Category Archives: First Impressions

First Impressions: Hyouka

On Friday I was lucky enough to get up to London for the first day of the second MCM of the year. While I was there I made some additions to my anime collection, most notably was the first part of the 2012 series, Hyouka. 

The show follows Hotaro Oreki, a dedicated ‘energy conserver’, attempting to get through his high school life doing as a little as possible to get by. After a letter from his travelling sister, he joins begrudgingly joins the Classical Literature club where he meets the enthusiastic and overbearing Eru Chitanda.

Oreki is usually indifferent to Chitanda’s curiosity.

Episode one doesn’t waste time in getting down to the pull of this story: mystery. Eru is ‘curious’ about the Hotaro’s ability to solve the everyday mundane mystery which in the opening episodes range from how Eru gets herself locked in the club room to why a specific book was taken out only to be returned later the same day on five consecutive Fridays.

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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.


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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First Impressions: Durararax2!! Shou

Occam’s Razor. When you have two or more possibilities, the more obvious one is usually the most likely.


I start my first impressions post on the second of season of Durarara because it is one of the biggest cases of what you see is what you get I can remember in an anime sequel. The  first season of the show followed a host of different characters in district of Ikebukuro, Tokyo, with stories that rarely crossed over the course of 25 episodes, only to all come together fairly well in the final few episodes. When I was wondering what I was going to get from this second season, I shouldn’t have thought quite so hard – it’s by far the most obvious possibility: much more of the same.

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First Impressions: Spice and Wolf

It’s been a long time since I did a first impressions article. That’s mainly because I haven’t watched any back catalogue anime in such a long time. Last month, you might remember that I asked you all to help me choose what to watch next and the winner of that vote was the Economics/Romance classic Spice and Wolf. As I’m sure many people would have probably felt before watching the show, I had no idea what to expect from this strangest of genre combinations; this article will tell you all what I made of things three episodes in (sorry for the poor image quality by the way – still waiting for my Blu-Ray copy to arrive from the States).

Lawrence has so far spent most of his time being frustrated with Holo.

Before I start I guess it’s fair to share the two preconceptions I had about Spice and Wolf before I started watching: firstly, most of the show is about economics and secondly, Holo ranks pretty highly on anime fans best girl lists.

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Kuzu no Honkai Episode 1 and a comment on Winter 2017

Over the past two weeks the Winter 2017 season’s shows have been airing their first episodes and the anime community has reacted largely with disappointment. Unfortunately I can’t help but agree with the majority of people and say that original shows this January are a huge let down – though there are some big name titles getting sequels that have helped lessen the issues (KonoSuba, Blue Exorcist and Chaos;Head most notably).

On the one hand we’ve got some bland rom-coms like Masamune-Kun’s Revenge (if that’s even a romance!?) or Fuuka (which I’ve yet to start but appears underwhelming even from the promo material). Then at the other end of the spectrum we’ve got ridiculous fantasy shows epitomised by the abhorrent Hand Shakers (the article on that one will be scathing, I promise).


But this evening I saw the proverbial silver lining to this season in Scum’s Wish or Kuzu no Honkai. Having seen and then ignored the manga on Crunchyroll, I was eager to have a look at what sounded like an interesting premise for anime adaptation.

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Christmas and Attack on Titan season 2 trailer

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s been a lifetime since I’ve posted anything here so in the next few days I’ll be writing an update of all of the things I’d like to write about in the next couple of months. There is though a reason for coming back to write on Christmas Day: the biggest piece of anime news since I’ve been watching anime (at least in my mind), Attack on Titan season 2 is coming, and last night (in the UK, early morning in Japan), we got the first trailer!

If you asked most people in the west to name one anime they would probably say Attack on Titan and though I like to think that I’ve got better at seeing through the hype generated by shows, I have to say Attack on Titan completely deserves it. That’s why I was so excited when I saw this new trailer had been released and I’ll join the crowds in saying that it’s fantastic.

Brawling titans were a centre pice of season 2's first trailer
Brawling titans were a centre pice of season 2’s first trailer.

For a minute and a half’s worth of content we gain a lot from the trailer. Most notably an increase in the number of, if not intelligent, unique titans. The main new addition is a titan that might be described as gorilla like known as the beast titan but also there seemed to be an agile jumping titan that had a particularly good aim for the nape of other titans.

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Episode Focus: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 1 ‘Frightened Corpse’

It’s not really the done thing to write reviews of shows after only one episode has aired but with Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress I couldn’t help myself. Taking up the Spring 2016 noitaminA slot and having the privilege (?) of being the first anime to stream through Amazon Prime, Kabaneri is a steam punk style anime that sees humanity stuck behind walls hiding from some terrible man eating monsters.

I know what you’re thinking – that sounds just like something else I know… Well hold that thought, I’ll get to it a little later!

Main character #1 Ikoma seems like a decent enough guy. Almost inspires you to rebel against the system yourself, until you see the blood that is.
Main character #1 Ikoma seems like a decent enough guy. Almost inspires you to rebel against the system yourself, until you see the blood that is.

The main character of episode is rebellious ‘steam smith’, Ikoma who as well as servicing the locomotives that allow humans to travel between stations (essentially human settlements) is trying to create a weapon to kill the Kabane.

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First Impressions – Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

The autumn season of anime is well underway with most shows now either two or three episodes. Of all the shows I’ve started this season, the one that has intrigued the most is the psychological mystery The Perfect Insider. 

The show is an adaptation of Hishori Mori’s 1996 mystery novel and has reached the anime medium after adaptations into a manga, visual novel and live action drama.

Very deep thinkers these two...
Very deep thinkers these two…

It’s difficult to write a first impressions review of this show because things are still unraveling even at the end of episode 3. Essentially the story goes something like this: a teacher and his student (who are both very clever) have a bit of a fascination with a doctor who as well as being widely viewed as the cleverest person alive, killed her parents. The teacher takes his seminar group on a trip to the island where the mysterious doctor has been in seclusion for the past 15 years only to bear witness to the aftermath of a murder.

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First Impressions: GATE

So after reading my first impressions of Charlotte yesterday and then watching the show you decided you want something that speaks to you a bit more: you want more monsters and medieval Japanese soldiers. The thing is you liked the modern setting of Charlotte and would like some kind of modern involvement in the next show you watch. If that is indeed the case I have found just the show for you.

Medieval mounted Japanese general in modern Tokyo. Sorry, what?
Medieval mounted Japanese general in modern Tokyo. Sorry, what?

GATE begins in modern Japan, focusing on Youji, an Otaku who lives and works for his hobby. On the way to a convention, he finds that Tokyo is being attacked by monsters and regimented medieval soldiers like he would see out his dream manga, anime or other otaku related media form. Being experienced in these kind of events, he takes control saving many civilians, earning himself a promotion in the army and stems back the tide of enemies.

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First Impressions: Charlotte

It’s new anime time! Spring has finished and with the coming of the new season comes a lot of new shows.

Possibly the most highly anticipated of the summers shows is Charlotte. Written Jun Maeda and produced by Key Studios, we’re seeing, for the first time, the same combination that created Angel Beats!. No wonder people are excited.

So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.
So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.

Charlotte takes place in a largely normal world where are very small amount of teenagers have supernatural powers. One such person is the main character, Yuu Otasaka, who has the power to take over the consciousness of others around him. For much of the first episode, he uses his power to cheat in tests to get into a top school and then to impress the girl he likes – it makes him come across as pretty dislikable kind of guy. That said this episode sets the show up as a good comedy.

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