Saying Goodbye to Girls’ Last Tour – Concluding our Fourth #Anitwitwatches

Come and Vote!

The time has arrived once again to say goodbye to another great season of #anitwitwatches. For our fourth watch we settled on Girls’ Last Tour for a change of pace after School Days. Don’t fret though! We’ll be preparing to move on to a new show after next week. That’s where you come in! Below I’ll leave a link to our vote on Twitter where you can help decide what we’ll be watching next. Keep an eye out as we’ll be announcing the winner alongside the concluding thoughts for Girls’ Last Tour on 3/16/20.

I’ll be reviewing Girls’ Last Tour shortly after the watch concludes, so please look forward to that as well!

What is #Anitwitwatches?

This is a community initiative I started a few months ago where we get together and collectively watch an anime. Then, we talk about it on Twitter using the hashtag #anitwitwatches. The first ever watch was for Tonari no Seki-kun which was a lot of fun. You can view more information on the watch, as well as my review on Seki-kun here.

Our second watch was for Rampo Kitan which I had already written about previously, so that review won’t mention the watch at all. However, you can find all of the threads about any previous watch by searching the hashtag on Twitter or by clicking the linked #anitwitwatches right here.

As mentioned above, our third watch was for the infamous School Days! It wen’t over really well and has even lead others to watching the show some time after the watch has concluded. You can find those thoughts linked above and via the hashtag mentioned in the previous paragraph as well.

Why is X Show on the Poll?

As I mentioned last time, each show was carefully considered using a series of criteria to ensure that this activity remains fun and varied each time. Due to some oversight with the last voting round on my end and the heavy nature of School Days, I’ve elected to largely mix up the poll for this new season of #anitwitwatches. A short summary is provided below and in the actual voting thread above as well.

  1. Wandering SonThis is a carryover from our very first watch, it just keeps almost winning! There seems to be a lot of interest in it and I’m all for watching it. This  made my Top 20 Anime of the Decade list awhile back if you wants some quick thoughts.
  2. Rolling GirlsA CGDCT show with just enough depth to be interesting week-to-week. Very colorful and fun!
  3. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou – This is a story about failure, but learning to push on even in the face of adversity. For creatives like us, it’s perfect! The show is a 24 episode one, but don’t let that worry you. It’ll work just fine 😉
  4. Death Parade – Lately this show has been at the forefront of discussion in various circles of mine. This has me itching to watch it, and I’ve wanted to put it on the poll anyway.

Join in the Fun!

So get to voting! I hope to see you for the next watch and would love to hear about shows you’d like to see added to the poll in the future. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’d be more than happy to answer!

Fall 2019 – 3 Disappointments

You Can’t Win Them All

It’s taken me a lot longer than expected to work my way through the remaining Fall 2019 anime, but now that I’ve finished most of the shows, it’s time to get to some reviewing! Today I’m going to cover 3 shows that disappointed me the most during the season. I chose to do so in this format as opposed to my typical one-show-one-review style as I either have said a fair bit on the show or didn’t have much to say in the first place. With that, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Fall 2019 – 3 Disappointments”

Full Course Anime – Hosted by Jon Spencer Reviews

Welcome, Please Make Yourself at Home

I know your journey to my countryside manor must have been a long and arduous one, but now that you are here please make yourself comfortable as we prepare for tonight’s meal. We’ll have a full seven course meal paired with only the finest vintage previously unavailable to the public for some time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy tonight’s festivities. Continue reading “Full Course Anime – Hosted by Jon Spencer Reviews”

Creating 20 Original Anime Valentine’s Cards

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you are on Twitter or in my Discord, you have probably already seen that I made a bunch of anime-related Valentine’s Day cards. If not, then this post will discuss why I did this project and what inspired each card. Please enjoy! Continue reading “Creating 20 Original Anime Valentine’s Cards”

Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Image result for ascendance of a bookworm animePursuing your passion can seem like a daunting task, sometimes, it can even seem impossible to achieve. Such is the case for Urano Motosu, a young woman who dreams of being a librarian. Unfortunately for Urano, her life is cut short in a somewhat ironic twist of fate (crushed by her own weighty collection of books), but this is not the end for her. Instead, she awakens in the body of a young girl, Myne, in a world where books are seemingly out of reach. Thus Myne has to overcome innumerable obstacles all while trying to adjust to her less-than-ideal life.
Continue reading “Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity”

After School Dice Club – Mini Review

Finally, An Anime About Board Games!

Since A Sister’s All You Need first premiered back in 2017, I’ve been convinced that an anime about people playing board games could work well. Apparently a 2013 manga, later turned anime, was a head of the curve though with After School Dice ClubWhile this series took its time to finally put my money where my mouth was, there’s just one logical question to ask:  Does the show actually work?

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Left to right:  Midori, Aya, Emilia, and Miki

To get the show off the ground, because you can’t just have some cute girls randomly playing board games with no context, there’s Miki, a shy girl with no friends. How sad. Then she learns about board games, and wouldn’t you know it, she gets some friends which gives a boost to her self-confidence. Along the way, her newfound friends have their own trials and tribulations as well.

While there is that story going on, the focus is obviously the board games. Not your typical anime off-brand stuff, real board games that you can go out and get today. If you didn’t know, I am pretty well-versed when it comes to board games and I was generally impressed with the selection they showed off in After School Dice Club.

Nearly all the games featured are entry-level, meaning they are quick to pick up, learn, and teach. This allows the show to legitimately teach you how to play whatever the game happens to be in their entirety. It’s one of the biggest strengths the show has.

The other positive point this anime has is showing off the creative process for making a good game. That plot is easily the best one as it allows you to appreciate the games more while giving some basic insight into the industry. Having made a game myself, I appreciated it at least.

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Midori’s arc is where the show unfortunately peaks from a story perspective

Unfortunately, the show holds itself back by trying to include so many narrative elements. The board game sections are great, but they had to be tied into the story, which is the problem. While I respect the mix of traditional Japanese games and great modern games, having to deal with random drama between them caused them to lose some impact along the way.

You can really feel this in the final episode where Miki sits on a bench bullying herself because she realizes she might not be able to spend every waking minute of her life with her friends. What should be an emotionally climatic moment, where she does eventually learn she has true friends, is instead accidentally really hilarious.

No trailer today as they are not subbed, instead enjoy a clip from the show

I’ve seen it said that After School Dice Club fails as a show as it just “makes you want to play board games yourself”, but I can’t help but see that as a positive. That’s kind of the whole point of the show. If you are looking for a decent story that breaks down toward the end, but does feature solid game recommendations and tutorials, this will absolutely work for you. It’s just comfy enough to recommend, but I feel like this kind of show could have done a lot better.


How about you? Did After School Dice Club live up to your expectations? Let me know in the comments! If you like the work I’m doing here, please consider becoming a Patron or making a one-time donation via the buttons below. Thanks for reading and see you again soon!

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#Anitwitwatches 4 – Girls’ Last Tour Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Fourth #Anitwitwatches!

After the contentious School DaysI decided to mix up the poll considerably since that show was a trial for some folks, even if everybody seemed to largely enjoy the experience. Of these shows, only one of them has escaped my viewing before but I put it on the poll with the thought it had no chance. Wouldn’t you know it though, Girls’ Last Tour took home the gold!

Below you’ll find information on what the watch is as well as the schedule for this fourth season of #anitwitwatches. Thank you to everybody who has participated in the past and all of you who will be joining for the first time with this series!

What is #Anitwitwatches?

This is a weekly community event meant to bring folks together to revisit old favorites and discover new shows. It’s meant to be something you can get as involved in as you want, there is no pressure to participate every week or every watch, but we’d love to have you to share in the experience and discuss the shows we are watching all the same!

I was inspired to do this after seeing the “rewatches” that people do over at Reddit in the r/anime sub. Since I interact with a lot of you guys on Twitter, I thought it would be the perfect place to do something similar! That said, even if you do not have a Twitter you can still join in by posting any content via WordPress, YouTube, or whatever suits your fancy. If you do, be sure to send me an email at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com so I can share your wonderful creations!

For everyone else, simply watch the episodes for the week based on the schedule below. Make sure to use the hashtag, #anitwitwatches when you do, and that’s it! Discuss with the other folks participating, create content, and generally just have a fun time!

This next show was chosen based on YOUR votes, so let’s get to the watch schedule.

Girls’ Last Tour Watch Schedule

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We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 1/26/20. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. Plus I need to wrap up the showcase stuff for the end of that week. We will be keeping the Monday time slot for this watch after careful consideration and feedback.

