Summer 2019 Anime In Review

A look back at all the Summer 2019 Anime I Watched , Ranked from Least to Most favourite with scores and mini-reviews for each


Summer is done and now comes the task of ranking all the shows I watched. Overall it was a great season, not the strongest I’ve ever watched but by no means the weakest. In total I watched 20 shows, 18 new ones and two hold-overs from the Spring 2019 season which I’ll be listing from least favourite to most favourite, also I’ll be giving my quick overall thoughts on each one. Anyway, let’s get to it!

Iskeai Cheat Magician


For those following my seasonal anime reviews, you may remember I straight up dropped this show ‘round Episode 7 for the crimes of being tone-deaf, generic and kinda sexist (yeah, I know) but guess what I binge watched the remaining 5 episodes after the season was over and… yeah, this show still is overwhelmingly disappointing because it never did anything outside of the expected ‘isekai’ genre despite having honestly fun, charismatic and enjoyable characters who frankly deserved to be in a better show.

If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord


I couldn’t really pinpoint anything really negative about this show at all but likewise nothing particularly remarkable either. Dale was the show’s weak point, likewise his overacting and overreactions while Latina was the undoubted bright spot, everything else was window dressing to an entertaining but otherwise uneventful series.

Demon Lord, Retry


This show had a rough journey but ultimately ended up a very positive experience not the least because of how unexpected and unconventional so many of its elements were–especially in comparison to other isekai series. There was something fluid and improvisational about this show’s narrative that could easily be mistaken for laziness or unfocused narrative stylings but I found it consistently refreshing in its inconsistencies. Also it was damn funny at times too, which counts for more than you might expect at least in my estimations.

Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?


Despite some early signs that this series would veer into ecchi territory, it became evident by the midway mark that this show was more interested in telling a story about familial bonds and the importance of connecting and understanding one another rather than MILF’s and big boobs. And I mean take that as you will, it at least was very good at one thing (even if it’s not the thing I had a preference for) and that’s probably something worth recommending.

Magical Sempai


The titular (pun intended) Magical Sempai of this series was this shows massive (pun–again–intended) saving grace as, while a funny series on the whole, it was kind of ~slight~ in almost every other regard (pacing, character development, narrative structure). There were moments of true excellence that showed this series had the potential to be more than just a gag anime, but there were far more moments were it was clear that was the extent of its ambitions.

Are You Lost?


At its best, ‘Are You Lost?’ managed to flawlessly fuse together ecchi comedy with genuine survival techniques and a palpable sense of danger about these girls’ situation. And while the show remains frustratingly unresolved at this point, it was still a really enjoyable experience to undertake. Like ‘Survivor’ only you actually like all the characters involved.



I couldn’t help but be deterred by this show’s slow initial pace and frustrating characterisation around Mafuyu, I knew it was leading somewhere deeper and darker but that doesn’t excuse such a dragging narrative development. Thankfully every other character more than carried the series throughout its rough points and once it finally hit its emotional stride it was a pretty compelling and honestly touching romance series that presented a same sex relationship as natural and beautiful as any other–exactly as it should be!

Cop Craft


An anime cop procedural is such an obvious fit and adding in the fantastical element of a gate to another world into the mix and the various dramas that arise of two different species interacting not only on the societal level but on the personal level as our Earth based detective is partnered with an “alien” from this other world and they solve crimes together and learn to accept each other is a recipe for a damn good TV show. And that’s exactly what this is, it’s not without its hiccups, and the overarching plot is less interesting than the individual stories but it’s easily an anime I could recommend to almost anyone just because of how competently entertaining it is.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?


An anime about exercising seems like a ludicrous idea, until you realise there’s already been several previous to this one, but none of them were full length anime and that’s indeed one of the most interesting and impressive things about this series is its near fearless commitment to its general conceit and making it not only interesting but downright compelling at times. At times an uneven experience, with some episodes being less interesting due to their focus away from our main girls but for the most part it’s a tremendously fun show with a terrific sense of humour.

Are You Willing To Fall In Love With A Pervert, As Long As She’s a Cutie?


The title kind of says it all, and yet this show surprised again and again by being so sincere with its seemingly jokey premise. In a lot of ways this series was reminiscent more of 80’s Hollywood teen romantic comedies by the likes of John Hughes, than any specific anime which lent the series a refreshing framing that a lot of harem anime lack. I’m not saying this is preferable to the norm, just that it was different enough to be compelling by itself. 

Re:Stage! Dream Days


I have a patchy (at best) history with ‘idol’ anime, so imagine my surprise when an unassuming series like this manages to connect so immediately with me. I think a part of the appeal of this series in general was how earnest it was while never taking itself too seriously–it struck the right balance throughout and delivered a surprisingly emotional story but with plenty of laughs and silliness that made the dramatic moments hit harder.

Fruits Basket (2019) (Episodes 13-25)


At this point there’s not much more that needs to be said in favour of this wonderful reboot as its garnered acclaim and fanfare across all corners of the internet. And even from someone as sceptical and disconnected from both the original anime and manga source material I eventually found myself spellbound by this series. It wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ though, as I reiterate that the series’ first cour was slow and occasionally annoying to the point of distraction but the amount of sheer ‘hits’ among the ‘misses’ was well in favour of the positive as it wrapped up its second cour. Believe the hype, ‘Fruits Basket’ is truly a great series once you get past its early problems.

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound of This World (Episodes 13-26)


Based on a visual novel from the early nineties its evident the mark this property has played in so many subsequent VN’s and likewise anime, especially the likes of ‘Steins;Gate’–which was heavily influenced by this story. So with that in mind its kind of surprising more people aren’t treating this anime adaptation with the reverence it deserves, sure it’s not perfect but its indelible mark means its worthy of praise in just how well it executes such a complex and high-concept story with dozens of characters and just as many convolutions throughout.

Wasteful Days of High School Girl


As far as outright ‘comedies’ go, nothing made me laugh like ‘Wasteful Days of High School Girl’ did this season. With the absurdity and inanity pushed to eleven the comedy was a given but this show managed to back up its gut-busting comedic stylings with more than a few genuinely compelling character turns and significant development of likewise to prove itself as an anime to be reckoned with!

