Part 1: anime we haven’t managed to continue

Hello. This is a post that has been sitting in the draft box for way too long and I decided to pick it up and finish it once and for all. Initially I thought this would be a great post to list which anime didn’t catch our attention and why. Then I had second thoughts – maybe it’ll be too harsh, maybe people will think we rant a lot, maybe I should keep it to myself, maybe we should just write positive posts.

One year later, after reading reviews for K Project and Durarara!, I’ve decided to just say what I want to say.

1. Hyouka – Bored indifferent boy joins Literary Club because his older sister asked him to. There he meets an ‘interesting’ girl. Reason: We found the main character interesting and relatable but the story was slow and confusing.

Pro: Nakamura Yuuichi as the main character. Possible second chance: yes.

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2. Durarara! – About some kids and a gang – or is it many gangs? – in Ikebukuro. Reason: Boring and confusing. We may actually be the only ones who didn’t enjoy Durarara even after sitting through half the season and rewatching it just in case we missed some quality content the first time. Apparently there are people who found the show just as ridiculous and boring as we did so it has me wondering how the other people who rated it 9 and 10 found this show ‘awesome’ or ‘the best show I’ve ever watched’.

Nothing seems to make sense even after so many episodes and the main characters (the pathetic school boy and his megane crush) are so boring omg. The attempts at making the story somehow link up to each other were poor and the texting scenes were the worst. Good luck trying to make sense of who is saying what or why they’re even sending messages to each other. No real villain shows up and we’re supposed to be satisfied with some missing girl as the beginning plot. Okay, you know what? There is no real plot throughout the 12 episodes we watched and there were 24 (!!) episodes… makes you wonder why other shows with potential don’t get new seasons or more episodes, jeez.

And I’m sorry but how is Izaya interesting?? He’s supposedly the anti-hero who likes psychological games, playing them on humans to see what they’re made of, and provoking Shizuo. God no. He was the most annoying character for me. Besides those kids and Izaya, there was Celty the headless biker in a Catwoman suit, Shizuo the bartender who enjoys getting violent over every little thing, Shinra the strange doctor who lives with Celty whom he supposedly kidnapped (man, I don’t even know), and the strange sushi man who apparently had some kind of role but we didn’t get that far so I can’t say how big his role became.

Overall, the story is slow, draggy and tries really hard to be dark, mysterious and futuristic, and the characters are horribly bland. Not even the catchy OP and ED could keep me watching or bump the score up for me.

It baffles me as to HOW Durarara!’s rating on MyAnimeList can be way higher than K’s. Did we watch the same show, people?!

Pro: -. Skye’s additional comment: Magic Mike is all I can say. Translation of her comment: slow and boring. Possible second chance: no.

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3. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – Hero meets Demon King who turns out to be a woman. This story reminds us strongly of Spice and Wolf with similar concepts about a country’s economics and interesting characters. Reason: Kind of fell off the wagon and forgot about it. Does Maou’s boobs have to be so big and distracting? I mean, she’s not all about the body since she’s intelligent and tactical but yeah, they were distracting.

Pro: JunJun and Ami Koshimizu (who actually voiced Lawrence and Holo from Spice and Wolf). Possible second chance: yes.

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4. Sukitte Ii Na Yo – two words: aishiteru creep. Slice of life anime about a creepy boy, an emo girl and their high school romance. Reason: the first episode was actually convincing right up till the last minute when the boy suddenly confessed to the girl and kissed her outside the convenience store in front of the guy who had been following her. Yeah, that was REALLY weird.

Pro: T_T none because even Sakurai Takahiro’s voice can’t make the boy less creepy. Possible second chance: no.

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5. Inu x Boku – a girl moves into this Upper-East-Side-like apartment where she finds out that everyone is assigned their own bodyguard (?) and she gets one too. Reason: Boring and elements of ridiculousness.

Pro: Nakamura Yuuichi. Possible second chance: no.

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6. Servant x Service – slice of life anime about civil servants. Reason: dull characters, lame jokes and trying-too-hard feel. It has a similar concept as Working!! which Skye watched and enjoyed, which I watched and didn’t enjoy but it was a unanimous decision to stop watching Servant x Service. I feel like they could have done a better job with the plot since slice of life shows usually have a certain element that can make even mundane day-to-day life activities interesting.

Pro: Tatsun. Possible second chance: only if we run out of shows to watch.

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7. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu – Kyon is a high school student who doesn’t believe in supernatural stuff but the girl in his class, Haruhi, is completely obsessed with the idea that the supernatural exist. Thus they form a club along with two others to investigate any kind of supernatural incidents should there be any reports of such things. Reason: it started out perfectly well – funny, witty and different – but suddenly it turned into a Disney love story mashup and we couldn’t make sense of it anymore. Maybe that’s the appeal of the show but I didn’t care for it. The purple-haired girl did the show in for me. What is she supposed to be? A robot? A supernatural creature? An alien? Oh wait, I think they said she’s an alien…

Oh, and you’re supposed to watch the episodes in a certain order because they’re not all lined up. O… k… a… y…

This story feels like Durarara!’s for me. Not in the sense that the stories or characters are similar but the fact that tons of people adore this show and Durarara! and furiously write elaborate reviews on how fantastic the show is and rewatch the show annually just because they love it sooo much… And I’m just sitting over here trying hard to think of some things I enjoyed about either show. One man’s meat sure is another man’s poison.

Pro: Sugita Tomokazu’s character, Kyon, is hilarious and the only one who’s got his head screwed on right. Possible second chance: no.

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So there. I have a part 2 of this post because we’ve watched SO many shows but I just didn’t realize until I started to compile this list.

Have you watched any of these? Which ones of these did you like or dislike? Any hyped-up shows that you found boring and worthy of dropping?

Raine
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This spring’s anime

Our favorites! Our not-so-favorite favorites! After a very boring winter anime schedule (consisting of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu only, I believe), we’re back on an equally boring spring schedule. Out of the “many” choices as some would say, we ‘disqualified’ those we disliked and continued watching those that were so-so. Read on for what we think…

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Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)

A historical tale of Arslan, a prince who gets caught in a war between two countries (?), and how “the boy became prince”. Historical animes have always been a hit. Kingdom was by far one of the best we have watched. So has Arslan Senki lived up to those expectations? The answer is: it’s fading. The story was pretty compelling at the beginning. Arslan isn’t a terrible protagonist, but rather, the story is. While I understand that violence is always involved in historical war stories, I believe that some overly gory scenes were unnecessary and irrelevant to the story. The animation is wonderful but the pacing is getting poorer. Arslan has been hiding in a cave with his comrades in the past few episodes while we are forced to watch other side-stories. When will we get to see Arslan in action? I don’t know, but hopefully we won’t have dropped the show by then. For now, I can’t wait to see what the new character voiced by Sakamoto Maaya brings to the table.

By the way, does Daryun look like Shang from Mulan or what?

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Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)

In an alternate New York City where humans and aliens live together peacefully, Leonardo Watch joins a secret association called Libra to find out more about himself. Naturally, he gets dragged into the sci-fi craze that Libra fights. We watched this because Bones (producer of Darker than Black, one of our all-time favorites) was producing this show. The synopsis mentioned something about vampires, but that was only introduced in the 4th or 5th episode. Since the first episode, we’ve been keeping up with the crazy, random stories because the characters, especially Zapp, are hilarious. It has a Gintama/Space Dandy vibe to it in terms of aliens and a strange out-of-the-blue storyline like…. I have no idea. I’m pretty sure everything is related, but I think watchers are supposed to piece them together. After episode 6, which was deliciously fluffy, I’m suddenly a big fan of everything about this anime. Maybe it’s the whacky, weird and wonderful explosion of creativity that the character designs are made of. Maybe it’s Leonardo Watch who is the complete opposite of your typical hardcore angry shounen hero, a typecast that I’m finding increasingly annoying. Maybe it’s the incredibly talented cast of voice actors that I’m learning to love. Maybe it’s that super catchy ending theme song called ‘Sugar Song to Bitter Step’ (even the title is so darned catchy). You can probably tell that this is my favorite anime so far because I have so much to say about it. The manga needs translations beyond chapter 4 so I can read it right now, urgh!

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Kyoukai no Rinne (Rinne’s Boundary)

From the creator of Ranma 1/2, the story of Mamiya Sakura, a girl who can see spirits, and her classmate, Rokudou Rinne, a half-human, half-death god who is tasked with sending spirits to the afterlife. There’s comedy, there’s romance, there’s action and there’s nothing more I could ask for. Simple stories like this are gold. Everyone is my favorite character. The voice actors are surprisingly good. Ishikawa Kaito and Inoue Marina (ooh, SnK’s Armin) have won my respect. Their voices are nothing like their usual styles. At least we don’t have a whiny female lead and a typically angry male lead. Everything is so cute about it. Of course, Kimura Ryouhei as the slightly air-headed love rival of Rinne, Juumonji, is my favorite since forever-ever-ever. Rokumon is adorable. I want a personal Rokumon. I’ve been whining about that for weeks now, just ask my sister. The opening theme, Ouka Ranman by Keytalk, is our latest favorite song to jam to. The Wheel of Reincarnation was the most interesting thing to see in the story so far. I think artists, writers, anyone creative are at their best when they can turn concepts that can only be seen in the mind into something physical and real.

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Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End)

After a tragic event, Hyakuya Yuuichiro joins the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, vowing to get revenge on the tyrannical vampires that rule over parts of a post-apocalyptic Japan. The concept is far more interesting than the single-sentenced synopses that I’m writing off the top of my head. Not many animes succeed in creating a post-apocalyptic setting that is as desolate as video games. This anime is an exception. The animation and scenery are lovely. The protagonist, however, isn’t. Yuuichiro is as annoying as any shounen protagonist can get (refer to my hints in the sections above). If you thought Eren from SnK was unlikeable because of his strong but blind determination, Yuuichiro might change your mind. He spends a few episodes ranting about how he wants to be the strongest. Guren, his superior, is a much more interesting character (and he’s funny!). The rest of the cast, except for Shinoa (who is a different-in-a-good-way kind of female lead), is pretty bland. As for the plot, it started out promising, but now all I can see is cliches everywhere. Right now, we’re only waiting for Guren’s backstory to come to light.

Some other animes we tried to watch were:

Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!) Big guy, Takeo, who has a super good-looking best friend, Makoto, likes a sweet girl, Rinko, from his school. Mediocre at its best. Maybe because I’ve read plenty of shoujo mangas, I’ve grown tired of watching the same story play out again and again. If shoujo is your type of story, then by all means; after all, this anime isn’t about a good-looking guy falling in love with a good-looking girl. P.S.: Makoto and Rinko both look like the leads from Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji.

Shokugeki no Souma. After his father closes down his restaurant, a boy joins an elite culinary school and struggles to beat his classmates in order to graduate. Fan service for girls/women! Fan service for boys/men! What more could you… not ask for? Nothing more to say here.

In other anime/manga-related news, we’ve been watching Blood+ and my god, it can get disturbing. I might actually write a full review for that, but we’ll see… I’ve also started reading Gangsta in anticipation for the anime adaptation. Beautiful character designs and art style and great main characters with very dark backgrounds. We finished watching Magic Kaito 1412 the other day and it was so cute! If you want a fully developed story with a nice (and deliciously mysterious) ending, Kaito is the guy you should go to!

This post is my post-finals R(est)&R(elax) reward, so I enjoyed myself a lot, penning this post! That’s all for this week!

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Some thoughts about anime and stuff

1. I really like Yamaguchi Kappei’s voice. He voiced Ranma -throws in lots of thumbs-ups and smiley faces and heart emojis- and now he’s voicing Kuroba Kaito in Magic Kaito 1412.

2. I feel like re-watching all the shows we’ve watched so far. Having to wait for a new episode every week and doing a completed anime marathon are two whole different things. I think I prefer marathon-ing all the episodes. It just keeps the rhythm going, you know?

3. Sakurai Takahiro is in everything this fall which is great, Fukuyama Jun is in too few which sucks (he was barely in any summer anime and I was waiting to see more of his roles this fall).

4. The fall anime so far has been, dare I say, pretty good. I’m especially enjoying Donten ni Warau (even if it is going a bit too fast for my liking), Garo (everything that a good mystery/thriller/dark fantasy anime should be), Nanatsu no Taizai (go adventure animes!) and Magic Kaito. Name one fall anime that is proving to be disappointing: Psycho-Pass 2. Kogami needs to show up and that annoying newbie Inspector needs to be kicked off the team.

5. I re-watched a few episodes of Full Metal Panic today and remembered how much I love it. Sagara Sousuke is such a lovable doofus and Chidori is just downright awesome (blue hair and badassery all wrapped in one).

6. A friend of ours asked us what is our most-played song the other day. I couldn’t answer because the only answer flashing in my head was Hikari by Fukuyama Jun. It’s my most-played song in 2014 for sure. But since refreshing my Winamp this summer and discovering Darker than Black, my most-played song is now From Dusk Till Dawn by abingdon school boys. Can you tell how many English songs we’ve listened to this year…? -_-  #embracingyourinnerasian

7. Monkey Majik has amazing music. They are one of my favorite Japanese bands yet. I listened to them ALL WEEK while trying to get through a whole week of midterms and a barrage of assignments. My favorites so far are Sakura, Futari and Pretty People.

And that is all from our otaku life so far.

Raine
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Summer anime review: DRAMAtical Murder (DMMD), Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Sengoku Basara: Judge End

And here, we have part 2 of my summer anime review (part 1 is here):

DRAMAtical Murder (DMMD)

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Mink, Aoba, Koujaku, Noiz, Clear (with AllMates Tori, Beni and Ren)

Story: 6/10 Unlike the game, there were no r-rated scenes (please go Wikipedia DMMD for more information and you’ll see why).

I don’t know if my summary is accurate but I guess if I had to tell you what it was about I’d say: the story is about Aoba who doesn’t know that he has a secret power that some bad guy (Touei) wants to get his hands on. I’m quite sure that’s the main gist of the story but you don’t really find that out until halfway through the season. Okay, I think there was some connection to the ‘Rhyme’ game that Aoba used to play but that’s about it.

Set in a futuristic world, Aoba is first put on the path to finding out his ‘true form’ (or something like that) when he encounters a Rhyme game and is forced to play it in another instance when he is transported into the Rhyme world. The person who dragged him into the game is none other than Noiz though I have since forgotten why. Anyway, from there he kind of joins Aoba’s, shall we call it, party (think party quest)?

In Aoba’s original party, there’s Koujaku who is his childhood friend (read further for my thoughts about Koujaku) and Ren who is his AllMate (read this up on Wikia if you want to know what it is). Then Aoba meets Clear who appears seemingly out of nowhere and claims that Aoba is his master. Clear has joined the party. The last person to join his party is Mink… sort of.

I’m sorry there is probably more important information about the story but I forgot so you’ll have to watch it. The story-telling was indeed slow and confusing, the characters had unexplored backgrounds, and the lines were cheesy and suggestive to the point of LOL-ing really hard but DMMD is one of those shows which is so bad that it’s actually good. People are hating on how stupid or boring it was but I actually didn’t find it that bad.

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The only two characters you should care about: Aoba and Koujaku (I’m kidding)

Characters: 8/10 Aoba is the main character of DMMD. You can immediately tell who he is from his blue hair and seriously ugly outfit. What is UP with those boots? Are those mutant Uggs or what? And how is that cropped puffer jacket even legal? I don’t get it. Well, I guess his kind and caring personality makes up for the fashion disaster. Aoba is a great friend to have because he seriously goes ALL out to save his friends and even people he doesn’t know.

Koujaku is my favorite character, hands down. He’s sooooo dreamy. Especially in that red kimono. Tall, gorgeous, long-haired, tattooed, and elegant. He’s a freelance hairdresser but is somehow always seen carrying a huge*ss sword on his back. I am partial to tattoos on anime characters (think Kensei, Hisagi and Renji from Bleach and Kawafuji from Barakamon) but I think Koujaku’s tattoos are beautiful. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. It’s not really elaborated in the anime but Koujaku supposedly has a dark past. He’s a sweet and gentle sort (except to Noiz) and basically you would want to invite him over for dinner ahaha.

Side note: Skye says I have a thing for “long-haired, sometimes stoic, sunglasses, punks in general.” (cough Abarai Renji cough Misawa Mitsuyoshi cough Suoh Mikoto cough Nura Rikuo in night form cough) I deny! I like sweet characters like Tachibana Makoto and Maeda Keiji and Kise Ryota too T_T

Clear is a sweetheart whose true form I will not reveal to you. He starts out wearing this gas mask which is actually quite a unique piece of headgear then later he removes it. He can sing and you can trust him to be at Aoba’s side whenever Aoba is in danger.

Noiz is a bunny-loving tech geek with multiple piercings and a stoic personality. Didn’t think much of him in the first few episodes but he got better in the second half. Not that he had many lines or much emotion…

Mink is the vague kind of character that is there but somehow not really there, know what I mean? If I had to describe him, I’d probably say: kidnapper, smoker, biker, cockatoo-owner, dreadlocked macho man. I still don’t really get his story but whatever.

REN IS SO HANDSOME. Virus and Trip are a shady pair whose personalities didn’t get much past manipulative and weird.

Aoba’s grandmother, Tae, is an important part of the story since she’s one of the few people who knows about Aoba’s ability. Then there’s Mizuki… Forget it. I don’t even remember much about the whole gang story.

In any case, character development was poor even though their backgrounds were really interesting and should have been explored.

Sound: 6/10 The OP was weird. I didn’t quite care for the songs in DMMD except for Clear’s Jellyfish song.

The voice acting was not too bad but there were too many deep-voiced characters, making it quite difficult to tell one from another. Kisaichi Atsushi as Aoba, Takahashi Hiroki as Koujaku, Takeuchi Ryota as Ren, Hino Satoshi as Noiz, Matsuda Kenichiro as Mink, Nakazawa Masatomo as Clear, Majima Junji as Virus, Higuchi Tomoyuki as Trip, Takahashi Kenji as Mizuki, Iguchi Yuuichi as Sei. Okay, go figure.

Art: 5/10 Okay, they really screwed up the art. Either the studio was on a low budget or there were screw-ups in other departments. The second episode was aired in its incomplete state; the art was unfinished and it just looked bad. They released the completed one the next week but things went downhill from that unfinished episode. The art was inconsistent and the animation half-shoddy.

Overall: 7/10 While the art was sloppy and the character development barely there, I don’t know, I quite enjoyed watching DMMD. It’s one of those guilty pleasures, I guess – it’s bad but you can’t help liking it somehow. We had a few good laughs from watching DMMD but we probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

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Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Story: 9.5/10 Such a unique story about a high school girl (Sakura) confessing her love to a completely thick-headed manga artist (Nozaki) but having him take her as a super fan of his manga instead. Sakura ends up agreeing to help Nozaki out with his manga art and from there, lots of funny things ensue. Along the way, Sakura and Nozaki’s friends come into play and even funnier things happen.

There’s Mikorin, Kashima, Hori-senpai, Seo Yuzuki, and Wakamatsu and a few other side characters. Most of them are Nozaki’s manga assistants even though they think that they’re his only helpers until later on when some of them meet at Nozaki’s house.

I loved the brief glimpses of Nozaki’s manga story in the anime. Kind of like an Inception thing. The ending of Gekkan Shoujo was sweet with a touch of hope. I like my anime to end on hopeful notes.

It’s not your typical romcom anime. Every time you think something is going to happen and you know what it is, it turns the other way and makes you crack up instead. I’ve lost count of how many times the predictable turned unpredictable.

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Characters: 10/10 Nozaki is the most ignorant character to ever exist. He doesn’t get hints at all! It’s funny and awkward to watch at the same time because he just keeps letting Sakura down lol.

Sakura is adorable! She’s the poster girl for kawaii, seriously. I love those bows in her hair and her dedication to Nozaki even though he totally doesn’t get it. She is such a great girl and I envy her ability to make friends easily.

My favorite character is probably Hori-senpai though. It was unexpected but he ended up being my favorite. There’s something about his maturity (that none of the others seem to possess haha) and the way he treats Kashima that I like. Oh, and he’s cute with his fringe let down.

Mikorin is the kind of person who adores flattery and likes to act like the flirtatious kind but he’s actually painfully shy and feels embarrassed when he tries to be flirty. Ah, he’s so cute. Kashima’s concept is interesting – a girl being the high school prince – and I love that the only person she listens to is Hori-senpai. Wakamatsu is the bimbo freshman basketball player. His helplessness is hilarious.

Everyone had their moments and everyone’s personalities meshed so well with each other’s.

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Sound: 9/10 The OP and ED were really fun and upbeat as were the videos. I didn’t notice the background music though.

The voice acting was A-class. I never expected Nakamura Yuuichi to voice such a doofus but he actually played the role really well. Side note: I ADORE him as Kumo Tenka in Donten ni Warau which started airing recently. I’m new to Ozawa Ari who voiced Sakura but I’m impressed by the non-whiny-ness and will look out for more of her roles.

Other names were more familiar: Okamoto Nobuhiko as Mikoshiba Mikoto (hey, I got his name right on my first try), Nakahara Mai as Kashima Yuu (she voiced Sunako from Yamato Nadeshiko!!), Sawashiro Miyuki as Seo Yuzuki (Miyuki-san never fails to impress me), Ono Yuuki as Hori Masayuki (lol who would have thought?!), Kimura Ryohei as Wakamatsu Hirotaka (as always, Ryohei-san played the air-headed jock perfectly).

Art: 10/10 Great character designs, great settings, great colors and wonderful animation. The art was fantastically detailed, especially the manga scenes. I like!

Overall: 10/10 An unpredictable and hilarious romcom that has gone into my book of favorites.

Sengoku Basara: Judge End

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Sengoku Basara: Judge End From L-R: Ishida Mitsunari, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sanada Yukimura, Date Masamune

Story: 6/10 This was just a remake of Sengoku Basara: The Last Party and a worse one, if I may say so. I don’t know why they couldn’t have just left it at The Last Party which was already pushing the limit of freakin’ absurdity. There was WAY too much going on in The Last Party for the absurdity to be awesome and funny. Can you even imagine what they did to Judge End? Yeah, it was crappy from the get-go.

The only thing I got from the whole season: Mitsunari and Ieyasu are enemies after Ieyasu killed Hideyoshi. Mitsunari feels betrayed by Ieyasu but more importantly, he wants to take revenge for Hideyoshi so he sets out to rally allies to go to war against Ieyasu. Then there’s Ieyasu who overuses the word ‘kizuna’ to make a point which we kind of got after the first three times he said it. He doesn’t believe in Hideyoshi’s plans to take over the world by force and instead aims to create a world made of bonds.

Basically Judge End tried to do WAAAY too many things at the same time – the battle of Sekigahara, the attempt at reviving Oda Nobunaga, Mitsunari and Ieyasu’s clashes, the introduction of new characters ON TOP of bringing back tons of old unimportant characters. The lack of exaggerated fights also made me think that Judge End shouldn’t have made the cut. We watch Sengoku Basara for the ridiculous fights and epic characters. There was nothing epic about Sengoku Basara: Judge End.

If you were looking for heated Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura action this season, you’ll be sorely disappointed like we were. They had minor roles this season and even then their fights were unimpressive. We did get to see the addition of Saika Magoichi, Kuroda Kanbei and Fuuma Kotaro but they weren’t even important.

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From L-R: Katakura Kojuro, Date Masamune, Sanada Yukimura, Sarutobi Sasuke

Characters: 8/10 Ishida Mitsunari was even more extreme this season. His actions and words were too much for me. Great haircut, poor personality. Two words about Tokugawa Ieyasu: just no.

Masamune and Yukimura had significantly fewer lines but Kojuro and Sasuke had a few more. I feel like there was less emotion in Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura’s voices. Masamune had a hissy fit this season but was quickly put in his place by Kojuro <3

Saika Magoichi was interesting but she didn’t get much character development. I would have loved to see more of her relationship with Maeda Keiji(<3). Maeda Keiji = my number 1 sweetheart.

The characters mostly stayed true to their personalities from previous shows so… moving on…

Sound: 6.5/10 The OP and ED were unimpressive. The ED sounds more suited for Hakuouki and the OP for DMMD -_-

The voice acting was good but nothing great except maybe if you count Seki Tomokazu’s screaming power. That guy can raise his voice by 20 pitches, seriously.

Art: 7/10 I’m not sure I dig this season’s art since it’s different. It’s not bad but I prefer the old style. Nothing much stood out so not much to say here.

Overall: 6.5/10 It was okay. Let’s endless rumble party… away from Sengoku Basara: Judge End.

~

Sorry not sorry about my giddy teenage crush on all these characters. I also know I use a lot of ‘probably’s and ‘sort of’s and ‘maybe’s and ‘quite’s (prolific writers shake their head at me) but bear with my uncertainty lol.

Which of these three shows have you watched? What did you think? What fall anime are you watching? Let us know.

Raine
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Summer anime review: Barakamon, Free! Eternal Summer and Haikyuu!!

First off, I’ll have you know that some of the best anime I’ve watched were this year’s summer anime. Second, I planned on writing separate reviews but figured that would take too long and I want to write the reviews while the details are still fresh.

Barakamon barakamon2 Story: 10/10 This goes right up there with K Project, Darker than Black, Rurouni Kenshin and Natsume Yuujinchou. Absolute masterpiece of an anime and adapted from such a simple but beautiful manga.

This slice-of-life anime is about Handa Seishuu (aka Sensei as he is known to the village people), a talented calligrapher from Tokyo, who is sent off to a remote island after punching an art director in a moment of anger in to repent and in the process, try to find his own unique writing style. There he learns to adapt to the slow and laid back and bare country life. This is also where he forms new friendships and bonds with all the strange and crazy people in the tiny village.

It’s so beautiful, I cry. There’s character development in every episode and even though I can’t picture myself living in a town that small, it was all very interesting and I found myself thinking how amazing it would be to live in a town where everyone knows each other.

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L-R: Kawafuji, Sensei, Hiroshi, Naru, Kousuke

Characters: 10/10 Naru might start out as one of those annoying kid characters but don’t be fooled. She is the most lovable anime kid. She’s mischievous and adventurous (she has this strange obsession with bugs) and is always bugging Sensei to play with her. Her relationship with Sensei is so heartwarming.

Sensei is the best. He is a goofball with a quick temper but a big heart. He is as handsome as he is old-school. After being told by the art director that his calligraphy is boring and unoriginal, he sets off on a quest to create his own style of calligraphy. He’s a determined guy but with a mentality set to ‘live by the basic rules of calligraphy’, he finds it difficult to break out of the mold.

Then there’s Tama and Miwa, the two 14/15 year old girls who love a good prank and are generally fun-loving. They are the ringleaders of the town’s kids and lead them into all kinds of mischief.

Hiroshi is the oldest ‘kid’ in town at age 17 or was it 18? He’s got a dry sense of humor but is fun to be around.

The other kids are Hina, Kentarou, Daisuke and Yutaka. Hina is a crybaby, Kentarou is a boy version of Naru and the other kids are just part of the gang. There are a few other interesting characters like the Village Chief, Naru’s grandpa and Tama’s brother.

Sound: 9/10 The OP and ED are perfect. I don’t know which I like better. The OP is Rashisa by Super Beaver (coolest band name since Goat Bed but that’s a whole different story). The ED is Innocence by Noisy Cell. I know, what absurd band names… until you listen to their songs.

The background music fit the mood but I don’t remember a particular score catching my interest. Hmm, maybe I’ll have to re-watch it soon.

The voice acting was amazing mostly because of Ono Daisuke’s talent but also because they actually hired kids to voice the children. Usually they get women to do the kids’ roles but Barakamon has real kids playing the characters. I think it felt a lot more raw because you can ‘feel’ the innocence of the kids through their voice acting.

Ono Daisuke as Handa Seishuu (aka Sensei), Hara Suzuko as Kotoishi Naru, Suwabe Junichi as Kawafuji, Uchiyama Kouki as Kido Hiroshi, Kaji Yuki as Kanzaki Kousuke, Furuki Nozomi as Yamamura Miwa, Okubo Rumi as Arai, Endou Rina as Kubota Hina, Tamako Sugino Tanuki as Kido Yuujirou, Kimura Seiya as Oohama Kentarou.

Art: 10/10 Handa Seishuu is so cute. <3 <3 I love his character design. Actually everyone’s character design fits their personality. Naru’s expressions are the bomb.

The calligraphy was brilliant – every piece was breathtaking!! The animation was smooth and I didn’t find any inconsistencies. Gorgeous setting and warm-toned colors – so inviting.

Overall: 10/10 Watch this. I love it so much. It’s heartwarming and a great feel-good show. Another classic example of simplicity can be beautiful.

Free! Eternal Summer

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L-R: bottom row: Haru, Rin, Rei; second row: Nagisa, Makoto

Story: 5/10 So bad, seriously. I don’t know if more time between this season and the last would have resulted in a better storyline but I doubt it. The story is about Haru this time (sort of) and Rin and Sousuke(why). I don’t want to recount the story for fear that I might get riled up and go off track so here’s the gist:

Haru, Makoto and Rin are in their last year of high school while Nagisa and Rei are in their 2nd year of high school. They’re determined to go to the swimming championship this year but since it’s Haru, Makoto and Rin last year of school, they also have to concentrate on their studies and plan their future. But wait, before that, Sousuke who is Rin’s childhood friend, shows up in town and starts going to Rin’s school, bringing more drama in the process.

Most of the whole season focuses on Haru not knowing what he wants to do in the future (boy doesn’t want to go to college, doesn’t want to take up swimming as a profession, basically just wants to be ‘free’ whatever that means) and Sousuke being jealous of Rin and Haru’s relationship (boy needs to take a chill pill and realize that nobody is out to snag his boyfriend) while hiding a ‘secret’ from Rin.

I think the name Eternal Summer should have been played down a little simply because of the fact that they kept stressing the point of everyone not being to swim together after school ends. They made it sound like a sure fact – like oh no, this will be laaast time they get to swim together. Sorry, what ever happened to public pools and school holidays?? I mean, I understand that sometimes it is difficult to meet up after high school because everyone kind of goes their own way but the way they made it sound was way too dramatic.

Completely unrealistic story part: Haru FLEW TO AUSTRALIA with Rin in the middle of the school year after he fought with Makoto. Who even does that? Where does the money come from? Also, the episodes didn’t add up. The first half of the season was about each character’s troubles then halfway through the season, the story changed and well, it was disjointed from there.

Characters: 7/10 Haru’s character development was in the negative zone this season. He was a whiny, angry, ungrateful brat. Makoto should have just slapped him across the face. Instead of being a supportive friend, he has been holding Makoto back all this while with his indecisiveness and bratty behavior. So annoying. His catchphrase this season is ‘What future?’ instead of ‘I only swim free’. It got annoying after the first three times he said it.

Makoto probably had the most development. Like Haru, Makoto has always kind of been uncertain of what to do in the future but in this season, we got to see Makoto find his place in the world after teaching kids how to swim and realizing that that was what he enjoyed. It was pretty sweet. I am really glad that there was character development for Makoto since he is my favorite character. Makoto is everything – kind, gentle, handsome, affectionate, patient and CHECK THOSE ABS OUT.

Nagisa and Rei improved in this season too even though I’m sure their lines were decreased.

Rin was also surprisingly better this season too. I didn’t like him in the first season but I have to say, after his hissy fit in season 1, he seems to have matured/improved a lot. I like that. He’s waaay better than Haru in terms of character personality.

I did not like the addition of Sousuke’s character. It was painful to watch even though some might argue that he’s the best part of Free! Eternal Summer. Sousuke basically acted like Haru in season 1 except with an injury. His story didn’t feel relevant to the main story and why does everyone want to ‘swim with Rin once more’?? He and Rin’s relationship are like two emo high school girls. -_- ‘Because I knew you would cry’ is probably the poorest reason for hiding the fact that your shoulder is broken and you can’t swim anymore but you’re just forcing yourself so that you can swim with someone.

Kisumi was interesting though but we saw all of 30 seconds of him for the entire season. Oh well. We also got to see much less of Gou even though she’s one of the more interesting characters. Less Coach Sasabe but more Ren and Ran (Makoto’s siblings awww).

Momo is the cutest. I LOVE him and his sea otter impressions. He’s as hilarious and sweet as his brother Captain Mikoshiba Seijuurou (ah, my heart goes doki doki for this cutie). Minus points for the lack of Mikoshiba scenes. Okay, there were a few scenes but I love my Mikoshiba too much for those bits to be enough.

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L-R: Sousuke, Rin, Ai, Momo

Sound: 9/10 If it’s one thing that they’ve kept consistent this season, it’s the music. The OP is by OldCodex again and somehow we managed not to listen to it at all. I don’t know, there’s a lot of screaming. The ED is Future Fish by Style Five (haha, yeah, Haru, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei and Rin) and it’s as catchy as Splash Free, maybe more. I love it. Neo Blue Breathing (who even comes up with these titles and what do they actually mean??) is awesome.

Makoto’s character songs are great but the rest are just okay. The background music is even better and I can’t wait for all the tracks to be released.

The voice acting was consistent. Old cast: Shimazaki Nobunaga as Nanase Haruka, Suzuki Tatsuhisa as Tachibana Makoto, Tsubasa Yonaga as Hazuki Nagisa, Hirakawa Daisuke as Ryuugazaki Rei, Miyano Mamoru as Matsuoka Rin, Miyata Kouki as Nitori Ai, Yanaka Hiroshi as Sasabe Gorou, Watabe Akeno as Matsuoka Gou, Yukino Satsuki as Amakata Miho, Tsuda Kenjirou as Mikoshiba Seijuurou.

New cast: Suzumura Kenichi as Mikoshiba Momotarou (as adorable as SuzuKen gets), Hosoya Yoshimasa as Yamazaki Sousuke was ehhh but I guess his voice fit Sousuke’s size??

Art: 10/10 What can I say? KyoAni’s best art and animation yet. Stop it, Makoto is infinitely HOTTER in this season. I melt.

I love that there were more clothes this season as in more outfit changes. I can’t get enough of everyone looking so good in whatever they’re wearing. Hah, there was tons of fan service so don’t worry, the swimming boys are still in epic shape and look better than ever.

The animation is wonderful!! Absolutely flawless. I love the attention to detail and the ending video topped the first season’s which is saying something because how can you top Rin splashing in water in the Sahara Desert lol? Makoto as a fireman. Makoto as a fireman. Makoto as a fireman. The end.

Overall: 7/10 I know this review sounds critical of Free! and while I am disappointed in the poor storyline and lack of character development, I have a love-hate-love relationship with Free. Everything about Free! is beautiful, just not the parts that are most important aka the story. I would probably say that I enjoyed the first season better (minus the betrayal of Rei part).

Haikyuu!!

haikyuu1Story: 7.5/10 This is a story about high school volleyball. Most sports anime have the same concept: the high school team trying to win some kind of championship (except maybe Free! where there’s a lot of high school drama between boys lol jk). And how interesting can that get, you wonder? Actually, very. I enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke immensely.

The story is centered around Karasuno High School and its volleyball club. Kageyama (aka King of the Court) and Hinata, who were originally from rival junior high schools, transfer to Karasuno. They both join the volleyball club where they learn to put aside their old rivalry and play as a team. Because of their skill and talent, they become quite the duo but even then they soon learn of the importance of training and working together in a team.

Man, I don’t really know how to summarize the story but to simplify it further: The story is mostly about those two but then there’s also the challenges faced by the whole volleyball team and the main goal is to win the Inter High volleyball competition.

The episodes near the ending were a bit too far-fetched but luckily the ending wasn’t too unrealistic. The last episode was weird though… I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t watched. Haikyuu!! has 24 episodes but it sure didn’t feel that way. Everything went by really quickly, meaning there was a lot of action so no boring moments.

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Teams: Karasuno (orange and navy), Aoba Jousai (white and green), Nekoma (red and black)

Characters: 8/10 Wow, there are too many to list. I’ll just give you Karasuno’s members. Kageyama Tobio, Hinata Shouyou, Tanaka Ryuunosuke, Sawamura Daichi, Nishinoya Yuu, Sugawara Koushi, Azumane Asahi, Tsukishima Kei, Ukai Keishin, Yamaguchi Tadashi, Takeda Ittetsu.

Kageyama is okay. I probably don’t like him as much as Kagami from KnB even if he did turn down the obnoxious ‘King of the Court’ behavior. Hinata is better. Maybe too enthusiastic but a better comic relief than Kuroko. I liked Nishinoya better than I expected to. Tanaka is hilarious. I just wish they focused less on Kageyama and Hinata since the other members got far less screen time. Coach Ukai is cool.

In terms of character development, it was there though I wouldn’t say there was a lot of it… Well, there’s probably going to be a season 2 so hopefully we’ll see more character development there.

Oh then there’s Kuroo Tetsurou and Oikawa Tooru. Because they are important. And so fine. You did not hear that from me ahaha.

Sound: 8.5/10 NICO Touches The Wall has gone into my music folder. They sang one of the three EDs and I love it. I don’t remember what the other EDs sound like so I’ll probably go listen to them later. The OPs were okay (better than OldCodex IMO).

Here we have some (fairly) new voice talent: Ishikawa Kaito as Kageyama, Murase Ayumu as Hinata, Hayashi Yuu as Tanaka, Saito Soma as Yamaguchi. Regulars: Hino Satoshi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Irino Miyu, Kamiya Hiroshi, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Uchiyama Kouki, Tanaka Kazunari,  Nakamura Yuuichi, Namikawa Daisuke, Kaji Yuki, Yoshino Hiroyuki… Everyone was great!

Art: 9/10 Nice art, great animation. The movements were fluid so the actions felt very real. The setting was nice – I liked the whole countryside feel to it… Kind of like Barakamon but not as small.

Overall: 7.5/10 Good show. It’s fast-paced and volleyball is an interesting sport so I recommend it. Prepare to be high strung on emotions while watching it.

And that’s it! We watched wayyy too many shows in such a small frame of time so my recollection of each show is jumbled up.

Raine
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My thoughts on Sengoku Basara

It’s a party and it’s a Sengoku Basara kind of party today. We watched SB early this year and couldn’t get enough of it.

sengokubasara6Story: 10/10 Sometimes the story doesn’t take itself seriously with the over-the-top fight scenes (mostly between Masamune and Yukimura) and laugh-out-loud lines but there is a plot and the story follows through till the end. The story and characters are based very loosely off real life events and people.

The story is about the clashes between the warring states of Japan. Er… did I take that line from Kingdom? Oda Nobunaga has plans to take over all of Japan and obviously he’s up to no good. He intends to use force to conquer the scattered states. Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, although from different clans, have the same intention to stop Oda’s despicable plans so they try to rally other states to join them in their counterattack.

Things get heated from there and lots of fun new characters are introduced. The story is epic but not hard to follow so you won’t find yourself lost in anything too complex. It’s supposed to be a fun watch, that’s all.

Characters: 10/10 Date Masamune aka Leader of Oshuu is one of the main protagonists of the story. He’s GREAT!! He’s charismatic and hot-blooded and cool as all heck. He’s got the best lines, hands down. I mean, he had us at, ‘ALRIGHT, ARE YOU READY, GUYS?’.

Katakura Kojuro, his right eye/right-hand man/advisor/strategist/bodyguard/loyal bff/father figure/babysitter/mom/cook/no 1 fan. Yes, Kojuro is all that and so much more. Kojuro’s soft spot is farming, specifically tending to eggplants and leeks. What a sweetheart. He is the one who can keep a reign on Masamune in his own surprisingly effective reverse psychology ways.

Sanada Yukimura aka Tiger Cub aka Young Tiger of Kai aka Oyakata-sama’s #1 fan. Yukimura is also overenthusiastic and hot-blooded but in a different way. While Masamune is independent and doesn’t care for people smothering him, Yukimura is still a kid and is really attached to his master, Oyakata-sama. He wields a pair of badass spears.

Sarutobi Sasuke. Kojuro is Masamune’s protector as Sasuke is to Yukimura. Takeda Shingen aka Oyakata-sama aka Tiger of Kai. He loves Yukimura like a son and wants to see him succeed him as the leader of his clan.

Maeda Keiji. Who can not love Keiji? He’s the gentlest, most peace-loving, most carefree and kindest one of them all. He’s the sweetest of sweethearts, he’s got a badass 7-foot long sword AND he’s got a little monkey friend called Yumekichi. You’re in love with him already, I know. NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE HIM. He’s mine.

Other characters: Uesugi Kenshin, Kasuga, Chosokabe Motochika, Mori Motonari, Matsunaga Hisahide, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Akechi Mitsuhide, Oda Nobunaga, Ichi.

The camaraderie is, once again, enviable. Everyone’s got a best friend/mentor and they always have each other’s back. I love friendships like that.

Sound: 9/10 LOVED the opening credits scene with the dancing soldiers. So funny! The voice acting was top notch too. I accidentally mixed up the OP from the first season with the second. The OP is by abingdon boys school which is about my new favorite Japanese band because they also sang for Darker than Black (favorite show yet). The ED for SB was okay.

What a fun cast!~ Nakai Kazuya as Date Masamune – I don’t know if anyone else would have made a better Masamune especially with all the English lines; Morikawa Toshiyuki as Kojuro – tears of joy because Skye joined the Morikawa fan club after watching Sengoku Basara; Morita Masakazu as Keiji – YES PLEASE I LOVE MORITA MASAKAZU, NO I AM NOT AN OBSESSED TEENAGER… maybe… he’s just got an amazing voice and he seems like a likable guy in real life; Soichiro Hoshi as Sanada Yukimura – haha, it’s great, we didn’t expect him to be Sanada but he’s perfect as Sanada; Koyasu Takehito as Sarutobi Sasuke – another new favorite seiyuu of ours. Paku Romi as Uesugi Kenshin. Fujiwara Keiji as Matsunaga Hisahide – eeeeee! <3

Art: 9/10 Really consistent and clean lines. Great character designs too! Everyone is unique and whoever did the costume design should be applauded. The studio did a great job with the animation. The action scenes were breathtaking except for one fight between Masamune and Yukimura where it looked like they forgot to do some touching up for the art.

Overall: 9.5/10 Best samurai anime since Rurouni Kenshin but on a completely different level. If you’re looking for something highly enjoyable, I highly recommend Sengoku Basara. It is SO good.

Are you ready guys?! Here we gooooo!

Raine
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K Missing Kings review

First off, let me just say that it was one of the worst/best cinema experiences EVER. Worst because — everyone was screaming their heads off and the girl screaming beside me was so full of it that she was choking on her spit and everything. Like, yes, we’re all excited, but if you’re gonna be so extreme about it….. I’d rather you not. Scream at the appropriate parts, people. Not everyone wants the same cinema experience. Plus, the screaming during the movie was so distracting and I couldn’t even hear some of the dialog. The laughing at unfunny parts was also ridiculous. My eardrums hurt from that girl’s screaming. Ugh.

The best experience – because I could clap when there were amazing parts. Admittedly, I shouted excitedly at one part, but that was all. It was the best because I watched it with Raine and we could enjoy the feels together. We waited so long for this anime and we love K and everything so it was indescribably fantastic.

Now, on to the review!! (HEAVY SPOILER ALERT. Do not read if you want to fully enjoy the movie.)

It picks up right where the last season left off (and if you haven’t listened to the radio drama CD, please do so that you have a better understanding of what happens) – Shiro disappeared, HOMRA disbanded and it’s just another day at the Scepter 4 headquarters. But what happens when Kuroh and Neko see Kamamoto and Anna running away from someone?

[You can read Raine’s review here. It’s quite wonderful and different from my thoughts.]

After a really, really long and unnecessary recap of the first season (narrated by Kuroh whose voice is made of gold), the story quickly reintroduces Munakata and Scepter 4. The Green King attacks the Gold King’s building because the Green Clan are after the Dresden Slate for some weird reason. They are also after Anna because they want to know where Shiro, the Silver King, is.

Mishakuji Yukari makes the sassiest debut with his lovely long lashes and multicolored tresses. When he shows up at the scene and pulls all kind of classy stunts, awe is the word that one would use to describe when looking at him. The bird on his shoulder also proves to be an interesting addition to his appearance. (Don’t underestimate this bird, though, because the Green King can send messages through him!) The Gold Clansmen, also known as the Usagi, are pretty badass in this scene as well, thanks to the great animation.

Yukari meets Kuroh again and they spar because they are on different sides of the war. Kuroh is ever the gentleman and still the true blue disciple of Miwa Ichigen because he is willing to protect the Red Clan members even though they have never been on good terms. This is the part where I say that this movie has a lot of Kuroh scenes that are totally worth watching. Neko is also a great sidekick who has some seriously formidable Illusion powers.

The story wastes no time showing Yata as he deals with the loss of Mikoto, Kusanagi’s departure to god-knows-where and the disbandment of HOMRA. I really loved his scenes because he is truly the heart of the Red Clan with his hotblooded personality and genuine love for his friends in the clan. It was totally natural to see him bounce back up so quickly to get help for Anna and fight alongside Kuroh. These two work together so well!

Kusanagi Izumo also joins the action not long after that with a badass entrance by displaying his truly intimidating Aura. He didn’t show off his powers much in the first season, but this movie reminds us why he is second-in-command when it comes to HOMRA matters.

When Anna became the Red King… When Anna became the Red King… mind you she isn’t even the Red Queen, she’s the KING. I, and literally everyone in the cinema, screamed and cheered. One of the best scenes in the movie, especially when a song sung by her voice talent started playing. There was a little flashback of her with Totsuka and Mikoto and I seriously didn’t know how my crying didn’t dissolve into ugly sobbing at that moment because I really wanted to. My heart feels so heavy now that it’s really true that Mikoto is gone. He didn’t have enough scenes in the first season… but I guess, he’ll still forever be in his Red Clansmen’s hearts. As Kusanagi said to Anna, it’s time to accept the reality.

More fighting scenes with Kuroh and Yukari. Kuroh gets his chance to ‘level up’ his skills after Yukari says that his sword is ’empty’ by reminding himself of his cause for fighting. It reminded me that after joining the Silver Clan, Kuroh stopped announcing his status as a vassal and that was probably why he didn’t use his full strength in fighting.

Munakata stepping in to help the Red Clan from the Green Clan pulling a destructive attack on them was very touching. For the first time ever, my heart swelled with pride for the Blue King. Very impressive show of his Aura.

I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Green King, but I guess that leaves more doors open for the second season. Yukari is just so fabulous, by the way. And his sidekick/partner a.k.a female ninja, Douhan, was kinda meh. Her ‘fight’ with Fushimi was an odd moment because the scene only seemed to be there to show Fushimi flipping a knife left and right. Other than that, they weren’t shown fighting. Pretty anti-climatic.

When Shiro finally shows up, he is beside the dying Gold King, Daikoku. He says something about having to take responsibility for the conflict that is happening. Daikoku dies and I end up crying a lot because I recently read the K Side: Black and White and their friendship is beyond words. The movie ends with Shiro standing at the edge of the air ship, saying that it’s time for him to fulfill his duties as a King.

I had no idea the movie was ending until the rock music started playing. Honestly it felt so short and the story was yet again left unfinished. It didn’t feel like a really solid plot, but I guess that’s what you get for a ‘second season’ that is a 1-hour-20-minutes movie. It felt more like a segment where we got to see Anna become the new Red King and some in-between parts that would lead to a potential season 2.

Still, I love how there are so many doors left to be explored in this anime. The concept is compelling and the characters are what make the story whole. I think people who expect to see lots of SaruMi and Shiro will be disappointed. Either way, because the plot execution was so excellent, the movie was worth every second.

Yatogami Kuroh, I loved you at first sight. His new attire is wonderfully designed and his personality is just as beautiful as before. He stands for his own beliefs and he doesn’t let anyone stop him from believing them. The moment when his hands shook while he was wielding his sword before his duel with Yukari is a great reminder that mowing people down to reach his objective is not his style. I also loved how he protected Kamamoto and Anna at the beginning. He’s a true hero. Ono Daisuke’s voice is smoldering and perfect. I loved every second that he spoke. I don’t know what else to say about his voice. It’s just… lovely.

I really love Neko in the movie because she is still her upbeat self and her involvement is  more than just hugging Shiro, which she did a lot in the first season. She can fight on her own and she also showed how strong her Strain powers were. She’s truly a great fighter, physically and mentally. The movie’s serious tone is balanced by her hilarious antics and adorable childishness, thanks to dear Neko. Together with Kuroh, they form an excellent duo who determinedly search for their King. Komatsu Mikako, her voice actress, did an amazing job portraying Neko. There is no other for the voice of this lovable cat.

Mishakuji Yukari… did I honestly say that I loved his character already so many months ago? Because I finally got to see him and he was more than just amazing. He’s the cool-as-cucumbers and slightly sadistic character type. He barely needs to use his sword in fights because his level (according to Kuroh in K Side: Black and White) is almost on par with Ichigen. All he needs to do is dodge blows and attacks effortlessly and flawlessly. His outfit is super stylish, especially those cool gloves, and let’s not even begin with his voice. Morita Masakazu did a super stellar job, perfecting Yukari’s effeminate but incredibly gorgeous voice to suit his calm semi-antihero and jeering senpai personality. It’s very different from the usual angry shounen typecast so that’s a good thing. A really good thing. The fact that he got so many lines and scenes made everything so worth it.

Yata Misaki is just a funny and quick-tempered kind of guy in the first season, but we actually get to see him grow up in the movie. Although he’s still very rash in making decisions and hot-tempered, he actually makes a difficult phone call to his ex-best friend, Fushimi just so he can save Anna. He is also willing to join forces with Kuroh to make the best out of his situation. I loved Yata even more in this movie. Fukuyama Jun’s voice acting was nothing less than I expected. There’s a reason why he has gained so much respect and so many roles and that’s because he never once fails to disappoint. As Yata, he expresses the strong emotions – sadness, anger, embarrassment, reluctance, surprise, resentment – perfectly through his voice.

As for Munakata Reisi, he is his usual whacky and oddball self, and for once, I appreciate him for that. I also appreciate that he actually respects Anna’s feelings by not shying away from the topic of Mikoto’s death. Sugita Tomokazu is also really amazing at voice acting. I’m used to hearing him do the deadpan/monotone in Gintama and other animes, but it was nice to hear a touch of emotion in the things Munakata said.

Kushina Anna is one of the wonderfully developed characters in this movie. Her reason for being in denial is very human and how she comes to accept it is even more realistic. As one would expect from the girl who always clung onto Mikoto’s hand, she’s very regal in terms of behavior and words of choice. She tells Munakata that while she accepts and respects Mikoto’s wish to be killed to prevent the Kagutsu Crater from repeating again, she does not wish to thank him. All I can say is, Anna is one classy girl with the job of a king and a personality of a queen. Horie Yui will always be the perfect voice actress for Anna. Her singing in that scene when Anna became the Red King gave me the goosebumps. It was that amazing.

Kusanagi scenes are lacking in this movie, but that doesn’t mean his appearances aren’t impressive. The whole cinema was swooning at his coolness. He seems to have gotten over losing Mikoto since he behaves the same way as before. It would’ve been nice to get an update on his feelings, though. Either way, I admire him because that shows what a strong man he is. Sakurai Takahiro as Kusanagi… no words. This man always delivers a great performance.

Kamamoto’s part is short and sweet as are the appearances of other HOMRA members. Nakamura Yuuichi’s voice, no matter how little lines there are, is always worth fangirling over.

Fushimi didn’t get a lot of scenes and he did show a good side of him by exchanging information with Yata, but not without all that tsundere behavior at first. I thought that there were going to be more Fushimi parts, but thankfully, the creators didn’t. It can get annoying if the story caters too much to the audience because ultimately the story will become crappy.

Mikoto and Totsuka makes me want to cry a lot. Seeing them is just so heartbreaking. Thinking of how Kusanagi is alone makes it even worse. I love how they appeared in Anna’s dream and helped her move forwards in her new life as a Red King. And the way Mikoto held Anna’s face before the dream ends… *ugly sobbing* I hope they can continue to appear in her memories and still be as wonderful.

Honorable mentions: All the other voice talents involved in K Missing Kings. I didn’t manage to list them all down because I have run out of words, but just so you know, I love all the voice actors and actresses of the characters in K. Without them, I don’t think the movie would’ve been as good.

Just when I thought the first season’s OST was beautiful, the soundtrack for K Missing Kings was ten times more beautiful. The soundtrack is SO AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT IN WORDS. It is BEAUTIFUL. It is everything that love is made of. No other soundtrack can beat the music in this movie this summer. The first song played in the very first scene already stole my heart. I like how the OSTs weren’t wasted. Like, there was music made of sweet symphonies and melodies in almost every other scene. Angela’s Different Colors was also uh-may-zing. Glad I stayed for the whole song. OST: A+++

The art is similar to the first season so I have no complaints on this end since the art is simple and beautiful. The animation and visuals are a whole different story… in an extremely breathtaking way. The animation is even more fluid and the action scenes are even more intense, especially when shown from different camera angles and paired with music that suits the mood. The scenery and cityscapes are jaw-dropping beautiful and just pure stunning. I love how they kept the rainbow hues and filters.

It was worth every penny and second to watch K Missing Kings at the cinema. The experience – except for the rowdy audience that screamed way too much – of hearing Japanese words and super amazing OSTs play from the speakers as well as cheering loudly (without waking the whole neighborhood) was super fun and very memorable. Well, the subtitles were a bit distracting, but ah whatever. I’m really happy that there will be probably/most definitely be another season because I love K infinitely.

Thank you to my mom for the tickets and the ride to the cinema! Thank you to the cast and crew members and everyone who worked on K for making it worth the wait.

My rating: 11/10. Is this too ridiculous? If so, then please accept 10/10, thank you.

No blood! No bone! No ash!

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