Fall 2016 Set Menu

Here comes my favorite season, with its cooler weather perfect for cozy hats, mittens, and scarves and its turning colors of purple, red, and yellow. This season is also when I start craving soups and stews, and my hot beverage intake skyrockets. We also have our fair share of rainy weekends leading up to the winter months, so that hopefully means plenty of time for anime and gaming.

Right now, KWoo and I are working our way through the final portions of the PS3 version of Tales of Graces F. I had played it several years ago, but never finished it. He’s liking it much more than Tales of Symphonia, which we completed earlier this year. I actually found a rough draft for my initial review of Graces F, so I’m hoping that I’ll have the time this second play through to actually write about it.

But back to this season’s choices in anime. As usual, this “set menu” is subject to change as the weeks progress. For now, this is what I have chosen:

  • 3-gatsu no Lion
  • All Out!!
  • Bungou Stray Dogs 2nd Season
  • ClassicaLoid
  • Gi(a)rlish Number
  • Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2
  • Keijo!!!!!!!!
  • Long Riders!
  • Magic-Kyun! Renaissance
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go
  • Occultic;Nine
  • Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume
  • Shuumatsu no Izetta
  • Stella no Mahou
  • Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
  • Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
  • WWW.Working!!
  • Yuri!! on Ice

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Summer 2016 Season Wrap, Part 2

This second and final wrap for the summer season turned out shorter than expected, as I resorted to reserving a few series for later viewing. There’s still a lot to read, though, and I encourage you to let me know what you thought of these shows. The summer season treated me very well with its wide range of genres. There are always the disappointments in shows that didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but there are also a handful of wonderful surprises.

  • Cheer Danshi!!
  • Fukigen na Mononokean
  • Kuromukuro
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!
  • Macross Delta
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin
  • Orange
  • Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
  • Tales of Zestiria the X

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Summer 2016 Season Wrap, Part 1

Somehow I made it through this busy summer with more shows than I expected, though I did drop a handful that I had originally intended to keep, like Kyoukai no Rinne and Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE! When I found myself repeatedly choosing other series over these to view each week, then faced the large number of un-watched episodes near the end of the summer season, I realized that I had zero interest in either. I already had my hands full with so many other series! Here is the first part of my summer season review, with more to follow.

  • Amaama to Inazuma
  • Amanchu!
  • Arslan Senki (TV): Fuujin Ranbu
  • Battery
  • Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!!
  • Handa-kun
  • New Game!
  • Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume
  • Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

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[Review] Taishou Yakyuu Musume.

Can you count a full handful of sports anime featuring an all-female cast? Can you even name three? I could, maybe, if I stretched the category to include table top games like mahjong or survival games like air soft or paintball, but the atmospheres are wholly different from sports anime with all-male teams like Daiya no Ace, Kuroko no Basket, or Cross Game. This unbalance is a shame, because from my own experience and those of my friends and role models, female athletes are every bit as tenacious and competitive as guys, and sometimes even more so.

Taishou Yakyuu Musume. tackles the topic of sports and all its expectations using baseball as the setting. Combined with the time period, the show addresses sex and age discrimination all while featuring familiar tropes of sports, romance, and high school life. Set in 1925, main character, Koume, and her best friend, Akiko, aim to start Touhou Seika Female Academy’s, and likely the nation’s, first female baseball team.

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Summer 2016 Set Menu

Better late than never, right? This is less of a start-of-the-season round-up of my choices, and more of a progress report now that we’re a little more than quarter of the way through the summer. My list is woefully long despite my crazy summer schedule that includes a ton of family and friend events in the weeks and days leading up to my wedding. I’ve only been able to keep up thanks to my daily commute which takes up almost two hours of my time every work day. There are plenty of gems this season across multiple genres to pick from, and below are my choices in alphabetical order:

  • 91 Days
  • Amaama to Inazuma
  • Amanchu!
  • Arslan Senki (TV): Fuujin Ranbu
  • Battery
  • Cheer Danshi!!
  • Days (TV)
  • Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!!
  • Fukigen na Mononokean
  • Handa-kun
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin
  • New Game
  • Orange
  • Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume
  • ReLIFE
  • Servamp
  • Shokugeki no Souma – Ni no Sara

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Spring 2016 Season Wrap – Part 2

Wooohooo! Spring is finally over! Or should I be crying, now that a few of my beloved series are either paused with sequels on the horizon or completely finished? Either way, here is my second and last part of spring reviews. Quite a number of these deserved individual coverage, and maybe that will happen some day with second viewings. Please do read on and let me know your own thoughts on the below shows.

  • Nijiiro Days
  • High School Fleet
  • Boku no Hero Academia
  • Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
  • Ushio to Tora 2nd Season
  • Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
  • Shounen Maid

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Spring 2016 Season Wrap – Part 1

These past couple of weeks have brought about so many changes! First and foremost: I just turned 30. Happy birthday to me🙂 KWoo and I went on a very short trip up to Alaska for a belated engagement party and to celebrate both my parents’ wedding anniversary and my birthday. Second is the wrapping up of this spring season, which I have surprisingly kept current week to week. I think I cut out way more at the start than I have in previous years, so the marginally smaller number of shows was much more manageable. Third, I’m now less than two months from the big wedding date, so I’m eyeballing the new summer season with a wary eye. I know I’ll be way too busy in the upcoming weeks to keep up with as many as I would like, but I promise to backlog anything that looks interesting and to chat with you a bit throughout the summer about the few I will watch.

This particular spring, I had a handful of great, a decent amount of pretty good, and sadly too many of the mid-range. I probably could have cut out more, but I’m still too forgiving on the flags that raise in the opening episodes. Now, on to the first part of my season review!

  • Bakuon!!
  • Joker Game
  • Kuma Miko
  • Anne Happy♪
  • Bungou Stray Dogs
  • Flying Witch
  • Sansha Sanyou

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[Review] She & Her Cat

Earth turned quietly on its axis, and in the midst of this big world, she and I quietly lost body heat together. Just as our heat and our breath flow across this planet, she and I flowed across the planet and ended up here so we could meet again.

I finally had the delightful opportunity to watch this short, 4-part piece following a young woman and her cat. I noticed it brought up repeatedly across Twitter and various blogs, made continuous notes to myself to watch it, then just as quickly forgot about it. Happily, the time came where I sat myself down to step into Daru’s world; the natures of the story and characters, and the short length of the anime begs the viewer to watch it all in one sitting. The age of the main human character also makes her easily relatable for viewers just entering young adulthood and well into the middle ages.

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Flying Witch: Whimsical and Experimental

Witches have been a part of our culture since time before time, and come with a variety of labels and expectations depending on where you search. For the longest time in the U.S., they were synonymous with the historical town of Salem as a warning of sorts against ignorance and mass hysteria. Currently, the works of J.K. Rowling have blasted witches and wizards into our consciousness as people walking by our sides unbeknownst to the general populace (perhaps with the aid of a memory charm). In other countries, witches might be called shamans, druids, or even priests. These diverse interpretations reflects themselves in anime, with works like Soul Eater, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and, more recently, Maria the Virgin Witch.

This season presents Flying Witch, originally a manga and now an anime by J.C. Staff. This magical new show is presented in a meandering and calm manner in the spirit of other works like ARIA and Natsume Yuujinchou. Even the art is drawn in a softer color palette. We see a good variety of witches presented: the gifted and passionate sister, the fortune teller, and the restaurant owner. Like these three, protagonist Makoto is born into her ability, but she maintains a closeness to the audience and her human family due to still learning about her skills and plans for the future. She seems to have a special connection with plants and herbs, but spends an equal amount of time simply eating them to actually using them for potions or spells. Then there’s Chinatsu, Makoto’s young cousin who is not a witch, but carries on many of our wishes as someone who wants to become one. Her excitement feels completely real as a product of her optimistic outlook on life and the audience’s own desire to enter this magical world.

Flying Witch stands out from the rest of other magical shows in a number of simple, but fantastic ways that bring the series up from forgettable to a work that I expect will stand the test of time. We have witches who do what they want when they want, and see them often slip when treading the unknown.

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[Review] Yowamushi Pedal The Movie

The events of this film take place shortly after the second series, Grande Road, and as such should not be viewed if you plan on watching the previous two series. The movie is also a step before the third series, which has only been announced. This review will include spoilers.

With KWoo facing a second trip over to Hawaii to bike up Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and training almost daily in preparation, cycling has been in my peripheral long past the Yowamushi Pedal 2nd Season ending. This movie brought back all the anxiety of the first two television series, as well as my fears of horrifically drawn-out cycling and flashbacks mid-race. While there were many golden moments of silliness and honest feel-good-ery, those positives became overshadowed in the sequel series by an insane amount of stretching of everything I hate about battle and sports anime.

Worry not! The movie took the audience’s trepidation to heart and condensed the featured race, including the finishing stretch, into a single film. Many other improvements were also immediately apparent, including jumps forward in art and overall flow.

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