Monday Check-In: July 31, 2017

Motoko and Batou at a bar in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

I have been watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex with a few friends (a re-watch, in my case) and the themes of some episodes feel a little close to reality than when I first watched S.A.C. a decade ago, e.g. an owner of a outdated android wanting to eliminate all other androids of the same model so his would become unique; unauthorized organ donations; hacking of cyber-implants. Motoko’s standard on-duty outfit has stood out to me as out-of-place compared to what her fellow Section 9 agents wear and the series’ English insert songs felt jarring while I was watching with Japanese dialogue, but I am enjoying the action and technological aspects of the series. Continue reading

Monday Check-In: July 24, 2017

A sky battle in New York City from The Reflection

If you paused the first episode of The Reflection and told me look at any still frame, I might confuse it for a panel from a major American comic book. This new anime series from co-creators Hiroshi Nagahama and Stan Lee started off slow and the animation was a little stiff in spots, but I will stick with it to see how its premise of “normal people developing powers from a mysterious global event” unfolds. Continue reading

Backlog Reduction: Please Tell Me! Galko-chan

When I noticed Hajimete no Gal (My First Girlfriend is a Gal) was among the dozens of anime series that started this month, I remembered I hadn’t finished another series with a “gyaru” main character: Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (available on Crunchyroll). I had watched some of it in early 2016 and I recall liking what I saw back then.

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Monday Check-In: July 17, 2017 – Teekyu is back!

Tomarin is angry after losing money at a pachinko parlor in Teekyu season 9

I watched a few more new anime series last week but not as many as I wanted. Teekyu returned for its ninth season with a Tomarin-focused episode and an ending credits sequence depicting the girls as more realistic-looking teenagers with a portion where the camera pans across their towel-draped bodies. I guess the ending credits are a parody of other anime ending credits that have similar shots of their female characters but Teekyu’s credits unnerved me just like those other ones do…

I saw the first episodes of Anime Strike series Made in Abyss and Princess Principal with some online friends and enjoyed both of them for different reasons. Made in Abyss had beautiful landscapes and a fun adventure story setup with its characters. I liked Princess Principal for its dark, steam-powered London setting and background music directed by Yuki Kajiura; its soundtrack reminded me of Kajiura’s previous action series scores including Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Noir. Continue reading

Monday Check-In: July 10, 2017 – July Anime Premieres

Mari Fukami during a quiz club demonstration in Fastest Finger First

The quarterly rush of new anime premieres has come around again. I’ve watched the first episodes from a handful of new series: Fastest Finger First, A Centaur’s Life, Welcome to the Ballroom through a Twitch stream sponsored by Amazon’s Anime Strike channel, and Aho Girl.

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You Have “Failed”

As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their particular fighting skills, in that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and taiyaki. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. (Hmmmm……….this is like déjà vu all over again). Much like “Sky Wizards”, “Asterisk War” and/or/perhaps/either “Bahamut”, this one, Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii” (“Chivalry of a Failed Knight” or “The Heroic Tales of the Failure Knight”) continues in that same vein. Continue reading