High School DxD Hero Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for High School DxD Hero Episode 3.

What’s the show? High School DxD Hero, Episode 3.

And on a scale of 1 to 10, how much should I prepare myself to *sigh* and admonish your tactless adoration of 2D anime girls? 11.

Oh dear, maybe I should just step out of the room a moment… If after reviewing episode 0 you’d asked me whether this fourth season of High School DxD could ever hope to come close to eclipsing the excellent first season and the very excellent second season, I probably—honestly would have said it had a slim chance and impossible hill that could only be achieved by the end of the season if it was really committed to it. But here we are at episode three, and I’m so tempted to just say, yes, not only has DxD recovered from the disappointing third season but it may—in fact—be as good as it’s ever been.

Nice to see Issei with some girls other than Rias and Akeno.

Bold claim. I know, I know, and take my opinions with a grain of salt as you always should, but this episode was just so—damn—amazing, it’s hard to not want to heap mountains of praise upon it and shout its successes from the rooftop!

So what exactly about this episode has got you pitching a proverbial tent. Not just a proverbial one…

Oh come on, nobody needs to hear that, geez~! Listen, I’ve always been a vocal advocate for the quality of the storytelling in DxD, it’s not only head and shoulders above the usual harem fare it’s comparable to some of the best supernatural fiction out there and that certainly is the case here, this current storyline is simultaneously so grounded but so deeply important to so many characters that it carries a kind of weight that you only get from a show that’s been going this long. But… the fan-service in this episode is top tier and I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend some time talking about it.

It’s… it’s okay… it was in… his… imagination…

*sigh* I don’t suppose I can say anything to stop you, so just please, make it brief and clean—if at all possible… So, up to this point in the fourth season the fan-service had been good, teetering on great, but here… oh man… they brought their A-game here. From something as simple as Issei having a fantasy about a character’s mother (I’ll get to that in a second), to a very sensually directed bath-house scene with the same Rias x Akeno x Koneko nude trio as last episode, to the undoubted highlight of the episode with Issei, Asia, Xenovia and Irina hiding in a closet together, and oh boy… is it hot in here or are there 3 almost naked girls all trying to get Issei to impregnate them.

Send this picture to someone who doesn’t know what anime is.

If I *sigh* anymore I fear I’ll pass out. Are you quite done with the fan-service talk? Oh I could go on, but sure, let’s talk about something else. What should we talk about?

Oh I don’t know, how about the ~plot~ of the episode?! You joke but there is a ton of plot in this episode. Not only do we find out that loli fox antagonist from the previous episode is in fact good, she’s also a Yokai and I’m getting serious Kakuriyo vibes about this—except it’s DxD so I’m not struggling to stay awake. We learn that her mother went missing and the Kaos brigade is probably to blame, and when shown a painting of said mother Issei has a fantasy about the busty matron and his head between her head sized melons.

Yokai are weird, yo.

I said no more fan-service talk! Sorry! It just came up… speaking of things coming up…

No! Stop! Calm down, I was just going to say it seems like there’s going to be a pretty cool battle coming up, it’s teased at the end of the episode and it’s such a stylish and well-paced scene, like damn does this show know how to build up suspense. And kudos to this new studio for how well they’ve paced the whole episode, there was not a moment in this episode did I feel like I was watching extraneous or filler scenes, everything seemed to serve a purpose, even if it was just character building moments, like, oh my god…

He carries a big spear, evidently.

What? I think I have a new best girl and it came totally out of left field!

Uh-huh, who is it then? Xenovia! A character who I liked but never had that much interest in before, she always seemed kinda intentionally sidelined and two dimensional but here she was charismatic and hilarious and cool and I don’t know if it was just the lighting or whatever but she looked so damn good in the cupboard scene, it was a revelation!

Holy hell she’s so beautiful.

Right, so nothing but good things about this episode? This is probably the best episode of any show from any series this Spring 2018 season (so far)! I know that’s a big call, but for fans of DxD I’ll be very surprised if you didn’t at least think it was great if not as great as I did. The balance this episode strikes between plot and character development and comedy and action is *chefs kiss*. I don’t know if things can possibly stay at this quality throughout but I’m so unbelievably excited for the rest of the season!

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Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair Episode 2 & 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair Episode 2 & 3.

What’s the show? Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair, Episode 2 & 3.

*snicker* Yeah, yeah, get it out of your system. “Period” means something different in English, super funny! Why is it, that I’m suddenly the one who’s most mature here?

Sorry, it’s just a really dumb name. It is what it is, now can we get to talking about the actual show please?

“Moderately popular”

Why so serious? really like this show, but I feel like no one else is covering it and so I want to try and get as many people to watch it as possible and your lame jokes aren’t helping!

Well then sell me on the show, you didn’t really do that great of a job on selling the first episode, after all… It’s hard, okay?

When you get the same drop just in a different skin.

Why? Shouldn’t a great show be able to practically be able to sell itself on its own merits? Yeah, but see that’s the thing, this probably—in the grand scheme of things—isn’t that great of a show.

B…but I thought you “really like” it? I do! It’s just I will fully admit it’s a “guilty pleasure”—not that I feel in the least bit guilty about liking it—just that it is 100% my kind of show. It’s light-hearted, it’s packed to the brim with cute girls in sexy outfits, it’s funny, it frequently breaks the fourth-wall, and it just plain makes me happy the whole way through it.

You said it, strange Pokemon type thing…

And? And I don’t think that’s enough to sell the show on, or for that matter write a review for it. Like I desperately wanted to write a review for episode 2 because of how much I enjoy this show but the plot was pretty much a carbon copy of the first episode so much so that Choco (frequent fourth wall breaker) even commented to the audience about this fact. Not to mention the fact that it was a ‘Hot Springs’ set episode, which was as she says was just put in for the sake of “fan-service”! Somehow though, the fact that it was so similar went to highlight just how great the show actually is!


It’s a self aware comedy, fair enough. What about Episode 3? Episode 3’s a tricky one because it’s not immediately as funny as they’re going the ‘scary episode’ route, and around about the half way mark it goes deep into a parody of an anime I’ve heard of but not watched yet called ‘When They Cry: Higurashi’. So while I could appreciate the show for doing something different then the last two episodes, the majority of the references went right over my head. That said there’s still a ton of great jokes and references and fourth wall breaks to be had!

I don’t know who any of these characters are but I’m sure there’s a ‘When They Cry’ fan losing their mind right now.

So what does this mean for a recommendation? My recommendation as per the first episode stands, watch it and if you like it, great! And if you don’t, not unexpected considering the lack of support for this show online. Regardless, I think it’s just plain fun and frequently hilarious and wish it was the kind of show that would run for a hundred episodes, rather than just 12 it’s getting but either way I’ll cherish each new episode and continue to shout its praises even if no one else is listening!

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Butlers x Battlers Episode 2 & 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Butlers x Battlers Episode 2 & 3.

What’s the show? Butlers x Battlers, Episode 2 & 3.

Oh right, the time travelling handsome boy show? How are these next two episodes? Heavy on handsome boys, light on pretty much everything else.

Sounds, uh… well, sounds like literally the opposite of shows you normally watch. I’d be lying if I said Episode 2 didn’t try my patience what with nearly half the episode being devoted to nearly every male character in the show dressing up in snazzy white butler outfits and working at a cafe while adoring female patrons squealed in delight.

I’m sure this is many of my reader’s idea of a really good time.

Oh boy. But Episode 3 was much better, with the exception of a wholly useless—Hotaru stalking a teacher who turned out to secretly be his older sister—plot line, that I guessed within 30 seconds of the older sister character appearing on screen.

Somehow cuter than every girl in this anime.

So what about Episode 3 was better? A legitimately cool action scene between J and the blonde guy (I can’t remember his name and wikipedia isn’t helping). What’s great about the scene is it showcases the two character’s different ‘abilities’, J’s being the ability to either slow-time or move faster than regular time (it’s hard to say which it was specifically but I’m leaning toward the latter) and blonde guy’s power which seems to be short-distance teleportation. The fight scene was well-animated, each hit carried weight and it was just a really interesting and dynamic scene to watch. More of this please, less pointless “comedic” fluff.

