Time for an Update

Hello

I just wanted to write you all a quick update regarding this week’s scheduling. I will not be putting up any articles except for the Friday collab with Yomu. There are a few reasons for this so please allow me a moment to explain.

  1. Due to the weekend not shaking out as intended I did not have time to write, “Monday’s”, meaning today’s article in advance. I had intended to review Bunny Girl Senpai but that looks like it will have to wait until next week.
  2. Additionally, a friend of mine was discussing some stuff about his job (he’s an engineer) and I made some recommendations regarding the business he works for. As a result, I now have a temporary (and by that I mean very temporary) consulting job. I’m going to be busy assisting him in writing a business plan proposal. I could use the money obviously, and I am in no position to decline this. However, that means I do not have much extra time for writing this week.
  3. My third, and final, reason for this is that I need to prep the showcase. Submissions close next week on the 28th but I still have to read several submissions still and begin organizing what I have into a pleasant format. I am going to take this time off to focus on that in place of new content for the week. In my opinion, it is more important to have this ready than to rush content for the week and try to do this at the same time.

I thank you in advance for your understanding. Please enjoy your week and I look forward to resuming our regular schedule next week!

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This Art Club Has a Problem! – Collaboration with Yomu: Episode 2

Art Appraisals

Welcome to the esteemed gallery that Art Club has put together for your amusement. I am your host, Jon, and I will be guiding you through the early days of Art Club’s various artists and pieces. Be sure to thank the gallery’s sponsor, Yomu, for working in conjunction with us to bring you this extravagant event. At the end of the tour you are encouraged to offer patronage in order to keep our esteemed institution in top-form, after all, this gallery simply could not operate if all our artists were starving! It seems everyone is here, so let us commence with this evenings tour. Continue reading “This Art Club Has a Problem! – Collaboration with Yomu: Episode 2”

Anime ABC’s, “Q” Results

One Title, One Chance at Redemption!

We had a lower turnout than usual, but despite this, it was a very tight race. It turns out when you pit all the fan-favorite shows against each other, folks have a hard time deciding which one should win. With a total of 21 unique voters, one show received 9 votes among them. The winner was none other than Cowboy Bebop!

The plan is to rewatch the series and get an article out. After that, I’ll be watching the film and producing a follow-up article for that as well. This is going to take me awhile because I’m losing my Amazon Prime account, so that means I need to finish a few shows they have that are still exclusive before anything else. After that, this’ll have my full attention though.

If you would like something to enjoy in the intern, you can read my article on Psycho-pass from the last voting round. Alternatively, check out my giant alphabetized list of every anime I’ve reviewed/mentioned since the site’s creation. I’m sure you can find some great reading there.

As always, you can see the full results of the votes below. It was awful close so I’m sure you’ll be curious to see what titles almost won. Even my personal pick only managed second place (but what one could that be?).

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Goblin Slayer – Failing to Deliver on a Promise

Setting the Wrong Tone

Image result for goblin slayerWhen Goblin Slayer first premiered at the start of the Fall 2018 season it was met with harsh criticism and backlash from many in the anime community. It even prompted Crunchyroll to provide content warnings at the start of the episodes, where previously there were none. Part of this was due to the series briefly being labeled accidentally as PG, but mostly it was due to the sudden and (for many at least) unexpected depictions of violence, sexual situations, and general unpleasantness in the first episode. After that though… the show really wasn’t anything like that, at all. Continue reading “Goblin Slayer – Failing to Deliver on a Promise”

Nailed it! – Mini Review

Baking & Comedy, The Perfect Recipe!

Image result for nailed itAt one of the overnight youth functions I supervised over the Christmas vacation, it was suggested by one of the kids that we watch Nailed it! as a pre-bed activity. The kid in question told us that it was a baking show, but really funny. I’m not a fan of baking shows, but I am a big fan of Nailed it! and the hilarity that ensues when people who absolutely cannot bake get in the kitchen to recreate Pinterest level projects.

Even if you are like me and not big into cooking/baking programs, you should enjoy this program if you like comedy. Not only this, but it is also a great way to actually learn how to bake better yourself, which is never a bad skill for anybody to have. Alright, maybe that’s not enough to sell you. Just take a look at this image:

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Now not everything the contests bake on this program turns out as horrifyingly hilarious as this, but this is about what you should expect. Coupled with the excellent direction and energy brought to the program from the hosts makes this easy to sit down and watch several in a row.

