Way of the Househusband, like Science Fell In Love So I Tried To Prove It earlier, is a comedy anime based around variations on one theme – the theme being, “What if a super badass retired yakuza was really goddamn good at domestic tasks.”
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It’s been a while since I dropped a manga, and much as when I reviewed Night Head 2041 after having dropped it, it feels appropriate to discuss Copellion for the same reason – particularly since I made it over halfway through the series (with under 100 chapters to go before finishing it) before I had enough.
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I will admit, I’m not as familiar with Konosuba as I’d like to be. I’ve watched some of the show in advance of my first Anime Appendix N video, but I haven’t read any of the novels (though I’m planning to rectify some of that). However, the show was very much a success, so it’s not surprising that a different series of novels from the same author – Combatants Will Be Dispatched – has also received an anime adaptation.
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The previous Gridman anime, from Trigger, hid the true meaning of those 4 S’s for that series until the last episode – “Special Signature to Save a Soul.” Dynazenon puts its meaning for those initials right up front – “Scarred Souls Shine like Stars.” The theme of this show is very much self-evident – this is a series about characters learning to cope with trauma and work through trauma, but also acknowledging that trauma is something that sticks around and doesn’t necessarily go away. And the show presents those themes through the framework of high school students working together to fight Kaiju.
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Of the past two cours’ mecha anime, Back Arrow is probably the oddest of the bunch. Like Real Robot anime, it has warring factions with what are, effectively, mass production mecha, with ace customs for more prominent named characters. Like Super Robot anime, no fucks are given as to the mechanics of how this works, to the point of the mechs effectively running on Gurren Lagann-style Hot-Blooded Gumption (fitting since Kazuki Nakashima, who wrote Gurren Lagann, wrote this) And, like Space Runaway Ideon, there are some mysteries about the source of this technology that lean towards the sinister.
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Orphen’s second season is, arguably, a lot more focused than its first. That, unfortunately, doesn’t stop the show from tripping over its own feet when it comes to the world-building of the setting. In particular, it’s where the mythology of the setting is concerned, especially related to the organization known as the “Kimluck Church.”
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These volumes of Knights of Sidonia are the lead-in for the big climax of the story. Tanijiro picks his romantic interest in these volumes, and the Sidonia gets ready for their big final assault on the Greater Cluster Ship, only for a new wrinkle to potentially ruin their plans – and the ship.
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It’s been a while since I did a review of a show that just finished airing, so it’s time to give my thoughts on Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken.
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It’s kind of been a while since we got a major cyberpunk anime that was outside of the general orbit of Masamune Shirow. Season 2 of SAO, from the description of the arc, was something that I might describe as cyberpunk adjacent – but otherwise, I generally didn’t see much that didn’t have a connection to Shirow or one of the series he created in the listings. So, when No Guns Life came up in the Anime Chart, I figured it was worth checking out.
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Well, the Fall 2019 anime season has (as of when this goes live) wrapped up, so it’s time to start giving thoughts on some of the anime from the tail end of the year – and we start off with After School Dice Club, a healing anime about Euro-style board games.
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When it comes to concepts related to fanservice in anime, there are some that are very hard to do well. One of them, probably the biggest one of them, is what I call “Sexual Slapstick.” It’s someone walking into a room and seeing someone undressing, or tripping and falling and copping a feel (or seeing something they shouldn’t. They’re all based around acts that are gross, which means it can be hard to make funny. Season one of We Never Learn did it and What the Hell Are You Doing Here, Teacher? also manages to actually pull it off.
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There are some anime with a strong first half, and then which utterly shits the bed in the second half of the show. Yu-No, an anime series based off of an Eroge (and which had an earlier hentai adaptation back in the ’90s) is one of those shows.
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The first four volumes of the Ultraman manga were bookended by the sentence “This is the beginning of a new age.” Volume 5 starts with that sentence, but ends with the sentence fading from the page – and that says a lot about where this volume of the manga ends.
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For the past month or so I’ve been doing Let’s Play streams of Viewtiful Joe, a 2.5D character action game from Clover Studios. Now that I’ve beaten the game and the last edited installments have gone up, it’s time for me to give my thoughts on the game as a whole.
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I enjoyed Laid Back Camp a lot. Between its informative depictions of going camping in Japan, it’s interesting travelogue sequences, and it’s generally chill tone, it ended up being one of my favorite anime, and one where I was kind of sad to see it end, and glad to see the show get a second season. After hearing that the manga had been getting an English release, I decided to check out the first volume of the manga.
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RobiHachi is a very different show than most of the anime series I’ve seen – particularly those about travel. Most anime series that are about travel and tourism that I’ve seen tend to be chill slice of life comedies, like Laid Back Camp. RobiHachi, on the other hand, is a very silly, wacky, over-the-top comedy – though one with some thematic elements in common with those other series.
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I first watched Mobile Suit Gundam: Stardust Memory when I was in High School, a little after 9/11. The story worked for me at that time, when all the Gundam I’d seen had been the Gundam compilation films and Char’s Counterattack. Since then I’ve seen considerably more Gundam (including Zeta Gundam) since then.
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A lot of fanservice anime tends to be gross. Maybe it’s because the fanservice comes through sexual slapstick of the “Whoops I fell and groped you or looked up your skirt” variety. Or it comes through battle damage of the “Female character gets their top shredded in combat and now their boobs are hanging out” variety. Or it’s of the “Male lead openly sexually harasses female characters variety.” Perhaps that’s why the fanservice that comes up in We Never Learn feels like a breath of fresh air.
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In the last couple volumes of Hayate the Combat Butler, we got something of a new status quo for the characters as a whole, while not really setting up what the next arc for Nagi was going to be. Volume 28 introduces a couple of new characters (sort of) while setting up Nagi’s next arc.
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If I was going to describe 20th Century Boys in a high concept manner to someone in an elevator, I’d describe it as It meets The Stand. It’s a story that takes place over a vast scope of time, almost 30-40 years, with multiple time skips, and an apocalypse in-between, with a fundamental premise of a group of childhood friends being forced to face a great evil as adults. The difference is, the evil in It is a clearly supernatural, unearthly evil. The evil in 20th Century Boys is very, very human.
There are some spoilers below the cut.
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Over the past few years off and on, I’ve read the first 13 volumes of Oh! My Goddess, and I’ve written about them on various other places (including Bureau42), but never on my blog. Having finished the 13th volume of the manga, now is as good a time as any to give some general thoughts about the series.
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Kirby games are generally conceived as kinder, gentler platformers. Not easy, but not punishingly hard either. Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch is no exception. While the narrative gets weirdly dark at times, the gameplay stays generally friendly.
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Never has an anime been so perfect in its title as Laid Back Camp. This is a chill, relaxing, and also educational anime.
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One of my guilty pleasures is the Dynasty Warriors games. They’re fun, engaging, somewhat mindless hack-and-slash games. However, they are not without their faults. There comes a point where you’ve put the Yellow Turban Rebellion down enough times that you just can’t play through it anymore. Thus the appeal of the other takes on the concept from within Koei and without. Such is the case with Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star.
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