Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Simulblast! Week 001 Of Winter 2014

Time to find out who our players are, what show they've got, and if they can survive the gauntlet of Simulblast!

THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE: Predict how your show will end based on the first episode!

WAKE UP, GIRLS! (Episode One)

PLAYER: Kanashimi


It's time to start a new series, and, to be fair, there wasn't a lot that caught my eye this season. Thankfully, Simulblast! doesn't really take into consideration what you would prefer to watch and instead hands you a show. I like this approach in a lot of ways, mainly because I've found I don't have a genre of anime I really detest; I can name some sport shows I like and others I dislike. I mean I'll always prefer a magical girl show over a documentary, but hey, that's just proprieties. Either way, having no clue what Wake Up, Girls! will be, besides perhaps a slice of life, I'm somewhat hopeful it will be entertaining enough. I don't expect fireworks, but considering my current opinion on Japan's idol industry, this could go south very quickly.

The show starts with an explanation of how, on Christmas, these "Wake Up, Girls!" preformed their debut stage. It then cuts to a 2chan board for idols and mentions one by name: Mayu Shimada. She apparently was kicked out of her previous group and comments from visitors to the site are asking if her family committed suicide or if she's returned to idol work. She was one of the individuals on this small Christmas stage.

I'm already somewhat surprised how realistic the show is portraying itself. While gossip and critical opinions towards celebrities aren't uncommon, I do feel like there's a whole other level when it comes to Japanese idols. From head shaving to hand shaking events to date bansit's a different world for many of us. If we see these types of struggles and a realistic portrayal, I will be amazingly impressed.

Cue the opening which is super slice of life and moe with an incredibly forgettable song. The reasoning is because it sounds about as standard fare as you can get for a Morning Musume-AKB48-S/Mileage theme song. The ironic thing here with me watching this sort of show is I'm actually not the biggest fan of idol music. I find much of it predictable and so cookie cutter that very little surprises me. Obviously there is always something in a genre you'll enjoy if you look hard enough, it just isn't my favorite. Once again, priorities!

We cut between this girl named Mayu visiting a shrine and getting a good luck signal as well as a male character named Matsuda who has woken up from some bad dreams. If I was going to guess, I assume Matsuda is the Wake Up, Girls' producer. He seems to be quite a pessimistic, which is a nice contrast to the many girls that are being introduced to us. I assume Wake Up, Girls! is a group of around seven to ten girls or so. We find out Wake Up, Girls! belong to Green Leaves Entertainment, and many of the girls know little about Matsuda and how to get ahold of him. Perhaps their Christmas stage wasn't worthwhile? It seems as such considering Matsuda has collection notices littering his coffee table.

My mistake, Matsuda is the company's president, but I assume they're short-staffed, and he probably does all the producer duties. Apparently Matsuda is debating on whether to keep the business open while the girls are fairly adamant on convincing him. So far we've met the following:

* Mayu, a former idol

* Airi, who seems rather normal

* Miyu, who used to work at a maid cafand is quite cheerful

* Nanase, rather quiet and emotionless (perhaps a tsundere?)

* Kikuma, a girl who seems to be friends with Nanase and likes fashion

* Minami, the youngest of the idol group

* Nanami, a would-be actress

As you can see based on their description there was very little development on each character. Their introduction seemed rushed and it made it somewhat difficult to keep track of them all (which ironically is a very real problem with idol groups). Matsuda has called them all to an emergency meeting, however, to introduce them to us.

At this meeting we discovered he's made a connection with a famous producer named Sudo. They apparently saw the Christmas concert and that they would aide in managing the group. Obviously, this could be some sort of trapAt least three of the girls are also as suspicious as I am. At this point we found out the previous president literally up and left with all the money in some sort of drunken rage, so the girls are somewhat worried of Matsuda's capability to properly network and work with Sudo. He gives a dramatic speech, and the girls walk off to go do typical moe things elsewhere.

The Wake Up, Girls! rival group I-1 (which is the group Mayu came from) is going to be building a theater in the area. It's quite obvious that they are indeed an AKB48 rip-off when you consider the theater, outfits, etc. So, by default, I have to dislike them, as I have yet to find a single piece of AKB48 music I enjoy. I'd also rather not get into that debate about girls underage in underwear and kitty ears licking each other for a music video, but hey, some folks are into that.

We're finally shown the Christmas performance that has been highlighted this entire time. The girls are preforming in their school uniforms (which are all different), and there's ample panty shots that kinda distract from the entire thing. I almost think it ruined the magic by revealing it.

We're now forwarding to the moment the company meets Sudo. This guy that looks super sleazy and is already asking them to get into bathing suitsthis is quite an interesting development. There obviously are more teasing and adult-like idols like gravure modeling, so it makes me wonder if that's all this guy knows. We won't find out though, since the episode is over and the ending song is putting me to sleep since it sounds like a Christmas carol!

Despite what I've said I don't dislike anything I've watched, I just find it pretty standard. I do think the issues that the show is presenting are really intriguing and will probably be what I find the most entertaining. I'm quite sure that the show will end with them either by becoming super-duper famous and preforming at Kohaku Uta Gassen (or maybe the Tokyo Dome?), or they'll all grow up and realize idol life isn't for them, leaving the experience to become better people. There's really only two ways for it to go: the girls staying together "indefinitely" or splitting up to do other things. If the show does continue to present realistic issues then it's actually rather probable that they'll all go in different directions by the end of the series. We'll have to wait and see!

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SAKURA TRICK (Episode One)

PLAYER: Midnight


Welcome back to Simulblast of the winter season. Fall was quite the ride, but I'm done with that series now, and it's time to move on. It's like moving from middle school school to high school. Like the girls here in Sakura Trick. Now let's dive right in. We start the episode focusing on Haruka, who is excited to be starting high school tomorrow. She heads to sleep to get ready for her big day at 1:34 in the morning. Her 'Friend' and rather obvious crush calls her to make sure she's ready for school. Seriously, who does that? I'd turn into a bear and eat anyone who dared call me at that hour when it wasn't an emergency. Oh well, Haruka doesn't seem to mind. In fact it throws her off into fantasy land where she dreams of how cute Yuu-chan will be in her baggy uniform, how they'll sit together in class just like they did in middle school. How sweet. We cut to the opening, which is pretty clear about what kind of anime we should be expecting here. Super cute, full of girls kissing. It seems from the opening we may even have more then one pairing. The song is "Kiss [and] Love" by Tomatsu and Iguchi, and it's actually super catchy. I recommend everyone check it out, and maybe go request it on the forums. In typical anime fashion, Haruka shows up late to school. They head in to find out they're in the same class, but fate is a cruel mistress and they're sitting on opposite sides of the room! That's okay though, Haruka's new neighbor Yuzu is super cute too. Now it's time for the entrance ceremony. We take some time in class to introduce the other characters and then skip off to the next scene, in which Yuu falls asleep against Haruka, in turn Haruka falls asleep against Yuu. This may teach us a very important lesson about calling our friends at one in the morning on a school day! Now there is drama in paradise! Two other girls have come in and grabbed Yuu's arm! Haruka gets super jealous that other people have taken her "treasured spot" and runs out of the room. She finds herself in an abandoned classroom. In a totally cliche turn, the cherry blossom petals rain in as Yuu catches up with her. After a few moments of heartfelt words and awkward comedy, they share a kiss in this abandoned classroom. How scandalous! Though I'm sure right now you're imagining some cute peck on the lips you'd see in most animes like this. No, they make out until neither of them can breathe and they pass out. This marks the mid-point of the episode. We move to what I can only assume is a few days later. They return to the abandoned classroom to take a look around, despite the fact the teachers told them not to go in there. We have a small comedy bit about how bad Yuu's memory is, Haruka thinking that she may of forgotten their important kiss. There's no time to think about that though! The teachers are coming, it's time to hide. They jump onto the veranda outside of the classroom and fall on top of each other. We cut back to the classroom where we find out that Yuzu asked the girls to go out and buy her Yokisoba bread for lunch. However she wasn't very specific on what she wanted, so Kaede is sure they're going to bring her cup Yokisoba instead. Who cares about this food discussion! Girls are making out! We go back to a mixture of comedy and making out with Haruka and Yuu as the others slowly starve. After they're done making out they go to leave the abandoned classroom only to find that they've been locked in. Now they can't get the things they bought back to the others! It's fine, they have a plan. They'll just go out onto the veranda and walk until there is a jump. After we grab boobs and talk about cup sizes, We end up with the jump that defies the laws of physics. Oh anime, why are you so good at that? As luck would have it they land right outside their own classroom and they get the Yokisoba to Yuzu .though it isn't cup or bread. Now I'm hungry . Overall: I'm not sure at points if this show is trying to be a fan service with the amount of boob jiggling from Haruka, but if that's my only complaint. We're already doing bounds better then Diabolik Lovers. It's cute; it's light hearted; it's bright and vibrant. I really like this show so far. As for how it's going to end, just off the first episode? School wide scandal about the lesbians, perhaps with some dramatic hearing about throwing them out of school or it could just totally end with them becoming an official couple. The court hearing sounds more fun though. I'll see you guys on episode two!

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Welcome to the first episode of the winter season's Simulblast! As Gundam series are always way longer than others, I'm still watching Build Fighters, which is awesome. This has been the silliest episode ever. We've just come out of a cool battle royale, and this episode is all about one on one match ups. However the episode is not without it's gimmick. so if you were going in thinking this would be all awesome battles, you're mostly correct. Before we start, though, the conclusion of the cliffhanger. Yes, Reiji got his wrist smashed with a baseball bat pretty hard, but he beat the crap out of all the punks, causing a Reiji Aila tsuntsun scene. The next day, Aila seeks out Reiji and has ANOTHER tsuntsun scene, but it's obvious the romantic spark is there behind all the tsun. Afterwards Sei and Chiina show up with Ramba Ral, who apparently has hemorrhoids all episode. But that's TOTALLY not the case, which leaves me wondering if this is some Japanese cultural joke I'm just not getting? Regardless, the show must go on, and, as we learned last episode, the secretary has a foolproof plan to defeat the Build Strike using Luang Dallara, the Thai champ. The one on one battles for this round all have a special random weapons rule! Much like a Gashapon machine, you spin the dial and get a random weapon. From there the combatants are paired up and they do battle. And like the movie Battle Royale, some weapons are better than others. We get a quick montage of the main players taking out the riff raff with whatever weapon they've been given, ranging from spray paint to scissors. Sei and Reiji step up to the plate literally and figuratively, as they get a baseball helmet, glove, and three Ball-shaped balls. After this discovery is made a baseball stadium rises out of the ground around them. Up to bat is Luang of course, with a mean looking baseball bat weapon. Yes. This is a baseball episodeJapan loves baseball as much as (or more than) soccer, and this isn't the first anime series to have an off topic baseball episode (I'm looking at you Samurai Champloo). Sei reassures Reiji, who has no idea what baseball is, that they have the upper hand because even the best batters only have a 30% hit rate. However, Luang Dallara was an all star ace on a national Thai baseball team. He had a hit rate of 89%. THIS is the plan the secretary put into play. The first throw is hit and is a foul ball. The second throw is caught by the Build Strike's glove, but destroys it's arm and disintegrates, leading to another foul. It's down to one last pitch. Sei gives Reiji tips on how to pitch like an anime character, and they use some sort of special system to power up the pitching arm which I'm sure we'll see more of in actual combat. Reiji winds up and pitches! The bat connects, but the bat and ball are in a power struggle. Of course, Reiji and Sei win, and the secretary is completely awestruck. Luang isn't sad about his loss, though; instead he's pumped up and assures them they'll have a rematch one day. Honestly, this has been the weakest episode so far for me. The baseball gimmick just wasn't to my tastes. I'm really hoping next episode has some good fighting. As for the end of this series, I'm pretty sure that the alien subplot and plavsky particles will lead us to having full sized Gundams with the pilots of the toys becoming full fledged pilots of life sized versions of their custom models. I don't think it'll end with the world tournament's champion being declared. The alien subplot is too interesting to ignore.

