This is a very odd food series, almost like a food review segment in a news broadcast than a real show, but it certainly has less baggage with it than “Toriko” or “Shokugeki no Soma”. “Wakakozake” (“Wakako Sake”) tells the very brief tale of Wakako, who goes around to eating establishments after work to try and find something to eat that is (a) tasty and (b) inexpensive that (c) goes well with beer or sake. Wherever it is she works, there are loads and loads of places to eat around, so she drops in to dine on one food, like deep-fried asparagus skewers or steamed clams or yakitori.
Now, she has never had a bad dish of anything, but there is a tinge of sadness as she always dines alone. She feasts well, as the food fills her physical and most emotional needs. Or perhaps I am reading too much into this. In any case, it does help explain a variety of Japanese foods and what really goes into them to make it more than a squat ‘n’ gobble kind of place. The artwork is off, as she is very cartoony, but everyone else is more or less normal.Continue reading
This was (and is) a difficult show to review, as it is full of ‘Gotcha!’ moments and secrets that if I tell too much, it will take away those moments of discovery when you watch “Gakkōu Gurashi! (“School-Live!” or “Living at School!“). At the very least, I can run down the cast for you, right to left:
Megumi Sakura, sometimes called Megu-nee, the teacher. (PS, this is the closest you’ll get to fan service for the show)
Yuki, so very cheerful, along with her friends Kurumi Yūri and Miki, is a member of the Megurigaoka Private High School’s School Living Club. As Yuki seeks out fun school activities every day while living at school, the other girls work to keep her safe, because in reality……………..Continue reading
OK, so when “Eden of the East: The King of Eden” came out, I was very nervous, as I felt it was going to be a recap movie, as we cobble together the salient parts from the TV series and present it as a ‘movie’. Nope, that is not the case. If anything, it goes on to tell more story and (eventually) conclude the tale. It has been about six months since the end of the series. Things in the world are ‘normal’ (whatever that really means). We find our heroine, Saki Morimi in the Big Apple, trying to chase down the Air King (whom we know as Akira Takizawa), but she runs into trouble right from the get-go.
She has been asked by him to meet in New York, but between a grumpy cabbie and her suitcase spilling open, showing some weaponry, the cops are right after her. She manages to escape all that and find Takizawa, but he has had a memory wipe again and knows nothing of which she speaks. Adding to the confusion is the potential idea that he is the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister, who has just died. And thus paving the way for him to be not only the ‘Prince of Japan’, but finally bring to fruition HIS plan to ‘save Japan’.Continue reading
So now we are at Season Three of “Working!!!” and a lot of the resentment that boiled over from Season Two is spilling across this offering. It feels like the time has come to fish or cut bait. The cast (left to right):
Maya Matsumoto (she has been around for a while, but she is more the ‘Double-Take Girl’)
Kyōko Shirafuji, shift manager
Yachiyo Todoroki, lead waitress
Hiroomi Sōma, cook B
Jun Satō, cook A
Sōta Takanashi, seasoned veteran
Popura Taneshima, short and cute
Aoi Yamada, hopeless and hapless
Mahiru Inami, fears men
(Mr. Otoo, Mitsuki and Yōhei Mashiba missed the group shot this go-around)Continue reading
With the second season of “Working!!” (and it appears you can tell the season by the number of exclamation points. Does that mean we could get ‘Working!!!!!!!!!’? Just askin’!) out there, it ran into typical sophomore concerns, which is whatever charm the first season had was lost in the second season as someone wanted to inject ‘edge’ into the show. This is really bad, as these people are supposed to be crazy and kooky, not cruel and condescending. It’s a wonder anyone wants to eat here, much less work here, with all the histrionics going on behind the counter.
So, we have the regular cast of (left to right)
Yachiyo TodorokiContinue reading
This was an odd series for me, in the fact that I found out about it regarding its THIRD season. The only thing worse than coming into a show three or four episodes into its run is coming into a show three or four seasons into its run. That is too much background to try and cover all at once and you will lose the catch-up game. So I thought it would be best to see “Working!” right from the start spot. Now, it may also be found as “Wagnaria!”, as that is the name of the restaurant this mostly takes place in.
Wagnaria is a family-style along the lines of a Denny’s or a Cracker Barrel. Although it feels like a moderate chain business and not a solo independent, the show details the trials and tribulations of the rather divergent cast out of this place. We will rock around the clock with the wait staff, as it were, starting at the six o’clock position:
Kyōko ShirafujiContinue reading
Although I like to think of myself as aware and with it and on the ball, sometimes you get your hat handed to you and this show “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan” (“Nagato Yuki-chan no Shōshitsu”) certainly brought me back to Earth. It took me almost two episodes to realize that this was a spin-off/Alternative Universe approach from the world of Haruhi Suzumiya. Well, it did take me many, many years to realize the cities in “Pokemon” were all colors and Ash came from Pallet Town. (Or course, if they had spelled it Palette Town, I’d have gotten it like that!)
In this approach, Nagato is all-too human and painfully shy. She is still in the Literature Club, and the president of it, but was one of the few members, along with new friend Ryoko Asakura (that’s her between Nagata and Haruhi) and Ryoko’s friend, Kyon (far left). They manage to save the club with the addition of members Tsurura and Mikuru (and if they gave the name in the first episode as Mikuru Asahina, I would have gotten it like that; they are both at the far right). It isn’t until the end of episode two that Haruhi makes her grand appearance. Oh, don’t worry; Itsuki Koizumi shows up as well, although, he too, is a normal student. And therein lies the first concern.Continue reading
“I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying” (“Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken”) is a brief (about four minutes), episodic show about the married life between Hajimi, a 23-year old otaku who scrapes by living as a blogger and Kaoru, a 25-year old office lady who is adjusting to married life with an otaku husband.
The show starts off a few weeks after they have been married, so we are still in a period of adjustment for them. You get the feeling that they just don’t know all that much about one another and she got married because she was afraid that she would never be married. Aside from having with their interpersonal issues, there are their friends to deal with, and a larger assortment of loonies you have never met or seen.
This show really works well with binge watching. I mean, they are only four minutes a pop, so you can clobber the first season in about an hour. There is a second season out as well, but you get the feeling that the shows are ‘mixed up’. The order they are presented is not the order they should be in, so it flows better, but perhaps that is the comment they are making, that life is rather episodic and that compatibility is difficult, especially when you are just starting out.Continue reading
This is another in the “Girls Who Save the World” genre, but, potentially, taken to the zenith of the idea. Also, sharing a lot with shows like “Upotte” and “Strike Witches”, “Kantai Collection” (also known as “Combined Fleet Girls Collection” and the nickname “Kancolle”) really goes all out with things.
In this Alternative Universe, although there is a World War going on, it is not fought with the other peoples of earth, but an alien group, bent on World Domination. “We will control all the Fun Size Snickers bars, so there!” Hahahahahahahahaha…………ahem! We are fighting on the high seas with girls who are battleships. By the style of ship and airplane, as well as off-duty garb, I would put this somewhere between 1938 and 1941 (if we were using a real calendar). Our heroine Fubuki (brown hair, second from right. It was hard to find a group shot of most of them that could be easily comprehended as to what was going on that wasn’t also smut smack) has been asked to join the task fleet. She is a destroyer, but we have all grades of ships: torpedo boats, aircraft carriers, communication ships, battle cruisers.Continue reading
Another food/dining/eating show, this is also a fabulous example of a genuine ‘nothing’ show, as nothing really, really happens and it takes 12 episodes for this to spool out. Although called “Koufuku Graffiti”, it is also known as “Gourmet Girl Graffiti” or “Happy Cooking Graffiti”. It started out life as a 4-toma, as the pacing of the episodes and the presentation of the events show it.
OK, on the menu is Ryō Machiko (center), a second-year middle school girl who has been living by herself since her grandmother died. Despite having exceptional skill in cooking, Ryō has felt her cooking hasn’t tasted all that marvelous. Then she meets her second cousin, Kirin Morino, (left) who comes to stay with her on the weekends to attend cram school in Tokyo and shows her the key to great-tasting food: eating together with friends and family. Sorry, did I give something away? Oh and on the right is Shiina, a schoolmate and IN the same class as Ryo.Continue reading