Post may contain spoilers so please read at your own expense.
Hello gang. This time im not even gonna bother making lame excuses about why i havent been posting like i always do after taking a pause. Just know that life has been blog-blocking me as usual… and im lazy as hell, so that could also be a factor. Just.. thank you for bearing with me. I see you havent abandoned me yet. I’ll try to do better. Anyway moving on, my latest anime update was in April,so this may be a pretty lengthy post so im gonna break it off in two parts even though ive mostly been rewatching my favorites like Ghost In The Shell, Code Geass, Psycho Pass, etc to take in all their concepts better. Part 2 will be up soon in a few days as well.
Speaking of Psycho Pass, i recently caught up on the extended version of the first season and believe me, it really elevated the overall impact of the show. I must recommend it to you. There are a total of 11 episodes each lasting around the duration of an hour or so. Do have a look at it. Especially if youre about to start watching the second season, which just began airing and has 4 episodes out as of this date, of which i just finished watching the 3rd one right now. Initially my impression of it was mixed because i hated Shimotsuki, the new inspector who came to take place for Ginoza after he got demoted to Enforcer. If you recall, she was the skeptical school girl in the highschool where Oryou Rikako carried out her murders in season 1. She joined the MWPSB by the end of the last episode in season 1 and in season 2 it seems she has been working as an inspector for about 2 years now. I had high hopes for her but for now we can call her Ginoza’s replacement in the true sense with all her by the book-ness and her bias against Enforcers as well. (Edit; Eff you Shimotsuki!)
Ginoza as an Enforcer himself has been one of the favorite things of mine in this season so far. He has really matured up and you could say he has done well to fill his father’s shoes. Even wears the same kind of coat as him and called Shimotsuki ‘Missy’ not to mention the mechanical arm and all. Though it was hilarious watching him cringe a bit at Shimotsuki’s maltreatment against Enforcers. Too familiar Gino? LOL. Personally im happy with his transition though i miss the glasses horribly.
I do not miss this scene though. Breaks my heart even thinking about it. Which is why i posted it on my blog.. Where i’ll be reminded of it every time i visit… makes total sense. Anyway, the new villain is a nerdy average looking fellow with a twisted savior complex. Remember Makishima? Yeah, this Kamui Kirito guy is kind of an opposite of him. Very smart but sentimental unlike the previous antagonist. Even so he manages to creep the hell out of you for the very same reason. Also, thanks to the animators for not giving the antagonist a hair style that’s a dead give away to his villain-hood. Kumui has messy, brown hair usually reserved for Suzaku-ish characters in most anime, unlike Makishima’s flowing white locks. What they both seem to have in common is the desire for destruction of Sybil, albeit for different reasons. Makishima wishes to be a spectator to what people may do when freed, but Kamui just passionately wants people to be freed. His latest endeavor was somewhat similar to Makishima’s when he makes a helmet wearing man beat a woman to death in public with a base ball bat in season 1. However this time the woman was an inspector at the MWPSB. Im referring to Risa Aoyanagi of division 2.
In other news, Shinya Kogami remains missing without a trace and in his place we have the dark haired Sakuya Tougane who has the same physical agility as Ko and even smokes the same brand of cigarettes as him. In episode 3, it is revealed that his psycho pass was the highest ever recorded and the mechanical Chief is seen telling Akane to keep an eye on him. In the opening credits however, there is a spoiler pertaining to him which really confused the ish out of me. What is Sybil doing? Trying to play with Tsunemori’s emotions by sending in a replacement for Kogami and trying to test the limits at which it affects her hue? Or keeping a closer eye on all her affairs by making Sakuya get close with her? I dont know. We’ll see. They did say they were intrigued by her abilities and wanted to observe her to evolve their system.
I found the most relatable character in this series to be the Enforcer replacing good old Kagari. Hinakawa Shou is a socially awkward, early twenty something INXP who reminds me of myself in all his nerdy glory. The dude doesnt speak unless spoken to, seems to be off in his own mind and gets treated like fodder. The last time he actually had a meaningful dialogue was in episode 2 when he fanboyed over the intricacy of a hologram used by Kamui as a hostage. Heck he doesnt even have his own page on the Psycho Pass Wikia…. In other words, he’s a striking contrast to the late Kagari’s flamboyance and an unsettling reminder for me to make some non virtual friends. *sigh* Speaking of relatable characters though, no one and i repeat. No one.. beats Tomoko Kuroki from Watamote.
“Kuroki Tomoko is a super popular high school girl who has had 50 years of dating experience and 100 boys… in the Otome game world. In the real world, she is a 15-year-old shut-in who has all of the qualities of a “mojo” (a gloomy or unpopular woman).
However, when school isn’t going as she expected, and she isn’t as popular as she had thought she would be, she takes a look at herself in the mirror for the first time in a few years, and has some shocking revelations…” -MAL
Im not sure if im supposed to be happy or sad that this anime portrayed the last 23 years of my life with such an alarming accuracy.. provided that some of the weird ish this character did didnt really get to manifest itself outside of my head. So yeah, i guess Tomoko chan is only but a mere step above me on the weirdness scale. Still, close enough. From dreading to speak to the terrifying ‘normals’ to rejoicing in a day spent doing nothing but watching anime and eating to losing fellow weirdo friends because of their growing sense of conformity.. Tomoko chan is a reflection upon a past not unlike my own. The series doesnt really follow a linear story line. Its just about the daily adventures our protagonist undertakes in trying to ditch her hermit-like lifestyle in favor of a more glamorous image and of course, her miserable failure in trying to do so.
Moving on, another one of the gems i came across this binge season was Princess Jellyfish or Kuragehime. A common element shared both by Watamote and Kuragehime was that both protagonists were female Otakus and NEETs. Makes you wonder just how many of us are there to be getting featured so much. Anyway, here goes.
“Amamizukan is an apartment complex where no boys are allowed. Kurashita Tsukimi, a girl who adores jellyfish, lives there happily with her friends who all have nerdy obsessions of their own. Their peaceful lives gradually start to change when a beautiful woman helps Tsukimi out of a pinch.” -MAL
The story is about Tsukimi, a jellyfish enthusiast who lives with five other otaku chicks. Namely, Banba, Mayaya, Chieko, Jiji and the mysterious nocturnal shut in who makes her living as hit yaoi mangaka. Banba has an obsession with trains, Mayaya with records of the historical three kingdoms, Jiji with her crush on old men and Chieko with kimonos and traditional Japanese dolls. Together, they are the AMARS. The series begins with Tsukimi running into a beautiful Gyarusa who helps her convince a pet shop worker to keep a Jellyfish from dying. They end up buying the Jellyfish and the Gyarusa crashes at Tsukimi’s place as it is late in the night. Tomorrow morning however..
As it turns out, her beautiful savior is a dude. And not just any dude, but the eccentric, fashion conscious, illegitimate son of a millionaire politician. Kuronosuke spends his days running away from his father’s disappointments in him and his step mother’s scrutinizing gaze by burying himself with fashion magazines, friends and gossip about celebrities and music. He doesnt strike a chord with the AMARs initially but wins them over eventually by treating them to an expensive meat dish which he made his half brother smuggle for him. Also, through out the course of the series, they remain oblivious to his real gender so that may have helped things along.
Together with the AMARs, Kuronosuke takes it upon himself to save Amikizukan from being sold in order to pave way for commercial development within the area, led by the devious she villain Shoko. The AMARs go through tough training sessions by holding yard sales, crafting and of course, getting makeovers from Kuro in order to gain confidence and people’s respect for themselves.
Ba dum tiss!
Moving on. This series does a marvelous job in depicting how appearances affect one’s social impact. Kind of a sad reality but the fact remains that despite how good a book is from the inside, people will continue to judge it by its cover. An example of said fact is pertaining to an element of Tsukimi’s relationship with Shu, Kuronosuke’s thirty year old hunk of a brother. Shu is a complete opposite of his brother as he is serious, diligent and takes an active interest in partaking in his father’s business and political pursuits. They meet by accident when Tsukimi run’s into him after getting a make over from Kuro and he falls in love with her at first sight. However, he is unable to recognize her in her normal clothes which causes a lot of misunderstandings between them.
Enter Shoko Inari, the bitch faced real estate developer assigned with the task of luring AMAR’s landlady into selling Amamizukan who also complicates Shu and Tsuki’s love dynamics by slipping date rape drugs into Shu’s drink at a business meeting and pretending to have spent the night with him in order to blackmail his father. Of course, the fact that Kuronouke also begins to have the wretched feels for Tsuki doesnt help much. But with all the damage Shoko does to Tsuki and Shu’s relationship, in a way Tsuki owes her development to Shoko for if Shoko hadn’t f0rced Tsuki to face her demons instead of running away, she would never have realized her true potential as a fashion designer which Kuronosuke helped nurture and which ultimately led to the fulfilment of Tsuki’s dream about making Jellyfish Princesses coming to life, and managing to save Amimizukan from being sold in doing so.
For now, the fate of Shu, Kuro and Tsuki’s love triangle remains undecided, for the first season of the anime ended here, but the manga has had some astonishing developments. On a related note, Im Team Shu if it wasnt obvious enough already. Moreover, there’s a live action version of the show coming up. It is set to be released sometime during December this year. Here’s the trailer if you wanna check it out. I think they nailed all the AMARs but couldve done a better job with the casting of Kuronosuke and Shu.
Another series that i finished watching was Tokyo Ghoul. The first season has been a hit and the second has been set to release in January next year. Which is really just three months away. Here’s how MAL describes this show on their website.
“The suspense horror/dark fantasy story is set in Tokyo, which is haunted by mysterious “ghouls” who are devouring humans. People are gripped by the fear of these ghouls whose identities are masked in mystery. An ordinary college student named Kaneki encounters Rize, a girl who is an avid reader like him, at the café he frequents. Little does he realize that his fate will change overnight.” -MAL
As the name suggests, this show is about ghouls.. in Tokyo. Ghouls who look like and feed on human beings. This show’s episode one marks as one of the most intense Ive seen in an anime. Most shows take their time in developing the pace but no, not this series. Things start getting crazy right off the bat. The first scene shows the figure of a purple haired woman swallowing human guts from what seems to be a pile of mutilated dead bodies and then having a brief duel with some creep in a white suit wearing a Jason X mask. Purple haired vixen, or Rize as we came to call her later, makes a swift escape after depriving Jason of his torture device which he completely loses his shit over. Fast forward, we meet Kaneki Ken, a university freshman and an avid reader, not to mention somewhat of a wuss, hanging out with his best bud Hide, who reminds me of Naruto for some reason, in this trendy cafe called Anteiku. Apparently they are discussing, or rather Hide is making fun of Kaneki’s date plans for asking out a girl he likes. Hide assumes it has to be the cute Kuudere-ish waitress Touka and embarrasses Kaneki by addressing her out of the blue.
Meanwhile, the door opens and enters Kaneki’s dream girl aka purple haired vixen aka binge eater ghoul. Surprise surprise. By some twist of fate Kaneki and Rise end up going on a date and Kaneki ends up walking Rize to her house.. which was really an abnadoned train station where she showed him her true form and chased after him, stabbing and slicing and slashing any part of Kaneki’s body she could get her hands on as he made desperate attempts to escape. The scene ends with a huge beam mysteriously falling on top of Rise, killing her and Ken losing his consciousness because of his wounds. Its implied that while passed out, the dude gets operated on and some crazy arse doctor decides to transfer Rize’s organs into his body to save his life. The episode ends with Kaneki waking up looking like this.
Aaand thats how good old boy next door Kaneki Ken became a human ghoul hybrid thingy. The second episode depicts him finally coming upon the dark realization that he isnt a human anymore, starving himself because human food tastes like crap to him now and avoiding people lest he not be able to help himself to a bite, running into a fellow ghoul feeding off of a corpse, getting beat up by Nishiki whose a senior at his and Hide’s university, who also happens to be a ghoul and then watch him get his ass handed back to him by Touka the Anteiku waitress who, wait for it, is also a ghoul. In his adventures as a ghoul, Kaneki makes a ton of new friends such as Shu the Kaneki blood obsessed weirdo pedophile, Uta the punk rock mask maker who gets away with sporting red eyes all the time because they dont stand out with all the tattoos and piercings he has, Nishiki aka the dude who beat him up and the one he almost killed later and Touka your resident Kuudere, all along while battling his split personality bestie Rize who often shows up in his delusions as a guide of sorts around the Ghoul world.
I have a lot of good things to say about this show. From the stunning art to the awesome OSTs to the plot development and the pace at which this show kept going without a moment leaving us bored. This show especially appealed to me with its exploits of one that was losing his sanity walking the thin line between good and evil, Kaneki finally accepting himself not only as a human but as a ghoul while he mourned over the innocence lost forever. My main issue with Tokyo Ghoul was that it censored all the good parts. We already know this anime isnt exactly for kids so why bother blurring up everything that made Tokyo Ghoul good? Now gore isnt really something im particularly fond of but im against censoring it out because it significantly decreases the impact that the creators are trying to make with it. However, if youre just as pissed off about the censorship as me, her’es some news. They are currently working on releasing an uncensored version of the show soon. So we can hang tight and wait for it just as we wait for the second season. Here’s a trailer so you can see for yourself how badass little old Kaneki has become.
Next comes Mekaku City Actors or Mekakushi Actors, whichever is the right way to spell it. Let me just tell you right now, SHAFT was having way too much fun with the animation. And even though i appreciate having to decipher the underlying meanings of the symbolism in this show and the whimsical..ness? of it all, it definitely made the story more confusing than it had to be. Also if you didnt watch the after credit scenes the story would make zero sense. I was making the same mistake but thank fully i caught myself.. at episode 7, at which point i had to go back and watch it all over again to be able to tie in everything together, which i failed at. This anime really is just one big WTF staring you in the face.
‘The incidents which occurred on August 14th and 15th bring a group of young boys and girls together… They are members of a group they call themselves the “Mekakushi Dan” (Blindfold Organization) and each member possesses a strange power involving their eyes. Will the members of this peculiar organization be able to solve the mysteries behind these incidents and see the truth?”-MAL
Turns out Mekakushi dan is actually an anime adaptation of the Kagerou Project which is a Vocaloid song series by Jin. It also has five light novels and a standing manga adaptation. My opinion of the anime adaptation is limited to a ‘what pretty colors!’ and a ‘hey that was a nice song randomly thrown in the middle of an episode.’ because as for the story, i am unable to make sense of it. To be honest im still not quite sure exactly what i saw or how much of it i was supposed to take into consideration and how much i was meant to disregard as just SHAFT losing its mind again. So yeah, watch the music videos, catch up on the novels, read the manga or something if you wanna know what the hell really happened.
Lets rewind to where we last left Hamatora, shall we? So, Sharky has a duel with Nice and its hard to say whose gonna win when suddenly Moral’s body gives out and he becomes too sick to keep fighting. Enters the presumable dead Art out of the blue and shoots Sharky square in the chest while a shell shocked Nice looks on in amazement. By the time Nice confronts Art about shooting Sharky, the latter is seen to have pulled a gun on Nice and a gun shot is heard as the first season comes to an end.
“It has been three months since the incident at Yokohama. Things have been settling down at Cafe Nowhere. Murasaki and Hajime have teamed up and started investigating again. After an unforeseen reunion, Art holds Nice at gunpoint. What are his real intentions? What will become of the connection between Art and Hamatora?” -MAL
So, fast forward 3 months and the crew is seen fighting over who gets to keep Nice’s hentai collection. It is implied that he’s dead but as it turns out he actually managed to escape after getting shot in the shoulder by Art kun and pretended to be dead to lure him out. The whole show is really about a super angsty Art with regeneration abilities activated by Sharky shooting him multiple times (told you so!) running around stealing different people’s minimum powers and leaving them delirious. And also looking damn good doing that.
*wipes off drool* Nevertheless, we find out that the real culprit was actually the crazy florist chick that was Sharky’s subordinate in the first season. Apparently she’s a billionaire psychopath who keeps herself entertained by the antics of people like Sharky and Art. The back story to Art going bat shit insane is because of the tragedy that took place at Facultas Academy where Nice, Art and Art’s brother were all kept. Also where Nice meets Hajime the first time and literally dies after getting shot through the heart while trying to escape with her, which brings out her Nihilist Minimum, a minimum which is triggered by grief and one whose ability is cancelling all the minimums in its area of range.
After Facultas discovered Art’s brother Skill’s ability to grant minimums to others they take him in for their so called ‘research’ an force him to create artificial minimum holders which all end up as mutated monsters. Art discovers this and after Skill pleads to his older brother to kill him, Art stabs him in the chest. This is followed by a large explosion coming from Skill’s body which cancels out the explosion by the Nihilist minimum coming out from Hajime’s body at the same time. Art was thrown by the force of the explosion and for some reason was able to survive even after his skull fell open and Sharky discover’s Skill’s half dead state of being to transfer his heart into Nice’s kun’s body which kept him alive as well.
Im not gonna spoil the ending for you guys but i found it to be quite beautiful. All the concepts were neatly tied in together in the last episode and Art turns out to truly be a misunderstood hero we had all wished he was. The message was simple. Minimum abilities are just a metaphor for wishes. The world and life itself as we know it, is fueled by wishes. Without a will, life is meaningless and bland. Will gives us hope. To take away one’s will is to take away one’s hope. The only mystery that remained by the time the season ended was how the hell Art survived the fall.
This is all for now folks. There are at least five more anime i wanted to talk about but it didnt seem right fitting everything into one post. I’ll just include them in part 2 of this update so sit tight till then. The second part should be up in a couple of days. Toodley woo!