My Top 10 Anime Openings

And here’s the OP half of my list. This was thankfully a lot easier to think of than the list of ending theme songs but that meant there were a lot more that didn’t make the cut. Again most of what’s on here shouldn’t be too surprising though the final place on the list for some of it is different than I thought it’s be at first. Enjoy again!

#10) Jojo- Sono Chi no Sadame  by TOMMY(Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure OP 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4to1-4vaTU0&src_vid=QF54qXoqF6k&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_576350

#9) Break Your Spell by Psychic Lover (Cardfight Vanguard OP 6)

#8) A Chance to Shine AKINO(Oban Star Racers OP)

#7) Pegasus Fantasy-Remixed Version by MAKE UP & Shoko Nakagawa (Saint Seiya Omega OP 1)

#6) Sign by FLOW(Naruto Shippuuden OP 6)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwgnJ1WGajw

#5) One Reason by Fade (Deadman Wonderland OP)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzBZU1hKIzg

#4) Rain by S.I.D (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OP 6)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K810mFl_q4

#3) The World by Nightmare (Death Note OP 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkXw1iBgzoY

#2) Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan OP 1)

#1) Chain by Back-On (Air Gear OP)

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Gravitation by Angela (Heroic Age OP)

Out of Control by Nothing’s Carved in Stone (Psycho Pass OP 2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyr-i2umgGw

Kuso Mesorogii by Yosei Teikoku (Future Diary OP 1)

Ai wo Torimodose by Crystal King(Fist of the North Star OP 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAqLie4EgUc

 

Thoughts? Comments? Surprises?

My Top 10 Anime Ending Songs

Well since people have been asking me about this for awhile, here ya go. It was harder to put this together than I expected since ending songs don’t really stick out to me as much as openings tend to. Any songs I couldn’t remember off the top of my head I didn’t add so I’m pretty sure this list is accurate. Most of what’s on this list should be too surprising to anyone who follows me on Twitter but there are a couple of curveballs in here I guess. Enjoy!

 

#10) Kono Te Nobashite by Hi-Fi Camp (Fairy Tail ED 9)

#9) Sincerly Ever Dream by Dream (Hikaru no Go ED 3)

#8) Place To Try by TotalFat (Naruto Shippuden ED 19)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUz7_mqTUY

#7) Unbalanced Kiss-English Version (YuYu Hakusho ED 3)

#6) Cross Game by Alice Nine (Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s ED 2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tanN9kBVb4c

#5) Let it Out by Miko Fukuhara (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ED 2)

#4) Hunting For Your Dream by Galynerus (Hunter X Hunter 2011 ED 2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuI3qw2WkR8

#3) Blood Teller by Faylan (Future Diary ED 1)

#2)The Real Folk Blues by Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop ED)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eMfYfMb9ag

 

And the #1 slot for me goes to…

 

#1) Heart of Sword by T.M. Revolution (Rurouni Kenshin ED 3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0jMooSE-lg

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Ameato by W-inds (Reborn ED 7)

I Ai Ai by Ghostnote (Gintama ED 11)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp19r5AUwC8

Yuuzora no Kamihikouki by Naoya Mori (Hajime no Ippo ED 1)

 

And there you have it. Thoughts? Surprises? Feel free to comment

Animation Talk- The Importance of Rewatching Shows

There’s a lot of stuff out there to watch and with the internet and thanks to various streaming services making it easier than ever to find new things it’s rare that you won’t be able to find something you haven’t seen before that might appeal to you. Of course if there’s a lot of stuff out there to watch it begs the question of whether or not it’s worth it to retread some of the stuff you’ve already seen before. The answer is that there is some value in rewatching things and there are a couple of reasons why it can be essential to occasionally go back over them:

How Well Does the Show Hold Up?

As time passes people change and more often than not their tastes tend to change along with them. While we’d all like to think that we’ve always had good tastes in shows there’s no guarantee that everything you’ve seen previously will hold up to your current tastes. Personally I’ve seen and read a lot of things that I know for a fact probably wouldn’t hold up well for me at all and I’d be amazed at how I got through them.

Even some of the stuff people consider to be all time favorites may not always hold up as well as expected. For instance my 3rd favorite anime of all time used to be Madhouse’s Kiba, which I enjoyed for it’s dark action tone as well as the main character being more serious than most shonen leads I’d seen at the time and after rewatching the show a few years later I found that while I still mostly enjoyed the show, it was plagued with issues, some minor and some major, that I hadn’t noticed before and it brought my opinion of it down considerably. There’s not a lot of necessity in revisiting everything you’ve seen but at the very least, it’s at least good to revisit some of the shows in your top 10 or so every now to see if those shows are worthy of staying in that position and for some of the middle of the road stuff you might get a good laugh out of mocking yourself for having managed to sit through something you now see as bad the first time.

Second Viewing, New Experience

The other major issue some tend to find with rewatching shows is the assumption that regardless of feelings on it, the experience of watching them will generally be the same since it’s the same material you’ve seen before. To an extent this can be true, but there are quite a few instances where rewatching a show can put an entirely different spin on it for you.

There are some things for instance, that only ever really make sense on a second (and possibly even more than that in some extreme cases like the Watchmen comic) viewing as certain plot points  or symbolism that you might not have payed much mind to in the first viewing, can come back with enormous levels of clarity upon re-watching it as it’s a lot easier to connect the dots and see where certain events may have been foreshadowed or layed out. I remember when I saw Casshern Sins the first time I liked it a lot but there were also quite a few aspects of it that didn’t make sense to me but when I rewatched the show for the first time a few months later it worked a lot better for me since I could see a bit better how some of the minor plot points I thought originally didn’t go anywhere had actually worked out and the show shot up to being in my top 3 as a result.

Additionally if you watched a show on a week-by-week basis, there are some series that flow much better when marathoned as it’s once again easier to be more attentive to certain aspects of the story that way. It may not happen for every show but second viewings can dramatically alter the experience of a series.

Just One More Chance

This one kind of barely counts but nonetheless there can be some obvious benefit to attempting to revisit something you may have dropped or lost interest in before. Admittedly I have pretty low standards when it comes to just watching stuff, so if I actually happen to drop or lose something it’s rare I’ll ever bother to give it another show but there have been instances where I found it was worth it. While I never really disliked Adventure Time and I found the episodes I’d seen to be okay at best I never really understood why it was popular until I made the decision to epic marathon it  and get a clear picture of the whole thing, after which I fell in love with it and haven’t looked back since. Again this is a rare occurrence, and that’s the same for pretty much everyone, but it’s always possible you may come across that one series where giving it another shot worked out in your favor.

 

While it’s always good to try and check out as much new stuff as you can since that keeps things interesting, there is some benefit to making the attempt to revisit things every now and then. You might find that your opinion of a show may have lessened overtime but there’s always the possibility of coming across something that works out even better for you the second time around.

First Impressions- Spring Anime Season 2014 pt 2

Well we’re getting deeper into the start of the season and a lot more stuff has aired over the last few days so I figured it was time continue on with my First Impressions of Spring Stuff. (You can see pt 1 of it here)

Ratings Scale

Bad: Stay away far away from this one.  Not worth watching

Decent: Has some okay elements to it. Might be worth giving a  couple of episodes to see how it goes

Good: Fairly solid show. Should be worth keeping up with for now

Great: Really good show. Definently worth seeing if you get the chance

Excellent: Really outstanding show. Absolutely worth following .

Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro

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Description: The story follows Matsutarō Sakaguchi, a giant roughneck man with strength far beyond ordinary people. He never uttered words like “work hard,” “strive,” and “dream” like the typical shōnen manga protagonist. However, he is stronger than anyone and peerless in sumo wrestling. His greatest weakness is his own carefree personality. He grows into a full-fledged sumo wrestler.

