Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train

Last night, we went to a showing of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.

It lives up to the hype.

I don’t want to make this post about a full review as I don’t want to give any of the plot or spoilers.

Let me start by saying that I loved absolutely every moment of the movie. This is going to sound cheesy, but it was masterful. Not one moment of the movie felt forced, contrived, or drawn out. Every moment had a purpose, and that is rare in entertainment these days.

It is no secret that Demon Slayer has been my favorite anime since I first watched it. I fell in love with the story. The love of a brother for his sister. The loss of a family. The struggle of surviving. The drive of revenge. All of these elements are tied together with a healthy dose of comedy and light-heartedness, but also driven with darkness and despair. Our protagonist has such a loving and giving heart, he is hard not to love and respect. Unlike other shows, our protagonist isn’t easily gifted his talents. He doesn’t wake up in another world with omnipotent powers. He’s just a regular boy that works hard and fights for what he feels is right. We join him on his struggle to get stronger

The movie is no different.

The movie continues the story with a pretty seamless transition. We are drawn back into the world of Demon Slayer upon the train our protagonists are sent to investigate with the Hashira, Rengoku. We are once again drawn in with the comedy relief of Inosuke and Zenitsu. The pace of the movie doesn’t differ from the show which is amazing. Usually, anime movies have a different feel, or deviate from the pace of the show. Mugen Train stays true to same pace as the show.

The animation is beautiful. It was amazing to see on the big screen.

The music was banger. They once again paired the perfect music to the battle scenes.

The story was just as rich in background as the show. One thing I love about the show was the flashback scenes that gave us a little insight into the world of our protagonists. The movie followed the same formula. As I mentioned, little was wasted. Every scene weaved into the overall story which I find rare.

Mugen Train will take you through the entire range of emotions. I laughed. I cried. I felt heartbreak and happiness. I can definitely see why Mugen Train broke so many records.

If you have the opportunity, I truly recommend grabbing a showing while it is at the theaters. Our theater was very, very clean. They disinfected very well between showings and we were all distanced pretty well. I didn’t feel at risk at all. If you can’t catch a showing, consider pre-ordering the digital release or picking up the blu-ray when it comes out. You won’t be disappointed.

Higehiro – First Impressions

Title: Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
Genre: Drama
Where and When: Crunchyroll on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. CDT
Synopsis: On his way home from drinking his sorrows away after being rejected by his crush, the 26 year old salaryman, Yoshida, finds a high school girl named Sayu sitting on the side of the road. Yoshida is completely drunk out of his mind and ends up letting Sayu stay at his place overnight. Not having the heart to put Sayu out on the streets since she ran away from home, Yoshida allows her to stay at his place… And so began the awkward, irritable, and slightly heartwarming relationship between a runaway high school girl and a salaryman living together. (Credit: https://www.crunchyroll.com/higehiro-after-being-rejected-i-shaved-and-took-in-a-high-school-runaway)

Is it a drama? A romance? I really couldn’t tell after the first two episodes. What I could tell is Higehiro will keep me glued to each episode.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Admittedly, the title is what hooked me. How the heck can someone get rejected, shave, and then end up caring for a high school runaway? It had me intrigued because the series of events that had to take place must of been a doozy.

And, I wasn’t wrong.

Our protagonist, Yoshida, is a nice guy. We seem to have a lot of that going around this season. He’s a good-looking, regular, nice guy leading an ordinary life. After pining over his boss, Gotou-san, for years, he finally musters the courage to invite her back to his place. She quickly tells him that she’s been seeing someone and turns him down. Devastated, he makes his way to an izakaya, calls his married friend, and vents. On his way home, he sees a girl sleeping underneath a lamppost. He strikes up a conversation to get the girl to go home and quickly learns she has no where to go. She flirts with him and asks to stay at his place. In his drunken stupor, he agrees to let her stay for one night.

What follows could potentially be a very heartwarming story.

We have two protagonists that are broken in some way. We know that Sayu has had to compromise herself to survive. She has run away from home and we don’t know the circumstances leading up to that other than after some research, no missing person report is out on her. In the first two episodes, we learn how much of a caring man Yoshida is. He takes in this poor girl and starts to shower her with affection that she isn’t used to. So far, I can’t tell if that affection will bloom into something romantic, or whether it will bloom into a beautiful friendship.

Either way, I think this show has the potential to be heartwarming. So far, we’re only a few episodes in, so it isn’t too late to put this one in the queue and give it a try.

Koikimo – First Impressions

Title: Koikimo
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Where and When: Crunchyroll on Mondays at 7:45 am CDT
Synopsis: One rainy day, salaryman Amakusa Ryo is saved by a high school girl he doesn’t know at the station. He later finds out that the girl is Arima Ichika. Ryo is somewhat of a womanizer and to repay her for saving him, he suggests giving her a kiss or going out on a date with her, in which Ichika tells him he’s creepy. This, however, opens a new door for Ryo and he falls madly in love with her. Ever since then, Ryo tries to overly express his feelings to Ichika. Ichika just keeps insulting him and says he’s being creepy, but he just seems to take it as her way of showing affection towards him. (Credit: https://www.crunchyroll.com/koikimo)

Chalk this up to another show that I had no intention of watching. Thankfully, Rugjen and I will watch the first episode of just about any show. I am 100% glad that we clicked play on this one.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD

If you’re a fan of formulaic romantic comedies, this would be right up your alley. There isn’t anything that stands out about this show, but that isn’t a bad thing. I’ve mentioned this many times before. I don’t mind a show using “the formula”. Sometimes, you need the show to be predictable and cute.

Koikimo definitely fits that bill.

Our male protagonist, Ryo, is a womanizer. He’s been smart, talented, and good-looking his entire life and he’s grown into a pattern of closing off his heart and becoming a cold, distant version of himself. He’s a successful salaryman, but living a pretty empty life. On his way to work, he was exhausted from a long night with a woman. He gets bumped and almost falls down the stairs, but is saved by our female protagonist, Ichika. Seeing that he was pale, she quickly throws her bento at him and rushes to school.

When he comes home later that night, Ichika is in his home. By chance, Ichika happens to be his little sister’s classmate and friend.

In return for saving his life, he offers his body to Ichika which she quickly gives him a piece of her mind and calls him weird. Something stirs in Ryo and he is captivated by this high school girl who was kind, yet, direct and not afraid to speak her mind.

What ensues is Ryo being overly affectionate and making high school life hard for Ichika. We get to see the relationship between Ryo and his younger sister heal a bit due to this mutual friendship.

I laughed. A. LOT.

Again, the dynamic is nothing new. We have the male protagonist pursuer and the female protagonist doing everything in her power to refuse his advances, but it works. Their interactions are wholesome and adorable. Ryo is like an adorable puppy and you get this delightful sincerity in his actions. On the other hand, you have this awkward high school girl who doesn’t exactly know what to do with those emotions.

I feel that this show has a lot of potential. At the time of this blog entry, we’re on week four of this show. If you just want to smile and laugh, give this one a go.

Do You Even Disc Golf, Bro?

The whole theme of this blog is doing things casually. It’s a place to celebrate our casual natures whether that be because we work 60 hours a week, or we have the attention span of a goldfish. I’m the latter, by the way.

My husband and his BFF have been into disc golf for awhile. I was pretty indifferent to it because I had shoulder surgery a year ago. I still don’t have full range of motion back and I knew that I would just get frustrated with not being able to use good form…or at least something similar to good form. The husband had been inviting me to go and I finally caved in…and I had a pretty good time.

My shoulder was killing me, but in a good way. Playing disc golf moved and stretched my shoulder in ways that I wasn’t able to accomplish with my physical therapy stretches. I had noticed that my range of motion was improving. A year after surgery, I was still unable to pull my arm behind my back and rest the back of my hand on the small of my back. About a month after playing disc golf once a week, my flexibility to do that improved. It’s not fully fixed, but it IS definitely going in the right direction.

In the short month that I’ve “picked up the sport”, my husband has purchased me watermelon-themed gear worthy of ChibiChonk. I have a sweet watermelon disc bag. He even got me a matching golf towel that’s on its way. I bought myself a watermelon umbrella and a pink hat to shield my weak body from the sun. You may or may not know that I take a lot of medication for diabetes and other conditions. Many of those medications caution my sun exposure. The umbrella and hat should keep me well shaded during downtime.

We even bought a wagon. They have really cool disc golf carts, but four times the cost of a cheap Academy wagon. We went with the wagon. After all, we’re filthy casuals. Not pros.

We’re terrible. Simply awful.

Despite that, we’ve invited others out and had a good time. The great thing about the sport is all you need is a disc or two. There are courses all over the place and it is usually free. If you like being outdoors and don’t have the money to go “all-in” into another hobby, try disc golf. You can get started for probably less than $30.

We currently have plans to travel to Glen Rose, Texas to try out a new course at Dino Hills Disc Golf Course. They recently opened and it looks like a pretty fun course. The weather is not supposed to cooperate, so we might have to postpone, but for now, we’re planning on toughing it out. If we get to go, expect a follow-up post about our time out at the course. They have cows, guys. Cows.

Anime and gaming is great way to spend your time, but also make sure you’re finding time to get some sun. Disc golf is very COVID friendly. You’re usually in a park with social distancing and more than likely, you won’t run into any other golfers. It can be a fun way to reconnect with your family outdoors.

Have You Bought Your Tickets?!

One of my favorite anime of all time is hands-down, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. For me, it is the perfect blend of action, comedy, and drama. The story is compelling and the characters and their development is top tier.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train took Japan by storm. Last year, Mugen Train surpassed Spirited Away as the highest grossing film in Japan making a whopping $350 million. Mugen Train can also boast itself as the 15th highest-grossing non-English film in the world. That is a huge feat for an animated movie.

The fact that Mugen Train is Rated-R has me pretty hyped. I’m expecting some pretty intense fighting scenes and gore.

The movie picks up where season one left off. If you’re still holding out on watching Demon Slayer, I highly suggest watching this show. Not only is a violent, but also funny, and sweet. It’s sad and also happy. You will be taken on a ride of all the emotions in this show. Not to mention, the very awesome animation. I fell in love with this anime at first sight. Right from the intro, I fell in love with the music and the animation.

Beginning April 23, 2021, Mugen Train will be released in select US theaters. That being said, they have showings on April 22nd. We’ve already bought our tickets for the 22nd and will be watching the subbed version. They are offering dubbed showings as well, so both subbed and dubbed fans can enjoy.

In fact, I am going to start a re-watch of the show today. I want to make sure that it is burned fresh into my mind before catching the movie.

If you haven’t grabbed your tickets, I suggest you do so. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this movie and I can’t wait to see it!

Shakunetsu Kabaddi: First Impression

Title: Shakunetsu Kabaddi (Burning Kabaddi)
Where: Crunchyroll
When: Saturdays
Synopsis: First-year high schooler Tatsuya Yoigoshi, the former ace of a junior high school soccer team who has come to dislike sports, receives an invitation to join the Kabaddi club. Initially mocking the idea of Kabaddi, he takes an interest after watching an intense competition akin to martial arts at a practice session. (Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/42395/Shakunetsu_Kabaddi)

After so much disappointment with the sports anime of winter 2021 (I’m looking at you Skate-Leading Stars and 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu), I was wary about another sports anime. Especially about a sport I know absolutely nothing about. I have never heard of the sport, kabaddi. In fact, the only reference I have ever heard of the sport was in the anime, Chio’s School Road. In Chio, one of the characters was obsessed with the sport and used it as fair game to feel up her competitors. It was a bit lewd, and actually a bit funny, but it didn’t really go into what kind of sport kabaddi was. All I gathered was the chanting of “kabaddi” as you tried to tag someone. Very strange, but made for some funny scenes.

Kabaddi is actually the national sport of Bangladesh. It’s almost like full-contact tag. There are obviously rules that make it different than tag, but without going into too much detail, that should give you a very, very basic idea of what type of sport kabaddi is similar to.

After watching the first episode of Kabaddi, I sensed potential greatness to this show. It has all of the elements of a great sports anime. We have a protagonist that has lost his love of all sports despite being very talented. We have a sport that isn’t mainstream. We have strong supporting characters. The best part? They actually play the sport the anime is centered around. In the first episode, we get a full breakdown of kabaddi, how it is played, and the strategy involved. Most of all, we see a spark in the protagonist that had died.

This first episode was pretty entertaining and quite funny. Also, I learned about a sport that isn’t really known. In all my years, I had no idea that this type of sport existed, so I am glad there is an anime to teach us about it.

I definitely recommend giving this anime a shot. This is definitely one I will continue to watch if they keep up the comedy and story building through the sport.

Spring 2021 Anime

Spring 2021 has a few season two releases and a couple of shows continuing from winter 2021. Below are a couple shows that I recommend you either catch up on or continuing watching.

Continuing Shows

Tensura Nikki: Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)

I’m particularly excited for the continuation of season two from the winter season. I’ve been really happy with season two so far. There are a lot of exciting things going on in the story. I highly recommend this anime if you’re a slice of life, isekai fan.

In Slime, we follow our slime protagonist as he builds an idyllic nation of monsters. Along with his peaceful vision comes some unfortunate events that triggers our protagonist to go to drastic lengths to protect the ones he cares about.

Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka? (So I’m a Spider, So What?)

I didn’t write a review for this one even though I have watched the entire first-half of the season. My husband enjoys this show much more than I do. That being said, it was granted 24 episodes, so this show is a continuation from winter 2021.

We follow our protagonist who is reincarnated into a spider. We join her on her travels to grow more powerful. At the same time, her other classmates were also reincarnated, so there is a second story line about their experiences in this new world. At some point, I imagine these story lines will collide.

I don’t particularly enjoy this anime, nor do I particularly dislike it. I’m very indifferent toward it. If you enjoy isekai, I am sure you’ll find something to enjoy with this anime.

New Season

Fruits Basket: The Final

Fruits Basket is finally coming to an end. How will the story end? Will Tohru accomplish her goal of setting the Sohma family free from their curse?

I have very much enjoyed this anime and am happy to see it come to a definitive close. I’m excited to see how this final season will play out.

There are two prior seasons to Fruits Basket. If you are a fan of slice of life with a dash of romance and comedy and drama, give it a try.

Mairimashita! Iruma-kun (Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-Kun)

What would you do if you suddenly were sold by your parents and adopted by a demon? What would you do if he informs you that demons eat humans? You would probably do all you can to keep from getting eaten! I absolutely loved the first season of Iruma-Kun. Our protagonist is a sweet boy just trying to survive the demon world. We get to join his journey from human to beloved “demon”. This show is absolutely hilarious and brought me a lot of joy.

Season two starts this spring, so if you haven’t given Iruma-kun a chance, binge it now!

While this does not encompass all of the season’s continuing shows or new seasons, these are the ones I am most familiar with. Is there a show you’re looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

ChibiChonk’s Top Three Shows of Winter 2021

Can you believe another season of anime has come and gone? I feel like this season went particularly fast because there was a lot of excellent content.

That leads me to my top three shows this season. I excluded shows that were on a second season and focused on first season shows only.

Honorable Mention
Horimiya

This show explored a new, budding relationship between two unlikely characters. It was done tastefully and had me waiting for each episode. There really isn’t much more to say about it other than it was just really, really sweet. If you’re a fan of romantic comedy slice of life, I highly suggest this anime.

Runner-Up
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

If you can get passed the pervy, fan-service aspect of this show, it is quite interesting. It does a great job of painting a story. I really like the redemption aspect of this show. The main character is a former shut-in who is given a second chance at life in another world. Watching him bloom into a better version of himself has been satisfying. What I particularly enjoyed about this anime is the balance of the overpowered main character. Like any isekai, the reincarnated character is almost always overpowered, and sometimes, a show can take that overboard. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. In fact, that is one aspect many fans of isekai love. However, this show does a great job of not making it a focal point, and that is a breath of fresh air. If you’re a fan of isekai, I definitely recommend this anime.

First Place
Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist

This anime wasn’t even on my radar. In fact, it’s in a genre I don’t typically watch. However, I really enjoyed this show much more than I thought I would. Dr. Ramune is quirky and I love his absent-minded façade, but when it comes down to it, he’s very capable and has a huge heart when it comes to his patients. I love how some of the episodes are two-parters. You don’t see that too much in anime. That’s also what made this show very enjoyable to me. The show was comprised with very episodic material. It moves from one situation to the next while maintaining it’s slice of life quality. While I normally don’t enjoy supernatural content, they didn’t overdo it. The show isn’t wholly focused on the supernatural. Instead, it’s intertwined with the character development. If you’re interested in a quirky show, this one is for you.

