Brand New Animal or just Fluffy X-Men? BNA Review

Hello Island Guests! My four day mini break is over! And I decided to shake my schedule up a bit…mostly because I had this prepped as my next post and are not that far ahead but I TOTALLY did it intentionally to have some fun as well… TOTALLY! For Pinkie’s Saturday Anime Adventure I watched through and fairly recently finished BNA! As I only did episode reviews in Saturday Anime Adventure I feel like I have to end this one up with a series review! A series can be stronger or weaker than the sum of its parts after all! So how do I feel about BNA two weeks after finishing the last episode?! Let’s find out.


Brand New Animal is a 12 episode Anime by studio Trigger that was licensed by Netflix. The series was written (as anime) by Kazuki Nakashima and features the vocal talents of Sumire Morohoshi. Yoshimasa Hosoya and Takehito Koyasu, It follows the tales of Michiru the Tanuki Beast-Man or so we think! She takes on the role of a young girl that falls into a group of Beast-man who are almost like a mutation of humanity. She falls in with a grizzled grumpy old man who can uses his claws to defeat his opponents, though rarely does. He becomes her protector of sorts. They are led by this wise older bald person who can’t walk that well and needs a cane. She is a mayor and wants to build a city where beast-man can learn and utelise their abilities and proving to the world that these mutants like creatures are nothing to be feared. Also when the young girl uses her powers she sparkles a lot.

I’m with Storm here! I really need to think where I saw this story before!

This review will mostly be spoiler free! For detailed reviews of each episode you can Pinkie’s Saturday Anime Adventures Episode 1 trough 12.

Hopping Like A Bunny

BNA sketches a world divided by the rise of an alternate species called beastmen. These are humans more in touch with their inner animal and as a result can access and prefer their beast forms. Their true selves. However humans fear beastman and their improved ability and hunt them regularly. Thus with permission of the Japanese government a  city for beastman has been build called Anima city. Here beastman live together in harmony! Or at least that is what Michiru our protagonist thinks when she goes there. She claims to be a human that got turned into a beastmen for some reason. This should not be possible because you are a beastman from she moves to Anima city to find answers. Only to find a whole lot more trouble than she bargained for.

As the series moves on we see her team up with a mysterious man named Shirou who fights hard for beastmen rights and thinks very low of humans. As terrorists begin to strike at Anima City and in particular the pharmaceutical Sylvastra corp, a larger scheme is revealed that puts humans and beastmen against each other and much much more. Anima city and beastman ‘s future is threatened by a whole lot of lies and intrigue. It almost feels as a plot from a Cyberpunk movie taking some clear inspirations from Blade Runner where beastmen and Replicants are in a sort of similar position.This little dash of cyberpunk story telling mixed with some politics manages to create an intriguing enough story that builds an amazing world in the first four episodes, yet then starts to falter a bit but climbs back up and falters again.. and so repeats this until the show is ended at episode 12. Besides Blade Runner there is another analogy on the tip of my tongue! There is this point where robots hunt down beastmen send down by people who hate them.. oh well! I can’t remember! I guess I will refer to that other show as X for now.

Let me get this point out of the way because everyone has spoken up about it.. 12 episodes is to short for this show! Yet I do not find the ending atrociously bad.. and it certainly reaches the kind of feels like a Mario Kart pro-speed run Rainbow Road on N64. Sure it was enjoyable and colorful and a sight to behold.. but we didn’t see all that much of the track* . So as well is the biggest pitfall for Brand New Animal. It asks you to see injustice in a world.. but we don’t see the world all that much. Again the first four episodes do a great job in fleshing out a world but after that, there is a lot of one location episodes and to make up for it they need to pick up slack with a LOT of exposure episodes. When three episodes of the twelve solely exist for exposition that is a lot! As a result this is one of the most awkward paced anime I have seen. It still tells an enjoyable tale but it’s as if it 1 to 12 instead of a count is more like one of those hopskotch drawings. Instead of flowing we hop!

