Love is like a Cocktail

love-is-like-a-cocktail-8824Story:
Do you like drinks? Do you like cute couples with no drama? Then you’re gonna love this three minute episode series complete with drink recipes and teeth rotting fluff.

Violence:
Doesn’t really exist here.

Language:
Not really a thing either, though d-mn might be used once. Generally it’s not a thing for this little show.

Nudity:
Again, not much of an issue aside for one or two characters having large chests. And one scene which cuts away though it’s implied our lead is getting physical with her husband. But nothing gets shown, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing to report here at all, really.

Personal impression:
This series has almost no story, but that hardly matters as it’s incredibly sweet and cute. Maybe I’m just getting old, but shows with cute girls doing cute things isn’t really…. cute to me these days. But a show with two happily married adults? 10/10 cute. I guess I’m just getting sick of the endless teen drama in other titles and this was a light breath of fresh air I was looking for.
That said, there’s little to nothing actually happening here. Aside from getting the lead’s backstory of how she and her husband met, story just doesn’t exist for this show. So if you need to have more structure to your anime, this isn’t the place for you. But if you want something extremely short and very sweet, this is a refreshing title for sure.
ps – I did notice quite a few commenters on this show being concerned the lead was an alcoholic. We actually see early on she is not, as she can and does refrain from drinking during work and big projects, some lasting for days. And when she does drink it is only with her husband, who can look after her since she gets tipsy fast (she even turns down coworkers offering her drinks numerous times as she doesn’t trust herself to do so in public). In fact, she’s smarter about drinking than most people I know, come to think of it…

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13 (3 min each)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Romance, comedy, drink mixing?
Studio: Creators in Pack Inc
Company: Yomiko
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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Winter 2018 Taste Test

 

Ok, far less new titles I’m picking up this round. In my defense, I do have quite a few returning/continuing titles I’m working on as well as older shows. Still, I thought this season’s line up was boring at first, but I’m actually liking more shows this season than I usually do, so that was quite a surprise. Now, will they keep it up…

316f66ac53da69f228cdb0ad9ca887cdHow to Keep a Mummy

Flavor: Sugary sweetness

Overall: Welcome to cute overload. The plot on this show is beyond weak to non-existent, but what it lacks in story, it makes up for with possibility the cutest, most pathetic creature I’ve seen in anime in a long time. If you want something sugary enough to kill, this is what you need. Just try your best to turn your brain off or the fact that an Egyptian “coffin” is sporting a Christian cross will bother you pretty much the entire episode.

 

89879A Place Further Than the Universe

Flavor: Protein rich with spice

Overall: This show’s descriptor on Crunchyroll makes no sense at all, so I clicked on it with bottom-of-the-barrel expectations. As soon as the full title showed up, showing this series’ goal was getting the heroines to Antarctica, I realized this was going to be a very different kind of show. And boy is it so far. The dialog and plot flow smooth and there’s enough action to keep the pace quick despite not a ton actually occurring yet. It’s still unclear if this good pace can keep going, but this is a very promising start to a show and I’m already feeling as if this is going to be one of my favorites this season.

 

cwpcuo7ukaaiy_9SANRIO BOYS

Flavor: Sweet, but the kind you can easily get sick of rather fast

Overall: If you can’t tell, I LOVE shows that bend and break gender stereotypes. Especially when it comes to those annoying unspoken rules about what genders can and can not enjoy. This show thus had a decent thing going for it as was, showcasing a male lead who likes things most frown on simply due to his gender. Plus, the backstory of why it’s important to him? Legit heartbreaking stuff. It’s not easy for a show to tug on my heartstrings in the first episode but this one manged it. That said, this is so obviously a long commercial for Sanrio products that I feel like everything good this could have offered was already used up in that first episode. I see this going downhill very quickly. So, like, good message and all Sanrio, but it’s tainted by the marketing. It really is…

 

1502177953_15df07aab7552ddb50ce83d30b4c7abb_thumbLaid-Back Camp

Flavor: Cereal. Not a ton to it, but sometimes it’s what you want on a lazy Sunday

Overall: This show come recommended by a friend. And while I won’t say it’s my favorite of the season thus far, it’s not a bad start. It’s another show about girls forming a club, but has the wonderful bonus of being a bit more focused on the sport/activity of the club than just “cute girls do stuff,” which is beyond boring, let me tell you. So this show is relaxing and you don’t have to think much, so it’s great for that. I’m still unsure how much pull this show can have compared to others like the above A Place Further anime, but I’m willing to give it more time to expand a bit.

 

Continuing Titles:
March Comes In Like a Lion
I was pleasantly surprised this returned! I felt like the last season wrapped up well enough, but I look forward all the same to joining these characters again!

The Ancient Magus Bride
I so wanted to review this earlier, but this is one of those longer shows, so we’ll just have to hang tight a bit more for that full review. It’s coming! I promise!

Touken Ranbu – Hanamaru
This is an odd one… it should be fansercvice city by the set up, but so far? Not so much. That said, there’s not much going on either so, yes, this is another one I have on while doing chores.

Kaiju Girls
I owe a friend a favor and this is my payment. On the upside, I’m watching it along with him so we exchange jokes, plus the show is a five minute episode type, so it’s not a long one. Still…. there is so little effort in this it’s a mystery why anyone bothered to translate it…

Sengoku Night Blood Review

sengoku-night-bloodStory:
A young girl with no personality or life goals gets sucked into another world full of cute warlords who have the depth of puddles because anime.

Violence:
Characters get stabbed and cut quite a bit, and we do see blood, but considering a decent of the cast are vampires, it’s not all that often really.

Language:
Pretty tame. We have a few hot headed characters, but sh-t and d-mn are the most common words we ever hear and not too often.

Nudity:
Another one we din’t have to suffer much. A few bare men chests, but it was rare. Surprising for the genre…

Theology/mythology:
If you don’t like the themes of youkai or creatures like vampires, I’d skip this. Although, to be honest, the darker themes of these creature are never explored so it’s pretty shallow stuff overall.

Personal impression:
Another show to play while I worked. I tend to want to give good shows my full attention and since free time is something I’m rather short on, I go through the bad shows faster as better shows slow down to be savored.
So… here we are. No, the lead doesn’t reach any goals. I doubt she even has any. She mentions she wants to go back to her world more than once, but no reasons WHY are ever given. She doesn’t learn any lessons either. In fact, the male lead gets more character development than she does, although, like most things in this show, it’s pretty surface level stuff. Nothing about deeper self examination. Just general stuff, like looking before you leap, not letting anger rule you and how to prioritize tasks. Ya know, things a guy in a leadership position should have known years before even meeting the heroine.
If you want a shoujo show, I don’t recommend this. Try My Love Story or, heck, Ouran High School Host Club even. While those anime have their downsides, they both have a LOT of character development and just general overall effort put into them.
This one, not so much.
To be fair though, pretty sure this whole idea came from a… card game? Not gonna lie, that’s not the cream of the crop option when it comes to foundations for an entire TV series…. Then again, Pokemon managed it just fine… Hm. Ok, yeah, I do blame this studio.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, otome, shoujo
Studio: Typhoon Graphics
Company: Marvelous AQL Inc
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

The Silver Guardian Review

88fd36c55db93407ff0f96b4f0060eab1490989618_largeStory:
Some guy with no parents and a job at a… graveyard?? Ends up falling for the most popular girl on campus. She gets caught by baddies after her father is murdered and the hero has to enter a game based entirely on how much money you have and get her back “somehow.” Don’t read into it. This break down is more focused than the show itself. By a lot.

Violence:
Characters die and disappear in the game world, but not much blood is shown. Even when characters are murdered, we don’t see much, thankfully.

Language:
Another sector that’s pretty clear. There’s an occasional d-mn and sh-t, but they’re rare.

Nudity:
This is where the YA rating comes in. We get a VERY busty character and some really uncalled for shots and jokes at one point. It’s lame and stupid and everything I hate about fanservice.

Theology/mythology:
The idea of spirits and whatnot kinda exist in the game worlds, but are never explained. Nothing in this show is really explained. Or followed up on. Or even vaguely remembered episode to episode.

