Citrus | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV

Citrus

So, because I gave yaoi anime a try, I figured I should also do the same for the yuri genre. We first gave this a try back in April with the anime Citrus. It wasn’t horrible, so I figured I’d give it a try like I did with the boys. So, without further ado, first up on the list is Netsuzou Trap.

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- | 12 episodes | Sub | VRV

NTR Cover

I’m going to be honest here — this was the only one that I finished. There were 12 episodes and they were 9 minutes each. The whole idea of the story was the two girls in the center are best friends, but the girl with black hair — we’ll refer to them as Pink and Black because I honestly don’t remember their names — is in love with Pink. Pink and Black both have boyfriends, but that’s… complicated. Pink has what I would think of as a “normal” relationship with her boyfriend. She likes him, he likes her, they end up dating and are all “blushy blushy” around each other. Black is only with her boyfriend to say she has one. In exchange for “dating” her, she has to sleep with him pretty much on demand and he hits her if she doesn’t.

Couple

Black starts making moves on Pink under the guise of “I’m helping you practice for your boyfriend”, but as anyone would probably guess, Black is in love with Pink and Pink starts to realize her feelings for Black. The later episodes deal with Pink coming to terms with her feelings for Black, and trying to date her, although — for reasons I didn’t understand — Black keeps turning her down. They do end up together in the end though.

Black and PinkLiar

For this to be a short anime, clocking in at a total of 108 minutes including the intro and outro, it told a pretty decent story. I didn’t like that Pink was cheating on her boyfriend when he liked her so much and was such a nice and considerate guy. She was also cheating with her best friend, who he obviously thought he didn’t have to worry about — which I think makes the whole situation worse — but he never learns that bit of information. He even tries to work things out with her, but when he calls her, she is getting felt up by Black and he can tell that she’s with someone else. Like… honestly. The way she treated him was just wrong. On a personal level, I disagree with cheating altogether and think it’s unforgivable, so watching this was a bit frustrating. It struck me as annoying how no one but the douchebag boyfriend was honest and upfront about how he felt and how things were between him and Black.

He knows

The storyline was pretty basic and predictable, but for a 9 minute short, it was told pretty well when all things are considered.

Sakura Trick | 12 episodes | Sub | VRV

Sakura Kiss
This was the second and last anime that I tried. The reason being, there was literally no story here other than “girls kissing girls”. And if that’s what you’re into — cool. Everyone is entitled to like what they like, and to not have to explain it to anyone. I, however, am not into girls kissing each other to the point where I want to watch a full series of nothing but that. There was no plot to this at all. The main characters had no other goals other than “where are we going to make out today”.

Girls Kissing

Now, I only watched this anime up to the 4th episode — which was really pushing my limits — but I wanted to give it an honest try. I wanted to like it. I wanted to like this genre, but I just didn’t. And here’s why:

There Were Boobs Everywhere

In every episode, in all the anime, there were boob shots and girls kissing in every episode. There were boob shots in places and scenarios that didn’t even make any sense. Prime example: In Sakura Trick, they were at a school meeting for the sports festival and to convince the president that there should be cheerleaders she — you guessed it — popped out her boobs! Like… what? As an owner of a pair of boobs, I can vouch that this is not an appropriate argument! I just felt like my time had been wasted at that point.

boobs

There’s No Plot Other Than Girls Kissing Girls

This was true for ALL the yuri anime I watched and probably the biggest difference between yaoi and yuri that I noticed. It seemed the primary goal of all the anime with girls was to make out and get handsy with each other in inappropriate places. With the guys, there’s so much less of that and when it was there, it was done in more… “tasteful” ways. Now, that’s just an opinion, but I’m allowed to have one. With the guys, I felt there was more build-up to the moment in comparison to the girls, who were kissing each other in the first episode. Granted, my anime watching experience with the girls is limited to the anime you see listed here, but I saw no story elements in these other than the girls making out, or trying to, in some way or another.

Still kissing
Those two points are deal breakers for me for this entire genre. They wouldn’t be so bad if there was more of other things. More story, or more interesting and developed characters, or more relationship to be built up to the kissing or after the kissing. However, there isn’t any of that, that I witnessed. If I’m wrong or just haven’t come across the right anime for the girls, let me know. I’d love to be able to give this a try with better anime. Based on what I’ve seen though, I’m not convinced that this genre has more it to than what I’ve seen already.

