Re: Zero

This one has been in the queue for a while because I’m always late to the party but really because it has impressive plot. I mean, look at that plot.

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No, not everything I do can be motivated by cute anime girls, gimme a break (Seriously though, Rem best girl).

A lot of people have hyped this one and I figured with cute battle maids, it can’t be all that bad, right? Right.

So Re: Zero tells the story of a useless idiot that for some reason is called to a fantasy world. He expects the whole protagonist thing where you’re ‘The chosen one’ but finds out that he’s totally fucking useless. His only power seems to be to return to a very specific point in time every time he dies with all of the knowledge of the life he had before. I know there’s source material that I haven’t read, but I don’t think it’s accurate to say that his power is to rewind time but rather to send his consciousness back in time. It is through repeatedly dying that Subaru solves the various problems that come his way.

Subaru is the inversion (yep, gonna have to use that word again) of the typical video game (not saying that this is a game) protagonist. Comparing Subaru to SAO’s Kirito or Log Horizon’s Shiroe, he’s useless. He’s closer to Kazuma from my recent KonoSuba review. His only talent (and it’s a damn good one to be quite frank) is his ability to send his consciousness back in time (I swear that has to be his real ability despite openings suggesting otherwise). Because it allows him to navigate ‘Dead Ends’ similar to the quickload function in my visual novels.

This sort of power is kind of a mess to deal with because it’s so easy to make it seem like a deus ex machina device and in reality it kind of is. What I like about the way it’s executed here is that Subaru has to die first. And it might seem terrible but I think that’s the most important part. In other series this power might be activated like a ‘Get out of jail free card’ but Subaru actually has to experience the full death in order for this power to activate. Which can be excruciating because it can take a while to die.

Unfortunately when your character can return to a save point, it can make relationships between characters difficult to effectively establish because you’re playing with cause and effect. What this means is that you have to rely more on character interaction itself.Not saying that it’s a bad thing, just that it’s something to consider and all things considered I believe Re: Zero effectively executes this. And I do like how the various tragedies that happen to Subaru turn him from this otaku that was happy to find himself in the magical world into this man that has died several times and quite frankly doesn’t want to deal with this bullshit anymore. And the transformation is effectively communicated because you can easily see the intermediate steps, very well done.

My main complaint with the show is motivation and plot. Quite frankly, there isn’t any. At the end of the second season I find myself asking ‘What was the point of all that. What have I learned’. And I don’t think I’ve learned anything. So it feels like everything was pointless. Now you could point to the Royal selection process and say ‘Aha! That was the plot you nimwit’ to which I’m going to have to say ‘No, no it is not’. You are confusing ‘backdrop’ with ‘plot’ Understandable, yes, but they’re not the same thing. The backdrop is something that may set things in motion and continuously acts from behind the scenes. The plot is our reason for moving forward and quite frankly, there isn’t anything. Nothing feels natural.Most of all, Subaru’s feelings for not-best-girl. Subaru says he’s motivated by Emilia’s smile and whatnot but something weird happens and it gets to the point where what was once sweet and charming becomes downright deluded and creepy. And there are things he says that make me cringe. Jesus Christ dude.

Okay, maybe I’m being unfair to Emilia because Rem is just everything I need in a woman and also because her character is probably the most fleshed out one of the main cast post-resets. But the amount of character in the characters is remarkably tiny. We only really get development of Rem. I’ll also remind you that Rem probably has one of the most beautiful, heartfelt confessions in anime history and her character is also great and Subaru still turns her down. SUBARU. WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING.

Overall, a very beautiful anime with some epic music. While the anime wasn’t as great as I was led to believe, I definitely enjoyed watching it even if it didn’t really make any sense. If another season comes out, I’ll probably watch it. Those are my thoughts, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Re: Zero

KonoSuba

Is overrated.

As a nerd that lives in their mother’s basement, true to form I watch YouTube videos about anime. There seemed to be a consensus within the community of YouTubers that I watch that KonoSuba is a pretty funny anime. I beg to differ. Maybe I watched it the wrong way, maybe I wasn’t supposed to wait for the humour. It’s not a gag anime like Gintama.

KonoSuba is the tale of Satou Kazuma after he is killed in episode one Yusuke Urameshi style. In purgatory(?) he is told that he can reincarnate in a fantasy world. He’s an otaku, seems like a pretty sweet deal. So he takes it. The Goddess in charge of his reincarnation says that he can choose anything to take with him. Now Kazuma is a pretty serious guy and he doesn’t want to die again in the next world so he’s taking his time. Goddess gets snippy. He demands that he get to bring her with him. Apparently that was allowed! So in a fashion reminiscent of ‘Ah! My Goddess’ his story begins.

Kazuma is the inversion of the absurdly competent hero trope. Instead of being able to transcend the limits of his world through sheer willpower (*coughBullshitFloor79cough*) he spends his skill points in useless stuff that only become situationally useful. Because of this, instead of winning fights through ability, he often has to pull things out of his ass. The four main characters all seem to have been designed to be as terrible at their job as possible and the story itself has been written in such a way to make their uselessness not so bad as to end the story. In fact, if I had to sum up KonoSuba in a word, I’d say inversions. It seems to be a series that is comprised entirely of inversions and aversions.

That’s not to say that it’s bad for setting itself up like that. I just don’t see the direction. Normally these ‘standstill’ anime are comedies. You stay in one spot until the comedy is done and then you all take a bow. But those often rely on being… ya know, funny. KonoSuba isn’t funny, at least not to me. And I’m someone that rolls on the floor laughing at Gintama. There are plenty of other anime that are funnier and much better executed than KonoSuba with more consistently good humour.

Maybe my hopes were set up too high thanks to the YouTubers I watch. That’s not to say that KonSuba is terrible. I’d say that it’s even a little fun. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. I’d say give it two or three episodes and if you’re not sold, drop it. Because the formula doesn’t change for the other 17. That’ll be it from me though, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

KonoSuba

Today’s Studies

As you might have remembered, I’ve been studying Japanese for about a month now. I thought that I had grammar down pat, so I went on to studying kanji through writing essays. I then signed up on Lang-8 and soon discovered that I do not have grammar down pat. So I’ve decided to change my strategy and try reading Japanese newspapers. My goal was to eventually be able to read Japanese (maybe speak it) so this seems like an okay strategy in moving towards that goal. I have so many issues with grammatical particles that I probably don’t even understand how very little I know. Also the kanji thing is too much hassle to keep track of, so fuhgeddaboutit.

Anyway, the website I use to get Japanese newspaper articles is NHK Easy Japanese. The NHK is the actual newspaper but the ‘easy Japanese’ means that furigana will be above all difficult kanji and it has a ‘New Vocabulary’ section at the bottom which would be helpful for me if I knew how to read Japanese. Still good practice I guess?

Today I went to the library and read through three articles and I plan to read a few more later tonight. I’m going to be taking my translations and comparing them against translations that I will find on the ‘NHK Easy Japanese Subreddit‘ which is hopefully a good starting place for figuring out how wrong I am.

Each section of this post will have the Japanese version, my translation, and an ‘accepted translation’. Anything I put in (parentheses) is a note that I’ve left for myself. Anything I put in [brackets] is likely me correcting the grammar of the other translation.


Article

韓国で10日、パク・クネ大統領をやめさせるかどうか決める裁判がありました。その結果、やめさせることが決まって、パク大統領は大統領ではなくなりました。韓国で大統領をやめさせたのは初めてです。パク大統領の友達の女は、大統領の近くにいることを利用して悪いことをしていた疑いがあります。裁判をした憲法裁判所は「大統領はこの女がお金をもうけることに協力した」と言いました。そして「パク大統領は、この女が政治に関係していたことを検察庁などに言わなかった。パク大統領は憲法を守ろうとしなかった」などと言いました。8人の裁判官がみんな大統領をやめさせることに賛成しました。韓国では、60日以内に新しい大統領を選ぶ選挙を行うことになりました。

My Translation

10 days ago, there was a hearing about whether or not the South Korean President Park would have to step down. The result, President park is to leave office. She is the first South Korean President to be impeached. There was no doubt that President Park abused her power for her friend. At the hearing, the Constitutional court said, “For money, President Park conspired with this woman (the friend?). However, they also said, “We do not say that President Park’s administration was involved with the Public Prosecutor’s office. President Park did not protect the Constitution”. All eight justices approved of the President’s resignation. Within 60 days, South Korea will have an election to decide the next president.

Reddit Translation:

In South Korea on the 10th, there was a trial to decide whether or not President Park Geun-hye would be discharged. As a result, a discharge was decided and President Park is no longer president. It is the first time a President has been fired in South Korea. President Park’s female friend, is suspected to have done bad things by utilizing her closeness to the President. The Constitutional Court that trialed [heard] the case said “The President helped this woman make money”. They then said “President Park did not tell the Public Prosecutor’s Office that this woman was involved in politics. President Park did not try to defend the constitution”. 8 of the Judges agreed to have the President resign. In South Korea, within 60 days an election will be carried out to choose a new President.

Conclusion: C

So it looks like we got the gist of it. We mixed up whether the sentences were about Park or her friend. I took liberty with ‘Impeached’ over ‘fired’ because I work with Koreans regularly and figured that this was a better interpretation of the sentence. Overall, I only misinterpreted the parts regarding the Constitutional Court’s words. I’d rate this a C.


Article

2011年3月11日の東日本大震災から6年になります。バイオリンを作る仕事をしている中澤宗幸さんは、津波で流された木で「TSUNAMIバイオリン」を作りました。中澤さんは、このバイオリンを1000人の音楽家に弾いてほしいと考えています。岩手県陸前高田市には、津波が来たとき、流されないで1本だけ残った「奇跡の一本松」という木があります。9日、「奇跡の一本松」の前で、コンサートがありました。盛岡市の工藤崇さんが、バッハの「無伴奏バイオリンのためのソナタ第一番」という曲を弾きました。工藤さんは「TSUNAMIバイオリン」を弾く500人目の音楽家です。コンサートに来た69歳の女性は「とても美しい音で、東日本大震災で亡くなった人たちにも聞こえていると思います」と話していました。

My Translation:

6 years ago, on March 11th, 2011, an earthquake struck Eastern Japan. To create jobs for violinists, Mr. Muneyuki Nakazawa founded “TSUNAMI Violin”. Mr. Nakazawa wants 1000 musicians to play. In Rikuzentakata City, Iwata Prefecture, after the tsunami receded, only one book remained, titled “A Miracle of Miracles”. On March 9th, the “Miracle of Miracles” concert was performed. Mr. Morioka Kudeutakashi played a piece by Bach called “Unaccompanied Sonata for Violin No. 1”. Mr. Kudeu is 1 of 500 musicians in “TSUNAMI Violin”. A 69 year old woman that attended the concert said, “It was very beautiful for the people that passed away in the earthquake”.

Reddit Translation:

It has been six years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Violin maker Makiyuki Nakazawa has created a [TSUNAMI Violin] from trees washed away in the tsunami. Nakazawa-san wants 1000 musicians to play this violin. In Rizukentataka, Iwate Prefecture, only a single tree was not washed away when the tsunami hit. The tree is known as the [Miraculous Solitary Pine Tree]. On the 9th, in front of this tree, a concert was held. Morioka’s Takashi Kudo played Bach’s [Sonata No. 1 for Solo Violin]. Kudo-san is the 500th musician to play the TSUNAMI Violin. A 69 year-old women who attended the concert said [It was a very beautiful sound, I feel the people who died in the Great East Japanese Earthquake could hear it as well.]

Conclusion: F

As we can see, I clearly dropped the ball here. I may have misread 木 as 本. I could’ve sworn that it was 本. Ah well.But I completely misread everything regarding the musicians and the violin. I’m going to give myself an F for this one. Where did I go wrong? In the first sentence, there are two verbs side by side. I’m not quite sure how to interpret these situations. I knew that Mr. Nakazawa wanted 1000 musicians to play… but couldn’t connect it to the violin. Especially after I crafted this ‘TSUNAMI Violin’ orchestra. I began piecing things to what I already believed. I then misread ‘tree’ as ‘book’. The rest is okay though (so, 2 lines?).


Article

チアダンスは、スポーツの試合を応援する女性たちが踊るダンスです。福井県の福井商業高校のチアダンスのチーム「JETS」は、3日からアメリカのチアダンスの大会に出ました。この大会は世界で有名な大会で、JETSは5年続けて「インターナショナル・チームパフォーマンス」という競技で優勝しました。9日、福井商業高校に生徒や先生が集まって、アメリカから帰ってきたJETSの28人を拍手をして迎えました。JETSの水越麻実さんは「今年も優勝したいと強く思っていました。たくさんの人に応援してもらって感謝しています」と言いました。ダンスを教えた五十嵐裕子先生は「生徒たちはみんな頑張りました。来年も優勝します」と話していました。JETSが初めて優勝したときの話は映画になって、映画館で見ることができます。

My Translation:

The Che Dance is a sport to help women dance. Fukui Prefecture’s Commercial High School dance team “JETS” went to the American Che Dance convention. The JETS have been performing at this international, world-famous competition for 5 years, and now they’ve finally won. The JETS’s Miss Asami Mizukoshi said, “I think we had a strong victory. (Miss?) Tako (a coach?) helped us and we thank her”. This dance teacher to 50 talented students said, “All of my students try their best. We will also win next year”. The story of the JETS’s first victory has become a movie, you can see it in theatres.

Reddit Translation:

Cheerleading is when women dance to cheer on a sports match. Fukui Commercial High School’s Cheerleading Team, the Jets, have been attending an American Cheerleading Tournament since the 3rd. At this world famous tournament, the Jets claimed first place in the [International Team Performance] for the fifth year running. On the 9th, the staff and students of Fukui Commerical [Commercial] High School gathered to greet and congratulate the 28 Jets players returning from America. Mayu Mizukoshi-san of the Jets said [I strongly felt that I wanted to win again this year. I’m grateful to all the people who supported me.] Cheerleading coach Yuko Igarashi-san said [Every student gave it their all. We’ll win again next year.] The story of the Jets first victory has been made into a movie, and can be seen in theatres.

Conclusion: D

Wow, Che Dance is ‘Cheerleading’? Seriously? Whatever, that’s not too bad. It looks like I skipped a line (whoops) and I didn’t realize that they’ve been winning consistently. I didn’t see 28 anywhere so not sure where that came from, misread the teacher’s name as Taku instead of Yuko (but I did correctly guess that she was the coach). Then I got the rest of the translation correct. I’m going to go with D on this one. I only seriously mistranslated two sentences in the middle, I left one sentence out, and completely misinterpreted ‘Che Dance’ (seriously, that’s cheerleading?).


That’ll be it for this post. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Today’s Studies

My Review Process

If you’ve been following this blog for a few months, you’ll no doubt realize that while I tend to write about whatever I want to write about, I generally write reviews of… stuff. Usually games and I’d like to expand it to movies but I’m not really sure I know how to evaluate a medium that I spend so little time in. I spend my life absorbed in manga, anime, and video games, so I know those quite well. If I did eventually start reviewing movies, I would probably review them like I do anime, but that’s a topic for another day. Today I wanted to talk about my review process – particularly for games.

So what is it that makes a game good? Simple – is it fun? That’s probably it. Time to go home folks!

Nah, there’s more. So I look for a myriad of things in games. The first thing I look for (other than whether or not it’s fun) usually depends on the game and what it’s marketed as. See, it’d be unfair for me to evaluate a roguelike as an RPG because they’re two totally different types of games. In a roguelike, the gameplay is usually designed to be endlessly playable, and it’s almost arcade-like in ‘How far can I go’ in nature. While an RPG is designed as a wish fulfillment game, in which you either choose or are given a ROLE to PLAY in this GAME. Since you’re filling a role, there’s usually a role to fill, which means a criticism I often offer in RPGs such as character consistency/motivation is valid there. It would be silly and (as I said earlier) unfair to use such a method of evaluation on a roguelike because that’s not the point of a roguelike. Now this is not to say that RPGs cannot offer roguelike elements and indeed many no doubt do. Long story short – I have different criterion for different types of games.

Actually I don’t want to assign any more numbers because it’s not like I’m going through the game checking off a list. I’m just experiencing the game and these are the things I notice. So no more numbers, just observations.

There are few things that will kill my interest faster than playability. A game needs to be easy to pick up and play or I’ll just leave. I often bring this issue up when it comes to games with difficult to use controls. I shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in Euclidean Geometry to use the ‘Jump’ button. While some developers seem to think that complexity makes a combat system better, I’m going to have to rain on that parade and inform you that it doesn’t. If your game’s controls are so difficult that you need to spend a good 30 minutes to an hour inside a tutorial room, maybe think about your controls again.

The complexity of a gameplay should serve the player in allowing multiple styles of play. This is also a double-edged sword because players are lazy bastards. And what the developers might have intended as giving you options might turn into an effort in futility because the players will always find the easiest way to do a job. So in my mind, a well-done gameplay system will permit many styles of play, but again – we need to keep the type of game in mind. A game like Dark Souls permits the use of many weapon styles and doesn’t have ‘one’ way to complete the game which opens up the game to many different styles of play (though good luck doing the catacombs first). Meanwhile, (and I’m gonna step on a few toes here) a game like Pokemon Red doesn’t really permit too much in the way of variability. You’re all but trapped into using whatever the enemy is weak against or being overleveled compared to the enemy. The later games fix this by adding natures/abilities/move variability. (Though dragon types were super meta for waaaaaay too long)

Part of all games is the atmosphere and one thing that can really make or break an atmosphere is music. Music allows the developer to manipulate the player into feeling a certain way. I’ve recently watched Wolf Children (several times) and I love the movie. Some scenes are great by themselves, such as the snow scene where Hana, Ame, and Yuki are playing. Beautiful. Try watching it without music and then try watching it with music. What you should find is that the music just adds this sheer euphoric delight and turns what would be a great scene into a phenomenal scene. I have no doubt that you could also play with the lighting and music to turn that joyous scene into the prelude of something terrible. Managing the audio in your game to enhance the atmosphere and experience is pretty important to crafting a good game, and is something that I think can ‘rescue’ poor games.

I like to rag on this when it comes to games (especially RPG Maker games because they’re the worst offenders that I see) but the art style has to be CONSISTENT. Art that looks out of place is very jarring to the gaze and I’m going to be spending quite a few hours in this world that you’ve crafted. If I have an eyesore in my line of sight for most of that time I’m going to be saying “Great, I have to go through this town AGAIN” quite a few times, which may make me quit the game.

So I don’t generally don’t review games until I’ve finished them. I’ll make exceptions (game is too long, game is shit, game does not appear to have an ending) but I usually want to play to the credits. This can often be ‘inconvenient’ to a review release schedule but it does give me one additional tool: my feelings. If at any point I find myself saying “Christ, is this game almost over” it signals to me that I’m not enjoying this game. And remember – first and foremost a game should be fun. That’s not to say that bad games can’t be fun, they certainly can and I think that’s where we run into the playerbase creating their fun within the game. There’s nothing wrong with this, though it may make it more difficult for me to rate a game positively.

I do add caveats in my reviews, recognizing that not all games are for everyone. Now if you remember I wrote a post a while ago on how people review things (1-10) incorrectly. Well, I don’t use 1-10 incorrectly. So my bar for reviewing a game as positive is average or better. I know, it means that I will say you should buy most games, but that’s why you should take the rest of the review in context to see if that’s something you actually want to spend money on. Think of my reviews as a brief insight into the game that you can consider before buying them, rather than as a ‘Yes = buy, No = don’t buy’.

Anyway, that’ll be it from me for now. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

My Review Process

Artemis Learns Kanji (2)

There is now a Google Spreadsheet with my overall progress! Feel free to comment suggestions and corrections.

It’s another week, and if I’m going to be serious about this, I really need to commit to writing these recaps or I might just fail. Last time, we went over a ton of numbers and some of the easier kanji for me to read. But the easy ones are now out of the way, we need to start expanding our vocabulary and kanji that we can at the very least recognize. The format will be the same for all of these posts.

Again, I’m going to put the disclaimer: This is not an instructional guide. This is just me learning, having fun, and being casual.


  • 女 : Woman
    • jo, onna

Looks like I left this one out of last week’s post. I learned man and woman together.


  • 子 : Child
    • shi | ko

You may remember this as being part of the 学 kanji from last week. Well, it’s back and I can remember to read it (at least, better than last time). I just remember this one as being ko as it is at the end of 男の子 (meaning ‘boy’) and 女の子 (meaning ‘girl’). The kanji for the adult is at the beginning of each set so it’s not hard to keep track of the gender.


  • 金 : gold
    • kin | kane

I readily read this one as gold. This one is actually pretty easy for me to remember. To me, it looks like a person in a house hugging something close to their body. What else would we hoard but our precious metals, or gold? Certainly not children. Who would want to hug those? I readily read this as kin more often than not. Probably because I have read it most frequently in 金曜日 which is ‘Friday’. And this is hilarious to me, because it kind of means ‘Golden Weekday’ and thinking of Friday as the ‘Golden Day’ is just amusing to me.


  • 私 : I
    • tsu | watashi

I read this as ‘watashi’ as it is often the first kanji of the sentences I construct to tell myself about what I am doing or what I will do. It’s actually not terribly difficult to remember. The radical on the right actually looks like ending of the kun reading, し. And since I see it so often, I think this one will cement itself nicely.


  • 外 : outside
    • gai, ge | hoka, hazu

I find this one often in 外国人 (meaning ‘foreigner’). I readily read this with its ‘on’ readings; I haven’t come across too many ‘kun’ readings yet. The radical (which is actually its own kanji) on the left, 夕 actually means evening. On the right, we see the katakana ト (to). I remember this one by remembering the infamous scene in ‘The Shining’. To me, 夕looks like a guy raising an axe above his head, and the ト looks like a door. So axe wielding Johnny is outside the door.


  • 夕 : evening
    • seki | yuu

I first came across this when I started looking at ghost stories. To me it looks like the katakana タ so that can get confusing in a vacuum but since katakana is used for ‘foreign words’ it’s not a problem. I can use common sense to tell me “Oh, that’s not a weirdly placed ‘ta’, it’s ‘yuu’.” Or at least I often read it as yuu.


  •  名 : name
    • mai | na

Keeping with the trend of using kanji with 夕 in them, this one means name that I will often pronounce as namae. At the end of kanji it seems to take the ‘on’ reading such as in 学校名 (gakkoumei, meaning ‘school name’).

I suppose while we’re here we can talk about 学校名 because it’s a great set of kanji to illustrate what I’ve learned. So I’m not so clear on the middle kanji. However, from last post we see that 学 means study and 名 means name. *Does a search*  校 means school. So what we have is study or learning + school + name. So I can deduce the word’s meaning from the kanji used in it. As far as pronunciation, well… like I said in the last post, I’ve only seen 学 pronounced in its ‘kun’ reading in one example, so I’ll always use its ‘on’ reading ‘gaku’ for it as a first guess. And ‘mai’ is another ‘on’ reading to name. And ‘kou’ only has ‘on’ readings. So what we have are three kanji that are all read using their ‘on’ readings. It also suggests the existence of a rule – in which if the last syllable of one word begins with the same consonant as the next, we insert a short pause in the pronunciation.

So base pronunciation for 学校名 is:

gaku + kou (or kyou) + mei  | がく + こう (きょう)+ めい

But ‘ku’ and ‘kou’ have the same sound at the beginning, so we add a pause and the pronunciation is:

ga + (pause) + kou + mei     | がっこうめい

(I realize it’s difficult to see but the っ above is actually shorter than the other characters, because it denotes a pause)


  • 電 : electricity
    • den

This one is so much fun to look at and write. It only has the ‘on’ reading and it means electricity. I come across it a lot because the news articles I read often mention train and  電車 (densha) means train. It comes up again in 電話 (denwa) which means phone. It just looks like something with a wire coming out of it. It’s beautiful. I love it.


  • 中 : middle, in
    • chuu | naka

I see this one a lot because the articles I have been reading lately about the Middle East     中東 (chuutou). It looks like something ground through the middle of the 口 (kuchi) kanji or alternatively putting something in the 口 (kuchi) kanji. Remembering of course that 口 means ‘mouth’.


Again, I’m just learning and if anyone wants to comment on corrections, tips, etc. on what I’ve posted above, please do so. I’m very much interested in any advice. My current methods are reading newspapers and using flashcard quizzes. But that’ll be it from me for today. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Artemis Learns Kanji (2)

Renai Boukun

I was skimming through the upcoming anime season, looking for anime of interest that I was never going to watch. I mean, I read Danmachi back in November of 2015? 2016? And it apparently turned into an anime without me knowing. Suddenly all of my friends are talking about Breastia Hestia and I’m just sitting there like “I read it before y’all even knew about it. Goddamn newfags”.

Anyway, so I came across Renai Boukun’s image. (I do this on MyAnimeList btw)

83243

Cute girl, check. You have my attention. Then I start reading the synopsis.

A Kiss Note is a powerful notebook that makes anyone who has their name written together will instantly fall in love if they kiss each other regardless of any circumstances…

Wait, what’s that? A Kiss Note is a powerful notebook… A KISS NOTE? SOLD I AM FUCKING SOLD. You see, terminology like that indicates that this will probably be some trashy manga with references to other anime and manga that I enjoy. So I decided that I had to read it.

And I read it. All of it. In two days. It’s beautiful. I like to imagine that I am some sorta monocle wearing, mustachioed critic of high society. But I love my trashy romance novels just like anyone else. The synopsis really sells the series short. Here’s your spoiler warning.

spoiler-warning

The manga focuses on the life of Seiji Aino (English). He’s just minding his own business one day when Guri crashes into his life and says he needs to kiss someone or he’ll die. Guri is a cute cupid, a cutepid if you will, that acts as a catalyst for the story (as noted literally last sentence). Guri is actually lying, and she is the one who will ‘die’ if Seiji doesn’t kiss someone, but Seiji would be cursed with being a virgin forever. Not exactly desirable so he kisses Guri. Whoops, Guri forgot to mention that she just wanted him to give her the name of someone so she could complete the couple pairing in her… sigh… Kiss Note. So he still has to kiss someone anyway. He points out the super attractive girl with giant tits (of course) and she turns out to be TOTALLY FUCKING CRAZY.

I mean, it’s not like I don’t enjoy a nice girl with giant tits, but I kinda knew she’d have giant tits because of the harem anime formula. There’s always a girl with giant tits. And if has to be one of the first girls. And Guri looks pretty petite, so it had to be one of the next two girls.

Upon discovering Seiji kissed the Guri the Cutepid. So she tries to kill him but Guri has paired Seiji with Tits and with Guri herself so they’re share fates. Guri is immortal so they’re all immortal (but Seiji can still feel pain). Guri is your stereotypical yaoi-loving fangirl so she spends all of her time making boys fall in love. She thinks it’s fun, it’s a game, so she looks for more (male) members to add to the Seiji Harem. The rest of the manga are the hilarious hijinks that result from mixing yandere bait with looking for more harem partners.

The manga has a lot of references and with its fourth wall breaking moments and delightful atmosphere, it reminds me of that Cthulhu girl anime I watched a couple of years ago. (Google search) Apparently it’s called Nyaruko: Crawling with Love. I’m legitimately surprised by how little fanservice the manga has.

My personal opinion, the manga is pure pleasure… for someone like me that likes these trashy pandering manga. It’s a harem manga for people that are culturally invested in manga overall, rather than the harem itself. Contrasting this with a harem giant like To Love-Ru. To Love-Ru is about the harem .This manga is probably more accurately described as being about the industry. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I can readily recommend it to other people. I think it’s a very niche manga, but if you think your interests are similar to mine, give it a whirl. That’ll be it from me though, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Renai Boukun