A concept that is often explored in media is the resiliency of humankind. No matter how bleak or hopeless a situation appears, people always find a way to survive and carry on. In some ways Girls’ Last Tour echoes this message while depicting a surreal, lonely, dying world. As long as we have each other, we can enjoy the end of the world together, right?Continue reading “Girls’ Last Tour – Thoughts for a Dying World”→
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 Club. While 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?
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.
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!
It’s incredibly rare for a show to follow its characters over the course of several years, really letting you see how they grow and develop. That’s exactly what you get with Hikaru no Go. If I had to compare the 2001 title to anything, it would be March Comes in like a Lion, but where that show is about the game of Shogi, placing more emphasis on events outside the game, this is about the ancient game of Go with a more traditional sports anime format. Spanning 75 exciting episodes, you’ll find yourself deeply invested even if you don’t know a thing about Go itself. Continue reading “Hikaru no Go – A Rare Kind of Show”→
I got a lot of use out of the couple of years I was able to afford having Amazon Prime. However, I’m practically out of money so this is one of the things I have to let go of this year (along with a lot of other things). Anyway, since I officially lost the service today, I thought we’d look back at a few shows I quickly watched before the service ran out on me. I ended up having time for 3 shows which are: Re:Creators, Irozuku: The World in Colors, and Yuki Yuna is a Hero season 2.
Alright, with everybody gearing up for the holiday season, I decided to tackle a more unusual movie: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. Last year, I had the pleasure of first watching this film with a group of friends and it was a lot better than one might think for a horror-comedy Christmas film set in Finland with very little English in it. All that sure is a mouthful, but join me and see just what makes Rare Exports a hidden cult classic!Continue reading “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale – You Doing Alright, Santa?”→
I’ve held off on reviewing Happy Sugar Life for some time now and some of you may have been wondering why I hadn’t reviewed it yet, especially since I reviewed everything else I watched during the summer already. That’s right, I knew it was a good fit for Halloween reviewing so I saved the best for last. Hitting the number two spot of my favorite anime so far, here’s why you should give Happy Sugar Life a watch.Continue reading “Freaky Friday 4 of 4 – Happy Sugar Life”→
Have you ever been watching a show and everything is enjoyable enough and then you dive into the main character’s backstory and beliefs only to discover that they are a deplorable human and just abjectly horrible? To make things worse, the show wants this character to WIN and you are supposed to want them to. This is exactly how I felt watching Btooom! and its protagonist Sakamoto.Continue reading “Btooom! & Problematic Protagonists”→
You guys voted over on my Twitter for me to do a list featuring some anime you might have missed, some might even say obscure, so here we are! I’ve actually done two lists like this in the past which you can read those here and here. So in total, you’ll be getting a whole 15 anime recommendations today! You’ll certainly have a lot of shows to pick from after this.
Much like previous lists, titles featured here are ones I’ve watched. These entries are not ranked in any way and I tried to pick a variety of titles so you can find at least one potential show to give a chance to. Of course, I might have left out a really great title so feel free to make additional recommendations in the comments below for both myself and your fellow readers. Let’s get on with the list!Continue reading “5 Lesser Known Anime You May Have Missed”→
Note: this article was written 7/19/2018. Some points made in this article may be irrelevant as the service is updated for those of you viewing this in future land.
When most people think Steam they think videos games like Portal or the Half-life series, but today I’ll be taking a look at their video streaming service that’s built right into their platform. I aim to look at their streaming selection, pricing, and functionality. Recently I was inspired to use the service while watching the anime, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju since you can’t legal purchase the show outside of the Steam platform so it seemed like a good time to also write this article.Continue reading “Streaming on Steam – Looking at Selection & Functionality”→
Some of you may also remember that I am big into ballroom dancing and familiar with the competition scene. Welcome to the Ballroom was a show I just had to watch but I was a bit worried because so many people complained about its quality when it was airing. Were these complaints warranted or was the show actually pretty good? Well, from a dancer’s perspective at least, the show was pretty decent but it definitively could have been better.
Let’s start with what the show does well. The characters are fairly well constructed with only a few moments where the writing drops the ball and undermines, what would otherwise be, a pretty consistent cast. When they do bother to animate the dancing, it looks good and is actually reasonably accurate (animating dancing is really difficult to sync up properly and have it look smooth, I’ve never really seen it done that well) which was a big plus. Furthermore, it was engaging not only because I was invested in the topic, but because the story didn’t follow the traditional shonen formula.
That said, the pacing wasn’t always the greatest. The main character gets really good at all the dances crazy quickly, which I could accept, but at one point they tell you in the show that his teachers didn’t even bother teaching him about frame until about 2/3rds of the way into the story. This is a fundamental basic so that was so beyond stupid I couldn’t believe it. Really, Welcome to the Ballroom does a terrible job at explaining how and why things work the way they do. This takes away from the appeal of dancing, and as somebody who thinks more people should give it a try, this is disheartening because if you aren’t already interested in dance then this will almost definitely not get you into it.
I mentioned above that Welcome to the Ballroom has a tendency to undermine its characters, specifically some of the female cast, which really knocked things down a peg. This was very unnecessary and not at all funny like the show was obviously aiming to be with these moments. Lastly, the story had a little too much needless drama towards the end.
In the end, I can see the community’s complaints and can kind of agree. This wasn’t the best series out their, especially not for the Summer 2017 season, but it is still one I recommend. Largely, the anime does a decent job at portraying dance well, but skimps out on capturing its entire appeal and inner workings. As long as you can get past the giraffe necks (had to sneak that one in here at least once, but really the necks loot to exaggerate the proper head position on dancers) and you have access, I would encourage at least giving this a shot. The second half improves dramatically but the first half has a few stunning moments itself.
Have you seen Welcome to the Ballroom? What special topics do you wish would be explored more in anime, fishing, sumo, or something else? Let me know your thoughts on both this and the series in the comments below. If you enjoy my content than please consider donating to my Ko-fi by clicking the button below. Hope to see you back around here soon, and as always, thanks for reading!