Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer Anime Adventures~


Ok, I'm gonna get right into this. In case you hadn't guessed, this is going to be purely an anime post, seeing as I have more fun writing these than I do personal posts... huh.

So this time round I'm pretty much only gonna talk about the current series that I'm watching that are ongoing. Mostly because these series are very rapidly approaching their end, and I need to distract myself from the sad that this leaves in my soul. Actually, there's only about two weeks left for these ones now, I think. I started writing this a couple of weeks ago but I've been really busy recently with work so I kept putting off finishing this. My bad. Also, I'm not going to talk about as many series, but that does not mean that this post will be short. In fact, I feel like it will be the opposite, because I have less anime to talk about, I can rambleand rant to my hearts content about the ones that I am talking about. This will probably just be a super long, incoherent word-vomit about all my feels. And I am not even sorry.

Actually, I do want to apologise for the crappy quality of this post. I wrote it over the course of about three weeks, and in the end I just got sick of writing it and sort of rushed it. Seeing as I don't write in order of anime, like, I add points and take stuff out here and there whenever the thoughts come to me, it's pretty much just generally crap overall. So yeah I'm sorry, I really hoped this one would be good...

FREE! - IWATOBI SWIM CLUBFirst and foremost, I wanna talk about the anime that many of us (females, anyway) had been waiting since early this year for - Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. However, I am not going to get into all the bullshit to do with the ignorant male otaku getting shitty about Free! ruining the anime industry or whatever other lame problems they have with it. Because honestly, it's too unbelievably pathetic for me to even be bothered. Most of the time the nonsense they spout is actually quite hilarious. Anyway, all that aside, lets talk about Free! I don't usually peg a series to be a favourite from the first episode, but with Free! it was almost inevitable that it would very quickly make its way up there. If I'm being honest, I feel like I knew it would be a favourite before the first episode had even aired. From that first preview, it had me, and countless others, hooked. I mean, who isn't a sucker for hot, half naked anime boys amiright. In all seriousness though, it honestly isn't just a frenzy of fanservice, and it's far from pointless or plotless. Considering it uses a light novel, High Speed!, as it's base (the majority of this series takes place about three or four years after the events of the light novel), it actually has a lot of space to develop a good story, as a continuation of the novel. And it has been really well executed. Regardless of whether or not you read the light novel, there is a good amount of character development throughout the series, in a way that doesn't feel forced and it quite natural. I feel like I want to say that the story starts of quite slow, but it doesn't actually, and upon rewatching the first episodes, it pretty much gets right into the main plot of the series from the get-go. It's not overwhelming in any sense, though, it feels like it eases you into the story quite naturally. If you're like me, the feels can get a bit overwhelming later on, with all the (realistically portrayed) fanservice, gay subtext and shipping material that the director has so graciously provided us with. But it's the fun kind of overwhelming, if you get what I mean. No? Not really, me neither, but alright. I can't really talk about this series without mentioning the animation. Honestly, the animation is absolutely stunning. I'm not actually talking about the character animation here, though (which of course, is beautiful and realistic), I'm more talking about the animation of things like the water, and background scenery. The water, though, mostly, because we get a hell of a lot of it. I don't really know how to describe it, it's just so refreshing and well done and it feels like you're gliding through the water yourself and it ugh it's just really visually pleasant and enjoyable to watch. I'm not going to compare it to other KyoAni stuff, because honestly, I haven't watched that many KyoAni series. Other than a bit of Haruhi Suzumiya. None of them really interest me all that much. Comparisons to other KyoAni stuff is half of what all the bullshit arguments against Free! are about anyway, so whatever, I don't want to get into that. As much as I want t talk about characters and stuff, I really shouldn't, I honestly could write about them for hours. I'll just say that Makoto is by far and wide my favourite, my baaaaby. I ship Makoharu/Harumako harder than I've ever shipped anything before. Reigisa is canon and don't try to tell me otherwise. Seijuugou basically is too. I also have high hopes for Nitorin. I think Rin is dickwad of the century and he pisses me off every single episode, but no matter how mad at him I get, I just can't bring myself to hate him and I really do love the poor honey. Nagisa really deserves a little more character development. He also really reminds me of Chizuru from Kimi to Boku. Gou is a brilliant character and I'm so glad that the Free!dom actually really love her and accept her (I mean come on, she is the fangirl incarnation in the show). Coach Sasabe is swimming Macklemore. Rei is a huge fucking dork and at first I didn't like him but now I really do. Haru is also a very precious baby, second to Mako. I just want him to be happy. And free. Which, I guess, is basically what the show is all about. If I'm being honest, other than Nagisa there are a few more characters that I would have liked to see fleshed out a little more, but with only two episodes left I doubt it will happen. Wow ok I feel like I've rambled my way into oblivion here help how do I get out and make this at least partially comprehendible. I guess I'll leave it at that. In terms of recommendation, yes. Yes yes yes. I may be (definitely am) a little biased here, but I highly recommend this series. Even for guys. It's still a sports anime, at it's core, and it's about high school guys and their friendship and their competition. The guys just so happen to be super good looking as well as super fit. So it's not that different from something like Kuroko no Basket really //bricked. I'm actually already really depressed that this series is ending. And it's not even over yet. So here's hoping for a second season, huh?

UCHOUTEN KAZOKU ()I watched the first two episodes of this one when it started, pretty much on a whim. The art style was so unusual, same goes for the story and its characters. After the second episode I stopped watching it for a couple of weeks. It was a little too unusual for me at first, and I couldn't see myself getting into it. A couple of weeks ago, though, I decided to continue watching it, again, on a whim. I was bored and wanted to watch something not too serious but something that still had substance. So I found myself drawn back to it. Even now, that I've caught up, and am going to continue to watch it weekly, I still don't really know how I feel about it. It's really... Unusual! I apologise for my lack of variation in descriptive words for this series, but other than something like 'weird' and/or 'interesting', 'unusual' really is the best way to describe it. I've never watched anything like it, it's a stand-alone in almost every aspect. Honestly, I still don't even know exactly what's going on or what the plot is or what all the random with eventually equate to, but for some reason that doesn't bother me like it usually would at this stage in a series. I'msort of just going along for the ride with this one, going with the flow and just accepting whatever it throws at me. Not that anything is actually thrown at you, this series has a way of making moments and situations that would usually be be quite intense or dramatic, surprisingly mellow. I'm not going to give examples, because spoilers (if I can even call them that because the way they're handled is so casual), but I feel like if you watch it you'd see where I'm coming from here. Despite how tense this series could be, and at times can be, it's actually very comfortable to watch, while still managing to maintain a level of interest that makes you want to invest and keep watching. I'm kind if rambling here a little, and I knew this would happen, but it can't be helped. This series really is bafflingly likeable. Yes, I like this series. I like it more and more with each episode. I have no idea why I like it. I wish I could give you a real reason. That would probably make my recommendation more valid. But I really can't. It's so unlike what I would usually watch. I thought for sure I would just drop it again. But I haven't, and I won't. And not even I understand why. I was a little surprised though, because from about episode 9 onwards, the content actually gets quite heavy. Hell, it made me cry. So I'm really looking forward to the final episodes.


For those who don't know, the manga of this series is written by Hiromu Arakawa, mangaka of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. So you can probably imagine my surprise when I heard that she is the one behind Gin no Saji, an educational slice of life about agriculture and farming. That was pretty much the only reason I started watching it. I was utterly surprised, and that quickly leadto curiosity. It's understandable, right? I was 99% sure I wouldn't like it at all, and would drop it as soon as I picked it up. Long story short, that's far from what I actually did. I really, really like this series. The setting and setup is, I believe, really unique. It's intriguing from the very beginning. The plot isn't all that developed (yet) and while it may seem quite typical on the surface, I believe it's much deeper than it seems. This series has bundles of potential. The art is really nice, nothing too complicated yet it's somehow ridiculously detailed. Sometimes too detailed, when dealing with freshly killed livestock... Ah, and the animation of the food in this series is on a Studio Ghibli level, I am not even kidding. Holy shit I get so hungry watching this series. It's also kind of cool to see elements of Hiromu's character art style, but in a totally different setting. You can definitely tell by the character designs that this is indeed Hiromu's work. Speaking of characters, I think the thing I like most about this series is the characters. They're all so likeable, and exceptionally believable. Despite it being a short series, they've already managed a good deal of character development with the secondary characters, not just our mains. They're vey easy to relate to. I was honestly surprised at how much I (and how quickly) I came to love the main character, Hachiken. He's just so... likeable? I don't really know how to explain it. Just trust me. He's a real good kid, you'll love him. They're all good kids, actually, and really relatable. Huh. This one was kind of short. I don't have that much more to say about it though... Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this anime, to anyone. I mean, if you generally only like action-based anime then maybe this won't be for you, but I strongly suggest you give it a go anyway. It's fun, refreshing, and an absolute pleasure to watch.


Ok, so I may or may not have wanted to watch this series purely because it was BL... Well, actually, I don't think that's entirely true. While yes, that was most of the reason, I did like the sound of the plot, and it vaguely reminded me a little of Kuroshitsuji in many aspects. Plus, this series actually had a lot of pull factors for me overall. I like series with devils and demons and fighting for the boy and seeing different representations of heaven and hell in anime and I mean who doesn't love a good harem BL series am I right and boy it helps when all the characters are devilishly handsome (see what I did there) and I love European settings in anime and oh did I mention that I love series that are set in past times/ historical series and series that do have a good solid plot that while not being so tense and serious and angsty that it makes it uncomfortable to watch but still has no problems keeping me interested and invested and wanting to watch more and that really makes me come to love and care about the characters and wish for their happiness and wow yay for run-on setences, but do you kind of see what I mean? This series really does tick a lot of boxes for me. Actually I feel like I just summed up this series and my feelings towards it in one long shitty sentence. You're welcome. Now, while I say that I liked the sound of the plot, that isn't to say that there is much of one. From what I've seen so far, the only really major thing is about William being a decedent from Soloman, and being essentially the next Soloman and all that. I can't really see this series going anywhere in terms of story development, unfortunately. I'm really not sure what will happen in the end, but I feel that it's going to be a kind of disappointing ending. Somehow, William will find a way around having to chose someone to be the interim ruler. Or something. Either way, I doubt it will get a second season, and with only two episodes left I really can't see how they can give this series a satisfying ending. Well, I'm enjoying it all the same, just don't go into this anime expecting mind blowing plot and brilliant storylines. In terms of the art, the anime really doesn't do the manga any justice, I'm afraid to say. The animation is average, at best, and really doesn't capture the beauty of the characters or the setting of the manga. It's kind of a shame, but it's not too bad. It's not like the animation is so crap that it renders the series unwatchable. It's still perfectly pleasant to watch. It's just that the artwork of the manga is much, much better. I don't really have much more to say about this series. I mean, it's pretty good, yeah. If you're like me, and you're into this kind of series then I'd definitely say to give it a go. But, honestly I'd say it has a pretty narrow target audience, and I wouldn't recommend it as a general 'oh my god you have to watch this' to just anyone.


I honestly thought I wasn't going to watch this series past episode one. I told myself I wouldn't. And I almost didn't. I lasted about a month before I caved. You know what. I regret nothing. I'm getting kind of lazy with writing this now, so I'm gonna try and keep this short. At first, I really didn't like the animation style. Honestly, I'm still not a huge fan of it. At times I find it a little too dark, no matter how high the brightness on my laptop is, so things are a little hard to make out. Other than that, the character designs are very simple. A little too simple, for me personally, but hey. Overall it's not bad, and it's still perfectly watchable. I'm aware that these are probably all stylistic choices and such, and that it's probably trying to match the style of the game (which, by the way, I have not played and it's likely that I will not play sorry not sorry), so I guess it's just me being picky. But like I say, it's still watchable, in fact it's extremely captivating. I'm talking about the plot, here. It's certainly not your typical 'put a bunch of strangers/friends somewhere isolated and watch them fight to the death' story. This one is very intriguing, and really plays on the elements of mystery and suspense to keep the audience hooked and wanting to know more. Now, as I haven't played the game, I wouldn't know how true-to-form the anime is, and whether or not the story is different and/or better in the game, but as far as I'm concerned, this adaptation has been very well executed. I haven't really seen any negatives about it in that aspect (or any aspect, for that matter), so I'm gonna guess that most people are fairly pleased with it. If I could give one piece of advice when it comes to this series, it would be; don't get attached to any of the characters. Other than Naegi, and maaaybe Togami and Kirigiri. Other than that, just don't, ok. This one is almost, if not as, ruthless as Shingeki no Kyojin. I would recommend this series to most people. I would probably hesitate to recommend it to someone who doesn't like mystery series, where questions go unanswered for episodes at a time. But, like I say about most series, just give it a go. You never know unless you try, right?

Allll right! That brings us to the end, of this post, and of these anime because I'm pretty sure they all only have about one week left hahaha I'm sorry this post is so late... While I am very sad to see these series end, I am very excited about the fall anime lineup, particularly about Meganbu oh my goddd it's the swimming anime but with megane boys who isn't excited about that and they actually have nipples this time whoa guys. I'm planning to make another post once the season has started, and I've got my list of the ones I'll be watching, and give my first thoughts/impressions. That will probably be my next post all together, as like I said at the beginning of this one, I've been busy working lately, and that's pretty much all I've been doing. My life literally consists of work and anime right now, so I won't be making any personal posts for a while I'm afraid. Not that you care. But yeah.

I'll let you go now, if you actually bothered to read all of this, or just skim through, or just skip to the ones you like or whatever, I'm equally grateful! Thank you very much! You know, you can always feel free to come and talk with me about anime, or manga or anything like that! Just find me on Twitter or Tumblr, or here, anything is fine~ Just be aware that once you get me started, I may not be able to stop.

Until next time~!

Now Playing -by Maximum The Hormone
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