Engaged to the Unidentified Review

Story:
Kobeni has always lived somewhat in the shadow of her overprotective and extremely popular sister. She never gave much thought to her own future, being too busy taking care of her single mother and rushed sister. But when a mysterious young man shows up, claiming to be her betrothed, she realizes she must face both her future and her past.

Violence:
Nothing too extreme here. We find the male lead has a scare from an old injury, but we never see it. Besides seeing a small cut or so, and slapstick of course, there’s really no violence in this show.

Language:
As this show is a romantic comedy, the language isn’t heavy in this one. Mostly d-mns and such. But there is one or two instances of the b-word. Quite light overall.

Nudity:
We don’t see much in this category. But we do hear a lot of leading comments, mainly from Kobeni’s older sister, who has a very unhealthy fixation on younger girls. Including her sister. Yeah. Not ok. Most of the comedy is played off of her, which splits people into two teams: those who are very insulted by her and those that laugh loudly at her. Also, Kobeni has a huge chest, as to be expected. And, yeah, it’s commented on a lot.

Theology/mythology:
Little bit of a spoiler here, though the title should tip you off. Multiple characters in this show are not human. They’re implied to be some kind of youkai, but we never really see what they truly are. They have healing and transformation abilities, though. If this bugs you, steer clear. Especially as a “normal” human girl gets engaged to one.

Personal impression:
My discription makes it sound a wee-bit darker than it is. In actuality, this is a rather bright and fun show that really doesn’t focus too much on the deeper issues of the characters. A shame as I would have loved to see Kobeni really face her inferiority to her sister, but whatever. This show would much rather play up the sweetness of the couple and the comedy of the older sister. Although, as I said, whether or not the sister is actually funny is a matter of taste.
Thankfully, there are other comedic moments outside of her, balancing things out a bit. Also, the sweet moments with the romantic couple are actually, well, sweet. The male lead isn’t a perv either, a nice touch.
The art and music are all typical for a show like this, nothing fancy. But cute and bright. So if you like romantic comedies, heavy on the comedy part, this show is a nice distraction. Just don’t exact a show as nice as Love Lab, a previous work by this studio. This title isn’t quite as unique.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Comedy, romance
Company: Toho
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
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Extra: Bad Girl

I’ve talked about the typical timid girl type in anime before, even about the disturbing trends that play off guys as chivalrous when they think girls must always “look down” to be acceptable. But I have yet to look at the “bad” ladies of anime. So, let’s lake a bit of a leer – look! – at two of the most, well, common and cringe-worthy. At the moment.

Sexy Laaaaady
This is by far the most common female villain type, and as we’re talking about Japan here we can’t blame comic books (they do have some serious issues in this area though). Big boobs, tight outfits and sultry voices are a staple here. They also tend to make leading comments to fluster the heroes and fight scenes waver between putting them and their foe in compromising situations and being hyper violent. Which is hilarious as any girl with a large chest will tell you that them things need serious binding before one can do any jumping around with a sword or gun. Seriously, that’s a lot of weight to deal with there. I mean, just look at poor Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist. Dang.
There are some very painful points to this type. Mainly in the fact that if a woman in anime is hyper sexy, and not in that kid innocent loli with boobs type of way but one who knows she’s hot and uses it for her own purposes, she must be a villain. This implies that women who are well aware of themselves and their sexuality are dangerous to society and cannot be trusted. This is more sharply driven into our brains as many anime heroines are pure and completely idiotic when it comes to sexy time, often looking down every other sentence, blushing constantly and getting flustered whenever a male looks at them for more than a second. Society’s little propaganda magic: innocence is good, sexuality is bad. Or, at the very least, earns you that coveted (enter sarcasm here) heroine’s overstrung and painfully single for good reason best friend role.

The Ambiguous
A more recent trend, these characters are pushed as male, but heaven knows if they are. Often they either identify as neither or may even be inhuman and thus don’t have a gender at all. Creatures like Envy, from Fullmetal Alchemist (revealed as originally male in the original run, but left a question mark in Brotherhood), and the main villain from Gatchaman Crowds (pictured above). I decided to go ahead and include this one as it posses another painful twist: that anything we can’t put into its proper box must, therefore, be bad. Which makes it really suck to be an alien who doesn’t even understand the concept of gender. Seriously now.
You can also dump the crazies into this category as many girls with extreme quirks and ticks end up in this weird, villain and not-sure-if-love-you-not-sure-if-kill-you ambiguous state.

Like most things in media, there’s a strong pull to conform to general society standards. In the case of anime, to conform to what Japan thinks is “normal.” Which means you unique ladies with extremes? Sorry, but you got two choices: crazy friend for comic relief or villain. Heaven forbid we have a heroine who is complex enough to be aware of her sexual appeal and be conflicted about it, knowing that using it to her advantage might be easier, but also being sickened by the thought that her chest is all anyone sees when all she really wants is just to run after her dreams, gender be damned. That’s a bit much for the populace to take in, it seems.

The Pilot’s Love Song Review

[The following review is a Guest Review by author and programer BlackWater]

Story:
The floating island Isla sets out on a journey for the End of the Sky. One of the pilot trainees that enlists for the journey is Kal-el Albus, who is hiding a very important secret. Accompanying him is one of his sisters from his adoptive family as well as a score of fellow trainees. One of the nobles living on the island, Claire Cruz, catches Kal-el’s eye when he runs into her one day. But as Nina Viento, one-time controller of wind, leads this voyage into unexpected aerial fights, they find themselves struggling just to survive.

Violence:
This is where the show earns most of its rating. Being in battle against other factions means that there is quite a bit of violence and injury. There are some minor things such as punching between the “good” guys but the real stuff comes with the dogfights in the air. Bullets are exchanged, planes blow up, people die, and a guy loses a hand. Some scenes may be disturbing even when they don’t show too much simply because the show portrays battles more realistically – with sudden and bone-chilling death. You might want to pass it up if blood, death, and a lost hand make you uneasy.

Language:
Nothing you wouldn’t come to expect in a war-related show. You have the typical series of d-amns and sprinkled b-words. There is at least one moment where a character repeats one of these over and over due to the severity of the situation.

Nudity:
Nothing. No, really. This show is too focused on war and drama to care about this. The most that can be said is that there is an episode where everyone is at the beach in swimsuits and another where a couple characters have to wear blankets while their clothes dry. Nothing is ever shown.

Theology/mythology:
Not too much here besides the usual girl-priestess-witch-possible-goddess thing. One of the primary characters used to have these magical-like powers over the wind and is basically portrayed as the spiritual leader of the people. It doesn’t get extreme with any worship or deep theology, though.
The general concept of doing something wrong and “sinning” is used on occasion, though it bears no weight outside of characters feeling bad about themselves. Some lessons about forgiveness are pushed pretty hard through the story and plot, especially at the end.
Also, the show leans heavily on this myth that the world was created from this broken flagstone or what have you and they reinforce this with the unusual setup of their planet. In other words, typical fantasy fare.

Personal impression:
It’s like a hybrid. You’ve got the love story but you’ve also got this serious war and death. I found the mixture to not work very well because of several reasons. One, the war part distracted from the love part, which left the latter half-baked and even forgotten through some part of the show. Second, vise versa. It felt like the war sections were missing something, but maybe that was just because we’re kept in the dark about a lot of information regarding the fights and what’s really going on. Think of the good guys as the Allied forces in World War 2 and the enemy as Nazis…except you’re not told they’re Nazis and you don’t know anything about them. The plot builds into the idea of multiple nations and even throws in an alliance at one part but never gives much more for the enemy than “they don’t want us here.” This may or may not have to do with the light novel and manga that exist out there, but that has little bearing on newcomers to this show.
Before I wrap up, I must mention something else that myself as well as some other viewers have felt. The show looks to be kind of like Last Exile on the outside and some of the backgrounds could even swap between the shows. The world itself is a pretty interesting place and gives the opportunity for a really interesting story. But all that promise seems to fall a little…flat. There’s just too much vanilla in there for my taste because the developments are predictable, the characters are cookie-cutter, the plot about the main characters both being royalty is extra cliche, and nothing really happens that makes me desperate for the next episode.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad watch but it’s just not a spectacular one either. You might want want to skip it over unless you don’t have any other shows you’re interested in. Or you just want to see some planes blow up.

Personal rating: Young Adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Adventure, fantasy
Company: TMS Entertainment
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
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[Review by BlackWater]