Bad Romance Does Not Equal Bad Anime – A 20 Question Review of Citrus

Bad Romance Does Not Equal Bad Anime – A 20 Question Review of Citrus

What’s the show? Citrus (2018).

And I take it from that combative, clickbait-y title that you’ve got a score to settle too? I’ve got things I need to say is all, nothing wrong with putting the slant of this review right up in the title, is there?

Mm-hmm, so for those who are unaware; what is Citrus about? It’s about Yuzu, a flashy girl who after her mother remarries has to move to a new city and attend a prestigious all girl’s school. With this remarriage comes a new step-sister, Mei—a cold, no-nonsense kind of girl who also happens to be student council president and granddaughter to the school’s chairman. For Yuzu it’s love or maybe lust… it’s certainly something… at first sight, which is only compounded when Mei plants a kiss on Yuzu seemingly out of nowhere!


So it’s a lesbian relationship between two step-sisters? Alright, let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat, them being step-sister’s is precisely ~zero~ percent of the reason anyone should condemn this show—they’re step-sisters for literally only hours at the time they first kiss—it’s not like they’ve been living together and growing up together!

So then what’s the point of them even being step-sister’s in the context of the narrative? Isn’t that just to make the manga/anime seem more salacious to the reader perusing it on a bookshelf/streaming service? Maybe that’s what a shrewd publisher thought, maybe the mangaka savvily thought it’d earn him some extra sales by being “controversial” at a glance, but it does serve a huge narrative purpose. In Japan, same-sex relationships are still unfortunately deemed (by a lot of people) as “phases” and at worst “perversions”. Thankfully the country is getting slightly better at accepting it. So by writing Mei and Yuzu as step-sisters it works to further complicate their already messy feelings by throwing any kind of future (i.e. living together, being a couple, getting married) they have together as an almost insurmountable obstacle.


Fair enough, so what kind of relationship do they have? I take it it’s not a conventional one considering the differences in their personalities? That’s an understatement. After the first kiss, Mei acts even colder towards Yuzu, which really hurts her considering that was not only her first kiss with Mei but her first kiss with anyone. From the get-go Yuzu is pretty open and honest about her feelings—or at the very least her ~desires~ which understandably, for a girl going through puberty and a girl who’s just discovered she’s probably gay, is a big damn deal. But Mei only seems to be intimate with Yuzu when it suits her, or when she needs to take control of a situation she doesn’t understand.

So Mei ‘uses’ her sexuality as a weapon over Yuzu? Ehh~ I guess there’s some instances where it could be seen that way, Mei is a complete and utter control freak—she needs it in every facet of her life otherwise she falls apart. Yuzu is free-spirited and kind and on paper she’s completely wrong for Mei—or she would be if she was weak-willed or undetermined. But Yuzu has such conviction and strength of character that not only can she see past Mei’s many many walls she’s built around her heart, but she wants to enter them and set free the broken little girl who’s been left at the centre.


So you’re defending this toxic relationship they have? No. Defending the anime’s existence and defending the representation of a toxic, same-sex relationship are not the same. Which brings me to the title of this review, just because the show represents a potentially toxic, unhealthy and abusive relationship between two girls doesn’t mean it’s a bad anime. Every “romance” anime doesn’t have to be the perfect template, or ‘how-to guide’ on how to conduct a relationship—applying that leap in logic is like saying video games cause real life violence—and we all know how bullshit that argument is.

I think the issue I see is that representations of same-sex relationships are out of the mainstream already which means when one does get the kind of zeitgeist impact that Citrus apparently had it means the scrutiny on how it presents same-sex relationships is a lot higher. If this is an ~average~ person’s first exposure to a story about a same-sex relationships they’re more likely to believe that this is representative of all same-sex relationships. Yeah, and those people are the kind of idiots who sue McDonalds for coffee being too hot!

Easy now. No, I’m sick of something’s popularity being used as an excuse to criticise it because it’s not “representative” of the reality of something. The author wanted to write a messy, potentially problematic story about two step-sisters falling in love and it have all the soap opera style dramatics that they foresaw in such a relationship developing. Citrus shouldn’t be held accountable for being problematic just because it got very popular in the West.


But people are free to commit to discourse about media, people are free to dislike and criticise and “be triggered”, you can’t tell people how to ‘think’ and ‘feel’ about things because you disagree with them. The thing that I have the most issue with is why is Citrus being scapegoated. There’s a bunch other gay manga and anime out there all with different representations of same-sex relationships, if you don’t like the way Citrus is telling it’s story move on and find something new, it existing isn’t harming anyone. Problematic media exists in every genre and what “triggers” someone may be perfectly fine for another. You can criticise Citrus ’til you’re blue in the face but it still has a right to exist as the author’s freedom of expression.

Careful now, you’re starting to sound like one of those people on the internet who use ‘freedom of expression’ as an excuse to be an asshole. Don’t you dare, I hate those people.


Then say what you’re trying to say without being a dick about it. People like Mei exist in real life, I’ve met them, I’ve been friends with them, heck I’ve probably even dated them! She is a deeply flawed individual—some may even say she’s a bit of a c-word, but erasing a person like her from a narrative because it makes it a more palatable experience is just plain dishonest and a bit problematic in it’s own way. I’m glad this show is so messy and confrontational and raw—it makes it more interesting. Yes, I realise there’s damaging stereotypes out there about how same-sex relationships are fetishistic and abusive and unnatural but you can’t put the blame all on one show for the perceptions of ignorant people. And besides, this show has actual positive representations of queer people in it, you just have to wait a while to actually see one.

Care to elaborate? Episode 10 let us get up close and personal with the ‘too pure for this world’ bisexual cutie Sara Tachibana who, despite her appearances is far too wise for her own good and schools Yuzu on what it means to like someone—regardless of their gender. I talked about this terrific episode in greater detail in the single episode review I did for it in Winter 2018. But what this shows, at least to my neanderthal brain, is that not only is the writer capable of a more nuanced and forward-thinking queer character representations but they knew the need for one in Yuzu and Mei’s lives to forge them into better people in general.


And how’s that work out for Sara in the long run? Well, uh… she kinda ends up getting jerked around because Mei and Yuzu are so wrapped up together in their own business… but she’s fine! I mean she seems fine… okay the more I think on it the more I worry about their relationship steamrolling everything good and pure in it’s way…

Wait, you’re not having a sudden change of heart, are you? No, no, no, not at all! I still stand behind this show (and manga’s) narrative decisions. Besides, I never got the sense that the show was ~actively~ condoning Mei’s behaviour, all you have to do is listen to the vaguely sinister music queue’s and dark lighting in these early season scenes to know that Mei’s predatory actions are seen just as that. Romance seldom comes into it—at least not on Mei’s end—Yuzu is another matter entirely.

But it’s different by the end of the season? I’m not going to pretend like this season is close to perfect, there’s the rushed almost conclusion the show pushes in its final minutes that’s both meant to offer a promise of a happy ending ‘one day’ while also functioning as a satisfying way to end an anime should it never get a sequel season. It’s not unearned it just feels a bit too tidy, but such is the way when adapting something that’s not close to finishing.


We’ve talked a lot about the external opinions on the show but not a lot on the show itself (some review this turned out to be) did you want to have a say on it since we’re nearly out of questions? I’ve defended this show fervently but here’s the thing, it’s not even among my favourite shows of the Winter 2018 anime season—it’s not even my favourite Yuri series! It was thoroughly entertaining throughout though, it was cheesy and funny and occasionally dramatic and aesthetically satisfying but I never got the sense it was pandering or fetishistic or fan-servicey or even the least bit arousing—and I’m usually all for girl-on-girl anime shenanigans! It told a sorta complicated relationship drama, sorta well but it did it with enough style and intrigue and personality that I can’t help but appreciate it.

So what’s your final score and recommendation for Citrus? Citrus is the kind of show I think of fondly now and again—the manga perhaps less so, but that’s a discussion for another day. It’s clear what it wants to be and despite commanding more attention than it probably ever intended to I think it succeeded in telling a story fraught with messy emotions and complicated people. It’s far from perfect, in fact it’s damn near silly at times—but the connection between Yuzu and Mei is something tangible and I can’t help but be drawn in by their story. It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s Citrus; 84 out of 100.


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10 Best Waifu’s of Winter 2018 Anime

My 10 Best Waifu’s of the Winter 2018 Anime season.

When it comes to the wonderful women of anime let’s just say I’m not a one waifu man, it doesn’t matter the anime, or the genre, chances are I’ll be able to find a ‘best girl’ among the cast. So why not make a list about my favourite waifu from any given anime season! We’ll be covering my 10 best waifu’s of the Winter 2018 season to start with, but first a few ground rules for my picks. Firstly, they don’t have to be from the main cast but they do at least have to have enough screen-time to make a well-formed decision on whether they are waifu material. Secondly, my criteria for a ‘best girl’ can change depending on the girl and the context of the show, so I’ll go into the specifics in the accompanying description of each girl. Thirdly and most importantly, the quality of the show the girl is from has no barring whatsoever on the quality of the waifu, because even the worst shows can have top shelf waifu’s. Also something to note, unlike my music lists, these are not comprehensive lists and strictly cover shows I watched that particular season. With all that out of the way we can get down to the serious business of my 10 Best Waifu’s of the Winter 2018 Anime season!

~Number 10~
Shouko Majima from Kokkoku

She’s a strong-willed woman who’s been through a lot, also she’s sexy as hell, plus there’s an off-hand comment that confirms she’s sexually active which seems rare for women in anime—or at least in the anime I usually watch.

~Number 9~
Nonoka Sasaki from Mitsuboshi Colors

The ‘Colors’ girls are all elementary school-age, and they act like actual children so guess what, none of them ~really~ qualify for being a waifu—at least in my mind. Nonoka on the other hand, is an occasionally seen supporting character, is high-school aged, is cute as heck and has an amusing sense of humour.

~Number 8~
Ichigo from Darling in the FranXX

(note, I’ve only seen up to Episode 8 of Darling in the FranXX and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but I still prefer her to Zero Two, I mean just look at that face!)

~Number 7~
Yuzuki Shiraishi from A Place Further Than The Universe

As the IrlWaifu said when I asked her about this show, “they’re all best girls”, and that’s very true. But speaking strictly on looks and likability, Yuzuki is my waifu.

~Number 6~
Sara Tachibana from Citrus

You’d think a Yuri anime would be full of waifu potential, but I guess that speaks to the “quality” of ‘Citrus’ that a lot of the characters here are deeply flawed and occasionally unlikable. Sara however, who’s only introduced toward the end of the season, is an open-minded, sensitive and intelligent girl and she’s cute as heck too, win-win!

