Mahou Shoujo Site (Anime) Review

Ayappi, not Asagiri Ayappi, here 。゚(TヮT)゚。

This review will contain 2 parts. The biased and the unbiased review. This will be a VERY long post as I have a lot of things to say, so please do make use of the sub headings to navigate. Also this will contain spoilers from BOTH the Manga and Anime so please proceed with caution.

If you haven’t read my “Defense of Mahou Shoujo Site” article, you can read it here

Table of Contents:
Intro
Unbiased Review
     > Opening and Ending
> ORIGINAL Story
> Characters
> Theme Discussion
> Final Thoughts and Recommendation
Biased Review
===============
Introduction
I have said this time and time again, but I will say it again: Mahou Shoujo Site is my Number 1 favorite anime and manga. Despite the negative reception it has received from many of the international community, mostly due to the overabundance of themes and scenes that set off majority of this generation’s “triggers,” I honestly didn’t give a crap and proceeded to watch the show and read the manga. However just because it is my favorite now, does not mean I will be super lenient with its flaws and not expose them. I can try to defend it with a close analysis of the work, but that doesn’t mean I’ll simply brush over them. With that said here are my thoughts on this anime adaptation of a manga that I consider to be my all time favorite.

Unbiased Review:

Mahou Shoujo Site spanned 12 episodes total for its first season run. This review will focus mainly on the anime’s Opening and Ending, the original story, its characters and will end with my final conclusion and recommendations.

I will not tackle the anime’s art in this review as really there’s nothing that stood out in particular for me to point out. Other than the characters are now colored, are moving, and look cuter (in my opinion) compared to the manga, there really isn’t anything I’d like to say. Well, actually I do, but it’s so minor that it won’t make a difference whatsoever anyway (has something to do with the animation speed of some blood scenes).

Opening and Ending Themes
Let’s start with the OP and ED of the anime, they’re well done and executed. The opening, Changing Point by iRis is in my opinion, well done. The voices have this hint of despair that fits in with the theme of the series: “misfortune,” while at the same time, give energy and excitement to the viewer. This is something, paired along with good visuals and mood setting imagery, which the anime does well too, that is in my opinion crucial to any anime opening. It is an opening for a reason, it sets the mood for something and/or gets people fired up for the show. Normally I skip openings, but this is one of those openings that I didn’t skip from reasons ranging to Nana suddenly singing in Episode 10, to the subtle changes in the openings with each passing episode. Examples of these would be Aya crying blood in the first opening, and switching to Tempest after Episode 2: Tempest.

The ending is probably the more controversial of the two. The ending song is okay, it’s not the best but it’s not the worst. The choice to go live action was a huge but welcome surprise to me, it’s done pretty well. However, the ending decided to make use of sperm cells flying around a real life Tokyo among others. This is one of the things that sparked controversy among members of the international anime community, leaving some utterly confused and some dismissing it as something merely done for the edginess.

Now in defense of the flying sperm cells, remember that the Tempest will “give birth to a new world.” What do most living organisms do when they give birth? That’s right, a sperm and an egg cell. Remember that the “King” will give birth to a new world using “the people’s misfortune.” When a man and a woman do “it” and sperm gets released, remember that there are many of them trying to fertilize the egg cell. In this case, there’s only one King, and many people’s misfortune. It has also been mentioned that “not many will survive the Tempest,” and if you watched Episode 12 of this series you would know that the same sperm cell imagery has been shown, but with a sperm cell withering out when Nana says how not many will survive the Tempest. This is much like how not many sperm will survive after sex.

That isn’t to say that I found the flying sperm cells weird at first though. This is probably because I grew up in a somewhat conservative household that holds topics such as sex and whatnot as taboo. At the first few episodes I found myself skipping the ending to “Ikitai.” I might do a separate piece on that “Ikitai” in the future, for now I’ll stick to the anime.

ORIGINAL Story 

One of the biggest surprises that hit me was really the first scene of the first episode. I called it, it was a foreshadowing of two things: that Nana would be killed in the end, and that this isn’t going to follow the manga’s timeline. The anime made use of an original storyline that is mostly faithful to the source material at the first nine episodes, but proceeds to take its own course starting the tenth. Allow me to highlight first the major differences between the anime and the manga.

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Remember this photo? Yup that’s Alice.

In the anime, we lose out on many things found in the manga. Let’s start with Maganuma Alice, the girl who could turn back time with a flip phone stick. This girl is also related to Detective Misumi, Nana’s human accomplice who “rescued” Aya and the rest of the team from shitty brother  Asagiri Kaname’s attack. While her face was shown at the ending scene featuring Kaname’s rape in Misumi’s “sex dungeon,” it can’t be denied that she had absolutely ZERO screentime other than a cameo in a picture frame.

 

Her disappearance from the anime has caused many of the other differences in this anime, including Shizukume Sarina’s involvement with Nana, and the explosion during Anazawa Nijimi’s funeral. In the manga, Sarina was actually killed by Nana but was saved by Alice’s stick. In the manga, Aya and the rest of the mahou shoujo (she met at least) died in the explosion but was saved by Alice’s stick.

In the anime however, Sarina was just threatened with death by Nana. This non-killing of Sarina ties well with how the writers dealt with a lack of Maganuma Alice in the explosion part of the story. Remember that Sarina was working for Nana at the time, so she knows what Nana planned to do from the very beginning. With Sarina alive, she was able to team up with Asagiri Aya and give information to transport themselves to safety.

My take on this is probably because the anime was limited to a 12 episode run. The writers had to cut some parts of the original manga (which still isn’t finished by the way), to make room for an anime that will fit within 12 episodes, and one of them was to cut off Maganuma Alice. So far, the effects of erasing “shark teeth” Alice hasn’t been felt because the writers did a good job at patching up Sarina’s side of the story. Yatsumura however is where things begin to manifest, please read on.

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Top 10 Anime Confessions

Another major difference is how Yatsumura Tsuyuno died. In the manga, Yatsumura died from using her stick to stop time and save Aya because Maganuma Alice betrayed them in their battle with a really fat site administrator (the one that likes to rap). In the anime, Yatsumura also died from overuse of her stick, but it was with a battle with Nana, who doesn’t appear near the girls at all at this part, in the manga. Again, we can see without Maganuma Alice, things have been taking a very different direction from the source material.

 

While okay, I will admit it was a somewhat good way in my opinion to add some “TsuyuAya” drama and trigger a major character change in Aya without Alice in the story, but at what cost? Two things come into my mind: Pacing and Character Development. For the purposes of this section, I will tackle the pacing first.

If I were to graph the pacing of the story of this anime, here it is:

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This is one of those anime’s that have so much potential but are ultimately bogged down by the pacing. I’m not blaming the writers on this one, I’m blaming the constraint they had to work with. Episodes 1-10 in my opinion were crucial in developing the characters, world and the story so taking a hit there would actually worsen the effects. Many of the major events: Yatsumura and Asagiri’s final happy moments, the assembly of the “anti site admin squad” as I like to call it, introduction of magical girls from other sites, unearthing mysteries surrounding the site and Asagiri Kaname’s antics, were all covered in these 10 episodes and rushing them would not have been a wise decision. Had this been done, it would end up like SAO.

Episodes 11 and 12 felt really rushed to me, despite not really affecting my overall enjoyment and opinion on this anime. One thing that indicated the horrible pacing of the last two episodes was how Aya gained the ability of passing over lifespan and memories to another mahou shoujo out of nowhere. In the manga, she gained this after Yatsumura’s death, okay. It sort of makes more sense now, until you realize that Shioi Rina was the one who pointed that out to Komura Kayo, who were both nowhere to be found at that time (Shioi Rina was sent with Kosame Amagai to heal Sarina). To people who haven’t read the manga, this would cause lots of confusion and give the impression that this is a last minute plot armor device. 

However, despite the pacing problems, it was a good ending to a series that carried themes of “misfortune,” mind you. This sounds contradicting, but the best way I could describe this sort of scenario is “kinda well written, but horribly paced.”

Speaking of the ending, the final message of the anime, “we are not misfortunate,” was in my opinion a nice touch. It’s consistent with Asagiri Aya’s character of being the light in a world full of death and despair, and is just overall satisfying in my honest opinion.

Characters

Let’s go to characters, probably my biggest gripe, which I will divide into two parts: TsuyuAya and Others. Let’s start with Others.

Again, 12 episodes could really bog down a very good anime with potential. Another manifestation of this could be seen in the development of the characters and their overall screentime. One scenario I could think of of me wanting to see more of a character is Kosame Amagai. She’s arguably my favorite character and honestly, I felt like her character started to fade away slowly, only to come back into the limelight at the last part (healing Sarina). This can be seen with Kosame having almost zero lines, but then again she is the shy type of the bunch. I can assure you though, she has more lines in the manga compared to the anime.

However, the big hits in terms of character development were taken by Mikari and Sayuki, with the former taking more hits. Sayuki as we know is part of a yakuza family, but the only instance of that fully showing is her house being a location for Asagiri Kaname’s attack. We don’t get to see their backgrounds unlike the manga, which leads us to dismiss their characters as merely “the rich bitches.” Mikari and Sayuki have really interesting backstories in my opinion, and it really does show that they have lived unfortunate lives similar to the rest of the girls. However, with those completely gone from the anime, there is a possibility that people will think their misfortune comes from the cookie cutter “lonely rich girl” stereotype.

I’ve seen this trend too with many of the negative reviews I have read. While I don’t think the series warrants a 1/10 for “bland, bipolar” characters with no textual evidence support whatsoever, the 12 episode limit might have caused this perception among those who hated it.

Another instance of this would be detective Misumi, but I wouldn’t really complain on this one because his character only gets developed at the later chapters. Meaning the scope of the anime really was going to leave him out. If I can point out one negative effect of this, is that we dismiss him as the horny plot device cop. Yes, horny cop. Watch the last 3 minutes of the anime.

