At First Glance – Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

So, I finally have an excuse to watch the “cute boys swimming” anime, do I? Interesting. Of course, had I not been made aware that this specific show is the first one, and not Free! Eternal Summer, then I would’ve been reviewing that instead. Thankfully I found out Eternal Summer is a sequel/second season, so here we are.

As far as the first episode is concerned, the episode follows four former members of a local Swimming club, Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki & Rin Matsuoka all reuniting for the first time since they were kids (Though Makoto & Haruka had still been in touch/remained friends). The reuniting with Rin specifically is a tad rocky, as his attitude seems to have changed drastically since childhood. The episode itself ends with Haruka and Rin about to race in Rin’s new high school, leaving us on a cliff hanger.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s onto talking about what you’re all expecting me to comment on. The fact this is an anime with muscular guys who are constantly taking their clothes off. Which, I guess I don’t blame you, but they are high school guys after all, so it’s kind of iffy territory for me. Someone who is currently 26 as of writing this. Also, let’s face it. This was made for women, not gay/bi/pan men, so I’m not even the target audience.

That aside, there is some character stuff I’d like to talk about. Mainly Haruka’s obsession with water. And I do mean obsession. This guy is almost late to school in this episode because he’s submerging himself in his bathtub, and apparently missed a bunch of the prior day due to the same thing. He also wears his swimming trunks wherever he goes, so he can strip down and jump right in if the opportunity to swim presents itself.

It’s even a running gag in the show that he outright strips in front of the other guys in public because they’re planning to go into the pool at Rin’s new school, but they have to stop him because they’d be caught if he just ran right in there, and they were mainly only trying to spot Rin at the time. When they do go into the building he pretty much throws his clothes in seconds and is in the pool before they can stop him.

The other characters mostly just fall into normal high school anime tropes really. Makoto is easily scared, Nagisa is the younger naive/happy-go-lucky one, and Rin is the jerk. Not too much to say about them really, based on first appearances anyway. Well. Aside from the fact Nagisa is a little too eager to get naked in front of these two, which I found to be funny more than anything. He didn’t have any swimming trunks on when they went into the pool so he just stripped naked and jumped in.

I will say this much; I don’t hate any of the characters yet. Not saying I won’t hate any of them, just I don’t right now. I also feel Rin’s younger sister Gou was added so they have someone to fawn over the boys, but I could easily be wrong. Again, first impressions. Plus, her bio says she has a muscle fetish or something. So, there’s that.

So, will I keep watching this anime? Definitely. If nothing else I got a good laugh out of it, but I do want to see where the story goes. Especially since episode one ends on a cliff hanger. For those who are interested, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club consists of 12 episodes, with a second season, Free! Eternal Summer consisting of 13 episodes and an OVA. All of which are available in subbed and dubbed formats. There is also a prequel movie called High Speed! Free! Starting Days, though I’m unsure of if it has a dub or not. As of this year, 2017, there will also be two movies based on both seasons of the show, along with a third movie based after the events of the show.

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 – Psycho-Pass

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Psycho-Pass

I must admit until I read the summary of this anime on AnimeLab I had no idea what to expect. I was vaguely familiar with Psycho-Pass’ existence, but I really didn’t know anything about the anime itself. Speaking of which, Psycho-Pass is an anime set in a dystopian future Japan where advanced technology can detect latent criminal tendencies in people, allowing them to either be arrested or killed before they ever commit any crimes.

And, wow, what a premise right? Japan sure loves them some dystopian future stuff. Fitting that this was made by the same studio that made Ghost In The Shell I guess. Though of course, being me, I can’t help but notice this anime has a more serious/dramatic version of a vaguely similar premise to the comedy anime Shimoneta. I mean, yeah, it is a bit of a stretch in a way, but come on. There are some VAGUE similarities in there as far as the basic premise goes. Just nothing beyond that.

Anyway. The entire first episode revolves around the first mission of Akane Tsunemori, a rookie member of Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division. Like that is honestly all the episode is. And it goes by quite fast for a 22-minute episode. Literally the entire episode (aside from one short bit at the start) is this first mission/case of Akane’s. I’m honestly unsure if I should just spoil the whole thing or just give my thoughts on how the characters come across. Guess I’ll just wing it.

Akane herself very much comes off as the typical rookie cop character, but going by what I’ve read that’ll change. And honestly, I don’t mind her being a typical rookie-type in this scenario. Especially since the idea is she’s thrown right in to the deep end on her first day. So, it makes sense she wouldn’t know what to do in a practical sense.

As far as the other main/supporting characters go, I don’t have any reason to hate any of them yet or anything, but I can’t judge too many of them yet in any regard. The episode mostly focuses around interactions between Akane and Tomomi Masaoka, an “Enforcer” for the unit. As far as explaining what an enforcer is for this show, think Suicide Squad without super villains and no “bomb in the neck” thing. Tomomi seems like a character I’ll like. The dynamic between himself and Akane is something I’m looking forward to seeing more of.

As far as the overall episode itself is concerned. Well. It isn’t all that far in that I realised what I’m in for with this anime. This one isn’t for the faint of heart. And I’m serious when I say that. Not only is there a rape scene (out-of-view but you’re still made plainly aware that it’s happening), and the rapist later dies in quite a bloody way. So yeah. If that kind of stuff doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I’d say give this show a miss. Otherwise I’d say give it a shot.

So, will I continue to watch it? Yes, but I’m not sure how quickly I will continue to watch it. I mean, for a mostly self-contained first episode, not much ultimately happens. Those 22 minutes flew by very quickly. So I feel I’ll have to watch more to get a proper judge of the anime itself before properly deciding whether I’d want to watch the whole thing or not.

For those who are interested, Psycho-Pass anime consists of 22 episodes, with a second season called “Psycho-Pass 2” consisting of an additional 12 episodes. There is also a Psycho-Pass movie, which was released in 2015. The two seasons of the show and the movie are all available in both dubbed and subbed formats.

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 – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun

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

After a three-month long break (which ended up being pointless since I didn’t use it for the expressed purpose of catching up on the anime I’d talked about last year), I’m finally back to making these. I sincerely apologise for the extended break, but hopefully someone missed them in their absence. But if not, oh well. I do these for fun more than anything, so it’s all good.

As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun

I will freely admit that before this anime was requested prior to my hiatus, I had honestly never heard about it before. Thankfully it’s available on Crunchyroll though, so I could add it to the list. I never really thought about it all that much afterwards. However, the internet Gods determined it was about damn time I got around to watching this, as after putting my current list through a randomiser a few times (to determine a watching order), this landed on the first spot. So here we are.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun follows the daily life of Chiyo Sakura (gee, those two names sound familiar), a high school student with a massive crush on fellow classmate Nozaki Umetarō. A misunderstanding in the opening minutes of the show leads to Chiyo getting an autograph from Nozaki, and then a following misunderstanding leads to her helping him out with a weekly shōjo manga he turns out to be the creator of.

So basically, Chiyo has a massive crush on Nozaki and he’s completely oblivious to her feelings. Not the most original thing in anime ever, but always a fun thing to see play out when done right. Honestly the whole dynamic reminds me a lot of the relationship between Tenma Tsukamoto and
Oji Karasuma. Especially since Karasuma also turns out to be a well-known manga artist, though it’s another character that interacts with him in that narrative. Although there is a “girl helps guy with a manga” arc in School Rumble in any case…so…take that how you want.

To clarify I’m not trying to say this anime is “ripping off” School Rumble. Hell, this anime reminding me of School Rumble can only be a positive as far as I’m concerned. Especially since it didn’t remind me of it in a “I could be watching a better anime right now” way. But you get my point. There are some similarities in the two anime, but it doesn’t hinder my opinion of this one.

I must admit Chiyo’s thirst for Nozaki was easily the biggest source of laughs for me, but Nozaki’s general ignorance of her feelings also got plenty of laughs. I must admit when she attempts, once again, to convey her feelings properly, I found myself cheering her on…in my own way…Though I don’t think she’d take to kindly to hearing “Oh just tell him you bitch”. Understandably so, of course. Though I do genuinely hope they end up together. Going by the anime’s length though I highly doubt they will.

