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Favourite 2013 Anime Ending Song

2013 is ending, so what’s the best way to end the year with? Reviewing the best anime ending song of the year of course.

Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai

(Shingeki no Kyojin ED 1 by Yoko Hikasa)

When I first heard this song, I was thinking that the singer sounded familiar. Thus, I did some research and I found out that the singer is Yoko Hikasa, one of my favourite seiyuu and singers! What I love about Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai is that the meaning of the song is “This Beautiful Cruel World”, which matches Shingeki no Kyojin perfectly. What the main characters want is to get to the other side of the Wall to see the beautiful world they’ve read about. However, this means that they’ll reach a dangerous zone where they can be attacked, no, eaten, by Titans. This is the cruel truth about the world in which the anime takes place. It really is a beautiful cruel world.

As for the rest of the song, the animation portrays Mikasa, the main female character. I think that the song really suits her. Everyone thinks of her as a strong girl, but she has her sad times as well. Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai shows that.

Runner-Up: Daisy 

(Kyoukai no Kanata ED by Stereo Dive Foundation)

I’ve loved this song since I first heard it. Listening to Daisy gives a calm, soothing feeling. Somehow, it manages to wrap up each episode nicely. I’ve read some comments about how it’s similar to Tsuioku Merry-Go-Round, ending 2 from Fairy Tail. I agree. The mood of both songs are similar, and that’s why I love them both. To me, while an opening song should make viewers eager and ready to watch an episode, an ending song should be more calming in contrast. Back to Daisy, I like how the animation of the ending looks great and suits the mood of the song.

Anyway, it’s night time here on New Year’s Eve. There’s one more hour to 2014! I don’t know what time it’ll be when you guys are reading this, so here’s a “Happy New Year” in advance! I hope that 2014 will be a great year for everyone.

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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

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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

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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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Kyoukai no Kanata episode 12

<Gray World>

“I don’t need a life at the cost of yours, Kuriyama-san! A future without you… means nothing to me! Are you that oblivious?!”  -Akihito

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I was thinking that Kyoukai no Kanata is the only anime I’ve watched where the female main character is the one doing the fighting instead of the male main character, but Akihito finally did something in the finale of the anime. Yay, Akihito, you graduated from mere running to joining in to the fight!

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Ouch. Haha I like how there’s still some time for humour even though Mirai and Akihito can be attacked by youmu any time.

Back to more serious matters regarding Fujima and Izumi, Fujima announces that both of them harbour youmu in their bodies. Hiromi, who just arrives, hears the news. So, the cat’s out of the bag. Is that the reason why both of them are so strong? The youmu inside of them are providing them with extra strength that makes them much stronger than other regular Spirit World Warriors.

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Compared to Fujima and Izumi’s fight, I prefer the battle between Akihito and Mirai against the thousands of youmu surrounding them. Also, Ayaka and Ai return to help. Most importantly, I really like this scene! It’s kind of like Akihito decided it’s time for his own badass moment. Akihito defeats the other part of him, Beyond the Boundary, which returns to him. What happens next really shocked me. Mirai disappears, saying that since her actual being has vanished from the world, she will disappear for good now that the dimension they are in will be gone. I must admit I’ve never really liked Mirai much, but what she said there really made me teary.

“Izumi -ne-san, I’ve always looked up to you. I’ve wanted to become just like you. But I’ve changed my mind. I’ll never be like you.” – Hiromi

After that, Izumi leaves, and Hiromi becomes in charge of the Nase family. Ayaka and Ai return to their home, and things goes back to normal… but not everything. Mirai is gone, and a certain someone misses her a lot. But one day, a miracle appears. Mirai is back, and reunites with Akihito.

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The series ends with Mirai putting on her glasses and smiling. And that’s it. Kyoukai no Kanata is over. But is it really? I think that there’s so much left unanswered. Where did Fujima go? What happened to Izumi later? Besides, it’s like nothing is truly explained about the Nase family. What will be the impact of Hiromi being in charge? Most importantly, how did Mirai come back? Other than what Akihito said about fate, isn’t there a proper reason to what happened? I feel that there’re enough questions to create a second season. Moreover, more character development can be done. Then again, many anime end this way but don’t get a second season. Perhaps Kyoukai no Kanata wants to leave it to our imagination about what happens next.

Watch Kyoukai no Kanata episode 12 at http://www.animeultima.tv/kyoukai-no-kanata-episode-12/


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Kyoukai no Kanata episode 11

<Black World>

I like the beginning of this episode. It starts off with Mirai staring into space then suddenly BAM! She’s dodging from explosions, reminding us viewers about her important mission. Back to Akihito, Mitsuki and Hiromi visit him at the hospital and tell him that he is no longer immortal. We learn that his immortality didn’t come from being a half-youmu, but something else, possibly from Beyond the Boundary being in his body.

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It’s really sad when Akihito asks about Mirai. When he walks back home, he meets Sakura, who asks him about Mirai’s location. We can see how depressed Sakura is without Mirai. Akihito is no exception. Back at home, he sees a message from Mirai, sent right before she left to defeat Beyond the Boundary.  The message is truly touching and saddening, making me want to cry with Akihito.

Later on, Fujima Miroku talks about how Beyond the Boundary is absorbing powers from other youmu and Spirit World Warriors to fight against Mirai. This explains why Hiromi’s powers are weaker, making him less sensitive to the cold. (We finally see Hiromi without a scarf) Fujima then fully activates Beyond the Boundary. It sucks up youmu, including Ayaka and Ai.

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Akihito’s mother gathers Akihito, Mitsuki, Hiromi, Sakura and Nino to the Literary Club’s club room. I like the setting of her arrival. Akihito opens the door then warns everyone to stay back. A robot slowly gets out of the room and everyone is frightened at the thought that there’s a youmu in the room and it could be a trap. Then suddenly the robot falls and the helmet slides off, revealing Akihito’s mother. It’s nice how a bit of comedy is added to the episode, making things slightly more light-hearted before the serious matters come back.

Akihito’s mother teaches them how to defeat Beyond the Boundary, which is by using a youmu stone from Beyond the Boundary. She informs them that there is a puppet Akihito inside Beyond the Boundary formed by Mirai’s strong emotions and that Akihito has to find him and merge together. Akihito succeeds and meets Mirai. (I’m so happy to see their reunion!) I love the colourful visuals when Akihito is on his way to enter Beyond the Boundary.

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In this episode, we get to see more of KyoAni’s wonderful animation during the formation of Beyond the Boundary. This episode makes viewers feel depressed at first, then hopeful towards the end. Akihito’s mother finally shows up and she definitely knows much more than she’s telling. The person who knows about the mystery of Akihito’s birth best is her.  Perhaps all of the remaining secrets will be revealed in the next episode. I want to know how Beyond the Boundary entered Akihito’s body. The next episode, Gray World, features Mirai and Akihito fighting against Beyond the Boundary. Looking forward to it!

Watch Kyoukai no Kanata episode 11 at http://www.animeultima.tv/kyoukai-no-kanata-episode-11-english-subbed/


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Kyoukai no Kanata episode 10

<White World>

My room isn’t flooding today, so it means one thing: Akihito is alive! Not just alive, but back as his human self.

Akihito

The episode starts off with Akihito gaining consciousness. Mirai prepares a meal for him, saying that it was rice omelet. Her failed attempt is really funny, with her using up all the eggs in the refrigerator but still unable to prepare the egg in the right way. The best scene is when Akihito spots the pig head in the fridge. (That can seriously scare anyone!)

Akihito 2

Here it is – the sentence in the preview given last week that really scared me. I’m really glad that Akihito is alive. Then again, it’s too early to kill off a main character since it’s only episode 10. One thing about this episode is that there are many confusing and scary scenes about Mirai and Akihito, with Akihito in a weird state.

After that, the interesting part comes. Mirai reveals the identity of Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata). It is a collection of people’s warped hearts that’s said to be able to destroy the world. Also, it was a youmu that resided inside of Akihito. Mirai adds that she originally came to the town to defeat it. However, she wasn’t able to do so, since she couldn’t bring herself to kill Akihito. Next is the frightening revelation that whatever happening at the moment is just a dream. A bit of Mirai’s blood is inside Akihito, making Akihito have this dream.

Later on, during the flashback about Mirai and Izumi, Izumi explains about Mirai’s arrival. She was sent to defeat Beyond the Boundary. Izumi showed her a photo of the human half of it, saying that its name is Kanbara Akihito. Suddenly, it all makes sense. During the first episode, I had no idea why Mirai was so keen on stabbing Akihito. It was insane. Now, I understand that it was because Mirai knew that Akihito was Beyond the Boundary right from the beginning. It was really unexpected. All the flashbacks from the first episode when Mirai talks to Akihito about her cursed blood start becoming so meaningful. When Akihito said that he was the same, it changed how Mirai thought of Akihito. It was the point when she realised she couldn’t kill Akihito. Also, the reason why Mirai refused to join the Literacy Club at first was because Izumi advised her to distance herself from Akihito.

KnK

That one sentence that means so much.

Then, all my previous questions revolving around Nase Izumi are answered. Everything was planned by Izumi. She even told Mirai where to find Akihito, which explains how Mirai was able to locate him so soon in the previous episode. In the end of the episode, Mirai is inside Beyond the Boundary.

This episode is very emotional. To think that Kyoukai no Kanata actually planned to mess with my emotions right from the start! This episode really made me care a lot more for Mirai and Akihito. I wonder what will happen to them in the next episode. Judging from the preview, episode 11 will be bringing us to the peak of this emotional rollercoaster.

Watch Kyoukai no Kanata episode 10 at http://www.animeultima.tv/kyoukai-no-kanata-episode-10-english-subbed/


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Kyoukai no Kanata episode 9

“This is merely based on my personal deductions. You do not have to listen to me; I cannot make you do this. However, I am going to say this because I believe it is for the best. Kuriyama-san, the moment you find Akihito-kun, kill him.”

-Nase Izumi

This episode starts with plenty of action. First, there’s Hiromi and Mitsuki defeating a youmu together (I bet Hiromi was extremely happy about that). Next, there’s Izumi and Fujima’s fight which was really cool. However, their fight was interrupted by Akihito’s consciousness.

It’s saddening how Mirai is told to kill Akihito once she finds him. The Calm has distrupted Akihito’s balance between his human and youmu sides, leaving him very vulnerable. If the Calm ends with Akihito in this condition, his youmu side will suppress his human side. Therefore, Akihito will no longer be a half-youmu, but an actual youmu. Mirai is comforted by Sakura, again showing how Sakura really cares for Mirai.

Mirai isn’t the only one uneasy about the plan. Mitsuki and Hiromi are the same. Later, Hiromi confronts his older sister about how she’s manipulating Mirai into killing Akihito, and that he suspects her of making a frozen barrier to weaken Akihito’s human half. I agree with his point. In fact Izumi did make some sort of barrier when Akihito was on the train. I really wonder what her goals are, and who she always reports to. She claims that she’s doing everything for the Nase family, but there’s definitely something else she still isn’t telling.

“If this is what was waiting for me, I wish I had never met Senpai.”

I bet it really pains Mirai to say that. She’s put in the worst position in this episode.

When Hiromi breaks through the barrier and enters the room his sister locked, he finds out the truth about why Izumi wanted Akihito to be killed. It turns out that the actual key to  Kyoukai no Kanata is a powerful youmu and Akihito fits that description. Hence, Akihito might bring the world to destruction. Fujima enters and steals the Hollow Shadow’s youmu stone. (Man, that guy just has to come huh?)

As for the end of the episode, Mirai takes off her glasses before attacking Akihito. I feel that she can’t bear to kill Akihito so she doesn’t want to be able to see him clearly.

This image sums up everything about how I feel about this episode. In the preview, Izumi mentions Akihito passing away. My house will be flooding with my tears next week if that’s true.


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Kyoukai no Kanata episode 8

I planned to write about Kyoukai no Kanata only when I finished the series, but this week’s episode became so exciting that I have to write about it now.

The episode started off about the warning of the Calm. To the Spirit Warriors, it was good news, since it was a period when youmu are weaker. This meant that they can defeat more youmu. However, to youmu like Ayaka and Ai, it was a period when they had to be very careful. Since Akihito was a half-youmu, he was in the most vulnerable position compared to everyone else.

Episode 8 covered many topics, ranging from the mysterious Nase Izumi’s actions to Akihito’s past. As for Nase Izumi, I’m really curious about her. Being the eldest of the Nase siblings, Izumi definitely knows a lot of information that she’s hiding from everyone else. I think that it’s mostly about the dangerous kind of youmu known as “Kyoukai no Kanata” (that’s probably what the title is talking about). From what’s been shown in episode 8, more about this youmu should be revealed in the next few episodes.

Kyoukai no Kanata

What I find the most interesting is how Sakura encouraged Mirai to stay with Akihito. Looking at the nearly always stoic Sakura after losing her will for revenge, I didn’t expect her to say that. However, it is nice to know that Sakura really does care for Mirai. It’s just that the nosy guy from the Society had to persuade her into trying to kill Mirai.

So, Sakura, I like you for supporting Akihito X Mirai! I don’t usually ship characters but they’re such a cute couple. And them being together seems to be confirmed in the ending song. Mirai, you like Akihito! Admit it!

Near the end of the episode, Ayaka confronts Fijimu Miroku from the Society to prevent him from getting to Akihito. I thought it was really cool when Ayaka transformed into her youmu form. She was really strong! It scared me for a while when she was nearly defeated but I’m glad that Nase Izumi came just in time.

The preview for the next episode is really thrilling! Akihito, being vulnerable during the Calm, has changed into his youmu form. Mirai is forced to be in a position where she has to kill Akihito but obviously wishes she doesn’t have to. This anime just keeps getting better and better! I’m looking forward to episode 9.

Watch Kyoukai no Kanata episode 8 at http://www.animeultima.tv/kyoukai-no-kanata-episode-8-english-subbed/