Tag Archives: Fall 2013

Review: Your Lie In April, Episode 4: Departure

Review:

Well, Kousei has given in and is going to accompany Kaori during her recital. At the very least, I think we all knew from the get-go that somehow Kaori would get Kousei back into playing his instrument. It’s certainly happening faster than this reviewer would have thought (rather than being a series-long progression, it begins here in the fourth episode, and technically in the third, if we count the point from which Kousei made his decision). In any event, Kousei is in, the contest is on, and what remains to be seen is how the contest will play out.

Again, I have to give the producers kudos for keeping this show entertaining, even to non-classical enthusiasts like myself. With a decent portion of the show dedicated to Kaori and Kousei’s performance, it’s easy to imagine one such as myself getting bored, but that doesn’t happen. Of course, Kousei begins to struggle with his condition (as we might expect), and though there isn’t a lot happening outside of Kaori playing the violin and Kousei struggling to play the piano, the show somehow manages to keep the viewers’ attention.

The climax of the episode is, of course, something fans should be happy to see, and yet it’s shocking in its own right. If nothing else, it certainly earns a point for being unexpected, and who doesn’t like a surprise?

A Christian Perspective:

We can learn a thing or two about faith from Kaori in this episode. Kousei is broken, in the sense that he suffers from his condition with playing the piano. Kaori knows this; in fact, she’s seen it first hand. Despite all that, though, she has chosen Kousei as her partner, and even expresses confidence in his ability. What could be the source of this confidence if not faith? And what could be the source of her faith other than knowledge of what Kousei has done in the past, and is therefore completely capable of doing in the present?

Much like Kaori’s faith in Kousei was based on who Kousei is and what he has done, so too should our faith in Jesus be based on who He is and what He has done. Were we there to see the resurrection and to put our fingers in the nail marks along with Thomas? No, we were not; however, we have the accounts of the first century witnesses, we have the research that has been done since then, and we have the ministry of Christ Himself to give us confidence that Jesus is who He says He is. After all, He fulfilled numerous Old Testament prophecies, inspired a movement that does not make sense unless Jesus truly was the Messiah, and has changed the lives of countless people throughout history. Can we physically see Jesus today as the apostles did back then? No, we cannot; however, we can trust in the facts that we have about Jesus, along with the evidence we have of His work, and based on these things we can reasonably and logically conclude that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the One who can forgive our sins and reconcile us to God, and that He is worthy of our trust and faith.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”, 3 “da**it”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A character goes flying off of a back; Kaori headbutts Kousei

Blood/Gore: Blood pools under a character’s head after he hits it on the ground; blood is running down a character’s face

Other: Kaori does the “Elohim, Essaim” thing again, which has some kind of dark roots (information courtesy of commenter David on Christian Anime Review)

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 8: Encounters of Fighters

Review:

So now things get a little deeper in terms of plot. Instead of the show just being about a boy and his aspirations of world domin—er, I mean stardom–we now have an organization and a scientist out to win the tournament for their own means. This is also a mostly Sei-less episode, and even when we do see him, he doesn’t play a prominent role. No, this episode is all set up. That’s not to say it’s bad–there are two Gundam battles that take place with two new characters who will probably play a bigger role later on.

Er…. to be honest, that’s all I’ve got. I watched this episode a little less than a week ago, and kept putting off writing the review, so I really don’t have much else to say.

A Christian Perspective:

It’s Build Fighters, so of course there’s violence in the form of Gundam fights. Other than that, there is a mild case of what could be called fanservice when the camera pans up the body of a female fighter in a tight body suit. Outside of that, this episode is fairly clean (based on my notes in the Content Guide, at least).

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The camera pans up the body of a female fighter in a tight body suit

Violence: Gundam battles

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 7: World-Level Ability

Review:

The beach episode. It seems that not many anime escape this stereotypical episode, and Gundam Build Fighters goes right along with it, bikinis and all. Okay, in all fairness, it’s not as sexualized as some shows tend to be, but there is still plenty of cleavage from unnamed random female characters and Sei’s mom. Thankfully, the beach portion of the show only compromises a small segment of this episode, instead of making up the majority of the content. Eventually, plot kicks in.

