Right off the bat: this show surprised me, as it did many other people as well. I figured it would just be another show I’d watch on the side, nothing I really cared too much about. But I found myself anticipating the next episode every week. The music is great, the art is beautiful, the characters are lovable. Not much to dislike here. Oh, and it’s set in a kingdom, with princes as some of the main characters, which is my one weakness.
I’ve never been much of a sports anime fan, due to my lack of interest in sports. I grew up never watching any sports, unlike most people living in the United States. So, when introduced to the genre of sports anime, I had a hard time finding ones I liked. The first one I watched was Free! and I thought it was alright, but I never got into it much. Next my friend showed me Kuroko no Basuke, but I only got through six episodes. Next came Yuri on Ice, which like everyone else, I loved. So, I decided to give sports anime another chance. I found Prince of Stride when scrolling through Twitter, since I follow Funimation’s page, and they were advertising the BluRay of it. I thought the art looked nice, and I recognized some voice actors in it, so I gave it a go.
I’m a little late on this anime, I know. I just finished it a bit ago, and overall, I enjoyed it. I only began watching it because I had met Sebastian’s English voice actor at Youmacon last November. For some reason, I felt obligated to watch the show he is most known for, and I don’t regret my choice. In fact, I just got the DVD of season one in the mail a couple weeks ago. And I got to see Book of the Atlantic last week which was super weird and awesome.
It’s unique, definitely. It’s such a strange concept, and I honestly didn’t think I would like it. I’ve known of the show for years, but I’d always thought it was not for me. I got the first manga for Christmas and enjoyed reading it, so I continued to the show.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the show, it’s been quite popular for a while. But, I guess if you’re not aware of the concept, I’ll give a brief summary.
The main protagonist is Ciel Phantomhive, a twelve-year-old earl to the Phantomhive family and owner of the Funtum toy company. This is due to a tragedy that happened roughly two years before the beginning of the show. Someone set fire to his family’s estate, purposefully killing his parents. He is then tortured by a strange group of hooded people, forcing him to become vengeful and furious. He wishes to kill the people who killed his parents, but the problem is he’s only a child, and he needs extra help for this task. He forms a pact with a demon, whom he calls Sebastian. Sebastian becomes his butler, and will do anything Ciel commands him to do. When the people guilty of killing his parents is dead, Sebastian may have Ciel’s soul.
Though this show seems dark and violent, it’s very lighthearted for the majority of the show. Nearing the end it becomes much darker and serious.
I’m not really sure what part of the show I enjoyed the most. I enjoy the comedy, historical setting, supernatural creatures, and action that it offers. There are many aspects of this show that are unique to itself, and that’s what makes it stand out so much. I can say for sure this is the only anime I’ve watched set in Victorian England, and has the youngest main character from what I can recall. The fight scenes are very interesting, due to the unconventional techniques Sebastian uses when fighting. It’s quite something to watch a butler throw butter knives into people’s heads.
The premise is weird, I will admit. There are also a slew of bizarre characters. Obviously, we have the revenge-driven twelve-year-old who runs an entire company, and a demon acting as a butler. But the other characters that work for the Phantomhive manor are Mey-Rin, a clumsy maid with terrible eyesight, Finnigan, a gardener with superhuman strength, Baldroy, a chef who burns anything he touches, and Tanaka, a butler who doesn’t do much but sit and drink tea. I think these characters are what keeps the show from being too much of a downer. Sebastian constantly has to pay close attention to their antics, and often must fix anything they fail at, which is almost every task they are assigned.
Other characters are Elizabeth, Ciel’s fiancee, Grell, a flamboyant reaper, The Undertaker, a not-so-serious grim reaper, Pluto, a werewolf (sort of), and yet many more. I wouldn’t say this show is heavy on character development, since for the most part, they all remain static throughout the show. Though, there are some themes that are thought-provoking.
