The Duke of Death and His Maid – 12 (Fin) – Spring at the Latest

Not entirely surprisingly considering the pace of the storytelling so far, there is no miracle insta-cure for Bocchan’s curse this week. Instead, he heeds his mother’s summons and comes home for the first time in years. Upon meeting with his mother after all that time, she simply tells him it’s too late and they’ll talk tomorrow. Viola and Walter assure their bro that Mom was actually being “kind” tonight.

Thankfully for Bocchan, Alice tags along for his awkward trip to the main house, and is an immediate hit with the house staff, who are amazed what a spitting image of her dearly departed mother Sharon she’s become. Bocchan’s mom even mistakes Alice for Sharon, with whom she was very close and was never the same after her death by as-yet unexplained circumstances.

Bocchan’s mom may be too tired to talk late at night, but Alice is delighted when Bocchan stops by to chat. Alice assures him the staff treated her kindly, and she’s very happy to hear Bocchan was able to speak to his mother normally, even if briefly. When it looks like Alice is dangerously close to touching his lips with her own, Bocchan retires for the night, and Alice lies in the warm spot he left.

The next day, Viola takes Bocchan to the grave where he was cursed by a woman in white. They cross paths with their mom, who tells Viola not to stand so close to her brother and again insists she start dressing like a proper lady; Viola pays her no mind.

The night of the big dinner, Bocchan’s mom has him seated at the far end of the table. Turns out she only summoned him there to inform him that due to his father’s deteriorating health (oddly we never see him) Bocchan must break the curse by Spring or Walter will be named the family head.

When Bocchan insists on discussing another matter and brings up Alice, his mom thinks he’s joking if he thinks he’ll be able to marry the one he loves. But Bocchan won’t stand for her calling Alice a “lowly maid”, nor will he have what he’s talking about mistaken for japes. He forcefully tells her that Alice was the one who pulled him out of the abyss, and he’d be dead were it not for her.

Further, he, Walter and Viola aren’t her things, they’re her children, and sometimes there are things more important than wheeling and dealing. He storms out of the room without finishing the soup course, and Viola and Walter also excuse themselves to show him out. None of them see their mother smile, as she’s impressed and proud that Bocchan has grown into a strong young man who can talk back to her.

There’s a sense of triumph in seeing Bocchan flanked by his siblings in the hall. Unlike their mother, they no longer see him as a freak or monster, but simply as their brother, who had some misfortune. At the same time, they also envy him for having been able to live outside of the harsh stern structure of the main residence. He’s been able to live his own life with Alice and Rob.

That said, the curse remains, and Bocchan is still determined to get rid of it, hopefully by his mom’s Spring deadline. As they play cards by the fire, Bocchan tells Alice that she’ll always have all of his love, even if he doesn’t come right out and say he told his mother he’d be marrying her. When he later falls asleep at the card table, Alice lays a blanket over him and says “I love you.”

So we’ve reached the end of the first part of Bocchan and the Black Maid’s story of finding light, hope, and love in the darkness…but only for now. With the promise of a sequel at the conclusion of the episode, I’ll surely be watching when its pure, sweet, charming central couple returns.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Fall 2021 Season Guide (Updating)

The leaves haven’t come close to changing or falling and there’s probably still a heat wave or two in the offing, but that isn’t stopping us from plucking fifteen of the fifty or so anime that will air in the Fall and adding them to out tentative watchlist, as we tend to do this time of year. Aside from 86 and Mushoku Tensei’s second season, there’s a lot of all-new stuff to check out.

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 6 Sept 2021

Braverade

86 2nd Season

Build Divide: Code Black

Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shoujo
Rumble Garanndoll

Megaton-kyuu Musashi

Sekai Saikou no Ansatsusha, Isekai Kizoku ni Tensei suru (Ansatsu Kizoku)
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat


sesameacrylic

180 Byou de Kimi no Mimi wo Shiawase ni Dekiru ka?
Can I Make Your Ears Happy in 180 Seconds?

Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu.
Komi Can’t Communicate

Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shima
[Sighs, takes deep breath] Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside, AKA I Was Kicked out of the Hero’s Party Because I Wasn’t a True Companion so I Decided to Have a Slow Life at the Frontier

Taishou Otome Otogibanashi
Taishou Maiden Fairytale

Takt Op. Destiny


MagicalChurlSukui

Build Divide: Code Black

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child
Spring 2021 Carryover

Mieruiko-chan
Spring 2021 Carryover

Mushoku Tensei 2nd Season
Jobless Reincarnation S2

Saihate no Paladin
The Faraway Paladin

Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu
Moon, Laika, and the Bloodsucking Princess

 

Summer 2021 Season Guide (Updating)

“Pleasure Boats On a Summer Evening Near Ryogoku Bridge”, by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1802-1804.

Summer Comin’. As usual, we’re a little late in listing out the series we’ll be taking a look at. As you can see, there’s plenty of choices, and many of the titles are as long as the days are going to get.

Assuming 86 and Tokyo Revengers take a season off before their second cours, only MagicalChurlSukui will be watching carryovers of existing shows or sequels to existing ones. Both Braverade and sesameacrylic’s Summer lists contain all-new shows; no sequels or spinoffs.

We don’t know if that’s ever happened before, but as usual, we’ll be trying to whittle our total watchlist down to around a dozen, which means dropping seven or eight of the titles below if they’re not worth watching or otherwise redundant to our anime needs of the moment.

As usual, bold titles below are the shows to which we’ll be paying particular attention, and titles may be added or subtracted as needed. That means non-bold shows aren’t guaranteed to be reviewed, just checked out.

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 1 Sept 2021

Braverade

Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki – Skipped
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom

Meikyuu Black Company – Dropped

NIGHT HEAD 2041 – Dropped

Scarlet Nexus – Dropped

Sonny Boy – Picked Up

Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru. – Dropped
The Detective Is Already Dead / Tanmoshi

Tokyo Revengers– Dropped
Spring 2021 Carryover


sesameacrylic

Bokutachi no Remake
Remake Our Life!

Kageki Shoujo!!
Remake Our Life!

Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid
The Duke of Death and His Maid

Shiroi Suna no Aquatope
Aquatope of White Sand

Uramichi Oniisan
Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan


MagicalChurlSukui

To Your Eternity
Spring 2021 Carryover

TenSura 2nd Season Part 2

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu – Skipped
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU

Peach Boy Riverside

Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu

Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy-

Vanitas no Carte
The Case Study of Vanitas

Spring Cleaning 2021: Jouran, Mars Red, and Full Dive Dropped

Note: We are NOT dropping SSSS.Dynazeon … this is just a picture of a fine mess

We say it every season: there are too many shows. It’s true of anime series just as it’s true of live-action series, especially in the streaming era. You can’t watch them all—let alone write up to-1000-word recaps and reviews about them.

So it’s always important to remember that we don’t have to watch them all. Koikimo was dropped early, followed by Combatants Will Be Dispatched! Now to separate the rest of the chaff from the wheat. All drops are final, regardless of how much better any of the below series end up.

Jouran: Princess of Snow and Blood has a very neat setting that presupposes the Meiji Restoration never happened and a new energy source enabled Japan’s technological primacy. Unfortunately, neither of those things have any bearing Sawa’s central (and frankly done-to-death) revenge story, which could have been told anywhere at any time in Japanese history, real or imagined. Instead, the alt-historical setting is just window dressing, while the big anti-shogun baddie turned out to be a clichéd mad scientist snake-man. When I was emotionally checked out of their climactic showdown, I knew it was time to say goodbye.MagicalChurlSukui

Mars Red is probably the toughest of the Spring 2021 series to drop, because it’s a well-executed classic vampire-hunting story with genuine elements of horror and pathos. It also had one of the most striking first episodes, heavily influenced by real-life classic stage theatre. Unfortunately, I must admit that I admire and respect Mars Red more than I actually enjoy it, and it was hard to be invested in its ridiculously stoic lead vampire hunter.—Braverade

Full Dive is about a kid who just wants an escape from his shitty high school life, and had found one in his Final Fantasy-style VRMMO. Only when he gave all his money to a bully and couldn’t pay for the newest entry in the franchise, he’s hoodwinked by a merchant who is as disreputable a businesswoman as she is beautiful. So now the game he’s playing is even more unpleasant and stressful in real life. If this were Nobuyuki Sugou getting his just desserts that would be one thing, but this kid doesn’t really deserve to be tortured by a video game.—MagicalChurlSukui

For the list of remaining titles we’re both watching and reviewing, check out the top menu or consult our Spring 2021 Season Guide. A Spring 2021 addition to the Big Board is coming soon. As always, thanks for reading!

—RABUJOI STAFF

Spring 2021 Season Guide (Updating)

We’ve approached the halfway point of the Winter 2021 anime season, which is usually the time for us to start taking a gander at what’s on the horizon for the Spring. The biggest title on our list so far is the third and final season of Fruits Basket, which should be something.

    • We’ll be watching and reviewing all Bold titles below.
    • Crossed-out titles have been dropped or skipped.

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 21 Apr 2021

Braverade

86
SSSS.Dynazenon
Tokyo Revengers
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song

Mars Red


sesameacrylic

Don’t Toy With Me, Nagatoro-san
Higehiro
Osamake

Those Snow White Notes
Zombieland Saga: Revenge

Combatants Will Be Dispatched!
Koikimo


MagicalChurlSukui

Fruits Basket: The Final
To Your Eternity
The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent
Slime 300

Full Dive
Jouran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
Tensura Nikki

Housekeeping: Hortensia Saga and The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter DROPPED

As expected, Hannah and Zane are dispensing with two of the weaker new Winter 2021 anime series this season: Hortensia Saga and The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, to free up more time for far better series like Jujutsu Kaisen and Wonder Egg Priority.

We Have a Menu…Finally

With the new year comes a exciting new feature to the RABUJOI website that demonstrates our commitment to innovation…a Top Menu!

Now users of both the desktop and mobile versions of the site can more easily navigate to anime reviews from the most recent seasons, instead of having to scroll down a lot. If you’re looking for reviews of anime from further back, use our Search.

We hope this improves the ease of your anime review reading experience while on the go.

—RABUJOI STAFF

Winter 2021 Season Guide (Updating)

We’re about to enter our twelfth year on the interwebz, and it will be hard to top the eleventh for pure strangeness. We’re not sure if we’ll get much snow this coming Winter (we didn’t get much last Winter) but the metaphor of a fresh blanket of snow providing a blank canvas for the year still fits.

As usual, we’re simply listing shows that are either from franchises we follow or new shows that look interesting based solely on the promo art and talent involved. As such, we’ll surely be adding and subtracting from this list as we draw closer to showtime. Recommendations are welcome!

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 1 Feb 2021

Braverade

Attack on Titan
Demon Slayer (Spring 2019)
Jujutsu Kaisen
Kemono Jihen
Otherside Picnic

Ex-Arm (NOPE)
Hortensia Saga
(Dropped)


sesameacrylic

Horimiya
Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun
The Quintessential Quintuplets 2nd Season
Vlad Love (Resumes 14 Feb)
Wonder Egg Priority

Jimihen!!: Jimiko wo Kaechau Jun Isei Kouyuu!! (Skipped)
Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san (Skipped)
Ore dake Haireru Kakushi Dungeon (Dropped)


MagicalChurlSukui

Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou (Fall 2020)
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
The Promised Neverland 2nd Season
Re:Zero 2nd Season Part 2
TenSura 2nd Season

Merry Christmas from All of Us at RABUJOI

We at RABUJOI know you have a lot of options about where to go for anime recaps and reviews, but if you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve chosen us, so we thank you. We’ll never lose sight of that, and we are hoping that you and yours have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Also, if you’re fortunate(?) enough to be together with family for Christmas dinner, be sure to bring up horror stories about how one of your fellow trainees stole a potato!—Hannah, Zane, & Preston

Fall 2020 Season Guide (Updating)

So far it’s slim pickings this coming Fall—not surprising considering the state of the world. Only a handful of new anime are listed on MAL’s Fall 2020 list, and some of those are sequel seasons to shows we’ve either never seen or are too far behind to attempt to catch up.

Regardless of the number of shows we’ll ultimately be watching, we’ll be implementing an all-new 5-star rating system more akin to Anime News Network than the MAL’s 1-10 scale:

While some among the staff have long been proponents of the 1-10 scale, in practice there are rarely any episodes we’d rate 1-5, since it only takes one or two such episodes to cause us to drop the show entirely. We’ll see how it goes.

This list will be updated if and when we pick up or drop any additional shows. If you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments and we’ll take them under advisement. And as always, thanks for reading, and take care!

RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 1 Oct 2020

Braverade

Akudama Drive
Assault Lily: Bouquet
Golden Kamuy 3rd Season
Warlords of Sigrdrifa


sesameacrylic

Adachi & Shimamura
Great Pretender (ONA)
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
Sleeping Princess in the Demon Castle
Talentless Nana
TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You


MagicalChurlSukui

DanMachi III
Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou
Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World
The Day I Became a God
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina