The Full Metal Alchemist live-action trailer is online. Looks nice! I hope it's entertaining like the Kenshin movies, and not like the badly-written Attack on Titan movies.

ClassicaLoid 2-6! Beethoven continues to obsess over gyoza while Mozart is convinced Kanae is in love with him. Sousuke tries to find out what triggers their 'muzik' transformation. Chopin/Cho-chan shows up in episode 3 as a painfully shy character. Liszt also shows up as a busty woman. Schubert is a character obsessed with Beethoven. We find that they were created by Kanae's eccentric father so she doesn't feel lonely...or something like that. Though unusual, the show gets repetitive as Kanae continues to worry about money and continually tries to kick the classicaloids out. Dropped.

Drifters 2-4! We learn that the ones pulling the strings are the megane blond, Murasaki, and evil-looking, black-haired girl, Easy. Episode 2-3 continues scenes of extreme violence with weird comedic breaks. 3 was pretty confusing with all the different Drifters showing up, but near the end, they reveal that they are wanted to fight the 'Enders' who are insane and evil Drifters. I don't know enough of the historical figures to care. Dropped.

Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 41-90! 45 was about how Saiki can sorta cheat on exams to stay unnoticed at school, and how it backfires on him when he places below brainless Nendo. The next story arc covers the school trip to Osaka. It's nice to see that despite his internal grumblings, Saiki somewhat cares for his classmates. Looks like this show got more episodes on order which is fine by me since each 4 minute episode is fun to watch.

Fune wo Amu 3-5! Majime's landlady's granddaughter comes to live with her and becomes Majime's love interest. The characters also overcome the threat of the dictionary becoming cancelled.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go 2-6! Small youkai children are the cutest and Natsume can't help himself from solving their problems. In episode 3-4, Matoba manipulates Natsume into doing what he wants but fails to get him to join the Matoba clan. Unfortunately, there are some large plot points like Natsume's grandmother, Matoba's grand plan, if any, and Natori's shiki tattoo that seem to be forever unanswered.

3-gatsu no Lion 2-6! We are introduced other shogi players and their outgoing personalities. Episode 4 was about how Nikaido meets the sisters and it was adorable. And Rei tells us about his past and how he was adopted into a shogi-obsessed family after his biological family passed away in a car accident in episode 5. This anime hasn't really educated the viewer on how to play shogi yet, but apparently Rei is very good. Ah ha, the live-action movie trailer is up. Looks good!
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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 15-18! the end. The show continued being a struggle to watch until episode 17 or so when Ra-on's father was put on trial. And when the Prince's bodyguard got killed, I was pretty darn angry for the 5 minutes they led me to believe he was actually dead. Anyway, the Queen's baby switcharoo and Prime Minister's plots were unraveled fairly quickly. And the Prince now King lives happily ever after. ~6/10 rating~ for a fun premise, but predictable and rather not-so-fun kdrama.

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 14-20! the end. The flashbacks were cute in episode 15. With the 3rd prince back from the dead and on the throne, he decided to get rid of potential problems including some of his brothers. The 10th prince and wife brought a little levity to all the backstabbing, and their deaths were unfortunate. The 3rd prince quickly went crazy, and died leaving the 4th to take the throne. The pace rushed through different plot points during the second half of the drama, and this sorta resulted into the 4th prince now king's personality deteriorating. I wish writers took the original Chinese story-turned-drama, and filled some of the plot holes. They spent a lot of time developing the 8th's prince's love for Hae-su rather than the 4th's. (maybe she's just falls for Lee Jun-ki's charming looks and pushy personality over the 8th's stoicism) Hae-su was the weakest part of the story. She began as 21st century girl with spunk and then rapidly turned into a weak female lead whose only purpose was to stare doe-eyed into the camera. Thankfully, the supporting female characters were awesome and also beautiful (even the evil princess)...unfortunately, they all get killed off. The song they used for all the deaths was pretty lovely. ~8/10 rating~ for a drama that had so many high quality aspects to that it was lovely to watch. The costuming was really beautiful for both the men and women. None of the supporting characters were potato-looking actors, so it was a feast for the eyes to see them in the costumes. You could tell by the actors/kpop stars that they hired that this was a big budget drama. The fight choreography and outdoor scenes were also quite above your average drama. I suppose we're supposed to be satisfied that the 4th Prince did not turn out to be the blood-thirsty King Hae-su remembers in the history books, but really, they should have shown his reincarnation when they returned to the present time.

The Moon that Embraces the Sun 1-20! the end. Wanted to watch a sageuk kdrama that had super-high ratings to compare it to the other two. This had some strong lead characters and the female love interest was refreshingly intelligent. This does suffer from overly complicated evil plots and the beginning with the kids was weird when the 16-17 year olds were wanting to marry the 12 year old. And then it got weird when they all grew up and some of the cute kids turned out to be unattractive adults. Anyway, this was about two princes (the two suns) and two candidates for princess (the two moons). Both the Crown Prince and illegitimate Prince fall for a pretty girl while the Queen, evil ministers, not-so-pretty girl, the Crown Prince's sister use a shaman's black magic to kill off the pretty girl. The shaman only half-kills her and they all grow up to meet each other again. ~7/10 rating~ for a pretty standard drama. The two main leads had some good banter and character chemistry (not real romantic chemistry, but good compatibility). The side characters all got was due to them..even the illegitimate prince...who redeemed himself for being a dull character at the end, but still deserved that lame death scene.
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Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku jmovie! starts out with Chihaya and Taichi going to see Arata to find out why he quit karuta. Taichi is an awesome, nice guy. I do enjoy hopelessly rooting him on. The movie follows Chihaya as she obsesses over the queen, and the inevitable match. Shinobu appears more likable in the movie versus the anime. ~9/10 rating~ for highly engaging movie about a card game I have no desire to play. And for near-perfect casting. There will be another movie next year. The manga is still incomplete, so I look forward to more.

