Bitesized thoughts on Anime; Done in 10 minutes or less!
Category: Quick Thoughts
Done right after an anime series has finished, or an announcement has been made. These views are raw and normally change if I decide to give the series a proper shallow dive, but sometimes you just need to get out those feelings!
Anime news has been coming fast and fierce the last few days with new series, seasons and trailers being thrown at us again and again. It’s so much that I don’t want to overload the blog multiple posts, so here are my quick thoughts on a bunch of them at once. Check them out after the cut
I think it is massively important to realize when your mind changes on something and don’t hold to pride and believe you are still right. I have always maintained that both on this blog and in real life. Admitting you are wrong is not a weakness, it is a strength.
That being said, I need a knife and fork, cause I’m gonna eat some crow on the second half That Time I got Reincarnated as Slime.
Slime’s 2nd cour is not “bad” in the same realm as other bad animes. In fact, all of Slimeis never falls below average at best. It’s frankly too well made and has enough effort put into it that it can’t ever become truly bad. However, I have to admit that this show clearly peaked with the ending of the Shizu arc in the first half, and is never able to get back on solid footing again.
That is a shame because those first twelve or so episodes of Slime are actually some of the best Isekai I have seen. Its slow pace allows the viewers to get accustomed to the world and seeing Rimuru adjust to his new life and ability over the course of several episodes and not just one makes for good storytelling. The Shizu arc, in general, is some of the best Isekai stories I’ve seen since ReZero and the conclusion quite frankly should have been in the running for the award of “most touching moment” last year. All of that is great, and my thoughts I made back when I gave my thoughts on the 1st cour still remain true.
It’s just after that, the show is never able to get back on that footing, and Slime falls into the trap that several other Isekais face: watching as our main lead “mary sues” his way to victory each week. Quite frankly everything falls into place too easily for Rimiru and never once does it feel he has to suffer or face any challenge. Now that is alright if the show is upfront and admit it (the one reason that Isekai Smartphone is becoming more and more respected by me), but Slime never does that, and we are just left to accept that Rimiru is just this good. Is it a deal breaker? No, but once that initial shine of Slime runs out, the goodwill it earned in the first half falls always quite fast.
I doubt this will be the end of Slimeand I know that things are going to get better in the future if a second season comes (this story is actually completely finished, so that’s a bonus in its favor). Yet I have to call a spade and spade here; That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slimejust couldn’t keep the good times going and it suffers for it. I still enjoyed the series, but it became harder to get invested as the weeks dragged on.
This news is red hot, but I wanted to drop down my quick thoughts on it anyway. While it has been hinted at all weekend, we now have official confirmation that Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maidwill be getting a second anime season this year.
I gave my views on the first season back when I started this blog, but they bear repeating it here. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an EXCELLENT feel-good series that is full of great humor, loads of cuteness and is just one of those rare series where you can tune in, tune out and have a great time. It was also probably a show that I thought would never get a second season, but apparently strong fan reception and good sales have made such a thing a reality.
This is good news all around. 2019 hasn’t had many home runs so far with the winter season (aside from Shield Hero and Date A Live III), and the promise of a second season to a beloved property is just the pick-me-up that I think we all needed. A show like Dragon Maidcomes along only once or twice in an anime generation and any chance to spend more time with Kobayashi, Tohru and of course Kanna is welcome in my eyes. If you haven’t seen the series yet, then check it out for sure.
Details are still light, we don’t even know what studio is animating it, but the mere fact we are getting a second season is reason enough to celebrate. I’ll keep my expectations firmly in check, but bring it on.
I must stress that this is not my review or shallow dive into this movie. While I have seen a version of this film, I have not seen it in the way that I feel I need to do give it a full and fair look. However as I am a die-hard Fate Fan and the internet so warmly provided me a chance to see this movie, I feel I want to get my thoughts out now while the iron is still hot.
I look forward to watching this movie again two more times (one for sub, one for dub) and you can’t expect my fuller more complete thoughts later this year. For now though, my quick thoughts on the Fate Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly are after the poster.
Lost Butterflyand all of Heaven’s Feelare movies for Fate fans who are one or two series deep into the franchise and therefore doesn’t waste any time explaining anything about the world. Since this is part two of the story, we jump right back into the story keep things at a brisk, but well-paced speed. Again, that can be difficult for new fans, but it is clear this movie is made for the people who have at least seen Blade Works or Fate/Zero.
In terms of the plot, Sakura’s route is just as dark and foreboding as I hoped it would be, with more than enough differences to separate it from both Fateand Blade Works, which often felt like they were chasing similar overall story beats. Heaven’s Feel, however, is wholly its own story that takes the Fate world and turns it on its head. While all the characters are present, we get to see the magic of the three route structure on full display as different cast members weave in and out of importance as the story unfolds. This is especially true for Gilgamesh and Archer who are so central to the last two routes but play much smaller roles here. The only real constant is Rin Tohsaka who, while very much a supporting character this time, is still tied up greatly with the events of the plot.
Finally, Lost Butterfly is, at last, the Fate route that managed to find the perfect compromise between the original visual novel, and the Realta Nua re-rerelease. I’ll just go ahead and spoil this, but this is the first Fate adaptation that actually kept in a sex scene, but re-tools it to make it fit more into the story and not feel like it’s completely superfluous to it. It’s there, it works extremely well, and it’s done tastefully and respectfully.
I’ll have a lot more to say about this movie when I get a few more views in later in the year. All I can say now is that Ufotable has done it again. They’ve created another beautifully animated, well acted and excellent adaptation of Fate Stay Night. While Lost Butterfly is lighter on the action, the action that is present might even give Dragon Ball Super Brolya run for its money. The characters are excellent, and Shirou and Sakura’s relationship was way more endearing than I hoped, with a cliffhanger ending that just gets you pumped for the final installment.
I know this is a bit late, but I wanted to wait until the current arc was all but wrapped up before I did this.
There is much to be said about the all-encompassing popularity of the Isekai genre right now. Personally, I find it to be a venue to tell some really cool and unique stories but seems more concerned with creating middle of the road power fantasies that aren’t concerned with much else.
That has led to some truly good and even great shows. How not to Summon a Demon Lordwas my ecchi anime of 2018. Overlord puts a unique spin on a standard formula with a unique hero, hell the more time goes on, the more I have come to really enjoy and respect In Another World with my Smartphone for simply being honest with itself (though it doesn’t make me forgive the forgettable female leads). But what about the big Isekai of the year? With the series about halfway over, let’s get into my thoughts of That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime after the poster.
If I could sum up Isekai Slime, it’s that it is Demon Lord’s less pervy brother. Both shows are examples of what happens when you polish the basic Isekai formula to an absolute mirror shine. Fourteen episodes in and it is clear that Slime is not going to be a deep or meaningful show in terms of its themes. What it has though is an absolute true upfront honesty of what it is, and the quality it shows towards that pays off in spades. This isn’t like Master of Ragnarok or Death Marchwhere the showrunners hope just being an Isekai will mean easy money. Slime has so far been a show where everyone has shown up to play and that alone is able to pave over some of the possible negative feelings some people might have overwatched yet another Isekai.
Despite being basic though, Slime has done some interesting things, most notably in the Shizu arc. While not a gory or mature show by any means, there have been some moments where I was legit surprised at how the show portrayed some the beats in the story. Shizu’s entire life from the start to the conclusion is filled with a bittersweet tragedy that is too often missing from shows like this. The ending moments of the arc, where our hero Rimiru bids farewell to Shizu and we get to see her come to a metaphorical peace is honestly probably one of the saddest/heartwarming moments of last year (I knew I fucking forget SOMETHING on my list).
Aside from that, everything else is standard Isekai fare with that spit and polish that made Demon Lord such a runaway hit last year. The character designs are unique enough to stand out, the other arcs have been good enough, and the decision to have a slower pace (being a two cour series of 12 episodes each) has allowed the plot to take its time where it might have rushed. I’ve enjoyed Isekai Slime a lot so far, and I’m really interested to see where it goes. Give a look if you haven’t already, or if you aren’t sick to death of the genre. This one is looking to be a real keeper.
The Fate Franchise continues to grow and it looks like 2019 will be a good year overall. With the second part of the Heaven’s Feeltrilogy coming out this month, Fate Grand Ordersomehow still making billions with anime adaptations on their way, and more and more merch. Fate Stay Night looks like it is entering 2019 strong and healthy and will continue to be.
One treat we got a few days ago was the preview episode for one of the more popular Fate spinoffs. My thoughts on Lord El-Melloi II Case Files is after the video.
After watching the preview episode, I am pretty excited about this. The Fate Spinoffs have always maintained a rather loose connection to the main Fate universe, and Case Files is no exception. While its connection is stronger than most, the show stars Waver Velvet, the only master who walked away from Fate/Zero in a better place, or you know…alive. The show is more about the now adult Waver solving cases involving the magic and politics of the Clocktower, complete with his own Saber looking partner. There doesn’t look to be any major references to the Holy Grail War or the events of either Fate/Zero or Fate Stay Night.
Honestly? I’m ok with that. Any chance to expand the world of Fate (yes I know there is the greater Nasuverse, but one thing at a time here) is welcome in my eyes. The world of mages and the Clocktower was always in the background of Fate Stay Night, so seeing how the rest of the world operates is going to be really fun to see. I don’t expect much on that front, but I love a good mystery as much as the next guy.
Besides, anime Severus Snape looks like he’s gonna wreck some shit. We’ll find out in Summer 2019, but the first episode makes things feel really promising.
The boobs, the butts, the midriffs, the thighs, the jiggles, the bullshit tropes, the comedy. Fanservice and Anime go together like PB and J, they are joined at the hip. Frankly, I do not believe the anime industry would be what it is today (good and bad), or successful as it has been if it didn’t have fanservice as one of the cornerstones.
Now that is not to say that Fanservice can’t be disruptive, or intrude on a story where it doesn’t belong. Anime is, can be and will always be successful it if doesn’t engage in fanservice. One of Fairy Tail’s problems is that it shoves in fanservice where it isn’t needed. Sometimes though, some extra fanservice can do a series some good, especially when the overall plot of the anime is rather dull. With that being said, let take a dive into Senran Kagura Shinovi Master Tokyo Youma-Hen.
I have not watched or knew any part of the Senran Kagura franchise before this, and since this is a sequel to the first series, I came into this without much knowledge. However, from what I have seen and looked into, Senran Kagurais a rather clear-cut series.
It is at its best when the fanservice is cranked up to eleven when the girls’ clothes are about as durable as tissue paper. The idea of all these female ninjas fighting demons, being able to do amazing feats, but unable to keep their clothes on is the type of absurdity that makes the ecchi genre work. However it is at it’s worst when the series has next to no fanservice and is forced to depend on the overall plot and characters, which is..less than satisfactory. That is not to say that it is a bad story, just that it is a basic story. Everything I saw in Senran Kagura I’ve seen a dozen times in a dozen other anime and manga. There just wasn’t anything that stood out that surprised me, and when that’s all Kagura has, and several episodes are notably light on the TnA, then the show is just really forgettable.
Overall Senran Kagura was a solid addition to this year’s menu of Ecchi animes. While nowhere near as well done as Demon Lord or High School DxD, it had some great moments when it fully embraced the absurdity of being a show about smoking hot ninja babes. I just wish it had a bit more to say when it decides to not be about busty beautiful babes bouncing bashfully.