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The Empire - The Company's Official News Source - #229 Issue:12th of Hearthfire 2017
- HEADLINES: Banjo Week Celebrations Held
The result was the induction of certain players into the Secret Orders and to the Camps at Boulogne.
- EDITORIAL "Vengeance, Not Justice."
If anybody going to listen to my story, all about me choosing vengeance over justice, know it's all true but certain things have been kept distinctly vague. I question this myself because I want it to be kept vague because of my want for vengeance and that anyone who warns him and or tries to warn him may make him realize what he's going into.
My vengeance was simply not telling him. Petty, I know... But efficient. Honest men like it that way. No bullshit, no effort, just take it as it is. :)
A certain former friend of mine chose a girl over an ethical and moral issue. It really hit me hard because this certain friend saw and experienced these things before and he himself disapproved of when others do it, that hypocrite. You think he would have learned... Tsk tsk tsk. And this certain former friend was supposedly taught the difference between right and wrong and he himself supposedly knew what was right and wrong. Quiet though he was, he certainly knew what was good or bad and would give his input on trying to understand all angles of stories before passing his judgment as he had taken from me. In the end, when the question of justice suddenly came to him if he was doing the right thing, he immediately cast off everything he was taught, knew or held himself in pride for before and sat on the fence. Not to think, mind you... But to plan his escape from justice and to play both sides and bid his time.
Now, over the course of a certain month, it just so happened that this girl was already being monitored by me and the grapevine. The Grapevine discovered that the girl, which the former friend chose over doing the right thing, was cheating on him... I am not joking you. She was literally cuckolding our former friend. FUCKING SERIOUS. THERE WAS LIKE TWO GUYS. TWO FREAKING GUYS SHE WAS MESSING AROUND WITH. PROBABLY A THIRD FOR ALL WE KNOW. I was like... Wow holy shit. Really?
Certain fairy tale morals would probably make you think that I should tell him what was going on because "fuck it, he's my friend. I'm going to help him anyway because that's what friends do!" and that maybe if I help him and tell him what the fuck exactly was going on, he'll realize the mistake he's made, but then another voice in my head which was much more sweeter came up. The devil's advocate at the back of my head reminded me of the insult he did for not doing the right thing. I took great offense to him hiding himself before me when I hid nothing from him. The voice in the back of my head said three simple words:
"Nah, fuck him."
And it felt gooooood knowing he got what he deserved(according to me being offended anyway). Fucker chose a path that shames him and his blood if it ever got out but I don't particularly want it to go out. At least, not yet. I'll tell you what I really want to happen: I want him to be so fucking OBLIVIOUS that he would build up everything and his entire world with this girl. I want her to keep him dangling and I don't want anyone to tell him otherwise because only a good friend would warn you and he wasn't a very good friend - he doesn't deserve to be warned. I want him to dedicate his entire life to this girl like every dumbfuck of an American who doesn't know what real love is by investing everything they could. I want it all to come crashing down when he thought he made the happiest choice of his life. And how do I do this? By doing nothing. That poor fool didn't know that he brought a cheating whore to his homecoming. Let him be happy for now, it'll be all the more sweeter for me when he discovers he's got with a harlot and his own inner shame is enough to satisfy me.
... Or maybe, he has a cuckolding fetish and he does know and does enjoy other people fucking his girl. Maybe he wanted to do us justice by removing his own stain of cuckoldry. Whatever the case, he didn't get what he deserved in my opinion for his past actions where I once thought he deserved a nice, long and happy life free and that is what makes me happy.
And that is me choosing vengeance over justice. Have you ever asked yourselves if you do justice or vengeance? Maybe if more MineZ players asked themselves that, they'd be less of bumbling fuck ups than they already are. I know certain fools and dumbfucks don't even seek justice and seek self-enrichment or hide the obvious crimes to protect their friends or some shit. Cunts, the lot of you.
- TRADE * US MineZ Trade Run
- TRADE * US MineZ Trade
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- PvP Drill * 104th Mass PvP Event - Camps at Boulogne
- DOMESTIC 501st Regiment Reforms
Company [?] Major Irishkaiser's advice is that they're too bureaucratic with too many protocols and standards that do not alleviate the problems, but rather deadlocks them. You only add processes and bureaucracy when necessary, but one must be quick to abandon them or change when they no longer are useful.
A lot of Company traditions and processes were ad-hoc solutions to problems. Just relax, man. LAMINAR FLOW.
