Eden’s Zero Chapter 26 Review – Two Sisters

Sister Ivry, one of the four shining stars faces off against her impostor Sister. In a flashback we see that Weisz and Homura freed her from a machine that sealed her powers. With a chronophage heading towards them on planet Guilst, everyone begins to panic preparing to flee. Jinn asks Sister who Ivry is. According, to Ivry she arrived to this planet a decade ago, when she was captured by ” a bunch of freaks.”

Waking up connected to a machine, where she has been trapped every since. She realized that someone was impersonating her and using her powers without her consent. Sister seems to be sincerely ashamed of what she did. I truly believed her and how she simply “fell,” into becoming the leader of the Rogue Out mercenary group. That said I wasn’t buying the whole “I would give you the your powers back,” nonsense. She was clearly benefiting from steal Ivry powers and identity.

Sister Ivry is having none of it. She basically starts stomping on Sister’s head. Weisz informs them that they need to leave. Ivry notices Shiki, noting that he’s “seems weak for a Demon King.” Before leaving with Shiki, she finishes her unfinished mission using her Dispel Driver, restoring all the stoned people back to normal. Sister asks Jinn to “save her,” but he steps on her head calling her a “liar.” He believed that she could help his sister Kleene, but she betrayed him. As the chronophage heads for Guilst, Rebecca states that she won’t leave without Shiki.

The crew on Eden Zero expands with the addition of Sister Ivry. This chapter was really good, Sister Ivry is short tempered but is grateful for Shiki’s team aiding. The “sexy nun,” thing is a little juvenile but I can live with it. While, a lot of these characters still look like there from Fairy Tail, the art is great and this series is coming into it’s own.

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Boogiepop and Others Episode 002 Review

Nagi playing detective

If you read my previous review of episode 001 of Boogiepop and Others you know that my opinion of the series so far isn’t great. Boogiepop still continues to play with the timeline, it feels unnecessary to me. The second episode does make the story clearer. It’s still a bit convoluted to me. We are introduced to a sociopathic student that develops a relationship with flesh eating shapeshifter he calls a manticore.

Nagi tackling Kyouko

We are also introduced to a another student, Kirima Nagi. She appears to be the hero of the series. Kyouko tells another classmate, Suema about this drug that Akiko gave some of the girls. It turns out that it was an elaborate plan by Masami Saotome and the manticore to create slaves. Their plan is to “conquer the world.” They enslavement plan begins to fail, as Kamikishiro comes looking for Echoes she’s killed by the manticore.

Masami Saotome

The strange man from the previous episode is called Echoes. He suppose to be an alien that can only repeat what others say, hence the name. His goal is to test humanity, to determine if humans are kind or not. However, his clone had become the “man-eater” or manticore we saw earlier. How Kamikishiro gets this information is chalked up to being “just a feeling,” or a telepathic link. With Kamikishiro dead, it looks like it’s up to Nagi to team up with Echoes.

Manticore attacks Kamikishiro

I can say that episode 2 is superior to episode 1, but the sporadic narration is still annoying. I don’t get why they need to do it. The effect of this type of narration is that any questions created get answered during the same episode. It feels like a gimmick. The characters are still to thin to really have genuine concern for their safety, although I would admit that I felt badly for Kamikishiro. I don’t find Boogiepop to be scary at all. This episode did increase in quality, so I give it one more episode before deciding that if it’s worth my time. It’s a slow moving, confusing anime with a somewhat ridiculous story and 2 dimensional characters, I’m hoping there’s a payoff.

Kamikishiro meeting Echoes

Otaku Orbit 2018 in Review

I decided this year I would be detailing my blogs performance. WordPress allows for users to look at detailed stats for their blog. So far this year is my best (by far) since I started blogging at the end of 2013. Since 2015 my overall viewers and visitors had been declining from 34,649 viewers to 21,706 and 23,832 visitors to 16,515. I was becoming concerned, but after seeing this year’s stats hopefully this trend has reversed. So far this blog has had 636 posts, 188,054 views with 136,482 visitors.

2018 Blog stats:

  • Views 71,214 (Most All Time)
  • Visitors 52,666 (Most All Time)
  • Likes 2,041 (Most All Time)
  • Comments 407 (Most All Time)

The top ten posts this year are varied. Burn the Witch, Banana Fish, Made in Abyss, Dragon Ball Super and Inuyashiki Last Hero all make the top ten. However, One Piece is clearly king as it is half the list. This isn’t surprising considering the series overall popularity. The post, One Piece: Did Big Mom eat everyone? is my most successful post by far with views (all time) at 26,034.

