Attack on Titan Final Thoughts

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Huge Spoilers and a huge wayward post listing things I loved about it.

Attack on Titan Fight to WinI started reading the manga in 2011 (it began publication in 2009) around the time news came out it was going to get a live-action film adaptation. I was reading a lot of dystopian manga like Eden: It’s an Endless World and King of Thorn and I was immediately drawn to Attack on Titan’s story of survival in a strange world full of mysteries and giants gobbling up cool looking characters. It had many elements that only anime and manga seem to do that I love such as an intriguing dystopian world, slight tweaking of gender roles – intelligent males and aggressive and confident female characters, and a boatload of existentialism that pointed out the cages humans make for themselves and give fancy labels like society, family and religion. I’m no anarchist but I do like a story which tears these things down or at least questions them and to see characters do their best to survive in the world and transcend their circumstances.

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Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! (WATAMOTE) Final Thoughts

Summer Anime Season 2013 Round-Up Part 2 The Best Show of the Summer

Watamote If I Stay Here I'll Cry

The Best Show of the Year??? Perhaps…

This anime is heartbreak. At first I thought it was comedic, a female version of My Youth Rom-Com. Loner protag vs everybody else. Early episodes had a mix of the funny and the tragic. I would be in hysterics over Tomoko’s fujoshi world-view and her misguided antics to become popular and makes friends but be rebuffed through some mishap and I would also be genuinely moved by every episode’s slice of Tomoko’s social anxiety because it was so real and the situations were relatable. A fine balance was achieved.

Every Tuesday I would race home from work to devour the latest episode and I would laugh and feel uncomfortable. The laughs became fewer and fewer and the anime became so uncomfortable to watch I began to wonder… is this comedy?

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No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Yous Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular First Impression

No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Yous Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (Watashi gaIt's Not My Fault I'm Unpopular Anime Image Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!)      

Director: Shin Oonuma, Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka, Character Designer: Hideki Furukawa

Voice Actors: Izumi Kitta (Tomoko Kuroki), Kana Hanazawa (Yuu Naruse), Yuichi Nakamura (Tomoki Kuroki)

Studio: Silver Link

 It's Not My Fault I'm Not Popular Tomoko by Herself

Tomoko Kuroki has never been a popular girl and is quite lonely since she spends most of her time playing otome games (maiden games) where the female characters are the centre of attention and get a hot guy at the end. Although she’s brilliant at Otome games, those skills don’t translate into the real world with real guys. 

But she tries! With her entry into high school she dreams of becoming as popular as the protagonist of one of her games and developing a romantic connection with a boy. 

She aims to achieve her goal by becoming sociable by any means necessary but breaking out of her shell is proving harder to do than she thought. Merely talking to others leaves her in a state of panic and every time she is ignored or rebuffed she falls further into depression. Can she break the cycle of loneliness and negative thoughts and blossom?

Three episodes in and it’s looking very unlikely but I hope to God she can because this is making me upset.

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Danganronpa The Animation First Impression

Danganronpa The Animation (Danganronpa Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Danganronpa The Animation Image 3Kokosei The Animation)         

Director: Seiji Kishi, Series Composition:Makoto Uezu, Character Designer: Kazuaki Morita

Voice Actors: Chiwa Saito (Aoi), Yoko Hikasa (Kyoko), Megumi Ogata (Makoto), Takahiro Sakurai (Reon), Akira Ishida (Byakuya)

Studio: Lerche

Hope’s Peak Academy brings together the top students in fields like sports, fashion and art, being an overzealous hall monitor and an elite yankee.

The main protagonist is Makoto Naegi, a normal guy who was admitted to the school through a lottery. Standing at the gates he looks on in confidence. “My high school life starts now. The very first step I take is supposed to be full of hope…”

Sounds great but as soon as he steps through the door he is plunged into darkness. When he wakes up he is in a classroom with a camera monitoring him and steel plates on the walls with no exit in sight.

Genki-Makoto-Danganronpa-Classromm-Awakening

“What’s with this room?” he wonders. Makoto is in the school but less as a student and more as a prisoner and he’s not alone as a group of fifteen other students are with him, each with a peculiar trait and ability that makes them elite.

Danganronpa Cast in Anime

As the students try and figure out just what is going on and why they are imprisoned in the school a twisted looking black-and-white bear appears. Amidst all of his incessant cackling and laughter he introduces itself, “I’m Monobear, the principal of this school…” He soon explains the rules:

The only way out is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial and figure out the guilty party. If the students fail they die and the murderer walks to freedom!

This is getting a bit overwhelming for Makoto but he is not alone because he knows one of the girls. She is named Sayaka and she attended the same middle school as him. What’s her special ability? She is an idol singer. She decides to work alongside Makoto. With the fridge refilled daily and the students allowed their own rooms, they could theoretically live in the school forever unless they follow the rules.

As Monobear says, “It is not the strong or the smart who survive, but the ones who can bring about change.”

The only questions left are who will be the one to bring the change and how?

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The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi) First Impression

The Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi)       Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Director: Yuuji Kumazawa, Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu,Character Designer: Shinichi Miyamae

Voice Actors: Aki Toyosaki (Ai), Daisuke Namikawa (Humpnie Humbert), Akeno Watanabe (Anna), Eiji Maruyama (Yuto) Eri Kitamura (Dee Enjy Stratmis) Rina Satou (Hana)

Studio: Madhouse

 It started 15 years ago when God forsook the world.

 “Heaven and hell are too crowded. It won’t be long before this world is too.”

Those were the last words heard from him and people stopped dying. The dead now walk the earth regardless of injuries even as their flesh rots. In order to save those people God sent one final miracle, Gravekeepers. Only burials by Gravekeeper grants permadeath.

 Cut to a European landscape that could be from Kino’s Journey. Green fields stretch into a mountain range, forests spring up intermittently and an aqueduct towers over a village which is where our protagonist lives. The place is beautiful but violence is about to tear everything apart as a mysterious stranger walks into the village and men grab rifles and prepare for a gun battle.

 Cut to a girl wiping her brow after digging graves. Her name is Ai and she is the lead character.

 Genki-Kamisama-Nichiyoubi-Ai-Main-Protagonist-Wordpress

She inherited the position from her mother Lady Alfa who died when was seven. On the day of the funeral, Ai discovered that as the last of her mother’s bloodline she must take over the role of village Gravekeeper.

 Ai is finished digging graves and heads back to town where she encounters the mysterious man from earlier. The two talk and Ai discovers that he is Humpnie Humbert a.k.a the Man-eating Toy. Humpny Humbert is the name of her father and she starts to follow him but when she gets to the town square she sees the scene of a massacre.

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Dog and Scissors First Impression

Dog and Scissors (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou)       Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou Anime Image

Director: Yukio Takahashi,  Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto, Character Designer: Yōko Satō

Voice Actors: Takahiro Sakurai (Kazuhito), Marina Inoue (Kirihime), Ai Kakuma (Hami), Chiwa Saito (Sara), Maaya Uchida (Sakura)

Studio: Gonzo 

This s a story about books. Of writing and dying. A Story of writing and reading.

The anime begins in a richly furnished home where a woman sits typing and a dog sits reading. A narrator informs us of who he is:

Dog and Scissors Natsuno AKA Shinobu Akiyama at Work

I, Harumi Kazuhito am a dyed-in-the-wool idiot for books. I’m not just any dog, either. Until recently I was human!

Dog and Scissors Harumi Inu Reading

 

Yes, that dog reading is the narrator and he was a bibliophile high school boy in his former life. His favourite author was Shinobu Akiyama, who appeared out of nowhere seven years ago, and has gone on to conquer Japan with her seven deadly sins novel series which Harumi adores. Harumi was desperately waiting for the final novel, Lust, to come out but found that destiny was going to deal him a bit of a strange hand by turning him into a dog.

Why is Harumi a dog? He was present during a robbery of a diner. A mentally unstable man threatened to kill a fellow patron of the diner, a woman too engrossed with writing a book. Harumi stepped in and put up a fight but it ended badly.

Dog and Scissors Diner Hold Up

 

During that special moment when he is in the afterlife he expressed his desperate desire to live and found a body that would accept his soul. It just happens that the body was that of a dog rescued by a pet store owner with a huge afro.

Despite being reborn as a dachshund, Harumi is still obsessed with reading books and he’s still obsessed with Shinobu Akiyama. He soon finds himself bought by the woman who got him killed. She turns out to be Natsuno Kirihime but Harumi knows her quite well through her pen name Shinobu Akiyama.

This might be awesome situation except she is majorly irritated that she can hear all of Harumi’s thoughts, has a scissor fetish and carries a pair strapped to her thigh. She’s also a bit of a dom and so the two clash.

Genkinahito-Dog-and-Scissors

 

The two settle down into a life full of reading and writing, bondage and cutting. Why is Natsuno taking care of Harumi and will Harumi finally get to read the final volume of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Lust? All will be revealed… Hopefully…

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Genkina Hito Summer 2013 Anime Preview Picks

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Summer. Time to go out and enjoy the sun and drool over the beautiful university girls whoSummer 2013 Anime Chart v2.1 float by my place of work in summer clothes. Actually, I think I’ll watch anime instead because I’m not lecherous even though I make plenty of jokes and comments that suggest I am.

I finished putting together the Anime UK News Summer 2013 Anime Preview yesterday after what felt like an eternity of writing (it was most of a rainy weekend). It’ll probably go live later today or tomorrow or whenever the editor of the week validates it. Again I used one of those guides that came out a few months ago charting the different shows and then I raided Anime News Network and My Anime List for info. I also had lots of music playing – a great Touhou track is a life-saver when you spend hours writing.

To be quite frank I’m going to feel a little sad to see the end of the Spring Season titles Hataraku Maou-Sama, My Youth Rom-Com, Aku no Hana and Red Data Girl. Each of these titles provided me with a lot to write about and, most importantly, great entertainment. If they were to get UK DVD releases I would definitely purchase them! Attack on Titan is the one show continuing and I am tempted to start Gargantia on the Verduous Planet because it looks gorgeous and has some sort of epic twist at episode 9.

What of the summer season? We see a lot of sequels to past shows, reboots of treasured franchises and a huge influx of shounen ai titles with a lot of bishounen running around and acting all kawaii as hell and causing fujoshi to create slash fiction on tumblr. The genre where anime have huge unwieldly titles about being unpopular and have sad hyper-self protagonists continues and there are more titles about high school clubs which don’t do anything in particular and the cute girls who are members. In my opinion there is nothing too spectacular but here’s what I fished out of all the writing I did.

If you want an entire season overview then head on over to Anime UK News! This post is all about me and my strange tastes…

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