Personal impression:
I have YET to find a Haoliners Animation League work I liked. Really liked. At best, I tolerate them. At worst… well… this happens. A show that is so confused, so completely unable to so much finish a scene on track, let alone complete the plot they set up for themselves in the first few episodes, that I wonder how in the world this thing got funded. Which is sad as a show where the lead ISN’T trapped in a game, but willingly goes into it to save someone else is more interesting than the ever broadening category of shows featuring “trapped in a game” as the biggest “motivator.” Especially as those titles aren’t well done anyway.
Sadly, this one wasn’t done well either, so at this point, it hardly matters. It was fine to have playing while I did chores, often to distract myself from the creepy noises in my new house I have yet to get used to. But, honestly, even the most mundane shows I’ve reviewed have done better than this. I’ve rarely seen a more chaotic show. It seemed like the end result of the failed show made by the staff in Shirobako. I’ve read fanfiction with less continuity errors and more focus. I’m shocked this got funded at all, let alone completed it’s 12 episode run without being outright cancelled.
Now, I’m sure someone would like this show. Maybe. But honestly, I’d skip it. It’s fine for mindless background noise, but, again, why not have at least a show that’s trying for that? As per usual, Crunchyroll’s choice on shows to advertise makes no sense at all (I had watched this title due to it being advertised heavily at one point and I was curious. Yeah, not sure what CR was smoking….).

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, action, drama
Studio: Haoliners Animation League
Company: EMON
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 

Mob Psycho 100 Review

mob-psycho-100-visual-3-24-231x300Story:
Mob is a kid who excels at nothing other children his age strive for. He isn’t athletic, or academic or even artistic. But he does have psychic powers. Sadly, it isn’t very useful to his goals of becoming popular or catching the attentions of his crush… In fact, it tends to catch the attentions of the wrong people…

Violence:
The violence in this title is pretty high. The artistic art style makes it a hint less realistic visually, but the intensity of the art itself also makes it feel a bit.. heavy… at times. Characters seem to be murdered at one point, which is particularly dark. Blood, missing limbs and such occur in this one so if you don’t like violence, I’d avoid this title.

Language:
The b-word is used a bit more frequently in this title than others I’ve seen lately. This is likely due to having more “delinquents” show up here and there. It’s nothing too concerning (I’ve seen worse), but if you’re sensitive, be a bit careful with this one.

Nudity:
We’re pretty safe on this end. Fan service really isn’t a thing in this show, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
This isn’t a part you can get around. Our lead can see spirits and there are some plots of people getting possessed. In fact, our lead is often hired to exercise spirits. So if these kinds of things bug you, avoid this title.

Personal impression:
I wanted to kick off the new year with a review for a show that got a LOT of good marks from other reviewers. Alas, while this show is unique in style, and the story is ok, overall this series ended up just… bland to me. At first I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized: the side characters in this show make far more progress by the end of this series than the lead. FAR more. We just don’t get much of anything from our lead in the end besides maybe being a biiiit more aware of how his actions affect his brother. That’s it. And considering that the show opens up with Mob being easily duped by a con artist and wanting to be more than his psychic powers, well, I was hoping we’d end somewhere… else. But we kinda end up in the same spot we start off in. Mob is still being taken advantage of by his boss and still has no skill set outside of psychic abilities. He IS making steps to better himself, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
Considering how the series ends, I have no doubt the company hopes to put out a season two in the future, which might solve this little issue. But considering shows like My Hero Academia have ACTUAL development of their lead in shorter amounts of time… I just don’t think that’s a good excuse for this show taking twelve whole episodes to set up Mob’s life story. Because that’s what it felt like. It felt like a very long introduction.
The comedy might have contributed to that odd feeling as well. It’s one of those comedic moods that’s extremely exaggerated, which normally I like when pared with a straight man lead. But the frequency of these jokes is so high that it actually makes it hard to take anything seriously. Because very dark scenes will very suddenly switch to a pun and then, just as suddenly, switch back. It’s a whiplash ride, one I don’t personally enjoy.
Of course, if you like more classic action manga (or some of the more bizarre anime titles floating about), this might just be an answer to your prayers. The amount of both classic and off-the-wall flare this show has truly is impressive.
And it’s not like this show is all around horrid or anything. It’s… fine. Even good in spots as a few relationships the characters have with each other are interesting to watch.
But overall, this title just wasn’t my thing. Still, it’s definitely a unique flavor. And if you need a break from run-of-the-mill action shows, this might be a good retreat. Just don’t take anything too seriously.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fighting, supernatural, comedy
Studio: Bones/TV Tokyo
Company: Warner Japan
Official streaming: Crunchyroll