~Number 5~
Kamuri Sengoku from Slow Start

It’s Kanna from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid all over again—almost literally as they share the same voice actor and similar personality traits. But where Kanna was a thousand year-old dragon in the body of 9-year old, Kamuri is a 16 year-old high school student, so it’s like totally fine now, right?… Not only is she adorable, but she’s loveable and shy and makes the cutest little comments. So kawaii!

~Number 4~
Rin Shima from Yuru Camp

The most laid back of the laid back camping girls, she’s self-reliant, quirky and loves doggos and good food. What more could you need?

~Number 3~
Hotaru Shidare from Dagashi Kashi 2

Usually I don’t go in for the whole ‘manic pixie dream girl’ aesthetic when it comes to female characters, but Hotaru is ~special~ in more than one sense of the word. Her enthusiasm for Dagashi (cheap snacks) is beyond compare and it makes her all the more loveable. Her backstory is a mystery, even her age is a subject of discussion since she doesn’t appear to go to school but it all just adds to the allure. Also, it probably goes without saying but nice oppai.

~Number 2~
Ginko Sora from The Ryuo’s Work Is Never Done

Here’s the perfect example of a top tier best girl from an otherwise mediocre and occasionally infuriating show. I don’t know what it is about her character design but it ticks a lot of boxes for me, and while I’m usually not into tsundere type characters, it’s very clear she’s only like that way because of how the protagonist treats her. She’s also supremely intelligent and very sweet, she needs to be in a show that respects her as much as she deserves.

~Honourable Mention~
Oshie Nodoguro from Killing Bites

Killing Bites has plenty of sexy characters among its cast, but the one with the most endearing personality (arguably) was the one we saw the least of. Oshie only appears in the post-credit ‘comedy’ scenes as she attempts to get closer to Hitomi. Because there’s so little of her in the show that means she’s ineligible to be on the list proper, hence the honourable mention. She is proper adorable though, not to mention a total odd-ball and quite possibly crazy!

~Number 1~
Eiko Tokura from Slow Start

Is it cheating to have two waifus from the one show? To be honest I could have picked nearly all of the characters from this show to be on the list, but I limited it to two. Eiko is a calm and friendly girl with something of a naughty edge, she’s frequently flirting with older women (including her attractive teacher) also she’s a got a real wizened air to her personality but she can still be surprised on occasion. She cares so much for her friends and makes herself responsible for their happiness and that in turn makes her all the more beautiful.


And that concludes My 10 Best Waifu’s of the Winter 2018 Anime Season! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed reminiscing about all these girls! Now that my review schedule is a lot less expect more of these lists every week! Who was your favourite waifu of this season? Let me know in the comments and thanks again for reading!

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Kokkoku – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Kokkoku.

What’s the show? Kokkoku (2018).

Kokomo? Stop with your old man references, I don’t know what Beach Boys song your referencing…

Ah-ha! Shit… I guess I’m old as well…

Heh, so what’s this show about? A four generation, lower middle-class family living in the same house somewhere in Japan, our protagonist, Juri is an unemployed woman who’s trying her best to stay positive for her family of slackers and NEET’s despite being downtrodden by her lot in life. Her grandfather however has a magical stone that can stop time, which after Juri’s brother and nephew are kidnapped by thugs, he reveals its power to Juri and her lazy father Takafumi in order to rescue their family.

Telemarketers are the worst…

Stopping time, huh? So it’s sci-fi? Well… it’s about as least sci-fi as stopping time gets if I’m honest, it’s all very mystical and the stopping time phenomena isn’t really explained until the last episode and even then it’s kinda wishy washy, but it’s also kind of what I love about the show! It doesn’t hammer you over the head with exposition or techno-babble, it’s just content to tell a story about a family stuck in a terrible situation.

Me either, dude.

And this terrible situation is? Aside from the kidnapping of course. Juri, her father and her grandfather quickly discover they aren’t the only ones able to move around ‘Stasis’ (that’s the name given to their time stopped world). There’s Junji, the leader of a religious cult called ‘The Genuine Love Society’ who are not only single-minded and obsessive but also violent and dangerous. They want to kidnap Juri’s grandfather and kill the rest of the family and obtain the powerful stone which is central to their “religion”.

Yup, that’s a cult.

Oh wow, okay, sounds dramatic, anything else? There’s also giant and powerful creature’s that roam the ‘Stasis’ called “Heralds” or “Handlers” depending on which faction you ask, who make sure that the people able to move around this time-stopped world can’t do any harm to “The Stalled” which is what they call everyone else for whom time has stopped.

Nice afro.

Sounds kinda complicated if I’m honest… Maybe, but I mean as long as you’re paying attention and aren’t on your phone while watching it it’s pretty standard stuff. Not to say that it’s not original or interesting, just that it’s not all that complicated.

Uh-huh. So I take it that’s a weird show, then? I didn’t think so, but apparently a lot of people felt it went ‘that’ way. Personally I thought it was very consistent, up until an ending which is admittedly a ‘deus ex machina’ but one that didn’t feel unearned.

This is what happens if you spend all day inside playing video games!

So, Googling the show, the Wikipedia page says its a ‘Horror/Drama/Mystery’? Yeah… I don’t know what about it is horror or mystery. Maybe that’s more the manga than the anime because it felt distinctly sci-fi/supernatural to me.

*shrugs* Indeed!

So what else did you want to say about this show? Juri is such a great protagonist, like she pretty much carries the show herself, I’m kind of in love with how strong and determined she is. And all the men in her family know she’s the strongest character and all (for the most part) respect her decision making abilities.


Yeah? Yup, it’s great not having fragile male egos competing for the role of protagonist and just letting the most capable person lead the show!

Well this seems to have been a mostly positive review, anything negative to say? Well yeah, of course, it’s not perfect! The pacing can be atrocious at points, like other anime could have done what this show did in half as many episodes, but even then I kind of like that this show took its time… plus it benefits from being binge watched.

Ethereal jellyfish make time freeze, it’s pretty obvious guys!

We’re doing negatives here, stop complimenting the show for a second, will ya? Right, ahem, um… some of the various plot ‘twists’ that come along are either far too obvious or so far out of left field that it’s a bit jarring, also ‘the ladder’ oh my god that made me laugh more than it probably should have, it’s just you don’t usually expect a portable ladder to be used to defeat the ‘big bad’ but here we are!

Anything else before we wrap up? The opening song is the most fun I had with an OP in the Winter ’18 season, and the ending (ED) song is pretty great too!

There’s a lot of weird imagery in this show and I love it.

Great. So final score and recommendation? I don’t know the target audience for this kind of anime, I don’t even know if my opinion is a relatable one because this show was that kind of unexpected treat that I looked forward to each episode despite the content being spread thinly across more episodes than it maybe needed to be. The time stop elements are handled consistently well and the characters are likeable and lively even if the story ends in a predictably safe way. 87 out of 100…

W-what’s this? Since when do we continue after the score has been given? The review is over isn’t it? I just wanted to add something, because I wrote this review like two weeks ago, and something’s been bothering me…

Oh? It’s just that as much as I raved about how unique and interesting this show was, as soon it was done I kind of immediately forgot about it, like to the point where I don’t even know if I watched it!

That’s bad… I know right! Like I still like the show a whole bunch but ultimately, I guess what I’m saying is the show is kinda forgettable, like kinda really forgettable. But my positive compliments still stand, just bare in mind what you’re getting isn’t really some kind of classic, frozen in time to appreciate, ’tis but a momentary highlight across the breadth of existence, destined to be swept away by the unceasing current of time’s passing.

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The Ryuo’s Work Is Never Done! – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for The Ryuo’s Work Is Never Done!

What’s the show? The Ryuo’s Work Is Never Done! (2018)

And what’s a ‘Ryuo’? Funny that you asked ‘what’ and not ‘who’?

Well was I wrong? Well, no. I just, eh, nevermind. So bare with me because things are about to get dry up in here…

Err, okay… be gentle? Aha. Erm—anyway, this is an anime about Shogi! If you don’t know what shogi is well… it’s like Japanese chess, only because it’s Japanese it’s absurdly difficult and abstract and impossible to grasp without a committed attitude, kind of like their language. Like I’ve tried to understand how a game of shogi is played and I’ve still got no clue, even after Wikipedia and Youtube vids and 12 episodes of this damn show…

It’s like Chess, except hard mode.

So it’s difficult, okay I get it. But what’s a Ryuo? Oh my god, you ask like it’s something that’s easy to explain, JFC… okay so, ‘Ryuo’ is a rank you can achieve by being ridiculously good at Shogi—a game that makes no damn sense—except there’s like this convoluted hierarchy of levels and it’s different for men and women, and it’s different depending on how long you’ve played for and oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed…

I think I’m kind of getting the picture… I’m glad someone is!


Right, so what’s this show precisely about? It’s about 16 year old Yaichi, the youngest ever Ryuo of Shogi and his various troubles navigating the world being the most famous face in the Shogi world…

Which means? Which means this is a harem, of course.

Of course, okay so I guess that means he has groupies and colleagues who are cute anime girls who want to bed him, right? Pretty much, except the majority of them are 9-year-old grade school girls.

It’s not what it looks like! I only met this naked 9-year old I’m pinning to the floor yesterday!

………………excuse me? Don’t pretend like you didn’t hear me.

Oh no, I heard you, I’m just having trouble processing what you said, it’s a harem of nine year olds? Pretty much, and maybe I’m being reductive but more often than not the show seemed too entirely hung up on its own giddy disbelief that they managed to have a show with multiple grade school aged love interests for their nerdy teenage protagonist and by extension their target audience.

His harem of 9 year old’s invades a livestream interview, the comments scrolling across the screen are pretty standard for internet comments.

—You’re going to have to break this down for me because I feel like I’m having a f**king aneurism. Listen, I’m not going to pretend like being judgmental about this kind of thing somehow makes me better than those who are into this, heck I’m into some pretty niche and uncomfortable fetishes, but here’s a show that unfortunately is an actually compelling “sports” anime about Shogi, and has deep characterisation and makes an otherwise impenetrably convoluted game seem exciting and accessible but simultaneously something to be watched with reverence and undivided attention. And then it goes on and slaps a really uncomfortable and borderline loathsome harem subplot atop it. And I’m not even talking about the 9 year olds

All tuckered out from playing Shogi all night.

Wait, what?—what do you mean by that? I mean, for whatever its worth the stuff with Ai, the 9 year old Shogi genius is handled well enough, it’s funny to see protagonist Yaichi be labelled as the ‘loli king’ by his colleagues and competitors and it kind of softens what could have been an uncomfortable plot point. Because I should stress there’s nothing inherently wrong with encouraging a youngster to pursue their talents and likewise their shouldn’t be something inherently perverted about a 16 year old Shogi champion taking on a 9 year old disciple who shows as much talent as Ai does.

It sounds slightly less creepy in Japanese, slightly.

I’m confused; you’re the one who brought up the 9 year olds? Why the sudden back peddling? Plural. As in multiple 9 year old’s who cling to Yaichi like he’s catnip for kids. I’ll admit there’s some laughs to be had by people’s reactions to his budding harem of grade school kids, but it just feels unnecessary for a show that has such attention to detail to its scenes involving Shogi.

Okay then, but there’s more isn’t there. You read the brief, good on you. And yes indeed there is more. It was between episode’s 5 and 10 I decided on a score in the mid seventies, but what happened in 10 & 11 brought down the score so severely I wondered if the show could ever recover.

Poor Ginko, why do the cute one’s have to fall in love with aloof, emotionally stunted assholes?

Go on… So, with the exception of some rarely scene side characters, Yaichi is the only male character, not atypical of a harem anime for sure, but because of this the show, whether it liked it or not, had to focus on female Shogi. Which made for some truly compelling and heart-breaking backstories for side characters such as 25 year old Keika, who’s on the verge of being too old to enter professional Shogi from her training group and the feisty 14 year old Ginko, who is considered the most talented female in Shogi attaining the title of Queen, but still not comparable to the men’s league because of stupid reasons.

Stupid reasons? Argh, I don’t know if it’s the show that I hate or if it’s the gender politics behind Shogi that I hate. Like, just because Ginko is female her road to becoming the best at Shogi is so much harder than anyone male. There’s some allegory there that I don’t dare touch btw.

Ginko is best girl, she’s my favourite character and I wish I could just watch a show about her…

There’s something else isn’t there, I know you’ve been wanting to talk about it since the start of the review. FUCK Yaichi, he’s a piece of shit protagonist. Like first 9 episodes he’s kind of bland, occasionally supportive but utterly clueless to the ‘true’ feelings of the women around him like your typical harem lead, but then episode 10 and 11 he goes and decides to treat every woman in his life like a piece of shit and then AND THEN the girls who’ve been suddenly treated so horribly excuse his actions by saying “he’s so talented and so important that it’s okay, he’ll come round and treat us good once he’s worked through his issues.” Um, no, he’s a c**t, screw him and his whole deal and believe in yourself not some holier than thou messiah complex asshole.

O…kay then. I wanted to like this show, but it went and fucked itself by being all about the least likable character in its line-up. Like seriously, Keika’s episode where she finds a letter written from her 10 year old self to her 20 year old self, presuming her 20 year old self has since fulfilled her dreams of becoming a professional Shogi player, only that’s far from reality is so beautifully heart breaking I have to wonder if this show (or the light novel it was based on) was heavily interfered with to fit some kind of arbitrary fetish quotient from a bunch of perverted producers…

You can do it Keika!

F—final score and recommendation? If you want to watch a great show about Shogi, you could probably do worse, just don’t watch 10 and 11 unless you like your protagonists to become absolutely irredeemable douchebags. The harem elements feel completely unnecessary in this particular show, and even if the loli content is usually played for laughs, your tolerance for this kind of stuff will determine how much you can enjoy it. For me though, it was the protagonist that almost sunk this shogi ship which is a shame because the female characters are really well written and extremely likeable. Not a winner; 62 out of 100.

There’s an eclectic bunch of rivals too, all of whom are more interesting than the protagonist.

Yuru Camp – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Yuru Camp.

What’s the show? Yuru Camp (2018).

Oh, I remember you mentioning this show! Yeah, in the Food Wars review you had a bitch because it’s called ‘Laid Back Camp’ in the West. It will always be Yuru Camp to me.

So what’s it about anyway? It’s about a bunch of high school girls who like camping!

Use a hammer!

And are they lesbians? W—what?

Doesn’t Yuru mean ‘girls love’? No! It means… ‘laid back’… Okay okay, I get the point your making! But I still persist that Yuru Camp is a better name.

Sure, sure. So it’s about something other than camping right? Usually in these kinds of reviews, I’m all like, ‘haha yeah of course’ and give you the full rundown on the show but, uh… no it is literally just about camping and the things one does before, during and after camping that is directly related to the activity of camping.

This anime makes me cold, in a good way!

Oh… okay—so is it good? It’s so good.

‘Cute girls doing cute things’ and all that? Don’t be so reductive, I mean sure it ‘technically’ falls into that category, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched an anime where I’ve felt so asexual.

Begyourpardon? I mean, I’m not asexual, I’m just saying as far as these types of shows go, there wasn’t a single moment where I ever thought of any of them as anything remotely sexual.

Snug as a bug!

“Too pure”? No, it’s not even that, it’s… it’s hard to put into words. It’s like, watching this show is meditation, and for the record I’ve never meditated so what I’m about to say could be total BS, but here goes, when I watch this show I kind of just ‘chill’ and all worldly notions go out the window, I’m not watching ‘cute girls doing cute things’ I’m observing ‘human shapes communing with nature’ I’m ‘at one with the world and everything that’s good in it’.

Sounds like some boring hippy shit if you ask me! Well I didn’t ask you, you’re the one asking me!

Brutal af.

Way to get defensive! I’m sorry, it’s just watching this show through the start of 2018 was like my one purely ‘Zen’ experiences of the Winter 2018 anime season. I’m a little defensive of it, plus a little sad that it’s over…

That’s fair enough, but you know this is a review, we have to speak to it with at least a bit of objectivity, what didn’t you like about it? I was talking to Irina, who watched every episode of the season too, though somewhat against her will as she was doing it for blogging purposes and her take on the characters is interesting. She said that all the characters more or less fall into a ‘nice girl’ trope, specifically that “good girls smile, are always happy, never complain, are never mean, petty or reproachable in any way”. And she’s absolutely right, these girls are nice to a fault, but where usually I’m all about characterisation and having memorable and unique and interesting characters in my anime, here it didn’t matter as much, because the show was more about the feeling it imparted than how it applied to reality.

Expect to see exclamations of the deliciousness of food throughout!

So these ‘characters’ then, dull are they? I don’t think so! I mean Nadeshiko, is kind of our protagonist, but only because her loud and enthusiastic personality commands the audiences attention, Rin probably has the most screen time and that’s probably why the show feels so ‘low-key chill’ because she’s a lone wolf in that she likes solo camping and dislikes having to ‘deal’ with other people.

And does she go through some sort of change of heart? Well, kind of, she’ll always be that lone wolf on her moped, ogling doggos as she drives but she at least comes to understand that camping can be fun with other people too!

Too many ‘good boys’!

It all sounds very slight. Where you been? I never said it was anything other than the most light-hearted and relaxed of anime experiences! It’s not like I ever sat week-to-week wondering what the thrilling conclusion to the cliffhanger moment of ‘will they arrive at the camp and eat food?’

Food, eh? So it’s a food anime too? It starts simple enough with a curry Cup Noodle and somehow escalates to sukiyaki and A5 wagyu beef by the end! But yes, food plays a big part in this anime, like even more so than some actual anime that are apparently solely about food!

Just dreamin’ ’bout dat juicy meat…

Well I think I’ve gotten a fair idea what this show is about, anything else to add? I want to go camping. And I hate the outdoors.

H—how can you hate the outdoors? Oh right, Mr. Sports Hater, M.D. I sometimes forget you’re a recluse. I’m a doctor now?—And a spider?!

“She makes it look so delicious”

Final score and recommendation! This is a hard one to quantify, like, don’t go in expecting anything resembling a story, not even by slice of life standards, nor is this an anime that has the sort of character growth that makes up for said deficiencies in story, what this is, for those who can appreciate the mindset is nothing less than a religious experience! It defies rating and review, it is peacefulness incarnate even if it’s little else, and for me that’s all I want amidst this turbulent world. 89 out of 100.


What Happened With Märchen Mädchen Episode 9? – A 20 Question Anime Discussion

A 20 Question Anime Discussion about What Happened With Märchen Mädchen Episode 9.

What’s the show? Märchen Mädchen Episode 9.

Ah, another single episode review, got a lot to talk about huh? Well I don’t know if this counts as a review, I’m going to quickly hammer out my thoughts and post this, no editing, no pictures, just straight from brain to keyboard.

Right, so let’s cut to the chase then? What was it about episode 9 of this show I’ve never heard of that’s got you needing to talk so badly? So I guess a little background info is needed first, so Märchen Mädchen is a magical girl anime of sorts, I found it to be entertaining from the get-go, nothing remarkable but certainly fun and charming and the lead girl had just the right amount of shy and awkward and adorable. But around about episode 5 or 6 the animation quality started to drop. Then at episode 8, it was announced it would be going off the air for a couple of weeks to improve animation quality, and then it finally comes back and episode 9 is probably the most inconsistently animated episode of an anime I’ve ever seen.

Ouch, that bad huh? Mmhmm, and originally I was going to make a big ol’ rant about it because I was upset, upset that a show that had shown so much promise and had such cute character designs ended up this bad. I was going to show comparisons between episode 1 and episode 9 and had all these “jokes” worked out to caption them with.

But? Well I thought that’s not really fair on the one group of people who will be the most affected by these negative words.

And who’s that? The animators, of course. I mean these are dedicated and talented individuals who have to put up with ridiculously tight schedules and absurdly long hours, only then to have to read some asshole on the internet bitch that it wasn’t up to standard? How is that fair?

Let’s be fair, they’ll never read this, but I suppose I see your point… And it’s not even about trying to spread kindness instead of hate, that’s all well and good but that’s not going to get anything done! Where the anger should be levelled against is the studios and production companies who put these impossible schedules in place without regard for the well-being of the people who actually do all the hard work, all so they can earn a quick buck.

Oh? How do you know the production was rushed, I mean aside from what the finished product ended up looking like? This is all just an educated assumption but let’s look at like this, the original light novel author of Märchen Mädchen, Tomohiro Matsu died in May 2017, at the time of his death only one volume of the light novel was out. Of course there was more material for more light novels so the other two were released in July and December of 2017 respectively. So what’s an enterprising publisher to do to capitalise on the tragedy of a light novel author dying young but rush an anime into production in an insanely short window, just so they can sell more books!

So 8 months isn’t enough to make an anime? There’s no hard figures on how long it takes, like any projects there will be delays. Some sources say 6-7 months, some say a year or more regardless of that there’s no doubt in my mind this anime was only made to profit off the tragedy of the novelist dying.

Well that sucks, but it’s hardly a new thing, people are always trying to capitalise off these kinds of things and the quality often suffers as a result. I’m not saying that this is some kind of scandal that needs to be exposed, I’m just trying to say that when things like this happen in anime, we shouldn’t immediately blame the animators who are already working their hardest as it is.

But it’s their job, isn’t it? And if they don’t do a good job at it shouldn’t they be held accountable? Imagine having to work an 80-hour week, facing insurmountable deadlines, doing all that is humanly possible to get your work done only to be spit in the face for all your hard work.

You make it sound so dramatic! It is dramatic, there’s a reason the Japanese have a word for people who suddenly die due to the intense pressures and workloads from their jobs, it’s called Karoshi, you can read all about it on wikipedia if you feel like it, but it’s a serious problem in Japan. And these companies who are trying to make money by rushing out a product are only making things worse for these poor people.

Hmm, I see what you mean… but well, and I know my sole purpose here is to play devil’s advocate so forgive me if I sound callous, but isn’t a lot of the things you enjoy, like electronics and clothing products and what not made by people in terrible working environments? Listen, that’s a whole can-of-worms that I’m not nearly educated about to even begin discussing. That’s a different side of consumerism, what I’m talking about is entertainment and art, movies and video games are made without the kind of pressures that are involved here and there’s plenty of anime out there that aren’t overseen by cruel companies that are enforcing ridiculous deadlines on their employees.

So basically you’re saying? I’m saying it doesn’t have to be this way! Make anime for the love of anime and for the sake of telling a great story, not to turn a profit from an author’s sudden death and risk the physical and mental health of your animators.

Well said, though I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be read by anyone with even an ounce of influence on changing things. Oh I know, but it’s better than writing a 20 Question Anime Review that makes fun of how bad the animation was, I feel better for having taken the high road in this instance.

And is that why there aren’t any pictures or gifs of said ‘bad animation’? Well it’d be a little hypocritical of me if I were to include them when I just spent all this time telling people to be considerate of the animator’s feelings… Plus if they really want to source them out, they can just go on MAL or watch the episode for themselves.

So where does this leave you with the show? Well funnily enough the preview for next week’s episode looks like the animation is pretty much back to the good quality it was at the start of the season, so maybe they fixed up the final 3 episodes and not this one.

Out of curiosity, what would you have done if you were in charge of this show? Seeing how bad episode 9 was, I would have cut it completely, had a voice over at the start of 10 explaining the events of episode 9 and then if the budget allowed for it reanimated for the DVD/blu-ray release. But of course, that’s just what I would have done, the reality of the situation may have made that impossible.

Only time will tell if things are truly improved for the final 3 episodes. Indeed, indeed.

So how do we wrap up this, whatever this was, it wasn’t really a review at all was it? No, but I guess all I can say is, be kind to one another, don’t judge until you have the full story and don’t lay blame where its going to only harm. Especially if the one’s you’re blaming are only doing their job.

10 Best Anime ED’s Winter 2018 – Listing Compulsive

My 10 Best Anime ED’s of the 2018 Winter season.

Hello and welcome back to Listing Compulsive, this weekly countdown blog I’ve got going! Well I’ve already covered my 10 best and 10 worst opening (OP) songs for the Winter 2018 anime season, might as well get the ending (ED) songs one’s done before the Spring season starts and I do it all over again! Listening to the many ending songs one thing was abundantly clear; the ending songs from this season were far more consistently better than the openings, by a wide margin in fact! Which as you can imagine made compiling both lists a lot more difficult!

As per the previous lists, I listened to every available ED track from the current anime season, but refrained from looking at the visuals, as this is a list ranked on audio alone. Also, while it may seem unfair, I have excluded any show that has a different ending song for every episode (or more than 3 in the space of a short run). So without further ado here are what I consider to be the 10 best anime ED’s of Winter 2018!

Number 10: “DIRTY BULLET” by TRI4TH from Hakata Tonoktosu Ramens.

‘There’s something super funky, and effortlessly cool about this track, kind of like something from Cowboy Bebop’s soundtrack.’

Number 9: “Harvest Moon Night” by Mikochi & Konju from Hakumei and Mikochi

‘While not anywhere near as moving and sublime as the opening proved to be (it ended up at number 1 of my OP list despite never having watched the show!) it’s still a sweet and charming tune.’

Number 8: “Furu Biyori” by Eri Sasaki from Yuru Camp

‘There’s a fine line between meditative and boring, but somehow no matter how many times I hear this track I’m never bored.’

Number 7: “HUG tto! Miarai*Dreamer) by Cure Yell, Cure Ange and Cure Etoile from Hug tto! Precure

‘Imagine my surprise when a show I’ve never even heard of delivers such a bangin’ tune! High energy, high fun, what’s not to love?!’

Number 6: “I AM STANDING” by RUANN from March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season

‘I don’t know, is it just me or does this singer sound a lot like Sporty Spice? Weird thought I know, but I do enjoy this song a great deal, it’s different enough for me to take notice but weirdly nostalgic in a lot of unexpected ways.’

Number 5: “Miracle Colors☆Honjitsu mo Ijou Nashi!” by Colors☆Slash from Mitsuboshi Colors

‘Remember in my best of list where I said I can’t resist anime songs that feature the voice cast? Well, ditto☆.’

Number 4: “Ref:rain” by Aimer from Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

‘It’s Aimer, what else did you expect but a beautifully sung piece of music?’

Number 3: “PRIMALove” by ClariS from Beatless.

‘Another popular and reliable name in anime music, aside from the top tier vocals the beat is infectious and there’s a great sense of progression to the song, captured in such a short period of time. Hard to fault, really.’

Number 2: “Kedarmono Damono” by Kitsunetsuki from Killing Bites

‘You ever listen to an ending song and wonder why it wasn’t made the opening instead? Yeah, well this 100%. Also, I don’t know why but for some reason the song reminds me of High School of the Dead’s opening and Daria(!?)’s ending song. Yeah I don’t know…’

Before we get to the number one pick, here is an honourable mention!

Honourable Mention: “The Perfect World” by Marty Friedman from B: The Beginning

‘This is a really great song, and maybe it should be number one! But you know what stops it from being number one and the reason is going to sound really dumb, but it’s because the lyrics are too good. Namely, I can understand them because they’re all in English… I know I know! That shouldn’t disqualify a song, but for me it almost felt unfair, like here were all these Japanese language tracks and then suddenly BOOM, English lyrics and good ones too! Talk about playing dirty, but I guess it makes sense since it’s from a Netflix anime…’

And now the number one anime ED of Winter 2018 is!

Number One: “Suki no Skill” by Wake Up, Girls! from Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody

‘I’ve heard mixed to bad things about this show, but when ‘Wake Up, Girls’ are on form, it almost doesn’t matter! Okay that’s probably not true, I haven’t seen this show but I just really dig this song! It’s not even that unique of a track, it doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking, it just does everything right it’s probably what I would call the ‘perfect example’ of an ending song, and that’s why it’s number one. Also it just sounds as cute as all heck!’

And that’s my 10 best anime ED’s of Winter 2018, but stay tuned because soon comes a list that was almost impossible to forge, the 10 5 worst anime ED’s! Thanks for reading!

10 Worst Anime OP’s Winter 2018 – Listing Compulsive

My 10 Worst Anime OP’s of the 2018 Winter season.

Generally speaking, I don’t like to be negative about the things people like, at least not without consideration and cause, I mean why would I want to make people feel bad for something they like. But I already did a lot of work compiling my personal 10 Best Anime OP’s of the 2018 Winter season, so why not countdown the ten worst anime opening songs of this season! And remember like the previous list, only the music was listened to, the visuals of the opening are not taken into consideration; this list is solely about the individual song and not the show.

Number 10: “Error” by GARNiDELiA from Beatless

It kind of reminded me of the Pop Team Epic opening, except nowhere near as fun. Not a terrible song, just not terribly interesting. I expect better from GARNiDELiA!

Number 9: “Endless happy world” by Daisuke Ono from Gakuen Babysitters

I’m sorry, was the singer recovering from the flu? He sounds seriously congested in the nose. Plus it’s just a dull song. 

Number 8: Maboroshi Wink” by AOP feat. AOP ZERO from Mr. Osomatsu 2

This must be how all J-Pop sounds to people who hate it. (Because I usually love it) This is just obnoxious and grating and not in any way charming or cute.

Number 7: “Keep the Heat and Fire Yourself Up” by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from Hakyu Hoshin Engi

Autotune can work if used sparingly; hear it should be credited as a featured vocalist because that’s all I hear. Also the song doesn’t have enough variation, it’s just like someone clipped a random part of the song without any consideration.

Number 6: “DxDxD” by BREAKERZ from Dame x Prince Anime Caravan

I swear I’ve heard this song before, and that’s not a compliment, like this is just forgettable and thoroughly mediocre. 

Number 5: “Schichiten Battou no Blues” by THE PINBALLS from Junji Ito Collection

“Should we go for another take guys?”
“Nah, I totally nailed it first time.”
“But it’s a bit rough isn’t it, kind of sounds like a demo…”
“I said it’s FINE!”

Number 4: “Slide Ride” by Run Girls, Run! From Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody

I feel like there’s a decent song in there somewhere, but it’s buried by a very messy and probably hurried production. Just lazy.

Number 3: “Hope” by Namie Amuro from One Piece

As good as some shonen openings can be, there can also be some real turkey’s out there, serve this one up for Thanksgiving.

Number 2: “Genkai Toppa x Survivor” by Kiyoshi Hikawa from Dragon Ball Super

Thanksgiving leftovers.

Number 1: “MAN HUMAN (DEVILMAN crybaby Ver.)” by Denki Groove from Devilman: Crybaby


Originally I was going to put this in my dishonourable mention section. But then I was like, why? Why should it be let off the hook just because it has (almost) no vocals, and is more like a dance track then a traditional song. It’s still an anime, it’s still an OP, it should be judged with the others! And it sucks.

And there it is my Worst 10 Anime OP’s of the Winter 2018 season, agree/disagree leave a comment with your worst below! Thanks for reading!