Chapter a week 6: The Abnormalities

Chapter a week is a story that’s updated once a week, but the writer continuing the story alternates every time. This serves as mainly a biweekly creative outlet for us where we try to improve our writing, but it also allows us to have fun with each other since we don’t have a story planned. Enjoy!

In the starry night skies, thousands of disfigured corpses filled the silent field of Washington. Although this was a slight which most would be left traumatized by, it wasn’t for Nodaka Asumi. 

“Shit, I got blood stains on my clothes…”

Unlike other detectives, Nodaka never knew she had it. In her highschool days, she thought she was just a stronger-than-normal girl. Of course, it was a lot more abnormal than she knew was normal, but she didn’t care as long as it didn’t bother her. In fact, her strength was more helpful than not. It helped her excel in the detective’s school for elites to quickly get a spot in one of Japan’s top agencies. However, once she was able to awaken her Instincts, she rose faster than anyone, eventually being deployed to the US.

The Washington GA case was the 5th case that Nodaka Asumi worked with throughout the 4 years in the US. Although not many know about the events, due to the extreme measures that were put in to hide the case and its aftermath, it is known amongst those who know as one of the most brutals endings to a case ever. It wasn’t as though Nodaka Asumi was not successful in solving the case, in fact she solved the case perfectly. However, her solving the case resulted in the deaths of all 35 individuals that were suspects or related with them. Completely crushed bodies, all in a restricted field in washington. Her reason for killing all of them are still only known to figures that were directly related with the case.

Although this case put Nodaka Asumi amongst the names of the greatest detectives in the world, she, for some reasons, resigned immediately after the end of the Washington GA case. Upon hearing the news, Yosana Miyuki, sent an email to Nodaka Asumi. This was when Yuzuriha Agency was created.

***

When I arrived on the first floor, I saw even more bodies than I did below.

“Was this Casino this popular?” I asked Kushieda who slowly walked in front of me. “I mean I didn’t even know this place existed and this place isn’t like a big city.”

“Well it is fairly popular. There aren’t really many gambling places in Tokyo so the nearest place that people come to is here. This place is pretty luxurious and all too.” Kushieda responded to my question and she slowly stopped walking. “But it is hard to see this many people here… anyways, here is Yamamoto Keiichi.”

I looked through the body of Yamamoto Keiichi. Unlike Kushieda, who seemed perfectly normal looking at the courses that laid everyone on the floor, I still couldn’t bear the smell or look of dead bodies. I felt as though I could throw up any second looking straight into these dead bodies.

Most of the bodies on the floor had similar wounds. A clean stab that cut through the body, randomly placed a few times on the body. Yamamoto Keiichi’s body, however, looked beat up. There weren’t any sharp looking stabs. Just multiple red and purple wounds on his skin. 

“Kushieda, why does his body look more… like… beat up?”

“Oh you caught on! You weren’t as stupid as Asumi said you were,” Kushieda responded as she laughed.

“It stands out way too much! How can anyone not notice!” I yelled in anger.

“Well anyways, this is probably Asumi. The only problem is that it doesn’t look that beat up.”

“He looks beat up enough for me,” I said as I titled my face towards Yamamoto Keiichi. “Well I guess it’s hard to tell that he is dead.”

“Oh he isn’t dead. I think he’s just unconscious.”

“Huh? Did you call the ambulance then?”

“No? He is like our only clue. We can’t have the ambulance snatch him away. Don’t worry, we can just bring him with us; we know a lot of doctors that are more capable.”

I checked Yamamoto Keiichi’s body again, more closely, this time to realize that he was breathing slightly.

“Anyways, as I said, this was probably done by Asumi. I mean, I don’t think there would be anyone that’s capable enough to beat up Yamamoto Keiichi here. If there was someone like that, we would have either seen another beat up body, from Asumi, and Asumi wouldn’t have been so relaxed without a scratch as you said. Since he wasn’t completely beat up, Asumi probably left him alive as some kind of clue for us.” Kushieda explained. “I slapped him a few times but he didn’t wake up so I’m waiting right now.”

It was then when I heard a faint whisper coming from Yamamoto Keiichi. I wasn’t able to hear the voice, but Kushieda’s face started getting darker the moment she heard it.

“Oh man,” Kushieda said as she bit her nails. “Risa, call Natsuki right now. We have to go to the old man right now.”

***
Natsuki was the receptionist and researcher for Yuzuriha Agency. Although she was a part of the Agency, she never really did that much work. Most of the cases go directly to the president.

Research work, which was her expertise, was the reason why she was hired into the Agency. But most of the detectives in the agency were too skilled that they either didn’t need to find anything else for the case or they just did the research themselves. Because of this, she slowly transitioned into the receptionist of the agency that almost no one in the world knows how to get in contact with.

“Hah… these detectives are way too good.” 

So when she heard that a new intern joined, she was happy to find someone more normal that she might be able to help. Unfortunately the only help that she gave Risa was to tell her that Nodaka was at a Mahjong tournament. 

As she was sitting down playing games on her phone pondering about her status in the agency, she got a call from Kushieda.

“Hello? Kushieda?” Natsuki said as she picked up her phone. It wasn’t often that she received a phone call from a detective, not to mention the hot headed Kushieda. 

“Natsuki, I need you to research an individual named Risu Johoon right now. I’ll tell you more details later” Kushieda said with a rushed and serious voice. 

“Huh? What the hell is…” Responded Natsuki as she was quickly cut off by the beeping noises of the phone.

While Natsuki was a little annoyed that she was getting treated like this, she was rather happy that she finally got some type of job. 

“Time to finally display my skills, fufu,” Natsuki said as she rolled up her sleeves and turned on her computer. 

***
“How many times do I have to say, I didn’t do it,” yelled Nodaka Asumi, clinging on to the jail bars, as she answered the questions that the police officer has given her.

“Yeah, yeah that’s what they all say,” said the police man as he typed on to the computer monitor in front of him. 

After being arrested by the police, Asumi was moved to a police station situated around 40 minutes away from the Klar Casino. During the time in the car, she organized her thoughts about what happened and the unnatural events that followed with the police. 

From her memories, the attack happened as she was easily taking chips from Yamamoto Keiichi. She heard a loud scream come from the floor below. Little by little, people started to faint with blood coming from their guts. While everyone was panicking, Asumi quickly rushed to put Yamamoto Keiichi, who was rather confused about the situation, to sleep. While she wasn’t completely sure, the only one that she knew, on the spot, that was capable of doing something like this was Yamamoto Keiichi. However, even though Yamamoto Keiichi was unconscious, the deaths continued to happen. The strange thing, however, was that, although many were dying left and right, it didn’t seem to affect Asumi. To put a stop to this as fast as possible, Asumi ran around to find the culprit, but to no avail. In the end, Asumi was the only one alive, other than Yamamoto Keiichi, who was still unconscious, and the caller, who reportedly was in the toilet. 

