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Winter Anime Season 2019 – Review April 11, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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There’s a pretty good amount of animes airing this season, hopefully signaling what’s to come for the rest of the year. The anime opening songs are also pretty good as well, which is getting me to make APVs (Anime Piano Videos) more often. 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:

Date A Live Ⅲ

Domestic na Kanojo

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Gotoubun no Hanayome

Sword Art Online: Alicization

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

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


 

Date A Live Ⅲ

Date A Live III continues where season 2 ended, and I do like the return of a more serious tone that the first season had and the second season didn’t have. Season 3 focuses on the spirits of Natsumi and the Origami story, which were quite dramatic to say the least. While I felt that this season was more focused on the spirits’ problem, it also introduced the potential origin of spirits, and that’s probably going to be explored in a future season. I will say that the final episode felt out of place, like it should have been an OVA. I know that it was suppose to be connected with the vast amount of spirit energy that Shido is sealing/harboring, but still it definitely like a weird way to end the season.

—–

Domestic na Kanojo

In this season’s adult themed drama, “Natsuo Fujii is in love with his teacher, Hina. Attempting to forget his feelings towards her, Natsuo goes to a mixer with his classmates where he meets an odd girl named Rui Tachibana. In a strange turn of events, Rui asks Natsuo to sneak out with her and do her a favor. To his surprise, their destination is Rui’s house—and her request is for him to have sex with her. There’s no love behind the act; she just wants to learn from the experience. Thinking that it might help him forget about Hina, Natsuo hesitantly agrees.

After this unusual encounter Natsuo now faces a new problem. With his father remarrying, he ends up with a new pair of stepsisters; unfortunately, he knows these two girls all too well. He soon finds out his new siblings are none other than Hina and Rui! Now living with both the teacher he loves and the girl with whom he had his “first time,” Natsuo finds himself in an unexpected love triangle as he climbs ever closer towards adulthood.”

I found this anime to be a fantasization of young love gone wrong. Of course when your young, you’re still learning from experience what is right or wrong, so it may not be clear what to do than just following your heart which is what Natuso seemed to be doing. He got himself into a love triangle that’s worse than your typical one, a forbidden one at that. I just didn’t see any way that he could of gotten out of it unscathed. One was his teacher, and the other was a same age/classmate, but once they became his (step) siblings that just added salt to the wound. The conclusion was probably the best that could have happened for all parties involved, and a lesson learned is knowledge gained.

—–

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

This anime is a rehabilitating tale of having a cat as a roommate. “Novelist Subaru Mikazuki, who is shy and not good with other people, and Haru, the cat that has been living a severe stray life. This is a story of them suddenly living together and describes the happiness of living together from both points of view.”

In the beginning of the anime, Subaru morns the death of his parents, which causes him to keep to himself as he views the outside world as bothersome. When visiting his parents’ grave, he comes across a stray cat which he ends up keeping as he found that he inspires his imagination for his novel writing. By having someone to care for and vice versa, Subaru slowly learns to enjoy the company of others.

I found this anime to be quite a warm tale of a person and his cat. I love that we get the perspectives from both sides, Subaru and Haru respectively. This is definitely family friendly anime that anyone can watch.

—–

Gotoubun no Hanayome

This season’s “Waifu” generator is The Quintessential Quintuplets, a story about “A high school boy [who] must work part-time to help five sisters study so they can graduate, but the only thing these quintuplets have in common is that they all hate studying!”

“Fuutarou Uesugi took the tutoring gig because he was desperate for cash, but when his students—the five beautiful daughters of a wealthy businessman—find five times the excuses to slack off, what can he do?! At this rate, the sisters won’t graduate, so if he wants to get paid, Fuutarou must think of a plan to suit each of them… Which feels hopeless when five out of five of them think he’s a loser!”

With a fantastic seiyuu (Voice actors) cast, this anime was an interesting one to watch. It was one that focused more on building relationships rather than forced fanservice scenes, which is always welcome in a harem type show. What was also nice was that our MC Fuutarou wasn’t a pushover; he may be a bookworm but he knows how to be social as well when he needs to be. He probably was more so when he was in his delinquent looking days. The final episode tries to put a ring on the series, both figuratively and literally, but I do hope we get more in the future.

Also, I’m rooting for you Miku….

