Fragglepuss Anime Review 238: Ping Pong the Animation

Ping Pong the Animation

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Sports, Psychological, Drama, Table Tennis

First Aired: Spring 2014, 11 episodes

Summary: Peco and Smile have been friends since childhood, despite their drastically different personalities. Yutaka Hoshino, aka Peco, is cocky and carefree. He used to think he was one of the best table tennis players on his high school team, until he was destroyed in a tournament. Makoto Tsukimoto, aka Smile, is quiet and reserved. He’s nicknamed Smile because he never does. He’s naturally talented at table tennis but lacks the drive to become the best. Peco and Smile are on a mediocre high school table tennis team with a fantastic coach. If the players were motivated, they could be one of the best, but they mainly play for fun without the competitive drive. All that is about to change when Kong Wenge, aka China, transfers to their school from the Chinese national team. Kong destroys every member of the team, leaving them deflated and hopeless. After they pick themselves up from the depths of defeat they have a newfound motivation to better themselves and compete with China.

Ping Pong the Animation is directed by Masaaki Yuasa, known for the films Mind Game, Night is Short Walk On Girl, and Lu Over the Wall, as well as the series Devilman Crybaby. Yuasa has a unique style that shows in all his work. He has directed segments for other shows that are meant to be bizarre and trippy, such as the Space Dandy episode “Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Baby”. Ping Pong’s unique animation matches Yuasa’s style, but the content of the series is tamer than most of his other works. That aside, Ping Pong delivers an excellent story that goes deeper than it traditional sports story. The characters are relatable and flawed. Their motives are understandable.

You might enjoy this if: You appreciate the unique animation and get fully involved in the intricacies of table tennis.

You might not like it if: You are expecting the trippy side of Masaaki Yuasa.

Similar Series: Tekkon Kinkreet, Free, Mob Psycho 100, Yuri on Ice, Your Lie in April, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Devilman Crybaby

Note to the Viewer: The original Ping Pong manga was released in 1996. The anime did not come out until 2014, meaning there was almost a 20-year gap between the two!

AMV – Mr. Hero by Kajten BestAMV

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 237: Flavors of Youth / Shikioriori

Flavors of Youth / Shikioriori

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Drama, Romance, Food, Anthology Film

First Released: July 2018, 76-minute film

Summary: Flavors of Youth is an anthology film split into three segments, taking place in three different cities. Each segment explores the simple joys of life and different types of love. The first is a memory of a bowl of steaming noodles, the second a fading beauty finding her way, and the third a bittersweet first love. Li Haoling, Jiaoshou Yi Xiaoxing, and Yoshitaka Takeuchi each direct one of the segments.

Flavors of Youth goes by fast. The short 76-minute run time is split into even shorter parts, so every part is over before you know it. Each part has its strengths and every part is compelling in its own way. The animation is beautiful, from the intricate backgrounds to the stunning food that looks good enough to jump out of the screen and be eaten. The soundtrack is outstanding, bringing out the emotion in various scenes.

CoMix Wave Films is the production company behind Flavors of Youth. They have released many quality films, including all the “Similar Films” listed below.

You might enjoy this if: You need to kickstart your emotions.

You might not like it if: You want your romance stories to always have a happy ending.

Similar Films: She and Her Cat, 5 Centimeters per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words, Your Name

Note to the Viewer: There’s a scene after the credits so make sure you watch all the way to the end.

Flavors of Youth – Official Trailer – Netflix


Flavors of Youth Ending Song – WALK by Vickeblanka

(I really enjoy this ending song. I must be a sucker for CoMix Wave endings because I feel the same way about the Your Name ending, such fitting ends to the films. A perfect way to sit back and think about everything you just watched)


AMV – Umbrella by chosenpai amv

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 236: Miss Monochrome: The Animation

Miss Monochrome: The Animation

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Music, Vocaloid

First Aired: Fall 2013, 13 short-form episodes

Summary: Miss Monochrome lives in a castle. No one knows why she lives there or how long she’s been the occupant. She dislikes all shades of color and dreams about changing the whole world into black and white. An unfortunate incident leaves Monochrome without any money and kicked out of her castle. She’s on her own to find a new place to live and a manager to support her idol career. She will have to start from the bottom, but Monochrome is an android that’s willing to do whatever it takes to become a top idol!

