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Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo

May 25, 2015

Adapted from the supernatural comedy manga “山田くんと7人の魔女” by Yoshikawa Miki, “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches” has been an entertaining anime, have enjoyed each new episode so far.
Have not read the original manga, but became curious to give the anime a try after reading several positive comments about it online.

Being unfamiliar with the source material, had expected this story to be one full of witchcraft and magic action like “Witch Craft Works”, but the whole magic genre elements in “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches” are minimal.
Instead, this series can be better described as a typical romantic comedy in a school setting, some key characters just happen to have supernatural abilities that are clearly used as convenient plot devices.

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The animation and production quality by studio Liden films is decent to good, with most care clearly going to animate the main characters in important scenes which of course includes the fanservice scenes.
Was quite surprised by the fanservice in those first few episodes, while it is understandable the creators would want to render Urara and the other girls as cute as possible, the lingerie scenes when Yamada first swaps bodies felt wholly unnecessary and like a cheap ploy to reel in more viewers.

While there is no denying that “Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo” is a typical romantic comedy anime of which there are a dime-in-a-dozen, with its rather unoriginal plot or default two-dimensional characters, somehow this show still manages to be lots of fun and more than sufficiently entertaining.

Although it may not be an excellent series, it is still a fun romantic comedy filled with supernatural elements like body swapping, hence I do recommend it to those looking for a good laugh.
You can watch “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches” on Crunchyroll.

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka

May 22, 2015

Usually shortened to “Danmachi”, this spring anime adapts the “ンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか” light novel series written by Oumori Fujino into anime form.

Set in a fantasy world full of magic where everyone has some sort of occupation centered around the large dungeon, its setting of adventurers having power levels and unique abilities, the dungeon being divided into levels, all make this anime feel more like “Log Horizon” or “Sword Art Online” where the characters are actually in a fantasy game compared to more classic fantasy tales.

While I had first decided not to watch “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka” when going through the spring season line up, knew had to give this show a try when the Internet just exploded with images of and references to its main female lead Hestia after the first episode aired.

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Was instantly hooked on “Danmachi”, it is such a fun and solid fantasy series that will appeal to a large audience as it offers something for almost everyone, it features excellent fantasy battles and similar magic action, but it also has plenty of comedy, harem-like shenanigans, some mystery and an appealing cast filled with irresistibly cute girls.

The most striking flaw of “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka” is no doubt that it doesn’t particularly excel or bring anything new to its viewers, it simply successfully combines tried-and-true elements from various anime formula and genres, all wrapped up in a gorgeous animation package by studio JC Staff.

Some viewers might not appreciate this anime exactly because it doesn’t really focus on a single genre or mood, but expect most viewers may actually love “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka”, it is an excellent fantasy series full of action, magic, comedy and romantic silliness. Also, who could resist cuties like Hestia, Lilly, Syr, Aiz or Eina?

You can watch “Danmachi” on Crunchyroll.

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

May 18, 2015

One of the sequels I am most enjoying this season next to the leisurely slice-of-life show “Hello! Kiniro Mosaic” and the action-packed second half of “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” is “Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki”, second season of the sci-fi anime adapted from the “シドニアの騎士” manga by Nihei Tsutomu.

Although some might not be partial to full CG rendered anime, it suits a show like “Sidonia no Kishi” perfectly, undoubtedly because this science fiction story set in outer space is devoid of the bright color palette usually encountered in anime. Instead, everything inside the Sidonia is bleak, faded or dirty which enhances the oppressive, hopeless atmosphere that permeates the ship as mankind struggles to survive in their endless voyage through space.

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Fans of science fiction will love this show, not only does “Sidonia no Kishi” feature plenty of mecha battles, a fearsome alien foe as well as other typical science fiction genre elements seen in space faring stories, it also has lots of mystery, political strife, characters with hidden agendas and several philosophically engaging themes such as cloning, immortality or genetic manipulation.

Loved the first season and am very impressed with the second season so far, it has surprised me with revelations and plot twists that bring even more mystery and intrigue with them, making me anxiously await the each news episode.

While it may not be a popular anime it is a real gem. Actually one could compare “Sidonia no Kishi” somewhat to “Shingeki no Kyojin” in terms of content and storytelling, but instead of being set in a medieval world, this story is set in the far future where a technologically advanced mankind has traveled into outer space.
Watching the first season is be required before tackling “Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki”, I highly recommend sci-fi fans to give this show a try.

