Underrated Gems: A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle

Dana and Sharon, the only characters in this visual novel

I’m a Brit, my family is mostly from Cumbria and the Scottish Borders, and I like trains – I have visited the National Railway Museum in York on several occasions and I can name every locomotive used on the National Rail network. I also like anime and visual novels.

So the moment I heard about a visual novel called “A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle” my interest had already peaked. That’s the city my grandparents hail from, and its where I hope to live again in the future.

When I found out it was a cute yuri romance about two girls meeting on a train, I picked up my debit card and bought it instantly. That was a decision I have absolutely no regrets about.

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What’s Wrong with Arifureta?

Hajime, the protagonist of Arifureta

Readers of isekai light novels have been hyping up Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest for several months, and there was considerable excitement for its anime adaptation airing this season. That was, of course, until the first episode aired.

The Arifureta light novels have a score of 8.03 on MAL, which is reasonably high, and the manga isn’t far behind at 7.74. The anime also started off with a similar score, but it went downhill soon after the series started airing.

Most of the reviews are also negative, and it has received critical coverage from several prominent YouTubers in the anime community. General consensus is, it has become the dumpster fire of the Summer 2019 anime season. But what went wrong?

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