Kuzu no Honkai Episode 1 and a comment on Winter 2017

Over the past two weeks the Winter 2017 season’s shows have been airing their first episodes and the anime community has reacted largely with disappointment. Unfortunately I can’t help but agree with the majority of people and say that original shows this January are a huge let down – though there are some big name titles getting sequels that have helped lessen the issues (KonoSuba, Blue Exorcist and Chaos;Head most notably).

On the one hand we’ve got some bland rom-coms like Masamune-Kun’s Revenge (if that’s even a romance!?) or Fuuka (which I’ve yet to start but appears underwhelming even from the promo material). Then at the other end of the spectrum we’ve got ridiculous fantasy shows epitomised by the abhorrent Hand Shakers (the article on that one will be scathing, I promise).


But this evening I saw the proverbial silver lining to this season in Scum’s Wish or Kuzu no Honkai. Having seen and then ignored the manga on Crunchyroll, I was eager to have a look at what sounded like an interesting premise for anime adaptation.

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Christmas and Attack on Titan season 2 trailer

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s been a lifetime since I’ve posted anything here so in the next few days I’ll be writing an update of all of the things I’d like to write about in the next couple of months. There is though a reason for coming back to write on Christmas Day: the biggest piece of anime news since I’ve been watching anime (at least in my mind), Attack on Titan season 2 is coming, and last night (in the UK, early morning in Japan), we got the first trailer!

If you asked most people in the west to name one anime they would probably say Attack on Titan and though I like to think that I’ve got better at seeing through the hype generated by shows, I have to say Attack on Titan completely deserves it. That’s why I was so excited when I saw this new trailer had been released and I’ll join the crowds in saying that it’s fantastic.

Brawling titans were a centre pice of season 2's first trailer
Brawling titans were a centre pice of season 2’s first trailer.

For a minute and a half’s worth of content we gain a lot from the trailer. Most notably an increase in the number of, if not intelligent, unique titans. The main new addition is a titan that might be described as gorilla like known as the beast titan but also there seemed to be an agile jumping titan that had a particularly good aim for the nape of other titans.

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Episode Focus: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 1 ‘Frightened Corpse’

It’s not really the done thing to write reviews of shows after only one episode has aired but with Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress I couldn’t help myself. Taking up the Spring 2016 noitaminA slot and having the privilege (?) of being the first anime to stream through Amazon Prime, Kabaneri is a steam punk style anime that sees humanity stuck behind walls hiding from some terrible man eating monsters.

I know what you’re thinking – that sounds just like something else I know… Well hold that thought, I’ll get to it a little later!

Main character #1 Ikoma seems like a decent enough guy. Almost inspires you to rebel against the system yourself, until you see the blood that is.
Main character #1 Ikoma seems like a decent enough guy. Almost inspires you to rebel against the system yourself, until you see the blood that is.

The main character of episode is rebellious ‘steam smith’, Ikoma who as well as servicing the locomotives that allow humans to travel between stations (essentially human settlements) is trying to create a weapon to kill the Kabane.

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First Impressions – Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

The autumn season of anime is well underway with most shows now either two or three episodes. Of all the shows I’ve started this season, the one that has intrigued the most is the psychological mystery The Perfect Insider. 

The show is an adaptation of Hishori Mori’s 1996 mystery novel and has reached the anime medium after adaptations into a manga, visual novel and live action drama.

Very deep thinkers these two...
Very deep thinkers these two…

It’s difficult to write a first impressions review of this show because things are still unraveling even at the end of episode 3. Essentially the story goes something like this: a teacher and his student (who are both very clever) have a bit of a fascination with a doctor who as well as being widely viewed as the cleverest person alive, killed her parents. The teacher takes his seminar group on a trip to the island where the mysterious doctor has been in seclusion for the past 15 years only to bear witness to the aftermath of a murder.

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First Impressions: GATE

So after reading my first impressions of Charlotte yesterday and then watching the show you decided you want something that speaks to you a bit more: you want more monsters and medieval Japanese soldiers. The thing is you liked the modern setting of Charlotte and would like some kind of modern involvement in the next show you watch. If that is indeed the case I have found just the show for you.

Medieval mounted Japanese general in modern Tokyo. Sorry, what?
Medieval mounted Japanese general in modern Tokyo. Sorry, what?

GATE begins in modern Japan, focusing on Youji, an Otaku who lives and works for his hobby. On the way to a convention, he finds that Tokyo is being attacked by monsters and regimented medieval soldiers like he would see out his dream manga, anime or other otaku related media form. Being experienced in these kind of events, he takes control saving many civilians, earning himself a promotion in the army and stems back the tide of enemies.

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First Impressions: Charlotte

It’s new anime time! Spring has finished and with the coming of the new season comes a lot of new shows.

Possibly the most highly anticipated of the summers shows is Charlotte. Written Jun Maeda and produced by Key Studios, we’re seeing, for the first time, the same combination that created Angel Beats!. No wonder people are excited.

So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.
So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.

Charlotte takes place in a largely normal world where are very small amount of teenagers have supernatural powers. One such person is the main character, Yuu Otasaka, who has the power to take over the consciousness of others around him. For much of the first episode, he uses his power to cheat in tests to get into a top school and then to impress the girl he likes – it makes him come across as pretty dislikable kind of guy. That said this episode sets the show up as a good comedy.

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First Impressions: Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End)

Last night I started watching the dub of Seraph of the End. Another post-apocalyptic show where the human race has been all but wiped out by a virus released by vampires, with only those under the age of 13 and around 10% of the adult population surviving.

The main character, Yuichiro, is, to put it nicely, a bit of social introvert who doesn’t really do the whole making friends thing particularly well. That said he does live with a group of orphans and has done for at least 4 years, even if refuses to call them his family.

Yu had a family, even if he never admitted it himself.
Yu had a family, even if he never admitted it himself.

So far I’ve seen the first two episodes and a lot of time has been covered. Yuichiro, and his friends who survived the virus were taken away by the vampires to underground city as test subjects/dinner for vampires. Four years later, we find them at stage where they live an uneasy life together amongst the vampires. The first episode details an attempted escape by the group- without going into too much detail, lets say that only Yu escapes, with a bit of grudge to hold against the vampires thereafter.

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