Spy x Family, Episode Seven, The Target’s Second Son Review: Apology Failed Successfully.

Directed by Kazuki Horiguchi, Episode Seven of Spy x Family, “The Target’s Second Son,” begins with a recap of the previous episode, which saw Anya shoot her relationship status with Damian, the son of Twilight’s target, down to negative one hundred.
Twilight, however, is determined to see the friendship plan work so insists on Anya apologizing to Damian.
Upon reaching the school, Anya reunites with Becky, their friendship having been formed in the previous episode, and she proves an unintentional foil to Twilight’s plans, wanting Anya to avoid Damian, despite her repeated attempts to apologize for world peace.
This frustrates Twilight, who has humorously decided to watch over Anya for the day, determined to make sure that her apology to Damian follows through come hell or high water.
Twilight uses various methods to motivate Anya, such as reflecting a message to her with a mirror, editing Anya’s textbook, decorating Anya’s omelette with the word “sorry” using sauce, and many more.
Eventually, when Becky becomes too much trouble, he removes her from the situation, falsely calling her on the intercom to give Anya the chance to aplogize to Damian, which she takes, eventually bursting into tears as she does so.
The sight is enough to make Damian blush, which he passes off as him being red with anger, only for his own perspective to contradict this as we see normal shots of Anya looking at him present her in an idealized light.
Unwilling to admit his crush, Damian instead cries out that he will never forgive Anya, running off to Twilight’s horror.
So, apology failed succesfully, I guess?
Damian may not have accepted Anya’s apology but he now has a crush on her, potentially opening the door for Anya to get close and eventually get Twilight close to his target.
Although, if she were to read Damian’s mind and learn of his crush, I don’t see Anya taking it well.
She’d probably freak out with another meme worthy face and ruin the relationship further.
For now, however, this is a step in the right direction for the mission, not that any of the characters know it, and the scene ends with another good gag, as we see Becky wondering just who the heck called her anyway.
Upon arriving home, Twilight has Anya study, supposedly now relying on his backup plan of attempting to make Anya an imperial scholar.
Anya does not get the questions, though, so resorts to reading her parents’ minds.
Unfortunately, this does not go well, with Twilight being too focused on the mission to be thinking of the answers and, even funnier, Yor solving math by using the allegory of dismembering a body, disturbing Anya.
Anya runs to her room afterwards, leaving Yor to console Twilight about Anya’s troubles with studying, reflecting on how she raised her brother, Yuri, who actually taught her a few things himself.
Consoled by Yor’s words, Twilight goes to talk with Anya in her room and sees that she fell asleep trying to study.
Anya even mummers in her sleep, asking her mama not to kill her papa.
So, yeah, let’s hope that’s not foreshadowing for anything.
This leads into the credits but it is not the end of the episode because Yor’s earlier mention of her brother was not just to help Twilight’s development and get him closer to Yor, but also to lead to Yuri’s introduction, as he arrives, only to learn from Domonic that Yor is married.
This cliffhanger will lead to quite a few comedic moments, as Yuri investigates his sister’s relationship with Twilight in the next episode.
Overall, “The Target’s Second Son” is another good episode of Spy x Family, with plenty of funny moments and scenes that will lead to even funnier ones.

Spy x Family, Episode Six, The Friendship Scheme Review: The Meme Face is Here.

Episode Six of Spy x Family, “The Friendship Scheme”, is an episode I was quite excited to see because it would be adapting the moment that convinced me to read the series in the first place.
This being Anya’s “heh” face, when she deals with Damian Desmond’s bullying.
I decided to read the manga after seeing this face as the centerpiece of various memes and, when I actually reached the point where Anya makes this face, I concluded that it was and still is one of the funniest moments of the story.
This moment does not come until the second half of the Yōsuke Yamamoto directed episode, however, with the first half focusing on Twilight’s meeting with his handler and Yor taking Anya to get her school uniform for Eden College.
The latter story begins with the entire Forger family going to get Anya’s uniform fitted, during which the woman doing Anya’s measurements talks of bullying and kidnappings taking place at Eden Collage, unintentionally scaring Anya.
After a couple of other humorous moments displaying Anya’s fear of being kidnapped, Twilight is called to meet with his handler, Sylvia Sherwood, leaving Yor to take Anya to get the uniform.
Sherwood is none too happy about the expenses of the fantastic filler mission of the previous episode and put off, yet impressed, by the balls of Twilight handing her more expenses, this time for Anya’s uniform.
Sherwood then informs Twilight of phase 2 of Operation Strix, the aim of which is to get Twilight close to Donavon Desmond.
The plan is for Twilight to teach Anya how to recieve eight Stella Stars to become an imperial scholar, allowing her and Twilight to infiltrate Desmond’s inner circle.
On the other hand, if Anya does poorly and recieves eight Tonitrus Bolts, she will be expelled from Eden College, ruining the mission.
Faced with this potential problem and the prospect of turning Anya into her an imperal scholar, Twilight presents a cool persona, yet, on the inside, is thinking, “Hello, anxiety, my old friend.”
Well, if that isn’t the most relatable thing said in this story so far then I don’t know what is.
Meanwhile, Anya recieves her uniform and tries it on, looking as adorable as always, to which Yor gushes over repeatedly, annoying the shop owner.
The two then go on another family “ooting”, where Anya continues to do adorable things, like show off her uniform to everyone.
This wholesome moment does not last long, however, because the shop owner is proven right when some criminals recognize Anya’s uniform being for Eden College and decide to kidnap her for ransom.
Unfortunately for them, they just happened to attempt to kidnap the kid with an assassin for a mother, as Yor quickly scares them off in a moment that had me cheering for her just like in the manga.
This then leads to Yor training Anya for fights, adding to Twilight’s stress, and leading to the hilarious events of the episode’s second half, which sees the Forgers at an Eden College assembly, where Anya is sorted into her class.
Twilight has arranged for Anya to be put in the son of Donavon Desmond Damian’s class, in the hopes that the two will become friends so Anya, and by extentsion Twilight, will be invited to Desmond’s house where Twilight can investigate him.
Yet, right from the beginning, things do not go so smoothly, as Anya is put off by Damian’s arrogant attitude.
She is also put off by fellow student Becky Blackbell for much the same reason, worrying Twilight who notices that Becky and many of Anya’s other classmates are the children of important people, causing him to wish for Anya to make friends with them so he can gather intel.
Placed under Henderson as their teacher, the class then go on a tour of the College.
While visiting the dining room, Anya is bullied by Damian and his goons, causing her to remember Yor telling her to put on a brave face in front of bullies.
So, she does just that, resulting in the meme “heh” face which got me into this story in the first place, impressing Becky and insulting Damian.
This causes Damian to insult Anya throughout the tour, threatening to bully her every day and insulting Twilight, causing a literal fire to appear in Anya’s eye.
Cue her looking to make sure Henderson isn’t looking, before throwing an impressive punch, decking Damian to the floor and proving that Yor probably taught her a little too well.
Anya plays innocent when Henderson confronts her, pulling yet another comedic gold face, yet when her excuse doesn’t work, she acts as though she was protecting Becky, earning her friendship and lessening the Tonitrust Bolts she recieves from Henderson to one.
This causes shame for Anya, embarrsassment for Yor, and horror for Twilight at his mission already being so far behind, with Anya’s relationship with Damian already being at negative one hundred.
The episode then ends on another hilarious moment, as we see the embarrassed and horrified faces of the Forger family in their class photo.
All in all, “The Friendship Scheme” is another great episode of Spy x Family, adapting one of the funniest moments from the manga well.

Spy x Family, Episode Five, Will They Pass or Will They Fail? Review: The Perfect Filler.

Filler episodes: The kind of episode that many people will not be excited to watch.
These are ones that could usually be removed from the story entirely, changing nothing in doing so, often making them less than stellar experiences.
However, occasionally, there will be one filler episode that gets it right and delivers a satisfying and engaging experience, despite not being relevant to the plot.
Well, I think that the fifth episode of Spy x Family, “Will They Pass or Will They Fail?” is the perfect filler episode.
What makes it truly great, though, is not just how satisying it is but how it also excellently makes changes to the manga.
The castle party was relatively brief and small scale in the manga, yet the anime crafts a wholesome adventure for the Forger family to have after they learn Anya has been accepted into Eden College.
Directed by Kenji Takahasi, the episode opens with the build up to Anya’s acceptance, as we see the Forgers heading to see the results, only for Yor’s braclet to break, after which they see a black cat, and then Anya notices she has stepped in poop.
These bad signs seem to foreshadow the family’s downfall, as the cliffhanger before the OP shows the Forgers realizing they have not passed the admission, only for Henderson to explain the circumstances to them afterwards.
It turns out that Anya is just on the waiting list, so she is on the verge of being accepted.
Twilight is confused that they passed after he smashed a table in front of Swan, however Henderson humorously reveals he was scored highly for that because he smashed a mosquito as well, since mosquitos are the most dangerous creature on the planet to humans.
So now, all Anya needs is one of the students to withdraw and she will be accepted into the College.
Cue Yor briefly wondering if she should murder one of the student’s parents to get Anya into the College, before immediately dismissing this as she couldn’t possibly kill an innocent person.
This gag does result in another characteristically comedic expression from Anya, though.
After this, the Forgers don’t have to wait long before they learn Anya was accepted, resulting in a crazy celebration, spearheaded by good old Franky.
All of this craziness starts with him and Yor getting so drunk to the point that Yor doesn’t hear Franky admit to stealing the answers to the exam for Loid to teach Anya, eventually building to Franky telling Anya that Twilight said he would give her anything for getting accepted.
What Anya wants, it turns out, is to recreate her favourite spy show, Bondman, by having Twilight rescue her from a castle.
Twilight is reluctant until Franky guilt trips him into doing it, resulting in the excellent filler portion of the show, with the familt renting the castle and flying in, before Twilight calls many of his spy associates to help with this “mission,” many of whom are excited to learn from him.
Anya and Franky then enact their plan to stage a Bondman experience for Anya, with Anya being the princess kidnapped by the evil Franky, who Twilight needs to save as Loidman, while Yor is “whatever” according to Anya.
The game begins with Loidman tracking Anya and Franky down to a quiz section where he has to answer three questions about Anya.
If he loses, he has to put on the Loidman mask.
Loid fails in the end, quite comedically as he is outraged that he lost because he didn’t realize Anya wanted a drink of water.
So now Twilight has to wear the Loidman costume, much to his embarrassment.
But at least it results in Anya adorably declaring how excited she is to see her father portray her favourite television spy.
With moments like this, it’s pretty apparent we will be losing count of how many adorable and memeable moments of Anya there are in this anime.
Next comes a well animated action sequence of Loidman fighting through his fellow spies to reach Anya and Franky, with a pretty great OST playing alongside this animation.
However, the game is not over when Loidman reaches the Princess Anya because the most powerful witch in the world, Yorticia (drunk Yor), is here to kick Loidman’s butt!
Seeing their little fight was great, as it made me excited for what we might get if Twilight and Yor were ever to come to blows in the future of the story.
The fight also ends with a laugh, as Yor’s heel breaks, causing her to pass out drunk, leaving Twilight to deal with Franky.
How will he ever overcome such an evil foe?
Well, with a simple slap obviously, cause Franky isn’t a fighter.
In the end, Loidman rescues the Princess Anya, resulting in Anya promising him that she will work hard at school, bringing an end to this filler part of the story.
And what amazing filler it was.
Seriously, if you have not read the manga, then I recommend reading Chapter Six to see just how much they added in this episode.
Pretty much everything from the moment the game started up until Twilight reached Anya, Yor and Franky was anime original.
Even the final scene is different from the manga, with the humor of Twilight’s boss realizing how much money was spent on this “mission” being delivered a lot better, in my opinion.
Overall, I would say that “Will They Pass or Will They Fail?” is probably my favourite episode of Spy x Family so far because of how much fun it was with all of the new content.
Wit Studio and Cloverworks are clearly putting everything they have into this adaptation and it makes me even more excited for future episodes, especially the next one where we will get the ultimate Anya meme face.
So, get ready for the “heh” next episode.

Spy x Family, Episode Four, The Prestigious School’s Interview Review: An Elegant Episode.

After the previous episode of Spy x Family dabbled in some anime original moments, the series is back to solely adapting the manga in its fourth episode, “The Prestigious School’s Interview.”
Directed by Kento Matsui, this episode begins with a characteristically humorous moment of the Forger family preparing for the interview at Eden College, with Twilight acting like a military general prepping his soldiers.
Although funny, this also turns out to be necessary because the College instructors are monitering all of the child applicants and their parents as they enter the grounds, failing any potential student for so little as lacking refinement.
The architect of this passing requirement seems to be one of the House Masters named Henry Henderson, a man obsessed with elegance.
Thankfully for Twilight, he apprears to have taught Yor and Anya well in elegance, as they all pay respect to the college’s founder, although Yor has no idea who the man is and Anya just thinks of him as a bald man.
Although impressed by this display, Henderson is suspicious of Anya’s low test score and her appalling handwriting, wondering if the Forgers could be an impromptu family, deciding to test them futher.
This first test comes in the form of a student faking being stuck in a gutter, to which Twilight responds by pulling him out, getting his clothing dirty.
Henderson is unimpressed, until Twilight reveals he brought spare clothing in preperation for such an event.
However, further testing is interrupted by an actual accident, when the farm animals escape, causing Yor to leap forward and pacify the leader of the stampeding herd, stunning Twilight, Anya, and especially Henderson, who seems to be having an elegance hemorrhage.
He runs out to thank the Forgers for their efforts, seeming to have grown a little as well, since he now gives them the time to go and change their clothes, only to be a little frightened when Twilight reveals they brought a third pair of clothing with them in preperation.
Then comes the actual interview with the House Masters, Henderson, the kind Malcolm Hall, and the vile Murdoch Swan, a man who berates the child applicants and their parents because of his own family troubles.
Despite Swan’s efforts to undermine the family, the Forgers do well, quite hilariously at times, like the moment when Twilight thinks Anya has screwed up only for Henderson to be blown away by what he views as her dedication.
The interview even turns wholesome when Anya scores her new parents a perfect 100 points, declaring she wants to be with them forever.
Of course, Swan has to ruin this moment by trying to force Anya to compare Yor to her previous mother, causing Anya to cry and Twilight to almost blow the interview by leaping at Swan in a rage, covering this up by smashing a mosquito… along with the table.
Twilight then leaves with his family, stating the perfect insult to Swan, “If making light of a child’s feelings is part of you establishment’s educational policies, then I’m afraid we have chosen the wrong school.”
This also strikes a cord with Henderson, who elegantly decks Swan for his actions.
It is nice to see how Henderson grew throughout his introduction, initially seeming to be as cruel as Swan, only for the Forgers to make him realize what being an educator is about.
Back at the Forger household, things are looking grim, as Twilight believes they have little hope of passing the interview and Anya is distraught at the thought of losing her new family.
However, the family quickly put these bad thoughts aside to focus on the positives, like Henderson and Hall looking out for them, with Twilight also growing as a person, since trusting in someone else is not something he would do in his regular line of work as a spy.
Yet, their family photo does fall at the end, so that’s a bad sign.
Overall, “The Prestigous School’s Interview” is another great episode of Spy x Family, delivering many wholesome moments between the family, plenty of funny gags, and good development for its characters, old and new.
It is truly an elegant episode.

Spy x Family, Episode Three, Prepare for the Interview Review: A Family Ooting.

I was quite interested to see how the third episode of Spy x Family would turn out, since the preview showed there would be some anime original scenes.
Directed by Takashi Kataragi, Episode Three, “Prepare for the Interview” begins with such a scene, as Yor is welcomed to her new home by Twilight and Anya.
This is then followed up by another wholesome anime original section, as Anya shows Yor around the place, including adorable moments, like when Anya pretends to be her toy greeting Yor, and great gags, like when Yor stops Anya from touching her stash of poison.
The funniest anime original gag of the scene, though, is the two moments when Anya claims to have helped, looking for approval, only for Twilight to reveal how Anya failed to help both times, causing Anya to give some of her classic mortified faces.
Afterwards, we get back to the adaptation of the manga, with Twilight running a practice interview for Yor and Anya, which goes about as poorly as expected, especially for Yor, who equates passing the interview with the passing of her victims, much to Anya’s comedic horror.
Hoping to give the two an experience of what it is like to be a cultured family, Twilight then takes them out on what Anya calls “an ooting.”
The adorable telepath then attempts to get closer to her new mama, offering to hold Yor’s hand, only for her to read Yor’s mind and hear how she accidentally broke her brother’s ribs once because she hugged him too hard.
Cue yet another humorous horrified expression from Anya as she runs to hide, before Twilight takes them all to various cultured places.
There’s the opera, where Anya falls asleep and Yor looks rather distressed, and an art museum, where Anya yells out that she can see a woman’s boobies in a painting and Yor is excited by a painting of an execution, much to Twilight’s dismay.
The Forgers’ next two stops are the tailor and a photography shop where they get an awkward family photo, before eventually stopping at a restaurant, where Anya eats with her hands and Yor is fascinated by a knife, once again scaring Twilight into thinking he may have picked the wrong family.
Wanting to cheer Twilight up, Yor takes him and Anya to a spot overlooking the city with a great view.
This has a much more melancholic effect on Twilight, however, as he looks at a group of children playing with a sad expression on his face, a moment that may not mean much to anime only watchers but, for the readers of the most recent manga chapter, takes on a much more unfortunate meaning.
Twilight does not have time to dwell on this, however, because down below a thief steals an elderly woman’s purse and the newfound family work togethor to catch him, because what family ooting is complete without bringing a criminal to justice, am I right?
While Yor initially gives chase and then helps the elderly woman, Anya manages to find the thief by reading his mind and pointing him out to Twilight without the spy realizing it.
Twilight then takes down the thief and retrieves the elderly woman’s purse, who thanks him and Yor by agressively shaking their hands, a display which makes Twilight happy, as it is probably the first moment he has ever been thanked for his efforts, since spying is naturally a mostly thankless task.
Twilight then goes on to thank Yor for changing the pace of the day, causing the two to blush and Anya to speculate that the two are flirting, earning a shocked display from both would-be parents, who deny this wholeheartedly.
Upon arriving home, Twilight again tests Anya, which goes well at first, until Anya recalls Twilight beating up the thief he caught.
However, Twilight takes some comfort in the fact that the elderly woman they helped clearly saw him, Yor and Anya as a happy family, which is key to his mission, bringing an end to the episode with the start of the ED.
This ED is “Comedy” by Gen Hoshino, and it is just as good as the OP, presenting a pleasant feel-good vibe.
“Prepare for the Interview” is another enjoyable Spy x Family episode, with some great anime only additions, which do not feel out of place at all.
This episode also does a good job of building into the next one, with the actual interview and the introduction of a certain elegant character.

Spy x Family, Episode Two, Secure a Wife Review: Iconic Marriage Proposal.

When it comes to marriage proposals, there are a lot of videos online of people proposing in the most creative of ways.
Well, I think Twilight had them all beat in the second episode of Spy x Family, “Secure a Wife.”
After all, what’s more romantic than fighting off a band of smugglers and then proposing with the grenade pin from the same grenade you used to blow them up?
The build up to this instantly iconic anime proposal is well done, with numerous comedic and wholesome moments, just like in the first episode.
Before this, however, we get our first look at the opening “Mixed Nuts” by HIGE DANdism, and I really liked this one.
The visuals start off with a noir-action vibe, before transitioning into colourful, childlike images of Anya’s experiences with her family, and then cutting back to action, before right back to wholesome at the end.
Along with this, the vocals are also pretty great.
Once the opening finishes, the Takahiro Harada directed episode begins by setting up the introduction of Twilight’s fake wife to be, first with a comedic moment as Twilight’s friend Franky dresses up as a woman to pose as the wife, only to be turned down by Twilight who wants to explore his options.
And by “explore options”, he means breaking into the City Hall and stealing all of the information on the unmarried women working there to find a potential wife.
Pretty creepy Twilight but, then again, it is for the good of the world.
In any case, this does lead to the introduction of Yor Briar (Saori Hayami) who, as her terrible work colleague says, is rather unique.
I mean, this is kind of obvious, given that she mistakes a joke from her coworkers to mean that boogers actually makes drinks taste better (god help Twilight and Anya when she actually cooks for them) but it goes deeper than that.
This becomes apprent when, right after making up an excuse of already having a bofriend to her brother, she gets a call from her boss to handle a client in her real profession: assasination.
Yor is a high profile assassin, known as the Thorn Princess, who takes out her target with ease, only ripping her dress in the process, a fortuitous turn of events, since it leads to her meeting Twilight and Anya, as all three go to the same clothing store, Twilight to get Anya’s measurements for refined clothing and Yor to get her dress sewed back up for the party.
Due to her skills as an assassin, Yor is able to walk beside Twilight without him noticing, drawing his attention as he wonders if his skills are slacking.
Yor then notices him looking (even though his back is to her, which is weird), and Twilight uses this as an oppurtunity to compliment Yor, considering her as a fake wife candidate.
This causes Yor to consider asking Twilight to be her fake boyfriend for the party, before Anya shows up and Yor wrongly assumes Twilight is married.
Anya then comes in for the save as Twilight’s wingman when, upon reading Yor’s mind and realizing she’s an assassin, Anya wants her to be her mother, so she starts dancing and singing that she wishes she had a mother.
Real inconspicious Anya.
Also hilarious.
With the misunderstanding resolved, Twilight and Yor agree to work togethor, Twilight acting as Yor’s boyfriend at the party and Yor acting as Anya’s mother for the Eden Academy interview.
The only problem is that Twilight has to steal back art from a smuggling ring on the night of the party with Franky, meaning he is late and injured upon arriving.
This causes him to get his missions mixed up and announce to everyone that he is Yor’s husband.
Twilight and Yor roll with it, however, and unintentionally embarass Yor’s rude coworker, who tries to embarass Yor on numerous occasions.
If anything, all this coworkers does is make the two more interested in each other, as Twilight is impressed with Yor’s dedication to looking after her brother and voices this, and Yor grows even closer with Twilight due to his kind words, now looking to extend their agreement.
Granted, Yor does choose the worse time to offer this extension, as she does it while the two are attacked on their way back from the party by the smuggling ring.
Although, maybe it was the right time because it does lead to us seeing the most romantic anime proposal ever, as Loid chucks a grenade at their attackers before using the pin as a ring, with both him and Yor agreeing to stay togethor for their own betterment.
Yet, while both are aware that their reasons for keeping up this marriage are self serving, they are unaware of what their true motivations are: Twilight for his mission to preserve world peace, and Yor so she will not be suspected of being an assassin.
The only one who does know is Anya and that will make for numerous comedic moments in the future of the anime, I assure you.
Overall, I would say that Episode Two is better than the first one, as it felt like it had a lot more room to breath with its comedic timing.
The next episode looks to continue this, since it appears we may be getting some anime only scenes, which will hopefully be just as funny and wholesome as the manga’s humor.

Eden of the East Review: A Fantastic Beginning That Falls Off Slightly at the End.

4 stars
The last anime we watched at my university anime club this year, Kenji Kamiyama’s Eden of the East was an anime that instantly got my vote to watch for its hilarious and intriguing first episode.
This is probably the first thing that will strike you about Eden of the East: its mystery.
The anime follows Akira Takizawa (Ryōhei Kimura), who awakens with amnesia outside the White House, naked and holding a gun.
The first person he encounters is Saki Morimi (Saori Hayami), a woman on her graduation trip who is surprisingly helpful to the naked man with a gun.
This is the basic premise of the first episode and the situation is as hilarious as it sounds.

The hilarity of Takizawa and Saki’s first meeting had the whole anime club roaring with laughter.

What was also a nice surprise of this first episode is its quality in the voice acting, especially from the English-speaking characters.
Whenever characters speak English in anime, they are usually voiced by people who don’t usually speak the language so it becomes rather hard to take it seriously.
Eden of the East does the opposite of this, having plenty of English speaking voice actors accompanying the Japanese cast and I appreciate the show for putting in the effort.
Another thing I appreciate is the great bond between Takizawa and Saki, which is kind of surprising since how they meet, with Takizawa being naked and with a gun, would result in any clear headed person running for their lives, but not Saki.  
What most likely helps lessen the notion of improbability that their growing relationship has on the viewer is the two’s fantastic chemistry, with their bond being a highlight just two episodes in.

Takizawa and Saki’s bond is fantastically done despite its incredibly unlikely origins.

So, with these two great characters and an intriguing plot that could be particularly hilarious at times, I was all for seeing where the mysteries of this show would go.
And, honestly, I was slightly disappointed.
That is not to say the ending of the show is bad, it’s still pretty good.
But I much preferred the first few episodes, which set up the mystery, rather than the last couple of episodes that ended the show in a pretty rushed fashion.
For example, Takizawa does something in the final episode that Saki does mention in narration during the first episode, however, other than this initial narration, I don’t think there was any other setup for this happening.

Despite having some scenes that felt way too implausible and an ending decision that felt kind of abrupt, I still really enjoyed Eden of the East.

Despite my problems with the ending of the show though, I know this is not the end of the story because there are apparently two movies I need to see to know how this whole mystery of the game that Takizawa has become involved in wraps up.
According to the people I’ve talked to, these movies weren’t particularly well received but I’ll have to judge that for myself when I get around to it.
In any case, I found Eden of the East to be a solid show, all in all.
The chemistry between Takizawa and Saki is great, the humor is top notch, and the mystery does keep you intrigued throughout, even if I felt the story did not work in places, especially with the end to the show.
Still, I have the movies to check out so I hope they can wrap up the mysteries that were laid out in the first few episodes well.   

 

 

A Silent Voice Review: Thank You, Kyoto Animation.

5 stars
I remember hearing a lot about A Silent Voice when it was released.
The film got a lot of praise as one of the best animated films of 2016 and there was much controversy (entirely warranted in my opinion) that films like the Boss Baby were nominated at the Oscars over it.
However, despite the praise, I never got around to watching it.
In fact, prior to a few days ago I had never watched anything Kyoto Animation had made, as far as I am aware.
This changed when news of the horrific arson attack at their studio, which has currently claimed 35 lives, hit me.
Along with this news, I heard countless statements about what a wonderful studio it was and how it not only put out amazing anime but also provided progressive working conditions for its staff, which is unfortunately a rarity in the anime industry today.
This motivated me to watch A Silent Voice and experience the emotional roller coaster the film is.
And, after seeing it, I can say that I regret not watching the movie when it first came out.
A Silent Voice is an incredibly thoughtful and tear jerking movie that can only be described as an experience.
Directed by Naoko Yamada, and based off the manga by Yoshitoki Ōima, our main character is Shoya Ishida (Miyu Irino), a student riddled with guilt over his relentless bullying of a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami) years ago.
Struggling through depression and isolation because of his actions, Ishida sets out to makes amends and pursues a friendship with Nishimiya.
And so the emotional tale unfolds.

A Silent Voice friendship.jpg
The emerging friendship of Ishida and Nishimiya is heart warming, as Ishida tries his best to make up for what he did, while not believing he deserves forgiveness.

I have to say that choosing Ishida for the main character was a risky move since showing the perspective of a bully could have failed miserably.
Had A Silent Voice gone the cliche route with Ishida simply being misunderstood and acting out because of a bad home life, it would have done so.
Thankfully, Ishida’s actions are portrayed naturally with reasons given for why he treated Nishimiya so horribly.
But, this does not excuse Ishida of what he did and he knows this.
His guilt manifests in such a harmful way that he can no longer look anyone in the eye, ingeniously shown by a blue X over his classmates’ faces.
The journey he goes through to make amends with those he has hurt and to forgive himself is moving.
Along with him, we are also given the struggles of Nishimiya as she deals with her hearing impairment in a world that struggles to understand and often lashes out.
The growing friendship of her and Ishida, and both of them moving towards self acceptance, is the emotional core of the film, resulting in many tear jerking moments.
I am not ashamed to admit I cried at the film’s ending.

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I teared up a lot in the last half hour of A Silent Voice, making it one of the most emotional third acts I have seen in a long time.

However, A Silent Voice is also an anime that deals with harsh material like suicide so it is not for the faint of heart.
Even if you think you will be alright watching it I still suggest preparing the tissues before doing so.
A Silent Voice may be my favourite anime film.
I know I have just seen it but I cannot remember the last time an anime affected me on such an emotional level.
I am just sad that it took the tragedy at Kyoto Animation for me to finally watch it.
I will leave the link to the GoFundMe page for Kyoto Animation down below.
Over two million dollars has already been raised and it would be great to see this number rise.
I hope the money goes to helping the victims and their families, and I hope this is not the end for Kyoto Animation.
I could say a number of things to sum up A Silent Voice and what an emotional experience it is but, after thinking it over, there is really only one thing that needs to be said.
Thank you, Kyoto Animation.

 

To help Kyoto Animation you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kyoani-heal