Such is “Life”

January 14th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

This was heavily promoted at AX 17, but I could never find any episodes scheduled for viewing while I was there, so I had to wait for the Fall Release to grab it. It is, at its heart, a school rom-com, but the situation and circumstances puts the spin on it. Welcome to Sentōru no Nayami” (“A Centaur’s Life”, also known as “A Centaur’s Worries”). (more…)

Who’s On “First”?

January 7th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

I have often stated that they will do an anime on practically anything, so I was surprised to see a College Bowl caliber of show, where brains and strategy wins out over beefy brawn. It is time for “Nana Maru San Batsu!” (“Fastest Finger First!” or “7 Right, 3 Wrong” or “ 7O3X”). And here’s the funny thing: this is deemed a sports anime! (more…)

“Freak” Out

December 31st, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Many of you might be going, “Wait, he’s reviewing a sports anime. He’s not a big fan of those shows.” And, yes, you are correct, but this is actually not that much of a sports anime, although I did get tired of seeing the ball in the back of the net, stretching out the meshing. However, that can be overlooked by the core craziness of “Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-ku”, (also known as “Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun” or “Clean Freak! Aoyama kun”).
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I Met Up with the “Gambler”

December 24th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

And here is the ‘two’ of the one-two punch. Another of those very harsh private academies animes, this one is truly a classroom of the elite, but that’s not what we are trying to accomplish with “Kakegurui” (orKakegurui – Compulsive Gambler”).  (more…)

“Elite” Interests

December 17th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is part of a one-two punch review in regards to Japanese schools and their educational system. Most animes use the schools as a jumping-off point to look at some harem rom-com or superhero education, so the school is more background or a platform for these events, rather than part and parcel of the whole approach. These particular shows I am scrutinizing look at the school itself and the academic mindset that drives them along. It seems harsh and cruel by our standards. Hell, it’s harsh and cruel by the Marquis de Sade’s standards! It makes one wonder if all private academies are like this. If they were any tougher, you might as well be training to be a Navy SEAL. Our first scholastic offering is “Classroom of the Elite” (“Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e”, or “Welcome to the Classroom of the Supreme Ability Doctrine”). (more…)

Lord, It’s a “Miracle”

December 10th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

A trope in and of itself, members of faith are usually portrayed as a caliber of charlatan or deceiver and are potentially as evil as the evil they are fighting, and usually at the expense of those they purport to be saving. But we are working both with and against this trope with “Vatican Miracle Examiner” (“Bachikan Kiseki Chōsakan”). (more…)

The “Principal” Cause

December 4th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This first came up as an offering at AX 17, but since there was zero description in the handbook about it, my initial thought that it was going to be a stupid rom-com, about a princess who, for whatever reason, has to be the principal of a high school for a year and learns about ‘commoners’ and their problems. I could not have been more wrong, as it is an Alternate Universe Steampunk Spy Drama. Thus we arrive at “Princess Principal” (“Purinsesu Purinshiparu”). (more…)

Do You Want to Play a “Game”?

November 26th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

We are heaved back into the seething cauldron of uncertainty and panic, better known as high school, where the slightest misstep or errant statement can doom you to a life of abject despair. Well, that’s what it felt like for me when I attended! Anyway, this is a bit of the plotting and thought-work behind the latest student rom-com, “Gamers!” (“Gēmāzu!”). (more…)

It’s All “New” to Me

November 19th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

When the show “New Game!” came out, I had two big problems with it. The first was the overwhelming female cast in it (men were there, but certainly background at best) and the fact that for trying to put out a video game, there was a decided lack of pressure. The game would come out when it would come out. Not very realistic. With the second season of “New Game!! 2” (“Nyū Gēmu!! 2”) upon us, they have at least raised the stakes a bit. (more…)

Ne “Plus Ultra”

November 12th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Latin is a funny language, in that it is used mostly in the scientific naming of things and in any column from George Will. There are useful phrases, but you may end up having to explain them, so it loses its punch. The phrase ‘ne plus ultra’ means ‘nothing greater beyond’, so you have reached your zenith. However, for the second season of this show, it is “My Hero Academia: Plus Ultra”.

Now, if you wish, you can take in Show 13.5, as it’s a recap, but it can be missed as well. With the survivors of the attack by the League of Villains still recovering, the school decides to hold its annual Sports Festival, where all the students trot out their quirks and battle one another. The first rounds are typical events: obstacle race and cavalry battle. Then, the Top 16 students face off against one another. It is here that we see those personalities take shape and how it might predict the kind of superhero they will become.

Once the tournament is over (and did you think I would tell you who the Big Winner was? Really?) Mr. Aizawa announces that everyone has to decide a hero name for themselves, and that since many of the students have gotten multiple offers from pro heroes groups, everyone will be doing a one-week internship at a hero agency. Izuku (Oh, Mr. Green in the middle) is still not sure which agency he should join when suddenly All Might shows up. He tells Izuku that his teacher has offered an internship, and Izuku accepts it.

Now, teachers have differing styles and approaches, so it ends up being a real workout for all of them, made worse by the arrival of Stain: The Hero Killer. This ending arc puts the show on its collision course with the League of Villains for the third season.

This show has gotten better, if you can accept that. We are now defining everyone and what they can do and how events will soon overtake them all. It’s just that the villains were really cartoony and Stain came off as not much different than Syndrome from “The Incredibles” and he had a terrifying quirk. Izuku still has a long way to go, but it’s going to work out. The one tip-off is that there are moments in his narration that he references these things and events as being in the past, so the whole series is a caliber of giant flashback for him. He might even be at the end of his hero life, and is passing on salient information to his apprentice. Only time will tell.

Binging with this series has always been at crossed purposes for me. I mean, there is certainly no reason as to why you can’t link it all together, but there is just such a lot going on and needs to be unpacked and has to be addressed that binging might work against it, but that’s a difficult decision. It’s just that I like this show quite a lot, so I am not all that anxious to get through it all at once, my main argument against binging. However, if you do find yourself at home and you don’t really care what’s happening with Wendy or Maury or Ellen, fire up the barbie, mate!

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (The villains can get too ridiculous)
Plot                  8 (Getting better and better)
Pacing              8 (Moves along consistently and purposely)
Effectiveness   8 (Good use of flashbacks)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability     9 (It can be done, but it’s a personal call)

Overall            8 (Let’s hope the set-up pays off)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am here.