Impressions: Tesagure Bukatsu-mono

“And now the camera quickly pans up from the bottom and the logo shows up with a thud!” – First lines in the opening song of Tesagure Bukatsu-mono

Tesagure Bukatsu-mono is a surprisingly smart series that puts a lot of emphasis on calling anime as it is. It’s very light and hilarious with some of the most real interactions between characters I have ever seen in a series. There is a lot that can be said about this, and so I will with a full review.

For starters, this isn’t a series you watch because it’s visually stunning. Rather, it’s the exact opposite of that. The series is animated via MMD, which is a rather shoddy 3D animator. However, it is because of this that the focus comes down to the wit and humor of the characters. Each of the voice actresses play their “role” in the series, and they fully acknowledge, with quite a bit of fourth wall breaking, that they’re anime characters. Unlike other series where characters themselves recognize and break the fourth wall, the voice actresses more or less be themselves. The series is also done half ad lib and there are segments that are specifically recorded with all of the voice actresses recording together in the recording booth. This creates a dynamic that literally makes it feel like the characters and voice actresses are interacting with one another.

And the animation reflects this. As the voice actresses themselves do their own thing behind the animation, the MMD sprites are used to sync WITH the voice actresses expressions, dialogue, and movements (at times). Therefore, no visual cues are lost when Yua decides to do some wonky action, or when they react unexpectedly.

In the genre of tribute and parody to anime as a whole, Tesagure delivers. Many times prior to the actual skit section of the series, the characters will comment on completely obvious tropes found in a lot of genres of anime. (Including the censor beams or the oblivious main protagonist in a harem series, etc.) In the third season, they actually record the voice actresses on sight to what they’re doing on-screen, whether that be an amusement park, ferris wheel, etc. It’s very interesting when they introduce 5 new characters (and the voice actresses) in the third season and watching the interaction between old cast and new cast become more fluid during the ad lib sections.

Ultimately, the series is something I cannot quite grasp into words, if you could not tell by my ramblings prior to this. Therefore, I will simply put that I’d HIGHLY recommend this series to anyone who has watched a few series. And trust me; this one is a great one.

Final Score:
Tesagure Bukatsu-mono: 8.5/10
Tesagure Bukatsu-mono Encore: 8.3/10
Tesagure Bukatsu-mono Spin-off Purupurun Sharumu to Asobou: 8.6/10

An Anime’s Review: What I’ve Watched Early 2016

So I’ve finished six anime series so far this year. Considering that I only finished 20 total in 2015, I’d say we’re off to a great start! I didn’t really talk about Di Gi Charat, as I just finished it earlier this evening, but I did talk about the other 5 in my Youtube video here:

animefanrk2k – What I’ve Watched Early 2016

I’ll probably give a more extensive review and/or update to the site when I can afford the time, but for now, here are the five series I talked about and their rating per my /10 rating system:

Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works: 8.0/10
Kantai Collection: 7.2/10
One Punch Man: 8.4/10
Rolling Girls: 7.3/10
Working!!!: 7.9/10

Until next time, everyone!

Impressions: Splatoon

One 30-minute trailer later, and I had preordered this game about 3 weeks ago. Now on release night after having had a few hours sunk into it, I must say that I am very surprised at how fluid the experience feels.

Splatoon is a brand new entry into Nintendo’s lineup of cast and characters. The concept of the game is that you play as an “Inkling”, which is a squid that can transform into a humanoid and vice versa. As a squid, you can swim around in the ink of your color and move very quickly. You can also hide in the ink. As a humanoid, you come armed with a paint gun that shoots paint to cover the area around you. Really, it’s quite simple. And my impression of it will focus on 3 aspects of the game: the single player campaign, the multiplayer turf wars, and the overall presentation of the game.

When you first start the game, you create your character. You can choose between a female or male Inkling, choose your skin color, and then choose your eye color. That’s all for character creation. It’s simple, but it’s effective. Let’s you feel like you have a little you in there. Anyway, you then proceed to the tutorial level before getting to the main hub of the game, Inkopolis. Here, there are item shops that you can purchase gear and weapons from, which I’ll get to later, there is a 1-v-1 “fighting dojo” if you want to play with a friend, there’s the multiplayer mode, and finally, there’s the single player mode, which we’ll dive into first. (You literally dive into the sewer for it, by the way.)

Single player mode essentially feels more like an extended tutorial mode. You play through various stages, collecting “zap fish” via platforming. It reminded me of Portal 2’s paint modes, since you, as an Inkling, can travel through ink, when in squid form you recharge ink, and you can essentially layer paint everywhere. And the platform aspects really helps you familiarize yourself with the controls. I found expert grenade abuse to be quite effective in the later levels, for example. And that is a skill that helped me in the multiplayer aspects later on. The platforming and spraying ink everywhere helped me quickly pick up the controls and then utilize effective spray and cover strategies in covering as much area as possible with ink while minimizing time needed to do so. Either way, the single player mode is actually quite fun and the hidden sea scrolls in each level give you extra lore about the game’s world and characters, as well as rewarding you with weapon blueprints that directly translate to purchasable weapons in the multiplayer mode.

Now the brunt of Splatoon does lie in the multiplayer mode. Nintendo’s foray into online play has been… shaky at best. (Remember the Smash Bros Brawl days? And the lag… and all of the lag… and then some more lag? Yeah…) Pokemon was able to pull off multiplayer effectively, but that’s a simple turn-based combat system. Splatoon is a real time 4-v-4 war for covering the most ground with paint of your team’s color. And surprisingly, the lag factor is negligible. Occasionally, I’d get a small lag spike here and there, but overall, the game feels really fluid. There is little to no lag to speak of, and this is coming from me using a wireless router connection. The turf war mode is also lots of fun. (And is the only mode available to us for now.) Basically, you are randomly assigned to a team. You can join a friend, but there’s no guarantees on who’ll be on what team. From what I gathered, the game just kinda throws 8 people in a room and shuffles it up. Not the best matchmaking system, to say the least. Still, the games are fast and the teams constantly change, so no worries here. Personally, I rarely had to wait long for a game to start. Usually, I’d pop in, get a few seconds to play the squid jumping minigame while in the lobby and then I was right into the action. The turf war is a 3-minute match pitted between you and your three teammates against the opposing 4-squid team. The winners are the ones that are able to cover the most ground in the ink of their color. Your squid’s hair/tentacle colors reflect your team’s color for that round. And trust me, it changes all of the time. The stages are surprisingly well designed. Most have some sort of contestable middle ground with a few side paths than can really make a difference in percentages of turf covered in paint. Games are frantic, but not in a bad way. You get a rush because you feel the action flow naturally. And you’ll probably be spending the majority of the time shooting ink. I’ve stuck with the sub machine gun-style weapons personally. I didn’t care too much for the sniper-style weapon or the paint roller, but both have shown that they hold their weight. They certainly got the kills on me to prove as such.

The main hub has all of your major shops. You can buy shirts, hats/bands/headgear, shoes, and weapons. The apparel gives you different power-ups that are all randomly generated. Plus, equipment levels up with you if you take it into battle. (Right now, I only have 1 star equipment, meaning a maximum of 2 abilities.) Each piece of apparel comes with one or more abilities, some of which you may have to unlock. Abilities give your gear the extra oomph, as well as keeping your Inkling trendy. (Right now, I have a shirt that gives me a little extra damage. It’s proven its worth so far~) Weapons are unlocked as you gain levels in multiplayer. And weapons come with a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and finally a special weapon. You cannot mix and match between the sets, meaning that there are some struggles in choosing what suits your play-style best. (Personally, the sub machine gun-like weapons have treated me well, and the one I have comes with a homing grenade and bazooka special.) The game also has some good music and vibrant colors to go along with everything. The game looks really colorful, vivid and that’s not a bad thing at all! Aesthetics are great!

Overall, it’s only been the first day, but I’m already seeing that this game may be a long time player in my console gaming life. It’s fun, the single player is quite interesting, and the game looks good. What more could I ask for?

Impressions: Wolf Children Movie

Because it was both recommended to me and on my list of things to watch anyway, I watched the animated movie, Wolf Children. Now, I expected that I would like this movie, seeing as how it’s the same director as the acclaimed Summer Wars, but I was pleasantly surprised just how great this movie was!

Wolf Children is the story of a college student named Hana who meets a Wolf Man. The two fall in love, the Wolf Man tells her the truth about himself, and they consummate their relationship and have two adorable kids, Yuki, the older sister by a year, and Ame, the younger brother, who are named after the weather during the day they were born. (“Yuki” means “snow” and “ame” means “rain”.) Shortly after Ame is born, an accident occurs that costs the Wolf Man his life and Hana now becomes a single mother who must raise the two children left to her.

The story is very compelling and I found myself sucked in over and over again. The voice acting is spot on and I like that despite using two sets of voice actors for the children, they sound very believable in their growth. Hana is an amazing human being who grows and matures into the mother role so naturally in the movie, that you have to wonder what mother director Hosoka must have found and followed around for 13 years to have such a seemless transition from regular college student to strong-willed single parent. The story is great. The music is great. And everything is done to near perfection.

Compared to Hosoka’s previous movie I saw, Summer Wars, (which in itself was a great movie that is definitely worth watching) Wolf Children hits much closer to home with its messages about parenthood and fanily! I felt that Yuki and Ame both shined with their own lives and their own views and opinions. Like real siblings, they essentially lived very similar lives in the same house, but have very different ideas on what they want from life by the end of the movie. The transition from young child to just shy of teenager also was very believable. I didn’t even realize that they used 2 separate sets of voice actors for Yuki and Ame. I really felt that young Yuki and Yuki a few years older must have been the same voice somehow aged. In that regard, the acting was all perfect to the “t”.

Normally, I’d list my complaints if applicable. For this movie, I find that list to be very… lacking. There really wasn’t anything that could be changed or improved to make the movie “better”. The story felt like this could almost be a real thing that actually happened. That’s how well it flowed and how natural it felt to watch the experiences of Hana. The only thing I can really complain about is the fact the story doesn’t go any farther. I would love to sit down and watch more of this movie and to see where else Hana and her children might have gone once both children became adults. I also already plan to watch this movie again.

The movie was great. And I think because of the themes of family and individuality involved, there is a relatability to it that really draws the viewer in. In addition, the acting is spot on. Add to that the plot, the great music score, and the pacing/presentation of the movie as a whole and we have ourselves a new timeless classic for our lists!

Final Score: 9.3/10

Cardfight!! Vanguard: We Are Legion

This is a Cardfight!! Vanguard-related post and it in no ways introduces you to anything but a game mechanic that is brand new to the English Cardfight!! Vanguard game. If you want to learn how to play the game itself or look into it, please go to the official CF page or to the Cardfight wikia~

With the release of extra boosters 11 and 12 in the English edition of Cardfight!! Vanguard, as well as the new three trial decks we received, we have a new mechanic in the Cardfight!! game, one known as Legion. How Legion works is that you take any four cards from your discard pile, (no more and no less) add them to your deck, then search your grade 3 Legion card’s “mate”, (the card that you are told to search for on the card itself) and finally place the mate onto the Vanguard circle with your Vanguard. (Shuffle afterwards~) Your Vanguard is now considered to be in Legion. When you attack with it, you add the total power of both units on your Vanguard circle. On the defense, the Legion’s power (not the mate’s power) is considered to be your power.

Why am I now reviewing this new game mechanic? For starters, it really shakes up the Cardfight!! Vanguard scene in a major way. Along with Friday’s release of 3 trial decks that feature the mechanic, and two extra boosters that have RRR and RRs that feature the mechanic, along with a ton of support for said mechanic, (and new subclan known as “Witches”) the game of CF will be changing in a big way. But… is this necessarily better or worse?

While the mechanic is brand new, this by no means mean that me and my friends are new to the mechanic. Quite a few of us, myself ironically excluded from this list initially, were looking forward to the merits and bonuses of having new cards that change how we play the game. We moved from the 11K/13K VG line to the 20K VG line on the offensive. We also have to pigeonhole our decks to accommodate for both the Legion in the grade 3 slot and the Legion’s mate in another slot. (Luckily in most instances, that is not necessarily a bad thing, most mates proving to be useful cards in their own right.) Lastly, we once again moving back to Vanguards that are not reliant on limit breaks, but on having an opponent at grade 3, since to Legion, you are required to have at least 4 cards to shuffle back into your deck AND your opponent must be at grade 3. Effects and abilities trigger differently than in a LB4 deck, since you can start your Legion’s gambits as early as the ride into it.

After having done the playtesting and the research on it, I have come to my own conclusion on what makes Legion work and what makes Legion work well. Most decks in the game of Vanguard simply rely on getting to grade 3, since that is where all of their mid-game and late-game hinges. Your grade 3 unit in your deck represents the main focus of your deck. Without it, in most cases, you are a sitting duck to your opponent’s grade 3 gambits. Legion decks, however, are most comfortable when their opponents are already at grade 3. Because most grade 3 Legion units have abilities that require them to either be in Legion or to perform Legion, without being able to do as such, most Legion decks sit there with their vanilla or near vanilla 11K Vanguard. Whereas, the LB4 meta could work around that via break rides and LB4 Vanguards. This means that getting stuck on grade 2 against a Legion deck is not necessarily a bad thing, while getting stuck on grade 2 against a non-legion deck will pour on the hurt once it reaches 4 damage in the LB4 meta.

Legion also has the ability to shuffle 4 cards back into your deck. And most people know that is amazing, since you can guard with triggers and shuffle them back in to hit them again for drive and damage checks. In addition, the ability to pick and choose the cards that get shuffled back every time you Legion means you can build your late-game triggers to your “winning image”. I have done this multiple times already with the Legion deck I happen to be running. Plus, it’s also nice having a theoretical and potential 20 or even 24 triggers to work with versus the normal sixteen.

What finally sets apart Legion decks is that I’ve noted most have abilities similar to a LB4 counterpart. The difference, however, is that they themselves do not require the 4 damage to be in mid to late-game, but simply require your opponent to be at grade 3. This means that even at 1-3 damage, you can potentially devastate your opponents, so long as they are at grade 3 or higher. And their abilities are about equal in strength to quite a few things in the LB4 meta.

And this is where I start drawing my conclusions. They are “equal to”, not “better than” or “worse than” the LB4 meta. Most decks that run Legion run as well as any other deck built to their “winning image”. They are scary sometimes, and some have abilities that seem to crush the hopes and dreams of those running against them, but ultimately, they are even. Saying a Legion has an unfair ability is like saying Minerva is an unfair card. Legions DO help in making good center lines. But on the defensive, they are still in the 11K meta. In addition, the deck construction restrictions in a Legion deck make it so that you do not have the versatility in your Grade 2/3 line up as you would in other decks. Finally, I think the Legion effects is a balancing act because like I said prior, it can lose to a solid grade 2 lineup whereas the LB4 decks will win at their grade 3 in most cases. Basically, Legion decks will be something new to play and not necessarily any more or any less powerful than the decks we have to play with already.

And yet everyone will suddenly be playing Legion decks despite this lack of difference from the cards we have. The reason why the Legion mechanic did not surprise or amaze me is that ultimately it is not a necessity to run. And this has been the reason why I liked the Vanguard TCG. The game is surprisingly balanced after all the releases and the additions of newer game mechanics such as Limit Breaks and Legions. If anything, the staggering options on what to run make the game more fun. And while we can recognize there are some decks are just card for card better than others, most decks perform similarly to other ones, even if one is better than the other. The game has had its “power creep”. And it has been more an “effect” creep than an actual numbers game one. Even in Legion, you choose your Vanguard and play to its effects. The numbers are secondary to that. And I believe that this holds true even with the introduction of Legion.

At the same time, I feel that the Legion mechanic gives an opportunity for players not as experienced as the “veterans” of the game to get into it and to start experiencing the hype. The Legion mechanic is forgiving on players who may run what are considered by a lot of veteran players to be trigger or sentinel lineups that are not ideal. It forgives the players who play “worse” cards by giving them a chance to undo your mistakes by shuffling cards back into your deck. Finally, the lack of LB4 means that instead of focusing on timing your effects and gambits to the flow of the game, you can start early on and learn to feel through the game at grade 3 and hopefully in Legion, whereas most competitive LB4 decks require responsible guarding and strategy to fulfill one’s “winning image”. In that regard, the Legion mechanic is actually a welcome change of pace to the game of Vanguard, something that I can appreciate. And once you’re in, you can explore the game of Vanguard to your heart’s content to find what you want to play and play it how you want.

Or… you can be like me and abuse it. Either way, I feel that Legion is good, but not too good. And I think we’ll see more players playing it and hopefully, we’ll see those players grow with it.

Impressions: Love Live! School Idol Project

Over the summer, I started playing the School Idol app by Bushiroad. Within a few weeks, I somehow managed to watch the iDOLM@STER anime series, and watched both seasons of Love Live! School Idol Project, and acquired a lot of the music from both franchises. (Huh? I thought the only idol I was a fan of was Hatsune Miku~) In any case, I’ll cover the idol phenomenon and how it caught me in a later post. For now, I would like to review my impressions on the first season of Love Live! School Idol Project. (Love Live! for short for now on~)

Love Live! is a series about Honoka Kousaka who forms a school idol group to try and stop the high school her and her friends are attending from closing down. Due to the low attendance rates and interest in the school, Honoka sees school idols as the answer to their problems. Along with friends Kotori Minami and Umi Sonoda, Honoka sets out to become a popular school idol group and to raise interest in their school. They are quickly opposed by the student council president, Eli Ayase, who says that she cannot approve of such a group because the students should dedicate what time they have left in the school to make their school lives more fulfilling. Nevertheless, Honoka presses forward in trying to establish a school idol club and their school idol group, μ’s (pronounced “Muse”).

The series as a whole is paced very well. The music is enjoyable and the live performance segments, which there is at least one almost every episode, are a very nice mix of CG-looking graphics and CG-hand-drawn-looking graphics. The story also flows very well, covering the space of a few months without any awkward pacing. The characters are very believable in respects to personality. There have been plenty of times I’ve met people similar to those in the series, though in the cases of Rin or Honoka, slightly mellowed out versions of them. And as a 13-episode series, it’s not lengthy at all. In fact, after watching the first season, jumping into the second one is definitely worth it too!

Finally, what really drew me into the series are the messages that are portrayed within it. As a high school anime series, I feel that it properly conveys the notions of hard work and dedication very well. It also shows that the bonds between people can grow and blossom into beautiful results. The girls of μ’s are all rather different, but they eventually all find a common ground to stand on and to help each other to make their lives worth watching. And the emotions the voice actors convey feel real and you can’t help but become a fan yourself. That is the impression I got from μ’s and from Love Live!

Final Score: 7.8/10

Life 101: Willpower

Willpower is an interesting thing. To quote the Oxford New Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus Third Edition, willpower is a noun that means “control exercised by deliberate purpose over impulse”. This means that instead of caving in to your base instincts, you do not give in. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Realistically, willpower can mean overcoming not only your base instincts, but your first impressions, your complex emotions, and even your own humanity. That too is a form of willpower. And why is this so important? Well, it is because willpower can be broken down into three words that encompass it in its entirety. Those three words are patience, perseverance, and personality.

The first word is patience. Patience, as related to willpower, is the ability to wait and overcome through tolerance of one’s desires and base instincts. That incredible “I am so full of myself” sentence just means that it is the ability to wait. You wait and see how things will pan out. You wait for something to end. You wait until it, whatever it is, is obtainable. That is patience. Patience would be akin to finding out that your favorite anime series has a release date set for next year and then waiting without exploding from excitement for that full year. That would be patience.

The next word is perseverance. Perseverance, as related to willpower, is the ability to achieve the desired outcome, regardless of the other circumstances. Simple ways of looking at this is the ability to overcome extreme duress or torture. A video game example would be to grind the same spot for a rare item that rarely drops until you obtain said item. Perseverance is similar to patience, but patience is the wait, and perseverance is the conclusion of the story. It is truly obtaining the desired result, despite the setbacks. You need patience to do so, but you need to persevere in the end with it for results.

The last word is personality. Personality, as related to willpower, has no relation to personality stereotypes… kinda. Specifically, there are a few personality types that will greatly increase the likelihood that you will persevere. It helps to be stubborn. This one is the vast majority of those with the willpower to see things through. They refuse to yield, sometimes foolishly so, because their mind has already been made up from the get-go. These people do not yield because they have decided not to, for whatever reason. Stubborn personalities as I just described them can also be considered foolish, decisive, strong in spirit, among other things. And just because you have a stubborn personality, does not mean that is a negative trait. It can actually be a good thing to not yield. The next personality type is leadership. This type of personality is one that remains ahead or above the crowd. They do not let the dissent of those around them or below them affect their firm resolve to see things through to the end. Other words for them include authority, judgement, and for the greater good. A leadership type can lose their standing in a group, however, if they are too callous to those they are making the decisions for, while one who is too sympathetic may do the opposite and make choices based on popularity rather than the “correct” path. Finally, the last is loner. This one stands out because it is specifically for the lone wolf types and the antisocial types. They have no regard for those around them. They make their decision and forge their own path despite what others say. They have the easiest type making their decisions because they are unaffected by others. However, if they tread the wrong path or make a mistake, they have the greatest challenge when it comes to undoing their mistakes.

Patience, perseverance, and personality all roll into willpower. And it is these three P words that gives you a taste of what willpower really is about. And people may individually demonstrate patience, perseverance, or personality on their own naturally, but it does take a “deliberate purpose over impulse” to display true willpower.

Impressions: Magical Warfare

Before I begin this impression, I would first like to start with the following statement/disclaimer:

Magical Warfare is a 2014 series that is twelves episodes long and is so bad that it made me, THE ANIME FAN, briefly consider regretting watching anime because I decided I would watch this. Oh, and spoilers follow.

*ahem* Magical Warfare, as I just stated, is an anime series that recently aired and concluded at the end of March. In fact, it was probably one of the worst series and I am proud to say that it will in fact get one of the lowest scores I have EVER doled out for any review ever.

Unlike the first major Impression review I did on a much superior series, Magical Warfare had its ups and downs and while the plot was barely palatable, it made “sense” for half of the series. (Mind you, that means that six out of twelve episodes made “sense”.) In that regard, it should not merit the low score it will receive. Then why is Magical Warfare so terrible that it is noteworthy in my book of anime?

For starters, it has a completely convoluted plot. The main character, Takeshi Nanase, gains magical powers from female magician and gunner Mui Aiba because she used magic against him. Yes, if someone from the magical world uses magic against someone who is not from the magical world, they gain powers. Check one for nonsensical! (We’ll write this one off as “the setting of the story”, so it isn’t that bad… yet.) Said girl, Mui, is being chased by a couple of guys who are up to no good called Ghost Trailers, one of which is her older brother who has no recollection of her because of magically induced amnesia and false memories. (At this point, the plot doesn’t sound too bad.) Of course, some of Takeshi’s (read: main character) friends also get attacked and gain magic, including his best buddy who is a delinquent, Kazumi Ida, and his pretend girlfriend who is also his childhood friend, Kurumi Isoshima. Anyway, the three former non-magicians are whisked away to a magic academy in the “Ruined World” (read: magic world) to make the decision to live with magic and attend the academy to be magicians, or to forget it and have their powers permanently sealed away or something. Of course, the plot dictates they stay to learn magic. And of course, this will eventually end in some much regret that even I ended up regretting watching this series for the most part.

Anyway, the plot focuses on a magical school life where the main characters essentially “practice” (read: not improve at all) and the two girls fawn over Takeshi, but without stepping on each other’s toes. (read: be retarded.) It turns out the waking up of some dude who has been sleeping for 17 years is bad, but he’s going to wake up anyway, so screw that noise. (Kazuma, the guy who is in magical coma is also the leader of the Ghost Trailers.) Oh, and Takeshi’s younger brother is a complete douchebag who deserves to be punched in the face and put in his place. (Gekkou, however, was voiced by Accelerator and had Accelerator charm, which helped… VERY slightly.) Because all magicians need something called an “Aspect”, (read: magical wand/device/activation key) Takeshi goes to the school store with Mui and happens upon a ONE-OF-A-KIND BADASS SWORD WITH SUPERPOWERS THAT FAR EXCEED ANYTHING ELSE THERE THAT WAS ALSO OWNED BY A PARTICIPANT IN THE FIRST GREAT MAGICAL WAR. He just stumbled upon the goram blade in the frickin’ SCHOOL STORE! Seriously?!

In any case, in a bunch of convoluted and nonsensical plotiness, (nonsensical mainly because Takeshi is a complete idiot who does not know how to LEARN from important omens given to him by the sword) Takeshi receives the sword and through prophetic dreams given to him at the cost of his mana, learns that his brother will eventually kidnap Kurumi and most kill their mother, most likely. Oh, and to become the sword’s real owner, he has to defeat her in combat. (Yes, the sword is a her and is named Twilight.) Instead of defeating her, he gives her a name and she suddenly is okay with his using her as his blade. Oh, and Takeshi also completely ignores all of the prophetic dreams so his friend gets kidnapped by Gekkou anyway, he gets beat up, Mui falls down the stairs because of pudding, and his mother gets all stabbed at the beginning of the last episode. (read: pile of cow manure) Oh yeah, they save Mui’s older brother and bring him back to the good side. That’s one of the few redeeming plot points… kinda. Why the guy even agreed to fight in a four-on-one essentially baffles me.

Anyway, Kurumi is kidnapped, so in episode nine, we finally have a training montage. But of course, this really just means that the main character is stronger, but his enemies will compete at the same level. In fact, his “powering up” is so stupidly small that one of the guys he defeats in the FIRST EPISODE stands up to him in the ELEVENTH EPISODE. (read: shit) In any case, episode 11 is dedicated to Takeshi, Mui, and Kazumi trying to find and save Kurumi. In reality, nothing gets resolved, Kurumi is never found, and Kurumi learns some super awesome secrets from the head of the Ghost Trailers himself. And of course, that is never learned on our end.

Episode 12 then jumps to the main character going home only to be confronted by his younger brother Gekkou, who (surprise, surprise!) stabbed their mother. It turns out that Gekkou is supposed to grow up into being the next Kazuma, leader of the “bad” Ghost Trailers, so she had requested Gekkou get run over by a car three years prior to this moment. Of course, that didn’t work out, so instead, she lived in stupid retarded depression and watched as her two sons drifted apart from each other. (This, by the way, is the reason why Gekkou despises Takeshi and from the series get go, it was implied that Takeshi was the one at fault for the accident involving a car.)

Two brothers face off. All of a sudden, this becomes an air battle where magicians on one side are facing off against magicians on the other side. Gekkou and Takeshi fight. Kurumi jumps in the way and gets stabbed by Gekkou. Gekkou is super depressed about this and then becomes weak and says that he doesn’t even know why he is fighting Takeshi. And then does a 180 and blames Takeshi for things that are impossible for him to be at fault with.

Then the loli headmaster of the magic academy shoots a giant black hole magic blast at the two brothers as they are fighting. And Twilight sends them back to the past to 1998, apparently before Kazuma and friends became the menace they are in the modern day. Oh, and Kazuma turns out to be an older version of Takeshi because he’s carrying around a picture of Kurumi in a swimsuit, which he got in like episode three of the anime. So Takeshi wakes up in 1998 and finds his mother is still a young lady and teacher at the academy. Kazuma and friends are still attending said academy, and that Gekkou has been there for a year prior and gives an evil grin to Takeshi.

And that’s how the series ends. Seriously. That’s it. And the last three paragraphs all happened in episode 12. Yeah.

Anyway, the series was terrible and I would strongly urge the majority of people not to watch it and to not even wish it upon their enemies to watch because this anime qualifies as 5 hours of cruel and unusual punishment.

Final score: 4.4/10

An “Anime’s” Review: Catching Up Part 4/4

And finally we’re left with the last… eleven reviews. Wait, eleven? Anyway, let’s begin~~

Tamako Market: 7.4/10

This series is a pretty good watch, albeit surreal with the talking bird. However, it was a fun series about a girl who has a family that runs a mochi shop in a shopping district. It’s nice.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes II: 7.1/10

It is essentially the same as the first season, but I think this one was a little better, for some reason.

Tari Tari: 6.6/10

Tari Tari is one of those series that had a very great potential and was completely ruined by not taking advantage of it at all. It is a series about a group who of outcasts who become friends and form a choir with each other. Despite the fact that this is a music-centric anime series, there is a distinct and utter lack of different music. They sing essentially three different songs and that’s if you include the ending theme. That’s just terrible. Normally, I would not give a scathing review for something like that, but if you do not deliver on the purpose of the show, what good is it?

Teekyu: 6.9/10

This is a weird series about a tennis club. It is strange, so I’d just say watch the first episode. It’s only like 5 minutes long.

The World God Only Knows~Goddess Arc~: 7.8/10

The World God Only Knows is a great series, in my opinion. The anime has fallen short on multiple level because it just cannot put everything that manga has in animated format. With that said, the Goddess Arc is the third season of said series and while there are the normal problems of cutting things out, they still do a reasonable job at maintaining the main plot and the characters’ personalities for season three. The manga is better. However, if you have only watched the anime until now, then this is the season when the plot really picks up, so it is well worth your watch. As a side note, it is recommended you watch the other two season of TWGOK and the Tenri-hen OVA.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: 8.7/10

Sometimes, an anime series delivers everything you want to see out of it. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is that series for me in recent years. It is a shoujo romance series with a ton of its own quirks and humor. However, what stood out to me was how human many of the characters felt. A lot of the characters are the emotional high school wrecks that they are and slowly develop into friends with their interactions. A seemingly diverse group forms into close buddies, which is basically what high school is. It is a transitioning point for all involved. And my crack pairing, or what I thought was it, starts coming into fruition towards the middle and end of the series. Gotta love it~

XXXholic Season 1: 7.9/10

Initially, I wrote off the XXXholic anime series as iffy when I first watched the first few episodes years ago. I felt that the manga was not going to be done justice, especially after the monkey’s paw episode. However, I decided to give it another go again… mainly because I had bought the first season for $15. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised. Despite what I viewed as a shaky start, the story moves in a good way and I couldn’t help but enjoy myself as it did so. My initial worries were put to rest and seeing XXXholic animated was actually a treat.

Yuru Yuri S2: 7.4/10

It is a fun splice of life series. And it’s really light.

Yurumate3dei: 7.0/10

It was all right, over all. This is another one of those “five-minute episodes” series, so I’d just watch the first episode to see if it is worth the watch.

Yuyushiki: 7.5/10

I liked this series. It’s really cute and the friends are pretty random compared to the main character. And I find this humorous. Plus, the teacher they call “Mom” is voiced by Yui Horie.

Zettai Karen Children the Unlimited: 7.4/10

This is a somewhat liberal take on the life of Zettai Karen Children’s Kyousuke Hyoubu, who is one of the antagonists of the series. Or he is an antihero in this case. Either way, the series decided it was going to do its anime-only thing, introducing new characters never before seen in the manga and the like. Overall, I both liked it and didn’t like it. Firstly, the fact that Hyoubu needs a limiter just rubbed me the wrong way. Second, Andy felt like Chris from Sonic X. He was suddenly there and everyone was friends with him, for the most part. At least, Andy is pretty badass compared to anything from Sonic X. Overall, it was all right, but I’d rather see a true continuation of Zettai Karen Children.

And with that, I’ve caught up to quite a few of my reviews. What’s next? Well, I am in the midst of watching quite a few different anime series and there are still over 100 more series I have watched and not reviewed, including those that I’ve mentioned here and not done a full review on. But that is all for the future. Until next time, see ya!

An “Anime’s” Review: BK Big King

As a change of pace and as something a little different, I am going to review Burger King’s Big King sandwich. I just thought it would be interesting to do so, so don’t look into it too much~

With that said, I am an avid McDonald’s fan and rarely, if ever, go to Burger King. To me, Burger King is a fast food restaurant that promises “quality” and I get anything but. However, a good friend of mine suggested I go if only to try BK’s new Big Mac. I like the Big Mac, so I decided I would try this new sandwich. Just so you know, this review is a direct compare and contrast to the McDonald’s Bic Mac sandwich and has no bearing on whether the sandwich on its own is “good” or “bad”.

What is the Big King?
The Big King is Burger King’s two-layer hamburger sandwich. By “two-layer”, I mean that there is the top bun, a beef patty, a middle bun, a second patty, and finally the bottom bun. Therefore, there are two layers. On the burger itself, there is “special sauce”, which is actually thousand island with some combination of other condiments and extras inside it, cheese, lettuce, pickles, and onion. In other words, its a Big Mac. Even the naming scheme is similar to a Bic Mac. (McDonald’s Big Mac vs Burger King’s Big King)

Pros:
The pros over its McDonald’s counterpart are the fact that the beef patties are of higher quality. The Big King boasts Burger King’s flame-broiled beef patties, which are generally better than the grade D hamburger meat that McDonald’s uses on its normal hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and Bic Mac. It also is at a good deal for fast food standards. You can get 2 for $5 in my area, so I pay $5.40 for two sandwiches. Not bad~ Finally, one of the major cons I have against Burger King is that for some reason, their Whopper sandwiches, their signature sandwich, makes me sick when I eat it. There is no evidence of that in the Big King. Huge bonus points there!

Cons:
Unlike its McDonald’s counterpart, the Big King does not feel like it has the right ratio for a burger. The middle bun especially feels too thick and thus, it feels a little awkward to bite into. In addition, their “special sauce” is lackluster compared to its McDonald’s version. The thousand island blend sauce that McDonald’s uses is quite good. (Not good for you, but good taste-wise) Finally, a detriment in the fast food industry as a whole turns out to be a benefit on the McDonald’s side of things. The Big Mac when compared to the Big King is lighter. And I mean that physically, it is slightly smaller and thus, sits more comfortably in my stomach than the Big King does. So apparently the cutting of corners in major brands like McDonald’s turns out to be a benefit instead of having a slightly heavier sandwich in the Big King.

Overall, I would say that the Bic Mac still wins out as my favored burger between the two. However, taking into account the price, the Big King is going to be seeing some more business from me if and when I decide to get a quick bite to eat out in the road.