Then she laid out some of the unnatural things she saw about the arrest. First, She found it extremely strange that those police officers arrested Asumi immediately. Although it was understandable why she was a suspect, as she was the only one there, it was even more strange that they didn’t even consider arresting Risa. The reason why she only called Risa was because she saw the chance that the police would appear. By bringing Risa who was unknown compared to any of the detectives, I thought that she would be able to easily escape being a suspect. This would have let Asumi send messages to other people in the agency since she was a direct witness. Even if she were to stay in jail, Asumi thought that it wouldn’t have mattered too much since Risa doesn’t help with cases. But strangely enough they just let her go for basically no reason. The fact that Risa even said that she’s related with her should have given the police more reason to arrest her. However, to Nodaka, it almost seemed like they panicked after they saw Risa. The way that they quickly dismissed her seemed awfully uncanny.

There was also the caller, the only other person that was able to survive what happened in the casino. If Risa was smart she should immediately start finding things about the caller. But Risa being Risa, Nodaka doubted that she was going to do anything of that sort. All she hoped was that someone else in the agency finds out about the caller and does something.

But to Nodaka, the strangest was the time it took for the police to arrive. The casino didn’t have any police stations nearby. The closest one also did not have the facilities or man to properly monitor a big case such as this. And the way that the police officers were awfully casual when driving towards the station that she was being taken to, it would be the most sensible to see that they are going to and came from the bigger police station that was fifty or so minutes away. The problem was this time. 

The attack and the screaming of the victims last for around twenty minutes or so. I messaged Risa almost immediately. Because of this, she was able to arrive ten or so minutes after the attack ended. The police, however, arrived almost as Risa arrived. The timing felt way too unnatural. Nodaka saw three possible cases that could have happened. 

One, the police was near the area and was dispatched to the area. This felt a little off since that would mean that they stationed only five police officers to a mass murder cases. 

Two, the police were from the smaller police station closer to the casino. In this scenario, it is highly likely that they were dispatched in small numbers because they didn’t know how serious the case was. The problem, however, was the fact that they acted extremely naturally, without shock, to the numerous dead bodies on the floor. Even if they were used to courses, the first response should have been to alert the station on the situation.

Finally, three. The police knew that this was going to happen and were stationed in the area. The problem with this is the ten minute time difference between the end of the attack and time difference. There wasn’t a reason for the police to wait ten minutes for the attack to end. If they were trying to get me arrested from the start, they should have not hesitated for a moment. It is also possible that they entered after seeing Risa enter. If they thought that she was someone else, it makes sense why they would check Risa immediately. 

Whichever it was, the police were the first mystery that she was keeping her eye on. When she arrived in the jail cell in the station, she continued to scan the area for anything suspicious. It was then when she saw an old man walk towards her.

“Nodaka Asumi, detective, gambling addict, known as the savior of the case, and most notably the killer that wiped out hundreds in Washington GA. Nice to meet you,” said an old man that walked towards the cell that Asumi was in as he placed his hand inside the cell.

“If it isn’t Ito Satosushi. I really enjoyed the sushi that I ate last week with the money that you lost in the Mahjong tournament.” Nodaka said with a smug face as she slapped the hand in the jail cell.

“Quite a greeting huh. Well you aren’t going to get another chance for that sushi anytime soon.”

“Huh cause you are gonna die of age soon?” Nodaka responded as she started laughing by herself. 

“Anyways, I need to get out of here. You obviously should know that I didn’t do any of the things in the casino. You already know I didn’t do any of the killing. You saw the bodies there right? My abilities can’t make any of those precise cuts. It’s more like BANG BANG!! WAHH!! DEAD DEAD!” You know?” Asumi said as she stood up to do punching motions.

“Well yes. But there was one body that was completely crushed. Seems very like the bodies that were in Washington.”

Nodaka was confused. She didn’t remember seeing a body that was crushed not to mention she didn’t even touch anyone. She did look around to find the culprit but all she saw were knifes flying around stabbing through the those who were screaming

With a smile, Ito Satoshi crouched forward as he looked down towards the short standing Asumi Nodaka. Watching the startled Asumi, he started to whisper.

“I know everything that happened and you won’t be getting out for a while.”

It was at that moment Nodaka realized exactly what was going on.

CAW: Chapter 4 – Stupid intern

Risa never had a privileged life.

Growing up, she was never the smartest nor was she the most athletic. She grew up in a normal family in a normal highschool. The only thing that separated her from other students was her willingness to be a detective. 

Current day Japan’s crime rates were higher than ever. It may have been because methods of crimes increased, or it may have been because money was harder to earn nowadays. But either way, crimes became more frequent as days went on. Naturally over time, detectives became the highest regarded jobs in Japan. They were different from the police in that they didn’t usually use force. Their jobs were solely focused on finding culprits for the police to arrest. Unlike the past where these two jobs had a thin line, detectives were now regarded with different prestige. It was a job meant for only the geniuses of geniuses.

Yet, it wasn’t a job that most teenagers wanted to become. Not only was the course to become one extremely rigorous, detectives usually had lineages of families that trained their childrens since birth. The only way for others to become detectives was usually through extremely hard work to land a spot in the detectives school. This, however, was so rare that it seemed like the option didn’t exist.

It was only after years of hard work that Risa was accepted into a school for detectives. 

‘I’m a true genius! I always knew I could get in.”

After the hard work paid off, Risa couldn’t help but feel that she was a genius. Afterall, she was the first student to get into the detective university from a normal family in the last 4 years. But she quickly realized that she wasn’t.

In the university, practically every student was built to be top level detectives. The skills that these students had involved proper experience and teachings that couldn’t be learnt by a single person with no connections. But more than that, it felt as though these students had something more. She couldn’t tell exactly what it was. But it was almost as though these students had some other force that let them get past all the obstacles that Risa faced. 

Sadly, Risa wasn’t a genius that could easily catch up to all of these gaps. The upper hand that these students had over Risa were too much. It was basically predetermined, even before Risa entered, that a student like her would be able to succeed properly. 

Risa, however, didn’t accept that. She was already behind from the start. She already broke those norms once already. Her being in the school was the results of the hard work that she put in that broke all expectations. Risa believed that if she were to try just as she did, 2, 3, 4 years ago, she would once again be able to break all expectations. Once again, she worked as hard as she could to aim for the impossible. To join the Yuzuriha Agency. 

Yuzuriha Agency was a place of legends. No one, even those in the school, knew specifically where the agency was. Nor did they know properly whether or not it even actually exists. However, from the little information that was out there, Yuzuriha Agency was where the representatives of the most established detective lineages work at. A select member of the best detectives, luxurious room to work on the most important of cases.

Risa worked impossibly hard. Yet, the reality was too cruel. Others in the school were given offers to different detective agencies to join. Most of the peers that she had started leaving little by little. Those who were left were ones who wished to finish their academic lives with a degree or those who were waiting for offers from bigger agencies. However, Risa didn’t belong to either. Forget Yuzuriha Agency. Risa was not given even a single offer. As time passed she graduated. Still without an offer, she went off to look for a normal job, giving up on her dream.

It was one random afternoon that changed everything for her. A year after she left school, still jobless, she received a mail asking her to intern in Yuzuriha Agency. Although she gave up being a detective, the pay was too good to resist. And in the depths of her heart, she probably still had a flicker of the detective spirit she thought she threw away.

And when she was called to that Agency, she thought she once again broke those expectations.

*

“I’m sorry I’m late!” I yelled as I rushed towards the round table in the center of the room. 

The enormous round table had 12 chairs. 5 filled. Each chair corresponded to the direction of the entrance to each room.

