Well if you didn’t, you certainly do now. That’s why when the Winter 2019 season had a show called, Domestic Girlfriend, I would have to watch it. Took awhile for me to get to, but here I am. Today I’ll be exploring what sets this apart from the sea of trash that masquerades as something similar. Continue reading “Domestic Girlfriend – The Right Kind of “Trashy””→
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”→
I 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 W’z got announced it was pretty unclear whether or not this would be a sequel to the critically panned, Hand Shakers or not. As somebody who actually really enjoyed Hand Shakers, I was pretty excited for GoHands latest project for the Winter 2019 season. Quickly, it became quite evident that this was in fact a second season. As much as I hate to admit it though, this was a pretty disappointing followup.
The unique aspects of Hand Shakers are still present in W’z, namely the visuals. These actually got a notable upgrade with better visual coherence and general direction. Unfortunately, the writing and plot took a hit.
I think I should mention what I liked about Hand Shakers at this point. While it certainly was visually noisy and there were moments of absolute stupidity, it ultimately told an interesting story while explore some more interesting ideas. The absolute height of the anime being the arc involving the idol character, which will be relevant in a moment.
When I dug a little deeper, I learned that it was actually made as a commercial for a separate company and a passion project of sorts. You may know that I’m a marketing major, so this struck me as particularly interesting. This is more something that personally interests me but I think it adds something to the show that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
I digress, let’s focus back on W’z. The plot of this show takes place 10 years after the events of the first season. Plot wise there is a decent hook, characters are looking for those who met with God the previous season and have mysteriously vanished. Our new cast can help with that because they have the power to transport people into Ziggurat. There’s other stuff going on here, but not much else really mentioning.
Additionally, there is an emphasis placed on music, which is a novel concept initially, but it quickly out stays its welcome. The obnoxious catch phrase of our protagonist, who’s only real trait is that he likes composing music, is extremely intrusive. What’s worse, is that other characters, who are not even interested in music, also use the catch phrase… like a lot.
It was nice to see the previous cast make an appearance here alongside the new one, actively participating too. They, for the most part, aren’t just shoved in for the sake of it. W’z even managed to make one of the worst characters from season 1 one of the most interesting characters in this season. Unfortunately, the idol girl NEVER makes a return, the one character I wanted to see! I was extremely disappointed to say the least.
Eventually the main plot gets solved and this other plot takes center stage. It’s bad, even if they do a decent job explaining the backstory and motivations of the antagonists in this section. I should mention, that this plot runs through from the start, but it really matters very little until the final few episodes.
I’m kind of losing the plot in explaining just what it is that didn’t, and forgive me because I just complained about this, “mesh” with me here. Just going to try and salvage this here. Frankly, I didn’t hate this but I wouldn’t recommend it either. Hand Shakers, absolutely! W’z, not so much. That should speak volumes.
If you happened to enjoy Hand Shakers and watched this, did you like W’z? I’d love to hear your thoughts either way, even on the series prior. If you feel like supporting me, you can do so with my donation button below. Thanks for stopping by and have yourself a wonderful day!
I’ve mentioned this before in an update I did during some of my semi-hiatus time, but I genuinely thought that The Price of Smiles was going to be an idol anime. The way Princess Yuki looks, along with the only image I had seen at the time, really had me convinced. SPOILERS! It’s not an idol anime at all… it’s a mecha show about war. Not what I expected but that can be good, so, was it?
I also mentioned this in my little update, though in not very much detail, that this was a palate cleanser that I was finding just enjoyable. That held true throughout the entire viewing experience. The Price of Smiles was never boring, but it suffered from being too short at only 12 episodes. As a result, a lot of stuff just kind of happens because the show has to get to its ending. A shame too, because this could and should have been a far better show than it ended up being.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like The Price of Smiles had anything revolutionary to say, or even did anything innovative, but there was a solid show here. If this would have been doubled in length, it would have easily fixed a lot of the problems that resulted in this being such a short series. Namely, pacing and impact.
I mention this because the ending falls short in a lot of ways. Things just get wrapped up because they have to and it all feels a little too easy. It takes away from what should be a meaningful moment for the series, causing me to not really care when it came down to everything. It was all going to work out of course, but the stakes weren’t quite there. It didn’t help that in the epilogue, brief as it is, doesn’t really show any of the stuff they were talking about leading up to the ending. Lives were supposedly changes, but it didn’t seem that way at all.
It’s not all bad though. As I mentioned not too long ago in my collab with Yomu covering Art Club, sometimes an average, enjoyable show is exactly what you need. For a season that was jam-packed with excellent titles, having something like this to slot between watches was a much needed blessing.
Taking all this into consideration, I don’t really have all that much more to say about the actual anime itself. I suppose I could poke fun at the simply ridiculous hairstyles that almost rival Shiki in that regardbut a picture is going to speak more than words ever could there.
Beyond that, I suppose I should mention the OP, “Egao no Kanata” by Chiho feat. Majiko. I really like when things sync up well in OP’s and this has a shinning example where Yuki and Stella sing part of the song back-to-back. It is super good! There was actually quite a lot of great imagery in OP’s this season but that’s a topic for another time.
For better or worse, The Price of Smiles was just a pretty average show. A Pretty average show that I would fully recommend, especially if you are a fan of mecha stories about war. That’ll do me for this one folks, see ya in the next one!
What were your thoughts on The Price of Smiles? Did you think it was going to be an idol anime like I did? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. While you’re down there, tell me what your favorite mecha anime is too! If you would like to support my writing, please utilize my donation button below. I’d greatly appreciate that! As always, thank you so much for reading and have yourself an excellent day.
Ever since I watched the first season of Chunibyo back in 2015 I found myself becoming a big fan of the franchise. Even when the second season rolled around to less than stellar reception, I enjoyed that season, however. So when it was announced that there would be two films, a recap, and the conclusion to the story so far, I was pretty excited. Today we’ll be looking at Take on Me, the (current) conclusion to the Chunibyo series.Continue reading “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Take on Me – The Perfect End?”→
Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues, or just, Tonegawa for short, was a show I watched from the Summer 2018 season more out of obligation than because I genuinely wanted to. My relationship with the original series that this is a spin-off of, Kaiji, is a somewhat rocky one. You can view my thoughts on both season 1 and season 2 of that series to get the full picture. Still, this promised me comedy and Tonegawa is a character I liked so there was some hope for this series. Did it manage some laughs and did I like it? Let’s find out!
For those of you who may not be familiar, Tonegawa follows one of the antagonists from the original Kaiji series. He’s the number two man for a (sort of) evil loan-type organization know as the Teiai Corporation. His job is to keep the crazy president of the company happy, but it isn’t easy since he is into seeing the darkest parts of humanity in increasingly sick and twisted ways.
Don’t let that fool you though, this is a comedy for the most part. While Tonegawa certainly straddles the line with some rather dark comedy, especially if you’ve seen Kaiji’s first season, it is overall a fairly tame affair. Really, the show is at its best in these moments but they are far-and-few-between.
When an episode landed, say episode 3 for example, it really landed. However, most episodes were only minorly funny or simply wholly uninteresting. Still, there is a charm here that kept me watching in spite of all that. While it felt like a slog across its 24 episodes at times, there would be streaks of good episodes or that one thing that made watching worth it each week.
Part of this is enjoying all the nods to Kaiji. Even though I wasn’t a big fan, I do really enjoy referential works that I get. There are a lot! Some of them make scenarios in the original very absurd, to the point where you’d never be able to take them seriously, and others were just respectful nods.
At the halfway point I was having a decent time. Then the show decided to pivot and it really suffered for that. It decided to incorporate some season two stuff and follow a different character who is, for one, less interesting, and two, somebody you shouldn’t like at all if you’ve seen Kaiji’s second season.
No longer a comedy, instead it became a foodie’s dream show. It wasn’t like these episodes were terrible but this show was supposed to be about Tonegawa, right? I don’t want to follow Ootsuki. They do bring it all together at one point, but it really wasn’t enough to justify the lengthy diversion.
By the homestretch, it does focus again solely on Tonegawa but these were among the least interesting episodes. It even had the audacity to throw itself a party for the last episode. You know what though? I was fine with it. Part of me was relieved that the show was finally over but the other part of me thought that Tonegawa had earned its ending. The show had fun, wanted you to have fun watching, and at the end of the day, that’s all you can really ask for.
Some quick thoughts that didn’t make it into the main review here. The various, “Zawa, zawa’s” and iterations thereof, were all done by different actors each episode. I liked that. This is by far one of the biggest things that is unique to Kaiji and having this much dedication and attention put to making this really standout even more in this series was a very good touch.
Furthermore, the opening changed quite often to reflect things that had occurred from episode-to-episode. While you probably won’t catch them at first, by the end of the show it is like night and day with the amount of little things that have changed with time. It’s an underutilized treat when animators go that extra mile to really make a show stick out just that much more. I was impressed.
I could only find the dub trailer, but it captures some of the spirit rather well
While I wouldn’t say this show was all that great, I did enjoy it. Somehow, it was better for me, even if a lot of it just wasn’t all that interesting. Tonegawa is something that die-hard Kaiji fans NEED to watch, and if you’ve never seen Kaiji, it may spark some interest. However, it really is something made for fans and I can respect that.
What are your thoughts on Tonegawa and were you a fan of Kaiji? Let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to support the work I do here please consider hitting my donation button and tossing a few bucks my way. Lastly, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to read this and I hope to see you back here again soon!
We’ve all watched a TV show, film, or anime where somebody dies and then, as if by magic, it begins to rain. It’s a tried and true cliché that can be utilized to brilliant effect, or come off as incredibly corny depending on the context. Join me as I explore three examples of rain scenes in anime. One superb, one interesting, and one just plain bad. The shows I’ll be using for my examples are: Akame ga Kill, Love, Election and Chocolate, and finally, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it -Unkown
Today I’m diving headfirst into the weird as I explore VRV’s recent addition of HiDive to its service, and by extension, The Fuccons. It’s about an American family of mannequins that move to Japan. What else do you need to know, really? Alright, I suppose you do need a bit more than that because The Fuccons is one of those novelty type shows that can really catch you off-guard.
As I’ve mentioned, this series centers primarily around the Fuccon family and their new lives in Japan. There’s the father, James, the mother, Barbra, and son, Mikey. Really though, this is a story about Mikey and the, surprisingly large, number of people he meets while living in Japan.
Some of the memorable characters include: Teacher Bob and Bob-Mama, Blueberry King, Laura, and of course a lot more! They are not all great, mostly looking at you Time Boy, but the recurring characters that get a lot of screen time are fun to watch. You’ll easily find a few characters you want to see more of.
The best way for me to describe this series is to compare it to a fever dream mixed with old Adult Swim shorts. It’s really funny for a show featuring mannequins and not much else. What really sells it is the voice work, either in Japanese or English, and just how unexpected the story actually is.
If you were to give this a watch right now, you probably wouldn’t think much of it due to a fairly shaky start. I looked back after completing what Sentai has licensed (volumes 1-4) and was surprised by just how awful the first few episodes were. However, if you stick with it, and this is your kind of humor, this will be well worth your time.
Each episode is only a few minutes, so the investment is not large, even with as many episodes as there are. You can easily knock The Fuccons out in an afternoon or two on a rainy day. The only unfortunate thing is that the show does not have a proper resolution.
There are more episodes, and even a film, of The Fuccons but they seem to have been largely lost to time. I did a cursory search for the film, and was able to find it available in Japanese only, but that’s about it. Does that resolve everything? I really don’t know since I currently have no way of watching it.
Despite this, the series is at least worth a look if you have access to HiDive, VRV, or know somebody with the (relatively cheap) complete set that Sentai sells on their site. It is definitely one weird show, but I guarantee there is no other experience like this one!
Apparently, HiDive makes this the only show available for streaming when they do maintenance too, which is pretty funny. Have you seen The Fuccons? Let me know your thoughts on it, or if you’ll be checking it out, in the comments below. If you’d like to support my investigations into other unusual programs, then click my donation button below and toss a few bucks my way. I’d really appreciate it. Lastly, thank you so much for reading and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!