Are You Really the Only One Who Likes Me?

Continue with harem shows… After the really nice anime about the neighbors club I also forced myself to finish that. Ugh. The first 4, maybe, episodes were okay, the scenes with a bench and the recurring mention of “that baseball game” felt maybe not hilarious but quite funny. And I should’ve stopped watching this show after the next one or two episodes when the pace slowed down. But I was being stupid and decided that if I had already finished half of the show it’d be stupid to drop it. It turned out to be a bad, bad idea.

Oresuki is, honestly, a pile of incomprehensible trash. Who are all these characters? Why are they doing what they’re doing? What about all this pretentious dialogs? It’s not even an ordinary romcom, those typically take their time to introduce characters! But considering that by the end of the show we have at least 8 girls participating in all this circus, there was hardly a chance that I’d memorize at least their names. The plot is also a mess. Every girl is in love with Sun-chan, but not, wait, they already fell for Joro (oh boy, what a terrible protagonist he is)! Every damn single thing in this anime is unnatural, rushed and forced. Was the idea to laugh at other harem romantic comedies, throwing in all the cliche this genre is based on? If it was — it was executed… not perfectly.

Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai

I should appreciate the talent of people who manage to come up with ideas for interesting harem shows. After all, it’s one of the most beaten genres based on the formula that stood the test of time — take an average high school student and surround him with girls who, for some unknown reason, fall in love with the main character as soon as they see him. We’ll see a childhood friend, a girl who’s a good at sports, a tsundere, a smart classmate, the student council president, a teacher, an 妹 — no one will leave unsatisfied! And yet — new harem anime come out again and again and sometimes they are even good.

Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai is now exactly a new anime, the first season was released in 2011 — but because we finally got a funimation subscription and ran out of shows to watch this fall season, Nastia suggested that I could check it out (she had already seen it before). Shame to admit this, but I kind of liked it =)

For two reasons, mostly — Sena and Rika. It’s vital to have likeable heroines in a harem anime and usually in every show of this questionable genre I like, I find that one character I want to support (and by “support” I don’t mean “root for her to end up being together with our average Joe”). In Nisekoi it’s Kirisaki, in Monogatari — Senjougahara, in School Rumble — Eri-san (well, who am I lying to? In School Rumble I was ferociously supporting Harima-kun and would be okay with almost any of the pairings). In Haganai Rika and Sena kept things interesting. Maybe because they’re otaku? The main character, on the other hand, is a drag and he’s gradually becoming more and more annoying as the story went on.

What else… the jokes sometimes are funny, Rika hits 100 out of 100 with hers. I was okay with the ecchi part and this anime is a rare case when all the scenes with nudity are uncensored — it might be a bit straightforward at times but not eye bleeding. The third season — I’d gladly watch it but not sure we’ll get it, after all, the second one came out 7 years ago. One never knows though what may happen, so fingers crossed (the same as with a new season of Nisekoi).

Ascendance of a Bookworm

Huh, the English name is so much shorter than the original (本好きの下剋上 ~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません)! Just recently saw a video on youtube when Japanese people were trying to guess the name of the anime by its American title, my bet is that no one would’ve had this one!

Anyway, I was very skeptical about this show after the first episode. Another isekai, with a pretty annoying main character — doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, right? Everything turned out to be not so bad. Luckily, Ascendance of a Bookworm often looks like a slice-of-life anime and is not too focused on Maine’s abilities (which of course are not ordinary, who would’ve thought). The girl’s family is super cute, Otto and Benno are nice supporting characters, the world makes sense — I couldn’t have asked for more. Maine’s also become a little better person than she was at the beginning, thanks to her family and Lutz. To complain a bit — sometimes it was weird to think that this 5-year old girl hugging her father is actually a adult woman. She’s also kind of like Senku and surprisingly knowledgeable in areas I wouldn’t expect her to be — basically, considering how she’s obsessed with books, I didn’t think she’d know how to bake a pound cake, for example.

Well, if I started complaining it’ll be impossible to stop now =) The final of the first season felt a bit more childish than it could’ve been. I was not really sure about all this “okay, let’s pretend that the incident with the High Priest has not happened at all and live happily all together”. No public executions in retaliation for Maine’s behavior, really? Hopefully, we’ll return to the relationships between the main heroine and the head of the church in the second season.

Ottawa is a lovely city and I’ll certainly post a few pictures from there but the flight back was an adventure by itself =)

We’re supposed to board yesterday at about 8pm and would’ve been home at 10. Would have. But the flight was delayed because of a “mechanical issue” with the plane. Okay, not a big deal, flights are delayed all the time. Two hours later another plane had arrived, we got on board and were told… that the chances to land in London were next to zero, because the fog was super thick. But we’re flying anyway, in the case the weather would change. So instead of a short 1.5h trip back we spent about 4 hours in the air — flying to London, making circles above the city and, eventually, returning to the capital.

However, thanks to Air Canada and, particularly, their agent at the airport, who fought for us with the re-booking/cancelled flights service, we got a room at a hotel for the night and taxi vouchers. Also, after half an hour on the phone (at 2am!), we managed to get the last two seats on the direct flight today at 12:15pm — no connection flights and much earlier comparing to the originally scheduled one at 7:40pm. Can consider ourselves lucky =)

Machikado Mazoku

Thanks to an absolutely bland description about a “high school student Yuuko Yoshida wakes to see that she has grown demonic horns blah blah” I almost skipped a super adorable anime!

Everything in this show is cute. There are cute characters, all of them, demons and 魔法 girls, there are cute jokes, there are cute familiars — off the top of my head it’s really hard to recall anything that was not 可愛い. Yeah, to be fair, there’s not much behind all that sweetness — but who watches such anime hoping for complicated plots? I consider it a great success that now I can write everywhere “The time hath come!” and send this video:

Dr Stone

I’m very vocal about my disappointment with and, consequently, disapproval of shounen shows. Nevertheless, Dr Stone, despite being a “normal” shounen in many aspects (for example, they have a goddamn tournament there! they always do…), stayed very enjoyable during all its 24-episodes-long run. Maybe because instead of relying on heroes’ superpowers or exceptional abilities this anime mostly rely on science?

To be fair, Senku’s memory is kind of a superpower. He knows how to make anything, starting from a wheel and ending with a nuclear bomb apparently. He remembers what properties all materials have. He’s also very lucky — like, what were the chances that the sulfa drug he made would work out? And so on, and so forth. In this case, I’m going to let it slide, just for the sake of the general unusualesness =) Also, for the sake of some genuinely fun characters (Kinro and Ginro, or Kaseki).

Sometimes, though, it feels like Senko is inventing for no other reason but the invention itself. “We need phones to win the Stone Wars”, seriously? They are advanced (and lucky) enough to build trebuchets or similar brute-force weapons, that would probably give them an upper hand in their fight again Tsukasa. Or they could try finding more acid to un-petrify more people. Or do something else. But phones?

There are also some questionable plot lines. For instance, what have Taiju and Yuzuriha been doing in “Tsukasa’s Kingdom”? How the hell did the village survive through so many years when there were only 6 founders? Why is the village at a walking distance from Hakone — seems that Senku’s father with the others landed somewhere far away from civilization?

My hopes are that all these loose ends will be tied up in the second season and that, generally, it’ll get a decent story arc, not too stereotypical and not having to resort too often to far-fetched things like “they’re not going to fight us till spring because reasons”.

If someone curious about the cost of dental medicine in Canada — I finally got some first-hand experience. Had to get my root canal treated, went to the dentist twice, first time just to get the prescription on antibiotics and painkillers and survive the weekend, and the second time it was the actual procedure. The total cost submitted to the insurance company turned out to be $1400. I paid only $25 so far and, in theory, the rest should be covered by the insurance but we’ll see. To be fair, I wasn’t picky and went to the first doctor who had an available slot and maybe it was more expensive than it could’ve been =)

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai

Finally, more screen time for amazing Sakurajima Mai!

I was a bit apprehensive towards this movie initially, simply because the description said that we’re going to reveal the mystery of Shouko, and who cares about her when instead we could be watching Mai? Fear not, we got plenty of scenes with Sakurajima-san! Scenes where she’s cute, angry, pleading with the main character. Scenes where she dies sacrificing herself for this bastard (I did write before that he didn’t deserve her, didn’t I?) I didn’t like Sakuta in the TV show and that feeling didn’t change after the movie — he’s that type who’d cheat on his girlfriend without giving it a second thought. In the movie the authors went further and showed that his indecisiveness and inability to accept the reality cost a lot, more that just a broken heart.

Despite all the depressing moment the movie has a happy ending and the way we’re getting at it is probably the weirdest part among everything else. In order to save Mai Sakuta goes to the past. Yeah, hooray, the messiest plot line in every single book or anime or movie — time-traveling! Not only does Sakuta go there and save himself and Mai, later on they also somehow inspire Shouko so much, that she overcomes her illness.

Overall, this “Buta Yarou” is a decent continuation of a decent TV show. It’s still too harem-ish, a bit irritating sometimes, with a not very pleasant main hero. But the chance to spend more time watching Mai is invaluable and it makes up for all the minuses.