Die Hard meets Boku no Hero Academia? Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero Anime Movie Review

No seriously that’s what LA thought by the end of this movie and LA is saying this in a tongue in cheek way, considering the fact that Kouhei Horikoshi likes American media, this isn’t withstanding.

Now Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero is set in-between the second and third season, where All Might takes Midoriya to I-Island so that All Might can meet an old friend, Dave Shields, his old partner but also so that Midoriya can see the I-Expo with Melissa Shields voiced by Mirai Shida, Dave’s Quirkless daughter, an expo holding the newest support items for heroes and the like, Midoriya later meets his classmates of 1A one way or another before some villains hack into the security system holding the entire I-Island hostage, it up to All Might and some of Class 1A to stop them.

So LA will say the first half of the movie is to get the audience acquainted with I-Island as well as giving us hints towards the latter half of the movie involving Dave. But for the most part, it’s Midoriya fluffing around in I-Island seeing all the attractions while giving Melissa some screentime with Midoriya.

It’s the latter half where it turns into Die Hard where the students of Class 1A gets to show their worth as they climb the tower to get the security system back to normal, from the typical headliners like Todoroki, Iida and Bakugou to Ochako, Momo, Kaminari, Jirou, Kirishima and yes even the grape scum Mineta gets his limelight at one point of the movie. Our main antagonist Wolfram voiced by Rikiya Koyama is our Hans Gruber if the Die Hard analogue is anything to go by and he’s your typical “final boss” of the movie but LA didn’t expect him to have links with….”him” giving us something at least that doesn’t make this movie completely isolated from it’s anime series and heck Dave Shields and the revelations towards the latter half with him, not only does he get major development but also shows him clinging to the past with All Might to be detrimental and to look beyond to the future *cough* Midoriya *cough*.

Animation-wise, done once again by Studio bones, the animation overall is indeed having the exact same aesthetics as the anime series right down to the fights shown having blocky destructive background work that bones and Boku no Hero Academia is well known for. Character designs are striking as always and the background work is in great standards. It’s Bones going to the big screen, so yeah it’s expected that the best set pieces, the fights are fluidly and amazingly animated.

Voice acting, well LA doesn’t have much to say, the returning cast is back but with three new characters thus voice actors, those being Rikiya Koyama as Wolfram, Katsuhisa Namase as Dave Shields and Mirai Shida as Melissa. The new cast is great and mingle nicely with the rest of the cast with major props to Rikiya Koyama doing a marvelous main antagonist for this movie. As for the returning cast, LA HAS to give MVP once again to Kenta Miyake as All Might but also Daiki Yamashita as Midoriya.

No movie is without flaws however, LA did find that the movie liked to flashback to the anime series and even to it’s own previous scenes at times and to be honest, sure the anime series did it for clarity but even so, if your a fan of a particular anime series and a movie came out, we should have ALREADY known this, thankfully the flashbacks were rare to say the least so that it could give us new material. The other flaw would be that as much as Wolfram is the main antagonist of this movie and has ties to “him”, he was an “ok” villain overall, it’s just felt like his presences was only truly felt near the end of the movie and not encompassing the movie, as one he was behind the shadows early on and two, on the latter half, he let his lackeys do all the work, it’s not until the finale he showed his true colors, LA just wanted more form him really. Really as much as LA has some flaws with this movie, the movie manages to defends it’s flaws and making up for it one way or another.

Melissa however was an interesting character in all honesty, a Quirkless person who wanted to be like a pro hero like Midoriya, but since she was Quirkless she went into support and loved making this for heroes like her father Dave did for All Might, a sorta of introspective look at what would of happened if Midoriya didn’t get One for All, it’s kinda too bad that we didn’t go more in-depth with her in the movie as it would had been interesting but nonetheless what LA got was still fine.

Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero is an obvious must see for Boku no Hero fans and LA was worried this would do the anime movie syndrome of having it being a one-shot, isolated from the anime series movie filled with compilation scenes from the anime series, but Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero did well to NOT do this but still implement in a ways that we’re still getting new material, a new story out of it and it did just that. Yes the movie has some flaws but still the movie holds up even with it. LA’s experience with Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero is pretty much a 95 minute long mini-arc of the anime series, just with the theatrics of being a blockbuster movie and man does it show.

Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Futari no Hero did go beyond PLUS ULTRA but expected from Boku no Hero Academia.

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Sagiri and Elf Yamada’s time to shine. Eromanga-sensei OVA Anime Review

After the disaster that was Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai, LA needed to see some good o’ degenerate good trash anime and nothing says that than with two words, “Eromanga-sensei” and “OVA”

Eromanga-sensei OVA has two episodes, one focusing solely on Elf Yamada, the other, of Masamune getting sick and Sagiri having to tend to him while getting some of the cast into some hijinks with Sagiri going into *ahem* unknown territory…outside her room!

Elf Yamada’s episode was great to be all honest as her light novel has gotten an anime thus celebrations are in order, that is until Elf’s mother voiced by Sayaka Ohara comes along forcing her to pack up and leave to find a better suitor, but Elf doesn’t want that and this episode not only shows Elf’s family circumstances and the like but also shows Elf in her prime in the most out of nowhere musical number LA has seen and it was GREAT. *ahem* Elf Yamada best girl fight me. All in all, as much as the familial conflict is cliche, how it was executed was surprisingly refreshing and again out of nowhere in a good way.

Masamune’s sick episode though the episode confines itself in Sagiri’s house, the hijinks does arise from the characters outside of the house as most of the cast comes in to actually interaction semi-face to face with Sagiri, as Masamune had always been the proxy for Sagiri in a ways, so seeing the middle man cut out and seeing the interactions were entertaining to say the least, with Muramasa being a highlight. But what Masamune being sick gives us a Sagiri focused episode really and seeing now Sagiri in the role Masamune had always been in and seeing her both tend to Masamune and deal with his day to day chores (and even an allusion back to the ending theme) and friends in the process was interesting funny to say the least and lastly once again reaffirming Sagiri’s sibling love to Masamune.

Not much to say in the production front as it’s the same as it was in the original season, with A1-Pictures at the helm and doing some decent amount of detail to the simplest things and the always vibrant character designs and yes this is an OVA, thus showing some skin is in order, well yeah there is, but like the original season, they never go too far so fanservice is rather bare and rare either way. Voice acting wise, LA will easily give Minami Takahashi MVP of this OVA purely for Elf Yamada, though Saori Oonishi as Muramasa and Yoshitsugu Mastuoka as Masamune does have their standout moments and heck LA will throw a bone and say that Akane Fujita as Sagiri has her moments as well.

Eromanga-sensei OVA is decent if your wanting more Eromanga-sensei and some different settings for the characters to be in or a celebration of certain characters and this OVA does just that.

Questioning Kiritsugu’s Ideals. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai Anime Movie Review

Miyu before Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya…

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai gives us a glimpse as well as a proper detail towards the actual alternate world Miyu was born in through the lens of the alternate Emiya from 3rei!.

Now having alternate Emiya as our main narrative focus maybe an odd choice since this is suppose to be you know, Miyu’s backstory and how she got into Illya’s world and the such, but nonetheless alternate Emiya himself ALSO has a story of his that fills in the details and is obviously linked to Miyu and everything that happened in 3rei! as well for things to to go “full circle” as it were.

With the main narrative clutch of Emiya and by extension Kiritsugu wanting peace any way possible even for the life of one in order to do it and using Miyu as the vessel as the sacrifice brings attention and questions Kiritsugu’s ideals in the first place, with Emiya’s beliefs towards it as he gradually loses everything dear to him starting from Miyu taken away by the Ainsworths and Emiya pretty much in this alternate world anyways, turning into a proto-Kiritsugu in his Fate/Zero days. On the other side, Julian Ainsworth actually wants the same thing but his methods and care for Miyu is second to none and he actually embodies Kiritsugu’s ideals of wanting to peace for humanity but he’ll WILL DO ANYTHING TO DO IT even at the cost of one’s life. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai’s thematically questions whether Kiritsugu’s ideals not only in this movie but heck Fate/Zero was the right thing to do, kill one in order to save everyone and both made manifest with Emiya still believing in that but more like save all with no deaths, while Julian will kill for humanity.

Due to Emiya taking up the majority of the spotlight as well as his development into proto-Kiritsugu, Miyu doesn’t get that much screentime, but what we got at least gives us what Miyu’s personality later on in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya prosper into.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai also ties up loose ends towards 3rei! and why the Holy Grail War finished already and that was because of Emiya and by the ending itself how Emiya later ended up in 3rei!.

On the animation side, done once again Silver Link, seems aesthetically if not BETTER especially during the fights towards Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya series. Same character designs as it’s original seasons and beautiful backgrounds and awesome fights rivaling ufotable’s works and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai much like 3rei! doesn’t skimp out on the gore and blood either. What can LA say, LA was VERY impressed with the animation done by Silver Link to be almost on par with ufotable’s Unlimited Budget Works grade of animation.

Voice acting-wise, since this movie is set in alternate world but in the Fate/stay night and some from 3rei! as well, ALOT of the voice actors reprise their roles. Noriaki Sugiyama gets most of the screentime as Emiya and that’s a given but nonetheless he did a great job, Kaori Nazuka was good for the few moments Miyu is on screen though most of the time she hardly spoke but LA can give some grace with that, as she showed a bit of emotion here and there. Some other standouts are Natsuki Hanae as the psychotic yet calculating asshole Julian Ainsworth and the actual psychotic asshole Shinji Matou as Hiroshi Kamiya for their performance. Great cast what else can LA say?

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Movie: Sekka no Chikai is without a doubt a movie that needs to be watched by the fans of the Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya series especially if you want an in-depth perspective from Miyu before the beginning of the anime series, sure Emiya has most of the screentime but Emiya still fits anyways with how strong it’s thematic cohesion of “kill one to save everyone” is put into question with Miyu at the center of it all and better yet to link to how this movie kickstarted Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya as a whole and tying loose ends in both Emiya and Miyu’s end from was great in all honesty.

“Would you kill one to save everyone?”

A Confusing Cavalcade of a Conundrum of a Finale. Fate/Extra: Last Encore – Illustrias Tendousetsu Anime Review

Hey it’s Fragments of 2030 guy – Every FGO Player seeing this

UMU UMU, the last encore finishes and the curtains closes in the confusing yet highly thematic installment of Fate/EXTRA Last Encore.

Fate/Extra: Last Encore – Illustrias Tendousetsu is the conclusion of Fate/LAST Encore, following Hakuno, Red Saber and Rin to the seventh floor and to their final destination, The Mooncell Automation.

The seventh floor focusing on Leonardo Bistario “Leo” Harwey voiced by Romi Park and his servant Gawain voiced by Takahiro Mizushima as their ideals are put up to the final fight, one fighting for stagnation, the other fighting to change the future for good. The seventh floor by all means is just to give Hakuno another push into his resolve to restart the Mooncell Automation and gaining yet another ally as it were for the final boss, Twice Pieceman voiced by Hiroshi Touchi.

As an aside, these final episodes did give us why Hakuno and Red Saber aka. Nero Claudius were just meant to be, Hakuno being the embodiment of anger, hatred and death fits historically in line with the real Nero, as due to his extravagance gave rise to the Romans seeing Nero in a negative light with compulsion and corruption and he was condemned to death as a public enemy. Hakuno and Nero’s thematic relationship speaks volumes to say the least, but that is just LA.

So Twice, his entire battle was executed rushed to be completely honest and what with the last episode being extended to 40 minutes to pull of this finale and LA still saying it was rushed is telling but nonetheless, it was climax, akin to the typical “save the world” scenario. Ideology-wise, Twice is the opposite to Leo, as he wants to destroy the world as humanity had it’s chance. Yes Twice put up a resistance and put up a spectacle to say the least but it’s the final moments and Twice’s actions or rather inactions that kinda dulled the experience (though Twice’s flaws kinda made sense considering what he turned into but still) but a rousing final speech by Nero at least to cap the conclusion to this confusing cavalcade of Fate/EXTRA Last Encore.

