Your Lie In April

© A-1 Pictures
© A-1 Pictures

Have a box of tissues when you watch this anime. Cling to one!!

Synopsis: “Piano prodigy Kousei Arima dominated the competition and has become famous among child musicians. After his mother, who was also his instructor, died, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital at the age of eleven. As a result, he is no longer able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing is perfectly fine. Two years later, Kousei hasn’t touched the piano and views the world in monotone, without any flair or color. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, a girl changes everything. Kaori Miyazono, a pretty, free-spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her personality, helps Kousei return to the music world and shows that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kousei was used to.” (source: wikipedia.com)

 photo kaori.gif

+ Absolutely stunning animation. It’s such eye candy that I feel like I was being caressed by beautiful, saturated, and vibrant colors.
+ Likable characters who are all very realistic. I feel like anyone can relate to at least one of these characters on some level.
+ Music is beautiful. Obvious statement considering the plot centers around classical musicians, but I’m also referring to the music composed by Yokoyama Masaru. The opening and closing themes are awesome as well and fit the theme of Your Lie In April. I literally have 光るなら (Hikaru Nara) by Goosehouse on repeat when I exercise because it’s so darn catchy and upbeat.
+ Cohesive plot with a bittersweet ending. Like I said, have a box of tissues with you. There are comedic moments to lighten the mood.
+ I didn’t read the manga—written and drawn by Naoshi Arakawa—but I hear the anime follows the manga closely.

– Around the middle of the anime, I felt like some events were dragged out a bit too long. Otherwise, I think the pacing is good.
– My brother pointed out that the characters tend to repeat the same word 50 billion times in one episode, which I guess could annoy some people. I didn’t notice until he pointed it out because I thought it was to emphasize a point.

You can watch Your Lie In April on crunchyroll or hulu

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Haikyuu!!

Haikyuu

I still remember the day when I started watching Prince of Tennis and how I wanted to learn how to play tennis because of it. Does that ever happen to you? I think this is what happens every time I watch any sports-themed anime.

I read a little bit of the manga and watch the first season of the anime, and the anime follows the manga closely. I love the artwork in both platforms because they capture the intensity of the sport while having moments of comedy. Haikyuu!! is an anime/manga that centers around Karasuno High School’s volleyball team and teamwork.
one of many hilarious moments in Haikyuu!!
I don’t think I have laughed so hard watching an anime in a while. In fact, I somehow gone through all 25 episodes in a day because the storytelling is enticing and all the characters are lovable. I have a soft spot for Suga and Nishinoya and Tanaka… basically all of Karasuno. The soundtrack for the anime is catchy and gets my blood pumping; it’s great workout music. I admit there are a few moments where I wished the plot would move faster. However, there is a good amount of tension and buildup to the point where when it’s the climax, I have my hands flailing in the air and I’m screaming at the screen in excitement. Maybe I’m just easily excited about things, but the show does have me at the edge of my seat. The same goes for the manga.

Head over to crunchyroll or hulu to watch Haikyuu!! I honestly cannot wait for season 2. I would keep myself busy by reading the manga, but I’m trying to keep myself from binge-reading it over at Casonova Scans because it’s only updated once a week.

Digimon Adventure Tri

© 2015 Toei Animation
© 2015 Toei Animation
Throughout elementary school, I remember occasionally tuning to Fox weekday afternoons to watch the original eight DigiDestined and their adventures in the Digital World. It wasn’t until I discovered fanart in high school that I marathoned the first two seasons of Digimon (and then the third season along with the movies). I distinctly remember being holed up inside my sauna-like bedroom during that fateful summer break, watching possibly a voice dub or some strange unofficial english dub on YouTube. I remember this because the characters would say “Hickory” instead of Hikari or Kari. Long story short, I was obsessed with Digimon. I loved the characters, the voice acting in both English and Japanese, and the plot… and I still do. I know Pokemon fans will come at me with pokeballs, but I always say Pokemon’s storyline pales in comparison to Digimon’s storyline, especially the first two seasons of Digimon. Honestly, the DigiDestined have a special place in my heart.

So, the other day I was perusing through tumblr, and discovered announcements regarding Digimon Adventures Tri. Mouth agape and internal screaming quickly escalated to me jumping around the house with my hands in the air. A season dedicated to the original eight: Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Joe, Mai, TK, and Kari (yes, I prefer going by the English dub names)—six years later after Digimon Adventure.

If you’re a Digimon fan, even a casual one, mark your calendars for this April! In the mean time, you can head over to digimon-adventure.net for teasers.

Tokyo Ghoul √A episode 1

whitehairkaneki
I honestly could not sleep yesterday because of the excitement (also the fact that there’s a new episode of Your Lie In April), and I woke up early and kept refreshing tumblr and hulu for any glimpse of episode one. Heading over to funimation, in all its glory, was episode one. Available. Just a click away. Well… several because I registered just to get a 14-day trial to stream Tokyo Ghoul √A. I’m not obsessed at all /whistles/

The raging feels coursed through my body that I needed to run around the house and scream after I finished the first episode. I’m not kidding, I’m trying to let it out right now by making random graphics and posting it on tumblr. If only I had someone to talk to, haha. If you’re a Tokyo Ghoul fan, please let’s chat!! 😀 I’m quite glad the anime isn’t like Sherlock where I have to wait a year for a new season, haha.

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Selfie Pilot Review

The pilot is currently on Hulu. I was quite excited of this new tv series because I heard John Cho was going to be one of the lead cast members and be alongside Karen Gillan. You may know her from Doctor Who where she played The Doctor’s companion Amy Pond. Obviously, I had a stupid grin on my face every time I saw Henry, John Cho’s character, and Eliza, Karen Gillan’s character. At first, I couldn’t make out whether she was speaking an American accent or her native Scottish accent. Though I do give her credit for pulling off a narcissistic, valley girl accent (or maybe NorCal cause she said hella).

Selfie seems to be written by a bunch of late twenty-something hipsters, or at least aimed towards tweens and early twenties. Compliment or insult, you choose. I feel it’s most evident when Eliza critiques her “hipster-crite neighbor Bryn and her friends.” How relatable are they to a twenty-something female? Are the writers trying to be witty/funny by having a businessperson do a hand heart pose? It screamed “I’m still relevant and hip among the ‘cool’ kids.” Practically each line is riddled with American pop culture references, which is sometimes funny or an overkill. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eliza starts speaking in tumblr or meme: “Much amaze. So excite.” “I can’t even.”

On the other hand, it seems like there is an underlying commentary on social media and this generation’s obsession with their phones and “instant gratification.”

I think the pilot shows promise, but I don’t see Selfie surviving for more than two seasons. Hopefully, it proves me wrong because I do truly enjoy seeing John Cho and Karen Gillan together.

I Hear Your Voice

titleihyv
What an amazing k-drama. I tried watching another drama after Doctor Stranger, but towards the end, I was skipping scenes and I still haven’t finish it… not that I want to because I simply lost interest. Then, I decided to watch this drama because I realized it only has 18 episodes!! That’s something considering a lot of k-dramas go up to 20.

Anyway, I have not been this impressed by a korean drama since I watched Time Between Dog And Wolf back in 2007. I Hear Your Voice is a courtroom drama that delves into the realms of forgiveness versus revenge and the consequences of these actions, of the justice system, and of truth/morality.

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Doctor Stranger

I haven’t watched a k-drama since high school, and there are many reasons why, one being the notorious love triangle plot line. So when I came across a medical drama called Doctor Stranger, I thought k-dramas were finally mixing it up and I thought I would give it a chance. I somehow managed to finish all 20 one-hour long episodes, but I felt like it was unnecessarily dragged on and the ending was lackluster.

Doctor Stranger is about a South Korean, Park Hoon, who was kidnapped as a child and brought to North Korea with his father who is a cardio surgeon. He follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a doctor as well. Hoon manages to return to South Korea and works at a prestigious hospital for the sole purpose of earning enough money to rescue his girlfriend from North Korea. However, there is one doctor at this prestigious hospital who looks exactly like Hoon’s girlfriend; thus, drama, confusion, and a love triangle plot (or should I say square?) ensues.

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Code Geass

Per a friend’s recommendation, I watched Code Geass, directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, this past week. My friend actually recommended the anime a while ago, and I tried watching an episode; however, the character design, which is done by Clamp, bothered me quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I really admire Clamp but long limbs/disproportionate characters irk me. Nevertheless, the battle scenes are amazingly animated and the outfit/costume design is very lavish and detailed. When I solely focused on the storyline I could not stop watching, and I finished both seasons within a couple of days.

Code Geass
Code Geass artwork © 2006 Clamp

Forgive me, I am a bit lazy to write a spoiler-free synopsis. According to wikipedia: “the series focuses on how the former prince Lelouch vi Britannia obtains a power known as Geass and decides to use it to obliterate the Holy Britannian Empire, an imperial monarchy and a superpower that has been conquering various countries.”

I think most of the characters are well-rounded and complex, making the anime very enticing. They are neither good nor bad, just grey, so I was constantly second-guessing the motives behind Lelouch and other primary characters. I like how Code Geass brings a bit of everything: action, sci-fi (hello, mecha!), fantasy, romance, tragedy, etc. Also, the Japanese voice acting is superb. For example, Jun Fukuyama, who voices Lelouch, is a chameleon because he is able to create so many personas for the character simply by changing his speech.

I think if you like shows like Game of Thrones or Death Note, then I definitely recommend watching Code Geass.