Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Finalizing the Production Discussion

People Clearly Liked This, it Received a Season 2

Last week I covered two series where I discussed how production values and writing quality can impact the enjoyment of the series. These two series were Demon Slayer and Cop Craft. In the case of the first anime, I discussed how the fantastic visuals and sound meant little in the end due to obnoxious characters and poor writing. Production values made it watchable, but not much else. Cop Craft, on the other hand, had tons of issues in the production department. Still, this managed to be enjoyable for fun characters and (mostly) decent writing. So how does this all relate to Arifureta? Continue reading “Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Finalizing the Production Discussion”

Advertisements

Cop Craft – This Deserved Better

Oh, What Could Have Been…

You may recall earlier this week that I reviewed the fan favorite series, Demon Slayer rather poorly despite its great visuals and other production values. What it came down to was unlikable characters and some pretty poor writing at key moments. However, Cop Craft is almost the exact opposite of that. Lacking in terms of production but the cast was good fun with a story that managed to wrap itself up rather nicely in spite of itself. Continue reading “Cop Craft – This Deserved Better”

Demon Slayer – Production Values Only Take You so Far…

At One Point, I Dreaded Watching Each Week

I’ve been putting off writing about Demon Slayer because it is a really popular show, but one I really struggled with watching. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are amazing, it has excellent music, and there are moments of brilliant direction. However, all of that doesn’t mean much when the show has an unlikable cast and problems with its writing. If you can look past that, it’s probably going to be one of the best anime of the year, but for me… Demon Slayer just falls incredibly flat. Continue reading “Demon Slayer – Production Values Only Take You so Far…”

The Ones Within – Mini Review

What Did I Even Watch?

When I was giving my Summer 2019 impressions I wrote this about The Ones Within:

Based on the first episode, I don’t really get how or why anything is happening. Streamers are forced into a contest of sorts, which has life-or-death stakes, but also not?

-My Summer 2019 Impressions

Now, after all 12 episodes I really can’t say my understanding of the show has really increased much further. This isn’t to say that a compelling story didn’t emerge through all this, but where everything is eventually heading to, and why, is totally unknown.

What The Ones Within really boils down to is a quirky slice-of-life show with these bizarre games tossed in to drum up some drama and tension between the cast. Really, the cast is what is going to keep you watching along with these unusual games. That’s the only reason I stuck around and I don’t regret it one bit.

Image result for the ones within anime

Eventually, a small mystery begins to unfold when it is discovered that past players are stowing away in the walls of the game space, but it just isn’t explored in enough detail to provide you with anything more than wild speculation. Part of the reason for this is in how this show handled its adaptation. For anime only folks like myself (I had a chat with some folks on Reddit), whole plots are dropped up until the very end which only adds to the ambiguity of certain events and a very confusing ending.

Image result for the ones within anime
I didn’t have room to mention this, but the visuals for this show were weirdly good. I don’t really know how to explain it, but they really mixed things up while having a strange consistency.

Speaking of the ending, it was horrible as a stopping point. While the cast has a moment of, “Look how far we’ve come, we totally got this!”, as a viewer, you feel like you’re waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. The thing is, it never does. It’s just a quirky, low-stakes episode that seems to promise more but really just leaves you hanging.

In a completely incomprehensible move, The Ones Within randomly decides to introduce its B cast, the folks in the outside world who are connected to the ones in the game, but outside of very minor context clues, it isn’t even clear who they are. This is what I was getting at with the weird adaptation thing.

For the web manga, the outside folks have a story that runs (mostly) in tandem with our principle cast. The anime cuts all of that completely until the very final episode. I suppose that the switching back and forth could have lead to another King’s Game situtation, but I would have rather taken that then this nonsense approach.

Supposedly this is getting an OVA episode… eventually. Perhaps that will offer some necessary answers? I’m not holding my breath but should I gain access to this episode, I will give it a watch and try to amend this article at a later date.

The source material isn’t too far in, but this really needed to be at least 24 episodes. There is a lot of intrigue in everything going on, but it ultimately ends up being so background that, in a small way, I do feel a bit swindled. Again, I don’t think I wasted my time watching, but I could understand if you said you did.

With all this under consideration, would I recommend The Ones Within? Yes, so long as you are comfortable with the fact that this is woefully incomplete. Normally that’s a big turnoff, but the cast really did have great chemistry. Plus, it was just fun! Himiko is still best girl, just in case any of you were wondering too.

Image result for the ones within anime himiko
Her design is so good!

If you actually watched The Ones Within, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Truly an enigma this one is. Like what I’m doing? Consider becoming a Patron or making a small one-time donation via Ko-fi. Just click the corresponding button below for more details. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you back here again soon!

Image result for patreon button

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Or Mom Isekai for Short

Well I Liked it…

Image result for Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desu ka?I don’t really know what possessed me to pick this show up, but I did.  Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?MILF Isekai, or as I’ll refer to it as, Mom Isekai is an odd duck that really doesn’t look like it would have anything that would interest me. However, after completing all 12 episodes, I have to say that I kind of liked it. Continue reading “Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Or Mom Isekai for Short”

Astra Lost in Space – Best of Season

Classic Sci-fi Mystery & Adventure

When my buddy pitched Astra Lost in Space to me at the start of the Summer 2019 season, he described it as:

A space survival show with M. Night Shyamalan twists at every turn with a dash of comedy.

-My friend (who also read the source material before watching)

While I don’t think this is really an accurate description of the show, it feels more like Star Trek with a deep mystery running through it, I can now see what he meant. If you would have asked me what I thought the best show of the season was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have picked this one either. However, here we are. Continue reading “Astra Lost in Space – Best of Season”

#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 revist 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!

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – A Near Perfect Adaptation

The Best Bee Train Show I’ve Seen

Maybe you haven’t heard of Bee Train as a studio, but they have less than a stellar reputation. You probably have heard of Gen Urobuchi, known for such series as Psycho-Pass and Madoka Magica. So what happens when these two get together to adapt one of Urobuchi’s early visual novels? Well, you get Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, a dramatic tale of two assassins filled to the brim with twists and turns. Continue reading “Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – A Near Perfect Adaptation”

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”

The Rising of the Shield Hero – Finding Something Worth Fighting For

Another Isekai, Am I Right?

Image result for shield heroJokes aside, when The Rising of the Shield Hero started in Winter 2019 it quickly caught my attention. Opening with an hour long episode, and what seemed to be an anti-hero story, I couldn’t help but get excited! However, what the show actually became was a lot more. Despite some missteps, this became one of the better shows I watched in both the Winter and Spring 2019 season. Continue reading “The Rising of the Shield Hero – Finding Something Worth Fighting For”