So, the whole point of this episode is that the tournament winners have been given a trip to a hot spring, hence how Sei and Co. end up at the beach. Afterwards, at the hot spring/inn, Mao shows up again, although if you’re hoping to finally see a showdown between Mao and Reiji, you’ll have to wait some more. Mao, though, is downright funny to watch as he shirks the luxury of relaxation in favor of lending a hand to the girl working at the inn, a desire born from his obvious attraction to her. Meanwhile, Sei’s mom is plotting ways to get China with Sei. Of course, we all see this as the obvious pairing, but wouldn’t it be a bit creepy if our mom’s did this in real life? Or maybe they have/do? Eh, well, not much changes there, anyway.

If this episode is beginning to sound dull to you, don’t worry. Some land sharks show up to break up the vacation feel of the episode, and in true Build Fighters form, the gangsters (if the term is appropriate) agree to settle their demands with a Gunpla battle. Yes, it’s absurd, but let’s just suspend our disbelief. We’re already watching plastic models come to life, anyway. Besides, this seems to be a reliable formula for the show: stuff happening, and eventually a Gunpla battle. It’s simplistic, it’s predictable, but I can’t say it feels old, at least not yet, and perhaps I’m being too generalizing to say that that’s the formula the writers are using, but it certainly feels like there is a big battle in every episode. Of course, it would be kind of lame to make a show about battling models and then rarely have people actually battle models. Well, anyway, now I’m just filling space.

A Christian Perspective:

Keep up your guard for the first part of this episode: Sei, Reiji, China, Ral, and Sei’s mom are headed to the beach, which comes complete with nameless female characters in bikinis (so, cleavage), along with China in a two piece (although it provides decent coverage) and Sei’s mom in a bikini (which is definitely cleavage heavy). There’s also a still shot with Sei’s mom diving to hit a beach ball, where she doesn’t have the wrap around her waist. Granted, she’s just wearing a typical bikini bottom, but I still feel it’s worth mentioning. There’s also a scene where Reiji is asked about China’s bikini, which prompts Reiji to look back and forth from China and Sei’s mom, clearly comparing their chest sizes. His subsequent comment earns him a smack (violence). So yeah, the first few minutes aren’t particularly friendly for anyone who struggles with sexual temptation. Beyond that, the episode gets back to being fairly content friendly, with the only noteworthy mentions being the fact that a truck is crashed through a building, and Ral makes a comment about the “goddess of victory”. Whether or not that last one makes you uncomfortable depends upon whether you just wave such things off as nonsense or not, I suppose.

One good lesson this show delivers—not just for Christians, but for anyone in general—is that violence is not the answer.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: It’s a beach episode, so there are female characters shown in bathing suits, and especially bikinis, which of course expose cleavage; male characters are also shown in swim trunks; there is a scene where Reiji is asked what he thinks of China’s swimsuit, and he clearly begins to compare the size of China’s chest to that of Sei’s mom—nothing is explicitly said, but it’s obvious what’s going on

Violence: Gundam battle stuff; a character is smacked; a truck is crashed through the front of a building

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Ral makes a comment about the “goddess of victory”

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 6: A Reason To Battle

Review:

Well, we finally get the big battle we’ve all been waiting for, but it certainly came early. Six episodes in, and a total carnage of a battle… it kind of feels anti-climactic. On the other hand, though, if this is what we get six episodes in, then what will the final climax of battles be? Really, they probably could have teased out some plot points from this, such as Reiji’s apathy at Yuuki’s withdrawal, but the problems arrive and resolve within this episode. I don’t know what purpose there is for this, but it just feels like we reached a milestone in the series while it’s still young. Regardless, the big battle for this episode was great to watch.

It’s also cute to watch how Sei and China are slowly growing closer together. Apparently Sei’s mom thinks so, too. Outside of that, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of development in character relationships, other than the whole Yuuki/Reiji & Sei thing. Other than that, Mr. Ral does pop up to offer some wisdom to Reiji, but it’s wisdom that we could all consider: why do we engage in hobbies? Specifically, Mr. Ral is addressing Reiji’s thoughts about Gunpla battle, but we can probably apply what he has to say to any hobby that we partake in.

Of course, the series does still have some of those eye-roll worthy moments that come with anime such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Beyblade, mainly in reference to how seriously people are reacting while playing a game with toys. At least in Build Fighters, though, the Gunpla are shown as if they were real, which at least makes the battles more intense than two tops beating against each other. Honestly, I have no real complaints about the show, other than the fact that the pacing could have been done differently, but I am looking at it from the present view instead of the overall view, so perhaps it will make more sense as the story continues to unfold.

