Monthly Archives: June 2016

Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun

Type: Right up my alley

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Synopsis: Do you remember what it was like telling the person you liked that you liked them. The amount of courage that took. The Hulk-sized butterflies in your stomach as you approached them? Then, when you finally get the nerved to talk to them face to face you blurt out the wrong thing and end up getting their autograph. No? Well, it happened to Chiyo Sakura. Instead of getting a date with talk, dark, and handsome, she winds up helping him draw his published manga.

Pros: So this is the kind of anime I gravitate towards. It’s a funny romantic comedy with zero melodrama or mush. Chiyo likes Nozaki, Nozaki has no idea, hilarity ensues. Don’t get me wrong, I like melodrama and mush to a point, big ups to My Love Story!, but I also like goofy romance. And this anime is pretty goofy! Basically, Nozaki is a shojo author who takes any opportunity to think up new stories and characters. His friends help him finish his manga. Chiyo is our protagonist, and she becomes Nozaki’s assistant in the first episode in her heroic quest to win his incredibly dense heart. We also have Mikorin, the wanna-be playboy whose actually really shy and helps with the flowery background you see in shojo. Hori, the exhaspurated president of the drama club whose helps with background. Then there’s Seo, Chiyo’s rude best friend, Kashima, the school’s “prince,” despite being a girl and the bane of Hori’s existance. And finally Wakamatsu, who plays basketball. Its a good group. Oh, there also an editor obsessed with tanuki and another editor who Nozaki worships despite the feeling not being mutual.

Cons: I wish it was longer. That could be a con. I found Hori’s design weird. The blue shirt and tie made him look a lot older than the rest of the cast. And with all this talk of a shojo manga, I wish there had been an ova depicted what Let’s Fall in Love was like. There’s also no real ending, but the ending that is is place is adequate. And as you read above, I didn’t find Wakamatsu all that interesting. But overall, a pretty solid series.

Watch it?: Wish I watched it sooner. (4/5)

MVP: Chiyo

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I just love her Minnie-Mouse bows!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Let’s Rice” (umbrellas are hard, man)

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I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

Type: To be fair, not all husbands quote anime that much (just the cool ones)

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Synopsis: Kaoru’s a straight laced woman. Hajime is an eccentric otoku man. What happens when these two kookie kids get married? Nothing much really. Their a cute couple who do married stuff.

Pros: For one, its short. Every episode is 3 minutes long. You can watch the entire series in a little over an hour. It’s also very funny, since the show packs in a lot of sketches within every 3 minute episode. The source of the humor is the seemingly oddball paring of Kaoru and Hajime. They’re a fully realized couple with individual quirks and worries that work very well as a unit. Kaoru is more of the “normal” one, but also someone who never imagined herself getting married until it happened. Hajime is a comedic otoku, but fully realizes that some of his kirks may be odd to Kaoru. I loved their interactions, as well as the more introspective moments each character had. The show really captured those moments when you think “this, this is the person I’m with?” and those moments when you think “I’m so glad I get to be with this person.”

Cons: The more I think about it, the more I feel that the supporting cast is superfluous. They do allow the characters, mainly Kaoru, the voice her feelings, but this could have been done though a voice over. With 3 minute shows, the show could have easily just focused on Kaoru and Hajime. I’m saying this because the show doesn’t really take advantage of having 2 other couples to explore. I also found it odd that in the second season, the show chooses to ignore a big plot point until the very end. I almost thought the show was simply ignoring it.

Watch it?: A great love-comedy (4/5)

MPV: Kaoru and Hajime

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I also love them in the manga!

Best Episode: The First Season (though the Second Season is also very good)

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No Game No Life

Type: No comma, no grammar

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Synopsis: Two nerds who are really good at playing games and totally not blood related guys! are unexpectedly sucked into a world that revolves around games. All games. Board Games, Gambling Games, Video Games, Mind Games and Athletic Games, I assume. I mean, that makes sense right? As long as no one gets physically hurt, all games are allowed. So what if Sora and Shiro accidentally accept to participate in a race? Or a Javelin throw? I mean, they have the habit of accepting games before actually knowing the rules, and I doubt that their shut-in lifestyle allowed for much exercise.

Pros: The animation just attacks you with its color pallet. The world that Sora and Shiro are sucked into, “Disboard,” has a lot of blues, purples, pinks, yellows, etc. I loved this aspect of the show, as it made the alternate world of Disboard even more abnormal. Not only is it a whole other word, a magical world, but a world with a unique set of rules. 10 rules in fact, designated by the Gaming-God Ted after an ancient war between the 16 races. The rules basically say that not one can physically hurt each other, and all conflicts can be settled with a game or contest, as long as both players agree and no one is caught cheating. Key word being “caught.” Throughout the series, almost every player Sora and Shiro play cheats. So Sora’s and Shiro’s goal isn’t to beat the game, it’s to beat the player. Luckily, both characters are really, really, really smart (almost too smart). Sora is the strategist, usually taking the lead in dealing with an opponent, while Shiro is more logical, taking care of calculations in the game itself. Together, they are unstoppable, which allows them to quickly rise through the ranks of their new world. Their interactions with other opponents and friends were always fun to watch, as they can range from sheet arrogance to panic attacks.  You get the sense that they’re playing the long game. And that’s the thing about this anime. I had fun watching it. I was never bored, and am very curious about the larger world.

Cons: Predictably, the relationship between Sora and the 11 year old Shiro verges on creepy to being full on creepy. That’s because Shiro has the habit of sitting on Sora’s lap and is very soft spoken, often coming off as more of a doll than a human. And of course, we gatta get those underage panty shoots in there. The show does have fan service, which isn’t too overdone, except when dealing with Shiro. Moving along, Sora’s motivation for helping Humanity (Imanity) came out of nowhere. He doesn’t really like people, and hes agoraphobic, so why is he so willing to be Humanity’s champion? I mean, outside of some vague personal philosophy. Both Sora and Shiro suffer from “Overpowered Hero” syndrome. They’re the best at gaming, which makes some of the results from their contest come off as narratively convenient. But since their overall tactic is manipulating their opponents and long term planning, the show kind of has an excuse. And, in all honestly, I love how fast they go from strangers in a strange land to world power who plan on challenging GOD.

Watch it: I burned thought this show, and hope there’s more (4/5)

MVP: Sora and Shiro

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Incest aside (I can’t believe I said that), they are a great team

Best Episode: Ep9 “Sky Walk” (showcase of humor, emotion, and audacity)

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Agami Brilliant Park

Type: Walt Disney meets P.T. Barnum meets Kanye West

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Synopsis: A run down amusement part is so desperate for money that they hire a former child actor to be their manager. They need 500,000 visitors by the end of the Summer, or they’ll be closed FOREVER. Not 500,000 ticket sales mind you, just visitors. I’m beginning to understand why their business model was failing them.

Pros: Right off the bat, the intro song screams at you. I love that. One of my favorite parts of the show was putting an episode on and getting “LOOK AT THE SKY, ITS MAGIC HOUR!!” It got me pumped for show. I wonder why more shows don’t have musical hooks like that? Like the intro suggests, this anime is about the inner workings of a amusement park. It’s not as dry as it sounds, as the its a humorous take on the industry, right down to the 3 comic relief mascots. Out of Moffle (totally a Bunta-Kun rip-off), Macaron, and Timari, I enjoyed Macaron’s brand of cowardice the most. So what you have is the main character, Seiya Kanie, dealing with a cast of eccentrics as he tries any ploy to get more people into Agami Brilliant Park. Every episode is almost a stand alone story, dealing with things like maintenance, hiring new staff, crazy promotions, but again, all done in a comedic, almost gag strip way. The jokes and situations are all very well thought out, and you can tell that real effort and thought where put into the story. The subplot of the Agami Brilliant Park actually being populated by magical creatures also helped justify some of the zanier moments. By the end I was invested in the characters and the park itself, and found magic in a self described “not a fairy tale” setting. I wish I had seen it sooner.

Cons: Saiya never wears his cool jacket. In the intro, you see Saiya in a blue military-esque coat, giving he impression of a showman. But he never has that jacket in the show, which sucks. It would have sold his “narcissist” gimmick more. Because I liked the idea that Saiya was basically faking his way through his job, but that his outward confidence helped boost morale. This wasn’t really the case, as Saiya was actually very competent and firm, but still. For once, I don’t actually mind the large cast of characters, as the Amusement Park setting helped justify the amount of people, and why some weren’t as fleshed out as others. Some plot points did feel tacked on though. Isuzu’s crush on Saiya sorta came out of nowhere (ep. 6), with no real set up. I also felt that the idea that Latifah (the princess of the park) would die if the park closed was superfluous, mostly because the park closing was stakes enough. Latifah’s supposed death takes the tension away from the ending, because the audience knows theirs not way they’re going to kill the lady-like small princess. I did however, enjoy the “Latifah’s curse,” which states that she will lose her memory every year. We get to see this happen in the last episode, and it was tragic enough to make my eyes water, but did not affect the overall outcome of the story. On that note, I forgot to mention that magic is a thing in this show. All the mascots are magical creatures. Latifah is a straight up magical princess. The show even suggests that all amusement parks are outposts for different magical dimensions. Which I loved, and does explain a lot, but the show tended to forget that it had magic. Whenever Saiya turned on his magical powers, I was liked “oh yeah, he can do that.”

Watch it: A great, great show. (4/5)

MVP: Muffle

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I can see though his punches!

Best Episode: Ep.6 “Not Enough People!” (Hmm, should we hire another Luchador?)

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