Now, will I keep watching Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun? Definitely. The characters, the whole scenario and the fact the comedy is genuinely funny is enough to make me want to keep watching. I would definitely recommend this anime to anyone who likes rom-com stuff of this nature.

For those who are interested, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun consists of 12 episodes and an OVA series consisting of six episodes (all of which are three minutes in length). While I’m not sure about the OVAs, the series itself is available in both dubbed and subbed formats. For clarification, though, I watched it subbed due to having to watch it on Crunchyroll.

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 – Elfen Lied

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Elfen Lied
elfen-lied-poster

You know? I never intended to watch this anime. Ever. I had some idea of what to expect, and it didn’t really interest me much because of that. However, this was suggested and therefore was added to my list. I had actually intended to do Tokyo Ghoul as the other “Halloween special” article, but as AnimeLab finally made it available for streaming, I decided to watch it instead. So yes. This is an anime I at least had an idea of what to expect. Been a while since I’ve covered one like that, hasn’t it?

I must admit, the spoilers in this are gonna be pretty heavy. So you better hope you listened to the spoiler warning earlier. I can’t really avoid spoilers or there won’t be much to talk about. We good? Okay then.

The first…..I don’t know….10-15 minutes or so are basically Lucy’s escape. It’s fairly explicitly gory. Like I’m not even kidding here. There’s more blood in Elfen Lied’s first few minutes than most shows have in their entire run. Calling it a bloodbath would be pretty appropriate. It’s pretty intense, with only like, one brief break from the death count to show a conversation between some female characters, because one of them dies later. So I guess at least it…paid off somehow?

Now, I’m not gonna show many if any actual screenshots from the rampage, or the episode in general, mainly for one reason. For the vast majory of the episode, Lucy is naked. Like full on naked. In particular she’s also naked for the entirety of this opening rampage.

This screenshot is safe enough so I’ll show it at least. Partly to help explain what I mean when I say the rampage is a bloodbath. See the men in that image? At least eight of them survive out of about 16-18 that are there. And that’s mainly because Lucy just can’t be bothered to kill the rest. She is mainly just trying to leave after all. She does have psychic powers after all. If she wanted to kill them it wouldn’t take much effort.

As if it weren’t obvious, she escapes. Though she also gets shot in the head with an anti-tank rifle. All it really does though it make the helmet thing they had on her come off and knock her out (though she does end up bleeding). Later she washes up on a beach and is discovered by Kouta and Yuka, two cousins who just happened to be on the beach. Unlike most “discovering people on the beach” this is more them noticing her and reacting, rather than her still being unconscious and them waking her up.

One other thing that happened due to Lucy being shot in the head though, is that Lucy reverted to a very child-like persona incapable of normal speech, only being capable (at least for now) to say “Nyu”, which Kouta and Yuka decide to refer to her as. Later there’s a misunderstanding and Kouta yells at “Nyu”, making her run off back to the beach. Meanwhile the organisation who’d been containing Lucy (or had created her or something, I have no idea) deploy a Special Assault Team to kill Lucy, rather than capture her, considering the threat she poses.

One member of this team is Bando. Bando is a complete fucking arsehole. He’s also pretty homicidal. Totally enjoying the fact he’s finally being given orders to actually kill someone. When I say he’s an arsehole though, they make this point pretty clear. A woman comes up to offer him some coffee or tea, and he smacks her down very hard, telling her off for “standing behind him” or something to that effect.

That’s about it as far as what happens goes (the episode ends with Lucy/Nyu on the beach again). Now, what are my thoughts on it? Holy shit where to begin, right? The gore is pretty intense, so if you’re squeamish this is not the anime for you. At all. If you hate nudity in anime? Then pretty much this entire first episode is gonna bother you. Considering I thought Lucy was supposed to be underage, the nudity bothered me a lot. Though really it was kind of distracting anyway, so even though she is supposed to be 18 it still kinda bugged me. Especially when she becomes “Nyu” and is supposed to basically have the mind of a toddler.

I mean I’m not even kidding about this. The opening credits, the episode itself and ending credits all have more bare breasts than most sexual fan service anime have. That’s quite an accomplishment. Though I will give the anime this much. At least the nudity in the episode itself is at least just kind of there, rather than necessarily supposed to be a sexual thing. At least in episode one. Either way it still kinda bugged me, but yeah, that’s just my stance.

Wow. I had a lot to say on this first episode with really trying, didn’t I? Well, I’ll just leave it there then. So, will I continue to watch Elfen Lied? Well, honestly probably, yes. But I must admit, it will probably be low on my priority list. I mean it’s not bad at all, but I’m not as morbidly curious to continue as I thought I’d be. I’ll try to watch more, but I’ll take my time. For those interested, Elfen Lied consists of 13 episodes and a tie-in OVA, all of which are available in both subbed and dubbed formats. However when I watched it on AnimeLab I had to watch it subbed because I guess they hadn’t put the dubbed version up yet? Not sure why.

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 – Danganronpa The Animation

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Danganronpa: The Animation
danganronpa-poster2

Yet another that wasn’t on my list, but one I’d been vaguely curious about for a while. And hell. Halloween is pretty close. As good an excuse as any to talk about this anime, right? Right. That said to be honest I knew nothing about this anime going in. Hell I was completely unaware that this anime is based on a video game series. I really had no idea what I was in for.

The plot of the show is basically that 15 high school students find themselves being accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy, only for it to turn out they’ve basically been abducted. The show primarily follows Makoto Naegi, a fairly average guy compared to the collection of characters surrounding him. Ultimately the teens are told that they’re at the school to stay, for life. And the only way they’ll ever get out is by killing another student. Thus the anime follows their quest to find a way out before they end up being driven to kill each other.

Also, the “principal of the school”/main antagonist is a little….demon…teddy bear….thing, called Monokuma. And really, aside from Monokuma’s supernatural nature, this whole thing seems very Battle Royale inspired to me. Obviously not just straight up “ripping it off” or anything, but you know. Teens in a situation where they have to kill each other. Hell they even have a thing come up at one point that reminds us no one has died yet.

As far as most of the cast go, most are fairly standard fair for this sort of thing. The two stand out exceptions are as follows. Hifumi Yamada, a quite portly manga artist who seems like he almost has a bit of a cat face (by anime standards anyway). And Sakura Oogami. A buff as hell, very masculine-looking woman who I myself even mistook for a man in drag until she first spoke. Can you really blame me though?


I mean…..come on.
You can forgive me for assuming she was just a buff cross-dresser at first, right?

I’d argue both characters’ designs are the most interesting purely because of how different they are to literally everyone else. Say what you want, and I’m not really saying I don’t like anyone else’s designs, but everyone else does fall into fairly standard design territory for something like this. I could probably keep going on that but I think I’ll stop before I start to ramble.

Monokuma himself is interesting and seems like a character I’ll love to hate. I hope we learn more about him later on, but if not that’s fine too. I can’t say too much for the other characters so far, but there are some I feel might grade on me, and others that I’ll grow to like. The main character, Motoko, honestly seems like the least interesting character at first glance. Not bad per se, just not as interesting. That said I’m assuming he’ll get more interesting as the show progresses.

I don’t really want to make predictions about where I think the show will go and who will die, though I’m assuming pretty much everyone will somehow. However, I would like to make one assumption. After seeing them interact so much, it occurred to me that this show probably has a moment where Sayaka Maizono, a school idol star, will try to kill Motoko because she can’t take it anymore. Not going to assume whether I’m right or wrong, but it seems reasonable.

That’s about all I can think of for now. So, will I keep watching this anime? Yes. The first episode definitely did its job of hooking me in. Even just out of morbid curiosity I can’t help but want to watch the whole thing now. For those wondering, Donganronpa: The Animation consists of 13 episodes. A follow up anime called “Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School” also exists, which consists of 24 episodes. Both anime are available in dubbed and subbed formats.

