She and Her Cat: Everything Flows Review


She and Her Cat: Everything Flows is a four-part anime based on a 1999 short created by some complete unknown named Makoto Shinkai. Huh? What’s that Makoto? You are actually a big shot movie director? No way! Let me check your IMDb page. Ah yes, I recognize some of those films. Silly me. My memory is so bad. How could I have possibly forgotten your name? Anyways, this short but sweet series gives us a glimpse into the life of a young lady named Miyu, who is currently going through some tough times. Viewers see the tale play out through the eyes of her pet kitty Daru.


Liden Films’ catalogue of work is quite varied. One minute they are making an artsy series, like this one, and the next they are animating a show that stars a big-breasted honey badger (Killing Bites in case you are wondering). She and Her Cat begins with Miyu’s roommate moving out of their apartment. Miyu’s pal has decided to vacate the premises in order to cohabitate with her boyfriend. Although Miyu wishes her friend well, she is worried about making future rent payments now that she is on her lonesome. Miyu’s financial situation is dire, as she has been unsuccessful in securing full time employment.

From the four episodes on offer I would have to say that the second one was my favourite. It chronicles how Miyu and Daru first met, back during her childhood. Although the pair are now inseparable that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, when Miyu’s mom gifted Daru to her, she moaned that black felines are bad luck. Daru also aggravated matters by accidentally shattering a mug belonging to Miyu’s deceased father. He tried to make amends by presenting his young owner with a lizard he had just killed. The scaly offering seemingly energized the languid Miyu, as it caused her to sprint away – shrieking in terror.


My rating for She and Her Cat: Everything Flows is four stars. See everyone? My taste isn’t limited only to lowbrow animation. Yours truly can appreciate arty cartoons too. If the script is solid I’ll enjoy a series, whether it features cat-girls or regular cats. What impressed me, about She and Her Cat, is how much emotion director Kazuya Sakamoto managed to squeeze into each seven-minute episode. I really got a feel for the relationship between Miyu and her mother. At first it seems to be hostile. Later on however, we learn that Miyu is keeping her distance, so her mum can find happiness with a new husband.

I must caution prospective viewers that She and Her Cat: Everything Flows will affect your tear ducts, in the same way that pealed onions do. Miyu is a fragile lonely girl, who is dependent on her pet for support. With that in mind, it gets rather worrying when several characters make unsubtle comments about Daru’s advanced age. The risk of potential tragedy is worth braving though, as the series is beautiful. Be sure to stick around until the end credits finish rolling by the way. Nick Fury shows up and makes a surprise appearance! Okay maybe not, but trust me you don’t want to miss out on the finale.

Review of Doki Doki Literature Club


It’s been yonks since I last accessed my Steam account, as I forgot my password a few months ago. Rather than reset my logins, I chose to capitalize on the lapse in memory. If I cannot visit the store I can’t possibly waste money on discounted games that I will never have the time to play. Just like David Dickinson, I cannot resist a bargain that is cheap as chips. My exile of Valve’s service is now over however, as several readers persuaded me to give Doki Doki Literature Club a try. This award winning visual novel, from fledgling developer Team Salvato, was recommended to me when I put the call out for quality titles that can be finished in less than ten hours.


When the game begins players, who assume the role of a high school student, are coerced into joining the titular club by their chirpy childhood pal Sayori. The protagonist isn’t much of a bibliophile, but like most male teenagers he can’t resist the allure of hanging out with four lovelies after class. Doki Doki Literature Club’s members are Monika, Yuri, Natsuki and the aforementioned Sayori. Monika is the club president and most popular girl in school. Yuri meanwhile is a timid intellectual who is passionate about horror novels. Last, but not least, is Natsuki the pint-sized tsundere. She is my favourite, of the quartet, as her written fiction of choice is manga.

Like with most visual novels, Doki Doki Literature Club involves reading text and enjoying the music/artwork that accompanies it. The narrative (specifically which girl the protagonist will date) is influenced by the poetry sessions that Monika has organized. Each day the club members need to write up a poem and share it with the group. During these segments players need to construct a verse by selecting twenty words from a notebook. The choices one makes will improve their reputation with a particular girl. Natsuki, for example, has a soft spot for cute things – so choosing words such as “kitty” will make the protagonist more attractive in her eyes.

