A Collection of My Best Works (From 2019) || The Animanga Festival

Hello all, and welcome to my third official entry in The Animanga Festival, hosted by Auri and Nairne over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto!

It’s totally a coincidence that this post, a collection of my best works, falls on #ThrowbackThursday. Because it’d be waaaay too time consuming to sift through every single post I’ve ever written, I figured I’d keep this list 2019-only. It’s kind of weird to be writing this while there are still three whole months left to go for this year, but oh well, we love a good reflection. Let’s look back on some of the cool posts I’ve written this year! (I mean, I think they’re kinda neat at least. They’re cool, right? RiGhT??)

In no particular order, here are what I consider to be my favorites write-ups thus far, as well as a little excerpt from each post. If the tiny tidbit I’ve included intrigues you, please, consider giving the full post a look if you haven’t already!

Reviews


I’ve written more reviews this year than probably last year and the year before combined. Even still, I merely picked three as what I’d consider “bests” of mine. Hopefully these are titles you might remember me writing about!

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Cacophony in Paradise: RahXephon & Accepting the World

Ayato’s complexity becomes the leading force in this very much character-driven story about being useful to others. It sounds simple enough, but it’s much harder to live up to others’ expectations than we give the act credit for.

I Finally Watched the Old Fruits Basket 

Whether the old, stale, yet genuine 2001 version or this latest vibrant retelling, watch Fruits Basket. Then you, too, will see what all the ruckus is about in the Sohma household—and why it’s such a heartwarming, endearing little place to stay.

Run with the Wind: Wholesome, Heartfelt, & Inspiring Every Step of the Race

Every step of this journey felt sincere and wholesome, and I absolutely enjoyed laughing with the Aotake guys just as much as I did crying with them. Whether you’re a fan of sports anime or not, a genuinely passionate and realistic series like Run with the Wind isn’t the kind that comes often—so don’t miss it. Otherwise, you’ll be sleeping on what is perhaps one of the best anime to come out in years.

OWLS Posts


Even though I’m a “reviewer” by trade, I consider my OWLS posts to be the bread and butter of my work. Truly, I am so honored to be a part of the OWLS crew, as writing each of these posts fills me with immense emotional satisfaction. It’s something I can’t quite get out of a review, which is designed as an evaluation as opposed to an analysis.

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The Conviction to Change in Bunny Girl Senpai | OWLS “Metamorphosis”

If there’s one big takeaway from Bunny Girl Senpai, it’s that deep down, we’re all just trying to keep the past out of the future, even if that means giving up on some of the things we love. It’s a romantic notion, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not how we should be living our lives—and Sakuta Azusagawa knows it.

A Story That Loves Love: Go For It, Nakamura! | OWLS “Adore”

Syundei’s Go For It, Nakamura! is a story that loves love, and about loving yourself, too. I was left squealing and stirring in my chair for hours after reading the last page, and if there’s any BL title out there to boast the word “adore,” this is easily the one.

Chasing You, Chasing Me: The Heart of Run with the Wind | OWLS “Masculinity”

As strong as men—as strong as people—try to be, we’re not all as tough as we seem. Together, however, we can inspire and push each other to accomplish everything that we couldn’t do alone, and that seemingly small sentiment echoes loudly and proudly in the hearts of Kazetsuyo‘s characters

What My Anime Collection Means To Me | OWLS “Happiness”

Wherever I gaze, I am transported into another time, another place where another me was living and experiencing yet another story. This mental time travel serves as a constant reminder as to where I’ve gone, how far I’ve come, and even where I’m headed next. It is simultaneously the past, the present, and the future.

Kino’s Journey: Navigating This Beautiful World | OWLS “Technology”

Blogging, social networking, and even just browsing the internet in general has transformed me into a person who knows of what the world outside is like, and as a direct result, I’ve learned how to broaden my horizons and accept and appreciate diversity of all things in life. Hermes takes Kino to unimaginable lands and their people, and the internet brings me to all of you.

Amagi Brilliant Park: The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had With KyoAni || OWLS “Believe”

Seiya draws out the inner passion for their work, and with a little faith, is rewarded with the park’s continual success. It is a belief driven by transformation and grounded by trust. Trust in Seiya’s process, and you, too, will enjoy one of—if not—Kyoto Animation’s most fun creation they’ve ever given us.

Michiko & Hatchin, Two Against the World || OWLS “Lover”

What Michiko’s story also tells us about love is that a relationship fueled solely by the “good old days” of the past cannot survive in the future. At one point, Hiroshi was something special to her. But now, at the end of the road, he may not be so special anymore.

Miscellaneous Posts


From collabs to talks and even the start of a new segment, here are a couple more shameless plugs to add to the list. Really happy to have stoked the conversation by writing each of these!

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The Scope of the Universe: Gurren Lagann Revisited

Within Simon, Yoko, and everyone else is this incredible swell of kinetic energy, a rawness that can only expressed through a studio like Gainax. Sometimes this spiral force spills over as a storm of chaotic emotions; other times it is love, a powerhouse which carries the potential to change this simultaneously rational and insane universe we live in.

These Silly Guys: What Makes Kazetsuyo A Very Special Anime | Cafe Talk

We watched Kakeru grow from a haughty teenager into a man who exudes genuine compassion and encouragement towards others, and his growth is equal parts satisfying and wholehearted. He finds that talent can get a person far in life, but it’s all pointless if you don’t have friends to share your gifts with. Finally, he learns how to smile around others and not let shadows from the past prevent happiness in the future.

Ending Summer With a Splash! || “Free!” Collab w/LitaKino

Free! gave me an entire new world to express myself in and meet new people through, and I think it’s that unique combination of personal history and actually appreciating the series as more than a character drama (but as an actual sports anime) that has made me love Free! more than most people I know.


You might’ve noticed that, aside for my year-in wrap-up, I never write these kinds of round-up posts. It’s mainly because I dislike tooting my own horn. Also because I sometimes feel my own stuff is, idk, just mediocre? Bah, who cares. Y’all will have to let me know your thoughts: Are these my bests from 2019, or did you remember something better? I’d appreciate the feedback. Oh man, I only have two more chances to revel in the Animanga festivities with you all. Hopefully between now and the next one I’ll have a couple reviews for ya. ‘Till next time!

– Takuto, your host

TAKING A WEEK OFF | End of June Update 7/5/16

Helloooo cafegoers, ’tis I, Takuto, and it would appear yet another month has slipped between our fingers. Seriously, what’s up with that? Summer is going by way too fast! U-PUPUPUPUPU

Have you noticed my presence gradually increasing behind the scenes with this past week? Yup, it’s not just your imagination. Inspiration just kind of hit me smack dab in the face and, well, here I am! I think most of that natural high can be contributed to all of the Anime Expo announcements made, my favorites of which I’ll list later. However, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to keep tabs on AX if it weren’t for all of you pressing me to get a GODDAMN TWITTER. So I did, and it’s great! I already feel at home, though I’m not sure if I should drop the “Anime Cafe” part on Twitter and just leave my name. Let me know.

Being on Twitter, I noticed that if I had anything brief to say, I said it there rather than in a blog post. That’s a good and a bad thing. Good because hey, whatever stupid in-the-moment things I have to say usually don’t require a full-on post. I’d like to keep the blog a little more cleaned up, so having a Twitter for small talk and catching up with you people is great.

The bad is obvious — Everyone now knows that I’m alive and kickin’, so why leave comments? I’m sure you all noticed that waaay before I did, but now instead of discouraging me, it’s done quite the opposite. I feel like I’m a part of the community that’s on the edge of excitement and new things coming out, but I also feel like I’m pumping out my own material with a blog. In other words, I can be social on two planes now, one is just for ‘work.’

But you all wanted an update right? Sounds good, I can deliver!

Recently Finished:

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – WHAT A SHOW! Watching this one was not only fun, but it felt educating in a way to see where KILL la KILL, a huge favorite of mine, sort of got its roots. It’s often wacky, and the battles are quite frequent, but that’s just shounen action anime, right? I could ramble on about its ups and downs, but why clutter the update when I did a whole review on the series RIGHT HERE!

The Lost Village – So I watched only 4 of the 2016 spring anime, and of those this was my  least favorite. Bad? Not necessarily . . . just a bit of an odd egg. It’s along the lines of “setting was awesome, concept was solid, but the execution of it was a bit rough.” There’s a good chance I’ll be writing a review on this one here soon, so stay tuned.

My Hero Academia – Last time I updated on this one I was about half way through. Having watched the last three episodes last night, I can confirm that this is indeed a fantastic show — And the prospect of a second season so soon makes me even happier, cause this first one just sort of ends. It’s a pleasant ending nevertheless, and it doesn’t fail to provide a solid story with quirky characters and exciting fights. Really happy with how this one turned out. Review on the way!

Absolute Duo – If you’re not familiar with FUNimation Entertainment’s YouTube account, then you might not know that they’ll frequently post episodes of shows that (I presume) didn’t do so hot in their airing phase, yet the plan to release anyway to make some greens. This was one of those shows and, oh my lands, was probably THE WORST anime I have ever seen!!! Loaded with tropes, bad animation, chicks that endlessly follow a shallow guy, and a story that is so unbelievable that it retracts the viewer from even calling it fiction, Absolute Duo is Absolute Shit. I’m not even going to dignify it with a review.

Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya – So I’m a huge Seraph fanboy. ‘Nuff said. I know this franchise is kind of stupid and that its first season in particular is pretty trashy, but after picking up on the manga series from the beginning, it has at least rocketed itself up into being one of the more entertaining franchises I have played with. Once I got my hands on the volumes that this sequel covers, I squealed like a girl when I also got to watch it play out in anime format, like pawns on a board, muahahaha! This second season was much more exciting than the first, having fixed many of the animation and soundtrack glitches that were omnipresent. It’s a series riddled with darkness at every turn, and that sometimes, we have to muddy our hands in that darkness to fight bigger nightmares. That ending though…It makes me so excited, yet so scared. Guess I just need to order volume 10 to find out if they did it right! Review might come your way, but don’t be surprised if it gets sidelined for a while.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PS Vita game) – No, I didn’t play the game, nor do I even own a Vita. As several know, this summer season we’ll be getting TWO Danganronpas!!! One continues where the first series left off, the second being a prequel to the franchises second game, Goodbye Despair. So, in preparation of tangoing with despair once again (and having rewatched the first season with my siblings), I decided to flee to the YouTube game walkthroughs where 44 freakin’ hours of “NO, THAT’S NOT QUITE RIGHT!” stole my evenings. During this period, I decided to put the simulcasts I had been previously watching on hold, which is why I was missing for a while there. But it’s done now, and holy God is this the MOTHER OF ALL PLOT TWISTS. Seriously, the last three hours of gameplay are mindf*ck after mindf*ck until I couldn’t even see straight. Totally worth it though. I only wish they decided to adapt this instead of making a prequel. I mean, I’m not complaining — more Danganronpa is definitely a good thing. So hyped!!

Kizumonogatari (novel) – Having dabbed around in several different medias this past month, I can officially report that Kizumonogatari is my new favorite book!!!! Thanks to Seraph, my vampire phase couldn’t just end with manga, so it spread to light novel. And the Monogatari franchise of all things! This book is a thrill ride from beginning to end; a story of tragedy playing out on a school ground lit by the light of the moon; a tale of wounds inflicted, one onto her by him, the other done to him by her, both sharing this incredible burden and twisted fate. Brilliant tale, a masterpiece of supernatural-meets-school done right! Also, Vertical’s matte finish copy of it just feel so damn good in my hands, mhmm.

Currently Watching:

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – It’s interesting how sick people probably are about hearing the spring titles being mentioned, but hey, I still got three episodes to go! While I still think that episode 6 was the series’ highest point, the latter episodes were starting to pick up the pace a bit. Biba is simply an incredibly annoying character, manipulating Mumei like she’s some fodder of his. I already know that the series will end with a bang of beautiful animation thanks to ANN’s ‘reliable’ reports, but I want to explore that for myself. More exciting than the actual series though, did you all here that it’s getting released — and by Crunchyroll no less??!! I’m getting ahead of myself. Kabaneri still feels a bit lost, and I’m sure the end will not cover everything, but it’s been a hell of a ride — One clustered with glorious animation and music that’s hard to beat!

Kiznaiver – For me, nothing has changed much with this show. I still want to call it one of my “Top ten favorites,” even though I know it’s just a tad bit behind the others. With three episodes to go, it has reached lowest point so far, one where everyone has felt the pinnacle of their pain. Or at least it has me believe. I actually plan to rewatch this one from beginning to end BEFORE I give my final thoughts on it, for simulcasted isn’t the best way to watch Kiznaiver. The others just aren’t as sensitive as this one is. Loving everything that Trigger has done so far, and hoping that everyone pushes just a teensy-weensy bit more so that I can indeed let it go having watched a fantastic series.

2016 Summer Movie Theater Shows – We’ve gone through A Lull in the Sea, Girls und Panzer (recently wrote 5 reasons you should watch it here), Danganronpa, ef – a tale of memories and melodies, and Baccano! Currently about to start Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. Being one lucky enough to show anime to his siblings, I am thankful that everything has gone fairly smoothly thus far. Everyone loved Nagi Asu, and Panzer seemed A-OK by the end. What really got the riled up was Danganronpa — Oh my, how they were thrilled by this one!! AGH, it makes me so happy! My sister even decided to, right after finishing, to recommend it to a friend and watch with them. It’s nice to know I’m doing my job, heh heh. While it was all well and good, they only thought ef – memories was fine, and they really didn’t care for melodies at all, which is sad, considering that they hold such a dear place in my heart. I guess not everyone will like everything you will *sighs*. Baccano! just sort of happened. They thought Isaac and Miria were the best part, haha, me too!

I’ll be starting up the summer anime soon after everything is finished and reviewed. There will be a separate post for that, so if you’re curious to see what I’ll be following, keep your eyes peeled. Same goes with my favorite announcements from AX 2016. I may not have gone, but everything was reported here on the home front, and boy, there are a lot of good things coming our way soon!!

Let’s see, what else . . . ah, home life. I’m not sure if many of you knew this, but I don’t blog on my own computer. During the school year, I get a rental one to do all of my posts, which is why you’ll actually see more of my reviews then. What am I typing on now then? Why, it’s our bomb-ass family laptop — The one that: can’t be unplugged without it shutting off, frequently overheats itself, has lost Google and instead uses some sketchy browser (we got Chrome tho), and finally, that half of us need to use all the darn time.

So life is stressful in that regard. If my dad decides to upgrade to an iPad soon (because he is starting to pick up on its convenience), I’ll graciously be inheriting his mini laptop, which is leaps and bounds ahead of what I currently use because it EHERM, ACTUALLY WORKS. Also, for WP’s privacy sake. Fingers crossed that this all goes down soon because, uff, I’m not sure how much more I can take.

I’ll be away from the 10th to the 16th of July

Lastly, I’ll be taking a week off due to a music camp that I really don’t want to go to, haha. You see, you can enter to win camp scholarships by recording a solo and the people picking yours. There’s only one rewarded to a camper who gets in for free, however . . . AND I’M THE FREAKING ONE WHO GOT IT. Damn my rotten luck! So now I’m out a week of pay from work AND a week of blogging, and instead I’ll be sitting in a stupid classroom like a domesticated animal being forced to re-audition to get a spot. Then, of course, there’s the whole week of activities that I didn’t want to do in the first place. Why, kami-sama, why?

That pretty much wraps up this lengthy update. I wasn’t expecting 2,000 words, hah! Sorry about that. I’m hoping that all of us Americans had a wonderful Independence day with lots of tasty food, good company, and explosions! Summer is hot as balls here, and being a lifeguard for 7-8 hours in a day doesn’t help that. I got a nice tan already though, so I guess entrance fee was paid for. Until my seasonal line up, favorite AX announcements, spring anime review, or whatever comes next, I hope you’re having a great day! See ya~!

– Takuto, your host

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

Hello cafe-goers, welcome to cafe talk, a segment where I ramble and you are more than welcome to ramble with me! Today’s post is the last one (for some of you thinking, thank goodness he’s done) concerning my recent EVA-Week, a celebration centering around the official English release of Evangelion 3.33. I hope you have enjoyed what has come out, and I ask you to join me on this last little voyage to Tokyo-3 for the foreseeable future . . . maybe . . . ?

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Here is the calendar on my board. I’ve been filling in the days with their respective colors as they pass.

This goes more along with my 3.33 review which was recently posted. I thought dividing this into two parts would tremendously help cut down on the word count (it is so far the largest post on this blog)! This comprehensive aftermath will also explain the mindset I currently have with both Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild, so SPOILERS EXIST FOR ALL OF THE EVANGELION FRANCHISE.

Three groups of people exist when it comes to the franchise, and here are my thoughts on them:

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own series of 4 stand-alone films.

Stand-alone meaning that I could watch 1.11, not look back, and be satisfied with what I got; the film should be able to support itself without additional knowledge like most movies. I’ll admit, this method works fairly well for 1.11 and I dare say 2.22 if you decide to overlook the last ten or so minutes. With 3.33, this all falls apart – and NOT because of the 14-year gap. I was honestly thrilled when Anno decided to take such a ballsy risk, and it would’ve worked if

A) the events between the gap were explained by the end (Shinji’s confusion is decently handled, so putting it at the beginning would be all for not);

and B) The mental states of each character, not just Shinji, were further delved into. This viewpoint, I believe, is defunct due to the lack of both of these. Sadly, 3.33 just doesn’t stand by itself no matter how you look at it (my review will further explain why).

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own singular story, requiring knowledge of all 4 films.

This interpretation kinda piggy-backs off of the first, but in more of a coherent fashion. It is comparable more to a series, in that imagine if you watched the films back-to-back in one long slew (taking out credits, disc switches, etc.). This helps support the idea that the third leg of a four-person race is most tiring, complex, and occasionally (if you already assume how it’ll end), most climactic. I swam the 100-yd free, which is down-back-down-back. Without a doubt, that second down is the hardest part, as you have to manufacture your own adrenaline rush. For ROE, this means that 3.33 decides to take a more emotional approach and build up to the “beginning of the end,” much like a typical plot diagram. Still, this method lacks explanations for the unreasonable character motives and those deep psychological treats we savored in NGE. This viewpoint will be defunct should the last film present itself similarly to 3.33 or add nothing “new” like 3.33 did (I say “new” lightly, as causing the Fourth Impact isn’t something to just shrug off).

HEAVY THEORY/POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE FUTURE AHEAD, TREAD CAREFULLY

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as a rehashing of the original series, and believe elements between the two stories are interchangeable or that the Rebuild continues the story . . . somehow.

This is the wacky one. 1.11 is basically an exact copy of the first six episodes of NGE, only introducing Lilith earlier, showing off the red sea and the corpse outline on the hill, and sliding down the Angel appearance count by one – That’s it. It’s a wonderful remake of the original and deserves more appreciation. 2.22 is the break, the deviation. We get Asuka, but less Asuka (her name is even changed, WTF). Rei is kickin’ out hormones like crazy. Misato fails to tell her own story. Ritsuko is sidelined. Mari has little purpose other than to contrast against the others and be different. It’s a high-quality film, just a little lacking in the character department (nothing that the remaining two films can’t fix, right?). Then 3.33 comes along and breaks the flow. This is Anno’s different route, and unless that theory about the Rebuild being a successor to The End of Evangelion is trueThat it might all be a “dream,” another world route, or a chance to redo the past – then this is what we get. This viewpoint FORGIVES EVERYTHING that the Rebuild has caused thus far, as we fans can just plug n’ chug the backstories and memories, but should this fantastical theory prove false then this viewpoint is defunct as well. It is a well-constructed theory with much evidence, though. Then again, there’s the keyword. Theory.

I have much concern for this series, this franchise, at this point in time. Making 4.44, 3.0+1.0, Shin Evangelion Theatrical Edition 😐| – WHATEVER you want to call it – a masterful conclusion to the Rebuild series like The End of Evangelion was so many years ago is nearly impossible (unless something like option 3 happens, but it sounds all too easy). Its lack of characters which thought for themselves and had psychological issues that were conquered by individual experience and self-evaluation doesn’t even feel like the same Evangelion. And god dammit, SHOCK VALUE that receives no logical explanation is a SIN. Should the last film fail, ROE will be remembered as a series loaded with Grade A+ animation and soundtrack, a high-powered story full of twists and turns, and an emotional ride for some that found their calling with it. But hardly will you hear them say, “That doctor chick with the blond hair was an excellent character full of dynamic and emotional struggle,” because kid, the Rebuild‘s Ritsuko Akagi is not such a powerful woman.

Evaweekcelebration

Here is EVERYTHING referenced throughout The Revisit of Evangelion, or EVA-Week. It is mainly here as a compilation for me to look back on and remember all the fun times we had. You’re more than welcome to browse the menu and comment/reminisce with me 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day: You Are (Not) Alone

Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

The End of Evangelion Review

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. Review

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. Review

The Revisit of Evangelion: We Have Begun Third Impact | Cafe Talk

Evangelion’s Rebirth isn’t so Sweet after this Disposable Death | Review

THIS IS WHY WE CAN (NOT) REDO | Comprehensive Review

ATTENTION: 2 More Treats EVA Fans Might Have Missed!

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

This concludes the EVA-Week celebration here at the cafe . . I’m starting to get emotional now, trying to hold back the tears! If you stuck around to read, like, or even comment with your own meaningful thoughts once, I thank you! This series means a lot to me, to many of us, and we just want to see it do well – So damn well we cry our eyes out and meld into the proverbial sea of life. Do you have any similar thoughts on the subject, or are you completely indifferent and just watch it for the giant robots? How do you prefer to interpret the Rebuild? Any other interpretations?? Let me know so we can party hard in the comments! Thanks for celebrating this joy with me, and may the inevitable conclusion of a lifetime rock our world!~

– Takuto, your host

I’m gonna be humming “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” “Beautiful World,” and “Canon in D” for the next several weeks, aren’t I. . .

The Revisit of Evangelion: We Have Begun Third Impact | Cafe Talk

Ladies and gents, children of all ages, welcome to a very special week here in the cafe (and to another wonderful cafe talk!). One fateful year ago from this upcoming Valentine’s Day, I was (not) alone (click to read the backstory). I had previously spent the first two weeks of the month building up to this day: Canceling holiday meetups, telling my family “see ya,” leaving my girlfriend (HAH, no such thing exists now and then :/), and even preparing snacks. To what end? I was determined to introduce myself into the fantastical world of the (in)famous mecha anime Neon Genesis Evangelion (click on link for my thoughts!!!!!). Primarily, I just wanted to watch the Rebuild films, but seeing as I didn’t know what they were (and that they were just tempting me at the store since childhood), I thought I’d just sit through the series so that I could get to the meat.

Well, I got myself into much more than a robot fight, mind you.

I ABSOLUTELY fell in love with everything the franchise had to offer. For days-weeks-heck, this whole YEAR after, I spent my time endorsing myself into whatever I could get my grubby little paws on. I finally got to buy those two films, went eBay dumpster diving for the original Platinum litebox release of the series, and even dipped my toes in picking up that controversial movie we all love but don’t understand (some hate it for that mere factor): The End of Evangelion (click link for my cool thoughts on it!!!) . And you know what? I even got (well, my cool bro picked them up for me on a music trip of his :D) the last two volumes of the manga, 13 and 14, just to coincide my experience with the last volume’s release. That’s right. I’m edgy~

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I even formatted some pictures on Google (thank you respective artists) and printed posters!!! Wow, not sure if that’s cool or lame . . . I think I’m pretty cool . . . o_o

Flash forward one crazy year, and here I am again, (not) alone. But I have other plans for this V-Day which I’ll advertise in a future post. This week is Evangelion week in the cafe – Specifically, my “Revisit” (get it, Rebuild, Revival, “Revisit,” oh I am so damn clever) to the beloved Tokyo-3. After what, 3 or 4 years of waiting, coincidentally, FUNimation finally decided to release the third installment of the Rebuild franchise: Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo. It was officially released this past Tuesday, February 2nd (yes, a fan such as myself had it on pre-order ;)), and in celebration of its release and my anniversary of uncovering the franchise for myself, I declared this Eva week, and spent a good chunk of Monday and Tuesday rewatching my favorite episodes (“The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still”).

Aren’t you loving how this all pans out for me? Coincidence after coincidence, lucky me ~

Here is how the week’s been running so far, and will proceed as planned:

2/1 Monday – Rewatch favorite episodes of NGE between 1-13

2/2 Tuesday – Rewatch favorite episodes of NGE between 14-26

2/3 Wednesday – Rewatch Evangelion 1.11

2/4 Thursday – Rewatch Evangelion 2.22

2/5 Friday – Watch Death & Rebirth

2/6 Saturday – Watch Evangelion 3.33

2/7 Sunday – Rewatch Evangelion 3.33, with siblings (movie theater, click here for backstory)

You’re probably sittin’ there gagging, “Takuto, why bother with Death & Rebirth? Isn’t it just a sh*tty retelling of the series followed by the first episode of The End of Evangelion?” 

Why yes . . . well, apparently, I suppose? I never included D&R during the grand binge of ’15, so I’ve only been going by speculation. It’s time I grow a pair and see what I think, though, right? Can a true HUGE fan of the franchise say they love it to death if they haven’t absorbed all of it? That’s my thinking at this point, at least, so I paid the $15 bucks just to have it in my collection (because collecting is fun).

I’ve rambled enough! Won’t you join me on this epic conquest to reestablish, reaffirm, rekindle, and revisit this anime classic (gosh, one would think we were about to do something again, wouldn’t they, sheesh)??!! If not, well, the door’s right over there (just kiddin,’ go find another one of my reviews to munch on until the cool kids are done partying LOL)! I mean, we’ve been with each other since the beginning, so let’s finish the third lap on the track that has been etched in anime history: 3.33, here we come!! You can expect a review of both Death & Rebirth and Evangelion 3.33 at the end of the celebration, and hey, if you haven’t already checked out my old reviews of parts in the franchise, click on the links scattered above. They could sure use some lovin.’ 🙂

I’ve already changed my wallpapers, blocked out the world, and prepared tons of snacks. Oh wait, SHHHH, the movie is starting!!!!!!!!

We have begun Third Impact once again, everyone. Join me in this segue so the End. “The end of every world has a beginning, and this is (not) the world we thought we knew.” It’s time to Revisit and Redo.

– Takuto, your host

Takuto’s Anime Cafe One-Year Anniversary!

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Wow, where to start? Umm, hi, my name is Takuto. I’m the host hear at the Anime Cafe. While I can’t serve actual food and drinks to you, I can bring you some savory anime reviews and worthwhile conversations. One year ago, I shyly put out the chalkboard stand and turned the “Welcome” sign facing the skies. Since then, I’ve accumulated . . .

115 posts,

about 1,451 curious visitors,

about 3,797 positive views,

about 703 gracious likes,

about 905 lovely comments,

and 98 faithful followers.

If you’ve ever liked one of my posts, followed me around, left a comment, read one of my little posts, and/or even stopped by just to see what’s up, Thank You. From the bottom of my heart. I honestly cannot think of a happier and more positive place to be in than in this very cafe – in the WordPress Aniblogger community. Thank you so much.

But I can’t stay serious for too long, you know me 😉 I’ve honestly had such a fantastic, memorable time with all of you. Whether you’ve been with me since the beginning, or we just started tagging each other >.< I hope I’ve impacted you in some sort of upbeat, smiley way, as you have on me! Please keep up the awesome support, as I will continue to boost all of you with my dull humor and fanciful comments (not really, but really) 🙂 I honestly love you guys too much, and I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed what I have been able to give you, albeit just some words on another random anime site! *raises tavern mug* Here’s to the passing year, and to the next incredible one to pass!!! *drinks heartily*

But I think I owe you all something else, too. It’s a cafe, yet not once have any of you been visually served. ENJOY~

I know it’s not nearly enough, but we’ll definitely have more celebrating in the future (like my 100 followers special, which is coming up really soon *cough cough, wink wink*) Thank you for the adventure, and until next time, this has, and always will be

– Takuto, your host

End of August Update 9/2/15

Hello all, ’tis I, Takuto, back with the usual update ~

As many of you know, the 30-Day Song Challenge has been draining my already-minuscule breaks from daily labor. I hope you have been enjoying the music, by the way, as I certainly have picked up playlists of great songs recommended by some of your challenges :> On another exciting note, I just posted day 20, which means only 10 left!! Then all will be back to normal; “Cafe Talks” and anime reviews for all! (Click here to view the previous 20 days of the song challenge if you missed any. You know want to) Just click on a day to revisit the music 😀

With that said, I’ve also had virtually no time to watch anime. I’ve been reading a chapter or two here and there of the Pandora Hearts manga, an ongoing battle I’ve been fighting to finish my first manga series, but I suppose that’s not anime. Planning to hop into Hyouka with a clean slate as soon as the challenge is over, I’ve been prepping myself by drafting my Nagi-Asu review when I can eke out the spare minutes.

But let’s move onto what I have been following, shall we? I’ll give you a hint: There’s nothing new -_-

Recently Finished:

Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea – Oh lawd, no, why did this one have to end?? This anime probably took the cake as my anime of the summer (remember, simulcast break?). Enjoyable characters, lovely story, engaging drama, and the art and animation MAKES ME MELT even though it’s such a cool show >.< Just everything about this one is precious – so precious, in fact, that I once again gave Aniplex my left leg (cause they already had my right) in exchange for the first DVD set with the English dub! Now, my birthday order is still “Pending Fulfillment,” which I shot Rightstuf a question regarding it today, as it has been a week and my order still hasn’t shipped. But I’m working it out, so cross your toes it gets here soon (maybe I’ll do a birthday gift haul if you’re interested)!

Currently Watching:

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – Let me just start by saying that this has been the greatest simulcast I’ve probably ever watched. In the last few episodes, all of the chefs-in-training had been working diligently to find the perfect spice to use in the upcoming competition, which I think will determine the new members of this 10-seated hierarchy. The anime seems to be building up to this climax, so the next time we meet for this show, it’ll probably be the season review. Nikumi, Takumi, Megumi, kid in Polar Star Dorm with the maroon hair who smokes (grills) everything, and Soma – Give it your all!!

The Heroic Legend of Arslan – Thank heavens that the whole Rajendra side plot is over! I was about to keel over and drop the show entirely. With Lord Silvermask back in the picture, Arslan and crew reach the final buildup to this wartime drama, if I can even call it that. I wanted more characterization with Arslan’s inner party, like Gieve x Farangis, Elam x Alfreed, and Narsus being Narsus, but I don’t think we’re gonna get anymore. Bummer. BUT, the latest episode with Etoile’s reappearance, disguised as a girl, really has improved the story tenfold. I actually felt emotional connection with Arslan. Hopefully the anime continues with more moments like this in store, but for now, all we can do is wait it out. Episode 19’s end card supported ravishing artwork of the graceful Farangis, which I honestly loved so much it’ll probably be this post’s head pic ~

EEP, that’s it? Gosh, umm, okay. Short is good sometimes, right? Like you, this song challenge has been fun, but I CANNOT wait to get back on the review trail. I’ve got several “Cafe Talks” in store, too, so if you enjoyed sitting around the cafe sippin’ that espresso with crema on top or that delicious caffè latte, then you can look forward to that 🙂 My, how these months have flown by. Where I live, we’re sliding into the autumn season, so maybe the weather will get cooler. I need this ridiculous 100-degree F heat to just go away! I guess that’ll do it. Thank you for reading, I’m eager to see what September will bring us. Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

End of July Update 8/5/15

Hello helloooo, it’s update time ~

Another precious month of my summer as slipped by me . . . WHERE did the time go?? My fun summer life form is running low on HP, and in about a week it will reach zero. The cup’s almost out of coffee. The river’s almost all dried up. Why??? Because school starts soon (BOOOOO)! But don’t worry, I’ll still make room for anime between all of my homework.

