Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World Episode 1 – Pissing Promise and Premise Away

Alternative titles: “(Only) Two Minutes in Paradise”, and “Steins;Gate Was Great, Wasn’t It?”

This is a first impressions post. I rarely find that I have this much to discuss about first episodes, but every so often a show comes along and it just has so much to unpack. Well, having a 50 minute premiere certainly didn’t hurt that aspect. But in case you’re looking for the bottom line, Re:Zero’s offering was extremely uneven thus far, and most of it did not pass muster. Though I’m going to keep watching, I’m not sure I can actually recommend the show to others at this time.

re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu anime / Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- / ReZero anime - Natsuki Subaru doesn't understand

When you can only notice when the jokes are pointed out to you.

And this is exactly why I have so much to discuss in the show, because while most of it is bad, it isn’t bad in the same way last season’s Dimension W was bad, which was mostly uninteresting and just throwing a whole bunch of events at the screen while forgetting its characters have personalities it has to contend with, or that they do not have personalities and perhaps they should be given some. The mix of good and bad, and bad that actually undoes the good, is exactly what makes this show interesting to speak of. I’m also going to compare it to other shows and some recent trends, which might be unfair to it, but that’s life, unfair (Spoilers galore for the first episode).

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Steins;Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu – Retracing Our Steps

Steins;Gate Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu / Steins;Gate movie AnimeThis movie is “fan-service” in the best possible way – it doesn’t explore new ground, it doesn’t truly do anything new, but for people such as I, who really liked the cast, and wanted more time with the cast, and especially more time for Kurisu and Okabe’s relationship to be allowed to blossom, then this movie had been aimed at them, at pleasing them. But, given the premise of the show, you can also see that it includes what is also a weakness in that regard, even as it perfectly mirrors the series.

Needless to say, this is a Things I Like post – it assumes you’ve watched the series and the film, and spoils them. It doesn’t make sense to read this post unless you’ve watched the films, as I don’t describe what the film does, but discuss it. This post in particular might be somewhat less of a discussion of the film in a fully coherent manner, so please forgive me.

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So You Want to Watch Anime? Part 1 – 10 Shows to Start You Off

People often ask me what they should watch if they want to get into anime or have watched only a couple of shows. Obviously, it pays to ask people what genres they like, as anime is just another sub-medium of television and TV, movie and book preferences are all valid. Some of the shows listed here are often noted to be aimed at people who are very knowledgeable about anime, but they are on the list because they stand on their own, and none of us are rookie media consumers.

This list is designed in part to present you with a variety of genres, so you could watch these shows in order to have a better place to start from when looking for additional material – based on what you like and don’t like. Future posts will cover movies, and some more shows based on genres and themes. All posts will be organized on this page.

Note, unless noted otherwise, episode length is roughly 23-24 minutes, with 3-4 minutes per episode spent on opening song (OP), ending song (ED) and next episode’s preview.

1) Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995):

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Introduction to Anime - Psychological mystery mecha classic

One of the most influential shows of the last two decades on anime, referenced in many other shows, from small cameos to scene composition, to whole motifs being taken wholecloth, aside from the fact Shinji, Asuka and Rei are the archetypes on which countless other main characters had been modeled. That of course isn’t sufficient, but it’s a well told story about a group of teenagers who must risk their lives, relationships and psyche in order to defend humanity.

The show begins slowly, but as you go, the emotional hits and the mysteries keep ramping up, until you find yourself with nary a time to take a breather in between. This show had been considered a reconstruction of the mecha genre when it aired, but the story stands well on its own, and with how influential it is I think holding off on watching this show can only be detrimental.

The “twist to mystery” which also often includes references to the supernatural and real-world mythologies at times had truly been ever-present in longer shows after NGE. Its effect on the anime world can’t be overstated.

Genres and Notes: Action, mecha, psychological, teenagers, mystery. Give it at least until episode 8, where it truly shows you what it has to offer. Watch the main series and then watch End of Evangelion, an alternate ending to the last two episodes. Skip Death and Rebirth as it is entirely superfluous. “Rebuild of Evangelion”  (Evangelion 1.11, 2.22, etc.) are an alternate retelling via movies, and aren’t as highly recommended. I don’t suggest this show under the age of 15 – blood, violence, psychological wounds, etc. Often referred to as “NGE” or “Evangelion”.
Episode Count: 26 episodes. End of Evangelion is 90 minutes long.
Buy on Amazon: The complete series. End of Evangelion had unfortunately been out of print for about a decade now.

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Blog Overview Since Revival and The Months Ahead

Today marks exactly three months since I’ve awakened my blog from its multi-year slumber. I’ve managed to hold to the schedule and release one post every week. Summer is upon us, and I have some more free time, and I also want to get posts out while still fresh. This post will detail the posts I’ve made thus far since the blog’s revival, and the posting schedule for the upcoming months. Hope you’ll stay with me! :)

Synopsis: I will list every single blog-post since the blog’s revival on April 1st, giving a short description of each. The next blog-post will go live next week on Monday, the 8th. I will either post two blog posts a week (Monday-Tuesday and Friday-Saturday) or 3 blog posts per 2 weeks (a blog every 5 days) for the next two months.

I will spend the next week to write more blog-posts, I find it harder to write a post properly 4-6 months after watching the show. I will also try to comment on some blogs I’ve been meaning to comment on for the past couple of months but hadn’t really found the time. Hope you guys enjoy the posts and keep reading my updates :)

Also, feel free to comment on this post with thoughts in general, well-wishes, idle banter, or what have you.

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Steins;Gate – Who Put a Harem in My Time Travel? / Compressed Second Halves

Steins;Gate is based on a visual novel, which may explain some of the idiosyncrasies that I’ve noticed and which weirded me out while watching the show. Not all of them, mind, since some of them are probably there to keep you off your feet. A visual novel for those who don’t know is a video game which is basically a “choose your own adventure” but with less input/the choices usually being more social in nature – it is a novel told visually with some input from the user. It’s predominantly Japanese, and very often the games are romantic/erotic in nature.

Steins;Gate anime - an anime about time travel, based on a visual novel

The cast of Steins;Gate

In fact, one of the first things I noticed in the show, but at first I didn’t pay it much mind was that the main character was surrounded by women when the opening song ended, after a few episodes when I’ve realized this is a show about time-travel, alternate realities and conspiracies, this had become somewhat perplexing – why are so many characters of the cast women? Why is there basically one male surrounded by so many girls (the other male is a caricature for “unattractive”) in a non-romantic/romantic-comedy show?

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. I  will probably spoil major plot points in this post.)

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