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 – My Hero Academia

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

My Hero Academia
my-hero-academia-poster

This show has been on my list for at least a month or so now thanks to someone suggesting it, so I figured it was about time I got around to it. Must admit I didn’t know what to expect, but when I read the little summary AnimeLab gave I got at least some idea.

In the world of My Hero Academia 80% of the world’s population has developed superpowers, with said superpowers being called “Quirks”. And like…..80% of the world’s population? Holy crap. This is like X-Men on crack or something with that shit. Anyway, the anime follows the story of middle schooler Izuku Midoriya and his journey to becoming a superhero, despite his lack of any “Quirks”.

As this is purely a set up episode there isn’t too much to talk about plot wise, because we really just do follow Izuku through the whole thing. In which case, I’ll basically be giving my thoughts on Izuku as a character based on this episode, and also a few moments I feel are worth noting.

Izuku’s characterisation is that of someone with high aspirations who constantly gets his dreams crushed and basically gets told he’ll never amount to anything. He’s among the 20% of the world’s population who doesn’t have powers, and in a flashback we learn he probably never will develop powers. He does sort of angst about it, but he’s still clearly hopeful to become a superhero regardless.

That said, Izuku is a fairly pathetic character. Like, it works in some cases, but other times it just comes off as them trying too hard. Him getting angry when Katsuki, a teenage boy who actually has a “Quirk”, goes too far when insulting him? That worked. Mainly because backing down from a fight with someone who has a superpower when you don’t is just being smart, even if they played it off as pure cowardice.

In any case they just kind of push it too hard in some cases, but in other moments it’s done pretty well. One example of it being well done is one of the flashback moments. After Izuku is told he’ll probably never develop a Quirk his mother finds him in the computer room watching his favourite clip of All Might (the world’s most popular superhero). Izuku basically asks his mother if she thinks he could ever be a hero or develop a Quirk (I forget which), and the mother kind of just breaks down and cries, telling him she wishes it could be different.

So without entirely saying so, she basically tells him it’ll never happen. And, being only a 4 year old at the time, he obviously feels heartbroken. His mother couldn’t even humour him by being all “Oh sure son it could happen someday”. The thing I love about this moment is both sides are understandable. The mother just wanting to be honest rather than give him false hope makes sense, as does Izuku’s reaction to that.

One thing I want to briefly mention but can’t show any images of because it’s just……yeah I’d rather not. There’s a moment late in the episode where this slime/sludge monster grabs Izuku and tries to take over his body so he can hide from All Might. However…..how he goes about doing so……let’s just say it borders on hentai territory……yeah…..so….if you check this anime out keep that in mind.

That’s honestly all I think I have to say on episode one, so I’ll leave it at that. I also plan on watching the whole thing, as I am interested to see where this goes from here. My Hero Academia only consists of 13 episodes so far, however their is apparently a second season on the way. Despite only airing this year, My Hero Academia is available in both subbed and dubbed formats for those interested.

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 – Nurse Witch Komugi R

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Nurse Witch Komugi R
nurse-witch-komugi-r-poster

So as it turns out, I should’ve looked into this anime a little more. I’d never heard of this anime before, so I was just watching it on a whim. Turns out this is actually a reboot of an OVA series called Nurse Witch Komugi. I was annoyed and ready to scrap the idea of this article and watch something else, but you know what? Screw it. I watched this damn thing so I’m gonna talk about it. Screw the arbitrary rules I set for myself about watch the first thing in a franchise. Hell, this is a reboot anyway, I can cheat if I want.

So anyway, Nurse Witch Komugi R follows Komugi Yoshida, a middle schooler and budding, albeit obscure, Idol performer. She dreams of one day performing at the Tokyo Dome. Good for her I guess. Anyway, between school and being an Idol, she stumbles upon a little puffball thing that was being attacked by some cats or something called Usa-P. I swear, by the way, that this entire scene is a nod/satire of how Usagi meets Luna in Sailor Moon.

Usa-P decides to try and force being a “Legendary Girl” onto Komugi due to her act of kindness towards him, only managing to do so when she later encounters a cockroach later and agrees to do anything so long as he gets rid of it. So. Yeah. That easy. She becomes the magical….oh, sorry, “Legendary Girl” known as Tombo-E Girl and is tasked with collecting 108 Fan-C Cards.

So basically folks, this anime is a combo satire/homage of both Sailor Moon & Cardcaptor Sakura. At least in its most basic form. But I mean, when she “cleanses” the first monster she fights it turns into one of those “Fan-C” cards. So you know. Cardcaptor Sakura.

That all said the first episode was still enjoyable to watch. I laughed out loud quite a bit while watching this. But mainly because of all the nods or jokes they make about magical girl anime. For one thing, there’s a running gag where Usa-P keeps making a big deal out of how the outfit Komugi will have to wear is embarrassing, which puts off Komugi at first. Then when she actually transforms she actually finds the outfit to be extremely cute. Even though Usa-P still tries to claim it’s embarrassing.

Another funny moment is where Komugi can’t remember the “incantation” to spark her transformation sequence after Usa-P tells her. So Usa-P just writes it down on a piece of paper and gets her to read it out. So instead of the typical enthusiastic exclaiming of it even the first time it’s uttered, she says it fairly casually. I think Sailor Moon had a similar joke, but even then Usagi said it fairly enthusiastically when she got it right.

Komugi herself is a fairly enjoyable character. She could easily be very annoying, but at least for me her personality is fine. In fact, the fact she kinda just blunders her way through her first fight for the most part I found to be pretty entertaining. Hell, part of the sequence for her “special attack” of sorts has her trip and almost fall over. That attention to detail is pretty great. The banter between Komugi & Usa-P itself is pretty funny, and is well worth watching this anime for.

So yes, I will definitely be watching the rest of this show. And I definitely recommend this one to any fans of the magical girl genre. Nurse Witch Komugi R consists of 12 episodes, and is currently only available in Japanese with English subtitles. As stated earlier, this anime is actually a full reboot of an OVA series called Nurse Witch Komugi, which in itself is apparently a satire/parody of a more serious anime called The SoulTaker. The more you know I guess.

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 – The Rolling Girls

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

The Rolling Girls
the-rolling-girls-poster

I’m not gonna lie. I had absolutely no idea this anime even existed until just before I watched it. No. Idea. I read the summary on AnimeLab and figured “ok sure I might add his to the list”….then I just said “fuck it” and decided to review it anyway, assuming by the imagery that this would be fairly simplistic…..boy was I in for a rude shock. Oh and fun fact. The Rolling Girls was an anime first, manga second. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

As far as the plot goes, I can tell the main plot hasn’t actually kicked in yet, so I guess I have to stick to this episode’s plot. Basically majority of the episode is set up for the season moving forward, and….you know what? Just to get the exposition out of the way I’m gonna copy/paste what the Wiki entry has to say.

“Ten years after the end of the “Great Tokyo War” that rocked Japan, most of the country’s political and economic elites mysteriously vanished. As a result, the country split up into the original 10 prefectures that soon became independent city-states that competed with each other. Many vigilantes who fought in the aforementioned war became hired as the “Best” (mosa), representing their prefectures in territorial disputes. Their supporters, the “Rest” (mob), work to support them while maintaining the peace within their respective prefectures. “

That explain anything? I hope so. And honestly I think I’ll actually skip the plot, because there isn’t entirely enough of one to talk about without just saying literally everything that happens. That said there are some notable things I want to talk about.

First up, the action aspect of this anime is something I never saw coming. Especially not on this scale. No lie, this is some comic book superhero shit here. Like, holy crap. Think I’m kidding? There’s honest to God a running joke where the intensity of this fight keeps literally blowing away the onlookers of the fight. Makes you think they should just stay away but, whatever, their choice I guess.

Also, Kuniko Shigyo, the “Best” of Higashi Murayama uses a giant safety pin with as a weapon……I’m not kidding. A giant. Safety. Pin. Really.


Told you I wasn’t lying.