It was one of the monthly dinners in the Yuzuriha Agency. According to Nodaka, the purpose of the dinner was to discuss the success of cases in the last month and to plan for next month’s cases. I was also told that this was the spot for the president, Yosana Miyuki, to release her built up talkativeness. Although she framed it like a very important meeting that I can’t miss, she, herself, ironically did not come to the dinner. Instead she told me, the assistant with ten days of experience, to fill in for her. All I was given was a single piece of paper with a diagram of the table with names on where the seats would be.

Being the easily nervous person I am, I spent the last two hours or so organizing the events of the last crime investigation that I took a part of in Noaka’s room, causing me to lose track of time and ultimately being late. While Nodaka’s absence wasn’t much of a surprise, I was shocked to find that more than five other chairs were empty. Unlike Nodaka’s chair, they didn’t even have an assistant to fill in the spot.

“The rooms are literally 5 meters away from here, how the hell are you late?” Exclaimed Yosana Miyuki, the president of the Yuzuriha Agency. She looked almost exactly like the doodle that Nodaka had in her folder.

“Cut her some slack! Apparently… she’s not very smart,” said the short haired woman, who sat directly on the right of Yosana Miyuki. From where she was sitting, and the information that Nodaka gave me, she was most likely Kushieda Yuri, 

“Sorry?” I replied annoyingly. Although I was a little scared at the other’s presence, I was fairly frustrated that I was being called stupid on the first meeting. “I was a key member of the case three days ago, I want at least a little bit of respect.” 

“I believe that Asumi said that her assistant did nothing of note other than reacting surprisingly and being amazed at how “cool” Asumi is,” asked the long hair woman sitting directly opposite of Miyuki. “In the first place, how can you even think Asumi is anywhere near elegant? Perhaps… are you intelligent??”

“That’s hilarious, Yua,” Kushieda said as she mockingly laughed at me. “Wait if you think Asumi is cool, are you like one of her kind? You know right? She likes girls. She might be out to get you soon.”

“No need to worry about that possibility, Asumi told me that her assistant is too unintelligent to be attractive.” responded Suzaki Yua as she laughed. It honestly seemed like these two were having the time of their lives.

Did they come just to tease me?

“Don’t worry about these two, they are just playing around,” said a nicely dressed man who was sitting next to me. “My name is Haruki. Takahashi Haruki.”

“Well whatever. I don’t think I need to do introductions right Risa-kun? I’m gonna keep this meeting short so let’s skip over what we can.” said Miyuki, stopping the conversation.

“Bullshit!” Yelled Kushieda Yuri. “You said you were gonna keep it short last time and we were here for like twelve whole hours!”

“Now, now, twelve hours are a little bit of an exaggeration. If I remember correctly it was four hours forty-two minutes and thirteen seconds from the moment I sat down to precisely when I left the table,” replied Suzaki Yua.

“Who eats for four hours and whatever minutes!” Screamed Kushieda. “Man, I’d have just skipped out this stupid dinner like the other 7 if it wasn’t for Prez threatening to fire me.”

“Now, I understand that this dinner may get frustrating, but as I’ve said before, this dinner is important for us to work on the past and prepare for the future.” replied Miyuki very calmly.

It was a very natural, almost scripted response to the complaints. It made me wonder how many times people complained to him about the length of the dinner. But more than that, what surprised me was Suzaki Yua’s response to the time they spent during last dinner. I don’t know if she was joking but if it was true that’s a pretty amazing skill. Was she a savant or something?

“Well, before we get started, let us first enjoy today’s menu. Appetizer is mushroom soup.” Miyuki said, as a chef brought the food to our tables.

“Why are you doing this to me…” said Kushieda. I think I heard a faint crying sound coming from her direction.

Although I did get a little familiar with everyone on the table, there was one person who hadn’t spoken a word. There was one other man who was wearing a black hoodie, and quietly ate the food on the table. His name, according to Nodaka’s list, was Kenichi Akihiro. Unlike others, who just had their names written on the paper, Kenichi Akihiro had a note written under his name.

‘Boring loser’

This was the first time I felt like I agreed with Nodaka.

“Since everyone seems to be enjoying their meals, let’s get started with this month’s roundup. Risa, since you are new let’s start with you first. You went to investigate a serial killing related to Johnson Bang correct? His cousin is an extremely important person so good job on the case.” Miyuki said as he looked towards my direction.

“Oh sure thing.” I replied frantically as I swallowed the mushroom soup in my mouth. “I didn’t do very much, it was mostly Nodaka that did everything.”

“Nodaka is a lot like you, you know?” Miyuki said, looking at me who probably had a slightly sad expression. 

Huh? Nodaka was similar to me? That’s crazy. Although I don’t want to admit it, I haven’t seen someone that smart in my life. I also don’t gamble and drink like crazy.

“You weren’t a part of any detective family right? Yet, you graduated from that detective university. Nodaka went through that exact path too. Even Nodaka’s assistant, Kanou was it? Was like that as well.” Miyuki continued as she smiled towards me. “Nodaka was a little lost when she first started too. Although I can’t say that she grew up too well…”

“Yeah it is pretty amazing. You three are one of the five that were able to do that in history!” Kushieda said. “But the real question is… why are you so stupid unlike Nodaka or that past assisstant?”

Should I beat her up?

Although anger filled my head, it quickly dispersed at the thought of Miyuki’s words. If Nodaka was like me too, did that mean that I had a chance to become a little bit like her? At least the good sides of her…

I continued eating at that thought which made me slightly happy.

“By the way, Risa, did Nodaka tell you where she was at?” Asked Haruki, who was listening to our conversation.

“Nope, I just hope she’s not in some kind of trouble.”

*

“Ah man I’m in trouble.”

This was it. Her whole career. Her whole reputation. It all leads up to this point. She had already gone all in. As she swallowed the glass of whiskey next to her, a drop of sweat was falling off her forehead.

Little by little, she saw the symbols. Hearts. It had to be either a 7 or a 5. All odds were against her.

5 of hearts.

“Full house on the river! I win again!” Nodaka laughed as she took all the chips on the table. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for that! Anyone else wanna join the table? Gahaha”

“You cheated didn’t you?” Angrily yelled one of the players on the table.

“I did not cheat. In fact this level of playing is very simple with an elementary level of deduction.” said Nodaka with a smug look to her face. 

“Who the hell is that,” said a bystander watching the poker match, amazed at the match that just happened before his eyes.

“Haven’t you heard? That’s the crazy casino girl.” replied the other bystander standing next to him.

Nodaka was something similar to a legend around here. The woman who has never left the casino is at a loss. The casino did consider kicking her out multiple times, but she lost just enough times to draw in more customers to the casino. It was almost as if she planned the amount of times she won that day.

“I see you don’t really have any competition now that Bang left huh? Man, you’ve grown so much since the last time I saw you.” said Yamamoto Keiichi as he slowly sat next to Nodaka on the poker table.

“It’s been a while, Keiichi. How’ve you been?”

He was a man familiar to Nodaka. Before she moved into the Yuzuriha Agency, Nodaka worked in a smaller agency as a detective. And Yamamoto Keiichi was her first and last partner in that last agency. He was also the guy who taught Nodaka how to gamble. Of course, Nodaka has now easily surpassed that of Keiichi. Appearance wise, he was a fairly short man who had long hair for a guy. He also wore a cap that was almost like a trademark of his. 

“Good, how about you?”

“I have an annoying assistant to deal with but other than that it’s like normal. Anyways, why are you even here? I thought you don’t really gamble anymore.”

“I’m sure I’m here because of the same reason as you. After all, although I might not be a part of that Yuzuriha Agency, I am a pretty well established detective.”

“Huh the same reason as me? I’m just here to gamble. Why does that have to do with anything with you being an established detective?” Nodaka responded as she tilted her head slightly.

“Wait wh- well whatever. For now I am also here to gamble.” Keiichi said with a smile. “Since Bang is still grieving about his cousin’s death, I will be your match for the moment.”

“Sure, just don’t cry when you lose all your chips.” Nodaka responded with a smug smile.

As the dealer placed the cards on the table, Nodaka thought to herself.

There is definitely something going on here.

It was extremely strange to find Keiichi here. He did gamble in the past but he wasn’t the type to just randomly come to these locations without a purpose. The strangest of all was how he hesitated when Nodaka casually dismissed her. She didn’t know exactly what was happening, but she knew that she had to know what was going on.

“So what’s your plan?” Nodaka asked.

“With this round? I can’t tell you that. You are probably gonna win already,” responded Keiichi.

“No not poker. I mean that,” Nodaka responded, trying to sound as detective and serious-like as possible.

“Ah,” Keiichi responded as his face got a little less happy. “Honestly, we don’t have the most complete idea of what is going to happen. I’m guessing that’s like you as well, otherwise you wouldn’t have come here right?”

“Yeah, I’m still trying to collect as much as possible before that happens,” Nodaka responded with her poker face. “Do you have any plans? Worst case scenario is that we mess each other up. We have the same objective anyways.” 

“That is true. But honestly we don’t have too much planned. I’m just kind of stationed here to notify my group if anything happens. They are on standby at the agency in case the perpetrator comes here. We would have a lot more prepared if we knew anything. But both the seriousness and the likelihood of the possible future is unknown,” explained keiichi, who had a slightly happy expression on his face while looking at the cards he was holding.

Nodaka now knew exactly what this was. A group on standby in case something happens? A perpetrator? This was serious for sure. Keiichi probably thought that Nodaka didn’t know much about the case. Making him avoid saying that he knows everything that would happen.

“Anyways, if something serious happens, you and I probably need to just run away. I mean there’s nothing much we can do” Keiichi said. “That’s straight. I think I won here?”

“Well, we’ll see about that,” Nodaka said as she smiled. “Thanks for the chips.”

On the table were five spades.

*

“I hate dinners,” I thought to myself.

4 hours have passed since I first got to this table. Everyone was done with their food. Yet no one left and Yosana Miyuki was still talking.

“That was when I grabbed the perpetrator and tied him up. It was quite the action sequence.” continued Miyuki.

Unsurprisingly, she solved more than one case this month. Like what Asumi said, this dinner was really a place for the president to give her heroic tales of the month.

Haruki next to me had his eyes open. Yet, I sometimes hear little bits of snoring every 15 minutes or so. He probably mastered this technique attending this dinner every month.

Suzaki Yua laughed a little every five minutes or so. Every time she laughed, the president looked a little bit happier than before. She probably thought that she was laughing at her heroic tales. But because she sat directly opposite of her, she wasn’t able to see what was actually going on. I, who was sitting fairly close to her, was the only one who probably was able to see. Her fingers were on her phone, slowly scrolling through reddit. 

Kushieda Yuri, on the other hand, was fairly attentive to the story. She was a little bit enthusiastic at the start of the stories, screaming “stop!” as loud as she could. But now she is just grabbing her head whispering some type of curse to the innocent plate on the table.

Kenichi Akihiro… well I don’t know what he was doing. He was just staring at the wall. No he has not talked for the last four hours.

Yep, this was a mess. The only reason why I didn’t leave was because I was scared that Miyuki would fire me for disrespecting his stories or something. I think that’s the reason why no one has left the table yet.

It was then when I saw a text on my phone screen.

<From Stupid boss: come to Klar Casino as quickly as possible and don’t tell anyone there. Just leave saying you have some urgent matter. I’ll take care of the president later. (attachment: photo of map)>

<Risa: What?> 

I responded immediately. The last thing I would have expected Nodaka to send me was a serious text like this. 

I waited for a response back for a few minutes yet I didn’t get a single response. Something was off. I initially thought that this may be one of Nodaka’s stupid pranks or something. Especially since she told me not to tell anyone. But her telling me to come to her favorite Casino? That seems pretty impossible. 

Maybe she finally wanted me to be a part of her investigation! 

“I’m so sorry but I have to leave right now,” I said as I stood up slowly. I tried to be as careful as possible so I don’t get fired or anything.

“Well, everyone seems like they are done so we should wrap up as well,” said Miyuki, smiling directly towards me. 

“Actually?! Intern, what did you do to him?” Kushieda asked with a surprised yet extremely happy tone as she quickly stood up.

“You can stay if you want Kushieda,” responded Miyuki.

“Haha. No. That’s enough for this month. Thank you.” Kushieda quickly responded as she pushed the chair into the desk.

*

After Miyuki made her remarks, Risa walked quickly towards the exit. Everyone proceeded to leave for their respective rooms while yelling “finally!” All who were left were Miyuki himself and Kenichi Akihiro. For a brief moment, an awkward air was left between the two that remained. The first to speak was Akihiro. 

“You know where Nodaka is at right now right?” He said with a bitter deep voice, tilting his head from the wall to Miyuki’s face.

“Where else would she be?” 

“That assistant is probably going there right now no? Why didn’t you stop her?”

“The girl probably has it.” 

“Irresponsible as always huh? Don’t blame me if she dies.”

“Don’t worry. She won’t.”

*

Because there weren’t any public transport near the area, I got on the bike that I used to get to the agency. According to the map that Nodaka sent me, Klar casino was closer than I imagined. Around thirty minutes or so with a bike. Honestly, it was a little surprising that a place like this would have a casino. Quickly, I followed the map to get the Klar casino as quickly as possible.

When I arrived, I felt a sudden chill going through my body.

“That’s weird? Aren’t there usually guards near casinos like this?” I mumbled to myself. Regardless, I quickly walked into the casino to find Nodaka.

As I opened the door I saw bodies of multiple people on the ground. Blood everywhere. There weren’t any signs of life. 

I quickly went to one of the dead bodies to examine what happened. The wound didn’t seem like guns. More like a knife wound straight to the chest. The situation was too hard to process myself. How did the perpetrator kill this many people with a knife? Why this location? In the first place, why did Nodaka call me here? Was it to stop this murder? But I did know one thing: I had to find Nodaka as quickly as possible.

Quietly as possible, I crouched and made my way up the stairs which took me to the lobby of the Casino. Similar to the floor below, there were bodies on the ground with blood everywhere. Yet, there was one thing different from the floor below.

In the center was a familiar figure holding a knife with blood all over her body.

“What took you so long, stupid intern.”

CGI being used in Anime

CG has been being used more and more in the last decade or so. And there are a lot of conflicted opinions about them. So here, I’ll be going through 4 different “levels” of CG in anime and looking at how they are used and how I feel about them.