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Please tell me I’m not the only who thought this was the funniest scene in the entire anime

What they did well though in the others department is Asagiri Kaname. Again, the 12 episodes cut off some of his moments (punching Aya) that however, not really detrimental to the story, help develop his character. But the writers make up for this during the beach episode with their choice to remain faithful to the source material. Kaname’s monologue before killing the Nijimin-wota with Nijimi’s panty stick captures his character really well – a narcissistic high school boy who has a “god complex,” thinking everyone below him is trash and should be destroyed. In my opinion, their choice to tone down the abuse to Aya, but go full force with the Nijimi-wota was a good compromise to Kaname’s character.

 

Let’s now move on to TsuyuAya, which honestly is one of the biggest parts of Mahou Shoujo Site. It’s so big, that fans even call the manga as Yuri Shoujo Site and for good reason too.

BEST

Bask in its glory. This is canon.

Asagiri and Tsuyuno’s relationship plays a huge role in both their characters. In a way, they were each other’s catalysts for character development. Asagiri Aya as we know “only thought about dying everyday,” until she met Tsuyuno. Tsuyuno, after her source of revenge (and reason to live) was killed off by Sarina in the apartment duel, found new meaning in life thanks to Aya. Their relationship, much like a normal relationship between humans, has caused them to grow up together and develop each other.

I’ll dive more into their relationship in the next section, but let me start off with what they did right and wrong in highlighting this important symbol. The anime got some parts right with the bath scenes, bed scenes and beach scene. It’s mostly consistent with the manga, and highlights their relationship status well.

What they didn’t do right however, was to, again with the pacing, skip over it and deprive us of the kiss I just showed above. This was a powerful event that helps in the symbol of hope and love in my opinion, and they just had to exclude it. At least we got a confession from both of them.

 

On the subject of TsuyuAya, let’s talk about Asagiri Aya. She is far from being a static character as most negative reviews claim her to be. Yes, she still is “borderline too kind for the world, even bordering into stupidity,” according to Tsuyuno herself, but she has certainly gotten stronger. We can see this in how she chooses to stay with Yatsumura despite her dead body being in front of Nana who could kill her, and especially in how she teamed up with Sarina. The super passive Aya we saw in the first episode, has become this more aggressive, but still passive, stronger Aya. Indeed, in the words of Tsuyuno, “[she] really [has] gotten stronger.”

Theme Discussion

This anime may have taken a turn for the “worse,” but one of the things it kind of gets right is conveying the message I think it harbors. It’s already been established, this world of Mahou Shoujo Site is a world filled with pain, anguish, malice, despair, sadness, suffering and hopelessness. Despite all that, we get Aya.

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Not edited, I promise

Aya is one of these characters that look like a static character at first, but in reality she’s a dynamic character as I just mentioned. This however actually helps in the message of the entire series, that even in the darkest of the darkest worlds, there’s still room for infallible hope. Aya is the embodiment of this infallible hope, because despite of all of the shit thrown at her, she’s still that overly kind human being deep down. Stronger yes, but still kind.

This message of hope extends down to Tsuyuno as well, in her “site admin phase.” She’s dead yes, but she was technically reincarnated as a site admin, meaning she’s alive again. This time however, she’s filled with despair and nothingness, a slave to the will of the “King.” But with Aya’s little speech and her stick’s new ability, Tsuyuno was saved and went back to her normal self. It shows that really, even just a tiny bit of hope could make a huge difference in the world.

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King isn’t amused however

Conclusion and Recommendations

With all that said, I’m sorry if you found my review to be a ramble. But on to topic, would I recommend you watch this anime? This anime suffers from the 12 episode limit imposed by things such as airtime and budget, but overall manages to pull it off with a rushed but very satisfying ending. It cuts some corners, but makes up for it with its writing, themes, and Aya and Tsuyuno. Other characters not so much.

Despite all that I’m proud to declare that this is now my new favorite #1 anime locked on. It was the one reason why I woke up early on Saturdays, so my biased answer is a definite yes. However my unbiased answer is also a yes, but with a few conditions attached.

Are you the type to get triggered with any of the following themes and elements? Bullying, attempted and actual (gay) rape, domestic abuse, flying sperm cells, animal abuse, sadism, blood, despair, suicide, self harm, crime, murder, psychotic tendencies, overall political incorrectness? If yes for at least 5 of those, then I highly advise you to stay away from this anime. This isn’t for the faint of heart and overly sensitive, especially considering that this a PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR anime. (I swear, I see people complaining that the show is edgy when the genre is inherently supposed to be edgy).

Are you the type who likes to deconstruct series and do close readings of them? I highly recommend you read the manga first before even diving into the anime. It’s very different I can assure you that, and I even found myself rereading the manga here and then to highlight some of the major differences between the two.

Are you the type who wants a lighthearted series to watch after a long tiring day at work? If you’re me, then I’d recommend it. But this series is only purely heartwarming during TsuyuAya scenes. Everything else we go back to this world of death and despair, which I’m pretty sure some of us want to forget about with a good fix of anime. This anime is relentlessly realistic, so don’t watch it if you want your escapism fix.

Have you watched the anime? What do you think? Please do let me know down below!

With that, please have a wonderful mahou shoujo life  and  day ❤

Biased Review: 
NO TSUYUAYA KISS >:(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
JUST A CONFESSION. BOOOOOO
0/10. NOT RECOMENNDEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Joking, I love you Mahou Shoujo Site. I always will. You’re the best. Fite me. Everyone watch it, if you can handle it.

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An Open Letter Regarding Good and Bad Anime

Ayappi here (=´∀`), and I’m officially getting old and a third year in university!

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Oh goodness, here we go

Last night I couldn’t sleep because of my allergies, so I decided to check if I missed an episode of my favorite anime, Mahou Shoujo Site. Out of curiosity, I decided to check the comments section of KissAnime, to see whether or not the divide between the community on this anime is still present. Turns out, the divide is still present, but more people are noticeably leaning towards the positive. However, what ticked me off were some very special people in the comments section. This blog post is inspired and addressed to the wonderful people at KissAnime.com, so here we go.

Dear “wonderful people,”

Liking an anime, and hating an anime are both opposites of each other, but are still two completely acceptable things. Art and Literature, including anime, are inherently subjective, and as my professor in university would always say: “There are no wrong answers.” Our definition of good and bad will only be determined by you, and only you.

Remember that no two people will have the exact same definition of what is good. For some, a good story is a relatable story with heartwarming characters, a laid back setting and cute characters. For others, a good story is simply something that imitates nature, or has a moral lesson to teach, or something that serves as a good outlet for the author’s emotions. For some, edgy shows such as Mahou Shoujo Site are good stories.

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For some, the original is way better than GGO. Although I prefer LLENN over Kirito

Now we all have our own sentiments when it comes to things like literature. You see, the entire anime community could be comparable to a university classroom. It’s like a book club (or in this case an entire anime club), where we express our opinions about a show, what WE THINK is good and bad about the series, and try to convince those who haven’t watched the show to either watch or not watch it. It’s a great thing on paper as it offers platforms for discourse on these animes that we love to watch. It’s good that things such as comments sections give a chance for the audience to give feedback.

That’s probably where it ends however. In practice, it’s extremely problematic. For one thing, I constantly see lots of people who don’t realize that there’s a huge difference between expressing your opinion, and shoving your opinion down people’s throats. I saw this from the same person who replied to some people who think Mahou Shoujo Site was good, and replied to them with the same identical string of words that person used to fight someone else. First of all, you certainly have lots of time on your hands, don’t you? Second, if you think it’s a bad series, then go ahead and let the world know. What isn’t right, is if you constantly try to change people’s minds into thinking your word is the law. If your point is that an anime is objectively bad, then you’re using the wrong viewpoint from the get go unless we’re talking about things like lackluster editing (and even then, a horribly edited video could be good in itself).

Please remember that no one’s opinion in the anime community is the law. The only difference between reviewers such as me, and you, is how we express our opinions on the anime we’re tearing apart. My reviews aren’t the law. Your reviews aren’t the law. Even someone as prominent as the Anime Man’s words are not the law. You’re free to agree or disagree, but never to declare that something is law. No opinion transcends space and time and is absolute. Get off your high horse. We’re dealing with subjective matters here, not objective matters. If you’re a PC gamer, remember that an anime review is an entirely different species compared to a review of a Radeon HD7990 and a Core i9-7980XE prebuilt, if that even exists.

Segueing into my next point, if you are completely insistent on claiming a certain series is the worst series ever, please please PLEASE, make sure you have textual evidence to back it up. A simple summary of the entire series based on what you think will not help. If anything, it will help me in tearing apart your arguments. As I’ve said, there are no wrong answers in literature, provided they are well defended. You can’t say, a series is bad because “it’s edgy for the sake of being edgy,” without giving me examples from the text itself as to how and why it’s edgy. If I was your literature teacher I’d write a huge “so what” in your paper.

Let me illustrate with an example:

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Example A: Otokonoko Tsuma is a sad attempt at appealing to trap lovers.

Example B: Otokonoko Tsuma is a sad attempt at appealing to trap lovers, because the series echoes many similarities with existing works in the genre. A similar story can be seen in (trap story) where, just like Otokonoko Tsuma (this and that).

Which do you think I’d see as more credible? It’s so simple to add some textual evidence to an argument. It won’t make your argument bulletproof by any means (forget about it, we’re dealing with subjective things here), and in most cases people won’t change their minds regardless, but it does make your arguments stronger. It gives the people you’re trying to convince, the impression that you actually watched it and know what you’re talking about. No amount of “it’s bad because this and that” will convince me. If you can’t show me proof in the form of textual evidence, then your argument, not the anime, is trash.

One example for the above is the overwhelmingly abundant amount of comments dismissing the anime for being a mere Madoka clone, period. No textual evidence whatsoever highlighting the things Mahou Shoujo Site allegedly ripped off. I’m not even going to lie, I wanted to spam my “Defense of Mahou Shoujo Site” article in there, to show how weak their arguments were. I have no problems if you hate the anime, provided you give me concrete examples. To be frank, these people just spouted shit that would easily grant them F’s in an analysis paper.

Finally, for those who start fights on the matter of good and bad anime. My goodness. If you’re still a teenager, that’s understanable. You’re young and learning about the world still, so it’s completely understandable. For the grown ups however, seriously? I’m pretty sure you already know if you lived this long that these things are subjective. Please do be a little more mature in both dealing with people who say an anime is bad, or when trying to express your opinions on certain animes.

Again, I would like to say, an anime’s goodness or badness is determined by you. Only you have the power to decide if an anime is good for you. Express your opinions if you want to, but don’t act like some lawmaker declaring that a certain anime is trash and shouldn’t be watched, or proceed to start fights on it. Believe it or not, these things are some of what makes us have a bad name in society.

I would also just like to add a little thought. Who cares if people think an anime is bad? Just watch it if you really want to watch it, not because people think it’s a good anime. Don’t let the opinions of others affect how you enjoy the hobby.

With all of that said, I think I exhausted what I have to say for now. I wish you have a fun and happy day ahead. ❤

My Top 10 Favorite Anime (as of now)

Ayappi here ヾ(๑╹◡╹)ノ”

Today I’m going to do something a bit different, and longer than usual. I know it isn’t much, but I wanted to do this for quite some time now. I see most other bloggers and YouTubers doing something like this, and I thought it would be nice if I shared my own list as well. These are series where I could genuinely say, I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed myself watching it, tearing it apart, relating to it, and other things. For some of these, I enjoyed them so much that no matter how much new series get thrown in my direction, I find myself rewatching clips of these series.

I do want to get this out of the way though, this list is subject to change because of my inherent human nature. In fact, before writing this, 2 series got erased from the top spots, so this is by no means an “endgame list.” I do plan to update it whenever I feel like it, so yes.

Anyway without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s get started, with an honorable mention first. By the way, there will be spoilers below so I bolded the anime names in case you want to skim through it.

Honorable Mention – Uchuu Patrol Luluco

JUSTICE

I remember binge watching this when I was in my family friend’s vacation home somewhere near a beach beside some mountains. At that time, I couldn’t get an LTE signal because of my phone not having the correct bands for the area, and because we were so high up in the mountains. Fortunately I had downloaded the entire series prior to going, and so I spent an entire night finishing the entire anime, along with fixing my anime and manga backlog.

I like this anime for one thing: madness. It’s very short, but I like the madness it offers with the short timeframe. I mean, the opening theme alone, is so crazy and all over the place. The madness was only escalated by the many (and I mean many) crossovers this anime does with other Trigger anime. No moment isn’t dull, I always find myself laughing at one point or another.

And don’t even get me started on the ending theme, Pipo Password by Bonjour Suzuki. This ending theme for some reason doesn’t fit in with the overall madness of the show, but I personally think its more chill, spacey sound is a good contrast. May I suggest going out, looking at the full moon or the stars while listening to this song?

10 – Love Live! / Love Live Second Season

It’s so popular, even elementary school boys want to be idols. Not joking

I’ll be honest, this used to be my #1 favorite anime of all time, but recently I started to lose interest. I used to be a huge Love Liver, and I had access to some insider info as well (I won’t get into specifics for their privacy). Nowadays, I pretty much dumped Love Live Sunshine and it’s second season into, somewhere in the bottom of my list (although I do think the more human side of idols it gives is refreshing), but I chose to keep the original into #10. The reason for this is that this was a very memorable anime for me.

This was actually the anime I used to learn Japanese when I first started. Although I wouldn’t recommend that you use this anime for pronunciation (I personally use talk shows), it does help a lot with vocabulary.

The songs too are an important factor. I am a huge sucker for music in anime, and it’s undeniable that Love Live has some of the catchiest, most beautiful songs I have ever heard. My personal favorite voice would be Rin and Honoka’s voice, although my first favorite idol, and I’m proud to admit it, was Nico.

9 – Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

UMA and 馬 are different

Not a lot of people know this anime honestly, based on my friend circles both offline and online. In fact, I never even heard of this anime existing until I saw a photo from the Facebook page Ho-Kago TeaTime featuring Mashiro and Kobeni. I was bored at the time, so I decided to watch the anime, and oh my goodness did that turn out to be one of the best decisions I made.

It’s nothing special, other than the fact that Hakuya and Mashiro are, not human (spoiler, but doesn’t really mean anything unless you know exactly what they are). It just shows the relationship dynamics between Kobeni, who just got engaged to Hakuya, as well as how they live their daily lives. But the amount of relatability, and the cuteness of Hakuya and Kobeni’s relationship throughout the entire 12 episode run made me place it at #9 of my list.

8, 7 – Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? , Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon

Coffee and rabbits, what could go wrong?

I placed these two together for two reasons:

1. To shorten this list

2. Because the reasons for me liking both of these are pretty much the same

I wouldn’t really call my high school experience, much more chill than high school. In fact, I think I had a rougher time in high school socially, as well as academically (my teachers kept dumping homework). Couple that with the fact that my uniform was so warm and the school doesn’t use airconditioners to “lessen the carbon footprint” and you have mentally tired high school students.I’m in university right now, and I took care of my social issues, but academically (although it’s noticeably easier) and temperature wise it’s no different. I still go home mentally tired, even if I’m not the one driving me to school.

Ravioli ravioli, don’t put your tail on my food

These two anime are so lighthearted, relatable and just butt whopping cute. Sometimes, watching the daily lives of the casts of these two slice of life anime can be just as relaxing as a cup of tea by the sunset while listening to C-418’s Minecraft songs. It offers me a gentle reminder that slowing down and living life isn’t so bad once in a while, and that the relationships I share with my family and friends, who I also consider family, are just as important as that 50 page “thesis” I’m carrying for my horribly dysfunctional group.

6 – Kotoura-san

I really want to eat that Takoyaki, RIGHT. NOW.

Now this one, I’ll be honest, I only finished a few months ago. Why it took that long? I had papers to write, a lot of them. Kotoura-san is one of those series that is very relatable (to me at least) and has got to be one of the sweetest, most heart wrenching series I ever watched. Manabe and Kotoura’s relationship in this anime is so fun to watch, and it really makes you cheer for both of them as it progresses. Not to mention, I liked the ending.

Though fun fact, this is a series that made me cry, if not the only series other than Plastic Memories to ever make me cry at the ending. I have watched Angel Beats, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, a bit of AnoHana, Nagi no Asu Kara and all of that stuff, but none of those have ever made me cry, or even get close to crying involuntarily.

If I had to nitpick something about this anime, I’d say the original manga’s artstyle was weird. And I mean, really weird, especially when colored.

5 – Girls und Panzer

Panzer Vor!

Girls and tanks. That’s basically the entire Girls und Panzer franchise. Although this show is special to me because other than the fact that there’s cool tanks, explosions and, cool tanks, it actually made me quite a bit of friends, especially over World of Tanks. Also I personally admire the cast for using mostly flawed or lower tier tanks, and winning against a KV-2 and even some of the finest in German Tank technology, without relying on some miracle that appeared out of nowhere. Miho could be a miracle, but it should be noted that Miho is the only one with prior experience in Ooarai compared to the likes of schools like Saunders.

Please do check out the abridged version too if you have time. It a really well done abridged series by Gunmetal Stug. Unfortunately I have no idea when Episode 7 will appear.

Every episode, movie, OVA, me and my newfound and existing friends would always chat about this anime. Some of them, are even my gaming buddies over in World of Tanks. We don’t play together anymore, although I still do with my Chi Ri and StuG III, but I can still remember the times when we’d imitate tactics from the anime and incorporate them in our training and matches. To be fair though, some of them actually worked well.

4 – Gakkou Gurashi

Diejobu

DIESUKI. That pretty much sums up my opinions regarding this anime. I honestly thought it would be like Kobayashi or GochiUsa, but when the dark twist happened, I honestly wasn’t prepared for it. I didn’t see it coming, and even though the show took a turn in the opposite direction, it managed to still be really heartwarming and relaxing for some odd reason.

Sure, it’s tough to see them struggle with their current situation, but honestly I didn’t mind at all. If anything, it kept me watching. It made me appreciate and care for these characters, much like a mother to her daughter. It can be a bit bloody and graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re not good at handling such things.

Quick Japanese lesson, 4 is unlucky in Japan because it can be read as death. Funny how this anime is about death and it’s 4th on the list.

3 – Sora Yori mo Tooi Basyo

“The girls are alright”

This was another of the series I binge watched along with Uchuu Patrol Luluco, although I finished this one when I went back home. This anime, first of all, has THE BEST ending theme I have ever heard from an anime. Possibly this is now my favorite song. If you’re curious and never heard it, or you’re the type to skip the ending themes, the title is Koko Kara, Koko Kara.

I like this anime for two things, relatability and friendship. There are many things I could relate to with the four main characters in this anime on many levels. Every episode, I get to know them better, and I could relate to their daily exploits and funny moments. Although I never eaten durian ice cream, that’s for sure. The anime also serves as a reminder, again like Maid Dragon, that the relationships we build with others are just as important as our goals. We can see this in how the girls formed very strong relationships with each other, while also getting to “the place father than the universe.”

I personally think it’s really beautiful and it’s one of the best slice of life adventure anime I have ever watched. Also, the fact that it was about Antarctica got me hooked immediately.

2 – Toradora

The love between a tiger and a dragon

If the below takes my crown for best slice of life/adventure anime, then this would take the tiara for best romance anime in my opinion. Again, one of the reasons is the relatability of the show. I could relate to these characters a lot, especially with Ryuuji and Taiga. I didn’t have a relationship when I first watched this, but I rewatched this many times and I could indeed relate a bit to those two when I got into my first relationship.

But that’s not the main reason why I love this anime so much. This is actually the first romance anime I have watched, and is one of the few romance animes in my list where the main character isn’t blatantly perverted. Most importantly, this anime is the reason why even watch romance animes nowadays in the first place. The mix of confusion and emotions I felt over the course of 25 episodes (?), I couldn’t really describe into words other than saying, this anime is just beautiful, much like the star Taiga had as Christmas decor.

It doesn’t stop there, the soundtrack is one of those things that, if I had background music for every moment in my life, Toradora would claim some of those songs. Ame Iro Rondo, Sora Iro no Houkago, Yasasisa no Asioto, and most especially Holy Night are some of my personal favorites in the soundtrack. I remember one time in Osaka where I looked out the window and I could see the bright night sky illuminated by buildings. I honestly thought it was 8AM already, but my clock read 2AM. We were beside a river at the time too, so imagine the reflection. It was a piece of Japan’s beauty which I simply couldn’t let go of, but I digress. Where did Toradora’s soundtrack play into this? Please listen to Ame Iro Rondo and imagine what I just said.

