Violet Evergarden: Metamorphosis of a Soldier

I wanted to introduce another masterpiece by Kyoto Animation! It matches all of their magical, intricate, emotion-filled plots KyoAni is known for! It is more dramatic and angsty than the normally upbeat titles they have, but no less amazing in conception, illustration, animation and overall execution! As the studio I most admire, they have not disappointed!

Sorry I missed Valentine’s Day, but since it’s still in-between Valentine’s and White Day, I believe it’s the perfect time to post a somewhat unorthodox love story.

A young woman, meant to only be used as a tool, is slowly taught to live her own life as someone worth more than her use on the battlefield and finding her place at a postal office.

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Set in Germany seemingly after World War II, the story begins with the tragic death of a budding love, the meaning of which she could not understand.

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Not even knowing what love meant, raised by the military as a disposable weapon of war, conditioned by a life rooted in attrition and bathed in the blood of her enemies, at the end of the war she finds herself lost and clinging to the belief that her superior officer is alive. She now must wade through the fog of a society she cannot connect with and learn to live with normal people, a soldier without true orders, with emotions seemingly nonexistent and seeking to know what state of mind encompasses a person when they say “I love you”.

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Becoming a ghostwriter for people of Leiden who can’t write, her new purpose is to find the meaning of “love” through her new job as a “doll” by understanding the myriad facets of how words are translated into emotion by writing letters of the heart for those who are illiterate in the town.

An old wealthy lady became Violet’s guarantor despite not being well received by the girl and decided to continue to fund the girl’s way of life in place of her late son that she lost in the war.

She is now Violet Evergarden, somewhat nonconsensually becoming adopted into the old lady’s family. Not knowing how to function, feeling she has no place now that the war is over and attached only to the brooch her beloved Colonel gave her, she tries to live the new life granted to her as a lady in normal society.

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The last orders Colonel Gilbert gave her were:

“Run away and live free…

I love you.”

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Young Black Jack

This was a post that I had in my drafts for over half the year, lol. Life took over and I was not able to post it until now. This is a pretty interesting post to be coming out for the new year. Whilst searching for something new to watch before the Spring Line-up came out for last year, I stumbled across this anime called Young Black Jack. I thought it was good enough to share with you guys, so here goes…

Plot

The world was rife with inequality and corruption. It was during the time of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement in America and the Student Riots in Japan. Hazama Kurou was a medial student on his way to get his license, but he was an undiscovered genius in the medical field. He also is indebted to a debt collector for borrowed funds. When he is faced with risking his license to save a life, he quickly chooses to save them due to his struggle with his abandonment issues.

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Many of these same scenarios come into play during the anime where Hazama must fight against normal protocol in the interest of saving someone’s life. This is one of the first anime I have seen that has a couple of episodes actually dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement in America.

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The anime is based on a really old manga, with the Japanese animation style of the 60’s and 70’s. Remember the old cartoon Inspector Gadget? The style of this anime strongly resembles that, but only certain characters have the strange, obtuse features that shares the style of those older cartoons. The main characters take a more modern-style approach to the animation.

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I really did enjoy the anime, though I had to get used to the opening song, as the music seemed slightly out of place and the artwork also took a bit to get used to.

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Young Black Jack is a very dark anime. Parts of it seem upbeat with a normal amount of darkness for the plot, but the more you watch, the darker it gets.

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I’m not gonna lie, there were times during the anime where I thought the main character was going to find a happy ending and things were finally going to pan out in a bright way, but more darkness ensued. I was actually surprised at the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but just fasten your seatbelt for a wild ride!

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Owari no Seraph

***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!!!*****

Today we shall discuss an anime that has one of my favorite OTP of all time, Owari no Seraph. At the time this came out, I had been waiting for a good vampire plot line to pop up and this anime does not disappoint. I’m kinda late on this, as there is a second season, but I still wanted to cover it. So let’s jump right into it.
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Plot
The story starts off with an child named Yuuichirou, taken in by an orphanage because his parents tried to kill him. Yuu-chan tries to be closed off but he’s secretly a softie (tsundere). He meets the other kids in the orphanage, especially another kid by the name of Mikaela.

Mikaela is clingy and outgoing, forcing Yuuichirou to accept him and the other orphans as family.

This doesn’t work out so well until later.

Shortly after, all hell breaks loose and people start dying all around them, choking on air and their own blood. Absolute mayhem occurs, but the only ones affected seem to be all humans over age 13.

Vampires then come out to collect all the children and put them in livestock camps all over Japan (but it is implied that this is a global crisis).

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The children from the orphanage enact a plan to escape, resulting in many of their deaths and only one child actually escaping. Hyakuya Yuuichirou is found by a group of humans surviving on the outside as part of the Moon Demon Company in the Japanese Imperial Army. Colonel Ichinose Guren then takes Yuuichirou on as an apprentice, forcing him to go to school and make friends, ultimately learning how to work as part of a team.

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Mika barely survives the attack and is “saved” by the vampire queen, who proceeds to turn him into one of the enemy against his will. He then finds out about the experiments his orphanage has been conducting on him and his fellow orphans even before the world went to hell.

Thus he has a new goal, to save Yuuichirou from the humans and their manipulation of him.

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That’s as far as I will go for the plot…

The artwork is masterfully done in both the manga and anime in my opinion, and the casting of the anime characters was also pretty good. Some of the animation is rather dubious, like backgrounds and some random CGI, but not enough to turn me off or to not recommend the anime. Those instances are few and far between except backgrounds, because those continue throughout the anime, but attention is drawn away from it due to the action. GO WATCH IT!!!

The music is also great. I am pretty impressed overall with the anime and the manga is just awesome. It satisfied the insane craving I’ve had for a while.

