The Podcast Without Banners: The Dragon And The Wolf

The Podcast Without Banners returns as Thomas, Maeve & Bill give their thoughts on the season finale of Game Of Thrones season 7.

The Podcast Without Banners: Beyond The Wall

The Podcast Without Banners returns as Thomas Fyrehart, Maeve LaFey & Bill Silvia give their thoughts on the penultimate episode of GoT season 7, “Beyond The Wall”.

The Podcast Without Banners – Eastwatch

The Podcast Without Banners returns as Thomas Fyrehart, Maeve LaFey & Bill Silvia give our thoughts on episode 5 of GoT season 7, Eastwatch.

The Podcast Without Banners – The Spoils Of War

The Podcast Without Banners returns, this time they give their thoughts on episode 4 of Game Of Thrones season 7. Due to technical difficulties, only Bill Silvia & Maeve LaFey will be giving their thoughts on this episode.

The Podcast Without Banners – The Queen’s Justice

The Podcast Without Banners returns as Thomas Fyrehart, Maeve LaFey and Bill Silvia give their thoughts on episode 3 of season 7; The Queen’s Justice.

The Podcast Without Banners – Stormborn

The Podcast Without Banners returns as Thomas Fyrehart, Maeve LaFey and newest recruit Bill Silvia give their thoughts on episode 2 of season 7; Stormborn.

The Podcast Without Banners – Dragonstone

The Podcast Without Banners returns after a two year hiatus, as Thomas Fyrehart and Maeve LaFey give their thoughts on episode one of season seven; Dragonstone.

Little Witch Academia (Cour 1) – Rila Reviews

When Riley’s away, big sister will play. Rila finally cracks open one of her favorite anime of the year by reviewing the first cour of Little Witch Academia! Stay Toon’d!

Rila – Mocha Vampire

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At First Glance – Black Butler

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Black Butler

Ah yes, Black Butler. This one has been on my to-do list for a while, especially since it was suggested to me back when I started doing these in 2016. So, to the person who did suggest/request this…sorry it’s taken so long. As far as my knowledge of the anime went, this was another of those anime I was vaguely aware of but had absolutely no idea what it was about. And going by some of the promotional imagery, including this article’s banner, let’s just say you could be forgiven for expecting something other than what we get.

No, Black Butler thankfully isn’t what the imagery implies, it’s just a story about a rich tween boy called Ciel Phantomhive in Victorian England who has a Demon Butler, and is also apparently Queen Victoria’s Guard Dog, investigating and solving crimes in London’s seedy underground. You know. The usual. Oh, also he has three other servants who act as comic relief, and one of them looks like an interpretation of the Final Fantasy character Cid.

Which makes sense given Square Enix had a hand in publishing the manga

There isn’t ultimately too much to say about the events of episode, other than it serving as a good introduction to the characters more than anything. We’re not given much of a background on the characters yet, aside from a cold opening showing the deal being made between Ciel and Sebastian. Though we’re given no context as of yet exactly why this deal was made aside from hints. Though I am aware due to reading up a tiny bit.

I must admit, I actually expected this episode to have action in it. I mean, you know, demon butler and all. The actual approach of playing this more like a drama with some psychological horror kind of thrown in as well ended up working fairly well. Though I am aware there is action in this anime. So, this episode being more of a set up explains the lack of it.

One thing that irked me about this though is the English dub. Yes. I’m complaining about the English dub. I rarely if ever do that, but this is one instance where I will indulge in that kind of snobbery. The English accent in this are horrible. Just horrible. Well, most are anyway. Sebastian is fine, and to an extent so is Ciel, but Baldroy, Mey-Rin & Finnian’s accents are all just so terribly exaggerated that it takes me out of the moment. Whatever comic relief they’re supposed to provide just turns into annoyance.

Also, those three having very thick working class English accents makes no sense. Baldroy is from the US, Mey-Rin is of Chinese descent and Finnian is of German descent. Baldroy might as well have a thick US accent of some kind, and the other two should either be speaking English with a much posher accent than they are, as they’d have been taught English by Sebastian, or they’d be speaking English with an accent fitting their heritage. And yes, this is normally a silly thing to expect from an anime dub, but they went through the trouble of bothering to give them accents at all, so they could’ve afforded to be a bit broader with their choices. Maybe that’s just me though.

