How Aria’s Setting Elevates it to a Masterpiece

For my money, Aria is one of the best iyashikei slice of life out there. And what really elevates Aria from a run of the mill SOL show to a top tier one, is the setting.

All three seasons of Aria are set in the future, and we watch the character’s lives in “Neo-Venezia”, a city in “Aqua”, which is the anime’s name for Mars. Furthermore, in this universe, the characters call Earth, “Man-Home.” Already from the beginning, the anime has unique terminology and is set in a strange location which we are never given a long exposition for. Instead, we get to explore the culture and the setting of Neo-Venezia along with Akari, our main character. 

As the name would suggest, Neo-Venezia has resemblances to the city in Italy, Venice. Because Mars is a planet that is filled with water, the architects of the planet have made a large city with the exact same concept as Venice, in which there are no car lanes or bicycles, but instead bodies of water where gondolas are placed. The main cast are all gondoliers, and it’s great because being able to see the great scenery and explore the lives of gondoliers.

Of course, the setting is nowhere near as important as the characters of the story or the music, since they are what truly carry any slice of life show. But the reason why the setting in Aria is so great is because it makes the show interesting. Iyashikei anime have no real plot, and that’s the point of an iyashikei. Something to watch just for relaxing purposes, with no story and no stakes in the plot. But what happens often as a natural result of this is that the show is boring as hell. How Aria manages to prevent that is by having a really interesting setting, that we viewers get to slowly explore through the 3 seasons of the show. 

Another good example of a show which uses a similar tactic in order to keep the show interesting is Flying Witch, where one of the main girls is a witch, and although many parts of the anime is not magic or fantasy related whatsoever, we’re constantly kept entertained by the occasional magic elements of the show.

Act-Age Manga Review

If you are in to a more grounded yet funny show about a profession, you will probably enjoy Act-age: a manga centering around a genius method actor, Yonagi Kei, and her growth as an actor. 

Yonagi Kei, is a 16 years old highschooler, who lives with two younger siblings after her father left them and her mother died. Due to her being left alone with multiple old films in her house, she self-learns how to method act. By “remembering” her emotions she has experienced in the past, she is able to completely get emerged into a character on and off the scene. With this unbelievable talent, she is able to get scouted by a director, Sumiji Kuroyama, who helps her grow both as a person and as an actor. 

Act-age is a shounen jump manga. Yes, a shounen jump manga. That’s why it’s so surprising to see a more grounded and realistic manga come up on a magazine which action/fantasy manga seem to dominate in. Although this is a surprising premise for JUMP, it still manages to have that light heartedness of a shounen manga with witty dialogue frequently appearing. But it also manages to maintain the intensity of a Jump manga one would expect in its climax.

Most of the manga is structured around a certain project that Yonagi is working one, whether that is a play, movie, or an independent film. Within those projects, Yonagi meets people related to the industry which helps Yonagi grow as an actor. This setting really puts emphasis on the character dynamics. Because she is consistently meeting actors or directors, those characters need to be unique enough to be enjoyable to the readers. And succeeding, those characters are the best aspects of Act-age.

All of the characters really help Yonagi develop in new ways. In the start of the manga, the director who discovers Yonagi, Sumiji Kuroyama, is the one who helps refine her acting talent. The way he acts around Yonagi really makes them a good pair together. His relaxed personality along with Yonagi’s nervousness/inexperience make up a lot of the comedy in the beginning of the manga through their witty dialogue.

The actors on the other hand, help Yonagi develop her acting skills as she “steals” their techniques. The two big actors that she meets in the course of her journey are Chiyoko Momoshiro and Araya Myoujin, two actors who gained fame through completely different methods of acting. Chiyoko Momoshiro is the top actress of her generation, and she is there for a reason. Her agency, Star, works to portray her as the general public wants, and Chiyoko has the ability and competitiveness to keep her “mask” on at all times. Although she does come off at the start like an evil (?) rival, it is evident throughout the manga, that she is extremely dedicated and cares about her work. By being an “Angel” to the public, she is beloved by everyone. Araya on the other hand, is a play-actor, who is more like a refined version of Yonagi with the experience which Yonagi lacks. Like Yonagi, he is a method actor who dives deep into the character’s emotions and researches the characters to become the character. By meeting these two actors of completely different spectrums, Yonagi is able to develop her own set of skills. 

