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 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.

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.