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“New Game!” second season announced

February 13, 2017
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Following the “New Game! The Challenge Stage” Playstation game release earlier in January, an announcement was made at the “New Game!” fan appreciation event held this past Sunday that a second season of the anime based on Tokunou Shoutarou’s “ニューゲーム” manga is coming!

News of this sequel season was also confirmed on the anime’s official Twitter account. Am ecstatic to see this lovely slice-of-life comedy return. “New Game!” was an excellent series full of humour, and a style of slice-of-life anime that I personally adore, being all about cute girls doing cute things as they go about their daily lives. With the added bonus of featuring plenty of yuri innuendo too!

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Should you visit the “New Game!” anime website on February 14th, you might just be lucky enough to also see a special Valentine’s day illustration of Hifumi that was also teased on the anime’s official Twitter account.

Absolutely adored the “New Game!” anime so can’t wait to see Aoba, Hifumi and the rest of the Eagle Jump crew again up to their usual silly shenanigans. Definitely recommend this lovely, breezy slice-of-life comedy to all.
You can watch the first season of “New Game!” on Crunchryoll.

Urara Meirochou

February 6, 2017

After being disappointed by “Seiren” and consequently dropping that series, started watching “Urara Meirochou”, the anime adaptation of the “うらら迷路帖” four-panel supernatural comedy manga by Harikamo.

Was pleasantly surprised by “Urara Meirochou”, got immediately hooked on this cute show all about a group of moe girls who study to become fortune tellers in a world filled with the supernatural. Being a fan of slice-of-life anime like “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?” whose core and main purpose is to showcase cute girls go about their idyllic everyday lives, with enough yuri innuendo to spice things up, this show is right up my alley.

Although some scenes suggest that there may be a few more serious subplots in store for future episodes, the overall tone remains lighthearted and the challenges the girls face as they discover the world of fortune telling are never dramatic, it all has a positive and heartwarming atmosphere. Even the yuri innuendo and fanservice remain rather benign.

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Even though it features plenty of supernatural genre elements with its focus on fortune-telling and divination, as well as references to deities and folklore, “Urara Meirochou” does not seem to offer anything truly original as the comedy and yuri tinted shenanigans are all things we’ve seen before in other series. Even the character designs too almost feel like carbon copies of characters from other franchises.

Luckily, “Urara Meirochou” has solid production values and provides good entertainment, making it well worth the watch for fans looking for a fun, unpretentious anime of cute girls doing cute things.

While not as stellar as memorable series like “Aria”, “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?” or “Kiniro Mosaic”, “Urara Meirochou” offers viewers an excellent slice-of-life show filled with moe girls.
You can watch “Urara Meirochou” on The Anime Network.

Seiren

February 3, 2017

Although an anime original project, its omnibus format of different arcs each focusing on a specific heroine and character design style make “Seiren” a spiritual successor of sorts to “Amagami SS”. Considering I enjoyed “Amagami SS”, was looking forward to this new romantic comedy.

Unfortunately, the first arc of “Seiren” that focused on feisty heroine Tsuneki Hikari was regrettably disappointing. Boasting a wimpy male lead character may be normal for this genre, but the character interactions, romance plot and dialogue where all subpar compared to similar shows. Especially the arc’s confession scene suffered from some jarring directing inconsistencies that made this pivotal scene and the story’s conclusion all feeling poorly executed.

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While this type of romantic comedy anime usually bring little in the way of original content, compelling stories or interesting characters, some do offer a genuinely enjoyable viewing experience and am afraid that “Seiren” will fail to do so.

Even though “Seiren” could redeem itself in the upcoming arcs focusing on Toru and Kyouko, doubt it will get better considering that Hikari was very obviously advertised as the most popular and appealing girl of the three. No doubt she is this show’s equivalent of Haruka from “Amagami SS”, but sadly Hikari & Shouichi fall short as individual characters and the pair’s chemistry is severely lacking compared to Haruka & Junichi.

Those of you who like the typical anime high school romantic comedies may enjoy “Seiren”, however I recommend watching shows like “Amagami SS” or “KimiKiss: Pure Rouge” instead.
You can watch “Seiren” on Crunchyroll.

Nyanko Days

January 30, 2017

The anime short format yielded some great shows these past years, series like “Yama no Susume” or “Aiura”, was disappointed to see this winter season line-up did not seem to have any real promising shows among the anime with a short running time.

Nonetheless decided to give anime short “Nyanko Days” a try anyway, hoping it might be a cute slice-of-life show. “Nyanko Days” adapts the “にゃんこデイズ” four-panel manga by Tarabanagi and is all about young high school girl Tomoko and her three cats, with the gimmick that the cats are actually chibi girls featuring cat ears and tail.

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Considering one cannot go wrong with cat girls, was confident I would like “Nyanko Days” but after watching the first few episodes have to admit that the show does not really appeal to me. While the production values by studio EMT Squared are good enough, and the overall premise is as moe as one would expect, overall the show simply doesn’t work for me.

