Three Years of Shallow Dives in Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Each year, we mark the anniversary of Shallow Dives in Anime with a special review. A show that for some reason or another holds a special place in my heart. It may be because it is good, or because it was bad. There may be personal reasons behind it, or it may have been something dogging my footsteps. Either way these reviews are a long time coming and ones I put a lot of thought into.

The first year I took another look at Shinmai Maou no Testament, and made peace with a show that was almost singularly responsible for getting me into blogging.

The second year I caved in and finally watched Chivalry of a Failed Knight, a show I had deeply personal reasons for avoiding.

Both shows I ended up leaving with a newfound respect, and in the case of Knight, an appreciation for. The show we are talking about this year needs no introduction, but it is something that ever since I started this blog, I knew would end up happening. A reckoning that I couldn’t run away from. A show that any anime fan worth his salt has to end up confronting, good or ill, bad or good.

Welcome to Shallow Dives in Anime. This is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Happy times.
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Three Years of Shallow Dives in Anime

This week will mark the 3rd anniversary of Shallow Dives in Anime! I can’t believe that much time has passed, and frankly, I can’t believe that I’ve managed to keep it up.

Three years in, I’ve been shocked at how well the blog has done. It has always been a passion project of mine, something I used to get my thoughts out in the world instead of letting them stew in my mind. I haven’t set out to re-write the book on blogging, or give out some great, grandiose thoughts on this or that anime. I’ve just been a dude attempting to throw out his opinions on shows he likes, and perhaps do so with an honest and open mind.

That honest and open mind has, over the three years solidified into the real purpose of this blog. Hyperbole, cliquishness and arrogance is all over the place, and people would rather twist the words of this or that show to fit their viewpoints, instead of seeing things for what it is. I have tried to do the opposite. I don’t see anime for what it wants to be, I see anime for what it is. To cut through the bullshit and deliver points that are short, sweet and get to the gist of the matter.

Whether it is the brutal truth surrounding Wonder Egg Priority. Going to bat for Gundam SEED, talking about difficult ideas revolving Fate/Illya’s Kuro. Admiring the sheer courage of Redo of Healer. Trying to split the difference over Faye Valentine, or seeing what is good in shows that may not be. I’ve approached every anime that has crossed this blog, good or bad, sweet or sour, with a measure of fairness. There is very little I will not talk about on this blog, and whatever does come up almost always has something special to share.

As always I have many people to thank: CrowIrinaLynnScottYomu, PeteJon Spencer,,  iniksbane and infinitezenith for always being there for chat or comment. And most of all to you. If you have taken the time to look at one of my posts, leave a like, or even a comment. Know that you have always brought a smile to my face. and warmth to my heart.

So here is to three years of Shallow Dives in Anime. You can look forward to the Thursday post with the celebration review. One that has been a long, long time coming. I am very interested in seeing what people think, but for now, all I can say is this.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Fate Apocrypha Episodes 1-12: Make the Grail War Great Again

While The Summer of Love has concluded, that doesn’t mean I’m done talking about Fate! Getting ahead of my previous house keeping schedule, I’ve been watching another in the long list of Fate spin-offs. Back when I started the blog I gave a quick overview of these series, but I have been revisiting them now that I’m more comfortable as a blogger. With that said, let’s take a dive into the first half of Fate/Apocrypha after the cut!

It’s gonna be so great. With blackjack, and hookers!
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Steins;Gate 0: The Despair Horizon

The question that every sequel to a popular series, both anime and not, is simply “did we need this?” Does the story they are telling in the follow up deserve to be told? Are the characters being put in proper directions? Or does it just feel like this is a cheap cash-in to service fans? Few sequels are able to properly answer those questions properly and sadly, the show we are talking about today doesn’t change that. After the cut let’s take a dive into the sequel series Steins;Gate 0.