Yurikuma Arashi | 12 Episodes | Dub | VRV

Yurikuma Arashi
Side Note: It was recommended that I try Yurikuma Arashi and this… this was even worse because there was nothing but boobs and kissing AND I was confused about everything else. Giant NO!


The Otaku Couple

Yuri!!! On Ice | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV

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Final Verdict: I want more!

Yuri on Ice literally gave me all the feels I could possibly want. It had action. It had romance. It had a person who is over the age of 17 trying to find his place in the skating world and where he fits in. It had a lot of great characters. It had characters growing. It had awesome music and skating routines. It had so much goodness!

Defeat

First, there was the overall story. Yuri Katsuki is a professional ice skater who is in a bad slump after a pretty much epic fail in the Grand Prix Finals. He is on the verge of retiring when he returns home after graduating from college. Unsure of what to do, he goes to the skating rink to show an old friend a routine they’d watched together as kids of Viktor — the most popular men’s single ice skater. Her daughters record him doing the routine, the video goes viral, and soon Yuri has the Viktor he’s idolized since childhood as his skating coach. This shakes up the skating world and turns Yuri’s career and life on its head.

Yuri and Viktor 1

 

The show follows Yuri as he works hard to make a comeback in his ice skating career. We see him train to get back in shape, struggle to find his confidence, and improve by leaps and bounds — literally with his leaps and bounds on the ice. He has 3 routines that change ever so slightly from competition to competition. I thought at first that this would get boring, but I was absolutely wrong. By seeing the same routine, we see him improve so much! The mistakes he makes during the first performance change him, and his expressions and confidence in the routines change as well. The animation shows this, but with the added addition of hearing his inner thoughts while he skates and the crowd’s thoughts as they watch him, we really get a full picture. I also love that I could connect the routine to his outfits and I got excited to see what was going to happen. Was he going to nail all his jumps or was he going to flub it up?

Yuri Skate 1

My heart was honestly racing as I watched him on the ice, and I’ve never watched an anime that had me so into the story that way.

Yuri Skate 2

Aside from the action on the ice, we have the relationship between Yuri and Viktor off the ice. I really loved the love story between them as well. It wasn’t overnight or sudden really, it was always there and grew bigger throughout the episodes. It wasn’t something that overtook the anime though. This is a sports anime hands down, but you’d be hard-pressed to watch this and ignore their relationship. I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible. So if you’re not into boys kissing boys… this might not be the anime for you. There is only one actual kiss that we see, but there are a lot of other signals that hint that it wasn’t the only one.

Hug
I’m literally the kid over there freaking out.

There were also the other skaters. Normally in an anime like this, we wouldn’t know much about anyone else except for Yuri and Viktor, but we know the story of everyone in the anime. From his skating buddies, to his rival, to the friends he grew up with, to his ballet teacher. Everyone has a story, and knowing it, even if it’s just a little bit, helps to build the world that Yuri lives in and helps to feel connected to him. I think that connection is probably why my heart was racing for him on the ice.

Watch Me
“Watch me Viktor. Don’t take your eyes off me.” – Yuri Katsuki

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you also know that I really appreciate an anime with older characters because there’s more to life than high school. This anime shows that really well. School doesn’t even factor in here and I think it’s accurate in a lot of ways. As a young person, Yuri felt absolutely deflated and at rock bottom after his epic defeat in the Grand Prix Finals. He questioned whether he was good enough to skate anymore at all or if he should just retire. He questioned how long he’d be able to skate since it’s so hard on his body, and at 23, he didn’t have much time left to skate competitively. He refers to himself as “a dime a dozen” skater certified by the association. He’s a real guy who acknowledges where he stands in the world and questions if he can realistically compete with the other great skaters he has to face. I like this because with him being older, he’s more mature in a lot of ways. So, we don’t get so many of the pointless emotional breakouts we sometimes get with younger characters.

Tie Grab

This anime was so good. It had a great story and was filled with interesting characters, just the right amount of romance, and a good amount of healthy competition. The skating routines are fun to watch and it’s easy to get caught up in this one. 100% worth the watch.


The Otaku Couple

So, as we all know, anime has a way of influencing us from time to time, and I am no exception to this. So after watching Wotakoi, Kiss Him Not Me, and No-Rin, which all feature characters that are obsessed with boy love, I decided to give some boy-love anime a try to see what was so great about it.

Narumi

This journey began by accident, honestly. I watched Wotakoi on Amazon Prime Video and one of the suggestions was Hitorijime My Hero. I clicked on it and it had a pretty interesting description. Add to it Narumi’s obsession and there I was — watching my first boy-love anime. This binge review is all about my experience with that, so if you’re not into boys loving boys, feel free to skip this one.

(more…)

No-Rin | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV

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Final Verdict: It’s a bit unrealistic but entertaining.

No-Rin is an anime about a popstar who moves to the county. It’s a pretty simple premise, but in a strange way, it works. Ringo is a former pop star idol who retires to go to school in the country and work on a farm. She received boxes with vegetables from the Kosaku, a boy who’s obsessed with her as an idol, which is why she chooses to go to the farming school when she gets burnt out with being an idol. The show mainly revolves around them and the craziness they get into at school.

Group photo

Kosaku is the boy who was obsessed with and pretty much in love with Ringo. His childhood friend is Minori and she’s so in love with him it’s painful. There’s also Kei and Yoshida (who everyone calls Fun-bags because her boobs are so huge) and a pet kangaroo that’s not really a kangaroo. Their teacher is Ms. Becky and she’s an interesting character on her own. She’s a 40-year old woman who looks like a child, but has no one special in her life. She tries to “act young” and push herself off on her students in the most inappropriate manners, and when they turn her down for obvious reasons, she turns into a “monster” and talks about her loneliness until they’re depressed. It’s actually pretty funny, but sometimes it’s misplaced and just makes the anime feel awkward and annoying.

My favorite character by far was Kei. He was the “cool” character, but he was also funny and sort of weird in his own way too. I liked that all of the friends, specifically Kei, Minori, and Kosaku, felt like actual friends. They had a good chemistry and helped each other out. Minori and Kosaku were childhood friends and the casual nature of their friendship was great to watch. Minori was in love with Kosaku, but still joked around with him and cared about his feelings, even if they were for another girl. Ringo was occasionally portrayed as the outlier of the group and I think that’s fitting, considering that she’s known them the least amount of time.

The only thing I just flat-out didn’t like was the ending of this anime. It’s made clear throughout the anime who Kosaku prefers and how he feels about Minori and Ringo. When it came down to choose, the anime ran away from having Kosaku make a choice. I think that was a really poor decision and instead of satisfying everyone (ship who you want) it disappointed everyone because a choice was never clearly made. Other than that though, I have no real complaints about this anime. It was funny, cute, light, and entertaining. I think it’s a nice “refresher” anime: something light to watch in between heavier, more intense shows.

Minori v. Ringo

Definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for something light that’ll give you a laugh or two.


The Otaku Couple

Wagnaria!! | 40 Episodes | SUB | VRV
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Final Verdict: This was the kind anime I haven’t seen in a while and it was so refreshing to watch.

Wagnaria is what I would consider to be a true slice of life anime. The characters are interesting and relatable, but still wacky and unique. The situations they get into are funny and awkward and most of the story focuses on them navigating their friends — and crushes — at work. The main character is Takanashi and he’s obsessed with tiny cute things, so when Taneshima — a tiny girl — asks him to work with her at a family restaurant, he doesn’t turn her down. That’s where the story kicks off.

Welcome to Wagnaria

While working there, he meets plenty of people, but none are as interesting as the people with him behind the counter. Kyouko is the manager, and she’s a former gang member who does nothing but eat all day and tell everyone else to work.

Kyouko

Todoroki is the “Chief” and she’s infatuated with Kyouko. She’s pretty simple and extremely kind and good at her job, but she carries a katana on her hip at all times and is completely unaware of Satou. Satou is probably my favorite character because of his resemblance to Sanji from One Piece. He’s tall, blonde, and a cook who smokes, who constantly fights with the person he’s probably closest too. He’s been in love with Todoroki from the moment he met her pretty much and has been harboring a secret crush for her for four years.

