Animini: Samurai Flamenco – Episode 20 – Boy From the Past

Joyous Salutations , my dear Island Guests, we have entered Steampunk Month on Paradise.. however just because our palm trees have turned into metal and our pool is now heated by coal and steam vents.. doesn’t mean we will stop with providing you our weekly anime! The Animini shall continue.. however I will immediately admit.. that with this first episode within anime Month.. I am not that pleased. I am not that pleased at all. Where I liked the set up of the villain last week, I think it’s current execution is not something I particularly enjoy.

The Summary

The episode picks up where the last when finished. Masayoshi is greeted by a young boy named Hajii and that explosion we saw last time.. it turns out it was Masayoshi’s apartment. I did not realise it because.. I haven’t really paid much attention to the outside of his apartment building if it even has been shown before. I do try to pay attention to this show so I do feel that explosion at the end of the episode missed a bit of impact. I wanted to see Masayoshi react a bit more.  The two have a mexican stand off and the boy tells Masayoshi a tiny bit of his background story before vanishing. He tells Masayoshi he plans to cause misery to Samurai Flamenco. Masayoshi is being taken to a hotel to spend the night where he orders a curry. Hajii calls hims room  and tells him he poisoned the curry and will soon treat Masayoshi to a colourful chain of events. Plus offering a lot more backstory. He was the young boy that was part of the group of ruffians.. I even described him there I think.. Apparently he found the word Flamenco to be really funny.. and he decided to be his rival.. long story short he wants to be his complete opposite.. so no justifications he just is pure evil! To offer Samurai Flamenco the best possible foe he can have.

Because of the phone hint Hajii gave Masayoshi the model deduces his first target is the Flamengers.. and this indeed is true.  Blue gets his cardboard cutout of Red Axe being torn. Blacks Grandpa gets pushed over, Green gets his book  cut to shreds and given to his little sister, Pink gets her hair cut off. and Red Axe gets hit by a truck and put in the hospital. We also see someone get pushed off a stair and ..kind of hurt their ankle I guess.  While I do like the power display here.. something feels off in how these are scaled and follow each other up.   Masayoshi goes to the police but no one believes a highschool boy can do this.  There is no trace of a bomb in Masayoshi’s apartment, no poison in the curry, and the boy is said to have died from a disease over a year ago.  Even Goto won’t believe his friend and the two get in a huge fight.. causing Goto to break all ties with Masayoshi and throw him out.. because he found it unfair that Masayoshi called him out for being a hypocrite. Masayoshi sits on a riverbank and waits for Haiji to  call who shows up on an island in the river. When Masayoshi swims to him to proof he is real and not a figment of his overworked mind.. he finds no one there.. we see Masayoshi lay there wondering if this villain is hin his head.

The Positives

I do really like how Hajii is set up as the Joker..  he is evil just because he can and he wants to be the opposite of Samurai Flamenco.. being evil just for evil sake is great. I also love the mind game that is being played here.. if that is the route they are going for..  Samurai Flamenco has very much dependent on all his allies, so the way to fight him.. is indeed by taking his friends away from him.. making him seem like a madman.. It will also reduce his chances to be world president.. which I already found dumb.. so I am all for that.  Overall Masayoshi’s struggles in this episode have been done really well.  I have so much empathy for him.. from simple things as wasting a perfectly good curry due to a tease.. to slowly losing his sanity.

I also like the fact that Moe did not get killed in this episode.. for some reason I had the feeling that she might be killed off and that would have completely ruined the show for me.  While I do not like this episode .. they at least managed to keep it salvagable for me.. but given that I mention this as a positive might give you an idea for what is about to come next.  To linger in the positives for a little while longer, I do like the idea that this young kid is just to smart for Masayoshi.. if he is not a figment of his imagination and faked his own death.. and is just playing the man I do think that is a really REALLY cool villain concept and probably something that I would see myself as .. as a villain as well.. that would be how I’d work as well. However I do not think the villain works here.. It works along with Masayoshi but not with the show, not with the universe.. not after that episode I should have kept as my final episode. I do love the concept .. but it’s like a concept car.. they all look really cool but if you look a bit closer it makes no sense at all! Still it does look super cool on a photo so that is still a positive.

The Negatives

I am sorry .. I have a LOT of negatives with this episode! I kind of hated it! Not in terms of flow .. but I just found it to have zero credibility and consistency. Let’s immediately drop in with the scene that utterly ruined this episode for me and that is Masayoshi’s fight with Goto. Goto believes Masayoshi is just overworked and is imagining this guy. Masayoshi tells him he is a hypocrite.. because he wants to cling on the illusion that his girlfriend is still alive and will come back.. but he doesn’t believe Masayoshi saw a real guy. That is hypocritical indeed.. and it would have been a super powerful scene.. had it made any sense..  but let’s look at this closer. Goto saw a guy transform into a Guillotine Gorilla while standing next to Masayoshi… he used a pink  Hummer to dislodge a Missile made by a man who turned himself into a giant puppet. He has been saved by his favourite Sentai and he has seen an all American Hero turn into an alien. Had he had a telescope.. he could even see his friends IMPRINT on the moon.There in my mind is just NO way that .. a young boy .. flying under the radar is THAT unbelievable to him.. that it results in a friendship ending fight.

Then there is the attacks on the Flamengers.. which are all super petty and silly. It makes Hajii feel more like Butters from Southpark playing Professor Chaos.. ripping a cardboard sign and a book and cutting of someone’s hair.. tipping a grandpa.  Then Joji is hit by a truck?! That just feels super inconsistent.. at least build up in gravitas over a bit of time if you do that.. but no everyone was hit almost at the same time..And they are HIT at the same TIME.. same day within minutes of each other.  Yet the police and GOTO!!! Explain this as.. You guys go t some weirdo fans that will do weird shit. NO!  Had it happened over days.. I could have seen them going that route but there is no way you can make Masayoshi the boy that cried wolf like this. It doesn’t fit into the world building at all..  the entire world wants this guy to be president for Arceus sake.. Even if I would belief Masayoshi himself is turning into a villian so much things would not make sense. The Flamengers fought monsters.. they are highly trained.. yet Red Axe can’t jump away from a vehicle.. Black doesn’t notice an intruder.. while his father is walking on soft soil.. Pink doesn’t chase the guy that cuts her hair and just screams?! They are basically meant to be like Masayoshi so this passive behaviour also is weird. The next two episode better offer me one Distortion World of an explanation because right now this feels SOOO badly written.

The Score

Despite me hating how this episode is written there are a few things going for it that keep it from getting the lowest score in my system. This might still be salvaged..I can see Masayoshi distracting the Flamengers.. to cause the atttack to happen.. if he really is the villain himself.. but then .. Joji makes no sense as he never answered.. So that route is out of the window for me.. I must hope Hajii is at least real.. and he is just tormenting Masayoshi but even if that happens.. everyone else here got the serious short and off the stick. I might be able to justify Goto’s action because he loves his girlfriend so much.. but I still kind of find it bad writing when you know that your friend saved earth from the aliens ..and you fought alongside him twice.. to prevent the end of Japan..that this whole girlfriend thing outweighs that. It doesn’t feel right we always seen Goto as a realist so to weigh this.. THIS heavy.. Eeh..

If you are simply out here to see Masayoshi’s adventures .. this is a good one.. if you are like me and think also from the mindset of the other characters.. this episode made SO little sense to me.. it kind of felt to me as if the show said.. “well this all isn’t relevant anymore lets toss it in the bin shall we” and I do hate this episode for it. For me this is the single most worst episode of the show so far. It doesn’t ruin the show for me but I do feel as if this was  very very bad day for the writers. Sometimes a cool concept should just stay a cool concept.. I would have loved this as fan fiction.. but I hate that it’s part of offical Canon.

Animini: Digimon Adventure -Episode 13- Garudamon of the Crimson Wings

Konichi-what’s up with these super spoilery episode titles? I mean.. I know some people never saw Digimon and might not know what is about to happen next.. but with a title as did I sure as heck was suspecting a Sora episode. Yet after last week I somehow expected Digimon to begin falling apart for me as well.. yet I saw one of my best episodes yet.. one that made me squeee so loud my downstairs neighbour asked me if it was alright.

The Summary

I am going to do these Summary sections a bit different from now on .. talking more on what I feel about certain plot points.. then using the positives and negatives section to talk more about the consequences of those choices and such.. because.. I have to use this section to gush a bit! We see both parties traveling forward on the way to the ford that contains the holy digimon still.  When Yamato’s and Sora’s group encounters a flying fortress shaped like a giant queen bee. It turns out this huge fortress is a digimon called cannon Beemon. It is in the process of capturing FunBeeMon and turning them into Waspmons.. with the dark Miasma to create soldiers for.. what I assume is Devimon. Sora, being the kind girl, wants to save these helpless creatures but ends up crashing in the woods with her partner.. where she encounters a single terrified Funbeemon… I LOVE FunBeeMon it is one of my favourite digimon!..Even if it evolves into a wasp.. it’s so cute.. and this anime makes the digimon super cute as well.  I am so happy they chose this.. plus it offers a very easy crutch to tell a Sora story… all enemies in this episode are Airborne. She has the only flyer in this group!