It lacks the cleverness, cuteness or rapid-fire humour that other short running time anime that previously aired have demonstrated. While each of its individual elements is decent, they do not come together as a whole package that makes it stand out enough to be truly entertaining or enticing me to watch more of it.

While this cute anime with its two minute short episodes may be a fun watch for many fans, it may not live up to everyone’s expectations.
You can watch “Nyanko Days” on Crunchyroll.

Dollfie Dream snapshots: Tsukiko -3-

January 27, 2017

Posted some photos on Flickr of Tsukiko clad in a black bikini and white off-shoulder sweater. Shot these shortly before the sunset, a time of the day that can create unique and lovely lighting, especially when there is not a single cloud in the sky.

Being a Saber Alter Dollfie Dream, always liked how black and white garments look on Tsukiko, especially dark clothing on Volks’ white skinned body creates a nice effect and contrast.

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Even white clothing creates a unique look on a white skin tone Dollfie body compared to a normal skin tone body types. Have since switched this off-shoulder sweater to Shizuko though and hope to make some photos of her clad in it soon.

You can see more of my Dollfie Dream photography on Flickr.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

January 23, 2017

After looking at the winter season line-up, originally did not select “Demi-chan wa Kataritai” (or “Interviews with Monster Girls”) the new anime based on the “亜人ちゃんは語りたい” comedy manga by Petos about a teacher fascinated by demi-humans who hopes to learn more about them now that three such demi-humans have enrolled at his school.

Even though the promotional video looked promising enough, felt apprehensive that the show would exhibit harem undertones which if not presented innocent enough or kept to the minimum required for character development and light-hearted comedy, might clash with the overall aesthetic of the show. For some reason, the possible teacher & student romance innuendo would feel out of place here.

Sure, there are plenty manga and anime out there with exactly such romance plots, but if pushed too far, it could make “Demi-chan wa Kataritai” as sleazy as “Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou”, albeit without the ecchi fanservice. After watching the three first episodes and being unfamiliar with the manga, must admit am still apprehensive the story might head in that direction.

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Was nonetheless pleasantly surprised by the heartwarming, slice-of-life styled ‘teens growing up’ genre elements of “Interviews with Monster Girls” as well as the plethora of hilarious facial expressions and silly comedy by its main characters. Especially energetic Hikari and shy Sakie are a real hoot thanks to their goofy reactions.

Do hope that “Demi-chan wa Kataritai” continues on a moderate and benign course, focusing any romance subplots on the more innocent aspect of the girls growing up, instead of shifting to a more questionable ecchi approach of suggesting a possible harem.

With another core pillar of the story that of the girls facing challenges and misunderstandings due to them being supernatural creatures like a vampire, succubus, dullahan or snow woman, there’s plenty of room for good comedy as well as poignant character development. Most of the humour shown so far has been fairly run-of-the-mill and rather predictable though.

If the series continues on its path of providing laughter and heartwarming moments with silly shenanigans by its quirky character, then it may just become one of this winter season’s better comedies.
You can watch “Interviews with Monster Girls” on Crunchyroll.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

January 20, 2017

Next to the second season of “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!”, one of the comedies I was looking forward to the most this winter is “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon”, the anime adaptation of the “小林さんちのメイドラゴン” manga by Cool-kyou Shinja.

Knew this show would likely be an epic comedy considering that the author also created the hilarious “Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!” and “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken” manga, and studio Kyoto Animation have proven with “Nichijou” that they excel at animating eccentric comedies.

Loved the first few episodes and am confident “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon” will easily become one my favourite anime this winter season. This show is absolutely hilarious and its oddball characters feel positively familiar, their quirky antics and typical retorts not unlike those from the cast of the author’s other works “Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!” and “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken”.

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Must emphasise though that “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon” also pleasantly surprised me with several heartwarming scenes, had not expected this quirky comedy to offer such moments.
Thanks to good pacing and solid directing these quiet, heartwarming scenes do not clash with the humour and silly shenanigans of its characters, but the show seamlessly flows from comedy scenes into heartwarming moments and back.

Even though it is primarily a silly comedy, with such heartwarming gentle scenes “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon” fits nicely alongside excellent slice-of-life shows like “Flying Witch!”, “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” or “Barakamon”.

Although many of the actual jokes used are anime classics and hence rather predictable, the comedy in “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon” nonetheless works well, thanks to the excellent animation by studio Kyoto Animation and solid character writing. Also appreciated how they handle the yuri subtext between Tohru and Kobayashi, instead of going for superfluous fanservice or cheap innuendo, after the first few jokes their bond is soon portrayed as one of closeness, familiarity and warmth.

Highly recommend this show to any fan who enjoys silly comedies with a cast of quirky characters, as well as to those among you who like slice-of-life anime.
You can watch “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” on Crunchyroll.