The Observation Deck: Buddy Daddies

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates!

Kids are…great. For people who want them, that is. Little bundles of joy and chaos that take up time but give return a sense of meaning and purpose. Sure, they can be rude and a big handful sometimes, but that is true of every kid. However, they probably should not be a goal for people who work in the murder business.

Buddy Daddies focuses on two 20-somethings named Rei and Kazuki who live and work together. They also just happen to be assassins. One day, while doing a relatively normal job, all things go awry when a young girl hops into the elevator with Kazuki and jeopardizes the mission. The two kind of end up killing the girl’s father on said mission, and as a result take her in while they figure out what to do, that is, if they can figure out what to do.

To be completely honest, this is not a show I went into with high expectations. It has a solid art style and interesting hook, but nothing about it felt like it was going to keep me hooked. Yet, coming out the other side of the metaphorical tunnel, my perspective has changed quite a bit. That being said, let’s talk about Buddy Daddies.

So…It’s Just Spy x Family?

No. Well, mostly no. There is definitely some worthwhile comparison and analysis in the odd three member family structure, as well as the immediateness with which these seemingly unrelated worlds have now collided at the beginning of their respective stories. It might even be worth discussing how both series deconstruct the traditional nuclear family model in their storytelling, but that would be a whole other post.

However, that is about where the fair comparisons come to an end, because the situations and character dynamics are a fair bit different. Whereas Spy x Family explores the dynamics of living under Cold War era government hysteria, Buddy Daddies has a lot more laid back of an atmosphere, even despite Kazuki and Rei both being killers. The two seem to spend most of their time in Rei’s apartment waiting for jobs, at least before Miri.

Miri being their “daughter” creates something of an obstacle for the two. Rather tan safely being able to complete their missions, they are forced to raise and look after a small child who otherwise has absolutely no idea what is going on.

The Assassins Dilemma

If it was not apparent already, Miri creates a bit of a complication in Kazuki and Rei’s ability to do their jobs. Not only does it make Miri less safe since she could theoretically be targeted at any time if their connection was known, but also leaves the two of them compromised and less safe as well. There is also the matter of raising the daughter of a man they killed and having to dodge questions about her family, at least until later episodes.

While this moral conundrum is certainly not lost on our main characters, it also never feels sufficiently addressed either. The show carefully skirt around addressing any fault or conclusion the same way Kazuki and Rei have to dance around the subject with Miri. Rather than taking time to talk about it, Buddy Daddies chooses to bring it up and then immediately change the subject.

The series does seem a lot more focused on its comedic aspects, so at least in that regard it is understandable that they would stray away from getting to heavy. Still, there are far too many of said heavier moments interwoven in the show already for it to simply be ignored. It seems the writers were either afraid of commitment or simply did not have enough time to properly address it in a 12 episode time frame.

Sound and Style of Killing

It feels fair to say that P.A. Works has a decent track record when it comes to making solid looking shows. Not only is the animation good when it needs to be, like during the show’s somewhat frequent action sequences, the character designs also look fantastic. Katsumi Enami utilizes a lot of his previous work on manga such as Baccano in order to create some fantastic looking characters. idk about anyone else, but Kazuki is my new favorite male wife.

As far as its sound, Buddy Daddies also draws on James Bond-esk thrillers for the music, utilizing a lot of jazz-sounding tracks with big horns and even bigger melodic moments. The opening and ending, meanwhile, sound like fairly normal for the times j-rock and j-pop, respectively. Not bad, but nothing I have personally been clambering to hear a lot.


Realistically, this is not a show I would have sought out on my own. However, outside of complaints about the story structure and pacing, there is not a ton worth hating on. The great comedic dynamics between Kazuki, Rei, and Miri, the queer-coded-ness of two guys raising a daughter together, Even Rei’s storyline with his father ends up being pretty interesting. So yeah, give it a watch, its a good enough time.


How do you all feel about Buddy Daddies? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Blood on the Tracks Vol. 1

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There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to an author like Shuzo Oshimi, much of which has already been discussed in various posts here on this blog. From his strange story beats to the way his characters exude emotion and insight out of every expression and panel. Given these strengths in his previous works (The Flowers of Evil, Inside Mari, etc.) it makes sense he would also attempt to leverage those skills into something even more sinister in subject matter: 2017’s Blood on the Tracks.

The first volume starts off normally enough, introducing Seiichi and his mom Seiko waking him up for school. His life is about as normal as any other middle schooler: a group of nerdy friends, a painfully obvious crush in Fukiishi, and his extended family which he is relatively close with. However, it becomes obvious through Oshimi’s illustrations that something about this famiily, more specifically Seiko, is not quite right.

