Battle of the Four Fantasy Animes

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

As I write this post, Re:Zero is on its nineteenth episode. Re:Zero was the main event of the spring 2016 season and continued to be a hit during the summer 2016 season. This anime follows a 'fish out of water' premise. Subaru arrives in a fantasy world and has to solve problems when he dies and is revived. It's combining the fantasy world elements of KonoSuba with the revival elements of ERASED. Many people compare Re:Zero to KonoSuba, (Whose second season will be released later in 2016) No Game No Life (Sorta), and even Sword Art Online. I have seen all four animes and will be comparing them to one another in three categories.

Here are the Myanimelist (MAL) links for each anime:
No Game No Life
Sword Art Online

Since I already have set opinions of these animes, I'll try to be as unbiased as I can.


Let's start with the basic premise: the fish out of water concept. This is when a character is plucked from their world and plopped down in another one.

  • With Re:Zero, Subaru is out shopping for groceries when he is taken to his fantasy world. The world he is introduced to has many different races, and he encounters trouble right off the bat. This concept is done well here. Subaru doesn't know anything about this world, but he adapts quickly. This is a good example of the concept done right. He learns the language or tries to. And he tries to adapt to its customs. 
  • No Game No Life has the sibling duo Shiro and Sora are taken by the childish god Tet to a world where games. They immediately take on an opponent. This duo easily takes on the fish out of water concept. They don't hesitate to participate in games. They aren't exactly the typical characters in a fish out of water scenario, but they are still surprised by their new surroundings. They don't adapt well to their new world. Instead, they push back and use their old world devices. They do learn the language and some modicum of the government, but they leave most of the heavy lifting to the side characters. This is a good example of taking the concept and adding a twist to it. 
  • KonoSuba starts with Kazuma being hit by a tractor in a feeble attempt to save a girl's life. The first world we see is actually limbo, the place between life and death. He is then taken to a fantasy world. The way he acts in his world is as if he assumes he is the hero of the entire world. He acts like everything will be handed to him, and with only video games as his basis of knowledge, it's obvious to see why. I disliked the way this anime handled the concept. It wasn't funny to see him act all pompous when things needed to be done. He didn't adapt to this environment, and it made me mad. Adapting to different environments is how you live life. Kazuma seemed to forget that.
  • Sword Art Online has Kirito willingly putting on his NerveGear and entering the game. Out of the four animes, this is the one with the least amount of the concept. He isn't in a new environment; he was a beta tester and had already been exposed to the world. But then there are changes in the playing of the game. After all, the selling point for Sword Art Online is kids locked in a video game. That's the new part of the story. Kirito doesn't adapt to this, much like Kazuma. He plays solo and completely ignores the many deaths. That isn't how the concept is supposed to be taken. Again, adapting equals survival. 

Out of all the animes, 'No Game No Life' and 'Re:Zero' use this concept the best.

Fantasy Elements

What's more important than the fish out of water concept in all four animes? Fantasy elements.

  • Re:Zero introduces half-elves and magic and demihumans. These are all used fantasy elements, but Re:Zero introduces other elements that are unique. Take the mabeasts for example. They're creatures that look like they've been possessed. But we truly don't know a lot about them. I haven't seen creatures called mabeasts before. Sure, I've been possessed animals but not of the size of the White Whale. It's different. And while some elements of Re:Zero have been used before, there are different things that I haven't seen before.
  • The game element of No Game No Life is completely different. Before this, I hadn't seen anything like that before. The game element was what drew me in the first place. The rules are complicated at times, but some games are simple. The games aren't just chess and Texas Hold Em, though. There are simple games such as rock-paper-scissors as well.
  • KonoSuba shows a world with the typical fantasy elements. There are magical powers and guilds. The goddess part threw me off a bit because goddesses don't typically interact with characters. But it's still a typical fantasy world.
  • The sword fighting in Sword Art Online combined with its unique bosses and items makes it stand out. Sure, the video game setting isn't unique, but some of the parts of the world are different. There isn't a lot of fantasy within Sword Art Online, but there's enough for it to be different. The bosses do set it apart compared to other fantasy worlds. But with the advanced technology, some might label this a science fiction world. To me, it is all set in a FANTASY video game, so it's fantasy. 