Full on CG

Houseki no Kuni - 01 - 02 - Lost in Anime

This is your Berserk 2017 and Bang Dream. A lot of people, including myself, will say that shows that use CG as their main animation medium are very hard to look at. Rakuen Tsuihou was the biggest laughing stock of that year and pretty understandably. The movements look really janky and unnatural and the texture of the CG feels really cheap and brings down the whole quality of the animation. A lot of the public’s mindset on CG anime, however, did change with Houseki no Kuni. Many praise it to be one of the better shows. It has a widely positive reception with a mal score of 8.43. But to me this wasn’t a show that I could enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong; I do like Houseki no Kuni. I had a lot of fun reading the manga. But the CG in the show made it really hard to look at. One of the best parts about the original manga is the beautiful backgrounds and visuals. Every single frame is so full with detailed lines composed so beautifully. But the CG simplifies everything in an unnatural moving model that can’t really express what I loved about the visuals in the original manga. I heard a lot of people say the CG is fine in the show but can you imagine this show being fully animated? It would’ve been absolutely stunning. The story itself allows a lot of aesthetic experiments and I was a little bit disappointed by the CG.

But over time, I think I did get a little bit more used to it. Especially since I got accustomed to games like Persona or the Atelier series that have characters move in CG models most of the time. So I’m sure I’d be more fine with CG anime than I was 2~3 years ago.

Idol shows

𝙿𝙼𝚂」Antique Gucci MEP - YouTube

I don’t like Idol shows and I think people that like idols shows don’t like them for how good the show is too. I find, usually, that fans of idols shows like them because they like the character, or the idols. That’s why concerts featuring voice actors of the characters singing are widely popular. 

But the shows themselves are just bad and a lot of it has to do with the CG dance sequences. To me, this type of show is a lot worse than a show that is completely CG. Even disregarding how unnatural these CG dances look, the CG visuals clash with the hand drawn parts of it. Both parts look completely different because of the texture of the CG animation. This creates a huge disconnect between the daily life sections and the staged sections to the point where it doesn’t even feel like the same show. Then again, it’s not like I’m going to watch these shows even if they were to be done normally animated. 

CG Crowds

5 Best & 5 Worst Uses Of CGI Animation In Anime | CBR

CG crowds are often used nowadays as a method of saving money. Rather than spending a huge sum of money drawing background characters that are normally not given a lot of attention, they put CGI models in the background to fill up the empty space. The thing is, this tactic that they use on parts of the background that don’t take much of the attention of the audience is given attention when they look hideous. Once the movements in the background start to slightly bother the audience, it becomes almost impossible to pay attention to the other visuals in the show that they probably directed the money towards. 

This really also applies to objects that move. Like cars, for example. I’m not an expert in the animation process but I’m gonna guess CG doesn’t work too well with the drawn frames. Like the CGI crowds, they become really really hard to look at. Then again, I understand why studios are doing this. Animation is expensive and it’s hard to believe a street without any cars. But honestly, if the final product is going to look janky as most CG products are, I’d rather see a plain street that looks normal than a bustling street with people and cars that look like they are glitching in real life.

Ufotable

I spent a full page or so just talking about how much I had CG in anime, but I do like them sometimes too. Although very minor, I’m a huge fan of how ufotable uses CG to sharpen up their backgrounds. Although CGI looks really unnatural when they move, when they are still, they are usually fine. Sometimes, they even add a sharp look to the backgrounds. For example, most of the buildings in Ufotable use a mix of CGI and hand drawn animation to create their final look. The final product becomes very meticulously drawn from their shape to their aesthetic feel.

Ufotable also uses CGI for their action scenes. They get CG models to pose for the scene then  draw on top of the models. The texture of the drawings are the same because they still color and draw the way they would normally do, yet the movements feel more organized in many scenes. 

If studios are able to incorporate CG like this, without making it obvious that they used CGI or if they make it look natural and matching with the total aesthetics of the show, then I’d be happy to see studios find ways to save money like this.

Aesthetics over Anything

It seems like when a lot of people say “animation” they are describing visual presentation in anime. The thing is animation and aesthetics or visuals are completely different things. Whereas one describes how well the pictures flow together with cinematography or high frame rate, the other is basically describing how “cool” it looks. 

And while both are very important to anime, I’m a firm believer in Aesthetics being more important than animation or any other aspect of an anime. More than that, I think aesthetics are the aspect that pushes a 9 out of 10 show to a 10 out of 10 masterpiece.

A show I want to point to is Nisemonogatari. This is a show that a lot feel is the weakest of all the monogataris. And I would definitely agree. Nisemonogatari does feel a lot of times like a fan service season. Most of the characters that the season focuses on are all characters that have been briefly introduced yet never talked about previously. But even with these aspects that should make a show boring in normal circumstances, I think the aesthetics itself covers up all of the problems that the show has. Every second in Nisemonogatari you are on the edge of your chair, not because of a tense battle scene, but because you are speechless at how beautiful each frame is. 

Take the Shinobu bath scene. You can see the full display of Shaft’s unique aesthetics. First, you have the hyper-empty room. Shaft directly put the characters as the focus of an exaggeratedly large room. Then you have the colors that kind of look hollow to support that empty feel of the room. Both of these aspects immediately direct the viewer’s attention to the center with the red flower petals and the bright hair of Shinobu. You also see these transparent glass-like materials on the side of the bathroom that just adds to the holy like atmosphere that Shinobu gives throughout the whole scene. 

Even the infamous toothbrush scene. No one will tell you that that scene has good directing, animation, or even say it’s good (unless you are into that stuff) but the visual presentations in the scene are also really unique. Immediately as the toothbrush enters the whole atmosphere turns into this erotic pink. You see each string (?) of the toothbrush flying around beautifully with the music in every direction. My favorite part of this scene is when the camera fans to the monitor. The chair and the background is simplified and you see a video and Karen on the monitor. This single frame that just screams Shaft made me so invested in Nisemonogatari as a show.

But good aesthetics doesn’t have to be a Shaft show. take two shows for examples: Slime Isekai and No Game No Life. Both isekai shows feature the cliche of an overpowering main character. Both are very fun shows. But I enjoyed No Game No Life a lot better than Slime Isekai. And a primary reason to that is No Game No Life’s aesthetics. The world of Disboard is filled with extremely bright and flashy colors. Immediately, as the show starts off with Sora and Shiro being blasted from their dark rooms to Disboard, we are introduced to the world with an explosion of neon-like pink and blue colors. The brightness may seem a little bit blinding but it screams fantasy immediately. The contrast from their dark room with only monitors to light up the room to the brightly shining world of Disboard immediately caught my attention when I watched the show. 

That’s not to say Slime Isekai wasn’t visually pleasing at all. If you look at the cave scene in episode one, the lightly saturated bluish colors of the cave that prevent everything from going pitch black creates a very mysterious atmosphere. I can tell you that I enjoyed that visual presentation a lot more than Arifureta’s almost blinding dark cave. But No Game No Life aesthetics, more than Slime or Arifureta, is very unique. It’s a whole new setting that presents a whole new visual presentation from anything that I’ve really seen in anime. And I truly think that shows like this that can present a unique visual appeal makes it really stand out from the rest of the anime out there. This is exactly why I think shows like Aria, Mushishi, Hidamari Sketch, or Kara No Kyoukai stand way above any other shows in their genre.

