First Impressions

The flower language of The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 1

The ink is still drying on Chise Hatori’s signature when the above line appears across the cityscape: April showers bring May flowers. Given Chise’s initial mental state in the opening moments of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, the proverb is obvious. Before reaching the point where she signs that contract, Chise has seen and lived through some horrifying things. This is her turning point.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride also uses flower language liberally throughout its first episode to set the mood, giving small hints and insight into Chise’s circumstances.

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The business of The Idolm@ster SideM, Episode of Jupiter

“We aren’t singing so we can be used by you!”

-Touma Amagase to President Kuroi (flashback), The Idolm@ster: SideM, Episode 00

A minute into the pre-premiere episode of The Idolm@ster: SideM, I wondered why the venue pictured was so small. The three-man group of Jupiter is a well-known Idolm@ster commodity, after all. Presumably, they’re not even the stars of the SideM anime.

Instead, Jupiter are the end goal at the proverbial finish line for SideM‘s burgeoning trainees. These young men should be filling arenas like 765 Productions do later in this episode — or at least larger concert venues like the one in The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls“Onegai Cinderella” performance — not performing in a hole-in-the-wall place that looks to be slightly larger than the average bar.

Another minute later, I quickly realized that the venue’s comparatively small size was the point of the entire opening. 

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“The Place of the Gods” — Made in Abyss

“Reg! You’ve even forgotten about the Abyss? This great pit is called the Abyss. And I found you in the depths of the Abyss. Thought that maybe you came up from the bottom of the Abyss, Reg! I mean, I’ve never seen any kind of robot like you before! That’s gotta be right! You must have come from the bottom of the Abyss which no one has ever seen.”

–Riko to Reg, Made in Abyss, Episode 1

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A return to the Hidden Leaf Village — Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

A lot of people like to condemn Naruto and I’ve never understood the appeal, although its overwhelming popularity and ubiquitous presence in anime fandom at large does make it an easy target. There’s something relatable about Naruto Uzumaki’s dorky nature which translates surprisingly earnestly within the series itself.

I personally enjoyed my time in the Naruto fandom. When I became bored with the pace of the anime, I turned to fanfiction. Time passed, I became interested in other types of anime, and whenever I thought back to Naruto, I checked in with what happened in the manga, never really caring about spoilers since I was long past wanting to watch or read it immediately.

Then a friend told me that Masashi Kishimoto had begun writing a sequel: Boruto. She also told me that it was hilarious.

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I can accept this place as my home like any other (again): Kyousougiga and Alice & Zouroku (and me)

The opening scenes of Alice & Zouroku involve poorly-done computer generated cars, a dramatic escape, and a Tokyo Tower scene that is eerily reminiscent of Sakura Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura.

In fact, many things in the opening scene of Alice & Zouroku reminded me of other anime series — echoes of Cardcaptor Sakura, Madoka Magica, and Elfen Lied.

Yet what I latched onto was the nickname given to our titular Alice (Sana Kashimura): “The Red Queen.” Subsequent references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There reminded me of another first episode experience — one that is near and dear to my heart — Kyousougiga.

Oh, so this is my problem.

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