- DOMESTIC *Banjo Week holidays *
For reasons of compliance to the Secret Order. Members of the 1st Regiment ARE NOT barred from supplies, but are just discouraged from taking them.
- DOMESTIC LugLumpy outed as cheater, told to stop. Sparks debate. He leaves anyway
The UNKNOWN [?] Trading Company recognizes that Shotbow does not own Minecraft and people sometimes download certain tools and mods to make lives easier for them in their singleplayer or multiplayer games on other servers. Even the former admin Mr_Darn himself was able to use a "disapproved" client even while playing on an alt then. There were camps of three: the hardliners(not tolerating any form of modded clients), the BEG FOR MERCY GIVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE AND ASK THEM(bunch of faggots) and the Practicalists(me). The people who were hardline anti-modders forgot the context of their game, because... I mean... Come on, they only play MineZ and nothing else.
The BEG FOR MERCY GIVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE AND ASK THEM were going at the issue indirectly, thus potentially complicating things with underhanded and indirect approaches.
Irishkaiser told him to just stop and made it serious that we don't tolerate cheating within MineZ servers. Upon receiving the news and weighing it in, LugLumpy eventually decided to just leave anyway, ending the debate.
- FINANCE The Bank Grows, this time due to Spyware's contributions.
- ORDERS: *
2) Those under duty of the Secret Orders are to still carry them out regardless.
Should You Watch It? Winter 2019 Edition
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
The supernatural and the normal collide in Boogiepop wa Warawanai, an anime about an ephemeral spirit who watches over the populace, a “witch” who does the same from the shadows, and the realistic (and not-so-realistic) chaos which ensues nearby.
Based on its first arc alone, the plot demands maximum attention, what with its non-chronological series of events and the bevy of characters it touts. This setup helps and hinders. Helps because it creates an interesting mystery to watch unfold; hinders because it can cause unnecessary confusion. The fact that the second episode released simultaneously with the first episode to explain its (purposefully disjointed) start should be argument enough.
This unfortunate duality seems to be a common thread in all that the project tackles. The off-kilter cuts in the music up suspense, but they come off too jarring. The setting makes sense, but the artistic direction leaves much to be desired. The story and the characters have a meaningful claim to stake, but they both lack substance.
To its credit, the underlying theme on the nature of humanity does not lose its focus, and those two main players have individual statuses and a clear connection worthy of larger exploration. For now, though, these traits and others are best viewed with an eye of caution.
Another Perspective, courtesy of gosheno:Watch It
“As much as I wish to explain the synopsis, I can’t—and shouldn’t. Boogiepop starts off, and continues to be a confusing story. But it’s because of this confusion that I find myself captivated by the duties of a possessed girl (voiced by a smug Aoi Yuki) in a purple pipe hat.
So be warned: this show is not for everyone, and many may be distracted by its non-linear storytelling. But, its interchanging character perspectives continually change your own understanding of each previous episode and the overarching storyline. Every week, I found myself surprised and gripped by the clever effects of this disjointed narrative as the show builds on its themes. Directing and storyboarding can seem absurd initially, but when you piece everything together, you’ll want to rewatch to pick up on the details you overlooked the first time.
For a Madhouse production, though, its character designs are lacking because its art style is nondistinctive from any other light novel adaptation. Characterization becomes so shrouded in the show’s mystery genre that sometimes, the cast comes off as undeveloped and neglected by the creators. However, if you’re contemplating or even more confused about this show, I suggest binge-watching the first 3 episodes.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveWatch It
Ahh, romance. A fickle creature not quite that easy to have thanks to its numerous obstacles. Crushes on those seemingly out-of-reach. Empty feelings behind actions. In Domestic na Kanojo, Natsuo finds himself in this exact situation with his female teacher named Hina and a girl named Rui. And after an impromptu remarriage, these sisters become his (step-) sisters, brewing up a volatile triangle ripe for craziness.
Setting aside the pseudo-incest angle as an excuse to get the story rolling rather than the driving force behind it already gets at what the anime prioritizes most: Drama with a capital “D”. It stems from Natsuo, Hina, and Rui with their respective troubles and thoughts on love and lust, giving rise to the ever-changing relationships between them.
And it works. This shlocky, grounded soap opera takes its ridiculous setup in stride with other notable elements. The two heroines have received clear character arcs to follow. Solid production values, such as the nice character designs and the passionate opening track, keep everything in good spirits. A couple of supporting characters add realism and helpfulness. And it isn’t afraid to get a tad more risqué than the norm for this medium.
If nothing else, the juiciness of the unfolding events makes domesticating this anime not just a possibility but a fun experience outright.
Another Perspective, courtesy of bagglewaggle:Drop It
“Domestic Girlfriend is yet another entry into the endless pantheon of 'not-incest' anime where the romantic interests end up under the same roof.
And it's bad.
Dear god, it's so bad.
Natsuo's love troubles went from bad to worse: he had a crush on his teacher (Hina), and then a strange girl (Rui) took him to her house and had sex with him. And now he's come to learn to that the two of them are sisters, and their mother is marrying his father.
Does that sound wacky? Because it isn't. This show is largely a drama centered around Natsuo, Rui (who is a human version of the 'emotionless sex' tag), and Hina, the obligatory big titty onee-chan. At least in Kiss X Sis, there was an appreciation for the silliness of the premise.
Here, the comedy and ecchi is shoved off to the side, only to pop up in bizarre places. From tense nude bathroom conversations, to a make-out session mid-adultery confrontation, to borderline surreal play-acting in class, nothing flows and nothing fits.
It's really hard to overstate how incompetent Domestic Girlfriend is, and lest you think there might be some redeeming value, the music is rarely fitting and there's some off-model/under-animated parts.
This is the first show I've seen from Winter 2019, and it's already a contender for worst show of the season.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveMust Watch It
One rule must always be remembered when dealing with demons: Everything has a price. For Hyakkimaru of Dororo, the price for his unfortunate exchange arrived steep and not of his own accord. But that doesn’t stop him from surviving without the barest of bodily essentials and teaming up with a kindhearted kid who looks out for him as much as possible.
Slated as a multi-cour show, the story has a lot left to get to, yet its beginning already packs potential. Hyakkimaru’s inevitable development from a visceral doll to a fulfilled human gives him a very strong character arc to follow, and the supporting cast members have their parallels and connections for even further clout. The samurai motif and the religious subtexts likewise paint the narrative in a mature light, granting it the chance for thematic ideas on purpose and fate and tenacity of the soul.
Other elements perform well as well. Darker, somber colors and a historical setting create a fitting mood throughout the events. Intriguing music exists from start to finish. And the action sequences, while somewhat brief, act as a good interlude in-between the general seriousness of the plot. With everything ready, this project may just steal the spotlight for those who permit it the chance it certainly deserves.
Another Perspective, courtesy of GetADogLittleLongie:Watch It
“If I had to describe this series in one sentence it's Berserk meets Rurouni Kenshin. The original series aired in 1969 and the first thing you'll notice is that it's darker than most modern anime. Hyakkimaru was born without eyes, ears, skin, or even a nervous system, because his father, a lord of Feudal Japan, traded them to 12 demons. Now he travels Japan killing the demons, and recovering his organs, with a child he meets named Dororo.
The show uses color sparingly to show that the world is bleak. As sad as Hyakkimaru's story is, it might not even be the saddest. If you're not ok with blood and death then this show probably isn't for you.
Each episode feels like its own arc with new characters and a satisfying resolution. It's amazing how much they manage to cram into 20 minutes, that said my main gripe with the show is that the episodes are too short for the amount of information they're trying to show.
The main characters are great. Dororo's cute playful nature is a great contrast to Hyakkimaru's inhuman lack of emotion or speech. I really want to see Hyakkimaru evolve from a killing machine with swords for arms to a normal human.
The animation quality is solid; fights are short and involve little monologuing.
Worth a watch if you have time.”
A Perspective, courtesy of BeckyMetal:Must Watch It
“Subaru, 23 year old social-phobic author whose parents are recently deceased, is followed home one day by street-smart stray-cat, Haru. What ensues are simple little stories where the inability to understand each other drives some tender development. My Roommate is a Cat is a story of a 20-something that needs to learn some life lessons and learns them in such wholesome ways.
With episodes about Subaru trying to remember to feed not just himself but his new roommate, as well as figure out what the hell is bugging Haru, he learns a lot. But it goes further - episodes are divided to give Haru’s perspective. This feeds into the show's fun sense of humour, but also does something very important to show how the issue looks from another side and punctuate the inherent difficulty in understanding one another (cat or otherwise). While different perspectives aren't the most novel solution to this theme, it’s extremely elegant in practice due to one perspective being, well, a cat, but also the way in which Subaru's understanding of his own problems changes throughout the show.
