Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 11

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “This Is a Wonderful Inn”

The episode begins with Tohru and her classmates finishing off their finals. Momiji sees Tohru at work and goes to Shigure’s house with her afterward to reveal the gift he’s giving for Tohru for “White Day” to thank her for the chocolates on Valentine’s Day: a day at a hot spring owned by the Somas. In the end, Yuki and Kyo accompany Momiji and Tohru. The woman who oversees the hot spring is supposedly in frail health, but she sure has a lot of energy and is overly apologetic even if nothing has really gone wrong. It’s an amusingly humorous bit. But we later learn through a conversation she has with Tohru that her child is also one of the Zodiac animals, specifically the monkey. We’re kind of given the name of this character, but the mother only gives a shortened version of it that has an honorific attached to it. I already know about this character due to seeing the original anime and from reading the manga, but I refuse to provide spoilers for anyone reading this who may not already have familiarity with the either the manga or the first anime.

We get some great interactions between both Tohru and Kyo and Tohru and Yuki in this episode. There’s also a very humorous bit right near the end of the episode where Tohru learns how old Momiji really is, and everyone learns a startling fact about Momiji and Hatsuharu.

Overall, this episode had a great mix of dramatic moments and comedy. With what’s revealed in this episode, it’s clear that we’re going to be headed into a new school year rather quickly, and that Tohru will likely be meeting another member of the Soma family in the not-too-distant future. I’m looking forward to seeing how this reboot will continue on, and how it will differ from the first anime.

Case Closed: Episode 943 – “Tokyo Barls Collection”

The episode opens with Kogoro receiving an invitation to a monja restaurant from a fan. She has included her picture, which shows that she looks like a young woman. Conan insists on going along, and when thy get there, they find an old woman doing a strange dance. When she realized it’s Kogoro in front of her, she rushes into the restaurant. When Kogoro and Conan walk in, they see the woman from the picture… but, her face starts cracking because this is actually a mask. And guess who’s behind the mask? You guessed it, the strange old lady.

While they eat monja, she starts choking on a cabbage core, and claims that one of her childhood friends must have put the core in the monja. She hires Kogoro to investigate her three friends. They all end up giving similar stories about why they despise the strange old woman, and this, of course, causes Conan to suspect that there’s something more going on here.

I won’t spoil the rest of the episode, so I’ll just say that this was one of the worst episodes of Case Closed that I’ve ever seen. The whole setup was just ridiculously stupid, and the case was just as stupid. This was such an obvious filler episode, and I would have to say that it’s worse than most of the filler episodes featuring the Detective Boys. For me to say that shows just how much I disliked this particular episode.

I’m pretty sure the next episode, which is a multi-part episode, is also filler. However, it looks a lot more promising than this one!

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 8 – “That Day”

While this episode primarily focuses on backstory for Eren’s father, Grisha, it’s still compelling. Not only does the audience learn more about Grisha, they also learn the truth behind the world of the series and get a little more information on the Titans. It’s fascinating to see what humankind outside of the walls was truly like during Grisha’s youth. During that time, there was much more of a feel of what our world was like back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, rather than the more medieval feel we see with the modern day characters who live in the walls.

In the flashbacks, though, you can see a parallel between Marley’s treatment of the Eldians and the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. Instead of concentration camps, we see internment zones and brutal things happening to the Eldians (a child being fed to dogs, and later rebels being turned into Titans and eating other Eldians). Overall, a downer of an episode, but it needed to be that way in order to convey some very important information and concepts for going forward in the series.

We do get a brief scene of Eren, Mikasa, and Eren. Eren and Mikasa are in the stockade to serve their punishment for insubordination, and Eren has a nightmare. It turns out that the backstory we’re seeing is a dream that Eren is having, because he has somehow made a connection with his father’s memories. Although I have to say that it was kind of amusing to see Mikasa with bedhead.

