BanG Dream Is Better Than Love Live! – A 20 Question BanG Dream Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for BanG Dream! And why it’s better than Love Live! School Idol Project

What’s the show? BanG Dream!

“BanG Dream!” huh? Is… is this a porn? I wish. It’s a music anime, as in cute high-school girls forming a band and writing music and trying to get successful, etcetera.

Okay, fair enough. I’m just so used to you reviewing perverted things, it’s a reflex so sue me. Tch.

So what got you watching a music anime, last time I checked you weren’t the biggest fan of Love Live! School Idol Project? Okay, first of all Love Live is fine, it’s good even, don’t pretend like I don’t like it. It’s just kind of forgettable and repetitive and predictable, but it’s still cute and fun and why are we talking about Love Live in a BanG Dream review?

Sorry, I was just trying to ascertain your state of mind when going into this show. Okay fine, so I already mentioned this in my Love Live season 1 review I was in Japan—specifically Akihabara—and Love Live merch was EVERYWHERE, like literally there were trucks blaring Love Live songs rolling through the streets it was so damn ubiquitous. And as I was perusing the shelves of various anime stores, wading through the plethora of Love Live merch there was by the side the ~occasional~ piece of merch for a show called BanG Dream, a show with much cuter girls who actually play instruments!

Oh no you didn’t! Yeah yeah I know it’s lame to like a musical act over another one (especially a fictional, animated band) because they actually play instruments but I’m an old man and I still inherently respect anyone that bothers to learn play music.

So wait, what does there being a lot of Love Live merch in Akihabara got to do with you starting to watch BanG Dream? I just wanted to see what this other show was like. It’s like going to a store and seeing a whole bunch of Coca Cola on the shelf with big displays and promotions. And then seeing a can of Tab Cola or RC Cola relegated to the side, sometimes you just want to see what the less popular alternative is like.

Right. So all that out of the way, all the external stuff, how is the show? Yeah it’s good.

Just… “good”? So here’s the thing, I really really like the characters here and I actually love that these characters spend this whole series going from mediocre amateurs to kind-of-okay amateurs, rather than going from the bottom to the top with little to no interference. I love that they have performance anxiety and self doubt and family troubles and history with other bands, it’s all a rich tapestry but…

But? But it’s still kinda boring, actually no that’s not fair… it’s kind of ~minimalistic~, if there’s generally a plot point that an episode wants to cover it does so and does little else. It’s very laid back with regard to narrative progression and not in a ‘Laid Back Camp’ way. But… it’s still better than Love Live…

You keep bringing it up. Why don’t you make this a comparison piece? Like ‘BanG Dream is better than Love Live’. Isn’t it a bit late for that we’re halfway through the review—though I guess I have spent a lot of it mentioning Love Live already so it’s not entirely out of the blue… okay, I’ll do it!

So what about BanG Dream is similar to Love Live that it deserves to be compared to it? They’re both about high-school girls who want to enter a super competitive musical field, both shows are about them training to be better and both shows centre around a school/hobby balance, also both shows put an emphasis on friendship.

Right and so it doesn’t seem like you’re just bashing the show what does Love Live do better than BanG Dream? It’s characterisation is more immediate and distinctive and it’s arguably more easy to binge-watch. I had trouble watching more than 2 episodes of BanG Dream on any one week.

And what does BanG Dream do better than Love Live? There’s more of a sense of how hard it is to become even semi-professional, these girls work so hard and by their final audition (after 2 failed ones) they still kind of sound pretty average and the show isn’t afraid to make them sound like this, their singing is raw and unpolished and their instrumentation is amateurish. And they get upset when they fail, they cry and get angry with themselves, there’s a real sense of passion in their craft. Plus I feel like this show is a lot more realistic, it could be argued of course that Love Live isn’t trying to be realistic but I appreciated the more low-key approach to this kind of story. It might be a small thing but the fact that their outfits for their first ‘big performance’ look hand-made and kind of cheap looking was very endearing, especially compared to the other bands.

Other bands? Mmhmm, the plot of the first season is the girls of Poppin’ Party (that’s the name of their band) want to perform at an all female music venue called ‘Space’, except they have to impress the Owner before that’s going to happen. But throughout the series we get to see a bunch of different girl bands and they’re all unique and interesting and it’s just another thing that helps set this show aside from Love Live, these other bands offer variety to the music and aesthetics.

But there’s obviously a pacing problem if you can’t watch more than 2 episodes in a row without getting restless. Undoubtedly, the whole ‘it’s hard work, there’s lots of training involved’ shtick isn’t relegated to brief montages, it’s whole episodes, it’s the whole damn series and so the fact that there is little improvement from where they start to where the season ends is a double edged sword—It’s realistic, it’s honest, it’s surprising but it’s not exactly the most riveting thing in the world.

Kind of like this review… kind of like this revi—hey!

If the point of these music anime is to sell singles and albums but they aren’t especially good. Isn’t that a bit of a problem? They are good though, the OP and ED song by the band is polished, professional and catchy as heck, but i think the way we’re supposed to look at that is that those songs are of the band when they make their professional debut some years from now. This first season is but a small part of a planned franchise. (Seasons 2 and 3) were recently announced for a 2019 air date.

Fair enough. Anything else you wanted to add before we wrap this review up? Rimi is best girl! Oh and I never want to hear “twinkle twinkle little star” ever again…

Right. So final score and recommendation for BanG Dream!? The aesthetic differences between this and Love Live are all a matter of opinion, whether you prefer one show’s characters or songs to the others is entirely down to the individual. Critically speaking however, I found myself more invested in the story and character development in BanG Dream as it wasn’t nearly as predictable as the aforementioned idol show. Both shows are far from perfect, but I found just the entire experience of watching BanG Dream more pleasant, fulfilling and rewarding—even if it suffers from serious pacing problems. This is one dream I look forward to having again, 79 out of 100.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Re:Zero -Starting Life In Another World- 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Re:Zero -Starting Life In Another World-

What’s the show? Re:Zero -Starting Life In Another World- (2016).

And what’s the show about? It’s about the best girl in the whole damn (anime) world, her name is Rem, she’s a maid and also a twin and also a demon and Subaru is an idiot for picking Emilia instead of Rem and I’ve had it with this world. End of review!

Wh-what? No, you can’t end the review this suddenly! You’ve got a job to do! Let’s start again shall we? What’s the show about? Erm, right… it’s about Subaru, an ordinary high-schooler who gets sucked into a fantasy world for ~reasons~ and contrary to the manga and games he’s used to he doesn’t have any powers in this world… well except for the power to break poor Rem’s heart! Subaru you son of a bitch! End of review!—

Oh dear, not again. Let’s try this again… What’s the show about? Huh… huh! What’s going on, I swear you’ve already asked me that question twice before?!

Have I? I don’t recall… so the protagonist is powerless in a fantasy world, that’s somewhat interesting, care to elaborate? Uhh, yeah. So Subaru does have one advantage—his wits, he’s got a cunning intellect and a way at looking at scenarios that’s almost like he’s observing things as if playing a video-game, almost detached from reality. That is until he uncovers his true power, “return by death” which basically functions as a checkpoint system. If ever he dies he returns to a previous moment in time as if nothing happened, except with all the memories—and thus all the emotional pain and trauma that came with his previous death. I appreciate that this series doesn’t gloss over the harrowing experience of death and how much it mentally affects Subaru.

That is an interesting idea, but I suppose the success of a plot device like that is how well it’s executed? Correct, and for the most part it’s smartly executed, it’s never over-used or exploited, it seldom feels cheap and each death has its own narrative purpose and emotional weight… like the emotional weight of seeing poor Rem falling in love with Subaru only to have her feelings shattered on the floor like glass! Damn you, Subaru! Damn you! End of review!—

*sigh* we got a little bit closer that time but still not close enough… one more time (hopefully) What’s the show about? *gasp* I’ve been here before, I’ve answered this question before! What the heck is going on here? Why do I keep ending up at the start of the review?!

Because you keep ending the review prematurely and I can’t allow you to do that, you’ve started this and you have to carry it through to its conclusion. No matter how much it hurts you. Ugh, fine… I’ll try and get through this review without rage-quitting about how much of an idiot Subaru is…

Good. So we’re acquainted with the protagonist. Who are the other characters? There’s Emilia of course, classic princess archetype, vaguely magical, animal sidekick, exceedingly nice—you know the drill. And of course there’s Rem and Ram twin demon maids who are adorable and badass, and Rem is totally best girl—

I’ll stop you there before you go down a rabbit-hole and we have to start this over again. So what kind of stories does this show present, is it about the protagonist trying to return home? Is it an over-arching plot-line or is it more episodic? Little bit of everything, although I don’t think Subaru’s particularly interested in returning home, I mean sure his life is constantly in danger but who could pass up the chance to interact with all these sweet waifus. The 25 episode first (and so far only) season is made up of several different intersecting story-arcs, that depending on where and when Subaru last ‘reset’ can vary wildly in outcome and tone.

And what do these story arcs contain? Well there’s political storylines to do with a royal election that are filled with intrigue and back-stabbing, there’s action-heavy set-pieces with massive battles against magical people/creatures and or both. There’s sinister cult related plot-lines with ridiculous villains and there’s even… romance plots… and, uh, nope, can’t do it! It’s too raw! WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK REM?! End of review!—

Damn it… I thought we might have had a chance of getting through more that time. Oh but it looks like we don’t have to start right from the beginning this time. That’s a small comfort. I’ll just try and word it differently this time… ahem. What’s going on? Ugh, my head hurts, what were we talking about again?

Umm, so what story arc is your favourite? Hmm, that’s a tough one, I think it’s hard to separate them because there’s so much overlap, and that’s one of the things I love about this series. Is that everything feels deeply connected not only to Subaru but to the mysterious ~evil~ force that’s controlling his fate and his power/curse.

And at the risk of triggering you, what don’t you like about the show? Oh plenty, but I’m alway hyper-critical of shows that I really respect and/or shows that are more ~intelligent~ than the standard Isekai genre or even more broadly just fantasy in general.

And those issues are? The series feels overlong, not in that I wanted it to be over quicker than it was, but in more than one occasion it felt like the events of this season could have been tightened up, you know more plot and less filler. Some of the very early “resets” feel needlessly drawn out, like Subaru gets so far only to die and it’s so frustrating to watch—which may well have been the point but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Also, I think the show takes a bit too long to get around to introducing best girl Rem but that’s just a personal choice.

Well I guess we’ve gotten this far, you seem to be ~stable~ enough to talk about the thing that’s obviously been playing on your mind enough to prematurely end this review four times already. Talk to me about Rem. Rem is precious and sweet and beautiful and also tortured and deep and damaged. She’s also a badass fighter and has a smile that gives me life. And she falls in love with Subaru and wants to run away with him and have a life together with him and her love is so true and pure and honest and of course Subaru being the idiot protagonist that he is only wants the princess, Emilia, whom he’s known for all of a minute before falling in love with her.

You really don’t like Emilia do you? Actually, surprisingly, I like her a lot. She’s got more depth than you’d expect from the ‘princess’ cliche, she’s a strong character and she’s kind and sweet and kinda cute, but~ she’s not Rem. It’s like Emilia’s a tasty slice of pizza but Rem is prime rib with all the trimmings.

And perhaps an analogy for your vegetarian readers? Umm… Rem is an eggplant parmigiana and Emilia is a celery stick with cream cheese on top.

Oh! And what about Rem’s twin-sister? Ram was it, how is the twin sister of a top tier best girl? Eh, she’s fine.

Right… Okay then. Congratulations, you made it to the end of the review and we kind of covered the main points? So final score and recommendation? Hailed by many reviewers and fans alike as the best the Isekai genre has to offer it’s not an inaccurate descriptor but that’s more in a generalist kind of way. It is an exceptional series, that’s subversive and smart in just enough ways to make it easy to overlook its flaws on the whole. Personally though I think there are shows in the genre I prefer for various reasons but still it’s hard not to be impressed by the scope of this show and the characters are mostly great, even down to the supporting cast. And for as much as I raged against Subaru picking Emilia over Rem, by the final episode I was okay with his decision because they do make a cute couple and he had been through so much at that point that he deserved his own happiness as too did Emilia. Far from zero; 90 out of 100.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Slow Start – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Slow Start.

What’s the show? Slow Start (2018).

Slow Start? That name seems familiar… I reviewed the ~noteworthy~ 7th episode of it for my blog in the Winter 2018 season.

Oh yeah! The ‘cute girls doing cute things’ show that had an episode that upped the ante on a teacher x student relationship. Way to jump the gun and alienate anyone looking for a review that’s representative of the show as a whole and not just a single side-plot.

Okay, fine. What’s the show about then? It’s about Hana Ichinose, a shy and nervous first year high-schooler with a secret… she’s actually a year older than everyone else because she had a gap year due to an illness. It might not seem like a big deal, but to Hana it is, in fact it’s the thing she worries about most—well that and making friends and not seeming too boring and living alone and…

Okay I get it, she’s a neurotic girl! I wouldn’t say “neurotic” more skittish and worrisome, she’s constantly assessing herself and her actions in the unfounded fear that her newfound friends at her new school will judge her harshly for them, despite her percieved flaws being minor—almost non-existent to an outsider viewing them.

Right, and who are her ‘new’ friends? Well there’s the gentle and confident Eiko Tokura, who’s the most popular girl in their class. Always clinging to Eiko is the adorable Kamuri—who, despite her looks—is in fact a high-school student too, she’s obsessed with three things; food, sleep and Eiko. Lastly is Tama-chan, an energetic and easy-going girl who sometimes gets into trouble.

Uh-huh, and so being a ‘cute girls doing cute things’ show I imagine one’s mileage on this show is dependent on how much they like these characters? You’re learning… that’s kind of scary…

Well I was bound to pick something up from your incessant ravings about ‘cute girls’. Heh, well yes, what you said is accurate, there is very little plot here even by ‘CGDCT’ show standards. So unless you’re immediately enamoured with at least one of the four main characters you’re unlikely to find a lot to gravitate toward.

And I’m guessing you were “enamoured” with one or more of these characters? Pretty much all of them from the first episode, and that just snowballed as side characters of equal adorableness were introduced.

Oh? Like who? Well there’s Hana’s adult cousin Shion, the busty landlady of the apartment complex Hana is currently calling home. I love the fact that she’s so doting on Hana to the point that friendly ‘rumours’ about her and Hana “dating” arise amongst their group. Also in the apartment complex is Hannen-san, a beautiful shut-in who rivals Hana for the amount of neurosis’ she has, and a number of them a lot more relatable—at least to this reviewer.

You’ve deliberately left one to last, haven’t you? Obviously. Since you went and ~blurted~ it out at the start of the review… Enami sensei is their homeroom teacher, a snarky and apathetic young woman who the ever-flirty Eiko takes a liking to.

…More than a liking, isn’t it? Yes, it’s true, the relationship between Eiko and Enami is something I found astoundingly beautiful and nuanced and fascinating even if it falls into that massively questionable void of ‘Teacher x Student’. The thing that I think this show does so right where other relationships of this nature might do wrong is that I never get the sense that the fact that Enami is her teacher has anything to do with their attraction to one-another. This isn’t a person in a position of power and authority taking advantage of someone weaker and inexperienced. Eiko frequently flirts with older women that she finds attractive and interesting and while flirting is not consent, Eiko is never put in a position where she’s being taken advantage of—

Not even when she wakes up with her hands bound in the teacher’s apartment? Well if you’re going to word it like that of course it’s going to sound lascivious! I’m not going to go over points I explored in depth in my 1000+ word review of the episode, just suffice to say both teacher and student were surprised by the power each other had over one another and that “power” didn’t come from one’s job or the other’s flirting but the feelings that burgeoned between them in this unexpected situation.

So that all happened in episode 7 of the 12 episodes. Does their relationship progress any further after that? Not ever in such a concentrated way as that. But there are a few brief subplots that arise later. Such as in episode 11 at the Summer Festival there’s a pretty intense flirt/finger suck that had me reaching for the rewind button, just to be sure I’d seen what I’d seen. And episode 12 had a cute moment amount sharing a piece of candy that’s not nearly as salacious but italicised in a kind of sadness that suggests at how hard it must be for both of them to carry on this kind of ‘forbidden’ relationship.

Uh-huh, and aside from the whole teacher/student thing, how are same-sex relationships treated in this show? I’m glad you asked! It’s almost like I wrote this question for you! Ahem. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anime normalise lesbianism this much and it’s so damn refreshing. Yes, it’s pretty chaste, but it never seems to be much of an issue for anyone (other than very infrequently Hana), in fact one of my favourite recurring couples is Tama’s grandmothers, who are her sole guardians and are very much a couple. This isn’t just two women who raise Tama, they live together and act like partners do and no-one so much as bats an eye, nor even raises attention to it—it’s the most normal thing in the world and I love this show so much for it.

But this isn’t a yuri series, is it? Well, no, it’s not. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have yuri-adjacent themes. I’m about 99% sure the mangaka is herself a female of the LGBT community and so it’s only natural and very appreciated that she’s put a lot of her own self into this series. I could be projecting but I’m pretty sure the teacher character is at least semi-autobiographical, at least that’s the way it feels.

At the start of this review you said I “jumped the gun” for talking about the teacher/student relationship because it wasn’t ‘representative’ of the show as a whole, but hear you’ve gone and talked about that very point for nearly half the review! Ah, err… well, it’s only because it is the thing about the show that warrants the most discussion. Yes, I love this show, even when it is something as seemingly low-key as shopping or swimming or cooking but that doesn’t make for a particular ~riveting~ review. Frequent readers already know I’m all about the slice of life shows so I have to talk about something to keep their interest up.

Fair enough. So was there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap up the review? Just that I think this show deserves more attention for being completely adorable and a lot deeper than some people give it credit for, yes it’s not going to change people’s opinions on the genre but likewise I think it’s worthy of more than just a passing cursory glance.

Yeah, that’ll work… Listen, convincing people to watch slice of life show’s is hard enough at the best of times.

Final score and recommendation? Sadly, I think this show will be forgotten, at least in the West. But if you have even a passing interest in this genre I think there’s a lot to this series that’s lying just beneath the surface. It makes me want to read the manga, which I can’t say I’ve ever really had the desire to do so for any slice of life/cute girl series before, which probably says something—even if I’m not sure what exactly. It might be slow to start but I never want it to finish; 92 out of 100.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Lostorage Incited WIXOSS – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Lostorage Incited WIXOSS.

What’s the show? Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (2016).

I know what one of those words means? Are the other words Japanese? That’s racist.

What?! I don’t know what Lostorage means, nobody does…

Google says it’s a “portmanteau of ‘lost’ and ‘storage’ to in relation to losing memories”. Oh… well yeah, I guess that makes sense…

And WIXOSS… is a card game? Stop Googling things, I’m the one who’s supposed to know everything! But yes, it’s a trading card game, kind of like Magic the Gathering except with cute and sexy anime girls on them.

And so this show is a flashy, fan-service filled harem anime then? Nope, it’s a pretty serious, psychological character drama about a group of characters who are forced into playing a high-stakes card game, if they refuse to play they loose their memories one at a time, and if they completely loose the game they’ll disappear from the world entirely.

Oh… okay. That’s more serious than I expected! Me too…

You sound… disappointed? No, not at all. It’s just I figured an anime that was presumably created with the purpose to sell these trading cards would have been more… light-hearted? I didn’t expect any depth from this show and instead I got a whole heck of a lot.

You mention that it was made with the purpose to sell cards? Does that mean there’s awkward product placement throughout? The first couple of episodes are a bit obvious, but unless you’re the kind of person who ~really~ gets upset about product placement it shouldn’t really be an issue. I mean it’s not like it’s trying to hide it, the show’s plot is more or less linked to the card came for whatever reason.

You don’t know why? Well, here’s the thing. This is technically the 3rd season of the show, there’s a 1st season—Selector Infected WIXOSS and a 2nd season—Selector Spread WIXOSS. Both of which I haven’t watched!

Uh… that seems like a silly thing to do? Thing is I was informed by a couple of people that I could watch this season without watching the first two, also at the time the first two seasons weren’t on any streaming service. Of course, as soon as I finished watching this season Crunchyroll decided to make the first two available to stream so more fool me for not waiting.

Right, and did you have any issues following the plot? Well since this season has mostly new characters and deals with a new version of the game it’s pretty easy to jump on board here, but the further the season goes along the more callbacks there are to the first two Selector titled seasons. And yes, I would definitely understand them better if I’d watched those seasons but the show does a decently good job at imparting the necessary information for new viewers.

