pluvia33's Blog

January 21st, 2018
As I mentioned in last week’s Challenge update, I’m looking to watch a lot of shows this week. Well, last Sunday I started a number of new shows and of them, two had fit into items that I had chosen for my Challenge. So instead of just watching them as extra shows, I ended up swapping them in. So now instead of watching Re: Cutey Honey for my lesbians (Shoujo Ai genre tag) and Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai for my boobs (R+ rated anime), I have two new currently airing (Watching) items on my running list:



-Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)
-Amanchu! Advance

-Angel Beats! - Completed:
I watched this to fulfill an item (107) asking me to finish an on hold or dropped anime. I’d actually watched the first six episodes of this years ago, around when it was first airing. I got sidetracked for whatever reason and never finished it, despite that I picked up the US Blu-ray release of the show. Well, I finally finished it! I watched the sixth episode again so I can remember what the hell was going on since it’s been over six years. I was a little iffy about it at first, not sure if I could connect with the series again after so long, but when the past of the male lead was revealed, the emotional elements of this show hit me like a truck all over again! I remember getting the hardcore feels over the band singer part in the first six episodes, but I think the rest of the series topped it. I ended up giving the series a 10, though it didn’t reach too high up on my working Top 100 List, currently landing at #52. But hey, with all of the anime I’ve watched, that’s a pretty respectable position! I’d really like to give the series another watch all the way through at some point, but probably not any time soon. So little time!!! Oh, and since I was watching my Blu-ray copy, I also watched the first of the two Angel Beats! Specials (it’s kind of annoying how MAL groups things together sometimes as only one of the episodes was on my Blu-ray set but not the other since that was a bonus that was part of the later Blu-ray boxset in Japan; like should they have really been grouped together as two episodes in the same entry??). It was a really silly episode that was a nice piece of levity after the heaviness of the series-proper. I guess I should look up the other episode and stuff now so I can not have that hanging out in my Watching or On Hold lists. =P

-Arashi no Yoru ni
-Aria The Animation
-Blend S

-Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen - Watching:
I’m not really sure what to say about Cardcaptor Sakura on a weekly bases.... Well, it sure is Cardcaptor Sakura! With no real villain yet revealed and no known reason for the Clear Cards, there just isn’t much weight to this anime yet. Yeah, it’s pretty much just as cute as Sakura has always been, but that’s about it. Today’s card-of-the-week felt really meh, too, so that didn’t help. And I’d really like to see more relationship interaction between Sakura and Syaoran; they’ve had pretty much no development so far. I did find it kind of amusing that they mentioned Meilin briefly (a character that only appeared in the anime version of the first series). But yeah, it’s not like I’m hating watching this, I’m just not quite loving it yet. Hopefully next episode kicks things up a notch. The preview for the episode looks interesting. I do like rain....

-Chirin no Suzu - Completed: I watched this 1978 anime movie to fulfill an item (83) asking for an anime that aired between 1960 and 1979. Since I am now watching Citrus week-to-week, I felt compelled to get this watched so there wouldn’t be just one item in between that and Cardcaptor Sakura. So I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from an anime described as, “A little lamb's life is turned upside down by the wolf that killed his mother. He seeks to avenge his mother, but in order to defeat the wolf, he must become one.” It turned out to be pretty interesting. Unfortunately it turns out that the file that I downloaded of this a long time ago was English dub only, but I thought what the hell and went ahead and watched it that way. It wasn’t really all that bad. I eventually found a Japanese with subtitles version of the movie and flipped through it to confirm that it was subbed, and from what I heard it seems like the English dub kept pretty true to the original. Even the songs that were translated kept a very distinctive old style Japanese rhythm to it. Anyway, I ended up liking the movie well enough and gave it a 7, partly out of respect for how old it was, but just the fact that I’m really interested in watching it again with the Japanese audio and English subtitles is a testament to the movie’s quality. It’s an interesting folktale-like story that has some rather unique elements to it and goes off into some directions that most audiences wouldn’t really expect (especially if they went in completely blind, without even reading the little summery that I did).

-Citrus - Watching: In my vast interest in many shows this season, I ended up checking out this Shoujo Ai series which just so happened to be a genre-tag option for an item (100) on the Anime Watching Challenge. This swaps out Re: Cutey Honey which is an OVA series that I’ve been meaning to watch for years, but oh well; maybe I’ll still get it watched at some point this year. I’ve watched the first two episodes for this series so far and honestly I was a bit surprised about the heavy sexual assault themes. Thinking about it, it’s interesting how a lot of gay stories (female or male) tend to have some of this at least in the beginning. However, with all of the stuff that’s been in the news lately with sexual misconduct in Hollywood and such, this stuff is very noticeable at the moment. But I’m still able to mostly enjoy it so far. I’ve heard fans of the manga mention that this stuff gets less prevalent and/or becomes understandable as the story goes one and it develops into a good love story. Just based on the second episode I am starting to get a sense of that ringing true. I do look forward to watching more and seeing how this develops, but it is definitely not a fluffy yuri series like Sakura Trick. =P

-Clannad: After Story
-Date A Live II
-Genocyber
-Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)
-Hoshi no Umi no Amuri
-Inuyashiki
-Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
-K-On! Movie

-Killing Bites - Watching:
I ended up watching this silly fanservice fighting anime and it amused me enough to work it into my Challenge list for an item (99) to watch an anime that’s rated R+ on MAL. I was originally going to watch Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai, but that show has a pretty low score on MAL and even if Killing Bites is just as “bad”, it will be easier for me to just watch it on a weekly bases. I might still watch Sin at some point (I do have the entire uncensored version of the anime downloaded), but I don’t have to feel forced into watching it for the Challenge now in case it doesn’t grab me. Anyway, back to Killing Bites, I was amused well enough by the two episodes. I mean, this won’t likely come anywhere close to my favorites even when in the context of guilty pleasure anime (like it won’t likely rank among the fanservice fun of Queens Blade or Ladies versus Butlers! and definitely won’t come close to the ridiculous fanservice hilarity of Prison School for me), but I wasn’t bored. And at the very least, I can amuse myself with Honey Badger jokes while watching this. Seriously, if Hitomi doesn’t fight a fucking snake hybrid (or a close-enough reptile-type) during this anime it will be the biggest fucking disappointment of the season! Hmmm, this probably isn’t making much sense for anyone who hasn’t heard what this show is about, huh? Well, it’s about therianthropic (werewolf-type) people who fight each other while people in high places bet of the fights. For some reason men go full beast-mode like a usual human-animal hybrid in supernatural/fantasy shows, but female therianthropes just get patches of fur, claws, sharp teeth, ears, tail, etc. while either keeping their human sexy-bits exposed or at least still showing off their sexy figure underneath. Yeah, it’s all in the name of fanservice, of course! And yeah, aside from a few other story bits (like how for whatever reason a normal human male gets attached to our lead sexy Honey Badger and trying to make alliances between different factions), that’s pretty much all there is to the show: Human-animal hybrid fights, betting, and sexy parts. Again, I’m amused well enough and don’t think it will be hard for me to watch an episode of this each week until it’s over.

-Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
-Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
-Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
-Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
-Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni (In This Corner of the World)
-Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

-Lodoss-tou Senki (Record of Lodoss War) - Watching:
After years of hearing about this classic fantasy anime, I’m finally watching it as part of my Challenge to fulfill an item (46) asking me to watch a 1990s anime. Being an OVA series, the production quality has aged pretty well for something that’s nearly 30 years old. I has felt a bit slow at moments, but I’m starting to really get into it as I’m currently at about halfway through the series. It’s really hard for me to describe it any way other than “classic fantasy” as the original creator based the story off of a D&D campaign he was playing in. I look forward to continuing to watch this and will most likely finish it and have my final thoughts on it next week.

-Love Live! Sunshine!!

