Cafe Talk #5: 10 Places In Anime I Would Hate to be Found DEAD In

Dying sucks. I mean, I’ve never done it myself, but it looks pretty rank. In the Halloween spirit, I could have just posted an ordinary “Top 10 Horror Anime” or something to that appeal, but I realize there are plenty of great lists already floating around the community at this time. Besides, I probably haven’t even seen ten horror anime. But back to dying. I know it’s depressing in real life, but in anime, where anything and everything is exaggerated to so much as a head tilt, deaths can pretty . . . graphic, and most are so tragic we feel as if we lost a sibling, or a mother, or a dog. Also, in the instance of Another or Higurashi, death is unusually cruel to witness and done so in the strangest of places. So what I’ve decided to do is compile my top ten places in anime I would hate to be caught dead in. Dying sucks, so enjoy! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

By the way, there are ***SPOILERS*** for the following anime, in no particular order:

The Future Diary, Psycho-Pass, Higurashi, Steins;Gate, Madoka Magica, Deadman Wonderland, Sword Art Online, Another, [C] Control, and Attack on Titan

Though . . . If casinos were this flashy, I might spend a quarter or two . . .

# 10. From [C] Control, The Financial District

Do you know how to spend your money wisely? If not, you better learn fast! Because here, if your game of Pokemon results in your defeat, then you better expect to return home to an entirely different world. That’s right, put your money on the wrong slot and the collateral damage is astronomical! You could lose your job, your house, your family, and even your own life. And it’s all because you wanted to play the lottery. Shame.

What lies beyond this vault stays beyond this vault.

# 9. From Psycho-Pass, The Vaults of Sybil

Do you ever feel like you witnessed something that you shouldn’t have? Well b*tch, you just done it. You can’t “unsee” the computational law enforcement enterprise that runs the ‘utopia’ with an iron fist. The Chief is probably waiting behind the damp steel wall with the Dominator under her whim, ready to unleash your termination. Now your splattered body lies on the cold, hard, metal ground, just awaiting a mindless cleaning robot to sweep you into the trash. I would say curiosity killed the cat, but you’re a human, and I know you’re smarter than a domesticated fur ball. How embarrassing.

“Gather ’round, kids, it’s time for another game!”

# 8. From Deadman Wonderland, The Deadman Wonderland Amusement Park

Really, a horror amusement park? It’s cliche, but still a ruthless place to waste your life in. Imagine all of the cute bird costumed-people lined around the stadium, the audience thinking it’s all just apart of the thrilling show! NO. These security guards are armed with machine guns and rifles, and won’t think twice about your sorry corpse. Escape isn’t an option at Deadman Wonderland, so the only way to leave is by living and risking it all in the games, or by dying while the death is quick and painless. All the crowd would do is point and laugh at your decapitated head. That’s sickening!

Where would you go? What would you do?

# 7. From Steins;Gate, Any Lost World Lines

World line Theory. Whether you believe it or not, it’s a thing in this time-traveling masterpiece. So Okabe uses the microwave time machine to repetitively go back and save his friends from an ominous organization. After overworking his brain for 25 episodes, Okabe finally will get to sit on the couch and do whatever mad scientists do best. But what if this supposed “savior world line” still contained tragedy? The movie dives into that, but consider this different position: What if you ended up in a random world line where the microwave gets destroyed and your friends aren’t there anymore? What then? Let’s say that your family doesn’t recognize you either, and refuse to let you in, believing that you died in this timeline. You’ll now spend your remaining days roaming the sweaty streets of Akihabara until you die of depression. In a lost world line void of your existence, you were just a null concept, unmemorable and nonexistent. Scary AF.

I know, it looks so, sooo tempting – Don’t even think about it! Just go download ALO or something.

# 6. From Sword Art Online, The World of Aincrad

That’s right, of only 10,000 recipients of the first-ever virtual reality video game, how exhilarating! Upon your full-dive, however, there’s no escape. In a mere month, 1/5 of all players died, and you very well could have been one of them. Kirito eventually finds Asuna and also happens to know a lot of the ins-and-outs due to beta testing, so he’s all set with a dandy life. What about you? This is your first time, but you don’t get nearly as lucky as “The Flash.” You’re pretty pathetic as it is, and you don’t get along with others, so a guild is out of the question. Solo-playing might be the only way to go! WAIT, this is a trapped room – no Teleport Crystals allowed, too! They’re pouring in from the right and the left, and no one can hear your senseless yelping! It only takes 12 seconds to deplete your dinky life meter. As you fade and start to shatter, all you can do is pity yourself.

I suppose it’s more notoriously known for this giant hole. Talk about fine landscaping!

# 5. From The Future Diary, The Gasai Estate

Y’all know what goes on in this house, so I won’t even start. Even if you were a welcome guest and your terms were fair with Ms. Yuno, “you know” she’s got one giant, stark, pink eye aimed in your direction. The lights are out, so Yuno will take care of whatever you need. Thirsty? She’ll get you some water from the tap. Hungry? She’ll slice you an apple. Bathroom? Just down the hall, but only use the restroom. One turn to the left or the right will take you to a dark, damp, foul-smelling cage with two rotting corpses and vomit in it. Where were Yuno’s parents this evening?? “Oh, they went out, but don’t let that bother our private time together, Yuu-ki~”

It’s quiet . . . too quiet . . .

# 4. From Attack on Titan, Outside Wall Maria

Up for a game of tag? Great, they’re it, RUN, HIDE, not that it’ll do you any good because they can just sniff you out like bacon on a Sunday morning. Have you ever seen a mouse scrambling around a maze trying to find the prized cheese? It’s a horrifying sight, the poor cheese! Now, remove the walls and throw in 100 more mice. That’s just a square mile or two outside Wall Maria, where death is the only option – Just how long can you keep on running? Even the monarchy smells your fear from the Interior’s comfy walls!

What kind of childish nightmare is this!? It’s like my own vomit vomited on itself!

# 3. From Madoka Magica, A Witch’s Labyrinth

Your partner just got shredded into pieces by the Witch’s minions, and now they’re after you. Can you hear the chant? It’s for you. They split into groups and run with their fluffy axes of death, feeding on your trail of anxiety and fear. Run faster on the multi-colored ribbon road, dodge the cotton men, AH, there are the henchman! RUN the other way, go, HURRY! They’re catching on to you. Finally, She feels your presence and hope has just been swallowed. The wall behind you seals up with puffy candy and She licks her lips, ready to taste your despair. You shoot magic, she slithers out of the way. She wraps her slimy body all around you, ready to feast, but she can’t help it – that’s just the cycle of things. And just like a cycle, she swallows you whole, never again able to see the light of the real world. Why did I say yes? Was my wish even worth it? I guess you’ll never know . . .

Any day with these kiddos is a day closer to death. It could come at any time.

# 2. From Another, Class 3-C (Yomiyama)

“Things that were never properly buried come back to haunt the high school of the damned.” The worst part about sitting in this close-to-death class is know that you can and will die, you just don’t know how. The Calamity will consume you and the spread bloodshed by any means – you just have to die. A knife, a pole, a car, a fall, even an umbrella will do the trick. And your fellow classmates and family members will continue to perish aimlessly until the dead is sent back to death. That’s creepy!

I just can’t! NOPE, not gonna do it!

# 1. From Higurashi, Shion’s Underground Torture Chamber

Like Yomiyama, all of Hinamizawa is one large blood-red target, but Shion’s “Fun-Fun Underground Torture Chamber” takes the cake for my most-feared location out of all of the anime I’ve seen. I won’t even sugarcoat this one like I did with the others, because you all know of the horrid sh*t that goes on in this hell hole. The hard, brown, dirt ground with cells built into the cavern. A splintery table with rusty metal clasps that will hold your shaking body as Shion readies whatever ancient instrument she pleases. Now I’m shivering, and it’s not because of the cold rain outside or low thermostat (or my heart lol)! Higurashi, you win, so take your scary-ass setting and get outta my cafe!

So to recap, dying sucks. It can be even worse, however, depending on WHERE you get spirited away. This Halloween season, do yourself a favor and DON’T visit any of these horrifying places! You’ll thank me later, I know it. If you are so daring as to dive back into these terrifying settings, then please, please make sure you return in one piece. I’d feel bad for anyone who had to spend their holiday scraping up your sorry corpse 😀 If you had similar thoughts, hit the like button! I have been waiting so long to write this post you have no idea! My question for you: Where in anime would be a terrible place to die? In the meantime, thanks so much for reading, and have a spooky Halloween!!

– Takuto, your host

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Soul Eater Review

For just a mere $30 drop, the famous shonen anime Soul Eater has been a daily treat of mine now for the past couple of weeks. Notable for its perfect blend of action, comedy, and awesome characters, this show is responsible for pulling in many anime fans here in the U.S. But does the title live up to its grandiose reputation? I Takuto, your host here at the café, shall present my thoughts to you in a slice of colorful cake.

Everyone has a soul. In the world surrounding Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), administrated by Lord Death himself, there exist evil humans and monsters known as Kishins, beings that have turn into evil demons by consuming an incredible amount of pure souls. To fight of these Kishins, warriors called Meisters team up with Weapons, people that can transform into various blades or arms.

Once a Weapon has collected 99 evil human souls and 1 witch soul, the Meister’s weapon will advance to a Death Scythe, recognizing you as one of Lord Death’s finest weapons. Not that this concept matters anyway.

Soul Eater follows Maka and Soul, Black Star and Tsubaki, and Death the Kid with Liz and Patty Thompson. While their goal is to gather souls for Death, they have the chief mission of defending Death City and the DWMA from all kinds of wickedly powerful creatures. When they are not on the front lines, however, they attend school and train to become the best!

As the anime introduces its main cast one by one, this seemingly honest idea of leveling up deviates towards a complex and deeper plot. What starts off as a repetition of kids going to school quickly erodes into a story of madness.  Along the way, Soul Eater pressures our heroes into crazy situations that, though obviously not comfortable for them, are extremely enjoyable for us as viewers. Simple values like friendship, bravery, and humanity are also used as mediums for character development, but they can be a bit overbearing at times, especially the way the show cradles some characters.

Maka is studious, short-tempered, and is always thinking of others, but above all, she is determined. Her Weapon, Soul, might just look like a cool guy, but he would actually risk life and limb to protect Maka. Despite the bickering here and there, Maka and Soul’s platonic bond matures into one of the most reliable ones in the series. It was a sheer joy to hear Laura Bailey as Maka, considering that the last I had heard from her was as Ayaka and Evangeline in Negima!?, and Micah Solusod was great as always!

Black*Star is brash, loud, enthusiastic, but more than anything annoying! Wanting to surpass God in terms of power, he provides the comic relief in the show with his ridiculous stunts.  He’s also a fail assassin, shouting his name to all to hear when he enters the scene. Following loyally behind him is Tsubaki, his kind Weapon who is willing to help however she can.

Death the Kid, the son of Lord Death, is calm, smart, and . . . . has an extreme OCD case where symmetry is everything? Yes – He is so obsessed with perfect symmetry that he is willing to stop and marvel at a giant mummy monster just because the sarcophagus is equal in all proportions.  If it weren’t for Liz and Patty, playful twin sisters, to comfort him, then Kid would never stay focused. Todd Haberkorn plays Kid brilliantly!

Other than the cruel witch Medusa (never heard that side of Luci Christian before – its freakin’ awesome!), the underlying antagonist that is frankly a genius in every way possible, the rest of the cast, to me, is meh. I mean, Lord Death’s cheery nature and Arachne’s evil blemishes, though she did nothing, are both definitely cool, but everyone else was either decent or really annoying – specifically Crona, Sid, and Mosquito. Then there’s Excalibur . . .

Nevertheless the likability overpowers and all of the characters are memorable. They each stand out at least a couple times to give you room to judge. Soul Eater functions best when it showcases one character at a time.

Studio Bones delivers a bright tone in a rather dark show, which is a hard thing to get right, but they nail it for sure! When scenes are meant to be light-hearted, bold colors on characters and backgrounds jump out. In contrast, the eerie, haunting parts –with a touch of Halloween – feel ominous. Praise to Eruka and Free’s encounter with the First Kishin – my heart literally jumped out of my rib cage; seriously terrifying!

The use of various angles, smooth animation, and unique moves makes for some of the most interesting action I’ve ever seen, and they’re fantastic! Never once do the fight scenes ever seem pointless or unnecessary. It helps that all of the characters support expressive faces to match the mood. However cartoonish and basic the animation seemed, it was executed with pure entertainment in mind.

Aside from the great English dub performance, sound remains nothing special. There are no memorable tracks other than “Psychedelic SoulJam,” but there are a couple new ones added for the “epic” final fights.

The first opening “Resonance” by T.M.Revolution fits the first half of the show perfectly with its spooky tune.  Meanwhile, the second opening “PAPERMOON” by Tommy heavenly6 beautifully exemplifies the second half. Both are super catchy, and my favorite ending of 4, #3 “Bakusou Yumeuta” by Diggy-MO’ raps out the quirky character styles!

Soul Eater does not have any filler (besides Excalibur. . .), but can be rather slow at times. Dangerous situations are drawn out, specifically that whole Arachnophobia vs the DWMA clash. Crona and Franken Stein dilemmas were especially a drag, considering the fact that I could have been watching more Kid and Soul kicking ass! Also, considering its 51-episode length, it’s a bit of a struggle to the end.

Other than that, Soul Eater is plain fun, offering great action, heartwarming themes, memorable characters, ano stupid comedy – DO NOT try to take this show seriously. Once the secrets of the Kishin are let loose in the first half, however, there is an extreme drop in interest towards the end. As such, this anime is not perfect because of the great distinction between the first and second arcs, and some of the characters can be extremely annoying. But it manages to stay consistent with one goal in mind, and that is one of the strongest points to the show; the end was pretty fair if ya ask me. Though it wasn’t the “best anime ever,” I still had a great time watching this it, and I thank those who recommended it to me!

“People need fear to survive. We experience it so we can grow stronger.” – Maka Albarn

FOOLS! Go watch Soul Eater if you haven’t already – it’s a classic in the shonen genre for a reason! Leave a comment below if you had similar thoughts towards this crazy show! I welcome all newcomers to the café and extend my thanks towards my followers 😀 Hit the like if you enjoyed my review and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host