[Log Horizon 2] Episode 5: Serial Killing, Badass Soujirou, and Other Assorted Idiocy

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Overall. First of all, what an amazing episode!!! After all that buildup in the first few episodes (and an especially action-less Episode 4), Episode 5 has delivered on everything and more. All my regrets and doubt have been washed away. The People of the Land (well one guy) has really stepped up to present a legit challenge to the all-powerful adventurers. Some light is finally peeking out beneath the Akatsuki dark cloud. Soujirou has a MASSIVE episode as he finally shows us why he’s cool enough to have a harem. We finally see an offensive style “Teaching” / “Overskill” and it looks awesome. Shiroe’s entire party got wiped out by Boss X but whatever, at least they found a boss when they were just crawling around complaining last episode. MOST IMPORTANTLY, that ominous foreshadowing in Episode 1 when Akatsuki and Shiroe meet in death on Christmas Eve just happened, which means that this is the depth of their failure — all that’s left to do is go up!! I can’t wait until Shiroe comes back with a vengeance and Akatsuki just destroys that creep. So, so satisfied right now XD

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 4: The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End

“Come on, let’s go on a journey.” – Miyazono Kaori

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Overall. Wow, what an emotionally intense episode after the setup in Episode 3. My palms started sweating and I almost cried when Kousei struggled and finally gave up on playing in the middle. It was the sort of thing you knew was coming, yet couldn’t help but be swept up in the moment anyways. Episode 4 was the like the epiphany that finally sparks after two years of struggle. We got our long-awaited Kaori-Kousei duet, Kousei’s return to the limelight, and a semi-success in overcoming his trauma. This is just a beginning for Kousei—technically he still can’t hear his own notes—but it seems to be the beginning of the end for Kaori. These two are polar opposites. Kousei is trapped while Kaori is free. Kousei is monotone while Kaori is colorful. Kousei is timid while Kaori is bold. It makes sense then that as Kousei waxes, Kaori wanes. People, “April will be ending soon.”

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 4: The Real Housewives of Akihabara

Episode 4 is a couple days late due to weekend traveling, sorry folks…

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Overall. While Episode 3 was about getting stuff done, Episode 4 was an exhibit of horrors: the horrors of what can happen when too many girls are together for too long, the horrors of too many characters musing about romance, the horrors of Studio Deen’s truly atrocious art, etc. I am not sure how I feel about this episode because there are just too many mixed messages flung around, and the only thing flowing continuously through  Episode 3 seems to be Akatsuki’s depression, which is just sad [pathetic]. I supposed I should be excited that Shiroe has some deep plot to take over the world through flavor text or that stereotypical big bad wolf villain finally did something other than appear dramatically for two seconds…buuut, I think watching Akatsuki has eroded my own self-esteem and I need a few seconds. Pardon me.

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(KDrama) Liar Game Episode 1: Subtle Differences from JDrama and a More Rational Nao

Liar Game Episode 1

Being a fan of the Liar Game manga and Japanese drama, I went into watching the Korean adaptation with high hopes and high expectations. It has been a few days since the airing of the first two episodes, and I’m excited to say that both my hopes and expectations are still fairly high. The action-packed first episode starts off with a bang, and as the episode progresses, we gradually see familiar elements from the manga reveal themselves, oftentimes along with subtle twists that suggests the drama’s trajectory may not be as predictable as we might initially think.

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 3: Engrish, Demonic Cat, and Terrifying Foreshadowing

“You exist inside a spring that can’t be replaced.” – Arima Kousei

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Overall. In Episode 3, plot moves forward and plot is foreshadowed. Kousei’s snail pace trauma recovery continues from Episode 2 (read review here) when he attended a classical music competition, to playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in a cafe and becoming Kaori’s accompanist in Episode 3. I want everything to be smooth sailing awesomeness from here on out, but I have a feeling that Kousei’s recovery will likely be one step forward, two steps back…aka, prepare for imminent breakdown in the next episode. Music and animation continues to be stunning, and we (maybe?) get a peek at something very, very scary—an idea of what the real lie in April is.

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 3: Raid Mechanics for the MMO Soul

NO GOOFING AROUND. E3 gets serious.

NO GOOFING OFF. E3 gets serious.

Overall. Episode 3 is pretty much a continuation of the plot setup in Episode 2 (read Episode 2 review). Shiroe & co. begin on the raid, while festivities still continue in Akihabara as the adventurers prepare for Christmas. Since Season 2 has begun, I don’t think festivities have ever stopped in Akihabara. The lone party pooper is Akatsuki, whose angst cloud just balloons even more with each episode. What happens when it pops?

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 2: Love Conspiracy, Music Heaven, and Nitpicking Mistakes

“My music…will it reach them?” – Miyazono Kaori

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Yes, it will.

Overall. Great follow-up to the first episode (read Episode One Review). In terms of plot, not much happened though – Episode Two is more of a setup episode, and builds up the hype for the season fantastically by giving you a taste of what is to come on all fronts—awesome music, superb animation, developing romance, and of course, the return to competition. Arima Kousei is slowly but surely getting pulled back into competitive piano and the “sports” genre aspect of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is already peeking out behind the curtain, something I suspected will happen since I first started noticing the anime’s similarity to Chihayafuru (aka Shigatsu won’t be a full-on romance anime like Nodame Cantabile). This suspicion is further supported by spoiler scenes in the opening sequence—a blond boy and black-haired girl playing the piano who will probably be set up as Kousei’s rivals.

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[Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] Episode 1: Gorgeous Art, Music, and Laputa

“I met the girl under full-bloomed cherry blossoms, and my fate has begun to change.” – Naoshi Arakawa, mangaka

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is about a piano prodigy Arima Kousei who had a mental breakdown after his mother and piano instructor died. Two years later, he hasn’t touched the piano and is content to live a normal life surrounded by his childhood friends, until he meets free-spirited violinist Miyazono Kaori, who helps Kousei return to the music world.


Episode Thoughts / Reactions

Overall. Wow, I have to say that Episode One completely surpassed all my expectations. I stumbled upon Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso while looking for something different than my usual schtick, usually either shounen fantasy / seinen psychological / sports shows. I am definitely thrilled that I humored my whim. This anime is going to be fantastic.

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 2: Red-Light Districts, Galaxy Idols, and Shounen Romance

Annnd, with this post, I’ll be back on track with the anime episodes! *whew* Writing 5 posts in the past 5 days (all on Log Horizon) is not quite something I would care to experience again…

Read last episode’s review here.

But on to reactions for Episode Two:

Overall. Very happy to report that Episode 2 is so much smoother and coherent than Episode 1. Additionally, Season 2 is shaping up to be a faster pace, more action-packed storyline than Season 1, which is great. I feel that Season 1 would have taken at least 5 episodes to cover the content shown in Season 2’s first two episodes.

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 1 – Part A: Bad Art, Choppy Plot, and Shiroe’s Fall from Grace

I decided to split up my episode review (because it’s too long otherwise) into the episode reactions (Part A) and my theme discussions (Part B).

Most Random Screenshot:

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wolfman on the right literally twitched for 20 sec straight.

First Minute Preview. The first minute of the episode was chock full of spoilers for the rest of the season, but that’s fine because I have no idea what the pictures mean anyways besides a sense that things will get awesome.

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