Tag Archives: Jack Scheibelein

Initial Results: Revolutionary Girl Utena

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I have spent a lot time thinking about this series, not because I have any real connection to it myself, but rather because of how widespread its influence seems to be. Not only have I heard this show cited in a number of video essays, even ones not about anime, but but also from western creators of other animated series, like Rebecca Sugar of Steven Universe/Adventure Time, and Michael Dante Dimartino, one of the creators behind Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Seeing as how my journey with Wolf’s Rain came to a close not too long ago, I figured it a good a time as any to get back into another relatively older series. After all, given its influence within the medium of animation, its worth at least having as a point of reference, right? So, after the first six episodes of the series, here are a few of my thoughts.

I will say this first because it has nothing to do with the quality of the series, but the modern anime season really made me forget that series did not have to be 12 or 24 episodes, and could literally just be however long is needed to have a satisfying conclusion. Seeing 39 episodes for this series really threw me for a loop is all.

Now, as for the series itself, there is certainly a lot to like. I have never been overly crazy about the aesthetic of a lot of 80s or 90s anime series, but Revolutionary Girl Utena is one I can get behind. A lot of the colors are fiery and bright, including those on the members of the student council. The overall vibe of the school is very regal and upper-class, showcasing very intricate designs on the outfits of its primary cast, which itself begs the question of why any of the main characters are there to begin with.

Speaking of, Utena and Anthy, the show’s lead characters, offer a nice contrast both in personality and design. Utena takes on a more masculine role, subverting the the damsel in distress trope by vowing in the series intro to become a prince herself, though she does say specifically that this desire still exists within her own identity as a girl. Anthy, meanwhile is apparently what is known as the “rose bride,” who will help “revolutionize the world.” At this point, all of that still feels a bit esoteric and clouded in mystery, which is appropriate because Anthy herself feels much the same way, opting to take a more passive role in the opening episodes.

The two have yet to build a ton of chemistry, other than the fact that they just look cute together. I suspect, though, that will come with time, as the series is divided into four main arcs, of which I am barely halfway into the first. It will be interesting to see both how the contrast in their personalities is shown, and how that contrast will then affect their relationship.

Series creator Kuniko Ikuhara has been praised not only for his work on this series, but also for his previous work on Sailor Moon, as well as a number of other projects later on the in the 2010s. It is clear even from the show’s opening episodes that there is a strong creative drive that went into Revolutionary Girl Utena as a series.

While I cannot say my my attention has been fully retained at every point so far, the show is fascinating, and I do want to see where it ends up. So yeah, I will probably keep watching.


Have you seen Revolutionary Girl Utena? Maybe not? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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!

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What I’m (Probably) Watching for Fall 2022

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I know, I know, it is a bit early to be talking about fall, but honestly, I had nothing planned for this week other than maybe talking about Revolutionary Girl Utena, but might as well save that until a bit more progress is made.

While I am still mostly excited for this season, part of me is also not. Most of this is to do with the fact that I am graduating this semester which has brought with it another set of problems, but also because I was hoping to find something a bit more under the radar this season, but that does not seem to be the case. With that being said, though, here is what I am probably watching for fall 2022.

Chainsaw Man

I think it would be a mistake for anyone, including myself to miss out on what could potentially be one of the better adaptations in recentl history. It is clear based on the names attached to the series and the absolutely gorgeous trailers that Chainsaw Man has the potential. The question now is whether those working on the series can follow through.

Mappa has often been a source of inconsistency when it comes to the quality of shows they put out, but their recent offerings, including Jujutsu Kaisen and the latest season of Attack on Titan have inspired a lot of confidence. If Chainsaw Man is even a fraction as good as those series, than their will definitely be something worth looking forward to.

Spy x Family Part 2

Me, watching the other most popular show of the season, whaaaaaat? Listen, can you really blame me for wanting to finish one of the most consistently entertaining series to come out in the last few years? Spy x Family not only has a killler premise and great characters, but consistently executed on them for all of its first part. There is not really much else to say other than that I look forward to another amazing bit of this show.

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Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Bleach will always have a special place in my heart as one of the first anime I watched that I truly recognized as anime. It, and Fullmetal Alchemist, were also the first anime series recommended to me by a close friend. However, as the years have gone on my interest in seeing Bleach continued slowly decreased, not because my opinion of it changed significantly, but rather because some many other blips have popped up on my metaphorically radar that I could kind of live without it. Still, I am happy to see the series get the resolution it rightfully deserves. Also, I know this is a pretty big arc, so chances are if I do not watch it now it will be gone from my mind forever.