Anybody looking for something quiet yet powerfully resonant will gain a lot from the huge gamut of emotions this show runs. It'll have you laughing, crying, and always, smiling.”
Another Perspective, courtesy of PPGN_DM_Exia:Watch It
“My Roommate is a Cat captures a lot of the same vibes as shows like Barakamon, She and Her Cat and Poco's Udon World. While the show's premise delivers on the promise of cute cat moments, it also mixes in some serious themes as it relates to its protagonist, Subaru, who struggles with severe social anxiety and loneliness.
In many ways, the show is a love-letter to pet owners and the pets that bring them comfort.The show's main strength is that it does a good job of conveying the support that Subaru's cat provides him, even if they can't directly communicate with each other. Somewhat uniquely, each episode also contains a retelling of events earlier in the episode, but from the cat's perspective. This leads to some funny misunderstandings but also shows that their friendship is genuine and mutual.
The show appears to be headed to a place where Subaru's world grows as he begins to open up and meet new people, but so far it is content to rely on the interactions between Subaru and his cat as its strength. Overall, if you just want fluff with a dose of feels on the side, this one's a good bet.”
A Perspective, courtesy of MapoTofuMan:Must Watch It
“The Price of Smiles is the tale of a girl named Yuki, born on a planet far, far away. A girl who happens to be the princess of one of the two kingdoms on that planet, and, despite losing her parents early in her life, is surrounded by love from all sides - her childhood friend is always there to make her smile, and her advisors have always been there to bear the brunt of the responsibility that comes with running a kingdom. They've been successful in their efforts - Yuki grew up (well, not really, she's 12) to be such a fine genki girl that you'd think her favorite pastime was drinking tea with cake after school.
If everything up until now sounds great to you, you might also want to check out Endro~!, because the ominous title of this show seems to be strongly against it turning into the seasonal CGDCT.
The strongest point of this show is that once it gets going - it doesn't pull any punches, and so far each episode has kept me on the edge of my seat better than the previous one. The Price of Smiles does indeed stay true to its title - smiles have a price, and although I can't tell you what it is since they won't accept my writeup with spoilers in it, I highly recommend that you give this show a try and find out.”
Another Perspective, courtesy of Kingofthered:Watch It
“Egao no Daikia - The Price of Smiles - is trying something interesting. We're introduced to a young and innocent princess of an advanced society in Yuuki, with many advisors and friends to help her happily lead. But as conflict grows between two kingdoms over an advanced power source, we learn this is not the cute slice of life I was thinking it was. Rather, this is becoming a series about war and what it means. A few episodes in we are introduced to Stella, the secondary protaganist on the other end of the war. Where Yuuki grew up happy and sheltered, it is made clear Stella has not had that luxury.
The series thus far has had nice, if not entirely unpredictable, turns on expectations. It's not totally clear where it's going and with a focus on both sides of a conflict, some cute moments but a heavy amount of "fantasy reality" it has gone from a barely-on-my-watch-list to one of my most looked forward to series this season. If an anime original featuring a mixed bag of action, mechs, slice of life and likely coming-of-age and politics sounds even a bit intriguing, I'm confident that the first 3 episodes of this won't disappoint.”
A Perspective, courtesy of Twilight_Sniper:Must Watch It
“Endro is the cute show of the season, likely the whole year, and one I look forward to each week. If ever it were possible to get diabetes from a TV show, this would be the one to do it. The voice acting is top quality. Seems that's what happens when we combine the main actors from Comic Girls, Gochiusa, Nozaki-kun, and Monster Girls, then tell them to make an adventure show as cute and enjoyable as humanly possible. The character dynamics give off some Konosuba vibes, but instead of comedy they ooze cuteness, with relatively little fanservice. Animation is solid too, like if KyoAni created a magical girl show with cute original character designs.
The story follows a party of 4 female adventurers in a fantasy RPG world, each with their own distinct melodramatic quirks but adorable in their own ways. Things don't quite go according to plan for the heros (or teacher), but they always stumble right into success just by being cute, and it feels natural. If you dislike cute things, this might be the thing to change your mind. If you do, you'd be shooting yourself in the foot by skipping this.”
Another Perspective, courtesy of zenoob:Consider It
“After an intense fight, the Hero's party finally slay the Demon Lord and bring peace upon the world!
