Super Lovers Season 2 Anime Review

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As you probably guessed from my review of Season 1, I’m not a huge fan of this series, so it was with much procrastination that I finally decided to sit down and binge through all of the episodes. And, I have to say, my opinion hasn’t changed that much. I was kind of hoping that season two would at least be a little better, but I’m still seeing a lot of the same problems as I saw in the last season. The major problem being that Haru, one of the major characters, is boring and flat. This does not mean, however that the show doesn’t touch on some interesting subjects and display some pretty good animation, but these good points seem only skin-deep to me.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch the first season yet, I highly recommend watching it or at least reading my season one review before continuing. There was a huge point of contention among anime and yaoi fandom with this series that I touch on there that I won’t be returning to in this review. For those who need a refresher on plot, Super Lovers follows the life of Haru who goes to visit his mother in Canada only to find that he has a new adopted brother named Ren. While he prefers the company of dogs over people, Ren quickly becomes attached to Haru, vowing to follow him to Japan once he is older. However, when Haru returns to Japan, he is involved in a serious accident that takes the lives of his father and step-mother as well as wiping all his memories of Ren. So when Ren shows up at his door, he must figure out how to live and relate to his family again. Continue reading

Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Anime Review

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Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid was one of those animes last season that it took me a couple tries to get into, but when I finally did, I could see why so many people were gushing about it. Written and illustrated by Coolkyoushinja — with a spin-off manga by Mitsuhiro Kimura — the series was picked up by Kyoto Animation for the anime adaptation. Most famous for Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyoto Animation manages to implement a distinctly moe style that enhances the moments of action through contrast. But its animation isn’t the only going for it. Kobayashi also creates empathy and moments of relatability through some truly heartwarming moments.

The story behind Kobayashi follows the life of computer programmer Kobayashi who suddenly finds herself face-to-face with a dragon one morning after a long night of drinking. Taking the shape of a young woman, Touru informs Kobayashi that she is her new maid. Touru quickly integrates herself into her new master’s life, taking care of day-to-day concerns as well as introducing Kobayashi to a few new dragons friends who are both curious and wary of humans. Continue reading

Scum’s Wish Anime Review

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Scum’s Wish is a tough show to talk about. Airing in the Winter 2017 season through Amazon’s Anime Strike service, this 12 episode series has become extremely contentious among anime fans. It took me writing the first two paragraphs of this review, watching the show again, and then rewriting this review for my opinions to really solidify. On one side are fans who love the series for its use of paneling, visuals, and display of sex in a normalized lens. On the other are people who see the characters as flat, only interested in their love problems, or as, in one instance, extreme caricatures with no believable substance or backstory. On this side, the paneling and directing create an almost oppressive atmosphere that can make each episode a slog to get through. In a way, I think I’ve found myself in the middle of this argument somewhere, though as I’ve thought more and more, I’ve slipped further into the latter side of things.

The story of Scum’s Wish follows the struggles of Mugi and Hanabi who have both fallen for different teachers at their high school. Hanabi wishes for her “big brother” from childhood to return her feelings, while Mugi longs for the attention of his former tutor-turned-teacher. When they both notice the other’s love interests becoming closer to one another, Mugi and Hanabi look to each other for comfort. Through a pinky-swear, they agree to be the fill-in for each other’s unrequited love, acting as a replacement until the time when one of them manages to succeed at gaining their love interest’s affection. Continue reading

The Great Passage Anime Review

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The Great Passage is, I would have to say, one of the biggest dark horses of the Winter 2017 anime season. Simulcast through Amazon’s new anime streaming service, Anime Strike, it definitely didn’t get the attention it deserved. I also think this is one of the few anime to be adapted from a full novel, not light novel or manga. Originally written by Shion Miura, it has gone through one live action drama adaption before being picked up by Studio Zexcs for the animation, and boy does the medium lend well to the overall story. The skill shown in the visual storytelling of this anime is breathtaking at times, really showcasing how an adaptation to a new medium can breath new life into a story.

The story of The Great Passage follows the life of a man named Majime who is currently working in sales at a major publisher in Japan. The only problem is that he has trouble finding the right words to use when communicating with people, especially clients. When the dictionary department needs a new editor to complete their most ambitious work yet, Majime somehow gets recruited into their ranks. But this proves to be the perfect fit for him as he is fascinated by the multiple connotations behind words, always searching for the best way to communicate and connect with people. The department’s dictionary steadily becomes his ship across a sea of words. Continue reading

Your Name isn’t my Favorite Anime Movie, but it was Good Overall [Extended Review]

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Your Name has to be one of the most hyped up anime movies of all time. It grossed about 23 Billion Yen (190 Million USD) in Japan, coming in second behind Spirited Away on the charts for most popular domestic movie. This is a first for a movie not directed by Miyazaki to top the charts in any meaningful way. But that was last August. The hype has been growing ever since leading up to the much-publicized US release which would feature both dubbed and subtitled versions in choice theaters around the country.

My Facebook feed has been inundated with both Funimation news about the upcoming release as well as fans and critics adding their excitement and opinions (if they managed to see it early). Finally, that energy crested this weekend with the official release on Friday, and I found myself the following day staring at a crowded theater in Boston wondering if I was ever going to find a seat that wouldn’t eventually hurt my neck. Honestly, even with all the hype behind the movie, I was a little surprised at the large turnout even in a fairly sized city like Boston. But, armed with an oversized popcorn and soda — the smallest size you can get — I managed to a find a relatively good seat and settled in for my second viewing on Your Name.

[There will be spoilers ahead] Continue reading

I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying Anime Review

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This short-form anime is just three and a half minutes long but is packed with romance, comedy, and slice-of-life moments that make you want to keep watching. Like most short-form series, this anime started as a 4-Koma webcomic created by Cool-kyō Shinja which was then compiled into volumes. The anime adaptation started airing in 2014 for 13 episodes and received a second season the following year. Created by Studio Seven, you can see their long history with moe anime throughout this show, but that certainly doesn’t detract from the show at all.

I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying follows the lives of a husband and wife who couldn’t be more different from each other. The husband, Hajime, is a complete otaku who works as a web designer and obsesses over figurines and manga. Kaoru, the wife, is a more “normal” person who likes socializing with her friends and works a regular office job. Throughout the series, their differences in interests and culture clash, but they both work hard to try and understand one another. Continue reading

Doukyuusei Anime Film Review

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As part of last season’s shows, Doukyuusei slipped through my radar mainly due to it not being aired on the various anime streaming services I follow, but I managed to track it down just a short while ago and I have not regretted it. Doukyuusei is a short, hour-long movie that combines some great animation with a sweet romance to produce a truly entertaining Boys Love film. For fans of Boys Love I really can’t recommend this enough.

For anyone interested, here’s a quick synopsis:

Rihito Sajou is an honor student who got perfect scores in every subject on his high school entrance exam. Hikaru Kusakabe plays guitar in his band that performs at live events and is popular among the girls. These boys would have never crossed paths. But one day Hikaru offers to help Rihito prepare for their upcoming chorus festival and the two begin to talk. As the two meet after school, they feel one another’s sound, listen to each other’s voice, and begin to harmonize as their hearts beat together. Continue reading

Natsuyuki Rendezvous Anime Review

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Natsuyuki Rendezvous was simulcast aired and was simulcast by Crunchyroll in 2012, and it’s a shame I didn’t get around to watching it until now. This anime is not your typical romance, geared towards an older audience and dealing mostly with how people process grief over the loss of a loved one. Strong animation and vibrant colors help bring out the show’s emphasis on nature, flowers, and the individual characters that are the life of this anime. Packed with drama, grief, and the discovery of new love, Natsuyuki Rendezvous gives us a show that can be deeply introspective while crafting a tale of the process of moving on after death from both sides of the veil.

If you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, here’s a quick synopsis:

After falling in love with the owner of a flower shop near his apartment, Hazuki decides to take up a part-time job there. But as he grows closer to Rokka, his manager, details about her past begin to be uncovered particularly when the ghost of her dead husband appears. It just so happens that Rokka’s ex-husband died at a young age due to cancer but still cannot let go of their relationship. As Hazuki tries to do his best to persuade Rokka to go on a date with him, her husbands lingering ghost does his best to get in their way. Continue reading

I’ve Always Liked You Anime Film Review

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I’ve Always Liked You is an hour-long film that appeared on the Crunchyroll simulcast list last season. I was meaning to watch it then, started watching a bit of it, but wound up only finishing it this week. The film is based on a Vocaloid song produced by Honey Works but manages to combine their music and the films plot in such a way that it wasn’t that obvious until the end. With some of their other music interspersed throughout, this anime presents a story about three different couples, each learning about love in their own way whether it be questions about what it means to date, fears about losing a good friend, or what it means to actually be in love. The whole move comes off as a sweet but pretty standard shoujo romance.

Here’s a brief synopsis to get you started:

The movie begins with Natsuki confessing her love for her childhood friend Yuu, but then chickening out and claiming that it was merely practice for her real confession. Yuu eventually agrees to help her practice her confessions, all the while wondering if he can really support her in the end. The next couple is Mio and Haruki, who are close friends bordering on boyfriend and girlfriend. Mio is also having trouble confessing her feelings, wondering what would change if they became boyfriend and girlfriend. While Haruki seems nonchalant about the whole thing, he too is wondering if they should take the next step in their relationship. The last relationship is between Akari and Mochizuki. Mochizuki has always admired Akari from afar, but never had the courage to confess let alone talk to her. Akari is someone who has never fallen in love, but when Mochizuki finally gets up the courage to talk to her, will that change? Continue reading

Winter 2017 Anime First Impressions

Welcome back for another installment of Anime First Impressions! The new Winter 2017 has some interesting shows coming out this time as well as some not-so-interesting ones. All of the shows I’m going mention here adhere to my blog’s genre theme of romance and all come from Crunchyroll’s simulcast list. But, I’ll also list briefly the shows I’ve been watching that don’t fit into these parameters at the end of this post. You can also keep track of what I’ve been watching or reading on my Kitsu page, which is like a Goodreads for anime and manga.

