[My Hero Academia: Two Heroes] To the Future!

Hero Academia has laid claim to a special place in my heart. quickly becoming a beloved series in which I have invested a lot of time (and money) in. It’s also the first series in which I’ve really encountered a series’ “fandom” and the toxicity that lurks in the darkest corners of its universe.

But that’s another topic for another day, let’s talk about the movie. I’m gonna be honest, this is probably going to be straight biased because this series is so near and dear to me. You’ve been warned.


image sourceC

Tuesday, September 25, was the premiere of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes movie out here in the bay area of the sweet sunny state of California (you like that homestate plug?)

I’m very fortunate to be 10-15 minutes to any theater that decides to show any of these anime films. Funimation’s outreach in the bay area is really great; I wish I could say the same about Crunchyroll’s Movie Night events (those are really hard to find, and I’m not about to trek an hour out to see it).

That being said, I almost missed the opportunity to catch Hero Academia because 1) I should’ve just bought the tickets the moment they were released and 2) I shouldn’t wait to get a response to see if anyone wants to go.

I decided to catch both the subbed and the dubbed versions. The dubbed was Tuesday night, and it was a solo night for me since the theater was so close to work. Subbed was Wednesday night with my cousins (also Hero Academia fans). It was midway through the subbed version when I realized, one time would’ve sufficed. LOL.

Set sometime after Season 2 before they go to their summer training camp, a lot of our cast heads to the moving I-Island, an island full of the brightest minds in the world, as guests to the I-Expo.

A Solid Core

Now, I’ve seen my fair share of off timeline movie spin-offs, and have always felt rather disappointed by just how far off they veer from their original content. However, Two Heroes does this incredibly well. The core of what I love about Hero Academia is not lost in this film, if anything it blends well with the main story line, and is a great supportive piece to the series. The campy humor of Uraraka’s jealousy and Bakugou’s outburts were there but didn’t overpower the scenes they were in. It was more like boom, there it happened now let’s move onto the next thing without having repetive jokes throughout the film. It just kept moving with no stalls. Of course my best boy Izuku was just splendid to watch, especially his moves and fight scenes, it’s such a progression from what we see in the series, and am glad to see such massive development in fighting style.

Memorable Characters

Another thing I found rather enjoyable about the film was the introduction of the our second lead next to Midoriya. Melissa Shield. She’s a student on I-island and her Father is a rather famous scientist, whose won something like a Novel Peace Prize. and All Might’s niece (not by blood) and she had so much to her character, that I really hope they would somehow tie her into the main storyline, but it’s unlikely because there’s already a character like her in the main cast (I’m looking at you Hatsume!) There was just a lot of depth to Melissa, that she quickly became someone I really loved in the span of the film. She was the more calm logical scientific type of person when it comes to support items, a far cry from Hatsume’s mad scientist ways.

The Future of Heroes

My takeaway theme of the film was embedded in the idea of the future. With the next generation underway in becoming the future great heroes they’re supposed to be, it was very heartening to see the bright future that could be led by Izuku and Melissa if they were to work in tandem at some point in their careers, much like All Might and David Shield. The parallel’s to the two pairs were really great; past and future, and the development of a great working relationship.

Overall the theme of “passing the torch” was prevalent to the film and was incredibly relevant to the series as a whole; especially with All Might’s impending retirement.


So, did you guys get to catch the film at the closest theater near you? What did you guys think of the film? Did you agree, or disagree with what I’ve said so far about the film?

I tried to not spoil the story for those who are anticipating a Crunchyroll release like Bungou Stray Dogs’ Dead Apple (I’m really hoping Crunchyroll does get it).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! ūüôā

[Zel’s Anime Breakdown]: Summer 2018: Volume 2

Hey guys and welcome back to Zel’s Anime Breakdown! The first volume was a success, and I’m glad you all like my little spin on the “weekly” review thing. Granted,¬† this one is coming rather late. Sometimes time just seems to pass by in the blink of an eye and yeah. But anyways, I’ll give a more personal update soon.

The season opener of Attack on Titan Season 3 takes the cake for the next two sub-categories.

Scene-Stealer
levi in action
screencap via crunchyroll

Levi’s action scene through the town, was just phenomenal. The sharp angles, the perspectives, there was just a high level of animation in this sequence that I just…I can’t. Levi has been one of my favorites coming into this series, and this scene was just as dynamic as the manga. Color me impressed really. Action-packed ending was great, despite the cliffhanger.

Character Spotlight
historia reiss history,
screencap via crunchyroll

Historia Reiss. I’ve been¬†waiting for the longest time for this arc to be animated, and I’m just…so happy and excited. I’ve written about Historia before for a Women Crush Wednesday post, that could be found here.

She was a standout during the first few episodes because we got to learn more about who Historia is, and her facade has dropped and we see her for who she really is. She’s actually not the happy go lucky girl we knew and love from previous seasons as Christa. It’s really heartbreaking to hear how Historia was raised by an unaffectionate unloving mother who ignored her at every turn.¬† This scene especially was sad, she was happy that her Mother physically touched her, even if it was a shove to get Historia away from her. The look of pure joy at this gesture is just…*sigh*

Episode Breakdown*

“Class 1-A”, Episode 55,¬†My Hero Academia, Season 3.

I have to say, as a manga reader of the series, this episode came a bit out of left field, and I had wondered why the content felt so foreign, and it’s because, it is.

The first half of the episode featuring Todoroki’s battle and Yaoyorozu’s battle were original content to the anime. It’s a bit of filler to the main story of¬†Hero Academia, but it doesn’t detract from the main story. This episode was done fairly well in integrating these battles for several reasons.

todoroki solo battle
screencap via crunchyroll

Todoroki’s penchant for going solo into battle and trying to work alone is emphasized here in the anime, and I think it’s rather important for some key elements that will become apparent as the season draws to a close. In the manga, however, Todoroki’s battle was a mere single page-showing that he overpowered his opponents alone without any trouble – which is opposite to how it’s depicted in the anime. Todoroki is strong alone, but the fact that he works alone is a deterrent to his growth – the anime wanted to emphasize that, and I think it was successful.

yaoyorozu battle episode 55, season 3 my hero academia
screencap via crunchyroll

Yaoyorozu’s battle alongside Jirou, Tsuyu and Shoji can be broken down into a few elements. It continues to show Momo’s progress in her ability to quickly think through a situation. Granted, a lot of our female cast has been cast aside for a lot of Midoriya’s improvement alongside the other boys. But when they do highlight the girls, they do it incredibly well. Case in point, Momo’s opponent’s quirk is¬†“IQ”. I mean, the girl’s quirk is to literally think through her situation, and yet she got bested by Momo. We already know that Momo is the smartest in her class, as she is ranked number 1 in terms of grade standings.

The more important element of this battle reinforces Aizawa’s speech at the end of the episode. I personally felt that the manga speech was far more compelling/eloquent than what Aizawa actually said, so I’ll be referencing that instead.

“When it comes to class 1-A, one thing becomes obvious after watching them long enough. They probably haven’t realized it themselves, but the class revolves around a certain pair.¬† It’s not that they bring everyone together or serve as pillars or anything like that. In fact, these two don’t get along. But at one point or another, they infected the rest of their class with their passion and fervor.¬† It’s odd, but at least one of them is sure to be at the heart of every storm. So, no, Joke, I’m not worried. I’m expecting big things. The very presence of those two…raises the bar for the entire class.”

class 1-a wonder duo
“Wonder Duo” – screencap via crunchyroll

Throughout the series, we’ve seen a number of classmates be influenced by our “Wonder Duo” (so aptly named by All Might – which the anime completely skipped on). Yaoyorozu’s battle, we see her and Shouji in a¬†what would Midoriya¬†do? moment.¬† Yes, she referred to Todoroki and Iida first, but at the end of her thoughts, it’s what Midoriya says that really sticks to her. We also, see how Midoriya’s tenacity has affected Uraraka moreso than anyone else. It’s why she likes him so much, (I’ll have to touch on Uraraka in a future episode because I find her development to be quite great). And, despite Bakugou’s rough nature, we see that he’s influenced Kaminari and Kirishima most. However, the duo in general has affected the entire class wholly, and are the baselines for achievement, and I, much like All Might, can’t wait to see what these two can do as hero’s that both win and rescue.

