Hajimete no Gal Episode 2 Review

Junichi finally has a girlfriend. One who is the cutest gal in school. But where do they go from here? Karaoke of course! And speaking from experience, this is a pretty popular choice for dates among Japan’s youth.

junichi and yame at karaoke.JPG
I too look as terrified as Junichi when stepping into karaoke parlors.

Before I talk too much about the episode, I’d like to correct a statement I had made in my review of the first episode. I had said that the censorship was clever, and actually added to the show. This is only the case if you are actually watching the censored version. This is the version that they are simulcasting on Crunchyroll. Though it has come to my attention (not surprisingly) that there is an uncensored version elsewhere on the internet. As I can’t speak for the versions I haven’t seen, my reviews will only reflect my opinions on the censored (Crunchyroll’s) version of Hajimete no Gal.

this is why youll always remain virgins hajimete no gal.JPG
Though censored or not, the virgin jokes remain as brutal as ever.

Moving on, I’ve got to admit I’m starting to like this show more and more. I think it is mostly, as I said before, because it is a raunchier version of Yamada’s First Time, which is probably in my top 10 personal favorite anime.

mic check hajimete no gal.JPG
My favorite innuendo so far.

I’m also really digging the simple, yet very new looking animation style. It is nothing flashy, but you can tell by the colors and just the crispness of the art that it is a new anime, and not one from five or more years ago.

we went a little too far hajimete no gal
If only my friends admitted their mistakes like that.

I’m also really digging Yane’s character design the more I see it. I think it is because she reminds me a lot of a gyaru (gal) version of Leafa from Sword Art Online. I’m not crazy, right?

My favorite scene of the episode was, of course, the karaoke scene. While Junichi was figuring out what song to sing, we got a glimpse of parody versions of some of Japan’s top pop songs at the moment. My favorites were “来来来世” by “Redwimps” instead of 前前前世 by Radwimps (a super famous song in Kimi no na wa or Your name.) and a Nogizaka 46 idol group spin-off.

hajimete no gal parody karaoke songs.JPG
When you can’t afford the rights to use the names of the real songs.

As I said before, I am a sucker for romance comedies where the romance starts earlier rather than later. And that is just what Hajimete no Gal is. I’m happy with it so far, and hope it stays this way.

Aho Girl Episode 3 Review

No surprises or new characters in this episode (unless you count the farmer who grows the bananas). Though this wasn’t a bad thing, as this has probably been my favorite episode of the series so far. That might not sound like it means much, but the first two episodes were lacking in the comedy department for me.

favorite banana stand aho girl
It’s the simple pleasures in life, isn’t it?

In addition to the comedy, this episode has probably one of the best quotes/dialogue exchanges so far this anime season.

I dont think im ready for relationships aho girlSluttiest line in the book

I can already see the latter image being used in numerous memes in the future. Which I am definitely looking forward to!

a-kuns grades
What’s an episode of Aho Girl if there aren’t grades being shown? This time they’re A-kun’s grades.
a-kun with the killer uppercut aho girl
It’s also not Aho GIrl  if there aren’t any brutal uppercuts delivered to Yoshiko via A-kun.

While this episode doesn’t have much to discuss in terms of plot progression or anything of that sort, the comedy is what makes it worth watching. And maybe even so you can understand the source and context of future memes? One can only hope.

yoshikos maternal instincts

The episode closes on a pretty hilarious scene depicting Yoshiko trying to cheer up A-kun by “doing what my mom does to cheer up my dad at night.” It also gives us the gem of a picture above.