—–

Sword Art Online: Alicization

I finally got myself into watching Sword Art Online: Alicization, after putting it off for quite a while. It was already about a little more than halfway through when I first started it. In this season 3 of SAO, we find Kirito once again stuck in a virtual world, due to a fated encounter with a Laughing Coffin member in the real world putting him into a life-threatening state. To save him, he was placed in a new type of virtual world called The Underworld under Project Alicization, a top-secret government project run by Rath to create the first Highly Adaptive Artificial Intelligence (Bottom-up AI). As Kirito’s body was affected greatly by poison stabbed from said Laughing Coffin member, in order for his mind to be saved while his body recovered, his soul or “Fluctlight” was transferred over to the virtual world. Unknowing to most though, there was more to it than that…

I don’t want to write an entire summary of the anime like I tend to for context purposes, so I’ll stop there for that. I think that this season has definitely been a breath of fresh air, as was have a new cast of characters around Kirito that isn’t his usual harem. Things are once again grim when it comes to virtual world and human morals, with Kirito the outsider from the real “unknown” world influencing artificial beings who are human in their own ways. His aim is to once again figure out the mysteries of this virtual world and why things are the way they are.

There are a few scenes that stand out to me in this season. I like all scenes of Kirito and Eugeo using sword skills, as it hails back to the SAO days. Probably the most rage inducing scene was the attempted rape of Kirito and Eugeo’s Sword Academy underlings. You could feel Eugeo fighting against the system in an attempt to save the girls from what the system thought was right but is morally wrong, something that the virtual world sorely lacks, human morality. One of the small scenes that made me laugh is when Kirito is told by Cardinal that the Administrator, the one who controls the Axiom Church, resides on the 100th floor of the Central Cathedral. You can tell from Kirito’s reaction to this news that he’s thinking “Not again”.

As for the conclusion to the season, it was alright in my opinion. It certainly did feel a bit like a recycled idea though, Kirito going against the “God” of the virtual world. I’m glad that we did get to see Kirito dual wield, and of course it would have been welcome if he tried to use Starburst Stream, but in the situation he was in it was understandable that he didn’t. Because Quinella knew the inner workings of The Seed, the base code for what The Underworld was based on, she would have been able to counter any sword skills he used just like his against Kayaba. Once Kirito realized that she knew about sword skills, his experience from his fight with Kayaba reminded him to fight only using his swordsmanship techniques and not sword skills. The outcome was expected, but the aftermath was not. I am definitely looking forward to watching the story continue in the second part of the season called “War of Underworld” airing in the Fall 2019 season.

—–

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

The Rising of the Shield Hero is one my favorites if not my favorite of the isekai genre, as we have a fantastic cast, cool battles, and a story that draws you in. I’m happy that the season is 25 episodes long, which means more time for world building and storytelling. Here’s a synopsis from MAL.net:

“Stories of old tell of four otherworldly heroes—wielding the sword, spear, bow, and shield—who defended the land from wave after wave of calamity. With the fate of the world in balance, the kingdom of Melromarc summons these legendary figures; in modern-day Japan, the call is answered, and the unwitting heroes are transported to this fantasy universe.

Thrust into Melromarc and given the title of “Shield Hero,” otaku Naofumi Iwatani is labeled the weakest due to his lack of offensive capability and apparent inexperience. When the heroes part ways to start their journeys, he only has one willing companion: the beautiful princess Malty Melromarc. However, she soon betrays him, steals all his money, and accuses him of taking advantage of her.

For his alleged crimes, Naofumi is branded a criminal and made outcast of society. With hatred filling his heart, he sets out alone, vowing vengeance against those who wronged him.”

When I saw the first episode (which was double-length) the events that unfolded with Myne betraying Naofumi triggered me so much that I was thinking about it throughout the next day while I was at work. I did figure that something was going down when she was trying to get him to drink while at the inn, but the realization didn’t come soon enough when we see what happens in the morning. From there we can understand Naofumi’s trust issues with anyone, but he also knew that he needed help to fight. He recruits Raphtalia from a slave trader and together they take on the first wave. She’s the first person to see who Naofumi really is, which helps him to know that not everyone is his enemy and that there are people who truly believe in him as the Shield Hero. At the halfway point of the season, Naofumi now has Filo and Melty as well in his party, and they are heading to meet the Queen. We’ll probably learn the reasons behind the animosity by the King against the Shield Hero soon, something to do with demi-humans and the King’s family.

