Screwed Tightly Salutations, my dear Island Guests. The series of Hikaru no Go has been impressing me a lot lately, with only some minor complaints. Having such a run has the effect of increased expectations and while I still really enjoyed the episode this week , this episode kind of fell victim to the heightened bar , sort of speak. It’s one of those episodes you watch with a smile.. but when people ask you have to admit, I’ve seen better.
Wakajishisen is drawing closer.. and might I add.. that’s a pretty difficult thing to write.. so from here on I shall call it the Tournament against the Pro players….probably. To reach this Hikaru has to reach 16th seat in A-Class. Luckily for Hikaru the episode starts off with him holding a sheet to Waya showing he has been promoted to A-Class. Seemingly kind of to the chagrin of Waya..who still thinks the bottom of A-Class is too low. Isumi corrects him and is more supportive of Hikaru. That boy that randomly shows up, I now know is named Fuku is being loud while Hikaru only sees the positive. When you expect him to first experience a few losses in A-class like happend to him in B-Class you’d be wrong. We see Hikaru win his first match. This match is against a spectacled kid who really thinks long about his moves, taking Hikaru out of his game a bit. In the end though we see the more impulsive and instinctive Hikaru is still able to pull out the win. His second match is against Fuku.. who is almost a mirror of Hikaru’s playstyle. The two are having a lot of fun together but Hikaru does manage to pull out the win.
We then move a bit of exposition and revisiting the past. While talking about great players Waya brings up Sai, how he met a player online and how he believes it was a person in school. We briefly go over the important victories of the Internet-Go arc but from Waya’s perspective Hikaru begins to find out who faced Sai in online matches. Waya is Hikaru’s third match in A-league and the talk about internet go continues. In his enthusiasm Hikaru blurts out he knows Waya’s internet handle.. making Waya think Hikaru might be Sai.. he actually figures out the truth that Sai is most likely Hikaru’s teacher as he can sense the essence of Sai in Hikaru’s moves but more unrefined. The blonde player lies though and makes up a story of having been in the internet café and just happening to see the message and Waya drops it for now.. he also drops his guard and loses his game. Hikaru also wins his fourth match… and none after that. However Hikaru did perform well enough to qualify for the tournament.. in the bottom slot again. A group of Waya, Isumi, Ginger Weevil Underwood, Pink Cardigan Girl and Drawns-as-if-he-isn’t important guy join Hikaru in a Mc-Donals like Restaurant where they discuss the tournament. We end with Ogata antagonising Akira a bit and in the final scene we see Tsutsui and Kaga leave school. Akiri cries and shakes his hand and Hikaru says his goodbyes to the two being wished success as an Insei.
Yet again this show does a great job at showing Hikaru’s progress in a fairly organic way. His strength can be measured, yet we also establish more flaws for him to overcome. We see him being an impatient player still, so even if it is not shown, we know he is prone to make mistakes. We also see he can get quite easily distracted. In Waya’s match he has trouble keeping his head in the game.. though his opponent is met with similar conditions. In a way this establishes the sense that Hikaru hasn’t stopped growing yet and it is not his classmates who stand in his way, but mostly himself. He remains kind of sloppy and unfocussed yet has this great “hunch”. In other words we really see his innate ability as a Go-Player and not so much the experienced Go-Player. Last week we kind of saw that experience being tackled to take the new step. So in a way we really quite literally see Hikaru climb a stair. He moves up one foot, his innate talent, but can not go further unless he addresses his experience, we see him improve that and now we have to see him feed that flame from within yet again. I really like this way of handling things. It makes things so much more… real.
I am also happy we at least got to see a bit of Tsutsui and Kaga again, it will probably be the last.. and it did not end satisfyingly.. but the chapter feels closed for me now at least. Yet again it also serves as a very subtle reminder to tell us what time of year it is with the terms of school coming to close. This means that about two months have passed since Touya’s match against Oza. It helps put Hikaru’s growth in perspective but also makes it seem fast. We just have such a great sense of how the overall story progresses I am really impressed. This is also reflected in how his class treats him. While we have only seen a few matches the group really treats him quite familiarly. Pink Cardigan girl (I do not know her name at all) and Isumi are some of the best examples. We did not see that much interactions before.. yet now they all hang out together. It is something not a lot of anime do.. bonds happen on screen only which causes the show to trip up! Hikaru no Go however is super consistent and feels almost as if someone is retelling their experience through anime…. minus the ghost part.
That being said however, I did not nearly enjoy this episode as much as some of the previous ones. While the world pacing is nice.. I feel the episode pasing is a bit wonky. It’s just match after match after match and instead of learning something Hikaru coasts through this on sheer talent. That once again is great in the sense of the series.. but as an episode it isn’t that particularly interesting. These matches are a bit more empty.. there is no gain from it other than getting Hikaru to Wakajishisen. We do not really get to see Waya’s playstyle. It’s nice that we see Fuku being more established but Glasses guy.. and “looking at a victory sheet nervously guy” I have not seen before.. they feel more empty so a part of the episode feels “hollow”. We see Hikaru take a couple of losses through a stylised bit (and I do like the visual) but I would have liked it if we had skipped “looking at Hikaru’s victory sheet Nervously guy” just seeing Hikaru mention getting that win and then show him taking an L against Pink Cardigan girl or even better Isumi. Both have been shown more before and it would have offered more weight.
I am also not sure how I feel about Hikaru just being promoted to A class from the start. I think I would have preferred to see another episode. Perhaps one that is more focussed around the inevitable goodbye of Tsutsui and Kaga, while Hikaru is fighting the top members of B class. This would fix two issues. The way Tsutsui got kicked to the curb (and to a lesser extent Kaga) and the empty matches. There would be more at stake. At the very least the episode could have been a bit more about the goodbye. A lot of the exposition about “Sai” was not needed. We get told something we have experienced already. I get these two characters don’t know stuff from each other but it really lingers on this talk. We as the viewer KNOW this stuff so I feel it could have been shortened with a bit more focus on new stuff. Now the weight of the episode lies in something we already knew and that feels a bit like a shame given that some other characters really deserved that screen time.
In no way this is a bad episode, it is just an episode that I think had it’s priorities wrong. It feels almost as if I skipped an episode as the build up to this could be a bit more dramatic and now felt.. slightly unearned. The pass towards the next episode IS earned .. that doesn’t help but feel like we skipped a step. I would have preferred to see Hikaru win against Waya in a more proper match… I am all for him winning against Fuku but for Waya I feel like Hikaru should have used “something” .. like playing fast to disrupt Waya.. he had enough info to do so .. it feels right that he won.. but it also feels a bit empty because I do not think it was handled quite right.
That being said it was a strong episode with lots of subtle implications, and that as a piece of the puzzle is a lot stronger than it is as a single episode. The fact that Hikaru’s growth is tiered is delightful to see and that several factors contribute to that growth more than I could have wished for. I can only applaud the show for being so consistent in it’s world building… if anything I had trouble with the “scene choice” Within that timeframe I would have picked a few different ones.. but in the end the tale that this episode tries to tell is quite enjoyable. I do have to judge this episode on it’s own merits though and for that.. given what has been done before is just not AS good. It’s a fine episode but that is where it ends for me.
Steaming Springs and Sprockets! This anime is just so good! This episode is quite amazing. My dear Island guests I am super happy I started Hikaru no Go.. it is such a humble show.. with such real problems.. it should be boring me to tears because I still don’t understand Go that well.. but I am truly fascinated. I loved how this episode brought us a conflict that wasn’t really set up…yet makes so much sense in the context of where the journey is going currently! It’s amazing!
Hikaru is stuck against a wall again. He has mostly been getting losses recently and isn’t progressing anymore. His chart does show a few wins but things aren’t going that smoothly. Waya notices this and invites him to join a game session with his masters and some pro’s. Hikaru thinks this is boring but Sai forces him to do so. While waiting for their first session to begin.. Hikaru encounters Ogata in the main lobby when he gets cold feet to join the pro’s. This leads Hikaru to be invited to the pro-workshop of Meiji Touya where Akira also will be. Hikaru refuses this.. he does not want to train with Akira.. but FOR Akira. Sai cries as Hikaru refuses.. but then Waya steps in , takes them to meet his teacher and Hikaru feels quite overwhelmed and uncomfortable. We also get talk of some tournament.. where young pro’s fight Insei! Hikaru wishes to participate and face Akira…but he then finds out he has to become number 16 of class one to even participate.. the pressure is on.
We cut to Hikaru losing a lot of matches and dropping all the way to the bottom of class two again. Dejected we see him get a Soda while listening to another Insei.. much older than him giving up hope to become a pro! Seeing this inspires Hikaru to try harder… but victories aren’t coming to him. Sai knows why! It is because Hikaru is facing off against an opponent as strong as Sai.. he punishes every mistake.. and because of that Hikaru has taken a much too defensive playstyle.. He doesn’t risk anything and because of that he can be countered and beaten rather easily! He needs courage in his moves again. Sai trains this in Hikaru and we see the boy perform better and better in the workshop! One day his old teacher, who is part of the workshop , challenges Hikaru to a match! Hikaru now fights with more courage as he goes in for the attack.
It has been a while but Sai really comes in clutch for this episode. We finally see him again in the capacity of Hikaru’s teacher, which before was mostly implied to happen offscreen instead. I am happy we finally see us get some mileage out of Sai as well. It even got some nice set up with the topic of teachers being discussed, thus once again the show slides into its subject matter in a very organic way. The lesson we learn today feels like it’s fits.. because we build up to it. Even though Hikaru’s wall is a completely new obstacle and mostly used as a narrative crutch to probably let him become a lot stronger a lot faster.. the show makes it feel earned. Hikaru training with Sai to master a new step of mastery of the game feels satisfying on all levels. We also see Akira is not bothered by his loss… also showing he has grown! He handled losses poorly in the past… REALLY poorly yet here we see a much more complex Akira, one that is much more following his own path. He doesn’t care about Oza, he cares about staying ahead of those currently behind him. Losses don’t matter because Akira’s goal lies behind him. Hikaru experiences the reverse. losses matter because his goal lies in front of him.
The last episode I complained about not using any metaphorical visuals.. which can make scenes a bit bland and sterile.. and lo and behold this episode uses visual metaphors. We see Hikaru and Sai battle with Katana’s on that neon version of the Go Board that signifies important matches. THANK YOU that is all I wanted from last week’s episode. This episode is visually so much more interesting than the previous one. We get less subtle references.. but there is also much less at stake here.. but we get a lot more colour, interesting set pieces, visual metaphors and just all kinds of goodness to keep us with the action. The cast this episode also has a bit more oomph and flavor.. they are more definable to me as.. moustachio man that writes stuff. The presentation is up by a lot.
Not really any negatives for me this week, just pointers that could have made this episode even better. The first element they could have done is .. not have Sai cry when Hikaru refused to play with Meijn and Akira.Sai lives in Hikaru’s head .. he should know how Hikaru feels , plus there was never really any sense of loss, he would still see pro’s play games. It is just not THE pro. With Sai realising that Hikaru’s current level has stagnated I feel like he should be smart enough to realise this and him crying once again played for comedy. I know the man is excited about the sports.. but he is also fascinated by all levels of it.. this felt a bit..ungrateful or something. Nothing too bad, it doesn’t feel like the same Sai we see for the rest of the episode.
I do still think that the show has too many characters to juggle around. Ogata pushing the rivalry between Hikaru and Akira seems a bit strange but somewhat fascinating.. but now we get Waya’s teacher and his group and we have Mejin’s workshop click as well, along with the girl Insei now showing up more regularly.. and that boy that really looks like Weevil Underwood from Insei class. It really helps the world of Go feeling large but it also really invokes.. “Wait who is that again”.. and the moment you start thinking you move out of the episode a bit. Maybe a flashback here or there for the viewer could have come in handy. This will probably be less of an issue if you binge this show a bit.. but since there usually is a week before I watch these ( I tend to watch them on Saturdays unless I have no time) if someone doesn’t show up for a couple of weeks all is kind of vague. A name sign appearing or a flashback could really benefit this cast.. even add some details like rank and stuff. Great info would make the show a bit easier to follow.
Episode 25 of Hikaru no Go once again gets my highest grade. Despite Sai crying is a weak scene, I can not say anything but positive about the rest of the episode. It offers a new obstacle.. a new element in the Go puzzle! Emotion! Hikaru must not just play with his head but also with his heart. Otherwise he will get ruled by fear.. and while I do not understand it in terms of Go .. I do know lots of gamers both analogue as digital who are held back by fear who I can wash because I dare to take risks. They play games a lot better than me but because they play the meta.. they become predictable and that can be punished. So I am happy to see the show also addresses this aspect of the game. It makes sense Hikaru becomes super careful from facing superiority all the time.
There is also yet another subtle reference in this. Akira has his father as a teacher, he trains the same way Hikaru trains.. but Sai acknowledges that Akira does not share the same flaw as Hikaru. This establishes that Akira still is pretty far ahead.. Because the Insei Akira they faced in the first episode… or at least in the rematch.. was already past this point. In a way Hikaru is at least one year of Akira’s pace development away from Akira himself. This episode does show that he grows faster though..They will come to clash.. a sense of inevitability is established in this episode.. but when it happens will all depend on if Hikaru can make his current deadline .. adding tension for the future!
The Merriest of mornings to you my dear Island Guests. My anime adventures this week have been.. lackluster, with a great start on Monday but after that it’s .. been .. okay. Luckily Hikaru no Go lifts the level with another amazing episode and I do mean amazing there is just so much to appreciate in this episode again. So many layers and subtle insinuations. I really love that a lot about this show and this episode might even take it to another level.
I have said before that I have trouble writing a summary but this one leaves me in quite a pickle. The entire episode is dedicated to the match between Akira and Oza and through clever dialogue , facial tics and looks we can tell how the match is going. As someone who can not play Go and has no real idea how the territories work still I am quite amazed with how I can follow a match on so many levels. Not only do the students and pro’s following the match offer exposition we also get told about facial tics of Oza while we already know Akira’s! Thus we constantly see a shift in balance. Akira and Oza are having a very close match while Hikaru tries to move through his own match to watch the spectacle himself.
Hikaru soon wins his match but is kept in place.. by formalities. Meanwhile we see Akira make plays that challenge Hikaru to come closer as it were.. almost as if he is taunting him. Hikaru finally walks into the specating room just in time to see one of the final taunts before the match balance begins to shift. Akira is put on the backfoot after dominating for a while. However He is not satisfied anymore with just winning.. he wants to soar beyond Hikaru’s reach and begins to play super aggressively. For a brief moment he seems to put Oza on the backfoot again. Yet as the onlookers are distracted by the fact that it is starting to snow outside..then Oza strikes back.. and finishes off Akira.. forcing him to resign and now having been defeated by not just Sai but by Oza as well.. how he reacts happens off camera.
This episode really did a lot for me! I loved this episode! It was so subtle in everything. Let’s begin with the way how the music alternates between its three main themes. The Heroic theme signalling how strong Akira is playing, the excitement team signalling he is losing ground and the sad theme to clarify the match has been fought.. but what was strongest was the end for me. No emotions no reactions, when the match is over.. we do not get tears.. we get no prolongation of the sad theme. We get silence.. with just a visual of snow falling in the background. It tells us how Akira will feel.. without showing us… without making us hear it from his mouth directly. The visual of the snow beginning to fall.. almost as the white stones Oza is using on the board almost seems like a omen.. of Akira’s defeat .. it makes sense and it puts levels in perspective. Akira has lost to one of the strongest players out there..but he did not get washed such as was the case against Sai.. leaving us with the notion that Akira IS not infallible and it keeps Hikaru’s dream alive and probably also keeps Akira from turning into a full on Antagonistic character.
What might be better is how subtle we are once again clued on Hikaru’s amazing progress. He fought the same girl he had his first match against (I think) the one he lost to pretty badly. Now he manages to win.. but that is not even it’s true strength. Hikaru plays this match very distracted yet he still won. He is SO good now that he can beat the girl he lost to initially while being distracted, once again showing how insanely fast Hikaru progresses. The way he looks at Akira’s match.. wanting him to soar once again makes him a bit of a counterpart to Akira. Where Touya is shown to at least pretend to want to blow Hikaru completely out of the water and to become unreachable , Hikaru wants Akira to do well.. yet we also see him kind of content.. not at first.. but we see him go outside and be a bit of a kid again. Almost as if we see him allow himself to take a bit of breath. I do really like how subtle everything is but also how there is such a sense of progress even when it’s not about our main character.. we still get that amazing measuring stick.
The show is super subtle it does tend to juggle with too many characters, Akiri, Mitani, Tsutsui all seem to have completely vanished.. and while I hope we will see some of them again, I do think a few of the new characters aren’t as strong. I still don’t know how that guy besides Waya is called. He is never referred to by his name except for maybe once or twice subtelly. He has his own arc like thing though .. with his wish to be a pro and his time as an Insei coming to an end. Touya’s older friend is there as well.. but again I do not have a good idea of his name.. he is just there to spectate. There are many people active here.. and while it makes sense for so many to be interested in Akira and I do remember the characters but they have a bit of that “who the heck are these guys” vibe.
While the visual references in this episode are great, there is a bit of a lack of pisaz sort of speak. The snow falls against a pitch black sky No details. We get very sterile and clean environments, and sometimes characters lack detail when there really is no need for them to lack such detail. I get it’s school and it will look clean.. but everything looks just a bit too clean. The match part between Akira and Oza is fine for a location where we spend almost half an episode I at least would like just a BIT more of “set dressing” I get it from a manga panelling sense that lacks a whole lot more space but the backgrounds can be a bit bland. Add an interesting cat poster.. or a ticking clock on the background.. a mani neko or heck even some transparent images of the match you are talking about. Saki and Beyblade are examples on how boring scenes can be made more interesting.. If people talk in imagery down in the stands we get these detailed still shots.. for example they say Akits is on the offense.. in Saki or Beyblade they would have depicted him as a Samurai running in for an attack. While it clashes with the subtle tone of the rest I don’t think it would be detrimental as the worlds already are spoken.. no need to be subtle about that. Offer us an interesting visual to break that monotony.
While that last point might seem like a big negative.. it isn’t really. I enjoy the show thoroughly so that last point doesn’t keep this episode from getting my highest score. After all I deeply enjoyed this episode. It is simply a discourse between the genius moments in the show and the “regular” exposition. Like I said this show is very VERY good on cinematic level..when something is going on… when LESS is going on the show can feel a bit… on a budget…and while it doesn’t make me enjoy the episode less I do realise it has the potential to do better. Both itself and other shows not that much older show how it can be done. Cowboy Bebop which is even older has a lot of grey visuals as well but it just adds something in the picture so a background is always interesting, so it’s more that I want more of a good thing than I think this is bad.
I thoroughly like the outcome of this match.. but like I said last week.. it has been set up to not really matter.. or so I thought..the implications for Hikaru made me enjoy this episode so much more! The clever little hints on what is going on really sing! When it began snowing I first felt like… awww shit Akira is going to lose.. and when the music stopped I was like .. Holy Arceus.. he really did lose! Followed by.. Oh wait this is actually really good at Hikaru.. aww look at that he is so happy and Hikaru isn’t losing who he is just in this pursuit.. this was an important match! I am happy! This is a good episode.. This is better than a good episode. I hope this show can keep it up!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Welcome back to another episodic review of Hikaru no Go my dear Island Guests. This series has been the first one I have faithfully kept up with. It sure has its ups and downs .. although mostly ups. The last few episodes have been stellar so I was kinda disappointed that this episode broke that streak. It isn’t bad it is just no way up to bar with the rest of the episodes that came after the Internet-Go Arc started.
I will have a bit of trouble filling two paragraphs with the plot this week because it is really quite simple! Last episode we saw Hikaru move on from his Middle School Go Club to go and head on to the Insei Exam, this week picks up with the start of the test. At first glance Hikaru seems rather unimpressive with the examinatior. His matches are sloppy, his playing style is too aggressive and he doesn’t have any notes of playing worthy opponents. As the exam goes along he discovers more and more about Hikaru’s potential though. For example he finds out Hikaru has only been playing Go for a year and he played his 3 matches simultaneously. After losing the match to the examinator Hikaru.. barely .. passes the test. With some doubt in the head of the examinator and a lot of stress in Hikaru’s body!
The second part of the episode we see Hikaru play matches against the other Insei about a week later.. they are all intrigued in himn because he blabbed about being Akira Touya’s rival which makes everone want to play him..and Hikaru loses all his matches, showing he is back on the bottom of the foodchain again. We slowly see him becoming.. “half” friends with Waya and a guy whose name did not stick yet for me! Waya’s buddy at least They have lunch together and Waya jokes about a very weak player from Kaio High. We get a bit of an explantion to how the Insei classes work.. there are two tiers , first and second class Insei and by winning your way among your class and against superiors you can climb up the ladder. This Kaoi guy was known for how unremarkable he was and the lack of talent, eventually leading him to drop out. This guy turns out to be Kaoi’s First Board.. a guy Hikaru thinks is way out of his league… demotivated Hikaru leaves the class.
This episode is significantly weaker as the episodes that came before. Many of the show’s normal strengths are not present in this episode. The cinematography is a lot more bland, the pacing seems off and the natural flow the series has is stifled with a few plot points here and there. What the show does well however is creating that sense of unfamiliarity. Hikaru had to give up playing with his friends for this.. he is in a strange environment and he basically went from the strongest player to being the weakest again. The show does a very good job at fleshing this out in the second part of the episode. My favourite scene is where Hikaru loses to a girl. He has always disrespected Akiri to a certain level as a Go-Player so making him suffer a loss like this is a good way to put him with his feet on the ground again and awaken a passion to grow.
The fact that we do not cut to see what the others are doing helps in establishing this sense of Isolation. We see Waya’s cruel and mocking side. In a way to me this reminded me from the behaviour change from primary school to middle school… or whatever definition is used from the one you leave at 11 onto the next one. Suddenly all the people you grew up with are gone or in different classes, the whole Kumbaya atmosphere has dried up and kids are more cruel and mocking to each other. This truely made it feel for me like Hikaru has indeed advanced to the next level. We also finally get an explanation on why he on occasion ignores Sai.. apparently Hikaru can’t speak to him when he is concentrating really bad… I kind of wonder how that works with a voice in your head.. but sure! As long as it’s established it can happen I am a happy camper! Sai addresses it so .. that issue is fixed for me now. All in all I would say the episodes nails what it is trying to tell… the way it is dressed up though….
I was super excited to see the Insei exam… it could have been something really special .. but instead it’s a rather bland match against the examinator that get’s plagued by the shows weird sense of comedy again. There is a cultural thing about the sitting position and etiquette that did not land..but well that of course is forgiven.. but all in all it’s just a bit of an odd element. We see the stress in his eyes in the beginning..but as soon as he learns he does not need to win to pass the test all tension is broken. The exam isn’t over yet and I would have liked to see that reflected a bit more.. perhaps maybe even offer a written test with several Go puzzles to solve.. like the ones Hikaru got in Go School earlier on.. having it all come down to a single match, lacked some serious tension. This also comes into play in the second part, where Hikaru first doesn’t seem to bothered by his losses.. which DOES make sense with the character he is but it doesn’t make for a great and enticing chain of events.
The trigger that pushes Hikaru into the next phase is most stupid yet. It’s a conversation about black coffee. The subjected needed to land on Kaio’s first Board and apparantly he was a student that at a young age like the Insei already drank Black coffee. Waya and the other Insei remember this trough a wrongly purchased drink.. and seeing the man Hikaru admires in terms of skill being nothing but mediore at best deflates him. It’s a natural chain of events that can occur in daily life.. but it isn’t a particularly interesting one. As the audience we are not in the know of this and can not link that to the guy so for the majority of the talk it’s just banter about black Coffee. The eventual reveal isn’t that impactful either.. because if Kaio’s first board really had the talent to become a pro.. he would have done so.. so it makes perfect sense that he is a mid tier Insei. While I do get the impact it would have on a kid as Hikaru we as the audience don’t really get anything to be excited about from this exchange… not even that much from this episode even.
I do get that this is where the story needs to go, but it doesn’t match up with the pacing we had of the last episodes, suddenly everything stagnates.. which is fine.. that happens, but it happens with a whimper. If we could see Hikaru struggle more with his own confidence from the moment he passed the Insei test and see him start reading more about Go to close the gap already that would have made an impact. Instead we just gloss over the test and then see Hikaru struggle..but that struggle only becomes a burden when some kind of obviious knowledge is revealed. It just doesn’t flow very well. Had this episode been a two parter, with the exam in this part and the introduction to class as a second this way of approaching things could work. With the relief lingering in episode A and the Road ahead being paved out in Part B. This does the right thing but it has no weight.
I do not feel as frustrated as some of the other “bad” Hikaru no Go Episodes, but this one genuinely had me bored. Obviously Hikaru is a .. barely passable.. level Insei because he loses to Kaga and Kaio’s players still who don’t even try out for Insei. The exam isn’t exciting because it is glossed over and half of it ..is comedy. The early losses don’t matter because Hikaru doesn’t care yet. Had he heard Kaoi’s first board was weak just after passing the exam and would have frustrated him prior to coming to the school doubting his skill, everything would have had a much bigger impact, yet as things were now I did not care. With no investment I can’t rule otherwise than to me this episode was just Okiwi.
Hello again my sweet Island Guests. It is time to watch animated characters place some black and white stones on wooden boards again. My return to Hikaru no Go did not disappoint! It also did not blow me out of the water, we get a very good development episode that leads us into a new arc.
In this episode we pick up immediately after the realisation that if Hikaru becomes an Insei he can not play in School Tournaments anymore. Mitani takes this particularly hard saying he was forced to play with them in the first place. Refusing to believe that Hikaru is going to leave them.. clutching on to the idea that this is all a mistake. This forces Hikaru to freeze up! His friends all want him to stay and sacrifice his dream. Then Kaga shows up and supports Hikaru’s dream.. to demonstrate how far he has grown Kaga suggests Hikaru does three simultaneous matches against Kaga, Mitani and Tsutsui. Hikaru wins against Mitani and Tsutsui but loses against Kaga. However during these matches we see a small visual cue in a blink and you miss it moment. During his match with Kaga.. . Hikaru shows the same type of look on his face that Touya has.. cueing us in on the fact that he is VERY serious.
We see Akiri be determined to learn the game more since Hikaru won’t quit Go .. just the club, and so in this final match we see how strong Hikaru actually is. Not only did he win 2 out of 3 matches, he also remembers them one by one, stone for stone in the order they played out in. A talent that may be useful to him later on. We then see Hikaru head to his Insei exam and are reintroduced to Waya, who by just glancing at Hikaru thinks he will pass the test. The examinator however does not seem to be very impressed by Hikaru and his written matches. As Hikaru is given a three stone handicap for this match we see his gaze turn all serious again as he places his first stone and the exam has begun. Which is something we will see in the next episode.
A very strong episode once more for Hikaru no Go, while I had trouble with it’s pacing earlier on, the show has been on a streak lately of setting it’s pace very nicely and making all episodes relevant. This episode once again does an excellent job on providing us a measuring stick on where Hikaru is in terms of “power”. The show has been doing an excellent job at this lately! Since the exam is held in December, and summer vacation usually ends in September, we are at least 3 months past the Internet Go story bit. Last episode we got the amazing fall visual and now we have the impending deadline telling us the progress of time. By spreading these events over such a large span of time you really get the feeling Hikaru’s skill increases are earned, compared to for example Yu-Gi-Oh or Saki where skill levels get boosted out of nowhere.
The strongest moment in the episode was of course Hikaru showing that look he knows Akira for, we see that the boy who thought it was just something to appease Sai has vanished and now we see an actual Go Prodigee who wishes to delve deeper into the world of Go. The Hikaru we see now is not the same Hikaru from episode 1 .. not even the one from Episode 18 even. This Hikaru is what our protagonist wanted to be way back in episode 2 and in just a few frames that is made perfectly clear to us! Once again this same emotion is reflected in the cinematography of the matches. When Akira faced his “boss” we saw a colossal hand on a board aglow.. These matches..we barely see any stones… it symbolised Touya feeling overwhelmed.. and out of his league. This time .. we do not even see the stones being placed on the board. We just see Hikaru mostly calm.. but feeling the tension between the people playing.. by seeing them depicted in a face off. The only match we see stones placed is the one with Kaga.. his skill matters.. but Hikaru has outgrown the other two.. This is very nicely depicted once again. The show is great at that.
The episode does have a few downsides for me which mostly come to play in the second half. The first half only makes me wish that we would see an episode that is focussed around the females of the Haze Middle School Go Club, showing Akiri’s determination to keep on learning. Yet Akiri is somewhat more of a background character with text.. which is a bit of a shame. The second part makes Hikaru go to the exam with his mother .. who is completely under utilised.. he went there alone the first time and now she just tags along to go drink some coffee. She has no real role there other than shifting the camera perspective on Waya for a brief moment. She doesn’t feel very supportive yet she isn’t unsupportive either.. she is just there. We have seen her show up a lot lately which I would have assumed would hint that she has some role to play or will see her son play.. maybe reveal she was very good as well.. but nothing happened causing a bit of a “filler dialogue” feeling when she is around.
Other than that there are a few moments where characters shift facial expression to a more cartoony comedy expression. While I do not mind it on Hikaru, I already said I disliked it on Sai and this time they use it for Kaga. The comedy moments aren’t funny as it is just a teacher looking for the guy and him making a funny expression for it. I get works as a reintroduction for Kaga and establishes a motive for him to be where he is.. but after they return to it and to me it really doesn’t fit the moment, nor the character. I told it once before the show isn’t that good at comedy. I get why they would think they need it ..but the way it is utilized clashes with the rest. Hikaru can be funny.. but the others.. I remain unsure.
A very good episode that very well did what it was supposed to do, yet at the same time due to some strange choices surrounding a few characters it wasn’t as compelling as it could have been. It does everything it needs to do and it does it well yet ends up somewhat restrained. I had a lot of fun with this episode and i am looking forward to the next episode.. but I am mostly interested in just “one” thing.. aside from seeing the Akiri centered episode.. which I doubt i am going to get anytime soon. It’s Hikaru’s exam. It’s a very straight path forward and that means I enjoy it a lot .. but also I feel it has less potential to surprise me in the future.
I would have loved it if Mitani’s plight had been played up a bit more.. but a comedy moment of Kaga smashing him into the floor kind of ruined that thread for me. He just got knocked down and was told to get over it. Hikaru is a friend and they should support him.. deal with it. We may still see Mitani’s character come into play surrounding this but now I am not sure. This is where the show drops of from the highest grade to one step lower for me. It feels as if comedy shut of a plotline I was quite invested in and it annoyed me a bunch. I’ve come to love all these characters and would love to see them stay at least a bit relevant as time comes. I get phasing out Tsutsui after all he is graduating but snuffing out plotlines with comedy.. feels a tad iffy.. It might not have happend but it is the feeling I got.. which is enough down to bump it down JUST a nodge.
We had Sunny’s first post this week! I signed my lease and now per November I will officially be moving and I can already tell it will cost me a few blog posts here and there! There is quite a lot to do and I am super excited for it but it is also quite stressful. So much to do so many elements I need to account for! Just one more month! So… it is also important to relax! Luckily I could kick up my feet and enjoy 100+ minutes of great anime! In this week’s instalment of my anime adventure!
Digimon Adventure Episode 8
I love this show, it really is great! there is no doubt about it! Once again this episode managed to show us what a character really is about while also making great narrative progress and the choices being made here are pretty smart and exciting again. However a few odd choices make this episode a bit harder to believe than last week’s episode.
Riding Ikkakumon, the group of Taichi, Sora, Mimi and Joe make it across the water. However a Fortress is blocking their way. A military grade blokkade. A pair of Solarmon which are a recolour of Hagurumon will lead to an apelike digimon to fire at them with his special attack as well as summon hordes of tankmon! When the group gets in trouble they are saved by Yamato (Matt) and Gabumon. Lone ranger style, he plans to sneak into the fortress and take down Gorillamon. However with the hordes of Tankdramon out there he finds himself overwhelmed and has to rely on his newfound allies. Experiencing something new to him.. he thinks of them fondly as everyone helps Yamato get closer and closer to Gorillamon. Empowering Garurumon with the power of friendship he eventually manages to take down the threat Together they took down the fort and with a proud roar of Garurumon atop of the tower. Mimi and Joe now can take down the Tankdramon.. using their abilities to attack bigger crowds to their advantage and also giving us a cute Mimi and Joe moment that reminded me of Chopper and Usopp from One Piece! Yet there also is a fair bit of interaction with Mimi and Yamato! Could that be a thing?! Inside however Agumon finds a secret lab that seems to contain a part of the ancient tablet with more information about the holy Digimon.
So this episode was Yamato’s episode and the way they let him use his crest .. at least the one he had in the old series of friendship was pretty sweet. The visuals used for the pacing and even that awkward focus on Taichi flickering smiling in Yamato’s eyes.. it feels much less like a rivalry and the beginning of an actual friendship here. In fact I believe we might be setting up to get “Ultimate” evolutions already. Everyone seems to possess the ability already this time their digivice has the symbol of their crest and the threat that is created this time seems much more real. While I like that concept it does worry me for Devimon, will he pose a challenge… will he evolve?! Was he just an easter egg?! Regardless we see the kids grow in a rapid pace and I really do like that.. given the circumstances they are in it seems like they pick up stuff at a believable pace. The fact that we also immediately establish Yamato’s roll as a sort of speedy infiltrator who breaks through the enemies lines really works wonders. However once more it is established he can not handle this alone from the get go.. everyone yet again has their role to play. This episode is action packed and the way the music is used was amazing. It felt so satisfying! Mimi got a good joke again where she got attached to the luxury of a towel.. Joe gets it destroyed by trying to use it as a white flag and while Mimi mopes, Palmon reveals it was actually Sora’s towel that Mimi just “took” for herself. Keeping that queenly quality intact.
Unlike last time however I do have a gripe with this episode. Joe and Mimi fairly easily took down 20 Champion form Digimon. Tankmon even! These are Data Attribute Digimon who should be resistant to Vaccine Attribute digimon like Ikakumon. Togemon CAN be a virus attribute and thus be more effective but it more often than not is a Data attribute. So it does feel weird how 2 champions and take down 20 without much effort. They do make smart use of their Area of Effect style attacks..but it feels a bit much. Where before all Digimon more or less can take down one digimon of their level. They do fix this somewhat by seemingly giving the “wild” digimon less special attacks to work with and we can see the chosen ones empower their digimon trough their digivice but I think 5 tankmon would have been enough.It is a bit of a shift in digimon logic towards more of a situation how Digmon works in the Digimon World or Cyber Sleuth games and while I appreciate that I felt it lacked precedence. Had the Digidestined commented.. wow we are becoming really strong, I would have been fine with it but now a sense of the “frailty” of the classic Digimon is gone.
The frailty however is traded in for some pretty epic scenes and much more grand scale battles. You really sense someone wishes to see the Chosen Ones dead. It becomes bigger than your average monster of the week and I do really like that feeling. The chosen ones feel much more in the control seat this time around and this episode did make me miss the humility of the old show a bit! Yet never was I not entertained.
Samurai Flamenco Episode 15
This episode both made so much sense to me and not much sense at all. It really does feel like something that would happen in a season change between Sentai shows again and while super clever from a Meta Stance.. in universe I could not help but to have some questions.
Masayoshi faces off against his look-alike who is revealed to only be his metaphorical brother. He has a tail! They talk for a bit and after Masayoshi convinces From Beyond Flamenco he has a right to be there and the will to fight, From Beyond Flamenco commits suicide by letting Masayoshi shoot him. This causes all the evil to vanish but the drilll inside mount Fuji! By sacrificing Flamen Robo the group manages to stop the drill before Japan is destroyed. We see the classical ranger season close up with people giving up their power and returning to their daily life.. when suddenly the government comes hunting after the Flamengers. Pink Green and Black get arrested and Blue suffers a off camera defeat at the hands of the Prime Minister of Japan… being completely beaten. The only one who gets away is Masayoshi who is aided by an american hero! He is declared an enemy of the state and we see people he used to be close with react to the news. Something is very wrong! The Prime Minister wished to use the disaster to get re-elected..but now has a too low approval rating..but at 72% it seems he should be good! What is he actually planning! The show keeps us in the dark as Masayoshi tries to go into hiding.
This episode was fascinating. It had all of the elements of how Sentai shows usually wrap up! It felt rushed, with a very odd plot-twist and with a ban on all vigilante activities in effect, Samurai Flamenco seems truly defeated. It is a great way to go into a “third” season of sorts and it very much reminded me of the narrative structure of power rangers. The Tarantino like dialogue returns and their is plenty of enjoyable action and mystery. My favourite scene is how the flamengers say goodbye to each other in front of their decommissioned base with an epic power walk.. just for Masayoshi to return to visiting his grandpa’s grave. The new hero introduced is hilarious as well. Trying to get Masayoshi away from the police safely he drives this super garish american truck! He sings the american anthem to calm Masayoshi down and in a way he really reminds me of All Might.. but with more Sentai camp.. there is a lot that works here.. if we view this as a Sentai show and watch it on a very meta level. It does indeed remind me of why Akiba -Rangers worked so well for me …but where that show stays very ridiculous this one sometimes tries to eat a cake and have it to.
There are so many logic leaps in this episode. Why did Fron Beyond Flamenco commit suicide, if the goverment wanted Japan to be in trouble why not decommision vigilantes as soon as Samurai first showed up, why give them award first and then brand them as enemies of the state.. that sounds like you weren’t clever enough to notice at first! It really does seem that the government had better options to betray the flamengers before. If you want viewers’ approval why not evacuate innocents before VIP’s then you say it could not happen because the Flamengers asked people to fight with them.. I do not know but I felt like there were more effective plans. Overly complex plans are part of the Sentai Tropes, sure.. but the show always puts these tropes more in the context of the real world.. so this just felt weird to me! I bet all will be explained before long..but right now.. I feel things are becoming a bit messy.
While I deeply enjoyed the events that unfolded I had very big trouble with how everything unfolded. The villains were defeated very easily and Japan just turns hostile against Flamenco while he saved the town first. He goes from idolised to being completely hated again, and the evidence the provide for this is his conversation with Beyond Flamenco. Which proves he looks like a bad guy!? How?! A guy that looks like an orange disolving people with extremely acidic OJ exists as well as a monster that is the AK48 of monsters. Why would you assume that the fact that a copycat with a tail existing means the other guy is evil?! So many weird monster abilities have been shown yet no one in Japan thinks.. maybe this monster can mimic faces? Maybe they took his face to confuse us?! I had a hard time believing it all and as a result never gotten that settled into the episode! It’s a good episode..it just lacks that golden touch that makes this show into what it is.
That Time I got reincarnated as a Slime Episode 14
I thought Gabiru was going to die… but he did not! He got saved by Rimiru.Which is a shame! He gets a bit of a redemption arc this episode alongside the one he got last episode but I still really do not like him! It seems we are nearly done with him though! As the Lizardmen War arc is wrapping up.
Gelmud appears on the battlefield and explains to Gabiru he needs to die! He wants to feed the orc so many people so he can evolve once again.. into a full Demon Lord. Transforming form an Orc Lord into an Orc Disaster. While Rimuru easily wipes the floor with Gelmud we see the Lord just stare at the one sided fight. Geld the Orc .. likes the idea of becoming an Orc disaster and decides to eat what he thinks will get him there fastest. He decapitates and eats Gelmud! Who has been hinting at doing his masters bidding! Keeping that identity secret and taking it to his grave. Now an Orc Disaster Geld is only consumed by hunger even more! This means Rimuru has no chance but to kill him.. and aided by the Ogre’s who now can’t damage the Orc enough because he is super regenerative …Rimuru at first struggles with this fight. Showing us a new trick of letting the great Sage fight for him Rimuru becomes a dominating force once more but after the Great Sage makes a misplay and tries to burn the orc with the power of the Efreet.. to which he is immune, Rimuru has to take over. His plan .. Devour the devourer! Thus as Geld becomes more and more covered in slime and falling prey to Predator.. we see a flashback of him being a pretty good guy! But falling to sin! Rimuru reassures him he will take on that sin but that Geld needs to die! After an argument we see Geld’s skin dissolve and with Rimuru promising to do his people right in the end..he gives up and gets consumed! People cheer as Rimuru is the victor.
This episode delivered on a lot of good action! The Gelmud vs Rimuru fight was cathartic and the Majin got what he deserved. The Ogre’s versus the Orc disaster was futile but had amazing visuals and shows how amazing the Ogre’s are once again as they could damage him pretty bad…he could just regenerate faster. Great Sage versus the Orc Lord was visceral and filled with all sorts of clean special effects that made it look very spectacular. We see so many abilities being used it really feels like a battlefield, even if we are only seeing one versus one fights the scope of the battle is much bigger. While one sided like most Isekai the visuals still made it all feel exciting and I think that is important for an overpowered Isekai like this. It’s fine to have an untouchable main character..but if we can not get the thrill of an equal fight just go ham and display some crazy abilities! Something Isekai Cheat Magician does wrong for example. We get lightning bolts, dark fire, “Ultra Instinct Sign Rimuru” , We get Efreet Mode Rimuru , We get a clash of noxious Orc aura with a bright silver slime. While it might not be thrilling what we see on screen it certainly is badass.
I did enjoy the episode and the pretty visuals, I liked how Gabiru was touched by his allies giving their lives for him, the orcs doing the same for the king they believed in and Gabiru really wanting to save his allies rather than get himself to safety.. I liked the badass action.. but I missed the humor of the show. The only real joke that was made was Rimuru having his face resting underneath Shion’s boobs again. Other than that it is mostly just a bit “witty” spiderman like banter. I missed those moments of Rimururu fawning over Souei, or people looking stupefied over how easy he actually ate a Demon Lord class foe. I also kind of disliked how both Geld and Gabiru both got completely redeemed. It’s nice that Rimuru doesn’t have a bad person in him ..but please let someone be a bit more flawed. Have Gabriu stay a selfish bastard and let him rot in jail.. let Geld actually be a war hungry ORc who did not rip off his own arm to feed children.. but lost it in a fight to eat a pair of children. It almost felt a bit “christmassy to finish this episode and during the flashback I did find myself losing interest in this episode”
The badass action kept me glued to the screen for most of the episode so I can not say it’s bad.. it is better than fine actually, as the issue I had with this episode might have just been something I was not in the mood for! I wanted more badassness as a drug, but it ended with a moment of wholesomeness that just stopped it being perfect for me! I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong.. I just don’t want that christmas spirit all year long.
Flip Flappers Episode 10
Okay I was wrong about Mimi but the moment I saw that flashback I knew exactly how things went! That’s amazing! And the implications! The implications! Well I am not sure about the implications actually .. but it ‘s nice to see it’s all connected.
This episode has a much simpler plot than most episodes! So here we go! Yayaka is recovering in the medbay and the evil organisation she belongs to attacks Flip Flap to get her back and also takes Cocona to get the shard that is embedded in her leg! As the base is overrun the Amorphous twins reveal to Cocona that Yayaka became her friend for fake reasons while Papika got her memory back and remembers Mimi finally! This leads Cocona to believe she is also just a replacement for Mimi to Papika and no one really cares for her.. as she flees the base and leaves everyone who betrayed her behind.. we see a flashback of Papika and Mimi bonding and discover Mimi is not that amorphous girl.. no she looks very very much like Cocona.. hanging out with Salt the three have fun together.. with Salt romantically interested in Mimi. Mimi and Papika partner up in the past as Papika and Cocona break up in the present. When it turns out that Cocona’s grandma is secretly a robot belonging to the evil organisation and she orders her to be captured and anxiety attack triggers all the amorphous shards not fed to the evil machine to fly into Cocona destroying robot grandma and the other evil robots.. from a broken mirror we see Mimi talking to Cocona that Mamma will protect her now!
Wow.. Mimi is Cocona’s mother .. so I was right that Pure Illusion is very much linked to Cocona.. I was wrong about Mimi being evil though! But this probably means Salt is Cocona’s father?! He isn’t a very good dad then! But well I bet he shares her (old) eye colour hidden behind those sunglasses. I am almost certain of it! I am slightly annoyed that it was yet ANOTHER break up episode.. that’s like 3 in 10 episodes or so and now Papika has to swoop in again.. but this time I completely understand! I get she felt like this. She is a test subject to both Flip Flap and the other organisation. I do not get why that other organisation exists yet though and this episode really made me intrigued. It’s like I have been tossed a very tasty worm and I am about to delve into it, hook line and sinker, I am a fish in this case by the way! It feels like we are really picking up in terms of story. Since the amorphous pieces allow you to control pure Illusion I believe these shards are part of Mimi?! She seemed to control Pure Illusion, and once they flew to Cocona she got her mother’s eye colour?! I do like this feeling of being so invested into something and I really hope she and Papika can work things out and that Yayaka is safe! I was so invested that I forgot to pay attention to what I particularly liked.
I do dislike how often Papika and Cocona split up though! I do get that Cocona feels deceived here.. but Papika has also proven to care for Cocona several times over. I get our protagonist feels betrayed. I just feel really REALLY bad for Papika. She tries so hard and gets so far.. but in the end it doesn’t even matter. I really would have preferred to see the conflict go in a way where Cocona wants nothing to do with Flip Flap but Papika can’t give it up and then Cocona taking her leave. Telling Papika she hates her feels a bit much after all the love the girl showed her.. and love I think Cocona should realise is sincere. The conflict of the last episode even dealt with that. That being said Cocona seems least aversive of Papika and I am glad at that, I just can’t escape the feeling that for a two protagonist series The orange haired girl sometimes becomes to much of a side character and her actions “stick” less.
I really adored the episode overall, there was a lot of enjoyable action and reveals and I was thoroughly entertained. My gripe seems big but I am also fine with this turn of events.. It’s more that I really would have liked Papika to be appreciated. It reminds me of a friendship I had and while I did not use my friends for a weird organization led by their dad.. I did a lot for a few friends and then none of that mattered..because I went to an event I really REALLY liked while they had to work. I was so villainized for it. Like myself I think Papika should have more leeway here.. and because it felt the past did not matter I like this episode slightly less than I could have.
Hikaru no Go Episode 20
This was a very interesting episode to me! It clearly sets up events for an upcoming arc and it also feels like we finally have arrived at the meat of the story. Hikaru’s chase of Akira is brought to new levels.. but it comes at a price.. and I like it.
After meeting with the First Board of Kaijo School Hikaru is called out for being too whimsical! He finds out that Touya Akira already has become a pro and that if things do not change soon he will completely be out of his reach. Hikaru has to get serious. To do so he has to become an Insei.. with no patience in his heart he tries to register for the “december” exam. Given that we see it being fall during a few walking sequences that is only a few months away. There are problems though! The registration has closed, Hikaru lacks a sponsor and he needs to log three games at least, to participate. A big wig in the Go world, whose name I keep forgetting, but we’ve seen him before around Touya Senior, takes interest in the boy and decides to sponsor him. When Hikaru goes to tell his friends they tell him he can’t be an Insei and participate in amateur tournaments. Now he has to face a dilemma to chase his “rival” or continue to stick with his friends. With Mitani seeming to push him towards the tournament but Tsutsui being a bit more silent.
The episode sets up a very interesting Dilemma and I really appreciated the weight this episode had. It feels like we are finally not just getting an arc but also as if we are finally reaching the next stage of the “main” storyline. Where the first few episodes almost feel like a first act, the high school tournament arc functioning as the inciting incident/ second act and where the internet go arc “wrapped up” the introduction part…. this feels like the first act of a “meatier” story. As a result this episode has so much weight. Becoming my favourite watch of the day as a result. Hikau’s character traits make him very different from the other Insei candidates which results in him finally coming more into the role of the “actual” protagonist. While I liked the tiny arcs it feels as if I could really use a bit of a bigger story. This episode provides that for me with some interesting visuals again to convey a time pressure and we got a very solid episode.
This episode once again had very little lows for me. I like the direction it has taken throughout. The only dislike I have is how the third Go girl is introduced. She is a bitch of a bulky chubby..masculine female and the animation lingers on displaying her “ugliness” as a form of comedy and I would think this show is above those cheapshots. Sai does his childlike thing again…but this time I do think it makes more sense. I like how he gets excited about silly technology! I do not like it when he gets childish over Go! It feels conflicting with what we have seen of him before. This episode knows when to make him serious and when to make him silly better than the previous one. Another mild issue I had is something in the writing that almost feels like a mistake to me?! It’s the fact that everyone is so shocked that Hikaru is taking the exam because Insei can’t participate in amateur tournaments. However becoming an Insei is hard and Hikaru at this time is not at that level yet. From what I understood at least people usually fail their first Insei exams as most do not pass their first Pro exam.. it feels more like an experience they need to go through to get good enough? So why does everyone assume Hikaru will become an Insei first try?! It feels a bit foreshadowing.. as if the characters have knowledge they should not have. As if I enlisted to get a house somewhere and people already started giving me housewarming gifts.
Most of my issues are mostly ponderings though, the only thing I did dislike is the “ugly focus” but since we haven’t seen anything of the character yet I will let it slide for now! Hopefully they keep focus on her and don’t repeat the joke again and she is just a token to fill in a spot so the girls can play. Who knows if Hikaru becomes an Insei this early there might not even be a school tournament. I am at least very happy that the story is getting some serious meat on it’s bones!
That was a pretty great watch still! Obviously after perfect week I would have a few minor issues here and there this week..because in the face of perfection you can not help but stand out! Still it was amazing! Next week I will meet my sister and we will trash some of my old stuff I do not need to take to my new place. With the move happening somewhere in the next month you can expect me to miss a post here and there because real life stuff will get in the way.
As for blog content, you will see a new Anime versus Western TV show Cross-over (Part 1 out of 2) we will discuss the final Blood Rayne movie and we when October starts I will start doing a lot of Halloween themed content. Most of my content wil be about Spooky Stuff! Saturday Anime Adventure will keep going .. during the month.. as long as I am not doing moving activities..and since people mostly can help in the weekend, expect to see a few skips on that in the weeks to come! I will try to have a replacement ready though but time will tell! I hope you will have an amazing next week!
Yo Island Guests! So I’ve decided to give these things episode titles now! Why?! Well if you can’t guess from the title you don’t deserve to know! Teehee! So how was this week for me?! It was pretty solid! I haven’t heard of my new rental contract yet so I am a bit anxious for that. Dad quarantined himself so we did not get to see him again either. So instead me and my sister went to visit mom and we had a nice afternoon. Board Game night at Bean’s place was pretty fun as well and tonight my GBF is coming over and I am sure that might be nice! Speaking of Nice… this week’s anime… it was perfect.
Digimon Adventure Episode 7
Wow.. normally I’d rank my episodes saying which spot in the top 5 they take. This week however everything was really really good! It began with Digimon really impressing me and I was sure it was going to be my favourite episode of the watch as soon as I saw it.
In this Episode the Chosen Ones travel towards the sea in an attempt to cross it. Mimi is lounging in a chair enjoying the tea that her butler Palmon made for her. Having no sea worthy digimon in their team they decide to evolve Biyomon into Birdramon to scout ahead. When they encounter a strange vortex in the water , Bidramon gets hit with a mysterious attack and takes some serious damage. With a defenceless Biyomon the group has no chance but to retreat. They are helped out by a cheerful young Digimon named Gomamon who tells them he has a partner as well and he brings them to Joe. Joe Kido is the senpai of Taichi and Sora and they vaguely recognise him but something is wrong! Joe isn’t at all interested in being a chosen one. He knows he lacks the physical strength and the courage to be a hero and besides that his family RELIES on him to become the next generation of doctors to help people in a way where he CAN make a difference. He refuses a partnership with Gomamon because of this as he can’t let people down. Gomammon travels with the group and they decide to cross the canal but they have to deal with the tentacle digimon named Gesomon.
Since Birdramon got injured last time and used a lot of energy to keep her evolution up so long to scout the last time she is out of the fight for now. Thus Gomamon decided to be bait and lure Gesomon to shore so Greymon and Togemon can fight with an advantage. However because Gomamon gets injured the squid like digimon flees back in the water again and the group is at a disadvantage. Gomamon gets slapped around and Joe, who came to spy on them, feels responsible. Gomamon needs him just as much as his family needs him to become a doctor. Gomamon being aquatic is the only one who can help them here.. they have to rely on him. Joe realises this and talks to Gomamon, who tells Joe that it doesn’t matter if he isn’t;’t brave or strong, they are a group he can rely on others just like they can rely on him. Joe accepts this which causes Gomamon to evolve to Ikkakumon. Using his Harpoon Vulcan technique he alongside his friends defeat the evil squid. Joe joins the team and on Ikakumon’s back they travel across the water-straight.
Okay so that is a whole lot of plot.. but I had to because that was the strongest thing in this episode. I loved how everything was so connected into a compelling narrative where everyone was needed. Bidramon is established as a scout.. but also gets taken down for understandable reasons. This gives Joe and Gomamon a perfect opportunity to step in. Joe not having time for Gomamon was established as a problem in the earlier show as well but it came AFTER they had bonded so much which always made me hate Joe.. to make him start off with that trait and to burden him with his virtue however was such great thinking. It feels like a much healthier version of Joe. Early on he was amazing but after S2 was launched and especially in Tri he was this mean selfish bastard. This actually fixes Joe for me.
The way they kept in the princess Mimi thing with her having a luxury chair out of nowhere also felt funny and it made her stand out so much more yet again. Having Taichi rely on Mimi instead of Sora like he did before also spreads the screen time across the chosen ones and for every narrative problem that could arise in this situation they had a valid solution. This way you can unlock the Ultimate stage digimon way sooner as well as everyone really is working on that virtue they have so I expect this to be much better paced. Maybe not even needing a mc-guffin like the crests. I loved the animations and the camera angles for this one too. We got much more close ups which allowed for much more detail to be inserted here as well as it made the ocean more vast and the Digimon bigger! It really did everything right for me.
This episode did not really have any weaknesses for me that at least are not inherent to the genre. The monster of the week was a logical complication for a problem that needed to be dealt with the way things unfolded made perfect sense for what this episode needed to do and Gomamon and Joe got a fantastic introduction. This show seems to be way more focussed on the characters rather than just the adventure and it works out so great for this show. Now that they polished away last weeks cinematography/graphic issues nothing can stop me from giving this show my highest rating.
Samurai Flamenco Episode 14
After last week, thoughts of dropping this show came into my head if it did not pick up by episode 15. Yet by Arceus.. this episode improved SO much! It threw some amazing twists at us and it felt “fun to watch” again
Last week’s episode was a rather big downer for me tonally it seemed to grim and while this episode continues that dire situation there is much more a hint of positivity again. The Hero’s dilemma has been dealt with and Masayoshi is receiving positive feedback from it.. as well as negative but he stands by what he does. From Beyond will attack the next day and the government is not playing very nice only wanting to evacuate VIPS. This results in Masayoshi making a plea to the people to help the Flamengers out.. but mostly to stay safe. The president scolds him for his mistakes but it seems the choice is made and so we move into the final battle. A battle against the 60.000+ members of From Beyond. The group uses their Robo’s to fight them but quickly get overwhelmed. There are to many tiny monsters, and also a need for the combiner robo but they can’t do everything. When Flamen pink is about to die she gets rescued by Red Axe who recruited all the other Sentai who now have actual Sentai powers. I love that trope in Sentai episodes. They all fight together when the strongest member of From Beyond contacts the Flamengers requesting to meet with Flamen Red. It is then revealed he is From Beyond Flamenco.. Massayoshi’s brother.
This episode is gempacked full of sentai goodness. The Sentai cross over is always my favourite moment in any power ranger series and even though we only saw the other sentai as fictional characters in this world somehow seeing them show up still feels amazing and powerful. The monster designs as well as the silly sentai designs make sure that this episode is also gem packed with humor, even if there are no actual jokes. There are just so many visual gags that this episode is a delight to watch. The action is fun and I worried for Flamen Pink. We get a few great scenes where Mari is being picked up by her friends as well as Mrs Kaname finding that handkerchief revealing it is actually from Flamen Pink trying to convince Joji/Red Axe to commit adultery but he refuses it. So many characters here get a redemption arc just before Japan is destroyed and that is pretty amazing. The glum atmosphere is washed away with tons of fun references and a lot of negatives are revealed to “not be as bad” as they think! Yet with Japan at stake with a big monster in a Mount Fuji.we can’t rest yet! I am so excited for next week.
Do I have any negatives to this episode? Not really and that will be a theme across this installment of Anime Adventure. The only thing I will say here is that I am a bit dissapionted that Masayoshi’s brother was not hinted at before. In a way it makes sense because it’s always a mystery family member that shows up but I would have liked to see their twist on this rather than them doing this trope. This is only a nitpick though as I am happy with this one as well. The one sloppy thing I found a bit dumb is the fact that non of the Flamengers family decided to be rescued. Some have a great reason like just having triplets and thus the flamenger only having five spots to give away.. and not having room for the childeren.. but others felt dumb. “We do not want to be saved, because you are in love with a married man” seems like a stupid reason to die for.
The fact that both Sentai and human’s fought side by side paid tribute to what this series is about for me and it shows the two sides of Masayoshi.. this entire episode to me is a perfect mix between season 1 and season 2 and works towards a great conclusion of that story arc. I adore this episode not only for being vastly entertaining but also fixing some past mistakes! I know this series has a habit for that.. but today I was completely blown out of the water.. and that is why it earned today’s rating.
That Time I got reincarnated as a Slime Episode 13
I can’t believe they actually gave Gabiru a good fight, I also can’t believe how badass this episode was without Rimuru even doing a single thing. This episode made the “side” characters shine and shine they did in a very good episode that was the great buildup to an even bigger battle.
Now that Gabiru has betrayed his father and taken the crown he takes the offence to the orcs, not knowing about their Hunger ability that allows them to steal abilities from the dead. When a Lizardman gets eaten by the powered up orcs, suddenly they can move through the swamp without problems and any advantage the lizardmen have gotten is gone. Luckily Rimuru’s ‘dreamboat’ Souei saves Gabiru’s sister who then meets up with RImuru a bit later on. The slime names her acting chieftain and forms an official alliance. Now the ogres and Gobta can official step into battle. Ranga as well. While the dryad confronts Gelmud in the forest Ranga, Souei, Shion Benumaru and that old guy.. I forgot his name.. show of their skill. Which easily wipes the orc army of the map. The lizardman king is also rescued and he is glad to have these powerful allies. Rimuru watches from the sky and finally finds the Orc Warlord as Ranga effortlessly deals with an Orc General and evolves into a Star Tempest Wolf.
While nowhere near as narrative as any of the other episodes here, this was such a “power walk” episode. One of those HECK yeah. Where Digimon was one of the best written episodes, and Flamenco was the ultimate redemption and the best “on brand” episode. This one made me feel so good and it was such an epic feeling. I love how these creatures can decimate entire armies with a snap of their finger. The way it is all brought onto my screen is really good. The poses, the difference in height, the colours, the motions. It all felt very satisfying. Yet my favourite moment is when Shion reassures Gabiiru’s sister he is going to save her. Not only reflecting her perfect faith in him.. but also doing her job as his secretary. When she used her Getsuga Tenshou like attack and waved at Rimuru after having created a giant crater was great too. It had the perfect tone for such an episode for me.
Dislikes.. well.. I am kinda sad Gabiru did not die.. but that is more personal. He had a pretty good fight against the general, which actually works as a great measuring stick to how powerful the rest is. Gabiru is slightly below the Orc General and Gobta can knock out Gabriu in one attack so he is most likely above.. and he is one of the lesser warriors of the village. Gobta not getting the kill on the general is a bit of a missed chance and maybe powering Ranga up more was not needed.. but man his special attack looked so great. So while I can come up with a few flaws I can also give a counter argument.
This episode is something slime really needed. We finally get to see what the evolved henchmen of Rimuru are capable off and despite them being so powerful I felt thoroughly entertained. It is a nice twist on the Isekai genre to not only see the protagonist overpowered but his side characters too! This episode just really worked for me and it made me a very happy Pinkie to be able to watch this. I could come up with flaws but I was happy so who cares.
Flip Flappers Episode 9
I never would have thought that I would like an episode with a negative mindset so soon after seeing Cocona restore from one, but this one really worked for me. I also begin to suspect some things here as the plot thickens.
Cocona is angry at Papika for calling her Mimi. Thinking she is insensitive for misremembering her. Papika isn’t aware of any ill actions on her behalf and gets angry at Cocona for ignoring her and treating her like filth. When they dive into Pure Illusion again they arrive in a scene almost like the loading room in the Matrix. Yayaka is send to deal with them and steal their Amorphous.. a new Amorphous sister who kinda looks like Papika is to be her replacement if she fails. When Cocona is trapped with the other two twins Papika and Yayaka fight over Cocona and the Amorphous. We find out how Yayaka and Cocona met over medical testing.. but we also find out their friendship has been staged as Yayaka is supposed to monitor her.
Papika gets pretty beaten up by Yayaka but despite the twins lying to her Cocona eventually finds out Papika really DOES care about her. Breaking the trap. The two are reunited but once more attacked by Yayaka. Papika gets taken down and the two childhood friends face off with Cocona losing. When Yayaka is forced to cut out the shard in Cocona’s leg.. she refuses and the twins attack and nearly kill her. Papika saves the pair and the twins leave with the shard. Papika and Cocona bring Yayaka to Flip Flap where she is about to be nursed back to health.. waiting for any news Papika has a drew and yels out for Mimi again revealing it was her former partner.
This episode was the most emotionally powerful of todays line up. I felt genuinely concerned for Papika , Cocona and even Yayaka. I understood this conflict as well.So I get why this became an issue. To me it seems to indicate that Cocon indeed is falling in love with Papika and coming to accept it more and now being mistaken for someone else hurts. Yayaka balancing friends and duty might not be a theme directly related to me as I would not be in her shoes but it is a place I saw some of my friends be in.I loved that Papika finally stepped up for herself and would not let Cocona treat her the way she does. She is indeed a super loving grl and she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.
The empty world with the defective trap fascinates me.. I think this is once again a reflection of Cocona.. and with the mystery that has been building up, pure Illusion might resolve more around Cocona than we are led to think. That medical test that happened on her.. the fact that she has a shard in her leg. I also think Papika’s former partner is the third amorphous child. The other ones are called Yuyu and Toto so Mimi would fit that same namesake. Meanwhile Papika, Cocona and Yayaka also have a very similar naming convention. So I still think Yayaka might become a third Flip Flap girl if she doesn’t die.
Okay so these weren’t exactly positives about the show but any show that makes me thing this much must be captivating. I don’t see animated characters , I genuinely care about them! This episode made me realise that more than ever. I felt for all of them! It is structured in a way where it really does that very well. The fact that nothing except the characters exists in this episode highlights that.. Well there is the defensive trap which I think symbolises Cocona constantly putting up walls towards Papika. First because she is so dangerous, because she is so weird, because things happen she did not expect etc. I should be talking about the negatives in this paragraph but as you might hav guessed there are none.
I never like the break up trope, so when I saw how this episode started I was super worried, however unlike episode 7 I think this episode did it well. This fight stems from a bigger narrative that drives the plot further much more than the incident in episode 7 did. The fact that the fight was mutual this time helped that as well and the fact that these emotions feel earned. Not only is this is the first “our heroes” fight episode in Flip Flappers that I REALLY like., I think this one is an example on how it should be tackled for other shows. This is my new benchmark for that trope! So with that honour what other grade could I give…
Hikaru no Go Episode 19
After last week I was afraid that I would be shoved into an arc about Akira and Waya and I would not see how much Hikaru improved after the Internet Go arc. Luckily I was proven wrong.. I was so wrong.. and I am super happy about it!
The deals with Hikaru’s return to school and people noticing his growth during the holiday. He beats Mitani with a handicap in his favor and he beats Tsutsui without a handicap! Finally he seems to have caught up! Sai now wants to play Hikaru but there is one problem. Hikaru has no Go table. So he goes to his grandpa and ask him to buy one for him, he even wants to play Go with him to buy an expensive one.. or get the table that Sai possessed. His grandpa is astounded by Hikaru’s talent showing he was a prize-winning Go player himself. While grandpa would win he forfeits as he thinks Hikaru has become so good in such a short timespan that he deserves one of those go tables with legs.
This allows Hikaru to play Sai and after working out some “bugs” in their playing we see he grows stronger so fast that he can even beat Mitani on equal grounds. Akiri meanwhile gets a new female recruit for the Go club and gets confronted with her feelings for Hikaru..Mitiani become more serious and Tsutsui is having to graduate this year so we are introduced to the new rules of this year and a new “season” of Go.
This episode was the most rewarding viewing experience of all the five to watch. You finished the Internet Go Arc “here you go.. all the character development that happened during that arc will be neatly presented to you” Once again I love it! This is what I said I wanted to see last episode and it is exactly what I got. While it lacks the spectacular imagery that the previous episode had it was a great touch to show the next tier of this story to begin where it all began. At Hikaru’s grandpa’s house. To show the progress by taking him past the Go club he used to visit by making him face both Mitani and TsuTsui! There is cleverness in that design. We know how weak Hikaru was at the Go Club as he got kicked for his weird behaviour and barely could follow, now he can beat their strongest student. We can see him face Tsutsui and Mitani and they acknowledge him for his own skill not Sai’s now! We see the passion he has gotten for the game. This episode did so much for Hikaru!
The title of this 19th installment is not for nothing. This anime also gets my highest score! I had little to no gripes. Seeing Akiri do her thing was nice and we even got to see her develop and recruit a female friend. I am so happy for her. However there is one gripe I had with this episode and that is how Sai is depicted. He has been depicted like this before but he is obnoxiously playful when begging for a game. His awkwardness around the board feels unprofessional. His demeanour doesn’t fit that of a ghost who commited suicde over losing a rigged match in front of the emperor. I don’t mind if he gets like this sometimes but this guy is supposed to be the absolute zenith. He displays this whimsical a bit too often and when facing an extremely strong opponent I get it.. but for facing Hikaru it seems a bit much! Still a nitpick but it was an actual gripe I had here.
The fact that Sai can be a tad annoying did not make me think that much less of the episode though! It is still very good and I do get why it happens. This show needs that kind of flavouring as well. I just wish I could respect him a tiny bit more! Now I just like him/ I like him well enough though so all in all I am still very happy with what unfolded for me today! This weekend was the perfect weekend! When it comes to anime at least!
And my weekend ended perfectly! At least when anime is concerned! Besides a bad migraine on Monday I had a great week! For the next week I will actively pursue my rental contract for my new home! So it will be an exciting but also kind of stressful week. I would see my dad again but he cancelled out yet again, which this week is actually nice as I have more liberties to chase that contract I want so bad! I am so happy if I can get out of this place! We have a verbal agreement already just waiting for the paperwork!
For the blog next week! I am going to tell you about the adventures in my Pokémon Heart Gold Randomiser Nuzlocke started this week, I watch a movie about a very jumpy prince person and I play a retro game one again! We will also see Sunny’s first post go live! Telling us an amazing story about fishing! So you can look forward to that! Speaking about something fishy!?! Did you know the fictional museum of Paradise holds a cursed jewel that is said to be worth a lot of money?! Well I know of a shady guy who really wants it! If you don’t want me to do anything FISHY, like that please consider supporting my Kofi page!
My dear island guests! Yet another week of the less beloved year of 2020 has come and gone! It has been an interesting week in which I experimented a bit with post order and I will continue to do so in the near future! I want a bit more liberty with writing and all! I started doing a Pokémon Randomiser Nuzlocke, picked up Oblivion again and started Fall Guys! I watched another video game movie and this week the blog featured Kuro’s first ever post! Check it out if you haven’t already! I also finished a random anime and loved it.. and then I watched 5 anime I always watch and that is why we are here today!
Digimon Adventure Episode 6
The introductory chapter for Mimi sure left some impressions. Some good, some bad, some a tiny bit ugly! Yet like these past few weeks this series is yet again among my favourites of week! This week though it had some stiff competition and it fumbles just a bit too much to end up as my favourite but still taking a very honourable second!
The plot of this episode as predicted deals with Mimi joining the group! Sora and Taichi are trying to find the holy digimon while Japan is drawing closer to their power outage. However spending so much time in the digital world has already made the group hungry! When they discover purple trees with golden pumpkins they get trapped by Mimi and Palmon who are defending the trees from some monster called Tuskmon! Revealing Mimi is a princess of a village of Tanemon and Palmon is her butler we see classic Mimi.. but with a twist. The group does not know her and thus she mistrusts these new people thinking they may work for the Tuskmon. When Ogremon wants to kill the children he uses the Tuskmon and a Drimogemon to attack. Taichi and Sora fight the Tuskmon but Palmon gets nearly killed by Drimogemon.. Mimi who through some of Kochiro’s tech saw her Grandpa is in danger in the real world and now is about to lose her friend.. as Palmon lays dying manages to activate her digivice and evolve Palmon into Togemon. Defeating the boss monster of the week with Coconut Uppercut! A second technique! Greymon breaks off Ogremon’s horn who cries out in revenge as we leave this week’s episode.
This episode is amazing yet again! I love the way Mimi is introduced to the group! Being a princess of this village and it all feels very happy and very Mimi! While a bit snooty to call Palmon her butler it feels more like a childs play than actual belittling.. and through her we can see .. “oh that’s right these chosen ones are only children” Mimi likes protecting these girls and is clever and shows great tactical insight. Which could bounce off nicely of Koshiro’s insight, Taichi’s bravery and Sora’s powerful support. She adds to the group instead of just being there. I don’t know if it will last but for now.. she has a role! Something else she has is a REASON to be involved. She has her own goals and missions. She sees her grandpa is working hard and is stressed trying to save Tokyo.. so she wants to help him. She isn’t just a girl that got teleported to a mysterious world and now follows the group. Mimi is an established character! Yay! Palmon laying on the ground dying was a very powerful moment in the show and through a strange form of sincerity that did not feel forced we see her identified as the Crest wielder she is! Kudo’s! The time slow down is also introduced in this episode which is a great choice as it gives so much more pacing options!
That being said, it was introduced in a bit of a weird way. I can understand how Koshiro does not experience it because he isn’t deep enough in the network yet but because they communicate through their digivices the fact that it is “patched” out seems a bit of a cop-out. At least it IS explained which is great but it feels slightly cheap! It has implications that all the digidestined should be in the digital world and Koshiro is the last one heading there and if that turns out to be true ..credit where credit is due but for now.. I found it just a bit meh! Taichi gets a spotlight again and once more the only stock footage evolution and that is a shame. Sora using Birdramon would have made more sense in the moment but she was passed up for the hero! She joins in later.. but much less spotlighted. Taichi doing his thing was my least favourite moment! That however did not affect my appreciation of the show however and it would have gotten a maximum score if it was not for … weirdly enough. The animation. I noticed this episode had worse animation than before. Not persé in battle.. but because of all the Tanemon a lot of wide shots were used. These very much lack detail, not uncommon but when you hold on shots like that or have conversation IN shots like that it really stands out. I actively questioned many shot choices and it took me out of the episode.
I love what this show does with it’s writing.. even the parts I like less I am still glad they include. It’s like an extremely detailed figurine. Sure you might see a slight imperfection here and there but you still get a lot more detail than from a basic Funko Pop! This show really feels as if the original series was just a Funko. This episode contributes a lot to this new world so I love it! It doesn’t look very pretty this week though! Which makes drop it from a perfect score to an almost perfect score!
Samurai Flamenco Episode 13
For the second time in a row this show offered me my least favourite watch of the day, with quite a bit of distance to the other four! That being said this episode is a lot better than the previous one! Yet it is also less special! I am glad it returns more to its roots and offers some interesting choices but what this episode really lacks is charm.
We skip ahead in time yet again and we see the Flamengers deal with the aftermath of dealing with the Four Generals of From Beyond. They were only rookies. Part of the 64 ..Elites or something.. who are nothing compared to the 256 .. other words. The group discovers that the evil army has about 65.000 monsters or something! Forgive me for not knowing the exact number.. but let’s just say! They will be overwhelmed and they will lose. So for that reason they want to try and evacuate Japan when the Prime Minister steps in and tells them not to tell people! He wants to ready the police and evacuate some VIP’s first before wide panic ensues. He pleads with the group to let him do this and talks about the politics and the purpose behind it. He looks insanely evil though for some reason! But he grovels for the group and they decide to trust in his instincts. As a flamenger they all can save five people important to them.. and Masayoshi wants to save 7. Who will he not warn.. who will he put in harm’s way?! We see him struggle with this.. and his doubt about the politicians view. His mentor tells him he will go down fighting and not evacuate and he will not tell anyone but the next day he is gone! Tossing a memento of his wife. While Masayoshi deals with more of the responsibilities and the real politics behind being a hero.. he cracks and on live tv warns the public of their upcoming disaster.
While it lacks the charm of the first 10 episodes this episode at least follows it’s themes a bit closer again. It is about how real heroes have to make choices that aren’t always “morally white” and Masayoshi’s inability to cope with that. What the Prime Minister said to get the police ready for the chaos that is to come makes a lot of sense, to evacuate VIP’s first to keep structure in these times does make sense.. but is it right? Is it the hero way? Is putting those people endangered to save everyone more heroic or is that actual evil?! It is good writing. I like to use this trope in my roleplaying games and I do like it here! I also like the fact that the enemy doesn’t blankly send out monsters one by one as they know they will get slaughtered like this so now they go for an all out attack instead. Goto’s talk with Masayoshi was my favourite scene, really reflecting the struggles very well! But why doesn’t Goto know about anything?! He is a cop right?! Should they not be getting ready?! Is the Prime Minister up to something here?! I am curious to know so at least the show has me eager for the next episode again! We are only half way through the series so a new enemy has to come at some point still and we still have one form of Flamenco to be introduced! The real form! The one we see in every opening!
This episode though is extremely glum! Only the first two minutes have a hint of a joke.. unless Mari walking out of the bathroom of Goto counts as one. It feels so somber. It fits.. but at the same time it doesn’t. There is an energy to this show that is completely lacking in this episode. It makes sense that it is.. and it has somewhat done it before..but at least then we had Mari or Yun or Red Axe to balance it out. Here I felt as if I had been punched in the gut. It just goes on and on about this choice and shows us how hard the choice Masayoshi has to make is. It shows all these lovely people who care for him.. and him throwing up at the stress. We see him have nightmares of children being crushed to death, we see him struggle with the fact if he wants to save his agent or Goto’s girlfriend. These types of choices should not be taken lightly so I get why there is no comedy from him.. but alleviate it a little at least. A brief Mari in the shower scene doesn’t recharge our battery. It feels as if Christoper Nolan (Batman Begins) suddenly took over directing this series from Joel Schumacher (Batman and Robin)..same IP but the tone just flipped!
In the end I do think this is a lot like my feelings about Flip Flappers last week! It is a needed episode, but it is not a fun episode. It makes the story stronger but I found only appreciation and no entertainment here. So I will rate it as fine! It does everything it needs to do and it works.. it really does.. I just do not care for it that much.
That Time I got Reincarnated As A Slime
I HATE the Gabiru character so much! I find him so annoying and of course this is the episode where he ruins everything for Rimuru and friends. To make things harder for them! I really REALLY hope he dies! No redemption please just kill him! Please! While I did find enjoyment in this episode it is only on the 4th spot of overall enjoyment because of that stupid lizard!
The Dryad we met in the last episode enlists Rimuru for aid, confirming what we have known for two episodes now! And the Orc Lord is coming! But he has a unique skill! Starved! In which he is very hungry and consumes everything on his way gaining their ability. Thus mimicking RImuru to an extent. This prompts the slime into a call to action and he sends Souei to form an alliance with less idiotic lizardmen than Gabiru. When the idiot lizard wakes up he finds there has been a jester in his camp! Someone who tells him lord Gelmud thinks Gabiru needs to step up if they wish to defeat the Orc Lord, confirming this new threat to him. in order to make him believe his father is weak. The Lizard King does not wish to accept an alliance with these strangers unless he meets Rimuru so arrangements are made. Souei asks the lizards not to fight alone because their dead will fuel the enemy army and the king gracefully agrees. However since it takes 7 days for RImuru to get to the marshes.. Gabiru shows up before and overthrows his father. He fights the orcs out in the open and sees them power up as they devour their dead while the narration tells that the man has made a horrible mistake.
This episode functions as an exposition episode and those usually aren’t good..but by using the skills of the dryad the show does manage to do some exposition spam without it feeling forced.. it is just her ability! It also does a great job at keeping Rimuru’s neutral stance intact. By offering him a treat he can not ignore he is forced to intervene as the threat becomes to large to ignore. It really establishes Rimuru’s thinking style more as that of a regent of sorts rather than an OP hero! He doesn’t want to lose anyone so he does not want to take needless risks! This episode all brings it in balance without feeling to “change of heart like” My favourite scene is Rimuru having a massive man crush on Souei calling him a Dream Boat.. to me it shows how Rimuru’s mind is changing and how he likes it not having to be the one who always tosses the first stone! I laughed a lot! Shizune was cute in the brief moment she shined and all in all I did get those good old feelings the good episodes of this show gave me.. I just got a whole lot of other stuff as well.
All the Gabiru stuff is pretty bad, I really hate the character.. not in the good way as in I hate his qualities.. no I hate that the character exists. I hate that for no reason at all his followers keep clapping for him no matter how often he gets his but kicked or how often he is made to eat his words. I hate how he basically is named in SO much forsight for this weird plan of Lord Gelmud whatever it is. I hate how his father’s weapon actually recognises him! With everything that happened so far it just feels SO un-earned. The show goes out of his way to show he is weak, delusional and not very tactical yet expects me to buy that he has so much respect because Lizards are a warrior race?! A warrior race knows when to fight it doesn’t just like to fight there aren’t barbarians! When another army approaches that will chop you to bits a warrior race would fight tactically.. look at the spartans..but no! Just because there needs to be a complication everyone follows Gabiru! The father barely tells him he is waiting for a super powerful ally that can resolve this situation much better than they can. He doesn’t tell the orc lord can consume the dead so he must not attack.. he just gets send to jail so Gabiru can make the stupid mistake. Everything about the whole character is dumb!
While the episode does a lot of clever things with Rimuru and raises the stakes it also enforces complications on the story that are completely not needed. Just raise the base power of the orcs a bit to give the same level of difficulty from the get go .. and you could have the exact same story. Heck tell the orc army ate half of their own so instead of fighting 200.000 average soldiers you fight 100.000 that are twice as strong that is still pretty darn scary those numbers are scary enough! There is no reason for Gabiru to exist here other as to make the plot trample. While I did enjoy myself with this episode more than I did with Samurai Flamenco this episode feels pointless to me.. pointless but entertaining versus useful but no entertainment. The fact that I enjoyed it more..keeps it just a smidge above the formers grade as I mainly want to be entertained.. but please let the show pick up again!
Flip Flappers Episode 8
Lasers, Gatai, Aeroplanes and buff bodybuilding pigeons! Apparantly that is what I needed to give Flip Flappers my number 1 spot of the week again! After the slow paced episode of last week and the somber Cocona this high energy , positive episode was just what I needed. Thank you Flip Flappers!
