Author Archives: mochirochi

About mochirochi

Ramblings of a rambler who rambles about anime, Asian dramas, and other things I like.

Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi is leaving me conflicted

Once upon a time and by time I mean a couple of weeks ago, MAL informed me that Jigoku Shoujo was coming out with its fourth season. I immediately added it to my ‘Plan to Watch’ list, but before that I only had one thought in my head.

Why?

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Jikogu Shoujo/Hell Girl. The premise, while repetitive at times, is right up my alley. You take ordinary people who are feeling stuck with their hate, anger and despair and instead of dealing with it in a rational way, they decide to go the easy route and call up Enma Ai.

While one may say, “Why would people do that?” I would counter with, “Why wouldn’t people do that?” I mean, as humans we are always looking for the easy way out. Just look at all of the fad diets out there and the many people who fall for them, hoping that it will be a quick weight loss miracle. It isn’t though. And even if it was, then it wouldn’t be healthy. For most people, losing weight takes time, effort and hard work. Just like everything else in life.

The idea that people could call up Hell Girl to solve their problems, even though it means that you’ll face torment in the next life is a fantastic idea and one that I absolutely adore. If that’s not enough, Jigoku Shoujo is one of the few animes that takes what is already a great idea and turns it into something wonderful in its second season.

So a fourth season should make me happy, because I clearly love the series, and while it does…in a way, it also makes me nervous, worried, hesitant, and cautious about it. Why? It’s pretty much because of the third season.

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Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari – the town’s people are the worst

I’ve never played Chain Chronicle, but the show sounded interesting enough that I decided to take a gamble and check it out. In it, we’re instantly thrown into a world where a Black King is trying to corrupt the light in people’s lives and take over the world. Our heroes, who try to stop him, fail. Not only do they fail, but they fail badly.

It’s almost like the band of merry men and women reached level fifty and thought that they were now strong enough to face the Black King, only to discover that the King has a level of over 9000. He’s also the final boss and someone you had no business going against since you’re still on part two of the story when you still have parts three, four and five to play through.

This is definitely a unique spin on the classic good vs evil story that most rpgs of this nature follow. Once the heroes face off against the big baddy, you almost expect the heroes to save the day. Only they don’t. And all of this happens in the first episode.

Ouch.

Our heroes have nothing else to do, but to regroup and try again. They have no choice, because that is what heroes do. They save the day. That level of burden that is on the shoulders of our main hero, Yuri, is a burden that causes him to go to the dark side. The bad guys don’t really play fair here and target people’s insecurities in order to have them succumb to their own darkness and fall.

It’s fantastic and I really love the mind games and psychological nature that this show is trying to display here.

Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari has a lot of good things going for it, but if I was going to be perfectly honest here….there’s one thing on this show that I hate.

The town’s people.

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Rakuen – When Trying to do The Right Thing Isn’t Always The Right Thing

Synopsis: An incident is talked about all over Japan. The case involves the Doisaki couple that killed their 15-year-old daughter and hid her body under their house for 16 years.

One day, housewife Toshiko Hagiya visits Shigeko Maehata (Yukie Nakama) who works for a small editing company. Toshiko tells Shigeko that her 12-year-old son Hitoshi might have a special ability to see other people’s memories. She pulls out a picture drawn by Hitoshi. The picture has a girl with a grey colored face lying in a house that has a bat shaped weather vane on its roof. The picture seems to depict the incident involving the Doisaki couple. Shigeko decides to do some research, but Hitoshi dies in a car accident.

Meanwhile, the attorney for the Doisaki couple tells their second daughter Seiko that the couple has cut off all ties with her. Around that time, a female high student is confined.

In six episodes, Rakuen weaves a disturbing tale of murder, abuse and the struggles that parents and children go through, the underlining theme in the story, at least to me, is how doing the right thing isn’t always the right thing.

Good intentions sometimes cause more hardships and suffering, even when all you were doing was trying to help.

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Nakata Sae (Amagami SS) vs. Miyamae Tooru (Seiren) vs. Nanasaki Ai (Amagami SS)

Seiren’s eighth episode has come and gone and that can only mean one thing.

It’s time for a romance showdown.

The girls up this time are Nakata Sae and Nanasaki Ai from Amagami SS and Miyamae Tooru from Seiren. All of these girls have one thing in common. They’re all friends with the hero’s sister.

Guidelines I’ll follow:

The Girls – how are they and do I like their personalities
The Romance – did I feel the love and did it feel authentic
Was it a satisfying ending – was it a nice payoff
Overall – who did I like best

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Unpopular Opinion: Hand Shakers isn’t that bad

Yea, that’s right. Hand Shakers, the anime that currently has a  4.99/10 rating on MAL, a 2.5/5 on Crunchyroll, a 45% average score on AniList, and also showcases that despite it still getting in some views that doesn’t mean that the ratings is getting better.

score vs. watching - taken from AniList

score vs. watching – courtesy of AniList

Ouch.

But despite all that, I gave the show a chance and found that it’s actually…kind of…not that bad. In fact, I’m kind of enjoying it. It may not be the best anime of the winter season, but it’s far from being the worst anime ever. Then again, that’s not hard to do when you’ve watched Pupa and Mahou Sensou.

Perhaps the reason why I’m still somewhat enjoying Hand Shakers is because of all of the negative comments and reviews that I read before watching it. I didn’t start watching this until four episodes had already passed and by then I was expecting the worst.

preparing for impact

preparing for negative impact

Other than one or two overly long and awkward ecchi moments and the fact that one of the characters must take a lot of painkillers due to her constantly moving breasts, I somehow found myself thinking, “hmm, this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” The story isn’t anything special and the characters are ones we’ve seen countless of times.

Other than the animation, which is gorgeous as long as you ignore the random lens flares and the fish eye camera technique, Hand Shakers is very much a show that sometimes feels like it’s been there done that. Tazuna is a typical hero, Koyori is the typical cute heroine who doesn’t do much, and the other characters have their typical rehashed assigned roles as well. And the story is one we’ve seen time and time again.

hand-shakers3

a typical scene from Hand Shakers

In all honesty, I completely understand why the show gets a lot of hate. If it had a harem, I think I’d hate it just as much. Thankfully it doesn’t, which is seriously rare when it comes to this genre, but I dunno…. maybe it’s because I went in expecting the worst. Like Pupa level terribleness, but I never really got any of that.

Preparing for the worst actually help me enjoying the show, because I wasn’t expecting anything from it.

Who knew.

So that’s my unpopular opinion. I, Mochi Rochi, don’t think Hand Shakers is a bad show. It’s definitely not my favourite, or even my favourite of the season, but I’m enjoying this and I like that fact that Koyori can die if Tazuna doesn’t hold her hand…..even if the show keeps kind of forgetting this part of the story.

Morishima Haruka (Amagami SS) vs. Tsuneki Hikari (Seiren) vs. Kaoru Tanamachi (Amagami SS)

Initially, I wasn’t planning on watching Seiren. For some reason I felt like it would be like Makura no Danshi only the female character would be a real person and not a pillow. Turns out I was wrong. It just a regular romance anime, only during the duration of four episodes the male lead falls in love with a special someone, then pulls a Higurashi and resets with a different girl for the next four episodes. Who needs a harem when you have a reset feature?

But then I noticed the low score on MAL (as of writing this, it’s at 6.66) and some of the commenters there said this show paled in comparison to Amagami SS (which is kind of like Seiren’s prequel). I haven’t watched that show either, so I thought to myself, “Why not watch both and then compare them?”

What a perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.

Since Seiren has 12 episodes to Amagami’s 25, I decided to have a three way battle. Morishima Haruka (Amagami SS), a popular sempai, vs. Tsuneki Hikari (Seiren), a popular classmate, and Kaoru Tanamachi (Amagami SS), a friend of three years.

Guidelines I’ll follow:

The Girls – how are they and do I like their personalities
The Romance  – did I feel the love and did it feel authentic
Was it a satisfying ending – was it a nice payoff
Overall – who did I like best

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First Impressions: Defendant

Synopsis: Park Jung-Woo is a prosecutor at Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. One day, he wakes up and finds himself in locked up at the police station. He has temporary amnesia. Park Jung-Woo is falsely accused and is sentenced to death. He must struggle to prove his innocence.
Episode: 16

What I was expecting: I’m slightly nervous, because kdramas tend to let me down more often than I’d like them to. Even if they do wow me in the beginning, they tend to lose steam once the romance aspect comes in or near the end of the series. (Yong Pal is a good example of this. I loved it in the beginning, but it got stupid fast and the ending was annoying)

But at the same time, this doesn’t seem to have a romance angle to it, since Ji Sung’s character is trying to figure out the mystery about why he’s in death row, so I’m happy about that. This is a mystery thriller, which is one of my favourite genres, so I’m anxiously optimistic that this will be okay.

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First Impressions: Rakuen

What I was expecting: I’m going to be honest here and say that I had no idea what the show was about when I first saw it. I just clicked play because Nakama Yukie and Kaho are in it, so I guess I’m expecting greatness since I like the two actresses.

This is only six episodes, so I have a feeling that this will have a lot of drama and psychological moments in it.

How it really was: So within the first three minutes a middle aged man, who just lost his home due to a fire, walks up to a police officer and says this:

rakuen

16 years ago I killed my daughter and buried her under the floor…

Why did he bring this up? And why did he wait 16 years to mention this? As the episode goes on we learn about why he killed his daughter. Let’s just say that she wasn’t exactly easy to deal with and that after she disappeared her parents and neighbours were all thankful.

The drama here has multiple layers that seem to tie into each other nicely. Despite this episode being almost an hour long, it was mainly used as an introduction piece to help set up the story and introduce you to the key characters. A lot of stuff happened, but it feels like things will be getting crazier for the remaining five episodes.

And that ending….tragic. The show started with an old death and ended with a fresh one.

Overall: The show has a great cast and the story seems like it will be right up my alley. The only downside is that this is a jdrama so it may take some time before the show is subbed.

If you are planning on watching this, I’d recommend going into it blind and not reading the synopsis found on most sites. It pretty much spoils the first episode and no one wants to be spoiled.

Captain Planet and His Idol Dietwoman are here to save the day!

Recession! Poverty! Ever-increasing inequality! Japan, no, the world is in a dark age!

It’s been years since Captain Planet helped Gaia rid the world of evil doers, but in his absence (due to cancellation) the world has grown darker and sicker.

He can’t ask Gaia to kidnap teenagers anymore, because the world has changed and he’d get sued and face jail time due to child trafficking. So he found a solution.

Idols.

Everyone wants to be an idol and you can shirk around child labour laws in order to make it happen. So, through various companies, he’s helped create Planeteers…only due to copyright laws he has to name them Idol Dietwoman. And he can only focus on Japan right now, because he has to start small before taking on the world. The world is vastly different from the 90s.

In any case Captain Planet and his Idol Dietwomen are here to save the day! So how was his new show for it’s first three episodes?

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Shuumatsu no Izetta made me appreciate Youjo Senki

You know that feeling that you get when you read a synopsis of a show, then see a preview and the only thing that you feel deep inside is pure hype. That is how I felt about Shuumatsu no Izetta. I know some in the anime world are going to read this and say, “Really?”

And to that I answer, “Really.” The idea of a magical girl in a WWII setting as she fights for a small country that is posed to being taken over by Germany Germania seemed really interesting to me. I’m a fan of magical girl animes and I love history.

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