My Hero Academia Season 6

I know people like to project the incredibly strange fandom onto the actually quality of this show a lot, but it honestly remains a pretty enjoyable series. Certainly not the best thing since sliced bread, but good enough that I would be disappointed if it did not conclude, especially after season five. The stakes in My Hero have always been relatively high, but scale of the fights has larger and more interesting, and even the league of villains has turned out to be much more than stereotypically evil people doing evil things.

Now would be the part where I talk about Golden Kamuy season four and how most of what I am watching this season is just sequels, except that the chances of me actually finishing the series in time to watch season four are pretty low. It sucks, too, because Golden Kamuy is one of those shows that feels like it does not get enough attention for how good it is, but unfortunately I just do not have the time to do all of that while also covering the other stuff I want to.


So yeah, that is what I am (probably) watching for the upcoming season. There is always the chance I pick up one thing or drop something on this list, but we will just have to see.

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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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!

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Sports and Romance in Blue Box

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I feel like this is cheating since I briefly talked about Blue Box in a secondary findings post a while back, but I actually managed to catch up all the way, which as of the writing of this post is chapter 65.

For those who are still uninitiated with this manga, allow me a brief summary. Taiki is a freshman badminton player who has found himself crushing on his basketball player senpai Chinatsu because they see each other every morning before their respective practices in the gym. Upon learning that she will be moving abroad and thus will not be able to compete in her final year of basketball, Taiki works up the courage to tell her to do what she wants, and not what is dictated by her parents. Chinatsu then ambushes him with the fact that she actually is not moving, and is instead staying with a family friend. Except, that family friend is actually Taiki’s mom, and so the two begin to live together.

Whereas most authors would take that setup, let harem shenanigans ensue, and then promptly cash their checks, Koji Miura has taken a different approach. Well, I say different, but in reality, it is much more standard fair, just done really well.

Romantic comedy and sports is a weird cross-section that I have never taken much time to explore. Like, there have always been elements of it in other shows, with one character centering the sports activities because they themselves are on a team (see Lovely Complex) but I honestly cannot say much for shows where the sports and the budding romantic relationships between those players take center stage. Luckily. Blue Box manages to capitalize on this fusion in a way that, while definitely nothing innovative, is great in execution.

What strikes me the most about this series right off the bat is just how unassuming it tends to be. Taiki, for all his teenage gawking at Chinatsu, never puts his own feelings above hers, and Chinatsu is much the same way. The two very obviously develop feelings for each other, and yet they do basically nothing aside from exchanging some witty dialogue and a few awkward glances. However, where a lot of series would chalk this up to just teenage awkwardness, Blue Box subverts this trope with its focus on sports. The whole reason Chinatsu ends up staying in the first place is so she can finish school and her last two years of basketball, and part of why the two even find each other attractive to begin with is their willingness to dedicate themselves to their sports. Where characters in other high school romances get lost in their aloofness and unwillingness to admit their feelings, Taiki, Chinatsu, and to a lesser extent Hina, are much more focused on accomplishing their own goals.

I was initially going to put the word sports in huge, sarcastic quotations in the title of this post because my impression of this series is that sports were just a mechanism for having these characters meet at specific times and locations and miss each other at different times and locations. That is wrong, though. The matches and competitions that our main characters take part in are exciting and well drawn. Still, sports also serve an important thematic role, one that teaches the ideas of patience, hard work, and dedication, things that are necessary for a healthy romantic relationship. We even see this reiterated in Haryuu’s relationship with his girlfriend Karen later on in the story, which is seemingly built on the idea of putting their own pursuits ahead of their relationship, a sentiment that has become increasingly popular with younger generations.

Despite the fact that I just complimented two of them, If I could point to anywhere this has maybe been lackluster so far, it would probably be in its side characters. Kyou is probably the most immediate example of this, as his role for most of the story thus far has been one of an observer. Rarely does he intervene in any conflict, and oftentimes he is just a mediator between Taiki and Hina. Recently chapters have given him a bit more development, and even hinted at his own romantic feelings for Hina, but he still feels like an afterthought in most cases. I feel like it would have been more interesting to get a bit of backstory on the relationship between Taiki and Chinatsu’s mother at this point, but at the same time, the series is also not over yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.

