Monthly Archives: January 2015

Wolf Girl and Black Prince [Anime Review]

Standard

[Image Credits: crunchyroll.com]

Alternative Title: Okami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
Number of Episodes: 12
[Warning: Contains spoilers.]

Series Synopsis:

Erika worried that she wouldn't find friends in her new class, so she thought lying about having a boyfriend would make her fit in with the two girls she first saw (who couldn't stop talking about their respective boyfriends).

16-year-old Erika Shinohara got separated from her best friend as soon as they started high school. She worried that she wouldn’t find new friends in her class, so as soon as she saw two cool-looking girls (who couldn’t stop talking about their respective boyfriends) she thought lying about having a boyfriend would make her fit in with them.

This is how Erika looks like whenever she lies (wolf ears sprout from her head)

This is how Erika looked like whenever she lied (wolf ears sprout from her head) (reference: The Boy who Cried Wolf)

Erika's friends start to get suspicious because her boyfriend seemed inexistent (which is true). Erika thought her problem would be solved if she could just take a picture of some random guy she'd see across the road.

Erika’s friends started to get suspicious that her boyfriend might’ve been nonexistent because she never showed them his pictures. Erika thought her problem would be solved if she could just take a picture of some random stranger. Determined, she stole a snapshot of a handsome guy she spotted across the street, and made a run for it.

Erika found out that the guy is actually her schoolmate named Kyoya who is notoriously popular, and goes by the title

After a series of events, Erika found out that the guy is actually her schoolmate. He is Kyoya, a notoriously popular guy in her year and went by the title “Prince”. She shared with him her situation, and he agreed to play along and keep her secret, but with a catch.

..but with a catch.

Kyoya acted like a prince at school: gentlemanly and a total charmer. Every girl swooned over him and he was more than happy to entertain most of them. However, he showed his true colors whenever he was with Erika. Thus the title, black prince.

Kyoya being sweet despite their faux relationship.

A lot of people showed disgust in the relationship (especially Kyoya’s fangirls) as Erika was too ‘average’ for the perfect prince. She got bullied a number of times, and he came to the rescue each time.

More acting like a real couple in the next episodes until Erika realized she was falling for Kyoya.

Kyoya was occassionally sweet to Erika despite their faux relationship. She realized she was slowly falling for him.

Erika crying all the time because of unrequited love.

Erika cried all the time because of unrequited love (with Kyoya only treating her like a dog, but still being awfully nice to her at times, making it impossible for her to move on).

A third wheel appears. His name is Kusakabe, a pessimistic, introverted cutie who caught Erika's eye. He instantly falls for Erika and got angry at Kyoya for not treating her the way she deserves.

A third wheel appeared by the name of Kusakabe. He instantly fell for Erika and got angry at Kyoya for not treating her the way she deserved. Finding out that her relationship with Kyoya was fake, he confessed to Erika and promised that he’d be a better boyfriend to her if she gave him the chance.

Of course, the good old confession scene.

Kyoya realized his feelings for Erika after she tried to move on with Kusakabe.

Woot~

Of course, the good old confession scene~ (Although this one was a trick and she fell for it) :p

Priceless confrontation scene. :)

The REAL confession scene. 🙂

A good, satisfying ending.

A few episodes later, Erika finally met Kyoya’s family, and they lived happily ever after. A good, satisfying ending.

Characters:
Other than Erika and Kyoya, there are only a few other characters.

Takeru – Kyoya’s best friend who helped him realize his feelings for Erika (but failed countless times)
Kamiya – Red-haired bishie who shared the same traits as Kyoya (princely and overly popular with girls) and was so hell-bent on making Kyoya get back to his old ways (being a womanizer and not settling for just one girl)
Reika – Kyoya’s sister who very much enjoyed bullying him. At first, she was not convinced that Kyoya had changed his ways and settled to having a serious relationship with Erika. Later, Erika proved her wrong.
Kyoya’s mom – The latter part of the series focused on her broken relationship with Kyoya. Erika played a big part on mending it.
Sanda – Erika’s best friend.
Kusakabe – The clumsy and pessimistic introvert who caught Erika’s eye. He was the third wheel who got in between Erika and Kyoya. After dating him for a while, she realized that no one else can replace Kyoya in her heart.
Marin and Aki – Erika’s classmates who were so obsessed about their boyfriends. Their characters became less prominent after their first year, as the group got in the same class as Sanda and Kyoya.

Review:

For a while I had only been watching and reading titles with a heavy, mostly dystopian setting (Shingeki no Kyojin, Psycho Pass, Divergent series) and I thought to myself, “Why not go for a lighter theme this time?” I stumbled upon this series, and was not disappointed.

Stretching for only 12 episodes long, Wolf Girl and Black Prince is a delightful mix of comedy and romance. The original manga was written by Ayuko Hatta. The series began airing on October 5, 2014, and ended on December 21 in the same year.

Despite the annoying tendencies of the characters in the beginning, they slowly transformed by the end, and I must say that the character development (for Kyoya and Kamiya) is effective and emotional. I like how the flashbacks of Kyoya’s childhood memory of a destroyed snowman served as his motivation on staying unattached to people, knowing that they might leave him one day. The pacing of the series is pretty good and kept me glued to my seat as I watched one episode after another.

While the character development for Kyoya is good, I felt like Erika’s was lacking. She started off as an annoying character who got into a lot of trouble for lying just to be able to fit in, and my feelings for her character only slightly changed as the series concluded. I wish she had a back story that would at least explain why she acts that way, why she’s so afraid of not making friends and failing to fit in.

The series lost a bit of spark and slowed its pace after Erika and Kyoya finally got together (which is the climax of the series). There were still hilarious moments, but the only main conflicts remaining were: “Will Kyoya give in to Kamiya’s traps?” and “Will Kyoya reconcile with his mom?” which are interesting plot devices, but not quite at par with the earlier episodes in my opinion.

Overall, I would recommend it. The 12 episodes is enough to distract you off the stress of real life and remind you of that bittersweet, unrequited love you had back in your teenage years. Give it a shot and it will surely give you a good time and leave a smile on your face.

Rating:
8 out of 10 snowmen 🙂

Advertisements

Mess Up That Clean Slate: Make Forecasts, Not Resolutions

Standard

It’s that time of the year again, to say bye bye to your old self and to give birth to the endless possibilities of the coming year. A new chance to start on a clean slate.

I’m not fan of New Year’s resolutions though. It’s so easy to mess up resolutions in as early as week one. You know why? Because unexpected things happen that are out of our control, and that’s really just part of life. We just have to be flexible enough to deal with it and carry on after initial ‘failures’. So stop crying in that pity corner if you messed up as early as now. 😀

In accounting, we do this thing called forecasting. We get data from the previous year and make a reasonable prediction for the coming year. Then by the end of that year, we get the variances between the actual result and the forecast, and analyze what caused them.

I think it would be nice to apply it in our personal lives. They’re technically like goals, but goals sound more grand and daunting. Forecasts just sound more comfortingly achievable, and it’s kind of empowering to look at them as predictions that can actually happen.

What’s wrong with resolutions is that they’re so basic, that we easily get discouraged once we mess up. So rather than making the common New Year’s resolutions, I made these personal “forecasts” to focus more on the big picture. By the end of 2015, I would have:

1) Written at least three posts a week in this blog (a total of 156 posts or more)

forecast 1

2) Created my Let’s Play channel in Youtube and posted a couple of videos

forecast 2

3) Finished writing at least one fantasy novel

forecast 3

4) Bought a nice Wacom pen tablet and learned to make digital arts

forecast 4

5) Made my first otome game with Eu

forecast 5

6) Visited Japan

forecast 6

7) Started my first business venture (whatever that would be)

forecast 7

These are my life-long dreams, and it’s incredibly overwhelming to think that I will start pursuing them all this year. But then again, when else will I start? For every goal, we need to take action. After all, how can we reach where we want to be, if we’re not even willing to take the first step?

With that said, have a fantastic year and don’t be afraid of smudging dirt on that clean 2015 slate. What’s important is that you don’t easily get discouraged by failures. Never give up on your dreams no matter how seemingly far they would seem. (Of course I’m talking to myself as well. lol)

Good luck to us! 🙂

[Credit: cartoons drawn using ericthecircle.com]