Gosick | 24 Episodes | DUB | VRV
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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

Verdict: It’s beautiful; if nothing else, it is simply beautiful.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride is one of the few anime where I notice the artwork and detail of the anime. It’s a gorgeous anime and nearly every frame of this show is screenshot and wallpaper worthy. That being said, it’s artwork and detail are not it’s only redeeming qualities.

This anime follows the story of Chise Hatori (pronounce Chee-say). She is a red-headed, green-eyed, fifteen-year-old girl who sells herself at an underground magic auction in the first episode. She is then bought for an astounding amount of money by a mage named Elias. We found out later that Elias is not human. He has human qualities be he is a halfling entity — a dark spirit manifested by the forest. He is extremely tall, well dressed, and has a bone for a head. He buys Chise because she has a rare trait that allows her to draw in incredible amounts of magical power, however, this also makes her body frail. This is important to note because one of the only downsides of this anime results from Chise’s frailness and portrayed brushes with death. However, Elias buys her because of this trait she has, to not only teach her magic but for her to become his bride, hence the title.

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The story progresses slowly and quickly all at the same time. There is effort put into the fine details of the visual aspect (such as Chise’s hair growing and her constant change of outfits), and a certain subtleness and flow to the story that makes it fun and relaxing to watch, but it also has action and high stakes at certain points. This anime had a 24 episode run, and we learn a lot about these characters in that time. Chise has had a hard life up until this point, which is evident in that she sold herself to the highest bidder at the age of fifteen. Ancient Magus’ Bride follows her story as she grows and overcomes her past and becomes someone who wants to not only live but be a part of the world she’s in. She learns magic, she makes friends, and ultimately she finds a home.

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And though she is the main character, she is not the only one who has a back story and grows throughout the series. Elias, while he has lived for centuries, is still very much a child in many ways. He learns from Chise about humans and their emotions, as she learns from him, magic. They learn from each other and about each other. Their dynamic is very interesting to watch. There is also Ruth, Silver, Angelica, Alice, Cartaphilus and more; all of these people are well-developed and integral parts of the story.

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The great thing about this anime is that there is so much to explore. The characters have a lot of depth to them and it’s easy to tell that there is more to them than what we’re able to glean from the anime. The magic in this world is incredible and it’s another thing that is just barely touched on, on the surface. There are dragons and fairies and familiars and centaurs and monsters of all types in this show. So much could be explained about these, but the story only lightly touches on it. The world this show is in, is also vast enough to include alchemists and witches; the world doesn’t just stop at mages.

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From the title of this anime, you would think it would be a love story. I don’t think it can really be simplified to that. This story is about finding yourself. About finding and being happy. About finding a home. This story is about living life even when it’s hard and uncomfortable and painful. Chise has a myriad of scars and problems she must face, but that’s just it, she must face them. We follow her on her journey to find her want and will to live as she learns magic and creates a home with Elias and battles her inner and outer demons. Yes, there is love involved, but it’s not what this anime is mainly about.

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I would highly recommend this anime to anyone who has lived life long enough to know that roses don’t bloom in every garden. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it’s got a solid story beneath the stunning artwork. It is most certainly something you’ll want to watch.

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If you’ve seen Ancient Magus’ Bride, or want to, leave us a comment down below.


The Otaku Couple

Verdict: This anime is good. It probably won’t rock your world, but it’s solid.

Kenichi is the story of Kenichi Shirahama. From the very beginning, we learn that he is a weakling. He was teased all throughout middle school and is called weak-knees because his knees always shake and knock together when he’s scared.

We see the first example of this when he sees the girl he met earlier (Miu pronounced Me-you) is outnumbered by 3 street thugs. Kenichi struggles with whether to do something or not. He ultimately decides to jump into the fray, but his knees are visibly shaking and we can tell that he is terrified. Miu ends up handling the guys on her own, and inviting Kenichi to train at Ryozanpaku, a dojo that we later find out is owned by her grandfather.

This starts Kenichi on a journey to become history’s strongest disciple.

(more…)

Verdict: It’s nice to look at, but the love story is a little confusing.

Citrus is a yuri anime. It’s important to note this because if you’re not into girl-on-girl action then this is not the anime for you. If you’re into it, or don’t mind it then this anime is probably more your speed. It’s about the lives of two girls who have suddenly become step-sisters. Of course, there are moments when its typically anime with the sisters meeting each other and not realizing they’re sisters yet. But that’s about where they typical-ness stops.

On their first night of meeting Mei attacks her sister with a pretty forceful kiss after the blonde sister (Yuzu Aihara) makes a joke about her kissing a teacher, who is her fiancé, who you find out later has a girlfriend on the side, who Mei is unbothered by on the outside because on the inside she’s really into girls.