*note: I’m considering creating a separate post for¬†episode breakdown¬†just because this might be something I’d like to do for any number of series that I’m invested in.¬†

General Thoughts
Attack on Titan
Episode 38, 39 & 40

Kenny finally makes an appearance alongside what appears to be new and improved gear that’s meant to attack humans versus titans.¬† It’s clear that Kenny has influenced/raised Levi considering the level of understanding in how the other one acts and thinks in battle. However, since Levi has probably gained a lot more experience over the years of absence of the other – it’s no surprise that Levi is accustomed to adapting moreso now than before.

armin questions his humanity
screencap via crunchyroll

The level of blood and gore is still prevalent, and more so humanizing now that the Military Police is going after the Scouts. It’s not just fighting “monsters” but rather the battle between humanity inside the walls that had no reason to occur prior to the uncovering of some of the wall’s mysteries.¬†¬†Levi makes killing look so effortless that I’m sure it stuns a lot of the younger soldiers – especially Jean, who’s starting to struggle with the fact they have to fight other humans now instead. The internal moral debate for Jean to take another life is an important theme being explored in the series as a whole, with special regard to the newfound information that Titan’s were at some point human. Whereas Armin has already embraced that it’s a kill or be killed moment; he questions his humanity after, how easy it was to just pull the trigger to save Jean, but let’s not forget that Armin was also the one to say, “To defeat a monster, you must be willing to throw aside your humanity and all that makes you human.” Levi has to instill in them that this is the only way they’re going to survive given the new climate they face, as they are now labeled as the enemy to the crown and Military Police. He’s even said that he himself isn’t sure what’s right or wrong. At his core, Levi only knows how to survive – which is clear since he decided to team up with Reeves even though he was working with the enemy. He’s doing what he can with whatever is at his disposal to get ahead. That speaks volumes of where Levi has been.

Seeing the kids in this season again, made me realize, they look so much more different than previous seasons. They’re so much more mature looking now. Whether that’s because of the stress and trauma that have caused them to age rapidly, or just the time lapse that’s occurring in the series, it’s jarring but it’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. It’s just taking me awhile to adjust to how they look.

Again, there are some slight differences between the anime and the manga, but they’re not huge deterrents. Granted, I stopped reading the manga sometime in the following arc. It became too much for me to comprehend. LOL, I’ll have to re-visit it sometime.

Banana Fish
Episode 3
ash lynx kicks garvey
screencap via amazon prime video

Ash is in jail, and Max Lobo has been asked to “protect” Ash. However, he’s definitely not the type that really¬†needs to be protected. Max and Ash also come to the revelation that they have a link to one another, banana fish and Ash’s brother. Max has shown remorse for abandoning Ash’s brother when he needed help, but had no idea that the guy was still alive.

The plot thickens in this episode. Especially now that Eiji has been drawn in. I find it fascinating that Ash has already chosen Eiji as the person he trusts to help him out on the outside. Given how “innocent” Eiji is, I feel like this is asking for all kinds of trouble. What exactly is Banana Fish?¬† Is it a person? A drug cartel? The drug itself? I guess we’ll find out the more as each episode goes on. I’m quite behind on this, show..so maybe the next volume of this series will talk more about it.

Hanebado
Episode 3 & 4

I have to say, the melodrama is getting to be a bit excessive for me. I get it Hanesaki is dealing with some issues when it comes to her mom, but it’s starting to get a little drawn out.¬† I’d like to see more of the sports aspect of this than the drama. Also, Hanesaki’s opponents seem to just be a tad over the top. Animation is great when they actually¬†do play badminton, and that alone is enough for me to continue the series.

Cell’s at Work (Hataraka Saibo)
Episode 2 & 3.

Each of these episodes have been quite cute, but I am afraid it has been pretty gimmicky like I thought in my first impression of the episode. Though I think the Influenza episode was scary just because they portrayed it as a horror with zombies. I felt bad for the naive t-cell but thought his progression at the end was hilarious.

Still a cute series, I’ll be continuing to watch whenever I get a chance.


What do you think of the series’ that you’re watching now that we’re more than halfway through the season? Have shows lost a bit of their shine lately?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. I’m also considering anime breakdowns of older series’ but still contemplating the name. Per usual, too many ideas and not enough time to execute them; so we’ll see!

[Take Your Marks!] The Starting Line of a New Future

It’s no secret that I’m a¬†Free!¬†fanatic. So it should be no surprise that when¬†Free! Take Your Marks announced it’s North American release that I was probably one of the first in line waiting for theaters to be announced. And boy, did I luck out. The theater they decided to show it at was one exit off the freeway from where my office is (about like 5 minutes).

img_9281.jpgNow before I start to fangirl discuss/review the film, I’m just gonna keep it real with you. Not only was I counting down the days till the release (you probably saw my twitter feed) I was hyping myself up at work…

The day of the release I could hardly contain my excitement. Trying to be productive at work, I somehow managed to accomplish tasks by listening to¬†Ever Blue and¬†Clear Blue Departure¬†while smiling like a total dork,¬†and then getting really emotional/teary-eyed listening to¬†Sousuke’s character song¬†Just Wanna Know.¬†That guy is…..just…¬†so misunderstood, I can’t even begin to express my affinity for Sousuke Yamazaki.

But I digress, let’s get to the film.

Free! Take Your Marks consists of 4 “episodes” that takes place pretty much after Season 2 as the boys get ready to take on the next chapter of their lives:

  • #1: Unmei no Choice! (Destined Choice!)
  • #2: Hiyu no Cooling Down! (Secret Hot Spring Cooling Down!)
  • #3: Kessoku no Butterfly! (United Butterfly!)
  • #4: Tabitachi no Eternal Blue! (Departing Eternal Blue!)

I won’t go into the specifics of each of these episodes (avoiding spoilers, and for the life of me I can go on and on about these), but they were all inter-related to one another. There probably could’ve been a better way to transition the 4 together than a semi-abrupt ending and a blank screen that seemed to linger longer than necessary. But that’s my only gripe about the movie.

A Different Side

Surprisingly, the content was vastly different to what we’ve seen in Season 1 and Season 2. It was a long cry from the angst and melodrama we’ve grown accustomed to. While there were some tiny bits of angst, they were few and far between, and not drawn out longer than necessary. Granted some of those moments formed around Sousuke, but that’s understandable; we’re not sure what his future holds. He’s on the precipice of choosing between giving up swimming completely or considering rehabilitation in order for him to swim again. I hope Season 3 resolves what Sousuke decides to do. He deserves the world and more. There’s also a scene of Haru and Rin that was melodramatic, BUT it was done in a campy humorous way; definitely not meant to be taken seriously.

All the Characters!

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image via funimation

Ugh, seriously guys. All the boys were present in this one. Makoto and Haru’s previous relay teammates Asahi and Ikuya from Middle School and their beloved senpai’s Natsuya and Nao from¬†High Speed were all present in some shape or form. Okay, so here…at least give me this section to fangirl about all the pretty boys! Please, please, please? It’s up to you if you wanna read about it, I’m still gonna do it. It’s my blog after all. ūüėõ

Asahi Shiina

Free-TYM_1080-x-1920_AsahiAsahi shows up in the Light Novel¬†High Speed, and in the movie¬†Starting Days. He’s a rambunctious kid – the type to annoy you. He struggled with the feeling of inadequacy when he saw Haru swim in¬†Starting Days, but with the help of a certain megane he crossed paths with that encouraged him to try “mental training” he was able to get over his slump. Years, later we see him roaming his hometown calling up his friend looking much much more mature. He’s still the same old energetic, loud kid with a bright personality, but from that scrawny kid in middle school, he sure grew up to be one of the pretty boys, puberty did him justice.

 

Ikuya Kishishima

Free-TYM_1080-x-1920_Ikuya.jpgBut, what I really loved about their appearances was exactly HOW they interwove all of their stories and timelines to coincide with the present. Firmly depicting this idea of “bonds” that connect them in their brotherhood that is swimming together. Their paths have crossed one another before and will continue to cross until they reach their goal: to see and swim together again. Fate led them to swim together to begin with, and fate will re-unite them. I know, it sounds cheesy, but that’s what Free! is all about, the depiction of friendships, how deeply these characters have connected and bonded together through swimming. The movie in a nutshell nicely sets up Season 3.

 

Natsuya Kishishima & Nao Serizawa

I decided to lump these two together just because their screentime was barely there in comparison to Ikuya and Asahi. The senpai’s of high speed are shown to still be in the swimming world, and actually I believe Makoto will probably run into Nao and some point. The way they tied Nao back into the fold was a bit of a stretch, because: cosmic intervention and destiny, but hey I’ll take it! As for Natsuya, he had a bit of a melodramatic scene, who vents their frustrations to a stranger buying a drink at the vending machine? Also, how he appears was another cosmic intervention; he just happened to be there at the right time with the right people.

But I love how they were able to somehow tie these two dorks back in. Like I said earlier, I’ll buy into the whole ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ thing just because at the core of¬†Free! I find that there’s something whimsical about their outlook on the future. Yes, fate plays a huge role in this series. It was fate that Haru, Nagisa and Makoto met Rin again. It was fate that Asahi met Rei at the bookstore in middle school. It was fate that Makoto found his calling to coaching so haphazardly.

Final Thoughts

Free_Take_Your_Marks_01024610
image via funimation

Bottom line is that this movie was full of fluffy happiness and tons and tons of laughter.¬† I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen EVERYONE smile like that for long periods of time. Lots of “aww” moments, the ‘ships were there, but they didn’t dominate or overwhelm the story that was being told. Their growth of angsty middle schoolers and teens is slowly ebbing away.

But that leaves the question. Is this the new phase of the boys? Will we see them grow confident as they pursue the next stage of their lives? Will we see the trials and tribulations of them trying to reach their dreams, and the angst that brings on? That would be more relatable than the angst they felt about their bonds with one another. I’m excited to see what Season 3 holds, and guys. I hope you’re ready, because I’ll be talking about¬†Free!¬†more this coming summer and obviously when the new season begins.

Crunchyroll Expo 2017

(author’s note: yes I know this is like super super months behind, but I finally finished it!)

This year, Crunchyroll hosted their very first Crunchyroll Expo (CRX) the weekend of August 25, 2017.. I bought the weekend pass the day of my birthday, as it was the cutoff date for them to mail passes to attendees. That alone was one of the main reasons I ended up checking it out. I didn’t have to do the whole line-con thing just to get a badge. The only other convention I’ve had the chance to go to is Fanime both in 2016 and 2017. I got a weekend pass; but ended up attending 2 of the three days. I was just too exhausted by Saturday night, so I skipped the last day.

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from my personal instagram

Continue reading “Crunchyroll Expo 2017”

[Guest Blogger] My Best Friend Became a Courtesan: Men of Yoshiwara- Hayabusa Main Story Review

Today marks an exceptionally special day as today we have a special guest post from Naja at Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! We’ve been working on this post for awhile and it has finally come to fruition! This is a first for me in a few ways. My first otome review and the first collab, so I was really excited when Naja approached me with the idea! So without further ado, here’s Naja’s post!

Hello, Heroes and Travelers, I‚Äôm Pokeninja90 from the gaming blog Nice Job Breaking It, Hero and Hazel and I have been cooking up something special for you guys… *drumroll* A super special collaboration game review for the otome game, Men of Yoshiwara-Kikuya!!

men-of-yoshiwara

So the background, I absolutely love otome games and since I started my blog a little over two years ago, I have made it my mission to spread the gospel of otoge to anyone and everyone I come into contact with. So when I met Hazel a few months ago, I of course gave her the whole otome pitch, okay who am I kidding, I mostly spammed her with 2D Bishies on Line, but miraculously all of my efforts paid off! Hazel took the bait, and I have been slowly corrupting her ever since… ah, a friendship born from a love of 2D men, there’s nothing purer! *wipes tear from eye* Anyhow, so I asked Hazel if she was interested in doing an otome themed collaboration post where we each play a game/route, afterwards we’d each write review about it which we would then post on each other’s blogs. And since this was her first ever otome game review, I let her pick the game and route… she chose childhood friend turned courtesan, Hayabusa!

Continue reading “[Guest Blogger] My Best Friend Became a Courtesan: Men of Yoshiwara- Hayabusa Main Story Review”

Winter 2017: First Impressions

We’re into week 1-2 of the winter season and I thought that since I probably couldn’t handle doing episodic reviews per show, I’ve decided I¬†could attempt a weekly review post encapsulating all the shows I’ve been watching. I may be adding to this list at some point – I still haven’t gotten around to seeing what other shows have to offer.

Breakout Show:

Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish)
This season so far has been a bit lackluster in terms of first episodes and the spread is a bit sparse. There’s an abundance of romcom’s this season, but while they’re entertaining they’re not gripping. I had a few on my anticipated list found¬†here, and so far Scum’s Wish has pulled me in more than all my other shows.

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Scum’s wish¬†doesn’t fall under the romcom genre, it’s more serious and¬†a bit on the dark side. A story about two teens engaging¬†in a physical relationship to cope with their unrequited love for¬†another person is all kinds of messed up – especially when they start pretend they’re being physical with the person they’re in love with.¬†I had started the manga a few months ago and found the premise a bit dark and twisted but I was intrigued because I love stories like that. I was pleasantly surprised by a number things on the show. The story of unrequited love is quite strong and the despair indicated by both Hana and Mugi is expressed well with their dull expressions, empty eyes and monotone voices.¬†The art style is beautiful, and the sequences of scenes pulls you in. The breakout panels put an emphasis on the character’s demeanor. For example, in the¬†screenshot below, Hana watches her crush engage in a flirtatious conversation with another teacher there are two independent panels that float on screen. One panel shows Hana’s¬†point of view looking at the two from far away, while¬†the other panel,¬†is¬†the watcher’s¬†point of view with¬†Hana just behind her unrequited love’s shoulder. I found this isolation of Hana¬†framed behind him¬†further emphasized her loneliness as an outsider looking in and that as shown, she’s probably furthest thing in the back of his mind. I found this scene to be really powerful in terms of expressing what loneliness looks like to our characters.

Kuzu_no_Honkai.png

 

As for the Others this season:


Acca: 13-ku kansatsu-ka
ACCA.png
Right off the starting line, I’m hooked onto this show for some architectural reasons more specifically urban planning. As the show progresses I’ll be paying attention to what I’ve picked up on, and at the end I’ll probably put together a ‘Sunday Special’¬†dedicated to some architectural theory on the urban landscape that makes up¬†the¬†Dowa Kingdom and the 13 districts. ¬†There was a lot of info given in the intro so I made sure to make note of it for a future post! I’m kind of excited about the possibilities this can go into.
Masamune-kun no Revenge
offer_of_help.png

Ah sweet sweet revenge. The vindictiveness of Masamune-kun is not a bad gimmick for this rom-com. I’ve found the first two episodes to be enjoyable and it has given me quite a few laughs. What I like about Masamune-kun’s character so far is that despite the false bravado that his vanity gives him he’s still the same insecure kid on the inside. I had a feeling that Aki’s subordinate was the one that remembered him; but the twist that she’s willing to help with revenge makes this a bit more interesting. I wonder what her motive is? Tired of being a subordinate? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Fuuka
fuuka.png

The trio is headed to a beach house for a summer job to earn money to buy instruments for the band that they’res starting. Okay, so now I’m getting to see why it’s tagged as ecchi; lots of fanservice, but I think it’s not overdone too much…yet. The love triangle is a bit cliche, but I’m curious who Yuu will end up choosing now that they’ve all met. The spunky out going girl he doesn’t know much about, or the childhood friend that’s been in love with him since forever…I personally don’t think the childhood friend brings anything compelling, sure she’s an idol but…I don’t know, I’m not a fan.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Futatabi-hen
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In an interesting turn of events, Sukeroku struggles as the media brings his past to light causing some trouble for him in the Rakugo world. He’s off kilter in his performance, struggles with practice with Yakumo and has issues keeping the audience entranced. He’s definitely in a rut. On the homefront, Konatsu’s baby finds his way to Yakumo leading him to find Konatsu passed out; as he tries to leave Konatsu grabs him in tears – so he tells a story her father used to tell her to calm her down. My mind went blank for a second and maybe I need to rewatch the first season, but Konatsu’s hatred for Yakumo is really intense – but he’s willing to take on the hatred and to allow her to kill him as revenge for what happened to her parents; but now she’s holding off on her revenge because she wants her kid to learn his Rakugo.¬†I knew she disliked him, but don’t remember any of that hatred¬†from the first season.

rakugo_yakumo.png

Also,¬†8th generation Yakumo/ Kikuhiko never ceases to command my attention when he’s on screen. His prickly cold demeanor and disdain for just about everything has me hooked on him. But we also got to see a bit of his warm side towards Sukeroku/Yotaro when he told him he needs to embrace his past to move forward. I thought that alone was the best scene of this episode.

 

Ao No Exorcist
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I’m still a bit thrown off by Season 2, since it picks up halfway through season 1. So seeing the character’s re-cope with the fact that Rin is Satan’s son is still jarring. We’re introduced to Bon/Suguros’ family that takes care in the inn, and the conflict between him and his father, the priest. Still don’t know much about what the ‘bad guy’ wants with the impure king’s eyes’ just yet, but we saw that the character had one of them in his left eye. Not too much action in this episode.

Super Lovers 2
super_lovers

Season 2 picks up where season 1 ended last year, with Haruko suggesting that Ren leave Tokyo and accompany her to Switzerland to pursue his studies there since his learning curve is higher than most typical high school students and the curriculum in Japan can’t accommodate him. ¬†Ren doesn’t want to leave Haru and he has to make the choice. Haru tries to suggest that if Ren did want to go – he should; which pisses Ren off who doesn’t want to leave his side, and he doesn’t want people making decisions for himself.

I know a lot of people aren’t interested in this due to it being¬†of the ¬†BL/Yaoi genre, as well as the fact that there is an 8-year age gap between our two characters. This is definitely not just about the physical part of the relationship but also the two characters’ emotions and how they’re dealing and coping with the age gap and the loneliness they both felt before they met one another and navigating their love on top of everything. I was looking forward to the adaptation of this manga because it’s one of the few BLs that got me into the genre to begin with. But if I had to be completely honest, I sometimes find the anime to be lacking when compared to the manga. I don’t think its necessarily the art style – it just doesn’t grip me the way the manga does. But I’ll still be following this show despite it because, I always finish a show that I start. lol.

Nanbaka: season 2
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Hajime’s little brother comes to work for the day at Nanba, and the gang is curious how they could possibly be related when they’re personalities are so different. This episode didn’t have much to move the plot forward, but it did have some hilarious moments as a filler episode. This one is pretty much pure entertainment – I’m not sure that I’ll get anything necessarily meaningful out of this one.

Continuations from Winter 2016:
All Out!!
March Comes in Like a Lion

I’m still behind on these shows, so hopefully this weekend I’ll catch up and be able to write about them the following week.

Anime Re-watch Review: Haikyuu!! S1|Episode 1

 

This is one kind of post I’ve been wanting to do on a blog for a long time. ¬†What better anime to start off with than Haikyuu!!¬†

Since there’s about 3 weeks till Season 3 starts off, I may be bunching 2-3 episodes together per post everyday leading up to the Premiere on Friday, October 7. ¬†However, I do expect a few setbacks so I may start writing about season 3 sometime after the first episode or 2. I’m hoping that bunching them in correlating pairs will help streamline this; considering I’m trying to get all 50 episodes in 3 weeks. This is a highly ambitious goal in terms of blogging, but I’ve convinced myself this should help me learn to post regularly if anything. Ideally I would’ve liked to do an episode a day.

Overall, Haikyuu!! Is currently one of my favorite anime’s. The fandom is strong.¬†From the story, character developments, and the soundtrack – I haven’t been disappointed with this show. ¬†Maybe I’m biased since I haven’t seen many sports anime’s but with Haikyuu I really love that there is more of an emphasis on the development of the team as a whole, and the indivudual players, versus a pin-point focus on the main character and their sole development. I could go on and on, but I’ll try to write more about it in each episode.

Alright, so here we go!

Season 1| Episode 1 – The End and The Beginning

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‚ÄúA tall, tall wall looms in front of me. What‚Äôs the view on the other side? What does it look like? The view from the top…it‚Äôs a view I could never see on my own. But if i‚Äôm not doing it alone‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

This first episode kicks off with Hinata Shoyo biking through town and catching the national volleyball tournament; in which he finds inspiration through a player called the “Little Giant”. Hinata takes an interest in the sport; but to no avail there is no club at his school. He tries to start a volleyball team with his schoolmates; but they’re more interested in other sports. ¬†Fastforward 3 years, and he’s finally playing in his first volleyball match ever in junior high. ¬†Unforutately, his first match is against Kitagawa Daiichi, a powerhouse school that is nationally ranked,¬†and their genius setter Kageyama Tobio, also known as “The King of the Court”. Hinata and Kageyama first encounter each other at the bathroom and already get into it with one another causing them both to get fired up for the match. Kageyama is recognized as a genius setter, but his desire to win and be the best causes him to have huge attitude problems as he expects everyone to be able to¬†¬†keep up with him earning him his nickname “King of the Court.” Due to his harsh personality, cracks in his team are visibily starting to form. In the end Kageyama’s team wins the match, thus ending Hinata’s junior high volleyball career. The outcome causes a rivalry to be born as Hinata vows revenge against Kageyama as they head into High School. Little did they know, they’d end up as teammates at Karasuno High.


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What sticks out to me is the obvious introduction of our two characters Hinata and Kageyama. The difference in their talent is overwhelming; but their desire to stay on the court to play and win is the same. ¬†This is specifically emphasized in the middle of their match when Hinata’s teammate asks him, “Why do you try so hard?” Hinata confused by this question says, “huh…but…we haven’t lost yet.” These very words garner a reaction from Kageyama, who is visibly upset that Hinata still believes he can win. Slowly, he realizes that what Hinata says is true; the game is far from over. This sets off an internal dialogue inside Kageyama’s and Hinata’s mind as they continue on in their match on what it means to stay on the court. Their thoughts echo back and forth as if they’re speaking to one another. However this just shows that they’re more similar than they realize; they have the same reasons to continue playing with intensity. The internal dialogue is as follows: ¬†Kageyama, “That’s right. It’s simple. No matter how challenging the volley, there’s only one reason we chase the ball.” ¬†Hinata: “The ball hasn’t hit the court yet.” ¬†Kageyama: “There’s only one reason we continue fighting.”¬†Hinata & Kageyama: “Because we haven’t lost yet. ”

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At the end of the match he recognizes that Hinata has all the attributes needed to be a strong player. However, Kageyama feeling overwhelmed by Hinata’s physical talent and obsession for victory believes that Hinata’s talent is a complete waste because he’s not properly developed and his talents aren’t being used to an advantage. He doesn’t hesitate and bluntly speaks his mind. Due to Kageyama’s lack of social skills and terrible attitude from being “king of the court” the intent of his words come off as condescending more than anything else. The reason I think he comes off as condescending is because there is a disconnect¬†between¬†Kageyama’s internal dialogue and what actually comes out of his mouth. He’s acknowledging Hinata’s talent; but instead of telling him that, he says he’s wasted 3 years.¬†However, when Hinata comes back to Kageyama with a declaration of revenge; he tells him only the strongest stay on the court and if Hinata wants to be the last one standing he needs to become strong. ¬†These are words of encouragement and I think Kageyama sees the potential in Hinata, which is why he accepts Hinata’s challenge.

Well, that’s all for this episode! I’d love to hear what you guys thought of the first episode!

Haikyuu!! is avaialable on crunchyroll.