[FIRST IMPRESSION] Granblue Fantasy: The Animation

Plot:

Lyria and Katalina are on the run from the Erste Empire. When the airship they’re on explodes, Lyria falls, landing on the island of Zinkenstill. She is found by Gran, a brave but average boy who lives nearby. He swears to help Lyria, and they leave Gran’s village to reunite her with Katalina. Once they find her they run into trouble, so Gran impulsively sacrifices himself to protect his new allies. Then it’s Lyria’s turn to save him in return and she unleashes her magical power to bring him back to life.
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IgirisuJen: Goodbye to Japan, for now.

I may have been going home, but my final week in Japan started off with a bang.

After buying my ticket for the Sailor Moon musical the week before, the day of the show arrived, altogether too slowly and too quickly at the same time. I donned my Sailor Moon shirt and hat and left for Canal City, all too ready for the excitement to begin. As I said in my last post, this was a combination of two of my favourite things so why wouldn’t I be?

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IgirisuJen: pop music and pop culture

One thing I’ve noticed about Fukuoka is its affinity for South Korea. Maybe it’s because there’s a higher Korean population here or maybe because it’s geographically closer to Seoul than Tokyo, but at less than an hour’s plane journey away from the city of Busan, it certainly has a better connection with the country than most of Japan.

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[FIRST IMRESSION] Ange Vierge

Plot:

Portals between alternate dimensions fuse, and the five worlds join as one. The special ability known as Exceed was awakened in several young girls, who unite as a group called the Progress. Each world is unique with its own characteristics. The red dimension, Tera Rubily Aurora, is ruled by religion. The white dimension of System White Egma is ruled by science. Glynnesert, the green dimension, is focused on its military and the black dimension, named Darkness Embrace, is focused on magic. The last dimension is Earth. The girls of the Progress come together to defend their worlds from the approaching threat of enemies known as the Ouroboros. But as the dimensions converge, it’s only a matter of time before they self-destruct.

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[REVIEW] Bodacious Space Pirates モーレツ宇宙海賊

In July 2015, I’d gone on holiday with my best friend, and on a whim, I bought part one of Bodacious Space Pirates. The title was unusual to pique my interest and it was only £5 so I figured that an impulse buy was justified. If you’d have told me then that it was one of the most LGBT and feminist friendly anime that I’ve ever watched, I would have laughed in your face.

For a series based on a manga called “Miniskirt Space Pirates”; the expectations weren’t high to say the least. While I was comforted slightly by the age rating on the DVD, previous experience had taught me to expect the worst- poorly executed fanservice and no real plot substance. But I was pleasantly surprised on both counts.

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Captain Marika

Bodacious Space Pirates, or Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku, is the story of Marika Katou, a young girl balancing life as a high school student and waitress simultaneously. She learns that her estranged father, Gonzaemon, had died on duty as a space pirate and it turns her life upside down. According to the Letter of Marque, a pirate’s licence, only the next of kin is allowed to take over the ship. So Marika decides to become captain of the Bentenmaru, so the Letter stays valid. The only problem is- will she be able to educate herself in the ways of piracy at the same time as getting an education?

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Chiaki: the tsundere transfer student

The best thing about this series is that it doesn’t try too hard. A lot of series attempt to be appealing by shoehorning awkward fanservice in where it doesn’t belong. Because of this, it’s no secret that I’m not a massive fan of harem-type anime because the genre is incredibly guilty of going overboard on the sexy. But an advantage of the cast being largely female is that the chance of that is lower, and there’s more of a focus on friendship instead of romance. Bodacious Space Pirates could have easily gone down the sexy schoolgirl route, but instead it’s an innocent adventure. I can’t recall any upskirt shots, even in anti-grav.

This series’ strength lies in its women. From high school students, to pirates, to hackers and CEOs, they interact with each other perfectly. The majority of problems are solved by girls supporting each other and the rest are solved through the belief that they are capable enough to figure it out themselves. Through hard work and dedication, they prove themselves time and time again, especially in the case of Captain Marika, who doesn’t win every time but tries her hardest regardless. One of the best character developments is seeing Chiaki Kurihara, the aloof tsundere, opening herself up to the girls of Hakuoh Academy.

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Look at that canon yuri.

And one of the most refreshing things of the series is the fact that not only is there only one confirmed relationship, but it’s between two girls. Keeping up the lack of sexualisation, both Jenny and Lynn (or Rin depending on your translation) are portrayed so well, with the overused idea of their relationship being ‘risqué’ or ‘inappropriate’ kept well away. The cast are understandably surprised, but they move on quickly. Rather than playing it for laughs, it is taken very seriously, and one of the driving motivations for an entire plotline.

While I initially watched Bodacious Space Pirates in the English dub, I would definitely recommend watching the sub instead. The English cast aren’t bad, especially as they include names like Greg Ayres and Monica Rial, but after the honeymoon period had ended and I started to look at the series critically, I realised that the quality had started to slip. This is especially in the case of Chiaki, as the emotion didn’t always show through. It is difficult with her character archetype, the type which acts indifferent, but sometimes it came across more monotone than anything else.

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Odango: it’s a family thing

That being said, it’s a minor superficial detail. The anime itself is an enjoyable mixture of tropes, combining sci-fi and high school drama. For those looking for the classic beach episode, don’t worry – despite the space setting, they haven’t left it out, complete with training montage. Extra-curricular clubs are as prominent as ever, with the Hakuoh Yacht Club taking centre stage for several episodes. And like, most high school anime, there’s nothing like some healthy competition between rival schools. Mix in some political intrigue, the business aspect of piracy, and a couple of very unsubtle Sailor Moon references, and you have something for everyone.

To be completely honest, ‘lesbian space pirates’ were the only three words I needed to fall in love. I was lucky enough that the series followed through on its promises, surpassing my expectations and giving me everything I could have asked for.

[FIRST IMPRESSION] Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃち

Plot:

Makoto is a young high school student, about to change her life. She leaves the city of Yokohama to move in with relatives in the quiet and unfamiliar Aomori. Ditzy and terrible with directions, her cousin has to watch out for her while she grows accustomed to her new home. Her other cousin is wary of Makoto at first, not liking the fact that she’s different, but all of that changes when Makoto reveals she is a witch who had moved to the countryside to start her training. She has to balance her education with learning magic because her parents want her to finish high school. She isn’t a conventional witch, mixing tradition with modern life.

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TOP 3 ROMANCE ANIME

Shoujo is one of the most popular demographics of anime, boasting famous titles such as Sailor Moon, Princess Tutu, and Fruits Basket in their archives.  And a major genre of shoujo anime is romance, making up a vast majority of series. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a countdown of the top three anime that the genre has to offer*.

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Life Update

First of all, I’d like to apologise for not posting any new updates over the last few weeks. The last couple of months have been very busy, and between exam revision, moving house and being out of the country for a week, I’ve barely had any time to even watch anime, let alone blog about it.

Withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms

But now everything is over, after passing my (very important) exam and moving out of my flat, I finally have time to slow down a little and take a moment to sort through my To Watch list. I’m still continuing my Sailor Moon watch-through – now I’m about a third of the way through SuperS and making progress every day.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/sailor-moon-walking-IeJN9ioHFInZe

I feel you, Usagi. (Source: giphy)

So yes, I am alive, and open to suggestions for new things to watch. I will be back reviewing next week so watch this space.

Leibster Award Nomination

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Kausus at otakugamerzone.com! I remember when I first started my blog and I started seeing these nominations and thinking how cool it would be to get one. It’s now a few months later and it’s actually happened. I want to say a massive thank you because I honestly appreciate this so much.

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Sailor Moon R (Series 2) 美少女戦士セーラームーンR

Usagi Tsukino and the rest of the Sailor Senshi are back, but not so ready to kick ass.

After the defeat of Queen Beryl, the girls returned to Earth with no recollection that they’d just saved the planet. It’s up to Luna and Artemis to restore their memories, but now the world is safe don’t the Senshi deserve a peaceful, normal life?

Unfortunately for them, a new threat appears, and they’re called to action once more.

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