Category Archives: Summer 2014

Reply: Hamatora – 4

This week, we focus back on Three and Honey, mostly the latter.

The Hamatora deduce that Honey seems to regress to a childlike state for an undetermined amount of time when she uses her minimum, all of the sudden. With no explanation in sight (And what exactly triggered the onset of this other than her minimum), it seems that we have no answer for the time being.

Again, Hamatora had me grinning from ear to ear this week, watching Three fly across the entire city to save his partner. There’s something about a strong bond between two people in this manner that really strikes a chord in me. I love Three (Honey, too!)

Speaking of Honey, it turns out that her father is quite the douchebag and has a self-important opinion about how minimum holders should be using their abilities and governing their lives. It’s easy to speak out of turn to others and mandate how they use abilities when you, yourself, have no abilities of your own. I’d argue that “Doktor” is unfit to judge other minimum holders and it is up to people to live their lives the way they want to, whether they choose to contribute to society or not. Life is about choice and without choice, are we really living? I’ll save you the boring, existential drivel you’ve read thousands of times before but I think you get the point.

Loved it when we got to see Birthday and Ratio making a bust – those two are great foils for one another. Oh, and Art is back. AGAIN. This time it seems he’s taken a shine to growing a giant ass tree in the middle of the road, which is a new one for him. With only Hajime and Murasaki to back him up (No Three, honey, Ratio, or Birthday), can Art really defend himself? Honestly, I think Murasaki and Nice can probably take Art alone. Also weird to see Hajime doing anything at all, she usually sits on her butt all hours of the day.

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus – 4

This was over much, much too quickly. Seems to be par for the course but I paid the time no heed as I watched this.

William and Sebastian continue to not get along, as usual. The question as to whether Ciel can function on his own without Sebastian is further expounded upon – what is a master without his dog? A king without his pawns? Ciel, while traditionally the rule maker, doesn’t seem to function as efficiently when he is made to be a set piece himself. Worse yet, his roommate unknowingly triggered one of Ciel’s bad memories from when his parents passed from the mortal realm (and the burning of his home).

Ciel has many difficult decisions to make but continues to press on in the face of danger for the sake of the queen. A loyal queen’s watchdog, indeed – I doubt she could have asked for a better one.

I felt sorry for the poor little girl we knew nothing about that was selling flowers – she was so sweet. I never found myself caring for someone I met maybe two minutes ago so much! The truth of the child disappearances comes to light and we now know they are tied to Noah’s arc circus and some crazy ass LCD or drugs. Seriously that was pretty trippy.

Hey, how about seeing Ronald, too? This is, technically, Ronald’s first appearance (no, his appearance in the second, very non-canon season does not count). Generally an assistant to William (or even sometimes Grell), he’s fairly reliable. I had assumed that William was the grim reaper leader but while I think he’s highly ranked I don’t think he is the “leader”. What you don’t know about some characters and where they stand in Black Butler is part of what makes it so interesting. Restraining information is awfully enticing (but somewhat evil!)

Sengoku Basara – Judge End – 4

In what appears to be a re-occurring theme in this show, Kenshin beat the shit out of someone else in this episode. While we’re on the subject of Uesegi Kenshin, isn’t it funny that I have covered two anime that are set in the Sengoku era featuring Nobunaga and his retainers in some capacity? Both of them are, ah, highly inaccurate in regards to historical accuracy, but who gives a flying shit about that stuff anyway? You probably shouldn’t be watching anime for realism, IMO. Especially NOT this show. Have you seen the previous two? Guys create tsunamis and stop volleys of arrows with the force of air.

So our young friend Sanada Genjiro Yukimura must literally take up the mantle and become his great lord Takeda himself. What does this mean? Naturally, to fight his greatest enemy, Uesegi Kenshin, with whom he foolishly engages in combat with only to be punked badly. The rivalry that Kenshin and Takeda share though is not a normal rivalry by any means. They’re mortal enemies, but they’re almost like friends (Does that make ANY sense?) – in this same sense, Kenshin gives Yukimura some fatherly advice on how to grow and not be defeated by Shingen’s illness. Kenshin is a swell guy isn’t he? Yukimura realizes his place in the Takeda and moves forward, Kenshin smiling as he leaves.

