Fire Force & Fanservice

Alright, Hear Me Out

Lately the discussion on the fanservice in the continuing Summer 2019 series, Fire Force, has gotten a little out of hand. It seems that you are either in favor of these sexy interludes or strongly against them. While I hold my own thoughts on this myself, I would like to address each of the main points in this discussion and explain why I think this has gotten a bit crazy. If you take anything away from this it should be this:  You are allowed to voice your thoughts on a show, but don’t push some agenda on to other people, or speak to how something effects them. Get off your damned high horse. Continue reading “Fire Force & Fanservice”

What I’m Watching – Fall 2019 Impressions

Watching a Lot Here!

I’ll be going over all 16 anime that I’m watching for the Fall 2019 season. This will include continuing series as I’d like to give my continued impressions on them since my thoughts may have changed from when they first started. Plus, that makes these a little more fun to read as well. As a result, however, this is going to be a bit of a longer article so buckle up and see what I’m watching! Continue reading “What I’m Watching – Fall 2019 Impressions”

#Anitwitwatches 3 – School Days Watch Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Third #Anitwitwatches!

Can you believe we are already on our third watch? This time around we will be watching the infamous School Days. I want to be upfront by saying that this show won’t be for everybody, and it may even make some of you uncomfortable. Do not feel obligated to participate. However, what better environment to watch this anime where we can all have discussion with each other? I’m confident that if you stick with this one from start to finish, you’ll have one unique experience that you won’t soon forget!

I’ll admit though, I was surprised that School Days managed to beat out Wandering Son in the poll. It seemed for sure that Wandering Son couldn’t be touched. YOU spoke, and I listened. I hope you are just as excited to hop on board this roller coaster of emotion and decide once and for all, is School Days really that bad?

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.

School Days Watch Schedule

Image result for school days anime

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 11/11/19. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. 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:

  • 11/11/19 – Break (Veterans Day)
  • 11/18/19 – Episode 1
  • 11/25/19 – Episodes 2-3
  • 12/2/19 – Episodes 4-5
  • 12/9/19 – Episode 6
  • 12/16/19 – Episode 7
  • 12/23/19 – Break (Christmas, please enjoy if you celebrate!)
  • 12/30/19 – Episodes 8-9
  • 1/6/20 – Episode 10
  • 1/13/20 – Episode 11
  • 1/20/20 – Broadcast “Ending” (will be provided and discussed as this date approaches) & Episode 12

This means we’ll have 9 weeks of School Days with 2 weeks off for breaks/holidays. I carefully split the episodes up in the most logical way I could based on the content in order to create a fun viewing experience. This series has a lot happen episode-to-episode so I wanted to avoid groupings (especially later in the series) as much as possible. I hope to see you for the watch!

Saying Goodbye to Rampo Kitan – Concluding our Second #Anitwitwatches

Come and Vote!

The time has arrived once again to say goodbye to another fantastic #anitwitwatches. For our second watch we settled on Rampo Kitan but we will 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 Rampo Kitan on 11/4/19.

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.

I won’t be doing a special review for Rampo Kitan though because I’ve actually already covered the series and more. That said, I do have a running thread you can view on Twitter if you want to see my running thoughts week-to-week. However, I suspect that everyone else who participated will have a few things to say.

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. Three of the series: School DaysKokoro Connect, and Wandering Son were carried over from the first poll. They all seemed like shows people were pretty interested in and I felt no need to change those entries. In general, this will be how each poll works, the “losers” moving on to the next poll.

Our new entry is Kekkai Sensen or Blood Blockade Battlefront. I felt like putting something that had a bit of everything on the poll. It’s a nice mix of general action and comedy, but still brings that unique flair that all of the #anitwitwatches shows have had so far. The goal isn’t to highlight just obscure shows with this watch, but rather ones that are interesting. This anime certainly fits the bill!

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 want to see what everybody has been saying about Rampo Kitan, or just want to revisit the old Seki-kun threads, you can do so by searching the hashtag on Twitter or by clicking the linked #anitwitwatches right here.

#Anitwitwatches 2 – Rampo Kitan Watch Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Second #Anitwitwatches!

In this article I’ll be explaining what this is for those of you who missed out on our first watch, Tonari no Seki-kun, as well as providing all the info you need on the next show the community voted on to watch, Rampo Kitan. This project has been a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to revisiting a show that inspired me a lot the first time around. Even if you didn’t join in on the first one, have seen the show like myself, or don’t have a Twitter, don’t be afraid to join in because I’m sure you’ll have a blast watching and discussing Rampo Kitan with everybody as well!

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.

Rampo Kitan Watch Schedule

Image result for rampo kitan game of laplace

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 9/9/19. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. 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 Rampo Kitan 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:

  • 9/16/19 – Episodes 1-2
  • 9/23/19 – Episode 3
  • 9/30/19 – Episode 4
  • 10/7/19 – Episode 5
  • 10/14/19 – Episode 6
  • 10/21/19 – Episodes 7-8
  • 10/28/19 – Episode 9
  • 11/4/19 – Episodes 10-11

This means we’ll have 8 weeks of Rampo Kitan. I carefully split the episodes up in the most logical way I could based on the content in order to create a fun viewing experience. I hope to see you for the watch!

Saying Goodbye to Seki-kun – An Update Regarding #Anitwitwatches & Deciding what to Watch Next!

First of All, Thank You!

A fair number of people have chosen to participate in our first ever #anitwitwatches and I am very glad for it. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, you can find all of the information here. In short, a bunch of us get together during the week to watch some anime, discuss it, and in some cases make articles or other content relating to the series as we go along as well. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time has been an excellent watch with everybody, offering more than I think most of us really expected it to. However, it is coming to a close so we need to decide what to watch next! Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Seki-kun – An Update Regarding #Anitwitwatches & Deciding what to Watch Next!”

Enter the Anime – Mini Review

It’s Not Even an Ad

Netflix released a “documentary” on August 5th, 2019 titled, Enter the Anime. The premise is simple enough, “What is anime?” and follows a newcomer to the industry, Alex Burunova, as she doesn’t proceed to do anything for approximately 50 minutes. If it had not been for this review, I would never have touched this film. Even in the first few minutes, it was so repulsive that I would have turned it off altogether. Yet here we are, as promised. Today I’ll be discussing Enter the Anime through the lens of a piece a marketing for Netflex, as it transparently seems to only exist to sell you on their shows (and it can’t even do that).

I’m going to be frank with you all. There is not a single positive thing I could say about this “documentary”. Even when it had something interesting to say, it was often cut off, impossible to decipher due to the hyperactive editing, or drowned in a sea of vapid nothingness. Just wanted to be upfront about that.

The thesis statement of this is to find out what anime is. It’s clear that the target audience is folks who have never seen an anime in their life, but it also expects the viewer to be familiar with the material as well. If I were totally new to anime, this would have turned me off to the medium entirely, and in the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain why.

First, Burunova constantly talks about how “clean” and pristine Japan is as a nation but then says that anime is made by these “deranged” individuals who are the fringe of their society. This is not only extremely offensive, and mindbogglingly baffling that this was ever released, it implies that there is this level of taboo to the medium.

She also takes every moment to be as edgy as possible. I hate the “fellow kids” kind of comments people make about things when people are genuinely trying to connect to multiple generations, but this was exactly that. There is a moment where they say that a character in Baki says, “I don’t give a fuck” and she follows that up by saying, “Unlike Baki, I do give a fuck”. Which I guess is an alright line if it weren’t ruined by things like, “The Instagram royalty of yore” or whatever that stupid line is.

Image result for enter the anime
Oh right, guess I was a bit off, like it matters though…

Burunova is like this from minute one. She is a terrible narrator and host.

This is followed up by showing the most graphic content that Netflix anime has to offer. Seriously, nonstop. To the “documentary’s” credit, there is a very brief section on “cute culture” and how “anime is for kids”, but it comes so late in, and is so short, that it may well not even have been included.

Finally, the editing and presentation of any topic is just plain awful. It is so transparent that this is just a giant ad for Netflix anime, especially the CG shows (which is fine), that it goes as far as to undermine its entire premise in the opening minutes.

Let me explain, the first interview is with the Castlevania guy. You know, not a Japanese person or a show even made in Japan. I’m not one of those people who think anime is only something from Japan either, but this really undercut any credibility anyone might have for what’s to come, and not just for this reason.

The guy is a massive weirdo! He starts things off by telling the audience that he is a “time traveler” and wastes almost 12 minutes of the runtime talking about his DOG and Kanye West of all things. What does that have to do with anime?

