Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Review

Today I’ve got a streaming review of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid! The show obviously charmed the hell out of me, so I was happy to talk about it at greater length. Maidragon is one of those shows whose weaknesses are so clearly partitioned that they don’t really affect my enjoyment of the whole; the show’s side characters aren’t very good, but they don’t really impact the power of the show’s domestic material at all. And the comedy is strong throughout, making for a generally excellent ride. I hope you enjoy the piece!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 8

Natsume’s relationship with his ability to see youkai has evolved considerably over the course of this series. Initially seen as a total burden, his power isolated him, leaving him abandoned by relatives and without any close friends. Natsume wished only to be rid of his power, and barring that, he craved contact with anyone who could in some way relate to his experience. Actually getting closer to youkai was inconceivable – they were the source of his pain, the reason he couldn’t live a normal life.

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Spring 2017 – Week 5 in Review

Hey all, and welcome back to the Week in Review. We’re somehow approaching the halfway point of another season, and things are still looking pretty solid in anime land. I’ve got Tsuki ga Kirei and The Eccentric Family for my character stories, Sakura Quest and Re:Creators offering some interesting ideas, and My Hero Academia to just be a generally entertaining time. That’s pretty much everything I ask for in a season, and so as of this moment, I’d say anime is pretty okay. Let’s start off in the tumbleweeds of Manoyama and run this week down!

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The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 5

The Eccentric Family reprised one of the first season’s highlights this week, offering the followup to the tanuki flying festival. In spite of repeating a couple plot beats, it managed to find its own identity, offering great moments for Gyokuran and pretty much all of our resident tengu. I’m also excited to see this season actually presenting Benten as clearly fallible, which will hopefully lead to some great development for her.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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ef – A Tale of Memories – Episode 5

And we’re back for another episode of A Tale of Memories. Last episode was, as usual, a mix of the good and the bad. On the positive side, Chihiro’s story has surprisingly turned out to be the strongest narrative within this series, with Chihiro’s condition being handled in a thoughtful way and her personality coming through gracefully throughout. On the negative side, Kei’s material last week was pretty much all romantic comedy cliches, as she flipped from a misunderstanding in the first half to a walking-in-on-her-rival moment in the second. But considering ef was able to turn Chihiro’s story into something compelling, I have reasonable hope that Kei will turn out the same. Let’s find out!

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Why It Works: My Hero Academia’s Tactical Tapestry

I returned to My Hero Academia this week, digging into the satisfying action fundamentals underlying its recent cavalry battle. This season has been an absolute joy so far, and the nature of the sports festival makes it just as fun to talk about. Here’s the piece!

Why It Works: My Hero Academia’s Tactical Tapestry

Chihayafuru – Episode 2

Let’s dive right into Chihayafuru’s second episode. There was a whole lot I liked about the first episode, from the strong use of color to the generally sharp direction and very likable protagonist. There were also things I was a little less enamored with, like the fairly routine love triangle framing and the flash-forward dramatic structure. But the things I liked are things whose worth is immediately apparent, while the things I’m not sold on can easily justify and complicate themselves over time. This is already a fun show, and its reputation is pretty stellar. I don’t need to be convinced here – I’m happy to give it another episode. Let’s get to it!

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Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 5

Tsuki ga Kirei continued to be just the most adorable goddamn thing this week. I was happy to see Kotarou branching out from his light-punching to also include some windmill kicks and situps in this week’s texting ceremony, and loved the whole charming date at the end. In a season full of great surprises, Tsuki ga Kirei counts among the best of them.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my brief notes below.

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Casshern Sins – Episode 14

Let’s get back to Casshern Sins! Last episode offered the most dramatic and fully articulated set of reveals yet, as we learned the true nature of Casshern’s design, as well as the secret of the old man. Casshern seemed kinda shattered by this revelation, unsurprisingly, but I hope he manages to pull himself together soon. Thoughtful, goal-oriented Casshern has been a joy to follow, and learning the truth of his past shouldn’t dictate his destiny. Of course, this is Casshern Sins, so he may also just spend six episodes wandering in a bitter malaise. I guess we’ll find out!

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Steins;Gate: The Movie – Review

Today I’ve got a review of the Steins;Gate movie, which was… well, pretty bad. Also tedious, superfluous, and dramatically inert. It was somewhat nice just to see these characters again, but watching them go through the motions of a clearly uninspired story just wasn’t a particularly good time. Ah well.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.