I don’t really want to comment any further at this point, because I’m afraid I may inadvertently provide spoilers from what I know from reading further ahead in the manga. But, what I will say is that things will continue to get a little more… interesting.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 10

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “It’s Valentine’s, After All”

As you can tell from the title, Valentine’s Day plays an important role in this episode. It starts out the day before, actually, but the girls are giving chocolate at school on this date because Valentine’s Day itself is on Saturday, when they’re not in school. There’s a part with Yuki, where they only see one gift of chocolate. This is unusual, until Hana points out that girls are throwing other girls’ chocolates out so theirs gets all the attention. That poor chocolate, sitting in the nearby garbage can uneaten. Kyo gets one as well, which reminds him that it’s Valentine’s Day. He wants to escape from school, but the homeroom teacher stops him. Yikes, that homeroom teacher gives off the impression of being a bit of a punk herself, and isn’t going to put up with Kyo trying to leave class. We see why he was so worried after school, because Kagura shows up at their school. In the end, this leads to Kagura, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru going on a “double date” to a movie. And yes, we actually get to see some of the movie they’re watching, and a different animation style was used for it. To me, the look of the film, as well as the types of characters that appear, were giving off a bit of a Digimon vibe to me. LOL!

While there’s a lot of humor in this episode, Shigure also has some serious scenes in this episode. This is especially evident in his discussion with Hatori when Shigure visits the main house. It’s revealed that Shigure has a hidden agenda and motives when it comes to Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. But Shigure actually admits to some regret, especially when it comes to how he’s using Torhu.

This episode is definitely laying the groundwork for the story’s progression, and yet another layer has now been added. I’m looking forward to seeing this reboot as it continues to adapt the original manga source material.

Case Closed: Episode 942 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part Two)”

The mystery of finding Maria doesn’t take up the entire episode. And in the end, it takes making a phone call to Conan for the other Detective Boys to find Maria. Luckily, it turns out there was nothing suspicious or sinister about the whole “treasure hunt.” At least Maria was safe.

The more interesting portions of the episode have to do with Conan/Shinichi and how that whole thing ends up being resolved. Between Hattori and Shinichi’s parents, the whole commotion about the Shinichi Kudo sighting dissipates… but not before gaining the attention of the leader of the Black Organization. Amuro (aka Bourbon) even gets a message from Rum asking for information about Shinichi. Shinichi’s parents return to Japan and talk with Conan and Professor Agasa. It turns out that the code that Conan discovered for the identity of the leader of the organization wasn’t entirely deciphered accurately. It turns out the whole code should be one word, and it spells out the name of a multi-millionaire that doesn’t actually exist. The beginning narration teased that the identity of the leader of the Black Organization would be revealed. Well, it was, and it wasn’t. The name of the multi-millionaire is obviously an alias for someone else, so this does nothing to narrow down the three people who are being portrayed as potential candidates for the leader.

It was wonderful to finally have some progression for the overarching story, but from the preview for the next episode, it appears we’re heading right back into filler again. Sigh. This is probably the one thing that has gotten a little frustrating about the Case Closed anime. We get anywhere from 2-4 episodes that actually progress the story, and then there’s a few months of filler episodes before we get another 2-4 episodes that progress the overarching story. I know that the manga author, Gosho Aoyama, has been taking hiatuses for various reasons over the past couple of years, so I suspect this pattern for the anime is due to this.

At this point, my big question about this anime franchise is: Will it make it 1,000 episodes? At the rate it’s going, it’s very possible.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 7 – “The Basement”

The title of the episode is “The Basement,” but the story doesn’t officially see our characters getting to their destination until right near the end. A lot of the early part of the episode focuses on Armin catching up on what’s happened, since his last memory is of Bertholdt wreaking havoc. When Armin learns that they had a choice for who to choose to bring back with the “Titan juice,” it’s understandable that Armin is in shock and disbelief that he was chosen over Erwin. During this scene, though, Levi showed a little more of a caring side than he is normally willing to show. Levi is kind of forced to, I think, since Erwin is now gone.

Eren, Mikasa, Levi, and Hange make the trek to Eren’s basement. As they travel, we see flashbacks of young Eren and Mikasa going through important areas that the four of them are going through, as well as how Eren and Mikasa react. I thought this was an effective way of building the anticipation of reaching the basement. But when they get there, they are surprised to discover that the key Eren has had all this time doesn’t actually work on the lock for the basement. But this doesn’t deter Levi, though… he just kicks the door down. As they explore the room, Mikasa finds a desk drawer with a keyhole… and the key Eren has fits this lock. Once they get this drawer open and discover what’s inside, they make a discovery that confirms what Erwin has believed all this time. This newfound knowledge is going to become an important game changer for the series.

Right at the end, a story from Grisha’s (Eren’s father) youth is just getting started. The preview for the next episode makes it clear that it will be continuing to share a story that Grisha left in one of the books found in the desk drawer. It’s going to be an exposition episode, but it’s important information that needs to be conveyed to the audience in order for the story to progress from this point forward.

Anime Expo Holds 4DX Anime Screening Film Festival

CJ 4DPLEX and Anime Expo have announced that the “first annual ‘4DX Anime Film Fest'” will be held at this year’s convention at Regal LA Live on July 3-4, 2019. The event will include 4DX screenings of the Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, and Mobile Suit Gundam NT anime films.

A 30-minute Q&A panel will follow the screening of Mobile Suit Gundam NT at 2:00 p.m. on July 4, 2019. Scriptwriter Harutoshi Fukui and English voice cast members Griffin Puatu (voice of Jona Basta) and Erika Ishii (Michele Luio) will participate in the panel. The event will mark the 40th anniversary of the anime series.

The Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer screening will be held on July 3, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., and the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer screening will be held on July 3, 2019 at 10:20 p.m. All of the screenings will be free with regular admission to the convention, but tickets will be required.

4DX screenings include effects such as motion-synchronized seats, fog, wind, rain, vibrations, and scents.

Anime Expo will be taking place July 4-7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Source: ANN

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 9

Fruits Basket: Episode 9 – “Yuki Was My First Love”

This episode officially introduces the audience to a character who appeared briefly in the previous episode. Hatsuharu, who is a year younger than Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru. While our main characters are involved in an endurance race at school, they encounter Hatsuharu in a grassy area nearby. He got lost. LOL! Yes, he’s a directionally challenged character. But through Hatsuharu, we learn not only some backstory for him, but a little more for Yuki as well.

Yuki wasn’t feeling well the night before, but he insists on going and participating in the endurance race. Hatsuharu and Kyo fight, but after Yuki collapses from his illness, Hatsuharu uses Tohru to transform into his animal form in order to take Yuki back to Shigure’s house. It’s amusing to see Hatsuharu’s animal form walking through town, carrying Yuki on his back.

Oh, but there’s great moments with Hana and her card game during the endurance race. LOL!

There’s a great mixture of humor and drama in this episode, and Hatsuharu’s proper introduction works perfectly. Another Soma down, still some more to go before we meet all of them.

And it should be noted that during the ending credits, there’s a brief shot of Hatsuharu in his animal form, with the animal form of another character that hasn’t been introduced yet sitting on top of him. I guess these additional shots are only being used during the episode where a particular Soma is introduced, since the one with Hattori’s animal hasn’t been seen again. I expect that this shot with Hatsuharu will come back again when this other character is introduced.

Case Closed: Episode 941 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part One)”

This episode is set right after the end of the school trip special, so basically all the episodes in between were filler. While I had suspected that most were filler, I had assumed that there was at least one canon story in there. Oh well, I guess I was wrong on that.

Thanks to television footage of Hattori and Shinichi being seen together, and some social media posts, it’s revealed that Shinichi Kudo is still alive. Because a rumor of his death had spread, his showing up is big news. The news catches the eye of the characters who have been identified as potential possibilities for Rum, the leader of the Black Organization. One of the potential possibilities is Conan and friends’ new clumsy assistant teacher, and she asks Ai if she knows anything about Shinichi (since Ai lives with the professor, who lives next door to the Kudo family). When Ai asks her why she’s asking her about Shinichi, the teacher brushes it off as simply being curious since Shinichi is being talked about so much online.

Of course, this causes problems for Conan, especially since he had pretended to be sick with a cold and slipped out to visit the professor while the others are in school. Reporters are flocking to the Kudo house, so Conan has to lay low. Conan is also horrified to discover that someone runs a fan site for his family. Oh, that’s not creepy. That’s not creepy at all.

But now that the public knows that Shinichi is still alive, a new layer is being added to the main story arc for Case Closed. This is going to make things more difficult for Shinichi/Conan than they already are. As we get more canon storylines from the manga being adapted for the anime, things could get even more interesting.

Meanwhile, Conan’s main teacher approaches Ai and the others, asking if they know why a student named Maria wasn’t at school. They say they haven’t heard anything, and the teacher asks them to visit Maria’s house to check up on her, since the teacher hadn’t been able to reach either of her parents at work. When the kids get to the house, Ayumi remembers that Maria mentioned that she found a note from her dead grandmother about a treasure hunt being set up in her house. Maria had invited Ayumi and the others. The grandmother’s house is across the street, and the door is unlocked. The kids let themselves in, and find Maria’s belongings at the entrance, along with the first hint for the treasure hunt. The kids figure Maria must have gone ahead and started doing the treasure hunt instead of going to school, so they start following the instructions. Ai is the main one figuring things out, but by the end of the episode, they still haven’t found Maria.

Maybe it’s just me, but the note from the dead grandmother just sounded kind of weird from the outset. I don’t know if maybe Maria is somehow simply trapped in her grandmother’s house, or if something more sinister is going on.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 6 – “Midnight Sun”

When the episode begins with the title appearing on the screen as it opens instead of using the opening credits, you know things are going to be serious.

Hange and the others are trying to interrogate Reiner, but he’s not being very cooperative. When Hange threatens to kill Reiner, Jean pleads for Hange to stop because if they need to revive anyone with the “Titan juice,” the person who gets the injection could eat Reiner. Hange relents, and sends Mikasa to check on Eren and Armin and find out what their situation is.

Meanwhile, as Eren grieves for Armin, the man who is the Beast Titan appears before him. He says they’re both victims of Eren’s father and he vows that he will rescue Eren. He also comments that there’s no saving Bertholdt and leaves. Not too long after, he and the Titan he’s riding on appear and take Reiner away. Jean blames himself for this failure, but Hange takes responsibility for making the decision.

Mikasa arrives to Eren and Armin’s location, and is stunned to see the condition Armin is in. Levi arrives as well, and not too long after, Armin lets out a gasp of breath… which means that Armin is still alive. Eren asks Levi to use the “Titan juice,” and he’s about to hand it over when the cadet who survived the Beast Titan’s attack arrived with a badly injured but still clinging to life Erwin. At this point, Levi has to decide who to use the “Titan juice” on. Both sides plead their cases, and Levi has a very tough decision to make. But after it appears he’s made his final decision, something happens that causes Levi to change his mind.

This was a tough episode emotionally, because the viewer is put through such a rollercoaster ride, especially when both sides are pleading their cases as to which one should be saved by being turned into a Titan. Also, the amount of violence and gore shown in the episode is also a little higher than normal. But this is the reality of the situation that they’re in… it’s simply going to be violent and bloody.

The next episode’s preview shows the group approaching Eren’s basement, and the episode is even title, “The Basement.” After getting through 55 episodes of the franchise, the audience will finally learn what’s in Eren’s basement. I don’t think I’ll be providing any spoilers by making one final comment, since I know what’s coming from reading the manga: What they find in the basement will be a major game changer.

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.

Detective Conan Manga to Take a 4-Issue Break

This year’s 23rd issue of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine has announced that Gosho Aoyama’s Detective Conan manga will take a four-issue break, from the 24th through 27th issues. Aoyama will conduct research during the hiatus.

The manga previously took two other one-month breaks from January to February 2019 and in the magazine’s 16th through 18th issues in March-April 2019. Aoyama also conducted research during those two breaks.

