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  #18721  
Old 02-06-2019, 05:36 AM
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War continues to keep things varied and fresh, and episode 4 might be my favourite yet.
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  #18722  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:20 PM
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That last episode of Mob Psycho almost felt like a season finale, but we're actually on what, Ep 5? I assume it's because they're sticking closely to arcs in the manga, which I haven't read...
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  #18723  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:23 PM
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Amazon Primes Anime section is about as dire as their cartoon section, but itís got both Street Fighter 2 and Robot Carnival, so Iím willing to forgive a lot.
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  #18724  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:28 PM
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so Iím willing to forgive a lot.
... CAUSE YOU'RE MY BROTHER! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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  #18725  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:49 PM
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That movie did more to make me like E.Honda than Capcom ever did, just by making him a frigginí weirdo.
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  #18726  
Old 02-07-2019, 04:06 PM
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That movie did more to make me like E.Honda than Capcom ever did, just by making him a frigginí weirdo.
Ideal Street Fighter movie: E. Honda from Street Fighter 2: The Movie, Zangief and Raul Julia from Street Fighter the Movie and Dan from the games. Cast list over.
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  #18727  
Old 02-07-2019, 06:58 PM
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Amazon Primes Anime section is about as dire as their cartoon section, but itís got both Street Fighter 2 and Robot Carnival, so Iím willing to forgive a lot.
Prime does a really shitty job of letting you know what they have, but they've got a decent catalog that's on par with Netflix. Things you could be watching on Prime:
  • GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Fist of the North Star: The Movie
  • Jin-Roh
  • 80s Astro Boy
  • Blue Exorcist (it's a little silly with a few problems, but I liked it)
  • Cromartie High School
  • Samurai Pizza Cats
  • Land of the Lustrous
  • Slam Dunk
  • Pop Team Epic
  • The Original Macross
  • Girl's Last Tour
  • Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer
  • Kick-Heart
  • RahXephon
  • The Great Passage
  • Goodnight Stories From the Life of Prophet Muhammad

All of these are like, pretty good to GO WATCH NAO levels of anime and would take most people a while to get through.
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  #18728  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:08 PM
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OK, but (and I'm not certain where you live) are all of these on Amazon Prime in Canada? Because I don't know if the selection is one-to-one (what with different licensing costs and what have you).

I also suspect a lot of these programs are not Octo's bag. That said, I suspect he would say yes to Samurai Pizza Cats. I'll also throw in for Slam Dunk because while I feel like "dudes playing basketball" isn't much of a selling point for Octo, the lead character might be in that he is relentlessly and lovably just the worst.
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  #18729  
Old 02-08-2019, 04:55 AM
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I speak from a soul-deep place when I say that Samurai Pizza Cats is deeply Octo.

However, unless theyíre not listed with the rest of the Anime section, I donít think most of those are available here. Of those youve mentioned, FotNS is, as is both Robotech and itís unedited component parts, but I donít think Iíve seen anything else.
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  #18730  
Old 02-08-2019, 05:52 AM
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Yes, as I have complained about several times in this thread (the most recent being just a few pages ago, as Iroduku: The World in Colors is literally impossible for me to watch legally), Amazon Prime Canada's anime selection is anemic compared to its US counterpart, and has been ever since the creation (and subsequent destruction) of Anime Strike. Amazon will pick up licenses for shows, meaning that none of the other streaming platforms can get them, but not make them available in Canada, which forces me to use pirate sites to watch them, and it is deeply frustrating.
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  #18731  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:56 AM
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Anemic is generous. Itís more like a salt-pan desert.
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  #18732  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:17 PM
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Ah yes, the Canadian conundrum. My apologies.

Hey, this is going to be a thing:



I'll be here for this. I hope Studio Wit (Attack on Titan, Kabanari, Ancient Magus Bride) can keep their shit together for this one.
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  #18733  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:26 AM
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The Prime selection in Spain is even more slim. Iíd kill for Robot Carnival, but the most high profile thing we have is a Shin-Chan movie. Not a series, not any other movies or OVAs, just this one movie.
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  #18734  
Old 02-09-2019, 08:49 PM
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The 4th and 5th episodes of The Promised Neverland were super good. I was worried that it didn't have much gas in the tank after that amazing start but I am 100% back on board and excited to see what comes next. I actually wasn't all that surprised by this latest revelation, but fuck that plan by Norman was a genius stroke.

Ray and Norman are obviously both in love with Emma, and they have to realize that if they succeed in tricking her and leaving everyone else behind then she'll never forgive them, right? That said, I don't they will succeed, since I don't think either of them give Emma enough credit; she's smarter than they think. I also worry that they're not giving Mom enough credit either. She's a smart lady. Of course, they're all idiots for looping Don in, although at least they were smart enough not to tell him the truth about Connie, because he absolutely wouldn't have been able to hold it together.
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  #18735  
Old 02-10-2019, 10:49 PM
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I've only watched two episodes of Kaguya-Sama but it's the straightest thing I've ever seen in my goddamn life.

I mean, it's not bad, it's clever enough so far, but the entire premise of valuing affection so little that you actively disdain it is such a staple of straight comedy (ball and chain, marriage is terrible lol) and from the perspective of someone who is part of an ongoing fight to have the right to affection, it feels really odd to frame them in that sort of way.

Again, not bad - it's just hard to get around.
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  #18736  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
The 4th and 5th episodes of The Promised Neverland were super good. I was worried that it didn't have much gas in the tank after that amazing start but I am 100% back on board and excited to see what comes next. I actually wasn't all that surprised by this latest revelation, but fuck that plan by Norman was a genius stroke.
It has its highs and lows, like everything else, but no it keeps the level of tension if nothing else all throughout, it's good stuff. Don't know if it beats the start at any point, but that's just because it's that good.
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  #18737  
Old 02-13-2019, 09:06 PM
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I went to see Big Lips Big Eyes Bigger Eyes: The Movie tonight.
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  #18738  
Old 02-15-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kylie View Post
I've only watched two episodes of Kaguya-Sama but it's the straightest thing I've ever seen in my goddamn life.

I mean, it's not bad, it's clever enough so far, but the entire premise of valuing affection so little that you actively disdain it is such a staple of straight comedy (ball and chain, marriage is terrible lol) and from the perspective of someone who is part of an ongoing fight to have the right to affection, it feels really odd to frame them in that sort of way.

Again, not bad - it's just hard to get around.
This is a really interesting opinion. It kept me thinking. Thanks!

Anyway, i'm rewatching Megalo Box. The reason i liked it so much in the first place is that it has an existential crisis that moved me. I thought it had the strong aspects of Ashita no Joe without the gender baggage of a 60's comic book. We usually diss existential questions as being worthy questions only for teenagers; i appreciate things like Megalo Box going against the trend.

I'm interested to see what i'll think about it now. I should search this thread to see if people talked about it...
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  #18739  
Old 02-15-2019, 02:01 PM
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Oh we definitely did. Most people liked it a lot.
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  #18740  
Old 02-16-2019, 07:41 AM
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I realize this is a dumb question in 2019 but is Samurai Champloo actually good? It struck me as a cheap rehash back when, but I have no idea. A recent rewatch of Cowboy Bebop has got me considering it.
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  #18741  
Old 02-16-2019, 09:34 AM
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I haven't watched Samurai Champloo in years either but I want to say yes. It has the same energy as Cowboy Bebop but isn't really that similar otherwise. And now that you mention it, I've been reading a lot of Usagi Yojimbo recently which kinda has me in the mood for it too.
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  #18742  
Old 02-16-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
I realize this is a dumb question in 2019 but is Samurai Champloo actually good? It struck me as a cheap rehash back when, but I have no idea. A recent rewatch of Cowboy Bebop has got me considering it.
It's been a long time it I remember liking it a lot and finding it to be a fairly different animal to Bebop, despite being the spiritual successor. Lots of humor and, like Bebop, did a great job playing with different genres. But the characters and their dynamics are quite different, with too of the leads being swordsmen with antithetical styles and personalities.