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2


The only way is up, and that’s true enough for many sequels but especially one where its slow but steady escalation of romantic intimacy between its two leads means eventual but substantial development is made. Truthfully a lot of this second season feels frustratingly similar to the first but that only seeks to heighten the brief but impactful moments where Takagi and Nishikta’s relationship evolves into something more.

Is It Wrong To Try and Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II


While on the subject of sequels (see previous entry) the second season of ‘Is It Wrong To Try and Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon’ improves on a lot of what made the first season great while also doing something unexpected in the grand scheme of things by having almost all of the series take place outside of the titular ‘dungeon’ that served so much of a setting for the first season. As a result, the world feels bigger, the stakes feel more real and the series in-of-itself feels more liberated which is only a good thing for this show going forward.

The Demon Girl Next Door


I love this show, but more than that I adore our titular demon girl Yuuko who is one of anime’s perfect characters–and that’s not a statement I make lightly knowing the sheer calibre of characters that exist out there. Aside from Yuuko’s distracting brilliance this show excels in being the kind of endearing buddy comedy ‘Odd Couple’-esque that so many shows aim for but fall short of. Not here though as the magical girl x demon girl interactions between Momo and Yuuko are absolutely flawless.

Fire Force (Episodes 1-11)


‘Fire Force’ is the kind of show I want to run forever the same way that ‘One Piece’ seemingly exists in perpetuity, I know that’s an unlikely dream but there’s something that’s so indelibly compelling about every single part of this show–from its visual styling, to its characterisation, to its personality, to its fan-service–that makes me want more.

O Maidens In Your Savage Season


This series managed and almost flawless run from beginning to end, only tripped up in its penultimate episode by racing a hairsbreadth from jumping the proverbial shark. That mild fumble aside ‘O Maidens’ sold the complexities and intricacies and intimacies of the modern high-school relationship in such a wonderfully messy and unflinching way that it was kind of a wonder to behold–even if the climax was never quite as strong as the build-up.

Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest


So, there’s a lot I could talk about this show, about how fans in the West completely and unjustifiably overreacted to its significant first episode deviation from the source material and decided to make it the whipping boy for the season–picking apart everything it did wrong and ignoring everything it did right. I could spend pages comparing it to other shows that didn’t get anywhere near as much hate, showing examples of how it’s far more unique and compelling than almost every other isekai out there. But now’s not really the time, simply put I love this show–I love its characters and their interactions with each other, I love the world and story-telling, I love it’s quirky sense of humour and unpredictable nature. Maybe I’ll write up a full post about this series in the future because it’s genuinely stolen my heart and mind and not only is it my anime of the season but it’s also in my Top 5 anime of all time.


And that’s what I thought of all the anime I watched in the Summer 2019 anime season! Let me know what your favourites were and thank you for reading!

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Spring 2019 Anime In Review

A look back at all the Spring 2019 Anime I Watched With Scores And Mini-Reviews For Each Show


So the Spring 2019 Anime season has come and gone and in its wake a bunch of shows and many more opinions on them! Overall it wasn’t the strongest or most memorable season in recent memory, but the highs certainly were high! I watched 16 shows in Spring and I’ll be ranking them from best to worst with a score and a little review for each too!

BOKUBEN: We Never Learn

There’s so many good faces in this show it was hard to chose just one!

Oh boy, do I have so much to talk about regarding this show but then again most of it will be me complaining about “people” who compare this show to last seasons’ ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ despite the fact that ‘We Never Learn’ came first (as a manga) and is infinitely superior! Okay I’ll stop with the mini-rant and just say that seldom do I see a harem anime with such a commitment to fully developing its female characters and making the audience not only want each of the girls to end up with the male lead but also give them personal and unique journeys that make all these characters feel real. I really love this show and I’m so glad it’s getting a second season in October of this year!

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Don’t be shy, Bocchi, you have people who like you!

Shows like this are especially hard to review because the journey of the anime is less about a definite ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘endpoint’ narratively speaking but rather just watching characters find one another, grow closer and develop as people in their own right. Likewise the amount you’re going to get out of a series like this is directly proportional to how much you can be brought into their world and sympathise/empathise with the characters in it. Bocchi and her cohorts remained like friends I never knew I needed right up until the end and I’ll forever appreciate them for letting me be privy to their journey, this show was wonderful.

Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?


A show as shamelessly ecchi as this one deserves kudos for fully committing to its ridiculous premise alone. But what was more surprising than the myriad ways it managed to push together a female teacher and a male student in compromising situations was the honest to goodness heart, character development and how well it tied it all together. Sometimes a show can be sexy and sweet.

Wise Man’s Grandchild

She’s too precious.

I went into great detail (and defense) about this series in my episode 1 & 2 review but my thoughts on the series as a whole remain more or less the same. ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ is an isekai that knows it’s an isekai, embraces the tropes of its genre but is still wise (heh) enough to do things differently when it needs to. Its sense of humour remains its greatest strength though and made every single episode an absolute joy to watch.

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World
(86/100) [ongoing series Episodes 1 to 13 watched]

Okay, so sometimes our protagonist can be a gentlemen…

Here’s a series that gets more interesting, more complex and more narratively satisfying the longer it goes on and the fact we’re only halfway through its planned 26 (plus 1 OVA) episode at the time of writing this makes things all the more exciting. This show feels fresh despite being based on a Visual Novel from the 90’s and whats more its just entertaining as heck. Yes it’s got some issues (mostly to do with its sometimes sexist protagonist) but the good far outweighs the bad in this particular anime!

Ao-chan Can’t Study!

She loves it.

I haven’t watched that many strictly romantic comedy anime (harem’s usually don’t count as such) likewise even less with a female lead but not only was the titular Ao-chan an adorable neurotic and refreshingly frank character but the show itself was as funny as it was endearing.

