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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One Punch Man 2, The Everyday Hero Returns | First Impressions

With the greatest disaster in history inbound, the Hero Association is in panic, trying to prepare for a higher threat level than ever seen before. Finally, Saitama is beginning to secure some recognition and climb the ranks as a hero. While he hasn’t reported any of his battles to the Hero League, bystanders have reported them, starting to slowly push him up the ranks to a high ranked B-rank hero while Genos aims for the top 10 of S-rank heroes. The prophecy that was foretold of a huge danger to threaten earth seems to have come true as Garou, the martial artist that calls himself a monster and a hero hunter, defeats hero after hero, even destroying an S-rank hero with ease. However, Saitama crushes Garou effortlessly in an encounter, brushing him off for interrupting his shopping.

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One Punch Man is back and still as good as I remember it. Watching the show again, I remembered why I loved the first season so much. It may be something of an action show, but excels at also being a comedy and having an incredible cast of likable characters. You can’t get through an episode without a mix of action and humor, moments of shock and wholesome enjoyment of perfected character dynamics. You’re never bored because the show decides that it doesn’t feel like doing anything serious for a few episodes but never goes on edgy multiple episode-long fights without stopping to breathe. It perfects the mix of styles that Mob Psycho 100 2 went for but missed the mark on barely, while still keeping a balanced cast of personalities that can each be put into almost any situation. The show and its characters are flexible, so watching the show is always a blast that’ll likely be pulling me in for the rest of the year, regardless of my mood at the time.

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The diverse array of characters aren’t just flexible though, they’re well rounded and all extremely likable. The cast has any character you want and fits them all in any situation well. Every character beams with personality and is entertaining as hell. When the show has its slow moments where nothing is happening, the character dynamics and the shockingly good dialogue are more than entertaining enough to make up for any level of mundaneness, though it in itself is usually used comedically. The villains and heroes alike are very identifiable, and new ones immediately imprinted themselves into my head. Even three and a half years later, I still remember some of the heroes vividly. It’s really exciting to see a whole new batch of characters introduced into the spotlight so we can explore more of the world. Most importantly, the characters are just a blast to watch though. Regardless of the world around them, the characters are what kept my interest piqued in 2015 and still does in the second season. The incredible dialogue allows for one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen in a while to cover all the bases it does.

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While I praise the characters, I can’t say that their development was at all perfect. The development may be the weakest part of all the characters. They’re very well rounded personalities as they are, but I often found myself thinking about how they were handled poorly in a lot of instances. While it may be too early in the season to tell, the first season tells us a lot about the development of characters in this series. The nature of the characters makes it hard for them to be developed, so small lessons are shoved at them until they’re finally absorbed. In Saitama’s case, he’s almost too strong to receive lessons at all. He outclasses every hero and villain in strength, so it’s hard for him to develop as a character, especially because of his bland, unemotional nature. He is told about the world around him, but his character itself stays the same. Fubuki was a good example of this in the second episode. She’s shoehorned into “development” just by being in the right place at the right time. She hunts down Saitama to confront him, and he defeats her and another challenger at the same time. Just because she went to prey on someone as she always did, she was put into a dangerous situation and humbled by how weak she was compared to Saitama, being berated for taking advantage of newbies. While the development for not just the characters in the show but also the plot does always see an explanation that fits pretty well, especially for an action/comedy series like this, it often feels forced. Lots of different important things happen in the same vicinity and involve the same people just because it’s convenient to most of the time. While this means we can explore a lot of different events and characters all at once, it’s hard to hold your suspension of disbelief when story beats read like a script sometimes.

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While some of the plot seems almost too in place sometimes, the comedy doesn’t miss a single beat. The excellent humor continues to be one of the show’s strongest suits, if not it’s best. Even in the middle of fight scenes, there can be a number of different types of jokes that somehow make me laugh out loud without even taking me out of the seriousness of the fight. Never is the show dry or boring regardless of what’s happening because the humor always sticks around to spice up every scene. One of the ways the characters mix so well is the humor around their dynamics. Whether similar or sharply contrasting, the characters in One Punch Man work so well together, making for some terribly funny scenes that would normally just be boring filler or exposition. While some characters like King stand out as really likable, they’re all absolutely great together. The comedic timing is on point in this show, getting laughs in where you’d never expect. Every single joke hits the mark and has been painstakingly structured to achieve exactly what the writers wanted, and I laughed out loud a ton, even at bad jokes, just because they were executed so well.

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After a few years, One Punch Man still holds up. It’s by no means perfect, but it sure is entertaining. I just had a blast watching the show. The interesting writing paired really well with the art, characters, and enthralling plotline. I think the show’s come back full force and is ready to outpace the first season with much better pacing and still somehow better humor. If you haven’t checked the show out, it’s a total blast. I’ll be sticking through the whole season and I hope to see others do the same.

Well, it’s been a while. I’m not sure where everything lines up, but I think the last time I posted on this blog was almost half a year ago. I saw that the season was starting and decided it was time to see if I could weasel my way into blogging again. So far, I’ve only seen One Punch 2, but I hope to be checking out some other series and possibly writing about them as the season comes along. Either way, happy late Easter to everybody, have a nice Spring, I’ll see you all later.

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!