Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 3: A Disturbing Lack of Gratitude
Anime / April 30, 2016

In Prayer Offer, the third episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, the passengers express their full gratitude to Mumei and Ikoma. In other words, the passengers demand they be killed and thrown off, and not necessarily in that order. Plus, Ayame tries to grow into her leadership role. Amazon has some interesting products based on Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. Please check these out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Mumei and Ikoma agree to stay in the Koutetsujou’s (the name of their train) last car, though Mumei makes it clear she’s just being nice. The steam-smiths discover that the Koutetsujou needs repairs, so they stop at a water tower. There, part of the team effects repairs while the elders and others hold a funeral for all of those who were lost. Some are agitating to throw Mumei and Ikoma off the train; somehow, those people are deluded into thinking they can actually force the two to leave. Meanwhile, Mumei’s training Ikoma to become her human shield to protect her as she naps after intense fighting. When the scared people show up demanding Mumei and Ikoma leave, Ayame tries to dissuade them. It takes Mumei’s show of force to make them pause. Bored, she mingles…

The Asterisk War Episode 16: The Li Twins Kill Many Trees
Anime / April 25, 2016

In The Asterisk War’s 16h episode, Never Back Down, Li Shenyun and his sister Li Shenhua hurl an almost inexhaustible number of talismans at Julis Riessfeld and Amagiri Ayato, thus spelling doom for countless trees. Ayato takes a trip within himself. Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin surprise their opponents! Note: There are likely spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watched the episode, best stop reading now! Amazon has some Asterisk War merchandise that might interest you: What Happened Ayato tells Julis that he’s awakened. He needs her to keep the Li twins off of him until he can finish powering up. So, while she tries to hold off the arrogant twins who are nonetheless skilled in deception and deceit, he takes a journey within to figure out the lesson his sister Amagiri Haruka taught him and Saya in the last episode. Julis comes out swinging with a flame attack that disrupts the twin’s stealth and destroys the hidden talismans. The twins alternated attacks so that as she focused on one, the other would strike. They forced Julis to reveal one of her strategic secrets, that she can easily withstand her own flames, when she brought down an inferno on herself and Shenhua. In fact,…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 2: Breakout and Betrayal!
Anime / April 23, 2016

In Never-ending Darkness, the second episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Ikoma finds out just how brave normal humans are (which is to say, not very). Mumei proves she’s dangerous with more than just the blade in her geta. The train’s “B Team” comes through! Caution! This review likely contains spoilers, not only for Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, but of Attack on Titan as well. Amazon already has some great merchandise for this show, which isn’t surprising since they’re streaming it! Please check these out: What Happened Takumi finds a Ikoma just as the latter regained consciousness and was celebrating his victory over a Kabane that had attacked him. Takumi’s elated that their work on the piercing gun paid off. He’s taken aback, though, when Ikoma says he was bitten, but that he’s okay. Mumei, fresh from killing the Kabane at the end of last episode, arrives at the survivor’s staging area under Ayame’s command. The bushi are fighting to hold the Kabane back. In their fear, the nobles are beginning to challenge Ayame’s decision to wait for her father (who went to confirm the Koutetsujou was still safe). Mumei arrives, dressed very differently than she was before, now with a metal headband and wrappings…

The Asterisk War Episode 15: Mini Saya! The Li Twins Attack!
Anime / April 21, 2016

“Breaking the Memory Barrier,” the fifteen episode in The Asterisk War, shows us what happened when Sasamiya Saya and Amagiri Ayato tried to tag team Amagiri Haruka when they were younger. Plus, Li Shenhua and Li Shenyun begin their match against Ayato and Julis Riessfeld. Turns out the twin’s reputation was well-deserved! Amazon, as usual, has some interesting merchandise you can check out: What Happened Ayato remembers when his sister Haruka taught him how to wield a sword. Saya would watch the two of the them from a tree. She and Ayato would have little contests to win “favor cards.” Ayato had lost one to Saya, who demanded that he shout out the sword technique that he was about to use on his sister. When he yelled “Amagiri Shinmei Style First Sword… Twin Dragons,” Haruka just sidestepped his attack and disarmed him. But Saya loved it. Saya owed him one favor, too, and he asked her to help him defeat his sister in a practice match. Their teamwork was excellent, and they actually made Haruka use a move she hadn’t intended on using. In the end, though, she defeated both of them. Ayato remembered this scene during a practice session with Julie, who could tell that he…

Spring 2016 Anime Slate: Funimation Edition
Anime , List / April 19, 2016

Hard to believe the Winter 2016’s season already done, and the Spring 2016 season’s underway! Though the number of series I’m watching this season on Funimation is lower, there are some gems here: Note: Ordinarily, I review one series from Crunchyroll and one from Funimation every season. This time, though, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, streaming on Amazon Prime, was too tempting to pass up. So, in Spring 2016, you won’t find a Funimation review on Crow’s World of Animation! I think it’s a temporary thing, though. Funimation has consistently had a strong lineup, and I’m sure something will catch my attention next season. Concrete Revolutio This series returns for a second season of insightful and sometimes harsh social criticism. We rejoin Jirou Hitoyoshi after he’s pulled away from the Superhuman Bureau because it came under the increasing control of the military and government. As the first season clearly proved, he could not protect superhumans from within the Bureau, so he struck out to create a community that could protect them. Two members of the Superhuman Bureau didn’t want him to leave for personal reasons. His longtime companion, Emi Kino, still tries to lure him back. She’s confident and is playing a long…

