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There are people complaining about Yuki, MC of Gakkou Gurashi, being a retard and how they wish she will die in the future. They dubbed her as an annoying character who makes no contribution to the team.

To her defense, even in her denial mode, she knows how hard the others are working hard to protect her. She knows how Yuuri’s suffering mentally from trying to get things together. She knows how Kurumi keeps their area safe from the zombies regularly. She knows how Miki is trying her best to support them with her own methods. All these was done to protect her heart from breaking further, while giving the 3 of them a reason why they have to continue to survive.

It was because of all their actions she was able to carry the team during their times of despair later in the series. She won’t remain in that state for long, but once she woke up she will act as the delusional Yuki while helping the team move forward. Adding to that is her uncanny intuition and perception, which she used subconsciously in her delusional state and actively once she woke up.

This here is the scene of when Yuuri suffered a mental breakdown and Yuki decided to rescue Miki and Kurumi herself, even if the odds were against them.k021

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Log Horizon really is amazing. It’s amazing how deeply a simple anime bring out the complex effects of a game, of which the most interesting and attention-requiring aspect lies not in the game itself, but once attracted enough people, lies in the community that the game creates.

How can we as humans, if given a completely fair world by nature, shape the world into a place where everyone is able to maximize their happiness? How do we craft human/non-human rights, general constitutional laws, public policies, ethics, in a place that no natural laws can touch, no sense of nationality exists and where there has been no such things before in the past? Can humans consistently make the right decisions to not exploit or harm one another and live in harmony and fair competition, without the risk of oppressive rulers and possibly doubtful legislation and legislative practices like nowadays in the real world? If yes, what is the right way to do it?

– Newnar

Something to ponder about. This is basically the essence of the series after 10 episodes in. It might have a slightly confusing start in the beginning due to the number of characters introduced at the same time but it’s really bringing out one of the main essentials of MMORPGs, which is the community itself and how it is molded or reflected by real world standards.

On a side note, we can leave those delusional fans of SAO who called Log Horizon a rip-off and claimed to have ‘read’ the Log Horizon novels to justify that Log Horizon characters and stories are ‘weak’. Granted, I like the ALO arc but SAO did not addressed these issues since it’s more concentrated on the love drama between Kirito and Asuna.

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Anticipating both the OVA and the movie. It is going to be one heck of a ride~

The Infinite Zenith

A few days ago, I read a magazine story that gave several small details about what the Anzio OVA and the movie itself will entail. In particular, the magazine story gives the length of the movie to be relatively short, clocking in at 80 minutes. As a sequel, the movie is to be set after Ooarai’s victory over Black Forest, featuring new characters and tanks. Of interest is the point that claims that a team superior to Black Forest exists, so there are implications that the movie will probably be set at the international level of competition. Furthermore, the movie will emphasise friendship and passion as a thematic element, as did the TV series. The news article also notes that the movie will lack any unexpected plot twists, deaths and betrayal amongst the characters, suggesting that the movie will feel like an extended TV episode, centred around Panzerfahren. With these…

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Nerawareta Gakuen

Original Title: ねらわれた学園
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Length: Movie Animation
Synopsis:  Spring marks the start of another new school year at a junior high school in Kamakura. A new transfer student, Ryoichi Kyogoku joins the 8th grade. Kyogoku has a very special proficiency in telepathy and has been ordered by his father to use this ability to scan other people’s minds and take over the school. He instantly gains popularity at school from his good looks and charisma and he sets about taking control of the school. As people begin to fall under Kyogoku’s spell, he covertly manipulates his followers and pushes aside anyone who gets in his way. With the school almost completely under the control of Kyogoku, only one boy seems unaffected—Seki. Does Seki have what it takes to save everyone from the clutches of mind control?

First Impression

Boy meets boy

I have never read the novels nor do I know anything about the show beforehand. Due to friends urging me to watch it, I decided that it would not hurt to try watching the movie. Synopsis looks interesting enough. In short, a transfer student joined the school, create havoc and only one boy can turn things around.

Story and Setting

The story is set in Kamakura with bits and pieces from Enoshima as well. Looking at the synopsis, one would have thought that it will be an a sci-fi, mystery action thriller where a boy saves his school. Hell, even the title translated in English, “Psychic School Wars”, hinted at the possibility where there might be a huge battle. Never have I been proven so wrong. The story aims to explore the concept of communication via psychic powers i.e. telepathy. Add in high school drama, time travel and conspiracy and you will get Narawareta Gakuen.

Natsuki’s sad face

Kahori’s sad face

There were many renditions, or so I have read on the net, but I felt this one focuses more on the romance drama and the love polygon between the 4 main leads. The director might have probably tried to mash together both the romance and the psychic parts of the show where most often than not, they get entangled with each another and end up in a knot. Everything felt odd yet generic at the same time. Well, the sad faces of the girls tugged my heart, especially Kahori’s. Boy am I weak.

Characters

From left: Natsuki, Seki, Kyogoku and Kahori

The main characters are engaging and entertaining enough and I felt that at the very least, Natsuki has some form of development albeit I cannot say so for the rest. Many people felt that the characters are generic because the main character, Seki is a average-looking clumsy and dense boy, Natsuki is the violent tsundere childhood friend that likes to tease the main character, Kahori is your typical good girl who is excellent in a lot of things and Kyogoku the mysterious transfer student.

Kyogoku and Kahori

Natsuki and Seki

The love polygon was pretty much predictable where Natsuki loves Seki, Seki loves Kahori, and Kahori loves Kyogoku (not sure if this is the fall in love at first sight kind). Most of the time their love is pretty much one-sided thing which adds to all the high school drama. Well, only near the end when the boys reciprocate their feelings would the romance part ‘wrapped-up’.

Graphics / Music

Spectacular background

If I were to name the selling point of the show, it would be the the visuals and the production quality. We can see that a lot of effort has been put into it, what with all the details and the vibrant colours that doesn’t seem to drop for even a second. The scenery, although some are based on real life places, are still drop dead gorgeous and the character animation is pretty fluid itself. A few were too colorful for my liking but that itself is not an issue. The song by Supercell was beautiful but that’s about it. The soundtrack did not really make an impact on me. Maybe things would be different if I were to watch a second time.

Fluid character animation

Final Impression

The girl behind the mobile phone incident

One would have expected a series that focuses on the supernatural element but I felt this could have been better off as a normal romance drama without the supernatural stuff. As the movie progressed, it was evident that the movie was not planning to answer the many questions that kept coming. What really happened at the often mentioned mobile phone incident? What happened in the past between Natsuki and Seki? Why was their school ‘chosen’ to ‘develop’ the psychics? What was the basis for time travel?

Bittersweet moment

The supernatural element was never explored fully, only hinting at what might have happened. Maybe one needs to read the novels to fully appreciate what is happening. Maybe not. One things for sure, the movie was not intended for the general audience. There many core and intriguing ideas but as mentioned, the romance part and sci-fi part did not manage to blend together and leave us with close to two hours of confusion as they kept pouring in new developments. Give it a try though when you have the time.

I dream of doing this one day with a girl.

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Original Title: ガールズ&パンツァー
Genre: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Tanks
Length: 12 episodes
Synopsis:  In this world, Sensha-do (戦車道), the art of tank-combat, is a traditional Japanese martial art for girls. Miho, a girl who just transferred into the Ōrai Girls’ Academy in Ibaraki Prefecture, has been ordered by the academy’s student council chairperson to join the school team and compete in the national Sensha-do championships.

First Impression

I picked this up on a whim. Like seriously. What attracted me was probably the aforementioned Sensha-do championships where one does battle with tanks. The very notion of a ‘martial art’ involving tanks seemed silly at first but at the same time, I thought it is pretty unique as well. However, due to the many different anime where they are based on “cute girls doing cute things”, I still approached the anime with caution since I do not really fancy an all-girl anime, save for ones like Saki. In due time however, the quote “Never describe the book by it’s cover” has never been more right.

Story and Setting

Student council forcing Miho to join.

The story is set in a small town Oarai, which is indeed a real town in Japan. Nishizumi Miho is a student transferred there in her 2nd year of high school for a fresh start. Her aim was to seemingly get away from Sensha-do. Much to her chagrin, she was forced by the Student Council to choose Sensha-do for her club activities. Due to the new friends she made who wish to participate but opt out and took her side when she voiced her reluctance, Miho relents and joins the team.

A world of tanks without men.

In this world, everything revolves around tankery. Tankery is exactly what it says it is. Naturally, we will associate it with lots of men fighting for their lives, a place where women are scarce. In the anime however, tankery is one of the means to achieve perfect “womanhood”. Thus, the roles where tanks are inherently masculine are now treated as feminine in the show. Sensha-do is a tournament where schools are pitted against one another in tank battles. Save to say, the participants are all female.

The entire show revolves around the tournament and the development of the characters from Oarai Girls Academy. The plot is extremely simple: Win the Sensha-do championships. Reviving the club that has been dead for a long time and starting from scratch, the aim of the Student Council is to win the championships. Why are they desperate? You will know in due time.

The way battles are executed are excellent. Rather than our characters drawing powers conveniently like SEED mode (Gundam SEED) or through “the power of friendship” (Fairy Tail), they overcome obstacles with cunning tactics and actual strategy. Even if Miho is normally a passive character, we can see her strength as a commander. Fighting spirit is important but it is by no means a straight ticket to victory, especially in team battles where you are heavily outnumbered and the equipment you have is made do from whatever you can find.

Characters

The show focuses on the girls in Oarai Academy. Their opponents are personifications of the tank-fielding powers in the Second World War, such as Britain. The 5 original teams for Oarai Girls are:

Anglerfish Team

The 5 of them are the main characters of the show. Different personalities and entirely backgrounds but surprisingly adaptable and skilled at their jobs despite Miho being the only one who has ever participate in Sensha-Do.

  • Nishizumi Miho (centre) – Team commander as well as Oarai’s overall commander.
  • Saori Takebe (bottom left) – Radio operator
  • Yukari Akiyama (top left) – Loader
  • Hana Isuzu (top right) – Gunner
  • Mako Reizei (bottom right) – Driver

Turtle Team

The student council. Anzu the president may seemed ruthless in the beginning but given the situation , she had no choice.

  • Anzu Kadotani (centre) – Student Council President. Team commander, radio operator and gunner.
  • Yuzu Koyama (left) – Student Council Vice-President. Driver.
  • Momo Kawashima (right) – Student Council PR Manager. Loader.

Duck Team

The former volleyball club members. They wish to restore their club by participating in Sensha-Do. The “GUTS!!” team

  • Noriko Isobe (top left) – Team commander and loader
  • Akebi Sasaki (top right) – Gunner
  • Shinobu Kawanishi (bottom right) – Driver
  • Taeko Kondō (bottom left) – Radio operator

Hippo Team

History buffs. Everything they do or say is related to history, which is intriguing. Even their names and dress are related.

  • Saemonza (left) – Kiyomi Sugiyama, nicknamed “Saemonza”. Gunner.
  • Erwin (middle left) – Riko Matsumoto, nicknamed “Erwin”. Team commander andradio operator.
  • Caesar (middle right) – Takako Suzuki, nicknamed “Caesar”. Loader.
  • Taeko Kondō (right) – Takeko Nogami, nicknamed “Oryō”. Driver.

Rabbit Team

Otherwise known as the loli team. They are a team of Year 1’s thus they are the youngest team in Oarai bubbling with energy.

  • Aya Ono (top left) – Gunner (37mm gun)
  • Azusa Sawa (top middle) – Team commander
  • Karina Sakaguchi (top right) – Driver
  • Saki Maruyama (bottom left) – Loader (37mm gun)
  • Yūki Utsugi (bottom middle) – Radio operator
  • Ayumi Yamagō (bottom middle) – Loader and Gunner (75mm gun)

More teams will be created, albeit a few, later in the series. I will not showcase them here though.

Graphics / Music

The main part where the graphics play a huge role is in the battles and they are absolutely spectacular! Take a look into a normal mecha anime and the battles are usually shown in two formats; the cockpit of the pilot and the mecha itself where most often than not, it is in the 3rd person view. In Girls und Panzer, the tank battles are really brought to life with the excellent use of perspective and camera angles. Some examples can be seen below:

Each school’s overall commander operating on the hatch.

Team commander issuing orders.

Gunner’s point of view through scope.

Gunner taking aim.

Driver’s point of view.

Running from the enemy.

FIRE!

Waiting for the enemy.

Not only were the matches executed smoothly, it was improved tremendously by the soundtrack. The series used well known war songs or battle marches such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The British Grenadiers. The series used music from classic WWII films such as Kelly’s Heroes and Where Eagles Dare. All of this really helped to create a truly brilliant and memorable atmosphere. With that said, the OST is phenomenal enough to warrant me to purchase it.

Final Impression

Yes, get inside the tank Miho.

As simple as it sounds,it proves that even the most unconventional premises can become spectacular shows. Once you dive into their world, you will not want to look back. Even the ridiculous notion of the girls having tank battles without risk of serious injury or death, which was something I struggled with at the start of the series, was accepted gradually. People often compare the show with real life, or most often than not, with the game World of Tanks. My take on this, whatever happens in World of Tanks stay in World of Tanks. Hardly inappropriate to compare a game with real life, much more with an anime.

They have a very rough start, since each team have their own agenda and ideas on how to operate a team battle. This can be seen in real life where our fellow audiences voice out things like “Why would they want to drive the tanks like that?” or “Why would they want to fight in the city. It is absolutely ridiculous and stupid!” Ironic I know since if the situation was reversed they would be the ones getting comments whirled at them for doing something stupid like not moving into the city.

Deep in thought before the big battle.

The series constantly put Miho to the test since she is the only one with actual battle experience in the entire school. She doesn’t get convenient power ups like SEED mode thus she has to constantly come out with innovative strategies while keeping calm under unnerving situations to turn the tables. This happens a lot since most often than not, the odds are terrible. As mentioned earlier, everyone have their own agenda and ideas thus they would not listen properly to Miho and were not serious in the battles. Not to mention they made do with whatever they can find such as the tanks, tank parts and the likes. Miho had to literally lower the bad odds by preparation, training, and by using her brilliant leadership during the later battles.

It is fantastic though to see Oarai come together slowly and accept not Nishuzumi’s style but Miho’s own style of tank battles as the style they would use in Sensha-do. Just dive into their world and see things as how they see it and you would not be disappointed. Girls und Panzer is a truly exceptional and highly entertaining series. Instead of Upotte or Strike Witches, this resembles Saki a lot, which is a good thing. Simplicity is excellent and when combined with the uniqueness of Girls und Panzer, it is easily one of the best shows that I have watched in over a decade.

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On a whim, or out of curiosity like my wordpress and tumblr, I made a facebook page: Yamakuji

There was a small discussion of choosing between Yamayurikai and Omikuji between my co-admins so we ended up combining them to Yamayuri-o-mikuji. Shorten the name and there you have it, Yamakuji, since the original name is quite a mouthful.

Content of the page will be ranging from anime, manga and light novels to anything under the sun although we’ll concentrate on the things related to the former. We will mostly provide information we want and voice our opinions on various things. It can be an old anime when you’re still a kid. It can be an upcoming one which everyone is anticipating. Those with pages/blogs do help us spread our name around. We would appreciate it a lot. If you want a 1 to 1 share that wouldn’t be a problem since we encourage the exchange of ideas and people normally have diverse opinions on certain things.

Now onto why we chose this name.

Yamayurikai is basically a word made up of three words: “Yama” is mountain, “Yuri” is lily and “Kai” is council thus the name. However, we have taken the council word out of the word thus it is just Yamayuri which stands for Mountain Lily, a real flower.

Omikuji are fortune telling paper slips found at many shrines and temples. Randomly drawn, they contain predictions ranging from daikichi (“great good luck”) to daikyo (“great bad luck”). By tying the piece of paper around a tree’s branch, good fortune will come true or bad fortune can be averted.

This is in view with our aims because like how one ‘randomly’ draw out a the paper slips, the posts the followers will see are at random since the different admins will post different things. The posts may contain good news or bad news, as to the predictions one can get from the omikuji. It can be good news like, “This character will have a figurine soon” to bad news like “This manga is cancelled due to low ratings”. I cannot relate the action of tying the piece of paper to a tree branch’s to anything as of yet.

Thus yes, Yamayuri-o-mikuji or Yamakuji for short. We have yet to produce our own avatar and banner yet since we are a new page but hopefully, we have your support. Much appreciated~

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Generic? I could care less and you should too.

Well, said. Click on the link above to read the article. I am pretty sure those who frequent forums will come across this term at least once when the new season starts airing.

“Oh, this show is pretty generic…Drop!”

“What the hell? Why are there fanservice in this (harem) anime?!”

“I am sick and tired of the same old archtypes. Can’t the producers/author/creator/whoever-is-part-of-the project be original?!”

Yes, these idiots exist. They tried to sound professional by nitpicking over the smallest stuff. Just take a look at forums like myanimelist. Even the one I frequent was not spared from these humans. Take a look at this person commenting on Girls und Panzer after the second episode:

Generic? I could care less and you should too

From this comment alone, we can say that either:

  1. He read the synopsis, hate it but went ahead to watch it for god knows what reason
  2. He went to all the threads with similar settings and post about how he is a i-want-a-new-season-of-*insert anime here*-but-no-news-about-it-fag.

Seriously, do not put down the new shows just because your favorite has no sequel. What I am confused about for some of these people is that they complain that it is generic or lousy but still continue watching the show and saying the same old thing once again after every episode. Those who like the particular anime do not really want to bother with those who hate it but seeing those kind of comments repeatedly is..tiring. Hate it? Drop it. Stop commenting.

On a side note, I do not really see the point for someone to announce to the world they are dropping something. Then again, these people might want to sound ‘cool’ or ‘professional’ by giving a ‘constructive critic’ before ‘leaving’ the scene. Enter the new season of anime, they will refer back to the previous season like “This show is generic like IS from last season. Drop!” Oh, humans..

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