DanMachi Episode 12 and 13 Final Recap & Thoughts

Episode 12 Rating: 3.5/5 complacent clouds I’m a little bit tired of DanMachi at this point. It’s been a long season with this show and reviewing it weekly has given me a lot of false hope in random plot points … Continue reading

DanMachi Episode 10 and 11 Thoughts

Episode 10 Rating: 4/5 curious clouds Episode ten of DanMachi actually brings a bit more excitement than the usual dungeon adventures with Bell. Now that he’s a level two with a few skill tricks in his pocket, he’s journeying into … Continue reading

DanMachi Episode 8 and 9 Thoughts

Episode 8 Rating: 3/5 complacent clouds Episode eight wholly focuses on Bell’s transformation from adventurer into hero. I suppose you call it that. But really throughout the entire series it hasn’t felt like Bell’s transformed that much. Being a gung-ho … Continue reading

DanMachi Episode 7 Review

Rating: 3/5 complacent clouds Ahhhh just when you think DanMachi is taking things more emotionally in their fantasy adventure world, the story takes a turn back to the fan service harem aspects. Now that Bell has officially taken Lily as … Continue reading

DanMachi Episode 5-6 Review

WOW I have been behind on DanMachi for many weeks. Life just gets UBER BUSY around exam times. Apologies apologies! But we’re returning to DanMachi this week to our favourite little goddess’s perspective. She’s too adorable when it comes to Bell. How long has she been a goddess? How long has she known Bell? Why is she so attached to him? I’m so curious… Why a human?

Episode 5 Rating: 3/5 curious clouds Crop_3 CloudsExcited Transparent

Hestia spends some time in the Divine bathhouse to prep herself for her date with Bell. Too cute.

DanMachi Episode 5 (5)Sidenote: That bathhouse animation though is just ugly. Someone please get KyotoAni in here ASAP to fix water animation.

A while later, Hestia and Bell go on their date. Bell seems as awkwardly nervous as Hestia. It’s too adorable that Hestia actually got a new dress for today. Unfortunately for her their date gets immensely interrupted as a flock of goddesses tail Hestia to figure out who her new man is. Hahahaha Hestia never ceases to amuse me in each episode. By the end of the day, the couple stumbles across a pretty view over the city at the top of a building.

After all the Bell x Hestia happy moments, we return to a pretty sketchy scene with Lily before bouncing down to the dungeon where Bell is back to work slaying monsters. DanMachi Episode 5 (14)Seriously, I wish Lily got her priorities straight and switched over to Bell’s side rather than simmering in these shady dealings. In regards to Bell I wonder if he’ll ever grow or mature emotionally as a protagonist and not just physically. He still seems SOOOOO naïve in consideration of the half-point we’ve reached in the series. And somehow by the second half of this episode Bell has developed magic skills… somehow… what… HOW?!?? I know you’re the protagonist but really, things can’t just HAPPEN to you, skills need to develop over time!! Or at least hint us with more foreshadowing for future reveals…

Overall I found the episode quite awkwardly paced. To be honest, the entire series chronicling Bell’s progression and growth as an adventurer is pretty sand-boxed style, meaning it’s quite free-form and there isn’t any direction. Other than immersing the viewers in this fantasy world and showcasing some interesting action animation, we don’t get much plot development until we flip perspectives to Aphrodite who has been previously hinted at meddling into the city. DanMachi Episode 5 (22)Also, for all the hype we got of Aiz at the beginning of the series, we never really got to see her again and she’s been sidelined so heavily as a supporting character she has been non-existent since the first two episodes of the series. She and her comrade stumble upon a collapsed Bell in the dungeon. It is wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon? No Bell-kun, probably not… except it’s probably not too safe… nor romantic. Lolz. Bell TOTALLY has a fanboy breakdown when he realizes that he’s been saved once again by a bishojo swordswoman.

I would really find the series more interesting if it focused more on the fantasy aspect regarding the gods and goddesses. If the story was told from Hestia’s perspective, we might get to see more fantasy-power struggles rather than romantic comedy slice of life and shallow magic-related action. I do wonder if Bell accidentally picking up a grimoire was the work of some goddess meddling rather than just a happy coincidence.

By the end of the episode Bell finds out about Lily’s back alley dealings…

Episode 6 Rating: 3.5/5 happy clouds Crop_3 Clouds Transparent

Despite Hestia’s harmless visage, she’s quite a clever little deity when it comes to keeping her close ones close with a close eye on her enemies. She suspects Lily as an untrustworthy supporter even though Bell seems quite intent on helping Lily with her shady dealings. DanMachi Episode 6 (2)As much as they build up the Soma guild to be a dog-eat-dog sort of system and emphasize Lily’s immensely impoverished and tragic back story, I still can’t bring myself to like Lily as a character or emphasize her. She’s mostly annoying to me in the light novel and the manga. I really wish Bell would expose her lies but Bell is just WAY too nice. In fact, we don’t even get enough nice scenes of Lily for us to like her before she BETRAYS Bell on the tenth floor of the dungeon. Lily ends up being double back-stabbed by her guild… AGAIN. Here we get to see Maaya Uchida’s brilliant voice acting here. From betrayal to hopelessness and resignation…

DanMachi Episode 6 (16)Naturally, Bell comes back to save Lily. The Lily who is now left with nothing, has come back to save Lily… well, thanks to Eina’s background move to send Aiz into the dungeon to save Bell’s ass. Seems like someone is always helping Bell in the background. Thank goodness Bell’s knife was strapped to Lily’s leg. I do admit that I ended up liking Lily more at the end of the episode after she yelled an entire spiel at Bell. It’s good to get these things out Lily, just let it out. OMG Uchida is just AMAZINGLY TALENTED.

To be honest I find it difficult to sympathize or connect with any of the characters in DanMachi. Except for Hestia who actually has deeper motivations stemming from her feelings for Bell, everyone else interacts on a shallow DanMachi Episode 6 (20)RPG script-basis which really doesn’t provide enough ample opportunities to showcase personality nuances through dialogue. As a result, each character slots perfectly into an archetype that fantasy fans are sorely familiar with, but none of them stand out in particular. This is one of the main reasons I lag behind in DanMachi every week. It’s got tons of interesting action and smooth animation but I don’t love any of the characters enough to actively seek out the series in my spare time.

Hopefully as we progress into the last few episode of the series, we’ll get to see the goddess-plotting come to light and knot up the plot with conflicts around Bell.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Episode 3 & 4 Review

Episode 3 Rating: 4/5 curiously excited clouds After Bell leaves Hestia behind to fight the beast, we get a little bit of his flashbacks then. When no one would befriend him or take him into their Familia. Hestia was the … Continue reading

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Episode 2 Review

After Hestia finds out how much Bell has grown on his own, she resolves to support him wholeheartedly along the way and beckons him not to leave her. He of course decides to do his best with her and promises … Continue reading

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Episode 1 Impressions

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka, blessedly abbreviated as DanMachi, is a fantasy, adventure series that focuses on a boy named Bell Cranel, an adventurer who quests in the city of Orario where a huge dungeon … Continue reading

Out of the Box: Nendoroid Petit Love Live!

Hello everybody and welcome to another Out of the Box feature!

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Today we’re looking at the Nendoroid Petit Love Live Series. The thing with these mystery box sets is that you usually have to buy the entire set as a whole online. If you’re lucky enough to find a store that sells the figures individually you’re in lucky. I found the series in one of  my local small anime shops and  I didn’t mind doing a blind draw for this series because all three of these girls are my favourites in the Love Live series. Here is the full collection (photo below courtesy of Good Smile Company)…

Love Live Nendoroid Petit Good Smile Company

The Nendoroid Petit Love Live Series features the first three founding characters of the idol group µ’s. In the series, µ’s will expand to encompass nine members in total. This figure series showcases characters Honoka Kosaka, Umi Sonoda and Kotori Minami once in their uniforms and twice in their stage idol outfits when they perform “Start Dash!” The Nendoroid Petits are produced by Good Smile Company, giving the figures a polished matte look and a lot of attention to detailing in the painting of the eyes and clothes as well as the mobility of the body and head.

Minami_Kotori2Here’s Kotori sporting her Otonokizaka Academy uniform. To be honest when I first saw Kotori’s character design in the anime, I was really nervous on how they would potentially sculpt her hair because it’s done up in a half side ponytail with an extra piece that drapes over the top of her head into her bangs. It turned out really well in this figure in my opinion and that’s definitely because of Good Smile Company’s top notch quality. Kotori is about 65mm in height and propped up by a transparent stand (as are most Nendoroid Petit figures). I’ve really been obsessing over Nendoroid Petits lately because they’re of fantastic quality make and a good size but they don’t cost as much as regular Nendoroids because they are slightly smaller and don’t come with all the accessories and changeable faces.

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If you guys are interested in checking out more about Love Live, click here for my first impressions of the series. If you’re into J-Pop and pretty animation and music in general, you’ll really enjoy the story as a lighthearted refresher. I hope you guys enjoyed this Out of the Box and if you did, don’t forget to share it or like it or follow me here on littlecloudcuriosity for more to come!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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?