Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (TV) 2nd Season
All videos are playable on PC and PSP,leave a comment if there is a problem or any particular anime series you want.Enjoy!
There was this one boy, an aniblogger to be specific. He was just whipping up the next season’s anime preview- made his picks and commented on them just like aniblogger would do. His picks were heavily bishojo in lead, with lots of nichijou-esque vibes in them. None of his picks featured ‘dated’ styles such as the ones seen in ‘Clannad’ or ‘Air (2003)’. It was pretty obvious that his tastes were pretty modern; an affinity for modern visuals if you will.
Kokoro Connect was his first pick, as he heard of much it seemed like a combination of ‘Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’ and ‘K-ON’. It was pretty much a dream combination come true. His deputy, unfortunately, didn’t seem too happy with his picks, namely Kokoro Connect, and labeled them as ‘an easy way out’ for reviews.
And a tirade within him followed up…
First of all, the entertainment industry (used very loosely here, but focused more on animation) pretty much revolves around an ‘all pick’ concept- where the consumer mass decides what is mainstream – popular and profitable – though, what’s not mainstream, albeit often being unpopular, didn’t mean being unsuccessful. Industry niches such as anime have definitely made its own distinctive mark. Producers nowadays, for the most part focus on what makes a product popular and easily marketable. Shining example? K-ON; what can be more appealing to the masses than an innocent bunch of highschool girls having tea and cakes everyday afterschool with their worthwhile music? Modern? Moe? Easily relatable? Music ? then, we are definitely set to make a mark on this industry. As much as the modern consumer population emanates an aura of forced conformity onto every incoming consumer to indoctrinate him or her into ‘what’s good’ and ‘what’s not’ in the industry – MY PRODUCT IS GOOD AND YOURS AIN’T-, they are not immune to criticism – nothing is. It is just that the consumer has every right to spend their hard-earned moolah in whichever way they want, and in the process of doing so, deciding the fate of certain industries.
People just need to realize that this industry almost entirely operates on a on-demand basis, not out of necessity, like, say for example: your own health?
Secondly, it is hard to criticize anime and stand by it, or in fact, any work of art. In the above story, I forgot to mention that this boy’s deputy was in fact a pretty hardcore fan of K-ON when it was in its prime (2010), but tis’ was depressing to see how the guy dismissed K-ON-related stuff and labeled them ‘an easy way out’ for reviews after merely two years. Does he ever review anime ? Nope, this fictional person would never know it feels like to do one, but we’re not here to rant about a person who never existed in the first place. Did K-ON have a rocket science plot? Hell no, but it is ever immune to criticism? Nope, nothing is invulnerable to criticism. Reviewing a light-hearted series like K-ON, then touching on a gem like Madoka later on – one is not necessarily easier than the other to criticize, as each person has his or her own benchmark to hold the anime against. “K-ON’s story holds no water, whereas Madoka is just simply mind-blowing” Valid criticism, but is it ever easy to make a comment ? No, you’d have to have enough balls to actually say your own mind about the subject, and stand by it resolutely – like how Saber unquestioningly serves Irisviel despite her meager existence as a Homunculus for the Holy Grail. See what I did there? No matter how horrid the criticism is, it’s still valid as a person’s take on something. Looking at a really fundamental level, would you dare to say that certain anime genres are ‘easier’ to criticize than others? I can easily review series like To Aru Majutsu no Index and Slice-of-life genres at the same time. Would it take more brain juice to process the stuff in To Aru than it is to comprehend the plot of Black Rock Shooter? Definitely, but is it ever easier or harder than any other genre? It varies from person to person. Excluding additional knowledge needed to thoroughly criticize certain anime genres (e.g Sci-Fi), criticizing anime is never an easy feat.
Of course, I forgot to definite what a review actually is. Review: 1) a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary. So, holding this definition true, any review should be an EXAMINATION of a subject, with SUGGESTIONS instituting change if necessary. When reviews are done, one examines every aspect of the anime and criticizes based on all these aspects- making suggestions to improve the work. When a slice-of-life anime is reviewed, should be just solely focus on the slice-of-life aspect it so much it seeks to specialize in? Should we dismiss K-ON as a moe-blob, money grabbing production just because of its overly moe content? No, we are both consumers and critics; we have the right to decide which aspect of things suck and which don’t- and what the producers can do about it. If a product’s strongest aspect makes us overlook its downfalls, then, good for the product. Is this ever ‘easy’ to do, with any genre of anime? I don’t think so.
Now that I’ve defined what a review SHOULD be like, never say that certain things are easier to review than others, especially if you’ve never done it before. There’s more to it than just one-line criticism than you think.
I don’t have many series’ reviews to testify to my capabilities as an anime reviewer, but I am improving my style, skills and the scope of the anime I cover. I just believe it’s just my duty to criticize fairly.
