“A Place Further Than The Universe” — Ep. 8 Mini-Review

Ep. 8 Title: “Howling, Maddening, Screaming”

Remember how I said I wasn’t feeling the “four high school girls go to Antarctica” plot? I’m feeling it now! This episode changed my mind.

The girls found out what life on an expedition boat is like. Helping out with dinner prep for the whole crew. Running the full length of the boat and lifting weights each day to build stamina. Having to wash their clothes at specific times of the day. Bathing in seawater.

But that was the easy stuff.

Thanks to the constant rocking of the boat, they were stuck in a cycle of eating and puking. The rocking got worse closer to Antarctica. The girls nearly fell out of their beds. Poor Kimari got tossed against a ladder.

This is anime, so of course, the girls decided not to give up. (Not like the boat could turn back around, anyway.) They chose to do this. Kimari put it well at the beginning of the episode:

I don’t know what this trip will mean in the end. We’ll be taking time off from school, missing tests… It might even affect our entrance exams. But as of now, we are no longer high school students who can never take a step forward. We are not seventeen-year-olds and sixteen-year-olds who try but accomplish nothing. That’s enough!

The last scene showed the girls getting used to the boat and catching a glimpse of the icebergs of Antarctica.

I loved this episode. The theme song makes it look like the girls are going on vacation. They’ll get to see penguins, play jump-rope, and take funny selfies!

This episode was a nice reality check. They’re on an expedition, not a Carnival cruise. It won’t be easy.

I bet this is just the beginning. Once they get to Antarctica, they’ll have new challenges to deal with: sub-zero temperatures, intense winds, limited supplies, and the threat of getting lost in an endless landscape of ice.

How will these sixteen- and seventeen-year-old girls handle it? I can’t wait to find out.

Bonus: the art in this show is just gorgeous!


“HUGtto! PreCure” — Please Stop With The Hugging!

We’re three episodes into HUGtto! PreCure. Not sure I like it so far. The characters are…okay (except the freaking baby, but I always hate babies in this show). The animation’s gorgeous. It’s better than Kira Kira PreCure À La Mode‘s by far.

But there’s one thing I can’t stand: the hugging theme. It’s so forced! They’re trying desperately to make it fit into the rest of the show, but it doesn’t. At all.

“Hug the future?” That’s so dumb! And saying “embrace” doesn’t help when everyone’s literally hugging every episode! Speaking of which, having characters ask for and talk about hugs all the time is really, really awkward.

Not to mention, we’ve got this to look forward to:

Their special attack is a magic spirit that hugs the evil out of people….

Really? Really?

Maybe Japan has a thing about hugs or something, but if not, it’s just stupid. Get rid of the hugging, and this season would be 5X better already. It’s still pretty generic, but it’s Pretty Cure-level generic. I don’t expect anything more, so I can’t say I’m disappointed.

Adventures in Japanese #2: Compound Words

As you can see by browsing this blog, I love translating anime song lyrics. The other day, I was translating the opening theme of Pop Team Epic, which is called… “Pop Team Epic.” I bet that was on purpose, too — a subtle way to make fun of cheesy theme song names.

Anyway, one of the lines contains this word: omoiegaku (思い描く).

I didn’t know what it meant at first, so I looked it up like anyone else would. But a couple days later, I realized something. I know what the individual words in this word mean.

Omoi (思い) comes from the verb omou (思う), which means “to think.” And egaku (描く) means “to draw.”

So omoiegaku means “to think-draw” — to paint a picture in your mind — or in normal English, to imagine or envision something.

I need to start paying more attention to compound words. It might make learning Japanese a little easier.

Unhappy Valentine’s Day

Today’s Valentine’s Day. I’m glad.

No, I’m not glad because it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m glad it’ll be over after this. I never enjoy this day — in real life or in my fandoms.

In fact, I dread Februaries in the Winx fandom. Everyone hates my favorite couple, Aisha and Nex, so Valentine’s Day is when the couple gets snubbed or bashed even more than usual. And it’s not just by the fandom. The creators of the show ignore Aisha and Nex, too, even though they’re a canon couple.

I have no one to celebrate my own love with and no one to celebrate my favorite fictional love with, either. Valentine’s Day sucks for me online and in real life. I wish this day was already over.

At least tomorrow’s my dad’s birthday. I’ll spend the day planning what to do for him.

“Pop Team Epic” — What The Heck Did I Just Watch?

Crunchyroll’s been talking about this show a lot. I couldn’t help but be curious. I watched the first episode today.

I have no words. There are no words to describe this show.

Seven minutes in, I already felt…lost. Confused. Overwhelmed.

Nothing makes sense. Nothing connects. Nothing is predictable.

Is this what going mad feels like?

But strangely…I couldn’t stop watching. I wanted to, but…I had to know. What could possibly happen next? How long till my brain explodes?

The show’s on Crunchryoll. You can watch it for free. Thank goodness. Paying for it would probably count as buying illegal drugs.

Or is this legal? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.

Here’s the opening theme. It doesn’t scratch the surface of how insane this show is. This is just…wow.

“A Place Further Than The Universe” OP

I’m in love with this anime! 😊 The characters are so fun and interesting, and I love their interactions with each other. My favorite is probably Hinata (the girl with the wildest hair), but I love them all.

To be honest, I think the story’s a bit odd. They’re all going to Antarctica together. You wouldn’t usually put “exploration of Antarctica” and “crazy high school girl antics” together, but I’m interested to see how it plays out.

If you haven’t seen this anime yet, I highly recommend it. You can watch for free on Crunchyroll. Here’s the opening theme: “The Girls Are Alright!”

“HUGtto! PreCure” Premieres

Here we go again. Another season of PreCure. Season 15, to be exact. Geez!

I have a love-hate relationship with this series. I try to watch almost every season, but I usually get bored around the middle and give up. The only seasons I’ve watched all the way through are Suite PreCure and HappinessCharge PreCure. (And I’m almost done with the Doki Doki PreCure dub, Glitter Force Doki Doki.) How did they manage to hook me till the end? I don’t know.

But though I wouldn’t call myself a PreCure fan, I always give it another chance. There’s something that keeps pulling me back to this series. Maybe it’s the cute outfits. Maybe it’s the bright, happy, lighthearted tone (that goes dark from time to time). Or maybe I just wanna like it because I love magical girl shows.

I’ll figure it out one day. For now, here I am again, about to watch another season. Will I finish it? Probably not, if history’s anything to go on.

HUGtto! PreCure? Ugh! And I thought Kira Kira PreCure À La Mode was a mouthful of “gag me.” 😑 But as Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” This could turn out to be my favorite season, hugs and babies and all.

Looks like the theme is jobs — and gratuitous French! 😄 The catchphrase is, “You can do anything! You can be anything! Embrace a shining future!” People have been praising it for empowering girls to be what they wanna be, but it’s not a new concept. It’s just, “Follow your dreams,” repackaged.

Anyway, here’s the opening theme. Not sure if I like it yet, but I bet it’ll grow on me.