A Christian Perspective:

Watch out for that episode preview. This is as bad as it gets: Sei’s mom in a bikini, which of course means cleavage. China is shown in a school swimsuit, which isn’t really fanservicey in and of itself. So it’s certainly not the worst on the fanservice scale, although it is more than what we’re used to from this show (well, okay, Kirara was probably worse than this). Hopefully the context of the next episode isn’t simply to throw in some fanservice. Beyond that is just the typical Gundam fight violence. The big battle in this episode is particularly gruesome, at least as gruesome as two robots beating each other up can get. I’d venture to guess that most people who have watched this far aren’t bothered by this kind of violent content, though.

Content Guide:

Langauge: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: In the preview, Sei’s mom and China are shown at the beach, with China wearing what looks like a school swimsuit and Sei’s mom in a bikini (which, of course, means cleavage)

Violence: Gundam battles, one in particular being “gruesome” in terms of robot destruction

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 5: The Strongest Builder

Review:

Well, now Sei has a rival. Wait, wasn’t that Yuuki? Or was he Reiji’s rival? Bah, whatever. Anyway, the first post-credit scene in this episode seriously feels like a fanboy’s sales pitch for Gunpla. Sei and Ral basically blurt out a bunch of reasons as to why Gunpla is fun outside of the battling aspect. I suppose I should take some notes, though, as my own Gunpla are basically built by instruction and then stuck on a shelf (or back in the box as they wait for a place to be displayed). Well, anyway, it’s not really a criticism as much as it is a point of humor.

I also find it humorous as to how big Gunpla apparently is in the world of Build Fighters. The trucker from the opening, for example, seems to appreciate the Gunpla he’s given as payment for a ride, and one character even uses a Gundam model in an attempt to hit on a woman (what’s more is that it actually works, at least until Reiji shows up). Then, in contrast to all of this, is China’s dad, who is basically not open to the idea of taking Gunpla as payment. I guess not everyone likes Gunpla, even in a world where it seems like everyone loves Gunpla. Or he just has better business sense. One of the two.

So, like I said, Sei now has a rival in terms of building Gunpla. This comes to a head when the two decide to display their custom Gunpla, at which point a battle ensues. You’ll be disappointed to know, though, that the battle only takes place in the minds of the two combatants. Somehow they manage to have a mental battle (no, it’s not suggested that they’re psychic or anything like that) where they battle with their Gunpla. Don’t expect to find out who wins, though. If that’s not enough, though, we do get a very brief competition battle at the end of the episode, with a post-ending credits scene that continues with the plot line introduced at the end of the previous episode’s post-ending credits scene.

Well, what else can I say? Not much, really. It was nice to see a rival introduced who isn’t a total jerk. Granted, he does come across as one at one point, but in the end it seems more like a friendly (though serious) rivalry, much better than Kirara, who tried to sabotage Sei’s Build Strike. It will be interesting to see if we will find out who’s stronger later on down the line (although let’s face it, if this keeps up with typical anime stereotypes then the win is already assuredly Sei’s). Gundam Build Fighters continues to be a fun show, even if it isn’t the most original or innovative concept out there (let’s face it, there are plenty of toys-used-in-battle shows out there).

A Christian Perspective:

Not a whole lot to say on this one. The worst thing, as far as content goes, is an apparent use of God’s name in vain, specifically “Oh my G**”, except said in Italian. What the character says, specifically (and I include this simply for the fact that I may be wrong, and someone may wish to correct me) is “Oh dio mio”. As far as I know, “dio” is the Italian word for God, so…

Other than that, there is just the typical violence of Gundam battles (admit it, that’s what you’re here for, anyway) and a woman wearing a low cut top, thus showing cleavage. You know, it occurred to me that I could really expand this section by exploring themes in an episode. I have nothing for this episode in particular, but maybe I’ll keep it in mind for the future.

Content Guide:

Language: If my limited understanding of Italian is correct, a character basically exclaims “Oh my G**” in Italian

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A woman is shown wearing a dress/top (not sure which) that shows cleavage

Violence: Gundam battles

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 4: Gunpla Idol Kirara

Review:

If you’re wondering what happened to episode 3’s review, well… I seem to have lost it. I did the content guide, and then never got around to writing the review. Now I can’t find my file. I suppose I’ll have to go back and re-watch that one and do a review at some point, but I really wanted to watch the next episode.

So, anyway, this episode is honestly pretty predictable. It doesn’t take a lot to figure out the plot twist, if you can call it that, but the story is still entertaining enough, and the reveal during this episode’s big battle would probably be a bit of a surprise, if I hadn’t already read about the Build Strike on Wikipedia…

In a way, it was a cute episode, at least when you pay attention to Kousaka. Her interest in Sei probably isn’t much of a surprise, either, but it’s still kind of cute to watch her reactions in this episode. On the other hand, though, they do bring in some fanservice this time around. Granted, it’s probably mild as far as fanservice goes, but it’s still there and it’s still worth nothing. I’m specifically referring to Kirara’s attire. They enjoy showing her a bit provocatively when she’s performing, she dresses in a skimpy outfit, and the camera seems to enjoy centering on her breasts. It’s not prevalent enough to ruin the episode, but it does raise the question of, “Why?” Fanservice, in my opinion, is never necessary, and particularly so in a show about kids building models.

With that said, let’s get to the meat of why you’re probably here: Gundam battles. While the battles may not make up the majority of the episode, the main battle for this episode is still entertaining to watch, especially if you don’t know the Build Strike’s secret. It’s a fun watch, as always. I did notice a few errors in the subtitles, though. Again, this isn’t something that ruins the episode, but I’m low on things to say, and I don’t think I criticize a lot, so I included it.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, Kirara. Skimpy outfit, cleavage, camera centering on her breasts… yeah, stuff like that is prevalent. There is no nudity, and most people would probably consider this mild, but I must question why this was included. I mean, it’s probably safe to classify this more as a kids’ show, so the Kirara fanservice–mild or not–seems completely out of place, and is something we could do without. Even excluding the close ups of her breasts (and yes, she was clothed) would have been an improvement. Other than that, there was the violence of the Gunpla battles, which I have simplified as, well, Gunpla battles in the “Violence” section simply because the nature of the battles doesn’t change: guns, beam swords, explosions, etc. If it’s in one episode, it’s probably in all of them.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Kirara dresses rather skimpy, in the equivalent of what we might as well call a bikini top and “booty shorts”, if you will. The camera makes it a point to zoom in on her (clothed) breasts, and some of her poses are a bit provocative. Also, she shows some cleavage. Ditto pretty much all of that for her appearance at the Gunpla battle. The camera focuses on her breasts a few time.

Violence: Gunpla battles

Blood/Gore: None

 

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 2: The Crimson Comet

Review:

Gundam Build Fighters may very well be a toy commercial cleverly disguised as an anime. I don’t know. At the very least, they are using it to market a new line of models (but don’t they make a new line of models for every Gundam series, anyway?) Regardless, it doesn’t feel like a throw away show, and it certainly has mass appeal. Obviously Gundam fans will enjoy it, and it should also appeal to kids (or parents who want something relatively clean for their kids to watch… except, you know, subtitles and all…).

So, yes, I might as well say right off the bat that there is nothing in this show, so far, that I would even call remotely offensive. It will be nice if this continues, as it means very little notes for me, which lends to a much smoother viewing experience. Er, maybe that’s a bit lazy and irresponsible on my part, though.

So anyway, this episode is still contributing to the set up phase. Sei, of course, wants Reiji to be his partner in Gunpla battle, but Reiji just isn’t interested, at least, not yet. We all know where this is going, of course–just watch the intro (or just watch anime in general). This episode, more than anything, serves to pull Reiji in, spur Sei on, and set the stage for Sei’s ultimate goal–the world championship. Of course, we all know that Sei has dreams of the championship anyway, but now there’s something at stake. What, exactly, I’m not sure, though it seems to be an answer from a particular character. Outside of that, there’s not much to say. It’s an enjoyable show that’s fairly easy on the eyes, fun to watch, and fun to fantasize about (seriously, imagine being able to actually battle Gunpla). Some plot points are a bit laugh-worthy, such as the Plavsky particles reacting to the plastic that Gunpla is made out of, thus allowing the Gunpla to come alive, but it’s science fiction, and at least partially a kids’ show. Besides, we’re here to see Gundams fight, not debate over the sci-fi elements, right?

Gundam Build Fighters is definitely staying on my watch list. It may not be entirely original (I’m not the only one to draw a comparison to Angelic Layer, and I saw a reference to Yu-Gi-Oh in the Youtube comments), but I think it will prove to be an enjoyable watch, at least for people who at least have some knowledge of Gundam/Gunpla.

A Christian Perspective:

Honestly, unless you find depictions of robots fighting to be an offense or temptation, I don’t think there’s anything here for Christians to be worried about. Honestly, it would be nice to say something positive about teamwork and cooperation, but seeing as Reiji was kind of coaxed into the whole thing, such a statement would fall apart. Ah well.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: The intro shows scenes of Gundam battles; a flashback shows Sei’s gundam slicing through Sazaki’s MS, with Sazaki’s exploding; a character’s hand is slapped away; a character is being held in a wrestling move (a suplex?) where his legs are being bent back; a Gundam battle takes place–a model’s hand is shot off, and it explodes, an MS is stabbed in the stomach and explodes; a second battle ensues–an MS is tripped and knocked down

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Gundam Build Fighters, Episode 1: Sei and Reiji

Review:

Well, it certainly took me long enough to find out that I could actually watch this in an official capacity. I had heard mention of it through the Gundam group I’m a member of on Facebook, but I just assumed everyone was using fansubs, and since I don’t support fansubbing I figured I just wouldn’t see it. So imagine my surprise when I finally posted something that lead to me finding out that there was an official outlet!

Let’s start with the obvious: Gundam Build Fighters is probably just as much a marketing ploy as it is a legitimate show. I mean, the whole thing is based around building Gundam models and battling them. Much like the newest My Little Pony incarnation (isn’t it a common criticism that Hasbro made shows to market toys?), though, this seems like it will stand on its own as much as it does for a marketing ploy.

Really, I would argue that this show is every Gunpla builder’s dream: its characters have the ability to take their constructed models and fight with them in “Gunpla Battle”, a simulated battle field that puts the users in control of their models. I suppose it’s kind of like Angelic Layer in that respect. The downside, though, is that any damage the model incurs during the battle is sustained post-battle, which I imagine means a lot of time spent fixing up damaged models–or possibly scrapping hours (maybe even days) of hard work.

The story itself focuses on Sei Iori, a young Gunpla modeler who lives with his mom and helps run their Gunpla shop. Sei’s dad seems to have been a skilled Gunpla battler, though what happened to him remains unsaid as-of-yet. While Sei is an extraordinary modeler, he is a terrible battler, evidenced early on when his rival, Sazaki, puts him to shame in front of a customer and his son. Sazaki’s goal, it seems, is to get Sei to agree to partner with him–Sei will build the models, and Sazaki will battle them, as the better a model is constructed, the better it will perform. Sei wants no part of such an alliance, though. While sitting outside, seemingly downtrodden because he doesn’t feel he stands a chance in the Gunpla championships, Sei meets a boy named Reiji. Strange and seemingly foreign, Reiji doesn’t seem to know much about basic things like soda, much less Gunpla Battle, yet he may very well be the key to Sei finally seeing his models win.

Honestly, I enjoyed it, but I am also a Gundam fan, and I enjoy putting the models together. It seems possible that the show will include models from every Gundam series, so those with an extensive Gundam knowledge may enjoy it even more. I don’t consider myself to be hugely knowledgeable about the series, but what I’ve seen I like, and I’m happy with what I know. I enjoyed the show. If you know a lot about Gundam, you’ll probably enjoy the show. If you know nothing about Gundam, but enjoy shows with fighting robots, you’ll probably enjoy the show. If you liked Angelic Layer, you’ll probably enjoy the show. My point is, it’s enjoyable. I find nothing wrong with the first episode (coming from my completely amateur, non-professional, non-experienced background, that is). It seems to set the stage for the show’s overall plot fairly well while leaving a bit of mystery, namely 1) what happened to Sei’s dad and 2) who is Reiji? I will certainly be trying to catch up on the series.

A Christian Perspective:

Honestly, it’s probably a series meant to sell toys and models, whether as a primary or secondary motive, so it’s a pretty clean show (well, okay, the first episode is clean; I can’t comment further). The most offensive thing anyone will find is the violence–if you consider robots fighting other robots offensive (especially with those robots actually being plastic models). This is up to the individual conscience, of course. Some people are okay with intense violence, some can stand a little bit, and others want nothing to do with it. I doubt the scenes of battling mobile suits and huge explosions will decrease as the series goes on, so if that’s not to your taste then this probably won’t be your show.

The only other thing to note is that Sei receives a rock/gem that he can “wish” on, and a certain person will appear to help him out. Really, it’s probably more Jimminy Cricket “wish upon a star” than anything dark or evil, but if you don’t like the idea of “wishing” then you should be aware that this is in there.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: The episode opens with a large-scale battle in space; two mobile suits battle, with a wing being destroyed, an arm being cut off, a head being cut off, and an impaling (leading to explosion) of one suit; another scene of space battle, with explosions all around–a Gundam fires its beam rifle through two enemy MS; another mobile suit battle shows two suits attacking each other–one destroys the other, resulting in a large explosion; there is a montage of scenes showing mobile suits battling, with destruction and explosions included; two mobile suits fight–one is disarmed and sent skidding across the ground; a mobile suit collides with another; a mobile suits kicks (x2) and punches another; a mobile suit is sliced apart and destroyed

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Sei obtains a gem/rock that allows him to “wish” for a certain person to appear

Review: Golden Time, Episode 2: Lonely Girl

Review:

I initially intended to start this blog during the Fall 2013 season. I started collecting a back log of reviews at the suggestion of TWWK from Beneath the Tangles so that I could have reviews to fall back on in order to make daily postings. I never got around to starting the blog during that season, though, and honestly I don’t think most of them were that good. There were times where I completely neglected to write the review, because I kept putting it off to the point that I pretty much forgot what happened in the episode, at least to the point that I couldn’t do an adequate review (minus the content guides, which I do as I’m watching the show). All of these reviews will probably make their way onto the blog at some point, though. This was also before I started doing the Christian Perspective section of my reviews, so that’s why those are absent.

I will give fair warning on this one: there may be some content that I miss in my review. I lost my original notes for this episode.

Anyway, let’s get my gripe about episode 2 out of the way first: the club parties. No, it’s not the depiction of drinking that bothers me. While I will certainly agree that drunkenness is a sin (the Bible says as much), I do not agree with the idea that simply having a drink is a sin. Now, admittedly, the characters do seem to be shown getting drunk, so please be aware of that. More to the point, though, is the fact that Banri gets drug into the Tea Club’s party, where the female members are shown to be getting drunk and taking their clothes off (we see members dancing in their underwear). If I haven’t made it clear prior to this point, I prefer my anime sans-fanservice, and I just don’t feel that it was necessary. I think I get the joke they were going for–tea ceremonies, as far as I can tell, are formal, elegant events, and the women performing them should have an air of dignity, but these women were acting completely disgracefully–but I don’t think it really needed to go that far. The mere fact that they were getting drunk seems to be in stark contrast to what one would expect. Well, gripe aside…

I honestly can’t say that this episode left that much of an impression with me. In fact, I think I can say that it left me a bit lukewarm towards the show. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give to the series is that Koko doesn’t seem to be in the typical “pretty girl gets all the attention” situation. Granted, everyone around her does, in fact, comment on her beauty, but no one seems to be brave enough to approach her. This is certainly in contrast to the typical approach of the pretty girl garnering a crowd around her that wants nothing more than for her to acknowledge their existence. It does add a bit of depth to Koko’s character, I suppose. We are, of course, still confronted with her one-track mind that is completely set on Mitsuo, and it’s no secret that Banri is attracted to Koko. Well, I suppose the opening credits already tell us where their relationship is going…

Anyway, as far as I recall, the episode seemed to center around the whole concept of finding a club, which is kind of brought to a head when Banri and Koko are taken out by a woman who wants to recruit them to her club. In the end, they are invited to an overnight trip (a three day, two night trip, I believe) with the club, which they of course accept the invitation to. Banri, of course, likes the idea of being with Koko overnight, and I can certainly see this getting abused in the sense of fanservice. If I’m right, then this might spell the end of my interest in this show. We shall see.

Content wise, my biggest gripe has already been expressed. Beyond that, there is one instance of Banri commenting something to the effect of, “I’m in hell”. Whether you consider that cussing or not is, in the end, up to you. Of course there are various depictions of characters drinking and getting drunk, as well. There’s also the in-between image that depicts Koko in a cleavage-showing dress.

Rating: Reluctant Watch

Content Guide:

Language: Banri comments something to the effect of, “I’m in hell.”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Characters are shown drinking at the club parties

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Some female Tea Club members are shown drunk and dancing around in their underwear. The ‘in-between’ image shows Koko in a dress that reveals some cleavage. See episode 1 note about closing credits.

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Other:
None

Review: Golden Time, Episode 1: Spring Time

Review

I initially intended to start this blog during the Fall 2013 season. I started collecting a back log of reviews at the suggestion of TWWK from Beneath the Tangles so that I could have reviews to fall back on in order to make daily postings. I never got around to starting the blog during that season, though, and honestly I don’t think most of them were that good. There were times where I completely neglected to write the review, because I kept putting it off to the point that I pretty much forgot what happened in the episode, at least to the point that I couldn’t do an adequate review (minus the content guides, which I do as I’m watching the show). All of these reviews will probably make their way onto the blog at some point, though. This was also before I started doing the Christian Perspective section of my reviews, so that’s why those are absent.

Tada Banri is a brand new college student, and on his first day of college everything that can go wrong does go wrong. He basically misses the opening ceremony due to a subway mishap (he arrives just in time for dismissal), gets lost on his way to law school (after losing the group of girls he was totally not stalking in an attempt to find his way there), and gets mixed up with a guy (Yanagisawa Mitsuo) who has, at first glance, a completely insane girlfriend. How do I define completely insane? Well, our first encounter with said girlfriend (named Kaga Koko) involves her beating Mitsuo in the face with a bushel of roses (oh, don’t worry, she removed the thorns first). Technically, no harm is done to Banri in that third scenario, so I guess it doesn’t particularly add to his first-day mishaps, although he ends up being the one to start playing off the situation. As you can probably figure at this point, the majority of the episode is fairly light-hearted.

What’s most interesting about the series is that it breaks from the traditional high school setting found in most anime. On the other hand… there’s not much of a difference. Sure, we no longer have students in school uniforms, but a lot of the same elements seem to be there, including club recruitment insanity. Actually, the club recruitment insanity may be ramped up from any high school anime I’ve ever seen. Whether Japanese colleges are actually like this (I doubt it) or not, I don’t know, but Banri is completely overwhelmed, and this particular scene is probably my biggest gripe about the episode.

At one point, Banri is surrounded by the “Latin Music Club”, which is represented by a bunch of girls dressed in what are more-or-less bikinis. Now you may be saying, “Wait a minute Rob, if you’re going to gripe about that, then how do you go to the beach?” Okay, I’ll give you that much, but the bigger gripe is when more girls from the club surround Banri from the other side, so that they’re backs are to us. It’s at this point that we are shown the backs of the costumes, and when we are also shown that the backs of their bottoms don’t exactly entirely cover their butts. While this scene doesn’t take up a major portion of the episode, it was a damper in what was otherwise a rather refreshingly clean episode of anime.

Well, costume gripes aside, this episode does set up some potential plot points. Banri is clearly smitten with Koko, though she only has eyes for Mitsuo. Banri also encounters a couple other female students (one of whom rescues him from the Latin Music Club), which sets the stage for potential love rivals (though hopefully not a harem setting). In all of the light-heartedness of the episode, we do get one small spot of darkness near the end, where Banri appears to have a flashback.

Content wise, I’ve already touched on my biggest gripe: the Latin Music Club’s costumes. Beyond that, there is also a big in the ending credits where Koko is shown in some sort of night clothing (see the content guide below for more details). There is the scene where Koko beats Mitsuo in the face with the roses, and Chinami comments that she likes looking at beautiful people, whether men or women. While her comment doesn’t seem to allude to anything sexual, I figured it would be safer to mention it, just in case.

Overall, will Golden Time measure up to Toradora in terms of quality? Only time will tell–the first episode certainly isn’t enough to compare to an entire series. For now, what we appear to have is a fairly light-hearted series that I can say I honestly enjoyed, annoying fanservice aside. I will keep my eye on this one for now.


Content Guide:

Language: None

Drugs/Alcohol:

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Banri is confronted by the Latin Music Club–girls wearing very revealing outfits (at best, they’re equivalent to bikinis, though at one point several girls have their backs to the screen, showing that the bottoms at least partially show their butts)–this occurs once during Banri’s actual confrontation with the club and also in his flashback about the club craziness. Near the beginning of the closing credits, Koko is shown in some kind of night clothes. While she isn’t necessarily shown in a fan-servicey situation, the clothing itself isn’t the most appropriate, but at the same time nothing particularly inappropriate is shown.

Violence: Koko repeatedly beats Mitsuo in face with flowers… she was nice enough to remove the thorns

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Chinami mentions that she likes looking at beautiful people, whether men or women. There was nothing suggesting a sexual connotation, but I’m mentioning it here just in case.