*For those who don’t know that is a 7 minute track you need to do three laps on..unless you skip the track right at the beginning by jumping to that last corner

Strong Like an Ox

Despite this Brand New Animal is still quite an enjoyable show that does a lot of things right. Studio Trigger once again manages to create a visually appealing show whose colour use and artwork really appeal to me. There are lots of colours, the design of characters is unique and now has the added layer of having two designs (or more) per character. As each beastmen has a human and beast form and the forms mirror each other a bit. It works nicely and all characters are immediately recognisable in both forms. The buildings in the series also have this slight futuristic look, but not quite, which really sells the “newly built” city vibe and  it allows us to suspend our disbelief well enough for all the weird tech introduced later on in the series.Aided by a good music score including some synthwave tracks, it really sells itself as a near future show. A setting that is always tricky to flesh out but BNA does this very well.  It really helps the worldbuilding. Soundtrack wise I also like how they use the ending song as an in world song.. it gives it meaning.. it is overused but it is a fun little gimmick and saves out on some money! So clever as well.

As for the worldbuilding itself, I think this show does an excellent job at building it’s own words with not one but two asterixis behind it which will come up in the next session. I personally really think in terms of worldbuilding they have thought a lot of elements trough. For example beastmen are much more hot tempered than humans much more in line with their instincts. Anima city is a much more dog eat dog environment than any human cities. Much more in touch with their instinct Anima city relies much more on the survival of the fittest concept.  This bleeds into their sports as well! Even something as simple as baseball often has deadly results.

People do not seem to mind all that much because this is the normal way things would go in such an environment I really like that concept. I loved the idea that to commit a crime in Anima city you have to consider your scent as a factor as well because there are beastmen with a great sense of smell. Awesome! Yes they totally would need to do that!  was even more impressed when they established that Bird-beastmen would have to get a permit for flying trough nation controlled airspace. The government would like to know who is flying in their terrain, since they can go anywhere they want they have to keep some way to track of them. Clever that they think on how the world would change like that..when we add in the writing of the actual characters though things go a bit wonky but more on that in a bit.

Finally I would like to shout out how the action is done quite nicely. There are a fair few fights and encounters and each has a bit of a different solution. Sure Shirou who is the main muscle will usually beat up the bad guy in a particular way.. but that means his fighting has a way he works.. he has a strategy.. this is consistent throughout every episode I really have a feeling he has a fighting style. A lot of anime characters finish their enemies of with whatever is coolest or switch techniques on the fly. Take Naruto for example who while using some stable techniques goes from throwing ninja stars, to kicking and from wielding a Kunai to  digging underground. Up to a point where he even is a sage and a summoner. Now of course Naruto spans over many more episodes  but still Shirou fights like he has fought before! He knows what he does and his fighting style is consistent right until the moment it’s not.. but even then there is a good reason. Michiru’s fighting style is more flexible but her entire character is build around this. She has certain abilities that allow her to shine as the versatile combatant making her actually useful throughout instead of your usual liability.. even if she fills that trope as well.

A Lamb to the Slaughter

With a solid story, nice visuals, great world building and nice action you’d think that this is a pretty good show right?! You are correct! Unfortunately though .. pretty good is where it stops for me. The biggest reason that it can not ascent from there is because it is way to ambitious. This show bites of way more than it can chew.  The show tries to force in a message that in my eyes should have been left out completely. Or the worldbuilding should have been adapted to fit it. (Which is one of these world building asterixis)  Brand New Animals wants to tell us that we humans are racists and small minded bigots and that these people deserve to live in the lifestyle of their choice. On top of that they also weigh it down even more by putting a lot of religion talk but rather than adding a new religion to the mix, they add in a cult that follows the same religion as every beastman out there, which makes it all a bit convoluted.

 The example they make this the clearest with is an Albatross. He entered Japanese airspace and is chased by two fighter jet who kindly but urgently ask him to lend visit a post or police office so the birdman can get a permit to fly in Japanese airspace.. so they know he is there.  He feels his rights are being limited because he is an Albatross they roam. Apparently all Albatross people have been refusing these types of request and have been shot down for invading airspace… which then is portrayed as a horrible crime. Meanwhile I look at this as … “That rule makes a lot of sense”. The series already established terrorism is a heavy and ongoing topic, this makes spying super easy and you can literally go anywhere. He also just has to fill in a form saying he is there!  Two minutes later an actually flying terrorist shows up using the airspace to get to the city undetected proving that that rule is needed. That is not a good idea of humans being bigots. Instead of giving the good bird albatross the W, and justifying his heart we see the church meddle in. Thus the albatross stays a guy who wanted to rob the mayor..and justifying once more the human reaction. Weird

Humans are reluctant to accept beasts among their ranks, which I can understand can be and should be viewed as racist as long as both are sentient and follow the same morale standards. Except.. this show shows they do not. If anything humans and beastman share criminal tendensies , gambling, mobs, scamming etc. However when it comes to we belief what is right and wrong..or what is normal we are off by a fair bit.  Beastmen kill each other during baseball. they can toss their feathers as weapons and possess superhuman abilities. Since they are prone to follow the principle of survival of the fittest and all beastmen are basically humans with a mode that upgrades some of their strengths I can see why humans would not really like that mentality among their ranks. If a bear man can just rip of your head because you cut in line..and te bear is stronger.. yeah that would pretty much suck. Beastmen are more likely to think it’s okay, so I would feel a genuine treat to my citizens if I allowed them to give into this beastmen nature. So I can see humans be wary of that idea very easily. That isn’t racist that is common sense. 

Of course we do not follow the beastman who rip each others heads off..but they are out there. We follow a kind hearted girl that wants everyone to be happy and a private investigator/merc who works for the good of beastman kind. The fact that we follow two who don’t do those shenanigans doesn’t change the fact that it happens and the mayor is like “Sure you can Kill each other during baseball but you can’t gamble on it’ Racism is bad is a great message but you need to have sides that are actually equal and share more or less the same moral compass. There isn’t equality here. Compare it to X-men.. they aren’t equal either but if mutants were like but they share values.  They do not fight to use their power even when it endangers people! At least not the good guys we can relate to them. In Brand New Animal that same vibe is sorely missing. Now at times for me it felt more like the message was “racism can sometimes be justified if the threat is high enough’ and I do believe that is a message would need to steer far away from just among humans.

The second asterix from that world building comes .. part from the poor pacing and part from the way the story is told. The story does really work and there is some logic  in their science. There is a lot of space for exposition and as such it is easy to tune out to information that isn’t brought in such bombastic manner. For example in a fairly generic conversation it is told that when a chicken-woman loves a whale man very much and they whoohoo a bit their child either will either be a chicken or a whale but never a whicken or a chale. As a beastman can only have one beast to transform into.. if it would have more they would be unable to transform. Nor can you crossbreed species. This comes back later in the show.. but if you missed it.. this feels like something completely out of the blue and forced. It wasn’t but unlike most some things near the endgame are very poorly telegraphed. It is still there but this is a show you definitely want to binge AND keep your attention to it. The thing is that is is really in your face about “hey this important hey! Hey Listen” then on some things it really isn’t. 

The show also  does this in reverse. It sets up characters to be really important later on but than they simply becomes means to an end. Like ..”Look this guy is super important”.. Later he offers Shirou a Ride and gives him some supplies…it didn’t even have to be that guys.They do this on numerous occasions as well such as a gag with a water purifier.. I was like.. “that’s going to be a thing at some point” .. but no it was just a crack at the poor. You will need to remember just about everything and that will both reward and disappoint you.
On the one hand I love them for including very subtle references ..but you can’t make your show seem this handholdy and then go like… but if you noticed THAT you would have realised.It’s kind of like playing Clue but when you solve the puzzle someone tells you! Bonus points if you can tell me the motive!?  I wasn’t looking for that! Murder Murder Weapon and Location right?! Then everyone says sure but you missed something really important!

My final gripe is wit the shows ending. While it isn’t exactly terrible, the plot twist feels more like a retcon to fix the message. As if the makers realised ‘our message about racism didn’t really land! We now need a way to make everything cool and make people learn a lesson still!  how about we make people realise they are closer and add in an extra party?’ It came out of nowhere and wasn’t needed at all. Sure it allows for a bigger and more impressive battle but there were tools to make that battle different. Michiru rode in a giant robot depiction of god.. that was just made as a cosplay thing. You could have just made a big robot weapon as a final enemy. There were even ways to tie in Michiru’s “disease”  in this but no…. out of the blue we get something super powerful that needs to be taken down… then it gets taken down within five minutes of it’s introduction. Breaking the lore that was introduced for it..within those five minutes as well. It served no point other than to make up  for it’s own writing failures and wrap the series in a pretty ribbon. That said I do like how it wraps up after that.  Michiru’s personal journey has been very strong throughout the show and they ended like that as well. Her road made sense for each episode… it’s just that blasted analogy that is in the way of her world feeling the same.


Brand New Animal is a fine show to watch that unfortunately suffers a lot squandered potential syndrome. Where a decent show is experienced as worse as it is because it simply could have been more.  If you added 12 more episode to this series it could have been one of the greater once but because of its short run it is forced to live into mediocrity.  “I would have loved to see more about that Mob Boss”  ‘I wish I saw more of Mary the Mink’.  ‘I really wish they explored Shirou’s past more’ ‘I wish I could have seen more about Michiru’s mysterious accident and what happend after’. These are ponderings I had after the show. I liked it enough to want to see more because they really do create an interesting world

. However it is not a world we can dive into.. it is shallow! Kinda like a bowl for your goldfish!
The water is still refreshing (to splash in your face not to drink)  the goldish in the bowl is quite amusing to go around and round and nestle in it’s little castle.. but you can not help to wish there was more out there. Had it not squandered time with it’s really forced “lesson”  I might have wholeheartedly called it good. Do note that I do not mean you should not speak against racism but that what the show wants us to see as racism isn’t racism it’s self preservation and while I do think those can intersect trough ignorance.. that is not a tale you can tell with a series like this. It’s not a goldmine of life lessons.. it really is just a goldfish in a bowl.

I like goldfish but I would not say it’s a great pet! It’s still something that can bring you lots of joy! Yet sometimes you just want to pet something or put something on your lap and then you realise.. I have a fish!  As much as you love it.. it will never be all that great.. it’s fine!
It’s just fine…

Did you see BNA?! What are your feelings about it?! I really liked the intro by the way! I am not sure if I said that! It’s catchy! Speaking of liking! If you like this blog why not consider supporting my blog on KoFi! You can become a coconut and get nominated for all my blog tags and will have a cute flavour text written about you! Or if you don’t have money to burn why not subscribe to the blog, leave a like or write something to get in touch!

Pinkie’s Saturday Anime Adventures (Week 4)

Hello everyone, it’s sunday again which means Pinkie watched anime! In my saturday morning program I have slotted 5 shows in time slots including commercial breaks! Today I review the episodes of my fourth week! Check the anime tab on my homepage to track down the originals!

Episode 4

At 9:00 I was ready for some more Brand New Animal. Studio Trigger’s show that I so far quite liked and this episode was certainly no exception. It spotlights Michiru even more than before taking Shirou out of the equation for a bit as the Tanuki girl gets a brand new phone..from her mink “friend” to get access to human internet.  This leads her to discovering a girl named Nina, living in anima city. She is streaming on Facelook as she desires to be part of the human world and.. while Michiru approaches her she gets knocked out and captured. My least favorite moment of this episode as I thought we would be in for another one of Shirou’s heroic  moments, but luckily this was quickly subverted.

Once Michiru wakes up she finds out Nina is the daughter of the gang leader of “The Family” lead by Flip.. which is a last name but he is referred to as Flip and he looks like a Flip to me. Flip in Dutch was a fairly common name for people of the Silent generation and before. Flipje is the mascot of the city Tiel and it’s jam factory and he is like a raspberry man so it sounds like a first name to me..This also results in me thinking Flip will turn into a raspberry but it looks like he is actually some kind of whale. As I get side tracked we move back to our story by saying that by being honest to Nina about her preferences  of the human world, she is able to take on her human shape. The two then decide to visit a party they saw on Facelook together. 

I am happy they are giving Michiru a friend and I do hope the character stays that as well.  It felt nice and needed for her character as well. I dislike  that the first friend she made is connected to the Family.. it feels so convenient again. The Major also has made some discoveries about Michiru’s condition which conveniently allows for some exposition on Beastman lore. While kinda cool to know the conversation is kind of nonsensical. “Michiru if A Tiger Beastman loves A Lion Beastwoman very much.. their kids take on the properties of one parent and can not become a liger. It has to do with your spirit and all. “Your cells can morph so it’s completely not like that”.  I mean I know Michiru might not be smartest .. it kinda felt off. 

Shinies?! *Readies her Pokéballs*

What I did liked about the episode is that it shows the other side of racism, people like beast people at the party so when they discover Nina is a beast person they revere her and want to play with her.. however apparently aquatic beastman can not breath under water or at least Nina can because she was tired so they put her in an aquarium and she ends up choking. The whole turn around showing that some people are supportive but not understanding made the show feel nicer. It did not hammer in “humans are racist butterscotchcandy-holes. Yet there is also danger in the unknown a lesson that prompts Michiru to go back to Animacity and learn. That was nicely set up!

I also liked the stand off with Flip and Shirou and how a random guy just got killed by Flip. Shirou did not stop it.. so clearly he knows something we do not know yet. Shirou is also said to be a beastman with an immortal body by the scientisty bad guy person.  So things are feeling like they are heating up! Still we do not get overfed exposition and each episode just offers us some puzzle pieces. All in all this was probably my most enjoyable watch of the day.

Yu-Gi-Oh Sevens
Episode 4

Ugh… Episode 1 was all about Yuga, Episode 2 introduced us more to Rook, Episode 3 was about Romin so that means Gakuto is up next right? Will they colour within the lines?  The first 10 seconds already tell you that you are going to get what you expect and nothing more. A narration of the fourth main character shows us this is his episode. Unoriginal.. but maybe needed.. yet he turns out to be not very well written as this episode crashes before it ever takes flight. 

Gakuto is the studious boy the one who plays by the rules. He arrives each day at school at 6:66:66 which make me think he might be the son of the Goha President or something later on as that is exactly the time they give you to redeem your flaws.The episode for this plot is that the student council president has trouble keeping up with his work now that he hangs out with Yuga and Rook a lot. (I know Rook might be called Luke but my translation says Rook so running with that one)  So obviously to make time for his duties again he decides to ban Rush Duels on School Grounds. Yuga challenges  him to a duel and if he wins there will be no ban on duels but if Gaktuo wins they will promise not to duel in the school.

This already creates a problem, the consequence to this duel is to limiting for the narrative to ever take fruit. In the duels with Rook and Romin , Yuga CAN lose because it would not block the plot, in this setup there is no way the main character can lose because it would not allow the story to continue .. or at least place it under severe restrictions otherwise. This is somewhat resolved by letting Gakuto place his title as council president on the line.. but why would they force their friend to lay down something he loves that much.. that is quite horrible. Of course it could be to give him some free time to join their adventure but that would be super convenient again.

The duel itself is the worst one so far. Gakuto’s ace card SUCKS! By changing mode it can prevent either side to tribute for a 7 or higher level monster on the next turn. The set up he has to do to utilize this is quite large and the pay off blows. You can still special summon a level 7 monster.  Since it’s Yu-gi-oh this is super easy and the boy gets his ass handed to him by Yuga. Sure he learned to enjoy himself a bit more during this duel instead of sticking to ceremonies and traditions, that  was a trait he did not need to have from the get go. His aides never showed up before and now they are everywhere where he goes.

This feels forced and as soon as Gakuto loses his Student President title he gives it up as he promised… then he runs for Student President again in the next election which makes no sense! Why would the school allow these shenanigans, he also gets reelected (in favor of his only competitor Rook) as well. Such a weak choice! This really was a weak episode and the only highlight is that Romin wore a cute new outfit! I really like her more and more.

Episode 7

Ah that is better, a nice dose of Bofuri cuteness. The seventh episode is all about preparation for the third and fourth events. Mostly the guild competition. We see Maple grind a dungeon with Yui and May, the one with the Hydra she ate to get some levels on the two. Because of one Maple’s ridiculous plans to speedrun it the group manages to complete it under two and a half minute which allows them to gain a skill that doubles their attacks. Putting them on a similar track as Maple. Iz makes new hammers for them which they now also are able to dual wield..because of another skill they unlocked. For the most part I think this part of the episode worked quite well as they are a sort of reflection of Maple.  They also finally use a montage without skipping some sweet parts this time it skips grinding! Yay!.. Also I am happy grinding is a thing it makes the game more legit.

The white hammer girl is my favorite! She has pink details!

The second part relies on the guild members doing their jobs, gathering materials helping each other train etc. Kuromu is the only one who died enough times to unlock a secret dungeon from which he gets a pretty edgy armor that seems pretty good. He kind of feels like the Yamcha of the group.  Kasumi goes hunting for wool so Iz can craft robes for the event, which gives the group some bonus event drops. She encounters Maple while doing this who was playing with some sheep and learned the Wooly ability. An ability that allows her to turn into a ball of wool, or a poisonous ball of wool. Shielding her from attacks. It does seem to trap her though which results in some cute wholesome comedy. 

The final act of the episode has Maple wandering in town figuring out how to be useful once more when she encounters a quest.  What actually should be a high level escort quest becomes easy as Maple just flies with Syrup, This entire questline was my favorite part of the episode. The NPC spouts random dialogue based on their location which confuses Maple as she is totally immersed. The npc is startled by npc’s they fly over, the program thinking she is on ground level. I like this a lot, it contributes to the MMO feeling of this game, this episode that that very nicely throughout. The fact that Maple found the item needed as a follow up already and can finish it then and there is something that happened to me in MMOs as well, so that is some relatable writing. 

This ghost encounter…obviously ends up getting skipped…………….

Of course the questline awards maple a skill that breaks her even further, into complete unfair territories. She gains a skill named Loving sacrifice. By giving up a chunk of her HP all her guild members standing in the light share her defence modifier which by now has surpassed the 1000 mark due to her finding modifiers. While it is cute to see her transform into a golden haired angel I dont think this form has much to offer in the form of great moments that I love this show so dearly for. All in all quite a good episode.

Episode 8

An episode that I liked significantly less, than the previous episodes.  I likes Syrup Hyper Beaming a boss into oblivion but this episode to me waaaaaay overdid it in terms of hand me outs to Maple.  Let’s begin at the start though. It’s the day of the third event and the guilds can now hunt ..cows… for medals titled cow. Since these cows are kind of fast. Maple or the guild for that matter is not very geared up for it.  So Maple tries to find spawn spots where no one else can come using Syrup’s flight. Clever enough.. but she falls off and stumbles into a dungeon and a secret boss again. Using Wooly she survives his onslaught of Attacks while Syrup uses its new beam attack. Wiping out the boss first form.. the second form absorbs Maple and would deal her poison damage.. but since she is resistant.. she eats him up from inside. Thus Maple gains a demon form.

Like always we see Maple demonstrate the abilities to her group, who all acknowledge that Maple now officially has transcended into something that is not human anymore, completely leaving her humanity behind. While it sure is another funny, her getting a new form this close after her Angelic form and having it feel almost just as broken feels a bit wrong. Rather unrewarding. I still had some laughs for Maple sounding very ridiculous as a demon so it was still great for laughs it just didn’t feel clever or compelling. Slapstick if you will. Demon voice Maple still is something worth your time so do not mind me nagging on semantics though. 

After the event the third level opens which now is a steampunk , cyberish city which delights Iz for having so many new crafting Materials. As everyone goes explores we go into another montage which includes great things such as the “Do Not Push” button. I love this trope! I am sad yet again we did not see what happend.  By now I begin to notice how far Sally is relegated away in importance in these last two episodes. She barely said a line and even when Maple become an actual demon she was just there in the background. The whole real life thing also has kind of extinguished , which by now I kind of yearn for.. to see Maple normalise just a bit.

The final act involves Maple stumbling upon a questline again, falling of Syrup landing in a dungeon with a new mysterious boss with lasers that seems to knock her back quite a bit.  Trough an item she found during the last event she now manages to unlock a mecha form, with  big lasers and all sorts of guns going off. A well animated fight.. but TWO brokenly OP new forms in ONE episode. I mean I get that is part of the joke .. but the fight is also set up in almost the exact same way?! Again.. unlike Yu-Gi-Oh it wasn’t bad but it just is not memorable at all. I had trouble memorising this 3 hours after I’ve seen it. So Bofuri for me was a bit Meh! I totally want a Syrup though! Since this episode it talks and says Kame Kame.. so I am pretty sure it’s actually a Pokémon as Kame is turtle.

Hikaru no Go
Episode 4

Unfortunately even the fourth episode of Hikaru no Go could not stop this saturday viewing experience from being mediocre. As I feared Hikaru backed out of is fight with mister Touya thinking that placing the stone as epic as he did was because Sai took over his body. Mistrusting the spirit for a bit, this is quickly resolved.  I mostly noted that Sai at one point seemed to address us as the viewers, though it was probably just him thinking to himself, which felt a bit to in your face exposure like. Hikaru is beginning to like go and that is scaring him?! Alright?! Sure. Touya Senior seems intrigued by the boy but has not played him long enough to judge his skill.

He meets up with Akari and she invites him to some sort of fair.  Hikaru refuses not liking those kind of things. This is the scene I disliked the most because Hikaru really is a rASSpberry here. Maybe he is stressed ? Maybe it’s because he is so young? I am not sure. What’s even stranger when he finally decides to do what is right Akari doesn’t show up at all. I mean I would not wait for him either if he said he would not come.. but still it felt like a very clunky setup  Sai hints at possible romance but he gets the typical girls have cooties kind of reaction and both Hikaru and Akari seem to react against the character previously established. Hikaru seems a lot more prickly and Akari  seems much more spiteful towards the boy. She still sees him talking to himself and notices his behavioural changes, if you really like someone I’d say after being hospitalised and claiming to have a voice in your head you can at least give them a few days.

She’d even buy him Takoyaki! I’d travel to Japan for that offer!

Luckily the second half of the episode picks up the slack of the first half.  First we see Hikaru take some interesting puzzles, which remind me of the duel puzzles in Yu-Gi-Oh games, before a guy solves the final problem for him.. with gum! Uh-Oh! It’s a Go bad boy!  He looks like your standard Vagrant and bully and in a way he is. I squirted milk out of my nose laughing when he told his new passion though. This bad boy.. who looks like danger.. or a villain.. now is into SHOGI. He used to be into Igo but now Shogi is the shit, even if he has beaten Akira in a game.  Why is this so funny?! Because it is basically your high school bully, or standard movie bully if you never had one, saying I used to play checkers but that wasn’t bad ass enough so now I play Chess.  The way how menacing they made him sound while saying this was just hilarious to me. 

If Chess club looked like this.. they’d have Cheerleaders!

Obviously the two eventually decide to settle their difference over a game of Go, making some wagers that involve Hikaru jumping into a pool if he lost?! Seriously how uncool is man. Why do they try to make him so cool?! In every other show he would have a bowl cut, a buck tooth and super thick glasses. If he is the cool one.. how uncool is Hikaru?!  Regardless of this brainworm I had to yank out, their showdown is pretty well set up and seems very intense. Sai enjoys playing this boy so he doesn’t give it his all.  Once Hikari gets distracted by Akiri walking by he places a wrong stone allowing mister cool guy to get 5 Moku.. Will Hikaru be able to come back from this?!  Or will he have to .. jump in a pool.. find out next saturday.. I can hardly wait. 

In Closing

Now that last line sounded sarcastic and in a way it was meant like that.. but in a good way.. I find it funny how enthralled I can get by the little stuff in this show.

Overall all episodes where quite okay with BNA being the only one that really sang for me. It makes sense though I have been singing praise on Bofuri for three weeks now, at some point I will not see episodes that top the best. Hikaru fizzled were I think it could have popped and Yu-Gi-Oh.. I might drop that one at the 6 episode mark and first line up change.  Now that all characters are in play it has until Bofuri finishes to impress me or it will be pulled off the pink network!

When Bofuri is done one time slot will go to Tower of the Gods and one to another episode of Hikaru. If you have any good suggestions I could replace Yu-Gi-Oh with?  Let me know in the comments!