Konohana Kitan

Konohana Kitan is a Japanese manga series, that has hit the screens this season. After ten episodes in, I am still unsure about what it is actually about. From what I can gather, a young fox girl called Yuzu gets sent to an inn by her guardian. This inn, is primarily run by fox people. The first few episodes cover her training and brings the personality of the other characters through, whilst the other episodes after that focuses on  the visitors. This is when the strange begins, with things happening in the inn that I am not entirely sure about myself. Sometimes I blink and stare at the screen blankly, trying to absorb the mystery of it.

When it comes the characters, even though they are fox people, they are primarily like young teenage girls. Satsuki is a serious minded workaholic who dreams about becoming a Miko (a shrine maiden). She works harder in order to make up for her feeling of incompetence, kind of like I do with my job. She has a soft spot for Yuzu but she tries not to show it. Natsume is the prince fox girl. She is an attractive tomboy who is playful but courageous at times and she stands up for her childhood friend Ren. Ren is a perfectionist and very feminine. She takes pride in her appearance and the appearance of others, and often gives the girls make overs. She performs her work well and sees Natsume as her boyfriend figure. Throughout the episodes, the anime hints at her having a crush on Natsume. Sakura is the small fox girl who doesn’t say anything and often has a blank expression. She is often seen doing strange and sometimes genius things. She has an obsession with Okiku, who is a cursed doll that is brought to the inn for purification. Lastly there is Kiri, who is the oldest and the head of the group. She is the most experienced and often tells the others what to do.

This anime is set in a fantasy world, full of magical creatures and gods. This leads to questioning who the visitors are and what they do. The visitors are often from Japanese folklore. This with the tradition inn, gives it a very oriental and relaxed feel. These, mixed with the realistic characters, makes the anime very likeable.

The negatives of this anime are the lack of structure and plot in every episode. This leads to staring at the screen trying to figure out what is going on, when you should be enjoying the anime.

Overall, I feel that the lack of plot hinders the anime to the point where I do not feel that it is even watchable.

 

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Love is Like a Cocktail

Love is Like a Cocktail (Osake Wa Fuufu Natte Kara) is a web manga series turned anime about a young professional woman, who turns into a adorable woman when she drinks. Due to this, she avoids drinking outside. Her husband, who is a bartender, makes different cocktails each episode and shows the audience the ingredients it takes to make them. `

The main character Chisato Mizusawa, is a young professional, with long blonde hair and glasses. When she doesn’t drink, she is quiet, reserved and career focused. When she does drink, she blushes and becomes a cute woman. Her husband, Sora Mizusawa, is a bartender and house husband, who looks after Chisato and loves to see her drink. He makes her a cocktail every episode, with the ingredients appearing on the screen and is presented by a lemon with a face. The only other character you come across in this anime is Yui Shiraishi, who is Chisatos rival.

The anime itself is only two minutes long. Each episode is a skit about a different type of cocktail presented by the husband. The positive thing about the anime is the fact that it shows a variety of cocktails and the ingredients you need to make them. The relationships between the characters seem strong and, they each have their own dominant personalities.

The play time is an issue for me, mainly because as soon as you get into it, it is over. When you factor in the beginning and the end credits, you only get about a minute or so of actual anime. Another thing is the lack of backstory on the husband. He appears to give her cocktails and looks after her, but you don’t actually know anything about him or if he is a bartender at all.

So overall, I feel the aesthetics of the anime are good enough to make me want to drink, even though I don’t. But, I it could improve with more details into the characters lives.

 

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BLEND-S

Maika Sakuranomiya has trouble finding a part time job, thanks to the scary look of her eyes. Yet, with a stroke of luck, she gets scouted for a cafe called Stile, where the waitresses take on personas such as yandere or younger sister. Maika is given the sadist persona and the anime is about her developing her sadist personality and the people she interacts with in the cafe.

The main characters of this anime consists of mainly odd balls. The first one is Kaho Hinata, a high school girl who has been allocated the tsundere personality. She is addicted to video games and the arcade, which often results in her running through her money pretty quickly. When customers talk about games, she has trouble keeping her personality and feels the need to join in. Mafuyu Hoshikawa is one of my favourite characters in this series. She is a college student with a petite figure, which resulted in her being given the little sister personality. She rarely shows emotion, but loves anime. Her favourite is ‘Magical Frill’. Miu Amano is a doujinshi artist who fulfils the older sister trait in the cafe. She is often seen wearing glass and loves to watch people. Dino is one of the most important characters as he is the owner of the cafe. He is an Italian chef, who loves anime and often stays up late to watch it. His nose bleeds whenever he gets excited and he soon develops feelings for Maikia, even though she is unaware of this fact. The last character, is Koyo Akizuki. He is also a chef at Stile and loves Yuri. He wants to be out front, so he can see female customers being friendly to each other.

This anime consists mainly of chibi people and light humour. Each episode is a skit and doesn’t follow any real plot line. This is one of things I like about it as, it is something light hearted to cheer me up after a long day at work. The personalities all fit the cafe they work at and all seem to be very well developed.

One of the things I do not like about this anime, is the fact that they make a point of Maika saving up to visit foreign countries in the beginning of the anime but then, it hardly ever comes up. This is something I feel that the anime could have developed and could have possibly made a plot line of. The anime focuses on the hobbies of the other characters more than Maikas, the main character, which is a real let down.

Overall, the anime is light hearted and funny. It is something that I would recommend if you are feeling particularly stressed and feel like forgetting about life.

 

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Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Recovery of an MMO Junkie is anime about a thirty year old professional woman, Moriko Morioka, who gives up her job to become a NEET. She joins an online game called Fruits de Mer, where she becomes friends with a character called Lily and later joins her guild. The anime is about their game exploits and the development of their relationship.

One of the main characters in her real life is called Yuta Sakurai. He is a socially awkward professional worker, who plays Lily. Both Yuta and Moriko cross paths on various occasions. The next character is Kazuomi Fujimoto, a college student who works part time in Morikos convenience store. He knows she plays the game. The last character who has been introduced so far is Homare Koiwai. Yutas co worker and Morikos former co worker. He is only seen a few times in the anime so not really worth mentioning.

The main characters in her game life is Lily, Pokotaro, Himeralda, Lilac and Kanbe, the guild leader. They are mainly seen talking throughout the anime. I would write more but not a lot of information is given about the characters.

When I first watched the anime, I was a bit put off by the art, as it is not usually my style. Yet, the story has kept me entertained. It is good and as an MMO gamer, it kept me interested. What is also interesting, is the relationship between the characters in real life. With the people you meet, you start questioning who is a game character and who isn’t.

When I sit her and try to think of the negatives of the anime, the only thing I can think of the fact that not a lot happens. When I first started watching, I was expecting something full of action like Sword Art Online, but instead I found a mellow anime that relies on its relationships to keep the viewers watching.

So overall, if you like mellow, this is an anime I would recommend.

 

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HiDive, The New Anime Streaming Site

When looking into how to watch season 2 of Umaru chan, I discovered HiDive. On this website, you pay $4 for unlimited streaming. There are updated anime episodes, anime dubs, series and movies. There is a large selection right at your fingertips.

This site, has many interesting qualities. The streaming site is 100% legal, so it will work on any computer. It also has pinned searches, in-episode chat along with being able to choose between  English and Japanese audio. One of my favourite features on this streaming site is black out. This means that you can make the background dark, so that you can concentrate on the series or movie you are watching.

Yet, with many great things, there are still some negatives. One of the negatives that really bugs me, is that it doesn’t work on the iPad or my Playstation 4. When trying to load it, the video doesn’t appear and just keeps the writing. This means, that I am unable to watch and write at the same time. Another of the negatives, is that the website doesn’t remember me. Every time I visit the website, I have to log in.

The community, when comparing to Crunchyroll, is pretty bad. The groups don’t have a large variety, with nothing of interest. The profile page is bland, compared to the Crunchyroll one, where you can update statuses and blog.

