The New Trailer for Violet Evergarden Appears to be a Good Sign of What’s to Come

Kyoto Animation’s YouTube channel recently released a new trailer for their upcoming title Violet Evergarden and saying that this show looks good is a bit of an understatement.

A lot about the show’s plot has already been revealed. After a war between the north and south halves of the continent of Telesis, Violet Evergarden retires and starts work at the CH Postal Service. This is because she is facinated by the work of Auto Memory Dolls, people who can turn thoughts into words, and works to send those words to many different people.

We have seen in other trailers that Violet Evergarden hasn’t exactly had the easiest time after the war. We see her presumably returning to life before the war as she begins her new job and the many people she is going to meet while on that job. We also see the many painful reminders she gets of her husband being lost during the war, and that she is still very much affected by that loss.

The show oozes Kyoto animation’s extremely high production value, along with a beautiful color palette that emphasizes the fantasy elements of the show. The shows musical score also seems to be pulling no punches when it comes to emphasizing what seems to be the shows best elements. If this trailer is anything to go off of, then we might have already have a candidate for best anime of 2018.

March Comes in like a Lion Season 2 Episode 2: Chaos, Indeed.

Already the show is diving back into the elements that made its first season such an enthralling watch. If the first episode was showing the ways in which Rei’s life has changed then this episode is its stark contrast.

The second episode featured the title match between Souya and Kurokuma, in the final game between the two. It was expected to be an intense match, but Souya managed to clean house in just seventeen moves, further displaying his dominance as a shogi player after having mad some strange moves in other games. When Rei played out the match from his last move, he realized that there was no way Kurokuma could have won, and Rei realized that the gap between him and a title match player was much bigger than he could imagine.

Episode two further also explored Rei’s stagnant relationship with his sister, who he cares for deeply, but who is also in love with one of his shogi rivals Gotou. Rei is viscerally angry at Gotou for continuing to date his sister not only because of his lack of commitment to her but also because that lack of commitment stems from him being married. Rei sees Gouto as a serious harm to his sister Kyouko, but he knows that he doesn’t have the same kind of relationship with her.

In the second half of the episode, we see the distance that Gotou puts between him and Kyouko in their relationship when the two go shopping. After having Kyouko do some his errands for him, he refuses to let her stay the night at his apartment. However, She tricks him into letting her into his apartment. When the two lay down on his bead, Gotou ties her to the bed frame and then goes to sleep. While he sleeps, Kyouko notices the bags under his eyes and realizes that he hasn’t gotten much sleep, to which she replies:

This episode is one that understands the internal struggles of its characters. We find out at the end of the episode that Gotou has been visiting his wife in the hospital, who appears to not have a lot of time left. This tiny touch at the end really makes the show, because it puts a lot of the tension between Gotou and everyone else into perspective. He has been dealing with what could end up being the death of his wife, which would be hard for anyone. Without that detail, we as an audience would go on thinking that Rei’s hatred of him is 100 percent justified, when in fact it might only be 70-80 percent justified.

Rei, of course, is feeling a lot of pain as well. At the end of the first part of the episode, one of the men who was sitting with him and watching Souya’s match says this:

This line is preceded in the episode by Rei’s monologue about his sister, which connects it with Rei’s thoughts even though we know he is talking about Souya.

March Comes in Like a Lion has a lot to offer in the way of nuanced and interesting storytelling, and this episode highlights that perfectly. It creates a perfect dichotomy around Rei and Gotou who are both suffering from similar problems and portrays them in a complex and, might I say, human way. Chaos may have been this episodes theme, but that chaos is tightly controlled and beautiful.


 

I Drink and Watch Anime’s Blogwarming party

Hello everyone,

So Irina from I drink and Watch Anime has decided to spread loveliness and to something awesome: helping out anime bloggers. 

Admittedly, I haven’t talked to as many people from the community as I should, so I guess this is also kind of a selfish post as well.

