Tuesday’s Top 5: Bleach Characters

Top 5

Much like my Top 5 Sailor Scouts, it was kind of inevitable that I’d eventually do a list for Bleach (and trust me favourite Captain, best attack, best fight sequence, worst joke, and several other options have been considered and written down for future posts because Bleach is one of those anime that I just can’t leave alone). It seemed reasonable for my first Bleach list to focus on just my top 5 favourite characters from the show. That said, those of you who have followed my blog for a while will already know my 1 and 2 as they’ve appeared in other lists before (but the question is which order did I put them in when I made this list). The thing is, with such a huge cast, narrowing this list down was actually kind of difficult.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions go to Rukia Kuchiki, Renji Abarai, Ulquiorra, Aizen, Grimmjow Jaggerjack, and Urahara.

Number 5:  Soi Fon

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that Soi Fon’s personality stinks, but as a character she’s kind of fun. Her desperate and clingy nature early on disguised very thinly by loathing for Yoruichi eventually passed and what we have is a fairly capable leader who isn’t above underhanded methods if it means success. Also, her weapon is fairly interesting even in a show full of strange and interesting weapons. Not the ridiculously large and overpowered kind, hers requires a lot of skill and precision to maximise the effect (okay, later they go for ridiculously large but it is Bleach). It lends itself to a different kind of battle and that makes Soi Fon stand out from the crowd. Possibly the worst thing for Soi Fon though is she is a background character and that means that she doesn’t win all that many fights. That must be all manner of frustrating for a perfectionist like her.

Number 4: Hollow Ichigo

So much cooler and more interesting than Ichigo on most occasions, Ichigo’s Inner Hollow is hilarious and terrifying (usually at the same time). Whether he is taunting Ichigo inside, giving him vague clues to his power, or just taking over and over-powering Ichigo’s enemies, an appearance by Hollow Ichigo is always exciting and definitely entertaining. Sorry Ichigo, but I spent a lot of my time watching Bleach wishing Hollow Ichigo would take over for awhile.

Number 3: Yoruichi

Right, given my thing for cats and strong female characters, this one was kind of a give-away. Yoruichi enters Bleach in cat form but later reveals her female form to Ichigo (and in true anime fashion isn’t too picky about how much of her he sees). Anyway, Yoruichi, other than being the object of Soi Fon’s obsession,  among many other titles was once known as the Goddess of Flash and she is pretty amazing. Actually, I spent a lot of time wondering why Yoruichi and Urahara needed Ichigo at all given the two of them together seem pretty unstoppable. That said, she’s an amusing character and seems a bit flippant at times, but when the battle is on she is all business.

Number 2: Uryu Ishida

I said in my post about Top 5 Characters Who Wear Glasses that Ishida was second only to my number 1 choice when it came to Bleach characters. It isn’t hard to see why.  He thinks and strategizes, has an array of interesting attacks, continues to evolve and get stronger throughout the series and is quite amusing at times because he plays the straight man in a show full of crazy people. My one complaint is that Ishida is not the main character so his plans fall apart (usually through Ichigo racing in and doing something stupid), his attacks regularly don’t finish an enemy (because then what would Ichigo do), and all his evolution seems to be for nothing when the series continues to take the best moments away from him. That said, I’ll still put him as number 2 on my list.

Number 1: Toshiro Hitsugaya

It had to be. I already gave him a rave review when I did my Top 5 Cool Users of Ice Magic (amazingly Hitsugaya didn’t top the list but that is mostly because while Hitsugaya does in fact use ice he isn’t exactly relying on magic). Hitsugaya is an amazing character. He’s serious and hardworking and has an incredibly cool sword. Add to it his complete freak out when his childhood friend was in danger and just how scary he can look when angry and you have a truly fantastic character. Did I mention his sword? I’m sorry, his sword (which he carried on his back due to its length), allows him to control water and ice and he can use water in the air to regenerate his bankai (which is interesting), he can create ice pillars to encase his enemies, make a shield out of ice and so on and so forth. It’s a highly versatile weapon compared to the hack and slash some of the characters in this show are saddled with. Hitsugaya, can we get a spin off show just about you, please?

So that’s my list but I’d love to hear from other Bleach fans who they would have put on their lists. And yes, I know I left Ichigo off my list. That was a deliberate choice and not an oversight.

The Cabin in the Woods Movie Review

cabin

My very first movie review (yes, even I take a break from anime occasionally).

Overview:

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Then things go strange. And really, that’s all you can say about this without giving anything away. The review below is completely full of major plot points so please feel free to know the movie is awesome and go watch it before reading. I am also going to put a warning on some of the images below containing fairly gore filled images so if it isn’t your thing maybe pass.

cabin1

Review:

One thing about watching a lot of genre fiction is you learn early on that at least 70% of what you are watching is either formulaic, derivative, or just plain dribble. 20% of what remains is genuinely well written genre fiction and the final 10% is varying degrees of incredible depending on your mood and tastes. But, it also means that we get used to certain archetypes and set-ups and The Cabin in the Woods fully embraces this. In point of fact, without the entire body of horror stories sitting behind it, The Cabin in the Woods would fail terribly as a film. It takes your expectations and uses them as the basis for the entire narrative and it does it in a way that doesn’t seem smugly self-aware, even though the film clearly is.

cabin3

So why did I watch The Cabin in the Woods? There are plenty of other self-aware horror stories out there. Plenty of other gore-fests in isolated locations. Plenty of other conspiracy stories if that is what you are looking for. My honest answer would be Joss Whedon. Joss Whedon is the closest thing to a living legend in terms of the stories he has been a part of crafting and while not everything he touches turns to gold I find a real appeal in both his subject matter and delivery. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Doll House, these stories all take fairly common and basic ideas and yet made them feel fresh, new and interesting while just telling a solid and simple narrative. You can sum up each of the plots of these stories in a single sentence and yet you can’t convey how deep the lore and characters are without spending about a month pulling everything apart. So yes, I am a fan and The Cabin in the Woods certainly reinforced my admiration for Joss Whedon as a story teller (though certainly this is not a one man effort and while there are distinct traces of Whedon in this story it is distinctly different from some of his other works).

cabin4

Back to reviewing the actual movie rather than the people who worked on the movie. From the opening scenes we have a parallel narrative being established. On the one side we have the corporate or government workers who are worried about those upstairs and a project that literally has to be successful. These characters are very human in that they have friendships and history with one another that comes across clearly even while they are the faceless corporation and government workers who carry out whatever jobs they need to because it is their job. The building they work in is cold and sterile and this setting kind of works to distance the viewer. It actually reminded me a lot of the offices in Burn After Reading (and the reuse of an actor from that film just kind of reinforced that impression).

The other side of the coin are the college students. Two girls and three guys each fitting the standard archetype of characters in horror movies who are going to visit one of the guy’s cousins cabin in the woods. They don’t really know much about it and don’t seem to care because they are planning on a fun weekend. Our introduction to these characters is as cliché as it comes but we already know from the conversations in the other storyline that there is more going on which makes us pay more attention and we start picking up small details early on that are going to become very important to the story.

And that is where The Cabin in the Woods shines. It truly takes on the rule of Chekov’s Gun. There is nothing in this story that is introduced without purpose. The more assertive girl recently dyed her hair and this is commented on (in a perfectly natural way) when she meets with her friend before they meet the guys. The fact that this makes her the ‘blonde’ of the group plays on a cliché of horror movies and that would be enough to make it work but then we have the parallel story. Yep, that project they are all working on is to get these guys to the cabin (though why is still not revealed but heavily implied). We learn later that there’s been a lot of prep work for this trip and that included doctoring the dye used on the girl’s hair and that blonde die is literally making her act dumb (or at least not think clearly through her actions). Why would they do that? Well, other than embracing another horror cliche there’s actually a really good reason.

Seriously stop now if you don’t like spoilers.

cabin7.jpg

Turns out these guys have been selected to be sacrificed and you know, old gods/demons/whatevers really do have preferences. The whore or the modern dumb blonde cliché is about as typical as they come in terms of preferences for sacrifices in old legends. But what if the reason we see so many of these types of characters in horror movies is because these sacrifices are literal rather than legendary and our entire horror genre is built on an actual fear of a reality that is being orchestrated by our government?

So it all ties back in together. We embrace the cliché of horror because that stereotype is actually build on a reality that this movie is establishing as the basis of its entire plot. It makes you rethink every horror movie you have ever seen in the context of what if we only write these stories because we fear they are true.

Back to Chekov’s Gun the van they drive has a motorbike attached to the back which we get many lingering shots of as they drive toward the cabin. Okay, they are young and there are three guys so it makes sense. Except no one mentions it or even seems particularly like they are even aware of it. Then the van goes through a tunnel and we see that the road curves back on itself. Without going through the tunnel there’s a gap between the two roads with a steep drop. Okay, starting to put things together. And then an eagle that has been following the van hits an invisible force field that runs through that gap and the eagle explodes. Right… I see where this is going. Some people would argue that such obvious foreshadowing is a flaw but I really find it enhances this kind of viewing. You know what is coming and all that is left is how they manage to orchestrate the situation and deliver. So by the time one of the students attempts to go for help by jumping the gap on the motor bike you are on the edge of your seat and just waiting for the punch line and you are rewarded in truly spectacular fashion. The reaction of the other two characters is pretty priceless as well.

cabin6

We also get glimpses of the results of other countries attempts to orchestrate a sacrifice. The Japan one is pretty funny even while it is truly heart wrenching to think of young girls in that kind of situation. The resolution of that will make you laugh out loud even though by the time we get to the end of the film it turns out that it won’t make any difference.

cabin5

The passive way that the workers view the plight of the friends (and in point of fact orchestrate worst case scenarios for the friends) is disturbing. You wonder how humans can become so detached and carry out their duties in such a manner when they can see the results on the screen right in front of them. But they are detached, when they aren’t placing bets and celebrating their success at setting up a violent death. And while the motives of those who work in this corporation are clear by the end you still can’t help but wonder about the morality of taking on such a job or how you would feel if you were the one given such a responsibility. Not to mention, it is hard to know how you feel about the absolute massacre of workers at the end. Part of you wants to rejoice because of what they did to the students and part of you just feels horrible that you feel good about them getting killed without remorse.

cabin2

Before I wrap this up (because this is getting long) I do want to address the end of the movie. Amazing and twisted. Amazingly awesome and twisted. It’s fantastic. This is the perfect mix of satire on human condition, embracing horror stereotypes, and modern corporate culture, with a whole lot of supernatural violence overlaying the entire thing and a bit of comedy. Okay, it is a gore fest and visually there are some real cringe worthy moments, but it also has a lot to say while sitting back and happy just to be horror film. So you can watch and enjoy without thinking about anything because it is a survival horror. Or you can question everything and pull all the ideas apart and still end up with something pretty fantastic.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I kind of loved this film. It is exactly to my tastes in terms of subject matter, characterisation, and delivery. While part of me really wished the group had chosen something else in the basement (I love how we get hints about how different the story could have gone) going with the cliché further reinforces the overall narrative structure and it works. Plus, at least they don’t have to spend half the movie explaining the rules about the zombies. There’s an assumption that the audience already know the story because we’ve seen that element before).

If you love any kind of horror, you have to check out this movie. If you’ve watched it, I’d love to know your thoughts.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 9

kiss9

Review:

This episode of Kiss Him, Not Me at least avoided making me actively question how it is choosing to portray romance this week but that’s pretty much only because we first shifted the scene to a beach episode (because who doesn’t love those) and the focus this week shifted to Shinomiya who has so far been pretty much of a nothing character save for a few arguments with the other guys. So the beach part of the episode (surfing, body boarding, suggestion of volleyball, BBQ, the forest at night, and a ghost scare) is all pretty standard and neither particularly good nor bad. It just kind of is. Shinomiya on the other hand is now the character I like second least in the series. Apparently familiarity really doesn’t help in this case because amazingly enough the underclassman plagued by self-doubt and worried about his own inadequacies does not make for a compelling romantic lead nor a particularly interesting character and when the back drop for our focus on him is as generic as it comes there just isn’t any reason to like him at this point.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS Episode 9

wixoss9

Review:

We now have a clear link back to the other installments in the WIXOSS franchise but they’ve done this in a way that even those with limited familiarity will still be fine to follow the plot. Also, we finally find out what happens when you have all five golden coins. This episode is intense. From Chinatsu ignoring warnings and continuing to bull-headedly believe that she’s now free and choosing her own path, to the LRIGs and the various games they are playing, to the object lesson of what some LRIGs think of being human, to the final battle and reveal, there is so much going on and parts of this episode get dark. It was a job to watch but definitely not light viewing. This season of WIXOSS is delivering a fairly solid emotional experience though the question of whether they can wrap up their story in a satisfactory manner still remains.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS is available on Crunchyroll.

Bungo Stray Dogs Episode 22

bungo22

Review:

The first half of this episode of Bungo was great fun. Rampo was doing his thing and coming to the realisation he doesn’t have a gift and really not wanting to admit that.

Bungo22b.JPG

Okay, I just like Rampo so the diversion from the Agency/Guild/Mafia war to have a confrontation between two ‘detectives’ through the use of a locked room mystery novel was kind of awesome and thoroughly enjoyable.

Then we move to the second part of the episode which sees Dazai and Rampo concoct a plan involving getting Atsushi back on the Moby Dick and of course things go a bit wrong with the plan except that Dazai has of course accounted for that.

It’s weird that when Rampo figures things out that he really shouldn’t be able to I find it an endearing character trait but when Dazai does it I just find him obnoxious.

Anyway, looks like next week should be interesting.

Bungo Stray Dogs is available on Crunchyroll.

In Case You Missed It

Momokuri20

This week it is definitely a case of me missing it. There were nearly three days where I just didn’t get to read anything (life, work and illness all getting in the way). Fortunately, I still did get to some blogs this week and I’ve included some interesting posts below. Feel free to add a link to any posts you came across that you thought were interesting in the comments below. However, if you haven’t yet taken part in the poll, please jump over to this post and let me know what you think the best anime of 2016 was (or is).

Cain S Latrani revisits Sword Art Online and looks at the Fairy Dance Arc. This is a nice balanced look at the good points and the flaws with this arc and these are hard to come by given most of us either hate this particular arc or are too in love with the series to be objective. It’s a great post to check out.

Pop Culture Uncovered gives us 5 Dumb Reasons Not To Like Anime where they discuss the usual terrible reasons people give for not liking anime when they haven’t really tried it.

Two Girls Gaming have a write up about the No Man’s Sky update. As I’ve been too busy playing FFX (and you know working and watching anime) I haven’t really gotten into No Man’s Sky over the last week so I still haven’t checked this out but if you want some details this is a good post.

I just have to share this post from Lethargic Ramblings that discusses the possible release of a season 3 of Code Geass. They just hit every concern I have about this news and it is a post that I just have to include on this list. (Another post this week that you should check out from Lethargic Ramblings is their Let’s Talk that focuses on the hate for SAO.)

And Lethargic Ramblings isn’t the only one wondering what season 3 of Code Geass is all about (or why it even exists). Mechanical Anime Reviews looks at long awaited sequels and why Code Geass isn’t necessarily one of them.

Cauthan Reviews gives us a great review of Paranoia Agent. For those who haven’t watched the anime this is a really interesting one to get into so check out this review.

Pages of the World looks at what Barakamon taught them about writing. There’s some good writing advice here as well as some great examples from the anime. I haven’t come across this blog before (mostly because they don’t normally write about anime) but I was really glad I found this post in my reader this week because it was a great read.

Anime Reviewer Girl (who I could probably feature most weeks really so if you haven’t checked out her blog, you really should) posted a video counting down her top 5 anime girls who kick ass. It’s a great list and I loved her reasoning and I also loved that some of her choices were not the usual suspects (though I definitely liked her number 1).

And that’s all from me this week but please feel free to share a link to any great post you read that I’ve not come across or mentioned.

Flip Flappers Episode 9

flip9

Review:

Was it just me, or did we feel closer to getting a reveal this week? Not that we actually had a reveal that makes anything make sense but we finally saw some back story about why Yayaka is so hung up on Cocona and the fact that their relationship was orchestrated in the first place (meaning there really is some reason why it had to be Cocona). Papika also kind of has some kind of awakening with regards to her memories so possibly we’re going to finally learn what her deal is in the next episode. This show continues to tip-toe around the edges of making sense without actually taking the plunge but this is probably the first episode that has given me real hope that there is a plan for this to all come together.

On a character note though, I do have to wonder if Cocona is just prone to following any random exuberant kid who takes her hand and drags her out of her comfort zone.

Flip Flappers is available on AnimeLab.

DanMachi Series Review

is-it-wrong-to-try-to-pick-up-girls-in-a-dungeon-season-2-release-date-spoilers-for-danmachi-e1436273064961

Overview:

In a fantasy world, Bell Cranel wants to be an adventurer and wants to meet the love of his life in a dungeon. With the divine blessing of his Goddess, Hestia, Bell is going to work hard to become strong.

Review:

Alright, I avoided this anime when it first came out. The name “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” was kind of an instant turn-off and I just had this image of the most generic harem comedy in existence and wasn’t going to go near it. No idea why I ended up watching the first episode of it, but I do know that I then watched the entire show in the space of an afternoon.

screenshot-4_13_2015-6_12_31-pm

Is it generic fantasy? Definitely. You have dungeons and elves and minotaurs and you’ve got a whole pile of RPG elements thrown in with levelling up and stat scores and the like. It isn’t trying to break new ground in its world building but neither is it playing these things as a joke. While the feel of the show is light-hearted they’ve taken world-building seriously and the world you are presented with is a very functional setting for a story.

Do we have a harem? Not quite but pretty close. Bell does have a lot of admirers by the end but to actually describe this as a harem comedy would not do justice to either this or to harems because while there are certainly elements of harem here, that isn’t the main focus despite the title. There is one girl that Bell likes and he uses that like as a motivation to drive himself to get stronger. While other characters flock around him and the usual comedy elements get thrown in, the story focusses very much on Bell developing as a character.

is-it-wrong-to-try-to-pick-up-girls-in-a-dungeon-noob-pulled-aggro

So what works about this show? The comedy is a little bit childish and over the top at times, but it generally works and is amusing. Hestia in particular can usually make me smile. But then again, the idea of a Goddess taking on part time jobs to buy her hero equipment (or even dinner in the early stages) is pretty amusing in and of itself. Pretty much if you don’t crack a smile during the first episode then this show isn’t going to work for you because from a tone point of view it isn’t really going anywhere and they are only going to get more excessive in their efforts to make you laugh.

Bell Cranel works as a character. Okay, he’s a bit bland as a character (generic self-insert cliché) but the story allows for him to grow and actually begin to make decisions and choices and to start to find out who he is. And unlike so many other characters he doesn’t discover he is actually an ego-maniac. He discovers that he genuinely wants to have an adventure and to protect his friends and he derives great joy from his small (and not so small) successes.

The interactions between the gods and the gods and their families work really well. I feel a little hypocritical on this point because they do a great job of massacring mythology in this and I’ve certainly criticised other shows for this previously, however I didn’t feel annoyed by the way they presented the gods in this show. They also didn’t try to shove their version of mythology down your throat. It was more they had god like characters who happen to have the names of gods you may or may not be familiar with and as a result you may or may not like the way they are represented. That said, the interactions are great.

Bell’s party that slowly forms is fantastic. Originally hiring a supporter (who comes with a lot of baggage) before recruiting a smith (who also comes with a lot of baggage), these additional characters really help to off-set Bell’s general blandness and inject new energy into the second half of the series. Welf Crozzo (the smith) is one of my favourite characters and my only complaint would be his limited screen time given how late in the series he is introduced.

dungeon-cast

Then we have the dungeon exploration itself which is just pure fun. Whether the characters are picking off small fry or facing up against a floor boss, the combat is visually entertaining and hits just the right balance between being dramatic and being over the top. Bell’s battle against the minotaur is one I will continue to love forever. It perfectly brought together the previous plot points (Bell being embarrassed when he was cornered by a minotaur and being unable to fight against it as well as his desire to protect), it allowed for some critical character development and a bit of a power-up in the process before we moved into the final arc, and it was an awesome fight to watch. I loved every minute of that fight.

So, we now get to my major criticism and that is the final arc of the series. It doesn’t feel complete and the final boss fight is probably the most boring battle of the entire series. Bigger enemy doesn’t necessarily make for a better fight and it actually felt like all the clever moves and strategies that we’d see previous got tossed out the window as the characters en masse threw themselves at the giant blob of a villain (little bit sarcastic but you get the idea).  Admittedly, it ends the way it needs to for Bell as a character, but as a viewer you gain little satisfaction. And really, it all just feels like a resting point for a continuation that has yet to come, though I guess we’ll see if it ever does (rumours say yes, but they’ve been wrong before).

Okay, I have to mention my other criticism which is the basic dress of every female character (even the armoured ones). Starting from Hestia on, they are not dressed for any practical purpose and while some of the male costumes aren’t any better there is at least a wider variety of clothes for males.

danmachi-characters-670x212

Is this show going to blow your mind and change the way you think? Probably not. What it should do is provide you with a few smiles, some exhilarating fight sequences, and a whole cast of cute and zany characters to chill out with for an afternoon. If that sounds appealing, pull up a chair and give it a watch.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 8

natsume8

Review:

So not Reiko’s past but Matoba and Natori’s which was kind of interesting but just left me wanting to know more about how they grew as exorcists and why their relationship seems so fractured in the present. Natsume is conspicuously absent for the duration of this episode and most likely that’s because Natori is a very Natsume-like character as a child (though just a little bit more bitter). And this is something we already knew. Natori wanted the life Natsume has but wasn’t strong enough to fight for it and ultimately gave up on it. He chose the path of an exorcist and that’s a path Natsume has so far resisted though Natsume has come to the conclusion that occasionally an exorcism is needed for some yokai. Ultimately this episode brings to life what we already knew and that is that both Natori and Matoba have struggled with their ability to see yokai and we clearly see why they are both drawn to Natsume. As usual, any episode with Matoba or Natori is one of my favourites and these two were the focus this week so I absolutely loved this.

 

Autumn 2016 Week 9

autumn-overview

Week 9 has come and I am getting really excited about the ends of some shows. Flip Flappers because I may eventually find out if there has been a point to anything. WIXOSS because I’d love to see just how much pain they are going to bring for the finale. Izetta because I’ve liked it a little less each week. And Natsume and Yuri on Ice because they have been such great shows that while I’d like them to never end seeing some sort of resolution will be immensely satisfying.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below, and if you haven’t already voted jump on over to this post and take part in the poll. Let me know what you think the best show of 2016 was.

tumblr_m6if6m8d431rz8x2qo1_500

I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 9)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 8)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 7)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 21)

Yuri on Ice delivered another great week of character development and then gave us such a beautifully touching reunion at the airport. I’m just loving this show, rough edges and all and occasional awkward moment of dialogue or comedy. The characters and the emotions just sell it so well and at this point it would have to actively work at repelling me to make me not like this show.

Natsume delivered a strong episode but probably only because I really loved the focus characters this week (otherwise it was much the same as every other episode). Still loving this return to Natsume.

Bungo Stray Dogs gave us a much better episode than last week (again with the absence of Atsushi). This show has definitely found a more level tone this season than season 1, though still has a few slip-ups from time to time.

No episode of March Comes in Like a Lion this week.

akagami2b-2b062b-2

Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 21)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 33)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 8)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 9)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 9)

Days managed to really keep me interested this week even though the entire episode was a play of part of a game of soccer. Some good character interactions and developments as well as some light humour and drama just kept it moving. This was Days when it gets it right and that makes it really enjoyable. Even the low moments of the series are more a bit dull than actually bad.

Iron Blooded Orphans was pretty ho-hum this week but the show has been consistently okay so I’m not moving it. That said, if WIXOSS continues to build to a decent ending it may cause Orphans to slide down the list a bit.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS  feels now like we are genuinely building toward something. What that something is remains to be seen but it kind of feels like we are close and I’m genuinely excited to see what happens next.

Flip Flappers also gave me the feeling like things might come together this week and that we’re going somewhere. I still don’t know how they are going to explain everything but there is a definite sense of forward motion in the story at this point.

Izetta might be heading for a decent finish after a mediocre middle if this episode can be believed. I’m not entirely convinced that we won’t go back to pointless fan service next week and let any tension drop out of the plot, but at least we have a good set-up for a final conflict after the events this week. If it plays out well, this might even move back up the list a bit after its free-fall over the last few weeks.

hyouka-13-houtarou-alone-bored-happy-content

Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 9)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 9)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 9)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 8)

Trickster continues to take a fairly interesting concept and deliver it in the most boring and lacklustre way possible (bright colours and a fast paced sound-track do not exciting viewing make). Anyway, I’m really thinking that 12 episodes of this will be enough (unless I don’t find enough shows to watch next season), so my plan at this point is to watch until the new shows are released and then let this go.

Bloodivores is just a mess of a show. There is no nicer way to describe it than that. It just has no idea what it wants to be or how to deliver that story so we just keep slinging ideas around that kind of look interesting but lack any kind of cohesion.

Nazotokine continues to be pretty pointless and this episode (with the exception of a reveal at the end) is probably the most pointless of all so far. While it isn’t painful to watch it also isn’t fun and it isn’t really doing much of anything. Once this is done odds are I won’t even remember watching it.

To be absolutely fair, Kiss Him, Not Me is a better anime than any of the other three in this category and yet it is going to be the next one I drop because it is back to actively offending me. That said, for those who’ve been enjoying it and are happy to take the relationships in the story the way they are intended without trying to impose real world morals onto them, it’s probably not that bad of a story. For me, after this week  I am really struggling to see the relationships as anything other than problematic which kind of ruins any immersion in the show.

3356735_1378638347097-59res_413_300

Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • 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)

And the question this, which show are you still watching that you wish you had dropped?