Seven Senses Of The Re’Union – Full Season QandA Rundown

Seven Senses Of The Re’Union – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Seven Senses Of The Re’Union is a Summer 2018 anime that aired 12 episodes from July through September. It is based on a light novel series by Noritake Tao.

What’s it about? Six elementary school friends are a part of ‘Subaru’ an elite gaming group in the MMORPG “Union” but when one of their friends, Asahi, dies during the game and so too in real life the game ends service and their in real life friendship is shattered. Six years later a sequel game is announced called “Re’Union” and Haruto, one of the original members of Subaru and Asashi’s closet friend logs into the game and finds Asahi alive and well in the game, unaware of any passing of time or that she died in the real world.

The six members of ‘Subaru’.

Why did you watch it? Like most of the shows I end up watching, all it takes is a cute girl (or in this case 3) on the poster to get me to watch the show. Also the male protagonist kind of looked like Kazuma from Konosuba and apparently that was all it takes!

Did you enjoy the show? My thoughts on this show changed as the show went on, from defending it in the first few episodes for having an engaging premise and interesting characters and setting, to the last third of the season where the show seemingly abandoned its central plot of “how is Asahi alive in the game and not in real life?” in favour of stale relationship melodrama. I’m not unhappy that I watched the show as it’s a very good-looking show with likable characters, but I’m very disappointed it so keenly gave up on offering a conclusion to its most valuable narrative asset.

It’s hard to stay mad at a face like that!

What was your favourite episode? It’s hard to pick a favourite as no one episode delivered anything substantially interesting but rather just slowly worked on the narrative (until it was later abandoned—I promise I’ll get over it!) Episode 2 “Untold Feelings” is probably the most consistent in terms of quality.

What were your most favourite things about the show? The animation is consistently excellent throughout, and while the character designs might not be as original as some shows they are still very appealing. Also what minimal action the show does have is also well made and entertaining to look at.

*whip sound*

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? It should be obvious by now that the lack of a proper ending and forcing a ‘happy’ non-ending was quite galling as a viewer. Maybe I should have expected it considering its based on a light novel that’s still ongoing, but it still seems like there could have been a better way to end this even without completing the narrative.

Who was your favourite character? For the longest time it was Satsuki, she’s a fuller looking girl with a good body and feisty personality. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Nozomi and her ‘bad girl’ transformation as something that was very appealing, Satsuki’s still best girl though.

I remember those problems back in the MSN days…

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? I wasn’t a massive fan of the OP—“360° Hoshi no Orchestra” by petit milady at first but it did grow on me, plus it fits well with the opening visuals. The ED, “Starlight” by Erii Yamazaki however was a little dull but still pleasant enough.

What’s something unique about this show? I spent more time thinking about this single question than I did writing the entire rest of this review. The fact that I still don’t have an answer should tell you all you need to know.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? I don’t really have any shows that offer an adequate comparison—some commenters online after the first episode aired compared it at least thematically to Anohana and Sword Art Online. I don’t know how true that actually is—especially given how the series ended up but take that if you will.

Well, can’t fault that logic.

Who would you recommend it to? There’s ~just~ enough interesting material to make the journey worthwhile its just whether you can justify taking such a journey knowing that there’s not a proper ending in sight.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘The questions keep on building while answers remain elusive replaced instead with a sense that Asahi’s not the only thing that’s missing from this fractured reunion’.

Final score? 67 out of 100.


Previous Seven Senses of the Re’Union Reviews:

Haruto and Asahi’s High School Re’Union – Episode 1 Review
Ghost In The Machine – Episode 2 Review
Promises Beyond The Grave – Episode 3 Review
The Shape of Love – Episode 4 Review
Reviving The Past – Episode 5 Review
Easy Mode – Episode 6 Review
Unjust Desserts – Episode 7 Review
Prophets and Losses – Episode 8 Review
Under The Influence – Episode 9 Review
Bad Girls Have The Best Outfits – Episode 10 Review
Senseless Violence – Episode 11 Review
Fallen Star – Episode 12 Review


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ISLAND – Full Season QandA Rundown

A Full Season QandA Rundown of ISLAND

What’s the important information? ‘ISLAND’ is a Summer 2018 anime that aired for 12 episodes from July through September. It is based on a Visual Novel game developed by Front Wing.

What’s it about? A man washes up on a beach with no memories of his own other than his name, Setsuna, and the mission in his heart—that he has to save a girl. Quickly he encounters three very different girls, each with their own unique problems, Rinne, Karen and Sara. Romance, time-travel and shenanigans ensue as Setsuna attempts to help these girls, while figuring out his own identity and the mysteries of the exclusionary and superstitious Island they call home.

/synopsis

Why did you watch it? Aside from the obvious that the anime’s poster featured three distinctive and incredibly cute looking girls the series is based on a visual novel and for better or worse visual novel adaptations are a unique beast—more difficult to adapt and therefore more prone to artistic license but also less beholden to genre stereotypes than manga.

Did you enjoy the show? From the get-go the show intrigued, enthralled and entertained me and didn’t relent for a moment. To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement as it was the series I looked forward to the most every week during the Summer 2018 season!

*contemplation intensifies*

What was your favourite episode? While Episode 4 “This World Full Of Secrets” showed the series more than capable of offering a satisfying conclusion to Karen’s ‘problems’ and likewise Episode 5 “This Is Why I Trust You” with Sara’s. For sheer dramatic intensity it’s a toss-up between Episode 9’s “I Got To See You Again” and Episode 10’s “I Don’t Want To Grieve Anymore” that delivered the greatest shock as the series changed to a dystopian future setting and even changed the name of the show to ‘NEVER ISLAND’ for this two-episode arc. It was brave storytelling and delivered my most unexpected moment of the entire series.

Even for living in a futuristic dystopia Rinne knows how to style.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Aside from our female cast of characters; who are all pretty much perfection, the effortless blend of mystery and romance consistently made the show alluring.

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? It might seem like a cop-out to say so but the fact that there weren’t more episodes was a detriment. Never to the point where I felt like I was missing out anything essential but rather that the experience could have been enriched further with a longer overall running time.

World’s deadliest assassin!

Who was your favourite character? As mentioned in my list of 10 Best Summer 2018 Waifu’s, Rinne was my best girl, though it was a close race as both Sara and Karen have more than enough superb qualities to be just as eligible. Ultimately though, it was aesthetically Rinne who won out over the others.

What’s something unique about this show? This is absolutely a spoiler so consider yourself warned for this question, but Episode 10’s end credits delivered to us a sex scene between future Rinne and Setsuna that was both unexpected but inevitably essential to the plot—the fact that they showed it at all (albeit subtly and with ample shadows) was the thing that stuck out as utterly unique—even among visual novel adaptations.

Not pictured: a sex scene.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? While I’m sure there are undoubtedly anime that at least tonally resemble ‘ISLAND’ I personally haven’t seen an anime series like it. However, with regard to live-action US television series’ I feel it at least shares a passing resemblance to shows like ‘Lost’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ at least with regard to an adherence to mystery and ~feeling~ rather than things like concrete narrative cohesion and a reliance on over-explaining the more fanciful elements of the series.

This fan service is totally okay because it’s Rinne who is imagining it, right?!

Who would you recommend it to? For those who don’t need everything spelled out in explicit detail and can just kinda ‘go with the flow’ and appreciate a story being told the way it needs to be told, ‘ISLAND’ is ideal. Also for people who aren’t deterred by loli character designs and intermittent but no less obvious fan-service moments too.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘This Island holds many mysteries but none greater than those of the heart.’

Final score? 93 out of 100.

Precious Rinne.

Previous ISLAND Reviews:

The Island of Mysterious Loli’s – Episode 1 Review
A Loli A Day… – Episode 2 Review
Dreams Of Fan Service – Episode 3 Review
One Wedding and a Belated Funeral – Episode 4 Review
Is Giving Birth To Yourself Possible? – Episode 5 Review
The World Will End With A Bang – Episode 6 Review
A Storm In An A-Cup – Episode 7 Review
An Ocean Between Us – Episode 8 Review
Long Time No Sea – Episode 9 Review
Rinne and Repeat – Episode 10 Review
A Fling Of The Past – Episode 11 Review
His And Hers Story Repeats – Episode 12 (Finale) Review


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Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World – Full Season QandA Rundown

A Full Season QandA Rundown of Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World

This blog is something of a test to see if this ‘Full Season QandA Rundown’-style post is a better approach for the end-of-season reviews. Please leave your feedback in the comments on this more structured approach.


What’s the important information? ‘Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World’ is a Spring 2018 anime that aired for 24 episodes from April through September. It’s based on a Light Novel series by Natsuya Semikawa called ‘Isekai Izakaya “Nobu”’ and was also adapted into an ongoing manga series of the same name.

What’s it about? The series is about a traditional Japanese ‘Izakaya’ (that’s a pub that serves high-quality food) called ‘Nobu’ whose front door opens to ‘another world’. In this particular instance it opens to the pre-industrial Germanic inspired world of ‘Aitheria’. The series begins more or less as a showcase for animated food porn, but over the course of the 24 episodes introduces more characters and further develops the relationship between its staff and its patrons.

Is that a euphemism? (Spoiler alert, it’s not, this show is wholesome).

Why did you watch it? The series’ premise was initially familiar to that of ‘Restaurant To Another World’—a series I adored and was keen for more of the same. Though aside from the aspect of people eating unfamiliar food from our world (specifically Japanese food) and the fact that it’s got a magic front door—the similarities stop there. Every 15 minute episode spends 10 minutes with the ‘plot’ of the episode and 5 minutes with a live-action segment, which alternate between a cooking/recipe segment in the odd numbered episodes and a travel-style segment involving visiting different Japanese eating establishments in the even numbered episodes. My thoughts on Episode 1 & 2 specifically can be found here.

Be prepared for a lot of dorky dad jokes from this guy as he eats his way ’round Japan!

Did you enjoy the show? The first two episodes suffered from some technical teething problems—the screen was so inundated with text it was almost impossible to read at times—thankfully Episode 3 onward resolved these issues. The show is light entertainment and occasionally comedic with smatterings of character and world building throughout, and yes I did enjoy the show even if it wasn’t a substantial experience it still delivered a reliable good time every episode.

Thankfully this overload on subtitles is only for the first two episodes.

What was your favourite episode? It’s hard to pick because individual moments of greatness a scattered across quite a few episodes, Episode 7 “The Burglar” introduces the adorable homeless girl Olivia who ends up working as a dishwasher at ‘Nobu’, Episode 19 “The Female Merc” touches on some interesting gender issues in this other world. But for the episode that felt the most different and therefore most interesting it’d be Episode 12 “Beauty and the Abura-age” which has the only scene of the whole series that doesn’t takes place either in Aitheria or the Izakaya and also introduces a bit of Japanese mysticism which was kind of touching.

Drama! (That lasts about 30 seconds)

What were your most favourite things about the show? It may seem obvious to say the food, but the attention to detail on the food was incredible. Also the slowly growing connections between the patrons and the staff at Nobu was endearing.

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? The show can feel very repetitive at times, which sometimes felt comforting and other times felt annoying. The episodes were released two at a time every fortnight and that absolutely worked in its favour as it gave enough time to miss the show but not too little of the show to feel like you weren’t leaving satisfied. I can’t imagine binge watching this show as I imagine it would grow tiresome quickly except for the most patient of viewers.

Anyone else hungry?

Who was your favourite character? While Nobuyuki, the owner and head chef of ‘Nobu’ serves as strong grounding figure there’s no denying that Shinobu, the head waitress is the undoubted highlight—not only my favourite characters but one of my favourite Waifu’s of the Spring 2018 anime season!

And best of all, at 23 years old, she’s a legal waifu too!

What’s something unique about this show? While the live-action segments were indeed a surprise, similar things have been done with other shows and so I’d hazard to say it was unique. The fact that these live-action segments were actually interesting however is probably something unique in of itself. Personally though the most unique thing about the show was the fact it was in part sponsored by the Japanese Tourism board which seems both inspired and odd; “inspired” because food is such a big thing about Japan that why not showcase it in an anime but “odd” because the show showcases nothing of actual Japan the place.

I picked up some good recipes from these segments!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? As mentioned before ‘Restaurant To Another World’ shares some DNA with this show but rather than being a sibling series it’s more like an estranged cousin. Tonally the show is reminiscent of the café set scenes in ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’ just with less CGDCT shenanigans. It’s also at least passingly similar to ‘Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family’—though I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of that show so bare that in mind.

Pretty fancy for pub food! But that’s Japan for you!

Who would you recommend it to? Anybody who enjoys good food and watching people and eat and get happy about good food, and that kind of endearing food-culture that Japan has should enjoy this show. It’s certainly not a remarkable or life-changing anime but it does fill me with a warm familiarity and nostalgia that’s wholesome and appreciated. If you’re looking for plot or drama or heavy character development you won’t find it here, but if you’re looking for casual entertainment with personality and food porn you can’t go astray.

Protect little Eva-chan!

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Like your favourite comfort food, it might not seem anything special on the surface but it makes you feel good all the same’.

Final score? 74 out of 100.


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