Hi Island guests! Earlier I talked to you about how having unlimited access to anime and media to critique it on, has opened it to nitpicking and devalued appreciation. Why would we bother with a 7/10 show when we can watch a 9/10 one.I said I would love to get a format reminiscent back of Saturday morning cartoons.
A format where I have to work myself around anime instead having access to everything at my convenience. For true love doesn’t bow to your every whim.. you have to put some effort into it. This is the story of that quest…
The adventure began with laying down some ground rules and a schedule. Like how I have my fictional tropical Island I would now have a fictional anime network as well. Anime of my selection would air the way I would want to, yet be sorted out in certain time slots. I opted for a five series time slot which I could expand upon later. Running from 9:00 until 11:30 (in order to fit it in with my medicine imposed insomnia or occasional night terrors, I put it a bit later in the morning). Five series would air at the full hour mark. Midway down a series (around the 11 minute mark for anime) I would pause the anime and play some Japanese commercials on youtube for about 5 minutes.
I am not allowed to pause the anime earlier, nor am I allowed to go backwards if I miss anything. If i need to get something, I need to step away and let the anime run.. except for during commercial breaks. During the commercial breaks I would make notes for the blog, refill my drink and schedule bio-breaks. Obviously I can not skip ahead either. With this set up I have about 3 minutes to make some final notes and set up the next series. If I am late for example I start at 9:05 I will have to skip my episode until the anime runs as if it was started at its original time slot. So in this case five minutes in. Each Sunday I report to you all about my little adventures.
Originally I browsed for the first five random picks I wanted to watch. Which ended up being Hikaru no Go, BNA, Bofuri, Yu-Gi-Oh Sevens.. and the second season of Ducktales, (from where I left off). Turns out the the second season of Ducktales isn’t on Disney + yet, which I discovered in the middle of my watch, so as a sensible tv network I had to fix this by adding in a double episode of what came prior. So for the next six weeks my schedule ended up being the following.
9:00 AM : BNA (I really love studio Trigger Stuff)
9:30 AM: Yu-Gi-Oh Sevens (Because I love card game anime and YGO)
10:00 AM Bofuri (Because cute girls with shield sound adorable to me)
10:30 AM Bofuri (So the Pink Network could correct their stupid error)
11:00 AM Hikaru no Go (Because I read Iridium Eye’s compelling review about it)
Having bought some cereal the day before, I was ready. The japanese commercials were set up, my phone was on silent as Saturday morning cartoons were back! Sitting on the couch I eagerly waited for the nine minute mark and pressed play.
BNA Episode 1
The moment I pressed play I realised I made a pretty rookie mistake. I forgot the milk with my cereal, so I ran to the fridge while the opening credits played. It was weird to see how a first episode had an opening in the first place. That isn’t that common.I couldn’t tell you if I liked it because I had some cereal prep I forgot. Luckily I was back before the main action started.
A Tanuki girl that looks kinda to human compared to the other beastman out there is fleeing from some racist humans. They end up trying to kill her when she is fleeing to some sort of beast city. Mind you guys that I am telling this from my headspace while viewing this. I know the name of the character now but not at the time.. nor do I think the first episode ever told us. When things seem dire for the main character a weird scientist lady shows up.. which suddenly is a weasel like creature, which we later find out is a mink. She has some henchmen as well. A fight breaks out between humans and the animal-people and the tone for the series is set.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this episode, though I can not help but feel it is kinda heavy on the racist allegory. In the same way X-men can be a bit jarring in it’s world building as well. Even in the first half of he episode. After the rescue I am positively surprised that the mink isn’t like a best new friend but some sort of shady figure who extorts those she rescues for all their money. Like what we see in a few american shows when they smuggle chinese or mexican people inside the United States. We then are introduced to Animacity home of the animals as some happy place, but what seems like a terrorist attack happens just as the little Tanuki girl enter, which leads to my favorite moment in the show.
A huge tv screen drops down on the crowd in the city which were looking at the screen for the cities tenth anniversary.(Which kinda felt a bit exposinatny for my taste) and the Tanuki girl tries to save an old goat.. the face on that goat made me smile so hard. Also when she is yelling crap crap crap.. when she is about to get crushed really amused me. She is saved by a crying wolf who is blisteringly fast while the old goat still has his 10/10 face. Amazing I loved this moment. Tanuki girl is accused of the bombing by the wolf, who seems like some sort of private detective but she convinces him it was some sort of other wolf she saw earlier. Using his nose, which was a really cool visual, he pursues the actual terrorist.
The episode concludes in a big epic fight that like other Trigger feels quite over the top. Yet I feel could have been a bit bolder. It felt very visceral and violent though and the punches have this nice connecty feeling and characters can bulk up to the extreme. Visually this is why I love Trigger so much. The bad guys are hired by humans which triggers the wolf into wanting to kill them. The Tanuki girl catches up and stops him.. revealing she was once a human to setting up a mystery for the next episode.
All in all a fine first episode. I wasn’t as amazed as I would like from Trigger but it is definitely I will enjoy seeing again next week. There is plenty of stuff. My rating of this episode is a Peach out of Pink.. it’s on the right track but it could be pinker!
YU-GI-OH SEVENS EPISODE 1
The moment this started up with a big commercial for a new form of card game named Rush duel I knew I was going to have a rough time. It did not help that my second serving of cereal had to much rice thingies with to little milk. My mouth was getting dry as in horror I saw the main character bursting through something.. with a giant mecha..while holding some Yu-gi-oh cards. In the second scene we see him trying to install some new duel rules and I began to really regret putting this on the list. I could have put the new pokémon season here.
The opening did not help either, many of these characters look super generic and referencing to old shows a bit. I liked the girl with the purple hair in it though..so perhaps there is some hope. After the intro we get a glimmer of hope though, the world building seems quite interesting with a Kaiba Corp clone really bogging people down with super strict rules, enforced by camera robots. Breaking these rules will get you a strike and getting six strikes will get you banned from dueling. While trying to install the new rules.. and he failed Yuga the main character failed and now has five strikes. All in all fair.
This attracts the attention of three peers. Gakuto looks like the Seto Kaiba from season 1.. but with purple hair and the demeanour of Bastion Misawa from GX.. but more snively and whiny. He is the type that is afraid of breaking the rules and he annoyingly yells it out all the time. Tatsuhisa is a blue haired kid who has the power.. to do a sparky thing to disable electronic devices. He duels an ancient tablet under the city that spawns a crowned man .. but he lost and got six strikes due to it..due to the prophecy written on this tablet he now thinks Yuga might be the one to activate it. Romin is the purple haired girl.. she plays music and doesn’t know how to duel.
That is all the characterization we get in episode 1 because we have to move into a rush duel. Yuga installs his new rules but they have to be implemented or such.. but a guard droid spots him and he has 6 minutes and 66 seconds ( which ISN’T even a legit time expresion and just is there to tell us this new Kaiba Corp is evil i’d guess) to implement the rules by a live action programming. Luckily his duels can be fought in that time he says. Which basicly involve a weird form of dueling with three zones instead of five and where you can always draw five cards, and summon and tribute as much as you want in a single turn… like Yu-Gi-Oh needed more speed?!
While the duel itself was entertaining enough, the ace monster of the main character feels insanely gimmicky (it powers up 300 points per any of the seven attributes) an ability Yuga called road over 7 or something. The duel disks also changed into a seven, It’s the seventh series and the series is called Sevens. Well Sevens is correct as there are a lot of them not subtle either. My favorite moment came just before the hero summons his ace though, when Blue Eyes white dragon makes it return. Too bad it’s massive 3000 attack gets hit by a 7000 attack ending the duel in one turn after it was summoned. This show is going to have some serious pacing issues.
Now this might sound super negative and in a way it is, but there is some merrit behind the concept of rush dueling. If they make better duels than this, the format could be interesting for the anime allowing for some more storytelling on the side. It’s like a really ugly oyster.. it still might hold a pearl. For now however this gets a Salmon out of Pink. It can be called pink.. but you could also say it’s a soft shade of orange. There is a charm factor in there.. but something about it is really Fishy.
BOFURI EPISODE 1
No more cereal, I can pay some serious attention to this one! Immediately I find the main character Kaede very appealing. There is something about her mindset that I really dig. Gaming with your friend but then being left alone to your own devices is something I can relate to fairly well. While I have absolutely zero interest in her school live, we jump into the virtual world of the mmo she is about to play very soon and I really enjoy the way she over simplistically builds her character. I like the concept of being so Noob in strategy that the devs would not realise how broken this is. It’s nothing special.. but it brings me back to the age of classic Dragon Ball. Which is a good thing.
Kaede choose the handle Maple, because I assume that is what her name translates into? Unsure though.I enjoy how she is depicted as a newbie in the style that I would act as well. While I am a gamer MMO’s can at times feel overwhelming to me and instead of reading a 40 page guide on how to Cleric I prefer to pick up skills as I go. Also I love the concept of this MMO not having a tutorial, it would bring some sense of community, which I feel a virtual MMO should be about.. so points for world building. We see how Maple is super slow.. she doesn’t want to feel pain so she goes for a full defensive build..which makes me wonder why they even feel virtual pain in the first place that seems kinda cruel.. point retracted from world building.
Soon after we get my favorite scene in the episode. Maple encounters a cute bunny enemy which she completely outstats. She is just having a lot of fun letting it attack her and playing with it, just enjoying how it relentlessly tries it best. I would play an MMO like that as well. Just having fun, enjoying the animations and the cute creatures.However in this MMO your skills are developed situationally which I think is a cool concept. When she after a long time of playing accidentally kills it she is actually upset as she bonded with it. That did happen to me.. when I played a MMO once. Since Maple plays at night she dozes off while playing which triggers a number of defensive boosts. I found this set up pleasing throughout the entire episode.
To gear up she is told to go to a dungeon as she lacks money to buy crafted items, under explained that you should not clear dungeons alone we see her do exactly that, locking her up into some more insane upgrades ending up with her getting some amazing gear since obviously all drops are now for her! I would love to be able to play an MMO that way! This is how I want to play I absolutely adore it. Her eating the monster because her weapon broke was funny to me to and felt as if the cooking mechanic kinda was exploited. Fun fun fun fun fun!
I’d rank this episode a Bubblegum out of Pink. Cute adorable and exactly in line with my mindset, there is little gripes I have against this one.It might be a bit to pastelly and lack true colour depth.. but for a Saturday morning “cartoon” this is what I want.
BOFURI EPISODE 2
Forgive me for the length of this post, this is about a whole weeks worth of blogging in one. But starting from second episodes I can be a bit quicker so next weeks installment will be a bit more brief. As now I do not need to talk about set up as much. Episode 2 of Bofuri started with me missing the first minute. Due to set up issues. I dropped in to see Maple eating some bugs to raise her explosive awareness and acquire an enemy devour trait she puts in her shield.
The first half of the episode revolves around a PvP event, I love how Maple due to being such a Noob is able to outplay many enemies, simply based on how her mindset is so much simpler. Enemies strategise wrongly against her, and she ends up easily being able to take them down due to her non gamer build. That really is something special about this show to me. I also really love the set pieces. The locations are quite pretty, nothing to special but there is a way they work with lighting here that really makes it stand out to me. I also really like how Maple starts drawing in the sand during the PvP event .. Jeesz I wish we could get mmos like these. That concept of “just have fun” is something I deeply DEEPLY appreciate in Maple. The drawing scene while she casually dismisses some enemies just to say “back to drawing” was my favorite moment of the episode.
Which is why I like the second half of this episode significantly less. This focusses on Risa or Sally as she is known inside NewWorld Online. It’s about her start in the game and while obviously that was a point that needs to address this feels like a more normal brand of gamer. Sally doesn’t dump everything into a stat. she is more of a min-maxer that tries to go for an optimal build. This vexes me for two reasons.. she sees how powerful Maple is.. so if your goal truly is to never get hit by anything, why not try to experiment in the same way as Maple did?! Secondly we see her solo a boss as well which invalidates the whole concept of Maple being so strangely OP.. it kinda feels like it’s “Just an easy game” now.
That being said, I do like how they play together, like true friends should. Maple even wears her newbie gear to they kinda look like they belong together, which I appreciate. Sally helps Maple fish because her dex is to low.. and Maple needs scales to get cute white shield she wants. It felt wholesome .. the idea of discovering something cool while doing that fishing also quite appealed to me. I hope Sally doesn’t rub of Maple to hard and she will do her own thing in building her character.. but I do not mind them having moments. I am also surprised how the anime keeps putting in a lot of content in each episode. So far both episodes feel like 2 smaller episodes strung together .. and it’s pacing that really pleased me.
Not as good as the first episode but still among the best I watched this saturday. I rate this one a Seashell Pink out of Pink. It’s like a mario game! It’s cute, it’s fun and you want more of it… but when you find out this is a water level, you can not help but to prefer to have seen something a bit different.
HIKARU NO GO EPISODE 1
A young boy with two shades of hair finds an ancient relic from their grandfather and then becomes possessed by an ancient spirit which prompts them to become the king of games, by creating traps for their opponents. Haven’t I seen this plot somewhere before? It even ran around the same period as Yu-Gi-Oh. Starting in 2001. Come to think of it Shaman King aired in 2001 as well. I guess ancient spirit buddy cop series were the Isekai show of 2001.
Now unlike Yu-Gi-Oh I have not a clue on how Go is played.. and after this first episode I think it’s about surrounding an enemy stone with your own and you win if you get 4 or 5? But I am not sure yet. Anyway this first episode of this anime felt like a bit of a mixed bag for me. With some highlights and some lows. The lows mostly taking part in the first part of the episode. We see Hikaru find a go Board in his grandpa’s attic along with a girl.. he sees blood stains on the board while she does not.. he then hears a voice and gets a vision of this spirit.
An ancient Go player that got cheated out of a coveted position in the king’s court, which made him drown himself. Having last possessed an ancient Go player from the Edo period this spirit now wants to be able to do some divine move so he can rest. While a fair set up I can’t help but feel what an incredibly sad figure Sai is. Not sad as in tragic but as in pathetic. His suicide is something that really made me dislike him. I get that I might miss a cultural significance of importance and honor here but man. The way he cries when he can play a match again trough Hikaru, his goal.. it all just feels kinda.. meh.
Hikaru on the other hand I understand, playing games to get the spirit that possessed you out of your head while also letting him help you with your homework, I really like that form of synergy as base to start a show out of. I personally do not buy that you are send to school just hours after you collapsed into a catatonic state that lasted long enough for paramedics to come pick you up and rush you to a hospital even if it had no medical but spiritual grounds. I’d figure people would tell him.. take it safe stay home today.Even when he starts to vomit out of nowhere and talk into nothing.. he is still forced to make a test…. So I had big credibility issues with the first episode. Which could have been simply solved by establishing Hikaru as a “Boy who Cried wolf” type of character, as is though this is one cruel school.
The second half focussing on a match against youth prodigy Akira whom he randomly encounters in a Go Café. The way things are framed, the way the game is paced out, the back and forth from camera angles the way we take a peak in both players heads as well as Sai’s really makes for an interesting mixture for matches. It feels like what makes Yu-Gi-Oh great.. without the stupid shenanigans which dragged it down again. The fact that Hikaru can count so fast on a Go Board and picks nuances up quite fast gives potential for the future as well. I love the character design so far as well. It doesn’t feel as lavish and zany as some of the other early 2000 stuff. Making it much more based in reality. In a way making the characters, except for Sai much more relatable. Not an amazing first episode but a nice solid first match.
I’d rate this a Piggy Pink out of Pink. At first glance it looks a bit dirty but than you stare in it’s eyes for a bit longer and you can not help to be endeared. If the tone moves more towards that of the second half of this first episode.. this show can bring home the bacon for me.
Now with a Whole weeks worth of blogging we end on a quick sumary.
Favorite Watch: Bofuri (Episode 1)
Favorite Moment: USAGI SAAAAN! (Bofuri)
Least Favorite Watch: Yu-Gi-Oh Sevens (Episode 1)
Least Favorite Moment: Sai Crying (Hikaru no Go)
Cereal: Brandless Choco Rice things.. with a monkey on the box!
Bowls Consumed : Two
Favorite Commercial: Sweater Chicken