Top Ten Post 2018:

  1. One Piece: Did Big Mom eat everyone? (23,927)
  2. One Piece Chapter 903: Is Luffy now the fifth emperor? (3,296)
  3. Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one shot review (1,887)
  4. One Piece Chapter 895: Pirate Luffy vs. Com. Katakuri (1,045)
  5. One Piece Chapter 894: 12:05 AM, Luffy prepares to reveal his new form Snakeman (700)
  6. Banana Fish Episode 1 Review: A Perfect Day for Bananafish (644)
  7. One Piece Chapter 890 Review: Big Mom on the ship (509)
  8. Made in Abyss Episode 10: Poison and the Curse (489)
  9. Dragon Ball Super Episode 113: Goku vs Caulifla and Kale (488)
  10. Inuyashiki Last Hero: Episode 04 Review – Samejima (481)

This blog has been seen all over the world from the US to Russia, even places like Mongolia, Botswana and Namibia. Because I’m American and write in English, I would imagine that my impact in foreign countries is limited.

Top five Countries 2018:

  1. United States (28,066)
  2. Philippines (3,997)
  3. Canada (3,124)
  4. Indonesia (2,560)
  5. United Kingdom (2,489)

I have to express how much I appreciated the support from everyone that has made this blog so successful and this year my most successful. Finally, a special thank you to my 562 followers, especially Karandi James, DReager1,moonhawk81, Scott, The Things I’ve seen, Anime Girls NYC and Irina. Also thank you to my most active commentators:

How to improve 

Obviously I would like to do better than 2018. The first thing I need to do is finish anime seasons and continue to review manga series. Every good anime isn’t for me so reviewing the first episode can sometimes be enough. However, when I reviewed more than one episode I unfortunately failed to complete the series too many series. This limits my audience, as some people might read my blog for a specific anime or manga series that I may neglect.

More anime movies. It can be difficult to get access to anime movies that are recently released, however, if I reviewed an older movie I will likely avoid this problem. More lists. Lists are big on blogs, yet I continue to avoid doing them. I going to make a more concerted effort to do lists. More video game content. I don’t know how this will work. Reviewing video games can be difficult especially when it might take me 100+ hrs (Assassins Creed Odysseys) to beat a game. Finally, I need to comment on other blogs more. Every year I say I’m going to do it, this year I only managed to respond to comments when they’re made on blog. I’m going to make it a priority in 2019.

Any suggestions or opinions from supporters are appreciated. Happy New Year.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 09 Review – Dream

Is it all a dream?

Yuta awakens to find that Akane has replaced Rikka, as the episode recreates the first one. Akane attempts to convince Yuta that she was his girlfriend. Rikka relives her first encounter with Akane and Utsumi lives a dream where he and Akane becomes friends over there love of kaiju. Akane attempts convince them to join her. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students can’t wake the three of them up. 

Gridman not needed

Gridman attempts to wake them up from with dream. Gridman appears throughout the episode in windows, billboards, picture frames. His image appears in the most obvious and surprising places, it’s well done. Anti looks for Gridman, only to be told that he may not show up because of the kaiju. Anti immediately attacks it but simply flies through it. This kaiju is the reason that Rikka, Yuta and Utsumi are asleep. Surprisingly, Gridman doesn’t make an official appearance in this episode.  

Enter God Zenon

Without Gridman it’s up to the Neon Genesis Junior High Students to face the now materialized kaiju. The transformation sequence reminded me of the power rangers. Regardless, Zenon quickly destroy’s the kaiju. As a so called God, Akane isn’t very impressive. She fails all the time and doesn’t seems to have much control over her creations. Even creating an entire dream for each of the three title characters, they still managed to escape. Her power seems to be limited. Akane becomes depressed as her creations causes continue to reject her. She’s too evil for me to feel sorry for, but her character has gotten more complex in this episode. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 05 Review – Provocation

What use is an anime with teenage protagonists if they don’t got to the beach, right? The “beach episode” is an episode when the main characters take a break from the typical episode format and relax. Usually, its also a reason to engage in some fan-service, as the this episode often requires characters to wear bathing suits. Sometimes then beach episode is interrupted with more relevant plot elements. Trigger goes out of the way to zoom in on Akane’s cleavage, it’s all typical for anime. 

Regardless, this episode does turn out to be more that a typical. While no new mysteries are introduced, we do get an big battle scene between Yuta, Gridman, Anti and a new Kaiju. Akane has Alexis create a massive Kaiju. Her plan is to use the Kaiju’s massive size to overwhelm Gridman. However, Junk isn’t on the field trip with them resulting Yuta and Utsumi having too run to a payphone. The Assist Weapons all pool their money to buy the “Junk.” They then brought the Junk to the station. 

Gridman can increase it’s size but not as large as the kaiju. The larger Gridman is, the more energy expended. Yuta transforms, as Borr joins him. Using Forest Extinguisher Missile, Borr puts out the fire created by the kaiju. Gridman is quickly overwhelmed, Anti soon joins the fray further adding to his difficulty. Gridman combines with Borr, to create Full Armor Combine Buster Gridman. Anti copies the missile that Borr shoots. Gridman focuses on the large kaiju, using Twin Buster Grid Beam destroying it.

