Tag Archives: comedy

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.

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.

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!

 

Aho Girl Episode 1 Review

The plot for this show is short and sweet; a dumb girl does dumb things. Aho Girl‘s title aho (idiot) is Yoshiko, a banana obssessed idiot who can somehow get a 0% on a multiple choice test. Yoshiko is joined by her friend known so far only as “A-kun,” who has to put up with all of Yoshiko’s foolishness.

Yoshikos grades
Grades like those are impressive, really.

It seems that each of these 15-minute episodes are also going to be divided further into a few shorter segments, much like Mangaka-san to Assistant-san was. So it is definitely a show that you can start even if you only have 5 minutes, since you can just watch one of the segments in an episode, and watch the rest of it later. Definitely an anime that fits to your schedule!

As for the actual content, it was your run of the mill slice-of-life anime in terms of about most everything. Nothing except the OP song (which was pretty good) really stood out to me, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since nothing that bad stuck out either.

yoshikos own mother calling her an idiot aho girl
You know you’re an idiot when even your own mother is calling you an idiot.

The animation is average, sometimes being really well done and other times being super generic. There were some jokes that made me giggle more than I should have, but on the other side of the coin, there were some jokes/tropes that were used so many times in this short episode that they already started to get stale. Yoshiko’s banana obsession comes to mind. Though they redeemed themselves a bit at the end with their “indecent kind of banana” joke.

akun punching yoshiko
A-kun punching Yoshiko into tomorrow, and also an example of one of a scene with nicer animation.

I also particularly enjoyed Yoshiko’s cheap attempt to bribe her classmate for a measly 10 Yen (roughly .10 USD).

I think it is too early to say much, but so far I like the silliness of Aho Girl. But if it continues making its own jokes stale, which I think it will, this show will be buried under some of the better comedies of this season has to offer.

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Episode 1 Review

The first show to start airing on my “Summer 2017 shows to watch” list is Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun. While not highest on my list of things to watch, I was nevertheless excited to get started watching it.

To start, I don’t have much experience with sports anime. I think The Prince of Tennis is the only sports anime I have really gone out of my way to watch, and even then I haven’t finished it yet. So this is all going to be fairly new to me. So I may think something is just amazing, that is actually pretty common in sports anime. If I do that, please feel free to call me out! Now on to my thoughts of the first episode.

aoyama cleaning soccer balls
What an incredibly time consuming task.

The episode starts off with pretty great and aesthetically pleasing ReLIFE-esque visuals, showing the title character scoring on a free kick. Now I don’t know much about soccer, but I do know that isn’t the easiest thing to do.  They also show the clean-freak attribute of Aoyama right away, with him dodging his teammates’ efforts to hug him to celebrate the game-winning goal. This set the show up to, in my opinion, be more of in the realm of a comedy than any other genre. Which is definitely good for me, since I don’t want a pure sports anime.

I also enjoyed the many non-soccer scenes of the show. For example, immediately following the pretty good OP song, was a good 5-10 minutes of Aoyama’s school life, and his unwinnable battle against dirt. I am rather glad there were a fair amount of non-soccer scenes, since I think too many is the reason I tend to avoid sports anime. I think that they get stale much faster than a slice-of-life, or something along those lines. Plus, those scenes are of course vital to character development.

butt ball man
Butt ball man.

On that note, I was really fond of the comedy thrown into the mix. While I was expecting the clean-freak jokes, I certainly did not expect the random niche character traits of the more minor characters. The two most notable, and right now my favorite, traits were a guy who seems to only make plays with his butt and a guy (Takechi) who finds every opportunity to flash and flex his abs. The latter is especially funny to me, since I remember many boys trying to show off their “abs” in my high school gym classes.

takechi abs
With abs like those, why not?

The last thing that I noticed was the intense music played when Aoyama scored the tying goal against Ab Man Takechi’s team. I’m used to music that matches the mood, sure, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting a song with vocals (that isn’t the anime’s OP or ED) to play. While it is a minor detail, it caught my attention and I definitely liked it. So I’m excited to hear some more dope songs played during changes in momentum.

This was only the first episode, so I’ll keep this review short. But I like what I saw. And assuming the comedy stays as the main driver for the show, I think I’ll like it! I also think it’ll be a good gateway for people like me who are on the fringe about watching sports anime.

Anyways, check back next week for my thoughts on episode 2!

My Japanese Speech Contest Experiences

As I mentioned in my post about returning to blogging, I entered and won my university’s Japanese speech contest this year, as well as last year’s. I also came in 3rd place at North Carolina’s speech contest at Duke University (a much more prestigious university than mine). So I figured it would be kind of fun to share my speeches from the past two years, as well as the overall experience of the contests. The picture above is also not from either of those speeches, but from my Freshmen year speech two years ago, when I came in 3rd place at my University. That was taken right after I tried to accept my award too early, while my teacher was still speaking. Oops!

My speech from this year is titled 「私の留学経験」or “My study abroad experience,” and my speech from last year is my attempt at comedic fictional story telling in Japanese, titled 「オバマ様の日常生活」or “The Daily Life of Barack Obama-sama” (I was attempting to make a Daily Life of High School Boys joke with that title).

Continue reading My Japanese Speech Contest Experiences