I Watched It…Enjoyed It…But Something Bothered Me…

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Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

 

First off, let me get this out of the way:

I enjoyed this show. The animation was decent. The story, while not mind-blowingly original or particularly innovative, was still enjoyable enough to watch. The characters were also pretty cliche for the most part.

Yet…I enjoyed watching it. Was it a favorite? Absolutely not. I will probably forget about it in time as it’s not particularly memorable. But I don’t regret watching it.

I’m not even going to go into detail telling you about the show, but if you don’t know about it already here’s a link to get you up to speed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_Records_of_Bastard_Magic_Instructor

 

But some things about the show did get under my skin a little bit….

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 THE GIRL’S SCHOOL UNIFORMS!!! Ye gods it bugged the hell out of me! Yes, yes, I know it’s fan service, but they are so ridiculously pandering I just found it horribly distracting how stupid they were! I know this is some immature male fantasy image that is found in anime/ manga/ American comics/ video games, but can’t they try a little harder to make a good story rather than going cynically for the fan service?

Here are the boy students in contrast:

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 I couldn’t find many images, but trust me: The male students are not wearing crop tops and booty shorts!

And please for the love of all that is holy, would someone explain to me…

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…Why Sistine has “neko” ears???? No one else does! No other student. Not her parents. Unless I am totally forgetting something or someone, it’s only her. This seems to be a very cynical ploy to sell a main character by making her extra cute with her cat ears or something,  but perhaps I am judging this too harshly.

Attention Parents: There is fan service in this show. There is the obligatory beach episode. Standard boob jokes. Person walking in on a group of girls changing scene. Sexual innuendo is present some as well. You have been warned.

Attention potential viewer: It’s not a horrible show, but it tries to make up for it’s lack of originality with rather blatant fan service. It’s not the first show to do this (of course), and it’s definitely not going to be the last.

Watch it…or not…it’s okay, but it’s a way to kill some time.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

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30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 8

Favorite Anime Couple

Takeo Gōda and Rinko Yamato

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Takeo and Rinko from Ore Monogatari!! This couple is just so unbearably sweet and I loved watching their relationship begin and grow.

They are both expressive in their self consciousness and joy in getting to know one another that it makes it both a hilarious and incredibly sweet show to watch.

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I don’t really know what else to say, but that I found them to be a joy to watch.

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This post was Takeo approved.

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Until next time: Happy viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 1

Very First Anime You Watched

Clannad

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But this is not entirely true…Let me explain.

I was a fan of animation throughout a lot of my life and in the 90s I did watch a very scant amount of anime but never got into it because it was always at the rental store and was super hit or miss. So I got discouraged throwing money at titles I didn’t like and gave up.

 Fast forward 15 or so years. I now have children. They are starting to get into anime themselves. Dragonball, Naruto and the like. I still didn’t watch it with them.

 It wasn’t until I got a Kindle Fire that I had more own little way to watch shows for myself (after years of watching what the kids watched). I was browsing through my Amazon Prime video app that I came across Clannad.

 I thought: “Why not?”

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It caught my attention.

But it was strange. It was slowly paced. The storytelling was different to what I was used to. It grabbed me in a quiet controlled way. It made me cry.

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I started to watch it with my boys. By the time we finished Clannad- After Story we were all sobbing emotional wrecks. It is something I shared with my boys and something I continue to share with them to this day: anime.

 Clannad was my gateway into becoming an anime fan and holds a special place in my heart. I have watched, and enjoyed, both the subbed and dubbed versions. Have met a few of the English voice actors for the show and last year got to see a panel by Key (the animation studio responsible for the VN and show).

 I recently just purchased the Visual Novel on Steam: more feels, more fun.

I usually re-watch it once a year.

 Still to this day I still get a bit emotional listening to the music from the show.

 

 So I consider this my first anime.

Watch it if you haven’t. It’s a treat.

Until next time: Happy viewing!

Lets All Get Excited and Build a Robot!

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Robotics; Notes

Adapted from a 2012 visual novel released on PlayStation 3, X-box 360, and PlayStation Vita (2014), Robotics; Notes occupies the same universe as Chaos; Head and Steins; Gate.

Set nine years later than the events in Steins; Gate, Robotics; Notes follows two main protagonist’s story lines. Akiho, who is trying to live up to her sister’s legacy and build a giant robot in the Central Tanegashima High School’s Robot Research Club. And her childhood friend, Kaito who has no interests in building a robot or much else besides playing a robot fighting video game.

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Kaito one day stumbles across an Artificial Intelligence named Airi that he can only observe through an App on his phone. Through Airi he uncovers a series of reports that have far reaching consequences for the world.

I can really say I enjoyed Robotics; Notes thoroughly. Yes, as some have noted, it is not as well put together as Steins; Gate and is a little muddled in the plot at points, but overall I felt it was an enjoyable show to watch. The characters are fun…you even have a shut in, Otaku type…

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And then there is the animation, which is very well done.

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Overall it was a fun series to watch. There is a dub of it, which seemed fine, but I had come into it in the last 2 episodes and that never works since you are already accustomed to hearing the voices one way.

Attention Parents: There is not too much to object to. The exception is some slightly lewd comments from  Furugoori Kona, but many of those may fly over kid’s heads anyways.

I recommend the show for a fun bit of sci-fi in the same realm as Steins;Gate.

Happy Viewing!

all images in this post are not owned by this blog.

Pork Bowl and Chicken Anuses

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Silver Spoon

I just finished Silver Spoon and found it to be a really well done, thoughtful anime.

The show follows the daily life of Yuugo Hachiken as a student at Ooezo Agricultural High School in Hokkaido. Yuugo is the fish out of water character. He grew up in Sapporo with no previous farm experience, but after not doing well on his high school entrance exams chose Ooezo Agricultural High School as a way to distance himself from his self perceived failure and from the disapproval of his father.

The show is an entertaining, fish out of water, slice of life, school anime. Watching Hachiken deal with a new life is fun and entertaining, as he experiences things his peers take for granted (as most of them are from farming families).

Early on in the show, is Hachiken’s revelation that eggs come out a chicken’s anus during his practicum time working in a hen house. This is a mental hurdle as he had never thought about his food (like most of us don’t). He gets past it, and also realizes he level of freshness of the egg he is getting at school is something great that he’d never experienced before.

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This is not the only hurdle he has to overcome. He also names a pig that was the runt of the litter and takes the pig’s care as a special project. His classmates (and teachers) warn him against this kind of attachment to an animal that will be slaughtered once it is big enough to go to market.

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Hachiken doesn’t listen and cares for the pig anyway. Later, when the pig has to go to market Hachiken is saddened, but uses money he had earned helping at a friend’s farm to purchase the pig’s meat and makes bacon out of it. His perspective on the pig he raised (he named it Pork Bowl)also has an effect on his friends and how they think about what is normal for them. In the end, he shares the meat with everyone (including sending some bacon to his parents).

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Like most fish out of water styles of shows, Silver Spoon is largely about the main protagonist’s journey of self discovery and this show delivers just that in a satisfying manner.

The animation is good, story enjoyable, and the are characters fun and generally likable. It is well worth a watch.

Attention Parents: This is a good show for kids. No cursing, no fan service, and not violent. Where it might be questionable for really young children is the realistic depictions of farming. There is poop. There is some blood. But overall I think the benefits are greater as it may give some kids to thinking a little more about where their food comes from and how it is raised. Sure this is just a show, but it does touch on these issues to a degree. In fact, I’ll probably make my younger son start watching it next weekend (I’m sure he won’t object).

And did you know that Edward Elric made a cameo in Silver Spoon?

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Just kidding! Gotta love Deviant Art though….

*all images in this post are not the property of the blog*

 

 

 

My Problem With Nisekoi’s Second Season

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While it is still ongoing and I’d guess it will go for the 20 episode stretch, I will weigh in with my thoughts on it so far.

It follows the manga really well and that could be it’s undoing. The episodes (and the manga) I feel are inconsistent. The manga often doesn’t really go anywhere at many points and has a fair amount of filler. Sometimes these stories are amusing, sometimes weak.

There is the introduction of new characters which is good and needs to happen.

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Kosaki’s little sister, Haru.

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Paula McCoy a member of the Bee Hive Gang that looks up to Tsugumi.

Often episodes with these introductions are short, or weaker as a whole show, but they are also pretty close reflections of the manga.

There was the candy making episode where Haru and Raku have to get along and find common ground. It is a short episode, there’s not much to it. It does serve it’s purpose, which is to show that the two characters can get along and do share some common ground.

And I am not about to say it’s all bad. The episodes with Chitoge’s mother are some of my favorite bits from the series.

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This is my little opinion. Second season: not as good, but it is largely loyal to it’s source material. It is still worth a watch, but be aware it may feel like (and be) filler at times.

We shall see how the rest of the season plays out.

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Oh c’mon….It’s not that bad.

Re-Kan! The weird Mix of Touching Stories and a Perverted Cat

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Re-Kan!

 Hibiki Amami can see ghosts. She can not only see them, but interacts with them on a daily basis. She leaves offerings for them, talks with the serial killer victim, knits for the ghost of the young girl that haunts a bathroom, and plays with the spirits of dead children. She has a generous heart to those who have passed on.

This sets her apart from others. She is a new student that has transferred to a new high school and has always had a hard time making friends (besides ghosts) because of her “gift”. Other students are mostly scared or weird-ed out by her behavior.

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And if you saw someone being dragged off by spirits you might be put off a little as well.

Luckily, the classmates at her new school seem to be a fairly tolerant bunch and she makes friends fairly quickly. And that’s what the show is about: a high school girl who can talk to the dead.

Overall I liked the show, it didn’t amaze me, but it was a fun diversion at times that had a few problems.

First off, the stories were a strange mix of comedy and sometimes really touching drama. The drama was usually done fairly well and there were some very touching moments. And then there was the comedy which could be a mixed bag. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I didn’t find the perverted cat that funny, but they didn’t over-use him and they tried to vary how he showed up at least.

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The animation was fine and had some good points to it, except one thing bothered me that I could never get past:

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Kana Urehara and Kyoko Esumi’s eyes through their hair!!! I found it so annoying! It definitely distracted me. I know it’s petty, but  it did.

Attention Parents: Overall the show is pretty harmless. There is the perverted cat yelling about panties in several episodes, but that is about the worst of it. The show does deal with spirits and issues of the afterlife, if that conflicts with your religious ideals then you might want to give it a pass.

Overall I liked the show, but it definitely has it’s faults. What it does have is a good sense of compassion and  interconnectedness (spell check says this isn’t a word, but you know what I mean). Hibiki’s compassion for the dead comes through in all the things she does for them which is often being a liaison to the living. It is when she is afraid she has lost her “gift” that her friend shows her the impact that she has had on the living. This is something that we all forget. Our impact on others. We, for better or worse, affect others. It is something to remember in your daily lives. Be nice, take a lesson from Hibiki. Sometimes a small kindness goes a long way.

Why I Haven’t Got My Older Son a Dakimakura

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I just finished 2013’s Love Lab and was pleasantly surprised. Love Lab is an adaptation of a 4 panel manga that was put out by Dogakobo animation (Who also did Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun and Engaged to the Unidentified). Set at Fujisaki Girls Academy the story follows Natsou Maki, the student president, and Riko Kurohashi, an athletic tomboy.

Both of these girls are admired by the student body.

Natsou for being a model student who is poised and reserved.

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And Riko for being forward and outspoken.

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At the outset of the show the two characters don’t know each other. They meet when a teacher sends Riko to the student council office to deliver something and Riko walks in on this:

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Natsou making out with a hug pillow. Natsou has never had a boyfriend, much less even talked to a boy, but is dying to have a romantic relationship. She enlists Riko to help her conduct “love labs” to find out what boys like and how to be more appealing. Riko gets roped into this because she gives Natsou the impression that she is more experienced than she actually is (due to her own embarrassment of being inexperienced with boys). This is where the story sets off from.

The animation is decent, nothing groundbreaking, but good. The comedy is what sold it for me. It is not ecchi, just silly. A lot of it stems from Natsou, whom all the students see as perfect, is a bit ditzy and out of her mind.

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She often comes up with elaborate set ups of  how to get boys to notice and fall in love with her that are not well grounded in reality. Riko, while inexperienced, does have some sense and is frequently trying to bring Natsou back to reality.

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Which often involves Riko hitting her with a paper fan.

If you like silly school based shows, this one is for you. It is cute and the comedy is pretty good. I had found it randomly on HULU and thought I’d give it a try. Like I said in the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this show.

Attention Parents: There is not a lot that is objectionable. No fan service, or ecchi stuff. No cursing that I remember. Aside from some minor fights, no violence of any real merit. There is one scene, however, that made me cringe a little. There was a part where the student counsel are answering questions about love from anonymous letter. Someone wanted to know if boys liked “tan” girls. Natsou took it upon herself put on “black face”  while singing “Oh my soul sister”to get an idea of what that would be like. I found this to be unfortunate and not very good comedy.

That being said. I won’t get my son a Dakimakura because: 1) He’s not on the student counsel. 2) He’s not old enough. 3) I’m not paying for it. and 4)I don’t want this to happen:

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Score 1 for Dad.

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And the award for the best use of cabbages goes to…..

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The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

I watched this little gem a while back and loved it. It is a school based romantic comedy. The story mostly revolves around Sorata Kanda who is wishing to change his life by first getting out of Sakurasou Hall, a dormitory for the outcasts at his school. Sorata landed there when he refused to give up a stray cat he had adopted.

His life ends up more complicated when a new student, Mashiro Shiina, starts living at Sakurasou. Mashiro, while a brilliant artist, is largely helpless and disconnected from reality from being sheltered her whole life. Sorata ends up on “Mashiro duty”. Caring for her and making sure she navigates through the world.

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Even getting all her clothes on can be a challenge.

The supporting cast of other residents make the the show a pleasure to watch. The shut in computer programmer, the seemingly irresponsible teacher, and the insanely gregarious anime artist all made it a fun show.

The animation is decent, so no complaints there. The pacing is a little slow in the second season, but I forgave that over all.

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Attention Parents: There is sexual humor, bra and underwear shots, and general sexual innuendo. Do what you will.

Overall the show is a sweet rom-com with a good sense of humor. I liked it and hope you enjoy it as well.

It also has a bizarrely addictive OP.

And the full version (because I LOVE IT).

And the award for the best use of cabbages goes to….Kamiigusa Misaki!

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