Tag Archives: hibike!

Quiet, Euphonium! I Want to Hear the Rest.

Hibike! Euphonium has nearly finished its second season. The storylines have been tight, weaving between the struggles of Kumiko’s senpai and chipping away the mask of Asuka, and Kumiko’s own reservations throughout it all. No-one can fault the talent that KyoAni have pulled together on this project. But even as all the details come together to make something magical, there’s something holding all of it back; a change from the show’s first run that undoes a lot of the synergy that initial arc established between musical performance, social dynamics and narrative style.

Continue reading Quiet, Euphonium! I Want to Hear the Rest.

Summer 2015 Changes & Schedule

As Summer 2015 begins, UEM! is going to get a bit more of its act together. Until now there’s mostly been a stream of (usually unnecessarily long) editorials and other things that I just felt like writing up at the time. But for its first ever full aniblogging season, this blog is going to get (somewhat) more organised.

First and most importantly, UEM! will be covering a few series over the summer with episode-by-episode reviews. This is something I’ve wanted to do since the beginning of this blog, but starting halfway through the spring season put a dampener on that idea. These ‘reviews’, however, won’t be the kind where I evaluate an episode and give it an arbitrary letter/number to say how good I think it was. Nor will they be the kind of ‘reviews’ where I spend most of the article recapping what happened in the episode in chronological order. What I want to do most is simply say what I thought about each episode, what I’m excited about, what the show is doing for me and also what I’m getting less interested in. Expect the kind of over-analysis I never try to compromise on, but also expect a more relaxed, conversational tone compared to how a lot of the essays I’ve written before often veer towards the kind of ironclad, forthright, over-opinionated style that I’m now trying to get away from on this blog. Each review should be posted within 48 hours of the episode airing, allowing me time if I circumstances mean I can’t watch an episode immediately or write my review on the day I watch it.

As for the shows I’ll be covering this summer:



I’m always in the mood for a good bit of slice-of-life, but the most attractive thing about Classroom Crisis for me is that I barely know anything about it. School-based comedies and dramas are things I like to start without any expectations, as they can vary from incredible (last season’s Hibike! Euphonium) to a completely let-down (I still haven’t finished D-Frag!). CC has every chance to surprise me by reaching the heights that its genre can bring. I especially hope Lay-Duce can bring something new to the table, being so new to the table themselves.

Gakkou Gurashi!

Any show that carries such childishly bright and cheerful imagery with a ‘horror’ or ‘seinen’ tag becomes something to watch in my books. Who can forget who successful Madoka was at pulling the rug from under the feet of typical magical-girl expectations? I’m hoping that Gakkou Gurashi! will try to make a similar impact on the genre – if you can call it a genre – of cute-girls-doing-cute-things, the kind of slice-of-life that can always be in danger of becoming an insubstantial indulgence without compelling plot and character developments. I’ve already had other bloggers warn me about preparing for ‘the feels’, so hopefully this show will deliver on all the fronts that it needs to.


I’m too much of an Angel Beats! fan to think twice about following Jun Maeda’s new masterpiece-in-the-making every step of the way. Okay, that sounds biased, and my reviews of the show will be as honest and fair as I can be. But even if you didn’t enjoy his previous work, you can’t fault Jun Maeda’s attention to style, design and ramping the feels-factor up to over 9000. He’s even alleviating scepticism by telling everyone that Charlotte will be an improvement from the ‘faults’ of his earlier triumph, and considering how I found those ‘faults’ to add to my enjoyment of the show, we could be in for something truly spectacular this summer.

While I was hoping to review both Durarara!!x2 Ten and Rokka no Yuusha, they air on the same day as Charlotte. After a long internal debate, I’ve had to conclude that I’m not that much of a masochist, so I can only review one of them. I’ll decide which I want to follow after watching the first episode of both, though it’s likely, being such a fan of Durarara!! as I am, that Rokka no Yuusha won’t get coverage despite my interest in the show.

Is it bad that most of the shows I’m reviewing have a school-centred theme? I guess those are simply the ones that have caught my attention the most, looking like the kind of things that I wouldn’t drop even if they became disappointing in some way or another. Maybe it’s also something that will become my niche, since most of my favourite shows already follow a similar tone and mood (unless, like Madoka, they’re all about subverting it).


Aside from the episode reviews, I’m going to start a weekly feature – another thing I’ve wanted to do come the start of a new season – called Christianime. Aside from simultaneously having the best and worst title I’ve ever devised for a long-term project, this is going to be my preferred way of talking about anime from the Christian viewpoint that I often hold back in other discussions and editorials. I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing all my reviews and opinions on anime to have some kind of Christian content, as that wasn’t the original purpose of this blog, but I also don’t want my appreciation of anime online to be devoid of that approach. Therefore, this feature will regularly tackle ideas and issues with anime that I find myself often bringing before God myself, leaving my reviews and other articles to focus on all my other thoughts and feelings about what I watch. I’m planning the first instalment to be posted on Tuesday, so watch this space!

Finally, additional articles and editorials will be posted, albeit less frequently, whenever I feel like going more in-depth into a particular issue, especially if it’s something relevant to a show that’s airing: a divide in a fanbase, a common reaction that I don’t agree with, or a comparison with an older show that sheds light on how I feel about something new. These articles won’t be strictly scheduled, but will rather pop up here and there, sometimes as additional thoughts on shows I’m reviewing, sometimes on show’s I’m not reviewing, and sometimes on things from the past I’ve rewatched and had some ideas on and would to share.

That’s all the announcements I’m making for now. Stay tuned for all the new and exciting content UEM! has to offer!

My Spring 2015 Highlights

In the midst of getting ready for the exciting summer of anime this year, the shows I’ve been watching this past season have made me wish I’d started this blog a lot sooner. I’d have loved to do episode-by-episode reviews of a number of them right off the bat. But alas, I began this blog in the middle of spring and didn’t want half a series reviewed. I stuck with (sometimes unnecessarily long) editorials instead, which has helped me get into the aniblogging groove before summer 2015 starts. And now here I am, looking back at the highs and lows of the first season I’ve ever been so connected to, both to the shows and the communities around them.

Continue reading My Spring 2015 Highlights

Should We Worship Taki-Sensei?

If there’s one way Hibike! Euphonium has been successful, it’s in how much it’s made me want to talk – not just about the show itself (or its over-discussed ‘Yuri-bait’), but also about the themes it raises: questions of the uncertainty of adolescence, the purposes of youth and life, and even the nature of religious devotion. Continue reading Should We Worship Taki-Sensei?