Ie Uru Onna 1-10! the end. This jdrama is a fun, episodic show about a female real estate agent, Machi Sangenya, who can sell any home. Her robotic and over-the-top, go-getter personality makes her appear cold to her coworkers, but she consistently helps her clients buy and sell homes. ~7/10 rating~ for a light-hearted drama with quirky characters. Yeah, I'm never going to afford a house in Tokyo.

Chef: Mitsuboshi no Kyushoku 1-3! jdrama. is about an arrogant, 3-star, female chef who is fired after the restaurant owner frames her for food poisoning. She isn't able to find a new job until a reality tv producer asks her to make school lunch more appetizing for children. It's fun to see the different challenges she faces as she deals with her pride, the school restrictions, and the children.
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Fune wo Amu 1-2! Proof that Japan will give a decent budget to create anime out of any subject matter. The story starts with a dictionary editor who is trying to find his replacement after he takes an early retirement to care for his wife. He finds a promising candidate in a bland, book-loving salesman, Mitsuya Majime. The opening made me think of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, a BL anime, but it isn't BL. A little annoyed that it is on Amazon Prime UK but not Amazon Prime US...c'mon, what's the hold-up? This is based on a novel and was an award-winning live-action movie in 2013 in Japan. It was a little hard to find the movie online, but of course, I found and watched it...

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Fune wo Amu jmovie! stars Ryuuhei Matsuda, Aoi Miyazaki and Joe Odagiri (others too, but those three are the most recognizable actors). The movie is a little slow and lacks the visual prettiness of the anime, but there's something very innately Japanese about the care and dedication in which the characters produce the dictionary. ~6/10 rating~ for quiet, unassuming storytelling. (yes, mildly boring).
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ClassicaLoid 1! one of the most absurd anime premises I've seen since Penguin Revolution. Kanae lives in her late grandmother's mansion with two friends of her father, Beethoven and Mozart. Her 'musician' childhood friend, Sousuke, also spends an awful amount of time at her house, too. In episode 1, she has to sell the property due to financial reasons. Just as the construction crew starts, they cause Beethoven to drop the gyoza he was cooking, and he angrily does a Sailor Moon transformation into a Classicaloid. He magically convinces them to leave and Kanae et al continue to live in the house. There's even dancing mech. Cut to Bach sitting in the dark who looks like the bad guy. The production and background music are very colorful and fun.

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Drifters 1! Seemingly random Japanese military figures are plucked out of history and thrown into a new world by a mysterious guy in glasses. The elf-eared locals call them Drifters. The show starts off with some serious & violent fighting, but after the halfway point you get some silly comedy. It's a stylish and unique.

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Natsume Yuujinchou Go 1! the 5th season seamlessly continues where the they left off three years ago. Natsume continues to encounter the supernatural and helps them. In episode 1, Natsume seems to be focused on learning more about his grandmother, Reiko. Maybe we'll get her whole story this season?

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3-gatsu no Lion 1! Can't go wrong with the production by Shaft. It's visually lovely. This is about a young shogi player, Rei, who lives by himself. There's an overly genki family who tends to watch out for him. I'm fond of Bump of Chicken, so I enjoy both the opening and ending songs. I also liked the French song in the beginning. A two part live action movie is a scheduled for 2017.
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Mob Psycho 100 9-12! the end. Mob, Teru and Dimple go to rescue Mob's brother and the other kidnapped psychic kids. Mob's boss, Reigen, comes to talk to Mob about work, and gets involved. Great story arc here with good humour and cliffhangers. The beginning of the anime was a little iffy and lacked the humor that One-Punch Man and Saiki have, but it definitely built up to a more complex anime. Mob's brother and Reigen developed into interesting characters. And the fun humor came back near the end. ~9/10 rating~ short anime with an interesting animation style and feel-good message.

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91 Days 8-12! the end. Angelo/Avilio's friend, Corteo, is forced to murder Fango when his recipe for the Lawless Heaven alcohol is leaked. Things deteriorate further when Angelo kills Corteo to prove his loyalty. Things come to an end when Angelo cause the Vanettis and Galassias to start shooting each other at the opera. Angelo never gets around to killing Nero, thus the show ends with them having a heart-to-heart and mildly open-ended off-screen gunshot. ~6/10 rating~ for a revenge story that was a mild struggle to get through. Angelo plan was clumsy and all the mafia characters were unlikable.

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Tales of Zestiria the X 9-12! the end of season 1. Mikleo finds a creature/mascot character that boosts his new-found archery powers. Mikleo then joins Sorey who is fighting a dragon 'puppy'. We get educated in dragons. Princess Alisha faces her assassin in an anti-climactic fight. Then everyone heads to stop a war. The climax was rather anti-climactic, too. The big boss/Lord of Calamity decides not to fight Sorey because Sorey is too weak an opponent which is the classic bad guy mistake. Who waits until their opponent is stronger than them? Only the stupidest of bad guys do that. Plus, Alisha's almost-death scene was not very dramatic. ~8/10 rating~ for the production alone. The story has promise, but the last episode was rather on the cliched side. Gotta wait for season 2 next year to see if the journey is worth it. On the upside, the characters are super-likable and each episode flies by.

Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi 2-4! the end. consists of Melodias fighting Ban, King chasing Diane and Vivian chasing whathisname...dull fillers. ~6/10 rating~ reminding me why I shouldn't watch the next season.


Oct. 5th, 2016 07:02 pm
Bracelets, unexpected arranged royal weddings, evil queens, secret identities, treatment of girls like property...each drama is following the same checklist.

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 5-14! kdrama. It took me a couple episodes to figure out that the Princess is an actress in a fat costume. It was fairly predictable that she'd lose the weight, too. And because her love-interest likes the chubby princess, I think she'll regain the weight sometime before the show ends. She's a fun character to watch. Yoon-sung, the nice guy, is naturally the first to realize Ra-on's real gender. I think the Prince confesses at least a dozen times to Ra-on. Oh, the sap really drags on in these episodes. It's disappointing that the humor from the first few episodes takes a backseat to the political drama and sappy romance. There's an excessive amount of staring. The fight in episode 12 was nice. Wish it lasted a little longer. The past few episodes have been dragging. :(

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 4-13! kdrama. The 4th Prince's obsession with his hateful mother is far the weakest part of the story, but I suppose angsty, masked face is attractive. It's nice that he gets along with the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince and King seem like mildly reasonable characters. Su's interactions with the various princes is fun to watch. It helps that everyone looks pretty damn fine in their traditional Korean-ish outfits. There's a Beauty and the Beast vibe with this show since the characters keep saying that the 4th's scars make him ugly...right, they aren't really trying hard enough to make him ugly. You'd think that he would have thought about makeup before Su showed up. I do wish the time travel gave Su more significant plot devices instead of various damsel in distress situations. She doesn't even act like a modern girl anymore. I'm enjoying all the side characters in this show especially since they are so lovely to look at. Even the non-main female characters are even possibly prettier than Su. Have to admit that this is better than the above drama due to more sword-fighting and the fact that the side stories are fairly cute. Looking forward to what happens after the King's death.

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Sukinahito ga Iru Koto 1-10! the end. jdrama. This is about a female patissier who starts working at a restaurant owned by three brothers. One of the brothers is an old crush, one is the unlikable head chef and the youngest is the token genki character. The two older brothers go back and forth on 'liking' Misaki which might've been amusing if constant emotional constipation was comedic for ten episodes. Anyway, it was a short drama with a happy ending. ~5/10 rating~ for being a short time waster. Not enough yummy food was showcased to make the show worthwhile.
Anime list for the fall...

Natsume Yuujinchou Go: 5th season of this series. More Nyanko-sensei is always a good thing.

Drifters: action eye-candy. Historical figures are plucked out of time to save the world.

Classicaloid: Beethoven and Mozart have magical powers and fight mechs? Sounds absurdly Japan.

3-gatsu no Lion: The latest manga from Umino Chika won a bunch of awards, so might as well check out the anime. It's about shogi...Japan really loves its game anime genre.

Fune wo Amu: about a dictionary editor, but is on many a list as being highly anticipated.
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The Handmaiden kmovie! I thought this was a horror movie from the initial trailer, but it was more of a dark romance (erotic, psychological thriller says wiki, but don't read wiki because it's based on a book and wiki gives away much of the interesting plot points). Park Chan-wook is the director who is known for his movies, Snowpiercer and Oldboy. This has the same beautiful cinematography and unusual story elements as his prior works. A young woman helps a con artist woo a rich woman out of her inheritance while posing as her maid. Things don't go as planned as love and betrayal come into play. I thought the end was lovely. Warnings for mildly explicit lesbian sex scenes. ~8/10 rating~ for the lush visuals and original storytelling.

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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi jmovie! (Erased) is the movie version of the manga that was also an anime series last year. So slimming down an 8 volume manga to 12 episode anime cut a little of the story's detail out, and slimming it down further to a 2 hour movie cuts even more out. The movie focuses on Satoru trying to figure out who is kidnapping and killing young girls in the past to prevent his mother's murder in the future. The anime was excellent at ending each episode at a cliffhanger. Much of that thrill is lost in the movie. The movie takes a different route at the end, and it pretty much pegs Satoru as a moron for confronting a killer on his own twice. ~5/10 rating~ not for changing the ending, but changing it so badly that you wonder why there are 18 years worth of murders unchanged by the time travel. It's terrible, so don't watch this.

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Attack on Titan (and the End of the World) jmovies! are two movies based on the manga of the same name. While the anime followed the manga fairly closely, these live-action movies had to do some creative writing to get an incomplete story into the two movies. The first movie speeds through the re-introduction of the Titans to the walled country after 100 years of peace. It concludes with Eren being eaten and re-emerging as a Titan. The movie creates unnecessary conflict between Eren and Mikasa when Eren unintentionally leaves Mikasa behind during the first attack. After training, Eren meets Mikasa again only to find out that she blames him for what happened to her. The second movie starts with the military being suspicious of Eren. Another Titan saves him from the trial. We find that Shikishima (original movie character), an elite military figure, is also a Titan and wants to use the last remaning bomb to destroy the inner walls to see what the higher class people are hiding. Eren and his comrades oppose him and want to close the hole in the outer wall to protect the people. There were many plot points left hanging, so maybe they are planning another movie? The CGI and aerial footage were better than expected, but not great. ~6/10 rating~ warnings for excessive blood splatterings and weak story. Only watch this for the novelty.

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Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku jmovie! the first of two movies based on the manga of the same name. The actors are perfectly cast in their roles, and their personalities and relationships are preserved. The production is lovely, too. This first movie covers the creation of the karuta club and the local tournament. ~9/10 rating~ The humor and tension from the original story translate well into the live-action film. Looking forward to the 2nd movie.
Summer's almost gone. Here are some live-action dramas and movies I've recently watched.

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Kiki's Delivery Service live-action jmovie! pretty much follows the same plot as the Ghibli movie. Can't say that seeing it the 2nd time around with real actors elevates the story in any particular way. The special effects were not too flashy, and adhered to what they needed to be. Unfortunately, Jiji the cat looked a little fake at times. I much prefer the magical nature of 2D animation. ~6/10 rating~ for a rather unnecessary remake.

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Ore Monogatari!! live-action jmovie! is based on the manga of the same name which was also an anime series last year. The live-action version is pretty enjoyable. The actor who plays Takeo doesn't have the extreme height advantage over the other characters, but he does play the part of the clueless, scary teddy bear quite well. The actor who plays Suna plays the aloof, pretty-boy, best friend well, but really, any pretty boy actor could play that part. The movie mainly focuses on the misunderstanding between Yamato and Takeo. And with a little push from Suna, there's a happy ending. ~7/10 rating~ This was sweet and silly. Thankfully, the actress playing Yamato did not have the irritatingly high anime voice.

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My Love from Another Star 1-21! kdrama. the end. This show made the front-ish page of reddit, so I ended up seeing what the hype was about. IMO, it was good background noise. This is about an alien who gets stuck on earth for 400 years. Right before he has a chance to go back to his home planet, he falls for an arrogant, but lonely actress who moves in next door. I really wanted this to get better that more I watched, but I never really got attached. I did get distracted by staring at Do Min-Joon's face (played by Kim Soo-hyun) and wondering if he had collagen injections (my conclusion is yes). Pretty sure Cheon Song-ji (played by Jun Ji-hyun) had some facial work done, too. HD is not kind to aging Korean actors. Anyway, the show is fairly predictable. There are evil parents, an evil sibling, evil coworkers, and the super-nice, third wheel guy who will never get the girl. I was able to make it through by skipping the dull moments and being entertained by the occasional humorous parts. ~6/10 rating~ The show never delved too deeply into the sci-fi aspects of the story. His powers were used when convenient, and didn't work when convenient for angsty dramatic situations. And how is the relationship supposed to work if he is mostly immortal and she is aging. And they can't kiss without him getting sick? While some of the romance was definitely cute, I don't think I was ever convinced of the couple's supposed chemistry.

And on-going shows...

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Scarlet Heart: Ryeo 1-3! kdrama. So Lee Jun Ki in another period piece lured me in despite my inability to completely watch most of his prior shows. The first few episodes have quite a lot of cheeseball acting, but this quite typical of a show that boasts more than 2 pretty-boy leads...supposedly 14 pretty 'princes' in this show..or is it just 7? Anyway, IU plays a damsel in distress who drowns in present day korea and travels back in time to the Goryeo dynasty. You have your token evil queen and evil son with evil plots. There are a bunch of other princes who have yet to distinguish themselves from one another. An angst-ridden, outcast prince, aka Jun-ki's character, and an overly nice prince, can't-remember-his-name-but-the-actor-always-plays-third-wheel-characters, are the two who vie for IU's attention. The action scenes are ok and the story doesn't lag, so I may be able to stick with this for the duration. The actors are fun eye-candy...

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds 1-4! kdrama. This drama is up against Scarlet Heart. It's also a historical drama, but a comedy rather than drama. A young woman is living as a male fortune teller trying to pay off family debt. While it is not a totally original set-up, it gets stranger from there. She gets sold off to the palace eunuchs to pay off the debts. She actually gets the penis-cutter drunk enough to think he did the deed and she manages to pass inspection. She runs into the prince (whom she doesn't identify), and in typical kdrama fashion, they initially hate each other. It'll be fun to see how they fall in love while he thinks she is a eunuch. The absurdity and silliness of this show is refreshing. Hopefully, the story doesn't get caught up in the political blahs and sticks with the comedy. In all likelihood, because this is a historical drama that sort of follows old-fashioned conventions, the two leads won't really end up together, but somehow remain friends. There's no way a eunuch could end up together with the prince.
Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 16-40! in episode 16, Saiki meets a boy who can see ghosts and knows of Saiki's powers. He becomes Saiki's apprentice despite Saiki's reluctance. Saiki's deadpan reactions and actions to avoid his friends are funny. Sports day at the school was especially funny. The mini comedic insights to Saiki's life are fun to watch.

Mob Psycho 100 4-8! Mob faces another student with psycho powers but tries not to use his powers. He inadvertently humiliates him, but gains an ally. Mob's brother suddenly develops powers after some intense brooding and jealousy towards Mob. His brother seems to be going to the dark side until a more powerful psychic beats up Mob, and kidnaps the brother. There are some comedic moments, but unlike Saiki, this veers towards drama and action.

91 Days 4-7! Nero continues to search for those responsible for his family's deaths. He currently works with the one of the people who tried to kill him in the past. The pacing is somewhat lethargic in this show. There are some nice twists as Nero manipulates the people around him...though I suspect they are actually suspicious of him. Episode 7.5 was a recap episode.

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Tales of Zestiria the X 4-8! Episode 4 ended with dark hurricane heading towards Sorey and the capital. Episode 5-6 jumped off into Tales of Berseria and Velvet Crowe, a woman who is on a prison island full of demons. She is kept alive to devour the demons with her demon hand. Had to wiki this twist and apparently the new 2016 RPG game, Tales of Berseria, takes place long before Tales of Zestiria and sets up the history of the same universe. The main bad guy seems to be Artorius, the people's savior and main exorcist. The terms of both stories seem loosely lifted from the King Arthur legend. Episode 7 returns to Sorey and Mikleo with a strong bromantic episode. Episode 8 introduces new seraphs and defines dragons as seraphs who have turned to the dark side...ha. There are definitely lovely background settings in this show.

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Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu 5-8! the end of this semi-season. Arslan and gang are in a merchant-filled, wealthy, port city. They bump the corrupt mayor-type person from power, and also solve the pirate problem. It's all going very well for them. Episode 6 brings Alfreed's brother, Etoile, and Princess Erina back into the story. It's interesting how easily the author manipulates the characters. By episode 8, all groups, Hermes, Arslan and Andragoras head toward Ecabatana to claim it as their own. Unfortunately, the anime has caught up with the manga. Apparently, there are two manga adaptations of the light novel series. The anime is following the one by Hiromu Arakawa (Hagaren), so no more anime until she finishes. ~7/10 rating~ While fun to watch, the anime production is still quite inconsistent and bad at times.

Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi 1! Like Arslan, this is another mini-season before a full season. Wasn't too fond of the first season, but might as well fill my time with something silly. Episode 1 re-introduces the characters as they try to catch Hawk, the disgruntled mini-pig.
Lengthy anime post ahead...

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Apparently this studio is experimenting with an anime app and released the whole season at once a la Netflix-style. It'll be interesting if this release model pans out for them..I think the anime pirates like it.
ReLIFE 1-13! the end. Initially thought that this would be a time-travel anime, but it's more of a science experiment that turns a young, jaded adult, Kaizaki Arata, from a 27 year old adult into a 17 year old high school student. He will redo a year in high school, but in his current time period. His appearance is the only thing that changed which becomes apparent when he comedically struggles in gym class. It's a cute anime with some comedy and shoujo-esque drama. The minamalistic background piano music is pretty fun to listen to. I also thought it was a nice nostalgic touch that every episode ended with a jpop song that would have been popular 10 years ago. ~8/10 rating The show spent a bit of time on Kariu's problems which slowed the pace down, and there was a drop in production quality. As a warning, the anime just ends after everyone becomes friendly. I guess viewers can read the manga to see what happens to Arata. Anyway, it was a cute shoujo anime.

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Orange 1! a group of high school friends get letters from their future selves telling them something in regards to a new transfer student. Girl falls in love with boy within the first episode...cue the eye roll. The show already reveals that Kakeru isn't with the group of friends in the future and that his (we can predict) death is preventable. Dropped because well, I spoiled myself below...

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Orange jmovie! saw that this was made into a live-action movie last year, and decided to check it out. As the anime hinted, the main female character, Naho, is a bit of a wimp. Even with a letter from her future self with a list of regrets and telling her what to do to save Kakeru, she stumbles with the letter. As a side note, a class in time travel and parallel worlds would have been awesome in high school. ~6/10 rating~ for a fairly predictable, sweet shoujo story. The movie was about 30 minutes too slow, but well-cast. Apparently giving your past self a note with a list of regrets doesn't help when your past self is a moron most of the time. She could have made the movie last 5 minutes if she pointed out that regret #1 was the most important step. It was predictable that the group was going to save Kakeru at the very last possible moment.

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Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 1-15! is a funny 4 minute show airing during the week and then compiled on Sunday. Episodes 1-2 introduce us to Kusuo Saiki, a young high school boy with psychic, telepathy, telekinesis powers and his laid-back, kooky parents. Episodes 3 and on introduce us to his classmates and other people who are unaware of his powers.

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Mob Psycho 100 1-3! is another anime about a young high school boy with strong psychic powers. It is implied that he will explode or go 100% psycho one day. Unlike Saiki, Mob doesn't know how powerful he is. He is taken advantage of by a young adult who runs a exorcism business. His boss pretends to have powers and pretends to be teaching Mob. This anime has a fairly unique animation style that is very raw in its drawings. The mangaka is ONE who also wrote One Punch Man, so the humor is fairly fun to watch. By watching Mob and Saiki, you can see how two authors approach the same type of main character differently, but still humorously.

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Fukigen na Mononokean 1-2! also not on my list but looked cute. A young boy, Ashiya, starts high school by finding a fluffy animal on the side of the road that seems to suck out his energy to the point where he is missing days of school. He sees an ad for an exorcist, Abeno, who is hiring and calls him for an exorcism. The exorcist in a fashion similar to xxxHOLiC coerces the student into working for him. Episode 2 emphasized the fact thtat the Abeno prefers to work for money while the Ashiya has a soft heart. It's not quite that fun, so dropped.

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Servamp 1! is about a young, motherless boy (story didn't say anything about the father), who grows up to be good at everything. His classmates tend to pawn off school projects on him since he feels it's 'simpler' to do them on his own. He picks up a cat on the street who turns out to be a vampire. Another vampire attacks, the boy and cat form a 'servamp' contract. I think I would have liked this when I was 12. Dropped.

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91 Days 1-3! Ah ha, a mafia story. A young boy witnesses the murder of his parents and younger brother and years later, seeks revenge during the Prohibition era. Style and characters remniscent of Baccano, but there's no humor.

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Tales of Zestiria the X 0-3! Not on my initial list but I'm a sucker for big budget anime shows and ufotable's production. There's a sword in a stone, 'LadyLake', mysterious mist, a badass-looking dragon, a badass princess, swords and guns. The prologue episode with Princess Alisha won me over.. Episode 1 introduces the main character, Sorey, and his seraph friend, Mikeo, who explore old architecture and find the princess who wanders in after the dragon destroys her comrades and the nearby town. Not sure what's going on and not really interested in the rpg game, but it's very Final Fantasy-like, and still very well-made. The last 'Tales of' series was decent, and this looks pretty good. The original game opening has a catchy rockin' opening by Superfly. The anime has a decent opening by Flow, but the original is more badass.

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Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu 1-4! continues that tale of Arslan. Gieve and the man in the silver mask hunt down a legendary sword that belongs to the true king, but a group from the evil Church steal it away. Arslan and his army win another battle, but in episode 2, the king, Arslan's 'father', is able to escape on his own and tracks Arslan down. He orders him to raise an army of 50k which is supposedly a banishment. No worries as Arslan's friends decide to help him. This really needs a bigger budget.

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Bananya 1! is a 3-minute show. The banana cat bounces around looking cute.

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Magi: Sinbad no Bouken 9-13! the end of this season. In episode 9, Sinbad and his crew are trying to trade with a country that has precious metals. After technically defeating the king who also has a dungeon weapon, Sinbad gains another companion in the form of the king's enthusiastic son. Episode 11 starts their adventure in a country run by women. He is also able to draw up an alliance with them. Thus, the season ends with Sinbad trading with three elusive countries, and gaining a good number of new companions. ~7/10 rating for a good-natured adventure anime.
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Sailor Moon Crystal 31-39! the end of this season. Got to hand it to Usagi and Mamoru for talking about Uranus and Michiru in a open manner. Kudos to Chibi-Usa for setting them up. And it's nice that they have new vocals for the opening and a new character song for the ending. Tuxedo Kamen's ending theme is amusingly bad. Despite the occasional drop in animation quality, the quality is still better than the previous two seasons and the story content is still true to the manga. It's a darn shame that Professor Tomoe does not have the maniacal laughter he had in the original anime. He's bland in this series. ~8/10 rating~ for the nice upgrade in this anime and decent production of the manga. The original anime actually did a better job on the character development with this arc especially with Professor Tomoe.

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Boku no Hero Academia 4-13! the end of season one. In the first few episodes, we learn about the students and teachers. Midoriya and Bakugo get to face off, and in their own way, reconcile. Hopefully, they mature beyond the crybaby and bully personalities in the next season. The climax of the season is when a group of villians infiltrate the school to kill off All Might, the No. 1 symbol of peace. ~7/10 rating~ the anime did not live up to the hype as most of the characters had cookie-cutter anime personalities and the plot again, we've seen before and done better before. Naruto, Soul Eater, Shingeki no Kyojin all had more unique school settings. And One-Punch Man and Tiger & Bunny had much more amusing hero vs. villian worlds. On the positive side, this had no competition in the genre this season, and each episode flew by quickly.

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Flying Witch 4-12! the end. There's no conflict or climax to this anime. It's a nice slice-of-life anime to put on in the background while doing something else. If Harry Potter was about Harry living in the country occasionally learning a bit of magic, you'd have this. ~6/10 rating~ for simple and cute, but wouldn't want to watch reruns.

Magi: Sinbad no Bouken 1-8! Sinbad had his own manga and OVA spinoff and now has a proper tv series. This is good, because he was one of the more powerful and charismatic characters in Magi. We already know from the original Magi series that Sinbad captures seven Dungeons, so it's fun to watch a show where we know the hero will win big. Episode 1 shows us how his father dies and episode 2-3 is a rehash of the ONA where Sinbad conquers his first dungeon. 4-6 is about his capture of the Dungeon at Imuchakk. Sinbad learns about the trade business from the King of Balbadd in episodes 7-8.

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Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder OVA 1-2! I had forgotten about these movies. This takes place after the Book of Circus arc. The Queen orders Ciel to host a banquet for a lord and several other high-class nobles during which several murders take place. This is the mangaka's fanfiction-like take on a Sherlock Holmes mystery in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a Jeremy Brett-like character star. Like a Sherlock mystery, a lot of emphasis is place on the explanation of how the murders were done. ~7/10 rating~ There were definitely some slow spots in this so-so story. The viewers would never believe Sebastion was dead, so the suspense or mystery never built up. Looking forward to movie, Book of the Atlantic, since this was one of the stronger story arcs from the manga....but sad that it won't be out until 2017.

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Bakemono no Ko (The Boy and the Beast) jmovie! Also got around to watching this movie directed by Mamori Hosoda (Wolf Children). It seems that this is takes place in the same world as the Wolf Children. A young boy finds himself a student of a lazy beast in the Beast World. Both boy and beast mature and become stronger in many ways. ~7/10 rating~ Fun, but forgettable movie. The antagonist, the Sasuke-like character, was too predictable.

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Code Geass: Akito the Exiled 4-5! the end of the OVA/movies. The tv series ended in 2008, so having these OVAs released on a rather uneven schedule slowly afterwards killed much of the hype surrounding the series. On the other hand, the quality of the production is quite stunning to watch. If that's what took them so long to release the episodes, it may have been worth it to get the visual candy. The mech battles were great despite me not liking the mechs-on-skates design.The plot and characters were not as strong. They really could have trimmed much of the complexity and the number of characters. The last two episodes showed us the contrast between Shaing's geass and Leila's geass and their affect on Akito. It also ended the war between EU and Brittania. Joining the gypsies seems more like fanservice than actual character development, so those last scenes were rather odd in the scheme of things. ~7/10 rating~ for some lovely mech fights. While the whole arc seemed to parallel the original Code Geass story, the story and characters weren't as compelling.
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Looking forward to the cat banana anime and these other summer anime...
Bananya: cat banana that wants to be a chocolate banana

Orange: high school anime with a letter from the future

ReLife: high school anime with a student who takes a pill to redo his high school life

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu: 2nd season with only 8 episodes

Mob Psycho 100: from the One-Punch Man mangaka

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan: shounen anime about a super-powered boy whose powers get in his way of a normal life.

91 Days: mafia revenge anime

Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi: 4 episode special
It's been awhile since I've had the attention span to make it through a full kdrama series. I did try to watch Daebak, but the political and family plotlines became too convoluted and over-the-top for my current tastes. And I tried 'Doctor Crush'...but teacher x student? blah.

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Misaeng kdrama 1-20! the end. This came up as a drama that Japan is going to remake. It's a show based on a Korean webcomic. What had me interested in watching the whole series is that it actually feels more like a jdrama than kdrama. Why this feels more like a jdrama is because it is about everyday people and mildly realistic situations which remind me of the stronger jdramas I have watched in the past.

This is about a young man who becomes a contractual office employee at a large international trading company. He is able to get a coveted internship spot and eventual job despite only having a GED. We find that he did not finish high school or go to college because he was an amateur baduk/Go player who eventually failed to become a professional. The drama doesn't delve into baduk very often, but there are a few episodes that Jang Geu-rae will approach the harsh office environment by referring to life lessons he learned from his baduk teachers and idols. It's not about secret siblings or secret illegitimate children, a rich boy and poor girl, or love quadrangles. It's just about a young man who failed in one aspect of his life and puts effort into making a career change work. Admittedly the main character and a couple other first-year employee characters are a little too pretty to be working in an office environment like that. But for the most part, this is a relatable show.... Until you get to the end when it turns into some sort of action drama, (because we needed to see Geu-rae looking awesome after 20 episodes of him with that bowl haircut). ~7/10 rating~ for an interesting drama, but not something I would catch again in reruns.