And they all really help Yonagi grow as a person too. If you look at the first few chapters and compare them to the more recent chapters, it is visible to see how much more Yonagi is enjoying life. With her innocent, bright personality and her willingness to improve and learn from others in the industry makes her fit with almost anyone in the manga, making the interactions between characters really fun to read.  

But out of these characters I found Chiyoko Momoshiro to be the most interesting. She’s a product of the current entertainment industry which favors big name companies and sales rather than quality. That’s not to say that Chiyoko is a bad actor nor that her method is bad. The “mask” that she put on works perfectly and there is no reason for her to transform her method of acting. She is considered the top actress of her generation for a reason. For her to reach the level that she has reached with her style of acting, she works harder than anyone, being more invested in to her craft than anyone to keep her “mask” on. As a person who is deeply interested in the entertainment industry, I was easily invested in to this character who solely acts for the public. 

The best thing about this manga, is the fact that it is centered around acting as a career, not in a highschool nor a club. Even though Yonagi is a 16 years old, everyone treats her as an adult, competing with her to be the better actor. This allows readers to care more about what is happening as everything is more serious. I don’t know about everyone else but to me getting the inside perspective of a profession is so much more interesting than watching highschoolers doing club activities. So this, to me, gave the manga the ability to actually be effective emotionally.

Although not always perfect, the art of the manga is absolutely stunning when it has to be. This is especially important when portraying the character’s emotion as they act. At first, I thought it would be extremely hard for a manga about acting to portray emotions without voice- one of the most crucial parts to understanding the tone of a person. But this manga is able to do that with just visuals and dialogue. Every line and expression gives it the atmosphere that you expect a really good actor to give, whether it’s sadness or joy. In its best moment, it is able to give you chills running down your spine.

I also generally like the art style of the characters and I think all of the main actors are designed fantastically. I don’t know how common it is but Yonagi’s eyes, especially, which has the heavy eyelash with multiple lines is something I thought was pretty and unique. It does feel awkward when it is colored on the covers, but in black and white, it looks great. Another thing I need to mention is the background. Although the background doesn’t get to crazy with its visuals most of the time, when it needs to, it can be extremely beautiful. And when it does, it’s really breathtaking and impactful.

If this manga does get an anime adaptation, I will right away jump head first to watch it. There’s a lot of things that the animation studio can do when adopting this manga. Since Yonagi is method acting, there are probably a lot of ways that they can portray what does in her head. I’d be excited to see how this is directed as this can end up really bad or really good. With the voices added, a good voice actor would be able to push this to another level with the tone added to the emotion (providing that the visuals stay as good as the manga). 

It does have its problems as it does get cheesy a lot of the times, and does as moments where it goes too similarly to how you would expect it to go. But each climax/ending to each arc makes up for that by having such a satisfying ending and, at times, be very touching. So you usually end up forgetting a lot of those negative bits by the end. 

Act-age is one of my favorite manga and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an intense manga to read.

What makes Magase Ai so Good

Last year, aired a show called Babylon, and for 8 episodes, it was an exciting, mystery-thriller that kept you on the edge of your chair each episode, with interesting story, likable characters, and a new twist every episode. And for the majority of these twists, the character that made it possible and kept the show so exciting was Magase Ai.

One of the best things about Magase, especially in the very early parts of the series, is that we have absolutely no idea behind how she is doing things. There are various events in which you can at least make guesses as to how events have occured, but with the suicide happenings with Magase, it’s a complete mystery. She’s the character who clearly feels out of place, but in a good way, adding another layer of mystery to the show. 

In episode 3, when the show reveals that the suicides in the show so far have been deeply involved with Magase, the animation is super high frame quality, and with the great combination of montages of hints in the show so far, it makes for an extremely hype moment, and most likely one of the most exciting moments in the entire series. 

Although I did find myself a little disappointed when the show revealed that Magase basically just had superpowers, she still continued being an excellent antagonist through the rest of the series(and by that, I mean up to episode 8. We do not talk about the rest of the series in this neighborhood…) Not only that, but the show properly acknowledged how insane and overpowered her power was, through her uncle’s monologue concerning Magase. 

There’s plenty more things that I could say about Magase, but I’ll end it with how damn crazy she is. Magase is absolutely terrifying and insane, and we get a front seat view of that in episode 8. For practically no reason but to fuck with Seizaki, she cuts off all the limbs of one of his respected coworkers, while Seizaki screams in the background. That scene was definitely one of the most unexpected and shocking scenes of the show, and although the dialogue she says about “what is good?” is practically meaningless and insignificant, it gives atmosphere to the absolute insanity that we are witnessing. That scene is probably one of the most heart clenching moments of last year, just because you go “AAaaaaAAahhhh” when watching it. It’s painful, horrible, and so much fun. 