Sounds simple enough. Click on phrases, snag a girlfriend and live happily ever after. Well, that’s what you would expect in a traditional VN. Doki Doki Literature Club is a little different though. All the ladies are thirsty for the main character’s package and will therefore get jealous when you begin to favour one of them over the others. This all culminates in the story taking a sinister and unexpected twist.


My rating for Doki Doki Literature Club is five stars. Just like Moirai, this is a memorable experience you can download off Steam for nowt. I actually feel bad about not rewarding the developer financially, for their efforts, so I may toss them some Shekels by purchasing the soundtrack/art-book DLC. Doki Doki Literature Club resonated with me because it is similar to some of my favourite anime. Cast in the same mould as Madoka Magica, it starts off sweet and fluffy before subverting your expectations with an unsettling scene. I suppose that’s a bit of a spoiler, but the game itself does open up with a disclaimer that warns against playing if you are easily disturbed.

Doki Doki Literature Club also gets bonus points from me because its set pieces are something that would only work in a video game. Unlike some other visual novels, this title wouldn’t transfer well to the movie screen or a comic book page. The interactivity you have, although limited, plays a big role in proceedings. Given that the game can be cleared in five hours, it’s something I can recommend to everyone. Power through the unassuming first act and I guarantee you will be hooked. Things are not oki doki at the literature club. In hindsight the protagonist may have been better off signing up for another club. Maybe the School-Live club would have been a safer choice?

Review of Keijo!!!!!!!!


Keijo is similar to Sumo… only sexier. Just like Japan’s national sport, the objective of Keijo is to eliminate your opponent by pushing them out of the arena. In the case of Keijo however, matches are fought on platforms that float atop a pool. Unlike Sumo, which is practiced exclusively by obese men, Keijo participants are swimsuit clad athletic ladies. Why is this a fictional sport? I imagine Keijo would have more of a mainstream appeal than something like cricket. Five days whacking a ball, with a bat, only for the match to then be declared a draw when it drizzles? What a waste of time. Unlike the singer of 10cc, I don’t like cricket.


Nozomi Kaminashi is an aspiring Keijo player who recently abandoned gymnastics, after realizing that prancing about with ribbons isn’t the most lucrative of careers. When the series begins she enlists in a school staffed by retired Keijo professionals, who specialize in coaching students on how to use their busts and posterior in combat. Joining Nozomi in her studies is best friend Sayaka Miyata, who has a strained relationship with her father. Daddy dearest just cannot comprehend why his daughter has ditched the martial arts in favour of a sport that is effectively Dead or Alive Xtreme’s butt battle mini-game.

This twelve-episode adaptation of Daichi Sorayomi’s manga is split into two story arcs. In the first half Nozomi learns the ropes and bonds with roommates Kazane Aoba and Non Toyoguchi. Kazane is a bashful gal, with a funny accent, who is adept at counterattacks. Toyoguchi on the other hand relies on her squishy buttocks to succeed. In many matches she emerges the fortuitous winner, after her opponent bounces off said ass and into the pool. Keijo’s second arc sees the girls travel eastward, to compete in an exhibition bout against a rival academy. Who will emerge victorious in the East versus West BUTTle… um battle?


My rating for Keijo is four stars. I went into the series expecting to admire the eye candy and laugh at how ridiculous the story is. On both counts the series delivers. There are numerous fan service scenes at the hot tub and on the comedy front we get a plentiful amount of tongue in (butt) cheek humour, plus some funny anime references. What surprised me about the series is that after a few episodes I genuinely got invested in the plot. Remove the silliness and Keijo still holds up as a legitimate sport show. The cast train hard to master new skills, put their determination to the test and rely on the virtues of teamwork. I also have to say that the action scenes are bad-ass… no pun intended.

