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.
For the past few weeks, every episode of Eromanga-Sensei surprises me a little. And it’s yet to be a good surprise. Two weeks ago it was the realisation that the sibling relationship in the show was going to be more than familial while this week it was the adding of the harem tag to the show.
This week saw the full introduction of yet another rival light novel author, Muramasa. Another young girl who strives to create a work that she can give one-million out of a hundred. It also happens that she’s in love with Masamune and his writing. If you’ve been enjoying this show, and I’m still not sure if I have been or not, you will have enjoyed this episodes. Muramasa’s confession and ambition to halt the Izumis’ dream brings Sagiri further out of her shell, and for the first time outside of the ending credits, out of her room. In addition, Masamune is continuing to work hard on converting his light novel about a younger sister into a publishable work, which by the end of the episode, is the envy of both of his fellow authors.
Dan Machi or Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon was billed as one of the biggest show of this spring’s anime line up. Based on the light novel series by Fujino Ōmori, it is a show portraying a teenage boy’s dream: the underdog hero who exceeds all expectations in a dungeon full of monsters and beautiful girls – who incidentally, all happen to love him.
Background and plot
In the city of Orario there is a giant dungeon that is the domain of monsters and glory seeking adventurers. It also happens that the God’s have decided to transcend to this city, giving up their heavenly power (for the most part), creating familia of adventurers to advance far into the dungeon. The main character is Bell Cranel, a young boy with no family who seeks out a familia to join and begin adventuring. He ends up with Hestia, in a familia that comes as close to a group of hobos as is possible when you’re led by a God.
As you might have seen a couple of weeks ago I posted my first First Impressions article. Looking over the internet, it seems to be a pretty widely used format for overviewing the first few episodes of a show. However, the most important form of reviewing, in my mind at least, will be always be the season review – such as this one. Why? Because the start of a show can misleading, it’s often the case that a show with a bad beginning can improve in the latter episodes, or, as is the case with Absolute Duo, a promising show can make a turn for the worse.
Background and Plot
The premise is as follows: a group of selected school kids have been given the power to materialise the essence of their souls as weapons, called blazes. At the school, the students, known as exceeds, work together as duos, living and training together. The story focuses on a boy called Toore Kokonoe and his duo partner Julie (u-lee-a) Sigtuna as they navigate the beginning of their school lives.
The point of the story seems to be the development of Toore and his relationship with Julie. We get a problem with the plot after episode 3 when events are completely ignored in favour of starting new plot lines which only seem to bring more girls into Toore’s life for no other reason than this is harem show and it needs the main character to be loved by girls. The truth is I don’t mind a good harem based show, but Absolute Duo wasted what was looking like a deep and serious plot.
I wanted to write a review of the latest episode of Absolute Duo, as I’ve been trying to catch up to Funimation’s Broadcast Dub (which as a concept, is a fantastic idea by the way). Putting myself in that position however has left me disappointed, as this isn’t an episode that nails the combination of decent plot and ecchi charm as earlier episodes of the show did. But here I am, so what can I do.
As the penultimate episode of the show we are getting down to the crux point of plot this time around. Miyabi has reappeared having accepted a demonising type power from the Rebels. Unfortunately for our group the trade off is that she wants to kill them all- including Tooru, who she claims to love. After losing the extra guards for the conference, our heroes are forced to fend her off before being sent away by Tomoe, who insists she can get through to her because of their duo connection. Ringing out the clichés for all they’re worth at this stage it seems.
Tooru and Julie go on to fight K. Fitting with the main motivation of the show up to this point the battle sees Tooru ending up in distress because Julie is hurt in the fight. Using the serum he received in the previous episode, he levels up his blaze to level 4 becoming a seemingly indestructible human shield before defeating K with his mighty fist. What was that I was saying about clichés?
Often when you decide to watch a show that you haven’t heard of before or has mixed reviews, things work out really well. In my case, I’m not particularly hard to please so I find most shows like that pretty enjoyable. Every so often though, things don’t quite go the way you hope they will and you come across a bit of a mess. That, unfortunately, is the case with Amnesia.
Amnesia is a show that has a good premise. Based on a visual novel, a nameless girl has lost her memories before August 1st. The story is told through her relieving the days following August 1st in relationships with 4 of her male friends (plus 1 other guy, but he doesn’t really count).
The problem arises when we actually look past the premise and actually at what each episode does to further the plot and character development. The answer to that for the first 10 episodes? Not all that much. Each of the arcs for the four love interests have their quirks (*cough* locked in a cage *cough*), but on the whole they ultimately fail to move the story forward towards any kind of end. It wasn’t until episode 11 when the fifth man arrives that I could actually begin to guess what was causing the travelling back in time and loss of memories, and even then, within 10 minutes of having that opportunity, the cat was let out of the bag anyway.
gSo today, according to MyAnimeList I watched my 1000th episode of anime. Practically for writing this blog post I was hoping it wouldn’t be an episode of Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? just because it turns the title into a bit of mammoth. That aside, I think it’s a pretty important milestone, despite almost a quarter of those episodes (224) being the original Yu-Gi-Oh series. Naturally it doesn’t include all the odd episodes of Pokémon I’ve watched through my life or anything like that, but let’s just roll with it, okay?
Yesterday I was watching a review of Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? and the reviewer made the point that the title gives off bad vibes which doesn’t do the show much good even before you’ve start watching it, which now that I think about it, is completely true. Dungeons and girls? It does have harem written all over it, and actually that’s what it looks like it’s going to be, however, by episode 7 it’s not looking like a huge failure. I won’t go into the whole of the show in this article in the interest of keeping things on topic for episode 7!
Episode 7 sees our hero Bell finally get to talk to his saviour and now inspiration, Aiz Wallenstein. After being introduced and reclaiming his arm guard from Aiz, she offers to teach Bell how to fight with both ‘skill and strategy’ which as she points out, he is lacking. Turns out from this point on, loving a girl lots just isn’t enough to make you a hero.
Not so long ago I watched the two seasons of Infinity Stratos. Needless to say if you’ve seen any of my posts, I really didn’t enjoy the show. It was trying to be an action show when in fact it would have done much better as a full harem show with some mechas. In terms of the harem genre though it was my first experience; you might wonder why I’d come back so soon to a genre that didn’t really sit well with me, but I did. So, Shuffle!, a harem show that doesn’t try to be something it isn’t, and before we start let me tell you, that it is definite plus point. For this review I’m going to ignore the plot and give you a run through of each of the girls finishing up with our end result.
Shuffle! is set in a world where the gateway to the realm of the Gods and the realm of the Demons has been opened and the three races (that would include humans), live together in peace. Rin, a human, is your typical high school guy, going about his life as you might expect such a person would. His one quirk, if that’s what we’re going to call it, is that both of his parents tragically died in a car crash so he lives with his childhood friend Kaede and her father, who is often on long business trips. As a result, Kaede behaves essentially as Rin’s slave for almost (no not that) everything. Rin’s relatively normal life gets turned upside down upon on arriving at school one day two new girls arrive claiming that they are both going to vying for his love and hand in marriage. Oh and did I mention that they are the daughter’s of the King of God’s and King of Demon’s respectively. This is all stems from the fact that once they met him in the past and he played with them for a day to keep them happy. Anyway, lets just get onto what they’re all about.
Now, I have a confession to make before this review. For about half of the show (and probably the whole previous series as well), I was taking things too seriously. With that in mind, I’ll get on with the review.
The background to Infinite Stratos II is largely similar to that of the first season. Ichika and his harem of girls, now well establish, return to the IS academy after the summer break. The threat to the group and the academy has become tangible in the form of the ominously named ‘Phantom Task’, a group of IS unit thieves whose greater objectives in the world are pretty much unknown (and actually they remain so throughout).
If you remember my review of the first season, I said that there isn’t really anything unique about the plot line. Well, that’s still true, but this time I’m not going to be so harsh about that fact. So let’s split up the plot as best as we can: firstly, Ichika meets a new girl- a senpai this time- secondly, after new girl has a bit of an arc, she convinces Ichika to befriend her sister (who also joins the harem), and be her partner in a tag team tournament (which doesn’t actually ever happen)- and finally there’s a bit of a stand off and fight with the ‘bad guys’ that Ichika and the girls have to deal with.
As you might have seen on the group Facebook page, as well as writing one article a week as a review of a whole season or a feature on a specific aspect of the anime world, I’m also going to start doing a weekly episode focus. This will be an article that looks at an episode in depth and will be chosen because it’s fantastic, terrible or (as is the case today) plain ridiculous.
Despite not particularly liking the first season of Infinite Stratos, I decided to persevere and watch the second season. It was when watching episode 6 that I decided looking at one episode in particular for it’s standout qualities could be a good piece to write. That episode was episode 6, The Secret Base or Pride of a Maiden.