I think i’ve just gone full retard, or flew into a rage – or both.
Feel free to flame me and criticize me.
P.S Based on a true story, though not intended to personally offend anyone.
It’s funny how one of my blog posts is titled ‘it ends in fire’.. because it’s how this series actually ends ultimately. Even without watching Fate/Stay Night ( the sequel ), I kind of guessed it correctly.
The Holy Grail War culminates in a nerve-wrecking decision by Emiya Kiritsugu to destroy the Holy Grail by using Saber’s Excalibur. However, ‘destroying’ the Holy Grail was not as simple as it sounds. Moments later, an ominous, albeit familiar- looking red liquid materializes above him, rupturing the very sky and drowned the landscape in a blazing deluge – the huge central part of Fuyuki city is scathed almost entirely in that moment. Kiritsugu could only stare in horror as he fled into safety. The fates of Kotomine Kirei and Gilgamesh were unknown.
After the ensuing chaos abates, Kirei wakes up to a ravaged land filled with nothing but debris, death and flames. Seated on a pile of debris is a naked Gilgamesh in human form, staring down at his former Master. Kirei figures that it would be Gilgamesh who had kept him alive through the disaster, as the wishes of the King of Kings himself was somehow granted – thus explaining his mortal incarnation in flesh. Kirei laughs off this incident and sought to ‘seek deeper meaning’ behind this destruction that had so long been the answer to his life’s questions; hinting the awakening of the evil entity ‘Angra Mainyu’.
Elsewhere, the daughter of the Homunculus wakes up from a nightmare where she saw Kiritsugu running in distress from a world engulfed in fire. The spirit of Irisviel comforts her, assuring his safety and return. Realistically, he can never return, of course.
The daughters of the Tohsaka family reunite after their long seperation. They have Kariya to be grateful to– or so Kariya himself thinks. In his version of reality, Aoi-san was back to life and Sakura was brought back together to be with Rin. His fate was actually to be the food of the creatures that have once given him the power in the War, by the hands of the obedient [ to Zaken Matou ] Sakura.
At the very least, Waver is alive and well and seeks new frontiers following the end of this Holy Grail War. He fondly remembers of Iskandar ( Rider ) and seemingly underwent a change in behaviour.
Relatives of Tokiomi Tohsaka gather in a fateful afternoon to mourn his death. With no capable immediate family members to become the head, Rin has the responsibility upon herself to carry on the will of the Tohsaka forward.
All hope’s not lost for Kiritsugu, as he finds a single juvenile soul alive beneath the smouldering surroundings. Unhesitatingly, he adopts him and builds a residence – all that – from what provisions he has left, for the boy who survived the great fire.
His name is Shiro
p.s Commentary will be added later
The episode starts out with Archibald having a dream about Lancer’s life – when he was a Knight of Fianna . Diarmuid O’ Dyna – Lancer’s real name – charmed the princess of his kingdom during an engagement ceremony and got into a royal trouble.
Labeled as traitor, he fought for his life until his relationship with Grainne was acknowledged. It only ended with a bloodied Diarmuid facing the sky.
Sola-Ui tends to the severe wounds of Archibald, and explains that only restorative magic has been keeping his vital organs alive. His magic circuits, the essence of spellcasting abilities, have been broken by Kiritsugu’s special bullets and he will never be able to use magic anymore.
She then demanded for control over Lancer and shifted from pleasant to ruthless in her mannerism. There was no other choice to but to cut off his right arm to seize the command spells.
Back in Eizbern castle, Saber and Irisviel tended to her injuries and watch over Maiya, hoping for her swift recovery.
Saber suggested that Caster should be chased after first, but Kiritsugu insisted otherwise and went off to finish Archibald himself. Saving a few children is obviously not Kiritsugu’s goal in this war. Iri and Saber stayed back in waiting.
Lancer stoods outside the decrepit building. Sola-ui approached and declared herself to be Lancer’s new master, for Lord El-Melloi has abandoned the War.
Lancer remained resolute and proclaimed that he can only serve one lord, and thus he has lost any purpose to further involve himself in the war. Sola-ui reasoned with him by saying that only a miracle can heal Archibald and that is her only intention behind continuing the war with Lancer. Lancer finally acknowledged her mastership.
At Waver’s Residence, Rider laughed heartily while rejoicing to an extra-large beer on the house.
Hauling materials into his room, Waver set up a chemical test using the samples of water collected from the city’s river. There was but one spot along the stretch which did not contain traces of magic remnants in the water. Without delay, Rider and Waver rode into the sewers to check the anomaly.
Upon arriving, the welcoming horde of abominations and mutilated body parts all-round gave away Caster’s hideout. Waver quickly got nauseous and teary eyed; for a moment he was crying over his pride. He nearly injured by a nearby Assassin who waited in the darkness. Rider fended them off and even with two remaining; they retreated back into the shadows. They made desecrated the hideout as they made a fiery exit.
Back in the church, Kirei and Tokiomi’s conversation revealed that the ambush was merely to discern Rider’s trump card.
Most people can’t get enough of Rider’s hilarity – and I am one of them. He lightens the mood to every skirmish in the series, while maintaining the fervour that has to be present in a battle with his vivacious personality. That aside, the pre-opening clip shed some light on Lancer’s background ; it was enough information for me to discern his story, but I felt that a bit more details put into the story.. Just to do him the respect. The Assassins have yet to demonstrate their real mettle, or in a more casual way of putting it – I think they suck in battle, so hurry up and show me your worth other than reconnaissance and stalking. No offence intended. If you don’t see Episode 10’s review, I probably got assassinated.
*Can’t upload pictures at the moment, technical difficulties
And so we finally see some full-fledged fighting in the series, and like any good fight in anime, it needs some time to escalate and reach its climax, thus, with no compromise, I have compressed the review for episode 5 into this one as well.
Swords clash with spears (in Lancer’s case) in a battle between the knights. Lancer starts out with a furious flurry of swipes with his two spears. Nevertheless, Saber was more agile than she seemed, despite donning bulky knight armor and being on the defensive. She deftly parried every blow from Lancer and was able to scathe him slightly without him even knowing it. In spite of direct commands from his master to slay Saber, Lancer manages to compliment her commendable swordplay and Saber, likewise, thought the same of Lancer.
In the shadows, Maiya and Kiritsugu initiate their reconnaissance-cum-assassination plan as they took up their vantage points in the shipyard. While the swordfight raged on, they scouted for Lancer’s master and other possible tangos through their scope.
Taking it up a notch, Lancer decided to use his Noble Phantasm, a class-exclusive skill of servants. He tossed aside his shorter spear and revealed the crimson gleam of his longer spear. Saber needed to be more cautious as the effects of his Noble Phantasm are unknown. Lancer attacked more furiously, splitting the earth and slicing cargoes in half. There was little room for Saber to breathe as she meticulously blocked every beefed up blow from the spear. Saber’s blade, Excalibur, was uncloaked with each blow from Lancer’s Noble Phantasm and Lancer figured why he could get struck without even knowing it.
Amidst the growing tension, Kiritsugu was in for a rude shock as he found assassin perched atop a railing. Maiya advised taking him out from range, but Kiritsugu advised against it as they are not equipped properly to deal with the uncalled situation. Likewise, through the eyes of the assassin, Kirei notices a ‘Caucasian’ woman behind Saber. Tokiomi quickly deduced that it was a trick – for a Master would not be so wise to expose his or herself in the open without any form of defense.
Regaining their breaths, Saber contemplated of a one-hit tactic to end the fight quickly. Lancer can counter her attacks easily just by knowing the length of her blade; thus no point in extending the fight. Saber imagined Lancer doing a forward lunge that would barely scratch her armor, while she lands a quick across his chest. She hoped, at least. In reality, his Noble Phantasm sliced through her sides and caused her to bleed heavily. She skidded across, with a trail of blood dripping from her waist. It came to her realization that Lancer’s Noble Phantasm was one that nullified mana, rendering her armor useless – thus explaining her blade revealing itself during the fight.
Valiantly, Saber emptied the mana supply to her armor, and gained more mobility as a result. In a desperate move, Saber charged forward once more to damage end the fight. However, she forgot that his shorter spear was grounded just beneath his feet. Deftly, Lancer tossed the spear up to his chest and attempted to behead Saber. At an incredible speed, Saber dodged the slash and ended severing both of their wrists’ arteries by the end of their blades.
The other spear being a cursed one, Irisviel was unable to tend to Saber’s wounds and Lancer was more than able to finish her—until Rider came down crashing in a dazzling thunderbolt, effectively ending the fight.
Well aware of what has been going, he blatantly proposed for the two knights to be his companion in the conquest for the Holy Grail.
And so Saber and Lancer blatantly refused, as expected.
The blatancy in the episode climaxed when the pompous Archer makes a public appearance in front of the three Servants, effectively increasing the number of party poopers to two. As soon as Archer finished his grandiose and derogatory speech (as usual), a wild berserker appears.
Just when the fight could not have gone any messier.. Nevertheless, Archer’s despicable attitude has landed him an opportunity to be berserker’s first opponent in this segment of the fight. In an ever-dwindling array of magical swords, archer attempted to wipe out berserker in a single attack. In a rage (excuse the pun), berserker swiftly destroyed all the projectiles he has hurled onto him. Archer, becoming rash, decided to use his Noble Phantasm- for all to see- after a few rounds of futile attacks on Berserker. Tokiomi knew better and pulled the proud servant out of battle. Furiously (again, another pun), berserker reached for the nearest pole and channeled his power into it, breaking into a mad rush towards Saber. Despite her severed wrist, Saber was able to fend off his attacks—until Berserker wore her down, allowing him to do a temperament (stop it with these puns) sweep to end her life. Reflecting a knight’s pride, Lancer moved in to slice Berserker’s weapon, saving Saber from imminent downfall. His master was not one to care about a knight’s code and instead proceeded to evoke his Command Spell, forcing him to pair up with Berserker to finish off Saber.
In the far distance, Kiritsugu readied his assassination of Archibald as plan B, after seeing the tides of battle unfold this way,
Showing great restrain, Lancer apologized to Saber before joining berserker in the finishing move. Saber could only stand ready as she faced her seemingly inevitable end. Once again, Saber is saved when Rider intercepts their movement, crushing the less mobile berserker under the weight of the chariot in the process. Heavily wounded, berserker fled and so did Lancer. Saber expressed her gratitude to Rider, and questioned his motives for being here in the first place. As usual displaying lack of reasoning ( in a technical way ), he commented that he only wanted to see Saber and Lancer settle their matters first, before facing off with the victor between them.
And so the first great battle ended hanging..
In the dark recesses of the city, Caster looked through his orb and set his sights on Saber, probably mistaking her for someone else.
You could probably deduce my thoughts on these two episodes just from the title alone. It was indeed an amalgam of stuff –if you’d excuse me using the term ‘clusterfuck’, which would be an appropriate term to describe the events that have unfolded in the battle. All of a sudden, you have a grand total of three party poopers jumping into fray. Way to stir things up. Who doesn’t like full-blown action anyway ? The way the scenes transitioned from one to the next was rather cliche and over-the-top, which was my only point of contention with this battle ( not that I wanted dear Saber to finished off so quickly ). Personally, after watching the series so far, Rider is one servant worthy of note. It is perplexing that his actions are wise, but done rashly most of the time. Great episodes.
*Pictures will be added later,
After finishing off Assassin in an ambush, archer, revealed to be Gilgamesh, reaffirms his position as the King of Kings with Tokiomi. Gilgamesh then blatantly declares that this age is not worth of time, much less the Holy Grail. Tokiomi, putting up a false front, assures him that it is well-worth the time and effort, and will inform Archer on details of its procurement when the time comes. Moments later, Tokiomi groaned, bemoaning the fact that Archer has Independent Action as one of his skills- explaining his pompous demeanor.
Having heard of Assassin’s downfall, Waver urged him to make a move, as only six Servants are left in the Holy Grail War. Rider then casually explains that Assassin is not a threat to him at all, as he only skulks in the shadows, nothing more. ‘Waiting is a part of war’, he bravely declared. And so, he went on with watching the television and told Waver of his life ideals. Only minutes later did he decide on ‘going out to the city’.Then, we see Waver-san complaining about Rider’s idleness [consisting of watching military or politically-related videos and eating crackers all day].
Kirei, knowing his Servant has been killed, escaped to the church to receive protection. Once inside, they
Spoke of their plans for the war and how successful the attack on the Tohsaka estate was as a decoy, as most masters would have let their guard down knowing Assassin is out of the fray.
The whole assassin order was then summoned inside the church – this act was a gross violation of the rules of the Holy Grail War. Nevertheless, their schemes went on accordingly.
Saber and Irisviel landed safely in Japan to catch up with Kiritsugu. Saber was not new to air travel as it was revealed that she can take control of any beast or vehicle as if she was a master of it – due to the Riding skill knights possess. Saber then proceeds to the city area with Irisviel in a car. Irisviel casually told Saber of her life experiences – how much she longed to see the outside world – [surprisingly remaining optimistic and positive] and her fate. Realising this, like a true knight, Saber escorts Irisviel through the city to enliven her up.
Not very far away, Kiritsugu sneakily enters a hotel room. He met up with Maiya, supposedly his real partner, to procure his equipment and review the intel received from assassin’s attack on the estate. Skeptical about the death of Assassin and the nature of the fight, Maiya warned him to remain on guard. Kiritsugu heeds the warning, and proceeded to size up his weapons.
In the night, Saber and Irisviel stood by the coastlines after a day of touring the city. They exchanged thoughts on their life experiences once again, but Saber quickly sensed another Servant’s challenge to a battle nearby – abruptly ending their pep talk.
The challenger was Lancer, who appeared in the open to fight any Servant who responds to the call.
With his Motives unclear, Saber exercised caution and accepted his challenge nevertheless.
Another episode elaborating on the relationship between the Masters and their servants. Some light was shed on the Servants’ uncanny abilities and personality. However, we still do not see the full roster joining the fray ? Saving the best for last perhaps ? The pacing of the episode was roughly the same as the previous one. I’d also like to note that the script has been well-written… so far. Four episodes and we finally see a full-fledged battle – expect things to heat up.