Given that this is a Netflix original series, the show is aware that most people are going to sit down and binge this. Listen, I didn’t think I would, but I did. It really is that easy to do and there are a decent number of episodes that will allow you to keep the party going (either alone or with friends, it’s obviously better with friends). That said, I do suggest being somewhat conservative with these because you should never burn through something like this too quickly.

On a personal level, Nailed it! hurts my soul. So many of the bakers are just awful. Not following directions, making obvious mistakes, etc… A lot of the time they get made fun of, and that can come off as mean spirited. It’s my only real complaint with the show, but most of the time they get constructive feedback and walk away learning something.

This is evident in one of the episodes where they have some of the worst-of-the-worst return, and while they still do poorly, they did improve as a direct result of their past experience! I’d say it is generally a more positive show that pokes fun at people who know they can’t bake, which is good.

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Earlier I mentioned the hosts. Their are two static hosts, Nicole Byer and world-famous Jacques Torres, have excellent chemistry. Each episode a guest judge joins in on the action and they are almost always great in conjunction with the other two. It is really fun to watch them riff on each other and just generally mess around.

If you somehow missed Nailed It! when it first came out, then you should go and give it a watch. It’s rare that you find something that can teach you something, be largely positive, but also offer a great deal of humor! Netflix, you really have a winner here and I hope you do more episodes beyond the current three seasons.


Have you seen Nailed It! before? What was your favorite episode? Tell me all about it in the comments below. If you would like to support my work please head over to my donation page via the button under this. Lastly, thanks for visiting today and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

This Art Club Has a Problem! – Collaboration with Yomu: Episode 1

First impressions are important: a critique of the first 5 minutes of the episode.

Image result for this art club has a problemOk, so before I actually do that let me introduce this project a bit. Yomu really wanted to do this collab where folks would all watch a show, the same show, episode-by-episode each week but with a big twist! That being we’d all (mostly) be focusing on different themes/ideas each time. We get a huge list to choose from and pick one. So, as you can see, I chose to tackle first impressions. We had some choices as to what to watch but we settled on This Art Club Has a Problem! in the end. You can read about the project in more detail here. Continue reading “This Art Club Has a Problem! – Collaboration with Yomu: Episode 1”

Anime ABC’s – Q Voting Round?

Welcome to Redemption!

This is the 17th voting round of the Anime ABC’s series and normally we’d be choosing between titles that begin with the letter, “Q” but this round is going to work a little differently. You see, there are not very many anime that start with this letter, and the few that I could feasibly watch, I have absolutely zero interest in. So instead, this is a redemption round where second place losers from the rounds prior get the chance to have their day in the sun!

Anime ABC’s Q Voting Round Link <- Click Me!

Voting will remain open from today until 1/16/18 at 11:59 PM PST per the norm.

There were a few options where I more than one title was a previous runner up and in those cases I made a call or chose the title that hadn’t already been reviewed (as was the case in some instances). Including this in case you go back through each round and see how each round shook out because it wouldn’t line up exactly otherwise.

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “P” round is the sixteenth anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

The goal of this series is to encourage community input, interaction, as well as to allow me to discover cool new shows, or in some cases, rediscover ones that I previously watched. You can check out my previous ABC reviews for:  Anohana, Bacanno!, Code Geass, The Devil is a Part-Timer, ErasedFlowers of Evil, Gunslinger Girl (S1-2 + OVA’s), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, Joker GameKimi no Na waLittle Witch Academia, Mob Psycho 100, NHK ni Youkoso!, Ouran High School Host Clubor Psycho-Pass. by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

 

So what are you waiting for? Vote now and be sure to come back next week to see which show ended up winning this round.

 

Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues – Mini Review

It Was Interesting

Mr. Tonegawa:  Middle Management Blues, or just, Tonegawa for short, was a show I watched from the Summer 2018 season more out of obligation than because I genuinely wanted to. My relationship with the original series that this is a spin-off of, Kaiji, is a somewhat rocky one. You can view my thoughts on both season 1 and season 2 of that series to get the full picture. Still, this promised me comedy and Tonegawa is a character I liked so there was some hope for this series. Did it manage some laughs and did I like it? Let’s find out!

For those of you who may not be familiar, Tonegawa follows one of the antagonists from the original Kaiji series. He’s the number two man for a (sort of) evil loan-type organization know as the Teiai Corporation. His job is to keep the crazy president of the company happy, but it isn’t easy since he is into seeing the darkest parts of humanity in increasingly sick and twisted ways.