If episode 4 is like episode 3, then maybe I’ll start liking this show more. So this was definitely a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

Isekai Shokudou Episode 3 Review

Episode 3 is the what I’ll call the “grandfather episode” as each new character who visits Nekoya is accompanied by their grandfather. We also get to see a glimpse of my favorite character’s grandfather, while learning a bit more about Nekoya in the process.

explaining coffee isekai shokudou

The first set of grandparent/grandchild is a culinary master of his world and his grandson. He reveals to his grandson and heir to his fortune and company the secret behind his legendary pasta: that the ideas and recipes all come from Nekoya.

how the chef gets his ingredients

More than that secret gets revealed, however. We also learn how the chef and master of Nekoya is able to cook dishes that resemble dishes from the other world. And that is by receiving ingredients from the culinary master in exchange for Nekoya’s monthly profits.

chefs personal ingredients

The next pair is a grandfather and ruler of kingdoms and his granddaughter. He shares the secret of Nekoya with her to brighten up her day, as her life had just changed drastically.

grandfather and granddaughter isekai shokudou

This is actually a flashback, and another very revealing one. We flash back to when Nekoya had a different master, and when the current one was still in training.

previous master of Nekoya isekai shokudou
Nekoya’s previous master.

As you might have guessed, that man was actually the current master’s grandfather!

the old and new master isekai shokudou
He looks young without facial hair, doesn’t he?

This week’s menu items 5 and 6 were spaghetti with meat sauce and a chocolate parfait, respectively.

Both stories again do a great job at telling their own story, whilst simultaneously revealing more and more about Nekoya and the employees within. The episode also closes with a cute and uplifting scene showing all of the patrons that have been introduced thus far eating at Nekoya.

Isekai Shokudous customers up to episode 3

Isekai Shokudou continues to impress me and leave me wanting more each week! I definitely cannot wait for next week’s episode!

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Episode 3 Review

Episode three takes us back into actual soccer for a bit, but not without a nice ten or so minutes of comedy.  Which as you might have figured, is my favorite part of this show so far.

Group at family restaurant aoyama kun

The comedy scene features our soccer squad at a family restaurant taking shelter from the rain. While originally a nice and calm dinner, things quickly take a turn for the silly when my favorite six-pack wielding character Takechi comes in and challengers Aoyama’s gourmand teammate to see who can eat the entire menu first.

ab master flex
He eats that much with abs like those? I’m jealous.

This contest ends with Aoyama’s foodie teammate surviving the final dessert, and bringing home the gold. The entire scene, though, ends in wonderful fashion. It’s as if the show acknowledges that it hasn’t actually been about soccer for an episode and a half now, and makes sure to call that to attention.

this has nothing to do with soccer

But all good things must come to an end. So they returned to actual soccer shenanigans by the second half of the episode. And it somehow ends up with Aoyama being locked in the opposing team’s locker room, being held captive by that team’s captain’s girlfriend. This sabotage was meant to make sure Fujimi (Aoyama’s team) loses without their star player.

aoyama kun trapped

Things looked pretty grim, with Fujimi being down 2-0 with only 15 minutes left in the game. But fortunately, everyone’s favorite stalker Gotou Moka came to rescue Aoyama.

gotou moka behind kana-aoyamakun

After he is rescued, Aoyama makes sure to put the cheating team in their place. He puts his team up 5-2 in just 15 minutes, scoring himself a hat trick (3 goals in one game) in the process.

The animation never ceases to impress me, with each goal looking truly beautiful. So even though I am not a huge fan of the actual soccer scenes, they are definitely enjoyable to watch.

If you were disappointed in the lack of soccer in the last episode, then this one is definitely for you. While the comedy was more restrained this time around, I still really enjoyed episode three, and I’m looking forward to next week.

 

Hajimete no Gal Episode 1 Review

Plot: The start of Junichi Hashiba’s second year of high school isn’t a great one. He is still single, and to make things worse, surrounded by couples. He is also caught reading a dirty magazine by the Yukana Yame, the class gyaru (gal). To make matters worse, he is elected by his friends to ask her to be his girlfriend.

hajimete no gal sumo
Peer pressure personified.

As a quick warning, Hajimete no Gal is a bit ecchi, so keep that in mind if you are considering watching it.  Though it is worth mentioning there isn’t any nudity. Which I think is actually for the best, since things are censored very cleverly, and at times in various comedic ways. So I think the censorship actually adds to the comedic value of the show.

why am I still a virgin hajimete no gal

My take on this show is that it is like a 2017 gyaru version of B Gata H Kei (Yamada’s First Time). The overtly sexual themes and humor of Hajimete no Gal, as well as the whole “desire to lose my virginity” aspects of it instantly reminded me of B Gata H Kei, but that is not a bad thing. I really enjoyed the latter, so I’m just hoping this newer iteration will make me laugh just as much as the older one did.

breaking the fourth wall hajimete no gal

The whacky male character design in shows like these always throws me off. I’m not really a fan of the larger guy with the weird cowlick/widow’s peak thing. But that’s just a small point I suppose. The female characters are a bit overdone as well, I think. The loli with over-sized breasts comes to mind first. I’m not really a fan of characters like that. But again, I really shouldn’t be too upset since overly sexualized characters are sort of the shtick of the show.

scary gyaru
Though I am a fan of Yukana Yame’s design.

At the end of the episode, it seems Junichi’s forced confession actually managed to work up some emotion from Yukana, and she accepts! I’m always a fan of shows where the romance and dating starts early. So I’m pretty curious to see how things turn out in future episodes.

my glorious high school days have been ended here
Or have they just begun?

All raunchiness and virgin jokes aside, I actually enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to more!

 

Konbini Kareshi Episode 2 Review

We dive a bit deeper into the two potential romances set up for us in the first episode, so it seems Konbini Kareshi isn’t wasting any time in trying to tell us what to expect. But I like that. Though fortunately for me it isn’t all drama, and has a lot of comedy sprinkled in throughout. My little heart can’t handle a lot of drama without comedy.

harukis room with the merfolk prince picture book
Haruki’s room, with his treasured picture book.

The episode opens with a greater look into Haruki’s past with his love interest Miharu. So we get a glimpse here at cute little middle school aged Haruki:

Haruki as a child konbini kareshi

However, it seems this episode’s focal point is on Towa and Mami Mihashi. Mami seems to be fed up with Towa’s superficial shenanigans, and recruits the help of Miharu to stop him.

come on smile konbini kareshi

They then turn to Haruki since he is Towa’s best friend for help on the matter, with hopes that he can talk to him. I’m bringing attention to this, because it led to some of the silliest moments of the episode that made for some great screencaps.

boy talk konbini kareshi
Some accurate “guy talk” poses.

Haruki and Towa wrestling konbini kareshi

mom, haruki is gay konbini kareshi
When Haruki’s little brother caught him fighting/wrestling with Towa.

As I mentioned last week, I really dig the OP and ED songs! Now that I have gotten a chance to listen to them again, I think I prefer the ED more, but they are both pretty good. I’ve actually looked up the band for the ED, ORANGE POST REASON, on YouTube and their other songs are pretty good too. They don’t seem to be very popular so check them out!

konbini employees
While they play only a small role, I’m really liking their characters so far.

This episode also featured some pretty well animated scenes. This was pleasantly surprising, since I was actually thinking the animation of the first episode wasn’t anything special. The two scenes in particular were a running scene with Haruki, and a scene where Miharu walked past Haruki. While I’m no expert on animation or critiquing it, I felt that they were worth mentioning.

I’m very happy with Konbini Kareshi so far and I hope those of you watching are too. If you haven’t started watching it yet, and love convenience store romances as much as I do, start watching!

Aho Girl Episode 2 Review

Aho Girl‘s second episode went just about as I expected: Yoshiko does more dumb stuff. But that isn’t a necessarily a bad thing.

Yoshiko playing with children

This time, almost half of the episode was dedicated to Yoshiko hanging out with little kids who, not surprisingly, are smarter than Yoshiko.

so its people like that who are ruining this country
Very wise words from children so young.

This episode also introduced A-kun’s sister, who is unfortunately as equally stupid as Yoshiko. What makes things worse is that she actually studies, whereas Yoshiko is stupid for the most part because she just plays and eats bananas all day.

a-kuns sisters grades
His sister’s grades. But to be fair, her answers weren’t the worst answers in the world.