So, yeah, go read it. Why are you still here?


You can tell I really mean it because I even went through the trouble of avoiding major spoilers (partly because I am also incredibly tired this week, but that is less important). Have you read this series already, though? What are your thoughts? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting the blog and being incredibly awesome.

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

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Summer 2022 Episode Reviews: Week Seven

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Made in Abyss S2 Ep. 7

To repeat what I said earlier this week on Twitter dot com:

This week’s episode gives us the payoff to the backstory which was established at the beginning of the season. The adventurers are indeed successful in securing their place in the Golden City only to be met with the harsh reality therein. Their water source is essentially poisoned, and fearless leader Wazukyan is forced to make some hard decisions.

Primarily the hard decision of eating dead babies, and potentially Irumyuui, but based on the wording of that last line it is not exactly clear. As far as effective payoff goes, this episode definitely delivered. I honestly am not sure why I expected it to be less dark considering 1. It is Made in Abyss, and 2. the show already implied it pretty heavily considering the state of the hollow village.

The show’s obsession with human fecal matter will never not be weird, but at least in this case it kind of makes sense. Nobody normally drinks poisoned water and has a good experience coming out of it. Still, the graphic nature of it is hard to get used to. A great episode to be sure, but maybe one you don’t watch while eating food.

Call of the Night Ep. 7

Up to this point, Call of the Night has largely been episodic, focusing on the budding relationship of Nazuna and Kou while occasionally introducing new characters. This episode shifts gears a bit, instead drawing attention to the vampire politics of this world as Kou gets abducted by a group of other vampires after meeting a strange new girl.

The opening for the series teases these characters in every episode, but it was never clear how or even when they would be introduced. In regards to these characters, there are two things this episode does pretty well. First, it gives them each distinct personality even though they only have a single 20 minutes between five new characters. Second, it does the former without trying to immediately info-dump the entirety of vampiric lore.

Far too many shows have fallen victim to the “tell don’t show” idea of storytelling, a tendency probably made worse by just how awful anime production can be. Even anime greats like Fate/Zero have made minor mistakes in that regard. Dropping a 14-year-old in the middle of a room full of vampire ladies and telling him he needs to convert or die is about as direct as you can get, so good on them for that.

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RWBY: Ice Queendom Ep. 7

Another episode and…yeah the cracks are beginning to show with this one.

In all fairness, this was a pretty solid episode. Jaune now joins the rest of team RWBY and utilizes his previous nightmare infection to sneak around the castle base. On top of that, we see that Weiss, for all her attempts to act mature, is secretly desperate to enjoy life as if she were a kid again.

I have yet to make this connection, but the thing that really cliques for me about this arc in particular, and why I am still rooting for the series to do better, is because it reminds me a lot of Persona 5. Instead of dealing with the outside danger that is the other Grimm or the white fang, the group is forced to deal with the corrupted mind of one of society’s elite, who also happens to be their teammate.

It is genuinely fascinating, and for what it is, I enjoy it. It is a shame though that the animation is not quite there to consistently match it. Shaft has definitely done a lot better, including my literal favorite anime of all time. But, I am here for the ride now, so I will see where it goes, at least.

The Devil is a Part-Timer S2 Ep. 6

Lots of interesting development in this one, huh? The fog which was worrying our protagonists produces not one, not two, but three demons, one of whom is the former strategist for Maou. The gang begins questioning this new addition but is interrupted by their new job working at the beach. The end of the episode leaves us with a worrying Twist: that their new boss may just be another enemy.

As an individual episode, this was very solid. Not only do we get some good comedic moments between basically the whole cast while they are working at the restaurant, but it also does a lot for the forward momentum of the plot. While I have no idea what Camio’s introduction will mean for the rest of the show, I do hope it doe not turn into a simple mascot for the season, especially since the show already has one. Still, really solid, cannot complain.

Lycoris Recoil Ep. 8

Honestly, I could say a lot of what I just said for Devil is a Part-Timer Lycoris Recoil, as this was also a really solid episode. The whole of the still feels a bit incoherent, but this felt significantly more focused. For some reason, literally no one realized that their business was failing, and so Takina decides to step up as their financial advisor, to great success. The shop becomes a lot more popular as a result. Meanwhile, questions about Makima and the Alan Institute become much more complicated when he reveals that he too was helped by them.

