Convenience Store Boy Friends Review

convenienceStory:
Two friends fall in love with two female classmates. Their stories will span an entire year.

Violence:
Pretty much nonexistent here. Not even nose bleeds. There is a character death off screen, but nothing scary is shown.

Language:
Another tame sector. Outside of sh-t and the occasional d-mn, nothing to report here.

Nudity:
Yet again, tame stuff. Nothing worse than bare man chests for swimming are seen. No fanservice at all, really. And I won’t lie, it was nice.

Theology/mythology:
Outside of one character making good luck charms for her classmates, nothing to put here.

Personal impression:
By all rights I could have marked this as an all ages show, but I’m erring on the side of caution due to the serious content, which isn’t kid centered stuff. And, yes, that does mean that this title drags a bit in places. The combination of serious tonality with a lack of any firm plot means we get a decent amount of aimlessness, at least at first we do. However, I found this show to be surprisingly grounded for a drama. The relationships actually make sense a decent amount of the time. So aside from a “plot twist” at the end, everything that happens is completely within the realm of possibility. In turn this made the emotional pull a bit stronger for me. I prefer logic to the over-the-top grandeur some shows are so addicted to these days.
All that said, overall this is still a pretty bland show. It has some decent ideas, but applied them in such a laidback manner that little gets done overall and some plot points just straight up get forgotten in the mix.
The animation reflects the tone well, decent enough at times but lacking in consistent quality, especially at the end where production takes a rather sharp drop (still backgrounds in place of moving animation, for example). The music is also all over the map, going from rather nice soft piano and violin to strange arcade-like music you’d find in Harvest Moon (I’d swear that was the “going into town in spring” theme).
Overall, this isn’t a bad show. But it was definitely rushed and likely a fuller title meant to waste time between higher grade shows rather than actually contribute anything new to the genre.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Romance, drama
Production: Studio Pierrot
Company: Dentsu Tech/BS TBS
Official streaming: crunchyroll

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Tsuredure Children Review

tsuredure_children_6591Story:
High school is the main stage for multiple love stories. Some will stay strong, others fade. This show goes over multiple love stories at one school and the various comedic situations they cause.

Violence:
Slapstick stuff only. A bit of nose bleed humor, but extremely tame overall.

Language:
D-mns and sh-ts are the worst and not too common.

Nudity:
This is where that TV14 comes into play. Besides some bath scenes and some innuendo between characters (some of which is pretty blunt), there’s one character who corners another and zips his pants down. Nothing is shown and he doesn’t actually do anything, but this scene is quite sexual and uncomfortable. If anything had actually occurred, this show would have been WZed.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing to report.

Personal impression:
This show surprised me quite a lot. Usually I dislike half episode shows because they meander too much, never seem to make any actual progress and generally tend to be written ill. But there was hope in that this series was at least a comedy. And boy did it take that chance and run!
The short format of the episodes actually works in this series’ favor as it splits the narrative between a handful of different exiting and would-be couples. While each bit of story is short, little time is wasted. Issues and struggles are revealed right away and while a few focus on love being confessed, more than half focus more on the after effects and growing relationships than on the budding ones. Also, the types of relationships are shockingly varied. We have demure and calm couples and those far more risque and sexual. Yet none of these relationships go into the dangerous assault or toxic area. Even one that starts out with warning bells turns out… surprisingly safe? It’s refreshing to see that even the more sexually charged relationships still have a healthy amount of consent and restraint for the sake of one another. It’s a wonderful break from the typical romantic fare we get in anime so much.
All that said, the art and music really don’t make much of an impression at all (although a few establishing shots are rather artistically handled), so this show is riding almost exclusively on it’s characters. And jokes. Ah yes the comedy. While this show’s true shine lies in the relationships, it can’t be ignored that a few “joke” couples give this series a huge boost as well. One flamboyant character in particular, calling himself the “dating master,” is a comedy gold mine and beyond entertaining. A great break from a few of the more serious, although often still rather light hearted, couples.
Overall, if you want a comedy, or even some sweet romance without the drama, this is a really great show and one of the few that I hope get another season or so.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12 (half episode length)
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Comedy, romance
Company: Gokumi
Production: ADK
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Hanasakeru Seishonen Review

hanasakeru_seishounen_ostStory:
Kajika has lived a rather unusual life, growing up the daughter of a rich business man with ties to the oil industry, she lived for most of her life on an isolated island with only a family friend and tiger as company. When she leaves that safety for Japan, she never expected her introduction to “normal life” to be so short as her father soon involves her in a “game” to find her future husband…

Violence:
There’s a small amount of this over the nearly 40 episode run as political intrigue and civil war are large arcs. The blood is rarely seen and when you do see it, the amount isn’t over-the-top and the focus doesn’t linger.

Language:
Nothing extreme here. In fact, d-mn might be the only common one, but even then entire episodes can go by without an issue so it’s pretty light over the entire series.

Nudity:
This is where my YA rating comes in. We are spared actual nudity for much of the show, with the only straight offenders being still “art” scenes where a character is nude and curled up so no details are shown. However, there is a plot arc of two characters obviously having sex. We don’t see anything, but it’s pretty obvious what they did. The show handles this arc in a very tasteful manner, but it might be an uncomfortable topic for younger viewers to face if you don’t see it coming first.

Theology/mythology:
This is a strange one as the lead has ideas about reincarnation that she talks about quite a bit. A main arc of the show also deals with a country that views their rulers as god(s) and have an entire religious system built around that. If these kinds of topics make you uncomfortable, you might want to skip this one as this topic comes up pretty regularly.

Personal impression:
This is one of those shows I wanted to like far more than I actually did. And I can truly say it’s a real shame and a half.
If you’re new, I love a solid plot containing political intrigue. And this is something we don’t get much of in the shoujo genre. But this title had a LOT of it. Which should have made me happy, right? Well, the issues, as usual with shoujo works, were entirely due to the characters. And the sickest part was that the lead should have been an exception to the usual “listless/powerless girl everyone loves” stereotype. But… she wasn’t? For while she seemed to have a lot of agency and power, all of her actions centered on the male leads and no one else. It didn’t help that she was also the enraging “naive girl” type on top of that. She would occasionally display moments of wisdom and such but only when the plot called for it and it became less and less common as the show progressed. Her actions are incredibly selfish at all times and she never learns better by the end of the show. In fact, the show seems to push the message of “follow your heart” BS to the end. Which, I’m not entirely against, but when it’s a message not balanced with the idea of considering others and safety and basic common sense? Not a fan.
In the end, I think the lead’s many issues come from the faulty idea that a “strong” character means a pushy or bossy one that simply bullies her way through everything. The fact that she was interchangeably smart and insanely stupid for the plot’s convenience doesn’t help at all.
And yes the male leads are cliche. At this point I expect nothing else from this genre so there ya go.
As for art and music, both were reasonably stable, though mediocre throughout. The opening and ending were forgettable and while I liked the political stuff going on in the last part of this show, the drama caused by the lead’s stupidity made it far less enjoyable than it could have been. But, hey, the romance actually gets a conclusion, another rare thing for this genre. So… woowho?

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 39
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Romance, drama, action
Company: NHK
Production: Pierrot Co ltd
Official streaming: Crunchyroll