Final Thoughts on Anime Fall 2016

March Comes in Like a Lion

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A very beautiful and thoughtful show that has strange mouths for its characters, but I kinda like it that way. March Comes in Like a Lion handles the contrast of the different aspects of Rei’s life exceedingly well. You can really feel the stinging unpleasantness of Rei’s adoptive family through the dark imagery of his past and his interactions with Kyouka, who relentlessly pries into his life and fills his mind with cynical thoughts. On the flipside, his time spent with the Kawamoto family is almost excessively delightful, as shown by so many comically overdone bits like Hinata’s morning rush to prepare for school. The difference between Kyouka and the Kawamoto’s can be pretty accurately described with the context behind their smiles. While Kyouka offers only a sly grin fostered by years of cold, concentrated resentment, the smiles the Kawamoto household give off nothing but a sense of overwhelming warmth and compassion. As the show progresses we casually delve deeper into Rei’s past. While learning who Rei is and what he’s been through could be considered the primary reason to follow through the story, his interactions with other characters is what really compels me to keep watching. Be it the tense situations or the blissfully comedic ones. Continue reading

A Sound! Euphonium 2 Review

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The first season of Sound! Euphonium was “utterly fantastic” (quoting myself from my review of season one). It took me by surprise and delivered something thoroughly thought provoking. Characters were handled flawlessly, hackneyed themes were dodged with grace, and not a moment of my time felt wasted as I embraced its concepts of what it means to be a part of something, and what it means to be special. It was undoubtedly a brilliant season, and unfortunately for KyoAni, the sequel would have to be held to those standards. So that begs the question: Did KyoAni reach or surpass the heights it set for itself with season one? Continue reading

Sound! Euphonium 2, Episode 13

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It’s time to bid farewell to all the wonderful 3rd-years, as they get to indulge in the sweet memories they had made and remind themselves that despite not going out with a bang, they still managed to pull off something truly unforgettable. Not a true to form clip-show, but an episode to reminisce all the great moments the Kitauji band has shared whilst celebrating the end for their seniors. Between partying and hazy-flashback-montages, there’s not too much to this episode besides taking it all in and accepting that Asuka must move on. Continue reading

Sound! Euphonium 2, Episode 12

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Alright, to start this episode review off I think I’m going to go ahead and bring focus on something that I haven’t really talked about until this point: Side characters! There sure are a lot of them in this show, and KyoAni never ceases to subtly remind us they exist, even though most of them hold very little significance in the actual narrative. Shuichi is the childhood friendboy of Kumiko, and he shows up maybe once every 4 episodes to casually chat with her for a couple of minutes. In this episode, they end up bumping into each other when heading out of the sleeping quarters at night. As they talk while drinking vending machine beverages, he simply acknowledges that he’s noticed her seem a little depressed about her older sister Mamiko. Shuichi also gives her a pretty flower hairpin as a late birthday present, but it’s not taken as some sort of romantic gesture as it’s made pretty clear that Midori was the one that pushed him to do it. Continue reading

Sound! Euphonium 2, Episode 11

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Sorry about the wait, but here it is: episode 11 (episode 12 will be up tomorrow). We start where we were last left off, Asuka’s back and everyone seems super happy until Kumiko turns to glance at Reina from afar. She seems mad, or at least a tad resentful, so of course it’s up to Kumiko to find out why. The general idea to be taken away from basic context is that Kumiko had been neglecting Reina while she was too busy focusing on getting Asuka back in the band. Continue reading

Sound! Euphonium 2, Episode 10

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Alright. It seems like we’ve finally reached the last episode of Asuka’s arc. Quite a long and somewhat painful ride this has been. Painful, but in mostly the best ways. It’s been hard to watch Kumiko try to get close to Asuka, all while her older sister’s life falls apart due a decision made that oh so coincidentally happens to be similar to the situation Asuka is in now. Perhaps a tad blatant in its insertion, the themes of this arc are very strong, and quite humble in execution. Themes of the pressures of society, abandoning ambitions for something that everyone is expected to want, fooling ourselves with naïve ideas of adulthood, and avoiding the possible pinnacles of one’s regrets. Heavy and thought-provoking, I couldn’t be happier with the climax reached from these looming concepts. Continue reading

Sound! Euphonium 2, Episode 9

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An interesting revelation had been brought to the table this episode, one that I must admit even I hadn’t thought too deeply about. Sound! Euphonium has a great all-around cast, two of which are some of the best supporting roles I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across. These two are so great in fact, that it may have caused me to neglect something brilliant hiding right beneath my nose. Oumae, Kumiko is a far more fascinating character than meets the eye. Continue reading