30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 15

Favorite Animal Sidekick, Pet or Summoning From Any Anime

This was honestly a harder one for me to answer. I couldn’t think of many, but I would have to say one sticks out more than the rest.

Sadaharu 

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I suppose whether Sadaharu is a pet or a full member of Yorozuya Gin Chan is arguable, but he’s my choice. An Inugami (Dog God) that had lost his original place to guard after the Amanto came, Sadaharu, no longer being able to be kept by his original owners, ends up on Yorozuya’s door step and is taken in.

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Although everyone helps take care of him, he’s mostly Kagura’s (as she is the only one who can handle his strength).

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He’s giant. He’s cute. He’s good comic relief at times. He’s a master of disguise.

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And he can play a mean game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”.

That’s all I got today.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

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30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 7

Your Anime Crush

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Mayumi Nishikino

I don’t really have anime crushes for the most part, but this was an easy one for me.

Mayumi (The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior) is a train wreck of a woman. Direct, moody, hard drinking, sometimes bitter, and occasionally dirty minded. She is a lot of fun.

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But she is also kind, caring, and vulnerable. She has moments in the show where her kind nature and fragility, behind all the bravado, shines through.

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Truth be told, Mayumi is a bit of a mess and would be a handful in real life, but still I love her character.

Just don’t piss her off…

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Until next time: Happy viewing!

The Man Likes His Marshmallows…

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Ojisan To Marshmallow is a short form anime following  Iori Wakabayashi as she tries to get the romantic attention of her coworker, Habahiro Hige. Hige, being older, doesn’t think of Wakabayashi this way. He mostly thinks of marshmallows. The man is obsessed with his marshmallows.

The show is cute, sometimes kind of ecchi, and short with each episode being around 3 minutes long.

I found the show enjoyable. It was, in fact, one of my favorites of the winter season along with Erased.

The show overall is high on the sweet and cute factor, but could stray into ecchi territory at times.

And even though I let my younger son watch it, there were times I was cringing, wondering whether I’d made the wrong choice… Though much of the time many things seemed to go over his head.

Attention Parents: The show is sweet  and cute, but it does get racy at times and has some adult humor thrown in. Is it really bad? No. Is it completely innocent? Absolutely not.

I liked the show. The animation is good, but nothing out of the ordinary. I just found it cute and amusing.

How My Younger Son Watches Anime

AKA: What my son has been watching this summer.

My 11 (12 tomorrow) year old watches a lot of anime. And a lot that I watch, I am “vetting” to make sure that it doesn’t have any content that I deem inappropriate (or that I think his mother will object to).

That being said: he is always after me to check out shows to see if he can watch them, but I don’t have all the time in the world. I work. I socialize. I even watch non-anime related shows.

Luckily he does find titles he can watch. And watch he does….He’s a binge watcher. He can sit and watch a show all day. And then re-watch it again. I cannot do this. I rarely binge watch. A few episodes, yes. Watching for 4 hours, no.

But he found some things to keep him entertained that are good for his age with not much objectionable content. I have not watched many of these except seeing some of them while I was in the room.

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Toriko

A gourmet hunter on the search for more food to complete his ultimate meal. Fighting impossible beasts and eating the most absurd things. This is very much a Shonen anime in the vein of One Piece (there are a couple of crossover episodes in fact). I had started to watch this and set it aside and my son has now finished the series of his summer break. Much of it I didn’t watch, but I did see the Durian Bomb episode which was hilarious.

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Love Live! School Idol Project

My son started watching this one because of his older brother. As some readers will know his older brother is a Utaite (or You-Taite) who does English covers anime theme songs. Well, my older son was covering a song from this show and thus his younger brother liked the song and started watching the show. I have not seen any of it, but know it has a loyal following. It wasn’t surprising to me that he got into it as he was a huge fan of AKB0048. I think he has completed all seasons of this anime.

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Stella Women’s Academy High School Division Class C3

Another in the vein of “cute girls doing cute things”. This time it’s survival games where girls at an all girls rich school are hunting each other with pellet guns in simulated war games. He had bugged me about this show and I think I watched one episode and figured it was harmless enough. Being that he was a huge fan of Girls Und Panzer, I guessed this would be up his alley. And it was. I, however, have no idea if it’s any good (it looks mostly harmless at any rate).

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Waganaria!! (Working!!)

Now I have actually seen most of the first season of this. It is a funny show, absolutely hilarious at times. One could argue at times that some parts may be inappropriate. There are drunken sisters, a lazy boss that has a girl in love with her, and the main character could be seen as potentially creepy with his obsession with young, cute things and/or people. However, it’s mostly harmless and he loves the show.

Luckily he can find shows that he can find shows that are okay to watch and then binge-watch because I can’t keep up with his anime consumption….maybe I should’ve sent him to camp.

Food Porn! I mean… Wars!

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If there were two standouts from the spring season for me it would be Ore Monogatari and Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars).

If you follow my blog you know that I, and my boys, love Ore Monongatari and often watch it together. That, however, is not the case with Shokugeki no Soma. My 11 year old keeps asking to watch it and I keep saying: “No!”. I am a mean dad who never lets his kids watch anything, but I am comfortable with this fact (please read as sarcasm). But I do have my reasons.

Shokugeki no Soma follows Soma Yukihira, a boy who grew up cooking along side his dad (Joichiro) in his dad’s small restaurant. He wants to surpass his dad’s skills and take over the restaurant one day. As Soma is about to start high school, Joichiro shuts down the restaurant to work overseas and enrolls Soma in an elite,and highly competitive culinary school where only a small percentage of the students graduate.

While shocked, Soma adapts and decides to do his best. Of course making enemies of the first day of school by telling everyone that he’ll be better than them.

