Tag: 2017

One Piece (Whole Cake Island)

One Piece (Whole Cake Island)

One Piece anime series logo
One Piece

Whole Cake Island Arc Overview

The Whole Cake Island Arc of the One Piece anime covers 95 episodes from Episode 783 to Episode 877. It started airing in 2017 and concluded in 2019. That’s fairly close to the length of Dressrosa. But as I’ll explain in this review, Whole Cake Island didn’t suffer from the same issues Dressrosa did.

Okay, well, that’s not entirely true. But, I’ll say Whole Cake Island masked those issues a lot better than Dressrosa did. And, I think the first improvement that’s worth discussing is the plot of the arc.

Partway through Dressrosa, Sanji left with I believe Nami, Brook, and Chopper to head to Zou before the rest of the Straw Hat Crew. Then, Sanji was captured by the Big Mom Pirates at Zou and taken to Whole Cake Island to be married to one of Big Mom’s daughters.

Why was Sanji being married to one of Big Mom’s daughters? Because he’s actually a prince from the Vinsmoke clan of the West Blue and the Big Mom Pirates and Germa 66 (the Vinsmoke’s “country”) wanted to forge an alliance.

We get Sanji’s whole childhood backstory at this time, which explains how he made his way to the East Blue. And, this sets up a reason for the Straw Hats to finally come into contact with the crew of one of the Four Emperors of the Sea.

Obviously, Luffy isn’t going to simply let Big Mom have Sanji. And so, the entire Whole Cake Island Arc is really just a giant rescue mission. At this point, the Straw Hats aren’t strong enough to take down Big Mom and her crew. Their goal is simply to rescue Sanji and flee Big Mom’s territory.

Increased Quality

Overall, I’d say there was a substantial increase in the quality of the series in Whole Cake Island compared to what came before. And this increase in quality applies to all aspects of the anime, namely the story and art/animation.

As far as the story goes, this may be my new favorite arc. I do still really like Thriller Bark, and I enjoyed Zou as well. But Whole Cake Island did a lot more than those arcs. Specifically, I think Sanji’s whole backstory with the Vinsmokes was great.

It would have been easy for this whole Vinsmoke connection for Sanji to feel forced. I mean, we already saw Sanji’s backstory from when he joined the Baratie. But, this goes beyond that without retconning it. And I really enjoyed Sanji’s interactions with his siblings (who have great voice actors I recognized, such as Kenjirou Tsuda).

Sanji Vinsmoke crying in the rain from the anime series One Piece: Whole Cake Island
Sanji Vinsmoke crying in the rain

Whole Cake Island was also surprisingly emotional. I know we already had Usopp “leave” the Straw Hat crew back in Water 7. So you’d think Sanji “leaving” the crew here wouldn’t be as impactful. But because of the circumstances surrounding Sanji’s departure, that wasn’t the case at all.

Of course, I can’t talk about the increase in quality of the anime during this arc without bringing up the insane animation during Luffy’s fight against Katakuri. The entire fight wasn’t animated amazingly because it was spread across many episodes (it was still good). But Episode 870 was crazy.

Honestly, my one big complaint about the arc has to do with the main antagonist, Big Mom. Despite her appearance, I do think Big Mom is a pretty cool character because of her ability and how she uses it. I also enjoyed her backstory. However, I couldn’t stand her screaming “wedding cake” for half the arc.

Big Mom Pirates

I guess I should start off this section on the Big Mom Pirates by explaining Big Mom herself. As far as we know, she’s a human. But, she’s huge and her skin is effectively made of reinforced steel even without her using armament haki.

She also has the Soul-Soul Fruit, which allows her to take the life force out of people and implant it into inanimate objects to give them life. It kind of works like Moria’s Shadow-Shadow Fruit. Big Mom can also implant pieces of her own soul into things.

The objects she animates are called Homies, and there are three Homies made with Big Mom’s soul. Prometheus is a large ball of fire, Zeus is a large thunder cloud, and Napoleon is a hat that can transform into a sword.

I don’t know if Napoleon’s transformation is due to a Devil Fruit like Spandam’s sword that ate an elephant Zoan fruit.

