Without doubt one of the most talked about anime before Winter 2019 had started was The Promised Neverland.

And it’s easy to see why, as the premise is quite intriguing.

With 2 episodes out at the time of writing this, has The Promised Neverland lived up to its hype?

The Promised Neverland

The story is set in the orphanage called Grace Field. Everybody there is happy, the children are given good care and are all usually adopted at the age of 12.

Or so it seems.

When one of the children, called Conny was about to leave the village, the 12-year old Emma and Norman broke the main rule of the orphanage – not to go beyond the gate.

And what they saw made them realize the cruel fate all the children from Grace Field are destined for.

They are all meant to be murdered and eaten by demons.

Norman and Emma now have to find a way to escape the orphanage alive. And with tracking devices on them and a suspecting “Mom”, it’s not gonna be an easy task.

My thoughts

I’m enjoying this anime so far. The story is setting up to be a thrilling one. “Mom” seems to be aware that some children know a little bit too much and is testing out their patience.

But Emma, Norman and Ray know they must act like nothing has changed. It’s gonna be fascinating to see all the plans they will come up with in the future.

I’m not sure if Emma’s ideas of everybody escaping are possible. But I’m quite excited to see her try making it happen.

Killua’s voice actor is back in the form of Ray, making him instantly a character I love. Althrough Norman and Emma are quite interesting as well.

Their abilities to stay so cool about the whole situation are admirable. But they really should be more careful when they are out of the orphanage discussing plans to escape. All the time I felt scared that an adult would appear and end their planning.

What else can I add? Not much I could complain about in terms of visuals.

The OST and the opening and ending are all fine, althrough I would lie if I’d say I’m hooked to the songs just yet. But I’m not ruling that possibility out.

I just don’t like how short the episodes were. It seems like both of them were just 10 minutes long.

Wait you mean they were the normal length? It definitely didn’t feel that way…

Have you seen the first episodes of The Promised Neverland? What are your thoughts on this anime so far?

 

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Sometimes I just can’t help but start certain anime for the eyecandy.

It happened with Harukana Receive in the summer, and it happened once again with Circlet Princess.

And for some reason, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person taking a look into this anime for that reason.

But is there more to Circlet Princess than just the plot, as many would jokingly call it?

I’ll let you make your own conclusions on that…

Circlet Princess

The story is set in futuristic Japan.

“People’s lives have changed because of VR and AR, and a competitive sport has been born from these technologies called CB (Circlet Bout)”.

The main character, Yuka Sasaki, stumbles upon a realistic-looking ad for a Circlet Bout competition, and ends up meeting one of the best in the sport, Chikage Fujimura.

When Yuka came to watch the competition, she unexpectedly ended up participating in that same competition, fighting against Chikage Fujimura.

As the fight ended, there is a time skip and Yuka arrives into a new city. She wants to enroll into the school where Circlet Bout had first began…

…only to find out that same school does not have a Circlet Bout club.

My thoughts

Well, the character designs are great. But I doubt you are surprised to read that.

I didn’t have much of a problem with the animation. Some futuristic scenes, like when Yuka crossed the road were actually quite cool.

The music is decent, with the ending song being my favorite part of it all.

The story? I’m not quite sure what to say. I did not really like the cliches so far. Yuka saw a virtual model of Chikage Fujimura. She then bumped into that same person, and failed to recognize her. The difference from the model was that Chikage was wearing glasses and was in different clothes.

Then Yuka mistakenly ended up “playing” Circle Bout. And her rapidly quick adaptation to the sport just felt impossible to me. Her opponent Chikage was established as the best in the sport and yet she ended up having a tough time against a complete newbie who never even expected she will end up fighting.

Not much about the actual Circle Bout is known. What actually is this sport? How did it started? How does any of it work? I guess more will be revealed in the later episodes.

But I’m not sure if I actually want to stay for that. There is not a lot that makes me want to continue watching, except for the eyecandy. I will likely continue with this series for a while, but it is the Winter 2019 anime I am most likely to drop at some point soon.

What do you think about Circlet Princess so far? Have your say in the comments!

Sometimes when you look through the titles a new anime season is offering, you come across something that looks bad in every single aspect.

But it’s bad in such an unique way that you actually want to check it out.

This winter season, that kind of anime is Dimension High School for me.

You’ve thought the isekai genre has nothing new to offer? Well take a look at Dimension High School, the most realistically-looking isekai ever made.

Unless there are other examples of anime where the actors are “summoned” from live action into an anime world that I don’t know of.

Dimension High School

On his way to cram school, Junpei Shiroyama notices a weird looking rock, and takes it with him to the classroom. Sitting in the classroom, his table suddenly starts shaking.

What could cause such a strange thing to happen? It turns out it was the rock, which later started floating, grabbing the attention of Shiroyama’s classmates and teacher.

Then the rock started talking as well, until Shiroyama had enough of it and he threw the rock away, thinking it was some kind of a prank.

But it wasn’t. The rock returned, furious with what Shiroyama had done. The next thing Shiroyama and his friends knew was that they were summoned into an anime world.

This anime world is in danger, with only the area of the classroom being safe. The summoned Shiroyama and his friends are the only hope that remains for the world.

Their way out is by solving puzzles set by a Sphinx that has appeared. After failing the first question, their teacher gets “eaten”.

However, Shiroyama shows his cool and does well to get the second question right, returning the group to the real world. As they all try to explain what just happened, the rock reappears and makes them know of Sphinxs’s rule – if he eats you and you get revived, you will lose the one thing most precious to you.

It turns out that for Momoya-sensei, his hard-earned money is his most precious thing.

My thoughts

I’m gonna be honest here, I laughed through this entire thing, which I believe was the intention.

The concept of a live action anime hybrid is actually a really unique and interesting one. But the way this one was executed is nothing other than laughable.

Already from the tone of the first scene it was clear to me that this should not be taken seriously.

I have to say I don’t have much experience with asian TV dramas or live action, but I thought the acting parts were more than solid. The same could be said for the dubbed parts. The actors did well considering their lack of experience.

What can I even say on the animation quality? Some have described it as RWBY volume 1 quality, and I can totally see why. Altrough this was even worse than that. The characters could literally put their arms through their bodies, which was used as part of the narrative.

The OST was average, but it made the supposedly dramatic scenes funnier. The opening song is good, but the ending song is actually awesome. I want a full version as soon as possible.

All in all, this was pretty much what I expected. It’s a series that should not be taken seriously, and should be watched ironically for the best experience. Stay away if you want actual good quality.

I’m gonna stay to see how bad it can get.

If you’ve also seen Dimension High School episode 1, please let me know your thoughts on it in the comments!

The Winter 2019 anime season is well and truly underway.

As is always the case, there are a few anime that have had pre-aired episodes even before their respective seasons have started. One such case is The Rising of the Shield Hero, with a 45 minute long first episode that has pre-aired in late December.

It is my first isekai since the summer, when I watched Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu. And I already feel like it’s gonna be a much better experience than that ecchi, to say the least, anime.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

The story follows the 18 year-old student otaku Naofumi Iwatani, who spends his days at home and likes to go to the library from time to time. At one such occasion, he stumbled upon a book which ended up summoning him into a fantasy game-like world.

Doesn’t really sound like the most original premise so far, I know.

This fantasy world is in danger and the kingdom, called Melromarc, had no other choice but to summon the four legendary heroes that wield a sword, spear, bow and a shield. It turns out Naofumi is one of those heroes, and he is the one wielding a shield.

Naofumi was excited to live in a fantasy-like world. But it turns out the “Shield hero” has been looked down upon and considered useless, because the shield is its only weapon. Even if the shield hero tries to lift a sword, the game-like system wont’t allow him to use it.

When each of the heroes was given reinforcements before they left on a trip, Naofumi was left alone, no one wanting to go with him because of the bad reputation of the shield hero.

But then the girl called Malty decided to accompany him. She took him to a weapon shop and they fought monsters.

Until she ended up deceiving him, taking everything he owned and even accusing him of sexual harassment. Naofumi wasn’t just faced with the task of fighting without an actual weapon, he was now falsely accused and known by everyone for all the wrong reasons.

The episode ends as Naofumi gets offered to buy a slave. Let me take a wild guess and say he will buy her.

My thoughts

A really enjoyable first episode. An interesting take on the isekai genre, with the main character being viewed as the antagonist by everyone around him.

The anime did a really good job at making me hate Malty and Motoyasu. Even if his name is Kitamura, just like one of the main characters of Toradora.

Seeing how Naofumi will grow and interact with his “fellow” heroes in the future is really gonna be exciting to see. I love the concept of being put down by everyone but picking yourself up and coming back stronger than they could ever imagine. I expect we are in for something like that.

Naofumi’s voice actor is Kaito Ishikawa, who also voices Sakuta in Bunny Girl Senpai. Ren is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who voices Kirito from Sword Art Online. Matsuoka is really a fantastic choice for an anime based within game-like worlds.

The game-like world with a beautiful interface, by the way.

The studio for this anime, Kinema Citrus, has produced Made in Abyss and Revue Starlight in the past, and it shows in the quality of the animation and art.

Good music so far, but I’m yet to hear the opening and ending songs, which will allow me to make more judgement on this side.

All in all, a good way to start the new year of anime. Looking forward to see how this series will play out.

If you’ve also seen the first episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero, please let me know what do you think of it!

How to enter the idol world? You can create an idol club in your high school and start out as a school idol. You can enter an idol agency and grow your popularity that way.

Or, you can start you idol career in some alternative way, like becoming a zombie for example.

No, really, it’s possible. Don’t believe me? Zombieland Saga is here to convince you otherwise.

This original 12-episode anime is a story about Sakura Minamoto, the second year high school girl. One day on her way to school, something bad happens – she dies after getting hit by a truck. She is then seen waking up in a dark house filled with zombies. After managing to escape, she encounters a policeman, who got scared looking at her. When looking at her reflection she realizes – she has turned into a zombie! The policeman shoots Sakura, but a man with shades ends up hitting him with a shovel. It later turns out that man is Koutarou Tatsumi, who wants to save the Japanese prefecture Saga, by making an idol club with zombies.

How are zombies gonna work in an idol club, you ask?

For Koutarou and his make-up skills, that is no issue, as he manages to hide the zombie look of each of his idol group members. Soon the idol group called Green Face makes their debut at a death metal festival. The audience was impressed with the group’s headbanging and screaming skills, as Sakura recalls a memory from her previous life. The next day, the majority of the group has regained their senses, with the exception of Tae Yamada. In the second episode, two of the group members, Ai Mizuno and Junko Konno, try to escape the group’s mansion, and Sakura follows them in worry. They encounter a group of rappers trying to hit on them, when policemen come, and the three zombie-girls return to the mansion. Later the group has their second performance, and the yet awakened Tae Yamada ends up decapitated. Sakura presents the awkward situation as a magic trick that is a part of the act. She later ends up arguing with Saki Nikaido, which they turn into a rap battle, with the help of Koutarou’s beatboxing from behind, as well as Yuugiri playing a string instument.

I’m not sure what I expected going into this series, but I don’t think it was a zombie-girl version of idolmaster xD

It’s a hilarious show, which, in a strange way, makes the combination of zombies and idols somehow work.

Koutarou Tatsumi – the idol group “producer” made me laugh in each of his interactions with the girls. His voice actor is Mamoru Miyano, known very well for his epicness as Okabe Rintarou, and his voice is really the perfect match for this kind of character.

In terms of the sound in this series, I haven’t really noticed any problems so far, and that rap battle was simply epic. The opening doesn’t take itself seriously, just like the rest of the show doesn’t. In that respect, it’s almost surprising the ending kinda feels… too serious for this show.

No complaints about the art or animation as well, the zombie looks maintain a dose of creepy while still being perfectly watchable at the same time.

Overall, Zombieland Saga is a refreshing comedy series, combining the incompatible – idols and zombies. It’s great for this time of the year too, when many are excited about Halloween. I highly recommend it if you want some good laughs, and an absurd show that somehow makes that absurdity work.