This episode has basically everything you could want out of this show: Funny bits not built on weird sexual humor, touching moments between Takina and Chisato, solid animation, and action scenes that look incredibly badass. If every episode was as good as this one, I would feel a lot better about the series as is. Hopefully, next week’s episode can capitalize as well as this one did.


How are you feeling about the shows this week? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, shout out 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!

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Blog Update: Finishing College and What’s to Come

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My Last Semester

By the time this post is released, there will likely only be a few weeks left until the start of my final undergraduate semester. Seeing as how I have no immediate plans to pursue graduate-level work, it is also going to be my last semester of college for a while.

I definitely have some conflicting feelings. After all, I have met a lot of important friends in college, especially after the last year and a half to two years, and leaving them behind, even if it is only temporarily, is going to sting. Still, I am excited for what the future has in store, which hopefully includes being able to pursue my interests, even if it is just in my free time.

As far as how that affects the blog, well, I say this every time, but hopefully, it will not, though I cannot make any promises as far as post volume. Still, two of my total four classes are online, so hopefully, this one will be a bit calmer.

Website Re-design

I feel like re-designing the website is more or less an annual occurrence at this point, but I have never been fully satisfied with how it looks after any given re-work. I will skip the whole “Guess I’m just a perfectionist bit,” because I do not necessarily think that is true, but I do feel like my tastes change has something to do with it.

This is going to be one of my goals before things get busy again, and so I figured it would be better to at least let everyone know before that happens. At the very least my logo could use some serious updating. After all, if I am being completely honest, I have never felt like it looks particularly inviting.

Flaking on my Writing

This may sound weird considering this blog has been going strong all summer, but I don’t feel like I have lived up to my goals. I really wanted to work on a collection, be it a full collection or even just a chapbook. However, three months since the end of last semester and I barely worked on a single poem all break.

I did make some progress on a short story/potential novel, but that still does not feel like enough. It is difficult to not be hard on myself considering the amount of free time I had, but most of it just amounted to playing video games. No time like the present, though, so I’ll be trying to get back into the grove soon, alongside trying to update Solidly Liquid as well.

What I’m Watching

  • Arakawa Under the Bridge
  • Wolf’s Rain (I haven’t finished it since the last update) 🙂
  • Attack on Titan (Now waiting on the last part)
  • Various Summer Seasonals

What I’m Reading

  • My Alcoholic Escape from Reality
  • My Wandering Warrior Existence
  • Blue Box (officially caught up)
  • Blood on the Tracks
  • Chainsaw Man Pt. 2 (officially caught up)

How are you all doing recently? Have any more questions for me? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

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

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Secondary Findings: Guilty Gear, MultiVersus, Etc.

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Las Ruinas by Rico Nasty

I have always been much more of a casual fan of Rico Nasty than a dedicated listener. Sure, I heard her featured on tracks with other artists like Denzel Curry and enjoyed her performances. Even on her own singles, she clearly has an aesthetic and direction she enjoys However, nothing has really compelled me to listen to a full project from her. At least, not until now.

I got to say, though, as the only full-length project I have heard from her, this is surprisingly great. The fusion of a wide variety of genres was not something I expected, even despite her singles like “Intrusive” leaning pretty significantly into hyperpop territory. Songs like “Phuckin Lady” demonstrate Rico’s tight flow even on faster, break-core style production, and the slower acoustic ballads such as “Easy on Me” and “Chicken Nugget” show she is more than just a rapper vocally. Even for people who are not “into hip-hop/rap,” I recommend giving this a try.

Creepy Nuts

Call of the Night is currently my favorite seasonal, even above Made in Abyss, for one simple reason: aesthetic. The story is by no means bad. In fact, I would love to do some kind of post breaking down its themes when the series is over. However, the show has cultivated an air that just oozes cool, in no small part to the band Creepy Nuts.

Ok, “band” is maybe slightly inaccurate, at least connotatively. Creepy Nuts is a duo comprised of rapper R-Shitei and producer DJ Matsunaga. The two formed officially in 2017 and have gone on to have a lot of success not just in music but in various other areas of entertainment, even now hosting their own radio show.

What I love about this group is how, while they are indeed centered in hip-hop, they are able to pull off a variety of styles, from their jazz influence which can be felt in the opening and ending of Call of the Night, to their other work which takes from many genres. I have not listened to enough of them to have a favorite project, but needless to say, I will be listening to them quite a bit from now on.