Spring 2016 Anime Slate: Crunchyroll Edition
Anime , List / April 17, 2016

The Spring 2016 seasons’ well underway, and I have a beef with Crunchyroll: They have too many shows that I want to watch! Just were am I going to find the time to reap this amazing value for my monthly subscription? Thanks for monopolizing my entertainment time, Crunchyroll! Here’s the shows I’m “complaining” about: Note: There are spoilers for the first episode or two sprinkled throughout these descriptions, so it’s best if you watch the first episode of each before reading. Remember, this is a fan site, and I like to extol the virtues of the shows. Or, if you don’t plan to watch a show at all, maybe reading the description will pique your interest! KIZNAIVER Katsuhira Agata gets bullied a lot because, as the narrative says, “people can’t find themselves within” him. In other words, he doesn’t feel pain, and he’s been beaten up so many times he just doesn’t care anymore. Bullies actually get tired of hitting him. One day, Sonozaki Noriko comes to him and says he’s been selected to become a Kiznaiver, a part of the new Kizuna System. Then she pushes him down the steps. He awakens in a facility where several others have been gathered, also to become…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 1: Zombies from Hell!
Anime / April 15, 2016

What’s worse than zombies you have to kill by stabbing in the head? In Kabaneri’s first episode, Frightened Corpse, we find out: Zombies you have to kill by stabbing in the heart — and that have metal cages around their hearts, that’s what! Note 1: There are spoilers ahead! Note 2: This series is streaming from Amazon Prime. It’s a new series, but Amazon already has some interesting merchandise related to it. Here are some examples! What Happened There’s blood on the flowers as the huge train roars by. The conductor announces that they’re coming up on an abandoned station, and if they stop, they die. The train shudders as it slams into a horde of zombies (Kabane); they have glowing orange cardiovascular system and eyes. They try to break into the train as the crew repel them with pneumatic rifles. The only way to kill the Kabane? Shoot a projectile through their metal-caged hearts. In the train’s home station, the steam smith Ikoma tries to perfect a weapon that’ll make it easier to kill the Kabane. He’s strangely motivated; driven. He’s sick of watching humans survive by sacrificing others. He wears a strange green stone tied to his hand. Back on the train,…

The Asterisk War Episodes 13 and 14: Back in the Saddle, Plus a Maid!
Anime / April 14, 2016

The 13th and 14th episodes of The Asterisk War, called respectively “Divine Revelations” and “Corrupt Ruler,” pick right up where the last season left off. Amagiri Ayato is still recovering from his last match, and we get to meet a maid from Julis Riessfeld’s household! Amazon has some products that you might be interested in, including a PS Vita game: What Happened Divine Revelations At the end of last season, everyone watching the match saw that Amagiri Ayato’s power was time-limited. Now, the schools and their competitors have analyzed the match and have a good idea of what that time limit is. Julis Riessfeld, who is partners with Ayato, pragmatically devises a strategy for the next match with Song and Luo. They are disciples of Fan Xinglou, who is the student council president of the Jie Long Seventh Institute, and they are both highly ranked. As both teams take the stage to begin their fight, Song and Luo say that the would have preferred to right Ayato and Julis when Ayato was at 100%. They also said not to take what was about to happen personally. Both of the Jie Long students attack Ayato. As they back him into a corner, Julis calls forth a wall of flame that forces her…

Winter 2016 Recap: Crunchyroll Edition Part II
Anime / April 12, 2016

The Winter 2016 season is just about wrapped up! It’s time to look back at the Crunchyroll series I said I’d follow and see if the series I picked to watch were enjoyable! This is the second of 2 posts on the topic. The first is here. Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! Myriad Color Phantom World After a virus gets loose, humans can perceive extra-dimensional beings called Phantoms. They can take myriad shapes and come in as many sizes. Some are helpful to humans, like Ruru, a small phantom who follows and sometimes helps Haruhiko Ichijo, one of the protagonists. Other phantoms wreak havoc, and Hosea Academy, the school Ichijo attends, trains students to protect humanity from those phantoms. Ichijo can seal phantoms by drawing them, but he needs someone to keep them occupied while he draws. Mai Kawakami uses her control of the four elements as weapons to fight the phantoms to give him time. The two of them (plus Ruru!) aren’t as productive as other teams in the school, and they recruit Reina Izumi who, despite her petite frame, can literally inhale phantoms to seal them. Eventually, the aloof and powerful Koito Minase joins them on a semi-permanent basis. Kyoto Animation produced Myriad, so even before…

Winter 2016 Recap: Crunchyroll Edition Part I
Anime / April 9, 2016

The Winter 2016 season is just about wrapped up! It’s time to look back at the Crunchyroll series I said I’d follow and see if the series I picked to watch were enjoyable! Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! Active Raid When Asami Kazari joins an armored police squad that has a bad reputation, she’s determined to reform it. She’s upright and touchy, but convinced of her rightness. What she didn’t expect was a team that functioned well — or at least as well as their difficult missions would allow. I got to episode 5 and couldn’t go on. Please don’t misunderstand. I liked the quality of the animation. The characters interacted well, and none came off as uni-dimensional. Since the team had to transport heavy equipment, they took a train until they were close to the scene, then launched the mechs. Being a show with mechs, it featured long sequences showing the characters suiting up. Those went on a little long for me, but that alone didn’t really chase me away. Even the missions and the villains in the show didn’t scream cliche. For me, what did in Active Raid was that there wasn’t anything that really uniquely grabbed my attention. It had the bad…

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