Halfway Seasonal Review! Part two

Here is part two of the halfway seasonal review which concludes all the anime that we have watched this season (at least up until now.) If there are any shows that we didn’t see and are worth watching, please let us know!

Bonfuri

Edy: SAO is back – but instead of an edgy guy with death consequences we have cute girls playing for fun. And it’s darn cute. Maple is such a lovable dork in this show and that is all the reason you need to watch this show. She cluelessly puts all of her points into vitality that she becomes basically invincible. At first I thought this concept was just hilariously funny one time joke that can’t be sustained for a long time. But watching her interact with other players like Sally to involve strategy in her already broken play style was rather fun to watch. My only problems I have in the show are the side characters and the game itself. First, the side characters in the show are extremely bland. I don’t think any of the characters to me, other than Maple, really stood out to me in the guild (other than Sally but only because she gets a lot of screen time). Other character’s skills are all not really memorable enough and they don’t seem important enough since Sally and Maple can literally just wipe everyone easily. Second, the game itself is kind of annoying to think about if I actually start thinking about them. I mean Maple is way too broken, and if I start thinking about how this is possible in a game, I get stuck in this annoyed tangent of thoughts trying to give an explanation myself. Another annoying aspect is the skills. This might just be me, but watching Sally yell “double slash!!” or Maple yell “Hydra!!” every 5 seconds in a fight gets really annoying. The skills have no variety and seeing basically the same strategy every time tends to get really boring. But even if that is a problem, the characters are so cute that it overrides all the technical problems that I have with the show.

Darwin’s Game

Edy: Darwin’s game is great. I know a lot of people really dislike this show but I personally love it for the same reason as I love Arifureta. The main character is like a scared guy that later becomes the most edge filled badass in the world, the main female character is blonde, sexually aggressive and totally obsessed with the main guy, and best of all the show is absolutely trash in pacing, directing, and visuals. It’s not a good sign when you aren’t thrilled in a thriller, but Darwin’s game manages to do so. The way that he runs away in the first scene is so hilarious because it’s so ridiculous. Like the pace at which he runs at, the amount of time it takes, the shots that are focused on him and the crazy bear (to make it seem like it’s some manic) are all so loosely done that it’s funny. I mean look at the picture above, isn’t it absolutely hilarious?  

Runway De Warrette

Jun: Not necessarily a terrible show on its own, it would have had potential to be a solid 7/10, but personally, considering how terrible of an adaptation it is compared to the anime, I can’t help but bear some hatred towards the show. First of all, the soundtrack is totally off. I understand that they’re trying to add in the electronic, hype music that is shown on actual runways, but it is so out of place in the kind of story this is. The show could have simply left the music on the scenes featuring the runway, and never touched on it. I don’t know how anyone was okay with the god awful music in this show. And probably most importantly, the clothes. Now, fashion sense is definitely subjective, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who like and dislike the mangaka’s fashion sense. But at the same time, I’m sure everyone who has read the manga, even people who don’t understand fashion and/or are not interested in it, can agree that the designs and their popularity are fleasable. But in this show…. Man, they really fucked it up. The first design that Ikuto makes for Chiyuki looks like fucking paper. The visuals, especially for the clothes, are so damn terrible. There are more things I could say about this show, but overall it’s a disappointment and a disgrace to the manga. 

Hanako-kun

Edy: Hanako-Kun is probably the most aesthetically pleasing show this season. I don’t think anyone will disagree when I say all of the shots in this show are beautiful to watch. You can probably pause at any moment to get yourself a new wallpaper. The characters in Hanako-kun are all really cute too. Not just because of their designs but because of their personalities as well. So in a show like this, where it is very character centered (to drive all the legends that take place) it’s definitely a huge plus to have good background along with fun character. My only problem with this show is that the show is literally a moving manga. The way that the episodes are paneled and the shows that they use are exactly identical to the manga and flows exactly like a manga. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in this show, I saw the show drag a little when it relied on such paneled for visual explanation. It felt a little bit lazy when the art they do normally in the show is mindblowing. But overall I’m really enjoying this show.

Ishuzoku Reviewers

Jun and Edy: Very funny it got that high on MAL, though you can get much higher with meth

Halfway seasonal Review! Part one

With the winter 2020 season halfway, here is a list of the shows we’re watching (or dropped), and how we feel about each of them!

Eizouken

Edy: Best anime of the season without a doubt. There’s a scene in episode one where Asakusa is talking about what goes into making an anime and what makes it so good and special. The funny thing is, Eizouken does all of this. It’s creatively directed, the scenes flow perfectly and the characters are animated with so much flare. Yuasa Masaaki is literally just flexing his directing skills with this show.

It’s so amazing the little bits of things the character do that just show their enthusiasm. My favorite part in episode one was when they started sketching what the characters had in their imagination then putting them together on the window. It really feels like the character – or the show itself – loves anime. This show is honestly too good and impossible to fit into a small paragraph. I think I will review this show episodically starting from episode one. I really regret not watching immediately when it came out to do so.

Kyokou Suiri

Edy: This show is looking like it’s going to be a show I really enjoy just because of the character. From what I’ve seen from the episodes that are out right now, the show had the flashes of a really entertaining show. The character, Kotoko, might be like one of the cutest characters I have seen in anime, and she is absolutely delightful to watch. Her facial expressions are amazing, her personality just pops everywhere, and the way she talks reminds me so much of witty lines from the Monogatari series. The show, however, seems way too heavily reliant on the dialogue and depending on the character, the location, and the event it really makes or breaks the whole scene or even that episode. But regardless Kotoko is fun to watch and since she is usually at the center of all the conversations it’s not really a problem most of the time. From what I’ve seen, the cases that they deal with are also all interesting enough for me to really enjoy watching this show. I hope that this show continues being as good as it is right now. 

Click her to read my episodic reviews of Kyokou Suiri

ID Invaded

Jun: Unexpectedly great show from the first episode, despite what many people said about it. It’s intriguing, fun and the main character is likable with a somewhat interesting backstory. The gimmick of IDOs is really interesting and enjoyable to watch, and if we ever get to see the blue haired side character enter one properly and join the investigating team I’d be thrilled. There’s many plot points of which we know quite little of, such as the character John Walker, who randomly appears in some murderers’ IDOs, as well as Kaede-chan, who is always dead whenever someone enters an IDO, regardless of who the pilot is. The gimmick I probably like the most about the IDO is that the pilot doesn’t retain their memory when they enter, and so there’s always this “I”m a master detective” sequence and it’s so exciting and gets me really thrilled to watch the rest of the episode.

For the most part, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this show, but there’s one…. Just one problem that I have with it. And that’s the small girl. 

Putting aside her character design which I’m simply not a fan of, I think the reason behind why I dislike her the amount I do is because the scenes that involve her, investigations outside the IDO, tend to be really boring. Although they do give us some exposition to explain how the IDOs work, I generally found most of the dialogue to be boring, and the detectives to be uninteresting characters. Newest arc though, that hot killer girl is voiced by Ayaneru. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Magia Record

Jun: Magia Record was as disappointing as expected. The art is gorgeous, and lives up to Madoka Magica’s reputation. The story, on the other hand, is mediocre at best. Because the original Madoka already happened, and pretty much anyone watching this show is going to be aware that this is a dark mahou shoujo anime, the show immediately begins without trying to surprise you, but taking the dark tone as something obvious and expected. Which is fine on its own, but the characters and story are unbelievably boring and uninspired, and  the character designs have such an obvious parallel to Madoka. I know some people would like that, but I’d rather watch new characters in this fucked up magic world. Magia Record is an anime that is carried solely by its visuals. And to me, it’s not enough to continue watching.

Nekopara

Jun: nekopara was okay. i thought it would be about a guy fucking his cats, but unforunately this show ended up showing some like normie shit about a guy grooming his cats. from what i could tell, this is some like slice of life shit….. i think like the cats are doing work and running a shop, and then they find a shota cat? something like that… honestly i think that shows like this are not good because they don’t develop their characters, and it’s just overall the characters are nothing but typical anime character archetypes like the tsundere or the genki girl. the main problem that i find with shows like these are that they confuse iyashikei(psychologically “healing” shows) to boring garbage nothingness. It’s not enough to just have characters with no personality acting out the same, tired out jokes that a million other anime have done. Of course, maybe I’d have a different opinion on this show if i actually watched it, but i’m a busy man with better priorities.

What other shows have you guys been watching this season? Tell us what you thought of these shows and give us some recommendations for this season as well!