Although the matches are highly unrealistic, I like the logic used to explain the special techniques each character commands. Sayaka for example enhances her speed by reducing swimsuit surface area, which she accomplishes by giving herself a wedgie. Nozomi’s signature move, on the other hand, is an attire busting energy wave that she generates by somersaulting. Later in the series the heroines face an adversary who uses her shiny cleavage to blind enemies. It’s simultaneously goofy and creative. Even if the Ecchi elements will put off some viewers, I can recommend Keijo to open minded anime sport fans. Sadly, due to poor sales, we are unlikely to get another season. That really “bums” me out.

Review of Night in the Woods


After funding several projects on Kickstarter, which never saw the light of day, I have given up on donating cash to that company. Crowd funding doesn’t always end in a disaster though. To their credit some people, who requested financial aid on that site, did make good on their promises – be it whipping up a batch of potato salad or developing quality software. One of the video game successes that spawned from Kickstarter is Night in the Woods from Infinite Fall. It’s a title that several of my readers have recommended to me in the past. My followers have great taste (they like my blog after all) so I heeded their words and decided to check the game out.


Mae Borowski, a twenty-year-old feline, is the protagonist of Night in the Woods. When the game begins Mae returns home in disgrace, after dropping out of college. In this narrative heavy adventure game players decide whom the young cat girl should hang out with on a daily basis. Mae’s chums include a gothic alligator, a homosexual teddy (I guess he is a “bear” in more ways than one) and a foxy delinquent. Just as Mae begins to reacclimatize to life in Possum Springs she comes across a severed arm. The gruesome discovery may be linked to a phantom kidnapper that she spots a few days later. Finding out who is responsible for these crimes will involve spending a night in the woods.

Anyone who watches Night in the Woods’ trailer may mistaken this game for a platformer, due to the footage of Mae leaping across power lines. Gameplay wise however I would liken this title to Oxenfree, as most of my playthrough involved conversing with NPCs. That’s actually more enjoyable than it sounds because the characters you interact with are written so well. Every now and then the chatter is interrupted by mini-games, which vary in quality. As someone who sucks at rhythm games I can’t say that the band practice segments, which play like Guitar Hero, appealed to me. On the flip side I liked the friendly knife fight and the sequence were you squirt mall shoppers with a fish-head fountain. Poor customers. Getting soaked by a fishy decoration must be a pain in the bass.


My rating for Night in the Woods is a three and a half out of five. I had a grand time playing through the eight-hour story and can see why so many critics showered the game with praise last year. Although I don’t share Mae’s passion for vandalism/shoplifting, she is a character I can relate to. Just like her, I have had to deal with the awkwardness of dealing with relatives after an unsuccessful stint in higher education. We both have also suffered the embarrassment of acting like fools, during social events, after consuming one too many brews. In my defence though, it takes more than three watered down beers to make me vomit up my tacos.

I can highly recommend Night in the Woods, unless you are one of those console owners who values gameplay over story. One complaint that can be levied against Night in the Woods is that traditional video game mechanics take a backseat to its witty banter, excellent soundtrack and stylish visuals. An argument could be made that Night in the Woods would work better as a cartoon series. It’s script, which should resonate with young adults and features weird dream sequences, reminds me of the animation MTV would put out back in the nineties. Ah, how I miss those days. Someone should build a time machine so I can journey back to that decade. If you are up to task start a Kickstarter and I will gladly pledge towards your DeLorean/Police Box construction efforts.

The Top Five Anime I Reviewed in 2017


I didn’t have time to finish any games or anime last week, as my schedule was disrupted by the news that I had been selected to serve as a juror. Rather ironic, given the name of my blog! Anyways, as I have nothing to review this Sunday I might as well get the long overdue Top Anime of 2017 out of the way. I think this might be the first year were none of the listed shows form part of my DVD collection. The year 2017 has pretty much seen me abandon physical media in favour of consuming anime online, via services such as Crunchyroll. Gone are the days of worrying about storage space and I get to watch newer shows to boot.

5th) Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: This hilarious series shows what happens when the titular Kobayashi ends up cohabitating with a draconic housekeeper, who she met during a drunken night out. Anime with goofy titles aren’t rare, but in most cases shows with a silly premise lose their charm after a few episodes. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid bucks that trend thanks to its cast of quirky reptiles, who have migrated over to our world from another dimension. The interplay between the characters is great, as is Kanna’s cuteness and Tohru’s weird laundry techniques (which involve gulping down unmentionables.)

4th) Recovery of an MMO Junkie: Romantic comedies aren’t usually my thing, as they have a habit of dragging things out. Recovery of an MMO Junkie won me over however, by delivering its sweet tale in a concise ten episodes. The series follows a thirty-year-old NEET who ends up finding love in an online RPG. Unbeknownst to protagonist Morioka, the female healer she has a crush on is in fact a dashing businessman whom she bumped into recently. Can the couple transfer their relationship from the virtual world into the real one? Of course! We already know from SAO how easy it is to get laid in MMORPGs.

3rd) School-Live: Spoilers are not always bad. If it weren’t for other bloggers telling me about the first episode twist I probably would have given School-Live a miss, as it looked like a generic “cute girls doing cute things” series. The reality is that School-Live is a zombie apocalypse show and a darn good one at that. Presented through the eyes of a traumatised schoolgirl, who uses her imagination to cope with the stressful situation, the series continually shifts between being funny and downright heart-breaking. A school where the halls are packed with brain-dead violent beings? Sounds like my old comprehensive!

2nd) Erased: I can’t comment on the Netflix live action adaptation, as I haven’t watched it, but I can at least verify that the animated series is exceptional. Akin to classic TV show Quantum Leap, Erased stars a character whose consciousness travels to the past with the aims of averting a tragedy. In this case pizza deliveryman Satoru Fujinuma is whisked to the time when he was a young lad. There he has the goal of apprehending the serial killer responsible for killing his mom in the present day. What’s the moral of the story? Your childhood sweetheart won’t wait for you, but a homicidal maniac will.

1st) Death Parade: Move over Saint Peter. The true arbiter, who decides where the deceased end up, is in fact an emotionless bartender named Decim. When the pasty mixologist isn’t busy collecting creepy mannequins, he judges who is worthy of reincarnation via contests of Twister and darts. Death Parade is a thought provoking series, which will leave you pondering what the criterion is for determining a worthwhile existence. Like the cocktails that Decim serves, the script contains a mix of ingredients. There are offbeat episodes, romantic tales and stories whose outcomes will make your blood boil. Death Parade is a brilliant anime and you would be a dummy (like Decim’s mannequins) to miss it.

So there we have it. My favourite anime from the titles I reviewed over the course of 2017. What were your favourite shows of the past year? Let me know in the comments section below. I am keen to hear suggestions on what I should watch next. Animated entertainment is just what I need to perk up my spirits, after participating in a tense court case. Four hours, in a tiny room, deliberating a verdict is no fun. We couldn’t even step outside for lunch and therefore had to make do with a free cheddar roll. Talk about cheesy compensation!

Review of Super Mario Odyssey


Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach. Despite the best efforts of Anita Sarkeesian, the video game trope of damsels in distress is very much alive and well. King Koopa plans to force the monarch into an unwilling marriage, which I don’t understand. Given the choice, I would rather be wed to the sexier Rosalina. Anyways, when royalty needs rescuing who do you call? If you answered Special Forces you would be mistaken. Time to hire a plumber me thinks. Mario sets off on a globe trotting adventure to save Peach and joining him for the ride is a sentient piece of headgear named Cappy.


Gone are the days when Mario would dress like a racoon and devour mushrooms to acquire special powers. Mario Odyssey sees Nintendo’s mascot steal Kirby’s talent of mimicking enemies, which he accomplishes by placing his hat on their noggin. There are tons of foes that Mario can possess with this new mechanic. Some examples that stood out during my play through include giant dinosaurs, yellow taxicabs, amphibians that ribbit and turtles armed with frying pans. Cappy can also be tossed to grab out of reach coins or to destroy objects from a distance. Wreck stuff by hurling a hat? Bond villain Oddjob would approve.

In terms of gameplay Odyssey reminds me most of Sunshine and Mario 64. Thankfully the abovementioned Cappy is a better companion than that detestable FLUDD. Levels are open world affairs where you hunt down Moons, which are the power source of the craft that transports you across kingdoms. As expected from a Mario title the platforming is solid thanks to the responsive controls. I was however a tad miffed that certain moves cannot be activated in handheld mode. Said advanced abilities require that you shake the Joycons. A decade since the Wii’s launch and Nintendo are still pressuring players to strain their wrists with unwanted motion interfaces.


My rating for Super Mario Odyssey is a five out of five. In a weird way the game reminds me of Bloodborne. Both titles are games that I had little interest in playing, only tried because they came bundled with the console and ended up loving anyway. That’s a surprise because I am no Nintendo fan boy. My dad bought me a Megadrive, during the height of the 16-bit wars, so I was conditioned at an early age to revile Mario. Not even adolescent brainwashing can make me dislike a game with such creative stages though. Adding to the charm are the colourful graphics, which prove that the Switch doesn’t have to be a technological powerhouse to rival its competitors in the visual department.

The soundtrack is top notch too, with my favourite tune being Jump Up Superstar sung by Kate Davis. I estimate that it took me around twelve hours to complete the main story. That may not sound like much content, but fear not because there are plenty of collectibles to discover in the post game. If exploration isn’t your thing don’t worry because Toad is willing to point you in the right direction in exchange for some gold. Super Mario Odyssey is a title that every Switch owner should add to his or her library. Good job Nintendo. I tip my hat (or should that be Cappy) to you.

Review of Kakegurui


I have never understood the appeal of gambling, which makes me wonder how I have managed to survive a decade working for online casinos. Gambling isn’t like playing a video game, were you part with cash in exchange for a good story or fun entertainment. In my experience gamblers only derive satisfaction from a big win. Why then trap yourself in a loop of spending cash to make cash? If you want to accrue money, squandering savings on games (were the odds are stacked heavily against you) is illogical. Watching a character stake everything on the roll of a dice can make for tense situations though, which is something that works of fiction like Kakegurui thrive on.


Hyakkaou Private Academy is the school where the wealthy elite sends their offspring to study. When you are set for life there isn’t much incentive to earn qualifications, so the students there spend much of their time gambling against each other. I thought that gambling was illegal in Japan, but I guess when you are rich the law doesn’t apply to you. In the words of Seto Kaiba – “screw the rules, I have money.” Those who get lucky at Hyakkaou will prosper financially and make connections that will serve them in good stead later in life. Unfortunates, who go into debt, however are branded pets and condemned to an existence of humiliation at the hands of their peers.

Kakegurui is a twelve-episode anime based on Homura Kawamoto’s manga. The series follows transfer student Yumeko Jabami, as she competes in games of Poker, Concentration and Janken. At first glance Yumeko appears to be a sweet and courteous young lady. Whilst in the midst of a match however her dark side manifests. Games of chance are her biggest pleasure in life and she is darn good at them, thanks to an exceptional memory and ability to read people. Her success catches the attention of the student council who proceed to challenge Yumeko for control of the gambling den that masquerades as a school. Will her luck hold or will she “bust” out… and no I’m not referring to the chest she exposes in the ED.


My rating for Kakegurui is four and a half stars. When it comes to gambling anime this series is leagues ahead of something like Rio: Rainbow Gate. Both those shows have a fair amount of fan service, but Kakegurui stands out because it has substance to go along with the aesthetically pleasing visuals. The encounters between Yumeko and the student council are thrilling affairs filled with suspense, strategy and mind games. The outcome of a match is never certain. Perspective Yumeko triumphs sometimes, in a rigged game, by noticing how her opponent cheats. Other times however Yumeko loses and is only able to recover by courting the aid of rivals that she has previously vanquished.

The eccentric cast is another reason why I enjoyed Kakegurui. Hyakkaou’s student body, for example, contains a one-eyed gunslinger named Midari Ikishima. She doesn’t care one iota about currency so when it comes to wagering she elects to stake her life in games of Russian roulette. The student council’s ranks also include a loli gamer, a pop idol and a masked vice president. Ryota Suzui, who Yumeko liberates from bankruptcy in episode one, is the only character I would describe as plain. In any other show he would be the dull male protagonist, but thankfully in Kakegurui he is just a sidekick. Enigmatic Yumeko is the star of the show and the chief reason why I eagerly anticipate the release of season two. This show’s gambling sequel bet-ter arrive soon.