I liked the addition of A-kun’s sister, since it shows the sweeter side of A-kun. It also shows that he isn’t mean to Yoshiko jjust because she is stupid, but rather it seems he is mean because she does not try to get better.

Aho Girl swing gif

My favorite scene from this episode was the last one, where A-kun gets harassed some more by the head of the school’s disciplinary committee. She’s now smitten with A-kun, and is taking any chance she can get to get close to him. Her wild delusion of him lead to my favorite quote of the episode: “I want to violate your regulations.”

I want to violate your regulations

There isn’t much more to be said about episode two. It was just about the same as the first, but I think this one was a bit funnier. It still isn’t as funny as I would like it to be, so this is probably my least favorite show I’m watching this season. So far, at least. We’ll just have to see what the rest of the season has in store.

Isekai Shokudou Episode 2 Review

With episode 2 down, I think I’ve got the hang of how Isekai Shokudou is going to be. Which is good, because after episode 1 I didn’t have a clue!

smiling chef and aletta isekai shokudou

This episode mainly focused on two people from the fantasy world and how they arrived at the cafe. The first of these is a treasure hunter named Sarah Gold, trying to find the treasure written about in a diary of someone named William. Small details aside, the treasure turns out to be our cafe, Nekoya.

treasure hunter isekai shokudou

The second is a knight, who is actually retelling the story of when he originally found the cafe three years ago, but was unable to go back since he did not know it only appeared once every seven days.

fried shrimp lover Isekai shokudou

What I loved the most about these people is seeing their reactions to the food they order. Since it is otherworldly to them, they are so apprehensive and do not know what to expect. But when they try the food, they are in a state of bliss. It’s kind of cute, honestly, and just an all-around happy thing to watch.

Which brings me to my point about figuring out (I think) how the episodes will be. I think each episode will detail the story of how certain people came to find Nekoya, and also reveal other food on the menu, featuring one item per person. So each episode will focus on side-characters, while slowly developing the Nekoya staff in the background. I think the best comparison is Death Parade. It featured two new “contestants” to the games in Death Parade, but slowly develops Decim and Chiyuki’s characters by utilizing the contestants of each episode.

death parade cover image.png
Death Parade‘s Decim and Chiyuki.

So I think if the show continues like this I will really love it by the end. The introduction of new characters, and therefore new stories, will be fun and help keep the show from getting stale.

Moving on from that, this episode also made me realize just how much I love the chef at Nekoya. (Though I must not love him that much since I still haven’t learned his name yet.)

isekai shokudou chef is a sweetheart

They also slightly explain how the door woks, if you were interested:

how the door works isekai shokudou

Also, continuing with me saving the menu items of each episode. Here are menu items 3 and 4, “Minced Meat Cutlet” and “Fried Shrimp.”

That’s about all I have to say for this week’s episode. I hope it helps those of you who may have been on the fence about watching Isekai Shokudou figure out if you want to watch it or not. I look forward to your thoughts as well! Thanks for reading!

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Episode 2 Review

Two episodes in and I think I can safely say I am very happy with Aoyama-kun! This episode was more about Aoyama’s stalker Moka Gotou, and her history with Aoyama, as well as a hilarious half-episode story about Aoyama’s “magic” towel.

Aoyama in elementary school
Aoyama-kun in elementary school.

At the start of the episode, we get more narration from Aoyama’s borderline stalker, whose name is finally revealed, Moka Gotou. It is revealed that they met in elementary school, where Aoyama was attempting to play with a cat. However, he wouldn’t touch it because, well… quite frankly because he’s an idiot. But more to the point, because he is a clean freak. So to combat this, Moka makes him a cat stuffed animal, so he could play with the animal he likes without fear of germs.

that cat has a weird face

This part of the episode was alright, but more importantly, it moved the story along into bringing Moka onto the team as their assistant/manager and closer to Aoyama-kun.

