Violet Evergarden| 13 Episodes | DUB | Netflix

Initial Impressions: I want to watch more. It’s pretty and the story looks like it will be interesting.

VE2
Violet Evergarden.

Violet Evergarden is a solider. I mean this in both the literal and metaphorical sense. We learn a lot about her nature from the first episode and the most integral part of her core is that she is a tool for the Major. They fought in the war together and Violet is the only one we see come out of it, and she does so at the expense of both her arms.

I thought this was a really good first episode. We met the main character in such a way that we got to learn her personality. We saw the Major through her eyes and we saw glimpses of their interaction together so we could see how important he is to her. The short scenes of their interactions really built their characters to me and it was well done without being over the top.

I also liked Lt. Hodgins. He is very clearly a man trying to keep a promise he made to a dying soldier. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing and he’s walking around with a lot of guilt and uncertainties. He’s trying to do his best by Violet because of the Major, but he isn’t prepared or equipped to handle her. He’s nervous and a wreck and trying to keep a secret from her. He avoids her direct questions in what seems like an attempt to keep from crushing her, but she’s awkward and so used to war, she doesn’t know what to do if she’s not in a fight or given orders.

I liked that the first episode gave some personality and background to these characters. I’m glad that it was about them adjusting to each other and Violet adjusting to life after the war. I even kind of liked that, for her, the war isn’t over. There were certain elements of the story that were never explicitly stated, but it was implied, and I think that part was well done. I like that it leads you to reach a particular conclusion, but it leaves the door open for other things.

The only thing I didn’t like was the metaphorical burning conversation Hodgins and Violet had toward the end of the episode. I understand why it was placed there, it just felt a little forced where everything else in the storyline felt like it came naturally. It felt like forced foreshadowing or something. I could be wrong, but it just stood out to me as not the best part. However, that’s not to say it was bad though. It just struck me differently than the rest of the episode did.

Overall, the first episode was really good. I’m excited to watch the rest of it and see where this story takes Violet, Hodgins, and (hopefully) the Major.

The Major
The Major.

The darling in the FRANXX. It seems like no matter where we look this show keeps popping up and making its existence known. So, after seeing enough gifs to intrigue and confuse us, we decided to give it a try.

Initial impressions: It piques your curiosity and gives you just enough information to set a solid foundation for the characters.

This a mecha type anime, so we have people inside machines to fight monsters. That’s the basic gist of the first episode. The unique spin we get with this anime is that the pilots of these machines, known as FRANXX, are always male and female partners. They connect this to some unique bird in the anime that only has one wing. That part was a little… overkill? I understand the “deeper” connection and foreshadowing was trying to be made, but I wasn’t feeling it.

In the FRANXX

The two people who reference this bird are Hiro and 002. Long story short — Hiro has no talent at all and basically got kicked out of (we’ll call it an academy for now because I’m not sure what it is yet) the academy, while 002 is super powerful and known as the partner killer (because whoever pilots with her dies). They meet under unsavory circumstances, 002 says she likes him, disaster strikes, they end up piloting together.

Pilot Together

The FRANXX turns into a fighting maiden when the people inside are really in sync and that’s what happens with Hiro and 002. It’s pretty cool to watch. The animation is good and the characters are introduced in such a way that we can see what type of role they will play in the future without it being an annoyance or detraction from the main story or main characters. I think 002’s character seems interesting, but I’m not really thrilled about Hiro as a character. After watching Ancient Magus’ Bride, I’m not too excited to watch another show with a self-deprecating main character.

FRANXX Face

The only thing I just didn’t like at all was how belabored the meaning behind the title was. After a while, it was kind of like, “okay, we get it!” He is her darling. They are inside the FRANXX. They are the birds with one wing who have to depend on each other. Symbolism received. Title understood. Let’s move on now.

Other than that though, the show seems like it will be pretty decent. We’ll probably watch some more of it, but a decision hasn’t been made yet. If you have an opinion on it and think it’s worth a watch (or not) let us know. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts about The Darling in the FRANXX.

Darling in the FRANXX


The Otaku Couple

I’ve come to deliver some bad luck.Bad Luck Social 2

This is the one-liner that is delivered perfectly by the main character, not once, but twice, throughout the episode. He’s dangerous and stealthy and badass and that line seals the deal. Hearing this line was probably the best part of this episode.

Black Cat Forget

From the first episode, we learn that the main character goes by the moniker: Black Cat. He is (predictably) dressed in all black and is extremely agile and efficient at what he does. We also learn that he is an assassin, the thirteenth to be exact, of an elite variety. We get introduced to the term eraser by an old man working at a pawn shop who (predictably) freaks out when he learns that the man standing in front of him ran into him. He then proceeds to deny him service and kick him out of his shop.

Black Cat XIII

The man in the shop is definitely the other main character in this story. Not only does he sport green hair, he is constantly broke, hungry, and smoking cigarettes, as well as a bounty hunter (maybe? This part was unclear) who has a mystical eye that can see into the future. He doesn’t give off the vibe that he’s someone who is going to be disappearing from the storyline any time soon.

Black Cat Other Guy Social

Overall the show wasn’t bad. I would just say that I wasn’t very intrigued or pulled in by it. While I could be wrong, the first episode gives off a very predictable vibe that just didn’t grab my attention. In addition to that, the anime originally aired in early 2000’s, so while the graphics aren’t bad, after having watched The Ancient Magus’ Bride, it’s hard to adjust.

This show may be really good, but I’m going to have to get over my Ancient Magus’ anime hangover before I can really see it as that. I might give it another try in the future, but as for right now, I’m done. My anime journey with Black Cat ends here.

Are we making a bad decision here? Should we keep watching? Or are we saving ourselves from anime disappointment? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


The Otaku Couple

Afterthought: While creating this post, I realized that this show may be better than originally thought. The journey may not come to such a quick end, but tell us what you think.

Initial Impressions: I have no idea what to expect, so I can’t wait to watch it.

This is a mature anime for the gore. If you’re under the age of 15 or sensitive to blood and gore, this is not for you. Like… at all. However, this anime is very detailed in its artwork and you can tell already that each character has a well thought out personality and oddity about them. In the very beginning of the episode we meet a character with blonde hair, carrying two very large machine guns, who we later find out is from the family of the boar. Almost immediately after meeting her we see a really intense training session where her father is pushing her harder and harder.

Throughout this scene and the rest of the episode we see the dynamic between the father and daughter of the boar family. Not just father and daughter, but also dynamic between the two sisters. The older sister is slighted in a way that really on anime can depict, and so goes down a path of revenge against her sister to steal back her spot in the family hierarchy.

During this episode we also see the current time line and as the title suggests, we are introduced to the Zodiac War. In the show it is referred to as the Juni Taisen and each member there is the representation of one member of the Chinese Zodiac: the boar, the monkey, the ox, etc. The war begins after all present members ingest the poison that was given to them and the rules are explained. The rules are very vague, but also very simple and straightforward.

Kill everyone else and steal the jewel they swallowed. The winner is the last one left standing with all the jewels and they get any wish they want, granted.

After that, the floor explodes beneath them and we see the fights begin. I will honestly say that the first fight did not end the way I thought it would and it sets the stage for an awesome second episode if it keeps with this level of action, suspense, and surprise. I’m excited to watch the next episode and see what other twists and zig-zags this show takes next.


The Otaku Couple

Initial Reaction: This is the anime version of The Karate Kid and is about to be a really good come-up story.

This first episode was really good. It has a good “hook” factor to it; it makes you want to watch the second episode. From the very beginning you understand the plight of Kenichi very well. He’s a weak kid who wants to learn karate to become stronger. He meets this new girl and that’s really where his story starts.

This story had some action, and it wasn’t really unexpected given the genre (martial arts anime), but his reaction to it was. Like, there isn’t this “GAAAAHHHHH I WILL BE THE BEST IN THE UNIVERSE! GAHHHHHAHHAHAHAHA!!” feeling to Kenichi. He’s a guy who wants to learn karate and become stronger to help and protect people. That’s it. He’s not out to take down a bunch of people or just love to fight. He just wants to be stronger.
Given other anime like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Kenshin, and Taboo Tattoo and others where the main character LIKES to fight (not kill, but fight), it was nice to see this trait in a main character.

There is an intro, but it adds to your understanding of the show without throwing in spoilers. It’s nice actually. We understand immediately what kind of life Kenichi lives and there’s plenty of things that you don’t expect. It’s a solid beginning and I’m definitely going to keep watching. It also seems like one of those anime that is probably better if it’s watched with someone else. It gives this impression that there are going to be a lot of “oh! Did you see that?” moments.


The Otaku Couple

What makes a good first episode? This is the question we consider when we watch anime and when we decide whether we’re going to commit our precious time to a new anime. Because, let’s be real here, if the first episode is no good, a lot of us are unlikely to commit to watching another 11 episodes of it.

We know this, and we’ve come up with our own system of rating first episodes. It’s usually pretty reliable in determining if an anime is going to be worth our time or not. Obviously it’s not a fool-proof system, but over our anime lifetime we’ve noticed that a lot of great anime have these things in common on their first episode.

(more…)

GA-REI-ZERO | 12 EPISODES

Initial reaction: it’s a slow start, but don’t sleep on it.

The first episode seems like, in a different anime, it would have been the last or next to last episode. You jump right into action, the characters already have great synchronicity with each other, their awesomeness (you assume) has been established and we know that they’re about to get the job done. The highlight of this episode comes during the last 10 minutes when things get EXTREMELY unexpected. You go from not really caring about this show or these characters you know nothing about, to being on the edge of your seat, eyes wide and profanity pulling it’s way out your mouth. If the second episode starts the way the first ended, we’re in for something good.
There was no intro on the first episode, so that’s always a positive sign of good, quality anime.

There was definitely some gore involved and its rated mature, so not recommended for anyone under the age of 15, in my opinion. I’m not actually sure what the characters names are, what the story line is or what’s going on. But based on the last 10 minutes, I’m okay with that.


The Otaku Couple