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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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!

Spring 2019 Anime Impressions

Sigh. Now that I am not on Twitter, I feel less connected with you guys. I miss you all.

Sorry that this post took a super long time to publish. I feel quite unmotivated.


1. Fruits Basket (2019)

Episodes Watched: 3

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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 offer 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.

Thoughts: Fruits Basket continues to be one of my favourite shows from this season. I am excited to see what it can accomplish from where the 2001 anime left off. You can read my first episode impressions post here.

2. Kimetsu no Yaiba

Episodes Watched: 3

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Synopsis: Tanjirou’s mother and siblings are murdered by the demons that lurk in the woods. The only surviving sibling is Nezuko, who has turned into a demon. Unlike other man-eating demons, Nezuko is capable of human emotions. Determined to avenge his family and turn Nezuko back into a human, Tanjirou trains to be a demon slayer.

Thoughts: The first episode was graphic, but that was it. I hope there will be more graphic scenes in the future. There was great character development in the third episode. I’m enjoying Demon Slayer a lot and I’m excited to see what it will deliver. 

3. Carole & Tuesday

Episodes Watched: 1

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Synopsis: Tuesday ran away from home to pursue her dream in music. She meets Carole, who also has a passion for music. They become good friends and together, they make their mark into the music industry dominated by AI in this metropolis on Mars.

Thoughts: I’m definitely going to continue this anime and the main reason is the music. I am in love with the song, Loneliest Girl (Humming version). It’s very calming. The technology in their world is pretty interesting.

4. Kono Oto Tomare! (Dropped)

Episodes Watched: 2

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Synopsis: Takezou is the sole member of his high school’s koto club, as the old members have graduated. In order to keep the club, Takezou must get more students to join. Chika, a delinquent, shows up and says that he wants to join the club!

Thoughts: It’s not amazing, but it’s good. I thought the first two episodes were extremely predictable, but I appreciate the koto more now.

5. Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (Dropped)

Episodes Watched: 1

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Synopsis: Hitori Bocchi is starting middle school but does not have any friends. Her only friend is going to a different school, and she told Bocchi that she must become friends with everyone in her class. Bocchi, who feels extremely anxious when interacting with people, finds it challenging to make new friends.

Thoughts: I thought the premise was interesting, but I found this show boring. It’s cute, but I guess I’m not the target demographic for this show. I’m more drawn towards driven characters.

6. Dororo (Continuing)

Episodes Watched: 11

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Synopsis: Lord Daigo watches over his land as it is wilting due to the lack of rain. He makes a deal with the demons and gives up his newborn baby – who is born without limbs, skin, sight, hearing or smell, in exchange for prosperous land. The baby is thrown away on a boat, but is saved by a man who specializes in prosthetics. The man becomes the baby’s caretaker and teaches him how to fight. He names the child Hyakkimaru.

As Hyakkimaru becomes older, it is discovered that whenever he kills a demon, a part of his body is regrown. Hyakkimaru sets off to kill the remaining demons to regain his body.

Thoughts: Dororo is my favourite ongoing series right now. I was initially hesitant about watching it because I am not a fan of Osamu Tezuka’s manga. However, this is a superb adaptation and they’ve changed the art into a modern style. The music is fantastic. I like anime with excellent storytelling and Dororo does it so well. I recommend this anime.

7. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

Episodes Watched: 0

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Synopsis: A continuation of season 3 of Attack on Titan.

Thoughts: You can bet that I’ll be watching this very soon, as the first episode was just released.

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.

Impressions: My Roommate is a Cat

Japanese: 同居人はひざ、時々、頭のうえ。| Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Episodes released thus far: 7

Genre: Slice of Life

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My Roommate is a Cat is a currently airing 12-episode anime from this season (Winter 2019).

60% of the episode is told from Mikazuki’s point of view, while the rest of the episode is told from Haru’s point of view. The same events happen – it’s a retelling of the events but from the cat’s perspective.

Synopsis: Subaru Mikazuki is a writer who hates leaving his house and finds it overwhelming to interact with people. He encounters a stray cat and decides to take her home. He names the cat ‘Haru.’ Each episode portrays how Mikazuki’s life is impacted by Haru and his friends, and how Haru’s life is also changed upon meeting Mikazuki.

Thoughts: Two things drew me into this show: 1) the protagonist’s attitudes towards life and 2) the cat! I’ve been wanting to raise a cat for the longest time, but hopefully I will be able to in a few more years.

Mikazuki reminds me of myself in some ways. We both love reading, we don’t like going outside, and we don’t take very good care of ourselves. Some viewers might find Mikazuki to be unlikable because he isn’t interested in social conversations but I really like him. He loves reading books and enjoys being alone.

During the events of the show, Mikazuki is slowly starting to see that having company over isn’t so bad. We’re just a little over halfway through the show, and Mikazuki is already changing in small ways after living with Haru.

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Personal story: I used to always say ‘no’ to my classmates when they asked me to study with them. I study best alone, so I thought it would be too much of a hassle to study with others. This year, I studied with a couple of classmates at a café and I was productive. We helped each other study and I found it really helpful.

Bottom line: There’s always room for personal growth. I don’t think that Mikazuki necessarily has to change, but meeting Haru is a really great thing that happened to him. It was also good for Haru as well.

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We learn about Haru’s story and what her life was like as a stray. While Mikazuki won’t know her backstory or thoughts, we know Haru on a much more intimate level. She’s a really great character.

My Roommate is a Cat is an adorable, heartwarming story. Even if you don’t like Mikazuki, you’ll like the cat.

Anime Review: Made in Abyss

Release year: 2017

Episode count: 13

I really love dark, twisted anime. I heard that Made in Abyss was disturbing, so I watched it. My verdict? Yes! I loved it.

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Synopsis: The Abyss is a mysterious gigantic chasm that contains different layers. The further down you go, the tougher the monsters and the harsher the effects of the Curse. The Curse of the Abyss includes vomiting, hallucinations, internal and external bleeding, loss of humanity, and death.

Riko is a 12-year-old orphan who searches for artifacts on the first layer of the Abyss. She finds Reg, a robot who lost his memories. After Riko receives a letter from her mother that says she is waiting at the bottom of the Abyss, Riko and Reg leave the orphanage and journey into the Abyss. Riko wants to find her mother, while Reg wants to learn more about himself. They have to survive each of the Abyss’s layers.

Art: Just looking at the above photo, you probably wouldn’t think that Made in Abyss is a disturbing anime. It looks like it’s a show for children, but that’s an anime misconception. (I rant about that here.) I think the cute art style makes the dark scenes even more horrifying to watch.

The art is amazing. The art style is cute, but the backgrounds are a whole different level. There’s so much detail!

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The tenth episode was disturbing. The thirteenth episode was heart-wrenching. The last few episodes (10-13) were so interesting! The first nine episodes were still entertaining. I didn’t feel like I wasted my time watching those nine episodes because they did world building so well. Each layer of the Abyss has its own monsters, effects of the Curse, landscape, etc.

Music: I was really impressed with the music in Made in Abyss. For a show that only has 13 episodes, the soundtrack is memorable and enchanting.

The bad: The main characters are children, and there are minor scenes that are inappropriate. I thought this was unnecessary. Fortunately, it does not happen often but I have to give it a lower rating because of it.

The anime ends at the end of a story arc, but there will be an upcoming movie that covers the next arc of the manga.

Rating: 8.5/10

Review: Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)

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Release year: 2016

Episode count: 12

Synopsis: Satoru Fujinuma is a man in his thirties living a discontent life as a pizza delivery man and rejected manga artist. He has a unique power that grants him the ability to go back in time whenever there is an emergency situation. He returns home one day, and finds his mother laying on the floor in a pool of blood. Shocked, he runs out of the house and mistakenly becomes targeted by the police for his mother’s murder. Satoru goes back in time, but finds himself 18 years in the past.

Satoru realizes that if he wants to prevent his mother’s death, he has to revisit the events that took place 18 years ago. His mother’s death is related to a serial killer who kills children, and Satoru has to solve who the killer is while he is in the body of his grade school self.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed Erased. The characters were likable, particularly Satoru as a child, Satoru as an adult, Airi, Kenya and Sachiko (Satoru’s mother). This is a show you can binge watch because every episode is engaging. Satoru goes back and forth between present day and the past, which was interesting to watch. The ending song is great. Erased is a unique anime that has an original plot and great characters.

My only major complaint is the ending scene where Satoru is confronted by the killer. It doesn’t follow the manga, which is fair but it was too rushed. If they paced it in a better way, it could have potentially been better. The last episode was a downgrade from the rest of the series. I did like the scenes that happened after the ending. The Japanese live-action on Netflix has a better ending because it’s more complex and involves the other characters more.

Rating: 9/10 (would have been 10 if it weren’t for the anticlimactic ending)

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