First Impressions: This show is a steaming pile of poo and it’s not because cheap looking animation budget or the horrible theme song. No it’s because of the main character.  The guy is an obnoxious jerk who bullies other students, literally steals candy from a baby (and later almost runs over said baby with a truck), cons people and kidnaps women. This guy almost makes Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure look like a saint but unlike him there’s pretty much nothing entertaining about this guy or redeemable for that matter. You might get some slight enjoyment out of seeing just how much of a prick he can make himself before karma catches up with him (and it thankfully does at the end) but there’s nothing salvagable enough to keep following this one. Keep away folks.

Rating: Bad

Haikyuu

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Description: Volleyball-loving Hinata suffers a crushing defeat in his first and last tournament in middle school at the hands of his rival Tobio Kageyama. So, Hinata joins Kurasuno High School’s volleyball team for revenge, only to discover that Kageyama is also on Kurasuno’s team. The former rivals form a legendary combo with Hinata’s mobility and Kageyama’s precision ball-handling. Together, they take on the local tournaments and vow to meet Kurasuno’s fated rival school in the nationals.

First Impressions: I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series and with Kuroko’s Basketball being gone for the time being I was hoping this show would be a solid sports anime replacement and it’s meet that in spades. The first episode does a solid job of introducing us to the main character Hinata as we see his struggles throughout middle school to form a  volleyball team and get to play the game he loves on a big stage though reality sends him crashing down pretty quickly (which was greatly appreciated since that would have killed the vibe quite a bit) and he spends the rest of his time training to do better in high school. Underdog sports series are always pretty entertaning and though the twist at the end might take away from that a little, there’s still more than enough heart in this that I’m confident it’ll continue to deliver on the storytelling front. This one’s a keeper.

Rating: Great

Baby Steps

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Description: The story follows “Ei-chan,” a punctual and earnest boy who has strived for straight As since elementary school. The 15-year-old high school boy stops by a tennis school to deal with his lack of exercise. There, he meets Natsu, a beautiful, earnest girl who only has passion for tennis. In turn, he awakens a deep passion for tennis within himself.

First Impressions: I watched this directly after seeing Haikyuu and I was expecting it to be a step down in terms of quality but surprisingly enough it held it’s own pretty well. The main character is a bit different from the norm in terms of his personality and obsession with organization so I’m extremely curious to see how that’ll be applied to the game itself and exactly how he’ll get to the point where he is in the beginning. The heroine’s also likeable enough and has a pretty good dynamic with the lead and as I’m a fan of romance sports series (especially after having just rewatched Cross Game), if the show delivers well in that area it might give Haikyuu some competition for me. If you don’t mind having a second sports series to watch this season this one’s probably worth your while.

Rating: Great

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior(Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou)

Bokura-wa-Minna-Kawaisou-mini-MKV-soulreaperzone

 

Description: Usa, a high-school student aspiring to begin a bachelor lifestyle, moves into a new apartment only to discover that he not only shares a room with a perverted roommate that has an obsession for underaged girls, but also that another girl, Ritsu, a love-at-first-sight, is living in the same building as well.

 First Impressions: Wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this one coming in but it was surprisingly entertaining. The premise is something that’s kind of worn thin at this point as far as anime goes, the residents are kind of one dimesional jokes  and I’m not too interested in the romance aspect so far, but the show generally makes up for the weaker areas above by being pretty funny and I got enough actual laughs out of this that I can keep going with it. If you want a comedy to follow, this one mostly does the trick.

Rating: Good

One Week Friends

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Description: High schooler Yuuki Hase notices that his classmate Kaori Fujimiya is always alone, and seemingly has no friends. After approaching her Kaori reveals that she loses every memory of her friends each Monday. Despite learning this, Yuuki endeavors to become her new friend every week.

