Hatsukoi Monster First Impressions

Hatsukoi Monster is a perfect example of why you can’t judge a show without watching it. Everything about Hatsukoi Monster looked like it was going to be positively dreadful, from the stupid premise to the pv featuring nothing but untranslated voice acting over character art from the manga. In fact, Hatsukoi Monster was one of the few shows I considered leaving unwatched under the assumption that there was no way it wouldn’t be bad. But morbid curiosity kept pulling me back in. I figured there had to be something more to Hatsukoi Monster for it to have that premise and be popular enough to get an anime adaption and be licensed in English.

Guys, Hatsukoi Monster was so much fun. Firstly, the animation looked nice. The characters sometimes looked a bit wonky, which was unsurprising to me considering their ornate, very manga-ey designs, but I feel the show compensated with beautiful color choices and excellent composition.

Hatsukoi Monster ep01 00m44s cropped Continue reading “Hatsukoi Monster First Impressions”

Rewrite First Impressions

Okay, here’s the deal with this post. I have a general policy watching every episode twice before reviewing it, one time all the way through, the other to pause and take notes and screenshots. Obviously, it would be absolute madness to apply this to Rewrite. I cannot imagine forcing myself to watch that forty-seven minute long pile of dogshit twice. Hell, when I scrolled over the time bar to see whether it was almost over and saw how fucking long the episode was, I nearly cried. Instead, this posts sole image will be this season’s new feature: “Why Am I Watching This”. The idea of this feature is for every first episode I put down an etch mark for every time I ask myself why I’m watching it or am tempted to drop it.

Rewrite wasn’t very good

Continue reading “Rewrite First Impressions”

Tah-Dah! Summer 2016 Anime Preview

Yesss….I’ve been meaning to make a seasonal for years, but this is the first time I’ve managed to put one together before the start of the season.

Before the first episodes air, everything’s guesswork. Sure, you may be familiar with the source material, but poor execution can murder a good story, and excellent execution can redeem a story previously deemed bad. You can bang on all you want about pedigree, but so many people work on any single anime series that liking a director, scriptwriter, character designer, etc, isn’t any guarantee either. All of these are fairly shallow observations based off the pvs and premises which can be boiled down to “the visuals look_” and “I’ve had _experience with this genre”.

I’ve done basically no research outside of what can be found on anichart.

The Single Anime I Can Almost Guarantee I’ll Like


Although Handa-Kun is a prequel to Barakamon (which I also love), its style of comedy is very different. Where as Barakamon was a fairly grounded dramedy, Handa-Kun is an off-the-wall screwball farce. In fact, Handa-Kun bares a strong resemblance to Sakamoto Desu Ga, the difference being that Sakamoto was genuinely an omnipotent omniscient being capable of solving any problem he runs across and Handa is a socially awkward dork with a massive persecution complex, whose prickly defensive comments are intepreted as words of wisdom by those around him.

In Weebcast’s Spring 2016 first impressions episode, they described Sakamoto and Tanaka-Kun as fitting within a genre of shows generally titled something along the lines of “_kun is” and about one weird guy and how his various classmates react to him. Handa-kun is an inversion of this formula as it’s about a cast of weirdos bouncing off of a (relatively) normal guy.

I love the manga this is adapting and Sei Handa is one of my all time favorite characters. I don’t expect this show to be mindblowingly good or anything, but I look forward to it no matter what.

Shows I’m Excited For Continue reading “Tah-Dah! Summer 2016 Anime Preview”

Musaigen no Phantom World Episode 02

Musaigen no Phantom World ep02 09m33s

Musaigen no Phantom World is perilously close to dropping of my watchlist. The amount of badly executed, unnecessary exposition is mind boggling. It starts by telling us that phantoms are an illusion, which I think is actually a pretty good idea. I would love to watch a show where all the characters have brains that have been slightly altered and everyone is constantly interacting with creatures that may or not exist. That would be dope. Unfortunately, Musaigen no Phantom World is not that show. When phantoms shows up, all the characters seem be interacting with the same thing. When a character punches a phantom, they clearly make physical contact. All the nonsense about illusions is just set dressing that commits the cardinal sin of being both pretentious and dumb. The only thing important we learn in this one minute and forty seconds long exposition dump, is that sealing phantoms doesn’t kill them and that they may potentially reappear.  All of this is before the theme song has even started. Continue reading “Musaigen no Phantom World Episode 02”

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar First Impressions

I came in to Grimgar with very low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. Grimgar is in the school of rpg style fantasy anime that have popped up in recent years, but unalike most of its brethren, Grimgar is no wish fulfillment fantasy. In fact, Grimgar almost feels akin to a survivalist drama. Our base premise is that twelve individuals awaken in a tower with no memories outside of their own names. They’re lead to a recruitment desk where they are strongly encouraged to join Volunteer Soldier Squad in exchange for ten silver coins. They are technically given the option to refuse, but they are told that there is no other labor available to them. Naturally, they all join. The strongest form a team, leaving the rest to form a party, the latter being our heroes. Our protagonists are not left completely helpless, they have a small amount of money, weapons, and a weeks worth of training in some skill or another (which is more than the protagonists of most survivalist dramas get), but they aren’t given much by way of advantages either. In most rpg style fantasy shows, the heroes, whether it’s acknowledged or not, are given  something by way of heightened speed or enhanced strength which allows them to keep up with the monsters. Our heroes, on the other hand, seem to have the strength, speed, and stamina of your everyday highschoolers. In the first scene, our six heroes face off against a pair Goblins (Goblins being the weakest class of monster) and proceed to have their asses walloped, primarily due to their own incompetence.

Replace "might" with "are definitely"
Replace “might be” with “are definitely”

Continue reading “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar First Impressions”

First Impressions Digest: Sekkou Boys and Oshiete! Galko-chan

Sekkou Boys

My most anticipated anime of the season. Seriously. It’s a show about a woman with statue related trauma who  becomes the manager of an idol group composed of marble busts. It’s stupid, hilarious and beautiful.

Sekkou Boys ep01 06m18s

Did this stupid fucking show make the watchlist? Hell yes it did! Continue reading “First Impressions Digest: Sekkou Boys and Oshiete! Galko-chan”

Dagashi Kashi First Impressions

Who ever decided that dagashi translates as “candy” is on cocaine. The term “dagashi” clearly encompasses not only sweet, but savory junkfood as well.

Pizza flavored candy
Pizza flavored candy

I spent awhile befuddled by why Dagashi Kashi was so watchable. No matter how I spun it, Dagashi Kashi is a fairly standard romcom distinguished neither by originality or exceptional execution. It was only today that I figured it out; Dagashi Kashi didn’t hit any sour notes. None of the humor was hilarious (I only laughed maybe twice), but none of it was obnoxious or buffoonish either. None of the characters were strikingly memorable, but neither were they stock characters. This may sound like feeble praise, but in an industry flooded with cheap, cynical shows designed to cash in on the latest crazes populated with characters that little more than “types” designed to part otaku from their spending money, Dagashi Kashi’s sincerity is rare. Continue reading “Dagashi Kashi First Impressions”

Divine Gate First Impressions

Divine Gate

Divine Gate ep01 03m41s


I’d like to start us off with some poetry:

Pitter patter the rain starts to drop

While the water may fill the holes in the road

It will never fill the holes in ones heart

The droplets trickling down his cheek

Flows into the boys heart

And while that may create a ripple

It will never become his tears

And it carries on like that for another minute or so, describing each of the three main characters. Just to be clear, this is not an excerpt from my eighth grade English notebook, these are the first lines of this show. Yeah, I know. It’s beautiful.  You know how I mentioned that Musaigen isn’t chuuni? Well, Divine Gate is as chuuni as the day is long. The hero is Aoto, a powerful Adapter (in this show Adapters are apparently people who are born with magic powers) with a dark and tortured past. He puts ice cubes in his instant ramen because his parents never let him eat warm food. Continue reading “Divine Gate First Impressions”

Musaigen no Phantom World First Impressions

Musaigen no Phantom World ep01 11m19s

Now I hear some of you fuckers have been referring to Musaigen as “chuuni trash” and I am here to tell you idiots to go back to anime school because you are flagrantly incorrect. Geez, get your teenage boy wish fulfillment fantasies straight. Musaigen isn’t chuuni trash, it’s harem trash. Now I understand that these terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive (there are plenty of shows with characteristics of both), but in this case Musaigen is not only harem trash, it is prototypical harem trash, which is inherently un-chuuni. Let me explain; the prototypical harem trash lead is designed specifically to be non-threatening. He is always either a nerd, a goof, a loser, or an everyman that just happens to be rolling in gorgeous babes. He is somebody the audience is supposed to either relate to, can imagine being friends with, or look down upon. The chuuni hero on the other hand, is the chosen one, the legendary hero, the coolest, strongest, most special person of them all. He has biggest sword, the best powers, toughest attack. He is handsome, yet oh so tortured. Everyone he meets either adores him or hates him irrationally. Of the two, Musaigen’s Haruhiko is clearly the former. In the context of the anime, he is, quite simply, not special (to be honest, he’s not special outside of it either). He’s smart, but not genius. His power, which is to be able to capture phantoms in paper by drawing them, is cool, but not very useful in combat. Except for his friend Mai’s teasing, nobody singles him out for anything. In fact, Musaigen’s statues as harem is slightly shaky, since nobody currently appears to be in love with him. I expect that to change fairly quickly, though. Continue reading “Musaigen no Phantom World First Impressions”