Two words anime fans will always find themselves being called are weeb and otaku. Let’s look at what exactly these terms mean and whether they are being used in good faith or as a slur.

Ever since my infatuation with anime many years ago, I’ve only begun to notice the crude disposition many people feel towards those who enjoy Japanese games, comics and of course anime. To be even more specific, this degrading viewpoint of an entire fanbase is primarily targeted to those who enjoy the aforementioned cultures of Japan, but are not of Japanese ethnicity themselves. This unfair and hostile treatment towards a select group of people who happen to have an interest outside of their own culture is an ongoing occurrence that needs to be properly analyzed and discussed.

Nobody is safe on the internet

Whenever I’m browsing YouTube, Reddit or Twitter, my personal holy trinity of websites at any given time, there are always two words that get thrown around when anime becomes the main topic of discussion. The terms weeb or weeaboo is the first phrase that always attracts my attention. I’ve seen friends call each other this name in a joking manner, but I’ve also seen it used as a direct insult in online arguments between two complete strangers. According to Japan Powered, a website that discusses everything Japanese and anime related, the word weeaboo is a slang term derived from the two words “wannabe” and “white.” Its earliest usage dates back in the infamous online chat rooms of 4chan, when they would use it to insult obsessive and obnoxious anime fans.

In a 2012 study of weeaboo culture by author Jennifer Mcgee, she claims a weeaboo is “simply a Westerner who is an overly-enthusiastic fan of Japanese culture.” If that’s the case, then how exactly did it manifest to become such a derogatory slur against the anime and Japanese culture communities? Mcgee continues by stating the term is used for those who “break social boundaries,” such as poor usage of the Japanese language and overusing terms that are commonly used in anime. In other words, it’s when anime fans butcher the Japanese language or culture in an attempt to imitate their favourite characters, but in turn, sound and appear as nothing more than a mockery of Japan. These overbearing fans became such a nuisance that weeaboo was created in order to disrespect and, in some extreme scenarios, dehumanize them.

To my surprise, I still get called a weeb by my friends and online users from time to time. I too am not exempt from this term used to shun fans of Japanese culture who are not of the same ethnicity, or so I thought. In actuality, the term weeb and weeaboo have become so overused all throughout social media and other popular websites that it has become a generic term used to describe all fans of Japanese culture, mainly anime fans. This Reddit post seems to understand my pain all too well. However, one of the commenters from that post explains the term weeb has been self-used by the anime community for some time now, and that it is used to separate occasional watchers from die-hard fans.

From my understanding, the term has gained so much traction that it has lost most of its meaning. The misuse of the term weeb, which originated as an insult to annoying fans of Japanese culture but has since shifted to simply anyone who consumes anime or manga, is a troubling development that transforms a demeaning phrase with a prolifically racist history to an uplifting status, which apparently some people take pride in.

Origins of Otaku

The second term I see time and time again is otaku. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, otaku is an actual Japanese word that originated years before weeb came into existence. According to Tofugu, a website focused on learning the Japanese language, “media and cultural trends have shaped the term’s popular perception over time.” They continue by stating otaku was used by Japanese people as a term for those who consume a ton of anime and manga. Tofugu explains how Japanese people needed a word to connect with others of similar interest and otaku fit the bill perfectly. In general, the word otaku appears to be a mutual and friendly term used by experienced anime fans.

“I think folks outside of Japan use the term otaku to generally refer to folks who enjoy anime culture,” said Japanese culture enthusiast and TV personality Danny Choo. “Generally speaking, more folks outside of Japan would call themselves an otaku.” Despite otaku being generally received as a positive representation of anime fans, it unfortunately still gets misused as an insult directed towards those who are obsessed with Japanese culture, much like the term weeb. Tofugu explains how the degrading connotation associated with the word otaku might have a lot to do with the wicked 1988 to 1989 murders in Japan by Tsutomu Miyazaki, described by local reporters to be an otaku. Ever since then, otaku were perceived to be those who stayed alone in their homes for months at a time, doing nothing else other than watching anime, reading manga or playing games. Although otaku started off as a positive remark for anime fans, it gradually changed to possess some derogatory notions suggested towards someone’s recluse and potentially sociopathic lifestyle

Hatred breeds more hatred

The two words otaku and weeabo were created for distinct purposes, but since then their meanings have evidently been reshaped to convey the opposite. Where weeaboo was once coined to insult overly-enthusiastic fans of Japanese culture, it has now become a title anime fans have found pride in. On the contrary, otaku was made to help identify and connect with other anime and manga fans but has now turned into yet another derogatory term for those passionate about Japanese culture. It is without a doubt the perception of these two words have changed significantly, but one thing remains certain, they are two of the most commonly used words to blatantly disrespect fans of anime and Japanese culture in general.

I try my best to not let the words of others irritate me, especially when they are the ones casted over the endless boundaries of the internet, behind the comfort of anonymity, but I can’t deny the terms weeb and otaku irritate and possibly offend me to no end. I had no idea two words could conflict this much hate and animosity towards a particular group of people with niche interest, but that is apparently what it has come down to. Anime fans have faced this type of persecution for years and will continue to bear the onslaught of derogatory terms, with the main perpetrators being weeb and otaku, for as long as the internet is around, and that is deeply concerning.

My advice to those caught in the receiving end of this backlash is to ignore it and move on. The people who purposely try to insult or humiliate the interest of others for any reason are a special breed of individuals who don’t deserve your attention. It’s not a foolproof method for defending one’s self against the legion of baseless haters, but it is the reality we as a contemporary society live in, and one that we must overcome at all cost. 

Let’s break down some of the finer aspects anime has to offer as an entertainment medium, and how the circumstances in which you watch it majorly affect the overall experience.

Anime is a unique type of entertainment medium that not everyone can easily enjoy. They are drawn in a variety of different ways and have premises that range from the wackiest of ideas to absolute masterpieces. If you’re unaccustomed to anime or Japanese visual culture itself, these uncommon animations may be unappealing from the very start. Or, on the other hand, you might have actually watched an anime or two but didn’t really enjoy it, consequently setting aside Japanese animation as a whole forever. It’s not uncommon for either of those reactions to occur. Anime, as a form of entertainment, usually falls under the realm of liking it from the start or giving it a shot but with no success.

This article will hopefully guide those who are on the fence about watching anime as a hobby or for those who gave up on it long ago due to a lackluster past experience. Use the advice below to help better understand the unique interest anime provides. All anime, much like any other TV show or movie, each have their own values worth watching. However, if you never give something a proper chance, their values will never reach you. 

Watch it for your own sake 

It’s as easy as it sounds. Although recommendations are great, they will not always match your preference or expectations. We are all vastly different from one another, so the ways we react to shows will differ as well. The people offering anime recommendations may have your best interest in mind, but don’t be surprised if your opinions differ from others. Instead, choose an anime for your own sake. There doesn’t need to be any logical reasoning as to why. The simplest of reasons, such as a well-drawn cover art, an interesting synopsis, or even a catchy theme song are all perfectly understandable motives to watch an anime.

The more popular method of sorting by top rated or most popular anime and choosing from there is also a valid reason to watch something. However, when you pick out something from the top of a list, your expectations will more often than not skyrocket tremendously. You might find yourself nitpicking at every little flaw of the show and make it your duty to find a million and one reasons why the show is ‘overrated.’ It’s not uncommon for extremely popular shows to be disliked by a vocal minority, but it does occur and they’re opinions are just as justified as anyone else’s.

Also, it’s important to never shy away from watching something that is outside of the norm, or something that is not ‘targeted’ towards you. Never let anyone question why you started watching a show. It’s a show, they exist to be watched. As long as you were the one to choose it, there can never be a wrong or right answer as to why. Choosing an anime on your own free whim helps to reduce the limitations on all the shows you can watch. There are no borders to cross, just pick an anime and continue watching. 

Give it the attention it deserves

More often than not, people will have no idea what’s happening in their anime because they are too distracted on their phones or on another tab. It’s disheartening but understandable. If an anime does not show enough to warrant the viewer’s immediate attention, then it’s arguable to call out their rather lackluster storytelling. But on the other hand, to actually enjoy a show, you must give it your full, undivided attention. When you’re watching an anime, it’s assumed that you’ve got enough free time to simply pay attention to what you’re watching.

Essentially, when you’re watching an anime, do try to keep your eyes on the show and avoid any unnecessary pauses or distractions. One of anime’s key traits is the ability to immerse the viewers into the fictional realm. That, of course, will not be possible if your mind is already drifting elsewhere. If you’re giving an anime every chance to start becoming interesting but are still bored to death, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Although there is some criticism to this train of thought, the anime community generally gives a show up until episode 3 before they axe it.

Free time is valuable but often very limited. It’s understandable to want to enjoy yourself during these well-needed rest times, and being bored to death from an anime doesn’t sound appealing in the slightest. Do give the anime a chance, but if it passes the 3rd or 4th episode and it still doesn’t strike your fancy, then simply move on. We don’t want to be forced to watch an anime we find no connection with, so feel free to drop it and move on. As mentioned before, when you can, always watch anime for your own sake and never feel obliged to complete a show for the sake of finishing it. You will probably end up hating the anime even more.      

It’s not a race, pace yourself

Most anime are on a one-episode a week format. Seasonal watchers are given an entire week to think about what transpired in the latest episode and to speculate on what happens in the next. This lengthy cooldown is sometimes needed to give the viewers a chance to appreciate each episode, rather than just skipping ahead to the next one. The build-up is a real phenomenon and viewers have something to look forward to the following week. Depending on how you look at it, the fortunate part about watching shows that have already aired is the ability to watch everything in one sit through.

Just remember to pace yourself. There is no race to see who watches an anime the fastest. Ruining a watching experience over something so trivial is just nonsensical. If you want to binge an anime because you’re enjoying it on all levels, then go ahead. But don’t watch it in one sitting because you want to simply get over it, or ‘skip’ to the good parts. Watching anime, or any show, at speeds faster than its intended rate should also be used sparingly, especially if it’s your first time watching. Even at a 1.25x faster rate, the dialogue sounds higher pitched and the pacing of the show will inevitably feel rushed. Always remember to watch in moderation and for your own enjoyment, not for speed-run achievements. 

Get a feel for the Japanese language

Pretty self-explanatory. Although anime is rich with English dubs, not all anime is fortunate enough to get translated. If you continue to actively watch anime, then you should at one point accept watching in its original Japanese voice work with English subtitles. This may ruin the immersion for some, considering that reading while trying to watch the visuals could be somewhat of a nuisance. Unfortunately, English natives will simply have to endure the subtitles. However, not all is lost. The Japanese language sounds rather soothing once you get used to it. Also, with a few hours of watching anime, you’ll begin to familiarize yourself with some of the common words, giving your brain a rest from all the reading. It’s a learning process but it’s simply something all anime fans must endure. Again, you can get away with just watching anime in English. However, you will be depriving yourself of some of Japan’s most spectacular stories and characters.  

Never skip openings/endings

Last but not least, never under any circumstances should you skip openings/endings. Alright, maybe it’s not that serious of an offence, but do try to listen to the songs. More often than not, anime themes are performed by the voice actors themselves, adding even more sentimental value to a show. They are catchy works of music that set up and close out each and every episode. At times, they even show the story’s plot through it’s (SPOILER WARNING) 1 minute and 30 second intro. The songs make up an anime, just as a story or characters would. They are a central piece to identifying a show, without revealing any names or premises.

They don’t provide the same weight as the aforementioned do, but at the same time they are not something you should be wilfully skipping. How else would you feel the excitement when an anime’s first opening plays as the final episode’s ending? If you actively skipped all songs, no connection would be made, missing out on an opportunity that is cherished among many anime. The opening and ending themes are part of the episode, so try your best not to skip them. Anime has grown more popular over the years but still continues to be somewhat of a niche medium. The show’s animation quality is getting more refined every year, but the same wacky premises and out-of-this-world plotlines are still very much the same. Although anime may not be for everyone, there is most likely an anime show out there that everyone can enjoy. 

Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls introduces Konomi Kasahara to the up and coming sport of climbing. Using her background of puzzling gaming, she transfers her innate ability to problem-solve on the climbing walls.

With the fall 2020 anime season being jam-packed with popular shows and highly anticipated sequels, it’s rather common for some series to go under the radar or even completely forgotten. Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls unfortunately seems to be following in this trajectory. That, however, is to be expected given the anime’s relatively short-lived manga and mediocre ratings.

This will also be author Ryuudai Ishizaka’s first manga to get an anime adaptation. Although that is a tremendous accomplishment for Ishizaka, it won’t help that he has no other past works to attract existing or new fans. Despite Climbing Girls’ underwhelming reception among the anime community throughout the first five episodes, it is still a worthwhile show that explores the up and coming activity known as sport climbing through the lens of a charming group of girls.

Rocky Puzzle

The anime begins when high school junior Konomi Kasahara stumbles upon a climbing wall right outside of campus after her first day of class. She was initially drawn into it because of the many different shapes and colours the holds of the climbing wall had. To Kasahara, it reminded her of a puzzle video game, a variety of gaming that she was all too familiar with. Despite being extremely skilled in video games, so much so that she has even won national tournaments, Kasahara wished to move on from her stay-at-home lifestyle and to embark on a new ambition.

Due to her background in puzzle gaming, Kasahara instinctively climbed the wall in a strategic manner. Using the best route available, she made it all the way to the top, hooking the final anchor. As the three members of the climbing club looked on, thoroughly impressed at her first attempt ever, they welcomed Kasahara with open arms and told her about the upcoming sport climbing tournament.

Climbing Girls offers a new perspective on the sport of rock climbing and highlights the athleticism, precision and strategic prowess needed in order to ascend or send a wall. Right off the bat, the anime is quick to dispel any narratives that suggest rock climbing is solely an upper body dependent activity. As the show progresses, we begin to learn more about the subtle techniques and finesse climbers must utilize in order to conquer their wall or route. The climbers are drawn with detailed muscles, especially the abominable section, and glossy sweat that illustrate the sport and its athletes to perfection.

Perfecting the craft

The anime is a delightful surprise for those who aren’t knowledgeable of climbing and quite a refreshing take on a relatively niche sport. Kasahara learns the hard way that arm strength alone will not bring her to the finish line, a great deal of commitment and effort is required, much like any other sport would. Hours upon hours of training are needed to swiftly and safely ascend towards the top, and the anime makes certain that viewers understand this. As she continues her training, she learns how to properly mount holds with her feet, take advantage of her body’s leverages and the best way to assess a route even before taking the first step. Kasahara’s journey from a beginner whose arms gave out after the first climb to a specialist who can contort her body in seemingly any position, is a truly motivating experience that would leave most viewers grinning from ear to ear.

The other girls in the climbing club are still leagues above Kasahara and push the newcomer to her limits every now and then, but all of it is with good intentions as they prepare for the tournament. The girls make sure to give their due diligence in nurturing Kasahara to meet and exceed her untapped potential, even if that comes at her dismay. The friendship the four girls share is the kind of bond many would be envious of, a spiritual connection that allows them to learn, grow and prosper from one another, whether that be in sport climbing or life in general. To the untrained eye, rock climbing is nothing more than using your arms to grab the next hold in front of you.

Not only does Climbing Girls offer an endearing story about four girls competing for a national tournament, but it also provides us a glimpse of the mesmerizing art form known as sport climbing. Regardless of the tournament’s outcome, viewers will be sure to finish the anime feeling satisfied learning about a less than traditional sport, Kasahara’s character development and the unwavering friendship she obtained along the way.

A growing sport

Although rock climbing’s relevancy is still miles away from mainstream sports, such as basketball or baseball, its community continues to grow. For the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, sport climbing was set to make its debut as an official event for the summer games. The new format would introduce three disciplines of the sport, lead-climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.

Climbing Girls combines the appeal of sport climbing with a down to earth main character who every viewer can relate to one way or the other. It brings us into the crafty and newly refined world of climbing and practically teaches us the sport from the ground up. The only thing more entertaining than learning the mastery behind climbing is watching Kasahara get teased relentlessly from her fellow club members.

Climbing Girls may be overshadowed by the other, more popular, anime that headline the fall 2020 season, but there is nothing about it that makes it any less inferior in terms of production, characters and story. Overall, it is an anime that stands completely fine on its own and is certainly worth a watch for those who enjoy the competitive nature of sports, or for those who relish in watching a group of friends strive towards a common goal.

With the second season of Fruits Basket coming to end, we take a look at what makes Tohru’s relationship with the Somas so remarkably endearing. This article contains no spoilers.

Fruits Basket returns with the same emotion and drama we’ve come to love in the first season. The second season focuses on the rest of the zodiac members and their misfortune bond with Akito. Despite not knowing the entire intricacies behind the curse or the spiritual connection the zodiac members harbor towards Akito, Tohru desperately tries to help the Somas while trying not to overstep her boundaries. 

The spiritual transformations the zodiac members are born with are without a doubt a supernatural element that no one can possibly relate to. However, the emotions and pain they endure throughout both seasons are very much down to earth. Fruits Basket echoes something we are all aware of but unfortunately are quick to forget. People handle day-to-day struggles differently from one another. We have a range of emotions and sometimes it’s hard trying to deal with them. These unfortunate experiences are something we have no control of, but it is something we eventually have to move on from.

Regardless of how someone carries themselves publicly, they might be hiding a terrifying issue that dwells from the bottom of their soul. It might not be our business to intrude on someone’s personal life, but offering a shoulder to lean on, at the very least, could provide the reassuring comfort needed to help make their lives a little easier.  

Forever, Always

Tohru has excelled in showing compassion for others, especially complete strangers. Her humble upbringing has allowed her to always be empathetic, even if she is unsure of the entire situation. Fruits Basket has reminded its viewers to always try to look from the perspective of others and above all, to try to assist whenever possible. There are always going to be issues in our daily lives, that is unquestionably just a part of living. How we chose to overcome these obstacles differ from one another, but a helping hand whenever possible could be the needed assistance to lift someone from their anguish.

The world is too demanding to push on by yourself, everyone needs companionship to help them forget or move on from their worries, suffering and pain. Seeing Tohru throw herself out there, getting right in the middle of the Soma family affair, hoping to ease the burdens of every zodiac member is truly uplifting and extremely inspiring. After being perceived as a nuisance from her Grandfather’s side of the family and losing her mother in a tragic accident, Tohru continues to shine as a beacon of hope, a warm aura of comfort, for so many others. 

Zodiac Curse/Bond

Abuse and neglect seem to be the same problem all of the zodiac members have experienced, be it from Akito himself or from primary family members. Although they seem fine on the surface, deep down they are troubled. Suffering from an unusual curse with a cruel master being the evident perpetrator of their disdain, these members have experienced continuing traumas that no teenager or young adult should be forced to live with.

They’ve endured these hardships since birth and are unable to break free from the shackles of their cursed fate. For some, putting on a smile every day and living as if they were regular people have exhausted them mentally to the point where they break down in tears. It’s a cruel reality that they were given. That was until Tohru came stumbling into their lives. Her cheery personality and innate ability to connect with someone brought forth new hope that many of them can cling onto. She has brought them wonderful memories and another reason to continue to strive through the hardships.

Cherish the Moment

Fruits Basket is a wonderful anime that will make you appreciate your friends and family even more than you already have. More often than not, it will leave you feeling like a puddle of emotions, unable to stop crying from the funny, sad and joyful moments the anime has to offer. The characters are all relatable and each brings their own story or personality to the show.

The Somas are indeed one big troubled family, but as Tohru continues to be a mediator for them, they gradually learn to trust and care for another, just as any family would. Fruits Basket 2019 has far exceeded its expectations and provided the original 2001 series the well-needed justice in their reboot so many years later. Although the exact date has yet to be determined, the third and final season of Fruits Basket is expected to air next year in 2021.   

An anime that perfectly sums up otaku culture. Genshiken is a 2004 anime that tackles the struggles of those who are overly passionate about anime, manga, gaming and everything in between. This article will contain very mild spoilers.

Genshiken is a slice-of-life comedy anime that centres around an otaku college club. Despite being made nearly two decades ago, the show captures the life of an otaku to perfection. It proves that either otaku culture has not changed nearly as much in the past 15 years, or Genshiken has truly mastered the awkward lifestyle of those passionate in anime, manga and everything else in between must embrace. The show focuses on a group of anime lovers and their hardships with catching up on the latest episodes, doujinshis, figurines and how they deal with the general public regarding their rather niche circle. 

More than meets the eye

Sasahara, a first-year university student appears to be your normal 18, 19 year old freshman. He looks average, is a bit shy and has no other noticeable feature. Surprisingly enough, this average-looking fellow is indeed the main protagonist of Genshiken. A fitting choice considering that anime lovers do, in fact, look like everybody else — completely normal.

He creeps around the rest of the club, trying actively not to look like he’s even remotely interested in anime. His hesitant nature of revealing a somewhat nerdy activity is all too familiar to those who enjoy anime. Even way back then, anime lovers and fans were reluctant to show the world their passion for otaku culture. There was a nasty stigma attached to those who enjoyed anime and manga, and people, much like Sasahara, would never in a million years be willing to publicly proclaim their love for it.

It’s absolutely a shame that someone would feel the need to hide a personal interest of theirs just to appeal to society’s set of long-winded standards. It was presumably much rougher back in the early 2000’s and late 90’s to be an anime fan, but otaku culture has grown significantly since then and so the present generation doesn’t get as much of the slack as their precursors. Sasahara puts his foot down and accepts his true calling as an otaku. He joins Genshiken and miraculously seems like the only sane person in the room.

Sasahara’s overall average build is a testament to those who enjoy anime culture but do not exhibit any physical traits that would suggest it. His mannerism is generally polite and reserved, and is not openly willing to talk about anime unless he himself is asked about it. People like Sasahara do exist. You can absolutely engross yourself in anime but not show a hint of that side in person — not through your choice of clothes, speech, hair or personality. They are a growing bunch and many people still surprisingly are not open to admitting their passion for anime unless they are asked about it directly. 

The irregulars

Kosaka, on the other hand, is someone who has the best of both worlds. On the outside, Kosaka looks like a teenage heartthrob, with wavy blonde hair and a killer smile. He is what you’d imagine someone to look like if they were the protagonist of a high school romance show. Many people in the anime take notice of his cool style and, of course, his handsome look. On the inside, however, Kosaka is a die-hard otaku who spends most of his time gaming in Akihabara.

His girlfriend, Kasukabe, is initially repulsed by Kosaka’s unusual hobbies, but eventually starts to grow on her. In the first season of the show, Kosaka does not, at all, seem all too interested in his girlfriend. He accepts her as a personal love interest but doesn’t show his affection to her at all. Most of the time they are on screen together, Kosaka is quick to depart to some other city to cop the latest poster or compete in a fighter tournament. He is easily one of the most engrossed members of Genshiken but he conceals his geekiness almost too well. Kosaka dresses with style and speaks elegantly to just about everyone. He is most certainly an anomaly that can seamlessly fit in with the cool crowd as well as the geeky bunch. 

The die-hards

Now that we’ve taken a look at two common archetypes found in anime culture, let us venture into the extreme cases that promote the otaku stereotypes. Madarame, a senior in the Genshiken club and a traditional otaku from head to toe, is the backbone of Genshiken and second only to the president.

His skinny frame, sunken cheeks, circle glasses and fangy tooth shouts otaku. If his image doesn’t convince you, maybe his personality might clue you in on the type of guy he is. Madarame is the maximum amount of geekiness an anime and manga lover can be. Whenever he is put in a troublesome situation, Madarame envisions it as if it were a dating simulator, with multiple answers and even more concerning reactions. He is overly defensive of the things he loves and brings up anime or manga whenever possible. As a result, Madarame is in a league of his own when it comes to being socially awkward but tries his best to solve problems using his heightened knowledge of anime culture. Does it always work? Not really, but it does provide hilarious moments that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the inner mechanisms of his otaku-driven mind.

He can be overbearing at times, talking non-stop about Kujibiki Unbalance, or another fandom of anime culture, but he is the backbone of Genshiken and a day without Madarame in the club simply would not be the same.

The elitists

Lastly, an anime about otaku culture would not be complete without bringing up the unfortunate elitism that comes with it. A setback that most hobbies or activities are burdened with is the self-righteous bunch who can’t help but put themselves in the spotlight and shun away those who don’t share the same ideals. They set themselves on the highest horse possible and walk down a path with shut ears and blurred vision. Yes, elitism, for whatever reason, was still prevalent back in the early 2000’s and Genshiken did not hesitate to include that in their show.

Despite having the same niche passion, some people can’t help but compare themselves to others and look down upon those who don’t hold up to their standards. It truly is gutless, but that is the case in any fandom where opinions are regarded so heavily. Haraguchi, a heavyset otaku who is involved with the anime and manga society seems like a genuine guy at first, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality, he’s a judgemental two-face who tells Sasahara in secret that the Genshiken club is just a bunch of useless people who take up space and have no talent to give back to the community.

It just goes to show that no matter what interest you might share with others, there will always be a method to devalue a person’s worth or meaning. Fortunately, he very rarely appears in the anime, so viewers don’t have to endure his despicable self for too long.  

To you, 20 years from now

Genshiken has proven the difficulties that otakus in the past had to deal with, and for the most part, what modern anime lovers must continue to deal with today. Regardless, those who enjoy a niche hobby will always find a way to form some sort of connection, or in this case a club.

It may be awkward at first, but if everyone enjoys it, then it will certainly only be a matter of time before unforgettable memories begin to form. Genshiken is a show that embraces a side that routinely gets shunned from a standardized society. It displays the genuine emotion that comes from anime fandom and the bonds it enables among people. Not much has changed in the ways of otaku culture. For sure, you’ll be made fun of by others for enjoying an unusual activity, but that is just a part of accepting a side you don’t need to hide from. It is a part of who you are, so you might as well embrace it!   

Genshiken has two additional seasons after its first, Genshiken 2 and Genshiken Nidaime.

Yama no Susume or Encouragement of Climb showcases how even the best of friends get into fights from time to time. Regardless of how destructive or regretful these disputes pan out to be, a true friendship will always overcome any obstacle that comes in between them. This article will contain very mild spoilers for the 3rd season of Yama no Susume.

Friendships are a special connection people are fortunate enough to share with one another. They form in unique ways that are at times completely unexplainable. They can be willed into, or they can be entirely spontaneous and organic. Regardless of how they come to fruition, it is said that true friendship is not how compatible the people are, nor is it how much they enjoy each other’s company. Rather, it is the sheer amount of conflict or hatred they overcome together as friends.

The chemistry you have with a friend is an unquestionable trait that comes naturally as the relationship develops. However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows when it comes to friendships — or any type of connection for that matter. We go through a range of emotions that are not always in our best interest to succumb to. It’s a lot easier to say than to do in actuality. When feelings get the better of us, we tend to say or do regretful things to one another — even to those we truly cherish.

Only when friendships continue to thrive after a rocky incident or heated moment do they get stronger and materialize into something more than just a standard friendship, but perhaps a lifelong bond. You don’t really know what kind of friendship you share with someone until it is challenged in the form of some kind of quarrel or argument. Regardless of the severity of the confrontation, it is only at this moment will both parties be tested on their priorities and morals as a friend. When tensions flare, personalities and true identities are usually revealed in their ugliest of natures. Feelings get hurt and relationships get severed. 

These moments of in-fighting with a companion are not needed to determine if the friendship in question is the genuine attachment many seek for in life, but it is a rigorous test that has left many relationships in crumbles. Only those who value their friendship and wish to preserve the bonds they share with others will continue past any and every type of dispute or fight.      

Anything but Mountains!

Yama no Susume has a particular friendship between a once introverted girl and a happy-go-lucky childhood acquaintance. Aoi Yukimura and Hinata Kuraue couldn’t be any different from one another. Where Aoi enjoys knitting and staying indoors, Hinata can’t help but want to go on hikes and trail to the top of the mountains. As mentioned before, there are no rules for friendships. Two people can have completely different expressions, likes, and physical appearance, but they can still be in the parameters of being friends.

It is an unexplainable turn of events when considering how friendships start, but the sparkling differences between Aoi and Hinata are of no exception. The two girls showcased that friendship does not happen overnight, but rather over time and sometimes without either party ever realizing it. Aoi was quick to turn down all of Hinata’s invites to hang out, but as the two continued to talk, it is revealed that they were actually childhood friends in the past. Tied to a promise Aoi made to Hinata a long time ago, the two gradually reunited to become best friends once more.  

After three seasons of Yama no Susume, Aoi turns into someone who is unrecognizable from her past self. Although she still enjoys knitting and other indoor activities, Aoi becomes much more social and outgoing. The once shy loner has turned into someone who enjoys making new friends and hanging out with them at local mountain parks. All of this, of course, would not be possible without Hinata’s consistent push to be a part of Aoi’s life, even if she does initially decline.

The climb isn’t over until you descend!

Friendships can also blossom from a rejection, much is the case of Hinata. It was challenging and extremely out of her comfort zone, but Aoi pushed herself past her limits and experienced a new hobby that is rather weary but entirely fulfilling in its own right — mountain climbing. Her growth as a person and as a friend was the direct result of Hinata’s perseverance to reconnect with her long lost friend, and to change her indoor lifestyle.

The other girls who also deserve credit for Aoi’s overdue transformation are Kaede Saitou, the oldest in the group and the most reliable when it comes to mountaineering, Kokona Aoba, the youngest and most ladylike, and lastly, Honoka Kurosaki, an artistic girl who lives in the next town over. Due to the girls’ extremely close friendship and the unforgettable memories they’ve created over their outdoor adventures is now a part of Aoi, and her inevitable progression in always becoming a better version of herself. 

Over the course of the seasons, the girls have traveled a lot together, including climbing on top of Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most iconic mountain. It goes without saying that they all know each other’s quirks and how they would react in certain situations. With that being said, they are still not immune to disagreements and quarrels from time to time. In particular, since Aoi and Hinata have perhaps the closest friendship among the girls, they tend to playfully tease each other every now and then.

It is never a pleasure to be the butt end of a joke, but the girls usually handle it well and know that none of the jokes harbour any ill-will. The girls have shared some breathtaking scenes together, delicious meals, and even baths with one another over the course of their friendship. But of course, there needed to be some sort of conflict to test exactly how much they revere to each other as friends. Everything is how it should be until we reach the midway of season 3. 

Everyone’s own views

Hinata, of all people, has noticed the courageous strides Aoi has taken since taking up mountaineering. Not only does she have the endurance and strength to consistently walk up inclines and rocky pathways, but Aoi also summons enough confidence to talk to and even hang out with the other girls in her class not named Hinata. This comes as a delightful surprise for Hinata at first, but her emotions gradually become murky and becomes evident that she, herself, does not know how exactly to handle them. Hinata has become so used to being the reliable friend that Aoi goes to for anything that she struggles in finding her identity when Aoi becomes entirely independent.

It bothers her to an extent, but she does not ever show or express her frustration. Aoi and the others are kept in the dark until their overnight trip to Mount Kinpu. Kokona secretly stays the night at Aoi’s place so that the two can prepare meals for the other girls. The two spend a little too much time cooking and oversleep, arriving at the train station later than expected. Hinata is angered that Aoi didn’t tell her that Kokona slept over, and this results in a visibly angered Hinata lecturing the two of them on the train.

It was the first time any of the girls showed an outright angry expression, and a moment of which the relationship they shared was on the fringe of collapsing. During the entire hike, Hinata kept to herself and only thought about the fastest course of action to take and not the ones that were the best for her friends. Her limited interactions with the other girls were prompt and uncharacteristic of Hinata’s energetic self.

Hinata made the atmosphere between the other girls tense and a bit awkward, to say the least. The hiking activity the girls once relished in now turned into an aimless hike with an angry grump leading the way. This selfish way of acting resulted in her injuring her leg in a rushed attempt to climb the mountain. Only when the pain became unbearable does Hinata tell the other girls. Aoi is quick to take the responsibility of staying with Hinata, and the two slowly make their way down the mountain. 

Despite Hinata showing signs of being angry and selfish, Aoi never returns the same feeling. Instead, she is passive and lets Hinata act out of her childish fit. Hinata confesses that she became jealous when Aoi was making plans with other girls by herself, and that the two of them could not hang out as often as they once did. Hinata was unhappy that Aoi has become an independent person who can enjoy herself without her company. In her own words, she was worried that Aoi “might go away.”

Aoi never let Hinata’s stubbornness never get the best of her because she has always considered Hinata as her best friend. The two eventually make up while sitting alongside the mountain’s terrain and learn a valuable thing from one another. Friendship will always take priority no matter how frustrating or regrettable the situation appears to be. The girls learned to be honest with one another and convey their feelings, even if it’s something no one wants to hear.

Friends

Friendships are a wonderful connection to have with other people, but they too take an adequate amount of trust, nurture and forgiveness in order to preserve that bond. It’s hard to be honest with the people you love, especially if it ends up hurting them, but it’s far better than keeping it a secret and letting it bottle up inside of you. If they truly are your friends, they would be more than willing to accept any secrets or troubles that have kept you in a burdened state.

Much like Aoi and Hinata’s relationship, true friendships will continue to flourish even after the worst episodes. In fact, they usually become stronger than ever before because new revelations are put to light, and they tend to better reflect someone’s true characteristic. Unlike other services or objects, friendship is not something you can buy or be born into, it is a genuine experience that you must want to be a part of or risk the chance of cutting ties forever. Friendship works in both ways, and both parties should put in the same amount of understanding and effort to keep the bond as strong as possible.

The girls in Yama no Susume have formed a beautiful friendship that will continue to blossom as time goes on. Although they’re still a few years away from conquering Mount Everest, the girls have proven that they can climb even the toughest of mountains and obstacles, as long as they’ve got each other.   

A new martial arts anime in the form of an ONA has recently aired as part of the 2020 summer season lineup. The first episode hits us with a good impression that will have many new fans tuning in for more. This article will contain spoilers for the first episode of the anime adaptation but will not mention anything included in the original webcomic.     

The God of High School, a South Korean webcomic by Yongje Park has finally been adapted into a 13-episode anime. The debut episode launched on July 6, 2020 as a Crunchyroll original and has many fans hyped to see the long-time Webtoon hit the big stages.

After watching the first episode, there is no surprise as to why this particular series has garnered quite the attraction from both Asian and North American fanbases. The characters are distinct and the fighting styles, though limited in the first episode, are flashy yet graceful at the same time. Not much is given regarding character backgrounds or story context, but timing is, of course, of the essence and it looks like The God of High School will give us the information we need piece by piece. Although we only have the first episode to work with, it gave the viewers enough of a preview to get a feel of what the God of High School is all about.  

The Gods of High School

The show starts off with the main character, Jin, waking up late for the preliminaries of a martial arts tournament called ‘The God of High School.’ Although he wakes up from a dream regarding his grandfather, not much else is given about that relationship. On his bustling commute to the arena, he unfortunately witnesses a robbery, much to his dismay. Despite already being late, Jin, like a true selfless hero, decides to retrieve the stolen purse from a man riding away in a motorcycle. Equipped with only his bicycle, it would appear to be quite the uphill climb for Jin to apprehend the robber. Thanks to two others who were coincidentally caught up in the incident, Han Daewi, and Yoo Mira, the robber was stopped and the purse was retrieved. As the strings of fate would have it, Han and Yoo, the two people who assisted Jin, are also contestants in the martial arts tournament.

Even though we don’t know much about our three protagonists, it goes without saying that we can assume they have a strong sense of morality and righteousness. In no way did Jin request for aid, but everyone stepped up to the occasion to apprehend a suspect they were not involved in at all. Many would-be inclined to simply stay out of trouble, or perhaps let someone else more capable help in the situation. But Jin, Han, and Yoo all decided to put it on themselves and help out when no one else would. They all have reasons to fight and participate in the tournament, but this selfless act of vigilance implies that all three compete for reasons beyond the satisfaction of pummeling the opponent into smithereens.

As the story develops and we learn more about the characters, it would be quite the delight if they were to retain these kind personalities all throughout the season. As mentioned before, we know very little about our heroines. However, one thing is absolutely certain. Jin is as hilarious as his star-shaped eyes would suggest. Only someone who enjoys humor in all of its forms would pants his opponent just to check the type of undergarment they’re wearing. Despite being a fun person Jin is more than capable of handling his own in a fight, even when outnumbered. Han and Yoo have also shown a great amount of skill when it comes to combat, Han with this thunderous punching power, and Yoo with her precise swordsmanship. Hopefully, they’re all fighting for a noble cause and not simply because they enjoy being involved in violent battles.

0 to 100 real quick

The first episode throws world-building out the window and it surprisingly works. Instead of gradually introducing us to the characters and the setting in which they must interact with, The God of High School quite literally puts a bunch of fighters in an arena for them to beat each other into submission. Apart from the motorcycle theft incident, we don’t know anything about anyone. Apparently, this martial arts tournament is extremely popular and instead of the contestants applying directly to compete, they are hand chosen by recruiters. The administrators are donned in black suits and appear to be quite the shady organization on the surface.

The winner of the tournament is said to have their wish granted, but that sounds unbearably vague and unachievable. Despite all the signs of a business having somewhat of an ulterior motive, hundreds are seen participating anyway, only for most of them to get beaten up. The anime is far from what you would call slow-pace, in fact, it’s moving at a rather absurdly fast pace that may end up being detrimental to the plot. Regardless, it still remains to be an interesting anime with much to be discovered.

Fighting tournaments are not overly complicated. Two or more people fight on a platform, and the one who remains standing is the victor. However, fans should expect the show to have a supernatural aspect later down the line. Superpowers and elements beyond any form of martial arts are definitely hinted throughout the show, especially at the beginning when an entire island is crushed by, what appears to be, a human hand. The heightened abilities from fighters will either enhance the show’s fighting scenes or blow it out of proportion with ungauged power levels. From the looks of it, The God of High School looks to take an old format and add a touch of razzle-dazzle to it that no one has seen before.

The first episode was well done, despite taking a very different approach from most openers. It has a ton of action scenes but with much of the story to be told. This mysterious martial arts tournament, combined with several characters that look interesting on the surface is a certified recipe for a worthwhile watching experience. From just one episode, we can tell that The God of High School is more than just a fighting tournament anime. Fans will just have to wait in suspense for the show to naturally unfold every week. If patience is not something you can endure, The God of High School can be read on Webtoons here. The anime is expected to air until its season finale in early September.

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-Kun or Mairimashita! Iruma-kun is about a human boy of the same name who gets transported to a world where demons and magic exist. He ends up meeting a rather peculiar girl who has difficulties making friends. This article will contain very mild spoilers.

New world, familiar environment

The most frightening part about the new school he’s enrolled in is that it’s an all-demon school, where their national anthem is a song about devouring humans. As horrible as that sounds, life in the demon world appears to be more or less the same in ours…  except for the monsters and whatnot.

Like in any school you would find today, there are cliques, clubs, stuck-up teachers and some form of a student council. Iruma was even fortunate enough to befriend a particular demon who surprisingly had no true friends to begin with. Clara Valac, a green frenzy of pure energy was, and still probably is, labeled the weird kid that no one wanted to go near, let alone talk to. The stigma was believed by so many demons that Iruma’s friend, Asmodeus, even warns him to stay away and that it’s better not to associate with Clara, or risk the chance of catching her stupidity.


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The most crushing turn of events, by far, was that the people who seemed like they were somewhat Clara’s colleagues were just a bunch of bullies deceiving her for personal greed. It is a shame that none of the other demons saw the colourful Clara through the same lens as Iruma. Within the first episode, it is evident that Clara is a ball of enjoyment that smiles even through the toughest of days. If the demons do have a glaring difference among humans, it’s that they cannot see the valuable characteristics in people.

With her bubbly personality, Clara would be able to make friends with any lifeform that contains even the smallest traces of intelligence. The demons are perhaps too invested in their historic ways of fear-mongering to appreciate the enthusiastic attitude Clara displays. But, we’re not here to ponder why Clara has had no friends since Iruma’s arrival, we are here to explain from a viewer’s perspective why Clara should have the most friends out of anyone in Babylus Demon School.

Maximum hype

To start off, Clara debuts with her patented rolling attack move where she…  rolls at a really fast speed. There is perhaps a no better way to indicate what type of person Clara is than by literally rolling onto a pile of boxes in front of her eventual friends. She showcases who exactly she is — a ball of pure energy! There is no passing minute that Clara is not seen with a face full of excitement. Clara has such an array of facial expressions that she is drawn in chibi style to better illustrate her intensity.        

She’s quick to introduce herself to Iruma and Asmodeus and insist that they play together. There is no ulterior motive behind Clara’s mindset, she truly wants nothing more than to play around with her friends. Whenever she’s on screen, Clara is either smiling, screaming, or simply enjoying herself. This infectious attitude of hers usually has a hit or miss effect on Iruma, but gets on the nerves of Asmodeus. Despite the two of them hanging out, seemingly, all the time because of their mutual friend, Iruma, Asmodeus is always angered by Clara’s rather ignorant and playful personality.

Clara does indeed burst out from time to time with random nonsense or sometimes jumbled words, but she has good intentions behind them and simply wants to be part of the discussion. Scatterbrain could be an adjective used to describe Clara, as she is always slow to pick up on things, if ever. Regardless, it is a part of her charming self and ever lovable personality. Clara always leaves us laughing in delight as she is an unexpected oddball that no one can predict.   

It doesn’t matter how long of a scene she gets for each episode, Clara always somehow manages to be the centre of attraction. Her lime green hair helps, for sure, but it’s mostly because she speaks on impulse and is very rarely ever reserved. She is more or less like an excited child but is more than aware of the relationship she shares with others. If there is a fast forward button in the game of life, then Clara has permanently cemented her foot on it.

Valac’s, the best family in the world

They say you can tell what kind of person someone is based on how they treat their family. Well, if that’s the case, then Clara is still her same self — lovely. Clara comes home to a rather large family, one tall mother, a distanced father who has yet to appear on screen, two trouble-making younger brothers and two baby sisters. They all share the same eye-catching lime green hair and two curled horns. It is evident that Clara loves her family members dearly and is extremely close with them.


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The family is so much in unison that they have their own songs that are short and sweet. Big families have a tendency to clash with one another just due to the sheer size of their members, but the Valac family appears to have no issues whatsoever. Clara is a sweetheart, and her giant of a mom is most likely to thank. 

The demons at Babylus could make fun of Clara’s eccentric personality, sure, but her inherited power is something that absolutely no one could mock. Clara has the ability to draw out any item she has ever seen from her pockets. It sounds bizarre but it’s true. Regardless of the size or weight, if Clara has seen it at least once before, she can summon a replica of it from her left and right pockets. Not much more information is known of Clara’s power, at least in the anime anyway. Nevertheless, Clara’s power also summarizes exactly who she is — extraordinary.

Another peculiar feature Clara has that is quite astonishing are her two sandals she wears, Connor and Murf. If you thought Clara was weird enough already, guess again. The two lizard-looking sandals are not just inanimate objects, but are moving creatures as well. It is unknown whether they are actual living beings, but they’ve shown to be aware of their surroundings. They are an odd choice of footwear for anybody not named Clara. Hopefully, they have more of a crucial role in the next season of the anime.          

Genuinely loves her friends

Although Clara is not necessarily known for her aptitude, she always offers her support when Iruma needs it. She may not know exactly what’s going on, or what the plan is, but she is there nonetheless, helping in ways that only she can. Whereas Asmodeus befriends Iruma because he acknowledges his capabilities and combat skill, Clara befriends both of them spontaneously out of pure coincidence.

There was no picking and choosing who she would become friends with, Clara simply jumped the gun and as a result, is now friends with a top-ranking demon and a human whose potential seems endless. One of her tendencies is to add nicknames to people, even those who aren’t especially close to her yet. She has coined the catchy nicknames Iruma-chi for Iruma and Azz-Azz for Asmodeus. They are cute names, to say the least, and serves as a sentimental attachment for those she likes. Clara is as innocent as they come, and her relationship with her friends are genuine connections that she made, despite the nasty reputation she was given.  

It’s a shame that Clara was subject to bullying and was disregarded by the entire demon school. However, had she not been a victim, her interaction and subsequent friendship with Iruma and Asmodeus may have never happened. Nevertheless, it is reassuring to know that Clara is among friends now. Even within the misfit class, Clara seems to fit in with the others just fine. She is an energetic ball of joy and now everyone else can appreciate her presence as well. Welcome to Demon School! is expected to have a second season but the timeframe for its release has yet to be announced.    

Wataten! or Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita! follows the everyday adventures of a shy college student, Miyako Hoshino. Although her lack of friends, and social life, are somewhat abysmal, she is fortunate enough to have a spectacular little sister that watches over her. This article contains very mild spoilers.  

Siblings in anime usually get along really well, or they’re sworn enemies fated to surpass one another in a duel of strength and skill. Not really, but in all honesty, they come in a wide range of relationships much similar to the ones you’d find in the real world. Hinata Hoshino from Wataten! is a little sister who may very well be the front-runner for the best younger sibling ever. Her overenthusiastic personality, packed densely with what appears to be an unlimited amount of energy, may sometimes be too overbearing for her older sister, Miyako, at times, but that is just Hinata’s way of expressing her abundant amount of affection. 

Angel’s Gaze

Hinata is always upbeat and enjoys her older sister’s company, regardless of what it is they’re doing. Simply being around Miyako is enough for Hinata to be satisfied. Her adoration for her older sister is commendable, especially considering Miyako’s tendency to be a full-on introvert. The clash of personalities the two sisters share is a stark contrast that surprisingly compliments both of them. Hinata understands that Miyako was never one to be the life of the party, but she idolizes her older sister to the point where she can’t stand being a day without her. Instead of focusing on Miyako’s traits that enable her socially awkward lifestyle, Hinata instead praises what her older sister excels at, cooking, cosplay and everything else in between! 

Hinata subconsciously reinforces positive energy into her older sister because she is perhaps the only person who actually understands her. Despite frolicking with her friends every day and showing nothing but smiles, Hinata is actually a level-headed person who is, for the most part, aware of the relationship she has with her sister, and more importantly what her sister truly needs. Initially, it was a bit rough on Hinata to divide the time she spends with Miyako in favour of the rest of her friends, even getting to the point where she would lash out. Hinata made it evidently clear that she felt excluded and that she was no longer at the spotlight’s centre point. That, however, was extremely short-lived. Her selfish days would soon be over in no time because Miyako reassured Hinata that she had nothing to worry about, that she would spend even more time with her. As much as we need to praise Hinata for being an excellent little sister, the diligent work of Miyako should also be complimented. 

Miyako doesn’t have any friends

Although Miyako is a college-age adult, her rather fragile demeanor to the outside world is a concerning issue that Hinata is all too aware of. Hinata’s friends, Hana and Nao, have significantly upped Miyako’s engagement with everyday conversations, but that alone is still not enough for the older sister to live unbothered when not at home. It’s one thing to speak casually to grade-school children, but interacting with strangers similar, if not older, in age proves to be too much of a task for the lonely Miyako.  


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It is during these circumstances that Hinata bravely jumps into her sister’s aid, to protect and rescue her from any awkward and embarrassing encounters with the general public. She puts her own well-being at risk to alleviate any discomfort her older sister may be enduring. Of course, Miyako’s daunting situations are far from even remotely being considered dangerous, but the selfless act to intervene is all the same. Hinata is a fearless spirit who would disregard everything in her possession to help out a sister in need. It is downright remarkable for someone her age to know when her sister is in trouble, but that further illustrates just how well Hinata truly understands Miyako. They have a connection with one another that stems well beyond their genetic material. A bond that might as well be attached to a much greater extent, perhaps even spiritually. 

Don’t worry! Leave it to me!

Hinata loves her older sister with all her might — this much is undoubtedly true. The love she holds for her dear sister is not enough for her to single-handedly retain, however. When in school, Hinata speaks highly of her older sister to her classmates and even her teacher. It is in no way bashful, but rather an overwhelming admiration that Hinata cannot help but share with the rest of her class. In her eyes, Miyako is a super popular beauty who dresses really nice and can cook better desserts than any gourmet restaurant can offer! Although that is quite an embellishment in retrospect, for Hinata that is her absolute truth. She sees her older sister in such a pristine outlook that talking about her charms is second nature. Miyako may feel like a phony from all the appraisal Hinata hypes her up to be, but they aren’t all lies exactly, not from Hinata’s perspective anyway.     

You never let us down!

Hinata embodies all the traits a perfect younger sibling should have, albeit a much tuned-up version. Miyako may not realize it right away, but the relationship she shares with her sister is an exceptional bond that many siblings would be envious of. The love Hinata holds for Miyako is infectious as it is adorable, a connection that not many siblings in the anime realm, or real-world, possess. Hinata is a wonderful friend and even a better little sister. Hopefully, we get to see more of Hinata’s extraordinary adventure with her lovely sister, Miyako, in the not too distant future!    

Princess Connect! seems like your average isekai anime at first glance, but sets itself up to rise above its many predecessors. This article contains very mild spoilers.

The first thing you’ll notice about Princess Connect is the beautiful animation and vibrant colours that are etched within every scene. The characters look sharp and the fantasy world which they inhabit is every bit like a dreamscape. When it comes to production quality, studio CygamesPictures have definitely outdone themselves with Princess Connect. 

The anime starts like a traditional isekai show where the main protagonist must learn the ropes of the new society he finds himself in. And in doing so, he finds a pack of allies that share somewhat of a common goal. For Yuuki’s case, he is reintroduced to the kingdom of Landosol but with absolutely no recollection of his past self or ambitions. The only thing Yuuki does remember is his name and that he is a swordsman. Accompanied by his helpful friends, Yuuki gradually relearns his identity and what exactly he was destined to do before losing his memories. 


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The Adventure Begins

The anime starts off rather lightly, with Yuuki and his caretaker Kokkoro finding the way to the Kingdom of Landosol and eventually securing a place they can call home. Not much is given of Yuuki’s backstory or Kokkoro’s either. One thing is certain, however, Yuuki has a strong bond with someone who does not reside in the real world. Ames, the mystical girl who only appears to Yuuki when he loses consciousness, guides the wandering swordsman to the best of her abilities as vaguely as possible. For reasons unknown, Ames is careful in her word choice and refrains from telling Yuuki anything even remotely useful. It is quite infuriating as a viewer to be kept in the dark about the main details of the world of Astraea, but we must trust that it is in our best interest not to know until later. 

The same concept continues among the rest of the characters as well. Pecorino, the swordswoman who excels in all-you-can-eat buffets is also shrouded in mystery. She carries around a massive longsword and is an all-around combat expert. She has tremendous strength that rivals her endless appetite and is always full of vigor, no matter what predicament she finds herself in.   

Karyl, the last known member to join the guild is a sorceress who has alignments with another group that is against Pecorine. Not much is known of the organization she works for, but it is clear that they have a villainous aura that surrounds them whenever they are given screen time. At first, Karyl was a bit reluctant to join the gourmet guild, seeing as Pecorine is a person she was once tasked to eliminate. However, the antics and constant affection Yuuki, Kokkoro and Pecorine showered her with gradually worn down Karyl’s guard to the point where she would even eat an insect meal with them — of course, not of her own volition. Although she enjoys spending time with the gourmet guild, it’s clear that she’s conflicted with what group to side with.   

A Light to Pierce the Darkness

Princess Connect also throws in a lot of characters and guilds in a rather short time frame. The gourmet guild is always running about in or outside of the kingdom, so meeting new faces and groups reoccurs in almost every episode. Not much detail is given on the minor characters, but that is to be expected given the amount of screen time they are given. Although there are some noteworthy ones that stick out like a sore thumb, like the Twilight Caravan guild with the crazed Eriko, or the beast lady Rima from Elizabeth Park, there are quite a few who are regrettably forgettable. Given the 13-episode run Princess Connect is given, it will be quite the accomplishment to give all the characters a meaningful contribution to the show.  

The group is full of eccentric personalities that are indeed shrouded with mystery, but their difference in mannerisms is how the gourmet guild operates on a normal basis. As Yuuki slowly relearns his purpose as a swordsman, it is evident that the peaceful days of the gourmet guild are limited.

For half of the first season, we are left with minimal details that are far from enough to put anything of significance together. Still, despite not having a lot to work with, we know that Yuuki, Kokkoro, the voracious eater Pecroine, and the scheming Karyl have formed the gourmet guild and are simply enjoying each other’s company while hunting down minor level quests. 

Their first antagonist, Christina, shows no remorse for the group as she crushes them easily before Yuuki unleashes his Princess Knight powers. It was a pleasure viewing the dreamy castle scenery and the water streams that remarkably looked better than its real-life counterpart, but Princess Connect surprised us once again with their marvelous battle scenes. The attacks by either side appeared to be devastating enough to level a skyscraper. They are packed with tons of visual explosiveness that it was extremely difficult not to rewind a few seconds just to view that attack again. It goes without saying that attack spells are spectacularly creative and goes above and beyond the expectations of a fantasy world bombardment.      


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Second half onward…

The halfway point of the show indicated that an evil presence is among the new world that Yuuki resides in, and that group will eventually cross paths with them once more. The slice-of-life episodes were enduring, no doubt, but an anime with a progressive storyline appears to be in the works for Princess Connect. The show’s rather slow-paced beginning sets up the rest of the story to be filled with more action and, of course, significant discoveries that will certainly propel the show to much greater heights. Princess Connect has shown that it has mastered the art of comedy and likable characters. From here on out, however, it appears as though they’re prepared to prove that they can back it up and a solid storyline and reputable antagonists. Princess Connect is an excellent show for those who enjoy comedic, light-hearted adventure shows, visually stunning animation, relatable characters and some emotional scenes from time to time. 

The anime is set to air its season finale episode by the end of June 2020, but one, or perhaps two, more seasons is probably needed to further unearth the mysteries of Princess Connect.