The best fantasy world has to be 'No Game No Life's. It's completely unique and stands out from the crowd. 

Main Character

What makes an anime? The main character, of course. I'm warning you now that this might turn into a bit of a rant.

  • Subaru is a bit of a sore spot for me. At first, he seems great. He's a kind character who doesn't take it too far. But he turns into more of a brat as the anime goes on. At this point, he's redeemed himself, but he's still driving me nuts with his whining. At least, they haven't pulled the 'he has unlocked potential' on me.
  • Shiro and Sora are funny. Much like the fantasy world of that anime, they're unique. They're silly and smart and NEETs. I kinda love them for that. They whine, but it's funny. 
  • Kazuma is whiny. He constantly complains why he doesn't get a sword immediately upon entering a guild. It made me mad. He thinks that everything will be handed to him on a silver platter. And I can't stand stuck-uppities like that.
  • And, of course, Kirito. I didn't really see his godly powers until I watched Digibro ranting on him. So I can't definitively say whether or not he was overpowered. But he was annoying as a 'badass' brooder. He was so antisocial. Even an introvert like me thought he was too antisocial. He cut himself off from the rest of the world. And that's not healthy. 

Shiro and Sora top this category with Subaru right behind them.

Personally, Re:Zero tops both Sword Art Online and KonoSuba
Sword Art Online has a terrible history of being overdone, (Especially with the main character Kirito) and its second season has been sullied multiple times. 
And KonoSuba simply didn't work out for me. The fanservice was overdone, and both of the main characters were brats. I couldn't stand them. The first episode really did it for me. 
But No Game No Life isn't a bad anime. It has a lot of good elements. I'm just not a huge fan.

What do you think? Which of these animes is your favorite? Which one is the worst?

Kamis, Kitsunes, Tengus, Oh My!: 'Kamisama Kiss' Review

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)

Studio: TMS Entertainment
Producer: TV TokyoDentsuSotsu,Pony CanyonHakusenshaDAX Production
Genre: Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Episodes: 13
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

Nanami Momozono dreams of living a normal life, just like any other average high school girl. Instead, she must cope with the fact that her deadbeat father accumulated a bunch of gambling debts and abandoned her. And since she can't afford to pay the rent, she's now homeless. Despite this unfortunate turn of events, Nanami still maintains a kind heart.

One day in the park, she saves a poor man from a vicious attack, and in a perfect example of how good deeds are rewarded, the man thanks her by giving her his home. The offer sounds suspicious, but beggars can't be choosers. When Nanami arrives at the man's home, however, she discovers it isn't a house at all. It's a shrine. She learns that the man she saved was actually a god and that by giving her his home, she has now assumed his godhood and all of the duties that go along with it.

The role seems daunting but it turns out that the previous god had a familiar named Tomoe. A powerful and skilled fox demon, Tomoe should be able to help Nanami transition into her new role as a deity... if the two of them don't kill each other first, that is. Kamisama Hajimemashita follows Nanami's life as a human god, her quest to win Tomoe's trust, and the romantic feelings she develops for him along the way.


For me, Kamisama Kiss is Noragami (The gods part) + Fruits Basket (The kind main girl part) + Inu x Boku SS (The protector of main girl part.)
Admittedly, I like all of those animes (Except maybe Fruits Basket. That's just okay.) I didn't expect this anime to combine some of the best elements from those animes into one. And it's not the best or the worst.

Nanami was a great character. Typically, I don't like the sweet, kind characters because they're Plain Janes (or Mary Sues. Same idea.) They're boring, to say the least. It's hard to do a kind character justice because everyone sees them as someone to assist. That's why they're TERRIBLE main characters. But Nanami has pizazz. She was feisty and fierce. I loved that. She could sass someone into submission, but she truly cared for people. We need more Nanamis in the world. People who truly care for others. It's refreshing. 
(Just saying, but another good example of this character type done well is in Tohru from Fruits Basket. She too is very kind, but this makes her likable and a good ally for the Sohma family.)

When you introduce two people who are supposed to fall for each other, there is some drive within me that screams 'KISS NOW'. I'll definitely root for you (With a few grumbles) if you're meant to be together. (Typically, though, my favorite ships are non-canon.) Canon ships are the easiest to root for because the creator makes them that way. It's instinctual for me to root for a canon ship.
But Tomoe and Nanami weren't too bad to root for to begin with. I knew that this shoujo anime would follow a romantic subplot, but that's the kicker. The romance IS a subplot. It's not essential to the anime. We could have the two stay as friends, and things would be fine. (Most people would jump in here and claim "But it'd be awkward!" I defy you and ask a single question: "Can a guy and girl be friends without having feelings for each other?" The answer is a resolute yes. So no, you're wrong in this case. It won't be awkward unless you MAKE it awkward. Wrenisms.)
These two had this cute, little chemistry going on. The romance seems uncalled for in the beginning, but you truly see how much they care for each other. If you show me that they truly have feelings for each other, then I'll ship it a little bit. 

Also, on a sidenote, chibi Tomoe is adorable. Seriously.

While I like Nanami, Tomoe is another story. To me, he's a prick who shuts everyone out. People will cry, "BUT HE'S SOO HOT." I deny that too. Brooding boys can be cute. But they can't be pricks. Tomoe was REALLY toeing the Prick Line. (That line divides the pricks of the world from the nice people. Or mildly nice people in my case. Haha.) 
I know that I didn't like him as much was because there was a lack of backstory. We had TWO trips to the past, but we didn't learn a lot about Tomoe. 
I can sum up the knowledge in two statements. A) He used to date a cute human girl and B) He used to kill people. But that's all. We don't learn about WHY he killed people or anything like that. We don't even learn how he met Mikage one of the unseen forces that drives this anime! 
(Again, let me refer to Fruits Basket. That anime did the Brooding Badass character pretty well. Kyo isn't the most lovable character, but you begin to love him as you learn his...wait for it...BACKSTORY. Backstory is KEY for any character. It builds them up, and it drives them forwards.) 
Perhaps, in season two, we learn more about his past. But I'm kinda done with this anime...

And the plot, which is a driving force for ANY anime, felt odd. It felt disjointed at times. Sure, I loved seeing Nanami's love for Tomoe when she went into the past to get the eye, but I didn't see much relevance to her being a god and all. This anime is very episodic. I typically can swallow episodic animes, but this felt weird. The episodes seemed scattered. Some were about Nanami as a god and others as bonding moments between the couple. It didn't feel normal. I didn't like it. 

Would kiss again. Maybe.

Not Faking My Ambivalence: 'Tell Me Something Real' Blog Tour

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tell Me Something Real

Author: Calla Devlin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Family
Publisher: S&S/Athenum
Page Number: 304

Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments.

Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal…

How does cancer affect different people? Well, in the patient, there is pain and loss and grief. They lose their hair and different aspects of their lives. Students have a tough time going to school. Adults have a tough time going to work.
But what about the family members? They're affected too.

Family is important. I always respect books that show families, positively or negatively. Families exist for many people. This book showed an intricate family system. The dad was too busy. The eldest daughter was artistic but acted out. The middle daughter was quite and caring. The youngest daughter was hyper but obsessed with dead saints. And the mom was sick. It had a lot of different types of people within the story. The story revolved around these completely different people and how their lives were woven together.
And when everything fell apart, family was there. It was a different take on the family situation, and it was handled well. The family might have been broken, but they stuck together.

There was a lot of real elements in this book. The fear of death is one thing. It's not really explored since the girls aren't dying themselves, but the threat of a possible death is there. It's omniscient. And the girls' reactions feel real. They're scared, but they pretend that they're okay.

Cancer is something that exists. We hate that it does, but there is no cure yet. It's scary and hard to understand. The book portrayed cancer and its side effects accurately. There are hair loss and dizziness and lack of energy. That's something I'm figuring out pretty fast. (Don't worry. I don't have cancer. But someone I know does.)

Love can ruin lots of books. And it does in this book. The love interest helps support Vanessa at times, but he seems redundant. This could have been a story about families and siblings. Sure, Caleb didn't play a huge role in general, but enough scenes were dedicated to Vanessa and Caleb's interactions. The introduction of Caleb's mother Barb did set a lot of the plot points in motion, though, so he was a necessary evil.

I didn't feel any love towards this couple. They weren't very appealing.

The when and where of a book can change the entire tone. A witch hunt in Salem in the 1690s seems common, but a witch hunt in the middle of Manhattan in the 2010s seems unlikely. Throughout the book, I thought it was set in the present day. The music seemed a bit older, but I thought it was because someone liked the oldies.

This implies that the setting wasn't of huge importance, but I say otherwise. Laetrile could have never been invented in one decade or even used in the US in another. There just wasn't enough about the time period.


Calla Devlin is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the Best of Blood and Thunder Award whose stories have been included in numerous literary journals and in anthologies, including Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond, for which she was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Magazine. 

Tell Me Something Real is her first book.

Beware the Boy: 'The Girl Who Fell' Review

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Girl Who Fell

Author: Shannon M Parker

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. 

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.


Abusive relationships start out normally. You feel like you're in love. And maybe you are. But then, something goes wrong.
These days, books are pretty open-minded. We have books about all sorts of things. But abuse seems to be lagging behind. We need to have an open conversation about abuse. And I think this book could start it.

As I said, we need more books about abuse. Before this, I never read anything about abuse. (Not to my recollection, at least.)

The abuse in this book was bad. You knew it was coming (You saw all the warning signs), yet you couldn't help but shiver when it came. (By it, I mean the Worst Part of the abuse. The physical part.)
Abuse in the real world can be like this too. The other person seems so kind and so sweet. You fall for them, hard and fast. But then things pop up. Unexplainable things. But, by then, you're too late.
I hope this book helps teach people about the warning signs and when to stand up for yourself. I hope it empowers people who are in abusive relationships.

The sex didn't fade to black. Honestly, I was surprised by that. But I'm kinda happy that happens too. Sex, in reality, doesn't fade to black. It's you and another person. It's real. Books need to show that. Sex is real. And books show reality to a certain degree.

We need more sex-positive books. Because sex is okay.

I know the romance was supposed to be hurried and crazy. But I couldn't stand it. If he's forcing you from your life, there's something wrong. Zephyr dove in too deep. If she had calmed down and taken it slower...things might have been better, or worse I don't know. I just felt sick reading all the sappy parts. It made my stomach churn. Romance isn't like that. At least, not like that in my mind.

The ending seemed rushed. We had hints about Alec's personality throughout the book, but the climax of the story came in the last 100 pages or so. I really couldn't stand this. We had a whole story that teased the scene in the beginning, but it took forever for us to actually get there. I was annoyed, to say the least.

Overall, this isn't a bad book. If you want to read a book that does show abuse, this is not bad. But I couldn't stand the romance. Even if I knew its implications.


Not lost in love

Why I Dropped 'KonoSuba'

Friday, August 19, 2016

With the second season of 'KonoSuba' nearing in the fall of 2016, I decided to give it a try. It has high ratings on Myanimelist (Which is how I figure out what finished anime to watch.) Why not? 
I thought this would be a better version of 'SAO'. NEET guy goes to another world with cute girl and has to survive. But, honestly, if we're going with that idea, I might as well watch 'Re:Zero' an anime that actually does this overused video-game-esque-world right. (Which I know because I've seen one episode.)
This has to be one of the worst decisions of my life. 

The main reason I hated this was because of Aqua. When we first see Aqua, she is basically being a nuisance from Day One. She taunts the Dude (Whose name I forgot so he will henceforth be known as the Dude) about being dead. Honestly, his overreaction would be normal. He died from shock. And peed his pants. And people laughed. I'd be embarrassed too. Aqua had NO RIGHT to tease him about that. He's a NEET. What did she think would happen? She was being downright rude. 
The other thing that I hated about Aqua was that she was hypersexualized. We spent half the episode look at her butt crack. And I doubt she is wearing any pantsu (Or underwear.) I'm sorry, but I'm not into that fanservice. It's doled out liberally in this anime, and I couldn't stand it. Sure, a face-to-boobs scene is normal in anime, but this is taking it too far. Take out the fanservice, and I might be okay with trudging through another episode. But it was so bad.

Next problem the Dude. He has no personality. His character traits are: NEET and useless. That's it. He's not like the honest-to-peanut-butter helpful Subaru ('Re:Zero'.) Nor do I expect him to be but at least Subaru had a personality. The Dude exudes NOTHING in the personality department. He's a NEET, and that's all you'll ever need to know about him. Even the Harem Hottie* himself (Kirito, in case you're wondering) has more personality. Not A personality but more OF a personality. 
The Dude doesn't live in reality. He assumes his NEET knowledge will help him get through everything. I'm not shocked by this, but does he honestly think he'll randomly be given tools and magic? That's not how life works. Not everything will be handed to you on a silver platter. Grow up.