Introducing Sachiko

May 15, 2015

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of their Dollfie label dolls, Volks marked 2014 as the Dollfie Memorial Year during which it organized several themed, including the “Dollfie The Best Selection!” special project.

Volks offered fans an opportunity to vote for their favorite Dollfie Dream character dolls, which might then be released again. The two most popular Dolfie Dream that received the most votes were DDDy Sasara Kusugawa from “ToHeart 2” and DDS Melty from “Shining Hearts”.

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Many entered the lottey to aquire Sasara following this new release, including several of my fellow Dollfie Dream comrades. Was lucky enough one such comrade decided to part with his Sasara right away due to other Dollfie Dream commitments and offered me the opportunity to purchase her.

Took reception of Sasara a shortly after her release and decided to name her 幸子 (or Sachiko).
Although there are customized versions of Sasara that look excellent with dark colored wigs and other eyes, decided would not alter her original look much but keep the default eyes installed for now and pick up another blonde wig.
Read more…

ハロー!! 運命の出会いモザイク

May 11, 2015

そうさ。今週の「ハロー!! きんいろモザイク」もユリ乙女の時間です。
(いや、ユリ妄想時間かもしれませんえ。)
烏丸と久世橋の出会い時は本当に運命の出会いです。

“Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic” strikes again! After having introduced Akari Kuzehashi as a new character this season and treating viewers who are yuri aficionados to plenty of scenes between her and Sakura that contain a shoujo-ai subtext, they continue the trend by establishing a fateful encounter between the two during their school years.

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This second season has been spending several episodes on fleshing out the various supporting characters and personally feel they’re doing a great job with their portrayal of Sakura and Akari.

Granted, I am likely watching it with yuri-tinted glasses which may exaggerate any hints of actual yuri subtext into more than what is actually intended by the studio. Do like that even though time is spent on these side characters, those scenes and resulting comedy is always triggered by the main five girls their interaction with Sakura and Akari.

Wonder if we can get a full blown spin off about Akari & Sakura? Wishful thinking no doubt…

Hibike! Euphonium

May 8, 2015

Adapting the “響け! ユーフォニアム” novels written by Ayano Takeda, “Hibike! Euphonium” is all about the challenges of a high school concert band club to once again reach a championship level.

The story unfolds around Kumiko, who although she decided to make a fresh start in high school, gets dragged into joining the concert band club where she not only has to deal with the club’s woes but also faces Reina, a girl that was in her middle school concert band club and with whom she had a falling out.

The overall genre is that of youngsters coming of age and overcoming challenges, along with the typical plot items to be expected of a school club or tournament anime. What makes “Hibike! Euphonium” stand out from similar anime, is its more unique protagonist and character driven atmosphere.

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While Kumiko’s friends Hazuki and Sapphire are the typical energetic lively girl and timid ojousama style characters, Reina has already proven to be much more than the usual serious scholar type girl and Kumiko herself is a joy to watch. While one might think she’s a rather run of the mill main character due to her inner monologue and exaggerated facial expressions, she’s quite refreshing not only in terms of her whole character but also how she interacts with everyone and her more human, natural responses.

Looking at the characters design style and the overall animation, one immediately recognizes the work of Kyoto Animation. As expected from this studio, the animation in “Hoibike! Euphonium” is excellent and at times just incredibly stunning!

In some scenes the studio has done some gorgeous background rendering with very nice effects that while looking unfocused, makes the background really emphasize the scene and enhance the atmosphere. Several key character animation scenes have been mind blowing, including the some scenes between Kumiko in Reina in the latest episode.

Highly recommend this show to all anime fans. You can watch “Hibike! Euphonium” on Crunchyroll.

Kantoku Comic1☆9 doujin ‘Tachiyoumi Senyou 36′

May 6, 2015

At the Comic1☆9 event that took place during the first weekend of May, Kantoku from the “Afterschool of the 5th Year” circle published volume 36 of his ‘Tachiyomi Senyou′ doujin series.

Like the previous ‘Tachiyomi Senyou′ books, this latest volume is a collection of illustrations by Kantoku of characters from different current anime series, like “The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls”, “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka”, “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso”, “Psycho Pass” or “Aldnoah.Zero”.

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One of my favorite illustrations in this volume is undoubtedly this artwork of Yui from “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru”. Although often portrayed emphasizing her generous curves, Kantoku instead manages to render Yui such that her cuteness and the more bashful side of her personality are more prominent instead.

It is always a delight to admire Kantoku’s expert use of light and shadows when characters are drawn in outdoor scenes with lush backgrounds.
Read more…

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