All posts by Jack Scheibelein

Former Opinion Editor of the HVA Hawkeye. Current Writer at SakugaCity.com. I write about Anime and Politics, along with publishing a ton of poetry and short stories. Hoping to be a successful person, at some point.

Opening of the Week: Red Fraction by Mell(Black Lagoon)

If there was ever a song to describe with the American colloquialism “going hard,” it would be this one. Black Lagoon not only offers us an action-packed thrill ride about a group of mercenaries but also provides the perfect opening to capture that same adrenaline filled adventure.

The opening of Black Lagoon is able to encapture a number of the show best elements: its high energy bombast, Its mostly serious vibe, and its bloodlust. In Fact, you can see this in its opening lines. “I had a big gun, I took it from my lord.” An affinity for violence and no respect for authority, all wrapped up in one song.

A lot of the song’s edge also comes from its music. In hindsight, an electro-rock song with singer mell behind the mic was an extremely good choice. A higher than average tempo mixed with a low-fi electronic mix and guitars makes this an opening you will want to add to any playlist.


What do you guys think of Red Fraction? Do you like it? Hate it? Not really your thing? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

How American Politics is a Bit Like the Fate Series

As a now registered voter, as well as being interested in political science, I think about U.S. politics a lot. Between climate change, healthcare, and systemic poverty, there are a lot of issues facing the American public right now. One of those issues, however, takes precedence over most of those issues. That issue is Money in Politics, or as many who would consider themselves on the left call it, the issue to end all issues.

I also like to think about the politics of different anime. Whether that be the macro-relationships between characters, or especially the different governing bodies of certain societies and how they operate, and the rules that govern the Fate universe are one of the more interesting things that I’ve seen come out of anime. In fact, I see a lot of fate as a metaphor for how money operates in U.S. politics.

The basic setup for Fate is that seven masters summon seven servants using magic in order to assist them in fighting for the holy grail, an all-powerful magic item that will grant the winner of the Holy Grail War. In this case of the U.S., its more like a battle for political control between the rich and the poor.

In a lot of ways, the U.S. is already controlled by the elite of American society. A recent study from 2014 found that based on the policy that gets passed by Congress the U.S. operates as an effective oligarchy, meaning that the rich control most of what gets passed.

In this metaphor, the masters are the political interests groups as well as the people themselves. Whether it be Tax Reform, Campaign Finance Reform, Initiatives to deal with Climate Change, everybody wants something. They have wishes that they want to be fulfilled, and that’s why they fight.

Politicians, therefore, are their servants, performing whatever task their master asks of them. The politicians also have their own wishes. Some want to help lift their constituents out of poverty and end racism, while others only seek to enrich themselves by working for another master while in Congress and then eventually leave and become a master themselves, in the never-ending revolving door.

Lastly, there’s the magic, and by that I mean money. Masters supply their servants with magic in order to help them fight. They continue to fight until they both achieve the holy grail and get what it is they want. Their wish could be good for the world, or it could be bad. It doesn’t really matter to them though, just so long as they get what they desire.

And then, a few years later, that same holy grail war starts over again. A new contest for the holy grail begins.

 

Looking Forward: 2018 is Going to be a Great Year for Anime

With the last anime season of the year about to end and three other seasons this year squarely behind us, It seems like as good a time as any to look forward to the future. Even though the rest of the world was drowned in political turmoil, including the rise of the far-right in America and a large swath of Europe, along with the resurgence of Nazi views, anime largely remained on the upward rise, both in terms of popularity and overall quality. Just this year, we had both My Hero Academia season 2, which took the series to new heights and Attack on Titan Season 2, which took the series in a much appreciated new direction. 2017 also saw the rise in success of original IPs, including Studio Troyca’s Re:Creators and P.A. Works’ Sakura Quest.

2018, however, is looking just as bright, if not brighter, as a year where anime can shine as the wonderfully creative medium that it is.

On last week’s This Week in Anime, I discussed an article detailing the large number of high profile sequels that will be airing in 2018. This list includes things like Attack on Titan season 3, My Hero Academia season 3, Fooly Cooly season 2, and a Chunnibyo movie titled “Take on Me.” If that weren’t enough, you also have the last season of Fairytail, Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel 2, A Sound! Euphonium movie and a season 3 of Free.