1 – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica / Mahou Shoujo Site

Meduka. As I fight, she watch me. So I pray, never to forget. That being Meguca, was suffering.

Finally we made it to the end of this list. At number one, I actually have two animes which are of the same genre, are both probably the edgiest in their respective seasons, and both feature Magical Girls. The only differences, other than the plot, are that Mahou Shoujo Site is currently airing and my judgement is based off the manga, and that there are no movies on Mahou Shoujo Site.

I personally don’t tell people in person, but I am a fan of these dark and edgy stories, which still offer hope. While I have read some hopeless stories, I would still rather have hope in mine and these two are my top contenders.

I always want to be with your side, Yatsumura-san

Both series in my opinion offer subjectively excellent writing. If you have read my defense on Mahou Shoujo Site, you would know that I actually favor the more realistic but edgy approach that the author of this has done. It gives it this more realistic side, which in my opinion strengthens the relatability and effectiveness of the cast and story. Madoka’s approach on the magical girl genre is needless to say, a classic, and I think we all know by now that the way this story approached magical girls revolutionized the entire genre of magical girl. While Madoka has noticeably more magic elements than Mahou Shoujo Site, it still keeps its realistic factor by the effects and events the wishes of the magical girls cause.

Anyway, both series have excellent soundtracks in my opinion, but I lean more towards Madoka on this one simply because the orchestral sounds are more towards my preference. Although I will give props to the opening theme of Mahou Shoujo Site, and even the ending theme with it’s いきたい at the ending part (which could mean I want to live).

Though in the case of Mahou Shoujo Site, there are two other reasons why I love it so much like Madoka other than the relatable cast, subjectively excellent writing, and just plain being adorably edgy. Much like, again, a mother to her daughter, I really love this series and I would do my best to convince people to give it another chance due to the fact that I could see its beauty despite Episode 1. We can’t please everyone, I know, but I think people should still give it a chance, that is if they’re genuinely alright with seeing a lot of blood. The second, and possibly the shallowest reason I have in this entire list, is that the original manga has a kiss scene.

Mahou Shoujo Site – 1

Madoka – 0

“But Madoka has handholding!”

Mahou Shoujo Site had it, in the anime, twice.

TsuyuAya for the win.

But at least Madoka doesn’t have an Asagiri Kaname. So I think it’s a good tradeoff. I guess…

If you made it this far, I would just like to say thank you for reading my ramble on my Top 10 animes so far. If I was stuck on a desert island and I had to watch anime until help arrives, I would most likely stick to these series. This list however doesn’t really coincide with my manga list, which I will be doing once I finish some series.

How about you? Do we have similarities in our lists? If you were to change up my list with an anime you think will beat out all of these, what would that be? What’s your Top 10 anime? Please do let me know!

I hope you have a nice day and a fun anime watching experience ❤

In Defense of Mahou Shoujo Site

If you are uncomfortable with sensitive topics, or spoilers, please do not read this article.

First of all, I would like to say, thank you to the first 5 followers I got. It really made me happy that you followed my blog 

I’ll work hard and do my best to bring more content slowly!

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When people don’t like mahou shoujo site

Back on topic. A recent anime adapted from the manga of similar name, Mahou Shoujo Site has been making rounds in the anime community lately. Personally, like it, if not love it. But for the rest of the anime community, reception seems to be mixed judging from the ratings in BakaUpdates, MyAnimeList and YouTube, and I couldn’t blame them for it. For one thing, it is undeniable that the first episode of the anime does, bring a lot of so-called shock factor into the table. This is especially amplified by the transitions the directors used when switching scenes. This eventually leads majority of the opposition to say that the anime is merely shock value, and offers no substance whatsoever.

Another thing is that some people in the community accuse the show of being a blatant shot at a “Madoka ripoff,” and I couldn’t blame them for it because there are some things that are similar to Madoka in many ways. The most obvious being the fact that the show is dark and has magical girls in it, as well as death and despair.

But probably, the one thing that stood out among all of the other factors that contributed to this anime’s rise to its currently (in)famous  status is how the anime tackles very sensitive topics such as child abuse and rape. In the first episode alone, I could see why the anime gained the title “the edgiest anime of the season.” We have bullies making poor Aya’s life miserable in school (even attempted to rape her towards the end). We have a brother whose pressure from his father forces him to turn his sister Aya into a punching bag. It’s really, as the anime’s tagline says, unfortunate (不幸だね).

However, I personally will admit that I could handle such edge and I continued on to watch the anime. I even started to read the manga, and I am planning to buy Volume 10 of it soon. Since the anime isn’t finished yet, I decided to go and read the manga so I know what will happen next. By doing that, I realized two things:

  1. I love this manga
  2. The edginess in Episode 1 is important and necessary

What do I mean by Number 2? I personally think the Mahou Shoujo Site’s appearance to Aya wouldn’t have made much of an effect had the “edginess” been toned down. If we take a look at the mechanics behind when does the site appear to a girl, it’s obvious that the site is approaching unfortunate young girls. For the site, the meaning of unfortunate seems to be that a person really has to have a sort-of living hell in their lives. And this lines up with the fact that the purpose of the sticks is apparently to collect negative energy from daily interactions with the world. Obviously, living a living hell, which causes despair, is chock full of negative energy.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-site-01-720p-mkv_20180407_010359-460

I love these two to bits

Let’s take a look at the backstories behind some of our main characters before they became magical girls:

Asagiri Aya: Abusive brother who uses her as a punching bag, bullies that almost got her raped, but cause her physical harm everyday. “Everyday, all [she] thinks about is dying.”

Yatsumura Tsuyuno: Her entire family was murdered by a burglar, and has since lived alone in a state of panic and fear for her life

Nijimin: Her father committed suicide due to debt from loan sharks. Her mother, and she was (from what I understood) almost was forced by these loan sharks to become a prostitute.

There is another Mahou Shoujo who I forgot the name of had her family killed off by a murderer in a stabbing spree.

We can see obviously that these are very, very unfortunate situations unimaginable to happen in our daily lives, living hells if you will. Had these been toned down to just being lonely, then I think it defeats the purpose of the site catering to “unfortunate” young girls. If it was toned down, the Mahou Shoujo Site wouldn’t even approach Aya in the first place. These things do happen in real life, and possibly this was the best way the author could have made the girl’s lives really unfortunate while still being realistic and unfortunate. I know the themes being tackled by this series are very sensitive and serious issues in society, but honestly, I would rather the author use these instead of some unrealistic way to make the character’s lives utterly miserable.

Had Aya’s situation been just relegated to bullying without the physical harm and attempted rape, or domestic abuse from her brother, or really anyone in the story, then the story would deviate from the dark nature the Mahou Shoujo Site possesses.  Again, going back to the sticks and harvesting negative energy, it only makes sense that the most surefire way of harvesting negative energy is to get it from girls who are living a living hell.

Furthermore, I personally think that the accusation that the anime is all shock value is unfair. While it is true that the anime does bring a lot of shock value to the table, advancing a few episodes or reading the manga would reveal that the series isn’t really all shock value. There were plenty of opportunities for character development down the road, and honestly, one episode of an anime isn’t enough to label the entire series most of the time. We could argue every day about the flaws of the writing, and I’ll admit it isn’t the best, but to say that the series brings nothing but shock is unfair and is a weak argument in my opinion.

On the subject of the anime/manga being a Madoka rip off, I beg to disagree. Sure, the series is similar to Madoka in many fronts, other than the fact that both are about magical girls in despair, with magical tools from “magical beings” with ulterior motives. However, the one big difference in Madoka and this series is the way the “magical beings” represented by Kyubey in Madoka and the site administrators in Mahou Shoujo Site approach their targets.

kyubey_with_airi

In Madoka, Kyubey esssentially approaches young girls, and doesn’t seem to have a criteria for them. Kyubey judges based on the potential magic ability, and grants young girls a wish in exchange for being a magical girl, which may or may not cause despair when the wish takes a turn for the worse. In Mahou Shoujo Site, despair is a pre-requisite for one to become qualified to be a mahou shoujo. The site administrators do not grant wishes, they simply give a stick with a random power to the girl in despair.

The mechanics of the mahou shoujo also differ a lot from Madoka Magica. Unlike Mahou Shoujo Site’s girls, in Madoka, the use of magic ability does not adversely affect biological lifespan. Madoka’s system is that with every use, the girl’s soul gem gets darker and needs to be purified by a grief seed to become clean again. In Mahou Shoujo Site, every minute equates to loss of life and physically affects the health of the user. It should be noted as well that the nature of the soul gem is different than that of the sticks, in a sense that if the stick is lost, you simply lose the thing as evidenced in the events after the  incident with Sarina and Yatsumura’s apartment, rather than being a lifeless corpse after a certain distance has been travelled as demonstrated by Sayaka’s gem being thrown by Madoka into a truck.

With all that said, in the end, whether or not the anime is to your liking is up to you. However, I highly suggest following the three episode rule and give it another chance. That is assuming, you’re alright with seeing a lot of blood because if there’s one thing that the anime doesn’t hold back about, it’s blood. I love the anime and manga and obviously I’d love it if people loved it too, but what you prefer is out of my control. I could sit here all day, and try to counter the arguments posed by those who do not like the show, but really, only you have the power to decide what is good for you. Please remember that. I simply wrote this article just to bring my opinions to the table, and to possibly give you a different perspective when it comes to this really edgy anime that I, personally, came to love.

mahou_shoujo_site_nana

How about you? Please let me know with a comment how you feel about this series? If you dropped it, would you consider rewatching it? Or at least read the manga?

I think that’s all for now, please have a great day and a happy mahou shoujo life. 

If you want to watch the anime legally, it’s available on Prime Video. If you want to buy the manga, I recommend heading over to eBookJapan for the cheapest digital copy (based on what I could find). Just a quick note however, based on what I noticed, the anime differs a bit from the events in the manga, especially with Sarina.