Anime Sunday: Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m taking a look at another series from the Summer 2017 Season. It’s my Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In the year 1863, Japan is split between the warring pro-shogunate and anti-shogunate factions. Izuminokami Kanesada is a Tōken danshi (刀剣男士, lit. “Sword Warrior”), which is a tsukumogami of a historical Japanese blade brought to life by the Saniwa (審神者). With new recruit Horikawa Kunihiro, they chase after the Jikan sokōgun (時間遡行軍, lit. “Time Retrograde Army”) to prevent history from being changed.

Plot: This first episode is pretty intense on the action which is perfect considering that this is animated by ufotable. There are plenty of questions that aren’t answered, like exactly how Kanesada or Kunihiro are person shaped, but I’m sure that it’ll be answered in later episodes. That being said if you are looking for a deep plot driven series along the lines of the Fate series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: Kanesada and Kunihiro are our two leads, and they are pretty intriguing even if we don’t know a whole lot about their background. There are plenty of things we really don’t know about them, except that Kunihiro is a newbie to this whole preservation of history.

Artwork: As you might expect from a ufotable studio the artwork is excellent. The action sequences are always a joy to watch with ufotable and Touken Ranbu isn’t any different.

Music: The music is pretty decent, not super amazing like something from a Final Fantasy game, but not bad at all.

Overall: If you enjoy amazing action sequences, or just like looking at pretty boys who are actually swords than Touken Ranbu is a perfect fit for you.

For those who like: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Amazing Artwork, Intriguing Plot, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Sensate Saturday: Fremd Torturchen by Ayasato Keishi

This week I’m back with another Quick Review for Sensate Saturday. It’s Fremd Torturchen by Ayasato Keishi!

Plot Synopsis: After dying a tragic and horrible death, Sena Kaito was reborn in another world and confronted with a peerless beauty, Elisabeth, who had appeared before his eyes. Introducing herself as “Torturchen,” she commanded Kaito to become her servant….

Plot: This first chapter’s plot was pretty messed up, and while it definitely caught my attention I’ll probably put this on my wait to be read shelf. This isn’t due to anything wrong with the series, it’s just that it looks to be a fairly depressing series on the whole, so I’m going to wait to read it until I’m not so personally stressed out.  I should also mention that this is an adaptation from a Light Novel.

Characters: Kaito is a pretty pathetic protagonist, but that is more due to his circumstances than his own faults. I’m sure he has some, but we really didn’t get to see much of those in this first chapter. Elizabeth on the other hand seems to be a little odd, and while she’s obviously not a nice and cheerful woman it’s clear that she has her own issues from her past. We didn’t really get introduced to anyone else in this chapter.

Art: The art is pretty good, while it’s not super amazing it isn’t terrible either.

Overall: If you can deal with the obvious depressing nature of the series, it might just be a good read.

For those who like: Tragedy, Horror, Drama, Intense Plot, Interesting Cast of Characters, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another new series of the Summer 2017 season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis:  An aimless Japanese youth named Fujita Tatara, is heading back home after school when he recognizes someone from his school entering a building. While looking at the sign outside he’s accosted by delinquents.. However after a person on a motorcycle comes to his rescue he’s suddenly thrust into the building….

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great. It had enough of a hook for me to watch every available episode at the time back to back (5 at the time). While I won’t say that it’s bad to watch  on weekly basis, I found the enjoyment of the story was better for me if I binged watched the series. Ballroom is a 2-cour series, so it’ll have two seasons of episodes to watch if you want to hold off on watching it till everything is aired.

Characters: Tatara is a pretty typical kid, but I really enjoy him as a main character. Hanaoka Shizuku is one of the female leads, and while she’s the first we encounter I actually don’t like her all that much. She doesn’t really give off much emotion so it’s hard to relate to her. Sengoku, Tatara’s mentor is a pretty hilarious guy, and fairly intense as well. The rest of the cast is good too.

Art: The artwork is pretty awesome, and while it may seem a little off at first, it will quickly grow on you. It’ll make more sense as you continue watching the series.

Music: The score definitely fits perfectly for the series. Even the opening and ending themes quickly grow on you.

Overall: Definitely worth a try and while there are some awkward moments for the most part this series won’t make you cringe.

For those who like: Ballroom Dancing, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork, Awesome Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Hitogatana by Onigunsou

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Hitogatana by Onigunsou!

Plot Synopsis: Crimes commited using manned combat-androids dubbed “Katana” run rampant. In an effort to maintain order, the government has organized the AKCD – “Anti Katana Crime Division.” Togusa of the 8th squad of the AKCD, continually casts himself into battle while holding existential doubts….

Plot: The plot of this first chapter was pretty interesting, and while I will be adding it to my huge backlog it’s not going to be high on the list. One thing I do want to note is that this first chapter had no massive amounts blood, but this is just the first chapter. There may very well be more later on in the series and given that it’s a Seinen series, that probability isn’t small.

Characters: Togusa is a pretty interesting male lead, but there is a bit too much mystery to his character for my tastes in this first chapter. While there are some curtains drawn back, there aren’t nearly enough to really grab my attention. Just a one or two more would’ve been great, but it just didn’t hit that sweet spot for plot hooks. Yachiyo his sister, I think it’s his sister at least, is a laid back and pretty carefree person for the most part. She is a drunk though.

Art: The art is pretty good, but it’s very much focused on characters and not at all on backgrounds, if there is any in any of the panels at all. So while the movement is great, the lack of backgrounds in most of the panels is a bit disappointing. That being said it was sort of refreshing to have little to no background in panels. Take that as you will.

