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Category: First Episode. First Impressions. One Shot.

First Episode. First Impressions. One Shot. 2

Goblin Slayer Is Trash Why Did I Waste My Time Trying to Watch It?

Content Warning: Animated  Rape/sexual assault mentioned/shown.  Go read some of my other shit if you’re not comfortable with that shit.  

You know, there isn’t any reason why I should write a first impression review on an anime that going in, I knew sucked.  When you share common opinions and viewpoints on anime with fellow otakus (with way more knowledge on anime than yourself) that you can trust (and mostly agree with because they’re jaded as hell thanks to horrible mainstream anime out today), you should take their word that the anime they hate on sucks.

It sucks and you should leave it alone – never to waste your time on it.

I could have spent that time on better things. Things such as shopping for food for the week, upgrading my Fall/Winter wardrobe (so I won’t look like the sloppy weeaboos and nigga nerds you love bashing, cleaning my messy room, and finishing up that Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) adventure series that I’ll never complete because I should have done it as soon as I got home from the convention while I still was high off the AWA hype.

Instead, I decided – against all of the suggestions of my like-minded peers – to watch Goblin Slayer: the latest edgelord gore fest anime that entry-level weebs are capping for.  I am sure that I don’t have to tell you folks that Goblin Slayer is complete trash that you must avoid it. Avoid it  as if it was your crazy ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who loves playing with knives and use those knives to cut themselves for fun.

We know its trash. I know its trash. But, it’s my duty to play pretend Chinese Cartoons Analysis and break down why this show is trash and why only edgelords and entry-level weeaboos love it.

…I’m fucking lying! I’m not wasting 24 minutes of my life analyzing an episode of from an anime that I knew it was going to be trash since Day 1! So instead, let’s talk about the scene that sold the entry-level weebs, offended the SJWeeaboos, and made us veterans otaku avoid Goblin Slayer.

The “fucked up” shit starts around the 5:52 mark.  After our heroes see an obvious warning to not enter the goblin cave (not once, but twice), they are ambushed by the goblins. Inside their nest. Where they know the nooks and crannies of their cave. And know where are the best places to attack any intruders.

Our heroes aren’t fucking smart.

 

 

 

 

And so, they get their asses beat – mercilessly. The Mage Girl gets stabbed to death by a poisoned knife (more so she gets mercy killed by Goblin Slayer because the Healer Bitch never learned an Antidote spell), Fighter gets chopped up into pieces after being assaulted by hideous, CGI-rendered goblins (by hideous I mean that in a bad way the CGI animated goblins look ugly as hell. Oh and they cut away from the Goblin chopping dude’s body in pieces), and Kung-Fu Girl gets command grabbed by the Goblin boss, slammed against a wall, and gets gang-raped by the rest of the goblin nest.

This is the “fucked up” shit we waited for after two minutes of the generic baby’s first fantasy anime story explanation. This is the fucked up shit that people have been either of support or offended over for the past three weeks.  It’s honestly nothing special.

Let’s compare Goblin Slayer’s intro to a legacy edgy anime’s intro: Elfen Lied.

In  Elfen Lied, we’re immediately dropped into the carnage after the end of the OP.  Viewers  are treated with a twitching, severed arm on the ground cover in blood, a man being beheaded by Lucy, a pen piercing through  another man’s skull, a young girl’s body gets used as a human shield riddled by bullets, (but not before Lucy’s rips her head off) , and bodies being shredded into pieces.

Right off the back Elfen Lied doesn’t play around with how gory it can get.

Goblin Slayer? Nah. It decided to show us its horrible crap after wasting two minutes of our time. Sure, we got a black and white scene of Healer Bitch weeping on the ground crying in fear while Goblin Slayer is walking towards here.  But, there are no clues telling us what’s happening. We are unaware if Goblin Slayer was the one who attacked her or not.

The intro gave us no reason on why we should care about what is going to happen to Healer Bitch or why we should care about her and her character overall. That’s another problem I have with Goblin Slayer: the characters (sans the Goblin Slayer himself), are unmemorable.

They’re literally nameless.  They are only named by their class names – nothing more.  No clues on what these guys were doing before their demise, why they wanted to become adventures, their ultimate motivates, nothing.

The only character I gave a slight fuck about is the Black Mage Girl; that’s only because I like dorky girls who wear glasses and read books. But there are other anime female dorky, bookworm characters who are way better  because they have personalities (Ami from Sailor Moon, Yuki Nagato from Haruhi, and Tsubasa from Monogatari to name a few)

(Btw, any dorky glasses-wearing woman between the ages of 21-30 out there reading this hit me up The Yuki The Snowman Facebook page DMs been dry lately)

None of the characters are remotely interesting (sans, again, Goblin Slayer). They all have generic, uninspiring character designs that you could find in any average, bland JRPG mobile game or an old-school Nintendo/Famicom JRPG. The Fighter looks like your average, cocky hero thinking he can smash any female in his party.  Karate Girl looks like any other girl from anime that loves action (ponytail and acts a  bit masculine).  Black Mage Chick looks like a player 2 palette swap of Yuki Nagato in her Witch outfit.

I give no fucks about them.

You know how to make people give a fuck about characters? Give them a little bit of a personality that could help us connect to them. If we spent a little time getting to know these characters throughout a few episodes, maybe whatever terrible thing that happened to them in that cave would have been way impactful (beyond knee-jerk reactions from SJWeeaboos and entry-level weebs)

Better yet, if Goblin Slayer started by dropping us in the middle of the action/carnage at the very start of the episode, I would have given a care. Show us that this is a suspenseful world in conflict. Show us that these goblins have completely dominated the human population, in the beginning, to give us the impression that living in this type of society is horrifying for the average human.

Know what? Let’s compare the introduction of Goblin Slayer to the introduction of another dark fantasy media: Final Fantasy 2 (FF2). Bear with me; I know FF2 is a video game, but trust me on this one.

After reading the intro text and naming your characters, you’re immediately forced into a hopeless battle.  Your party is surrounded by four dark knights from the demonic empire who are leagues beyond your party in combat experience.

One-by-one, the Dark Knights take your team out. By the way, your party was running away from these guys earlier; after their village was slaughtered by the empire’s forces.  In less than two minutes you knew that the story of Final Fantasy 2 wasn’t going to be a happy one.  You knew that it was going to be a story of war, despair, hopelessness, tragedy, and death.

And it didn’t wait until halfway into the game to tell you that.

If Goblin Slayer started out with the four heroes being ambushed and mercilessly assaulted by a few high ranking goblin soldiers (along with some other goblins wreaking havoc on their town)  I would have cared. Elfen Lied dropped us right into the action. Higurashi starts out with Keiichi killing Mion and Rena (thus making us curious on why he did kill those two). Final Fantasy 2 started the action by showing the heroes getting their ass beat.

Why Goblin Slayer couldn’t do the same?

Let’s go back the boring ass “slaughter” scene of the Goblin Slayer party.  First off, how did this party get slaughtered by a group of goblins? As in the entry level, easy to defeat enemies? That are usually fucking tutorial enemies to fight in most JRPGS?

In fact, let me show you the first battle in Final Fantasy 3:

See how easy it is to take out a few goblins. I was pressing “Fight” with one button while checking my emails on my phone with the other.  That’s simple.

Another thing that annoyed the fuck out of me was the “fear” faces each hero had before they met their demise.  These faces don’t convey the message that these characters are in fear of their lives.  They looked like they were being in minor pain at best and annoyed at worse.

You wanna see faces that convey the emotion of fear?

This is fear:

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This is fear:

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This is fear:
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This is retarded:

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Black Mage Girl is about to get stabbed to death and that’s the face she’s making? It looks like she pulled a muscle.   It doesn’t look like she’s about to have her life taken away from her by some monsters.

Sigh…no fuckin excuses for this shit.

After the scene where Healer Bitch starts pissing on herself and Goblin Slayer came to save her, I gave up on this anime.  A shame. Mostly because I wasted two glasses of wine and a blunt of loud in hopes that I was able to completely tear this show apart (being intoxicated helps with writing bad reviews).  The show was so disappointing that I couldn’t get past the fifteen-minute mark. It kinda makes me sad because I enjoy media that’s fucked up and dark…as long as it’s good.

I’ve seen Goblin Slayer being compared to Berserk and Elfen Lied in terms of edgelordness and darkness.  Berserk is dark, yes. But Kentaro Miura went out of his way to make sure readers of Berserk gave a fuck about characters like Guts by giving Guts a personality and a reason for Guts to better himself despite all the horrific things that happened to him in his life.