The characters were a sore spot for me. But the entire anime doesn't seem to be anything special. So I'm not continuing on.

*PS: I used a lot of names like Harem Hottie. But I'll never use those again. Anyways, most people call Kirito God or Jesus-kun. So.

What did you think of 'KonoSuba'? Are you excited for season two? I know I'm not going to watch it. 

History with a Twist: 'My Lady Jane' Review

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Number: 491 pages

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

History can be written over and over, but history can be boring. That's why people rewrite history. 'What if's can be interesting things. That's why we write them and read them. I don't typically read these books. Why? I'm not a fan of history. It's over and done for me, and that's all that needs to be said. The hype of this book was crazy, though. People were talking about it for a long time. Of course, this leads me to think 'Hey, why not?' After a long drought of books, this was something that people loved. I am a person, and, using logic, I should love it too.
And, yes, I kinda do love it.

The Lady Janies crafted a unique take on the story of Jane Grey. I have never read anything about her. I know more about Roman emperors than English monarchs, and I don't know a lot about Roman emperors (I used to, though. I was in Latin for three years.) With my lack of knowledge, I soldiered through this book. Thankfully, the authors supplied us with tidbits of history here and there. I know this isn't a completely accurate depiction of history, (After all, there are no shapeshifters...or are there?) but the story continued to be enjoyable. The alternate world this book takes place in is strange and unique. Many customs do stay the same, but there are major changes that make this world stand out.
I do hope we see more books set in this alternate world. I'd love to see how these shapeshifters work in real life.

Most books are written without any involvement of the authors, but this book had hilarious commentary from the authors. Their comments were throughout the entire book, and it made it every enjoyable. I learned about the invention of the modern pen and pencil and lots about the standards of society through these three ladies. I laughed out loud at their commentary at times.
Also, their hilarity seeped into the characters. G(ifford) had lots of snarky remarks, and Jane had her good share as well. (I mention them in this order since I last remember laughing at G's comments, not Jane's.) These characters were witty and sassy. But I'll talk about that in a second.

The main character Jane was sassy. But let's not forget Gracie who was a fireball too. I loved the fierce girls. They stood up for themselves and didn't take anyone's nagging. I imagine that people will brandish this book when girls ask for role models. Jane would be an amazing role model; she promotes literacy and bravery and love and compassion. Who doesn't love that? Gracie was tough and rough around the edges, but she still held her chin high. We didn't get a lot of her character because she did come at the end. Yet, she is a well-written and developed character even if she isn't one of the main characters. Both these girls were stars in their own right.
Not to say that the guys weren't done well either. The two main guys are funny. Edward is a bit of a stick in the mud, but, again, I'll address that later. G was quite a character. He was snarky and hide his feelings. I would typically fall for this type of character if I hadn't already approved of Jane and G's relationship (Which was adorable.) The split perspective of the book was done well. We got to know each of the characters. Even if some of us (Ehem me) didn't like all of them.

Although the book is titled 'My Lady Jane', two of the three main characters were guys. (Not that I have a problem with that.) I do have a minor problem with Edward the King of England. He was a bit of a sexist (Or...he was a sexist.) The reality is that men back then were sexist, and women were treated as lessers. It's the sad truth. I do understand that was how men thought, but Edward could have lessened the harsh words. A ruler of a kingdom is a good one if they are just and fair. You shouldn't judge on their gender. It's rude. Admittedly, he began to change his ways after meeting the foxy Gracie (I mean that literally.) Thank goodness for that change or I'd hate him.

I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I laughed at the commentary and marveled in the unique world. The characters were fascinating, female and male alike. While I could do without Edward's sexist thoughts, it's something that was common in the time period and, therefore, mildly understandable.
Truly, this book is good for anyone looking for a good laugh or a new spin on the tale of Lady Jane Grey.

Did you read this book? If so, what did you think? Did you like Jane? How about G? And Edward? 

Summer 2016 Mid-Season Recap

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

*You'll find out why there are only 5 animes in this graphic. Soon.

Ah, we've hit the middle of the summer 2016 season.  (At least, for most animes, this is the middle.) I've been dying to write this post since episode 4 for most of these animes. And I'm happy to be able to share my thoughts on all the animes I've been watching this summer!


Hatsukoi Monster
This is actually the only anime I've dropped so far. I've put another on hold, but I may drop that one too. If you saw my First Episode Test for this anime, you know how much I hate it. It's so lewd and childish. I couldn't take it seriously.  I only watched the first episode out of pure curiosity. And, man, was that a stupid idea. This anime takes the loli genre and turns it on its head. Instead of cute, young girls, we have bishounen boy-esque guys who are actually just elementary school kids. If that doesn't turn you off, all the penis jokes will. I can tolerate a certain degree of 'potty humor', but this anime was so immature even I couldn't finish it. Don't watch this unless you're in the need of some awful, immature humor.
Check out my First Episode Test of this anime.
I wouldn't even watch this anime. Weekly or not. It's disgusting.



At first, this seemed like an innocent sports anime. (Thanks to Haikyuu for getting me mildly into sports anime.) But the main character was such an annoyance. He was so rude to everybody. I didn't understand him. And his little brother was jumping in at inopportune times. Please, calm yourself. I was so mad that I couldn't appreciate the only good thing about this (Go the catcher, in case you were wondering.) Sorry but not thanks.
Check out my post on why I dropped this anime. 
Since I haven't seen past the first episode, I can't tell you to binge watch it or watch it weekly. 


Ah...this anime makes me smile. Or cry. Or both? It's a moving story. I didn't expect this to me so amazing, but it truly is. It's an emotional story that tackles depression in a way I haven't seen before in anime. Kakeru keeps putting himself down in ways that seem possible. He regrets a lot. But so does Naho. And Naho feels real. She hesitates to tell him about her feelings. She is reluctant to do what the letter says. A lot of shoujo main characters, or anime characters in general, would carpe diem and take the letter at face value. But she questioned it. And that's what I would do.
I this in a binge. So you can cry a lot all at once instead of rivers every week. Plus, there are a lot of twists that would be better done all at once.

Mob Psycho 100

I only watched this because people said it was good. Or would be good. But I'm surprised at how much I like this. It's a visually appealing anime (Even though it takes some time to get used to the unique art style.) The characters are gaining depth. Mob has a backstory that I don't know yet. But I'm intrigued. I can't wait for the next episode each week.
This anime can be watched weekly. And it's fine that way. But I say binge watch this baby because it would be better to see him explode multiple times all at times instead of once every few weeks.

New Game

This is such a fluffy anime. Aoba is adorable and moe. The rest of the girls are moe. It's an anime about being friends and becoming an adult. I can't say no to that. There aren't a lot of plot points, and I'm not learning diddly squat about the video game industry. But I'm fine seeing Aoba go about daily life. Plus, I'm rooting for Ko and Rin. They're very cute together.
I say...weekly. It's cute and something that works for every week. If I watched this as a binge, I'd be plowed over with the cuteness.

Morose Mononokean
I might be one of the only people who likes this anime. Most have written it off by now, but I do enjoy it. It's sweet and funny. Ashiya has a lot of room to grow. I can't wait to find out his secret. (It was implied that Ashiya is something more.) He truly cares for people, and I like that. Abeno has a lot of skeletons in his closet as well. And Fuzzy just brings a smile to my face. 
It doesn't matter if you binge watch this or not. I say weekly since it's a good pick-me-up like 'New Game'.

I actually didn't want to start this anime. I mostly did so after Twitter exploded with praise for it. The animation is definitely gorgeous and is something to stick around for. (I can't wait to see more open water scenes!) But I stick around mostly because of the friendship (I also want Pikari and Teko to have a cute yuri relationship. What can I say? I'm a dreamer.) The friendship is amazing. Strangers then friends then diving buddies. There's trust in that friendship. Something that isn't in a lot of friendships. I also like Teko's journey. She's becoming independent and learning more about herself. I find that adorable and interesting. I want to see her struggles because I know she'll get through it. Pikari or not.
Binge watch for sure. It's so cute and sweet that I just want to consume all of it at once! 