Strangers Things…Again!

The last time I put out one of these posts, Stranger Things season four had only gotten through its first half. However, the second half came out right at the beginning of July, and wow it was incredible. I was not sure what to expect from a nearly four-hour-long finale, but everyone involved was on their A-game when it came to this ending.

The acting was absolutely incredible, but shout-out to Netflix for calling it, I guess, because Caleb Maclaughlin as Lucas arguably had one of the best performances. My favorite of the season, alongside many others from what I can tell, is Gaten Matarazzo playing Dustin. He went from not much more than comic relief to arguably one of the most compelling storylines of the season, alongside fan favorite Eddie, anyway. The worst performance I would actually give to Finn Wolfhard, not because it was actually bad, but rather because everyone else was amazing by comparison.

The settings and background shots were also fantastic. Dumping money into a series may not always be the best way to get good results, but the 30 Million Dollars per episode budget definitely did not hurt when it came to bringing alive Vecna’s House, the Upside-Down, the Russian Prison, and various other locations. Overall, a fantastic way to end the season, and one that most certainly builds the hype for season five.

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Guilty Gear Strive

Slowly, but surely, I am getting back into Guilty Gear Strive. I picked up the game a few months after its release last year and enjoyed the game’s mechanics a lot. Yet, I enjoyed its aesthetics a lot more, which is primarily why I ended up buying it. The metal-inspired soundtrack combined with its unique fantasy world and colorful characters made me want to get into it. However, I ultimately stopped playing because…eh?

While I may be juggling this blog along with competing in Smash, as a casual fan of the traditional FGC, Strive has been one of my favorite viewing experiences of the last year. The mechanics are a bit complicated, but not so much that someone who knows literally nothing about the game cannot enjoy it. So, yeah, hopefully, I will have time to play more in the future.

MultiVersus

Platform fighters as a whole are seeing potentially the largest interest surge in the genre’s history. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Melee are both doing great in terms of viewership, Rivals continues to draw a decent crowd of its own despite having a significantly smaller competitive community, and while Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl ultimately ended up kind of unfinished, it too had a strong interest grow around the game upon announcement.

MultiVersus seems like it could be adding to that surge, with a cast that spans the Warner Brothers universe, from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Steven Universe to Shaggy and Velma of Scooby Doo. On top of that, the game’s mechanics are not only fun but show the team’s willingness to experiment beyond being “just another smash game.” In particular, the perks system introduces a new level of strategy and seems designed to test what aspects of a character the player values.

This is only compounded by the game’s emphasis on the two versus two format, where teamwork and communication are essential. Doubles formats in platform fighters have historically been unexplored, largely due to the genre’s emphasis on single-player experiences which tend to mirror normal FGC titles. However, given the genre’s unique emphasis on positioning and the many differences when it comes to executing combos, the two versus two format could very much flourish in a game like MultiVersus.


What non-anime/manga things have you all been enjoying recently? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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!

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Attack on Titan Final Season Episodes 80-87 and What’s to Come

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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The journey through Attack on Titan has been, if nothing else, exciting. It started with a re-ignited spark of interest in the series and has turned into a strong change in opinion about its quality. Whereas my original opinion of AOT was positive but not all that passionate, it has now become one of my favorite series, if not top 10, then at worst top 20.

It is a series like no other and has really proved that over the course of the last season, from its strong political drama and allegorical elements to the production side of the equation which remained equally strong even after swapping studios. So, the ending, at least for now, has finally come. How was it?

Not like this will be much of a surprise, but it was amazing. I was honestly kind of surprised just how many compelling stories beats the show was able to fit into the season’s last eight episodes. There is of course the Rumbling and its initial devastation on Paradis, which transitions pretty smoothly into Gabi’s redemption arc. There is also Armin stopping Coney from killing Falco, and Annie meeting up with Hitch just in time for the Apocolypse, after which they join together with Reiner, Levi, Hange, Piecke, and the Marleyian general.

This would be a lot for a normal 10-12 episode anime, but to fit into the final third of an already reveal filled-season while still remaining totally coherent is an incredible feat. Bubble had about the same time to accomplish that and could barely manage 1-2 engaging plotlines.

