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Anime Reviews

Post-review: Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon – Episode 13

REVIEW – This is one of those rare occurrences where a writer has just acted upon wrong information.

I was led to believe that Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon was ending on its twelfth episode but it seems as I was wrong. A few hours before writing this article, I saw that Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon had updated their list of episodes to include a thirteenth – which caught me by surprise.

This is pretty awkward but I want to give out my thoughts on this episode since the review article I had for Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon was using the thoughts I had for episodes one to twelve.

Here goes…

The thirteenth episode starts around the doubts that Tohru has in staying with Kobayashi – being that she and Kobayshi have different lifespans, thus would cause her great grief if Kobayashi were to die.

As Tohru ponders upon these thoughts, her father arrives and gets her home – much to Kobayashi and everyone’s surprise and grief.

We get to see how Kobayashi deals with the current situation – she has to do housework, taking care of Kanna and maintaining a job all by herself. It is not a light task.

I am also quite content on how Kobayashi reacted initially to this since she did not do the usual anime tropes where “we will find our friend to the ends of the earth because she is our friend.”

She took it maturely by reasoning that it is Tohru’s family matter and she had no right to interfere.

A few months (or probably years), Tohru returns to Kobayashi without her father’s permission does incurring his wrath and a confrontation happens.

I thought it was so great for a character to realize how underpowered she is and still, with head held up high, be a force to be reckoned with.

Kobayashi defended the wants of Tohru and did so knowing that she may or may not die. A dragon versus a lowly female human – armed only by her wits and logic.

It was a great resolution I might say – Kobayashi trying to work out a compromise but got to talk down Tohru’s father instead by saying “have faith in your daughter for once.” It was a great sight to see how this “couple” had started to develop over the course of twelve episodes (I am looking at you, Asuna and Kirito – no timeskips here).

Overall, it was a wonderful conclusion to a cute and somewhat serious anime series.

It showed how despite this series being labeled as a comedy, slice-of-life – it can still function in serious conditions and still give out entertainment to their viewers.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is probably one of the best anime series to have come out from the winter season of this year and it is, definitely, worth your time.

Are you having a bad day? Watch Kobayashi – you will not regret it.

(writer’s note: also the previous article was a grave mistake from me and i hope i wont do this again)

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Anime Reactions

Reaction: Re:ZERO – Episode 2

REACTION – The first episode was a roller-coaster of emotions for me. The main characters have died, it appears that the male lead is in a time-loop and a lot more of that jazz.

Re:ZERO’s first episode came down upon me with some shock, fear, and questions. I am not particularly good when it comes to dark stories that involves blood and gore so taking this anime series into my watch list was quite a bold move for me.

In this second episode, Subaru continues to unravel bit-by-bit of the situation he is currently in and I am not a fan of how he goes about it.

As I mentioned in my first look article, Subaru’s character annoys me a lot. He does not think about the things he’s about to do and doesn’t do anything about it. He is very much aware of his faults but just blatantly ignores it.

The same situation unfolds in this episode – only that Subaru may have somewhat broken the time-loop by altering some parts of the timeline. Instead of the killer, we are instead greeted with Satella as she knocks on the loot house door. It gives a bit of edge in the future as they expect to meet the killer lady who’s out for Satella’s insignia.

I am still quite stressed out by this series. There’s too much frustrations building up and I’m afraid of two things: will this be a consistent thing in the series? Or will it just be shoved aside?

Tension and dark elements are good, if done right. But sometimes, it is just down-right stupid and annoying without proper execution.

I will still be watching the third episode (much to my displeasure) to know more about how Subaru got himself in this precarious situation of life and death and the reasons why.

Overall, great episode. I hope the anime series continues to be consistent throughout its episodic cour.

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Anime First Looks

First Look: Re:ZERO – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Re:ZERO was a popular anime series in the year 2016. Although I may have been late to the party, it’s better than never as I may put it.

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The first episode centers around the hikikomori, Natsuki Subaru, as he is suddenly transported to a medieval-aged world filled with magic and fantasy. He meets a silver-haired girl who introduces herself as “Satella” and a spirit named “Puck” after they save him from a group of thugs.

He offers his help to this girl in finding her stolen insignia which leads them to the slums of the city. It all goes wrong when Subaru discovers that the building they believed to be the whereabouts of the insignia was, in fact, a murder scene – and they were going to be killed as well.

Subaru, as a character, is surprisingly perceptive and just outright dumb at some times. He displays this by using the system of bartering as means of re-acquiring the stolen insignia which was going to be sold by some black market shop. However, he is very tactless about what he says.

