July Anime Roundup

This roundup starts off with the ending of a watch from last season, namely: Odd Taxi .  I did not watch it when it aired but decided to give it a try on a whim during the first weekend of July.  It turns out that binge watching it was a good idea because the show turned out to be a real gem. 

Only 13 episodes long, the story revolves around a walrus called Hiroshi Odokawa who drives a taxi and who gets involved in some shady business and a number of other odd goings on. The plot is a bit convoluted but keeps you engaged all the time. Everybody is an anthropomorphic animal living in a human world and quite early on in the show we find out that our hero is not sleeping well and that his doctor is concerned, but in between the goings on we forget that vital shred of information. 

The last episode will leave you dumbfounded as everything gets tied together (although there were some unanswered questions as afar as I was concerned), and all is revealed. Or is it? I am not sure whether a 2nd season would work because by then the biggest reveal would have changed everything. But be rest assured this is one show that is worth watching.  I rate it a 10 and MAL rates it  8.67 and it is ranked #49. 

The 2nd show that ended this week was  Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? (So I’m a Spider, So What?). The story had more or less only been about the spider (Kumoko) who was originally a high school girl that was killed when her class was obliterated by an explosion. It more or less climaxed at episode 23 before the ending got delayed. This weekend I saw the ending and it was a case of “Huh? is this the same anime? who are all these people? what about Kumoko?” Unless there is a 2nd season due I suspect that we have all been hyped out about nothing and frankly it was all a load of hogwash. The ending sucked! 

The other interesting ending was that of Wonder Egg Priority which ended its run at the end of March and which left us hanging in space with the promise of a “special”. That “special” has now come and gone and it was also a case of “Huh?”. The first 20 minutes of the 45 minute special was a recap which I did not mind too much as I have forgotten most of the story already. It then meandered off into a mish mash pile of confusion and left us hanging once again.   

The story revolved primarily around Ooto, Ai, a shut-in that stopped going to school after being bullied and her best friend committed suicide. She sort of gets some sort of finality to her endgame but what we saw was a mere brushoff and everything else just kind of went down the loo. I believe that there were issues involved with this “special” so it could be that 10 years down the line we will get a remake or 2nd season or OVA.  Visually it still looked beautiful but from a story point of view it was rubbish. I rated it 4 and MAL rates it 5.14. There are NOT a lot of happy campers out there who are happy with the end result. 

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta… (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!) may just qualify as the anime with the longest title. Aired from April – June 2020, it tells the story of Katarina Claes, a young girl that has re-incarnated in what appears to be a copy of the Otome game that she was playing before she was killed in a traffic accident.  An Otome game  is a “story-based video game that is targeted towards women. Generally one of the goals, besides the main plot goal, is to develop a romantic relationship primarily between the female player character and one of several traditionally male characters.”

Many reviews have said that Katarina is a real idiot, but I really liked her as a character. She was cheerful, friendly, helpful, and ate waaaay too many sweets. Seriously though, she was a very balanced character and she became that way after a fall that led her to realise that her path in her new life had two outcomes: exile or death. She then set out to prevent either by changing how she approached life. It was a fun watch and I rated it an 8 while MAL rates it  7.50. My only real gripe is that there were too many characters to keep track of and parts of the story were pretty meaningless. A continuation season is flighting this season and from what I have seen so far it falls very short of the enjoyment level of the first.  

At times the anime shows the committee that seemingly sits inside her head making decisions and they probably mirror her personality.  

New watches from the current season

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S). This is the 2nd season of the immensely popular series that aired from January to April 2017 and it more or less has the same formula. In short a large dragon takes a job as a maid for Miss Kobayashi; an unmarried women who works in software.  Tooru is totally infatuated with Miss Kobayashi (who incidentally has a “thing” for maids). They are soon joined by other dragons who are now leading lives in the human world. The show is funny although at times the boob shots can be a bit much but it is really escapist watching. Visually very well made it is well worth wasting 20 minutes on every week. I currently rate it a 6 and MAL rates it 8.48, it is likely that I will change my rating to 7 unless the production values and story do not warrant it.  I rewatched the first season prior to the current season and to be honest it is a flawless continuation of the story although a new character has been introduced.

Kageki Shoujo!!  (Opera Girl!) is about 2 girls who join the prestigious “Red Flower Opera Music School”.  The one girl (Watanabe, Sarasa) appears to be the antithesis of what the stuffy school is about. Tall, fearless and scatter brained she does not seem as if she would fit in. Naturally she gets paired off with the misandrist Narata, Ai who used to be an idol. The latter is rapidly gaining irritation points but fortunately this series may end up worth completing, if only to see everybody proved wrong about Sarasa. I rate it a 8 so far and MAL rates it 6.96 but I think that as the show gets more viewers it may just do better. 

Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru.  (the Detective is Already Dead!) follows self proclaimed “crisis magnet”  Kimizuka, Kimihiko who encounters the mysterious Siesta, a detective battling a mysterious organisation.  The fist episode was 46 minutes long and dropped the bombshell that Siesta was dead at the end of it. that in itself is a tragedy because the character design for Siesta was stunning.

The 2nd episode then continues the story a year after the death of Siesta and hopefully they will have some explaining to do! 

At the moment I am rating it a 6 and hopefully it doesn’t turn out to be one of those badly crafted stories that relies on fan service and not much else. MAL rates it 7.66 so some people did see merit in it. 

Vanitas no Karte continuing with the every popular vampire theme, The Case Study of Vanitas involves a vampire that was born under the blue full moon and the “Book of Vanitas,” that he penned that would one day take his vengeance on all vampires. The first thing that grabbed me about this show was artwork, backgrounds are beautiful, although it is hard to say whether that will remain the case. 

So far we have met Archiviste, Noé the main protagonist and also a vampire looking for the of the Book of Vanitas — having been sent to Paris to retrieve it. I have rated it 6 but MAL is rating it 7,81. and to be honest I found it kind of confusing. 

Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (The Aquatope on White Sand)  tells the story of a former idol (Miyazawa, Fuuka) that quits Tokyo after resigning from her dream job. At the last minute she heads for Okinawa and meets a fortune teller and as a result she ends up sleeping on the beech. The next morning she is walking along when a car stops and the driver then takes her to the slightly run down Gama Gama Aquarium.  There she meets the young, exuberant and passionate “director” after a somewhat mysterious experience. Visually the show is magnificent,  bright colours, highly detailed art and beautiful character design pretty much works for me and the 2 episodes that I have watched were both excellent. Will they continue that way remains to be seen.   

I am not sure which direction this show will go because it may seemingly be a slice of life it may turn out to be something totally different. It is 24 episodes long and I have rated it a 7 but will probably revise that upwards if it maintains the standard. MAL rates it 7.59.

Peach Boy Riverside did itself no favours by starting the series at episode 4! and frankly I see no reason why they decided to start the story halfway through the story! The basic premise is a Princess who decides to experience the world outside, meeting up with a demi-human called “Frau” and encountering a lone traveller (Kibitsu, Mikoto) that is gifted with the “Peach Eye” and who goes around slaughtering monsters.

Technically I should have dropped this as it is yet another rehash of the same old same old, but having finally seen the proper 1st episode will give it another chance. I rate it 5 and MAL rates it 6.96. The series order scam will probably end up costing the show a lot of potential fans though, and we will see whether the show is any good as we get further into it.  

DRW 2021. Created 25/07/2021. All views expressed are mine and reflect no official views or opinions. Characters are copyright to their respective copyright holders.  

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Gotta Go to Gloucester (2)

Continuing where we left off

Gloucester Locks are the entrance to the harbour from the River Severn.  This image was taken from the harbour side lock gate looking towards the Severn. I covered the locks route in a post way back in 2017 

Had I been entering the harbour system from the Severn I would be seeing the view below instead. 

I watched the antics surrounding this vessel for awhile, but I could not work out what they were trying to do. It was a relaxing sort of scene though but realistically I could have been there for hours and they would probably still be doing it. I do not have that kind of patience. Besides, I needed to watch the time as I still had to get to the bus station and wanted to at least try to see the Cathedral.

Messing about with boats.

As I exited the harbour I spotted a large egg shape ahead and just had to investigate. Way back in 2015 these had been scattered around the town for the Rugby World Cup. I was not really interested in pursuing them all so photographed them when/if I saw them. This particular one was labelled “Colour the World” by Swarez. and it looked like this way back then:

And this is what it looks like today…….

Having seen the results of over 5 years standing around doing nothing I felt suitably invigorated but was starting to get tired.  I bid the narrow boats farewell and looked for the way out. 

Would the Regiment  give me a lift? Nope, even the Army seemed to be closed.

Ferret MK 2 Reconnaissance Car

I spotted a likely alley with signage pointing towards the Cathedral area and  started the long plod back to town (I hoped.)  Once underway I spotted my target in the distance. 

Just a quick detour for some artwork….

I had emerged into Westgate Street and somewhere along here was an alley that led to the Cathedral Close. That spire in the middle belongs to St Nicholas Church,  which was declared redundant on 7 May 1971, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 25 June 1975. I doubt whether I ever had a look around the church but will remember it for next time. 

This wonderful alley leads to St Michael’s Gate which was the entrance to “the lay cemetery”, and was used by pilgrims to the shrine of Edward II. It also has a quirky secret in the corner:  Beatrix Potter’s “Tailor of Gloucester” “lived” in the shop. 

I did not have the time to visit the Cathedral any longer, but took a quick look before heading for  tourism office to enquire about “facilities”. 

Fortunately the “facilities” were in shouting distance and I was also able to stock up on a bottle of Ribena which I emptied even before I hit the bus station. It was now really a matter of following the arrows till I got to the bus station, pausing for a quick pic of  ancient Roman. Gloucester was founded in AD 97 by the Romans under Emperor Nerva (that’s him on the horse) as Colonia Glevum Nervensis, and was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II.

One last surprise was awaiting me as I passed between the scaffolding on the way to the bus station:

 You just have to love public and street art! 

And then I was on my way home. I was exhausted, dehydrated, sunburnt and worn out after my jaunt.  I do not have the stamina any longer due to the enforced 2020/21 stay at home. And, I am getting on too, plus I always have to bear in mind where the next loo may be.  They are all challenges that I need to deal with, but for tonight I would be able to sleep like a log.

DRW © 2021. Completed 21/07/2021

Posted in Churches and Cathedrals, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Heritage, Hobbies and Interests, Personal, Photo Essay, Retrospective, Ships, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Gotta Go to Gloucester (2)