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Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!

July 22, 2016

Enjoyed the previous three seasons of the “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya” series which adapt the magical girl manga by Hiroyama Hiroshi into anime format, hence was keen on watching the fourth season “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!”.

A spin-off from the “Fate/stay night” franchise using its characters and some key elements, “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya” has proven to be excellent entertainment. Although it is a rather atypical magical girl series and a very different take on the “Fate/stay night” story, hence not all fans may like it.

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Primarily labelled a magical girl action comedy, it features the usual magical girl sequences and typical associated plot events with the main characters having to overcome new villains each season. This franchise however adds in plenty of yuri and loli silliness.

Judging by the first few episodes though, does seem this fourth season may be darker and more serious in tone compared to the past three seasons. Especially considering the first episode spends little time on the usual silly shenanigans, but quickly dives into the action by transporting Illya to a parallel world, where we are introduced to new villains who take that what is most dear to Illya, her treasured friend Miyu.

Encountering new allies and forming a truce with a foe from the past season, looks like “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei” will see the conclusion of Miyu’s backstory. Considering this franchise is a light-hearted one, there’s no doubt we will get a happy end. Though I do hope the upcoming episodes will feature plenty of the ecchi comedy and other silliness that this show is best known for.

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Even if this new season will feature a darker plot and be mostly magical girl battles, there’s little doubt that the special short episodes that will follow later with the DVD/BluRay releases willmake up for any lack in ecchi shenanigans. Especially looking back to how daring some of the specials that accompanied “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz!” were.

Fans of magical girl genre anime and fans of the “Fate/stay night” franchise by Type Moon may take a liking to “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei”, so definitely recommend you give it a try. Watching the previous seasons is required before starting this fourth season.
You can watch “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei” on Crunchyroll.

Dollfie Dream photo series: Yoko -1-

July 18, 2016

Must admit had forgotten to showcase this particular photo series of Dollfie Dream Yoko, though such more daring images of a rather scantily clad subject do fit the current summer heat.

This black long tie halter top from Cool Cat, which is actually intended to use as an undergarment, was perfect to showcase the curves and posability characteristics of the Peach Pai silicone bust part. The top being slightly see-through makes it even more suited for more sensual captures.

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Posed Yoko on an imitation sheepskin rug from Ikea with a white painted brick wall as background, an ideal contrast to the black garment. The bight yellow eyes from Tortei (Kari) and fiery dark red LeekeWorld wig add plenty of colour and punch to the image.
Read more…

ReLIFE

July 15, 2016

Adapting the “リライフ” manga by Yayoiso into anime form, was keen on watching “ReLIFE” because its story about a disillusioned man in his late twenties who after failing for years to find new employment after a past work experience left him traumatised, gets a unique opportunity to do things over by reliving high school, sounded intriguing.

The entire season of “ReLIFE” is already available online at Crunchyroll, after a convincing first episode, I kept on watching and already progressed to the halfway point of the series and it has been excellent. While it is perhaps not as strong like anime with similar themes such as “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru”, it is nonetheless a solid series.

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In fact, depending on how the plot and characters progress, it may still reach a higher level as the themes and various bonds between the characters might showcase interesting developments. Although must say that one the shows’ strengths is that overall it is more modest and toned-down than “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru” or “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!”.

Did appreciate that the story’s incredulous science-fiction element of a drug being able to return someone to their teenage appearance is only used as a plot vehicle in the first episodes and not needlessly elaborated on. Not unexpectedly, they are however using the fact that the main character actually is in his late twenties and no longer an energetic teenager to trigger all the typical comedy scenes such a plot point can lead to.

A nice bonus and welcome surprise is how the studio manages to convincingly animate characters like Arata both as a teenager as well as an adult, with subtle differences in the respective designs.

Enjoyed “ReLIFE” so far and will definitely watch the rest of this excellent series. You can watch the entire thirteen episode season of “ReLIFE” on Crunchyroll.

Time Travel Shoujo

July 13, 2016

An original anime series by studio WAO World, “Time Travel Girl” or “タイムトラベル少女~マリ・ワカと8人の科学者たち~” was not on my to watch list for summer, but thought I would give this new anime a try as the core plot sounded interesting. “Time Travel Shoujo” follows the adventures of high school girl Mari who travels back in time to meet great scientists in search of her missing father.

Although “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!” recently reminded me it is unwise to harshly judge a show by its first episode alone, I nonetheless decided not to keep watching “Time Travel Shoujo” based on the first episode viewing experience because it simply was not very good and failed to sufficiently entertain me.

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The animation by studio WAO World feels rather crude and the character design style looks somewhat dated, likely it seems as such to me because it this design style is one I never really enjoyed outside of the comedy genre.

Featuring bland, cookie-cutter characters and lacklustre, predictable plot elements and tropes that have been used in so many anime before they are worn-out cliches, “Time Travel Shoujo” simply doesn’t feel worth my time.
While there are undoubtedly anime fans who may enjoy “Time Travel Shoujo”, I will opt to watch another show instead.

Dollfie Dream snapshots: Shizuko -2-

July 11, 2016

This quick photo of Dollfie Dream Shizuko is one of the first shots I made with the Fujian 35mm f/1.7 CCTV lens I had purchased a while ago.

Although am very pleased with the performance of the Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 lens on my Sony A7, nonetheless wanted to try and create photos with a different visual atmosphere without them being the result of performing more trickery in Adobe Lightroom.

Shizuko

There are enough novelty lenses available in various price ranges with interesting offerings from LensBaby or Meyer Optik Görlitz. However, was most interested in the Fujian 35mm f/1.7 CCTV lens after reading reviews promising this lens allows fun photo creations with lots of bokeh. Considering it is available on eBay for as low as 25$ with Sony E-mount adaptor included, simply couldn’t pass up on trying this novelty lens.

Will share more photos made using this fun little lens soon, or you can already have a look at my Flickr photostream.

Amanchu!

July 8, 2016

The show I am looking forward the most this summer is “Amanchu!”, the anime adapting Kozue Amano’s lovely slice-of-life manga story about two high school girls, their unique friendship and wonderful days spent diving with their fellow scuba diving club members.

Although “Amanchu!” shares many similarities with Kozue Amano’s other famous slice-of-life manga “Aria”, such as a leisurely, soothing atmosphere, as well as enchanting backgrounds and key themes such as enjoying life to the fullest, there are several significant differences between both stories.

Whereas “Aria” starts from a science-fiction setting as it occurs far into the future on the planet Mars, “Amanchu!” takes place in modern-day Japan in the coastal city of Itou in Shizuoka prefecture. Featuring less characters than “Aria”, the story in “Amanchu!” focuses more on the bond that develops between main characters Hikari and Futaba, two girls with very different personalities who change and grow after befriending each other.

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Especially Futaba’s personal growth thanks to her friendship with Hikari has been a great core plot throughout the manga. We are shown how Futaba change as the story progresses from a shy, almost gloomy girl who hesitates to step out into the world, to her taking adventurous steps into scuba diving mimicked in everyday life as she slowly becomes more confident.

Have high expectations of this anime adaptation and was ecstatic after watching the first episode, it really blew me away. It featured stunning visuals that perfectly capture Kozue Amano’s art style and help elevate it to the next level thanks to vivid colours and smooth animation, soothing background music and gentle pacing.
Was impressed to see many scenes boast terrific use of lighting and shadows, especially in the ocean scenes this was a real visual treat. Hope they continue to make it a gorgeous visual experience in future episodes too.

After this gorgeous first episode, am confident that studio JC Staff will create a new anime masterpiece with “Amanchu!”. For those among you that enjoy slice-of-life anime like “Flying Witch”, “Aria” or “Hanasaku Iroha”, you simply cannot miss this show.
You can watch “Amanchu!” on Crunchryoll.

New Game!

July 6, 2016

Am fond of workplace-centric anime comedies like “Servant x Service” and “Working!!”, hence was keen on checking out “New Game!”, the anime based on the “ニューゲーム”four-panel manga by Tokunou Shoutarou about young school graduate Aoba who takes her first steps into the working world, joining the company that created her favourite game.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I will love this show after watching the first episode, “New Game!” is set to provide excellent comic relief with its likeable cast of endearing, quirky girls. Although it seems to be different enough in terms of tone, comedy style compared to series like “Servant x Service”, “New Game!” too boasts a main cast of eccentric, peculiar characters that are simply a hoot to watch.

Much like the first episode of “Love Live! Sunshine!!”, thoroughly enjoyed the plethora of facial expressions by the various characters in this opening episode of “New Game!”, especially Aoba and shy-to-a-fault Hifumi were adorable.

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Animation by studio Doga Kobo is good, the overall character design and animation style is a typical one often used, yet it seems to resemble the original manga designs close enough.

Do wonder if the absence of male characters suggests there might be shoujo-ai related character development coming up, or if the author opted to use only female characters just to appeal more to a specific audience.

Have not read the original manga, so am unfamiliar with how the story progresses and if there will be any hints of yuri, but am curious to find out. Will be more than pleased if “New Game!” just provides good comedy by showing these cute girls their workplace shenanigans, any yuri developments are not a necessity for me personally.

If you enjoyed workplace comedies like “Servant x Service”, “Shirobako”, “Hataraku Maou-sama!”or like slice-of-life comedies with cute girls, then you should definitely give this new summer anime a try.
You can watch “New Game!” on Crunchyroll.

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