Cocona , Yayaka and Papika are playing by the pool! Yayaka is glad to see Cocona seems to be a lot better than last time! Showing she truly cares. When Papika gets a little too playful she and Cocona end up in the swimming pool but instead of taking a dive into the cool water, they are plunged into deep Illusion. We see a cold and sterile world.. very cyberpunk like. I would assume this is a look in the mind of Yayaka but as always I can’t be sure. While Papika tries to eat some electric cables Cocona gets attacked by a laser spitting pidgeon monster with more muscles than a Jojo’s character. Papika saves her and together they go Flip Flapping. The monsters are a bit much for them though so Yayaka steps in to save them much to the dismay of her partners. Failing to get the amorphous shard she retreats. Laser Pigeon gets back up again and gets killed by a tiny professor guy who claims to have built this city. It turns out his city was a utopian paradise filled with tech and cyberpunk coolness! But it all changed when the laser bodybuild animals attacked. Lead by something he calls a big creature that he fears.
Papika and Cocona who are double the size of the scientist think they are big as well and step outside to fight the creature.. that is about the size of a Kaiju! With their magical girl powers unable to do enough damage.. they get into tiny mechas.. that can Flip Flap into a combiner robot! The girls are easily defeated though so Yayaka meddles in and Flip Flaps along them into an even bigger combiner robot that destroys half the city in a giant beam attack.. but also the Kaiju! Of course all these mecha’s have a golden eyebrow thing because.. it’s mechas! When the bad guy lies defeated the twins Yayaka tags along with snatch the Amorphous but the tiny professor steals it back and hands it to the girls who earned it. Yayaka lets them have it and the twins swear to tattle on her! Post credits we see Papika call Cocona Mimi by accident which triggers her and that is yet another episode that required me to summarize the plot in two paragraphs.
This episode was bonkers again and I needed that! After the last two humble episodes I needed magical girl transformations and little did I know I needed combiner robots as well. I theorise these stand for Yayaka’s feelings towards teamwork. Her old team is clean.. uses hi-tech stuff and operates with precision and a sterility that is not seen from the girls. Yet somewhere she really wants to work as a team. And so the combiner robots come into play! Who only works to their maximum potential if you shout and let go! Emotion is needed as that is what really makes a team work, you can strategize all you want but if you care for each other you can achieve more than what you thought was possible! I love how this message is combined with very Gurren Lagann like visuals! The way fusion is first achieved, the whole shouting thing, it seemed very similar. Even the way the golden eyebrow thing is more a crescent than a certain v shape like in Gundam made me think of Gurren Lagann a lot. The ridiculous combinations helped. And Since Tengen Toppa is my favourite anime ever.. this episode almost seems as a tribute to it REALLY sang for me! These are the messages I like to see in a magical girl show and no one was really depressed for once! Great! It looks like Yayaka might switch teams and might become a third magical girl maybe..and I really hope that she does but I will have to find out in the future! I am looking forward to it at least! The Mimi thing in the end could maybe give Papika something to go through instead of Cocona all the time! So yay for that as well! Oh and I loved loved LOVED the visuals of this episode! The tiny professor was also very cute and the cramped mechas made me laugh!
Was there anything I did not like? I am not sure actually! Maybe the fact that they could not keep up their Flip Flap form in the mecha and were instead there in their bathing suit?! Then again the suit most people wear in mecha feels kinda bathing suit like so that might have been a joke?! Papika trying to eat electricity cables was a bit dumb.. she is still a person people , she isn’t an animal?! At least I think! She might be an alien or something! I have no idea anymore! She has a weird thing around her foot she can not remove. I am not sure what that was about! That felt kind of random. But yeah really that it’s this was one heck of an episode! Not my favourite! I still think that goes to episode 3.. the Mad Max looking one but this is pretty much in my top 3 so far!
I do not mind the more humble episodes this show has but I am really glad they steered away from Cocona’s constant doubt, she took on a more pragmatic stance in this episode and for such a short series I love that. In a 100 episode series sure let your main character doubt about their mission but in a 14 episode one..this feels so much more like the way to go.. I felt like actual progress is made instead of being put back on course and it is what I want to see in Flip Flappers.. it is short so please blow my mind! Treat me to these fantastical landscapes as much as you can! I love this!
Hikaru No Go Episode 18
Sai versus Akira, we have been waiting. I wanna say 14 episodes for this now?! And it is finally here! I did not expect it to be As I really felt Touya’s father was being build up to something.. but here it is! And it was handled sublime! At the very least in the cinematography department.. The aftermath though made sure this one ended up on my third spot.
The big rematch is finally here.. but Akira is not sure if it is a rematch or not! It is at least important enough for him to skip his match to become a pro! Apparently there are more of them but Waya has a great point in thinking this shows Akira thinks very little of them. Sai plays Touya and ends up winning yet again. It leaves Akira conflicted. Was that Hikaru he faced or was it not. He is unsure, so he goes back to the Go Parlor where he first met Hikaru. He finds out Hikaru spends time at the internet cafés somehow and now is convinced that he is Sai. So he runs towards some local internet cafés and finds Hikaru behind a computer… reading webcomics. Hikaru gets told by Akira everyone is looking to find out who Sai is because he is so good. Not being able to live with this kind of pressure Hikaru decides to pull the plug on his little internet arc. Touya also seems disgusted by Hikaru’s mentality and promises that he will never see him again after some intense staring again.
Once more it’s a plot that I can fit in a very tiny bit of text but my oh my is that first half presented beautifully visually. We see Touya stand in front of a big blue glowing Go Board placing his stones. The environment is pitch dark. From the darkness with an accurate thinking pause Sai’s hand is shown placing a stone on the board. As he plays white the board seems to get brighter and brighter as he is closer to victory, while for Touya it feels almost as if he is encountering one of those retro video game final bosses. I loved it! This is my favorite match so far, and Sai’s conclusion that both he and Hikaru grew but Akira did not is very strong! Touya chased something and became so obsessed that he did not really progress. He just wants to face that demon of his and it changed him as a player. I like that. The doubt he has as he now can see the playstyle from an adult but with some of the choices he knew are from Hikaru’s playstyle are great as well. The stakes, the outcome and how it is all brought to live is done amazingly well! The fact that the greats in the Go world know about this loss can become important as well.
What I like less is the second half. Akira finds the exact right internet café , Hikaru, to be reading webcomics instead of playing Go at that time.. and their logic in that part seems off. Hikaru now feels like if so many people search for his identity he better stop now.. but if he stops right after Akira confronted him would that not confirm to Akira that he IS in fact Sai?! The fact that Akira seems to blame Hikaru for not taking the sport as seriously as he does seems very hypocritical when the day before you skipped a tournament. Akira seems to really sever his bonds with Hikaru here and burn those bridges which makes it a bit hard to see where the show is going next. Why set up all these pro players if they do not get to play Sai anymore. Touya’s father also gained some focus and now it all seems tossed away?! Surely this can not be the end for them playing on the internet?! Can it?! Will we take a break from Hikaru and see the story of Waya and Akira placing for the pro’s maybe?! Yet when will we see Hikaru’s results from this training then?! I just don’t hope they will give us a proper payoff!
Strong first half but the second half squanders a bit of potential in my opinion! It seems again like some trouble only arises for it to be called trouble! I think after having played so much Go on the internet Hikaru does realise he can just switch nicknames to keep Sai playing but it does not seem to be the case. Summer vacation is almost over .. so it would be nice to see him go back to school and suddenly completely outclass Mitani and Tsutsui! Yet everything in that second half of this episode to me screams that they are blocking off to much content for themselves.. much more than I would like! So while it is still a very good episode I liked it less than my number 1 and 2 of this week.
Tonight a friend will come over and treat me to dinner, tomorrow I will host my online tabletop! They are playing trough a Kingdom Hearts themed arc and just destroyed the world of Beauty and the Beast by removing the rose from their story. They looted it.. now they have to deal with the fallout and take their anger out on some Huns when they venture into Mulan’s world. I have a family day on Tuesday, also meeting my father, something I look less forward to and on Friday I should meet some friends for board games, we are gonna play Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards and Gloom, amongst some other thing! I really hope the contract for my new apartment will come soon so I can start cancelling things here!
On the blog we will conclude the Favourite Top 5 with the final type, the Fairy Type.. my favourite Type! I got the next chapter of What If Raditz Turned Good already written out and we will discuss another Uwe Boll movie with my review of BloodRayne 2! Indigo’s first post should drop as well so yay for geeky content!Speaking of content! I would be very content if you decided to support my Kofi down below or leave a nice comment below! Thanks for reading and I hope you have an amazing next week!
Another week is done! It’s been a post where I struggled with my health a bit. Insomnia caused some extreme fatigue issues in the middle of this week and my heart being a bit weak at times caused me some extreme nausea in the earlier parts of yesterday! All good now though! Happy and with colour on my cheeks again! Time to tell you about the anime I watched saturday!
Digimon Adventure Episode 5
Holy Digicow another week that Digimon is my favourite view of the day?! What’s up with them?! Yet again another very solidly paced episode with plenty of action to balance the fair amount of exposition! And so much great foreshadowing! Wow!
In this episode Sora and Taichi reach some ruins of what was once a great temple. Using their digivices they can read the mystical text on giant stone slabs and it asks them to feel the words. Once they touch the slab they get a vision of a digital world of the past. A war was fought with the Mega forms of the Digidestined digimon partaking in this war. They also see Omnimon again. They learn that they, along with other chosen ones, have a role to fulfill to help their digimon evolve and face evil. If they can’t stop this evil it will leak out into the network and eventually into their work. From inside the belly of a Whamon Koshiro deduces that this in fact must be happening right now.. but through his digivice he shares this vision.
Also it turns out the statue is not of Hououmon but the digimon whose feathers Takeru and Kairi have been getting. Almost as if it is one of the three digimon deities. Yet to my knowledge the holy trinity was always Ophanimon, Seraphimon and Cherubimon. So who is this?! Before all exposition is given however both Koshiro inside Whamon as Sora and Taichi are attacked by the forces of evil! The Goggle boy and helmethatted companion are attacked by Dokugomon who trap them inside the pantheon of ruins with their webs and Koshiro is attacked by Tylamon. Through the power of evolution all the forces of evil get dispatched and we learn of a mysterious digimon that controls others with sound.. and it seems to belong to Devimon! Now that Kabuterimon has been introduced.. Koshiro travels on him to meet up with the group and we pan to plant-village. A cute Pelmon runs around..towards a girl with a pink dress and pink hat! Mimi is here! Yay!
This show is SO well paced out in comparison to the original. We get background story, we get world mythos, we see every character so very much established! Koshiro uses his smarts to analyse attack patterns and uses it to dodge foes. Sora once again is very lovable towards Biyomon (whom I shall keep referring as Biyomon even if in Japanese it’s Piyomon) We see their mission, get teased with the return of a classic foe, and now that we know these three digidestined we get introduced to the next one. There were so many great moments and the pacing is so nice. For example at one point Birdramon needs to escape from a web so Biyomon digivolves real time. In the fight that happens next that has much more a montage feeling to the beat of the new intro song we see the “stock footage” digivolution scene of Greymon. Both feel incredibly well paced. Koshiro is making contact with Tentamon when the evolution occurs so he also gets a real time evolution sequence which again fits the tone needed greatly. The whole backstory about the original war gives this world so many more layers and Kabuterimon’s fight was pretty awesome. My favourite scenes would be the hints of Devimon and Mimi coming, I want more! And I nearly broke my own rule and continued to watch on! I was that excited.
I have little gripes with this episode. If anything, displaying Digimon’s names even if we saw them before looks a bit tacky in red but it is very readable.. I just don’t read Kanji so it feels a bit wasted. The only real gripe I had is that Taichi and Sora seem to have forgotten soundwaves were running through the web earlier, when Koshiro mentions a soundwave using Digmon over communications. That feels a bit cheap. Biyomon tells him that she saw Digimon before and in fairness Digimon eyes , especially birds would be much better than that of a human so the problem is subverted a bit but there the exposition given in this episode felt a bit forced. Only standing out because of good the backstory is delivered in the rest of the episode. It is a very lore heavy episode and to me as a fan, that lore came with a lot of interesting visuals. I could recognise Mega’s I could recognise other important elements of the digital world. Perhaps if you are less versed with this world it might be less appealing to you. But I can’t judge that I can just speak for myself!
This in a way reminds me of my beloved DuckTales reboot..but maybe better. Both tell an old story in a contemporary way but add much more substance to the world. However where Ducktales came from an episodic format to this mory story driven one.. Digimon already had this sort of Origin with a progessive storyline. It really seems to fix everything what did not work about the old digimon and weave a much more interesting tale. Assuming this show will run as long AS other Digimon series I love this pacing! I love how this episode gives us something new.. some fun action to digest it and then sets us up for another episode! As far as my viewing experience goes! I can’t fault it!
Samurai Flamenco Episode 12
Unlike Digimon this is an episode I can fault! I loved a lot.. but there was also a lot of stuff I really hated as well. I am still not sure but the show seems to be making choices I really don’t think fit in with what came before. For the first time since I started watching it Samurai Flamenco was my least favourite watch of the day.
