My dear Island guests! It’s the end of the week again! So that means I watched a whole lot of anime like it is a Saturday morning cartoon program. Five shows with fake commercial breaks in between, set time slots (so if I am late I skip part of an episode) and a bowl of cereal! The past two editions quality was pretty amazing with over half the shows getting perfect scores! Unfortunately that streak ended this week! I still had a good time watching my five shows but the overall viewing experience wasn’t as great. Let’s take a look at what we saw. Of course since these are episode reviews they will contain spoilers!
Digimon Adventure Episode 2
Digimon is a great way to start your morning and this second episode.. really surprised me! I did expect to see what I ended up seeing. Other than that it was just perfect low brow entertainment befitting of a Saturday morning… with a seriously dark undertone though! Jeesz!
This episode is a direct continuation of last week. Taichi has just encountered Yamato while Koshiro tells them about the attack on the United States army. Inside the digital environment , Taichi and Greymon and Yamato and Garurumon have to rush towards the new location where the virus digimon are causing trouble. The “new kid” seems to know what he is doing but he has difficulty playing in a team and communicating with Taichi which causes some problems. As we cycle through a set of techniques and digimon forms from the viruses we discover the point of this hack is actually to fire a nuclear missile. The group is unable to stop the monster in time which keeps evolving. As the missile is launched it is headed towards Tokyo as a strange feather falls down on several places in town .. going to the youngest two digidestined of old but also to Koshiro. As Garurumon and Greymon are about to be finished off.. we see blue and and orange lights swirl intermixed on their digivice… and we see….. OMNIMON?! Huh!?!
This episode was a bit of a mixed bag for me, I really liked the darkness of the ending. A nuke being fired at Tokyo killing Kairi , Toshiro and Taichi’s family in nuclear fire if they fail? Man that sure is concrete… and a very heavy consequence for episode 2 and a children’s show. Greymon and Garurumon suffering defeat this early on is also very powerful! It establishes this show is something completely different from the old Digimon Adventures. I like how characters are more defined into a role. Yamato clearly has much more of a road to travel. The old one was a jerk but he was pretty easy to lean into the group dynamic making his crest of friendship an easy journey. Here it seems a much more tangible element. I also like how the enemies seem to have more of a style. While it does make them more interchangeable with the plot being chosen so far I can really see this being much more of a designed attack. While it is still monster of the week-like it feels much less so due to recurring design.. it feels much more like a designed attack which makes this the most high stakes digimon series from the get go I have seen so far. I also like that we only see hints of the other digidestined drizzled in. Kyoshiro’s laptop had an effect and the feathers were a thing but it’s not all.. bam! Happy group here and ready. These guys don’t bond over years we never saw.. these guys bond over a experience we also experience and thus I feel their characters are all much stronger already.
Yamato’s personality however also puts the first half of this episode in some trouble. He says nothing.. so we only see him say like.. Watch out! GO!, or “where do we go” . It creates a bit of a weird dynamic where the new character being introduced is basically just “shown” we learn nothing about him. We SEE Takeru so we assume is in Tokyo as well.. but I have doubts. He did not seem as startled, does he even know of Takeru?! Do they even live in Tokyo? We don’t know anything he is just there. While the fighting in digimon never looked as good and fluent as this did.. by having the villain constantly evolve all previous fights are basically nullified unless they took lessons out of them.. and to be fair .. they didn’t really. In te penultimate phase..which is in the second half of the episode they begin to sync up and come up wit some more advance tactics but the first half is just about shooting fireballs or blue fire beams. Which in the end do not do anything..so it felt a bit wasted. Entertaining time waste but still time wasted. It’s not bad but if you did not see the first 15 minutes of this episode you would have not missed anything establishing. So I would have loved to see maybe a shadowy figure of an evil guy telling the virus to hold on.. or sending it some energy to evolve. Maybe have Yamato spout a line that he only trusts one person.. or give us a gander at where Joe and Mimi are.
It’s still a nice episode but clearly less than the first episode! The Omnimon reveal in the end is super cool but only if you know who Omnimon is. Also the design still has Metalgarurumon and Wargreymon arms so .. how is that explained?! I know DNA digivolution is something else.. but if you are not a fan of the series this reveal might not have any impact. Also DNA there a very much visual clues for a fan.. but if you are new to the franchise or joined in post Adventurers you might be very confused to what happend. I am a fan though and the reveal was pretty cool! Regardless how it happend! I want to know more! So with that in mind my score is quite favourable for this episode! But lower than last episode.
Samurai Flamenco Episode 9
Another mixed bag episode for me! On the one hand I really loved WHAT happened but I kinda hate HOW it happened. There was this air of negativity surrounding this episode that just made EVERYONE super petty or bratty save for one character. When everyone acts unlikeable you are going to have a hard time making a likeable episode.
In this episode we make another time jump. Masayoshi has been steadily dealing with monsters and is becoming arrogant over it. He deals with them with more and more ease. Even so much ease the Flamenco girls just bailed. He can do this by himself. No one has died since the Gorilla and all monsters just end up exploding once Samurai Flamenco is done with them. The people now rarely react to monsters anymore. So when Branding Piranha shows up which tosses like poisonous business cards .. everyone sees it as a hassle for their own reasons. Masayoshi gets smug, Mari gets resentful and challenges Lord Torture and Goto is fed up with doing te paperwork and quits working with Samurai Flamenco. Mari tries to seduce him after he scolds her for trying to provoke the dark lord.. but as he refuses her again she pouts and sulks for te remainder of the episode. Mister Konno, the tv guy who tried to unmask Samurai Flamenco gets captured by King Torture and his mind twisted near the end..and ends up betraying Flamenco Diamond’s identity to King Torture. Samurai Flamenco is summoned to fight is final battle against him but is stopped by henchman! Jun.. the gadget guy however steps in and fights in his place as he Masayoshi dashes off on his bike to save Mari.
What this episode does great is tying in consequences to the actions of the characters. They had a few episodes everything was going great and now they have to deal with the fallout of that. No one really appreciates a hero anymore when it becomes that common. The show shows how tv and reality work differently. This is best seen in my favourite scene! When the Torture Boys try to stop Samurai Flamenco when he is heading towards King Torture. He scolds them for being bad henchman being very annoyed. They tell him that they are very passionate about being evil.. so even if they are deemed of grunts they all dream of taking him down. Just because their leader wants to fight him too doesn’t mean their dreams and ambitions suddenly stop! Great! This is the writing I want from this show and it is in here pretty deep! Jun stepping up with his gadgets to take these people down spouting lines like! Do NOT underestimate STATIONARY are great and remember me why I fell this in love with this show! The fact that the hero doesn’t remember all the villian names is also great. It’s like Sentai actors who forget monsters they fought because most monsters are just total pushovers and leave little impression even if they do with a crowd. There is a lot of subtle references to tropes and expectations here that are being challenged and it was time for that. The narrative timing of this show is impeccable as always.
However the smugness people got over them in this episodes makes me care little for people. Mari’s envy getting her captured and tortured feels deserved, Masayoshi being shown some sentai tropes do not stick up in real life feels earned..but as a result there is no tension. Everyone in this episode except for Jun..who is the hero of this episode for me.. felt very shallow and deserving of the bad things that happened to him. The fact that Masayoshi is just annoyed at the henchmen who stop him..instead of panicked he might not make it to Mari in time.. kills suspense though. The episode is to somber to be funny and that is fine.. but everyone is to flawed to be forgiven for their mistakes. Akira Konno, Masayoshi, Mari and even Goto all react super petty at several things and my least favourite moment is how King Torture made Akira flip over by simply saying.. it will give more interesting tv if you turned evil here! Think of the entertainment value. This is explained a bit trough that he got to know how the man works trough torturing him for hours, but the calmness of the flip made it feel a bit forced.. it does play in my theories though! So we will see next week how things go! I could have done without this episode if I am honest. It’s not bad but all the main characters took a bit of damage for me!
Had they at least kept Masayoshi a bit more pure or Goto a loyal supporter I would have probably liked this episode a whole lot better. If they did not have Jun step in and fight the Torture Boys I would have given this episode a grade lower and it would slip into the “bad” third of my review system. I love the world building..but I hate what they did with the characters this episodes! It does look like they are on their way to redemption so I doubt the bad taste will stick..but this might be my least favourite episode of the show yet.. as it did deliver what I wanted to see.. but in a way I really did not enjoy.
That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 8
Man I was not ready for this! I half expected to see what I was about to see.. but it was an episode where I constantly fought a battle against tiers.. and then Eren made me lose that battle. Hard. Wow… I did not expect to cry over a show like Slime.
The plot of this episode is all focussed on how adorable slime Rimuru gets the body he has in the opening. I had seen it had to much similarities to Shizu to be a coincidence but I had hoped for a slightly more light hearted explanation than what we got. Shizu is dying after having her Ifrit removed from her.. having unfinished business she asks Rimuru to hear her out. A bunch of exposition is given about the powerful demon lord, Leon Chromwell. We mostly see what she did with her life after that. How she met another Iskaid character.. like I already expected.. that thought her about Dragon Quest. We see her attempting a few things but failing at most things which she did in live.. even though she also had some great successes she recounts herself mostly trough her failures. As she starts to slip away from live she asks Rimuru to eat her..saying she does not want to decay in this world she had come to despise so much she does not want to be absorbed into it. Rimuru agrees and swears he will fufill her final wish and get her existence at least acknowledged by Leon Cromwell. The girl dies and Rimuru and her party say their final goodbyes as she is send into a perfect dream of meeting her mother again. She is gone.. and now Rimuru has a new mission! As we see a plague doctor like figure give an Orc a name and tell him he is Gleb or something.. the one that shall conquer Jura Forrest.. which is where Rimuru and his clan live. A new phase of adventure is about to begin!
Man seeing Rimuru turn into a human body just so he can cry tears over the lost Shizu was hard enough. Seeing everyone shocked over her loss made me all misty eyed as well.. and seeing a woman die seemingly young..upset that she did not achieve what she wanted hit very close to home for me! It was not an experience I minded though..I just did not expect it. I fought against tears and I was winning. But when her old party asked Rimuru to transform into a human I was like.. oh they hug him for everything he has done for them. When they used it as a way to say goodby to Shizu and talked to her and thanked her for everything they had done for them I knew I wasn’t going to win the battle anymore. When Eren then broke into tears… I followed suit. In fact I cried again just writing this review. This one really hit me right in the heart. Dying a failure is a big fear of me and the whole, wanting to say goodbye to someone..in such a way was really beatifull to me. Everyone got closure. Everyone moved on pretty fast sure.. but it’s a fantasy world.. people die a lot.. so it made enough sense.. they had their closure.. they thanked her from saving them from those big ants.. and for being their party member and that was enough.. it might be my favourite scene in Slime so far.. and I love how the fantasy world this show creates feels quite down to earth.
This was a great goodbye.
I am not sure if the death was necessary to tell a tale and her flashing back telling her tale felt kinda fast paced.. but she knew she was running out of time.. so it makes sense it was going fast as well , so I am not sure if I really have negatives to tell. Eren doesn’t look great in her white mage like outfit it doesn’t seem to match her colour-scheme and design all that much, then again she is an ice mage.. but yeah ..that would be a nitpick! Their story is probably closed now at least for a long while. I don’t think I will see them again in season one but I might be wrong..these characters really grew on me so while I said before I did not like them much..that has completely changed. I do feel Rimuru will leave the village behind after stopping the orc next episode so with that said I do feel like there isn’t much being done with that but I might be wrong. While I do love the set up of the bigger story the tinier subplots like building the village and the minor characters, they are parked a lot.. but it would not have fitted this episode either.. they should have done it before.
If an anime can make you cry it is doing something right. I would not cry for characters I did not care about and this show made me cry three times. Once during the viewing..once when writing my positives and even made me sniffle when I thought about crying for the characters typing these lines just now. I assume people dislike this episode .. but I cried..it was a good cry! I had closure in the end and it was a nice way to end a three episode arc.. in a more powerful way than i could have ever imagined.. it sets up plenty plot for the future as well .. so I can only give this my highest praise!
Flip Flappers Episode 4
The fourth episode was the one that broke the perfect streak it had going so far! It still scores very high in my book but it slipped up a few times to many here to be the absolute best. It did not help it came after such a powerful other episode of it’s own AND Slime either.
In this episode Flip Flap established Papika and Cocona are out of Sync. This causes them to land in different spots which made them lose the important artifact to the other organisation and Yayaka’s group. To prevent this they must live together for a few days.. so from so from Friday till Sunday they will have a sleepover..which Cocona first calls a camp to patch up issues.. not for fun.. but as Papika is her usual self and shows her more and more wonders, around the school and later even on a deserted island Cocona warms up more and more to the weird girl.. although with some reluctance. She starts to respect the much more feral girl as she managed to turn a sewer pipe into a cozy but weird little house, some weird vegetables she doesn’t even know into food.. and even can survive in the wilderness no problem. Cocona is confronted with her own shortcomings and realises Papika is very much an addition to her as they grow closer. The sinking of Papika’s rocket board leads them to having to escape by building a raft that quickly manages to get sucked up in pure illusion. In a Myriad of colours instead of getting blown apart the two now hold hands as they venture into a new adventure together saying they will never let go of each other!
I love this show! I love this show I love this show! Even when the episode is a bit weaker I can not help but to adore it. It does flirt around with one of my least preferred tropes.. and that is the “doubt of the partner trope”. You know “I only do this to save the world” and claiming not to enjoy their company while the last three episodes proved otherwise. Where it shines though is in the fact that it doesn’t linger on that. Cocona is depicted throughout the episode more as someone who reluctantly accepts Papika only to find out more and more that she needs Papika in her live as much as Papika needs her. She is the brain while Papika is the heart. She is the break that keeps Papika in check.. or functional while Papika keeps her alive and while not very well adjusted in her own way she is just as skilled as Cocona. In fact Cocona even begins to look up to her.. we are shown her limits on the deserted island.. which is my favourite scene. We are shown that these girls are not like each other and will most likely not change that much.. they need each other compliment each other and that’s what makes them such a great pair. They really do fit together like heads and tails on the same coin! With the exception of Papika’s house the colours are a lot more real as well..there isn’t anything strange going on. Showing us that this bond is not just needed in Pure Illusion but also in real life as well.
The downside of this episode comes for me in the form with how Feral Papika is. She is almost a Tarzan to Cocona’s Jane. While adorable it also dehumanises Papika a little. At times she can almost seem more like a pet. Like A Pikachu to Cocona’s Ash..even though Uexkull and Bu-Chan are also there. Papika isn’t THAT simple. Also what happened with Cocona’s need for glasses?! She doesn’t wear them at all anymore. It kind of invalidates Papika’s effort in episode 1. I would like to see some equality in that relation .. we constantly see Cocona huffing and puffing at Papika’s action but I would like to see Papika depicted as slightly less of a simpleton.. who doesn’t blindly love Cocona.. it’s nice she is a counterpart but I would love to see how she gets upset that Cocona doesn’t like spending time with her as the other way around. In the last episode we saw glimpses of that.. we could see Cocona shutting herself out because of doubt. or maybe doubting Papika’s soup hurt the soft orange haired girl. The Cocona she adventured with would not say that or something. Instead she is a bit over simplified and to me feels a bit like a puppy following her master. I do think more highly of her though so I think she is sold short by showing not even being able to tie a scarf.. even if it results in a super cute scene.
Regardless of the route they walk I do really love this show still if Papika is a puppy she will is still a puppy I love! My gripe is more so that I do fully sense the equality the show is trying to aim for. I hope this will fix itself as the show goes on.. if it doesn’t I am still perfectly fine watching the show.. but in episodes like this it will be fairly noticeable. I still found it very very good but where the rest of the episodes really gelled for me.. this just sold a character slightly short! So it gets a slightly lower grade than the other three episodes. Can’t wait for more though!
Hikaru no Go Episode 14
The long awaited third match between Akira and Hikaru. I knew Hikaru should not be able to win as it would cause narrative problems.. and while it was a very dramatic episode..what some might see as a nitpick or a misinterpretation from me .. really soured this episode for me and it all has to do with worldbuilding.
There is not that much plot to discuss in this episode! Kaze Junior High is playing Akira and his buddies and they soon find out they are getting more than they bargained for. While Akira finally gets his rematch against Sai we see he is super nervous. When Hikaru notices the change in the eyes when Akira plays Sai.. a moment of clarity causes Hikaru to take over the match from Sai.. trying to see how far Hikaru stacks up to Akira instead.. which of course he doesn’t. Sai is surprised by Hikaru’s initial play and allows him to make his own mistakes once more he spots the raw seeds of talent in the young boy but has to acknowledge he is not there yet! Akira consumed by rage that this was not the match he was looking for makes Hikaru cry and walks away crying himself. Tsutsui and Mitani also get dominated in their matches and cry over their loss as well. They did not stand a chance. Kaze High now being eliminated must now come to terms with their loss and Akira must leave knowing this was not the match he wanted. Everyone.. lost this day that much is clear from the episode.
Since I know there are well over 60 episodes left into this series alone, and there is a second, I knew this is how the story had to flow. Something like this had to happen given how much the show had focussed on Akira. The grim everybody loses atmosphere made for a very very powerful statement. It left everyone with goals to strive for. Sai allowing Hikaru to play was a nice call from the spirit as well, which really endeared me to him. He wants to perfect the godhand trough Hikaru but to that he realises he has to let Hikaru bloom but also fall. He has to show Hikaru how much he still has to grow.. so Hikaru himself can improve. He really feels like a man with a mission and the way Hikaru seeing that golden spot was depicted on the camera, with a little beam of light brought back memories of episode 6.. the beautiful duel which still is my favourite episode. This simple visual showed us how Hikaru is beginning to blossom as a player. Akiri crying for the loss of her team members was kind of beautiful to. She saw them shake and struggle and can’t help but feel for them. She is just such a trooper and I am really glad she is there. She makes it so that this is not only about personal pride but also about their little clique! This episode is super important for the future of the show and that much is made clear. There is very much a weight to this all. I can easily see people really liking this episode. Unfortunately it all came crumbling down for me due to a very simple situation.
At one point Hikaru can be heard thinking to himself that 11-8 would be the perfect next move to make while Sai has to think. Until now Sai has always been able to understand Hikaru when he had thoughts like this.. but this one he misses.. because he is thinking?! That already feels a bit weird but when Hikaru makes an interesting move ..instead of complimenting Hikaru he also does not communicate with him. Hikaru wants to see how well he stacks up with Akira.. but he knows exactly where his strength lies. He is not able to defeat Tsutsui.. he says this several times.. so measuring this gap.. seems odd. Instead I think it would have made more sense to let them play a hybrid match. Where Hikaru made that move and Sai could show him how stones flowed afterwards. Instead without communicating he just lets Hikaru suddenly take the loss. At least establish this with a small conversation.. or give him some advice..
I do really get Hikaru wants to play and that seeing how far he is away from Akira is something he’d want to know. Yet a minute before he SAYS Akira is totally out of reach.. so it really feels Akira had to take the win here for the story to continue. There were better ways.. Have Hikaru play a few bad moves and and let him realise is out of reach but when he wants to resign Akira resigns instead.. saying if he won’t give him the match he wants.. he won’t take the win either. Having Akira take the in here feels extremely detrimental. Sai not hearing Hikaru’s move and playing off it and making it more interesting also feels against the rules we know so far. I really disliked it. With just a SMIDGE of communication this could have been so much more interesting and much more a lesson than it was now!
While the episode in theory is very well written for the sake of the story, I felt it was written throughout. Where in the past few episodes these characters felt like real people in this viewing to me they were anime characters throughout. Maybe I know little of honour and pride in games..but in no way the events of this battle felt natural to me.. it felt like they needed to happen but with what characters said, how their “bond “ works and what characters know about their own strength, this felt did not feel like part of the same story for me. Stuff happens because it had to happen.. it did that but I can’t give it more than just an okay for doing so.
With that the week is done again! All in all I had a nice view but the extremely high quality of the last two weeks made me a bit spoiled for what was to come today! The 40 degrees out there might not contribute to enjoyment either so do take this review with a grain of salt as I am somewhat uncomfortable. I also had an annoying little wound on my foot so I had a bit less chill than before!
On a personal level not a lot happened! A few days break did me some good and all sort of good stuff happened when I got back. I have been playing a lot of Divinity Original Sin 2 now nearing the end and been I’ve also wrapping up my playthrough of Pokémon Sweet 2th, that’s not a great pokemon game. I went swimming for the first time in a long while last Friday and got a Chinese soup fondue at the end it felt nice to be out for a bit. I struggled for a bit with mental stuff but this week would be very much in the theme of recovery! I had a great week even if it was uneventful. Little by little we are crafting happiness! Next week we should see Kuro’s first post and maybe even the introduction of another staff member! I am quite a happy camper! A half melted happy camper but a happy camper non the less!
If you per chance would like to prevent me from melting further! Please consider supporting my Kofi so I can buy a fan and some ice-cubes! If you do not have money to spare, a like or a blog follow will also do! I have to put myself back together again for my fans so don’t feel free to just leave a comment or anything positive! I hope you had an amazing weak and will have a even better next one!