Incredible Pacing

Honestly, forget the rest of the series at this point, because this first volume has some of the most amazing build-up and payoff of any volume one out there. No, seriously. I had the idea a while back of making a video about how to write a good first episode of anime, my example of which was going to be The Promised Neverland. I were to attempt a similar video about manga, this would almost certainly be my primary example.

For starters, Oshimi does a great job at setting the scene for what would otherwise be a pretty normal middle school boy and his family. Seiichi gets up in the morning to his mom making breakfast and his dad going to work, he darts off to school and wants to hang out with his friends, he comes home to find his mom working on dinner. The extended family comes over for a dinner and Seiichi gets to see his cousin, Shigeru. Normal, everyday stuff.

However, it is in those tiny, seemingly unimportant moments where Oshimi arguably does the most important storytelling. Whereas Seiichi largely sees an overprotective mom who wants to love her kid, there is something else their, lingering behind Seiko’s eyes, which is payed off beautiful in the third act. The impact of her pushing Shigeru off the cliff was maybe a tad diminished because of prior knowledge , but it was still an incredibly powerful scene, to be sure.

Beautiful Character Writing

The aforementioned scene with Seiko and Shigeru is indeed a stand out moment of the first volume. However, nothing about that moment would succeed without Oshimi’s great character writing. I already briefly mentioned the interplay between Seiichi and his mother, but there are a lot of other great elements in that regard.

Seiichi’s extended family also feels fairly fleshed out even in the first volume. His aunt, while not outwardly rude, does seem the loud and obnoxious type, who takes small jabs but never wants to argue about it. Shigeru follow’s in his mom’s footsteps by being generally somewhat obnoxious. Even Seiichi’s own dad feels fairly conflict avertin and much more in like with his other family.

All of this sets scene for a mom that is clearly not mentally or emotionally stable. Nothing about her condition is necessarily confirmed to be caused by the behavior of everyone else, but Oshimi knows how to make people understand through his use of great facial expressions and writing. The subtlety of it all is what makes it all is what makes it that much more terrifying, because things family members slowly going crazy are not always so obvious.

Hit or Miss Art

While Oshimi’s character work is usually spot on, his backgrounds can be a bit more…inconsistent. Not to say that expansive world-building and setting are usually the most important part of his work, because they definitely are not. However, it does become a bit more noticeable in certain spots in contrast to the panels where his characters are being particularly expressive.

The sports where said contrast is most evident is in the scenes on the mountain, where some parts look beautifully and painstakingly drawn and shaded and others…kinda look like some squiggles that were supposed to be stand ins he would replace later, or are just missing entirely. It is not the biggest deal and honestly does not show up as much as I am probably leading on, but it is definitely something I hope does not rear its head too much going forward.


The Flowers of Evil was a thriller in a much lower stakes sense, where Kasuga is mentally hamstrung by his one decision up until the very end. Blood on the Tracks takes a bit of a different approach, throwing Seiichi into a decision which is definitely not his own and is likely to come with more severe consequences. Hard to say exactly where it will go, but there’s definitely feels like there is going to be some severe psychological damage.

How do you all feel about Blood on the Tracks? Let me know down in the comments. Also, feel free to read along with me if the series seems interesting to you. My plan is too put out one post on the series every one and a half to two weeks, so about every three to four posts I put out.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As Always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


A Few Recommendations on Recommendations and My Philosophy on Sharing Media

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


For those who haven’t seen, Anime Hanabi put out a great post on how to recommend anime to beginners. It talks about things like asking questions of the recommendee and not throwing them into something super obscure right away. It pretty much inspired my wanting to write about the subject so please go show it some love before continuing here.

It feels fair to say at this point I have spent a long time writing about anime, primarily in the form of this blog, but also in more formal, journalistic settings. One such setting was as a columnist for my college’s newspaper. The column, called “Anime Tour Guide,” was written as an introduction for newcomers to the world of anime. It also, unfortunately, worked out that a good chunk of said column was written during the pandemic era when people had a lot more free time to explore new media.

I say this not to purport to be some expert (probably more the opposite tbh). Rather, because writing about anime in that context allowed me to reflect a lot on my own recommendation philosophy. Something as simple as recommending an anime, or really any piece of media, one likes might seem insignificant, and for a lot of people, it probably is.

However, in an age where media is being produced faster than ever, there is now so much that could be considered worthwhile. Additionally, people will always have media that is important to them. Thus, finding out what that media is can be, and often is, important to a good recommendation. After all, the best way to predict what people will like is to know what they already do.

That being said, here are some other things to keep in mind when giving recommendations.

Consider Their Interests Across All Media

This might seem like an obvious one but it still feels worth pointing out. Now, it is true genre tends to express itself differently depending on the medium it is in. Horror literature can be fairly different than horror movies, sci-fi novels different than sci-fi tv shows, etc. Still, it is not as if they are completely different entities. After all, the reason genre exists is to group together similarities in how various media expresses itself.