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I am a bit of a “foodie”. I love to cook. I have worked in the food industry for a long time, so this show hits the spot for me. It is really, in my mind, a cross between a school anime and Iron Chef with a bit of shounen posturing and ecchi-ness thrown in for good measure.

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I wish I had these kinds of knife skills!

The show is often focused around a cooking challenge of some sort designed to test student’s technical skills or creativity under pressure.

Besides being entertaining I find Soma’s determination and confidence while having some humility as an appealing aspect to the show. He likes when he has satisfied a person eating his food and is supportive of his classmates while still striving to be the best he can be.

If that was all there was to it, I’d let my 11 year old watch it. But then there are scenes like these:

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Which perhaps wouldn’t be so bad, but it resulted in this:

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While I find this hilariously absurd, it is something he probably should wait on. The kid is in puberty for god’s sake: How might this mess with his budding development? (I’m kidding).

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Scenes like these aren’t going to help either (especially if I have to explain to his mother what I let him watch).

So I tell him:

“No.”

“Stop asking.” 

“No.”

“You already know the answer. Why are you still asking?”

Attention Parents: This show is ecchi at times. Most of the the show is actually pretty tame, but then they eat and you get scenes like the above and below.

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That being said. I love the show and am glad it was running on into the summer as well!

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Thanks for reading! Hope you liked it!

-I do not own any of the images in this post.

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.

Spring 2015 Season Watch List

A new season is upon us and after sampling a few shows this is what I’ll be checking out this season.

In no particular order:

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Food Wars: A cooking show where an aspiring middle school cook gets accepted to an elite culinary academy for high school. Looks to be fun to watch, but on the ecchi side. I won’t be letting the 11 year old watch this one.

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Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?: Adventuring, dungeons, warriors, girls, gods…Will it be good? Not sure yet, but has potential. Also somewhat on the ecchi side. Another I won’t let the 11 year old watch.

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My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu Too: I loved the first season of this, hopefully the second will be as good. I am fine with the animation studio change thus far.

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Kinmoza: English exchange students in Japan. A cute show. Pretty harmless. I think my son has watched at least half of the first season of this already.

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Nisekoi: Raku, Chitoge, Onadera,and Tachibana are back! 2nd season of this harem comedy by Shaft. I really enjoyed the first season and have read a bunch of the manga. We’ll see how much they cover in this season and how much filler they ditch.

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Plastic Memories: This looks like an interesting offering about a world where androids (or something like that) have synthetic souls that only have a life span of 9 years before they deteriorate. The show centers around the squad that is going to retrieve the androids at the end of their life span. It has got a good premise. Hopefully it will be a good show.

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Punchline: A guy wakes up after a terrorist attack that happened on a bus back in his apartment building to find that another spirit is occupying his body and he can’t return to it. Now he has to find a book with a ritual to get himself back to his body. But there is a twist. In the building where the book is lives several girls. Fine…Right? No, this is anime. Here’s the twist: If he happens to see a girl’s panties, or gets excited, he has such an extreme reaction that he attracts an asteroid to the planet that destroys the earth. This happens…he turns back time and keeps trying to get his body back. Well obviously I won’t let the younger one watch this. I am not sure if I’ll continue or not.

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Re-Kan! : A girl who can see and befriends ghosts. The others around her can’t see them for the most part, but accept her for the most part, except for one classmate who refuses to believe in spirits. It is a goofy comedy. The jury is still out about how appropriate it is….there is a perverted cat.

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Sound! Euphonium: About a girl who played in the brass band in middle school who decides to join the band club in high school. It looks like a harmless school anime. My largest worry would be whether it will be able to maintain my interest.

Well, That’s it for now. What are you watching?

My Older Son’s “Reason For Living” This Season

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Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

What can I say about this show…It was fun, a great concept, well enough animated, some not as great episodes, but I think it probably achieved what it set out to do well enough. To make a goofy, not too serious send up of the magical girl genre.

I first came across this show on RocketNews24 and had to show my son (15). He was so excited for it and after it came out, this show has been the one that I know I could always talk to him about since he rarely missed it.

The show revolves around 5 friends(Yumoto Hakone, En Yufuin, Atsushi Kinugawa, Io Naruko and Ryuu Zaou), students at Binan High School, who are members of  The Earth Defense Club (which just seems to be an excuse to hang out and not really do anything). Off school hours they frequent a bathhouse run by one of the member’s (Yumoto) brother. There, they are approached by a pink, talking, wombat like creature who wants them to become “Battlelovers”. To use the power of love to save the world. They are not really too interested in this offer. But once Wom-san (talking wombat alien guy) gets them to put on the “Loveracelets” the die is cast, and with these they can transform when ever evil, anger, or discord needs to be conquered with the power of love. Ridiculous? Yes. But it doesn’t really pretend not to be.

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But where does evil come from? Other pretty boys of course…Specifically, The Student Council.

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They can transform as well.

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And they have an evil alien counterpart to the Battlelover’s Wom-san… An Evil Green Hedgehog! Who, with his needles,shoots other students who are having troubles or emotional problems, thus transforming them into havoc wreaking monsters the Battlelovers will have to fight.

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And every club has to have an advisor… Why not a dead teacher that is being kept alive by the alien controlling it?

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What else to love? Well, if you were my son, you’d love all the yaoi overtones.

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But what is mostly to love, is the friendships between the guys on the show. Their conversations and comfort level with each other as long time friends is what makes for some good comedy and enjoyable viewing.

Attention Parents: Aside from the BL suggestiveness there is not too much that is objectionable. If that doesn’t bother you (it didn’t for me) then that is they worst of it. Oh yeah..There is a little incidental nudity in the bath house. Is it bad, not really. Watch it and decide for yourself if you are concerned.

And always remember about the power of  what in your life?

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Sparkles all around to my readers!

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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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