Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Episode 11 Review: Sakura and the Upside down Penguin

While learning about the equal sign in math class, Sakura thinks of the similar effects of the clow cards to the clear cards. This episode is cleaver in connecting the subject in math (equal sign) to the comparison of the two card types. Aqua is similar to Watery, Flight to Fly, and Gale to Windy. She is quickly shocked out of her daze by her teacher. After lunch where Sakura and her friends discuss the upcoming events. This event will focus on ball sports, Yamazaki explains Badminton to the group. Surprising everyone because he didn’t lie for once.

On the way home, Sakura, Tomoyo, Akiho and Syaoran run into Kaito who’s  returning from shopping for food. Syaoran becomes quickly concerned, while back home he contacts Eriol. He believes that Kaito has magical powers, Eriol asks for his full name, Yuna D. Kaito. Eriol says that “D” is given to the highest ranking members of a magician society. Syaoran questions why someone wouldn’t hide his “D”. Eriol suggests that Kaito may be so powerful that he doesn’t feel the need to hide his affiliation with the organization.

They assume that Kaito likely has “moon magic,” their uncertain about the who’s responsible for his presence. While at home, Sakura notices a card nearby. Tomoyo has given Kero a go-pro and Sakura a new outfit. When they approach the playground, they notice that all the playground equipment is upside down. She prepares to capture it, but is turned upside by the card, she is saved by Kero. She captures the Reverse card, but before they could return the playground to it normal state they had to flee to avoid being seen by a crowd. Tomoyo informs them that they weren’t seen. Kero’s camera skills need work as he effectively fails to produce good content, Tomoyo tells him that they will begin video recording training tomorrow.

Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.) Blu-ray Special Edition ***3 Discs***



Darling in the Franxx Review – Episode 08 (Boys × Girls)

This episode begins with a battle between the Franxx and a Klaxosaur. During the altercation the Klaxosaur spits acid on all the Franxx, the blue substance leaks into the cockpit of the Franxx. The acid corrodes the parasite suits of the females, resulting in the boys getting to perv out at their expense. The boys refrain from telling the girls that they’re exposed, the Klaxosaur is destroyed and Hiro informs Zero Two of her exposure.

The boys unconvincing stated that the only reason they didn’t say anything was “because they didn’t want to distract the girls during battle.” Zorome dismisses the girls feelings suggesting that “it’s not like being seen hurts you or anything.” Miku’s not having it, but Hiro tells everyone that according to Zero Two she believes that it’s okay to be a little pervy. Miku suggests that they quit, she uses tape too create a symbolic separation between the genders.

Nana, Hachi and Dr. Franxx discuss the fact that so many of the squad members have hit puberty at once. Dr, Franxx calls it “unprecedented,” while Nana suggests that they follow the procedures in APE’s manual and intervene. Dr. Franxx says that they should just observe them and report later. Zero Two finally joins the girls but on her terms, and tricks the boys into using the bathroom while the girls are inside. Unsurprisingly, a fight breaks out with the boys stating the truth that they were tricked, however, due to the previous deception the girls don’t trust their word. Nana arrives and tells everyone “knock it off.”

The boys and girls separate into their respective rooms, where the lesson of the episode comes to it’s head. This were I have the most issue with this episode, Hiro states that the girls are “frail.” This doesn’t make sense considering the fact that as he later explains they also “take the brunt of each battle.” You can’t be both frail and take the brunt of damage during each fight, right? This episode is largely fun of cliche’s about gender role, girl are weak, so boys must be strong to protect them. Boys can’t control themselves so you can only expect them to minimize their ogling, not stop all together. That said at least the boys do realize that ogling the girls while they risk their lives is something they should stop doing.

The episode takes an abrupt turn when Miku leaves and hides in one of the former squad rooms. While looking at a picture of the squad she breaks down, the rest of the squad find her in tears on the floor. They ask what room their in and Zero two explains that it was likely the room of the former squad 13. Zorome wonders why their not here and Zero Two tells him it’s likely because they we “wiped out.” They realize that if they don’t get to know each other better and reconcile they will die like the previous squad did. The part of the episode wasn’t completely inconstant with the themes of early parts but it’s dark tone did clash with the previous humor. Regardless, Darling in the Franxx continues it reductive view on gender, but I liked this episode overall.

Asuna 1/7 Figure — Movie Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-

Buy on J-List


Black Clover Episode 3 Review: “To the Royal Capital of the Clover Kingdom!”

Demon that the Wizard King defeated

This episode begins with a quick flashback of the Wizard King saving humanity from a massive demon, in the present Asta and Yuno head to the Clover Kingdom for the exam for joining the magic knights. Asta marvels at the offerings that the village shops have. Meanwhile, at the church Nash is enjoying his time without loudmouth Asta, but he does hope that they both succeed in passing the exam. They arrive and sign their grimoire in and receive their numbers. While in the square the participants are surrounded by birds called “anti-birds,” according to one participant the lower your magic is the more birds that surround you.

Asta and Yuno arrive at Clover Kingdom

Unsurprisingly, Yuno has no bird around him and Asta is surrounded by a flock. While he’s flailing about he runs into a big guy named, Yami Sukehiro. He’s the Captain of Clover Kingdom’s Black Bull squad. We are also introduced to two other members Gordon Agrippa, and Finral Roulacase. As Yami is crushing Asta’s skull the bell rings signally the beginning of examWe are also introduced to several other squad Captains, Nozel Silva, Captain of the Silver Eagles, Fuegoleon Vermillion the Captain of the Crimson Lion Kings, Jack the Ripper, Green Praying Mantises Captain, Charlotte Roselei, Captain of the Blue Rose Knights.

Asta failing at every task

There’s Gueldre Poizot, Purple Orcas Captain, Coral Peacocks Captain Dorothy Unsworth, who’s always asleep, 19 year old Rill Boismortier, Aqua Deer Captain, and finally Golden Dawn Captain, William Vangeance. Golden Dawn is considered to be the top squad, the strength of a squad Captain is said to equal that of 100 mages. William begins the exam by calling forth a magic tree that gives the participants broom sticks.

Gordon Agrippa

Each Captain is going to judge and choose the mage they want, if more than choose the participant then they decided which squad they prefer. The first task for the mages is to fly on the broom stick. Predictably, Asta can’t do it at all, he also fails the “magic power test,” “magic power control test,” “creation magic test,” “evolution magic test.” Sekke Bronzazza who up until this point was “helping” Asta turns on him and tries to use his “weakness” to gain a easy win. Sekke uses his grimoire to create a blue wrecking ball that surrounds himself, however, Asta uses his and easily KO’s him with a devastating attack.

Golden Dawn Captain, William Vangeance

While this episode was completely predictable I still enjoyed it, I’ll go on a limb and assume that Asta joins the Black Bull squad and Yuno joins the “best” squad, Golden Dawn. They seem that they’re the most appropriate squads for each. I wonder if Asta will accept the fact that he has no magic power, so far he’s been given explicit evidence that he has none, with the chains that sense magic from the first episode, the birds in this one and the fact that he’s NEVER used any magic. I’m hoping he get it eventually. Finally, learning the names of characters can be a chore at the beginning of any series but some of the Captain names are a mouthful, specifically, Finral Roulacase and Fuegoleon Vermillion. I also find Asta less annoying and I’m actively rooting for him, so progress.

Asta destroys Sekke Bronzazza

Link Figma Action Figure The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Buy from J-list

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card: Episode 8 Review, Sakura, the Clock, and Hide & Seek Game

Tomoyo measures Syaoran for a costume she is designing for him, she plans on make both Sakura and Syaoran “look beautiful.” Sakura and Tomoyo run into Akiho on their way to school, she tells them about the home she staying in. She say’s that ” a boy her age, who came here from England, lived in it before me.” Sakura asks to see a picture and realizes that it’s Eriol’s old house. Akiho tells them about her time in England.

Sakura tells Syaoran that Akiho invited her to visit her on Sunday. Sakura then asks Syaoran on a date the following Sunday, it’s a very cute moment between them even though Kero interrupts this moment inviting himself. At home Sakura has another vision of the cloaked figure, she asks him what’s he’s wants from her. Kero wakes her up on the floor, the next day they arrive at Akiho’s house. They’re introduced to Akiho’s butler, Yuna D. Kaito, the house is arranged differently from when Eriol lived there.

Yuna arrives with cherry blossom flavored tea, and cake, Sakura makes a funny face and Kero asks for a piece. She sneaks him a piece and it appears that Akiho may have seen it. After cake she shows them her families library. Her family loves to read and collects books from all over the world. She says that “she came to Japan for a book,” as she speaks Sakura senses a card. Tomoyo and Sakura walk through the library and notice that some books are missing.

The books and shelf seemed to have disappear, however, they are just invisible. Sakura releases her staff, their’s not any battle, Sakura secures the Lucid card. Akiho arrives with a book entitled, “Alice in Clock Land.” The covers clock design reminds Sakura of her vision, the book is in another language but Akiho states that she can read some of the book. Meanwhile in England, Ruby believes that they must return to Japan to aid Sakura. However, Eriol says that “it’s not the time for them to interfere.” Despite that lack of a more action packed card capture, this episode was enjoyable. I get the impression that Akiho has more to offer the story than this episode let’s on.


Yue 1/8 Figure — Cardcaptor Sakura

Buy now from J-List

Black Clover Episode 1 & 2 review: Asta and Yuno

Back in October of 2017 a new anime series, Black Clover was released. Based on the manga of the same name, created by Yuki Tabata, Black Clover focuses on “a young boy named Asta, seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in.” After resisting I finally decided to check it out. My opinion after the first episode is that it’s okay.

I can’t really pinpoint why I wasn’t excited about this series. I love shonen, most of my anime diet consists of the shonen genre. I wouldn’t characterize Black Clover as bad, but too familiar. Asta’s dream is to become “Wizard King,” sound familiar. In One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy is searching for “the one piece” to become the “the Pirate King,” and in Naruto, Naruto aims to become the Hokage (top ninja of the leaf village).

Also like Naruto, Asta is orphaned and has a Sasuke like rival (Yuno). Yuno is a magically prodigy, he’s calm and emotionally muted. Asta is loud, silly and immature as a result he’s underestimated, teased and generally disrespected by the villages. Having common troupes as other series is not in and of it’s self a problem, My Hero Academia is similar to all the mentioned series. I will say that I found Asta to be funny, but annoying. However, at one point in this episode he’s seems defeated and I start to feel sorry for him.

Black Clover exists in the Clover Kingdom, where magic is king. Everything seems to require magic, even everyday activities such as tending to a farm uses magic. Ironically, Asta appears to be the only person that can’t use magic. This leads to his constant humiliation, when the “grimoire ceremony” finishes, Asta is the only one without a grimoire. He plays this moment off for laughs  but it’s somewhat heart wrenching to witness. To make thing worse, Yuno receives a rare grimoire with a “Four Leaf Clover.”

Yuno’s grimoire attracts the attention of a thief, who ambushes him to steal his grimoire. Asta comes to rescue him and is quickly defeated. It’s in this moment Asta seriously considers giving up, however, Yuno claims him as his rival. Asta somehow manifests a “Five Leaf Clover,” in Black Clover the Three Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, and Hope, the Four Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, Hope and Good Luck, the Five Leaf Clover becomes interesting as it represents Faith, Love, Hope, Good Luck and also resides with a demon.

It sounds that I disliked the series or at least these episodes, even though episode two is large a flashback I didn’t. I’m not sure why noticed the troupes in this series where I really didn’t with say My Hero Academia. What’s interesting about this series is the fact that Asta has NO magically abilities. Deku from My Hero Academia didn’t have a Quirk, but neither did All Might.

Asta is apparently the only person not to have magic. Of course he isn’t without a means of battle now that he has the Five Leaf Clover. Asta’s grimoire turns into a sword and has the ability to nullify magic, this is interesting considering how important magic is. Will Asta remain an outsider, now that he has the means to nullify the most important resource in the world?

Otaku Oakley parody (T-Shirt)

Buy here

One Piece Chapter 894: 12:05 AM, Luffy prepares to reveal his new form Snakeman

We get a flashback of the training session between Luffy and Rayleigh, who tells Luffy that “every enemy attack has an intent and motive.” Luffy is distracted by the aroma from Rayleigh’s food. He manages to pinpoint the foods location and hits the pot. Rayleigh attacks Luffy for doing so, he says that he can sense “emotions like anger,” and Rayleigh repeatedly strikes Luffy so he can learn how to use “Kenbunshoku Haki.” Rayleigh continues to teach Luffy how to use Kenbunshoku and how “it can be used to sense other people’s movement as well as to see glimpses into the future.” Luffy asks about the “personality” of the opponent, Rayleigh states that he never “considered that aspect.”

Back in the present, Luffy is able to read Katakuri’s attack patterns and dodge them. Luffy attacks Katakuri, but Katakuri is able to hit Luffy. They continue to land blows on each other, with Luffy getting bested at first, however, he is able to land a hit on Katakuri. Meanwhile, Capone Bege is certain that the Big Mom Pirates will not be able attack them. They begin to approach Liqueur Island, he praises his crew for restoring the “burnt paddles,” Vito notes that due to Prometheus large size it has become “sluggish.” Bege suggest that they should drop off the cake on Liqueur Island, but Chiffon states that ” if dropped at Liqueur Island, Big Mom will still have enough time to catch up with Nami and the Straw Hats.”

On the Thousand Sunny, Nami and Brook tell Jinbe the location of the incoming attacks from Smoothie. Jinbe tells Nami that “he trusts in her navigational skills,” meanwhile, Smoothie continues to get larger in size. Citron and Cinnamon beg her to stop growing, at risk of damaging the ship. She is pissed that Jinbe has been able to avoid her attacks so far. Sanji and Pudding head toward Cacao Island on Rabiyan, on Cacao Island many of the Charlotte siblings arrive to face-off against the Strawhat’s. Finally, we return to Luffy and Katakuri’s fight as Luffy activates a new form, Gear Fourth Snakeman.

I’m not a big fan of Luffy’s Gear fourth design, but I enjoy it’s fighting effect. That leaves me concern with the potential design of “Snakeman,” but expect it to be epic. We are introduce to several more of Big Mom’s children, Former Sweet Commander Snack, the 25th son, with a bounty of 600,000,000 Beli, Brownie, the 32nd son, Raisin, the 33rd son, Yuen, the 35th son, Joconde, the 27th daughter and the “Charlotte Decuplets: 36-40th sons; 30-34th daughters”. I still hold the belief that the Germa Kingdom will return to rescue the Strawhat’s from the Big Mom’s pirates. The arc is reaching it’s climax, only one hour until they rendezvous.

Darling in the FRANXX: Episode 4, Flap Flap review

It was always going to happen but it finally did, Zero Two and Hiro officially paired up in Strelizia. Mitsuru pairs up with Zero Two and it doesn’t end well. Unlike previous pilots however, Mitsuru survives. He describes his experience as horrific, and how Zero Two smiled during the entire ordeal. Understandable, he will never pilot with her again and warns Hiro against doing so.

“Papa,” and the rest of the leadership doesn’t want Zero Two to become tainted by the “parasites,” and want to see her at the frontlines. Despite Zero Two’s kill rate, Hiro and many other parasites still want to pair up with her. Regardless, Hiro manage to sync up with her perfectly, so it’s unlikely they will try to replace him. Meanwhile, the Klaxosaurs have become more troublesome recently. They are more active and it’s now more difficult to locate the core.

He series is clearly painting Strelizia, Zero Two and Hiro as the best team. However, the other members can’t seem to do anything without them. One weird moment that occurred in the episode was when Hiro stated that, “I feel myself going deeper inside of you.” I’ve already criticized this series silly sexually innuendo, but this was too on the nose. However, maybe I’m taking this series too seriously and that was meant to be a joke. That said the show is getting a little better, but I think that the Klaxosaurs could be a little bit more creative looking.


One Piece Chapter 893: We meet the 36th daughter, Flampe as Dogtooth and Luffy’s battle heats up

This chapter opens with Luffy grimacing in pain, Katakuri seems annoyed that Luffy isn’t maintaining his fighting level. He attacks Luffy with Mochi Sing Pouch, pummeling him into the ground. Luffy eye swells shut, Katakuri says that he was disappointed by Luffy’s effort. While down, Luffy remembers his training with Rayleigh. Luffy gets up on wobbly legs, a hiding Flampe shoots a “numbing needle,” at him but he dodges.

Flampe becomes excited and exposes herself as she mocks and laughs at Luffy. Dogtooth realizes that Flampe has been interfering in his battle with Luffy and she’s the reason that Katakuri was able to give Luffy a “fatal blow.” Luffy gets up a second time, While Flampe runs to hug him. Katakuri stabs himself to make thing even with Luffy. He then rips of his scarf to reveal that his name “Dogtooth” is appropriate.

His mouth feature sharp fang like teeth, Flampe calls him “lame,” “gross,” and a “monster.” She spits in his face, compares him to a “gulper eel,” while her subordinates laugh at him. She orders them to take pictures of Dogtooth so she could show everyone. He return’s to Luffy, apologies and together they use their Haoshoku Haki to knock out the “annoying,” Flampe and her  subordinates to faint. Luffy and Katakuri prepare to conclude their battle. The relationships between Big Mom’s many children seem to appear to be completely shallow. They turn on eat other so quickly and have seemingly teased each other from childhood. It begs the question, are Big Mom’s children naturally this evil or are they raised to be that way?

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card: Episode 4 Review, Sakura and the Lovely Transfer Student

We have a lovely interaction between Sakura and her brother Toya. He makes breakfast for the two of them pancake, with an egg on top and broccoli on the side. He notes that Sakura is “spacey,” and that she came home “soaking wet,” the day before. He comically gives his broccoli to Sakura claiming that it will help her grow, but Sakura states that it is simply because he hates them. Later in the day Sakura and her friends are introduced to a new exchange student, Akiho Shihomoto.

Akiho quickly becomes friends with Sakura and her crew. She has lived in Italy, England, Hong Kong and Germany, as a result her Japanese is too formal. While in class Sakura notices that the trees are uprooting themselves, she makes a scene in class. Tomoyo covers for her suggesting that Sakura has a stomach ache and needs to go to the nurse. Tomoyo offers to take her, she has with her a new costume and her camcorder.

The trees attempt to leave the school grounds and Sakura releases her staff. She looks at her four clear cards and determines that the “Aqua card,” might make the trees move faster. She decides to use the Siege card. She traps them within the cube but they begin to ram against the walls. She commands the Siege card to become more flexible, allowing for more give to the walls. Seeing the threat that they might break the walls, she uses the Aqua card. She uses the card too fill the cube with water, preventing the trees from being able to move as they’re now floating. Sakura is able to secure the “Action,” card. Another, fun episode and it seems the more Sakura captures the more complicated her captures can be.

Darling in the Franxx: Episode 1 & 2 Review

A mono type Klaxosaurs

Darling in the Franxx is an anime series from the producers Trigger and A-1 Pictures, focusing on a “post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been driven to endangerment by giant beasts known as klaxosaurs.” Children are bred to be partnered in boy/girl pairs called Parasites and they pilot Giant mecha called Franxx. The series seems to lean heavily on the two genders working together. The title characters both highlight this fact by referencing a bird called Jian. The Jian is known as “the bird that shares wings,” what is interesting is that they both recite this fact but draw different conclusions. 002 believes the fact that male and females need to work together is “beautiful,” whereas Hiro believes that this makes them pathetic.

klaxosaurs attack

The Parasites are at a graduation called a “welcoming ceremony,” where they’re told that they are “the chosen ones,” by Papa a weird hologram, that they must “shed every last drop of blood,” and “children that aren’t fit for this purpose have no value.” Meanwhile, Hiro is given permission to remain but he chooses to leave as his former partner Naomi leaves. It is made clear that her fate is going to be ominous. What is confusing is that it seems like Hiro was largely responsible for the failure but he’s been given an opportunity to stay but Naomi wasn’t. It doesn’t matter however, because a klaxosaurs attacks and kills her.

The mysterious Papa

The klaxosaur is an odd looking creature, with a body that seems too large for its legs. The klaxosaur falls into the plantation as it’s being shot at. As it attacks the garages it uses a massive beam that is deflected by 002’s Franxx. However, she is knocked back into the plantation and her male partner is killed, but she plans on piloting the Franxx alone. Hiro is concerned for her life and she responds that she “isn’t afraid to die.” Hiro predictable offers to fight with her, together they are able to dominate the klaxosaur, Dr. Franxx notes that “when the negative and positive-male and female factors combine and their hearts become one, the iron maiden will reveal her true form.”

002’s Franxx

In the second episode, What it means to connect we become more familiar with the other characters and how Franxx function. Zorome is the typical bully anti-hero, Gorou is the groups negotiator keep the group in harmony. What’s notable about how the Franxx function is that the Stamen (males), named after the male fertilizing organ of a flower, are the “drivers,” and the pistil (females), named after “the female organs of a flower,” are connected to the female looking Franxx. The manner in which the two pilots are seated in the Franxx is highly sexualize, with the male sitting in an upright position and the female positioned in front of him like she’s riding a motorcycle, simulating a sexual position.

The suggestive pilot positions

Furthermore, the piloting handles are literal attached to the females suits so the males steer the Franxx using their bodies. To bring the obvious sexual innuendo home, when connecting the female pilots emote a sexual moan. Hiro inability to pilot a Franxx seems to be some sort of metaphorical suggestion of sexual dysfunction. This is all so obvious and not the least bit scandalous unless your a child. To be blunt the fan-service is just distracting. That said Kill la Kill had similar elements, and while it eventually got old I really enjoyed that regardless. Overall, I liked episode 1 more than episode 2. However, given the fact that this season will be 24 episodes long I’ll stick with it for a while anyway.

The feminine Franxx

Finally, the animation and visual style is spectacular. This of course shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the work of Trigger and A-1 pictures. Everything from the character design, mecha design, monsters and environments are clearly hallmarks of their visual style. The world-building in this series is rather slow and the terminology wasn’t clear, with some still not making sense. Also, who the hell is Papa, why do they call him that? Is he the father of all the orphan? Why was he a hologram?

images from: Random Curiosity