Spring 2016 Recap: Crunchyroll Edition
Anime , List / June 28, 2016

When the Spring 2016 season got underway, I complained that Crunchyroll had too many shows that I wanted to watch! So what did Crunchyroll do to atone for this? Of course, they carried even more showed that I wanted to watch! Flying Witch and Anne-Happy brutally attacked my free time! I’m not sure how I make it through the season alive… Thanks Crunchyroll, you scoundrel. Thanks for monopolizing my entertainment time! Seriously, this was a season where it really paid to have a Crunchyroll Premium+ membership. Highly recommended! Here’s the shows I’m “complaining” about: Note: There are spoilers sprinkled throughout these descriptions, so it’s best if you watch the series 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! I’ll try not to give away the series’ conclusions, though! The Asterisk War Crunchyroll just wrapped up streaming The Asterisk War’s second season. I covered both seasons on this site (season 1 starting here and season 2 starting here). In the second season, Amagiri Ayato continued his search for his sister. Standing between him and that goal was the Phoenix Festa. Ayato…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 11: The Gathering Dark
Anime / June 24, 2016

In “Burning Life,” the eleventh episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, things somehow get even darker. Biba Amatori unleashes his plot on the shogun’s city Kongoukaku; Ayame has no good choice but to help him. We find out what happened to Kurusu, and it entails rope. Kajika, Kibito, and others from the Koutetsujou deal with the aftermath of Takumi’s decision at the end of the last episode. Finally, we find out if Mumei’s knife struck true last week. Brace yourself: This is another dark episode. Amazon has some interesting Kabaneri merchandise. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Biba’s train steams towards the shogun’s city, Kongoukaku. Kibito kneels with Takumi’s body while Kajika sobs. Biba’s people try to clear them out, but Kajika, lost in her rage and pain, dares them to kill her. Sukari and Yukina move to defend her, and Sahari, Biba’s blonde mustached strategist/lieutenant is about to strike. Uryuu, one of the Hunters who showed disgust at prisoner mistreatment in the last episode, calls him off and says to leave the car’s cleanup to them. The Hunters leave. Takumi’s friends carry his body from the car. Standing in the room with the blue-white pulsating heart, Biba tries to justify his actions against his father to the drugged Mumei. She doesn’t react to…

The Asterisk War Episode 24: Hydra Attack! Claudia’s Dad Did What?
Anime / June 19, 2016

In Reunion, the the last episode of The Asterisk War’s second season, Julis Riessfeld, Amagiri Ayato, Sasamiya Saya, and Toudou Kirin face off against Gustave Malraux; Claudia Enfield takes care of a pressing family matter affecting them all; Jolbert Riessfeld makes a surprisingly kingly decision. To celebrate the last episode of the second season, check out this merchandise from Amazon! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Ayato wakes up with Saya and Kirin sleeping beside him. Before he can react, Julis walks in to say he was unconscious for three days. He seemed relieved when Julis praised Saya and Kirin for staying with him the whole time. She also thanks her for saving her from Orphelia. Julis explains that Orphelia had been her best friend before ungainly men took her away as collateral for the orphanage’s debt. They took Orphelia to an Integrated Enterprise Foundation laboratory run by Arlequint Academy’s student nicknamed Magnum Opus. They turned Orphelia into an artificial Genestella with staggering power. Unfortunately, she couldn’t control it, and she destroyed the lab. That’s the burned out building that Julis and Ayato saw at the end of the last episode. Julis says that she had to face Orphelia and defeat her, alone, because otherwise, Orphelia won’t listen. However,…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 10: Waaaay More Evil Doesn’t Tell the Half of It!
Anime / June 18, 2016

In “The Attacking Weak,” Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress‘ 10th episode, Ikoma, Kibito, Takumi, and others plot an uprising; we find out what Biba Amatori’s using the crew of the Koutetsujou for; Mumei still holds out some trust and hope in Biba; things get really dark at the end. Really dark. Like, really, really, really dark. Interested in Kabaneri merchandise? Amazon has some great stuff. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Ikoma, held in a cage among the other captives from the Koutetsujou, carefully watches the guards and their equipment to plan an uprising. Sukari appears to have gone over to the enemy and helps distribute food to his old friends. Most call him a traitor, but he only seems affected by Yukina’s expression of disgust when he hands her a vial of blood for Ikoma. The captives have different color arm bands. Just after they eat, a different color of band each day must “donate” blood to feed Biba’s Kabane horde. As Takumi waits while his blood drains, another man asks to give extra to cover for his wife. Uryuu, one of the Hunters who has blue/gray hair, says it’s okay, but another Hunter, Warabi, objects. As the man tries to bargain, Warabi hacks off the husband’s arm. Takumi is barely…

Kotobukiya’s Rory Mercury Figure – As Awesome as Rory Herself!
Anime , Collectable / June 16, 2016

I pre-ordered Rory Mercury from CDJapan late in 2015. Why? Because Gate was (and is!) one of my favorite series, and because Rory Mercury is one of my favorite characters in that series. She’s over 960 years old, she’s the apostle of Emroy (god of death and darkness), and the tension between her calm and composed persona and her amazing power really appealed to me. So when the box from Japan arrived the other day, I was really excited to see what the figure looked like! Opening the Box The figure was packaged in clear plastic that makes it almost impossible to injure the goods. The plastic has a hole for Rory’s face, and it almost looks like she’s bored and ready to leap out of the box and start causing trouble. The box itself’s taped shut. After slicing through the tape, it was easy to pull the packaging out of the box. The two halves of the plastic packaging is held together with tape at all four corners. After splitting them, Rory’s in one half, and her axe and stand are in the other half. There are thin plastic sheets between parts of Rory’s clothing, hair, and the axe and the plastic packaging….

The Asterisk War Episode 23: Family Matters and a Major Coincidence
Anime / June 15, 2016

In The Lonely Strega, the 23rd episode in The Asterisk War, Jolbert Riessfeld makes a touching, unselfish request and a plaintive, selfish request; Julis Riessfeld runs into an old friend whose personality has taken a turn for the worse; Amagiri Ayato goes up against his most powerful foe to date; and Claudia Enfield gets to go on the attack! Amazon has some great Asterisk War merchandise. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Jolbert tells Ayato, Julis, and friends that their attacker last night at the ball was named Gustave Malraux (Marlow). The police offer to protect them, but they turn down the offer, since they’re more than capable of taking care of themselves and (likely) because they didn’t want the police to be harmed. Jolbert asks that Ayato and Julis stay behind, and what he asks of Ayato shocks him — and outrages Julis. She storms out. Ayato finds her at the orphanage that she has worked so hard to save. From behind the fence, he watches as she plays in the snow with the children. He gets to meet Sister Theresa, Julis’ Strega mentor, and learns that the girl who had sewn Julis’ precious handkerchief had been gentle and had loved greenhouses. Julis…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 9: Waaaay More Evil Than Expected
Anime / June 10, 2016

In Fang of Ruin, the ninth episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Mumei learns a terrible lesson about trust and despair. Ayame reveals the steel in her spine. Yukina demonstrates her unflinching loyalty. After many trials, Ikoma learns the limits of his strength. And finally, Biba demonstrates an almost unrivaled level of depravity. Amazon has some enticing merchandise based on the show. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) This episode gets moving quickly, so there are only a few points I can make without spoiling anything: Iwato Station does not trust Biba, so they don’t allow Kokujou to enter. Ayame doesn’t trust Biba, and she asks Ikoma to talk Mumei into leaving Biba and rejoining the crew of the Koutetsujou. The station’s lord, Maeda, wants to give Biba a chance, so he agrees to meet with him, assuming he only brings women or children with him; he brings Horobi and Mumei, which isn’t exactly in keeping with the spirit of the rules Mumei leaves the meeting to use the restroom. The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) By order of Iwato Station’s bushi, the crew of the Koutetsujou disembarked to enter the station, leaving their train still…

The Asterisk War Episode 22: A Visit to Julis’ Home Town! Trouble at the Ball! Sad Saya!
Anime / June 7, 2016

Lieseltania, the 22nd episode of The Asterisk War, treats us to a visit to Julis Riessfeld’s home of Lieseltania, where she receives a welcome befitting a princess — which annoys her to no end. Claudia Enfield springs a questions on Amagiri Ayato (no, not that question), as well as Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin. It’s a question that has ramifications into the world of intrigue surrounding the Integrated Enterprise Foundation. Amazon has some great merchandise related to the show. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Our heroes (Julis, Ayato, Claudia, Saya, and Kirin) were enjoying a relaxing breakfast when Julis asks if they have plans for the New Years break. The next thing everyone knew, they board a plan, fly to Lieseltania, and participate in a parade welcoming Julis and, to a lesser extent, Ayato. Once in the palace, Julis rips into her brother for subjecting them to all of that without warning; he says he only wanted to thank her for saving Flora Klemm and give the people of Lieseltania a chance to express their adoration for her. Mollified, she shows her guests to their rooms. As they walked, she told them some of the history of Lieseltania — what made it become a puppet of the…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 8: Scandal! Big Brother Not a Bother At All!
Anime / June 5, 2016

In Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’s 8th episode, The Silent Hunter, we get to know more about Biba Amatori, the one who Mumei called “brother,” and as we might expect, there’s more to him than he lets on. He’s not even Mumei’s blood brother! Plus, Enoku meets his fate. And shockingly, Ikoma speaks disrespectfully to authority! Amazon has some great Kabaneri loot. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Amid the roar of the crowd adoring Biba and his Hunters, Mumei tells him that she’s been traveling with a self-made Kabaneri. Biba’s intrigued. Ayame Yomogawa introduces herself as the heir to her family. Biba’s polite, but he seems unimpressed. When Ikoma arrives, he immediately confronts Biba for inflicting his philosophy of “the weak must die” on Mumei. Dismissing Mumei to get an examination, Biba asks Ayame, her body guard Kurusu, and Ikoma to go someplace more quiet so they could talk. On the way, they encounter a broken steam engine. Biba says he’s going to stay to help fix it and asks Horobi, an underling, to continue with Ayame and company. Ikoma, as a steam smith, offers to stay and help. Biba tries to convince Ikoma that Mumei misrepresented his philosophy, and Ikoma seems hesitant. A steam…

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