Anime Review: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III

Details: This season is complete. Also known as Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III and ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうかIII. More information can be found at

Score: 6.8/10

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III is the third season of this ongoing series. As a result, you should not watch this unless you’ve already watched the two prior seasons.

This story takes place in a fantasy world where the gods have descended on the world of mortals and recruited mortals into “families.” The main goal of these families is to honor the god leading that family and to descend into a seemingly infinite dungeon. Inside the dungeon are monsters and everyone wants to go down and conquer the dungeon for treasure and glory.

The most jarring aspect of this anime is the animation quality. Episode one was animated very well. Then the animation quality drops for most of the season until the last episode, where it gets only slightly better. It’s a mess. As someone who cares about animation quality, I’m tempted to just recommend watching the first episode and then quitting the rest of the season.

The story is okay. The protagonist finds a sentient monster in the dungeon and now we have to deal with the consequences of that as the society in this world has been brutally killing all monsters for thousands of years.

Overall, this was okay. If you enjoyed the last two seasons, then you should watch this just to see more of this fantasy world. Otherwise, I would not recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t watch any of the prior two seasons. Additionally, this season was so mediocre that I do not recommend watching the last two seasons just to catch up and watch this season. It’s not worth it.

TV Show Review: The Queen’s Gambit

Details: More information can be found at and

Score: 7.4/10

There’s a lot I like about The Queen’s Gambit and I finally figured out why. Much of what appeals to me in this show are the same exact things that appealed to me in the show Mad Men.

The Queen’s Gambit is a fictional story that takes mostly takes place around 1960’s America. The story centers on a young chess prodigy and her ascent in the world of professional chess.

An interesting facet of this story is that this is a purely fictional story, but it is well researched and takes heavy inspiration from the real world of professional chess. Many of the fictional characters are based off real people and many of the matches based off real matches. The story is based of a book of the same name and the author of that book spoke to many real chess players to get a feel of the culture of professional chess in the 1960’s. Despite being a fictional story, you get a feel of that authenticity here.

You also get a bit of that history tourism you get from shows like Mad Men and movies like Forrest Gump. The Queen’s Gambit does not go into big historical events, but it does lean heavily into the atmosphere at the time. As we go through each time period, the music from that period plays in the scenes. Little nuances like the use of animal tranquilizers for children and the heavy dose of Christianity in most people’s lives is there. The biggest indication of the time periods is simply the style. The clothing, the cars and interior decorating are all very 1960’s.

In terms of story structure, again I am heavily reminded of Mad Men. The story centers on an attractive protagonist, a prodigy at what she does who has a dark past. The protagonist in Queen’s Gambit is basically a female Don Draper. While the story is about chess, the chess is really just a vehicle to deliver the interpersonal drama between characters, much like how Mad Men used the advertising industry of the 1960’s as a vehicle for drama. It’s all a bit redundant and done-before, but I loved Mad Men so I can’t help but enjoy this story as well.

Also like Mad Men, the pacing and cinematography are very similar. There a slowness to it all where the camera often seems to just linger on characters. Mad Men did the same thing. I think it’s just something about dramas that take place in the 1960’s that spurs directors to adopt this sort of style. Then again, maybe the makers of this show deliberately tried to emulate the style of a success like Mad Men.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable drama. While this show is undoubtedly about chess, it is more so about the coming of age and growth of its protagonist, as well as the relationships she has with other characters. I would’ve liked to have seen more about the technicalities of chess, but I understand how difficult it can be to convey the mechanics of such a complex game to audiences who just want to be entertained. You don’t need to know anything about chess to enjoy this story. If you knew nothing about chess before you watched this show, you will still know mostly nothing about chess by the end of it.

TV Show Review: The Mandalorian, Season 2, Episodes 1-5 (or Chapters 9-13)

Details: More information can be found at and

Score: 7.7/10

It’s official. Season 2 of The Mandalorian is a direct sequel the Dave Filoni’s past two Star Wars shows, The Clone Wars and Rebels. Where the first season sought to tell it’s own story, this second season goes full on fan service and constantly interjects characters and plot points established by Filoni in his past shows.

Some spoilers ahead.

Season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off. Din, our protagonist, has been tasked to bring baby Yoda to the Jedi. So begins a second season of Din traveling around the Star Wars universe and meeting the colorful characters that live in this world.

Most episodes follow the same structure. Din goes somewhere, gets asked to do something, then he does it. The show is structured like a role playing game or a game of Dungeons & Dragons. The main character goes somewhere, talks to some in game characters, then goes of to accomplish his quest. It’s predictable and redundant, but gets the job done for the true goal of this show which is to explore the Star Wars universe.

Dave Filoni, one of the show runners, has made a career of fleshing out the Star Wars universe in all the ways the movie has failed. What his Clone Wars show did was flesh out and give substantial context and motivation to the poorly portrayed characters in the Star Wars prequel movies. Filoni is doing something similar here by giving context to the events in J.J. Abrams’ most recent trilogy.

This is a subsidiary goal however, because the main goal is just to let Filoni spread his wings and tell his own story. Disney’s foray into Star Wars has mostly been met with disdain. The only things to receive positive reviews are the things Filoni has done. In fact, everything Filoni has done since Disney acquired Star Wars has been met positively. It makes sense then to just let this guy take some chances and explore his vision.

This second season is the culmination of that idea. Where the first season sought to tell a somewhat original story, this second season has been visited by all the characters Filoni created in his Clone Wars series. We also get to revisit plot points started in the Clone Wars series which continue in this show. For all intents and purposes, season 2 of the Mandalorian is a continuation of not only the Clone Wars show, but the Rebels show as well.

As a huge fan of both those shows, this was fantastic for me. I was floored when the Dark Saber showed up at the end of last season. I was floored when Bo Katan showed up. I was floored Ahsoka Tano was name dropped. And this last episode where we really got to see Ahsoka go nuts with her light sabers, *chef’s kiss.*

So far, season two of The Mandalorian has been pure fan service for long time fans of Filoni’s work and I’ve loved every second of it. The Mandalorian is the second best Star Wars anything to come out since Disney’s acquisition (the best Star Wars thing since the Disney acquisition are the last four episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars). If you consider yourself a Star Wars fan, you need to be watching The Mandalorian.

TV Show Review: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Details: More information can be found at and

Score: 7/10

Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated sitcom that takes place in the Star Trek universe. It’s mostly a show for Star Trek fans and revisits a lot of source material longtime fans will be familiar with.

Lower Decks is about the underlings on a Star Trek spaceship. On most Star Trek shows, you only get familiar with the core cast of characters, who are usually the officers on the ship. Lower Decks explores the lives of the lower ranked members of Starfleet and what happens to them when the ship gets into trouble.

Lower Decks is primarily a comedy that seeks to provide constant fan service to longtime Star Trek fans. We tread over a lot of Star Trek history here, mostly in passing. There’s also a lot of guest appearance by old Star Trek actors. This was kind of nice.

What surprised me was that at the shows core, there was still a fairly entertaining sitcom that focused on the relationships between the core cast. It’s a surprisingly funny show.

Overall, I enjoyed Lower Decks. I wonder if I would find it as enjoyable if I didn’t like Star Trek. Most likely, I wouldn’t like the show. But since I have enjoyed Star Trek in the past and I do get some of the references, I enjoyed this show greatly. If you aren’t a Star Trek fan, you probably will not enjoy it as much as I did. You maybe shouldn’t even watch it.

TV Show Review: The Boys, Season 2

Details: More information can be found at and

Score: 7/10

Like in the first season, The Boys is a violent, fun show that tries to show a darker view on superheroes as well as using superheroes as a medium to touch on real life issues. The political and action-y stuff I enjoyed in this season. I enjoyed all that stuff with Butcher’s wife not so much. Some spoilers ahead.

Season 2 picks up where the last season left off. Butcher’s found out what happened to his wife and now we got to deal with all that fall out. There’s also a new hero called Stormfront introduced and she’s a master at leading right wing, superhero sentiment.

There’s a lot of plot lines going on this season. We got the romance with Stormlight and Hughie, we got some stuff with Washington and politics, Homelander has his own plot line going on as well. There’s just a lot going on and a lot of it feels excessive.

The biggest issue I have with this show is trying to understand what motivates any of the characters. A lot of the time, it just feels like these characters are thrown into situations and then have to deal with them. There isn’t a lot of good justification for what got the characters there.

For instance, Homelander is somehow neutralized from murdering everyone constantly, even though they constantly portray him as a homicidal maniac. The reasons they come up with to prevent him from just solving all problems by murdering the primary cast are paper thing and hard to believe. The ending of this season particularly, it feels like they just chuck ideas at the audience and expect them to believe these plot points without any good reasoning. They built up Homelander into this monster, but then he exercises self control just because. It’s poor writing that does not maintain the rules of the world they’ve built. There’s also the bigger problem of how many of the characters are powerful enough to end all plotlines of the show immediately, but don’t be cause they need to fill eight episodes this season.

Overall, the show is entertaining if you don’t take it too seriously. The show is entertaining as fluff entertainment, but nothing serious. They touch upon a couple of relevant political issues like the growing popularity of right wing Nazism and Scientology-esque cults, but this show is mostly entertaining for the ridiculousness and gore. In terms of story, this whole season felt a lot more disjointed than the first season.