You might be thinking aesthetics isn’t the only reason why No Game No Life is better than Slime and why that’s better than Arifureta. And I agree. These examples that I gave are shows that I think are just fundamentally good in other areas as well. After all shows with good aesthetics are useless if all other aspects of the show fail. But to me, a show with great aesthetics, failing on other areas is a lot more refreshing than an okay show with boring visual presentation. Because personally, I’d rather read a pretty art book than a good novel.

My Ultimate Top 5 Cute Girls show list

I adore cute girls shows. Over the last 10 years or so, they have become the staple and norm of anime and they have been dominating the market. Although there may be this negative mindset against these shows because of their repetitiveness, there are a lot of cute girls shows that are a lot more special than others in one way or another. So here are 5 shows that I believe are the 5 best cute girls shows of all time!

Is the Order a Rabbit

ごちうさSS 「意味深なごちうさSS Case5:シャロ」

If you told me to choose the cutest show of all time, I’d say Gochiusa without any hesitation. This show does everything to be cute. It has a unique setting, round character designs, fantastic voice acting, and fun events that rounds out everything. What makes this show really fun to watch is how easy it is to watch even when the show is not funny. In a lot of comedy, slice of life shows, such as Asobi Asobase, are focused on the comedic side so when I can’t necessarily relate to a joke or don’t find the joke funny, it becomes really hard for me to continue. But in Gochiusa, even when the jokes aren’t as funny you still find yourself having fun watching the characters. But more than the anime itself, because of the various events that the show holds and the deluxe cast of voice actors whom I avidly follow, the outside influence of the show makes it almost impossible for you to miss out on the show if you follow voice actors. 

Nichijou 

Nichijou!! I love that anime; it's so funny! | 鳥獣戯画, 日常 ...

Nichijou is my favorite comedy of all time. It’s explosive animations, perfect comedic timing, and most importantly Mai trolling are all fantastic. I think what makes Nichijou really different from a lot of these comedies that gets talked about a lot is the exaggeration in animation. But what gets talked about a little less is the characters. The characters in Nichijou are very unique yet they play multiple roles. Usually comedy characters are limited in their roles in shows. For example, there is the boke character and the straight man character. But in nichijou, everyone kind of plays all of these roles. Like how comedy is with friends in real life, Nichijou’s character’s role changes depending on the situations that they have been set up with. For example, you can see Yuuko playing boke yet being the straight man with Mai most of the time. Other than that, the characters are just really fun. Nano and Hakase are both so cute and watching the process of Nano going to school in the middle section is absolutely a blast.

Aria 

アニメ映画『ARIA The AVVENIRE』(アリア ジ アッヴェニーレ) 特報 ...

Aria is so immersive. Every season of Aria fills you in with the wonders of Neo Venezia. And it’s really apparent how much thought was put into mixing the setting and the characters into this relaxing pot. The show is about Mizunashi Akari, who is training to be an Undine at Neo Venezia. The characters are really fun to be around. Personality wise, they are mostly fairly laid back and relaxed in the very low stakes environment. Akari, especially, has this really bubbly personality where she finds joy in very much mundane aspects of life. And all the characters seem as though they are having a lot of fun in their life. But another huge aspect of the show is the music. I can easily say that the music in Aria is the most relaxing in anime. The instrumental of the show is usually light orchestra or piano music that is really easy to listen to. With the very detailed background along with the cool, clue color palette, the show, both visually and auditorily, gets the viewers to feel like they are sitting in Akari’s gondola. 

K-on

けいおん | 注意!サムネイル画像なので1 ... | 京都アニメーション ...

K-on is probably one of the highest regarded cute girls ever, and it is rightfully so. I mean show can you even have a cute girls list without Hokago Tea Time. K-on takes the viewers on a wonderful journey of 3 hours with Yui, Ritsu, Mio, Mugi and Azusa. Although the show does take an omnibus style, the characters grow and develop so much through the 3 years of highschool. The thing is, you can’t really feel this when you watch the show. The show does such a good job making the viewers naturally change with the girls that everything from their jokes to conversations feels like they didn’t change much. But once you go back to season 1 episode 1 after watching the movie, you will immediately be surprised at how much they change just in the way they talk and interact. And by the end you will look back at the emotional rollercoaster and be blown away by the time you spent with these characters.

Hidamari Sketch

Hidamari Sketch is arguably my favorite anime series of all time. Everything about this show is perfect. To list a few: Yuno, Yuno, Yuno, Yunocchi.

On a more serious note, Hidamari Sketch is the most special out of any show in this list because of the visuals. I’d go so far to say that Hidamari Sketch is the most visually pleasing show I have seen in my life. The first two seasons capture the very essence of late 2000 shaft, while the last two seasons have the polish you would expect from recent shaft shows. It might be a little bit jarring at the start because of the art style, but once you get used to it other visual elements like the still life or the background or the patterns become more of the visual focus. Of course, as you’d expect from a cute girls show, Hidamari Sketch also does an excellent job making fun characters for you to watch and hang out with. Other than the main four, who are all very playful and unique in their own ways, the two new characters that join in the 3rd season or the teachers at school are all hilarious characters that make up a lot of the show. 

Chapter a week: Prologue

Chapter a week is a story that’s updated once a week, but the writer continuing the story alternates every time. This serves as mainly a biweekly creative outlet for us where we try to improve our writing, but it also allows us to have fun with each other since we don’t have a story planned. Enjoy! 

Prologue: The Yuzuriha Investigation Agency

What stood in front of me, after biking for an hour from home, was a gigantic house-like building: the home of the Yuzuriha Investigation Agency. Sitting at the outskirts of Tokyo, the agency was a rather hidden and unknown group that would only take investigative work with high confidentiality from important personnel. Much like the nearby buildings, the agency had a very worn out exterior. Other than the sheer largeness of the building, it didn’t stand out very much from the location. After picking up a quick breakfast consisting of an egg sandwich and milk from the outcast convenience store used almost exclusively by myself, I headed to the building. Despite the building already being large enough to be the size of a mansion, the entrance of the building followed a long downhill stairway, lit up only by singular lightbulbs on the side. As I opened the door the fifth day at Yuzuriha investigation agency started off. 

Upon entering was a beautiful room. Unlike the worn down exterior, the interior was extremely vast with a modern minimalistic look. Upon entering was a large, square area. The plain white wallpapers and the plain white rugs matched perfectly with the select number of black circular furnitures. In the middle of the room was an uncomfortably high hanging chandelier with a circular wooden table sitting right below it. To be honest the layout of the room, other than the table, looked as though they were scattered randomly. 

But primarily, this room served as a gateway to the rest of the rooms. Each side of the “square” featured a door to the three different rooms — leading to 11 different rooms excluding the entrance. Although the concept seemed bizarre to me at first, due to the sheer vastness of the center room, both in width and height, each room probably had the capacity to be as large as individual two~three story houses. 

Passing by the large table in the middle, I walked slowly into room number 5, the room which sat at 10 o’clock. The room wasn’t actually mine. Being an intern, I did not have a room assigned to myself. Rather I was assigned to a room of my employer, who is a leader of specific cases. Thus, I haven’t actually been to other rooms, nor had many interactions with other leaders of the cases, presumably living in their respective rooms.

The room was lacking in interiors yet it was extremely messy. It was almost like a college student’s rented house. Yet the room was very spacious, featuring two other rooms on the side that were filled with different books. The living room had a large bulletin board with papers stuck on to it along with a large luxurious sofa facing away from the entrance.

Pondering what I should be doing at the moment, I stared at the large antique clock across the room, whereupon I saw that the time was a little past five in the morning.

At that moment slowly rose a beautiful-looking blonde hair from the sofa. 

“Hmmm…..you’re here” said Nodaka Asumi, my employer, while rubbing her eyes, waking herself up from sleep. 

Nodaka Asumi presumably was the lazy type. After arriving at the agency, I have yet to see her move from her couch other than using the washroom or getting food (which she made me do most of the time.) Seven days ago, I got a mail from the agency, requesting my service for a job. I was to support Nodaka Asumi while she works on an investigation for a case. Being jobless out of university, I was fairly excited to work on an investigation for some mysterious case. The pay was fairly good too. So I accepted the job without much hesitation. Yet up until this day I have yet to hear any information about the case itself. When I spoke to her, she usually ignored me as she blankly stared at the bulletin board for a couple of hours. This may explain why I was the only one working for her when I arrived.

“Hey since you are here, can you get me some juice… All this moving around made me kind of tired” she said as she stared at me standing in front of the entrance. 

“Haven’t you been sleeping this whole time? You haven’t been moving”

“Sure, I wasn’t moving but I was thinking! Sleep is when you are thinking at your most primal state. And rest is also a part of work! You can’t solve a case without rest”

“Huh… well okay. The usual is fine right?” I said as I gave up on trying to argue. Well, I haven’t been doing anything other than delivering food for the last four days so at this point I was actually kind of getting used to this.

“Oh yeah, I remember why I called you here now! We have to go!” she exclaimed as I was walking towards the refrigerator. 

“Huh? You want snacks too?”

“No! We have to leave right now!”

“What?” I asked cluelessly as I was surprised to see her with shoes on for the first time.

“The case! It was five days ago when you joined!

Why I won’t watch Kaguya Season 2

I drop a lot of shows. Recently, this is to a point where I drop almost everything that I watch seasonally. So I can’t do a weekly review of the show, not just because I don’t like watching shows weekly but also because most shows feel like a drag to watch. So instead of doing reviews episodically, I want to just go over most shows this season and reason out why I ended up dropping it. Of course, there are a couple of shows that I want to put on hold for it to finish airing, but those will have separate reviews afterwards.

Anyways, the first of my dropped shows was Kaguya season 2. In fact, I didn’t even complete the first season of Kaguya.

But don’t get me wrong. I like Kaguya. Jun talked about what makes Kaguya a lot better than other rom-coms and I would have to agree with everything he said. I mean, the voice acting is amazing throughout, the ridiculous set up makes for great comedy, and the directing and camera movements are interesting and somewhat creative enough (with its line effect and sudden focus on characters) to keep most entertained. I’d say it really does a good job making it feel as though the whole story doesn’t take place in one place because of the various effects, angles and camera movements they use. Other aspects like the OST or animation have no problems either. 

Even with all these great aspects, however, what keeps me away from the anime comes from the fact that I read the manga. I absolutely adore the manga. The characters are really expressive and the jokes are hilarious. And although the anime mostly matches up with the manga, the fact that I read it influenced my watching experience quite heavily So in order to explain why I’m not watching Kaguya, I’m going to have to draw a lot of comparisons to the manga.

My main problem that really sums up the reason why I won’t watch the show is that can’t help but feel like the jokes drag a little. This wasn’t a problem when I read the manga. This is mostly because in manga, the only way of engaging is visually. This means that I can scan through the manga at any speed I want. And the weekly chapters are fairly short. However, an anime or any show’s job is to control the pace you view the episode at. Because of the voice acting or the music, it becomes impossible for one to enjoy the medium as it was supposed to be by skipping through. This means that if I am bored at what is happening on the screen, there really isn’t a way to escape it.

This is largely problematic in the anime. The jokes in Kaguya are great and all. I mean I was consistently laughing while reading the manga, but they are centered around one idea and are very repetitive (at least where the anime is at right now.) Although this may have not been a problem if I hadn’t initially read the manga, but because I did, I know every single joke that is going to appear in that episode and I can’t help but feel a little bored. 

The next reason is the auditory part of it. I understand that a huge reason why people who read the manga watch the anime is because they want to see the characters move with their voice, along with BGMs that make up the mood very well. First, I do like the voice acting in Kaguya. Koga Aoi’s voice is very flexible in range and emotion and fitting with Kaguya’s role, the tone shifts of characters are good punch likes, and you couldn’t have had the famous Chika song without Kohara Konomi. I love the show’s radio as well, and the voice actors are hilarious to listen to. 

But despite that, there is a specific part of the anime that really bothers me: the narration. The narration in the manga is fine and all. It doesn’t bother me too much when I’m just scrolling through the manga. But in the anime something about the narrator’s voice really gets me. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that he is interrupting the flow of the anime, stating the obvious most of the time, just has an over exaggerated voice that is hard to bear, or all of the above.

Take the “that was a lie!” episode with the tests for example. In the manga, it was absolutely hilarious. This is mainly because the text was in all caps with a bigger font that appeared in the next frame over. This made the exaggeration hilarious along with the unexpected element of it. The individual faces of the character, filled up half the page with their expressions which is absolutely hilarious just to look at even without context. Because of this the manga was able to continue on the joke through the short burst, using the past frames event almost as a reference to create comedic effect, which made the chapter really fun. But in the anime I felt both exaggeration of the “it was a lie” and the surprise element both disappear. The anime switched up the line in the subtitle, so it was slightly more of a mouthful, making it lose that impact. The narrator, as well, lost the enthusiasm that I kind of expected. His tone was relatively similar to what it was in previous episodes, whereas in the manga, a dramatic shift to the voice was done. Of course, this probably also has to do with the fact that I read the manga. I was expecting the joke to come and I’ve seen so much memes of it on youtube and reddit that I honestly got a little bit tired of it.

I may get back to the show in the future when I forget about the manga and just need a good laugh. But in the meantime, as good as Kaguya is, I’d rather be watching shows that are less boring until I forget about the manga.

5 Best Winter 2020 Anime

I finally took the time and caught up with most of the anime from last season. And there were quite a lot that I had fun with. So here are my top five favorite shows of last season. If a show isn’t on this list, I probably 1) didn’t watch the show yet (the jewel show, Dorohedoro) ,2) did not like it as much (Plunder, Somali, or Magia Record) or 3) dropped it after one episode (literally everything else.) 

Number 5: Hanako-kun

Aesthetics, aesthetics, aesthetics. Hanako-Kun was easily the most aesthetically pleasing show this season. This is for everything in the show from character designs to background art. There is something about the use of thick outlines along with the color palette that they used that uniquely makes the show feel comfy yet eerie to look at. I don’t think many would disagree when I say Hanako-kun is a delight for the eye. That being said, that was all that the show had really going for it. The whole show seemed to drag a lot in certain spots with dialogue that weren’t too interesting enough to captivate me. They also handled a lot of the exposition in a manga panel style. Although this wasn’t bad, it did feel a little sudden and slowed down the aesthetic experience of the show. Regardless, the fact that the show was pretty enough to watch to completion makes it, to me, a similar experience to violet evergarden – another show that I thought didn’t do well writing wise. 

Final score: 67/100

Number 4: ID: Invaded

I still have a couple of episodes left of ID: Invaded, but I decided to include it because I am enjoying what I watched until now. Immediately from the first episode, I was intrigued with the system of IDO. The concept is extremely interesting, and the visuals that accompanied the different worlds were all different, unique, and fascinating. I would’ve even liked an omnibus style crime show where the main character just goes on researching different types of IDO worlds of criminals (which is similar to the earlier bit of the show.) The beginning of each entrance to the IDO is really exciting. Because the main character does not remember anything when going into the IDO, he always starts off with “I don’t remember anything. All I know is that I’m a master detective.” which for some reason gets me hyped everytime. However, I thought that everything outside of the IDO world was less enjoyable. First of all, the Koharu girl is extremely annoying. I hated the “justice-first” mind that she carried everywhere. The officers commentating on what’s happening in a sci-fi room also felt like it was interrupting the exciting. Regardless, the show’s concept makes the show interesting enough to complete. 

Final score: 72/100

Number 3: Kyokou Suiri

Like Hanako-kun, this is another show where one aspect of the show just carried the rest of the show. Or more specifically in this case, one character. Kotoko is an amazing character. She is extremely cute, her design with the curly hair and elegant outfit is great, her backstory and concept is interesting, and the way she speaks is witty and fun to listen to. Kyokou Suiri really seems to understand this fact (probably accidently) as most of the show is exposition and dialogue from the viewpoint of Kotoko. The two characters, Kuro and Kotoko, were perfect personalities that Kotoko bounces off of. And the interaction between them were the highlights of this show. The exposition did eventually get a little boring later in the show when it became more case focused and less character focused, yet Kotoko always made me come for more.

Final score: 75/100

Number 2: Bofuri 

I initially thought that this show was another unoriginal game show without much substance. Well, that’s not wrong. But strangely, I ended up enjoying this show. A lot of the things about the show are not very good. And for a while a lot of things in this show bothered me. Maple is way too broken, the game mechanics don’t make sense, the characters yelling the same skills becomes really annoying, and every other character except maple all seems extremely useless and replaceable. The only reason why I continued this show was because I wanted to see how long they could contain the overpowered concept for. But at a certain point, I stopped thinking of this show as a serious game show different to the likes of Darwin’s Game or SAO, and started taking it similar to cute girls shows and Arifureta. The ridiculousness of it along with the cute characters really allowed me to just take in the show as a cute girls show. In the end, I ended up enjoying this show as a good pastime. 

Final score: 75/100

Number 1: Eizouken

Yuasa Masaaki saved anime. I watched the first episode when it came out, and immediately stopped watching. I knew that I had to watch this show from start to finish without stop because this show felt like it was something else. And it definitely was. Everything about this show is great. The characters, who represent different parts of anime staff roles, are extremely fun and they all have really good dynamics together. The visuals, especially during the imagination sketch-like aesthetics, are really great to look at. The story and setting is one that any anime fan would love. Throughout the show, Masaaki’s passion for the industry is so visible. This show is a must watch, and it alone probably will make this season the best this year.

Final score: 98/100

Why Bofuri is so fun (the Anti Darwin’s game)

Bofuri fails to be what many would consider a good show. In fact, it does have a lot of elements that I, myself, along with many others criticize in other fantasy (game) shows like this for being. The unexplainable game mechanics that make the game broken like any of Maple’s skill, replaceable, boring and boring side characters that have no place in the overpowered main character, and static characters without much motives are just some to point out.

ENGLISH SUB] BOFURI : Itai no wa Iya nano de Bōgyoryoku ni ...

But for me Bofuri was one of the most enjoyable shows of this season. It was also one of the more popular shows this season.

So what makes Bofuri more enjoyable than the likes of Darwin’s Game — another game centered show that aired this season?

BOFURI Episode 7 Review. Kali ini saya akan membahas apa saja yang ...

The biggest difference between the two shows is how seriously it takes itself. Bofuri, from the start, establishes itself as a light hearted game. Something less significant than a test score from school. The main character, Kaede (Maple) receives the game from her friend Lisa (Sally) and plays the game with her pajamas on. We see a couple of times, throughout the show, that they log off from the game and even continue their daily lives. We see scenes of them at school or calling before and after playing their game. The game for both of the characters is like what games are for (most of) the audience: a fun, time passing activity.

Katou | Darwin's Game Wikia | Fandom

However, unlike Bofuri, Darwin’s game establishes itself as a SAO-like death game. Immediately, we see characters die with gruesome visuals of blood, with our main character running away for his life. The show constantly invites the viewers to feel tension at the chance of death being apparent at any time. It tries to create an intense mood to get the audience to get engaged in the show through its music, colors, and sound that accompanies this premise. 

The problem is, this doesn’t work. 

I’m not saying that tension is bad. Tension is needed for any psychological or action shows like Darwin’s game to be great. I mean, how many times did Death Note or Fate Zero make you get on the edge of your seat at its most exciting moments? But Darwin’s game, although it tries it’s best to be an exciting, tense show, it utterly fails to be one. And the worst part is that the show itself fails to recognize this. 

Watch Darwin's Game Episode 8 Online

There are a few ways that the show fails to stay exciting. First, the game constantly adds new rules to the game. This strays the audience from a set mark they can base the stakes off of. Because the rules are constantly changing, the audience can just think that any problem or former stakes will be changed in the future so there is no need to get invested. Second, the characters are established as undefeatable from very early on. Although this isn’t too big of a problem if done well, the show fails to capitalize on the “die at any moment’ concept. Even if anyone were to die, because they don’t take time to make anyone other than Kaname, Shuka or Rein even remotely interesting, it really doesn’t matter at this point. The game itself strays too far from reality. The show doesn’t explain how the city is cleared out when cities are being destroyed and people are being killed and yet no one seems to question it because everyone was napping. These are just a few problems.

Darwin's Game - QooApp

But the thing is, these aspects that fail to make Darwin’s game exciting are also mostly in Bofuri as well. For example, the admins constantly are nerfing Maple’s skills or making specific rules for each event. Like Kaname’s group, Maple’s group (or just maple) are also overpowered beyond belief. Both to a point where it gets ridiculous.

But this brings us back to my point about how seriously these two shows take themselves. Darwin’s game is using these aspects to create a tense atmosphere. Obviously, these elements stop it from being so. However, because Bofuri recognizes how ridiculous the show is, it plays off these overpowered skills as a joke. We see other characters constantly commenting on how ridiculous. This is to the point where the opponent kind of gives up after seeing Maple’s skills. Because of this, the show isn’t about how Maple uses her skills to defeat everyone (well slightly) but more of a character focused story on how Maple isn’t normal. From the start, the show shows clearly that her actions are not normal with her maxing out vitality points only. You can even see this from the title itself which directly translates to “I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.” A hilarious title that reflects the hilarity of the show. 

Why You NEED to Watch BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll ...

Of course, this light hearted-ness of Maple’s skills are matched perfectly with the cute character design. From the whole colors, characters, and the feel of the episodes, you can tell that unlike these serious death games, Bofuri is a cute girls show at its core. Being a “cute girls doing cute things” show, it succeeds in doing so in everyways. All the characters are adorable and fun to watch. 

So in conclusion, what I’m trying to say is, Maple is cute.