Re: ZERO – Starting Life in Another World

There are many reasons to return to an anime. Sometimes you watch a first episode and you like it but you aren’t in the mood for it, so you wander, find something new, and then come back later. I watch the first episode of Re: ZERO last year and I wasn’t drawn into it. I usually give new anime a good 3-4 episode try (heck, I’m still give Black Clover a chance) but I never went back to Re: ZERO until I saw that my Akibento box’s theme this month included Re: ZERO. That put the nail in the coffin, I didn’t want to have Re:  ZERO merchandise if I hadn’t watch it or at least tried it, and whoa was I surprised.

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When I watched the first episode last year I was expecting more of a light hearted comedy about an idiot in a new world something like “Konosuba” that came out last spring. Subaru the main character does give off the idiot vibe but when you witness the first blood bath you kind of sit in front of your TV in shock and the phrase, “Well, that got real dark” crosses your lips.

From my other reviews/opinions so far it is evident that I am attracted to darker anime this one was almost a bit much for me towards the end. Mostly from the shock factor, I think in my mind I was still expecting a cute little anime about someone being transported to a different world. Even though again and again the body count rose and people died in horrible ways.

The frustrating thing about this anime is that none of the major plot points are resolved and this desperately needs a season two or at least I need to go find the light novel to read. We don’t know why he is in the world which strikes me as strange since that seems like something we would have found out at the end of season one. We do know some of what the witch wants but it seems that she needs Subaru to accomplish it and we don’t know why. Which I’m fine with not knowing that yet since from reading various articles there does seem to be news of a season two.

Some of the times when he came back I didn’t understand certain side plots, like the whole whale side plot but I guess they explained how it was necessary but to me it wasn’t that believable. Just when you think things are going well for Subaru they escalate quickly and everything goes wrong real fast. It is hard as the watcher to take a breath and believe that things are actually going to progress and move on for him. Thankfully that they have new restart points because if he went allllll the way back, it would get real old.

I noticed in all my research that people think Subaru should be with Rem. She does get more time in season one to be awesome, but from the start you could tell that he was into Emilia so it wasn’t really a shock to me that he “chose” her. In love triangles like this there never really seems to be a choice to me since it was evident that Emilia is the heroine and that he was always more into her. Rem is the more interesting character in season one and gets waaaay more backstory. Maybe if there is a season two it will give the watcher a chance to connect to Emilia since honestly I don’t think her character was very interesting in the first season. However, there is a whole episode of Rem and Subaru talking and that episode drags on and on and on. It is painful to watch how long it is dragged out and I think I lost focus with all the “Oh I like you but” nonsense going on. Seriously it was like the whole episode of them talking on a roof.

I do want to know if in the future if they are going to be facing different archbishops with different “sins” we meet sloth in this one and I didn’t understand *spoiler* how he survived the knights attack but died when Subaru wrote in his “Bible” with blood. Maybe I just missed something.

In the end I did enjoy the action, the concept, and the character growth of  Subaru and Rem. There are a lot of unanswered questions and plots that don’t make sense so I do hope there is a season two. This was a surprising anime to me and I’m happy that I finished it.

 

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Recovery of An MMO Junkie

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One thing that is great about anime is that there are so many different types. There seem to be quite a few gaming anime’s but this one is only 5 episodes in and it has stolen my heart.

The main character is a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) I first learned that term when I watch ReLife (which is also amazing and I see that season 2 will be coming in the spring). She is proud of her NEET life and protects it. There is a little bit of backstory that shows the viewer that Moriko Morioka did have a job at one point but we don’t know yet why she left that job. She is a socially awkward character which I think many people will relate too. Although I still have to go to my day job, but yeah it is tempting to stay at home all day and watch anime and read books.

She starts a new MMO at the start of the anime and she likes to play hot guy characters. I like this twist since sometimes the focus is on men who like to play woman characters in MMO’s and they forget that it does go both ways.

There is some alluding to an old game that she used to play which is basically cut scenes of the two characters laughing. As of episode five we don’t know the history of the last MMO she played or what led her to her elite NEET life.

Over all the main character is relate-able and there are a lot of funny moments. The interaction with the male characters makes you smile and yearn for the next episode. It is a very sweet anime so far and I look forward to the next episode. This looks like one of the better anime this fall so give it a try!

Black Clover First Reactions

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Every year there is that anime with all the hype surrounding it. “Attack on Titan” gets this claim to fame whenever the creators deem that they will grace us peons and make a new season. Sometimes the waiting can be brutal and then in the end the anime is just not worth it (Don’t get me wrong I love AoT).

This fall “Black Clover” has been getting all the ads and the hype. The trailers looked promising and the manga readers, “Read the manga or you’re not a real fan” (I don’t care if you read the manga or watch the anime do what makes you happy. Seriously) came out of the woodwork and then rejoiced at their beloved manga getting a show.

Maybe I will have to check out the manga because the first episodes were disappointing. It is the curse of the hype. We expect such amazing things and then it isn’t delivered. I am sticking with it and I was very pleased with the ending of the 4th episode and I’m hoping that it will get into a nice grove.

