The Strange Overwrought Cases of Barely Recognizable Kogorou Akechi (Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace Review)

Ranpo Kitan Poster

Have to admit, I had a bit of misconception going into this show. I thought it was going to be an episodic whoddunit murder mystery, based on the works of one of the most decorated Japanese mystery novelists ever. Well, technically that’s not really wrong, but Game of Laplace production team isn’t content to be a straightforward mystery show or a direct adaptation. Instead, it executed an impressive range of stuff during the course of its mere 11 episodes; murder mystery, yes, but it also wanted to be a genre satire, a contemporary social commentary on crime and justice, an outright absurd comedy, and an overarching suspense melodrama revolving around radical re-invention and modern updates on Ranpo Edogawa’s iconic characters and plot devices. Complemented with a bevvy of visual metaphors and heavy themes, the show has ambition and reach that extended beyond my expectation.

Too bad the writing’s a complete trainwreck.

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Eat. Drink. Love [Yourself]. (Wakako-zake Review)

Wakako Poster, walking into a stall

What can I say, apparently my favorite anime show of Summer 2015 is the two minutes per week of literally just watching a woman eats, drinks, commentates, and lets out what is probably the most contented sigh you’ve ever heard in the history of moving pictures.

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In The End, Only Kindness Matters (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Review)

The main trio walking amidst the tattered black & white Tokyo landscape

Media depicting catastrophic natural disaster will always be one of the most unsettling things to me, simply because of how uncomfortably close they hit to home. In Japan alone, there had been numerous earthquake incidents before and since the airing of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, with the most infamous one being the 2011 Tohoku incident, which costed approximately 15,891 human lives. While I’m not a Japanese resident, I do live in a similarly archipelagic state prone to the likes of earthquake, flood, volcanic eruption, and tsunami; the 2000s was particularly rough time for Indonesia, with at least four major disasters occurring in various parts of the country.

Hence, I approached Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 with some amount of apprehension, as well as a bit of suspicion that it’s going to be a tragedy porn. In the end though, I’m grateful for having watched it. More than an obvious statement on how vicious and unfair nature is, it’s a life-affirming show emphasizing the important things amidst all the chaos, destruction, and death.

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In Space, No One Can Hear You Bicker (Infinite Ryvius Review)

Infinite Ryvius Group Shot

Among the standalone mecha/space opera series that came out in the last couple of decades or so, Infinite Ryvius (Mugen no Ryvius) is certainly one of the more distinct and memorable. Yes, it has space battles and abundance of angsty teenagers, but Ryvius stood out from the crowd for being a confined sociopolitical drama over anything else, zeroing on how disparate individual elements bounce off each other while sharing the bad luck of being trapped—literally—within a volatile self-governed group. It’s an apt microcosm of society, thriving on issues such as power struggle, mob mentality, privilege abuse, contempt bred by familiarity, and all those fun stuff.

Also, telepathic loli clad in pink armor, because Anime™.

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A Hollow Ruckus (‘Baccano!’ Review)

Baccano

Baccano!, as I’ve discovered, is a well-beloved show often recommended as a gateway watch for people just getting into anime, especially among American fans. Lauded for its boundless energy, larger than life characters, and unconventional narrative style, I gave it a shot and eventually discovered that it indeed has all those stuff.

I also discovered I don’t care much about it.

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