 

My-Hero-Academia-Season-3-storyline
Season 3! Source: Otakukart

 

It wouldn’t be entirely fair though to judge a year by its sequels. New adaptations and original IPs are literally what keep the medium moving forward, without feeling stagnant and unchanging.

Thankfully though, It looks like 2018 is going to be a very promising year on that front as well. Earlier this year we were teased to KyoAni’s latest project Violet Evergarden, a story about a war veteran who loses her husband during The Great war between the north and the south. At the beginning of the story, We are meeting her for the first time, as she starts her new job as a sort of magical mailwoman.

 

Violet
KyoAni looking beautiful as usually.

 

We also have what is likely going to be something a bit more “out there” with Darling in the FranXX, A story about a group of pilots who have been locked inside a mobile city their entire life, and their only mission is to fight their enemies piloting a fran. The project is a joint production between Studio Trigger and A-1 pictures, and considering their past work, it will likely be an action-packed story that means a lot more than what the surface level details suggest.

 

darling
Giant Robots!

 

And of course, most of this coming just from what we know about the winter and spring season. Most of the Summer and fall has yet to even be announced, which in and of itself should tell you a lot about the quality of this year. It is certainly shaping up to be one of the better in recent memory.


What do you think anime will be like in 2017? Is there stuff I missed? Am I just plain wrong? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos.

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 Episode 7: A Return to Form and Renewed Passion

For the first time in this show, we’ve actually been introduced two characters worth hating in one episode. Well, technically the teacher was introduced a couple of episodes ago, but we didn’t really see the extent to which she is worth hating until this episode came out.

The show opens innocently enough on Hina lying on the ground of her living room with a nosebleed. Rei walks in with some fresh peaches, and Hina gets embarrassed by her nose bleed and asks Akari for a towel. Rei tries to cheer her up by telling her that everyone gets them, and then hilariously undermines his point by saying that he has never had one.

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#notfun
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Rei thinking about all the nosebleeds he’ll never have.

Hina thanks, Rei, presumably for all the time that Rei has spent with her, talking about what has been going on at school, but also for making her feel like she can be herself, and that she doesn’t need to be ashamed of who she is. Rei responds, noticeably happier with “sure.”

Rei and Akari head to the store for a sale and leave Hina in the house to let her nose bleed heal up. While walking over a bridge to get to the store, Akari tells Rei about Hina’s trouble at school with her teacher. Hina’s teacher is one of those characters worth hating because she is quite possibly one of the worst teachers I have ever seen.

As you might remember from last week, when her teacher walked in and saw what had been written on the board, she asks Hina, “What is the meaning of this?” and implicitly blames her for writing negative things about herself on the board. If you think that’s bad, just wait.

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What kind of teacher victim blames like this?

When the teacher and Hina are talking after school, she asks Hina “why can’t you get along with everyone else?” After that, when Hina accurately points out that this blatant bullying has been going on for quite a while, and is the reason that Chiho left, she says “don’t raise your voice at me,” as if to shut out all conversation about the matter.

You can really tell from a conversation like this just how bad of an educator she is. A large part of a teachers job is being in tune with what your students are going through, and if she isn’t even paying enough attention to realize that Hina isn’t the problem, then she really doesn’t need to be a teacher.

After hearing that from her teacher, Akari explains how angry and upset Hina was, with Hina silhouette surrounded by a sea of red, properly conveying those feelings of anger and sadness to the audience. Akari then starts to worry about what would happen if she had to go to a parent-teacher conference, wondering who exactly she should get to go with Hina. Meanwhile, Rei stands watching her go through this nervous, presumably feeling jealous because the next thing he does is scream “Me Too!” from the top of his lungs.

In this moment, when he uncharacteristically screams from the top of his lungs, we learn a lot about Rei’s current mindset. Rei wants to be someone that the Kawamoto sisters, and especially Hina, can rely on for help, so when Akari lists off names of family members and doesn’t include him he feels attacked.

The episode’s first half ends with another important admission. After talking with Nikkaido on the phone about the newcomer’s tournament, Rei opens up the door of his apartment and thinks about Hina, but also about himself. Of course, He cares about Hina and wants her to be happy, but his reasons are also a bit more selfish. The last line of the first episode is “I:

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This one line reveals just how much Rei is still dealing with himself, almost as if he’s using Hina’s problems as an excuse to not deal with his own.

With Rei waking up to a brand new day and the beginning of the second half, we see Rei headed to play his semi-final match in the newcomer’s tournament. On the way to his match, we see that Rei is not only ready to play his match, but that for the first time in his Shogi career, he actively wants to win. In this match, Rei isn’t just playing because he’s good at it, but instead because he see’s winning as both a way to help Hina and also as a prize in and of itself.

Screenshot 2017-11-25 14.13.03

His opponent and the main focus of the episode is a man named Subaru Hachiya, an up-and-comer in the Shogi scene who is infamously known as “The Irritated Prince of the East.” Why? Because throughout his matches he likes to make clicks with his mouth, tap his finger, shake his legs, and be an overall distraction. In this regard, he is a polar opposite of Rei, who enjoys the quiet atmosphere that usually comes with a Shogi match

After a long and grueling match for Rei, he takes the win and cements himself as a finalist of the tournament. His friends from the association, however, are a bit annoyed. Sakutarou and Tatsuyuki both blame him for making Hachiya to his annoying ticks more loudly, using the metaphor of a buzzing bee. Sakutarou tells Rei that the two are very alike, and feeling personally attacked Rei tries to rebut with a “how?” to which the two reply while cutting him off:

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called out!

The episode then ends with Rei having to hang out with Hachiya because he wanted to apologize.


What did you guys think of this episode? Are Rei and Hachiya both huge narcissists? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

What Else Should You Watch?: Attack on Titan

Despite its major setbacks, Attack on Titan has a lot to like about it. From the epic music to the incredible slugfests between humanity’s last hope, the 3D maneuver gear and the Titans, There is something for everyone. But while we’re waiting on season 3 to start in 2018, you might be craving something similar. Hello everyone, and welcome to What Else Should You Watch, the Post series where I️ take a series and give you recommendations based on that show. Without further ado, here are some things to watch after Attack on Titan.

Tokyo Ghoul


If you’ve been paying even a little attention to popular anime in the last couple years, you’ll have at least heard of this show. Since it’s first episode back in 2014, Tokyo Ghoul became a smash hit among fans, but just in case you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

It stars Kaneki Ken, a university student who finds a cute girl at his local coffee shop and decides to take her on a date. Little does he know, she’s actually a Ghoul, a creature that looks like a human but needs to eat human flesh to survive. Unfortunately, he realizes a little too late and gets attacked by his date. He manages to survive the ordeal, but in the process, he becomes a Ghoul himself.

Like Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul is a seinen action series, and also like Attack on Titan, one with a lot of blood. Between fighting other ghouls and fighting an organization that hunts ghouls, Kaneki and his newfound group of Ghoul allies have to spill a log of blood, and it gets pretty graphic.

This isn’t to say, though, that everything else about the show is bad. On the contrary, it’s quite good, but the gore is certainly one of its main appeals.

Black Bullet


If an ever looming threat of giant creatures coming to murder you and your family is more your speed, then you might want to check out Black Bullet.

Set in the near future, Black Bullet details the lives of private agents who are tasked with eliminating humans who have turned into monsters because of a disease known as “Gastrea.” The last remaining human city in Japan is surrounded by Varanium, the only metal that can repel these monsters. There is also a certain segment of the population known as cursed children. They are called as such because they were born from mothers who were infected while they were in the womb, and because of that have superhuman abilities.

The show, for whatever reason, has flown a bit under the radar, remaining in relative obscurity and not being discussed as much as it probably should. It’s filled to the brim with awesome gunfights and badass little girls. I️ mean, what more could you want?

In all seriousness, though, Black Bullet is worth your time. Its story is an emotional rollercoaster that will have you very confused by its admittedly less than stellar ending. But watch it anyway. Just trust me on this one.

Btooom!

Did you ever play Call of Duty and wonder “How cool would this game be if it were only grenades?” Well, even if you haven’t been in that scenario, you’ll want to check out Btooom!.

Taking the battle royale format to a whole new level, Btooom follows the story of a Pro-Gamer, who is number one at Btooom!, a game where you must kill the opposing team using different types of grenades. One day, this gamer gets dropped off on an island, where he finds out he must play a real-life game of Btooom!

A lot of the entertainment value of this show actually comes in seeing the different types of grenades the characters use, and how each one helps them in a given situation because most of the time they will need to use them. In order to leave this real world Btooom! they must gather seven of the chips that have been implanted in them in order to track their movements. It’s a fustercluck of explosions, murder, and crazy psychotic 12-year-olds.


What do you think of these recommendations? Which of these have you seen, and which ones do you like? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

My First Blogging Award!

Well, This is going to be an exciting post to write.

Arthifis over at Arthifis’ place nominated me for the Liebster award, and even though I have already taken two semesters of German, I did not, in fact, know that Liebster meant beloved or dearest, to which I say: “aaaaaaaaaawwwwwww.”

Apparently, these are the rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who nominated you.
  • answer the 11 questions
  • nominate 11 other bloggers
  • give 11 questions for them to answer

Now, time for those questions:

  1. Why did you start Blogging? 
    1. Answer: I actually started blogging as a way to relieve stress. The summer of this year was a bit of a hectic time for me. I was taking online classes to get the credits I needed to graduate, and there was a lot of work I hadn’t done. My blog was a way of distracting myself, forgetting about problems by just putting words on a screen.
  2. If you could enter any fantasy world of your choice, which one would you pick and why?
    1. Answer: It’s always really funny thinking about the logistics of any fantasy world, because there’s so much that could go wrong and potentially end with you being dead, but if I had to pick one, It would be Konosuba, just to see how lucky I can get with my stats.
  3. What is your spirit animal?
    1. Answer: Rei Kiriyama from March Comes in Like a Lion
  4. Do you see yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
    1. Answer: I would probably describe myself as introvert leaning, but as soon as I get to know someone decently well then all social fronts disappear and I just become loud and obnoxious.
  5. Do you put first the cereal and then the milk, or first the milk and then the cereal?
    1. Answer: I actually pour the milk on a table, then pour the cereal on top of the milk and then use my bowl as a topping. I find it tastes a lot better like that.
  6. Are there any anime/series/movie you saw that you think you would do a better job writing it, which one and why?
    1. Answer: Quite a few, actually, but for the sake of the question, I’ll pick one: Rage of Bahamut. It isn’t a particularly well-written show to begin with, but as someone who spent an embarrassingly long amount of time playing the original mobile game, I have quite a few ideas on how it could have played out.
  7. Which anime/series/movie disappointed you the much and why?
    1. Answer: Good question, and to be honest, I don’t really have a good answer. GAMERS! from last season is the biggest culprit, but very rarely do I go into a show with expectations that can’t be met.
  8. What fictional character you love the most and why?
    1. Answer: Rei Kiriyama from March Comes in Like a Lion, because He is extremely relatable.
  9. Without thinking! Complete the following sentence: Tomorrow I will…
    1. Anwer: Eat all of the pizza in my fridge
  10. Would you want to make a living as a blogger or it will always be a hobby for you?
    1. Answer: If it would be possible to make a stable living off blogging, then I would, but I’m certainly not betting on it for a career.
  11. What is the craziest thing you did?
    1. Answer: Eat a whole 18-inch pizza. Sorry, I’m a bit boring when it comes to stuff like that.

And now that were done with questions, Time for nominations. Apologies, I’m gonna half to break the rules a little bit. came up a little short of 11

And now, THE QUESTIONS!

  1. What is your favorite album of all time?
  2. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  3. What is your Dream Job?
  4. What was your first relationship like?
  5. How many anime series/films have you seen?
  6. Are you a morning person or a night person?
  7. What makes you nervous?
  8. If given the chance to change one thing about yourself permanently, would you? Why?
  9. Are you more introverted or more extroverted?
  10. What social media platform are you most addicted to?
  11. What is the meaning of life?

I’m just so happy!

 

Has Black Clover Gotten Any Better?

To many in the anime community, Black Clover’s first episode was seen as a huge disappointment. The show had a huge push behind it and Crunchyroll was really hoping it would do well. Unfortunately for them, the show has been met with almost universal criticism that it is just another generic Shonen with a lot of adaptation problems. Skip ahead two months though: has Black Clover gotten any better?

 

BC
Has it?

 

Well, I️ think that honestly depends on what exactly you mean by better. If by better, you mean good, than I’m going to ask you to calm down, take a seat and let me explain.

From the beginning, Black Clover didn’t really have a lot going for it. Many people were calling it a clone of Naruto, with Asta. a loner orphan who never gives up and wants to be the ruler of his kingdom, being the main character. Not exactly doing a great job at differentiating itself. Crunchyroll didn’t really help this in its push for the show, literally calling it the next Naruto on their website.

Unfortunately, Black Clover hasn’t been able to live up to this comparison. The show started with a lot of problems and hasn’t really been able to get rid of any of them. As Mother’s Basement pointed out in his recent video on the show, Black Clover has terrible pacing, seemingly speeding up and slowing down with no real rhyme or reason. Take episode 8, for example. The show spends almost 5 minutes just showing Asta cleaning up the Black Bulls base. By the end of the episode, we see him and Noelle get their first mission, but we don’t actually get to see any of the mission.

Oh, and let us not forget about the main man Asta himself. Granted, the show has only been on for 8 episodes and is going to be 51 total, but one would expect at least a little development or change to happen with the main character, especially considering that he became a Member of the Black Bulls. That’s just not the case, and let’s not forget to mention the incredible amount of times that Asta think’s its necessary to scream at the top of his lungs. Sure it’s tolerable by episode 5 or so, but only after you’ve heard it like 30 times.

Now, if your definition of better is that the show has improved since the first episode, then I think it’s fair to say yes. Since the first episode, we’ve gotten a little taste of the show’s action. When Asta gets to the Kingdom’s capital in order to become a magical knight, part of the exam that he must take involves a one on one battle with one of the other examinees. Now, the fight literally only lasted a minute, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t one of the things that kept me watching. No matter how much I try to deny it, seeing Asta swing around his giant sword makes me want to see what is going to happen next, especially when it comes to finding out the root of his powers.

It would also be disingenuous of to not mention the other members of the Black Bulls. Their addition to the cast, while not being the best side characters, certainly make it more bearable than just having Asta on screen for a full 20 minutes by himself. Noelle and Magna especially seem like they are going to be worthwhile characters.

While I’m not optimistic about Black Clover, I haven’t given up hope either. There have been plenty of show’s before that started off kind of week but got a lot stronger as they went on, and hopefully, Black Clover can end up in that same category.


What do you think of Black Clover so far? Love it? Hate it? Is there stuff that I didn’t mention that it needs to work on? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Opening of the Week: Feed the Fire by coldrain(King’s Game)

Out of all of the show’s from this season, I would have expected a show like King’s game to get a fully English Opening. Considering how rare it is for a show to have one, It does feel kind of weird having an opening that is so much better than the show its attached to. Even so, welcome to Opening of the Week, where I talk about an opening that I’ve been enjoying and that hopefully, you will too. This Week, we have Feed the Fire by coldrain.

Even though the quality of the song doesn’t make sense, the music choice certainly does. coldrain’s brand of Post-hardcore gives the opening an explosive feeling that makes you want to bang your head like you’ve taken all of the drugs.

The band’s high energy screamo comes courtesy of Masato, their lead singer. Masato grew up being able to speak both English and Japanese, meaning that not only are the lyrics understandable, they are not in Engrish.

One of the openings main appeals is just how well it sets up the show that is coming after it. King’s game follows a high steaks game of survival where a class of high schoolers must do what their told or risk being killed by a mysterious presence known as King. With that kind of setup, coldrain’s Feed the Fire was a perfect choice.


What do you think of the King’s Game Opening? Love it? Hate it? let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 Episode 6: Extended Metaphors are Really Powerful

Sorry this one is a little late, I’ve been a little lazy the past couple of days.

I said in the reaction for the last episode that March Comes in Like a Lion did a great job at handling their ongoing motif through Rei and Akari’s conversation on the bridge. It showed that 1) the writing for this show is high tier, and 2) that Rei was not feeling himself, and that it was obvious he was not feeling himself because of the way Akari phrased her concern by saying that he didn’t seem fluffy.

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Akari is concerned

This week focused a bit more intimately on Hina’s relationship with Rei and Takahashi, as well as the growing extent of her bullying at school. The show opens with what is probably in the running for top 5 cutest Momo moments of the whole show, where she goes crazy for the cherries that Rei brought over for dessert.

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OMG Momo!

After dinner is done, Rei offers to teach Hina more about shogi, but Akari kicks them both upstairs because she needs to give Momo a bath. The two sit down in front of the Shogi board and Rei plays Hina with a handicap. Even with the handicap, though, Rei continuously beating her over and over. Here we see just how worried Rei is about Hina, where he feels bad that Hina has to console him because he’s freaking out that he keeps winning. It shows that the trouble Hina is going through has very rarely left his mind.

 

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Rei is very cautious while in Hina’s room

It is here where Rei asks Hina to talk about what’s going on at her school, and what her situation is like. Rei tries to comfort her by telling Hina that she only has to tell him bit by bit if she wants. Hina then proceeds to talk about the class and her being bullied.

She starts by explaining that every day at lunch, most of the people at her table are quiet. Because everyone is quiet, she has no one else to talk to. It’s during lunch where the girls who bullied her friend Chiho sit and laugh, and that in their class it feels like there is a hierarchical structure that dictates who gets to laugh the loudest.

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The invisible hierarchy

One of the most interesting things that this episode does is continue the use of March’s most prominent visual metaphors: water. Water, at least in this case, is most likely a metaphor for the repressive social structure that exists within the class, as she describes her situation as “drowning in the girls’ laughter.” And the use of water as a visual metaphor for Hina’s situation actually makes a lot of sense. We’ve seen it used many times as a way to describe the situations that Rei has been through, like when Rei was narrating his connection to shogi from his past, he described it as being lost at sea with a shogi board. In both cases, water serves as a symbol of oppressive force.

The episode continues, going into the second half, and focuses more on Hina than Rei. We see Hina at the beginning having caught up with Takahashi, her crush, and captain of the middle school baseball team. Takahashi invites her outside to play baseball during lunch. Of course, she accepts, because, ya know, what else is she going to do when no one will talk to her. While the two are playing, Takahashi talks about Rei coming over to play shogi, to which Hina smiles and the two continue to play.

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Rei being a real stand up guy

We cut over to a two-minute scene where Rei is getting excited over his recent victory in the shogi hall. He is mainly excited because he is now one win away from the semi-finals of an important tournament. He sits by one of the benches in the park and calculates how much money he is going to make in these tournaments when he quickly notices the charm that Hina gave him, which reminds us as to why he is trying to win money in the first place. I’ve already explained why I think this attitude is problematic in a different post, which you can check out here.

The show cuts back to the next day when Hina find that her desk has been written on, telling her to stop liking guys and that she’s a moron. She quickly wipes it off, likely hoping no one notices but knows deep down that everyone already knows. That day, when Takahashi comes to get her for baseball, she invites the bullies along with her and then gives them the proper middle finger by almost hitting them with what was likely his strongest fastball.

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Karma!

The show then cuts back to Hina talking about all this with Rei as they play more Shogi in her room. Hina is justifiably angry, and thanks Rei for being there to listen. She explains that Rei has asked her so many times what she wants to do about the bullying and that she hasn’t figured out herself.

Here is where we also get another great visual metaphor involving water, where the sink outside of her classroom is running and is slowly drowning the entire hallway while Hina does nothing. Again, we see water hear symbolizing the oppressive social hierarchy of her class because she wants to do something, but if she does she’ll only make the situation worse.

The episode ends with a back an forth of Rei heading determinately to class and Hina heading silently to school. Here, Rei talks about how he thought that people could just run away from their problems, but as we have seen in this Arc with Chiho, that doesn’t work, and we end with the chalkboard in Hina’s classroom calling her a bitch. Based on the music and the scream of the bird that comes right after Hina sees the board, we know she has now been cemented as the outcast.

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The End of Hina’s happiness

What did you guys think of this episode? Good? Bad? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!