So, there we have it. My top three of the season. Not one was in my original list that I was excited to watch. This is excluding shows with previous seasons, so keep that in mind.

Did you have a top three? What new show did you enjoy this season? Let me know in the comments!


Heaven’s Design Team

Where: Crunchyroll
Genre: Slice of life, comedy, fantasy
Synopsis:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He also sought after a wide variety of animals to populate the planet. However, he felt that it was too tiresome to think of new ideas within his criteria. To address this problem, God appointed an organization—the Heaven’s Design Team—to do the work instead!

Shimoda is a newly-hired angel who serves as the mediator between God and the design team. As he steps into his role, he witnesses his coworkers conceive interesting ideas for many unique life forms according to God’s desires. From giraffes and snakes to birds, anteaters, and everything in between, the possibilities for different animal species are endless!
(Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/41762/Tenchi_Souzou_Design-bu)


This was another show that I was on the fence about watching. In fact, this was a show that Rugjen put on “just because” and we both ended up really enjoying it each week.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

If you like animals, you will most definitely like Heaven’s Design Team. This show is a combination of educational aspects with comedy and slice of life. You get a dash of everything in this show.

The concept of the show is well described in the synopsis, so if you skipped over that, I am not going to go into too much detail. You might want to go back and read it. God is the client. The design team creates his “orders”.

First of all, the design team has an array of different personalities, and they’re all pretty fun. You have a horse-lover and one that loves sea creatures, and one that specializes in the terrifying. My favorite is the designer that loves to make all his creations tasty. Their interactions are so relatable like any office. I think this is what makes it particularly funny to me.

What I love about this show is the creative process. We get to see the creative process of each of these designers and you get quite a bit of education on animals. I’ve been truly fascinated at the small tidbits of information I have learned.

The comedy is gold. They often make test animals that don’t quite work out, but again. They do a great job of explaining why they didn’t work. The whole approach to designing these animals makes the whole show funny.

If you love animals, I think you’d love this show. You’ll learn a bit about real-world animals as well as get to experience fictional animals that didn’t quite make the cut. This is a highly enjoyable show and one that I thank my husband for making me watch!

Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist

Where: Crunchyroll
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
Synopsis:

As long as hearts exist inside people, there will always be those who suffer. And then something “strange” enters their mind and causes a strange disease to manifest itself in the body. The illness, which is called a “mystery disease” is unknown to most, but certainly exists. There is a doctor and apprentice who fights the disease, which modern medicine cannot cure.

His name is Ramune. He acts freely all the time, is foul-mouthed, and doesn’t even look like a doctor! However, once he is confronted with the mysterious disease, he is able to quickly uncover the root cause of his patients’ deep-seated distress and cure them. And beyond that…
(Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/42822/Kai_Byoui_Ramune)

This show is highly entertaining and highly unexpected. I was originally turned off by the synopsis and the theme of the show. I’m typically not a fan of supernatural shows as they go in odd directions. They’re just not a favorite genre of mine. However, this show kept me captivated all the way to the end. As of the writing of this article, we’re currently into week 11 so we’re at the finish line.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

What I enjoy about this show is that the supernatural is only a small portion of the show. While the medical conditions that surround Dr. Ramune’s patients are caused by supernatural reasons, we aren’t beaten over the head with a bat regarding it. The show focuses on the issues that caused these weird medical conditions to begin with.

And, yes. The medical conditions are on the ridiculous side. We have gyoza ears, popcorn popping out of one’s head, and chili pepper fingernails. At the root of each of these problems is a real-life stressor and Dr. Ramune jumps head first using an array of supernatural methods to help his patients figure out their issue.

It has all been very fascinating. It helps that Dr. Ramune is pretty funny. He’s a bit of an airhead. If it weren’t for his assistant, Kuro, he’d be in a lot of trouble.

Kuro also has an interesting story that we don’t get to until episode 10. The entire first half of the season, I was wondering how this very studious and diligent student paired up with the quirky doctor. We finally get that answer near the end of the season. It definitely highlights that even though Dr. Ramune is unconventional, he goes above and beyond to help his patients.

Dr. Ramune has a good heart and you get a good balance of supernatural with comedy. If you’re looking for a silly show with moments of suspense, moments of laughter, and even sympathy for his patients, I recommend this show to you!