Luffy vs. Cracker from the anime series One Piece: Whole Cake Island
Luffy vs. Cracker

Below Big Mom herself are all her children. She has a lot of them, at least 70 from what I remember. Most of her children also have Devil Fruits — often corresponding with their names. For example, Oven has the Heat-Heat Fruit and Smoothie has the Wring-Wring Fruit.

Additionally, Big Mom’s children apparently encompass every known race other than Giants. It was specifically pointed out that there were no Giants among the Big Mom Crew. And the reason for this is that the Giants are sworn enemies of Big Mom due to the events of her childhood.

Oh, and aside from Big Mom’s children, she also has many other crew members from all around the world. Two we’ve met before are Pekoms, a lion Mink with the Turtle-Turtle Fruit, and Baron Tamago, who has the Egg-Egg Fruit.

Overall, Big Mom seems to have hundreds, if not thousands, of crew members.

Conclusion

Whole Cake Island is a 7/10, which is tied for the highest I’ve rated any One Piece arcs. However, as I mentioned, I do think this is probably my favorite arc so far. Despite sharing a rating with some other arcs, it’s the best.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month, as well as Key Mochi~ for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the Reverie arc is available now.

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl anime movie cover art
Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Movie Overview

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome / 夜は短し歩けよ乙女) is an anime movie that’s set within the same universe as the series The Tatami Galaxy, yet isn’t a sequel. Also, I’m not sure why the English title of this movie doesn’t begin with “The,” but we’re just going to ignore that.

Anyway, the movie is told from the perspectives of two main characters. First and foremost, we have the female lead who’s the true protagonist of the movie. She doesn’t have a name, but she’s referred to by the male lead as “the Raven-Haired Maiden.” I’ll be referring to her as “the girl” from now on.

The second main character is the male lead, who also doesn’t have a real name. The girl refers to him as “Senpai,” so that’s what I’ll continue to refer to him as. While the girl and Senpai look very similar to Akashi and the unnamed male lead from The Tatami Galaxy, it should be noted that they are different.

I bring this up because there are quite a few characters who appear in both that series and this movie. Specifically, if you’ve seen that series, then you’ll probably be familiar with Higuchi, Ryouko, Johnny, Jougasaki, Kaori, and Ozu (who goes by a different name this time around).

As for what the movie is about, that’s hard to say. It’s about one, severely alcoholic girl’s night out on the town. She out-drinks everyone she meets, performs in a flash musical, rescues used books from a nefarious collector, survives a pandemic, and more. And yet, in the end, I’m still not entirely sure what it was about.

Just Some Things I Liked

While I enjoyed the movie overall, I’d like to use this section of the review to go over some of the things I liked most about it. To start, I really liked the fact that watching the movie, you actually get the sense that there’s way too much happening for it to take place in one night.

The only scene of the movie that doesn’t happen within a single, eight or so hour span is the final scene at the end. Everything else occurs in the span of a single night, which is a fairly important point. The idea here is that both of the main characters gained years’ worth of experiences within a single night.

There were actually multiple times throughout the movie when I questioned whether or not all of these events were happening back to back. And then, every time I found myself wondering this, I remembered that that’s the point of the whole movie. So, the fact that this happened multiple times shows how well the movie achieved that goal.

The Raven-Haired Maiden drinking from the anime movie Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
The Raven-Haired Maiden drinking

Another thing I enjoyed was the music during the musical theater sections of the movie. I noticed that multiple songs were effectively rip-offs of Queen songs. Maybe all of the songs were (I don’t know because I don’t know that much Queen), but I believe I noticed three different cases of this.

I don’t have anything else to say about that. I just enjoyed that there were references in the movie that I was able to catch.

And, the third and final thing I want to mention that I liked a lot was one scene that involved watches. There were some old men whose watches were running through years, the girl’s senpai (Higuchi and Ryouko) had watches that ran through weeks, and then the girl’s watch ran normally.

I thought this was a cool way to illustrate how the passage of time appears to be different for people depending on their age. To the girl, the night was extremely long, but to those who have been alive for longer, a single night is extremely short.

Comparison to The Tatami Galaxy

I think it would be odd for me to not set aside a portion of this review to compare this movie to The Tatami Galaxy. And the first thing I have to say regarding these two anime is that I liked how Night Is Short, Walk on Girl didn’t have dialogue that was quite as fast as the dialogue in The Tatami Galaxy.

There’s nothing inherently bad with the dialogue speed in that series, but I appreciated not needing to pause or go back just so that I could read the subtitles. But, I think that might be the only thing I liked about this movie more than that series.

In a lot of ways, this movie felt like it was trying to be The Tatami Galaxy rather than being its own thing. Obviously, the two are connected, so there’s going to be some overlap, but I didn’t get the feeling that this movie had much of its own identity. For example, as I already mentioned, even the main characters look (and often act) nearly identical.

The Raven-Haired Maiden drinking (again) from the anime movie Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
The Raven-Haired Maiden drinking (again)

The other way that I think this movie falls short of that series is due to the protagonist. The girl simply isn’t as interesting as the male lead of The Tatami Galaxy. That’s partially because she only has a single movie’s worth of development while he has a whole series, but I stand by that statement nonetheless.

It’s not her fault that she doesn’t get as much development, but I do think that’s a drawback of the movie. One of my favorite parts of the series was the protagonist’s spiral down into his own mind. The girl in this movie didn’t really have anything like that.

For her, it was effectively a very event-packed, yet fairly normal, coming of age story. Through her travels over the course of this night, she learned a lot about herself — mostly in the form of reaffirming that she can out-drink anyone — but she didn’t exactly have a defining moment in which she developed.

Conclusion

Overall, I think Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is a 7/10. It’s a good movie and I enjoyed it, but I don’t feel like it’s anywhere near The Tatami Galaxy. I feel like I tend to rate movies higher than series, but in this situation, that’s not the case.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for suggesting this movie to me and supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. I’d also like to thank Key Mochi~ for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Girls’ Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour

Girls' Last Tour manga series cover art
Girls’ Last Tour

The Adventure Anime I Wanted

On Tuesday I binged the Girls’ Last Tour anime from start to finish and then picked up the manga where the anime left off and finished that as well. That might not sound like an amazing feat, but I’m not sure when the last time was that I was so immersed in a series that I binged it all in one sitting.

Usually, I’ll watch an episode or two each day. And going to read the manga after finishing the anime? The only other time I’ve done that was with Attack on Titan. My point is, this series is something special for it to have been able to get me so invested.

I’m not sure how long this review is going to end up being, but based on my outline for it, it’s looking like it will be around twice as long as my usual reviews. On top of that, I already have five other articles planned around this series for the future. So as you can see, I have a lot to say about it.

But, let’s start with the basic fact that Girls’ Last Tour is the adventure anime I’ve wanted for a long time. Great adventure anime are hard to come by. There are good ones, sure, but it’s rare for them to really scratch that adventuring itch I have.

The most recent anime to almost achieve that was Somali and the Forest Spirit, but even that fell short of what I was looking for in an adventure.

Emptiness and Loneliness

The series focuses on two, young girls named Chito and Yuuri who are traveling together through the ruins of a mega-city far larger than anything on Earth today. The unnamed city’s immense scale compared to the girls is what really makes the series feel like an adventure.

Yes, the whole series takes place in a single city. But the city is so massive, so empty, and so full of varying terrain and scenery that their journey feels like an epic quest. But at the same time, Chito and Yuuri’s journey is far different from most other adventure series.

Typically in an adventure anime, our protagonist(s) would come across a wide variety of other characters along the way. Even if the journey is a solo one, there are usually so many people coming in and out of the protagonist’s life that it always feels lively.

Girls’ Last Tour is the opposite.

Chito spotting for Yuuri's target practice from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Chito spotting for Yuuri’s target practice

Throughout their entire, months-long journey, the girls only come across two other individuals. And in both cases, they part ways only a few days after meeting one another. The vast majority of this last tour is solely made up of Chito, Yuuri, and the empty expanse of the city.

An adventure with almost no characters might not sound all that exciting, but in this case, it was extremely effective. With no side characters to distract us, the focus is entirely on the dynamic between Chito, Yuuri, and the world in which they live.

We learn so much more about the girls through their interactions with each other and their environment than we do from their fleeting interactions with other people. They’re products of the empty and lonely world in which they live. And that’s no more apparent than when they come across objects left over from the world before which they lack the context to understand.

Questions About the World

One of my favorite aspects of this series is that as viewers, we have so many questions about the world the girls live in, but they don’t. It’s not that Chito and Yuri already know everything about the world in which they live. Rather, it’s that this is the only world they’ve ever known, so they don’t see the questions that are there to be asked.

We see this towering city made up of multiple layers stacked on top of one another and ask why it was made in the first place. To Chito and Yuuri, the “why” doesn’t matter. All that matters to them is that the city exists and that they exist within it. As long as they’re able to continue surviving and moving forward, why the world is the way it is means nothing.

At one point late in the series, I believe it was in the manga after the end of the anime, one of the girls poses a question to the other. She asks why they’ve continued on their journey to the top of the city this entire time.

This question isn’t really about the world, but rather, it illustrates their lack of understanding about the world. They’ve been traveling up the layers of the city for what seems like years — months since the start of the series — and yet, they don’t know why.

They know that at the outset of their journey, they were told specifically to travel up the city and not down it. But why they were told this is unknown to both the girls and us as the viewers. It’s one of the great questions of the series. For what purpose was their journey? Why did they continue without knowing what they would find?

Life at the End of the World

I mentioned that the girls only come across two other people throughout the course of their journey. This is because, by the time we join along, the vast majority of life on Earth has been eradicated. But, this does open up some interesting questions, such as “what happened to cause this outcome?”


I’m going to begin getting into some spoiler territory in this section. And the following two sections are going to heavily focus on spoiler content. I suggest skipping to the conclusion if you want to avoid all of that.


I’m going to venture a guess and say that Chito and Yuuri are no older than 17. They’re pretty clearly still children, but based on Yuuri’s body type when we see her swim in the fish tank, I think it’s safe to assume that they’re supposed to be around 15 – 17 years old.

However, they appeared to be much younger, maybe between 10 – 12 years old at most when we see them first set off on their journey. And, before setting off, they lived with their “grandfather” in a town populated by what seemed like a lot of people. So, what happened to everyone else?

Yuuri making a snowman on Chito's head from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Yuuri making a snowman on Chito’s head

The obvious answer is that war happened. However, it’s clear throughout the series that there have been many wars since the construction of the city. From what I can tell, there were at least two, but probably three major wars that resulted in the eradication of life on the planet.

The first of these wars was the nuclear war that plunged the world into a nuclear winter. The second war was the one that utilized the giant robots capable of destroying vast amounts of the city. And the final war was the war over the last remaining resources.

This is the war that Chito and Yuuri fled, and it explains why there’s hardly any life left on the planet. Everyone else either died in the struggle over food or ran out of food and starved within the next five or so years. Chito and Yuuri only survived thanks to their travels.

Girls’ Last Tour Anime Ending

If I had to point to my least favorite part of the series, it would undoubtedly have to be the ending of the anime. This is for two primary reasons. First, there’s the entire thing with the Nuko. And second, there’s the fact that the anime ended where it did.

To start, I should point out that the name Nuko comes from the word neko which is Japanese for cat. Neither of the girls has ever seen a cat before, so when Yuuri finds the adolescent Nuko, she assumes that it’s a cat — a creature she had only heard stories of.

The Nuko then attempts to repeat the word neko, but says nuko instead, which is where it gets its name from.

We don’t really know what the Nuko are, and that’s my main issue with them. They’re some sort of creature that eats and breaks down volatile materials. For example, when the first Nuko is introduced into the series, Yuuri feeds it bullets. And later on, we see larger Nuko eating nuclear missiles.

Along with eating volatile materials, Nuko are also able to communicate via radio waves. And, their bodies are quite unique. They can either take the form of elongated, cat-like creatures or humanoid mushroom-like figures that can apparently fly. I’m also going to assume that their white coloring is due to the nuclear winter, as we see the fish are also a pale white.

Are Nuko aliens? Were they man-made creatures designed to clean up the waste littering the world? We don’t know. And because of that, their inclusion in a series that’s otherwise fairly grounded in reality is just awkward.

As for where the anime ended, it concludes at chapter 29 out of 43 of the manga. This is a problem because it leaves the ending very open despite that not truly being the case. For anyone who watches the anime and doesn’t read the conclusion of the manga afterward, it’s a very different series.

Girls’ Last Tour Manga Ending

The ending of the Girls’ Last Tour manga is probably the most special thing about the whole series. And that’s exactly why it’s a shame that the anime ended where it did. I don’t think it needs a second season, but a movie would probably be the perfect length to conclude the story.

I plan to write another article focusing on this, but let’s quickly go over one of my favorite chapters of the series. Chapter 32 is titled “Art” and follows the girls as they explore an art museum full of famous works such as “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.

At the end of the chapter, Yuuri draws a picture of her own and affixes it to the wall directly next to a large stone with cave paintings on it. I love this scene because it shows humanity’s first and last pieces of art side by side. It’s a perfect representation of many of the story’s themes.

Yuuri and Chito reflecting on their lives from the manga series Girls' Last Tour
Yuuri and Chito reflecting on their lives

Moving on to the true end of the series, I mentioned that it wasn’t as open-ended as the anime made it out to be. That’s because while Chito and Yuri’s adventure does continue on for a bit longer, it has a definitive end — their deaths.

Upon reaching the top layer of the city, the girls are confronted by nothing. There’s nothing above them but a starry sky and nothing on the layer other than a single, square structure with no entrance. The ground is covered in snow, and it’s clear that there has never been permanent life on this layer.

It’s at this point that the girls contemplate their lives and journey while eating their final pack of rations. After determining that they’ve enjoyed their lives, they fall asleep together against the structure and succumb to the freezing temperatures in their sleep. With that, humanity and life as we know it ends.

And before anyone says that they didn’t die because they mentioned thinking about what to do after waking up, that’s not the case. They said that as a way to reassure themselves so that they wouldn’t fear death. There’s an extra chapter after the final chapter in which it’s made clear that they’ve died because we see them in the afterlife.

Conclusion

I know I’ve been praising Girls’ Last Tour for the majority of this extra-long review. But in the end, I think both the anime and the manga are 8/10s. They’re very good, but they do still have some problems, such as the awkward inclusion of the Nuko or the magical digital camera.

But, if you’re looking for a great adventure series that focuses on themes as varied as friendship, mortality, and existential hopelessness, I can’t really think of anything better. And, once you’ve finished the anime, I highly recommend that you pick up the manga starting at chapter 30. Finishing the manga should only take you maybe an hour.

Since I usually comment on the OPs and EDs of series at this point, I’ll just say that I like them both, but that I like the ED more. However, the true best song of the series is the insert song/ED for episode 5 known as the “Rain Song.” I plan to write a full article dedicated to that song in the future, so look forward to that.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 anime series cover art
Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Season Overview

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 (ラブライブ!サンシャイン!! 第2期) is the second season of Love Live! Sunshine!! and the fourth season of Love Live! School Idol Project overall. And since this is the fourth season of the series, and every season is basically the same, you should probably know what this series is like by now if you’ve watched it.

But since it’s been almost two full years since my last Love Live! season review, let’s go over the basics anyway.

Love Live! (the event) is a national competition for school idol groups. There are many reasons idol groups would want to participate in Love Live!, but the reason the two groups in this series (μ’s in the first two seasons and Aqours in Sunshine!!) entered the competition was as a way to save their schools from being shut down.

As it’s been two my memory is a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure the first season was all about Aqours qualifying for Love Live and going through the preliminaries. This second season is therefore about the real competition. The original series focused on two separate Love Live! events, not one spread across two seasons.

Sarah and Leah Kazuno of Saint Snow from the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2
Sarah and Leah Kazuno of Saint Snow

Since I’ll be talking about Aqours a lot in the rest of this review, I’d like to take a moment to mention the true best idol group participating in Love Live!, Saint Snow. Saint Snow is a two-girl idol group made up of sisters Sarah and Leah Kazuno. These two are actually good characters and their music is better than Aqours (sorry, Aqours fans).

I’d also say that the main reason season 2 of Sunshine!! is better than season 1 is because Saint Snow is featured in twice as many episodes.

Ranking the Aqours Members

The best piece of hate mail I ever received came as a response to my ranking of the Monogatari girls. So why not continue to make people angry by ranking the members of Aqours from best to worst as well?

Picking a best girl this time around was actually hard. But in the end I’ve decided that second-year Riko Sakurauchi is the best member of Aqours. She’s basically the Sunshine!! version of Maki from the original series, and Maki is good.

A close second to Riko is the third-year Kanan Matsuura. I like the fact that she’s a normal human being and that she has a ponytail. As you’ll see, those two traits alone are enough to put her above the others.

Chika Takami, Dia Kurosawa, and You Watanabe are third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Chika’s your standard female lead — energetic and airheaded with a big heart. Dia is a bit annoying, but I can deal with her. And You is just extremely forgettable because of how average everything about her is.

First-years Yoshiko “Yohane” Tsushima and Ruby Kurosawa are sixth and seventh. This is the territory of characters that are actually annoying. I want to like Yoshiko, but the fact that she has to correct everyone to call her Yohane at least three times per episode is pretty annoying. And Ruby’s just your timid girl trope.

Third-year Mari Ohara is eighth. At first, I didn’t think any of the third-year members would be this far down the list, but Mari’s constant use of English words and phrases really took its toll on my sanity.

And the worst girl of Aqours is Hanamaru Kunikida. She actually says “zura” more than all the other girls with catchphrases (including Mari with her English) say their respective catchphrases combined.

μ’s (Muse) vs. Aqours (Aqua)

In my review of Sunshine!! season 1, I compared all of the Aqours members to their μ’s counterparts. But which school idol group is better? To answer that question, I’m going to look at everything except the music each group made — because that would make way too much sense.

I actually just don’t feel like going back and listening to all the songs made by each group.

Going by members, μ’s has the clear advantage. The only member of μ’s I remember being annoying was Rin with her “nya’s.” And as I’ve already explained, Aqours has multiple annoying characters (five of the nine). I also just like the character designs for the μ’s members more as well.

But the thing that really puts the members of μ’s above the members of Aqours is the fact that they’re more like real characters than tropes. Sure, some of them are pretty trope-like, but the members of Aqours take it to another level — especially the first-years.

Aqours third years Dia, Mari, and Kanan from the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2
Aqours third years Dia, Mari, and Kanan

What about the idol group names? Well, Saint Snow would obviously win if they were a contender (and they would have one members-wise as well). But between μ’s and Aqours, I think μ’s wins again.

Both group names are pretty bad at first glance. μ’s is pronounced “Muse” and Aqours is pronounced “Aqua.” Going by their spelling vs. pronunciation, μ’s is the better of the two. At least it somewhat makes sense because that’s technically how it should be pronounced. But in no scenario is Aqours pronounced as “Aqua.”

I also have to say that μ’s is a better name from a musical standpoint as well. The Muses are the Greek goddesses of the arts (which includes music) and there are nine of them (μ’s also has nine members). Aqours was just picked as the name because the girls live near the ocean — it’s just not as creative.

Conclusion

In the end, Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2 is a 6/10 from me. It’s basically the same as the previous season and the second season of the original series. The only Love Live! season I thought was better than the rest was the first season of the original series, and that’s probably in part because it was novel at that point.

I do want to mention one other thing I actually liked about this series besides Saint Snow, though. The fact that the series ended with Uranohoshi Girls’ High School getting shut down despite Aqours winning the Love Live! was pretty good. I liked seeing the girls come to terms with the fact that not everything will always go their way.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club is available here.

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower anime movie cover art
Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Movie Overview

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower ( 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Ⅰ.presage flower」) is the first in a trilogy of Heaven’s Feel movies from the Fate series. And since Heaven’s Feel is an alternate route to Unlimited Blade Works, this review is going to feature major spoilers for both.

Fate/stay night is broken into three main routes: the Saber route, the Rin route, and the Sakura route. The original Fate/stay night (which nobody ever recommends anyone watch) is the Saber route, Unlimited Blade Works is the Rin route, and Heaven’s Feel is the Sakura route.

That basically just means that they all feature the same servants, characters, and initial plot before they split off. And then there’s also Fate/Zero, which is the prequel to the Fate/stay night routes, and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, which is an alternate universe version of the Fate/stay night routes.

Rider from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Rider

It’s no secret that I really like the Fate series as a whole. But although I like it, I do recognize that it often has problems in the writing department. For example, in every single Fate anime I can think of (except maybe Prisma Illya), the rules which are set up at the start are broken.

And while this route seems to have some of the same rule breaking as Unlimited Blade Works, so far the writing has been good. Prisma Illya probably has the best writing of all the Fates, but from just this first movie, Heaven’s Feel might surpass it.

Also keep in mind that Heaven’s Feel simply looks the best (because it’s a movie). It has great art and a lot of really great animation.

Differences from Unlimited Blade Works

This is where a lot of the spoilers for both Heaven’s Feel and Unlimited Blade Works are going to come into play. I won’t spoil the true names of the servants (yet), but I will be spoiling what happens to them.

So right from the beginning we skip over the initial fight between Lancer and Archer. That’s not too big of a deal though considering this movie basically assumes you’ve already seen it in Unlimited Blade Works. However, all the fights after that are a bit different — and I’m sorry if I get anything wrong, because I haven’t seen Unlimited Blade Works in years.

One of the unfortunate changes is that Assassin (fake) is immediately killed by Assassin (true). Assassin (fake) vs. Saber was one of the great fights from Unlimited Blade Works, and we miss out on that here. Further, Caster is also taken out by Assassin (true) right away.

Lancer vs. Assassin from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Lancer vs. Assassin

Rider’s fate isn’t all that different in this movie compared to Unlimited Blade Works. She’s still defeated relatively easily, but in this route she was defeated in record time (1 hit). The part which hasn’t been explained yet, though, is how Rider manages to come back at the end of the movie after we see her body fade away.

My prediction is that Sakura somehow summoned her this second time around, but that would also be a major breach of the rules.

And the final servant to be defeated within this first movie is Lancer, who’s defeated by Assassin (true) with the help of some sort of “void being.” This movie also skips over how Kirei Kotomine acquired Lancer, so I had to look that part up because I knew he wasn’t Lancer’s original master.

Oh, and I guess another major difference is that Saber Alter shows up at the end of the movie, but I’ll discuss that more in my review of movie two.

From a Fate/Grand Order Perspective

I’ve been playing Fate/Grand Order since it released internationally back in 2017. And because of this, I often view these Fate anime through the lens of Fate/Grand Order — with class advantages, servant stats, and servant abilities.

From this point of view, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Cú Chulainn (Lancer) is the strongest servant in the Fate/stay night routes. But I guess Artoria Pendragon (Saber) would technically be stronger because she has class advantage and Cú’s “Protection from Arrows” skill only stops projectiles in the anime unlike the game.

But, what does all this mean for the other fights which we see in this movie? I think the fight which makes the most sense was Artoria vs. Medusa (Rider), in which Medusa was destroyed easily. Let’s face it, Artoria is a good servant while Medusa really isn’t.

Saber Alter from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Saber Alter

Hassan of the Cursed Arm (Assassin (true)) vs. Sasaki Kojirou (Assassin (fake)) is a pretty even match up as far as I’m concerned. However, I’d give Sasaki the edge because he can ignore Hassan’s evasion. But once we get to Hassan vs. Medea (Caster), there’s no doubt that Medea would win the fight.

And even if Medea somehow lost to Hassan (as she did in the anime because Hassan took her master hostage), again there’s no way Hassan would defeat Cú. As every Fate/Grand Order player knows, Cú is unkillable.

I guess the idea here is that Hassan’s instant death effect on his Noble Phantasm went into effect. But Cú has a guts skill in “Battle Continuation” which should keep the instant death effect from actually killing him. So there’s no way he would actually lose to Hassan, especially if we’re considering the fact his own Noble Phantasm can hit through evasion (eventually).

Basically what I’m saying is that Hassan is the worst servant in Heaven’s Feel (except for maybe Medusa), and yet he’s somehow already defeated three servants he should have lost against.

Conclusion

Overall, despite the fact that the fights in this movie definitely shouldn’t have ended up as they did, Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower is an 8/10 from me. It was a really good movie, and I’m looking forward to watching the next one in the trilogy.

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My review of Lost Butterfly is available now.

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