Souma is the other cook in the kitchen and while a troublemaker and ever watching presence over everyone, a pretty decent guy who always seems to hang out with Satou. He’s also the older brother that Yamada claimed and she’s a runaway who’s living at the restaurant. There’s also Inami who has androphobia, which is an intense fear of men, and Taneshima who is cute and adorable and probably the most “normal” one of them all.

This anime has a lot of great points in every episode. It moves at a good, steady pace, so you never feel like it’s moving so fast you can’t keep up or going so slow you just want to stop altogether. Each episode is a different day (or two) in their lives and as they get more comfortable with each other and spend more time together, the situations change. Even binge watching it, I feel like Takanashi’s crush on Inami and Satou’s crush on Todoroki grew over time. I love that it didn’t feel forced and that we got to see all the awkward stages of them. I especially loved that Takanashi and Inami liked each other because I wouldn’t have guessed that relationship from the beginning and it was a pleasant surprise.

I also like the variety of characters and the fact that it didn’t center around just one of them. True, the main character was Takanashi, but the story is told with the mindset that there are several people working at the restaurant, even Matsumoto who we often don’t see because she doesn’t hang out with everyone else much, but she’s there! And the anime makes an effort to point that out. I think that’s a nice touch and adds a bit of relatability to the anime that wouldn’t have otherwise been there.

Matsumoto

The anime is based in a restaurant environment, and the characters actually work. We see them serving customers, taking orders, organizing, greeting, cleaning, taking breaks, and doing everything else. Again, this was a touch of realism and relatability that I’m glad they didn’t skip over. It makes these characters something you want to continue watching and is a great way to keep the story going. There’s a heartfelt conversation, but break’s over — back to work. There’s an argument or conflict with someone, but they’re not on the schedule — wait several days to see them again. You want to talk to someone and ask for advice, but someone called off and you’re short staffed — no time to talk. Those little things felt extremely entertaining to me. This also helped me to feel like, their lives would continue on after the anime. I didn’t really feel like I hit a brick wall at the end, I just feel like I left the restaurant and can go back whenever I feel like it. It’s rare that I finish an anime thinking that I have complete closure. All of my questions were answered, and while curious about how they’d be in the future, I don’t feel like I’m missing vital pieces of information. I finished it feeling 100% satisfied with watching it.

Restaurant

There were times where I felt like certain things were exaggerated — Takanahi’s obsession with little things, his sister’s drinking habits, Inami’s reactions in some situations — but I never felt it was too over the top. Even though it’s slice of life, it’s still anime designed for entertainment. The only trouble I had initially was with the first season. The quality of the animation just isn’t very good compared to the others and moves a bit slower than the rest of the seasons, but I wouldn’t say it detracts from the anime. I think it’s just something to be prepared for if you watch it from the beginning like I did.

I honestly loved this anime and would rank it in the top 10 slice of life anime I’ve seen. He’s just… good. It left me feeling happy and content. I felt for these characters — I laughed with them, stressed along with them and cheered for them when things finally turned out the way they wanted. I would definitely recommend this if you like slice of life / comfort / romance anime. It’s got so many good things, it’s not one I would recommend passing up.

Group Photo


The Otaku Couple

Wotakoi | 11 Episodes | SUB | Amazon Prime Video

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Final Verdict: This was unbelievably cute and accurate to adult relationships and hit all the right notes for a love story.

This anime is all about Narumi and Hirotaka who are, at their core, cute and utterly perfect for each other. They are childhood friends who are all grown up now. Both of them are otaku, although, Hirotaka is into games and Narumi is into anime and manga – specifically of the yaoi variety. They run into each other at work after Narumi changes jobs and things sort of take off from there.

There are so many good things that I enjoyed about this anime. I love that the anime is about them navigating dating instead of falling in love. They’re both otaku, and while Narumi has had boyfriends in the past, they were always normal guys so she hid her otaku nature. This makes dating Hirotaka different, because he already knows she’s an otaku and accepts that part of her which is nice to see. I also thought it was a nice touch, that Hirotaka has wanted to date Narumi since they were younger.

I also really enjoyed that they didn’t become awkward and actually acted like adults who had known each other their entire life. I’ve never had a childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest relationship before, but this is what I imagine it would be like. They’re extremely comfortable with each other and talk about how they were growing up together and how they’ve changed. They also know each other better than anyone else. Of course, there are awkward and blushing moments, because they’re dating, but the core of their relationship is their friendship.

There was so much about this that I loved, I could really go on forever probably. I loved that they were working people with normal jobs, that they didn’t want to hugely expose their otaku nature, that they made friends who were otaku as well and hung out, that there was often a comparison between their relationship and their friends. It was just so much goodness wrapped up into one show.

Otaku

I also really loved Hirotaka as a main character. It probably helped, that as far as romance anime guys go, I thought Hirotaka was one of the most attractive I’ve seen, personality wise. It’s purely subjective, but he’s cool, calm, and nerdy on the outside, but still pretty much a goofy person on the inside. That combination really appeals to me. I also liked that he wanted to date Narumi from the beginning and wasn’t afraid to speak up about it — and that he wasn’t afraid to kiss her after they started dating. In a lot of anime, the otaku / nerdy guy is usually too shy or absorbed with his games / anime to do anything, but I like that even though he’s a nerd, he’s still a man. I think they got that part of his character right.

As much as I loved this, there were times when I thought it wasn’t perfect. My biggest dislike was the fact that Narumi often treated Hirotaka as less than her boyfriend. She found it weird that other women found him attractive and found it hard to wrap her mind around doing “girlfriend” things for him. That was the only thing that kind of irritated me with watching this, but it does tie into the whole childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest thing. She’s known him as Hirotaka “The Otaku Friend” all her life and so it’s hard for her to switch him to Hirtoaka “The Hot Boyfriend” which, to some degree is understandable.

Overall, there is so much to love about this anime that I didn’t even touch on, such as their friends relationship — which I think is done incredibly well too. Their friends romance touches on insecurities, hot-n-cold love, compromises, fights, and a comfortable kind of love that I think is more well-rounded in some ways. This anime is 1000% worth a watch if you like romance anime. It kind of reminds me of MMO Junkie. I really enjoyed that one too, but this one takes on the approach of knowing the person on the other side of the screen before you play with a lot less social awkwardness. I’m not sure where else you can watch it other than Amazon Prime Video, but if you can find it, watch it. It’s definitely worth every second of your time.

Group Picture


The Otaku Couple

This past month, I’ve watched a couple different anime. If you listen to our podcast, you’ll have heard me mention these at least once before, but I never got around to do a full review of any of them – my bad. So, instead of trying to make a bunch of tiny posts about them, I figured it would be better to do a review post of everything I watched this month that I haven’t posted about yet. So, without further explanation, let’s do this!

Code: Realize | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Code RealizeCode: Realize was one of the first anime I watched toward the beginning of August. It was entertaining enough overall, but there was so much potential, with not enough follow through, in my opinion. I’m a fan of a good slice of life anime, but I also love action and adventure. When it’s done well, I love anime that touch on all those aspects. I feel like, this anime tried that but failed – it wasn’t really action or adventure or slice of life – it was just… in the middle and nothing at all? It’s hard to explain.

The story is about a girl who has been locked away and is kidnapped by the British army only to be rescued by a gentleman thief. Her body produces a deadly poison due to the horologium implanted in her chest. It keeps her alive, but it also keeps her from getting close to people. She needs special clothing too otherwise, even that will melt at the touch of her skin. She meets up and joins a group that is opposing the British army and crown. The group has the gentleman thief, the mechanic, the rich funder, the scientist (Frankenstein), the fighter (Van Hellsing) and a vampire (Dracula). With such an interesting line up of people, kidnapping, intricate plans, and the threat of the apocalypse, I wanted more from this anime.

Instead I finished the anime feeling a bit let down. The poison girl goes through training, but she never really becomes useful, other than melting locks with her hands. The thief doesn’t steal all that much but we’re supposed to just go along with the fact that he’s a master. Van Hellsing is a vampire hunter who doesn’t want to hunt and Dracula is a whiny kid with no real purpose at all. The fight scenes don’t provide any kind of rush or excitement and is very “stock” to me – sword fights where the heroes leave without a scratch on them. Frankenstein doesn’t invent much more than smoke bombs and to top it all off, the personalities of all these characters are lacking. While they are distinct to each character, they are the same in the first episode as the last.

