YamiShikiMoon's Blog

Sarcastic girly nerd that talks about anything Anime, Manga, Game related that is of interest.


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Games and Anime highlights of 2016 (Part 2)

Onwards to Part 2 I will talk about my Anime highlights of 2016 and, well there is quite a lot so lets get down to it shall we?

Here’s some honourable mentions of anime i watched but will not go into greater detail as I will with the others because then we would have a much longer list haha:

91 Days, Alderamin on The Sky, All Out!!, Assassination Classroom Season 2, Days, Cheer Danshi!!, Drifters, Arslan Senki Season 2, Fune wo Amu, Nanbaka, March Comes in like a Lion, Prince of Stride, Kuromukuro, Tales of Zestiria the X, ReLIFE, Occultic;Nine and Haruchika.

Obviously I won’t list every single anime I watched so here’s my MAL if anyone’s interested on what else i watched this year: https://myanimelist.net/animelist/Izanagi-No-Kai

I can say that there are some anime coming out this year that I wanted to watch but didn’t have enough interest at that time and probably will watch in the future (next year maybe?)

Nevertheless, lets start!

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Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

We hit it right off with probably one of the most hyped series of the year lol, Did it live to its hype. In my opinion, absolutely. It completely blew my expectations out of the water.

It took something basic and completely twisted it around in surprising ways. Subaru have become one of my favorite anime protagonists and Rem is my best girl ❤

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Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

I loved the manga and the anime is no difference, they completely nailed the comedy and I laughed out loud so many times watching this. It’s relaxing, fun, consistently funny, and a great show for anyone who wants to unwind and laugh. I would definitely recommend this anime. Bow to our lord Sakamoto.

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Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Speaking of comedies, KonoSuba was also an awesome anime dealing with a lot of comedy. No matter what, I never get tired of “Main character get teleported to a rpg-like world” formula, and this anime proves it, in more ways than one.

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Natsume Yuujinchou Go

The 5th season of Natsume yuujinchou and so far it still remains as one of my all time favorite anime ever, absolutely beautiful.

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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Speaking of getting stuck in another fantasy world, here’s another one! The animation was the first thing to get me sold in this show and then the music… wonderful. The story was also interesting and the characters felt really realistic to me. I can hope for a second season but I guess in the meantime I’ll read the Light Novel.

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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

I like Steampunk, I like zombies and Hiroyuki Sawano doing the soundtrack? I’m sold. Now I did hope a bit more from this show and may have set my expectations a bit too high (okay, like WAAY high) But I still enjoyed the show for what’s it worth and again can hope for a second season since I want to know more about their world and the characters.

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D.Gray-Man Hallow

If I have to be completely honest, this season did disappoint me a bit. It might be my Nostalgia speaking (which it probably is) I absolutely loved the first D.Gray-Man anime, and it holds as an all time favorite in my heart along with the manga and I was excited that they actually wanted to continue the show from where it left off. But alas it didn’t hit my expectations for a lot of reasons but I still think it’s a highlight of sorts since I got to see my boy Allen and his precious friends animated again.

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Durarara!!×2 Ketsu

The third and final cour of Durarara!! and oh boy it was a journey. Still can’t believe that the show started in 2011, feel such a long time ago… there is so much i could tell about this show but it would be spoilers so I’ll just say to watch it yourself because this is something that needs to be experienced, this show is truly a gem among anime in my opinion.

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Orange

Dealing with themes like depression and suicide in anime can be quite a challenge and this one really nailed in terms of maturity and deep meaning to it. The anime was so beautiful and sad but also quite heartwarming and I felt really satisfied afterwards.

Suwa is such a sweetheart and the best bro.

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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Another hyped up anime that I think (kind of) lives up to its hype. Now granted I haven’t read the manga yet but I still think the anime was really great. Plot-twists, mysteries and time-travel, this show was awesome. And of course the opening gets stuck in my head.

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Kiznaiver

This show was… special in a way, don’t really know how to describe it. The story was okay and the characters were great but I really wanted something more, I wanted to know more than what we got. I doubt we’ll get more of this (maybe an OVA?) but the show still left an impact on me and the opening was absolutely beautiful. Bless Michiyuki Kawashima, you’ll be solely missed.

