Finishing off a great series… with a whimper. A review of ReLife Kanketsu-hen

I hate to be one of those people. You know, the ‘But it was so much better in the manga’ types. For the record (as this sites name would suggest), I tend to prefer anime, adaptations or original works. By its very nature, anime is more and dynamic and, I feel, better able to convey drama and emotion than manga equivalents.

Which brings me on to the latest, and final, instalment to the ReLife anime adaptation. This four episode adaptation set out to cover roughly the second half of the 200+ chapter manga. A tricky task if ever there was one, and unsurprisingly things haven’t quite worked out.

The problems stem from the large amount of material to adapt as much of the content that was key to the story was either majorly cut down or ignored entirely. That’s not to say all manga material has to be adapted to make the anime good – in most cases material is omitted – but this adaptation needed more time.

At the most extreme example, a key character that completes the circle of main character Kaizaki’s story is omitted from the screen, only briefly referenced by another character.

ReLife is though at its core a romance. The romance between two lost and isolated people. Believe it or not the 120+ chapters of manga develop this relationship a lot. At the end of the original season, this relationship had been given a lot of build up and one more significant moment (used later as a focal point) at the fireworks. Sure, it just about works, but it really doesn’t do justice to the original material in anyway.

Add all of this to the uninspiring production values – lack of character models and sketchy animation – make these 4 episode a pretty poor conclusion to an anime that had a great concept, interesting set of characters and well developed relationships.

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Assessing anime at the start of 2018

*cough* I still write here *cough* Please let me back in *cough*

Winter 2018 is fast coming to it’s conclusion and while it is tempting to write a post like this everything is done, Spring is looking like a monster and my time for posting is (in case you didn’t notice), limited right now.

As with every season I don’t have the time (or inclination in many cases) to watch every show, but if I’ve missed something good then let me know down in the comments!

The Ancient Magus Bride (episode 23/24)

Starting with my only bit of Fall leftovers – The Ancient Magus Bride. I’ve been through a wide range of emotions when faced with this show even before it started airing. The three prequel episodes that aired in the year leading up to the start of the main series showed off the potential of the series and in some ways it never really got back up to those heights.

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While I see Elias is a complex character I’ve never been comfortable with him (and I appreciate that that is possibly the point) – though in recent episodes I’ve come to appreciate his relationship with Chise more as they support each other equally.

Continue reading Assessing anime at the start of 2018

Hidden perspectives in White Album II

White Album II is the classic love triangle scenario. In fact, it is the classic love triangle scenario turned up to eleven. Two of three don’t know what they want and in the end the one that did to start with is the one that seems to lose out the most.

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But for most of the show it didn’t seem like that. I want to show by traversing time and missing certain events out because of the particular perspective shown, White Album II becomes more effective than other similar anime.

Continue reading Hidden perspectives in White Album II

Episode Focus: Fate/Extra Last Encore 1, At the Bottom of an Ancient Limbo

In the distant past the Holy Grail War was lost. In the current day, all children with any hope of becoming masters are sent to ‘the moon’, the oldest artefact in the universe that creates a digital world in which it’s users can go over events time and time again – presumably to draw out their power to the fullest.

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Hakuno Kishinami is one such student with potential to be a master, and episode one shows his part in the reckoning of all within the moon and 128 masters are chosen – for what we do not yet know.

Continue reading Episode Focus: Fate/Extra Last Encore 1, At the Bottom of an Ancient Limbo

First Impressions: Beatless

So it’s February already – dreary January has gone by, and I have to say so has my apathy towards the Winter season of anime. Even if Violet Evergarden continues to be lacklustre, Darling in the FranXX was a pleasantly surprising and a couple of other shows have appeared on my radar that I’m going to give a go. I also listened to a great podcast featuring some fellow bloggers today, so if you’re looking for some anime banter to chill with, then go and check it out!

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But right now I want to talk about Beatless. Last time I wrote about this show was in my first thoughts on the season and I was very cautious after seeing the first episode – Red Juice’s character designs that I was so looking forward to seeing have been tempered by Diomedea’s average art adaptation, but after three episodes I’m actually quite intrigued to see where things are going.

Continue reading First Impressions: Beatless

‘I play music to be special’ a review of Sound! Euphonium

Anime has a way of telling the everyday story in a way that few other mediums have – ongoing live action drama often feels the need to add unrealistic suspense, conflict or trauma to make the story detached enough from our real lives. For slice-of-life anime though, escapism still isn’t off the table, it’s just presented in a different, often more engaging, way. And when it comes to slice-of-life anime no one does it quite like Kyoto Animation – add in the music element and Sound! Euphonium screams promise before episode 1 even airs.

Synopsis

Kumiko Oumae plays euphonium, a lesser known, less glamorous member of the big band scene. After finishing middle school with little success or appetite for more involvement she resolves to finding another club in high school, only to be dragged along to the band by the new friends she makes on the first day. Despite trepidations joining when she sees former classmate Reina Kousaka in the band, she reluctantly joins and is funnelled back into playing euphonium by vice-president and head of the bass section, Asuka Tanaka.

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Over the course of two seasons, Sound! Euphonium follows the members of Kitauji High School band in their attempts to reach the nationals, come to terms with their past and deal with the trials and tribulations everyday high school life.

Continue reading ‘I play music to be special’ a review of Sound! Euphonium

First Impressions: Darling in the FranXX

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been struggling to pick out shows to watch from Winter 2018’s offering. Despite it’s questionable title and some apprehensions I very much still have about it, it is particularly good that I stumbled across Darling in the FranXX. 

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Best described as a Sci-Fi-Mecha with potential to become a romance, Darling in the FranXX is set in a future world where the only children that are born are locked in a the so called ‘birdcage’ in order to train to as ‘parasites’, pilots of humanoid mechs known as FranXX that fight monsters called Klaxosaurs that threaten human civilization.

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Winter 2018: my opening thoughts

As will become obvious, I think I need your help.

As far as seasonal viewing goes, Winter 2018 is probably the slowest start I’ve had since I’ve been watching anime. I don’t think it’s because I’ve lost interest in the medium (you need only look at the episodes watched feed on the left to see that I’ve been doing some serious catching up on some back catalogue shows), but that January’s offerings have just failed to inspire me. Apart from the second half of Fall’s The Ancient Magus Bride, which I am still catching up on, I have only started two Winter anime so far: Beatless and Violet Evergarden. 

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I’m intending to watch Fate/Extra: Last Encore when it starts in a couple of weeks, but other than that there’s nothing that’s really grabbed me. I haven’t seen the first seasons of Overlord or The Seven Deadly Sins, so they’re out before I start, Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody seems to be another run of the mill isekai. Despite it’s hype pre season, Citrus seems less sweet yuri and more inappropriate, incest ecchi but just with girls. There are a couple of shows that are airing under the radar such as Kokkoku and After the Rain that look somewhat interesting even if they don’t particularly having anything to grab me.

Continue reading Winter 2018: my opening thoughts

Fall 2017 in review

Seasonal anime in 2017 has not been amazing. Maybe it’s because I’ve chosen badly or because what did air just wasn’t to my taste, but there have been very few shows that I can honestly say will stand out when I look back at anime in the future.

It is unfortunately the case then that the worst of the anime I’ve experienced came in the final three months of the year. That’s not to say that there weren’t good anime airing in Fall, if ratings and fellows bloggers reviews are anything to go by then I know that is the case for sure, but I just didn’t see any of them.

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As well as Fate/Apocrypha which started in the summer, I only picked up four shows for the Fall and in one way or another they all disappointed me in some way. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed what I’ve watched since October – I saw the second season of My Hero Academia and moments of a couple of the shows were pretty good while others made me smile just because of how bad they are. Anyhow, let’s go through each one in some more depth.

Continue reading Fall 2017 in review

Thoughts and ramblings on anime, manga and visual novels