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Totally acknowledging the fact that nobody uses LJ or DW anymore, but I find Tumblr and other trendy social media areas only good for images rather than writing. At least some blogs continued to survive and continue to provide interesting well-written posts. (not that you'll have that here...this is my own resource) ;)

Below are the new anime airing this spring and my first impressions:

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Sailor Moon Crystal 27-30! The start of the Mugen/S series. The style of this season has changed as the director and most of the main animation staff has changed (for the better, I think). Gone is the odd CGI-ed transformation sequence, and a new cleaner transformation takes its place. The character design is a little more cutesy, too...actually closer to the original anime and farther from the original manga that the 1st two season tried to emulate. "Jupiter Coconut Cyclone"...hahaha..the attack names are still as great as ever. In these episodes, Phaorah 90 sends dark egg things to possess people. Michiru and Haruka are introduced. Their seiyuu sing the ending theme. This is probably the best story arc out of the whole franchise and despite the production still not being Macross quality, there is an improvement and I think I'll enjoy the silliness.

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Boku no Hero Academia 1-3! has a ton of hype around the manga of the same name. Izuku Midoriya is quirkless in a world where 80% of the people have a quirk/supernatural power. He wants to become a hero despite that weakness. Crybaby main character - check. Rival/bully - check. Mentor - check. Multiple fight scenes - check. School/training setting - check. It's entertaining, but I'm waiting for the Izuku grows out of the crying stage and I'm also waiting for the story makes itself distinctive from all other shounen anime.

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Sakamoto desu ga? 1-2! is about the perfect student, Sakamoto, and the classmates who are jealous of him or want him. Sakamoto's over-the-top perfection reminds me of Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji. It's mildly amusing, but not enough to hold my interest. Dropped.

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge 1! is about a lazy, sleepy student, Tanaka. This is a slice-of-life anime that probably should be cute and funny, but I think you get as sleepy as Tanaka watching him not do anything. Dropped.

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Flying Witch 1-3! is about a witch that moves to a relative's house as a part of her training to become a full-fledged witch. This is adorable and well-paced.

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Kums Miko 1-2! A young, country miko wants to go to school in the city. The bear god at her shrine tests her knowledge of the city. I thought that this would be a cute, harmless anime, but after the story about the bear seducing a miko and them having bear offspring that can speak, this contains both typical Japanese kawaii and ecchi humor. The bear just had to mention he was neutered lest we think even more perverted thoughts about this show. The ending song is cute.

Joker Game 1-2! An army lieutenant oversees a group of trained spies, the D Agency, who enjoy playing a psycological 'joker game'. This is set in the 1930's. They are ordered to find proof of a potential traitor's activities, but the lieutenant finds that the joke may be on him. The tone is a little pretentious, but the actual weakness is that the suspense and intrigue are not as alluring as they try to make it seem.

Bungou Stray Dogs 1! A detective agency made up of pretty people who have special powers. They meet a boy who can turn into a wolf in episode 1. Nothing special here.

Super Lovers 1-3! The BL anime this season is about an orphaned boy who hangs out with wolves and a teen twice his age whose family eventually takes him in. The underlying icky age factor isn't as bad as what happens in Usagi Drop, but it's there.

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Macross Δ 1-2! the latest from the Macross franchise. There is a disease that turns Zentradi violent and there's some sort of war going on. A singing girl group mitigates the disease's effects. An overly genki girl stows away on a cargo ship so she can audition to be in the group. A dock worker who likes to dance in his mech takes it upon himself to protect her. Like previous Macross series, the production quality is pretty high. There's plenty of Valkyrie air battles and catchy pop songs. But dropped anyway... Macross Frontier was genki enough for a lifetime.

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Ace Attorney 1! I've never played the game but I think all the informational pop-ups are lifted from the gameplay. In episode 1, Naruhodo's first case is to defend his childhood friend from a murder charge. It's as overly dramatic and predictable as you'd think it would be. Dropped.

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Enride ! A young boy with a crystal obsession gets sucked into another world where crystal stones in the body create weapons. He also meets his slash fanfic buddy, a prince of said world. A lackluster premise and generic characters make me sad. Dropped.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 1-2! the one also airing on Amazon Prime is a high quality production that about zombie-like creatures, kabane, that infect humans through their bite. Can't say that the characters or first couple episodes stand out enough to keep me interested, but the gore probably has a good audience out there.

It's April?

Apr. 2nd, 2016 08:26 am
Dimension W 3-7! Mira becomes friends with some local street kids, one being New Tesla's granddaughter. We see a bit of Kyoma's past and girlfriend in episode 7. The suspense has slowed down a bit as much of the plot is rather dull. The characters are too generic for my liking. The pop cultural references are cute though. Dropped at episode 7.

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Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2! 1-12. The end. Season two continues the super sweet, cavity-creating tale of Shirayuki and Zen. Shirayuki is sent to her hometown as a guest of the prince who kidnapped her in episode 1. Because of their past, he tries to turn over a new leaf. She gets kidnapped twice but as annoyingly damsel-in-distress-like that sounds, the new characters are interesting. ~6/10~ rating I'm not sure why I watched this...I suppose I had nothing else to do on Mondays. It was a simple shoujo show with very little drama, but hey, the fluff is soothing.

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Koyomimonogatari 3-12! the end. Episode 3, Koyomi Sand, features Hachikuji and takes place after Oshino is gone. 4 is about Kanbaru's father. Like the previous two episodes, these are about something that are seemingly supernatural, but turn out to be mundane. Koyomi Wind features Nadeko and Kaiki. 6 has Karen and a tree. 7-8 were forgettable. 9 features Shinobu and donuts. These half-episodes were hit or miss in terms of entertainment value. Episodes 11-12 bring Kagenui and Gaen back to fill in the plot but delightfully confuse again. Koyomi Dead is the last episode's title..unfortunate that. ~7/10 rating~ for this arc. Another portion of Owarimonogatari, and Zokuwarimonogatari, Orokamonogatari and Wazamonogatari are, the Kizumonogatari movie...hopefully, that's all.

Durarara x2 Ten 1-12! Another binge-watching session. Episode 9 showcases a flashback of Shinra and Izaya Orihara's friendship in middle or high school. Quite of few of the characters get injured this season while more new characters pop out of the woodwork. ~7/10 rating~

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Durarara x2 Ketsu 1-12! finally, the end to the whole series. I lost track of all the new characters' names and their motives. They are all pretty immaterial, but Celty going after Shinra was awesome. And Shizuo and Celty's horse/bike interaction was cute. We see what happens when Celty finally gets her head back. Mikado while being one of the main characters, is probably the least interesting and bordering on mostly annoying. His dark side was tedious to watch these past two seasons. ~7/10 rating~ for a lengthy 6-year series. The animation quality was spotty throughout the past two seasons. I'm glad Celty and Shinra got their happy ending. If not for my curiosity around them and Shizuo, I would have stopped after the first season. I would have preferred the completion of Baccano in anime form instead.

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Boku dake ga Inai Machi 3-12! the end. Satoru finds Kayo after she was abused by her mother, and narrows down the date of the kidnapping. After their birthday, Satoru thinks that he changed history, but finds out he failed and heads back to the future. Satoru is able to go back in time again to try and prevent Kayo's murder again. Great cliffhangers, but it's a little disappointing that they made the bad guy wear enough 'bad guy' expressions that the audience knows he's the culprit. I hope that the live-action movie as interesting as good as the anime. ~9/10 rating~ for a plain good mystery. Minus 1 for cutting out the bad guy's past (which is in the manga) and for interesting, but unexplained time-travel.
The spring anime season is usually filled with promising shows. Here are the ones that look interesting:

Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney: I've never seen a courtroom anime. Might as well start here.

Boku no Hero Academia: The shounen manga is quite popular so I expect some fun & entertaining fights.

Macross Delta: Will watch one episode because it's Macross.

Kumamiko: Talking bears. This looks absolutely adorable.

Sailor Moon Crystal: is back with the S series...Uranus and Neptune...the best couple in anime, and I did always enjoy Professor Tomoe as the bad guy. I hope the production value gets a boost.

Joker Game: a spy mystery

Super Lovers: BL eye-candy

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri: From the studio that worked on Attack on Titan, comes a similar-type anime. The promo is very sleek and it's being aired on Amazon Prime, so might as well check it out.

Sakamoto Desu ga?: A comedy about the perfect student.

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge: A comedy in which the main character is the opposite of Sakamoto above.

Magi Sinbad no Bouken: Sinbad was always the more interesting character out of the rest in Magi. The OVAs were also mildly entertaining, so a season of Sinbad should be fun.
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Ojisan to Marshmallow 1-2! is about an older, unattractive office worker who likes marshmallows and his female coworker who taunts him about his marshmallow addiction. Yes, Japan, you have weird fetishes...keep at it. The series is one of many 3-4 minute anime series this season.

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Boku dake ga Inai Machi 1-2! is about a young adult who has a spidey-sense type feeling whenever something bad is going to happen and can go back a little in time to try to help prevent it. There's a kidnapping/murder mystery that results in a pretty interesting cliffhanger. This is one of the better series to come along this season. If you liked the Hollywood movie, Looper, you may like this.

Dimension W 1-2! takes place in a world where society relies on a new type of energy, power coils made by New Tesla...haha. Kyoma Mabuchi is a bounty hunter who hunts people selling illegal coils. On one job, he runs across a cutesy robot girl who was accidentally captured by his target. Of course the robot gets him involved in something bigger. You can tell that this is this season's 'hip' anime by the style of the action and 'cool' main character. The main character is similar to whathisname from Samurai Champloo. Despite some of the predictable anime tropes, Episode 2 was just as good as 1 at hooking you in.

Koyomimonogatari ONA 1-2! The straight to video Monogatari arc which takes place in the past while Oshino was still around to help Araragi. Koyomi and Stone, and Koyomi and Flower are two short stories about fake shrines.

Bubuki Buranki 1! is this season's CGI & action-filled anime. The first episode quickly moves along from a mother's sacrifice to a young boy searching for a way to see his mother again ten years later. Despite the young characters being typical angst-driven anime characters, the story moved quickly enough to make me curious about the next episode. As far as the production goes, they threw alot of money at the series, but it's rather sloppy.
of another year...DW and LJ are pretty dead but some communities are still active...meh...

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One Punch Man 9-12! the end. Saitama defeats the sea monster but is unable to convince the bystanders and hero association that he is worth anything. Despite that, he is promoted to the B class. In episode 10, he happens to tag along with Genos to an S-class meeting that is interrupted by an alien invasion. While the other S-class heroes try to battle an alien outside of the ship, Saitama fights the main alien boss in the ship. ~10/10 rating~ for one of the most amusing superhero shows I've seen in a long while. Saitama is fun to watch and Genos brings a lot of heart to the show. When a show gets mention on Reddit, you know it has the popularity to warrant another season. I hope the manga gets far enough ahead to sustain more anime. There are also 2 OADs out there worth watching.

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Owarimonogatari 9-12! the end. The Shinobu Mail arc definitely has a slight jump in production quality. Gaen's rambling put me to sleep in episode 9 and 10, but she does reveal some important plot points in the first two episodes. Basically Shinobu's first vampire minion comes back to life for revenge or something. The duel between Araragi and Seishirou was fairly anti-climactic. The season was more introspective than action-packed. ~7/10 rating~


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