That’s good then! So who are the characters? Our protagonist is Suzuko Homura a sweet but lonely girl—her father is always working late—and she’s estranged from her childhood friend Chinatsu. They do an excellent job of immediately having the audience sympathise with Suzuko, her isolation is palpable. Then she gets caught up in the potentially devastating Selector battles, and naturally the cast expands. There’s smug asshole Takeshi, who tricks novice Selector’s into battles in order to get easy wins. Then there’s best girl Hanna, a game reviewer who has the most adorable way of talking and a tragic backstory. Actually…

What? All the characters have tragic backstory’s of varying severity, evidently what led these people to be ‘chosen’ to become Selectors is that they all have memories that they want to alter or remember. It’s a smart writing choice that makes even the most minor of side character relatable and is something that makes nearly every Selector battle feel even more high-stakes.

And what’s an LRIG? I thought I told you to stop Googling the show!

Fine, I’ll stop. But what is it? I was getting to that! LRIG’s are like avatars that battle on behalf of the Selector, becoming the physical action to the attacking and defending abilities associated with the various cards that are played. They also happen to be cute magical girls who also have tragic back stories…

How can a card have a tragic backstory? Because they weren’t always just cards…

*shocked emoji* Whatever do you mean? Well, it’s probably better explained by someone who’s seen the previous two seasons but it turns out LRIG’s used to be real girls who competed in the “first battles” vying for the grand prize of ‘one wish to come true’ only to be screwed over by the girl responsible for the game’s creation—or something like that.

Well I don’t know if you’ve convinced me it was a good idea to watch this show without having seen the previous two seasons, but it does sound interesting at the very least. Was that what I was supposed to be doing? Convincing you to watch this show?

I don’t know, I figured that’s what these reviews always were. Anyway, final score and recommendation? If you looked up the synopsis and saw ‘card game’ and ‘battles’ and eyes immediately glossed over with visions of prolonged Shonen battles flashing through your mind, think again! This isn’t some repetitive Saturday morning cartoon, this is a surprisingly dark and moody character driven experience with impeccable production quality and interesting—if admittedly dense backstory. The elements of the game never really make 100% sense but it’s never really about the mechanics of the game as it is more about the devastating outcome of losing one’s memories, or just as bad—having to be the one that sends a player into the void of non-existence. 80 out of 100, turn end.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Kill La Kill – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Kill La Kill.

What’s the show? Kill La Kill (2013).

Is it French? No, don’t be stupid.

Okay, so what’s it about? People don’t kill people, clothes kill people.

And what’s that supposed to mean? This show’s about magical clothing that makes people drastically more powerful…

Oh, I see. So who’s our main character? It’s about Ryuko Matoi who’s on a search for vengeance for whoever’s responsible for killing her father, her journey leads her to Honnouji Academy, which is run by the totalitarian student council headed up by the dictator-esque student president Satsuki Kiryuin. The powerful Goku Uniforms that the students wear do have a weakness, Ryuko has a powerful scissor blade that can cut these ‘life fiber’ infused uniforms. But when she’s swiftly defeated by one of the president’s henchman, she goes back to the burnt husk of her family home to lick her wounds, where—in the basement—she discovers a talking sailor uniform that clings to her body and imbues her with the strength to defeat her newfound enemies at the school!

Sailor uniform? Like Donald Duck? No, like Japanese-high-school girl style, also it’s ~transformation~ is a little bit revealing. Just a little bit…

Oh no… and here was me thinking for just a moment this wasn’t going to be a pervy show… I know you won’t believe me but I honestly don’t think it is, like, okay sure, if you’re new to anime and this is among your first exposures to the genre I could understand being a little, um… wide-eyed at the outfits that Ryuko and Satsuki end up wearing while fighting each other. But this “fan-service” is portrayed completely different to that of something like High School DxD or even something milder like Fairy Tail.

How so? Well it’s drawn differently.

Huh? This is hard to explain without seeing the show in motion (gifs can only do so much). Having a loose art-style and a certain visual tone and a fast-paced comedic edge let’s the show get away with something that perhaps in another show might seem exploitative.

But doesn’t it still have those kinds of close-up perv shots that those other shows you mentioned have? Why’s it matter if the art style and tone is ‘looser’? The way it frames these shots within the context of the narrative creates a different visual tone. There’s not the ‘soft focus’ slow zoom or suggestive moans or shots that linger too long. Yes, Ryuko is in a sexy outfit and yes she is a sexy girl but the show isn’t going out of its way to present these elements as anything other than just scenes that are happening.

I’m still not sure I understand. If the intent was to solely arouse people with the fan-service here it would look different and be presented differently. I’m not saying the fan-service doesn’t arouse people, of course it does, for some people a fully clothed woman is titillating, for some people a can of beans is titillating. I just think the execution of the fan-service is in such a way that makes it different from other shows that have similar amounts of fan-service.

But what about the transformation scene? If anything that’s a parody of ‘Magical Girl’ transformation scenes, and again it’s not filmed with the ‘soft core pornography’ vision some of those scenes end up looking like. It’s matter-of-fact about how this outfit ~clings~ to Ryuko and it’s all the more “realistic” for it.

You’re not going to try and claim this show is “realistic” now are you? Realistic in-universe, this show is a wild ride from beginning to end. The only wholly realistic thing in this show are the relationships formed. Especially between Ryuko and her new best friend Mako Mankanshoku, who—I must say—is an absolute delight to witness.

Best girl then? No. She’s too ‘comic relief’ for that, at least in my opinion. She’s perfect comic relief and as mentioned before the relationship that builds between her and Ryuko is beautiful and joyous to watch, but no, best girl easily is Ryuko.

The main character is your best girl, huh? That’s rare for you. A true testament to the strength of the writing here, not to mention the voice actress’ performance. I love how strong and loud and outspoken she is, but she is also has insecurities and vulnerabilities, she’s just a very well-rounded character.

And who are the other characters? Oh boy, heaps of ’em. There’s the ‘Elite Four’ who are Satsuki’s strongest goons and wearer’s of the ultra powerful 3 star Goku Uniforms all of them are fun characters, and even have a bit of character development thrown in too. There’s also Mako’s family (Mother, father, little brother, smol doggo) who while underdeveloped as characters, are at least loveable and supportive of Ryuko, who ends up moving in with them.

Anyone else worth mentioning? There’s the paramilitary group ‘Nudist Beach’ who as their name suggests are opposed to not only clothes containing ‘life fibers’ but most clothes in general. Their leader, the handsome Aikuro Mikisugi, is hilarious, some of his subtle animations’ as he’s talking to Ryuko made me laugh so hard.

And what about the school president herself, Satuski? Her arc is an especially well-written and interesting one throughout the show. I was very surprised and happily so, with the way they went with her character. I’ll leave it at that to not spoil too much for those who haven’t seen the show.

So what do you say to people who haven’t watched this show because they’re concerned about the fan-service? I think, even if fan-service is something you ~dislike~ the way it’s presented here could allow you to still enjoy the show. However, i’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t exist and for some people—even with it’s framing considered—will still be too much for them to tolerate.

So final score and recommendation? Kill La Kill strikes the perfect balance of so many things that make for a memorable and entertaining experience. It has easy-to-follow but still kinetic and exciting action scenes, it has a rich universe that’s never too complex to follow, it has an interesting and well-developed story that unfolds with each new episode and it has a colourful cast of characters that are all fun to watch. But most unexpectedly, and the thing that has me remembering the show so fondly even after how long it’s been since I first watched it, is it’s heart. What could have ended up as just a flashy and entertaining experience is imbued with a sense of friendship, family, love and loss that makes it among my favourite anime of all time. 93 out of 100.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Fairy Tail – 100 Question Anime Review Special (Part 3 of 3)

A 100 Question Anime Review for Fairy Tail (Part 3).

If you’re still with us, what the heck is wrong with you?! If this is the first of these blogs you’re reading, best start with Part 1 and then Part 2 before reading this one!

So you’ve been dying to talk about these characters, where do you want to start? Argh! There’s too many to talk about and so much to talk about them, I don’t know where to start—so overwhelming!

Well I guess let’s begin with the main characters? What are they like, who are your favourites, stuff like that! Well as discussed Natsu is… I wouldn’t say dull but he’s the least developed, not to say he doesn’t get some great moments like the flashbacks to when he was a kid playing ‘house’ with Lisanna is very sweet, though if I’m super cynical about it, it was only to help facilitate the audience’s connection to Lisanna through him and make learning about her death and then her eventual “return” more impactful.

…Okay, I’m already confused but go on. Lucy I can relate to a lot, because she’s a writer like me! She also has some daddy issues, not thathave daddy issues, that’s a seperate point I was making. I’ve always thought it was weird that Lucy has to rely on her Celestial Spirit’s to actually fight, because she otherwise kind of doesn’t do much, she’s like a Pokemon trainer in that respect.

Is that all you like about her? Well now you’re just deliberately goading out a pervy comment, you can’t chastise me if you’re the one who’s asking! She has ~nice oppai~ there, you happy?!

I’ll never be happy… Speaking of Happy, our cute little flying blue cat belongs to a race called the Exceed. And for what could have easily come off as an annoying animal sidekick in any other show, here is an invaluable part of their team and has a lot of great character development and emotional moments!

So there’s other Exceed? Well they don’t come in ’til later in the series but every Dragon Slayer Wizard, of whom there are Natsu, Wendy and Gajeel (there’s others belonging to different guilds too—we’ll get to them if we have time) each have an Exceed. Carla is Wendy’s and she’s annoying, though that’s mostly because I don’t care for the voice actress (I watch Fairy Tail in English, get over it!) Gajeel eventually gets Panther Lily and he’s pretty cool, he can also transform into a humanoid version which comes in handy for fighting.

And who are Wendy and Gajeel? Wendy Marvell is my fifth favourite character! She’s uses Sky Dragon Slayer magic and she grows a lot from when we first meet her as a shy and clumsy girl to the powerful and determined girl she becomes, even though I think she’s under-utilised in actual stories. Gajeel Redfox is a former member of dark guild Phantom Lord and uses Iron Dragon Slayer magic also he’s a total tsundere.

Uh-huh. Should we maybe get back to the main characters? Well these are main adjacent characters but sure! Erza is total badass and my third favourite character! I just admire her strength and resolve so much, she’s an absolute inspiration—she’s also probably the strongest member of Fairy Tail, just don’t go telling Natsu!

And the other one, Gray was it? Yup. Gray uses Ice Make magic, and likes to take his shirt off. He’s also kind of a grumpy asshole, but I guess girls like the badboy type… Speaking of which; Juvia Lockser has a total lady boner for Gray but he’s just not that into her, shame because she’s kind of adorable in an obsessive and slightly terrifying way!

What’s this about “favourite characters”? You have a list? Kind of, just the Top 5 plus an honourable mention.

Well okay, let’s hear about them? Well you already know about 5 and 3. Number 4 is Mirajane Strauss, a quietly spoken, delicate waifu who transforms into a literal demon. Like she’s so powerful that early episodes has her working behind the bar rather than fighting bad guys she’s that over-powered. I mean sure there’s “story” reasons behind it but that’s totally the reason… She also has a brother and a sister in the guild.

Another diversion from what we were doing but sure why not, tell me about them? Elfman Strauss, big muscular dude with a kind heart, obsessed with being manly. To the point of concern. When he’s in his beast mode he can kind of be unruly, at one point he actually attacked and “killed” his other sister Lisanna, only of course she didn’t actually die, she was just sent to a parallel world(?) and so returns back to her siblings and the guild afterward. Lisanna’s okay I guess, kind of boring, very cute though!

Right, back on topic your 2nd favourite character? Cana Alberona! Always drunk, frequently belligerent, also daddy issues for miles. Her father is the frequently absent but undeniably charming Gildarts Clive, a super powerful S-class Wizard who saunters in when it’s convenient to the plot.

Don’t get to distracted we’re almost at your number 1 favourite character! But first an honourable mention!

Wait, what? “honourable mention”? Yeah, a character I really like but doesn’t have enough screen-time or is kind of inconsequential.

Okay, sure, who is this honourable mention of yours? Frosch! So cute! I want one! Ahh~ I love it so much! Look at it’s pink little frog onesie! The episode all about Frosch is like pure joy and wholesomeness and warmth and—

That’s enough! Who is your number 1 favourite character in Fairy Tail? Listen, I’m not usually into cat-girls—not that there’s anything wrong with that—but I just adore Millianna, sure maybe I’m not making this decision with my brain but whenever she’s on screen I literally can’t look anywhere else. I mean she’s not even in Fairy Tail! She belongs to an all female guild called Mermaid Heel and I just realised we totally need a Mermaid Heel spin-off series!

…You really are a lost cause. So anybody important you’ve missed out? Yes in fact! Makarov Dreyar is a very small, very old man who’s young at heart and filled with energy and enthusiasm, he also happens to be the Guild Master of Fairy Tail. He was a bit of a perv in the earlier episodes but thankfully those character traits seemed to die down a bit by the end.

…You’re one to talk… What?

Nothing, nothing. He also has a grandson, Laxus Dreyar who is a user of Lightning magic, and uh… he kind of wants to destroy Fairy Tail. Or at least he does until he doesn’t, I can’t remember what stops him from doing so, but there’s a really touching moment between grandfather and son that makes me unable to dislike his character, even if he is a headstrong, arrogant douche a lot of the time.

Right, jeez, there are a lot of characters… Oh you think this is a lot? Haha~ we haven’t even listed half the Fairy Tail members, son! Not to mention all the characters in other guilds and all the villain characters and friends and family of other characters, it would take more than a 100 Questions to talk about them all!

Please don’t. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about them all, just a few others I like.

Okay fine, go on. Levy McGarden who is among the most beautiful of the exceptionally beautiful women in this show. The only reason she didn’t get in my Top 5 is because Gajeel, namely her falling for him, it kinda makes her character less interesting. I think her characterisation suffers for having her act like a less crazy Juvia.

Anybody else? Laxus’ cronies, Evergreen, Freed and Bickslow. They’re fun, if a bit two dimensional, Freed is the best of the three though.

