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  • Dimension W (Anime) Review

    Dimension W Review

    In 2071, a new axis was discovered and added to the 3-D world, the fourth dimension, dimension W. In a world run by New Tesla Energy, limitless energy from dimension W is supplied through energy-efficient electric ‘coils’. However, Kyouma Mabuchi, an illegal coil collector, despises the use of this new technology. He hates coils so much that he does not use even one; he still has cars running on gas, pays for everything with cash, and hunts for illegal coils as his job. He’s a hippie, a junkie, or whatever you may call him, old-school perhaps, but in the end he’s just a lone wolf in a world saturated with technological advancement.

    But while on the search for illegal coils one day he comes across a human-like robot, Mira Yurizaki. Mira needs these illegal coils to save her father, but she doesn’t quite it in time. “Follow the illegal coils,” her father said, which then lead to Kyouma and Mira forming a team, following these coils and finding out that there maybe more than just illegal coils. They stumble upon a third type of coil, not illegal, not normal, but ones that seem to have the power to destroy a dimension in seconds. Coils that contain number labels on them, called Numbers.

    Hence, Kyouma and Mira begin their journey to delve deeper into finding these Numbers, but these tie into Kyouma’s past, what made him who he is today, and how his fate and Mira’s seemed to have been long before determined.

    Plot of Dimension W

    Score: 6/10

    When reading the synopsis for the story and watching the first episode, my expectations and first impression was that this anime was going to be a hit. Dimension W is set in a futuristic world, an intense sci-fi thriller that shares similar setting concepts as Psycho-Pass. With a badass main character hiding a dark past, what could go wrong? Mabuchi Kyouma was a mysterious character that I wanted to know more about, and as for Mira Yurizaki, the robot, her design was so adorable that I couldn’t wait for this series to take off in flying colors.

    But the direction sequences and arcs inthe story did not flow very well. A lot of the things talked about could have gone a lot faster, some things weren’t explained well, (especially the ending arc) and that’s why I began to become disappointed with the anime. At points the story no longer made sense to me, either they were wasting it with lengthy talking or just random things happening here and there with no real explanation as to why.

    Characters of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

    I’ve talked a bit about the two main characters, Kyouma and Mira, since they are the ones that drive the story. Kyouma never actually talks about himself, we do get to see his past and what not, but that’s the most we get. In the middle of the season we have Mira in the car with Kyouma, where she asks something along the lines of, “What happened to Kyouma? I don’t know that much about him.” All we really know is that his past led him to hate coils, and that he is a relentless fighter both physically and mentally.

    On the other hand, Mira does have some interesting character development. She’s trying to prove that she’s more human than robot, although she can calculate and analyze things quickly. She serves as a character that helps the audience learn about the world set in Dimension W, as well as the search for her own purpose. Also, she is no damsel in distress: she’s a robot that can fight and give a good punch in the face to Kyouma any day.

    Another thing I wanted to point out is the interactions between these two characters. I really enjoyed their relationship dynamics, as it flowed from a bit of romance with a bit of father-daughter-like moments; it was hard to tell. In contrast to the beginning, where they were quite hostile with each other, it was nice to see them develop a trusting, partner-like relationship towards the end.

    As for the other minor characters in the series, their roles were pretty distinguished, and their intents and where they came from were laid out decently. However, in an anime series as short as 12 episodes, it was difficult to go any deeper. Towards the last arc, there was an introduction of at least ten new characters, and there was not enough time for the information to sink in. Heck, we didn’t even get that much for the show’s seemingly terrible, antagonist, Haruka Seameyer, as he played the typical bad guy with horrible reasons for what he did and why did it.

    Art of Dimension W

    Score: 9/10

    The art in Dimension W is pretty amazing. I was attracted to the world, the character designs and colors that the show presented. Mira’s robot design was cute and extremely adorable, making her one of my favorite characters in the series. The colors were also great in the fact that Loser’s design was very unique in its nature. Most of the fight scenes also were colorful and excellent, which was one of the good points about Dimension W.

    Overall of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

    Even though I had some issues with the plot and character depth, I still looked forward to watching every episode of Dimension W every week. Both the opening and endings intrigued me: they had great songs with awesome fight sequences. I was interested in the futuristic time period and the gadgets that the characters used in the show. The show’s strength lied in most of the interactions between the characters, the art, and basic storyline. What pulled me in was the mystery behind the bigger picture, and how the characters were ultimately connected together.


    Dimension W – Official Subtitled Anime Opening

    TVアニメ「Dimension W」エンディング映像

  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Anime) Review

    Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Anime Review

    Plot of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

    The story to Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is as it says in its title, roughly translating to Double Lover’s Suicide through Rakugo in the Genroku era. The anime begins with a double-episode length feature, introducing Yotarou, a former yakuza member that is released from prison, who is determined to become a rakugo storyteller. Rakugo, a representation of traditional Japanese art and culture through comedic storytelling since the Genroku period (Edo era), is a medium through which the characters in this show find their meaning and purpose as they struggle to keep rakugo and themselves alive in contemporary times.

    Yotarou, initially inspired by Yakumo Yuurakutei, a well-known and distinguished rakugo storyteller, begs the man to become his mentor. Yakumo, upon taking Yotarou as his first-ever apprentice and hearing his rakugo, is reminded of his late rival, Sukeroku Yuurakutei, as he is currently the caretaker of Sukeroku’s daughter, Konatsu. The majority of the show then delves into Yakumo’s past and how he came to become a rakugo performer, showing his struggles from childhood to the present day of finding his place in the world with his own rakugo. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu tells the story of the past leading into the present, and as I might say,a story within a story about life.

    Characters of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

    The two main characters in this anime are extremely well-developed, and the show is ultimately driven by the characters, their interactions with each other, and the time setting. Both voice actors, Akira Ishida (Yotaro Yuurakutei) and Kouichi Yamadera (Sukeroku Yuurakutei) were able to bring out their best in wonderful storytelling and acting. The characters grew not only in relation to the post-war industrial evolution environment, but also within each character interaction and their devotion to rakugo.

    Art Showa of Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

    Studio Deen came up big in its art and direction in this anime, no doubt. The foreshadowing with the lighting as well as the stage differences between the rakugo performers were blatant and defining in its character. Take into consideration that most of this anime is done through speaking and acting, much like a regular drama, and to put this type of story through animation is a challenge in itself. Studio Deen was able to make rakugo performances stand out and make the audience feel like they were actually listening to the storytelling themselves.

    Overall of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

    Overall, I thought that this anime was one of the strongest, if not the strongest in the Winter 2016 season. It made me feel like I was actually listening to real rakugo. I was extremely satisfied with the relatable, dramatic stories each character brought to the table, adding to the depth of the plot. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu tells the tale of a well-crafted, well-thought out story, and is definitely one worth listening to.

  • Sakamoto Desu Ga? (Anime) Review

    Sakamoto Desu Ga? Anime Review

    Haven’t you heard I’m Sakamoto? is centered around the coolest freshman on the block. Sakamoto is popular, good looking, kind, and everything everyone wants to be. He has the attention of all the girls and boys at his high school. Although he is put into strange situations during his first-year, he always manages to face them with elegance and perfection.

    Plot of Sakamoto Desu Ga?

    Score: 6/10

    Sakamoto Desu Ga? does not have a particular plot apart from displaying the unique qualities of a one-man show. Every episode is divided into two segments or more, exploring different short stories involving Sakamoto. Normally the stories involve his classmates attempting to achieve something, and Sakamoto shows up to brighten up the day, making it an episodic comedy.

    Characters of Sakamoto Desu Ga?

    Score: 7/10

    Simply put, Sakamoto’s character is pretty unrealistic. The things he comes up with may seem feasible, but his speed and accuracy make it improbable to carry out in the real world. At times he may be naive, but somehow everything works out in the end. Since he’s just too cool for everyone else, Sakamoto doesn’t really have any character development. The whole point of the show comes down to see how Sakamoto might escape his current predicament in his own glamorous way.

    As for the supporting cast, the characters are divided into three categories. There are girls in the class that fawn over Sakamoto and support everything he does. Then there are the gangsters that try to slip Sakamoto up, but fail to do so and end up being jealous or even friendly towards him. Lastly, there’s one friend that Sakamoto makes, named Kubota. He is always on Sakamoto’s side, and Sakamoto always takes care of his friend although it may not seem like it. But even so there is always the blatant difference between everyone else and Sakamoto. They’re far more bland, and plainly put, uncool. As long as Sakamoto helps them however, they’re able to learn a bit more about how they should act and develop better relationships.

    Art of Sakamoto Desu Ga?

    Score: 9/10

    The character designs in Sakamoto Desu Ga? are actually very clean and nice to look at. Although plain in nature compared to Sakamoto, every other supporting character has their own distinctive look and style. Whenever Sakamoto enters, there’s a multitude of twinkling sounds, signaling his presence. The music, jazzy and suave, perfectly fits the theme of the show. Even the opening, COOLEST, by CustomiZ, was specifically made for Sakamoto.

    Overall of Sakamoto Desu Ga?

    Score: 7/10

    All in all, I thought Sakamoto Desu Ga? was just alright. I found the humor to be entertaining for the first few episodes, but in later episodes I found the build up to the humor to take a while and wasn’t quite convinced with the comedic punchline. I liked how the situations in Sakamoto were simple, and how it has the ability to take it in an interesting and amusing way that keeps the audience wondering: what will Sakamoto do next?