Watched But Not Reviewed (Winter 2019 Week 4)

A Rundown of the anime I watched but didn’t review in Week 4 of Winter 2019

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Just like I did last season, I’ll be briefly covering the Winter 2019 seasonal anime that I watched but that didn’t get a full review on the site. This is not indicative of a show’s quality (for the most part) but rather a that I didn’t have enough to say about a show to write a full review. I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum but will warn if it’s unavoidable. So without further delay here’s the episodes I watched but didn’t review this week.

The Quintessential Quintuplets (Episode 4)

There’s some shows I can easily talk about, and then there’s some shows that just baffle me as a reviewer. I talked about (in my Episode 3 review) just how hard it is to talk about show’s that are just “good” and once again I struggled to come up with anything other to say then it was a “good episode” hence why it’s found itself out of the episodic review cycle and in the depths of ‘Watched But Not Reviewed’! The girls continue to be the most interesting thing about the show, while our protagonist–and the show itself–remain adequate but uninspired.

Best Imouto and Best Girl.

Mysteria Friends (Episode 2)

While the art quality slipped from “visually sumptuous” to just “damn gorgeous” this week, the emotion and character development more than made up for it. Anne’s epic journey to find a ‘cure’ for Grea’s illness was imaginative and impressive but the low-key reveal that all the pain Grea was going through were literally just ‘growing pains’ as she shed her tail skin and grew in size was kind of adorable–as was Grea’s self-consciousness about getting “bigger”. This show remains a treat in every conceivable way.

Speaking of treats…

Circlet Princess (Episode 3)

Mostly more of the same just with an added focus on the fundamentals of ‘Circlet Bout’ as a sport and our protagonist Yuka deciding what she wants to do going forward. The matches were fun to watch and the characters likewise. I don’t have a lot to say on the show but don’t let that fool you into thinking this show isn’t worthy–it is and it’s a shame it continues to be unlicensed by Western streaming services.

When the show reviews itself.

How Clumsy You Are, Miss Ueno (Episode 4)

*awkwardness intensifies* but likewise so does the comedy. Of the two segments the second one, dealing with a pair of Ueno’s tights becoming sentient due to one of her inventions, wins for laughs and for ingenuity.

I’m at 120% too.

Girly Air Force (Episode 4)

This show continues to impress with not only its commitment to being compelling on a character level but also being a big-budget spectacle without showing off. Gripen is endearing as all heck and we’re finally introduced to the busty blonde pilot who’s been teasing us from the OP since the start and she lives up to her promise by being entertaining and charming in equal measure. Better than ‘Strike Witches’–there I said it!

I like new girl, Eagle, for reasons…

Date A Live III (Episode 4)

The first half of the episode which had the majority of our female cast revert back to elementary school aged was as silly as it was endearing–as were many of the subsequent shenanigans Natsumi inflicted upon Shido. The second half, dealing with a makeover for the now captured Natsumi to boost her self esteem however fell most flat. Also I don’t like how easily Origami went over to DEM Industries and I’m hoping this is just her making a chance for infiltrating the enemy.

It’s tough being a sudden father.

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale (On Hold After Episode 3)

The Rising Of The Shield Hero (On Hold After Episode 3)

I’ve put these two shows on hold until after I’m back from Japan. I needed to thin out my watch-list for the vacation and these were the two weakest links.

Dimension High School (Dropped At Episode 2)

And that’s all for this week! Let me know what you thought in the comments below!


Previous ‘Watched But Not Reviewed’ Posts:

Winter 2019 Week 1
Winter 2019 Week 2
Winter 2019 Week 3


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

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Watched But Not Reviewed (Winter 2019 Week 3)

A Rundown of the anime I watched but didn’t review in Week 3 of Winter 2019

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Just like I did last season, I’ll be briefly covering the Winter 2019 seasonal anime that I watched but that didn’t get a full review on the site. This is not indicative of a show’s quality (for the most part) but rather a that I didn’t have enough to say about a show to write a full review. I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum but will warn if it’s unavoidable. So without further delay here’s the episodes I watched but didn’t review this week.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero (Episode 3)

I’d actually written a full 1000+ word review for Episode 3 and fully intended to post it–until I re-read it while sober and realised the abject futility in my words. People will overlook the glaring flaws and problematic elements in this show regardless of whatever reasoned discourse I throw up against it, so there’s really no point in wasting mine or anyone else’s time with full length reviews on this show anymore. This episode was mostly average and continued to showcase this series’ shortcomings, but at this point I’m more or less committed to the show just to make sure Raphtalia makes it through the series in one piece. Besides, I’ve watched worse shows all the way through for weaker reasons…

Levelling up will do that to you, apparently.

Circlet Princess (Episode 2)

After a delay in the fan-sub appearing online I finally got to watch Episode 2 and it more or less lived up to the previous episode. We’re getting a trickle of story amongst some school-based shenanigans and a bit of sport, a slower episode than the first but I’m still more than happy with the direction this series appears to be going in. Also main girl is absolutely a-dork-able and I love that (I should probably try and remember her name though…).

What a dork, I love her.

How Clumsy You Are, Miss Ueno (Episode 3)

A much needed new character was introduced (albeit just for one of the segments) and while it’s still a funny show I think this series is in need of some character development or just a change of scenery from the classroom if it’s going to compare to go the distance and remain interesting.

I think I need an attorney, naked 13 year old.

Girly Air Force (Episode 3)

I thought for sure this episode would be entirely focused on one of the other girls in the opening credits but rather we get even more character development for Gripen and it ends up working a treat as she continues to shoot up the seasonal ‘best waifu’ ladder with ease. But aside from that it’s an entertaining, well-written and occasionally intense and emotional episode that shows the potential of this series and teases at greater things to come. I’m sold!

Whatever way you slice it, “muffler” being what Japanese people call scarves is adorable.

Date A Live III (Episode 3)

This was a roller coaster of an episode, and thankfully not in the quality department. The tension ebbed and flowed throughout with the evil spirit Natsumi’s “game” of hiding reaching its conclusion (I won’t spoil the reveal but I was at least pleasantly surprised) only for another twist to be laid atop at the final minute. It was a fun and even–at times–emotional episode that reminded me that this show is just as good at doing low-key stuff as it is the high-stakes action.

Origami with her next level seduction techniques, why drink a soda when you can drink her. Man, I forgot how much I love Origami (the girl, not the paper craft).

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale (Episode 3)

The more this series goes along the less I’m interested in it. That’s not to say it was completely without merit, there was some nice character development and backstory to do with best-girl Kanon but mostly this felt like swimming in circles. I doubt I’ll drop this show, even if it gets worse but I’m just hoping it gets better–and more musical. I want my mermaid idols, dammit!

She’s just precious.

Dimension High School (Dropped At Episode 2)

And that’s all for this week! Let me know what you thought in the comments below!


Previous ‘Watched But Not Reviewed’ Posts:

Winter 2019 Week 1
Winter 2019 Week 2


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Facing Your Fears – ‘The Rising Of The Shield Hero’ Episode 2 Review

Facing Your Fears – An Anime QandA Review of ‘The Rising Of The Shield Hero’ Episode 2

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What’s the show? Rising of the Shield Hero, Episode 2.

No, no no no, no, NO! What…?

I’ve never seen you so ‘ranty’ as when I saw you reviewing the first episode of this show WHY on Earth, are you reviewing episode 2?! Because I got curious and because I got drunk, I tells ya’ that’s a scary combination!

Oof~ so uhhh, dare I ask what did you think of the second episode? It’s ‘Skyrim’ and Stockholm Syndrome two great tastes that taste great together!

Now I’ve noticed the feathers around his collar it’s the only thing I can look at!

Oh boy, here we go… You know, the biggest defense in favour of ‘The Rising Of The Shield Hero’ that I saw out there on the wild wild internets was? And it’s a doozy, so strap on in…

Ugh, what’s that then? That this light novel series was written by a ~woman~ and that somehow makes it exempt from criticism that its misogynistic and problematic!

Don’t forget cute!

And that means? Okay, let’s just put a pin at that criticism right off the bat! Women can be just as sexist and problematic as men… remember Ayn Rand, the female author that thought women existed only to be subservient to men and emboldened a whole wave of men’s rights activists to think their opinion mattered more than any other? And while we’re on the subject of bad decisions let’s not forget that 47% of white women voted for Trump in the 2016 US Presidential Elections and if that’s not voting out of a vested disinterest in your own gender and further perpetuating outdated ideals of the patriarchy then I don’t know what is!

No. Stop. Talk about the actual episode and not what nonsense you’ve associated to it by comparison? Fine. Sure, so Noafumi buys himself the cheapest and most “obedient” slave he can find at the slave market, a cute cat girl with mental issues because you know, ~fetishes~.

Same.

Oof~! Don’t you “oof~” me! So Noafumi basically uses her as his sword in lieu of his own “sword” because you know this is a matriarchy (apparently) and the best he can do is be a damage sponge while she cleans up the kills! And…

And…? Okay but Raphtalia (that’s her name) is really fucking cute. Like, “I’d sell my kidney just to see her smile”-cute. And, oh… oh no… am I a part of the problem?

Kawaii~

Probably… No, stop! I won’t be a part of this system! So uh… a bunch of Skyrim/RPG shenanigans and now I’m more or less committed to this series because it’s bothered to appeal to my nerdy leanings while being simultaneously absolutely obnoxious about the whole thing. Yay for feeling like a douche bag for liking what you like! Is this what white privilege feels like?!

Dare I mention ‘Goblin Slayer’? Oh come on, why would you stoop so low!

I burst out loud laughing at this line, twice!

Hey! You were the one to tar it with the paintbrush of absolute misogyny before realizing it wasn’t nearly as bad as you were painting it out to be! Tch! I mean sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that this show is appealing to its core demographic in such a painfully pandering way that I can’t help but be in awe of its execution.

But wait? What about all that stuff you said about the author being an “unpopular, otaku-ish virgin”? I presumed the gender of the author, but the knowledge of the author being female (allegedly) only works better for my comparison. I mean why else would the main “villain” of this story be a sexy woman who’s popular with the boys and uses her sexuality as a weapon, unless the author was a woman (undoubtedly “otaku-ish” herself) who’d been downtrodden by society and perhaps even by the more ~conventionally ‘attractive’ women~ who maybe scorned her for not conforming to expected standards of femininity. That’s a narrative that–while no less sexist–at least comes from a place that feels different enough from the tired male power fantasies that the isekai genre sometimes employs.

Raphtalia’s had a tough life.

You’re presuming a lot about the author from the text, whatever happened to “death of the author” as a concept? I know it’s something you believe in. True, but when so many people are trudging out the author’s gender as a defense and when there’s the palpable sense that the author themselves is a character in the story it’s hard not to get caught up in it.

That’s blackmail. It’s also character development, dammit show!

So you still think Noafumi is an avatar for the author? Okay, while I think there are parts of his personality that reflect the author (the impotent rage and ‘fuck the world’ attitude) I think it’s just as likely that the author sees themself in Raphtalia too. A caged animal, a victim of circumstance just because of her ‘appearance’ despite being not too dissimilar from the women who rule it. Imagining yourself as a “demi-human” or monster because you’re different from others has been a popular idea not just in Japanese fiction but in fiction the world over. So while Noafumi’s “struggles” aren’t really struggles as he’s just having to deal with the inconvenience of people hating him while still retaining all the freedom afforded of an able-bodies man in this society (it’s not a Matriarchy just because the author says it is, especially when it looks and acts no different to any other fantasy setting–i’ll believe it when I see it!) Raphtalia is downtrodden from birth just because of how she was born, there’s even signs outside of taverns and inns saying they don’t serve ‘demi-humans’. The racism allegory is obvious and surface level but the comparison to an author who’s persecuted by women despite being a woman (just not looking or acting the same as the norm) is too strong to ignore.

But they do serve rapists!

Okay fine, you’ve theorised on the intentions of the author to help you justify their narrative, character and world-building choices. But that’s not a review of the show, that’s a review of literally ~everything else~. What about the show and this episode in particular? I watched it twice, once by myself while drunk and once with the irlwaifu while sober and both times I enjoyed it. It felt less artificial and bloated than the first episode and because it was more or less focused on just two characters the episode devoted requisite attention to endearing the audience with Raphitalia and solidifying the ‘relationship’ between her and Naofumi. I don’t particularly ~like~ Naofumi, I think he’s a callous idiot who could saved Raphitalia a lot of anxiety by you know, telling her that he wasn’t going to be like her old owner who tortured her. You know showing some compassion for another person outcast by this society, rather than pulling her around and grumbling at her for the first half of the episode–but that’s a small gripe as its mostly rectified by the end. Also as much as it’s a trope of the isekai genre to have video game style levelling I did enjoy that here, as well as having to sell things they find and make to earn money–it reminded me a lot of Oblivion and Skyrim two games I’ve got thousands of hours of play in.

Depends on the herb… *Seth Rogen laugh*

So you’re going to watch this show–even after all of the hoopla you made about it in the previous review? I thought ‘Darling In The FranXX’ was sexist trash when I first watched it and now it’s one of my favourite shows. ‘Goblin Slayer’ started off as appalling rape fan service and quickly tapered off into an above average adventure show. There’s no telling where this show will go but right now I’m going to stick with it–mostly though to make sure that Noafumi takes good care of Raphtalia!

Protect at all costs!