I’ll just stop there so I don’t end up talking in circles. In any case, will I continue to watch Black Butler? Well, the concept has me interested enough, plus I can’t really judge it too much on this one episode. I will say however, I’m not watching it in English again.

For those who are interested, Black Butler consists of 46 episodes across three seasons (24 in season one, 12 in season two, and 10 in season three “Book Of Circus”, respectively), all of which are available in both subbed and dubbed formats. There are also nine OVAs for the show overall (one for season one, six for season two, and two for season 3 respectively), all of which are also available in both subbed and dubbed formats. Lastly there is also both an animated Black Butler movie (available subbed and dubbed) and a live-action one.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

At First Glance – Food Wars!

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma

Well now. Where to start. Going into Food Wars I figured this would just be a cooking anime, maybe with some action-y emphasis to make it funny/interesting. What I got…well, let’s just talk about the set up first, shall we?

Food Wars is about Sōma Yukihira, a plucky middle schooler who works at his father’s local restaurant as he tries to hone his skill as a chef. Apparently Sōma and his father are continually hounded by loan sharks who want to buy the building they live and work in so they build an apartment block or hotel or something on top of it. This seems like it would be a recurring theme throughout the show or something, but no. Later in the episode the loan sharks trash the place and the head loan shark, a woman with…err…” large ambitions” …tries to force Sōma into making a meat dish for her, knowing full well they ruined all the meat.

Pictured: Large Ambitions

Unfortunately for the lady loan shark, this backfires, as Sōma creates a dish using things he’d bought to have for breakfast the next morning. The dish, a Pork Roast of sorts made using bacon wrapped over a potato/mushroom filing and such, goes over quite well. A little…too well, really.

No joke needed

Point being Sōma manages to save the family business by making the woman swear they’ll leave his family alone if she wants to eat more of the dish he made. She agrees, family business saved, then it turns out Sōma’s dad is closing the place for a few years anyway to help a friend out overseas.

So, Sōma gets shipped off to a cooking academy. A cooking academy that turns out to be one of the country’s best (at least in the show’s universe), with a very low graduation rate. Good luck with that Sōma.

Okay, let’s get down to the main…I just realised whatever word I’m thinking of using it’ll be a food or cooking pun. Damn it. Oh well. The main portion of this article will basically me be talking about what I tried to refrain from mentioning until now. That being that this anime actually rivals Prison School when it comes to the amount of borderline hentai imagery that this anime has. I’m not even kidding.

It’s basically a running joke that this anime has everyone having orgasms of varying degrees any time they eat anything they find to be delicious. From fairly subtle reactions like this.

To more intense reactions, like the infamous moment where the loan sharks all eat some of the Pork dish and orgasm so hard they go into a fantasy where their clothes rip right off them.

Then there’s the opposite extreme when Mayumi, a classmate of Sōma, is forced to eat an intentionally horrible dish he created. Her reaction not so much being orgasmic as much as feeling like her mouth was..violated. Which is shown to us via what I can only describe as softcore tentacle porn.

Yeah I’m actively avoiding showing some stuff as you can see. Why? Because I like being on That Ruled, that’s why. Besides, you can easily find it in your own time. Or you’ve already seen it, so you know what I’m talking about anyway. Point being there’s a lot of stuff in this that caught me off guard, considering I was just expecting a fairly simple anime about cooking. I mean, this is still an anime about cooking and the premise is still fairly simple, but I only got a warning about the whole “food-gasm” aspect of the show minutes before I watched this episode. This really is the Prison School of this genre of anime.

That said, will I continue to watch Food Wars? Yes. Holy fuck, yes. This is far too hilarious for me to just give up after one episode. That and the anime is different enough from others I’ve watched for this to generally keep me interested. I’d definitely recommend people give this show a watch. However, do not watch it in public, or near your parents, or near pretty much anyone who would judge you if they’d walk in at the wrong moment. It’d be pretty damn awkward.

For those interested, Food Wars currently consists of 37 episodes across two seasons (24 in season 1, and 13 in “The Second Plate” respectively), with a third season set to air in October, which I only just found out about. Aside from that there are also four OVAs. To clarify, both seasons and all of the OVAs are currently (as of me writing this) only available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.