Babylon’s Disappointing Second Half Doesn’t Stick its Landing

Babylon was a thriller mystery show, and for 7 episodes, it was by far the most interesting and intense anime of its season, and to me, 2019. It kept me on edge every episode with a new twist. The simple yet effective and sleek art style, interesting characters, unique yet catchy soundtrack, and the rare adult-oriented crime investigation plot managed to develop a following even within the western anime community, and I was definitely one of its biggest fans. 

After its first half ending at 7 episodes, Babylon took a break, before heading into its second half, involving more politics and the story beginning to spread at a global scale. Unfortunately, it is in the last 5 episodes that Bablyon disappoints. Not only are the writers clearly out of their comfort zone, but the show begins to focus on what were its weak points in the first half. The last episodes are boring if not funnily bad, and in the last episode it presents a weak and uninspired ending.

Although I really did like the first half of the series, if I had to choose a part of it that didn’t hold up as much as the rest, it would indefinitely be the politics. There’s a debate that goes on between Itsuki Kaika and Japan’s representatives, and the points that are presented by the politicians are the most basic, unsophisticated, undeveloped arguments that even a group of middle schoolers could come up with. It’s definitely not a debate that you’d be expecting on something as important as it is, and it shows the lack of competence for the writers in this subject. But it isn’t terrible, and it frankly doesn’t bore you enough for it to stand out or drag the show down. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the last 5 episodes.

Babylon’s second half focuses on how Japan’s adaptation of the suicide law begins to affect the rest of the world. But man, is it unrealistic. Not only are there already places in the world that already have adapted the suicide law, but there is no way that the leaders that aren’t under Magase Ai’s control would act the way that they did. Practically all of episode 11 shows the leaders of the world come together to discuss what “good” is, and it’s visually presented as a very deep, intelligent, mind blowing conversation, but it couldn’t be further from that. If what was being discussed was at least thought provoking, then the visuals could have been justified, but from how shallow it is, the episode is nothing but embarrassing.

By emphasizing on the political side of the show, Babylon loses its best qualities. The (good)edginess, and amazing moments with Magase Ai. Although she does play an important part in the plot overall, and has some appearances, her impact on each episode and the occasional amazing twists that she brought are completely gone. 

There’s still more I can complain and rant about, but honestly this post is getting a little long, and I want to talk about the ending, so let’s do that.

The ending! 

Fuck!

I can’t express in words how underwhelming this ending felt. Although Magase Ai did feel untouchable for a while, I thought that in the end she would be taken over(and most likely killed) by Seizaki. But instead, Seizaki dies and Magase lives on. Now I’m not one to really complain much about who the author decides to kill and spare, and what they want their work’s message to be, but to be frank, I’m fucking pissed and am going to complain. 

Essentially, the president of the United States is hypnotized by Magase and is about to kill himself in public. If he succeeds in doing so, then the general public will believe that suicide is good. In order to prevent this, Seizaki kills the president himself, and kills himself. At least what I interpreted from this, was that Seizaki killed himself because he basically became a public embodiment of evil, and by committing suicide he brings down the act of killing oneself to his level. He also has an encounter with Magase before he kills himself, but that’s heavily implied to be a hallucination, although I think Seizaki may have been acting in order to make himself look as worst as possible before killing himself.

But was there really a need for Seizaki to kill himself? To me, it feels rushed. Like this had to be the finale, and so Seizaki had to make a move that would end everything and represent suicide badly. But frankly, there really wasn’t a need to do that. I mean, Seizaki had yet to kill or at least arrest Magase, and in the end she’s fucking alive and well! In my opinion there’s no way that Seizaki would kill himself there, he had strong beliefs and willpower to be able to overcome the situation of assassinating the president, and continue on with his investigation. After all, the situation probably would have been understood by all of the higher-ups. It definitely wouldn’t have been clean, but with faking punishments and various complicated processes, I feel like Seizaki continuing on his life and the investigation would have been more than possible. But instead, Babylon tries to have a clean cut ending with Seizaki killing himself, and it feels lazy, unnecessary, and unsatisfying.

The concept of the ending isn’t terrible, and the execution isn’t too bad either. But it’s just so…. Lukewarm. Even if you disagree with my ‘could be’s for Babylon, I think that most can agree on how lacking the ending felt. The anticlimactic finale of Babylon, to me, fully represents the disappointing second half of the season.

Babylon was a disappointment. To me, it had more than enough potential to become the best anime of 2019, and yet even after taking a break, it managed to fuck up so badly that it went from a strong 9 to a weak 7 by the end of its run. I’m upset, depressed, and angry. 

There’s still things that I want to talk about, especially why the show got ruined, namely the fact that the second half is literally written by a different person. But this post has gotten way too long, and I’m tired.