Previous ‘Rising of the Shield Hero’ Reviews:

Blind To The True Enemy – Episode 1 Review


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

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Blind To The True Enemy – ‘The Rising Of The Shield Hero’ Episode 1 Review

Blind To The True Enemy – An Anime QandA Review of ‘The Rising Of The Shield Hero’ Episode 1

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So how’s this episode? So here’s the thing, people don’t like when a thing they like is criticised. They take it personally, they think “wait, the thing I like can’t be bad, because that means I’m wrong? And I’m not wrong because I like the thing!” But that’s the thing about opinions, everybody views a piece of media with a different sets of biases; emotional triggers, empathetic leanings and intellectual deconstructions. So your opinion may be wildly different from another person’s opinion, it doesn’t make you wrong nor does it make them wrong. And even if a person does voice their opinions and you don’t happen to agree with any of their points that doesn’t mean you have the right to belittle their stance because you ~think~ it’s wrong.

Oh dear, we’re in for another ‘Goblin Slayer’ situation, aren’t we? On the surface it would seem that way, but these shows are “controversial” and “problematic” and “triggering” (did I get all the buzzwords in?) in far more interesting and different ways than I’d initially expected.

Hey, I hate you all, thanks!

Strap in folks, I can tell by how hard he’s hitting the keys that this is going to be a bumpy ride! So where do we start? A brief synopsis of what happens in this 45 minute (preview) episode that Crunchyroll afforded Premium Members–feel free to skip this if you’ve already watched it. An “otaku-ish” guy named Naofumi is summoned to another world to be a hero, along with three other males, they are to be heroes of this world and are designated magical weaponry accordingly: Sword, Spear, Bow and Shield. Our protagonist is designated the Shield, something he’s none too happy about but goes along with it anyway. We later learn that each of the “heroes” while all from Japan are each from alternate versions of Japan and while each of them have played a game similar to the setting of this world–Naofumi has not, hence why he got the supposedly “dud” hero weapon. The next day at the ceremony for ‘partying up’ with other adventurers, nobody picks Naofumi because word has spread about how much of a ‘noob’ he is with regard to knowledge in this world. After some bargaining and pleading with the other heroes an attractive woman decides to join up with him and go adventuring so he can ‘level up’ his combat abilities. To cut to the chase (because this is getting long and I’m getting bored) the woman accuses him of rape, they take her side despite his protests of innocence and while normally this crime would be punishable by death he’s still designated as a hero and thus is more or less left with the shame and public humiliation of being labelled a “rapist”. He becomes an angry and bitter man as a result and then one day is approached by a strange man who as it turns out is a slave trader or beastmen and demihumans and offers him the chance to buy some. End of episode.

I can guaran-fucking-tee this girl deserves a better show than this trash.

Well okay, certainly not the most clear-cut universe with regard to morality, what’s irked your ire so much exactly? Before we get to that I want to just say, if I’m judging it strictly on the merits of the episode and not talking about anything else. I’d say it’s a 7/10 (or 70ish out of 100 if we’re using my rating scale), it’s an interesting isekai world with some unique variations on tropes but it’s also dull looking, slow-paced and predictable and despite the soundtrack having been done by Kevin Perkin who was responsible for the absolutely sublime ‘Made in Abyss’ soundtrack comes off more like a Game of Thrones-lite. So, you know, it’s just a dark isekai, nothing to rave about but still watchable.

Yeah… not that complicated, don’t upsell yourself that much.

That’s a fairly even-handed reaction… though I take it things are about to get rant-y now? So there’s a trope called ‘Self-Insert Fic’ you can read all about it here, but basically the writing in this series just feels like an angry Japanese man who’s bitter about his life deciding to take it out on the world. And my god is the last thing we need as angry men writing fiction. Like the scene where nobody decides to ‘party up’ with him for adventuring just felt like a grown man having a whine that nobody picked him for *insert generic sport* at school. And then the hot popular girl (her name’s Medea, but like I care) tricks him and was actually just using him to steal his money and humiliate him because she’s a bitch and is in on the whole plot to ruin him because she’s with the handsome blonde boy instead! You could ~literally~ take this plot and put into any generic high-school setting and this series would be the equivalent of a trashy American teen drama. I mean say what you will about the plot of ‘Goblin Slayer’–it was literally a DnD campaign made into an anime but at least it was ~vaguely original feeling~ it wasn’t this tired and predictable tripe.

No one picked you? Boo-hoo.

Okay, settle down with the insults. Get back to the point. And if it had just stopped at being generic and tropey and lame ‘angry guy gets back at the world who wronged him’ it wouldn’t be so bad but then we have to get to the ~problematic~ stuff. This fantasy world is set in a ‘Matriarchal’ society! *blows brains out*

Why’s that a bad thing? BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A MATRIARCHAL SOCIETY. I mean for fuck’s sake they have a King ruling over them. And okay, ~maybe~ this was a lie Madea told him to try and assure her plot would work and lull him into a false sense of security. But no, I think this author is doing something far more insidious with this, but the following is pure speculation so bare with me.

Oh good, false #metoo in my anime. Just what we wanted, more people doubting women who’ve been raped irl.

*dons tin-foil hat* Ready! It won’t be hard for many of this ardent show’s fans to do, but put yourself in the authors shoes, your an “otaku-ish” virgin who has been frequently scorned throughout your life, the popular kids didn’t like you, the girls especially didn’t like you. And you want to take out that rage in the only way you know how, by writing a generic isekai novel! So you’re designing the world and what’s the biggest enemy to your world–well that’d be that women have rights and stuff! So obviously the ~evil~ fantasy world that has to be rebelled against with its rulers who ignore you and townsfolk who scorn you and women who betray you, well it has to be a ‘matriarchy’ that’s the worst thing imaginable to your unpopular virginal brain, isn’t it? Yes, let’s make our protagonist a hero that fights against that thing that’s so relatable to our fellow readers, women having power and control!

Bitches? Amirite?

I was going to stop you but I thought I’d let you just get it out of your system so I didn’t have to deal with this again next episode. You done yet? You wish! We haven’t even touched on the slavery aspect of this show!

Oh ffs… Settle down, I’m not going to go to ham over it just because this anime has slavery. So do a lot of isekai anime (for some reason) but I defended it in ‘How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord’ and I pretty much brushed it off in ‘The Master of Ragnarok and the Blesser of Einherjar’ because those were two shows who were seemingly written by ~adults~. All I’ll say is this, this show is about to have a female slave join Naofumi’s ‘party’ this much is obvious–and what’s a bet that the fact that the only likeable female character on this show is going to be a character who’s a demi-human who’s blindly obedient to the protagonist out of the fear of death for breaking the master/servant curse that’s put on her. Real subtle message there, Mr. Author, that the only good woman is one who’s blindly obedient to you regardless of how you treat her.

Ugh, the way he looks at her just because she’s a woman makes my skin crawl. Your protagonist ladies and gentlemen *applause*

I mean okay, if you word it like that but I’ve been reading into this show while you’ve been frothing at the mouth like a dog with rabies and isn’t the protagonist supposed to be an “anti-hero”? An injustice is done upon the protagonist, an, up-to-the-point of his false rape accusation, “~NICE GUY~”. Except even in this supposedly ‘Matriarchal’ society, where rape is usually afforded an immediate no-questions asked death sentence our author insert protagonist is literally just left all the autonomy and freedom of men accused (and even some of whom are found guilty) of rape in this real world, this patriarchy we live in. The reasons in the show are spelled out, “oh we need him to help save the world, can’t give him a proper punishment! But, uhh, you still suck and we hate you, bye for now! Hate you! Kisses!”* (*Not an actual quote but close enough). You want to make me believe this is a matriarchal society worthy of scorn, fucking castrate the guy, he can still save the world without a dick then you’ll have me sympathising with him and the ~supposedly~ harsh world he lives in. But no of course not, can’t have all the 12 year old boys disconnecting with their “otaku-ish” protagonist can we!

Remember, this anime thinks this is a bad thing.

So you done now? Yeah, yeah… I’m done. Wow, this went on a lot longer than I expected…

Right, so, uhh… how do we wrap up this mess? I was adamant I would not write more than a tweet about this show, and now, here we are 2000+ words later and i’m left wondering if this will even make a dent in this shows rabid popularity. Of course, I don’t exactly ~care~ if people out there like this show but I feel like a lot of the things people find “compelling” or “dynamic” or “rich” about this show are things that are pedestrian and cliche at best and obnoxious and cheap at worst. And let me just say, before some high and mighty type swans in here–no I don’t think you’re a bad person if you like this show, I mean ffs its 2019 and there’s gigabytes of rape hentai out there that’s a million times more explicit and problematic than this show, I simply don’t care what gets your rocks off or what makes you happy or even what you find to be harmless entertainment. I’m not trying to take away your anime, I’m just giving my two cents. Just please don’t go through life pretending like your opinion is the only one that matters when there’s 7 billion other people on this planet whose voice and opinion is just as fucking important to be heard as yours.


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

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