What I watched in April 2018 (Recommendations and Reviews for Anime and Manga)

Welcome to the NHK

I watched this show while on a break from school and I felt a little bit like my life reflected it. During the holidays everything slows down to a halt, and for some reason even though everyone has way more time everything gets cancelled so there’s not as much to do!

So I felt a bit like a Hikikomori so I ended up watching this show.

Despite being about the life of a Hikikomori it manages to be very interesting because they manage to make the neet life be interesting. Sato makes a game, gets addicted to one, joins a pyramid scheme and more as he quests to change his life around.

He is helped by coincidental friends. One is a tutor who helps him try to recover and another is his old friend who just happens to live nearby. They are a fun cast of characters that really spice the show up.

A large part of the show is comedic scenarios but what I really love is the deeper and darker themes of the show.

It explores dark themes of loneliness, depression, suicide and debt through really interesting ways without being extreme or tiring with it. It’s just the right amount. While some of the episodes are just funny I found myself walking away from a lot of them very emotional and sad due to the themes involved.

I don’t want to explain everything but it’s great. I also thought the show would be very slow but I was really pleasantly surprised with how quickly the episodes went.

Barakamon

I had watched the first half in the last month recap post and now this is my view of the last half. The first section is very slice of life however the second half has a pretty huge twist towards the end.

Handa returns back to the island and has to deal with his previous actions and the stress of Tokyo life. It’s more emotional as we see Handa deal with the stress of leaving the island and missing his friends. It’s a brilliant finale and I really loved seeing the new situations in the show.

Shonan Junai Gumi

For those of you who don’t know this is the great teacher onizuka back story OVA about Ekichi when he was a young gang member. For ages I wanted to see this but couldn’t find it on any website, but I found it on YouTube so I watched it!

I was not impressed. The gist of each episode is that Onizuka tries to get a girlfriend but then gets roped into gang warfare. I don’t even think this story was interesting the first time, nevermind much later!

The gang members and fights are not set up well enough to carry any steaks or tension. They just happen and you feel nothing because they make all the villains seem fairly generic.

It’s also impossible to believe that this person would later become Great Teacher Onizuka. Onizuka was a lot tougher and in cannon did a lot of crime. He was a badass. These guys often just act ridiculous. Onizuka’s weirdness towards woman he finds attractive could be explained by him never being involved with them due to his gang involvements probably scaring them off. In this they are chasing women eternally and it’s difficult to believe that he would have carried through that weirdness to adult life after so many mistakes!

So I would only recommend this for really strong fans of the original.

It would also be a crime if I did not go ahead and recommend the live action adaptation of GTO, which is genius. I love both versions of GTO for very different reasons and live action GTO is just great. You can find the review I made for episode 1 here!

Legend of The Galactic Heroes Season 2

I’ve already reviewed this here so I’ll be very short this time!

Lotgh is a story on a huge scale with a vast cast of characters and complex politics. It feels like a fully realised futuristic world set in space. It is not for everyone because it’s a very slow paced story however if you can find an interest in the world then you will be rewarded with a great series of pay offs, some taking tens of episodes to be executed on.

-Now on to the Manga –

Kaiji One Poker Hen

I’ve been reading this manga chapter by chapter for months and it’s finally so close to finishing that I may as well just put it up here. Kaiji part 5 continues the theme of gambling and takes it to the highest level yet!

To me the goal of Kaiji is to one day take down Hyoudo, a malicious and evil head of a loan shark company who controls everything and is very evil, and treats everyone as lesser humans and inferior beings.

The last three parts has all been leading up to the time where Kaiji can start getting revenge on Hyoudo by taking away something he actually likes, his son.

Kaiji has been playing a specific kind of poker (one poker) against Kazuya (Hyoudou’s sun) and it is brilliant! Each game is tense and extreme as both people switch from being closer to dying than closer to living.

I’m very happy with the ending so far, I’ll just have to wait and see how good the rest of the ending is!

Berserk and Bakuman

The thing about manga is that it takes a very long time to complete and can go on very long. So I’ve still not finished these two but I’m trying to keep up with one of them.

Something that makes me really sad is that I think Berserk sucks now. The golden age arc was brilliant. The next thing in the tower was ok but I didn’t get that much and now nothing seems to make sense. I hate really wordy manga, and Berserk suddenly has an immense amount of words and it’s just boring. I don’t take a lot of it in because I try to get through it quickly so the world is a lot less interesting. Now I have no real idea what’s going on. They meet some people in a village and then fight some guys when suddenly he has some cool armour and is fighting more guys!

And this was before the boat started!

I don’t like the new characters in Berserk. The female and male adult side characters have no interesting aspects to them at all and I hate watching the young kids because they aren’t powerful, don’t seem to add anything to the story and just feel generally out of place.

At this point I don’t think I have to worry about Berserk finishing, because it’s taking me about as long to read it as he’s making it! And it sort of feels ok to me. I would rather fall out of liking a manga than wait for one chapter every 4 months. Berserk 1997 and the golden age arc is my favourite manga and anime ever, it’s just sad what happened to it in my opinion.

Who else do you know that doesn’t like the series? Maybe Kentaro Miura would be putting out more chapters if he truly had kept the same passion from the series as he had at the start. Now I’m convinced he just doesn’t like it really and would rather be doing something else. Me too.

Our Happy Hours

This is a very short 8 chapter manga about a murder and a depressed person, and how they slowly come to love each other.

The most interesting thing to me was a statement by the depressed person. It was about how while the prisoner is very repentant of his past actions and insanely sorry the girl wanted to murder everyone. The girl claimed that this difference in attitude made it so she should be in prison instead.

Despite being impractical it was a really interesting idea and I wish the show had more of that.

Instead we got a fairly romantic love story about two people who became dependent on each other. It was still pretty nice and heart-warming.

 

That’s it, here are the score boards for the best things I watched in a specific month!

Anime
January – Neon Genesis Evangeleon
February – A Silent Voice
March – Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger
April – Welcome to the NHK

Manga
January – Gantz
February –Uzumaki
March – Gyo
April – Kaiji One Poker

 

 

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