How Music in Slice of Life can transform「calming」into「relaxing」

Music affects our viewer experience, often much more than we end up realizing. When reading media reviews, especially ones concerning anime, I often see a lack of focus on the sound section. Now, of course I definitely think that part of this is on the fault of the anime industry, due to many series having lackluster soundtracks. But I think that the anime community in general has a lack of awareness for how important music is to a medium.

Animations consist of three different key elements, art, sound, and story. Now, I’d indefinitely mark sound in the last of the three, and music is only one of the three elements of sound, sound effects, voice acting, and music. But just because it’s not as vital as the story or art, you shouldn’t underestimate the massive effects that it can have on your experience with a show.

In this post, I’ll mainly be talking about the effect music has on slice of life shows, but the influence it has on viewers is universal to all genres. An excellent example would be Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Yoko Kanno is a serious legend, with masterful control of music. So much of her compositions in Stand Alone Complex are catchy and get me so hyped up whenever I hear them, enough for me to go back and download the soundtrack after completing the series. Of course, there are instances in which you can overuse your music, which I’d argue is somewhat of a case in the TV series Suits, where the same 10 songs are probably used the entire time. That said, the music in that show is also crazy good, which helps me not get tired of the soundtrack.

If you’re a slice of life fan, you may have heard of Hidamari Sketch. It wasn’t too successful, and that goes especially for the western community, where there’s only a little over 25,000 members listing it as completed in Myanimelist. The show is a bit of an oddball, where it implements many usage of Shaft’s signature material despite being an Iyashikei show. It’s directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, which was what dragged me into the show in the first place. There’s lots of creative imagery and clever usage of real life images to make up for small budget but also to establish character. There’s lots of other things to like about Hidamari Sketch, like the charming cast and excellent voice acting. But to me, what elevates this show from a good one to an excellent one, and what truly allows me to relax when watching it is the soundtrack.

The soundtrack of Hidamari Sketch is incredible, there’s so many songs that just ease up my shoulders as soon as I hear the music start. The best is probably “Shinmiri” , a song which whenever I hear it come on, I just begin sinking into my couch helplessly. The songs in Hidamari Sketch aren’t just catchy, they’re healing. Hypnotic, almost. As I said earlier, music influenes viewer experience in any genre. But in my personal opinion, I think the music of an iyashikei show is what truly helps it to become a real gentle, relaxing experience.

If you want another excellent example, I’d give you Aria, which I already made a post about why the setting of the show makes it kick even more ass. But Aria’s soundtrack is what allows the show to do what it does best, make you comfy and relaxed. The series’ opening, which plays in the beginning of the show allows it to reestablish its calming tone every episode. That opening song, “Undine”, played by Makino Yui, is one of the most relaxing vocal songs that I’ve heard in my life. Not only does it perfectly match the magical, mysterious yet inviting tone of Aria, but it’s just so god damn soothing.

I think I’ve said enough about why music is so important to anime, and the slice of life genre in particular. Do you have any opinions on genres that music is vital to, or want to share an excellent soundtrack of a show you love? Leave a comment!

Kyokou Suiri Episode 8~10: The up, the down, and the repeat

Maybe the expositions are catching up to me a little. Frankly, as much as I do enjoy this show, episodes 9 and 10 weren’t very enjoyable. But let’s take a step back to an episode that was enjoyable.

Episode 8 was still great. Most of the story was addressing what happened in the time skip (which to me seems like would be more interesting than anything in this Nanse arc) between Rikka (Kuro’s cousin), Kuro, and Kotoko. Kotoko was unbelievably cute like usual, both when explaining the flashback and in the flashback as well.  

My favourite scene this episode, and maybe the funniest moment of the whole show, was when Kuro thought of Rikka then Kotoko as his wife. Watching Kuro being disgusted at the thought of Kotoko, along with her obsessive behaviour was absolutely hilarious. 

The whole scene after the flashback, when Kotoko talked to Saki, was also fun to watch. Watching Kotoko making it as though her relationship with Rikka was great was also funny. Although it was again fairly repetitive, episode 8 was great in the same ways the whole has been on its highs.

But what I started to see in episodes 9 and 10 was that it was starting to drag a lot. I keep repeating on how I was perfectly fine with the exposition style of this anime because of how much I love the dynamics between the characters. But these two episodes, this was completely thrown out of the window. First, Kuro was fighting the Nanse the whole time. The fight did not serve any sort of excitement what-so-ever due to the lackluster fight sequence (I was able to handle it last time because of his “lack of knowledge in martial arts but watching something like this for 40 minutes is different from 2 minutes.) We cut to him fighting sometimes and I think it’s supposed to reflect how much progress that they made towards making Nanase weaker but this doesn’t do too much. Saki is sitting on the front of the car and occasionally adds reactions time to time. She makes the whole situation slightly more natural but that’s about it. Kotoko does most of the talking in these two episodes as she is sitting down with her laptop. Naturally, with this setting, the show wasn’t able to capitalize on the character interactions that made the show fun (other than Saki saying “really?” “this kid is a genius” etc.) Unsurprisingly, this isn’t too fun to watch. 

Unlike past episodes, where we would see little bits of personality while they were speaking – either through monologue, body language or little cutscenes – which made the character interactions so enjoyable. But in these two episodes, none of this felt like it was there.  Of course, there is the fact that the characters were all separated, and with all this lacking her monologue doesn’t get any interesting, 

Although it was reassuring to see that they used at least somewhat more unique ideas that’s not just “fake reports”, the way that the stories were explained was a problem. When Kotoko was explaining the story, the background was set around a Net like atmosphere which, although at first interesting, gets boring when it repeats for 2 episodes. 

Because of this extremely lackluster setting and the abundance of exposition, the two episodes felt like a picture book. So like what I would do when reading any boring book, I skipped through after I had a grasp of the story. The whole experience for me was just clicking the right arrow multiple times to skip through while watching the show.

I really hope that the show doesn’t have 2 more episodes of theories before ending…

The Unfortunate Circumstances of Studio Shaft’s Hidden Gem

On the 11th of January 2014 to May 24th, you may know that one of the most successful rom com animes aired, titled ‘Nisekoi’. You may also know that Nisekoi is immensely popular, and is stacked with various qualities which include an already successful manga source material, popular voice actors on the anime, and incredible visuals that even people who dislike the show cannot argue about.

But what you definitely don’t know, is that during the time of Nisekoi’s airing, studio Shaft took on another project. On the 13th of April of the same year, Mekakucity Actors had been broadcast for 12 episodes, and it was… something. The reviews on the show are mixed, and it’s very easy to see why. And you’ll find that those reasons are because the show ended up being too oriented towards people who already knew Kagerou Daze, and also because the art directing is experimental at best and questionable at worst. Mekakucity is an adaptation of a story that was told by music artist じん, who told that story through his music. The story is undoubtedly convoluted and hella confusing, but you have my word that it is definitely interesting and fun once you get invested into it. 

The problem with Mekakucity Actors is that it was never given a full chance. The anime released as a small fan appeal project, with not even enough effort to try and appeal to non-kagerou daze fans. And what’s most disappointing about that is the fact that, at least for my money, Mekakucity Actors manages to still be pretty damn entertaining. There’s  quite an amount of storytelling attempts that are made throughout the 12 episode course, and it tries and implements Kagerou Daze’s music element. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but to me, simply getting to watch studio Shaft’s signature trippy animation in a new light was damn fun.

If you’re still not convinced that this show really lacks the budget that it could have had, then watch this, and if you still believe the show’s budget did it justice, then I have nothing to say.

Kyokou Suiri Episode 6~7: Magical Girl Iwanaga Kotoko

Episode 6 and 7 were both delights. While watching episode 5, I said that I’d probably enjoy watching the three of the characters talk with white background for a few hours. And these episodes (especially episode 6) were the closest that we ever got to that. Both of the episodes continue to have the fun conversations with the three core characters (whom I continue to repeat how interesting of a character dynamic that they have) and the little cut in for explanations are still enjoyable.

The focus of both episodes continued to be within the Nanase Case. In episode 6, the team went to the crime scene where the death happened with the help of ghosts there and in episode 7, the team researched the death of a police guy. Individually the episodes were both fun. 

Episode 6 was mainly a repetition of everything that we know except we got to see how Kotoko solves cases. Talking to ghost things wasn’t anything out of expectations and was something that I was expecting her to do. We saw Saki shaking in fear and Kotoko casually cheering up the depressed ghost. This is just what the show has been throughout 6 episodes. But of course, we got to see Magical Girl Kotoko so that whole scene was completely worth it. What was new was the slight glimpse of the past that we got to see with a more clear description of Kuro’s abilities. I think both were interesting additions, but nothing much is to be said about the two other than how smile provoking the conversation between Kotoko and Kuro was. 

Episode 7 was really fun to watch especially visually. In Kotoko’s room, we got to see her eyes and legs disassembled. The most interesting thing about this that happened without much mention was how Kotoko acts extremely casually without her legs or legs around Kuro, but puts them back on when Saki came in her room. This causality that was seen with Kuro putting his hands on Kotoko’s legs and now this, really makes me want to know what happened between the time skip.

I’m a little bit conflicted about the police guy dying. I mean I’d be surprised if anyone was shocked too much by him dying. He served almost no purpose in the story other than the occasional dialogue with Saki and he was extremely boring anyways. So in that sense, I am a little bit happy that they moved the story forward by killing him. But, I am a little bit disappointed that his sole purpose was to die. I guess that impact was why they gave him empty screen time without too much importance. I kind of just feel like I wasted my time watching that dialogue.

Other than that, the episode’s content was much in line with how the show has been for a while. Obviously, the police guy dying made the rumours worse making the ghost more powerful than before. The whole arc has been a lot of generic that I would have liked it to be, but hopefully the resolution is interesting enough. Kuro does provide an interesting option in episode 7 about attempting hundreds of solutions which does sound interesting. 

My problem with both of the episodes is that I am finding all of this pretty repetitive. We’ve been looking at this Nanase Case for 4ish episodes up until now, but no new information to the case has really been given. Most of the exposition is just a repeat of everything that has been said in the previous episode with the slightest alteration due to an event. In the end, even that alteration ends up being the same explanation of the same information. Hopefully this gets resolved soon…

Why Spoilers are Good for Anime(and any other story-telling medium)

There’s always some conversation going on in any community that involves story-telling about whether spoilers are good or not. And for the most part, people always argue in favor of no spoilers. Now, while I can totally understand people’s appreciation for the shock value in shows, I’m going to be arguing for why being spoiled beforehand actually makes for a better viewing experience.

Out of my two main reasons, the first is that it allows you to gain more appreciation for the story telling. In any show, there’s always foreshadowing of a plot twist that normally isn’t enough for you to realize it beforehand, but enough for you to be satisfied later on. When you’ve been hit with the plot twist, you’ll perhaps recall some of the past foreshadowing that’s been shown, but there’s no way that you’ll remember all of it. However, if you already know about the plot twist beforehand, then you’ll be able to notice everything. Character dialogue, small visual keys, everything that has been made to foreshadow a plot twist, you’ll notice. Now of course, this can be said about rewatches, but not everyone has time to rewatch every good show.

The second reason is that it’s a different viewing experience. Sure, you’re not going to be able to have that shock value the typical viewer gets. But on the other hand, you’ll be experiencing the show through a different lens. Instead of going from point A to point B, and wondering what point B is, you already know what point B is. Instead of wondering what point B is, you are now wondering how in the hell you go from point A to point B. How does this character go from being such a wimp to being a hard, badass? How does this guy turn his life around from being a poor man to a millionaire?

So, next time you get spoiled, don’t feel so bad. Maybe you’ll get something from being spoiled.

Kyokou Suiri Episode 5: At least they don’t have PTSD

I know I am a little bit behind, but I wanted to talk about these episodes individually because there is so much to look at. And episode 5 is no different. This episode had a lot I enjoyed and a lot I didn’t so much.

The episode first starts off with a fight scene that looked really weird. The animations when Kuro was walking around the ghost or when they were fighting was extremely off pace and janky. Normally, if this were to happen in any show, I would have been really bothered by this. But throughout the fight, Saki and Kotoko kept saying lines like “he has no martial arts experience,” “it looks like he could go down at any moment,” “he’s tripping over his own feet.” So this made the whole clumsiness and the messiness of the animations feel like it was in place, weirdly enough. 

Then while Kuro is fighting, Saki starts to have some mental break down after seeing him die once. The dialogue here felt a little bit out of place here. I mean, if someone sees a person killed and gruesomely murdered for the first time, I don’t know how they could even talk, much less about marriage. I think it might have been better to just leave the scene silent, especially when the whole blood returning animation that they did (which was really interesting to look at.) Then she just kind of goes back to being normal immediately after that shock and shivering in that scene. But hey, at least she doesn’t have PTSD.

The show then moves onto a flashback scene of how Kuro became immortal. And I actually kinda liked this scene. The whole scene was created really well to make his past as eerie as possible. There was that mysterious music playing in the background, keeping tension high, with Kotoko narrating the event similarly to how she narrated the case in the Giant Snake arc. The visuals were mostly super gory as well. We saw everyone falling out, spitting blood before dying, and some die ones had their eyes gouged out in all black. That shot near the end of the scene where Kuro stabbing himself painlessly then hiding his hand was really nice to add. The way that the story panned out was extremely believable too without losing shock. At first I was just kind of expecting him to have accidentally run into these monsters and eating them but this knowledge gives Kuro’s actions a little more meaning than before. Though, I wonder how he doesn’t have PTSD from these events or how he is still able to act normally and smile at Kotoko or have different emotions when he seemingly went numb from all the pain. It’s crazy how he hasn’t broken yet. 

My only problem with this scene was the visuals. There was that whole monochrome with blood look. I get that being monochrome is like a common way to show flashbacks and singling out the color to the blood gives it impact. It wasn’t extremely bad or anything, but it wasn’t able to I’ve any of the impact that it was probably trying to give because of this. I did like that the colors of the borders got reddish as kids started dying at the dinner table, but it wasn’t anything too special to make up for the mundane look of the scene.

The sound effects are also a problem that is kind of recurring in the show. The sound of the light coming off the knife before the Grandma stabbed Kuro or that sound when Kuro stabbed his hand all sound extremely cheap and out of place. This problem wasn’t just in the flashback, but most scenes in the show with hitting or stabbing sound effects aren’t very good. I wish they’d have got something better, since every other aspect of sound in this show (voice acting, sound track, OP, ED) all sound fantastic.

Something really minor but the way that the other kids that ate the meat started shaking in like this weird 2 frame motion was weirdly hilarious. Same with all the blood colors. It just kinda looked like random red sauce pouring especially with the squirting sound effect. I honestly don’t know why I find humor in these types of things. 

The rest of the episode was great. The dialogue with Kotoko, Saki, and Kuro in one room was the exact type of scene I was excited for immediately as I saw Saki even appear in the third episode. The whole scene is actually just exposition of the ghost, but the way that Kotoko tries to explain to Saki how they are in “another world” was so in character. The little doodles that they show throughout the conversation really keeps the dialogue from dragging and keeps the mood light hearted enough. At this point, I’d even watch a new show with the three of them just talking in white background. 

I expected the ghost to be more unique, rather than the normal ghost lore of popularity = strength. I mean Hanako-kun already has that department covered. But it was what I expected after seeing that wiki page so it’s not like I’m too bothered by this. I just hope that the way they deal with is clever and it most likely will be given all the routes the show can travel to. 

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.

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!