discretion, but the “objective” side faltered fairly quickly. It doesn’t always works, with execution and situation playing as much of a role in its power than the power itself. When it works, you have a crowded mess of eights and above in your anime list. When it doesn’t, your average rating per series hovers around a 5/10.

That’s what being expressive means to me. What does it mean to you?

Quick Thoughts on Boku no Hero Academia 2

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Keeping this short and sweet. I mean it today. Genuinely pretty short.

Boku no Hero Academia 2 is a direct continuation of the first, so nothing about it has drastically changed, aside from the placement of the heroes within a school-like environment basically the whole season. What has increased, from my perspective, are two things: scope of characters and number of Shounen clichés.

It is absolutely amazing to me how well this series pays attention to its characters. There are close to twenty student characters alone, without taking into account the number of teachers, villains, and miscellaneous characters, that are established commodities. Ochaco, Mineta, Midoriya, Bakugo, Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, Iida, Tsui, Tokoyami, and others all have their merits as both heroes and characters, and it’s such a heartwarming acknowledgment to know that the series isn’t playing favorites (at least not extensively). I think this is where most of the series’s charm comes from; characters taking the forefront and distinguishing themselves from their peers in terms of personality, powers, or motivations. Amazing as this is to say, I don’t hate any characters in this series. I don’t like all of the characters, but I don’t find any of them useless, irritating, or bland. On top of that, the characters I do like, I really like.

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On the negative side, tropes are abundantly increased as the pressure is poured on. A lot more monologues, stupid resolutions, and sweeping conceptually uninteresting shit under the rug for the sake of moving things along are much more prevalent here than in the first season (outside of the first season’s last three episodes). There’s also more filler, with one example being Tsui getting her own episode seemingly out of nowhere. It’s probably the worst episode in the whole season. Still, it isn’t enough to trample a story that, despite the overuse of superheroes in pop culture now-a-days, is intriguing enough to follow from both a newbie and veteran standpoint. Todoroki gets substantial growth as a character this time around, as does Iida and others in smaller doses. These two names probably wouldn’t have progressed so smoothly if the story was half-assed fanfiction.

Otherwise, second verse, same as the first. Boku no Hero Academia remains a consistently entertaining and endearing series, and one of the first Shounen series I’ve found myself immersed with in a very long time. I only hope the third season continues to build upon the greatest strengths of the second season without destroying itself with overly cliché villain battles and deus ex machinas—or, dare I say, self-sacrifices.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Quick Thoughts on Tokyo Godfathers

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You know that feeling when you’re sifting through new anime to watch, and you continue to come across synopses that go something like “Oh, no! Blahblah Blahblah is an average guy, but then Sparklebutt Cutiepatootie invites him to her club and then shenanigans happen”? I have that feeling all the time, and it makes me question why I still watch anime. Imagine my surprise when, out of desperation, I go through some of Satoshi Kon’s library and see a film by him with a synopsis that reads “A transwoman, belligerent hobo, and runaway teen find an abandoned baby in the trash on Christmas, and then shenanigans happen!” What the fuck?! How come anime isn’t this absurd anymore?! It’s so great! Needless to say, I watched it immediately.

It was good, not “so great!”

More than anything, I liked the heart at the center of all the drama… which conveniently slips in and out of view as the film pushes itself along. Despite the stupidity of the realism present, the at-times skimmy animation, and forced happily-ever-after scenarios, I can feel Kon’s love of filmmaking present here. I like the focus on “trash,” the worth of a life thrown away by society. The parallelisms between characters and their situations, despite their situations being so different, all have a common thread that makes their interactions so heartwarming, their banter so sweet. All anyone really wants is to be loved and accepted, even those who don’t look the part.

I’ll say, too, the animation, while choppy in bits, was wonderfully expressive and humorous. Realistic? Only occasionally. The moodiness of characters, their emotions so present, their outbursts so theatrical; it all makes the film more fun than it really is. Lighthearted takes on serious developments that involve kidnapping and murder, it’s not something that hits the viewer’s head at full strength every chance it gets. At times, it doesn’t even try at all! What’s present is an occasionally moving piece of art that goes for entertainment along with some vague message. Corny messages, but impactful nonetheless. Tokyo Godfathers represents the rare positive execution of THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!!.

I would wholly recommend this for Christmas. Because it takes place around Christmas? Partly—more because it evokes the spirit of Christmas through supporting and loving everyone, not just those within society that are in plain view. Now, this isn’t a vote of confidence that we should all be helping out any hobo on the street for the sake of it, but it’s nice that anime makes this a focal point to build upon, rather than absolutely nothing; sadly, the norm. Yet, as cold cynicism takes over, don’t expect a masterpiece from this recommendation. Tokyo Godfathers is a feel-good piece that occasionally oversteps its bounds in terms of sappiness. It is also a tremendous triumph of distinctive personality and charm, courtesy of a phenomenal director and writer.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Entries from the Dead: Hetalia Axis Powers

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[Dropped after seven episodes.]

I think it’s safe to say that the Hetalia series is the most popular anime-short franchise of modern times. The amount of fanfiction, fan art, fan shipping, fan-girling (Typically this gender, too) seen over the course of my being an anime fan is almost absurd, rivaling the likes of popular Shounen titles such as Naruto or One Piece. All this from an anime short of all things, too! The amount of episodes in this shortened time frame would equal roughly eleven-episodes of standard length anime, with each episode (I assume) being within its own story, with only a casual overarching narrative to fall back on.

So what is it that makes it so popular? The straightforward character archetypes? The way the characters bounce off one another? The overall design that, while (probably?) not originally intended, became a popular aesthetic for bishies? Or perhaps a combination of all of those things and more? Hetalia certainly has a soft and cheery atmosphere that makes for any kind of access to a variety of different anime viewers, so it wouldn’t surprise me that it became an outlet for short bursts of energy. Kind of like popping a peppermint candy after every hour of work or so. Or gorging on said candy one after the other.

Maybe it was this atmosphere specifically that made the series so dull for me. My brother, who is typically strict with anime, even recommended the series to me as a decently funny experience. When I finally got around to it, not only did I find it not funny (never laughed once), but I found it to be rather lowbrow. Even worse (for me), it was the kind of humor that was sure to be a hit with the younger generation of viewers with its plethora of, for lack of a better explanation, “LOL SO RANDOM XD” gags. I entered with the expectation that America would be a violence-hungry tryhard with no brains or that Russia would be a giant bear with a superiority complex that drank vodka all day. Instead, I got Italy being lethargic and always blabbering about pasta. Wonderful; this anime is not for me.

Still, that’s all I can really say in terms of it’s negative qualms; the series is clearly not trying to be serious with its story or critical with its stereotypes of various countries. It’s a lighthearted attempt at being (not) funny with characters that eventually grow(?) and bond with one another despite their differences. Perhaps it is the corny approach to presenting obvious moral foundations that I find such a turnoff. That, and I just don’t think the anime is funny or entertaining at all. Still, that isn’t to say the series itself is a horrid one, just that one shouldn’t expect to go into it with any serious expectations. One should also ignore the rabid opinions of hardcore fans that try to christen the series as anime’s greatest achievements. That will definitely soil the mood of the series.

Technically sound, but not for everyone (especially me). Exuberant personality with characters and the way they portray their one-off archetypal personas, with a heavy focus on humor and subtle character bonding (from what I recall/have seen). That’s all it is. That’s all it probably ever will be. I won’t ever know because I won’t continue it. It’s just not for me.

Thoughts on Little Witch Academia (TV)

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Oh, yeah. I was watching this at one point, huh?

For those who need a little refresher (I did, too), my Early Impressions post will be linked to fill in some context as to what made me put this on-hold for so long in the first place. Well, it’s not entirely the reason, but it casts a shadow much larger than what many would expect.

Its so-called “blandness” is a vast generalization of what the series entails. Its chaotic animation and the subsequent style it presents makes it a bouncy title well worth its fantasy premise. This is not, however, something of a Kill la Kill presentation, where characters are literally breaking the laws of physics and common sense. A “controlled chaos” sort of presentation, carefully picking its moments of whimsical rambunctiousness. More than the common series, it’s underwhelming for a Trigger-animated show. Not that I necessarily hold that against it, but it’s a thought.

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In all honesty, the “Disney-esque” quality of the series—that never goes away—is the primary fuel for my empty entertainment gauge. It feels standard, predictable, formulaic, and the characters are primarily one-note personalities that are only acknowledged as role-takers, save a few major characters. How everything splendidly fits into every detail, every affordable moment… when the moments only ebb sporadically as the writer remembers a character hasn’t been given an episode arc. Sucy’s a pretty cool character, huh? One episode of development. How about Lotte? One episode of development. How about Andrew, the formal son of the pride-obsessed Colin Firth look-a-like? About two episodes of development. He gets little squirts here and there throughout later episodes that accumulate into about two full episodes. Those with more than a glance of development are Diana, Akko, and Chariot; Akko’s the main character.

There was one time where I watched a video of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park) explaining the specifics of good storytelling. They mocked the idea of linearity in a story—this happens, then this happens, then this happens, and so on. What they felt was more important in an immersive story was how the behavior of one character affects another, and the situation of the narrative as a whole, while another character goes through various circumstances of their own in the same timeframe (essentially how most South Park episodes are structured). Little Witch Academia, as I’m sure many could assume upon me telling this small aside, falls into the former category of their argument of “This happens, then this happens, then this happens…” In this case, it makes the continual production of Akko’s time as a witch and the misadventures along the way feel too isolated from one another, and wholly too inconsequential as her character barely develops along the way. Not until the last three of four episodes did I feel at all caring towards the ever-passionate characters involved, and even that is vanquished by the final episode’s horribly uncreative example of THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!!

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One could make the guess that at this point in the post, I’m leaning towards a negative score for the series’s overall quality. That is incorrect. Despite how ordinary I find the process, it is a process filled with spirit and strangely humorous tidbits. Chum Lee is in this anime. What the fuck is Chum Lee doing in this anime? Why are there so many random references in this anime? What kind of drugs is the production staff on to think up some of the things that take place in this series? I make it sound insane, don’t I? Unfortunately, most of these are very small in weight, and do little towards the serious aspects of its story or characters. They are, in some respect, little bones placed within the meat of the steak.

At the same time, its technical qualities are fairly good, whether it be animation, vocal performances, or the validity of the events that transpire. True, some leniency is involved with fantasy, but nothing within the series felt too much like the carpet effectively being yanked out from one’s skinny jeans. Only extravagantly ordinary in its execution of high-octane emotional fervor. Giving this series a negative score would require me to almost hate this series, which I don’t by any means. Doing so would imply that this series has any drastic flaws—ones aside from personal preference and occasionally formulaic clauses.

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What can one expect going into Little Witch Academia? The unexpected, when it comes to humor and the manner in which a situation is “resolved” for the structure of a specific episode. Otherwise, a toned-down animation explosion by means of Trigger Studios, with a heavier focus on fulfilling the basic evoking of human passion and dream-chasing. This kind of thing seems up my alley, and yet the series is one I can’t help but find myself disappointed with. When all’s over with, it does little to distinguish itself from others, who similarly provide the same mission of bombarding one with gleeful enthusiasm, though admittedly with half the charm. Trigger can produce some wacky stories, but it may be a while before it can make anything as incoherently amazing as Kill la Kill again.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

A Halloween Horror: Mayoiga… Isn’t Terrible?

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An average rating of 5.7 out of 10 on MyAnimeList—ranked 7,657th on the site as of writing this. Numerous “Worst of the Season” awards from fellow anibloggers. Each top review on MAL is a 4 or below (not counting the 8/10, as the entire point of that review is to portray it as an intentionally abstract comedy). A friend of mine recommended that I marathon this series as a Halloween joke of sorts, and with all of these expectations placed on it as a surefire unintentional comedy the likes anime has never seen before, I’ve finished the series and am left scratching my head. Why did I enjoy this series more than Yuri!!! on Ice?

Now that is a scary statement, right?

So what’s the deal with Mayoiga, or The Lost Village? Why did it end up being rated so low, so panned by everyone as though it were common knowledge? Why do I feel like I completely missed the point as to why it’s almost universally accepted as tragically underwhelming? I haven’t been this shocked by such a positive (by relative standards) score since Umi Monogatari, another series that’s rated fairly low by most anime databases that I ended up liking. Were my expectations so low that I ended up being impressed, or is there something more to this series that I feel many averted from their gaze because the plotholes were so enormous?

Indeed, I will admit outright that this post isn’t to say Mayoiga is a good series—it’s below average. My point is to say that the series is not one that should be considered the worst of the worst that anime has to offer. There are far more shows that deserve such an “honor.” Koi Koi 7Diabolik LoversDog Days’Green Green (probably), Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun, and others just like them have far less value as outlets of entertainment than Mayoiga. For those who have seen all titles listed (God save you, first of all), what is something that they all share, that they all have in common? The fact that they’re all creatively-shot. They do nothing to distinguish themselves from the pandering, market-testing corporate shells that focus exclusively on profit. They are bland, predictable, and will only truly work on someone who has never watched an anime ever before.

Let’s talk about the Star Wars prequels. No, hold on, come back for a second! It’ll be harmless, I swear. What do they have that The Force Awakens doesn’t? If your guess was “George Lucas,” that would be correct, but not quite what I was getting at. My input is “a creative soul.” The Force Awakens feels like Star Wars for the sake of giving people more Star Wars, with no real weight put upon the things that happen without relying entirely on the already-established characters of Star Wars lore to pick up the slack of the mindless new characters and their cookie-cutter motivations. The prequels, for all the shit they get, whether the acting, the writing, or the overuse of special effects, actually feel like they matter. They feel like George Lucas put his numbed-up brain and drug-induced heart into his precious creation and released it into the cruel, uncaring world. Said world is correct in tearing it to shreds, but what I would argue is that they at least felt like they had that sort of gusto that made them enjoyably dumb, instead of efficiently dull. In some cases, this is all one needs to make a “better” product, though the scenarios involved are wildly varying and dependent on numerous different situations and expectations.

Mayoiga is essentially the Star Wars prequels to me. It is dumb, it has plotholes, the characters are really overdramatic and the world they soon discover has logical inconsistencies. Not to mention, THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!! Yet in spite of all of this, I felt its heart beating within me, I was able to empathize with the “message” it tried to convey. I was able to detract the logic in favor of the symbolic imagery and moral coding it embedded into its narrative. In some cases, it’s better to look at the world not through the perception of your own reality, but the reality faced by the characters in fiction. In many ways, logic plays a major part in Mayoiga’s downfalls, with characters being really hyped up for no reason while at the same time cool under pressure when the moment calls for it. In others, the logic within, that states that these characters, who all deal with the backlashes of deep emotional and psychological abuse and trauma, somehow aren’t allowed a little insanity to satisfy the viewer’s idea of realism? I’m willing to adjust, if ever so slightly, for the sake of trying to understand the world within.

In nutshell form, that’s all I really have to argue, at least to an incessant degree. Mayoiga has creativity all around, whether intentional or non-intentional, through the manifestation of its fucked up world, and I think people should be more open to explore how isolating it can be to think that the world is against you. Edgy as it turns out, or consistently inconsistent, I can at least get out of the experience saying, “Holy shit, this one dude had silicone implanted in his head to grow two whole inches and now his inborn psychological scarring takes the form of a giant, malformed pair of tits!” CAN KOI KOI 7 ALLOW ME TO SAY THAT? HOW ABOUT DIABOLIK LOVERS? Of course not. Those series don’t take chances.

So am I hyping it too much? Is the splendor of something new and enticing (and non-traditional in its approach to human emotion) blinding me to what is actually something obscenely bad? Probably. Despite all of this pent-up frustration that I was swindled out of ironic enjoyment for genuine enjoyment, I really do feel this series has worth—if not for the sake of what the message entails, then how it’s presented. Despite all the dumb, I was immersed every second of the experience, constantly trying to pinpoint who was doing what and why and how. A series that both inhibits and encourages thinking. Mayoiga is an absolute mindfuck that I would recommend simply to see how people would interpret it.

Is it just stupidity incarnate, or something more?

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Early Impressions: Blend S

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Three episodes in, it’s pretty bouncy.

Bouncy? In what way? Bouncy in the sense that its quality hinges upon the utilization of its core aspects; those being comedy and character interaction. Much like Working!!Blend S features a number of characters with one (or two… but usually one) distinguishable trait interacting with one another in a restaurant environment. While in Working!! the focus is more on the characters and their lives than the restaurant business itself, Blend S features a heavier focus on the fetishization of Japan’s café business. While technically a coffee shop, the establishment presented features young, attractive girls appealing to various otaku fetishes, whether it be sadism, tsundere(-ism?), or the little sister persona. Does Blend S serve to say anything about this now common practice? No. Does that really make the show bad? Also no.

What it does, however, is limit the ability of self-awareness to service said otaku fanbase. It doesn’t chastise or provoke the idea behind business establishments catering to specific “tastes,” really. It hardly does anything at all with it. This, in turn, makes it immediately “dumb” to those looking for a more involved viewing, and anyone looking forward to a more mentally-involved experience will be sorely disappointed. See, I saw the cover art, the premise, and the studio, and thought to myself, “Well, this could be fun.” Stereotypical and somewhat repetitive, yes, but little tidbits of fun, as well.

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I am one who acknowledges this series’s “dumbness” as an obvious flaw, such that despite how much fun I find the series, I will likely not grace it with a good score. Still, it is enough to say that the fun aspects of the show are appealing enough to make this not utterly unwatchable; Blend S is far more concerned with amusing the audience than anything else. To this end, it does its job well enough. I’m glad I talked myself into picking it up, as with all the mental stimulation and slowness that Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou provides, it serves as a pleasurable counterpart. Much more lively, colorful, and bombastic in its approach to situations. Almost like night and day.

Such fun is present most amicably through the characters’ interactions with one another. It has that same zany appeal as the aforementioned Working!! has to it, if not a lot more clichéd and sexualized. Blend S also has a fair amount of sexual fan service; nothing too prevalent, but enough to be noticeable. This applies to both revealing of skin and dressing them up/customizing their personality to appear more moe. Why even note this at all? It somewhat takes away from the individuality of the female characters, such that they’re all seen as fantastical representations of boys’ desires rather than actual women. Again, why even note this, seeing as most anime are of the same way? This lies within, aside from its dumbness, Blend S’s biggest flaw to me: its heavy indulging in catering.

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Not catering to customers, catering to horny, adolescent viewers. It just so happens that the three girls (within three episodes) are all beautiful. Just so happens that one is really into video games. Just so happens that one is a cosplay fanatic. Just so happens that they all have incredibly moe features to them. Just so happen to not be involved in any romantic relationships (within three episodes). Just so happen to run into a business that prioritizes moe features. Just so happen to have beautiful females work on ultra-ecchi doujinshi. Just so happens that one of the male workers has an insatiable yuri fetish. It just. So. Happens. Almost in the same vein as New Game!!, all of these uncanny coincidences pile up to support that the series does little to hide its titillating priorities. What series ultimately annoy me to my very core are ones so shallow and vapid.

Still, I expected no less, so why get upset about it? It’s one of those things that, when watching anime, one simply grows accustomed to. Not that that makes it any less irritating to watch, but it’s something that’s inevitable and easy to spot from far away. Aside from such, Blend S is still a fun series to bounce around to, primarily for its kooky characters and decent, although not altogether wonderful animation and design. This could certainly be someone’s best comedy of the season, or most easy-on-the-eyes anime of the season, but it’s definitely not something worthy of quality entertainment.