Kuniko’s opponent in the big fight is Maccha Green. The superhero “Best” of Tokorozawa. The true identity of Maccha green is Masami Utoku, leader of the Hiyoshi Town Propellers. She tries to really keep it a secret but the implication seems to be pretty much everyone knows without realising it, or something like that.

It actually leads to a scene after the big fight where Masami is getting something to eat and Higashi shows up at the same place. There’s a bit of back and forth about Higashi assuming Masami is Maccha Green, but Higashi gives up fairly quickly. Then they have an eating contest because Masami wants to get the hell out of there. No. Really. That’s a thing that happens.


For real this is actually a really funny scene.

Oh also. One of the members of the Hiyoshi Town Propellers is literally just called  “Crocodile” and he wears a Crocodile mask like….all the time.


“Hello? Yes this is Crocodile”

I haven’t really talked about the main character Nozomi Moritomo yet and honestly that’s because….of all the things going on, her stuff is fairly mundane. Which I mean, is nice for a change of pace, but yeah. It seems after episode two she’ll finally get more time to shine, but for now there’s not much I can say about her. For a main character, she takes quite the backseat in this episode. To be fair to the anime though, it works for what they’re trying to achieve. I mean, this episode is purely an introduction, so it makes sense.

Now, will I continue-of course I’m gonna bloody keep watching this, holy shit. This anime came out of nowhere and is just so out there and weird and silly that I just can’t ignore it. Especially since episode one ends with a cliffhanger. For those who are interested, The Rolling Girls consists of 12 episodes and is available in both subbed and dubbed formats. Normally I seem to forget to recommend stuff but holy crap. If you love how silly and over-the-top anime can be, please, give this a watch. It’s totally worth it.

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 – A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Shimoneta:
A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist
shimoneta-poster

Well then. So. This is a thing that exists. I’m being totally honest when I say I only really watched this out of morbid curiosity. I mean look at that name, can you really blame me? If there’s one thing this anime does it’s stand out in a crowd.

The plot of…..ya know what I’m just gonna call it Shimoneta for short. Shimoneta is set in a dystopian future where the Japanese government has decided to basically outlaw foul language and even the most tame kinds of porn or lewd imagery (and also rude gestures apparently). The story itself picks up 16 years after this happened, and the “moral” folk are now being bombarded by a “lewd terrorist” known as Blue Snow…..she wears panties on her face as a mask.


Yep. That’s definitely a thing that happens in this anime.

Our primary protagonist Tanukichi Okuma runs into Blue Snow on his way to his new school, Tokioka Academy, and is subsequently kidnapped by Ayame Kajou (who reveals herself to be Blue Snow) and forced to help her in her lewd terrorist activities under the banner of a “lewd terrorist” group she makes up called SOX. I’m basically assuming the entirety of the show is based around their activities, and and also Tanukichi’s conflict of having to do all this, despite having a crush on Anna Nishikinomiya, the Tokioka Academy’s Student Council President.

Holy hell, this anime is ridiculous. Thankfully though, in the best ways possible. I don’t remember laughing as hard at this as some of the others I’ve watched recently that are more comedy based, but this was definitely still very funny none-the-less. The entire concept itself is very interesting, and leads to a lot of good jokes.

It seems pretty clear that the message of this anime is that there’s nothing wrong with any of the stuff they talk about, and policing it on this kind of a scale is just ridiculous. That said they don’t really hit you over the head with that which is nice. It’s there, but this IS still a comedy anime, so they go about it more in a funny way than a preachy way.

So far the characters themselves are all interesting. From the “trying very hard not to
screw up” Tanukichi, to the lewd terrorist Ayame, to Hyouka Fuwa; a young woman
obsessed with finding out the “truth” about just exactly how babies are made.


I wasn’t kidding….she’s like….REALLY obsessed.

The rest of the cast so far also seem to be interesting as well, but since this is only the first episode, there isn’t much to say about everyone else. Really this first episode’s humour mainly comes from the interactions between Tanukichi and Ayame. With a few also coming from the fairly brief interactions between Tanukichi and Hyouka (as illustrated above).

Since there’s a fairly hilarious moment I’ve decided I don’t want to spoil, that’s about it. Now, will I continue to watch the show? Yes. God, yes. This show is way too out there for me to not want to finish. And the premise is just silly enough to keep me interested. For those that are curious, Shimoneta is made up of 12 episodes and is currently only available in Japanese with english subtitles. However, there does seem to currently be an English dub in the works.

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 – Deadman Wonderland

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

Welcome back folks. Well, here we go. The last one for the week to make it three in total. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Deadman Wonderland
deadman-wonderland-poster

I had honestly never heard of this anime until I saw it was on AnimeLab. But damn, what a name, right? “Deadman Wonderland”. It sounds like a metal song or album title. Anyway, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. At all. I mean I sort of read the synopsis AnimeLab has before watching the episode but even then that didn’t clue me in on much.

So. Plot. Like with One-Punch Man and Attack On Titan, the first episode seems to be very “introducing you to this world” focused, which is fine. There’s a lot to get through. However, unlike the Attack On Titan one I’m not gonna go into hyper detail about it to avoid too many big spoilers. If I can help it anyway.

Episode one of Deadman Wonderland has us following the main character, Ganta Igarashi, a high school student. His life basically goes to shit when this dude referred to as the “Red Man” shows up and murders the absolute fuck out of everyone in the room except him. All he gets is this red…gem?…..crystal?…..whatever he gets this red thing jammed into his chest.

Due to the overwhelming evidence of jack all, literally everyone seems to think Ganta did it. So not only does he get convicted, but is given “capital punishment” in the form of being sent to the titular place known as Deadman Wonderland. A maximum security prison that doubles as a theme park. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. Oh well. He makes a friend at least in the form of the myserious girl Shiro. So that’s something.

My God this anime. Holy shit. It starts off like a generic high school anime then just….BAM….the next 15 minutes or so are just bleak as hell. In a good way, but still. It starts to lighten up slightly once Ganta gets to the prison, but even then, yikes. Going from the satirical One-Punch Man to this was QUITE the tonal shift. That said, the bleakness was well done, and thankfully isn’t all that overwhelming.

Character wise I feel Ganta was well done. I really felt bad for him the whole time. Poor fucker did nothing wrong and yet he has to cop the blame for all this shit. That’s gotta suck harder than an expensive prostitute. Oh also. The “Chief Warden” Kiwako Makina seems like a character I’ll like. If she lasts all that long. I love how little of a shit she gives, it’s great.

Hell one guy that arrives with Ganta asks her how big her tits are. It seems like he was just trying to be a smart arse, but she gives so little of a shit that she outright tells them her cup size. No flirtatiousness about it. No “ugh, this again”. She just flat out states it then moves on, it’s hilarious.

One other interesting thing to note about episode one of Deadman Wonderland is its lack of an intro. There’s an outro at the end, but for this first episode we only get a title card after the cold opening. Very interesting move, and honestly it was appreciated. Considering what happens in the cold opening, it works to the show’s advantage. Plus it gave them a few extra minutes worth of episode to use.

Without going into a spoiler I’ve decided I’d rather not talk about, I think that’s about all I have to say on the first episode of this anime. So, will I keep watching? Absolutely. This first episode definitely has me wanting to know what comes next and how the whole thing eventually resolves itself. For those interested, Deadman Wonderland consists of 12 episodes and an OVA and is available in both subbed and dubbed formats.

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 – One-Punch Man

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

One-Punch Man
one-punch-man-poster

For a while after this anime came out last year it was hard NOT to hear about it. But, now that the hype has died down (at least that I’ve seen), I feel I can now watch this objectively. I didn’t really know anything about this going in aside from the superhero satire premise, so I was going in fairly blind as usual. Thankfully.

I feel like episode one is purely an introductory episode. So as far as plot goes, I can only really give the show’s premise. The show follows Saitama, a man living in an alternate world who decided to become a superhero just for the hell of it. No. Really. That’s his backstory. Well, ok. We actually do get some form of backstory in that Saitama was once just some regular Joe Schmoe looking for work.

Then one day he ends up in the path of Crabrante, a monster created after a man ate too much crab……I’m not even kidding. I can’t make this shit up.


Look at this fucker. Just look at him.

And to top it all off, Crabrante is mainly going on a killing spree because he’s looking for this one kid who drew nipples on him when he was asleep. And the kid looks like this.


“Well…ummm…I guess they call me…Chin Ball Boy, and umm…Ball Chin Boy…and when I was…when I’m walking they’ll say ‘Hey, there goes Chin Balls’ “

That whole thing aside, this was a very entertaining episode. The whole dilemma of Saitama having become to powerful that he’s able to defeat these villains with one punch is handled pretty well. It mainly played for comedy, but Saitama does lament that he seems to have become fairly emotionless due to his crime fighting becoming fairly boring. He doesn’t so much brag about being so strong, but instead complains about it.

Honestly? That makes this show much more interesting to me than if Saitama had just been this cocky bastard who takes pride in being able to take out these monsters in one hit. I mean that premise could’ve also worked, but him being annoyed by it rather than happy about it is great.

Speaking of the villains though, holy crap. I won’t spoil what any of the others look like, or their backstories, but wow. You really can’t make this shit up. The first one we see is the most “I could see this being an actual Marvel or DC thing”, but everyone else, including Crabrante as I mentioned before, have ridiculous backstories. I swear, a crossover between One-Punch Man and Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! would be amazing.

One other aspect I like about this episode is it’s very “a day in the life” in how it’s presented. For the most part we’re just following Saitama around during his usual routine when a villain decides to pop up that he has to take out. And sure, that happens in traditional superhero stuff too, but the way it’s presented here is playing it up for comedic effect. I love it.

So. Will I continue to watch this show? Hell yes. I definitely plan on watching the rest of the show to see where it goes from here. Especially since the end of episode one seems to imply the show will actually gain some sort of ongoing plot. Maybe. Anyway, for those interested, season one of One-Punch Man consists of 12 episodes, with another season slated to be released later this year if what I’m reading is correct.

Along with the first season, there have also been seven OVAs released. Everything mentioned is currently only available in the subbed format. However, Viz Media is currently producing an English dub for the first season (and possibly the OVAs), so season one may well have a dubbed version available by the end of the year. If not, it’s still on the way in any case.

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 am currently still deciding which anime to watch for the third article I mean to write this week, so I can’t say what as of yet, but I will still try to make a decision before the week is up. With that said, I’ll see you next time folks.

At First Glance – Attack On Titan

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article. This may even possibly be the most spoiler heavy one of these I’ve done so far. You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. Unfortunately I only managed one of these last week. But as a way to make up for that, I’ve decided I’m going to do three this week to make up for it. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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

Attack On Titan
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Here’s a fun bit of trivia for you. I actually had a chance to publicly watch the first episode at a local event several years ago. But I was so caught up playing Mario Kart 64 and then going back into the Cards Against Humanity space that I just didn’t watch or pay attention to it at all. So this is truly the first time I’ve given it a shot. I’d been meaning to for a while, so I guess it’s a good thing I started doing these articles, isn’t it?

As far as the actual plot goes, it really just boils down to a struggle between the surviving humans of this world and these giant, cannibalistic humanoids known as Titans. Which seems like a gross oversimplification, but I AM only one episode in. Speaking of, the first episode basically just drops us into this world, and shows us how everything is fairly ok, despite the imminent threat of the Titans, due to them living in a massive city surrounded by 50 foot walls.

Then of course everything goes to hell when the heavens declare “fuck this” and up pops a SIXTY FOOT TITAN who literally kicks the door in, allowing the smaller Titans to get through. Chaos ensues, obviously, and that’s what we’re left on. Damn. What a way to start this thing off, right?

We’re only introduced to a handful of characters, but luckily most of the episode is spent following around or introducing recurring characters, which I very much appreciated. I mean sure, seeing a bunch of people just wrecking shit and fighting these things will be pretty cool to watch when it happens, but this episode taking the time to introduce us to this world and the set up was the best choice.

The reveal of the “Colossal Titan” is probably my favourite moment though. Just this massive lightning strike and then bam, there it is. Kudos to the voice actor for the character Eren Yeager too. His reaction to the whole thing is great and really sells it. Really everything in that moment sells it, the whole think had me completely engrossed in what was happening. Though I almost wish I’d watched this in my room on my PS4, so the size of the Colossal Titan REALLY stood out. Oh well.

Speaking of the characters though, the primary three we’re introduced to are Eren (as I mentioned before), his foster/adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert. Mikasa seems to be the most ambiguous character right now out of the three going by this episode alone. The episode paints her out to be Eren’s de-facto protector, but that’s about all we know. Hell I didn’t even know she wasn’t Eren’s blood brother until I checked a wiki.

Eren and Armin are the more vocal of the two, and both seem to share the mentality that if the humans continue to live like this then they’re nothing more than herded cattle waiting to be slaughtered. Pretty bleak worldview, but hell, I can’t blame them. Even with that giant wall there I’d be pretty fucking terrified too. That said I also would’ve ran the fuck away as soon as I saw that Colossal Titan. Not just waited for it to level a few blocks with that kick. Though I guess I can understand a person being paralyzed with fear. I mean look at the damn thing.


“Peekaboo mother fuckers”

That said, despite the Colossal Titan’s reveal being my favourite moment, the climax of the episode itself is also a pretty great moment, in that it’s the most emotional moment of the episode. Eren & Mikasa have run off to their home to make sure their mother is ok. Turns out she’s still alive, but is now pinned down under the remnants of their home. They try to save her, but she tells them to leave as her legs have been crushed, so she’d just slow them down.

They keep trying anyway until a Hannes, a Captain in the branch of the military called The Garrison, shows up. At first he says he’s going to fight off the Titan and save them all, only to lose his nerve and grab Eren & Mikasa, getting them to safety instead. The most poignant part of this whole thing to me, is what happens when they’re out of earshot. Their mother has one of the most human moments I’ve ever seen in an anime, and openly goes back on her wish for them to leave her to die.

And then of course, we have to see the poor woman get eaten by the damn Titan. She even thrashes her arms around a bit until it does….something to her, to make her go limp. Broke her neck? Snapped her spine? It kills her in any case. Then Eren and Mikasa (or at least Eren) end up witnessing the whole thing. God damn, Attack On Titan. Heavy thing to end the first episode on.

On a lighter note, good God does this anime look beautiful or what? I mean as creepy and weird as the Titans look, my God, look at that Colossal Titan. It honestly looks amazing. The backgrounds, the city itself, pretty much everything. Sure there are some moments where the animation is a bit simplified, but it makes sense when it happens. Overall I couldn’t find anything to bitch about animation wise.

Now, will I be watching more of this anime? Holy shit, yes. I mean, it’s a slow start but I am definitely interested in seeing what happens next and finding out just what the hell is up with the Titans, which we apparently find out later in the show. If you’re interested in checking it out, Attack On Titan is 25 episodes long, and is available in both subbed and dubbed formats. There are also two live-action movie adaptations of the show, two anime film adaptations condensing the events of the show, and a spin-off satirical anime series called Attack On Titan: Junior High.

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. And just in case anyone was curious, next up in this “Three articles because I forgot to do two last week” special will be my thoughts on the first episode of One-Punch Man. I’ll see you then folks.

At First Glance – Dagashi Kashi

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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

Dagashi Kashi
dagashi-kashi

I had kind of seen a clip of this anime before I think, but it was a later episode and all I vaguely recall was that beer was involved. I think. Anyway due to that I vaguely knew of this anime’s existence, but not much else. So I still went in fairly blind. As a note, this is also one of the newer anime I’ve covered on here as it aired this year.

The plot of this anime seems to be that our protagonist, Kokonotsu Shikada, is constantly hounded by his father, Yo Shikada, to take over the family business, a local sweets shop (“Shikada Dagashi”) in a rural town. Hotaru Shidare, an eccentric young woman, shows up and makes a deal with Yo wherein Yo will come and work for Hotaru’s father (owner of a famous snacks company) if Hotaru can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family shop. Meanwhile all Kokonotsu wants to do is become a manga artist; though he is unfortunately deemed to be terrible at this, whilst having a knack for business.

This might be, hands down, the funniest thing I’ve watched in a while. Oh my God. I was laughing out lout quite a bit. Even the stuff I could see coming had laughing before, during and after it happened. Like, holy shit some of the stuff in this is just great. The best gag would probably be To Endo (co-owner of Endo Cafe) accidentally walking in on Hotaru getting out of the shower. To freaks out only to get KO’d by his twin sister Saya.

Hotaru seems to not really care at all about the scenario, even as Saya is apologising; being more interested in the fact Saya & To are relatives. She even picks To up and hugs him as he’s still unconscious and she’s still butt naked. It’s an utterly hilarious scene that just gets funnier and funnier as it goes. Speaking of funny, there’s a gag near the start where Yo pulls a “substitution jutsu” kind of trick on Kokonotsu and in his place leaves a body pillow wrapped in a robe to hide all the “naughty bits”. Genius.

All of the characters are enjoyable so far, which is good considering the cast is fairly small. I swear Hotaru and Saya could almost be parodies of certain tropes, but I don’t really outright think they are so I’ll leave it at that. Saya’s not-at-all-subtle crush on Kokonotsu being a good source of comedy, as is Kokonotsu’s complete obliviousness to her feelings.

Form what I can tell, To is mainly there to be the “pervy” best friend for Kokonotsu, though I guess to be fair he doesn’t really walk in on Hotaru on purpose. Who knows, he gives off that vibe anyway. He’s also a little shit stirrer; provoking Saya into a rage when he points out her obvious crush on Kokonotsu, getting his face fucked up in the process. Oh also he refers to Kokonotsu as “coconuts”. And that is funny to me for some reason.

Overall I think my earlier statement sums this anime up pretty well. This is one of the funniest things I’ve watched in a while. I am definitely going to keep watching. For those interested, Dagashi Kashi is 12 episodes in total, and available in both dubbed and subbed formats. And honestly? It being dubbed so quickly surprises the hell out of me. Though I guess there are only 12 episodes.

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. See you next time folks.

At First Glance – Soul Eater

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Soul Eater
soul-eater-poster

Odd as it may seem, I really never knew much about this anime before watching it. I’d seen clips of the anime used in AMV Hell, and I’ve seen some people cosplay as Soul Eater characters in my hometown, but that’s about it. Hell I doubt I even knew what anime the characters were from until now. Point being, I was going into this pretty blind despite this being a fairly popular anime as far as I knew.

As far as the plot goes, episode one of Soul Eater follows Soul Evans/Soul Eater (a human with the ability to turn into a weapon) and his meister Maka Albarn, both of whom are students at Death Weapon Meister Academy. The bulk of the episode, aside from the prologue/exposition dump is Maka & Soul trying to gain the soul of a witch. We’re told that Soul needs to consume the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch (in that order) so he can become a “Death Scythe”.

Unfortunately it turns out the witch they were chasing was just a talking cat called Blair who just happens to have a lot of magical power. As a result, and due to the rules of how this all works, Maka & Soul are forced to start their soul collecting all over again.

Honestly this is easily one of the best first episodes I’ve seen from all the anime I’ve covered so far. Whilst I’ve never found any so far to be bad, this one was very concise without feeling rushed. The episode sets up the premise of this world and show very effortlessly and never made me question it. It also helps that one of the first scenes in the episode proper is just Maka & Soul fighting one of the evil humans. Pretty badass thing to open on.

One thing I might’ve mentioned in a previous article that applies to Soul Eater is that I’m a fan of sexual fan-service being played for comedy. And boy, does this episode have that in spades. The entire dynamic between Soul & Blair is basically one extended nosebleed joke and it’s just hilarious to me due to how they play it. Funnier in retrospect when she turns out to have been a cat the whole time.


Moments like this must be awkward for him to think about in retrospect.

I also can’t really write this without talking about the character Lord Death (known as Shinigami in the Japanese version). I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this character I guess, but Death turning out to be goofy as hell rather than stoic and serious was a nice surprise. Death Scythe/Spirit Albarn (Death’s human weapon & Maka’s dad) was also a good source of comedy in this opening episode, and the interactions between the two were well done. Definitely hoping to see more scenes with those two.

Overall I am definitely glad I finally gave this show a chance, and I do intend on watching the entire thing. Soul Eater is made up of 51 episodes, though there is also a spin-off show called Soul Eater Not! that was released in 2014 consisting of 12 episodes. Both Soul Eater & Soul Eater Not! are available in subbed and dubbed formats for those interested. If you’ve never watched Soul Eater, I’d definitely say it’s worth a shot.

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. See you next time folks.

At First Glance – The Devil Is A Part-Timer!

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

Welcome back folks. There was a longer gap than I intended, but rest assured there will still be two of these this week. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

The Devil Is A Part-Timer!
the-devil-is-a-part-timer-poster

I must admit, I’d never heard anything good or bad about this anime before, and don’t really member hearing about it much at all before watching it. Going in with no expectations was nice, but it sure was weird.

The basic plot of this anime is that a Demon Lord called Satan fights and loses a massive war over several continents in a place known as Enta Isla and, along with his ally/subordinate Alciel, is forced to retreat to another dimension; namely ours. Stuck in human form, unable to use magic too much (or in Alciel’s case not at all) and with no real idea of what to do, Satan gets a job working part-time at a fast food place called MgRonalds (I’m serious) so both he and Alciel can afford to live in modern day Tokyo.

This anime was a pleasant surprise I must say. I mean, I half expected this to almost be in a similar vein to Squid Girl. Thankfully the bare bones versions of their respective plots are all they really have in common from what I can see. I mean don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Squid Girl, but this show having a different take on a similar idea was nice to see. Especially with how theatrical they make both Satan/Sadao and Alciel/Shiro. Even the fish-out-of-water stuff is honestly very
funny.

One of the funniest moments of episode one is when they initially arrive on Earth, after a 5-10 minute exposition dumb on the events that happen leading to Satan & Alciel showing up on Earth. Some cops mistake them for injured teenage cosplayers and Alciel’s antics almost get them in trouble. They play it very well and, if nothing else, it probably just reinforced to the cops that these two were indeed just random cosplayers.

Another thing I liked about this anime was the fake language (I assume it’s a made up language anyway) that people from Satan’s world speak in the opening and for a few minutes into the episode proper. Though if I’m honest, the random transition from them speaking their native language to using English so quickly is very jarring.. There’s little to no set up, they just kind of do. Granted they’re only talking to each other at the time, but there are other moments earlier where they don’t seem to be speaking English and no one else is around.

One other aspect of this anime may turn out to be a negative, but right now is fine. The character Chiho Sasaki. Her entire thing, at least in episode one, is that she’s the typical klutzy “moe” character. In all this fantasy stuff, a weird token moe character who’s clumsy but works at a Fast Food restaurant is honestly weird to me. Though that mainly ties into a joke/point made in the anime Lucky Star about such things. Hopefully her character is fleshed out a bit more in later episodes.

The relationship dynamic between Satan & Alciel is another positive for the anime though. A lot of the humour in the first half of the episode really does just come for their interactions, so thankfully every joke they go for does seem to actually hit the mark. I definitely can’t think of any jokes that didn’t at least make me smile if the didn’t get a chuckle out of me or make me legitimately laugh out loud.

All-in-all the anime definitely has me hooked, basically meaning the first episode actually did its job. I would honestly recommend people check this out, but just as a warning there is some blood in the little introduction/prologue at the start. If that bothers you, you might want to look away or just skip this anime. The anime itself is 13 episodes long and is available in both subbed and dubbed formats.

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. See you next time folks.

At First Glance – K-On!

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

K-On!
K-On! poster

Yep, another music-centric anime. Almost feel like I should’ve covered this after Love Live! School Idol Project instead of after Gurren Lagann, for the sake of a running theme if nothing else. Ah well.

Plot wise, K-On appears to be a slice-of-life high school anime centering around the members of the Light Music Club at the fictional Sakuragaoka High School; showing how they develop musically as a band. Unlike Love Live where a club is formed to try and gain interest in the school, K-On’s “Light Music Club” is simply an existing club that the main cast actually save from being cut by joining, as there were no members left after the previous members all graduated. The first episode itself basically details the events that lead to the formation of the band.

The group itself, at least in episode one, comprises of four members. Ritsu Tainaka on drums (self-proclaimed leader of the club/band), Mio Akiyama on bass guitar, Tsumugi Kotobuki on keyboard, and Yui Hirasawa on lead guitar. However, in this first episode, Yui admits to not knowing how to play guitar. In their desperation the others simply reassure her that they’ll teach her how to play so she’ll join.

I must admit I really do like this whole set up. The idea of only two people in the group (at least to start with) previously knowing each other, and the other two being essentially random people works really well, as it will allow us to see their friendships develop over the course of the show. I also like how they tease some sort of meaningful reasoning for Ritsu and Mio to want to join the club, only for it to turn out to be something Ritsu dragged Mio into instead.

Whilst the more “we made a promise” reasoning would’ve been fine, it was hilarious to find out that the flashback was either Ritsu remembering it wrong, or just putting on an act in front of Tsumugi to tempt her to join the band. Which is actually another thing that’s interesting to mention. Despite not being the main focus, Ritsu is primarily the driving force behind anyone else joining the band in this episode. For one thing she roped Mio into joining (even ripping up an application she’d filled out for the Literature Club), and falls short of begging Tsumugi to join, when it turns out Tsumugi was actually looking for the Choir Club.

It’s the combined efforts of the three that convinces Yui to join though. The funny thing being, they do a little performance for her (instrumental only) as a way to bait her into joining, and it really doesn’t sound all that bad. But instead of being nice, Yui is brutally honest and admits she thinks they didn’t sound all that great, despite this being what actually wins her over. I honestly laughed really hard at that moment, it was really well done.

As far as the actual characters themselves go, something tells me people probably get annoyed with Yui quite a lot. With her whole clutzy/meek personality it seems like she could easily be a divisive character, but I like her. That said all of the characters so far generally seem very likeable to me; but that could always change as the series goes on. I do generally like slice-of-life anime though so I’m fairly optimistic about the rest of the show based on this first episode alone.

If I’m honest I can’t really think of much else to say about the anime based on the first episode. So on a final note, I must admit K-On! is an anime series I’d always been fairly indifferent on when it came to giving it a try, but I can safely say I am glad I decided to give it a try when I started doing these “At First Glance” things. I enjoyed the first episode and I do plan on watching more of the series.

I would also definitely recommend people check this show out if it sounds like something you’d be interested in; though slice-of-life anime aren’t for everyone. The anime itself is available in both dubbed and subbed formats, and contains 36 episodes in total across two seasons (13 in season one, 26 in season two, which is referred to as “K-On!!”). If you’re interested there is also an OVA made after the first season, and a tie-in movie was also made that takes place during the events of the second season.

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. See you next time folks.

At First Glance – Gurren Lagann

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 idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

Ah yes, another anime that I’ve heard of quite a lot but just never gotten around to watching until now. Fun fact, I actually flat out considered buying this anime on a whim a while ago. I didn’t, but I considered it.

As I don’t really want to know where the show is going from here (and I mean that in a good way), the briefest summary I can give is that Gurren Lagann follows the adventures of Simon (pronounced “see-mon”) Kamina and Yoko on their adventures on the surface world of their home planet…and possibly beyond for all I know. The first episode specifically introduces us to the three, and details the events that lead to Simon & Kamina reaching the surface; having lived their lives entirely (or almost entirely in Kamina’s case) underground in Giha village, their hometown.

Considering that this anime was made by the same team (albeit not the same actual studio) that made Kill La Kill, I must admit I was expecting something much more over-the-top than this ended up being. Don’t get me wrong, it is still  ridiculous and over-the-top, but in a much more subdued way than the in-your-face Kill La Kill is. I must admit I was actually kind of glad when I realised that was the case, rather than let down. I mean, it could always get crazier from here, and I wouldn’t doubt it, but this first episode was fairly subdued in it’s over-the-top aspects.

As far as the characters go, I feel like out the main three there isn’t a character I’ll
end up hating. At least it doesn’t feel that way going by this one episode. Simon is
the typical meek character that you know will have some kind of arc where he
gains some confidence. Kamina is the cocky, overconfident cheerleader who just
charges into everything blindly, and Yoko is the strong, badass young woman who probably doesn’t take shit from anyone. That and probably has the most actual combat experience of the three. Hell I assume she’s the only one with ANY combat experience. It’s a varied enough group to work and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what kind of adventures they have.

One thing I kind of like is that Simon just sort of gets dragged into all this mess. He seemed fairly content with his life, even if he clearly wishes for a better one. But even then he doesn’t really seem to yearn to leave his hometown or anything. Even when they finally do end up on the surface world at the end, it’s partially just a result of fighting with the creature that falls through the “ceiling” into their hometown rather than them actively trying to get there.

Another thing I like is that even though Kamina can be a bit of an arsehole, it’s at least the loveable kind of arsehole right now, so his antics come off more as being funny than wanting someone to strangle him. Even when he hits on Yoko, it’s clear if she wanted him to shut up she could do it fairly easily. Hell, Yoko is clearly not a submissive or passive woman at all. She doesn’t even mind when Simon ends up on top of her by accident due to their little mech crashing to the ground (possibly because he doesn’t try to grope her or she finds his embarrassment to be cute), and then buries his head in her chest when she realises there are giant monsters looming over them.

All-in-all I’m definitely looking forward to watching more of the show, and am also glad I finally gave this show a try, which means the streak remains unbroken for now. If you’re into mech-based anime or general action-adventure anime I’d say give this one a chance if you’re not already a fan. The series is 27 episodes long and it’s available in both subbed and dubbed formats for those who care. Hell, like some anime Gurren Lagann even has two movies that condense the events of the series down into movie form if you can’t get enough of it.

And that about covers it I think. f 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 guys next time with my thoughts on the first episode of the anime series “K-On!”.

At First Glance – Love Live! School Idol Project

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

Welcome back folks. Yes, I actually seem to be sticking with this idea. Shocking, I know. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Love Live! School Idol Project
Love Live School Idol Project2

The shortest summary I could give for this anime’s premise is like…….it’s a Japanese take on Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit. I mean ok it’s not really but the idea of trying to save a high school that faces closure THROUGH THE POWER OF MUSIC immediately reminded me of Sister Act 2. Take that how you want.

Anyway, to clarify, the plot is that the main characters find out their school, Otonokizaka Academy, is due for closure once all the students currently attending have graduated. However, it is stated that the school can avoid this if the enrollment numbers increase. As a result our main character, Honoka Kōsaka, takes it upon herself to think of a way to help the school out. The end result being that she comes up with the idea to start a “School Idol” club to try and help garner interest in the school.

If I’m entirely honest, I was only made aware of this anime’s existence when I noticed an Australian cosplayer I’ve taken photos of seems to have done a few cosplays based around this anime (including one of the photos I’ve taken of her). Which seems to be a thing for me these days. Who knew cosplay could introduce you to stuff you’d never heard of. That said, the premise of the anime was unknown to me even though I vaguely knew of its existence, so I still went in pretty blind. Well, aside from the assumption that it clearly had something to do with “Idol” groups.

So, what did I think? Fortunately I can say I’m glad that I checked this anime out. The first episode does its job of introducing the core of the main cast very well, as well as getting the plot across without it feeling too rushed. There’s a very natural build to how the events unfold. I did almost question why the school had to allow for everyone currently enrolled to graduate before shutting down, but hell, I assumed fairly quick that it must just be a thing that happens in Japan, so I’ll let it slide. If it isn’t though, feel free to correct me.

What I do actually like is that, in this first episode, the group technically isn’t actually formed. Honoka does manage to convince her friends Umi & Kotori to join her, but their attempt to form an official club is shot down in this first episode. Initially because they generally don’t have enough members to form one (they needed five people), but then also because of their motives behind wanting to form the club.

And hell, Umi even tells Honoka before that that she thinks it realistically wouldn’t work, so Honoka’s friends don’t immediately jump at the idea either. The episode ends with them still determined to do this, but yeah, it doesn’t end up being as easy as just saying “let’s do this!” and it happens, which I definitely appreciate.

Oh and by the way, the entire premise of a group of schoolgirls forming an Idol group? Completely believable to me. I mean hell two of the members of BABYMETAL were like, twelve at best when the group formed. So I think I can buy into the concept of a group of girls aged 15-18 doing it as a school-based thing quite easily.

The song and dance number at the end was pretty good and fun. For some reason though it gave me chills. I have no idea why, but it can only be a good thing. Speaking of the song and dance number, one thing I forgot to mention is that it seems this show uses a mix of normal animation and CG animation for those segments, including during the show’s own opening. It’s an interesting approach, though it was a bit jarring at first. I think they incorporated CG to make it easier to possibly rotoscope some of the dance moves, but I could be wrong on that front.

Oh, there is one last thing I would like to add before I wrap up. I did watched the show dubbed, but the company who did the dubbing actually left the songs in their original Japanese form rather than dubbing them as well. So basically it’s English dubbed dialogue with Japanese singing. I honestly really appreciate this, as it’s something that really bugged me about a certain episode of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya. People who’ve seen that anime probably know which one I mean.

All-in-all Love Live! School Idol Project is definitely an anime I’ll be watching more of; which makes me three-for-three on that front so far. If this anime seems like it’d be up your alley, I’d say give it a go. Hell, even if it isn’t I’d say it’s worth a try regardless. It’s available in both a subbed and dubbed format, so everyone wins, and the complete show is 26 episodes across two seasons (13 eps each). There’s even a spin-off and an OVA if you really get into it.

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. See you next time folks.

At First Glance – Kill La Kill

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

Well here we are again, and relatively sooner than may have been expected considering my track record. As a quick reminder for those who didn’t catch the first one, the idea of these “At First Glance” things 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.

Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill

As a basic premise, Kill La Kill is a revenge story where the main character, Ryuko Matoi, is on a mission to find out who killed her father, and is seemingly willing to go to any lengths to do so. With her search leading her to Honnouji Academy, which is where the series starts.

I’ve heard about this anime quite a bit, but I’ve somehow managed to avoid spoilers from what I can tell, so I went into this fairly blind. I’d always intended to check it out, and almost did at one point. For whatever reason I stopped and watched something else instead. However, after getting the idea to do these articles, I decided it was
high time I give this anime a fair shot, and actually watched it immediately after watching the first episode of “Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!”.

Needless to say, the two anime could not be any more different if they tried. Whilst……you know what let’s call it Cute High for short…..whilst Cute High came off as being fairly level-headed despite all the weird shit happening, and could be kind of subtle in places, Kill La Kill is about as subtle as a punch in the face.

 (Or a kick I guess, that works too)

Not even seemingly two minutes in Kill La Kill just goes from zero to sixty in the
weird department and doesn’t really let up too much. Not that I mind. In fact I enjoyed the hell out of it. The over-the-top action-comedy aspect of the whole show works amazingly well going by this first episode alone. There are some serious aspects to the story (namely the emerging backstory for Ryuko), but overall the show itself doesn’t try to take itself too seriously in most aspects, and it works to its advantage.

The show is also a nice change of pace as it’s the first magical girl anime that I’ve ever seen to be this crude with its humour. I swear one scene after Ryuko gains the outfit she’s most known for (which I will not link here, you know how to use google), the scene in which a male character reacts to first seeing her in it almost plays out like a Sailor Moon parody sketch they did on Robot Chicken.

If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s stuff that would normally just be run-of-the-mill sexual fanservice being played for comedy, and this show looks to be all about doing that. Personally I don’t think the outfit will ever grow on me, but at the very least I can put up with it because of how it’s immediately made fun of because the show is so self-aware.

All-in-all I am glad I finally got around to giving this show a try, and I can definitely see myself watching the rest of it. Just got to hope it doesn’t pull a Madoka Magica on me and end up being a depressing mindfuck in the end. Beause it probably could. Who knows. I’m
expecting shit to get real, but yeah, hoping it doesn’t get THAT real.

In any case, if you’re like me and have never given this show a watch, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out. So long as you’re not put off by the crude humour and violence and stuff like that anyway. If that sort of thing isn’t your cup of tea then I’d steer clear of this. Otherwise, go for it. Even if you only watch the first episode, it’s definitely worth a
try. And hell, if you’re like me and prefer dubs, this anime is available both dubbed and subbed, so everybody wins.

As far as what the next anime I cover/watch will be is concerned, I honestly have no idea as of yet. I have made up a list of anime to potentially watch for these articles though. Regardless, you’ll just have to wait and see what I talk about next. And it’ll probably be next week, just so I don’t crank too many of these out. In which case, I’ll see you all again next week.

At First Glance – Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

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

So, hey guys, been a few months, but here I am again! This time I’m trying something new. I decided I’d pick anime I’d never watched before, watch the first episode of it, and give my initial reactions/impressions on said episode. After I while I might expand this to include live-action shows and general cartoons, but for now I’ll stick to anime. Sound good? Cool. With that out of the way, let’s get on with it and talk about the first anime I’m gonna talk about.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love2

What a name right? This anime was actually recommended to me by a fellow Australian when I asked for magical girl anime recommendations…..yes I like magical girl anime. Sue me. Anyway, out of nowhere one of the people suggested this particular anime, pointing out it was more of a “magical boy” anime instead, but if anything that made me more interested.

Now, it’s been about a year since then, and oddly enough this anime only started airing last year, but I finally got around to watching the first episode after restarting my AnimeLab subscription, and holy fuck. This anime is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen, and I’ve only seen the first episode. I’m honestly glad to find out the show is blatantly supposed to be a satirical take on the “magical girl” genre, because that’s exactly what it feels like.

As a summary, the anime is about five high school boys who end up being chosen by a pink, wombat-like alien (yes, you read that correctly) to be the defenders of Earth; fighting the forces of evil with the power of love. Not even kidding. “Wombat” (they keep calling him that since he looks like one) even refers to their transformations as them turning into “Battle Lovers”, their weapons are called “Love Rods” (insert dick joke here), they transform by kissing a damn bracelet he gave them…..I swear to God this anime is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen and I fucking love it. I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard watching an anime in quite a while. I even had fits of stifled laughter throughout their transformation sequences.

Hell their first enemy to fight is THIS thing!

I can’t make this shit up.

The first episode even ends with it being revealed that three characters we briefly see earlier are now being set up as the villains, collectively known as the “Earth Conquest Club”, and their animal mascot is a FUCKING GREEN HEDGEHOG-LIKE ALIEN WITH A DEEP VOICE!


(Not from the first episode to clarify but it’ll do)

I LITERALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP PEOPLE! I LOVE IT!

I mean holy hell. All this is being thrown at me in the FIRST EPISODE! I can’t imagine what the rest of the damn thing is like. But if it’s any more insane and ridiculous than this first episode was, then I’m definitely gonna enjoy the ride.

To wrap it up, I am DEFINITELY watching more of this anime. The first season is only twelve episodes long, but it is apparently in the middle of airing a second season right now, which I will definitely try to check out once it’s available on the service I use.

As far as a recommendation goes. Holy shit. If you have even a passing interest in magical girl anime, and would like to see a satirical take on the genre, this is worth a watch for just how blatantly ridiculous it is. I cannot recommend this highly enough. That said, I would like to note that this is currently only available in subbed form, so if you’re like me and prefer dubs, just keep that in mind before you give it a try.

And now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go and start writing up the next one of these. The focus of which will be the first episode of Kill La Kill.