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Violet Evergarden: Emotions and Their Contradictions

Keep that box of tissues close to you. You’ll need it for this anime. At the end of the war, Violet, previously a soldier, becomes an employee of the C.H. Postal Company. There, she joins the department of Auto Memory Dolls who write letters on behalf of clients to convey their feelings. Violet Evergarden invites viewers to observe the growth of Violet as she learns to understand and experience various emotions that she could not comprehend in the past. It is a journey tracing her growth from merely a weapon of war to a true human who empathises with others and learns the meaning of love.


Violet Evergarden episode 4Violet Evergarden episode 4

The anime tackles the contradictions of people’s feelings. Letter writing thus plays a role in conveying these hidden feelings. Though the main theme revolves around love and Violet’s quest to understand it, it is largely focused on familial love. Indeed, the greatest tearjerkers in this anime involve the expressing of love, apology and gratitude towards family members, which people usually fail to do. As a friend told me, this is a rare anime that makes viewers shed tears for side characters who have appeared for only fifteen minutes. I agree. Each episode ends with a quote that is heartwarming. My favourite is the one at the end of episode 4, stating “Don’t be a tool. Become someone who matches their name.”

Strangely, episode 9 ends off looking like the last episode, summing up how Violet’s letters have touched the lives of her clients. It would seem like ending the anime then would have been perfect, and that four additional episodes may disrupt the flow. Nevertheless, episode 10 hits us with the ultimate tearjerker. Episodes 11 to 13 flow well, reminding viewers that the war in Violet’s country is still not completely resolved, and highlights Violet’s conflicted feeling as an Auto Memory Doll in the present, but a weapon of war in the past. The last episode ultimately allows Violet to forgive herself and relieve her guilt for not being able to save Major Gilbert.

Character Development

Violet Evergarden episode 3

“An optimal Doll will be able to decipher the person’s true feelings and express it on paper.  You were able to express a feeling. Violet, I hope you become an optimal doll.” – Instructor from Auto Memory Dolls’ Training School

The portrayal of Violet’s character development is exceptional. While it initially appeared that Violet was unable to be an optimal Auto Memory Doll due to her incapability to understand others’ emotions, her interactions with the side characters helped to transform her worldview. Gradually, Violet not only transitioned from robotic report writing to humanistic letter writing, but improved the spirits and relations of her clients and those around her. It is moving how Violet no longer becomes alone, especially after the loss of Major Gilbert, who was the only one who ever treated her as a person. She has evolved to being able to empathise with others and make her own judgement instead of mechanically relying on orders.


Violet Evergarden episode 4

Kyoto Animation never disappoints, bringing yet another aesthetic masterpiece. The scenery of Violet’s travels is impressive. Overall, the animation adds beauty to the vast field of emotions portrayed in the anime.


The ending song rounds off each episode perfectly. The singer’s singing is so similar to a vocaloid that I originally thought she was one. However, she is human. It serves as a good parallel to how Violet was introduced as an expressionless weapon of war who merely follows orders, almost like a robot herself.

With the combination of a touching character development, the strong emotions evoked and beautiful animation, Violet Evergarden is truly a masterpiece.

Rating: 10/10



Hataraku Maou-sama!

hataraku maou-sama

What happens when the Demon Lord comes to the human world? He gets a part-time job, apparently. When the now named Maou Sadao and his loyal commander Shiro Ashiya arrive at modern Japan, conquering the world isn’t an option. Instead, they learn the ways of living in Japan. One of the first problems they encounter is money. To overcome this, Sadao gets a part-time job at MgRonald’s. However, Sadao and Ashiya are not alone. The Hero, now known as Yusa Emi, is stuck in the same situation after following the two demons through the portal to Earth. Things get an unexpected turn for the worst when Sadao meets Emi, who reveals her identity to him. Now powerless, Emi is unable to defeat Sadao to accomplish her goal. Hence, she has no choice but to live in Japan until she regains her powers.

The Good:

Hataraku Maou-sama had an interesting start. It also has a unique plot. I’ve never heard of another story where a demon has to work in the human world. I’m really curious about the language of Ente Isla. Is it a real language from a country or did the animators make it up? I really enjoy the humour in the story, especially the part about the postcard sent by the landlady. Sadao and Ashiya being mistaken as cosplayers when they just arrived at the human world was hilarious.


hataraku 1

I like the opening song and its bright, colourful animation. It’s cool how they compare the Ente Isla characters in the different worlds, one in Ente Isla with their elaborate costumes and one in the human world. It doesn’t strike me as one of the best openings I’ve seen, but it’s good. The ending song is just okay to me. Nothing I really dislike, but nothing I really like about it either.

The Bad:

Nearing the end of the first half of the series, I stopped watching it and only picked it up again recently since I read many positive reviews about the anime as a whole. I stopped watching it last time because I felt that the humour was somehow dying and somehow the jokes didn’t seem to tickle my funny bone at that time. Also, perhaps another reason is because of Emeralda Etuva, Emilia’s friend from Ente Isla. I find her voice extremely annoying. In fact, it’s so annoying that she deserves the Most Annoying Character of 2013 award.

The Verdict: 7/10

All in all, Hataraku Maou-sama is the funniest 2013 anime I’ve watched. The overall humour is great and the plot is original. Also, the interactions between the characters are fun to watch. Even though it isn’t the best anime I’ve watched, it’s worth a watch for a good laugh.


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.


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is a romantic comedy that mostly revolves around Mizutani Shizuku and Yoshida Haru. Shizuku has no interest for anything except studying. One day, she is tasked to deliver printouts to Haru, her classmate who hasn’t attended school for a long time, and is immediately greeted as a friend. Later, they make friends with their classmates Natsume Ayano and Sohei Sasahara, nicknamed “Sasayan”. This anime focuses on the ups and downs of the relationship between Shizuku and Haru.

I’ve read the manga before watching the anime, though I stopped halfway because it was getting too roundabout. It’s a bit like the two of them are passing the love baton around, and that they’re never on the same page. Still, I love Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun because of its humour. It’ the best romantic comedy I’ve watched so far. Shizuku’s indecisiveness about her feelings towards Haru is a bit annoying, but the humour and the rest of the characters make up for that. The fact that Nagoya the rooster played a significant role into the development of friendship among the characters is strange, but in a good way. I think what makes the series so hilarious is Haru’s naivety and eccentric behaviour.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is the only shoujo anime where I never detested the ‘rivals’. I never hated Ooshima or Yamaken. Ooshima doesn’t do anything wrong and keeps her distance. Yamaken, well, he’s pretty funny in the way that he gets lost very easily but doesn’t like to ask for help. In other anime, I would be telling the rivals off in my mind, threatening them to stay away from the main characters (okay that’s a bit extreme). Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun manages to make all the characters likable. Yamaken and his friends never got any hate from me even from the beginning.

This ending of the anime was pleasant. Shizuku might still be confused about her true feelings, but Haru just enjoys being with her so it’s fine. With only thirteen episodes, many people feel that it deserves a season two, but since it’s a shoujo anime, I think it’s enough. I’m quite contented with the ending of the series already. I might return to the manga in the future once it’s completed so I know what really happens to Shizuku and Haru in the end. To be honest, I’m more interested in what happens to Natsume. I know she likes Mi-chan, but I’m sure Sasayan likes her. It’s likely that Shizuku and Haru’s relationship will continue to be a bit “on and off” so I think whatever happens to Natsume is more interesting.

Rating: 8/10

Watch Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun at http://www.animeultima.tv/watch/tonari-no-kaibutsu-kun-english-subbed-dubbed-online/


Kuroko no Basket

kuroko no basket

Why I watched Kuroko no Basket

Have you ever heard your friends discussing about an anime you don’t watch in front of you? It’s fine if it’s just for a while, but if they carry on for perhaps an hour, won’t you feel left out?

That’s what happened to me. Two of my friends had been telling me to watch Kuroko no Basket for some time, but I declined since school would be starting in a month at that time and I wanted to refrain from watching too much anime. In addition, I was already watching and reviewing way too many on-going anime to watch another anime, not forgetting that it was a completed anime. For me, if I start watching a completed anime that I end up being very enthusiastic about, I would start an anime marathon for it, like for Death Note. Hence, I was trying not to start a new completed anime. However, after listening to a conversation that took an hour and feeling extremely left out, I decided to watch it. (I didn’t get what they were saying at all, so all I was doing was pretending to be very interested in the characters when they were flipping the magazine. It was funny when I saw the picture of Coach and Momoi since they couldn’t cook.)

knb -seirin


The basketball team of Teiko Middle School rose to fame with three consecutive championship wins. The regulars of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. After graduating from middle school, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams. However, there was actually another player in the “Generation of Miracles”: a phantom sixth man. This mysterious player is currently a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, if little-known, team. Now, Kuroko Tetsuya, the sixth member of the “Generation of Miracles”, and Kagami Taiga, a naturally talented player who spent most of middle school in the US, are aiming to bring Seirin to the top of Japan, taking on Kuroko’s former teammates one by one.

Why you should watch Kuroko no Basket

Before I watched Kuroko no Basket, I didn’t know that I could be so enthusiastic about sports competitions and matches. I used to find them boring and I didn’t understand how people found them so exciting. They seemed nearly the same to me. But now, I have grown. I now know what a rebound and a three-pointer are (yes I was an idiot in the past when it came to sports). When it comes to sports nowadays, I’m much more interested in playing. I never enjoyed playing sports so much in the past, but now I would do my best to help my team, but not forgetting to have as much fun as I can (lesson learnt from the Iron Heart, Kiyoshi).

generation of miracles

One thing I really like about Kuroko no Basket is how only the Generation of Miracles and Kagami have coloured hair. The rest of the characters have either black and brown hair. I think it’s  cool how they make the audience focus on the prodigies. Kuroko is difficult to notice, so it’s funny how his teammates don’t notice him being around in the first few episodes. His lack of presence allows him to use Misdirection, a technique that makes people focus solely on the ball and not him. Kise from Kaijou can immediately copy any move he sees. He’s my favourite character due to his cute personality. Midorima is the amazing shooter who scores easily from any distance. He has a tendency of bringing lucky items to his matches. Aomine has unpredictable moves and can shoot from any angle. I used to dislike him but I’m fine with him towards the end of season 2. Murasakibara can be compared to a Titan, having extremely long limbs. He’s good at basketball without even trying. Akashi is the captain of the Generation of Miracles. That already tells how terrifying an opponent he is.

This is not to say that the rest of the characters are much inferior compared to them. Each of the main members of Seirin have their strengths and special traits. Kagami’s skill rivals the Generation of Miracles and he is able to jump very high, thus being Seirin’s Ace. Kiyoshi, a member of the Uncrowned Kings, has the Right of Postponement, an incredible skill. He’s also a carefree person who cheers up his teammates. Hyuuga, the captain, is great at shooting threes. In season 2, where there is a flashback to how the Seirin basketball team was formed, it was funny seeing Hyuuga in the past. Izuki has Eagle Eyes which enable him to see the whole court. He’s also very fond of puns and provides many jokes, though they may be lame.

The intense matches between the Generation of Miracles and the brilliant songs are what I like about Kuroko no Basket. They always make me cheer really loudly for Seirin, and jump with joy every time they win a match. If you love sports, Kuroko no Basket is an anime you shouldn’t miss! There’s definitely a reason for its popularity. Even if you don’t really like sports anime, watching KnB might change your mind. I’ve just finished watching season 2, and I’m really hoping there’ll be a season 3. I really need an intense sports match to hype me up!