I’m curious as to what others think about the second half, especially the people that enjoyed it, unlike me. So please, feel free to leave a comment on what you thought about Babylon and its second half.

Kyokou Suiri Episode 4: “Talk about a lack of personality…”

In the first episode, what I thought Kyokou Suiri would be was a show which I greatly enjoyed every episode. The characters were unique and amiable while the atmosphere and events were still intense. I had no doubt in my mind that this show would be one that I would love.

That doubt, however, slowly started to appear more and more as I continued on to later episodes. In my previous post, I expressed some of my worries about how the show immediately gets boring as soon as Kotoko leaves the screen. And this episode was no different. Not to my suprise, the new character, Saki-san joined Kurou in the “characters who leech Kotoko for survival” club. 

The characters being boring this way was something to be expected. We already saw how boring the show got when Saki was talking to the other police as their conversation seemed to drag on forever without any interesting ideas, backgrounds, or settings. As for Kurou, we just haven’t seen him alone without Kotoko. But I’m sure everyone noticed his rather boring style of dialogue and appearance (which grankly does bounce off Kotoko fairly well). Sure, it may not be a bad idea to have a rather calmer character in front of a colorful and vibrant character (such as Kotoko) since too much flair in characters can make the show’s cast a little bit messy. But even such, these calmer characters must have an interesting personality to keep the audience entertained. What makes this problem more crucial in Kyokou Suiri is that the youkai cases take on more of an omnibus styled structure that ends in an episode or two, which it is hard to get invested in too quickly. 

She didn’t change her expression once

A perfect example of all these flaws coming together was shown in this episode. After Kotoko left Saki’s house, Saki started investigating the death of Nanase Karen, a former idol who supposedly died of a horrible accident. The show uses this opportunity to give the audience information about the cases though a monologue within Saki’s thought. Although it succeeded in giving the audience information, it failed in giving the audience enjoyment. There were two major problems in this scene: the lack of an interesting setting and the lack of an interesting personality. The former is commonly occurring with many shows nowadays, with exposition scenes happening in locations like cafes or houses for an extended period of time. Saki’s scene fails to be even slightly interesting with her setting since the scene merely shows her sitting down in her room which even Kotoko described as “lacking personality”. What makes shows like the Monogatari series so good is that even in scenes with extended dialogue, it keeps the viewers entertained through extremely unique and good visual presentation. This show fails to do so. The latter comes from Saki herself. Saki literally has no special trait about her. She is literally just “the ex.” Without Kotoko to talk about Kurou with her (which also makes no sense since she broke up with him 2 years about and ran away from him), she is just a cop with no emotions. With her narrating a setting the viewers haven’t had too much time to see or be invested in, the case itself isn’t able to pull through Saki’s lack of character.

Now let’s take the scene that comes prior when Kotoko is researching Nanase Karen. Kotoko looks through a computer, in what seems to be a room in a small computer cafe, searching through the same wikipedia page that Saki saw. This scene was vastly better than the one with Saki because of multiple reasons. First, as she browsed through the wikipedia page, the show switched the shot over to Kotoko while showing multiple facial expressions that were very expressive and fun to look at. Second, Kotoko’s setting was a lot more interesting than Saki’s. The small crowded computer room is one that exists in Japan for many who don’t have homes. As the viewers who haven’t seen Kotoko’s house, it was much more refreshing to see these types of small information on Kotoko life unlike Saki’s house. Finally, unlike Saki, the viewers know that Kotoko is an expert on these Youkais. We see from this scene that she found something out about Nanase Karen as she sees the photo on the wikipedia page. Because much of the information that Saki saids in her scene is repetitive to the police scene or Kotoko’s scene, I think a much better way to have handled this scene would have been to just follow Kotoko leaving Saki’s house to the computer room, have her explain what Saki did, and after realizing something, move on to request for Saki’s help. This would have allowed the viewers to continue to watch Kotoko while keeping Saki’s character more refreshing with the character dynamic with Kotoko.

These two faces easily top any other moment in the episode

Regardless, all the positives stayed positive. The sound track was all fun. Kotoko’s facial expressions are great, and the case was somewhat interesting enough to keep me entertained. The opening of a show that Nanase Karen was in just randomly playing in the middle of the show was so out of nowhere that I just started laughing. I’m hoping the show gets to the level I expected it to be when I watched the first episode. But as it is now, I expect this to be a rather okay show with a very lovable main character.