Do you like sadness? Well do I got an anime for you.
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If it’s for my Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Volume 2: The Cutie goes on a Road Trip

Our look at the light novels of If it’s for my Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord continues! It’s been a hot minute since we’ve looked at these books. My apologies for that, I had several other light novels on my plate, and I wanted to wait until I had the whole series in my hands before starting it again. While these won’t be a regular thing (I drag my feet on reading these), I am committed to getting through the entire series. Either way, last time we left of, Latina had been found and adopted by Dale, adorable things happened and she ripped off her horn! It was a solid opening to what I’ve heard is a really adorable little story, until it goes decides to go the way most anime fans expect. Anyway, let’s get into the second volume after the cut!

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Parallel Paradise Volume 4: Digging for Cod

Our look at the manga series Parallel Paradise continues! It’s been a while since we’ve returned to this series, but I finally got my hands on the next part of the series. As always I can never be less surprised that I can purchase this series both A) in a bookstore, and B) with an official English translation. That’s never going to be something that doesn’t shock me. Either way, plenty to get to, so after the cut let’s dive into the fourth volume of Parallel Paradise!

(NSFW images up ahead. Please read with discretion)

Thick, rock-hard Cod.
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High School DxD Volume 1: Our boy becomes a Devil!

High School DxD. What can I say that I haven’t said before?

It is the great work of the ecchi genre. One of the greatest anime ever created, a monument to everything this genre can do well when love, effort and time is put into it. Throughout everything I have watched, everything I’ve seen in these three years and beyond, I have never found a show that can wholly trump what is shown in this one series. Are there stories with more ecchi? Yes? Are there series with better girls? Sometimes? Are there better animated series? Yeah. But almost all of them do one good thing right and ignore the rest High School DxD does them all, and does them with enough effort and grace that it makes everything else, even if it may be ‘better’ in some regards, less by comparison.

But that is the anime series. What about its source material, the light novels? Can the series which I have thrown so many accolades to, hold up when there is just ink and paper? Or is this a case of the anime adding enough meat to the bone that it raises up a mediocre work? Well after the cut let’s start our journey into the world of the Light novels with the first in the series: Diablos of the Old School Building.

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Nekopara Vol.3: Oh what’s new Pussycat?

The Nekopara series has always been one that leaves me deep and compelling questions about the world and its structure. There is just something about the world that writer Sayori has created that does that. The visual novels have always been a fun read to, full of cat girls doing cute things, cat girls doing funny things, and cat girls doing each other. We’ve looked at the first two volumes of this series, which I have enjoyed pretty well. How will the third entry hold up? After the cut let’s take a dive into Nekopara Vol. 3 and find out!

My thoughts on volume 1 are right here

My thoughts on volume 2 are right here.

(NSFW images right up ahead. Please read with discretion)

Horny on the streets, or horny in the sheets?
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Infinite Stratos: On the Wings of an Idiot

I’ve watched many harems, and what I’ve noticed throughout all the good, the bad, the great and the bleh, is that at their heart. Harems are absurdist comedies. That the very idea of having one guy surrounded by a bunch of girls who all want to ride his dick is absurd. That the humor comes from the girls bouncing off each other as they try to get closer to said main character. Some shows may have action, or other plot elements, even lots of fanservice, but the very central concept is that absurdity. Take that away, try to play things seriously and you end up with either a frustrating mess ala Domestic Girlfriend, or a blood-filled massacre like School Days. It is why something like the latter is so effective, because it shows you what happens when a harem attempts to work in real life.

I say all of this, because I believe understanding what a harem anime is, and what to expect is important for enjoying them. And there is no better example than the show we are discussing today. After the cut let’s take a dive into the first season of Infinite Stratos

The most boring man in the world
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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train: No getting off this Crying Train

This is a film I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks but haven’t had anytime to take a look with other stuff going on. A week has opened up however, and I think it’s no better time than to get this out. This has been the big success story of the year, but how is it as an actual film? After the cut let’s take a dive into Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train

*Insert Train Song*
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