To take Joe out of the equation temporarily the series decides to give him air sickness.. because of this he lacks the strength to evolve Gomamon and gets into trouble. This means even Yamato who follows the belief of “we are so important , we can’t risk ourselves for everyone”  has to be involved. This same behaviour is seen with the rescue attempt.. as soon as they got Joe.. Weregarurumon punches a hole in the floor of Cannonbeemon to make an escape. So they can put Joe on the ground safely as he is out of his league. Cannon Beemon. Then Joe gets a great role as well not making him useless throughout the episode. He and Ikakumon will work as the “artillery station” using Harpoon Vulcan to keep the Waspmon away from Sora.. who can not leave innocent creatures behind. Yamato joins her.. knowing Sora by now.. and that she will save the Funbeemon. He comes up with a plan where he goes inside the monster.. while Sora distracts and fights Cannonbeemon. When we see the monster has the strength to blow up a mountain.. Sora wishes for the strength to protect these sweet little innocent creatures..her love for all that is living and pure allows Birdramon to evolve.. and we see Birdramon Super Evolve into Garudamon. It defeats Cannonbeemon in a spectacular way and we see Funbeemon lovingly say goodbye to the group as they travel into the new area.. no doubt seeing Zudomon in Episode 15!

The Positives

Once again this series really understands how to set up a conflict. You need to keep the focus on Sora so choosing for flying enemies is a great choice.. not just a single flyer.. because everyone has ranged attacks.. no this time they need to enter a flying fortress.  Joe can indeed function as heavy artillery as is displayed at the end of the episode so giving him motion/air sickness makes sense. It fits his character and you take out a character from the action in a non intrusive way. Old Sora struggled with love.. she was kind of cold and in the end her love for Biyomon pushed her to activate her crest. This time.. we see a Sora whose heart is filled with love. She cares for everyone.. and this was established prior to her own episode.. allowing it to work even better. It feels like a much more powerful emotion worthy of Digivolution.  We see a much more heroic Sora that has her own sense of justice. That pursues her ideals.. hard. Not as reckless as Taichi.. but a lot more proactive than Yamato. The idea of having Cannonbeemon be a flying fortress you can enter.. also opens up so many possibilities for cool encounters in later segments, plus having Joe struggle can be a great hook to activate his crest of Reliability!  Awesome!

The show also does some amazing power scaling. My favourite scene is the evolution into Garudamon. We first see Cannonbeemon blow up a Mountain when facing Birdramon.. the Mountain is miles and miles away but it blows away a huge chunk.. causing a shockwave to reach all the way over there.. then Garudamon arrives and instead of dodging this time it uses its own attack and a short beam struggle follows. Cannonbeemon’s beam however is fairly easily overwhelmed showing how immensely powerful Garudamon is! I am a sucker for these types of visuals in Shonen situations.. Beam Struggles are fun on it’s own.. but Beam Struggles we can power scale… Woop Woop! There are a few scenes like this troughout the episode.. that really makes us realise how much impact some of the attacks here have.. by applying the attacks to things we know.. and can imagine what force it would take to damage them.. it all makes the hits so much more.. real. Great Job.. great action!

The Negatives

This episode does fall in the pitfall again of having too many things scale though. Birdramon  takes up half the screen, the log the chosen ones are sitting on takes up a quarter of the screen .. so now you have to draw the digidestined into a  eight of a screen or so… it results in a few very ugly looking shots where there is no facial detail and thick outlines.  Even some scenes where the destined are bigger  have no facial details.. as if they just blew up the other art to give them perspective.. it really REALLY stands out.  To a point where I feel as if two animation themes did this.. and the cheap team did the non exciting scenes.  The scenes that matter look absolutely breathtaking.. but there are also a fair few scenes that look a bit clunky.. as if they think.. this is a kids show.. they don’t care. I HATE that excuse.  I am not sure if they did it for that reason.. but it left a bit of a blemish on this episode.. that honestly for me is not that bad since I don’t care about visuals that much.. but I noticed and I know for a few of you that is a big thing.

And that’s about all I dislike in this episode. The pacing was great, the action was superb and I LOVE FunBeeMon’s voice acting. It sounds super familiar..but I could not place it.. but I could just hear the joy and fear in it’s little voice.. great job. I do like how they take Koshiro’s laptop away little by little.. meaning he will not have the KNOWLEDGE he has had so far.. setting up for a great episode about him that undoubtedly will be next. The flying bee fortress setting was new and fresh as well. If I had to pick another nitpick..the final fight could have had a better endshot.. now the head of Cannonbeemon just kinda falls off and it looks a bit more comical than it does epic..but since there were people on board I do get why it did not fully explode. I would have loved to see Garudamon rip off the compartment with the Yamato and the Funbeemon and then see the evil fortress explode in a Death Star like explosion.. but that would be asking for a cherry on top of my cherry.

The Score

While admittedly this one will be on the lower end of my highest score I did still decide to award this episode just that.  I don’t mind the visuals that much.. I just notice them and wonder.. would it not be better to draw these things big and scale them down?!  But I have no idea about animation, let alone animation budget so who am I.. if these faceless weird Chosen ones help pay for the visual spectacle in the actual battle scenes I will take it for granted three times over. I really like how music is used in this show as well! It constantly lifts my spirit or brings me down.. when I need to be.. I am not a big music girl and I keep being surprised how much investment I have in it.

Digimon Adventure will be Digimon and it has a fairly high level of colour by numbers, when it comes to it’s overarching plot.  Episode 14 we will see MegaKabuterimon, Episode 15 will show Zudomon, I have no doubt in my mind and in that manner you could say the show is lazy.  Yet in a way this show is also a legacy show.  While also bringing Digimon to a new audience.. they indeed are probably best served with this level of structure.. while the audience that has been on this journey before will just love the ride for showing us all these classics and without delay and just offer us that other kind of fanservice.. you know the one that makes you go Wooo Demon Mayan Bird Thing that I know and love!.. Instead of Wooo Boobies. I can imagine this show will get stale for newcomers to the show that are of the age that they will read my blog…but for kids that where as old as when I first watched the original and for long times fans.. this just consistently an amazing series.

The Paradise Weekly Gazette 3: 23 to 29 November

Konichi-week’s up again!  Bing Bong! So it is time to recapture our week of blogging.  I got an amazing article written about me… and I got the wish of every anime character ever.. Senpai Noticed me.. so after this week alone I can already die happy! It’s also been a week of mixed anime results and the one where I answered by besties Summers Questions.. so let’s put it all in a summary and see how I did personally shall we! This is the Paradise Weekly Gazette Issue three. As we cover Paradise adventures from the 23rd till the 29th of November!

The Animinis

The week started off pretty shitty! While the episode was not very bad.. an episode of Digimon got under my skin and messed with my brain. Feeling.. very down for some reason I did not know what to do.. given that we would get yet another fairly depressing episode to follow it and a plain bad episode my first hour of anime really rubbed me wrong. However the four episodes that came after became truly amazing as I had to say goodbye to one of my now all time favourite anime ever.

Digimon Episode 12: Lillymon Blooms

Samurai Flamenco Episode  19: The Quiet Life

That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18: Evil Creeps Closer

Flip Flappers Episode 13: Pure Audio

Hikaru no Go Episode 23:  The Room of Yuugen

Natsume Book of Friends Episode 3: The Mysterious Person of the Eight Fields

Cowboy Bebop Episode 3: Honkey Tonk Woman

Pinkie’s Other Posts

The Staff is taking a bit of a break still, but Kuro has told me they are working on a new bit so expect that soon! Sunny was trying to breed a Starfish with a Goldfish so we could get a Golden-Starfish-fish which of course in cartoon form would be yellow! Indigo is struggling playing Ace Combat 7 so might not land for a good while? I am not sure!  But I did a lot of fun stuff this week!

I played a Pokémon Mystery game involving Looker set in a Gen II Bullet Train

I answered Summer’s Questions for some Sunshine and I changed the rules of a post!.. As well as a commenters comment!

I got treated to  a VERY bad movie for my birthday.. even though I love the orginal

I played a VERY good game I bought with the help of my Kofi Supporters.. as a Birthday gift .. to me! As well as provide the website with some content!

Camp Coconut Updates


It’s not the right season for coconuts! I have a lot of Coconut Milk saved from all the love they have gotten me earlier and thanks to King Coconut, The Shy Coconut and fairly recently the Buddy Coconut I have had a very nice birthday in terms of gifts.  The  Playful Coconut gifted me two games for my birthday, so thank you Holy Mailman, Ospreyshire,  MikeKelly666 and the Multifaceted Ocelot, you all contributed to me having a great  gaming week! I think the Coconuts might be holding a winter sleep though so I am not sure if they will ever reply!

Posts that Impressed Pinkie

So .. I  planned to find some very niche and new bloggers here this week to show off to you.. there were plenty of interesting reads.  A post on the Later Levels Twitter Inspired me.. how do we make people new in the community feel welcome.  Then I clicked on her blog and saw Kim tackle this challenge.. Pick five games that you would play if you can only play those five for a year. I really like these types of scenario things so it quickly became one of my favourites posts this week. The images are the links! If I could not find an image.. or wanted to have some fun .. I dabbled a bit!

Now these in the first two installments of the Gazette I have picked up at least one article that is more or less..  something that works as an announcement within the community! Like  Ospreyshire writing his 400th post for Iridium Eye and Irina looking for Guest Bloggers. So when your Blogging Bestie (.. or since  recently, ONE of MY blogging besties… I now have Three.. four cause I kinda count Geek Girl Joy as well)   announces she is changing how her content works.. you share! Summer is going to bring us some Woo-Woo. And No I don’t refer to the Woohoo cocktail after a few drinks.. no more mystical stuff! That will be SUPER interesting. You all should really give her blog a follow so you don’t miss out!  She will also talk a lot about some anime/cartoons she is watching so geek content a plenty.

