Category Archives: Anime Reviews

First Impressions: Fate/Grand Order (iOS/Android)

In my work crazed state I’ve fallen into a bit of Fate moment: watching Fate/Apocrypha as it airs, rewatching the first couple of episodes of Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works in preparation for the Heaven’s Feel movie in October and finally downloading the new mobile game in the franchise, Fate/Grand Order.

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At the start of the year (it was actually New Years Day in fact) I watched the one off extended episode of Fate/Grand Order: First Order, before letting it slip to the back of my mind and promptly forgetting it. The anime adaptation of the prologue of this game was okay at best with a cast of characters that felt as if they should have been in a mobile game. Well, that’s the thing isn’t it – because they actually work very well in the real mobile game.

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A summer update… (#1)

Only a brief post today just to fill you guys in on what I’ve been up to over the last ten days or so since my last post…

So until the start of September I’m going to be working on my Masters’ dissertation (that is twenty-thousand words on a very niche bit of Medieval British history), so I hope you’ll forgive me for not posting a lot until then. It doesn’t mean though that I haven’t had any time to watch any anime!

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Because my time for watching has come a bit randomly I haven’t watched things as episodically as I would normally, but let me just run through what I have seen…

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Episode Focus: Fate/Apocrypha 2, The Virgin Departs

It’s not really surprising that Fate/Apocrypha is still introducing things in its second episode. With 14 (15) servants and, presumably (?) an equal number of masters to try to show off before things really get going, I wouldn’t be surprised if episode three follows suit – nonetheless, this episode did a decent job introducing lots of new characters, as well as giving us a taste of the kind of action we can expect going forward.

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We see a little more of Ruler to begin with before rejoining the two factions who take turns in introducing themselves. The Black team do a full (and quite convenient) set of introductions led by their overly bubbly Rider.

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Episode Focus: Classroom of the Elite 1, What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness.

Comedy, school, romance. Three genre tags that offer a whole lot of potential, but equally can make for a complete waste of a studio’s budget. Because of this, I had no idea what to really expect from Classroom of the Elite (Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e). After seeing that before this show started I didn’t really know what to expect. An optimistic bit of me saw a grumpy but intelligent male lead and an equally aloof female and thought maybe this would be some kind of reworking of Oregairu. Episode one has started to clear some of the fog from this season.

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Ayanokouji has just started high school, Koudo Ikusei. In fact, it’s the best high school in Japan. Down side is, our male lead made a hash of his entrance exams and ends up in class D. Initially, this doesn’t sound like a massive problem with everyone in the class being given an allowance of 100,000 yen and access to the same facilities as all of the other students.

Continue reading Episode Focus: Classroom of the Elite 1, What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness.

Episode Focus: Fate/Apocrypha 1, Apocrypha: The Great Holy Grail War

Yes, this article is a thing. After my last article it might seem odd that I’m here writing this, but all I can say is I made a decision and the result is you guys get weekly reviews.

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And frankly I’m glad I watched episode one of Fate/Apocrypha this week. For those of you familiar with Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, I wouldn’t rate this as highly as the first episode of that, but I would say that this has got of to a great start, particularly for fans of the franchise.

Continue reading Episode Focus: Fate/Apocrypha 1, Apocrypha: The Great Holy Grail War

Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 12, And Then

For a relatively simple anime, I felt there were several ways this final episode could go and, thankfully, the writers got all of the decisions spot on.

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We’re not left with any suspense at the start of this final episode – Kotarou failed his entrance exam. Unsurprisingly, he’s pretty dejected but initially it seemed as if all was going to be okay. The first five minutes of this episode epitomised for me just why the show generally has been so good: for both parties involved, it would be the natural response to try and put a brave face on this sad event, but inevitably (this is a relationship between 15 year olds, remember) things don’t stay as positive for all that long.

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Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 11, An Encouragement of Learning

When living with your parents it can often be difficult to understand why the make some of the decisions that they do. What Tsuki ga Kirei shows well in episode 11 is that they usually have a good reason for doing so, and even after making decisions initially, they’re flexible enough to adapt when it’s in the best interest of their children.

Last week, we expected that Kotarou’s parents, particularly his mother, wouldn’t take well to his decision to go a school two hours away in order to follow a girl. It wasn’t surprising then to see that when Kotarou announced his school of choice at a parent meeting with his teacher, his mother wasn’t best pleased.

Continue reading Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 11, An Encouragement of Learning

Episode Focus: Attack on Titan S2 12, Scream

The final episode of the second season of Attack on Titan has aired after four years of hype with another reveal of sorts and some more emotional moments to boot.

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At the end of last weeks episode the titan that ate Eren’s mother appeared threatening to lead them to the same fate. This week starts with Hannes getting in the way and thanking his luck for giving him the opportunity to avenge Carla. Meanwhile, Erwin is stranded as titans close in from all sides with scouts falling fast. I won’t go through everything that happened as I usually do in this articles, but suffice to say it felt like a lot happened in this episode.

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Episode Focus: Eromanga Sensei 11, How the two met and future siblings

After two episodes without Sagiri, Masamune comes back from his beach trip and the two prepare for the release of their new book. Cue reminiscing and flashbacks.

Eromanga Sensei set itself out as a ‘sibling romantic comedy’, though at this point I think calling it a rom-com of any kind is unfair on the genre. If, like me, you’ve stuck with this show through it’s highly inappropriate and awkward middle episodes, the biggest compliment you might give it is an overly cutesy fan service harem.

Continue reading Episode Focus: Eromanga Sensei 11, How the two met and future siblings

Episode Focus: Tsuki ga Kirei 10, The Setting Sun

Every single week after I’ve watched this show I’ve wanted to jump up and down shouting; I will support Akane and Kotarou until this, and every other blog on WordPress, is no more.

There is little to discuss when addressing tone in episode ten as things continue on for a couple much as they have since episode five when they’re relationship came out into the open. Potential problem arises, problem threatens to be troublesome, someone takes actions to deal with the problem, problem averted, everyone is happy.

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This week that problem was Hira as Akane and the track club went to the festival where Kotarou was performing. If you were looking to find a problem with this show overall, it would be the weird love square that it attempted to present as meaningful in the middle episodes, though saying that it has served to strengthen the relationship of the main couple no end, so I shouldn’t complain. Anyway, Hira: this week it was his turn to confess to Akane and as to be expected things to quite work out how he would have dreamed.

Things for Akane are swell then? Well not quite as Kotarou takes issue by displaying a little customary jealousy (well he is 14) and, rather unfairly, taking that out on Akane by ignoring her for the rest of the evening.

Fortunately though, the magic wasn’t dead in this episode as the moving/new school fiasco continues as Kotarou attempts to come to terms with Akane moving to Chiba. One of the central points of Kotarou’s character throughout the series has been his lack of interest in studying in favour of writing novels – Akane’s news seemingly changes this however as we see him more at cram school and taking an effort to improve his school work. Why could that be? Because he’s going to try and get into the school Akane is going to go to and to do that he needs to improve his grades. Despite how unrealistic this feels, I feel like I can relate to this action somehow, even if my circumstances ten years ago were somewhat different to Kotarou’s.

As I said, there isn’t much to comment on in terms of the shows overall thematic development. What I would say though is that the relationship between the Akane and Kotarou continued to grow this week through a disagreement (even if it was one sided) and a big decision to change an aspect of his life on Kotarou’s part. Whatever happens in the final two episodes, I’m sure that specifically choosing a high school to be with your partner cannot be a good thing, but this is fiction and anime at that, so I want it to work out for them, because, frankly, at this stage nothing should stand in their way.

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What did you make of episode 10 of Tsuki ga Kirei? Are there any important overarching developments that I missed or were you just enjoying the minutiae that make up each episodes? And finally, are you feeling at all nervous for Akane and Kotarou in these final two episodes or are you confident everything will work out? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!