Tsukigakirei Review

tuk0i4k1ir4eStory:
Kataro is trying to become a serious novelist when he falls in love with a girl on the track team in his last year of middle school. Their romance is a story of many firsts…

Violence:
None besides some characters falling while running and thus needing bandages and such. Nothing graphic.

Language:
Also pretty non-existent. Some very rare cases of sh-ts or d-mns, but they are quite uncommon.

Nudity:
Besides some bath scenes where no details are shown, nothing here either.

Theology/mythology:
Our male lead plays a role of a traditional mythical creature from Japanese folklore. It is never explained on screen, however, and thus you would only know the story being acted out on screen if you knew said folklore. There are also a few scenes of praying at the shrines. Again, no talks about religion itself, as per usual.

Personal impression:
This is probably the most realistic teen romance I’ve ever seen. It’s also probably the most boring. And, yes, those two things are pretty much inseparable. Realistic romance isn’t exciting unless, ya know, you are the one IN the romance. Holding hands with someone you have a huge crush on is exhilarating for YOU, but to anyone else it’s pretty boring. That’s this show in a nutshell.
Our male lead is very idealistic and romantic, our female lead is dreamy and anxiety bound and every bit of drama that comes up reflects those elements. Even the parents and siblings of the leads follow logical arcs fitting their characters such as the mother pushing for her son to take up “normal” work goals and an older sister telling her sibling that long distance “never works.” I never felt like a scene was unrealistic. Everything made perfect sense. Even the clear fact that LINE (a texting app) was likely a huge financial backer for this anime made sense. Probably the most gentle and believable product placement in anime ever.
The downside was, of course, that everything was incredibly boring. Sweet, but boring. Even the art and music was like that. Nice, but largely unmemorable (aside from the creepy CGI background characters…).
If you’ve been craving a break from over-the-top romance drama, this is what you want. It’s sweet, sometimes very much so, but it never crosses into the unbelievable. It’s a very grounded show. Just don’t complain to me that you started to fall asleep a few times…

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Romance, drama
Production: feel
Company: Flying Dog
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Nyanko Days Reviews

nyanko-daysStory:
Konagai Tomoko is a shy girl who owns three cats. She meets a popular girl who owns a cat. They become friends. The “cats” are chibi cat girls. That’s it. That’s all there is. How in the world was this funded again?

Violence:
None.

Language:
None.

Nudity:
None. The “cats” are tiny cat girls, but we’re spared anything gross or sexualizing. Although what with the whole loli thing, it’s hard to tell sometimes…

Theology/mythology:
Aside from cat girls (a thing which is never explained), nothing here.

Personal impression:
This whole series is around a half hour long grand total. It has no plot. There is no point. The characters aren’t horrid, but they aren’t good either. I can see this mini series as existing for two reasons. 1) Filler between other shows airing on TV or 2) promos to get a full series deal. Regardless, it seems like a real waste of money. No matter how short a show is, it still takes money to make it and I just don’t understand how this little thing could make up its own production costs. Especially when, due to having no actual story, it’s so forgettable.
Of course, if you need something cute and kid friendly and non-offensive (generally), this show is just fine. It’s rare for me to be able to mark a show as All Ages, so woowho for that. But besides those reasons…. this show has nothing unique to offer. Unless you love watching cute cat girls. Like a lot.

Personal rating: All Ages

Episodes: 12 (episodes are 2 mins long)
Languages: sub
Official rating: n/a
Genre: Cute things, slice of life
Production: EMT Squared
Company: YTV
Official streaming: crunchyroll

Sweetness & Lightning Review

sweetnessStory:
Kohei is a single father and school teacher who can’t cook to save his life. Feeling like he’s letting his small daughter down, he begs culinary help from one of his students who’s mother is a professional chef.

Violence:
None. Kohei gets one or two toddler kicks to the face in temper-tantrums, but nothing even remotely serious.

Language:
Another one we’re safe on. There might be one or two spots where an older character curses to themselves, but sh-t is as harsh as it ever gets.

Nudity:
Another one you don’t have to worry about. Nudity free!

Theology/mythology:
Aside from a magical girl show being a favorite of Kohei’s daughter, nothing much going on here either.

Personal impression:
It’s pretty rare for me to review a show that is safe for anyone to watch, but I’m always happy when I do. And, I won’t lie, I enjoyed this nice, cheerful break from the usual drama in anime.
That said, near the end of this show’s run, we did get a bit more melancholy thrown our way. Even so, this show remained largely bright, which was nice considering the other shows in my line up this season.
As far as characters go, no one stood out as super unique, but nothing was too terribly written either. There were hints of character development, but not as much as I would have liked. The art and music kept up with the theme of the show and the mood and remained consistent. And, blissfully, we avoided any strange romantic entanglements.
Overall, this is a great little feel-good show. It has a few serious moments, but they don’t last too long and thus you almost always end on a good note.
If you want a nice, safe, bright show that makes you want to eat and cook up a storm, this is a great watch.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genre: Slice of life
Company: Sumitomo Corp
Official streaming: Crunchyroll