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki

She’s a high energy individual that Yatogame-chan…

When’s a 2 minute anime better than half the anime you watch in a particular season? When it’s ‘Yagogame-chan Kanatsu Nikki’! Food anime are often a favourite of mine, and what’s better than a food anime? A food anime filled with comedy and niche references to very specific parts of Japanese culture (in this case the Nagoya region of Japan). As you’d (hopefully) expect for an anime this short not a second is wasted and the result is a fun and frenetic, but still surprisingly laid back anime that I’m very glad is getting a 2nd season next year!

Isekai Quartet

I can literally hear the theme song in my head just by looking at this gif.

Bringing together characters from four different popular isekai anime and smashing them together could have been a recipe for disaster–or at least a recipe for a messy anime but the team responsible for this crossover handled it (almost) perfectly and gave us fun and entertaining experience. Even if you’re only familiar with half the shows being referenced it’s still a worthwhile experience if you’re into seeing crazy characters interact with each other with often hilarious results!


I watched it for the plot, I swear!

The otaku references in ‘AMAZING STRANGER’ were an endless source of comedic delight as were the marital shenanigans between our protagonist and 1/6 scale bishojou figure but it was the commitment to its world building, the connections between the characters and the surprising amount of drama that ended up making this anime such a rewarding (if still inherently silly) experience.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san

She is pretty damn adorable (and don’t forget 800 years old, so it’s legal!)

Despite seemingly being an anime that’s exactly in my wheelhouse (a.k.a. it’s about a cute loli fox girl in a Slice of Life setting) there were certain things about this anime that I wasn’t exactly a fan of and hence prevented me falling in love with the show like so many others did. Having an adult male protagonist felt like it was pandering to a different demographic entirely (I wrote a whole rant-y post about it which I never ended up posting) but external factors should seldom detract from a show’s enjoyment factor. Also the fact the show felt the need to mention that the loli fox girl is actually 800 years old in every episode (sometimes multiple times) felt like the writer was embarrassed by his very own premise–which sucked a lot of the joy out of the show. Regardless of my issues it was still a wholesome, comfortable and well-made anime.

Fruits Basket 1st Season
(81/100) [ongoing series 13 Episodes watched so far]


As someone who’s never seen the ‘original’  Fruits Basket, read the manga nor is particularly a fan of this genre of anime (whatever genre that is) I’m still yet to see the monumental appeal of this series–however its characters, its overall emotional impact and the promise of something bigger and more serious behind the scenes means I’m more than happy to keep watching the show and see where it goes.

Nobunaga teacher’s young bride

The face of all the ‘normies’ who stumbled upon this show.

There’s a lot of promise in this anime’s premise but unfortunately not a lot of care in its overall execution. It’s clumsy, occasionally ugly and extremely problematic. But it’s also fun, amusing and occasionally inspired. Also kudos for being one of the only ecchi harem anime I’ve ever seen to have a “trap” character get further sexually with the main (male) character than any of the girls did! I’ll remember that about this series if nothing else…

Joshi Kausei

Literally the best moment in the whole series and it happens two minutes into Episode 1.

An interesting premise and some wholly likeable characters are the highlight of this short anime that never does anything particular inventive with its ‘no dialogue’ premise but is still a pleasant and entertaining diversion.

Cinderella Nine

Do they have ‘yellow cards’ in baseball?

As of the writing of this I’m only 11 out of 12 episodes (due to a broadcast delay) but ‘Cinderella Nine’ is an example of a sports anime without the budget to wholly execute its sport in any satisfying way, with characters who amount to little more than single sentence cliches and nothing in the way of a gimmick to spice up the proceedings.

Han-Gyakuisei Million Arthur 2nd Season [on hold at Episode 3]

So, this show is great, probably with a score around the mid 80’s, but I had to stop it at Episode 3 because Funimation being the incompetent twats that they are decided to cut out the post-credit gag scenes which were a source of so much joy in the 1st season. Maybe it seems weird to put a show on hold because of such a (seemingly) minor reason but its a matter of principal, you know?! I’ll probably get back to watching this just… not on Funimation…

AFTERLOST [on hold at Episode 7]

*sigh* This show… is so frustrating, there’s so much good about it and almost in equal measure so much bad about it. I haven’t considered this ~officially~ dropped but at the same time I don’t know if I want to ever go back to it so consider this in the limbo between on hold and dropped–whatever that might be called… okay let’s call it ‘Lost’!


And that’s the Anime of Spring 2019 that I watched reviewed! What are your thoughts? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Drop a comment below if you have something to say! Thanks for reading!

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Happy Sugar Life – Full Season QandA Rundown

Happy Sugar Life – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Happy Sugar Life is a Summer 2018 psychological horror anime that ran 12 episodes from July to September. It is based on a manga series written by Tomiyaki Kagisora.

What’s it about? On the outside Sato is a bright, beautiful and very popular girl but inside she is deeply troubled and scarred—the only thing in life that brings her joy is her ‘relationship’ with a little girl named Shio who she’s kidnapped and keeps in her apartment. The two live a blissful life together that Sato would do anything to maintain, even if it means committing murder.

Happy together.

Why did you watch it? Believe it or not I actually like ‘dark’ things, despite my preoccupation with CGDCT and slice of life shows seemingly dictating my choices in anime watching. So when there’s a series that combines both—at the least the latter of which aesthetically if not literally—then you better believe I’m going to watch it!

Did you enjoy the show? As of the writing of this rundown ‘Happy Sugar Life’ is my second favourite anime of all time. Does that answer that question? I adored pretty much everything about this series to the point where I struggle to find fault with anything.

Just like me and this anime.

What was your favourite episode? Episode 9 “Dissolving Rain” had the single most dramatic moment I’ve seen in an anime in a very long time—the fact the build up to it was so masterfully and artfully done is just a small factor in why it was such a sublime episode. Plus the way it turns from honestly loving and beautiful to knuckle clenching tension to absolute horror within the space of minutes is something to behold.

Some breathtaking imagery in nearly every episode.

