Tag Archives: Manga

The Best of Us, The Worst of Us, The Lot of Us: Saitama

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It’s been a while since I talked about “One Punch Man” at any serious length. Now, it’s not that I have not wanted to, but rather I just have not had much of a reason. But now that I have this mini-series, I figured now would be as good a time as ever to revisit both Saitama and what makes the show so great.

I think most had the impression that “One Punch Man” would be just a one trick pony comedy show without much to offer beyond just a few laughs in the first couple of episodes. Now, if “Kaguya-Sama” as taught me anything, it’s that an interesting enough story can carry one joke pretty far.

Indeed, “One Punch Man’s” story definitely qualifies as interesting enough. At the center of that story, though, is Saitama. Arguably one of the most populist heroes in media, Saitama gains his immense strength through nothing but his hard work and famous workout routine: 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and a 10km run, Every. Single. Day.

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How extreme this sounds probably depends on one’s current workout schedule, as, at least for me, I do not know if I could do this at my current level. However, someone who works out consistently 3-4 times a week probably would not have much of a problem with this.

Regardless, the point is that Saitama is a hero that most people can relate to, because everything else about him is average. He lives in a normal downtown apartment, has to go grocery shopping, and loves to get sales.

Saitama also famously does hero work for fun, rather than as a job, which is what most other heroes work for. His main mission is simply to find an opponent who doesn’t lose in one punch.

To be such an average guy in so many different ways while also being this unstoppable force creates and incredibly funny juxtaposition. This continuous juxtaposition in turn keeps the show funny even past it’s initial episodes.

Saitama may not be the best hero overall, but he is certainly the funniest. His struggle to find a worthy opponent is both encouraging because of his relatability, but demoralizing because he always wins so easily.


How do you all feel about Saitama? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

No Game No Life and The Philosophy of Disboard

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

In order to break up the seasonal excitement a bit, and also to give myself a buffer since school is starting this week, I thought I would dig up one of my original video ideas and publish the script here. I may still make this into a video at some point, but as for now I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my favorite series and discuss one of my favorite aspects: its setting. Enjoy!


Despite being a genre predicated on a change in scenery, It seems as if many of the recent entries into the Isekai genre have ignored one of the most important elements of a good story: the setting. Many of these said entries, such as In Another World with my Smartphone, seem to take for granted the fantasy setting in which their stories take place. As a result, they forgo world-building in favor of giving as much screen time possible to the usual blank slate MC and whatever Harem misadventures he is getting into that week.

However, one Isekai that actively builds on its world in an exciting and interesting way is No Game No Life. In fact, it might be fair to say that Disboard, the world where the show takes place, is itself the main character, with its own unique perspective.

Disboard, as it is known to Sora and Shiro, being a world governed by the ten covenants, was created long ago at the end of the Great War, a contest between the many gods of that world in order to attain the Suniaster and become the one true god. Tet, at the time known as the god of play, obtained it at the very end, recreating Disboard into a world without war and violence.

  1. All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world.
  2. All conflict in this world will be resolved through games.
  3. In games, each player will bet something that they agree is of equal value.
  4. As long as it doesn’t violate pledge three, anything may be bet, and any game may be played.
  5. The challenged party has the right to decide the rules of the game.
  6. Any bets made in accordance with the pledges must be upheld.
  7. Conflicts between groups will be conducted by designated representatives with absolute authority.
  8. Being caught cheating during a game is grounds for an instant loss.
  9. In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed.
  10. Let’s all have fun and play together!

The rules that govern Disboard, otherwise known as the ten covenants, are the guiding principles that were set in place by Tet in order to create his game world Utopia. These covenants, as they relate to No Game No Life, can best be understood in three separate sections.

Covenants two through eight layout the rules for conflict in the new world of Disboard. Those who wish to fight must do so through playing a game, with the person challenged deciding what game to play and each person betting something of equal value. These rules make it so that people have a way of settling conflicts that don’t devolve into total war and bloodshed. The rules also reflect Tets personality as the god of play, someone who loves games.

