I hate anime.

It gives me so many happy moments, it makes my life better in so many ways.

I watch certain series week after week, get invested in the story and characters.

And then things just… End. And I’m left with a huge void in my heart.

And yet I keep coming back for more. Only to experience this sadness again.

I’m writing this just after finishing the last episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization Part 1 and, as you can probably tell, it has left me feeling quite sad.

6 months

6 months. The number of months that had passed since Alicization Part 1 had started, and the number of months that will take for Alicization to return.

A lot of things have happened in these 6 months. Both in my world and the SAO world.

But on Saturday there was always an episode of Alicization to watch. Well not anymore.

Wait, am I really getting this emotional over Sword Art Online? With Kaguya-sama: Love is War ending just a few hours before on this same day, I’m really an emotional wreck right now. My heart has taken too many hits today.

The only thing that could probably make me feel better right now is the announcement of a second season for Kaguya-sama.

But wait what was this post about again? Alicization? Kaguya-sama? A simple sad rant and excuse for a blog post that I’m writing to make myself feel better? Probably the latter.

‘Life goes on’

That’s what the Alicization’s second ending song says. And it really fits so well for these tough times.

Yes. Life has to go on.

Saturdays have to continue. Without Kaguya-sama or Alicization.

The next weeks and months will pass. New anime will air. New characters will keep me company and new stories will intrigue me.

But it’s always a neverending circle. You always start new things. They will make you feel better.

But when you’ll get reminded of what has ended, it will still hurt.

At least Alicization will return. But Kaguya-sama?

The reception for the anime has been hugely positive, as it should be, but as it stands at this moment, we still have no second season announced.

Yay best girl gets extra cute screentime

But this could be the last time we see her in anime form

Conclusion

So what was this post about again?

I’m so sorry for this, its seriously just a sad rant without any purpose. But I do think I feel a bit better now after writing this.

This has happened so many times, again and again. And yet there is something about it that makes you want to do it again.

If you get these feelings for anime, it means it has done its purpose really well. You got attached to the characters.

You’ve spent a certain amount of time with them, be it on a sad day or a happy day, you were with them in their own world.

But then reality said hi and separated you.

But it doesn’t have to end that way.

Just as Eugeo will continue living in Kirito’s memory, all those characters you had to get separated from will stay in your memory.

And they may help you find the inspiration in some tough moments or you will think of them as you find yourself in similar situations.

And that’s what makes the suffering of separation worth it.

To end with a quote I almost always think of when I’m sad that things are over:

Don’t be sad because its over, smile because it happened

Another season of anime is behind us! We are already one-quarter into 2019…

Just as I did at the end of the Fall 2018 anime season – I’m gonna go through all the anime I’ve watched in Winter 2019, be it seasonal, non-seasonal, or a rewatch.

Seasonal anime

Boogiepop wa Warawanai

I do enjoy watching Boogiepop but it’s really not an anime you would watch weekly. After watching the first 2 episodes that way, I already felt confused with the events and characters so I decided to restart my watching.

Now I’m just at the start of the second half of the series and I’ll get to finishing the remaining episodes soon.

It’s also not an anime I’d watch at any time other than late night. The music and the whole mood just fit that time so well. But I guess that’s expected from something with the Horror tag isn’t it?

Circlet Princess

If you’re into ecchi you’ll love this, but don’t expect anything high quality in the other aspects.

I gave Circlet Princess the famous ‘3-episode rule’ chance but I haven’t continued it since, and I doubt this will change.

Here you can read my first impressions post for this from January.

Dimension High School

Unlike Circlet Princess, I actually finished this anime.

And I actually… dare I say it… kind of enjoyed it? It was so different that it was interesting enough to keep me for the full 12 episodes.

Although pretty much everything about this was bad, at least I ended up discovering a great ending song. And the ability to say that I’ve finished something that had a score of under 5 on myanimelist for most of its airing time.

My first impressions on Dimension High School from January are here.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

Sword Art Online: Alicization is coming towards the end of its part 1.

