Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Despite its high rating on MAL, despite the enormous amount of GIFs on tumblr, despite being based on a successful manga (I’m not sure about the last one but 14 volumes indicate that it has some success) I heard and read the opinion that this anime is boring multiple times. Maybe people are just tired of romcom shows? To be honest, I myself love complaining how terrible school romantic comedies are but “Kaguya-sama” was an exception. It’s not that this anime is flawless — after all it’s made in the genre where everything has been already said and done. However, I looked forward to every new episode and off top of my head I can’t remember any that disappointed.

The characters? Two tsundere who are in love with each other, an air-headed and super-cute Chika-san and a constantly stressed out maniac, Ishigami — these four make a great cast and they are an endless source of comical situations and jokes. And good jokes is the second most important thing in such shows! The elaborate schemes Kaguya and Shirogane come up with deserve some praise, but what matters more — their non-stoppable fighting emphasizes the scenes when these two can show their true feelings. Yeah, like the one with the fireworks =)

On top of all that, the anime’s visual style and character design are great, the ending is superb (I mean, the main ending, although I liked the dance as well) and the opening is not annoying. Give me the second season!

P.S. I know that we’re getting a live action adaptation but I’m notsure what to think about it. Statistically, this is going to be terrible but who knows, maybe this time everything will be different.


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Endro~!

That’s certainly a reason to start worrying that after every new season shows about moe girls occupy a half of my completed list. I swear, it used to be different!

Frankly, Endro is a pretty average anime about a group of adventurers who’re destined to destroy the Demon Lord. It’s way far from being as funny as Slayers, the characters are obsessed with Cartado, which made me think that the anime was based on a CCG or maybe on a mobile game (apparently — no), it doesn’t have anything that could be called “plot” without adding, you know, quotes. The trick is that Endro is cuuuute. Its characters are cute. Their dialogues are cute. Their weaknesses are cute! Even the Demon Lord is cute. The opening of this show starts off with “Papapapa, chu-chu-chu, papapapa, chu-chu-chu”! (I feel kind of ashamed just writing that.) Literally. Papapapa. Chu-chu-chu. Eventually, it became an anime for a Sunday morning, when you are still half asleep and turn on something positive and shallow, an accompaniment for the first coffee of the day (the same way as I discovered “That 70s show”). And in this role — it’s almost perfect.

This image found on reddit basically screams “Yeah, we also watched Slayers!”



My Roommate is a Cat

There are lots of cats in anime. We’ve seen cats who can talk, who can’t talk; smart and not so much; black, white, two- or three-colored; some of them have a crescent moon on their foreheads and some — don’t like Sakaki. However, Haru from “My roommate is a cat” might be the most realistic representation of those purring death machines in anime.

All Haru thinks about when she’s not sleeping is gohan and that matches perfectly with behavior of all the cats I’ve had pleasure to meet in my life, including ours. Now every time he is sitting next to the kitchen I can’t help but hear Haru’s voice saying something like “What the hell are you doing in the living room? The food is in this place, come here, I’ll show you where you can find it”. And quietly adding “Stupid humans, can’t even find any food on their own”.

It’s kind of fascinating that almost all the events of the show you can see from two perspectives — first you’re watching everything as it “should be”, from Subaru’s point of view. And at the end of every episode you’ll see what’s going on in Haru’s head when she had to interact and put up with all that troublesome nonsense Subaru and other people get her into.

I was almost positive that the production studio was the same that made a great but underappreciated anime for perverts “A Sister is All You Need” but turned out that nah, it was Zero-G, that’s actually responsible for another great anime for perverts “Grand Blue”. Talented guys. I enjoyed the story about the Haru and Subaru’s relationships thoroughly, even though, frankly, there wasn’t much going on. But it was cute! And even dramatic sometimes (you know, that cheap drama when authors kill kittens and puppies). Oh, and it has a great opening — one of rare cases when I watched it every time =)


Liz To Aoi Tori

This movie is a perfect demostration what happens if you really want to make a film but don’t have much to say. Still, KyAni is a studio that may transform even a boring to death plot into something watchable and enjoyable, thanks to their second to none visual and high-quality director’s work.

Liz To Aoi Tori has everything I mentioned above. Its story is… okay, I guess? Basically, we have two girls who should understand what their friendship is about. What I watched Hibike! Euphonium I was mostly concentrated on Asuka-sempai and it took some time for me to realize that the two main characters in the movie played a relatively significant role throughout the second season of the original TV series. The animation is good, as always, although the character design is confusingly different comparing to “Euphonium”.

The real downside of the movie is that it doesn’t have a single “Reina screams from the hill” moment. Yeah, we have references for fans here and there (“You’re not Asuka-sempai” or the Euphonium’s trio showing up from time to time), we have a “correctly made” plot, we have a sort of funny moment with “Here, take it, this is an egg”… but nothing catchy and blowing your mind.

P.S. For some reason I thought that Liz To Aoi Tori was going to be a shoujou-ai anime but nope, it’s very difficult to find even an implication that something’s going on between the girls.


Mob Psycho 100 II

Let’s let the cat out of the bag from the very beginning. The second season of this anime about the most powerful esper in the world had been fantastic for 8 episodes and as dull as possible for the rest 5.

The first part showed pretty much everything we loved about the first Mob Phycho. Mob’s relationships with Reigen and their crazy jobs, his attempts to improve the body being a member of… the Body Improvement Club, the cult of Mob and, as if that’s not enough — Mob even found a girlfriend! Not for a long time and she went out with him on a dare but still! The two-episodes-long arc about Reigen, balancing on the brink of destroying his own career and reputation was definitely the pinnacle of this anime. Ah, and the visual, which had been kind of cool in the first season became even better.

Here comes the part of the story that gets a little bit sad. Unfortunately, Mob Psycho 100 is a shounen anime. To make sure that no one would have any doubts about that the authors made the final of the story incredibly shounen-ish, up to the point that I wanted to grind my teeth and maybe get drunk a little to make that more bearable. It’s hard to remember anything positive about those long, long 100 minutes. A dumb and pretentious villain, who’s not that bad after all? Check. Tons of speeches on the level “If someone can beat him — it’s going to be Mob!”, “You can do it!”, “- I don’t need anyone. -Oh, I pity you because of your solitude”? Check. Enormously long fighting sequences? Heh, it’s Bones we’re talking about — of course, check. Plus, despite its length the ending feels rushed, sometimes it was difficult to understand what led to this or that.

Overall, I think that Mob Psycho is a must-watch anime for people who like shounen, the insane rating on MAL sort of backs this claim. Personally, I’m going to continue watching it, at least one more season — then it’ll be clear whether there are any ideas left or the story made a turn to becoming just another representative of its genre for good.


Yakusoku No Neverland

This is a re-upload of the same post, which I managed to delete somehow.

After we finished “The Promised Neverland” my first thought was: “oh, one more incomplete show which details I’ll have forgotten by the time the second season begins, just perfect”. How many series like that have we already had? However, a bit later I was ashamed by my own disappointment =)

After all, this was one of the best experiences of the season. And the ending was actually decent — yeah, the story obviously isn’t finished and we didn’t learn much about the world; there’s going to be the inevitable second season and the kids are going to have to survive. But at least we were left at the point where it’s going to be easy to pick up the plot again — the Great Escape has succeeded (“easy to pick up” might be cancelled out by my terrible memory, so it’s better to make a note). We can even pretend that it’s the real end of the story — the kids left the house and now the possibilities are endless!

Yakusoku No Neverland is a show that gave us some fantastic moments — such as Emma’s broken leg. Plus, the authors know how to build up suspense. Whether it’s a cliffhanger at the end of every episode or just scenes that have to be dramatic — the moment’s timing, the way it’s directed, everything adds up to that “thriller feeling”. I didn’t become a fan of any particular character (unfortunately) but have to admit that Isabella, who is constantly balancing on the border between being a mad villain and a loving mother, stands out.

The only thing I could complain a little is that the training for the jailbreak, which took a lot of time, went unnoticed. That’s weird considering how strict and relentless the Mother had been. What about the ropes? Food? What about those hours Don spent training his throws? I honestly expected something different and the route that was taken eventually felt a bit like cheating.

The second season should come out in 2020 and I think that it might be a good idea to read the source — I’d really like to feel more of that creepy atmosphere and if I start reading now it’s still going to be interesting to watch the anime next year =)



Wataten! An Angel Flew Down to Me

Wataten is one of the shows which look pretty bland according to the synopsis and I didn’t expect much. The only reason we started watching this anime (in addition to the tradition to check out almost everything that at a glance doesn’t appear to be garbage) is that I found the word otaku in the description. I ended up looking forward to every new episode and, have to admit, enjoyed it much more than expected.

After all, this is another slice of life (yeah, yeah, I know, boooriiiing), plus, almost all of its characters are elementary school students (at this point people whose nervous system isn’t strong enough should start leaving). But… Wataten is cute. It’s somehow charming. Mya-nee is adorable and the main reason to watch the anime, even though she’s a lolicon and, according to our society standards, is a perfect example of a despicable human being. The girls, despite having rather typical roles, are not annoying. Well, okay, Noa is a bit annoying but she makes up for that in the last episode when she has 3 roles in the school play =) Matsumoto-san is great, especially when you figure (or find on tumblr) and she’s been a part of the show since the very first episode, restlessly stalking her precious Miyako.

Mahoro, is it you?

Would I watch more episodes? Well, frankly, I’m not sure. But as a one-season long act — Wataten is really good. And I almost forget! It can boast with one of the most catching endings of the season (Kaguya-sama is on the top of the pedestal, hands down).