Serial Saturday: Arcane Emperor Chapters 1-9 by Aternus

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with a series that I was hoping the author would start updating again, and they did so I’ve decided to cover it. It’s Arcane Emperor Chapters 1-9 by Aternus!

Plot Synopsis: Rainer, an amateur arcanist and college student, sought to create a new spell far surpassing the magic of the few he inherited from his grandfather, walking on walls. Yet the interference of an unknown event during the casting of his spell led him to be thrown through space and time…

Plot: The plot of this series is pretty freaking awesome, and while there are some who might say that it’s generic and uninnovative, I would say that it doesn’t matter as it’s done in a way that is highly enjoyable and entertaining. I was really disappointed that the author had a 6 month break, but now that they have started updating again I’m quite happy and hopeful that it will get the finish that it deserves.

Characters: Rainer is a pretty awesome male lead, he’s quite genre savy and while he was trying to walk on a wall, that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the hell out of the mishap. The rest of the cast is rather small, and I won’t spoil it by giving out names, it is quite an enjoyable cast at this time.

Overall: A solid and rather excellent series, that takes the Isekai genre and carves it into what could be a masterpiece.

For those who like: Fantasy, LitRPGs, Isekai, Drama, Action, Adventure, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but I highly suggest giving this series a shot.

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Anime Sunday: Hinamatsuri Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering the first episode of a series I’ve covered in a previous Manga Monday. It’s my Hinamatsuri Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: A mid-level Yakuza, Nitta Yoshifumi, relaxes at home when a large metal pod drops onto his head out of nowhere. After hitting a switch on the back, a naked girl emerges from the pod. Remembering nothing else except her name, Hina, she uses psychokinesis to threaten Nitta into buying her clothes and toys…

Plot: The plot is incredibly slapstick, which is alright because there is absolutely nothing about this series that should be taken seriously. At all.

Characters: Nitta is a rather unlucky guy, but I enjoy him as he’s pretty much one of the only sane characters in the series. Hina on the other hand is hilarious, but that’s more because of her actions rather than her personality.

Art: The art is pretty good, but it’s not super amazing either.

Music: The music is mediocre, while not being terrible it’s not really memorable either.

Overall: If you enjoy, or need, a good laugh you could do worse than watch Hinamatsuri. You could do better though as well.

For those who like: Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life, Slapstick.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Cherry Blossom Girls by Harmon Cooper

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with another LitRPG, sort of. It’s Cherry Blossom Girls by Harmon Cooper!

Plot Synopsis: I was a just normal guy until the night the cherry blossoms bloomed, the night that Grace appeared on my doorstep. A failed sci-fi writer, a gamer, but a normal guy nonetheless. Grace was everything I was not, a psychic shifter, beautiful beyond my wildest imagination, a government conspiracy waiting to be unraveled…

Plot: The plot of this is rather bland. Honestly while it takes a ton of influences, and states what those are, it also isn’t turning it into something new or interesting. If you’ve ever read the original Elfen Lied manga you’ll know the story of the book pretty freaking quick. It’s not new, and it’s not that great. Another thing against it is that the book is constantly swamped with our main character’s, Gideon, thoughts. It’s also a plot point, Gideon is constantly thinking about things, and usually in a rather stupid way. There are some clever tricks, but honestly the guy is like a giant walking self-insert for the author and it’s not even attempting to be subtle.

Characters: Our leads are okay characters, with our two female leads being much more interesting than Gideon. Honestly I’d almost rather have her be our main Point of View except that we’d still get to hear all of Gideon’s thoughts anyways.

Overall: A mediocre LitRPGish story that has heavy influences by a ton of things, including Elfen Lied, but doesn’t really innovate at all. The fact that our lead is a self insert of the author doesn’t help at all.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, LitRPGs, Action, Drama.

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

Anime Sunday: Dance with Dragons Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Spring 2018 season. It’s my Dance with Dragons Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: A long time ago, dragons were the only creatures capable of wielding magic, which they used to terrorize humanity, until humanity learned to channel magic through special formulas and spells called “jushiiki”. Those capable of using jushiiki became known as jushikiists, and became crucial in fighting dragons throughout the years, until a peace treaty was enforced to prevent both races from wiping each other out. In the modern day, Gayus and Gigina are two jushikiits who take special jobs from a variety of clients in the city of Eridana.

Plot: Honestly this series doesn’t really introduce us to the world very well. Most of the time I had no clue what was going on. Whether this is a problem with the original source material, a Light Novel series, or it being an adaptation I have no clue. But frankly I wasn’t interested enough in the world after this first episode to continue watching this series.

Characters: The characters seem to have some depth, but with the plot being thrust upon us in the manner it was, I didn’t get too attached to them and couldn’t really relate to any of them. This isn’t a good thing, and only further cements my own decision to not continue watching the series. Gigina and Gayus are okay leads, but they just don’t mesh well and don’t give me any reason to care about them.

Art: The art is okay, I’ve seen much worse series, but I’ve also seen much better series. This includes series like Sword Art Online which while being good doesn’t come close to the quality of work of my favorite studio, ufotable.

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

Overall: This could be a decent series, but it didn’t grab my attention enough in the first episode for me to dedicate time to watching it personally.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Action, Drama.

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

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Murder Speculation Part 01

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with the second chapter in the story of Ryougi Shiki. It’s Kara no Kyoukai: Murder Speculation Part 01!

Plot Synopsis: January 1995, Kokutou Mikiya meets Ryougi Shiki for the first time while she’s in a white kimono during a snowing day. Later that year, at the high school freshmen ceremony, Mikiya sees Shiki in the crowd and chases after her, introducing himself to her. That night, Shiki stumbles onto a fresh corpse of someone killed in a traffic accident, the blood still flowing…

Plot: This is not at all like the first movie, Overlooking View, and is much closer to a traditional Murder Mystery series that you’d see on TV. That isn’t to say it’s bad, because it absolutely isn’t and this is a really important part of Shiki’s story, but the backwards leap in the timeline is going to cause some jarring at first. But if you want a bunch of supernatural stuff to go on in this entry of the series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: We get to see Mikiya and Shiki’s first meeting, as well as their first introduction to each other as they both enter high school. We also get to meet Mikiya’s friend Gakuto and his cousin Daisuke. That being said Shiki and Mikiya are the focus of this chapter.

Art: The art is as always excellent given that it’s animated by my favorite and most respected studio ufotable.

Music: Again like the artwork the musical score is excellent given that it’s done by the almost legendary Kajiura Yuki.

Overall: A solid entry in this series. Well worth watching if you enjoyed Overlooking View.

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Overlooking View

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering the first in a seven part series of movies covering one of the Nasuverse’s greatest stories. It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or the Garden of Sinners, Overlooking View!

Plot Synopsis: September 1998, Mikiya Kokutō brings over some ice cream while visiting Shiki, but Shiki is not happy to see him and says that she does not like ice cream so she decides not to eat it. Later at Garan no Dou, Shiki and Touko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death, but left no suicide note and had apparently no reason to commit suicide. Tōko concludes that the girls did not intend to die. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings which have now fallen into disrepair and are about to be demolished, and while there stumbles upon the body of newest victim….

Plot: This is the first in a series of movies that are an adaptation of a novel by Kinoko Nasu. That being said if you get confused at first, just keep watching. It’ll make sense in the end.

Characters: Shiki is probably one of my favorite female characters of all time, and not just because she’s a badass. However my particular reason is pretty spoilerific and I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Though those who know me might be able guess after watching all the movies. However the entire cast is great, although fairly small for this first movie.

Artwork: This was animated by ufotable, so you should expect amazing visuals. Overlooking View doesn’t disappoint at all in that regard.

Music: The music is also pretty damn amazing, being done by Kajiura Yuki who is a legend in the Anime business.

Overall: Definitely a must watch for those who enjoy any type of mystery series. That being said, it’s not for kids at all.

For those who like: Mystery, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Nasuverse, Action, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Masterwork Animation, Excellent Musical Scores.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Bottom Lines

Hey all I’m back with a few guidelines on what really pushes my buttons and why I get so mad at certain authors for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s all about my Bottom Lines!

Bottom Lines?: Yeah, if an author crosses one of these I tend to stop reading a book immediately. Or shortly after if they don’t make up for it quickly.

#1 Killing Kids “on Screen”: I absolutely have no sympathy for an author who will kill named characters that are kids on screen. If it’s a monster’s point of view you often get it for a random set of characters that are never named and it’s glossed over for the most part by the story except for whatever purpose it served. Killing child characters that the author names and introduces to us? That’s inexcusable for me, and I’ll drop any book that has it in it. Dungeon Lord was a huge offender and my most recent example of a series that just ticked me off. It named a kid and gave us a point of view through that kid’s eyes. You grew attached to the character, and the author brutally murders it in one of the most horrific ways of any story I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve experienced a literal truckload’s worth of books, not counting movies or games.

Ways to get around this? Don’t kill them on screen, have the characters find the aftermath if the author must have such a plot occur. Or just don’t do it at all.

#2 Mental Illness: I deal with mental illness personally, so when an author demonizes people with mental illnesses, or they treat it like any other plot device and depict it in incredibly poor ways I’m going to get more than a little angry. The fact that I can write and do what I do is a minor miracle I’m grateful for every day. I don’t have a glamorous life, I’m not wealthy and I really only get by just barely. However I’m still happy that I’m not a psycho or curled up in the fetal position and unable to do literally anything.  When people treat Mental Illness as anything other than what it is, which is a terrible disease that is not easily treatable and may never be fully curable for many people, I get really angry.

Why?: Because I fight myself every day, saying that my life is a literal hell is not an exaggeration. I constantly have parts of me that hate myself, another wants me to give up, and yet another tries to beat me into submission. It never goes away and while medicine helps keep the negativity of my own self in check, I don’t ever have a good day by most people’s standards. For me a good day is when I can distract myself with something that keeps most of my consciousness from being able to do any self reflection for a majority of the day. But that’s it, because a part of me is every second of every waking minute trying to drag me down into a pit of despair.  And that’s just my depression, I have other issues that I won’t go into here, because frankly it’s none of your business. Needless to say that I absolutely have no respect for any author who treats depression or other mental health disorders as anything other than what they are. A living hell for those who deal with it.  People who don’t have depression will never fully understand the absolute suffering people who deal with severe depression go through on a constant basis. So to those authors out there reading my blog. If you have to use mental health issues in your stories, please do your due diligence and actually learn about whatever issue you plan on using. Because depicting it in anything other than truthful ways is a great way to alienate readers who actually deal with the same problems.

#3 Bigotry: I don’t have any respect for bigots, I think they are cowards and troublemakers at the best of times. Having the protagonist subscribe to any form of it is a great way to get me angry and stop reading the story. What is it like to be Eternal had an incredibly homophobic remark 3/4ths of the way through the series and I immediately stopped reading it. I had enjoyed the series up to that point, because it was well written. But the moment a lead character stated something like that I had no desire to continue reading it. Now I know that some stories written in the past are going to deal with such things, and some are just plain old satire. I love Blazing Saddles, it’s my favorite movie of all time. It’s also got a ton of bigoted characters in it, because that’s the point. It’s supposed to make them look like ridiculous fools.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. Next week will cover some lesser offenses that won’t get me to drop a story nearly immediately.