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EP. REVIEW: Engage Kiss


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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1786
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:51 am Reply with quote
I'm happy that Engage Kiss is taking its time to dole out its mysteries while providing great action and comedy in the meanwhile. It's been a great watch throughout its run and I don't see that changing. It was a bit surprising to see Kisara shift from murderous to sympathetic toward Ayano, but those three months of memories must've hit different.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 190
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:53 am Reply with quote
Based on the 3 episodes I've seen (will watch #4 at over lunch break) I'm definitely a bit more positive than the review about the show- though I'll acknowledge that a lot of that is from really enjoying the third episode's more textured and tortured relationships. I think the reveals there, while not necesarily mindblowing, add enough history to the characters that it retroactively makes the first two episodes better.

This is also anime original, so unlike most adaptations we are likely to see an ending rather than a holding pattern in perpetuity. That definitely contributes to my cautious optimism.
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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 467
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:19 am Reply with quote
b-dragon wrote:


This is also anime original, so unlike most adaptations we are likely to see an ending rather than a holding pattern in perpetuity. That definitely contributes to my cautious optimism.


This show is part of a project which includes a smartphone game, so there's no guarantee we get a conclusive ending rather than setup for the game. Just look at Takt Op
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 190
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:21 am Reply with quote
Hal14 wrote:
b-dragon wrote:


This is also anime original, so unlike most adaptations we are likely to see an ending rather than a holding pattern in perpetuity. That definitely contributes to my cautious optimism.


This show is part of a project which includes a smartphone game, so there's no guarantee we get a conclusive ending rather than setup for the game. Just look at Takt Op



Well...crap. Much less optimistic now. Reality intrudes, I suppose.

Though I will say that I don't really mind an ending like that- "these characters' story is over, there are more tales in this world" is a fine endpoint for me...provided its well executed. takt.op was definitely not a well executed narrative.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 5459
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:40 am Reply with quote
I'm having fun with the show. It's got that slow-burn of the intrigue surrounding the city and it's demon attacks intersperesed with fun, Harem romcom antics, but there's also a deep emotional drama underpining the plot as we witness a man dedicated to vengeance and sacrificing his feelings and memories for the love of his life to succeed in that vengeance while she can only do so much to stop. And then there's demon girl in the middle who is a total yandere (or is she?).

Also, Kisara is fun, but Ayano is totally Best Girl. Older and experienced woman who is still pining for her (not that much) younger ex-boyfriend, is very caring and affectionate, is super attractive (which the anime loves showing off), and is voiced by Lynn. What more could you ask for?
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JoelBurger



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 298
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Have the exact opposite impression. The show started off strong, but is trending downwards as it loses its more satirical edge and is starting to take itself and its characters a little too seriously with tragic backstories and the like.
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MaritLage



Joined: 25 Mar 2022
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 3:17 pm Reply with quote
does anybody else feel like the guy in the green jacket is Naofumi from Shield Hero , and the killing machine is actually the Rage Sheild consuming his soul? Ka . except whereas in Sheild Hero there·s a bunch of friends to be like UH DON·T , this new show just has killbot-themself privately chewing on his memories while half-interested viewers watch and eat popcorn
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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 388
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 10:02 am Reply with quote
I'm actually happy with how this show has been holding back it's cards and not giving us this info upfront. A tactic Maruto used in White Album 2 (the VN, not the anime) was that clearing certain routes added new scenes to the interductory route. Those scenes completely changed the context if the whole story. Engage Kiss sort of does something similar, and going back and checking out the earlier episodes you noticed all kinds of stuff that was hidden in plain sight.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1786
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:17 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The first is Kisara dangling like a helpless cat stuck suspended in the middle of that traffic mirror. I don't have anything to add to that beyond it being a perfect image.
I've never agreed with you more.

It's nice to see genuine intimacy. This also confirms that Kisara picks which memories she eats, not Shu. I'm curious when the ball will drop on that mysterious spear underground, likely in the fateful Orgonium mine. Or where Shu's getting all of those fangs he uses on Demons.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 5459
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:03 pm Reply with quote
I don't know what was better, Kisara being stuck in a mirror (with Ayano staring up her butt) or Ayano getting footed the bill for the gun.

I was wondering how Ayano's mom felt about her relationship with Shu since she seems to enjoy needling her daughter about it, but it seems like she wanted to fire Shu for dating her. At least Shu dating Ayano wasn't part of a plan to get in with her mom so he could get the training he needs. And Shu and Ayano get their physical prowess from Ayano's mom.

I don't trust the detective character. He comes off so much more artificial and clinical compared to all the other characters, and his interest in Shu and commitment to helping comes off as suspicious.

That sex scene was executed absolutely beautifully. Two adults with history and likely having done it before finally give in to their feelings and unresolved sexual tension, and the physical intimacy was depicted so genuinely. And it was all a power move on Ayano's part to basically declare war on Kisara because now she knows what she can do to fight for Shu on her own terms.
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Yttrbio
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
Posts: 3607
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:24 pm Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
I don't trust the detective character. He comes off so much more artificial and clinical compared to all the other characters, and his interest in Shu and commitment to helping comes off as suspicious.

Certainly the storytelling expectation would be that he's either the demon collaborator of blondie-dead-guy or closely related to said demon (or else he's about to bite it). I really doubt a show like this would let the character reaching out to our lead to convince him he can trust others be an older male. But I've been surprised before, and I'm hoping to be again.
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Thesarum



Joined: 25 Mar 2022
Posts: 113
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:12 pm Reply with quote
09jcg wrote:
I'm actually happy with how this show has been holding back it's cards and not giving us this info upfront. A tactic Maruto used in White Album 2 (the VN, not the anime) was that clearing certain routes added new scenes to the interductory route. Those scenes completely changed the context if the whole story. Engage Kiss sort of does something similar, and going back and checking out the earlier episodes you noticed all kinds of stuff that was hidden in plain sight.


Yeah, I figure it as a deliberate storytelling device. It's a pretty gutsy move. First impressions count, and once you've established your lead as a jerk it takes a lot of time and effort to walk that back. It rewards those who stick with it, and pay attention. But you do risk losing your audience early.

And he's still kinda a jerk, but he's totally aware of what he's sacrificing in pursuit of his goals. He knows he's trashing all his relationships. I'm pretty sure he expects only death awaits him at the end (Can anyone see him investing in a retirement plan?)... And that makes him a very different sort of creature to the one from the first episode that looked like an idiot riding the tails of two much more competent women.

MFrontier wrote:
I don't trust the detective character. He comes off so much more artificial and clinical compared to all the other characters, and his interest in Shu and commitment to helping comes off as suspicious.


I don't know... I'm leaning towards "genuine but likely to end up dead soon". But you could easily be right.

And I don't have anything original or insightful to add on the sex, other than to add my agreement that it was done with a level of maturity and genuine emotion rarely seen in anime.
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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 388
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:32 pm Reply with quote
Thesarum wrote:
09jcg wrote:
I'm actually happy with how this show has been holding back it's cards and not giving us this info upfront. A tactic Maruto used in White Album 2 (the VN, not the anime) was that clearing certain routes added new scenes to the interductory route. Those scenes completely changed the context if the whole story. Engage Kiss sort of does something similar, and going back and checking out the earlier episodes you noticed all kinds of stuff that was hidden in plain sight.


Yeah, I figure it as a deliberate storytelling device. It's a pretty gutsy move. First impressions count, and once you've established your lead as a jerk it takes a lot of time and effort to walk that back. It rewards those who stick with it, and pay attention. But you do risk losing your audience early.

And he's still kinda a jerk, but he's totally aware of what he's sacrificing in pursuit of his goals. He knows he's trashing all his relationships. I'm pretty sure he expects only death awaits him at the end (Can anyone see him investing in a retirement plan?)... And that makes him a very different sort of creature to the one from the first episode that looked like an idiot riding the tails of two much more competent women.

MFrontier wrote:
I don't trust the detective character. He comes off so much more artificial and clinical compared to all the other characters, and his interest in Shu and commitment to helping comes off as suspicious.


I don't know... I'm leaning towards "genuine but likely to end up dead soon". But you could easily be right.

And I don't have anything original or insightful to add on the sex, other than to add my agreement that it was done with a level of maturity and genuine emotion rarely seen in anime.
Yeah, Shu is still in jerk territory but not in "a college bro I'm gonna get all the chicks I can" kind of way. he's actually an extremly tragic figure which I feel you dont get much in anime. Ayano said it best in episode when she mentioned how Shu is sacrificing his future to atone for his (well, his familys) past. Honestly, I eat that stuff up lol
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 5459
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:25 pm Reply with quote
Yttrbio wrote:
MFrontier wrote:
I don't trust the detective character. He comes off so much more artificial and clinical compared to all the other characters, and his interest in Shu and commitment to helping comes off as suspicious.

Certainly the storytelling expectation would be that he's either the demon collaborator of blondie-dead-guy or closely related to said demon (or else he's about to bite it). I really doubt a show like this would let the character reaching out to our lead to convince him he can trust others be an older male. But I've been surprised before, and I'm hoping to be again.

Miles (his partner and who took in Shu as a child) seems on the up-and-up.

I wonder if they're going to clarify anything about Ayano's father since we see her mom so much.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 190
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:02 am Reply with quote
This has become one of my favorites this season, just off pure trashy energy- I've adored the shift after the first two episodes, and hope it continues mining the melodrama.

-This was definitively not the show I was expecting to hold up as "ideal fanservice". But that scene makes a fairly strong case.

-I'm glad we seem to know Ayano's mother's deal. And all of it makes a degree of sense: her teasing Ayano, her support of Shu, hiring him in the first place. I think Shu somewhat misread her though- she probably didn't truly object to his relationship with Ayano. Just wanted to make sure he was committed. Of course, thats as much guesswork as anything.

-What is the deal with the "demon fangs" Shu seems to use as projectiles? Where does he get them, why do they work?

-Yes, the detective is definitely suspect. Not evil, necessarily, but the narrative is too invested in having its principle actors make messy decisions. I can't see him joining in long term just to keep his own morals clean.

-I'm ok with having a "scummy" protagonist- I just want them to be vaguely interesting. Shu definitely qualifies for me.

-Kisara herself is both the most vital component of the whole melodramatic merry-go-round, and its least examined. I don't imagine that will hold true for too much longer.
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