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The World God Only Knows ep4: “On a Crusade”

Opening with a very different tone, quite solemn, it seemed that we were in for an arc with a darker character, shrouded in mystery. The art room, the epic music… 17

Dark music featuring an organ in the background right after the OP, seemed to reinforce my view right up until the epic voice started talking. About the game which cannot be conquered…

So yeah, stop reading RIGHT NOW if you hate minor SPOILERS.

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Soon enough we discover that the whole episode is in fact about a certain video game, which is infamous for being impossible to complete. i.e.. A heroine whom has never been ‘rescued’ in a galge. Keima, being the ‘God of Conquer’, obviously cannot accept this. So begins his journey to conquer Sora, the blue haired artist who wants her sketchbook to be seen by someone.

But it can’t. Why? It’s rather sad to find out that the reason why nobody can see her sketchbook is in fact caused by a massive glitch in the game. A event loop, with no way around it. However, Keima’s determination leads him to attempt every single combination of choices within this game.

So basically, this is a melodramatic filler episode which is pretty damn funny if you don’t allow yourself to be annoyed by repetitive scenes. Keima encounters sound bugs, upside down characters, Sora appearing as a creepy old dude and a random dodgeball minigame appearing during a lunch sequence. All of this, in a game which cannot be saved.

One thing we do learn from this episode is something about Keima. His intense focus and determination, which is noticed by Elci who comes to appreciate this powerful trait within her pretend-brother.

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Oreimo Episode 4

We open with a important lesson for online safety, remember: people are ‘totally different person[s] online’! Remember that kids! After this battle sequence from some rather perverted fighting game, this episode begins…and it sure has a lot worth talking about. New characters, thrilling chase-type-thing,

There are still considerable occurrences of Kirino’s selfish and rude behaviour, which is kinda annoying. Though that’s clearly the intended effect. On top of that, she continues to deliver violent attacks on her very tolerant brother, who shrugs it off and laughs at his sister worrying about her appearances and correcting the way she acts in order to avoid looking ‘lower’ than her teen girl model status.  On the other hand, it’s good to see that she hasn’t completely changed after that one powerful glimpse of sincerity we saw in the previous episode. If we look at it this way, they’ve done quite well in following up the serious tone of the previous episode. It shall be rather enjoyable to see this tsundere grow into a better person!

For ecchi fans out there, we get our ‘hands’ on’ panty shots and falloveroopsimviolatingyou type thing after a very funny scene involving brother, sister, slow motion and a box. Leading up to that, we saw what you could call fanservice teasers, with panning of Kirino’s legs, almost-pantyshots and the such. But yeah, if Kirino is your cup of tea, you get a good taste this time around.

We also get a taste of girly gossip with Kirino inviting her friends (the pretty omgiloveyourshoes type) for…some girly gossip I guess :P Kyousuke, who is demanded by his sister to remain hidden from sight, manages to hear it all through his walls, which gets on his nerves. Speaking of which, I was in the library today after all my friends had left following our exam, just reading some manga (decided to start Naruto, cos they didn’t have volume 2 of some shoujo I was reading) when two girls in my grade decided to sit in within hearing range. I decided to respect privacy like the good man I am and not listen in, but I couldn’t help picking up things like “boys are sooo horrible”, “boys like, don’t understand” and even “Maybe I should just go lesbian, at least we can understand each other”. Then I coughed and made my presence clear again…

Girls :P haha

Back to Kirino and her friends gossiping. Actually, let’s move on to Kirino’s friends. I try not to spoil anything, but it is basically 100% certain that one of them will become a more important character soon. Should be good!

The latter half of the episode deals with the otaku group’s journey to Summer Comiket, which I thought was rather cool. The sheer enormity of that convention astounded me, an Australian who has been to Animania and Smash!. The long lines, blazing heat and excitement upon entering all brought back that familiar feeling that every otaku holds dear. What I didn’t have in my experiences, and would certainly not hold dear is a little rude girl complaining relentlessly. Gosh!

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Bakuman Episode 4: ”Time and Key”

This episode also does deliver some of the more technical aspects of manga drawing and production, with Saiko going over some basic features of different types of ink pens, including the ‘pro’ level G-pen which is used for its variation in thickness through expert control, the steady Kabura and the thin maru/round pen. It’s a cool scene especially for those more art inclined. Additionally, Saiko gives Shuujin an explanation of the process of converting a name draft into a full fledged manuscript from the practice-makes-perfect inking, to the long process of applying tone and effects. Scenes like these are what make Bakuman unique and so appealing to the art crowd.

This episode mainly addresses the duo’s actual actions towards their dream, which they begin to realise isn’t their own. The two learn that others their age are aiming for the same goal, and that there is no time to waste as a talented young mangaka (who we get a short glimpse of at the end!) starts to gain fame. The bond between the two strengthens as they make sacrifices for each other, their own health and develop trust. With that, they set their priorities and give it their 100% devotion! That being said, I do hope younger viewers do realise that it is a story; chase your dreams, but remember that school is still kinda important!

And so is sleep!

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The World God Only Knows ep3: “Drive My Car/I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”

The mini stories of romance continue in The World God Only Knows with the closing of the Aoyama Mio arc. It was a pretty good episode, but really nothing special about it. It all progressed as expected from the previous episode in a well executed manner.

After this well balanced episode with serious heartfelt moments and sweetness bound to make you smile, I really hope to see some of these “conquered” characters return. Despite them being clichéd (intentionally), these conquers seem to be making Keima learn about real life (and real girls), which is likely the way the story progresses…but with that, I feel somewhat upset for him. After having these girls fall in love with him and then completely forget about him must tear a hole straight through his heart, even if he does understand the reasons behind Elci’s mission. We start to see hints that Keima is rather upset about this, even though he shrugs it off and moves on.

Anyway, I’m sure that down the track, after completing his quest he will have an actual romance arc! Until then I should just enjoy these mini-arcs and try not to worry about his emotional capacity to pick himself up and move on!

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俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない Episode 3

I tend to be a bit more critical of some series are hyped a lot but appear fairly typical on a first-look. For me, Oreimo sat nicely in that category. Firstly the premise is reaaaaaaaaally strange, plus I had said that some of the characters seemed a bit ordinary. My fellow otaku had been excited about this series whilst I was still a bit doubtful. This episode turned my opinion right around.

Starting off with just another day in the lives of the characters, we see Kirino once again listening in to the otaku boys and smiling. Soon after, we learn that she has quickly become bestfriendsforlife with Ruri (the girl wearing some black cosplay dress). They comfortably chatter along on their phones, which shows us that Kirino has found what she was looking for and is able to express herself with somebody, in an area that she had kept hidden for a long time. Expressing herself in a way that is a perfect representation of an otaku’s rambling. Another nice touch is that we are shown for the first time Kirino at work as a model. We see her posing with her colleagues and smiling, like some annoying teen model. And yes, fans are…blessed (for the lack of a better word) with a quick panty shot. Some would consider that a bonus, whereas others would feel it’s unnecessary.

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After a series of events in Akihabara, we come to a turning point when Kirino discovers that her fellow otakus need not hide their hobbies from everybody. They were comfortable with it all, and don’t feel the need to be afraid of what others think. This seems to be quick reflective of what some otakus go through in real life, which gives this series added value with its connection to reality.

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