Ranking of Kings [FINAL Review][10th Year Anniversary Special]

Type: Outstanding

Synopsis: The anime centers around a young prince named Bojji, who is deaf, mute, and physically weak. He is criticized as being an unworthy heir, and mocked regularly by his own subjects. His life is changed when he is finally recognized by someone, a shadow-like creature called Kage. Together, the new best friends work to make Bojji a great future king. However, unbeknownst to them, other actors are working to take over the Kingdom of Bosse for their own mysterious purposes.

Pros: Ranking of Kings, or Ousama Ranking’s biggest strengths are it’s art style and classical story telling. The anime evokes feelings of World Masterpiece Theater, Miyazaki films, and classical fairy tales. Through the simple tale of a little prince trying to becomes a king, author Sōsuke Tōka and Wit Studios have created a timeless piece of fiction. Everything old is new again, helping Ranking of King’s retro style stand out amongst it’s glossier, more frenetic contemporaries. While’s it’s aesthetic charms are it’s most appealing quality, Ranking of King’s characters come as a close second. The show uses the troupe of the “wholesome subversion” to full effect. For some characters, it’s pretty obvious from the beginning that they are meant to surprise you. Bojji’s athletic ability is contrasted by his reputation (as seen at the end of Ep.1), as is Kage’s good nature compared to his design and initial attitude. But for others, learning that a character is actually a good and even caring person puts a smile on your face. Better yet, characters are made three dimensional by being allowed to make mistakes, reflecting on them, and trying to be better. Most of the cast is good at heart, but come in conflict with one another due to differing motivations and opinions.

It’s Hiling, I’m talking about Queen Hiling. Spoiler’s be damned! This is my last review anyway: I love that Queen Hiling is introduced as an “evil-step mother,” only to be revealed as an absolutely loving parent. She was hard on Bojji because he believed he couldn’t handle being heir, and wanted to protect him. But she realized that this was the wrong approach, because it undermined Bojji’s confidence. We see Queen Hiling reflect on this and try a new approach by being more supporting of Bojji, and letting him try new things by himself. Queen Hiling was one of the best portrayal’s I’ve seen of not only step-mothers, but parenting in general. Hiling’s mistakes with her son were out of love, but they were still mistakes. Seeing Hiling trying to improve on her mistakes was the one of the most realistic thing I’ve seen an adult do in anime. If you need any proof about how much she loves her boys, just look up Hiling, Bojji, and Daida’s reunion near the end of the season. And, on a more sentimental note, I damn near cried at the end when Hiling said “Go now, my Bojji.” (Did I really just spend a third of my last review ever talking about parenting in an anime. Wow, it has been 10 years).

I forgot to say, the fight scenes are also AMAZING. Not only Episode 21 (which is astounding), but also Bebin’s first fight, Bojji vs Daida, the struggle against Ouken, just basically every fight in the seasons. Ah, Kage is best boi. I know people say Bojji, but they can share the title. Their friendship was great to watch, especially when you realize that their each other’s first friend. Bebin and his snakes were very cute. So was Dorshe’s loyalty to the queen. The tragedy of the underworld and the Sons of Satun was excellent world building. I love that each kingdom has it’s own backstory and troubles unrelated to the Kingdom of Bosse. And I’m also very intrigued by Ranking of King’s larger world of Gods, Giants, and Demons. Like Bojji and Kage at then end, I’m excited to explore it!

Cons:  Yeah, it’s Miranjo. Just, just Miranjo.

Watch it: My highest recommendation (6/5)

MVP: Kage

We should all try to be a friend like Kage

Best Episode: Ep. 21 “The Swordsmanship of a King” (the best animated show of the year)


It Was Fun

And that’s all folks. I decided to end my run at the 10 year mark. This was the longest consistent endeavour I’ve ever done in my life. I started this blog as a way to keep my writing skills sharp during my last year of college. But once I started, I kinda couldn’t stop. This blog honestly kept me sane during a low point in my life between college and my career (I’m a teacher, spoilers!). Now as I’ve gotten older and busier, I’m finding less and less time to keep up with anime, even the one’s I like. I told myself that if this ever became a chore, I’d stop. And it kinda stated to become a chore. I’m still going to watch anime and read manga, but I’d also like to explore other stuff. I hear that there’s been some good non-anime tv and movies in the last 10 year (I’m not sure if that’s a rumor of not, but I want to verify to make sure). I actually had a plan to do this big, year long thing with list and essays, but that’s not what this site is. It’s anime review for the busy Gentleman and Lady.

