The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

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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Review/discussion about: ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka / Episode 12 / One of the final shots of the anime

Cool but uncool

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka features lots of smoking. Thankfully for me, I’ve never smoked a day in my life.

The horrible side effects. The frightening commercials. The wisdom from my parents. Many an influence has made the decision to avoid cigarettes an easy one, indeed. It’s not an incredible feat by any standard, but I’m glad that I did not start something that would only negatively impact my health.

While ACCA itself does not (and literally cannot) smoke, its mistakes hurt it enough that it doesn’t need to inhale nasty chemicals to reach the same unhealthy state.

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Review/discussion about: Gabriel DropOut

Gabriel DropOut / Episode 6 / Raphi, Gab, Satania, and Vigne trick-or-treating

A few prayers answered

My mother and father always had to drag me to church every Sunday when I was a kid.

I hated going. No video games. No running around. No talking. It was sit, stand, sit, and stand again for an hour or more. Singing songs that I never memorized and hearing yet another lady read an aside that I didn’t much care for. I loathed it all.

I was angelic in other ways, like how I would go to catechism and say prayers every now and then. But, when it came to church, I was practically a demon in human form.

Gabriel DropOut (remember to capitalize that second “o”) features characters of a similarly mixed good-and-bad nature – and more than enough comedy to offer.

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Review/discussion about: Seiren

Seiren / Episode 1 / Shouichi trying to hide his depravity

Corrective lenses needed

A woman in glasses really gets me going.

Part of it comes from the fact that I myself wear glasses; I can relate on some level with her bifocal style. Part of it comes from the subtext; an air of intelligence and maturity takes over. Part of it comes from instinct; I simply like the look itself.

I have other fetishes. Ones too private and too personal to share on a public forum. Seiren has its fair share of fetishes, too, but it hides nothing as it gives its audience an average romantic outing – in more ways than one.

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Review/discussion about: Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Demi-chan wa Kataritai / Episode 5 / Hikari, Yuki, and Machi laughing together as friends

Gotta respect ’em all

Another day, another anecdote that I must repeat (to some extent) because it just fits too well to pass up.

One of my favorite film quotes of all time also happens to be said by my favorite Pokémon of all time, Mewtwo. In Pokémon: The First Movie, Mewtwo delivers the following line.

“I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”

It’s a relevant quote and a relevant series given Demi-chan wa Kataritai. An anime that channels both “monsters” and self-worth in wonderful fashion.

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