The animation and voice work hasn’t changed, besides the new characters introduced in Fate/Extra: Last Encore – Illustrias Tendousetsu being Romi Park as Leo, Takahiro Mizushima as Gawain and Hiroki Touchi as Twice. Again, LA’s faovurite voice actor easily goes to Sakura Tange as Nero for the reasons LA said in LA’s original season review and the animation is typical SHAFTiness.

Fate/Extra: Last Encore – Illustrias Tendousetsu is a highly thematically-entrenched anime and even for new audiences who haven’t even played Fate/EXTRA can only grasp the surface level plotline towards what happened, not only from Illustrias Tendousetsu but the entire anime series as a whole, you gotta REALLY research this stuff up to get all the lore and characters to get the full experience but “surface level”, it has a basic template of a “player” going up the tower, defeating Masters and Servants, getting to know the “player” character and Nero with ideologies thrown left right and everywhere only to solidify the main protagonist resolve to save the world at the sacrifice of himself, surface level sounds simple, but Fate/Extra: Last Encore just somehow managed to make it much more complicated and headscratching when it didn’t need to, but this IS a Akiyuki Shinobu work so gotta be thematic and mindbending as possible.

Fate/Extra: Last Encore was LA’s wild card but as the curtains closed, it left as the Joker…smiling all the way (take that statement like you will).

Trigger’s Tokusatsu Incarnated Anime. SSSS.Gridman Anime Review

Godzilla represented the fears and destruction of nuclear weapons, so what if a lonely human created kaiju, then what do these human created kaiju represent for the one that created it?

SSSS.Gridman is something like a modern retelling of the 1993 Gridman the Hyper Agent tokusatsu series. SSSS.Gridman follows Yuta Hibiki voiced by Yuuya Hirose having woken up with amnesia but later on told by Gridman voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa on an old computer screen that he has a purpose, with his friends Rikka Takarada voiced by Yume Miyamoto, Akane Shinjou voiced by Reina Ueda and Shou Utsumi voiced by Souma Saitou to help him out, until the kaiju’s appeared…

Some Spoilers Ahead…

Now LA really doesn’t watch tokusatsu series but was mildly interested in Power Rangers at one point or another, but nonetheless the basic premise is nearly the same as it’s 1993 counterpart, but where SSSS.Gridman is different is where one certain character just changes up the formula of what would be a typical “monster of the week” serial, that being Akane Shinjou.

SSSS.Gridman has two main plotlines that it goes throughout the anime, one of Yuta and how he is linked with Gridman, the other of Akane Shinjou herself. Yuta’s story is mainly fixated on his amnesia and who he is which coupled with his friends interactions and the strange instances of the city and it’s people “resetting” as it were to piece together why the kaiju appears and that answer comes in Akane Shinjou, see Akane Shinjou is shown VERY early on that she’s not the typically nice genki girl, as she’s the one creating the kaiju for her own personal reasonings, some for the mildest of indiscretions and tries killing them. The typical monster of the week plays out for the both Yuta and Akane with Akane closing in who Gridman really is and Yuta closing in as to the strange incidents being linked to Akane in the process. There is one chaos factor as it were and that is Anti voiced by Kenichi Suzumura, a kaiju made human having a vendetta against Gridman and something of a repeatable monster that Gridman and Yuta fights often within the anime and he later get major character development on it’s existence as a human-kaiju.

Yuta’s plotline IS interesting as it ties up loose ends as ti were, but the downsides are that Yuta is something of a doe-eyed main male protagonist with his amnesia NOT helping matters and he’s a little bit dense but not too dense as it were which is probably helped with the Neon Genesis Junior Highschool Students (yes really that’s their group name), 4 suited mysterious people who give Gridman different transformations and this being adapted from a tokusatsu series, YUP Gridman can combine with them. Anyways the Neon Genesis Junior Highschool Students are like the voice of reason to Yuta as well as Utsumi and Rikka in many ways and it’s because of their involvement they make things interesting to say the least, not only because of Gridman’s fancy new weapons but with the character interactions, LA’s favourite Neon Genesis Junior Highschool Student being Borr voiced by Aoi Yuuki, for having the Macross Missile Massacre installment but also for her brash personality. With favourites, LA’s favourite character would definitely be Rikka Takarada as her personality and involvement in the anime was just interesting compared to Yuta and Utsumi, though Utsumi was something of a audience surrogate, especially towards the tokusatsu fans.

Now for Akane, the MOST interesting character of the anime, with Akane able to create kaiju it embodies her desires and feelings as it were, she is something of a god as it were and the dynamic of her obsession with kaiju and making friends comes full circle for LA when it compares to Yuta’s situation of being the “hero” that fights against the kaiju, as it were dispelling the negative emotions Akane creates with the kaiju in the city. For LA’s interpretation, Akane WANTS to have friends as it were and she is already popular but with her being a god, is her being popular is fake due to how she orchestrated it all and she’s creating kaiju not only because it’s something she likes to do but to also get Rikka to truly be her friend in the process?, as both of them share a great deal of screentime together. There’s also the notion of the “god complex” as her having a world all to herself, she one, can’t handle the outliers and two, her personality leads herself into almost self-destructive state that she would rather destroy it all, not helped by Alexis Kerib voiced by Tetsu Inada the bigger bad as it were. Akane is a pretty complex and interesting character and bringing up that Akane is the Big Bad very early on was refreshing and different to say the least and what they do with her later on and thoroughly commit to this was executed excellently.

SSSS.Gridman’s animation is impressive to say the least and from Trigger along with Tsuburaya Productions who does special effects on tokusatsu shows, this to be expected, with many of the kaiju battles being 3DCGI but used excellently well and the motions and choreography being somewhat intentional to harken back to the old tokusatsu series but still the level of animation was amazingly done. Character designs are vibrant and interesting looking, with standouts from Akane, Borr, Anti and Rikka to say a few. Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions did amazingly well to modernize a tokusatsu into anime format with detailed background work, character designs and those awesome CGI Gridman vs. kaiju fights were the icing on the cake. Expected Trigger but also major props to Tsuburaya Productions for making the CGI seamless to the traditional animation done with Trigger.

As for voice acting, well LA will commend Reina Ueda as she once again for LA has been typecasted but exceedly typecasted well as Akane, in voicing another “genki character with bloody steel”-type characters (the other one LA can remember is μ from Caligula) but seriously Reina Ueda easily earns LA’s MVP award in terms of voicing acting as she went all out with this role. The rest of the voice cast were great as well, from Yume Miyamoto as Rikka who had some great emotional range, Kenichi Suzumura as Anti, sounding like a semi-hyped Accelerator most of the time and Hikaru Midorikawa as Gridman for the name attacking moments which SSSS.Gridman does OFTEN. What can LA say a great voice cast!

SSSS.Gridman gives us two spices as it were with either one pleasing, if you want to see kaiju fights then get your adrenaline pumped for that with it’s amazingly done animation work done by Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions, but if you want intrigue, character development and interestingly drastic changes to the plot that accompanies the kaiju fights then that will satisfy you as well, SSSS.Gridman does have some weakness with both these plotlines converging of course, that of our main protagonist may not be a bit bland with Rikka and Utsumi taking up the slack but that’s a small flaw to what is a great anime celebrating tokusatsu in all it’s CGI glory.

Thank You Gridman and welcome to the Melancholy of Akane Shinjou

The Winter of Death and Despair for Makoto. Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth Anime Movie Review

Winter of (Re)birth, the season of decay and death in sight.

Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth is the conclusion to this tetralogy of movies. As Makoto finally finds out the revelations concerning himself, Ryoji and Aegis, the looming date of death while the rest of SEES goes through the depressing and rather scared thought of them dying once Nyx and the Fall…lands.

The biggest victims towards the prospects of the Fall landing of the SEES becoming Yukari, Junpei and Makoto. Yukari not able to take it all it in to the point of her being hospitalized, while Junpei WANTING to get himself killed by other people so he can get it over with. The rest of SEES feels the effects of this as well, Mitsuru with her late father’s death still in her mind, Amada with Shinji whilst Akihiko is trying to suppress that thought, Fuuka with Natsuki and losing her friend if the Fall lands and finally Makoto towards the rest of the SEES, not helping matters that HE’S the one that brought this upon the entire town though he didn’t know it until it was too late let alone everything that happened in the previous 3 movies.

With that Makoto with the help of Elizabeth’s social link events quickly applied, shows that there is a light at the end of this depressing dread of death as not only Makoto but the rest SEES resolve their dilemma’s of dying or of their dead ones and help Makoto face off with the remaining Strega and the final boss Nyx themselves.

Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth’s themes backed by the previous 3 movies helps with making the the thematic cohesion at least in this case of “death itself” and how each of SEES tackles it considering each of the character faced death one way or another with Makoto at the end of this movie making the ultimate sacrifice to stop Nyx. Winter of Rebirth is the longest movie out of this tetralogy and they spend majority of the time equally on each of the SEES, heck Aegis gets some character development along the way but this final movie was all for Makoto, from his backstory, how he was linked to it all as well as his interactions with Ryoji, Aegis and the rest of his friends, this was a given to be honest, not only because he’s the main protagonist but also because the final decision belonging to Makoto, he was carrying the movie and not only thematically but in the plot was executed rather well.

In terms of animation done once again by A1-Pictures, well like the previous 2 movies, the animation was fine and was consistent with the rest of the 2 movies previously done by A1-Pictures and with this being the final climax of Persona 3, it was much grander in terms of the battles, especially with Nyx and Makoto. With the setting being Winter, it was alot bleaker using more depressing tones and as such but nonetheless evoking the atmosphere of dread and death rather well. A1-Picutres did rather well in terms of animation in LA’s eyes even as a last hooray for Persona 3.

Voice acting has the cast back and LA might have to give MVP’s to Akira Ishida as Makoto as this was his movie especially near the finale, but also to Maaya Sakamoto as Aegis, but to be honest the rest of the cast from Megumi Toyoguchi as Yukari, Mamiko Noto as Fuuka, Kousuke Torimi as Junpei, Rie Tanaka as Mitsuru and Hikaru Morikawa as Akihiko were great…LA missed someone, *ahem* yeah…Megumi Ogata was oddly a bit annoying in this movie as Amada, maybe a bit too loud and high pitched at times, even when she was trying to emote but that was just LA. Nonetheless Akira Ishida and Maaya Sakamoto as well as the rest of the voice cast were great as expected.

Was there any flaws LA would bring up in Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth, well some, well for one being Elizabeth’s social inks were rushed and LA was wondering when Elizabeth were have her limelight and they rushed her!, but at least her social link lead up to something great, the other being the CGI on Nyx was a tad blatant and obvious though Nyx wasn’t entirely CGI at times and they blended it with traditional animation during the final fight but this is more of a nitpick to be honest and finally well the movie took it’s sweet time in many moments mainly the final fight felt way to elongated, LA knows it’s the final fight but taking up the latter half of the movie taking up almost 20 minutes worth of fighting was tiring to say the least.

Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth was a great albeit slightly rushed BUT elongated conclusion to Persona 3 and it did it’s best to conclude itself in a rather nice ending, as the movie was nothing but bleak and depressing at first (which was intentional considering the setting and what happened), LA needed that happy ending.

So what did LA think of the tetralogy as a whole, well it was a decent experience for those wanting to see what Persona 3 is all about if you haven’t played the game and maybe for fans, they can relive moments once again even if it’s a truncated, yes the movies tends to rush things to get to the major events but even then the movies does take it’s time with the major events that occurred and develops the vast amount of characters that it had to develop over the span of what is in total, 6 and half hour runtime. The tetralogy has it’s flaws, it’s a given but what the movies gave us was what it set out to do and it executed itself fairly to greatly well. The final question of whether LA would go back to the games, well absolutely, the movies showed the potential of what Persona 3 had and LA knows, LA KNOWS the games will go into much more detail what the movies cut.

Winter’s dread melts itself into a new beginning for Makoto…

Otaku relationships! Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Anime Review

A workplace romance comedy about otaku’s going into a relationship?..LA’s in!

To be absolutely honest, LA didn’t think too much of Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii but after watching the anime, heck from the FIRST episode alone, the anime resonated with LA, both in it’s romance and comedic elements but especially with it’s characters of course.

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii a character-centric, but to be precise a relationship-centric anime and for it being a rom-com about otaku couples, this is a given. It follows Narumi Momose voiced by Arisa Date who has gotten a new job however she bumps into her childhood friend Hirotaka Nifuji voiced by Kento Itou and blurts out that she’s an otaku to her superiors, the thing is Narumi shifted jobs because of her obsession with anime and manga and being a fujoshi and kept it hidden to her normie boyfriends. Here’s another thing, Hirotaka’s and Narumi’s superiors, well they are otaku’s as well, Tarou Kabakura voiced by Di- Tomokazu Sugita, Hirotaka’s superior and friend at work who is a huge manga fan, while Hanako Koyanagi voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro is Narumi’s and a somewhat famous cosplayer and massive BL fan. Anyways with Narumi depressed that her secret’s out, Hirotaka ventured that maybe he could be her boyfriend and support Narumi with her hobby and her in turn as well.

And then and there, LA could already root for Hirotaka and Narumi’s relationship with how many things they can relate with one another whilst having very different personalities, whilst Kabakura and Hanako’s relationship is the polar opposite, yes they fight ALOT within the anime but them like Hirotaka and Narumi being childhood friends, their fighting subsides and they look at the bigger picture for both themselves as well as Hirotaka and Narumi and because of this, LA is rooting for both of their relationships to work out and not many animes have LA rooting for BOTH beta and main couples but Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii did it!

It’s the character chemistry with Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii that just clicks with you and ALSO relatable at that. LA being very much similar to Hirotaka in a ways (but with anime instead of games) and LA’s favorite character being Narumi so there was that, but seeing the four main characters just talking, having fun and helping each other with games, Comiket, watching anime, MMORPG’s and with their love life out just made each of the core cast very solid, both individually and with their relationships as well, you know that they’re friends and their actions bloody shows it and the factor of the entire otaku element is just icing in the cake for LA.

With that, the comedy does have the typical character jabbing at times, but it also goes into anime references ALOT (especially with A1-Pictures previous works) as well as gaming and some of the comedy does involve observational jokes but they have all the great reaction timing and great voice acting that applies towards it that LA laughed ALOT in this anime and you know what LA says about comedies…it’s all subjective, but the second one being if it’ll make you laugh, it’s done it’s job.

In terms of animation done by A1-Pictures, well LA has to give A1-Pictures props towards it’s character designs, being distinguishable and distinct but even for such a minimalistic cast, A1-Pictures did great on the backgrounding work even if it’s mainly work, Hirotaka’s house and the gaming world but nonetheless, without needing the characters to say it you know what’s what…even if the surtitles give it away anyways but semantics.

For voice acting, well we have mostly veteran voice actors like Celt- Miyuki Sawashiro, Di- Tomokazu Sugita, Ere- Yuki Kaji as Hirotaka’s younger brother and Hibi- Aoi Yuuki so typically it would be a great cast, but our two main couple of Hirotaka and Narumi are some fresh new voices, that of Kento Itou and Arisa Date, Kento Itou has been in iDOLM@STER SideM as Michio Hazama, but as Hirotaka he’s does a great job in portraying the laid back, stoic gaming otaku even if he’s pretty deadpan most of the time but nonetheless. The obvious standout the the best til last…goes to Arisa Date and LA actually knows of Arisa because she was casted in iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls (Huh, Arisa and Kento were both in iDOLM@STER spinoffs before doing this anime…coincidence?) as Emi Namba, the comedienne idol and now Arisa is flexing her chops as Narumi and LA just loved her acting throughout the anime, what’s the best way of saying her vocal range was like, like a higher pitched (but controlled) and EVEN MORE HYPER Ayane Sakura and her overreactions were priceless to say the least, maybe some bias towards LA liking Narumi but still LA will MVP to Arisa Date nonetheless for her brilliant reactionary range, she was not only a perfect fit for Emi Namba but Narumi as well, hope she’ll get more roles!

*ahem* Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii is a brilliant down to earth, hilariously funny romcom about otaku’s for otaku’s like us with a solid cast and characters with some decent production value and a brilliant voice cast.

Love doesn’t seem hard for these otaku..LA is jealous.