Overall, this website is handy for watching Himouto Umaru Chan Season 2 and Shobitch, but for everything else I would stick to Crunchyroll.

 

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In Another World With My Smartphone

If you ever woke up and found out that you were accidentally killed what would you do? What would you do if you were then told you would be resurrected in another world, where you would have magic and can make one request? Well apparently Touya kept his cool and chose to ask for his smart phone. This anime is about him navigating this fantasy style world with his smart phone, whilst gaining a harem along the way.

When Touya first joins this new world, he comes across a pair of sisters in the street. They are Linze and Elze Silhoueska. Linze is a magic user who can only use light, water and fire. Elze is the oldest sister, who uses a gauntlet and a neutral spell which allows her to cast ‘boost’,which enhances her physical attributes. They end up as travelling buddies and they help Touya discover that he can use all magical attributes,which is part of an apology from god. Later, they are joined by a Samurai called Yae Kokonoe, who is travelling trying to become stronger, and a girl with mystical eyes called Yumina Urnea Belfast. Yumina can see a persons true nature and, seeing that Touya is a good person, she decides to become his fiance. She is the first one to admit her feelings for him.

These characters form the first main group to join Touya and eventually fall in love with him. Later, more women join him, including a 400 year old Fairy. When watching the anime, it only becomes apparent in the last few episodes that it has become a harem anime. They all fall for Touya and decide to become his brides. I found this annoying, as it appears that females cannot travel with males without falling in love. Another thing that bothered me about this anime, is the fact that Touya is so overpowered. He never comes to the verge of loosing in any battle and he wins in silly ways which makes the most powerful entities think he is strong. An example of this is when he uses ‘slip’, to make a monster they are having trouble with slip over and over.

Even though I have been piling on the negatives, I did like the background music to the fights. They chose a folk violin sound, which makes me feel like I am in a real time fantasy world. The voice actors also suit the characters, which helps with the immersion. Sadly, I find this the only redeeming factor.

Overall, I would not make the effort to watch this, unless you are a fan of Rosario Vampire.

 

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A Restaurant to Another World

A Restaurant to Another World, is a light novel turned anime, that has just finished its twelfth episode on Crunchyroll. The anime focuses on a western style restaurant, that opens up to a fantasy world on the day of Satur. There is no explanation in the anime about this particular day, but one can only assume it is our equivalent of a Saturday. The rest of the time, the restaurant is open on our side to the normal people of Japan.

There are many characters that appear throughout the anime,  but the ones I like the most are Alleta and Kuro. Aletta is a down on her luck demon, who stumbles on the door one day. That day she is offered a job in the restaurant, but just for that one day of the week. Kuro is a dragon of death, who lives on the moon so she doesn’t hurt anyone, as creatures are sensitive to her death magic. She is forced upon the master by her other dragon friend Red, who she comes across in the restaurant. She suppresses her magic by turning into an elf, which means she is able to be with the other diners. She talks telepathically to the diners, Master and Aletta.

Regarding the story line, there doesn’t appear to be an ongoing theme. Each episode shows each character as they stumble upon one of their doors and, the reaction they have to their food. The characters order the same thing every time they go, so the food name is their nickname to the other diners. As someone who is interested in cooking, this peaks my interest the most, as you see snippets of master making the food. However, their reactions can seem a little over dramatic and hit in the food porn category. These reactions remind me of Shokugeki no Soma, but without the stripping scenes.

The voice acting is right on par with the character. Each voice actor suits the character and their personalities. The voice actor choices for these roles were Junichi Suwabe (master), Sumire Uesaka (Aletta) and Saori Onishi (Kuro). The character designs on the other hand, are pretty basic. The master is in normal chef whites and the girls are in french maid outfits. The elves are in green and the lizard men only have loin cloths. This part makes me think that the anime was relying on the food to carry them throughout the series, when there is more that could have been done.

Overall, the anime is a good watch. You learn new recipes and get get immersed in different characters individual stories each week.  I will worn you now though, it can make you pretty hungry!

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New Game! Season 2

For those of you that haven’t seen New Game! season 1, this is an anime about a young girl who joins a gaming company right out of high school. Her name is Aoba Suzukaze and she dreams about becoming a great character designer, like her leader and creator of her favourite game, Ko Yagami. The last season ended with the next installment of Aobas favourite game series, Fairies 3.

For those of you who do not know the characters, there are a great amount of interesting ones to keep you watching. Ko Yagami, her leader, has a habit of sleeping under the desk with no trousers on. Rin Toyama, the art director, is Kos best friend and has a habit of getting jealous whenever she gets close to someone else. Yun Lijima, another character designer, wears Gothic clothing and loves to take tea breaks. Umiko Ahagon is a military obsessed programmer who has a love for airsoft weapons. Hajime Shinoda is a motion designer who works in the character design department. She spends most of her money on prop weapons. Lastly, There is Hifumi Takimoto. She is a shy talking character designer who prefers to speak via email. She has a pet hedgehog named Sojiro and secretly enjoys cosplay.

Three new people join Eagle Jump this season. One of which is Aobas closest friend, Nene Sakura. The other two are interns from the local gaming school, Tsubame Narumi and Momoji Mochizuki. They both have been friends since childhood and live together. Tsubame is an outgoing girl who joins the programming team, whilst Momoji is a quiet girl who joins the character team and is a direct rival of Aoba, much to Aobas dismay.

One of the positives about this anime, is the fact you don’t feel the fact there was a production gap. The first episode takes off like it started from the episode before. It allows people who haven’t watched the first season to start it up very easily. One of the other positives is the female empowerment angle. Every employee in Eagle Jump appears to be female and, you watch them come together to create something great.

Even though there are a couple of positives, there are also a some negatives. Even though the anime is bright and colourful, it starts to feel unbelievable. You don’t see the pressures of working full time in the gaming industry, you don’t see the emotional progression of any of the characters. It just feels all bright sunny rainbows. Even though there is a twist in the first few episodes, which adds some pressure, you don’t see a true believable reaction.

When it comes to writing the conclusion for this, I am torn on which way to decide. A part of me wants to write about how amazing this anime is and how much you should watch it, whilst the other part of me thinks that the lack of believable nature and character development makes it fall short. All in all, if you haven’t watched the first season, I probably wouldn’t watch the second.

 

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And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?

As an online gamer, who happens to be of the female variety, this title stood out to me. This is not a new release, having the whole twelve episodes, but after binging it, I thought it would be something to write about.

Hideki is a teenage boy who plays a free to play online game called Legendary Age. One day, he falls in love with a girl in the game and proposes to her. After finding out she is actually a man, he swears off online marriages. Yet, he ends up being married to a girl called Ako, due to her persistence. They are part of a guild of four members called the Alley cats. One day, their guild leader Apricot decides to arrange a meetup. Its then, that Hideki learns that they are actually school mates, one of them being his student body president. He also meets Ako, who thinks that she is in the game in real life. She thinks that Hideki is actually her husband and calls her guild mates by their online names. The anime follows them, as they play and try to get Ako to face reality.

One of the things I liked about this anime, is the fact that it puts you in the game. They look like they do in real life whenever they play, with the games clothing. It allows you to immerse yourself in the game along with them. One of the other things I liked, is the creepy moments Ako has. Whenever they mention people they call normies (people who are not otakus), her eyes go dark and she starts to giggle in a creepy way. As I am also a fan of of yandere personalities, I started to warm to her.

The downfalls of the anime is that even though Ako is supposed to think she is in the game, she doesn’t really act like it. The only thing she does is think that Hideki is her husband. When the anime started, I was prepared for more eccentric things than that. Another downfall is the actual game League of Age. When you see them look at the screen, the characters are flat chibi cartoons. It becomes unbelievable, that people would spend all day playing a game like that.

Overall, if you want to see people play online games, it is for you. If you were hoping for eccentric yanderes, you might want to try Future Diary instead.

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