Place to Place Review

place to placeStory:
Tsumiki and Lo are in love with each other but too shy to admit it. As they spend their high school days with their friends, they slowly grow closer…

Violence:
Slap stick is as serious as it ever gets in this show, this does mean we see some blood from “injuries,” but it is always in a comedic fashion and never taken seriously.

Language:
Nothing worst than a few d-mns and a shit or two. It’s very uncommon though.

Nudity:
We really don’t get much of this thankfully, besides some comedic flashes referencing some cliche romance scenarios. No details are shown.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from the usual shrine visits, we don’t have anything going on in this section.

Personal impression:
Another very cute and wonderfully healthy relationship on screen! This was a series I actually didn’t hear about when it first aired, a shame as it’s cute, sweet and comedic. The music, visuals and characters all work together to keep thing extremely light and sugary.
We even got character growth by the end, though it’s very tame and slow. Then again, that’s perhaps more fitting to the age group than most shows these days. It’s a really nice romance and I wish we got more of these and less of the usual drama one-trick-ponies. Then again, our teeth might rot out of our heads if that were to happen….

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Language: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, romance, comedy
Studio: AIC
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View 

 

 

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How to Keep a Mummy Review

316f66ac53da69f228cdb0ad9ca887cdStory:
Sora lives alone, his father having gone on yet another research trip. And per tradition, Sora soon gets one of his father’s surprise “gifts” in the mail. Terrified it’s another cursed item, especially as it’s in a coffin, he prepares for the worst only to find a tiny little mummy inside! A mummy that very much wants to stay with Sora permanently.

Violence:
In a few flash backs we see one character with slashed arms. Blood is shown though not overly focused on or seen more than a handful of times. There is the threat of some mythical creatures being very dangers to humans, even threatening to kill them. We never see this happen however.

Language:
There are some instances of d-mn and sh-t, but it’s not too common. One instance of the b-word occurs.

Nudity:
Some bath scenes with Sora are seen, but no details are shown and it’s not in a sexual light.

Theology/mythology:
This show contains all manner of both Japanese and western mythologies, with a few from the middle east thrown in (although it’s hilarious to note that the non-Japanese creatures tend to have their backgrounds mixed up quite a lot with various other tales. The mummy comes to Sora in a western style coffin, complete with Christian cross).

Personal impression:
This is defiantly one of those cute for the sake of being cute shows. Think of Hamtaro, but with more of an emphasis on the human characters interacting with the cute creatures than the creatures interacting with each other. It was ok for what it was, there was even some decent character development for a few of the leads, specifically the lead and his childhood friend. That said, there’s really not much substance to this one. And the last few episodes feel like the screenwriter suddenly decided to make their human characters x-men rip offs (one character climbs up a sheer cliff with his bare hands out of no where).
If you want cute fluff, this show will deliver. It even has a small amount of characters facing unspoken fears and growing a bit. Just not a lot.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Supernatural, slice of life
Studio: 8-Bit
Company: TBS
Official streaming: crunchyroll

Laid-Back Camp Review

1502177953_15df07aab7552ddb50ce83d30b4c7abb_thumbStory:
Nadeshiko had one goal after moving. To see the famous Mount Fuji! On her way to a good sight seeing campsite, she falls asleep and has to seek help from a fellow high schooler who likes to solo camp. The two form an unlikely relationship and Nadeshiko learns to love camping.

Violence:
None.

Language:
Besides a d-mn or two, this show is pretty clean.

Nudity:
There are a few bath scenes and we see a bit of cleavage, but that’s honestly it.

Theology/mythology:
We see some shrines and even a story about one being dedicated to a dog. But it’s done in an almost touristy way. Actual religious discussion doesn’t occur.

Personal impression:
This show was surprisingly good! We don’t really enter the creepy fanservice area and the dialog and gags are actually decently… natural? It’s definitely nothing ground breaking as far as slice of life shows go. The tone and mood are pretty typical really. But the subject matter and characters fit that tone well and there’s no drama either. Plus they really do make camping look fun, which is a feat as I’ve never had good experiences with it myself.
If you need a light hearted and calm show with a few spot on gags, this is a great title to check out. Just don’t come snooping around for any plot. Or more character growth than someone gradually learning how to camp.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Language: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice-of-life, comedy
Studio: C-Station
Company: Furyu
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

RElife Review

relife_coverStory:
Arata Kaizaki quit work after only a brief  three months and has not been able to land a full time job since then. After a night drinking with old friends and lying through his teeth about work, he runs into a strange man who gives him a pill claiming it can give him one year to relive his high school days, allowing him to “restart” his life…

Violence:
Besides a tiny amount of slapstick, nothing much goes on here.

Language:
A few sh-ts and d-mns, but decently low.

Nudity:
Surprisingly low again. This show had a lot of room for nudity, but never takes advantage of it.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing much to say here either. God and the like aren’t discussed nor any clear theology of the world or mankind.

Personal impression:
This was surprisingly good! While the setup allows the main character to be pervy and horrid, the show never really takes itself in that direction. The lead is constantly reminding himself or being reminded by events around him, that he is an adult and those around him are children. This is great because it allows for some really natural character growth for both the lead and the kids he’s in school with. Both sides learn from one another (even though the kids are unaware their friend is their senior by quite a few years). The romance aspects of the show are also pointed towards side characters primarily and that helps keep the show from becoming a harem nightmare. In fact, speaking of female characters, we actually have a decent amount that have some big roles in the story. And they have relationships with one another that do not lean on the male characters at all! Finally.
All of that paired with some great subtle signs in the animation of character ticks and movement, made this show one of the better ones I’ve seen so far this year. One scene in particular, when two people are listening in on a very emotionally traumatic experience another person went through and one gently takes hold of the other person’s shirt sleeve for comfort as they listen, was very memorable for me. It was such a small scene, but made the dialog we heard so much more powerful for it. Show don’t tell at it’s finest.
Now, sadly, the show has some downfalls for sure. One being the odd choice in music and the strange placement of it. Upbeat tunes sometimes play during suspenseful or stressful scenes while heartfelt scenes end up with a piano solo that was probably meant to be emotional, but ends up sounding like a five year old at piano practice. Another gripe I had with the show was the slightly cliched way they get around the main character losing their job. Instead of taking the harder issue of people who quit or leave work for a stupid reason, they make the lead’s backstory tragic and thus justify his leaving. Now, I’ll give them points for taking this to the correct conclusion and making it clear that though this was the right thing to do, the unfair consequences still apply. The world is harsh, so yeah. Still, taking someone who is a good worker, just too honest for the business world, and turning them into a model citizen is a lot easier than taking an honest to goodness lowlife and turning their fate around. Both have confidence issues, but one lacks any drive to be good at work while the other is already a good worker to begin with.
Even so, this show’s good parts out weigh the bad in my opinion. I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to possibly seeing more of it in the future!

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, drama
Studio: TMS Entertainment Ltd
Company: FUNimation
Offical streaming: Crunchyroll

Sakura Quest Review

sakura questStory:
Yoshino has failed countless job applications for the entertainment industry. So when she gets a call to be a town’s queen for promoting tourism, she jumps at the opportunity. But the town she ends up in is far from what she expected… It’s small, country and slower than the fast life she envisioned for herself.

Violence:
Besides characters getting scratches from falls and the occasional rare nose bleed, nothing to put here.

Language:
Very low. There’s one character that can have a foul mouth, but even then actual cursing isn’t common.

Nudity:
Occasionally we hear an old man say something creepy, but nothing much beyond that. Even outfits remain pretty conservative. Not much to worry about here, thankfully.

Theology/mythology:
We don’t see anything mythical, but this show does have a decent amount of folklore and shrines in it. As this show focuses on cultural traditions being passed on and respected, this isn’t unusual. So if Japanese folklore makes you squirm, this isn’t a show for you.