Besides, Tetsu #2 is adorable!

knb tetsu #2

Rating: 9/10

Watch Kuroko no Basket at http://www.animeultima.tv/kuroko-no-basket-episode-1-english-subbed/

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Wrapping Up the Year 2013 with Anime

With 2013 ending, here’s a post to wrap up all of the anime I’ve watched this year. The list may look short, but that’s because I’m only including anime that are released this year.

Spring 2013 – Karneval


I think the reason why I watched Karneval is the animation. The characters are well-designed with cool costumes, or at least for the Circus members. On to the plot… I find the beginning of the anime well… awkward. I was debating whether or not I’m watching something very wrong but it turned out fine (phew). Throughout the series, one thing I noticed is that Karneval spends too much time introducing so many characters that the actual plot does not have enough development. For example, I find episode 11, Ice Cream Parade, redundant. It doesn’t contribute much to the plot and it’s like the characters forgot about their important mission. Then in episode 12, they suddenly remember that they’re supposed to save Karoku. In other words, I feel that the ending was too rushed. Perhaps without episode 11 there would have enough time to make the plot run smoothly.

Nevertheless, Karneval did cover enough of the main characters’ backgrounds so I did watch the anime with some feelings instead of being an emotionless ice block that I can for anime I seriously cannot stand. For girls, yes, Karneval has a lot of bishies (it’s josei after all) so if you watch anime based on its animation, Karneval might be for you. Ok I should admit that I do squeal over bishies as well. (Kyaa Gareki!) *cough* If we’re judging on the plot, the 13 episodes should have been spent more focused on the actual plot.

Shingeki no KyojinImage

Here’s an anime that requires no introduction. It’s an anime that both anime and even non-anime fans around me have been watching. SnK is probably the most popular anime of this year. At first, I was quite hesitant to watch it because I was afraid that it would be very gory. Once I watched episode 1, instead of being scared of the Titans, I cried when Eren’s mother was eaten by the Titan. There’s only one word to describe Shingeki no Kyojin: AWESOME. What I really like about this anime is its originality. I’ve never heard of anything like it. Besides, the fighting scenes are epic. Watching the characters fight the Titans while moving around using their 3D maneuver gear makes me want my own 3D maneuver gear so I can join in the fight. In addition, the openings and endings of Shingeki no Kyojin match the mood of the anime perfectly.

Every single episode was great. With such popularity, I really hope that there will be a second season for Shingeki no Kyojin. If you haven’t watched it, what are you waiting for? Watch it now!

Fall 2013 – Kyoukai no Kanata


I feel that this one had quite a lot of potential, with an unusual plot. The first few minutes of episode 1 were baffling. I mean, what’s with Mirai suddenly stabbing Akihito with no explanation? At first, I planned to drop the anime due to that insanity but a part ofme wanted to know what happened next. Hence, I stuck around. Episodes 1-5 were slow and I was getting a bit bored but then came along episode 6. It didn’t contribute to the actual plot, but it was really funny, especially the ending.

Things finally started falling into place in episodes 10 and 11 and it was getting more interesting but then episode 12 arrived, being the finale of the series. Like I said, Kyoukai no Kanata had a lot of potential but there were too many plot holes. It has been a bit too draggy that many matters were left unexplained. Usually, at the end of a series, I will feel very strongly that there should be a second season. However, in this case, I’m not sure if I actually really want another season.

Kyousougiga Kyousougiga

Here’s one rare anime that manages to start and end off well despite having only 10 episodes. It’s the shortest anime I’ve watched so far, but every episode is a pleasant watch. Nothing is too slow or fast and the pacing is just right for an anime about a family like this. The character’s backgrounds are well-explained and every one of them is unique. I wasn’t very fond of the main character, Koto, at first, but when the story progressed, I began to like her because she’s not really just the troublemaker that she seems. In fact, she’s the key to bringing the family back together. Kyousougiga has amazing animation and a wonderful story as a whole.

log horizon

Log Horizon (On-going)

Many people compare Log Horizon to Sword Art Online since both of them are based on a MMORPG then drop Log Horizon because they find it boring in comparison. In my opinion, that isn’t fair. The two animes talk about different aspects of a MMORPG and the two games themselves are different. Log Horizon focuses more on governing the players. Though I’m not fond of politics, Log Horizon is more interesting in the sense that it doesn’t turn out to be a harem like SAO. (I’m not saying I don’t like SAO. The first half was awesome.) To those who prefer action, Log Horizon might be less exciting to watch. However, if you’re interested in another side of a MMORPG game, Log Horizon is worth the watch. The anime is only half-way through, so hopefully the second half of the series will be more exciting.

Naji no Asukara

Nagi no Asukara (On-going)

I’ve just finished watching the latest episode today. Nagi no Asukara has the most complicated relationships I’ve seen. To sum it up, it’s Kaname likes Chisaki. Chisaki likes Hikari. Hikari likes Manaka. Manaka likes Tsumugu. If this isn’t enough, add in Miuna likes Hikari and Sayu likes Kaname.

That aside, Nagi no Asukara is one of my favourite animes of Fall 2013. I like how it’s about people of the sea and the people on the surface are starting to get along after being rivals for a long time. To those who haven’t watched this anime, the people of the sea aren’t mermaids. In fact, they look like regular humans and are humans. What’s distinct about them are their bright blue eyes and their Ena, which enables them to breathe underwater. At first, I did not like the main character Hikari due to his bad temper. However, I like how he changed his attitude throughout the anime. He’s now a dependable person who can get along with the people of the sea and the surface. After watching shocking episode 13, I’m looking forward to what Nagi no Asukara will bring in 2014.

So, that’s 2013 in anime. Hopefully I’ll still have enough time to watch and blog about anime next year. There’s still a few more hours to 2014 for me, but Happy New Year to those who are already celebrating the new year!

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Daily Lives of High School Boys

Daily Lives of High School Boys is by far the funniest and most random anime I’ve ever watched. The anime follows the everyday life of three high school boys, Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake, as well as some of their schoolmates.

To most people, everyday life is boring. So how is it possible for this anime to be so interesting? Daily Lives of High School Boys involves the characters’ quirky remarks about daily events, strange antics and priceless reactions. To me, their daily lives are anything but boring. It’s like they can make such ordinary situations so amusing. For instance, who else would randomly start dubbing a group of strangers’ actions and conversations?

I feel that Hidenori has the weirdest encounters with girls. He often gets himself in awkward situations shown in shoujo manga. A riverbank, a lovely sunset and a calming breeze. Add in a high school boy quietly reading a book and a high school girl’s silent arrival. Everything looks like a typical ‘boy-meets-girl’ encounter… except it isn’t. It’s amusing how Hidenori gets stuck in the same situation again and again, and he frantically tries to get away while playing along with the atmosphere.

The ending song sums up the silliness of the series. It is supposedly a play performed by class 2A, the class which the main trio belongs to. The play is epic and random, with the prince defeating everyone with the help of his partner and… a teddy bear? Yoshitake being attacked is the funniest scene. At the end of the song, there is a photo of the whole class in their costumes. I think that the teddy bear is Tadakuni. The poor guy is always being forced to do such ridiculous things. 

If you’re looking for a good laugh, you definitely have to give Daily Lives of High School Boys a try. The best way to describe it is that it is RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY. The anime does not follow an actual plot. Rather, each episode talks about around five short events. Throughout the series, we also get to know more about the characters.

The anime has 13 episodes and is already complete. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy watching Daily Lives of High School Boys is to spread out when you watch each episode. To me, once I finish the series, the fun is over. Besides, give your family members a thought before you drive them crazy with your endless laughter.

In conclusion, add some wacky humour to your life by watching Daily Lives of High School Boys!

Watch Daily Lives of High School Boys at http://www.animeultima.tv/watch/daily-lives-of-high-school-boys-english-subbed-dubbed-online/