Provocation for a Gridman episode it was typical, for a beach episode it wasn’t. The only significant change is that Akane now knows that Yuta is Gridman. Yuta does have a ominous dream of what looks like Gridman being impaled by what looks like a spear. Whether this is a premonition or a past memory remains to be seen. Gridman could be getting darker. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 3 Review: Defeat

The episode begins with Akane and a new character Anti standing in the rain. She wishes him good luck and hands him a bag of food. Rikka heads out to school, she looks up at the gray, rainy sky and ask whether she should “skip” today. Yuta, still without his memories, is asked by Sho if he thinks that the Kaiju “might actually be humans.” Yuta feels distress at the thought. It turns out that Rikka did skip school after all. 

She’s in Kamesan Park, where Anti is eating the food he was giving like a starving animal. She offers him her umbrella and her lunch. His phone quickly goes off and it’s Akane telling him to “go wild.” He transforms into a Kaiju triggering Yuta’s sensor, then Samurai Calibur bursts through the class window. He takes Sho and Yuta with him as he jump back out. They meet Rikka and head to the shop to fight. 

Yuta transforms to Gridman, but his fear of harming a person becomes paralyzing as the Kaiju begins to speak. Akane marvels at her work as she reveals that Anti can copy “all his opponents powers.” Yuta and Calibur are defeated and don’t return through the computer. Akane is thrilled. The city is then restored. Several new characters arrive to help Gridman. Akane is of course unhappy that Gridman is still alive. She sends Anti after him. 

The three new characters are Assists weapons like Calibur. Max transforms into the Battle Tracto Max, combining with Gridman. The new form is called the Heracles Combine: Max Gridman and is able to fight to a stalemate. This episode does shift away from the format of the previous two set. Akane tries to change her Kaiju abilities so they are more effective.

She is mostly successful as Anti not only defeats Gridman, but isn’t destroyed after he loses to Gridman. Regardless, Akane is unsatisfied with his effort and throws food at him. Some other changes in the format, Yuta loses, the fight happens earlier. This episode also featured a longer battle. I was wondering if Yuta was always going to have to be convinced to fight the Kaiju if he wasn’t certain that they weren’t human, but to my surprise he simply asks Anti if he was. 

This series seems to be playing with parallel events that occur in the being of the episode and the end with different results. Sho jokingly suggest that Kaiju are human, given Yuta anxiety. Yuta then asks Anti for the answer. Yuta calls Rikka at the begin to find out were she is, she doesn’t answer. When Rikka wants to find Yuta, she calls him and he does answer. Of course Akane is kind to Anti and lovingly give him food in the beginning, then she throws food at him at the end of the episode. I think it’s a smart and simple way to show what the characters have learned. Finally, the “Neon Genesis Junior High Students,” I loved the Evangelion reference. 

Images from Guardian Enzo

Goblin Slayer Episode 2 and 3 Review

Goblin Slayer’s childhood friend

This episode slows down compared to the previously shocking episode, we get some more background on the Goblin Slayer. The episode opens with a young girl excited to go to the city. However, her childhood friend becomes upset at this thought. She awakens, and we see that she is grown. She opens the window and she sees the Goblin Slayer “scouting for tracks.”

The Goblin Slayer (GS) is obsessive in his behavior, always looking for evidence of a goblin attack. GS is looked down on by other adventurers for his “dirty armor,” as well as focusing on killing only “weak” monsters like the goblins. The Goblin Slayer along with the Priestess take another goblin quest. The Priestess asks why GS feels the need to kill goblins with so much cruelty. He reveals that he was a witness to “his older sister getting tortured, raped and killed by goblins.” After this he became bent on creating a genocide of goblins. 

If this series is able to manage some of it’s most shocking elements with more in depth world building, the impact of the shock would be amenable. I was predictable that the Goblin Slayer’s hatred of goblins was due to a personal tragedy. So far the goblins haven’t been showed to be a more complicated species, seemingly only caring about rape and murder. I could due without the fan service in the form of the female large breast.

In episode 3 we are introduced to new characters, an elf, a dwarf, and a lizard-man. They’re in search of a man named, “Orcbolg.” It turns out that “Orcbolg,” is actually the Goblin Slayer. They ask for a meeting with him and he agrees. While waiting for the Goblin Slayer to return, the Priestess is approached by a voluptuous sorceress. She warns the Priestess of the GS and believes that the Priestess could do more good for the World doing something else. 

During the meeting, the Goblin Slayer is informed that the “Demon King 
has been resurrected, and hordes of demons are preparing to attack civilization at any time.” GS is disinterested until he hears that they intent to take out a large goblin nest. The majority of the rest of the episode takes around a campfire.

The group explain their reasons for becoming adventurers, the GS shares his theory regarding where goblins come from. He believes that “they originate from the green moon that they see in the sky.” I wonder what the Goblins Slayer feels toward the Priestess, she’s still a novice and seems to care too much about other people. Will she “heal” his emotional scars? Or will she become more hardened like him? At this point we haven’t seen nearly the level of mature content as the first episode, which makes me wonder what the next one will entail. 

Conception – Episode 001

Mahiru and Itsuki

Conception is an anime based off of a video game of the same name. First it’s unclear to me whether Itsuki and Mahiru are “friends,” or “cousins” as there are differences between the game and anime. Regardless, the main premise of this series is how the lives of Mahiru and Itsuki change when she reveals that “she’s pregnant.” 

Itsuki strapped to the bed

They’re instantly pulled into another world called Granvania. The quickly run into the perverted flying Raccoon Mana and court scholar Narcisstes. They are told that they have been summoned to “save the world.” How will they accomplish this? Itsuki is tasked with having sex with and impregnate the ” twelve Star Maidens (including Mahiru).”

One of the 12 star maidens

In order to save the world they must produce children to fight, as they can’t fight themselves. It’s only after this can Itsuki and Mahiru return home. It turns out that Mahiru isn’t pregnant after all and was just sick from some impurity. I’m not going to lie, the premise of Conception is ridiculous. I’m not at all interested in this series and I’m mildly put off by it.

The pervert Mana

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been watching anime since I was 5, so I’m not shocked by Conception’s concept. It is a common trope in most anime that the main characters sexual objects are young women that often look like children. It’s always creepy. Mana enhances this creepy atmosphere when at one point he “sniffs” out Mahiru virginity. After Itsuki is strapped to bed the camera zooms in on his bulge. 

Mahiru and Itsuki preparing to have sex

Also there’s the incest element between Mahiru and Itsuki, the fact that neither one of them is giving a choice to have sex as it’s clearly stated that they can’t return home until they all conceive. Conception also has poor dialogue and average animation. 

Zombie Land Saga Episode 001 Review – Good Morning

Sakura Minamoto

Sakura Minamoto is killed when she is hit by a truck. Before her death she had dreams of becoming an “idol.” She wakes up in a mansion, in the Saga prefecture. She stumbles upon zombie girls and flees in terror. She runs into a police officer that shoots her when he realizes that she’s a zombie.  

Frightened Cop that shoots Sakura in the chest

The cop is knocked out with a shovel. Still in shock Sakura is told by Kotaro Tatsumi that she has been dead for a decade and that she will work with “your team to save Saga.” Kotaro tells her that he will “make her into a idol.” Sakura asks Kotaro the following day during class “how she became a zombie” in the first place. 

Kotaro reveals the “Zombie Land Saga Project,” or just the title of the project. He keeps information close to the vest. He introduces the other band-mates, Dorami’s Legendary Biker Boss, Saki Nikaido, Legendary Showa Idol, Junko Konno, Legendary Courtesan, Yugiri, Legendary child actress prodigy Lily Hoshikawa, Legendary Tae Yamada and Legendary Heisei Idol, Ai Mizuno. 

Saki Nikaido

Sakura comically notes that Tae Yamada’s doesn’t have an elaboration like “Biker Boss,” or “Courtesan,” to go with her “Legend.” Regardless, the other zombie’s haven’t been awoken yet. They behave like traditional mindless zombie’s. Kotaro brings them to an open stage policy and puts make up on them concealing their zombie status. 

Kotaro Tatsumi

Kotaro tells Sakura that she should “trust her instincts,” while performing. The girls begin to react to the music and put on a performance that’s weird as they scream and “head-banging” to the point of breaking their necks. The performance, however, ends terribly as the girls turn on the audience. They “awaken” the following morning as Sakura yells GOOD MORNING.

Sakura “singing”

First Impressions

The musical anime genre doesn’t really interest me much. However, the general premise of the series was intriguing. The animation of MAPPA is always a draw for me and they don’t disappoint. What struck me as strange was how sad I felt that Sakura was killed. She wasn’t a familiar character at the beginning of the episode, yet her energetic, hopeful dreams to become an idol made her seem so innocent. It was a quick characterization that was very effective. 

I of course wonder if we will see her family. Fast forwarding a decade seems to be an narrative attempt to avoid focusing on the direct aftermath of Sakura’s death. However, a decade isn’t really long enough for her family to all be dead, unlike the other girls that appear to have been dead for longer. Personally, I was annoyed that Kotaro kept Sakura in the dark, regarding her zombifaction. I not sure if we will learn the truth or if they will simply move past it. That said I’m at least interested in seeing episode 2.

One Piece Chapter 917 Review: Food Treasure

This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.

Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth. 

It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation. 

Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem. 

Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong.