Autumn 2016 Week 3


Right, we’ve hit week 3 so I am making my semi-official decision of what I’m following this season. I’m going to admit straight out that some of the shows I decided to follow I am following out of morbid curiosity and not because I actually expect them to get any better, but at least that helps balance out some of the others that I’ve so far quite enjoyed.

I also added a new category for the two shows that I decided not to drop but just have no time for in a weekly schedule so will review when and where they fit. Also, I’m almost positive there’s a few shows still in my list that will end up dropped so I needed some backups.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.


I Must Keep Watching

  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 3)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 2)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 15)
  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 3)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 3)

Natsume just keeps being amazing. It is one of those shows that has a winning formula and knows how to make it feel fresh while having the main character grow in believable ways. It’s just fun to watch and right from the start of each episode you are swept into Natsume’s world and you don’t question it until the end of the episode. I need more shows like this that just take me away for twenty minutes.

March Comes In is kind of hard to describe because not a lot is happening from a plot point of view. That said, I am quite enjoying getting to know the protagonist and how he sees and is trying to deal with other people. The start of this has been really beautifully presented and completely engaging.

Okay, season one of Bungo Stray Dogs didn’t ever live up to the enjoyment of its first episode. Season two so far has taken an entirely different tone and while it might not last, the first three episodes have been outstanding and I’ve really enjoyed watching them. That said, this will drop back once we move on from this part of the story.

Yuri on Ice is hard to place at the moment (and the reason why will become clear in my reivew of this episode that is up tomorrow). The bottom line is, while I’m enjoying the show, episode 3 made me look a bit closer and some of the non-visual elements and I’m just not sure they are holding up to the scrutiny.

Izetta is an odd little show in that we have this backdrop of war and yet an overly adorable character at the centre and at the moment it seems like there is nothing the witch can’t do. That said, you just can’t help but think something is going to go seriously wrong for the witch and Princess very soon. Highly entertaining and beautiful so far.


Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 15)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 27)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 2)

Days has finally dropped from a must watch to on my radar and that isn’t because it got any worse. It really is that the novelty of watching something outside my usual area has finally worn off and they haven’t given me anything else to really cling to. Kind of hoping that our characters move forward soon because it kind of feels like they are churning over the same ground at the moment.

Iron Blooded Orphans is still entertaining enough to watch but is suffering from the fact that it is a Gundam series which means I kind of keep it at arms length by default and while focussing on a larger cast of war hardened orphans is a little different from usual, mostly we have all the usual characters you would expect from a Gundam show showing up.

WIXOSS is probably just going to keep brining on the pain for the characters and I’m okay with that. It would be nice to see them learn something from the experience and maybe they will, but mostly I think we’re about to see how far you can push someone before they crack. That could be fun too.


Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Flip Flappers (Ep 3)
  • Trickster (Ep 3)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 3)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 3)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 3)

Flip Flappers episode 3… Well, I seriously considered moving it below Trickster but at least Flip Flappers is interesting to look at while we meet characters and have no actual storyline. That makes it sound worse than it is because it is really a very pretty and fun and energetic show. None of that means it has an actual story at this point though.

Trickster kind of feels like we finally got to the end of the introduction this week so maybe things will begin to move next episode (or not). I’m interested in this but haven’t been particularly impressed so far.

Bloodivores has made an improvement this week. Not a big improvement but enough that it didn’t get dropped at the episode 3 mark (which more or less just condemns me to finishing it unless it becomes truly unwatchable). That said, if it kept improving it could actually still pull out something half-decent.

Kiss Him, Not Me is kind of the show where if you just switch your brain off and enjoy the shiny happy it works quite well. Otherwise there isn’t much here for me. That said, it does break up some of the more serious shows I’m watching so for now it is staying in the mix. But, episode 3 was definitely less engaging (and I wasn’t that engaged to start with) so this may be the beginning of the end for me watching this.

Nazotokine is pretty ordinary and in honesty if it wasn’t for the short run time I’d already have dropped it.


Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1)
  • Cheating Craft (Ep 3)

Cheating Craft is not getting any better but it also isn’t getting any worse. It’s more the novelty wore off and nothing replaced it because the series had nothing else.

And as for Girlish Number, I ran out of time to watch this week so will do a catch up once I stop making real world commitments that consume my time.



  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

I’m going to admit the decision making process was harder this season because other than sequels there’s only been a couple of shows that have really grabbed me (half my top 8 are sequels or continuations). Then, there’s a lot of not bad but not good shows that may or may not develop into something. Oh well, I guess we’ll know in a few months if I made the right choices or if the next Taboo Tattoo is sitting in my watch list.

What are you going to watch this season and what’s impressed you so far?

Bungo Stray Dogs Episode 15



Oda’s alive, though I’m guessing after the way this episode ended he probably wishes that wasn’t the case. That was such a great episode. Even though you kind of saw where things were going to go for Oda after the fight with Mimic’s leader it was still a beautiful emotional punch right at the end of the episode. Ango’s return for a drink and the contrast in the mood from the first episode of this season where the three friends went drinking was a fantastic reminder of just how much they’ve been pushed in just three episodes. The one character doing very little, Dazai. All and all, I loved watching this.

Bungo Stray Dogs is available on Crunchyroll.

Flip Flappers Episode 3



Flip Flappers is a lot of things but one thing I am not going to accuse this show of being is logical. This episode just kind of continued to throw things at us with frantic energy and kind of hoped the shining prettiness and weirdness of the whole thing would help make it through to the end. Admittedly, the reveals (multiple) at the end of this episode are kind of worth waiting for as they hint at an actual overall plot that has been sorely missing from the first three episodes of random exploration and developing themes of friendship.

Flip3b.JPGProbably my biggest issue with this episode was how many clichés we ran across in quick succession. From a Sailor Moon style transformation (had they transformed in a sequence before because that seemed to come out of left field), to a that’s not their true power comment, and so on an so forth. Actually, the tone of this episode kind of reminded me of Gurren Laagan. Why am I finding so many comparisons? Because there is genuinely no way to explain what is going on in this anime without just taking you scene by scene through it. I keep hoping that this finds some cohesion because all the parts are interesting but I still feel like we’re only just being introduced to the world three episodes in.

Flip Flappers is available on AnimeLab.

Friday’s Feature: A little too real (or why I’m putting Free on hold)


A little while back I did my first impressions of Free. It was an anime that I’d heard all the hype about and utterly and completely ignored. Good looking guys swimming. Whatever. Anyway, given over the last 12 months I finally started giving sports anime a go, and given I’ve found quite a few anime that didn’t normally fit into my preconceived notion of their genre, I finally decided to give Free a look. Unfortunately, I won’t be finishing Free this year so I won’t be reviewing it as a series, but I kind of felt I needed to explain why. So not so much a feature today as a brief explanation.

I’ve gotten to episode 6 and this is where I’m leaving this series for the time being. And it isn’t because it hasn’t been interesting or engaging. In fact, I’ve really loved the episodes I’ve watched. The characters are actually surprisingly interesting and have a lot more depth than I would have assumed from anything I’d seen prior to watching the series. The story is pretty basic but it is the characters driving the show. It’s pretty to look at (and I’m not just talking about the guys) and the music is fantastically well suited to the show. All of this means that if you were sitting on the fence about watching Free, I’d recommend at least giving it a go. Maybe it won’t grab you but it certainly isn’t the vapid viewing experience I assumed I was getting into.

My reason for putting this on hold is personal. I have issues with water and particularly with drowning. Normally, this doesn’t interfere with my viewing experience.

Watch Another. Characters go to the beach and start messing around. It’s a horror anime and nobody died yet that episode. Of course this was going to end tragically. The biggest surprise in that sequence was that it wasn’t actually a drowning. That sort of anime doesn’t try to get you emotionally invested in the characters and the deaths are sensationalized to the point where you don’t really feel it as a death. No issues watching that.

Going into Free, particularly once I realised there was a character who couldn’t swim at first, I expected them to have a near drowning encounter. I kind of expected this to be quasi-dramatic and then maybe we’d get the start of a mouth to mouth sequence that would lead us into a typical anime moment of blushing or whatever. I expected that and I expected to be just fine with it when it happened.

Then they go to the ocean. Taking a character who has only just learned to swim into the ocean? Right. Now I’m concerned.

And then that character chooses to go in alone, at night.

While I like that anime can given an emotional response, anxiety is not the emotion I’m really looking for. I did get through the sequence and I did watch the next episode just to confirm that all the characters are in fact fine, but right now every time I think about finishing series I just kind of see him going under, the first rescuer freezing, the others coming in, and it all just is too much for me.

I’m going to give Free some credit for actually making me care about the characters and their situation enough that nearly drowning someone had that much impact on me. And I am going to go back and finish this eventually. But for now, I’m giving myself space from it so I’ll probably pick it up again next year sometime.

Not much of a feature, sorry, but I do have to ask: Were there any anime that hit too close for you?

Nazotokine Episode 3



Well, at least I don’t know the answer to the riddle yet. That’s a plus. Mostly this episode follows Tokine around her normal day as she gets herself fired up for a late night of work before rushing for the last train. It was interesting seeing what happens to other people when they are taken into the game, though I guess we aren’t getting any explanation about why Tokine is an exception other than that ‘chosen one’ rubbish the magic pig thing keeps throwing around. All and all, seven minutes for an episode doesn’t seem like much and yet they are still managing to waste minutes and the story is progressing at glacial speed. Oh well. I guess I’ll find out the answer to the riddle next week (or if anyone else watched the episode they could just tell me).

Nazotokine is available on Crunchyroll.

Trickster Episode 3



Confirmed that Hanasaki is a really annoying character. That said, his pep and impulsiveness are kind of needed given the characters around him so it makes him tolerable. It was nice to see Kobayashi start to exhibit some elements of a personality besides wanting to die this episode and the case they worked on (while not actually a mystery that we could get into) was a nice backdrop for getting to know how the group worked a bit better – except that they don’t really seem to be particularly good at their jobs and rely heavily on coincidnece. So now that Kobayashi is staying around and we’ve met all the characters, the question is whether or not the story in this show can finally get moving or is this going to be it? While neither good nor bad at the moment, Trickster feels like it could get better but it could also just kind of drift along and go nowhere. We’ll see what happens.

Trickster is available on Crunchyroll.


Bloodivores Episode 3



This has been the best episode so far in this series (though episodes 1 and 2) didn’t set the bar particularly high. Though they never managed to actually get me to feel worried for any of the characters, I’m at least now mildly interested in a couple of them which is more than they had going for them before. I’m also a little bit more intrigued about Aori and what it actually is because it’s starting to look more like another dimension and that would just be weird. Anyway, two things I learned during the start of this episode. If someone tells you they are an assassin and have an arsenal of blades, be nice to them. Secondly, if an explosion knocks down a whole bunch of stuff from the roof it will only fall on monsters.  Clearly, I’m not dropping this yet but I hope it can continue to improve and maybe I’ll eventually genuinely care if these guys ever escape.

Bloodivores is available on Crunchyroll.

Wolf’s Rain Series Review

Wolf Rain


There’s a legend that says when the end of the world comes paradise will appear but only wolves will know how to find it. Wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction but they are still living by hiding amongst the human population (using illusions to conceal themselves). Drawn by a strange scent, four wolves have gathered in a city and will now begin their quest to find paradise.


Wolf’s Rain is one of those anime that will either draw you straight in and keep you enthralled from start to finish or have you raising your eyebrow and wondering what you are watching. For me, I was enthralled. The opening theme, the animation, the characters, everything was just perfect. Okay, the plot get’s a little convoluted at times but right from the start there is a clear destination and while we divert occasionally we are always heading toward that finishing point. This is an anime I strongly recommend watching if you haven’t seen it.


The group of wolves that we meet are fantastic. They don’t just naturally get together into a group. They each have all of the baggage you would expect from ostracised individuals who have been living in hiding and faced isolation and betrayal before and yet they each deal with it in unique ways. They regularly clash in their views and yet still inherently understand that they need each other. The other thing I love about the characters is that the writers weren’t so attached to any of them that you could rest assured that all the characters were going to make it through every situation just because they were the main characters. That added an extra level of tension and realism to the story. But they also don’t go around callously knocking off every character just after you get to know them.


I genuinely loved the mythology constructed by this story. It tells it’s story or legend at the start and the events fit into it so smoothly and yet it doesn’t feel like we already know the outcome. The wolves who could give the illusion of humanity and Cheza as the one leading them to paradise just work so well both as characters and as clear plot elements. It all just fit together really nicely and there didn’t seem a lot of reason to clutter the story any further.


That said, it would have been nice if just occasionally the human characters hadn’t been totally driven by self-interest, greed or prejudice. The audience get it fairly early on that humans are foolish creatures, we don’t need to have our noses rubbed in it literally every time a human character takes the screen.

wolfs rain.png

Alright, there’s a lot more I could say about this show, but to be honest I don’t want to spoil it. Any further details about the characters will take away the fun of getting to know them and the plot is kind of obvious from the start but there are some interesting moments that are kind of better if you go in blind.

Not much of a review but this is a great anime. The story is a little slow at times but it builds well and tells a cohesive story. There are some really emotional moments and if you are caught up in the story they’ll really stick with you after you finish watching.

If you’ve seen Wolf’s Rain let me know your thoughts below. If you haven’t seen it, give it a go.

March Comes in Like a Lion Episodes 1 + 2



Rei Kiriyama is a 17 year old professional shogi player with issues.

Review Episode 1:

I’d originally put this one on the wait until it’s done list because the plot didn’t exactly seem like it was going to be my kind of thing. Yet there were just so many highly positive reviews I had to check out at least an episode. Blown away after watching. It’s really slow and quiet (except for the youngest sister who I would really like to hit the mute button on) but everything is just so well thought out and delivered. Right from the opening I was drawn into this and the whole episode just held me completely enthralled. The way Rei’s loneliness and isolation is depicted throughout the episode is fantastic (not subtle but fantastic). I do not know if they can keep up the level of quality in presentation or story telling but episode 1 was a delight to watch.

Review Episode 2:


This episode is broken into chapters with each one giving us a small glimpse of Rei Kiriyama’s life and starting to fill in some of the pieces about how he got to where he is. The presentation continues to be beautiful but the slow and quiet is continually broken up by the insertion of rather loud and over the top characters. This kind of feels like a deliberate intrusion into the tone as these characters are intruding upon the carefully constructed solitude Rei has surrounded himself with. Once the other characters leave things return to being very calm and feeling like everything is more or less standing still. It’s interesting and a bit different from the other shows I’m watching at the moment and it is also just well put together at the moment. Of all the new shows this season (not sequels) this is the one that has left the biggest impression so far.

March Comes in Like a Lion is available from Crunchyroll.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 2



I’m not going to bother levelling my overall criticism of the premise of this show every single week so if you want to hear that check out my thoughts on episode 1.

Episode 2 brings us more of the guys pursuing the girl and it becomes even clearer that only one of them has any interesting in Kae as a person and that is the third year who is part of the history club (yep, I still don’t know the guys’ names except for Nana which stuck for some reason during the early part of this episode). I started to look it up and then realised it will be more fun if I just let myself get surprised when I finally remember their names. That said, the guys continue to pursue her even though they regularly find things about her that they do not like. Then she smiles and they just keep going after her. I’m not sure if this is more offensive to the girl or to the guys.

Probably my criticism of this episode is that it seems to go on for a very long time. We have the boys reacting to being given anime key-rings, Kae’s ridiculous attempt to learn soccer in a week, the soccer game, planning summer vacation, cramming for an exam, the study session, and then the summer vacation beginning and yet none of this seems to have any pace. It just seems to go on and on and on. Individual moments and lines and some reactions are funny or cute or sweet (or annoying because while they might be setting up Nana as a bad boy type mostly he’s just coming off as a complete jerk who ought to be cut loose if Kae had any backbone as a human being), but these individual moments aren’t enough to really overcome the general feeling that while stuff is happening it isn’t amounting to much.

But on a positive:


Lots of sparkles.

So clearly still watching this despite my misgivings and while it isn’t amazing it is perfectly watchable. Part of me kind of wants to go back to Momokuri though.

Alright, well and truly over my 100 words so done.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.