Overall: Hitogatana is looking to be one of the dark brooding series that seems to be popular with older teens, but personally I found it to be more than a bit lacking in plot hooks. While I’ll be getting around to reading it, it won’t be any time soon.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama, Androids, Good Artwork.

Not for those don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 season. It’s my Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In a world where medieval knights use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against demon beasts, magical ravenous animals that devour everything on sight. Tsubasa Kurata, a mecha otaku from Japan who gets killed in a car accident is reincarnated in this new parallel world as Ernesti “Eru” Echavalier, a boy born into a noble family…

Plot: The plot pacing of this series is way too fast for my tastes, which is a pity because they could’ve doubled the number of episodes and the series probably would’ve done fairly well. But we’ll never know now most likely. The pace is half a Light Novel volume per episode, so two episodes equals a Light Novel volume. I’ve stated in the past this is just way too fast for most series, and I stand by that statement still.

We don’t get to see Eru’s rebirth and him getting to actually learn magic and come to serious understanding of it and befriend Addy and Kid. Instead the entire School arc is pretty much skipped over, including probably huge plot points that will be key in later arcs. That being said it wasn’t a bad episode, it just went much too fast when I have my own prior knowledge of the actual source material.

Characters: Eru is a decent main character, but we lack a ton of background on him that was glossed over in this first episode. Addy and Kid are severely lacking in character background, which is a pity as Addy’s relationship with Eru is much more expanded upon and makes her look not nearly as childish in the original source material.

Art: The art isn’t bad, but it’s not ufotable quality at all. It could be better, but so could a lot of things with this series.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not super amazing either.

Overall: This could’ve been a much better Anime, it’s a pity it got so screwed over with this adaptation. That being said it’s still fun to watch, just don’t read the original source material prior to watching. You’ll hate yourself.

For those who like: Fantasy, Mecha, Magic, Action, Drama, Politics.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or poor pacing.

Sensate Saturday: Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction

Hey all I’m back this week for Sensate Saturday with a quick essay on my feelings about Fantasy. Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction, in my opinion!

What do you mean highest form?: I mean that if Fantasy is done correctly it’s the best genre in all of fiction. It serves the purpose of literature to allow readers to experience things they otherwise couldn’t, and while many contemporary fiction books cover rare or hard to experience situations and events, they aren’t out of the reach of people, just costly or impractical, or illegal.

Why?: Well if Fantasy is done correctly than no other genre of fiction can really take you to completely alien worlds and cultures. I’ll point to any of Brandon Sanderson’s many Cosmere works as shining examples of what I’m talking about, and they are also my personal gold standard for judging any and all books. The Cosmere novels completely take you away to worlds that just don’t exist, and yet they make sense to us and we can easily relate to the characters. Not many authors can achieve the mastery of the genre as well as Sanderson, and the masterful way he comes up with complete worlds, with customs, cultures, religions, magic and many other things is truly spectacular. That isn’t even including his incredible pace for writing either.

Why isn’t (Insert other Genre here) as good as Fantasy?: Because if done correctly it’s still a world that is Earth, or a culture we can relate to because of it being distinctly “Terran”. That isn’t to say there aren’t masterworks in other genres, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that and I personally love many other books that just aren’t in the Fantasy genre. The Harry Bosch series is one of my favorite series of all time and yet it’s completely grounded in American culture. Connelly pulls off amazing mysteries, but they just aren’t as unique or otherworldly as stuff Brandon Sanderson writes.

This is all of course my opinion as is everything else I write and personally I’d love to read other’s thoughts on the matter. Do you agree or disagree with my claim that Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction? Leave your comments down below.

Anime Sunday: Isekai Shokudou Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 Season. It’s my Isekai Shokudou Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: At the bottom floor of the building with a dog signboard, in the shopping district near the office street, there lies a cafeteria called “Youshoku no Nekoya,” that has an illustration of a cat on the door. It’s been open for fifty years and has satisfied various salarymen from nearby offices. Despite it being called a Western cuisine cafeteria, it also provides other varieties of menus. For the people of this certain world, it’s their one-and-only special cafeteria. There is, however, one secret to “Nekoya.” The cafeteria is closed to the public every Saturday in order to make way for special guests. When a bell rings, customers from different places of birth and races appear who ask for mysterious and delicious dishes…

Plot: The plot isn’t action packed, if you are looking for an action filled adventure, you are going to be disappointed. Now if you enjoy Slice of Life crossed with Fantasy and Cooking, Isekai Shokudou is right up your alley. This first episode introduces us to the resturant Nekoya and it’s customers from the other world. It’s quite interesting and while it’s not action packed and really not my usual genres I genuinely enjoyed my time watching this first episodes.

Characters: This episode also introduces us to our main character who everyone calls Owner. We’re also introduced to the Red Empress Dragon and Aletta as well. Frankly I enjoyed all the characters we were introduced to, and can’t wait to see even more introduced.

Art: The artwork is excellent, which is good because it truly conveys how good the food must taste.

Music: The musical score fits the series perfectly, and even the opening and ending themes are pretty appropriate for the series as well.

Overall: If you love food and don’t mind not having a bunch of action this series will be right up your alley. If you want high tension and plenty of action you won’t enjoy as much, probably. Isekai Shokudou has it’s own kind of charm that just makes you enjoy watching it, or at least that’s how I felt after this first episode.  However if you are hungry I suggest not watching this, as it will just make it worse.

For those who like: Fantasy, Isekai, Food, Slice of Life, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Awesome Artwork, Great Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.