We see Masayoshi be part of the Flamengers and do their thing in this episode. In a style very similar to how Samurai Flamenco.. the character got rushed to his final battle. We see all three of the other monster generals being dispatched in this episode! We also get a really weird new opening. Why weird? Because it only shows the fight against Ugly Toxic Poison and no new stuff. It barely even focuses on the flamengers. Something feels fishy about it. We see Masayoshi struggle with his new command and with being respected…this leads the Flamengers to be in more danger than they have to be! We see some act to cold others to be hot headed and Masayoshi needs to pull them all together! Even if his heart might point out one way or the other. Because he misses his old life he goes back to Goto.. mostly because the new team doesn’t want to eat Curry with him. They talk a bit and we find out that Moe has been depressed because Mari went missing. She is living in Goto’s closet and still trying to seduce him. He seems less averse of her but that might be me! Masayoshi tries to recruit Goto as the Yellow Flamenger but he refuses. The Flamengers fight the final two generals of From Beyond and defeat them ..after they find out one of them is actually 43 monsters. Slowly the team begins to respect Masayoshi and they go eat curry together.
I did not enjoy myself that much with this episode. Something felt off for me. I don’t like how easy controlling that giant Robot feels like and how easy these new abilities are to wield for Masayoshi. I do not like that Moe suffers without Mari! Yet I also saw a lot of good things. As always it does a great job on setting up stuff. I liked how their robot’s emblem could melt in the heat, I love how Masayoshi’s career is now inverse as how he started. My favourite scene is him encountering a drunk man on the street smoking. Masayoshi tells him it’s a no smoking zone and the guy recognises him and puts out the cigarette without polluting and puts it away. Thanking Masayoshi for all his good work. That is a really great callback to the show before. I also like how his reliance on Sentai Tropes makes him think of a good solution later on in the episode! There are some very solid thoughts going into here. I also really liked how the Giant Robo took realistic damage from the fire! That isn’t a thing in Sentai shows normally.
I really do not like the flamengers though! The way everything is paced, how Masayoshi suddenly doesn’t have to learn things anymore, the way every important element is dispatched without impact. this doesn’t feel like a team. In part that is what this episode meant to convey. I like how everyone tells what they add to the team in a documentary style but suddenly that style is dropped near the last bit of the episode so it doesn’t fully pay off. It also shows you a big problem. I know nothing about these other guys. So I am not invested at all in what they do. I don’t feel invested in these fights. I recognise it’s still solid. I am just not having any fun with these guys, they feel flat and one dimensional. It feels like I suddenly have really bad seats in a cinema. I can sorta follow the movie and it’s sorta good still but with all these tiny little annoyances around I just can’t get sucked up into it anymore. I do not like the Flamenger design as it feels as a downgrade of the very personal costume Masayoshi had, I can’t be invested in their weapons because they now have so much less flavor. Even their posing explosion is dull and grey as if something is off! It lacks the energy it should have..maybe it is intended..but I just felt a whole lot of meh.
I can’t score it to harshly though because there still is so much great writing going on! I just don’t care about it as much! It is an issue that needs to be fixed though, maybe now that Masayoshi is forming bonds so can we.. or maybe we go with something new yet again.. like I said things feel off! The opening was weird and a few things do not align and this show is to clever for it to not mean anything. As a solo episode however this did not do anything for me.
That Time I got Reincarnated as a SlimeEpisode 11
Slime climbed back up a fair bit after last week’s episode. It still did not reach the level of some of the episodes before but this was a very entertaining episode nonetheless. It takes the number three spot for me.
Gabiru the named Lizardman shows up at the Village of Rimuru and tells him he now can serve Gabiru.. which doesn’t go over well with the Ogre’s , Ranga or Rimuru himself.. but first we see Shion’s cooking actually kill Gobta. …well not actually kill.. but everyone assumed he was dead. He has become a bit of the Meg Griffin of Slime which I had a lot of fun with. Gabiru challenges Rimuru for ownership of Ranga but there is one problem. If any of these guys fight Gabiru they will almost certainly kill him and they want to find out what he has to say. So a Gobta.. who luckily gained poison resistance because of Shion’s food is there to fight for them. Threatening that Gobta might have to eat more of that food if he loses the little HobGoblin is unleashed and trashes Gabiru who tells the village that an army of 200.000 orcs is coming. Which one of their scouts confirms. Rimuru tells Gabiru he can come back later to talk about an alliance but he will not work under him.. and then a Dryad shows up! Pleading for Rimuru to go out and defeat the mysterious Orc Lord named by Demon Lord Gelmund. Since the group more or less were gonna do that anyway this hardly seems like an offer Rimuru will reject.. but the episode ends before we see an answer.
Comedy-wise this episode had a few great hits for me. The poisoned food scene was very funny and Shion and Shuna’s fight for Rimuru’s affection was done in a way that visually really pleased me. Even if Shuna is a bit of a throw away character for a princess for now , instead just weaving. The other ogre’s also all add something to the village. It fleshes them out a bit more. The treat of the Orc Army is now nice and thickly layered on and it will allow the show to go a few directions. Will they go for a direct confrontation or first recruit more allies for Rimuru’s little group? Everything is possible and that is what this show does well. It sets up expectations but also ways to subvert them. The way to write off Gobta so cold and cruelly came out of nowhere yet felt in line with what was shown before. His return however also did! I really expected him to be dead. The way Gobta used his powers as cool and I loved the visuals in this episode! I am happy that not everything is solved through Rimuru’s powers and they do come with a drawback.
Yet this episode felt like it was slacking a bit. It dragged in some parts. The rivalry between Shuna and Shion for example. It was pretty established yet the seen lingered for a while to make some boob jokes and fangirl jokes. It wasn’t bad but it feels like it just could have been a bit snapier. Gobta’s fight was an example of how it was paced well but for some reason Rimuru kept imagining how the situation would have gone differently.. which all was super obvious! I don’t need to imagine Gabiru annoying people so much they will beat him to death! I know that would happen anyway. It kind of feels like those skits in Scrubbs the tv show where JD imagines a situation going elsewhere, it can be fun..but for some reason those fantasies are kept really toned down.. almost still images as if it’s a virtual novel..with some extra art. Because of this these scenes do not land for me and put a brake on the flow the episode.
In the end the episode felt like a kid in one of those pedal cars. It’s cute and charming and it does move forward and you can clearly see where he is going..Yet it is also a bit impractical meaning the kid can’t really move as fast as they would like and the spectacle becomes a mix of endearing but also awkward. Still a mighty fine episode!
Flip Flappers Episode 7
This episode made me appericate the episode before a lot more! It contributed to things before I even knew! So with that my gripe against the last episode was gone. This one I really liked..yet because of the theming it ended up at the fourth space when it came to my favourite views.
The plot of this episode.. how do I talk about that?! Papika and Cocona discover that they have altered the personality of Iro-Senpai and feel really guilty about it. Suddenly she doesn’t care too much for art anymore and she paints her nails. Did they break her? Did they fix a trauma for her? Nobody exactly can tell them what happend and thusly Cocona doesn’t want to dive into pure Illusion anymore. “The Break-up” is one of the anime tropes I really like the least so doubts if they should continue what they are doing midway a show.. that is about them doing THAT thing..fllies under that same banner for me. They force Cocona into Pure Illusion however and she ends in an exact duplicate of her world.. with all sorts of different Papika’s. Reflecting her doubts about change most likely. Is Papika still Papika if she is a pretty boy, or a scary girl? It seems these all reflect different aspects Cocona’ thinks about when thinking of Papika. The girl she can learn from, the scary girl, the pretty boy which she is attracted to and the little sister she must keep safe and tries to appeal to her. These are all aspects we have seen from Papika towards Cocona before. In the end Cocona is unable to find the real Papika and she falls into a hole but Papika comes to rescue her with a spaceship made of the sewer pipe where they first met and Papika’s alleged house. or her stay over place at least. They then fall into a field of flowers and Papika’s shard glows.. as she suddenly has a memory of being Mimi? A man has a shard that resonates with hers.
I really liked this episode from a distant observer kind of way. It was fun to see these different incarnations of Papika and see how they actually tie in with the actual Papika. It was strong to see a much more realistic but empty world reflecting Cocona’s worries. It also shows to me at least how hard it sometimes is to separate dreams from reality. It can be really hard to tell, and sometimes in the real world even when there are actually people around you can feel as Lonely and lost as Cocona feels. I do think once more they depicted her struggle very well. I like how we do not get a magical girl transformation in this episode either as it was much more about Cocona’s issues to deal with what just happened and given what just happened these are very reasonable and logical doubts. So as far as cohesion is concerned this is one of the stronger episodes. The tinier form of storytelling, the much clearer metaphors. It very much works for the episode they made.
But yet again, I did not feel that swept up by it. I know why Cocona is having doubts and it makes so much sense..but with half a series to go I know it won’t last and that is my big issue with this trope. I get that it’s a storyline and in the context of what happened it works yet this trope never carries too much weight with it because there still is half a show to go until characters will get over it. Just like I know that Cocona won’t die at least not before the second to last episode, it feels just a tad pointless to make us the audience think she won’t be.. because.. who are you trying to fool?! While a character is in mortal danger there still is an excitement in showing how they escape. However when a character has to make a decision that struggle is much harder to make exciting. As a result the issue of Cocona’s inner conflict feels a bit like a non issue. We know she will flip the switch and no matter if it is because of Papika rescues here with a spaceship.. or she would have found the real Papika amongst fakes.. it would not have really mattered to us which one it was.. I am glad we got from A to B .. and A and B are legit. The stuff in between just feels just a tad filler.. entertaining filler but filler still.
It really is a great episode, it is just not MY episode. While this show really earned the feelings on display and does it well, I really do not like to see the hero in doubt about their involvement in the show, especially in such a short show. I want to see more content like episode 3 and 5 rather than this, so in a way the show just spoiled me. I still had a fine time watching it..but I want my amazing things from this show not just good things.
Hikaru no Go Episode 17
This episode was really simple yet effective. It is weird how involved I got with this. I might even argue it is a bit of a messy episode, but I had so much fun watching it! Just because of a weird way to raise the stakes.
We pick up at the same go convention we left last time. People talk to each other about Sai and Waya even hypes him up to be that great historical figure whose name I unfortunately forgot..the legendary Go player that was indeed possessed by Sai. We see everyone going completely mental over Sai once they figure out that half the people of the convention are there.. and Waya’s word of hype triggers a young prodigy to get involved. That is right Akira shows up! A laptop is brought up ..with the internet for some reason even though I am pretty sure there was no wireless internet yet? Where Dongle’s a thing? There is a thingie sticking out of the computer. Akira faces off online against Sai.. and they replay their second match stone for stone! But then to avoid being recognised Sai plays a different stone and Akira resigns making an appointment to face him in the middle of his own Insei exams, showing he has not let his obsession go yet. Maybe he recognises Hikaru and wants to face him alone?! Whatever is happening clearly he is willing to risk anything for it, which angers Waya a great deal. The episode ends with Hikaru and Sai going to the café to face off against Akira when at the exams it is revealed Akira has not shown up.
I really liked this episode more than I should, for the most part it’s just a bunch of agitated foreign men shouting at each other if they know who Sai is. An international bunch of confusion. We mostly see side characters do unimportant things as they all speculate, until Waya recognises the playstyle of Sai and tells his master. Also adding in his theory that it might be a school kid. This triggers Akira to become involved as well, stepping a bit on Waya’s turf giving into his obsession. I like how the psychological game between him and Sai starts and how Sai is able to identify Akira because of it. I also really like that Akira recognises the online player as Hikaru. Opposed to Waya who sees Sai, though not knowing it is Sai in name of course. Hikaru got completely unmasked without being unmasked. It also gives Akira a bit of a different rival and maybe a potential friend in Waya. Sure Waya really seems to hate him now..but should they find out they obsess over the same guy. This episode has a way of building tension towards its conclusion..and then by making Akira resign it takes the tension to even bigger stakes. Thingies just got real.
Like I said before though, with all the international players shouting through one another the episode kind of starts out very cluttered. It’s a bit tiring to be tossed around all those international players whom we barely know. I recognise most of them but they haven’t been that established yet so I am not that invested in their perspective. The shouting can be a bit draining to the attention as it is hard to focus your attention on one thing. The show cuts around that fairly smart but it is very VERY clear that the goodness that was this episode came from the second half. I became so invested in this episode and the set up for the next during that half. The first half falls a bit flat in comparison. What it did though was show the emotional involvement of all these people! It shows all these people are really committed and that for me helps with the world building for Hikaru no Go. I complained a bit on how oddly these kids react to things.. almost inhuman but by mirroring them to these guys their reactions feel less over the top.It’s just how this world is. Visuals in this episode are a bit off I feel.The dutch guy seems to suddenly have lost a few pounds of weight and Akira looked a bit differently to me too. Hikaru no Go doesn’t have the best visuals and by setting this episode on a busy convention floor we do see some issues I think. Yet nothing I really worried about.
This wasn’t a flawless episode but it was one I was really engaged in and thus really enjoyed. While if I would measure with more objective standards for all we would get an entirely different list and different grade.. but as for my enjoyment this took second place. I really loved the ending so that’s why it gets my highest grade!
I already updated you on my last week! I have also been catching up with my laundry! I hate doing that as it makes noise that might bother other people! All caught up now again though! Also did a few cleaning things throughout the house where energy allowed at least! This week I have a nice family outing planned! The one that should have happened last week but due to my health.. and my sister making double plans this worked out better! Excited for that. Later today I might get some very important news that could be a big change in my life as well so I am a bit nervous today! So be sweet in the comments!