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Fall Anime Season 2018 – Review January 1, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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I got a late start on most of these series as I was in Japan when they started. I started watching about halfway into the season, and slowly I added a few more series as I watching during it. The only one I did plan to watch but haven’t started yet from this season was Sword Art Online: Alicization, but since it’s going to be a fairly long series I knew I didn’t have to rush into it. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Goblin Slayer

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

SSSS.Gridman

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

Toaru Majutsu no Index III 

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san‘s “story centers on a skeleton named Honda who works in a bookstore. Hilarity ensues daily in his work at the shop’s manga counter.” I connected with this anime as it was all about retail work in a bookstore. As a person who works in a bookstore myself, I related to a lot of what Honda-san went through. Of course the main difference was that this was about a Japanese bookstore that seems to sell a large variety of books, where as my department exclusively sells textbooks used for University college classes. There was some cases where the more specific situations that Honda-san had I had trouble keeping up with understanding, but that’s probably because just like with all retail stores, there’s always something to do. Employees and customers are in a rush alike, and so are the tasks to do. My favorite episode was the last one, as I could relate to most if not all to what a bookstore deals with. From looks alone, I probably would have skipped this anime if I had not known what it was about. I’m grateful that I did check this short anime out because it put a smile on my face, and I’ll definitely think about it from time to time while I’m at work.

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Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer, with its raw violence and disclaimers about it, was something that people either liked or didn’t like. I myself had no problems with it, but I can imagine why controversy was stirring about it when the anime started. Images of gore and rape were present and talked about in the show, but it was done to set the reality of how dangerous goblins were when left unchecked. Goblin Slayer (the character) had goblins killing on his mind ever since they killed people close to him when he was a child. Now he goes about on quests only to kill goblins and nothing else. He eventually has a party of people helping him, and they do their best in whatever dark situation they find themselves in.

Unlike most animes that look the same as this one, I felt that the fights that Goblin Slayer and company had were more realistic in the sense that there was no plot armor to protect them. Their strategy and teamwork to fighting the goblins was their greatest weapon, and even when things didn’t go according to plan, they fought until they could no more. The tag line for this show: “He does not let anyone roll the dice” probably means that Goblin Slayer controls his own destiny, and he will not let anyone control it for him in the form of luck or higher beings. Hard work, advanced planning, consistency, and a passion for killing Goblins seems to be the core that drives Goblin Slayer to live up to his name.

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Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

Probably my favorite of this season is Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, which is about Sakuta Azusagawa, a second-year student in high school who meets several girls that are experiencing “puberty syndrome”, an “illness” that is provoked by some sort of personal drama. The some of the effects include presence disappearance, time looping, body doubles and transforming and the like. Sakuta himself has experienced his own puberty syndrome and helps each respective girl out with their problems, mainly because they are either people who are friends or family, and also because sometimes their syndrome affects him as well.

This show was quite fantastic, as it balanced each of the girls on-screen time, as well as keeping them relevant even when they were not the focused girl. Mai Sakurajima is the favorite girl of the anime, being the face of the series. After Sakuta helps her fix her dwindling presence in the world, she is able to re-pursue her passion for acting. She and Sakuta begin dating after this, but have to keep it low key due to Mai’s acting career. Unlike most anime girlfriends, she is a very calm and understanding person who doesn’t jump to conclusions. This is a breath of fresh air in an anime world filled with stereotypical girls who are either quick to anger or are quite meek, as she is neither and actually feels more realistic. I think a lot of people would like a person like Mai with her characteristics.

In terms of who I liked the most, yes Mai is probably my number 1, but probably my close runner up would be Tomoe. In her case the puberty syndrome caused time loops, where she and Sakuta would relive certain days over and over again. This happened because Tomoe is a person who is extremely conscious of her social life with her friends, and when she was being asked out by Maezawa, who her best friend had a crush on, she was reluctant to answer. When Sakuta passed by this situation and later a unfortunate event happened between him and Tomoe, a time loop started. Sakuta asks Rio (one of the other heroines) about this who attributes the phenomenon to being Laplace’s demon. To my understanding and in this case, the time loop is Tomoe’s way of trial and error, making sure that the best outcome happens from that day. When she is satisfied, time flows again. This is probably why when she and Sakuta were about to end their fake public relationship, that day ended up repeating again and again. It was because Tomoe fell in love with him despite them having a fake relationship to get Maezawa to move on from liking her. She didn’t want to end their friendship at the same time as ending their fake girlfriend/boyfriend status. After she confessed to Sakuta and got rejected, things were resolved and time reverted back to the day where it all began, the day of Maezawa confessing to Tomoe. In essence, that whole experience was merely a simulation of the future. She confidently rejected Maezawa’s confession and when asked if she liked someone else, described the person she admired as a new friend. I liked Tomoe’s arc because of her development from being overly conscious of what others think of her, to learning to be honest to herself. The people around her would never see her for who she is if she always had a mask on, and by accepting who she was she could have people who accept her as well.

There was a movie announced to be released sometime in 2019, and I hope to see if when I have the chance. Hopefully it will fill in any other gaps the anime had and further Sakuta and Mai’s relationship.

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SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman was a great throwback to classic kaiju shows, like its original show. It was entertaining with its kaiju battles and Trigger style, but the story felt shallow. Once again, it’s thanks to space aliens causing trouble for our world. When I say “Once again”, I mean in terms of Trigger’s animes. Kill La Kill and Darling in the FranXX both also had aliens who were presented as the main antagonist halfway through the season. It feels like a tired and cheap way to have a bad guy to identify. I might be jumping the gun though when it comes to this show, as SSSS.Gridman is not an original thing by Trigger, but rather a remake in their own style of the original 1993-1994 tokusatsu show titled Gridman the Hyper Agent. If there are aliens in the original show, then I’ll forgive Trigger this time. Overall it was unique in its own right and has some nice characters. The ending to this show also was a nice touch to answering the question about the connection between Akane and the world she “played” in.

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Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

The current favorite of the isekai genre this season is TenSura (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime). In a typical fashion a guy who dies in Tokyo is reborn in a new world of magic and fantasy. However he is now a slime who is capable of permanently learning new unique abilities by absorbing the entity or being that has them. (Kind of like Kirby from Nintendo.) By gaining new powerful abilities and being a nice guy, he gains allies and alliances to solve problems that this new world has.

I’m happy this this show is 24 episodes, which means that my expectations for it to have a good story are there. So far I’m liking most of the characters, and the story is progressing at a good rate. I don’t know what to expect in the second half of the season, but if it’s as entertaining as it has been I’m not worried about it.

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Toaru Majutsu no Index III 

We’re halfway into season 3 of Index, it being 24 episodes long, and it’s been a rushed mess of sorts. When I mean rushed I don’t mean quality of the show, but rather the plot. The first several episodes had the viewers thrown all over the place, just like how Touma is too. It can get confusing when trying to follow multiple factions fighting each other. More than half the time I don’t really know what’s going on, besides the basic idea of Science vs. Magic thing in this series. You would think that a season with 24 episodes would be able to spread itself out evenly over those episodes, but at the rate things are going I feel like they intend to make this the last season. Things seem to be slowing down slightly at the midway point of the season, but the rush to it has definitely affected the overall quality of the show in my opinion. Index has always had a bunch of intersecting storylines, but with the massive amount of church terminology being mentioned as well supposedly important for the story, it’s hard to keep up with it all. Whenever I watch this show, I just think about it as good guys vs. bad guys and hope to see more Touma punches saving the day.

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Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

The cutesy slice-of-life anime of the season, Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood is exactly what it sounds like. Akari Amano is obsessed with dolls, and upon hearing a rumor of a doll-like girl living in a house near the woods, goes to see if she can find her. She ends up getting lost but is saved by Sophie Twilight, a vampire girl who was the subject of the rumors. Unlike most stereotypical vampires, Sophie lives a modern life, never attacking humans and gets her blood by ordering it on the internet. Akari befriends Sophie and moves in with her. Together they enjoy their everyday company all while learning about each other. This is the modern everyday life story of a human and vampire living together.

I enjoyed it as a light comedy, though there’s nothing outstanding about it. When I was in Japan a couple of months ago, while fishing the Japanese television channels I came across this on one of the live anime channels. I already heard about this anime before I left for Japan, so I knew generally what it was. But because I was with other people at the time and also I couldn’t understand spoken Japanese, I would watch it another time.

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Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!

Another slice-of-life anime that I also watched was UzaMaid!, an anime about a girl named Misha and her lolicon maid Kamoi. A lot of the comedy in this show comes from the funny but cringe-worthy moments that usually come from Kamoi or Midori, with their obsessions over their respective person. While it is a slice-of-life show, there is the story of Kamoi slowly getting closer to Misha, helping her to accept her feelings about her late mother. I found it heart warming that despite Kamoi’s strange actions, there was certain things that she knew she could or should not do, and in the case of Misha and her mother, she always put Misha’s well-being first. The last couple of episodes had more drama that the rest of the series, but it came out well and it had a believable conclusion.

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Yagate Kimi ni Naru

This shojo ai series is a slow drama about discovering what love is, as well as self discovery. Here is a synopsis of Bloom Into You from MAL.net:

“Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and awaits the day she gets a love confession that sends her heart aflutter with bubbles and blushes, and yet when a junior high classmate confesses his feelings to her…she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she’s inspired to ask her for help. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself. Has her shoujo romance finally begun?”

While this describes Yuu, Nanami has a more complicated situation. Namami admired her late older sister who passed away when she was about the same age as she is now. To follow and fulfill her sister’s footsteps, she decides to do a school play that used to be a tradition for the student council to put on. The last one that was to be held was seven years ago, one that her sister was to perform in until she died in a traffic accident. Nanami felt that it was her duty to fulfill what her sister couldn’t do, but is that who she truly wanted to be? The new school play was written by Yuu’s friend Koyomi, an aspiring writer. The play she wrote for the student council can be seen as parallel to the current situation, basically a girl who has to discover who she truly is after losing her memories from the people who are close to her. Memories loss aside, Nanami struggles to figure out who she really is; A replacement of her sister? A perfect student council president? Or a person with faults that hates herself for it? Yuu sees a side of Nanami that she never shows others, and even though Nanami has admitted that she loves Yuu, she doesn’t want Yuu to fall in love with her, or rather with the her that she hates. Yuu initially doesn’t feel much towards Nanami, but as she spends time with her, her feelings grow and eventually blossom within her. However, because of Nanami’s insecurity about who she should be on the outside, Yuu is determined to help Nanami to discover who she truly is though the writing of the student council school play.

Unlike the other yuri genre shows I’ve watched, this one is slower and more thought out in a good way. The other yuri shows I’ve watched more or less speed through and force the girls love onto the audience via fan service scenes, usually though sexual harassment or though a form of Stockholm syndrome. This can be cringey to watch, so these shows end up being on the end of the enjoyment spectrum. However, Bloom Into You is a slow story about discovering what you like and love, and that’s how it should be. Most of the time you don’t fall in love at first sight; it develops as you learn more about yourself in relation to the person you’re interested in. This anime is probably one of the more realistic love stories I’ve seen in a while, and that’s why I like it. The ending of the season though left much to be wanted. It didn’t end on a stereotypical note where they become an actual couple, but it didn’t resolve the story either. The school play is where the climax will be, but the season ended right before it. I guess if they were to have a movie that could conclude it nicely, but nothing has been officially announced. I’ll be looking forward to any new animations of this series in the future.


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Summer Anime Season 2018 – Review October 5, 2018

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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This has been a relatively light season for me, as these were the only ones that interested me. It also works out because I haven’t had as much leisure time recently because I’ve been maxing out hours at work. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Hanebado!

Harukana Receive

Hataraku Saibou

Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Hanebado!

Hanebado looks like your standard sports anime about Badminton… and it mostly is. In this case though, it took the drama approach and made the main character into a sort of tragic hero. Ayano Hanesaki used to happily play badminton throughout her childhood with her mother Uchika, until she seemingly abandoned her after Ayano lost a match. This caused Ayano to abandon badminton in order to escape the memories. With the start of high school, Ayano’s friend Erena pushes her to join a club. While trying out tennis, a rogue ball heads straight for Erena which Ayano deflects with ease. A scouting coach for the badminton club sees this and tries to recruit Ayano. She reluctantly does so with support from Erena. Here she meets Nagisa, one she beat back in their middle school days, who is hell bent on beating Ayano in badminton. Playing badminton brought back her skills she learned all those years ago, as well as her deep psychological pain and rage that welled up when her mother left her. When Ayano is in trance zone, she becomes cold and blunt towards everyone, and is a no mercy force to be reckoned with.

This show was alright, but the two extreme sides of Ayano felt unnatural, but still understandable. At first glance she is shown as a happy high school student, but under that exterior was an ugly past that caused her to ignore it and put up a front to hide it. When she is reintroduced into badminton, her rage against her mother is what fuels her to be just as cruel to her opponent and everyone around her. What’s even worse is when she hops back and forth between her happy and depressed demeanor because of the clashing contrast. When Ayano’s mother returns and acts like she did nothing wrong, I can see where Ayano gets the guilt free personality from. Uchika explains that she left Ayano to allow her to improve, but she doesn’t really explain it more than that. I don’t agree that leaving her only child was a positive way to instigate improvement from her. What’s worse is that Ayano was led to believe that her mother left because she thought she was worthless to her when she lost that match, and went to another country to train another girl who also thinks of Uchika as her mom. Because of this Ayano questions herself about why she was playing badminton. At first it was in order to get revenge on her mother, by becoming the best so that she could “abandon” her mother like she did to her. Towards the end of the show, when finally confronting Uchika and settling things between her, Ayano finally finds a new purpose for playing: For herself and the aim of beating the person in front of her. In a sense this releases her from her attachment to the past and allows her to look forward to the future.

Overall it was a mixed bag that tried to resolve itself nicely, but it felt like a loosely tied knot than anything else. The thing between Ayano and her mother wasn’t clearly explained, or maybe I just missed it. From what I gather it was a mix of misunderstandings and poor judgement, and even with each other trying to settle this issue at the end, I felt the resolution to each other was not genuine. It was more like they each wanted to move onward without acknowledging fault. A conclusion like that always leave a bitter taste, and I feel that Ayano and Uchika both feel the same but don’t know how to express their sympathy, if they have any for the other.

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Harukana Receive

Harukana Receive was a good standard sports anime featuring beach volleyball. It stars our main character Haruka who goes from a newcomer to a very capable player. Thanks to hard work and the power of friendship, everyone improves their skills in order to compete in the Japan Beach Volleyball Nationals.

It seems that a lot of people see this anime as an obvious fan service kind of anime just because all the characters would be donning swimsuit like attire every episode. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen a lot of anime that I didn’t really pay it much attention to it, focusing more on the game itself. Even if I don’t know too much about beach volleyball, I can tell that the creators of the show did their research through visual cues and game explanation. Overall it was a decent anime that was detailed with beach volleyball knowledge., presented with a straightforward plot.

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Hataraku Saibou

This anime seems to be a favorite for everyone this season, myself included. Essentially each episode teaches its viewers about the inner workings of the human body, focusing on specific cells and their assigned tasks. The main characters include the Red Blood Cell, White Blood Cell, Platelets, Killer T Cell, Macrophage, and so on.

The information given throughout the show was accurate, but hard to digest especially when the subs cannot fit it all at the same time. It’s still understandable if you just watch what unfolds throughout the episode, but it’s something to mention. Visually I think that everything was great, easy to understand what every cell does in an anime way: Red Blood cells carry things throughout the body, Platelets help repair the body from open wounds, and White Blood Cells/Killer T Cells/Macrophage destroys invasive pathogens.

I enjoyed the anime with its fun and animated way of showing us our cells at work. I think we’ll appreciate our bodies more knowing that we have these characters protecting us 24/7.

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Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu

I’ve been skipping a lot of the new isekai (another world) animes as they tend to be generally the same thing. This one however caught my attention because the main character was not a weakling nor one who outwardly showed himself as a pervert. Diablo is summoned into another world that is similar to an MMORPG he played back in his world, but different in subtle ways. He retains all his abilities from his character avatar as a Demon Lord. When Rem and Shera successfully use a summoning spell, the enslavement part of it backfires and turns them into Diablo’s slaves, thanks to his ring that reflects all magic. Because he is a hikikomori, he is socially awkward and so relies on his avatar’s demeanor when speaking in order to convince everyone that he is indeed a truly powerful and feared Demon Lord.

As I mentioned, what drew me to this show was Diablo’s character. He was strong and knowledgeable, but had faults that was relatable. Whenever he went into his internal dialogue, you can figure that he was like others who would just stay at home playing on their computers for many hours without going out or interacting with anyone. Whenever he did speak, it was always in a overlord manner; stiff and sometimes rude, but always trying to find the best solution for everyone.

I liked this anime mainly because of Diablo, and of course the fan service was a bonus too. I honestly don’t think this will get another season as more isekais will come to cover it up.

Also, I choose Rem, that is all.

 

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Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3

The start of the third season of Attack on Titan definitely has a different feel to it than the previous seasons, mainly because the plot is moving forward at a good pace. Unlike the titan fighting that has become a staple of the first two seasons, we’re finally getting into whose responsible for the titans and why they exist in the first place. I’m 10 episodes into the season, and so much has happened that’s helping to put the pieces in place for figuring out why the world is the way it is. I think we’ll definitely get to the basement of Eren’s house close to the end of this season as I think that is where a big revelation will be reveled. Definitely looking forward to see what the mysteries of the walls will bring.

One other thing I want to mention is the first OP for this season feels very odd as it’s not action orientated as all of the previous ones have been. The song itself is OK but it’s one that I skip when starting a new episode, and I’m one who usually watches the OP of every episode of anime I watch.

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Winter Anime Season 2018 – Review March 31, 2018

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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This season of anime has been a very comfortable, adorable, and laid-back one for the most part. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Citrus

Dagashi Kashi 2

Darling in the FranXX

Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Miira no Kaikata

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Yuru Camp△

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


 

Citrus


It’s yet another yuri anime, this time between “sisters”. Yuzu Aihara gains a step sister after her mother remarries. This girl is Mei Aihara, busybody Student Council President whose cold exterior makes her hard to approach. After certain events happen between the two at school, and learn that they are now sisters at home from their mom, “Mei forces her to the ground and kisses her, with Yuzu desperately trying to break free. Once done, Mei storms out of the room, leaving Yuzu to ponder the true nature of her first kiss, and the secrets behind the tortured expression in the eyes of her new sister.” – Via MAL.net

I feel that yuri animes of this nature seem to follow the same kind of drama approach: girl meets girl, one takes a step forward while one steps back, the one who stepped back tries to figure out her feelings, eventually trying to hook up with the girl who initiated the sexual approach. End. OK so I haven’t really seen that many yuri anime of this kind, the only other one I can think of is Netsuzou TRap, but I feel that this is likely how most shows like this go. It’s not a bad formula, but it’s basic in the extreme. What I mean by that is within this storytelling approach, in order to break the monotony of romance formulas, they raise the drama levels by making the conflict go back and forth like the rocking of a ship in a storm.

This anime was fine to watch, but the “romance” felt too forced on either side. It felt like they were just using it as an excuse to vent their stress on one another, sometimes to the point that when one person was trying to deny the approach, you could call it attempted rape. It never really got too extreme with this thought, but if this was a live action show (which I could imagine becoming a thing), then maybe it might be too graphic to watch for certain audiences.

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Dagashi Kashi 2

In this now anime short format second season of Dagashi Kashi, Kokonotsu Shikada continues to deal with the people and problems surrounding him. The first half of the season is more or less like it has been, with Hotaru hanging out with the gang marketing new kinds of dagashi to them. However, after the disappearance of Hotaru and the hiring of Hajime, the anime wasn’t really the same anymore. It was more focused on developing Kokonotsu’s character to some extent, to push him to figure out what he wanted to do in the future: Become a mangaka or takeover the Shikada dagashi store. While the opportunity to become a manga author came and went, Hotaru’s return brought back some of his confidence upon her return. Kokonotsu seems to aiming to move forward with help from his friends, with whatever pursuits he may have for the future.

Dagashi Kashi 2 was alright. It wasn’t structured advertising a dagashi per episode as it seemed to be in the first season, but rather more story based to develop Kokonotsu. I know people were noticing Hotaru’s extended absence, but even when she came back in the end it felt low key as she was not as crazy eyed as we have come to know her. Nothing really concluded in this second season, but somewhat entertaining at least.

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Darling in the FranXX

This anime will be ongoing to the next season as it is a 24 episode series. I’m on episode 11 and so far things are progressing well in terms of setting and character development, by using each episode to focus on a single person. I remember when I first started watching the first few episodes, I wondered how they were going to flesh out the story in a 12 episode series, though I was relieved to find out later that it was going to be 24 episodes.

DARLING in the FRANXX I feel is a combination of Trigger’s previous anime series Kiznaiver, a little bit of Kill La Kill, with A-1 Pictures art style and story pacing. The beginning felt rushed but at this point we’re getting into the heart of things. There’s still a lot of mystery to be revealed, and powers to be shown, so I’m looking forward to that.

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Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan

In the everyday peaceful life of Emiya Shirou, he cooks delicious dishes for the ones he calls his friends and family, bringing them all together for dinner. That’s pretty much what this show is about, another spin-off of the Fate series. While familiar with the Fate series, I haven’t actually watched any of the dozens of variations that this series has. This show however is just a simple show about how meals can bring different people together for the sake of warm company.

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Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Synopisi via MAL.net:

“”If you blush, you lose.”

Living by this principle, the middle schooler Nishikata gets constantly made fun of by his seat neighbor Takagi-san. With his pride shattered to pieces, he vows to turn the tables and get back at her some day. And so, he attempts to tease her day after day, only to find himself victim to Takagi-san’s ridicule again sooner than later. Will he be able to make Takagi-san blush from embarrassment even once in the end?”

This anime plays on the innocence of middle school youth between an easily embarrassed boy Nishikata and playfully teasing Takagi-san. Most of the time it’s the little things that Takagi-san does to Nishikata that gets him easily flustered. Sometimes you could argue that Takagi-sans constant teasing can be a form of light bullying. All in all though, neither one goes too far with teasing and is seen as light-hearted playing between a boy and a girl. And through their interactions, grow to learn and like each other.

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Miira no Kaikata

When I first saw some clips of this anime, I thought it was one of those anime short series where each episode was only several minutes long. Turns out it was a full fledged 24 minute 12 episode season. At first, based on a few clips I saw online I wondered how an anime of this nature would fill the time and keep me from sleeping while watching….

“When high school student Sora Kashiwagi finds himself staring down a mysterious oversized package sent to him by his self-proclaimed “adventurer” father, the last thing he expects is for it to be opened from the inside… by a little mummy so small it can fit in the palm of his hand!” – Synopsis Via MAL.net

Adorableness is the heart of this anime, and it’s something that pulled me in from the get go. Mii-kun the little mummy is like a little pet who loves attention, but at the same time is quite intelligent and listens to Sora. There are the other mythical beings that show up as well; Conny the stubborn oni child, Isao the mini dragon, and Mukumuku the super sprinting dream-eating baku. All of them are like animated stuffed animals that are just so cute, especially how they show they care for their owners.

While Mii-kun and friends are in the spotlight, I also noticed and enjoyed seeing the friendship growing between all of the main human characters. Sora is the extremely friendly type who always tries to help everyone else before himself. Besides his glaring-eyed childhood friend Tazuki who encounters Conny , he also befriends Motegi-chan and Daichi and helps them befriend their respective supernatural creatures Isao and Mukumuku.

This anime is great for people who would love a perfect pet or animal partner to look after. Who wouldn’t like a palm-sized plushie type of creature who loves your company and responds by helping you out when it can? I know I would, and for that is why I recommend this show for Slice-of-Life anime fans.

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Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

This anime is all about the roller coaster of youth and figuring out how you want to fulfill it. Here’s a synopsis from MAL.net:

“Filled with an overwhelming sense of wonder for the world around her, Mari Tamaki has always dreamt of what lies beyond the reaches of the universe. However, despite harboring such large aspirations on the inside, her fear of the unknown and anxiety over her own possible limitations have always held her back from chasing them. But now, in her second year of high school, Mari is more determined than ever to not let any more of her youth go to waste. Still, her fear continues to prevent her from taking that ambitious step forward—that is, until she has a chance encounter with a girl who has grand dreams of her own.

Spurred by her mother’s disappearance, Shirase Kobuchizawa has been working hard to fund her trip to Antarctica. Despite facing doubt and ridicule from virtually everyone, Shirase is determined to embark on this expedition to search for her mother in a place further than the universe itself. Inspired by Shirase’s resolve, Mari jumps at the chance to join her. Soon, their efforts attract the attention of the bubbly Hinata Miyake, who is eager to stand out, and Yuzuki Shiraishi, a polite girl from a high class background. Together, they set sail toward the frozen south.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho follows the captivating journey of four spirited girls, all in search of something great.”

Originally I wasn’t planning to watch it, but midway through the season I heard good things about it so I decided to give it a try. This show has a fantastic story about growing your own dreams into reality, though hard work, willpower, and the help of teamwork. I enjoyed watching them all make it to Antarctica, a place that they could only image back in Japan. It’s like that feeling of how you plan for a trip a year in advance, and once you finally go and get to your destination, you feel like you’ve accomplished a big goal leading up to getting there.

My only issue with the show was the ending; it felt a bit rushed. It was like they just arrived at the Inland Base, and all of a sudden it switches to a frantic search for any sign of Shirase’s mother. I felt there should have been a scene in-between those two where Shirase realizes that she is where her mother was last before going off on the search. Besides that, the moment where she sees all the unsent E-mails was very emotional, and I almost shed a tear at that point. Their farewell to Antarctica was well deserved after all the hard work they did as part of the team, and I’m glad that they all had a fulfilling time there. I feel that all four of them will be able to move on in their lives, proud of a trip that most cannot say they have done before, exploring a place farther than anyone can really go on our planet, besides space of course.

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Yuru Camp△

Clearly the winner for the most comfiest anime I’ve seen, Yuru Camp is an anime about winter camping in Japan. In this Slice-of-life show where cute girls do cute things, I found myself loving the laid back style of the anime, alongside the humor and scenic vistas that the animation art had to offer.

Yuru Camp doesn’t have much of a story, as with most Slice-of-Life animes. In this case, each episode or two had camping scenes where it either focused on the solo Rin or the Outdoors Club members planning and camping. It showed the best of both worlds; Rin the solo camper tended to like going out on her own to enjoy her own pace, something I can understand. There are some benefits to traveling on your own, primarily not having to worry about planning around others especially if the trip is something that you are the planner of. However the best camping scenes usually happened when Rin and Nadeshiko and company camped together. Because Nadeshiko is new to camping, her reactions to discovering the joys of it are purely blissful. As an experienced camper, Rin seems to enjoy seeing their first impressions of things that she is used to.

You can probably say that this anime is a good marketer of camping supplies as well. Most of the items mentioned in the show are real, like the different kinds of sleeping bags and tents, and cooking supplies. It was interesting to have explanations for how to use them and for what specific purposes they were best for. And to keep it more or less down to reality, real prices were shown as a key point for what the high school group could actually afford. I’ve gone camping once myself with friends, and it was definitely a learning experience: Bringing the essentials, managing space in a car, knowing the area around the campsite, anticipating changing weather conditions, etc.

I thoroughly enjoyed this anime though seeing Nadeshiko’s initial reactions and experiences, and learning about things about camping I did not know. As I mentioned before I have not really gone camping besides the one trip I had last year, and I’m also not much of an outdoors person. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to try new things, as I’m a naturally curious person just like Nadeshiko is, which is why I can relate to her. When I finished this anime I actually started looking up campsites in my area, just to consider options if I were to try going camping on my own as an overnight trip.