Anime Winter 2017 – part 3

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi Hen

This is the second season of a wonderful anime about rakugo actors. If you haven’t watched the first season – then you should give it a chance =) It you have but didn’t like it – then you can easily skip this series. And if names Yakumo and Sukeroku have some meaning to you… well, you already know what to do =)

The only thing that causes some doubts here is the new Sukeroku, a thief we saw in the very first episode of this story. He doesn’t look like a smart guy and there’s no depth in his character. No depth yet, I hope.


Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

Again, this is a sequel. Konosuba is a comedy fantasy anime about a boy, Kazuma, who died and was reborn in a new world. I’m going to watch it, but the first three episodes were meh. And the authors purposefully make visuals uglier! However, the series still keeps up at a decent pace “several good jokes per 20 minutes”.


Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

What would you say if one day a dragon came to you door and asked to stay? Would you change your answer if that dragon could transform into a girl? And if you were a maid-otaku and the dragon/girl didn’t mind wearing a maid uniform? Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is a very simple but fun show. It contains some very cute moments, good jokes and, sometimes, it demonstrates animation techniques which would look great even in Nichijou.


Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuuutsu

This post pushed me to write a small note about Haruhi Suzumiya. Not about the series or the movie, though =)

Mentioning this anime conjures up only warm memories and this is related to the Voronezh Anime Festival 2007 or 2008 (I can’t remember the exact year). We were watching “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” during the Anime Night in the cinema. It was the biggest hall and it was packed. I was thinking something like “So many people and all of them like anime!” Anime fans were striking up conversation here and there (dialogs about anime at 4 am, it’s priceless)  and there was atmosphere of absolute unity. And dances! The cinema theater staff couldn’t believe their eyes – after every episode people applauded and some danced to the ending music. The staff used to see people sleeping during night seances, not dancing =)


Kreator – Gods of Violence

The newest Kreator album is available since today and, long story short, it is good. I’m a bit upset, though, because considering the first two music videos I expected this album to be the blast, the album that might become the album of the year, all that stuff =) The first half is much better than the second one where Mille, it seems, decided to return back to the Enemy of God’s melodic melodies. Overall, this is a decent start of the year. Also I’m looking forward to the new albums of: Overkill, Havok, Harlott, Swashbuckle, Toxik.

Gods of Violence on Yandex Music

Gods of Violence on Google Music



I wouldn’t say that I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. Before “Neverwhere” I had read only 2 of his books, “American Gods” (such shame, I barely can remember what this story was about, need to re-read it) and “The Graveyard Book”. The book I want to say a couple of words about hasn’t significantly changed my opinion.

Richard lives in London and his future is clear. His is going to get married soon, he has a steady job, his life is normal. But one day he acts like a Good Samaritan and helps out a girls who dropped on him and his girlfriend all of a sudden on the street. The girlfriend is disappointed – this act of good will is interfering with her plans, she breaks up with Richard soon but for him the real problems are just beginning. It seems that somehow he has become invisible for everyone. Taxis don’t stop, no one pays attention to him at work and his apartment is already being estimated by new tenants! “All this madness started after that girl I helped out, so she must be the only key to getting everything back!”,  Richard was thinking such way, I suppose =) He embarks on a journey to find that girl.

From this point the book shows us the plot as simple as ABC. Our characters move from point A to point B, then someone tells them that they should go to point C, then they find a thing that clearly shows that the next point is D and so on. This is my main problem with the “Neverwhere” – the absolute linearity of the book. It’s interesting to follow, Gaiman is a great author when it comes to describing locations of inventing strange creatures, but I wish there were moments when the heroes show themselves from a different perspective, demonstrate that they’re not just tokens moved by the author’s hand from one area to another.

About heroes. They are.. okay. Richard wants his ordinary life back and he doesn’t become a superhero who can crash any obstacle that dared stand on his way. His companions are more or less normal, considering the fantasy genre. But two villains here – they’re brilliant. Totally. First of all – they’re maniacs. Second – there’re many jokes related to them, quite dark ones, though.

The second disappointing thing for me is the end of the story. Richard has come back and I really thought that there wouldn’t be any typical reflections like “Oh, this world is so boring, I want back!”. Unfortunately, it turned out to be exactly like that.

P.S. I started looking for a movie based on the book and found that, actually, the novel is the adaptation of the TV series Neverwhere. Haven’t decided yet whether it should change anything in my attitude towards this story but the fact is interesting.

Anime (random thoughts)

Demi-chan Wa Kataritai is becoming a harem anime. I absolutely didn’t expect that. What I didn’t expect even more is that this “haremisation” wouldn’t make the anime worse. Maybe because of the main sex symbol here, Takanashi-sensei, who isn’t a typical anime character – he’s an adult and even can say the word “sex” without hesitation =)

The second season of Konosuba isn’t as good as the original series. The animation has become more ugly (yes, I understand that this was meant to be a feature) and the best jokes are ones which have been taken directly from the first season.

Little Witch Academia also can’t compete with its predecessors, seems, it’s borrowing to much from popular books and films about a boy with a lighting bold shaped scar.

It’s really strange to watch such anime as Ergo Proxy now, in 2017. We’re diving into it on a slow, slightly forgotten, there-will-be-26-episodes pace. Everything is so unfamiliar, so stylish, so black =)

After we’d been told that the medical examination was awaiting I decided that the time had come and I should warn the employer that we’re going to move to Canada. So, on Monday I had as many as four private conversations discussing that matter! Surprisingly, everything went quite well. No one was yelling at me, at least =) The day for us ended up again in the train, this time – to Moscow.

“Trains are never late”, they said. Hah! The locomotive had broken down and if we hadn’t stopped just a several dozens kilometers from Moscow we would’ve never made it in time. Fortunately, we got in the capital with just an hour and a half delay. Probably, next time we should take a rabbit’s leg with us or a four-leaf clover.

The examination itself was rather trivial. We filled in the applications in the IMO (overhearing the dialog about the enormous number of papers one has to gather if he or she wants to move to the US) and then moved to a hospital. The hospital was, hm, not bad, something related to the government, with security and virtually without patients. All tests are done, physician’s consultation completed – and we even still could get on the train that arrives that very evening!

Now my only hope that the doctor who’ll be checking out the results of the examination won’t find anything suspicious and we’ll be done at least with this stage.

Saint Petersburg

With a one-week delay we finally managed to visit Saint Petersburg.

I wouldn’t say that it was really a breathtaking adventure, even though it started with a last minute jump in the train and that was quite thrilling because neither me nor my wife had done something like that before, but I think this trip was worth the money and time we spent.

The biggest problem we had during the visit was sleeping. Or, to be precise, the number of ways people around us tried to leave us awake. When we’re in the train to Spb there were crying children, during the night in the train back to Voronezh there was an old woman who was eating all the time, walking and rustling. In addition, it was delightfully cold in the railway carriage. During the first night in the hostel, where we’re staying, someone turned on the music on YouTube twice, about 6 am and 7 am (there were computers on each floor). We’re going to kill anyone who’d imagine to entertain themselves such way on the second night but, luckily, it was calm.

Day 1

We had strolled along the Nevsky avenue, up and down, had visited several must-see places (like the Bronze Horseman) and stopped in a nice Japanese taiyaki-dedicated cafe (here). It’s a really nice place, small and home-like. It has been the first time we’ve ever tasted taiyaki, mochi and macha tea (though I believe that we would’ve been able to degustated such food at the Voronezh Anime Festival).

Oh, and about St Petersburg’s architectural style. Well, probably it really is different from most of Russia but for me it seemed surprisingly like Moscow (maybe that’s because I’m a stupid and ignorant person). The bridges across Neva looked impressively, though, and, well, I liked the view along the river in general.

Day 2

The day was completely dedicated to the Hermitage Museum. By the end of the day we virtually wore our legs out and could barely stay, not mentioning walking. Checked what pizza like in Pizza Hut (Sergei’s checklist “What I should do before I die”: visit St Petersburg, check; eat a slice of pizza in Pizza Hut, check), drank a couple of beers and found out that we had to make a medical examination appointment.

Day 3

It was the last day there. So, taking into account the number of strides we did the other day, we chose a slightly smaller museum – The Kunstkamera. Wouldn’t say that it’s the best museum in the world but it won’t hurt to visit it once. One more tour along the Nevsky and off we go! Back to Voronezh!