Somali and the Forest Spirit – A Particularly Relevant Message

I’m Going to be Political Today

If you’ve been around for awhile here than it should come to no surprise to you that I’d eventually review the Winter 2020 anime, Somali and the Forest Spirit as it’s another father-daughter anime, the type I’m particularly fond of. We’ve been getting more of those recently, and while that’s all well and good, I’m going to be focusing on something different with today’s article. A wind of change has been blowing, not just in the US, but across the world, and Somali feels like a particularly relevant anime to discuss as its message is one I think we could all use. Continue reading “Somali and the Forest Spirit – A Particularly Relevant Message”

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”

#Anitwitwatches Season 6 – The Perfect Insider Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Sixth #Anitwitwatches!

One of the things I’m mindful of each watch is show variety, and right now I can tell you guys really needed a shakeup. That’s why I’m not surprised today’s pick, The Perfect Insider is what we’ll be watching for season 6 of #anitwitwatches. We are technically revisiting a genre we had a good time before, the mystery genre, though unlike Rampo Kitan, this series is a more traditional locked room murder mystery.

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

The Perfect Insider Schedule

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 5/18/20. 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 The Perfect Insider 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 6 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!

Wandering Son – Being Yourself

Flawed, but Valuable

If asked to explain my thoughts on the 2011 anime, Wandering Son, I’d say that it is a flawed but valuable piece of animation history. It’s rare to see a work attempt to tackle gender identity (in this case what it means to be trans) in a serious, whole-hearted way. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this is the only anime that I’ve seen where this isn’t a joke, or trumped up drama piece. It’s honest, if anything, and for that reason, the series deserves your time. Continue reading “Wandering Son – Being Yourself”

Girls’ Last Tour – Thoughts for a Dying World

Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

A concept that is often explored in media is the resiliency of humankind. No matter how bleak or hopeless a situation appears, people always find a way to survive and carry on. In some ways Girls’ Last Tour echoes this message while depicting a surreal, lonely, dying world. As long as we have each other, we can enjoy the end of the world together, right? Continue reading “Girls’ Last Tour – Thoughts for a Dying World”

#Anitwitwatches Season 5 – Wandering Son Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Fifth #Anitwitwatches!

We all know that anime can be goofy, action-packed, and a way to escape. However, this season of the watch we are watching a series called Wandering Son, an anime that explores real-world issues in a respectful and meaningful way. If you are LGBT, or even if you aren’t, this is going to be one watch you don’t want to miss!

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

Wandering Son Watch Schedule

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 3/23/20. 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 Wandering Son 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!

Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Image result for ascendance of a bookworm animePursuing your passion can seem like a daunting task, sometimes, it can even seem impossible to achieve. Such is the case for Urano Motosu, a young woman who dreams of being a librarian. Unfortunately for Urano, her life is cut short in a somewhat ironic twist of fate (crushed by her own weighty collection of books), but this is not the end for her. Instead, she awakens in the body of a young girl, Myne, in a world where books are seemingly out of reach. Thus Myne has to overcome innumerable obstacles all while trying to adjust to her less-than-ideal life.
Continue reading “Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity”

#Anitwitwatches 4 – Girls’ Last Tour Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Fourth #Anitwitwatches!

After the contentious School DaysI decided to mix up the poll considerably since that show was a trial for some folks, even if everybody seemed to largely enjoy the experience. Of these shows, only one of them has escaped my viewing before but I put it on the poll with the thought it had no chance. Wouldn’t you know it though, Girls’ Last Tour took home the gold!

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

Girls’ Last Tour Watch Schedule

Image result for girls' last tour anime

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 1/26/20. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. Plus I need to wrap up the showcase stuff for the end of that week. 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:

  • 1/27/20 – Break
  • 2/3/20 – Episodes 1 & 2
  • 2/10/20 – Episodes 3 & 4
  • 2/17/20 – Episodes 5 & 6
  • 2/24/20 – Episodes 7 & 8
  • 3/2/20 – Episodes 9 & 10
  • 3/9/20 – Episode 11
  • 3/16/20 – Episode 12

Since I haven’t actually seen this show, I did the best I could based on the episode descriptions (doing my best to avoid spoilers). It seemed to me that doing doubles for all but the last 2 episodes would suit the show nicely sans the final 2 episodes. 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!

School Days – “The Worst Anime Ever Made”

You May Just be Surprised…

Even if you are fairly new to anime, you have likely heard somebody caution you against watching today’s anime of focus, School Days. However, I’ve been a big advocate of not always taking things at face value, and if you’ll humor me for the remainder of this article, I think I may just be able to convince you to give School Days the time of day. Continue reading “School Days – “The Worst Anime Ever Made””

Null & Peta – Mini Review

More Than Expected

When it comes to short-form shows, I really haven’t watched that many. There’s I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying as well as Tonari no Seki-kun, and not much else in terms of what I’ve actually bothered with (I’m sure if you looked there are one or two more, but the titles I listed are what sprang to mind). The former being a show that I wasn’t super into and the latter being a pretty big hit. So where does Null & Peta fit into all this? Someplace in the middle.

It’s not like I go out of my way to avoid these shorter shows, it’s just most of the time they aren’t that great or they don’t see any real distribution. That’s why when I saw that Crunchyroll had picked up Null & Peta, I decided to check it out since I was interested in the show’s premise:

Genius inventor Null tragically loses her older sister Peta in an accident. To get over the grief, Null develops “Peta Robo,” a robot with the same characteristics as her late sister. However, the robot is a little different as to what Null expected.

-MAL

It seemed to me that the show would have a nice blend of comedy with an occasional serious moment, which is my general preference when it comes to something like this. I was right in this assessment, and while I can say that there’s more going on than it first appears (it’s not really even that hard to figure out), the production didn’t skip any beats in ensuring that the show lands.

Image result for null and peta

Additionally, at exactly five minutes per episode, you aren’t risking much by watching this. There are 12 episodes in total that utilize their time well… mostly at least. One episode didn’t quite jive with me like the others, but it wasn’t anything that ruined the show.

As I said, everything generally comes together to deliver a great product. The jokes are funny, the animation is nice, and all the other elements play nicely with each other. It was a smart move to ease into the more serious parts of the show, that while being predictable, felt natural in their execution.

My only real complaint with the series is the lack of an ending theme, or really an ending anything. Don’t confuse this with the show having a lack of resolution, it does have that, what I mean is the episodes end abruptly. You can sense when this is going to happen, but it causes dialog to get truncated, and worse yet, some moments to lose impact.

The only trailer I could find is for Brazil but there’s not a lot too this one…

Finally, I wanted to mention that this seemed to be a precursor to a game that is yet to be released at the time of writing (1/9/20). I’d be interested to see how that ties into all of this and if the game itself is any fun. I’ll leave a link to the game here so you can check it out if you’d like.

Image result for null and peta
Game link here! There’s a demo available currently.

With that, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Null & Peta. If you decide to try the game out, I’d also enjoy hearing about your experience there too. Want to support my writing? You’ll find my donation buttons below, to which I’d be eternally grateful for you checking them out. Thanks for stopping by and I can’t wait to see you again soon!

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