Startling By Each Step/Bu Bu Jing Xin/步步驚心 First Impressions

Hello everyone and to my Cantonese-speaking, Mandarin-speaking and Chinese viewers, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! In honour of the New Year, I thought I would post a review on something in the ancient Chinese series category that I’ve recently started watching. 祝你們心想事成, … Continue reading

Out of the Box: Makoto and Haru Reunite…

Hey Free babies! In honour of the season 2 of Free that’s recently been confirmed, I thought I’d share a package a little more than a week ago but haven’t had time to feature.

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In the last weeks of 2013,  my Haruka Nanase plushie came just before Christmas and I actually ordered the Makoto Tachibana first but because of the number of online orders around Christmas as well as the holiday schedule delays on the website, Makoto was delayed until later in January. Today I’m very very pleased to add Mako to my plushie and otaku collection. He’s from the same collection line as Haru sporting the same Iwatobi Swim Club Jacket (removable). What I noticed different about Makoto is that the dimensions of plushie body are actually a bit wider than Haru’s, reminiscent of the original character designs. Haru has a slimmer physique while Makoto has a broader built. Makoto also has a really friendly expression on and when you place him next to Haru you can see how much detail Japanese designers put into their merchandise. (I tried my best with the lighting because I was holed up in my apartment in Kingston without proper lightning utensils so bear with me.)

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4 Review

“Your life is your own. How can you not live your own life as you see fit? If you just wait for life to happen, you’ll die.” – Nobunaga

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4 (13)

The battle ends quite suddenly with Nobunaga defeated by Lord Shingen. I guess the magical upgrade pact didn’t work out as well as we all worked out. Nobunaga’s still inexperienced with the war armour unlike Shingen. I’m guessing the main war concerns the power struggles with different clans and mainly the Oda and the Takeda.

Rating: 3.5/5 complacent clouds Crop_35 ComplacentCloudst

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4 (16)The gang ends up on the little betrothed Queen priestess’s ship head and they head to Owari. The Queen of Yamatai of the Land of Origins. Da Vinci suggests the betrothal ceremony instead of an immediate wedding between the Queen and the Fool (West ftw LOL). I really wish they made Joan a bit more badass than this… she’s utterly unable to touch Nobunaga in a sparring match and really plays the role of divine seer rather than an indecisive blushing damsel. Naturally, the Queen can tell that Joan is a woman and warns Joan to stay away from Nobunaga. The exchange between Joan and the Queen are amusing though and they tease out some of the western/eastern stereotypical misunderstandings between the two planets. I guess Joan’s not use to eastern ways and prefers a bed over straw mats. Unable to sleep, she strolls outside drawn by the sound of the princess’s voice. Joan then meets Nobunaga’s sister.

I liked seeing a flash of Joan’s past as well; seems like her ability to see glimpses of the future has been with her since a child and I wonder if her character will make it past fan service and two dimensional singular flashbacks. I’m curious to see how the characters’ relationships will unfold, especially that of the Nobunaga siblings.

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4 (29)

The theme of mysticism prevails even in the midst of all these hardcore politics and mecha battles. Each episode is named after one of the Major Arcana cards and if Nobunaga extends into the spring season, we’ll hit all twenty-one cards. This weird world order fusing both elements of science and magic is boggling my mind because I don’t know how Da Vinci can build mecha armour with knowledge of chemistry, some form of engineering and physics and then spout off some prophetic verses about Nobunaga being the golden dragon that will save the world.

This time, it’s Mitsuhide’s turn to draw a card from Da Vinci’s tarot. He comes upon The Magician, Reversed and wonders if Nobunaga is the Magician.

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The episode wraps up with Nobunaga’s betrothal ceremony… and a live concert courtesy of Western technology starring Ichihime. Wow, it must be jarring for eastern commoners to see the Queen of Yamatai in a western fashioned dress and even Nobunaga all dressed up with his hair slicked back. Da Vinci really need to stop meddling in everyone’s lives but IT’S ALL SO AMUSING. THERE’S EVEN A CAKE. MY GOSH I’m gonna get Da Vinci to plan my wedding when that day comes. The foreshadowing moment comes when Nobunaga brings down his sword on the cake (and crowd), the immensity of his presence and power striking into the hearts of all.

I guess I like how Nobunaga’s proceeding so far. Fair pace, fair plot. The story is really following the whole “hero will fulfill prophecy and safe the world” pattern I think. I’m wondering how much historical accuracy is thrown in there mixed into the original play. We’ll have to keep watching to see where it’s going. I’m feeling pretty neutral after episode 4 guys. What do you think?

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4 (42)

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

D-Frag Episode 3 and 4 Review

Hello everyone. I know I’m a bit behind on D-Frag in the last week and it’s because I had a crazy everything test and quiz and essay due – day yesterday on Monday so now that that’s all over and … Continue reading

Love Live! School Idol Project Episode 1 Impressions

Love Live (4)Love Live (9)

Oh, today we’re visiting the wonderful, sparkly, short skirted, frilly costume world of… no, not magic girls… IDOLS!! Welcome to the high school, comedy, idol, music anime Love Live! Although I’m not exactly the main targeted audience for the show, I knew I had to give it a try because I’m such a big fan of anime involving upbeat dance-worthy, karaoke-worthy anime.

Rating: 4/5 happy clouds Crop_4 Clouds Transparent

Love Live (23)My very very first impression of the anime came from the characters themselves, not only from the first scenes, but the AWESOMELY catchy opening song. The girls (or the ones who will eventually form the idol group) are superbly easily distinguishable, which is, in my opinion, really important in shows with large casts. I’m talking about different hair colour, hair accessory and colour, eye colour and eye shape (which is a big one) because the design of the eyes really showcase the detail of the animation as well as the characters’ personalities.

Love Live (10)As for the premise, let me ask you, how often is it that you find exactly eight girls who are totally in love with their school and willing to fight for it in order to keep it open. Honoka Kousaka is the protagonist of the show, who totally freaks out when she realizes her beloved school is going to close. In an effort to keep it going, she and her fellow schoolmates decide to form an idol group in order to attract new students to the school… I WISH MY UNIVERSITY DID THAT. I WOULD TOTALLY SIGN UP FOR IT.

Love Live (14)Though the demographic is strictly seinen or for fans of the original game, I think Love Live is a really fun anime for music or high school lovers who want something fun and light hearted to watch without giving it too much thought. Let’s face it, idol anime series are always entertaining right? The music is super sweet and the voices are especially cast well cause they have to sing (le duh). Kousaka scours the school for girls from all different clubs and ages. Umi Sonoda especially amuses me when she misses the archery target because she’s totally fantasizing about idol stardom. Kotori Minami, Honoka and Umi’s best friend is also all for the formation of the idol club to save the school. By the end of the first episode, Honoka’s been turned down by quite a few other prospective club members… and… her decision is to start dancing on the streets BUT THAT’S OKAY CAUSE THIS IS AN IDOL ANIME AND ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. She doesn’t seem discouraged at all and of course we know she’ll succeed in forming her idol group.

Love Live (2)

I gave this episode a pretty high rating because of the production quality and it’s prominence in the genre. Its overall opening episode captivated me immediately and I think that’s what characters should do. It’s giving viewers exactly what they want in the idol mix of anime so if you’re looking for something music related, you like K-On! or you’re also watching Wake Up Girls, this is a great one to check out on the side. It’s quicker paced than K-On which focuses on mainly slice of life but fluffier than Wake Up Girls if you don’t want the realistic elements of the entertainment industry bringing you down. If anything, just download the music because it’ll really give you that bounce in your step wherever you are.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Nisekoi Episode 3 Rant and Review

Ah, Raku goes back to dreaming about his childhood dream girl… too bad his memory always blanks out her name… I’m both amused and almost exasperated at how similar Raku and Chitoge are. Even their respective gang members take a … Continue reading

Alice Love Fables: Toy Box Rant and Review

It has taken me SO LONG to get to this review just cause I was really focused on photography features during the holidays and then the winter anime season came out in the New Year, but I’ve finally found time … Continue reading

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 3 Review

A new character, Lord Shingen, who owns his own giant war armour mecha suit named the Fuurin Kazan, decides to challenge Nobunaga to battle upon hearing of The Fool. As the Oda clan is deciding on their course of action … Continue reading

Tokyo Ravens Episode 14 and 15 Review

Hey guys, I’ve been struggling with internet a lot again at my house again and it’s seriously putting a delay on my seasonal anime but today I’m really excited to be reviewing the latest two episodes of Tokyo Ravens because … Continue reading

Shingeki no Kyojin, the Anime Review Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome to Part 2 of my Shingeki no Kyojin anime. If you’re looking for Part 1, click here. And in Part 2 I’m going to touch on some overarching plot themes, the animation, ending, sound and my … Continue reading