-New Hal & Bons - Completed:
I watched this to fulfill an item (93) asking me to watch something with a popularity of or below #5001. Upon completing this, it had a popularity rank of #10754, so yeah, well within range. This is actually a sequel to the original Hal & Bons which I think I watched about 10 years ago. I’d been meaning to watch the sequel for a while just because, but hadn’t really gotten around to it. This CG animated series is about an anthropomorphic blob of mochi (named Mochi) interviewing two slacker, beer drinking anthropomorphic dogs. Really, the three of them are just shootin’ the shit about random topics with some very dumb Japanese humor (this is the kind of shit I was talking about last week when I mentioned that Japanese very much do have some very dumb forms of comedy when talking about Pop Team Epic). But yeah, the series is alright; I rated both seasons at a 6. If you want something random, quick, and different, check it out.

-Ojamajo Doremi
-Omae Umasou da na
-Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
-Princess Principal
-Redline
-Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - Meiou Shinwa
-Samurai Champloo
-Selector Infected WIXOSS
-Shakugan no Shana III (Final)

-Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe) - Watching:
In this episode, our group of girls gets its fourth and final member! And it looks like they all have their “in” to the Antarctica trip thanks to her. Nice! Maybe this will mean that more than half of the anime will actually be of them going to/taking place in Antarctica. That’d be cool! (literally) But yeah, this episode had some pretty nice character moments; the girls are really cute together and I’m looking forward to them interacting more and growing closer in the future.

-Yuru Camp△ (Laid-Back Camp△) - Watching: Pretty much just more fun, calming, pretty, cute, sometimes funny goodness here. This episode is almost exclusively about Rin and Nadeshiko camping together after Nadeshiko crashes Rin’s latest solo trip. But she brought good food, so it’s okay! Even if Nadeshiko ate most of it. XD But yes, for my tastes, I don’t think I can ever not enjoy this show. The calm feel, cute girls, nice interactions, the camping theme; everything is just wonderful!

Bonus:
-DARLING in the FRANXX - Watching:
A new mecha series by studio Trigger with some of the same staff that worked on Gurren Lagann? Yep, I’m in. The first episode was pretty cool. Although it had a bit of a cookie-cutter male lead, the female lead is pretty refreshing and fun. I mean, modesty has its place, but it’s nice when a female character in anime doesn’t freak out when a guy sees her naked. And although I don’t tend to care as much about world building as I do the characters within the world, the setting is pretty interesting. And of course for the brief amount of time that we get to see it, the mech design is rather unique with some very human-like features, most notably in the face and boobs; yes, the mech has boobs! But yes, it looks interesting and I look forward to watching this each week. Too bad wasn’t able to work it into my Challenge somehow.

-Miira no Kaikata (How to keep a mummy) - Watching: A fun little series about a boy and his mummy. This show is rather cute. However, after two episodes in, I’m getting a little worried that the cuteness is all it really has going for it. It has a few funny moments, but not many. It’s fun, but can get a little boring. I don’t know. Maybe when the other characters somehow get their supernatural pets things will get a bit more interesting. I am really curious to see how the hell that happens, though. The lead character gets his tiny mummy sent to him by his world-traveling father; does he send more creatures and the boy is just like, “here guys, you can each have one!” I don’t know. I’m not completely bored, and again, it is cute, so I’ll probably watch it to the end.
Posted by pluvia33 | Yesterday, 5:32 AM | 0 comments
January 14th, 2018
Hello and welcome back to what should be a weekly blog update of my 2018 Anime Watching Challenge!! So, this week’s title might seem like I’m stating the obvious; of course I’ll be watching a lot of stuff! I’m doing the Anime Watching Challenge!! Ah, but what I mean is that in ADDITION to my Challenge items, I think I’ll be watching even a ton more stuff on top of that! If you read or skim through a number of items in the Anime News Network Preview Guide, you’ll see a number of reviewers comment on just how FUCKING CUTE the Winter 2018 season is! And I am just a sucker for cute things (Sakaki-san would be proud). I’m already watching three of the super-cute shows of the season for my Challenge (see the Challenge items below listed as “Watching”), but there are also about 10 other currently airing shows that I’m interested in! So yeah, I’ll likely be watching a TON of stuff this year.

As I did a few times last year, I’ll be talk about noteworthy stuff that I watch outside of my Challenge in these posts at the end, labeling them as “Bonus” entries. I have two such entries in this blog post. If I watch something currently airing that isn’t on my Challenge, I plan to do an initial “Watching” Bonus post (as I did with Pop Team Epic below), but won’t be doing a new entry for it week-to-week like I’m doing for the currently-airing Challenge items; I’ll just provide my final thoughts once I finish the series. Sound good?

So yeah, since I was originally going to do the 100-item difficulty level with the Challenge but ended up dropping that down to 50 when too many items annoyed me, I’m going to shoot for still completing at least 100 new anime entries by the end of the year. Some of them will be things that I already started and won’t be watching from the beginning so they wouldn’t be valid if I WERE to try to do them for the Challenge (like Sweetness & Lightning below), but I don’t care. Like I said in my New Year’s Resolution post, I really need to clean up my Watching and On Hold lists. Anyway, that’s enough babbling; time for the running list:



-Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)
-Amanchu! Advance
-Angel Beats!
-Arashi no Yoru ni
-Aria The Animation
-Blend S

-Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen - Watching:
So I am watching the new Cardcaptor Sakura to fulfill an item (86) asking me to watch an anime that’s related to another anime that I’d previous watched which aired at least 15 years before or after. Yeah, that’s a pretty obscure item, but thankfully Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen fit easily into it since the second Cardcaptor Sakura movie debuted back in 2000 and is related to this currently-airing sequel. Anyway, I had read the first few chapters of the Clear Card manga, so this episode wasn’t anything surprising, but it was nice to see it animated. I’ll definitely be looking forward to watching this each week.

-Chirin no Suzu
-Clannad: After Story
-Date A Live II

-Forest Fairy Five - Completed:
Holy shit, what did I just watch? Well, this is in my Challenge to fulfill an item (92) asking me to watch an anime with a score of or below a 5.0 and boy, I can understand why this series had a score of 3.35 on MAL when I finished it. Seriously, I had no idea that there were young kids’ anime that could possibly put some of the lazy, badly animated kids’ cartoons that we Americans have (like Dora’s more poorly animated cousin Diego) into context of not being “that bad” when compared to this trash. Just, fuck man. The first two or three minutes of every episode for this half-length-episode show is the same every time and includes a muddy blob of shitty CGI effects laid over crappy CGI landscapes and when it gets to the character models and animation, they aren’t much better. But shit, worst of all is the goddamn sound. Holy shit! The male narrator mostly sounds fine, but the first three female character voices that are introduced sound like they were recorded on the most shitty microphones possible! They sound muffled and you can even hear their breathing at times! Like, what the fuck?! Did they not record this in a proper studio or what?! Seriously, it sounds like they sat at a table and spoke into micro cassette recorder. Quick anecdote: There was a time when I didn’t realize how much sound quality in anime, especially quality recording of the voice acting, meant to me. Then, as a huge fan of the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise I wanted to see the Disappearance movie as soon as possible. I found a cam-rip fansub which was described as “eye cancer” but I tried it anyway. I wasn’t all that bothered by the shitty visuals, but I could not STAND the complete shit sound quality! I heard Kyon’s wonderful voice butchered by the sound in the video and just couldn’t get past a few minutes and waited for the proper home video release to come out in Japan so I could watch a not-shit fansub. Anyway, sorry, I really wanted to talk about an actual good anime for a second. Back to this train wreck.... The sound quality for the voice recording might have actually gotten a little better after the first two episodes as I didn’t really notice hearing their breathing anymore past that point. Either that or I just got used to the shitty-ness. But the visuals definitely did NOT improve. Really, the CGI visuals would have looked like shit by professional TV/Movie CGI standards in the fucking late 1990s and this shit came out in 2017!!! Really, the entire series looks like poorly done in-game 3D graphics for a PS2 or DS game, or bad CGI cut scenes from a PS1 game. Oh, and then there’s the “story” of the series.... No, there is no story. I mean, this isn’t even like slice-of-life levels of “no story”, it’s just nothing and a bunch of nothing. There is actually a review on MAL giving this series a score of 6 which laments about how they don’t feel this series deserves all the 1 scores that it has been given, feeling that the fact that it’s apparently a show for preschoolers somehow gives it a pass, like it’d be like rating the Teletubbies a 1/10. You know what I say? Fuck that! No, this shit does NOT get a pass! And you know what, the fucking Teletubbies has fucking exquisite production values compared to this trash! And I’d personally probably give the Teletubbies a 3 or a 4 score if I were to rate it. But even then, I say people are free to rate Teletubbies and whatever else however they fucking feel! And you know what? Yes, I did it: Forest Fairy Five is officially the first anime that I’ve EVER given a score of 1 to on MAL!! I legitimately felt it was that bad. I think it is 100% deserving of the Appalling label that is associated with a 1 score on MAL. The badness of this series is practically offensive. Even preschoolers (if that really was the target audience) deserve better than this mess. I do not take this score lightly. I don’t take giving ANY score below a 5 lightly! Before Forest Fairy Five, I had only ever rated 9 anime less than a 5 and none of them below a 3. So yeah, this anime was THAT bad. And I have spent WAY too much time talking about this shit show so I’ll stop here. Sorry for the rant and language. =P

-Genocyber
-Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)
-Hoshi no Umi no Amuri
-Inuyashiki
-Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
-K-On! Movie
-Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
-Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
-Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
-Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
-Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni (In This Corner of the World)

-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (KonoSuba 2) - Completed:
So here’s another show that I watched the first season of during last year’s Challenge and liked it enough to want to watch the next season this year! I watched this to fulfill an item (66) asking me to watch an anime which has 5 or more genre tags on its MAL entry. I don’t really have too much to say about this. KonoSuba is a fun fantasy comedy series with horrible yet lovable characters. Season 2 was a very solid follow-up to the first season. I gave this a 9 just like the first season and it’s staying at its same relative spot on my working Top 100 List spreadsheet at #75. It’d be nice if the anime got another season, but I’m not sure how likely it is with there not being anything announced yet. Maybe I should try picking up the light novels at some point?

-Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
-Lodoss-tou Senki (Record of Lodoss War)
-Love Live! Sunshine!!

-Made in Abyss - Completed:
Oh man. As I mentioned in my previous Challenge post, I wasn’t quite getting into this series at first. It was interesting and the characters were likeable enough, but the focus on world building kept me a bit disconnected during the first half+ of this first season. And then Nanachi happened. Holy shit, her and Mitty’s story mixed with some late intense moments with the main pair saved this series from being an 8 at best to being a full-on 10 for me! It made it to #47 on my working list and I can’t wait for season 2! And, fuck. I just went to the page for season 2 on MAL and it looks like it doesn’t have a confirmed start date yet. Damn. Well, hopefully it will be soon! Maybe they’re waiting for the manga to get close to finished so they can do a complete adaptation of the story? That’d be cool! Anyway, I’m very happy the series was able to turn itself around for me!

-New Hal & Bons
-Ojamajo Doremi
-Omae Umasou da na

-Oshiete! Galko-chan OVA - Completed:
Ah, and here is yet another anime that I watched some of for last year’s Challenge! Although I guess this isn’t technically a sequel to the previous anime and is just a bonus “packed with the manga” OVA. Anyway, I watched this for an item (89) asking me to watch something adapted from a Digital manga. Like with the short-episode TV anime that I watched last year, this was just more slice-of-life fun! As mentioned last year, this series is very interesting in its frankness of what the female characters talk about and the subversion of expectations. This nearly 30 minute OVA pretty much just felt like 4 episode of the TV anime squished together and that was fine by me! Like with KonoSuba 2, this OVA helps keep Galko-chan at its established spot in my working Top 100 List, currently hanging out at #68.... Hehe, I kind of wish something this week had bumped it down one in the ranking. =P But yeah, I really want to start reading the manga soon. I was hoping that it might have been in Crunchyroll’s manga catalog, but it is not. Sad.

-Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
-Princess Principal
-Re: Cutey Honey
-Redline
-Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - Meiou Shinwa
-Samurai Champloo
-Selector Infected WIXOSS
-Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
-Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai

-Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe) - Watching:
So the second episode definitely had some drama to it. If the series keeps going in this direction, then it won’t quite be K-ON!: Antarctic Expedition Edition after all. It feels like it might be a bit closer to something like Kids on the Slope as far as storytelling style goes. And that’s okay. It’s still not SUPER serious, but it is a bit heavier than a typical “cute girls doing cute things” slice-of-life show. The highlight of this episode is easily the chase scene, though. That was wonderfully put together and just a lot of fun to watch.

-Teki wa Kaizoku: Neko-tachi no Kyouen (The Enemy's the Pirates!) - Completed: Since I’ll be watching A Place Further Than The Universe and Laid-Back Camp for a while (as they’re currently airing), I wanted to get the two items in between them finished off so my running list doesn’t look too weird. This is an old OVA from 1990 that I watched to fulfill an item (34) which wanted me to watch a stand-alone OVA. This wasn’t all that good, but it did have its moments. Although it came out in 1990, Japan tends to be kind of behind when it comes to pop-culture; this is one of the most 80s anime I’ve ever seen! The cheesy space opera story, the talking cats, 80s-style music; if have even an ounce of nostalgia for the 1980s, this is worth a watch. I personally gave it a 6.

-Tenshi no Tamago (Angel’s Egg) - Completed: Hmmm, what do I say about this? I watched Angel’s Egg for an item (45) asking me to watch an anime from the 1980s. The story is very open-ended and dialog-light. The animation is subtle and the art is darkly beautiful. There isn’t much going on, but there is also lots going on. It might bore you to tears or put you to sleep, but also leave a major impression if you get through it. Me? I gave it an 8. It won’t rank very high as a favorite anime movie of mine, but yes, I definitely felt an impression left by this after it ended. I’d say if you’re a fan of Yoshitaka Amano’s art, then this is worth a viewing for that alone.

-Yuru Camp△ (Laid-Back Camp△) - Watching: Episode 2 of K-ON!: Camping Edition was very nice. The full five-girl cast has now been introduced and Rin trying to avoid the other girls while her best friend plots to bring Rin and Nadeshiko (the other girl from the first episode) closer together. Nadeshiko definitely has a fun, cute, innocent, kind of dumb feel to her that I find really enjoyable. Aside from the relationship dynamics that are developing, the scenery during the camping trips is still really nice and fun and calming to watch. This really has the makings to be one of the most chill anime I’ve ever seen and I’m loving every minute of it!

Bonus:
-Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness & Lightning) - Completed:
So this was a nice little show that I started watching with my ex about a year and a half ago when it began airing. We got distracted from watching it, but even after we split we still watched an episode here and there every now and then and finally watched the last three episodes when we were hanging out for a bit this past week. After finishing it I was a little disappointed because I thought I might be able to slide it into my “finish an on-hold or dropped anime” item for the Challenge, but I would have had to not watch any of it since at least July of last year and we had watched a few episodes last September. Oh well. Anyway, Sweetness & Lightning is a nice little series about a single father cooking for his pre-school-age daughter with the help of one of his students. Although I wasn’t particularly wow’d by the last three episodes (the anime didn’t really end with any real oomph), the series as a whole had plenty of touching moments throughout to make it worthwhile and barely squeak by with a 9 score from me (though it didn’t quite make it into my working Top 100 List). I’m still very interested in checking out the original manga since it feels a bit unlikely that we’ll be getting more anime, plus the manga is available on Crunchyroll so it can help me get more use out of my subscription!

-Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic) - Watching: Sooooo.... What the fuck did I just watch? No, no. It’s fine. I’m not going to go on the same kind of rant that I did for Forest Fairy Five. I actually didn’t mind this show that much. I actually knew what I was getting into because I had already read the Preview Guide Reviews for the show on Anime News Network. And it was kind of amusing to watch, especially since my roommate was watching it with me and was vastly confused (he did NOT read the reviews so the show was a total surprise for him). Anyway, the show has a current score that’s a bit higher than I expected. I guess more people “get” the show than I thought they would, if there is a way to actually “get” it. This is pretty much the show that the internet meme age of consumers deserve. It is, for lack of a better word, pretty retarded and it’s meant to be. Most of the show is just references for the sake of references and complete dumb humor. My roommate actually read Crunchyroll reviews/comments for the show after we watched it and we were kind of annoyed that people were saying that this was stupid American-style humor, that we dirty Americans badly influenced their precious anime world. They are idiots. Japan has always had some really fucking stupid humor. Anyway, I won’t talk any more about it. You can read the Preview Guide about the show if you like, but this is really something that should just be experienced. I will probably continue to watch this week-to-week just for some stupid random stupidity. Yay!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 14, 2:36 AM | 0 comments
January 7th, 2018
Back to the grind!! 2017’s Challenge is in the can (now given the official stamp of approval by the mod who runs the Challenge, after needing to make some slight corrections to my form), and now it’s time to look forward to 2018! I actually began watching anime for this year’s Challenge on day one (January 1st) before the Official Sign Up was even posted. With that in mind, I was originally going to try to do things a little different with my posts here, trying to leave things kind of open-ended so I could maybe pick up more newly airing shows down the road.... But then the forum post was made and I got a bit carried away and ended up wanting to assign anime to every item on my Challenge list after all. =P

In the process of making my list this year (which didn’t have the same random BINGO-Card format as last year’s Challenge), I had a bit of frustration. I was originally going to shoot for the highest difficulty which includes a whopping 100 ITEMS this year!! But with there being only 108 item options total, that left very little wiggle room and there were a number of items that were just really fucking wonky this year (largely involving what the term “main cast” meant). I initially bumped myself down to the next difficulty level (with 60 items), but after hitting a few other frustrating items I bumped myself down again to my final Viceroy level, doing 50 items this year (which is pretty close in line with the 49 item “Full Card” that I did last year, so whatever).

Anyway, while picking all of the items for this year’s Challenge, I ended up going ahead and finishing a few very short anime as I selected them because they were very, very short. Hence, even though it’s only been a week since I’ve started this Challenge, I’ve already got six items in the bag! So without further ado, here’s the debut running list of all the anime that I’ll be watching for this year’s Challenge:



-Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)
-Amanchu! Advance
-Angel Beats!
-Arashi no Yoru ni
-Aria The Animation
-Blend S
-Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen
-Chirin no Suzu
-Clannad: After Story
-Date A Live II
-Forest Fairy Five
-Genocyber

-Hanasaka Jijii - Completed:
I watched this old 1917 anime to fulfil the “between 1917 to 1959” item (82). Like most old anime, this one was a folklore tale and it was okay. I gave it a 6. Interesting but not particularly entertaining. I know these are really impressive for the time, but meh.

-Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)
-Hoshi no Umi no Amuri

-Houkago Initiation - Completed:
*HENTAI WARNING* Yeah, so this item (44) required me to watch something that began airing on the month that I joined MyAnimeList (doesn’t need to be the same year). I joined MAL in the month of June. That’s not a month that usually has new TV anime starting, so this was most likely going to need to be an OVA or Movie or something. I worked my way backwards through MAL’s Seasonal Anime function and when I got to 2016, this hentai looked nice enough, so I figured, what the hell. Hentai is a large part of the anime that I watch, so it feels kind of appropriate to have at least one hentai entry in my Challenge (though this is the only one I plan to have on my official list). Anyway, this is based on a manga which includes a number of short stories by the same manga-ka. The first of the two episodes is mostly vanilla with a light pet/slave theme to it. The episode is split into two different stories, one with a girl who has a sex-friend relationship with a set of twin boys, acting as their pet. The second story sees a virgin boy who is infatuated with the student council president. She notices and invites him to a room at the school where he comes and sees her in the middle of having sex with some guy. After the other dude leaves, she tells the boy that he can have sex with her if he agrees to become her pet, and he does. Again, although there is a pet/slave element to this episode, it’s very vanilla but nice with decent, attractive art. However, the second episode tells a single story that gets rather dark. It’s about a boy who starts having sex with his new step mom (with the boy being the aggressor) while his father is away. Being sex and attention starved by a neglectful husband, the woman gets attached/addicted to the boy and it ends rather badly. In the end, this hentai as a whole was adequate porn and I gave it a 6.

-Inuyashiki
-Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
-K-On! Movie

-Kanojo wa Zombie - Completed:
I watched this cute little music video to fulfil an item (90) asking for an anime with a Radio or Music source. This was a fun little animated music video telling the story of a boy in love with a cute zombie girl. It had a bunch of funny and cute moments and some really cool action sequences. I had a smile on my face throughout the entire thing and for a music video that is well worth a score of 8 in my book.

-Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
-Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
-Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
-Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
-Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni (In This Corner of the World)
-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (KonoSuba 2)
-Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
-Lodoss-tou Senki (Record of Lodoss War)
-Love Live! Sunshine!!

-Made in Abyss - Watching:
So I’m finally watching one of the most talked about series from last year and as mentioned in my previous blog post, I am now able to watch this on Amazon Video with Prime without having to subscribe to Anime Strike! (since it’s dead) Yay! Anyway, I’m watching Made in Abyss to satisfy an item (50) asking for an anime based on a web manga. As of this writing, I’m five episodes into the series and it’s pretty interesting so far. I’m not quite super into it at the moment, but it is nice to look at with a cool story and some really intense moments. I’m not fully sure what direction this series is going to take, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

-Namakura Gatana - Completed: Here’s another one of the oldest anime in existence, created in 1917. But even though I came across this one while looking for an anime from a year between 1917 to 1959, I didn’t use this for that item. I used this for an item (104) requiring an anime with no opening or ending themes listed in its MAL entry. Well, of course this doesn’t have any theme songs since it’s a silent short film. Anyway, this is a little story about a samurai who thinks he got a good deal on a good sword, but the sword actually sucks and he loses to weak opponents and stuff. It was an interesting little anime, but like the other super-old anime I watched today, I did just give it a 6.

-New Game!! - Completed: For my first anime of this year’s Challenge, I revisited a series that I just finished watching the first season of near the end of the 2017 Challenge! It ended up fulfilling an item (32) asking for an anime with an English main title. Honestly, this season felt a little shaky at parts during the first half, but in the end I loved it just as much as the first season! The girls are still really cute doing their cute things and things were spiced up here and there with some new work dynamics (including new employees) and some light drama. Season 2 got another 10 from me, letting the series retain the #38 spot on my working Top 100 List that the first season earned it. I also watched the Season 1 OVA before starting season 2, but I didn’t end up using it for the Challenge. However, I will go ahead and talk about it briefly here. This OVA wasn’t particularly amazing, but it wasn’t at all bad for someone who’s a big fan of the series. I did knock it down a notch to a 9 compared to the series-proper, but it was still a lot of fun. Aoba’s snowmen alone were worth the watch! It was definitely fluff and not 100% needed when watching the series as a whole, but it was still fun fluff and had some interesting outside-of-work interaction bits for the cast. Good stuff!

-New Hal & Bons
-Ojamajo Doremi

-Ojiisan no Lamp - Completed:
For this item (73) I had to watch an anime with a title that ended in the first letter of my username. Yeah, it was kind of rough finding an anime that ends in ‘P’ and this anime was the only thing in my Plan-to-Watch that worked. Anyway, this was a nice little story about a guy reminiscing about old times with his grandson after the kid found an old oil floor-lamp. The grandfather grew up poor but was always optimistic and hard-working. When some new oil lamp technology was being used in a neighboring city, he started his own business of bringing and selling those lamps to his own village and other surrounding areas. However, technology continued to change a few more years down the road with the electric light bulb. At first he was furious, but then remembered that it was advances in technology that made him successful as a lamp salesman in the first place and he accepted his fate, giving up on selling lamps and moved on. This was a nice little anime. It wasn’t particularly amazing, but I did give it a 7 as I wasn’t bored and at its short length it didn’t overstay its welcome. It was nice and worth a watch.

-Omae Umasou da na
-Oshiete! Galko-chan OVA
-Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
-Princess Principal
-Re: Cutey Honey
-Redline
-Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - Meiou Shinwa
-Samurai Champloo
-Selector Infected WIXOSS
-Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
-Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai

-Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe) - Watching:
I’m using this currently-airing anime to fulfil an item (11) asking me to watch an anime with an original story. Technically the only genre tag that this show currently has on MAL is “Adventure” and that is pretty accurate, but the anime definitely has a slice-of-life, cute girls doing cute things feel to it. The show has a pretty calm feeling, but also feels like it could be much more as the series goes on. Of course on the surface it does have a bit of a feeling of K-ON!: Antarctic Expedition Edition (especially based on the opening credit sequence), but who knows? With my tastes I definitely won’t be all that disappointed if the series ends up being nothing more than fun slice-of-life fluff with a weird theme, but it will be interesting if the series does take off into different territory. As an original anime project, there’s really no telling! I’m glad I’ve picked this up for week-to-week viewing and will be looking forward to each new episode.

-Teki wa Kaizoku: Neko-tachi no Kyouen (The Enemy's the Pirates!)
-Tenshi no Tamago (Angel’s Egg)

-Yuru Camp△ (Laid-Back Camp△) - Watching:
And here we have another currently-airing anime, this one conveniently falling into a weird item (71) asking for an anime with a special character or symbol in its title. So, growing up, my mom used to take me and my siblings on camping trips. We weren’t particularly “roughing it” as we usually stayed on fairgrounds and such and weren’t just going in tents, but we also weren’t total shmucks going in a pimped-out RV in most cases. We were usually kind of in a middle-ground with a pop-up trailer camper. I also went on a few camping trips later in life with just a tent out in a national park-type setting. Anyway, point being, this series has a big foot in the door with me by just being an anime about camping. Not much happened in the first episode. Just a girl going camping by herself and meeting another girl. But man, was it fun and calming. Yeah, I have a bit of a soft spot for slice-of-life anime and the whole “cute girls doing cute things” format; it’s kind of like my anime comfort food at this point. But man, this one is really well done with an extremely chill vibe about it. Like with Antarctica Girls, I’m very happy to be watching this and I look forward to seeing it week-to-week.
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 7, 12:04 PM | 2 comments
January 5th, 2018
Anime Relations: Made in Abyss
So this is one of the biggest coincidences that have ever happened to me. I'm starting to get into the swing of things to start my 2018 Anime Watching Challenge. I finished watching New Game!! (the second season) yesterday and decided that I'd watch Made in Abyss next. Well, knowing that it was an Anime Strike (Amazon) streaming show and since I'd decided that I wasn't going to support their double-pay-wall crap, I began torrenting the episodes last night. This morning I began looking into a few other shows that I'd like to watch for the challenge including Girl's Last Tour and Re:Creators and realized both were also Anime Strike shows. Well, I started to think, if I'm going to watch at least three of their shows this year, maybe I'll go ahead and look into the service and at least get a free trial.

Well, that's when something strange happened. I couldn't really find any way to join Anime Strike on Amazon.com; I found an Anime Strike splash page, but when I clicked on "Learn more" it just redirected me to the basic Amazon Video page. When I looked up the mentioned anime that I'm interested in watching, they were all listed as "Included with Prime".... I proceeded to add them to my watch list and watched the first episode of Made in Abyss on my PS4....

After not being able to find anything about what the hell was going on through Google, I made a post on the ANN forums in an established thread about Amazon Prime's streaming service. By the time I got to work, someone commented back with a link to this article:

Amazon Shuts Down Anime Strike

So yeah, looks like I just happened to be looking into joining Anime Strike on the morning that it died! Very big coincidence!

So what does this mean? Well, in the short term it means that I can freely watch all of Anime Strike's shows with just my Prime membership! Yay! I don't have to deal with torrenting them now or getting an extra subscription!

However, this quote from the article is kind of troublesome in a way and possibly makes this a bit of a bittersweet situation:

"Fans began to suspect something was up when Anime Strike failed to announce a single exclusive offering for the winter 2018 anime season."

This makes it feel like less of a situation of Amazon actually listening to fans who didn't like the double-pay-wall crap and instead gives more of an impressing that Amazon is just giving up on being a major player in the Western anime streaming market period. I'm sure some anime fans are ecstatic about this: "They handled their position in the anime market badly anyway and it was annoying to have to go to multiple services for different shows, especially when the first season was on Crunchyroll!!" However, it feels kind of bittersweet to me because if they truly are giving up on being part of the anime streaming market, that means less competition for licensing rights and less money for the content creators back in Japan, and that kind of sucks.

But hey, I guess we'll see what happens as things develop. Until then, I guess it will be a little easier to watch some of the anime that I was planning to watch this year!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 5, 7:55 AM | 0 comments
January 4th, 2018
Anime Relations: Hana yori Dango
Let me try to write my feelings here without sounding racist.... XD

Okay, so I'm kind of bored and came across a Korean "manhwa" here on MAL. I didn't know it was Korean at first, but the thumbnail looked interesting on someone's profile. I clicked on it and was like, oh.... it's a Korean comic....

So I figured I'd kind of talk briefly(?) about my feelings on Korean entertainment.

Long story short: I'm just not very interested in it.

For more than half of my life, I've grown up as an anime fan, from around the age of 12 to now; that's actually over 20 years, almost 2/3 of my life! In that time, I've grown very close to Japanese entertainment (mainly anime and manga, but also some live action film, TV, and music) as well as becoming educated in the language and culture in general. I'm sure this is an extremely "weeaboo" thing to say, but the Japanese culture is almost like a second culture of mine, even though I haven't had a chance to actually visit and live there yet. This closeness with the Japanese language and culture really helps me get into anime and manga and understand some nuances that I wouldn't really understand while consuming other foreign entertainment like a French movie or Korean comics.

And that is pretty much the main issue here. While I can enjoy a French or other foreign film every now and then, it's not something that I typically seek out and I might actively avoid it if I'm not in a very particular mood. The same goes with Korean comics and other entertainment from that country. I basically don't feel any particular connection with the culture of Korean (and other countries) and at this point in my entertainment-consuming-life, I don't really feel like putting in the work to learn about these cultures on the same level that I have with Japan over the last 20 years.

However, I do feel like I am being a bit close-minded when it comes to Korean entertainment. Sometimes I do bash Korean stuff, but it's usually in good fun and just among friends. For example, I have some friends who are really into K-Pop so every now and then I call Koreans "discount-Japanese" just to mess with them. Also, even though it's really popular, something inherently bugs me about the live action Korean adaptation of Boys Over Flowers, especially when it's someone's ONLY exposure to the franchise. You do realize it was a Japanese manga first, right? And that there is an anime adaptation AND a live action JAPANESE adaptation?! .... Yeah, that probably shouldn't bother me so much, but it kind of does. I am similarly hesitant to watch the Korean Old Boy movie even though I have heard great things about it.

But more to the point, I do feel like I should give more Korean comics a chance. I have read and enjoyed some in the past, mainly ones that were included in the short-lived Yen Plus monthly manga magazine (physical edition); One Fine Day was a particular favorite of mine in that magazine, which in thinking about it I just realized that I never added it to my list, along with most of the other Korean stuff that I read from Yen Plus (maybe MAL didn't include much manhwa back when I was reading them?). So maybe I'll try to read more Korean stuff or at least not be completely turned off by it when I notice that it's Korean. Maybe I'll try to get back to and finish some of the stuff I started from Yen Plus? Who knows.

But yeah, that's about it. I haven't really been all that into Korean entertainment largely because I'm lazy and don't feel like getting invested in another culture after putting so much work into Japan. Is that a silly reason? Maybe. Do I care? Maybe a little. We'll see if I care enough to actually follow through and change some of my habits.
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 4, 2:39 PM | 0 comments
January 3rd, 2018
Happy New Year!! I personally like New Year's. In the past I've enjoyed New Year's Eve as a personal time of reflection with a number of years including a small fire used to burn things to "let go" from the previous year. Lately, I haven't been celebrating as much as I'd like. I haven't had many worthwhile things to burn and I've generally not cared as much as I've gotten older. This year in particular had my usual apathy paired being kind of sick, resulting in me staying in for New Year's Eve and being in bed by 10am. =P

I'd like to still do something for New Year's, though. And although I've never really been that big of a fan of the whole "Resolutions" thing, I figured I'd make a few resolutions for 2018, primarily ones related to my hobbies. These aren't like super serious or anything, but they are nice to have as goals.

Blah Blah Personal Resolutions: Although this list is primarily for my hobbies, I will do a quick catch-all for some boring, typical resolutions. Mostly, I just need to take better care of myself. I need to get a good vegan meal plan together instead of just eating the same stuff all the time (I mean, I'm not full junk-food-vegan right now, but I do need to eat better and get more variety). I also need to exercise more and hopefully get back to getting my work out time during work set up again so I can hit the gym at least for half an hour four days a week after work. Other than that, I have no real goals; I'd just like to make progress. Blah. I also have a financial goal of being more frugal with my fun-spending this year so I can pay my car off by the end of the year (preferably have it paid off by mid-year). Having a car payment is annoying.

Read (listen to) More Books: I've mentioned before that I'm a slow reader. It's really annoying. But I do really like reading "proper novels" and such. I also really like audio books which I kind of got into over the last few years. I absolutely LOVED the audio book for The Martian. I have a good number of other audio books that I should be taking the time to listen to, such as Ready Player One and Kizumonogatari from the Monogatari Series (I'd listened to the first chapter of that one a while back and really love that they gave the characters different actors; although I'm not a big fan of English dubs in anime, Araragi and Hanekawa were really well done in this and I'm hopeful for the rest of the cast). Oh, I've also had the Ender series of books on hold for a ridiculous long time and should really pick that back up. Maybe I can also try to finally finish reading the original Toradora! light novel series. =P

Complete the Full Anime Watching Challenge Again: I really enjoyed doing the Anime Watching Challenge last year and I'm really looking forward to doing it again this year! Not much else to say about that.

Watch Even More Anime (Trim Down "Watching" and "On Hold" Lists): After getting some "Lessons Learned" during last year's Anime Watching Challenge, I think I'll be able to handle this year's Challenge much better. Because of that, I think I should be able to watch even more anime outside of the Challenge this year. Maybe I can actually randomly pick up a few extra new shows as they air during a few seasons? But most of all, I really want to trim down my "Watching" and "On Hold" lists. I currently have over 40 anime as "Watching" and over 50 as "On Hold".... The Watching list is especially kind of dumb. I mean, I'm not REALLY "watching" all of those shows right now. In reality, nearly 90% of them should be shifted to "On Hold" if I was really being honest with myself. I'd like for the bulk of my Watching and On Hold anime to actually feel like the belong there, like shows that I'm ACTUALLY WATCHING and things that I'm pretty much forced to put On Hold, like OVAs that I have to wait for the next episode to come out. Reevaluating my Dropped list would also be nice as some of them might deserve a second chance.

Watch/Read All/Most of the Anime/Manga on my Shelf: That's a lot of slashes and I guess this is another extension to the previous item. I used to have a ridiculously large physical anime/manga collection. At one point while I was in the Air Force and had a lot of disposable income, it began to feel like I was buying stuff just for the sake of buying stuff and fell really behind in actually watching/reading the material. During more recent years, I've trimmed down my collection, selling off a lot of stuff, so my collection is actually down to a much more manageable level as far as the stuff that I've never watched/read goes. So with that in mind, I'd really like to make an effort to watch/read all of it. I don't know if "all" of it is really doable now even with the more slim collection, but I'd like to at least work towards it.

Read More Manga In General: I really enjoy manga a lot. In some ways I even like it a little more than anime, but again with my slow reading ability, reading manga can be a bit of a drag. So I'd like to make an effort to not only read everything on my shelf, but also get back into scanlations more and get some more use out of the manga portion of my Crunchyroll subscription (I think last year the only things I read on there were Orange and the first six chapters of UQ Holder!).

Play All/Most of the Board Games on my Shelf: Yeah, pretty much the same thing as the item a couple entries up, but for board games. With the board game hobby booming right now, there is a common problem of people in the hobby getting a lot of board games and ending up having more than they have time to play; something of a "shelf of shame" of games they own but have never played. I have a decent amount of games and game expansions that fall into this category (22+ if I'm counting right) and 20 additional games that I should be receiving from Kickstarter pledges this year if they all ship on time. Then, my friend and most common gaming partner David has a TON of games of his that I haven't played (34 at current count), a number of which he hasn't even played himself. So yeah, there's over 70 games that I want to potentially play for the first time this year. XD That's probably a bit of a lofty goal, especially since there are a lot of games that I want to continue playing and play more of that I played a little of last year, but what the hell. It is one of my top two hobbies now (along with anime/manga). And at least with me trying to be frugal so I can play off my car this year, I shouldn't end up with too many new games other than my Kickstarter pledges that I've already paid for. We'll see!

Finish Playing the Classic JRPGs (Final Fantasy, etc.): So I really like JRPGs, but they do tend to take up a lot of time, a commodity that I just don't have a ton of these days between work and my top two hobbies of anime/manga and tabletop gaming. But I'd really like to at least finally finish the classic JRPGs that I've been meaning to play for a while. I'd made progress before and played Final Fantasy III, IV, and V, but I still need to play Final Fantasy I, II, and VI as well as the game that's considered to be one of the greatest games ever, Chrono Trigger.... Yeah, I feel all the shame for having never played that one. I had briefly begun FFVI at one point last year, but felt that I should finish the original Final Fantasy first. Unfortunately, I REALLY should have put that game on Easy mode because normal "difficulty" just means you have to do a shit load more grinding in the game; again, something that I really don't have time for and it quickly made me get bored of the game. So I'll probably start over on Final Fantasy on Easy and hopefully find the time to at least get close to finishing these four classics.

Watch More Non-Anime Stuff: Am I out of time in the year yet? Yeah, I don't know how I'm going to get all this done or come even close now that I'm writing it all down, but in addition to all that other stuff, I also have a TON of non-anime movies and shows that I really, really need to get around to watching. From old classics like the original Blade Runner movie to needing to catch up on all of the Netflix Marvel shows (I have only watched the two seasons of Daredevil so far). Just not enough time in a day.

Write Some Reviews and Recommendations: Lastly, I think I want to write a few Reviews and Recommendations on MyAnimeList. Personally, I don't think I have a particularly great critical mind when it comes to art and entertainment, but I am able to express my opinions in a cohesive way for the most part. I'm approaching my 10-year anniversary of using this site (8.5 years at the moment) and I've never written a single review. I think maybe I should "fix" that, if for nothing else than to not have to see those "zeroes" on my profile stats anymore. =P It might also get some more traffic to my profile which might lead to a few new people actually reading these blog posts!! One can dream, anyway.

And I'm going to end things there before this list gets too out of hand. Hopefully I can actually accomplish a good amount of this stuff or at least make a little progress on each item. But only time will tell! Until next time!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 3, 10:30 AM | 0 comments
December 21st, 2017
Anime Relations: Boku dake ga Inai Machi
Something that I failed to bring up in my last post about finishing my Anime Watching Challenge is the fact that ERASED, the final entry I watched for my Challenge, was actually my 800th completed anime!! Yay for milestones!!

Now, I do very well realize that my list is kind of padded heavily with short hentai OVAs and a number of animated music videos and shorts, etc. However, I have never intentionally sought out such things to "pad" my viewing numbers. These just happened to be anime that I've come across and I do really enjoy porn and don't mind shamelessly including it on my list. Only 304 of my completed anime are of the TV type and I do think the Days of anime watched stat is more significant of a benchmark for Otaku Power Level. I'm really looking forward to the day when I have a full year's time (365 days) worth of anime watched....

But I still think this is a pretty significant milestone and I'm happy to have reached it, especially with the fact that I'd added 88 completed anime to my list this year alone! Of course, being part of the Anime Watching Challenge helped with that (49 of the anime watched this year were for the Challenge) and I'm glad for that and plan to do it every year from now on as long as I'm able. And although I didn't do a "TV types only" restriction for my Challenge, I also don't think I cheesed my list to make it super easy; I just selected anime that looked interesting and 35 of my items were full-length episode, full-season TV anime. You know, not that I feel like I need to defend myself or anything. =P Although I'm interested in doing a "TV types only" run, I don't think I'll embark on that for the 2018 Challenge; I don't want to potentially bite off more than I can chew and there are a lot of movies that I still need to get around to watching.

Anyway, not really much else to say. I don't really plan to keep track of these kinds of milestones since I missed my #700 entry and many before that and don't want to feel obligated to keep an eye out for things, but if I happen to notice something significant, I might talk about it.
Posted by pluvia33 | Dec 21, 2017 11:54 AM | 0 comments
December 20th, 2017
So in preparation for finishing off my 2017 Anime Watching Challenge, I was reviewing the guidelines for turning in the challenge and for the individual items on the list. Unfortunately, there seemed to have been new stipulation added to some of the items. Most notably, the item for taking a suggested anime from MAL now included that you had to have a screenshot of the suggestion that SHOWED YOUR USERNAME. Sadly, my original screenshot for that item did not have my username in it. The item was originally fulfilled with Re:Zero, but since the suggestion goes off of what you’ve watched it was impossible to get a legit screenshot at this point. HOWEVER! All was not lost. One of the remaining four items that I had was to watch an anime that aired on a weekday. Since Re:Zero aired on a weekday I just moved that anime to fulfil that item (bumping out Rage of Bahamut) and got a new suggestion (which ended up being Noragami). Sorry Rage of Bahamut! Maybe I’ll watch you next year. Anyway, these are the final four anime that I watched to complete my Challenge for this year, so on to my running list:



-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED) - Completed: Kind of weird talking about the final anime that I watched for my Challenge first, but I’ve been doing this in alphabetical order this whole time so it’d be weird to change things now. =P Anyway, I watched this to fulfil an item asking to watch a series that included a child main character, using Kayo Hinazuki. Honestly, I was a little worried that this show might have bored the crap out of me like Another did (especially since I had the identity of the villain kind of spoiled for me, although it seemed pretty obvious who it was anyway). But the show ended up being pretty great! Unlike Another, the characters felt very fleshed out and real and had a warmness to them; they were enjoyable to watch. It was also a much better story in which even though there was a supernatural element to it, the story still felt grounded, while those elements for Another kind of just felt like nothing more than a convenient plot device and an excuse for gore-porn. Anyway, enough shitting on Another; ERASED was a very well told story with great character interactions. I loved it quite a bit, just barely squeaking into my 10 scoring range (currently ranking around #50 on my working Top Series List). It is definitely worth checking out. If it’s not for you, I think that the old 3-episode rule is perfectly fair (if you’re not into it by the end of episode 3, feel free to drop it).

-Bungou Stray Dogs - Completed: Hmmmm, this show gave me a bit of deja vu in both story and the feelings it gave me (i.e. being bored) compared to Blood Blockade Battlefront. =P Yeah, so again, we have an agency with supernatural powers going up against other people with supernatural powers and we have a relatively young newbie joining the agency.... Yeah, I was just bored through most of it. It wasn’t really bad, the characters did have a certain level of charm, but the series didn’t really resonate with me, ending in a 6 just like Blood Blockade Battlefront (though the superb animation/art quality is what saved that one from a lower score). Oh, and this anime fulfilled watching an anime with a main cast made up of adults. =P

-New Game! - Completed: Now back to a series that I loved! This fulfilled an item needing a main character who is a professional, and that is one of the main things that is so refreshing about this series. While this is very much a “cute girls doing cute things” slice-of-life series (very similar in feel to K-ON!), it has the very nice twist of taking place in a professional video game studio with a cast of adult professionals at work! Not only are the girls really cute to watch and are very likeable and fun, but what they are doing is actually very interesting at times! I really loved this anime and will definitely be doing my best to fit season 2 into my 2018 Challenge (and will probably watch it anyway even if I can’t fit it in). It got another 10 score from me and is sitting somewhere in the 30s of my working list.

-Noragami - Completed: And now another series that was kind of underwhelming. =P As mentioned, this was the suggested anime that I used to replace the original item that Re:Zero had fulfilled before. It was.... good? I’m kind of giving it the benefit of the doubt at the moment as it was very close to a 6, but it did have some nice things going on with it so I edged it out. Maybe I’ll try out the second season to see if it gets better, if I’m able to connect more with it. We’ll see.

-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

Final Thoughts:
So there you have it! I have finished my first Anime Watching Challenge! Although I had some bumps in the road (most notably the 5 months between March and September when I watched pretty much NO ANIME), it was a lot of fun and a good way to make sure that I get my ass in gear and keep up with one of my oldest favorite hobbies. I will definitely be doing the Challenge again next year and will hopefully keep a steady stream of watching this time around so I don’t end up feeling rushed near the end. I think with the lessons learned during this year it shouldn’t be a problem. But yes, first and foremost this has been a great way to finally watch some anime that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while and finish some stuff that I put on hold long ago (starting back at the beginning of the show, of course). While I watched a good amount of *meh* stuff, I also watched a good amount of great material. The #100 entry on my old Top 100 List is now sitting at about #125 when I extend my working list spreadsheet so I’ve watched 25 GREAT anime this past year! I’m excited to see what the list looks like further down the road when I feel that it deserves to be officially re-done (maybe around the 2 year mark after I did the old list? So sometime around May next year?). We’ll see! ^_^

Posted by pluvia33 | Dec 20, 2017 8:12 AM | 0 comments
December 5th, 2017
As I mentioned in my last blog post, recently getting into Skyrim had thrown my anime watching off track a bit, but after a solid two weeks of not watching ANY ANIME, I got back into the swing of things and I’m now once again on schedule to complete my “Full Card” Emperor difficulty challenge!! I only have four more entries remaining, less than 50 total episodes to watch, over the next 20 days. Should be no problem!! But for now, here’s my running list and talk of what I finished over the last few weeks:



-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Bungou Stray Dogs

-Date A Live - Completed:
For this entry of my challenge I was asked to pull up a random TVTropes entry and watch an anime listed under it. I got Battle Ballgown and this was the first anime listed under it.... Oh boy, this was a bit of a roller coaster ride! At first glance, while watching episode one, I just thought this was a typical light novel adaptation which was mostly serious with some fanservice and comedic relief thrown in. Maybe it was partly my fault for going into the series almost totally blind, but man, the first episode threw some very hefty curveballs at me! Like seriously, in its own way, this was one of the most bonkers first episodes I’ve ever seen of an anime largely because of how caught off guard I was from a few of the little weird, out there plot twists. I mean, other shows are crazy wacky ridiculous in far greater amounts, but they are consistent in their wackiness and you pretty much know you’re in for some crazy stuff within the first few minutes. Date A Live didn’t really have that. Because of how jarring first episode was, it was a bit hard for me to watch a lot of it at once at first. But after I realized that this was largely a dumb comedy, I began enjoying it more. And then, almost out of nowhere, I REALLY started enjoying it! It was a lot of fun and I began to really connect and enjoy the characters. It also may have the best home-video-only bonus “final episode” I’ve ever seen for one of these kinds of shows in Date to Date. Man that was amusing! One of my favorite episodes in the entire series. Anyway, I ended up giving this show a 9, though a bit of a low-tier 9; it didn’t quite crack my top 100 as it would currently sit at 104 if I extended the list out. Still an extremely enjoyable series for me, though, and I’m really looking forward to watching the second season which I will try to work into my 2018 Challenge list if I can.