Image result for enter the anime
“Professional” editing…

Even when they do finally talk to some industry people, half of the “interviews” are just… nothing. The worst instance of this was when they left a phone call with Yoko Takahashi’s manager in the “documentary”, instead of talking about NGE (which they never even mention by name for some reason) or showing her performance beyond a few seconds. It was just bad.

Oh yeah! They even recycled footage in this 50 minute piece of garbage. Can you believe that? More than once too! There’s no substance here. One interviewee talked about how many people don’t know him because Netflix lets you skip OP’s and ED’s, but that is given like 2 seconds. Almost all of them laugh about the lack of sleep they get, as if it is some joke you need to “get” about the industry. It was frustrating to watch.

Ok, so what was the point then? Like I said, this is meant to push Netflix shows. I think that’s fine, but they don’t really show much off, and a lot of the things they chose were the edgiest and least accessible titles. Even just choosing from among their “original” properties, they really did not offer variety here. It made anime feel immature, hyper violent, and kind of obnoxious.

Furthermore, they chose almost exclusively CG shows, where much, or even all, of the product was not animated in 2D. Again, this would be fine except that just isn’t what anime is on the whole. Same can be said for the last point.

Also there was this strange focus on titles that haven’t even come out yet. Some not until 2020. This was really dumb, because when those things were stacked up alongside this train wreck, it didn’t make me want to watch them. Seriously, I have less confidence in some of these shows because they were in this “documentary”.

In a lot of ways, this would have been better as a mini series with proper time given to all its topics. The question of “what is anime?” is answered in a lot of ways: culture, food, style, etc… but ultimately settles on saying it doesn’t matter. It chooses to abandon its core premise to say “it brings people together” and “it gives a voice to the outcasts” but, I just couldn’t help but feel it was pandering. Void of all meaning. A genuine waste of time, and a massive mistake on the part of Netflix.


This is slightly longer than the max character limit of 1,000 words I set for these mini reviews, but this was just that bad. I tried to stay focused on the marketing angle, but I just couldn’t avoid airing grievances. Let me know if you liked this in the comments, please tell me how you managed to do that. Support my stuff via the Ko-fi button below. See ya in the next one folks.

What I’m Watching – Summer 2019 Impressions

Summer is Stacked!

I’m watching way more than normal for the Summer 2019 season so I thought I’d put up a list of everything I’m watching and give a little bit of a first impression for each show. Held off on doing this for a week because I added a few more shows that hadn’t started airing. The list is 10 shows long with one held over from the last season, so let’s dive right in! Continue reading “What I’m Watching – Summer 2019 Impressions”

AniTwit Watches – Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time (Announcement)

Heya Folks!

Image result for tonari no seki kun animeI am starting up a fun project to do with the Twitter community, but I’d also like to extended the invitation out to WordPress folks as well! The project is called AniTwit Watches, where folks come together to discuss and watch an older anime alongside seasonal stuff. This season is PACKED so we decided to go with a short show called, Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time.

The purpose of this project is to encourage discussion of older shows along with discussion. This inaugural anime was chosen because it is easy to get into, legally available on multiple platforms for free, and it doesn’t add to seasonal folk’s plates too much. Plus, Tonari no Seki-kun is a really fun show!

Here’s the plan. Every Monday starting 7/22/19, we are all joining up to watch 3 episodes of the anime. Each episode is 7 minutes, so that is 21 minutes of watching a week. You decide when on Monday you watch them, so we won’t all be on at the same time literally. Then on Twitter with the hashtag, #AniTwitWatches, talk about the show with each other. That’s it!

Feel like writing posts? Awesome! You can do that as well and I’ll promote them for you as long as you tweet ’em out with the hashtag and/or @ me (@JS_Reviews). This is totally optional though. That said, I’d love to see some awesome posts, even if it is just a series review.

Once the show is over, which will take 7 weeks for us on this one, I’ll organize another watch if this one is successful. That’s the plan and I hope you’ll join in with us! It’ll be a lot of fun 😀

When an Anime Shows & Tells – A Discussion Ft. Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Seeing is Believing

Have you ever watched a show where the main character is supposedly some kind of genius or master at a thing, but the show kind of skirts around actually showing them, well, doing it? I hate that, and it happens a lot more often than you might think! Thankfully, some shows go out of their way to not only tell you these details, but show them as well. Today I’d like to celebrate two such recent examples I witnessed from the shows Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. Continue reading “When an Anime Shows & Tells – A Discussion Ft. Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu”