Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 8

This week, there are only write-ups for Fruits Basket and Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2. Once again, there was no new Case Closed episode available for streaming.

Fruits Basket: Episode 8 – “See You When You Get Back”

The focus of this episode is on New Year’s, and the plans the characters have for the holiday. Uo and Hana offer to let Tohru stay with them for the holiday, because Tohru’s grandfather and the rest of the family are going to Hawaii. Tohru declines and says she’ll be OK. She gets permission from Shigure to stay at his house, but is told that the three Somas will be going to the main house for a few days to celebrate the holiday. At first, Yuki and Kyo don’t want to go, because they’re trying to stay away from the main house. But Tohru convinces them to spend time with their families. But in the end, feelings of guilt and a little push from Hana convince Yuki and Kyo to return to the house to spend the holiday with Tohru.

This episode really delves into how Yuki and Kyo have really come to like Torhu, but realize that there’s still things about her that they don’t know, even though she’s lived with them for four months at this point. It also really highlights just how much Tohru can still hide some of her true feelings from them. As we see as Yuki and Kyo rush back into the house, Tohru is sitting with a picture of her mother and has tears welling up in her eyes. She really would have been lonely for this first New Year’s without her mother, but she didn’t want the Somas to miss out on time with their family.

I liked the overall feel and aesthetic and feel of the episode. As I watched it, I thought it really felt like it was taking place at the end of December. While the original anime tried to capture this aesthetic with its animation, I think this reboot captured that sense a lot better. And the scene with the first sunrise of the year was a major highlight.

This episode also sees the first brief appearance of another member of the Soma family, and I suspect that we’ll be seeing his proper introduction in an episode in the not-too-distant future.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 5 – “Hero”

This week was another intense episode, with focus on the two fronts of the battle. Erwin’s suicide force is focused on first, and just about everyone in it is wiped out by the Beast Titan. There’s a scene where one soldier gets up and realizes that he’s the only one still alive, and it’s heartbreaking to see how dazed and confused he is. His wondering out loud why he’s the only one adds to the emotional impact. But the suicide force’s goal is accomplished, because Levi is able to get in some impressive hits on the Beast Titan. Levi gets the man inside the Beast Titan out, but another Titan snatches him away before Levi can take him into custody. We see Levi stunned at what happens, and I think this is probably the most emotion we’ve seen out of him at this point in the series.

On the other battlefront, Armin realizes something about the Colossal Titan, and comes up with a plan to defeat Bertholdt. While the others distract Reiner, Armin and Eren will take on and defeat Bertholdt by themselves. While Armin accomplishes his goal, it’s at a great cost.

This week’s episode has its double-edged swords: while various goals are reached, there’s a negative to off-set the positive. For Levi, it was the man inside the Beast Titan being taken away from him. For Armin and Eren, well… I can’t really go into that without providing spoilers. All I will say that something very negative happens here in order to achieve the positive of defeating Bertholdt.

I know what’s coming next from reading the manga, and I believe we’re soon going to hit the scene that was the after credits teaser at the end of the first half of Attack on Titan Season 3. The only thing I will add is that: things are just going to keep getting more interesting from here.

FUNimation Entertainment Changes the Delay Time for the Subtitled Version of the Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Anime

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it received an update from its licensor of Attack on Titan, and will stream subtitled episodes of the second part of the Attack on Titan Season 3 anime on Sundays at 9:45 p.m. EDT starting on May 26, 2019.

The company had previously stated that it would delay the episodes worldwide from Sundays at 1:35 p.m. EDT to Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. EDT. FUNimation explained that sublicensees leaked new episodes for two weeks in a row in two territories before the premieres in Japan. The licensor then decided to give show materials to FUNimation after the premieres of upcoming episodes in order to preventfurther leaks.

The show’s simuldub will still premiere on May 26, 2019 as planned. The series will also debut on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block on May 25, 2019.

Source: ANN

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Anime’s Sub Delayed to Wednesdays Worldwide

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that the English-subtitled simulcast of the second part of the Attack on Titan Season 3 television anime will be delayed beginning with episode 54, which will launch on May 29, 2019 on FunimationNow, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and through all other sublicensees worldwide. New episodes will be delayed from Sundays at 1:35 p.m. EDT to Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

The company explained that sublicensees leaked new episodes for two weeks in a row in two territories before the premieres in Japan. The licensor decided to give show materials to FUNimation after the premieres of upcoming episodes in order to prevent further leaks. Therefore, new episodes will be delayed to Wednesdays “to provide enough time for each company to work on subtitles and quality control, and make sure that all territories can launch at the same time.”

FUNimation clarified that the delay will not affect the simuldub, which will debut on May 26, 2019. The series will also debut on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block on May 25, 2019.

Source: ANN

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 7

Case Closed is not included in this week’s write-up, because there wasn’t a new episode available to watch on Crunchyroll this week.

Fruits Basket: Episode 7 – “Spring Comes”

Tohru is summoned to the main Soma estate by Hatori, but she is told not to say anything to Shigure, Yuki, or Kyo. After Yuki’s warning about Hatori in the previous episode, there was this sense of foreboding about Tohru meeting with him. Momiji is there as well, and when Hatori takes care of something, Momiji tells Tohru some of Hatori’s backstory. We get the rest filled in later through a flashback sequence that Hatori has. Hatori is one of the Somas afflicted with the zodiac curse, and his zodiac transformation is quite amusing. It’s especially amusing how Tohru reacts to it.

This was a story I always liked in both the manga and the original Fruits Basket anime, and I think this reboot did a fantastic job with it. I really appreciate the character growth that Hatori goes through over the course of it, and it becomes clear that he’s not the mean and distant character that Yuki tried to make him seem to be. Then again, I don’t know how much of the backstory Yuki knows… all he knows is that Hatori wiped the memories of some kids that Yuki played with when he was younger because they accidentally learned his secret. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that the interactions between Shigure and Hatori are also great.

In the ending credits, where we get to see some of Somas in their animal form, a shot has been added to include Hatori’s zodiac transformation. I thought this was a nice touch.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 4 – “Perfect Game”

This episode sees a focus on both battle fronts. On one front, the Colossal Titan is setting fire to buildings and throwing them about at Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Conny, and Sasha. On the other front, the Beast Titan is crushing boulders and throwing the pieces toward Erwin, Levi, and the new recruits. Armin just can’t come up with any ideas on how to continue and tries to turn command over to Jean. While Jean can read the situation and get the group to more of a safe spot, he also doesn’t have any ideas on how to proceed. In the end, this group tries to do the best it can, but it ultimately ends with Eren (in Titan form) flung up to the top of the wall.

With Erwin, Levi, and the recruits, they come to realize that they’re trapped between a rock and a hard place. They can’t retreat to the other side of the wall because of all the chaos the Colossal Titan is creating, and they can’t move forward because of the Beast Titan. One of the recruits snaps and gives voice to the fear that the other recruits are likely feeling but are unable to express. After consulting with Levi and sharing his true feelings on what’s going to happen, Erwin and Levi launch a plan that will likely lead to the deaths of Erwin and the recruits.

The feeling of despair that runs throughout this episode is rather intense. And the scene Erwin has with Levi is heartbreaking, because we see a man who realizes he will likely die without realizing his dream of discovering whether or not he and his father were right. But, Erwin is able to channel this feeling when he makes his speech to rally the recruits into action. Erwin’s speech is very convincing, and his voice actor perfectly channels the intensity and power of the words of the speech. It’s believable that this would rally the recruits to perform a suicide mission.

The episode ends on a major cliffhanger, and for those viewers who don’t know the story from the manga, will be waiting anxiously for a week in order to find out what happens next.

Anime Blu-ray Review: Attack on Titan The Complete First Season

Attack on Titan The Complete First Season is a four-disc Blu-ray containing 25 episodes. The bonus features are spread throughout the set. This set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Attack on Titan The Complete First Season
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: January 24, 2017

The series is set in an alternative middle-ages world that has been attacked by giant humanoid creatures called Titans. The remains of civilization are protected by three concentric walls that are about 50 meters tall. After building these walls, humanity has remained safe for 100 years and has basically become complacent. While there are people who want to go outside of the walls and explore the outside world, many are discouraged from doing so.

The main character of the series is Eren Yeager. He is one who wants to explore the outside world, but his parents and his adopted sister Mikasa are very much against this idea. His father is a doctor, and during the first episode, he leaves to treat patients located elsewhere.

After he leaves, the unthinkable happens. Unusual Titans break through the wall: one is 60 meters tall, while the other has a hardened shell. The city is plunged into chaos, and Eren discovers that his mother is trapped in the rubble of their house. Eren tries to save his mother, but she insists that he run to safety and to leave her behind. A guard named Hannes grabs both Eren and Mikasa and carries them off in safety as Eren’s mother is eaten by one of the Titans.

Eren, Mikasa, and their friend Armin enlist in the military, and they graduate from training five years later. Eren vows that he’ll kill every Titan, but something happens to him early on that reveals a secret that he was unaware of. Much of the series focuses on the ramifications of this discovered secret, as well as the politics taking place in the higher levels of the military and the government.

By the time I finished watching the first episode, the tone of the storytelling changed from establishing the series to an intense viewing experience once the Titans broke through the wall. I liked how the first episode ultimately is told in a circle: the major plot point of the Titans is shown at the beginning, and then the rest of the episode establishes what’s going on and returns to what was shown at the beginning of the episode. Admittedly, the story does kind of slow down after the first episode, but it becomes interesting again once Mikasa’s backstory appears. After that point, Attack on Titan has an engaging story that leaves the viewer wanting to see more.

As the series progresses, there’s also some fantastic character story arcs. Obviously, Eren’s character arc is the main one that’s focused on. However, Jean also goes through major changes in his character, especially after he experiences a certain event. Even characters like Mikasa, Armin, and Levi, who don’t get as major of character arcs, are still engaging characters that the viewer comes to care for by the end of these 25 episodes.

I thought the animation for Attack on Titan looked incredible. While this series utilizes both 2D animation and computer graphics, the 2D animation was designed and drawn in such a way that it blends in more convincingly with the computer graphics than many other anime series that I have seen that have tried to combine the two styles. Also, the backgrounds are lush and really complement the rest of the animation. But there are times, especially in the first half, where some animation cheats take place (primarily using still images instead of animating some of the action).

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 HD Native, and the audio includes DolbyTrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I thought the video quality was good on this release, and I have no complaints about the audio quality.

There are several bonus features scattered throughout the set. There are commentaries included for episodes 3, 13, 14, and 25. Disc two includes a feature labeled, “The Making of Attack on Titan,” and this nearly 52-and-a-half minute feature focuses solely on the production of the English dub. When I saw this labeled as a “making of” feature, I assumed it would include at least some of the series’ creation in Japan. However, that really wasn’t present in this feature, and it probably would have been better to have labeled this as, “The Making of the English Dub of Attack on Titan.”

Disc four has a roughly 16-minute feature labeled as “Attack on Titan at Anime Expo.” This is from Anime Expo 2013, when producer George Wada was a guest. The feature incorporates footage of an interview with George Wada, clips from Wada’s panel, interviews with fans, and scenes from the show. It’s basically what I expect from this kind of bonus feature.

Both discs two and four have all nine episodes of “Chibi Theater: Fly, Cadets, Fly” spread out between them. These are comedic shorts animated in a chibi style, and they focus on the main characters while they were in the academy. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy these shorts. Perhaps they just didn’t appeal to my personal sense of humor.

There are also eyecatch galleries included among the bonus features. These are the informational pieces that appeared at the commercial break for each episode. These galleries are done in a slideshow style, and the text of these slides are translated off on the side. These eyecatches provide important information and details about the world of the series, and they tend to go by faster than you can read them when you’re watching the episodes. I think this was a nice bonus feature to include, especially since the slideshow is designed in such a way that the slide doesn’t change until the viewer clicks on an arrow, so it provides the viewer as much time as needed in order to read everything.

Textless versions of both opening themes and ending themes are included among the bonus features. Two different trailers for the English dub version of the series are included, as well as menus to choose trailers of other FUNimation Entertainment releases to watch.

Attack on Titan The Complete First Season is a great addition to the anime home video library of a fan of Attack on Titan. All 25 episodes of the first season are included in one set, and there’s a decent amount of bonus material included.

My Hero Academia Is The #2 Selling Graphic Novel in the United States for April 2019

13 manga titles appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 selling graphic novels list for April 2019:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 18 by Kohei Horikoshi (#2)
  • Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi (#4)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kohei Horikoshi (#7)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 17 by Kohei Horikoshi (#8)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kohei Horikoshi (#9)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 27 by Hajime Isayama (#10)
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re Volume 10 by Sui Ishida (#11)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kohei Horikoshi (#13)
  • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Volume 4 by Hideyuki Furuhashi (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 16 by Kohei Horikoshi (#15)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Koheu Horikoshi (#17)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 15 by Kohei Horikoshi (#18)

Source: The Fandom Post

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 6

Fruits Basket: Episode 6 – “Perhaps We Should Invite Ourselves Over”

The school festival is underway, and Tohru’s class’ cafe is doing well, thanks in large part to Yuki dressing up as a girl at the upperclassman girls’ insistence. Unfortunately for him, two of the Somas show up uninvited: Momiji and Hattori. The audience had seen Momiji briefly in an earlier episode, but here we finally get a proper introduction for the character. It’s also revealed that Momiji is one of the Zodiac members of the family, with the animal being a rabbit. When it looks like the Somas’ secret may be revealed, Yuki does something that obviously affects his pride… but he knows he has to do it.

This episode is also important, because Torhu accidentally slips and tells Uo and Hana that she’s living with Kyo and Yuki. Since they want to make sure Tohru is in a good environment, they invite themselves over for a sleepover. But this turns out to be a good thing in the end, because through Kyo and Yuki, the two girls come to realize something about Tohru and appreciate her even more than they already do. And during the sleepover, the audience is treated to backstory about the cap that the audience has seen pop up in various shots over the course of the series at this point.

I really appreciated how the title of this episode applied to both storylines in this episode. Momiji and Hattori invited themselves to the cultural festival, and Uo and Hana invited themselves over for the sleepover. Speaking of the sleepover, I’m glad that this version played it straight with how this section was portrayed in the manga. In the original Fruits Basket anime, comedic elements were added in with Uo and Hana almost discovering the Somas’ secret several times.

Between the phone call that Tohru gets at the end of the episode, as well as the title of the next episode, I know exactly what’s coming up. I can’t wait to see how this reboot anime will depict this section of the story.

Case Closed: Episode 940 – “The Missing Girlfriend”

The episode starts with a young woman walking through a park at night, texting somebody. She suddenly stops in her tracks and reacts. After this, a man comes to Kogoro with a picture of the young woman, saying she’s his girlfriend and that she’s been missing for a few days. As Kogoro, Conan, Ran, and the boyfriend start searching the woman’s apartment, the apartment owner rushes in and says the police called to inform her the young woman was dead. The group goes to a bridge, where Inspector Megure and his team are investigating what appears to be a suicide. Two witnesses are brought in, and what they tell the police seem to confirm that this was a suicide. However, over the course of the episode, Conan spends time around the boyfriend and the witnesses, and manages to piece everything together.

For a mystery that only lasts for one episode, it actually managed to build a compelling story with twists and turns that I hadn’t expected. While one of the witnesses came across as suspicious and hiding something, it turned out they were acting suspicious for a reason other than being the guilty party. To be honest, I was leaning toward this person being guilty, so I was glad to see that the suspect wasn’t the person who came across as being the most obvious choice. After the last mystery, this was a relief. In the end, I have to say that this was one of the strongest one-episode mysteries that I’ve seen in Case Closed in quite a while.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 3 – “Descent”

The episode opens with a flashback of the battle where Marco was killed. Not only do we see how Marco was killed, but some important information is hinted at in the dialogue between Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie. We then see that this flashback comes from Reiner and Bertholdt talking to someone on top of the wall. Basically, this scene shows us what happened right before the start of the first episode of this season, and it ends when Reiner and Bertholdt are getting ready to take their positions.

Then we return to where the previous episode ended. At first, it seems like the Thunder Spears killed Reiner, but alas, that wasn’t the case. Reiner gives a signal for Bertholdt, and most of the rest of the episode focuses on Bertholdt and what he does. A conversation between Bertholdt and Armin gives Bertholdt a scene that allows for some character development, because it shows that Bertholdt isn’t going to be the pushover and easily distracted character that he had been in the past. Bertholdt shows he has resolve, which he demonstrates by transforming near the end of the episode. Unfortunately, this throws a lot of plans off for Armin and the others, and Armin is the one who is supposed to be leading the group. And considering Armin isn’t comfortable with the idea of giving commands, it makes for a lot of tension.

It’s getting harder for me to say too terribly much, because I know what’s coming from reading the manga and I don’t want to provide spoilers. However, I am willing to state that the opening flashback in this episode is hinting at some important information about certain characters in the series. All I will say beyond this is that the story is going to get… quite interesting the further in the anime goes.