Natsuyuki Rendezvous Review

Natsuyuki RendezvousStory:
Rokka’s husband died young, leaving her his flowershop and numerous sad memories of promises left unfulfilled. When a young man joins her staff and falls in love with her, she has to reevaluate if she wants to try love again or remain a widow… Having her dead husband’s ghost hovering around her all the time, unbeknownst to her, isn’t helping things for her new love interest either. He can see the ghost. And the ghost isn’t pleased with his wife being hit on.

Violence:
Pretty much non-existent. However, death is a big element of this story so keep that in mind.

Language:
Another section that isn’t too bad. A few d-mns and a rare b-word but overall gentle on the language.

Nudity:
This is where the rating comes in. Although full on nudity doesn’t really happen, it’s super obvious that two characters have sex at one point and one character even straight up asks another for sex. It’s not done in a gross manor, but this show is definitely not shy about this topic and thus I feel it’s really best suited for older audiences.

Theology/mythology:
Ok, we can’t get around the ghost thing. Rokka’s dead husband shows up immediately and the idea of being possessed and such plays a huge role in the plot. If themes like death and ghosts and spirits make you uncomfortable in any way, skip this.

Personal impression:
This is a slow but very sweet show. And I don’t mean sweet like My Love Story or Snow White with the Red Hair. I mean sweet as in gentle and soft. The romance takes time and, because it’s between two adults, one of whom has quite a bit of baggage, it’s rather mature. Commitment for the long haul is a huge aspect of this romance, rather than the usual focus simply on feelings alone.
My big negative on this show falls under the typical romance stuff: male characters who feel like forcing themselves physically on a female is sweet or “decisive” and get frustrated when the female doesn’t “just choose already.” Yeah. Not cute. But something I’ve sadly come to understand isn’t going to end in this genre any day soon soooo yeah. These scenes don’t last long but they’re obnoxious.
The art and music are solid fits for the tone of this show, soft and mostly cheerful, though surprisingly somber when needed.
Overall I think this is a solid romance title. While the supernatural aspect of it made the drama a biiiit thick at times, considering how hard it is to cover grief over lost loves accurately, I feel like this show did a decent job of it. If you want a more mature romance and/or some adult leads for once, this show might be a good one for you. Just remember that action is not to be found in this one. At all.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 11
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Romance, drama
Company: Dogakobo
Production: Fuji Creative Corporation/Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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La Corda D’Oro -Blue Sky- Review

Kiniro-No-Corda-Blue-Sky-la-corda-doro-36990533-880-609Story:
A bunch of guys and one girl are entering a huge musical competition for little actual reward beyond saying “we won this huge thing.” Supposedly love ensues as well, but not really and, well, it’s pretty obvious this was a cash grab by this franchise to make more off the well known game La Corda D’Oro. REALLY obvious.

Violence:
There is an episode that shows some typical anime bullying and such, but we don’t see much actual violence, just implied through dialog and tone.

Language:
Nothing much here besides some sh-ts. Tame overall.

Nudity:
Another clear area. Some characters make a few very vague innuendos, but it’s tame enough that you can miss it pretty easily.

Theology/mythology:
You know how the original anime adaption had the whole fairy and magical violin thing? Well, toss that right out the window because we only see that fairy at the very end (we’re talking the last two minutes of the entire series) and it plays no role whatsoever in the plot. So if you’re super sensitive, maybe skip this, but for everyone else this really shouldn’t be an issue.

Personal impression:
This is another show I’d play while reviewing my kanji compounds and doing chores. Again this shows you exactly how riveting, or lack thereof, this was to watch.
Even if shoujo trash is your thing, this show is incredibly boring. The “romance” is a joke as it really doesn’t occur at all. And normally I’d actually be chill with that except there’s not much else going on either. The lead is already super talented, though she lacks a bit of confidence. In fact, the only growth she had was her looking someone in the eye and saying “no.” Eeeexcept she wasn’t super crippled by her ever so slightly lower confidence to begin with. So the change is so small, if you blink, you miss it.
And the male characters are even worse. Otome games are known for their bland stereotype male leads, but this show was so flat it hurt. The only interesting dynamic was perhaps between two male violinists and how one looked up to the other to the point of doubting his own skill set, but the show somehow managed to water even that down.
Then there’s the “drama.” Which is a joke. Truly. The first anime of this franchise showed some cheesy visuals of what people would imagine while music was being played and, yeah, it was cliched, but this spin off left “cheesy” lightyears behind. The musical finals near the end show visions of a solar eclipse. A giant solar eclipse. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. There was a solar eclipse as the lead “villain,” complete with cape, bemoaned how he had to survive for years with a “humiliation worse than death.” Spoiler alert: the heroine pitied him once.
…People got paid for this….
Anyway, I suppose if you, like me, enjoy having some background noise on while doing chores or homework, this is a clean show and pretty toothless (thus the All Ages rating). But otherwise… pass on this (even the pretty boys aren’t that pretty. Just sayin’)

Personal rating: All Ages

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama, fantasy, otome/romance
Company: TYO animations
Production: NTV/Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

DRAMAtical Murder Review

Dramatical_Murder_coverStory:
Aoba isn’t into the virtual reality game Rhyme that so many street gangs are into in his town. At least he didn’t think he was. But when he gets sucked into a battle against his will, he finds out that he may have more experience with both the game and its origins than he first believed…

Violence:
I’m guessing this is where the M rating for this came from, although I found the actual violence levels to be either on par or lower than most TV14 action shows. FMA certainly has more graphic images than this. But perhaps the rating was given due to the occasionally disturbing imagery in the dream/mental battles. They play out like nightmares, but they don’t last long and usually there’s still not enough blood to rate it M. Disturbing? Yes. Graphic? Not that much. There is a decent amount of blood, however, so if violence sets you off I still think this is one to skip.

Language:
Sh-t is the most common occurrence. I didn’t find it excessive, but it did make an appearance here and there.

Nudity:
Besides bare chests and a male character kissing another without permission, not much here.

Theology/mythology:
Besides the idea of robots possibly having souls/a heart and people being genetically crafted from birth with special abilities, nothing much to put here.

Personal impression:
This show has such a misleading title. And a misleading rating. This show is just straight up misleading all around. With “murder” in the title I mistakenly thought there would, ya know, be a murder that needed to be solved. Nope. Never happened. And any drama that occurred kinda worked itself out by the lead saying “I’ll be your friend.” Every time.
Don’t get me wrong. Friendship is great and all, but this show tried to sell itself as drama and possibly a murder mystery and was neither. Honestly I didn’t feel like this show was much of anything. It even tried to be yaoi here and there and couldn’t even pull that off. It’s possibly the most wishy-washy show I’ve ever seen. Which is honestly a shame as occasionally the dialog between characters sounded unusually smooth. So at least one of their writers was trying. Too bad he was washed out by others or was too rushed to be consistent.
Overall this is a pretty boring show. A boring show that has a lot of potential for more but never really… tried. It wasn’t so much potential lost to anger me as much as some other shows have. I just ended up disappointed and bored in the end.
All that said, there’s nothing super objectionable in this show (besides the side plot that the lead apparently killed someone years ago by accident? It’s glazed over and never brought up again which is… off putting….) sooooo if you like attractive guys being weird and/or buddy buddy with one another on screen, maaaybe? Otherwise, you might wanna skip this (which might be convenient as the last few episodes are scheduled to be taken off Yahoo in a few days from posting…)

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: M
Genres: Drama (didn’t see that coming did ya?), action
Production: NAZ
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View