Why I love Gosick


Hiyo, everyone! Sorry my blog post is a bit late; for the past few days, I’ve had no internet access! Anyway, today, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite anime, an obscure one called Gosick. As usual, I plan on discussing the premise of the story without revealing any major spoilers. Without further ado, let’s begin!

Gosick begins by introducing the audience to a boy named Kujo Kazuya, a Japanese transfer student who attends Saint Marguerite Academy in the fictional kingdom of Sauville shortly after the end of World War I. Kujo quickly finds himself burdened with the nickname ‘The Dark Reaper’ on account of his black hair; the people of Sauville are often quite superstitious, and prone to categorize mysterious things according to their fairy tales.

Kujo begins feeling quite isolated, but that changes when he makes his way to the top of the school’s library-tower and encounters an eccentric girl named Victorique de Blois, who is best known as ‘The Golden Fairy’ for her long blond her and who is notorious for almost always skipping class. While he’s there, he’s also joined by an investigator named Grevil who begins a one-sided conversation about his current case, culminating in Victorique explaining exactly what happened. Grevil’s true role is quickly revealed; he’s actually Victorique’s older brother, has no true talent for detective work, and uses Victorique to solve mysteries for him before taking the credit for himself.

When Kujo learns that truth, be becomes furious and presses Grevil to give Victorique recognition for her contribution. Instead, Grevil insists Victorique doesn’t even want to be recognized and instead invites the pair on a trip – a trip which is quickly cancelled. But not all is lost; Kujo and Victorique take an invitation Grevil received as a reward for solving his latest case and find themselves on a cruise ship, where they experience their first life-or-death adventure rife with mystery.

That adventure is the first of many, of course. Throughout the series, the duo get caught up in and solve many more mysteries, all the while growing closer to each other. As you might expect, more and more characters show up, too, but, to be honest, Victorique mostly carries the show in terms of character appeal. I found her quite relatable thanks to my affinity for towers and the like. =p

The series becomes controversial in its second half when the focus moves away from solving mysteries and toward Victorique’s dark past and the drama surrounding it. Some viewers, who had become comfortable with episodic case-solving, disliked the way the Gosick changed. Personally, I liked both halves of the story, and I think I enjoyed the second more than the first. xD I do love a bit of drama in my anime! Anything that makes me cry is a plus!

I enjoyed Gosick’s artistic style, though it doesn’t particularly stand out from many other anime I’ve seen. The music is also good, and the opening and ending songs remain favorites of mine. The endings in particular capture Victorique’s feelings especially well, in my opinion!

Unsurprisingly, I rate Gosick 5/5 despite its flaws; Victorique gets way more character development than anyone else, but I find myself rewatching the series every now and then, and I really don’t wanna deduct points from anything that has me so hooked! Even I’ll admit I’m a bit biased; I’d feel a little guilty taking points away from the stories I love.

Have any of you seen Gosick? If so, what did you think? If not, what’s your favorite anime, and which character to you like best in it? I’m eager to hear from you! Until next time, buh-bye!

Why Code Geass is my Favorite Anime

Code Geass

Hiyo, everyone! Today, I want to talk about my favorite anime I’ve watched to date – Code Geass! This post will double as a review and sheer fawning; if you know me, you’ve probably already guessed what my final score will be. =p

Despite my desire to heap praise on Code Geass, I will make this review as spoiler-free as possible. The reason is simple – I feel you should all go watch it yourselves, and it’s a lot more enjoyable if you don’t know what’s coming! That said, some basic facts about the characters that are revealed in the first few episodes of the anime will be mentioned here.

Our story begins when the Holy Britanian Empire takes Japan as one of its colonies, renaming the fallen nation ‘Area 11’ in the process. Over the course of several years, Area 11 is inhabited by Britannians and Japanese people alike, the latter becoming heavily discriminated against. There we meet our protagonist, Lelouch, a Britannian student who attends Ashford Academy, a Britannian high school in Japan. Lelouch laments the state of the world, but feels there is nothing he can do to change it – until he finds himself accidentally caught up in a Japanese terrorist group’s attempt to steal Knightmare Frames, mechs they seek to use to liberate Japan from Britannia’s oppression. Lelouch, however, comes face to face with something far less mundane than war machines – an immortal girl named C.C. on whom Britannia has been experimenting. C.C. grants Lelouch what she calls “The Power of the King” – a Geass. In Lelouch’s case, this is the power to make anyone with whom he makes eye contact obey a single command.

Lelouch uses his newfound power to defeat the nearby Britannian soldiers, who sought to kill him for his discovery. That done, he pilots a Knightmare – and allies himself with the terrorists. Lelouch, you see, has his own qualms with the nation.

He was born Lelouch vi Britannia, a prince of the empire. Prior to the conflict between Japan and Britannia, Lelouch’s mother, one of the emperor’s consorts, was assassinated in an attack that also left Lelouch’s sister, Nunnally, both blind and crippled. Lelouch confronted his father, the emperor, furious about the latter’s apparent apathy surrounding his mother’s death, and renounced his claim to the throne. Lelouch and Nunnally were then sent to the Kururgi Shrine in Japan, where they befriended Suzaku Kururugi, the prime minster’s son. The war eventually separated Suzaku from Lelouch and Nunnally.

After that, Suzaku became a Britannian soldier and resolved to change Britannia from within to build a better future for his people. He and Lelouch quickly find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield, though Suzuaku is unaware of Lelouch’s involvement. Lelouch leads the terrorists to what seemed like an impossible victory in their initial skirmish. Shortly thereafter, he takes up the mantle of Zero, a masked man known by none, and manipulates his way into leadership of the terrorists organization, which he builds into a force capable of actually contending with Britannia. He does this to avenge his mother’s death and fulfill Nunnally’s wish to make the world a kinder place, even for the weak.

Then the story basically goes crazy. Lelouch is a strategic genius who delivers one plot twist after another to the viewers; I found that an absolute delight to watch, though others instead dubbed the series a ‘train wreck’ for its unpredictability. =p

Code Geass has a large cast, and its central characters are incredibly well developed. Their goals frequently come into conflict with each other, revealing more and more about them and giving way to deep themes, such as what it means to wear a mask, whether the ends justify the means, and the nature of justice. The characters’ ideals clash, leading to shocking outcomes and bittersweet ironies the likes of which I’ve seen few other anime match.

One thing that may stand out to someone who begins watching is how different Code Geass’ character design is from that of other anime. They are drawn taller and slimmer than in most anime, if that makes any sense. At first, I had some difficulty adjusting, but my awareness of the difference was quickly drowned beneath my immersion in the story. Even if you are a bit put off by the art style, I urge you to give Code Geass a chance.

The music is simply amazing. The opening and ending songs are wonderful, and some of the other songs that play during certain scenes are even better. The background music has a knack for perfectly capturing the mood.

Currently, two seasons of Code Geass are available and, as things stand, it has the best ending of not only any anime I’ve watched, but of any story I’ve ever experienced. There is a third season in the works about which I am excited yet also a bit worried because I fear it would be very difficult for it to live up to its predecessors. But I’m hoping for the best!

I rate Code Geass 5/5. I want to rate it even higher. I simply love it.

Have you ever seen Code Geass? If so, what did you think? Either way, what are your favorite anime? Do you like plot-twist-heavy stories? Please let me know in the comments below! Until next time, I hope your days are filled with joy. And, one last thought…




RWBY Volume 5 Review

RWBY Volume 5

Hiyo, everyone! Today, I come to you with a review of RWBY Volume 5. For those of you who don’t know, RWBY is a web show run by a company called Rooster Teeth that follows the journey of many young huntsmen and huntresses as they study to become skilled protectors of their world and, eventually, come face to face with evil. I highly recommend this anime (Yes, I consider it anime.) to any fans of the genre, but today’s post is not aimed at selling the show in general, because I will be focusing on Volume 5 and discussing loads of spoilers for all seasons in the process.

So, if you’re interested in an awesome anime with an unusual animation style (which improves as the series progresses), please check out RWBY starting from Volume 1! And, for those of you who are all caught up… let the spoilers begin!

I felt Volume 5 started by slowly reversing the separation process that occurred at the beginning of Volume 4. Early on, we see Weiss and Yang make their ways to Haven, where Team RNJR, Oscar, and Qrow learn the general situation then take on relatively passive roles. There were a few enjoyable fights sprinkled here and there (The one between Weiss and an army of giant bees comes to mind!), but, overall, the story was much more character driven than action driven – a trend that continued, to a lesser extent, throughout the volume.

Blake spent most of her time in Menagerie, not reuniting with the rest of her team until the end of the Volume. Her story focused on uniting the Faunas in the defense of Haven Academy, which was targeted by Adam, who took leadership of the White Fang by force. Volume 5 takes time to show Blake and Sun (and Qrow, on another front) failing to progress their causes long before they succeed, which is typical of structured storytelling, but I felt the inevitability of their failure was so obvious that there was no tension to begin with.

The story becomes more interesting around the halfway mark, when Cinder and co. make their return and confront Raven and her tribe. They forge a forced bargain to bring Raven and Vernal, who they think is the Spring Maiden, to their side so they, too, can infiltrate Haven Academy (whose headmaster is conveniently in their pocket) and retrieve the Relic hidden beneath.

Throughout all of this, I feel many of the heroes did a lot of sitting around and idle planning. Of the main characters, the only ones who felt like they had substantial story arcs surrounding them were Blake, Yang, and Raven – which is a definite problem in a story focusing on character development.

The last few episodes spice things up via the large battle at Haven Academy, in which almost all the characters take part. However, the battle was not the carnage I expected given the large number of participants. Instead, it constantly shifts focus between characters, and many of them end up with no more in-combat screen time than a few exchanges of blows. For example, Ruby and Yang face off against Emerald and Mercury for a while, and while it’s implied that they’re continuously fighting, so little of it is shown that I was left disappointed.

On the plus side, we finally learned what Jaune’s Semblance is – aura amplification. I’m glad it wasn’t just healing.

The highlight of the Volume was episode 13, during which there was a wonderful duel between Raven and Cinder. The clash between two maidens was less over the top than I expected (given Cinder’s ability to create a small sun around her at the end of Volume 3), but the fight was still magnificent to behold. At the end of the encounter, Cinder is left frozen and falling – and that’s the last we see of her. There’s no confirmation of her death and no sign of the Fall Maiden powers being transferred. My guess is that she’ll survive somehow; her character arc still feels very incomplete. I want to know why she’s so desperate to be powerful.

Unfortunately, episode 14, the finale, was utterly underwhelming compared to episode 13. I don’t think it featured a single substantial fight scene. Adam is sent running instead of being properly dealt with, which felt like a cop-out considering how much he was built up as a villain throughout the season. Blake rejoined her team, which was touching to watch. The two best moments of the episode were when Yang verbally thrashed Raven, exposing her for the weak mother she is, and when Salem finally killed off the cowardly Professor Lionheart. (The headmaster of Haven.) Aside from that, pretty much everything is left open. The villains suffered a major setback, but the only meaningful one who might have died is Cinder; the rest all live to plague the heroes again later. Overall, I felt this last episode was too predictable. It didn’t offer the same closure the previous volumes’ finales did.

While I’m being quite vocal about Volume 5’s faults, I still enjoyed watching it, and eagerly awaited the new episode each week. I was happy to see more of the characters I’ve become so attached to, and I can’t wait for Volume 6. I just feel surprisingly little happened for such a long volume.

What I’ve heard of Volume 5’s new soundtrack is, unsurprisingly, stellar. As always, Casey and Jeff Williams did a masterful job with the new music, and I can’t wait for the full versions of some of the new songs, especially “The Path to Isolation” and “All Things Must Die.”

My final score for RWBY Volume 5 is 3.5/5. Despite its flaws, Volume 5 still expanded on the series’ lore and provided some good character development. I hope the writers build on that in Volume 6 – and add a few more action-based scenes. =p

Have you guys seen RWBY Volume 5 yet? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you follow any other web shows? Please let me know in the comments below. Until next time, ciao!

