The Three Episode Test Is a Horrible Waste of Time, Here’s the Right Way to Use It

The three episode test is a pretty commonly used method of determining whether or not a show is good. You watch three episodes of an anime and only then do you decide whether or not to drop it. While I admit, watching three episodes of a show will tell you whether or not you’ll like it the vast majority of the time, I think it’s a huge waste of time. From my experience, it takes much less than three episodes to tell whether you’ll like a given series, maybe even less than an episode depending on the show.

I know that last statement is going to not sit well with some people, but I’m a strong believer that it’s completely fine to drop an anime a few mere minutes into its first episode. Over half of my dropped list is shows that I only watched one episode of. I think there are definitely some shows that it will only take an episode if not a few minutes to tell where it’s going. Dynamic Chord was boring, choppy, unappealing aesthetically, had no interesting characters, and seemed to disregard story altogether, I dropped it maybe 12 minutes into the episode. Eromanga-sensei was just trashy. Trash is fine and liking it is fine, but this just wasn’t my kind of trash. People told me that Gakkougurashi had a good first episode because of the twist, but it didn’t have anything else interesting happen after that. While the twist was really smart and the first episode was fine because of it, I could tell by the actual technical aspects of the show that it wouldn’t last if it didn’t have any more good writing. Ika Musume (Squid Girl) is a comedy, but I don’t find the comedy funny. Two Car was probably made by Siri and Alexa accidentally starting a conversation in someone’s living room, there’s really no substance to it. These are all really good examples of anime that I just knew I wouldn’t enjoy.

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But there’s already a good counter-argument to this. If you only watched one episode, how do you know that the show didn’t get better? This is a very valid question, and honestly, no, there’s no way of knowing with 100% certainty that a show will never improve. However, I think it’s a really rare case that it does. And what I’ve found through thinking about examples of dropped shows that I tried to pick back up, I’ve found, for myself at least, a pretty good way of knowing what will and what won’t be enjoyable an episode or two down the line. I’m going to talk about my experiences with a lot of shows here, but it’s all in support of my point, so bear with me.

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Cheating Craft is not a good show. However, I was hesitant to drop it at first because I hoped that it could get better. I knew that great things could be done with the premise, so I waited, and waited, and waited. I finished the show and gave it a three. I wasn’t employing the three episode test then, but doing so would’ve still gotten pretty much the same result: watching too much of a show I didn’t like.

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Umaru-chan was tough to get through. I don’t mean that it was boring or bad in any regard. It was just completely infuriating. This seeming torture porn of a comedy was just too much for me to handle at first, and I dropped it with a seven. I knew that the writing was good and the jokes were great, I just didn’t feel like the target audience. However, I later picked it up with a different mindset and realizing that Umaru got less annoying over time, I found myself really enjoying the show. My score of the show stayed the same, but this time I actually liked it.

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18if was really confusing from the beginning. After the first episode, I couldn’t tell whether I was going to give it a four for being messy and stupid or an eight for being a hilarious parody. I ended up watching a couple more episodes and eventually, I determined that it was the former of the two previously stated options.

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Devils’ Line really just isn’t my thing. Again, trash is fine, but this just wasn’t my kind of trash. I wasn’t a fan of anything in the show and the premise wasn’t enough to drag me back in. Although, I did attempt to continue watching it for other reasons. I still really found myself disliking it. Nothing changed, I wasn’t a fan of anything they were doing and I still didn’t think the show was any type of good on a technical level.

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Flip Flappers seemed like a blurry mess to me. It was really nice to look at, the writing seemed fun, I found myself liking the characters a lot. However, I had no idea what happened. After watching the first episode, I had no idea about how anything worked, and it left me unwanting to finish the show. The premise hadn’t established itself well and that made me drop it. However, I later heard that it was an amazing show by a ton of people. Picking it back up again, I seemed to agree. I ended up quickly watching the rest of the show and ending it off with a nine.

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Finally, Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu was a drag. The writing was bad, the action was boring, the story was understandable but all over the place, nothing happened for a reason, things were just stupid. I dropped it after a mere ten minutes and my ex dropped it after just six. Nothing about the show was horrible, but everything was below average. I ended up picking it up again and only finished the episode because of a deal I made with a friend who liked the show. Nothing changed. An episode isn’t that much, but I spent double the amount of time watching the show and came out with the exact same opinion of it.

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Now, what I’ve learned from all of this is an easy concept to apply to any dropped show. The shows I just mentioned could all be put into two categories: ones I dropped because of confusion with the premise, and ones that I didn’t like, despite not having a problem with their premise, just the execution. With the former group, the three episode test seemed to work really well. However, for the second, it did nothing but waste time for me. If you really think about a show and its development process, what changes over the course of three episodes? A show’s execution probably won’t change over the course of three episodes, it’s not like you go from bad at doing something to good at doing it over the course of two weeks. But can a premise take time to establish itself? For sure. If after only an episode, you know that you don’t like a show’s execution, you can almost always safely drop it. However, if whether or not you like a show lies solely in what happens with the premise, you might want to watch a few episodes.

My theory is that the three episode test was made to be a way of determining a show’s premise. Then, the meaning was slowly warped to determine a show’s quality instead due to a community-wide game of telephone. As someone who’s a member of MAL Rewrite, I know that three episodes are perfect for determining a show’s premise. Most of the synopses on the website were only written after two or three episodes of the show being watched because that’s the sweet spot. However, I think that three episodes are way too much time to determine whether or not you’ll like a show unless your liking it relies on the premise.

So the next time you watch a show and don’t like it after one episode, hear me out and ask yourself something. Is your enjoyment of the show at all going to be affected by the premise changing/establishing clearer? If not, I think it’s safe to say that you won’t be missing out by dropping the show after only watching an episode. Watching an hour of anime is a lot of time. If you’re more conscious of what anime you do and don’t drop, you may find yourself saving a lot of time.

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Wow, this post was long. I probably could’ve cut out all the examples and gotten my point across in a couple hundred words, but I wanted to really hammer it in that I don’t support the three episode test as something universal at all and I have the experiences to back it. Plus, it was a fun way to talk a little bit about a lot of shows I’ll likely never cover. Hopefully, I can start to drift back on schedule with posting, I’ve been fumbling here and there, but I haven’t been forgetting that the blog exists for a month in like… a whole month or two now. Whoopee! Anyways, thanks for the support lately. We’re only a third way into the month and it’s already been my #1 for comments and likes since starting the blog. While I like getting views, it’s a lot better feeling when I get comments and likes, it lets me know that people got something out of my posts. Now with that out of the way, I’m currently averaging two hours of sleep a night, so I should probably go try to change that. I hope to see all of you soon!

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Popee the Performer

Since I’m talking about a “kids show” but I need to make sure none of you click away… Take a look at what the show itself looks like. (Minor gore)

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If you can’t tell, he’s sucking the poison out of him

Now that you’re all paying attention…
Popee the Performer is a small, 39 episode kids show of lasting four minutes an episode. Though meant for kids, the show has racked up a small cult following on the internet. Just because it’s a kids show does not make it any less crazy or enjoyable.

The show centers around Popee, a clown in a striped jumpsuit with bunny ears and a tail; Kedamono, a… dog thing…? who’s face is never seen by the audience, instead constantly keeping a white mask over his face, expressing himself by switching masks to show different expressions; and Papi, a strange, creature that I can’t really describe (the one with the moustache) who first shows up about a third ways into the show. The three are seen in a circus in the middle of the desert, often performing tricks you might see at a circus. Often, these end in the tricks going wrong and ending in violent antics.

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While I could talk about the unsettling ending that asks much questions than it does answer, there are plenty of fan theories that you could search for yourself. My goal here is only to convince you to watch the show for yourself, which you can do here.

Popee the Performer makes absolutely no sense sometimes. It’s just a ton of different things happening all at once. Episodes start and without any explanation as to what’s going/gone on. There’s sometimes no explanation whatsoever as to why something works or why anything happens in the first place. There’s also not even a pinch of continuity. But this all is what makes the series fun to watch. The insane, unexplainable mess of events stuck together hanging onto each other by a thread is honestly more than enough for me to recommend it.

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This definitely isn’t something for everyone, but I think the off the walls jumble of thrown together ideas is weird at worst, hilarious at best. I’d also really recommend having a friend (or perhaps some alcohol) with you while you watch it. Laughing at something stupid is always a lot more fun when you have someone to do it with you. Also, I’d recommend watching at double speed. It’s a tad slow normally, and speeding it up makes it a lot funnier and less likely to kill you. Either way, just enjoy the show for what it is and have a good laugh if it sounds like the kind of thing you’re into.

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I really couldn’t resist talking about this thing after finishing it. It’s a shame that this only has 3,000 members on MAL (but then again, so is its fanart). But I had a blast watching it with my friend. I hope you guys are enjoying the increase in videos recently. I’m still trying to figure out what posts I enjoy making the most. Anyways, tell me what happens if you decide to check the show out and I’ll hopefully see all in a few days!

Hinamatsuri! Cute Girls and All, but Fix Your Pacing Please

Hinamatsuri has been a strange series. Though mostly a comedy, there are also a couple of other tones creeping around in the show. Recently, half an episode was spent just making us cry over Anzu (please protect btw). And so far, I’m really enjoying it! It definitely has a few problems, but I think overall it’s a fun show. (also spoilers ahead so yea)

Something I especially appreciate is the show’s slow but certain development of Hina. While in the first episode we barely saw her be anything other than emotionless, she is now starting to really care about things. It’s not that she’s smarter or anything, it’s that she’s now seemingly no longer detached from things. A good moment to point to for this is her saying goodbye to Nitta. Hina seems to be genuinely troubled by telling him that she has to leave, choosing to throw up and even go to the hospital just to delay telling him. Nitta really matters to her, maybe the first person to ever. When she says her final goodbyes, she’s showing a genuine smile. As it’s revealed, she used to just barely function on autopilot, destroying entire cities. Despite not seeming to ever get angry, Hina used to like taking control over things just to get what she wanted, causing mass destruction when necessary. It’s just really nice to see Hina starting care more about things after all this time.

The show definitely has its faults though. I think it’s really just all over the place sometimes, and not in a good way. The show goes on a lot of tangents, and most of them aren’t that great. While I really like all of the different subplots in the show all weaving together, I think they should be less spontaneous and spread out more. Hitomi working at the bar is great and I think it works well with the series. However, the episode where Hitomi’s classmates go on an “investigation” to see what she’s doing at the bar left me feeling like I had watched a different show. It was so out of nowhere and primarily featured a few characters who we hadn’t even known up until then. And really, it was kind of boring. That may be just me, but I didn’t really enjoy the episode anyway. The episode about Mami felt the same. It centered around someone we didn’t know, contributed pretty much nothing to the plot as a whole, and in my opinion at least, wasn’t funny. Anzu’s subplot is really nice. I think that it’s a great example of what these other episodes could’ve been. First of all, Anzu’s subplot has been spread out throughout the show. While it’s not even, the episode where the homeless group breaks up only took half of the episode’s runtime and still complemented the other half.

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I’m also getting a bit overwhelmed with all that’s happening in the show right now. Suddenly we have a completely new girl with her own subplot and we’re only now getting introduced to this very large group of characters from the organization. I think a fear of mine came true with this show. When I was three or four episodes in and remembered the first scene of the show, realizing that it hadn’t even been mentioned since I was a little scared that the show was going to mess up its pacing and throw in a ton of things at once near the end without explaining many of them. This is exactly what has happened. We’re told that Hina has destroyed cities, but why? Is this on her home planet or has Hina been sent to other cities before, destroying them before anyone like Nitta found her and helped her? Are these superpowers created or is this a whole other race? What even is the organization and when are we actually going to find something out about them instead of just seeing new members of theirs spontaneously thrown into the series?Related image

With only three episodes to go, I am a little concerned that we’ll get a “read the manga” ending or a lazy copout. I wouldn’t mind the show setting up for a second season, leaving just the right amount of plot revealed so we’re satisfied yet intrigued for more, but I don’t really see that happening. The show seems to be throwing a lot at us really quickly, and I have a sinking feeling in my stomach that the next couple of episodes are just going to be a cluster of thrown together ideas. Either way, the show has already done enough to earn a good score from me, I really like the comedy and I absolutely adore all of the characters.

Ahhh, the sweet feeling of being ahead of yourself. Maybe for the first time ever on this blog, I have things finished that won’t even be coming out for a few days. I finished a post like five days in advance, is someone proud of me? No? Eh, well I can at least be happy with myself. As far as future stuff goes, I’m probably going to start the Salty Anime Challenge soon, so if you’re a fan of some good old hate, then stay tuned for that! I’m going to go draw pineapples for the next half our so I’ll see guys in two days when I talk about Popee the Performer (oh, joy). Bye!!

How I Started Blogging, My Biggest Improvement Yet, and Lots of Ugly Drafts – Plebby’s Zen

This is not going to be what I normally put out. Instead of talking about anime, I’m really just going to ramble about some random things related to blogging. This isn’t going to be a very common thing here, but I have a few things I wanted to chat about for a bit. If this isn’t your thing, stay tuned for a Hinamatsuri post tomorrow!

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Something I have a lot of problems with when it comes to writing is the action of writing itself. Sometimes, ideas don’t come to my head, or I don’t know how to articulate myself so I’ll just sit for half an hour doing nothing. The way I’ve gotten past this is going on walks and recording myself talking instead of writing my thoughts down, then later putting it to text. First of all, walks are damn amazing. I have never gone for a walk without coming back feeling better in every way possible, but I digress. They’re also really amazing for writing! Ideas just seem to come so much easier after or during a nice run or walk. And saying my ideas out loud instead of writing them helps me not worry about articulating things at first. I can just get my idea established then articulate it later. Doing things like this just makes writing a lot easier and less stressful.

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Footage of me writing a blog post

If I think back to how I got the idea to start blogging, it kinda came from horrible anime and a MAL mod. I’ve left three reviews on MAL. They were all written over a year ago and they’re complete trash. There’s something really important about that trash though. At the time, I really thought the MAL review mods were just out to get me. TLDR: two of my reviews were removed and one of them was set to preliminary (which I’m still not happy about. I watched the whole series before leaving the review, but since MAL hadn’t updated the show to be finished, I apparently was not physically able to watch the episode). The two removed ones were different stories, though. Despite the fact that they were bad, they also weren’t fit for MAL at all. The first one was me ranting about how Seiren (I think that’s it? I’d check but DeNA still needs to change its diaper and get its website back up AS WELL AS FIGURE OUT IF MY INFORMATION WAS STOLEN OR NOT) was bad, which it was, in a drawn-out, abrasive, unformatted single paragraph. The reasons for its removal were being unformatted and having way too much swearing, which is totally fair, I would’ve removed it too. The second was written after only seeing the first episode of 8if, and it was basically just me saying that I thought the show was a satire (something I quickly stopped believing after the second episode). It was removed for being too early into the show and being more of a blog post than anything. That’s when the review mod actually suggested that I start a blog (probably so he wouldn’t have to read any more of my garbage). I was kind of curious when the review mod sent that to me. I had heard of blogs, I knew what they were. But I had no idea where you would even start with one. Either way, that was what inspired me to start my blog. Having my own rules and being able to write anything (legal) I wanted to sounded great. A few months later, I stopped being as lazy and found out what WordPress was through a couple google searches. I really enjoy the freedom of being able to write about whatever I want here now, so I have to say thanks to that mod.

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When I started this blog last September, I put out 7 different posts in a month. If you’ve read any of those posts, you’ll know that none of them are really… good. Not to say that my current writing is amazing, but I’d like to think that I’ve improved. Something I think really dragged my old posts down is that they were just boring. The writing was bad, but the ideas just weren’t there either. All of my posts were just lumps of text saying that something was good or bad without saying why. That’s currently my “goal” with writing, just to make a point other than “x is good”. With my recent Hunter x Hunter post, I specifically talk about how the show breaks the boundary between black and white and chooses to flesh out all of its characters, making it feel much more realistic. If I had written that post half a year ago, it would’ve just been “I like Hunter x Hunter, it has good character development.”, and that’s all I would’ve had to say on it. I’m not perfect, but I’d like to think that I’m improving.

I currently have about five draft posts, but once, I actually had more drafts than actual posts. I recently went through all of my drafts and deleted the bad ones and the ones that I straight up didn’t care about anymore. I still have half or full-written posts on Tsurezure Children, my favorites list as a whole, Pop Team Epic, Yuri on Ice, and the three episode test. But before deleting the others, I had around 25 different drafts. Something about drafts just bugs me. The more I let them sit there, the more I hate them. I started writing my second article for MAL Articles months ago. I wrote the first draft in a night, never looked at it for months, then remembered it when the mods reminded me that I wasn’t helping anyone by having my article claim space on the tracker. However, I still wanted to continue writing the article. Remembering that this thing existed required me reading through that old draft again though. This was the last time I’ve read an old draft of mine. Although it feels really nice to have a post that’s already there, something I know I could post whenever I wanted in a matter of minutes, I don’t want to. Their general existence just bugs me.

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Man, I hope you guys like long, unconnected tangents! Because if not, I have a few apologies to make and a few rocks to hide under. Anyways, another post on Hinamatsuri comin’ down the pipe tomorrow to soften the blow of whatever this is. Now that it’s summer, I’m aiming to be a lot more active than I have been. I mean, I’ve written six posts in a week, so that has to account for something. Also, I wrote the sections about MAL before it was up again. Not all of its features are up yet and I’m also now having to talk to my service provider because of the info leak that may or may not have happened though, so I’m leaving them in there. Now, it’s 6AM, so I have to go hibernate until the world freezes over. Goodnight to all!

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Guys, I’m Totally Lovely

Sooooooo I’ve recently been nominated in an award post! And by recently, I mean December of last year… Anyways, I really have to thank KimchiSama for the nomination! (Please check them out, you won’t regret it) I’m pretty shy, so it’s really nice to feel included without having to leave the comfort of my room!

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So, here’s how the award works:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
2) Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
3) Share 7 things about yourself
4) Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
5) Include this set of rules
6) Inform your nominees

So, I guess, here are some things you probably didn’t know about me! (If you do then don’t tell me, I might call the police)

Singing and stuff!

I’m a part of an auditioned choir and I’ve been singing for a few years now. I’m also learning how to play the piano and the ukulele (self-taught). I’m not exactly great at any of these, but I just performed at the Colorado All-State Bellco Theatre and that was pretty cool!

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I don’t go by my real name

My real name is Dakota, but really most people call me Cody or Dawn. When I was really little, I was scared that having an Indian name would get me picked on. Really, this wasn’t true at all. In fact, most people have told me they really like my legal name. I think it’s grown on me too. It means “friend” in the Indian Sue tribe, so at least my parents had faith in me! But I started going by Cody because it was similar enough to Dakota but more “normal” sounding before even going to pre-school. Dawn is a different story for a different day, but I do think it’s kind of cool that I basically chose my own name!

I hate reading

It’s not exactly a popular opinion, but I’m not a fan of reading. It mainly comes from me not being a good reader. I have a good enough reading level and if you asked me to read a couple paragraphs out loud, I probably wouldn’t stutter. But I have a hard time focusing on reading. I have a hard time focusing on things in general, and books aren’t exactly easy to focus on in the first place. I usually end up just saying the consonants in my head without actually absorbing any of the words. I’ll have gotten through half a page then realize that I wasn’t actually paying attention and reread it two times before getting too frustrated to want to continue. I’m much more of an anime or games person.

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I love pineapples

Yeah… this is a weird one. I just love the thought of pineapples in general. I have a poster of a golden pineapple right next to my desk and a pineapple plush on the other side. I also love how they taste in general (especially on pizza hehe).

I collect thrown away pens and pencils

I’ve started this weird thing recently where I obsessively pick up every pen and pencil I see on the ground. A lot of them don’t even work, but that’s fine. I probably have hundreds at this point. It’s not actually a bad idea though. While I just do it because I just feel like it, I probably have around 20 or 30 dollars in working pens in that box.

I like cooking

I don’t do it all the time, but I really enjoy cooking meals for myself or my friends. I got the idea to start a while back when I watched Shokugeki no Souma and I made a couple of meals from the show. I’m not Gordon Ramsey, but it’s a fun little hobby.

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I’m a member of MAL Articles and MAL Rewrite

Though I’ve only done a handful of work for Rewrite and written only two articles so far, how could I pass up bragging about this? The mods are pretty nice people for the most part, and it’s fun to get to interact with all of the other members. The best part about the whole thing is the discord servers. There are a lot of really cool people to meet on there, and you don’t even have to work for them to join the servers.

So now onto some blogs that I also think are lovely and get my nominations!

The Moyatorium
Umai Yomu 
The AniMessenger
Crackdown Review

So, yeah. You four, I can’t wait to see more from you. Thanks again to Kimchi for the nomination, and hopefully, I’ll see the rest of you soon!

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Shokugeki no Souma’s OPs Reveal EVERYTHING

Some may have missed it, but the recent OPs for Shokugeki no Souma have been telling the whole story right off the bat. Keep in mind that despite focusing on the anime, I will be spoiling everything currently revealed in the anime and in the manga, which currently ends at the end of the Totsuki Train Arc.

The OP of the first season of Shokugeki no Souma focused more on aesthetic appeal and didn’t touch on the plot almost at all, merely showcasing a number of the characters. However, as the series has gone on, it’s started to reveal more and more along with every OP. The OP for the Totsuki Training Arc spoils the entire arc from the very beginning, so let’s dive into how.

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With the rigorous new exams coming up to weed out the rebels, a lot new has been happening. The cast on certain alliances is currently going through a major change. With almost all of the Elite Ten having been recently replaced, along with Akira’s recruitment and almost immediate expulsion due to his loss to Souma, another faction is also losing a large number of its members. Around halfway through the Totsuki Train Arc, the majority of Polar Star Dormitory is expelled after losing to Elite Ten members. With only Erina, Souma, Megumi, and Takumi remaining, the four are determined to bring their friends back to the academy. Recruiting Isshiki, Mimasaka, Kuga, and Megishima, the group challenges Central to an all-out team battle, Regiment de Cuisine, over seats in the Elite Ten. Azami and Central refuse as the expulsion of four rebels isn’t enough incentive, before Erina and Joichiro and Nakiri both accept the condition of becoming Azami’s personal assistants for the rest of their lives.

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As the OP begins, we see multiple members of the current and former Elite Ten in ascending order based on their ranks with Kuga (former 8th) coming after Eizan (former 7th) being the only exception. In order, we’re shown flashes of Erina, Eizan, Kuga, Isshiki, Nene, Somei, Momo, Megishima, Rindo, Eishi, and finally, Souma. Right off the bat, this symbolizes Souma’s eventual taking of the first spot in the Elite Ten as he’s shown above Eishi.Image result for shokugeki no souma san no sara - toutsuki ressha-hen op

Next, Souma is shown struggling to make it through snow as he walks past Eizan, Nene, Somei, Momo, Rindo, and Eishi, six of the eight Central members that fight in the Regiment de Cuisine, ordered, again, by their power in the Elite Ten. Souma then shakes off his cloak, again representing his triumph over Central.

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Darkness fades to light and we’re shown four colored trains, heading past a number of the previous dishes showcased in earlier episodes. After a short while, the shot changes back to darkness as we’re shown the title card over a railroad that seems to be moving under us. However, the trains’ colors aren’t chosen randomly. The yellow, pink, green, and blue colors represent different sections of the rebels. The yellow train emerges as the first in the group, telling how Erina is said to be the “rallying cry”, as Souma calls her.souma1.PNG

As the title card fades, we’re shown Souma, his younger self, and his father behind a yellow gradient background. After that, Erina, her younger self, and Azami in front of a pink gradient background. It’s important to note the positions of all of the characters in their respective scenes. The younger versions of Souma and Erina stand in the middle of their current selves and their fathers, behind both of them, staring at the camera. Erina and Souma stand in front of all three, looking at the camera. Their fathers stand behind their current selves, looking expressionlessly at them. While Souma is cheerful, grinning as he finally gets his chance to overthrow Central, Nakira is shown glaring, filled with anger over her lost friends. Young Souma and Nakiri, showing cheerful and life-less expressions respectively, represent how their fathers have affected them during their childhoods. Moving train tracks surrounds both groups, symbolizing that regardless of their relationships, the current situation has crossed all of their paths.

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Next, we’re shown the rebels, split into two sections, covering green and blue gradients, the colors of the two farther behind trains. In front of the rebels, transparent bars, in front of which stand transparent versions of Aldini and Megumi. The scene alludes to the expulsion of almost all of the rebels near the halfway part of the series, with Takumi and Megumi being two of the four survivors, with the transparency telling how eventually, the rebels will have their expulsions revoked and join the other four following their win of the Regiment de Cuisine. souma2.PNG

As the music kicks into high gear, a stick of cinnamon falls and breaks, acting as a metaphor for the sudden lack of funding for Shiomi Seminar. After his research center being threatened, Akira joins Central as the fourth seat in the Elite Ten. We’re shown him boxing with Souma, the metaphor for their fight used in the actual episodes, in front of a bear, their topic, and the mountains Souma climbed looking for resources for the confrontation.

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The next scene showcases Polar Star Dormitory and its former residents from the golden age. This quickly transitions to younger Joichiro standing upon a pile of bodies. At the end of Joichiro’s first year in Totsuki, he had already become the 7th seat in the Elite Ten. This angered many of his upperclassmen, so he challenged them to a Regiment de Cuisine. Joichiro had alone beaten 50 different opponents, giving him the title “Asura”. The bodies Joichiro stands upon are these 50 defeated upperclassmen.

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Next, we’re shown Central and the rebels prepared to fight, Souma and Erina charging in together as they do in the final battle of the Regiment de Cuisine against Rindo and Eishi. When the rest of the rebels are shown, it’s revealed who the rest of the team is. Kuga, Isshiki, Mimasaka, and Megishima stand beside Takumi and Megumi, the latter two of which only as shadows.

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Finally, Souma is seen holding what seem to be giant chopsticks together as bursts of light crack them. As he and the other rebels reach towards the sky, we’re given quick, final glimpses at some of the already established members of Central, Azami, and the final two participants, Julio and Shoko. As the final frame plays, we see the same pink train from the beginning with Souma standing in front. With each new episode, new members of the rebels appear by Souma’s side. This is a fun way of saying that the rebels all make it to the end of the Train arc while changing each OP up a tiny bit.

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I’m not actually sure how much each OP reveals about the show’s contents other than the first and current ones, but this one reveals everything. Although I don’t exactly understand the chopsticks breaking at the end, it seems like every single scene in the OP was made with thought. None of the scenes are there just to look pretty, they all tie into what happens in the show. So the lesson here, don’t pay attention to OPs if you don’t want spoilers?

Sorry that this post was a day later than I said it would be. I had it done on the 27th, but I was too busy at the Five Finger Death Punch concert and hanging out with friends to put pictures in it. I’m honestly pretty proud of this post. I had to put a little bit of research into finding out what a couple of the scenes meant since I haven’t actually read the manga myself, especially the Joichiro one. Either way, I had a ton of fun making it. Tell me if you want to see more videos like this and I’ll see you all later. Bye!

 

How Hunter x Hunter Breaks Boundaries With Its Astonishing Cast

Hunter x Hunter (2011) is brilliant. It’s a shame that the first three episodes of the show are pretty okay at best, which I’m sure caused a lot more drops than the show deserves. However, the rest of the show is some of the most captivating, interesting anime I have ever seen. Before I continue, keep in mind that there will be a couple minor spoilers ahead.

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Hunter x Hunter is not a regular shounen action series. It is a deconstruction of what you’d normally find in any given power fantasy driven show. It chooses to flesh out all of its characters as much as possible, and I mean all of them. What’s so amazing about Hunter x Hunter’s character development is that it develops everybody as a fully realized human being. Not one character is just a tool that’s tossed aside once they’ve fulfilled their purpose.

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The gap is truly bridged between black and white here. No character has only good or only bad intentions, because that’s not how real people work. Every character has their own life, their own motivations, and their own individual, unique personality just like any real person. The show treating all of its characters as actual people has a huge impact on how we view the show. This is why Kyoto Animations has such a large repertoire of classic anime, they treat their characters like they would any real actors.

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A good example of this appears in the first episode of the show. The Hunter Exam arc of Hunter x Hunter is a brilliant showcase of the thought that was put into the show’s character development. Ging Freecss abandoned his son at an early age to become a hunter. However, Gon is completely fine with this. Gon doesn’t see his father as just the man who abandoned him. He shows immense interest in his father and why he wanted to be a hunter so badly that he would give up his own family for it. Gon’s father is never treated like a villain, even if all we know about him initially is that he abandoned his child.

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Later in the episode, when Kurapika and Leorio fight, Gon tops the captain from interfering, telling him that if you truly want to know someone, you must understand why they are angry. Just because a character seems to have evil intentions doesn’t mean that that’s their entire personality. Hunter x Hunter believes that all of its characters deserve development, that everybody’s motives need to be expressed. This is why it’s so common for the show to introduce a character as a rival or villain, yet later portray them as more of a hero.

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It’s not only that everyone has their own motivations, every character has their own lives. Almost nobody’s life revolves around one main cause. During the Heaven’s Arena arc, Hisoka has his sights on Gon, but he is also busy with other affairs. His business with a villainous organization is completely separate from his connections with the other main characters. We are shown glimpses of his life and his other goals in the midst of his obsession with Gon. Hisoka, during the arc, also plans to hold a prestigious position in Heavens Arena. He is shown to have three different goals that are all taking up parts of his life. However, two of them are not connected to any of the main characters almost whatsoever. Even so, the one that holds his focus on Gon is the least prevalent in Hisoka’s life.

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In the Greed Island arc, when Gon and the crew he has gathered Razor and his crew of criminals, Razor doesn’t come off as someone who is hoping to help Gon. In fact, he actively attempts to stop them from completing the game and almost kills a number of them. However, when the battle is over, he is revealed to be one of Ging’s friends. Instead of a malicious gang-like group leader like he initially seemed to be, he is actually a kind, laidback Game Master who gives criminals second chances.

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One of my favorite aspects of the show is how it bridges the gap between black and white when it comes to morality. There is not a single completely good or completely bad character in the entire show, and that’s amazing. While Hisoka was initially introduced as a villain, we soon find out that he has a good side to him too. While Leorio is a very kind, caring man, he is also often selfish and can be rude when angered. While Ging abandoned his child at an early age, he also is said to be an incredibly inspiring person who restores ancient relics without claiming any credit for doing so. Killua is extremely judging and often thinks like an assassin, yet he is a lovable, cheerful kid at his heart. Hunter x Hunter breaks down the stereotype of bad guys being awful people with no redeeming features and good guys being selfless and stronger than all of the bad guys because they’re morally superior, and it pays off majorly.

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The different yet extremely effective method of character development used by Hunter x Hunter is one of many reasons that set it apart. Characters like Hisoka (my favorite anime character) are everywhere in the show, and people love them for good reasons. I would strongly encourage anyone to watch it. And if you happened to drop it after less than three episodes, I think it’s worth picking back up.

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I’ve promised to start being active again too many times at this point. So even though I think I’m going to start posting a lot more, I wouldn’t trust myself at this point. Either way, summer just started so it’s really nice to have more time to relax. Boy, there’s a severe lack of the kind of images I look for for Hunter x Hunter on Google Images. The amount of fanart, cosplay, and other random pictures was really starting to get to me after a while. Anyways, I’ll hopefully have another post up Tuesday. Whether it’s Tuesday or 2023, I’ll see you guys later. Happy summer!

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GOD I LOVE HISOKA