Or so it should have been. Except we can always count on Namori to be tied to projects filled with silliness, fun and cuteness, and this one is no exception. Unlike last season's more serious and action-oriented Release the Spyce however, Endro takes a much more lighthearted and satirical approach to its RPG setting, freely throwing jabs at its genre, pointing out tropes and toying with them.
The Hero and his friends are actually all cute moe girls, all with familiar personality traits. Mather, the mage is a massive nerd with a deadpan humour (very reminiscent of Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou's Chii-chan especially thanks to Minase Inori lending her voice to both characters), Yuusha the Hero is the pink haired airhead, Fai the warrior is the genki (cat-like)girl who eats far too much, Seiran the Elf is the straightman of the groupe with a weird obsession for horned gorillas. And obvously, our good old Demon Lord is a loli... It wouldn't be complete without this!
There is nothing groundbreaking in this, but if you want to have fun watching anime and your weekly fix of Cute Girls Doing Cute Things on top of some RPG satire/parody, Endro is definitely your best pick this season.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
Where Lou Bega of “Mambo No. 5” fame had Monica, Erica, and the like by his side, Uesugi of Gotoubun no Hanayome instead has Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba, and Itsuki. The former is a studious dude without any money, and the latter are quintuplets whose failing grades contrast with their immense wealth. He needs them, and they need him. Thus, a new rom-com harem begins.
At its core, the show is rather simple: Uesugi supports one of the five girls (per episode) and kindles his relationship with this next stubborn girl. Which leads to the positives. Voice-acting performances are swell. Cute moments pop up now and again. And the characters and vibe of the anime are likable and wholesome due to him encouraging and listening to the women and how they in turn individually respond to his presence.
Many negatives within this show counteract such positivity. The artistic quality dips too low too often to ignore. The comedy lands in a poor spot as well when its timings and its jokes often fail to hit the mark. And while an end is obviously obtained, the actual romance doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.
Altogether, only a little bit of “quintessential” is all one needs.
Another Perspective, courtesy of walking_the_way:Watch It
“I initially passed over Gotoubun no Hanayome due to its harem tag. Rom-coms are extremely subjective, and this season already had Kaguya-sama. Then I was asked to review it. With some trepidation, I started the anime, and was immediately greeted with an opening marriage scene.. what?!
As it turns out, both the anime and manga start off with a flash-forward, planting the seed that Uesugi, the protagonist, will eventually marry one of the titular quintuplets. Which one exactly, is unknown. Back in the present, he meets the five capricious identical sisters that all require his tutoring. But they're simply not interested, and hilarity ensues as he struggles to figure them out while they circle him, eyeing him warily.
I warmed up toward the show because Uesugi isn't a stereotypically incompetent harem MC, and the sisters share a fun chemistry. While there hasn't yet been much romance, Gotoubon no Hanayome's unique premise opens the door to potential situations that can set it apart from other rom-coms, and I hope it continues to explore this avenue well.
Several side plots have already reared their heads, and it's obvious that the show cannot possibly resolve the marriage mystery within this season. Yet, the first episodes have at least convinced me of its potential, so I'm curious where the story will go from here!”
Banjo’s PerspectiveMust Watch It
“All is fair in love and war,” but what if love was war? That’s the question Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen posits to the audience in hilarious fashion as Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane commence a battle of wits.
Their skirmish tests their mettle and their hearts as they attempt to usurp each other in snippets. Nothing is off the table: trickery, mind games, deflection, suggestion, planning. In a way, the ends justify the means here, creating comedy filled with funny payoffs by visual gags, reactions, meta humor, catchphrases, darker jokes, cuteness, and extended ideas.
It only gets better from there. A mostly centralized setting allows the artistic direction to go all out with imagination and style galore. The audio elements, from the great voice acting to the amazing ending track featuring the adorkable Chika, improve the presentation again. And it can even showcase a more worthwhile side of itself when it reels in the comedy in favor of sincerity.
The only foreseeable issue is the looming sense of repetition that could settle in if the anime rests for even a second. That doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, though, so it’s pretty safe to confess that this war is downright lovable.
Another Perspective, courtesy of pittman66:Consider It
“Kaguya-Sama is a rare case where it's faithful to its source, but the problem is that it does not adapt well into an anime. The manga is over the top, has a hilarious WWE announcer, and for its psychological games has a lot of romantic cuteness to it, and I enjoy it immensely. The anime is much the same, sounds great, right? Instead, it ends up showing its shortcomings. It's more apparent that they barely have a change of scenery, at full episode length it's tiring to listen to the narrator and over the top style over and over again, and there's a certain desire with all these stories sort of connection to show some progression. The problem stems from is how it tells the manga story. It's not an uncommon episode format way to do multiple short stories within an episode, like with Asobi Asobase, Mitsuboshi Colors, or Nichijou. What I find it lacks compared to those is its variety. Save for the last story of episode 3, there's little variety, it's all over the top psychological mental fights, and little time to warm up to the characters.”
A Perspective, courtesy of wowitsmade:Watch It
“Kemurikusa tells the story of a group of sisters and their quest to find water on one of the various islands present in their world along with the threat of bugs that pose a danger whenever they’re around. However, they are aided by a leaf known as Kemurikusa that provides them powers and other abilities. Oh great, another generic plot with nothing much to showcase. However Kemurikusa throws in a curveball: the emergence of a new character, Wakaba, who threatens the mere existence of these gi— oh wait, is he even a bug?
With Wakaba, the girls soon wonder where he came from, what his intent is, and more importantly, whether he is a human or a bug: is a human what the girls are, or is it was Wakaba is? Soon, Kemurikusa becomes a journey to find water while at the same time exploring the past of all the characters — especially Wakaba.
Three episodes in and Kemurikusa has done a damned good job at world building, detailing the struggles the girls have had just trying to get more water, describing the purpose of the bugs, and how their world came to be. Honestly, it feels akin to Girls Last Tour, and while it is CGI, it isn’t bad at all and exemplifies the eeriness of the world with a soundtrack that further cements the idea of the desolation at hand.
Watch Kemurikusa. While definitely not AOTS, it is already shaping up to be this season's underrated show.”
Another Perspective, courtesy of badspler:Consider It
“Kemurikusa follows a family of girls with who fight weird ‘bugs’ and survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Kemurikusa is being produced by Kemono Friends' former anime director and studio. With that however comes a level of CG that will turn many away from this show.
The strongest point of this series is the interesting world and characters. Both are tied well into each other. Similar to the likes of Girls Last Tour, the show makes good use of its post-apocalyptic setting, taking its time to reveal atmosphere and mystery elements. The OST is good and this benefits the setting and atmosphere. The pacing of the show is slow, but progression is consistent.
The male lead has been more of an audience insert and plot device than his own character so far. The other characters feel unique and have an interesting mesh of abilities that tie well to into the mostly unknown world.
This series is carefully going to dish out information in a show don’t tell manner. If you enjoy slower shows that focus on world building and characters, can stand CG and are not satiated by everything else this season has to offer, consider giving Kemurikusa a try.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
Cars dominate the land, and boats rule the sea, but, in the air, planes reign as king. Or perhaps more relevantly for Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai, they reign as queens. Kirie, Reona, Zara, Kate, Chika, and Emma are the ace pilots of the sky, defending towns and stopping pirates as a tightknit group.
Saying that this anime “contains planes” belies how much it embraces them. A large chunk of the story to date has focused on the high-flying skirmishes that the crew and the evildoers take part in. The aerial dynamics. The multiple perspectives. The detailed sound-effects. All of which combine to make these segments impressive and exciting to watch. Not to mention that a post-apocalyptic setting of sorts adds another layer to the narrative, the script has a not-so-serious angle that boosts its appeal, and the heavy CG use has its own charm.
Yet two problems persist. First, a tad-too-fast pacing affects the flow of events. And second, both the story and the characters lack a lot of weight in a writing sense, so its current course remains a mystery. Even so, these skilled ladies may just obtain magnificence over the horizon.
Another Perspective, courtesy of ErinaHartwick:Watch It
“From the brilliant minds behind Shirobako comes a story about the adventures of six fighter pilot girls in a barren wasteland.
The premise is rather simple, there's a client, there's a job and under their gorgeous superior's orders, the Kotobuki Flight Corps are on it and in the skies fighting to get the job done.
The show's main appeal is its characters. Each scene (especially ones with our main cast) is made upbeat with enjoyable back and forth and witty banter. The girls have distinctive personalities that make for good interactions, be it Kylie and Chika arguing about who is more impulsive and careless, Kate on the side spouting trivia, Zara's ability to handle her liquor and Reona's shtick about working out. The interactions are so fun you could go an entire episode without a single dogfight.
That isn't to say the dogfights aren't interesting, because they are. The aerial battles are reminiscent to Girls und Panzer. There's the standard militaristic OST in every aerial battle scene, but it's made light and whimsical enough to remind you that this show isn't quite about war, it's about six young fighter pilot girls and how they outmaneuver their opposition and learn to work together as a team. If you’re looking for a fun show with a good cast, then give Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai a try, it’s as good as pancakes!”
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
As some in the community may know, being a magical girl isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, what with the occasional tale targeting dark forces and even darker results. This twisted approach contrasts with the happy optimism the subgenre normally touts in the moment. But what about after all is said and done instead?
In comes Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, a project that follows a young woman named Asuka who desperately desires to leave her magical-girl past behind her. By going with this approach, an exploration on fear, PTSD, and other psychological trauma manifests as Asuka refuses to go back to her old life and as new events grip the supporting cast members too. The extreme violence and the “cutesy” enemies exacerbate these sorrowful thoughts and fall in line with the mood of the narrative.
An intriguing concept for sure, but the rest of the anime has a tough time keeping up. The artistry is low in quality, the music perhaps relies on a singular piano tune overly so, the infrequent comedy bits come off as out-of-place, and the meat of the plot has yet to solidify into a concrete shape.
Still, the underlying motif and relevant themes have enough to operate within a special niche.
Another Perspective, courtesy of gamerdam1337:Watch It
“My introduction into the magical girl genre is one of the more well known entries in it; Madoka Magica. A show famous for its shocking twist and ultimately becoming a deconstruction on the genre. Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka is not afraid to put its true intentions on its sleeve of being a very dark deconstruction.
By the end of episode 3 themes of PTSD, murder and torture are on full display. This show is unflinching in its desire to stare down reality of a world with magical girls in it. A world where they are not a secret but heroes. Relationships are in full swing with a predictable cast setting the stage for strong archetype breakdowns and subversion. The world building is coming along at a brisk but controlled pace, letting us speculate and be surprised.
I definitely recommend this show. The show is promising us with another look into a world of magical girls with a dark realistic spin. I don’t think it could ever top Madoka Magica but could very well become a classic magical girl deconstruction, in its own
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
Most people are no strangers to high fantasy. Magic, dragons, princesses. Well, take these three traits, mesh them together, place them in a medieval university, and frame it as a slice-of-life anime. The outcome will be darn close to Manaria Friends.
The existence of this show has been known about for a while, but the wait is over, and the outcome may or may not coincide with expectations. Fifteen-minute episodes put this story as neither short nor standard in length but rather somewhere in-between. It features two ladies – Anne the prodigy wizard and Grea the shy dragon girl – as they share an unlikely friendship amidst unlikely scenarios.
That’s the crux of the show; not a whole lot more can be said about it. Whatever drama or action it instills cannot be deemed engaging, and deeper writing will probably be avoided throughout its run. Nevertheless, the varied background art and the yuri undertones are at least appreciated in their consistency.
It’s simply an average, solid project from the get-go that one can also be friends with if he or she so wishes.
Another Perspective, courtesy of messem10:Watch It
“Manaria Friends is a long time coming. Initially announced in 2015 for release in 2016, it was a series many thought was scrapped. The extra time since announcement shows with vibrant and detailed backgrounds along with animation work reminiscent to that of Kyoto Animation.
Manaria Friends, at its core, takes a fantasy world and uses it as a backdrop for a slice of life that details the interactions between two princesses, Anne and Grea, and their races, human and dragonborn, respectively. With such a unique setting, it is a character unto itself, as you have all of these races with their own cultures and tastes coupled with magic. Putting this all together leads to a very different sort of show, unlike many in recent memory.
While the series is based in the world of Shingeki no Bahamut, there is no need to be familiar with them to be able to enjoy this. Since the episodes are half-length, it is a definite "Watch It" should the premise interest you.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveConsider It
Underdog stories are the cornerstone of audience-cheering events, and Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari argues for this near-truth once again. Starring Naofumi Iwatani as the titular Shield Hero, he finds himself whisked away to a world where he and three other weapon-centric men must save its people from imminent doom. Unfortunately for Naofumi, doom rears its ugly head closer than believed, forcing unwanted infamy onto his journey from the very beginning.
Controversy aside, this project has its fair share of interesting facets. Bringing on Raphtalia as his sidekick, the sword to his shield, has made for a cool dichotomy in their personalities and their fighting habits. The small amount of world-building towards the society, the land, and the underlying video-game aspect has been no doubt beneficial. And, in general, it’s just a ton of fun to root for Naofumi’s success as he “sticks it to the man”.
The rest of the anime lags behind. Weak writing from low buildup, quick backstories, and lame reasoning plague some of its areas. The artistry and the music are not the most noteworthy as well. Plus, its fighting scenes rarely shine.
All that being said, with a theme on “actions speak louder than words” in full effect, this project has a shot at rising to the top sooner rather than later.
Another Perspective, courtesy of HyruleCool:Must Watch It
“The Rising of the Shield Hero is one of shining instances of the isekai genre done right. Naofumi (the Shield Hero) is a great and doesn't follow suit with the clumsy or ignorant oaf trope that most tend to in this genre. He leads a great example that being a good hero isn't just about being physically strong, but having quick wits and the will to fight for others regardless of what they think of you.
The world isn't all that unique either outside of one small trait and the animation is nothing spectacular, but it is at least a fitting setting for its somewhat dark tone. Not to say the animation is bad though. The art direction can be pretty good at times (mainly the more action oriented scenes).
The Shield Hero’s journey so far is an engaging one with a interesting story, some great action scenes and characters that will most likely leave you wanting more.”
Another Perspective, courtesy of youkai94:Consider It
The good: from the same studio as Made in Abyss (Kinema Citrus) and the same composer (Kevin Penkin), you can expect quality music and art.
Naofumi is a great character, he changes quite a lot and plays the role of the Byronic hero (kinda) pretty well and kind of carries the show. Raphtalia is pretty good too.
Now the bad: Aside from the two MC, the other characters are mostly bland, some feel like nothing more than plot devices to trigger Naofumi.
The author does a good job at telling the story she wants and setting up a world to accomodate it, but kind of fails to give depth to it: She shows us a good event and then time-skips to the other one, which prevents us to see the charactrs grow with our eyes. Plus, we only get to know the bare minimum about the world for the story to make sense.
I would consider it since it brings a refreshing story compared to other isekai and pretty good MCs, also the art/music are great, but don’t set your expectations too high: the writing sometimes falls flat.”
Banjo’s PerspectiveWatch It
In Yakusoku no Neverland, Emma, Norman, and Ray live with a bunch of other kids at an orphanage. They eat hearty meals, they have classes in the afternoon, and they play outside without much care. Mother looks after them all the while, making sure her flock never strays too far. A quaint life for everyone involved from what can be gleaned.
But an ominous atmosphere, a foreboding sense of dread that things aren’t quite right lingers in the air.
With its first episode, this project establishes its main trio, its thrill-filled direction, and its writing strength, letting the audience understand immediately what’s in store. This empowered state carries into the following episodes, too, as the art and the plot developments up the ante ever further.
Not that everything goes its way. The characters tend to speak their thoughts aloud despite the secrecy demanded of them, and the suspension of disbelief required for the “game” the kids must win borders on impossible. Being so nitpicky, however, does a disservice to the great voice acting, the distinct moments, and the fairness of the narrative displayed.
That is to say, this home-away-from-home tags in as a promising outing.
Another Perspective, courtesy of Oscand:Drop It
“Anime and Horror doesn't have the best of relationships. As a big horror fan this saddens me, so when people said that this was going to be great I was extremely excited. This is exactly why it pains me to give this a bad review. The show takes a tried and tested concept and does exactly what you would expect it to do. If you have even seen a few horror movies, you will be able to quite quickly figure out what will happen, and there was nothing I didn’t see coming in the three first episodes. At the same time all the character designs make the characters look wierd. Their faces have been squished, and there is something with the geometry that feels awfully off. Even though this is the case, you can feel that there has been a lot of love put into this show. The production values are great, and there is still a lot of potential to make something great out of this. Unfortunately, as it stands with the current story I just can’t recommend anyone to pick this up knowing there are more fun subversive shows out there that doesn’t just stick to the same tried and tested formula”
1 Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
3 Yakusoku no Neverland
(General estimation based off every potential volunteer and their feelings across all anime)
Tier 1 (Mostly “Must Watch It” Range):
Yakusoku no Neverland
Tier 2 (Mostly “Watch It” Range):
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.
Egao no Daika
Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai
Domestic na Kanojo
Tier 3 (Mostly “Consider It” Range):
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
Gotoubun no Hanayome
Boogiepop wa Warawanai
Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka