(Very) Early Impressions: Basilisk – Ouka Ninpouchou

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Three episodes in, I don’t even know how to really describe how unnecessary this feels.

Basically, the folks behind Basilisk, written over ten years ago, decided they wanted a Boruto-styled sequel series involving the children of the main duo. This makes absolutely no sense considering the ending of the original series, but I won’t get into that. Thus far, there isn’t anything particularly good about the series, but I think its average rating on MyAnimeList being close to the lowers depths of score hell is a little exaggerated, and biased. (more…)

Early Impressions: Koi wa Amaegari no You ni

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Three episodes in, it’s as fragile in its elegance as the manga is.

Stiff. Animation, story, characters; all these qualities and more can accurately be described to a major extent with that word. Basic movement is a little stutter-y, narrative is as slow and cryptically loaded as a slow-moving series can provide, and the characters lean just a little too heavily on their one convenient persona. Let’s laugh at the guy who has a thing for Tachibana! Let’s laugh at how awkward Kondo is! Let’s feel slight pity for how listless Tachibana is in life due to her injury! Stiff. (more…)

Early Impressions: Violet Evergarden

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Three episodes in, it sure is purdy.

What I find equally purdy (funny) is the amount of praise this series is getting in the anime world. On MyAnimeList, it’s currently within the top 100 based on average rating after three episodes. Does it deserve that hype? I’d say no, but also the potential for a yes later down the line. (more…)

Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) and Retro Vibes and You

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In an era of entertainment where nostalgia is among the most powerful stimuli, Mahoujin Guruguru’s presence seems pretty appropriate. This particular series is technically a reboot/remake, with a series under the same name being developed over twenty years ago, specifically in 1994. That interpretation of the 1992 manga series (again, under the same name) was more geared towards a family-friendly and optimistic nature. The year is now 2017, and audiences have been desensitized to a vast array of topics due to the rise of the internet and all it displays. That could be why this version of the now-famous manga series is rated for audiences a little older than its original demographic.

Now I haven’t seen the original Mahoujin Guruguru, so I can’t say for sure how extensively its potty humor or graphic themes were displayed, only going off of the “Rated G for Everyone” tag found on MyAnimeList. With Guruguru (2017), however, there are various instances of things I certainly wouldn’t expect to see in a rated-G flick. Half-naked women (and men) and mostly sexual innuendos, though there’s also a large display of disregard for the fellow man… so that might count? Whatever the case, there’s a bit of an edge to this representation, which could signify the changing of the times and what audiences wish to expect from an already known commodity. Despite this, I couldn’t help but feel like I was living in the late nineties once again. (more…)

Thoughts on Little Witch Academia (TV)


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. (more…)

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.