The first few episodes are very rushed and you can tell they want to get the plot moving. Things seemed jammed and are disjointed. Okay here’s a random villain, Okay there are special clover grimoires, okay he likes a nun, no magic, super magic, wizard kings, magic knights, orphans, discrimination, tatoes, and yelling oh my! It is a lot to take in and with the annoying yelling voice of the main character and the bland personality of the rival, one just wants to give up.

I like to give anime a 3 episode try and I gave this one 4 and I think I will keep watching it. I do hope that the yelling tones down because that is annoying and I really hope the pace slows down and they stop adding in info dumps to the exposition. I get it that some don’t like anime with slow starts, but if you dunk us under a waterfall and tell us to drink, the world won’t make sense and we won’t like it.

In the end there are other fall animes that are first on my list this year. I’ve enjoyed them more than “Black Clover” however, I will continue to watch and hope that it will live up to its hype. “Not giving up is my superpower!” (when it comes to anime haha)

 

Bungo Stray Dogs

 

BungouI saw a lot of hype about “Bungo Stray Dogs” in my news feed and I put off watching it for a long time. I regret that. This anime has turned into one of my favorites. As mentioned in the last post I love strong characters and “Bungo Stray Dogs” delivers on vastly unique characters with really awesome magical powers.

When you watch the first episode it doesn’t seem unordinary then a few minutes the character Dazai floats in, hopefully you will begin to love him as much as I did. He in fact is my favorite character and as you watch there is an era of mystery about him. No one knows what he did in his previous job and there is such a slow build to this plot point and then when you hit season 2 there are 3 backstory episode just for him. They even have a special intro just for those episodes which are amazing and stand on their own.

I’m an English Lit major and their abilities, character traits, and names all have to do with classic authors in Japan and eventually other countries including the United States. How cool is that? I found myself pausing the anime so I could get a full description of their power and catch the authors name that they were referencing. It was a really cool use of mixing old authors with anime. Their powers were clever and the way their were drawn also references the authors work.

There are plenty of characters to love but it also has a rich world and the mystery behind why everyone is chasing after the main character, Nakajima. We won’t realize why until later in the season.

Nakajima at the start of season one has just been kicked out of the orphanage that had been plagued by a mystical white tiger. He doesn’t understand why he was singled out and throughout the anime he deals with the mental abuse he faced while he grew up. Nakajima tries to find worth in himself and then joins a motley crew that investigates cases that the police are not equipped for or can handle.

This is where you get to meet a rich assortment of characters that have different personalities and are lovable in their own way.

The art work is beautiful and the story is rich! I hope you enjoy “Bungo Stray Dogs” as much as I did!

 

Future Diary aka Mirai Nikki

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How do you find the next anime that you are going to watch? Sometimes I just scroll through genres that I am in the mood for on crunchyroll and I usually get lucky and find something good.

When I came across “Future Diary” I was listening to a anime playlist by Pellek and the opening song really grabbed at me. After a quick google search I was on my way to watch the first episode of “Future Diary” probably the first time I watched a darker and more graphic anime.

This anime is not for the faint of heart. I wish sometimes I could recommend it to more people. There is a lot of violence and graphic scenes so if that isn’t for you I understand. The story telling is what grabs me.

In this anime the characters are given future diaries in which they can predict the future in their own unique way. Their goal is to kill off the other future diary users and be the last one standing. (This is by the same writer that has a new anime out this fall called “Juni Taisen:  Zodiac War,” you can see the similar theme).

One of the things I love is that all the diaries have benefits and weaknesses that the other diary users need to figure out in order to win. The ending is not predictable but it can be seen as somewhat unbelievable. I was willing to put aside my disbelief and go with the flow of this anime.

There are rich and diverse characters that you root for and some that you wish will die and I think that is what makes this a strong anime. I’ve always been a fan of strong characters.

There are great moments where that make you go, “Whaaaaaat did I just watch?” That can be good and bad, like I said before this does get violent if you haven’t gotten that from the premise that they have to kill each other.

This is my first review so I don’t want to spoil too much of the anime. Let me know what you think? Any other darker anime recommendations? Let me know!

Anime Review

I guess you could say that I was slow in coming to the Anime frenzy that is happening now in the United State. I was pushed into Anime by a guy I was dating and I was forced into watching my very first Anime series which was “Cowboy Bebop”. I’ll admit that I enjoyed the story but I didn’t really want to watch anymore anime. Then I meet my doom, in the form of “Full Metal Alchemist” not brotherhood which I would later watch and enjoy even more.

That series was my gateway drug into the world of anime and the stories they told. I do watch a lot more new anime than old, but I’m starting to finally get in some of the classics.

I moved from only liking to watched dubbed to now I prefer subbed. It is a slow dark rabbit hole dear anime lover, but your life will be enriched by the stories of anime that are unique and amazing.

My hope for this review site is mainly for me to look at the anime I watched and not be overly critical but to understand that overall the anime was enjoyable so it wasn’t a wasted effort. I think sometimes we forget to just enjoy things, but that is a different post.

If you somehow have stumbled here even with all the blogs in the interwebs I hope you enjoy my musings and maybe even find yourself a show that you will love!

Happy anime watching!