Category Archives: Alex Watches

Premiere Review: Mr Love: Queen’s Choice

What’s it about? Ever since Our Protagonist inherited the Miracle TV production company from her father, she’s been working hard to find enough material to keep it afloat. When she gets a lead about an ongoing mystery involving strange disappearances and people with supernatural powers, it might just be the boost the program needs.

The opening shots of this episode involve a girl nearly getting hit by a truck. “Hold on,” I said to myself, in all seriousness. “I didn’t know this was an isekai.”

It’s not; but only because Our Protagonist is rescued by a mysterious boy who seems to have stopped time for just long enough to scoop her up and carry her to safety. If this fellow hadn’t intervened, I can only presume that Our Protagonist would have been whisked away to be reborn in another world. As it is, she gets to stay home, and the fantasy in Mr Love: Queen’s Choice is of the more urban variety.

Read the whole piece on AniFem!

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Premiere Review: Rent-a-Girlfriend

What’s it about? Deliriously lonely after being dumped by his first ever girlfriend, twenty-year-old Kinoshita Kazuya spontaneously downloads the app Diamond, where you can pay for dates with a girl of your choice. The fake dating routine threatens to extend beyond the paid time slot, however, when he and his rented girlfriend are mistaken for a real couple by their respective grandmothers.

“Shenanigans,” with a capital S, seems to be the name of the game in this premiere. There are gossipy grandmas. There is slapstick comedy. There is the sort of improvised corny cuteness that you would only find under the banner of the fake dating trope. There is a scene where our love interests—who of course, don’t actually love each other, don’t be ridiculous—have to suddenly hide and thus they end up squashed together in a compromising position. Because of course they do. Right out the gate, Rent-a-Girlfriend seems to be a comedy of errors with a horny streak… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything meaningful to say, necessarily.

Read the whole piece on AniFem!

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Premiere Review: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!

What’s it about? Every time Uzaki Hana sees her classmate Sakurai Shinichi on campus, he’s on his own—whether he’s gaming, studying, or taking a nap on a bench. Frustrated by his lack of a social life, Uzaki takes it upon herself to drag her old friend out of his shell.

For some, I’m sure that the premise of this series is a fantasy: the idea of a peppy, cute young woman who has unwavering dedication to your personal betterment, and who will stop at nothing to make sure you’re experiencing life to the fullest instead of staying stuck in your comfort zone. For me, as an introvert, this setup is closer to nightmarish.

Read the whole piece on AniFem!

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A Big Ol’ Pile of Anime Recommendations (2019)

Lustrous (3)

As we power ahead into the new year, it’s time for one last reflection back on 2019: anime edition. While my spare time skewed more towards reading this year, and generally there weren’t quite as many series that jumped out and grabbed me, I still watched some fantastic series that I want to share. So even if the “big pile” is a little smaller than it has been in previous years, I’ve still got a selections of little gems here that I want to boost! This is, as always, limited to series that I watched and completed in 2019, which disqualifies things I’m still currently catching up on, and of course things that are still airing and not yet complete. Let’s dive in: Continue reading

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A Place Further Than the Universe #13: The Girls Are Alright

Universe8

Guess who’s about to get all sappy about animated girls in Antarctica? It’s me! But it is the last time, so I may as well go all out. Continue reading

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A Place Further Than the Universe #11 and #12: The Ends of the Earth

Further Than the Universe (364)

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the theme of this fortnight’s writeup is “catharsis”. Emotional buildup is no good for anyone, whether it lasts over days, months, or years, and sometimes you just have to let it all out. But Universe emphasises that you don’t have to do this alone.

I’m still sniffling as I type this up. Bear with me. Continue reading

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A Place Further Than the Universe #9 and #10: Friends and Loved Ones

Further Than the Universe (285)

We still don’t know who Shirase’s dad is. A Place Further Than the Universe seems infinitely less bothered with such banal biological technicalities than it is with setting Gin up as Shirase’s other parent. At this point, I think I’m going to shrug off my curiosity in favour of a metaphorical/mythological explanation that Takako made her daughter with her one true love, which is, of course, the concept of Adventure itself. Takako seems to radiate so much whimsy and power that it could be possible, and this explanation lets us dive in and focus on the relationships that the series clearly thinks are much more important. Because it’s all about relationships again this time around: the heartache and awkwardness of past ones, and the beautiful strangeness of trying to take new ones into the future. Continue reading

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A Place Further Than the Universe #7 and #8: Chasing the Stars

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When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die. 

I’m opening with a poetry quote. You know this show is starting to mess me up (in the best way). Continue reading

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A Place Further Than the Universe #5 and #6: It’s Complicated

Further Than the Universe (139)

Not so long ago, the dream to travel to Antarctica was an abstract thing… but now that dream is becoming reality, with all the bizarre, wonderful, stressful experiences that come with it. In episodes five and six the gang get caught up in the mundane but dizzying whirl of packing, plane flights, hotels, new places, bureaucratic travel dramas, and, most importantly for this post, saying goodbye to the old friends they’re leaving behind and learning to live with the new friends they’re taking with them. Continue reading

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Madoka Magica #12: Not Today, Satan

Madoka ep12 (10)

In a world that wants nothing more than for you to fall into despair, the greatest act of rebellion is to hope. Continue reading

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