March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 18: Rei’s Emotional Growth

2017-02-22 16_38_08-[HorribleSubs] 3-gatsu no Lion - 18 [1080p].mkv - VLC media player

March Comes in like a Lion episode 18 builds upon Rei’s enlightened perspective, allowing us to see just how much Rei has come to trust others. Rei visits Shimada’s workshop, where Nikaido bickers with Mr. Shigeta over their contrasting game philosophies. A playful tone permeates the scene as cute metaphorical Jedi cats narrate their fiery battle. Shimada easily and comedically extinguishes the flames, throwing the two a complicated shogi question to divert their attention. All of this confirms what we’ve already come to know—everyone in the workshop is deeply passionate about shogi and they have firm beliefs on how the game should be played. Shimada, upon noticing Rei has largely been taking a backseat in the workshop, urges him on to speak his point-of-view, like one of those teachers picking on the quiet kid in class.

The fact Shimada reaches out to Rei shows how adept he is at judging the emotions of those around him. He recognizes Rei came to him because Rei wanted to change—he’s desperate to properly connect with his peers, friends, and family after years of keeping people in the dark—he just needs a shove in the right direction. Shimada asking him was his way of allowing Rei to take his first steps, to lean on them and show them the fiery passion that’s ready to burst at any moment now. Shimada’s depth of character in recent episodes—the bottomless passion that’s revealed behind his aloofness, his understanding and compassion for his peers, and his modesty—has quickly won me over, earning him a spot among my favorite characters in the series.

With the focus on Rei, the scene indeed confirms his emotional growth thus far. As he struggles to vocalize his thoughts, his choice of words reveal just how private an experience shogi is for him. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 18: Rei’s Emotional Growth”

Little Witch Academia, Episode 4: The Adorable Dork that is Lotte

Little Witch Academia takes a detour this week from Kagari’s role as a lead to dive into Lotte’s world.  As a result, Lotte dazzled us with her command of the narrative in dweebish fashion. If you needed any convincing as to why she’s such a likeable character, then look no further than this episode. Lotte’s infectious charm is on full display.

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ACCA Episode 3: The Mysteries Surrounding Jean Otus

ACCA’s third episode was slow paced, taking time to construct the uncertainties that plague the minds of the individuals in power. Continue reading “ACCA Episode 3: The Mysteries Surrounding Jean Otus”

First Impressions: Gabriel Dropout, Episode 1

Okay, I thought Interviews With Monster Girls was funny, but then I watched Gabriel Dropout and I was left cackling like a madman. The show is seriously hilarious. It sorta suckers you into it, too. It starts with a seemingly innocent premise filled with bubbly characters that radiate joy. Up in heaven, a group of angels surround the exceptionally gifted angel Gabriel, congratulating her on graduating Angel School. Having graduated, Gabriel pursues further education down in earth.  The group of angels send her off all teary-eyed, saying how much they’ll miss her. And so Gabriel descends down to heaven, ecstatic about studying humans firsthand. It’s all innocently cutesy stuff until she experiences life on earth firsthand.

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First Impressions: ACCA, Episode 1

ACCA’s first episode was magnificently crafted, unraveling a world in which something is clearly amiss. Its aesthetic, brightly colored cityscapes, extremely detailed uniforms, and long, lanky characters, alongside a funky soundtrack, compliments the rich narrative with flavor. Through the hollowed-out expression of the sharp inspector Jean Otus, we learn of the corruption that plagues the seemingly rose-tinted world of ACCA. The Dowa Kingdom is a federation comprised of 13 states, each with their own set of branches and agencies. Jean, as the Chief Officer of the Inspection Department in one of these states, is right at the center of everything. Tasked with inspecting all agencies, he uses his keen intellect, skepticism, and laid-back attitude to uncover problems within the organization. And boy, does he make for an interesting character. Continue reading “First Impressions: ACCA, Episode 1”

First Impressions: Scum’s Wish/Kuzu no Honkai

The first episode of Scum’s Wish makes a case as a contender among the top series of the season. With that said, my initial run through the episode was marked with dissatisfaction at the character and the explicit nature of the piece.  The art style itself was great, with some neat manga-esque panel framing to show a wide range of character expressions during specific moments. There’s an irregular, pencil like quality to the aesthetic that’s overall pleasing to look at, perhaps hinting at an unfiltered experience of the character’s reality. The show utilizes the split window well, highlighting the conflicting nature between mind and body. This is a nice touch in a series whose major draw is the exploration of unrequited love. The part that’s problematic with Scum’s Wish is that its theme is forcefully shoved down our throats, making it a point to narrate what exactly the protagonist is feeling during every single moment. Sometimes the narration works, but for the most part it’s heavy handed and distracting. Those moments don’t really allow room for input or introspection. It’s dictating exactly what you should be thinking at all times.

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First Impressions: Little Witch Academia

Bold, energetic, and bright with a sparkle, Little Witch Academia makes a reappearance this season in unapologetically lustrous fashion. Its world of magic is absolutely entrancing, imbuing the environment with adventure, bewilderment, and wonder. For a young wide-eyed Kagari Atsuko, she peers onward at an event that’s much like a magic show. At center stage, the renowned witch Shiny Chariot delivers a heartwarming speech in front of a roaring crowd, making a show of casting spells and blowing up monsters. Kagari marvels at the spectacle before her eyes, completely enchanted by the magical feats of the great witch. Shiny Chariot summons a powerful bow to destroy a magical creature which combusts into a glittering array of stars. As the stars rained down like fireworks, we could see young Kagari’s idolization of Shiny Chariot being cemented.  Continue reading “First Impressions: Little Witch Academia”