Meanwhile, Sasuke (otherwise known as the best wingman ever) and Kenshin’s bitch attempt to make an alliance with Ishida, with surprising success! Ishida accepts but unfortunately Yukimura’s long time rival Date comes busting the gate down and isn’t about to let Ishida, who hilariously doesn’t even remember his name, escape. Date has blood in his eyes and he’s fucking pissed. Even if Ishida is Hideyoshi and Nobunaga levels of strong, he’s about to get his fucking shit rocked. I’ve never been so excited for a next installment.

Reply: Hamatora – 3

Can somebody even tell me what happened in this episode? Seriously, I don’t remember. I don’t know what I find amusing about acting like a drunk guy that just stumbled into the room but it never gets old for me.

Ok – I did learn something from this episode. People that have creepy, receeding hairlines and scraggly hair and run around in their underwear are probably evil. Some dumbass naked artist does some dumb shit and everyone punches the hell out of each other, THE END!

THANKS FOR READING EVERYONE!!!!

Holy shit, we need to focus here – more importantly, Art appeared, and seemingly had the upper hand against Nice before the other Hamatora intervened, cock blocking art a second time from his kill. Honey, while using her minimum, also seems to have turned into a complete retard baby for some reason. I know I’m being, somehow, even less eloquent than usual but there’s really no better, emphatic description of her behavior.

So Art thinks he’s an epic, badass hot shot now that he has minimums and knows how Nice’s minimum works – yeah, we’ve heard all that before Art, Morale tried this shit too and it didn’t work very well. Birthday and Ratio BTFO’d Art so hard – hard to believe this is the same guy I was pissed off to see die by Morale’s hands last season. Funny how you view someone is so tepid, isn’t it? Didn’t take much for me to think he’s a massive faggot!

More interesting was to hear that the fledgling detective was actually in on helping the artistic psychopath carry out his plans. As most detectives in this show seem to be fairly rotten (and how the hell else could he have gotten away with painting himself? The guy is the ONLY ONE who did a body check on him) – I’m not too surprised by this. Quite the opposite. But who is he working for? Obviously, the answers to that question are much more interesting.

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus – 3

Another fantastic display of Kuroshitsuji at it’s absolute damn finest, a-la the canon “Jack the Ripper” arc and “Curry Contest” arc from the first season.

The whole time I was watching this episode, I was upset that it would be over too soon. And over too soon it was. I would marathon all 10 of them right here and now if they were available – waiting week to week for this show is absolute torture.

While I am familiar with the events this far into the story, I loved Sebastian’s tactful throws of pebbles to set Ciel’s dagger to the straight path into the bullseye. To a slightly less extent, I also enjoyed his use of pebbles to keep Ciel on the tightrope (although I’m certain Ciel would not agree with me). Sebastian and Ciel muse as to whether or not the missing children are at the circus and Sebastian exclaims that while he was unable to detect the presence of any children, they should search every nook and cranny before jumping to conclusions.

Oh, it was so nice to see Soma and Agni again. I missed you Agni you are so damn cool. Here’s hoping we get to see him in combat again soon!

I also loved the mystery about Snake. I seem to recall how Sebastian deals with him in the future, but they certainly build it up. I also love the subtle foreshadowing – i.e. Undertaker’s comment in the previous episode that Ciel seems unable to do anything on his own without Sebastian (which, later that episode, Ciel’s ability to take action without Sebastian is put directly into question). Or, Soma advising Ciel to smile more, later on for his biggest obstacle to joining Noah’s Arc circus that he was unable to smile (and then, even more ironically, given the nickname “Smile”). I’m certain this material was covered in the manga but it is a nice touch.

Oh, and William T. Spears showed up. Yup, the leader of the Shinigami is investigating the circus himself, which leads Sebastian to conclude that there is definitely something amiss in the circus if it requires the presence of a Shinigami. As usual, William and Sebastian do not get along very well.

Loved the music during the Shinigami flashback sequence. Sounds like this show is going to have a soundtrack to equal even the amazing soundtrack of the first show!

Free – Eternal Summer! – 4

Much interesting development here for many characters but most primarily Sosuke, who we learn to have a greater understanding of. Sosuke seems like such a nice guy when he’s conversing with friends, what is it about Rin focusing on his friends that sets him so off kilter? Bad past experience with losing focus of his dreams? Perhaps in the past he loved a friend who didn’t love him back? Usually anime with attribute these strange stigmas to a past trauma that will eventually be explained. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem that Free has gone that somewhat tired route.

Sosuke makes a genuine attempt to connect with Rin and attempt to understand him rather than tell him he’s being “led astray” or some other knee-jerk close-minded bullshit, which was quite surprising. “Tell me what happened.” I was impressed. The whole time I was trying to determine whether or not he was being genuine and really believed Rin when he said that his “Friend’s saved him.” and that they “make (me) stronger.” At first I thought he was, then I thought he wasn’t, and then by the end of the episode I switched back to thinking he did again. What exactly is going on with this guy? What is he thinking?

Sosuke declares to Rin that he wants to see what he is talking about in a relay. This episode also showed us some troubles that Rin and Sosuke had on a relay together in the past – they don’t see eye to eye. Sosuke is an individual while Rin is a team player. Sosuke did not care to understand Rin’s point of view back then but now he cares about what he thinks – he wants to see the world as Rin sees it. Not sure if this means everything is okay between him and Haruto but I’m assuming he will attempt to clear the air with him while still remaining competitive. I’m glad this happened this early in the show – now we can focus on the more important stuff!

Rin is such a good captain. Loved his race with Sosuke at the end and the speech he gave to his kouhai about being on relays. It’s true – your heart has to be in it!

Oh, also, everyone getting graded on their food in the beginning of the episode was really, really funny. Makoto scored the highest!

Reply: Hamatora – 2

Art tries his hand at being a badass normal with varying degrees of success (and then later cheating and defying badass normal status).

Art attacks the students of the Minimum Academy that all the Hamatora attended at one point (including Art himself). He injects all students with something that seems to leave them alive but presumably strips them of their minimums. The one “faculty” member seems to beat the shit out of Art until Art cheats him by demonstrating he somehow absorbed all the minimum’s he had come into contact with at that point (including the light bending minimum from the previous episode) which he uses to stab Paper with his cocaine injection syringe.

So he can regenerate and utilize other minimums. Why hasn’t he already been doing so until the going got tough? It does answer a question I had – how the hell is Art ever going to stand a chance against Nice? I don’t care how much karate the guy does and many guns he has, Nice is gonna kick the shit out of him unless he has a minimum. I’m still curious as to how Art survived Moral’s assault but this at least brings up a plausible explanation – maybe he used his regeneration minimum to solve the problem? The only issue with that is that I’m very certain we saw the life drain from his eyes, so in other words we saw him die on screen and he didn’t do anything to stop it. So what the heck, Hamatora? Please provide a plausible explanation for his survival (and then later his motives), thanks.

Also, if Art’s motivations are really stupid, I am not going to be happy about it. Knowing Hamatora’s writers though, I have more faith in them than that. I know it’ll be something awesome. Right guys? RIGHT?!

Nah, in all seriousness, I’m intrigued. Let’s see what lies in store for us in this darker installment of Hamatora.

Reply: Hamatora – 1

So, one of my most anticipated shows of the season arrives. So, what happened? Did Nice survive? Was that really Art? How did he survive? What are his motives? Why such a face heel turn?

Obviously, going into this season I’m sure many have the same questions to ask. We get a very Code Geass season 2 answer to it, as well. I have to admit, with the Hamatora mourning Nice’s passing along with his lack of presence in the opening, I must concede I was very convinced. On the other hand, we never saw the body or exactly how it went down so it could be a ploy. But why would everyone mourn his passing if he wasn’t dead and they didn’t confirm it? Would that really be good enough for Murasaki?

Truth is, it was all a plot after all. Nice was lying low while everyone played it up as though he were dead in order to avoid Art’s detection. The Hamatora are on top of things even more than usual as they’ve already discerned Art’s intentions (that is, the elimination of Nice), although his motives remain a mystery. Nice, meanwhile, has been doing recon on him in his own absence not letting a single second go to waste. Why is Art doing this? Before knowing his motives, I’d really like to know how he survived getting fucking shot to death a million times by Morale. Please don’t ignore that, show?

This is truly an interesting development as I wasn’t expecting that person to actually be Art at all. I thought for certain it was a shapeshifter or someone with a minimum that allowed them to disguise themselves like Morale. I mean, he couldn’t be alive right? We saw him die. Then get shot several times after being dead.

The best part about this is that Art’s development in the previous season now seems sinister and dark rather than tragic – Resentment from being denied a gift he wanted (Sounds a lot like Mitsuhide!) turns to anger which turns to tragedy. Take it and run, Hamatora!

Sengoku Basara – Judge End – 3

The sengoku era returns, swinging. And it’s swinging a giant anchor in your face.

What do we have this week? Maeda Keichi makes a deal with mercenaries, who by extension turn their back on angsty Ishida. Meanwhile, Ishida teams up with Chosukabe against a common enemy, Ieyasu. While Ishida isn’t common on sharing the glory of defeating his old friend Ieyasu with anyone, defeating and killing Ieyasu is more important to him than defeating him himself with his pride intact. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty vengeful.

It seems that, in accordance with the ebb and flow of history as its musty pages have told us, Takeda is not getting better. It’s only a matter of time before he falls to his illness as history dictates and Yukimura must take up the banner. What will the war god of Echigo do, I wonder? Honestly, he is their best shot at defeating Ishida as I’m certain he can take him on, being of Shingen Takeda level of strength. Meanwhile, Masamune is on a warpath for Ishida’s head – a fiery passion and urge for revenge that has yet to be seen on the “good guy” side. Best of luck to the one eyed dragon but I’m not thinking it’s going to end well for him.

So, let’s talk about floating carpet guy. He’s obviously been killing and stirring trouble in Ieyasu’s name with the intent of turning people against him. But the real question is this: What end is he doing that for? Is he hoping to benefit Ishida, no matter the cost? Or is he doing it to benefit himself and eventually turn against Ishida? Missi and I are in the latter party for his motives, although time will tell for sure.

Also remember how badly he got jobbered in Last Party? That was funny.

He looks like Aladdin.

Free – Eternal Summer! – 3

Otherwise known as Episode 3 – Rei gets cold feet (We think? (Scratch that no he doesn’t he’s more determined than ever)). Kyoani thought the title a bit long winded so they shortened it down a bit.

This was a Rei episode. Rei, the one who usually feels left out and is pretty emotional despite what he thinks about himself. Rin, Nagisa, Makoto, and Haruto? All childhood friends. This leaves poor Rei out in the cold and feeling like he doesn’t belong, something I can unusually relate to for some reason. I feel for the poor guy – he just wants to be closer to his friends. Not only that, he doesn’t want to be such a one trick pony, only knowing how to handle the relatively difficult butterfly. This, uh, wasn’t such a bad thing when I was a swimmer – being damn good at one stroke is just fine, although I ended up being good at 3! Everybody has at least one stroke that is their downfall.

As a side note, I loved how the beginning of this episode demonstrated that all the swimmers aren’t as good on land, but Rei was once on the track team and therefore kicks tremendous ass in the relay race. Nobody seemed to have expected it either!

Rei, once at odds with Rin, ends up being secret buddies and learns how to swim other strokes with relative proficiency in secret. Misconstrued as Rei losing interest in swimming, they are relieved in an adorably sappy way that he was struggling hard on his own. Gay or not, this strong bond of friendship nearly moved me to tears. I love these guys. It’s hard not to feel the strength of their friendship from beyond the screen as they work hard to perfect their techniques with the intent of making their teammates proud.

More free please!