91 Days
This is a simple revenge story. There doesn't seem to be anything special about it. But I stick around. I want to see how Avilio will take his revenge. This is also some added mystery about the fourth person. And the mob politics are fascinating. (Even if I can't remember who belongs to which family.) Plus, Nero is funny.
Why watch a revenge story unfold each week? There's no reason for that. Watch this as a binge. The story will make much more sense, and you won't have to dig through your memories to remember what happened in the last episode. 

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai Ga Aru
I almost wrote this anime off. It was annoying with the unrequited romance and episodic nature. I didn't expect that. But after a few episodes, I warmed to the unrequited love and even saw a barely-there overarching plot. I'm rooting for Usami. I want her to win over Uchimaki. Plus, I love seeing Uchimaki's creations. It's kinda meta. Art within art. But the episodic nature does rub me the wrong way sometimes. I want more art competitions and all. 
Weekly is fine with this anime. You get a slice of life with a little romance thrown in. A boost for the weekend. (This comes out Thursday or Friday.)

Man, I can't believe I'm still watching this. But it's cute. It's cats within bananas. What can go wrong? Nothing. There really is no gain or loss from this anime. It's so short that you can watch it in between classes or during your lunch break. 
Since it's so short, binge watching this is fine. I think that all the episodes of this anime will equate to one or two of the normal, 20+ minutes episodes.


I was intrigued by the premise. An adult who is put in a teenager's body? Whattt. And the story is interesting. We have complicated relationships and characters who are interesting. You root for the couples. I do think it needs a second season mostly because of that last reveal!
Unlike other animes, this was released all at once. So there was no weekly aspect at all. Binge watch is the only way to go.

The following Anime Awards of the Season is based on Magnitude Anime Reviews' additional thoughts.
Also, the following animes were featured in my graphic at the top! That's where those five come from.

Best Anime Overall 

Orange and Mob Psycho 100
It's a tie for this spot. Orange explores a unique view on regret, and I'm crying every episode. (No, seriously.) And Mob Psycho 100 isn't episodic anymore. Plus, we're exploring the non-psychic world too via Ritsu. And Mob has a backstory we haven't finished with yet.

Worst Anime Overall

Hatsukoi Monster
Penis jokes and reverse loli characters. There is no other explanation needed.

Best Female Character
Naho from Orange
Naho, as I said, is someone who is real. She hesitates and forgets. I could be Naho. I hesitate and forget. She feels unlike many other characters in anime. She is human. And, man, that's an amazing job on the writer's part.

Best Male Character
Ashiya from Morose Mononokean
This was a tough choice. I would have chosen Mob or Kakeru (Mob Psycho 100 and Orange respectively), but I felt like they didn't really fit (Plus, I'm trying HARD not to repeat animes on this list.) Ashiya is NICE. He's so freaking nice. But because he truly cares about people, I felt a connection to him. I wanted to be on his side. He really does want to help people. And he complains too. He might hate the situation and act all wimpy, but he soldiers through it. THAT'S real dedication.
PS: I do want to acknowledge Mob here, though. He's freaking cool. I want to see more of his backstory. BUT since we don't have his backstory, I can't say he's my favorite of this season.

Best Couple
Ko and Rin from New Game
These two aren't canon (The only couple that is is Kakeru and Naho from 'Orange'.) But I do ship these two. They're so cute together. Ko relies on Rin for a lot of things. And the anime has even added in a scene where Rin is watching a romance anime where the guy is resting in the girl's lap much like Ko is resting in Rin's lap. Hmmmm. 

Best OP

Million Clouds from Amanchu
This is tough too. I love all the OPs this season. They're all so amazing. (I even have the OP from 'Orange' on my phone. I've been meaning to put all of them on my phone, though.) But this OP is so beautiful. The vocals are beautiful. The animation is beautiful, and it really works with the timing of the song. The part that crescendoes corresponds with the Diving Club jumping into the water. And the ending animation (With Pikari and Teko holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes) always takes my breath away.
Check it out here! 

Best Animation
Mob Psycho 100
This is the most unique animation style I've seen in a while (Okay, One Punch Man kinda looks like this. Sorta. At times.) But it's unique. It takes some getting used to, but the sketchy-looking lines and blasts of color can be gorgeous. I love it.

What animes are you watching this season? Which ones are your favorites? Which ones did you drop?