Considering the entire end goal is revenge, there are a lot of branches of this topic that can be explored. If Ciel were to change his mind about avenging his parents, he would still be stuck due to the pact he made. It’s clear that this is not the best solution for his grief, but he is still a child, and to him, that was his only option. Throughout the show he is told that this may not be a good idea. He knows that going through with it will lead to his death, and he’s told he will be missed, but he doesn’t think he will be. He feels he won’t be happy living without his parents, or with the person responsible for their deaths to be living. He often says, “I forgot how to smile,” which is a strange thing for a child to say. He thinks he will never feel happiness again. It makes me feel bad for him until I realize how much of a jerk he is.
This brings me to my next point about the show: it’s hard to tell who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. Yes, Ciel and Sebastian are the main characters, but when you look at their characters, they’re kind of terrible. Obviously, Sebastian is a demon, which automatically puts him on the bad side, and though Ciel seems like an innocent child, he’s far from it. He could be nice if he wanted to be, but instead, he chooses to boss those who work for him around more than he should. Practically to the point where he doesn’t end up lifting a finger. Yes, they agreed to work for him, but he doesn’t hardly give anyone a break. He’s constantly unhappy with their work, no matter how hard they try. He never seems to give a thank you or a chance for them to relax. I don’t exactly hate Ciel, since all people and characters have their flaws, but I do wish he was a bit more lenient. And, due to his past and age, it makes sense he would take advantage of them.
On to Sebastian. He’s a pretty cool dude, I’ll have to say, but this would be due to his immortality and demon powers. He is shown to be able to do practically anything, and when he gets hurt, he heals almost immediately. He has an extreme amount of patience for what Ciel makes him put up with. This is most likely due to being a demon, but it’s still somewhat impressive. Ciel is a nightmare to handle, along with the other servants of the Phantomhive manor. He basically has to run the place himself at some times. I ended up feeling sympathy for him, though he’s a demon.
One thing I want to say about Book of the Atlantic (don’t worry it’s not that much of a spoiler): at the end, after everything that had happened and Sebastian had saved the day (as he always does), Ciel tells him to take a break. Which is probably the most kind thing he’s ever said to Sebastian. I was honestly shocked when I heard it. This never happens in the show. Actually, Ciel is a lot more kind in the movie now that I think about it. I won’t say much more than that for those of you wanting to watch it in the future.
And, something about this fandom as well: I know a ton of people ship Ciel and Sebastian, but even if I completely ignore the wrongness of it, I still can’t understand where that makes sense. I feel they have an understanding of each other, but there’s nothing intimate about it. This doesn’t make me angry with the people who do ship them, but I just don’t understand it.
In all, I entirely enjoy this show in all of its silliness and uniqueness. I do suggest it to others, though I would say it’s not for everyone. And, it’s not my absolute favorite but it’s definitely near the top of my list. There’s just something charming about its quirkiness.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and again I’m sorry for not posting more, but for sure there will be a post on Friday, which will be my very first tour post with OWLS! If you don’t know what OWLS is, it’s a group of anime loving, kind people who accept everyone for who they are, what they believe, and what they like. There’s a blog tour every month focused around a theme and bloggers can participate in when they are part of the group. This month’s is TEAM in honor of June being Pride/LGBT+ month and I will be participating this month, along with next month, so look out for those!
Follow my Twitter! @letstalkanime1
And tumblr @eegghhh
I’ve seen some mixed emotions about this show, but personally I thought it was very good. I felt that the themes were well executed, though the time travel aspect may not have been focused on as much as I would have liked, and the ending left me with some questions still.
The basic concept is that Naho Takamiya, a high school student, received a letter telling her about a tragedy that would be taking place that school year. It had been sent from herself ten years in the future, warning her of the decisions that could be the cause of the tragedy taking place.
The letters gave her the specific events that would occur that she needs to change, and although she didn’t always do as the letter told her, she made an effort to listen and change the future.
Personally, I liked all of the main characters. I thought that their wide range of personalities fit with the way the show was paced. Like most shows, each character had their own defining trait, Naho being shy, Kakeru being reserved, Suwa being athletic and confident, Hagita being intelligent, Takako being polite, and Azusa being outgoing. The dynamics worked well enough.
One main complaint about this show I’ve seen is the dialogue and the impracticality of the way the characters reacted to situations. I will agree the dialogue sometimes got a little cheesy, and some moments, you wanted to pick the character up, put them where they need to be, and tell them exactly what to say. But I feel there are a lot of shows I truly enjoyed and still enjoy that had some of these flaws.
You ready to hear my true problem with this show? After this will be only positives, so get ready for my negative.
The way the “time travel” was explained. Honestly, it wasn’t. You see throughout the course of the show, their teacher explaining the theory of multiple universes with different outcomes (It reminds me of Steins; Gate with that one), but nothing more than that. We the viewers just need to accept that this is the theory that is reality in the world of this anime, and that the letters sent to the characters was done through this thought in mind. The future versions of our main group somehow remembered this lesson from ten years ago, and went with it. The letters were sent, and I feel I can say this without it being too much of a spoiler. There really aren’t many ways to send a letter in the past. They somehow found a black hole in their normal Japan, and stuck them in. Don’t ask me how, this was literally the only explanation.
Okay, I’m done with that. The only other thing bothering me is the lips of the art. But that’s minor, I got used to it.
Positives! It was an emotional ride. I sometimes like it when a show brings me to tears, because it tells me just how much I care about these characters. It honestly isn’t a bad thing in my eyes. Some shows not even meant to be sad have made me cry. But anyway, there were plenty of feel-good moments, and plenty that made you want to curl up in a ball and cry, like I did.
The relationships within the show were pretty developed for how many main characters there were and how short the show was. By the end of the show, all of them grew closer together because of what they went through together to stop the tragedy from happening.
And, of course, there was a romantic tension between the two main characters: Naho and Kakeru. Of course, they have some cute moments, I’m not going to lie. They really never move further than being close friends, which honestly is for the better. The show would have lost sight of the end goal if they began focusing on their romances.
The letters had told them about something that was going to happen to Kakeru, and they contained some of the events that occurred that could have led to this happening. Naho manages to change most of the events, and in turn, hopefully changing the future. She isn’t perfect though, and becomes too nervous to fulfill the duty she was given in the letter. Some say this was a flaw in the anime, that she didn’t do what the letter blatantly told her to do, but in my personal experience, I would have done the same thing as her in some situations. I don’t consider myself to be a social butterfly, in fact, I’d be the total opposite. I too have thought I could do something, but when the time came, chickened out or couldn’t manage to open my mouth to say the words I wanted to say. I’m on Naho’s side with most of her decisions.
Something I love about this show is that they made depression and anxiety a major theme throughout. This is something I personally suffer from, so it was a bit refreshing to see it heavily influencing the plot in a show. Kakeru has been inflicted with a serious form of depression even in the beginning of the show, and he has a difficult time dealing with it. Naho seems to have a sort of anxiety, due to her fear of saying something wrong, so she says nothing at all. The other members of the group can see that they are dealing with some serious problems, and try their hardest to support them.
Overall, I thought this show was strong with its characters and themes, though some of the specifics were lacking. I definitely feel you should experience it, even if just for the talk of serious mental problems many people suffer from. I appreciate that a show like this exists.
Thank you for reading my review! I haven’t posted in a while, sorry about that. I’ll try to be more consistent from now on.
Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1
Feature Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a4/e8/40/a4e840e972da9aae37ed02ae602d0448.jpg
Future them: http://www.anime-now.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/maxresdefault-10.jpg
Naho and Kakeru: http://www.beneaththetangles.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/orange-anime-1-3.png
Group hug: http://i.imgur.com/G4Rlzeg.jpg?1
For those of you who have not watched all of either of these, I will leave the beginning portion spoiler-free. I will warn you on any major spoilers, so I am not held accountable for your frustration. Now that we have that covered, I will explain myself.
Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that I enjoyed both of these shows. But, I do have a favorite, after a year of contemplating it. You probably have a good guess of which one it is, but I’ll explain why I like each one before getting to that.
Let’s start with the beginning of the 2003 version.
This one starts the same as the Brotherhood version, but veers off in different directions pretty quickly. I enjoyed the “filler” episodes that were in the beginning, because it let me get to know the characters before they dove into anything too serious. By the time things really start to happen, I have a good idea as to how they’ll react. I could understand the characters feelings and I knew them more personally than the beginning of Brotherhood.
Things don’t start to really kick off until around episode 20, and we all know the devastating loss around episode 25. It was this time that it became different from Brotherhood. Although Brotherhood splits off at about episode 11. The original gave more time for explanation and added some adventure to the beginning, where Brotherhood wasted no time getting to the problem.
I’m not saying that Brotherhood did anything poorly as for the beginning, but I just appreciate the time the creators put into adding character development in the beginning, since there isn’t nearly as much as in Brotherhood.
Now, we know the main goal the two brothers have is returning their bodies back to normal by means of Philosopher’s Stone, but in both versions, there is another goal in mind as well. In the 2003 version, Scar and Dante were huge villains and the two were after them for most of the second half of the show. In Brotherhood, the homunculi and the Father were the main villains. Although the original DOES focus on the homunculi a lot, it just isn’t as much as Brotherhood.
Alright from here on, there WILL be spoilers for both shows. So exit out if you aren’t to the end of both.
As many of you may know, I’ve been working on a Maka Albarn cosplay for several months. Well, all of those hours of labor on my costume and prop finally paid off when I went to Detroit’s anime convention: Youmacon. The convention ran from November 4th through 6th. I went two of the three days: Saturday and Sunday, which is more than previous years.
This was my third time there, but my first year working on a costume for it. Last year, I bought my cosplay off Amazon and bought a cheap wig and inexpensive pants and shoes. While it was fun and all, I really can’t compare it to my experience this year. Let me tell you, if you want to get the full experience, make your cosplay. But, please don’t do it last minute if you don’t have the talent of working under pressure, it just won’t turn out.
Besides cosplaying, I got to meet two awesome voice actors in the world of dubbed anime. I had already met one last year: Vic Mignogna. He’s pretty cool, if you ever get a chance to see a panel by him or get his autograph, do it. Even my friend who doesn’t really like dubbed anime gets something out of meeting him. So, he’s pretty cool, and I also got to meet J. Michael Tatum. Which, honestly, I had no idea how funny he’d be. I found both the J. Michael Tatum panel from this year, and the Vic Mignogna panel I went to last year which are posted later in the post.
Oh, and if you’re confused as to who these people are, I’ll give a couple examples of characters they played.
Vic Mignogna: Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club), Spirit Albarn (Soul Eater), and Rin (Free! Eternal Summer)
J. Michael Tatum: Sebastian (Black Butler), Kyoya Ohtori (Ouran High School Host Club), Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Rei (Free! Eternal Summer), and France (Hetalia)
So, yup they were pretty dang cool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture with J. Michael Tatum, I did get one with Vic Mignogna.
…And of course I got some cool cosplay pictures, which I’ll share with you guys.
But, I really wanted to tell some weird stories. So, when I first came into the convention center and got into line, not even five minutes later and a different Maka cosplayer came into line behind me, along with Soul and Spirit. So, immediately, I felt awkward. Luckily, they didn’t really talk to me, but I got some weird looks from the Spirit cosplayer, and he honestly kind of annoyed me (ironic, I know). And then, when we got into the place for the registration, there was a squirrel bee-lining for the women’s bathroom. And, I was updated, that the next day there was a piece of cardboard covering the bottom of the bathroom door. I am just gonna assume they didn’t get it out.
For the majority of Saturday, nothing really bizarre happened until we got in line for Tatum’s autographs. Then, I tried to lean Soul (my scythe) against the wall, and I hit the poor girl in front of me with it. From that point on, I didn’t lean it anywhere unless there was a corner. Oh, and then as we were waiting in line, this guy who was probably nearing sixty walked down the hallway with the most disappointed look on his face, and me and my friend about died laughing. Basically, the guy looked like the disappointment emoji. And, once we got into the room for autographs, I started sweating so bad, I felt like I was going to pass out. For one thing, they had us placed in front of gigantic windows, and second, I had two long sleeved clothing items on, one being black. And then, I was so nervous because I have social anxiety, that the lady helping out with the line had to give me a pep talk. But she was super cool and liked my cosplay so shoutout to her I guess.
After this, we went to the vendor’s hall, and a very accurate Deadpool cosplayer asked if I wanted to pretend to beat him up for a music video. So, now I’m in a music video that I don’t know the name of. Yay! And, after all of this, we went to the Q&A panel with J. Michael Tatum, and I don’t know if I’ve laughed harder in my life.
Here’s the link to that panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv51ICeBvKA
And here’s the Vic Mignogna Q&A I went to last year (my friend is in the giant Mad Hatter hat) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG2i5LE6we4&t=2379s
And that was the end of Saturday’s festivities. Sunday, phew, that one was even crazier. And we weren’t even there that long.
So, let’s start here. When I woke up, I was so exhausted from the previous day, that I almost didn’t get up. And when I did and I got ready, I forgot it was Daylight’s Savings and I thought I was in the shower for over an hour. I panicked, and then remembered, but I was still the reason we were leaving later. And then, we got there, and the people meeting up with us didn’t come until maybe ten minutes before registration opened. Nothing happened in registration this time, so that’s good. But, my cosplay, ah, it began to slowly fall apart once we left registration.
First, I was asked to have my picture taken with my friend (who was Scorpion for Mortal Kombat) and we had to pretend to fight. But, Soul decided that he wanted to break in every place possible and I had to stick the pieces back together with bright orange duct tape. He held up well enough for the day, but it was still frustrating and I will admit I yelled at this prop I made quite a few times.
The only other major mishap I can think of that happened is when we went to Vic’s autographs. When we went up there, I was so excited that I took my picture and left before my brother could get his picture. So, he came over to me and with a very disappointed face told me what happened. So, guess who had to go back up there and ask Vic personally if my poor brother could get his picture with him because of my stupidity. Fortunately, he was very understanding and let my brother get his picture.
One thing you need to know about me- I do horribly talking to voice actors. Last year I almost had Vic spell my name wrong on the autograph because I panicked. So going up there made my social anxiety flare up like crazy. But it turned out okay so that was good.
I hope the stories weren’t too boring. I know I haven’t posted at all this month but I’ve been busy and dealing with some stuff so just be patient.
But anyway, Youmacon was awesome and I’ll put a little slideshow of pictures here at the bottom.
And, anime-wise: I’ve been watching the dubbed ReLIFE recently, and I watched Your Name. at the end of last month, along with some other things, so new stuff will be here soon. Thank you for dealing with my weird stories and schedules.
This is the show I am almost finished watching, and though I don’t have the conclusion yet, I’ve decided to talk a bit about it. (I’m 2 episodes away from finishing it, don’t yell at me)
Now, I’ve heard about this show. A LOT. Mainly just from the fandom, so I saw pictures of characters and such. I didn’t think too much of the show because I had literally no idea what it was about. Then my friend watched some of it, explained a bit to me, and I was intrigued. But it wasn’t until a year later that I started watching it. And I have to say, I’m impressed.
This is really a “Don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of show. The title tells you nothing, and even the description doesn’t do it justice. Let me show you what Netflix says about it, “A young man looking for excitement moves to Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, where he finds a world of mystery in which the past and present mesh.” That’s directly from Netflix, I DID NOT write that.
So, yes, all that’s said is true, but it only focuses on one character, Mikado Ryugamine, and I don’t even consider him to be the true main character. In fact, I don’t think any one character is the main character. All of the characters in the show have some tie to all of the other characters, which is impressive to achieve. In my head, I’ve counted 35 characters with names that all have some kind of relation to the main plot. Some aren’t introduced until the second season (which is split into 3 parts), though. I won’t focus on season 2 at all so that’s about 15 people I won’t be talking about.
There are 4 stories going on at once, roughly. Some stories intertwine and separate through the show, so I can’t have a permanent group of people for each.
Basically you have the three high schoolers: Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri. And then there’s Celty, Shinra, his dad (who kind of jumps in and out), and Shizuo (who’s also part of another story). Then, I call them the “van group” because they travel in a van: Erika, Walter, Kyohei, and Saburo. And the last group is Seiji, Namie, Mika, and Izaya, and Shizuo jumps in sometimes. This isn’t really all of it, since it jumps around so much, but if I were to group them, this would be it for season one. Season two has probably like 8 groups at least, but it still stays organized enough where I can understand what is going on.
The whole thing is so impressive since it started as a light novel series, written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda. Two people made this happen. That’s insane. Of course, they have to go through publishers who critique their work, but it’s just crazy that they could keep a story like this all organized. I know there are many popular manga/anime that also have a ton of characters in them, but for how complex the plot is and to remember what each character has to do with it pretty nuts. I have a hard time remembering the full names of just a few characters and what they have to do. And some of them I don’t even give them full names. In this, all 35 or so characters have a first and last name, and I’d say at least 10-15 of them have an online alias, first and last name. I look up to these people.
Well, enough of my impressed ranting. I’m sure those of you who don’t know the show would like a little bit of knowledge on what exactly is going on.
Alright. So, like the Netflix overview said, this is somewhat of a mystery show. With demons and faeries and gangs. Which makes it like 10 times cooler. So, in Ikabukuro, there’s this reputation of something called “color gangs.” Examples of these are called the “Blue Squares” and “Yellow Scarves.” Basically, they all wear something of that color so civilians can identify them. But, Ikabukuro also has a notorious colorless gang called “The Dollars.” People in the district constantly have to look out for suspicious people in case one of the normal civilians turns out to be a part of The Dollars.
That’s the gang part of it. Now, for the faeries part. Well, there’s really only one faery. Named Celty Sturluson, who is a dullahan. A dulluhan is an Irish faery who carries around its head and rides a shadow-type horse. They are all female, and value their horses and heads. Unfortunately for Celty, her head has been stolen and taken to Ikabukuro. She rides around the district on a black motorcycle, which neighs like a horse. She’s known as the “Black Rider” and people don’t know whether to be scared of her or not.
And, for the demons. This doesn’t come until about halfway through season one, so if you want to skip this part to not spoil it, go on ahead. I won’t be too specific with anything.
This isn’t like your normal “monster” type of demon. This one is in the form of a sword, and possesses others into following it. This becomes a very big problem near the end of the show, but isn’t really the main idea until season two. This part of the show was really interesting to me, and might’ve been the reason I watched all the way to the end (well, almost the end).
And there you have it. That’s what I think about Durarara! Oh, you want to know what my favorite character is and who my least favorite is?
I know you probably weren’t asking, but I do have an answer for both. One may be a bit shocking to those who like this show.
I’d have to say Celty is my favorite, but it took me a while to decide this. She just made me laugh, and cry, and I felt deeply for her. She is pretty lost without that major part of her, and she constantly is attacked while out doing deliveries ( I forgot to mention she delivers things). Also, I’ve never heard of a dullahan, so I was interested when I heard of it. I’m very into mythology and fantasy things, so that makes a lot of sense.
And, as for who my least favorite is, it’s actually Izaya. I know a lot of people like him, but I just never got attached to him. I never felt sorry for him, and he confused me. I never knew his intentions and he flip-flops with whose side he’s on, so I could never tell if he was a villain or not. So, don’t hate me, but I don’t like everyone’s favorite character.
Alright, so that’s the end of my review. I’m having a bit of a hard time coming up with ideas, so if you have any tweet me or leave a comment. My twitter is @letstalkanime1. Oh, and not this upcoming weekend, but the weekend after, I’m going to an anime convention. I’ll probably make a post about my experiences and maybe have some cool cosplay pictures. And I’ll be seeing Vic Mignogna with my brother and possibly J. Michael Tatum and Monica Rial, so maybe pictures with them will be here too (all are FUNimation dub voice actors for those subbed fans out there). But I have no promises.
**As of 10/25 I finished this show, and let me tell you, it was quite an ending.**
**If anybody is curious, I generally don’t edit my posts so if you see run-on sentences and things like that, it’s because I like to leave it written how I think. If that bothers anyone, let me know. Thanks!**
Featured picture: http://ib.huluim.com/
Celty and Shizuo: http://release-date.info/
Ending picture: http://pre07.deviantart.net/