We gave a fuck about Lucy/Kaede in Elfen Lied because we understand that she was tortured, bullied, and treated like shit because of her race.  Despite how much of an overrated and horrible show Elfen Lied is, at least we could understand Lucy’s trauma and why she was so angry with humanity.  We wanted Lucy to have at least a little bit of happiness (or at the least, therapy).

Goblin Slayer? Well, at least he’s a badass mother fucker that we can compare to Doomguy from the Doom video game series. Goblin Slayer (the anime) would have worked better as a dark, edgy, violent hack-and-slash game. You don’t need to have a decent story. An excellent, exciting gameplay and great graphics emulating the feel of the manga would do. But real shit, the characters of Goblin Slayer are boring, unoriginal, and lack heavily in the personality department.

It’s clear that I, and many other anime fans with common sense and superior taste in anime (compared to the rest of you weeaboos), don’t like Goblin Slayer. However, I do understand why some anime fans might love it.  We are dealing with a new generation of anime fans who are watching their first edgy, bloody, and gory anime thanks to Goblin Slayer.

Like us older folks, they were once used to the light-hearted, cheerful, happy-go-lucky Shounen bullshit. Sure, Shounen anime tend to have blood, violence, and cussing, but that’s about it. A show like Goblin Slayer? It’s like these kids went from smoking reggie weed to Californian dispensary kush.

(Little do they know Goblin Slayer is just high-quality reggie weed)

Look, I remember being a naive weeaboo getting into gory anime such as Elfen Lied or Higurashi no Naku Koro ni for the first time. I thought I was the shit!  No more watching boring, kiddie anime like Inuyasha or Dragon Ball for me: I’m where the big boys play now!  I found anime that was bloody, gory, and ultra-violent. Anime that [adult swim] wouldn’t even dare to show on national T.V. late at night.  And I’m sure some of you older folks once knew this feeling of joy as well when you saw your first gory anime like Violence Jack or Ninja Scroll.

So I can understand why the current generation of young anime fans is eating up Goblin Slayer. It’s a new experience that they wouldn’t otherwise get from watching anime on T.V.. Or Netflix. Crunchyroll. I dunno what you folks watch your anime on now anymore; I’m a fucking old man.

But still! It’s that experience that is going to stay with their otaku journey forever.
Trust me on that.

Regardless, just like with me understanding that Elfen Lied was edgy trash a few years later after watching it, Goblin Slayer is edgy trash.  The only people who should watch the show are folks who want to watch something utterly violent and degrading, but lacks substance to justify it (So mostly children and wannabe edgelords). Sure, it’s dark and fucked up, but as previously mentioned, there are other anime that does the dark and edgy gorefest much better (like Berserk).

To conclude this first impression review, what are my final thoughts on Goblin Slayer?

No. Just no.

-Yuki The Snowman

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AFTERWORD:
I heard the manga is lightyears better than the anime and much gorier so I may check the manga instead of the anime. Also I should had known this anime would suck given most anime that have its roots in a light novel are garbage.

Citrus 1

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Citrus

Question: Have you ever wanted to smoke an entire carton of cigarettes after experiencing a horrific event?   Smoking isn’t your thing?  Okay, how about drinking an entire bottle of Everclear with shots of 100 proof Vodka so you won’t ever recall those horrible flashbacks? Well, boys and girls, that’s my experience with Passione’s controversial anime Citrus.

 

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Yuzu and Mei. By the way, they’re stepsisters.

 

What is Citrus?  Well, Citrus is a high school anime yuri drama starring Yuzu Aihara: A gyaru who’s about to transfer to a new school. She plans on getting a boyfriend at her new school whatever the fuck gyaru do when they go to a new school, I dunno.  On the day of her transfer, Yuzu starts to prepare for her new adventure.  She crafts up a plan to get herself a boyfriend and make new friends.

You know, always start the day with goals and an action plan.

She gets to the new school, right?  The anime makes us play “Guess who’s the main character!” with the shot of her in the middle of her peers who are all wearing conservative clothing opposite to her liberal gyaru clothes.  The student body is in shock at this bold, new girl.  That nerve of that Yuzu girl being different and not conforming to their rules!   Out of the crowd, some nerdy girl comes up to Yuzu and tells her she’s setting a terrible example for the student body.  She demands her to remove her makeup and surrender her phone.  Yuzu – not backing down – refuses and gets in nerd girl’s face.  They start to argue for a bit until the reveal of the secondary main character: Mei – the student council president.

 

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Good luck on finding the main character!

 

Mei, being the good student council president that she is, intervenes; stopping the fight from escalating worse.  Such a magnificent role model Mei is…except for the part where she hugs Yuzu and starts to grope her ass and slide her fingers along her back;  Just to take her phone away.

Alright.  So our model class president is a low-key potential rapist.  Great.

 

The story shifts to Yuzu in the bathroom washing her makeup off and wandering about what kinda of shampoo Mei uses.  Despite the fact that Mei was on some creep shit with her, Yuzu is in love with her mango scented shampoo. We’re then introduced to Yuzu’s new homeroom teacher: Amamiya.  Yuzu starts crushing on him on sight: plotting ways to create the next Japan teacher-student relationship scandal by getting in his pants.

Pretty sure Sting and The Police had a song about this.

 

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Van Halen also had a song about this sorta thing.

 

After class, Yuzu thinks about getting Amaiya’s information so he can hook up with him (and use it for blackmail material when the relationship eventually fails).  She rushes outside with ecstatic flare to hunt down her crush.  Her hunt for her sensei is short.  She finds Amamiya…making out with Mei – the same Mei who is the school president mind you. She watches for a few seconds until Mei breaks off the kiss and make eye contact with Yuzu. Yuzu runs off like she just stole from her weed plug while Amamiya smoothly walks away like he ain’t did anything wrong.

Yep.  Just like that Sting song.

 

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JUST LIKE THAT OLD MAN IN THAT BOOK BY NABOKOV!!!

 

Yuzu decides that she had enough for one day and runs home. There, she receives some news about her new family.  First, her new step-father up and left their family to see the world (and by see the world, he probably regrets his marriage and is going to fuck around with different women behind his new family back).  That’s cool I guess. Second, her new father has a daughter before he met Yuzu’s mom.  This means that Yuzu has a little sister.  At last, Yuzu won’t be a lonely only child!

Oh and her new little step sister is Mei.

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You can feel the tension between the two when Mei arrivals, especially around dinner time when Mei treats her sister with death glares.  Her mom seems to like her new daughter so that’s great.   Fast forward to later into the night.  Yuzu attempts to connect with her new little sister, but to no anvil.  She tries to bond with her, but Mei ignores her.  Upset,  Yuzu starts to play dirty for her attention.  She brings up how she caught Mei making out with their teacher (and how much of a thrill it must had been for her).

Yuzu starts to taunt her sister about the kiss (just like any other caring big sister). She starts by Asking her if being caught in the act makes it hotter, was it her first kiss, and that she thought kisses were about feelings. Mei silently walks over to her sister…and forcibly kisses her full on the mouth while pinning her against her futon.

 

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Top 10 Haunting  Pictures Taken Moments Before Disaster

 

…I didn’t sign up this.  I didn’t sign up for any of this.  I thought this was just going to be a simple lovely-dovely warm-hearted yuri anime. Instead, I got incest, anime R. Kelly making out with teenagers, and more incest.  Also Mei totally sexually assault Yuzu.  I would be cool with the yuri if Yuzu was curious about the same sex and wanted to explore her feelings towards Mei if consent was involved (and if Mei wasn’t her step-sister). Especially given she never had any luck with guys and wanted to see if it because she is gay deep down or some shit.

From anime discussion groups I’m on, others seem to agree from watching he show’s second episode following the first.  I haven’t’ caught the second episode, but I heard and read that Mei does worse things to her sister that warrants sexual assault charges.   Not that I plan on seeing the rest of the series of anything.  I completely lost any interest in it.

I tend to read some spoilers before watching a show so I won’t be shock or taken surprise when something happen, but I didn’t for this one (because I was being lazy).  If I would had known that Mei and Yuzu were two step-sisters, I would had been cool not watching this show.

It’s a shame because the animation and art isn’t bad.  It’s not God tier by any means, but it’s pleasant to watch.  I love the soft, manga-style still art for the ED, the usage of 3D for some the shots inside of the school, and character design.  I haven’t spot any off-model shots or animation errros, but I admit I wasn’t paying that much close detail.

To conclude, if incestuous sisters exploring their lesbian feelings is your thing and you like that drama, then you should check it out. For the rest of us (myself included), this is a skip.

Hope you find this summary and review useful!  I’ll catch you in the next one.

 

First Impression Score:

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anime 4

This Anime is Faithful Virgin Trash

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped. So, did My Girlfriend is a Shob**h impressed me in its first episode?

No.

It’s often said that the best way to court attention is to generate controversy.  Companies and brands understand this well. Let me use some examples real quick. During the 2000s,  Rockstar Games used the negative press of their Grand Threat Auto series as a positive in order to boost sales.  It worked in their favor. Vince  Mcmahon, CEO of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), saved the company with the Attitude Era; a controversial period during the late 90s that used politically incorrect and sexual themes aimed at adults. Hell, there’s a certain notorious cosplayer right now gaining attention through controversial lewd cosplays.

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please don’t lewd the time loop lolis please don’t lewd the time loop lolis please don’t lewd the tie loop lolis for the love of Oyashiro-Sama don’t lewd Rika or Hanyuu

So, when I first heard the title My Girlfriend is a Faithful Virgin Bitch, my eyebrows rose a bit.  The title alone was enough to grab my attention.  “Jeez, Japan.  You guys are getting bolder.” I told myself.  For real, who goes around calling their girlfriend a “faithful bitch”?  I’m not a domestic violence expert, but I’m sure that’s a red flag for an abusive relationship.  I mean, congrats on finding a girl who ain’t fucking other dudes behind your back, but did you really have to call her a faithful bitch?

With a controversial title like that, I had to do some research on the anime.  I went to My Anime List and some anime pages on Facebook to gain some knowledge on Shobitch. Fans of the original web manga were going around telling others not to panic!

“It’s not like all other trashy, horrible romcom anime out there today!  Shobitch is different!”  One zit face ridden weeb stated   “Shobitch is not bad at all! It’s funny and cute!  Don’t take the title at face value.”

For a second, I had faith in this stranger’s words.  Maybe he’s telling the truth, and Shobitch isn’t like all the other romcom anime series out there.  The title is just something to bait people into watching it.  I should give it a chance.  Just because the cover art shows the main girls looking at a banana, commonly used as a  phallic symbol, doesn’t mean this anime is going to be ecchi trash. Have faith in these weebs, Benjamin!

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…And  then I remembered why I don’t have faith in most anime fans.

I went to my favorite source for anime, pulled up Shobitch, and played the file.  The anime starts with a boy and girl in their teens in some field lookin’ stupid.  The girl speaks.

“I, right here and now…will raise my skirt and display myself to you.”  Joy. Oh joy.  Another romcom opening up with a panty sho- hold up! Did this bitch straight say she ain’t got no panties on?  Am I 10 again sneaking into the living room at 2AM to watch that Wax-a-Million music video on  B.E.T. Uncut?

But seriously.  This anime isn’t opening up with a panty shot.  It’s a straight up vag shot.  A censored vag shot, but a vag shot regardless.  Or maybe not, as the dude was dreaming the whole thing. Doesn’t matter, really. As I’ve stated before in my Hajimete no Gal first impression review, if your anime opens up with panty shot, then you have no confidence in your work.  So, if your anime opens with a girl flashing her vagina in the opening scene, then you should never work in the anime industry.

Just quit my man.

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Goddammit, Wax-a-Million

Dude wakes up and gets an eyeful of some girl’s ass.  Great.  I see where this is going now. Next, he spots his crush (the girl in his dream) and talks about her in some inner monologue bullshit that I don’t care for. Kosaka Whatsherface is her name. The guy wants to be her boyfriend. He plans to confess to her later that day.  They meet up after school.  He confesses and Kosaka accepts.  Not only does she accepts, Kosaka tells dude that she’s gonna learn 48 different positions for him so they can have a good time.

…what?

 

“Benjamin. Abandon ship.  Why are you torturing yourself by watching trash tier anime? Go play that Fire Emblem 4 romhack with those Touhou characters.  Go watch better anime.  Don’t do this to yourself.” My gut was trying to tell me to stop but I refused.  It’s my duty, obligation, and responsibility to tear apart bad anime – no matter what ill results may come to me and my mental health.

I should have I listened to my gut.

The OP begins.  We see Youmu Konpaku, err, Yuki Nagato, wait no, Kosaka Whatsherface (look, all silver hair, blue eyes anime, and video game girls look alike to me.  I don’t care; I’m anime racist) half naked and dressing.  As she leaves her house, the camera pans up to her skirt for a panty shot. At that point, I stopped watching the OP. I went on my phone to watch some fight compilation on World Star Hip Hop (WSHH) to past the time.  As I’m scrolling through WSHH my eyes peep the TV screen to check if the OP finished   I was greeted to Kosaka, completely naked, sitting on a cake.  Oh, and she was taking a loud of white frosting on her face in a suggestive matter.

Whew boy.

The OP ends and the episode resumes.  We get some annoying brunette girl screeching, running down the hall and glomping Haru from behind. She’s followed up by another girl wearing some catgirl bullshit trying to take both of them back home with her like she’s Rena off Higurashi or something.  Later, Haru daydreams about Kosaka. He debates if he should talk to her about her about asking her hobbies and interests.

To the surprise of nobody,  Kosaka appears. Haru gets all giddy inside.  He has a chance to ask her what she enjoys face-to-face.  And hey! Kosaka has the same idea in mind.  She wants to get to know her new boyfriend better as well.  You know, it what makes a strong, solid relationship. Communication is key in these things.

You gotta ask your new boyfriend or girlfriend things. Things such as what they’re favorite color, what type of foods they love, who is their favorite music artist, and what do they like to do for fun.  Oh!  Don’t forget to ask what kinda fetishes do they have in the bedroom.  Yeah, Kosaka asks Haru what type of fetishes he’s into for some odd reason.

…at least she’s thoughtful.  I guess.

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The scene transition to a boob gag to remind us that Kosaka is well endowed (as it wasn’t obvious enough in the OP).  As she helps their teacher, she places her breasts on top of the books, and carry then them out.  She then asks Haru if he’s a masochist because…I don’t know nor do I care anymore.  In less than eight minutes, I could tell that this anime was just going to be terrible.  It was at this point I started asking myself questions:

“Do I hate fun?”
“Am I secretly a masochist and is my pain kink is watching terrible anime?”
“Is this what they mean to turn your brain off and enjoy something even though its horrible?”

Besides this anime sucking, what also sucked that I drank all my alcohol from the day before (to relieve work-related stress).  That bottle of Peach New Amsterdam vodka sure would have helped get me through this trash. Maybe being under the influence of alcohol would have made this a little bearable.  Wait, actually no.  It wouldn’t.  It would have just me even angrier that I was wasting my time on such bullshit.    Then again,  in retrospect, Drunk Ben is smart enough to turn off this anime so he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer.

(Goddammit angry Alcoholic Worker Ben! Was getting afternoon drunk worth it?)

The next scene shows Kosaka eavesdropping on two girls talking about their relationship issues.  Kosaka butts in. She tells the girls that the best way to get their boyfriend’s attention is to say “Nyan” after each sentence.  Ya know,  like one of ‘em socially awkward annoying high school weeaboos who wear cat ears all day. Her next advice to the girls was to not wear any panties around their boyfriends to make ‘em happy.  Yeah.  This is the character of Kosaka: A perverted airhead who think sex and being a catgirl will solve everything in the world.   Kosaka is a tad bit off (as her peers states) Maybe she doesn’t know how a relationship work.  Maybe she thinks sex should be a priority in it.  It’s her first time having a boyfriend, so I should be a little merciful.  But I won’t.

 

At was at this point I got bored with this anime. I simply turned off my TV, went on social media and started ranting about how terrible Shobitch is. After my rant, I dropped the anime.

I’ve concluded that I shouldn’t do these types of shows.  Maybe there are good, romcom anime that isn’t utterly perverted (or the perverted jokes are actually funny) but I haven’t discovered them yet.  My Girlfriend is a Shobitch isn’t one of them.  The jokes doesn’t make me laugh (given I’m way out of pubtery I gues).  Both main characters are utter idiots, with Kosaka being an airhead, monotone pervert.   Her voice is as boring as the show.  The only good things I can say about this show is that the animation is decent and  the girl is more sexual forward in a genre where its the male who is sexual forward. Also, I will admit it was (laughably) cute to see  Kosaka work hard to be a good girlfriend to Haru.
This show is getting dropped.  I have better shows to watch and review.

First Impression score: 2.5/10

+The animation is decent
+Kosaka is a pervert rather than the male lead unlike most romcom shows
+It feels a little different from most romcoms
-Jokes weren’t funny
– Jokes were obvious
– Too overly sexual
-Episode opened with a vag shot
-Obvious harem set-up
-Fanservice transition shots
-Alcohol did not make this show better – only worse
-Kosaka looks like a lame ass version of Yuki Nagato off Haruhi

My Girlfriend is a Faithful Shobitch (c) 2017 Diomedea, Studio Blanc

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First Impressions: Just Because!

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.

So, did Just Because! impressed me on its first episode?  Boy,  it was truly impressive.

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Let me ask you older folks a question: Do you remember your final dayss of high school?

Reflect on this period of your young life for a moment.   After years of dealing with bullshit from normie peers, popular kids in their cliques, preppy rich kids, obnoxious football jocks, and teachers who never taught you shit, all of that was coming to an end.  You were deciding if you should stay in your hometown for college.   Perhaps you desired to relocate to a new, unknown city to expand your education and see something different.  Maybe you didn’t want to go to college.  You were in school for twelve years of your life; adding four or six more years of school through college and university would drive you crazy.  The very thought of more schooling right after high school pissed you off, so you just went straight the workforce, military, or whatever.

During these four years, you had a few people in your circle whom you grew close with and  you formed a bond.   Throughout these four years, you and your friends hung out after class.  It’s possible that you might have skipped class to visit your friend. Hell, some of you even skipped an entire day of school to kick it with your friend all day a few times. Your crew were tight.  As graduation drew near, you dreaded if bonds you made will soon break forever; as you and your friends aimed to go your own paths in life.

That’s  Just Because!: Pine Jam’s original anime about four third year high school students entering the final period of their high school career. Eita (the main character) is one of these students. What makes him unique from the others is that he recently transferred to their high school (rather late, as it’s the end of the second semester).  Yeah, he’s yet another typical anime high school student transfer into a new school.  That’s nothing new in anime. However, what makes Eita, different from other “mysterious transfer students” in anime is the fact that this guy knows a few people at his new school – including his old friends, Haruto and Mio.  With that fact, he  isn’t that mysterious.

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From left-to-right: Hazuki, Haruto, Mio, Eita, and Ena

Ten minutes or so into Just Because!, we’re  introduced  to the cast, as well as insights to their lives and motives. We have Mio; a studious girl who spends her free-time prepping for her college entrance exams (much to the dismay of her less studious friends).  Next, there’s Haruto; the school’s  baseball captain. He’s deciding if he should stick with baseball after graduation, or enter the job force. Then there’s Eita (whom I’ve already talked about) Next, Hazuki; a third year band student who spends her time practicing with her fellow band mates.  Finally, there’s Ena; a second year student fighting to keep her Photography Club alive (which is doomed to be disband by the school).

With the characters and their goals presented this early, we are given a chance to care and know a few things about about them.  That alone hooked me in into Just Because!.  I want to see the characters grow and evolve overtime.   I must note that it’s highly possible that this anime will have a solid amount of characters.  Given that there were at least six through ten main and supporting characters introduced in episode one, I can assume that there will be more as the series progress this season. I for one cannot wait to see these characters interact with one another; especially Eita, Haruto, and Mio (as they were friends back in middle school).  Ena seems pretty interested in Haruto and Mio’s baseball game.  She spends most of the episode snapping away at their one-on-one game.

This brings me to my next point: the music and amiation.

The animation of Just Because! isn’t horrible.  It is fine for what it is.  The visuals aren’t on the levels of say Kakegurui or Made in Abyss, but it’s not bad.  Some characters’ faces did look weird in shots were they’re not moving or interacting.  I do not know if they’re off model, or if the animators purposely made them look weird.  It’s isn’t jarring but it’s noticeable (after maybe two or three rewatches like I did for this review).

The animation does however shine during Haruto and Eita’s one-on-one baseball game.  From Eita’s building power for his pitch and throwing his body weight into it, to Haruto’s attempts to hitting the ball as his body swings with his bat, the animation feels fluid and even realistic.  You can visibly see the momentum in their actions – may it from the speed of Eita’ pitching or Haruto’s foot digging into the ground as he twists his body into his bat’s swing.

I cannot forget the amazing brass and string music that carries this scene.  The song is a strong, proud brass fanfare in B-flat Major (with a key change to E-Flat Major). It starts with horns playing the melody with flare and pride as it slowly fades. As the brass backs off, snares and band drums  As Eita and Haruto’s game builds up, so does the music with  crescendo in sync. The brass section backs off, letting the percussion section  carry Eita’s and Haruto’s silent stare down.  The brass melody returns after four measures of rest as Eita pitches furious strike after furious strike. This continues on for about twelve measures

The brass sections backs off once again and the strings are introduced during Eita’s and Haruto’s final stare down.  Haruto steps and grinds his feet into the ground with confidence.  Eita winds up his pitch, matching his opponent’s confidence. As the cellos and violas plays the melody,  Haruto hits the ball with great force, sending it over the field.  The piano finishes with gentle arpeggios an the strings holding a chord in unison as the cast watch in awe of  Haruto’s out-of-the-park come-from-behind home run.

I love how the music helps tell  the story of Haruto and Eita’s game.  It enhances the scene’s emotion of two good, old friends recently reunited  as they go against one another in a friendly batter vs. pitcher one-on-one game. There is much to be praise on how well the music went in sync with the game (such how the music build up as the game grew intense to the strings playing as Haruto landed a home-run). The music played in this scene should serve as a reminder on why it’s important to use music as a story telling tool in anime.

 

The first episode of Just Because! has me execited for the series throughout the Fall 2017 season.  Its hard for me to be sold on most high school anime series in which the main character is a transfer student.  However, given this transfer student knows a few people in his school alreay, this kills the cliché “mysterious transfer student” from the get-go.  I’m also digging the premise of the main cast being seniors in the last few months of school as they plan their lives after high school.  I have yet to see an anime that does this personally.  Character motives where clear from this episodes, therefore you start to care for them a little bit.  The animation, while a little weird at some points, isn’t bad.  If they animators use more expressive, fluid animation for more scenes just like the basegame scene, then I’ll be happy.   The music is this anime’s strongest point.  It’s well produced, light-heart just like the anime itself, and it has shown its usefulness in carrying a story.

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Note the details that went into this sheet music, especially where the eighth rest are circled to indicate where the performer must rest in beat.  

While I’m on the subject of the music,  I must say that  “In Unison” is the perfect song  title for  this scene (assuming that’s the name of the track).  Haruto gets inspire to resume his baseball practice against Eita after he hears Hazuki and her band play the trumpet parts.  There are shots of the school band playing the song, which gives the illusion that they’re playing in unison.  Then we have Mio watching the two boy play the game, but more so she’s fixated on Eita (it’s theorized that she has an unrequited crush on him; a crush she held since middle school).  Finally, there’s Ena as she snaps the action on her camera.

Truly in unison, especially since this scene connects our five main characters, directly or otherwise.

Overall, the first episode of Just Because! is highly positively impressive.  It has everything I look for a first episode that makes me want to stick around for the series run.  I really wish Pine Jam dropped the entire series on Netflix or something so I can marathon the show in one sitting to gain the full experience of the story.  I can’t wait to see what they will do with their original anime.

First Impression Score: 8.5/10

+Transfer student won’t be totally mysterious
+Great musical score
+Great insight on the cast of characters and their goals
+Fuild animation in the baseball scene
+Has students as seniors, not freshmen
-Minor Animation issues
-Off model characters
Just Because ©2017 Pine Jam

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First Episode. First Impressions. One Shot: In Another World With My Smartphone

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.

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Did In Another Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World impressed me on its first episode?  Well, if I’m making fun of the title and its originality, then no.  It did not impress me at all.

In Another World With My Smartphone is disappointing.   I’m talking “shut-in, black sheep in the family who watches anime all day, cosplays at anime cons, and doesn’t play sports like your father wanted you to; thus he disowns you” disappointing (kinda like some of you weeaboos out there reading this).

I was optimistic that this’ll be a good show based on its premise: Our hero, Touya Mochizuki, is resurrected and sent to a new fantasy-like world of his choosing by God (who accidently killed him by throwing down lighting towards the Earth, striking him). In this new world, Touya can still use his smartphone as it’s powered by magic.  In addition, his phone is still linked to his former world, allowing him to receive  information and news from it.

It’s an interesting concept that I haven’t seen in any other form of media. Seeing modern day technology powered by magic as it technology itself adapts to the fantasy world.  It’s such a great idea and you think the writers of the show can do some amazing ideas with that, right?

Nah.  All they give us is yet another cookie cutter otaku fantasy anime with world harem undertones, with some decent and cool ideas to help keep it little original.  Outside of the original ideas however, this anime failed to impress me in reasons which I will go over.

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The anime opens with the recently decreased Touya chilling in heaven alongside God (who looks like a regular lookin’ grandfather; with his glasses, normal clothes, and all).  God explains to Touya that his death was accidental to His own carelessness, and begs for Touya’s forgiveness.  Touya’s rather chill about the whole mishap and forgives God, understanding that people make mistakes and you must forgive them for it.  I mean, yeah, he did died at such a young age and he didn’t fully experienced life, but at least he doesn’t have to live on Earth with all its awful people and problems.  And God’s seems like a very chill, mellow, and sincere dude.

You gotta think positive sometimes, ya know?

Impressed by Touya’s forgiving heart, God makes up for his (literally) fatal mistake by reviving him into any world of his choosing (a fantasy world as mentioned earlier), as well as  making his smartphone operate in this new world and gives him His number.

Following that, the OP animation starts to play. It starts out normally – upbeat music plays, there’s panning of forest landscape, Touya’s face’s appearing in the foreground, and annoying singing by some J-Pop idol girls, and holy hell it’s so annoying. Many red flags are going off in my head like I’m a Commie.

Things went from “this show won’t be bad at all!” to “this is going to be yet another annoying, generic otaku harem fantasy world anime ain’t it?” To start with  my disappointment towards this aniem, Touya transforms into Kirito Clone #314 with a white pallet swap of Kirito’s school shooter trench coat. That alone should had made me drop this anime as soon as saw that, but I decided to curb my anger just for this review.

(Seriously, I’m not anime racist but, what’s with these light/web novel characters looking alike?)

Alas, my anger would soon dominate my chill and zen mind as the weeaboo-like OP music increased its awfulness.  Like forreal, the music makes me want to choke out its producer. I’m willing to stack up and piss away $3500+ for a trip to Japan, just so I can personally strangle the anime’s music producer in hopes he or she will never make awful trash like this ever again.

That, or just master the song on the violin and make money off tips at anime cons from fans of this show.  Hustle off these weeb kids and adults because they pay good money to hear violin covers of their favorite weeb song but I digress.

As for the OP animation, it’s what you expect from a Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World Anime:  The first phase of the OP is character introductions.  First, we have two girls roaming the countryside.  We can assume that they’re twin sisters due to their similar hair and eyes color, facial structure, and clothing.  Any clues of their personalities and how different they are aren’t presented as their introduction but if I can take a guess, one is an introverted shy twin and the other is more extroverted, open, and brash.

Next, we’re introduced to some samurai girl who looks like the love child of that girl with owl off Samurai Showdown and Reimu off Touhou.   She appears to be just like any other average and plain samurai girl in anime of this type so let’s move forward.

Following, is the obvious upbeat Himedere princess.  I’m basing this sterotype off the fact of her position in this shot, the color coding of her dress, facial expression, and how her arms are up and spread like she’s a decision maker in her country.

She is followed by who I can assume to be another princess, perhaps a rival princess from another country.  I can take a wild guess that she somebody close to her is either dead or missing based how she’s staring outside her window and the depressing look on her face.  That, or her weedman whom she called two hours ago is on drug dealer time and is wondering why it’s taking him so long to come through.

We move forward with a  below average gothic lolita reading in her dark and gloomy room filled with  creepy stuffed animals. Then, we have some random minor character introductions.  After that, is a quick ascending shot focusing on a floating island which is followed up by shot of a MILF and her daughter, maybe?  Her student?  Some kid she kidnapped?  I dunno the connection between the two other than they have the same weird purple and white hair clips.  Speaking of connections, is there a connection to the floating island and these two, given they had their introducing shots back-to-back with the same quick ascending panning.

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Creepy looking gothic lolita

Next, the OP focus back on that Himdere Princesss and she just look annoying with her overly happy childish Genki anime girl expression and  animal mascot sidekick.  She looks annoying and I hope her animal sidekick bites into her neck and drags her across the ground violently like Mantecore the White Tiger did Roy Horn.   Just snatch all her shit up and maul her to death.

Then, we’re introduced to a secondary male character. He’s totally gonna be Touya’s rival or something with how he is position in the middle, there’s that speed lines pointing directing at him, and there’s a close up of his smug face.  He has white hair, so he probably has a tragic past or something that will make the fangirls feel bad for him or something.  Or “he” might be a cross-dressing girl with masculine features thus making everyone question their sexuality because it’s a harem show and we need to carter to every type of niche of animu girl archtype here – even reverse traps.

The OP transition to battle showcases and boy, are they boring.  Every battle that is shown here lack any sense of direction towards urgency, excitement, or high stakes in terms of life or death. The brawler twin just curb stomps some dragon as she slams her fists into its body while her mage sister cast magic against….invisible enemies? Oh and we don’t know what kinda spell she just cast. I guess an explosion spell maybe? I dunno.

Reimu and Owl Girl’s love child fighting style example is one of the worse of this phase and here’s why: So Samurai Girl  runs up on one lizard man) and lizard man puts up his shield to protect himself, right?  But it looks like either Samurai Girl slice the shield or stomach of the lizard man but it’s hard to tell based off the camera angle and the awkwardness of the animation.   Then she charges into two other lizardmen.

We can tell she’s charging into them based off the animation speed lines, but that animation just fades as she slices the first Lizardman’s shield, runs (with the speedlines re-appearing), the camera moving awkwardly behind her as the speedlines disappear and she attacks two more lizardmen.  Just like with the first lizardman, we can’t tell if she hit them or not due to how weird the animation appears.

(Refer to the OP video link above as my GIF creation program wouldn’t work at the time of posting this review)

The scene quickly transition to the second princess firing a magic bow towards a group of some damn dirty apes who were just minding their own business.  Not much to go on here, so let’s tear apart Touya’s battle.

Touya fights against some old dude in an empty arena for no reason.  The fight choreography is lazy as there is no effort and direction with the sword fighting.  The sword swings has no force or power behind them as they side step to the right. There’s small sparks at each clash of their blades but it’s not anything grand.  In short, this is the worse battle of this phase due to the animator not caring or pressed for time and completion.

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The OP finally ends with Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC (I’m not calling him by his real name anymore) and the girls standing in front of an unknown mansion.  Will this be his personal penthouse for him and his harem where they all live in harmony?  Are they going to do some The Great Gatsby type partying here? Is it some random dude’s house they just rented out the front lawn for this shot alone?  Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.

At this point, my gut was telling me “Hey Benjamin, drop this now!  It’s not worth your blood pressure rising due to your anger.”  I ignored my gut’s warning.

“Nah, let’s see how laughably terrible this anime will get!” I rebuttal as I aggressively tapped my left index finger against the side of my laptop while punching the wall with my right hand in anger from witnessing such a  generic show of a OP.  I mean, this anime isn’t that utterly horrible.  I can see why some folks may like it, but its’ not my cup of tea.  And yet, I swear if I kept watching this entry level moe’ harem filth, I’d commit mass murder against all lonely otaku who love to project their harem otaku fantanties on main characters like this Touya..

I need to listen to my gut more often.

Once the awful OP ends, we see Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC lying in a field unconscious.  He awakens, sees that he’s okay, and heads to town. As he questions how he’ll survive  in this new world, Generic MC receives a call from God.  After confirming that Generic MC is okay he informs him that he upgraded his phone to help him get through the new town with ease such as installing a map program detailing the area.

 

Once receiving the map updates, Generic MC heads to town, but is stopped by some weird, overly excited, possibly gay tailor; He begs the MC to sell his “bizarre” school clothes to him in exchange for some gold pieces and clothing to help blend in.   The scene cuts away to an eye-catch of a recycled image of the MC checking his phone and annoying MMORPG-like music jingle.

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“They’re gonna use this often, aren’t they? I hope not this is annoying.” I asked myself.  “Eh, probably not, it’s just a one-time thing, right?”

Oh Ben, you’re so full of hope.

After receiving his new clothes (and being creped out by the tailor sniffing his old outfit), Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World MC wanders around town, seeking the Silver Moon Inn as mentioned to him by the tailor.  He needs a place to lounge in and settle in the new world. While searching for the inn, he encounters the set of twins from the OP being harassed by some thugs in an alley. The girls sold the thugs a damaged glass antler piece and believe they should not pay full price for it. They demand the girls to lower the price, which they refuse.

Touya decides to step in and help the girls.  And once again, a red flag pops up in my head.

“Let me guess: Dude’s gonna play hero, somehow overpower the two thugs who’re  in better shape than he is, and the two girls will sworn over him and befriend him, despite being ignorant of his origins.”

My theory will be soon proven right.

The thugs try to attack the kid but he takes them out with ease. During the strife, we’re treated to a sample of his powers bestow upon him by God. As the smaller thug charges towards the MC with a knife, he dodges the blade. He notices that he is moving so fast that the world feels like it’s in slow motion.  Taking advantage of this, he smashed his elbow into the spine of the attacker, knocking him out cold. The anime doesn’t show what happens to the other thug.

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Guess he saw his homeboy getting that ass whoop and was like “Nah bruh, I’m good. I didn’t even want that glass piece anyways.” and dipped off screen.

So Touya, or Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC. This kid’s a Gary Sue – blessed by God who enhanced his natural abilities. He managed to whoop one thug’s ass so badly that his homeboy ran off on him like he just ripped off the plug.   In under ten minutes we’ve encounter awful OP music, a harem set up, a generic fantasy otaku dream world, and now a Gary Sue MC who’ve just impressed a set of twin girls with his powers.

Awesome.

The cynical me was yearning for the kid to act all cool and cocky against the thugs, only to have his skull caved in by them. Kinda like Subaru (Re:Zero) was put in his place for playing hero by the two thugs harassing Emila. Granted, In Another World With My Smartphone is a campy “stuck-in-a-fantasy-world”anime compared to Re:Zero,  and the kid did died at such a young age.  He earned the right to live out this fantasy life of being overly powered and have girls fall of him day one.  But still, this lazy writing and train wreck anime makes wanna drink.  I need to get drunk tolerant this trash.
Sigh.

Touya and the twins (Elze; a headstrong brawler and Linze; the quiet mage) are quickly acquainted.  After revealing some information about his background, he  tells the girls that he’s searching for the Silver Moon Inn. To the surprise of nobody who understand lazy writing and are knowledgeable in classic RPG troopes/clichés, the twins are staying in that exact inn and agree to let him join their adventure.

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There’s another cut away shot with some awful guitar music playing while the  voice actresses of the twins are humming along to the melody (off beat mind you).  They sound bored; as if they just wanna get their paycheck and forget the fact that they worked on this show.  I don’t blame them.

[Skipping several unimportant scenes ahead]

Later that night, we see Touya lying in bed checking his cell phone.  The phone is still connected to his old world, so he still receives news updates from it as we see him reading  an entertainment article on a popular band  from his world breaking up.  I personally like this, as it shows that life in his old world has move on after his death.  This makes me wish that I wasn’t dropping this anime, because I want to see the writers play with the idea of Touya checking his phone for news updates in his old world.

The next morning, Touya, Elze, and Linze scan a bulletin board searching for quests to earn money.  After the twins get Touya hip on how the guild system work, the three apply to hunt down and kill five horned wolves, collecting their horns as proof of killing the beasts.  Before heading out, Touya arms himself with a sword – furthering the point home that he’s a generic action-fantasy web/light novel hero

Toyua tears through and flawlessly kill two wolves as expected (because you know, can’t have the Gary Sue MC get torn apart  and slaughtered by wild beasts ass in mere seconds), one of the wolves being an extra kill just because. After the battle, he mentions that he wants to learn how to read and write in the language of the world he’s living in, given he lacks the knowledge of knowing how to.  Furthermore, he wants to learn magic as he was inspired by Linze’s spell casting.

Let’s break this down: he gets to live in a world that he’s happy in (fair enough due to reasons mentioned earlier), he takes down thugs flawlessly, links up with twins, kills two monsters with ease (one which was an extra kill), and now he wants to learn magic.  As a Gary Sue kid with an unprecedented natural learning rate and talent, he’ll master magic with ease of course.

Joy.

As they’re chilling back at the Inn, the twins tell Touya that in order to learn and master magic, he must have been born with strong aptitudes.  Linze (born with strong aptitude) showcases her magic spells to Touya through elemental stones.  Linze shows Touya a weak water magic spell, filling a small tea cup up with water.  She passes the stone to Touya, who on his first try almost floods the table.  The twins are shocked and even impress by this and suggest that they go outside to have him practice with the othert stones before he destories the inn.

Of course, Touya shows impressive display of skills of each stone’s magic.  He has no hassle in using their powers a few steps above the average.  It’s like he’s of the Master Knight class from the stagery RPG Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War – he can use all magic and weaponry.  Expert unlike say Lachesis of Leaf (two Master Knights) who had to work their asses off to get that class, this kid would start off as a Master Knight right from the gate.

After seeing the kid showcasing how much of a Gary Stu he is, I decided to drop the episode right there and then.  I had enough of it.

In Another World With My Smartphone isn’t too terrible, but it’s not great either.  For what it’s worth, this show works well for its target audience and demographic.  It’s a campy, fun show that doesn’t take itself or clichés seriously.   I can see it as a show for somebody who just wants to relax on an easy day with a beer (or juice for the younger folks) and chill out after a long day of work or school. As for people like me outside it’s demographic, I can’t recommend it.

I was really hopeful that this anime would have been different with using modern technology in a fantasy world that still work due ot magic.  That is an amazing concept that I wanan see more in anime, because it’s something I’ve never seen before.  While I did drop the episode, I did manage to peep at the scene where Touya is explaining how to create ice cream with magic thanks in part with his cell phone.  I thought that was cool him showing the resident of his new world how the technology of his former world works.

I must also appreciate the RPG like aesthetics of this show.  It made me felt like I was watching a campy RPG come to life and I personally wouldn’t mind playing a RPG game like this.  The music itself has that classic smartphone RPG vibe with it light orchestral soundtrack playing the scenes.  Granted, I will say it got annoying at certain points.

Sadly, the predictable overpowerness of Touya and him learning magic and weaponery with ease is a huge turn off.  I get that he was blessed by God to have his natural abiblities increased ten folds, but it comes off as cheap and lazy.  However, it seems like Touya will struggle with reading and writing overtime so I guess that’s a fair trade off.

In short,  just skip In Another World With MY Smartphone if you dislike OP’d Gary Stu characters and overly capmy RPG troopes.   It’s not worth wsting your time watching.  If you don’t mind it and just want a warm, upbeat show to watch then I  say watch it.

Score: 6/10

I would give this show a 4.5/10, but it’s that modern day technology in a fantasy world idea is great and I think if done right, it could be sometime exciting to see in future anime series.  Plus

AFTERWORD

I’m tempted to give this show a second chance just based off how relaxing of a show this is.  Also I just saw how the other thug was defeated after writing this.  Dude was knock out by the brawler twin but I’m too lazy to edit that in lol.

 

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First Episode. First Impressions. One Shot: Hajimete no Gal

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.

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So, did Hajimete no Gal impressed me on its first episode?  Absolutely not!

I had to straight dropped this disrespectful-to-the-source-material trash in under eight minutes.  It’s that horrible.   However, I figure I’d watch the episode in full. I wanted to thoroughly explain why I don’t like this anime. Plus, I need to confirm my theory that it’ll be garbage overtime.

First off, the opening scene is a panty shot.  No warnings, explanations, or buildup leading  us to why we’re seeing   Yukana’s crotch on the screen. Nope.  Just straight up panty shot.  To me, that’s  just NAZ saying that they’re lacking confidence in the success of their adaption. If using a panty shot as the opening scene is a way to hook the viewers in, then your anime is going to suck.

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The manga didn’t open up with a panty shot.  The first pages were just Junichi  groveling on the ground at the feet of Yukana, with his head lowered in shame.  There was a panty shot towards the end of the chapter, but it was directed  so that it made sense that. Junichi caught a peep of  her panties from the angle of his position. The opening shot of the anime didn’t give that information or sense of direction. That’s why it was off putting.

 

Next is the gosh darn annoying opening animation song and animation.   The song, “The First Season”, sounds like some generic, entry level weeaboo J-Pop music that you’d normally hear on some weird Japanese-only rhythm game.  For example, that  Project Diva game that lonely spaz ass weebs play at anime cons. It’s easily forgettable, and could be passed off as a theme song for  any other generic romantic-comedy anime.

The OP animation gives off the impression that series might be directed as a harem, as three others girls are introduced: A bubbly, cute, yet graceless chubby girl, a tanned gyaru (who may be the Yukana’s best friend or something), and a graceful, modest girl (whom we can assume is either popular, or has high status, given she’s surrounded by many peers).

Excellent. Not only did that unnecessary panty shot didn’t help anyone who may be skeptical about Hajimete no Gal, the OP is an extra strike for anyone (myself included) who hates harem, or overly perverted material in anime with no substance or reason.

(Admittedly, I’m on chapter 5 of the manga, and I’ve yet  to encountered the other girls besides Yukana.  Junichi and Yukana are already dating, and Yukana likes him. I don’t know what’s with other girls; if they’re further in the manga or what, but I digress.)

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While I’m on the subject, the girl’s  design looks plain and lazy. Uninspiring even – lacking depth and clues about their personalities. Also, why does each girl (sans the modest looking chick) have large breasts?  Not every female character needs large tits my dude.  Sigh.  The opening animation pisses me off. The opening shot pisses me off.  This episode pisses me off. If I were to watch this entire anime, I’ll lose my temper.

With that said, lets examine the rest of  episode.

The anime begins similar to the manga; Junichi  frets entering the new school year as a kiss-less  virgin.  His friends, a group of outcast nerds (Shinpei, Keigo, and Minoru) are in the same boat.  Together, they make a pact to lose their virginity. Or at the least obtain new girlfriends before the end of the school year.

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While Jun will achieve in  getting a girlfriend (he’s the main character, he gets the girl first), his crew talks that good game about getting with a chick to smash and date. Mostly smash.  Heck any chick is great for them. White chicks. Black chicks.  Asian Chicks. Tsundere Chicks.  Dandere. Yandere chicks.  They’re all free game – even if the chick looks clearly like a  loli.

And here is where things goes from bad to just utterly wrong.

I respect the fact that animators and writers must create filler scenes for manga-to-anime adaption. If you directly apadate the manga panel-by-panel without filler, you’re going to have a very short anime.   With that said; when did Jun’s crew  became a bunch of pedophiles, trying to smash a girl who’s clearly in middle or grade school?  In the manga, they were some petty haters; mad at Jun because he got with Yukana. Cool.  They’re still assholes in the anime.  That ain’t changed.

But lusting after a little girl?  Fam, what the hell?  Like, after Nene is introduced (way too early mind you),  Minoru starts asking and making some rather suspect questions and statements about Nene.  I’ll let these screenshots speak for themselves:

 

 

Moving forward, The Virgin Brigade (sans Jun) make an unanimous decision to look at porn magazines in class.  They drool over the models’ physical attributes, making rather lewd comments about them.  Jun is  pressured into reading one.  He refuses, but gives up and reluctantly accepts one.  While reading it, Junichi is startled by Yukana’s disgust towards the group.  Junichi clumsily throws the book behind his back, landing at her feet. Jun hurries to recover it, stumbles, and falls near her.  She glares downwards towards him and calls him disgusting.  Needless to say, Junichi is utterly embarrassed at what has just  transpired.

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How I feel about this adaptation.

After  school, Junichi confronts his friends about the incident.  They tell him to chill and to take advantage of the recent situation.   Next, they explain to him how easy(going) gyaru are; suggesting to him that he should pursue Yukana.  Once again, he is pressured by his friends into another unwanted situation.  In fact, his crew wrote a confession letter addressed to Yukana from Junichi’s point of view.  He’s understandably pissed but he catches himself and calms down.  He fantasizes about smashing Yukana, inspired after gaining a peep at her panties earlier. He figures that if he confesses and luck out, he’ll get to  see more than just her panties, and loses his virginity.  They slip the letter into Yukana’s locker and wait.

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Hey, dude’s thinking positive with both heads.

Later, Yukana receives the letter and meets  with Junichi after reading it.  They two meet up , and Junichi “confesses” – by getting on his knees,  lowering his head, and begs her for a date.  Yukana is disgusted once again, but starts to laugh and tease him, questions him if the only reason why he wants to date her is so that he could to lose his virginity. Dude starts to (over)think that he screwed up, but regains his confidence as Yukana tells him that she finds him cute and wants to get him know him better.  She decides that she wants to go out with him, much to his disbelief.

The episode ends with Junichi shouting in victory at his success. Same as the manga.

To conclude, let me explain why I’m dropping this trash adaption.   The extra scenes with Yui (the popular and modest girl) and Nene felt unnecessary. It made me assumed that the series was going to stray far from its manga roots; with Junichi attempting to get with every girl (as opposed to the manga where Junichi only had eyes for Yukana).  If I had lacked prior knowledge of the manga. and watched the anime fully blind, seeing that possible harem set-up would had made me drop the show off the OP alone.

I’m that strict.

Then, we have Junichi’s crew.  His friends are haters in both the manga and anime. They’re a group of young dudes interested in girls and sex, which is normal.  What’s not normal is these dudes wanting to have sex with  Nene just because she’s a loli.

That’s creepy.

Despite my overal harsh  criticism, I will say that I appreciate that the animation team accurately animated panels from the manga shot-by-shot such as the guys looking at porn in the classroom, Junichi’s sexual fantasies, and his confession to Yukana.

 

As for the animation itself, it’s not too terrible. However,  it’s not amazing either.  There doesn’t seem to be any inconsistent, off models shots (from what I’ve noticed) or anything that would be jarring.  Yet, there’s much more to be desired from the visuals, as many shots lack details, as many parts weren’t “animated” (example – the scene were the students are being lovely-dovely should have had arm moves, kissing, etc like Jun’s fantasy with Yukana were she’s slowly undresses herself, lick her lips, teases Jun, etc.)

Overall, Hajimete no Gal isn’t a completely terrible anime, but it’s not great either.  Hell, it’s not even good.  It feels like an sub-par  romantic-comedy anime that  could had have a lot going for it; given how amazing the source material is.

Sadly, the adaption falls flat on its ass due to its overused of fanservice, lack of detailed animation, and uninteresting premises that sway far from its source material.  Maybe things will get better as the series carries along in the summer season, but from what I’ve been infromed by die hards fans who’ve read further into the manga than I and watched episodes 2 and 3, I shouldn’t have any hopes that the anime will do the manga justice.

Score 5.5/10.

On the bright side at least this review and score isn’t as brutal as on my Facebook page:

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Please note this was written out of pure rage and disappointment.

 

EDIT: Strong language removed so I can run this post as an ad for Facebook lol

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First Episode. First Impressions. One Shot: Kakegurui

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me –  it’s getting dropped.

Did Kakegurui’s first episode impressed me, or did I have to drop it?   Let’s find out!
Summary

In Hyakkau Private Academy, status is everything. Gambling is law.  Money rules all.

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‘Cash rules everything around me.
C.R.E.A.M. get the money
Dollar dollar bill ya’ll’

-Wu Tang Clan

Students with high status are royally treated and rewarded. The low aren’t considered human – treated as pets and furniture. To obtain the high status, you must gamble.  Money.  Power.  Respect.  Anything and everything you want in Hyakkau can be obtained – but only if you gamble.

We’re presented with the risk/reward premises of Kakegurui  early on through an intense game of Poker between two students: the sadistic gambling queen Mary Saotome, and the lowly Ryota Suzui.   The two are to their last cards, breathing heavily, and sweating hard, fatigued from the game.  Ryota reveals his hand in confidence: full house.  Upon seeing his hand, Mary starts giggling, her face inhumanly twisted.

She reveals her winning hand – Royal Straight Flush.

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“Too bad!”  she shouts in victory.

Coldly, Mary encourages Ryota to keep his spirit up, despite the hardships he has been through the day.  Then, she calls him “Pochi” – his new name. Ryota is no longer human.  He is a “dog”.  A house pet.  His hope, faith, and humanity: gone.  Retaining it all is a fool’s game.

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Or so did he believe, until a girl named Yumeko Jabami arrived.

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Yumeko Jabami: a seemingly sweet and modest girl.

 

The scene transition to Yumeko introducing  herself to her new classmates, wishing to befriend them all. Immediately, she becomes popular. Her male peers are captivated by her cuteness and friendliness. Even Ryota himself is charmed by her sweet  presence and beautiful appearance.  As a new student,  Yumeko needs somebody to show her around.  Ryota, due to his class rep status, is selected by his teacher to help her around.  He happily accepts his new duty.  Yumeko tells him that it’s nice to meet him, with him agreeing likewise.  Despite his new status as Mary’s house pet, Ryota’s luck is starting to change.

Speaking of Mary, she  jealous of Yumeko’s instant popularity.  She doesn’t like the new transfer student.  She stares her with disdain.

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So far, three characters have been introduced and established.  Ryota, the main male character and house pet of the callous supporting character, Mary, and finally, the new student and main female character, Yumeko, who has her first hater in the form of Mary.  It’s fairly obvious that Ryota and Yumeko will have the most interactions and their relationship will evolve into friendly terms. We can assume through Mary’s anger towards Yumeko that they’ll have a rivalry.  First episode in and we’re already got some good bits served to us and even a possible hook for us to go past the fist episode rather than dropping it.

Let’s move forward.

After class, Ryota gives Yumeko a tour of the school.  She’s at awe at its beauty, expressing her happiness of her  transfer to him. Next,  she notices Ryota’s dog tag around his neck –  the name “Pochi” engraved on it. She questions him why he’s wearing it, to which he doesn’t respond, turning his back towards her out of embarrassment.  He doesn’t want to let her know about his status as a pet.  After a few seconds of silence, he asks Yumeko if she ever gambled before.  Yumeko replies innocently, telling him she knows the rules of gambling through Poker and Mahjong.

Ryota replies to her answer. He starts breaking down how gambling is not just the school’s tradition, but it’s the backbone of it. After school, the rich kids turn the school into a massive gambling hall.  He tries to warn her that the rich kids will try to invite her to gamble, but is suddenly stopped by her.  She finds  the idea of gambling in school fun and starts to  giggle madly.  Ryota looks at her with shock.

There seems to be more about Yumeko than what she lets on.

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Later, while socializing with her new peers, Yumeko is challenged by Mary  to a gambling match: a game of rock-paper-scissors in card game form.   Mary seeks to humiliate Yumeko for stealing her spotlight, and sets her up as her latest sucker.  Yumeko, unaware of Mary’s plan, accepts her challenge.  Everyone is at  abuzz  about the challenge,  and prep the classroom, transforming it into a gambling den.  After the room is set up, Mary explains the rules of voting-rock-paper-scissors to Yumeko.

 

Both girls play their first  card.  Mary draws scissors and Yumeko  draws rock, winning the first round.   Mary congrats Yumeko on her first win and allows her to place the next bet. Yumeko boldly bets 50 chips (valued at 50,000 yen); a move that surprises and socks everyone.  Yumeko is chill about her bold move, thinking nothing of it.  Both girls draw rock from their hands, resulting in a tie. They continue, Mary playing rock once more and Yumeko with scissors.  Obviously, Mary wins. Following that, Yumeko wins the next round, betting 50 chips once again.  After that,  Yumeko starts to lose each hand, losing all her chips in the process, but again,  she’s still in her calm and chill state.

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Mary starts celebrating her apparent victory, She asks Yumeko if she want to continue her losing streak.  Yumeko doesn’t reply, which prompts Mary to start laughing at and taunting her opponent,  asking her if  she has cold feet. Mary’s an incredibly arrogant and prideful player. She enjoys taunting her opponent and thinks herself as a paragon of superiority.

I like that. Mary, you’re the second best girl so far.

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Yumeko, still stoic and calm, informs Mary that the game has just truly started. She requests one final match, which Mary (cockily) agrees to.  Mary believes she’s can force her into an unpayable debt, thus forcing Yumeko to become her new pet.  Mary starts praising herself and  calls Yumeko foolish. She can’t believe Yumeko  wants to play against her once more. She then questions the “foolish” Yumeko how could she possibly continue the game if she doesn’t have any chips left.

Yumeko may not have any chips left, but she has something much more exciting to offer – money.

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Yumeko bets real cash – 10,000,000 yen (USD $88,760 as of July 20th 2017) in stacks to be exact. Mary is shocked – offended even.  She starts to lose her mind, demanding Yumeko to explain why she carries so much cash on her.  She assumes that Yumeko can’t afford to gamble such an outlandish amount of money away on a simple game.  She didn’t expect her seemingly naïve and innocent opponent to take the game to a serious route.

She calls Yumeko crazy, but the girl doesn’t seem to be mind being called crazy.  In fact, she loves it. She becomes enthusiastic about the new risks.  Her eyes start to glow red, demonic like even.  She explains how the lifeblood of money rules the world.  She gets excited explaining to Mary how the risk and craziness of gambling makes the game even more fun.   Yumeko loves money.  Yumeko loves high risks.  Yumeko loves insanity.

Yumeko loves gambling.

‘Maddness is the essence of gambling, isn’t it?’

-Yumeko Jabemi

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(Alright.  So Yumeko’s true personality [or at least parts of it] is revealed.  She ins’t this modest and humble girl that she originally lead everyone to believe (althrough the OP animation foreshadow that, but whatever).  Like a seasoned gambler, she conceals her hard earned knowledge of the game.  Yumeko (obviously) is a different person when she takes a game seriously, taking a simple friendly game to high risk and rewards levels – because she loves it.

I’m hooked. No need to drop this anime on episode 1.)

Mary is enraged. She believes Yumeko is mocking her with her reckless behavior, and refuses her offer. Unemotionally, Yumeko taunts her – asking Mary if she has cold as she did her.  Pissed, Mary accepts and regains her confidence.  She believes that she can still win; entrusting her victory in the fact her classmate are voting in her favor (of course, Mary does have them in her pockets, taking advantage of their needs and wants).

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However, Yumeko is hip to Mary plans and exposes her.

Yumeko  figures that Mary has about 10-20 people voting in her favor – a fact she hid poorly.  Yumeko  notices that Mary  was playing the same cards twice, mixed her cards while she wasn’t betting,  and their peers’ reacting to their plays, sending each other signals to inform Mary on which card to play.  She finishes with telling her that she can’t fool anyone if she isn’t prepared to lose money.  Mary becomes enraged once more. Her plans broken down and revealed! But, she believes that Yumeko is merely bluffing!  She couldn’t be that clever!  She has no proof that Mary’s trying to play the system!  With her egotistical mindset, Mary believes she can still win. She plays her final card: Paper.   She slams her card down with the highest of confidence – but it’s all for naught.

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Yumeko, with her sweet and friendly smile, reveals her winning card: Scissors.

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Everyone starts to freak out in shock.  Mary, the gambling queen of Hyakkau , has been dethroned. She starts to blank out, withdrawn in her thoughts.  She just lost 10,000,000 yen – which she lacks.  Yumeko demands that she pay up ASAP  In shame, Mary bows her head, grits her teeth, and confesses to the victor that she lacks  the money.  Yumeko (back to her normal innocent nature), tells Mary that the joy of the game and it stakes was payment enough. She cheerfully leaves the room, expressing her hopes that her new classmates will treat her as an equal.

IMPRESSIONS

For a first episode, Kakegurui is excellent, and right on the jump! I like how we’re treated to the premise right away: gambling is law and status. An example of the risk and reward of obtaining victory or losing are presented – with Suzui becoming a pet to Mary, and Mary owing debt to Yumeko after losing to her.  Like gambling itself, matches are exciting and the excitement factor is  increased when the stakes are higher, as we see with Yumeko betting cash rather than simple plastic chips.

One thing that I’ve noticed that makes me enjoy the anime is the facial expressions of each characters and how it’s link to their reaction.  Yumeko with her eyes widing, twisted smile, and facial blushing as she explains how much gambling gives her pleasure, or with Mary’s anger towards defeat expressed through her gritting her teeth, body trembling, lips quivering, and eye twitching.

I am looking forward to how this anime will playout throughout the summer season as it looks promising and refreshing (by my taste).  Once completed, I’ll give the series an in-depth review and possible analysis in the future!

So, to answer my question:  Did Kakeugurui impressed me?
Yes!  Yes it did!

If you have any anime I should watch this season, please let me know in the comment section below!    I need to build up my anime game this year!