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 – 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
attack-on-titan-poster

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 – 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.

$$60,000,000,000 Reviews: Trigun

Having finally bought and completely watched the anime Trigun, Thomas gives his overall thoughts on the series on his new anime review series, $$60,000,000,000 Reviews.

Also, NEW LOCATION! MARVEL AT THE NEW BACKDROP! 

Philosophy At Odd Hours – What constitutes a Sci-Fi movie? Part 1

                   Philosophy At Odd Hours              

(where SamanthaMaybe and AlanahSees talk about all the things)

Sam and Alanah at VidCon 2012

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