Personal impression:
This show was surprisingly good, especially how it ends. It’s for sure a bit of a slow burner, but the entire adult cast and good message about pursuing one’s ambitions and finding joy in your work make up for that. Mostly.
Again, this show takes quite a long time to pick up speed. Around 12 episodes of mediocre, actually. It’s only in the second half that things pick up and we see significant character growth and the stronger messages of the show shine through. When it does kick in, it’s a pretty good run. But due to how long it takes to gear up… I wouldn’t be quick to recommend this one.
The animation and story are nothing unique either. The music is also… pretty forgettable, honestly. I can’t recall it at all right now.
But I gotta say the messages of ending up in jobs you might not like, but have to do to pay rent and yet finding joy where you can- of not being in your industry, but continuing to work towards it despite constant failure- of moving onward with your ambitions, even when it’s hard to leave those you love behind – these are all great messages, especially for adults. We’re often told as kids that we need to find our industry and get into it right away. But that’s just not often possible. It can take years to get where you really want to be. The reality of being an adult is that you often have to keep moving onward and upward, sometimes zig-zagging quite a lot, to eventually get to where you want to be. And this show’s second half was a great presentation of this reality.
But still… it’s slow… So it’s probably nothing to jump into if you like fast paced content.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 25
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of Life, drama, comedy
Studio: P.A. Works
Company: Toho
Official streaming: crunchyroll

A Centaur’s Life Review

centaurStory:
Kimihara Himeno is a gorgeous centaur with a few rather odd friends. Together they struggle through the awkwardness of adolescence in a world focused on “equality” to a sometimes dangerous level…

Violence:
This is a pretty shocking section, honestly. Where as most comedies only have slapstick in this sector, this show actually has true violence. And of a slightly disturbing level. The bulk of this is seen in only one episode which depicts the backstory of a politician who barely survived a war camp as a child. The violence between soldiers and fellow prisoners is intense (one prisoner is hanged to death) and makes this show a solid TV14.

Language:
A few d-mns make up the bulk of it, but a few b-words fly in the intense war episode…

Nudity:
Another section that lands this show in the TV14 section, fanservice is common here, often at the expense of the lead, who has a large chest (of course). Two especially bad sections to note are an episode where the conversation of vaginas is brought up (actually isn’t that weird for the age group, interestingly enough) between the female leads and they decide the best course of action to calm Hime’s confidence issue is to look at one anothers’ (yep, only in anime is this a thing). We don’t see anything but the situation is rather… uncomfortable. Another episode showcases merpeople, who go shirtless regardless of gender. The details of the women are blurred out with strips of “light,” but the camera fixates on them anyway, which is annoying at the very least and insulting to whatever positive message they had intended in that episode at the worst.
Oh. Almost forgot the grope-happy slime monster that disintegrates clothing in the last episode. Yeeeah. It’s a hentai reference that baaarely missed giving this show a WZ.

Theology/mythology:
Centaurs, fauns, “angels” and “demons” are real. They are never attached to their religious counterparts, however. They are seen as simply different creatures and that’s about it. In one episode, ghost stories are told, but it’s tame overall and god and religion aren’t ever discussed seriously.

Personal impression:
I straight up have no idea what this show was trying to do. If it wanted to be a comedy, why the intense war episode? If it wanted to be a serious show, why never fully address or end those serious plot points or ever bring them up again? And what about their messages on equality and sexism? Why state that a chest is a chest and not sexual except due to society’s messed up norms and then proceed to keep the camera angle fixated on naked female chests the rest of the episode?
The only answers I have for the above questions is that this show wanted to break some boxes but couldn’t figure out the best way to do that so they decided to take it as it went (and clearly had an almost entire male staff). And, according to many, the manga does a better job of this. But I really don’t care. I review anime, not manga and on the topic of this show alone, this thing struggles. If it wasn’t so fanservice heavy, I could take the feminism and equality points more seriously. If the serious elements were properly addressed and finished, rather than shoved away and forgotten, I’d take those better too. As it was, it just felt chaotic and unorganized.
This is a show that took on more than it could handle and never really acknowledged that until it was too late. While I will give points for trying to create a more complex and complete world, the lens they use to tell this story (slice of life) didn’t really blend with that (for the record, there are ways to do this right but this wasn’t one of those ways).
As for animation and music, both were fine. The animation was better than the music by far, but neither were horrid or had significant drops in quality.
Overall, this is one of those shows that I can’t easily either recommend nor discourage. It’s not terrible. It even has some really good points here and there. But it’s not as great as I felt it was aspiring to be. And had the potential to be, honestly (we have a positive and healthy queer couple in this one! woot!).
And that last episode was an insult to my intelligence. It really was.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, comedy, drama
Company: FUNimation
Studio: Haoliners Animation League, Encourage Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll