Featured

Why Main Characters Sometimes Have to Lose (Redirect)

Despite the potential satisfaction of seeing the main character succeed, sometimes a loss is far more beneficial than a win.

Hey, I wrote another featured article for MAL. I had planned to write it for a while but only really started 3 or 4 months ago (We have a pretty long backlog). Either way, it’s out now! You can click the link below to be taken to the article on MAL itself. Thanks, I’ll see you guys again soon.

https://myanimelist.net/featured/2258

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Goblin Slayer | A Disgusting Waste of Potential

One of my favorite things about anime is its ability to present interesting ideas and expand on them through interesting dialogue. This is one thing I think that anime does better than a lot of other forms of media, making meaningful conversations that can carry the bulk of the show’s meat. This might be why I dislike Goblin Slayer so much. It takes something that I think the medium has incredible potential for and completely squanders it.

(This post contains minor spoilers and discussion of rape and its sexualization in the show)

Goblin Slayer is a show currently airing about an adventurer, Goblin Slayer, who slays goblins and only goblins. He’s been obsessed with them and seems to care about nothing else. His personality is absolutely nothing outside of this. He responds to all questions and comments as concisely as possible, always talking in monotone without showing any emotion. On top of this, he constantly wears his armor and helmet. As you’d expect, we’ve been given hints of something being seriously wrong with him. He’s been broken somehow and now cares about nothing except for goblins. There’s obviously something deeper to his personality, but 5 episodes into a 12 episode show, we haven’t been shown almost any of it. A couple dialogues about goblins and a flashback to his childhood is as much as we’re shown.

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Goblin Slayer starts off with a young priestess looking to go on her first adventure. She meets 3 other people and decides to join them on a quest to kill goblins. Expecting it to be easy, the party has their expectations completely subverted as the goblins easily overpower them. This is where we’re introduced to something that’s going to be very important in looking at the show, it’s use of gore and other things for shock value. I’ll come back to that in a second. Instead of just killing the adventurers, one of the girls is brutally beaten and then raped by the goblins. Not long after, the single male adventurer is killed and the other girl is brutally beaten and raped just like the other one. However, Goblin Slayer shows up just in time to save the priestess and only her. While one of the girls is barely alive, Goblin Slayer sees it best to put it out of her misery as attempting to save her would only be prolonging her suffering.

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Here we come to my first of a few big problems with the show. Rape and gore are used and abused in this show. While it would be completely fine to use these topics in a mature way to implant a fear of goblins into the viewer that lets us relate to the characters more using a unifying fear, it’s not. While they might’ve tried that, that’s not how it turned out. Rape in this show is used as the thing to be afraid of. But it’s uncomfortable at best. Perhaps the worst thing about the rape is the sexualization of it. While they didn’t have to show any rapes actually taking place, the first episode contains 2 rape scenes that sexualize the victims. The usual ways of showing as much of someone’s body without it becoming porn are used like small strips of clothing covering just a character’s nipple or crotch. They treat these girls just like any other, communicating to the viewer that it’s okay to enjoy them. This aspect takes something that’s slightly uncomfortable and multiplies that feeling tenfold. While the later episodes haven’t taken this approach as much as the first one, it still speaks volumes about the writing of this show that they’d portray rape in such a disgusting way.

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As Goblin Slayer continues his adventures, the priestess girl, Onna Shinkan, follows him and assists him where he needs. Having a partner, you’d hope that we’d get to see Goblin Slayer open up a bit and show some weakness. However, he remains the uninteresting shell of a human that he first appears except for a small monologue that’s never expanded on (remember that for later). We’d hope to see some sort of interesting dialogue between the young priestess and Goblin Slayer, maybe asking him about what he’s learned about goblins or why he’s obsessed with them, but we see nothing of the sort. This is where a certain problem in the show starts to become really apparent.

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The dialogue in Goblin Slayer is atrocious. While at first, we’re waiting for the dialogue to get interesting, it never happens. Episode 3-5 really show has bad this problem gets. Every single conversation feels forced as if the characters are from completely different worlds and just don’t communicate in the same way. It doesn’t help that Goblin Slayer gets brought into so many of them because of his incredibly lackluster personality. While after watching episode 2 I wrote in my notes that I was hoping for this show to become a character study of him that explored the nuances of a broken man, I’m now just constantly wishing for him to get off the screen. Characters have awkward, choppy dialogue where they seem to be on completely different pages, and having a seemingly emotionless man be half of that conversation only multiplies the problem. The conversation between Majo (the girl with the pipe) and Onna is where I really started to become annoyed with this. Majo goes on a strange monologue where she just talks at Onna about Goblin Slayer incredibly vague and slowly that it hurts to listen. This conversation sadly isn’t the last one where we see this happen. One character monologuing about something that nobody else involved seems to care about seems to be a common thing in this show. I was so excited when I started to hear Goblin Slayer talk about greed and goblins in episode 3 or 4. I thought we were finally going to see Slayer open up a bit so we could explore some nuance that surely had to be hidden somewhere in his broken self, but then he just fell asleep mid-monologue and everyone moved on entirely, not even addressing anything he had said. The conversation before this between Slayer and 3 who have come to him with a quest reeks of this same problem. The three basically just take turns talking while the only responses they get are one-worded and show no interest in anything that’s just been said.

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The 3 adventurers I’ve been mentioning do convince Slayer that he should fight goblins with them. The problem I had with this was the way they handled the raid. It was obvious that the show was trying to portray the raid as some epic adventure with a lot at stake. While goblins have been shown to demolish entire parties and brutally rape the women, this seems to be a much stronger nest than usual. However, we know that there’s absolutely no chance that the party will lose. It’s obvious that the characters aren’t meant to be killed off yet and Goblin Slayer is so powerful and experience with goblins that we know he won’t lose. Along with this, he has been shown to have incredibly dangerous scrolls with spells that he won’t let anyone even touch that are shown to have great significance in the story. Thinking about it, we know that even in the toughest of situations, these are likely able to get him out of any sticky situation he and his party could be in. Of course, as soon as the party is shown to have trouble with an opponent (for the first time), one of these scrolls is used to completely obliterate the threat. The way they try to hype this adventure up seems horribly out of place and it only further distanced me from the show.

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Even with all of this, there’s one problem that’s even worse to me than any other in this show. As alluded to a few hundred words ago and at the start, I have a huge problem with this show not expanding on its ideas. I’ve found that at the start of every episode, I get really excited. However, that excitement quickly dies out after the OP and the scene following it. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s because the show just loves to push ideas out there but hates actually doing anything with them. This is why I call the show a waste of potential. Every single good idea they have is just left to sit on the sidelines. I mentioned earlier that I had initially been excited to see the show go on as I thought it had the potential of being a great character study. However, I quickly lost all that hope.

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Trust me, the possibility of Goblin Slayer becoming a deep dive into the conscious of a broken, obsessed man wasn’t the only great opportunity that this show squandered. For instance, there’s this really interesting idea presented about gods rolling dice to decide the fate of the universe. This is presented in episode 2 or 3 but never expanded on. Becoming a HxH reminiscent opening to the show and something that’s brought to attention multiple other times during the show, the dice idea goes absolutely nowhere. There have currently been 5 episodes released and not a single one of them has done anything with this idea except tease us with it. If all this show has is teasing us with good ideas, then it’s really going to end up even worse than I thought it would. Remember when I told you to remember Slayer not opening up even with a partner? Yeah. They had the perfect setup to expand on his personality and a monologue that could’ve started a great discussion on the morality of killing goblins or his past, but we never saw anything of the sort. As I mentioned earlier, monologues opening up good ideas and then immediately abandoning them are pretty common in this show. The monologue about goblins and greed was literally completely ignored after Slayer fell asleep and hasn’t been brought up since. In the start of the 5th episode, Goblin Slayer’s sister/childhood friend (I don’t remember which) has to tell him his feelings after he says something about the party that he had recently been with. Yet again, this is the last of this idea that we see (at least for now). With all of these interesting ideas being presented and immediately yanked away from us, we could at least hope to see one of them expanded on. However, I have not seen a single sign that this show is in any way willing to do that. I was keeping my hopes up, but after 5 entire episodes of nothing, I’ve lost hope for this show doing anything good with its ideas. Even if it magically starts expanding on all of these ideas and fleshing them out through deep conversations between characters that aren’t just clunky and awkward, the first entire half of the show will have been spent dilly-dallying and not getting to the point.

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While I could say a few small good things about this show and just as many if not more bad things, these were the big things that I thought needed to be brought up. While without these, the show would be a decent watch, there are a lot of glaring problems that make this outwardly okay show one of the worst airing shows in years (at least so far). While I’m going to keep watching to see if anything happens with these really interesting ideas, I doubt the show is going to improve since it has shown us that it’s flawed on a fundamental level and doesn’t know what to do with itself. While I think at least watching 3 or 4 episodes of the show is interesting enough to be worth it as long as you can handle the more “mature” aspects of the show, I don’t at all consider it a good show. Goblin Slayer is something with incredible potential that throws it all away with some of the worst writing I’ve seen from anime in a while.

Wew, that was a bit long-winded. Well, thanks for reading this far. I think this post was one of my best when it comes to portraying what specifically I find good or bad about a show and it’s fun to be able to feel that growth a little. Anyways, part of the reason this post was so long was that I’m now taking notes on shows while I watch them, so that’s been a huge help with writing these. Also, I just felt like writing a little more. As a few of you might know, it’s currently NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where you write 50k words in the month of November. I’m not sure if I’m going to participate the whole way through, but I’d like to. Anyways, thanks again for reading this far. I’ll see you guys next time.

Tsurezure Children | Heartfelt and Hilarious

A while ago, I wrote a 2nd (and better) post on this show, hoping to get it out before Valentine’s Day. However, that didn’t end up happening. I still think the show is well worth your time whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day though, so here’s the rewrite.

One of my favorite things about this series is how it always feels fresh and exciting. There are three to four couples in each 12-minute episode and more than I can count across the whole show. We’re given just enough time to start to care about a relationship then thrust on to the next one before we know it. That doesn’t mean that none of the relationships develop enough to be interesting though and a lot of couples are shown more than once. I thoroughly enjoyed most of the relationships and I was always cheering for the characters to get together. However, this diversity has a cost. The writing from couple to couple changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. While I really enjoyed a lot of the couples, a number of them got a little boring at times.

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I’m a big fan of the comedy in this series though. It’s not always spot on, but a lot of the time I just can’t keep a smile off of my face while watching an episode. Ridiculous scenes are just real enough to be relatable and small one-off jokes are always hilarious and don’t distract from the romance. The flow of the writing works well with the constant jokes and cute moments happening all the time, and having such a nice blend of it makes it even better to watch.

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I also really enjoyed how the couples actually hooked up a lot of the time. More couples featured in the show officially start dating than not and multiple of them kiss and/or make moves sexually.

Image result for tsurezure children kissWhile the focus of the episodes was more on the quirkiness of actually getting into a relationship to begin with rather than the maintenance and evolution that I’d usually look for in romance shows, I had a really good time with how real a lot of these couples felt. If you have a SO, try watching it with them!

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If you’re undecided on whether or not you want to watch Tsurezure Children, just look up a clip on Youtube. I was watching most things that season anyways, but a number of people I know decided to watch it just because they saw stray jokes uploaded on Youtube and Twitter, which are goldmines for this show. I really enjoyed the show not just for its humor, but how adorable it is. It’s a bit inconsistent in quality, but more times than not I couldn’t stop smiling from just how fun the show was. 8/10

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Hey again everyone. Like I said, I started this like a year ago but something happened and I didn’t end up getting out by Valentine’s Day so I kinda let it sit there for a while. I wanted to get back at it though because I think it’s a great example of this type of show done right. Alsoooo update. I actually rewrote and edited this post before my hiatus so that was another 3 or 4 months ago… Yeah, this post is 8 months overdue but it’s fine. See y’all next time!

Gyakuten Saiban Season 2 First Impressions | Back to Basics

With the Fall 2018 season just kicking off, one show in particular caught my attention immediately. Gyakuten Saiban, the adaptation of the critically acclaimed game by the same name (more commonly known as Ace Attorney/Phoenix Wright), focuses on a rookie attorney, Phoenix Wright, and his sidekick Maya. The first season done by A-1 Pictures, the now airing second season is now currently under Cloverworks. Being an old fan of the first game, I got excited to pick apart the new series, especially under a new studio. While I’ve generally been enjoying the show so far, it’s taking them a bit of time to figure out how to make things work and I have a lot of nitpicks.

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(Disclaimer: I’ve only played the first game. Season two starts where the third game does, so I’m going into this basically fresh despite having played one of the games. Very minor spoilers)

Starting the show off immediately about to go into trial, Wright is attacked and loses his memory. First off, being thrown into a trial right away ended up not working out well. One of the best things about the show is being able to figure out the case for ourselves. Going from a game where that’s the entire premise to watching a show where all the thinking has been done for you was a big risk. Sadly, it seems this really wasn’t taken into account for the adaptation. So far, we’ve had two trials take place, neither of which we saw much investigation for (absolutely none in the first). One entire episode was dedicated to looking into a case before the third episode’s trial, but it wasn’t enough. One of the things the game was best at was making you feel excited to figure out the cases for yourself. However, all of the evidence now seems to be thrown in willy-nilly. Instead of stopping mid-trial to think about all of the other evidence we’ve seen so far, we just wait for Maya to show up and present the crucial evidence that proves everything (this has been how both cases were resolved so far). If we want to actually enjoy the trials and have them be as exciting as they should be, the show needs to slow down and take some time to get us invested.

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However, I don’t have only nitpicks and complaints when it comes to this show. Even if I don’t let it on, I’ve actually been enjoying the run so far. The characters in this show are its driving force. Maya, Wright, and every single one of the side characters are all a blast. Every single character we’re introduced to is interesting in their own way. With eccentric personalities that make every interaction a blast to watch, the show seems to know what it’s doing. Every character has a great dynamic with seemingly everyone else. Even when two side characters interact in some meaningless way, you can’t help but pay attention. Especially when it comes to Wright and Maya, Gyakuten Saiban sports some of the most fun and intriguing characters I’ve ever seen, all with their own unique dynamics.

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But another problem I’ve had is with these characters’ motivations. Sure, Wright had a reason for accepting the first case. However, he accepts the second case on a whim. Taking little time to talk to his client and see whether or not he’s guilty or to at least gather evidence for himself more than just walking around, he accepts a case that could easily leave him defending a genuine thief. Maya’s reaction to this was also a bit bothersome. Sure, she’s meant to be immature. However, seeing the reaction she had to Wright even pursuing an investigation into a case (yknow, his job) was a little bit of a harsh wake-up call to start the season off with. It would’ve been nice to see a little bit of growth in her and have her go along with Wright. However, she just does her own research and jumps into court unannounced and supports Wright just because she stumbled across some (illegally obtained) evidence. But since we’ve yet to see that growth in her, maybe we’ll see it throughout the season.

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While episode 1 barely passed when it came to straight up fun, episode 2 was definitely enjoyable and episode 3 had me grinning and laughing just like I was playing the old game again. One of my favorite things about Phoenix Wright has always been its unabashed goofiness. It’s lighthearted and cheesy in just the right way. The crazy reactions of the characters and overly quirky personalities are a great compliment to the enthralling cases. Luckily, this seems to have been carried over well into the new season. While less so in the first, the second season boasts a delightful whimsical comedy that was most apparent with Godot’s appearance in court. Pure joy is what this show does best, and I’m glad to see it emphasizes that with some plain fun scenes.

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However, there is a bit of a problem that relates to that comedy. To watch this, you’re going to have to have an iron-strong suspension of disbelief. With evidence being thrown around in court like nothing and the court setting seemingly being commonly forgotten, there’s a lot to take you out of the moment here. While the comedy is one of my favorite aspects here, they do need to be a little more careful with it. Characters yell and talk out of place all the time for no reason and it’s a shame to see what would otherwise be fine comedy made into awkward, meaningless detours.

