ブレンド・S | Blend S: 1-3

I know this anime, Blend S, aired two years ago, but I still haven’t finished it. I have a lot of notes, so bear with me. Let’s do this!

The main character, Maika, has a hard time finding a part-time job because of her condescending appearance. I know it sounds weird, but her eyes just have that particular look, that makes her seem disdainful when dealing with customers. And since the customer is our bread giver, that’s not exactly a valued trait at most establishments.

This is a problem until she arrives at Stile, a café half full of otaku, where the waitresses act out certain archetypal roles while serving the customers. There’s a tsundere (Kaho-san), an imouto (Mafuyu-san) and Maika-san earns the sadistic role for her eyes.

The whole anime is less about the inner workings of a café and more about the character mechanics. For that reason, let me quickly introduce the five who appear in the first episode.

The main character, Sakuranomiya Maika, is a sheltered youngest child of a wealthy, traditional Japanese family. She tends to speak in polite forms of verbs, making her down-putting edicts even more so. Unfortunately this singular characteristic can’t be translated into English very well. Continue reading

こみっくがーるず | Comic Girls: 1-3

Comic Girls is a yet another cute-girl-doing-cute-things anime. This time the topic is manga. The main character is Kaos-chan, a budding 漫画家 [まんがか, mangaka, Japanese comic artist]. Following her failures as a yonkoma (I swear that post is coming) 漫画家 her editor suggests she moves into her publisher’s dormitory for fledgling female artists.

From the left: Ruki, Koyume, Kaos and Tsubasa

As always I’m not only looking for something to soothe my soul. I’m hoping to learn more about manga creation, as I’m interested in all things art. Continue reading

Winter 2018 Preview III.

This is the last installment of this season’s previews. This time I will write about two anime I forgot about when I planned this miniseries. They are Violet Evergarden and Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.

ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン | Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden is about Violet Evergarden, a girl…

[…]formerly known as “the weapon,” has left the battlefield to start a new life at CH Postal Service. There, she is deeply moved by the work of “Auto Memories Dolls,” who carry people’s thoughts and convert them into words.

Violet begins her journey as an Auto Memories Doll, and comes face to face with various people’s emotions and differing shapes of love. All the while searching for the meaning of the words, she has heard on the battlefield, uttered by someone dear to her.

Continue reading

First Impressions: Tsuki ga Kirei

Long story short: Tsuki ga Kirei is a love story between a girl in track and field and a boy writing a novel. (As always I’m writing this after three episodes, so there will be spoilers for those. I’ve started adding mouse-over translations for Japanese kana/kanji, so check those out as well.)

The girl’s name is Mizuno Akane (Akanecchi to her friends) and the boy is called Azumi Kotarou (Kota to his). They’re in middle school, in their third and final year. They are placed in the same class for the first time and have never talked to each other. Until they meet at a restaurant, when celebrating the beginning of the school year with their families. はずかしい!

Back at school, the sports festival is coming up. The two leads are in charge of the equipment along with a large part of the track and field club. Kotarou, being a library assistant, is an outsider, while Akane has friends all around her. But they exchange LINE IDs.

The second episode is all about the sports festival. While Akane is training for that and a race that’s soon after, Kotarou submits two stories to competitions. During the festival, Hira Takumi is brought to our attention as Akane’s potential suitor. I don’t think Akane gets it, though. (Her girlfriends support him from the shadows though.)

The third episode starts with midterms. After that, it’s time for Akane’s race and soon after the school trip. Their schoolmates are hooking up left and right. On the day of the race Kotarou is at the shrine, “community stuff” he says. He’s hypnotizing his LINE. Akane sets a personal best! And her battery dies. The third episode ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. きになります!
Continue reading

First Impressions: Stella no Mahou

Stella no Mahou, Magic of Stella in English, is originally a yonkoma manga (see cover of the second volume to the right). It’s about a small group of high school girls who make indie games. Two have already worked on one game, but the main character, Honda Tamaki, is a newbie. She joins the SNS部 to fill the position of an artist, even though she is a little rusty at drawing and can’t draw digitally at all. It seems like the anime will depict their journey through making a new game together. It’s a pretty simple story with a clear goal.

Unfortunately I haven’t read the original manga, but I feel like the adaptation is a lot smoother than what I would expect from a yonkoma one. The episodes aren’t cut into smaller segments, but flow naturally.

So far, not much has happened. (Though I should have expected that. It is a slice-of-life anime after all.) Meaning we have been introduced into the story and gotten to know the main characters. I wouldn’t say they’re too inventive, but they’re not cookie cutter either. Continue reading

First Impressions: Room Mate

Room Mate is a shorts series related to One Room which aired last season. When I reviewed One Room in Backlog: Week 10, I wrote:

The main character, you, interacts with three girls one after another. Everything is from his/your POV and you only hear one side of the conversation, the girl’s of course. The animation is nice, but the plot is very simple — it’s just like every other visual novel. All the girls like him/you. Boring really, but the girls are cute.

I was expecting Room Mate to be just like that, but with bishounen. What is my opinion after the first three episodes? Spoiler warning! Continue reading

First Impressions: Frame Arms Girl

First of this season’s first impressions is here. It’s Frame Arms Girl, an anime that’s basically an advertisement for Kotobukiya’s Frame Arms Girl model kit line. I will spoil the whole episode, so read after watching, please.

Ao opens a package that arrives at her doorstep. Inside the package is Gōrai, a Frame Arms Girl: a small robot capable of independent movement. Gōrai is a newly-developed prototype: a Frame Arms Girl equipped with an “Artificial Self,” an advanced AI that gives her a personality.

The anime will focus on Gōrai, the first model released for the line, as well as Stylet and Baselard.

The main human character, Ao, who lives alone, because her parents are overseas for work, receives a package with Gōrai. It turns out that the developers of Frame Arms Girls sent them out to various people to test-drive them. Ao is the only one who activated her doll though, so she makes up for 100% of the data. She is new to the model kit world and not particularly interested in dolls. But if she collects enough data, she will get paid. *kachink* That’s roughly the first half of the episode. Continue reading

First Impressions: My Neighbor Seki

Tonari_no_Seki-kun_mangaSeveral months ago we bought the first volume of the manga, from which this anime was adapted, in Japanese. Not that either of us can read it, but if you’ve seen a little of the anime, you’ll understand that the text isn’t that important. Anyway, when we found out that it was airing this winter, there was no doubt that we should watch it. Today I’ll be covering the first three episodes. Since they are just under 8 minutes each (including the opening and ending songs), I’ve decided I can fit them into a single post. I usually expect anime with short episodes like this to originate from yonkoma manga, but My Neighbor Seki has a regular manga structure, only with exceptionally short chapters (about 8 pages) called 1st period, 2nd period and so on. Continue reading

First Impressions: Photo Kano

This post was originally written for the FinallyAnime! group blog and published there on April 13th, 2013. Since that blog is largely inactive by now, I’ve decided to archive the post here in its entirety. The original post: http://finallyanime.com/2013/04/first-impressions-photo-kano/


As the second episode aired on Friday, I finished my first impressions a little late. Nevertheless, cue the opening song “Koisuru Lens” (Lens of Love) and here is my take on the first episode of a series, translated as Photo Girlfriend. (Written in katakana it is フォトカノ with the ‘kano’ part taken from the first character 彼 of kanojo, a girl or girlfriend.) Continue reading

First Impressions: Red Data Girl

The first episode of Red Data Girl just aired last week, but for some reason three episodes already pre-aired for premium users on Niconico in 398p a while back. I can’t say I understand the reasoning behind this marketing move, though maybe it is to encourage people to get premium accounts… That aside, let’s look at the anime itself.

izumikoThe main heroine, Izumiko Suzuhara, has lived at Tamakura shrine, supposedly one of the Kumano shrines, her whole life. Apart from that Izumiko has an another special thing about her – the unfortunate ability to destroy every electrical device she touches. At 15 she is to enroll in Hōjō High School in Tokyo (although she would rather go to the local high school with her friends) with her guardian’s son and childhood friend Miyuki. Continue reading