Don’t let that fool you though, this is a comedy for the most part. While Tonegawa certainly straddles the line with some rather dark comedy, especially if you’ve seen Kaiji’s first season, it is overall a fairly tame affair. Really, the show is at its best in these moments but they are far-and-few-between.

When an episode landed, say episode 3 for example, it really landed. However, most episodes were only minorly funny or simply wholly uninteresting. Still, there is a charm here that kept me watching in spite of all that. While it felt like a slog across its 24 episodes at times, there would be streaks of good episodes or that one thing that made watching worth it each week.

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If you haven’t seen the show, what do you think is going on here?

Part of this is enjoying all the nods to Kaiji. Even though I wasn’t a big fan, I do really enjoy referential works that I get. There are a lot! Some of them make scenarios in the original very absurd, to the point where you’d never be able to take them seriously, and others were just respectful nods.

At the halfway point I was having a decent time. Then the show decided to pivot and it really suffered for that. It decided to incorporate some season two stuff and follow a different character who is, for one, less interesting, and two, somebody you shouldn’t like at all if you’ve seen Kaiji’s second season.

Image result for Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management BluesNo longer a comedy, instead it became a foodie’s dream show. It wasn’t like these episodes were terrible but this show was supposed to be about Tonegawa, right? I don’t want to follow Ootsuki. They do bring it all together at one point, but it really wasn’t enough to justify the lengthy diversion.

By the homestretch, it does focus again solely on Tonegawa but these were among the least interesting episodes. It even had the audacity to throw itself a party for the last episode. You know what though? I was fine with it. Part of me was relieved that the show was finally over but the other part of me thought that Tonegawa had earned its ending. The show had fun, wanted you to have fun watching, and at the end of the day, that’s all you can really ask for.

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Some quick thoughts that didn’t make it into the main review here. The various, “Zawa, zawa’s” and iterations thereof, were all done by different actors each episode. I liked that. This is by far one of the biggest things that is unique to Kaiji and having this much dedication and attention put to making this really standout even more in this series was a very good touch.

Furthermore, the opening changed quite often to reflect things that had occurred from episode-to-episode. While you probably won’t catch them at first, by the end of the show it is like night and day with the amount of little things that have changed with time. It’s an underutilized treat when animators go that extra mile to really make a show stick out just that much more. I was impressed.

I could only find the dub trailer, but it captures some of the spirit rather well

While I wouldn’t say this show was all that great, I did enjoy it. Somehow, it was better for me, even if a lot of it just wasn’t all that interesting. Tonegawa is something that die-hard Kaiji fans NEED to watch, and if you’ve never seen Kaiji, it may spark some interest. However, it really is something made for fans and I can respect that.


What are your thoughts on Tonegawa and were you a fan of Kaiji? Let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to support the work I do here please consider hitting my donation button and tossing a few bucks my way. Lastly, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to read this and I hope to see you back here again soon!

The wordpress anime awards 2018: Ladies and Gentlemen, the results are in!

The results are in. Be sure to hop on over and see what took home the prize in each of the categories. This was fun to do and I hope you all had fun joining us! 😀

You guys are getting spoiled for posts this week. The normal MWF on top of the weekend?!? Look forward to more great content not only from myself, but every-single-person who helped out with this. Give ’em all a follow why don’t you?

Raistlin0903

Hello everybody,

What better way to start the year then with a look back, or more precisely the results of the first ever anime awards that were held on WordPress. After a careful selection by a wonderful group of performers: Cactus Matt, Derek Lyons, Marthaurion, Matt Doyle, Jon Spencer, Karandi, Star & Luna, BiblioNyan, Lethargic Ramblings, Ano Nora, Ty-chama, Mech Anime Reviews, itsaanimething, and myself, our intrepid ringmaster the great and wonderful Ayano presented all the categories to you in this  amazing post. After that all of you voted for your favorites for which we all thank you so much! But alas, the carnival closed at the stroke of midnight on december the 31st 2018. However, the carnival has one last trick up it’s sleave, and that’s presenting you with the results of your votes. Before…

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New Year, New Game – Try an RPG this Year!

BONUS POST!

The other day I made a series of tweets about DrivethruRPG’s New Year, New Game sale and put together a curated list of RPG’s in the sale that you should check out. Of course you can view that thread here, but I thought folks might appreciate the easier to read/navigate layout. I also cut it down to just 10 entries. Consider trying a tabletop role-playing (TRPG) game this year, I have something for everybody here:  kids, adults, big groups or small, and even ones you can play by yourself! Continue reading “New Year, New Game – Try an RPG this Year!”