What were your most favourite things about the show? While this probably won’t be the same for most people, the fact that I could sympathise and even gravitate and dare I say sit in awed wonder of a character is morally ambiguous and downright sadistic as Sato says a lot about the quality of her characterisation and the writing. Not since the ‘Hannibal’ TV series have I been so enraptured and captivated and even siding with the actions of “the bad guy”. Artistically too, this shows pastel aesthetics are absolutely gorgeous and work as a visual contrast to the dark themes throughout.

In both senses of the word.

What were your least favourite things about the show? For a show to have made its way to Number 2 on my favourites list you’ll be hard-pressed to find me saying anything negative about it. Truly the only thing this show is weaker for is the fact that it’s only 12 episodes. I could have easily spent twice as long with these characters.

Who was your favourite character? Sato commands presence whenever she’s on-screen and even when she’s not on-screen the reverberations of her very existence permeate every characters respective lives, she is the burning sun at the centre of this universe, the tyrant at which all obey, all fear and many seek to bring down.

What’s that quote about staring into the abyss?

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? As if it’s any surprise but both the OP, “One Room Sugar Life” by Nanawo Akari and the ED “Sweet Hurt” by Reona are both absolutely gorgeous. The OP is a tense but still exciting and catchy prelude to each episode and sets the mood perfectly, while the ED serves as a sweet and reflective palette cleanser from the darkness that came before.

What’s something unique about this show? Rather than mention something specific about the series as I find everything about this show uniquely brilliant. A fact that still staggers me is the fact that something as beautiful and artistic as this was made by a first-time anime studio. There’s not much information about it that I could find but kudos to ‘Ezo’la’ for coming out this strong and confident with a series like this. I await any of their future series with interest and anticipation!

I love the recurrent motif of eyes in this series.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? The contrast of cute to dark content is of course reminiscent of such classic series’ as ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’ and more recently ‘Magical Girl Raising Project’ but as I discussed in my episodic reviews the US series ‘Hannibal’ feels like the most accurate and appropriate comparison as the darkness in this show comes from nothing more than human desires and there’s nothing ~magical~ about what transpires between these characters.

Who would you recommend it to? I think there’s a certain level of arrogance that comes in recommending a series you love so much to everyone just because it is your favourite. But in that arrogance is an enthusiasm and hope that ~someone~ out there will find as much joy in it that you found in it. I don’t doubt there will be—even among my readers—people who can’t stand this show, but if I can even convince one person to like this show and they find even an ~ounce~ of enjoyment out of this show than that makes me happy.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘With the ‘Happy’ comes tragedy, with the ‘Sugar’ comes the sour and with ‘Life’ come death.’

Final score? 97 out of 100.

Sweet dreams.

Previous Happy Sugar Life Reviews:

A Sweet Treat With A Dark Centre – Episode 1 Review
Contains Traces of Nuts – Episode 2 Review
Bitter Sweet Sympathy – Episode 3 Review
Closeted Secrets – Episode 4 Review
The Bitter Kiss – Episode 5 Review
Past, Present and Future Tension – Episode 6 Review
Blood Is Sicker Than Water – Episode 7 Review
Filling In The Canvas – Episode 8 Review
Til Death Do Us Part – Episode 9 Review
People With Glass Hearts Shouldn’t Be Alone – Episode 10 Review
When The Vow Breaks – Episode 11 Review
In Memoriam – Episode 12 Review

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Phantom in the Twilight – Full Season QandA Rundown

Phantom in the Twilight – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Phantom in the Twilight is a Summer 2018 action/supernatural anime that aired 12 episodes from July through September. It is an original anime project produced by Happy Elements and is a Chinese co-production.

What’s it about? Ton Baileu and Shinyao Mu are two Chinese exchange students and best friends who’ve moved to London to attend university, immediately they are swept up in supernatural shenanigans as Shinyao is kidnapped by ~bad guys~. Ton finds help from an unexpected source, Umbra who are non-human creatures created out of the public’s collected consciousness on fantasy and supernatural beings. The four umbra who help her are Vlad, Luke, Toryu and Wayne—who run the ‘Café Forbidden’.

One big handsome happy family

Why did you watch it? While Kakuriyo was Spring’s anime for the irlwaifu, this was Summer’s, though it was arguably less directed to a female audience than the poster and synopsis suggested.

Did you enjoy the show? I enjoyed it for what it was, I was glad the series never took itself too seriously—in fact it was at it’s best when it was leaning into the almost over-the-top Supernatural-esque shenanigans. The narrative itself—while adequate never pushed itself to be more compelling or unique and some of the characters felt underdeveloped at times. The best way to sum up the show is that it was fun—but hardly ground-breaking or innovative.


What was your favourite episode? Episode 11 felt the most over-the-top and silly and contained one of my favourite lines in the entire series. The four Umbra and Ton are speeding toward where the bad guy’s were and they’re in a speed-boat going along the river Thames, Luke comments why they decided to go by speed-boat rather than pick something more subtle and Vlad replies “doesn’t it make sense to take the most picturesque approach?” Which kind of tells you everything you need to know about how serious this show takes itself at times.

Also from Episode 11.

What were your most favourite things about the show? I thought it was interesting that the Umbra manifest from people’s ideas about what monsters are, so Vlad is ~literally~ Dracula from Bram Stoker’s book. They’re also all immortal as long as they still have presence in the collective consciousness, which is an interesting way of getting around ideas like extended lifespans and not dying in battles. I also enjoyed the post credits ‘Phantom Plus’ segments which had Chibi versions of the characters addressing the audience and cracking jokes and references about the episode. Sometimes these kinds of segments can feel tacked-on and sometimes cringe-worthy but here they were legitimately funny and something I looked forward to each week!

Magic is the answer to everything!

What were your least favourite things about the show? Ton’s great-grandmother is often mentioned as she was a famous Umbra Hunter 100 years ago, she also opened ‘Café Forbidden’ and had some sort of relationship with Vlad. But I never really felt like anything was gained from having her character mentioned and found her a bit pointless to the story overall. Also it’s worth mentioning that Ton’s friend Shinyao spends 90% of the series kidnapped, which isn’t a great storytelling device and kind of gets ridiculous (but in a not-fun way), but at least Ton’s a strong enough female character to balance it out.

Who was your favourite character? It’s probably obvious but I think Ton was the sole reason I kept watching this show, from the very beginning I loved her energy and attitude and charisma and found her to be a compelling lead with both physical and mental strength.

Totally necessary combat roll.

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The OP was “Flowery Song” by Jiro Wang and despite the title this wasn’t a delicate track, it was in fact a pretty strong and energetic soft rock song that I never got tired of. The ED on the other hand “HOME” by May’n, while competent and technically fine was a ~bit~ too sleepy for my liking.

What’s something unique about this show? Probably the most unique thing was the aforementioned plot point of Umbra being tied to the public’s perception of a typical “monster”. Other than that it wasn’t particularly unique in any respects—although watching Toryu ready for battles by pulling a full sized Gatling gun from out of his sleeves was endlessly amusing.

And now for my next trick!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? I hate not having an answer for this segment but because this is a genre of show I don’t usually watch I don’t have a basis for comparison! It shares some similar elements with Butlers x Battlers (which I watched last season), but comparing anything to that show seems mean.

Who would you recommend it to? While it wasn’t my favourite series of the Summer, in-fact it was pretty low compared to everything else I watched, I could probably recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of Supernatural-inspired action, handsome monster boys and a strong female lead. But only if you’re really bored and have nothing better to watch.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘The epitome of “pretty good”, it didn’t do anything dreadfully wrong but nor did it do anything particular noteworthy.’

Final score? 70 out of 100.

Punishment for Vlad.

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Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- – Full Season QandA Rundown

Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Kakuriyo –Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is a Spring 2018 supernatural romance anime that aired 26 episodes between April and September. It is based on a Light Novel series by Midori Yuma and has been adapted into a Josei manga series too.

What’s it about? Aoi Tsubaki is a lonely college student who has the ability to Ayakshi in the world, a trait she inherited from her now deceased grandfather. One day while walking past a shrine she meets an Ogre god named Odanna. After offering him some food she kidnaps her to the ‘Hidden Realm’, the spiritual home for all Ayakashi. There she learns her grandfather owed Odanna a great debt and in order to repay it she offered Aoi’s hand in marriage. But rather than succumb to his wishes Aoi negotiates with the Ogre god and decides to pay off the debt at Tenjin’ya an inn for Ayakashi.

Such handsome, much mystery, wow.

Why did you watch it? Every season I watch one or two shows that I have little-to-no interest in but that would be of interest to the irlwaifu—lots of hot Ayakashi boys vying for one woman’s attention—this was the one for Spring, other than that there was no other reason for me to watch it.

Did you enjoy the show? I reviewed about 6 episodes before deciding I couldn’t review it episodically but that’s not to speak of the show’s quality—just that I didn’t have anything to talk about! The show is pretty casual and light-hearted but at times it feels like too little actually happens in the show, it certainly didn’t need to be 26 episodes. As much as I complained about the ~creepy~ aspect of framing a love-story against kidnapping and arranged marriage, Aoi is a strong enough character that she’s never taken advantage of by the “good” characters.

Why is the only thing I can think of what kind of damage those nails would do “in the bedroom”…

What was your favourite episode? The episode that had the most emotional gravitas for me was the finale—Episode 26, with the revelation about the Umi-bouzo’s true nature being particularly touching.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Despite seeming at first glance to be as a show about hot boys and one girl amongst it, there’s actually a lot of other female characters and while Aoi’s interactions with these characters are never ~quite~ as deep as they are with the men they are still interesting character with differing levels of friendship (or rivalry) with Aoi.

You know it’s a show “for women” when the man in the scene has bigger and brighter eyes than the two girls.

What were your least favourite things about the show? Aside from the aforementioned pacing issues the animation can vary in quality at time, never to horrendous levels but it does come off as a little rushed sometimes. Also the stakes in any given episode never really feel all that high—even towards the finale it feels like nobody in the show is taking anything too serious.

Who was your favourite character? While it would be easy (and expected) of me to pick Aoi as I did praise her earlier on in this review she isn’t my favourite character. I’m tossing up between Ginji the white haired wolf-boy who’s just an all-round “good boy” and a lot more likable as a potential love-interest than Odanna. But my love of waifu’s is wanting me to pick the shy, dark-haired beauty of the bath-houses Shizuna, but because of how little screen-time she has I probably should just leave it as Ginji being favourite.

I like how Shizuna’s character design emphasises the fact she works all day in a hot springs, that’s the hair of someone who works in a wet and humid environment!

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The first OP “Tomoshibi no Manimani” is a gorgeous and moving song and is actually sung by Aoi’s voice actress Nao Toyama, and when they announced a new song for the second cour I thought nothing could compare but rather than trying to replicate the emotional power and sweeping beauty of the first one they went for a straight up banger; “Utsushiyo no Yume” by Nano. As for the ED’s, well there’s way too many to go through them all as nearly every character gets a character song during the end credits but they’re all fairly decent.

Beast mode, activate!

What’s something unique about this show? This show has a large emphasis on food—which is nothing new for anime considering the Japanese people’s obsession with it, what is interesting is how it permeates every aspect of the narrative—at first seemingly like a hobby for Aoi (one she’s very skilled at mind you) but then becoming intrinsic to the overarching plot-line of the final arc of the anime. It doesn’t make the earlier episodes dedicated to it feel less ~slight~ of content but it does justify the existence of it throughout the story as being something other than just a hobby.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? I don’t have a great basis for comparison with this genre. However while I haven’t watched the show, I actually own Kamisama Kiss on blu-ray (it was cheap, so I bought it) and that show looks very much like Kakuriyo.

Ah, the classic love triangle.

Who would you recommend it to? There’s a certain demographic for this show and they’ve probably already watched this show—or at the very least have it on their watch list. That’s not to say people who aren’t a part of that demographic won’t find things to enjoy about the show like I did but the effect will be greatly lessened.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Much like vanilla ice-cream its sweet but kind of ordinary, pleasant but nothing bold and more or less delivers the expected experience.’

Final score? 72 out of 100.

Just so damn mysterious and handsome…

Previous Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- Reviews:

Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
(No Review For Episode 4)
Episode 5 & 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
(Stopped Reviewing Weekly After Episode 7)

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Music Girls – Full Season QandA Rundown

Music Girls – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Music Girls is a Summer 2018 anime that ran 12 episodes through June to September. It is an original anime based on a 2015 anime short film produced by Studio Deen for the ‘Young Animator Training Project’.

What’s it about? Hanako has just returned to Japan after living in the United States with her musician parents, while at the airport she comes across the “Music Girls” an obscure eleven-member idol group with precisely 26 die-hard fans. Their manager Ikehashi, immediately finds Hanako’s look and personality to be ideal for their group, that is until she starts singing and find out she’s awful at it. Committed to helping the ‘Music Girls’ become the best they can be she joins them as their ‘secretary’ and helps out behind the scenes instead.

Why did you watch it? Initially this show wasn’t even on my Summer 2018 watch list, but after I dropped a couple of shows I decided to give a chance on the show, ordinarily I don’t bother with idol anime but something about this show seemed different. And ~boy~ was I right with that assumption!

Did you enjoy the show? No other show this season offered this level of unpredictable and undefinable joy, it’s not a ~great~ show, at times it hardly even a show, but is stupidly fun and endearingly so. At times it feels like a parody, while other times it feels like a student film—sometimes its heavy on the idol-shtick, whereas other times it leans into loose comedy while other times it comes across as sincere slice of life but never does it commit to one wholly. In any other this kind of lack-of-focus would be a negative but somehow here it just works—or maybe that’s just me…

What was your favourite episode? It’s hard to pick just one as the duality of this show means sincere episodes can be just as interesting as ~silly~ episodes. But the one that struck the balance perfectly and actually had some interesting and deep things to say while remaining simultaneously ridiculous is Episode 6 “Meat and Idols” which gave us the very progressive message that people should identify with message intended for anybody regardless of age, gender or social status while also tying it into an entire plot point about who keeps buying all the fried chicken at one of the idol’s favourite street-side eateries.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Aside from everything I’ve mentioned above, I did love the gratuitous bath scenes, which got so frequent that I realised this show spent more time in baths than ‘Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs’ an anime actually set in a bathhouse!

What were your least favourite things about the show? I never like to complain about animation quality, considering the short turn around time many anime have between animating and release and while a lot of the ‘shortcomings’ in this series are probably more to do with Studio Deen being a studio that’s ~loose~ with animation in general. But there were times during this season where I wondered if a work experience kid was put on a scene as occasionally animation felt below-amateurish. If it was intended then fantastic, but if not… well that’s a negative in my book. Also the songs that the Music Girls perform aren’t actually that good, which, you know is kind of a big deal for a series with ‘Music’ in the title!

Who was your favourite character? Sasame is amazing—she exists almost outside of the rest of the cast by being a character who would probably never actually be an idol in real life but is absolutely an essential character if we’re looking at this as a comedy/CGDCT show.

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The OP, “Eien Shonen” by Yui Ogura is fantastic—not only is it an awesome and catchy song but it fits ~perfectly~ with the visuals, evoking a sort of 90’s sitcom aesthetic, what with the names of every character appearing on screen as they do. The ED is “Shining Peace” by the cast and it’s a competent if kind of generic piece by the cast—funnily enough though it’s better than any of the Insert songs in the show itself!

What’s something unique about this show? This whole show is unique, it feels like a rare and endangered species that needs to be protected—but at the same time—exploited and put on show for all to see just how ~weird~ this show is!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? Funnily enough this series’ silliness to sincerity ratio reminds me of another show with ‘Girls’ in the title. Comic Girls shares at least a passing similarity with this show, even if the aforementioned is much more polished and competent.

Who would you recommend it to? Anyone who doesn’t take anime too seriously and can enjoy something light-hearted and silly! There is a ~genuine~ attempt at making an anime underneath all the amateurish decisions, both creatively and technically but it’s hard not to get swept up by the nonsense, as often is the case!

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘To an outsider an idol may seem silly and facile, even stupid, but dig beneath and you might find something more meaningful—even human.’

Final score? 77 out of 100.

Previous Music Girls Reviews:

Idol Anime At Its Peak – Episode 1 & 2 Review
The Sound of One Hand Clapping – Episode 3 Review
An Idol Without Makeup – Episode 4 Review
Starving Artists – Episode 5 Review
There’s A 17 Year Old Girl In All Of Us – Episode 6 Review
Bikinis, Baths and Brotherly Love – Episode 7 Review
Disbanding Together – Episode 8 Review
Variety Is The Slice Of Life – Episode 9 Review
Outclassed – Episode 10 Review
A Roller Coaster Of Emotions – Episode 11 Review
Stage Fight – Episode 12 Review

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The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar – Full Season QandA Rundown

The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar is a Summer 2018 fantasy/isekai/harem anime that aired 12 episodes from July to September. It is based on a long running light novel series by Seiichi Takayama.

What’s it about? Yuuto is an ordinary high school boy who has been transported to ~another world~, specifically a pre-Christ Norse inspired world with many warring factions. Over the course of two years he rises to the position of ‘Patriarch’ of the Wolf Clan which he does so thanks to “cheating” through various military encounters thanks to his solar powered smart phone which gives him the edge in various situations. He is, of course surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women who are all vying for his attention but despite the temptations abounding he only has eyes for his girlfriend back home in the present day.

Such focus in the face of such adversity!

Why did you watch it? Aside from having a soft spot for isekai anime and obviously a soft spot for cute girls, which a harem is obliged to provide—it’s hard to ignore a title that long. #thatswhatshesaid

Did you enjoy the show? Much like ‘Seven Senses of the Re’Union’ my opinion on the show seemingly changed with each passing episode, while generally positive on it when engaging in harem shenanigans, I was less than impressed with the technical and narrative execution of its various battle-scenes, which felt rushed and heavily truncated. This was all but confirmed by the fact that this one, 12 episode season ~roughly~ adapted seven(!) novels worth of plot, whereas ordinarily an anime of this length would confine itself to 2 or 3 light novels per season. That said, it was still—for the most part—an enjoyable experience.

