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ReLife: Review

What would you do if someone offered you a suspicious-looking drug and claimed that it would change your appearance to that of a 17-year old teenager? Furthermore, you would be part of an experiment in which you would have to return to high school for one year. Would you take the risk?

That is the plot of ReLife.

ReLife is a Japanese webtoon series created by Yayoiso in 2013 which ended with 222 chapters and published by NHN Japan on Comico. A 13-episode anime adaptation was released in 2016 with four additional OVA episodes. Back then, I was interested to watch this anime but due to hectic school schedule, I had to delay it until I eventually forgot about it. It was only last week when I suddenly remembered to watch ReLife because I was planning to bingewatch anime.

And I’m glad I did.

In just two nights, I managed to finish all the episodes of ReLife. But I was not fully satisfied with the short adaptation so I decided to read the series. It was when I got more absorbed to the story and characters to the point that I could actually relate myself to them. The series is filled with hilarious dialogues and scenes but it sure knows how to tug the hearts of its readers as well. It might just be a typical story that shows the hardships and issues faced by ordinary high school students (e.g misunderstandings and rivalries between friends, romance, a never-ending loop of makeup tests, etc.) but that is also one of its strong points since readers can actually relate to these matters. What’s not ordinary is that the protagonist, who has to act like a teenager, is actually a 27-year old NEET who is given another chance to relive his life as a third year HS student for one year. (NEET, according to Wikipedia, means “Not in Education, Employment, or Training.” In Japan, the classification comprises people aged between 15 and 34 who are not employed, not engaged in housework, not enrolled in school or work-related training, and not seeking work.)

As expected, NEETS are ostracized by the society, and these people are actually chosen as the subjects of the ReLife experiment to give them another chance in life. After the one-year contract, if it is successful, then the company will even provide the subject a list of jobs that he/she can apply for. However, there is a bigger reason and background story as to why these people actually ended up as NEETs. The lesson? Never assume and criticize someone’s situation without knowing the real story behind everything. ReLife teaches us life lessons and values that we sometimes overlook, ignore, or take for granted. It sure hits you right in the feels.

This story is all about growing up, facing the harsh reality of life and society, and overcoming all these problems. It’s about friendship and love, school and work. It will make you realize once again how important time is. You can never go back to the past; you can only look back and learn from your mistakes. But the wonderful memories you have created with your loved ones can never be erased.

One of my favorite quotes from the series:

“If at some point in life you made a mistake or keep falling over and over again. And you can’t help but think it’s useless and you’re a good for nothing; Remember, you’re only taking a detour. And I’m sure further along your path will come a day where you think: “It was a good life experience”. That’s why it’ll be fine.” – Chizuru Hishiro

I will not divulge or spoil anything else, because I want you to savor every dialogue, scene, and chapter of the story. Just expect to laugh really hard and cry hard as well. I actually had a difficult time trying to stifle my tears. This is definitely a must-read webtoon.

Art/Style: 8/10

I have watched a lot of anime and read numerous webtoons so I think the art style is not that much special or different compared to others. Still, one of the reasons why I love reading webtoons is because all the chapters are colored compared to the traditional black and white manga.

Plot: 10/10

It’s a masterpiece. It might actually appear pretty simple to some (and I’m sure this kind of plot, at least some parts of it, has already been tackled in other stories) but the impact of this series (at least to me) is heavy. I suggest that you read the webtoon because they deleted some parts in the anime and they also did some minor changes in the scenes.

Characters: 10/10

At first, you would find some of them annoying, but what’s good about this series is that almost all the major characters undergo a transformation in terms of their beliefs and personality. I also find them relatable, and it probably will be the same for everyone else because we have all been through high school. As an adult, perhaps we have also experienced the ups and downs of being unemployed or bullied in the workplace. Be it as the competitive Rena or the forever-in-the-test-loophole Arata, we have all been there, one way or another.

Overall Rating: 10/10

JUST. READ. THIS. WEBTOON. NOW.

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Spring 2016 Anime

WARNING: May contain spoilers 🙂

My summer vacation is almost over so before my classes start, let me write a personal post about the shows that I have watched so far. I spent my two-month vacation watching anime rather than reading academic materials for my course.

Yes, that’s right! Anyway, there were quite a few interesting anime series this spring and I listed some of them below! (Note: These are the only ones that I have watched so I can’t say that they are the best out of all the new shows released this season but these are pretty popular (and really good) so I suggest you give them a try!

  1. Boku No Hero Academia (My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア) is a superhero-themed manga written by Kōhei Horikoshi. Its anime adaptation began in April this year and is expected to have a total of 13 episodes. As of this writing, there are already 10 episodes released so it’s almost finished. The story revolves around a “quirkless”-middle school student Izuku Midoriya who wants to be a superhero in a world where almost 80% of the population have quirks or superpowers. Despite the constant bullying from his classmates, esp. by his childhood friend Bakugou Katsuki, Midoriya continues to pursue his goal until he meets the number one superhero called All Might whom he also admires. Izuku eventually passes and enters the prestigious U.A High School, and from there, he gradually takes his first steps toward achieving his dreams of becoming a superhero.
boku

©heroaca.com

When I watched the first episode, I couldn’t help but somehow compare it to One Punch Man. But later on, I realized that it wasn’t the case. It’s true that both stories are about superheroes, but that’s just it. BnHA has its own distinct qualities that make it as one of the hottest anime series this season! I actually didn’t think that I would like it that much, but I guess I got really hooked on it that I even decided to read the manga to quickly get updated. Sad to say, I finished reading the current 94 chapters in just 2 days 😦 Now I’m just waiting for both the new episodes and chapters! Studio Bones should already prepare for a second season!

2. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (甲鉄城のカバネリ) is produced by Wit Studio and is slated to have 12 episodes, with the first one airing in April. It is directed by Tetsurō Araki who also happened to be the director of Attack on Titan (anime) under the same animation studio. This probably explains why there are quite a few similarities with the two series. People who are infected with an unknown virus are turned into zombie-like humans called “kabane” which can only be killed if their hearts are pierced. To protect themselves, the citizens build stations where they can also get aboard some armored locomotives that allow them to be transported to other cities. Ikoma, the protagonist of the story, creates his own weapon that effectively defeats the monsters. However, he gets biten by one of the Kabane when his city gets invaded by hordes of zombie-like creatures.

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©kabaneri.com

 

This series is packed with action and this really reminds me of AoT, with the characters trying to save themselves and the others from the villains. I am fond of watching horror/monster-themed shows so this one suits my taste despite some bloody scenes. (They are not that cringeworthy though, I think.) This anime was originally recommended to me by an acquaintance, but I wouldn’t have tried this right away had I not seen that Miyano Mamoru voices one of the characters there. (I mean, he’s my favorite seiyuu, so it’s a plus factor in convincing me to watch this ❤.)

3. Bungou Stray Dogs (Literary Stray Dogs 文豪ストレイドッグス) began its serialization in 2012 and is written and illustrated by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa, respectively. The anime adaptation is produced by Studio Bones and the first episode aired in April this year. It is slated to have 12 episodes and a second season is also expected to take place sometime in October.  Right now, ten episodes have been broadcasted already so it’s about to end soon. The names of the characters in this series are all taken from and inspired by real-life literary writers. Each of them possesses supernatural powers (which can also be associated with the authors where they are named after).  The story centers around Atsushi Nakajima who joins the Armed Detective Agency after getting kicked out of the orphanage where he had been staying. There, he teams up with the agents in fighting against the Port Mafia members who are after him because of his powers that he himself was not aware of. Mysteries are discovered and new characters get introduced almost every episode so the level of interest rises as well. The character designs are good, and the genre is also my cup of tea. And yes, Miyano Mamoru also voices one of the main characters Osamu Dazai whose quirky personality will surely capture everyone’s heart.

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©bungo-stray-dogs.jp

4. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ)

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©tanakakun.tv/comic

This anime adaptation by Silver Link studio began in April, and the series is just three episodes away from its finale. Aside from its 12-episode anime, Silver Link also releases a set of special episodes simultaneously. There are currently 21 shorts released as of this moment. It’s called Tanaka-kun wa Kyou mo Kedaruge and each part runs for less than a minute. The anime stays true to its genre: slice of life mixed with comedy. Though some viewers may find it somewhat boring, for me, it’s actually quite relaxing. Perhaps it’s because I can relate to the character of Tanaka whose listlessness awakens my inner languidness LOL. The plot is very simple: Tanaka is listless. That’s just it. Somehow, he manages to be friends with the energetic and oh-so-reliable student named Ohta who seems like his knight in shining armor. It’s strangely comedic and more often than not, the scenes reflect the ordinary life of a student (or not). Sometimes, this anime will leave you questioning your own listlessness. But then again, no one can probably surpass Tanaka-kun in that area. And did I mention that I also read its manga?

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We’re all just like Tanaka. 

5. Sakamoto Desu Ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto 坂本ですが?) Cool? Cooler? Coolest? Well that’s who Sakamoto is. This manga created by Nami Sano is adapted into a 13-episode anime by Studio Deen. The story is about a high school student named Sakamoto who is deemed as the “coolest” guy in their school. Girls instantly fall in love with him while boys envy him. His incomparable talents, wits, good looks and popularity make him the usual target of pranks and bullying from people who instantly see him as a rival or enemy.

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©www.tbs.co.jp

I find the comedic element a bit absurd to the point that I sometimes question myself why I continue watching this. Perhaps it’s just another way to pass time, but nevertheless, it’s worth giving a try but don’t expect too much from it. I can somehow compare it to The Daily Lives of High School Boys where some scenes will just make you go…

episode_18_by_otakubishounen-d8hrmc8

Well, Sakamoto is still fabulous. Ridiculously fabulous.

Yosh! There you have it! Those are the five anime series that I’ve been watching these days. Of course, there are still a lot more anime this season that are still ongoing, and new ones will always come out any time soon. Aside from those five above-mentioned series, I’m also planning to watch the following:

  • Kiznaiver
  • Sousei no Onmyouji
  • Joker Game
  • Mayoiga

I heard some good feedback from other viewers about them so I might give them a try soon!

“ERASED” Review

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (僕だけがいない街 a.k.a The Town Where Only I am Missing)

WARNING: Contains spoilers

Synopsis:

Struggling manga author Satoru Fujinuma is beset by his fear to express himself. However, he has a supernatural ability of being forced to prevent deaths and catastrophes by being sent back in time before the incident occurred, repeating time until the accident is prevented. One day, he gets involved in an accident that has him framed as a murderer. Desperate to save the victim, he sends himself back in time only to find himself as a grade-schooler one month before fellow classmate Kayo Hinazuki went missing. Satoru now embarks on a new quest: to save Kayo and solve the mystery behind her disappearance. (Source: MAL News via MyAnimeList)

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I first watched its 12-episode anime series and it was interesting enough for me to read the manga for a more in-depth understanding of the story. In the anime version, the production altered some parts of the story especially the last few episodes but at least the major parts were retained. The art and animation of the characters and the background were drawn incredibly.

But it was the intense and fast pacing of the scenes that got me hooked into it. The first episode already provided a brief explanation of the character’s “revival/rerun” ability and it was exhibited right away. Every scene was crucial to the progress of the story and its mixture of psychological and mysterious ambiance added to its overall appeal since I am really into those genres. It has an element of time traveling as it also addresses more realistic and darker themes about kidnapping and child abuse. It had me playing like a detective though it was easy for me to pinpoint the true kidnapper just within the first three episodes, so the only suspense left for me was whether Satoru would be able to pull off his plans and save his mother and friends from the murderer. The manga itself is short; it only has 44 chapters but despite its brevity, the author managed to conclude everything accordingly. (I am still a bit disappointed though that Satoru did not end up with Kayo. My ship has sunk 😥 )

  “I never stopped believing.”

ERASED resembles Detective Conan since the plot revolves around finding the real culprit, and if you are a fan of time travel stories, then you must surely watch this one! I also do recommend reading the manga after (or before) watching the anime to give you a better understanding of the characters’ backgrounds as well as its ending.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi is definitely one of the best anime series this year and in fact, a live-action film was also released just last month featuring Tatsuya Fujiwara.

My rating: 7.5 out 10

Here’s the anime’s trailer to give you a taste of what ERASED is all about.

“AJIN: Demi-Human” Review

WARNING: Contains some spoilers *.*

I just finished watching the 13-episode anime of Ajin and the first part of its trilogy film which just basically summarized the first half of the anime series. I read a lot of posts about the seemingly good story of Gamon Sakurai-san’s manga-turned-anime-and-movie. It piqued my interest but when I discovered that it was in 3D/CG format (as it was released under Polygon Picture) I had my doubts since I am not really a fan of CGs in anime and I’m one of those who prefers the traditional 2D style. Nevertheless, the plot of the story was good enough to keep me going past the first episode. In fact, it no longer became an issue to me as I glued my eyes on what is going on with the story.  Now let’s take a look at its synopsis first.

SYNOPSIS:
Seventeen years ago, the existence of a special species called Ajin was discovered in Africa. They are said to be immortal beings, with several supernatural abilities, that look just like any other human being. Are these Ajin just random phenomena of nature or were they purposely sent to Earth to destroy it?

Since their first discovery, several other Ajin appearances have been reported worldwide. For the majority of citizens though, these creatures are less reality and more of something you see every once in a while in a textbook or on the news. This is how it was for the young protagonist of the series, Kei. That was until a sudden turn of events changed his life forever…(MyAnimeList)

In all fairness to the producers of the anime and film, they did stick to the main story of the manga despite some slight changes with the little details. It has a mixture of action, horror, mystery and supernatural elements wonderfully blended together. (I also actually read the manga right after watching it and just to spoil you a bit, Kei has some comical moments/more so like facial expressions in the recent chapters which, I hope, will be shown in the next film or second season perhaps of the anime.) The action scenes really put me at the edge of my seat, and the experiments conducted on Kei made me cringe in horror. I was somehow looking forward to seeing more of Kei’s development as a fighter but I guess it will take a few more chapters for that. Sato-san is obviously the main antagonist in the story but somehow, even just for a bit, I feel like he had his reasons for being a sadistic player. It seems like the background story about him in the manga doesn’t fully explain why he turned out to be as bloodthirsty as he is right now. He is like the epitome of monstrosity, both literally and figuratively.

I will not go into details about the manga, but fans will surely be surprised when they continue the story from where the anime left off. The manga has only about 38 chapters so far (as of this writing) that is why no wonder the anime only had 13 episodes. I think the second and third part of the trilogy films will be far more updated than the anime. I give them a plus point for casting my favorite voice actor Miyano Mamoru as the seiyuu of Kei Nagai. (Actually, I was too preoccupied with the scenes that I did not even realize that it was Miyano-san’s voice LOL.)

I cannot expound this review any longer since the story is still in its initial stage and there will still be a lot more in the coming seasons/chapters. It is interesting enough, and it will make you go gaga once you reach the climax. Have I mentioned how much I terribly want to get a hold of my IBM? Lol. There is presumably a scientific explanation behind it,  but I am not fond of science that much so I’ll leave that part to you for your own understanding. *smirks*

Anyway, to wrap it up, I’ll give this manga/anime/film a 6.5 rating. !(•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑ You should definitely try this one!

Haikyuu!! Anime Adaptation to Air Season 2 in October

The long wait is over! It has finally been confirmed that the second season of Haikyuu!!’s anime adaptation will air in October this year on MBS, Tokyo MX TV, CBC, BS11, and other TV channels. The 40th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine also teased the fans with the main visual including the characters in Haruichi Furudate’s manga series. It was also announced that Sumire Morohoshi will join the cast as Hitoka Yachi.

©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha/ANN

The first season of Haikyuu!! premiered in April and concluded in September last year with a total of 25 episodes. The manga, on the other hand, which is published by Shueisha, is still ongoing.

(via ANN)

Uta no Prince Sama to Return with a Fourth Season

©utapri.tv

Just a few weeks after Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolution concluded, a fourth season to its anime adaptation was already confirmed! The official website of the said anime series made the announcement last week after the final episode of season 3 flashed the messages “To Be Continued…” and “See You Next Season”.

The popular otome game published by Brocolli has spawned three anime adaptation series so far, with the first season being televised in 2011. The second part, entitled Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE 2000%, ended its 13th episode in June 2013, while the latest one concluded just last month this year.

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NOTE: I am really sorry for not being able to update this blog for almost a month now. I’ve been really busy balancing my work and studies so I don’t have much time left to write posts here. Rest assured that I will never leave this blog no matter what happens XD. I might just need to be on a hiatus for a few weeks or months but I will try to write here as often as I can. Thank you so much guys! ^^

(via ANN)

Five New Anime Series to Premiere Next Month

The month of July seems to be a promising and exciting month for anime lovers out there as five new anime series are going to premiere next month! Aquarion Logos, which will air on July 2 on Tokyo MX TV, AT-X, and other stations, is produced by Satelight and Eiichi Sato is directing it. The cast includes:

  • Nobunaga Shimazaki as Akira Kaibuki
  • Ayane Sakura as Maia Tsukigane
  • Yuto Adachi as Subete Kenzaki
  • Haruka Chisuga as Kokone Kikogami
  • Yuichiro Umehara as Hayato Kujyo
  • Takayuki Asai as Tsutomu Domon
  • Ari Ozawa as Karan Uminagi
  • Jouji Nakata as Sōgon Kenzaki
  • Saima Nakano as Shōko Iwagami
  • Ryoko Shirashi as Sakurako Soda

©Satelight

On the other hand, Classroom Crisis, an original anime TV series animated by Lay-duce, will begin its broadcast on July 3. It is directed by Kenji Nagasaki and originally designed by Hiro Kanzaki. Minami Tsuda will voice Makoto Ryouke, and joining her in the cast are Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Kojirou Kitahara), Showtaro Morikubo (Kaito Sera), Ari Ozawa (Mizuki Sera), Sora Amamiya (Iris Shirasaki), Aya Suzaki (Tsubasa Hanaoka), and Shiina Natsukawa (Aki Kaminagaya).

©Lay-duce

The third anime series to debut on July 4 is Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai (A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist).

©Hirotaka Akagi/J.C.Staff/GENCO

Its official website unveiled a visual and a promotional video for the anime, where Shizuka Ishigami will play the character of Ayame Kajō. Others who are included in the cast are:

  • Yūsuke Kobayashi as Tanukichi Okuma
  • Miyu Matsuki as Anna Ninomiya
  • Saori Goto as Hyōka Fuwa
  • Satomi Arai as Otome Saotome
  • Kenta Miyake as Raiki Gōriki
  • Yui Horie as Kosuri Onigashira
  • Sumire Uesaka as Oboro Tsukimigusa
  • Yui Ogura as Binkan-chan

The said anime adaptation of Hirotaka Akagi and Eito Shimotsuki’s light novel series is directed by Youhei Suzuki.

Prison School, a manga created by Akira Hiramoto, will also air its anime adaptation on July 10 under J.C Staff. The cast includes (from left to right) Hiroshi Kamiya as Kyoshi, Katsuyuki Konishi (Gakuto), Kenichi Suzumura (Shingo), Daisuke Namikawa (Joe),  and Kazuyuki Okitsu as Reiji “Andre” Andō, and for the female characters, they will be voiced by Sayaka Ohara as Mari (President), Shizuka Itou as Meiko (Vice President) and Kana Hanazawa as Hana (Secretary).

Prison School

©Akira Hiramoto/Kodansha/J.C.Staff

Meanwhile, the third season of Junjō Romantica will premiere on July 8. The boys-love anime series will once again be directed by Chiaki Kon under Studio DEEN. Takahiro Sakurai and Hikaru Hanada will return as Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko Usami, respectively. Hiro Shimono will also join the original cast as Mizuki Shiiba.

Which among these new anime TV series are you looking forward to watch? 

“Noragami” Anime Teases Fans with a Video for the Second Season

©Adachitoka/Bones/Kodansha

The May issue of Kodansha’s Monthly Shounen Magazine recently announced the return of the cast and staff for the second season of the anime adaptation of Adachitoka’s “Noragami” manga. The first season, which was aired from January to March last year, was produced by Studio Bones and directed by Kotaro Tamura. Deko Akao and Toshihiro Kawamoto will reunite with Tamura for the second season of the anime series under the production of Bones. Hiroshi Kamiya and Maaya Uchida will also return as Yato and Hiyori Iki, respectively, together with Yuuki Kaji (Yukine), Miyuki Sawashiro (Bishamon), Jun Fukuyama (Kazuma) and Daisuke Ono (Daikoku), among others. Joining them are Aki Toyosaki (Kofuku), Toru Ohkawa (Tenjin), Kazuhiko Inoue (Kuraha), Asami Imai (Mayu)  and Rie Kugimiya (Nora).

The second season will adapt the series’ Bishamon arc and a video was recently uploaded by the official website for the anime which contains images from Adachitoka’s manga.

Cast Revealed for the Anime Adaptation of “One Punch Man”

One-Punch Man, a  webcomic originally created by ONE, is confirmed to have an anime adaptation this year! It will be directed by Shingo Natsume under Studio Madhouse, and Chikashi Kubota will be the character designer. Tomohiro Suzuki, on the other hand, will handle the series composition.

©ONE・村田雄介/集英社・ヒーロー協会本部

The official website for the anime adaptation recently unveiled some of the voice actors for the upcoming series which include Makoto Furukawa as the protagonist Saitama and Kaito Ishikawa as Genos, the main character’s disciple. Yuuki Kaji (Speed of Sound Sonic) and Aoi Yūki (Tornado of Terror) will also join Furukawa and Ishikawa in the cast. Yūsuke Murata began his remake of One Punch Man in 2012 on Shueisha’s Young Jump Web Comics website. Both ONE’s webcomic and Murata’s digital manga remake are still ongoing.

(via ANN)

“Haikyuu!!” Anime to Release Two Compilation Films

The anime adaptation of Haruichi Furudate’s Haikyuu! manga was previously confirmed to air its second season this year, and Shueisha recently reported that it will begin its broadcast this fall! In addition to that, it will also have two anime compilation films that will also be released this year. The first movie, Gekijō-ban Haikyu!! Owari to Hajimari (Haikyu!! the Movie: Ending and Beginning), which will open on July 3, will be followed by the second installment titled Gekijō-ban Haikyu!! Shōsha to Haisha (Haikyu!! the Movie: Winners and Losers), which will be screened on September 18. This year’s 17th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine unveiled the news.

©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha

A stage play adaptation, which will begin at the AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo in November this year, is also confirmed to take place. The “hyper projection performance” will then travel to Osaka’s Theater Brava! in late November, and finally to the Tagajō Shimin Kaikan’s Great Hall at Miyagi’s Tagajo City Cultural Center in early December. More details will be announced soon regarding the movies and the stage play’s tickets.

©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha

Check out the film’s website for more info!

(via ANN)