The Promised Neverland: Go in Blind for Best Results

There is a small family owned Chinese restaraunt pretty close to my home that my wife and I often eat at. Not only is the food delicious, but me and a couple of the workers there usually end up talking about and recommending anime and manga to each other.

A couple weeks ago, one of the younger girl workers said she had been hooked on “The Promised Neverland”. She had a lot of praise for it, and said it was even only 12 episode so it would be a quick binge. I started to question her about what type of show it was/what it was about/etc. At first she began to explain but then quickly stopped and said, “it would be better of I didn’t tell you about it and you just watch it- that’s what I did.”

Needless to say I was intrigued, but the name of the show kind of slipped my mind until a couple days later I was scrolling through Crunchyroll and came across it. (Luckily the description didn’t give too much away either!)

I decided to check it out, my wife wanted to watch it too so we started it up! We could have binged the whole thing in one go, but we had to get a little sleep (it was still pretty hard to stop) so we hopped up the next morning and finished the second half.

The Promised Neverland was completely awesome. It was intriguing, smart and careful, downright creepy at times and fairly sad at others. After watching it I have come to the same conclusion- its worth it to step into this one completely blind and let the show sink its teeth into you. For that reason I’m gonna leave out all plot details here. Just trust me on this one!

It was a breath of anime fresh air, especially compares to the types of shows I usually tend to watch. It was enjoyable throughout the entire 12 episodes, with hardly any downtime. It also wraps itself up very nicely, but does leave itself and its peculiar world wide open for more seasons. (And actually, right before writing this I saw an article confirming Season 2 in 2020)

Don’t Read In Public: “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” Broke Me

I had some time to kill last Saturday while at my local Books-a-Million. I went there to relax and get some time to myself and do a little work on the blog. I decided to read a manga or two with the time I had left to kill. I perused the manga section and saw “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” and grabbed it. (I didn’t know it had a manga) I had heard about the movie and that it was really good and also very sad (Sad movies/stories are my favorites). and I have been dying to watch it but have been unable to find it anywhere.

I sat down and read the cover sleeve. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is the story of a young girl dying from a chronic pancreas disease. She has kept her disease from everyone except her family, until one day an introverted classmate accidentally stumbles upon a her journal which she uses to record her struggle with the sickness and her eventual death. They began to send time with each other and the experience changes both of their lives. Yep, this sounded right up my alley. The manga is fairly thick, so I assumed I would read a quarter of it or maybe half before I had to head out…

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas The Complete Manga Collection

My anime brothers and sisters, I kid you not, this book BROKE ME. I could not for the life of me put it down. I sat there for around three hours, taking in each page, becoming totally immersed in this beautifully tragic story. The art was great. The writing was wonderfully on point, the things the teenagers discussed or said seemed exactly like I remember talking at that age. Sometimes, the perfect line at just the right moment would have me choking back tears.

THIS MANGA MADE ME FEEL SO MUCH

and is that not what we look for from our favorite thing? Steadily, I neared the final couple chapters and all of the emotions I had been holding onto reached a peak, the dam broke, and I finished the book with a sob as a group of onlookers stared and probably wondered if I was okay.

I literally ran out of the store and to my car where I could compose myself. “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” is the best one-off manga I have ever read, and I would really like to thank Yoru Somino for the book and such a moving experience. Everything was amazing, the only thing I did not totally like about the it is actually a story based thing, so I will put it at the bottom under a spoiler alert.

Sakura and [Introverted Boy From Class]-kun

Please read this book, but don’t do it in public, and make sure to have some tissues handy. I spent the remainder of my day after reading it a bit aloof in thought. I wandered around and went to stare at the river for a bit. I thought about my life and about living everyday to the fullest.

*UPDATE* A couple days after reading the manga I finally got my hands on the movie and watched it. It was really good, visuals and music was great, but I don’t know if it was because I already knew everything that would happen, but the movie just didn’t hit the heartstrings the same way. I’d recommend giving it a watch, but the manga is really a treasure.

SPOILERS BELOW:

My only qualm with the entire thing is one of the story choices made towards the end. After Sakura is released from the hospital, she is killed by a criminal in a stabbing incident. There is some foreshadowing to this earlier in the book, and I think I see what the author was trying to do; but in my opinion I feel it was unnecessary. Having Sakura die from her disease I think would have touched me in the same way. My wife did have a point though when she said if it had been that way, it would have been just like any other book or movie about someone dying from a disease..

200% Mob Psycho Season 2 Delivers!

Recently I have had a little obsession with Mob Psycho, the new anime by the creator of One Punch Man. I just finished up watching Season 2 last week and I can say that it delivers everything that Season 1 had plus much more. I think they have really outdone themselves with this one and avoided the sophomore slump (Which actually is there even a Sophomore Slump in anime? I’ll have to look into that soon..)

Beware of SPOILERS below if you haven’t watched Season 2!

Mob’s powers continue to grow and he must face his emotions at every turn…

Season 1 of Mob Psycho was great, so how did they improve upon a solid foundation? As far as the story goes we continue where Season 1 left off. Shigeo continues to work and study under Master Reigen to improve his control over his psychic powers. As Reigen’s Spirits and Such business continues to gain in popularity, they continue to face bigger threats. They hunt down urban legends and meet new espers along the way. The mid season rears its head with an incredible inner mind battle between Shigeo and the evil spirit of an old famous psychic. It continues to awe from there until the very end as Reigen and Mob have a falling out but make up just in time to team up with some unlikely friends and start the final showdown with the leader of Claw, who is trying to bring his dramatic plan to a head. Along the way, Mob’s powers continue to grow and he easily learns new abilities along the way. But he also must constantly battle his raging emotions and not let them overtake the his morals that he holds so dear. It’s a great way to have an overpowered protagonist in a show without losing any of the luster (something I believe ONE has learned from writing One Punch Man.)

The art in Mob Psycho is borderline psychedelic, and grows on you fast..

The ridiculous art style of Mob Psycho (I would describe it as minimalist-semipsychedelic-postpop art but I just like to sound like I know stuff..) has easily become for me one of the greatest parts of the show, and one of its standout features. The battles in Season 2 have gotten more cataclysmic, more explosive, and more beautiful. The power scale ramps up at an unprecedented level that makes the next fight better than the one before.

Another thing I would like to applaud Season 2 for is finding the perfect balance of Shigeo’s more “slice of life” moments at school vs. the crazy esper psychic warfare that dots the seasons landscape. I feel it was decent in Season 1, but was a focus of Season 2 that they nailed.

I really can’t think of much bad to say about it.. hmmm I do miss the opening theme from Season 1. The one from Season 2 is good, but Season 1’s was so dope and hyped me up to see Mob fight every time! I’ll be following this anime closely as it moves forward, here’s hoping for an amazing Season 3!

Movie Night! Wolf Children

It’s anime movie night! Grab your popcorn (actually for this movie I envision maybe tea and cookies) and snuggle up on the couch with your s/o or someone you care for and check out Wolf Children, directed by Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizo/Madhouse.

Wolf Children directed by Mamoru Hosoda 2012

The plot of the movie follows a single mother who moves to the countryside to raise her two half wolf, half human children. It’s incredible to see some of the things the family goes through and it’s inspiring watching the mother work so hard to give her kids a good life. I believe the underlying theme is one of getting to know oneself, and being comfortable with who we really are. Pretending to be someone your not is not only tiring, but it never seems to work out in the end.

I had a wonderful time watching this movie with my Wife, and she loved it as well. Its a beautiful, moving film filled with darkness and sad moments but also tears of joy and enlightening and calm nature moments. Studio Chizo did a wonderful job here and I’m about to check out some more of Mamoru’s movies.

A beautiful family 🙂

Watch it with someone special and make sure to cuddle after!

Slimy, Yet (Very) Satisfying

As you may know, I’m not very into writing anime reviews, so don’t think of this as one. Instead think of it as a plea from me to you to go and watch “That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime” right away if you have not already.

Fighting over Lord Rimuru

“That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime” (henceforth referred to as “Slime”) has offered me one of the most enjoyable anime viewing experiences of the year. The story follows 37 year old Satoru Mikami, an office worker from Tokyo who lives a mundane, boring life. Satoru is stabbed in the streets by a passing robber, and after dying he finds himself reincarnated in another world– as a slime. Yes, like a blue dragon quest slime, I know it all sounds weird so far but trust me on this one.

The weak,lowly slime soon meets Veldora, the Storm Dragon, which sets in motion a series of events that leads our buddy from being an unnamed monster to becoming Rimuru, powerful ruler of the Great Nation of Tempest.

I’ll admit, hearing the title of the show did not really peak my interest or compel me to check it out. I honestly thought it sounded a little gimmicky and dumb. But I kept seeing ads for it on Crunchyroll, hearing people speak of it, and after some friends recommended it, I decided to give it a shot.

Soon my wife and I were waiting anxiously each week for the new episode, and I believe that she described it best once by saying it was the most “wholesome” anime she had ever seen. It has a wonderfully diverse cast of characters (Slimes, Dwarves, Elves, Lizard Folk, Orcs, Demons, Etc.) and the characters interactions are both touching and oftentimes hilarious.

Demon Lord Milim

Slime doesn’t lack in the action department either. It boasts some of the most explosive and visually appealing combat sequences that I have ever seen in an anime. The power scale elevates exponentially, and Rimuru is just a grade-A badass.

The world of Slime offers a unique, video game-esque take on the traditional fantasy setting. Most common monsters are unnamed (as they would be in a role playing game), but by using magicules (an energy source akin to mana that also is used to show a monsters power level), a stronger being may “name” a lesser being. This allows the lesser being to evolve, growing stronger and oftentimes gaining new skills and changing appearance.

Ah skills… One of the coolest features of the show! Skills represent powers and abilities of the worlds inhabitants. For example a thief may have the skill “Steal”. As the show progresses, characters learn new skills, evolve old skills into more powerful ones, and sometimes creatively combine skills to produce awesome new effects.

Please, please go and check out “That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime”. I cannot recommend this show enough, no matter what your preferred style or genre of anime is. Leave any comments below, tell people about Slime, and keep coming back for more interesting articles!