So, for the final time: Hasta lasagna, don’t get any on ya. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading. Goodbye.

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Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World (season 2)

Type: Who’s Rem?

Synopsis: Subaru and Emilia earn the power of self-respect!

Pros: The second season of Re:Zero has a simple message–that’s it’s OK to forgive yourself. This new entry in the series focuses on Subaru and Emilia as they develop into more self-actualized individuals. Coming off the first season, Subaru has grown out of his self-centered desires in the first season, but has veered to far in the other direction. Now Subaru decides to shoulder too much responsibility by himself. In a clever bit of writing, you might notice that Subaru starts to use negative self-talk more often when talking about himself. We learn this season that a lot of his actions in the past and present stem from a sense of insecurity he developed while growing up. His low self-esteem now manifests in trying to do too much, to the point of overusing his “return by death” ability. In a not so subtle metaphor, when life gets to difficult he tries to use suicide as an escape. Subaru’s journey is one of self-acceptance, and that being vulnerable and trusting other people makes you strong, not weak. Subaru’s experiences in turn allow him to help others grow.

Emilia’s arc mirrors Subaru’s. In a welcome turn of events, the latter half of the season focuses on Emilia’s backstory and her own personal growth. We learn that Emilia lost everything at a young age, and had to rely on others to survive. This caused her to develop her own sense of insecurity, viewing herself as a burden to others. Emilia tries to hide her insecurities through a veil of competence, but her true self is afraid of being abandoned. Emilia is able to start moving forward with the help of Subaru, who understands what’s it’s like to hate yourself. However, like Subaru, Emilia has to finish her journey by herself, as represented by the Sanctuary Trials. Emilia learns to move on from the past, accept the present, and not fear the future.

Most of this season takes place in one setting: The Sanctuary. While season one did a lot of introduce new characters and concepts, season two is much more character driven. Alongside Subaru and Emilia, characters like Otto, Garfiel, and Beatrice all go through their own journeys of self-discovery. On a personal note, I really liked that Subaru manages to form a friend group outside of Emilia, particular forming male friendships with Otto and Garfiel. All that being said, the season is not devoid of world building. In this season, we finally get to meet the infamous “Witches of Sin” and learn a little about their fast deeds. But a special focus is the Witch of Greed, Echidna, who acts as Subaru’s guide and Emilia’s enemy during their respective stories. Having connections to almost all the main characters, Echidna is possibly the most important character in Re:Zero.

Cons: I love the focus on the characters, but I cannot deny, the scope of the story is a lot smaller than season 1. We just don’t get to go anywhere this season. Almost the entire story revolves around Emilia going through the trials, and Subaru figuring out how to save the Mansion. It sometimes felt like watching someone go through a particularly hard level over and over again. And because there’s so much more talking this time around, I noticed that a lot of characters tend of speak in run-on sentences. Maybe it sounds better in Japanese, but it English is comes off as awkward at times. You’ll also notice a distinct lack of Rem in this season. For thematic purposes it makes sense that Subaru would lose his main support system. Ultimately, this season was a journey he had to go through by himself. She’s still with him in spirit, and he ultimately becomes the man she always knew he could be. Emilia is separated from Puck for similar reasons. That being said, the Rem issue is not solved by the end of this season.  Overall, this was an very strong season coming off a very strong introduction to the series.

Watch it: It’s still so good you guys. Like, really good. (5/5)

MVP: Subaru

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

Best Episode: Ep. 12 & 13 “The Witches’ Tea Party” and “The Sounds That Make You Want to Cry” (Subaru learn love himself)

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Yosuga no Sora

Type: Yep.

Synopsis: The one where the twins have sex with each other.

Pros: OK, so let’s be a little fair here. We all know that Yosuga no Sora is best known for it’s portrayal of graphic incest. Its an anime based on an adult visual novel after all. But in a surprising turn of events, the entire show is not solely about incest (though that is always in the background). The show is split up into 4 arcs, each representing the protagonist Haruka’s potential romance path with each of the main heroines. Personally, I really like it when a show uses this approach, because you get to how each couple would interact with each other. And have sex. This show had a surprising amount of sex in it. I guess they were being accurate to the source material? But yes, each episode ends with Haruka having sex with one of the main heroines. That kinda makes Yosuga no Sora a precursor to the more “I can’t believe it’s not hentai” shows that have been popping up lately.  A lot of harems and love comedies make the cannon couple very obvious, so getting to see each heroine “win” makes for an interesting watch. For Yosuga no Sora, this also means that you can easily skip the incest, as that’s mostly relegated to the last 3 episodes.

Cons: I say mostly, because there are still incestual undertones. The first episodes ends with Sora, Haruka’s sister, stripping to her underwear so Haruka can “take her measurements.” The show is pretty standard between Episode 01-09. Haruka and Sora move to a small town, Haruka gets to know his classmates, and learn about each of the main heroine’s backstories which eventually lead to romance. Kazuha is the prim and proper girl with father issues, Akira is the spunky girl that’s secretly afraid of being abandoned, and Nao is the childhood friend who forced herself on Haruka when they were younger. All very melodramatic, all par for the course for these kinds of romance dramas. It actually made me feel a little nostalgic for these lower mid-tier melodramas. That is, until Episode 10-12, where the twin sex started. Haruka starts having improper thoughts about his sister Sora, which eventually develops into a full blown physical relationship between the twins. The most annoying part, besides the incest, is that Sora acts the most happy and energetic during this arc. Sora is moopy and shy for most of the series, but she almost becomes a totally different person after she starts giving her brother oral. In order for this girl to live her best life, she has to spit in the face of God, Human Decency, and Biological Viability. And while I’m no kink shamer, theologian, moral philosopher, or biologist, I will say this “stop trying to have sex with your brother you weirdo!”

Watch it: Maybe Ep 1-9, but please skip 10-12. Please. (3/5)

MVP: The internet

Because they kept 80% of this anime’s story hidden for such a long time.

Best Episode: Ep.7-9 The Nao Arc (Messed up in it’s own way, but still compelling)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean (Season 1)

Type: Spider butterflies are the new Black!?

Synopsis: Jolyne Cujoh is convicted for a crime she didn’t commit. Well, sort of. I mean, she was an accessory to murder. She wasn’t behind the wheel of the car that killed that guy, but she did help hide the body. Personally, I blame the parents. Her mother clearly didn’t know what to do with her, and her father would rather hang out with dolphins. If only she had some sort of great grandfather, or uncle, or Italian relation, or global organization that pledged an eternal oath to her family to help steer her down the right path. Or grandmother. OR GRANDMOTHER. Ah well, I’m sure prison will straighten her out.

Pros: I mean, it’s more Jojo. This time with a, [check notes], female protagonist. Talk about your bizarre adventures. What’s next, a horse race? All “jokes” aside, this anime is an anime adaptation of Part 6 of the Joestar saga, starring Jolyne Cujoh, daughter of Jotaro Cujoh. As the latest direct descendant of the Joestar line, Jolyne’s story definitely feels more relevant that Part 5: Golden Wind. It helps that this story deals with the Dio’s followers trying to get revenge on the Joestars through Jolyne and Jotaro. Jolyne’s a great addition to the series, as we see her transform from a very bitter teenager to a driven young woman. Her interactions with her father and the character growth derived from that was the show’s biggest strength. Their stories parallel each other’s. Both are introduced as prisoners who have to save their parent from a mysterious foe connected to their family’s history. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has always been partly about legacy, but this is the first time a protagonist’s direct relationship with their father played such a primary role in their motivation. Once Jolyne gets a mission, saving her father, we see her gain a more commanding presence. We see her become a Joestar.

Cons: What even is a stand anymore? They seem to become more indirect the deeper we get into the series. The prison setting was also hit or miss for me. I like the most intimate environment, and a prison is an easy was to introduce Ne’er-do-well into the story. But some of the prison rules seem inconsistent. Like how Jolyne is allowed to wear her regular outfit instead of her prison uniform, and how a lot of prisoners can just walk around the facility, and how many guards are assaulted without any repercussions. Some of this crazy lawlessness can be explained because it’s set in Florida, but even American’s Wang has it’s limits. On a more objective criticism, the setting was also a little boring because it had a lot of concrete walls and grey backgrounds. Story wise, I like the character growth, but the mystery is only introduced in this series. You will have to wait another season for the story to unfold. One could also argue that Jotaro got seriously nerfed in this series. Jotaro was essentially beat by one of Dio’s henchman’s henchmen. Not a good look. [p.s. Can we all agree that Grandma Holy could have straightened this girl out? It wouldn’t have cured her daddy issues, but I can definitely see Jolyne and Holy develop a Joseph-Erina type relationship].

Watch it?: Of course you should. (5/5)

MVP: The Opening

3D is back baby!

Best Episode: Ep.5 “Prisoner of Love” (She is a Jojo, like her father before her).

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Demon Slayer (Season 1)

Type: Hello fellow kids!

Synopsis: Yeah, I’m with it. I know all about sword Naruto and his backpack sister.

Pros: Demon Slayer, or Kimestu no Yaiba is you wanna be a nerd about it, is a pretty straight forward story. A young man living in the mountains comes home to discover that his family has been killed by demons. His sister, Nezuko, became a demon too, but she’s able to resist the urge to devour humans. Set on avenging his family and curing his sister, Tanjiro Kamado trains to become a Demon Slayer. My favorite part of the show is actually the slow build mixed with the fast action. Tanjiro kills about 4 demons before meeting with the larger Demon Slayer corps. The story has a pretty solid story structure, as each demon represents a stage in the hero’s journey. After getting out of basic training, Tanjiro has his first test solo against a mountain demon. Then he has his first challenge as a demon slayer against a shadow demon. Then he meets two allies, Zenitsu and Inosuke, while battling the drum demon. Finally, in his fight against he spider demons, he becomes meets the larger Demon Slayer Corps. Each mini-arc adds something to the story, and I enjoyed spending time with Tanjiro and Nezuko before the supporting casts comes in. I also liked that, for the most part, the demons where treated as actual monsters and not misunderstood creatures (except for the spider family). But where the show really shines is the action, which mixes 2D and 3D animation very impressively. While other shows have mixed animation styles before, I can definitely see Demon Slayer’s method become the standard for other action shows. Overall, just a very good story.

Cons: I got nothing. I guess you would say that the story doesn’t do anything revolutionary, it just does the basics really well. It’s got solid fundamentals. For the season as a whole, this is very much an introductory season. A lot of the “cooler” Demon Slayers aren’t introduced until Episode 22. As an older anime fans, I’m not 100% why this franchise in particular became the MOST popular manga in Japan, even beating One Piece. But I’m just happy that the Shonen genre is still going strong with entries like this.

Watch it?: It keeps you young (4/5)

MVP: Nezuko

For the memes alone.

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Sabito and Makomo” (you start to get an idea of what the show is going for).

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Komi Can’t Communicate

Type: It’s like they made an anime of my life!

Synopsis: My social anxiety, my communication issues, by stoic beauty and effortless grace, it’s all here in this show! But what is this show? It’s a show about Komi, a girl who can’t communicate….seems kinda self explanatory. Well, it’s also a cute story about her journey to making friends while learning to socialize. And it all starts when her classmate Tanado-Kun talks to her.

Pros: Komi Can’t Communicate was/is a very popular manga whose anime adaptation was highly anticipated. But did it hit the mark? Yes, and then some. Visually, the show is very pretty, with particular effort put into it’s lighting and bloom affects. The animation is fluid, with good comedic timing and surprisingly solid choreography for a comedy show. A particularly good example would be the school sports competition, where a lot of the jokes were movement based. Story wise, well like I said, it’s very cute. The premise is that Shouko Komi is her school “idol” whose basically worshiped as a goddess. But she actually suffers from severe social anxiety to the point of selective mutism, and her peers adoration makes it hard to make friends because no one will approach her. The show does an admirable job repeating the message that just because someone has trouble communicating with other people, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to. Komi wants to talk, she just can’t. Throughout the show, her efforts, set-backs and victories, and gradual growth really make you root for the character. Komi comes off as rather brave, as she actively moves out of her comfort zone to reach her goal while being true to herself. Komi never pretends to be something she’s not, she doesn’t take advantage of her popularity, and she chooses her own friends. Of course, Komi’s not alone in this. Key to her development is Tanado, a perfectly normal boy who did gave Komi exactly what she needed, a normal interaction with someone. Tanado basically serves as Komi’s anchor, and her reference point for social interactions, even though he himself suffers from the occasional case of social insecurities. But Tanado’s always there for Komi, with a smile, an open ear, and somehow always knows exactly what to say (OK, so I kinda also want to date Tanado). The other best character is probably Najima. Not only do they insert much needed wackiness to the show, but they’re the only person who pushes Komi to do a little bit more in social situations. And sometimes, you need a friend that challenges you a little.

Cons: But much like Komi herself, the show is not actually perfect. It kinda has a wobbly start, as the story take a little to find itself. The biggest example of this is Episode 4, where the show briefly transforms into a dramatic thriller when a girl KIDNAPS and IMPRISONS Tanado to keep him away from Komi. For a show that’s about a bunch of high schoolers becoming friends, that was an unexpected 180. You may also notice that the show slowly incorporates more and more supporting characters as it goes. While Komi is the central character, the show does use her classmates for one-off gags and short sequences. It kinda takes the School Rumble approach to story telling if I’m being honest. Which isn’t bad, except that I’m here for Komi, not her classmates. Especially when some of these characters don’t interact with Komi. I also think that the show uses music stings to emphasize a sweet moment a little too much. But that’s just me. Overall, the show is great and I look forward to another season.

Watch it?: ……………………….yes. (4/5)

MVP: Komi

“It’s about time someone reached out to me.”

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “It’s just, I wish I could speak.” (Oh honey, you’re doing fabulous).

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Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Type: Wow, this is pretty

Synopsis: The future is controlled by horrible robots!!! Good, I got that out of my system. Ghost in the Shell (1995) is a neo-noir cyberpunk thriller directed by Mamoru Ishii. The plot revolves around Major Matoko Kusanagi, a cyborg working for fictional Public Security Section 9. While on an mission, Kusanagi and Section 9 run across the “Puppet Master,” a mysterious being whose able to hack into other cyborgs. Who is the Puppet Master? And why is this case causing the Major to question her own existence?

Pros: Man this is pretty. But not, like, superficially pretty. More like, it’s beauty is derived from it’s own effort and confidence. My best comparison would be when you meet someone who is clearly passionate about their work, and that type of motivation just makes them look better. What I’m saying it, hard work is sexy, OK? And Ghost in the Shell (1995) is sexy. It’s a touchstone of animation and directing for a reason. Since there are decades worth of academic analysis and film courses concerning the production of Ghost in the Shell (1995), I won’t presume to discuss that aspect too much. But Mamoru Ishii and his team clearly created a masterpiece. The  camera work for this movie was in a league of it’s own. The setting was just the right amount of cyberpunk and urban noir. And the character designs, especially those of Major Kusanagi, were instantly iconic. On a different subject, the themes explored in this film were fascinating, and again, well mined by other more qualified sources. But even an uninformed first time viewer can catch the themes of Transhumanism, Consciousness, and Identify. However, may favorite part about Ghost in the Shell (1995) is that it’s just a very good neo-noir story. All the classic elements are there: The gloomy cop who always gets her man, the grounded partner, the mysterious perp who presents an ethical dilemma, and the corrupt system that’s the real cause of the conflict. Over the years, Ghost in the Shell (1995) has developed a reputation of being too impregnable because of it’s deeper philosophical themes. But I think people, including myself, are overthinking it. Yes, it’s a movie with deep discussions, but it’s also a very fun and well made crime story. So do yourself a favor and watch it already!

Cons: Ghost in the Shell (2017).

Watch it: I wish I had watched it sooner.

MVP: Mamoru Ishii

Those cuts. Stylish.

Best Moment: Personally, I like THAT kick. You know the one.


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Peter Grill and the Philosopher’s Time

Type: I don’t know how to say no to this.

Synopsis: That right, I also saw Hamilton. But I knew about it before it was cool. That is to say, I saw a random Youtube video where pre-crisis Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped a geeky song about Alaxander Hamilton to president Obama. And yes, I did create an mp3 file from the video and uploaded it to my Creative ZEN mp3 player.

Pros: Peter Grill and the Philosopher’s Time (I have no idea why it’s called that) is about an adventurer named Peter Grill, the strongest man in the continent. Peter earned that title in order to get engaged with his sweetheart, the innocent Lady Luvelia. Everything was about to work out until Peter ran into the Ogre sisters, who used their womanly womaness to “seduce” him into cheating on his fiance. This happens many times throughout the series with several other womenly women. The running joke is that no matter how much Peter protests mentally, his lust overtakes him and he ends up sleeping with someone other that his fiance. It’s a funny enough premise, at least initially.

Cons: The problem is that that joke losses steam after a while, and the original premise contrasts with the protagonists motivation. Oh, and everyone is awful. The first episode has the best “explanation” for Peter’s infidelity. It’s stated that Peter and Luvelia have only ever held hands due to her father’s protectiveness. Luvelia doesn’t even understand how babies are made, so she and Peter have only had a chaste courtship. It makes sense that Peter would give into temptation, at least at first. It’s still scummy, but you get it. What doesn’t make sense is that Peter keeps cheating on Luvelia over and over again, and with different women! He may feel guilty about it, but he still does it. I get that the we’re suppose to laugh at his lack of will, but he just comes off as unlikable. Ditto with the girls. Mimi and Lisa are essentially blackmailing him, Vegan forces herself on him with a curse, and Piglette uses him despite feigning sympathy. Each of these people know Peter has a fiance, know he doesn’t want to cheat on her, and have little regard for his feeling. And possibly have little regard for his consent. In at least one scene, Peter does say no multiple times, but is ignored. Again, I know it’s played for laughs, but that’s not cool. A person has the right to say no to sex, be they man, woman, or other.

Watch it: The joke loses it’s appeal (2/5)

MVP: Luvelia

She’s going to need so much therapy after this.

Best Episode: Ep.08 “Peter Grill and the Secret Treaty” (In some ways, Peter is living his own personal hell)

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Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You

Type: Aw, it’s cute

Synopsis: One day, a boy named Nasa falls head over heals for a girl names Tsukasa Tsukuyomi. By which I mean literally. The boy literally walked into the street to try to get her attention, and was hit by a truck. This is why you should never literally chase after a someone. Anyway, afterwards the boy named Nasa marries the girl named after the moon god. Because Nasa’s idiotic gesture worked. But I guess stranger things have happened. I asked my wife to marry me after vomiting in an Olive Garden restaurant.

Pros: I made that last part up. It was actually a Chili’s restaurant. I just wanted to seem fancy. Anyway, this anime is largely about the cute and humorous circumstances that surround a young married couple. For example, they have to live in a small apartment because they can’t afford a larger one, but that leads them to become more intimate in their little place. They have to buy cheap wedding bands, but the entire experience of shopping for rings together made their ultimate choice priceless. It’s these little rites of passage that makes this show very cute and nice to watch. But the show really hits it’s strive when Tsukasa becomes more of an active character. The start of the story is mostly from Nasa’s perspective, and he mostly reacts to Tsukasa. And while we’ve all asked ourselves how women can feel so soft (short answer: estrogen), it does get old. Having Tsukasa react more to Nasa makes the show feel more balanced, as does learning more about Tsukasa’s hobbies and personal quirks. In essence, the show about a married couple becomes better when both members of the couple are involved equally.

Cons: This anime feels old. As in, the story pacing and characters feels like they belong to a previous generation of storytelling. It’s a little slower, it has slightly more gags, and the character designs are just a bit cartoonish. And a lot of segments are basically Nasa  going “wow, my wife is cute, I wish we could go to second base.” Looking it up, this story was written by Kenjiro Hata, the write of Hayate the Combat Butler. In hindsight, this does kind of feel like “What if Hayate and Hinagiku got together?” The show starts a little slow, especially because Tsukasa acts slightly more domestic and mysterious in the beginning. Again, the show gets better as Tsukasa becomes less idealized and more fleshed out. You will also notice that most of the supporting cast is female. Apart from Nasa and his father, the show is entirely female characters. I wish Nasa has another man to talk to, at the very least to get some advice on being a husband. I should also mention that there’s an implied mystery surrounding Tsukasa which is a lot more obvious to me know than it was when reading the manga. This anime doesn’t really resolve that, so it might annoy you. Production wise, the show is surprisingly empty. Despite going to a lot of shopping malls, stores, and a public bathhouse, Nasa and Tsukasa as usually the only people there. On the one hand, it does make the show feel more intimate, on the other, it also makes it feel more isolated.

Watch it: Although slightly shallow, it’s still very cute (4/5)

MVP: Tsukasa

Fun fact: An avid Street Fighter 5 player.

Best Episode: Ep.5 “Rings” (By this episode, the right dynamics were getting worked out)

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The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat

Type: A man who loves peace so much that he is willing to kill for it!

Synopsis: I love DC’s Peacemaker. As the very descriptive title suggests, this is an isekai about the world’s finest assassin who gets reincarnated into another world as an aristocrat. Specifically an aristocratic family of assassins. Our boy killer, Lugh, was chosen by a goddess to kill this world’s “Hero” before he destroys the world. Along the way he met three special little girls who lived very cruel lives. Then he took them away from all that, and now they work for him. They call them, Lugh’s Angels [cue 70’s music].

Pros: I stated this review talking about DC’s Peacemaker, but then diverted into a Charlie’s Angels reference. Do people even know what Charlie’s Angel’s is? The TV show was already dated when I was young, and the Diaz/Barrymore/Lui movie is over 20 years old. I guess there was that 2019 reboot directed by Elizabeth Banks, but that received a poor critical reception and low box office. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Oh yeah! The review…This anime, whose name is too long to repeat, has some good action and an interesting premise. I’m as sucker for any story where the “Hero” has to be defeated. I also like the idea that this is Lugh’s ideal life. In his first life, Lugh was a tool from birth and was tossed aside when he got too old. But in his new life he gets a family, a childhood, while also getting to practice his assassination skills. As an assassin, Lugh’s has a very grey sense of morality based on personal pragmatism, which often lead to the show’s best moments. A good example would be when he rescues Tarte, as we see him employ manipulative tactics to gain her loyalty. Lugh gives Tarte a home and teaches her to defend herself, but also grooms her to be his loyal body guard. The writing does a fairly good job at reminding the audience that Lugh conduct a very shady business of espionage and murder. Fans of stories with darker elements and morally dubious protagonists should check out this show.

Cons: If you’re not a fan of stories with darker elements and morally dubious protagonists, then you should not check this show out. This show is not going to convince you to like these kinds of stories. In all honesty, it’s fairly by the books (premise not withstanding). Lugh isn’t a powerhouse, but his intelligence and forethought are basically his superpower. Kinda a “given enough prep time” kind of character. In fact, the whole show is about him being given 18 years of prep time to defeat Superm–I mean the Hero. The show justifies most of his assassinations by having him target by human traffickers, serial killers, and traitors. We also get glimpses of Lugh developing human emotions likes attachment and regret, but it isn’t explored much. I think this show’s biggest negative is that it’s the introduction to a story with more potential. The idea of Lugh developing attachments that might interfere with his mission is hinted at here, but not explored yet. Can Lugh be a cold blooded killer and a loving friend? What if he’s given a mission he doesn’t agree with? What kinda internal conflict will that cause? Aside from that, there are more subjective issues. Lugh’s dad is a very boring design. Very generic looking. The female characters are also underwritten, despite having interesting backstories involving a lot of hardship. But Tarte, Maha, and Dia all devolve into love-sick groupies fairly quickly. And the show’s exploration of certain topics does verge into edge-lord territory every now and then.

Watch it?: Grim dark fans will enjoy this show (3/5)

MVP: Lugh’s crew

Cliche’s aside, they do work well together.

Best Episode: Ep. 4 “Plan of Goddess” (A good window into Lugh’s character)

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