Assassination Classroom Episode 1 Recap

A difficult task is set out for a bunch of fourteen-year-olds and the teacher has nothing but impossible written all over him. The classroom may not be full of fun and laughter but it is sure to give you some. Continue reading Assassination Classroom Episode 1 Recap

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Koufuku Graffiti Episode 1 Highlights

When the rice come apart one by one as the sweet tofu oozes out… is what happiness tastes like.

There are some things that need to be said of the people behind Koufuku Graffiti that raises our expectations. For one, the series is produced by Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Madoka MagicaNisekoi, and the Monogatari series). The screenplay is written by Mari Okada (AnoHanaBlast of TempestNagi no Asukara).

A simple story and food service are all you can find here. In a nutshell: family, friendship, food.
Continue reading Koufuku Graffiti Episode 1 Highlights

Your Lie in April Episode 12 Recap

The piano competition arc ended with a wonderful realization from Kousei and an ominous warning from Kaori. Everything else seems like a blur since the previous episode was released a long time ago. I even forgot that they have a gala concert to prepare for!

We are met with renewed strength, deep conversations, generous fans, secret fans and an unexpectedly stuck-up kohai. The story of Kousei and his friends continues while we follow. What will our dear middle-schoolers surprise us with next? Continue reading Your Lie in April Episode 12 Recap

Shirobako Episode 13 Recap

After two weeks, Shirobako returns for another cour and I’ve never been more excited.

With a new production comes new challenges and there is a lot of it in this new episode. Surprise promotions, voluntary demotions, a few inspirations, and an elusive author, Musashino Animation has a lot on their plate and there’s more on the way! Well, whatever is coming, inside this white box is still a colorful world and we all love to have a look. Continue reading Shirobako Episode 13 Recap

Akatsuki no Yona Episode 13 Recap

I dropped Akatsuki no Yona after its 4th episode last season because I thought the story was executed badly. Luckily, with a little help from my friends of MAL, I’m picking it up again.

I surely don’t regret it now. It is not clear on how many episodes Akatsuki no Yona will have. But for the foreseeable future, I will be recapping this series starting with this episode.
Continue reading Akatsuki no Yona Episode 13 Recap

01/05/2015 This Week in Anime

So the season begins a little later than I thought. That doesn’t mean that the hype is going out! We’re still anticipating the coming of the new and return of the old anime with immense excitement. Continue reading 01/05/2015 This Week in Anime

Happy New Year and Happy New Anime!

First and foremost, a happy new year to you all! We welcome the new year with a new season packed with a lot of exciting new anime.

Upon further deliberation, I have come up with a list of what I’ll be recapping for this season. Continue reading Happy New Year and Happy New Anime!

Amagi Brilliant Park Review: Definitely Not a Fairy Tail

7/10

To be honest, I only considered watching Amagi Brilliant Park because it’s Kyoto Animation. But what kept me watching is my love for theme parks.

I really thought Amaburi would be an exposition, showing its viewers true-to-life behind the scenes and nitty-gritty aspects of a particular object (in this case, a theme park) – something like Shirobako with anime making – plus an added fantasy in the side. I suppose it is that kind of anime in its own way. Only, most of the elements you encounter are improbable. It’s a fantasy anime, no doubt about it.

Amaburi‘s art is its most dazzling feat. It’s nothing less from KyoAni. Its visuals are colorful, vibrant, and fluid befitting that of a theme park. KyoAni hasn’t innovated its character design that much but it still packs a punch in Amaburi. Kanie’s, for example, can put the Iwatobi boys’ to shame.

Where the series suffers the most is the story. The first two episodes give us a trajectory. The setting may be cliche in its execution but it gave us a clear goal.

Afterwards, the succeeding episodes are loaded with filler stories that may or may not make sense and only give the slightest intent of ever reaching that goal. They may give us an inkling of what is needed to run a theme park but they’re nothing more than run-of-the-mill antics with a touch of the improbable. I honestly think KyoAni could have done a better job if they put a little more thought and effort in building the fillers.

The overarching story is put back in focus in the last five episodes. The series manages to save itself as it slowly unfolds a cute, charming little story amusing enough to keep me watching until the last episode. It is the biggest plus side after that mess of a middle. Save for a few plot holes and open-endings, I can say that Amaburi ended well enough.

(c) Kyoto Animation
(c) Kyoto Animation

With its characterization, Amaburi keeps it simple. But with its diversity of characters, development was disordered. For some characters, you’ll see them grow as the series progresses and for the others, there is almost no development at all.

It hits most of what we can expect from an effort by KyoAni – consistent visuals, top-notch character design, and a whole lot of fan service. After Free! and Kyoukai no Kanata, I would have asked for more. But with its variety of scenes, AmaBuri proves how versatile the studio is.

All in all, Amagi Brilliant Park is a roller coaster ride. It takes you up and down and through the unexpected and ends abruptly enough for you to want more. It may not be the best of what KyoAni has to offer but it is a good addition to their opus. I would recommend this to anyone looking for lighthearted entertainment.

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Mushishi Zoku Shou Review: a Japanese Masterpiece

10/10

I have forgotten now how I came to watch Mushishi Zoku Shou. But whatever that reason is, I surely don’t regret it.

It may be appalling at first how it may seem slow-paced or even stagnant. Looking closely, we’ll realize that it is this stillness and calm that give Mushishi its distinction, making it worthy to be called a masterpiece.

After all the action and drama that anime can flaunt, Mushishi gives us a refreshing retreat, a break from the hustle and bustle of trite anime antics, and presents to us its own brand of action and drama enveloped in its unique and perhaps unpredictable storytelling.

Mushishi 1

We follow Ginko, the main character, in his travels across Japan where he meets people affected by mushi, strange, ethereal creatures that coexist silently with every other living being. Interacting with different mushi even unknowingly has its implications and Ginko, as a mushishi, offers his help to those troubled by mushi to the best of his ability. The setting itself offers a horizon of opportunities. It is a captivating feat that each episode can be the darkest of tales reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe (Fragrant Darkness, Lingering Crimson) or even the most lighthearted of stories (Banquet at the Forest’s Edge). The story fills out every edge of possibility and leaves room for even more.

The slow movement and breathtaking scenery are what absorb you and even more so when its superb musical arrangements come in to accompany it. Its masterful direction bring out the best of each scene – the deep-rooted characters, the intense emotions, the over-all mood (you’d have to take a closer look to see this). Mushishi couldn’t ask for a better production.

The whole experience takes you to a time when man and nature treated each other with respect and lived together in peace and harmony. With each episode told in a way that closely resembles the fable of Aesop and the parables of Jesus coupled with its magnificent art direction, Mushishi gives us an experience evocative of the ways of Shinto and Zen embedded in classical Japanese culture.

And yet, Mushishi never tries to be grandiose and flamboyant in its ways. Its simplicity is its most favorable trait and it is in there that you will find its grandeur. “Mabaw nga kalipay” (“simple pleasure”) is what we’d call it in Cebuano. It is not laden with complications and twists but that makes it all the more entertaining.

Among the anime series I’m watching this season, Mushishi Zoku Shou stands out the most and is easily one of my favorites in my limited repertoire. I would very much recommend the series to anyone and everyone, especially to those with an open mind.

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~ anime review blog