Kokoro Ga Sakebitagatterunda Trailer

I’m definitely going to watch this movie sometime this weekend! It looks so interesting! I think there will be some really beautiful music played in it as well, so I’m really looking forward to it!

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Where is the Love?: I Want a Second Season (Zombie-Loan)

I really enjoy watching Zombie-Loan. It’s one of those animes that I turn to when I’m craving a light supernatural comedy.

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This anime is about a girl, Michiru, who possess eyes that can see black rings around people’s necks which signifies their impending death. One day, she catches a glimpse of black rings around the necks of the two popular boys, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, from her school who are famous for miraculously surviving a viaduct accident where about twenty people died. The two actually did die at the accident but they made deal with a loan office called Z-Loan where they must hunt down zombies if they want to stay alive. When Chika and Shito find out that Michiru is able to see the death rings, they use her to help them with their part time job.

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What I find makes this anime interesting are the characters. I think that Michiru, Chika, and Shito are very dynamic. They have different sides to them and they’re back story is really interesting. I like how they progressively develop throughout the episodes, especially Michiru. In the beginning she used to be a pretty feeble, pushover character, but then her resolve grows stronger and she will try to defend herself when she can; however, I do have a complaint. I don’t understand why she keeps wearing her glasses. I mean, it’s understandable in the beginning, but I would’ve thought that she would be over her trauma after working in Z-Loan. Michiru could have honestly identified zombies faster if she just ditched the glasses. Moving on, Chika and Shito make a great duo. They complement each other and they’re entertaining to watch.

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The storyline is interesting as well; it never really bore me. It’s unfortunate though that they’re not making a second season. I ended up reading the manga just to find out what happens after and there is so much more exciting events that unfold! A lot of things that were left unexplained in this anime are explained and things just start tying together. I have to mention that the anime does play out a bit differently than the manga. There’s some things from the manga that I wish the anime included. In the anime, they don’t really show Chika and Shito’s developing feelings for Michiru, and if they did, it would be pretty ambiguous. The manga, however, makes their feelings show through a little bit more explicitly (blushing, jealousy, etc.). If there is a second season, I think that’s where the romantic sparks would be active; another reason why I think it’s regretful this anime is discontinued.

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Personally, this anime is ambiguous in a sense that I can never be fully satisfied with it despite liking it a lot. So I would still recommend this to anyone because it’s a fun one to watch.

 

I Wish I Could Run Like Them (Prince of Stride: Alternative)

For the most part, Prince of Stride: Alternative was pretty entertaining. It was visually pleasing to watch. I mean, who doesn’t like watching good-looking guys race each other?

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The quick rundown on this anime is it revolves around the Honan Stride team, mainly focusing on the three new first-year members: Nana, Takeru, and Riku. Once the trio joined, the team finally had enough members to participate in Stride competitions which are extreme relay races run in courses made out of city streets. The team’s ultimate goal is to win the End of Summer tournament.

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One of the things I really liked in this series is the art. I loved how vibrant it was. Also, I do like how the characters look— ahem, Kuga-senpai; without a doubt, the anime was full of good-looking racers. The races themselves were very impressive. They kind of inspired me to start vaulting on railings and tumbling in the air, but I’m no parkour practitioner. In any case, the competitions were very exciting and fun. Prince of Stride really makes me wish for Stride races to exist in reality. I would definitely attend them!— as a spectator of course.

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Despite all of the visual appeals and exciting competitions, I have to note that the character narratives were pretty humdrum. I didn’t find any of the characters’ past particularly interesting, especially, Riku’s. Honestly, I think the anime was pretty redundant with Riku’s trauma. The way he overcame his trauma was not that moving. I’m going to be honest and admit that I invested my time watching this anime because I thought I would see some romance between Nana and the members of the Honan Stride team. I mean, one girl in the midst of attractive guys, there’s bound to be some romantic sparks in the air right? In the end, my hopes could only be played out in my imagination. The anime mostly focused on the Stride competitions, the characters’ pasts, and teamwork which, I guess, is really the basis of a sports anime.

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I want to wrap up this review by saying that this anime is refreshing to watch because of the unique sport that it introduces along with stunning visuals. Also, I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Free!– Takeru is almost identical to Haru!

Words of Wisdom: Beelzebub

“Listen up, Baby Be’el. A man can’t go crying easily … The tougher it gets, the less a man should cry. Do you know why? Because tears wash away the pain and the suffering, but those emotions become weapons when you truly need them. So that’s why you can’t just go off like that. When you want to cry, laugh it off! That’s what being a man is, got it?”

~Oga

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A Collaboration of the Past and the Present (Fuse Teppou Musume no Torimonochou)

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. My initial reaction from seeing the poster of this film was that I thought it was made back in the early 90s because of the character art style, but it was made in 2012. From the visuals to the story, everything about this movie is really captivating!

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Even after reading the quick description of this film, I still wasn’t sure what it was about until I actually finished watching it. The movie is set in the Edo period of Japan where a witch hunt for Fuses, who are half human and half beast, is taking place. A girl, honed in hunting from living in the mountains, moves to the city to live with her brother who then convinces her to hunt Fuses with him. She ends up befriending a Fuse without knowing his true identity, complicating the matter further. Well, that’s the basis of the story.

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This movie is complex, and writing about it is not a piece of cake either. Despite of how beautiful it is, my heart felt heavy as I watched the story unfold. There were visual strategies used to emphasize certain issues that this film brings up such as the vibrancy in Yoshiwara, which is basically the red lights district, in contrast to the impure acts that occur within it . The particular scenes that bothered me were how the prostitutes were displayed in cage like structures conveying their loss of freedom. And another one was a scene with a dazed-looking child sitting behind railings which also evokes the image of being caged. From this, we can assume that the young girl is also a prostitute. Yoshiwara just had a somber air about it despite the vibrant and stunning visuals used to depict it. I’m starting to sound like I’m writing a paper for my film class so I’ll stop being too analytical here or I’m going end up writing an essay, but I just want to mention how there are a lot of significance in the visuals of this film and you have to think about it to fully appreciate this movie.

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Another note on the visuals is that at first I found it a little bit odd because of how heterogeneous the film looked. There was a stark contrast in the art between the background and the characters, where the former looks very defined and realistic (not sure if it’s CG, but it kind of looks it) compared to the latter which is very simple and looks almost like the typical old anime character style. Not that I didn’t like it, in actuality, I thought it complemented the story and emphasized on the beauty of the background, and you won’t find me complaining when Shino is on the screen. Which reminds me, I actually watched this movie right after Hotarubi no Mori e, and it was a funny coincidence that both the male leads are wearing identical masks and had a similarity with their appearance. Anyways, my last comment about the visuals is that this film definitely had a different style to it which was refreshing to see and it was also very pleasing to the eyes.

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The story itself is very compelling. Although, I have to note on the confrontation between the Shogun and Shino, which was pretty abrupt and a bit disappointing. Honestly, I didn’t really get what was up with the Shogun. His role was kind of ambiguous. But other than that, everything was pretty clear. In my opinion, this film depicted a realistic ambience of Edo which really added to the narrative. I liked the romantic development between Shino and Hamaji, although I was still left unsatisfied in the end. I mean, the ending could have totally taken a better route.

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I really don’t know how I ended up watching a bittersweet movie after just finishing one, but I don’t regret it because this movie was worth the sadness. I definitely recommend!

Tell Me (What is Love)- Yoo Young Jin & D.O.

My jaw dropped when I found this song. I loved, LOVED this song when I first heard EXO sing it in MAMA 2014, but there was never a studio version of it which made me sad because it was such a good song. So I eventually forgot about it which is why I’m quite happy that I’ve stumbled upon it again and this time in a different version. IT’S STILL SUPER DAEBAK! Actually, I have to say it’s better than the first version, but I will forever treasure my memory of first hearing this song.

This is the MAMA 2014 version:

Words of Wisdom: Saiunkoku Monogatari

“Remember this. Makeup is a woman’s war paint. Make sure you wear it whenever you head into battle. That way you definitely cannot cry. Because if you cry, your makeup will run. No matter how little you applied, your face will end up looking disgraceful. That’s why no matter how difficult things get, you’ll keep yourself from crying.”

~ Miss Kochou

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Glass Animals- Gooey

I’ve always heard this song, but it would usually be in a remix or edited form. I liked those versions too, but after hearing this original, I have to say I like it more like this. The MV is a little bit odd for my taste so I’m just going to include the lyric video.