Boruto, not Boring

It’s really amazing how different Boruto has been feeling compared to Naruto. The focus seems to have shifted away from simple Shounen fightings to more soft, story-like theme in Boruto, where there is a moral of the story almost every few episodes. Action-wise, a little lacking so far for the first ten episodes or so. It’s nostalgic to see children of the ninjas that you watched mature in the earlier series though.

P.S.: I dropped Naruto halfway through cause it felt too draggy with all the flashbacks and overdramaticisation towards the end. But picking up Boruto again feels great.

Shakugan no Shana I-III Final 灼眼のシャナ

Shakugan no Shana (灼眼のシャナ). Nietono no Shana is the name of sword that the Flaming Hair Burning Eye Hunter wielded. Thus she was given the name Shana by the Mystes Sakai Yuuji, hence Shakugan no Shana, as in Burning Eye Shana.

What strikes this anime apart is in its cruel “The Truth of The World”, the existence of torches that fade away without anyone realising, the existence of Flame Hazes that kill Crimson Denizens to maintain the balance of the world, the existence of Crimson Denizens that eat Human’s Power of Existences to grant their own wishes. It’s a conflict of self-interests of all three sides. Crimson Denizens eat humans to grant their desperate wishes that couldn’t come true in their own world, Flame Hazes who victims of these form a contract with other Crimson Denizens to punish the Crimson Denizens although out of hate and venegance, and Humans who want to protect their own city (or to not be eaten).

This is really comparable to the ‘adult world’ where people will only care to fulfill their own wishes even if at the expense of others, although many would rather not admit it. For example, politics in the workplace, mudslinging, tarnishing others reputation and unethical bootlicking to rise quickly up the ranks. Similarly, each of the parties involved in the truth of the world are motivated by their own desires and self-interests, and certainly are unable to resolve their differences by peaceful negotiations (again, also similar to conflict between nations) and have to fight. Which is good, cause it satiates my hunger for some good battle action.

The one character I really liked throughout all three episodes was the Chanter of Elegies, Margery Daw. Surprisingly, since she took on the ‘support role’ to Shana and Sakai Yuji for the most part. Besides her genius chanting that made me double up laughing sometimes, she seems to provide guidance to the girls on topics of love, and a guardian figure to Eita and Keisuke. Side-note: Chigusa, Yuji’s mother is also another amazing character who manages to aid Shana with her (emotional) issues.

What’s really irksome is the seeming huge gap between season 2 and season 3. We were curtly informed of Yuji’s reason for disappearing without observing sufficient self-conflict within Yuji. It can’t be that he decided to side with his enemies from the previous season so easily, right? I feel greater insight into his decision process is necessary for viewers to sympatise with Yuji.

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Another of my favourite characters is Khamsin. Besides a similarly tragic backstory, I guess I simply like his mannerisms. It really makes these support characters unique. It’s too bad he died. haha massive spoiler >:D wicked laugh

Trivia: Margery Daw’s name is derived from a nursery rhyme!

紅世の徒 Guze no Tomogara    Guze= Red World,     Tomogara= One of the many readings, another reading is ‘to’, which on its own means disciple. However, it forms many crime-related words, such as 徒刑tokei    prison sentence

Summary: It would be good to read the manga as well, since many aspects of the past (former Flame Haired Burning Eye Hunter’s battle, why Merihim, also known as the skeleton Shiro went berserk at the sight of (fake) blood) and epilogue (What happened after Xanadu was made) were not shown in the anime. If you really liked Shakugan no Shana, the next best course of action is to read the manga! From the start! Again! ❤

Rating: 9/10 I just love this universe and its characters a lot. It helps that Shana is cute. I guess loli is still in season!

 

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Fresh Look, New Concept, Another Beginning

Accepting the fact that it is unlikely that my blog will ever be profitable, or popular for that matter, has helped a lot. Unlike many other anime bloggers in this realm (: , I certainly do not write as beautifully or have the time nor motivation to do in depth research. Neither am I as knowledgable on this topic of anime or film or literature or whatever and nor do I keep up to date with anime news.

Nevertheless, I have outlined a new objective for my blog; instead of pressuring myself to churn out content that I think would attract readers, it may be better to revert to producing content that makes me happy. ^W^)  And to post whenever I feel like it instead of regularly.

My new aims as written in About:

  1. Keep track of watched anime and related cultural products
  2. Rate them to the best of my ability
  3. Provide recommendations to people new to Japanese Animation
  4. Provide trivia on the Japanese language in anime

Which helps clear up my mind a lot and curbs my desire to write “Top 10 Blah Blah Blah Anime” posts simply to attract readers. A.k.a. Clickbait.

I just hope people find the Japanese language part valuable.

まよチキ!Mayo Chiki!

Mayoeru Shitsuji to Chikin na Ore to (迷える執事とチキンな俺と, The Hesitant Butler and Myself the Chicken) revolves around Kinjirou Sakamachi, a 17-year-old high school boy who suffers from gynophobia (abnormal fear of women), which makes his nose bleed every time he has physical contact with a female. While using the men’s washroom, he accidentally discovers that the popular and handsome butler Subaru Konoe is in fact a girl. Now that Kinjirō knows about Subaru’s secret, he must work together with Subaru and her sadistic mistress, Kanade Suzutsuki, to protect Subaru’s secret from being discovered.

Music-wise, Mayo Chiki! displays good but the usual jpop OP and ED. Compared to some of the best OPs and EDs this season, it pales in comparision, but nevertheless good on the ears. After many repetitions of Be Starters!, I found myself humming along and liking it.

Since I found the anime unfulfilling I went on ahead to read the manga from scratch. This review will consist of some comparisions with the manga as a result.

Plot-wise, what’s to hate of a super cute reverse trap! Despite Subaru the reverse trap butler being the main heroine of the show, I found myself more attracted to Usami’s character, which was better explored. Usami was unable to trust others, unable to act openly, and became finally able and wanting to change through the story – she found out it wasn’t that others change you, it has to be you to change yourself. (Episode 6) The anime felt awkwardly structured, since the side character BL megane lover in sheep costume wasn’t fleshed out until the very last episode. (Episode 13) As an anime, the show goes well as a comedic piece, but falls flat in character development of the main characters in particular, the only exception being Usami. In part, this is due to the way the manga was structured, and only through reading the manga did I learn more about Suzutsuki’s chracter. The manga provided a much better analysis and deeper compare and contrast of Usami and Suzutsuki’s character.

Compared to similar gender bender anime such as Maria holic, this show dwelves deeper into friendship and romance. The manga really fleshed out the feelings of the characters and the romance that blossomed, unlike the anime, to which Kinjirou x Subaru only developed to the point of best friends. Despite the warm atmosphere the anime gave, there was no concrete end to the show, and it felt abrupt. Almost as if they lost all their budget for a continuation second season because they visited the pachinko. As referenced earlier, the last episode appeared as a last ditch attempt to explore Nakuru’s character and complex over her large boobs, but there wasn’t much explored into how people fall in love, which wasn’t resolved with the introduction of gap moe. This puts it in a very bad spot as that’s what it ended with.

Fortunately, the manga fares better, which you may continue from Volume 4 Chapter 19, although there are some scenes left out from the anime, so I would recommend to read the manga from scratch again!

In terms of art though, I found the anime to feature Konoe better with a wider variety of expressions and more distinguishable art for each character, as in the manga the eyes and faces of all the characters are noticeably similar.

It also explains the pun, shitsuji (butler) and hitsuji (sheep) which sounds similar, which struck me as the reason as to why Subaru loved the sheeps so much. Suzutsuki could be compared to the wolf in some scenes with her evil vibes when hunting down Subaru, the sheep.

Additionally, the manga also illustrates usami attempting suicide, so chapter 12 was really different from the way the anime was executed. Perhaps due to the nature of the anime being marketed as a R+ mild nudity ecchi film they thought it better to reduce the seriousness of the plot. Which is not a good idea, don’t ruin the plot!

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Music is also used well throughout the anime, and even within the story itself. The song Usami uses as a ringtone can be found here, it’s called Believe, a song most middle-schoolers in Japan hear sung by the choir. It’s more obviously heard with the first few seconds of this piano version, 信じてる ピアノ. The lyrics of the song tells us that despite Usami’s distrust of everyone, she wants to try to believe. And that she sets it to Baka Chiken’s ringtone as someone who helps her believe. (Episode 9) Great ost, Hakanaki Yume, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owiro-Tli8s (Episode 4)

A brief sketch of the feelings I felt while reading the manga:

  • It’s a pity Konoe isn’t able to bring herself to confess to Jirou properly, and instead elevating their status to “Best Friends”.
  • loving the manga
  • deals with friendzone (chapter 28)
  • and harem (even usami !! chapter 29)
  • We aren’t wavering anymore (chapter 31)
  • Subaru, cluster of stars (chapter 34)
  • Ship complete! (chapter 34) ❤ ❤ ❤
  • Reveal! (chapter 35) => the anime may have tried to adapt it a little with Butler going missing and the campaign for Konoe to return as butler, (which was not in the manga)
  • CHARACATERE DEVELOPMENT, chicken -> not chiken, we’ve came along way (no longer nosebleeeding easily, no longer easily swayed by Suzutsuki
  • Usamin became a gullible cute rabbit easily fooled by Suzutsuki, more trusting of people
  • Konoe became more honest with her feelings
  • Title drop XDDXDXDXDXDD ZGDVXFDAjHXdaKH FG

The manga Mayo Chiki! really gave me the feels, and I could feel their love blossom. Unlike Ookami Shounen, Mayo Chiki! showed the development of love of the main couple, without any holds barred. Albeit it may be a little too convenient to have all 3 heroines accept each other without much infighting, but I do suppose that as friends they have already progressed thus far. Perhaps it is a relief not to have the usual crying drama of heartbreak, but it may not be that realistic in that case. Regardless, I’m happy for their friendship and shall worship Subaru-sama as the cutest thing sheep in existence.

/ーーーー・ Rating:9/10 ・ーーーー/

Anime was OK but please continue reading the manga!

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New Year, New Vision

With the end of 2017, I realised that this blog lacks a strong personality backing some of its posts, especially the ones recommending anime. I guess it would be a good time to begin reviewing anime instead, and giving scores.

Another plus point that I have going for me would be my ability to understand (some) japanese, which I can put to my advantage when analyzing specific quotes. Beyond that, I need to look at anime as a whole and critique it, which I’m finding it really hard to do since all I do is watch them for every bit’s worth of enjoyment value, and thinking of whether it’s a good move as a plot kind of ruins my enjoyment. ^^;;;

Without sufficient follower backing and comments I think my motivation may have fallen apart halfway. But I’ll continue to pick myself up, no matter how many more blog counts or followers other anime blogs have, and continue on with my grand dream of making money out of this. (*T_T)

Beyond that, I would love to get to know some amazing bloggers, so feel free to comment or look me up on Twitter where I’m most active!

声優かっ! Seiyuu Ka!

Seiyuu Ka is a story of Hime Kino, a 15-year-old girl who attends Hiiragi High School Academy, for its voice acting department. Her biggest dream is to become the voice of a main character in one of the most popular shoujo manga series in Japan, “Mahou Senshi Lovely Blazers”. This is difficult to achieve, however, as her voice is not suitable as a professional voice actress, resembling that of a gorilla, thug or even an old hag.

This is a story of determination, of hard work: can effort surpass/match talent? Especially with something that most would think is either you do have it from birth, or you don’t, your voice.

In the series, Kino faces difficulty in even gaining any bit of recognition in her voice acting school, as she is grouped among 3 others who are at the bottom of their voice acting class. In comparision to her rival, Senri Kudou, who has one of the best male acting voices and has already begun to work for acclaimed shows, all the while in the same class as Kino. Despite Kino’s gorilla-like voice, she still faces onwards with impressive optimism. It doesn’t mean that one should give up if one fails, is the spirit she embodies. This manga teaches how to face life’s failings, how to best respect even those that have criticised us for our flaws, to accept them and work to correct them or improve ourselves. A single example out of many would be Kino thanking the sound director, despite it being obvious that she was unwanted, although she feel the sting of defeat, as seen from her tear-stained face afterwards, see volume 4 chapter 19 to 21. Accepting her inadequacies, she works hard towards her aspirations. This is truly something worth learning from this manga.

The vast crevasse between Hime and Senri narrows slightly over the course of the manga, as Hime becomes more skilled at the male voice. Romance develops over this course of time, but will Hime ever get to voice a female voice as was her dream? Or perhaps she may find satisfaction in being a male voice actor? This leads me to the next point, which that there are alternative routes to success. The saying “All roads lead to Rome.” rings true as although Hime may have not succeeded with her gorilla-like, grandma-like female voice, she did manage to pull off an exceptionally well male voice. Perhaps, this may be a reminder that although we may be lacking in some aspects, there will always be other aspects that we excel at, in which our talent and effort may blossom in. What is encouraging is that Hime was not forced to abandon her dream of being a voice actress, although she did, inadvertedly have to become a voice actor instead.

In all, this manga is a exceptionally motivating to all of us who have faced criticism, be it heavily judgemental or objective ones. Nevertheless, Seiyuu Ka! teaches us that the best way to face your critics is to thank them. Only then you may thank them for their time in caring enough to critic you and receive their constructive critism on how to improve yourself. This is a manga of dreams and difficulties in achieving that dream, from the point of an individual, and how to face those difficulties. The romance added in gives it an additional pep and occasional scenes of ‘Aww~’. This is certainly a great manga to read in the midst of facing harsh criticsm from bosses, or from people in general!

Unlike similarly romance and gender bender Ookami Shounen, Seiyuu ka! features a pre-determined couple, and how their relationship develops. Unlike Ookami Shounen, Seiyuu ka! is bolder in showing the colour of our characters through it’s art, and does not confine to the mold. Certain scenes are moving and with art styles to add to that emotion, which really makes this read a memorable one. Although it does not move you with grand issues of Plus vs Minuses such as in Medaka’s Box, it touches your heart with the small struggles of a determined commoner. I wholeheartedly recommend this to the everyday man who has experienced failure, multiple times, and picked themselves up, multiple times.

/ーーーー・ Rating:9/10 ・ーーーー/

A story of strength, captivating to a fault.

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狼少年は今日も嘘を重ねる The Boy Who Cried Wolf Tells a Lie Today Also

The Boy Who Cried Wolf Tells a Lie Today Also (Ookami Shounen wa Kyou mo Uso wo Kasaneru) begins with Keitarou Itsuki a junior high school student unhappy about the menacing look of his eyes. Keitarou tries to confess to the girl he likes, Aoi Tokujira, but she rejects him flat out. Thinking that his eyes were the reason why she rejected him, he confides in his older sister about it at her salon, who helps by giving him a complete makeover, into a pretty girl! Forced to head home like this, he runs into Aoi in town, who doesn’t recognize him and asks him to help her overcome a problem she’s had for many years: an intense fear of men, androphobia.

It’s a manga about crossdressing! Anything that’s crossdressing makes my eyes light up, plus the art’s good! So I gave it a try.

Plot-wise, there isn’t anything much to be expected. No surprise feels, no teary moments. But at some points, it really touched my heart. How the main character could go all out to help Aoi overcome her androphobia, and not merely due to love. Aoi’s past is remarkably a captivating read, the feelings, the emotion are all well conveyed even in round and perfectly cute art.

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It has been a really good read, and I can’t really place my finger on exactly why, but it could be due to how the character’s come to terms with the resolution, it’s a bittersweet end, Botan gets what she wants in the end, and Aoi changes and is no longer as cold as a thorn princess… but it was still disappointing to have ended in such a way. Perhaps it feels off and incomplete since all the last chapter showed was a rather slice-of-life situation, without a proper development of love of the final selected couple, but I guess the way it ended off is a way to end as well.

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In comparison to the other mangas I have read so far, this one does itself well to appear to be a bittersweet, perfectly packaged romance fairy tale that doesn’t end off all to well. It’s a realistic ending since we don’t have major turnovers that the writer just pulls out of his butt to give the readers what they want, but at the same time leaves things to be desired since the fairy tale doesn’t seem to have ended of perfectly happy. Aoi has things left unsettled, her phobia of boys not completely cured, but the thorn princess having been resolved, and her love unfulfilled. While Botan seems to be the happiest of the pack, her relationship with the hero hasn’t progressed by far, and to be completely blunt, they would seem to be only slightly off the track of friendship. Nevertheless, the story ends here abruptly to complete the short fairy tale, of the boy who cried wolf and the thorn princess of the library.

/ーーーー・ Rating:6/10 ・ーーーー/

A delicious read that leaves much to be desired.

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