The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Banjo’s Top 7 Winter 2017 Anime

Demi-chan wa Kataritai / Episode 12 / Hikari attempting to reminisce her way out of trouble

A stacked Winter 2017, but which ones overtake the others?

As everyone contemplates their favorite anime of the year and looks forward to what the next one will bring, I’m over here still in Winter 2017!

Mind you, I’m not complaining, for this season was strong. Perhaps the strongest I’ve ever reviewed in my three-year writing career.

Sequels brought their A-game. Adaptations could not be quelled. Even a semi-original managed to make the mix. From dragon maids to reincarnated classical geniuses, this season had a lot to offer.

Best of all, out of the thirteen anime I watched and completed, I handed out not one but two — yes, two — perfect scores. That has never happened for me before in a single season and may never happen again. Hopefully this rarity should be evidence enough for its strength

At this point, I normally provide a relevant anecdote that gives me a nice segue into the crux of this post. But, this season is so good, that we’re just going to get right into it. After all, I know you are really here to see which anime I found to be the winners — and the one among them that earned the coveted title of Best Anime of Winter 2017.

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Review/discussion about: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen / Episode 12 / The generations of this descending story

One for the ages

It’s not every day that we get to witness history in the making.

Take the first season of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. As critics such as myself agree on, it is nothing short of phenomenal. The drama, the maturity, the writing, the execution. That first season redefined what anime as a medium is capable of. Greatness incarnate.

So, understandably, the sequel here, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen, not only has the difficult job of concluding this tale but also maintaining that same level of excellence. The big question, then, is: did Rakugo Season 2 make history?

Suffice it to say, it did.

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Review/discussion about: KonoSuba Season 2

KonoSuba Season 2 / Episode 6 / Aqua, Kazuma, Darkness, and Megumin together

A hilarious, still-not-useless sequel

During a sequel trip to Disney, my family and I visited Disney Springs (which will forever be Downtown Disney to me). In my teal polo, white hat, and matching white shorts, I looked, dare I say, dashing.

I wasn’t there to strut my stuff, though. Instead, we sat down and dug into some delectable Ghirardelli sweets, making excuses about ignoring our calorie count. When the last morsel of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream settled in my belly, we began walking back to the bus station. It didn’t take long, however, for a drunk man somewhere in the crowd of people to holler out in a North-American-Southern accent.

“Ha! You dun crapped your pants!”

People started to stare, and a little girl pointed – everything directed at me. I had no idea what was going on until my younger brother chimed in. Apparently, the spot on the bricked enclosure where I sat to eat my ice cream also had a small chocolate surprise of its own to share.

The brown leftovers smeared onto my white shorts, giving the drunkard and the onlookers a mishap to behold. When we finally understood what all the hubbub was about, we all started laughing. My family huddled around me like a football formation to protect my backside from any more interested eyes, and no shortage of bathroom humor left our mouths that night.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (or KonoSuba Season 2 for short) prompted me to share a Disney-related anecdote since the first season made me do the same. Thankfully, it also brought along more of its comedy gold.

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Review/discussion about: Sousei no Onmyouji

Sousei no Onmyouji / Episode 18 / Benio and Rokuro right before they officially confront Yuto for the first time

Exorcised itself

Sousei no Onmyouji contains no shortage of ohagi, a Japanese sweet treat filled with rice and covered in a delectable, bean paste. I’ve never eaten the food myself; what I know of it comes from this show and the quick Google search I did in preparation for writing this anecdote out.

However, I have seen all of Sousei no Onmyouji. Which is kind of like a ball of ohagi – if it were spoiled, unappetizing, and missing any semblance of nutritional value.

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Review/discussion about: Kemono Friends

Kemono Friends / Episode 7 / Serval, Boss, and Kaban looking forwards

Friendship will never die

Kemono Friends reminds me of one of my most favorite films of all time: Toy Story.

The CG style, the presentation aimed at a younger audience, and the fact that the premises align to an extent (non-human entities become “human”) are the first comparisons that come to mind. The biggest factor, though, is an extremely famous song from the Pixar movie that became an instant Disney classic that’s still hummed and whistled by people today: “You’ve Got A Friend In Me.”

This two-minute track exemplifies the heartfelt feelings behind friendship with its measured, easygoing pace and lines like “There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you.” If nothing else, the over 44,000,000 plays on Spotify should indicate well enough this song’s immense popularity.

