My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 1

My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 1

If you weren’t aware, I’m not by any means a fan of sports. I can count on one hand the number of sports animes I’ve watched and only half of those I actually enjoyed. But this show, for some reason, is absolutely incredible. I’ve only seen season one, as you can tell by the title, but even when I got maybe five episodes in, I knew I wanted to talk about it as soon as possible.

The way I even started watching this show was my friends over at OWLS are, ah, obsessed with this show. I swear, we can never do anything without the name being spoken. I knew about the series long before this, but had no interest since I kind of don’t like volleyball. I have some bad middle school flashbacks of standing in my spot, watching as everyone else scored all the points. My favorite part was serving, which I was terrible at anyway, and I enjoyed spiking practice but beside that I hated volleyball weeks. So, I’m quite surprised that this show was so good I began to enjoy volleyball. In general, I’m not into sports. As an American, it’s almost assumed I’d be really into football, and most people grow up loving a certain team. Not my family. Every one of us is more worried about comics and the latest Marvel movie than whatever athlete is at the top.

And this would be why I tend to stay away from sports anime. All of the ones I genuinely enjoy have been mentioned on this blog before. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them if I don’t enjoy sports. This seemed to be the case until Haikyuu!! came around. So, the two previous sports animes I’ve enjoyed are Yuri on Ice (no shocker there) and Prince of Stride. Even with both of those, I was wary. Yuri on Ice I seemed to be able to get into because when I was younger I liked watching figure skating on TV and I was in dance classes through all of my elementary schooling. For those unaware, Prince of Stride is about a variant of track, but with the addition of parkour and small, six person teams thrown into the mix. Though I tried doing cross country when I was in middle school and nearly vomited, I still ended up enjoying this show too. It was unique that it created its own sport. The other animes I’ve tried but failed to get into were Free! and Kuroko no Basuke. I know people will want to have my head for saying that but honestly, I didn’t find myself caring much about the characters winning or losing. I had to force myself to finish season one of Free!, and I could barely get through six episodes of Kuroko. Not saying they’re bad shows, I just couldn’t get into them.

Clearly, I don’t have a positive past when it comes to sport anime. So when I decided I’d start Haikyuu!!, I want to say I sat in front of my laptop for two hours, contemplating if I really wanted to watch it. I didn’t want to hate it and have to explain to people why I didn’t like it. But by the time I finished episode one, I had a feeling this would be a good one. I wanted to watch the next episode so badly. It was the same experience when I watched Yuri on Ice, though I hate comparing the two shows. I love them both, and I think they’re good in different aspects. In all honesty, I think I enjoy Haikyuu!! a bit more, but I couldn’t even tell you why.

haikyu-screenshot-5

Now that my little sports anime rant is over, I’ll get to the actual review.

For those reading who have never watched Haikyuu!!, here’s a little synoposis  for you. You can skip this if you’ve watched it already.

The show begins with a short-statured third-year middle school boy, Shouyo Hinata, watching his idol, nicknamed the “Little Giant.” Seeing someone as short as he is being so successful and respected by the volleyball community inspires him to practice hard and go to a high school with a great volleyball team. Though, the middle school team he is a part of, just kind of sucks. The other boys who make up the team don’t really practice, so Hinata’s on his own to improve. He practices with everyone he can so he can be good enough to make it on a decent team. And in high school, he becomes a part of Karasuno’s volleyball team. The team had been suffering until the new first-years show up, and it gives the team more hope to do well in the coming year.

BABY CROW

He’s such a cutie

That’s basically episodes one and two summed up. That’s about it when it comes to a plot. For the rest of the show, it’s mostly just the team improving, facing difficult teams, and trying to win against those teams. Pretty simple.

Though, my absolute favorite part of this show is the chemistry between all of Karasuno’s players. It’s the reason I’ve given my soul to this show. When everyone meets initially, there are players who don’t get along. It’s amazing to see them grow as people and teammates until they can all communicate effectively and do well.

I know what everyone is probably wondering. Who is my favorite? Well, I actually do have an answer, fortunately. I love all of them, but if I do have to choose one, it’d be Suga. I’m not sure why, but he just stuck out to me as soon as he was introduced. By episode three, I determined I loved him the most, and even with all of the characters introduced throughout the season, he remained my favorite. I’m going to say it’s because in my friend group, I’m the most motherly as he is too. Of course there’s more to him that I like, but I’d rather keep this post somewhat short. I’ll get on to the others now.

SUGAMAMA

The others I adore the most are Kageyama, Kenma, Asahi, and Oikawa. So there’s that. I have such a hard time determining my favorites because it’s so easy to like the characters. The way they explain each and every one’s goals and past makes it easy to get attached. It also makes it easy to root for everyone. So when Karasuno doesn’t win I don’t really feel upset. Because the other team deserves to win just as much as they do. It’s such a weird feeling, but I love the fact they were able to make everyone so likable.

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This kid, I swear (This is Oikawa for those new)

So, I am in love with this show, and it has pretty much ruined my life now, in a good way. You are definitely going to see more of me talking about this show, though I’m so late watching it. And I’m sorry half of this was just a sports anime rant, I just felt I should explain myself a bit.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

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Review: The Royal Tutor

Review: The Royal Tutor

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.

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Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

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.

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Review: Durarara!

Review: Durarara!

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.

celty-shizuo

Celty Sturluson and Shizuo Heiwajima

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.

drrr-ending

First ending scrolling picture

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.

Bye!

**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/

Review: Fruits Basket

Review: Fruits Basket

I am genuinely sorry about the long, long wait.  I started working last Wednesday, and everything has been hectic since then.  I may need to cut the updates down to either once a week or once every other week just because of how busy I am and my lack of time.  But hopefully, I’ll have a cool post next week, since over the weekend I’m cosplaying at my local convention.

Just so you are aware, I’m writing this on a time limit.  I have about 45 minutes to complete this before I leave school and then I have a ton of stuff to do at home.

So, let’s see how this goes.

I chose to talk about this anime in particular because I have memories about it.  About 4 years ago, my friends came over to my house for a sleepover.  My friend had just started watching anime, and she knew one that we would enjoy watching.  It was on Netflix at the time, and I was kind of wary, since my parents had no idea that we would be watching anime.

But, we watched about three episodes and then my mom came in the room.  She watched

yuki

Yuki Sohma

an entire episode with us and determined that whoever thought of it was high.  (She still thinks this and I don’t understand why)  Anyway, my dad also came upstairs and his literal words were, “Is this a ‘pretty boy’ anime?”  For those of you who don’t know the characters, Yuki was the one on screen, and here’s what he looks like.  It was a pretty safe guess on my dad’s part.

During that night we watched eight episodes.  And in the morning, we watched more and my brothers were in the room.  They loved it.  At the time, they were probably about 7 and 9 years old.

Not only was this show one of my first animes, but I have a very vivid memory of when I first watched it.

Onto the actually show itself, not my sentimental memories of it.

This show aired in Japan in 2001, and is now considered a classic according to Funimation’s website.  It’s very likely that you’ve never heard of it, I probably never would have if it weren’t for that day 4 years ago.

screenshot-119

Screenshot I took

At this point, I’ve watched every episode around three times, and I’ve read the manga all the way through once, along with reading some chapters multiple times.

Now, you may be asking why I didn’t put this on my My Top 5 Animes list, but I did that based on how often I revisit that show.  I also thought of putting this on my Top 5 Comedy Animes list, but I think there’s a better list for this show.

The show is very funny, but it’s probably equally sad, and character driven.

I’ll give a basic summary, since I’m sure some of you have never seen this show or even heard of it.  But at the time I’m writing this, I have about 15 minutes to complete this post.

Tohru Honda (the girl in the photo), was recently orphaned when her mom died in a car accident.  Since then, she lived with her grandfather, until the house needed work done on it.  She began living in a tent in the woods by herself.  One day, she found a house and was greeted by Yuki Sohma, the prince of her high school.  They walked to school, and she began to talk to him.  Later, as she emerged from her tent, him and his cousin find her and offer to let her stay at their house.  She starts living with them and finds out that their family has a curse placed on them.  She has to swear to never tell anyone else about this, since they are all ashamed by it.

As she lives with them for longer, she meets more members of the Sohma family and she discovers how strange of a family they are, not just because of their curse.

I know this doesn’t give a whole lot of information, but I don’t want to spoil much.  I’d rather you be surprised by what the curse is and everything, though by looking at the banner photo, you might be able to figure it out.

Oh, before I leave this, there’s a new manga the author started recently that picks up probably about 20 years after the manga completed.  Though, don’t read it if you haven’t read the manga, you’d be helplessly lost, there are a lot of new characters in the manga that aren’t in show.

The manga is Fruits Basket: Another, written by Natsuki Takaya, same mangaka as the

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Fruits Basket: Another cover

original Fruits Basket.  I’ve only read the first eight chapters but it’s decent, and makes me pretty happy since I loved the manga more than the show.  I shouldn’t say much more, since even the premise kind of spoils the original manga.  Anyway, just read the original, then the new series.  It’s all great, hope you enjoy it.

I’ve got about 5 minutes now, so I’ll update my new post asap, and I hope you enjoy this one.  Sorry about the entirely too long wait, I promise I’ll say if stuff changes.  For now, enjoy what I’ve put up.  Next post should be cool.  It’ll include pictures of my cosplay making process, plus hopefully some of my full cosplay.  Bye!

*I’m cosplaying as Maka Albarn from Soul Eater in case you didn’t know. :)*

Best Manga I’ve Ever Read

Best Manga I’ve Ever Read

Hello!  I’m starting to get the hang of this, so I have an idea of a schedule now.  Notice, I posted this on a Monday.  Last week it was Sunday, but I’ve decided that Mondays and Fridays will be my update days.  This may change depending on school, homework, and if I get the job I’ve applied to.  I’ll be updating on off-days if anything changes, but I promise I’ll give content to you.

That was just an update for you guys so you aren’t left in the dark about scheduling.

So, I know that this isn’t anime, but I’ll probably be talking about manga a lot as well.  And I seriously need to tell you guys about this manga if you’ve never heard of it, it’s insanely powerful.koe-no-katachi-2

The Japanese title is Koe no Katachi, which translates into A Silent Voice.  You can probably guess what it’s about just by the title.  A deaf person.  Which is correct, but it’s so much more than just that.  The deaf person isn’t even the main character.

This is Shoya Ishida, a third-year in high school.  When he and the deaf person, Shoko Nishimiya, were in elementary school, he bullied her.  At first, it was the whole class picking on her for being different than everyone.  As time went on, the rest of the class stopped and he was tshoyahe only one left picking on her.  Nobody liked him anymore.  He had a group of friends, but they abandoned him.

Shoko never hated him exactly, despite what he did to her.  She tried to be friends with him, but he declined harshly.  He stole her hearing aids and smashed them, causing about $14,000 in damage.  He threw the notebook she spoke with into a fountain.  He threatened her multiple times and started a fight with her.  But yet, she never wanted to bully him in any way.  She helped him when all of his friends began targeting him instead.

Eventually, her mother forced her to transfer to get away from the bullying.  And Shoya became the target.  He realized how horribly he treated her for something she couldn’t help, and endured all of the bullying.  He didn’t have any friends for five years after she transferred.

When the story comes to the present, he is still regretting everything he did to her.  He finds out that she comes to a bridge every Tuesday to feed the fish, and shokohe plans to come to her and apologize for it all, then leave and kill himself.  Fortunately, things go better than he plans and he becomes friends with her.

The story after this is him learning how to be friends with her and slowly gains more people he can trust.  There are multiple bumps in the road and he says rash things to his friends.  His friends aren’t exactly accepting of Shoko, so that’s another problem that appears multiple times throughout the story.  There is one girl in particular that I never liked but was accepted in the group anyway.  She really didn’t like either Shoya or Shoko at any point, and attacks Shoko at one point.  She’s one of my least favorite characters ever.

Basically, the story is amazing.  It’s quite realistic and sad at a lot of times.  Seeing the two main characters gain friendship is the most amazing thing, since the beginning was rough.  It’s definitely a feels-filled manga, I cried probably three or four times.  And like I’ve said, it’s very realistic, so if that’s not your thing, you don’t need to read it.  But I seriously recommend it to everyone.  You need to experience it.

Bullying is such a huge problem.  And people with disabilities are very common, and I feel they don’t get treated the way they should.  Shoko represents every kind person who has a hard time making friends.  She reminds me of my brother a lot.  He shows extreme kindness to absolutely everyone, but for some reason most people brush him off and ignore him.  He doesn’t have any disabilities, but normal people experience the same thing.  And some people with disabilities don’t have this problem.

So please, give it a chance, and if you’ve already read it, please tell me about your experience with it.

For those of you who don’t exactly like reading mangas, good news for you.  The movie version of the manga series is coming out on September 17, this year.  In only five days.  I don’t know where you could watch it, but if you get the chance, please watch it or even read it.  I know I’ll be searching for the subbed movie when it comes out.

For the pictures I used, the banner was the first cover for the manga, featuring them as elementary schoolers, and the others were from the new movie coming out.  I’ll put a panel from the the second manga down below.

That’s all I have for today.  If you want to tell me how you felt about the manga or if you have any other feedback, I’d love to hear about it.

cute

Chapter 6

 

I’ll probably post on Friday, to give me enough time for school, homework, and deciding on my next topic.  This will probably be the set schedule, but like I said, it may change, and I’ll tell you if it does.

Bye!

Koe no Katachi was written by Yoshitoki Oima and the movie is done by Kyoto Animation.

Pictures in order:

Banner: capsulecomputers.com.au

Movie poster: otakutale.com

Both character profiles: myanimelist.com

Manga page: moonlightmanga.files.wordpress.com