But enough of that. Here’s some of the Winter 2017 anime’s I’ve been watching:

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Fuuka (2 episodes in)

This show revolves around a boy, obsessed with Twitter, who moves to a new school. While walking around Tokyo, he meets a blue-haired girl who mistakes his raised phone for him taking a picture of her and promptly slaps it out of his hands. The girl, Fuuka, is a lover of music and a general tom-boy. After forming an unlikely friendship with him, she drags him and another person into forming a light-music club at their school in order to start making music of her own.

This show starts out as a pretty typical shonen romance, with gratuitous up-skirt panty shots and tsundere antics that are sure to appeal to a lot of male views. However, I wouldn’t write this show off just yet as it still has a few things that I found appealing and entertaining. For one, the show is supposed to focus on the formation of a band and the music they create together, so as long as it doesn’t turn out to be like K-ON, I think it could be interesting. The art style and animation throughout the episodes so far has been really strong as well, with a lot of vibrant colors and details.

There are a couple things that could be annoying such as the love triangle between him, Fuuka, and his childhood-friend-turned-singer. If the show continues as the first episode did, we could also be seeing more fanservice in the future.

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Masamune-kun’s Revenge (2 episodes in)

This shonen romance revolves around the premise that a previously overweight boy returns to his old school a changed and more handsome person and intends to exact revenge on the girl who rejected him. So far the show’s love interest is tsundere-esque girl who hates men of every kind, preferring to give them insulting nicknames and ostracize them instead. Not to mention that the main character isn’t that great either, believing that the only thing you need to be successful is to be handsome. Also, his mom looks like a 5 year old with the amount of moe they tried to inject into the show.

I may give this one a few more episodes to see how it goes, and it may be entertaining for the pure comedic value. Episode two starts to venture into a little more weirdness with the start of the weird lackey character getting herself involved in their feud. Who knows, but give it a try if the premise sounds interesting to you and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Seiren (1 episode in)

The third shonen romance this season that puts a spin on it by also being a harem anime. It markets itself as the story of the main character’s “pure” relationship between three different heroines and the memories he makes with them. Honestly, I question the validity of this being described as pure as the first episode has a girl getting up off a desk and leaving behind a fading imprint of her butt, but that’s just me. It does include the standard high school drama of studying for entrance exams and finding out what you want to do in the future, so that might balance it out a bit. But I think this one might be right on the edge of dropping for me.

I’ll give it a couple more episodes to see what happens, but I’m predicting dropping this one. That is unless it does something interesting or terrible that warrants its own review on this blog.

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Super Lovers Season 2 (1 episode in)

Here we go again, another season of Super Lovers. If you’ve read my review of the first season, you may know my opinions of this show lean towards the negative. If you haven’t read that review, I’d give it a look before reading this.

The first episode picks up right where the last season leaves off after Haruko makes her appearance with the threat that she’s going to take Ren back to Switzerland. This episode feels packed with plot, but ultimately the danger posed by Haruko dissipates pretty quickly as there seems to be little actual threat that Ren will actually move to Switzerland. What we do get is though is more of a look at Haruko who is honestly a little more of an interesting character than Haru at this point. We also get a brief and glossed over plot point of Ren almost having to give up Tanuki and the reiterated, kind of creepy reference that Ren and Haru still kind of see each other as brothers even as they start making out.

I probably won’t drop this one though as it will most definitely get its own review at the end of the season. My opinion most likely won’t change, but we’ll see how it plays out.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2

I don’t have much to say about this season yet as I’m still working on an upcoming review of the first. However, if this season is anything like the first, I’m predicting I’ll love it. If you don’t know, this show is a historical drama set in post-war Japan centered around the storytelling art called Rakugo. Performers of this art must sit at all times and only have their upper body, expressions, and voice to rely on to convey their story. But Japan’s culture is going through some major changes at this time, and performers are forced to watch as their art slowly dies out. All of this happens in the background as the story focuses on two sets of performers, jumping between the past and the present.

My understanding is that this season will focus more on the present and the lives of the two younger apprentices while also posing the question: should Rakugo change with the times or be preserved? Keep a look out for my review of season one coming very soon.

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Ancient Magus’ Bride OVA

This is another that I can’t quite speak to yet as the episode slated for this season has yet to be released, but if the first episode from last season was anything to go off of, I’m very excited. You can read my review for the manga this prequel OVA is based off of here.

That does it for this first impressions review. Be sure to tune in later for more anime, manga, and comic reviews. New updates post twice a week, usually every Saturday and Wednesday. Here are some other shows I’m watching this season: March comes in like a lion S2, All Out!! S2, and Spiritpact. Be sure to follow be on Kitsu to see what I drop or keep watching.