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”

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Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Mini Review

Flawed, but a Good Time

Image result for kaguya love is warYou know that feeling when you find something really fun and you just want to keep doing that thing but eventually you overdo it and kind of burn out on it? That’s kind of what happened with Kaguya for me. At the start of the season I had wanted to make an article (which I unfortunately didn’t get to do) about how much I was LOVING this show, but now that it’s over, I can’t help but notice I lost a good chunk of that enthusiasm. Despite that, this was one of the better shows this season for me.

The best way for me to explain this show is to use other shows as an example. Kaguya-sama: Love is War takes the best parts of Kaiji and the back-and-forth of Death Notes, but with none of the actual stakes. This isn’t to say that the characters don’t genuinely believe there are high stakes here, that’s what makes it so fun, because the efforts they go to over something that is relativity trivial, is pretty funny.

Each episode has the titular Kaguya and Miyuki squaring off, trying to get the other to confess their love. This is accompanied by over-the-top narration, Kaiji style paired with inner monologue from each character, akin to Death Note. Things usually go awry though thanks to their friend Chika. That’s about the gist of the show, well the first half at least.

Up until just after Ishigami’s character was introduced, the show was a fantastic time and I really looked forward to watching it each week. I should note I started in on this one late, like after it was already 5 episodes in, and binged it pretty fast. In fact, I even watched the episodes over with another friend.

However, after that, the show kind of started outstaying its welcome. I wasn’t outright disliking it or not having fun, but the jokes started to fall flat, the pacing felt off, and something was just… missing.

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Kaguya had a nice conclusion though that brought things back up a bit for me. It’s left me feeling a touch conflicted though because I want to see more, but at the same time, I also want the show to mix it up a bit. There’s a common complaint levied at comedy shows like this, and it’s that the jokes get repetitive.

I don’t think that is really the chief problem here, however, but I could see an argument to be made there. Instead, I’d say that the structure of the episodes is what changed and that is what caused the shift. There was suddenly less focus on these bombastic overly complex love plots and more just kind of boring typical romance stuff. It just didn’t work here.

Still, I would recommend watching Kaguya anyway. If for anything, it would be for the OP, “Love Dramatic” which was easily the best of the season both musically and visually. I listen to that song even now, it’s that good. If I had to describe the OP I would say it is like watching every James Bond opening all at once (from a stylistic sense) but with a more fun and upbeat musical backing.

Ah, that reminds me, episode three has a special ending theme that was reminiscent of Lucky Star or Haruhi. The only reason that exists is because there was some source that didn’t get adapted and they “needed” to have a plot point make sense. I wish there would have been more stuff like that, and judging by how it took the internet by storm, it seems most people would agree.

Kind of surprised by how little I actually have to say here. At the start of the season I thought I’d have a lot to say, but that’s about it. The show was fun, but it had its fair share of flaws. Kaguya also wasn’t my favorite show of the season like I thought it would be, but it was still pretty close despite what I said. All-in-all, I’d say that’s a win.


What were your thoughts on Kaguya? Did the show manage to keep you hooked all the way through or was it a disappointment? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments. If you want to help me out because you enjoy my writing, use my donation button below please. I would appreciate that. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you around again soon!

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai – Mini Review

That’s a Title…

Image result for bunny girl senpaiAlright, first order of business, we are going to refer to this series as Bunny Girl Senpai because the title is just too long! You may remember from my first look at the Fall 2018 season that this anime was high up on my list of shows I wanted to keep up with each week. I didn’t say much then, but the big point was that I liked the dialog and dry sense of wit. In this way, Bunny Girl Senpai did not disappoint! However, by its end, I wasn’t as hot on the show as I would have otherwise expected.

Some background for folks, Bunny Girl Senpai is yet another light novel adaptation that is somewhat reminiscent of franchises such as Haruhi and Monogatari. Except, it really isn’t too much like either of those series, but you are going to see this compared to them quite a bit. This isn’t a bad thing, and in some ways this is warranted. In Bunny Girl Senpai the main character, Sakuta, is a sarcastic guy, much like Kyon. He goes around helping various girls with various supernatural hangups, which is where the Monogatari comparisons come in. Though, at the end of the day, it is very much its own beast that isn’t quite at the level of either of the other series. This isn’t a mark against Bunny Girl Senpai, but if you are going in expecting either, you’ll be left disappointed.

What really surprised most folks, and I’m included in this, is that the first arc feels like a big climax that would normally be reserved for the end of any other series. You get to have the relationship resolved between Sakuta and Mai, as well as the supernatural hangup. There is still plenty of room for more story and places to go from here, so the 13 episodes aren’t wasted.

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Sakuta and Mai have great chemistry. When it comes to the other characters though… they just aren’t as interesting. The only character I really liked other than these two was Kaede. It wasn’t that their stories were disinteresting, I still enjoyed them, but I didn’t quite care as much.

This reminds me of Kanon 2006 where the show has a HUGE emotional climax for its first arc (more so in this specific show than Bunny Girl Senapi) which diminished the proceeding arcs. It still recovered by the end, sure, but Bunny Girl Senpai felt similar to me in this way.

 

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This Kaede is best Kaede

Back to Kaede, I was actually looking forward to her arc, and up until the final episodes, I was really enjoyed it. Then the show just didn’t land for me. The ending felt too loose, like it didn’t really wrap things up. It did, but it didn’t at the same time. If you’ve seen this maybe you feel the same way, but I really don’t have a better way to explain it than that.

 

OP instead of a trailer like usual. I really don’t like this song, but at the same time, I can’t deny it’s catchy…

With all that, it probably sounds like I didn’t really like this show much, however, this isn’t the case. If anything, I’m just disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it more. What should have been a high-point of the season for me, ultimately only managed to be an interesting footnote in a season with a lot of hit-or-miss content. Worth the watch, but Bunny Girl Senpai isn’t the modern classic it should have been.


What are your thoughts on Bunny Girl Senpai? Be sure to share them with your fellow readers and me in the comments. If you enjoy my content then please consider a donation by clicking the button I have below, I’d really appreciate that. Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

Hyouka – A Legitimate Mystery Series

With Some Romance Too

Since VRV is losing Funimation titles this week I did all I could to watch some shows that would be leaving the platform. Most notably, ones I really wanted to watch like today’s anime of discussion, Hyouka. What drew me to this show was the striking visuals everybody always shared, the gifs, and the promise of this being a genuine mystery show (with some romance tossed in lightly). I can confidently say that Hyouka delivers.

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I mean, that is pretty stunning

Continue reading “Hyouka – A Legitimate Mystery Series”

What I’m Watching – Fall 2018 Anime

Heya Folks!

So today was supposed to be the next Anime ABC’s entry for Psycho-Pass but I really wasn’t feeling up to writing the rest of it. Don’t worry though, it is coming and I think you will like the direction I took things. I just want to take my time on it and not rush completion for the sake of an arbitrary release date. Additionally, I have a nifty surprise for the next round so look forward to that. You didn’t come here to hear about that though! No, you want to know what anime I’ll be watching this season and hear my quick thoughts on each as well. Continue reading “What I’m Watching – Fall 2018 Anime”

Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party

Everybody is Told to Watch the Classics

Image result for lucky starThere is a lot of anime. Some shows come into the spotlight and stay there while others fall to the wayside to the, “next big thing.” Of course, there is the opposite that happens with time where a show went unnoticed when it first came out but is now heralded as essential viewing for devoted Otaku. Today I’d like to talk about one show in particular, Lucky Star. We’ll explore its interesting past, the cultural marks it left, and try to answer the question:  is this show still relevant? Continue reading “Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 3 – My Favorite Male Character

Too Many Choices!

30-day-anime-challengeHere’s a quick look at the schedule in case you forgot what we’ve done so far and what’s to come. Day 3 I’m supposed to talk abut my favorite male character and there are just too many great choices! Hmm, I can’t pick him because that means tomorrow it’d have to be her and… well that’s day 8 so…

I would probably give a different answer to this each time so let’s go ahead and make this a top three instead because these guys are all tied. Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 3 – My Favorite Male Character”

5 Anime Just in Time for Back-to-School

School is Starting Again…

So I thought this was the perfect time to make a list of five great anime that will get you fired up for back to school. Whether you are just entering middle school, high school, or college, there will be something on the list for everyone. The only rules is that I’ve had to have seen the anime and that it’s about kids at school. Entries are in no particular order. So with that, let’s get right to the list! Continue reading “5 Anime Just in Time for Back-to-School”