Aoyamas magic towel

Later in the episode, one of Aoyama’s teammates gets a whiff of Aoyama’s towels, and described it as giving off a “sweet, elegant aroma!! Outrageous.” He even went as far as to tweet about it, getting all of his other teammates and nearly everyone else in school curious about the magic towel.

megane shinshi z twitter

This little arc made me laugh a lot more than I was ready for, which was pleasantly surprising. My favorite part has to be when Aoyama is fleeing the numerous pursuers trying to steal his towel, and unnecessarily starts dribbling a soccer ball in the process.

and for some unknown reason hes also dribbling
I nearly lost it at this scene.

I think I liked this episode so much, because it has almost zero actual soccer and instead is mostly comedy/fleshing out characters’ backgrounds. I feel like I would get bored very quickly of a show that is 100% sports. Which at this point, I highly doubt it will be. Anyways, I’m really happy with how the comedy and sports have been divided up in the show, and how they also aren’t mutually exclusive. If you haven’t watched an episode yet because you were unsure as to how it would be, I think you should definitely give it a go!

 

Konbini Kareshi Episode 1 Review

This is the show I was the most eager to watch for the Summer 2017 season, so I am glad it is finally here! To give it a brief introduction, Konbini Kareshi (or Convenience Store Boys) is basically about the lives of the high school students who spend time at a particular convenience store for one reason or another, and the interactions between those people.

Now, the episode starts in a somewhat interesting fashion: at the end of the story. Or at least what I would imagine is somewhat near the end, with our main character Haruki Mishima running to the convenience store during the Winter. The actual exposition to the show takes place in the Spring, and more specifically April, so I’m thinking the opening scene takes place much later. This is definitely storytelling mechanic that I am particularly fond of, as it is reminiscent of movies like Memento or The Prestige, that actually start at the end of the story, and the proceed to show how we got to such a point. While I’m sure Konbini Kareshi may not reach those kinds of levels of deepness, I figured it was worth noting, since I don’t see this too often in anime.

konbini kareshi episode 1 dramatic running scene
The dramatic opening scene, showing Haruki Mishima running sometime presumably in the Winter.

Another interesting thing that I noticed (which I suppose isn’t all that interesting now that I am actually typing it out) was how some of the scene’s dialogue was presented. There were a couple of instances where, instead of just presenting the dialogue by showing the characters talking to each other, a montage of stills or short animations of the characters (sometimes even characters not relevant to the conversation) doing unrelated activities would be shown instead. While this is definitely not a groundbreaking technique, it is again something that I haven’t seen all to often (or recently) in anime.

using ic cards at the train station konbini kareshi
I enjoyed the numerous day-to-day things that they showed the characters doing. For instance, here they are scanning their IC cards to ride the train to school.

As for the actual content of the episode, I enjoyed how they didn’t mess around with setting up the major themes. As I mentioned above, the opening scene clearly lays out the presumed romance between Haruki (the brown-haired guy in the featured image) and Miharu Mashiki. They also hint at a childhood relationship between the two, since each of them have a trinket from then to remember each other by. Aside from those two, another potential romance between Towa Honda (Haruki’s friend, and the blonde guy above) and his classmate Mami Mihashi. And this is all in just the first episode! So I would say that things are moving somewhat quickly, which is nice.

reading a magazine next to someone konbini kareshi 2
Haruki trying not to stare at Miharu while reading at the konbini

I’m not really used to this kind of art style, but I liked it. So I’d say that is a plus. It made for some pretty silly pictures. Like the one below, where I just happened to pause at the perfect time.

what a face
Miharu’s face was just too silly not to include here.

As someone who is always excited to hear the OPs and EDs of new anime, I was not disappointed with Konbini Kareshi‘s. The OP is “Stand Up Now” by Cellchrome, and the ED is “Milestone (マイルストーン)” by ORANGE POST REASON. They are pretty good, so look them up if you get the chance.

I was so excited to watch this show, that I was afraid it might not meet the high expectations I had set for it. While it is still too early to say for sure, I’d like to believe that it has met them! While maybe not a show for everyone, I would highly recommend if you are looking for a slice-of-life that accurately represents various aspects of life in Japan, or just looking for a nice and innocent romance drama for this season. I know I am definitely looking forward to what next week has to offer!