-Death Parade - Completed: For this one I was asked to watch a favorite anime of a MyAnimeList staff member and this was a show on Licetus’ favorites. I wasn’t sure how this would pan out on my enjoyment level at first with its largely episodic nature, but the show ended up being both a lot of fun and emotionally powerful for me. Even though this is the most recent show I finished (I literally just watched the last episode about an hour ago), I don’t really have much to elaborate on beyond that. I feel like it’s definitely worth checking out. I ended up giving it a 10, although a bit low of a 10, very close to being a 9, as it currently sits at #50 on my working list. Great stuff, though!

-Kaiba - Completed: And this was a weird one. For this entry I had to watch an award winning anime and I can fully understand why this series has received acclaim. It is very legitimately a piece of art and one of the most interestingly done anime I’ve watched for this challenge. It was a bit of a slow burn for me, but I did eventually get into it and enjoyed it quite a bit, but I don’t know if I would ever really care to watch it again. However, for what it did and the fact that I did enjoy it for my (likely only ever) viewing of it, I did give it an 8 and do recommend for anyone to check it out, again, as a piece of art.

-New Game!

-Shigofumi - Completed:
Another series that has to do with death. This is an entry that I used to fit a need for a Psychological/Thriller anime in the Challenge. While this series had some very big emotional hits and had a very interesting story format, for me the characters didn’t really connect that well like they did with Death Parade and that held this series back quite a bit. It was still very enjoyable, but like Kaiba I rated this an 8 and I’m not sure if I’d ever have the desire to watch it again. I would be interested in watching more if they miraculously got another season made, though.

-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)
Posted by pluvia33 | Dec 5, 2017 5:44 AM | 0 comments
December 1st, 2017
Anime Relations: Mahoutsukai no Yome
So at my usual pace, I should have had enough anime watched (at least 4 series) to make a Watching Challenge update by today, but I got a little off track in the past few weeks. The reason? SKYRIM!! Yeah, so David, a good friend of mine who I've been playing a lot of board games with lately, started playing Skyrim about a month ago and suggested I should get into it. I've had a PS3 copy of the game for a while that I'd never played, but I really wanted to get the PS4 version since I'm usually on that console these days, plus it would have better graphics, mod support (for after I finish the vanilla game), and comes with the DLC stuff pre-loaded.

So yeah, shortly after my last update (10 Nov), I got my PS4 copy of the game in the mail and was playing it like crazy! Like, even on full 8-hour work days, I was still finding a way to squeeze in at least 6 hours of Skyrim time! As a completionist, PS Trophy hunter, and side-quest whore this game has been a MASSIVE time sink and I've been loving every minute of it. The act of just exploring, finding stuff, progressing my character, collecting, crafting, etc. has actually been very therapeutic.

And yes, I know this is a 6-year-old game and the initial hype and conversation around the game has died down (i.e., it's old news), but I don't really care. At this point in my life, I'm perfectly fine with being "late to the party" in my entertainment. I have many video games still on my shelf that are years old which I haven't played yet (hell, I still have FFVI and Chrono Trigger to play!), but whenever I have the time for them, they'll be new for me and I won't really miss the "social interaction" part of the game. Yes, one of the reasons that I'm finally playing Skyrim now is because I can talk to David about it as I play it and that is cool, but it's not that big of a driving factor. This mentality also extends to anime for me: As I'm doing my Anime Watching Challenge, I'm watching a list of pre-determined shows, almost all of which are at least a year old at this point, and have little time for any other anime. I haven't watched a single newly airing anime for the last two seasons, currently passing on watching the very buzz-worthy Ancient Magus' Bride which my roommate Dan is actually watching as it comes out. I'll almost for sure watch it for next year's Watching Challenge, but I don't mind "missing out" on the conversation at the moment.

Anyway, so Skyrim had consumed my life for about a solid two weeks before I was able to pull myself away enough from it to start watching anime again. That's a lot of time to lose this late in the game as I went from needing to watch at least 2 episodes a day back to 3 episodes a day from the time lost. But I'm better now. I'm very high level in Skyrim now (level 58 or 59) so I can take on most things without much trouble, making the game more of a leisurely stroll than before instead of a rush to amass massive power! I was able to watch my last two shows (Kaiba and Shigofumi) in 3 or 4 days each and I'll likely finish my current series (Date A Live) this weekend. Finishing these three shows will be the last of the shows that I've had to watch downloaded versions of, leaving my final five anime as things that I can watch on Crunchyroll through my PS4 so those should be easier for me to watch. I got a little discouraged about my Watching Challenge when I lost those two weeks to Skyrim, but I think I'm back on track and should have no further problems with finishing this thing off. It's coming down to the wire now, but with how far I've come it would be an absolute shame to fail now!

So, what else has been going on with me? Well, I've mostly just been gaming with David (tabletop gaming) and working with him on the game we've been developing: Pocket Neon City RUMBLE. We actually have a Skype meeting with our partner Rudy tomorrow to go over the rule book which should be fun. I did MASSIVE edits to the rulebook and Rudy (who is an artist and gamer who lives in France) has been doing an AMAZING job putting the graphic design touch on the rules. It's really shaping up to be a rather cool game and I'm proud to have had a hand in that.

David and I have also been trying to put together a board game calendar for our personal use, taking pictures of some of our most significant board game experiences over the past year to make into a calendar for 2018. Sadly that project is a little behind and I actually missed an opportunity for one of the pictures that I still needed to take. I wanted all of the pictures done by the beginning of December (right now) so we would have a full month for post-production and printing, but there are still 6 of the 12 game pictures that need to be done. I'll probably just "stage" most of the remaining pictures that I need (doing "fake" game setups just for the sake of taking pictures of them) this weekend instead of waiting for real game sessions since we've been pretty busy and focusing on specific games a lot (mainly our current Pathfinder Adventure Card Game campaign and Aeon's End).... I actually am not sure if any of this makes much sense to anyone who might come across this post, but this blog is mostly just for me at this point since MAL doesn't really support the blog system enough for me to get many random readers. Anyway, I did figure out what games I'm going to be assigning to each calendar month, most of which have significant reasons behind them for myself and/or David which I won't really get into here:

January - Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
February - The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
March - Pocket Neon City Rumble (Playtest)
April - Galaxy Trucker
May - Castle Panic
June - Hero Realms/Star Realms
July - Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
August - Clank!
September - Aeon's End
October - Quarriors
November - Roll Player
December - Onirim


And that's about all that's really going on with me right now. I'll probably be making a new "2017 Anime Watching Challenge" post sometime this weekend or early next week. Don't really have much else going on right now. No particularly huge plans for XMas, just might go to a little get-together with friends. I'm hoping to go back to Ohio for a long two week vacation during the last week of January/first week of February. Hopefully that works out. Anyway, until next time, laters!!
Posted by pluvia33 | Dec 1, 2017 11:18 AM | 0 comments