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NOBUNAGUN (Episode One)

PLAYER: Bobby Henshin


Time: The stream in which all things in existence flow and meets their end. Reincarnation: The theory of a persons essence surviving through the years in their descendants. These two words, Time and Reincarnation, play a heavy role in this story. As a blanket of fire covers the land, black flags dawning the image of the Chinese plum blossom wave in the burning night sky. The Demon King, Oda Nobunaga, rushes to his weapons room and reaches for his gun. As he does, he is stopped by a sword running through his chest. His final sight is that of a dark figure with a single glowing red eye. With his final breath he muttersMitsuhide. Turns out it was all just a dream! Don't you just love when that happens? Welcome back to the winter season of Simulblast everyone! We meet our protagonist of the series named Sio Ogura. She awakens, startled by the dream and checking her stomach for the stab wound. She wonders who she was dreaming about and why she looked like a man with a weird mustache. When you look at her room, it is covered in plastic models of tanks, planes and other military grade vehicles. So it is safe to say that she is a weapons otaku. One thing you will also notice about this anime is that the shading is replaced by transparent flower patterns. Back to the story, though; Sio realizes that she is going to be late for her class trip to Taiwan. Upon arrival to Taiwan she does some sightseeing on her own, taking pictures of everything she sees. We also cut back and forth between her and three other girls doing the same thing. At a giant lake, Sio finds a stand that sells sweets. She nervously asks the owner for one sweet roll but realizes she is still speaking Japanese and rushes for her Tai translation book. Turns out that the seller also speaks perfect Japanese thanks to his grandfather. We will get to why this is important later. Sio sits down and eats the sweet roll as she is approached by one of the three girls we have met earlier. Kaoru Asao, The most popular girl in school, decides to say hi to Sio and asks about the sweet roll. They exchange light conversation as Asao asks if she would like to join them in going to this giant statue of a famous Tai figure, The Emperor of the Dark Heaven. Sio declines the offer, because she believes that the most popular girl in school should not be seen with an outcast such as her. Asao says alright and starts to walk away when she catches Sio by surprise and snaps a picture of the two with her phone. "I will hang out with whoever I wish, but if you are sure then this picture will just be the start. Okay?" said Asao with a huge grin on her face. Sio blushingly agrees as Asao walks away towards the statue. With the thought of a new friend in her head, Sao sees the sky suddenly turn dark red and black with what looks like blue lines rising from the ground. She looks up and sees a Tai military jet flying towards the city as it fires missiles. Surprised, Sio looks towards where the missiles were fired to see a giant spider-crab-like monster walking in the city. The next sight is of tanks flying through the air, towards her no less! Luckily she was not hit but sees one of the tanks retaliate with cannon fire. It does nothing to hurt the beast. Suddenly, the monster starts shooting what look like scales everywhere. They start landing on people, crushing cars, or just hitting the ground. The scales then start to explode, causing panic, destruction and death. Sio is frozen stiff in fear at everything around her. She turns around to see the stand where the nice sales clerk who sold her the sweet roll is destroyed with no sign of the store owner. Thinking that the owner was killed, she finally snaps out of her fear by realizing that her new friend, Asao, is in the giant statue and rushes to her aid. She finds the two other girls that were with Asao limping out of the statue. They tell her that they did not see her after the explosions. Sio finds her down in the water under the bridge , still alive. We cut to now what looks like a submarine base with people at hologram computers. We see a mysterious man with glasses and an old woman in front of a tank of water with a shadowy figure inside that resemblesa humanoid bunny. That's right, a humanoid bunny. They contact the Tai government to stop their attacks as they send in a new solider codenamed "Jack The Ripper." They send him via the most manly and quickest way possible air missile! I kid you not, they send him into the battlefield via air missile. When the missile lands, the bottom half opens to reveal a tall, white haired man with sharp teeth and big hands. After making smart remarks at the beast he grabs a ball with weird marking that look like magic circles on it. The ball starts to glow as his arm turns into a sword. Yes, his arm turned into a sword. Well, not his whole arm; a sword appeared on his wrist but it was for dramatic effect. Jack The Ripper fights off the monster to near death when he is then stabbed from behind by a smaller horned creature. He turns around to realize that it was not a giant monster, but a carrier ship for hundreds of smaller monsters, deciding now to call for backup. After viewing the fight and events, Sio jumps into the lake to save Asao. Jack is thrown in between the two when he notices Sio. He yells at her to run but she is not going to leave without Asao. Collapsing from the lack of blood, Jack falls into the water and passes out. Sio's eyes are now drawn to the glowing, round ball that Jack once held. She stares at it as if she had seen it before. As she picks it up, flashes of her dream of being Oda Nobunaga run through her mind. Back to the sub, we see the bunny like figure notice the change and mutter " Nobunaga?" We are now in a room similar to that of the training stage in Street Fighter 4 where we see the humanoid bunny and Nobunaga talking. The humanoid bunny tells Nobunaga that, upon his death, he took his essence into a bottle and will reform it to create a reincarnation that will one day continue his blood line and use his soul to help save the world from these creatures. The glowing ball is used by the reincarnation, using the essence of their ancestor to create whatever weapon they desire. With a smirk, Nobunaga tells him that if she is truly his reincarnation, she will choose a gun. And so the weapon Nobunagun is born! That is when the opening for this series starts playing. I am not going to lie. I am really excited to see where this series goes. The concept of humans that are the decedents of past historical figures and using the powers of their ancestors to create weapons and fight monsters is a fun and brilliant idea. I cannot wait to see what historical figures they use next. Given the plot of this show I'd say we are looking at a 25 episode anime. That is just my opinion. Speaking of opinions, I am supposed to predict how the series ends judging from the first episode. I am getting a big Shaman King vibe from this series, so I am seeing an ending kinda similar, where there will be a battle royal to see who is the strongest and Shio and Nobunagun win in the end. Oh! Before you go there is one last thing. After the opening, there is a new missile flying towards the battlefield. Inside we see a guy and a girl. They introduce themselves as Gandhi and Newton. That is where the episode ends. See you next week, readers!

Bobby used 10% of his current tally to active Experience Boost! This means that all votes this week will be worth double the amount they usually are. The total points (105) will be deducted next week.

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LOG HORIZON (Episode Thirteen) PLAYER: Siege CLASS: Content Provider Alright, so let's see how much I can remember about Log Horizon after such a long break. Thankfully, Log Horizon explains eeverything before the episode begins. Apparently the worry-of-the-episode is going to be demi-humans, such as Goblins, and their affect on the new world. Coming back after this long gap, I notice how unfitting this opening is at the moment. I don't think we've seen any action for a few episodes, but the opening is trying to get me hyped anyway. We start with people deciding which future banquets each member of the round table will attend. After much pushing of glasses up on faces, the decision is made, and we cut to the princess choosing flannel pajamas over silk ones. Obviously, this is the most important scene of the episode so I don't have to talk about this episode anymore. We then get a scene of Crusty talking to the princess about skipping ceremonies and go have tea. The princess is later scolded because Crusty is an adventurer and she is an NPC. This is, obviously, scandalous. Maybe this episode won't even talk about goblins. Maybe we'll just talk about the princess the whole time. There's really no difference, since they're both probably equally action-packed. Is the princess falling for Crusty? It's hard to tell. There's no real reason for her to be, but whatever. It is impossible to follow logic in this show most of the time. Because of that, I'll probably never predict the ending. I guess there are only three valid options: the adventurers are returned to their world, the adventurers and people of the land learn to live in peace after a huge war, or everyone dies. I don't know which I'd prefer. Crusty is a pretty manipulative character as far as I can tell. His goal in this episode seems to be to entice the princess with the thoughts of freedom that Adventurers have in order to pull her to their side. It's an interesting idea, and I want to see where they go with this. But hey, let's take a break from interesting plotlines and cut to children in dungeons. They're trying to blame each other for failing to beat the dungeon. The adult adventurers believe in them, but I definitely don't. They're going to fail and die forever somehow and this plotline will end forever. Fingers crossed. Back in Interesting Land, the royal NPCs love the new food methods invented by Adventurers. This opens up another ending possibility: every NPC gets fat and dies that way. We'll see if that happens. For now, though, the royalty begs for the use of Adventurer technology, such as the steam engine, in order to avoid monsters by transporting their goods by sea. I want to keep skipping past the manipulative Crusty bits because they creep me out. It's probably mostly because his name is Crusty. But apparently he's so focused on the princess because she reminds him of his sister. I'm willing to believe that for now. That would explain a lot, such as how he was able to know exactly what she was thinking. Still, is there some budding romance? That will probably cause some drama. Speaking of budding romance, Akatsuki is pretty jealous that Shiroe dances with another girl at the ball and is practicing dancing in the courtyard. This is the first absolutely overt mention of her attraction to him. We don't have any time to talk about that, because a super creepy mage shows up just before the credits roll! This show has to stop doing this last-minute story stuff. It's making stuff a bit hard to follow. Either way, I'm ready to keep going with Log Horizon. I hope they've got a satisfying ending planned with all this buildup.

Watch Log Horizon on or talk about this episode on our .


PLAYER: Kayarath

CLASS: Content Provider

Sixteen is the age in Japan where a person can legally get married. However, the majority of people don't exactly run to the altar after blowing out their candles. Therefore, when your fiancshows up at your door, you'll be a bit surprised. Welcome to Engage The Unidentified, where our heroine Kobeni Yonomori must deal with being in an arranged marriage.

While a person's first instinct would be to annul or cancel it somehow, there are three good reasons why that won't happen. First off, the fiancHakuya Mitsumine, and his sister Mashiro, have already entrenched themselves in her house, and they'll be harder to get rid of then bedbugs (seriously, bedbugs are no joke). Second off, this was arranged by Kobeni's grandfather, who is the unquestioned family patriarch, and dead to boot. Third, it seems that Hakuya and Kobeni had a childhood relationship of some type that Hakuya remembers fondly. However, Kobeni lost her memory of that time somehow, meaning Hakuya is basically a stranger to her. Either way, It looks everyone is stuck together for the time being.

This show is labeled a romantic comedy, and will be driven largely by character personalities. Hakuya is straightforward to a fault, and dense as well, but has a lot of quiet strength. Mashiro is a little girl that's quite mature for her age (or at least tries to be). She's judging Kobeni's worthiness on one hand while avoiding Benio on the other. Benio is Konbeni's older sister; school ojou by day, loli troller by night. Kobeni is stuck with the role of straight woman, trying to keep her composure midst the storm.

This looks like it'll be full of light hearted slap stick with a dash of romance. To tell the truth, I don't mind it that much. I could use something that goes down easy. No sad back stories, no life or death battles; just people learning to live with each other. By the time we get to the last episode, I bet Kobeni actually grows to love Hakuya and maybe even remembers what happened with them back in their childhoods? There's only one way find out and that's to tune in! See you there!

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KILL LA KILL (Episode Thirteen)

PLAYER: Knightshade


Hello, ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, and others, and welcome back to Simulblast. DJ Knightshade here and I'm going to talk to guys about Kill la Kill episode 13! We let's get into it!

Satsuki prepares a raid on Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, issuing students with new Goku Uniforms created based on the data from Ryuko's battles. Looks like we're getting upgrades! Nice. Meanwhile, Ryuko continues to sulk over losing control of Senketsu and is unwilling to wear him. She is approached by the suspended student and former Newspaper Club member Shinjiro Nagita, who pleads her to join the fight against Satsuki's war efforts, but Ryuko refuses. The next day, Mako gets roped into the raid trip for distributing Shinjiro's underground newspaper. Encouraged by Senketsu, Ryuko puts him on to help Shinjiro, who reveals himself to be a disguised Nui, having done so to trick Ryuko into wearing Senketsu again. Unable to fight at her full strength out of fear of losing control again, Ryuko is defeated by Nui and Senketsu is torn to pieces. After Satsuki forces Nui to retreat, she takes all but one of Senketsu's scraps so that they may be distributed to suitable hosts to provide combat data during the raid trip.

Well this was an okay episode. Kind of slow with some comedic elements to it. I guess I've been so used to seeing one fight after another I just can't stand still for long. Well I guess after the last episode the show needs to take a break. The good thing I saw was the plot to take over the world; nothing original, but considering it's with clothing I can forgive it. The badNui. I just can't stand her; I've seen villains like this so many times I lost count. Cute and innocent on the surface but a psycho underneath sounds way too familiar. That being said I still love this series and I'm willing to wait until it returns it's over the top battles. I welcome back Kill la Kill for the new year of 2014!

Watch Kill La Kill onit's none other than the blonde Hitmonlee herself, except she introduces herself as Chitoge Kirisaki, an American. Being assigned to sit next to Raku, things do not hit off between Raku and Chitoge. Raku is angry about the incident from earlier, and Chitoge blames him for being there. Raku calls her a monkey (Gorilla in the manga) and she proceeds to punch him directly in the face. It's at this point that Raku notices that his locket was missing, determining he must have lost it when Chitoge kicked him, thus he makes Chitoge help him find it. After countless times searching, Chitoge said she's had enough and doesn't like people asking her if she and Raku were dating, since they're seen together so often, stating that the girl probably didn't even remember the promise with him anymore. Raku gets enraged and yells at her to leave, with Kosaki trying to comfort him. As he leaves, Kosaki takes out a locket key, upset she couldn't bring herself to ask him once again about the locket. The following day, Kosaki tells Raku that Chitoge wants to meet them elsewhere after school. Upon arriving at the meeting place, Raku is immediately pelted in the face with the locket, Chitoge telling him not to bother her ever again. Raku, while grateful she found the locket, is still upset by the reality that she might be right, and that the girl probably has forgotten about him altogether. Raku arrives home to find his father, who wants to have a serious talk in relation to the rising gang war in the city (which has been comically played in the background throughout the episode, but really hasn't affected the story until this point). He tells Raku that the gang will go into an all out war soon; luckily the rival gang leader is an old friend of his, so, to qwell the fighting between their subordinates, Raku and the other gang's daughter will fake being a couple for 3 years until tensions settle, much to Raku's objection. It's then we discover that the daughter of the rival gang is none other than Chitoge, thus their nisekoi begins. Honestly, I love the manga; it has great artwork that knows how to make you laugh, good slapstick, and the art is just overwhelmingly pleasing to look at. I have to predict that, at some point, the anime will veer from it's original manga path and attempt a forced ending, or leave it at a grand cliff hanger until a new season comes up, like with most harem/slice of life romance anime. However, The transition from manga to anime only adds to the story, while the opening, with the ending not available yet in favor of playing the opening as the ending theme for the first episode, and music have a nice melody to them. The artwork, colors and effects show that real work has gone into making the anime look gorgeous, and honestly it adds to the slapstick, giving a better reaction than a pillowing dust cloud. There is a part of me that believes the anime is being taken very seriously, and I can expect real work put into it. The problem I have with slice of life/romance anime is that it cannot survive on story alone, unless it's in book form that is. I enjoy the story of Nisekoi, and the visuals in the anime from the background graphics to the coloring; it keeps my attention not just on the dialogue, but the effort put into it, and that's something you can miss if you're watching an anime and the only thing you keep your focus on is the dialogue. I look forward to this winter's simulblast, and I hope you do to. Baby it's cold outside, and I'm not talking about Chitoge's attitude

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* Kanashimi: 1,857

* Midnight: 1,581

* Elk: 1,368

* Bobby Henshin: 1,050

* Siege: 1,040

* Kayarath: 840

* Knightshade: 750

* Zero Gravity: 520

NEXT WEEK'S CHALLENGE: Grab your least favorite character from the show and talk about them extensively.

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