BL Anime: Given Episode 9 Review

Given is a shounen ai anime from this season. It’s still airing and it’s one of the best Boys Love anime I’ve seen. It’s been a great show since the beginning, but episode 9 has been by far, the best episode yet. It was a whirlwind of emotions. It was heart-wrenching, yet so beautiful. The tears just wouldn’t stop when I watched this episode. I got goosebumps.

Synopsis: Mafuyu Sato has a difficult time expressing himself. He is bad with words and doesn’t understand his own feelings. He wants to learn how to play guitar and is able to when he meets Ritsuka Uenoyama, a boy who goes to the same high school as him. After hearing that Mafuyu can sing, Uenoyama invites Mafuyu to join his band, the seasons. The band is offered an opportunity to perform a live show. Mafuyu is given the challenge to write lyrics for a song composed by Uenoyama. However, he is struggling to write lyrics as he has his other stuff he needs to work on. With the live show approaching, will he be able to finish the lyrics on time?

He does – and the song went above and exceeded all my expectations. To understand the lyrics fully, you have to watch the show in its entirely. Yes, go watch Given. Even if you don’t understand everything because you haven’t seen the show, you can feel Mafuyu’s feelings in this song. Through music, he was finally able to express himself and say all the words he’s been wanting to say. It was a release of so many emotions at once, and I felt it.

If you do plan on watching Given, I don’t recommend watching the video because it contains spoilers.

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August 2019 Anime & Asian Drama Wrap-Up

These are the shows I watched in August. This is my first time doing something like this, so I’ll see if I’ll continue it. I worked on this post for a month and wrote a bit whenever I watched a show.

I normally watch more episodes/shows, but the highlights of my month were playing Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair so that took a lot of time away from watching shows.

Durarara!!x2 Ten: Onoroke Chakapoko

Episodes watched: 1/1

Prior to watching this special episode, I watched everything related to Durarara!! except for two special episodes. So… I decided to watch them both on the same day. Durarara!! is one of my favourite anime and my favourite character is from this anime. Unfortunately, Izaya was barely in these episodes but I did learn that he does not like dogs.

This episode was focused on Shinra and Celty’s relationship.

Durarara!!x2 Shou: Watashi no Kokoro wa Nabe Moyou

Episodes watched: 1/1

This special episode takes place during the time Mikado and the others attended a hot pot party at Shinra’s apartment. We see a few flashbacks in this episode and it was nice to see what the characters were like when they were young.

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou

Episodes watched: 3/13

This is season 2 of Natsume’s Book of Friends. I really enjoyed season 1. To be honest, I’m not too impressed with it so far but I’m sure my mind will change as I watch more…

Given (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 4 (4-7)

Given is a boys love anime and I recommend this. I’m really enjoying this anime.

The four main characters are in a music band and the ending song is sang and performed by them! Sato’s voice actor is amazing at singing. I am in love with the song. The opening song is also really good!

Dr. Stone (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 5 (5-9)

I was hooked on Dr. Stone within the first ten minutes of episode one. Dr. Stone continues to be a show I look forward to watching every week.

Vinland Saga (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 4 (5-8)

Vinland Saga is an anime about vikings. What I like about Vinland Saga is that I feel like I’m in the setting in which the story takes place. I’m completely immersed in the show every time I watch it.

Aimer sings the ending theme!

Autumn’s Concerto

Episodes watched: 1 (23 on Netflix)

Autumn’s Concerto is one of my favourite Taiwanese dramas and I cry a lot whenever I watch this. The main guy, Guang Xi, starts off as a jerk but he treats the main girl, Mu Cheng, very well later on. I recommend this drama.

Abyss

Episodes watched: 2/16

Abyss is a South Korean drama that was recommended to me. It’s alright so far. Asian drama episodes feel so long… I’m too used to anime episodes…

Kimetsu no Yaiba (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 6 (16-21)

I heard episode 19 was really good so I caught up to the anime. Inosuke and Zenitsu are irritating at times, but they’re both growing on me. I’m really proud of Tanjirou and Nezuko. They make a wonderful team.

One Piece (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 17 (730-746)

I finally finished watching the fight between Luffy and Doflamingo. One Piece is my favourite anime of all time but the bird cage lasted a very long time. Time isn’t very logical in One Piece. The episodes and fights are definitely dragged out in addition to the recap every episode but I’ll still watch every episode of One Piece.

It’s a little crazy to think that I’ve watched over 700 episodes of One Piece. I started watching One Piece from the beginning in 2016 and I’ve been consistently watching seasonal anime too.

Dororo

Episodes watched: 2 (14-15)

I hear that the ending is awesome. The start of Dororo was very strong but the anime feels kind of long…

Fruits Basket (2019) (ongoing)

Episodes watched: 1 (8)

I’ve watched the first Fruits Basket anime adaptation and I’ve completed the manga so maybe that’s why it’s taking me a while to catch up to this anime…

Kotoura-san

Episodes watched: 1/12

I watched the first ten minutes of this anime a long time ago, but I thought it was depressing so I dropped it. This anime was recommended to me and I gave it another try. The rest of the first episode certainly had a different feeling to it, so I guess the moral of the story is to not drop shows so hastily and to finish the first episode, at the very least!


My favourite shows from this season are Dr. Stone and Demon Slayer/Kimetsu no Yaiba.

As usual, I also read manga and webtoons but that would make a very long post so let’s not get into that.

Spring 2019 Anime Closing Thoughts

Spring 2019 Anime Impressions post here.


1. Fruits Basket (2019)

Episodes watched: 7/?

The 2001 adaptation of Fruits Basket was one of my favourite anime in my childhood. I completed the manga several years ago, and I was so excited for this adaptation. I’ve put it on hold, but I know that I will continue it once the events go further into the deeper and “darker” sides of the story.

As a child, I looked up to Tohru. I wanted to be kind like her. Now that I am 22 years old, my opinion of Tohru has changed. This may sound harsh, but I don’t like how she pretends that everything is fine, when things are not. It feels dishonest and frankly, fake to me. I don’t like how Yuki, Kyo and her other friends constantly protect her. I think that while we can certainly count on our friends, we should be more independent. This is why I’ve put Fruits Basket on hold…

2. Kimetsu no Yaiba

Episodes watched: 12/26

I’ll be continuing this one in the Summer 2019 season. I still think that Tanjiro is an inspiring character (Read this post if you want more information). Nezuko is so adorable.

3. Carole and Tuesday

Episodes watched: 12/24

I’ll be continuing this show into the Summer season. The art took a while to get used to, but I fell in love with the music from the start. The song Carole and Tuesday picked in episode 12 moved me…

4. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

Episodes watched: 10/10

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 was more focused on titan action, and it was pretty intense to watch. The end of it was on learning the history and there were some interesting reveals. I really enjoyed the intense moments of this season!

5.  Dororo (Continuing from last season)

Episodes watched: 13/24

I used to really enjoy Dororo, but now I’ve put it on hold. The beginning was interesting and then it became repetitive. The story-telling is good, so I will most likely go back to it one day. I hear the ending is amazing, so that’s motivating to hear.

6. The Rising of the Shield Hero (Continuing from last season)

Episodes watched: 25/25

I’ve blogged about Shield Hero and you can read my closing thoughts here.

The Rising of the Shield Hero Impressions: Episodes 8-25 [END]

Episodes 1-7 impressions post here. Spoilers ahead. 


Episode 8 

Naofumi and his party had to clean up Ren’s mess. Ren is more likable than Motoyasu, but he’s not that great of a hero either. He believed the rumors about Naofumi too easily and is too arrogant to be likable. 

Episode 9

Filo’s friendship with Melty is so cute! I really like Melty. Although I knew that she was from a rich family, I was a little surprised to learn that she was Malty’s sister and the heir to the throne. 

Episode 10

The Church of the Three Heroes is sketchy. 

Episode 11

The heroes argue way too much. It’s a little sad to watch. 

Episode 12

Glass is so OP! I’m really interested in learning more about her. It was hilarious when she called the other heroes “Naofumi’s slaves.” I hoped it was a reality check for them, but that was expecting too much. 

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Episode 13

Melty is now part of Naofumi’s group and things have become quite interesting. It’s unbelievable how Malty would go to such extreme lengths to kill Melty and the others (but not really unbelievable). 

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Naofumi and his names…

Episode 14

Van Reichnott is such a nice nobleman! Idol on the other hand, is disgusting.

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Episode 15

We learn about Raphtalia’s past and her experiences as a slave. Idol is rotten to the core. 

Episode 16

We meet Fitoria, queen of the Filolias. She is huge as a filolia and incredibly strong. In her human form, she’s adorable. I guess we can guess how Filo will look when she is over a hundred years old. 

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Episode 17

Filo gets appointed as the next filolial queen! 

Episode 18

I always thought that Malty and the king were the main antagonists, but I see that they were led by the Church of Three Heroes. I knew they were a sketchy group, although I was a little surprised by this reveal. The fact that it took so much for Motoyasu to finally see the truth is concerning. 

Episode 19

I was happy to see Ren and Itsuki, even though I don’t particularly like them. I knew that they were still alive, and they came at the right moment. It was great to see all four heroes finally work together.  

Episode 20

The queen finally made an actual appearance! It was messed up how the Pope used the believers of the church like that. I don’t think the believers of the Church are bad per se, but the Pope definitely has twisted morals. This was my favourite episode so far because the fighting was incredible to watch. I enjoyed seeing the combo attacks and the heroes working together. The last move by Naofumi was awesome. The opening song played during the fight and it was so cool!

Episode 21

The queen of Melromarc is now my favourite character. She is ruthless, even towards her own husband and daughter. She doesn’t turn a blind eye to corruption and she does things without delay. I liked how she decided everything in the trial and how she made it so that everyone in the country could learn the truth. Unlike the king, the queen doesn’t get fooled by lies. Changing the church to the Church of the Four Heroes was a brilliant move. Naofumi is such a nice guy by letting them go. Whether you think the punishment was enough is debatable. It felt so good to finally have Naofumi’s name cleared. It was about time! It was nice seeing the blacksmith and tailor again! This was one of my favourite episodes because it was pretty satisfying to watch.

Episode 22

Raphtalia and Filo finally got to level up. I’m guessing that the person Naofumi bumped into in Raphtalia’s old village will be important later on (potentially an enemy?). The series is almost over so I’m curious as to how much more will be shown before the anime is complete.

Episode 23

We meet L’Arc and Therese, and they team up with Naofumi’s party. I’m glad that Naofumi found “acquaintances” because his journey has been so rough. He finally got to have fun with the others. I think that L’Arc and Therese are good people, but there is something off about them. I am still skeptical at this point. 

Episode 24

My suspicions about L’Arc and Therese were correct. Glass appeared again, and she’s on their side.

Episode 25 (FINALE)

A new person joined Naofumi’s party! The story is definitely not finished, so I’m wondering if we will get a second season. The finale was sweet.


Closing thoughts: The Rising of the Shield Hero started off strong and episodes 18-21 were really fun to watch. Overall, I think this is a good isekai and recommend it!

Manga Review: Koushiki Ekkyouden – Fukumoto All Stars

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Fukumoto All Stars is an adorable and funny manga featuring different characters from Fukumoto’s works. The authors had Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s cooperation and the characters are drawn in chibi style. This short manga is similar to Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals and Attack on Titan: Junior High.

It’s ideal if you have read or watched Kaiji, Akagi and other FKMT series because this manga relies on references to Fukumoto’s earlier works.

Thoughts: The art is adorable! It is quite funny, but the tropes get repetitive after a while. For example, Kaiji betting a limb to gamble because he doesn’t have money to gamble with.

If you have seen and liked the Kaiji spin-off anime, Middle Manager Tonegawa, then you’ll like this manga. (You can read my review on Middle Manager Tonegawa here.) You can finish reading Fukumoto All Stars in one sitting. The tropes become increasingly repetitive so I think the short length is appropriate. Overall, I think it’s worth checking out because you get to see the characters from different FKMT series interact with each other!

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The Rising of the Shield Hero Impressions: Episodes 1-7

Neha’s Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 post inspired me to do a similar format with this post on my impressions of the first seven episodes of Shield Hero. Spoilers ahead.

Other titles: 盾の勇者の成り上がり Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari


Episode 1

Episode 1 of Shield Hero is 45 minutes long! That’s twice the length of a regular episode. I appreciated the lengthly episode because it showed Naofumi getting betrayed and outcasted. I saw the betrayal coming because there were a number of red flags.

I really enjoyed this episode because I’m interested in the theme of betrayal and it was interesting to see how Naofumi changed as a result of that experience. I liked seeing how Naofumi navigated the world by himself.

One of the things I like about this anime the most is the world, like the heroes’ technology, monsters, potions, and more. There’s a lot of world building and I think that’s fascinating.

Episode 2

It was about time for somebody to join Naofumi’s party. Raphtalia is so cute!

I did feel uncomfortable about the fact that Naofumi forced a little girl to kill monsters, especially monsters that killed her parents. I thought it was ethically wrong and was wondering why nobody really talked about it. I thought about dropping this series because of it, but decided to continue watching after a couple of friends encouraged me to continue Shield Hero. After this episode, it does get better and I am happy that I didn’t drop this series.

Episode 3

It was about time that we saw the other heroes! This was an action-filled episode which I enjoyed watching.

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I wonder if the characters in the world know what ‘lolicon’ means.

Episode 4

This episode made me very angry. The king is so incompetent and I despise Malty so much. There really aren’t any likeable characters at this point besides Naofumi, Raphtalia and the blacksmith.

I feel like the spear hero is being pulled by strings like a puppet by Malty. I think that she pretends to be loyal to him and that she has an ulterior motive. This is just a guess, so I could be wrong about this.

The fact that Malty had to resort to cheating because she knew that the spear hero was going to lose the fight made me laugh. Then when the king and all his people turned a blindside to the cheating, I felt enraged. Let’s just say that I felt an array of emotions in this episode. I am glad that the other two heroes stood up for Naofumi, but I still don’t like them.

The ending of this episode was nice because it was a sweet moment of Naofumi and Raphtalia. It almost made me get over my rage over the episode. Raphtalia definitely matured a lot.

Episode 5

I really like Filo, the bird. I didn’t expect to see the spear hero and Malty so soon but it was sweet karma when Filo won against against the spear hero’s dragon. Again Malty resorted to cheating, but that’s not surprising.

Episode 6

Filo, the bird, turned into a cute girl! I guess anything can happen in anime. I liked Filo as a bird so nothing has changed. I do like Filo more than Raphtalia. I really liked Raphtalia in the beginning but she seems to be trying a little too hard to get Naofumi’s attention. Her feelings are valid, of course, but it’s getting a little annoying to watch…

I still think Naofumi is a really good person, especially when he helped the man with the sick mother. Although he did charge the man for 1 silver, Naofumi does need funds so I thought it was reasonable.

The tailor is awesome. I like her passion for sewing cute clothes and how she takes her client’s qualities and characteristics into consideration.

Episode 7

I think that Naofumi is very humble, as he does not openly tell the villagers that he is the shield hero or the person going around the villages healing people. Naofumi and his party had to fix the mess the spear hero created, which is not surprising because the spear hero is useless.

I felt more empathic towards Raphtalia because Filo declared that she wanted Naofumi to be her mate. I’m glad the two of them ended on good terms at the end of the episode because the petty drama was getting a little ridiculous.


Let me know if you want me to continue with this format with Shield Hero or other shows! I’m definitely going to continue watching Shield Hero and it’s one of the shows I look forward to the most at the moment.

Finding Inspiration in Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer)

Synopsis: Tanjirou’s family is massacred by a demon and his surviving sibling Nezuko is turned into a demon. In his journey to avenge his family and turn Nezuko back into a human, Tanjirou trains to become a demon slayer.

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I find Tanjirou’s journey very inspiring. His training to become a demon slayer was intense – he trained for over a year, every day in dangerous conditions. He failed many times, but never gave up. He didn’t have to become a demon slayer. He could have given up but he persevered.

In the end, he passed the test and became a demon slayer. He became so OP! It was an exciting moment in the anime for both him and me as the viewer. I felt very proud and at the same time, inspired by his achievements.

Real life struggles and challenges may not pale in comparison to Tanjirou’s struggles, but the journey of working hard to achieve a goal is similar. Whether it’s obtaining good grades in school, getting accepted into your desired program, finding a good job, finding successes in blogging, or obtaining a driver’s license, these are all valid and wonderful goals.

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Td;lr Tanjirou’s progress and successes in him obtaining his sword after thousands of hours of training was inspiring. I feel that I can accomplish the goals I’ve set to achieve in my own life.

I know this is a corny post, guys. I really do. But anime characters are inspiring, dammit. When people say that “it’s just a cartoon” that’s when they fail to see the impact that a “cartoon” show can have on another person’s life.