And man, it looked gorgeous with some fantastic fights.
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  #18743  
Old 02-16-2019, 03:39 PM
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Samurai Champloo is in fact very good. It is in no more a rehash of Cowboy Bebop than any two works that share a directorial voice are.

Last edited by Rascally Badger; 02-16-2019 at 05:35 PM.
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  #18744  
Old 02-16-2019, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
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I'm interested to see what i'll think about it now. I should search this thread to see if people talked about it...
Megalo box is EXTREMELY MY SHIT.

Last edited by BEAT; 02-16-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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  #18745  
Old 02-17-2019, 08:41 PM
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If Samurai Champloo is a cheap rehash, then you need to take Cowboy Bebop to task for being a cheap rehash of shows like Lupin III too.

Another thing to consider: Samurai Champloo came out in 2003. Cowboy Bebop came out in 1998, but most people out west probably didn't see it until 2001-2003, so there's a much larger gap between the two creative works than what most English speaking fans experienced back in the day.

I sat down and blitzed through Hisone & Masotan, aka Dragon Pilot. The show definitely has problems that I couldn't dismiss or excuse completely. I feel like there's a certain level of denouncement of these issues within the show that deserves some examination and recognition, and it's going a bit too far saying the show fully endorses workplace sexual harassment. But at the least, it does a really sloppy and blase job of handling the subject matter, and the show needed to more loudly reject these things rather than the slow, evidenced based rejection it provides. Everything else it does though is really good. It's too bad, because for me, these detraction take it down several notches, being like a 8/10 instead of a 10/10. And I'd much rather be talking about all those things, but it's necessary to qualify here.
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  #18746  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:09 AM
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My Roommate is a Cat makes bald, obvious tear-jerking plays which work (for me) because it has a pet in it.
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  #18747  
Old 02-18-2019, 04:20 PM
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The following is personal, because it needed to be.


What is media? The word is so vague, malleable and all-encompassing that its underlying meaning doesn't actively spring to mind even as it's invoked nearly every day of our lives. Sometimes it's shorthand for news organizations and proliferation; other times it stands for various forms of entertainment. The unifying matter connecting its disparate threads is then found in a host of its etymological definitions: the communication, conveyance and expression of ideas and information. That's what human stories are, reduced to their base components, and the reasons for why we desire and perceive everything as narratives are as diverse as the forms they take. It can be simple mental logistics--the orderliness of interpreting information as a story with a beginning and end, with followable causality. It can be the need to occupy our minds with something, anything, for no particularly significant reason other than to pass time. And sometimes, it can be... the absolute, pit-of-the-stomach need to see yourself reflected in the stories you interact with, give of yourself so much to, and yearn to have reciprocated in turn. This is the hardest thing to come to terms to, as the emotional and intellectual detachment we maintain in relation to the media we consume is our most commonly applied layer of protection from the vulnerabilities that arise when we let ourselves invest and attach to ideas and information as deeply as we can, if we allow ourselves to. And then, if we take that step, what we see reflected back may not necessarily be what was expected, or consciously desired, but it was needed. I'm here to talk about one such reflection. I'm here to talk about Maria Watches Over Us.



Maria Watches Over Us (originally Maria-sama ga Miteru, and often colloquially contracted to Marimite) is a series of light novels written by Oyuki Konno and illustrated by Reine Hibiki. Its serialization began in 1998, and the animated adaptation followed in 2004, which then began a string of multiple series and seasons between then and 2009 in both television and home video formats, totaling 44 individual episodes and dozens of parodic bonus shorts. It tells the story of the Catholic all-girl high school Lillian Girls' Academy and its student body in modern-day Tokyo, mainly through the eyes of first-year student Yumi Fukuzawa. Konno's own experiences with gender-segregated educational systems and Christianity form the thematic backbone of the series, melding together Japanese and Western Christian concepts of idealized femininity, along with an exoticized backdrop of Catholic sentimentality and decorum. Most importantly, and most famously, it is also about being gay.



There is friction to be found in Marimite's treatment of its queerness. The series is entirely devoted to the exploration of female relationships, as men exist peripherally and supplementally but never as subject to their own emotional arcs. Thus every plot development, every story beat of import and focus, is by definition homosocial, and intensely so. Marimite walks in the long tradition of depictions of "romantic friendship" between girls and women, a concept that can easily be seen as a heteronormative construct conceived and deployed to deny and erase the realities of lesbian relationships and lesbian love between homosexual lives and partners. This is not a cultural exclusive, as expressions of "it's just a phase" harm and deny affection and dignity to gal pals the world over. Marimite never puts this sentiment to denigrating action, but it cannot exist without it, as the majority of its gay themes and expressions exist subtextually, giving leeway to plausible deniability and socially acceptable, temporary readings of the queerness of its cast.



And yet, this is also one of its strengths, and what I needed to hear and see when I was young. An adolescence given to reading X-Men comics written under the self-censoring and obfuscating Comics Code had programmed and trained me to perceive subtextual queerness as explicit, as it was the only recourse available under those infrastructures, and even as it likely damaged my ability to interact with and relate to textual and real-life queerness to some extent--my own, and others'--through its denial and subterfuge, it lit in me the need to see similar narrative concepts expressed everywhere I looked. It's for this reason that when I came to Marimite as a teenager, I did not primarily recoil at its superficial claims to het-as-usual, but embraced it as a vehicle to vicariously experience and become invested in all the ways the women in it cared about and loved each other, platonically and romantically, in ways that I had wanted and not been able to. The formalized and structured manner in which relationships are formed in the series, under the fictionalized súur mentorship system, subject to its own rituals and customs, are further testament to how aptly and formatively the series wields ambiguity in the context of regimented societal norms and expectations, and how that mirrors the uncertainties of both its characters and its audience in how they choose to relate to and view themselves in the context of that adolescent existence. It's about these characters growing up, and that narrative need not be viewed through the lens of abandoning their queer realities.



The power of performance comes to define the people in Marimite socially and personally. We see it in Sei, the most explicitly gay character in the series, and how she navigates ennui, otherness and trauma through the artifice of disaffected carefreeness and flirtation, making light of the same displays of affection she genuinely and desperately craves. It's in Sachiko, as she projects imperious authority and invulnerability to protect herself from her own anxieties and fears. Shimako exists at such a remove from others that even her closest acquaintances are at a loss to what she's truly like, while Tōko keeps secret her survivor's guilt and self-loathing under a guise of prickliness even as she inadvertently hurts those she cares for and represses her own self. The reason why Yumi is the main character of the series is not because she's the "best" of all these characters, but because she's the one willing to break through people's barriers while respecting their boundaries, facilitating the positive growth of everyone around her through the simple act of her being there and reaching out. And Yumi still has her own masks to wear and contend with, receiving as much as she gives of herself to others.



It's then the intrinsic way the series is about self-growth and self-acceptance that makes it so important. I didn't have the words for it at the time, but witnessing all these women existing, socializing, fighting, playing, arguing, loving, and living with each other unlocked something in me, and it wasn't only the desire for more stories like this, where women were framed not as antagonistic competition for male attention but as sources of mutual strength and reasons for each others' lives and happiness. It was the acknowledgement that I wanted to be part of that, that I was part of that, and always had been. Marimite gave me the tools to voice long-held and suppressed truths about myself, and the confidence to follow through, to be able to say that I was queer; that I was a woman; that I was trans. It's this personal weight that's carried it close to my heart all this time, and returning to it I find even more reason to care: the series features a brief but genuine trans narrative within it, expressed with all the love and acceptance the rest of it professes, and in no uncertain terms. Sometimes we create our own senses of validation and sometimes it's already with us.



This goodheartedness is something that Marimite depends on throughout its entire runtime for its own sense of self-definition. The villains and antagonistic forces of the series are teenage miscommunication and misinterpretation, beleaguering people who are prone to tortured self-analysis and often their own worst enemies. Malicious entities simply have no place in Marimite's world, as it knows there's already plenty to be troubled by in the everyday interactions we have with other people and how living with others is as painful as it is joyous. The aforementioned lack of male focus--and not total absence, crucially--is also important in forming one of the core theses of the series: these women remain with each other publicly and privately not only because the educational system around them facilitates it, but because they choose to, for the companionship, for the guidance, for the love afforded by those relationships. The primary lens of the series is high school, but when the perspective extends beyond its confines--to graduating students in their next stage of life, to elderly and retired women--the portrait is not one of transitory queer pretend-play but of women who continue to live with and love women through all of their lives, and define themselves by it.



Marimite, ultimately, has to be understood as a melodrama on a grand stage, despite its mundane trappings. It comes to me that it must have influenced my tastes in what I want from stories--overflowing emotionality, the paradoxical simultaneous heavy-handedness and subtlety of its themes, the total dedication to character-driven narratives, the commitment to a message, the high value I place on narratives able to make me cry--so if what I choose to talk about and what connects with me seems centered around perceptible patterns, then it's a good case study for one of the clearest expressions of those foundational values. It's never the best-looking show in terms of animation muscle or intricacy, but I adore it for its character designs, an assortment of uniform-clad girls and women who are never preyed upon as sexual objects for the viewer's benefit but who still exist sexually and affectionately in relation to each other. The musicality of the series also informs its aesthetic in an important way, as its soundtrack and iconic overarching main theme Pastel Pure eschew commercialized pop in favour of somber piano, string instrument and woodwind ensembles to create its religiously-flavoured sense of nominal propriety and formality. As a personal bonus, the circumstances of the series existing on both sides of the evolving television standards and screen ratios frame it as fundamentally transitional in nature, in as many ways as one cares to read into it.



No one's coming-out story is the same. Queer experiences don't arrive pre-packaged and allotted to us. Every story is different, which makes every single one of them important. Even as I write this--trembling; euphoric--the thought occurs to me if I've simply reordered and rearranged disparate elements of my past into a narrative that suits me--my own medium for self-actualization. What matters, in the end, is not if everything happened as I think it did--it's that I want it to have. Maria Watches Over Us was never the only catalyst for my own self, and it's not something to be isolated into a single time in one's life or one discrete event; it's a process you live through as long as you're here. No one is the sum of their media consumption or tastes. But what it and everything else like it did for me was show me the way to be more me than I was. It saved me. It watched over me when I truly needed it, and I'm so utterly, bottomlessly thankful for that, then and now.




~~~

I broke down multiple times over the course of writing the above (in a good way), not for any given epiphanies experienced in the process, but for how much it matters to write these things down and give them form, even and especially if it's something you've carried with you for a long time. My hope that what this series and show has given me can be carried forward, in some small way by relating what it means to me. Gokigen'yō.

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  #18748  
Old 02-18-2019, 06:37 PM
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Good stuff. I'm glad the show meant so much to you and had such a profound effect on you now and at an important time in your life. I watched it years ago (shortly after it came out in the early days of torrenting) and the queer subtext (but really just text) is what I remember most, particularly the way it seems encoded into the system of the school with "big and little sisters". That said, the only other thing I remember is the main character's crush's inability to eat a hamburger properly because she's from money or is just too polite or something. I don't even remember if I watched it beyond season 1.
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  #18749  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:38 PM
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Never heard of it so thank you for sharing Peklo. I think you should send this as a letter to the creators, I think they would be touched.
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  #18750  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
That said, the only other thing I remember is the main character's crush's inability to eat a hamburger properly because she's from money or is just too polite or something. I don't even remember if I watched it beyond season 1.
That is from the end of season 1, yes, from Yumi and Sachiko's first date. It's important burger history.
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