Tag Archives: awesome

King of the Hill (April Fools Day Special!)

Type: Slice-of-Life Americana

Synopsis: The anime focuses on a father trying to deal with the asinine world that surrounds him. His son is a well-meaning otoku in training. His niece is a ditzy neet who can’t go home because her “trailer flipped over.” His best friends are a gun nut, a foodie, and a hentai. And his neighbor considers him his rival for some reason. At least he has his wife…who sometimes goes yandere at the prospect of anyone being better than her. It’s a taihen life, I tell ya h’wat.

Pros: The main difference between Japanese anime and American anime is the audience. Anime, in general, tries to appeal to a younger demographic overall, and a younger male demographic specifically. So even anime meant to appeal to “adults” really appeal to 14-35 year olds who share the same mentalities. That’s why most anime characters are under 30 years old. American anime is a lot of stratified. An anime is either for children or adults, no middle ground. So you get shows like Spongebob or Gumball, which are meant for kids ages 5-11, or shows like The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers, which is meant for people 24-50. That’s why a show like King of the Hill mainly stars adults in their mid-40’s, and deal with mainly adults subjects. No fake adult like stuff like sleeping around or spreading gossip, but real stuff, like infidelity, financial issues, self-identify, raising a family, and propane and propane accessories. King of the Hill’s strength is it’s realist take on absurdity. A situation where one of the characters feels depressed about letting himself go after high school can escalate into the main characters dodging tank missiles during a war game. A feeling of unease in a marriage can wind up with a character falling to her certain death off a plane. You can, and several people probably can, analyze almost every episode of King of the Hill and find multiple topics of substance. Every King of the Hill story could be filmed in live-action, but it reaches its full potential thanks to animation. It’s a satire of American society during the 2000’s, without ever losing respect for the people that had to live through it.

Cons: That’s not to say that King of the Hill is perfect, or that American anime is superior. For one thing, American anime can’t escape the yoke of comedy. Unlike Japanese anime, which explores almost every genre, American anime only deals in humor. Even bleaker shows like Rick and Morty or Moral Orel still are categorized as dark comedies. King of the Hill probably came the closest at dealing with serious issues in a non-condescending way. That being said, it did so because it was never all that wacky or laugh out loud funny. It was expertly written, don’t get me wrong, but it never really penetrated the zeitgeist like other shows. Some characters also verged on annoying, to the point of polarizing the audience. Peggy Hill’s arrogance was funny at first, but then it became obnoxious. Same with Dale’s paranoia and selfishness. Even Hank’s stubbornness became an issue. I remember one late episode where Hank effectively blackmailed his minister to guarantee reserved seating for his family during sermons. What the hell was that!? I would also like to contradict myself a little by pointing out that despite adhering to realism, the show never aged any of the characters and ended up showing at least 4 Christmas episodes and 3 Thanksgiving episodes. I wish we could have seen Bobby transition from middle school to high school, but the show didn’t want to lose Bobby’s voice actress by aging up his voice. The show also tended to forget certain characters in the later season, namely Connie and Luanne, who got less and less screen time in the last 2-3 seasons. However, despite it flaws, it was still one of the few American tv shows, period, that showed a realistic portrayal of a working class family at the time. And whether you noticed it or not, King of the Hill was always there, and a lot of us wished it always would be.

Watch it: Yep. (5/5)

MVP: Hank Hill

“I hope I never make it to L.A.!” (real talk though, he’s probably one of the best example of how positive and negative masculinity can interact in a person).

Best Season: Season 4 (Miss Liz, Connie’s first period, Peggy and Cotton’s therapy, Randy Travis, just a good combination of all time great episodes) (p.s. Hank! There’s a little state between Hollywood and San Francisco called California, come visit! It promise it’s not all Hippies and Buzzfeed!)

 

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Ping Pong: The Animation

Type: It’s like mini-Tennis

Synopsis: How come Mini-Golf doesn’t get the same respect? Is it because it’s a little goofy? Are we SO afraid to be silly that we can’t endorse something built on fun? Because no one, in the history of Earth, has ever enjoyed Ping Pong. Even the boys in this anime don’t seem to enjoy it. Well, Peco does. Everyone else treats it more like a job, obsession, or personal mission statement. God, Ping Pong sucks. The game, not the anime, which is actually pretty great.

