Tag Archives: Winter 2014

Review: Engaged to the Unidentified, Episode 7: That’s That, This is This

Review:

Remember the blonde student council member who occasionally pops up and seems to show contempt when she sees Benio pouring affection onto Mashiro? Well, she finally plays a prominent role in this episode. In all actuality, this episode didn’t feel like it had much of a point until the end. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad episode, it just didn’t seem to add to the overall plot of the show (well, what little plot there is). And while Suetsugi was certainly a prominent character this time around, she didn’t completely take center stage. We still saw plenty of Hakuya, Kobeni, Mashiro, and… sigh… Benio.

Speaking of that last one, Benio is back in full creep mode this time around. A few highlights include Benio trying to accompany Mashiro to the bathroom and Benio accusing Mashiro of wanting to keep her (Benio) all to herself when Mashiro comments that Benio should be quarantined. Yeah. Honestly, I can’t say I’m disgusted by Benio’s antics, but I guess you could say I oppose them on principle. While her actions don’t typically result in actual scenes of perversion, her conduct, words, and thoughts are pretty perverse in and of themselves, and I think the show would be better off without her, or at least without her being the way she is, but I’m not a writer for the show, so… Honestly, it could be argued that Suetsugi is just as bad towards Benio, except she keeps it all inside, whereas Benio has no qualms about exposing her twisted desires.

Anyway, one thing that was particularly amusing about this episode was the recurring gag of Kobeni popping up as Suestugi was externally declaring an embarrassing monologue. There’s no particular reason why, it was just amusing. I guess what it comes down to is whether or not you’ve enjoyed the show thus far. If so, then you’ll probably be willing to at least tolerate this episode. Once we get near the end, though, we actually get something that may very well be a plot point. You’ll receive no spoilers from me, but you’ll know what I mean once you watch.

A Christian Perspective:

This episode is guilty of breast jokes. During a flashback, Suetsugi is shown noticing and commenting on Kobeni’s breasts. This is, of course, accompanied by a zoom in shot of Kobeni’s breasts, which the animators felt the need to make bounce. Kobeni is fully clothed in her school uniform during the scene, but that doesn’t really make it any more necessary. In another scene, Benio comments that Suetsugi can’t match Kobeni’s breasts before quickly changing it to something else. Honestly, I don’t get why Kobeni’s breasts are constantly a source for jokes. Kobeni is far from the typical character archetype that you’d expect such jokes to be aimed at. Not that it makes the jokes any more necessary when the character does fit into that archetype, but I really don’t think Kobeni deserves it. That’s just my opinion, though. As for other Christian concerns, simply review my comments on Benio and Suetsugi in the review portion.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: During a flashback of Suetsugi’s, we see her noticing Kobeni’s breasts, complete with a close up and bouncing breasts (Kobeni is clothed); Benio makes a comment about Suetsugi not being able to match Kobeni’s breasts

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Engaged to the Unidentified, Episode 6: I Know! I’ll Fill It with a Sister-in-Law

Review:

Well, I’m only about a week late getting to this episode. It was kind of an interesting approach: a Valentine’s Day episode that doesn’t actually start out focused on the day. In fact, we are first faced with Kobeni’s (understandable) interest in Hakuya and Mashiro’s “other” forms. The fact that it’s almost Valentine’s Day doesn’t even come up until about eight minutes into the episode. This actually works out quite well: they aired the episode the week of Valentine’s Day, which at least makes it timely, but if they would have simply jumped into the subject without at least commenting on the previous episode’s revelations then it would have been a bit disjointed. As it is, they managed to tie in a Valentine’s episode without completely destroying the continuity. Bravo.

Admittedly, though, the episode does play out a lot like a stereotypical Valentine’s episode. Girl likes guy, girl makes chocolate for guy, girl has a hard time giving chocolate to guy, guy thinks girl hates him as a result. You know that old formula. For some reason, though, it doesn’t feel stale. In all honesty, the stereotypical approach didn’t hit me until I was writing this review. Maybe it’s because Hakuya is so dense that it takes overhearing another conversation for him to even draw his (wrong) conclusion. Maybe it’s because all of the typical stuff is broken up by Mashiro and Benio’s antics. Or, maybe, it’s because Kobeni isn’t treated like a brainless, love struck heroine, but rather as someone who is a bit confused. We actually get a very touching scene between her and Benio where Kobeni seeks advice about what to do in regards to marrying Hakuya. It doesn’t last long, of course, because… well, Benio.

As you’ve probably guessed, yes, Benio is still herself in this episode. I don’t recall her doing anything overly creepy, but her comments are still there, as is her little sister complex. She does refer to Kobeni (and later Mashiro) as “mai waifu”, but at this point are we even shocked by Benio’s creepiness? It’s kind of expected at this point, and it does get a bit old. Perhaps we’ll see some development in her character, though. That would actually be quite the surprising plot development.
Also note worthy is the fact that this episode had a much stronger focus on Kobeni. While I have nothing against Mashiro, Kobeni is supposed to be the main character by my estimation, so it’s nice to actually see her more in the spotlight.

A Christian Perspective:

Content wise, this week was clean. As always, Benio remains the divisive factor. Of course, if you’re creeped out by her then you’ve probably stopped watching this show long ago. I don’t particularly care for some of her antics, although at times she can be amusing. I think a good break down is that when she’s just doing absurd things/being an overly-attached sister, it can be amusing. When her affections/actions are bordering on yuri/lolicon motivations, then it’s over the line and disturbing. Or maybe that’s just me. I could easily take this series sans-Benio and be completely fine. I think she detracts from the show more than she adds to it, anyway.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Review: The Pilot’s Love Song, Episode 7: A Glorious Death

Review:

This episode would probably have packed more of a punch if it weren’t for the previous episode’s foreshadowing, the title of this episode, and the Crunchyroll comment section, but it was still a decent episode, and the climax was still emotional. If you’ve watched the previous episode, then you probably have your theories about what will happen, so it kind of becomes a waiting game to see when/how it will happen, moreso than if it will happen.

Anyway, if you were tiring of the slow, dramatic pace of this series, then feel relieved: there’s a lot more action this time around. Of course, the drama is still there, as we find the enemy to be more sly than the characters gave them credit for, and as we wait to see what will ultimately happen in this episode, particularly with certain characters. I think it’s safe to say that it keeps you engaged and waiting.

Honestly, I don’t really have any gripes with this episode, except maybe that the climax was a little watered down thanks to the previous foreshadowing. Then again, without that foreshadowing, we may well have not cared at all, so I suppose it was kind of a trade off. All-in-all, The Pilot’s Love Song continues to be enjoyable, and I’m now stuck waiting for the next episode (which appears to contain more action).

A Christian Perspective:

Violence will be the factor this time around. Surprisingly, there is only one instance of vulgar language the entire time. On the other hand, there is a lot of air combat going on, with planes being shot down and ultimately exploding. Most of the violence is like this: plane-on-plane, but there is one scene where a character is shot, and there are a few instances of blood. It’s nothing really gory, but if you’re sensitive to any kind of violence, or to blood, then tread carefully. If this doesn’t bother you, then you’ll probably be fine with this episode.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Air combat, with planes being shot and subsequently exploding; aircraft are attacked with bombs and missiles; an aircraft is shown going down in flames; more of the air fighting, missile shooting, explosions; a character is shot; two planes are shot and explode close up; more planes are shot; the preview shows more gun fire and whatnot

Blood/Gore: Blood is shown running down the front of a character’s head, and then on the character’s glove; blood is shown coming from a character’s gunshot wound; a wounded character is shown in the preview for the next episode

Review: Golden Time, Episode 18: My Hometown

Review:

First, let me apologize for the past several days of no updates. I was at Katsucon, and was basically preoccupied with that. With that being said…

This episode starts off with what may be one of the funniest scenes in the whole series. Koko’s weirdness seems to have finally caught up with her, and we’re treated to several scenes that are definitely laugher-inducing. On the other side of things (or rather, for the majority of the episode) we have Banri and Linda at their high school reunion. Even this is light-hearted, as Banri listens to stories about his past (hopeless) self. The dodge ball game prior to this is amusing in its own right, as well.

Another thing that caught my attention in this one was the use of facial expressions that we don’t typically see in Golden Time. Specifically, Koko’s facial expression when she was caught doing the “exorcist” and her expression when she is crying about wanting Banri to return. This isn’t really a positive or negative thing, just more of an observation.

Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a drama if they didn’t set something up before the end, although where they’ll go from this point will be interesting. Honestly, I don’t have any complaints with this one. It was amusing, I enjoyed it, and I’m now wondering where they’ll go from here.

A Christian Perspective:

This time around we have a few instances of coarse language, a few violent scenes, and some blood (which turns out to be fake). Honestly, there’s not much to say about this. If you prefer to stay away from shows with cursing, then you’ve probably dropped Golden Time by now. While it hasn’t been terrible with foul language, it has had its instances. As for the violence, most of it is done for more of a comedic effect, though if comedic violence isn’t your thing either, then you’ve been warned. Generally, though, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to be concerned with here.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “b**ch”, 2 “h*ll”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A character tackles another character, then puts her in a headlock and chokes her; a character is hit in the face with a purse; a dodgeball game is played

Blood/Gore: A man is shown with a knife sticking out of his bandaged stomach, and there is blood on the bandages (and his pants at one point)

Review: The Pilot’s Love Song, Episode 6: The Holy Spring

Review:

Have I ever said that I think this show will be a slow build? Well, if I haven’t (though I think I have), let this be my statement on it. Case in point, last week’s episode ended with a bit of action, yet this week’s episode begins with a triumphal approach to the Holy Spring, without any initial mention of the previous episode’s attack. I almost wondered if I missed something. We eventually get around to that, though. So, what happens now? Assault? Tension? Casualties? Nope: ramen.

Seriously, much of this episode involves Kal’s dorm having a restaurant event where they serve “Ari-men”, or Ariel’s ramen. Apparently it’s so good that it even shuts up the snooty rich students. What, exactly, they’re raising money for I don’t know, but it seems the whole dorm (plus Claire) teamed up to make this happen, with even Ignacio chipping in. Yet despite all of this merrymaking, there is a definite tension under the surface, as discussions of using the flight students for Holy Spring recon pops up. The whole thing is pretty much interwoven between scenes of otherwise lighthearted happenings, and it’s used to bring attention to Chiharu, who picks up on one particular discussion between the instructors and Admiral Louis.

Actually, one of the cutest scenes in this episode involves Chiharu and Mitsuo. I won’t ruin the details, but it was nice to see the two of them in the spotlight, especially with the main focus generally being on Kal and Claire. Hey, side characters can fall in love too, you know! Here’s hoping that next week’s episode doesn’t have a negative outcome for our potential couple, although the title of the episode (and some of the comments on Crunchyroll) may not leave room for a whole lot of hope. This show is torture, I tell you! Torture! Well, now to wait until next week.

A Christian Perspective:

This was a fairly safe episode. There were two instances of vulgar language, and a few scenes of violence that was more slapstick/comical/lighthearted than anything else (except for that kick to the shin). I don’t see there being too much of an issue for most Christians with this one.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “b*st**d”, 1 “d**n it”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: a character is hit in the back of the head with a cooking tool (maybe a strainer?), a character is kicked in the shin; a character is put in a choke hold and given a noogie to the side of the head

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Nobunagun, Episode 6: Monster Meat

Review:

This week’s episode plays out more like a slasher flick than a show about fighting giant monsters. Oh, and it’s the first Nobunagun episode to not feature the titular character (outside of a picture). Instead, we get to meet the first platoon as they transport an Evolutionary Invasion Object (EIO) on a plane across an arctic area. Of course, the plane goes down, leaving them stranded and in need of assistance. Team members Geronimo and “Princess” (I don’t think we find out her historical person) set off to find help, and they find some kind of outpost, but something seems off…

So there’s your premise for this episode. Saying anything more would probably spoil some plot points. In all honesty, this episode did a pretty good job of entertaining me, although viewers would probably care a little more about the fate of these characters if it wasn’t our first time meeting them. Regardless, the slasher/mystery aspect of it was fairly well done, keeping you (or at least me) interested in what’s going on. The end of the episode briefly kicks back to the action we typically expect.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, like I said, this episode kind of plays out like a slasher flick, so there is violence, and there is blood. There is one use of Jesus’ name in vain, and one use of vulgarity, plus one of the Sio bikini pictures resurfaces, so there is fanservice in that regard. Another Sio bikini picture is shown near the end of the outro (admittedly I skipped most of it, so if there’s anything else in the outro, I don’t know). It’s kind of a dark episode, so if you’re not a fan of slasher/horror/murder mystery type stuff, then you may want to avoid this one. I mean, it’s not over the top, but there’s more blood than what we’re used to. There is also a typical fight scene at the end of the episode, although if you’ve been watching this far, then that won’t be a surprise.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”, 1 “b*st**d”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Cyx’s battle suit accentuates her breasts (although nothing is actually exposed); one of the pictures of Sio in a bikini is shown (cleavage included); I skipped most of the outro, but at the end there is another picture of Sio in a bikini top (and again, cleavage)

Violence: A video is shown with a man killing someone with a shovel(?); a portion of a plane is blown up; a man is shown impaled by an EIO; an EIO attacks with its scales, and explosions ensue

Blood/Gore: blood is shown on the ceiling of the lab; the video shows blood; a character is shown covered in blood, with blood splattered on the walls behind him

Review: Golden Time, Episode 17: Return to Yesterday

Review:

It seems the Banri/Koko drama is done… for now. Honestly, there was a lot more talking done in this episode than anything else, but it does seem like some things have reached a conclusion for the time being. For one thing, Koko seems to be at ease with Banri and Linda’s past, going so far as to encourage Banri to return home for a high school reunion. The argument from the previous episode seems to have spurred Banri to finally face his past, which will probably create some plot points as we slowly close in on the end of this series.

We also get to see more interaction between Oka and Koko this time around. I don’t know if Koko can be called an all-around tsundere, but in terms of this friendship she definitely is. Just watch the scene where she’s helping Oka unpack at her new apartment. Koko certainly seems to have grown up some since the beginning of the series, though it remains to be seen if she’ll drop this part of her act and just admit that she considers Oka a friend.

Perhaps we will finally start exploring the Yana/Linda relationship as well, as we see a brief scene between the two of them where Yana succeeds in angering Linda. Not much is explained as to what the nature of their relationship is, but hopefully this was a flag to start exploring it.

Overall, there’s not a lot to say about this one. As I said before, it was more talking than “action”, but if the discussions are serving to set up future plot points then consider them a necessity. That doesn’t make it a boring episode at all, of course, especially if you’re invested in the characters, but if you’re looking for stuff to happen, then this isn’t going to be the episode you were hoping for.

A Christian Perspective:

Not much to say here. There is some drinking going on at the Festival Club’s party, but that’s about it. Whether this is offensive or not will largely depend upon your view of alcohol consumption. I don’t think any of the characters shown were meant to be drunk, but I could be wrong.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: Characters are shown drinking at the Festival Club’s fireworks party

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 5: The Illusive… Siesta Labyrinth

Review:

This one is pretty comical through and through, with Kumin-senpai taking the central role for the most part. If you ever wondered whether an episode about napping could be entertaining, then you’ll find your answer this time around. I have to say, if there’s one thing this show does right, it’s this: the characters are cute. You just can’t help but to enjoy watching them.

The ‘Far Eastern Magic Napping Society in Summer’ is facing disbandment because of their lack of activity. Lo and behold, though, that napping actually counts as an activity! So, in order to prove that their club is “legitimate” they challenge another school’s nap club to a competition. The only problem is that the other club is actually a group of pros at napping, and Rikka opens her mouth, promising disbandment of her own club if they lose the competition. This leaves it up to Kumin-senpai to train this group of nap-rookies on how to nap properly!

Seriously, it is primarily an episode about napping. Kudos have to be given, too, because napping competitions apparently are a real thing, so they didn’t just make this up for the show. Brave, Chunibyo, bravo.

There really isn’t a lot to say here. If you’re looking for a show with cohesive plot and character progression, then you should probably look elsewhere. If you’re looking for an enjoyable viewing experience with amusing, likeable characters, then stick with Chunibyo (although this is season two, so you’re probably already aware of that). My one contention with the show continues to be the use of occult imagery, but at least they show the imagery as an element of imaginary creation, instead of making it seem like it has any real power. I could argue that this is also bad, because it’s de-sensitizing viewers to the use of such imagery, and may make viewers less cautious about being involved with these things in real life, but I’ll leave those opinions up to your personal convictions. Unless something in a show really rubs me raw (for example, if they started sacrificing sheep in a summoning circle to summon demons), I’m probably not going to definitively say, “Don’t watch this show because of this.” I will respect your conscience and say that if you’re unsure of something, pray about it and let God have the say.

A Christian Perspective:

As always, the big issue here is imagery. While it’s not overly prevalent in this episode, there is a female character with a pocket mirror/make up thing with a pentagram on it (it looks upside down, but that may be because she has it open), another character has a crystal ball, and there is also a giant summoning circle on the Napping Society’s floor, which seems to be made out of Christmas lights. Beyond that, Yuta makes a comment about not having a “chance in hell”, and there is magic used in an imaginary battle. If you’ve watched the show up to this point (and most likely if you’ve watched season one), then you probably aren’t bothered by this stuff for one reason or another, but just know it’s there. I would still say approach with caution, and be willing to drop it if God says so.

Beyond that are a few scenes that could be sexually tempting to some viewers. We have female characters shown in gym uniforms (thus, bloomers), school swimsuits, and bikinis. While none of the scenes are sexual in nature (and I don’t believe they were intended to be “fanservice” in and of themselves), I still mention it for anyone who may be sensitive. There is also violence in this episode. It is mostly comical, with a character being hit in the head with a flung rubber band while another is hit in the face with a toy, but there is also an imaginary battle where the characters fight with weapons and magic.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Female characters are shown in gym uniforms (bloomers) and school swimsuits (I realize these are fairly typical in anime, and in this case aren’t really used for the explicit purpose of fanservice, but if you’re sensitive to this kind of material then be warned); a still shot is shown with female characters in bikinis

Violence: A character is hit in the head with a flung rubber band; there is a “battle scene” in this episode, where characters fight with physical weapons and magic; a character is hit in the face with some kind of toy

Blood/Gore: None

Other: A girl is shown with a makeup thing with an upside down pentagram on it (although she does have it open, so it may only be upside down because the top is flipped up); another character is shown with a crystal ball; a comment is made about not having a “hope in hell” in regards to winning the napping competition; magic is used in the “battle”; there is a giant summoning circle (pentagram) on the club floor, possibly made with Christmas lights

Review: Engaged to the Unidentified, Episode 5: This Woman Has Given Birth?

Review:

There’s something weird about the Mitsumine household… but you’ve probably figured that out by now, and we find out just what that is in this episode. No, I won’t spoil it for you.

Anyway, I found this episode to be fairly amusing overall. Hakuya’s and Mashiro’s attempts to avoid answering how old Mashiro is, for example, made for a fairly funny scene (although we do eventually find out just how old Mashiro is). It’s also funny to see how Hakuya shows his affection, and how Kobeni reacts.

The crux of the episode centers around the fact that a visitor is coming to Kobeni’s home from the Mitsumine household. In all honesty, I was expecting some kind of harsh, gruff visitor. What we get instead is Hakuya and Mashiro’s mother. As it turns out, she has a weakness for sweets and loose lips. It’s thanks to her that we find out the secret of the Mitsumine household, and also why we find out a bit of information about Hakuya and Kobeni’s initial meeting. She’s a quirky character, and certainly threw a wrench in my expectations, but any chances of a tense encounter are quickly dismissed. There is some tension as Kobeni’s sudden sickness kicks in again, but nothing too serious.

Benio is actually reigned in a bit this time around, too. While she is shown obsessing over Kobeni at one point (or more to the point, the fact that Kobeni is engaged to Hakuya), she snaps out of it and admits that she’s okay with the idea. It seems that, for as much of a sister complex she has, she can still be reasonable. I dare say that Benio may have actually been funny a couple times in this episode, as opposed to just plain creepy.

The question now is: where will the show go? I mean, the secrets are out, so what now? I suppose we’ll see. In all honesty, though, I don’t see Engaged to the Unidentified being the most noteworthy show, but it’s at least keeping me entertained for this season.

A Christian Perspective:

There are several breast jokes in this episode: Mashiro’s evaluation of Kobeni includes one of her breasts, Shirayuki comments mentally that Kobeni’s chest is the reason kimino don’t look right on Kobeni (the camera zooms in on Kobeni’s clothed chest), and in one scene Shirayuki grabs one of Kobeni’s breasts, which results in a scene of Kobeni’s breasts bouncing (she is clothed in this scene as well). So, while there was no nudity this time around, there were some jokes that are touchy. The worst, of course, being the third one mentioned. The first two were merely observations that we could have done without, but the third we really could have lived without.

Content Guide:

Violence: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Again, probably not the best place, but we have two breast jokes about Kobeni: one when Mashiro is considering her bridal potentials (a box goes across the screen with something like, “Excellent birthing figure and breasts”), and another time when she is discussing why kimono do not look good on her (the character she is talking to notices her chest, and the camera zooms in, but Kobeni is wearing a coat in this scene); Mashiro’s mom touches Kobeni’s breast (Kobeni is clothed), and her breasts are shown bouncing–Mashiro’s mom also comments on Kobeni’s breasts

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren, Episode 4: Queen Maker

Review:

I want to know where these kids get their imaginations, because what they have is better than anything I’ve ever managed. Literally breaking into tears because your friend dons her fictitious persona again? That takes some serious commitment to your character.

Anyway, I don’t know the full extent of the rivalry between Dekomori and Nibutani, outside of the fact that Nibutani’s delusion used to be “Mori Summer”, whom Deko seems to have an interest in, and whom Deko thinks Nibutani is impersonating, hence the constant skirmishes between the two. This episode continues that trend, as Nibutani begins her bid for student council president, and Dekomori sets out to ruin her aspirations. The twist, of course, comes when Nibutani’s greatest enemy becomes her greatest ally.

This episode was fairly amusing, as a whole, though I don’t think it did much for the show’s overall plot (does this even have a plot?). There were plenty of funny moments, as the Nibutani/Dekomori war always seems to bring them. Beyond that… I don’t have much to say. It was just an amusing episode, and the ending was kind of… painful. I’m honestly not sure if a certain character got what they deserved or not.

A Christian Perspective:

There was some slapstick violence, which is probably to be expected at this point. Honestly, the worst thing in this episode is that Sophia declares something “on Satan’s name”, which is… a bit uncomfortable, I think. There is, of course, the possibility that the Japanese don’t know the weight of what they’re saying there, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s uncomfortable for a Christian. As usual, I won’t tell you what to do here, as I’m not really sure how to handle it myself. Is it something worth dropping the show over? Is it a bad choice of dialogue? Should we just chalk it up to the absurd delusions of the character combined with the Japanese peoples’ lack of knowledge of Christianity?

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: a character has a wire wrapped around her neck and is pulled into another character, which results in the two characters headbutting; a character is kneed in the face twice and kicked in the head; a character is being held in some kind of wrestling(?) move; a character’s hair is pulled; character punches a wall; a character is grabbed by the face

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Sophia declares something “on Satan’s name”… yeah…