Monthly Archives: October 2020

Golden Kamuy Episode #1 Anime Review

Alright everyone. I watched an anime today that doesn’t match with the usual suspects that I review. But that’s all good and well. I watched episode #1 of Golden Kamuy, season 1 available on Crunchyroll.

Golden Kamuy stars Saichi Sugimoto as the main character and is set in the Meiji era, that is the late 1800s into the early 1900s. Sugimoto arrives home from the war in desperate need of money. To accommodate that need, he begins panning for gold. While panning, an old man tells him the story of a prisoner who slaughtered an entire tribe of Ainu people and took all their gold. Tried for his crimes, the murderer hides all his gold where no one can find it. Placed on death row, the man quickly makes friends with the other death row inmates. He tattoos hints or clues to the treasures location on all the inmates. The inmates escape and thus the treasure map has now been separated over all their bodies. This anime is Sugimoto’s adventure to find all the inmates and track down the treasure.

Okay, there’s your synopsis. Let’s dive further into it, shall we?

The first thing is wow. Is that plot morbid? I mean, it is kind of implied Sugimoto will be killing these people and skinning them for the clues… So yeah, it is a gruesome version of One Piece. Hey, I’m all for that part of it. However, to find out why I am stumped, we have to examine Sugimoto a bit further.

The opening scene is of the Russian and Japanese war. Boy, is there a lot to unpack here. Our introduction to Sugimoto is on the front lines fighting for Japan in the war. He eats an ant out of desperation for food. When the order is given, Sugimoto rushes from the trenches to find a Russian to vanish and presumably eat, winters are tough after all. At this point, Sugimoto makes it clear his main objective is to survive.

He invades the Russian trenches and grotesquely slays all the troops. When he has flashbacks of the war, they are pretty gruesome and the soldiers are always decapitated. I bring this up to say, Sugimoto is one disturbed individual. He clearly has a bloodlust. He appears to crave inhumane and clever ways of annihilating the opposition. I question if his main goal is just survival anymore.

Now, let’s back it up a bit. While at war, his best friend asks him to raise 200 Yen and take his wife and kid to the United States to seek doctors who would help her with her vision problem. Just 200 Yen. Remember this.

Later in the anime, he runs into a native Ainu girl, Asirpa, who is out hunting bears in the wood. Long story short, the two must defeat a bear in order to save one of the former inmate’s bodies from being eaten by the bear. Finally, they slay the bear. This prompts Sugimoto to ask Asirpa to join him in finding the treasure. She humbly declines him saying she does not kill people. After hearing Sugimoto’s story about the wife with bad vision, she removes the bear’s gallbladder and tells him it is worth a lot of Yen.

Do you think this is enough for Sugimoto? Literally, yes. Of course it is. In his head? No. He wants that fortune. It is funny how Sugimoto seems like a cool, level headed guy until money or killing gets involved. After that a switch is flipped inside the man.

As a result, Saichi Sugimoto is one of the more interesting main characters I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. The anime’s art and premise definitely interested me. But it the yearning to discover who Sugimoto really is that is compelling me to continue the adventures of Golden Kamuy. This is an anime I see myself slowly chipping away at.

Well let me know what you guys thought of this anime down below. And what is with the CGI bears?

Thanks again for reading! Have a great day!

Continued Reading Below!

I’m Standing on a Million Lives Episode #1 Review
One Punch Man Episode #1 Review
Top 5 Zelda Games That Need Remakes!

One Punch Man Episode #1 Review

Ah, yes. The day we’ve been waiting for. This review is going to have a story time attached to it following the review. I hope you guys enjoy.

One Punch Man Season 1 and 2 are both available on Hulu with sub and dub options.

One Punch Man promises to be high octane, action packed, bloody knuckle brawler of an anime. It firmly did not disappoint in that regard. It has been praised for it’s animation and well that also was a knock out. In fact, the positives are just straight forwardly good. The music is good. The action is spectacular. Saitama is a lovable nut. The coloring (for a setting that is being destroyed in nearly every scene) is beautiful. The villains, despite existing for literally one punch, are still well thought out, provoking, and detailed characters. In fact, that is a luxury of the show. The villains all are good. The design of the show causes them to not be memorable or stand a chance in a fight. However, the screen time they do get, they absolutely kill it.

His fight with Mole King Dream Form and all the smaller mole people was top notch, peak anime perfection. Saitama thinks at long last he has rediscovered that spark and it is exhilarating. The prior 20 minutes are spent roughly showing how Saitama has lost that spark himself.

It is funny. The day of his origin story, life had lost all meaning to the point he was ready to die. Now, he questions if his work even makes a difference. Thus, zapping all emotion from the man. He fulfilled his dream of being a superhero and it brought no gratification.

So, yeah. You get it. I love Saitama and the art style. That is fine and dandy. What about the bad? Well, it is still the same. The show is incredibly boring. Don’t get me wrong. The manga is waaaaay more boring though. The anime gets the benefit of voice acting, quick cuts, lots of color and all the moving pieces. The manga is held together by black and white pages over word bubbles and imagery that is hard to keep up with inked out. In that regard, the anime is 100% more enjoyable. Still, the show lacks depth and remains a satire of genre that probably needed a good deconstruction.

If we wanted to commentate on the ridiculous nature of these animes, this is probably as close to perfection as it gets. The over the top training leading to baldness. The over muscularly villains. However, the show hasn’t really made any commentary on women in anime or the obsessive eating disorder main characters have (I’m half way surprised Saitama did not get his powers from ramen like Popeye meets Naruto.). The lack of a real rival still hinders the show, but than again, there’s still a lot of show left.

I’ll probably give the anime another shot before I ever buy volume 2 of the manga. Still there is no denying the shows popularity and the staying force it has. I liked enough stuff to give episode two a go soon enough. The show is just not at the top of my list though.

Score: 8 out of 10. My qualms with the show still have plenty of time to get fixed as the show goes on. In the mean time, what I liked far outweighed what I didn’t. Watch this anime. You will enjoy it.

Story Time:
One Punch Man Season 1 debuted back in 2015! It was a hit right out of the gate. I personally try to read the mangas first if I am interested. Hence, why I am only on season 2 of My Hero Academia. I ran out and bought One Punch Man Volume #1 in January of 2016, about a month after season 1 wrapped up. I was soooo disappointed and bored. My friends could not believe I did not care for it. However, once they found out I had only read the manga and not watched the anime, they all said I would think differently after watching the show. Again, they are kind of right. All the problems still exist they are just less noticeable due to all the eye candy on screen. Another factor is making yourself read the several chapters as opposed to watching an action packed cartoon for 25 minutes.

In short, they are completely different animals. One Punch Man as a concept works soooo much better in anime form than in manga form. So, yes. As my scores suggest, I do enjoy the anime way more than the manga.

When I first started I shared my blog post with all my friends. Now, the blog is bit more personal and most of them no longer read it. So I doubt any of them will actually read this review. If they do, I hope the 4 year wait was worth it. Haha.

An Unplanned Break

I love this blog. And this year in particular, I have made what feels like several post marked as life updates. This is just the next one in that long running tradition.

This break was completely unplanned and one of those things where I had to sit down and make sure I prioritized ending the long draught of post. Which is a shame. I wrote what I consider to be some of my favorite reviews this years. I had watched a handful of animes that I planned to review (including Tower of God Season 1 which I actually did write up.)

So, if I love the blog and had all these plans, why has it been over a month? Let’s break it all down.

School- School also ruins my motivation towards hobbies. It’s a shame. It’s not always a bad thing though. Sometimes it is because I enjoy my classes so much, I actively prioritize school (weird, right?). Other times, school provides that good ol existential crisis of what am I doing with my life? This semester has been a mix of both. For starters I’m taking 6 classes which is near, if not, the maximum amount of classes you can take in a college semester. Only one is actual hard, but it is plenty hard. 2 or 3 require a lot of reading and video watching. and about 2 of them are actually pretty easy, thankfully. Well, 2 of these classes encourage me and are helping me decide what I want to do for work. Others, are making me reconsider everything. However, I am way too deep into the college tank to jump ship. Regardless, I was on a tear over the summer and during the covid break. School being back in session has hurt motivation which, in return, has hurt production.

Hobbies- I am a collector. I collect a lot of stuff. Mangas, comic books, and video games are some of the bigger hobbies I have. That’s without counting how much anime, movies, and Youtube/Streaming I watch. As a result, I rarely stay on the same hobby too long. These last two months my interest shifted from animes to video games. Now, I’m mostly reading comic books and I’ll occasionally fire up a game when I’m in the mood. This blog mostly centers around anime. When you’re not watching anime, it makes it hard to constantly write about anime. I’m trying to reprogram my brain into anime but is tough with all other good forms of media that exist right now.

Youtube Channel- On top of running this blog, I run the companion Youtube site, Dahubbz, I run a completely separate Youtube channel with some friends. That channel uploads almost daily this entire year. I am in almost every video as well as edit every video and I come up with most of the ideas. I would not call it a full time workload but it keeps me busy. (In fact, I have put off editing the video for today to focus on the blog.). I’ve tried to teach the other members how to create their own concepts and edit the videos, but they are not ready for that yet. Which is fine. The 2nd channel was my idea and I’m super proud of it. Nevertheless, there are definitely days, weeks, and sometimes months, where I am focusing on that channel more than this one. Back in August I came up with several high profile video ideas. However, I was really struggling with which channel I would put them on and as a result, I just have not done those videos yet.

As it stands, I have big plans for this blog and the channel. However, I might have to consider one day I’ll shift all my attention on to one channel. That time is not here yet. So, let us continue to enjoy the ride together. If you watch any of our videos or read any of our post, thank you.

I don’t want to make any promises, but tomorrow I plan to review One Punch Man Episode 1. Fingers crossed.

I’m Standing on a Million Lives Episode #1 Review

After a month break, it’s time to finally get another review out. This time around we will be reviewing a new anime called I’m Standing on a Million Lives. Episode 1 and 2 are available on Crunchyroll.

The Plot: Not too much is known of the plot up to this point. At least 3 kids who all attend the same school, Yusuke Yotsuya, Iu Shindo and Kusue Hakozaki, are all teleported to a video game world. Admittedly, I have not watched to many shows from this genre of anime. However, one thing that makes it seem different, to me anyway, is the fact the characters can leave the video game world and than return back to said world at later points. Though, it does not appear they get to chose when to warp back between each world. Once a player arrives in the video game world, I am not sure if the world is named yet or not, they are greeted by a strange avatar that grants them their quest. A neat aspect to the team dynamic is the players can die as much as they want with no consequence. That is, as long as at least one party member is currently alive. If they all die before the other players can respond, they stay dead. It is not yet fully revealed if this means they die in the real world. The players seem to be acting as if they would though.

Characters:
Shindo: First up is Shindo. Technically not the main character, she is still the first of the 3 to arrive in the video game world. In the real world she is considered the total package. The guys find her attractive. She receives good grades. She’s even athletic. In the video game world she assumes the role of a wizard blessed with the elemental powers of wind.

Hakozaki: Hakozaki is not a complete polar opposite of Shindo, even if she appears so on the surface. She is tasked with being the sword wielding warrior. However, she lacks the confidence to be the fearsome brute the group needs her to be. She has a lot to learn and room to grow before she becomes the hero of this story. I’m sure her character will undergo some growth as the series develops but the jury is still out on whether she can reach that status or not.

Yotsuya: Yotsuya is the main character. He is uninspired to say the least. He cannot envision a future for himself. Instead, he would just prefer to play video games. As you can imagine, getting transported to a virtual reality is almost a dream come true. He is told once he finishes his missions he can go home. I’m not convinced he even wants to return home to Tokyo. Yotsuya is not very likable as a character. Though he seems to be a quick thinker and group player. Despite owning the occupation of farmer (one of the weaker titles), he has already carried his weight up to this point.

The World: Animes like this are always fun for this section. The story is divided into 2 locations. The first one seems to be a plain Jane interpretation of Tokyo. The second one is a brand new mystical video game dimension. So far, it has mythical creatures like sea beast and trolls, magic, and good old fashion towns and villages. I’m not sure if anything is named yet. Every player is assigned a title and than a status bar full of typical RPG stats. The players can summon weapons (and I assume other elements as the show continues) at will. I’m under the impression that whenever a player arrives in the world they are greeted by the same avatar (or Game Master as he is referred) and tasked with building a team and completing quests.

Recap: Though I am not overly familiar with the genre, this seems like a perfectly fine jumping in point for fans or newcomers of the genre alike.

Action: Not over dependent on action up to this point. The first scene is pretty bloody all things considered which, to me, implies there could be plenty of blood and violence in future episodes.
Romance: Who knows? There’s nothing overly hinting at romance at this point in time. I think Yotsuya at least has a crush on Shindo. Not confirmed explicitly though.
Plot: I don’t have a definitive opinion on the plot. It is plenty fine enough to carry this kind of story and that is probably good enough.
Characters: Despite my earlier comments, the characters here are fine. They are not in the same class as many of the animes I have watched. However, they just formed a squad and most of them lack charisma but they have a certain charm. Not an elite cast by any means, but still enjoyable in their own right.
The World: The worlds in animes like this are so important. This world seems to have some nice tricks thanks to the digital nature of it. One example being the data logs scattered throughout the world. If the show keeps doing cool stuff with their design space, I will like this world a lot. As of now, it is fine.

Verdict: This show seems to be a pretty surface level anime packed with room for plenty of potential.

Score: I’m going to sound really harsh here. I was going to go 6 out of 10, but I think I’ll just say 7 out of 10. Episode 1 did not blow me away like some Episode 1’s I’ve seen. It did do enough to get me invested in some of the character’s well being and motivate me to look forward to the coming episodes. This is a new anime. I may try to watch it weekly or so as they air and revisit it down the road here on the blog. Who knows?

Bonus Thoughts

I Mean You No Farm? I have to wonder if Yotsuya was only given the title farmer to make him weak at the start or maybe even just for comedic effect. Could this job have secret abilities or top notch skills he will discover in later episodes? Seems like a pretty big plot point to just do for a gag or to kneecap the main character at the start of the story.

Life is But a Stream. In the real world Yotsuya bumps into a table outside where a girl is streaming, inadvertently messing up her angle. She makes some comments that I cannot quite remember off the top of my head. I just wonder if this girl or streaming will come into play. The camera and the show itself took some time away from Yotsuya and the plot as a whole to show us this girl, though her face was not revealed if I recall right. She could be a throw away scene or important to the story.