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The first, “All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world,” and the ninth, “In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed,” represents Tets desire to see a world in absolute peace, after the many gods of the world spent millennia tearing it apart. This comes largely at the request of Riku, a human who fought to protect Immanity and becomes the main character of the sixth volume of the No Game No Life light novel series. At the end of No Game No Life Zero, an adaptation of the sixth volume, Sora almost succeeds at taking the Suniaster, but then prays to Tet to create a world without violence.

It is the tenth covenant, “Let’s all have fun and play together,” that leaves both Sora and Shiro, as well as the audience, extremely confused. After all, why include something that isn’t even technically a rule in a list of ten rules governing your whole world. Still, it is in this last covenant that Disboard is truly understood, and where Sora and Shiro are ahead of the curb. 

In the eyes of Tet, Disboard was always meant to be a world in which people come together, a world in which the sixteen ixseeds leave aside their racial differences and live in harmony. That is why every race has a representative who holds their race piece, and why Sora and Shiro decide to start challenging the different races to games for their pieces.

Disboard, at its core, is a game, a game that nobody has yet to win, and one that had rules no one quite understood in the way Sora and Shiro do. However, Disboard also has a unique philosophy, one that wishes to set aside sociocultural and political differences in favor of a new world order, one built on peace, understanding, and the past time of sitting down and playing a fun game.

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However, much like the real world, the world of Disboard is often governed by tribalism. Despite not being able to enact physical violence, many of the races on Disboard are suspect of one another, and work hard at learning strategies to use during games in order to ensure victory when playing against another race. This can be seen in the game between Sora, Shiro and Izuna. 

The Eastern Union had previously forced the king of Elkia to agree to lose his memory upon losing the game, which was supposed to prevent the king from gathering data. The same rules applied to Sora and Shiro’s game. In addition, The Eastern Union chose a game in which the players had to rely on physical strength, an attribute Sora and Shiro lack and one that Izuna, the Werebeast representative, has in spades.

The political calculations of each of the races’ leaders, even after the ten covenants, likely contributed to the lack of unity and partnership between each of the races.

While the idea that a couple of random humans falling out of the sky and solving the mystery of an entire alternate universe feels a bit weird, it does make sense. Sora and Shiro not only know how to “win the game” of Disboard, but also embody its very existence. After all, the only reason they are there in the first place is because Tet invited them. Whether someone wants to call them savior, test subjects, it doesn’t matter. They are Blank, and they are there to win, but also have a good time, just as intended.


How do you feel about “No Game No Life?” 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

Dr. Stone Season Two Episode One Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It certainly has been a long time coming, huh?

Definitely not as long as, say, “Made in Abyss,” but, ya know, still pretty long. After all, in a year that felt like an eternity, its exciting to have a season with so many highly anticipated sequels, many of which I was excited for myself. Some for different reasons *cough cough* I can’t wait to make fun of “Beastars” *cough cough.* “Doctor Stone” was one of those series, without question. Though the first season was a bit goofy, there was enough in terms of the overall plot and thematic messaging that kept me engaged.

For those uninitiated, Dr. Stone is set in a world 3000 years past the modern day, where everyone has been turned to stone after being hit by a strange ray of light. Senku, a teenage science wiz, has managed to survive into this new world along with a few of his friends. Now, he must try and restore humanity to its former glory while simultaneously beating Tsukasa, a man who wishes to end the life of the adults of the past, and build a new world with only young people.

It can feel hard at times to judge a second season’s opening episode, because, a lot of the time, its just continuing the plot. While I certainly give credit to “The Promised Neverland’s” opening episode this season for having a great presentation, I can’t really fault “Dr. Stone” for just playing it safe. Of course, most of the material is going to be predetermined by whatever is in the manga, but sometimes its ok to go for what people in the Fighting Game Community would call the no mix-up mix-up.

The series picks up pretty much right where it leaves off at the end of season one, with Senku and the rest of the village making their final preparations for the battle with Tsukasa. The Kingdom of Science is almost ready, but just needs one more thing: space food. Senku wants to end the battle quickly, and so decides to launch a surprise attack in the middle of winter, and so invents freeze dried foods so that their army can eat while making their attack.

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As far as shounen anime go, having the first episode of a new season be a sort of preparation episode can feel kind of lame, but, as I mentioned before, it works here. Senku and Gen manage to devise a secret plan that will not only end the battle quickly, but turn Tsukasa’s army against him in the process. Chrome overhears their plan and, of course, has to get involved. The group joke about how they are going to have to lie to Tsukasa’s army and how they’re probably going to hell as a result, which ends up being a pretty funny scene, all things considered.

One thing that has not been touched on in a while in the series, and I kind of doubt that it will be touched on much of all, is Tsukasa’s ideology and his reason for raising his own army. While it wouldn’t fit to well into shounen manga generally, it would be nice to have Tsukasa’s worldview expanded upon, outside of just science vs anti-science.

Still, I am generally excited to see what this upcoming season has to offer.


How do you feel about “Dr. Stone’s” second season? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

Horimiya Episode One Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I don’t know if I’ve ever made it super clear, but I love romance anime. Like, love love romance anime, probably to an unhealthy degree. That is, when its done right. There are plenty of romance anime that have left a sour taste in my mouth, either because they are built on a really strange premise like “My Little Monster,” or because their is zero actually chemistry between the characters themselves, like in “Say I love You.”

At least as far as the first episode, however, Horimiya seems to be free of these problems, save for a few minor concerns I have.

The series revolves around the idea that people can live vastly different lives outside of the environments they are normally seen in. The two main characters, Izumi Miyamura and Kyouko Hori, embody this idea most prominently. Miyamura is a quiet, gloomy nerd who turns out to be a typical bad boy with piercing’s and tattoos he is not supposed to have. Hori, meanwhile, is the popular girl in school who just so happens to be the perfect housewife when she gets home. After Miyamura helps Hori’s brother and brings him home, the two begin to hang out, slowly getting to know the other side of each other.

“Horimiya” is definitely riding a really fine line when it comes to its premise. Don’t get me wrong, I do think its interesting the way it plays with the idea of having multiple identities, or faces that we put on in different social environments. However, that is one of those things that just feels kind of obvious, like, is there really a need to explore a concept that simple?

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Still, it is hard to deny that, at least so far, it is doing it really well. Miyamura in particular seems like he could grow into a pretty unique character, even by the standards of romance anime. Hori, though good in this episode, doesn’t inspire the same confidence. She gives the impression that she might end up as just a typical tsundere love interest.

One of the things I am most curious about though is how the side characters will play into their relationship and the story as a whole, as one of the them, Tooru, has already started an arc of his own, confessing his feelings to Hori and getting rejected. Seeing the promotional art for the show gives me major “Tsurezure Children” vibes, and while I liked that show quite a bit, I have yet to determine whether its actually a good or bad thing.

Now that I think about it, pacing might be another issue with the series, depending on how its handled. Maybe it does not feel as rushed in the manga, but so far quite a bit has already happened, at least as far as character development is concerned. After all, Hori felt close enough to Miyamura to ask him to go buy her eggs while barely giving him any notice whatsoever.

Ok, maybe I’m still giving this show too much of a hard time for how much I actually enjoyed it. For as potentially flawed as the show COULD be, its first episode showed a lot of promise, and its main characters definitely seem to have great chemistry anyway, so we’ll just have to see how it ends up.


How do you all feel about “Horimiya’s” first episode? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

The Promised Neverland Season Two Episode One Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Just when I thought the series could not get any better, “The Promised Neverland” manages to up the stakes in an unmistakably original way. The show already had a definingly good first episode in its first season, but man did Cloverworks put in the effort again.

For those unacquainted with the show, “The Promised Neverland” follows a group of kids living it what at first appears to be a normal orphanage, but is revealed to be a human farm, operating to create food for the demons that rule the earth. After finding out this information, the three oldest kids, Emma, Norman, and Ray, attempt to make an escape, despite the obstacles that lay before them. Now, having done so, Emma and Ray must lead the kids to some form of safety while avoiding their demon pursuers.

The first episode of a series is, at least most of the time, going to be the main entry point of a series. Sure, you might watch a clip on Facebook or Twitter occasionally, but the first episode is what makes it to where one wants to get to the clip. As I alluded to before, the first season of “The Promised Neverland” had an amazing first episode, possibly one of the best of all time. This made me wonder just how the series would manage to follow it up.

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“By diving head first into the action,” is apparently how. Opening on a scene from the middle of the episode is not a particularly original way to start a series, but it does make a lot of sense for “The Promised Neverland.” Given how the first season ended, it would make sense that characters would still be in the midst of action, not just running away from their captors but from the forces of the unknown that are the outside world.

The significant increase in the amount of action scenes in the first episode might lead one to believe that the overall quality of the animation has gone down. Luckily, though, this is not the case at all. In fact, all of the elements that made the first episode of the last season so good are here as well. The animation has never looked better, with the expressive faces and character movement that made the best scenes of the last season stand out.

On top of that, the same type of beautifully arranged pieces that made the soundtrack scary as hell are present in the first episode, adding even more suspense to an already thrilling episode. As cliché as it sounds, it is legitimately difficult to find anything bad about the series thus far.

While it is pretty much impossible to speak to the exact quality of the series at its end, it is not that surprising to see its second season have such a strong start .


How do you folks feel about “The Promised Neverland” season two’s start? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

Final Thoughts on Kaguya-Sama: Love is War Season Two

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Two positive reviews in a row? why it might just be a Christmas miracle!

Oh who am I kidding? Most of my reviews are positive because I rarely ever watch stuff I feel like I’m not going to like.

Well, anyway, yeah I doubt this is going to be much of a surprise, but “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War” is a truly exceptionally series. I’ve already mentioned a few times how my initial impressions of the series led me to believe that it was going to be an extremely repetitive series with little variation in its comedic focus and timing. Luckily, though, I ended up being sorely mistaken. Without further delay, here are my thoughts on the second season of “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War.”

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War Rages On

In my discussion of the first season of “Kaguya-Sama,” I noted how the show plays up the more conservative ideas around romantic interest for comedic relief, dumping on the idea that one needs to hide their emotions by showing how both of the main characters end up miserable for doing so. The series largely continues this idea, but also uses its time to bring new characters into the fold and develop others who were somewhat shunned during the first season, namely Ishigami.

While the battle between Kaguya and Shirogane to get the other to confess seems to be raging on, morale on both sides seems rather low. The series shows how this idea of not admitting ones love first can affect people. Shirogane becomes increasingly worried that the vice-president hates him, while Kaguya, in turn, becomes increasingly flustered and unable to come to terms with her own feelings. As sad as it is to say, though, this kind of scenario does make for great comedy, as one constantly tries to out do the other, despite the fact that they both just to end it all and be together.

Still, I should give the show’s writers a bit more credit, because while the idea itself is certainly amusing, especially given the hormones’-infused, rich kid high-school setting, it is the everyday scenarios which themselves are turned into battles of love that make the show so fun to watch.

Ishigami’s Struggle

I was genuinely surprised when I realized that they were giving not just more attention to the side characters, but a whole back story. While Ishigami was given a fair amount of screen time in the last season, it never really felt like he was an essential part of the story despite the fact that he was also extremely funny. It definitely makes sense that his past would be a little bit darker considering how gloomy he is, but those last three episodes were not the direction I was expecting.

Still, I am happy they went there. Ishigami’s actions with regards to Kyoko’s boyfriend do not feel as justified as the show probably wants them to feel. After all, he did just walk up and start assaulting the guy when he could have just confronted Kyoko herself. However, the sentiment is certainly a relatable one. After all, there are plenty of awful people in the world, and their is most certainly a visceral anger that arises when they just reveal their shittiness right in front of you.

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Conclusion

Thought there is not much information available right now, it does seem the series is ripe for a third season, and I for one am ready. The series is extremely enjoyable from start to finish, with only a few misses throughout the entire series. What will become of Shirogane and Kaguya? What will happen once they have graduated? Will we learn more about Fujiwara and the others? Hopefully these questions and more will be answers by “Kaguya-sama’s” eventual return.


How do you guys feel about the show’s second season? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

Final Thoughts: Gleipnir

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

That was…better than I expected.

I have talked a lot about how when going into most shows, I tend to have little or no expectations as to what the show’s contents will be so I can give it a fair evaluation, but inevitably there will be some anime that spark such an interest that it inevitably leads to excitement. For me, “Gleipnir” was one of those shows.

Though, I will say that for this show most of my expectations were generated solely based on the show’s aesthetic and a strange connection I made between it and old “Amnesia” lets-plays from Markiplier. Just…don’t ask. So, how did the show live up to my oddly inspired expectations? Actually, pretty well.

For once, I was not betrayed by hopes of what the show could offer, even if most others would probably disagree with me as to the elements worthy of merit. With that being said, without stalling much longer, lets get into it.

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The Bad Stuff

Ok, so lets just start with what I do think the show did badly. First things first, for as much as she seemingly does in the show, Clair is not really that interesting. Like, I get that she is there to create juxtaposition and tension, specifically between Shuuichi and Elena. However, outside of that purpose, and also for the occasional random fanservice, she barely has a personality other than being sarcastic and mean. Like, the most important thing she does is help Shuuichi get back his memories by asking him when the last time he saw his parents.

The other bad thing about the show that I think can be justified somewhat is its ending. The show left off on what I have heard referred to by many as a “read the manga” ending, which is exactly what it sounds like. This makes it a lot less enjoyable since there is no clear resolution and a main villain yet to be fought who was introduced only episode before the end of the series. Still, I do not think it is as big a deal, because from what has happened so far, it feels as though there is a clear ending in mind based on what has happened so far.

Now, to cover my ass a bit, I did make a very similar criticism against “Beastars” when I finished its first season a while ago. The reason I think that criticism is more valid against a show like “Beastars” as opposed to “Gleipnir” is that it feels as though “Gleipnir” has earned has put a bit more complexity into the exploration of its own themes whereas “Beastars” felt like it was using its themes as a sort of backdrop to help move along its poorly developed characters and plot.

The Good Stuff

Pretty much everything else to be honest. Yeah, I said it. The show’s pretty good. Not really sure why the show is rated so poorly. The concept alone is interesting enough, with the battle royale style format mixed with a mission from an alien race and the ability to change people’s forms at will.

The powers themselves have all of the appeal of the Nen system from Hunter X Hunter, with forms people take on being a manifestation of their own, although in some cases other people’s, desires. In particular, the powers of the group that Shuuichi and Clair end up joining are pretty cool, especially Isao, who has the ability to grow plants by simply touching them.

I try not to comment on music too much because it is not my field of expertise, but I will say that the indie horror game ambience created by much of the soundtrack was a serious boon to my enjoyment of the show. The sound effects too were enjoyable and not at all irritating to listen to, which is a lot more than I can say for other series.

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Conclusion

As part of my renewed focus on seasonal shows, I wanted to clear out a few that I had yet to finish, and I still have “Kaguya-sama” and a few others to go. However, I am glad that I finished this show, in particular, as it left me with a great sense of enjoyment. While it certainly is not perfect, and there are definitely a few more things I could highlight that need improvement, it was fun.


How do you all feel about “Gleipnir?” 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

The Best of Us, The Worst of Us, The Lot of Us: Carole and Tuesday

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

For as much initial interest as there was in the show, it feels like “Carole and Tuesday” got tossed aside rather quickly. This is to say nothing of the quality of the show. After all, most who finished it thought pretty highly of it, if the cumulative score on MAL is anything to go off of. Rather, the subject matter of the show was something new for both Shinichiro Watanabe as well as anime fans in general.

This is not to say that Watanabe and those who enjoy his works have not experienced social commentary in the past. Pretty much all of his shows have that, especially one of his most recent works before “Carole and Tuesday”: “Terror in Resonance,” which followed the story of two would-be high school age terrorists trying to reclaim their lost lives in any way they can.

Carole and Tuesday,” though, is a much different breed. While it certainly starts out as a in much the same way as his previous work, vaguely alluding to the social ills of the present day, by the second half it turns into a straight up modern allegory about current U.S. politics, doing very little to hide it.

At the center of this Allegory are the show’s main characters, Carole and Tuesday, who serve as representatives of both the most well off and the least. Of the former, Tuesday is a young girl who wants to play music, but whose politician mom sees it as a waist of time. Realizing that she likely will not be happy in her current situation, Tuesday decided to run away from home, taking a suitcase full of clothes, her guitar, and a dream.

In the middle of downtown Alba City, Tuesday runs into Carole, an immigrant from Earth who wants to make it on Mars, but cannot seem to keep a stable income, and who is only able to stay in the city due to the generosity of a random old man renting out his storage room. The two meet on a bridge, at which point they start making music together, and then immediately run away as they get chased down by a cop.

The two of them mostly get along throughout the series, and they spend the majority of the first half in their honeymoon phase, trying to get their career of the ground and just enjoying making music. However, the second half of the series turns up the drama to 11, as it becomes less about Carole and Tuesday themselves and more about what each of their backgrounds represent.

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Tuesday’s mom, being a prominent politician, decides to run for president on a platform of limiting immigration and restoring Mar’s greatness. Sound Familiar? Not wanting Carole to think ill of her, Tuesday decides to keep this a secret. However, Tuesday is not the only one.

While Carole does reveal to Tuesday that she is an immigrant, she fails to mention that she came illegally, which causes her to worry about the prospects of Tuesday’s mom getting elected. The two eventually find out about the other’s secrets, but ultimately work things out. The show ends with a big musical number featuring most of the cast which serves as a celebration of Mar’s diversity and talent.

Something that upsets me about the ending of the show is the sort open-endedness of it, and the way it seems to imply that if people just come together and talk about things that they will eventually come to understand each other. While I do think that is true for certain people, it does not reflect the reality of U.S. politics, and comes across more as wishful thinking.

Though it certainly highlights the gullible nature of Trump through Tuesday’s mom and her criminal campaign manager, it feels like it is unwilling to make a systemic critique, and lays the blame on individuals instead. The real world problems the series highlights are not going to be solved by making music and holding charity events. Do not misunderstand, it is important to highlight these issues and the way demagogues scapegoat various groups as a way of cementing power. It just feels as though their was a missed opportunity to come to a more radical conclusion.


My own political persuasions aside, how do you feel about “Carole and Tuesday,” both the characters and the show as a whole? 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

That Which is Lost: The Joy of Watching Anime in Theaters

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It certainly has been a rough year for just about everyone, huh? So much so, in fact, that the holidays did not even really feel like the holidays. Yeah, I exchanged presents, watched Christmas movies, and had a nice dinner, but it still did not feel like a normal Christmas, because it was not.

As I was reading Yumdeku’s thankful tag post the other day, I was reminded that I never really thought about what I was thankful for this year. I thought about it for a while, and came up with some pretty common answers: friends, family, the stuff I have. However, something that hit me like a brick was: Theaters. Specifically, I am thankful for the ability to watch anime in a movie theater, even though that’s not really possible right now.

I am not sure how it is for other countries right now, but at least in America, all of the major theaters, and even the smaller ones, are closed down right now. You know, for good reason. I honestly cannot imagine how much worse things would be if people were allowed congregate in theaters…yikes.

Movie theaters are gross. Like, gross as hell. Still, the one good thing about them was the fact that, at least pre-COVID, I could go pretty much every week and expect to find some sort of anime being shown. Whether that be the newest Shinkai or Hosoda work, a re-run of old Ghibli movies, or something completely new, it would be there.

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This is pretty much solely due to the increase in popularity of anime in the west. Because companies like GKIDS and others have now found it profitable to air certain movies and shows in theaters, they did, and since then a whole new market has been opened, despite the fact that many see traditional theaters as dying. For me, going to watch an anime on the big screen instead of just on my laptop or tv at home is one of the things I have missed a lot in the last few months.

Part of it is just due to the viewing experience itself. The surround sound audio combined with the comically large screen makes for a much more enjoyable watch. This goes doubly true for shows and movies with particularly good animation and/or sound design, as these extra features make big moments, like the end of “Your Name” hit that much harder.

A lot of it though, is also to do with getting to go with other people. At least from my experience, the majority of the people in the anime community prefer watching shows alone. However, having someone there with you in a theater, for the occasional glance over to say “this is amazing” or even “this is awful” is a really nice feeling and one that I would like to have back.


I know this post was a bit more rambley, and that’s mainly because I wrote the majority of it on the spot. Still, it is my honest feelings.

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!

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

Final Thoughts on Haikyuu: To the Top

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

For now, at least, its over.

The Karasuno high boys have overcome what is arguably their most tuff opponents to date, and despite growing tremendously as a team over the last three seasons, it took everyone’s combined effort to even stand a chance against Inarizaki and the Miyon twins. It was an emotional turbulent season filled with second hand embarrassment, hard works, and most deservedly, triumph. Thought its fifth season has yet to be confirmed by Production I.G., it seems fairly like that the series will get another season. Until that time comes, though, here are my thoughts on “Haikyuu: To the Top.

Hinata’s Endless Determination

It would not be “Haikyuu” without our loveable orange haired protagonist Hinata Shouyou. While Hinata does not feel much different from other shounen/sports anime protagonists, His determination does feel a bit more infectious for a sport like volleyball, where movement, accuracy, and game awareness can make much more of a difference in terms of who wins and loses.

Hinata starts the season with pretty much no skill other than jumping and spiking. However, even as he is left behind by Kageyama and Tsukishima, he is still determined to catch up. How does he accomplish this? Well, he…sneaks into the training camp that Tsukishima was invited to and tries to stay there… and then begs the coach to let him stay…yeah it gets pretty cringe.

Still, as cringe inducing as the first quarter of the show was, it helped to identify just how serious Hinata was about improving his play, and solidify him as a main character worth rooting for.

Insecurities

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One of the most interesting parts of the final match between Karasuno and Inarizaki was the amount of time that was spent on the players during the match, and how that time is used to reveal their insecurities with how they have been playing.

Tanaka, for example, spends a good portion of the match doubting his own spiking abilities because of how good there defense is. It is not until Kageyama calms him down that he is able to focus on game proper, and through that focus get some amazing points. The same can be said for Tsukishima and his defense. Being one of the tallest guys on the team, he is expected to be a good blocker, but his confidence does not rebound until Hinata eggs him on.

These are just examples though, as nearly every member of the team gets at least a moment or two that touches on their feelings during the match. Even a few members of Inarizaki get highlighted.

Kageyama’s Training

Kageayama’s time at the national volleyball meet also did a lot for setting up the story as well as events in the next season. As he arrives at the training center, he immediately meets Atsumu of the Miya twins, and from there, the series does a great job highlighting and foreshadowing there rivalry as setters.

It also helps that their personalities are pretty much total opposites. Both are certainly prideful of their setting skills, but whereas Kageyama tends to be more reserved focusing on matching his partner’s capabilities, Atsumu likes to show off, trying to create what he thinks is the “perfect set” every time. Atsumu’s personality is, of course, off-putting to Kageyama, but also to the other people around him.

Another figure who appears during this meet is the mysteriously vertical Hoshiumi, whose stature certainly matches Hinata’s, but definitely not his jumping ability. In fact, while Kageyama and Atsumu are playing a practice set, both stop to admire his raw height.

While Hoshiumi’s team has yet to face off against Karasuno, it will likely be an explosive match with him and Hinata at the center, pitting the two shortest members of each team against in each other in a battle to see who can get the most air.

Conclusion

This season of “Haikyuu” was undoubtedly the most dramatic and dynamic yet, with a final arc that put most of the one’s before it to shame. There was tension, endurance, rivalry, and pretty much anything a person would want in a good sports story. There is definitely more excitement to come, but it is hard to see how it will compare with what was undoubtedly the show’s high-point, even despite some lackluster animation because of COVID rushing. For those who are already “Haikyuu” fans and have yet to watch this season, well, what are you waiting for?


How do you guys feel about “Haikyuu: To the Top?” 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 ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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