Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 4

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I don’t like the way they intro this show. The Human Encyclopedia (Haruhiko) starts teaching us about some concept that loosely relates to the content of the episode at hand. This week he talked about family and polygamy and stuff. Then Ruru cut off his boring lesson and the show actually starts. Every week. Ugh.

It feels boring and ultimately useless to me. I don’t laugh or cry or shiver in excitement. I don’t even learn anything remotely important. So what’s the point? Are these intros just here to fill up space in the show’s run time? If so, I’d rather just watch a minute of Izumi dancing or eating or something. Anything GIF-worthy will do.

Other than the intro however, I actually found the rest of the episode to be quite enjoyable. Of course, I wouldn’t expected anything less when this week’s showing is dedicated to Izumi. Hell yeah! We got a Reina episode! But the fact that it was mostly about her wasn’t the only thing that made this episode exceptional.

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There was noticeably less exposition! Looks like whoever has been writing this show has been reading my reviews (:3). I’m just joking around of course, no one reads my blog, heheheh *sheds one tear while trying to smile*. Still, the exposition is a little heavy-handed and mostly unneeded. I think I have a pretty good grasp on the whole “Phantoms” thing, so you can stop explaining it to me.

I’m starting to warm up to Ruru, just a teeny bit. If The Human Encyclopedia is going to continue spouting exposition, it’s nice to have someone to keep telling him to shut up. I know this is just a solution to a problem that the show itself continues to make, but at this point I’ll take it. Also, her jokes have been getting mildly comical. Worth a soft chuckle, if nothing else.

Now onto the ending. There was a few ways this episode could’ve ended, and I’m glad they went a sweet and simple one. From the start, this phantom wasn’t really a problem. Izumi got to spend time with her nice imaginary rabbit parents, no time passes in the real world when she enters and leave the magic school bus, and she ends up with a free ride to her house.

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It was all a pretty swell ride, up until the point she realized it wasn’t real. Once she realized that, the illusion could not carry on in the same way it had before. Now she had to make a choice: Stay there for eternity or return to the real world with her real friends and her real family. During the decision making process, The Human Encyclopedia even offered up some advice that was made sense. The phantom faded away into a beautiful light show and a touching scene for Izumi. Reina was welcomed home by her parents, making for a happy yet somewhat mournful ending.

That could have gone in a completely different direction, one that I was actually expecting (and dreading). I was afraid they were just going to seal away this phantom because it was a phantom. That wouldn’t really be fair, as the phantom really didn’t do anything to hurt anyone, and as a Phantom Rights Activist (PRA) that would’ve sorely disappointed me. So it was a good thing they didn’t. Izumi had to face her feelings and cast away her delusions for something real.

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All in all, this was a very sweet and somber, and easily the best of the season so far, not to mention that it was brimming with Izumi screen-cap potential.

+ Izumi episode!

+ Gorgeous visuals, as always

+ Nice ending

– Intros need to stop

– Exposition problems (but considerably less thus time)

Anime Students That Need To Follow Dress-Code

Follow the rules, damn it! You can’t just go to school wearing whatever the hell you want! There’s a dress-code in place, so why do you think you’re above it? Everyone around you complies with it, so why are you so stubborn? Why do you feel the need to express yourself through clothing when the rest of us just want to fit in? Do you feel the need to differentiate so that senpai will notice you? Well guess what? It’s going to take a lot more than that to be best girl.

So here’s a list of anime students that need to follow dress-code.

Persona 4 – Chie Satonaka:

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Seriously, do you shower with that jacket? It’s enough that you have this weird obsession with meat and kung fu, you don’t need to make a fashion statement to prove you’re different. Seriously, you can go one day without wearing green. It won’t kill you.

Persona 4 – Yukiko Amagi:

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Well if it isn’t little miss Yukiko, heir to the Amagi Inn. Look, I know you think you’re a bigshot because your family owns a hot springs, but that doesn’t make you above school dress-code. Wear your uniform, Red, or I may just have to throw you into a Television.

Persona 4 – Naoto Shirogane:

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Cool it, Magnum P.I., you can’t wear hats in school. Also, where did you get that gun? I’m not going to judge you for wearing a boy’s uniform, you be who you want to be, but there are no hats and certainly no guns allowed in school. Also, I don’t understand why people think you’re best girl when Rise Kujikawa exists. Different strokes, I guess.

Nisekoi – Seishiro Tsugumi

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Again, totally fine with your choice of male clothing. Stick it to those gender norms. However, could you at least wear the correct uniform? Also, no guns.

Nisekoi – Marika Tachibana

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Okay, even best girls can make mistakes. I’ll forgive you on this one, Marika, but you should really consider getting the actual uniform. I’m sure it’d look great on you. #TeamMarika

Myriad Colors Phantom World – Mai Kawakami

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Our latest offender seems to wear a yellow sweater vest over her uniform. Although that’s not too egregious, Reina Izumi is best girl, so you don’t have that privilege. Sorry.

And that’s it for now, folks! Who am I missing? I’m sure there’s a ton I’ve overlooked. Feel free to comment or tweet at me (@crispyn64) and perhaps I’ll update this list one day. Thank you, and see you next time.An

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 3

myriad ep 3 1Why most there be an introduction to every episode of this show? I’m starting to feel like it’s just there to use time. In these intros, they take the time to explain a concept that’ll be the general theme of the episode, and while they do so they also try to make it comedic. And to me, they’re failing on both fronts. I don’t really need to be told what to expect from the episode, let alone have the concept explained to me like I was in a classroom and the human encyclopedia was my teacher.

And if that dude is the teacher, then I guess that makes Ruru the class clown. But the thing is, and feel free to disagree with me because it’s just a matter of preference, I don’t find her funny. At all. She makes quips at the some other character’s expense, talks to the audience frequently and bluntly tries to get the show back on track when it goes off on a tangent. To be honest, I feel she’s just unnecessary.

The only practical application she has is to cut off exposition and get back to the point. But the thing is, the exposition is already unnecessary, and through that makes her unnecessary. I kinda wish they’d just cut her from the show completely, or at least made her a more likeable character.

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But despite Ruru, I actually find the rest of the show to be quite hilarious. Sure, a lot of it is slapstick, but it’s not let’s-abuse-someone-because-they’re-stupid slapstick. Well, not all of it. It’s more like let’s-abuse-the-human-encyclopedia-in-weird-sometimes-accidental-ways slapstick. Which I’m okay with, because he kinda has it coming, considering the amount of exposition he dumps on us every episode. It’s about time someone dumped on him. Or like, throw him through a window or something.

The fanservice is pretty comedic as well, as they find new ways to attack the same old tropes. It’s funny, even if it hasn’t actually aroused me once…yet.

Oh! We also saw some character development this time! It wasn’t much, but I’m glad we’re finally getting to know the characters, rather than the generic world and the details of the world that they keep shoving down our throats.

I find the chanting superfluous, Ruru annoying, and the exposition just as unneeded as Ruru. However, there’s still something to be enjoyed about this show, or so I keep telling myself. The characters are cute and extremely likeable (except Ruru), their mishaps haven’t failed to make me laugh yet, and the visuals are beautiful as always. I can enjoy this show, and therefore I will. I just wish it was better.

+ Still pretty

+ Some character development

+ Genuinely funny moments

– Ruru, the only character that doesn’t make me laugh

– Still exposition

– Not as much Izumi Reina

Woah…Didn’t See That Coming (Erased First Impressions)

erased 1.PNGHoly shit, this show. This show…holy shit. I’m impressed. Like, really fucking impressed. Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi) is just…superb. There’s really nothing like it (that I’m aware of) and I’m shocked that it’s got me so engrossed and excited for more.

I’m two episodes in, by the way. Also, SPOILER ALERT! Go watch the show first.

Even just visually, this show is fantastic. Sure, it’s no work of SHAFT (or as I call them, God) but it’s pretty damn good. Now, I’m no expert on the matter, but even I can see that the level of detail put into the show far exceeds anything I could’ve expected. Moving shots, playing with perspective and more. I don’t know, maybe I just find that really cool, and uncommon.

There’s really nothing like it. I said that, and what I meant by it was that the plot feels fresh, unique, original. Redundant, yes, but I felt it needed repeating. I’ve never seen time travel executed so smoothly, and feel so mysterious yet plausible. I’m not lost in a web of cause and effect, but instead caught in the moment, excited to see where Fujinuma takes me.

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And Fujinuma is a respectable protagonist. Not too interesting but not too uninteresting either, he’s a suitable character to follow as this plot unveils before him. Of course, the most intriguing character has to be Hinazuki. She’s one of those really smart kids that talks like an adult because she’s been beaten down by reality already, as well as possibly her abusive parents. Therefore, she has a nice cadence with Fujinuma, who is actually an adult, just trapped in the body of a child. More so, it’s really fucking cute how the other kids think he has a crush on her.

Also, the OP is dope. Dank. Amazeballs. Is that what you kids say these days? Whatever, the point is I’ve been listening to it over and over and over, and I dance to it every day, hum it at work, and play it whenever I have a break. Really good stuff.

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Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 2

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Okay, I’m kinda losing interest. Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop this show any time soon, otherwise I won’t have anything to review week after week. But whereas last week left me excited for what was next, this week gave me cause to be mildly concerned.

Mostly, it’s the exposition that’s troubling me. There’s just too much of it. Not a minute goes by where the main character isn’t explaining something to the others, as well as the audience. Or at least it feels that way to me. He is the definitive exposition device for this series, and because of it he lacks any personality traits that could help me actually remember his name.

Haruhiko Ichijo. I had to look that up, and although my memory isn’t what it used to be, it should still be able to remember the name of the main character after two episodes. And it’s not like the creators don’t know he’s boring. The other characters in the show often comment and cut him off from rambling about the details of the world, calling every piece of information he dishes out as “useless trivia”.

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And it really is useless. I could easily do without knowing the origins of their powers or why they have to chant something whenever they use their power. In fact, I’d be better off with that because the explanations feel like they’ve been added after the fact. As if they’re justifications for why things are how they are.

But it doesn’t need to justify itself. I was enjoying myself just fine when it was fighting and fanservice with self-aware comedy on the side. Substance can come later on down the road, but right now I want to learn more about these characters, not this world. But aside from what I want, the exposition is so bluntly executed that I could not care either way.

Since I went on for four paragraphs about what was wrong with this show, let’s look at the positives, shall we? The visuals were great, as usual. I actually keep a tally on when I’m not visually invested in the show, and thankfully this week’s episode racked up a solid 1. It’s always fun to watch Mai kick into action, and this episode was no different. I’m even okay with the body feel-up chant that she does. It hasn’t really aroused me at all, but I can only hope that it’s getting someone off in this wonderful world that we live in.

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And of course, Reina Izumi is fantastic. A strong contender for waifu of the season.

+ Self groping

+ Entertaining action

+ Izumi Reina

– EXPOSITION!!!

– Boring main character

– Focus on world, rather than characters

Why Knowing Nothing Can Mean Everything

When was the last time you bit into a nice, juicy piece of entertainment without any prior knowledge, preconceived notions or opinions of others floating around in your mind? Well, if you’re reading this, it probably was A LONG TIME AGO. It’s hard to find a show or a game or a book without finding a synopsis and rating system to go with it. Everyone can, and most likely will, share their opinions on any given subject. And although often times the thoughts of others can help in avoiding something not worth your time (or finding something that is), it ultimately destroys the thrill of discovery.

And it’s more than just reviewers, friends and acquaintances that inadvertently change our experiences. It can be watching a trailer or knowing the people that worked on it. Knowledge sets expectations, and expectations can set the parameters for our overall enjoyment. Liking something or not liking something suddenly becomes exceeding expectations, living up to expectations, or failing to live up to expectations. My point is, we need to stop having expectations.

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I loved Bioshock Infinite. Having never played any of the previous installments in the series, I had no expectations of what this game should be. At the time of me playing this, I never really followed any news coverage on this game, knew nothing of what it really was about, or what the studio (Irrational Games) was capable of creating.

Needless to say, it was one of the most incredible experiences I had ever had. The story, the characters, the breathe-taking scenery, all of it was amazing and exciting and fresh. This world was special, and my time with it will never be forgotten.

And so when I went on the internet, it came as somewhat of a surprise to find people that didn’t feel the same way. Now, I can respect that other people will have opinions that differ from my own, and that there is no real “right or wrong” when it comes to expressing our feelings on art. What I can’t respect is people spreading their poorly founded opinions based off the expectations that they themselves had formed.

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I’ve seen the same comment made, over and over again, and it disappoints me every time I see it. “This isn’t Bioshock.” Well, thing is, it wasn’t supposed to be Bioshock. And if that’s your number one issue with this game, well I’m sorry, but that’s your problem. Your arbitrary expectations don’t equate to the actual quality of any given form of entertainment. And sure, my opinions don’t necessarily equate to the quality of entertainment either, but the fact of the matter is, your preconceived ideas for what this game should’ve been left you with a lesser experience. You couldn’t feel the same enjoyment I felt, and for that, I feel sorry for you.

Jeez, I did not expect to go on a Bioshock Infinite rant there. Oh well. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is don’t let your expectations lead you astray, and try to avoid others opinions until you’ve had a chance to digest something yourself. So go on to Crunchyroll dot com, click the random button as many times as you need to find something you know nothing about, and watch it.

And with that, my Feature Week to ring in the New Year comes to end. Thank you all for reading anything I’ve ever written, it means a lot to me. I hope this year is kind to you, and I hope you enjoyed Bioshock Infinite as much as I did.

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 1

That’s right, another new segment thingy! Week after week I will be reviewing (kinda) each episode of Myriad Colors Phantom World. The show simulcasts every Wednesday, so I will try to get my review out as soon as possible. Today’s Friday though, so I kinda dropped the ball on that one. Perhaps we can call this Myriad Colors Thursdays, but I’ll post on Wednesday nights if I have the time. Sound good? Okay.

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Heheheh…I like this show. The characters are cute, the animation is top notch, the fanservice is…well, it’s fanservice. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, I actually find the fanservice in the show really comical and self-aware. The show obviously know the tropes it’s treading on, and instead of falling down that slippery slope, it brings something unique and funny to the table. I’m not really getting aroused by any of this, but it doesn’t fail to put a smile on my face.

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Speaking of smiling, the incredibly gorgeous scenery and animation left me grinning from ear to ear. Seriously, this is a fucking beautiful show, without a single moment lacking visual appeal (and not just because of boobs). But I’d expect nothing less from KyoAni.

Now onto the actual plot/story/whatever, I must say that this episode felt a little heavy on the exposition. Not enough to leave a bad taste, but still noticeable enough to take me out of the experience. The main character spouts most of the exposition, in attempts to give us more of a feel and understanding of the world they live in. But even after all that, I only have a basic understanding of what’s going, and I don’t quite get how they’re powers work. Oh well.

Also, Izumi Reina…kawaii as fuck. And voiced by Saori Hayami! Definitely waifu material.

Pros/Cons

+ Fanservice…I’ll allow it

+ Very pretty visuals

+ Izumi Reina

– A little too much exposition?

– “Magic”