*:・゚✧Anime Spotlight: Free! is NOT a Sports Anime

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Haruka Nanase has a love for water and a passion for swimming. In elementary school, he competed in and won a relay race with his three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana. After claiming victory at the tournament, the four friends went their separate ways. Years later, they reunite as high school students; however, Rin couldn’t care less about returning to the way things used to be. Not only does he attend a different school, but the sole thing important to him is proving that he is a better swimmer than Haruka.

After the bitter reunion, Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto decide to form the Iwatobi High School Swim Club, but they will need a fourth member if they hope to take part in the upcoming tournament. Enter Rei Ryuugazaki, a former member of the track team whom Nagisa recruits. As the time to compete draws near, the four develop a close bond while training intensely to come out on top and settle things between Haruka and Rin once and for all.

From MAL

 

Free! is being tagged wrong as a sports anime, but what I believe it is (a slice of life and drama with sports as background) it does it extremely well. While it doesn’t have the passion and intensity I crave, or at least the first season didn’t with many shots of empty places, people walking, the gang having fun. Plus also 50% of the scenes are indeed drama and full of angst, hence me labelling it as not a sports anime.

But let’s clarify what a sports anime is for myself,  everyone has their own gauge, so it’s fine if for you it IS a sports anime.

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*:・゚✧Anime spotlight: DanMachi Has Unusually Complex Characters For a Harem

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In Orario, fearless adventurers band together in search of fame and fortune within the monstrous underground labyrinth known as Dungeon. But while riches and renown are incentive enough for most, Bell Cranel, would-be hero extraordinaire, has bigger plans. He wants to pick up girls. Is it wrong to face the perils of Dungeon alone, in a single-member guild blessed by a failed goddess? Maybe. Is it wrong to dream of playing hero to hapless maidens in Dungeon? Maybe not. After one misguided adventure, Bell quickly discovers that anything can happen in the labyrinth–even chance encounters with beautiful women. The only problem? He’s the one who winds up the damsel in distress!!

From Kitsu

Also known as Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, this anime really isn’t about dating or being a harem, at all. If anything it simulates dungeon crawling RPG’s so well, that it gave me pangs to go and play one, though I haven’t because I was watching this.

I also find the “harem” tag is kinda…not really what this anime is about, at all. While in most harem anime the guy is surrounded by girls but he doesn’t like anyone, so they’re all good, in this one Bell likes Ais since the beginning of the show. She’s the girl he wants to impress, and make her think he’s cool and also date and kiss. In fact, he’s pretty clueless and hasn’t noticed any of the girls like him, his eyes are set and only see Ais.

Bell is a newbie adventurer, as in Level 1, poor and only got inside Hestia’s family because there was literally no one else in that familia, and she was kinda desperate herself :’D In that regard, it is very typical shounen anime, but I find Bell is a total cutie, and really sweet, so he doesn’t scream typical shounen hero. He’s a cute little roll that I just wanna nibble on, and protect, so whenever he faces off against foes far greater than him I’m always rooting for him. Plus he looks really adorable while concentrating and trying hard, okay? x)

This is based on the light novels by the same name, which I haven’t read, and of course, there’s a manga adaptation too, which I haven’t read, but I do feel like this show is super intended as an anime. In fact, the anime adaptation might be where it shines the brightest, as we can see all the flashy moves, the pretty nice animation, accompanied with a good OST. But hey, if you disagree, tell me! Since as said, I haven’t experienced the originals or other adaptations hehe

I think what I really enjoyed the most were both the rpg elements, I’m a total sucker for those, but also the story and the characters. Perhaps I’m wrong but I find none of them are stereotypes or cliches, instead they all have their own darkness, and complexities. Even side characters you might not think much of, have them. So I got pretty surprised by it, in the end I got even more curious for the rest of the characters background to be discovered. I’m expecting some very juicy bits for them, especially for the Gods and Goddesses ;P

I think if you aren’t as into flashy anime, or into RPG elements, but still like good characters, this might be for you. Don’t expect super deep complex plot, that’s not where it’s strengths are at. They’re definitely the characters from than anything else.

You can watch this on Viewster just like I did (highly approved!), or use Because Moe to find where else it’s showing.

Have you watched this yet? Or did you dismiss it as another harem cliche, like I did at first? Did your opinion change after watching, or is this just another harem cliche to you still? Tell me all, I’m curious!

 

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*:・゚✧Anime Spotlight: Time of Eve is Feels Packed in 6 Episodes

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In Eve no Jikan, The Three Laws of Robotics are held above all else in a world where android housekeepers have become commonplace. Although they look human, they are treated the same as lesser technology such as toasters and alarm clocks. Not everyone feels this way, however. Android sympathizers, known as “android-holics,” have been labelled as heretics and problematic members of society.

Rikuo Sakisaka was raised to believe and uphold society’s tenets about androids, and is perfectly aware they are not human. Then one day, he finds abnormal data in his family android’s activity logs. This leads him to a café that has only one rule that its clientele must follow: there must be no discrimination between humans and androids inside. Curiosity drives Rikuo to discover more about this strange place and its regulars, even though he has no desire to befriend machines.

From MAL

Directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Produced by Tom Nagae
Written by Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Music by Tohru Okada
Studio Studio Rikka
Runtime 15–27 minutes
Episodes 6

This is definitely a show that will grip from the very beginning, and will make you have feelings from the start to the ending. I teared up, cried, or got choked up in multiple episodes. The only thing I was sad about was that 6 episodes were not enough, and the show doesn’t have an end-end, but an open-ended one. Regardless, the feels are real, too real for me to not speak good about it.

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*:・゚✧Anime Spotlight: Ace of Diamond is The Best Sports Anime Ever

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With a stray pitch that completely missed the batter, Eijun Sawamura loses his final middle school baseball game. Frustrated by this defeat, Eijun and his teammates vow to reach the national tournament once they are in high school. But everything changes when a scout unexpectedly invites him to Tokyo’s prestigious Seidou High School after seeing the potential in his unusual pitching style. Encouraged by his teammates, Eijun accepts the offer, ready to improve his skills and play at a much more competitive level of baseball.

However, now surrounded by a large number of skilled players, Eijun struggles to find his place on the team. He declares that he will one day become the team’s ace, but that’s only if fellow first year Satoru Furuya doesn’t take the title first, with his breakneck fastballs that earn him a coveted spot on the starting roster. With the addition of these talented new players to an already powerful lineup, the Seidou baseball team aims to become the best in Japan, facing off against a number of formidable foes that stand in their way.

from MAL

Directed by Mitsuyuki Masuhara
Written by Takeshi Konuta
Music by Frying-Pan
Studio Madhouse, Production I.G
Episodes 126 + 5 OVA

If you don’t agree, come fight me!

/shots fired at everyone

Just kidding xP

(I don’t consider Yuri on Ice sports anime like Daiya, Haikyuu and other shows, but it’s definitely one of my top animes of all time, it just doesn’t get the sports anime award 😛 )

This is one of hardest posts I can tackle. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I find it the hardest to write about something I ABSOLUTELY adore, love and cherish. It’s so close to my heart I can’t even articulate, I can’t even, tbh.

I’m just going to elaborate why I love it, and why it’s my fave sports anime ever.

First would be that this is an underdog story, and I love underdogs. There’s just something that makes me really root for them to achieve it, I get SO invested, I want them to be able to do it so BAD. This is why I feel so elated or cry when things go bad, or they’re able to pull back up to fight it out again, I’m just like YEAH DO IT BB, I BELIEVE IN YOU, I SUPPORT YOU NOW AND FOREVER MORE /SOBS GROSSLY AT EVERYONE THAT PASSES BY

/coughs

Okay, so maybe I get too emotional…But fuck that, cause stories and characters ARE supposed to make us feel, if they don’t then they have FAILED.

^This is a good lead-in to my next point. It makes me super emotional, I go through happiness, frustration (as my Rant post about it can demonstrate here), crying and hopelessness, and devastation, but I thrive on this. It means I AM invested, and nothing like a good sports anime to make you so invested from the get go. If they cry, I cry; if they smile, I smile; if they laugh, I laugh. I am their puppet, take me away! 🙏

It is no joke that I cry starting from Episode 1, Eijun + friends all crying together?, with drama and angst to spice it up? RIP me and my feels, I bawl always. Especially when the friends confess some feelings, I’m just DONE. Don’t watch anime with me, I just cry and screech okay lmao 😹😹

Along these paragraphs I forgot what point I was at, but I don’t care, I’ll just continue listing them.

Eijun gets nothing handed to him, nothing is easy, if he doesn’t half-kill himself he gets zero chances, and it makes me both scream at everyone about the injustice, but also respect and admire the fuck out of my boy. He is everything I wished I could be: determined, motivated, passionated, fiery, optimist, never gives up, sunshine personified, and unparalleled. From the first moment he gets on Seido he does not even enter the MAIN team, he has to duke it out to even get accepted, and then on the second string. He busts his ass to get all achievements, and I love it. This does also mean I get super frustrated because nothing is ever easy, I just want to see him succeed so bad 😭😭😭😭

It’s realistic, from the characters strengths and weaknesses, to their ability on the sports itself, aside some magical canon’s ( /looks at Furuya) that happened once, this is strictly 100% true and realistic, which I give it lots of props. This doesn’t mean that the show doesn’t have any spark, or doesn’t hook you. Man, the animation, the shots, the way the camera moves, the FUCKING AMAZING SOUNDTRACK, they all cause a super tense, anxious and AMAZING scene after scene. I’m always sweating when watching my boy pitch, and the rest of the team batting and stealing houses. There are no guaranteed wins here, who you root for to win does not mean it’ll happen. Just be prepared with tons of kleenex, because you’ll need them just like I did /pats poor soggy pillow

There is no throwaway secondary or tertiary characters here, everyone has their own distinctive looks, personalities and their limelight. Don’t be surprised to see characters you think are background fodder to turn out important to Seido, and to other teams, because it’ll be.

The art is so so good, I love that 90% of the characters are distinguishable by features alone, tho some do look like they’re in their 30’s and not in their 16’s 😹😹

^This leads me to Miyuki and Chris-senpai, the two hotties and bishounen from the series, bless their presence and existence in this show. Plus their voices are hot, mama mia /fans self

You can ship all the characters, it’s okay and fine, enjoy it. They’re all so tight and close, but at the same time have that divide that a good fuck would just clear up /coughs and clears throat

I unabashedly ship Miyuki with Eijun, RIP me, and their interactions make me live, as you might have noticed from me gushing about an amazing fanfic, The Trajectory of Laughter. Prepare kleenex if you decide to read it, RIP U and me /sobs silently.

The soundtrack hypes me up, just listening to it as I’m writing is both making me want to rewatch the show, hyping me and also reminding me of so many great scenes, sobs grossly. Just go listen to it, it’s even better in context of the anime. If you don’t get hyped and ready to fight all that comes in your way as you listen to it, then your blood is dead smh.

The sheer size of it, there’s so much to watch, yet it never feels enough, plus all the episodes are so short, or maybe they only feel like that because they’re so good /softly cries

The animation, direction, art are just super stellar. Every shot has impact, does its job when it has to be comedic or softer, yet when the scenes have to be about raw tension or vulnerability they’re fricking amazing. I’m super whore for good camera work, it’s everything in a show, it’ll determine how you feel and how much impact a scene will have, and Daiya has it in fucking spades, it could sell some and still be king of them. Definitely super A+++++ work from the studio and director, coupled with the composer and voice actors, it’s just unrivalled. Or maybe that’s just me as a huge fan xPP

Now does this show have flaws? Of course, it has. One of them is, there isn’t a third season out yet, or announced, so I’m frigging dying in my pants for it to be announced. That’s it. 😈😈

Nah, one flaw is… if you aren’t a sports anime fan then look elsewhere, this is 100% pure fiber sports anime, just like how I love and eat with a spoon for breakfast. The character growth, the story, everything, they all revolve around baseball, but let me tell you the character growth IS SUPER STRONG in this show, so if you LOVE characters, then still check this out, for realsies ❤

There’s not much else I can say cause I just don’t have enough skills, words or praise to throw at this. Maybe beware that there is a heavy dose of drama and angst, but just in the right quantities to really hit you in the gut, it never becomes melodramatic or turn into a soap opera, worry not!

And these are all the reasons why to me Daiya is the best sports anime ever, for me, and nothing has been able to rival it 😻😻

I challenge you all to watch this, give it 3 episodes, if you don’t get hooked, interested or curious, then I guess we can’t be friends anymore.

Kidding xD

Or am I? 😈😈😈😈🔪🔪🔪🔪💣💣💣

You can find where to watch this on Because Moe.

Have you seen this anime yet? Did you love it as much as me? Or did you not like it and want to fight me now? Come on, I’m curious so tell me all!


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*:・゚✧Anime Spotlight: Yuuri!!! on Ice has Made Me on Fire

Did you like that pun/title? Hehehe, it was fun to write it! 😼✨

But that’s right, YoI has finally ended and I screamed, like legit shrieks and screams, my voice cracked on that last episode. Before I delve into spoilers, I wanna talk about why I love this anime and why it’s been the highlight of this year, for me.

One of the most important ones is definitely the GAY. Not because of the fan service, or queerbaiting, or whatever other terms people like using to put down shows.

This is the first anime sports, serious sports mind you, that there’s real gay in it, that is approached beautifully and so realistically. This is breaking norms, rules, and I love it.

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