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Overall, I am definitely enjoying Gyakuten Saiban. The characters and their interactions, compelling cases, and comedy are all more than enough to keep me watching for a while. However, it’s painful to see such an incredible title re-executed with so many flaws. As long as the show cleans its writing up a bit, I’ll be more than happy endorsing the show, but we’ve got to see some improvement here. I’d recommend anyone who’s already seen the first season or played the games to watch this, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling anyone to pick up the first season just so they can keep up with this new one if they’re coming in completely fresh just yet.

Wew, that was my first time doing that in a while. Well, I’ve gotta say it was pretty nice. I don’t know for sure if I’m going to take my blog off hiatus, but I’d say that you can probably expect at least one more post on this show down the road unless absolutely nothing changes, especially if it runs for 24 episodes. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you guys on the other side.

Seasonal Sentiments #1: A Painful Start to the Season

The past two seasons, I really haven’t been keeping up with seasonal anime. Having only seen a few airing shows the past half year, I’ve been pretty far away from what’s happening in the community. Basically, I want to start seeing a little more of what’s out, so that’s what I’m doing this season. I’m going to try and recap my thoughts on everything that I saw and release them pretty much whenever.

Edit: This was written days ago and only covers the first episode of each show.

I know that we’re very much in the early part of the season right now, but I’m already a little reluctant as to what’s coming. I feel like we’re having a bit too many shows that just fall flat immediately. So far I haven’t seen anything better than a seven out of ten. Regardless, there are still a lot more shows coming out this season that we haven’t seen yet, so we can at least hope.

Banana Fish

Banana Fish is strange but intriguing. Despite the slow start quality wise, I think all of the characters in the show are really interesting and it’s fun to see them interact. The writing isn’t amazing, it’s a little forgettable, and I’m really not invested in anything so far. However, I think it has decent potential. While it’s not brilliant, it’s still interesting enough to keep my attention for a few episodes at least.

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Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa

I already covered this show in this post, but I think it’d be appropriate to at least touch on it here. I was excited at first for an extension of Kaiji, but I was let down hard when I realized that this wasn’t at all like the old Kaiji. Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa is a comedy that follows middle-man Tonegawa as he attempts to cure the president’s boredom. That would be fine if it wasn’t so bad. It feels like an unorganized blend of Kaiji and a 6/10 comedy that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. They somehow even made the art worse than the 11-year-old show it’s based on. The only real reason to watch this is if you’re curious.

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Shichisei no Subaru

You can tell this one’s gonna be good because the first shot of the entire episode is a bad CGI dragon. Of course, as soon as we’re shown other characters they’re praising the main cast. A group of six or so 12-year-olds somehow suddenly became gods at this one game. One of the girls quickly dies in the game, simultaneously dying in the real world as well due to a heart attack or something. One six-year time skip later and some of the old group starts playing a new version of the game and finds the old girl’s body in a loot chest. When the seemingly main character rejoined and immediately surpassed people who had been playing for two months in skill tenfold, I lost the last amount of hope I had for this show being anything other than a mess. The show completely lost my attention minutes in, and I really can’t see myself caring about it. The show is boring and has barely any redeeming qualities. That is all.

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Chio’s School Road

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro is a comedy about a girl, Chio, making her way to school every morning. While I wouldn’t mind this show if it was actually done well, it feels like something funny trapped in an ugly shell. It tries so hard with its comedy, but the delivery is boring at best. While a show like Sakamoto can pull off the same joke over and over again and I’ll still love it, this show is not Sakamoto and I started getting tired of it pretty early in. This isn’t even the only show about a girl going to school. Just watch any good comedy anime instead of this please.

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Island

Again, this is another show that I barely even remember only an hour or so after watching the first episode. The focus starts on some random girl and switches to a naked guy who washed up on a beach after she faceplanted into his crotch for no reason, then follows him as we slowly find out that he’s the chosen one who needs to die or something. Everything feels really shallow and reeks of every other isekai show I’ve seen except with worse animation. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even make it through the first episode of this thing. When the main guy just up and snuck away from the police officer on a flat beach, I just started staring at my ceiling.

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Alright, that’s all I have for now. I’m going to be writing about shows and episodes as I watch them in the future, so expect more to come. I am going to individually cover a number of these shows, so I’ll edit links in here to those posts once they’re all made. Let’s hope to see some better shows as we get through the season because so far, the season just sucks. Anyways, see you guys next time!

 

Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa – A Kaiji Fan’s Disappointment

When I heard that there was going to be a spinoff of Kaiji featuring Tonegawa, I was really excited. However, I’ve found myself disappointed after only the first episode. When the narrator started giving a recap of what happened in the first season of Kaiji, I had a really bad feeling. The narrator’s lines themselves, his tone of voice, and what was featured there was unsettling. I felt from the start that the shift of focus wasn’t going to be pretty.

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I don’t think that Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa is necessarily a bad show, but I think it misses the point of Kaiji. The strange combination of comedy, narrated sections that are annoying at best, and small glimmers of the corruption and psychological scenes somewhat resembling the old Kaiji is disorienting. Even if it’s drawn with the same art style, Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa doesn’t feel like Kaiji in the slightest. The scene where the president requests a death game from Tonegawa is the only one in the entire episode that made me actually feel like I was watching Kaiji, and it lasted a mere 15 seconds.

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I think saying that the art style is the same is still giving way too much credit to the new show. The first scenes are bright, city shots with color palettes that feel like the real world if not more vibrant. When Tonegawa is shown sulking, he’s shown from a wide shot in a generic looking office room with a spotlight on him. To put it simply, the art style feels like it’s being ripped off. In the old Kaiji, we constantly had dark, dull color palettes forced down our throats, disturbing framing, and shots made with the intention of making us feel on edge. This isn’t felt in the new show, nor is it at all built on. We’re shown similar gimmicks to the original such as the “psst… psst…”, creepy whispering, and dark lines down foreheads, but it’s forced. Once again, it just feels like I’m being taken advantage of by a completely different show.

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If Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa had built on the plot of Kaiji, kept the intentions and feel, or had at least been better than a middle of the road comedy, I would have been okay. But this feels like someone stole the art style and a couple characters from Kaiji and put them in their regular, boring comedy just to get attention. While I could touch on the actual quality of the show in detail, it’s simply not worth it. If this had been anything other than a Kaiji spinoff, I would’ve given it a 6/10 and forgotten it immediately. But instead, I’m annoyed and disappointed at the obvious lack of effort put into a show that seems to only exist to take advantage of what its adapting. At least when the Ousama Game anime came out I didn’t have any expectations beforehand. But with this, I feel taken advantage of after being so excited for an extension of one of my favorite anime.

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I’m going to ride this series out as long as I can because I really want to see it to its original justice, but I have absolutely no hope. If you came looking for a show like Kaiji, don’t watch this because you won’t get what you want. Anyways, now that the new season of anime is starting, I’m going to start doing posts on all of the seasonals, so stay tuned for that. See you guys later!

 

Born to Die, Fakes Become Real – Megalo Box

I generally have a hard time keeping up with seasonal anime, it takes a level of motivation to get me to want to put on an episode of something new or that I haven’t heard anything about (I’m not a very active participant in the anime community in general, so I go into a lot of things blind). One show that I picked up later into the season that was filled to the brim with this motivation was Megalo Box. I picked up the first episode the day before the finale aired and finished the show just after. I kept finding myself wanting to watch the next episode. Not because of damn cliffhangers, but because of that raw passion you get from watching Joe fight his way to the top. (SPOILERS AHEAD)

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I absolutely love how the show presents itself when nothing is happening and the show is just putting you in a good mood. The OP, for me at least, was a way to get me excited about watching the show again. It didn’t as much as feature Megalo Boxing outside of a shot of some gear. While the show easily could’ve filled a lot of its OP with matches between boxers, it shows shots where nothing is happening, many of which being panning. While there is definitely some symbolism when it comes to the stray wolves, especially with the shot of a wolf walking over a one-way sign representing Joe’s rejection of the path chosen for him, it’s mainly to get you settled in. Watching it puts you in the mood to watch the show, and that’s what it was designed for.

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This was one of the reasons the show was able to keep ahold of me through its entire runtime. It kept me in the mood to watch more. Although the show was extremely exciting, that’s not what kept me going. I wasn’t itching to see the next action scene, I was just wanted to see more of everything, and the OP reinforced this. Even after that, the ambiance of The Theme of Sachio playing alongside still shots brought a smile to my face every time. We aren’t brought out of reality to watch fight scenes because they carry that same underlying vibe of the rest of the series that makes the whole thing feel real.

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This is one of the show’s best qualities, keeping everything feeling real. Nobody’s character feels like a device to keep the plot moving. At first, Aragaki seemed to be just a vengeful old friend of Nanbu. But by the end, we’re deeply invested in his character, a deeply hurt war veteran who just wants closure. Despite being very closed off throughout most of the series, by the end, she feels very genuine and it’s easy to understand how hurt she is when Yuri abandons her completely to face Joe.

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How all of the characters interact is very believable. The comradery between groups feels genuine and we can understand how they feel when they get into tough situations. Joe feels like a real person who we can understand and relate to, I could name a couple of people in my life who are a lot like him. He’s not blindly drawn to winning or beating bad people, he’s just an average guy who finds pleasure in life by feeding off of adrenaline. As he tells Yuri late into the show, he started fighting gearless for attention, but he continues to be gearless even after he’s accomplished his goal because it excites him.

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Overall, there could’ve been a lot more elaboration on the theme of choosing your own path in life. Despite symbolism in the OP and first episode, Abuhachi’s seeming comfort in being poor (the mechanic from the first episode), Yuri’s rejection of Yukiko and Shirato to pursue Joe, Joe’s defiance of the underground scene and throwing matches, Nanbu disobeying Fujimaki to allow Joe to beat Glen Burroughs, and constant allusion to the theme throughout the series, I feel like the commentary was very linear and didn’t actually say much as much as it did remind us about it. Specifically, the ending was obviously centered around the theme of defying your path and coming out on top. However, the ball was seemingly dropped on including it in any dialogue or monologues as it had been before the point had actually been made in the ending. Although I don’t think the handling was perfect, I still really enjoyed the theme. It was a stellar fit for the series and made Joe’s climb to the top thrilling.

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I really don’t have too much more negative to say about Megalo Box. I wasn’t a big fan of Fujimaki’s character as despite being a main antagonist, he has very little character development, it’s disappointing that his character was shallow and seemingly existed just to cause conflict. I’m also a little disappointed about the lack of development in Mikio Shirato despite showing so much potential. After being beaten by Joe, he seems to just disappear. While a lot could’ve been done with his character while he transitioned into isolation, he silently disappeared and the next thing we knew his character was completely different. I wasn’t a big fan of when Sachio was upset by Joe being forced to throw his Megalonia match either. The way Sachio handled his anger didn’t feel genuine and I think it missed a good opportunity for some tearjerking instead of a rap.

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All in all, I really enjoyed Megalo Box. I absolutely adored most of the characters and all of their quirks. The boxing matches themselves were incredible, allowing us to see each individual character reflected in how they box while making for great action. The soundtrack and art were phenomenal and reflected the tone of the series quite well. The show’s main theme was very thought-provoking and fit well alongside everything else there was to offer. The ending was maybe the best part to me, showcasing the raw passion of a good fight and getting some pretty damn good closure. My personal score is a 9.3/10.

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God, I loved listening to the soundtrack for this while writing this post. At one point I got distracted and learned one of the songs on the ukulele. Anyways, I plan to be actually keeping up with next season, so expect a few more posts on seasonals. While Megalo Box was pretty good, AOTS for me would have to go to Souma or Asagao to Kase-san (the latter of which I will be making a post about soon). Alright, see you guys later when we get to talk about LESBIANS!

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Not Dead Yet…