I’ve been busy

I’m watching seven shows from this season so… the Spring 2019 Anime First Impressions post will be up within the next few days. Sorry for the delay.

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I’ve been busy these past few weeks. I’ve been studying for finals and working on final assignments for uni. The thing is, I’ve been working four days a week and went to practicum two days a week. I also interviewed for a research assistant job. It’s kind of tiring to write papers after an eight-hour work day…

The good news? I finished my practicum hours yesterday and I got the job I interviewed for. Now I have two jobs. I still have a final exam and an assignment to finish, but I’m excited for future cosplays and blog posts. I have a list of cosplays and blog posts I want to write.

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Listening to: 毛不易 – 消愁

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Fruits Basket (2019): First Episode Impressions

As someone who watched the Fruits Basket (2001) anime and read the manga when I was in grade five, this reboot brings me a lot of joy. Fruits Basket was easily one of my top 5 anime. The 2001 anime didn’t cover the entire story, which is why this new adaptation is so special to me. Not only does it cover the rest of the story, it also starts from the beginning. Most of the voice actors that voiced the English dub in the 2001 anime have returned to voice their respective characters in the 2019 adaptation. You can read my review on the Fruits Basket (2001) anime in this post.

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Synopsis: Tohru Honda’s father passed away when she was young and her mother passed away in a traffic accident. With no family members to take her in, she lives by herself in a tent.

Yuki and Shigure Sohma discover that Tohru is living in a tent and offers her a room in their residence in exchange for meals and cleaning. On the day she moves in, a boy named Kyo Sohma barges in the house and wants to battle Yuki. Attempting to stop the fight, she discovers the Sohma family secret. The 13 members of the family turn into a zodiac animal when hugged by the opposite sex! Yuki turns into a rat, Shigure turns into a dog and Kyo turns into a cat.

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Fruits Basket is a really sweet anime. The first thing that stood out to me about this reboot was the art. It’s gorgeous! Natsuki Takaya, the creator of Fruits Basket, had creative control in this anime. She is the Executive Supervisor, so you’ll know that this reboot will stay true to the original manga.

The first episode was stunning to look at and I enjoyed watching the first episode a lot. I’m so excited to watch the rest of this series!

Winter 2019 Anime: Closing Thoughts

The Promised Neverland

Synopsis: Emma and Norman are orphans who learn that they’re being raised as livestock for demons to eat. Together with Ray, they devise strategies on ways to escape the orphanage.

Thoughts: This was my favourite anime from the season. I highly recommend watching it. Every episode was suspenseful and there were so many cliffhangers. I can’t wait to see what happens next in season 2 in 2020! You can read my first episode impressions post here.

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War 

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Poor Ishigami

Synopsis: Kaguya and Shirogami like each other, but they are too prideful to admit it. Each episode is on them trying to get the other to confess.

Thoughts: This show had likable characters. Kaguya, Chika, Ishigami and Hayasaka were all great characters. Ishigami is easily my favourite character from the season, maybe because I can relate to his struggles. The last episode was sweet to watch. I liked how they involved all the characters and not just the two main leads. I was frustrated with how the show ended because I wanted to see more progress in Kaguya and Shirogane’s relationship, but this is a slice-of-anime anime so it’s not surprising. Kaguya-sama had great opening and ending songs.

My Roommate is a Cat

Synopsis: Mikazuki is a writer who doesn’t like going outside or interacting with people. His parents passed away in an accident and he lives by himself. Mikazuki meets a stray cat and takes her in for inspiration for his novel.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this anime a lot. I wrote about this show in more depth, which you can read here. The themes were on friendship and new beginnings. The last episode was really sweet and I liked that the focus was on Mikazuki and Haru, his cat. I recommend this anime if you like cats.

Kakegurui xx

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Synopsis: This is the second season of Kakegurui, a gambling anime. The school is hosting a competition in which the student with the most points will become the school president. Yumeko is challenged by a number of students, each wanting to win.

Thoughts: Season one was good, but I didn’t really enjoy season two. The games lacked feeling. When I watched Kaiji I felt anxious and was filled with worry and dread. I didn’t feel any of that with Kakegurui xx. There was a very beautiful episode on Kiari and Sayaka’s relationship, but that was the only memorable thing about the show. The winner of the competition has yet to be to be determined.

Sorry for the delay

The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.”

It’s taking a while to write the Winter 2019 Wrap-up post. I’ve completed The Promised Neverland, Kaguya-sama, My Roommate is a Cat, and Kakegurui xx.

I got sucked into Asian drama hell.

I’m definitely going to watch at least two Spring 2019 anime, but I’m also going to write at least two Asian drama posts.

Song Interpretation: 薛之謙 Joker Xue – 動物世界 Animal World

Singer: 薛之謙 Joker Xue

Song: 動物世界 Animal World

Animal World is a super interesting song because the lyrics make you think a lot. This song is not related to the Chinese film with the same name. Joker Xue is the lyricist of this song.

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species book appears in the music video. Darwin made great contributions to the field of science because of his research on evolution. I’ve taken a university-level course on Animal Psychology and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology so I might be able to provide some insight…

I’ve only provided my interpretations to the parts that stood out the most to me.

要將情人一口吞下

還要顯得溫文爾雅

螳螂委屈的展示舊傷疤

This part is about swallowing a lover. The female praying mantis eats the male after they mate.

努力進化 笑動物世界都太假

This part is about humans laughing at how fake the animal world is. Humans work hard to evolve. My interpretation of this – this relates to how superficial society has become. We spend a lot of money to look good. We spend a lot of time altering how we look by applying filters to our pictures and posting on social media to show how much “fun” we are having. All of these, one could argue, is “fake.”

不再進化 動物世界裡都太傻

This part is about thinking that animals are stupid. My interpretation is that we as a human race believe that we are superior to other animals. Whether or not this is true, is up for debate.

得到了你就該丟下 人性來不及粉刷

所以啊 人總患孤寡

This part talks about how people don’t always hide their true nature. It talks about the “ugly” side of people and how we can easily break up with a person for superficial reasons. The next part says that people are always worried about being alone.

別再進化 別讓動物世界太假

Now the lyrics are saying that humans should not evolve, to not let the animal world become more fake than it already is. Here, we understand the perspective of the singer – which is not necessarily Joker Xue’s perspective.

我們 該露出爪牙

This part says that we should show our claws and teeth. My interpretation is that we should drop the superficial act and show our “true selves.” We can be cunning and harm others, so why not show it.

優勝劣汰 自舔傷疤

This part talks about Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” phrase and that it is part of our human nature. The interesting part about this is that it says that part of our nature is to lick our own wounds – which relates back to the earlier lyric of humans being alone in this world.

假裝進化 拼命想和動物有差

玩一出高貴優雅

This part talks about humans pretending to be different from animals by acting noble and elegant. My interpretation of this is that the singer believes that we are no different than animals. Humans could even be worse than other animals, because of the fake acts we do in order to appear that we are the “better evolved” species.

在人們腐爛的慾望下 獸性來不及抹殺

This part is about human desire and that our animal instinct is undeniable. My interpretation – even if we try to pass off as elegant, our natural instincts are still “animal-like.”

人類用沙 想捏出夢里通天塔

為貪念不惜代價

This is about our dreams, and how we are willing to pay any price for our own greed. Some people would resort to killing or robbing other people for their desires.

駕馭著昂貴的木馬 巢穴一層層疊加

最後啊 卻一絲不掛

This part is saying that we drive expensive cars and add layers to our nests. In certain bird species, the female bird chooses her mate depending on how “good” the nest looks. The male bird with the most beautiful nest will mate with the highest number of females. Then the lyrics say that in the end, we will end up naked. I think this refers to sex. We do these things to attract potential mates and the outcome is sex.

別害怕 我們都孤寡

This part says that we are all alone.


I want to make it clear that my interpretations of the song don’t necessarily reflect how I personally feel. I’m just giving my thoughts on what I think the song is supposed to mean. I could be wrong, and you may have a different interpretation of it. Although Joker Xue wrote the lyrics to his song, it is unclear what his perspective is.

My thoughts? I think the song sounds great. I really like Joker Xue’s voice. The music video has intimate scenes, which goes back to the theme of sex and reproduction. I think the lyrics are definitely thought-provoking, but they are so cynical. To be honest, I feel very dejected after analyzing the song.

I don’t think I agree with everything the singer says. A flaw is that the song kind of lumps every person on the planet together and sees them as a single entity that has the same goals and motivations. However, that’s just how the singer (not necessarily Joker Xue) views things. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. It was interesting to hear this kind of perspective, especially the parts on superficiality.

Animal World: Kaiji Film Adaptation Review

Animal World (2018) is a Chinese film based on the manga, Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It is on the rock-paper-scissors arc of the manga. As a huge Kaiji fan, I had to watch this film.

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Synopsis: Zheng Kaisi is tricked into shouldering on his friend’s debt. He enters a game that takes place on a ship. There, he sees players from all over the world with enormous debts. If he wins, he will be debt-free. However – if he loses, he will have to face a life worse than imaginable. The game is rock-paper-scissors but it has its own set of rules. Zheng Kaisi has to beat the other players in rock-paper-scissors. Sounds straight-forward, right?

Actually, it’s an extremely intense and interesting game. There are various psychological elements to consider, such as cheating, betrayal, working with comrades and greed. This psychological thriller/gambling film adapts the Kaiji manga very well. The gambling that happens in the film is identical to the manga, so you won’t be disappointed with the ending.

Something that was interesting was that the players were diverse and spoke different languages. Kaisi communicated with non-Chinese players by listening to an earpiece that translated the other player’s words into Chinese in real time. I thought this was realistic.

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Kaiji is a great manga that tackles themes such as human nature and I think that ‘Animal World’ is a suitable name for the film because in an environment where there are not a lot of regulations, humans may succumb to “animal-like behaviours.” Kaisi is a great protagonist that refuses to degrade himself like that. In this game, he fights the resistance to betray others. He is a flawed protagonist that does not have a 100% chance of winning. That is what makes him such a relatable character.

I don’t think that Kaiji is a simple manga to adapt. Animal World did it well, because of a number of reasons. One, the cinematography is really well done. Nobuyuki Fukumoto does a lot of panels with metaphors, and Animal World has amazing graphics that showcases those metaphors. Metaphors help the audience understand the depths of what the character is feeling. I liked that the film remained close to the source material in this way.

The actor who plays Kaiji/Kaisi, Li Yifeng, is a great actor. He is famous in China and played the role really well. Kaisi is different from Kaiji in terms of his personality, family background, life situation and relationships, which gives Animal World its own sense of originality. Like Kaiji, Kaisi is a likable and strong protagonist.

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The budget for this film and also the cinematography allowed the manga to come to life. Extra elements were added in the film but they were enjoyable to watch. Overall, I was really impressed with this adaptation and enjoyed it a lot. I recommend watching Animal World, even if you have never read or watched Kaiji. If you are a Kaiji fan, it doesn’t hurt to give this a try.

Animal World is available on Netflix.