Tag Archives: romance

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.

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!

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!

Summer 2017 Anime: What I am Planning on Watching

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.

Anyways, here we go to start my list!

Continue reading Summer 2017 Anime: What I am Planning on Watching

www.Working!! Episode 13 Review

I finally made it to the last episode of http://www.Working!! and boy was it a long time coming.

To start, I would say I am really impressed with how they were able to resolve all of the problems brought up in the show, and do so in a timely and reasonable manner. They also did so in a way that makes it so they could do another season if they wanted to, but it doesn’t need to be done. Which is the best way to end a show, I think.

Miyakoshis cooking chaos aura

I also wasn’t expecting it to end so completely, since the original Working!! took 3 seasons, as I may have already mentioned. Anyways! I’d like to get into my thoughts of the episode.

It opens with Higashida and Miyakoshi bidding farewell to Saint Valentine, but doing so without eating the poisonous chocolate. At this time Miyakoshi also starts to realize her feelings for Higashida.

wagnaria 6 months later

Flash forward six months, and we get to see how the Wagnaria employees are dealing with life. Which is exciting because we get a bit more screen time of my favorite character, Saiki!

koki saiki conclusion

The show also takes this brief time to show how the relationships between Yuta and Shiho, and Adachi and Muranushi have progressed. The former relationship is going strong, with Yuta having quit his Wagnaria job to work for more money in construction. The latter relationship shows big change, with Adachi announcing his resignation from Wagnaria, to work at his family’s sushi shop. However, he also proposes that Muranushi live and work with him in the near future, so that they can continue to see each other often.

Yuta Construction Job

Adachi quitting his job

Now to conclude the main character’s relationship! Higashida decides to break up with Miyakoshi! However, he does it in a sort of symbolic way. He breaks up with her, thus ending their previous relationship based solely on improving Miyakoshi’s cooking, and then re-asks her out, so as to be a normal couple. Cheesy as it may sound, I felt it was a fitting way to bring their relationship into a more “normal” definition of the word.

Miyakoshi with long hair

Oh, and Miyakoshi grows out her hair!

Overall, I definitely loved this series! It has been a blast to watch, with my only regret being I didn’t continue to watch it as it aired. I’ll probably do a full series review sometime in the future. But it shouldn’t be too long, since you can probably guess how I felt about the show from these episode reviews.

Anyways, thanks for reading my first go at an episode-by-episode series review! It has been a great time watching each episode, and jotting down my thoughts on them.

www.Working!! Episode 12 Review

The second to last episode of  http://www.Working!! definitely did not disappoint. The show has decided to resolve all of the side character’s problems that had been building up, and managed to do so all in one episode. I honestly wasn’t expecting this short, 13-episode show to do that, since the original Working!! series takes 3 seasons to do so.

Anyways, the points of focus in this episode were Adachi and Muranushi’s relationship, and Yuta and Shiho’s (eventual) relationship.

Continue reading www.Working!! Episode 12 Review

Love, Election and Chocolate Review

Plot: The “Food Research Club” (read excuse to eat snacks club) in on the verge of being shut down due to budget cut policies from the #1 Student Council Presidential candidate. So what better way to stop this policy, then by running for president and making your own policies? That is exactly what Oojima Yuuki does, with the help of his slacker friends in the Food Research Club.

With the American Presidential Election right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to review an election themed anime!

Based on a visual novel of the same name, Love Election and Chocolate is a romantic-comedy-drama of sorts. As rom-coms are my favorite genre, I was really looking forward to finally getting around to finishing this anime, but wound up being greatly disappointed by the end. Leading me to remember why I originally dropped it after one episode to begin with.

Continue reading Love, Election and Chocolate Review