As for particular highlights, Coney and Armin’s interaction right before meeting up with the others felt the most compelling. It serves as a reminder that desperation can make people do anything. Coney’s mom is the only one who has a chance of being alive, and so he takes that chance, even despite part of him knowing it was wrong. The final fight at the harbor was also really cool as well. One thing that Attack on Titan is consistently good at is showing both the ease and difficulty of throwing away one’s humanity at the drop of a hat. Again, we see Coney making a difficult choice in order to save Armin.

Speaking of choices, might be worth addressing the founding titan in the room, Eren. It was not much of a surprise to see Eren take back the founding Titan from Zeke (The opening of this half is literally called The Rumbling), but that does not make it any less dramatic. Finding out about Eren’s ability to see the future and therefore have everything already planned down to the second was wild. The screenshot of him staring down Grisha while right next to him is funny, but also indicative of Eren’s willingness to do anything for Paradis.

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All of that ignores the fact that Eren has become a genocidal maniac. However, hindsight is always 2020, and I think what a lot of initial discussions about AOT’s ideology missed is that Eren is rarely the good guy. The only time he is ever cast in a sympathetic light is during the first few episodes. After that, Eren’s reckless and homicidal attitude is very often framed as at best concerning and at worst actively putting others in danger.

The show has always been about ideology. I mean, they live in a post-apocalyptic military state. However, it has never, up to this point at least, actively glorified these repressive beliefs and systems. This could change in the last part, and if it does then we should be having a different conversation, but since I am definitely not reading the manga, we will have to wait and see.

I know I have mentioned it a ton of times already, but man the action scenes in this show are amazing. There is the inherent appeal of Godzilla like battles against two monsters just beating the shit out of each other, or the David and Goliath style battles of man versus titans. Besides those two, the show also takes care to make sure that the human-level conflict is engaging as well. Going back to Coney and Armin, their meeting in Coney’s hometown felt genuinely nerve-wracking in a way that the outcome was unclear until the last second.

Good CGI also helps its case. There are very few anime that can actually claim to have good 3D animation, with Beastars being one of the only ones that I personally have seen. However, the titans and heavy machinery that is rendered in 3D still fit seamlessly into the world.

Ok, but where does the series go from here? Well, ideally up. The reality is that Mappa is working on a number of projects over the next year, including the upcoming Chainsaw Man adaptation that also has a large number of eyes on it. This means that, while it would be awesome to see the last of Attack on Titan go off without any problems, there is a non-zero chance that an extremely overworked production team will inevitably let some things slip through the cracks.

Still, this last season was arguably the best so far. On top of that, Mappa at this point has established itself as one of the best Studios in the industry, employing a lot of talent throughout the years. Hopefully, that means good things to come.


Now that I am officially done with all of Attack on Titan‘s anime available story, 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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!

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Summer 2022 Episode Reviews: Week Four

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Last week was solid, and so is this one. However, there is one show that I simply have no desire to continue, as you will find out in a bit.

RWBY: Ice Queendom Ep. 4

One thing I have realized about this series is that it kind of suggests that the person watching should have already seen the original. Which, I guess makes sense. The anime never really marketed itself as a remake, after all. Still, I cannot help but feel a little annoyed when shows which are more or less telling the same story rely on the original for character development as opposed to doing the work themselves.

I say this because the show treats Ruby and Weiss’s relationship like the two have known each other for a while as opposed to 3 episodes. It makes sense in the context of their bickering, but there just is not enough history at this point to sell the dramatic impact of their fight. If this arc happened at the mid-point of the season it would make a lot more sense, but definitely not now.

Made in Abyss S2 Ep. 4

Something I love about Made in Abyss is that it is very much in the show not tell camp of storytelling. Rather than info-dumping a million pieces of relevant backstory, it lets the material speak for itself. This episode, in particular, is bridging the gap between the past and the present, both for the island itself and for Reg and Nanachi.

Faputa, who Reg meets at the end of the last episode, is implied to be both a figure in Reg’s past and also, through clever transitions, the native girl who accompanied the original adventurers on their journey. In Nanachi’s case, while shopping at the market with Majikaja, finds out that he knows of Mitty. The two trek through the Hollow village, and in the final frames of the episode Mitty sits underneath a giant guardian. This was a really cleverly planned-out episode and overall one of the highlights of the week.

Call of the Night Ep. 4

I am glad that Akira is sticking around, at least for a little bit longer. There is a lot of great character chemistry between the three of them, and this episode demonstrates that perfectly. The episode starts with Akira not being able to sleep, calling back to Kou in episode one, and so she decides to stay up, running in Kou and gets invited to hang out with him and Nazuna. The three hang out, play video games, and Nazuna kinda just jokes with them and makes them feel awkward.

Akira also spends time dealing with an internal conflict as well. Part of her wants Kou to come back to school so that she can escape her own loneliness, but part of her also recognizes that despite Nazuna literally being a vampire and Kou being a middle schooler, their relationship makes Kou happy. The visuals and music have also been incredible, so that helps too.

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer Ep. 4

Ok yeah, I am done. I wanted to give this series an honest try considering how interesting the opening chapters of the manga were, but man has it just been a snooze fest, and this episode did not do any better.

We get a bit more backstory about Hangetsu which is, admittedly, well included in the episode alongside his growing affections for Hisame. However, that is pretty much the only compliment I can give it, as Yuuhi is somehow unlikeable in the worst way possible, even outside of the questionable relationship with Samidare. On top of that, the studio seems committed to “animating” this show with as few frames as possible. This show has some of the stiffest action scenes I have watched in a while.

If I were rating this right now this would get a 40/100 at best. Please do not bother watching this, and I have not uttered this sentence very many times, but just go read the manga.

Lycoris Recoil Ep. 5

Another solid but ultimately confusing episode from Lycoris Recoil this week. There are a lot of questions about the politics of this series that it could not be bothered to answer. For starters, Kurumi implies within the first minute of the episode that even the current president doesn’t know about the Lycoris, which has a lot of implications on its own, but also the private detectives seem to suggest that the DA has the ability to shut down even the public police force…huh?

The rest of the episode was ok. The lead duo takes on a client who is secretly being hunted by an assassin, only to find out that was not real and what they do not know is that the whole thing is connected to the Alan Institute as well. The show really just has me intrigued, not in a cool and methodical way, but more in a “watching a drunk guy stumble his way around the restaurant looking for the bathroom” kind of way.

The Devil is a Part-Timer S2 Ep. 3

A show that makes a lot more sense is The Devil is a Part-Timer. Well, as much sense as a show about Satan coming to the human realm and now also raising a plant baby can make, anyway. Maou and Emi are enjoying a day off, while also looking out for any potential danger that might come to pass. However, when they least expect it, Gabriel comes down to request Alas Ramus and the holy sword. But, he’s nice enough to give them a day to make their decision.

Definitely, a bit more plot-focused, but that is not much of a bad thing, as the main plot for the series has generally been pretty solid. On top of that, Alus Ramus and this mystery of the World Tree is still really fascinating. Also, Rika and Ashiya as a couple would be hilarious, change my mind.


What did you think of this week? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, a special shout out to our Patron Jenn for supporting the blog.

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

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Feeding the Flames: Anime Music, Turn-Based RPGs, Etc.

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Well, as usual, I am behind schedule on the series I was planning on covering this month. So, in order to supplement this, it is time once again for some hot takes.

Length is Not Important in Making Good Art

I thought about this a lot after finishing Goodbye, Eri by Tatsuki Fujimoto. He completed a well-rounded story in just about 200 pages and arguably wrote not only one of the best manga of the year but potentially a contender for best manga of the decade.

If it sounds like I am calling out shounen here, well it is because I am…kind of. Obviously, this applies to all long-running series, but Shounen stories tend to disproportionately fit into the category. However, the probably here is not the length itself, but rather that the longer a series goes on, the more prone it is to losing focus of its main plot.

The most important thing when writing a story is not its length. Rather, it is making sure that each part of said story is purposeful, and engages with its other parts in a way that makes sense.

Turn-Based RPGs Aren’t Inherently Boring

As much as I consider myself a fan of more action-oriented RPGs like Final Fantasy 13 and the very small amount of the Tales series that I have been able to play, something about the turn-based style of gameplay has always held its charm for me.

While I can certainly understand why people would feel strongly about their repetitive nature, part of that come from a lot of games that either focuses heavily on grinding, have little variance in gameplay, or both. Games like 2012’s Bravely Default prove that even small variations in the traditional formula can make for engaging gameplay that requires more attention than simply mashing through menus.

Still, I am not gonna sit here and pretend like most games that stick with the turn-based formula are innovating in that way.

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The Tokyo Ghoul Anime Wasn’t That Bad

There are very few anime that I would say are wholly inferior to their source material. One of those is The Promised Neverland, which…yeah. The other, though, is Tokyo Ghoul. So much of the second season just feels scuffed as hell compared to what we got in the manga.

However, to say that its first season is on the same level feels a bit ludicrous. The adaptation of its story, even if some minor details were left out, was solid, and the animation from Studio Pierrot was above average. It was by no means perfect, but certainly not bad enough to complain endlessly about.

Hiroyuki Sawano

That is the take because my boy Sawano is on fire. On a more serious note, I do think Sawano has, at least at this point, cemented himself as one of the better music producers of anime history. It can certainly feel one-note at times, but at his best, his production is so hard-hitting that it frankly does not matter.

If I were to name some of my favorite music producers, it would likely be Sawano and Yoko Kano. I realize that these are not especially controversial picks, and this series is called Feeding the Flames, but hey, what can I say, quality is quality.

Good Anime Endings are More Memorable than Good Anime Openings

There are a lot of good anime openings, both in turns of animation but also in terms of music. However, the same cannot be said for anime endings, which often feel hand-picked to sound as boring and forgettable as possible. It does make sense, though, as first impressions are often much more important when it comes to sticking to a consistent audience. This is why, despite not thinking much about them, I could very easily name some of my favorite ending themes (more specifically, my favorite anime ending at the moment is Style Helix by Myth&Roid from Re: Zero, while my second favorite is Hibana by The Sixth Lie from Golden Kamuy).


What are some of your hot takes? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks go 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!

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Attack on Titan Final Season: Episodes 72-75

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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The walls are coming down, and society on Eldia is in the midst of total collapse. This time, however, it is not because of some mass titan invasion, but rather the military strength of an entire country. Marley has decided the time is now, and in pursuit of Eldia’s demise, they fly into battle alone, without the support of other governments. Eren must now use his newfound power amongst the Jaegerists to fight against this now impending invasion.

Of course, that’s only the finale of this set of episodes, and while it was certainly well done, there are a lot of other things to talk about.

First, watching the various factions related to Sasha come together in order to find out how she died, only to be faced with her killer in Gabi, was a legitimately thrilling moment. For as nice a person as Sasha’s dad is, it would not have been surprising to attempt to kill Gabi in a fit of rage, especially considering how much her character has been set up in the interim between her death and that scene.

For as important as Nicolo has been in this season, though, it would have been nice to get a bit more about their relationship other than “they were probably in love,” but obviously it is nowhere close to the main plot, so I understand why they did not.

Speaking of Gabi, for as annoying as she can be, the internal conflict she has been going through based on her identity as both an Eldian and a Marleyian has been genuinely compelling to watch. On the one hand, she has been indoctrinated by the Marleyian government since birth, raised to believe that only by serving her country can she redeem her sinful existence.

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On the other hand, when faced with Eldians who were cast out and labeled “island devils,” she is faced with nothing but kindness, despite having killed one of their comrades. The psychological conflict between what she has been told versus her immediate reality is something I hope gets resolved by the series’ end.

Sooner than expected, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin manage to reunite while Eren is holding them hostage. It was at this point in the episode that I started having even more conflicted feelings about Attack on Titan and his character than I already do, and where the conversation around the show’s political ideology has taken a decided turn.

Memes upon memes were being thrown around during the early Attack on Titan episodes about how Eren’s goal was simply to kill all of the Titans and get revenge. By the end of the third season, this goal was much closer to being a reality, but it is also at this point where also incredibly meme’d to death scene of Eren at the beach comes in, with him asking “If we kill all our enemies over there, will we truly be free?” This brings us to the restaurant scene, where Eren’s conception of freedom has warped into something decidedly more fascist in nature, where there is a clear black and white boundary between the free and those he would call slaves.

Of course, I am only halfway through this season, and there is of course one final part that is not coming out till next year, so I will save all the think-piecing until then.

Arguably the most compelling section of this group is the episode that focuses on Zeke’s past and his connection to Paradis. Owl, the leader of the group planning to overthrow Marley, is Zeke’s dad, and in order to save himself from being killed, Zeke rats them out at the order of his future mentor, the previous beast titan holder. While not providing a ton of information that was not already known, it is an interesting dive into his character and the origin of his twisted ideology, highlighting the circumstances which lead to his existence today.

Overall, this was a great set of episodes, both in terms of writing and animation, but also one that leaves me conflicted as to AOT’s direction ideologically.


How do you feel about Attack on Titan? Let me know in the comments (no spoilers please).

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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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!

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