Anyway, Irina is going to spotlighting the posts she gets submitted and have them featured on her page, and all you have to is submit. Her current qualifications are that you be a newer blog, i.e. 2 months or less, and small, i.e 50 followers or less. 

The reason I mentioned this was a somewhat selfish post is because I would really like to meet new people and see great stuff. I know my writing isn’t exactly consistent or anywhere close to quality, and I’m curious about the talent that I have yet to see!

Here is the link to Irina’s post if you guys are interested, and be sure to spread the news.

No Game No Life Light Novel Volume 3 Review: Just Getting Better

If you have read my previous reviews before, then you will know that No Game No Life is not only one of the most well-produced anime, but also that its original source material is of high quality. In fact, it’s fair to say that the No Game No life anime is a near perfect translation of the first three light novels, with the last four episodes being a particularly entertaining spectacle.

Not an Idiot

All of this is to say that the third volume of No Game No Life was a well-written conclusion to the tension that was slowly building between Elkia and the Eastern-Union. In this volume, Sora and Shiro have the herculean task of taking on the “kingdom of cute-animal girls” with only the knowledge they acquired from the writings of the previous king, Stephanie’s grandfather. During the last volume, the crew found out that all of the king’s games that to Sora, at first, seemed like hopeless attempts to win back land and that he was foolish for even trying. However, after looking at the specific areas that the king bet, and finding his information on the Eastern-Union’s game, Sora realized that the king’s hopeless endeavors were actually strategic planning for the next ruler of Elkia.

Armed with the previous king’s knowledge and Sora and Shiro’s ironclad confidence, the unbeatable duo blank challenge and defeat Izuna, the Eastern-Union’s representative in Elkia, in a four-on-one match with the fate of Immanity on the line for Blank, for all of the Eastern-Union’s continental territory and whatever lay upon it. This bet under the covenant just also happened to anything that lay on top of said continental territory, including Eastern Union citizens.

 

Izuna
Izuna, Ambassador of the Easter-Union to Elkia

 

While No Game No Life’s story is one of its better elements, it would be nothing without its hilariously overpowered and loveable main duo. Sora and Shiro remain the show’s main attraction, and while they are not always the most relatable of characters, still exude the quality of good characters. Sora remains the eccentric pervert whose love of his little sister exceeds even his concern for himself, and Shiro is as always the calm and cool eleven-year-old who brings his brother’s deluded fantasies down to earth. The two always work well together as characters, and this volume was no exception.

During the battle with Eastern-Union, it became unclear as to whether or not Sora and Shiro, along with Jibril and Steph, could actually beat Izuna, with her heightened senses and superior physical ability. But, just as Sora had done with Shiro in his battle against Chlammy, Shiro put all of her faith in her brother to trust her in order to grab a come from behind win from Izuna.

Sora and Shiro 2

I did find it unfortunate, though, that we didn’t learn any more of Shiro and Sora’s past, only things that had already been implied like that the two could barely stand to be outside back in Japan. It feels like a real missed opportunity from a writing perspective to leave out more details about their past, especially considering its importance to who they are as characters.

Either way, Volume three continued and improved on the No Game No Life series. It’s a wonderful addition to the story and only makes me look forward to the next volume. Considering the next volume has story that was not in the anime, I am even more eager to start it. If you haven’t read No Game No Life, do it, because it is absolutely worth your time.

 

BIG ANNOUCEMENT: The Name of the Site is Changing

Hello, dear readers,

Sorry about the lack of posts in the last week. I have been busy dealing with the life-draining machine that is high school and haven’t had any time to write this week.

Aside from that, In this week of absence, I have come to an important decision: I want to change the name of my blog. I thought about it for a couple of days and I came to a couple of conclusions.

  1. A Guy Who Writes sounds a bit boring and generic, and I would prefer the name of my site be something a bit more unique.
  2. If I decided to do this later, it would just mean there would be more people to confuse and I certainly don’t want that.

The new name of the site will be The Aniwriter. Since this has mainly become a blog about anime, I wanted that to be more reflected in the blog’s title. The name will be changed about two days after this post goes out. Again, I’m giving this time frame so that people don’t unfollow a blog that hasn’t changed at all content-wise. My social media will, of course, be changed to reflect this as well.

So, I will see you all again soon as The Aniwriter. Bye for now.

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 Episode 1 Reaction: It’s Back!

If the title makes it sound like I’m excited, it’s because I am. March Comes in Like a Lion is arguably one of the best shows to come out in the last few years, for a multitude of reasons – good characters, fun episodic storylines that still culminate in a powerful overarching story – and now its second season is finally out.

I’ll admit, the first episode isn’t what I thought it was going to be, but looking back at the first season it makes a lot of sense. The first episode picks off where the first season ended, with Rei now being a member of the newly formed Shogi Science club and teaching the former science club members how to play.

Throughout the episode, Rei comes to terms with his current situation and looks back on the progress he’s made towards coming out of his shell as a person. While in the lab at school the former science club members and Rei watch an important Shogi match between Souya and another famous player. During Souya’s match, Rei realizes that his newfound clubmates and his teacher Takashi are not only having a good time with Shogi but are also interested in his well being.

In the second half of the episode, Rei finds himself making Ramune in the science Lab after they see Souya and his opponent eating snacks during their match. Rei, being a recluse who doesn’t know how to do much for himself, needs help from Noguchi in making the snack. The episode ends with a much appreciated happy note for Rei: that he has friends.


So much of the story of the first season was Rei battling with his tendency towards loneliness and not relying on others for help, but now it seems that has changed for the better. Rei has found a lot of people who he loves and considers family. His days of being lonely are, for the most part, over.

Even though I’m going to say it here, it goes without saying that this was a strong start. The first episode was everything fans of the show expect for a show of its quality.

The animation from Shaft and Akiyuki Shinbo were exceptionally expressive, and on the same level of quality as the first season. The colorful art style combined with Shaft’s unique storytelling style is present for this first episode and will likely continue to be here.

The opening and ending theme were both phenomenal, as was the case with the first season, being performed by YUKI and Brian the Sun respectively.

 

Inuyashiki Episode 1 Reaction

If there was one show that I was giddily excited to learn was airing this season, it was this one. Well, aside from the second season of March Comes in like a Lion season two. I had heard about it after watching Gigguk’s video about underappreciated  manga, and then I saw that Studio Mappa was handling the production and there was much to be excited for.

I went into this one also mostly blind, aside from the explanation of the manga, and I feel a lot better that I did. 

As far as episode one goes, there wasn’t to much going on. We are introduced to the main character Ichirou, a 58-year-old man with a family that seems to walk all over him. His wife yells at him, and his kids don’t seem to care at all. He finds out from a terrifying doctor visit that he has developed cancer and has just three months to live.

With this news, Ichirou is all but ready to give up on life, when out of no where he is crushed by alien spaceship, and he wakes up to find his body is now made of a machine.

This episode mainly focuses on Ichirou and his immediate reaction to his newfound powers which, as you might suspect, isn’t exactly a calm one. Ichirou also remembers seeing a young man in the crash, and decides that it would be worth it to find him.

It’s important to note that this is just a setup episode, and the real action will come afterwards, but I am already excited. There was a lot of potential in this show, especially with the studio behind it. The animation is a good mix of 2D and 3D that works extremely well, with Ichirou’s robot body being a clear highlight.

The Music was also a treat. The opening song “My Hero” is really good for getting hyped, but that’s not surprising given that the band behind the song, Man on a Mission, also did the opening for Log Horizon.

With an opening episode like this, there looks to be a lot worth looking forward to. Hopefully the show doesn’t waste its potential, but for now it is worth being hopefully. Check it out if you haven’t.

My Favorite Things – 10/15/17

Back in July of this year, YouTuber Super Eyepatch Wolf released a video talking about his favorite things of 2017. It was a well structure video where he talked about all of the things he was enjoying this year, and I thought it was a cool concept. As such, I decided I would do something similar, and list everything I’ve been enjoying as of late.

Anime

March Comes in Like a Lion:

March-Comes-in-Like-a-Lion-CoverI started March Comes in Like a Lion during the summer of this year, and I have been in love with the show ever since. Shaft’s vividly expressive art style combined with the depressingly somber tale of Rei Kiriyama’s journey to find happiness in his current situation makes for one of the best shows to come out in recent years. It takes everything I love about a good slice of life, mature themes, diverse and deep characters, and cranks it up to eleven.

As I somewhat ramblingly documented in another post, I can also very much relate to Rei’s sense of being unsure as to what he wants out of life. His journey is one that, while not many people are likely to go through themselves, many can find comfort in because of the similarities to situations that we all have. For Example, even though Rei has been playing shogi his whole life, he doesn’t really enjoy it the way many of the people he plays against do. The only reason Rei even plays shogi in the first place is because of his late father. Rei plays shogi because it reminds him of his father, not because he has fun with it.

With the start of the second season just recently, My interest has been thoroughly renewed. I’m eager to see if the show’s second iteration will do it as much justice as the first.

Log Horizon:

84004l

While I haven’t actually watched the show in over a year, Log Horizon has continually held my interest because of the large cliffhanger that concluded the show’s second season. After ending the show in the middle of a vital point of the story, I got more than a bit mad. Of course, I later found out that there wasn’t any more material to adapt, as the light novel author had been thrown in jail for tax evasion, and proceeded to get even madder.

Regardless, Log Horizon is a show that is very much worthy of praise. Many have called it the smarter version of Sword Art Online, but I don’t think it should have to cast in the shadow of a show that came before it. Log Horizon takes the premise of being in an MMO and does it very accurately, from the leveling system to the cooldown on abilities and the combat, and in that way exceeds SAO, with maybe a few exceptions.

I hope that in the future Log Horizon will get the continuation it deserves. There is no reason of this high a quality should be left by the wayside to be forgotten.

Phi Brain:

8359

One of my favorite shows of all time and a show that will never not be one of my favorites, Phi Brain: Puzzle of God takes what is possibly one of the stupidest premises of all time and makes it entertaining as hell. Kaito, an orphan whose parents died while on a trip for work, has always loved puzzles. One day he discover’s that a group called P.O.G. wants to solve the puzzle of God, and obtain all of the immense power that comes with it.

The show immediately becomes a game show like battle series where the characters are fighting against in each other in a puzzle of the week format for a majority of the show, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

Most of the writing in the show is admittedly quite basic, and most of the characters, aside from Kaito and some of the villains, are a bit one-dimensional. Phi Brain is a show that really focuses on the things it does well and gets by doing the bare minimum with other elements. However, I still love it to death.

Video Games

Divinity:

84690967bfe04d1331cc20a4950b72a1_original

I am a man with many interests, and video games are very much one of those interests. In Fact, I like a lot of different genres, from shooters to MOBAs to, especially, RPGs. Divinity is a game that I discovered only recently after it was recommended to me by a good friend, and boy am I a fan.

Divinity is a turn-based RPG focused around your customizable characters known as “source hunters” who help fight evil in the world. Your first mission is investigating the murder of a council member in a small town, and in there, you discover your destiny.

Despite the somewhat cheesy story, the game is both challenging and innovative in the gameplay department. Unlike other RPG, the enemies in the game do not respawn, so you can’t level grind in any one area. This makes it much harder to level up and progress through the game, but not to the point where it becomes frustrating, as there is an abundant number of side quest made available to you as the player.

Divinity has been critically acclaimed as being one of the best games in recent years, and I can’t say I disagree. With fun and challenging gameplay, it is definitely one of my favorites.

Smite:

smite_goddesses_by_wintersweater-d9srl8y

Not exactly a niche game, but still worth mentioning as being one of my favorites. I remember the first time finding out about it and then realizing I had no experience with MOBA’s whatsoever. Even so, I dived in and gave it a try. I eventually got my immediate friend group into the game, and we spent hours upon hours practicing and having a great time.

Aside from personal enjoyment, Smite has a few elements that make it fairly distinct. The third person view, as opposed to an overhead view, is one that is very often cited, but Smite also has a much lower barrier to entry, as you can buy all of the characters, and any future characters, for just 30 bucks, and there are a ton of characters in free rotation at any given time, which makes it much more accessible to an average player.

What I enjoy most about the game is its lore. Smite is based on the ancient gods of different Mythos, which most recently has included gods from the Celtic Pantheon. Getting to read about the characters and realize that these were deities that people believed in at one point is kind of surreal.

Gwent:

cards1

Based off a game within a game from the well-received Witcher 3, Gwent is a card game that plays somewhat like poker. Each player puts a card on the board each turn, trying to put more power on the board than your opponent. This happens in a two out of three style match, but aside from drawing a few cards after each round, you only play with whats in your hand.

Gwent is, for the most part, a well-designed card game that brings a lot of new ideas to the table. It combines the well-crafted card are of a game like Hearthstone with a completely different game structure to make something new and fun.

Not having played Witcher 3 before, almost all of the cards go over my head, but the lore of the game is still interesting, and even though I haven’t played as much recently, It’s a game I will likely continue to play for a while.

YouTubers

Spectrum Pulse:

Being someone who listens to just about everything when it comes to music, there a few places where I like to go to get recommendations for what to listen to. Spectrum Pulse, run by Mark Grondon, is a Music, Movie review channel that also reviews just about everything, be it pop, rock, jazz, country or whatever.

His reviews are well researched and often times he’ll bring up things that I didn’t even know about the artist and/or movie he’s reviewing. Mark also does a series called Billboard Breakdown where he looks at and talks about all of the activity of the weekly hot 100 list. This series is where I get a lot of my news about popular music and also some things to listen to as well.

LeeandLie:

In a somewhat similar vein, and also pertaining to anime, LeeandLie is a channel run by Amanda Lee who does fantastic covers of anime and video game songs. She does almost everything, from Angel Beats to the recently aired Re:Creators, all with a fantastic voice.

Conclusion

And that’s everything I’ve been enjoying recently. I might start doing a smaller version of this list on a more regular basis. If you guys enjoy anything here let me know in the comments. Until next time, see ya.

 

 

 

 

 

Kino’s Journey Episode 1 Reaction

Riding, across many lands, with no end in sight. Always looking to explore new lands and talk to new people. Not to mention, a talking motorcycle?

Kino’s Journey definitely has one of the strongest first episodes of this season, with Kino exploring a country in which murder isn’t prohibited. It displayed all of what Kino’s is going to be about.

Having not scene the original series, I was going in mostly blind, but even not knowing about it’s previous iteration I was wholly impressed. What Kino’s Journey is offering is something that’s definetly worth taking.

It’s story is interesting, to say the least. Kino and Hermes’ Journey into places yet discovered, and each of the places that they visit have something unique about them. Kino and Hermes are also pretty amusing together, as they compliment each other in a comedic way.

The animation gives the look of the original a much needed update. Kino’s character design looks great, with his mainly green outfit poping out in an eye-pleasing way. The 3D animation is also well implemented, with the motorcycle scenes being integrated with a lot of care. There isn’t much to say when it comes to the music, but it was complimentary in the right way.

A strong first episode overall, and definitely now something I will be keeping up with. If your not watching this yet, you should be.

Exploring Anime and Entertainment