At the time of writing, the latest episode aired is episode 23. And I have to say that the events of that episode have left me disappointed with certain things.

All I’ll say is that, spoiler alert:

Eugeo deserves better.

This is my breakdown of the second Alicization opening. Recently they updated the opening, which I covered here.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

I’m still enjoying The Rising of the Shield Hero even if its an anime that makes me annoyed in pretty much every episode.

Annoyed at all those characters that are constantly undermining Naofumi.

Rarely is watching someone being a jerk to others as satisfying as it is seeing Naofumi treat the others in a similar way that they treated him.

The Rising of the Shield Hero was the very first Winter 2019 anime I wrote my first impressions on. You can read that here.

The Promised Neverland

This really had everything – the story, the suspense, likeable characters, music, impactful scenes…

And I’m so happy that in this time of awesome anime announcements, we’ve been informed there will be a second season.

Still, I’m very seriously thinking of buying the manga volumes. I need more of this and I need it fast.

My first impressions on The Promised Neverland from January are here.

And my episode 10 review is here.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Imagine if Chika Fujiwara’s dance didn’t blow up on the internet and various funny screenshots from every Kaguya-sama episode weren’t on my twitter timeline.

I would probably never start Kaguya-sama: Love is War, and I would miss out on what is honestly turning into one of my favorite anime in general.

That’s how much I love it. And my Saturdays are about to feel really empty without this anime.

Till a second season hopefully happens, this is another anime I’m probably gonna buy the manga for when possible. Apparently some Hayasaka chapters have been skipped and I just can’t keep living without reading those.

I have no first impressions post for this but I do have a breakdown of the ending sequence which you can see here.

W’z

Looking back on W’z, its an anime with very nice visuals and sound but hugely lacking in the story.

And the fact that its a sequel to something I didn’t saw before doesn’t help matters.

You can read my first impressions post on it here. But this anime also appears in my post where I listed my dropped anime…

Non-seasonal

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

March has seen me return to watching more non-seasonal anime, and one of them was Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

I really liked this. In terms of comedy its actually one of the better anime I’ve seen. It actually gave me slight Kaguya-sama vibes because of the comedy and random emotional moments with beautiful music…

I barely see anyone talk about this anime but I’d love another season.

Bungou Stray Dogs

How is this rated under 8 on myanimelist? And why am I even surprised with the myanimelist ratings anymore?

Anyway, Bungou Stray Dogs is awesome. But it’s probably another anime I’d put on my list of shows with better side characters than the main one. Before starting it, I actually thought Dazai was the main character.

I have more than enough time to finish season 2 and jump straight into the upcoming season 3.

Sakura Quest

When searching for an anime that would give me a similar feel to the amazing Shirobako, I saw Sakura Quest mentioned along with Hanasaku Iroha.

I think I understand why. Sakura Quest does have slight Shirobako vibes, not to mention the art style. But they are from the same studio anyway.

I’m really enjoying the aspect of living in a smaller city. Although if I remember correctly, they stated that Manoyama has 55 thousand inhabitants, which is actually even more than the city I lived in till very recently.

I’m now sort of living in a village so I can relate with the ‘moving from a city to a smaller area’ aspect.

No Game No Life: Zero

No Game  No Life: Zero could have been amazing if it wasn’t for my main problems with the series reoccurring.

In lack of a better word – it’s the asspulls. I was yet again left wondering how exactly were the events made possible and what did actually happen.

Maybe I’m just too stupid for this series? Probably.

Noragami

Noragami was fine. But not without its issues. Mainly I’d say the predictability and a few moments of the characters getting out of situations that looked too hard to be saved from.

How do I say it? I guess some resolutions to the events didn’t feel satisfying enough.

ReLIFE

ReLIFE was really worth watching. The concept was simple, and it’s essentially just a school anime with a twist, but it was a really unique twist and it felt strangely nostalgic.

Even if I’m still only the first year of college and I was in high school just last year.

I reviewed this anime, but as a guest post.

Accel World

Accel World has left me in that awkward situation of starting a series and then simply not returning to it with no definite reason why.

I saw the first two episodes and they weren’t even that bad. Yet for some reason I just didn’t return to it since. It’s already been two months.

But at least it’s not been on my on-hold list since June 2018, as Mushishi currently is.

And that’s pretty much what I watched in Winter 2019. Here is to an even more fun Spring 2019 anime season!

It’s been almost two months since Sword Art Online: Alicization introduced us to a new opening song and sequence. Since then it has already been updated once, with even more polished visuals and a new Eugeo vs Bercouli scene.

But since that scene was pretty much the only new scene of the opening, I didn’t felt the need to make a new post about the changes.

This time, however there are a lot more new scenes. I will break down all the new scenes, while for the older ones you can go here.

The new scenes

We start off again with the epic Kirito and Eugeo synchronization. This time the background is red, reminiscent of the certain thing that appeared in front of Eugeo and Alice’s right eye…

And this time its not just Kirito and Eugeo. Alice is now on their side. When she appears the red background turns gray, which I believe symbolizes the fact that she endured the pain of her right eye popping off due to the seal. Very nice touch.

Alicization Uniting is the name of the Volume that these next episodes will cover. I would assume this is the name because Alice has joined Kirito and Eugeo.

Other than the improvement in visuals and a much more fluid animation, I haven’t noticed any changes on Eugeo’s first part of the sequence.

But Alice has a tiny flashback scene along with what seems like another reference to the seal of the right eye. This looks to me like a symbol of the current Alice “reuniting” with the young Alice.

To make more sense out of that, current Alice is about to fight alongside younger Alice’s friends in order to “bring back” younger Alice.

I’m probably thinking too much into it and not making much sense right now… But anyways moving on… xD

Not much new content until we see Kirito dodging an attack from a giant… titan? Whatever this is, it doesn’t look like an easy opponent.

Kirito has to do some more dodging…

…then Alice joins the fight and makes it all look so easy.

She finishes off the titan. I love these angles where a character’s face is seen directly hitting the target.

Kirito vs Quinella. It must feel weird for Kirito, fighting a naked opponent…

Just judging by this little segment, it looks like its gonna be my favorite or at least one of my favorite SAO fights ever. I really can’t wait to see it.

Now that’s a look of someone quite confident in their chances of victory. No surprises cause Quinella is the strongest being of the Underworld isn’t she?

Eugeo reaches out but this time towards the shadows of himself and his childhood friends. He is reaching out to the memory of those days.

Exactly as he had to do during his fight with Kirito.

The last new, or in this case, modified scene, is Alice who is smiling this time.

Conclusion

A-1 pictures is really giving their all, with another change to the opening. I don’t think it can get any more visually polished than this. And for a sequence that will only be used in 4 episodes? I really appreciate the effort put into all of this.

I’m not at all sure if this is actually true but it seems like Alicization will take a break of a few months after the next few episodes. It would be a shame, but a very well-deserved break for everyone involved. I guess all that’s left is to enjoy the next episodes as much as possible.

And judging by those new opening scenes, its gonna be very fun.

Leave your thoughts on the updated Sword Art Online Alicization opening sequence in the comments below! I would love to hear from you 🙂

Last Saturday’s Sword Art Online: Alicization episode was the final one that had ADAMAS and Iris as its opening and ending sequences.

ADAMAS truly did its job well, and I’m sad to see it go. But Sword Art Online has never failed to provide us with great openings and endings, and I’m far from disapointed with the new sequences we have.

The new opening song, called Resister, is performed by ASCA, whose previous works include the Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo ending 2.

With that said, it’s time for me to break down the visuals of the new opening sequence.

The sequence

We start off with our two main characters in a synchronization similar to the one from the first opening.

The synchronization from the first opening had those glowing swords and for that reason I prefer it to the new version.

We then focus on Kirito and his eye, and the blue particles form the logo. It’s interesting to note how the anime logo is blue on a black background. The same was the case in the first ever opening of SAO.

Eugeo is opening his eyes, as we watch some of his flashbacks and him clenching his fist. I can’t help but get reminded of that moment from episode 10 when he first opened his eyes after having them reinstated.

Next he falls deep into water. This made me think of a similar moment from 3-gatsu no Lion’s first opening.

Eugeo is falling deep. Deep into his feelings of guilt for what happened to Alice?

Alice is shown in a similar way, with flashbacks from her childhood. Unlike Eugeo, she is closing her eyes. Another similarity to the first ever SAO opening is a silhouette version of Alice, just like Kirito and Asuna had back then.

I first thought this was the dragon that took Alice away. But still, that white bird flying away is a nice touch…

…and it makes for a great looking transition to Kirito and Eugeo.

They are aiming to reach the 100th floor of the cathedral. Definitely not the first time Kirito is climbing through floors…

And they are running…

…running towards the crimson integrity knight, the same one that took Alice into custody. The way Kirito dodges that fire attack is just too epic.

This is followed by some more cool looking fight scenes with both the crimson knight and a white-armored knight with a purple mantle.

Alice also looks ready to fight.

Next up is this beautiful looking scene of Eugeo and Kirito getting ready for a fight. These gray tones are clearly a sign of some hardships that are about to come. But Kirito looks determined and confident in his abilities as ever.

The “administrator” is surrounded by some weapons as she arises from what looks like a pool of blood to me.

This is actually another moment that has reminded me of the first ever SAO opening. It made me think of this moment, when the whole scenery got sucked in. The opposite happens to the administrator.

Both scenes also share the same tone of colors.

Eugeo reaches out with his hand, and his Blue Rose sword is there with him.

Well I mentioned hardships… It seems there is a lot of pain to come for Kirito.

He screams as in the background there are blue roses surrounding Eugeo followed by a single blue rose getting filled with… blood?

Similarly, Kirito is surrounded by red roses before a shot of Alice, the administrator on her bed, the lightcubes and a shot of the administrator again, but this time on a bunch of…

…skulls?

I can’t determine exactly what she is sitting on, but it does look the closest to skulls…

Although what follows is a shot of some toys…

… then an unidentified girl…

…the two girls from the end of episode 14 surrounded by blood…

…and another callback to SAO’s first ever opening sequence, a hand reaching towards the sky.

We briefly see Cardinal, and we get an extended version of the epic handshake from the first Alicization opening.

In this case more is better, so yeah I prefer the new version.

The sequence ends with another callback to the first ever SAO opening – two crossed swords.

Final thoughts

First time watching the new opening, I was quick to say that I prefer the older one. But Sword Art Online always has songs that grow on you incredibly quickly, and it happened with Resister as well.

All I can say is that I don’t think anymore that one of the songs is clearly better.

Visually I probably prefer Resister. Needless to say, the animation quality is fantastic, but the small details are what makes this opening shine. I love all the references to Sword Art Online’s first opening sequence. I believe they are here due to the fact that Kirito once again has to reach the top floor of something.

I am both hyped but also prepared for a lot of hardships that are ahead. This opening perfectly hits the balance between those two things. I hope this made some kind of sense.

It looks like Kirito will have to struggle like never before. And SAO seems to be bolder than ever, not holding back with the violent aspects or blood, as shown in episode 10, and really in this opening sequence as well.

My hype levels never stopped rising since episode 1.

 

How did you like the new Sword Art Online: Alicization opening sequence? What about the ending sequence? Please let me know in the comments!

2018 is coming to an end, and with it the Fall 2018 season of anime.

This post is a round-up of everything I watched since the start of October, from both seasonal and non-seasonal anime.

Seasonal anime

Akanesasu Shoujo

This seemed like a decent anime due to the concept of travelling through different worlds.

Another thing that seemed interesting was the main character meeting a version of herself from the alternate world.

However, I watched the first two episodes and haven’t returned to it since. But there are positive comments on the direction the anime took, so I think I’ll look into it once again.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

Irozuku intrigued me with its visuals and interesting premise. I can’t say it was dissspointing.

The last few episodes have been heartbreaking and I can only imagine the feels the final episode will bring. This was really enjoyable and I’m sad to see it come to an end.

Check my first impressions on Irozuku and my breakdown of the opening and ending sequences.

Karakuri Circus

Karakuri Circus started off giving me some Hunter x Hunter vibes, which is very much a good thing.

But the anime seems to have some problems with the pacing, according to those that have read the manga.

I haven’t watched anything of it since episode 5 but I am planning to catch up.

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

A very good anime worth watching for certain episodes coughs the Futaba arc.

But Sakurajima Mai is for sure one of the best waifus of the year.

Today the final episode comes out but I’m looking forward to the movie.

I made a breakdown of the opening and ending sequences which you can find here.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

SAO Alicization is honestly one of the best things about anime in 2018 for me. I’m looking forward to each episode cause I’m really enjoying this a lot.

I even feel like rewatching the entirety of SAO while Alicization is on a two week break. My interest in SAO is exceeding even my own expectations.

To read my first impressions on Alicization click here.

The breakdown of the opening sequence is here.

And here you can read my thoughts on the… shocking episode 10.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

I randomly started Yagate Kimi ni Naru late this season. It hasn’t been a bad decision so far.

This is my first ever yuri anime. I also immediatly grew to love the opening song.

Satsuriku no Tenshi ONA

A leftover from the summer season but under the label of ONA.

This is the first anime ever whose source material I’ve finished before watching the anime adaptation, since I bought the game in the summer.

I liked the game and it wasn’t much different with the anime which was a faithful adaptation.

Zombieland Saga

I was on episode 4 of Zombieland Saga till yesterday when I decided to catch up on it.

I didn’t expect to watch all 8 episodes remaining in one day, but it happened.

This anime has exceeded my expectations, and a season 2 seems likely judging by the ending. I’m very much looking forward to more.

For my first impressions on Zombieland Saga, click here.

Non-seasonal

3-gatsu no Lion

3-gatsu no Lion was one of the most heartwarming anime I’ve seen so far. I had teary eyes when I realized I have no more episodes to watch.

I highly recommend this to anyone searching for a story about personal growth and finding your place in life.

Koe no Katachi

I recognize the beauty of Koe no Katachi. It had me close to tears, but it hasn’t managed to make me cry.

Not that this makes it a bad movie – it was a very special one worthy of recognition.

No game no Life

No Game No Life was a fun experience, althrough there were times I couldn’t help but feel the skill Sora and Shiro showed was too unrealistic.

In other words, sometimes they were just too OP for my tastes.

There is also a movie which I haven’t actually watched yet but I should do it as soon as possible.

Shakugan no Shana

This seemed like a good watch due to the similarities to Toradora.

Shana is a short tsundere voiced by Rie Kugimiya, same could be said for Aisaka Taiga. Even one of the MC’s friends is voiced by the same person that voiced Kitamura Yuusaku.

The premise of the anime seems good, but 6 episodes in and I have to say I’m not feeling fully invested into the series. But I won’t drop this just yet.

Steins;Gate 0 OVA

Maybe I should have added this among seasonal anime? But I watched the Steins;Gate 0 OVA that came a few days ago.

In all honesty, I was expecting something more related to the plot. But I will accept this too. It is more Steins;Gate afterall.

But thinking this is likely the last ever content from this franchise makes me extremely sad.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

I watched Oregairu in late October and started rewatching earlier this month. Hikigaya Hachiman is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever seen.

But one of the reasons I’m rewatching this is how vague it was at times. I feel like a second watch will make me appreciate the anime and the characters even more.

Rewatching

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

A few days ago I started rewatching my favorite series of the year and one of my all time favorites.

I’m just not ready for the sadness that will occur when I finish it once again.

Toradora!

Toradora is a gift that keeps on giving. And I somehow managed to resist rewatching it the entire year, to make the Toradora December rewatch feel even better.

The rewatch is now in its final stage and again – I’m not ready to end it again and realize again that I have nothing left from it to watch.

What were you watching during the fall season of anime? Let me know in the comments!