I guess I have Five Blogging Besties because Raistlin.. Also would count as one.. Though I kind of feel he is a bestie in the way a good dog is your bestie.. Not that I think he is a dog.. but he is just sweet and kind to everyone..Only he gives the headpats instead of the other way around.. Inverse Dog Raistlin  must make him God Raistlin.. Anyway.. As a 34 year old I do love the 80’s and 90’s.. You might wonder “But if you’re from 1986, you can’t remember the 80’s” .. and that is kinda true… but back in the 90’s a lot of 80’s stuff of america first aired on tv here.. OR went in reruns because it was cheap and it would help sell toys!  And about those toys Raistlin made a blog! I do remember my childhood toys.. I destroyed so many of them! …. So this shot of Nostalgia was one of the greatest euphoria trips I got this week. The new bloggers did not make me feel this great. I might have tweaked the image with an iversed dog god Raistlin! I hope that doesn’t insult you Raisty! I truely love how supportive you are to us all!

So I only had one slot available.. as I tend to do these in fours.. Why four? I originally wanted to do 7.. and tie them to the Dragon Balls.. or something.. but then I wanted a few custom images and I have to make 7 each week.. alongside all the other stuff.. I’ll need to do a LOT!
Distracted again! .. Kind of like Senpai.. who started to work on the Blog Tag The Kore Wa Watashi Award. In this Blog Tag you tell us about yourself.. through anime.. but Senpai got distracted and stuck… and then she made the award even better and more beautiful. She made it about someone else.. and that person was me.. she made the award explaining how she sees me.. through anime characters and she was pretty darn close… do I not like being called a mom!  I might be old.. but I don’t want children!  I do like to talk in the community though!  I also worry about all your safety… so she wasn’t that wrong with the word…
But yes SENPAI NOTICED ME! … AND I HAVE PROOF! HOW CAN I NOT PUT IN MY POST TOP FOUR! *SQUEEEEEEE* She noticed me! Senpai Noticed me!…..

I was gonna edit in a god Irina.. but I could not touch her work I was too touched she did this for me!

Pinkie Away from Keyboard

On a personal front not a whole lot of interesting things happen to me, yet at the same time they did!  I had my online tabletop on monday and it was fun to see the group encounter their new ordeal.. or course I had to force them to hurry up because everyone was stalling.. and we are SO behind schedule already!  So when I say.. you Literally have two options, you attack or you let the bad guy win.. but take no damage yourself.. just to others around you.. they tried to find the hidden third path.. as DM I kept insisting.. “You have two options.. these are the rules for your next encounter.. or you can abandon that encounter”.. they were like.. What if we do this instead. “No that has been explained.. that would not work” .. It’s like a dm saying there is a fork in the path one path goes past a lake the other through the dark woods.. Instead of choosing a path the group ended up checking all the bushes for a secret path.  No matter how many perception checks told them there were only two paths.. frustrating but fun.

Obviously.. we build a third road and by helping a random town we hope they will help us.. in case we might need bridges.
Yes

Tuesday I had a big day.. I got a phone call I had been expecting for a LONG time.. I can not explain too much detail.. a few of you may know what it is about as I shared this with a few of you..  but I finally began a long awaited Medical project in February.. the first investigation will start in February first. It will lead into a series of treatments that (hopefully)  will improve my quality of life by a lot. It will be an ordeal that will take a while.. but we are heading in the right direction.. and perhaps I then can finally look at the mirror with some confidence that I will make it through the day. 

Wednesday and Thursday I had a bit of anxiety.. but I went out for a few walks. On Friday my Neighbors apartment kept beeping..  No idea what it was but it kind of annoyed me!  You know like someone is playing Operation in their apartment in dead silence but all i could hear is that buzzer sound. I also paid my rent, got myself some new flowers that smell super good and nearly cut  three fingers off.. Luckily I do this stuff a lot so my reactions came in time and by letting me sink through my own legs.. I managed to fall myself out of harm’s way.. I just mopped so I got a nice whiff of citrus scent to boot! Yesterday my normie friends came over which was kinda awkward but fun nonetheless.  I nearly fed them bad tomatoes.. well they were past their date but looked fine so I figured they are fine.. but I decided to eat them myself later.. they were not fine.. Doesn’t matter though I had a fun day.. though one of the girls kept bringing up super depressing topics.. so I drank a bit to much wine to keep the spirits up.. both literally and figuratively.

Plans

We are moving into December on Tuesday so that means we will start Steam Punk Month. For the first time ever I will play Dishonored.. but since I probably will not have that game finished by the end of the week I will most likely start with a rave about my favourite Final Fantasy Game.. one that is very Steam Punk.. Final Fantasy VI. I also play to play a sky shooty game on Sega Genesis and either a Diablo Clone or a Point and Click Adventure depending on how the mood strikes me. 

I will watch Laputa Castle in the Sky for the first time.. as well as Steam Boy the anime and movie department.. but since so many of you like me to watch bad movies as well.. I will watch .. hilariously terrible.. Wild Wild West again as well. City of Ember also is on my interest list of movies as well.

There will be stories, there will be gadgets.. andI will probably need to stretch the concept of steampunk to fit it all into this month! But heck! I surely will have great fun! I also fully intend to write a guest article for Irinia’s blog next week.. but first.. outside Steam Punk Month there is a special Pokémon Post I have to make..  since someone was super kind to me I have a favor to repay.. so unless I am REALLY hungover today.. which Saturday Evening Pinkie really doubts..  Tomorrow you will see Irina Reimagined as A Pokémon.. and Imagined as A Pokémon Trainer! Of course these are all plans so who knows what might change!

Animini: Cowboy Bebop – Episode 3- Honkey Tonk Woman

Konichi…Wooohooo! This was such an awesome episode of anime to experience! After knowing more or less nothing of this show before.. This was the first episode I truly had expectations off…  I wanted to see something with gambling, seedy crime ..smuggling stuff!  The underbelly stuff of Mars that we established in the last episode.. Okay so we weren’t totally on Mars but it was darn close.. I got so much of what I asked and I got so much more in the third episode of Cowboy Bebop.

 The Summary

We do begin our adventure in the streets of Mars.. at least I think it mars.. it looks like Macau with all the chinese lettering and I feel that’s what they were going for with Mars, plus the planet is red.  So yes.. A woman is heading into a herbal store.. just to find herself being attacked by goons.. But this is not an ordinary woman. She comes prepared.. she takes out a machine gun and shoots at the shadowy figures outside the store.. teaching the friendly store keeper a lesson in violence. In response.. The henchmen shoot up the guys store with a gatling gun and the woman finds herself captured. She gets taken as a space variant of a cruise ship that has this rotating roulette wheel as an engine thingy.. lot’s of spaceships have these spinny things…but this one is a roulette table.. It feels so campy but just the right amount. On that ship is a Mafia boss who calls the girl Poker Alice who is allegedly over 200 years old. Is she an android?! Why am I so obsessed with Robots lately! .. Regardless she allegedly has a huge gambling debt which she can pay with one job.. it just happens that Spike stumbles upon that job

Spike and Jet are having a nice relaxing night out.. .. Jet sticks to slots .. and things mechanical while Spike’s sharp mind draws him to the Black Jack table.. the girl is the dealer of the table and uses her cheating skills to scam him.. thinking it is part of her job!   A guy in an outfit like him.. and looking kind of but really not all that much the same was supposed to lose everything and hand over a final chip.. that is actually A CHIP .. that unlocks some super hacking thing. Spike catches her cheating and has some fun and walks off the table with his last chip.. Thinking she somehow blew it and wanting to repay her debt she follows him and Spike ends up bumping into the guy he is mistaken for.. they end up swapping chips in the old.. duplicate item falls on the floor sjtick. The girl chases Spike and ends up getting captured by him..  getting locked up in the bathroom.. Ein the dog .. Now the named guards her while the other two investigate the chip and discover her name is Faye Valentine.. a woman with a 6 million bounty on her head. Trying to decide whether to give her to the police or sell the chip to the crime lord type.. they end up going for the latter which obviously ends up being a trap. We get an awesome space scene.. Faye escapes and after some more epic space action we see Faye take off and Spike still having the chip. I assumed she would join the crew by the end of this episode but looks like we need more time! And I like that.

The Positives

Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, Cowboy Bebop was the best thing I watched this week! And I watched the finale of Flip Flappers so that is saying a lot. It encapsulated my love for the OLD Star Wars ( I really enjoyed the prequels but none of the sequels did it for me.. I liked Rogue One and Solo well enough) . I deeply enjoyed the atmosphere,  the action, the characters and the amazing will  sets and action pieces. Faye Valentine is a really interesting character, there is a mystery of her age.. her violent tendencies, at the beginning there is so much to unpack. I do feel like she will join the team but I am not sure yet.. but I think I saw a shadow of her ship in that funky little intro! She kind of fills the function of a rogue of the party with stealing and sleight of hand. It works well with Spike who is the muscles of the group punching and kicking his enemies. She seems more heavy range based.  So I already like the sense of diversity! Ein was a good boy in this episode though it did not seem not nearly as intelligent as the last episode. Jet in a white suit looks pretty amazing. 

The Zero G/ Gravity Boots fight  on top of the casino spaceship was something else.. so many moving pieces are utilized.  Spike throws the chip in low gravity.. uses the gravity  boots to have a very different momentum, to  dodge bullets, he uses the mechanics to defeat an enemy all while there is a little ship floating around that is being attacked by missiles. I really loved that action scene.  I also very much enjoyed the casiono chase as well, the use of colour in that scene.. the way Faye froze when she was revealed to be a cheater.. unable to repay her debt.  There’s a way the motion has been done that really sold the scene for me. The show caters HEAVILY into tropes.. and yes even for an anime that was released in 1998.. these tropes we get might be older than me.. yet for some reason it really works. For some reason I want those Film Noir tropes to happen. I also love how everything is just oddball enough.. the world is quite grim and raw.. but it is also funny and charming.  The Bebop might feel cold and grey but by seeing Ein run around in it.. it’s quite cute.  There are plenty of jokes that relieve the “dark” and keep things consumable for me.

The Negatives

I have very little negatives about this episode . and when I saw few I kind of mean none.. So it’s nitpicking time! I found the roulette wheel on the big cruise ship a bit too garish and cheap. It’s a fun effect  but the way these space ships are built no one would see it.. yep .. that’s about all I have as a negative. I still really want to see more of Mars as it looks so cool.. but for now I can’t really use not seeing that as a negative either because it looks like we might see more of Mars in the next episode so yeah.. I am honestly unsure how to fill this  segment.  I just loved this episode that much.

Thematically Cowboy Bebop might not be my show entirely.. but there is just a way that it is presented that makes it so appealing and a delight to watch. The cyberpunk atmosphere,  is normally not something Pinkie enjoys..  and I do have issues with seeing cliches  be used at times.. it can make a series predictable .. as if I know the blueprint. With Cowboy Bebop it’s not the cliches that drive the plot it’s the personality of everyone and the world.. The cliches happen in the world as a reward. To strengthen that atmosphere.. let’s compare this for example to  let’s say.. Sailor Moon or more so Pretty Cure.. In Pretty Cure.. we get a monster of the week and one monster does fears, the other creates strife in a group.. the cliché is the engine. Here Spike is the engine..  the cliché just makes it more enjoyable and delightful. It’s a testament of how strong the writing in this show is. 

The Score

While watching this I remember a time of my live I really love, when western film making did not bore me when everything was predictable.. but in a bit of a different and more satisying way.  This episode has a level of campiness that makes this show so great to me. We aren’t the only ones having fun with this.. the maker is having fun with this.. the writer is telling a tale they really want to tell.. or at least that’s how I experience what is shown in this episode. It’s not made just for us.. it’s made  out of a love, a passion project. It’s just one of those episodes where goodness oozes from every pore!

I think it’s a great thing if all you have to nitpick about is thinking a certain spaceship is slightly garish! Oh! And I just thought up of a second one.. you for people who really want to burn this episode to the ground because they want to hate on it! When Ein Barks at Faye .. there is no Echo in a room that clearly should have an echo! You know that is a great reason to drop this show if you want. Oof I am really catching steam right now with finding the negatives so let me stop this review before I burn this episode to the ground… or think about Ein so much that I want a Corgi!

Animini: Natsume Book of Friends – Episode 3- The Mysterious Person at the Eight Fields

Konichi-Well the second part of my anime week is a lot  stronger than the first half. While Natsume gave me the least impressive episode I’ve seen so far I must say I am really starting to enjoy the message this show packs in it’s end of the episode! I took a fist full of feels to the face yet again.. albeit maybe a little girl first this time! I still felt the impact though and as I heard this show really picks up in a few episodes never to let me go again.. so if this is the weakest punch.. I am sure to be in for one heck of a ride.

The Summary

Natsume is tired and depressed, giving Yokai their name back has completely drained him of all his energy. Since the friendly ones tend to come visit him at night and beg for their name back he hasn’t been sleeping much either. Nyanko-Sensei is still upset that Natsume is making the book of friends thinner every night and throws a tantrum as it will lose it’s power to control these spirits little by little.  To make Natsume’s situation even more annoying for him he can’t sleep in class either because a strange person has been asking for him. A boy going by the name of Tanuma.  For some weird reason though each time Natsume gets kind of close the boy disappears. Natsume hopes this man can see Yokai too.. and remembers a woman he once met who seemed to be able to see Yokai as well.

A cow and a cyclops Yokai knock on Natsume’s door but unlike the others they do not want their name back. There is a Yokai killing humans on the prowl blessing areas with holy magic.  Since Natsume has the reputation to help Yokai they ask him if they can kill this human. After a bit of investigation Natsume begins to believe this Tanuma boy is responsible for causing serious pain to the Yokai .. killing some and banishing the weak from their home. Taking pity on them he decides to confront the man responsible for this. Meanwhile he flashes back to that woman he met before .. telling the audience in a way about how she was not actually a woman but  Yokai trying to connect with him.. he feels betrayed and chases her off.  Yokai always made his life so difficult so he is not sure who to side with. There are some good Yokai out there.. that do not deserve to be killed but he doesn’t exactly like them either.  A huge cow geisha Yokai joins him in the quest to kill this Yokai hunter.. forcing Natsume to compel it by using its name to save Tanuma.. but then he discovers it was just a weak priest. Tanuma’s father.. who tried to keep the place safe for his son.  When Natsume confronts the young man in the hope to form a genuine connection the man admits he can’t see Yokai either.. but sometimes he sees shadows. Natsume tells Tanuma his secret.. including fondly remembering that woman from before.

The Positives

The episode is a bit boring, in the sense that the conflicts all kind of just meander on.  There is no real sense of threat and in a way that is this shows and this episode’s great strength.  We get a rather vanilla story.. that doesn’t really matter in the long run that provides a very form of subtle exposition and  character development. It truly is unique. During this episode Natsume stands and a proverbial crossroads several times and takes the less interesting path of the two a few times and when it happens I feel kind of frustrated.. yet five minutes later there suddenly is a payoff to this thing that seems like a wrong choice. Ah.. so you wanted to highlight that Natsume is seeing Yokai less and less like evil spirits and more and more like humans.. and the journey he goes trough in this episode is him coming to terms with that fact.  Getting a hindsight on his past actions and seeing it through the lense of new found discoveries. That is a very static approach but it also is very interesting.

I loved the Yokai designs for this episode as well. The priestly cow.. the mid tier cow was adorable and the cyclops old man would make for a fine cookie serving minion!  The high level cow thing  felt intimidating and I love how the studio plays with its shape to make it feel intimidating. Those steel blue eyes give it a heartless quality it does seem to possess.. yet it’s cow nature also gives it something tranquil.. which it also seems to possess as it doesn’t seem to have intentions to hurt Natsume.  The classical scuff marks on the mid tier Yokai made me feel compassion with them.. normally that.. slightly singed look is played for comedy.. and while it is slightly the case here as well it also really conveyed there creatures were helpless and meant no ill will. Seeming them suffer the same stuff as Ash does in the Pokemon anime.. invoked a completely different reaction and that is creditable to the solid world building this show does.  It still is funny.. but in a N’awww .. you guys way instead of a “Hahaha Oh my Arceus Ash you never learn.. kind of way”..  I also REALLY ended up caring for the Yokai pretending to be a human just to be social and help Natsume.. her look was just weird enough to suspect something is up.. and her voice acting when she begged him for forgiveness felt sublime.. I really felt that she did not want to lose her precious friend.

The Negatives

The episode is a bit boring, in the sense that the conflicts all kind of just meander on.  There is no real sense of threat and in a way that is this show and this episode’s greatest weakness. While there is an impact to what Natsume does, it really all just pan’s out in the last five minutes.  Especially the first 9 minutes felt a bit like a slog to me. In hindsight not as much but during those first few minutes I wasn’t all that entertained.  The long Neck Yokai looked pretty amazing yet at the same time she invoked a sense off “I really wish that chased him or tried to harm him”  for a bit. It’s a very cool Yokai design.. I just loved to have it do something. In a way the same goes for the big cow.. but it gets “sit boy’d”   before it can do anything. Again that isn’t bad.. persé.. a golden gun is still worth a lot.. but it would be kinda cooler if you saw someone fire a golden bullet out of it.

The only Yokai that actually get to do something is Ushi and the Old Man.. again I have no idea how to call them.. but the mid tier priesty looking fellows I… felt bad for them in the end.. but I will be honest and tell you, there were minutes I have wished for some gruesome fates to befall them because they can REALLY be annoying in the first half. They function as Natsume’ cheerleaders and are just being loud and telling him how amazing he is.  In the end it feels earned but before that it just feels insincere and irksome. They are just being loud! That’s a trope I really dislike..  but well like I said I did feel bad when they got hurt so somehow they ended up growing on me. In a way negatives also a strength and we can see it that way. Still imagine me really wanting new shoes.. but the pair I have is still too good to  reasonably to replace and I am maxed out since my shoe cabinet is full. So my best friend Bean decides to stick a huge meat fork in my foot.  I bleed all over the shoes and finally can throw them out.. after a while I don’t feel the wound anymore and I got the new shoes and they are amazing.. but do I really say Bean.. you did a good thing? Or would I also be sour for those first few minutes of pain?!

The Score

Last episode I explained how I normally dislike “second episodes” of a show.. their exposition heavy, character establishing and world building plots often feel a bit “mandatory” ..we see the main character decide they will follow the “heroes path”  we see the elements we can expect.. in other words it’s kind of like looking at the solution of a jigsaw puzzle by looking at the front of the box. It can be pretty but it doesn’t feel all that satisfying. This third episode is THAT second episode.. just in the end we open the box as well.. pour the contents out on the table and lucky us we find a corner piece straight away! What a delightful feeling that is! I still feel kinda weird for staring at the box of the puzzle for a good 10 minutes I wish I would have taken more puzzle time.

This is one of those episodes that tells me I will love the frig out of this show.. but it does lose my love a bit because it has the one that explains to me why I will love it. Like an entertaining synopsis.. or the Star Wars title crawl.. there are amazing elements but when is all done and over no one will say that their favourite part of Star Wars was the title crawl… although with The Last Jedi… I kinda liked it most.. but you know what I mean right. This episode does a great job at establishing Natsume’s mindset.. but as a Pokémon fan.. and a creature fan I kind of wanted to see the amazing creatures do more things instead.. It’s brand Vanilla flan.. it’s the best you can do with Vanilla Flan.. but it’s still just Vanilla flan. I prefer chocolate!

