Category Archives: Spring 2014

Soul Eater Not! – 7 – 12 (END)

So I never gave my final thoughts on this show (This was around when I was finishing up Super Fighting Bros with Irriadin and things got a bit hectic). Throw that in there with three jobs and the engaged life and there is little time for taiwanese or chinese cartoons. Keep in mind that I ended up finishing this series in early July, so I am going off what I remember about it.

Nothing I’ve ever said on here has been particularly insightful or well thought out but I’m going to attempt to scrape the surface – Soul Eater Not! was a departure in tone that paid off. Whether it was just an excuse to see characters that we know and love remains to be seen but it pulled off a story worthy of the soul eater universe, albeit much smaller in scale but similar in theme. If you enjoyed Soul Eater and love the patented “Cute girls doing cute things,” then there’s a lot for you to appreciate here. Heck, I’d even argue that the latter is not necessary.

There’s what I feel about the series in a broad stroke – let’s talk about other things that don’t really matter. I guess the Gorgon family is full of complete assholes, huh? Interesting to see that the root of almost all evil in this universe spawns from one family (Save the Kishin, of course!)

The scene in the 7th episode with Eternal Feather essentially suiciding was particularly dark for this show but didn’t lack any impact – This pretty much set the show into its endgame, which I quite enjoyed. The last few episodes in particular were straight out of the original show. Let me say that I love it when a show departs or contrasts its original tone as starkly as it is done here. It takes me back to 2006 when I first saw Haruhi and found out that it wasn’t a slice of life show (Nagato’s info dump in the third episode). It pulled the genre out from under me – Haruhi’s genre is one of the best kept secrets about it, in my opinion. I never tell those that have no prior knowledge of it anything about it beyond “It’s a SOL show, you’ll like it, trust me.” Admittedly, that’s a bit of a weak hook, but nobody has ever told me I was doing them a disservice afterwards.

I love the characters. This show even got me to like a prim and proper princess character with a bit of tsun in her, an archetype I’m not usually fond of. Who’d also ever thought that Meme wasn’t forgetting things because she was amazingly stupid but because she was under the influence of a witch’s deep hypnosis? Foreshadowing that was excellently executed and I never saw coming. I’m probably an idiot for not seeing it coming, too. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, so whatever.

Most excitingly? We finally figured out how Cid died, although it was 7 years too late, lol. I always wondered if they killed him just for the sake of effect in episode 4 of the original series (That would be excrutiatingly stupid if so).

Thumbs up for this show, big time.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? – 8 – 12 (END)

I know, I know. For so long, so many of you have likely been wondering when the biggest question I’ve ever posed would be answered. That is, when will you find out whether the order is a rabbit?

Was it a rabbit? Maybe a goat? Perhaps it was spaghetti with marinara. Was the order a rabbit or not? For weeks, months even, I have neglected to answer this question in order to keep you waiting in earnest (because I am an asshole).

I am pleased to announce that the order was indeed a rabbit. Gentlemen, this is what we as a human race have been striving f- okay fuck this, being histrionic is losing its appeal to me very quickly.

So what can I say about this show? The last four episodes were, quite honestly, the best four episodes in the entire series. More than ever before did I find myself watching in earnest to see how my favorite little blobs would end up interacting. It went from a “fun” SOL to an absolutely, brutally cute and endearing one. I absolutely love our busty, mature writer – she’s so cute and floaty. This is a bit less objective, but Chiya and the writer woman are my absolute two favorites. They’re just so damn cute, seriously.

We’ve seen them celebrate christmas, scramble for presents, grow closer, learn more about each other, idolize one another, work together, and play together – The “Rabbit” family is a tight knit one that got closer than family in the last few episodes (Can’t forget about Chino’s classmates, both of whom are adorable). I feel like it took us too long to meet and become familiar with all of them and once we were, they were gone. It was over.

Uh, Rabbit? I’m not done yet, please give me my friends back. Chiya, miss writer, Cocoa, Chino, Rize? I’ll miss you. Please come back home soon. Love, your dad.

Hitsugi no Chaika – 10 – 12 (END)

Chaika, destroyer of breads, destroyer of worlds. How many breads has Chaika destroyed?

Chaika leaves us on a high note with an action packed, interesting finale full of, once again, excellent pacing and genuine intrigue. Have I ever used the word intrigue without being immediately preceded with “genuine”? I really think I ought to start fleshing out my vocabulary. Next I’ll be saying other new things like “Intensely Interesting”, wow that’s a new one!! Sorry. I am prone to using the same phrases over and over again.

Now tell me what isn’t amazing about this: A floating fortress, women missing from a town, an evil duke’s son that likes to cut people up, a blue chaika, Chaika’s true nature and origin revealed, teaming up with former allies and finally lots of Fredericka kicking huge amounts of ass. Recipes for success abound, Chaika manages to grab the ball and run straight through the field goal and into the bleachers with these ideas in an explosive finale. Even Gillette bit the dust – maybe they’ll fund a line of razor blades for men in his honor.

Chaika headshotting blue Chaika was amazing to me – seriously I thought she had some real blood on her hands! Too bad she lived from that though. I don’t think anybody was really surprised that Chaika is an artificial creation, as are her “sisters”.

By the way, I feel like an idiot for not realizing this, but Guy? Either he is Emperor Gaz or he’s the one that created the artificial Chaika’s. Maybe both if Gaz is the one that created them after all! That would explain Guy’s immaterial form, strange inside knowledge, and ulterior motive for helping Chaika now, wouldn’t it? I’ve yet to read any synopsis to see if this was corroborated (maybe everyone else figured this out a month ago, I’m dumb) but that’s my gut feeling as it answers all those questions in one feel swoop.

Chaika season two is hitting us this fall! We’ll see for sure then.

Hitsugi no Chaika – 7 – 9

How many chaikas will we see in this show? What even IS a chaika? What does being a chaika say about you, and what sort of associations can we make about these strange creatures? Without associations, being a chaika isn’t anything other than an arbitrary title – but what does it MEAN? It means one thing: You have thick fucking eyebrows.

In all seriousness, the only association that comes with being a chaika is being a daughter of Emperor Gaz. On to the episodes!

I’m a little upset we abandoned the two-episode plot structure, but we still have much to talk about. From roadblocks, thieves, Toru’s history and training to his relationship with Chaika (and the other heroes), there’s much ground covered but not too much substantial in the realm of depth – I am totally ok with that. Perhaps the most alarming revelation to me was that Toru is harboring feelings for Chaika – really now? Chaika is such a small little cute thing that it’s easy to think of her as a little sister or a tiny 10 year old – hardly as a romantic option. She’s probably older than she looks because this is an anime.

Toru’s mistrust of others is a point of great interest to me – he’s a saboteur, so he’s hardened. He knows not to trust people that randomly stop them for money. He knows not everyone is who they say they are. He knows that not everyone can be trusted with his identity or his client’s identity. But that’s what I love about the guy – he’s vigilant, smart, and diligent. There is a lot I can say about the characterization in this show – Toru and Akari are great characters that technically bring nothing new to the table – but are interesting anyway. You end up loving their personalities even though we’ve seen it before – why is that? I purport that it is because their traits are shown to us rather than being shoved down our throats, which is becoming an alarmingly common practice. Please continue with this practice as I support it.

More Chaika gushing can be saved for next time.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 13 (END)

Man, this is the last Brynhildr blog I’ll be making until the second season. Much sadness! 3 gokukoku 8 me.

So how was this finale? Honestly – lukewarm. It could have been better – that is not to say it wasn’t salvagable to some extent. Let’s start at the best of places: the beginning (please kill me).

I was surprised (Even knowing that this is Brynhildr) that they killed Kotori and Kazumi so easily. I applaud the show’s balls though – people don’t always have dramatic deaths when you think they should – sometimes making it really unexpected makes it feel more real. Kazumi is especially someone who I’ve grown to love throughout the show and I was really sad to see her so helpless. When she throws in love and her feelings regarding Ryouto, it does make your heart swell. Poor girl. Kotori’s death was much more sudden, as well. It could be argued, rather callously, that neither of their deaths even meant anything, as well – all fitting with Brynhildr’s constantly cruel motif.

That said, I did have a problem with it, but I had this problem with the entire finale – it was so rushed. Everything happened so goddamn fast and it felt like not enough attention was paid to what mattered. It’s unclear what feeling Chisato had for the valkryia, but apparently he actually did care for her and wasn’t just using her as a tool? I felt like this could have been expounded upon better, as it just felt random when it happened. The last fight between Kuro and the valkryia felt asspull-ish and wasn’t as impressive as I was hoping – I wanted a no-holds-barred superpowered smackdown, and I didn’t quite get that. I’d also like to know the reason Kuro has such potential in her – please explain show?

Let’s talk about the bad: What I did like was the organization that opposes the laboratory as well as the fact that Ryouto’s friend had made a discovery – excellent small bits of titillation that were presented with various degrees of success. In my opinion, the organization could have been presented as much more mysterious and less friendly – let them “disappear” after the events are done with the valkryia with Ryouto wondering “Who were those guys?” and you could have had an interesting conversation piece for the second season. As it is now, it comes off as a great idea with poor execution and presentation.

Also bad: the whole damn thing was so rushed. The last fight was disappointing. The last three minutes in particular were rushed even more than the rest of the finale. Kazumi lived – thanks for explaining? Her body was sawed in half. Guessing side pigtail girl saved her (Who you forgot about, by the way. Thanks Brynhildr.) That is to say nothing of the weird fantasy stuff like antimatter, which came out of nowhere. It was a bit underwhelming.

The good? It successfully completed the thought of the first season with Chisato, finished up his story, provided further insight on the world and a direction for the show to take from this point onward. Whether or not it was presented well is another story.

Brynhildr’s second half, while still solid, definitely wasn’t as strong as the first half – that said, the mediocre finale does hurt my opinion of it just a bit. I give the show a solid 7.5 or 8 – it could have been a 9.2 if it kept up the momentum in the first half however. I still love the show and look forward to any future installments. Second season soon, please?

No Game, no Life – 5 – 12 (END)

“DID YOU JUST TAKE 7 EPISODES AND PUT THEM IN ONE BLOG POST?” ~ EVERYBODY (THEY SCREAM EVEN WHEN THEY CITE THEMSELVES AND MAKE IMPLICIT DECLARTAIONS!!!)

Ok, enough screaming. So how was no game, no life? /a/ hates it, right? That probably means it’s shit – /a/ has great taste after all! Haha, ok, but seriously, how was it?

Interesting. Crazy. Sometime a little nonsensical. But the best way to sum up the experience is with the following word: Entertaining.. To those that know me, they know I am willing to put up with extraneous bullshit if it’s in the best interest of entertainment. Does this mean that NGNL has a lot of bullshit standing in its way? Honestly, not really – there are a few asspulls here and there but they’re so largely entertaining and pulled off with such spectacular bravado that I hardly even care that they’re asspulls – don’t forget, after all, that this is a work of fiction!

The show takes us from Sora and Shiro’s rise to power amongst the Imanity, taking advantage of the late king’s information he left for them and even conquering the 14th ranked race, the beastmen. The beastmen are notable for being the only race other than the Imanity unable to use magic – however, they have keen senses and supernatural strength / speed, still giving them an edge over our heroes on paper. Could you imagine what Sora would make of these people on an even playing field? In any event, Sora and Shiro enlist the aid of a flugel (Who remains powerful and terrifying even after her defeat) and defeat the beastmen at their own game, never letting themselves be taken advantage of. It was all extremely cool.

If there was any part I rolled my eyes at, it would be the part where Shiro was filling out a formula on the ground leaving the answer blank before “pretending” to be shot. The “whole pretending to be shot” bit was brilliant – the fact that she felt the need to waste massive amounts of time just to give us an implicit answer was really silly.

NGNL ends on a promise for more and an unsure implication (Am I dense? What does being a shrine maiden have to do with summoning the old deus?) Hopefully sometime next year we’ll see a continuation. I fear for Sora only because his gambits tend to be costly and heavily ride on the fact that he won’t lose. Bravado is not something in short supply – but pride goes before the fall.

Soul Eater Not! – 6

“Liz and Patty are assholes.” ~ everyone that ever watched this episode, ever.

I remember that quote, haha good times don’t you remember that too? Of course you do.

Anyone who’s watched the original Soul Eater might recall that Death the Kid’s titular weapons, Liz and Patty, had a backstory that was touched upon just a bit – they once roamed the streets of Brooklyn as partners in crime and took advantage of the weak and powerless until Death the kid showed them the error of their ways. In this episode we saw the reality that backstory paints – they were complete dickheads. It’s somewhat strange but it seems like they’re totally out of character – should they really be so mean, even as criminals? They must have done a complete 180 turn when Death came into the picture – Patty especially is nothing like the semi-retarded happy-go-lucky girl we know her to be.

Perhaps I’m not the best person to ask, also, but shouldn’t Death already be using them as his weapons? In other words, this should have happened already? I guess my Soul Eater timeline is all off. In any event, Tsugumi is deadset on getting the two girls to accept her as a friend, even to dangerous lengths. It shows that Liz and Patty are mean but aren’t evil – even when they had the chance, they chose to spare Tsugumi and her friends when they lost in a back alley duel. They couldn’t be so bad if they did that, right?

Right, essentially. Tsugumi, through much trial and error, does get them to show a humane side by the episode’s end and befriends the both of them. We’ve seen this stunt and this episode before, but it carries a bit more weight when you know the characters in question beforehand, albeit not at this stage in their life. While not entirely imaginative, it was unduly cute.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? – 5 – 7

Yes, yes, I realize I’m combining several episodes rather than just two this time – but I must confess that I am sorely behind in my schedule and I need to catch up, big time. This show is so cute to the point that I think you world would be a little sadder if you missed it – so I can’t help but talk briefly about it.

Actually just kidding, let’s just talk about how wonderful Chiya is since she’s the best thing about this show (and there are many, many good things about this show). She’s cute, kind, amiable, patient, and always sees the good in others and the world around her. Plus in that little apron, she multiplies all of these factors several times over. I wish I lived next door to Chiya. She could make me a latte anytime. Maybe I’d even go over if I needed that extra bit of milk for the cookies I’m making. Maybe we’d play Charades on Thursday nights. Maybe we’d get slammed on mondays. Who knows?

Ok, enough about Chiya (for maybe the next three minutes). Who is that mysterious blonde lady that shows up for maybe a brief minute in every episode? When will we finally get to meet her, proper? I’m intensly interested – she seems like a sweet lady.

I loved the whole bit where Rize was passing out fliers that were labeled incorrectly by our absentminded heroine, Cocoa. Usually the lackluster english gets a pass in Japan but here it seems to have been recognized by our young cast fairly quickly. The improper use of “horse” made me choke up a fair bit of my drink. These are the sorts of moments you really remember once a great SOL is over. Anyone else surprised that Rize didn’t notice the horrid grammar? She’s usually pretty sharp!

A great SOL is about great characters, their relationships, and their growth as friends. While Usagi has done such in more subtle ways than most, I have to say it’s done a decent job. Loving it so far and I’ll be sure to pick it up once it’s released stateside.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 8 – 10

“Is this fucker dead? Haven’t seen his lame ass post anything in about a month!” ~ Everybody, circa 34,000 BC
“Brynhildr – so gokukoku it ain’t even funny” ~ nobody, ever (circa 12,393 BC)

Guess what? I’m not dead! All 30 some of you that follow me on twitter probably know that already as I’ve still been posting – but our Otakon AMV ruined my life for about the past month. I haven’t touched anime, this blog, or any games for about a good month now. It’s done now, so time to get back into the groove of things!

So where were we? Oh right, Brynhildr sans about a fucking month ago. So what’s happened in Brynhildr in my absense? Admittedly, not much! Kazumi essentially raped Ryouta though – that’s worth mentioning! Wanna know what else is worth mentioning? Such a situation would NEVER happen to a person like him in real life – ever. Ok, maybe I should be talking about more plot stuff (And I’m not talking about breasts (or am I? (No, I’m not))).

This week on Brynhildr we got unruly cops who are quite honestly, complete and total jackasses, government cover ups, mysterious mind reading magicians, and pettanko rape which was turned down somehow (Dude what are you doing?!?)

Let’s first talk about how Ryouta attempts to investigate the scene that was shown to him in the device Kuroha possessed. The following scene could only be described as downright terrifying when you think about it – it hits a little too close to home. All you need to do to be apprehended on trumped up charges is be in the wrong spot with no witnesses like Ryouta. The craziness and speed at which it happened were downright goddamn incredible – seriously, were they staking the place out? It’s clear that through some collaboration with the local government and the higher-reaching scientists responsible for the magicians, they want to keep something from being found here (I AM A GENIUS LOLOL).

Beyond bloody obvious observations, it’s nice to see a show treat the idea or thought of adult relationships and sex a little more seriously than most shows – it’s not simply a matter of “Haha, she wants him and she’s naked isn’t that funny” and also skips most (admittedly, not all) of the pitfalls we get in other shows in the same situation. Let me not understate how grateful I am for that. It’s also worth noting that this sort of approach is more in fit with the show’s overall feel and tone – this shit is serious, and so are the relationships amongst our heroes.

Let me take a brief moment to highlight something related to this show as well: the soundtrack, which I’ve only just listened to. It’s really fantastic, blending the somewhat grittiness you’d expect from a psuedo-horror show like this with the adrenaline filled action songs and soothing melodies in the more reflective songs. It’s a joy to listen to on its own and I’m happy I had the chance to watch an awesome show like Brynhildr.

So, how about Nanami huh? The big game in Brnyhildr is always making the most black and white of determinations – will they bite the dust or not? As it turns out (Melissa and I couldn’t agree), Nanami did in fact bite the dust to further sate Brynhildr’s not-so-discreet misery fetish. The dialogue and struggle between Nanami and Kuroha + the others was quite interesting – a bit of a shame that once she finally accepted others she was untimely kill-switched.

This still doesn’t answer our original question, however – what becomes of the fact that we’re unable to reproduce the magic pill that saves the lives of the magicians? The problem has to be dealt with sooner rather than later. If Kogorou was unable to find a solution I’m afraid we’ve hit a brick wall. Thankfully, I have a feeling that the plot won’t be killing our heroines anytime soon – who will it have to torture if it does?

The artists maybe? Depends on how meta you want things to get. Anyways, time to catch up with the remaining episodes!

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 7

So it appears my assumption last episode was correct – they cannot reproduce the pills in a short time span. It seems as though it’s going to take them at least half a year to accurately reproduce the compounds present in the pill…quite problematic considering that they only have one month’s worth of material left before they croak. Watching Ryouta convey this info to our heroines was some hard stuff to watch, even if most of them pretended as though they never had their hopes up in the first place.

While I agree with Ryouta that this is a problem, can’t they just raid a couple more laboratories until they get what they need? Sure, it’s dangerous, but so is bleeding to death and I don’t think they have much of a choice. Something else to consider is that the last time they raided a laboratory the enemy knew they were coming – what’s to say it’s always going to be like that? Choose your targets carefully and utilize Kana’s forecast and they should be able to handle things without casualties. Of course, there’s always a limit to what you can get away with and I sincerely doubt it would work in succession, so get as much as you can as quickly as you can and run the hell on out of there. Give it six months and you will essentially have immortality.

A magician’s life is still far from glamorous, however – having to ingest a pill every 30 hours still sucks as well as having a power that sacrifices a small bit of your humanity every time you use it.

Ryouta is a good guy to have on your side though – he never gives up and unlike several other MC across anime – he’s not a complete moron. As a matter of fact, he’s quite bright and has saved our heroines on multiple occasions. While it seems they backed themselves into a corner this time, I’m fairly confident he will think of something. But whatever it is, it had better be relatively fast…time is ticking.