Loli twins? Sign me up!

What was your favourite episode? While I’m sure it might seem ~obvious~ that I’m picking Episode 6 “Valkyrie’s Day Off” because it features the entire female cast of the show at a hot springs (and yes that’s part of the reason) but I also really enjoyed the way the show touched upon the way Yuuto is not only using his ‘otherworldly’ knowledge to gain advantage in battle but also advance society forward by introducing concepts like ‘free education’ to a society that had nothing of the sort beforehand.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Ultimately it was the characters that kept me coming back week after week, rather than the plot and by that measure I was seldom disappointed. Also, despite being a part of a literal patriarchal system there seemed to be a lot more gender equality with regard to the roles women could play within this society which was refreshing—albeit probably expected since so many of the main characters are women.

I can guess where these two guys are looking…

What were your least favourite things about the show? The battles never felt high-stakes enough, neither did anyone feel like any of the main cast were in any real peril regardless of their proximity to the enemy. Also, the whole ‘Norse’ aspect of their setting seemed underutilised and more for the sake of making the names of people and places sound ~foreign~.

Who was your favourite character? Easily Sigrune, she was an absolute badass beast of a lady from beginning to end and honestly deserved better than this show gave her to do. Though the action scenes where she were involved were the rare bright spot when it came to ‘action’ on this show.

Trust me, she does more than just ‘jab’ things repeatedly.

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The OP—“Bright way” by Aya Uchida was fairly decent and high-energy—though still nothing special. The ED; “Sekaichuu ga Koi wo suru Your” by petit milday on the other hand was excellent not just musically but also showcased the best thing about the show.

What’s something unique about this show? The fact that the show skips forward the first two years that Yuuto spent in this new world is refreshing and allows us to skip a lot of the ~usual~ isekai tropes that come with someone from the ‘modern’ world ending up in a fantasy/pre-industrial time period.

Look at Albertina petting a deer in the background!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? In my episodic reviews for the show I found—at least initially—comparing it to Game of Thrones (albeit not an anime) but it was a comparison that felt less and less appropriate as time went along and characters remained alive. As for anime, there’s probably plenty of other isekai that I haven’t watched that this show is similar too so sadly I can’t really make a comparison right now!

Who would you recommend it to? It’s hard because I think this show has enough going for it to recommend, but at the same time not in any urgent or eager capacity. I was fine enough to have watched it week-to-week but to binge this show seems unnecessary. Basically if you’re bored and love isekai you’ll probably find something to enjoy about this show but it’s by no means essential viewing.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Depending on your preferences you might be like me and wanting a little less action and a lot more shenanigans, otherwise it’s an entertaining—if unremarkable show.’

Final score? 73 out of 100.

There aren’t many gifs on google for this show but most of them feature Felicia, funny that…

Previous The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Reviews:

Game of Boners – Episode 1 Review
The Battle of the Bath-stards – Episode 2 Review
The Twins of Winter – Episode 3 Review
The Wolf And The Horny Maiden – Episode 4 Review
The Opinions of Sheep Matter Sometimes – Episode 5 Review
The Things I Do For Lust – Episode 6 Review
You Win Or You Tried – Episode 7 Review
Across The Jealous Sea – Episode 8 Review
The Old Gods And The Noob – Episode 9 Review
The Toast of Harem-hall – Episode 10 Review
Breaker of Harems – Episode 11 Review
And Now My Watch Has Ended – Episode 12 Review

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Chio’s School Road – Full Season QandA Rundown

Chio’s School Road – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Chio’s School Road is a Summer 2018 comedy anime that aired 12 episodes from July to September. It is a partial adaptation of a 9 volume Seinen manga series by Tadataka Kawasaki.

What’s it about? Very simply, it’s about Chio Miyamo a below average high-school girl and avid video gamer and the various antics she gets up to on her daily commute from her house to her school. The shenanigans range from strange conversations with her friend Manana to things absurd as encounters with biker gangs, risky parkour and run-ins with a butt-poking elementary schooler.

Why did you watch it? The series sold itself as an ‘absurd comedy’ and I’m all about that!

Did you enjoy the show? Absolutely, it delivered on the absurdity and also solidified it with a truly great cast of characters and a seemingly expanding world of quirky characters that inhabited the series. Even the weakest of episodes had laugh-out-loud moments and imagery worthy of surreal screen caps.

What was your favourite episode? While every episode had a worthwhile and hilarious segment (each episode of the show is divided into either 2 or 3 ‘segments’), Episode 7 which concerned Chio discovering the “joys” of BL (Boys Love) games and trying to buy a magazine about it and then following that up with the first appearance of the butt-poking elementary schooler had me in tears of laughter from beginning to end! Not to mention all the references to the differences between Western and Japanese video games.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Aside from the comedy—which ran the gamut from slapstick, to wordplay, to non-sequiturs, to cringe, to character driven. Chio herself was an absolute joy to behold, the way her mind works was not only frequently hilarious but also surprisingly relatable—especially as a gamer myself.

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? There were a couple of repeat characters that Chio encountered that weren’t perhaps as funny as the show thought they were, the pervert homeless man especially was a character whose appearance only cheapened the overall quality of the show.

Who was your favourite character? I want Chio to be my girlfriend. Is that weird? That’s probably weird… But seriously, I really love Chio’s general outlook on life—even if it is striving for mediocrity for the sake of living life unnoticed. Plus she’s just cute in that nerdy kind of way!

What’s something unique about this show? Episode 2 just straight up dropped the c-word and I still can’t get over that fact! Yes it was just in text and yes the c-word doesn’t really have the same vulgar/taboo connotations in Japan as it does in the west but I was still flabbergasted to see it on-screen! Amazing and hilarious.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? For some reason I’m reminded of Yuruyuri, though moreso the later half of the season where the comedy gets more character driven as opposed to absurd ‘sketch’ style. Also, if you want a Western sitcom comparison, it definitely at times reminded me of Seinfeld, in that these people are all kind of dysfunctional jerks, but they’re absolutely relatable.

Who would you recommend it to? Anybody who likes their comedy on the more ~absurd~ end of the spectrum, obviously not Pop Team Epic levels of absurdity but still grounded in reality. Also, there’s a lot of references to Western video games which even if you’re not a fan of them there’s a lot of fun to be gained to just see the Japanese perspective on something that’s apparently very unusual to them that a lot of us probably take for granted as being ‘normal’.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘The road ahead is twisted and filled with obstacles but they’re all a part of silly and strange journey that I’m glad to have taken!’

Final score? 88 out of 100.

Previous Chio’s School Road Reviews:

Otaku’s Creed – Episode 1 Review
The Actual C-Word – Episode 2 Review
Full Contact Perineum – Episode 3 Review
Stupid Sexy Smoking – Episode 4 Review
Urine Trouble – Episode 5 Review
The Art of Butt Groping – Episode 6 Review
Public Enema Number One – Episode 7 Review
Sprinter Belle – Episode 8 Review
Pipe Dreams – Episode 9 Review
The Sweeter Life – Episode 10 Review
Sleeping On The Bank Job – Episode 11 Review
No Panties, No Problems! – Episode 12 Review

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Harukana Receive – Full Season QandA Rundown

Harukana Receive – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Harukana Receive is a Summer 2018 sports anime that aired 12 episodes between July and September. It is based on a Seinen manga series by mangaka Nyoijizai.

What’s it about? Haruka is a city girl who has moved to the island prefecture of Okinawa to live with her cousin Kanata, together they bond over beach volleyball and with American twin sisters Claire and Emily Thomas form a beach volleyball club with the intent on competing in tournaments and becoming the best in Japan.

Haruka is all sorts of adorkable.

Why did you watch it? I don’t know if you know this about me already but I’ve kind of got a thing for anime girls, so a whole series of cute anime girls in bikinis playing beach volleyball is right up my alley, heck I’d watch a show about cute anime girls painting a house if they were cute and scantily clad enough!

Did you enjoy the show? Despite my usual dissatisfaction with sports anime in general I did enjoy this show, while never truly reaching the heights of greatness it was always entertaining, always fun and always had something appealing to look at, whether it be the pristine Okinawan scenery or the girls themselves.

Butt slaps are customary when it comes to sports! Especially beach volleyball!

What was your favourite episode? As much as I enjoyed how exciting and legitimately tense the season finale’s final match between Haruka/Kanata and Claire/Emily, I can’t help but be drawn to the more slice of life centric episodes and as such Episode 4’s “Isn’t This Perfect For Us?” which centred on the girls buying swimsuits and trying them on and also introduced side characters Ai and Mai was probably a personal favourite.

Emily didn’t approve of her sister’s choice of bikini.

What were your most favourite things about the show? The friendships formed between the girls were genuine and heartfelt and each girl had something unique and fun about their personality that made them interesting to watch and interact with one another. Also the boobs and butts.

They’re famous you see!

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? While I often overlooked it in my episodic reviews of the series some of the animation during the beach volleyball segments felt lazy and static, with an over-reliance on slow-motion footage of the volleyball and reaction shots rather than fluid animation.

This is a really long gif, it’d be shorter if the ball moved realistically…

Who was your favourite character? As mentioned above, all of the girls had something likable and endearing about them, in addition to being unfailingly attractive. But for some reason I was always drawn back to Emily Thomas so she wins as my favourite character.

Thoughts on the OP (opening), ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? From my limited experience sports anime ~usually~ have pretty bangin’ OP’s but unfortunately “FLY two BLUE” by Kana Yūki and Saki Miyashita is a rather ordinary song, it’s okay but nothing special. The same can be said for the ED; “Wish me luck!!!” sung by the cast, it’s ~slightly~ better but only just. HOWEVER, a recurring insert song “Rise” by Rasmus Faber is infinitely better than both and should have definetly been used in lieu of either song!

They love teasing each other!

What’s something unique about this show? I’m sure I’ll get some pushback from some people on this, but I feel like despite the fact the show’s a 12 episode long beach-episode the fan-service feels unobtrusive and naturalistic to the point where it never felt like it was being intentionally perverted or leering. Maybe my view on this is skewed as a male, and someone who watches a lot of significantly more ecchi shows, but this series was rather matter-of-fact with its depiction of the girls in bikinis. Yes there were close-ups of bikini-clad butts on occasion but it never lingered and never indulged in over-sexualised soft-focus.

It’s to demonstrate the hand signals, nothing else I swear… *sweats*

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? For a straight up comparison to another show where cute anime girls played sports ‘Scorching Ping Pong Girls’ is a natural comparison but the two shows feel too different to say if you enjoyed one you’d just as clearly enjoy the other. I think thematically ‘Uma Musume: Pretty Derby’ is more of a closer sibling series and has the same ~loose~ definition of what a “sports anime” entails.

You can touch my turtle head, Haruka!

Who would you recommend it to? Obviously anyone who likes to watch cute girls in bikini’s, but more than that anyone into the CGDCT genre are sure to find something to endear themselves with this series and these characters. Strictly speaking this isn’t a CGDCT show, but it shares more DNA with shows like that than perhaps it does with the more ~hardcore~ of sports anime.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Fun in the sun with cute girls doing sport, among other things’.

Final score? 84 out of 100.

Kanata is so shy sometimes!

Previous Harukana Receive Reviews:

The Nicest Receive – Episode 1 Review
Sundrenched Tears – Episode 2 Review
Slow Balling – Episode 3 Review
Wardrobe Malfunction – Episode 4 Review
Little Resistance – Episode 5 Review
I Was Wrong – Episode 6 Review
Idling Idol – Episode 7 Review
The Wrong Finger – Episode 8 Review
Dirty Tactics – Episode 9 Review
What Happened To Grandpa? – Episode 10 Review
A Friendly Rivalry – Episode 11 Review
Chance Ball – Episode 12 Review

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