Extra: Thoughts mid-stream

Been quite a long time since I last updated this place, but I have indeed been watching a little anime here in there, snatches of things when I have time. I’m down to only three current streams right now, one of which is a continuation from a previous season (see my review of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU here). So only two truly new shows to report, though since I’m halfway through at this point, I will defiantly be finishing and reviewing them. Let’s dig in!

MY love STORY!!
my loveI heard of this particular gem via a friend and I must say that all the gushing was warranted. It’s bright, has humor here and there, never gets too dark (thus far) and places just as much emphasis on friendship as it does on romance. In the most recent episode I watched the show effortlessly made the hero choose between being there for an old friend going through something horrible and spending time with his new girlfriend. He chose his friend, something that I pumped my fist over as lately the issue of abandoning/forgetting one’s friends after hooking up with someone has become more common all around me. It’s a disturbing trend that leads to an unhealthy dependency on the new significant other as well as opening the door to social isolation.
Also, we recently got to see the hero’s parents, another little detail that is often passed by in shows, but really means a lot. After all, one’s parents can reveal a great deal about their kid, to say nothing of making the story that much more grounded (I’ve never liked the “missing/vague parent” curse in anime and YA media at large).
This show is a definite keeper and I’d recommend it to pretty much anyone, whether romance is your go-to or not.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
my-teen-romantic-comedyAs you saw above, I’ve already watched the first season of this show and I must admit that I was surprised a second season had been released so soon. Perhaps a bit too soon, if the quality of this new season’s writing is anything to go on. See, the main character’s cynical nature (a more depressing version of Kyon from The Melancholy) was interesting in season one, as were the relationships that were built around him. But season two… I guess the creators decided more drama was needed and far less comedy because, unfortunately, that’s what I’m getting. And not only do I get a ton of drama and nearly no comedy at all, but that drama is beyond unnecessary. It’s also confusing as hell. Half the time I can’t even tell why the character’s are all worked up and crying and stomping around like a two year old. At this point, I’m only keeping up to do a review for it. I have a feeling my final thoughts on said review won’t be pretty. If you tried the first season and liked it, you might want to pretend this season doesn’t exist… Unless it really pulls out all the stops and fixes itself before the end. I kinda doubt it can manage that at this point though.

Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? 
isitwrongYes, I’m not a fan of gratuitous fan service. Not at all. And yes this show is famous for it. That said, it’s actually better written than I originally thought it would be. No Shakespeare, that’s for sure, but not nearly as brainless as the big chested characters seem to imply either. The hero is stupid on and off, but likable overall due to his determination to, well, be a dependable fighter/hero. He actually works at it, despite having an ability that allows him to get better at what he does at an accelerated rate. At first, when that “ability” popped up, I worried it was a get out of jail free card, and once in awhile it is, but usually we see the hero training and getting saved by more experienced fighters, which keeps things a bit more on the reasonable side.
It’s not the best show (not by a long shot), but it’s currently doing better in my book than My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. But then again, that’s not a tough fight to win right about now.

Also – I am continuing an older streaming show as well as re-watching another so I can see the latest season that somehow streamed while I wasn’t looking. They are….

Yona of the Dawn
yona-of-the-dawnI’m still going though this show, but my slow pace isn’t because the show is failing so much as I keep getting interrupted watching it. It’s still quite good indeed, with Yona slowly becoming the strong woman we catch a glimpse of in the flash-forwards and in the opening credits. Although the finding of the dragons is a bit more dull story-wise than I would like, Yona continues to advance as a person so the time isn’t really wasted. Still a very recommended show.

Durarara
durararaYears back I watched this little wonder and even did a review for y’all, but not long ago a new season was released. Of course, it’s been a looong time since I first watched Durarara so I was badly in need of a refresher. When I saw the dub was available for free viewing on Crunchyroll I jumped on in. I have yet to reach the newest season, but going over the first one has made me rediscover just how wonderfully written and directed it was. If I didn’t stress it enough in my review, I’ll say it again here: this show is amazing and one of my most recommended titles. Seriously. If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time to try it as both sub and dub are out there for free viewing legally. Ya can’t beat a deal like that.

Note: Yes, I’m still watching Sailor Moon Crystal. But my thoughts on that one are so convoluted and exhaustive that it will need an entire extra all to itself. Stay tuned for that train wreck of an article.

So what shows are you guys into right now? Feel free to praise a new stream (or rant about it) in the comments! I’d love to hear what y’all are into this season.

Kamisama Kiss (season 2) Review

[This review is for the second season of Kamisama Kiss. Beware of spoilers!]

kamisama2Story:
Still the land god of the small Mikage shrine, Nanami is called to a meeting with the other gods to prepare for the new year. But seeing as she is mortal, there are more than a few obstacles she must face along the way. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the interest a few dark individuals have on her faithful familiar Tomoe….

Violence:
The violence in this season is actually a hint higher than the last. This is due to getting more of a look into Tomoe’s past, which is pretty blood-filled. We see both him and his past partner covered in blood in numerous flashbacks. We also see a few characters receive head injuries and such where blood is shown. There’s nothing hyper graphic. Nothing that would even require a higher rating, but if you are sensitive to blood, this might be more on the PG13 side for you.

Language:
The amount of cursing is around the same as before, some sh-ts and such, one or two instances of the illegitimate son word and that’s about it. Nothing to worry over.

Nudity:
Again, around the same as last season, which is to say, nothing to report. Aside from a new sidekick character (who is usually a monkey, but can transform into a boy who, for some reason, only wears an apron), nothing has changed. Very clean on this end.

Theology/mythology:
As is clear in the Story section, this series is still hip deep in Japanese mythology and such. If these kinds of things bug you… well, I’m not sure how you even made it as far as season two, but yeah, it doesn’t change. If anything, this season introduces even more mythological characters, so be ready for that. This said, again, there isn’t any indoctrination going down so it all plays out very much like a fantasy. Which is what it is.

Personal impression:
Just like season one, this show continued to be very entertaining to watch. It’s still, by far, not the best show out there, but it’s at least not offensive, which is saying a lot in this age of constant big boobed and panty-shot loving shows. Aside from a slight spike in violence, its clean and it actually has decent character development, something very few shoujo shows (or anime in general) have. Nanami continues to get better at what she’s supposed to be doing, which is running a shrine and protecting those there. Not only that, but she continues to push herself to fight her own battles, another break from most shoujo series. Although it’s not as forward thinking as Yona of the Dawn (a show I haven’t quite finished yet, but am very much enjoying), it’s getting there. Nanami is no simpering heroine. She actually does stuff and some of that stuff kicks some serious monster butt.
And then there’s the comedy, which I’m happy to report is still very much intact. Like many season twos, it does slacken a hint as more serious arcs take center stage. But overall the comedy remains high enough to keep drama at bay, something I love in shows like this.
In the end, if you were worried this show doesn’t keep the same tone in season two, put that worry aside. Season two has a hint more violence, but the same quality (if not better as there is more development character-wise) as before. The only downside? We still didn’t see the wrap up of all the new villain stuff (which we caught a glimpse of as early as season one’s end) so we’re still on a cliff’s edge and hoping for a third season…

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Language: Sub
Official rating: PG
Genre(s): Romance, comedy, drama
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
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