Weekly Shonen Sunday had previously noted that Meitantei Conan Zero no Tea Time (Detective Conan: Zero’s Tea Time), the spin-off manga series by Takahiro Arai centering on the character Tōru Amuro, will have new chapters when the main Detective Conan manga is on hiatus, and will not publish chapters of the manga otherwise.

Source: ANN

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 5

Fruits Basket: Episode 5 – “I’ve Been Fooling Myself”

This was an emotional episode of Fruits Basket, and Tohru was the main emphasis. She gets a call from her grandfather, saying that the house renovations are at a point where they can live in it again. Tohru realizes that while this was always supposed to be the case, this was coming much sooner than she anticipated. She also comes to realize how much she enjoys being with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure. Unfortunately, she feels she has to be with her biological family and isn’t allowing herself to even think of staying with the Somas. When she leaves, she makes sure that the Somas have her grandfather’s address, just in case.

We see Tohru going back to the house, where her grandfather has been joined by some of their other relatives. Tohru’s grandfather is a cool guy, but the rest of the family is a real piece of work. Honestly, the male relative (who I think is one of her cousins) is a real creeper. But it turns out that Yuki and Kyo are concerned about Tohru, and use the address she left behind to look for her. They come upon the house as a conversation takes place, and overhear her say that she wants to go back home… to the Somas. Yuki and Kyo barge in, and in the end, Tohru returns to the Somas.

This episode also shows us where the title of Fruits Basket comes from through a flashback that Tohru has. We also get to see a flashback of a younger Tohru with her mother. I love how this series utilizes Kyoko from flashbacks and through Tohru remembering things that her mother said to her (and seeing how these sayings fit with things that other characters are saying).

From the title of the next episode, I’m pretty sure I know what’s coming. And if I’m right, it’s going to provide some much needed comic relief after the seriousness and emotions of this episode.

Case Closed: Episode 939 – “The Dangerous Fossil Finding Trip”

This story sees the owner of a fossil museum and the mayor of a town behind a hoax about the origin of a rare fossil, with the mayor using this hoax as a way to rebrand the city. A journalist is suspicious of their claim, and comes to interview them about it. At the same time, Agasa and the Detective Boys are at the fossil museum for a tour. The fossil museum owner is murdered, and it’s up to Conan and the others to try to solve the crime. While a police detective shows up, it’s not Megure. Instead, it’s the idiotic and cocky one who shows up every now and then (I can never remember his name). This particular police detective almost makes Kogoro look like a genius. LOL!

It was pretty obvious who the culprit was, so the main mystery for the audience was how the victim was killed. But even then, there was one visual clue that made part of how the murder happened obvious to figure out. It was some of the more minor details that Conan needed to reveal in order to finish solving the case. Stories like this one are a little frustrating to me, because I enjoy having the challenge of trying to figure out the who and the how before they’re revealed. Oh well. Perhaps the next mystery will take a little more effort for the audience to figure out the truth of what happened.

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

The main part of this story is a battle between Eren and Reiner in their Titan forms. There’s also a second storyline of some of the Scouts trying to protect the horses, since it’s obvious to Erwin early on that the Titans’ plan is to kill their horses and prevent them from leaving. Erwin also has a flashback in this episode that helps to show his mindset at this stage of the story.

The fight against Eren and Reiner is pretty intense, and it ties in with the title of the episode. “Thunder Spears” refers to a new weapon designed to take on the Armored Titan, since conventional weapons don’t work on him. While the weapon is used right at the end of the episode, the audience won’t see how or if this was effective until the next episode.

Even with Erwin’s flashback, this episode still moved at a good pace because the action outweighed any slowness caused by the flashback. In fact, the flashback provided a chance for the audience to catch its breath during a more action heavy episode. The pacing was just right in this episode, and the ending makes the audience want to come back for more.

It’s hard for me to go into too much more right now, since I know what’s going to happen from reading this part of the story in the manga. But it’s going to be interesting to see where the anime decides to pause the story when these 10 episodes end.