Animini: Hikaru No Go -Episode 23 – The Room of Yuugen

Konichi-Wow … this episode sure picked up some serious slack from the last one! Hikaru No Go bounced back strong with this set up episode. Easily one of my favourite views of this week so far, I am happy that I can be very positive. This episode really made me happy and I am so eager to see what happens next week! I really mean it.. this is one of those episodes that makes me regret doing these in a weekly format i just wanted to press on! But NO! Pinkie contain thyself!  We shall walk the path you paved for once.

The Summary

This week focuses on Hikaru’s journey through the Insei School.. or club.. I am not sure what it is. I am going to say school as there are classes, and Hikaru is learning and growing. We see him pick up more losses that eventually turn into a couple of wins. Which are played off as flukes.. but the audience knows better. Hikaru is catching up; he is just downplaying himself.  That subterfuge however is reinforced by the fact that Hikaru really knows NOTHING about the Go world whatsoever. He does not know what it really means to be Insei, he struggles to comprehend how the world of pro’s works and he has no idea how to move upwards in the world of Go.. he is literally just there to play games.. and we can see him winning games.  Waya becomes Hikaru’s mentor of sorts, showing  him the ropes and teaching how things will work. He also is proof that miracles can happen without him even knowing.  At the end of the year only three people can take the Pro-Exam.. which seems like a pretty trivial fact.. However it’s established that Waya only holds the sixth seat in the Insei group.  Another Insei passed the test..  so I guess Waya was at least seventh last year?!  That means he got to participate despite his ranking? That could be interesting for Hikaru later on.

There is a second story though as we see more of Akira again , taking his first steps in the world of the pro’s. I think his journey is meant to be the opposite of Hikaru’s .. as things seem to be going fairly well. He hasn’t played any matches yet but people think very highly of him.. however where Hikaru has that fire in him driving him to be pushed forward we see Touya being depicted as empty.. lacking passion.. skills but no heart.. while Hikaru is more in the Heart.. but lacking the skills needed to progress. He is facing off against an Ouja.. i  think that was the word at least.. some high ranking pro player, who first thinks he will go kindly on Akira.. but after Akira is shown that Hikaru is trying to catch up to him.. his passion is reawakened.. he hates the boy now and wants to make sure he will forever stay out of reach rising higher than anyone..  this new drive makes him super confident when facing his new foe.. which insults the man.. and he plans to crush Touya.. Hikaru is playing his Insei match at the same time as Touya is playing his exhibition match.. but with some luck Hikaru will be able to see the second half. The match between Touya and the pro is about to get started and things get serious pretty quick. .and we see Akira place a stone.. in a very dramatic manner. Ending the episode.

The Positives

This episode was very VERY good! I really adored all the elements that came into play and the many MANY ways the writers give themselves to tell this story. Where the school tournament arc for example basically wrote itself to have only one possible outcome with Hikaru losing to Akira as it would end the story otherwise, here we are seeing so many options open up. Hikaru can make his way up the ranks.. get drafted for the Pro Exam.. The most obvious route.. However what Waya said opens the possibility that Hikaru gets selected for the Pro Exam based on his more “mysterious” qualities  and his potential. He can take on the role of the rising star with a mystery appeal. Yet Waya’s  oldest friend and number 1 of the Go class tells us also that you do not be an Insei to take the pro-exam. While he says it, it turns into a deadline for him.. but here we could get a Journey that reflects Hikaru’s journey with the Haze Middle School Club.. he stops being a Insei and goes take the Pro Exams on his own accord. Once again being forced the ties that he formed there to move forward. This episode hints that Hikaru is getting better.. but also keeps it’s foot in the door to say it is a fluke.. as the guys he played all made some mistakes Hikaru claims to have been huge..  yet is it?! Or is he underselling his own talent again… and is his comprehension of the game rising so much that he thinks small mistakes are big ones. This is something I am super happy to see.. anything can happen this episode opened the field completely!

The animation is amazing as well.. something simple as how victory and loss stamps are being brought into view.. to show the “power level” of future opponents is done very well. When Hikaru is distracted we see a match being played with no focus on the board when he begins winning we see a close up of the board just seeing the frustration of his opponent from losing to a weaker opponent.. but could it also mean Hikaru is actually catching up?!  The way Touya places his stones makes me fairly confident he will win. Regardless if he will or not.. the way he placed these stones are like the “old” Touya.. Not the angry and broken one.. but the one who will do anything to reach that certain level he aspired. He feels like a final boss! Taking more traits similar to Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh as he steels his heart and wants to prove he is the elite one. We do see a form of arrogance sneaking into the boy. He is slightly moving towards a more antagonistic path. Where he will go I feel depends on his first steps as a pro and I do like that. The music is spot on in this episode as well!

The Negatives

The weak points of this episode are view and I have talked about them before. I do not think the writers have great comedic timing. Right at the beginning of an episode there is a lot of frowning faces that are played a bit to comedical.. it does keep things light and it’s very anime yet it doesn’t hit.. it’s airy.. and whimsical.. it’s not funny though.. while the visuals seem to indicate it should be.  I do think Waya and Hikaru bounce off each other better comedy wise than any other before.. so it has improved.. but that third guy.. that is a bit of the random add on of the group that joined in the comedy moment it just felt  like a big miss to me. “I Lost to Akira as well…Teehee” .. isn’t really a joke. In Hikaru and Waya the comedy can arrive from their persona.. they have traits that allow you to be funny.. otherwise it keeps feeling shoehorned in to me. 

The other negative is that pro-player turning into an absolute cartoon character. You can already see in his design he is not a good person.. but he even does the whole face change thing. “New Plan.. I’m gonna Crush Him” while chasing from a friendly smiling face to an evil face. I don’t find that it fits the style of the series so well and I kind of feels it goes a bit against its philosophy as well.  It might be weird as an analogy but in a way this show has a somewhat similar mentality as the main characters in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. The characters are all very differently but bound together by their desire for an amazing fight. To grow and to fight better opponents.  This has extended to virtually everyone in the Go community so far.. with a few scammers as possible exceptions. The fact that we are dealing with a high ranking pro being so petty towards young Akira seems strange for saying something as simple as what he did. Not being nervous to face a pro?!  I get that it might be insulting from everyone else.. but Akira plays his father all the time probably so it makes perfect sense he is not afraid. It’s nothing to major but by making him this two dimensional  I feel like he is going to lose. and we lose a bit of that otherwise superbly build up tension.

The Score

Not liking a guy that is just providing a single match of course is not a reason to discredit this episode because what it mostly did was setting up a path towards a bright and exciting future. The somewhat forced first three minutes, and the mentality of this particular player do keep the episode from getting a perfect score but I love how this show .. for the most part.. manages to be a reflection of it’s own self. This episode clearly being a Hikaru.. showing so much potential and room from growth with a few rough edges here and there that come from “quirks”  in personality that do not seem to match with the bigger picture.

The episode is back to it’s stellar direction, great cinematography, great audio direction and the way the episode flowed as amazing. Each scene mattered and felt like it was just in the right place at the right time.  Offering us exposition in a natural way but also giving us some room to let those news ideas breath and put them into perspective of the bigger picture. It gave me some Prince and the Pauper vibes.. where we see Waya rip on Hikaru’s lack of talent while Akira gets extra pictures taken and lauded as this new prodigee. I love how this episode established contrast. I would have just loved it a slight bit more.. if we just played a little bit more with said contrast. We are bound to see the situation flip at some point so I woild have loved to see them have just a bit more fun with it and build in a bit more tension from Akira’s end. If he loses now.. it’s because  a petty man that is his superior tried to hard.. if he wins good for him and it will truely show his level.. either outcome however I kind of feel is okay for Touya and that just makes it a bit less exciting.

Animini: Flip Flappers -Episode 13- Pure Audio

Konichi-WAAAAAAAAH , my favourite magical girl show is over and I am sad now! My sweet island guests! I had such a great ride with this show and it quickly worked it’s way into my heart!  I loved this show so much and while I had a few episodes I did not like as much.. due to the chosen themes and the constant infighting.. what I had in the end was beautiful.  Could this final episode deliver a proper ending?! The answer is YES! In True Flip Flappers fashion it did it in a rather unconventional way..but I really loved this show.. and I really loved the ending as well.

The Summary

There is a lot to unpack here and words may not tell what happend properly.. but what we see is the final battle between the evil side of Mimi.. the broken part that clinged to Cocona as the only light in her life. That wanted to protect her from everything bad… however it doesn’t take long in this episode for her to abandon that goal and want to give Cocona a proper spanking.  Mimi Conjures, Snake Like Golems  that are immortal to beat the powered up Cocona and Papika. When they manage to hold her own Mimi starts to attack Yayaka as well who has been stripped of her powers. Luckily.. this super magical girl transformation Cocona and Papika have undergone cause their Impedance to go super unstable..  which caused breaches into Pure Illusion everywhere.. why is this lucky? Because Uexkull , Cocona’s Rabbit manages to enter Pure Illusion and in his warrior rabbit mode he saves Yayaka. Dr Salt uses the Elpsis to enter Pure Illusion and create another layer of it to hopefully keep Mimi at bay…This doesn’t work to well but it draws the good Mimi out! .. Sensing she is now losing ground Evil Mimi says “Flip Flapping”  and transforms into a Dark Magical Girl.. who is also a black hole.. planning to undo everything and recreate.

Flip Flapping Mimi overpowers the group and first but Cocona flys over to Papika.. they confess how font they are of each other one more time.. and reaffirm that whatever selfish desires they seem to have had.. to go on an adventure.. to let life just take them away.. all got redfined by meeting each other.. now whatever they do.. it only matters because they do it with each other. This realisation gives the girls the power of light ..and that destroys the black hole.. Evil Mimi realises she was wrong and is fished out of a pond by good Mimi.. fusing into a more complete being afterwards. .It seems Cocona wants to stay in pure Illusion to save her mother but Papika uses a bubble to send her trough a portal.. and we see Cocona return to a world.. but without Papika! A world that seems a lot more sterile than before.. she refuses to accept this reality.. and rightfully so.. it turns out that this grim reality is yet another figment of Pure Illusion.. almost as if a final test for Cocona.. she won’t leave without Papika… together the pair Flip Flaps one final time and flies among giant Butterflies back into reality again… where there friends… old and new are waiting for them to arrive… together.

The Positives

Sometimes you encounter one of those show that over time becomes.. “whatever they do you’ll think it’s cool”. I will admit that Flip Flappers has become one of those types of shows for me. While the final battle isn’t particularly epic and the final attack is kind of selfish.. justifying the villians belief.. it is pretty in it’s own way. A simple attack so filled with friendship and love .. and a desire to go beyond this obstacle that even a black hole could not assume it.. A love so fast.. it can not be consumed by that what consumes everything.  That doesn’t need to be a pink colourful spiral flying with sparks that if you look closer is a galaxy… No it’s litterally just two girls in cosplay being sucked into a black hole together.. with a light bloom effect on them..This not only stopping that final attack but also completely vanquishing the foe was  great.. because that is what this show is about. Friendship and love overcoming any limit.  That is what we got! The Epilogue is weird.. but fits so hard in the style of this show.. when we suddenly see Uexkull depicted as a regular bunny. Was he so weird from the start because of Cocona’s power?!  I did not see the twist coming and I was choking up.. fearing I would not get the end I wanted to see… yet when Papika popped up in that old concrete pipe .. my heart jumped with joy! Seeing Yayaka just start at the sky and grin when her two friends breach back into reality it all feels like carefully placed buttons that the end of the show pushes for you to leave you as content as possible and assure you  that there is no longer any doubt in these girls hearts on what they mean to one another.

Everything seemed even more crips in this episode.. they chose for some extremely close close-ups and it works so well. We can see every twinkle in Papika’s eyes, we can see how broken dark Mimi really is.. and we even get a lovely moment between Mimi and Salt.. where their sizes do not match up anymore.. even though they were both mature..Salt is painted very much bigger… he has grown older.. he has grown…while Mimi stayed her in pure Illusion, it helps convey the tragic truth that these once lovers are from different worlds that can no longer co-exists.. Salts form of Pure Illusion being more dead.. while Mimi’s is more alive and colourful. Their final embrace and Mimi’s request to Salt to always be his number one are a very touching sentiment and deep care for one another. The makers pulled out one heck of a ribbon box for this episode because everything gets so nicely wrapped up.. and pulls out all the stops in the visual department to make clear this is a finale too.

The Negatives

I do not believe in a flawless final episode, no matter how much you try , if we love a show there is always something we want to know as well. Will Yayaka ever go exploring Pure Illusion with Cocona and Papika again.. will Salt ever tell Cocona she is his daughter? (Probably not)  Where will Papika stay now that her evil robotic auntie/grandmother has been slain and her house has been blown up? It’s all kind of left unanswered.. perhaps what we saw in Pure Illusion can be an indication of what happens next but that is never confirmed. I would like to think so though. Would I have loved to see Salt hug Cocona and tell her the truth.. I think I do.. I am not sure?! So while the ending offers no closure on all things except for what Papika and Cocona mean to each other, I am not sure if I mind. On the one hand I really would have loved to see a bit of a fleshed out epilogue to see she is alright.. afteralll in reality she still is in pretty deep doodoo! I would love to see some resolve.. on the other hand.. now I can imagine what happend at the end.. and choose what happens. If in my headcanon Salt becomes a loving father.. he can.. if I want Papika and Cocona to live in a concrete pipe for the rest of their lives together.. eventually moving into a couple .. I can.  Flip Flappers is a show about making choices and it gives you the ultimate choice in the end. 

Like I mentioned earlier the episode might be a bit too oddball  to officially be called a good final episode. There is some odd pacing.. such as the final fight being resolved in the first half of the episode with half an episode epilogue.. could the show have been stronger if both things have gotten an episode? Yes quite possibly! There was so much that needed to be told… did they succeed in telling it all?! Yes! I am content.. could it have been told better.. Yes.. one more episode might have left it even more Ironclad. However could an additional episode have made it resonate with me more? If I had given all the answers I wanted would the show be as much on my head as it is now?! Possibly not. In the end it comes down to this show making a stylistic choice of ending that ..like the rest of the show isn’t made for everyone. I do think they could have done a better job with the final episode.. in some ways.. but no matter how I change it , I might like it less.  The flaws on display give this a character of sorts.. I am being made a participant.. instead of just being spoonfed things.. It might not be as satisying to pick my own grapes.. compared to being fed them by skimpily clad ladies and a Enuch with a palm leaf fanning me… but because I touched it.. I do feel more of a connection with what I experienced.

The Score

So do we end it on a perfect score?!  No.. the episode is just a bit to oddly paced, the fake out in the middle, while fitting denies us closure and instead of slowly ramping down the insanity that is this show we keep on revelling in it  in the end. That might not seem bad.. but compare it to a rollercoaster, that goes up a hill slowly then it picks up speed down hill… some crazy loops, crokscrews and what not..  usually right before the end you break and are hauled into the little station.. a moment to catch your breath… this ride stops full speed at the station and as a result .. you are not full ready to disembark yet, you haven’t wrapped your head around the fact that a guy now shoos you out of the cart. 

It’s a ride that I have found truely unique and delightful and it surprised me to the very end. Reality and imagination became interwoven and I get to decide if they live a happy ever after. I do like that idea.  The final episode has been structured to give people who loved this show one final trip. One more JOB! Everything that made this show great is crammed in this single episode and we even get a dark magical girl transformation to complete the entire trope thing as well! I did not know I needed that but when it happend I went .. .OH MY ARCEUS!  I NEEDED THAT! So in a way this show knows me better than me.. with this show I felt like it was made FOR me.. and this final episode could have almost have my nametag written all over it.. wrapped up in a pretty pink box and delivered by a jolly fat man or maybe by a Delibird. It isn’t flawless.. it isn’t a perfect final episode and it will not get the perfect final score.. but that makes this show better. A show that gets the perfect ending is a show you want to stop watching something that leaves you truely content… With Flip Flappers I might have not gotten everything I want.. but now I ‘ll forever want more.. and I love love LOVE that!

And that concludes the series! What magical girl show should take it’s place on the Animini slot?! Should I do an article where I gush on the entire series?! Let me know in the comments! Also this must be said! Yayaka rules!

Animini: That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime -Episode 18- Evil Creeps Closer

Konichi-well-this-hasn’t-certainly-been-my-best-week-for-anime everyone! I haven’t been impressed with Slime for a fair few episodes now ..well two to be exact.. it just feels longer because of the move.. but still this current chain of events of Slime feels a bit Meh to me. Where last episode could at least keep me entertained.. This episode was the equivalent of shaking a can of cheap peanuts to check if there are more. “This can’t be all right?” I shook the can with all my might and no additional peanuts dropped out.. it still was a fairly okay snack.. but more and more Slime is devolving into just that for me.. a snack! Bear in mind though I watched this after that shower, and after Digimon and Samurai Flamenco had such “bummer” episodes. 

The Summary

Phobio, that beast guy ..is really angry at Milim for insulting him and punching him. Everyone in his beast troup thinks it would be best to discuss a peace with the Slime creature because they have craftsmanship that completely blows theirs out of the water.. but Phobio can’t seem to let his thirst for vengeance go. He wants to attack the village.. in his own name so he doesn’t involve his Lord.. but also that.. by doing that he can tell his lord that at least something .. happened?!?   He wants to make his lord proud..but because Milim is there and she annoys him.. peace was never an option.  Two members of the Moderate Harlequin Alliance show up.. being Tear and Footman who tell Phobio he can be strong enough to be a demon Lord by freeing the creature Charybdis and claiming his power.. hungry for vengeance the beastman things on this and eventually agrees. Sending home his troops because they should not be involved. He then follows the two masked Majinn to a Mysterious cave.

Clearly the two are setting him up to be some kind of sacrifice to release this powerful being.. which I think.. ends up working.. as we see the creature take flight just a little while later. Tear also killed some young dragons which they fed to Charybdiss so it can spawn 12 Flying Megalodon.. so now we got one organic sky fortress that is rumored to be the son of Veldora with 12 flying sharks heading for the village of Rimuru. The Dryad try to stop him but seem to be growing weaker by the minute.. so Treyni’s sister tries to contact the village.  She is covered by a murderous aura.. which apparently comes from  Charybdiss being close.. so there are a few trust issues at first. Milim offers to take down the Calamity class creature..but Rimuru’s followers ask her to stay out and let Rimuru resolve this instead. To prove his worth to the humans so they can establish trade roads in good trust. Rimuru doesn’t seem on board with this idea but eventually asks Milim to stay out of this, making everyone else fight at a mountain that is at a crossroads to Dwargon Rimuru and whatever direction the monster is flying in from.  Battleplans are being made and that is where this episode ends.

The Positives

I am not happy with this episode!  There is so much wrong with it.. and I mean SO much! It is however not without it’s merrits. Eren and her group finally get some nice interaction with Rimuru which I had been craving for last week.  The hot-tub scene this week is actually pretty funny with the humans liking this village so much they basically are taking a vacation in town and the girls taking a bath so much that even Shuna is beginning to give up etiquette.  The comedy this week is quite solid! The jokes with Milim are also fairly succesful.  Her drive to prove herself to her besty and not being able to hurts her which feels in character.. but now she is adapted enough not to cause a tantrum. So we just see her switch in her battle outfit.. and then being upset. I do like that! It makes sense Milim would wear her battle outfit underneath her clothes just so she can clobber enemies! I had a good chuckle.

The manipulation that Tear and Footman do towards Phobio is also quite nice, the dialogue is nicely written and you can sense them testing the waters to find the correct buttons to press.  Digging deeper and deeper getting underneath his skin, eventually you know there is no more escape for him.. they successfully manipulated him into doing their bidding. His troup caring for their leader and trying to talk him out of it also made this scene a lot more interesting… they do make them a bit too “goody-good”  for my taste.. because with this mentality the conflict of the week before would never really have happened..  but all in all they do a good job of fleshing out this group and making you feel that the bigger evil took a win here today.  Ill intent has prevailed.  I do think Phobio could have Ill intent enough.. but making the Harlequin Alliance more depraved gives us something to worry about in the future and I do like that.  Rimuru establishing his beef with the Demon Lord Leon was also one of the episode highlights.. Unfortunately that is also where those end.

The Negatives

Jeez-Louise there was a lot of stupidity in this episode. While some scenes were very strongly written .. the big picture is completely messed up and kind of angered me. Let me start with the very idea of Rimuru fighting Charybdis without Milim. That feels insanely stupid..instead he is going to risk his own citizens and that of his only ally… just to proof their worth for a trade deal?! .. How about protecting the lives of everyone in this village?!    Didn’t you adopt Milim into the village for exactly these kinds of situations?!   What’s the point of her being there if you are not going to use her?!   I do get that for the tension arc in the show you need to pull these kinds of Shenanigans …but that could have been done so much better. Say for example that Charybdiss can absorb the energy of Demon Lords.. so Milim CAN’T be there.. or make clear that it is after her and it will become super powerful if it succeeds. Rimuru so far always wants to fight using every strategic advantage he has.. so no using your nuke ..at least as a backup seems.. odd and just done in favour of the show’s tension.

Other than that.. the episode was also quite boring. We did not see what happened to Phobio, seeing him being consumed by darkness and transformation would have been super cool, we do not see the fight of the dryads against Charybdis. .not getting a sneak peak of its abilities, instead we just get exposition and bathhouse scenes. Why does Charybdis have to have flying sharks, it seems kind of random.. and I do like random but this doesn’t feel whacky enough.. the design of Charybdis is very otherworldly so I would have loved to see matching adds… just big sharks.. is kinda boring. We do not see what happens to Phobio’s group, we do not see Tear feed Charybdis those dragons, all the important stuff happens trough exposition and we get  “the girls having a holding the breath contest” or “Rimuru talking about trade routes”. I like both scenes but when you find out what was happening at the same time.. I can not help but feeling quite screwed over.. you showed  the wrong thing. I get the other thing is harder to animate but this really felt like a cop-out.

The Score

I had a few chuckles with this episode of Slime.. it still has its charm and I still want to see the rest of the show.. I do feel like next episode it will pick up again..but this block of three episodes has been fairly weak! They all have something to offer.. stand alone and it has enough charisma to sell itself.. but that doesn’t change the fact that it made some big fudge-ups in terms of how the story is connected.. character roles and overall narrative flow of things. It feels a bit directionless… as if the writer was throwing stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Thus Milim feels a bit like an overpowered Jarjar and Rimuru’s actions don’t make that much sense.. and that is a shame, because there is so much you can do here.

I do feel that the writer tried to take a page from Oda’s book and create a long lasting epic, in the same vein as One Piece.. with introducing new hurdles to overcome. I do feel that letting Rimuru go after the Demon Lords instead of all this new stuff would be more satisfying. Now we get one Demon Lord  awakening an Eldritch abomination basically to fight Rimuru, while another doesn’t even seem to know he is a slime sending a footsoldier to deal with him. Which could make sense..if not everyone has heard of Rimuru.. but both the dwarves and the humans also heard of a slime defeating the Orc Lord.. and since the demon Lords still are in an Alliance and can’t interfere with each other,,, this seems a very improbable chain of events. Oda makes the world move separate from the main characters as well but he writes them as to how they interact with the world.. here everything moves seperate but it’s written how they interact with Rimuru and we get a less cohesive world as a result.. and in this episode that caused a major conflict for me that made this one of my least favourite in the series so far.

Animini: Samurai Flamenco – Episode 19 – The Quiet Life

Konichi-holy-doodoo! I did not expect this episode of Samurai Flamenco to go as dark as it did my dear Island guests.. I mean Digimon bummed me out.. but beaver-dam I did not see this one coming. I expected a nice slice of life episode with maybe some elements of boredom.. but this… eeek! Unlike Digimon I did end up enjoying myself more.. though I still feel the series should have ended after last weeks episode.. I mean I did get closure for that thing I wanted closure about earlier.. I just did not expect that closure to be sledgehammered in.

The Summary

This episode starts with a 6 month time skip after the defeat of Alien Flamenco and Masayoshi’s  encounter with the Will of The Universe. Like the latter said the universe has returned to normal.. or did it? The world is so peaceful that we are moving into some advanced negotiations for a joined “world” government. The one that enjoys the most votes to be it’s president is Masaysoshi himself.. even  though he does not seem interested in the job .. Everyone else wants him to be the president of the world due to his heroic antics.  While he is still training his combat skills, we see him discuss “settling down” with the rest of the cast. His agent and Mari in particular. With no more enemies to fight, the idea is brought up that Masayoshi should find a girlfriend, his agent should date Kono and Mari even suggest Masayoshi to date his agent himself. He doesn’t know what to do.. and he doesn’t want to be world leader so he goes to his best friend Goto. He sees on the calendar of the cop that it’s soon to be date night .. he finally goes to see his girlfriend.. whom he is in a long term relationship with.  Curious Mari and Masayoshi plan to chase him to see if they can help.

This leads them to travel to Goto’s home town.. they lose track of him because they can not board the same train, but since Mari lived in his closet for a while during her great depression she snooped around and found his home address and remembered it. So she moves to the Goto family residence. Here they talk to Goto’s mother in the hope of figuring out where Goto went. Telling her he is on a date. The mother looks shocked and tells a story that Goto had a girlfriend only once in his life.. one day she disappeared while waiting for the bus.  The bus was found empty with no driver.. evidence showed a single passenger had boarded the bus, leaving only an umbrella with a Takoyaki Tako strap behind. Goto’s girlfriend disappeared many years ago.. and he was never able to let it go. But who has been sending him these text messages then? Could it be some kind of trap?! Mari and Masayoshi go to find out.. Mari .. who feels a bit  lovescorned, snatches his phone crossing the street when a bus blocks Goto’s path to find out who is responsible.. it turns out Goto had been pretending to be his own girlfriend all along.. unable to let her go.. he just imagined what she would text him back.  Mari gets bummed out and invites the girls to stay with her at the inn she is staying at while Masayoshi wanders the streets.. bummed out he could not be there for his friend.  A young boy shakes his head.. when suddenly an explosion goes off behind him.. This young boy.. seems to be A new enemy!

The Positives

I feel conflicted about this episode again.. because jeesz the truth about Goto’s girlfriend hit me hard! I always had expected her to be the final villain or something and I am pretty sure this new guy will find out and abuse Goto’s broken hard someway later on.. the building blocks are fairly set up for that.. but this?! I was surprised and I think it was a very strong choice to make. It balances out the sugarry , morale victories Masayoshi had lately! That  basically always involved him being such a great hero that the situation he would get himself in more or less resolved itself. We needed a taste of bitter.. but I did not expect it to leave me with this much of a bleeding heart.  I do think this is a great engine to keep Masayoshi , Mari and Goto involved together so as far as continuations go this is actually a quite briljant way to pull it off. Goto finally got his little moment, even showing why he became a cop and why he bites so much onto mysteries. All the events basically take place in the same day, where the sunshine is being used for when everything is perfectly fine. The peaceful world that Masayoshi is going to be president off.. but as they discover someone they love is in trouble we transition into dusk! Not everything is as bright as we would like to believe .. and when they realise Goto can not be helped right now.. we move into night!  Where a terror attack happens as well.. showing things have gone bad once more.. it is all quite beautifully done.

There are also some great character moments for basically everyone that was once relevant , we see where everyone is. Even the Flamengers. Even the pink ranger got accepted back into her home again.. but she has to deal with regret of never getting the love of her life. The other rangers all get a neat little reference to! Kono is bored with the news being so peaceful and our adorable , best dude, gadget guy has become super famous and successful for contributing to Samurai Flamenco’s success so much now becoming the most successful stationery producer, like now one ever was. The episodes manage to nail both the peace and conflict images very successfully and thus doesn’t leave as sour of a taste in my mouth as the Digimon episode! That being said there are some odd choices in this episode I can not really get behind.

The Negatives

While I really enjoy the episode overall, there are a few choices I do not really like. For one the whole “making Masayoshi world president while he doesn’t really want to” thing  I find very stupid and not an interesting conflict. I do get WHY he would get a majority of the votes,  as people would only vote for someone not of their country if it’s a symbol..  Yet at the same time we see Masayoshi is constantly being interviewed and he is very open about not being interested in becoming the President. So I do feel that whole plotpoint really isn’t going anywhere.  If the world is so peaceful.. Why would you make someone president against his will? He makes a fair point that he is not fit for the job.. as he isn’t all that political .. or smart enough to get that done..which again.. is a fair point. Kaname would make a better ruler that way and he would be a much better choice.

The second issue is that this new villain person is something I find very iffy! It’s a bit as if Masayoshi would be the Tony Stark from the Marvel Universe.. and this new guy is Spider-man is he felt inspired by Tony.. but to go in the wrong direction.. we get a little but seemingly very brainy .. kid as a  villain.  I do like the idea of a final villain that is grounded more into a harsh reality.. bringing the series back to the hero in Masayoshi and not in Samurai Flamenco.. but to make it a kid?! It feels like it’s a bit overshot.. like saying Rallo or Rollo or whatever the guys name was from Geass would be the actual final enemy.. or have Selmin Bradley be the ultimate bad guy in FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood. The final thing that got me annoyed is that we do not see Moe react at all when Mari is feeling heartache that the cop she is pursuing dumped her for a figment of his imagination.. She is just supporting..  but she is clearly in love with Mari .. or she used to be at least.. why don’t we see any of that here? 

The Score

For what it is worth, I am happy they went this route for the “epilogue”   of the show, this first episode of the final four does show some very competent writing and offers an idea to close this show out on that is of substance enough to justify its existence.  Outstanding plot points are being resolved, and they are doing this in a bold and exciting way. I really loved this concept of Goto being super broken and his best friends being unable to see it!  He always seemed so composed.  Politeness and etiquette prevented Masayoshi to dig deeper… he wants to follow the rules after all and that fits him so well! It really is a great twist and a legit established conflict. So basically everything that would go into the episode synopsis is very amazing.

It is the rest though that still makes me wish that the show ended last episode. I do not find the idea of Masayoshi becoming world president to be even remotely in character, I do not think the new enemy is as strong as I would like him to be. I think it should have been someone more familiar to the cast.. like Kono wanting to create news, or maybe even Kaname becoming a terrorist because his student pushed him from the spotlight. Heck even Flamen Pink because she blames Masayoshi for ripping her and Kaname apart would have had more of an impact. This new guy now has to be established in three episodes and I feel like I can’t take him all that seriously.  Alien was not build up.. but he was strange.. otherworldly he did not need the build up. Same goes for From Beyond Flamenco.. but .. with a normal human… I feel like they will stumble in the end.  I really hope that Mari and Goto don’t end up together either..  because poor Moe! All in all an episode with a very sweet core but a rough exterior.. and I have just the fruit for that.

Animini: Digimon Adventure -Episode 12- Lillymon Blooms

It’s a new week my Island Guests! I doubt this week will be as amazing as last week but let’s give it a shot! Given the episode title and the set up of last week it was not that hard to figure out what this week’s episode would be about and how it would end. Yet.. something happened.. after this episode ended , it got under my skin! I ended up feeling really REALLY blue and bummed out. It wasn’t because it was a bad episode either.. I mean I would not call it great…but … well let’s just explain while I blog.

The Summary

In the previous episode we saw Mimi plummet to the depths of the ruins she was exploring with Taichi and Koshiro. She now is all by herself.. Palmon’s vines can’t grow up high enough to get them back up, or even communicate with the pair upstairs. Because these ruins are so deep and brimming with a strange energy they can not even use their digivices to communicate.  All of these little elements used .. have been established before.. Palmon’s lift.. the energy in the digiscript, the way digivices work.. once again showing a good plausible set up for this scenario.  Koshiro, with some lag,  works trough the interference to translate these runes and find out of there is a way to save Mimi, while the latter searches for a way up. Both parties soon discover that this place was once an ancient factory for mechanical Digimon. A soundbirdmon makes his way into the ruins and awakens a pile of deactivated digimon.. including Andromon.. the Ultimate level machine Digimon.. many fans of the series know and love. Like in the original series though he gets corrupted and tries to eliminate Mimi. She however is saved by Guardromon. Earlier Mimi uncovered a dusty body of a digimon.. and Mimi being Mimi, wanted to make it shine and polishes it off and smiles to it.. this act of kindness makes him her guardian!

Togemon is no match for Andromon and quickly gets critically injured ,  but Guardromon uses his missiles to attack the environment and collapse it onto Andromon. Thus highlighting that a lower level digimon can take on an Ultimate by fighting smart. It knows Andromon is not defeated yet so he flees with Mimi! Resting up in a little safe haven he gives her a little flower to reassure her and promises he will help her go to the upper levels of the ruins again.  Meanwhile Taichi and Koshiro are descending into the lower levels of the ruins , not knowing what awaits them.  Just before Mimi reaches the elevator Andromon catches up with her and he and Guardromon fight.. leaving Mimi’s new friend Critically injured. Taichi and Koshiro save her but Kabuterimon is easily tossed aside. Taichi evolves Agumon into MetalGreymon.. and here we see a new element come into play.. match-ups! MetalGreymon while super powerful has slow attacks that Andromon can easily take out on the account of having a gatling gun!  Metalgreymon is defeated.. and just about Mimi is about to be killed, her guardian Guadromon grabs onto Andromon and stops him. Andromon then kills Guardromon.. and Mimi feels tremendous pain and anger. These pure and raw emotions trigger her crest of Sincerity and Togemon evolves into Lillymon for the first time. Having no option but to kill Andromon. Using her attack to consume him in leafage.. makes the android snap back to his old self.. just to realise he will die for his sins. Mimi cries and the trio enters the elevator upstairs right after Mimi places a little flower onto the also overgrown corpse of her Guardromon’ friend.

The Positives

Wow… a Mimi episode. A Mimi episode that did not portray her as shallow but as a genuine and lovely bubbly girl that just loves when things are pretty.  A girl that has never faced too much adversity but now is finding herself on an adventure.. and an unwinnable one at that. In this episode the group experiences their first massive loss. While they won in the end they could not save Guardromon. Sure it kind of happened with MetalTyrannomon before.. but that was the noble sacrifice of Ogremon.. it had something heroic. The way Guardromon lost his life felt desperate.. and futile. He did not keep Mimi safe for longer than a few seconds! Yet he wanted to try anyway.. and the last thing he remembered was her genuine smile!  Such a powerful thing! It really embodied Mimi’s Crest well.. but I never would have expected for them to go the negative route and let her experience sincere pain and grief. 

To accompany this episode that packs a serious punch.. is this odd.. pacing and direction. Normally we see the classical three act structure .. where the heroes face a big problem, flee , strategise and return to a fight just to do well but be surprised by a hidden ability that forces them to “awaken” into a new shape or form. This episode does not really do that.  Togemon does not just get defeated it gets put on death’s door.  This is the second time this happens to Palmon.. so I am kind of afraid she might end up dying even if the show continues long enough.  However in the first act.. the enemy is already temporarily beaten and out-strategised.  The second act has no analytical part at all. Mimi is not that type of character, she makes friends and gets taken along for the ride and that is executed quite literally when  Digimon carries her. The third act shows the group suffer complete defeat.. there is not really a moment where tides look to have turned.. sure Andromon goes down one time but there is no epic music beat.. no victory song.. the normal music just drones on. We know this isn’t it. Even when Guadromon gets killed and Lillymon finally arrives, we do not get the regular digivolution theme.. instead the transformation happens to a much more subtle piece of music.. showing it’s too late! The group has survived.. but they haven’t won!

The Negatives

For some reason seeing the friendly metal man get taken down and lose his life made me extremely sad. Sure it is sad to see an episode from the very concept of it but the way it was done .. that final goodbye.. it landed very hard for me, which can be deemed as a good point.. but there are deaths that make me cry that feel like a good cry.. this just bummed me out.  In a way the odd pacing of this episode is very powerful but it makes it also a very unsatisfying episode.  That kick of feel goodness the show has given me so far is nearly completely absent from this episode. Gone are the bright colours, the hype music, the music and imagery synergising. Even the digivolution sequence of Agumon this time felt “off” as if it was forced in.. He had to kill Digimon that were nowhere near his level.. but he could not waste time.. so he could not show mercy. As a result though the fight felt kind of more uneasy than satisfying. 

Andromon I know as one of the best and most amazing allies of the digidestined so to see him snuffed out like this felt.. “wrong”.. In a way I really LOVE that they did this. There is no shooting lethal attacks into someones face just to break whatever spell makes him evil! No .. he got corrupted and they have lethal digimon.. so they had to put it down. Because they are the ones that need to save this world… there is no plot magic saving the good guys. There are bigger stakes at play than a single kindhearted digimon.. he needed to die for the greater good. This stuff is my jam..I love that morality where a good guy needs to make choices and sacrifices. Yet at the same time.. because the original Digmon series exists that gave us our shot of Dopamine.. this course of events feels completely unsatisfying. I love that they went this route.. but I did not enjoy myself persé in this episode. I suffered a bit and actually felt bad after the episode and had to take a long shower to get back a bit. So this one will be hard to grade again.

The Score

Death are a part of anime, and even digimon has richly used death in the past. Some deaths in anime even really hurt.. but there can also be a sense of beauty to it.  This one however did not give me any positives. It is very well written and I really appreciate them going this route in hindsight but I REALLY REALLY REALLY did feel bad from this episode. Not crying my eyes out bad.. just “I can experience no joy” kind of bad. So there is no way I can give this episode a perfect grade. I can’t even say this episode is very good. In a way it is.. but I can’t shake that terrible feeling this episode gave me. On it’s own I think this episode would be horrible.. like if someone sees this as their first episode of Digmon I don’t think they would ever return. The pacing is off, the music is unsatisfactory , the action feels dulled and the colours are super grey, it feels off in every way.

In the bigger picture I can see how it is designed to be like that.. how it is meant to contrast with the other episodes. This episode did confirm that only Taichi and Yamato will get those stock digivolutions as the Togemon digivolution happened without the cool animation and that is a bit of a let down but hey.. Taichi is the leader and Yamato is the second ..  I can live with that. Still though in an episode that bummed me out so much I can not help but crave for seeing that satisfying animation.  In the end I chose to grade this Okiwi.. but it is the wrong grade.. on many levels. It’s both worse and way way better than that.  Yet it is the only way I can express my feelings for this episode. I love the direction.. I hate the episode.  I love the journey. I hate the events. There was enjoyment there but it was dulled by that sensation of being bummed out to my very core.