If you have not done so, you can see where you can watch School Days for free, and legally, by using because.moe. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically check all regions but I aimed to make this as accessible as possible. That said, I won’t stop you from doing what you need to in order to participate. The more the merrier!

Here are the dates (all Mondays) and the episodes for each:

  • 1/27/20 – Break
  • 2/3/20 – Episodes 1 & 2
  • 2/10/20 – Episodes 3 & 4
  • 2/17/20 – Episodes 5 & 6
  • 2/24/20 – Episodes 7 & 8
  • 3/2/20 – Episodes 9 & 10
  • 3/9/20 – Episode 11
  • 3/16/20 – Episode 12

Since I haven’t actually seen this show, I did the best I could based on the episode descriptions (doing my best to avoid spoilers). It seemed to me that doing doubles for all but the last 2 episodes would suit the show nicely sans the final 2 episodes. That’ll make this watch 7 weeks long with the usual break at the start. I hope you’re excited to watch this one and I look forward to all the excellent discussion!

School Days – “The Worst Anime Ever Made”

You May Just be Surprised…

Even if you are fairly new to anime, you have likely heard somebody caution you against watching today’s anime of focus, School Days. However, I’ve been a big advocate of not always taking things at face value, and if you’ll humor me for the remainder of this article, I think I may just be able to convince you to give School Days the time of day. Continue reading “School Days – “The Worst Anime Ever Made””

Null & Peta – Mini Review

More Than Expected

When it comes to short-form shows, I really haven’t watched that many. There’s I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying as well as Tonari no Seki-kun, and not much else in terms of what I’ve actually bothered with (I’m sure if you looked there are one or two more, but the titles I listed are what sprang to mind). The former being a show that I wasn’t super into and the latter being a pretty big hit. So where does Null & Peta fit into all this? Someplace in the middle.

It’s not like I go out of my way to avoid these shorter shows, it’s just most of the time they aren’t that great or they don’t see any real distribution. That’s why when I saw that Crunchyroll had picked up Null & Peta, I decided to check it out since I was interested in the show’s premise:

Genius inventor Null tragically loses her older sister Peta in an accident. To get over the grief, Null develops “Peta Robo,” a robot with the same characteristics as her late sister. However, the robot is a little different as to what Null expected.

-MAL

It seemed to me that the show would have a nice blend of comedy with an occasional serious moment, which is my general preference when it comes to something like this. I was right in this assessment, and while I can say that there’s more going on than it first appears (it’s not really even that hard to figure out), the production didn’t skip any beats in ensuring that the show lands.

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Additionally, at exactly five minutes per episode, you aren’t risking much by watching this. There are 12 episodes in total that utilize their time well… mostly at least. One episode didn’t quite jive with me like the others, but it wasn’t anything that ruined the show.

As I said, everything generally comes together to deliver a great product. The jokes are funny, the animation is nice, and all the other elements play nicely with each other. It was a smart move to ease into the more serious parts of the show, that while being predictable, felt natural in their execution.

My only real complaint with the series is the lack of an ending theme, or really an ending anything. Don’t confuse this with the show having a lack of resolution, it does have that, what I mean is the episodes end abruptly. You can sense when this is going to happen, but it causes dialog to get truncated, and worse yet, some moments to lose impact.

The only trailer I could find is for Brazil but there’s not a lot too this one…

Finally, I wanted to mention that this seemed to be a precursor to a game that is yet to be released at the time of writing (1/9/20). I’d be interested to see how that ties into all of this and if the game itself is any fun. I’ll leave a link to the game here so you can check it out if you’d like.

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Game link here! There’s a demo available currently.

With that, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Null & Peta. If you decide to try the game out, I’d also enjoy hearing about your experience there too. Want to support my writing? You’ll find my donation buttons below, to which I’d be eternally grateful for you checking them out. Thanks for stopping by and I can’t wait to see you again soon!

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Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! – Be Careful What You Wish For…

You Just Might Get it!

Truck-kun strikes again, sending Misato Kurihara into a fantasy world upon her death. It’s one with magic and adventure, one the Gods have abandoned. However, she has no interests in such things. The one thing she wants above all else is to live a completely average life. As is typical in these stories, her wish is granted… but it isn’t quite what the former Misato pictured. Continue reading “Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! – Be Careful What You Wish For…”