Miss Monochrome is a fun character in a fun show. She’s an android unfamiliar with human customs that is seeking popularity. The results are great. There’s one episode where she’s attempting to make a nendoroid of herself and constantly fails in hilarious ways. She’s willing to put in the work to become popular, but nothing seems to go her way. The series is quick and easy, so if you are enjoying the show there’s a few more seasons out there to watch.

You might enjoy this if: You are a vocaloid fan that wants to know more about your favorite idols. Think similar to Hatsune Miku. Miss Monochrome has several songs out so feel free to give her a listen!

You might not like it if: J-Pop is not your style.

Similar Series: Watamote, SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation, Detroit Metal City, Fuuka, K-On, Sekko Boys

Note to the Viewer: The character “Miss Monochrome” was created by seiyu Horie Yui to accompany her songs at the concert, “Horie Yiu wo Meguru Bouken III -Secret Mission Tour”. The anime came afterwards.

Poker Face – Miss Monochrome

(This is the song for the end credits, which was also released in Japan as a Miss Monochrome single. Don’t worry though, the animation in the series isn’t the same as the CG animation in this video)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 235: Re: Zero -Starting Break Time from Zero- and Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT- (Shorts)

Fragglepuss Anime Review 235: Re: Zero -Starting Break Time from Zero- and Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT- (Shorts)

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Parody, Fantasy, Short-Form

First Aired: Spring 2016, 25 short-form episodes

Summary: This iteration of Re: Zero utilizes the characters from the main series, transforming them into chibi versions of themselves. Each episode shows a few characters in one location dealing with a minor problem, allowing the viewer to become better acquainted with everyone in the series and the relationships between them.

This Re: Zero is short and sweet. The chibi characters are a nice complement to the original series, allowing for a look at the lighter side of their personalities. The shorts follow the same progression as the series with how new characters are introduced and how certain events unfold, so you can watch a short after each full-length episode if that’s what you’re into. The animation is nothing special and the soundtrack is minimal. The true draw is getting to know the characters. The Re: Zero proper series is like the main course that fills you up while the Re: Zero shorts are a tasty dessert that finishes off a fine meal and leaves you completely satisfied.

You might enjoy this if: You love the original recipe Re: Zero and want to know more. The shorts give details that are not in the regular series, from inconsequential facts like how Emilia hates pepples to interesting Lugnica facts like how the day is split into four timepoints.

You might not like it if: You have not watched Re: Zero. You will be lost and not understand anything about the shorts.

Similar Series: Re: Zero, ERASED, Steins;Gate, Punchline, KonoSuba, Ao Oni: The Animation

Note to the Viewer: -Starting Break Time from Zero- is the first 11 episodes of shorts to accompany the Re: Zero series. The shorts were then replaced by Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT-. Between the two sets of shorts the entirety of the first season of Re: Zero is covered.

Re: Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Opening

(There is not a lot of Re: Zero PETIT AMVs, so here’s the opening for the original series. You should watch it before watching the shorts anyways)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 234: Phantom Thief Reinya / Kaitou Reinya

Phantom Thief Reinya / Kaitou Reinya

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Short-Form, Thievery

First Aired: Winter 2009, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: A black shadow plagues the city of Oedo by night. Her prey never escapes her! She is the elusive Phantom Thief Reinya! By day she is a mild-mannered convenience store clerk going by the name Reinya-chan, but after the sun sets she is the unrecognizable Phantom Thief Reinya, stealing the country’s most valuable treasures with her mouse partner Chutaro. It’s up to the inspector, policewoman, and detective to catch the mysterious burglar!

Phantom Thief Reinya is a silly show that can be binged in less than an hour. The short episodes are full of jokes and slapstick humor. There are not many characters, but the few that get screen time are enjoyable to watch. Despite the short run time of the series you get to know the characters surprisingly well. I even like the mouse partner Chutaro, especially when he would get hit and turn into a tennis ball. I’m a sucker for live-action footage being selectively added to animation for comedic purposes, and Phantom Thief used the right amount of live-action cutaways at just the right times.

You might enjoy this if: You want fun, quick, and bright. If you have a short attention span, Phantom Thief will be perfect for you!

You might not like it if: You want story and detailed animation. Phantom Thief is clearly about the quick jokes and the fast pace, not the developing plot.

Similar Series: Aggretsuko, Ao Oni: The Animation, BAR Kiraware Yasai, Gabriel DropOut, Kaiju Girls, Neko Ramen, Nichijou, PikoTaro’s Lullaby, Pop Team Epic, Sekko Boys

Note to the Viewer: Phantom Thief Reinya is produced by Kadokawa Pictures Japan, who has produced many memorable anime: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Nichijou, Full Metal Panic, and Sekko Boys to name a few.

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 233: Military!


Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Slice of Life, Ecchi, Comedy, Military

First Aired: Winter 2015, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: The story takes place during a fight between the Krakozhia Dukedom and the Grania Republic. Yano Souhei, a seemingly normal high school student, appears to save the Krakozhia Dukedom. Colonel Aira is a voluptuous commissioned officer in the Krakozhia military who is the commanding officer of the trigger-happy Lieutenant Lutgalnikov and the clumsy Second Lieutenant Haruka. On the other end is Sergeant Shakirov, an assassin sent by Grania to eliminate Sohhei.

At least you know what you’re getting into with Military. It’s ridiculous, full of fan-service, and is not shy about it. There is a decent amount of tanks and weaponry as well as an excessive amount of chibi. It’s not to be taken seriously, which is obvious through the over-the-top violence combined with sexual innuendo.

You might enjoy this if: You’re not wary of cartoonish violence and sexual innuendo. You will know if this is the show for you by the end of the first 3-minute episode.

You might not like it if: You want a series with substance and a fulfilling story.

Similar Series: Survival Game Club, Hetalia Axis Powers, Full Metal Panic, Plastic Nee San, Brave Witches, Ben-To

Note to the Viewer: Military is adapted by the animation studio Creators in Pack and is their first release.

Military! Opening

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 232: Donyatsu


Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Short-Form, Cats, Food?

First Aired: Summer 2013, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: It’s sometime in the 21st century. Tokyo is a wasteland that’s inhabited by cat-donut hybrids. The cats are somehow able to maintain a positive attitude in the post-apocalyptic future devoid of human life. Whether the cats are playing video games or dealing with a tummy ache, they always find amusing ways to pass the time.

I know you’re probably thinking, “What is this? Another cat/food hybrid anime?”. Let me tell you, Donyatsu shares some similarities with other short-form animal anime, but it definitely has a feel of its own. The episodes are short and sweet, the animation is as simple as it comes, and the soundtrack is basically the same riff over and over, but you can finish the entire series in 20 minutes so what do you have to lose?

You might enjoy this if: You have a few minutes to spare for a lighthearted and strange show.

You might not like it if: You don’t want to waste your time with a simple series that will be over by the time you figure out what’s going on.

Similar Series: Bananya, Mitchiri Neko, Sekko Boys, The Master of Killing Time, Aggretsuko, Lovely Muuuuuuuco, Bonobono, How to Keep a Mummy, Neko Ramen

Note to the Viewer: If you care enough to pay attention, each of the cats is a hybrid with a different type of bread, from a donut to a bagel to a croquette.

Donyatsu Episode 10

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Salt Lake Gaming Con 2018

Salt Lake Gaming Con 2018

Mountain America Expo Center

Salt Lake City, Utah

Friday July 6th – Saturday July 7th, 2018

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Another year another Salt Lake Gaming Con (SLGC)! Guests at this year’s convention included: Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario), Christopher Judge, Danielle Bisutti, Jeremy Davies, Robert Craighead, Patricia Summersett, Elizabeth Maxwell, Andi Gibson, Bill Rogers, Jamie Mortellaro, Joe Hernandez, Chloe Hollings, Victoria Atkin, Grant Thompson, Jason Charles Miller, Jason Hayes, Missy Mayhem, and Zabracus.

The gaming features are always a convention highlight, which included: cosplay, tournaments, panels, the board game library, free-to-play consoles, card games, tabletop gaming, handheld lounge, ICE tournaments, Artist Alley, vendor floor, Kart Racing, pinball arcade, LEGO area, and “The Zone” Youth Area. It’s fun to watch the tournaments, from Super Smash Bros to League of Legends. The ICE tournament that took place at the con is a collegiate invitational tournament that included teams from the intermountain area. Some of the other tournaments included: Fortnite, Street Fighter, Rocket League, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Mario Kart, and Pinball.

I have enjoyed Salt Lake Gaming Con since its inaugural year in 2015. It is always an entertaining experience. It is apparent they strive to constantly improve the con. If you are ready to immerse yourself in gaming and be a part of the gaming community, this is the convention for you.

Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to share photos, but please give credit to

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 231: Mitchiri Neko

Mitchiri Neko

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Kids, Cat

First Aired: Winter 2018, 13 short-form episodes

Summary: Mitchiri Neko are laid-back cats that are always up to some sort of adventure. Every one of the cute and mysterious felines are unique with their own personality and characteristics. One of them is super stretchy while another is a cowboy who is insecure about his ability to whistle. Whether the neko are playing volleyball or avoiding being caught in a crane game, they are always up to something.

Mitchiri Neko is as adorable as it comes. A different neko is the focus of each 30-60 second sketch, followed by a personality sheet of their traits. The series is perfect to watch with the kids or for a quick pick-me-up after a tough day.

You might enjoy this if: You are an Otaku looking to introduce your child to anime and have been searching for the perfect show. Maybe your kid is interested in cats so you watch Mitchiri Neko with them and they love it. The two of you bond while you watch the show and after finishing the series you are closer than ever to your child. It’s a miracle, and all because of this simple anime.

You might not like it if: You are not into shows that are short and sweet.

Similar Series: Bananya, Bonobono, BAR Kiraware Yasai, Lovely Muco, Nyanko Days, Neko Ramen

Note to the Viewer: If you want more Mitchiri Neko in your life, you can download the games. Six games have been released for iPhone and Android.


Mitchiri Neko March

(Even if you’re not going to watch the series, you must watch the cat march. It’s fantastic!)


Mitchiri Neko – Official Ending

(If the cat march left you wanting more, here’s the Mitchiri Neko ending)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 230: Pikotaro’s Lullaby La La By

Pikotaro’s Lullaby La La By

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Parody, Short-Form

First Aired: Summer 2017, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: You may remember Pikotaro from his hit song “PPAP” (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen). Now he’s branched out to the world of children’s stories. Each episode of Lullaby covers a different classic children’s tale from Pikotaro’s perspective. The stories include:

  • The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • The Golden Axe
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The King has Donkey Ears
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The North Wind and the Sun
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • The Town Musicians of Bremen
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Little Match Girl
  • Cinderella
  • The Ugly Duckling

The series is absurd in every way. Classis tales like Little Red Riding Hood have Pikotaro inserted into them and silliness ensues. It’s not “haha” funny as much as it is dry humor. The animation is unique, the stories are simple, and it’s not to be taken too serious.

You might enjoy this if: You are tired of the same unoriginal versions of everyday fairy tales.

You might not like it if: Uncomfortable dry humor is your idea of cringeworthy entertainment.

Similar Series: Aggretsuko, Bananya, Bonobono, Comical Psychosomatic Medicine, BAR Kiraware Yasai

Note to the Viewer: Pikotaro’s Lullaby is directed by Takashi Taniguchi, who has a completely unique style. You’ll be able to tell by the animation alone.

Pikotaro’s Lullaby La La By Preview

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