Nostalgic Anime: Fruits Basket

As you may know, there will be a new Fruits Basket anime in 2019, which will cover the entirety of the manga. Growing up, Fruits Basket was one of my favourite anime so there’s a lot of nostalgia.

The creator, Natsuki Takaya, had some issues with the production of the series, specifically with the voice acting, character designer and animation director. I personally loved the imagery, music and voice actors so it will be interesting to see the changes in the 2019 anime. I’m excited for the new anime, but right now I’m going to write about the 2001 anime.

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Synopsis: Tohru Honda is living in a tent due to unfortunate family circumstances, and she is found by her classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure. After hearing her story, they allow her to live with them. Another person named Kyo starts living with them and Tohru learns something about the Sohmas. When hugged by the opposite sex, members of the Sohma family turn into animals of the zodiac. Yuki is the rat, Shigure is the dog, and Kyo is the cat. Tohru learns about the realities of the curse and meets the other members of the zodiac.

It is a beautiful and sweet anime, but my complaint is that the series stops so abruptly. The anime only shows around one-third of the manga and the curse is still an issue. I’ve read the manga and it becomes a little dark because there is a shocking reveal. I got a completely different feeling when I read the manga, but I enjoyed the sweetness and simplicity of the anime. Both anime and manga are good, but the non-ending in the anime is frustrating. Nonetheless, it’s wonderful in its own way and is still worth checking out.

The opening song can sort of put you to sleep, but it sounds so nice. I love the music in the anime a lot and Fruits Basket will always have a special place in my heart.

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Dropped: Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)

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Holmes of Kyoto is a 12-episode anime that aired in July 2018. I became interested in it because I like Sherlock Holmes, but Holmes in this anime is pretty different from Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is knowledgeable on antiques, but his personality is different from Sherlock Holmes.

Synopsis: Mashiro Aoi walks into an antique shop in Kyoto. There she meets Yagashira Kiyotaka, nicknamed “Holmes,” and she starts working there with him. Together, they solve cases related to antiques and artwork.

The cases are not like those in Detective Conan, which I thought this was cool because they were doing their own thing with it. The cases are about antique counterfeits and art thieves, which isn’t super interesting. Some anibloggers critiqued the show from the start by saying it was unimaginative, and it did get boring. It seemed that every episode progressively became more uneventful so I dropped it.

I genuinely enjoyed this anime in the beginning. I was learning about Japanese antiques, history and festivals so I thought it was informative yet pleasant to watch. I dropped it after watching episode 6.

Review: Inuyashiki

I wrote the bulk of this review in May 2018. This 11-episode anime came out in October 2017.

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Synopsis: One night at a park, an explosion takes place and two people are killed. The extraterrestrial beings that caused the explosion repair their bodies but turn the two people into robots. The two people are Inuyashiki, a 50-year old man who looks older than his age, and a teenager named Hiro. With their robot bodies, they are able to do a lot of things that humans cannot do, such as cure diseases, heal people, kill people, control technology, and fly into space. Inuyashiki uses his powers to do good and heal people. Hiro, on the other hand, uses his powers to mass murder people.

It’s very interesting to see how people react differently to new powers. I was interested from the start, but I wasn’t hooked until I watched episode 6. That’s when things really picked up. The ending made sense to me because I’m not sure how they would end it otherwise. It was kind of expected. The last episode showed President Trump and an interesting depiction of him.

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This is probably one of my favourite anime. You don’t normally see a super cool, older man as the protagonist in anime. Hiro loves One Piece, and Trump is in anime. The opening theme is one of my favourite songs. It’s by MAN WITH A MISSION.

Review: Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)

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After the Rain was a show I looked forward to every week when it came out.

Synopsis: Due to a foot injury, Akira Tachibana is unable to continue track at her high school. On a rainy day, Tachibana enters Garden Cafe and meets Masami Kondou, the 45 year old manager of the cafe. This story is about Tachibana’s romantic feelings towards Kondou and it explores the themes of friendships and new beginnings.

This anime is not problematic!!! While the premise may seem inappropriate because of the big age gap, Tachibana confesses her feelings early on in the show. Spoiler, but the relationship they have in the start of the series doesn’t really progress. I’m talking about the anime only. Instead, the anime shifts and explores both Tachibana’s friendship with her friend from the track team and Kondou’s friendship with his old-time friend who is a successful writer.

There’s also the theme of loss, because of Tachibana’s injury and her loss of not being able to run anymore. Running was important to her because it was a part of her identity. Kondou also experienced loss because his goal of publishing a book never became fruitful. There’s also the theme of new beginnings, which I found uplifting.

If you enjoy writing or reading novels, then this anime may especially appeal to you because there are references to Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. I wonder if Akira Tachibana’s name was deliberately chosen because of the director and screen writer. In fact, After the Rain is one of Kurosawa’s films. It’s cool that this anime shares the same title as the 1999 film.

Imagery: The animation is gorgeous! The colours are so pretty and there are lovely shots of the rain and hydrangea flowers. Tachibana’s eyes are so beautiful to look at. The last episode amazed me with its beautiful imagery.

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Music: Aimer sings the ending song! Her song, Ref:rain, is so good. There’s also a lot of calming but beautiful instrumental music.

If you decide to watch this anime, do not go in expecting Tachibana and Kondou to become a couple. Instead, enjoy the beautiful imagery, music and themes on friendships, loss and new beginnings.

Review: Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: The Fourth Twilight)

Synopsis: You can send someone you hold a grudge against to Hell if you access the Hell Correspondence website at midnight. Enma Ai and her team will do an investigation and give you a voodoo doll with a string attached. If you remove the string, the person will go to Hell. However, you will have to pay a price in which you will go to Hell too after you die.

The Fourth Twilight is the fourth season of Hell Girl, and each episode follows a different character who wants to send someone to Hell.

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Out of the six episodes, I liked three. The cases are either a hit or miss. Some cases are interesting and eventful while other cases are silly. This anime is short, but I do like Hell Girl so getting some new episodes is better than nothing. There are six more episodes, but they are re-runs from previous seasons.

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A new character is introduced and her backstory is revealed in episode 5. She also plays a significant role in episode 6. I don’t particularly hold any strong feelings toward the new character because she isn’t very fleshed out. I think the series is too short to explore her character further. We don’t dive deep enough to come to like her a lot.

I enjoyed Futakomori, the second season, a lot more so I recommend watching that over The Fourth Twilight. I blogged about Futakomori in an earlier blog post, which you can find here.

Review: Kamisama no Memochou

I’m going to write some shorter anime reviews. 🙂

Kamisama no Memochou, also known as Heaven’s Memo Pad, is a 12-episode anime about NEETs who solve cases. NEET stands for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training” but some of the characters go to school and work at the ramen shop. Some of the cases they solve involve missing people, the yakuza, drugs and death.

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Narumi, a high school boy, joins the NEET Detective Team after being introduced by his classmate Ayaka. He also joins the Gardening Club at school with her. Other members of the NEET Detective Team are Alice and the boys in the photo. Alice (in the middle) spends most of her time indoors on the computer. She’s an expert at hacking and does a lot of valuable research for the team. She loves drinking Dr Pepper and being with her plushies. The other members do the ground work and find more information for the cases.

You should drink Dr Pepper while watching this anime. 🙂 That’s what I did. I can hear someone calling me a weaboo

I was interested from the beginning, but the ending made the show worthwhile. Episodes 10-12 touch on a super interesting case and I was invested. The last case is on a serious issue and the last episode in particular left a strong impression on me. After watching the series, I just sat there for a while because I was in shock. I do recommend this anime if you’re interested in mystery anime.

Review: Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori

Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori, also known as Hell Girl: Two Mirrors, is the second season of Hell Girl. I wasn’t too impressed with the first and fourth seasons but saw that the second season had the highest rating on My Anime List. Let me just say that it was amazing!

Synopsis: You can send someone you hold a grudge against to Hell if you access the Hell Correspondence website at midnight. Enma Ai and her team will do an investigation and give you a voodoo doll with a string attached. If you remove the string, the person will go to Hell. However, you will have to pay a price in which you will go to Hell too after you die.

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I don’t think you have to watch the first season before you watch this anime, but it would be better to watch it first. There are 26 episodes. The first 21 episodes follow the same formula: a person with a grudge goes to the Hell Correspondence website, Hell Girl gives them a voodoo doll, the person removes the string and sends someone to Hell. Even though there are so many episodes that follow the same formula, it was interesting to watch because every episode follows different people in different situations. I don’t think it gets too repetitive. Some episodes were brilliant, but some episodes were stupid because the person sent someone to Hell over a misunderstanding that could have been resolved with proper communication. There are more interesting episodes than stupid episodes, and the last few episodes make the show worthwhile.

This season touched on the background stories of three of Enma Ai’s companions: Wanyuudou, Hone Onna, and Ren Ichimoku. I came to love them, especially because we get to see moments when they feel sadness and other emotions. They’re not human, but they sometimes seem human because they’re drawn to particular cases.

Things shift in episode 22 because the plot progresses and there is an actual storyline. A boy and his whole town is involved. We see some connections from Season 1 and we see Enma Ai following her own heart and beliefs. I felt so many different emotions in the last few episodes and was blown away at how good it was.

Visuals: I loved the imagery because there are beautiful spider lilies in just about every episode. We continually see other beautiful images throughout the series, like the patterns on Hell Girl’s kimono, the wheel her grandmother spins, and the gate to Hell.

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Music: The music is great. There are so many good instrumental songs and the ending song is beautiful. Some songs make you feel calm and other songs make you feel sad. There are also some songs that are perfect for the vengeance scenes.

Overall, it was an anime that evoked strong emotions from me. Some episodes were very creative with great directing. I enjoyed it a lot, and think that watching it to the end is worthwhile because of the last few episodes.