The high school manga author Ozaki-kun is the character in focus this time, as Aoyama and his soccer related shenanigans take the back seat.
He is looking for inspiration for a new character in his manga, and it seems Aoyama is just the person for the job.
However, Ozaki sees Aoyama a bit differently then everyone else. Instead of a soft-spoken and somewhat shy clean freak who is skilled at soccer, Ozaki sees Aoyama as a tyrant forcing people to clean the path in front of him, forces people to cheer for him at soccer games, and (the worst of all) hates dogs! And thus, the evil blue wizard was born.
The story itself this episode was pretty comical, if a little random. I have honestly no idea where each episode is going to go next. So at least I’m always in for a surprise!
All in all not a bad episode, but I could have done without it. It’s existence kind of confused, since we hardly learned anything about Aoyama, except maybe what he’d look like if he were an evil wizard. It looks like next week’s episode may be about basketball? So I’m honestly not sure where we are going, but I think that just adds to the fun!
So this upcoming anime season I’ll have a bit more free time than usual, so I’d like to spend it watching the new releases and writing posts about the shows that interest me.
This list is only for the shows that I am 100% going to at least watch the first episode of. I have other shows that I am considering watching, as sort of a back-up, if one of my guaranteed to watch shows turns out to be a bust. But for right now, I figured it made the most sense for me to feature the shows I was most excited about. Also, the descriptions and any other info I give about the anime are coming from livechart.me’s list of Summer 2017 anime. So you can check out more details of shows there.
Plot: Based on the infamously difficult 1980’s video game Spelunker, Spelunker Sensei is a 30-minute OVA. It is about Spelunker-sensei’s day to day life, and the struggles he faces being someone who dies by anything; from falling from small heights, to rubbing his eyes too hard.
Plot: What happens when an all-boy school has to cooperate with an all-girl school for their annual school culture festival? Tadakuni and his friends have to survive the sudden intrusion, all while trying to come to terms with their feelings for these new invaders.
As you might have guessed, this is based on the Daily Lives of High School Boys anime and manga (which I have reviewed here!). But, I have got to admit, I am always pretty skeptical of live-action remakes of anime/manga. However I did my best to go into this movie with an open mind, though the movie ended up letting me down in the end.
Fans of the original anime and/or manga will be pleased to know most of our favorite characters make a return for this adaptation, like the main trio of Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake, as well as Literature Girl, Karasawa (the hat wearing student council member), and Yanagin (one of the “Funky High School Girls”). Fans would also be happy to note that a few of the classic scenes from the anime make a return, such as Tadakuni and friends trying on his sister’s skirt.
Despite all of this, the movie executes most of these very poorly. While there are a few funny gags brought back from the past, they are far too scarce. And completely irrelevant to the plot.
For example, one of my biggest complaints was Literature Girl, and how she was handled. She was introduced exactly as she was in the anime, which I thought was did well in establishing them as potential love interests for each other. Then it went all downhill from there. Her second interaction with Hidenori could hardly be called an interaction at all, as it lasted maybe 45 seconds. And it also completely killed said love interest, not even 10 minutes later. After this, Literature Girl, who is arguably one of the more iconic characters of the anime, has about 1 more line, and a whopping 30 more seconds of screen time. For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, the introduction of such an incredibly meaningless character just feels unnecessary. I kept wondering when she was going to become more than just an odd background character, but I was left utterly disappointed.
It seems that the director tried to set up a love interest for each member of the trio, which I was okay with, but did not know how to resolve any of it.
Yoshitake’s was my favorite, but again his potential companion was in three scenes at most. Yoshitake falls for a convenience store employee, and subtly invites her to his school’s culture festival through use of clever means. This was probably the only plot-line I looked forward to seeing the resolution of throughout the entire movie.
Tadakuni’s romance is probably the main point of the story, but honestly felt useless and just completely random. He falls for one of the girls working on the culture festival with the boys. To make things better, he picks up her handkerchief that she dropped, thus giving him an in to talk to her again. Good so far right? That’s what I thought too. Sadly it seems no male in this movie has ever spoken to someone of the opposite sex, and has no idea how to make words come out of his mouth. This draws out the romance to its incredibly anticlimactic climax, in which the handkerchief turns out to belong to a different girl. Tadakuni somehow feels as if this was the killing blow to any chance he had, despite the girl seeming to show genuine interest in him, and gives up immediately. What kind of writing is that? I get that the boys aren’t supposed to end up with the girls, but at least make it for a plausible reason! I couldn’t even believe that that was the end of the movie. It’d be like watching Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and the movie just ends as soon as Obi-wan gives Luke his lightsaber. Maybe I was expecting too much? But even in the anime, there are at least some well executed conclusions to plot-lines. So I don’t think I was wrong to expect anything.
If there is anything I enjoyed about the movie, it would be the acting. I personally felt that the actors did a pretty good job at representing how “real” high school boys and girls talk amongst each other. I could see myself in many of the “guy talk” scenes, and the “girl talk” scenes were reminiscent of me seeing high school girls talk to each other when I was in Japan. The actors also sincerely looked like they were enjoying themselves in some of the sillier scenes, which was really nice to see. This also made the movie slightly more enjoyable to watch. Though this is not a compliment to the actual script, which I thought was pretty corny most of the time. I just felt that the actors did a good job at taking a pretty poor script, and making it seem as natural as they could.
I would also like to point out two small points that I enjoyed as well, that way it doesn’t seem like I am completely bashing this movie. First is the way their teacher talks. It is not the same teacher from the anime, but rather an older man who has the obnoxious habit to end almost every word with a hard, nasily “hnn” sound. I hated this at first, until it was mocked by our main characters. While initially I thought the actor was taking some awful creative liberties with his character, after I realized it was meant to be a joke, it was pretty funny. Lastly, I also enjoyed soundtrack to the movie. While out of place at times, the background music was pretty great. The fictional idol group’s music at the end of the film was also pretty nice. Though these things did not save the movie for me, unfortunately.
While not a complete bust, this is definitely not a movie for people who haven’t seen or read the source material. The movie expects the viewer to be a fan, and rehashes old jokes and scenes from the anime, with no real purpose other than for nostalgia and cheap laughs. And it fails at even that. However, I would recommend it for a die-hard fan looking for something to watch and kill time with. I would also recommend it for someone who wants to practice listening to high school students’ native Japanese pronunciation and slang.
I would rate this live action adaptation of Daily Lives of High School Boys a mediocre 5.5/10. Which might be a bit generous. While not terrible, definitely not great. But I did laugh a bit. Which is all I can really ask for! If you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading!
In case you missed it, I haven’t posted in a very long while! This has been for a multitude of reasons, so I am just going to jump right i and bring you all up to speed as to where the life of WeeaboOtaku has been over these many and long, post-less months.
For starters, my study abroad in Japan has unfortunately ended. So that was my initial excuse for not posting. I ended up getting seriously caught up in studying for final exams, writing a 5 page paper the day it was due, going on a last minute Tokyo trip with my girlfriend, saying tearful goodbyes to the friends I had made in Japan, packing my things to return to the US, and a lot of other time consuming activities.
My Shuji group.
Me and Minagawa
My best friend Minagawa
After returning to North Carolina, in the US, I worked at my part-time job for a bit, just before school started. So I used the “I’m tired from work” excuse to not make blog posts then.
About two weeks or so after my return, I had to move back into my dormitory at my university, and resume school for the Spring semester of my junior year. Now, this would’ve been where I resumed writing blog posts (and I promise I was close to starting a post), but then I became unexpectedly busy with school. My semester was initially really light in work, with only a history class bogging me down. But then, my former Japanese professor’s TA quit, leaving the spot open. He is infamous for being hard on TAs, but I’m a favorite student of his. So I swooped in and took that TA position. However, since it was after the add/drop deadline for classes, and the Japanese department can’t afford to pay TAs, this work was all volunteer. So, I became extra busy. Thus granting me yet another excuse to not write blog posts.
Roller skating with friends.
Delicious pizza I made.
1 point shy of my best!
But I survived the semester! And it just ended about two weeks ago. Now you’d think my excuses would end there. But oh ho ho clearly you don’t know WeeaboOtaku, the excuse master! Once the semester ended, I had to move back home. Then, Raleigh, North Carolina’s yearly anime convention “Animazement” came around, and of course I just had to go. I will also be writing a short post/review of the con itself, in case anyone was considering going. Following the con, my family and I had to move. In fact, I only just moved into the new place about 3 days ago. And I didn’t even have my computer set up until earlier today.
And now here we are!
So, to make a long story short, I am back to writing! I will try to be as consistent with posts as I was before. And here is a little preview of what is to come:
I am going to finish my episode reviews of http://www.Working!! and give a full series review after.
I will write a short post about Animazement, and my past experiences with it as well.
I have a few new anime reviews up my sleeve. So look forward to my reviews of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, and many others. I also plan on writing a post about what I plan to watch for the upcoming Summer anime season.
I also found a DVD box set on Amazon of Nagisa Oshima films, so I can hopefully reboot my old film review series. Which I absolutely loved writing, so I am super stoked about that.
For anyone interested in the Japanese language, I won my universities Japanese speech contest for the second year in a row, and came in 3rd place in North Carolina’s speech contest. So I may post my speech on here, as well as last year’s speech. I think it might be fun to read for any of you learning Japanese, or wanting to learn.
And there is just so much more to come, now that I have a bit more free time! So please look forward to more posts from yours truly!
Three episodes down! This week’s episode introduced two more new characters. However, they are not Wagnaria employees, but rather Daisuke’s classmates from school Miri Yanagiba and Rui Nagata.
Miri Yanagiba was the first to be introduced this episode. She was originally mistaken as a ghost by Daisuke, since she was identified by the seer of the paranormal Wagnaria employee, and also due to the fact she wears a scarf in the summer. However, it turns out she is actually a student at the same school as Daisuke, but he didn’t recognize her because she gets ill very easily, so found it more practical to just not attend school.
Rui Nagata was the second new character, and is also Daisuke’s classmate. She seems to have a crush on Daisuke, which is why she agrees to help him, and try to be friends with Yanagiba. Nagata seemed like a pretty plain Jane to me, but the misunderstandings that she gets into with Daisku and Hana are pretty fun to watch. Especially about Conbini, Daisuke’s new raccoon pet.
Fun fact! While watching this episode I noticed something interesting about Rui Nagata’s voice actor, that was a pretty neat coincidence. She is voiced by Ari Ozawa, who also voiced Sakura Chiyo in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. While that may seem like a random factoid, www. Working!!‘s main character Daisuke Hagashida is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura, who also voiced Umetaro Nozaki. Chiyo has an crush on Nozaki in their respective show, just as Nagata has a crush on Higashida in www. Working!!. This was just so cool to me, since I am big following certain voice actors, and this show definitely has a lot of my favorite actors and actresses.
This episode was also unique for a Working!! series episode, in that most of it took place outside work. The group went on the typical anime trope “test of courage.” This was a sort of breath of fresh air, I think, in that it was just something very different from the past iterations of Working!!, and was very good at getting more development out of the side characters. Though I do wish more of the episode had taken place at the restaurant.
To cap things off, I really enjoyed this week’s “test of courage” episode, and I am looking forward to a return to the restaurant atmosphere in episode four next week!
Plot: Habahiro Hige is your average, slightly overweight office worker with an obsession for marshmallows. Iori Wakabayashi is Hige’s colleague, and also has the hots for Hige. Wakabayashi uses Hige’s lust for marshmallows to try to create a lust for herself in Hige. However, much to her dismay, Hige is completely clueless to her advances.
Marshmallows and anime! This alone should be reason enough for you to watch it! The first episodes even end with marshmallow cooking tips, for the chef in all of us!
Now this anime is sort of unorthodox, in that each of its 12 (13 if you add include the OVA) episodes are only about three and a half minutes long. So before you watch it, don’t expect fully fleshed out plot progression and character development. If you go into it just looking to have a good time, you will be very happy with what you get.
I honestly have nothing but praise for this silly show. I wasn’t really expecting much from Ojisan to Marshmallow because of its length, but each episode had my friends and I laughing out loud at every joke. In addition to its humor, the animation is actually surprisingly well done. Again, I counted this show out entirely due to the length of the episodes, and just assumed the animators would not have put much effort into the animation, but I was proven wrong. I personally think it is beautifully animated (take the ninja marshmallow battle scene for example), and the characters are voiced very well.
Also as a fun side note, Hige’s name in Japanese ひげ(hige) means mustache/beard, which is some clever wordplay on the writer’s part. Especially since Hige has one nice hige.
One of my two favorite things about this show is its protagonist Hige. He is a fairly unique character, compared to others I have seen. For example, he doesn’t have the perfect, slim and in shape, handsome looks that many male protagonists have. He is a slightly overweight, almost Paul Blart Mall Cop-esque man, who looks like his favorite food.
My second favorite thing is kind of a small detail, but still made an impact on me. The different type of marshmallows introduced in the show. For some reason, I totally understood Hige’s desire to collect the marshmallows, and found myself wanting to go to the grocery store and pick some up for myself.
To conclude, I would say that if you have about 45 minutes to spare, Ojisan to Marshmallow is the perfect show for you. Between its lovable characters and its pretty animation, it is a show you are sure to like. Unless you hate marshmallows.
Plot: Arata Kaizaki, age 27, works part-time at a convenience store, surviving only because of the money his parents send him. To make matters worse, his parents threaten to cut him off, forcing him into a difficult situation. However one day, Kaizaki meets a strange man on his way home from work, who offers him an unbelievable choice: continue the dead-end life he is currently living, or take a pill that will transform him into a 17-year-old high school student again, with the possibility of also getting a job after the experiment. The experiment is called ReLife.
Now when I first read this premise, I was both intrigued and skeptical. I enjoyed the fact that it was an original plot (at least compared to anything else I have seen) and so it definitely got my attention. However, a friend pointed out that it seemed to be just another segway into your typical slice of life high school romantic comedy. Now don’t get me wrong, slice of life rom coms is my favorite genre of anime, but I didn’t want ReLife to end up being like all the rest. And like the rest it was not.
Also as a personal side note, I watched this anime back in America before coming to Japan. But to my surprise, ReLife was actually super popular here, with its DVDs being the most popular anime DVDs being checked out. It’s Manga (which is what the anime is based on) is also widely popular here, being in many featured sections of book and manga stores. Another fun fact, all 13 episodes premiered on Crunchyroll on the same day, which was something I had not previously seen before.
First of all, I was curious as to how any sort of romance would be introduced into ReLife, due to the MC’s tricky situation of being 10 years older than everyone else. However, I felt that it was handled quite maturely. The MC clearly shared the same sentiment as me, being very wary to avoid any sort of morally questionable situations. Now don’t get disappointed, because there is certainly still romance. The age situation also brings up a multitude of funny situations, such as the MC getting caught with cigarettes in class, which is a no-no for the 17-year-old that he looks like, as well as having to hide his beer when classmates come over.
One of my favorite things about the show, which is very important to me in all anime, was the OP and ED songs. First of all, the OP song was very well done, and the animation went along with it very well. But what truly makes ReLife unique, is that each episode concludes with a different ED song! So if you didn’t like one of the songs, you are sure to find at least one you like.
For the end of my non-spoiler review, I would give it a 7.5/10. I very much so enjoyed the show, but there was room for improvement in my eyes. I felt like there was a repetitive theme of certain characters’ drama and problems, that seemed to have been resolved but came right back up an episode or two later.
To conclude, I would recommend it, if slice of life is your thing. The manga is still going, so you have something to look forward to after you finish the anime.
*WARNING SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT*
While I was watching the show, there were 2 things that stood out the most to me.
1. The character development of Rena Kariu. I personally hated her character, as she seemed to just have the most petty problem with each character. She got upset at the MC’s love interest for being to smart, but then resolved her issues peacefully by just acknowledging that everyone is good at something, and no one is good at everything. This is all well and dandy, and a fair solution. Yet, Kariu has the SAME EXACT problem with her fellow teammate on the volleyball team and best friend Honoka Tamarai. Yet, it took another intervention and nearly 2 more episodes for her to come to the same conclusion to solve this problem. I felt that once was enough for me, and that I didn’t need to see the same thing twice. But this may have been influenced by the fact that I just don’t like Kariu’s character.
2. On a more positive note, I was not expecting the climax of ReLife. Boy, I was certainly expecting a drab “happily ever after, no progress” ending to episode 13. However the insane cliffhanger of finding out that Kaizaki’s (sort of) love interest Chizuru Hishiro is also in the ReLife program was something I was not expecting. It’s a plot twist like this, that truly made me glad I watched the show in its entirety. I also want to add that the way the plot twist was delivered was also well done. A montage of events transpiring through Hishiro’s perspective was shown, leading up to the stunning climax. Very well done. The writers did a good job of casually dropping in that Kaizaki was the second test subject, and that the first was a failure. However, they want you to believe that the first was completely removed from the program, instead of being right there with our MC the whole time! By far my favorite revelation in the whole show, and rightfully so!
All in all, ReLife is certainly a ride from start to finish. But it is another “read the manga” kind of ending. It ends on a cliffhanger that keeps you wanting more, and it worked. I want more. I am tempted to go out and buy the ReLife manga, but alas my poor college student budget doesn’t allow.
Before I start this review, I would like to say that I will be reviewing every episode of “www. Working!!” to be released this season. It is the only new show I am watching this season, since I am way too backlogged with other shows I have on my “to watch” list. So expect a new episode review every week!
Okay! So this week’s episode debuted a new character! This is nothing out of the ordinary, if you have seen the previous Working!! seasons, where they introduce a few new characters as the season progresses. Now, I personally am always apprehensive of a new character being introduced, since it always seems to come after I think “Man, this is the perfect combination of characters, adding another would only ruin it!” Fortunately, I am always wrong, and I end up loving the new character.
This episodes new character was especially lovable for me, since I felt that I related to him. Aside from the fact that he is basically me in anime form, he also knows very little Japanese. Through an unfortunate turn of events, he gets hired on to be the next floor worker of Wagnaria.
The episode also delved into the backstory of a few of the other Wagnaria employees, which is another good quality that the Working!! series’ are able to pull off very well. They can seamlessly give every character fully fleshed out character development, all while keeping each character fresh, and fun. This week’s developments revealed one employee to be a mother, and also the painful-to-watch history between a debtor and the loaner.
This week we were also treated to the Ending Song for the first time., which I thought was very well done. I am always a sucker for an anime with good Opening and Closing songs, and Wagnaria!! songs are no exception. If you are someone who usually skips them, give this show’s songs a chance.
All in all it was another thoroughly enjoyable episode, and one certainly to leave you waiting for the next. See you next week for a review of episode 3, and let me know of your thoughts about this week’s episode!
“www.Working!!” is the new spin-off series of Working!!, the workplace comedy anime set in a restaurant. It aired its premier episode last Saturday, October 1st, and its second episode airs today, October 8th at 11:30JST on Tokyo MX and MBS Japanese TV channels.
“www.Working!!”‘s first episode starts in the exact way I hoped for: with a subtle cameo to its predecessor’s main protagonist Takanashi (or Katanashi if you are Popura) Sota. He walks by the new series protagonist, on his way to an interview at a different Wagnaria. This cameo already had me smiling, and hopeful for the new show. Though I will say you do not have to watch the 3 seasons of the other Working!! to be able to understand any of the events of this one, at least just based on the first episode. All of the characters are brand new, and there aren’t many jokes you will miss by not having seen it. So that is definitely a plus.
One of my main concerns going into this new series is that with all of the characters that existed in the original Working!! and even an anime by the same creator Servant x Service, I thought for sure there would be character tropes and gimmicks that would be recycled. However, much to my surprise, there were not! So that definitely crushed any negative suspicions I had with the new series.
One key difference I found with the start of this series, is that the main character Daisuke Higashida does not, at least not yet, posses any sort of odd quirk of his own. Unlike Takanashi’s obsession for little things. Though this may change as the series progresses.
My favorite character so far, is the chief at this new Wagnaria, Hana Miyakoshi. She has the uncanny ability to switch from sweet little Ms. Employee of the month (to customers only), to a rough ready-to-punch-the-manager brute. However, I find this to be quite charming, especially during her Valentines Day chocolate scene. To top it all off, she is voiced by Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna from Sword Art Online probably her most notable role) who is one of my favorite voice actresses.
All in all, I would have to say I absolutely loved the first episode, and I am very much so looking forward to the second episode tonight! Workplace comedy anime like “www. Working!!” are among my favorites, and it is a show you should definitely be watching this Fall anime season.