My Favorite Video Game Series I First Tried in 2017: Danganronpa

Danganronpa 1

Hiyo, everyone! When I was thinking about my blog post for the week, I considered talking about my 5 favorite video games I first played in 2017 – then realized my list would have been largely dominated by just one series I quickly became addicted to: Danganronpa.

Before I get any further, I should make one thing clear: This series is not for the faint of heart. Danganronpa thoroughly earns its ratings of ‘M’ for Mature. If you play one of the (currently four) games in the series, you’ll be exposed to sexually explicit content, extreme violence, and various dark themes.

With that out of the way, I’ll discuss the first game, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. It shares a visual-novel format with two of the other games in the series, and it molded Danganronpa into the franchise it has become.

The story focuses around Hope’s Peak Academy, an extremely prestigious school in Japan that recruits only the best – each of the students has an ‘Ultimate Talent’, something they do exceptionally well. Some examples are ‘Ultimate Pop Sensation’, ‘Ultimate Clairvoyant’, and ‘Ultimate Martial Artist.’ The protagonist, a relatively ordinary boy named Makoto Naegi, possesses the title of ‘Ultimate Lucky Student’ – he got into the school by winning a drawing among all incoming high school students in Japan.

Makoto enters the school, passes out, and finds himself sleeping on a desk. After meeting his classmates – a varied cast of well developed characters who are a pleasure to learn more about – he learns that the truth is crazier than he could have guessed. The only people present are the incoming students. All exits are securely sealed. And, in the gym, Makoto and his classmates meet Monokuma, a mechanical “teddy bear” who claims to be their headmaster – and tells them they’ll never be allowed to leave the school again.

With one exception. Any student who murders another and gets away with it will be freed.

The ensuing game is rife with intrigue, humor, violence, and devilish plot twists. The students must cope with their new lives and do everything they can to cling to hope in the face of Monokuma’s beloved despair – and, in doing so, learn more about each other and themselves.

I won’t go into many details; this series is best experienced on your own. (And don’t look to the anime adaptation as a replacement for the first game; the anime doesn’t do it justice.) The main draws for me are squarely story,  characters, and the mysteries surrounding each event. Honestly, those things were so compelling to me that the gameplay felt like a distraction; I just set the games to their easiest difficulties to make the relatively few hurdles less obtrusive. If you enjoy dark themes, anime-style story-based gameplay, and interesting characters, I highly recommend checking out the series starting from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Have any of you played a Danganronpa game before? What were your favorite games you first played in 2017? Please let me know in the comments below! I don’t feel like many games can offer stories capable of competing with Danganronpa’s, but I would certainly like to hear about any that might!


Top 5 Anime I First Watched in 2017

Hiyo, everyone! I watched lots of anime last year, so, now that 2017 is behind us, I thought I’d revisit them and choose a few favorites. That’s what I’m doing here! And, of course, I’ll write a bit about why I liked them. As a reminder, these are just my personal opinions, so it’s fine if we disagree. Also note that I haven’t seen every anime – not even all the popular ones – so I may have never experienced some of your favorites.

The criteria for this list are as follows:

  • I must have watched all currently available seasons of the anime, beginning to end, in 2017.
  • I must not have watched the anime before 2017.
  • The anime does not need to have been released in 2017.

And that’s it! As usual, I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum, but will mention the premises of each anime. Without further ado, let’s get started!

5. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks offers the same setup as several of the other Fate/ titles; seven Masters (generally powerful mages) are bonded with seven Servants (heroes from throughout time) who fight each other to obtain the Holy Grail, which grants the wish of whoever obtains it. Each of the Servants has a specific “class” that describes them. (Saber, Archer, Caster, etc.) In Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks, we follow the story of Rin Tohsaka, a member of a prominent family of mages who has been raised to participate in the Grail War, and the story of Shirou Emiya, a man who finds himself accidentally caught up in the chaos. There are also a lot of other characters. Fate/ games tend to have large casts.

I enjoyed Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks in large part because of the intricate story it wove and the way many of the characters developed. Certain characters here are forced to confront their own personal ideologies and determine whether their ideals truly hold up. The action scenes are captivating, the the animation and music are great. This anime kept me hooked from beginning to end.

4. Gamers!


Gamers! begins with the meeting of Keita Amano, an avid yet surprisingly talentless video game enthusiast, and Karen Tendo, one of the most popular girls at school – and, to Keita’s surprise, the president of the school’s Gaming Club. Karen invites Keita to join the club, and his response eventually leads to a small incident at school that draws in several other students. For the rest of the series, Gamers! follows those characters as they try to work out the relationships between them with gaming as a backdrop.

I went into Gamers! expecting a typical slice-of-life anime, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself completely hooked. I’m not entirely certain why I took such a liking to it, though I suspect it has something to do with the cast of relatable and compelling characters. For some reason, watching them flounder to navigate their love lives was a regular joy for me, and I found myself looking forward to each new episode. The biggest downside of Gamers!, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t really have a proper ending; it just kind of stops. While that was disappointing, I find myself more than willing to overlook it and instead cross my fingers for a second season!

3. Erased


Erased follows a man named Satoru Fajinuma who has a strange and inexplicable ability; he is occasionally pulled back in time so he can save people from dangers that would otherwise claim their lives. As of the beginning of the story, he has never been pulled too far back in time, but that all changes after his mother is murdered – and he finds himself back in elementary school. Now an adult who appears to be a child, Satoru quickly realizes that not only his mother’s life is at stake, and that he makes it his mission to prevent the disappearance of a girl in his class named Kayo Hinazuki and relive his life to the fullest in the process.

The concept of Erased (as well as its popularity) is what first caught my interest, but the emotions involved were what kept me watching – in fact, I binged the whole anime. xD Any form of media that takes me on such a wild emotional roller-coaster finds a place in my heart, and Erased certainly did that. It also has deep themes that make you think and is backed up by great music. If you haven’t seen Erased yet, I highly recommend you watch it.

2. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar 2

Yes, I consider Avatar to be an anime. =p If you feel passionately about why I shouldn’t, I’d be happy to read your thoughts in the comments below!

The story of Avatar begins when a brother and sister duo, Sokka and Katara respectively, discover what appears to be a young boy frozen inside an iceberg. After being thawed out, the boy introduces himself as Aang and shows the siblings that he is an airbender – that is, he is able to manipulate air to his advantage. This is significant because all of the airbenders were thought to have been killed by the Fire Nation long ago. (There were originally peoples whose societies corresponded to each of the four classical elements; Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.) It is soon revealed that Aang is the Avatar – the one living person capable of wielding all four elements – and he, together with Sokka and Katara, go on a journey on which Aang is to master his powers so he can stand up to the tyrannical Fire Nation.

I was a little bit uncertain about Avatar at first; as a Nickelodeon show, I worried it would be too cartoony for my taste – and it certainly can be at times. But its moments of silliness are vastly outmatched by its deep worldbuilding, complex cast of intriguing characters, and running themes, some of which are darker than you might expect. Despite being over 60 episodes long, Avatar easily held my interest throughout, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in an adventure that varies between depth and the whimsical.

1. Your Lie in April

Your Lie In April 2

Your Lie in April follows the story of Kosei Arima, a boy who was a piano prodigy until the death of his mother, which mentally broke him and left him unable to hear his own music. One day, accompanying a friend on a date, he encounters a girl named Kaori Mayazono, a free-spirited violinist who reignites a spark of life in Kosei and (forcefully) inspires him to confront his past and learn to play the piano anew. Kosei also develops quite a crush on Kaori, which is problematic because she is dating one of his best friends – and because another of his friends has a crush on him.

What I loved most about Your Lie in April was how masterfully it drew out its characters’ deepest emotions and laid them bare in the form of music. I never expected to find myself so interested in a music-based anime, but Your Lie in April enthralled me from beginning to end. As the story progresses and a familiar theme reemerges, the emotional stakes only grow and grow; it was impossible for me not to get increasingly invested. Your Lie in April is absolutely wonderful. (As is its music, of course!)

What sort of anime did you guys watch in 2017? Do you have any recommendations? If you don’t watch anime, was there any other media you feel strongly about from that year? Please let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading, and have an ultra-fun day~