The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Tag: Summer 2015

Review/discussion about: Arslan Senki

Halfway between prince and king

Halfway between prince and king

This introduction is difficult for me because I have no experience with war. Sure, I have historical knowledge, but I have never taken part in violence of that magnitude. I do not seek out confrontations, instead I seek out calm. I prefer friends over fights as it were. That is just who I am.

I therefore must rely on the words of others here, rather than my own. There are a lot of famous phrases about war. “War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” A famous lyric sung by Edwin Starr. “War. War never changes.” An iconic statement of the Fallout video game franchise. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Irony of monumental proportions, written by George Orwell and taken from his classic 1984. Each medium – from music to games to literature – thinks the same simple thought: war is always bad.

At least, that is how the vast majority of people think nowadays. Go back far enough, and you will discover that war was often the norm. Arslan Senki sits in this latter camp, portraying war, succession, and politics in anime form. Whether or not the show delivers a solid performance, though, is still up for debate.

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Review/discussion about: Himouto! Umaru-chan

Sibling bonanza

Sibling bonanza

Unlike Himouto! Umaru-chan, I do not have a younger sister. However, I do have a younger brother. Admittedly he is not-so-little anymore, but he is still my baby bro nonetheless. I always tried to be a “good older brother” – playing sports, earning high marks in education, and looking out for him when needed. Still, I do not think he ever looked up to me as an older brother; for much of his life he has made his own decisions, regardless of me or anyone else around him. Not that I hate him or vice versa (we love each other despite never saying the words), it is just we have been more like the best of friends rather than him viewing me as a role model of sorts. Whether that speaks more about him or myself, I cannot say.

This past week I met up with him, to discuss life, how he was doing, and what stories we had to share. We insulted each other, we poked fun at each other, and we belittled each other, but we were always laughing. The jokes, the melodramatic tales, and the unique scenarios we find ourselves in are separate, but we get each other. His laughter, mixed with my own, makes this known.

No matter what happens, he will always be my baby brother. I know that, and I know that he knows that, too. Despite the things we might do or the words we might say, my brotherly relationship to my goofball of a brother is something I will always cherish. As for Umaru of Himouto! Umaru-chan, that same mentality can be found somewhere within.

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Review/discussion about: Denpa Kyoushi

Definitely ultimate in something

Definitely ultimate in something

I was an elementary school student when I met the coolest teacher I have ever known. His name was Mr. E (the resulting sound that makes in this context is perfect). He was always smiling, laughing and joking with his students. He made learning fun and had a charismatic way of dealing with both teachers and kids alike. As an adult, I rarely see him nowadays, but on the occasions that I do, I always make sure to strike up a conversation, letting him know how grateful I am for the positive atmosphere he always carried with him. Mr. E., the modest man that he is, always downplays his role those many years ago.

Denpa Kyoushi is an anime featuring a similarly universally liked teacher. But where Mr. E always deserves to be remembered, this anime should be placed in the trash where it deserves to belong.

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Review/discussion about: Ore Monogatari!!

A love-filled and lovely experience

A love-filled and lovely experience

The afternoon October air is chilly, cold enough to make the use of a jacket mandatory. Despite the temperature, the butterflies refused to cease their fluttering. First, a restaurant dinner. Second, a stroll through the park. Third, a comfy movie. And now fourth, a shopping trip through the city. It is our fourth date, you think to yourself, calm down already! The butterflies do not listen.

You are waiting near the agreed-upon fountain, an easy marker to find among the large crowd of people. You start to scan for her face, jumping while doing so both to get a better view and to heat you up. Finally, you opt to stand on the edge of the fountain, the butterflies making it easier to make that step up. Just as you do so, you see her. A rose among daffodils. She is wearing jeans, a button up coat, and glinting earrings, her long, brown hair resting gracefully on her back.

She is looking around; you hope she is looking for you. When her eyes lock with yours, they gleam brighter than the stones on her ears. She pushes past the crowd as you float down from off the fountain’s edge. When she reaches you, October turns to April, her wonderful smile warming you from within.

“You look…great,” you manage to exhale, her radiance momentarily stealing your breath. Her cheeks grow rosier as she casts her head down. You think you might have said something wrong, but suddenly she lifts her head back up while standing slightly on her toes to kiss you. The kiss does not last long, but the softness and the sweetness calms the butterflies completely. When she pulls away, your smile mirrors her own. You reach for her hand, her and your fingers interlacing instinctively. The feeling within you is something you have never felt before, but you know that, like the girl standing next to you, you never want to let it go.

Love is a beautiful thing, something that everyone deserves to experience. Filled with romance, skip-a-beat situations, and of course love, Ore Monogatari!! delivers this message with all its heart.

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Review/discussion about: Overlord

More like Underlord

More like Underlord

Hanging out in the front of Ironforge. Karazhan runs. The snowy hills of Northrend. World of Warcraft is not just a game, it is its own, complete world. Beasts to slay, treasure to find, and quests to complete. Dailies for gold. Instances for gear. Fishing for fun. There is so much to do that it more or less became my second life for a sizeable chunk of my teenage years. After going to school, chatting with friends, and taking care of what needed to be done in the real world, I would hop onto the computer and become someone that was not technically me but might as well have been.

That sounds bonkers, but it is the truth. The amount of time, the resources, and the effort I sunk into that game were enough to make my avatar a natural extension of myself. Of course, I did not don armor, I did not ride an undead horse, and I did not have a gray beard, but I shaped my character into the kind of person I saw myself to be.

I was always big on questing. I loved going to the different countries like Stranglethorn Vale and Tanaris, searching high and low for those distinctive yellow exclamation marks above Hemet Nesingwary or the Goblins of the desert. I will never forget, for as long as I live, how I was one of the earliest players (within the first year or so) to earn the “Insane in the Membrane” achievement before it was nerfed. The requirements were being near or at “Exalted” reputation for some of the most obscure factions. Ones like Darkmoon Faire, which needed thousands of gold and cards, and Ravenholdt, which needed me to make a brand new “Rogue” class character specifically tooled to steal over 2000 junkboxes from enemies. Getting the “Feat of Strength” took months, but it was worth it.

The tedious work earned me a sweet new title of “the Insane” next to my character’s name. But that was not what ultimately made the game worthwhile. What made World of Warcraft worthwhile were the people around me. The guild I was a part of, my brother going with me to get some levels, and the various friends I made throughout my time in the Eastern Kingdoms is something that I will always hold dear. The game is way too addictive and way too much of a time-sink. And the game was not always smiles. But the memories I have of the game and the people I played alongside are and will only ever be positive.

Overlord gets at the same notion, how the past, while no longer with us, never truly leaves. However, unlike my time in World of Warcraft, Overlord is not all positivity.

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Review/discussion about: Shokugeki no Souma

A bountiful buffet

A bountiful buffet

When I was a kid, I was one of the pickiest eaters known to man. My diet consisted of essentially three edibles: cheese sandwiches, yogurt, and liquids. A cheese sandwich is exactly that: two pieces of cheese resting between two slices of white bread (it had to be white bread). The yogurt was devoid of seeds and covered in sprinkles (it had to have sprinkles). As for the liquids, I stuck mostly to Coca-Cola because it was sugary, sweet, and caffeinated which, considering everything else, was probably providing me the most nutrition.

I did not eat hamburgers or turkey. I loathed fruits and vegetables. I rarely tried new foods, and even when I did, my first reaction was always to spit them out. Birthday parties forced my mother to create sack lunches for me so that I would have something to eat in case all that was served at the barbeque was hotdogs.

This continued for many years of my life, my daily cheese, sprinkles, and carbonated drinks the only foods my body knew. Until, one day, we pulled through a McDonald’s. I was distraught since literally nothing on the menu was “for me.” My mother suggested the chicken nuggets. I was mortified. No way, I thought. If I eat those, I know it will taste like pavement. I have never tasted the side of the road before, but my brain locked in on that being the only outcome. Still, my mother ordered the meal and I, rather reluctantly, took a bite.

At that exact moment, my mind unlocked. It was good. Really good. And from then on, I actually started to eat things. Cheeseburgers and roasted turkey were just the beginning. Tacos, spaghetti, pepperoni pizza were now available, and to this day I have no idea how I did not die from malnutrition.

So while watching Shokugeki no Souma, I thanked the stars that I had a deep-fried piece of chicken meat those many years ago because otherwise I would not have been able to fully engross myself in the delectable food presented by this equally delectable anime.

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Review/discussion about: Gakkou Gurashi!

Cutely misleading

Cutely misleading

Gakkou Gurashi has this adorable little doggy named Taroumaru. A doggy that reminded me of my own. Her name is Mollie – with an “ie,” not a “y” – and she is the strongest pooch I have ever known.

Born the runt of the litter, when Mollie was a few weeks old, she was no bigger than the palm of your hand. She did not walk around so much as she skipped, her unbelievably tiny legs allowing her to jump from one spot to the next. I remember thinking that a dog who was as small as she was could not possibly exist. But her being there, daintily moving on the grass in front of us, was impossible to doubt. My mother, to this day, believes that we had saved Mollie, her miniature stature enough of a reason for her original owners to euthanize her.

Her fur was pure white, her tail was stubby, and she had the slightest lazy eye that made her even cuter. Early on, she became scared of thunderstorms and fireworks, crying and shaking uncontrollably until someone in our family sat with her. She hated her cage (still hates it), incessantly complaining until she was set free once more. She loves to stretch her body as far as she can while getting belly rubs. And strangest of all, she simply has to run around in circles when playing, as if the rotations would boost her energy further.

Mollie was in our life for little more than five months before she got very sick during her first December. She was admitted to the veterinary clinic; the diagnosis was kidney failure. The doctors thought she had no chance to live and actually had us bring her home. I can still see Mollie in the golden cage, her blissfully unaware of her condition. She was skipping and jumping on her favorite blanket, her tugging on her toys and barking playfully. My family and I were looking on, weeping.

And then, like light snow drifting softly on Christmas Day, a miracle occurred. She survived. The medicine started to work and Mollie became healthy once more. At least, for a time: she would later have intestinal issues, tooth decay, and loss of hearing. But she has never given up. After years of difficulties, she is still trudging on. Sure, her hair has yellowed, her tail is longer, and her lazy eye is lazier than ever, but her tenacity has never wavered.

Mollie is an amazing puppy, a trooper through and through. She is our Taroumaru. And as both showcase, sometimes when the situation is looking down, the best thing to do is smile.

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Review/discussion about: Charlotte

I think, therefore it is not good

I think, therefore it is not good

You find it strange that a line is missing for the ride, but you chalk it up to luck. At some point, you find the lone worker, his nametag reading J.M. He instructs you to climb the ladder before you, with you more than willing to do so. J.M. smiles and waves you off, and you climb.

The climb was quick because of how thrilling it was along the way. You are now at the top, with you overlooking the entire park. A sign says to sit down on the platform. At first, you wonder why there is no seat and no seatbelt, but then the ride starts. From behind, you feel a push. You start to roll forward down a ramp. It is not pleasant but it is at least tolerable. Thankfully the incline is not steep, so you are not rolling fast. You start to develop bumps and bruises, thinking that this is some kind of experimental ride.

Then, suddenly, you start to fall down steps. You start to hear bones snap as the hard edges of the stairs jut into your limbs. The stairs are made of wood, so your bruises start to scrape and then bleed. You start to panic, wanting off this wild ride, wishing that your parents had said no like they always did. At the same time, the steepness starts to increase, speeding you up at intermittent intervals.

Just before you cannot take any more, you are in freefall. You believe that it is over, that a trampoline will cushion your landing. But it does not. Instead, you land on a landmine, blowing your arms clean off. The steep steps continue, except now that you have no arms the angular velocity of your person increases, forcing you to shut your eyes lest the spinning-induced nausea makes you vomit. With each new step, you lose a tooth, and with every other new step, you lose a memory, the repeated impacts putting you in and out of consciousness.

You cannot tell who is what or what is where. And just when you cannot take any more for the second time, you land on a massive spike, impaling your chest, your insides now your outsides. Your breathing is sporadic and splinters have sewed your right eye shut. So with the last of your strength, you raise your left eyelid to discover the name of the ride you just rode. There, in white letters with a comet here and a swooping star there, it reads: Charlotte.

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Review/discussion about: Monster Musume

The more monsters the merrier

The more monsters the merrier

I am attracted to beautiful women. A bit of an avant-garde statement, I know, but it is true. I love the curves in their figure, the lushness of their hair, and the succulent, full lips that rest on their faces. It is genetics; it is in my nature to look at a woman I find stunning and have my instinctual desires start to churn.

Recently, though, it has been a bit…weird. Lately I find myself saying, “I like a woman with a long, scaly, and red tail.” Sometimes I tell others, “A girl who can decapitate herself is the one for me.” And other times it is, “If I can sit on her back and she can still gallop through town, count me in.” My friends are bewildered and my browser history is ashamed. Of course, my newfound fetishes emerged thanks to Monster Musume, an anime about lamias, Dullahans, and many other women of the fantastical and mythical variety. It sounds odd – crazy even – but if loving monsters is wrong, then I do not want to be right.

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Review/discussion about: Rokka no Yuusha

Colonel Mustard, with the Candlestick, in the Conservatory

Colonel Mustard, with the Candlestick, in the Conservatory

In the house I grew up in, we were always scarce for snacks. Chips, cakes, and cookies were difficult to come by, not because my parents and siblings were allergic or did not like such temptations. No, it was the opposite. Since we all loved them, they barely lasted more than a couple of days after purchasing. One of the delectable treats we usually bought were what are named “Grasshoppers.” Keebler – the cookie company that uses tiny elf labor – are the makers, and contrary to their name, they are delicious. They are tiny, about the size of an Oreo, taking up roughly the same diameter as a circle formed when you put the tip of your forefinger onto the tip of your thumb. Their outsides are slightly ridged so that, should you put two together, you could make your own cogged contraption. Most important of all, they have the perfect balance of chocolate and mint, their insides filled not with grasshoppers but with a fudge-filled wafer. Girl Scout Thin Mints are dirt compared to the mighty Grasshopper.

I loved these cookies growing up (I still do), and being the slightly selfish teenager that I was, I would make it my mission to sneak them up to my room during the night to have them all to myself. Sometimes I would confiscate the entire package and hide the remainder that I did not eat in one sitting under my bed, to be consumed at a later date.

This would come back to bite me because, one day, the Grasshoppers had gone missing and, my family knowing of my theft-like tendencies, immediately accused me. I had not touched this round of cookies, but it was all I could do to persuade them. I tried pinning it on my father, a famous late-night snack-eater. My mother “smelt it and therefore dealt it,” my sister was prone to sneaking food throughout the day, and my brother actually avoided them but we all knew that was the perfect cover-up. By the end of our meal I was still the prime suspect, the cookie culprit never discovered. I remembered this small snapshot of my life after watching Rokka no Yuusha, an anime centering on a potentially false accusation. But instead of about cookies it was about people and instead of a dull dinner it was instead a thrilling ride from start to finish.

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