Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid – 01 (First and Only Glance)

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Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is a story about a little girl whose name is often miss-read as Virgin and her exile to an island populated by yuri couples who must arouse each other to turn into weapons and fight for some reason.

It has striking similarities to Cross Ange: the abnormalities, the gross self-degeneration of the women, and the erotic exploitation. Virgin’s fighter—the woman who arrives on the island at the same time and erotically turns Virgin into a sword—even looks like Ange.

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Unfortunately, VD:M doesn’t live up to Ange’s somewhat uneven standards. The first episode introduces so many characters, and focuses on the erotics and fighting, that very little story is told. There’s no sense of world here. Not beyond ‘there will be fighting and girl- on-girl action’ regularly in each episode.

In brief, if I’d known how close this was to straight hentai, I probably would not have watched it.

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You may like it: if you enjoy full-spectrum yuri, sleazy and unashamed exploitation, and ‘shy girls first time’ turning them into swords. I watched the uncensored broadcast and… yep. Lots of boobs, jiggle, fondling, and blushing before each battle.

You can skip it: under pretty much any circumstance. Sure, it’s got some aggressive fondling but nothing else. The action is budget to boot.

5_ogk

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Shokugeki no Souma – 09

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Aldini Takumi and his bro made a pretty bangin’ dish for Chef Hinako, but when pondering his response, Souma shows that two can tango. As soon as he asked Hinako to repeat the condition of the test about using anything inside the confines of the hotel grounds, I knew he was going for her beloved rice crackers, which means unlike all of the other students who are grilling the char, he’s now got a coating with which to deep fry it.

Now that’s resourcefulness; hinging one’s entire dish on a snack the judge just happened to have on her. I also like the cut from students wondering why Hinako was known as the “Empress of Mist”, to the “mists” of tea steam emanating from her, explaining the nickname.

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I also like SnS‘s insitence, at least at this point in the game, to have rivals, not villains or antagonists, face off against Souma. Takumi is a rival. He left home to attend this academy specifically because he wants to go toe-to-toe with worthy rivals like Souma. He’s even worried and apologetic when he accidentally crushes Souma’s crackers, afraid he may have inadvertently sabotaged Souma’s dish. Luckily, he needs those crackers pulverized.

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Also heartening: as down to the wire and in the dark as she initially was for this test, Megumi doesn’t just shrink before the task at hand. Once it’s Go Time, she’s fighting right beside Souma, delicately preparing the mountain veggies she has experience foraging for back home as he bones, coats, and fries the fish.

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The final dish that’s served is, like every other one he’s made (except the peanut butter squid) looks tantalizingly scrumptious, especialy that airy egg, oil, and herb dipping sauce.

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We knew this dish was going to be a hit with Hinako, it was just a matter of what spit-take-inducing fantasy she’d have in her taste-ecstasy. SnS doesn’t dissapoint here, either, with a mermaid Hinako (with an embellished bust) being taken into the muscular arms of an anthropomorphized rice cracker. You gotta love the creativity of  SnS‘s visual symbolism.

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Hinako passes Souma and Megumi, but contrary to her agreement with Takumi, never determines whose dish is superior. This is either because she’s a bit of an airhead (another reason for her “Empress of Mist nom de guerre”) or because she’s deliberately toying with the overeager guys. Probably a bit of both.

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And in the end, it doesn’t matter whose dish was better: both Souma and Takumi learned that the other is the real deal, and more importantly, someone they’d never have met if they both stayed in their family restaurants. Only by putting your skills up against others and being exposed to their methods can these two find their true passion; the passion that will take them beyond merely surpassing their elders.

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And that’s a wrap….oh wait, no it isn’t. We get Bonus SnS this week, which underlines how strenuous the training camp truly is. Poor Yuuki thinks they can kick back with extravagant meals prepared for them by the hotel staff, a nice hot bath, and a sumptuous hotel room. But she and the other students are the hotel kitchen staff, and they have to make 50 servings of a steak set each before they can feed themselves, to say nothing of the other comforts of the hotel.

Yuuki is crestfallen, but it’s not long before the intense situation puts her into Battle Mode, feeding an endless horde of ravenous bodybuilders, wrestlers, and football players. It’s good training for those who wish to run a restaruant, no matter what kind it is.

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Unsurprisingly, “Short-Order” Souma is the first to finish, and doesn’t even break a sweat. He heads cheerfully to the communal bath, certain he’ll have it all to himself. But as an extended version of the lovely ED plays and he sings along to it, an equally cheerful and relaxed Erina is singing the same song. It ends with the lyric “Fate is the spice of life” as the two bump into each other, as if by fate. Be it cordial or hostile, I look forward to seeing how this encounter pans out.

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 08

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For some reason, all the characters have left Orenchi no Furo Jijou…so this week is just Tatsumi and Wakasa clowning around again. This time Wakasa won’t eat his vegetables.

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The BL elements of the show were in full blast as well, though I’m not sure if the implication is Wakasa doesn’t know how BL he’s being or not.

In a nut shell: Wakasa is reading male magazines that end up in the river and they talk about being a meat-eater/carnivore man, which Tatsumi and I took to be about picking up dudes…

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At this point, I’m torn over dropping this show for having lost interest in it’s formula (silly creature of the week + antics) and for it’s stated/unstated BL angle and just keeping it because it takes no effort and no time to watch and review.

I’m not sure I have anything interesting to say about it though and, considering how few of you are reading it’s reviews, I feel like even that 10 minutes isn’t time well spent.

Thoughts? Keep/Drop? Comment below!

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 07

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou episode 7 introduces Kasumi-chan, Tatsumi’s little sister. She looks like she’s in kindergarden, which would make her more than a decade younger than her brother but I’m not going to think about those logistics.

Kasumi is staying over for the day so Tatsumi’s parent’s can get something done or whatever and Tatsumi is worried she’ll learn about Wakasa because I guess that would be a problem?

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She obviously learns about Wakasa but, at first, she’d assumed he was some evil woman who was stealing her brother away. The details aren’t important, really.

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Best Moment: during the credits Wakasa catches Kasumi inhaling her brother’s fumes out of an old stinky shirt. Wakasa says “Wakasa has witnessed this” and slinks away. Then DUCKY breaks the fourth wall and says he’s seen it too!

DUCKY WAS THIS WEEK’S TRUE CHARACTER REVEAL!

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 06

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou episode 6 changes course from the last few weeks and doesn’t introduce a new sea creature/boy. It doesn’t even feature either of the newer boys we’ve come to boy-love and expect either!

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Tatsumi and Wakasa take a bubble bath. Well, Wakasa takes one alone first but tells Tatsumi it’s a waste if they don’t both enjoy it, which they eventually do. Unfortunately, a bubble fight later and they are out of bubbles.

Then, while Tatsumi is drying off, Wakasa slips in more bubble packages and BOOM! The house is destroyed.

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Welllll? That was harmless…

Cute, uneventful, and half the episode is just opening and closing credits. I’m giving it a 5. Would you give it more or less? Explain in the comments below!

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 05

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou episode 5 goes trick or treating for Halloween. Strangely, for a holiday I would imagine Anime could have a ton of fun with (especially by not understanding the cultural details) Halloween is one of those rarely-given-an-episode events.

So seeing it here was nice, if not absurdly short like everything Orenchi does.

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Takasu is dressed as a Witch, because he’s a blonde and that’s his curse! Wakasa is dressed as a vampire and Mikuni goes as a mummy!

Since they can’t go anywhere else, they just keep saying Trick or Treak to Tatsumi who dutifully keeps giving them candy. Soon they realize he’s the youngest and should be treated more specially than they. Then its over.

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Reviewing Orenchi is a bit of an exercise in finding something to say. Honestly, there weren’t any jokes this week, unless you count Wakasa wanting to hide his head inside the jack-o-lantern because it’s a small dark space.

Uhm…

So this is a thing you could watch while brushing your teeth because you too ate too much candy a few days ago. Or you could skip it. Up to you really…

5_ogk

Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 04

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Orenchi seems to get shorter and shorter with each passing episode. This week, we meet Mikuni, a jellyfish boy who Tatsumi worried was a ghost.

Takasu and Wakasa appear to to know Mikuni, though they too were worried at first. Weird…

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Anyway. Mikuni is a very nice fellow/BL character and he is want for nothing more than some water. In fact, he’s so ecological, all he can think of as a special treat from Tatsumi is fresh bottled water.

Tatsumi is very taken with him and very very happy to get him that bottled water and… this is getting pretty BL at this point isn’t it?

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Thankfully, Orenchi no Furo Jijou doesn’t seem interested in making its BL aspect especially physical, which is probably for the best. It’s goofy enough — awkward enough — as it is.

I’m not sure there were any jokes this week, which… uh… uh… I don’t know what to make of, really? There isn’t much to this show and calling it harmless over and over is an awful strange thing to say as a critical response.

Why am I still watching this? Somebody? Anybody??

5_ogk

Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 03

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Takasu, a country Octopus…Man joins the crew. Where he came from or how he found out Wakasa was living in Tatsumi’s bathtub is not explained and I’m not even going to try. I mean, it doesn’t seem like Tatsumi lives too close to the river and, aside from a portable TV, Wakasa has no connection with the outside world!

But don’t over think it! This is a 3:30 long show when you deduct the opening theme. We only have time for the jokes!

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Takasu is a bit clumsy and, like Wakasa, he’s definitely taking advantage of Tatsumi’s easily exploited kindness and inability to kick people out. However, unlike Wakasa, he fixes what he breaks. (at least he fixed a flat-panel TV this week)

I get the feeling though that he’s more clever than Wakasa too. Not just in technical things, but in planning. He knows there’s an order to things — an order to the events leading up to asking someone to stay in their bathtub.

And hey, he even mooches Wakasa’s pizza! He definitely knows what he’s doing!

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Over all, the episode was was adorable…and kinda creepy. Concluding on an octopus massage, which was definitely arousing Tatsumi went a long way in that regards. It was very ‘happy ending.’ But with sucker popping noises. Ick?

However, during the credits we learn that Octopi love small, dark spaces and Takasu climbs into Tatsumi’s washing machine. Uh, I guess each creature will have his or her own place?

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou is a weird show and it’s getting weirder. It’s also getting decidedly more BL too! I’m not sure how I feel about that yet…but for now, it’s harmless short fun and worth at least 2 laughs, which is way above the average laughs per minute!

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 02

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Tatsumi’s gas bill is way high and he works such a low paying job he fears he wont be able to keep up with it. Worse, Wakasa is very wasteful with hot water, having no real concept of it’s cost.

However, Wakasa is completely aware of it’s value, having lived in the river during winter for many years. He hates the struggle of it and, even though he’s terrible at helping out, he does go along with Tatsumi’s attempts to make a compromise.

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First they try filling the tub with water bottles to reduce the amount of water used, but this looks and feels like living in a trash filled river. Then they try to put an insulated cover over top of the bathtub, which also works, but isn’t practical to move around under without making more of a mess.

In the end, Tatsumi remits and says he’ll work longer hours to sustain the both of them.

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou is a weird show. In some ways, it feels like it could go BL on us at any minute. I mean, it’s just 2 guys sitting in a bathroom, occasionally bathing together, having a relationship…

Still, I can’t help but watch. It remains charming, harmless, and under five minutes. The perfect length for my Monday lunch!

6_ogk

Orenchi no Furo Jijou – 01

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Well this was unexpected! Orenchi no Furo Jijou is a delightful, nicely styled, 4-minute format show featuring a merman who’s living in a human’s bathtub.

It has a bit of Arakawa Under the Bridge feel to it, though there is no question that Wakasa is a real merman. Still, Wakasa is totally a goofball who is taking advantage of his host’s inability to kick him out.

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Orefuro is a nice and tidy 4 minutes. We see Tatsumi save Wakasa from the side of the river, not entirely realizing Wakasa is a merman. Then we learn from Wakasa that he used to live above the dam but construction has chased him out.

When Tatsumi tries to get Wakasa to leave, Wakasa breaks down crying over how awful the river is and his hatred of green water. Then they share a pink bath and Wakasa demands hamburgers, shampoo, etc.

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It’s charming, harmless, and under five minutes. With that checklist, I will certainly give it a chance!

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