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  • Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion (Anime) Review

    Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion Anime Review

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    As a huge Digimon fan I was extremely excited for this film and when I saw the promotional poster for this new movie I was hyped. And I watched it the day it was released, but at the time I was a bit biased towards the film because I of the nostalgia. So after waiting a while and rewatching it a couple of times, the questions now stand. Is this film any good and does it actually live up to the hype?

    Please do keep in mind that I will be judging this movie not only as a start point for the  rest of the films but also as a standalone one.

    Without further ado, let’s get started.

    Plot of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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    I’m going to keep the synopsis short and brief so that I can get into the main part a little quicker.

    Three years after the battle against BelialVamdemon,  Taichi and the others have begun to grow up and have started doing their own things and pursuing their own goals. However during his soccer game Taichi see’s that a Kuwagamon has appeared and attempts to stop it as it wreaks havoc and destruction across the city. By reuniting with his friends and fellow digimon the first film in the Digimon Adventures Tri series begins.

    Digimon adventure tri, is honestly a difficult anime film for me to review because I really wanted this film to be good. Before I get into the nitty gritty stuff, I’m going to start with some of the positives.

    Characters of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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    I think the writers did a fantastic job at realizing the stage in life that all of our characters are in. It feels believable and genuine. Even if you’re new to the series and know very little about these characters, the relationships all feel real. A major theme of this film is this idea of growing up and the distance that it creates between people who were once extremely close. It’s a mature theme that I really didn’t think would show up, but it did and it was executed brilliantly. The entire storyline involving these characters reunion was really the shining star of this whole film.
    The character designs were also well done for the most part. It really feels like the characters that old Digimon fans knew and loved had gotten older.

    Soundtrack and Pacing of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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    Now personally I thought they did a great job with the OST. Not only was the opening song enjoyable, but the music that played throughout the whole movie was done with great care as well. All the music fit well with the scenes and added a multitude of elements where it was needed.It was also fairly well paced. There were some moments where it could have slowed down and taken some time to explain some of the things that happened, but for the most part I was never left hanging.

    Analysis of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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    Now despite being the first movie in a series, it doesn’t excuse it from not being to hold it’s own. This movie has a lot of flaws and sadly they aren’t little flaws that can be overlooked. As we move into the negatives I do want to say that the overall story of the film is fairly good despite some questionable characters and moments that make you go “wtf”. The major issues of this film really come from it’s directing, editing, and overall animation and art style.First off let’s start with the actual execution of the themes in this film. Without spoiling too much the first movie is really about Taichi as a character, and the setup for both his internal and external conflicts are done well, and although his external conflicts with his friends is strong throughout the film his internal conflict fails to feel natural and cohesive. This element of his character is forcibly shoved down our throats through obvious narration and dialog. It seems like the writers couldn’t think of any better ways to get this story arc across other than through generic and blatant explanation. So by the end of the film it wouldn’t be outlandish to say that Taichi was an annoying character to some extent.

    I will say though that they were able to get this message across visually.

    The next major problem with the film is it’s directing. There are certain scenes and set pieces during this film that really raises some questions as to how it was directed. Again without spoiling too much, there is a conflict that occurs at an airport, and during this battle scene, with destruction and chaos happening, it is literally put on hold to show the reunion of most of the characters and the digimon and we then spiral into a 2-4 minute scene where these characters have an actual conversation as if the battle is not happening at all. It’s like the writers decided that at this very moment the battle was going to go on intermission for a half-time show where instead of cheerleaders dancing to music and little mini games being played, we get to see a conversation play out.

    Continuing on the films terrible directing there are even moments where the director had chosen to show single frame or scene multiple times to convey the exact same message which further makes it seem like there are elements just being forced down the audiences throat.

    Moving past these issues we come down to the animation of the movie. First off I want to mention something. Is it just me or do the artists not know what Taichi’s skin color is supposed to be. Because in some scenes he has this fat tan but then in others he’s extremely pale. And don’t tell me it’s because of the lighting because in scenes that involve multiple characters in a dimly lit area everyone seems to retain their skin color just fine. Moving back on track the overall animation for me was disappointing.

    There are moments where a characters face will look so out of whack that it pulls me outof the movie and makes me physically scrunch my eyebrows and question “what is wrong with their face”. Even if the animation style is supposed to be this simplistic, yet vibrant and cartoony, have some consistency in the quality of the characters that we see in every single scene. Despite the art style there are some scenes that just downright look like someone just smudged the screen and the only thing they didn’t mess up were the clouds. Because holy crap those clouds look good. There are some scenes where the anime really embraces their chosen art style well and it looks extremely good and works well with the movie but then there are scenes that just aren’t as well done. The animation quality just isn’t consistent. Many of you might think that I’m just over exaggerating nitpicks but these are all elements of the film that can pull someone out of the experience.

    Overall

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    Guy’s, I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but I can’t wholeheartedly say that I had a good time watching it. Despite a fantastic and believable reintroduction to the characters and a setup for a fun story there are so many elements of this movie that really take you out of the experience. These seemingly harmless issues eventually spiraled out of control and made being able to really enjoy the movie from start to finish difficult.This film is really for the hardcore digimon fans who can look past all these glaring issues. But for others it might not be that great. After rewatching this film a total of three times, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Therefore my final rating for Digimon
    Adventures Tri: Reunion is; “Backlog it”.

    It’s not something that you’ll ever have to watch, even if you are a digimon fan. I’d save it for a rainy day where you have nothing better to do. Hopefully the other movies were able to segway off this one well enough to make up for a very average return to the Digimon universe.


  • One Piece – Pre Time Skip – (Anime) Review

    One Piece (Pre-Time Skip) Anime Review

    “My treasure you say?
    If you want it you can have it!
    Go and seek it out
    I left everything in my life
    In that place”
    Hence the great era of freedom
    Was about to commence
    An age of pirates
    It’s time to sail now
    The route to our dreams awaits!

    One Piece Log Day 1

    This is the first day of I and my crew’s journey in this dangerous sea, writing down everything in this log. I am a pirate, pursuer of boundless fame and glory as the one who’ll become the next pirate king, the successor to Gold Roger, the one who found and hid the greatest treasure of all times only known as One Piece. Ever since the legendary pirate died, countless people sailed in search of the unknown legacy left by Roger, the man who incited the whole world as his last act of defiance. It won’t be an easy journey, many other pirates practising their right to be free are in search of the fabled One Piece as well…

    Prologue

    This is the adventerous review of the pre timeskip arcs of One Piece, the ongoing shounen anime series based on the award winning, Guinness breaking manga with the same name by Eichiro Oda. I am going to review the first 6 great arcs before episode 517 (Chapter 568) but with a notably more subjective take than my previous reviews. Will this deserve to be the king of shounen ? Then let us find this out !

    East Blue Arc

    Starts ep 1 and ends ep 61 (chapter 100). The arc is aimed at introducing us to the One Piece Universe and its basic characters. The most important parts being Romance Dawn, Syrup Village, Baratie Arc and Arlong Park arcs where Luffy, Zoro, Usop, Sanji and Nami are introduced. This arc is produced by Toei Animation during 1999 but the fully drawn animation is nice and colourful, character design and art is simple yet distinguished. East Blue reveals the earliest threats in the series for our crew, the cruelty and mercilessness of the world is shown, being a pirate is not a game, the sea is not a swimming pool

    • Bounty Score: 16.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Dracule Mihawk :japanese_goblin:

    Alabasta Arc

    Starts episode 61 and ends ep 135 (chapter 217). The arc is the first true fearsome challenge for the Strawhat Pirates, getting involved in a country plagued with civil war tension and the sinister plans of the criminal group Baroque Works and their mastermind leader. The sandy kingdom of Alabasta

    is wonderfully drawn, with a highlight to the middle eastern style of the arc. Animation improves, the story plot is thickened with the first mysteries and the first true major villain and themes in One Piece. The focus on the villain that passes himself off as the hero taking advantage of a population in despair to control everything is truely amazing

    • Bounty Score: 87.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Nico Robin :heart:

    Skypiea Arc

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    Starts ep 136 and ends ep 206 (chapter 302). The arc follows the exploits of our crew in an island that does not affect the course of the story as a whole but proves to be one of the most heart felt and flavourful of all arcs in One Piece. Following the legend of the sky island, Luffy and his crew eventually reaches Skypiea, a place isolated from the world

    and first reached by the navigator Noland, branded and killed as a foolish

    liar. The Strawhats will have to face the powerful god Enel that overthrew the previous one and bent the island to his thunderous will together with his priests. The Pre Columbian aspects of the arc make it overall one my favourites of all times, we are in the show’s golden age

    • Bounty Score: 143.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Enel :zap:

    Water 7 Arc

    Starts ep 207 and ends ep 325 (chapter 430). This arc is where the series starts to step up the whole game, reaching the greatest heights of the pre timeskip part of One Piece. Water 7 follows our crew in its visit to a majestic Venice like city built on water where different ship building companies compete with one another. When Nico Robin’s backstory starts to blast from her past, a secret government organization known as Cyber Pol 9 will try to take her away from the Strawhats Pirates. We can call this as one of the most iconic arcs of all times, boasting a new level in One Piece fights like we’ve never seen before, mystery and themes reach perfection, no fault whatsoever, only the best feels

    • Bounty Score: 300.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Rob Lucci :smiley_cat:

    Thriller Bark Arc

    Starts ep 326 and ends ep 384 (chapter 489). This is probably one of the shortest arcs in the whole series, located right after the colossal saga of Water 7/Enies Lobby and it rather pales in comparison. The Strawhats end up in the gigantic island ship of Thriller Bark, owned by one of the Shichibukai, the ghastly Gekko Moria that will stand in the way of our friends. Even though the arc the eccentric and quite particular skeleton Brook (whose backstory flashback is currently my favourite) and we have a nice halloween horror like setting this is however my least favourite of all One Piece Arcs, but it can be considered as a way to catch a fun break once in a while

    • Bounty Score: 10.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Brook :skull:

    Summit War Arc

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    Starts ep 385 and ends ep 516 (chapter 597). Here we go with the last arc of the pre timeskip era of One Piece, the most fast paced and (for many) mind blowing arc. For the first time we have a war in the pirate world against the sworn enemies the Marines trying to execute one of the legendary Whitebeard’s “children” Luffy’s brother Portgas D. Ace, while the Strawhats are scattered, Luffy tries to join the battle for his brother, an ant amidst the giants. The arc has amazing parts like Sabaody, Amazon Lily, Impel Down and Marine Ford. Animation direction changes, making it not as appealing for nostalgic fans like me. Many iconic characters from all sagas return to join the greatest battles in the series as of now.

    • Bounty Score: 279.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Silvers Rayleigh :older_man:

    Overall One Piece is probably the father of the next generation of shounen. It may not be a perfect series but its narrative arcs will surely keep anyone entertained despite the animation for many people would not seem as mature as stuff like AoT and Tokyo Ghoul (sarcasm). If you can follow a long odissey that cares more about the journey rather than the destination then this is your series. It’s also one of the few shounen to deal with so many themes such as: slavery, tyranny, emancipation, brotherhood, war, human rights, discrimination, history, sacrifice, idealism, justice.

    Overall Score 8/10


  • Nanatsu no Taizai (Anime) Review

    Nanatsu no Taizai Anime Review

    Why hast thou fallen from the sky ?

    Bearer of Light, Bringer of Dawn

    The star welcometh the morning

    No longer, never again

    For thou hast committed them

    He hath punished thee

    What are thy sins ?

    Marked by the stain of hubris

    Cast down from pearly heavens

    Thou hast sworn in wrath

    Against His own creation

    Where are thy six fallen angels ?

    Prepare yourself for a journey into a land of fantasy and magic, in the Britannia era of legend and knights. The main force of the kingdoms scattered through out the region lies in orders of Holy Knights, powerful entities that use terrifying magical powers and protect the country from nefarious perils. The story focuses on the renowned kingdom of Liones where a tragic coup d’etat is staged by the notorious Seven Deadly Sins, seven fearsome soldiers at the service of the king. With the kingdom in shambles, the holy knights intervene and supposedly defeat them, banishing them forever. Years have passed and the king is ironically overthrown by the very holy knights, prompting princess Elizabeth to find the infamous group of traitors and release the shackled Liones.

    Art and Animation of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 8/10

    Nanatsu no Taizai sports an art style that, albeit not perfect, is unique to its own series (also improving the trait of the manga) and goes well with the mood and setting of the show. The character design is surprisingly well done and can be stylish and iconic, even with secondary members of the cast. However, the part I enjoyed the most about the technical compart is the fluid and greatly detailed animation that does seem to care about every single frame, impressing in every powerful or fast paced scene.

    Characters of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 7/10

    Even though the show follows the main stream standards and cliches of the shounen genre for the most party, the characters are easily distinguishable and all possess more or less endearing traits in their personality, thus making the “choose your favorite” game a compulsory step in the fruition of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of them has his or her own specific goals, quirks and characterization and thankfully not a high amount of annoying or useless characters, and so the experience is never truly compromised.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 8/10

    The music is composed and directed by fan favourite and artist composer Hiroyuki Sawano, already known for his powerful works in Attack on Titan or Ao no Exorcist. Therefore, we are never straying away from the usual style of Sawano that fits the epic scenes the best out of the whole bunch. What really impressed me the most are however the two addictively catchy openings and to an extent, the excellent voice acting (even though certain seiyuu start being a bit redundant).

    Story and Pacing of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 7/10

    The anime adaptation of Nanatsu no Taizai is based on roughly 2/3 of the original manga started in 2013 and another season is due next season so I had to expect an ending that is not an ending but nonetheless it does not fail you to want for more. The story is nothing exceptional but it never really commits the greatest sin of an anime: to be boring. It has a standard progression that leads to the climatic final boss of the season, with a few interesting twists along the way. Pacing is good, maybe a bit too fast at times to adapt as many chapters as possible within episode 24.

    Subjective Enjoyment

    Score 8/10

    Merlin bae here leaves you with the last part of the review, my own personal and purely subjective enjoyment of the show. We are talking about a shounen of the new decade based on the One Piece legacy that started at the end of the 21th century (it’s undoubtedly son of this series) and finally something to step forward and fight the supremacy of Fairy Tail. It was overall an enjoyable ride that knows how to mix serious and funny moments into a compelling concept and good characters despite the classic cliches of the genre.

    Final Score :star::star::star::star::star::star::star:


  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 (Anime) Review

    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 Anime Review

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    It’s time to delve into untold pages of forgotten history. We begin in England, the homeland of the most powerful empire of modern era. George Joestar returns from an expedition, of the ancient ruins from civilizations close to America, with an artifact. It was a stone mask. As the man returned home with his family, he was struck with a deadly accident.
    He mistook a thief as a savior and the man took advantage. Dario, the thief, knew a greater reward lay on the other side. Prepare to face a journey where the hideous creatures of the night rise from the dead. the start of an odyssey that will span for generations.

    This is the fabulous review of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures 2012, a 26 episodes action horror shounen from… well guess what year. The anime is based on the legendary ongoing manga series with the same name by Hirohiko Araki, and specifically on the first two arcs of the series Phantom Blood (1-9) and Battle Tendency (10-26). We are analyzing this show according to animation, character, sound, story and personal enjoyment. Will the anime deserve a spot at the top of the world ? Let’s find this out

    Art of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 8/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    Jojo has seen a respectable array of adaptations of the first manga arcs during the 1990’s as a series of various ovas about Part 3 Stardust Crusaders (and one abhorrent movie from 2007 that never became a dvd about Phantom Blood). When it was announced a new and definitive Jojo project after such a long time the fans rejoiced all over the world. Animation is work of the very young yet promising David Production, this being their first major anime. The studio managed to put into life the old style art of master Araki, at the dawn of his career. The art is colorful and vibrant, the character design is really vast even though the exalted masculinity of male characters might not be of anyone’s liking. Action flows pretty well but unless you watch the uncut kissanime version then censorship and not so refined details may drop the score to 7.

     

     

    Characters of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 9/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    There is not really a specific need to examine the cast from Jojo 2012 unless you would like to be told “it’s freaking awesome” over and over again. As an old style anime Jojo started what will later be known as the modern shounen but nonetheless I have rarely seen such refreshingly captivating characters, old should not deter anyone from watching this, it was a revolution back in the day and it is now. The feature I appreciated the most is the meticulous personality and surprising development every character is given despite they are not psychological masterpieces but they don’t need it when their flavorful quirks and genius interactions dominate the whole series. Picking favorites will be your greatest delight during the whole run, situations and conversations reach emetic and legendary status.

    Soundtrack and Acting of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 10/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    When the angel of awesomeness graces mortals with his presence, he needs to be heralded by a horn that produces a majestic melody. This is how I would sum up Jojo’s soundtrack and acting aspects, in a few words we are talking of top tier goodness. The direction is from the master and veteran Taku Iwasaki, legendary compo ser of shows like Kuroshitsuji, Gurren Lagann and Soul Eater and his style finds the best way to be expressed in Jojo indeed.

    In collaboration with the Persona series rap artist Lotus Juice we have dubstep, modern electronic music to accompany the most stylish parts of the series but many other genres like latin style solemn music and powerful German choral compositions are present. The voicing acting is perfect, with veterans like Takehito Koyasu voicing our eccentric cast of characters. I also appreciated the quirk of having onomatopoeic sounds as if it was a manga.

     

    Story and Pacing of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 8/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    The franchise was conceived as a generational shounen series that would span entire eras of the modern times starting from 1800. The story does not focus on creating a convoluted and a purely twist based progression but it lets characters and their relationships do the job of weaving the gradual development of the storyline. This is a story about a group, a family, the show tends to focus on the wider scheme of the events rather than what happens to a restricted cast of characters. Everyone has a relevant part and everything may affect the future generations and therefore the future arcs. Even though we are talking about a very violent show, the series takes advantage of a wise use of parodic, black humorish almost nonsensical style. The show tends to highlight the honor, manliness and bravery from drama itself, certain situations are purposefully exaggerated to create a unique theatrical feeling that just screams.

    Personal Enjoyment

    Score 9/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    We are at the end of our review and there is not really much to doubt at this point. To think that such a work existed in the simplistic and childish times of Dragon Ball makes me think of why the franchise took so long to finally reach a degree of notoriety in the west. Jojo uses style and flavour not as a device to reach a purpose as the purpose itself. Enjoy the fuckton of referances from the pop culture like movies, music artists and other professionists, the memetic poses of the series are indeed inspired by the years Araki served as a designer of clothing and other stylish stuff. This is the series that with its crazy characters and thoughtfully crafted action allowed your One Piece, your Naruto, your Hunter x Hunter, your Bleach to exist, the pioneer of the modern shounen that has never been surpassed

    P.S: I am usually not one to exalt or glorify this much long run action shounen series not being my favourite genre !

    Final Score 8.8/10

    Japanese manga and animu are the best in the world !

    See you in my next reviews my friends


  • Beyond the Boundary (Anime) Review

    Beyond the Boundary (Anime) Review

    Anime fans often pose this question to the general public of its industry: “What makes an anime so great?” Or, “Which characteristics are essential to you within a series?”

    (…Okay, maybe not in those words exactly… but thanks for asking!)

    Well, while this might be a tad unfair of me to say, artwork and animation take top priority over everything else by a landslide. If any amount of visual style is presented so poorly that it distracts and/or confuses the audience at first glance, we have a major problem. And friend, you’re reading the blog from someone who takes pride in being a very, very picky audience member. Art, story line and character development are what I tend to to put in the spotlight upon reviewing an anime (or any sort of film, to be honest).

    Fortunately for this series, it seems to pull through enough for each of these categories. I present to you 境界の彼方,  Kyōkai no Kanata, or more commonly known in English as Beyond the Boundary.

     

    Story Line and Pacing of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 8/10

    The first episode opens up with one evening at sunset, when a high school boy by the name of Akihito Kanbara witnesses one of his fellow classmates standing precariously atop the ledge of their school building. Assuming she plans to commit suicide, Akihito hurriedly rushes to her aid, approaches the girl from a distance, and shouts, “At any rate, someone who looks as good in glasses as you do simply should not die!” The young freshman, later known in the series as Mirai Kuriyama, then proceeds to take on the rational solution of stabbing him in the chest with a sword made entirely of her own blood. Strangely enough, Akihito kneels over in extreme pain… but does not die. Mirai learns that the boy is actually a half-youmu – the offspring of both human and youmu DNA – and utilizes this ability to her advantage by using Akihito for batting practice. Because as a Spirit World Warrior like herself, she is still unequipped with enough courage to kill another youmu for the good of humanity.

    Confused yet?

    In the interesting world of Beyond the Boundary, these odd creatures called youmu are actually raw manifestations of all mankind’s negative emotions, such as hatred, sadness, jealousy and the like. Therefore, it is said that so long as humans exist, youmu will continue to thrive as well. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can even take the form of a common person. Their abilities may also vary, though the basis on which they exist remains the same. And while most youmu can co-exist peacefully and unknowingly among humans, every so often a few of them will upset the balance of nature and need destroying, thus is the job of a Spirit World Warrior like Mirai. When one of these rotten creatures is finally terminated, their remains take the form of a small stone which is then traded as currency among other Spirit World Warriors.

    This is a very unique, and rather symbolic idea. You could go as far as to say that these youmu represent how human kind’s imperfections, if not dealt with properly, can cause the downfall of society, and even the world. Much later in the anime, this notion is visualized quite literally and I personally like it. A lot.

    The only thing I don’t particularly understand about the world itself is that most of mankind isn’t even present for the majority of the series… Hello? Where are all the people whose negativity supposedly created all these hideous monstrosities!? And why is no one alarmed that a handful of attractive teenagers are wielding weapons, playing with magic and essentially bleeding to death? Oh, Japan…

     

    Art and Animation of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 8/10

    While I’ve seen better eye candy prior to viewing Beyond the Boundary, Kyoto never seems to disappoint regardless. The characters were built to move with exceptional fluidity; my inner artist still cried tears of joy every time someone did so much as lift a finger. From motion, to lighting, to color, to scenery… this anime had everything relatively down-pat and polished. It’s no wonder you see so many Mirai fan drawings – they’re all quite beautiful. And while its physical aesthetic was often skewed due to lack of action sequences where an art style like this one truly reaches its full potential, you can’t say even its still composition wasn’t absolutely stellar.

     

    Characters of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.25/10

    Our main character, Mirai is a first-year high school student with the unique ability to use her own blood as a weapon. Despite its great power, however, Mirai is constantly shamed by other Spirit World Warriors due to the dangerous consequences of this rare talent when she was only a child. After accidentally murdering her best friend as an adolescent, Mirai’s had an intense fear of killing and often complains about her life via Internet. (Don’t we all?) “How unpleasant,” is her appropriate catchphrase. On the side, Kuriyama’s hobbies are raising small plants, blogging and mooching off her friends. She bears a fearsome appetite due to her deadbeat lifestyle, and timidly asks people to treat her from time to time.

    So she has a history, a dark past… and it’s adorable. Classic, even. As one of my favorite female roles thus far, Mirai has the look, the personality and the skills which make her an excellent main character. She has a problem, a fear, and must overcome it to save a loved one. She has a goal, a longing, and must achieve it in the end, otherwise face an ultimate peril. Mirai the protagonist changes throughout the embodiment of the series. Perfect. 10/10. I love her.

    Her possy, on the other hand…? Ehh.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I adored Akihito’s no-nonsense personality from the get-go and knew his voice of reason meant well to the story as a whole. The banter between him and Hiroomi (far left) is priceless and without both of them, the plot would not have thickened the way it did in the first place. However, what do we truly understand about any of the supporting main characters other than their own strengths and weaknesses? Nothing. There were so many necessary questions left unanswered. And with a seemingly great cast like this, that is a huge issue. Their sorry excuses for back stories were unbalanced, whereas one character got a few lines of exposition, and others were never mentioned once. And for what? They seemed to be of pretty equal importance to me. Why one over the other? Of course within a certain time frame, not everyone can be fully described to a ‘T’, but some helpful information about each character in order of said importance would still be appreciated.

     

    Soundtrack of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.75/10

    The very eerie original soundtrack for Beyond the Boundary was written and brought to us by Hiarku Nanase, a Japanese vocalist and composer from Ibaraki prefecture. She’s developed soundtracks for several other television shows in Japan and is part of a few different bands. The sound of this series consists of both the traditional positive slice of life bounciness we all know and love, with its own blend of strings and choir hymns that will leave you chilling with excitement, knowing something equally breathtaking is just around the corner.

    The moment I heard the very first hum voice the entrance of Mirai perched atop the school, wind blowing through her hair, it immediately felt like pure fantasy. The tracks grow more and more suspenseful as time passes, and while it does emulate what an anime soundtrack typically has to offer, some parts of it were so charming and mysterious, they reflected the intentions of each individual quite nicely and almost forced the plot to slow, focusing intently on a single moment in time between two characters. Definitely a work of musical art worth listening to, twice!

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.75

    I have to say, my motivation to watch this traveled in waves rather than an actual build-up. Usually I don’t take pure interest in an anime until about episode four or five, and after that I’m hooked ’till the very end. In the case of Beyond the Boundary, however, I’d been hooked, dropped, hooked again, and then left limping to the finish… then hooked a third time. There were moments of tension, frustration and bad-ass fight sequences, however few (not to mention one of the most amusing filler episodes I’ve ever seen)… and then there were episodes so stagnant and still I didn’t know whether to call them boring or just downright puzzling altogether. I’m not so sure if writers were scrambling to provide proper information while still making this anime fun and original, but again, it was a bit unbalanced.

    All in all though, I completed the series and was satisfied with its ending, which I can’t say for most. A nice little thumbs-up to those who may want to watch it in the future. It was solid. Not perfect, but solid.

     

    Overall Score: 7.75/10

     

    Your Friendly Enthusiast,

    -Lew


  • Magi (Anime) Review

    Magi Series Anime Review 

    Summary of Magi: 

    In a mystical world based on the setting of the ‘1001 Nights’ story, Aliabab yearns to conquer a dungeon, a mysterious tower that, if beaten, can grant power and wealth. However, it isn’t until a young boy named Aladdin, who appears to posses his very own magical abilities, comes along that Alibaba gains the courage to venture inside. Soon, what appears to be an exciting adventure unravels into an evil plot much bigger than they anticipated.

     

    The Plot: 


    One of the few problems I had with this series is the rushed first few episodes and the lack of an overarching storyline at the beginning (this is apparent later on).

    Once you get past the first three episodes, though, you’ll start liking the little arcs and the speed dies down to fit in the development needed, especially in the second season.

    What I specifically found admirable about the plot and the world in general, however, were the issues discussed throughout the whole series such as slavery, poverty, war, identity, fate, and politics. There are some dark aspects in Magi, and I applaud the staff for it.

    Score: 8.1/10 

     

    The Characters of Magi: 


    Where the story lacks, the characters soar. I can honestly say that the cast was unique, fun to watch, and many of them were developed excellently. Despite all of that, the main three (Alibaba, Aladdin, and Morgiana) were still the stars.

    But before I ramble on too much, there is one key factor that I would like to point out: the amazing female characters. There are very few anime where the girls add as much to the story as the guys, and I’m proud to say that Magi is one of said anime. Morgiana, Kougyoku, Hakuei. The list goes on and on.

    I mean, even the fanservice providers (Yamuraiha and Meirs) have actual motivations and personalities. Thumbs up, Magi!

    Score: 9.3/10

     

    The Animation of Magi: 


    Although the animation was sort of choppy during the first season, the second season made up for it and absolutely blew me away. Just by looking at the opening, major improvements can be seen. I also enjoyed the vibrant colors and the fact that the censorship was kept to a minimum, which leads to some amazing imagery, even if it is a bit gory. Nothing too over the top, thought, so don’t get scared off.

    Score: 8.4/10 

     

    The Soundtrack of Magi: 

    As for the sound, it did its job well. The openings and endings were catchy (some more than others), and the music set the tone very nicely. I think the music definitely took flight in the second season, but the first season pulled the score back down. Still a good soundtrack overall.

    Score: 7.9/10 

     

    Overall Enjoyment of Magi: 


    I, personally, loved this anime. It has successfully landed a spot as one of my all time favorite anime, definitely in the top five. Plot was executed nicely for the most part, the characters were nothing short of legendary, and the entire series just put together everything perfectly. I was definitely impressed.

    Score: 9.0/10

    And so…

    Plot: 8.1/10
    Characters: 9.3/10
    Animation: 8.4/10
    Soundtrack: 7.9/10
    Overall Enjoyment: 9.0/10

    FINAL SCORE: 8.54/10

    I definitely recommend this anime.

    Thanks for reading!

    -Otaku_Cookies


  • One Piece (General) Review

    One Piece: The Greatest Adventure

    One Piece

    What is the meaning of this Shogo?

    One Piece

    If you know me by now, then you should know that I’m a huge, and I mean huge fan of One Piece. It’s as the title says. This however doesn’t mean it’s my favorite – since it’s so freaking hard to rank. Thus I leave out One Piece when it comes to lists – goes for other ‘bigger’ series as well. You can say that this blog is a ‘fanboy blog’ if you want, but I think I’ve earned to let some love out.

    But yes, you can say that One Piece is kinda my favorite.

    The Best Series Ever?

    One Piece

    The ‘big 4 or 5’ whatever comes up often – which I really couldn’t care less about. Aye this be true.

    One piece can and will make you shed tears of joy and sadness. When you watch one piece you get a sense of adventure that no other manga/anime delivers quite as well. You will always find yourself wanting more (This Jikan would back me up on with joy).

     

    One Piece Overall

    One Piece

    The amazing thing about one piece is that its writer found a way to tell a HUGE story that got twist plots and so much glamor while giving the audience a feeling of adventure that will never make you lose interest in the characters or the story. You will be sad when the characters are sad you, will laugh when they laugh and you will cry you eyeballs out when something happen to them.

    The animation seems to bug a lot of people. Why is debatable but as most of the cases – the manga is better. The anime is of course in my eyes still amazing.

    Inspired by Caitlin, devoted to Jikan.


  • Eureka Seven (Anime) Review

    Eureka Seven Anime Review

    (Warning, this blog contains something so amazing, you might not survive by the time you finish it. Prepare yourself)

    Before I even started Eureka Seven, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I didn’t know anything about it, so I don’t know why I had that feeling. Because I knew I was going to like it, I actually refused to watch it so I won’t suffer in the end. Well, I decided to throw away the thought and just watch the damn thing, and I was not disappointed. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Eureka Seven. Let’s get started.

    Eureka Seven (also known as Psalms of Planets Eureka seveN in Japan) is an original idea brought to us by the anime studio Bones, well known for its works such as Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist. It aired a total of 50 episodes from April 2005 to April of 2006. Followed by a bunch of manga, light novels, and games, before a movie was released in April of 2009. A sequel series, Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean was released in April of 2012 and aired 24 episodes + an OVA.

    Genres: Adventure, Action, Military/War, Mecha, Romance

     

    Plot of Eureka Seven

    core 8.4/10

    The series centers around Renton Thurston, the fourteen-year-old son of Adroc Thurston, a military researcher who died saving the world. He dreams of joining the renegade group Gekkostate, led by his idol Holland Novak, a legendary lifter. An opportunity to do so practically falls into his lap, when a large mecha, called the Nirvash typeZERO, and Eureka, its pilot, and a member of Gekkostate, crash into Renton’s room. Renton’s grandfather orders him to deliver a special part to the Nirvash called the Amita Drive.

    Afterwards, Renton is invited to join Gekkostate, where he quickly discovers that the behind-the-scenes life of Gekkostate is hardly as glamorous or as interesting as printed in the glossy pages of their magazine, ray=out. Only one thing makes it all worthwhile for him: the presence of Eureka, the mysterious pilot of the Nirvash. Renton, Eureka, and the Gekkostate embark on an adventure that will shape their future as well as the world’s.

    When I first started the anime, I didn’t have any idea what it was about. After the first few episodes, I got a general idea what it was about, but a problem was that some things were left unexplained. It kinda threw you into the anime expecting you to understand some stuff, like Trapars for example, but there’s a lot more stuff that you need to understand. I basically got a general idea of what it was, but it was never really explained to me until later, which I was actually fine with.

    Even with these minor unexplained things, most of the plot carries out smoothly, which is surprising for a 50 episode anime. It managed to avoid filler and stay on the main storyline. And eventually, things are explained later in the anime, but some people might not be patient enough to wait for it. In the end, it all falls together perfectly.

     

    Animation and Action of Eureka Seven

    Score 8.8/10

    What really made this series great was that it was actually based in like a time of war and rebellion, which really brought a lot more action then I expected in the anime. It didn’t take long for there to be any action in the anime and it was always enjoyable to watch.

    Being a Mecha anime, it made the action much more exciting, but they didn’t just focus on the Mecha side. They had some “normal combat” as I would say, with just people shooting at each other (for reasons obviously) and I liked that. They didn’t just focus on one which was great.

    Being an anime from 2005, I didn’t expect the animation to look SUPER amazing. For being a 2005 anime, the animation was actually very well done, especially in the action and the Mecha parts of the anime, which surprised me.

    The character designs and background animation were also well done. Nothing was really distracting, so I was able to keep my attention to whatever was happening instead of stuff like, “Hey look at that rainbow… That’s a pretty rainbow…” and miss all kinds of stuff. All in all, the animation and action worked together perfectly.

     

    Characters of Eureka Seven

    Score 8.9/10

    A lot of the characters were fairly interesting due to the setting of the anime. Most of them had lived out harsh lives or experienced hardships which lead them up to where they were. Most of the characters were likable, even the villains in some cases, which put a bit of a different view on things. Sure there were a few characters here and there that got on my nerves, but it didn’t really have a huge effect on anything.

    The main characters were definitely the ones that shined brightest though considering at first, there was absolutely no kind of relationship between them, so it was great to watch them grow closer to each other over time. Of course the anime centered around the love story between these two, but things really needed to fall into place before all of that.

     

    Renion Thurston

    Renton is your typical kid that wants to do something exciting with his life. He is a very outgoing and emotional person possessing strong ideals and compassion yet is naive and tends to jump into matters before understanding what’s going on. As a main character, I see him just like most main characters, but most main characters don’t turn out in the end like Renton does.

     

    Eureka

    Eureka is something interesting considering I haven’t seen much like her character. Near the beginning of the anime, she is basically emotionless and cares about nothing. Not only that, but she’s not even (wait, don’t want to spoil) and that makes a HUGE difference. I really like how that changes almost everything in the anime and we get to see how her character changes into something much more special.

     

    The Gekko Crew

    Gekkostate is an anti-government militia and counterculture collective led by Holland Novak. Members include:

    Stoner – is a photographer who writes Gekkostate’s illegal magazine, ray=out.

    Talho – the head pilot of Gekkostate’s aircraft, the Gekko and also ray=out’s covergirl and Holland’s girlfriend.

    Hap – Holland’s childhood friend and the second-in-command of the Gekko.

    Ken-Goh – the weapons specialist and owner of the Gekko.

    Jobs and Woz – the ship’s engineers, for hardware and software.

    Mischa – the resident doctor.

    Moondoggie – a secondary pilot and operator of the launch catapult.

    Hilda and Matthieu – pilots of the Gekkostate LFOs Terminus typeR808 and Terminus typeR606.

    Gidget – communications operator.

    Gonzy – fortuneteller.

    The character development in anime was extremely well done. Showing the effects of war, we are not only seeing the characters learn more about themselves and their world, but ours as well. Almost every character was able to experience a huge amount of development, being very different kinds of characters by the end of the anime.

     

    Music of Eureka Seven

    Score 7.6/10

    The music was one part of the anime that wasn’t all that great. Some of the music was enjoyable, but most of the OP music had a strange feeling to it and made it kind of boring and not really relating to the anime. My favorite out of the four OPs would have to be “Sakura.”

    The EDs were a bit better than the OPs in a way, but not super enjoyable to where I would stop and watch them a lot. Usually I skipped over them because I wanted to watch the next episode.

    The OSTs saved the music part of the anime. The OSTs managed to stand out at crucially moments in the anime and made things either a lot more dramatic or a lot more entertaining. Playing at key moments and being enjoyable to listen to was awesome.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Eureka Seven

    Score: 9.7/10

    In all honesty, it has been an extremely long time since I have enjoyed something as much as this, maybe I haven’t ever enjoyed something like this before. Everything was just perfect for me, the romance, the action, just everything was amazing to me. There wasn’t a single episode that flew by that I didn’t completely enjoy. And after I finished this anime, it easily became my new Number 1 anime, which wasn’t very surprising when I was finishing up the anime and movie. I knew I’d love the anime, but I never thought it’d be this good.

    Also, the anime wasn’t just constant violence and love story being thrown at you, but actually just being fun to watch. The main pastime in the anime was literally “surfing on air” or lifting, which is a huge theme in the anime, but that alone is very fun to watch.

     

    When I look at it, I think it’s actually hard to not like this anime, but I know there’s always that one person out there that probably thinks it’s shit just because of the love story. Well, it’s better than Kirito and Asuna. So, if you enjoy any such as Gurren Lagann or anything really Mecha related, I definitely recommend you watch this anime. Also, it’s a classic, who doesn’t love the good old stuff?

    ᑭᒪOT: 8.4/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᗩᑕTIOᑎ: 8.8/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 8.9/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 7.6/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 9.7/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.68/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts of Eureka Seven

    I’m sad that this anime is over, but I’m also glad I watched it. Something like this was truly remarkable to watch, and I still get to look forward to Astral Ocean because I just watched the movie, which I will be doing kind of a detach review all on its own apart from this one. But now, I get to sit here and accept the that it’s over, but I will definitely be buying this anime, no matter the cost. So, I hope you enjoyed the review and give the anime a watch, you won’t be disappointed.


  • Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Anime) Review

    Children Who Chase Lost Voices Anime Review

    (Warning, this blog may contain spoilers, but won’t effect very much of the story or take away any feelings from the movie, they are just minor spoilers that could spoil some things, but could also be nice to know now. Just read the review)

    Just to let you know, this is my second movie review so please leave a comment telling me how I did, it would be extremely helpful in the next review I do. Thank you.

    So I’ve been meaning to watch this movie for about the last two weeks, but never really found the time to watch it considering its running time. My brother bought it not to long ago, so it was pretty easy to watch it.

    Created by Makoto Shinkai, also known for 5 Centimeters Per Second and The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices was released in May of 2011, running for a total of 116 minutes.

    Genre: Drama/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction/ Adventure

     

    Plot of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 7.6/10

    Asuna is a young girl who has been forced to grow-up quickly due to the death of her father, while her mother, a nurse, works long shifts at a hospital. Asuna spends her solitary days listening to the mysterious music emanating from the cat’s-whisker receiver her father gave to her as a memento.

    One day, while walking to her clubhouse across a bridge, she is attacked by a fearsome creature and saved by a mysterious boy who calls himself Shun. Asuna treats Shun’s wound from fighting the creature and later they both listen to Asuna’s radio. Shun tells Asuna he is from another country called Agartha and that he came to this place to find something. He then gives Asuna a blessing in the form of a kiss to the forehead. Asuna leaves hurriedly and tells Shun she’ll be back tomorrow. Shun, now alone, looks up at the stars and falls from the ledge to his death. (Will not say anymore about the plot to avoid anymore spoilers)

    The story described by Makoto is a “‘lively’ animated film with adventure, action, and romance centered on a cheerful and spirited girl on a journey to say ‘farewell’.” After reading that, I can say it’s true, but I feel that this story was missing some stuff while something’s were left unexplained. It kind of just threw you into the movie in hopes you could follow along. It was like being tossed into an amusement park, but blindfolded, I enjoyed all the rides, I just didn’t know which ones I was on exactly, if that makes any sense.

    So yes, I feel that this story did have some “plot holes” in it, but it was an all around a well thought out story that could have been a lot worse. I believe that the story was executed in the way it was meant to and still got it’s message across. Very well done.

     

    Animation and Action of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 9.4/10

    When I first started this movie, I didn’t expect there to be really any action at all. Surprisingly enough, it took about a good ten minutes for the first action scene to show up and was actually awesome to watch.

    All the action scenes, in my opinion, were pretty fun to watch considering they were well made. Mixed in with the glorious animation, the action never left me bored.

    The animation in this movie was down right amazing, instantly catching my attention when I started watch the movie. Everything shined brightly and there was incredible detail throughout the entire story, making me never lose interest as the story progressed. Probably some of the best animation I’ve seen in any kind of anime, there are no words to completely describe it.

     

    Characters of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 7.9/10

    I haven’t watch a lot of animated movies or shows that followed adventurous little girls, older guys that really need to move on, and younger bruhs that come from a world known as “Agartha.” Quite the strange combination, but it was a pretty good one. I’m not sure if the movie would have worked out if it had different characters or if it had more.

    The only problem was that there wasn’t a lot of character development. Like when we finally dived into the story more, it seemed that there was a set goal and it remained unchanged. I can’t complain though, because there was still some development in it that still deserves attention.

    All in all, the movie had a unique group of characters that shined brightly considering a mix between two worlds collided together, making us experience the lives of people who lived in another world. Fantastic job.

     

    Music of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 8.4/10

    Considering this is a movie and not a show, I can only really talk about the Soundtrack because there are no OPs and EDs to talk about. It didn’t really matter though, this didn’t need a OP or a ED, the music in this movie was outstanding.

    I don’t think there wasn’t a single OST that I didn’t completely enjoy, but it felt like some of them were blocked out considering I was focused on other stuff during the movie, which wasn’t a really bad thing.

    The ending song for this was a deal breaker for me. Sure this movie had it’s fair share of drama and sadness, equaling out so I didn’t feel like a pile of feels, but when that song came on… Holy shit… This is basically what it felt like:

    Perfection. If I didn’t feel like crying when the credits started rolling, I did now. This song is just something else, easily turning into a song I will enjoy till the end of time.

    Hello, Goodbye and Hello – Anri Kumaki – English lyrics

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Scre 8.6/10

    In all honesty, I thought this movie was great. Sure I feel that it left me in the dark at times, but this was truly a wonderful movie, in my eyes, that was extremely well made that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I also think that there’s not a lot of movies you could compare this to. Amazingly unique.

     

    If you enjoyed movies from Studio Ghibli, I would defiantly recommend this movie. If you enjoy movies that lean more toward adventure rather than action I would also recommend this movie to you.

    ᑭᒪOT: 7.6/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᗩᑕTIOᑎ: 9.4/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 7.9/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 8.4/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 8.6/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.38/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Compared to the last movie review I did for Wold Children, I can’t compare these two movies in the slightest. I personally think that Wolf Children was so much better, but I really did enjoy this movie. I don’t “love it” like I do with Wolf Children, but it was defiantly a great movie to watch. Fantastic.


  • Black Butler: Book of Circus (Anime) Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus Anime Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    Ladies and gentlemen welcome! This is the humble yet awesome review of Black Butler: Book of Circus. Please enjoy the show!

     

    Prologue Book of Circus

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    The story follows the exploits of the young Ciel Phantomhive at the sunset of the XIX century London. The city whose apparent light is the diamond of the Royal Queen Victoria. A creeping darkness lies behind that light and Ciel, together with his devilishly impeccable butler Sebastian. They investigate and solve various secret cases given by the Queen that require a certain “modus operandi”. The young man’s soul is filled with vengeance, his family betrayed and pride tarnished, Ciel plans on discovering the truth behind the death of his parents. After the gruesome case of Jack the Ripper, the duo are ordered to investigate a mysterious circus and the mass disappearance of children. It seems that under the curtain, someone wears a jubilant mask to hide sinister intentions.

    Did you all take your seats ? Then let us begin ! The review will analyze various aspects of the show according to: Animation, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment.

     

    Animation and Art of Book of Circus

    Score: 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    The first and second seasons were released respectively in 2008 and 2010 and the animation was highly satisfying for these two, the same can be said for Book of Circus. Even though it’s not a vast difference there is a visible improvement, especially in the use of lights and fast movements. The show really shines because of its prestigious artistical values, costumes and backgrounds. One of the few sequels of the 2014 that surpass its predecessors in animation quality and production values.

     

    Characters of Book of Circus

    Score 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    The characters are surely one of the strongest points in Book of Circus, both new and returning characters fare more than splendidly. Even though Black Butler is not known for deeply psychological and original characters, we can’t deny how they all blend so well together. Sebastian is how he should be, a massive and diabolic troll. Ciel is more developed compared to the older seasons; his exploits and funny moments made him an enjoyable character, and his personal development sees the young earl gradually become a man. The new characters were well done: great back story, excellent character design and personality, especially my favs Doll and Joker.

     

    Soundtrack and Acting of Book of Circus

    Score 9/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    Having a different composer compared to the past seasons, Book of Circus can boast a wonderful thematic soundtrack and a stunning voice acting that sees the return of the old glories and the debut of new. It features joyful, classical, instrumental and traditional choral themes the most, with shades of melancholy and darkness all over the soundtrack (fitting perfectly to the show’s storyline). The iconic folk tune “Over the Hills and Far Away” makes everything much more meaningful as it is important to understand fully the new characters from the Noah Circus. The old seasons fared more than well in soundtrack, and even though it’s debatable that the new OST is better or not, I can say it fits the series as well or even more than the previous ones.

     

    Storyline and Pacing of Book of Circus

    Score 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    Book of Circus aimed at continuing the original show in the point where it followed an alternate route straying from the manga, and I say it was done very well. Even though it’s just 10 episodes, the show finds a good balance between story and pacing that eventually adapt splendidly to this arc of the manga. Fight scenes, comical gags, explanatory sections, character expositions, they were entertaining to say the least. The only times where the pacing was not that perfect was the occasional “tutorials” that went back to the previous seasons.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Book of Circus

    Score 9/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    We’re approaching the end of the review, this is the purely objective part of it. This is the worthy score for a series of only 10 episode, where much longer series did not come close. Victorian London is one, if not, my favorite modern European period, its decadent environment, its costumes are highly suggestive and stylish. The cast has returned, the old characters were better than ever, the new ones were amazing too. Excellent balance between funny and dark parts that spiced everything up very well.The animation was not a disappointment at all. An OST that is worthy of the past scores by Taku Iwasaki and is very memorable, absurdly fitting for this arc. You will laugh, you will cry but now I must bid you good bye.

     

    Ladies and Gentlemen the show is over.

    Final Score 8.4/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)