For those wondering, my simulcast break has been absolutely wonderful. Like most, I hope that the season summer continues to be great so that by the end, I’ll have several more cool shows to watch, not that my list needs anymore ;). I have a couple of special announcements at the end of the update, so read on!

To the update, we got our recently finished shows:

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (and R2) – Ah man, what to say? Bloody fantastic show from start to finish, I couldn’t have been happier. It was quite the undertaking, considering its 50-episode stretch, but oh boy was it worth it. I suppose I could just flaunt on and on about how much I love mecha now, and proclaim like a love-struck weeaboo that I know all of the ins-and-outs to the genre, but you’d be much better off simply reading my review of the series here 🙂

ALDNOAH.ZERO Episodes 1-6 English Dub – These were just my brief thoughts over the new dub for an anime that I enjoy, click here for more info

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part 3: Rebellion – Okay, so I am one of the few who freakin’ loves this film, so it was a joy when the Blu-ray arrived in the mail. I had seen it previously subbed, and the English dub was incredible! All of the actresses did amazing jobs with their characters, Homura and Sayaka especially holy crap! I’ll probably never review this film just because I can’t ever wrap my thoughts into a nice bundle like with most anime, so yeah. I do like the premise of how the film ends – how Homura reveals her true love for Madoka since I felt the series kinda dropped that – but it was a little extreme in terms of execution for my tastes >.< Still, so happy to actually own the movie!

A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion – I know this film is a boat shot full of holes, but I seriously love this franchise too much to judge. As long as I see the Railgun in action, I’m good for another six months. Like Rebellion, the animation is gorgeous, so that made the watch even more enjoyable. I love me Raildex 😀

Currently Watching:

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – In the last couple of episodes, Soma’s master chef-of-a-father returns from the U.S. to test his son’s new abilities. The gang is also back at the school, which means stuff’s probably going down in the next couple of episodes. I think the show is still kickin’, and I haven’t got sick of it yet!

The Heroic Legend of Arslan – Hmm, this show on the other hand feels like it’s wasting my time. I mean, I still enjoy the story about Arslan growing stronger to become king, but there’s not enough bonding with Arslan’s party and development for him, so I find it somewhat hard to appreciate him. Agh, I digress, it’s okay.

Nagi no Asukara: A lull in the Sea – So this show has been on my watch list since the dawn of time, so I thought I’d get on it since a) I’m on my simulcast break and b) It was recently released with an English dub. I’m four or five episodes in, and OH MY GAWD that art makes Takuto drool 😛 Such a pretty show, and the characters and story aren’t half bad either. I pretty sure I’m in for a good ride

Now for those special announcements! One, I FINALLY FINISHED the Sword Art Online Light Novel: Aincrad Volume One! You probably don’t remember, but it was that DAMNED book I had been trying to cut down since I started blogging, and it’s finally OVER!! My brother bought me the second novel, so I will be starting that as soon as I finish my summer reading school books.

Two: This award floated back to the surface, and what do ya know, I had recently been nominated for the Liebster award again! Hooray! You can read my nomination right here if you’d like

And three: Ever since I started watching anime, I’ve kept and recorded a list of all of the anime I have ever watched and the season and year that I watched them in (because I think season affects the mood the series has on me or something). The list is pretty defunct now, considering that I have a MyAnimeList account to keep an even more specific account of my watching. But since it can’t sort the shows in the order that you watched them (alphabetical listing only), I still keep that my scratch list on hand as a memento.

Anyway, my point is that according to my lil’ list, I am on anime number 99, which I have designated to Nagi-Asu. When I hit 100, I’ll probably have a mini party of some kind because, why not!? 100 anime is a huge accomplishment for me! I have a pretty darn good idea as to what show I’ll watch for my 100th, but as my followers and friends, I’d like you guys to put down your recommendation for my next anime to watch! Also, if you remember your 99th anime, what did you watch?

I think that’s all I have to say for now. Until I finish Nagi-Asu, I won’t be reviewing anything . . . maybe another “Cafe Talk,” perhaps? How have all of you been? I’ve noticed we’ve recruited quite a few more customers to the cafe – you’ve chosen the right spot to hang out! Hehe, but seriously, thank you guys 😀 How has your summer gone besides so damn fast!? Let me know in the comments so that we can chat, but speaking of chatting with friends, real quick, my pal LitaKino uploaded a video on her YouTube channel as a live chat with the hilarious Gigi from AnimePalooza and a couple others. If you have the time or are looking for a dorky laugh or two, check out her video! Alright, now I’m done. Stay cool in this hot weather, and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host