First Impressions: Amnesia is one of the most worn and despised plot devices in fiction(as those who actually made it through the entirety of Golden Time would attest) and by all means that should be enough to make this show a waste of time as it’s completely centered around it. However One Week Friends is well written enough to bulldoze over that sore spot and make for an interesting show. The dynamic between the two lead characters is really sweet as the first episode gradually builds up a budding friendship between them and the buildup to the amnesia twist is handled extremely well. It’s possible that the premise may end up wearing itself thin and drag down the quality of the show with it but for now I’m hopefully that it’ll remain a heartfelt and touching story. Definitely worth checking out more at any rate.

 Rating: Great
Brynhildyr in the Darkness
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Description: When he was a child, Murakami was infatuated with a girl he called Kuroneko. She insisted on knowing about aliens and having met them, but no one believed her, even young Murakami was skeptical. One day, she decides to show him the aliens, but an accident occurs and Kuroneko dies while Murakami is left seriously wounded in the hospital. Years go by and Murakami obsesses on finding proof of the existence of aliens because of a promise he had made with Kuroneko. Then, one day, a new transfer student comes to his class, who not only looks a lot like Kuroneko, but is named Kurohaneko. And even though she insists on never having met Murakami before, the girl has superhuman strength and seems to even be able to predict the future.
First Impressions: I vaguely remember enjoying Elfen Lied (though it’s been years since I’ve seen it) so I expected I’d probably find this to at least be decent and it’s mostly met that expectation. I’m not really that big on the main character so far since his depression over the death of his childhood friend takes up a bit too much of his character but Kuroha is interesting enough and I’m curious to see where some of the mysteries surrounding her character go. I’m not too sure where the actual storyline itself is going  since the vibe between the OP and ED songs clash pretty heavily but I’m intrigued enough to give this a few more eps and there’s some good material to be had here.
Rating: Good
Black Bullet 
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Description: In the year 2021, mankind was defeated by Gastrea, a parasitical virus, and was forced to live within a wall made of Baranuim monoliths, a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Soon, the “Cursed Children” were discovered: children born infected with the Gastrea virus who possess superhuman abilities. Due to the Gastrea virus’ intervention, the Cursed Children could only be female. Civil Securities are formed to specialize fighting against Gastrea, operating with the pair of an Initiator, who are cursed children, and a Promoter, serving to lead the cursed children. Ten years after the war, Rentarou Satomi, a high school student and Civil Security member, and his Initator Enju Aihara, receive a secret mission to prevent Tokyo’s destruction.
First Impressions: To be honest I was expecting to like this show a bit more than I actually did. The first half of the episode had some pretty good material as we got introduced to the world  and tone a little bit, and the action sequences were pretty fun but the second half fell into typical LN fluff and the loli heroine trying to get into the main character’s pants made me cringe a bit. Still there’s a lot of interesting material to be had here and I really like the OP song so if the show can be more like the beginning of the first episode and less like the second half it might deliver on my initial expectations for it. As it is though it’s good enough to check out at any rate.
Rating: Good
That’s all for now. Depending on how many more shows I end up seeing I may do a pt 3 but at the moment I’m not sure. What are your thoughts on some of the most recent shows so far?

First Impressions- Spring Anime Season 2014 pt 1

We’ve come yet again to a new season of anime. There’s a lot of shiny new stuff out there and as with anything, there’s some good and some meh in terms of quality and it can be tough to find what’s worth checking out so I though I’d give my first impressions on what I’ve seen so far, and which shows are worthwhile. Let’s jump in shall we?

Ratings Scale

Bad: Stay away far away from this one.  Not worth watching

Decent: Has some okay elements to it. Might be worth giving a  couple of episodes to see how it goes

Good: Fairly solid show. Should be worth keeping up with for now

Great: Really good show. Definently worth seeing if you get the chance

Excellent: Really outstanding show. Absolutely worth following .

Majin Bone

Majin-Bone

 

Description: “This story began before Earth was born. Majin, the creator of the Universe, has been resurrected in the present day.”  Shōgo Ryūjin, is an ordinary high school student who transforms into the Bone Fighter Dragonbone with the Bone Card in order to save Earth. He fights together with the White Bone warriors as they stand up to Dark Bone, a foe that appeared from darkness to devastate Earth. However, “could the true enemy be ourselves?”

 

First Impressions: As the latest thing in Toei’s evil empire of toyetic shows I was expecting this to either be ridiculous enough to be fun or ridiculous enough to be a waste of time. Surprisingly it turned out to be neither. The first episode is actually pretty low key as it introduces us to the set up the series and manages to avoid doing anything too exaggerated or goofy. Shogo is a pretty decent protagonist so far (and his obsession with porn could either be really amusing or get really old after a while) and the 2D animation and character models look solid. Of course at the end of the day it is a toyetic show so all the undertones of that kind of series are still there (and the 3D suits look kinda awkward) so while the first episode doesn’t do anything notably wrong it doesn’t do too much to wow either.  As it is it’s an alright watch for now

Rating: Decent

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 

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Description: In a Japanese jail sits 17-year-old Jotaro Kujo: punk, fighter, delinquent…and possessed by a force beyond his control! Around the world, evil spirits are awakening: “Stands,” monstrous invisible creatures which give their bearers incredible powers. To save his mother’s life, Jotaro must tame his dark forces and travel around the world to Cairo, Egypt, where a hundred-year-old vampire thirsts for the blood of his family. But the road is long, and an army of evil Stand Users wait to kill JoJo and his friends…

First Impressions: As a huge fan of the first season and having already read the manga for this part of the franchise I was pretty excited for this and so far the anime is meeting my expectations. The first episode is pretty much just the prologue but it does a great job of setting things up as we’re introduced to our newest protagonist Jotaro Kujo who has a lot more attitude than his predecessors though there are still some hints that he may be a decent guy underneath. We also get introduced to the newest concept, the Stands, in a pretty spectacular fashion as there’s just the right level of ham and over the top reactions to turn what would otherwise be a pretty mundane infodump into 24 minutes of pure fun. Stardust Crusaders isn’t my favorite part of Jojo but it’s off to a great start and with some luck hopefully the anime staff will be able to make the weaker parts more entertaining. If you haven’t seen any of the series before you can jump into  the beginning of this arc and follow it just fine as Jojo’s parts are all relatively standalone so I highly recommend it.

Rating: Excellent

Kindaichi Case Files Returns

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Description: Hajime Kindaichi is a high school student who solves any case or mystery with his IQ of 180. He usually seems dull, but when there is a case, he demonstrates remarkable deductive skills inherited from his famous detective grandfather.

First Impressions: It’s been awhile since my last mystery series and I kind of needed the fix so I can thankfully say this show met that need. Despite the fact that it’s a sequel to a long running franchise that already had an anime with a ton of episodes the first episode is pretty standalone (despite what the first 30 seconds would have you believe). Hajime is a pretty straightforward shonen protagonist but the gimmick about him having a high IQ is pretty interesting and we see some shades of it over the course of the episode and the side characters are also pretty decent so far. The episode also does a solid job of setting up the first major mystery though there are a couple of instances where it kinda feels like it’s going through the motions in that area as well. As the mystery isn’t actually solved in the first ep it’s hard to say if this will be a keeper or not but it does enough right that I’m willing to  stay in for more.

Rating: Good

Captain Earth

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Description: Just before summer vacation, high school student Daichi Manatsu suddenly sees a mysterious, circular rainbow over Tanegashima Island on TV, knowing that he’s seen it somewhere before, and decides to head there to investigate. But upon arriving, Daichi’s life turns upside-down when he meets a giant robot who asks the boy “are you the captain?” Now, Daichi must fight the mysterious invaders threatening the planet from inside the cockpit.

First Impressions: This was one of my most anticipated shows of the season and so far my expectations have been met. The setup seems a bit bizarre ala Star Driver but it also feels a bit more grounded and though I’m not sure if that’ll be to the show’s benefit or not it works pretty well for the first episode though the fact that we already have libido powered robots probably means that there’ll be at least some level of camp in this show which should be fun. Not totally sure what to think of Daichi so far as a protagonist but he doesn’t seem as angsty as the promos implied he might be so that’s a plus though given that this seems to be a coming of age kind of thing I imagine it won’t be too long before the angst kicks in. Of course the best feature of the show is by and far the gorgeous looking robots so even if the rest turns out to be crap I’ll at least stick around for that and the show has just enough mystery to it that I’m extremely curious to see where it’ll all go and how much of it will make sense. For now though the show’s off to a sweet start.

Rating: Great

This World is Still Beautiful

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Description: Nike,  is the determined princess of the Rain Dukedom who has a mysterious power: she can control rainfall. After losing a game of rock, paper, scissors to her older sisters, she is forced to unwillingly marry the king of the Sun Kingdom, Livius I. Livius (or Livi for short) conquered the world in three years, and is known as the “Dreadful King.” However, when Nike meets him for the first time, she finds to her surprise that he is a boy younger than she is. Livius abruptly asks Nike to call forth the rain, and when she refuses, he has her thrown in jail. The story follows the two who, while at first are a married couple only in name, gradually begin to establish an emotional bond with one another.

First Impressions: I had no real expectations for this show one way or the other and only really intended to check it out to see if Pierrot would continue to live up to their reputation of (somewhat exaggerated) mediocrity so I’m happy to that I actually enjoyed this show a lot more than I thought I would. Nike is a surprisingly likable heroine so far as she lacks a lot of the more irritating traits you’d expect from  a princess character archetype and the first episode does a solid job of balancing comedy with serious moments and doesn’t really seem to be leaning totally one way or the other yet but it remains enjoyable and fairly cute throughout. We also get a quick peak into some of the fantasy elements of the show which seem like they’ll be mixed into some politics stuff ala Spice and Wolf though it’s hard to say if it’ll reach that level of quality. My only real complaint about the first episode is a 4th wall joke that feels really out of place but other than that it’s pretty smooth sailing and the show has the potential to the surprise of the season in terms of quality

Rating: Great

The Irregular at Magic High School (Mahouka)

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Description: The anime’s story takes place in a world in which magic is not a fairy tale, but has existed for nearly one hundred years. In the spring, the Private Magic University Affiliated High School (Magic High School for short) is welcoming its new students, and names the top incoming student with the best grades the Bloom. The student called the Weed is the Bloom’s replacement. Siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba are designated as the Weed and Bloom, respectively. Tatsuya is a young man who always has a farsighted expression, and Miyuki is a young woman who feels far more for her brother than sibling love. Since the day the two entered the gates of the elite school, the establishment’s peaceful days have become chaotic.

First Impressions: As I’ve heard various terrible things about the light novels this series is based on I was expecting to seriously hate this show and was only really giving it the time of day because Madhouse is my favorite anime studio. Thankfully the first episode managed to avoid my low expectations, but at the same time it’s not much to write home about either. The main character seems kind of bland so far as he has a typical stoic emo guy personality and the other side characters don’t seem too interesting either. The setup for the storyline has some interesting elements as the class discrimination and magitek could prove to be interesting later on but so far it’s being handled in a pretty straightforward manner. There’s also some pretty heavy incest undertones throughout the episode between the main character and his younger sister (which seem like they’ll be played horrifiyingly straight) so that’s also a bit off-putting. Visually the show looks fantasic, and the soundtrack is pretty good as well but so far it feels okay-ish. I’m willing to give it another episode or two though so we’ll see if it gets better or worse from here (leaning towards worse)

Rating: Decent

And that’s it so far for now. I’ll be seeing more shows over the next couple of days so there’ll be one or two more parts to this. What are your thoughts on the spring shows so far? Let me know what you think.