Anybody else? Macao Conbolt and Wakaba Mine, the two bickering ‘dad’s’ of Fairy Tail, I enjoy their interactions with each other.

ANYBODY ELSE? Sting and Rogue from rival guild Sabertooth are pretty cool, they also use Dragon Slayer Magic as well as Shadow Dragon Slayer Magic, I like their rivalry with the Dragon Slayer’s of Fairy Tail and of course their eventual forming of a mutual friendship.

*gasps* anybody… else… Hmm, I’m happy to stop here. At least with the character talk, I feel like I should be wrapping things up soon anyway.

Thank god, I thought this would never end. You’re such a douche sometimes…

did notice there are a ~lot~ of scantily clad big breasted attractive females on this show? That wouldn’t have anything to do with you liking this show so much, would it? It was an unexpected surprise, I assure you.

Sure sure… so how do we go about summing up some 265 episodes of a TV show in a succinct way? You want succinct, after I just spent 1500 words talking about characters?

Who’s fault is that? Besides, this wasn’t exactly a well planned out review, you know. You only decided to do this review a few days ago… Shhh~

Final score and recommendation for Fairy Tail? Even though it’s a show I came to late, had no experience with the manga and binge watched it over the course of a couple of months Fairy Tail still holds a weird nostalgic place in my heart. The first hundred or so episodes I recall fondly and the absolute joy I had watching (most) of it is unrivalled by most anime, even today. It’s not by any means perfect, it can be repetitive and sometimes stupid, but it’s also action-packed, emotionally rich, occasionally hilarious and above all else exceedingly fun. But there’s something else, something that’s continued to be true even in some of the lacking later episodes…

What is it? Fairy Tail is a show about the power of friendship and the importance of a family that’s not one bound by blood but forged in people’s love and respect for one another and fortified by common-interests. In a lot of ways Fairy Tail—the guild—is a lot like this wonderful anime blogging community I’ve found myself a part of. We all come from different places and walks of life, with different values and opinions but we share a love for anime and we respect each other and support each other because that’s what being a family is all about. And with that I say a humble and deep thank you to everyone who is supported me and my blog, thank you for getting me to 100 followers and thank you all for being you!

(Sorry to interrupt this touching moment but you forgot to give the scores!) Oh shit, um… right: Fairy Tail Season 1 gets 88 out of 100. And Fairy Tail Season 2 scores an 82 out of 100. Thank you all so much for reading!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Fairy Tail – 100 Question Anime Review Special (Part 2 of 3)

A 100 Question Anime Review for Fairy Tail.

This is Part 2 of my 100 Follower Celebration, Part 1 can be found here if you missed it and Part 3 is here.

And we’re back—my god we’re only a third of the way though this thing—so what is the show actually about? 
Well it’s about the Fairy Tail guild, a group of adventurers with various magical abilities who take up various jobs and quests around the fictional world of Earth-land.

Pfft, “Earth-land”?! Shut up!

Sorry, go on. There’s various other guilds throughout the land, some are friendly toward Fairy Tail while others are downright hostile and aggressive. The early story arcs such as the ‘Lullaby arc’ which deals with the dark guild Eisenwald that has been banned by the Magic Council and the ‘Phantom Lord arc’ which deals with rival guild are great storylines for the truly massive ensemble cast this show has. These larger event arcs get to showcase the cool powers and entertaining personalities of the side characters, of whom most of my favourite characters belong to.

Well we’ll get to favourite character later. There’s others ‘arcs’ you want to talk about? Yes the ‘Oracion Seis arc’ and the ‘Tenrou Island arc’ also deal with dark guild’s, but the ‘Oracion Seis arc’ in particular brings together a bunch of friendly guilds too to help form an alliance and we get to see even more characters.

Uh-huh. But are the storylines in these arcs any good? You seem to be only talking about the characters here? “It’s the friends we’ve met along the way that help us appreciate the journey”.

Is that a quote from the show? No, but it might as well be, this show puts a massive emphasis on the power of friendship and caring and helping one another. I’m sure it’s nothing new in the world of Shonen anime but it was really heartening to have these kind of messages of warmth and positivity in a show. Even if it did get a little cheesy at times…

How do you mean? Well, I do recall on one occasion at least, somebody’s tears brining a person back from the dead. If that isn’t some top quality cheddar I don’t know what is.

*nods* Wait, you completely evaded my question with a lame inspirational quote. What about the storylines? Some of them are good! Some of them not so much, the point of that quote was trying to get across the point that it’s the characters that make Fairy Tail the kind of show that I love unreservedly even if it’s lacking in other areas.

We’re still not ready to talk about your favourite characters… Damn!

So tell me what arcs you liked, the plots of that is, not just the fact they had a lot of side characters. Sure, I mean the ‘Phantom Lord arc’ certainly upped the stakes with the destruction of their beloved guild hall by the dark guild Phantom Lord. And obviously the Edolas arc was pure fun since we got to see alternate reality/mirror universe versions of a lot of the characters and the genuinely touching moments of Mirajane and Elfman being able to reunite with their sister Lisanna (or a version of her) who had died long ago.

Feels? So many damn feels! Also, also the stuff with Happy and his parents, oh my god, I’m crying all over again. I can’t even with these feels…

*hands over a tissue box* Thank you… *loudly blows nose*

No problem… so uh, any other noteworthy arcs? Yes! Maybe my favourite, strictly from a story-telling perspective was ‘The Tower of Heaven arc’, only 8 episodes but so jam packed full of backstory and action and high stakes drama.

And worst story arcs? Oh… tough one, ‘Galuna Island arc’ was a bit lacking at times, but getting some of Gray’s backstory was super important. ‘Daphne arc’ was kinda lame filler, but it is what it is. I think the one arc where the show began to display some signs that it was tiring out or stretching things out way too long was the ‘Tenrou Island arc’ (what is it about Islands?).

What about it made it feel that way? Well up to this point the show had 3 ways of starting an episode. Either it just continues from where the last episode ended, it has a brief voiceover narrator recap of the previous plot points or it just shows the last 30 seconds to a minute from the previous episode’s ending scene maybe with some stuff cut out.

But I take it it’s different in this arc? It’s the worst. At the start of almost every episode in this arc they just play 2-5 minutes of the previous episode all over again, which might might be okay if I were watching it week-to-week but binge watching it like I did made for a frustrating experience. It’s a 27 episode arc, that could have easily been 20~ episodes had they not opted to pad it out so poorly.

But that’s more of a production problem (i.e. we need this many episodes, fill it out however you can) as opposed a problem with the plot itself. I mean the plot is fine, the main villain is kinda lame and there’s a lot of deus ex machina moments, but it’s just kind of repetitive. Lots of great character moments though, like the stuff with Gildarts and Cana is lovely. Can I talk about Gildarts and Cana yet?

No! We’ve got to pad this thing out to 100 Questions somehow! You could ask me the same questions and I could answer them again!

Heh, very funny. Yeah, I know, I’d never pad out a review.

Exactly, you’re above such cheap tactics. Indeed.

Indeed… Yes…

Ahem… So anyway, I’m looking at my notes here and I notice that Fairy Tail is actually split up into 2 seasons (with a 3rd and final on the way). All these arc’s you’ve been talking about have been from the 1st season. What about the 2nd season? Sure, let’s talk about the second season, it’s uh… kind of a mess. I mean I still love it because the character’s are as great as ever and there’s a lot of development of said characters, but the story is just kind of forgettable, which is obviously the opposite of what they were going for as it’s supposed to be some big deal the whole Tartaros trying to end the world thing.

Ah the ol’ reliable ‘end of the world’ plot. Indeed, it’s fine, it just doesn’t really have that much threat attached. I never once worried it was actually going to happen, sure I worried about the fate of some characters, but never that the world was going to end.

So what good things do you have to say about the 2nd season? Well the characters

aside from the characters, we’ll get there soon. Fine! Uh, so even though I watched the 2nd season more recently, I remember less about it. There were two things that stand out in my mind though one is Lucy having to break one of her celestial key’s, thus losing her connection to Aquarius, the celestial spirit she was closest to. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and such a good storyline.

And the second. Wendy! In Episode 243 and 244 she undergoes such growth. Not only defeating a powerful enemy by unleashing her ‘Dragon Force’ but then willing to sacrifice her own young life to stop the ‘face bombs’ from detonating. I cried, I cried a lot.

She… she didn’t die did she? Do I sense concern in your voice?

N-no! I’m just curious is all… Well no. She and Carla are saved by Doranbolt’s teleportation magic at the last second. Which ordinarily I’d say is a bit of a cop out, but Wendy was so brave that I don’t even mind.

Cool, so— Wait! I remembered another plot point, ugh, I feel so stupid that I forgot it. Though it happens in season 1, but I need to talk about it!

Okay, fair enough. Let’s hear about it then. It comes out of the arc I was complaining about earlier, the ‘Tenrou Island arc’, or rather at the end of it and in the ‘X791 arc’. See while a lot of the Fairy Tail guild was on Tenrou Island battling Grimoire Heart, seven years have passed outside the island, even though to those on the island it only felt like a couple of days! As you can imagine for the people left at the guild this is a big deal to find out that their friends and colleagues are still alive after all this time!

That’s is a pretty interesting development. It is, though I think they could have done more with it it’s still a great way of shaking things up. I think I would have preferred if say one of the main characters had stayed behind to make this plot line all the more interesting.

Right well— Can I talk about the characters now! I want to talk about how much I love them!

Alright, fine. But not here, we shall continue the discussion in part 3 of this ridiculous endeavour! Hopefully you’re all not too bored of this!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Fairy Tail – 100 Question Anime Review Special (Part 1 of 3)

A 100 Question Anime Review for Fairy Tail. (Part 1 of 3)

This post is a part of Anime QandA’s 100 Follower Celebration. Part 2 can be viewed here and Part 3 is here.

Wh-wh-what does that say up there? 
Up where?

Up there, the title of this blog entry, read it to me! Fairy Tail, 100 Question Anime Review.

100 Questions?! Have you lost your damn mind?! Not at all, it’s a sort of thank you to the readers of my blog for reaching 100 followers on, seems apt don’t you think?

100 Questions! Problem?

Ah, yeah, a few… Such as?

Well first of all—am I getting paid overtime for this— No! You should be grateful!

F-fine… ugh, and secondly who on earth wants to read a 100 Question review? I guess we’ll find out, won’t we? Plus, calm down, it’s only a one-off, I thought it’d be a fun little celebratory gimmick!

Okay, guess I don’t have a choice, right, let’s get this show on the road then! That’s the spirit!

What’s the show? Fairy Tail.

Ooh~ I’ve heard of this show, well that is to say I’ve heard you mention it in other reviews. It’s kind of a big dealfor me especiallyit was the show that got me back into anime after having not watched any anime for about 5 years.

Wow! You went 5 whole years without watching anime? That’s kind of impossible to imagine, knowing how much of a weeb you are now. I was a different person back then, a poor and misguided fool, without as much as dakimakura on my bed or a lewd tapestry on my wall. Dark times indeed.

Uh-huh. Sounds like I may have actually gotten along with the you back then… You bite your tongue, sir!

Right, so maybe let’s start at what got you wanting to watch an anime after such a long break. Right, so first of all you’re going to have to understand something about me as a person, I like buying and collecting things.

Okay… No but really, you have no idea how into materialism I was. Like one dayon a whimI decided to buy every episode of the classic 1963-1989 Doctor Who series on DVD. And so me and the irl waifu drove around to like 10 different stores over the course of a couple of weekends trying to get the hundreds of DVD’s that comprised the collection. Not only do I get obsessive about things quickly but I go ‘all in’ when I do.

I think they call that an ‘addictive personality’ but let’s not dwell on this too long since, you know we’re trying to get to reviewing an anime here… some day… Right. So one day while surfing my favourite DVD/blu-ray website for upcoming TV show releases I noticed a series that was in its seventeenth blu-ray volume and obviously my obsessive collector impulse was intrigued! ‘Fairy Tail Volume 17’ and it’s got a very attractive anime lady on the front… *a million Google searches later* I’m at my local DVD/blu-ray store buying Volumes 1 to 5 of Fairy Tail on blu-ray, after having only briefly watched the first episode on Netflix before leaving for work one morning.

Wait. Stop. You bought it on blu-ray even though it was on Netflix? You underestimate the depth of my collection obsessiveness. If I want something in a physical copy because of ‘collection aesthetics’ I will buy it physically even if a digital alternative is cheaper/easier to obtain.

You’re an absolute mad man. Yes, I have been told as much.

Great, so are we at the point where we can actually start reviewing the show? I guess we’ve established the context around me discovering ‘anime’ again to properly ascertain my frame of mind when first watching this show.

Super. So after you’d watched a half dozen or so episodes… what was going through 2016 era Cactus Matt’s head? “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever watched in my entire life.”

So low bar then? Hey! Don’t judge, it’s not like you’ve watched Fairy Tail, so you can’t speak for it!

True, but I know this much at least… it’s not the greatest thing ever, I can speak to that fact with some certainty. Tch. Fine, you’re right. But listen, to someone who’d been so deprived (and it was an unintentional self imposed deprivation mind you) from the world of anime, something this rich and varied and action-y and comedic and emotional and just plain fun was bound to push every button.

Just say what you’ve been wanting to say for a while… Fine. Fairy Tail for me was like the second coming of Pokemon. Not in any literal sense but rather the sense of joyous abandon that accompanied following a young and headstrong protagonist as he begins exploring a wider world, with attractive companions and a cute animal sidekick, not to mention a rambunctious rival and an older tutor to guide him where need be.

You gonna keep going with that metaphor or should I just cut you off before you make a total fool of yourself? Alright fine, it’s not the perfect comparison, sure there’s some similarities but Fairy Tail definitely has the edge. It’s well-written and not aimed at small children, also in there’s a whole ‘Guild’ full of side characters to help populate the universe. And well, a lot of them are really sexy anime girls and I’ll be in my bunk

Oi! What the hell are you doing? There’s sexy anime girls so I’m just having some private time… to myself…

Ugh, you’re the worst. Hey! I’m just trying to give you an accurate representation of my experience while watching Fairy Tail back then!

“Back then”? It was only two years ago! Besides, this review doesn’t need to chronicle every instance of you ‘jerking it’ to anime girls… Don’t be so crude, it was a very romantic experience…

*sigh* So we’ve gotten this far in the review and all we’ve talked about is how sexy the girls are, I wish I was even a little surprised. This so called ‘100 Follower’ celebration sure took a turn for the worse and quickly too. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this pretty much expected it. But all right fine, let’s get serious, let’s talk about the show properly!

Only 28 questions in and we’re finally talking about the show itself. Wow, just wow. Shut up. So our protagonist is Natsu Dragneel he has the power of fire! Also the power to be cocky little twat!

So you don’t like him? Oh, he’s fine. He’s exactly what I expected from a Shonen protagonist, shouting catchphrases and being noisy and angry and dumb!

So who else is in the show? There’s Happy, Natsu’s flying blue cat, who is absolutely adorable and a loyal companion! Then there’s Lucy Heartfilia, the busty summoner and aspiring writer and let’s not forget Erza Scarlett the headstrong and dependable warrior and Ice wizard Gray Fullbuster who’s frequently butting heads with Natsu! And… hmm…

And what? What’s up? I don’t know, it just kind of feels weird talking about Fairy Tail with a critical eye… I mean any show can be reviewed critically it’s just it’s hard to do it about this show for some reason.

You speak down to it often in your reviews despite the fact you clearly have a reverence for it. If I sometimes sound cynical about the show it’s only because I expect a lot from this franchise because it was so influential in bringing me back into the anime world and so whenever it deviated from its initial quality and enthusiasm it kind of felt ~personal~. Let’s just say I’ve got some complex feelings about this show!

Right, I think we need to take a break and continue this in another part. 100 Questions or not, no one’s going to want to read something like this that’s over 4000 words so this needs to be split up. Click on the links to continue reading Part 2 and Part 3 of the Fairy Tail 100 Question Anime Review!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Sakura Trick – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Sakura Trick.

What’s the show? Sakura Trick (2014).

And what’s it about? Well depending on who ask it’s either the pinnacle of Yuri anime and an utterly sublime romantic experience or an obnoxious unrealistic exploitative exercise in mediocrity that reduces these kinds of relationships to a fetish.

Yuri… yuri… OH! That’s girl on girl action, right? *sigh* Yes, if you want to be that reductive about it…

What? That’s what it is! This is love, it’s pure, it’s wholesome, it’s idealistic, it’s… it’s…

It’s for perverts. Excuse me?!

I mean that’s WHY you’re watching it, isn’t it? You’ve said in the past you don’t care for romance anime, so why does this show get a sudden glowing seal of approval other than the fact it’s two ‘cute girls’ making out. Which let’s face it, is totally your aesthetic (by the way I’m using the term ‘aesthetic’ under protest). I… I… well, uh…

I’m waiting… Okay, fine. I admit the initial reason I bought this show on blu-ray (yes I bought it on blu-ray, I need girls kissing in HD!) was because I was down for some sweet sapphic action between a couple of frisky anime high-school girls, but you know what, the fact of the matter is not only did I become completely and utterly engrossed in the intricacies of their relationship that I found myself clutching at my chest and crying on no less than 5 occasions but also… also I just want more women to be lesbians…

Ah… err… wait, what?! Bare with me a second, I’m going to go on a tangent.

Always with the tangents… but do go on… So here’s the thing, I kinda hate heterosexual relationships in media, be it live-action TV shows or movies or anime or books, whatever I just find it boring. And before anybody mentions heterosexual harem anime/manga that’s different because a) it’s already something so different from reality and b) I don’t think most harem scenarios are attempting to convey a realistic relationship—

—Focus! Right so, it’s also why whenever there’s two women in an anime who show affection towards each other I inherently ‘ship’ them because I want more depictions of same-sex relationships in my anime! All women should be lesbians! It’s the ideal!

But it’s not ideal, because men do exist whether you like it or not. Ugh, don’t remind me.

Please don’t mention the P-word. B-but the fucking patriarchy!

Oh god, this review is as good as a write-off. Hey, if you’re for some reason still reading this, Hi Irina, also I’m sorry. I don’t even know what he’s doing anymore. Don’t you talk to Irina you shitlord. Also, just because you don’t agree with my opinion doesn’t mean it’s not worth being heard!

Who are you talking to right now? I don’t even know…

Great, perfect! So, uhh… can we get a cohesive opinion on Sakura Trick the show that doesn’t devolve into wanting all women to be lesbians and breaking the fourth wall? Fine. Uh, so Sakura Trick it is… I, ah… I don’t know what it is! See, here’s the thing, I know how I feel about it, but because I belong to the straight male demographic, my opinion will ever be skewed toward a voyeuristic opinion as opposed to someone who’s either lived or is trying to live that life.

Fine, then don’t talk about that, talk about how it made you feel? You mentioned something earlier about ‘crying’? I love Haruka and how honest she is with her feelings towards Yuu, she’s so direct with her intentions. I’m less keen on Yuu though, her personality is too childish, but their relationship is so intimate and fraught with little anxieties that I overlook her character flaws and focus on them as two halves completing each other and fulfilling emotional and physical needs.

And their relationship is at the centre of the anime? More or less, but and I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but by the end of the anime I was wanting Yuu’s older sister Mitsuki to be the protagonist, because the character arc she goes on from when she first appears to the end of episode 12 was terrific. I know it’s a cliche, but I actually put my hand over my mouth and gasped at what she did at the half-way point of episode 12. I won’t spoil anymore but I think it was an incredibly ballsy choice for the show, even if it didn’t really affect anything afterward, which I guess is expected in this kind of show.

And all the other characters in the show? They’re all paired up from the start and there’s not much to their relationships, some get more developed than others. I think Shizuku and Kotone were my favourite pairing, but I think any kind of noteworthy development to their storyline is probably stymied by the fact that they’re side characters. I’d love to know if they end up getting to be together after they finish school, considering Kotone is already arranged to be married to someone else, guess I’ll have to find the manga!

Sounds like a lot of drama could be mined from such a plot line? So here’s the main problem with the show, most of the side characters have more dramatic or complex relationships or situations than Haruka and Yuu. That’s not to say the central relationship isn’t interesting it’s just I wished the show gave as much time to the side characters as it did to the main, but then again I guess that’s kind of an unrealistic expectation.

Well we got there in the end, didn’t think we would for a minute… final score and recommendation? I can absolutely understand why some people don’t like this show or think it’s pandering to perverts who just want to fetishise cute girl’s kissing each other. And I went in expecting that and what I got out of it was so much more, yes I enjoyed watching the girls kiss, but I enjoyed the moment after it more, seeing how much this physical connection meant to each of these girls was heartwarming and genuinely touching, it moved me to tears after all! Feel the love, 89 out of 100.

If you liked my review and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!