Anime ABC’s Y is for Yuri!!! on ICE

A Love Letter to Figure Skating

When a work has so much love and passion for a given idea or topic poured into it, it’s almost impossible to ignore. It comes through in the final product. Yuri!!! on ICE is an anime that took the world by storm because of its love for professional figure skating and the statements it makes on love itself. However, it’s passion is also the show’s biggest downside, often sacrificing quality for its passion.
Continue reading “Anime ABC’s Y is for Yuri!!! on ICE”

Gosick’s Most Interesting Story & Why it’s NOT Victorique and Kujos’

A Tale Spanning Centuries

Over and over again I’ve been recommended Gosick for both its mystery and romance angels. While I can say the show is alright to that regard, following Kujo, or “The Reaper who Comes in Spring”, and Victorique the “Golden Fairy of the Library”, it’s far from the most interesting thing Gosick has to offer. Today I want to explore the rise of science as the mystical is slowly lost within this world. Continue reading “Gosick’s Most Interesting Story & Why it’s NOT Victorique and Kujos’”

My 4 Year Journey with Hunter x Hunter (2011)

I Was Skeptical

It used to be when you first became an anime fan that there was an almost unspoken list of anime everyone was silently expected to check out. You’d see shows like Code GeassCowboy Bebop, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood appear on almost everyone’s list. As time when on, this list has changed, and for many even, doesn’t even really exist anymore. Some shows have survived the test of time and are regarded as “must-see” classics, while other titles have found themselves wasting away to obscurity. Hunter x Hunter is a show that has debatably hit this titan status as you’ll see it recommended countless times to both new and veteran fans alike. Today we are going to discuss my four year journey with the 148 episode series, and what a journey it was. Continue reading “My 4 Year Journey with Hunter x Hunter (2011)”

#Anitwitwatches Season 7 – Rolling Girls & Announcement

Welcome to the Seventh #Anitwitwatches!

After losing its spot on the poll, the community rallied to see this entry be granted just one more chance. That’s right, it’s the winner of the S7 poll, Rolling Girls! I’ve actually been pretty excited to watch this one for the series as I suspect we’ll all have a good time with it. While the anime is far from a favorite, it’s extraordinarily unique and should provide some decent conversation, or at the very least, cool screenshots. I hope you’ll be joining us for the watch starting 7/13/20!

Below you’ll find information on what the watch is as well as the schedule for the seventh 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.

Rolling Girls Schedule

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 7/6/20. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. 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 Rolling Girls 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:

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!

Kakushigoto – How to Write a B Plot

When You’re More Invested in the B-Plot

No doubt none of you are surprised by the fact that I watched, enjoyed, and am now reviewing the Spring 2020 anime, Kakushigoto. It’s got a lot going for it, the father-daughter dynamic I love so much while based on a manga written by Kouji Kumeta (you probably know him for shows like The Eccentric Family or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei). What’s not to like? What pitches itself as a comedy, however, quickly reveals something deeper going on that promises to tug at your heart strings, and that’s what I’d actually like to focus on today. Continue reading “Kakushigoto – How to Write a B Plot”

Anime ABC’s X is for xxxHOLiC

An Interesting Take

On the surface xxxHOLiC doesn’t look too different from your typical “dark bargain” kind of story. There’s a shop that grant any wish you desire, at a price of course. In several ways it is reminiscent of something like Pet Shop of Horrors or the plethora of other stories just like it. Except xxxHOLiC has a bit of a twist; it’s a comedy. The question is:  does it work? Continue reading “Anime ABC’s X is for xxxHOLiC”

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story – I Didn’t Know I Wanted This

Not a Sequel, but it Feels Like One

I’ve noted here a few times that I’m a fan of the original 2011 series, Madoka MagicaIt was a darker magical girl series, far from the first, but one that I particularly liked for how it all came together. Most notably, its characters, the art/animation, and of course sound. Then came its follow-up film in 2013, Rebellion, which reopened the series for future works (on top of being a very good film). What came was silence for several years, that is, until today’s title, Magia Record came out during the Winter 2020 season. Continue reading “Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story – I Didn’t Know I Wanted This”

Anime ABC’s W is for Witch Hunter Robin

Perfectly Capturing a Bygone Era

While Witch Hunter Robin never appeared in the North American programming block, Toonami, it’s a show that perfectly captures the revival of the block in 2012. Having aired shows like Cowboy BebopGhost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, and others it feels like this would have been right at home. A slow burn show that attempts to provoke your thoughts while delivering moments of explosive action. Yet in spite of this, I can see why Witch Hunter Robin never quite reached these same heights. Continue reading “Anime ABC’s W is for Witch Hunter Robin”

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl – An Overindulgent Conclusion

Well I Watched It…

You may remember back when I reviewed the Bunny Girl Senpai series that things started strong but ultimately went out on a whimper for me. There were a few reasons, most of which are discussed in that review, but one thing I didn’t dive into too deeply was in regards to where I expected the show to ultimately see its end. Well here we have it, the conclusion of the series in Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl, and the story of Shouko. Continue reading “Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl – An Overindulgent Conclusion”

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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