Just don’t him in the balls.

Anything else? There’s a bit of character development, a minor bit of story progression but it still feels like not a lot happens in any given episode. Like having Ren being chased through the school by all the members of three different on campus sports teams just so we can establish he doesn’t like sweat or smelly sports boys and prefers flowers didn’t require 2 seperate scenes to get the point across. So much of the show feels like padding, and not particularly interesting padding at that.

Umm, I think he might be… really into flowers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

You seemed to not mind the show in episode one, but clearly things have changed. Are we giving up on Butlers x Battlers? Nah, I’ve sat through much worse. Besides, it was almost worth sitting through all the nonsense to get to that fight scene. So if there’s more and bigger and better versions of that in future episodes then I don’t mind spending 20 minutes a week watching handsome boys doing humdrum things.

It may look like they’re dancing but left guy just got smacked one.

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Steins;Gate 0 Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Steins;Gate 0 Episode 3.

What’s the show? Steins;Gate 0, Episode 3.

Things still progressing in a satisfying manner? That’s an understatement! This show is amazing!

Not even going to bother with saving ‘final verdicts’ ’til the end are we? Sorry, it’s just sometimes you watch something that’s destined to be a classic and you have to almost pinch yourself at the kind of achievement that you’re witnessing.

AKIHABARA!!! *fangirls*

Sounds a lot like you’re just caught up in the hype to me. Oh I’m sorry, are you the one watching Steins;Gate 0? No? Then stick to asking the questions!

Fine, I’ll word it like a question. Don’t you think you’re letting hype cloud your judgement of the series? I’m not getting caught up in anything other that witnessing the impossible, namely a sequel anime series successfully meeting and possibly exceeding the ludicrously high standards set by a critically lauded and fan beloved predecessor.

Childhood friend-zoned.

Isn’t it a bit early to be making such proclamations? This is only episode three! I’m willing to look a fool if I’m proven wrong by time, but right here and right now, I’m calling it like I see it!

AI Kurisu blushed!

Fine. So what happens in this episode that’s got you so jubilant? It’s not what happens, it’s how well it happens. Simply put Okabe is getting too attached to the AI version of Kurisu and people close to him are starting to notice (namely Mayuri and Maho). Also there’s a Christmas party. If I put it like that it sounds like not a lot happens, but it’s the way this show deals with its topics and its characters, it’s like watching a master craftsman at work. There’s just so many great scenes in this episode, so much character development, especially for Mayuri and there’s a heap of charming and funny moments, especially at the Christmas Party! It’s soulful and intelligent and just impossible to not get caught up in. Kind of like how Okabe gets caught up in this artificial version of Kurisu.


How do you mean? It’s all about the comforting illusion, the solace in reliving something that’s long gone, rather than confronting the harsh reality that all that remains is a pale imitation. Okabe wants so much for Kurisu to be alive again, and for the viewer it starts to feel like the old Kurisu too, the more Okabe interacts with her the more her trademark spunky personality comes out. It’s only when Maho turns off the screen at the end of the episode does the reality sink in. She is dead, and nothing’s going to bring her back. Or is she?!

Brutal, but he needed to hear it.

Huh? You did this last week too, what do you mean? The final moments of the episode have Okabe enduring one of his flashing visions, what does it all mean? We get glimpses of violence and sadness and lots of different faces, is it past or is it future? Whose world line/s are we seeing? And what does this mean for Steins;Gate 0 going forward! So many tantalising questions and I can’t wait to see how/if/when they’re answered!

Yes he is 😉

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Magical Girl Ore Episode 3 & 4 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Magical Girl Ore Episode 3 & 4.

What’s the show? Magical Girl Ore, Episode 3 & 4.

That’s the show where the girls turn into magical girls except the magical girls look like magical boys? Who like boys who like girls who like boys. Yes, the parody magical girl show, as opposed to the other magical show that I won’t dare mention again.

Uh-huh. So what’s new with these next two episodes? Not a whole lot to be honest, like it’s still funny, maybe not as funny as the first two episodes, but the pace is kind of irritatingly slow. I have to assume it’s intentional because everything else this show does seems so deliberate that ~maybe~ it’s a parody of the kind of prolonged pace of actual magical girl anime, I haven’t really seen enough to be sure though!

Poor pacing, what else? They introduce an “antagonist” of sorts in episode 4, called the ‘Cyborg’ he is also irritating but in a different way, the way he talks and his character design kind of reminded me of an Adult Swim cartoon. Makes me wonder if he’s not supposed to be a parody of magical girl “antagonists” too.

So in other words you’re not sure at the moment whether this show is being a deft and clever parody or is succumbing to lazy writing and poor pacing. Pretty much! ‘Tis part of the problem when you watch a parody of something while not being intimately familiar with the genre being parodied!

So anything you did like about these next two episodes. love the fact that Sakuyo is so into Saki like more than romantically like she’s DTF with her best friend. There’s a moment in episode 3 where the two girls, in magical “boy” form are interacting and Saki says “is this BL, I don’t know what this is?” or something to that effect and I mean yeah, exactly! I don’t know what this is?! I guess it goes to show that gender isn’t something that should ever get in the way of love, which is obviously a spot on *chefs kiss* message but I wonder if that’s the message they were going for if they just thought it would be funny. It’s hard to say given the comedic nature of the entire show, but I’d like to think they were going for something progressive.

Right. So you’re still on board with this crazy show? Yeah, I mean issues not withstanding (and they might not even actually be issues, if they were intended) I’m still interested this show, it’s a fun comedic romp and I want to see how—if at all—the complexities of this 3 dimensional gender-bending love triangle will be resolved. Also, episode 4 gives us some hints that there may be some other magical girls in this world and I’m interested to see if they have ‘unusual’ transformations too!

Caligula Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Caligula Episode 3.

What’s the show? Caligula, Episode 3.

So last week you were mildly complaining about the fact that the show had lost some of its initial ‘weirdness’. What about this week? Well objectively speaking things are weirder this week, at least aesthetically and tonally. Straight off the bat we’re subjected to Alice in Wonderland-esque madness as two of our female characters find themselves seeking answers from a sweet obsessed “cute girl” and her decidedly disturbing flower princesses.

Right… It’s a bit hit and miss, but it all has a point which is the flavour of the day as it were. It is a weirder episode but all of it—well most of it—has a direct purpose within the episode.

So we’re given some answers? Well like I assumed from the previous episode this is some Matrix style virtual world these characters are living in, except it seems like whoever they are externally they at least chose to be in this world, even if their virtual personas have varying degrees of cognisance toward this fact.

Hmm, that’s interesting. There’s also some kind of suspicious group of ‘overseers’ who speak with a lot of ‘music references’ who are evidently in some kind of control over this virtual world. As if it wasn’t obvious music, specifically that of μ, a virtual idol plays a very important part and oh no…

What?! I just looked up the synopsis for the show on the internet and it basically spells out everything I just spent 3 episodes slowly learning in a couple of brief sentences.

Maybe you should research shows more before you watch them… And maybe you should shut the hell up! Listen, I’m fine discovering a show at my own pace, it’s just kind of annoying to know that I could have been clued in this whole time just by reading the wikipedia synopsis. I don’t know, I guess I just thought I was being clever figuring out what was going on before it was explicitly revealed, but turns out everyone already knew what was happening all along!

And how does that affect your enjoyment of the show? Well, uh, it doesn’t… it’s just it makes me consider why other reviewers may have been less than impressed by the mystery given they already knew so much going in!

I see… so are you still enjoying the show despite whatever the hell you were talking about? I think now that the premise has been established it’s either going to get better or worse, there’s a lot of pieces in play, a lot of characters introduced and there’s a certain level of depth to the plot that could result in some compelling story-telling. Also I’m down for a lot more weirdness as long as it’s better than the kind of stuff we got in this episode which was uneven at best.

My Hero Academia 3rd Season Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for My Hero Academia 3rd Season Episode 3.

What’s the show? My Hero Academia 3rd Season, Episode 3.

And what’s happening in the world of heroes and villains this week? More training shenanigans! Less fan-service. Oh, well, you can’t win ’em all!

You’re hopeless. Indeed, speaking of which we get a bit more of Class B, which is always nice. Though it kind of boggles my mind how many characters with speaking parts we have in this episode! I do love it though, even if it has the unwanted side-effect of short-changing pretty much everyone in regards to getting any kind of character development.

Why’s Bakugo always so angry!

What about the annoying ‘hero hating kid’ from last week? Oh of course, got plenty of time for Kota! Like I’m not so belligerent that I don’t understand what his purpose in this story arc is, it’s expected that in a world where 10% of the population has super powers that there’d be people who hated the concept of ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ and I guess maybe the writer thought it’d be easier for the audience to sympathise with a little kid who lost his ‘hero’ parents to some ‘villains’ but I just don’t think it’s terribly interesting or well-written in this instance.

Who would you prefer? Or rather, how would you write it? Come on now, I’m not going to pretend like I could do a better job. Besides, let’s not forget who the target audience for Shonen anime/manga is, it’s young, angsty boys just like Kota.

I’m so into my heroes in casual clothes.

I guess that’s true. So other than the Kota plot line, how’s the rest of the episode? It’s fun, though not a lot of consequence or character building happens just lots of fun little moments, we get a proper introduction to the full line-up of the ‘Wild Wild Pussycats’ hero crew. Who have a particularly masculine member…

“Meowth, that’s right!” (I know I’ve made that joke before but I’ll never stop!)

I don’t know what to even think of that… Best you don’t, you might hurt yourself! There’s also a wonderfully sweet moment between Froppy and Ochako as they are partnered up to do a ‘test of courage’. Class A has to partner up and take the trek while Class B provides the ‘scares’ using only their Quirks. These two girls together is just the absolute best, I love their friendship and the way Froppy takes Ochako’s hand my heart was full-on doki-doki.

Best girl(s).

Aww~ isn’t that’s nice. I mean I totally ship them as a couple! Just imagine what Froppy could do with that tongue of hers—

—Wow, way to ruin a nice moment! Ahem… but things get serious when a group of elite villains hones in on the students and launches an attack! And that’s when the episode ends.

I know right?

Exciting times ahead then. So it kinda seems pointless to ask seeing as this is the 3rd episode of the 3rd season but recommended? You’ve really got a find a better way of wrapping up these episode-to-episode reviews… but yeah it’s a great episode, I mean not a lot of consequence happens til the end but I savour every moment I spend with these wonderful characters. Except Mineta, hurry up and bust that guy down to class B where he belongs!

Villains are coming…

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Episode 3.

What’s the show? Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Episode 3.

‘Adventures in VR shooters with cute girls’? That’s the one!

So what did you want to talk about? So I kinda had an epiphany about this show while watching the 3rd episode, I was trying to think why so many people were having issues with the fact the show seems plot-lite but why I was loving that fact about the show and then it struck me. This isn’t an action series, or a military series, or a science fiction series or whatever genre MAL categorises it as, to me at least it’s a slice of life series.

Is there something in your eye?

Explain! Okay, well we’re 3 episodes in now and so far the most pressing plot points we’ve addressed has been, Karen (our tall girl protagonist) not being able to find an avatar in a VR game that is short and cute enough for her to play as, to find pink in-game gear and guns and being able to get concert tickets to her favourite artist. Sure I’m simplifying a lot but these issues present themselves at the forefront of the narrative, minor as they may seem to the outsider.

It’s hard being a tall girl in Japan.

I see your point, but it’s only 3 episodes in. A plot may in fact eventuate later down the road. A plot within the VR game perhaps, we’re heading toward the start/conclusion of the ‘Squad Jam’ which comprised the bulk of the first episode. And yes there will be action and tactics and what not but ultimately the only plot that matters in this story is that of Karen in the real world, about her getting better about dealing with social situations due to her tall height and presumably meeting up with her in-game friends in real life. And that’s 100% slice of life to me.

If you can eat in VR and apparently taste it, can you drink alcohol in VR and actually get drunk?

Well now that’s squared away, what do you have to say about this episode specifically? I loved it, obviously. As great as LLENN is as a character, the in real life Karen is even better. I’m totally into the friendship between LLENN and Pito in game and I desperately want to see what happens when/if they meet in reality! Also, we get a proper introduction to M and the interesting tidbit that he knows Pito in real life! Still fingers crossed that the muscular and intimidating dude is actually a cute girl in reality!

Do you ever smile?

So I take it the show is still recommended? Very much so, but I think if you haven’t jumped on board yet or are curious to know what kind of show this is, I think it’s perhaps a good idea to evaluate it from the slice of life perspective. You might not agree with that appraisal specifically but I think if you go in expecting something like that (and of course assuming you like slice of life anime to begin with) you might enjoy it a lot more!

Hinamatsuri Episode 2 & 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Hinamatsuri Episode 2 & 3.

What’s the show? Hinamatsuri, Episode 2 & 3.

That’s the one about the psychic girl and the yakuza who loves vases? You make it sound like a set up for a joke!

Well it is an odd premise. And yet the show feels more grounded and down to earth than it really ought to, though there is some truly outlandish comedic stuff that happens in these two episodes!

There’s alway one at a party…

Like what? Well, in true Terminator style another psychic girl arrives in Tokyo, her name is Anzu and her mission is to eliminate Hina! After Hina proves her strength over Anzu in a very creative, non-lethal way, Anzu agrees to let Hina live. But not before the two of them have a nice day together as middle-school aged girls should. Meanwhile her vase loving Yakuza guardian Yoshifumi is pretty much just has to sit back and let it all unfold around him, maintaining the peace whenever he can.

Psychic power!

And after that? Anzu attempts to go home but can’t because her return home button thing got damaged in the wash, too embarrassed to ask for help from Hina so she has to live a life of petty theft, stealing from local businesses to get enough to eat, that is until a homeless man takes her under his wing and helps her live a more honest and respectful life amongst their encampment of fellow homeless men.

It’s far less creepy than it looks.

Wow, that’s oddly serious. Yeah, I wouldn’t go as far as to say its tonally jarring but it’s certainly a change of pace, especially when compared to the lavish life Yoshifumi and Hina live. Maybe the anime is trying to say something about how wide the divide between the wealthiest and the destitute in the Japanese community is, or maybe it’s just a plot point to teach the headstrong and stubborn Anzu some humility and respect.

Anything else happen? Yes, I’m saving the best for last! Hina’s studious and straight-laced classmate (and only school friend) Hitomi ends up working in a bar as a bartender after the shrewd bartender Utako blackmails her into doing so—but only because she’s like a genius savant at making cocktails and all the patrons can’t get enough of them!

Again… far less creepy than it looks! I swear!

But wait, isn’t she a middle schooler?! That seems kind of harsh! Maybe on paper it comes off that way but it’s a very funny plot line, Hitomi’s facial expressions are pure gold throughout those scenes. Plus by the end of the 3rd episode she does seem to be enjoying herself, or at the very least enjoying the money she’s making!

It kind of sounds a little problematic… Oh did I forget to mention at the end of episode 2 they all go to a girly bar, the middle-school kids included!

We’ve all been there right?!

I revise my statement to be “quite problematic”. Again, it may seem that way on paper, but never has a night of drunken adults hanging out with middle-school kids been more wholesome than in this anime! I don’t know how it gets away with it, but it totally does! Whether it’s the fact it knows how to be funny without being creepy, or the fact there’s like zero sexuality in this show (or at least none around the young girls) it just works.

That’s the look of someone ready to blackmail a middle-schooler!

I’ll take your word for it. So still a show you recommend? Absolutely, even more so than the first one, it’s not always consistently funny, and there’s some more darker and dramatic moments but they don’t detract from the show—rather they give it a kind of depth and realism that helps ground the sillier, more fantastical elements. It’s a treat of a show and while it’s not spectacular or ‘must-see anime’ it’s still very entertaining throughout.