Now, truth be told, Kemono Friends does not contain a musical phenomenon let alone holds a candle to such a pioneering project of cinema. But, when this anime similarly focuses on friends and crafts something strangely magical, it makes it tough to not appreciate such a thoughtful outing.

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Kemono Friends and Nostalgic Charm

Xr0B9DX

What makes Kemono Friends so gosh darn charming?

I am (gasp) an adult.

I have my own desk at work. I manage my monthly bills. I buy my own ice cream. The regular grown-up stuff. After having this greater sense of responsibility for a while now, I wouldn’t trade it away for anything.

Sometimes, though, I reminisce about my younger days. When I was but a kid, hanging out in the basement of my parents’ home to escape the sweltering summer heat. I’d watch cartoons all day and play video games all night – a perfect use of my time.

It’s tough to feel like a kid nowadays. I’m way too busy, and life in general riles up for one reason or another. Then along comes Kemono Friends. An anime about a child, her anthropomorphic animal companion, and their small journey together.

This show contains an incredible amount of charm. Charm that it uses to try and make its audience forget about adulthood for approximately four hours total. The fact that I’m here writing out this essay is evidence enough that the anime’s strange affinity for charm stood out to me in an interesting manner.

And so it got me wondering: What makes Kemono Friends so gosh darn charming?

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Review/discussion about: Kuzu no Honkai

Kuzu no Honkai / Episode 1 / Mugi and Hanabi meeting for the first time

Scummy but not scum

Many years ago, I found myself chatting it up with an attractive woman at a mixer. In talking about our interests and hobbies, it seemed as if a tiny romantic spark existed between us. That is until our conversation went where I didn’t want it to go.

“Oh, yea, my boyfriend and I…”

Boom. She dropped the dreaded B-word. That courage I worked up? The flirting I did? Gone in an instant. I didn’t press my luck any further, and, as life would have it, that meet-up was the last time I ever saw her.

It reaffirmed a simple life lesson: sometimes things just don’t work out. Love (apparently) included. For Kuzu no Honkai, it focuses on this unfortunate detail too. And, luckily, the anime itself doesn’t succumb to this same lesson.

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Review/discussion about: ClassicaLoid

ClassicaLoid / Episode 25 / The whole cast together

Andante

When I was in high school, prepping for my college-entrance exams, I would sometimes listen to classical music.

I read online somewhere that it could calm one’s nerves and increase thinking capacity. Wanting every edge available to me, I made it a point to play these pieces when the opportunity arose. Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492” was usually my go-to choice for its rising-and-falling notes.

I don’t listen to a whole lot of classical music nowadays; metal has instead trounced everything else. But, as ClassicaLoid depicts, metal and many other motifs go together with the classics more so than one may initially believe.

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Review/discussion about: 3-gatsu no Lion

3-gatsu no Lion / Episode 12 / Rei standing still as the wind batters his body

Checkmate

The pawns were my friends, the knights my family, and the queen my lover. For I was king.

When it came to chess, I was the best. In my corner of the world, anyway. I lived the sport as much as I could. Winning school tournaments, going to summer camps to learn new skills. Squaring off against multiple opponents simultaneously. Practicing with a plastic travel set and a versus timer and a book on named openings. For a while, chess was my calling. A passion that neither bishop nor rook could squander.

Today, that’s no longer the case. Writing, programming, and other -ing’s have replaced what was once my kingly domain. But, even today, having not played chess for years, I know that I could go back to that board. See the same familiar pieces. And they would invite me back with open arms (if they had arms, anyway).

Because, just as 3-gatsu no Lion would claim, what we experience never really leaves us – and that there’s always someone waiting to lend a loving hand.

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Review/discussion about: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon / Episode 1 / Tohru meeting Kobayashi in maid form for the first time

while (true) cout << “Pretty good.\n”;

In Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, Kobayashi herself writes code for a living. She seems to use a language akin to Python. Fine and dandy. But where it’s really at is C++.

Lambdas. Iterators. Queues and deques. The “auto” keyword. Pointers (and now smart pointers). Sure, the language is more verbose than a dictionary, and it can be a pain in the butt with all the object files and explicit data types floating around. But it’s such a fascinating, complex, and strong programming language otherwise. It’s the best one out there. To me, anyway.

Dragon Maid isn’t the C++ of the anime world, but it constructs enough fun objects to make for a very entertaining time.

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