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Bungou Stray Dogs

I already read the manga before the anime was announced but nevertheless i still enjoyed it. It stuck mostly faithful to the source material and I looked forward to a new episode each week when this show aired.

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Boku no Hero Academia

What can I say that haven’t already been said about this? The animation was on point, the story was awesome, the characters were great and I can’t wait for the second season next year!

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Mob Psycho 100

I absolutely loved this show. It was funny, exciting, heartfelt and just a delight to watch. 100/100 Salt Attacks.

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Yuri!!! On ICE

Ah, Yuri on Ice, a title that isn’t what it seems. Coming into this show, I had high expectations and didn’t have an ounce of disappointment. Perhaps the show isn’t suitable for everyone’s tastes or style but I would recommend it to anyone. This anime takes ice skating and character relationships to a new level that is phenomenal. It truly as the opening said “was born to make history”.

Aaaand that was it for me in 2016, it was as I mentioned before not the best year in general but it still gave us these games and shows that we love and I hope to see even more in 2017.

So until next time, Yami out~ (*^▽゚) /~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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D.Gray Man: why you should REALLY give this manga a try (no spoilers, mostly pictures)

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In the light of D.Gray man returning to serialization I’ve decided to write a post about the awesomeness of this manga, about what it means to me and why I recommend it to every shounen enthusiast out there. Especially those of you, who loved Fullmetal Alchemist (and also Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul). If this post convinces any of you to give this piece a try, I would be immensely happy.

This manga is written by an AMAZING female mangaka Hoshino Katsura. It was originally published weekly in Shounen Jump for 5 years. It was one of the best-sellers for Shueisha, with over 20 million copies sold. Both in Japan and in North America several individual volumes have been featured in weekly top ten lists of best-selling manga. It received a huge amount of rewards. Unfortunately, due to the author’s sickness it was first moved to monthly magazine and then put into an excruciating two year long hiatus that is fortunately coming to an end soon.

Now, this manga is awesome, I tell you. It is a masterpiece in the shounen genre. It was my absolute NUMBER ONE since I was 14, the style and characters of D.Gray-man resonated so much with me that I just couldn’t resist it. Let me tell you about it.

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Story

D.Gray man is undeniably a shounen manga, it has the best qualities of this genre (focus on action, personal stories, heartbreaking camaraderie, etc), yet the themes it dwells upon, the distance it makes its characters go, the tragedies it explores are close to a seinen level (Very close to what FMA is dealing with). Forget about Attack on Titan with its raw and meaty violence, here all tragedies and deaths are deeply personal and “enemy” operates on a thin psychological level, disturbing the border between good and evil, desire and fear, reality and nightmare.This is the story about war, the version of the devil that wants to destroy the world and The Church that prepares human weapons (“Exorcists”) to fight against this evil. Yet, there is no “good side”, there is mystery and unbelievable sacrifice, and darkness dwells in The Church just as much as in the streets filled with demons. More than that – this is the manga where enemy is loved, not understood, far from that, but LOVED – by the author, by the characters involved in both sides of the conflict. It was the first time I experienced such raw mixture of heartbreaking love and hate in characters. (By the way comedy is VERY good too.)

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Style/Art

Four central elements of style – Gothic, Victorian England, military and catholic church. The world of D.Gray-man is very dark, the author constantly uses deformed and grotesque images to underline how madness leaks into reality. I like it, because it goes much further than scary faces in both AoT and TG (even though Tokyo Ghoul use it on a psychological level as well), sometimes it takes your breath away. A lot of symbolic imagery is used – latin inscriptions, runes, pentagrams, religious imagery. It is not over-complicated in my opinion, nor is it just a mindless decoration, since it creates a very authentic and thoughtful vision of the world. The military uniforms are beautiful – no wonder that my first attempt at cosplay was for this manga. The characters are drawn very pretty – you won’t find an ugly character. There is enough moderate fanservice for any gender preference, though the cast is mainly male (one female out of four main characters). Since the author is a woman, men are drawn REALLY handsome.

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The art is mind-blowing. It starts good and juicy, and then gets better and better and better to a point where every panel is worth putting on a wall in a frame. No kidding. To tell the truth, it got worse in the final chapters before the hiatus, but I blame that on author’s sickness and expect a full return of quality.

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Action/Battles

Very shounen-like, what can I say? Each character has his own type of weapon, the weapon is alive and evolves while straining or even devouring the body of the user. It is always interesting to see the consequences of using some powers – like the power to stop time that allows people who have suffered mortal damage stay alive little longer but with no chance of healing. I’d also say that Hoshino’s battle-style is more context based, more about the adventure, the surroundings than simple moves. And I like that way more than recycling moves again and again by adding little new features.

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Characters

On the first glance characters in DGM transparently fall into well established “types” – there is a silent cool type, nice guy type, clumsy type, trickster type, etc. – enough to appeal to any taste. The thing is – all these characters eventually get tons of deeper levels, they all exceed expectations. Almost all of them are eventually pushed into a gray zone where their darker sides are explored. It is also important to note that there are no doormat types, all characters are very assertive and have their own agenda, they form events around them.

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This is very true especially about the main character – Allen Walker, whom I grew to love deeply. He starts as your average nice guy, gentleman, new to events, but in just a few chapters it is fully implied that this is just his cover persona or a personality shift based on trauma, while he is a much more complex and controversial character. He is perfectly capable of manipulating people, he always has his individual take on events, he is hot tempered and possesses dark secrets and solid principles in the way he handles things. His story is one of the most tragic I’ve ever encountered – his body and mind are constantly deformed and threatened, and the further the story goes the less you believe in a happy ending for him. He does remind you of Edward from FMA A LOT (and arguably even Kaneki from TG as well) – his first background trip is actually about him turning his father into a demon and having to kill him and awakening a weapon in his arm in the process – but later his story and characterization go in a completely different direction, just as his background eventually discovers much more than this simple tragedy.

This manga also works with racial diversity a lot – all characters come from different countries, have different skin color and even different manners\hobbies based on their origin. There are characters of different sizes and even characters with disabilities.

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Heroine – Lenalee Lee

Separate paragraph, because it is a touchy issue after Naruto, I think. For once instead of a tsundere heroine we have a true Lady – well mannered, caring, reserved. She comes very close to being a Mary Sue – undeniably strong, beautiful, beloved. Yet, she has a very tragic background, evolving relationships, very natural fears and moments of weakness and anguish. If she is a Mary Sue, I’m ok with that, because she works beautifully in the story and there are no ugly sides of her that are covered up. Hoshino succeeds in showing Lenalee’s strength coming from within her beliefs. I won’t deny – she is used as a damsel in distress (not many times, but rather once and for a period of time as she is disabled physically), she cries, she works as an emotional engine of the plot as she empathizes with her comrades and feels their pain deeply. I’m ok with all that because it is justified by her background, because it actually helps people around her move forward and because apart from that she shows amazingly strong spirit and battle prowess. Her being used as damsel in distress NEVER tarnishes her dignity, it never becomes a one-dimensional ploy to keep the story going, and most importantly – it starts with an awesome display of strength and it ends with an amazing power up.

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Shipping (I know it is important for a lot of people)

Good news, Lenalee is NOT a romantic fodder. There is NO explicit romantic plot in D.Gray man at all, only hints, rare blushes and VERY strong comradeship. It doesn’t stop people from shipping Lenalee with everyone in the cast. But to be honest there is a HUGE yaoi shipping potential here too, hardly less than hetero. I myself am an AllenXLavi / AllenxTyki shipper and just as I was never disappointed with choosing them, I was never displeased by other shippers, because all characters’ bonds are honestly unique, beautiful and have potential for blooming into something more. No war, guys.

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Conclusion

I highly recommend any person who appreciates great shounen to go read this manga, it is only 200 chapters. I feel like chances that you won’t like it if you like Fullmetal Alchemist, Tokyo Ghoul or\and Attack on Titan are VERY slim, I am almost inclined to say “no way you won’t love it”. I have to confess here that I didn’t like the last ten or so chapters of this manga before it went into hiatus, it was good, but just not as amazingly good as before. I blame it on the author’s sickness and hope that both story and art will return to its previous quality. I am incredibly happy to see this manga continue and I hope that it won’t dissapoint me. (spoiler: it wont)

Also in the meantime you can also check out the anime as well!