I like how this different world shows that there are multiple versions of our world as we know it as well, from how each summoned Hero comes from a different version of Japan. I also like how while this world is not a video game per se, it seems to operate as such to the Heroes and related party members by special Status magic. This “magic” acts as a way to build their skills similarly to a RPG type game. While we don’t see much of the Spear, Sword, and Bow abilities, the Shield seems more accustomed towards defense/counter and support. Naofumi’s fighting style tends to defend the first strikes to gauge an enemy’s attacks, then counters as necessary. With the addition of Raphtalia and Filo fighting on the frontline, he’s able to call strategies and protect them from the rear. In the case of powerful foes, he brings out his Rage Shield which feeds on his rage, giving him greater power by granting a barrier of fire that he can either use as defense or to attack with.

I’m really hyped with where this anime is going, and I’m definitely looking forward to watching the rest of the season. Hoping already that there will be a second season.

—–

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

The second half of Slime showed more of Rimuru flexing his abilities and intellect to solve problems in this new world. Yes he always has a cool and mature demeanor that comes from living as a adult, but after a while of watching OP slime easily defeating bosses and enemies, it gets a bit old. I know that the gimmick of his abilities is that he will exponentially get stronger from new abilities he absorbs, but when a fight is just a one-sided battle every time, it’s predictable which dampens the experience.

At the end of the season, things wrap up well for Rimuru and his alliance. He is able to save the summoned children who Shizue could not, and gave them a chance at a future, hopfully one we’ll see in the future, as a second season has already been announced to air sometime next year. The teaser image from that announcement has Rimuru in a more dark and black outfit which makes me think that he will become a demon lord, something he has been asked about before. While he is strong, he is no way the strongest as the other demon lords seem to one up him as seen through his analysis of Millim, who seems to wield more power than him. I’ll definitely be watching the second season to see the evolution of Rimuru Tempest.

—–

Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Continuing from the previous anime season, Index III was still as confusing as ever. Focus wise it did have a “final boss” that helped somewhat to unite a bunch of groups to fight against, as well as streamlining the story to a purely good vs. evil fight. With three main characters’ stories going on at the same time (Touma, Accelerator, Hamazura), it’s hard to flesh them out and thus hurts their image and causes to the viewer. As far as I can see, Touma was our main hero with plot armor/monologue/Image “turn any bad guy into good” Breaker. Accelerator is of course our anti-hero, who deems himself unworthy of being a good hero until Touma tells him otherwise, fighting to protect Last Order and the Sisters. Hamazura is your average Level 0 with good luck, fighting on the sidelines as part of Acacemy City’s dark side’s group ITEM. Misaka and Index play relatively small parts in this third season, both playing as support and captive respectively.

The last few episodes pretty much boiled down to everyone vs. Fiamma of the Right. With Touma using his two main abilities, Image Breaker and hero monologuing, he wins against Fiamma with relative minimal damage, even when his right arm was cut off. An expected outcome.

The third season of Index suffered greatly from trying to tell three main characters’ stories in each episode. Even if they separated and told a single character’s story in each episode, it still would come off as fragmented and disconnected to the story that’s happening at the same time for all of them. While I don’t have an idea on how they could have done the story more effectively, what I do know is that if they had the budget and time, aka more episodes to spread out the content, maybe we would of had more world building to help with the amount of religious/scientific terms that randomly comes up to explain certain phenomenon. If the source material (light novel/manga) can do it, so can a good anime adaptation. The end of the season hinted that there’s more to come in the story of A Certain Magical Index, but just like how long we waited for this season to come, it may be a few more years until we get more on screen. Hopefully the company producing the series will learn from mistakes to make the watching experience less complicated and more enticing.

—–

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

“One day, fifth-grader Hinata Hoshino brings her friend Hana Shirosaki to her house, and Hinata’s sister Miyako, a college student, falls in love with Hana at first sight. Miyako manages to get along with Hana somehow, but her clumsy behavior and shyness make Hana wary. Even so, Hana gradually opens up to Miyako, who wants to become closer to her.” – Synopsis via MAL.net

Basically Miyako aka Myaa-nee is a super shy person who likes to make cosplay and sweets. When meeting her sister Hinata’s friends, she learns to overcome her shyness a little bit at a time. This show is a sweet comedy, with Miyako acting as the sometimes creepy adult who admires a little girl a little too much. This show has been compared to UzaMaid!, albeit less cringeworthy due to less of an age gap and adult-like terminology. Besides Miyako’s obsession over Hana like Kamoi over Misha in UzaMaid!, Miyako has a “friend” who obsesses over her in the form of Matsumoto, just like Midori over Kamoi. Basically both shows have people who like a person too much that that person holds them at bay. Besides that it was a fun anime that I enjoyed watching Miyoko’s awkward shyness cause unwarranted problems.

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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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.


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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