Otaku Daydreams

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First Impressions: Ao Haru Ride

Ao Haru Ride is a bittersweet ride of emotions, right from the flashback to the past between Futaba and Tanaka. Taking shelter from the rain at the same place and planning to go to the festival together was really sweet, yet it was all ruined in a single moment. Tanaka overheard Futaba saying, “That’s why I hate all boys!” and misunderstood what she meant. He didn’t turn up for the festival either. Later on, Futaba found out that Tanaka changed schools during the summer holiday.

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 By the producers of Kimi ni Todoke, Ao Haru Ride has a similar art style that’s lovely for shoujo anime. I really liked the soft pastel colours used in the flashback in the beginning. Ao Haru Ride may not have the most striking synopsis, but episode one has charmed me. It’s not just about romance, it also talks about friendship. Futaba thought that by acting less feminine, she could gain friends unlike in the past, where she was scorned. Yet, during the bread incident, her friends did not believe her when she insisted she had already paid for the bread. Looking at the ending theme, Futaba should be gaining new true friends who she can trust. It reminds me of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, except that Futaba is more similar to Natsume, especially since Natsume used to be hated and ignored by other girls as well.

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Kou is a mysterious person. I am very curious about the reason why he transferred schools and most importantly, what caused his personality to change so drastically. He is cold as compared to the past, yet he did stand up for Futaba during the bread incident, even demanding the vendor to apologise to Futaba. 

Hopefully, Ao Haru Ride will continue to prove to be a ride worth getting onto. How are the new characters going to be like? What is going to happen between Futaba and Kou? Somehow, Ao Haru Ride seems to be taking a typical shoujo route, but hey, cliches can be nice sometimes, depending on your mood. 

Watch Ao Haru Ride episode 1 at http://www.animeultima.tv/Ao-Haru-Ride-episode-1/ 

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What I’m Watching: Summer 2014

I thought that I would just be looking forward to the new season of Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus, but it seems like I’m in the mood for shoujo anime recently. I guess I need a balance after watching so many action anime. Apart from Haikyuu, the only ongoing Spring 2014 anime I’m watching, here are my picks for this season.

Ao Haru Ride

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Yoshioka Futaba wants to “reset” her life. In junior high, girls ostracized Futaba because too many junior high boys liked her. The only boy she liked, Tanaka Kou, moved away before she could tell him how she felt. Now in high school, Futaba is determined to be unladylike so her new friends will not become jealous of her. While living her new life contentedly, she meets Kou again, but he now uses the name Mabuchi Kou and has a cold attitude. He tells her that he liked her too in junior high, but feels differently now.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

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High school student Sakura Chiyo has a crush on schoolmate Nozaki Umetarou, but when she confesses her love to him, he mistakes her for a fan and gives her an autograph. When she says that she always wants to be with him, he invites her to his house and has her help on some drawings. Chiyo discovers that Nozaki is actually a renowned shoujo manga artist named Yumeno Sakiko. She then agrees to be his assistant in order to get closer to him. As they work on his manga, they encounter other schoolmates who assist them or serve as inspirations for characters in the stories.

Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus

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Book of Circus is adapted from the Noah’s Ark Circus Arc, picking the manga story back up from the point at which they diverged. This arc immediately follows the Curry Contest Arc in the manga, which ended at episode 15 in the first season of the anime.

I’ll be writing my first impressions on each of the these anime. Hopefully I can post Ao Haru Ride tomorrow. On a side note, I have a new blog for poetry, The Chaser of Dreams. Please check it out! I won’t be updating that blog as frequently since Otaku Daydreams is my main blog.

What’s on your anime watchlist this season?


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Final Thoughts: Black Bullet

Black Bullet had a synopsis that was really promising, with battles against monsters named Gastrea. It seemed like the kind of anime I liked, with lots of action but sad scenes as well. Yet, Black Bullet did not proceed as I would have liked it to. black bullet 1

The Good

All those faults aside, Black Bullet does reflect the dark side of society that is usually covered up. The scorn towards the Cursed Children reminds us of that. I like how Rentarou, the main character, questions what’s right and wrong, especially regarding the decisions made by his superiors. He has a proper sense of justice and his kindness has been portrayed throughout the whole anime. He’s an incredibly selfless protagonist.

The Bad

It’s a pity that Black Bullet failed to live up to my expectations. If you read my post, First Impressions: Black Bullet, you will know that I was skeptical about watching the anime due to the picture I saw. After reading the synopsis, I felt that Black Bullet was the kind of anime I like. However, when I saw Enju, my first thought was, “Oh man. Lolis. Okay, no thanks.” It was only after hearing my friend’s hyper interest in the plot that I startes watching it. Still, my skepticism returned later, when Tina first showed up. I didn’t like her at first. To be honest, the main reason is my irritation towards her dressing when she was first portrayed. Hello, wear your pyjamas properly, girl. At the middle of the series, I was getting increasingly skeptical about the lolis again. I mean, seriously, what’s with ALL the students wanting to be Rentarou’s bride? Yes, he’s a nice guy but please, seeing a bunch of little girls jumping on a guy is creepy.

The last episode was way too rushed. There was hardly any room for proper development, and many things were left unexplained. Does that mean there will be a second season? Even so, I’m not very sure I would want to watch it. It seems like Black Bullet tried to explore different areas, but due to the lack of proper development, the end result is a plot with ideas meeting dead ends in a labyrinth. Besides, I’m utterly horrified with that ending. There was a hint from Midori that Kisara was going towards the dark side, but what happened was way too extreme.

The Verdict

So, is Black Bullet worth watching? I actually felt that the last three episodes were good but the extreme plot twist that gave me a sick feeling in my stomach changed my mind. Out of 10, I’ll rate it as 5.5 or 6/10.