So, consider asking said friend, partner, or whoever if they enjoy a specific genre across media. Hell, it does not even necessarily have to correlate with genre specifically, it could be something as simple as a certain trope or storytelling device. While these things should never be a box, they can act as helpful guides.


Suggest a Series That Relates to Them

Hot take, but it seems as though people often like relatable characters. Who knows why?

In all seriousness though, it is a nice feeling to see elements of yourself reflected in storytelling. Representation does, in fact, matter. While said representation still is not perfect, it can be easy to forget just how far good representation of minority groups has come. Not to say people should just accept bad representation for the sake of any representation, but it is all about perspective.

However, representation does not have to be that deeply sociological or personal. Even just finding a series about one of their hobbies can work as well. For instance, there are plenty of opportunities to find a cross-section of their favorite sport and a related sports anime. Hell, even people who like crafts or building things could probably get some enjoyment out of Do It Yourself!!.

Be Flexible

Lastly, and this is somewhat of a challenge to Anime Hanabi’s original post, I think it is ok to ignore popularity altogether when recommending a series. Of course, if the person being recommended to is someone who is looking for a big active fan community, maybe this will not hold true, but otherwise, it is totally fine to recommend things outside the context of popular opinion.

Using myself as another example, I love March Comes in Like a Lion. It still probably represents the plurality of my word count focus on this blog even having not talked about it in a long time. However, my recommendation of the series is never based on its perceived popularity or lack thereof. It is a deeply personal narrative that reflects on self-identity and found family, elements which many people I know personally are fond of in storytelling.

If a more mainstream show seems like it would better meet their tastes, go for it. If a more obscure show would do the same, send it their way. Popular opinion does not necessarily determine how much someone will enjoy a recommendation.

What is your approach to recommending things? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


The Observation Deck: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


(SPOILERS AHEAD…if you’re looking for a yes or no as to whether the movie is good, its yes an infinite multiverse amount of times).

So…covering movies can be kind of difficult. Not for lack of interest, mind you, but mostly because talking about anime/manga by itself takes up a lot of time. However, the seasonal offerings this Winter felt pretty lack luster or generally did not seem appealing, and on top of that, it seems like a good idea to leave a bit of downtime before jumping into covering another big manga series on a regular basis. So, after watching one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the last year, let’s talk about Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.

Without giving away anything major, the film focuses on a Chinese immigrant mother named Evelyn, who feels her life slowly falling apart as her laundromat business fails and her relationships with her daughter and husband falter. However, things begin to change when she finds out about a conflict that spans the multiverse and her divergence within them.

Finding Love in All Universes

Basically everything about this movie is great but what makes it really special is the way it focuses on the relationship between Evelyn and Joy as its primary plotline. In the main universe where the movie takes place, Evelyn’s life is a total mess. Every bad choice that could have been made has led her to a life full of regret and emptiness, including trying to appease her own father by hiding the fact that Joy is gay.

What at first feels like it is going to be a minor plot point ends being indicative of the entire movie. The alphaverse version of Joy feels emotions of all her various timelines, which end up being largely negative due to the choices of Evelyn. The dynamic works really well for a number of reasons.

First, Evelyn comes to understand throughout the course of the movies that her relationship with Joy very much mirrors her relationship with her parents. The two are united not just in their eventual mutual desire to make up but also in their shared experience as women without familial support. Second, actresses Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu are immensely talented, leaning into their characters at every available opportunity. Yeoh, in particular, does a great job at expressing on her face the utter chaos of her situation, from watching her daughter beat up a cop with dildos to slamming a Pomeranian into a fridge.

Ke Huy Quan, played by Waymond Wong, adds to this dynamic by playing the part of the detached husband and also the mentor for Evelyn’s new powers, a man who no longer feels the same about her as he once did versus one who desperately needs her to save all of reality…well, her reality, anyway. Again, the two have great on screen chemistry, both in their happier celebrations as well as their downfallen resentment.

Though the movie ends on a happier note than it started, no one should go into the film thinking it will be a cut and dry, linear narrative. It warps, teleports, and often vanishes expectations in the blink of an eye. Every time it seems like the plot is clear the movie adds another layer just to mess with everyone. A big part of the reason it is able to do this, though, is


Visual Storytelling

It feels weirdly derogatory to call pieces of art “conventional” for not reinventing the wheel every time they turn on a camera or open a visual effects program. Not every piece of media that involves looking at something needs to do so. That being said, there is a way to balance the two, and Everything, Everywhere, All at Once proves that in the way it does its visual storytelling.

A good example of this actual comes in the first scene of the movie, where the main family of three is reflected in a desk mirror doing karaoke, when Joy looked to be a lot younger. After about 20 seconds or so, the film then cuts to the same scene only now with a dustier atmosphere and noticeably darker room. Now, mirrors are not at all revolutionary when it comes to literary or cinemographic history.

The same shot concept could have been done by just pointing to the actors doing karaoke in a room. However, by focusing the actors in a mirror, the rest of the camera space can be used to do visual storytelling with objects on and surrounding the desk. The filmmakers did not do any crazy experimental stuff, but rather just more efficiently used the time and space they were given.

That being said, there definitely are some more out there parts of the film. One of the biggest draws of the film is the idea that Evelyn and Joy’s lives are playing out over an almost infinitesimally large number of realities where lots of things can change. In one universe they are both martial arts masters, sure, but in another they are drawings on a page or even rocks on a planet earth where no life ever formed, talking only through subtitles. It manages to create the perfect blend of conventional movie elements and more experimental visual effects.

A Soundtrack Which Fits Every Timeline

Music is very much outside my wheelhouse when it comes to having an informed critical opinion, and as such, I try not to comment on it too strongly or with any degree of authority. However, it would be a mistake not to at least briefly mention the amazing work done by Son Lux and the various other artists who contributed for their work on this soundtrack.

What is there to say about such an incredible collection of music, other than reinforcing the idea that it is incredible? Not only are many of the songs enjoyable to listen to in their own right, they also elevate and enhance the emotions of the film in a way that not many other soundtracks manage to achieve. From the largeness of feeling millions of other versions of you at the same time to the smallness of being trapped in an apartment, only do walk down the stairs into a sterile, failing laundromat.

It is beautiful in just about every damn way possible.


If someone was going to be picky, not me of course, but someone, they might say that James Hong Harry Shum Jr’s characters feel a bit underutilized, or that the powers feel a bit underexplained, but really that is just missing the point. Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is powerful precisely because it does not feel the need to explain itself. It lays the emotional spectrum bare and asks “all or nothing?” while simultaneously giving you some of the most hilarious and out of pocket fight choreography of just about any movie ever. I did not see most movies in 2022, but it does not take a half-assed film critic like myself to see why this topped everyone’s lists.


How did you all feel about Everything, Everywhere, All at Once? Let me know down the the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

Special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


My Top 5 Favorite Manga (As of March 2023)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Between last year and this year, my interest in talking about manga has gone up quite a bit. Part of that comes from wanting to diversify my media diet a bit and experience more of what there is to offer when it comes to art. The other part comes from the fact that, well, there’s been a lot of great manga coming out in the last few years. Because of that, this list skews pretty heavily toward more recent stuff.

Normally I would do a top 10 list for this sort of thing, like with my most recent anime and anime opening posts, respectively. However, while I have consumed a significant amount more manga than before, there are not really 10 series about which I feel particularly strongly. Thus, doing five makes a bit more sense. That being said, let’s get into it.

HM: Tokyo Ghoul

Regardless of the anime adaptation, which still is not that bad, the Tokyo Ghoul manga is a great piece of fiction. It has a great cast of characters who each shine through in their own way, whether as an ally of Kaneki or as an enemy in the larger ghoul world. The interplay between the focus on Kaneki as well as on the investigator team also lends a bit more perspective to the storytelling in what might be an otherwise one-note manga. The art also looks really damn, so that helps. However, given how long it has been since reading it, putting it any higher would probably be wrong.

5. Chainsaw Man

Another series that blends action and gore incredibly well, Chainsaw Man absolutely deserves a spot on this list. Denji alone is an infinitely fascinating character. On top of that, though, the various devils introduced throughout the series along with their range of power levels really shows a sense of creativity when it comes to the power system. Though my bias absolutely leans more toward part one, even part two has been adding some uniqueness to the universe which is greatly appreciated. This series is one of the primary drivers of my return to manga, and for that, I am definitely grateful.

4. The Flowers of Evil

Named after Charles Baudelaire’s influential collection of poetry, The Flowers of Evil is a strange series. It starts out with a middle schooler stealing his crush’s gym clothes and quickly escalates into an insane psychological journey, one that ultimately ends up scaring Kasuga for life. It ends up being one of the weirdest and yet strangely engaging works I have read to date, with themes of sexuality and self-identity being pushed to the forefront.

3. Blue Flag

Gay romance…that’s it, that’s the thought. I was initially skeptical about how this series would handle the subject matter, but it ended up being one of the most heartfelt romance series this side of shonen manga. Sure, there are parts that feel a bit drawn out and maybe could have been less wordy. But, it is still a slow burn with a lot of passion and an ending that will genuinely make people cry. At just around 50 chapters it is short enough that people could binge it in a day. A perfect length

2. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

It is very rare that anime turns towards the realm of autobiography, which makes My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, along with Kabi Nagata’s other works, a breath of fresh air. The illustrations are fairly simple, but it only adds to the style, one that emphasizes her character’s anxiety about the various situations she finds herself in. Queer representation in manga can be fairly hit or miss, so it is nice to have this as a prime example of how good it can be.

1. Goodbye, Eri

Tatsuki Fujimoto gets two entries. Normally I would limit it to be otherwise, but this one-shot is honestly just too damn important. Great pacing, amazing paneling, and a layered set-up that could rival even some of the most historically important tragedies, hitting hardest when one would least expect. I can still count on two hands the number of media that have made me cry, but Goodbye, Eri is definitely at the top, of that list and this one.

What are some of your favorite manga right now? Let me know down in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Monk and Robot and the Spirit of Iyashikei

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


It has been a while since I properly rambled about a niche topic…well, actually, no it has not, since that happens two times every week. Rather, it has been a while since doing so in a purely opinion piece/essay style format. Call it a lack of motivation or maybe even a moderation of my stronger, more out there opinions, but I have not had that much to say.

However, today is different. After recently finishing both halves of Becky Chamber’s Monk and Robot series “A Psalm for the Wild Built” and “A Prayer for the Crown Shy,” a lot of things ran through my mind. Most of them were about how damn good the novella actually was. Which is true, definitely go read it. However, a few of those thoughts drifted towards series like Yokohama Shopping Trip and one I started recently: Aria the animation.

The sub genre of Iyashikei is not one that gets talked particularly often, usually drowned out by discussion of the latest one piece arc or whatever seasonal powerhouse has ahold of people’s attention. This is not to say these conversations cannot exist simultaneously, only that they usually do not. Which, in my eyes, is a real shame.

For those unaware, Iyashikei (literally “healing type” or “healing”) refers more specifically to shows intended to have a calming effect on its audience. This is usually done with more laidback storylines, either by focusing on characters’ individual journeys, their connection with their immediate environment, or a combination of both. This often results in less overarching story and more of a focus on episodic or segmented story beats.

In anime and manga, Iyashikei tends to overlap quite a bit with the concept of slice of life, since many stories focus on one or just a few characters. Additionally, there is often a sense of intimacy within that focus, both from the characters’ previously mentioned connections with their environment, but also in their self-discovery-oriented journeys, regardless of whether they realize that is happening.

Pretty much all of what I have just described as Iyashikei is represented and celebrated within Monk and Robot, a series about a traveling tea monk who gets bored of their everyday routine, only to travel off-road into woods set aside for the Robots that gained consciousness and left society several generations ago. Said tea monk Dex then meets Mosscap, a robot who’s mission involves reconnecting with human society and finding out what it is people “need.”

It’s a big question for what feels like a relatively short series. Still, despite the sci-fi, solar-punk aesthetic that frames a large portion of the story’s setting, Monk and Robot is arguably one of the most Iyashikei stories to be released in a long time. This is because, rather than turning into some kind of big action adventure story about a society that rejects and becomes afraid of technology that has “turned against them,” the premise is very much taken at face value.

We are instead dropped into a much more understanding society. Humans in Monk and Robot, while clearly having some differences in opinion on the nature of the robot awakening, as well as on matters of ethics and religious philosophy, seem to by and large accept the idea that their abuse and exploitation of these now sentient creatures was and is wrong.

This is even true of Dex. Despite being well-traveled and seemingly enlightened, their knowledge of how Robots work is basically zero. This is probably true of most others in modern human society (the novellas are less focused on “expert scientific opinion” than it is on the nature and implications of human and robot sentience) but, of course, the main focus is Dex’s relationship with Mosscap.


Speaking of, Mosscap comes across as a classic non-human mannerism adjusted robot, an entity whose curiosity directs them just as much as their stereotypically logic infused personality. As such, they serve as a great foil to the occasionally hot-headed and distraught Dex, who finds the robot right around the time they begin asking the same question Mosscap hopes to answer.

What starts as an incredibly awkward meeting with Dex naked in a forest quickly turns into a mutually enjoyable journey in which the two find purpose in each other. Every chapter lends itself a new adventure worth pursuing, even at the expense of some immediate comfort, which is saying a lot considering Dex’s entire religion basically revolves around small comforts like the tea they serve.

Regardless of whatever town or long stretch of road they happen to be arriving at or treading through, Mosscap manages to find something worth appreciating in a way Dex never could, at least not in their current mental state. The teachings of Allalae say that, as long it is not hurting the land or any people, that engaging in comforts is ok. However, it seems that lost in those teachings were the idea that the land and people themselves could also be those comforts.

The end of their journey feels representative of this. During the final chapter of book two, rather than going back towards the city where Dex trained to be a monk, the two instead take a detour to the beach. They eat, sleep, play, until the weight of their final journey forces them to have a candid conversation. The two ultimately conclude that, while everyone might have a purpose or something they feel like they need to do, that purpose is not something that needs to be figured out right away.

The story of Monk and Robot certainly is not always immediately feel good. It does throw out a lot of big questions with very little in the way of warning. Questions about what it means for things other than humans to be as intelligent as them. Questions about the nature of belief and its effects on our lives as people. Questions especially about human purpose.

However, most Iyashikei stories, even most stories period, operate on this principle of self-reflection before significant change or decisions. Yokohama Shopping Trip, set in the distance future and with a considerably lower human population, sees Alpha deal with extreme loneliness before she sets off on her trip in search of her boss. Though I have not seen it myself, one of the more popular anime that draws on ideas of Iyashikei is Yuru Camp. The series revolves around four teens who go camping in various locations around Japan. Despite the difficulty involved in said process, there is a joy at the end when they can wake up the next day to a beautiful sunrise.

There are certainly elements of the story that someone could nit pick at and find problems in. The beginning does border on being a little bit info-dumpy, especially when it comes to lore that feels less consequential than it really should. On top of that, while the non-binary representation is greatly appreciated, there is some really awkward sentence construction around gender neutral pronouns which could have been done a bit better.

However, none of these minor problems really take away from the point of Monk and Robot. It is a story about a transformational journey, sure, but it is also a story about enjoying life’s comfort and finding one’s place. Peace in the truest sense is hard to come by nowadays, especially in a post pandemic landscape where the general social attitude feels continually pessimistic in a way that’s hard to escape. This is not to say the correct response is throwing hands up at social ills and ignoring real problems. However, in between these battles for equality and better living conditions, there should be time for finding moments of real happiness and relaxation.

This turned out…ok. In all seriousness, I had the idea for this post a month ago when I started reading Monk and Robot’s first book. However, I also read The Afictionado’s post about cozy sci-fi during the pandemic and that inspired it even more, so shout out to them. Have you all ready this series? What do you think? Let me know down the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

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Finally, the Beginning of the End for Attack on Titan?

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Should…should I make the joke again? Yeah sure why not.

“Look guys, this one says final season, guess that means we’re getting more next year.”

Attack on Titan’s horrendous advertising of the final season aside, it does seem there is finally going to be a conclusion to what has been a literal decade-long journey through the adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s groundbreaking work. According to the article linked above, the hour-long special which will be the focus of this post is part one of two of the show’s final arc. However, it seems as though this second part is not going to be airing until the fall. Sigh…oh well, there is still plenty to talk about with this first special. So, with that being said, let’s talk about the first part of the final arc.

Speaking of finales, wow, what a cliffhanger to leave on. Seeing basically an entire army gets wiped out only for the last fighting force of Eldia to swoop in and charge at Eren full force was an incredible scene. Attack on Titan is a series that lives to create hype moments and watching Reiner titan bomb on top of Zeke was certainly nothing if not hype. There’s also a sense of simultaneous dread and hope in the fact that a group of the last of humanity is watching all of this play out in much the same way Eren and the others believed themselves to be the last of humanity at the beginning of the series.

The special also does a great job of creating those feelings throughout the course of the entire episode. As Eren and the colossal Titans march through the world, it quickly devolves into utter chaos, with people desperately trying to get away while they only watch out for themselves. There is also a whole section where the episode focuses on Eren apologizing to a small child while they are visiting the outside world, knowing full well how the future plays out. This then goes into a heartwrenching scene where that same kid and his friend are stomped on by one of the colossal titans.

Attack on Titan really does do a great job at creating its atmosphere, and part of what contributes to that atmosphere are some excellent character moments. I mentioned the episode’s cliffhanger already, but the midsection which focused on Hange and her defense of the plane had some amazing direction and camerawork, adding to the already intense scene of her trying to buy as much time as possible while burning up in the process.

The animation for this episode also feels above average, even by Attack on Titan standards. My guess is that a lot of that has to do with the fact that it is basically a short film which means MAPPA did not have to put as much planning and coordination into it as they would have done with a full season.

While my overall impression of the special is fairly positive, I do think some things about it feel a bit, for lack of a better word, meh. For example, the relationship between Annie and Armin, while not coming out of nowhere, does not seem to add much to the overall narrative other than giving her a potential reason to join the fight later.

Also, though this is not directly related to the episode itself, the whole Eren being able to see the future plot point never really sat right with me. On the one hand, the planning around said plot point mostly makes sense within the context of the series, and even some easter egg stuff I have seen floating around on Twitter seems to further confirm it. On the other, it does feel a bit retroactive in how it has been implemented in the story. IDK, it has not significantly altered the quality, so it is not like there is much room for complaining, but it still feels weird.

Overall, it was a great episode/special, and assuming part two does not go off the rails production-wise, it will likely serve as a great conclusion to the series.

How do you feel about the first half of Attack on Titan’s conclusion? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


What I’m (Probably) Watching for Spring 2023

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Well, it is about that time again…eh, not really. We’re still a few weeks out from the first of the spring season actually starting. However, I also have a few other things that I have not quite gotten all the way through yet, so those are on the back burner for now. With that being said, here are some of the things that I will (probably) be watching for Spring 2023. Or maybe not, who knows.

Konosuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World

It has been a hot minute since my last time consuming anything Konosuba related, so seeing this random side-story about Megumin and YunYun getting an anime adaptation is a pleasant surprise. While neither was my favorite character from the series, and their jokes did often feel one note and gimmicky, they were still incredibly likeable (and also those jokes were still really funny). Now, the series has always been oriented towards uh…more vulgar types of humor, lets say, in its quest to poke fun at isekai tropes. I cannot say for sure if this side story will do the same, but regardless it seems like it will be a fun time.

Insomniacs After School

To say nothing of the quality of the actual source material, I think studio Lidenfilms has a really interesting concept on there hands. Insomnia is not just a quirky, teehee mental disorder associated NEETs but rather a reality for a lot of people, especially those who are older, of a lower socio-economic status, and those who have secondary conditions (these things are not mutually exclusive, but you get what I am saying).

I think the best thing I could say about this series, at the risk of jumping the gun a bit, is that it looks lived in and real. The trailer portrays two characters who care about each other and are significantly altered as people by the presence of someone else who understands them. As someone who themselves has had problems sleeping, even recently, this is something I would love to be able to find a bit of comfort in.

My Home Hero

I do not consider myself the biggest fan of crime drama, by which I mean my last time consuming one was…Death Note? Probably. Basically, it is not a story genre I often seek out on my own. Still, something about My Home Hero does look fairly interesting. Call it the lack of parent focused stories in anime, at least until recently, or maybe even my time spent apart from said crime stories. Despite having an a genuine interest in the series, though, nothing about the staff or the writer of the original series feels particularly noteworthy. Idk, Tezuka Productions does have Dorororo under their belt, so that is something.

The Ancient Magus Bride Season 2

So yeah, this is happening…cool.

In all seriousness, I am interested in the fact that the second season is happening. It took me a while to actually bother finishing the first season, but after a friend of mine begged me to do so, I finished season one and it was good. Not amazing, by any means, but good. The aesthetic of the series really drew me in for the initial episodes, and it definitely keeps that up even throughout the second half.

However, the arc that season two is going to cover seems to be going in a much different direction, setting Chise in a mages college where she will presumably learn more about magic. The series does not seem that exciting when it comes to the story, but at the very least it will look and sound pretty. Probably.

Oh yeah, something something I will catch up on Demon Slayer eventually something something.

What are you planning on watching for this upcoming season? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Initial Results: The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins

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(spoiler warning for all the available chapters)

Ever read something and just been…confused, horrified, excited, and gone through the entire emotional spectrum? Then, in the end, it turns out most people have not even read it much less heard about it? Well, that was not exactly the case for me since this series was shown to me by a friend of mine, but I had not seen anyone talking about it until I went out of my way to look it up.

The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins is by far one of the strangest series this side of English publications, and I say this while the series only has 15 chapters. The author, Taizan5, is most known for their 2021 series Takopi’s Original Sin which went semi-viral for its darker subject matter related to bullying, a lot of which seems to have transferred over into this series as well.

For those who are unaware, which is likely most people reading based on its general level of popularity, The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins follows a family of amnesiacs who has recently woken up in the hospital following some sort of accident. The group, unsure of the nature of their past relationships, tries to reconnect by discussing potential memories. However, it seems as though there are some darker secrets hidden behind the fog of the past.

Normally, I would just put the spoiler warning and call it a day, but if you’re at all interested in this series based on that description I highly recommend just catching up since it is still pretty early on and most of the chapters are pretty short. It is not unrealistic that medium-paced readers could catch up in about an hour or so, and probably a little over two-ish hours for those on the slower side like myself. So yeah, go do it.

If it was not clear enough already, this manga is crazy. The premise and more psychological/horror vibes to the story feel reminiscent of the early 2010’s Amnesia series that got popularized by a lot of Lets Players like Markiplier and PewdiePie. Although, without most of the gorier elements of those games, by which I mean all of them really, at least so far.


Tsubasa, the second youngest of the family of six and a high schooler, serves as main vantage point from which the story unfolds. The story reveals very quickly that, despite having fairly positive attitudes about their situations overall (minus Shiori but we’ll get to her in a sec), it is obvious there are some darker secrets that are being hidden by the rest of the family.

Younger sister Shiori, for example, ends up getting messaged by an older man who is implied to have been messaging and hitting on her prior to the accident. She ends up trying to please this man only for Tsubasa to come in and get her out of it. All of this happens while Shiori is angered by Tsubasa’s seeming lack of urgency about their situation.

One of the things that really contributes to this often uncomfortable but nevertheless intriguing atmosphere is the contrast between the manga’s story and its character designs. Outside of being solidly written, the manga’s characters themselves are drawn in a way that feels very family friendly, with big, expressive faces that simultaneously look depressed as hell.

With respect to that sentiment, Taizan5 really knows how to draw his characters eyes. Tsubasa constantly has a look in said eyes that feel both full of hope and yet somehow constantly defeated. This is especially true in the opening chapters when dealing with his best friend turned bully and the rest of his classmates.

Despite being 15 chapters in, a not insubstantial amount, it feels like The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins has only gotten started. Between Kakeru being memory swapped out of existence by the new guy and his mom just straight getting CIA eliminated in the last chapter, the level of what the fuckery is only elevating.

As far as the actually quality of the series, I am a bit torn so far. On the one hand, the writing does feel pretty good. However, it does seem like there is a nonzero possibility that the manga keeps introducing plot points for shock value and then ends up with a lot more questions than answers by the end of it. Still, I am hopeful the series can stick the landing in the future.

Have you read The Ichinose Family’s Deadly Sins? What are your thoughts on the series? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for the support on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


My Brief Thoughts on the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards

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Whether bringing together people in community or mockery, the Crunchyroll Anime Awards have been a pillar of the community since their inception back in 2016. The now infamous award show often has some…controversial takes in their various categories. These often involve a very obviously popular show winning big swaths of categories without much rhyme or reason.

Of course, this is particular problem is not unique to the anime awards. The same can be said of the Oscars, Grammys, as well as various other awards shows. This is because many of these show thrive off of big ad campaigns and sometimes even direct donations to judges. Thus, the integrity of award shows has always been a bit of a mute point. Still, it is fun to look and see where the majority opinion for X group has landed, So, here are some of my takes on the Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

The Triforce of Anime Awards

I mentioned above that Crunchyroll Awards tend to get dominated by a few shows, and this year was no exception. Attack on Titan, Spy x Family, and Demon Slayer‘s second season dominated the categories and brought home the vast majority of awards. Jujutsu Kaisen, along with a few other scattered series, took the remaining spots.

Normally this would be the part where I talk about how undeserved most of these wins are, except…well, here’s the thing. First, I do not have the technical knowledge to say for sure whether or not the big winners actually deserved their wins or not. Second, I actually do think they deserve a good amount of representation. Attack on Titan and Spy x Family were genuinely good, and season two of Demon Slayer was fairly well received.

Cyberpunk Edgerunners Deserves Anime of the Year

2022 was an insane year for anime, and will likely go down among the best in term of high quality. Unfortunately, some of the bigger contenders from fall, primarily Chainsaw Man and Bocchi the Rock, were left out of the running due to the award’s strange rule change. Still, even out of the remaining series, there are a lot of greatness. However, despite that fact, Cyberpunk Edgerunners still feels like an appropriate choice

Not only is the series incredibly produced, from the animation and direction to the wonderful sounding soundtrack, it is a show that feels incredibly relevant in its story and messaging. David Martinez is ultimately forced down a bath of no return because his environment left him with no other choice, detailing a capitalist hellscape that seems less fantasy and more reality with each passing day. So yeah, for my money, it feels like a good pick.

Kaguya-sama Where?

As a totally unbiased and reasonable commentator-

No, but seriously, aside from my own personal enjoyment of the series, Kaguya always seemed like the type of show that other critics and judges would eat up. After all, despite being a rom-com, it has the more cerebral elements that make people feel smart when they get the joke, and manages to balance that with some genuinely down to earth and relatable characters. Yet, it only won in the romance category.

Part of this, I think, comes from the noticeable absence of previous categories like Best Boy/Girl, which felt more biased towards those cuter, more relatable characters which rom-coms, and Kaguya-sama especially, do really well. Looking at the categories for this year, I could see it having won the Japanese voice performances had it been nominated, but realistically, outside of that, not much else. Well, that and Best Comedy, but honestly Spy X Family does legit deserve that one as well, so I cannot really be mad.

How did you all feel about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at

As always, special thanks to Jenn for the support on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Exploring Anime and Entertainment