Pros: The big hook for this anime is that it was directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the director behind stuff like Kick-Heart, The Tatami-Galaxy, that one episode of Adventure Time, and 2018’s Devilman Crybaby. The guy’s know for having a unique style to say the least. And that’s the best way to describe this anime. It’s not groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it is unique. There is not other anime out there like it, and that’s surprising given that it follows the sports anime cliches pretty closely. But since it’s based on a Manga, that’s not surprising. The story follows Peco and Smile, two friends on the school’s ping pong team. The arrogant Peco is beaten one day by the new imported ace from a rival school. Humiliated, Peco quits the team for a while, leading his coach to focus on Smile, a talented but reserved person. The story follows their and their rivals’s growth as individuals, using Ping Pong as an analogy for life, like any other sports anime. Peco learns the value of humility and hard work. Smile learns to accept vulnerability and desire. And other players learn other things, like accepting your limits, being part of a team, or learning that fun and drive aren’t segregated concepts. The story’s not complicated, because it focuses on the character’s inner turmoil and conflict, and uses the “dramatic showdowns” to further along the character’s emotional arc.

The animation is the other hook this anime has. It uses a sort of rougher sketch style that accentuates the character’s movements and stances to enforce exaggerated realism. No one really moves or looks perfect. In fact, sometimes characters move and stand oddly. Which is exactly how people move and stand in real life! Everyone in this anime looks different, moves differently, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. For example, Peco moves loosely, while Smile is stiff and a bit uncomfortable. But amazing, both of these character’s postures change to reflect their growth at the end of the series. Seriously, you can compare how each character stands to check how the events of the story affected them. Despite looking obviously drawn, this anime may also be the most realistic looking anime I’ve ever seen. (P.s. A great example of this is the killer opening). I honestly thought this was made in 2017, it’s that good looking.  It looks weird enough to scream ANIME, but is well made enough to say Anime. In fact, this is one of the few anime I’d recommend you introduce to any of your non-anime friends or family members.

Cons: I know I talked a lot about stances, but for real. This anime does stances right. Speaking of stance, one draw back about this anime is that there are a lot of still frames where characters just stand around and talk. Or a lot of jump cuts to static action scenes. Classic cost cutting measure. Another thing, I’m aware that I made fund of Ping Pong at the start, but I actually didn’t mind it in this show. The exploration of Ping Pong was entertaining. My personal research (the internet), revealed the Ping Pong is actually pretty ping overseas, particularly East Asia, Europe, and Africa. Not being from there (USA #1!), I don’t really get it, but I liked it nonetheless. I fact, this anime made me realize something: I don’t really hate sports anime. Every sports anime I’ve watched for this site has been enjoyable. I think I only hate The Prince of Tennis. Yeah..Screw you Prince of Tennis!

Watch it: Literally the most fun you’ll have with Table Tennis (5/5)

MVP: Dragon

I’m really glad he mellowed out in the end.

Best Episode: “Yes, My Coach” (the real turning point, though honestly almost any of the episodes could be watch by themselves and be marveled at. It’s that good.)

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Pop Team Epic (Anime of the Year)

Type: Is this a joke?

Synopsis: No really, is this a joke?

Pros: Pop Team Epic is…Pop Team Epic started as…f#$% it. Pop Team Epic is weird as s#$%.

Cons: Whether or not you like Pop Team Epic will depend on what you think is funny. There are 6 main types of skits. First, regular skits based off the manga. Second, Bob Team Epic, which uses disturbing looking animation that will haunt my nightmares until my last breath. Third, a lovely 3D runner in french. Forth, 8-bit bumpers that parody video games. Fifth, puppet shows and songs. Sixth, the rest. Apparently, the show had various animation studios and voice actors work on it throughout production. The show is actually 15 minutes, but it runs for 30, repeating the episode with different voice actors. The next episode preview is actually parodying love comedies that looks surprisingly disconcertingly interesting to me with “Hoshiiro Girldrop,”

Watch it?: Pop Team Epic isn’t a meme anime. It’s a sh#$post entity given life by our collective consciousness. (5/5)

MVP: Alien Cat

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE ALIEN CAT!!

Best Episode: Not ever going to try (too hard. too weird. f##$ you.)

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My Hero Academia (Season 3)

Type: UNITED STATES SMASH

Synopsis: It starts with U.A. High going on a school trip to the woods that ends with several children being injured and one kidnapping. It continues with several U.A. students attempting to interfere with a complicated and sensitive rescue operation. It finally ends with U.A. giving an exam that give minors licenses to get into fights with maniacs. Hogwarts don’t look so bad now, does it?

Pros: My Hero Academia season 3 kinda fixes every problem I had with season 2. Real talk, given all the hype around season 2, I was a little underwhelmed with the second season. I wasn’t really a big fan of Stain, and the tournament arc was just a tournament arc to me. But this season, man, this season was all that, and a bag of chips. This season had a lot of the hallmarks of the superhero genre that I love. Finally getting out of the school setting, this season explored the world more, and gave more context of what it means to be a hero in this world. We finally get to see Deku actually save a person from a super villain using his superpowers. We see the “death” of an important hero at then hands of a truly evil being. We see how the world reacts to this. However, the most important things this season does is explore the concept of how heroes inspire heroism in others. Over and over again, we see how the heroic actions of certain characters influence other characters to act the same. This, I think, is the true purpose of a hero. To inspire others to be heroes. To show others that they can be a better version of themselves. To show us that even in the darkest, most dire hour, there’s still someone who can save you with a smile on their face, even if that someone has to be yourself.

Cons: The season has a weird non-ending. Like, it doesn’t really have a cliffhanger per say, but a “until next season” sort of ending. Not a fan of that. I like bookends. The show also ends of another school related battle royal. Not a fan of that either, but it does set up a killer final battle for the season. This season also got me to catch up on that manga, which I had been meaning to do for a while now. So it’s actually a pretty good season overall.

Watch it: Honestly, I think it’s the best season yet (4/5)

MVP: The animation directors

Dude, the fights were sick this season!

Best Episode: Ep. 10 “One For All” (I mean, how could I not!)

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Devilman Crybaby

Type: A good netflix anime!?

Synopsis: This must be the work of the DEVIL!!! (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Pros: Devilman Crybaby is an adaptation of the 1970’s manga Devilman, which was only like 20 chapters. The anime was released in 2018, and kinda set the tone for what to expect for the year. Ya know, with the apocalypse getting stated and all. But any hoo, the anime is about mild mannered crybaby named Akira whose taken to a sex n’ drug party by his best friend/life partner Ryo. Feeling like the party isn’t living up to his standards, and not wanting Akira to think all drug fueled orgies are lame, Ryo liven things up by going on a murders spree to summon actual demons. Akira ends up merging with one, and the plot kinda goes from there. The main draw for most people will be all the hardcore sex and nudity. And the stellar animation style. I guess. Helmed by Masaaki Yuasa, the anime has a unique and surreal art style that oozes creativity. This is one of those animes that you can just tell the animation crew had enjoyed working on. They really got to flex their talents. Sure, a lot of that went into the sex and gore, but also in the running animations, the family meals, the playful scenes between Akira and Ryo. It’s a visual masterpiece. There’s no getting around that. It’s also a creative showcase. Yuasa and his writers clearly had more freedom on Netflix than with traditional broadcasts. And I’m not just talking about all the breasts and blood. There’s literally a scene where a dud straight up raps for 30 seconds. Speaking of rapping, the show did a good job and modernizing a relatively short mange from the 70’s. Though I suppose since political corruption, public hysteria, and the power of scapegoating haven’t really changed in 50 years, we should really call it a tragedy.

Cons: And Devilman Crybaby is a tragedy. Almost to a predictable degree. By that I mean that Akira/Devilman have to face a new demon of the week every episode. This show also like to add a new story elements to each demon. Which sounds good on paper, but makes the entire story go by really, really, really fast. So some of the emotional punches won’t land depending on your attachment to certain characters. Miki being possessed by a demon is one thing, Akira’s parent’s both dying in the same episode they premiered in is another. Can’t miss someone you barely just met. Some story developments also cross that line from sad to EDGELORD. Aside from Akira’s parents, Miki’s family are also killed. Miki’s little brother turns into a demon that eats his mother. His father, unable to kills his demon boy, is killed by soldiers while trying to protect him. This was a little too much, and I preferred their manga fates more. In the manga, it’s Miki actually dies with her family at the hands of a murderous mob of humans. Not by having a weird running fantasy by the river. In fact, that whole scene worked a lot better in the manga because we don’t actually get to see Miki’s last moments. Like Akira, we only see Miki again when her entire family’s corpses are being paraded on spikes. The shock of that image works a lot better than in ep.9 due to the surprise of it. And out of every episode, I think ep.9 is the only one that suffered due it’s statues as an anime. Because it’s the only episode that feels like a stereotypical anime episode, and Miki is honestly the most anime characters in the series. She’s the typical good at everything. Which is kinda a shame. Not that I wanted her to be like her manga counterpart. That Miki was lame. Literally became Akira’s love lore groupie after his transformation. But I kinda wish they had kept some of her more lascivious qualities. For example, in the early parts of the show Miki is involved with a way older journalist. We don’t know what the nature of their relationship is exactly, though she does feel comfortable enough to shower in his house, but the implications were enough to add a layer of complexity to Miki’s good girl persona. But after that, Miki becomes just “the girl” to be honest…You know, for being one of the best anime of the year, I probably should have talked about things like religious metaphors and the nature of good and evil and all that. But enough people can and have analyzed every episode. SoI’d rather still complain about Ep.9 and Miki’s character. To summarize: The show sometimes goes too fast, some deaths and revelations seem unimportant, ep.9 is generic and dilutes an iconic moment, Miki could have been better, the English voice cast is a little wooden, and there is seriously a LOT of sex and violence in this. I cannot stress this enough. A LOT of sex and violence.

Watch it: I’d like to mention that I preferred Akira and Ryo’s characterization in this. Akira still remained a pretty good guy after becoming a devil man, and Ryo was more analytical (instead of being Mr. and Mr. Tough Cool guy in the manga) (5/5)

MVP: The animation

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW??

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “I Need You” (A lazy answer, I admit, but if your going to start, you should start here).

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Love Tyrant

Type: It’s amazing how quickly they abandon their original premise.

Synopsis: The show is about a notebook that makes couples, not corpses. No! It’s about three new angels how have to foster love or lose their souls. No! It’s about a generational divide between mothers and daughters. No! It’s about a socipath corrupting a young cupid. No! It’s a harem. Wait! It’s all these things and more!!!

Pros: Love Tyrant is a manga based anime with a bit of a muddled plot. The gist is that the cupid Guri creates a love contract with a boy named Seiji, which eventually includes the yandere Akane and her obsessive sister Yuzu. The humor comes from the mixing of these four very different personalities, with Seiji playing the straight man. The show emphasizes the “comedy” part of love-comedy more so than other shows. It gives Love Tyrant a bit more of a unique taste than it’s fellows in the genre. My particular favorite running joke was the characters forgetting what the premise for the show was (i.e. that they have to make couples or lose their souls). I also liked it when Akane violent rage played off against Guri’s playful personality. In fact, Akane and Guri’s over the top personalities make them some of the strongest characters I’ve seen in any harem. Each of the females main cast have interesting backstories involving a struggle between heaven and hell and a family drama, with Seiji acting as an audience inaugurate whose along for the ride, which is what a good harem show should try to shoot for.

Cons: As stated above, you do forget what the original premise is. It’s not crucial to the show, but still. The only episode that really follows the premise is episode 2, so of course it’s the weakest episode. I highly recommend skipping that episode (it involves a student-teacher relationship, which makes it unfunny and icky). And the show doesn’t really break the love-comedy mold. It just stretches it to add more irreverent humor. Stabbings, parodies, boys-love, the show is just a very funny harem show. Oh! And I forgot to mention one of the best characters in a show of great characters: Shikimi. Shikimi is the primary antagonist of the show, and is so delightfully evil, it’s great! Shikimi is Akane’s cousin, and almost always steals the show with her manipulative personality and sadistic nature. The show makes you feel scared of her, but also strangely attracted. The only real bummer is that the show may not get a second season, which sucks because the next story arc fully introduces and explores Akane, Yuzu, and Guri’s mother.

Watch it: The manga’s great too! (4/5)

MVP: Shikimi

While Akane is best girl, Shikimi can’t not be the best.

Best Episode: Ep.10 “I’m Here to Stay the Night x I’m… Growing Up, Too” (slumber party!)

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SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

Type: NSFW

Synopsis: In a world, where smut has been outlawed. Where phrases like “putting your yogurt tosser into the butter boat” is blaspheme. A world of prudes. A world of abstinence. Only one person will be able to bring back the raunchy. Follow our heroes on their trip towards an uncertain end. THIS SPRING, STAY TUNED FOR HIGH SCHOOL KIDS DISTRIBUTING DIRTY PICTURES AROUND SCHOOL CAMPUS AS A FORM OF PEACEFUL PROTEST.

Pros: Where has this been all my life. Why was I not informed of this anime sooner! What am I…what am I even doing here!? Shimoneta is half brilliant, half stupid, and all parts entertaining. The basic premise is that Japan has outlawed lewdness in all forms, forcing our protagonists to rebel through pervy behavior and inappropriate language. And I mean INAPPROPRIATE. I watched the English Dubb, because sometimes this world is a beautiful place. The words that came out of Ayeme Kajou might be THE filthiest collection of saying that I have ever hear. I did not know that the English language was capable of making that many euphemisms for sex, penises, or vaginas. Aside from the admittedly sophomoric charm of the show’s content (sex, masturbation, etc), the program does have a good message. Kajou’s group, SOX, fights in the name of personal freedom and sexual education. They don’t necessarily want to bring the government down, they just want to be explore the subject of sex without punished. Which is a good thing to say. Sexual education is important. And while issuing every teenager a box of sex toys and a porn subscription isn’t necessarily a good option, neither is pretending that lust doesn’t exist. The show argues as much. You have characters like Fuwa who are so ignorant about sex that they need to study the reproductive habits of bugs to better understand it. Or you get extreme cases like Anna, who becomes a sexual deviant after her first taste of physical romance because she has no background knowledge to help moderate her new urges. And as a side note, I liked the organic relationship that developed between Tanuchiki and Ayeme, especially since it’s based on comradery  and not idealization.

Cons: I mean, this is basically smut. Well, that’s too harsh. I’ll downgrade to softcore porn, not unlike American Pie or Not Another Teen Movie. You know, the classics. Aside from Ayeme’s amazingly dirty dialogue, a lot of the jokes come from Anna. After episode 3, Anna becomes a sex maniac who constantly tries to share her “love nectar” with Tanichiki after an accidental kiss. This girl is so turned on whenever she even sees Tanichiki that she immediately undergoes vasocongestion, causing her to secrete a combination of carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, and other acids produced by the normal lactobacillus bacteria. Clean up in aisle 3, am I right! Normally I would say this goes overboard, but given the context of the show, it actually fits right in. I do kind of think that it’s messed up that Tanuchiki losses interest in Anna after her “pure image” is shattered, but the exaggerated nature of her character change makes it work. Story wise, I feel that the last arc involving Gathered Fabric is not very strong, and I didn’t really like them as antagonists. I would have been perfectly happy if the show had followed a scheme-by-scheme narrative.

Watch it?: Does a footlong taste better with mustard on it? (5/5)

MVP: Anna Nishikinomiya

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L-O-V-E  N-E-C-T-O-R.

Best Episode: EP. 1 “Whom Public Order and Morality Serve?” (I have my own favorite [ep4], but I feel that this one tells you everything you need to know about the show)

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My Hero Academia (Season 2)

Type: Also known as That 2017’s Show

Synopsis: You get it, because the television program That 70’s Show was a thing in the 2000’s, and My Hero Academia was really popular in 2017? Yeah? Well…I-I thought I was being clever and, ah, let’s just move on. This is My Hero Academia, also know as HeroAca, Boku No Hero, HeroAcademia, season 2. It’s still pretty good.

Pros: It’s still pretty good. With the season bumped up to 24 episodes, My Hero Academia covers about 3 story arcs. The Sport’s Festival Arc, the Hero Killer Arc, and the Final Exam Arc. While the first season focused on exploring the setting from our protagonist Deku/Midoriya’s point of view, this season focuses on fleshing out the extended cast. Instead of talking about my favorite characters (Froppy is best girl, and Tokoyami is surprising top tier) I’d like to point something out. What this season did very well was establishing a clear and shared goal for each of the supporting characters. Each character want’s to be a “hero,” for their own reasons. While their motivations may differ, they each have the same goal that audience can understand. Who didn’t cry when we learned that Ochako wanted to be a hero to help her family out? Or Todoroki’s whole deal? Hell, I even sympathized with Hitoshi, the guy that wanted to be a hero even though he looks creepy. Normally, a lot of shonen stories reserved having a “dream” to the main characters. And while, realistically, not everyone would want to be King of the Pirates or Hokage, it’s nice to see such a distinct class of characters all striving for the same goal. It makes the comradery between the characters seem more natural. A lot of episodes were about pairing characters together, or contrasting characters against one another. This even happens with the antagonists, as the show introduces fan favorite, Stain, a “hero killer” who’s more of an anti-hero, which is why he clashes with the show’s main villain group. The show also explain more about the power One-For-All, and some implied multi-generational lore, but that’s going to have to wait until season 3.

Cons: The only real not great thing about season 2 was a 10 minutes segments detailing Froggy’s internship in episode 19. It felt filler-y to me. But outside of that, nothing particularly wrong with this season. The intro’s were good. The comedy was on point. The action was well handled. The character moments were incredible. As one of the “it shows” of 2017, don’t expect an artistic masterpiece, or a watershed series or anything. But My Hero Academia continues to be a stellar shonen series.

Watch it?: Yes. Yes you should. (4/5)

MVP: Ochako Uraraka

She really is a good kid.

MVP: Ep.13-18 The Hero Killer Arc (Internships, Team Work, Anti-Hero, it has it all! Plus, I didn’t really talk about it in the review)

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Rumbling Hearts

Type: “Does Everything I do Have to Hurt Someone?”

key_art_rumbling_hearts

Synopsis: Once upon a time there lived a girl named Haruka, who had a best friend named Mitsuki. They both loved a boy named Takayuki very much, but he only loved one of them. Then one day, Haruka fell into a deep sleep and couldn’t wake up. Takayuki’s heart was broken, but Mitsuki helped him but it back together. She never left his side, even though part of his heart still remained with Haruka. What else could she do, she loves him…

Pros: Ok, so real talk. I kinda got into this show. I found this anime soap opera genuinely engaging. Sue me. The basic premise is: Takayuki, Haruka, and Mitsuki are high school friends stuck in a love triangle. Then one day, Haruka gets into an accident and falls into a coma. Takayuki and Mistsuki start dating, even though Takayuki isn’t fully committed. Three years later, Haruka wakes up and causes Takayuki and Mistuki’s relationship to become really strained. That’s basically the gist of it without giving away too much. I would love to explore the subtleties of the show, but that would spoil the experience. The strength of the show comes from the portrayal of Takayuki and Mitsuki, both as individuals and as a couple. More so with Mitsuki, who I found really relatable. You see, when Haruka wakes up, Takayuki basically begins an emotional affair with her. And Mitsuki’s reactions to this are all too understandable. She tries to ignore it, she tries to overcompensate physically and emotionally, she even verges on alcoholism. She spirals as she comes to the realization that the person she loves has stronger feelings for someone else, and probably always did. Both Mitsuki and Takayuki are guilty of trying to cling to the past, with Haruka being a not to subtle living memory that holds them back from the future.

Cons: The show has a good beginning, and a strong ending, but a weak middle. This is because the beginning sets everything up, the ending ties everything together, but the middle has to let the story breath. And it takes long breaths. The middle of the story, about ep4-9, has to show Mistuki and Takayuki’s relationship slowly deteriorate. So you get a lot of awkward silences and montages of everyone looking sad. It’s necessary, but also skimmable. The ending, however, really sticks the landing. So much many character arcs come to a head in ep10-14 that I want to talk about, but it would spoil them!! Even sweet, stereotypical Haruka gets to react to her situation in a realistic manner. The show does have it’s faults. The story is a soap opera, and fairly predictable. All the heroines seem to love Takayuki for because it’s anime and “he’s a nice guy.” But I saw how he lived with Mitsuki, and honestly…he seems like a dick. He’s distant, emotionally self-centered, and rather boring. But dammit if the story’s not engrossing. I partly attribute this to the fact that main cast are all in their early 20’s instead of in high school, so the drama can be taken a little more seriously. Although I do admit that the character designs do make everyone look older than they should. Takayuki and Mistuki are suppose to be 20-21, but they look 25. I watched the English dub, which was great, although Takayuki’s performance came off as a but wooden. I do have to mention, however, that I have never heard the phrase “baby” in the romantic sense this much in an anime before. Since Takayuki and Mistuki are adults in a relationship, they tend to sleep together a few times in the show (nothing explicit pervs!), so the phrase comes up. That’s not a bad thing, it just tickled me a little.

Watch it?: If I even did Anime Audio Commentaries, this show would be one of them (4/5)

MVP: Mitsuki

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You can’t help who you love, and that hurts sometimes.

Best Episode: Ep10-14 The Ending Arc (Though I’m not sure how I feel about Mitsuki and Takayuki’s ultimate fate…)

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Gamers! [Anime of the Year]

Type: A little like Twelfth Night to be honest.

Synopsis: I understood that reference! (No, but seriously, I burned through this whole show in ONE afternoon. I haven’t done that in years. This show is incredible).

Pros: This anime is about a boy who gets invited to a gamer club by the cutest girl at school, but declines because of it’s competitive nature. This kinda snowballs into the boy becoming entangled in various simultaneous love triangles, with hilarious results. Basically, it’s a love comedy with video games as the backdrop. And. It’s. Amazing. It’s one of the best comedy’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s strength comes from it’s dynamic direction. Everything from the camera work to the character’s faces screams energy and youth. I made the joking reference to Twelfth Night because the running gag of the show is that all the teenage characters think that their crush is in love with someone else. Their reactions to this very thought perfectly captures the high strung emotions of dating at the age. Not only that, but the cast is really strong, and their various interactions and pairing reminds you that this is an ensemble comedy. My personal favorite paring was our lead Keita and the bubbly Aguri, whose simple but funny lunch talks reminds you that yes, in anime, a boy and girl can be friends without falling in love! I could probably say way more (and you could probably write an essay on each episode individually), but I would only be doing the show a disservice. Go watch it! (p.s. I know I wouldn’t say more, but the English dialogue, romantic misunderstandings, and gamer jokes hit me in my happy place. My favorite anime genre is comedy anime, and this is the best comedy I’ve seen all year).

Cons:…I mean, I feel bad for Chiaki. OK, so in order to explain half the stories in the show, you need to create a map with a lot of arrows and circles. But to save time, Chiaki is kinda the fifth wheel of the cast. She was introduced as a possible love interest for Keita, but then became more interested in Keita’s handsome friend Tasuku, but then falls in love with Keita after he starts officially dating Tendo, the blonde girl that invited Keita into the gamer club to begin with. Like I said, there’s a lot of moving parts. I feel bad for her because, well, she’s nice and she technically is a perfect match for Keita. But so is Tendo. This is one of the handful of shows where both of the main character’s love interests are plausible options that I wouldn’t be mad at. Aside from that, I guess that show doesn’t really do much with the Gamer Club, like anything at all, and ep.13, the “last episode,” is just a fan service filler episodes.

Watch it?: Maybe my favorite show of an already strong 2017. (5/5)

MVP: Keita and Aguri

Their scenes were gold

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “Gamers and Wipeout “Game Over” (maybe the best single comedic episode I’ve ever seen?)

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