Get all that?

This show is all about emotions and acting on them. The main character, a blonde girl (look up for name) who is outwardly bold and outspoken is the main character who can’t speak how she feels about Mei. Admittedly Mei is her sister, but not by blood, so I guess in some universe it’s excusable.

The two sisters are as different as can be. The blonde sister has never been kissed, is outspoken, loud, rebellious, and in the beginning, she’s into guys. Mei has a fiancé, is quiet, reserved, well-put-together, in control of herself and everything around her, and very (how should I say this) cool towards other people. Think the female version of Sasuke without the sword, Sharingan, and constant threat of death. With these character traits, obviously they were meant to fall for each other.

And they do.

It’s an interesting journey, but it’s fun to watch. If you love to watch love stories and two awkward teenagers figure out how to coexist as siblings while still harboring secret feelings for each other, then this show is gold. Even if you just like the awkward teenagers falling in love, this show is solid.


The Otaku Couple

Verdict: It’s funnier and more risqué in English, but both versions are great.

Warning: It’s rated mature. So… fair warning. Now, moving on.

Is This a Zombie? is an anime that is unique. You have a main character that dies in the first episode. Obviously, with the title of the anime, you expect someone to be dead, so no shocker there. However, that’s just the tip of the anime iceberg. Ayamu is a zombie, turned one by an adorable necromancer, and is constantly bombarded by monsters he must fight, as well as superpowered females who argue their way into his life and his home.

And, let’s just go ahead and state this: Ayamu is a pervert.

His best friend is an even bigger one.

The dynamic these too have as the series progresses is one of a true broship (is that a thing? Don’t know, it is now) and it’s hilarious to watch them interact with the girls. The first season is bomb, a solid anime. The second season is… eh. It’s cute and fun to watch but it opens a lot of doors and doesn’t close any of them. If you need your anime wrapped up in a neat bow at the end, forego the second season. It’s more like DVD extras than anything else; but if you love the characters and want to see more, the second season is for you.

This anime proved to be unique to us, because we don’t speak or, more importantly, read Japanese. One of the characters in this anime is nonverbal and relies on writing to communicate. You miss a lot of important info if you choose to watch this dubbed alone because (on the service we use) there’s no translation provided. The conundrum is, this show is leaps and bounds funnier in English (to us). So we had to have the subbed version (with the translation) going at the same time as the dub. It was an interesting situation trying to get them timed perfectly to sync.

All in all, it’s a good show and worth a watch. It’s funny with cute and unique characters. The second season is a bit aimless, but it doesn’t detract from the show overall. If you’ve seen it, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know.


The Otaku Couple

Verdict: Don’t judge an anime by what you’ve seen before.

So, over the past couple days, I’ve been watching the anime Myself; Yourself. It’s a cute little slice of life anime that follows Sana after he moves back to his hometown from being away for five years. The first episode is extremely cute and shows the dynamic that he and his childhood friends had. They each gave him a gift before he leaves and as the episodes progress, you see that one of his friends, Nanaka, had feelings for him. When he returns, it’s evident that his friends haven’t forgotten him for even a moment and he remembers all of them but doesn’t recognize Nanaka, which is a major faux pas since she still wears the bracelet that he gave her when they were kids.

The first couple of episodes give you the feeling that this is a light-hearted anime; a simple slice of life number that is easily predicted. I originally thought I knew what was going to happen, but I was far from it. After the fifth episode, we begin to see more serious topics show up. I think what makes it so great is that it’s shown in a way that could easily be real life and so it’s very relatable. The friends start to deal with trauma and jealousy and dysfunctional households and we get a clear picture of who these characters are and what’s shaped them up until this point.

There are moments where it’s still a very light-hearted anime with budding love and uncertainties; moments where you lean forward toward the screen thinking, “Finally! Yes!” and then other moments where you want to roll your eyes at what’s happening or jump in the screen and shake some sense into Nanaka and Sana. However, the further you get into the anime, the more serious it gets. It didn’t take away from the show though; it added a lot more needed depth and, in my opinion, made it stand out against a lot of other slice of life anime because it did address a couple proverbial elephants in the room.

I’ve said it once, but again, this anime IS really cute. It’s a slice of life anime about 5 friends and the journey that life takes them on and the paths they choose to walk. It’s an anime about love. About friendship. About loss and pain and happiness and memories and making memories and living and why it’s so hard sometimes. If you like anime about those things, sprinkled with awkward teenage moments and a touch of realness, then this is right up your alley. I would definitely recommend you give it a watch.


The Otaku Couple