Review: Luke Cage E.03 - "Who's Gonna Take the Weight"

If the first two episodes of Luke Cage were like watching superhero Shakespeare, then "Who’s Gonna Take the Weight” is all about becoming an emotional catharsis to answer our pent-up frustration with tragedy. When people talk about Shakespeare or when they call something Shakespearean, they’re usually talking about dudes in puffy shirts, star-crossed characters, and big speeches. You won't catch me doing that, though. I'd offer up , rather, that at the core of every Shakespeare play are characters who are driven by complex needs and forced to navigate their complex social and political hierarchies. They’re a realm of emotional politicking and that description is what the first two episodes of Luke Cage felt like.

Harlem is a living and breathing place here. There are lines drawn in the sand and desperate people willing to poke and prod them to find what they want. Some characters want money, some want power and others justice. Luke Cage just wants to be left the hell alone.luke-cage-poster

So far we've seen people get what they want and get what they wanted, launching their intersecting paths into an unavoidable climax that ended the second episode.

There’s a reason so many of Shakespeare’s plays end in tragedy. Why so many are filled with thankless if inevitable deaths and chaotically uprooted social structures. It’s that they’re made-up of people and people are selfish and destructive even when they want to do the right thing.

Luke Cage, however, came with a promise of not being a tragedy. A bullet-proof black man entering the cultural consciousness at a time when we are surrounded by the real faces of wrongfully slain black men and women by the police promised to protect them.

Luke Cage cannot be a tragedy.

From the very first episode, people on the sidelines have been telling Luke to use his powers and change things. The cops are too ineffectual to do anything. The politicians are in bed with the criminals. Luke uniquely stands with abilities and incorruptibility to do something and this episode is when it finally starts to happen.

When Luke fights back, it feels good. The choreography is sloppy and the action undeniably campy but it almost has to be.  We need to understand the invincibility of Luke; we have to bear witness to what happens to the people who point a gun at a bulletproof man.

The show’s style is hugely carried by its soundtrack and that’s no better delivered than here. When the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Bring da Ruckus” starts thumping and Cage storms a fortress nestled in the heart of Harlem, it feels good. Doesn’t matter if a bunch of dudes clumsily swing machetes, the scene moves in tune with the music you believe everything.

This moment of righteous justice from Luke makes it a strange choice for this episode to be where the morals of vigilantism get questioned. Misty Knight debates with her partner what role super-powered vigilantes play in a world with the Avengers. Where should these powered individuals stand while the police try to do their jobs?

This is a question the Netflix shows have summarily avoided and desperately needs to be addressed in superhero film and tv. Real world vigilantism never ends well for anyone. These people are ill-equipped and unaccountable making them a danger not just to themselves but everyone around them. Without protocol, they invite mistakes and recklessness—a type of danger that this season later tries addressing but ultimately proves ill-equipped to handle.

TV shows like the Wire tried and succeeded in showing what happens when someone wages a one-man war against gangs and drug dealers. They’re heroes but there’s a tragic inevitability to their struggle as men can never be legends.

Luke Cage, however, can be. He’s super strong, super tough and a licensed brand.

Here even the show’s narrative betrays Misty’s reasoning. We saw with our own eyes what happens when no one pushes back against the bad. We saw Pop die. We saw a community torn to shreds while the cops kept their hands behind their backs and twiddled their thumbs.

For those who read ahead, we already know that inevitably Misty will not even believe her own words which is unfortunate because this is a solid question to ask.

Coming from this show, though, it’s unsurprising. Not just because the role's role as wish-fulfillment about a bulletproof black man in a social climate where they’re shot nearly daily on the street but because of the show’s troubling love of excess.

Episode three ends on a note that sours—something resembling a Wile E. Coyote cartoon more than a proper political and race driven narrative so many people wanted this to be. That’s because when this show gets drunk on its own internal bombast, it gets sloppy. So in love are they for the moments when Luke wraps a car door around a confused thug, they never stop to ask if they should pump the brakes.

While that becomes a greater problem for the series as a whole, at this point in the season it’s okay.

Just lean back and enjoy seeing a bulletproof man clean the streets and bring da ruckus.

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Luke Cage E.03 - "Who's Gonna Take the Weight" Director: Guillermo Navarro [/su_box]


Review: Yuri!! On Ice E.01

Yes! Finally, the long awaited release of another novel and unconventional anime. Honestly, I am not surprised to see another niche and female stereotyped sport-themed anime show after the success of the equally unique show, Cheer Danshi!! It is great to see a steady rise in these non-conforming and thought provoking type series. yuri-on-iceThe anime focuses on the protagonist Yuuri Katsuki, a Japanese Ice figure skater who experiences utter defeat at the Gran Prix Finale Ice Skating Competition. He journeys home to Kyushu with feelings of uncertainty as to where his future career lies. He partially wants to continue skating and partially wants to resign, which causes him to hole up in his room for some time. Seeing his role model - Victor Nikiforov - on ice perform on tv, gives him the boost, however, to face the ice rink again and perform in front of his old friend.

Toward the end of the episode, the poodle named Vicchan alerts Yuuri of the arrival of 5-time consecutive world champion, Victor Nikiforov, who asserts that he will be Yuuri's coach and that he will make Yuuri win the next Gran Prix Finale.

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Yuri!! On Ice E.01


Review: Nyanbo E.02

In today’s episode, the nyanbo focus on fixing the UFO. In order to do so they attempt to implant different objects into it, but due to several failed attempts decide to go outside and search for the potential right pieces that could fit into the centre of the UFO. While searching outside, they meet the nyanbo idol group, known as ‘Nyanbo Angel’s’, made up of Sabara and Kijitora who expect their undivided attention but are disappointed to fid out that the other nyanbo’s are too busy to pay them any mind. Tora diffuses the rising tension between Sabatora and Shiro by asking Sabatora and Kijitora to help them in their endeavours. nyanboIn the meantime, Kotora-chan finds numerous objects that she tries to fit into the UFO. However, with each trial, the UFO rejects the items one after another and sends them flying, coincidently, back to Mike.  Sabatora suggests trying one of her marbles that proves to be a successful move. By the end of the episode, the group, with the exception of Tora, become more fascinated with collecting marbles than collecting the missing pieces of the UFO.

Poor Tora has his work cut out for him!

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Nyanbo E02


Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

I’ve never called out someone else’s review in one of my reviews before. It’s tacky and pointless, but when you’re the only quote on the movie box, and you’ve dubbed this movie, “One of the coolest superhero movies of the decade”; I have to wonder what fucking movie you watched. To quickly sum up what you can expect from this film: everything Bryan Singer has ever done in an X-Men movie. The buildup is the same, the pacing the same. The really bad attempts at comedy… sadly still there.

Here’s how it goes: He builds up the threat of the villain. He also uses this moment to explain why Apocalypse hasn’t been around. He’s been buried, and no sunlight has hit him. After the villain moment, we check in with our main characters that have all been scattered. Magneto has a family, Mystique is saving mutants, Charles is running a big ass school. Apocalypse is woken up by Moria who returns in this film; she lets the sun in and this finishes whatever stupid excuse of a transfer Apocalypse was doing.

xmenapocalypse_bd_ocard_spine_rgbLet’s pause and talk about his powers. He can transfer his mind to other bodies. In that body, he then takes that power and all powers transfer with him. Some real bullshit. Of the powers he has, healing factor, some shit with sand and either turning off or turning up a mutant’s powers. Though don’t focus on the “turning off” part because that only happens once and then he forgets he can do it. Wait, wait… at the end he makes fire. If it’s convenient to the story, he can do it.

We do another round of “who’s that character” as we meet the new/young versions of the old X-Men characters. Apparently, Cyclops is a risk taking dickhead now.

Magneto’s family gets killed because he saves a human’s life, this makes him go a bit crazy, and the world starts looking for him again. Interestingly enough, the even from Days of Future Past is brought up, but not show. I say that because Singer uses clips from First Class more than a couple of times towards the end.

Apocalypse lives, he finds Storm. She gets to talk for one of her two scenes. They somehow find Caliban who is nothing like the comic character. He’s also in a completely different country, but Storm knows about him somehow. They pick up Psylocke, who gets one of her two speaking appearances as well and head off to find Angel. Etc, etc., they get Magneto.

Stuff happens. Xavier is kidnapped. The main characters are all kidnapped, and we watch a long helicopter scene showing them going into Canada to connect the old X-Men movies and the Wolverine movies. Blah, blah, X-Men save Xavier and we tease the Phoenix yet again.

It should be pointed out that Magneto more than likely kills hundreds of thousands, if not more, of innocent people around the globe simultaneously. No one bats an eye and Xavier welcomes him with open arms. There’s even a news blurb saying he helped defeat the bad guy… even though the bad guy was just trying to get mind powers while Magneto destroyed the planet. The thing that annoys me is that since First Class everyone has had a hard-on for Fassbender and so now we have to try and redeem Magneto rather than just have him be a fucking villain. It’s sadly the same in the comics. Yes, he’s a cool character, but that doesn’t mean he gets to be protected when he does evil shit.

Aside from the fact that there’s no consequences to the film's actions, my biggest problem was all the terribly fitting dialogue that tied into removed scenes. “I want to go to the Mall.” And then we see them coming out of a movie theater having watched Return of the Jedi and making a meta-joke about how the third one always sucks. Way to make sure that happened Singer.

Slow clap for Bryan Singer.

There’s a ton of examples throughout the movie, but I’m just going to tell you one and co-credit this part to Patrick Larose as well since he was thinking the same thing. At the end, Storm walks up to Quicksilver and says, “So he’s your dad? You gonna tell him?” and when there’s a pause of “how did you fucking know that?” she adds, “Mystique told me.”


No, seriously what?


Why would anyone share such deep and personal information to someone they were fighting two fucking minutes ago!?! They shared a plane ride together, and now Storm is just like, “Hey fast dude, is that your dad? What do you think about all the people he killed? My friends included, even though we never saw them again, but they were ground zero when he made a big fucking pyramid.”

There’s no heart to this film. Xavier gives Moria her memories back, and she doesn’t slap him. If someone takes your fucking memories, you fucking slap them when you get them back because that is some evil fucked up shit.

That brings me to why Singer references First Class so much in this film. He piggybacks on a lot of the groundwork done in that film, and it’s all the emotion moments because he doesn’t know how to make those as a writer or director. There’s no heartfelt moments here. You don’t pity or feel for any of the characters. Even when the other mutants are calling Jean Grey a freak, you don’t care because he squashes it with dialogue from Cyclops about him feeling sorry for himself. Even Quicksilver debating about telling Magneto he’s his father is completely drained of emotion because Singer can’t bring out an emotion performance for Evans.

This film is in love with its destruction. It’s in love with the improved computer graphics. It’s in love with the big name stars attached to it. The problem is, it’s forgotten how to tell a compelling story and with all the other superhero movies out there, it’s not exactly breaking in new stars either. It’s unfortunately just a formula film from a director that was never that great at the formula and has taken sixteen years too perfect. Meanwhile, we’ve all moved on. No one wants to see your slightly better than X-Men movie, because, like that film, the graphics weren’t the problem.

Before I close out, I want to mention the special features which included a PSA about smoking. That is exactly as it sounds, not something related to the X-Men in the least bit. The gag reel wasn't funny. It was people having fun at work, but not funny. It's 8 minutes long and you can probably watch it on YouTube so just do that. As for the rest of the "X-tras" (get it?), they are worthless as all other home release extras so don't bother.

I only watched this because it was given to me for review. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have watched it. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had turned it down because it didn’t even look like the X-Men up on the screen to me. It was just big name actors and bad cosplay with a lot of computer graphics laid out to look like a movie. It’s not, though. It’s just a series of events happening. It’s a franchise that’s more interested in teasing elements of one of Marvel’s deepest wells; then it is actually telling the stories that make that well worth going to. Hopefully, this shit will get another reboot, but if Singer is attached in any way, shape or form, I won’t even bother.

Not only is this not one of the coolest superhero movies of the decade, but it's also hands down the worst superhero movie I’ve seen since X-Men Days of Future Past.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Director (if you can call it directing): Bryan Singer Writers: Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris Studio: Fox Run Time: 144 min


Review: Luke Cage E.02 - "Code of the Streets"

Like its predecessor, episode two of Luke Cage moves at a slower pace. The simmering tensions between characters come to a head by the end of it. In a lot of ways, this episode coupled with episode one serve as the origin of Luke Cage as a hero. And while dramatic, the big bang at the end of this episode isn't the most surprising thing about the series' second showing. No, the most surprising thing turns out to be a little piece of character insight in the form of what I call the, "Pull the trigger" speech. To find out what that is and what I think of the show after the first two episodes check out my review below. luke-cage-posterI'm going to start by mentioning a few actresses who got the snub in my last review, Simone Missick, and Alfre Woodard. Much like Luke Cage, I was unfamiliar with the characters as they were/are portrayed in the comics, I only know them as they are portrayed in these past two episodes. While both give excellent performances, Missick's performance, in my opinion, saves Detective Misty Stone's character. Considering that most of her lines and screen time in these past two episodes have been dedicated to flirting with Luke, delivering gritty detective banter, and showing up the neighborhood basketball players, she could have easily been the cheesiest character in the show. But Missick brings enough confidence and humor to the role to make the character believable. As for Woodard, she plays her character well (she plays Mariah Dillard, the cousin of Cottonmouth and councilwoman for the district). But her performance is hindered by her character's lack of an objective. With regard to her character's motivations, I'm not sure where to place her yet. She is definitely on the antagonist side of the spectrum, but after watching this episode, she seems as if she is trying to convince her cousin to get out of the game. I'm not sure if this concern for her family is genuine or self-preserving, but either way, this episode does a lot to round out her character.

As for the pacing, this episode is all about the big finish. I don't want to say too much because I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. I will say that the major plot point in this episode probably won't come as a shock to most of you, it didn't for me. Not to say that it was a bad choice, it was just predictable. But the real revelation, as I mentioned earlier, actually comes in the form of a speech given by Cage to a would-be assailant. The moment starts off a little rocky as if we're about to see a new patriotic side of Luke. But then it turns around and becomes the moment when shit gets real! And I really mean what I say when I use the word "real." In most shows or movies, we'll often see a character get angry, for some characters that's almost their entire identity, but what we don't see is the pain. The pain that lies at the root of the anger. I think this is one of the things that makes this interpretation of Luke Cage great. From the first moment he stepped onto the screen, we've known Luke has been in pain. In Jessica Jones we learn about the loss of his wife, in these first two episodes, we learn that he was wrongfully imprisoned. And while we as the audience have been witness to this via his body language and general temperament, we haven't, until this point, seen that pain take center stage. For a show to bring in that anger, that despair, and that weariness all in one speech is a bold and impressive choice.

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Luke Cage E.02 - "Code of the Streets" Director: Paul McGuigan


Review: Comical Psychosomatic Medicine

A couple of episodes back, I (super briefly) talked about Comical Psychosomatic Medicine on the podcast. Seeing as how I haven’t written a review in a while and am being threatened by papa bastard, I figured why not just write a quick and simple little review for you guys to read and enjoy. Ok, so you probably won’t enjoy it but at least my job will be done. cpmcvrLet’s get something out of the way here: CPM consists of 20 episodes, each with a runtime of about 5 minutes (including opening and closing). There is no plot, no story, no character development, NADA.  What we have are two main characters, a doctor and a nurse, and their sole purpose is to educate us about psychological/mental disorders.  Any disorder you can think of, they cover: erectile dysfunction, Lolita complex, sleeping disorders, depression, etc, etc.

Of course, what good is an educational anime without jokes, right? I’m talking about tons and tons of dirty, perverted jokes. Every episode is chock full of them, yet they still manage to get the educational bits out without it being weighed down.  There’s also tons of puns and pop culture references which is nice. Too many dirty jokes and it just becomes dull and pointless to watch.

I wish I could elaborate on the art, but there really isn’t much to be said. Although this ONA came out in 2015, it looks dated.  Characters designs are reminiscent of those from the early 2000s.  It was almost like watching something from ’04 but in 1080p and with colors that pop. Again, it’s not necessarily bad, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re really tempted to check this out.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  If you’re in the mood for something educational and always comical, definitely give this a go.

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Comical Psychosomatic Medicine


Review: Bloodivores E.01

If you have any interest in this series, don’t bother watching this first episode. It’s the type of first episode which is more of a self-contained story and is being used to poorly set up the next episode which will be what the show really is about. There are only three details that you need from this episode, and I’m willing to bet money that at least two, if not all three will be mentioned in the second episode. The first detail is that “Bloodivores” are people with a genetic mutation due to the side effect of a drug that cured some unnamed disease. If they don’t get blood, like a vampire, they go crazy and will attack people, like a vampire. Our main character is framed for murder along with his three friends and sentenced to death which is faked. Even if you buy it for a minute the preview next time, along with basic logic, tells you that they’ll be alive and fighting monsters or some shit.

bloodivoresThe final piece of info is that our main character is a “cross-bred” and was once called the “Child of Peace.” His father runs the agency that more than likely framed him and sent him to kill monsters and the dude’s mom is possibly still alive and out there somewhere… doing something. It’s left vague because I’m sure that when this was created it didn’t have everything outlined and so that was left vague in case it fit the story later.

There’s nothing charming about this episode. The main character comes across as being “too cool” and not the wrestlers. Then he has his coolness turned back on him, and it deflates anything that was developing with his character. The other three characters are useless and do nothing to the story other than act as plot devices.

I completely understand what this first episode was trying to do. It was trying to establish the world and explain the “rules” of the world. It then also worked to establish a backstory with mystery for our “chosen one” main character. The part that didn’t work and ultimately hurt the episode the most was the fake death at the end. How could anyone possibly believe that a show is going to spend the entire time setting up these characters only to kill them and start over again with the next episode? This isn’t my first rodeo, and so it was a very obvious stunt, and I didn’t even need to see the “next time” clip to know how it would turn out.

What was even stranger about the “next time” clip was the fact that all the men were still in prison clothes, but the women were in normal semi-revealing clothes. I guess that’s what will bring some people back, but fighting monsters and trying to survive while having to drink blood isn’t the most original or interesting idea. If perhaps this had been a stronger story, written tighter and with art and designs that didn’t feel recycled, then maybe I would check it out again. As it stands, I won’t be bothering with more of Bloodivores, which has one positive, I don’t have to type the silly name ever again.

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Bloodivores E.01 – “Bloodivores Official Website


Review: Nyanbo E.01

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the promotional picture for this anime was a cardboard Amazon box or more specifically the Amazon robot known as Danbo. The next thing to spring to mind was how cute the opening song was. Although the style of animation is different to that of Bananya, I thought the premise was very similar. Both series have a cat theme, all the characters originate from somewhere in space, and people are unable to see or detect them. This episode introduces all of the Nyanbo's unlike the first episode of Bananya, where the first episode introduces Bananya only. The five Nyanbo's include Tora, the focused leader of the band of friends and the older brother of Kotaro-chan; Shiro; the lovestruck Nyanbo infatuated with Tora; Kuro the quiet and easy going Nyanbo and the Mike the casual and lighthearted Nyanbo. nyanboIn this episode, we learn of the Nyanbo's mission: to recover the pieces of their UFO and return to space. However, we soon discover that while Tora's determination to repair their UFO is apparent, his friend's determination is meagre in comparison. This is particularly evident when Mike talks about frolicking around, relaxing, and living his life as a regular cat. Kotaro-chan's disappearance interrupts their discussion, and the four remaining Nyanbo's go looking for her. Tora finds Kotora-chan quietly observing a cat until it jumps out of the bushes and proceeds to run away. Kotaro-chan chases after the kitten while Tora and the gang chase after Kotaro-chan.

The narrator states at the end of the episode that although the Nyanbo's resemble cats they do not know how to deal with them.

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Nyanbo E.01


Review: Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen - Kibou-hen E.01

A wonderfully hopeful and inspirational ending to an anime series filled with despair. Despite the fact that while watching this series I was often left speechless, shocked, and saddened, this episode, by far, left the biggest impression on me. To me, the last episode was bittersweet. Admittedly, I partially felt sad to see the end of the Danganronpa series. However, most of all I felt uplifted to see that despite all the awful things that occurred both in Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen - Mirai-hen and especially in Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen - Zetsubou-hen (I had my eyes closed during the more violent and disturbing scenes) hope still managed to prevail. Good still triumphed over evil. I believe that currently, very few anime shows exist with a profound message in mind, so it was refreshing to find out the message the producers Geneon Universal Entertainment were trying to convey through this finale. Personally, I think the message was clear: that is not to give up or rather not to lose hope. Even when disaster, trouble, or tragedy strikes keep believing in a brighter tomorrow (I know that was cheesy, but it's true). TD Jakes once said that faith is a perspective, you can choose to remain hopeful in the midst of trouble, or you can resign to the notion that things will never improve.

Makoto Naegi never lost hope; he never gave up even when the odds were stacked against him. He never stopped believing even after the - albeit temporary- death of Kirigiri. He could have given into despair like so many of his companions did, but he remained resolute and as a result inspired others like Munakata and Juzo Sakakura to also pick up the true mantle of hope.

In this final concluding episode of the entire Danganronpa series, the remnants of despair - Makota Naegi's upperclassmen- join the fray to stop their fellow classmate - Ryota Mitarai - from running away from the pursuit of true hope by broadcasting a video that brainwashes people into having hope. What I loved about their appearance in this episode was that although they stood for misery once, they now embodied hope. The last scene at the end of the episode, showing Makoto Naegi sitting alone in the classroom of the rebuilt Hope peak's Academy, and shortly joined by Kirigiri, had me almost in tears.

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Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen - Kibou-hen E.01


Review: Luke Cage E.01 - "Moment of Truth"

Last Friday I sat down with my girlfriend to watch Luke Cage, Netflix’s most recent series in the quadfecta that is The Defenders. Now, I wasn’t the biggest Luke Cage fan going into this series. Don’t get me wrong; I was excited, but that excitement came from watching the others series Netflix has put out. I liked Daredevil, and Jessica Jones was even better, so my enthusiasm was coming from a place of wanting to see another great TV show rather than excitement about seeing a character I loved on TV. Now I wasn’t completely ignorant; I had read a few Heroes for Hire, and I was impressed when he showed up in a crossover or two. He was more like a historical figure for me, the Jack Johnson of comics. Historical and important, but not really fleshed out. Now after watching the first two episodes of the series, I can say that this character has become real for me, more so that Jessica Jones or Matt Murdock. luke-cage-posterWe have to start with the acting. Mike Coulter is perfect for this role. He was great in Jessica Jones, but in this episode, he really shines. From the opening scene, you get a sense of who Luke Cage is and what he believes. Coulter puts on a great performance, switching between sensitive to tough guy on a dime. I also liked that he’s a bit tougher than he was in Jessica Jones, everyone once in a while in this episode you get the “Man, good thing this guy is on our side” kind of feeling.

The second actor I want to highlight is Mahershala Ali. He plays Cottonmouth and just like Coulter’s Cage, we get to see who he is and what he’s about from his very first appearance. He’s got the perfect kind of charisma, great villains have, an unapologetic hustler who is all about the business when it gets right down to it. What I also liked about Ali’s performance is that while in the first scene we get to see who Cottonmouth believes himself to be, in the subsequent scenes we get to see him in his less polished form. We see him badgered by his cousin, belittled by an associate from another gang and downright out of control. Ali displays an excellent amount of range for a villain who can oftentimes be narrowed to the too cool gangster.

As for the style of the series, it stays within the vein of the shows that have come before it but provides its own perspective that differentiates itself from the predecessors. The most obvious example of his is the music, which has taken a queue from Jessica Jones and doubled down. The soundtrack is a fusion of gritty jazz and hip hop and works wonders. This episode is on the slower side, which is what I expected considering the pace of the other Netflix’s Marvel shows. We get to see a lot of introduction to characters and a lot of set up for relationships that are going to be primary points of conflict and alliance later on. My only complaint is that sometimes the writing can get to be a little too much. It’s the same way I felt about Jessica Jones writing; it’s trying to be so smooth that it slips and ends up being comical. But it’s a small flaw that doesn’t pop up too much in this first episode.

As first episodes go, it’s a slower burn, but by the time it ends you can already see each piece is going to end up on the board. We’re still in the opening moves, but the tension is palpable.

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Luke Cage E.01 - "Moment of Truth" Director: Paul McGuigan

[/su_box] Announces Fall 2016 Streaming Lineup

Japan’s premier streaming service has announced its lineup for the fall 2016 anime season! This season’s slate is filled with some of the newest and most-anticipated shows.

Long Riders! (Exclusive)


Summary: A female college student named Ami falls in love with bicycles after a fateful encounter with one. After buying one of her own and naming it "Ponta-kun," she realizes just how good it feels to ride a bike. However, she soon learns that cycling is not as easy of a sport as she initially thought...

Streaming Start Date: October 8, 2016 11:30 p.m. JST for United States of America,   Canada and Europe excluding France and Belgium, October 15, 2016 11:30 p.m. JST for France and Belgium

DAISUKI Exclusive and available One- week early for DAISUKI premium member in United States of America and Canada

Regions: United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City, Yugoslavia, Scandinavian Peninsula (Denmark, Finland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland)

Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian




Summary: Wanting to find something she can be passionate about, high school girl Tamaki finds herself joining her school’s dojin (self-published) game club. There, she spends her days with fellow female club members having fun and making chaos.

Streaming Start Date: October 10, 2016 11:30 p.m. JST for the territories excluding France and Belgium

October 17, October 11:30 p.m. JST for France and Belgium

DAISUKI Exclusive

Regions: United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City, Yugoslavia, Scandinavian Peninsula (Denmark, Finland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland)

Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian

©Cloba.U,HOUBUNSHA/Magic of Stella Project

TOUKEN RANBU HANAMARU (Exclusive in limited territories)



Summary: In the year 2205, spirits born from the greatest blades are awakened to stop a threat from altering history. Amongst the chaos, a new recruit named Yasusada Yamatonokami trains alongside Kiyomitsu Kashuu

Streaming Start Date: October 10, 2016 1:00 a.m. JST for Europe excluding French and Belgium, October 17, 2016 1:00 a.m. JST for France and Belgium

DAISUKI Exclusive in Europe excluding German, English -speaking countries

Regions: France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxenberg, Monaco, Andorra, Spain, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Malta, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan

Languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian

© 2016 TOUKEN RANBU HANAMARU Project All Rights Reserved.



Summary: The second season of the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS anime, this show follows child soldiers Mikazuki, Orga, and the rest of their team. Though they originally start out as mercenaries escorting a female aristocrat named Kudelia, they soon find themselves in a tense political conflict between Earth and Mars. This new series takes place after the ending of the first season, and Mikazuki and his comrades find themselves having to face off against a new enemy.

Streaming Start Date: October 2, 2016 7:30 p.m. JST

Regions: Worldwide (except Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and Mainland China)

Languages: English, Korean, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Italian, Russian, European Spanish, South American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Tagalog


March comes in like a lion


Summary: A 17-year old professional shogi player who lost his parents at a young age, Rei is a quiet young man who has great loneliness in his heart. However, he finds himself beginning to change after meeting three sisters in downtown Tokyo.

Streaming Start Date: October 9, 2016 0:00 a.m. JST for Europe October 16, 2016 0:00 a.m. JST for North and Central America,

Regions: North America, Central America, Europe (except German, French, and Italian-speaking countries)

Languages: English, Russian (Europe only), Spanish (Europe only)

©Chica Umino,HAKUSENSHA/March comes in like a lion Animation Committee



Summary: A 17-year old boy named Yūta Gamon runs an occult blog called "Chōjō Kagaku Kirikiri Basara." After meeting some maniacal kindred spirits through his blog, an unimaginable incident begins to occur.

Streaming Start Date: October 9, 2016 1:00 a.m. JST for Europe, October 16, 2016 1:00 a.m. JST for North and Central America

Regions: North America, Central America, Europe (excluding German, French, and Italian-speaking countries)

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian

© Project OC9/Chiyo



Summary: A high school student named Daisuke ends up working part-time at a family restaurant due to his family's financial troubles. However, he finds that his co-workers are all kind of nuts, leading to all kinds of crazy happenings in the establishment.

Streaming Start Date: October 9, 2016 0:30 a.m. JST

Regions: North America, Central America, Europe (except German, French-speaking countries)

Languages: English, Spanish (Europe only), Russian (Europe only), Italian (Europe only)

©Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WWW.WAGNARIA!!” Project (for North America)

©Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WWW.WORKING!!” Project (for other territories)

Cardfight!!Vanguard G NEXT


Summary: The sequel to the Cardfight!! Vanguard G GIRS Crisis / STRIDE GATE anime.

Streaming Start Date: October 2, 2016 10:30 a.m. JST (tentative)

Regions: Worldwide (except Japan and China)

Languages: English

©Project Vanguard G2016/TV Tokyo

Unboxing: Loot Anime – September 2016

Got it on the last day! Still, counts right? First off, had a minor mess up in the middle of the video. Sorry, probably won't do it this way again because as you'll see, I didn't have the camera aimed where I fucking thought I did for about half the video. I will say, this is probably the best Loot Crate/Loot Anime I've gotten. If my brother wasn't a Bleach fan, I would have kept everything, but otherwise, I'm happy with what I got. I hope there's more like it in the future. Also, here's a picture of the watch since I didn't want to fuck with it while recording. 20160930_114107

Review: Hakuouki: Otogisoushi E.04

In this episode Chizuru's twin brother, Kaoru attempts to drive Chizuru into despair by stealing the gift - a packet of dango- she received from Kondou-san for her hard work. Despite Kaoru's sinister intentions, the plot he conjures up is tame, at best, and funny. I doubt a lost packet of dango could drive anyone to despair. Nevertheless, Kaoru's plan falls through, and he ends up praising his sister in spite of his failure to cause her grief. Hakuouki-Otogisoushi_In the second half of this episode Chizuru (for some inexplicable reason) appears to be troubled (it’s not because of Kaoru's plan though). Toudou Heisuke – the youngest member of the Shinsengumi and leader of the eighth division - tries to cheer up Chizuru by making her a rice ball that turns out to be nearly as big as his face. Chizuru is happily surprised when Heisuke gives her the giant rice ball and begins to dig in when Gen-san walks in and asks Heisuke if he knows where all the rice in the container went.

Heisuke responds by shaking his head in the hopes of proving his innocence, but the humungous rice ball in Chizuru's hand does little to support Heisuke's claim. In the end, both Heisuke and Chizuru, receive a long lecture from Gen-san.

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Hakuouki: Otogisoushi E.04


Review: Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV E.02

I loved this episode! I could not keep a smile off my face while watching it; it was just that poignant. This episode recounted friend and travelling companion of Noctis - Prompto Argentum’s - history and how he befriended Noctis because of Lunafreya's unintended influence. While driving on the road, Prompto quickly manoeuvres the car out of the way in order to save an injured puppy in the middle of the road. The dog resembles the one Prompto helped when he was much younger (perhaps middle school age) and a flashback of Prompto’s younger years ensues. Admittedly I was astonished to find out that the bubbly, optimistic jokester of the group, Prompto, was once timid, introverted, and a tad overweight (oh and wore glasses). As shocking as this piece of news was, I thought it was brilliant. I mean how often watch do you see an anime depict a male who steadily transforms physically and internally in the hopes of gaining the confidence to make a friend. I also thought that the amount of time it took for him to lose the weight was realistic. This was not a typical weight loss story; it was a story of self-discovery and beginnings.

Prompto was reserved and shy at school; he had no friends and a rather monotonous routine of walking to and from school, eating the same burger with coke and fries, and occasionally taking a photo here and there. Life seemed mundane until a certain injured dog appeared before him. This dog, named Pyrna, belonged to Lunafreya. Unknowingly Prompto took care of Luna's dog until it was well enough to return to its owner. After the dog left, Prompto almost resumed his normal life until he received a letter from Luna, thanking him for taking care of her dog and asking him to continue being friends with Noctis. Prompto then decides to build the courage (frequently turning to Luna's letter for added encouragement) to become friends with Noctis. He takes up jogging and even asks his classmates for tips on how to run better. Once he enters high school, he is finally able to befriend Noctis - who was waiting for him to introduce himself after their very first encounter.

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Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV E.02


Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine S4 E.01 “Coral Palms – Part-1”

I only have one friend that watches this show which is a damn shame. It is one of the funniest shows on TV and the only other comedy besides Modern Family that makes me laugh like a raving idiot. To put it plainly, I loved this episode. I also worry about its writing constantly. To explain that I will tell you that this episode picks up six months after the end of last season which is something they’ve done each season. I appreciate that because it gives a real sense of time passing. People can look different due to other roles they’re working in the “Biz,” and it’s fine because time in their world has passed.

Jake and Holt are in Florida, and if you hate Florida, you’re in for a treat because they rip the hell out of the state. I too hate Florida, and so I loved every cruel joke at its expense. Therein lies the problem with this episode, though, it’s all Jake and Holt. Over the course of three, now four, seasons the actors have developed an incredible chemistry with each other. The jokes, even when expected, are hilarious because of their delivery. Good comedy starts with good writing but ends with better delivery (you could also argue that it doesn’t always need the writing).

The gist of the episode is that Jake is working the Figgis case while Holt is working at a mini-golf place. Holt discovers what Jake is doing and takes his files which forces Jake to take a job alongside him to make Holt’s life hell. They end up being recorded by a woman I can only describe as perfect TV white trash, and they have to convince her not to upload the video or reveal their location to Figgis.


Let’s ignore the convenient writing in that the woman didn’t have enough data left on her plan in order to instantly upload the video. And the fact that no one else caught it or uploaded it as well. All that aside it was a funny episode because it succeeded in showing how miserable these two life-long cops are without their jobs and for setting the stage for them to be thrown back into action.

Again, though, the problem is that it relies on Jake and Holt to carry the entire episode which they do and do easily. Making me wonder how the show will feel when the rest of the cast comes back. My biggest problem with last season is that it resolved the cliffhanger from the previous season within a few episodes. Then it hung out until the winter break and came back with the Figgis storyline. While this episode was quite funny, the majority of the third season was not. Which leads me to wonder if the cast is too big and the stories are being spread too thin.

I know that this review is more of a question about the series and where it’s heading and not so much about the episode. I think I pretty clearly summed up my feelings on the episode in the beginning. And yeah, it’s not the “correct” way to review, but I’m writing this from a place of a viewer that watches shows with a critical mind and wonders about these things. I don’t want to drop this show, but I’m not going to sit through another season like the last. This episode alone had more memorable jokes than anything I can remember about last season. It’ll be quite a while before I forget Holt talking about boobs being desirable because they were heavier or that he wasn’t able to delete the video on the phone because it’s not the same as his phone. There’s some Archer quotability to this episode and series, but it needs to be this strong every episode, not just at the beginning and end.

Score: 4/5

Brooklyn Nine-Nine S4 E.01 “Coral Palms – Part-1”

Review: The Good Place – E.01 “Pilot/Flying.”

Why a TV review? Because there’s a section for it and I always wanted to have more than just comics reviewed on the site. That and with all the new shows out I get curious and like to check them out. The Good Place stayed with me, but not for the right reasons. The premise is easy to sum, but the show actually takes seven minutes or so to get you to the answer. The afterlife isn’t what you thought it was and there only exists a “Good Place” and a “Bad Place.” Kristen Bell… sorry, Kristen Bell’s character Eleanor is a bad person that has been mistakenly put into the “Good Place.” For whatever reason, she reveals this to her soul mate, and he faces the dilemma of helping her become a good person or narcing her out. Pretty simple. Things go crazy when all the crap Eleanor talks on day one, suddenly come to life on day two. Now the clock is really ticking for her to be a good person.

the-good-placeI’ll start with the good things about The Good Place. The acting is solid. I don’t believe for one second that Ted Danson is actually a nice person, but since he’s gone grey everyone wants him to play “aged mentor” and he does it quite well. I still don’t believe that he’s a good person IRL. Bell is believable. She embodies the character and after the training wheels are taken off you no longer look at her and say, “Hey, that’s Kristen Bell.” Her character’s dedication to swearing is commendable and probably the only humorous thing about the show. To clarify, she can’t swear and is automatically made to say something in the place of swearing like “Fork” instead of “Fuck.” I have no such censor. It also looks wonderful. The set they’re using and will likely use to death, looks great. You want to be there it’s so joyously designed. The CGI doesn’t feel out of place and if used correctly could add a lot of humor in the future of the show.

Now for the bad. It has a concept that can’t last. Why? Because if she’s bad shit goes south quickly. That and the cliffhanger to the second part of the first episode reveals that someone knows she shouldn’t be there. Why they played that card instantly is beyond me. Back to the flawed concept. It’s like My Name Is Earl. Great show, but after the first season, you understood that it was going to be the same shit over and over. Earl messes up; we get a funny flashback; he makes amends. Same thing here only the flashbacks are pretty terrible. I felt like I was watching Samantha Who: Part 2, New Who, which is to say it’s the same flawed premise. Anything that hinges on a character overcoming their flaws quickly, rather than at a steady pace is never going to last. They’ve shot themselves in the foot with the rules of their own universe. Simply put, Bell’s character is only funny when breaking the rules and when she has to adapt and change it makes it less funny.

Bouncing back to the casting, I should mention that the supporting cast feels worthless. They can act, but right now they’re completely unnecessary to the story. Jameela Jamil’s character is given a lot, and I mean a lot of screen time, and she does absolutely nothing. You could tune out while she talks because none of it is useful to the story or her character. It is the epitome of filler dialogue.

My last point is nitpicky. The show opens with an explanation of sorts about “The Good Place” as it calls it because it’s trying to avoid religionist undertones. Ted Danson aka Michael, explains that all religions have it about 5% right. He goes on to make a terrible joke that breaks the logic of the world’s own rules later on, but that’s not the point I’m making. The problem is that after they blow off religion, they completely and totally do a Christian heaven, just with technology and no mention of God. I’m not offended by this, but it seems like if you’re going to say all religions were wrong, you should bring a stronger version of what’s “right.” Again, it’s me being nitpicky, but it seemed like a really odd way of calling it heaven without calling it heaven. Call it what it is and just be done with it since the title of your show is already pretty annoying.

If you watch this first, double episode, you may find it hard to make it to the end. I imagine they did that because they knew the first episode would chase people off. I almost didn’t finish it and wondered if I would make it to the end. While I enjoy Bell’s character, I really can’t stomach watching a show just for her while her character breaks the logic of their own show. That and comedy plays it safe for the most part waiting to be offensive or sexual in the flashbacks alone. I could just watch My Name is Earl if I wanted to see that again, but I don’t.

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The Good Place – E.01 “Pilot/Flying.” Director: Michael McDonald Writers: Michael Schur, Alan Yang


Review: Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV E.01

Wow wow wow! I give kudos to A1 Pictures and Square Enix for producing this show. I was on the edge of my seat by the time this episode ended. Now that is what a call a great start to an anime series. It did not even bother me that the episode only lasted 11 minutes and 55 seconds; I enjoyed it that much. I thought the action scenes, were splendidly and beautifully done. The artwork was like a breath of fresh air; it was everything a Final Fantasy anime should be, not quite like its predecessor Final Fantasy Unlimited. I never watched Final Fantasy Unlimited purely because of the (I know it’s superficial) artwork. It just did not appeal to me. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV is essentially the prequel to the Final Fantasy XV game. It follows the main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Lucis and his companions Gladiolus Amicitia, Prompto Argentum, and Ignis Scientia as they journey back to Lucis in the hope of reclaiming their home from under the control of the Imperial army after Lucis was defeated by Niflheim.

In episode 1 we learn of Noctis's birth right - that he is the Crown Prince of Lucis and that for certain reasons, not fully explained (but we can infer what they are), has not lived in Lucis for several years. While at a diner, Noctis and his companions see the imperial army's airship, they decide to move and later come up with a plan on how to reclaim their home. While driving on route to their destination they spot the imperial army. They quickly realise that, to continue their journey, they will have to fight through the imperial army soldiers.

The monster responsible for almost ending Noctis's life shows up, and in a rage, Noctis races to end the beast.

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Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV E.01


Review: Chiba Pedal: Yowamushi Pedal to Manabu Jitensha Koutsuuanze E.01

At the end of last month and at the beginning of this month, I was mostly writing reviews on shorter length episodes. Either last week or the week before that, I decided to revisit some of the summer lineups and write reviews on normal length episodes. This week I watched an ONA of an anime that only avid viewers of the sport genre, or the regular series: Yowamushi Pedal, will recognise. This is the first time I have seen an ONA, in all my 23 years on this earth. Similar to TV shorts, the idea of recognising something that lasted for the duration of 10 minutes or less as an anime episode was impossible. pedal00Unsurprisingly enough, I found this ONA quick, very quick. In fact, it was too quick, by the time I had finished watching it I began to doubt whether I had actually watched an ONA or an advert. I suppose in some ways it makes sense because Chiba Pedal: Yowamushi Pedal to Manabu Jitensha Koutsuuanzen is a collaboration ad campaign about bicycle safety. I was extremely disappointed though. I thought that the third season of Yowamushi Pedal had started. I had high expectations for the show so even when I did find out that TOHO animation was releasing an ONA of Yowamushi Pedal; I was still looking forward to it.I was not expecting it to be quite so dull. It was so unbelievably dull that I would have preferred to watch an advert or a PV for another anime show. In this ONA loud Shoukichi Naruko tells us, and cheesy but endearing otaku, Sakamichi Onoda that bicycles are in the same group as cars. He then proceeds to go on about how cyclists need to ride on the left and blah blah blah. He then asks Sakamichi Onoda to do a lap of Chiba prefecture with him and hands him a helmet with 'safety first' printed on it.

I was not expecting it to be quite so dull. It was so unbelievably dull that I would have preferred to watch an advert or a PV for another anime show. In this ONA loud Shoukichi Naruko tells us, and cheesy but endearing otaku, Sakamichi Onoda that bicycles are in the same group as cars. He then proceeds to go on about how cyclists need to ride on the left and blah blah blah. He then asks Sakamichi Onoda to do a lap of Chiba prefecture with him and hands him a helmet with 'safety first' printed on it.1/5

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Chiba Pedal: Yowamushi Pedal to Manabu Jitensha Koutsuuanze E.01


Review: Handa-kun E.01

I wasn't sure whether to watch this anime or not, but I can say now that I'm glad I chose to watch it in the end. I've only just watched the first episode, and I can tell you now that the show is pure genius, kudos to the writers and the production team for coming up with such a distinctive plot. The subtle artwork coupled with the line-up of quirky and authentic characters is just perfect for this kind of anime. Although Handa-kun blatantly falls under the slice of life genre, it strays far from your run-of-the-mill slice of life anime. Like the anime series Gintama, Handa-kun breaks the fourth wall. What I loved about this episode was that it didn't play out as I expected. I assumed the entire episode would revolve around the Handa-kun Force; a group of four boys from Handa-kun's school, who don't actually appear in the 'real' Handa-kun episode. It's slightly difficult to explain, so check it out for yourselves then you'll know what I'm talking about. The four boys admire Handa-kun to say the least, and their attempts to produce their own Handa-kun anime after failing to watch the premiere episode of the Handa-kun anime produced by Diomedéa (a fact mentioned in this episode).

handa-kunLong story short they do manage, albeit rather amateurishly, to produce their own (weird and disturbing) Handa-kun anime, and also end up receiving a copy of the first original episode of Handa-kun by Diomedéa. They receive the DVD of the pilot episode as an apology from Diomedéa for the mix up regarding the anime premiere, and because of their supposed 'close' relationship to Handa-kun. They then put the DVD on, and the 'real' episode starts. I should also mention that, before the Handa Force realise that all of them have missed the first episode of the Handa-kun series, they fantasise about what the Handa-kun anime should be like.

In the 'actual' episode the utterly oblivious Handa-kun receives a letter from a girl. We quickly learn that Handa-kun is someone who misinterprets everything; he's pretty pessimistic and assumes the worst, for instance in this episode instead of realising that when finding a letter in your locker, it usually means that someone is confessing their love for you, he views it as a challenge.  To make matters worse he gets caught throwing the love letter in the bin by the girl who wrote the letter, and her um, rather big headed friend. He then proceeds to be badmouthed by the big headed girl and then is asked by the girl in love with him, to meet him behind the school. Again, Handa-kun misconstrues the girls’ words and assumes she is challenging him. The first bad scenario he conjures up is one where he is being verbally assaulted by a horde of girls, while the second scenario features him being beaten up by the boyfriend of the girl and a gang of thugs for 'making eyes at the gang boss’s lady.'

The episode ends with Handa-kun approaching the girl behind the school; it also shows Handa-kun's reaction to the amateurish anime series produced by the Handa Force.

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Handa-kun E.01


Review: Orange E.02

It's been a while since I last viewed a full-length episode so I thought it might be interesting to revisit one of the summer line-ups: Orange. Okay, so I was hesitant to resume watching Orange admittedly because of the weak impression it left on me after the first episode. It's not produced by the same company as Ao Haru Ride, but the artwork’s resemblance to Ao Haru Ride is uncanny. While the plot lines differ, the characters are stereotypical of the shoujo romance genre. However, the major reason for why I was so against watching this series was because of Hatsukoi Monster. As many of you may or may not know, Hatsukoi Monster is shoujo-romcom one of a kind; it's conventional in some ways and unconventional in others. It's pretty artwork coupled with it's crazy, eccentric, endearing yet hilarious characters is truly the icing on the cake. Let's just say watching Hatsukoi Monster has raised my standards for other shoujo romance anime shows. That's not to say that I know every other shoujo-romcom airing or just finished airing, I'm just looking for something a bit more unique. orange-anime-2016To be honest the only thing I felt Orange had going for it was the time travel aspect of the show. The show tells the story of high school student, Naho Takamiya, who receives a letter from her (10 year's into the future) future self-recounting all the incidents that are soon to occur in the present Naho Takamiya's life. One of the first pivotal events that the future Naho divulges is the arrival of the transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, into her class. Future Naho reveals all her past regrets in hopes of fixing her mistakes. She tells the present Naho to keep an eye on Kakeru Naruse, as he will no longer be with her and her friends in the future.

This episode focuses on one of the regrets that future Naho states in the letter that is not making a bento for Kakeru. Suwa, a classmate of Naho and Kakeru (Naho's future husband revealed in episode 1), persuades Kakeru to join the soccer club. At first, Kakeru is reluctant to join but after much persuasion decides to join on a provisional basis. It's during soccer practice that Kakeru, after hearing what a great 'mum' Naho is due to that fact that she makes her own lunch,  jokingly requests Naho to make him lunch. The rest of the episode was laborious; all I kept wondering was when she was going to give him the lunch box. To my surprise...not, she didn't give him the bento until school, and his soccer practice had ended. We learn that Kakeru's mum committed suicide the day of the opening ceremony and that Kakeru dies in an accident, DUN DUN DUN!!!

All in all, nothing remarkable or interesting happened in this episode. I doubt I'll watch the rest of the series, but we'll see.

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Orange E.02