Being a person who has suddenly been transported into an alternate fantasy world set in the medieval era, you should’ve developed the mindset that “not all you know will apply in this place and you should be extra-careful about what you do.”

But no, not our boy, Natsuki Subaru.

I would’ve loved this series if only Subaru got his act straight and got self-aware but no, he doesn’t. The only thing that’s piqued my interest in this anime series is the: how’s, where’s, and why’s?

Why is Subaru here? How? Where is ‘here‘ exactly?

I, honestly, am annoyed of Subaru’s character as a whole – reminds me of Kirito except that he is very much aware that he’s a dumb piece of meat.

Re:ZERO can easily be described as a deconstruction of the whole “trapped in an alternative world” scenario with some dark elements shoved into it. This episode ended with the death of a main male and female lead but somehow doesn’t matter since the main male character has the ability to go back in a specific point in time – kind of like a spawn point.

This anime series has definitely hooked me in at the end with more questions: why was Subaru transported into this world? Why can he revert time? What is so significant with Satella? Who is this female murderer? And other more questions.

I will finish this series as soon as I can (if I survive). It was quite a bummer why I didn’t watched and followed along this series as it aired but it’s better than not ever watching it.

Also I don’t like gore. Never have I liked gore. I almost dropped Attack on Titan when it first came out as I saw Eren’s mom being devoured slowly by a creepy-looking titan. That does not sit well with me.

I’ve already been spoiled about some points of this series so it’s okay to spoil but it’ll ruin my viewing experience though (wherever your conscience lies, dear reader).

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Anime Reviews

Review: Attack on Titan 2 – Episode 1

REVIEW – Shingeki no Kyojin, or more famously known as Attack on Titan, just released the first episode of the series’ second season. Every fan has waited for a very long time to watch this anime series once more.

Although some people in the community were very displeased to hear that the second season would have a twelve-episode cour, the first episode’s release was met with excitement.

As for this writer, it was a much more… meh kind-of episode.

The second season’s first episode recalled to the events after that whole fist-fight between Annie and Eren, as well as what happened to the rest of the Survey Corps twelve hours prior that time.

The first episode focused on the 104th Survey Corps as they were defending against the titans who broke through Wall Rose twelve hours prior the events caused by the whole Annie and Eren carnage.

The Survey Corps split into four compass groups to warn the near villages as their Squad Leader, Mike (second to Levi), was buying them time and holding off the titans advance. Died, of course, quite horribly.

I find the whole interaction between the newly-introduced Beast Titan and Mike quite entertaining. It captures the whole emotion of fear around Mike as he grasps the situation: “Holy sh*t, this titan can speak Japanese?”

It also appears that the Beast Titan has the capability to control and order around the lesser and unintelligible titans. Quite similar to how Annie Leonhardt does it as the female titan but in a much more direct sense – literally telling them to do this and that.

The episode ends off with the big guys: Eren, Mikasa, Erwin, Levi and friends responding to the whole attack.

For me, this whole episode was showing nothing new other than the existence of the Beast Titan. It felt more like a recap of the previous season’s events and how it will lead to the events next episode.

Overall, it was a pretty disappointing episode for me. I was expecting some sort of thrill and excitement but it came out as a slow paced episode.

I hope the next episodes will pick up faster than this one.

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Anime Reviews

Review: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

REVIEW – Kyoto Animation has always known for it’s “moe” trademark and there’s almost no KyoAni work without a “moe” vibe in it. The only thing special about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is that it is not a KyoAni original work. This was adapted from a manga series of the same name by the writer and illustrator, Coolkyoushinja.

The anime series’ plot is as follows:

One morning, as office worker Kobayashi gets ready for another day at work, she is greeted by a terrifying sight—the head of a large dragon staring into her eyes from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty and energetic young girl in a maid outfit, who introduces herself as Tohru.

It turns out that during a drunken excursion to the mountains many weeks ago, this typically stoic office worker encountered the dragon who claims to have come from another world. With no place to stay, Kobayashi decides to keep the dragon in her home. In a perfect example of how good deeds are rewarded, Tohru decides to repay her kindness by working as her personal maid. Despite being reluctant and deeply regretful over what she did, a mix of guilt and Tohru’s dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to accept her.

However, despite being extremely efficient at housework, Tohru’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up scaring Kobayashi and bringing more trouble than help. Moreover, the reason behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth may be more complicated than it seems, as Tohru shares a troubled past. To add it all up, Tohru’s presence ends up attracting other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a new host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi is trying her level best to adjust to the crazy situation that is unfolding, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.

So first, I will be discussing about this series’ plot. It is quite light-hearted and nothing too serious as it tries to be at times. A struggling office worker finds herself acquainted with a female dragon whilst under the influence of alcohol because “hey, we do crazy sh*t sometimes.”

The first few episodes of the anime series isn’t really that much but picks up in the middle and later parts of the show. Every episode has some sort of joke in it – a punchline, if you will. Tohru, the dragon, has to fulfill her role as Kobayashi’s maid and blend into human society – in numerous, hilarious ways. That is the charm of the show. It is somewhat similar to Nichijou in a sense of episode structures – problem, characters solve the problems in any hilarious way they can, they somehow solve it in the hilarious way possible.

Although, there are specific moments in the show where we get to see some backstories and serious moments – all of which were rather unnecessary for the plot (since there was no escalation and was useless) but added some sort of charm to the characters. It made me, as a viewer, relate to each character on a somewhat personal level.

The characters are pretty straightforward with their attitudes and such. Then again, the backstories (as mentioned), give them a certain charm and makes the viewer understand the reasons of his/her actions.

For example, we are introduced to a character named “Lucoa” or her dragon name “Quetzalcoatl.”

In some interpretations of Aztec mythology, Quetzalcoatl is a serpent/dragon-like goddess who lost her divinity after getting drunk and causing some sort of scandal with her younger sister. The show makes references to that with jokes like this:

Lucoa: *sips an alcohol of some sorts* This tastes familiar.
Tohru: Is it because you got drunk with–
Lucoa: SHUT UP!

It is with these kinds of references and jokes to their real life counterparts that make these characters charming, in a way.

Also, the dragon characters and their misinterpretations with modern human society and comparing them with medieval human societies are also hilarious and charming in a way.

The ending, however, was a unnecessary cliffhanger or not. It’s suggesting a second season but I have yet to hear some news regarding about this.

Now, animation-wise, it is without a doubt that Kyoto Animation has maintained its quality. The wonderful transition of intricate and beautiful to a comical animation style is something to take note of. Kyoto Animation uses this transition well and at the most important, appropriate times.

Talking about music, the opening and ending themes were some of the most catchiest songs I’ve heard so far. The fast-pace and upbeat music paired with wild and funny animations was well done.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an anime series that shines in its comedic moments with a fair share of background that makes each character relatable and charming in their own special way.

If you are someone who’s having a really bad and stressful time, you’re gonna need this anime series to lift up your spirits.

Categories
Anime Reviews

RWBY Volume 4

REVIEW – Over the span of four volumes, Rooster Teeth has been constantly improving its animation as seen through their animated series “RWBY”. From the clunky and robotic movements in its first volume, this show has come a long way.

After watching the entire volume, I can sum the whole plot in just a few words: “The fairy tale is over”. In the first three volumes, we were always fixated on team RWBY and their antics at Beacon Academy. They experienced a lot of happy, thrilling, and depressing moments but not quite as much as a huge pitfall like in the fourth volume.

The fourth volume takes place after the events in the fall of Beacon.

Ruby Rose along with Jaune, Nora and Ren have taken it upon themselves to seek revenge upon the people responsible for destroying what they love. Yang is recovering after losing her arm in a fight against the White Fang leader. Weiss has been snatched away by her father and is living the life in Atlas. Blake, still reeling from the events, has fled to her hometown of Menagerie.

Out of all the four volumes, this has to be my most favorite so far. It focuses on each of the characters’ development and reactions to the events during the fall of Beacon.

Jaune, being the most affected by these events, is still not coming to terms with Phyrra’s death. This is clearly seen by how he has kept mementos of her on his person – like her weapons, the training lessons and many more.

Ruby has shown to have matured in this volume as the fairy tale is slowly crumbling around her. Unlike before where she was surrounded with friendly people, she is now stranded in a world where there’s too few good left.

Blake has succumbed to her former self and has started blaming herself over what happened to Yang and the events during the fall of Beacon – how she was helpless and unable to do anything useful.

Nora and Ren have been given deeper backstory on how they ended up with each other.

The animation has been done wonderfully considering how fluid the characters’ actions have become and how the environments are getting even more detailed by each episode.

The soundtrack for this volume has been rather done well by Casey Lee Williams. The melodies and lyrics used in each song have clearly set the mood of the entire volume – one filled with chaos, fear and yet hope.

In this volume, we’ve seen more new places like Menagerie, Mistral, Atlas. We’ve also learned more of the world’s history such as the two brothers of light and darkness and how they are related to the Grimm.

This entire volume has been basically a setup for future progressions in the fifth volume. It is the build up towards the endgame wherein the forces of good and evil will clash to settle things once for all.

It was a wonderful watch and I can’t wait for the events that’ll unfold in the fifth volume.

ozpin lives