I feel like this anime would be better suited to a dating game than an animated show. There’s one girl with a bunch of different suitor options who all fall for her (which feels a bit forced) while rescuing her in some strange incident or another and she picks one at the end of the problem to live happily ever after. Saying all that though, I don’t think this anime was bad. Although they stay the same, the characters are interesting; the situations are predictable, but they are entertaining; the winning guy isn’t a surprise, but it is satisfying to see them get together at the end. I wouldn’t recommend this anime, but it’s decent enough to watch if you’re in between anime at the time.

A Sister’s All You Need | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
A Sister's All You NeedA Sister’s All You Need is a pretty deceptive anime but, in a good way. It’s like when you see a swimming pool and think it’s only about two feet deep, but then step in just to fall to the bottom of like twenty feet of water. This anime is a lot like that. From the beginning, you sort of peg it for a pervy anime that is just about a weird kid who doesn’t fit in, being weird with no real purpose to his life. Now, this anime is that, but it’s so much MORE than that too.

The main character is a writer who is obsessed with little sisters. All of his stories include them, so he is a bit weird. But the story is about his life as a writer, the ups and downs of being a published author, and his circle of friends who are all just as weird and eccentric as him. They usually meet up at his apartment for drinks and some type of board game. I really liked this anime because, aside from the over-the-top pervy parts, the characters are really relatable. They all hang out together and are genuine friends, but being in the same field of work really pushes them to work harder and do better. They compare themselves to each other and where they are and where they want to be and we see it from every perspective. And there’s one friend who is the “normal” one in college, but she still struggles because she’s not sure what she wants to do with her life, but is surrounded by people already paving the way to their future.

This anime touches on a lot of good stuff in a relatable and entertaining way. It’s funny in spots, unpredictable at times, keeps you interested with just enough amount information when you need it, and is told with the mindset that you’ll understand the motives of the characters without having to have it explicitly stated to you at every turn. There are a lot of subtleties to this anime which I think makes it great. On the surface, it looks silly and pointless, but there is a lot of goodness to be found watching this. It’s a good “finding your place in life now that I’m not in high school” anime. It reminds me of Barakamon, which is that same type of “not high school” vein — although the stories are vastly different.

Love Tyrant | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Love Tyrant

Love Tyrant is interesting, to say the least. I initially thought it would be a reverse anime of Death Note, but I was completely wrong. The anime follows Seiji as he gets a harem he never wanted. An angel of love — a cupid — knocks on his door asking him to kiss someone because if he doesn’t he’s going to die a virgin. Obviously, not being okay with this, he decides to go along with her plan. This ends him up in the center of a love polygon with the most popular girl in school who is also a crazy psycho killer who carries knives, her half-sister who is in love with her, their crazy cousin who just wants to have fun and is sadistic in the worst way, and the angel.

The anime is all about their crazy antics and the weird situations they get into. Akane (the popular girl) is the only girl who actually cares about him, the others are there just to get their kicks really. Guri (the angel) is there to learn what love is, and Yuzu (the little sister) is there to be with Akane. The cousin (Shikimi) is there as an antagonist of sorts to cause trouble for everyone.

The anime is interesting enough, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s silly and pretty pointless and confusing and it gets kind of old pretty quick. Seiji doesn’t really like any of the girls or “choose” one really, so it’s not super satisfying as a harem anime like High School DXD, and it’s not intellectual like Death Note, nor is it super funny or especially entertaining. The characters are unique for sure, but they didn’t appeal to me at all really. I’d classify this anime as nothing more than a time killer, to be honest. The idea is interesting, but… that’s about it.

Kino’s Journey | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Kino's JourneyKino’s Journey is a beautiful adventure and I truly loved every second of it. For starters, Kino’s journey is beautifully animated. I would easily put it on the same level as Ancient Magus’ Bride or right below it. It was gorgeous to look at. I also loved all the characters in this anime.

Kino is on a journey, exploring the world. Spending only 3 days in each country before moving on, it’s just enough time to learn what the city is about. Kino travels with a talking motorcycle (which is rare) and spends time exploring, getting in and out of trouble, and meeting people. Each country is unique with their own quirks and rules and history and ways of living. Watching Kino navigate it is super fun to watch. Kino meets plenty of people and they each have their own story as well — such as the man and his dog who are looking for a home and travel from country to country trying to find a place that works for them.

This anime is great because there’s just enough mystery; just enough interesting characters; just enough of the questions answered; just enough countries travelled to. This anime is like the baby bear’s porridge — just right. It does what I think Code: Realize failed at, it touches on the genres of slice of life, action, adventure, and mystery and does it masterfully so you feel like you got a lot out of the anime in 12 episodes instead of feeling deprived of every genre. I also loved that the characters, while interesting, they all changed slightly from meeting and interacting with each other, but they still had their own motives and flaws. I liked that the flaws were subtle and that they were just people — neither good nor bad.

I would highly recommend Kino’s Journey to anyone. It’s an adventure from beginning to end. It grabs you and takes you along at a pace that’s quick enough to get the point, but slow enough for you to enjoy it. I would watch this anime again and I hope that it’s lucky enough to get a second season. It’s quality anime in a way that you don’t often encounter at random and I’m really glad that I got to watch it.

Well, that’s everything. If you have your own opinions about any of these anime, feel free to drop a comment below!


The Otaku Couple

Alice & Zoroku | 24 Episodes | DUB | VRV

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“Old man Zoroku would prefer a quiet life, but even he can’t turn away when an escaped test subject ends up in his care. Sana’s ability to materialize anything may seem like a gift, but first she must learn to use her powers responsibly.”

The above description is from VRV and I think it’s the most accurate description of what this anime is. It was interesting enough, but there were several gaps in the story that I felt were never quite filled in.

Ponder

There is a girl named Sana, and she has extraordinary powers. She can literally build a world with her mind and make anything, even life, come to existence. She was raised in a research facility and so, in the beginning, we see her break out in search of the outside world. She meets an old man named Zoroku and this is where the story kind of takes off.

Meeting

Zoroku tries to help her and then crazy things start to happen. His favorite thing to say is, “I don’t like crooked stuff” and because Sana uses her power irresponsibly, he dislikes and distrusts her at first. He gives her a lecture — something that happens often — and gives her a place to stay for the night. She is eventually caught and forced to return to the facility, but not before she bonds with Zoroku and his granddaughter Sanae.

There is a government agent working to protect Sana and keep her from the research facility and she is rescued, along with the other Dreams of Alice — that’s what they call the kids with supernatural powers — and returned to Zoroku who adopts her and she begins her life outside as Sana Kashimura.

Zoroku is a florist and does his best to raise Sana into a decent person. Even though she technically isn’t human, she acts exactly like a little girl and is curious about everything. He and Sanae teach her and she becomes the third member of their family.

Florist

The gaps I felt were never filled in were: what happened to the other Dreams of Alice from the research facility? Who is Alice? How did the public react to the Dreams of Alice? What happened? I felt like most of the story was spent on answering the wrong questions and spending time on useless info like Sana’s day to day life — like watering flowers, taking baths, going to work with Zoroku. It was cute, but I felt there were bigger questions to be answered and focused on. So, while the show did include quite a bit of action and is focused around an intriguing idea, I feel like it fell short in really exploring that.

It’s a warm story about what it means to be family and it’s interesting what Sana and the other dreams of Alice can do with their powers. Overall, it wasn’t a bad anime, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. If you like steady paced, slice of life stories with predictable plots and cute — although static and nonchanging — characters that are aimed toward a younger audience, then this is for you. If none of that appeals to you, then I would suggest you pass on this anime.

Happy Ending


The Otaku Couple

Gosick | 24 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Cover 2

Final Verdict: I absolutely adored every second of this anime and it was a wonderful journey from beginning to end.

In case you missed my initial reaction to the first episode you should check that out first. I was worried at first that the rest of the show would have a hard time living up to the hype and engagement I felt during the first episode. This was wasted worry because each of the episodes after that were just as great in my opinion. The story has several layers to it, which I liked.

Pretty

The first layer was the mystery. I watched Hyouka not too long ago and they solved “mysteries” in that show as well, but it was far less thought out and a bit more forced after the first big mystery was solved. Gosick is not like that at all. For one, Victorique uses clues which she calls the “fragments of chaos” and she deciphers them by using her “well-spring of knowledge”. Also, the mysteries in this show build off one another. They aren’t random, I-came-across-this-and-thought-I-must-know mysteries. These mysteries involve murders, “magic”, gruesome histories, rages of passion and more. The elements of chaos build from one mystery to the next and it’s amazing how Victorique is able to connect all the dots even when other things are seemingly unrelated. Victorique never came across a mystery she couldn’t solve. It was clear that these mysteries were detailed and planned out, and far more complicated than the average person would be able to deduce. I feel like they did a good job demonstrating her intelligence and how her deductive skills were better than those around her.

The second layer was the characters. While the character building wasn’t perfect, we get a pretty good understanding of Kujo and Victorique and the environements that shaped them. I wish there had been more time or hints to that, but we do get a clear understanding of where they come from. Kujo is from an oriental country (China or Japan I believe) and is the 3rd son of an imperial soldier. Being the 3rd son and a compassionate spirit, he’s struggled in his family dynamic and its one of the reasons he’s chosen to study abroad in Saubure. Even with that difficulty shaping him though, he writes and receives letters from his family abroad on regular intervals. Love is there, but it’s not easy being the youngest son.

The same kind of backstory is given to Victorique. She was conceived with a purpose, and her father discarded her mother and locked her away in a cold tower once she was born. He treats her horribly and has no love for her. She doesn’t interact with anyone other than him and her older brother which has led her to be extremely childish and rude, even with her well-spring of knowledge and unparalleled intellect. We see her grow and learn to care for Kujo and mature throughout the episodes. We learn that she gets embarassed and loves sweets and gets bored easily, but cares deeply about Kujo and would do pretty much anything to keep him safe, even if that means being a tool used by her father and the government.

The third layer is the relationships. Victorique’s relationship with her older brother, Grévil is interesting as well. Grévil isn’t much better than her father on how he treats her, but we see compassion at times from him, and I think that speaks volumes about him. We don’t get his back story, but we see his life through glimpses. We see that his father doesn’t treat him as much more than a lapdog, that he knows his wits will never match his younger sister’s, that his childhood friend and only woman he’s ever loved is married to another man, that he’s constantly treated as the fool even though he’s successful in his own right. In my opinion, Grévil is the most developed, multi-dimensional character we see. He’s shaped by a lot more than the other two are.

There’s also the relationship between Victorique and Kujo; Kujo and Averill; Victorique and Cordelia. I think this is one of the few things about this show that I didn’t just absolutely love. It’s clear from the beginning that Victorique and Kujo have a special relationship — they are each others first friends. Kujo has dark hair and eyes which is unusual in Saubure, and so he is called The Reaper Who Comes in Spring. Due to this, he has a hard time making friends with the other students. Victorique is very reserved and spends all her time in the conservatory at the top of the library, and is called the Golden Fairy of the Library and so is avoided as well. Kujo makes the promise to find her no matter where she’s at, and while this makes it easy to root for him and that they’ll always find their way back to each other, it felt forced in some situations. And that’s my caveat with all the relationships. They felt one dimensional and forced at certain points.

Averill is in love with Kujo, but he doesn’t know it because he’s in love with Victorique. I understand why she developed feelings for him, I just don’t follow why she would continue to pine after him and “fight” for him after a certain point. The same goes for Cordelia and Victorique. It is made clear the situation in which Victorique was conceived and delivered and raised was a nightmarish experience for Cordelia. It seems her mother has a deep love for her, despite having left her locked up in a tower after she escaped. I understand that mothers love their children, but there were a lot of things surrounding their relationship that I didn’t understand.

Overall, I thought this was a wonderful anime that had a very good story to tell and did so in an intriguing and engaging manner. There was mystery, friendship, awkward teenage emotions and blushing, history, and murder.

There was so much to enjoy in this anime, I would definitely recommend it. And, even though I didn’t understand the relationships entirely, I loved that Kujo and Victorique ended up together in the end. It made me feel like their promises to each other weren’t just empty words. If you’ve seen it, leave a comment down below telling us what you thought about it.

Last Reunion


The Otaku Couple