I’ve also found a new OTP with Yuu-chan and Mika. All you fujoshi out there should check out the few really good fanfiction stories on them. Please add to this budding fandom!

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Divinations with Urara Meirochou

Happy Monday everyone! Mondays aren’t particularly happy, but maybe this will lift your Monday mood! Okay guys, today I will talk about a new anime I am following called Urara Meirochou. This may not be for the guys, as it is on the cute side of the anime spectrum, unless you’re into that. I’m not one to judge! Now, let’s get into the thick of things!

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Plot

There’s a town called Meirochou, in which girls starting at age 16 work to become Urara, fortune tellers that specialize in different types of divination. They exist to help people who are lost on their walk through life.

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The main character, Chiya, a wild child raised in the woods surrounding the illustrious town turns 16 and makes her way to town to become one of the aspiring Urara there.

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Her goal is to become number one out of all Uraras along with her new friends and fellow trainees: Koume, Kon and Nono, as well as ultimately finding and meeting her birth mother. During their training, many mysterious things happen that may change Chiya’s life forever.

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The original story was written by mangaka Harikamo and published by Honbunsha through Manga Time Kirara Miracle! magazine. It is still ongoing if you want to check it out.

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The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and created by J.C. Staff. It is also still ongoing with one season of 12 episodes. Since the Japanese version has not been completed yet, I would assume that in the future, English dub licensing will most likely be done by FUNimation, as are most non-Jump series anime. I would love to add this to my current DVD collection!

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I recommend this for all those who love a good plot and are into adorable characters. It’s fascinating to watch and the artwork is a kaleidoscope of cute! Totally check it out when you get the chance! Until next time!

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The Heroism Craze: Boku no Hero Academia

For those who have not seen this one yet…

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Not only One Punch Man carries the plot of the Earth becoming a den of superhumans and a government whose protection lies in the hands of “Heroes”. Here is another story who has adopted the plot of Heroes being paid by the government commensurate to their use in the field.

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The main character, Midoriya Izuku, happens to be the underdog in this tale. A funny looking kid with green hair, wimpy build and freckles, does not yet have a power to add himself to the now normal superhumans that surround him on a daily basis. However, his fervent wish is to become one of the acknowledged heroes he sees patrolling the streets and saving bystanders from pop-up monsters, also with superpowers.

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But how can he gain the powers to compete with these overpowered Hulks populating the city and his classroom, when he can’t even protect his friends or himself from overpowered bullies?

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The Hero Otaku, Izuku, religiously takes notes on the powers granted to others, in hopes he can identify his own. He weighs the pros and cons of each power and determines just how useful they are on his personal scale. He is waiting on something called a “quirk”, something that the new age children are born with and begin to manifest around the age of four. Based on a rare anatomical condition Izuku has, he has inherited no quirk from his parents, which means superpowers for him are virtually impossible.

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When Izuku finds himself in a pinch on his way home, he is saved by his favorite Hero of all time, to whom he poses the question “Can I become a hero?”
This quirkless nerd finds himself traversing the gangly path towards his dream of attending the Academy for Heroes.

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I admit, I am kind of late getting to this particular anime, but it looks promising. I think it’s cute so far, and I can see it getting real later on as the plot unravels. I also like Izuku. The artwork initially had me hesitant, despite what my friends have told me about it. But I have learned time and again not to judge a book by its cover. I am excited to see where this goes, and if some of you haven’t seen it yet, like me, I would suggest giving it a try. You just might like it!

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Hayao Miyazaki is Back!

According to various sources, our beloved Hayao Miyazaki had recently gone into retirement. However, we all know his imagination and creativity are monsters not easily sated. Thus, he has made his grand return to the workforce with Studio Ghibli on a new feature-length movie based off of a short CG film he worked on entitled: Boro the Caterpillar, slated to come out before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

I’m certain the animation will be phenomenal and the plot will be adorable as are all Miyazaki-esque films…and based on what I gathered from the title.

I am totally excited about his newest brainchild. Not much is known about the new work, but I look forward to it. Hopefully they can make it by the deadline!

Until then, here is a video I found of the process of the short film that inspired this newest creation!

 

Kuromukuro

Okay guys! I’ve been posting a lot lately, lol. I wanted to share another anime with you, and this one is fairly new, as in created within the last year or so. If you want to be technical, that makes it somewhat old when you think of recent anime shelf life huh? But I digress.

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We’re gonna focus on Kuromukuro, a production of P.A. Works. This plot is somewhat ambitious, mixing futuristic mecha technology and samurai/bushido culture connected by some strange form of cryostasis and and cloning used for time travel. It’s actually streaming on Netflix in Dub! Let’s delve into a brief rundown of these two seasons of awesomeness!

Plot

A United Nations research facility by the name of Kurobe Laboratory located in the Japanese mountains found an ancient artifact that they have yet to unlock. Many mysteries surround it, more so when they find out the mecha can only be opened by the Chief Researcher’s daughter, Shirahane Yukina (Japanese name order).

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And what of the recently re-awakened samurai who was trapped inside in cryogenic stasis for 400 years?! Why does he think Yukina is his long, lost princess?!

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Forced to become a working member of the facility, Yukina and the samurai, Kennosuke must put aside their initial differences and work together to fight the onslaught of an upcoming alien invasion!

Let the battles begin!

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Personal Takeaways

I love Yukina’s dad. He was so goofy, it was adorable. And he was a nice lookin’ old man to boot! You don’t actually get to see him in action until like episode 23 or 24 though.

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The artwork of this anime is amazing! I really love the thought they put into it based on art, plot and general cohesiveness of all its components. It was really well made and highly entertaining! If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest giving it a look see!

They even have an official website!

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Check it out when you get the chance! Until my next post…mata ne!